340:75-3-510. Reports to the district attorney regarding child abuse or neglect investigations
(a) Sections 1-2-102 and 1-4-101 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes (10A O.S. § 1-2-102 and 10A O.S. § 1-4-101), provide that a complete written report of the child abuse or neglect assessment or investigation conducted by Oklahoma Department of Human Services be made within 30 calendar days, except as otherwise provided in policy, and that the report, together with its recommendations, be submitted to the appropriate district attorney's office:
(1) where the child resides, or has resided for six months preceding the filing;
(2) where the alleged acts of deprivation occurred;
(3) where a parent or sibling has a deprived action pending; or
(4) if none of the locations are known, in the county where the child is found.
(b) A petition for a deprived child proceeding is filed within seven judicial days from the date the child is taken into custody unless, upon the district attorney's request at the emergency custody hearing, the court determines there are compelling reasons to grant additional time for the filing of the petition for a period not to exceed 15 calendar days from the assumption of custody, per 10A O.S. § 1-4-205.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:75-3-510
1.(a) Preparing the Report to District Attorney (DA).The child welfare (CW) specialist prepares the report for each investigation on Form 04KI003E, Report to District Attorney.
(1) Form 04KI003E is submitted to the DA for each investigation, within 30-calendar days of assignment, unless:
(A) an exception was approved; or
(B) the determination is reasonable parental discipline.
(2) A copy of the report is forwarded to the DA in the county where the suspected injury occurred if different from where the child resides.
(b) Coordination between counties for completion and submission of Form 04KI003E.When more than one county is involved in an investigation, close coordination between CW specialists for completion and submission of reports to the DA is required.
(1) Primary assignment is with the county of residence.When the county of residence is unknown, primary assignment begins in the county where the child is located and may be transferred once residency is known.
(2) All reports and relevant information are shared between counties and each county involved cooperates during the investigation.
(3) When interviews are required with family members or collaterals located outside the child victim's district, a written request may be sent by email or KIDS to the other district or districts that receive secondary assignment on KIDS.
(4) When court action is considered, the time allowed for completion of out-of-district interviews is based on the:
(A) child's safety needs identified by the district where the child victim is located; and
(B) need to provide timely information to the appropriate court.
(i) The district requesting interviews corresponds with and receives an anticipated date for completion of interviews from the other district.
(ii) When a district receives a request for interviews and cannot comply with the requested completion date, an attempt is made to negotiate an acceptable alternative.
(iii) After the CW supervisor and district director are consulted, the district requesting interviews may go into the receiving district to conduct interviews when feasible or the districts agree.
(5) Each interview is documented on the appropriate page of Form 04KI003E.
(6) The districts involved decide which district is most appropriate to make the investigative finding.The district with the most information about the case makes the finding and the decision is not determined by case assignment type.
(A) When the district where the petition is filed is not the district where most of the information is gathered, a cover memo with a recommendation is sent to the filing district.
(B) When districts do not agree about the investigation finding, a consultation is held with the district or regional deputy director or the CPS Programs Unit.
(7) When more than one district is involved in an investigation, only one Form 04KI003E and one Form 04KI030E, Assessment of Child Safety, is prepared.
(A) A signed and dated copy of Form 04KI003E that includes Form 04KI030E is retained for the case file.
(B) A copy of Form 04KI003E is sent to the DA:
(i) in the district where the child resides, or has resided for six months preceding the filing of the petition;
(ii) in the district where the suspected injury or acts of deprivation occurred;
(iii) in the district where the parent or sibling has a deprived action pending; or
(iv) when none of the locations are known, in the district where the child is found.
2.DA comments written on Form 04KI003E, Report to District Attorney, or Form 04KI030E.The DA's comments written on Form 04KI003E or 04KI030E are entered into a contact in the assessment or investigation contact screen.
3.Time requirements for Form 04KI003E submission.Form 04KI003E, which includes Form 04KI030E, is prepared and submitted as soon as possible upon completion of the investigation.When necessary, an addendum to Form 04KI003E is submitted when additional information becomes available after the original report's submission.Time requirements for submitting reports are described in (1) through (9) of this Instruction.
(1) Substantiated finding – Court intervention recommended.Immediately, or as soon as possible Form 04KI003E that includes Form 04KI030E is submitted to the DA when court intervention is recommended and the child is not in protective custody but is at high risk of imminent harm.When the child's safety cannot be secured, an affidavit requesting emergency custody is submitted to the DA utilizing Form 04CP008E, Affidavit – Child Protective Services.
(2) Child in emergency custody or subject of a safety plan.When a child is in emergency custody or is the subject of a safety plan, Form 04KI003E, which includes Form 04KI030E, is submitted to the DA as soon as possible, but no later than five-judicial days after the child's removal from the home.
(A) A deprived petition is filed within seven-judicial days from the date the child is placed into custody unless, upon the DA's request at the emergency custody hearing, the court determines there are compelling reasons to grant additional time for the filing of the petition.
(B) Per Section 1-4-205 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes (10A O.S. § 1-4-205), the petition is filed within 15-calendar days from the assumption of custody when the court grants a filing extension.
(C) Upon the court granting an extension of up to 15-calendar days, Form 04K1003E, which includes Form 04K1030E, is submitted to the DA as soon as possible, but no later than 13-calendar days from the date of the assumption of the custody of the child.
(3) Unsubstantiated or ruled out finding - Child safe - No court intervention recommended.Within 30-calendar days after the report is accepted for investigation, Form 04KI003E that includes Form 04KI030E, is submitted to the DA when a finding of unsubstantiated or ruled out is determined and the child is safe.A petition may be requested if the child is dependent due to homelessness, without proper care through no fault of his or her parent, guardian, or custodian, or in need of special care and treatment because of the child's physical or mental condition and the person responsible for the child's (PRFC) health, safety, or welfare is unable to provide the care and treatment.
(4) Reports resulting from child custody or visitation proceedings.When the referral of abuse or neglect is initiated from a child custody or visitation proceeding, Form 04KI003E that includes Form 04KI030E is submitted to the referring court within 30-calendar days after the report is accepted for investigation.Form 04KI003E that includes Form 04KI030E is submitted to the DA.
(5) Extensions to completion time requirements.When factors prevent the completion and documentation of the assessment or investigation within the designated time period, the CW supervisor may extend the time for a specified period, not to exceed an additional 30-calendar days, for completion of the assessment, investigation, or related paperwork.
(A) When necessary, the CW specialist requests an extension for submission of Form 04KI003E.
(B) Exceptions are granted only for findings other than substantiated.
(C) When an exception is granted, the reason for the exception is documented in KIDS.
(D) The exceptions to the time requirements listed in this paragraph do not apply to foster and trial adoptive home reports, child death reports, trial reunification reports, and child care investigations.
(6) Delays beyond the 30-calendar day extension.When the assessment, investigation, or related paperwork cannot be completed within the additional 30-calendar days, a subsequent request for extension is considered by the district director, and if granted, does not exceed an additional 30-calendar days.The exceptions to the time requirements listed in this paragraph do not apply to foster and trial adoptive home reports, child death reports, trial reunification reports, and child care investigations.
(7) Request for extensions beyond 60-calendar days.When an excessive workload, caused by a marked increase in abuse or neglect reports or Child Welfare Services staff vacancies, results in an inability to meet requirements for more than 60-calendar days, the CW supervisor notifies the district director.
(A) The district director is provided written details from the CW supervisor regarding the:
(i) total number of reports received for the 60-calendar day period;
(ii) staff available to conduct assessments or investigations;
(iii) special circumstances that led to the difficulty in meeting the time requirements; and
(iv) specific policy and time requirements that cannot be met.
(B) Examples of excessive workload situations include, but are not limited to:
(i) an assignment of more than 10 reports per CW specialist per month;
(ii) a comprehensive caseload exceeding more than 20 assignments per CW specialist requiring both permanency planning and assessment or investigative responsibility;
(iii) a supervisor vacancy of more than one month;
(iv) a CW specialist vacancy in a one-specialist district; or
(v) a CW specialist vacancy of more than two months.
(8) Child death investigation.The child death investigation and related report is not completed until the Medical Examiner's (ME's) Report of Autopsy is received.The report regarding the deceased child is completed within 30-calendar days of receipt of the ME's Report of Autopsy.
(9) Child death investigation with surviving siblings that require immediate protection.When surviving siblings require immediate protection, reports are completed per time requirements in (1) and (2) of this Instruction.
(A)Information obtained as a result of the ME's findings is entered into the addendum collateral screens and the DA report is resubmitted.
(B) Interviews with the child victim and PRFC are documented in KIDS within five-business days after the interview.
4.Report to DA content.Form 04KI003E is prepared with care and deliberation.The CW specialist collaborates with the CW supervisor to ensure the report contains all relevant information including, but not limited to:
(1) family member identifying information that includes identification of each parent for each child;
(2) the nature of the report and facts of the case;
(3) no disclosure of the name or identification of the person who reported the allegations;
(4) information that supports the findings related to abuse or neglect and safety threats;
(5) facts that support the safety decisions and the plan necessary to control safety threats;
(6) all required and necessary interviews and observations with the child, PRFC, and collaterals; and
(7) when the child is placed in protective or emergency custody, clearly detailed information that reasonable efforts were made to prevent the child's removal or an emergency existed that required the child's removal.When a deprived petition is requested, Form 04KI003E, addresses the requirements in (A) and (B) of this paragraph.
(A) The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) requires the court make a proper determination of jurisdiction, per 43 O.S. § 551.209.Information containing UCCJEA is documented in Section C, Intake Information, in other custody proceedings, on Form 04KI003E and includes:
(i) the child's present address or whereabouts;
(ii) the addresses where the child resided during the last five years;
(iii) the names and present addresses of persons with whom the child resided during the last five years;
(iv) whether the child or PRFC participated as a party or witness or in any capacity in any proceeding concerning the custody of or visitation with the child and if so, identification of the court, case number, and date of the child custody determination, if any;
(v) identification of any proceeding that could affect the current proceeding, including proceedings for enforcement and proceedings relating to domestic violence, protective orders, termination of parental rights, guardianship, and adoption and if so, identification of the court, case number, and nature of the proceeding;
(vi) the names and addresses of any person not a party to the proceeding who has physical custody of the child, claims rights of legal custody or physical custody of the child, or visitation with the child and if so, the names and addresses of those persons; and
(vii) any tribal affiliation or tribal court involvement.
(B) Reasonable efforts to prevent removal or an existence of emergency are documented on Form 04KI003E, in Section C, Intake Information, using either the block that indicates whether an emergency existed or that preventive or intervention-related services were offered.When yes is checked in either block, a detailed explanation of the emergency, preventive, or safety-related services that were offered to prevent removal is provided.
5.Recommendations to the DA.The CW specialist makes a recommendation regarding the child's best interests and safety needs regardless of the DA's position.
(1) Court involvement is not required when:
(A) the child is safe;
(B) there is moderate or low risk of abuse or neglect; and
(C) services through referral to appropriate providers are accessed.
(2) A request for court involvement is required in substantiated cases of:
(A) sexual abuse when the perpetrator continues to have involvement with the child victim; and
(B) significant abuse or neglect to the child.
(i) When a safety plan is in effect in these cases, it may be necessary to request court intervention to monitor the child's safety and ensure the PRFC and child victim access and complete needed services.
(ii) Court involvement is an effective means of providing direction for the family in cases of significant abuse or neglect.
(3) When one PRFC is the perpetrator of the abuse or neglect and one PRFC is protecting the child, it is appropriate to recommend court action if the abuse or neglect is serious.
(A) When the perpetrator of serious abuse or neglect continues, as a result of non-deprived custody proceeding, to have parental rights, visitation, or contact with the child victim, continued safety threats exist unless services have been provided and change in behavior or conditions is noted that ameliorates the safety threats.
(B) Court involvement may be required to ensure both the perpetrator and the protecting PRFC receive services.
(C) A deprived petition, listing both parents of each child as parties, may be requested with a recommendation for:
(i) Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) custody;
(ii) DHS protective supervision;
(iii) DHS custody and a request for immediate termination of parental rights of the PRFC perpetrator and non-protecting PRFC when case circumstances meet the criteria outlined in Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-1-23 ITS # 1.Refer to OAC 340:75-3-120 for the definition of heinous and shocking; or
(iv) a finding that reasonable efforts to reunite the child with the family are not required per OAC 340:75-1-18.4.