Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

9.7 Intake and Investigation, Including Interviews

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter:
Chapter 9-Status Offender Services
Effective:
3/7/2014
Section:
9.7 Intake and Investigation, Including Interviews
Version:
4

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Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

Intake

The SSW:

  1. Makes a report to centralized intake (CI) to be entered as "Court Related/Status Offender;" and
  2. Meets with FSOS as needed to determine the most appropriate services.

Investigation

The SSW:

  1. Makes face to face contact with the parent/caretaker in their home during the course of the investigation, as soon as possible, and gathers environmental information, particularly as it relates to the status offender and other children living in the home;
  2. Conducts face to face interviews with:
    1. The status offender;
    2. All children in the home;
    3. All adults living in the home;
  3. Conducts interviews, as appropriate, with:
    1. Non-custodial or absent parents;
    2. Extended family members;
  4. Conducts collateral interviews to verify information obtained from other sources or to seek other information relevant to the investigation; 1
  5. Checks for prior reports and records for all adult household members, as soon as possible, via:
    1. TWIST;
    2. Mainframe databases including Child Abuse/Neglect checks (CA/N),
    3. EPO-DVO Search website (Refer to EPO-DVO Administrator User Guide,   EPO-DVO User Guide and TWIST Account Request with EPO-DVO); and
    4. Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) (Refer to AOC Instructions);
  6. Asks questions to assess risk and safety issues in the family regarding current and past issues regarding the following, when interviewing children, parents and collaterals: 
    1. Domestic violence;
    2. Substance use/abuse; or
    3. Mental health issues and learning disabilities (Refer to Mental Health/Illness Indicators Tip Sheet);
  7. Discusses with the parent/caretaker and/or status offender, past agency and/or criminal status history;
  8. Completes the investigative assessment and makes a determination of findings within thirty (30) working days of the report, unless it must be completed sooner based on an up-coming court date;
  9. Sends a notificationof findings letter, to the parent/caretaker, within ten (10) days of the FSOS's approval of the assessment;
  10. Assists the family in solving the status behavior/family issues;
  11. Refers the child and family to appropriate services and treatment as needed.

Interviewing


General interviewing protocol for investigations

The SSW:

  1. Determines whether the child(ren) or the parent/caretaker is interviewed first, giving consideration to the:
    1. Nature of the referral;
    2. Current location of child(ren);
    3. Indicated risk to the child(ren); and
    4. Known violence by the parent/caretaker;
  2. Conducts face to face interviews with:
    1. The alleged victim(s);
    2. All children in the home;
    3. The alleged perpetrator/caretaker;
    4. The non-offending parent/caretaker; and
    5. All adults living in the home;
  3. Observes the child for injury, general physical condition and parental interaction, if too young to be interviewed, and documents the information in the assessment;
  4. Assesses safety by considering the following:
    1. The age of the child(ren);
    2. Harm or threats of harm, and severity;
    3. Vulnerability and protective capacities of the child(ren);
    4. Capacity of the parent/caretaker to protect the child(ren);
    5. The perpetrator’s access to the child(ren); and
    6. Any other information necessary to determine the validity of the report, which may include interviews with the referral source, witnesses or other collaterals with relevant information about the family or the allegations;
  5. Makes face to face contact with the parent/caretaker in their home during the course of the investigation, promptly or as soon as possible, after interviewing the child(ren) unless there are documented safety issues;2  
  6. Notifies the parent/caretaker subject to an investigation of the allegations during the initial face to face contact pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 5106a by:
    1. Verbally informing the parent/caretaker of the basic allegations, void of any specifics that may compromise the investigation;
    2. Verbally informing the parent/caretaker that they will be provided notification of the findings upon completion of the investigation; and
    3. Providing the parent/caretaker a copy of the DPP-154 Protection and Permanency Service Appeal explaining the parent's/caretaker's right to file a complaint and who they can contact to do so; 
  7. Documents the verbal notification of the allegations in TWIST;
  8. Conducts the aforementioned procedures during the initial face to face contact in the child’s home, if the identity of the alleged perpetrator is unknown at the outset of an investigation, with the:
    1. Parent;
    2. Guardian; or
    3. Adult caretaker;
  9. Maintains the confidentiality of the referral source/reporting individual’s identity at all times during the investigation, unless ordered to report such by a court of competent jurisdiction;
  10. Conducts interviews, as appropriate, with:
    1. Non-custodial or absent parents;
    2. Extended family members; and
    3. The referral source when contact information is available for that individual;
  11. Identifies the referral source as a collateral source, rather than the referral source in TWIST to maintain confidentiality;
  12. Conducts collateral interviews to verify information obtained from other sources or to seek other information relevant to the investigation; 3  
  13. Requests the assistance of the regional attorney and/or law enforcement  if a family or individual fails to cooperate with an investigation; 4
  14. With the FSOS, consults with the regional attorney, as needed, when there are concerns regarding the sharing of information;
  15. Shares additional information with the reporting source, after consultation with the FSOS, if the reporting source is a person in a continuing and ongoing professional relationship with the child or family (such as a physician, therapist, family resource center staff, health department staff or teacher) and meets the standard under KRS 620.050 as having a legitimate interest in the case;
  16. Completes the following tasks if a determination is made that the reporting source has a legitimate interest:
    1. Informs the reporting source with legitimate interest that the information is being shared based upon the conditions of KRS 620.050 and information may not be further shared with others; 
    2. Shares information that may be relevant with the person with legitimate interest that is specific to the child, summarizing services the parent/caretaker may be receiving to address abuse or neglect issues including:
      1. Concerns related to safety issues for the child;
      2. Domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health history or learning disabilities of the parent/caretaker; or
      3. The finding of an investigation.

Interviewing protocol when child/family member resides out of state/county

The SSW:

  1. Contacts the county in the state where the perpetrator resides and requests that services be provided to the perpetrator;
  2. Contacts the appropriate law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where the alleged incidents were reported to have occurred for assistance, when assigned a sexual abuse investigation;
  3. Follows these procedures when the Cabinet receives a referral of abuse or neglect that occurred in another state, but the child is now residing in Kentucky:
    1. Contacts the social service agency in that state to make a referral and Cabinet staff interviews the child at the request of the out of state agency;
    2. Assesses the current safety of the child due to risk of harm should the other agency not request interviews;
    3. Completes the referral here, if the entire family is living in Kentucky; however, the SSW will: 
      1. Notify law enforcement in the other state; and
      2. Document this notification;
    4. Makes attempts to locate the family through the following methods if a family moves during an investigation:
      1. Family Support;
      2. The school system;
      3. Driver’s licenses; or
      4. Any other methods of locating available;
  4. Shares the case so information can be entered in TWIST and requests onsite interviews of individuals needed to complete the referral if the investigation has been initiated with an interview of the child and the family moves; 
  5. Follows these procedures, after consultation with the FSOS, when requesting interview assistance:
    1. Calls the county intake with the following information:
      1. The name and location of the individual(s) to be interviewed;
      2. The specific information, if any, that needs to be obtained during the interview; and
      3. The name and location of any collateral contacts that need to be interviewed;
    2. Sends a follow-up request in writing (by email or fax);
  6. Follows these procedures, after consultation with the FSOS, when requesting documentation assistance:
    1. Calls the centralized intake team with the exact documentation needs, including the contact’s:
      1. Name;
      2. Address; and
      3. Phone number;
    2. Shares the case with the county providing the onsite services;
  7. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 3.2 Timeframes and Ongoing Service Requirements for All In Home Services Case Planning or SOP 4.14 Timeframes for All OOHC Cases for referrals that result in a case being opened for ongoing services.
  8. The SSW providing the onsite services completes and documents all information in TWIST within fourteen (14) working days.

Practice Guidance

The following are examples of how DCBS may become involved with a child determined by the court to be a status offender:

  • Order from judge requesting a pre-disposition report;
  • Order placing child on court ordered supervision/probation to DCBS;
  • Order committing a child as a status offender to DCBS.

 

  • An extension may be granted for completing an investigation by the FSOS as specified in SOP 2.30 Completing the Assessment, and is documented in the assessment. 
  • To provide continuity of services to the families and children served during an investigation, it is preferential for the assigned worker to complete all interviews if the distance is not prohibitive.
  • Referrals are assigned and initiated  in the county where the victim resides.
  • An onsite request to another county or region for information regarding an investigation is made to assist in obtaining:
    • Interviews;
    • Police reports;
    • Hospital or other medical records; and
    • Legal documentation (from courthouse, etc.).
  • Any request to another county or region for onsite services, particularly in regards to initiation of an investigation, for the purpose of interviews, will be completed within the same timeframes as any other investigation as outlined in SOP 2.10 Initiating the Report.

Filing out of county/region petitions

  • A petition may be filed regarding a family either in the county where they reside or where the incident occurs. The former is preferred to avoid unnecessary travel for the family.
  • In cases where abuse, neglect, or dependency petitions have been filed, the investigating SSW who filed the petition(s) and the onsite SSW attend the court hearing.

 

 

Footnotes

  1. Appropriate collaterals may include persons in the community such as school personnel, medical personnel, relatives, law enforcement, etc.
  2. It is important to gather environmental information, particularly as it relates to the allegations.
  3. Appropriate collaterals may include persons in the community such as school personnel, medical personnel, childcare providers, neighbors, relatives, law enforcement, etc.  
  4. Law enforcement may seek a search warrant or other judicial relief.

Communicate

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