Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

11.44 Court Ordered or Requested Child Custody Investigations

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.44 Court Ordered or Requested Child Custody Investigations
Version:
1

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Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services upon order or request of the Circuit/Family court conducts an investigation concerning custodial arrangements for a child at the time of either the initial child custody decree or modification and submits to the same court a written report concerning custodial arrangements for the child.

DPP may assist Circuit/Family courts through services to children, whenever requested by the court.

DPP does not have the authority nor does it perform services related to problems involving visitations of the non-custodial parent unless ordered by the court or child support payments for children not committed to the cabinet.  Refer parties requesting assistance in these matters to seek advice of legal counsel or child support enforcement.

The fact that DPP may be in the process of conducting a custody investigation relative to a particular family does not preclude DPP from receiving and  investigating a report of suspected abuse, neglect or dependency of a child(ren) in the same family.  Both the order/request for an investigation and report concerning custodial arrangements for the child and the report of suspected abuse, neglect or dependency are handled separately according to respective statutory requirements and Standards of Practice (SOP).

Procedure

The FSOS:

  1. Assigns an SSW to investigate orders/requests for custody investigations from Circuit/Family court.

The SSW:

  1. Prepares a written report, using the “Investigation Report Concerning Custodial Arrangements for the Child” (TWIST form), to respond to the court’s request;
  2. Submits the original copy of the report and any required attachments to the Circuit/Family court judge with a cover letter on department stationery, containing the following information:
    1. Confirms receipt of the court’s request and completion and submission of the report; and
    2. Requests that the cabinet be granted a fee of $250.00 for completion of the report; 
  3. Retains a copy of the report and the letter in the local office;
  4. Determines the following information from the court in all requests: 1
    1. What information is expected (if different from the “Investigation Report Concerning Custodial Arrangements for the Child” outline);
    2. Specific questions concerning the request before the investigation begins; and
    3. The timeframe for completing the investigation;
  5. Does not distribute copies of the report to any attorneys or parties to the action, unless so ordered or requested by the court.

Practice Guidance

  • Orders/requests for investigations and reports concerning custodial arrangements come directly from Circuit/Family court to a local DCBS office by: 
    • Written order/request, which is the preferred method; or
    • Oral request, when a case is already in litigation.
    • Any fee collected for the Cabinet’s services is paid to the Circuit court clerk with instructions to forward any fees collected to the:
      • Department for Community Based Services
        Resource Management Section
        275 East Main Street, 3 C-D
        Frankfort, Kentucky 40621
    • Negotiable instruments shall be made payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer.
    • A copy of an “Order for Custody Evaluation Payment” (TWIST forms) may also be attached to the letter.

     

    • If the FSOS or designee determines that the Circuit/Family court time frame for completing the investigation is too short, Office of Legal Services (OLS) may be contacted to consider requesting an extension.
     

    Footnotes

    1. The SSW conducting the investigation and preparing the report is subject to testify in court concerning the report.

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