The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (Cabinet/CHFS) is statutorily mandated to offer services to protect children from abuse, neglect, and dependency. Prevention planning is utilized to address risk factors identified during an investigation and/or during ongoing casework, as well as a means to provide information regarding service provisions. Prevention planning is voluntary and the content of the plan should be negotiated and agreed upon with the family and all involved parties. Additionally, the plan should be specific, detailed, and practical in addressing identified risk factors. Prevention plans can be reviewed and revised as needed, but must be renegotiated every thirty (30) working days if the tasks continue to be necessary and have not been included on a case plan.
A child protective services (CPS) worker who determines that a child can remain safely in the home with his or her family or caregiver then conducts a comprehensive family assessment with the family to determine the services needed to minimize both the risk of child maltreatment and the factors that contributed to this risk.
Risk refers to the likelihood of maltreatment occurring in the future. The word risk is synonymous with words like chance, probability, or potential. An assessment of risk includes the identification of risk factors, which are family behaviors and conditions that create an environment or circumstances that increase the chance that parents or caregivers will maltreat their children. Risk factors of various degrees and seriousness may exist within a single family, and some risk factors are better than others for indicating the likelihood of child maltreatment.
Examples of factors that have been associated with increased risk of child maltreatment include parental substance abuse, domestic violence, and parental childhood history of abuse. Young children and children with disabilities have also been found to be at greater risk for maltreatment because of their greater dependency on others for care.
Prevention plans should be utilized when non-imminent safety and/or risk factors are identified during an investigation or during ongoing casework as a plan for service implementation for the child(ren) and/or family when:
An investigation indicates a family needs services, or abuse, or neglect is substantiated.
During ongoing casework and the risk indicates that a plan is needed but needs to be put in place prior to the scheduling and development/modification of a case plan.
The preferred method for completing the prevention plan is through TWIST offline application, which can be accessed with or without an internet connection.
Prevention Plan Use During Investigations
- Negotiates the prevention plan with the family and other relevant individuals involved, and informs the family that the plan will be renegotiated or will expire within thirty (30) working days;
- Utilizes the prevention plan when non-imminent safety and/or risk factors are identified during an investigation. Non-imminent safety and/or risk factors may include but are not limited to:
Ensures the prevention plan:
- Medical/dental intervention;
- Mental health intervention;
- Drug testing;
- Physical environmental intervention;
- Hygiene intervention;
- Educational neglect/truancy intervention;
- Food intervention;
- Some supervision intervention;
- Some discipline intervention; and
- Service implementation
Includes monitoring by those who participated in the planning process;
Does not include monitoring of any portion of a prevention plan without all participants' explicit knowledge and written consent;
Notifies the family that the prevention plan will expire within thirty (30) working days of negotiation;
Ensures that all the parties involved in the plan receive a copy of the prevention plan by using the individuals preference of (email, text, picture, and/or hardcopy mailed) and provides a copy to the following:
- Includes services that can assist the family to prevent abuse or neglect and maintain the child(ren) in the home;
- Includes clear and concise tasks with start and end dates;
- Is signed by individuals who have tasks assigned to them; and
- Does not substitute for filing a petition with the juvenile/family court when there are long term protection needs.
Incorporates the agreed upon tasks that the family will follow to address maltreatment concerns and service delivery into the:
- Family members, including children of appropriate age;
- Alleged perpetrators (when safe to do so);
- Relatives, fictive kin, other caregivers;
- Community partners involved; and
- All parties who signed the plan.
Ensures that the prevention plan is signed and dated by all involved parties and files a hard copy of the prevention plan in the case file;
Renegotiates the prevention plan every thirty (30) working days if risk remains that requires renegotitiation or whenever a significant change occurs;
Immediately consults with the FSOS to discuss the discontinuation of the prevention plan when the risk factors requiring the provisions within the prevention plan have been mitigated prior to the thirty (30) working day expiration of the plan.
If it is determined that the prevention plan should discontinued prior to the expiration date on the prevention plan, informs the family that the prevention plan is discontinued by conducting a phone call with the parent/caregiver and any other involved individuals within forty eight (48) hours of the decision to discontinue to plan. If the family is not available by phone within the forty eight hours(48), SSW will send notification by mail or conduct a home visit.
- Case plan for an investigation that is transferred for ongoing services (if the tasks on the prevention plan continue to be necessary); or
- Aftercare plan, as appropriate, when the investigation is closed.
Use during investigations/ interventions with domestic violence
- Utilizes prevention planning as a strategy for protecting the non-offending parent/caregiver and/or minor child(ren) from the abuse;
- Negotiates a plan with the non-offending parent/caregiver, which includes but is not limited to the following strategies:
- Increase the non-offending parent/caregiver's ability to protect self and /or children, particularly when a crisis exists and the potential risk is high;
- Continually assess the degree of danger to the non-offending parent/caregiver and /or child(ren); and
- Address the minimization and denial regarding the presence and extent of violence.
- Negotiates the plan by utilizing the following parameters:
- Driven by the non-offending parent/caregiver;
- Practical; and
- Revised as necessary.
- Ensures the non-offending parent/caregiver's cooperation if a plan is completed;
- May use the prevention plan form for the development of a plan, but the plan is only effective if the non-offending parent/caregiver participates in the process; and
- Develops the plan either verbally or in written form. If a written plan is developed and the alleged victim agrees that the department may retain a copy, the SSW documents the planning using the prevention plan form and files it in the case record.
Reviews the content of the prevention plan as soon as possible to ensure the tasks are consistent with the outlined procedure, appropriate to the needs of the family, and that all necessary parties have signed and agreed to the plan.
Prevention Plan Use During Ongoing Cases
Uses the prevention during ongoing casework when additional risk factors are identified and a short term plan is needed to mitigate the risk. Only uses the prevention plan during ongoing casework when there is not time to schedule a family team meeting/case planning conference prior to the development of a plan;
Uses the procedural guidance for investigative cases (listed above) for the development of the prevention plan;
Informs the family that the plan will expire within thirty (30) working days of negotiation;
Ensures that the family and all involved parties receive a copy of the plan by using the preferred method of email, text, photo, and/or hard copy;
May use the prevention plan to outline provisions of a planned placement move based on the re-leveling of a child in out-of-home care (OOHC) (this is not always included in the case plan).
Consults with SSW regarding the content of the prevention plan as soon as possible; and
Ensure the tasks are consistent with the outlined procedure, appropriate to the needs of the family, and that all necessary parties have signed and agreed to the plan.
Contingencies and Clarifications
For cases involving a substance affected infant, the SSW ensures the prevention plan content includes the requirements specified in SOP 1.15 Working with Families Affected By Substance Misuse CAPTA 106(b)(2)(B)(ii) and (iii)).
- In specialized investigations, tasks may be identified to include other individuals. Others who may agree to participated in the monitoring of a prevention plan include the following :
- Investigating SSW;
- Recruitment and certification (R&C) SSW;
- Superintendent, facility or program director, administrator, or designee;
- Treatment provider;
- Teachers or child care staff;
- Private agency staff who serve the child or foster/adoptive resource home;
- Child’s SSW;
- Resource parent’s SSW; and
- Alleged perpetrator.
- The Office of Inspector General (OIG) will not provide monitoring of a prevention plan.
- For ongoing cases, the completion of the prevention plan is not necessary for the development of a case plan. The case plan items can be entered directly into TWIST with the family signing the appropriate signature sheets.
For families who do not have access to email or the ability to receive a copy of the signed prevention plan by text, the SSW should complete the appropriate plan using the template linked within this SOP. The hard copy should be left with the family. The SSW should take a picture of the signed plan with their tablet and upload into TWIST.