340:2-3-36. Office of Client Advocacy (OCA) investigation procedures for cases involving child victims
(a) OCA investigation initiation. Per Section 1-9-112 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes (10A O.S. § 1-9-112), Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) OCA within its investigative scope and authority, conducts a prompt and thorough investigation upon receiving a report of abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation of a child within priority guidelines, per 10A O.S. § 1-2-105 and Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-3-130. • 1 & 2
(b) Joint investigations with law enforcement. In accordance with 10A O.S. § 1-9-102, the multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach is used:
(1) whenever feasible for investigations involving cases of child sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, physical abuse, and neglect cases;
(2) to enhance the investigative process and maximize services provided to affected children and families; and
(3) to consult with other MDT team members, as appropriate. • 3
(c) Investigation notice and written description of investigation process provided to alleged perpetrator. Per 10A O.S. § 1-2-106, at initial contact with an alleged perpetrator who is the subject of an investigation, OCA advises the alleged perpetrator of the specific complaint or allegation made against him or her. If OCA is unable to locate the alleged perpetrator, as soon as possible after initiating the investigation, OCA provides him or her a brief and easily understood written description of the investigation process, per 10A O.S. § 1-2-106.
(d) Facility or provider administrator responsibility to arrange document production, visits, and interviews. The applicable facility or provider agency administrator or the administrator's designee arranges document production, site visits, and interviews per OCA request.
(1) The facility or provider administrator or the administrator's designee who employed the alleged perpetrator at the time of the alleged incident informs the employee of:
(A) the OCA investigator's name and phone number;
(B) the investigative process described in this Section;
(C) the employee's rights and responsibilities relating to the investigation described in (l) of this Section, except as stated in (2) of this subsection using Form 15IV005E, Rights and Responsibilities of Alleged Perpetrators, or a substantially similar provider or agency form, and Form 15IV004E, Address Information Notice, a copy of which is provided to the OCA investigator; and
(D) the allegation made against the alleged perpetrator without divulging the reporting party's identity or the substance of the evidence.
(2) When the alleged perpetrator is subject to the Community Services Worker (CSW) Registry, the rights and responsibilities of the accused community services worker and Medicaid personal care assistant are found in OAC 340:2-3-39.1.
(A) The facility or provider administrator or the administrator's designee promptly completes Form 15IV005E and Form 15IV004E.
(B) The facility or provider administrator or the administrator's designee mails Form 15IV005E and Form 15IV004E to the worker when it is not possible to hand-deliver it to the worker who is no longer employed by the provider.
(e) OCA access to victims, employees, clients, facilities, files, and other records.
(1) The applicable facility or provider administrator or the administrator's designee arranges for the OCA investigator to have immediate and direct access to any alleged victim in the referral who is still the facility's or provider's client.
(2) During an OCA investigation, OKDHS, Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA), Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (ODRS), Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS), the J.D. McCarty Center, providers, and facilities and persons who contract with them, provide OCA access to all employees, clients, facilities, locations, files, and records of any nature that may pertain to the investigation.
(3) Denial of access may be grounds for a contract termination between OKDHS and the contractor or for other courses of action.
(f) Discrimination, retaliation, or interference in an OCA investigation prohibited and subject to criminal penalties.
(1) An employer, supervisor, administrator, or governing body or entity must not interfere with the any employee's or other person's reporting obligations or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against a person who in good faith reports suspected child abuse or neglect or provides testimony in any proceeding involving child abuse or neglect, per 10A O.S. § 1-2-101.
(2) 21 O.S. § 455 states it is a felony to:
(A) willfully prevent or attempt to prevent, any person who makes an abuse or neglect report, pursuant to 10A O.S. § 1-2-101 from giving testimony or producing any record document or other object; or
(B) threaten physical harm through force or fear, cause or procure physical harm, harass or cause a person to be harassed because of testimony in a civil or criminal trial proceeding or because of making a report of child abuse or neglect.
(g) and responsibilities. The alleged perpetrator's rights and responsibilities during an OCA investigation are outlined in this subsection.
(1) Rights. During the investigation process, an alleged perpetrator has the right to:
(A) be advised by OCA of the nature of each allegation made against him or her;
(B) be advised by OCA of the investigative process ;
(C) be interviewed by the OCA investigator and allowed to give his or her position regarding the allegation;
(D) be advised by the OCA investigator of the substance of the evidence against him or her, but not the identity of the person reporting the allegation;
(E) submit or supplement a written statement relating to the allegations;
(F) seek advice from other parties concerning his or her rights and responsibilities in OCA investigations, including the right to seek counsel;
(G) decline to answer any question when he or she reasonably believes the answer to the question may incriminate him or her in a criminal prosecution; and
(H) be notified in writing by OCA of the outcome of the investigation.
(2) Responsibilities. During the investigative process, the alleged perpetrator has the responsibility to:
(A) prepare written statements and reports relevant to the investigation, upon request;
(B) be available for interviews and accommodate the OCA investigator with scheduling interviews;
(C) refrain from action that interferes with the investigation including any action that intimidates, threatens, or harasses any person who has or may provide information relating to the allegation; and
(D) provide pertinent information and respond fully and truthfully to questions.
(h) Educational employees. This subsection applies to an educational employee, who is either a witness or the alleged perpetrator in an OCA investigation.
(1) The facility or provider administrator where the incident took place notifies the school principal of the nature of the allegation and the assigned OCA investigator's name.
(2) OCA investigates educational employees who meet the definition of a caretaker, per OAC 340:2-3-2.
(j) Document collection and review. The OCA investigator gathers and reviews relevant documents including, but not limited to:
(1) incident reports and other written reports, accounts, and statements prepared during the preliminary assessment;
(2) medical records;
(3) photographs or video;
(4) facility or provider logs; and
(5) activity and tracking documents. • 8
(k) Investigative interviews. When an injury is alleged, the OCA investigator or other appropriate person observes, notes, and documents apparent injuries and obtains pertinent medical documentation, including photographic evidence. Interviews are conducted in private. No person, other than the OCA investigator and the person interviewed, is allowed to attend an interview except for a person necessary to facilitate communication. An attorney or other representative of the person interviewed may attend an interview only as a silent observer with the advocate general's or the advocate general's designee's prior permission. • 9 & 10
(m) Recording investigation interviews. OCA interviews are audio-recorded. To maintain information confidentiality provided in an interview, the person interviewed or anyone in attendance is not permitted to record. Interview recordings remain with the OCA investigative file. • 11
(o) Allegation presentation for witnesses later identified as alleged perpetrators. During an investigation, when a witness is identified as an alleged perpetrator, the OCA investigator interviews the witness again to inform the witness that he or she is an alleged perpetrator. At that time, the witness is informed of the substance of the evidence and relevant information learned during the investigation and provided an opportunity to respond. The OCA investigator informs the facility or provider agency administrator of the new allegation and of the potential, additional alleged perpetrators.
(p) Opportunity for alleged perpetrators to respond. Following the alleged perpetrator's initial interview, if the OCA investigator obtains information the alleged perpetrator did not have an opportunity to respond to, the OCA investigator conducts another interview with the alleged perpetrator. The OCA investigator advises the alleged perpetrator of the substance of the new information and provides an opportunity to present a response.
(q) Interpreter services for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing or have limited English proficiency. When OCA interviews a person who is deaf or hard of hearing or with limited English proficiency, OCA provides oral or sign language interpreter services by an independent and qualified interpreter. Interpreter services for OKDHS employees and clients are provided per OAC 340:1-11-10.
(r) Scheduling interviews. To schedule an interview with an alleged perpetrator, the OCA investigator phones, emails, or mails the facility or provider agency administrator or the administrator's designee that employs the alleged perpetrator. After two documented attempts to schedule an interview, the OCA investigator, contacts the facility or provider agency administrator or the administrator's designee in writing advising the administrator of his or her responsibility to compel the employee to participate. The OCA investigator notifies Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) Quality Assurance or Child Welfare Services Specialized Placements and Partnerships Unit staff to ensure compliance with contract provisions. If unsuccessful, the OCA investigator sends a letter by mail to the alleged perpetrator's last known address notifying the alleged perpetrator of the investigation, offering an opportunity to be interviewed, and setting a date and time for a response. The letter informs the alleged perpetrator of the consequence of failing to participate. The OCA investigative report is completed without the alleged perpetrator's statement, and a finding is made based on the available information. For other persons needing to be interviewed, the OCA investigator follows the same protocol for an alleged perpetrator, but the letter only requests his or her participation in an interview. • 10
(s) Areas(s) of concern (AOC) notification. During the investigation, the assigned OCA investigator emails or phones the applicable facility or provider administrator or the administrator's designee and informs him or her of AOCs. Upon the investigation's completion, all identified AOCs are provided in writing to the facility or agency provider administrator. • 18
(t) The written investigative report. After completing the information-gathering portion of the investigative process, the OCA investigator prepares a written investigative report containing:
(1) the referral allegation(s) investigated, including the date, time, and location of the alleged incident(s), the date the allegation was reported to OCA, and the assigned OCA case number; • 14
(2) a statement of any physical injuries the alleged victims sustained ;
(3) information regarding involved law enforcement entities;
(4) a recommendation for the district attorney to consider further investigation;
(5) the applicable definition(s) of caretaker misconduct or the maltreatment type at issue, such as abuse, neglect, verbal abuse, exploitation, or caretaker misconduct;
(6) the finding(s), per (x) of this Section;
(7) a list of the involved parties, titles and roles in the matter, if they were interviewed and, when interviewed, whether the interviews face-to-face or by phone;
(8) the name, address, and phone numbers of any interpreter employed during the investigation;
(9) an explanation of the basis for the finding(s);
(10) a summary of relevant information obtained during each interview conducted during the investigation;
(11) a list of relevant documents and records reviewed during the investigation;
(12) a list of attachments to the report provided upon request; and
(13) an explanation for any delays in meeting the time requirements for completing the investigation report contained in this Section.
(u) OCA findings and completion time requirements regarding investigations involving a child. Per 10A O.S. § 1-9-112.1, the OCA investigation of a child abuse or neglect report results in a written report, with findings, within 30-calendar days from the referral date. • 13
(v) Notice of child abuse or neglect findings.
(1) After completing the OCA investigation, a findings letter is sent to the:
(A) alleged perpetrator; and
(B) facility or provider administrator.
(2) When a facility or provider administrator is named as an alleged perpetrator, a findings letter is mailed to the facility's or provider's chair of the board of directors or governing entity, or to the director of the state agency operating the facility, as applicable.
(3) The OCA investigator verbally provides the findings to the child victim's parents or legal guardian.
(w) Appeal process for substantiated child abuse or neglect findings. The 2010 Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, Section 5101 et seq. of Title 42 of the United States Code, requires that OKDHS provide persons who disagree with a substantiated finding of child abuse or neglect with a procedure for appealing and responding to appeals of those findings, per OAC 340:2-3-39. • 17
(x) OCA investigation report submitted to Child Welfare Services (CWS). Per 10A O.S. § 1-9-112.1, the OCA abuse or neglect investigation report concerning a child in OKDHS custody is submitted to the CWS director or the director's designee within 30-calendar days from the referral date.
(y) Dissemination of investigation reports involving persons subject to the Community Services Worker (CSW) Registry.
(1) All OCA investigations involving a substantiated finding against a CSW or Medicaid personal care assistant are processed for the CSW Registry, per OAC 340:2-3-29. • 16
(2) A copy of the investigative report is sent to the district attorney in the county where the suspected maltreatment occurred.
(3) OCA sends an investigation summary to the designated leadership within the facility or provider administrator within five OKDHS-business days of the investigation closing. Nothing in this subsection is construed as an OCA determination that the subject of the investigation report may be placed on the CSW Registry.
(4) The investigation report is sent to the DDS director or designee.
(z) Dissemination of reports involving alleged perpetrators subject to the Restricted Registry, Joshua's List.
(1) All OCA investigations involving a substantiated abuse or neglect finding against an alleged perpetrator when the abuse or neglect occurred to a child while in the care of a facility licensed, certified, operated, or contracted with OKDHS or OJA are processed for the Restricted Registry, per OAC 340:110-1-10.1; and OCA submits a copy of the report to the Office of Background Investigations.
(2) A copy of the investigation report is sent to the district attorney in the county where the suspected abuse or neglect occurred, per 10A O.S. § 1-2-105.
(3) When the victim is a child receiving DDS services, OCA sends a copy of the report to the DDS director or the director's designee.
1. Office of Client Advocacy (OCA) investigation initiation. In an investigation involving a child an OCA investigator initiates an investigation by making face-to-face contact with the child, within a time frame Oklahoma of Human Services (OKDHS) Abuse and Neglect Hotline (Hotline) determines. The timeframe may be extended when extenuating circumstances exist as the OCA investigator's supervisor determines.
2. Notifying and interviewing the child's custodian. The child's custodian is notified of the alleged abuse or neglect incident. The notification and subsequent interview is documented as a collateral interview in the OKDHS Child Abuse and Neglect Information System (KIDS) investigation screens.
(1) When the child is in OKDHS custody, the primary Child Welfare Services (CWS) child welfare (CW) specialist is notified. When a child in OKDHS emergency or temporary custody is injured or removed from the placement due to abuse or neglect, the CW specialist assigned to the case contacts the child's parents.
(A) Notification occurs as soon as possible after the child's condition is determined through direct or indirect means.
(B) When it is not possible to contact the child's family immediately, attempts to contact are resumed the next business day.
(2) When the child was placed by the parent, the custodial parent is notified.
(A) When the alleged child victim is in parental custody, his or her parent is contacted and interviewed first, by phone or in person. Interviews with alleged child victims are conducted only after obtaining the parent's permission, unless contact with the child is necessary to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the child or other children in the facility, and other efforts to contact the parent are unsuccessful.
(B) Parent interviews are recorded.
(C) When the OCA investigator inadvertently contacts an alleged child victim or child witness at the facility or shelter, attempts to contact the child's parent are initiated the same day and continue until contact is made or reasonable efforts have been exhausted.
(3) When an investigation referral is accepted and the child is in tribal custody, OCA notifies the tribal worker. When the tribal worker cannot be identified, the OKDHS tribal region coordinator for the child's identified tribe is notified.
3. When alleged criminal activity is reported to OCA Intake and law enforcement is notified, this information is noted on Form 15GN001E, Office of Client Advocacy - Intake Referral.
4. A safety assessment is done in each case and is documented on Form 15IV013E, Plan for Immediate Safety. When the OCA investigator determines a Plan for Immediate Safety (PFIS) is necessary to ensure safety, the OCA investigator contacts the administrator on duty (AOD) to complete the PFIS and works with the facility to ensure the safety threat is reduced. When an agreement cannot be reached to ensure safety; the OCA investigator contacts the supervisor, program manager, or program administrator. The program manager or program administrator ensures CWS Specialized Placement and Partnership Unit (SPPU) program staff, Developmental Disability Services (DDS) Quality Assurance staff, or both are notified of the safety concerns and of the inability to reach a mutually acceptable resolution. The PFIS is completed, signed, and made part of the file. All PFIS sections are completed, and include:
(1) the alleged victim's name and date of birth;
(2) a summary of allegations and safety concerns;
(3) the injury, when observed;
(4) photographic evidence the facility or OCA takes, documented with the date and time taken;
(5) medical treatment, when any occurs;
(6) if the alleged perpetrator was removed;
(7) if the alleged victim was observed, interviewed, or both;
(8) if law enforcement was notified;
(9) the required actions necessary to protect the child in relation to current safety concerns are documented, when safety concerns exist. When there are no safety concerns and immediate protective measures are not necessary Form 15IV013E is documented with an explanation of such determination;
(10) specifics as to who has the responsibility for implementing each plan component;
(11) how the plan is monitored, by whom, and how often;
(12) the OCA investigator's signature and date; and
(13) the AOD's signature and date.
5. A copy of the PFIS is left with the facility. When a PFIS is unnecessary, the reasons are documented. If, after a PFIS is completed, factors arise that warrant additional safety measures, a new PFIS is established.
6. When the PFIS is in regard to a child, within 24 hours of the creation of or changes to the PFIS, OCA staff notifies the SPPU facility liaison by email, fax, or phone that a PFIS was established or updated and uploads the PFIS into the KIDS file cabinet.
7. When the PFIS is in regard to a child receiving DDS services, within one-business day of the creation of or changes to the PFIS, OCA notifies the DDS case manager and OCA advocate, when applicable, by phone, email, or fax that a PFIS was established and emails or faxes a copy of the PFIS to the DDS case manager and OCA advocate, when applicable.
8. Documentary evidence.
(1) History search.
(A) When there is CW, APS, or OCA history involving adults or children listed in the pending abuse or neglect report, the history is reviewed prior to initiating the investigation unless:
(i) an urgent response is required and there is no time to review prior to initiation; or
(ii) it is outside office hours and not possible to access the paper file or KIDS. In these instances, the history is reviewed as soon as possible.
(B) Background information includes if the child or adult involved in the abuse or neglect allegations are:
(i) known to OKDHS and Child Protective Services (CPS);
(ii) currently receiving OKDHS or CWS services;
(iii) known to another state's CPS; or
(iv) known to law enforcement due to reports of domestic violence, substance abuse, or sexual abuse.
(2) The OCA investigator reviews and considers additional documentary evidence including:
(A) written interview and observation records ;
(B) psychological evidence;
(C) law enforcement reports;
(D) medical examiner's autopsy report ;
(E) public information from sources, such as the Oklahoma State Courts Network, the Oklahoma District Court Records, and the offender lookup for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections;
(F) admission documentation or documents pertaining to a child's admission to a facility;
(G) child's treatment plan, to include therapeutic goals;
(H) history and a physical for the child, when warranted;
(I) placement worksheets for OKDHS custody children; and
(J) placement provider information reports for OKDHS custody children.
(3) Photographs and videos. The OCA investigator:
(A) obtains a copy of each photograph or video relevant to an investigation or makes an immediate request to the administrator for time-sensitive material;
(B) clearly labels the date, time, and by whom the photographs or video were taken; and
(C) secures the photographs or video in a separate envelope or folder labeled with the investigative case number, victim names, and other pertinent information.
(i) The photographs or videos are attached to the written investigative report and the photographic evidence is referenced in the investigative report.
(ii) When photographs necessary to document injuries or conditions that resulted or may result in an injury or serious harm to the person, were not taken by the time the OCA investigator initiates the investigation, the OCA investigator takes photographs.
(4) Facility or provider logs, activity, and tracking documents. The OCA investigator reviews existing OKDHS records pertaining to the facility to obtain background information.
(A) The OCA investigator or the OCA programs manager (PM) contacts the current Child Care Services specialist, CWS SPPU facility liaison, or OJA licensing specialist assigned to the facility or shelter to confer about the most appropriate way to conduct the investigation.
(B) Additional information obtained includes ongoing or recent non-compliance areas, Corrective Action Plans, or Facility Action Steps, as well as the most recent Continuous Quality Improvement report regarding the facility.
9. Investigative interviews.
(1) Interviews are conducted face-to-face. When a special circumstance exists that prevents a face-to-face interview, an OCA investigator obtains prior approval from the OCA investigator's supervisor to conduct a phone or virtual interview. When permission to conduct a phone or virtual interview is granted, the interview is recorded and conducted in a manner to verify the interviewee's identity. Absent special circumstances, the OCA investigator interviews each alleged victim, alleged perpetrator, and witness in person. Examples of special circumstances are:
(A) the interviewee moved to another state;
(B) the interviewee moved to a location other than where the majority of the witnesses are located, necessitating additional travel expense and time for a single interview;
(C) the interviewee refuses to be interviewed other than by phone and a good faith effort was made to overcome resistance;
(D) the interviewee is a collateral witness not anticipated to possess information regarding a material issue in the case when no credibility issues are anticipated. For example a DDS case manager was interviewed to obtain routine information from the client's file; or
(E) when the advocate general determines there is an OCA investigator shortage ;
(F) when the advocate general or OKDHS leadership determines public health circumstances necessitate the use of phone or virtual interviews.
(2) Request for another OCA investigator to assist the assigned OCA investigator with interview. The OCA investigator assigned to the case conducts each interview needed to complete the investigation.
(A) An OCA investigator may request supervisory approval for another OCA investigator to conduct an interview when the interviewee lives over 100 miles from the assigned OCA investigator's duty station.
(B) When the interviewee is an alleged victim, an alleged perpetrator, or an eyewitness to the events, the OCA investigator exhausts reasonable efforts to conduct the interview before approval for another OCA investigator is granted.
(C) When approval is granted for another OCA investigator, the assigned OCA investigator provides the assisting OCA investigator with all relevant information to conduct an effective interview and listens to the interview recording.
(3) Injuries. When an injury is alleged, the OCA investigator or other appropriate person observes, notes, and documents the apparent injury and obtains pertinent medical documentation, including photographic evidence. When the nature and circumstances of the child's injury creates a concern for the child's continuing safety, the OCA investigator promptly informs the persons with authority to resolve the matter, who are listed in (A) and (B) of this paragraph.
(A) The OCA investigator contacts the OCA programs administrator for investigations or an OCA supervisor for guidance.
(B) Law enforcement is contacted if it is believed that a crime has been committed.
(4) Emergency situations. During an investigation when the OCA investigator becomes aware of facts creating a concern for the continuing safety of the alleged victim, the OCA investigator takes appropriate action warranted by the situation.
(A) The OCA investigator remains on the scene as needed to ensure the client's protection and safety.
(B) In other cases, the OCA investigator contacts the OCA investigations programs administrator or an OCA supervisor for guidance.
(C) The OCA investigator contacts law enforcement, when warranted.
10. Interview protocols.
(1) Attorney requests to be present during an OCA interview. A person OCA interviews may arrange for an attorney to be on-call in the attorney's office during the interview allowing the person to call the attorney during the interview for legal advice. The attorney representing the interviewee may be granted permission to be present when the attorney agrees to the conditions in (A) through (I) of this paragraph.
(A) The interview is conducted in an OKDHS building or in a neutral location the OCA investigator selects and is not conducted in the attorney's office.
(B) The attorney and the interviewee understand the attorney does not say anything during the interview other than to request a break to consult privately with the interviewee or as otherwise provided in these Instructions to Staff.
(C) The attorney does not make an opening statement or closing argument, ask questions, or make any suggestions, directly or indirectly, about how the interviewee answers a question other than to advise him or her to decline to answer the question based on the Fifth Amendment or a recognized privilege.
(D) The attorney does not audio or video record the interview and may not obtain a copy of the OCA investigator's recording except per Oklahoma laws relating to OCA investigation record confidentiality.
(E) The attorney acknowledges on the record at the beginning of the interview that anything said during the interview is protected by federal and state confidentiality law, and that he or she will not violate the confidentiality of communications during the interview.
(F) The attorney is not provided discovery in connection with the interview and is not supplied with information, such as documents and reports relating to the case.
(G) The request to have an attorney present does not delay the interview absent good cause. Interviews take place within seven-to-ten business days after the OCA investigator contacts the interviewee to schedule the interview. The attorney accommodates the OCA investigator's schedule.
(H) At any time during the interview, the interviewee or the attorney may ask to be excused to consult privately.
(I) The OCA investigator may terminate the interview if the attorney or witness fails to abide by the conditions outlined herein.
(2) When possible, all other witnesses are interviewed prior to interviewing the alleged perpetrator.
(3) Initial contact is made with the facility or provider agency administrator to obtain preliminary information, arrange document production, and interviews Initial contact does not constitute his or her formal interview. The initial contact is documented as an interview in the KIDS system, in addition to the subsequent formal interview. Interview protocol order is:
(A) the alleged child victim;
(B) the other child or adult who witnessed the incident or has information related to the incident to include the reporting party;
(C) the alleged perpetrator;
(D) the facility or provider agency administrator;
(E) the child's custodian, OKDHS CWS specialist, or person who placed the child in the facility;
(F) the facility contract liaison; and
(G) custodians of other children identified, who are interviewed as collaterals.
(4) Modifying investigation protocol related to children. Investigation protocol is followed unless good cause exists for modification.
(A) The OCA PM or supervisor approves modifications and they may include:
(i) altering the required order interviews are conducted in when:
(I) emergency conditions exist that require immediate action to protect the child(ren). Protocol is reinstated after the child is safe;
(II) additional information is necessary to identify alleged victims or alleged perpetrators;
(III) the emotional atmosphere is volatile, for example, people are emotionally immobilized or violent; or
(IV) key persons are not available; or
(ii) omitting required interviews with individuals other than the child victim or alleged perpetrator when:
(I) all allegations are obviously and unquestionably false;
(II) it is determined the report was made in bad faith; or
(III) the report was a result of an absolute misperception of the child's condition or circumstances; and
(IV) no information collected from the child victim and alleged perpetrator indicate a possible safety threat; or
(iii) substituting required face-to-face interviews with a phone or virtual interview when the interviewee's circumstance or location makes him or her otherwise unavailable for a face-to-face interview.
(B) A modification and the reason for the modification to the investigation protocol is documented in Summary/Recommendation Section of Form 04KI003E, Report to district attorney. PM or supervisor approval of the modification is documented in the contacts section of the investigation in KIDS.
(C) Modification requests not listed require consultation with and approval from the OCA Investigative Unit programs administrator.
(5) The OCA investigator informs interviewees about the investigative process.
(6) Providing an allegation notice to the alleged perpetrator, legal guardian, or next of kin.
(A) The OCA investigator verbally informs each alleged perpetrator of the substance of the allegation(s).
(B) The OCA investigator discloses only the nature of information learned.
(C) The reporter's identity is never disclosed during the investigation.
(D) During an investigation, when a witness subsequently is identified as a potential alleged perpetrator, the OCA investigator interviews the witness again to inform the witness that he or she is a potential alleged perpetrator.
(E) The witness is informed of the substance of the evidence and relevant information learned during the investigation and provided an opportunity to respond.
(F) The OCA investigator informs the facility or provider administrator of the new allegation and, of the new potential alleged perpetrator.
(7) Opportunity for an alleged perpetrator to respond. During the interview with an alleged perpetrator, the OCA investigator provides the alleged perpetrator an opportunity to respond to the allegation(s) and to supplement information previously provided in written statements. Following the alleged perpetrator's initial interview, when the OCA investigator obtains information that the alleged perpetrator did not have an opportunity to respond, the OCA investigator conducts another interview with the alleged perpetrator. The OCA investigator advises the alleged perpetrator of the substance of the new information and provides an opportunity to present a response.
(8) Scheduling OCA investigation interviews.
(A) The OCA investigator phones, emails, or mails the facility or provider administrator or the administrator's designee that employs the alleged perpetrator, to schedule an interview with the alleged perpetrator.
(B) After two documented, unsuccessful attempts to schedule an interview, the OCA investigator contacts the facility or provider administrator to require the administrator to compel the employee to participate.
(C) When a facility or provider administrator denies access to employees, clients, facilities, locations, files, or records of any nature pertaining to the investigation, OCA notifies OKDHS DDS Quality Assurance, CWS SPPU, CCS, OJA staff, or the appropriate contracting or licensing entity to report the refusal to cooperate.
(i) When unsuccessful, the OCA investigator mails a letter to the alleged perpetrator's last known address notifying the alleged perpetrator of the investigation, offers an opportunity for an interview, and sets a date and time for a response.
(ii) The letter informs the alleged perpetrator the consequence of failure to participate is that the OCA investigative report is completed without his or her statement and a finding is made based on available information.
(D) When other interviews are needed, the OCA investigator follows the same process to set an interview as is followed to interview an alleged perpetrator, except the letter only requests the person's participation in an interview.
(9) Failure to appear for scheduled interviews. When a person fails to appear for a scheduled interview without good cause, as the advocate general determines, the OCA investigator completes the investigative report without interviewing the person. The investigative report includes an explanation of why the interview was not conducted, including documented efforts to interview the person.
(10) Documenting the child-related investigation in KIDS. The OKDHS Child Abuse and Neglect Information System (KIDS), is a permanent, computerized record-keeping system CWS maintains, per 10A O.S. § 1-2-108 that requires the maintenance of all reports of child abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect made, per provisions of the Oklahoma Children's Code. The OCA investigator documents in KIDS:
(A) each attempted contact with the alleged child victim or other family member;
(B) a contact titled, Face-to-Face NA Child Death, when the alleged child victim is deceased; and
(C) each completed contact in the appropriate KIDS screen.
11. Audio recording the interview. During each interview and while recording, the OCA investigator explains to the interviewee he or she is being recorded. OCA investigators include in the written report the time, date, and location of each interview conducted and identifies any persons other than the OCA investigator and the interviewee, who are present in the interview and explains their purpose for attending.
12. Corrected or expanded allegations. When the original allegation was factually inaccurate with regard to date, time, place, or individual identity, the written investigative report includes the allegation as corrected or expanded as a result of the investigation.
13. OCA investigative reports review. The OCA supervisor monitors timely completion of each OCA investigation report and regularly discusses with the OCA investigator referrals assigned to him or her pending over 30-calendar days. The OCA investigator submits the written report to the OCA supervisor for review. The OCA supervisor reviews the investigative report for completeness, accuracy, appropriateness of the analysis, proper inclusion of areas of concern (AOC), timeliness, and acceptable presentation.
14. When the OCA investigator substantiates an alleged perpetrator's abuse or neglect, knows the alleged perpetrator is not within OCA's purview to investigate, and the circumstances give cause to believe the alleged perpetrator's child may be an abuse or neglect victim, the OCA investigator makes a CWS referral, per 10A O.S. § 1-2-101.
15. Appeal process for substantiated child abuse or neglect findings. Upon receipt of the findings letter from OCA, the alleged perpetrator may request a reconsideration committee review of the finding. The reconsideration committee consists of personnel not involved in any other stage of the investigation.
16. Reconsideration process for substantiated findings of child abuse and neglect for an accused caretaker who is also a Community Services Worker. Upon receipt of the findings letter from OCA, an alleged perpetrator who is a CSW may request a review of the finding by Reconsideration Committee personnel pursuant to the process set forth in OAC 340:2-3-29.1.
17. Final investigative finding.
(1) An OCA investigative finding in a case not involving a CSW or Medicaid personal care assistant (MPCA) is final when the report does not contain a substantiated finding. In cases with a substantiated finding, the report is final when the review process is complete, per 340:2-3-39.
(2) In cases involving a CSW or MPCA, the finding is final when the investigation report does not contain a substantiated finding. In cases involving a CSW or MPCA and a substantiated finding, the OCA finding is final when the review process is complete, per OAC 340:2-3-39.1.
18. AOC notification. During the investigation the assigned OCA investigator phones or emails the applicable facility or provider administrator or the administrator's designee and informs him or her of any identified AOCs. When the investigation is complete, all identified AOCs are provided in written documentation to the facility or agency. Within five OKDHS-business days of the completion of an investigation involving a child, OCA staff emails or faxes the AOC notification to CWS SPPU program staff.
19. OCA investigative records storage and retention. OCA maintains the original report, supporting documents, and applicable recordings per the OKDHS records management and disposition schedule. Access to investigative files and records is limited to OCA employees on a need-to-know basis. Requests by OKDHS employees for access to or copies of OCA investigative reports are made to the advocate general.