CONDUCTING THE IS FAMILY-CENTERED
WHAT IS THE MULTIPLE RESPONSE
Safety of the children is the first priority.
The first recommended contacts shall be Children belong in their families.
North Carolina Law requires that local County
with the parents or parents and children Parents raise and support their children.
Departments of Social Services (DSS) ensure
together. Parents should be supported in their efforts
childrens safety in their homes. When a Child
People who know the family will be contacted. to care for their children.
Protective Services (CPS) report is received, the
When professional collaterals are contacted, Families are respected for their differences.
DSS must determine whether it meets the legal
the family may be present with the Social Children can do well in different types of
definition of child abuse, neglect and/or
Worker when contact is made if they choose. families.
dependency and, if so, conduct an investigation.
Safety, Risk and Strengths/Needs A crisis is an opportunity for change.
In the past, all reports were treated the same,
assessments will be completed. Inappropriate intervention can do harm.
receiving a traditional investigative approach.
Family Assessments will be completed within Families who seem hopeless can grow and
45 days of the report. change. It is DSSs job to instill hope.
North Carolina has realized,
While the family assessment approach is Families know what works best for them.
however, that this traditional
voluntary, the DSSs duty to investigate is Family members and the GCDSS are partners
approach may not be best in
not. If a family is not in agreement with the in decision-making.
all situations. The Multiple
family assessment approach, or at any point
Response System (MRS) was
during the family assessment becomes
created to meet the unique
uncooperative, a traditional investigation will
circumstances of some types
be conducted. The traditional investigative
of neglect or dependency.
approach will remain in use on all reports of
abuse, abandonment, domestic violence and
In 2004, Gates County DSS (GCDSS) joined the
other specialized reports.
MRS pilot. In this pilot, an alternative approach
to reports of child neglect can be implemented. CASE DECISIONS
Families who are reported to have neglected their RIGHTS OF THE FAMILY
children may be asked to participate in a family Outcomes of the family assessment include
assessment to determine the need for services to findings of: An important part of developing partnerships
assist them in ensuring the safety and protection In Need of Services (services are required); with families is acknowledging their rights.
of their children. This family assessment Services Recommended (services voluntary); Families have the right to be treated with
approach emphasizes child safety, prevention and and Services Not Needed. dignity and respect.
assistance. Families have the right to know DSSs legal
If the case decision indicates that services are authority and right to intervene.
Above all, family assessments set aside the issue needed or recommended, a Social Worker will Families have the right to know what they
of fault, avoiding negative labels for parents. In meet with the family within 7 days to discuss can expect from DSS and what DSS expects
partnership with parents, we build on strengths services. Then, a Family Team Meeting (FTM) will of them.
and identify needs that can be met with services be held within 30 days to involve the family and Families have the right to have their
and resources matched with the family. That their supports, as well as community partners, to telephone calls returned within one workday.
partnership extends to the community as well, as develop the service plan Families have the right to be heard and to be
we encourage collaboration to provide information involved in planning for their children.
and services that help families. THE FAMILY ASSESSMENT PROCESS
SAFETY IS PRIORITY FOR MORE INFORMATION
Gates County DSS
ON MULTIPLE RESPONSE
Child Protective Services
OR TO MAKE A REPORT OF
CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT,
The goal of the GCDSS Childrens Protective
Services Program is to keep children safe. If at
any time it is found that children are in a
dangerous environment, GCDSS has the legal OR
obligation to protect the children.
It may become necessary for the children to
stay somewhere other than their own home. The fax (252) 357-2132
first step will be to ask the family to choose a
safe place for the children. If necessary,
GCDSS may have to take custody of the children Monday-Friday
to assure safety for them. Under those
8:30am to 5:00pm
circumstances, relatives willing and appropriate
to provide care would be explored before foster
care placement would occur. (after hours, call 911 for emergencies)
Building Partnerships in
The printing of this publication
was made possible by: the Protection
The Family Care Center
NC Cooperative Extension Services of Children
Gates County Center