Presentation on theme: "Case Management of Child Maltreatment Cases Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department Inv. John Haynes 931-484-6176"— Presentation transcript:
Case Management of Child Maltreatment Cases Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department Inv. John Haynes 931-484-6176 firstname.lastname@example.org
How are cases generated DCS Referral Officer’s report Walk in report Hospital referral A phone call at home
Who Must Report TCA 37-1-403, Reporting of brutality, abuse, neglect or child sexual abuse. ANY person who has knowledge of or is called upon to render aid to any child who is suffering from or has sustained any wound, injury, disability, or physical or mental condition, SHALL report such harm IMMEDIATELY if the harm is of such a nature as to reasonably indicate that it has been caused by brutality, abuse or neglect, or that, on the basis of available information, reasonably appears to have been caused by brutality, abuse or neglect.
DCS Referral School counselor Teacher Nurse Doctor Neighbor Concerned relative Vindictive relative Anyone who suspects child abuse Counselor, Individual or mental health
Officer’s Report Any officer on any call might observe a situation that causes concern for the welfare of a child. Usually these cases result in not only a DCS referral but a call to an investigator or some type of action taken immediately. Special attention is given to family disputes and calls involving run-a-ways.
Walk in Report These are cases where a citizen responds to the Police or Sheriff’s department and reports what he perceives to be child abuse. Often they will have the child with them.
Hospital Referral Medical personnel are usually quick to call. Medical personnel will report if it is at all questionable as to if they should call or not. They tend to err on the side of caution. They usually have a written protocol in place as they know that they are mandated, by law, to report.
A Phone Call At Home When friends, neighbors and acquaintances know that you are police, DCS person or any one else that works with children or the legal system and they have your phone number, you are fair game. You become their personal 911. You may as well get used to it, it goes with the territory.
The Investigative Process Most crime reports can be accepted as generally factual. If there is a report of a burglary the responding officer usually assumes that a crime has occurred and sets out to locate evidence and try to determine who is responsible and attempt to find that person.
First Responder Was a crime committed ? What crime was committed ? NO EVIDENCE may not equal NO CRIME What initially looks like evidence my not be Don’t be afraid to call for HELP Call investigations Call DCS
Problems The victim is a child and may be very young The victim may not be verbal Many injuries can and will be explained away Usually there are NO witnesses The LOI is usually private The perpetrator is probably a loved one or close friend Some victims don’t know they are victims Victims may not cooperate
Special Training Needs Recognize that a child may suffer both psychological and physiological trauma Immediate attention to both is imperative The investigator MUST SHARE authority with other disciplines to achieve the goal Welfare of the child must be more important than prosecution
Investigative Role Law enforcement is the criminal investigative agency and must investigate the incident DCS investigators are charged with the well fare of the child and must investigate TCA 37-1-607 explains CPIT, Child Protective Investigative Team By working together and sharing each others resources the Team can better serve the victim
CPIT Effective collaboration is based on mutual understanding of the unique perspective of each discipline. A multidisciplinary team seeks to create a final product that retains the integrity of each agency. By understanding why other team members do what they do each team member can accept the actions of a fellow team member even if they don’t agree with it.
CPIT On a personal note, as a police officer, and having been one for over 30 years, I’ve had to adjust my way of thinking when I started working child abuse cases. Typically when an officer works a criminal case he focuses on building a case for prosecution. These cases demand that the victim’s welfare be the first consideration. Work with your DCS counterpart
CPIT-Law Enforcement Collection and preservation of evidence Crime scene examination Interviewing witnesses and perpetrators Taking statements and confessions Obtain warrants and make arrests Present cases to the Grand Jury Present at hearings and criminal court
CPIT-DCS Greater experience interviewing children Assessing risk of further abuse Arranging for medical or psychological exams Provide emergency placement Provide foster care services Track case in family court Victim Advocates Provide in-home services
CPIT-DCS, CAC Forensic Interviews Forensic Medical Examinations Victim Advocacy Case Management, case tracking, CIPT agenda Court Preparation Counseling Assist with Victim Compensation Claims Classes, Parenting, Caregivers Assistance for Families & Children (clothing food)
CPIT-Prosecutor Assesses evidence as to its probative value Assist in drafting search warrants Offer guidance to specifics within the law Prepare witnesses and victims for court Prosecutes the case in court
The Investigative Process Investigators involved in child maltreatment cases must determine if a crime has occurred. If a crime has occurred, officers must determine who is responsible, if any actions on law enforcement’s part are necessary to protect the child, and if criminal prosecution is warranted.
CPIT Response When at all possible DCS and law enforcement should respond together as a team If it is severe abuse or sex abuse the DA should be notified as soon as practicable With multiple disciplines on scene the investigation should move seamlessly from one stage to the next
Monitor the Source Demographic information about the victim and family The alleged maltreatment Location of incident Reporters relationship to victim Information on the child, the parents, the caretakers and the family as a whole Interview all persons that the child told it to or in front of Document---Document---Document
Source Monitor Find person who child first disclosed to, ask: How did this all begin? What was going on when___ disclosed___? When/why/how did this topic come up? Who brought___up? Why? What exactly did___say about___? What happened after___disclosed about___?
Source Monitor Repeat the same process with every person that the child disclosed to or said something about ______. DOCUMENT—DOCUMENT—DOCUMENT IF IT ISN’T DOCUMENTED, IT DIDN’T HAPPEN
Demographic Information The victim Name, age, DOB, sex, race Permanent address, current location School or day care Child’s physical and emotional state Child’s behavior Document---Document---Document
Demographic Information Parents and/or caretakers Name, age, DOB, race Permanent address, current location Place of employment & phone numbers
Demographic Information The family composition Names, DOB’s, sex, race and location of all children in the family Names, DOB’s, sex, race of other children in offender’s care Information about other persons living in the home Contact information for other source information for the child
What is the Maltreatment Type of maltreatment Physical abuse Sexual abuse Neglect Emotional Environmental Drug exposed infant Medical Nutritional Death
Severity of Maltreatment Extent of the injury Burns, 1 st, 2 nd or 3 rd degree Bruises, old, new or both Broken bones Location of the injury Arm, leg, etc
Chronicity of Maltreatment Have there been prior incidents How long has the abuse been going on Has the abuse increased in frequency or remained constant Has the abuse increased in severity DCS history on child and adults involved
Location of incident Actual physical address What is that location Home Playground Woods Daycare, etc Bedroom, living room, etc
Information on Parents/Caretakers Emotional and physical condition Drug or alcohol use Bizarre behavior or violent outburst Previous contact with police, criminal history Have dispatch check call history How do they act toward children Any information available Marital conflict
Interview Victim The interview must be outside the presence of the caregiver. The interview must be age appropriate for the victim. Document any visible injuries and photograph with a color and measurement scale. Establish the child’s developmental level. Have the child explain any injuries. Who the child perceives as his caretakers. How is he disciplined. How other children are disciplined. How often has he been injured. Was a weapon used, what and where is it. If there was blood where are the clothes. Did any one else see the incident. Who did the child tell.
Interview the Caretaker The caretaker should be ask for an explanation for the injuries. The investigator should make an assessment to see if the injuries match the explanation given. Remain nonjudgmental or you run the risk of shutting them down. Show a professional, matter of fact attitude. Attempt to gain information about anyone who would have access to the child. If the child was in someone else’s care find out when, date, times and location. Try to lock in the caretaker on his version of what happened.
Interview Other Children If other children are under the care of the same parents or caretaker they should all be interviewed and screened for injuries. If there are no signs of injuries they should be ask about the injuries to the victim. These interviews will have to be age appropriate. These interviews should be outside the presence of the caretaker.
Forensic Interview Depending on the children involved and the total circumstances a forensic interview should be considered. If you do it right the first time, you shouldn’t have to do it again. We have the facilities and personnel to do the job, it’s up to you to use them.
Medical Examination If there is evidence of injury or a possible sexual assault a medical exam should be arranged ASAP. Find old injuries Find internal injuries Assess development of small children Ask if the history given matches the injury Collect and preserve evidence
Crime Scene Consent to search or a search warrant Weapon used, belt, hanger, etc Blood stained items, clothing etc Broken furniture, signs of conflict DNA trace, semen, blood, saliva etc. Collect evidence, you will have ONE chance, make the most of it Photograph and Document
Perpetrator Interview The officer should interview the perpetrator This should be after as much is known as possible about the incident Be professional and nonjudgmental Know everything you can know abut the perpetrator before the interview Interviewer control the interview
Disclosures What was happening before the disclosure How did the child act during the disclosure How did the child act after the disclosure Document
No Disclosure What prompted the allegation Was there concern or suspicion Who was concerned What caused the concern What happened before the concern What happened after the concern Document
Corroborating Evidence It is not the job of law enforcement officers to believe a child…It is the job of law enforcement to listen, assess and evaluate and then attempt to corroborate… Corroboration is the name of the game
Corroborating Evidence Corroborating evidence is collected after the child interview from the details disclosed in that interview. The corroborating evidence investigators collect bolsters the credibility of the child’s statement.
Corroborating Evidence Rings of Veracity… The more you can prove is the truth of the victims disclosure the more truthful the victim appears. Look at it as ripples in a pond after a pebble is thrown in. Each ripple represents another layer of truth that has been verified. If you prove enough layers of truth the victim will be viewed as honest and truthful.
Corroborating Evidence The best, easiest and immediately obtainable piece of corroborating evidence is a confession. Physical evidence Witnesses Phone stings
Drug Exposed Infant When a child is born with drugs in its system the fetus is not recognized under child abuse laws so crimes against unborn children should be charged under assault laws. TCA 39-13-107, Aggravated Assault, The drug or drugs that are in the infant’s system are the weapon used.
Drug Exposed Infant Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-107 (2013) 39-13-107. Fetus as victim. (a) For the purposes of this part, "another," "individuals," and "another person" include a human embryo or fetus at any stage of gestation in utero, when any such term refers to the victim of any act made criminal by this part. (b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to amend the provisions of § 39-15-201, or §§ 39-15-203 -- 39-15-205 and 39-15-207. (c) Nothing in subsection (a) shall apply to any act or omission by a pregnant woman with respect to an embryo or fetus with which she is pregnant, or to any lawful medical or surgical procedure to which a pregnant woman consents, performed by a health care professional who is licensed to perform such procedure.
Drug Exposed Infant The hospital notifies DCS of the “Drug Baby” DCS notifies law Enforcement Investigator responds to the hospital to attempt an interview with the mother. Keep in mind that if she is taking meds that alter her thinking a confession may not be valid. Photograph child if possible Try to have mother sign a medical release for child and mother
Drug Exposed Infant Confirm jurisdiction where mother lives. The incident occurred where the drugs were taken Check to see if a Confirmatory drug screen was requested, if not, request it on both urine and meconium Meconium is the standard. Sometimes these tests come back negative when they should have been positive.
Drug Exposed Infant Meconium should contain drugs from the last trimester Urine shows drugs that the mother has ingested recently, usually within the last 7-14 days prior to birth Confirmatory test is the key to the case Wait at least a week to request medical records as it takes 3-5 days to get a return on a confirmatory test
Drug Exposed Infant Interview the mother again. You need a statement that shows the drugs that she used and where she was when she took them. Subpoena the mother’s prenatal records Check the mother’s history with DCS Check criminal history
Court Preparation Hopefully you have been in touch with the DA When you take the case file to the DA for Grand Jury have: Identify the victim Identify the suspect Suspect’s criminal history Witness list DCS referral Copies of all reports and recordings Copies of all written statements A synopsis of the case Copies of all photographs
Court Preparation On Grand Jury day review the case. Be able to tell the Grand Jury a story so they can understand what you saw and dealt with. Dress and act professionally. Remember the Grand Jury is 12 people that no nothing about the law nor do they have any understanding of what you do or how you do it.
Court Preparation Throughout the court process, stay in touch with the DA Make sure that you know when the next court date is. Stay in contact with the DCS, CM as you will probably be involved in DCS court also Be prepared for the “Long Haul” as the wheels of justice grind on slowly
GOD DON’T MAKE NO JUNK Abraham Lincoln said: “ A child is a person who is going to carry on what you have started. He is going to sit where you are sitting, and when you are gone; attend to those things, which you think are important. You may adopt all the policies you please, but how they are carried out depends on him. He will assume control of your cities, states and nations. He is going to move in and take over your churches, schools, universities and corporations. The fate of humanity is in his hands”
The Starfish Thrower An old story vividly describes a young man on a deserted stretch of beach, repeatedly moving from the beach to the shore line, as if flowing with the wind. An older man taking a solitary walk viewed the young man from a distance and thought he was dancing. As he grew closer, he realized that the young man was picking up starfish, one at a time, and throwing them back into the ocean. As he approached, the older man told the younger one, “You can’t possibly make a difference, there are miles and miles of beaches. In response, the young man picked up another starfish, moved gracefully to the shoreline, and threw it in….. “Made a difference to that one.” The older man moved on and the young one kept on with his self appointed task. The rest of the day, the older man could not forget what the young one had said. The next morning, he went to the beach again and this time joined the young starfish thrower.