Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

2.14.1 Child Fatality in an Open Case or Investigation with no Allegations of Abuse or Neglect

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:
1/15/2016
Section:
2.14.1 Child Fatality in an Open Case or Investigation with no Allegations of Abuse or Neglect
Version:
1

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Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Practice Guidance

  • Families who experience the tragic death of a child also experience inherent grief over the loss.  The agency should ensure that appropriate referrals to services are made for the parents and any surviving children in order to assist them dealing with their feelings of grief.
  • Since grief can be a trigger for relapse, the assessment should document acknowledgement of this to ensure that grief issues are addressed as needed.
  • A case is classified as a near fatality only if there are allegations of abuse or neglect; DPP does not need to be notified if a child(ren) named in an active case or in OOHC are in serious or critical condition without a concern of abuse or neglect.

Procedure

The SSW and/or FSOS:

  1. Discusses with the SRA or designee if it is learned a child named in an active case or investigation has died to determine if a referral to centralized intake is appropriate;
  2. Refers to the Determining a Near Fatality Tip Sheet if there is a concern that a child named in an active case or investigation is in serious or critical condition and may be a victim of abuse or neglect;
  3. Documents in the file all efforts to notify parents of the fatality if the child is in out of home care;
  4. Completes sections I of the Child Fatality/Near Fatality Summary Document;
  5. Enters the date of death for the child in TWIST and makes the child inactive;
  6. Submits the summary document to the SRA or designee.

The SRA or designee:

  1. E-mails the Child Fatality/Near Fatality Summary Document within twenty-four (24) hours, exclusive of holidays and weekends, to the director of the Division of Protection and Permanency at dpp.childfatality@ky.gov when a child:
    1. Is in the custody of the Cabinet and a fatality occurs;
    2. Named in an active investigation or ongoing case dies; or
    3. Dies and the family has received services from DCBS in the twelve (12) months preceding the death;
  2. Notifies in writing the judge of the court of jurisdiction and the guardian ad litem in all cases before the court when there is a child fatality as soon as practical, but no later than five (5) working days after receipt of the report;
  3. Provides support to staff to assist them in managing the trauma experienced through their involvement with the fatality (refer to SOP 1.13 Debriefing of Protection and Permanency Staff-Reaction and Emotional Responses to Trauma).
 

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