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ICAN-NCFR.org Los Angeles County Child Abuse & Neglect Protocol A Multidisciplinary Approach to Protecting Children September 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "ICAN-NCFR.org Los Angeles County Child Abuse & Neglect Protocol A Multidisciplinary Approach to Protecting Children September 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 ICAN-NCFR.org Los Angeles County Child Abuse & Neglect Protocol A Multidisciplinary Approach to Protecting Children September 2007

2 ICAN-NCFR.org Mission Statement Child abuse and neglect inflict pain and suffering on victims, families, and the community. The Protocol is promulgated to serve as a guideline for professionals: to protect victims of abuse to protect victims of abuse to maximize successful interventions to maximize successful interventions to hold abusers responsible and accountable for the harm done to hold abusers responsible and accountable for the harm done to prevent new victimizations to prevent new victimizations

3 ICAN-NCFR.org Benefits of Coordinating Efforts By working together, government agencies and community service providers will enhance: Early recognition of incidents of child abuse and neglect Early recognition of incidents of child abuse and neglect Effectiveness of the response procedures and reporting of child abuse and neglect Effectiveness of the response procedures and reporting of child abuse and neglect Documentation of statements and collection of evidence related to allegations of abuse Documentation of statements and collection of evidence related to allegations of abuse

4 ICAN-NCFR.org Benefits of Coordinating Efforts- continued A coordinated approach will also: Increase the likelihood of a successful prosecution Increase the likelihood of a successful prosecution Reduce emotional trauma to the victims occasioned by repeat interviews, court appearances, medical/psychological examinations, and other governmental interventions Reduce emotional trauma to the victims occasioned by repeat interviews, court appearances, medical/psychological examinations, and other governmental interventions

5 ICAN-NCFR.org Participating Agencies California Youth Authority (CYA) California Youth Authority (CYA) Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Community Care Licensing (CCLD) Community Care Licensing (CCLD) County Counsel County Counsel Court Appointed Counsel for Children in Dependency Court (317 Panel) Court Appointed Counsel for Children in Dependency Court (317 Panel) Children’s Law Center (CLCLA) Children’s Law Center (CLCLA) Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Educators from County Office of Education (LACOE) & Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Educators from County Office of Education (LACOE) & Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN) Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN) Medical Professionals Medical Professionals Mental Health Professionals Mental Health Professionals Probation Department Probation Department Public Defender Public Defender Prosecutors (LADA, LA City Attorney, Attorney General) Prosecutors (LADA, LA City Attorney, Attorney General) Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Independent Police Chiefs Independent Police Chiefs Child Advocates Child Advocates Advocates for the Disabled Advocates for the Disabled

6 ICAN-NCFR.org Multi-Disciplinary Approach Communication between professionals is required from the earliest opportunity in order to Communication between professionals is required from the earliest opportunity in order to Coordinate investigations Coordinate investigations Limit repeat interviews Limit repeat interviews Share information Share information

7 ICAN-NCFR.org Composition of a Multi-Disciplinary Team Welfare & Institutions Code, § A team must consist of three or more members and usually includes, but is not limited to: Law enforcement Law enforcement CSW CSW Prosecutor Prosecutor Child advocate Child advocate Medical professional Medical professional Mental health representative Mental health representative Public education professional Public education professional

8 ICAN-NCFR.org Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect PC Because children are among the most defenseless victims of crime, the law provides special protection for them. A key legal protection is the requirement that people involved in certain occupations must report suspected child abuse and neglect.

9 ICAN-NCFR.org Mandated Reporting- continued The Protocol details: Professions mandated to report by statute Professions mandated to report by statute Definitions of key terms Definitions of key terms Conduct that must be reported Conduct that must be reported Conduct that may be reported Conduct that may be reported How to make a report How to make a report Procedures for group reporting Procedures for group reporting Law mandating cross-reports Law mandating cross-reports Immunity for Mandated Reporters Immunity for Mandated Reporters Criminal liability for failing to report Criminal liability for failing to report Availability of mandated reporter training Availability of mandated reporter training

10 ICAN-NCFR.org Initial Response A collaborative approach by all first responders to reports of child abuse and neglect is essential to protect the child and gather evidence. Collaboration, particularly between law enforcement and DCFS, is vital. Guidelines are presented that will enable first responders to work together and share information while adhering to the separate mandates and policies of their respective agencies.

11 ICAN-NCFR.org Initial Response- continued The Protocol details: Mandatory response by DCFS Mandatory response by DCFS Immediate response by law enforcement Immediate response by law enforcement Recommendations for cooperative field response Recommendations for cooperative field response School site interviews and investigations School site interviews and investigations Victim’s rights Victim’s rights Initial interview of the child Initial interview of the child Documentation by agency Documentation by agency Temporary custody and placement of the child Temporary custody and placement of the child Medical Examination of a child in protective custody Medical Examination of a child in protective custody Procedures for transporting a child Procedures for transporting a child

12 ICAN-NCFR.org On-going Obligation to Cross-report §11166(h)PC, requires DCFS to cross-report to law enforcement and the district attorney’s office (DA) every known or suspected instance of child abuse and neglect. §11166(h)PC, requires DCFS to cross-report to law enforcement and the district attorney’s office (DA) every known or suspected instance of child abuse and neglect. §11166(i)PC, requires law enforcement to cross-report to DCFS and the DA every known or suspected instance of child abuse and neglect. §11166(i)PC, requires law enforcement to cross-report to DCFS and the DA every known or suspected instance of child abuse and neglect. The obligation to cross-report abuse and neglect does not end with the intervention of the agency but continues through-out the agency involvement in the case. The obligation to cross-report abuse and neglect does not end with the intervention of the agency but continues through-out the agency involvement in the case. Improved avenues of communication are one of the key elements discussed in the Protocol. Improved avenues of communication are one of the key elements discussed in the Protocol. In Los Angeles County, the Board of Supervisors have formally recognized the importance of including city prosecutorial agencies in the cross-reporting process. In Los Angeles County, the Board of Supervisors have formally recognized the importance of including city prosecutorial agencies in the cross-reporting process.

13 ICAN-NCFR.org Child Death Investigations The Protocol details guidelines and best practices for: Support for surviving siblings Support for surviving siblings Medical practitioners Medical practitioners Coroner Coroner Law enforcement Law enforcement District Attorney District Attorney County Counsel County Counsel DCFS DCFS

14 ICAN-NCFR.org Follow-up Investigation and Case Management For some agencies, the first responders will hand over the case for additional investigation or case management to another agency employee. The responsibility for follow-up and case management should be assigned to professionals with child abuse training.

15 ICAN-NCFR.org Follow-up Investigation and Case Management- continued The Protocol details guidelines, statutory requirements, and best practices for: Law enforcement Law enforcement Mandated training (13516PC) Mandated training (13516PC) Interviewing Interviewing Evidence collection Evidence collection Filing a case Filing a case

16 ICAN-NCFR.org Follow-up Investigation and Case Management- continued DCFS DCFS Case plan ( WIC) Case plan ( WIC) Voluntary supervision Voluntary supervision Filing a petition Filing a petition On-going cross-reporting ( PC) On-going cross-reporting ( PC)

17 ICAN-NCFR.org Special Areas of Concern The Protocol provides guidelines and best practices for cases presenting unique concerns: Safely Surrendered Baby law Safely Surrendered Baby law Child abduction cases Child abduction cases Drug endangered children Drug endangered children Incidents in out-of-home care Incidents in out-of-home care Native American children Native American children Special-Needs children Special-Needs children

18 ICAN-NCFR.org Medical Examinations The Protocol provides details for forensic medical examinations when the following are suspected: Sexual abuse ( PC) Sexual abuse ( PC) Physical abuse (11171PC) Physical abuse (11171PC) Non-organic Failure to Thrive Non-organic Failure to Thrive

19 ICAN-NCFR.org Medical Examinations- continued The Protocol details the importance of the forensic medical exam in the following areas: History and assessment History and assessment History of the present condition History of the present condition Past medical history Past medical history Past developmental history Past developmental history Delays in seeking treatment Delays in seeking treatment

20 ICAN-NCFR.org Medical Examinations- continued Physical findings Physical findings Bruises Bruises Burns Burns Skeletal injuries Skeletal injuries Abusive head trauma Abusive head trauma Intra-abdominal injuries Intra-abdominal injuries Intra-thoracic injuries Intra-thoracic injuries Diagnostic tests Diagnostic tests

21 ICAN-NCFR.org Victim Services The Protocol details services available to victims of abuse and neglect such as: Mental health services Mental health services Victim/Witness Assistance Program Victim/Witness Assistance Program Court Appointed Special Advocates Court Appointed Special Advocates

22 ICAN-NCFR.org Legal Proceedings The Protocol details what can be expected for the child and the professional if called to appear before: Criminal Court Criminal Court Juvenile Court Juvenile Court Delinquency Delinquency Dependency Dependency Family Court Family Court

23 ICAN-NCFR.org Communication The Protocol details statutory authority permitting the sharing of otherwise confidential information among members of multidisciplinary teams. §18951(d) WIC: formation of multidisciplinary teams §18951(d) WIC: formation of multidisciplinary teams § 830 WIC: information-sharing among members of multidisciplinary team § 830 WIC: information-sharing among members of multidisciplinary team §827 of the Welfare & Institutions Code (WIC): access to Juvenile Court documents §827 of the Welfare & Institutions Code (WIC): access to Juvenile Court documents § PC: formation of child death review teams § PC: formation of child death review teams

24 ICAN-NCFR.org Appendices The Protocol includes additional resource information including: Recognized Resources for Forensic Evaluations Recognized Resources for Forensic Evaluations Determining Reasonable Suspicion Guidelines Determining Reasonable Suspicion Guidelines Pediatric Condition Falsification (Munchausen by Proxy) Pediatric Condition Falsification (Munchausen by Proxy) Mandated forms Mandated forms Los Angeles County American Indian Child Abuse Protocol Los Angeles County American Indian Child Abuse Protocol Dual Supervision Cases MOU Dual Supervision Cases MOU Hospital Protocol for Evaluating and Reporting Cases Involving Prenatal Drug/Alcohol Exposure Hospital Protocol for Evaluating and Reporting Cases Involving Prenatal Drug/Alcohol Exposure Criminal Child Abuse Investigative Checklist Criminal Child Abuse Investigative Checklist

25 ICAN-NCFR.org Training Opportunities Agencies participating in the Task Force are available to provide training on all issues covered in the Protocol including: Mandated Reporting Mandated Reporting Investigation of abuse and neglect cases Investigation of abuse and neglect cases Safely Surrendered Baby law Safely Surrendered Baby law Working with the disabled Working with the disabled Court procedures- Juvenile and Criminal Court procedures- Juvenile and Criminal

26 ICAN-NCFR.org Further Information The Protocol can be accessed at: The Protocol can be accessed at: ICAN-NCFR.org ICAN-NCFR.org For information on training please contact: Mary Nichols ICAN Program Administrator


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