Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

2.3 Acceptance Criteria and Reports that do not Meet

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter:
Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
Effective:
3/30/2018
Section:
2.3 Acceptance Criteria and Reports that do not Meet
Version:
20

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Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

 

Division of Protection and Permanency (DPP) accepts reports that meet the statutory and regulatory definitions of abuse, neglect or dependency where the alleged perpetrator is in a caretaking role.  If DCBS receives a report of abuse by a person other than a parent, guardian, or other person exercising custodial control or supervision of a child, the SSW immediately notifies the local law enforcement agency or the department of Kentucky state police and the commonwealth or county attorney of the receipt of the report and its contents, and they shall investigate the matter. DPP will accept reports involving a non-caretaker only if the report involves allegations of human trafficking.    

The identity of persons who report allegations of child abuse or neglect is kept confidential.  Reports of child abuse or neglect allegations from persons who wish to remain anonymous will be accepted; however staff encourage all reporters to provide contact information so follow-up can occur if more information is needed.

Reports that do not meet acceptance criteria, which means they do not meet the statutory and regulatory definitions of abuse, neglect or dependency where the alleged perpetrator is in a caretaking role, are documented in the TWIST system under the "Does Not Meet" path by the SSW taking the report.
The Cabinet or its designated representative shall participate in an investigation of non-custodial physical abuse or neglect at the request of the local law enforcement agency or the department of Kentucky State Police.  Reports of human trafficking are always investigated jointly between the Cabinet and law enforcement.

Practice Guidance

  • Perpetrators 12-17 years of age- Reports that meets child abuse, neglect, or dependency criteria involving an alleged perpetrator between the ages of twelve and seventeen (12-17) years old in a caretaking role will be accepted.  If substantiated, the child aged twelve to seventeen (12-17) will be identified as the perpetrator.
    • Reports in Active Cases-When the caretaker has an active CPS case and there is a new allegation that meets either child or adult abuse or neglect criteria the report will be accepted and will be investigated or assessed as all other reports.
    • Caretaker Requests for Assistance- The Intake SSW may accept a voluntary request for assistance from a caretaker with a previous history if there is a low risk for abuse, neglect, or dependency.
    • Caretakers requesting assistance with custody issues should be referred to court.  If a court requires an agency petition, such an action may be initiated as dependency. 
    • Allegations in an Open Investigation- When allegations are received on a family that are not the same as the original allegations, but are received within thirty (30) working days of the original allegations, the SSW may take this as a second incident and include it in the original report.  
    • Kentucky does not have legal authority to investigate CPS incidents that occurred in other states.  However, allegations that indicate an ongoing or future risk may be evaluated using risk of harm criteria. 
  • DCBS has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet which gives them permission to investigate allegations of abuse or neglect that occur in Department of Juvenile Justice facilities with the exception of Louisville Metro Youth Detention Services (LMYDS).
  • Allegations involving youth housed at LMYDS are screened for acceptance criteria as with other reports.
  • DCBS does not investigate a report if the victim of the report of abuse, neglect or dependency is age eighteen (18) or over at the time of the report. 
  • If an infant is relinquished, but the infant is exposed to substances, the report is accepted as risk of harm/neglect and not as Safe Infant, per KRS 620.350.

Procedure  

  1. Staff should follow the criteria outlined in the table below to determine whether or not a report meets criteria for investigation.  The format of this section is designed so that staff may view the agency’s procedures alongside the corresponding legal rationale for the criteria.  Legal authority has been shaded in light blue to differentiate it from the SOP procedures.
  2. Please be aware that the items included in the following lists are not all inclusive and may include other acts that the FSOS deems appropriate. 

I. Physical Abuse

 

Legal Rationale

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(a) 1. An injury that is, or has been, observed on a child that was allegedly inflicted non-accidentally by a caretaker;
2. Physical abuse if no current observable injury is seen;
3. A child being hit in a critical area of the body, such as the head, neck, genitals, abdomen, and back; or
4. a. Physical injury to a child, as defined by KRS 600.020(46), that is the result of an altercation between the child and the caretaker.

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a physical abuse report when the reporting source alleges that a child:
   A. Has observable injuries inflicted by a caretaker;
   B. Has been hit in critical areas which include the head, neck, genitals, abdomen or back;
   C. Has been punched, kicked, strangled, shaken or suffocated;
   D. Has been exposed to bizarre or cruel forms of punishment or inappropriate restraint.

Things to Consider

 

Section 2(4)(a) 4.b. The cabinet shall explore the following:
   (i) Age of the child;
   (ii) Precipitating factors;
   (iii) Degree of appropriateness of force used by the caretaker; and
   (iv)Need for further services to assist in eliminating violent behavior in the home;

 

2. When determining the level of risk, the intake SSW considers:
   A. Age of the child, particularly those age four (4) years and under (refer to Acceptance Criteria: Physical Injury & Assault Children 4 years and younger
resource tool to determine how to categorize the injury);

   B. Vulnerability of the child, such as identified disabilities;
   C. Severity of the injury;
   D. Previous history of CPS or APS reports;
3. The intake SSW may accept physical injuries to an adolescent if there is allegedly substantial physical pain or impairment to an adolescent and the injuries were the result of an altercation between the youth and a caretaker.

Reports that do not Meet Criteria 

 

Section 2(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;
(d) The reporter notifies the cabinet that a child is injured, but the reporter does not allege injuries were the result of abuse or neglect;      
(f) Pursuant to KRS 503.110(1), corporal punishment appropriate to the age of the child, without an injury, mark, bruise, or substantial risk of harm;

 

4. Allegations are not accepted if the report:
   A. Concerns corporal punishment appropriate to the age of the child, without an injury, mark, bruise, substantial risk of harm, and not in a critical area of the body; or
   B. The reporting source describes injuries that were not caused by abuse or neglect, such as minor marks in routine areas, like the elbows or knees of an ambulatory child.

 

II. Medical Neglect

 

Legal Rationale (922 KAR 1:330)

 

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(b)7. Medical neglect, in accordance with 42 U.S.C. 5106a(b)(2)(C), if a child has not received a medical assessment or is not receiving treatment for an injury, illness, or disability that if left untreated may:
   a. Be life-threatening;
   b. Result in permanent impairment;
   c. Interfere with normal functioning and worsen;
   d. Be a serious threat to the child's health due to the outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease, unless the child is granted an exception to immunization pursuant to KRS 214.036;

KRS 214.036 Exceptions to testing or immunization requirement:
Nothing contained in KRS 158.035, 214.010, 214.020, 214.032 to 214.036, and 214.990 shall be construed to require the testing for tuberculosis or the immunization of any child at a time when, in the written opinion of his attending physician, such testing or immunization would be injurious to the child's health. Nor shall KRS 158.035, 214.010, 214.020, 214.032 to 214.036, and 214.990 be construed to require the immunization of any child whose parents are opposed to medical immunization against disease, and who object by a written sworn statement to the immunization of such child on religious grounds. Provided, however, that in the event of an epidemic in a given area, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services may, by emergency regulation, require the immunization of all persons within the area of epidemic, against the disease responsible for such epidemic.

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a medical neglect report when the reporting source alleges that a child has not received a medical assessment or is not receiving treatment for an injury, illness, condition or disability that left untreated may:
   A. Be life-threatening;
   B. Result in permanent impairment;
   C. Interfere with normal, physical functioning and worsen without treatment; or
   D. Be a serious threat to the child’s health due to the outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease, unless the child is granted an exception to immunization pursuant to KRS 214.036.

Things to Consider

 

 

2. In cases where caretakers are citing religious reasons for not seeking medical treatment, an investigation would occur if conditions in the above criteria are met, but the caretakers cannot be found negligent based on religious beliefs alone.  Court action may be necessary to protect the child(ren).
3. In cases where the allegation is failure to administer medication, the SSW should consider whether the lack of medication is having a serious negative impact on the child’s ability to function or constitutes a threat to the child’s health. 

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

 

III. Abandonment and Supervisory Neglect

Legal Rationale(922 KAR 1:330)

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(b)2. Supervision neglect if the individual reporting has reason to believe that the physical health and safety of the child may be negatively affected by lack of necessary and appropriate supervision;

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a report of neglect if the reporting source alleges the following:
   A. A child is without supervision;
   B. A child is in an unsafe location;
   C. A child is under inadequate supervision: the caretaker is unqualified (due to the special needs of the child or the level of the caregiver's functioning) or lacks capacity (due to caregiver's age or current impairment);
   D. The physical health and safety of the child may be negatively affected by lack of supervision; or
   E.  A caregiver has abandoned the child with a person who is unwilling or unable to care for the child.

Things to Consider

 

 

2. The intake SSW also considers:  
   A. Age of the child (chronological and developmental);
   B. Length of time the child is unsupervised; 
   C. Maturity of the child;
   D. Availability of other adults/resources to the child; 
   E. Whether or not the child is in a caretaker role; and
   F. Safety hazards present in the home or neighborhood. 
3. The Intake SSW may also accept a report alleging the caretaker knew or should have known and allowed a child age fifteen (15) or under to have sexual contact with another child or adult.

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

 

IV. Substance Misuse (Neglect)

Legal Rationale

Acceptance Criteria

 

KRS 600.020(1)(a)(3)
"Abused or neglected child" means a child whose health or welfare is harmed
or threatened with harm when:
(a) His or her parent, guardian, person in a position of authority or special
trust, as defined in KRS 532.045, or other person exercising custodial
control or supervision of the child: 3. Engages in a pattern of conduct that renders the parent incapable of
caring for the immediate and ongoing needs of the child including,
but not limited to, parental incapacity due to alcohol and other drug
abuse as defined in KRS 222.005;

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a report of neglect related to substance  misuse when:
   A. The reporting source alleges that the caretaker is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence with child(ren) present;    
   B. A reporting source expresses that a child has been physically harmed as a result of the caretaker's substance misuse. 

2. The intake worker may accept a neglect report involving substance misuse when the reporting source has reason to believe that the caretaker is engaging in a pattern of conduct that renders the caretaker incapable of caring for the immediate and ongoing needs of the child including, but not limited to, the caretaker’s incapacity due to alcohol and other drug misuse , including the misuse of prescription drugs. (consider the child's age, agency/criminal history, pattern of behavior, and effects of the substance on

the caretaker's ability to meet the child's needs).

3.  Reports relating to the potential for harm due to a parent's substance misuse should be considered under risk of harm criteria.  

Things to Consider

 

 

 

 

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

Section 2(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

4. Reports of substance misuse are not accepted (including prescription drugs), unless the reporting source provides information that would cause a reasonable person to believe that the caretaker’s use is impairing their ability to meet the needs of their children.

 

V. Food Neglect

 

Legal Rationale (922 KAR 1:330)

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(b)3. Food neglect if a child shows symptoms of:
   a. Malnutrition;
   b. Dehydration; or
   c. Not having been provided adequate food for a period of time that interferes with the health needs of the child, based on height or weight norms for the child’s age;

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a report of food neglect when the reporting source alleges the child:
   A. Has not been provided adequate food for a period of time; or
   B. Has special dietary needs that are not being met; and
   C. Because of the lack of food the child shows symptoms of:
      i. Malnutrition or failure to thrive;
      ii. Dehydration; or
      iii. Not having been provided adequate food for a period of time that interferes with the health needs of the child, based on height or weight norms for the child.

Things to Consider 

 

 

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

Section 2(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

2. Reports that allege simply “no food in the house” are not taken as a report unless the child's health is being impacted.

 

VI. Environmental Neglect

 

Legal Rationale (922 KAR 1:330)

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(b)5. Environmental neglect, if a serious health and safety hazard is present and the caretaker is not taking appropriate action to eliminate the problem;

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a report of environmental neglect when the reporting source alleges the presence of a serious health and safety hazard and the caretaker is not taking appropriate action to eliminate the problem. This may include, but is not limited to:
   A. Exposure to the chemicals that are used to make methamphetamines (meth); or
   B. Exposure to an area where the production past or present of methamphetamine (meth lab) has occurred;
   C. Access to illegal drugs, or non-prescription/prescription medication;
   D. Hazardous objects, chemicals, raw sewage, excrement, lead-based paint;
   E. Exposed wires, broken windows;
   F. Insufficient shelter (i.e. living in cars, under a bridge or camping due to homelessness);
   G. Clutter that creates a fire/safety hazard; or
   H. Infestation of insects, vermin or rodents.

Things to Consider 

 

 

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency.

 

2. When the only allegation is that a house is dirty and does not allege health or safety concerns.

 

VII. Hygiene and Clothing Neglect

Legal Rationale (922 KAR 1:330)

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(b)1. Hygiene neglect if:
   a. A child has physical symptoms that require treatment due to poor care; or
   b. The child's physical health and safety are negatively affected due to an act or omission by the caretaker;
4. Clothing neglect if a child suffers from:
   a. Illness;
   b. Exposure; or
   c. Frostbite due to inadequate clothing provided to the child or the clothing provided is insufficient to protect the child from the elements;

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a report of hygiene neglect when the reporting source alleges a child's physical health and safety is negatively affected due to an act or omission by the caretaker that includes, but is not limited to the following:
   A. Serious physical symptoms that require medical treatment due to poor care, such as scabies, impetigo, or severe diaper rash; 
   B. Serious repeated infestations of lice that impair the health or well-being of  the child, such as a child has sores related to the lice; or
   C. The child smells of urine, feces or other strong body odor. 

2. The intake SSW accepts a report of clothing neglect when the reporting source alleges the following:
   A. The child suffers illness, exposure, or frostbite due to inadequate clothing; or
   B. The child’s clothing is insufficient to protect the child from the elements.

Things to Consider

 

Section 2(3)(b) Refer the caller to a community resource that may meet family needs if available;

 

3. The intake SSW considers whether Family Resource and Youth Service Centers (FRYSC) or the local Health Department have attempted to intervene in the situation if that information is known to the reporting source.

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

Section 2(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

4. Reports are not accepted when the inadequate hygiene conditions or clothing do not adversely affect the health or well-being of the child.

 

VIII. Educational Neglect

 

Legal Rationale (922 KAR 1:330)

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(b)6. Educational neglect if the:
   a. School system has exhausted its resources to correct the problem and complied with its duties pursuant to KRS 159.140; and
    b. Caretaker's neglect prevents the child from attending school or receiving appropriate education;

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a report of educational neglect if the reporting source alleges the following: 
   A. The school system has exhausted its resources to correct the problem and complied with its duties pursuant to KRS.159.140;  and 1
   B. The caretaker’s neglect prevents the child from attending school or receiving appropriate education such that it has a documented negative impact on educational performance.

Things to Consider

 

Section 2(3)(b) Refer the caller to a community resource that may meet family needs if available;

 

 

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

2. Reports that allege educational neglect based solely on the fact that the child is home schooled are not accepted as a report.
3. Reports from entities other than the appropriate school system are not accepted, but are referred back to the school system.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

X.  Risk of Harm (Neglect)

 

Legal Rationale

 

Acceptance Criteria

 

KRS 600.020(1)(a)(3)
"Abused or neglected child" means a child whose health or welfare is harmed
or threatened with harm when:
(a) His or her parent, guardian, person in a position of authority or special
trust, as defined in KRS 532.045, or other person exercising custodial
control or supervision of the child: 3. Engages in a pattern of conduct that renders the parent incapable of
caring for the immediate and ongoing needs of the child including,
but not limited to, parental incapacity due to alcohol and other drug abuse as defined in KRS 222.005;

922 KAR 1:330
Section 2(4)(b) Investigate or conduct a FINSA upon receipt of a report that alleges neglect of a child perpetrated by a caretaker that may result in harm to the health and safety of a child in the following areas:
8. At risk of harm due to an act described at KRS 600.020(1), if a child is:
c. Permitted to use drugs or alcohol under circumstances that create a risk to the emotional or physical health of the child;
d. In a situation if the factors provided in a report indicate that:
r
(ii) The child exhibits physical or behavioral indicators of sexual abuse; or
e. In a situation where the circumstances are such that a child is likely to be physically abused;

 (4) (a) 8.  At risk of harm due to an act described at KRS 600.020 (1), if a child is:

      b. Involved in an incident of domestic violence;

 

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a report alleging risk of harm if a child is:
   A. Placed at risk because the caretaker engages in a pattern of conduct that renders him/her incapable of caring for the immediate and ongoing needs of the child due to incapacity due to alcohol or other drug abuse misuse.  Examples include, but are not limited to:  
   i. Born with non-prescribed drugs in their system or showing signs of withdrawal from non-prescribed drugs (refer to 42 USC 5106a(b)(2)(A)(ii) and KRS 620.030(2); 
   ii. Caregiver is misusing substances, not in treatment, and/or their ability to care for the child is negatively impacted;

   iii. Permitted to use drugs or alcohol under circumstances that create a risk to the physical health of the child; 

   B. A medical or mental health professional expresses concern that the caretaker’s use of alcohol, drugs or medication impairs their ability to meet the child’s needs or results in an unsafe environment for the child; or
   C. In a situation if the factors provided in a report indicate that:
      i. An act of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or prostitution involving a child may occur; or
      ii. The child exhibits physical or behavioral indicators of sexual abuse;
      iii. Non-physical activities such as sexual harassment, invasive or coercive verbal or visual suggestions or stimulation to engage in sexual activities, exposure to sexual activities including internet activities; or
      iv. In a situation where the circumstances are such that a child is likely to be physically abused.

2. The intake SSW accepts a report alleging risk of physical harm if:
   A. A child or other household member being threatened with a weapon;
   B. A child being verbally threatened in a manner that creates fear of bodily harm or death to self and/or others;
   C. A caretaker with a documented history of child or adult abuse/neglect including a caretaker with a previous termination of parental rights judgment;   
   D. Bizarre behavior by a caretaker when there is reason to believe that the caretaker may lose control, which may result in injury to the child;
   E. Previous abuse or neglect by the caretaker, which resulted in a child’s death or near death;
   F. Self-reports from caretaker or guardians who state they are unable to cope and who feel they may hurt their children.

3. The intake SSW may accept a report alleging a child may be at risk of sexual harm if:
   A. CPS records or court records that document that a person in a current caretaking role has committed child sexual abuse;
   B. Specific statements alleging past sexual abuse where a person in a current caretaking role was the perpetrator;
   C. A child exhibiting physical or behavioral indicators of sexual abuse- the SSW uses the Sexual Abuse Tip Sheet as a screening tool;
   D. Suspicious circumstances that would cause a person to believe that an act of sexual abuse may occur (such as additional victims identified during an active sexual abuse investigation or grooming behaviors); or
   E. A child is left unsupervised with a person listed on a sexual offender registry.
   F. A person on a sexual offender registry has continued access to the child.

4. The intake SSW accepts a report of neglect related to exposure to domestic violence if:

    A.  The incident places the child or a household member in danger in situations such as, but not limited to, the following:

i.  The alleged perpetrator assaults the non-offending caretaker/victim while holding the child;

ii.  Items are thrown or weapons are used the vicinity of the child;

iii. The alleged perpetrator uses a firearm during the DV incident;

iv. A child intervenes in an incident of DV, even if uninjured;

v.  A child is restrained or restricted from leaving during the DV incident;

vi. Prolonged exposure to domestic violence;

vii A child or household member is threatened with a weapon;

vii.  The alleged DV perpetrator has made suicidal and/or homicidal statements with plans to follow through.

   5. Terrorizing – any act that exposes a child to intense fear or anxiety of the following: 
     A. Physical or sexual assault or harm to self or loved ones;
     B. Prolonged exposure to domestic violence;
     C. Being placed in a chaotic, unpredictable, dangerous environment likely to cause injury; or      
     D. Verbal threatening in a manner that creates fear of bodily harm or death to self or others.

Things to Consider

 922 KAR 1:330

(4) (a) 8. At risk of harm due to an act described at KRS 600.020 (1), if a child is:

      b. Involved in an incident of domestic violence;

 6.  The intake SSW can accept a report if:

A. DV related injuries to the non-offending caretaker/victim have become severe or more frequent;

B. A child shows behavioral changes that appear to be related to DV in the family, and the child is fearful of physical injury or death to self and/or others; or

C. Due to the violation of a current EPO/DVO, a child is placed in danger.

 

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

 

XI.  Exploitation (Neglect)

 

Legal Rationale (922 KAR 1:330)

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(b)9. Exploitation neglect if the:
   a. Caretaker has used a child or child’s financial resources for personal gain;
   b. Caretaker has enticed a child to become involved in criminal activities; or
   c. Child is a victim of human trafficking;

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a report of neglect if the reporting source alleges the following: 
   A. A caretaker is/has used a child or a child’s financial resources for personal gain, such as money or drugs; 
   B. A caretaker is/has enticed a child to become involved in criminal activities; or
   C. A child victim of human trafficking, meaning one (1) or more child(ren) have been subjected to engage in criminal activity involving forced labor services or commercial sexual activity regardless of whether or not force, fraud or coercion is involved (Refer to the Human Trafficking of Minors Tip Sheet);

2. Reports of sexual exploitation of child(ren) are accepted following the procedures outlined in sexual abuse criteria.

Things to Consider

 

 

 

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

Section 2(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

 

XII. Sexual Abuse

Legal Rationale (922 KAR 1:330)

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(c)1. Receive and investigate a report that alleges sexual abuse of a child committed or allowed to be committed by a caretaker.

KRS 532.045, Section (1)(b) "Position of special trust" means a position occupied by a person in a position of authority who by reason of that position is able to exercise undue influence over the minor;

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a sexual abuse report if the reporting source alleges the following:
   A. Rape;
   B. Sodomy, (oral or anal);
   C. Incest;
   D. Sexual penetrations with a foreign object;
   E. Exposing oneself before a child in a sexual manner;
   F. Exposing the genitals of a child in a sexual manner;
   G. Kissing a child in an intimate manner;
   H. Touching and fondling that is sexual in nature;
      I. Promotion of sexual contact with animals;
   J. Caretakers exposing a child to sexual activity; or
   K. A child seventeen (17) years of age or younger has sexual activity with a caretaker.  

Things to Consider

 

Section 2(4)(c)2. An investigation may be conducted without a specific allegation if a child has a sexually transmitted disease;

 

2. If sexual abuse allegations are not clear, such as in a child exhibiting sexualized behavior, the SSW uses the Sexual Abuse Tip Sheet as a screening tool;
3. A sexual abuse report is considered without specific allegations of sexual abuse when a child has a sexually transmitted disease.

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

Section 2(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

4. The intake SSW refers the report to a medical provider, (see the sexual abuse tip sheet) when the reporting source has generalized concerns regarding the following with no further details to support the allegation:
   A. A child has a red bottom;
   B. A child has a discharge; or
   C. A child is masturbating.

 

XIII.  Emotional Injury

Legal Rationale (922 KAR 1:330)

 

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(e) Investigate or complete a FINSA upon the receipt of a report that alleges emotional injury or risk of emotional injury to a child by a caretaker pursuant to KRS 600.020(25).

 

1. The intake SSW accepts an emotional injury report when:
   A. A child’s mental or emotional well-being, has been harmed or is at risk of harm;
   B. The harm to a child’s mental or emotional well-being is evidenced by a substantial and observable impairment in the child’s ability to function within a normal range of performance and behavior with regard to his age, development, culture, and environment; 
   C. The parent or other caretaker inflicted the harm to the child’s mental or emotional well-being by non-accidental means.
2. When making the decision to accept a report of emotional injury, the intake SSW considers the following caretaker action: 
   A. Spurning – repeated or pervasive actions that belittle or humiliate a child (both verbal and non-verbal)   

B. Parental Alienation- a pattern of acts by one caretaker that sabotages a meaningful relationship to another caregiver;
   C. Isolating – any act that results in the prolonged confinement of a child or the restriction of contact with others;  

D. Denying reasonable affection– actions that cause a child’s need for emotional support/nurturing to not be met.

Things to Consider

 

 

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

Section 2(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

 

XIV.  Dependency

 

Legal Rationale (922 KAR 1:330)

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(d) Receive and investigate or complete a FINSA upon the receipt of a report that alleges a child is dependent, pursuant to KRS 600.020(19);

(5) The following criteria shall be used in identifying a report of abuse, neglect, or dependency not requiring a child protective services investigation or FINSA:
   (g) The report concerns a newborn infant abandoned pursuant to KRS 620.350;

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a dependency report in situations in which a child needs protection but is not alleged to be abused or neglected including but not limited to:
   A. Death or incapacity of caregiver(s) and no alternative caregiver is available; or
   B. Caretaker cannot meet a child’s special needs and has exhausted all available resources; 
   C. A minor is in the US without an adult to care for them;
   D.
A child less than 30 days old, who is not otherwise abused or neglected is abandoned at an emergency medical provider, a hospital, a police station, a fire station or a participating place of worship.  At initiation, the SSW and the FSOS follow the procedures described in SOP 4.21 Safe Infants Act;

  E. A minor is reentering the community setting from a DJJ commitment, but does not have a safe home or custodian to return to.

Things to Consider

 

 

2. Determining the distinction between abuse, neglect and dependency may require consultation through appropriate levels of supervision.

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

Contingencies and Clarifications

  1. Reports from court designated workers and family accountability, intervention, and response (FAIR) teams are:
    1. Accepted under the appropriate program/subprogram within this section, if the report contains abuse or neglect allegations; or  
    2. Accepted as a status offender case after other community based alternatives have been exhausted with the child and his/her family if there are no abuse or neglect allegations.
  2. Reports regarding runaway youth for services and care are accepted as an alternative to their prolonged detention.
  3. If a youth who has aged out of out of home care, but has not yet turned nineteen (19), decides to recommit, the centralized intake worker:
    1. Enters the youth into his/her own case in the intake screens in TWIST;
    2. Selects the dependency subprogram and enters the youth’s birthday in a way that indicates he/she is under the age of eighteen (18); and
    3. Assigns the intake to the original commitment county.
  4. Once the case moves from intake to investigation, the SSW who is assigned to the investigation:
    1. Completes the Enter/Exit screens; and
    2. Corrects the youth’s date of birth to reflect his/her accurate age.
    3. If the youth contacts the local DCBS office, the SSW may forward the youth’s recommitment request to CI for entry into TWIST and case assignment.
  5. Upon receipt of a report alleging domestic violence or maltreatment of a youth in an intimate cohabitating relationship under the age of eighteen (18), the intake worker may consider an allegation for supervision neglect or risk of harm, if there is sufficient allegation of a caregiver's failure to protect the youth.

Related Information

General information regarding reports that do not meet criteria
In addition to the specific reasons listed in the table, the following situations do not meet acceptance criteria for a report: 

  • The situation does not meet the definition of abuse, neglect or dependency which includes:
    • Generalized feelings of concern regarding the welfare of the child by the reporting source, but no specific allegations are provided that would indicate child abuse, neglect, or dependency; or
    • Reports relating to custody changes, custody issues or lifestyle issues without allegations of abuse, neglect or dependency;
  • The alleged victim of maltreatment is age eighteen (18) or older at the time of the report;
  • The whereabouts of the child are unknown, and there is insufficient information to locate the child or explore leads to locate the child;
  • The report concerns child abuse inflicted by a person who is not in a caretaking role 2 (the intake SSW forwards these reports to local law enforcement, Kentucky State Police, as well as the Commonwealth's Attorney or County Attorney);
  • The report concerns a specific incident that has previously been investigated or assessed within the past thirty (30) days and there is no new or additional information or change in circumstances; 3
  • The child who is suspected of being abused neglected or dependent resides in a Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) facility (the intake SSW forwards the report to the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, and they conduct the investigation as described in on the Allegations of Maltreatment at Hospitals and DJJ Facilities Tip Sheet);
  • The report alleges corporal punishment appropriate to the age of the child, without injury, mark, bruise, not in a critical area of the body or substantial risk of harm.  If the report alleges corporal punishment to a child in a foster/pre-adoptive resource home, the intake SSW immediately notifies the SRA or designee for assignment in accordance with SOP 12.17 Resource Home Reviews;
  • The reporting source describes injuries that were not caused by abuse or neglect, such as minor marks in routine areas like the elbows or knees of an ambulatory child; or
  • The report alleges non-intentional injuries resulting from the effort of a caretaker defending him/herself;
  • The report alleges an incident that occurred in another state.
  • Any reports received by the Cabinet must meet acceptance criteria prior to protection and permanency staff initiating an investigation/assessment, regardless of the reporting source (refer to CHFS v. Hon. Eleanore Garber and Hon. Jerry Bowles). 4
  • This agency is not permitted to investigate allegations that occurred in another state.  However, if the other state declines to investigate and our agency determines that there are safety concerns, a risk of harm report may be accepted to ensure the safety of the child.
     

    Footnotes

    1. Educational neglect generally pertains to children under twelve (12) years of age unless the caretaker is intentionally keeping the child from attending school. Children age twelve (12) and over are considered truant and the school system should pursue filing status charges through the court designated worker.
    2. This is true of all non-caretaker allegations, except human trafficking.  All human trafficking allegations are investigated jointly by the Cabinet and law enforcement (refer to SOP 2.15.9 Investigations of Human Trafficking).
    3. Reports concerning the same allegations currently being investigated or assessed do not require separate investigations/assessments.
    4. If the court orders an investigation or assessment of allegations that do not meet acceptance criteria, the FSOS consults with regional leadership as necessary.

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