01 Receiving Intake Reports by QJ7QC7


									                                                              Chapter 2: Intake
                     Division of Family and Children          Effective Date: 06/15/2010
                          Child Welfare Manual
                                                              Previous Policy #
                                                              2103.12, 2103.19, 2103.7

                     POLICY TITLE: Receiving Intake Reports


Reporting Child Abuse O.C.G.A. 19-7-5
Persons and Agencies Permitted to Access Records O.C.G.A. 49-5-41

The Georgia Divison of Family and Children Services (DFCS) is legally mandated to
receive intake reports of alleged child maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse,
neglect and exploitation).

County DFCS offices will have the ability to receive and respond to intake reports 24
hours a day 7 (seven) days a week.

DFCS social services staff will accept, and immediately input into Georgia Shines via
the intake tab, each intake report as a possible referral of child maltreatment. Intake
reports will be accepted via:
         1. Telephone                                    4. Letter
         2. Fax                                          5. E-mail
         3. Personal interview

DFCS local office professional staff will input every intake report received into
SHINES for disposition. Intake reports evaluated to not include the three
components of a child maltreatment report (See Policy 2.2 Allegations of Child
Maltreatment) must be inputted into SHINES and dispositioned. (See 2.4 Making an
Intake Decision).

DFCS local offices should assign experienced Social Services Case Managers or
Social Services Technicians to receive, input, and make a disposition
recommendation for all intake reports.
       NOTE: Clerical staff are not permitted to receive intake calls. Social Services
       staff should receive intake calls; however due to staff shortages or other
       emergency situation it is permissible to utilize to Family Independence staff
       assume this responsibility. All reports must be reviewed by a Social Services

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      Supervisor or designee.

DFCS will collect all required intake information to assess the immediate safety and
risk of each child alleged to be maltreated. This initial assessment is based upon
the information collected at intake and is used to make the most appropriate intake
disposition and determine the response time. (See Practice Guidance)

DFCS local (county) office will immediately accept requests for assistance from the
DHS Child Abduction Response Team (CART) regarding cases involving abducted
and missing endangered children. (See Practice Guidance)
   1. Upon activation of a CART, the DHS CART Team will provide the county
      office with instructions including identifying a local point of contact for
      responding to requests for assistance.
   2. The local point of contact will remain available to the DHS CART Team for the
          a. Potential interviews of children related to the case,
          b. Providing detailed case-related information, if applicable,
          c. Development of a plan of care for the child (ren) in the absence of an
             immediate reunification of child with the parent/guardian, and,
          d. Work in concert with the team to locate and facilitate the safe return of
             the abducted child (ren).

The Social Services Case Manager will:
   1. Engage each reporter by:
         a. Responding promptly, if the report was left on voicemail.
         b. Responding to the caller in a professional and courteous manner.
                    i. Answer any questions that caller may have.
         c. Utilizing active listening skills.
                    i. Ask questions to ensure you understand what the caller is
         d. Gathering the reporter‟s name, gender, type, phone number, and
             address; record information in the Reporter Information section in
         e. Determining the allegations alleged by the reporter.
         f. Recording the allegations in the caller‟s words in the Call Narrative
             field in SHINES.
             NOTE: Include in the narrative the name of each alleged maltreator‟s
             and their relationship to the victim child, the location of the child, and
             general information.
         g. Utilizing interview skills to obtain additional required intake information
             which includes but is not limited to:
                    i. Name, age, date of birth, gender, address and current location
                           1. Victim child(ren)

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                           2. All other children in household.
                           3. Parent/guardian/custodian
                                    a. Both custodian and non-custodial parents.
                   ii. Allegations; including
                           1. Does the reporter believe the child is in immediate
                           2. When was the last time the reporter saw the child?
                           3. Has anything happened to prompt you to call today?
                           4. Approximately, when did the incident occur?
                           5. How long has the maltreatment been going on and how
                               often it happens (chronic)?
                           6. Did you see any physical evidence of abuse or neglect?
                           7. How does the reporter know about the circumstances?
                           8. Do you know of any other people who are
                               knowledgeable of the situation?
                           9. What do you see are the family‟s strengths or can you
                               tell me anything good about the family?
                           10. How do family members solve issues? What have you
                               seen them do in the past?
                           11. Is there anything that you can do to help the family?
                           12. Has the family ever been involved with this agency or
                               any other community agency? Do you know if there
                               have ever been any reports made about this family? If
                               so, please describe:
                           13. What can be done to make the child safe in the home?
                           14. Has there been any occurrence of Family Violence or
                               abuse between adults in the house? Or substance
                               abuse problem? If so, please explain:
                           15. Is reporter aware of any safety problems in the home or
                               any physical hazards in the home (guns, aggressive
                               dogs)? If so, what are they?
                           16. Does the reporter know of relatives of the children? If
                               so, give names, address and telephone:
                           17. Have you had previous concerns about this family?
   2. If the reporter alleges alcohol or substance abuse, ask the following questions
      to determine if there is an allegation of maltreatment:
            a. What prompted the call at this time?
            b. Have you ever seen the parent/caretaker use drugs? If not, why do
                you think that he/she is using drugs?
            c. What specific drugs are being used by the caretaker?
            d. What is the frequency of the drug use?
            e. How often have you observed this behavior/situation?
            f. What effects on the children have you observed?
            g. Are the children with the parent/caretaker now?
            h. Are the children under the age of 13?
            i. Do you know if the children are missing school regularly?

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                j. Have you observed the children being left home alone? Have you
                   ever observed the children unattended outside the home? Are the
                   children without supervision now? (If YES, disposition as a neglect
                   assessment (investigation)).
               k. Do you have knowledge whether the parent/caretaker has been
                   arrested for alcohol or drugs? Have you observed regular visits from
                   probation, police and/or DFCS?
               l. Have you ever seen any drug paraphernalia (including beer/liquor
                   containers in or around the home?
               m. Have you ever know the parent to drive while under the influence of
                   alcohol or other drugs?
               n. Have you ever seen the parents drive a vehicle while appearing to be
                   intoxicated? If so, were the children in or around the vehicle?
               o. Have you seen the parents use drugs in the presence of the
         Based upon the cumulative responses to the question 2, utilize critical
         decision making skills to determine (with the assistance of a SSS if needed)
         whether maltreatment has been alleged and an assessment or family support
         assessment is warranted.
    3.   Guide the reporter to understand:
               a. the role of CPS
               b. what information is needed regarding alleged child abuse, neglect
                   and exploitation; (per call narrative)
               c. child abuse definitions
    4.   Accept an anonymous report as any other report. Encourage
         anonymous reporters to identity themselves, especially if they appear to
         be a mandated reporter.
    5.   Explain confidentiality of reporter information and immunity against liability
         when the report is made in good faith;(see practice guidance)
    6.   Refer the reporter to the correct reporting resource if the report does
         not contain the components of an intake report (See policy 2.2 Allegations of
         Child Maltreatment).
    7.   Inform reporters that a copy of the report is sent to local law enforcement and
         that it may be necessary to appear in court if court action is initiated to protect
         a child.
    8.   The SSCM will enter the additional information gathered from the reporter
         into the Intake Report in SHINES by:
               a. Documenting the known name, address, and phone number of all
                   individuals identified as parties1 to the report on the Intake Person
                   Detail page; and
                       i. Identify the Type, Role, and Relationship of each individual
                          identified as a party to the report in the Demographics section;

 Parties to the report includes, but is not limited to; the parent, guardian, caretaker, foster parent, reporter,
employee of a Child Caring Institution or Child Placing Agency, or child.

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                      NOTE: “Alleged Maltreator” and “Unknown” will no longer be
                      an option in indicating the role of an individual identified in the
                      Intake Report. With the exception of the alleged victim child,
                      who‟s role would be coded as “Alleged Victim “, all other
                      parties to the case would be coded as “No Role”
            b. Documenting the allegations of the report on the Allegation Detail
                   i. Under Intake Actions indicate the; alleged maltreated child,
                      date of the alleged incident, the maltreatment type,
                      maltreatment code, maltreator relationship, and location of
   9. Determine response time according to Response Time Calculation (See
       policy 2.5 Response Time Calculation).
   10. Immediately send for approval.
   NOTE: All fields of the intake screen must be completed.

The Social Services Supervisor will:
     1. Approve all information/reports
     2. Signs all reports

If a report is received on an active case, the Social Services Case Manager will:
              a. Determine if the current intake is a new allegation.
                      i. If this is a new allegation evaluate the report and make an
                         intake decision. (See separate policy 2.4, Making an Intake
                     ii. If it is a duplicate allegation, screen out the intake ( see
                         separate policy 2.6 Screen-Out Reports)
                               1. Give a report that meets criteria for a screen-out to the
                                   assigned case manager. The assigned case manager
                                   adds the report to the active case and clearly
                                   documents the reason for the screen-out (See policy
                                   2.6 Screen-Out Reports.)

The intake process is the first stage of Child Protective Services. This process is the
first point of contact with the public and careful, detailed, and thorough work at this
stage lays the foundation for making well-informed decisions regarding the safety
and well being of children. Taking a quality intake report assists DFCS in making an
appropriate intake decision and informs the investigation/family support phase of
case management. All Social Service Case Managers must treat colleagues, the
community, and the families and children we serve with courtesy and respect in
order to translate our values and principles into practice. The quality and
consistency of the information gathered at this stage directly impacts subsequent

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Allegations Involving Children in DFCS Custody
When reports of alleged maltreatment involving children in DFCS custody are
received, the intake worker must question the reporters to obtain information
relevant to determining if the report alleges child abuse and neglect or violations
of adoption or foster care policy/discipline policy.

Confidentiality of the Reporter Source
A case record may be subpoenaed as a result of court proceedings. If this happens,
the reporter cannot be assured that confidentiality will be fully protected. If asked or
compelled in court to name the reporter, the Special Assistant to the Attorney
General (SAAG)/Social Services Case Manager will request that the reporter‟s
identity be disclosed in the judge‟s chambers. Send a copy of reports of juvenile
substance abuse to the Juvenile Court or the court exercising jurisdiction over
juvenile matters.

Reports of Juvenile Substance Abuse
Any person exercising in loco parentis control over a child under age eighteen years,
and who has reasonable cause to believe that the child is habitually using any
controlled substance or marijuana, is encouraged to report such information to the
child's parents and to CPS (O.C.G.A. 19-7-6).

This type of report is designated as Information and Referral. Send a copy of reports
of juvenile substance abuse to the Juvenile Court or the court exercising jurisdiction
over juvenile matters. They are not opened for inspection except as ordered by the
Juvenile Court judge.

When ordered by the court to assist parents in coordinating and arranging substance
abuse treatment, use family resources to pay for the services. Some resources that
may be used to pay for substance abuse treatment include: local community
behavioral health providers; Promoting Safe and Stable Families providers;
Medicaid; client‟s private insurance; and having the client pay for treatment him or

24-Hour Report and Response Capability
All county departments shall have twenty-four hour reporting and response
capability, which includes ready access to staff contact information

DFCS Offices must have at least two listings in the local telephone directories and
when possible, include a listing under emergency telephone numbers. Local phone
listing should include:
      1. A specific listing of "Child Abuse and Neglect Reports" under Department of
          Family and Children Services; and
      2. A separate alphabetical listing in the white pages, which reads "Child Abuse
          and Neglect Reports."

DFCS local offices must ensure there is twenty-four hour (24) report and response
capacity including:
    1. Twenty-four (24) hour child protective services staff where available: twenty-
        four hour staff or on-call staff who respond after hours, as needed; or,
    2. Clearly listed numbers for reporting after office hours: telephone number of
        the county director, the local police authority or a recorded message at the

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         regular number directing the reporter where to call.
Have a written agreement with any law enforcement office designated to receive
after-hours calls.

Child Abduction Response Team
The Child Abduction Response Team (C.A.R.T.) is authorized to investigate the
abduction or endangerment of children in the State of Georgia upon the request of a
sheriff, police chief, the Attorney General, the District Attorney or designee, and with
the approval of the C.A.R.T. Coordinator and Inspector. The C.A.R.T. is a response
combining the resources of nine different state agencies (sworn and non-sworn) to
provide an immediate and efficient response to a child abduction or otherwise
missing endangered child. Each member agency is trained in different areas of
expertise to be utilized upon activation of the C.A.R.T. The participating agencies
         Georgia Bureau of Investigation
         Georgia Department of Public Safety
         Georgia Department of Natural Resources
         Georgia Department of Human Services
         Georgia Emergency Management Agency
         Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice
         Georgia Department of Pardons and Paroles
         Georgia Department of Corrections
         Georgia Department of Transportation

       The activation criteria for the C.A.R.T. are as follows:
      1. The true (non-family) abduction of a minor child (under the age of 18); or
      2. The abduction of a minor child (under the age of 18) with endangerment
         circumstances. These circumstances must clearly be articulated to the
         C.A.R.T. Coordinator in order to activate the team members. The child‟s
         disappearance or abduction shall meet the endangerment criteria if the
         child‟s life or well-being is perceived to be at-risk (due to violence or health
         conditions), or if the identified parental abductor has a potential for violence
         and could endanger the child; or
      3. Any other abduction or missing child investigation that requires immediate
         response in order to protect the well-being of the child. All incidents at this
         level shall require the approval of an Inspector, Deputy Director of
         Investigations, Assistant Director, or GBI Director.

Upon the request from the local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the
incident, confirmation that activation criteria has been met and the C.A.R.T.
response is necessary, the C.A.R.T. will respond.

DHS Child Abduction Response Team
The DHS CART Team is comprised of the DHS Deputy Director of Practice
Standards and the DFCS FAST Team. Upon contact by the CART they will:
   1. Obtain the details of the situation and determine the county where the
      abduction occurred, county of child‟s residency, etc.

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   2. Screen for case history, including checking the DHS automated system for
          a. Family history,
          b. Victim Family Advocacy and
          c. Health and human services.
   3. Contact the local (county) point person for assistance as needed.

  1. Intake Call Desk Reference


SSCM will complete a Person Detail page for the reporter. SSCM will add a Person
Detail Page for all other individuals named in the report and select his/her Type
(Principal), Role (Victim Child (VC) or No Role (NR)), and Relationship (e.g.
Counselor, Primary Caretaker etc.). Changes with the Person Detail page now
prohibit case managers from selecting Alleged Maltreator as a Role. That selection
in the Role dropdown field is no longer available.

Key Changes:
   Alleged Maltreator Role No Longer Exist
   Alleged Maltreators will be entered with a Role of „No Role‟s.
   All persons associated with a case will have No Role with the exception of
     victim child.

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                                                                   Maltreator” and
                                                                   “Unknown” Roles
                                                                   have been removed as
                                                                   a selection option.

Case managers are required to identify each alleged maltreator on the Call
Narrative page.

Key Change:
   Addition of question for case manager to specify the alleged maltreator
     information (Name and Relationship to victim child).

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                                                                              On the Call
                                                                              Narrative page,
                                                                              specify exactly
                                                                              name of each the
                                                                              alleged maltreator
                                                                              and relationship to
                                                                              the victim child

Case manager will have the ability to add Allegations to an Intake; however, will not
be able to indicate specifically who the Alleged Maltreator is (e. g. there is no option
to select a person‟s name).

Key Changes:
   Alleged Maltreators cannot be linked to Allegations entered in GA SHINES.
   Alleged Maltreator field removed from Allegation Detail page.

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      Alleged Maltreator Relationship field is available for data entry purposes, but
       hidden after the Intake stage is closed.
      The Alleged Maltreator Relationship field remains available if Intake is stage
       progressed to Investigation stage.

                                                                          Alleged Maltreator
                                                                          field renamed to
                                                                          Alleged Maltreator

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