COMMENT DUE DATE:
November 4, 2013
October 23, 2013
Shirley Russell, CWS (405) 521-2881
Dena Thayer, OIRP Programs Administrator (405) 521-4326
Nancy Kelly, OIRP Policy Specialist (405) 522-6703
Non-APA WF 13-M
The proposed policy is Non-APA . This proposal is not subject to the Administrative Procedures Act
The proposed effective date is November 5, 2013.
SUBJECT:WF 13-MITS only
OAC340:75-3-130Instructions to Staff (ITS) Only [AMENDED]
OAC340:75-3-130ITSisamendedtoreflectstatutoryrequirementfrom Senate Bill (SB) 460(2013)that requiresDHStoelectronicallyrecordHotlinereferralsandmaintaintheconfidentialrecordings for90days.
CHAPTER 75. CHILD WELFARE
SUBCHAPTER 3. CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES
PART 1. PURPOSE, DEFINITIONS, AND HOTLINE PROTOCOL
340:75-3-130. Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) Abuse and Neglect Hotline¢1 through 18
(a) OKDHS Abuse and Neglect Hotline (Hotline).Per Section 1-2-101 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes (10A O.S. § 1-2-101), OKDHS established a statewide centralized hotline that operates 24 hours per day to receive child abuse or neglect reports at 1-800-522-3511.An allegation of child abuse or neglect reported in any manner to an OKDHS county office is immediately referred to the Hotline.
(b) Hotline tracking system.Per 10A O.S. § 1-2-101, OKDHS maintains a system to track the number of calls the Hotline received and the number of:
(1) calls screened out;
(2) referrals assigned; and
(3) unsubstantiated or ruled out allegations.
(c) Screening Hotline reports.Each report received at the Hotline is screened to determine whether the allegations meet the definition of child abuse or neglect and are within the scope of child protective services (CPS) assessment or investigation, per Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes and OAC 340:75.When the allegations are not appropriate for CPS, the reporter may be provided an explanation as to why an assessment or investigation will not be conducted and when appropriate, where a referral may be made to assist the family. ¢ 1 & 2
(d) Time limitations for accepting reports for assessment or investigation.CPS intervention is limited to current situations as the CPS focus is on identifying and protecting children who are presently at risk or will be at risk if safety measures are not put in place.
(1) When a report is received that alleges abuse or neglect that is not recent, information is obtained to determine if there is reason to believe the child or other children may presently be at risk or in present danger.
(2) When information does not indicate a child is presently at risk or in present danger, CPS intervention may not be warranted.
(e) Disposition of the screened out report.When a report is received that is not appropriate for CPS; however, services are needed, Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) may make a referral to an OKDHS or outside resource for emergency food, shelter, medical services, or counseling.¢3 & 4
(f) Response to reporter concerning a screened out report.The reporter may be informed of the decision to screen out the referral and the reason for the decision.¢ 5
(g) OKDHS response to reports of child abuse or neglect.Per 10A O.S. § 1-2-105, OKDHS responds to an accepted report of child abuse or neglect by initiating an assessment of the family or an investigation of the report in accordance with priority guidelines.The primary purpose of the assessment or investigation is the protection of the child.
(h) Prioritization of child abuse and neglect reports.Per 10A O.S. § 1-2-105, OKDHS prioritizes reports of alleged child abuse or neglect based on the severity and immediacy of the alleged harm to the child and assigns a response time.¢ 1
(1) Priority I reports.A Priority I report indicates the child is in present danger and at risk of serious harm injury.Allegations of abuse and neglect may be severe and conditions extreme.The situation is responded to immediately, the same day the report is received.¢ 2 & 3
(2) Priority II reports.Priority II is assigned to all other reports.The response time is established based on the vulnerability and risk of harm to the child Priority II assessments or investigations are initiated within two to 10 calendar days from the date the report is accepted for assessment or investigation.¢ 2 & 4
(i) Accepted report assigned as assessment or investigation.
(1) An assessment is conducted when a report meets the abuse or neglect guidelines but does not constitute a serious and immediate safety threat to a child.
(2) An investigation is conducted when:
(A) a report meets the abuse or neglect guidelines and constitutes a serious and immediate threat to the safety of a child per 10A O.S. § 1-1-105;
(B) there have been three or more reports accepted for assessment or investigation regarding the family per 10A O.S. § 1-2-102;¢ 2
(C) the family has been the subject of a deprived petition per 10A O.S. § 1-2-102; or
(D) the child has been diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome or OKDHS determines the child meets the definition of "drug-endangered child" as defined in 10A O.S. § 1-1-105 and OAC 340:75-3-450.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:75-3-130
1.(a) Purpose of the centralized Oklahoma Department of Human Services(
OKDHS) Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline (Hotline) child protective services (CPS) intake process.Assessment of safety begins at intake and continues until case closure. The Hotline CPS intake process includes:
(1) assisting and guiding the reporter with providing information regarding the alleged child abuse or neglect;
(2) interpreting what child abuse and neglect is to the reporter;
(3) identifying possible child abuse or neglect; and
(4) gathering sufficient information to make decisions.
(b) CPS intake decisions.Decisions are made during CPS intake at the centralized Hotline in response to questions in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection.
(1) Does the report meet
OKDHS guidelines for child abuse or neglect or indicate safety threats to a child?
(2) How urgent is the report?
(c) Maintenance of referral recordings.DHS electronically records each referral received by the hotline and secures the recordings for 90 calendar days.The recordings are confidential and subject to disclosure only in those cases in which criminal charges related to the referral have been filed per Section 1-6-102(E) of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes (10A O.S. § 1-6-102(E)).When the court orders the disclosure of the referral, DHS redacts any information identifying the reporting party unless otherwise ordered by the court.
OKDHS Hotline functions.The Hotline phone number is provided to the public for reporting child abuse and neglect.The Hotline is not available to does not take messages for OKDHS employees or others.Centralized Hotline functions include:
(1) documenting and processing reports received at the Hotline in KIDS;
(2) determining whether the allegations require an emergency response and notifying district Child Welfare Services (CWS) personnel immediately when an emergency response is necessary; and
(3) conducting Information Management System (IMS) and KIDS searches for each person listed on the report, and
, when applicable, documenting on the report when the IMS or KIDS search was not completed for reasons, such as KIDS down time.
3.District office notification of a report of child abuse or neglect.During regular DHS business hours, the Hotline specialist enters the child abuse and neglect report in KIDS.The Hotline supervisor forwards the report via KIDS to the district where the child victim is located.
(1) When the referral requires an emergency response, the Hotline specialist contacts the district office by phone.
(2) The assigned district where the child victim is located notifies and coordinates the investigation with other counties to facilitate safety.
(3) Each district maintains within KIDS, a current child welfare specialist on-call list that includes contact information for local law enforcement agencies per the joint response protocol.
(4) When there is lack of consensus regarding how the CPS report is accepted as a referral or prioritized by the Hotline, the chain of command is followed until the issue is resolved.When the original acceptance or prioritization requires change, the Hotline completes an override and enters the new designation in KIDS.
4.(a) Interviewing the child abuse or neglect reporter.The process of interviewing the person reporting suspected abuse or neglect is critical to child protection.The report is documented on Form 04KI001E, Referral Information Report.Gathering background information begins immediately upon receipt of a report of abuse or neglect.
(b) Assisting the reporter.The Hotline
specialists specialist assists the reporter by:
(1) responding to the reporter's fears and concerns; and
(2) discussing confidentiality.
Section 1-6-102 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes (10A O.S. 10A § 1-6-102 ) requirements, the disclosure of information that may serve to identify any person who has reported an allegation of known or suspected child abuse or neglect is prohibited unless the disclosure is specifically ordered by the court.
(B) When a report of abuse or neglect alleges
that someone other than the person responsible for the child (PRFC) is the perpetrator, the reporter is advised that the reported information is provided to law enforcement, and , if when law enforcement requests, the identity of the reporter is also provided;
(3) explaining the importance of reporting;
(4) explaining the CPS role
(5) explaining what information may be disclosed upon completion of the assessment or investigation to the reporter who properly identifies himself or herself; and
(6) providing the identified reporter with the KIDS referral number.
(c) Gathering information.The focus of the interview with the reporter is to obtain information that relates to harm or threatened harm to the child.Information obtained focuses on, but is not limited to:
(1) the alleged abuse or neglect;
(2) each child in the home;
(3) each PRFC; and
(4) family functioning, strengths, and support systems.
5.Documenting the child abuse or neglect report.
(1) The Hotline specialist makes diligent efforts to obtain and document:
(A) the reporter's name, address, and phone number;
(B) the reporter's relationship to the child and the child's family and how well the reporter knows the child and the child's family;
(C) whether the reporter knows of previous abuse or neglect;
(D) the reason for reporting;
(E) the reporter's source of information, such as personal knowledge or other sources;
(F) the names of
any collateral persons who may have relevant information regarding the report of child abuse or neglect;
(G) the family's response to the reporter's safety concerns,
if when the reporter has shared the concerns with the family;
(H) the identity and location of the child and PRFC;
(I) whether the reporter knows of any unsafe conditions in the home, such as:
(i) loaded firearms or other weapons;
(ii) persons who are volatile or mentally ill; and
(iii) the use of and types of illegal substances or
any the known manufacturing or distribution of illegal substances;
(J) the seriousness of the situation and the urgency of response; and
(K) the family's primary language.
(2) The Hotline specialist gathers background information by:
(A) searching for each person listed in the report from the:
the Child Abuse and Neglect Information System (KIDS) for protective services alerts or previous child welfare reports; and
(ii) Information Management System (IMS), including an X-mail address search;
(B) contacting CPS Section staff immediately for additional information when a child protective services alert is found;
OKDHS history when a person listed in the report has received services.
OKDHS records record sources are checked, including:
(I) medical services;
(II) Adult and Family Services;
Oklahoma Child Support Services;
OKDHS adoption records, when applicable;
(V) foster care resource and pre-resource records; and
(VI) the Juvenile On-Line Tracking System (JOLTS), when applicable.
(ii) When the child welfare (CW) case record is stored in the
Post-Adoption Services Section, in restricted status on KIDS, or stored in archives, the CPS Section is contacted for assistance in obtaining necessary case information;
6.Exceptions to records and background information search.Prior to accepting the report,
an a OKDHS records and background search is conducted regarding each person listed in the report unless it is not possible to access KIDS or IMS.
7.Previous report with unable to locate finding is assigned with new report.Any allegation previously made that resulted in a finding of unable to locate is documented on Form 04KI001E, Referral Information Report, and assigned for assessment or investigation with the new report.
8.Criteria for screening reports.
Great Extreme care is taken when making screening decisions.The Hotline supervisor considers the potential risk factors and safety threats described by the reporter and the age and vulnerability of the child.
(A) When the reporter does not report specific allegations of abuse or neglect, the child's age and vulnerability are considered during the screening process.
(B) Reports regarding children 5 years of age and younger are screened with extreme caution due to the young child's vulnerability to serious and life-threatening consequences resulting from abuse or neglect.
(C) Judicial reports are not screened out except with permission of the referring court.
(D) Child welfare history is considered when making screening decisions.
(2) Reports appropriate for screening out that are not accepted for assessment or investigation are reports:
(A) that clearly fall outside the definitions of abuse and neglect per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-3-120, including minor injury to a child 10 years of age and older who has no significant child abuse and neglect history or history of neglect that would be harmful to a young child, but poses less of a threat to a child 10 years of age and older;
(B) concerning a victim 18 years of age or older, unless the victim is in voluntary placement with
(C) where there is insufficient information to locate the family and child;
(D) where there is an indication that the family needs assistance from a social service agency but there is no indication of child abuse or neglect;
(E) that indicate a child 6 years of age or older is spanked on the buttocks by a foster or trial adoptive parent with no unreasonable force used or injuries observed per OAC 340:75-3-410; and
(F) that indicate the alleged perpetrator of child abuse or neglect is not a PRFC, there is no indication the PRFC failed to protect the child, and the report is referred to local law enforcement.
(3) Reports that meet the definition of abuse or neglect and have sufficient information to conduct an assessment or investigation are assigned, including:
(A) anonymous reports;
(B) custody or visitation disputes where abuse or neglect is alleged even when there are numerous reports; or
(C) reports concerning a family with a history of previous reports.There may be a legitimate explanation why previous assessments or investigations did not reveal enough information to substantiate the previous report.
(4) When a CW specialist responds to a report by interviewing or observing the alleged child victim, the report cannot be screened out and CPS assessment or investigation protocol is followed per OAC 340:75-3-200,
or 340:75-3-210, or 340:75-3-220.
Collateral Collaterals, reporter, family, or other contact during the screening process.Contact with the reporter, collaterals, or the reporter, family, or other contact may be necessary during the screening process when:
(1) a report concerns a child who was raped but the perpetrator is unknown.The Hotline specialist or supervisor contacts law enforcement to determine whether the perpetrator is a PRFC or a third party;
(2) a reporter does not provide critical information to make an informed decision regarding the disposition of a report or
only has secondhand information, but supplies the name of someone who has more direct information.The Hotline specialist or district personnel may contact the another person to obtain first-hand or better additional information.
(i) Good judgment is used when deciding what person may supply clarifying or additional information without that person notifying the family of the report.
Great Extreme care is taken not to provide details of the child abuse and neglect report when contacting collaterals for additional information; or
(3) the Hotline specialist has reason to believe the collateral will notify the family of the screened out report.The Hotline specialist contacts the family by phone or in writing to advise a report was received but the allegations did not meet the definitions of abuse or neglect, per Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes and OAC 340:75-3-120.
10.Preliminary inquiry conducted when reports of abuse, neglect, or injury of a child is received in an open permanency planning, trial reunification, Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), or family-centered services (FCS) case.
(1) When the child, who is a party to an open permanency planning, trial reunification, ICPC, or FCS case is reported to have a physical injury and the cause of the injury is unknown, the report may be managed as a preliminary inquiry.
(2) The Hotline refers the report to the CW specialist responsible for the child for a preliminary inquiry.
(A) The CW specialist conducts and completes a preliminary inquiry within 23 hours of receipt of the report.The preliminary inquiry includes interviewing the:
(ii) witnesses; and
(iii) person who was the direct caregiver at the time of the incident.
(B) When an injury is unexplained; however, the injury appears to be consistent with normal childhood play or development, the CW specialist may utilize critical thinking skills and determine
, with supervisory consultation , that a medical examination is not required.The supervisory consultation must be entered into the KIDS case contact screen explaining the decision not to seek medical examination.
(C) The preliminary inquiry may include seeking a professional medical opinion
, when the explanation is implausible or is unexplained and is not consistent with normal childhood play or development as provided in (B) of this section Instruction.A medical examination or consultation with a medical professional is required when:
(i) a child 5 years of age or younger has any unexplained injury that does not meet the criteria provided in (B) of this
section Instruction or any implausibly explained bruise or injury to the head, face, neck, stomach, or genitals; and
(ii) a non-ambulatory child has a bruise, burn, or fracture.
(D) Injuries are photographed and stored in the case file by scanning into the KIDS File Cabinet in the child's case.
(E) The CW specialist documents all information concerning the injury in KIDS Contacts screen in the child's case.
(F) The CW specialist reports the results of the preliminary inquiry to the Hotline and based on the information, the report is:
(i) screened out as an accidental injury; or
(ii) assigned for investigation.
(G) Information justifying the screen-out disposition is documented in the Contact screen and on Form 04KI001E, Referral Information Report, by the CW specialist who conducted the preliminary inquiry.
11.Documenting screened out and information and referral (I&R) files.The Hotline supervisor documents screen out reasons on Form 04Kl001E, Referral Information Report.Each report not assigned for assessment or investigation, including I&R files, are documented in the KIDS system.I&R information is documented when the reported information is clearly not child abuse or neglect but there is:
(1) an indication the family may benefit from a referral to other services, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), immunizations or services at the local health department, or a local food
(2) no open investigation; and
(3) no existing KK case.
12.Duplicate reports of child abuse or neglect.Allegations concerning the same incident received from the same or a different reporter
, are considered duplicate reports.When a duplicate report is received and the initial report is assigned for assessment or investigation, the duplicate report may be screened out and associated with the assigned assessment or investigation.
13.Response to reporter concerning a screened out report.When a report does not meet the criteria for acceptance, the reporter is advised that the information he or she provided is kept
in an electronic file and that future reported allegations of child abuse or neglect that meet the criteria will be accepted for assessment or investigation.
assignment designation of the accepted report as an assessment or investigation.The guidelines outlined in this Instruction assist the Hotline specialist and supervisor to decide whether a report is assigned designated as an assessment or investigation and in establishing to establish response times for initiation.The guidelines are not all-inclusive and do not replace critical thinking and sound judgment when assessing risk factors and safety threats.
(1) Risk factors considered in conjunction with the guidelines.As in any decision-making process, the risk factors are considered first rather than strictly following the guidelines.Risk factors include the:
(A) child's vulnerability.The alleged child victim's ability to self-protect is a critical risk factor based on the child's age and developmental stage.Allegations concerning the child 5 years of age and under
has have the potential to constitute a serious and immediate safety threat to the child's health and safety.An older child may be vulnerable due to disability, past victimization, surroundings, or other factors;
(B) previous reports regarding the family;
(C) severity of the allegations and alleged injury;
(D) alleged perpetrator's access to the child; and
(E) alleged victim's location.
(2) An investigation is the more cautious approach and has a response time of five calendar days or less.
15.Assessing prior CW and other background history.
(1) Background information includes whether the child and family are:
(A) known to
OKDHS and CPS;
(B) currently receiving
OKDHS or CW services;
(C) known to another state's CPS; or
(D) known to law enforcement, due to reports of domestic violence, substance abuse, or sexual abuse.
(2) When a family has three or more previous CW reports, the CW specialist and supervisor:
(A) review and discuss each previous report and the information contained in the entire case record;
(B) determine whether there is a pattern of behavior that contributes to safety threats within the family;
if when additional information is needed to determine whether there are significant problems within the family; and
(D) consider all information when screening and determining response times.
(3) The CW specialist contacts CPS
Section immediately for additional information when a child protective services alert is found during a search.
(1) Investigations.Per OAC 340:75-3-220
An an investigation is conducted when the allegations in the report indicate there is serious abuse or neglect resulting in an immediate safety threat to the child's safety child.The report assigned designated as an investigation is responded to in a shorter time period than a report assigned as an assessment.An investigation is initiated in no less than five calendar days of acceptance unless a special circumstance exists that prevents the initiation.Examples of reports responded to as investigations include, but are not limited to:
(A) child sexual abuse by a PRFC;
(B) a child death or near-death;
(C) a child placed in
OKDHS emergency custody;
(D) abuse or neglect in a:
(i) child care center or home that is licensed or should be licensed; or
(ii) foster family or trial adoptive home;
(E) abuse or neglect resulting in serious injury or near-death or risk of near-death including, but not limited to:
(i) a child 5 years of age or younger alleged to be left alone;
(iii) burns or lacerations;
(iv) head trauma;
(v) life-threatening injuries;
(ix) forced ingestion of a dangerous substance; or
(x) confinement with life-threatening consequences;
(F) abuse or neglect requiring an immediate medical evaluation or treatment including, but not limited to:
(i) non-organic failure-to-thrive;
(ii) multiple injuries of varying ages;
(iii) suspected fabricated or induced illnesses;
(iv) injuries to fragile areas of the body, such as the head, face, neck, or genitals;
(v) serious medical neglect; and
(vi) serious suicide threats or attempts and emergency intervention is required;
(H) an infant born exposed to alcohol or
a controlled dangerous substance substances;
(I) a drug-endangered child who is at risk of suffering physical, psychological, or sexual harm as a result of the use, possession, distribution, manufacture, or cultivation of controlled dangerous substances, or the attempt of any of these acts by the PRFC;
(J) reports regarding a family with previously confirmed or substantiated reports of serious abuse or neglect or sexual abuse within the last two years;
(K) reports regarding children previously adjudicated deprived;
(L) allegations of serious abuse or neglect in an open permanency planning or
family-centered services FCS case;
(M) allegations that the PRFC is violent, out of control, or psychotic;
(N) allegations that a child 5 years of age or younger was physically disciplined by a foster or trial adoptive parent.Refer to OAC 340:75-3-410 Instructions to Staff (ITS);
(O) when a child placed in a foster or trial adoptive home is exhibiting sexual behavior
that is outside the normal range of development or inconsistent with case history.Refer to OAC 340:75-3-410 ITS;
(P) allegations that a child is having sexual contact with another child placed in a foster or trial adoptive home.Refer to OAC 340:75-3-410, ITS; and
(Q) when a child is born to a PRFC who is a party to an open permanency planning or voluntary
family-centered services FCS case and:
(i) the siblings are in out-of-home placement with no plans for reunification within the next few weeks; or
(ii) there are plans to
termination terminate the PRFC's parental rights.
(2) Assessments.An assessment is conducted when the allegations in the report do not indicate a serious and immediate safety threat to a child, but do indicate inadequate parenting or life management.The first contact during an assessment may be made with the non-offending parent to arrange a time to interview and observe the alleged child victim.The report assigned as an assessment is responded to in 10 calendar days or less after acceptance.Examples of reports responded to as assessments include, but are not limited to:
(A) minor physical injury to a child 6 years of age or older resulting from discipline that does not require medical attention;
(B) untreated minor physical injuries, illnesses, or impairments that within a short time period will not place the child in danger of significant harm;
after when the school has fulfilled the school's its statutory responsibility and exhausted all legal remedies:
(i) a child has a pattern of unexplained absences from school;
(ii) the pattern of absences appears to be caused by the
parent's PRFC's failure to enforce school attendance; and
the absences are not due to the child's truancy or home-schooling;
(D) emotional abuse or neglect that does not indicate risk of serious physical harm to the child;
(E) the current report does not contain serious allegations; and
(i) the history of prior reports do not contain serious allegations of abuse or neglect;
(ii) the allegations of abuse or neglect are not escalating in
seriousness severity; and
(iii) there have been no more than two previously accepted reports;
(F) when a baby is born to a minor child
who is in OKDHS custody and there are no concerns regarding a serious and immediate threat of harm to the newborn ;.
17.New referral of abuse or neglect received when previous report pending completion.When an assessment or investigation is not completed and a subsequent report of abuse or neglect is accepted and assigned, the CW supervisor reviews the documentation in KIDS and considers the pending reports when establishing the response time.
(1) When there have been three reports accepted for assessment or investigation or a deprived petition has been previously filed on the child, any subsequent accepted report is assigned as an investigation per
OAC 340:75-3-400 and 10A O.S. § 1-2-102.
(2) When three or more reports are pending concerning the same child and family, completion of all the reports is expedited and the most recent report is assigned as an investigation
per OAC 340:75-3-400.
18.Response time for initiation of assessment or investigation.The
assignment designation type and response time required to evaluate safety for the alleged child victim is determined at the time the report is accepted.Generally , the reported allegations that necessitate an investigation require a shorter response time than an assessment.
(1) Priority one reports indicate the child is in present danger and are typically the result of the initiation of the joint response protocol.Exceptions to the priority assignment may be made when the:
the report is not received in time to respond on the same day;
the report indicates the need to interview the alleged victim in a neutral setting and an initiation delay facilitates the need; and
the alleged victim's current location is a barrier to timely initiation of the investigation.