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Joint Investigation Protocols Convening Presented by: Theresa Costello, MA Emily Hutchinson, MSSW The National Resource Center for Child Protective Services.

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Presentation on theme: "Joint Investigation Protocols Convening Presented by: Theresa Costello, MA Emily Hutchinson, MSSW The National Resource Center for Child Protective Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 Joint Investigation Protocols Convening Presented by: Theresa Costello, MA Emily Hutchinson, MSSW The National Resource Center for Child Protective Services Phoenix, Arizona August 12 and 13, 2008

2 The National Resource Center for Child Protective Services Provides technical assistance and consultation to all 50 states, numerous tribes and other jurisdictions Helps agencies identify and implement program improvement strategies across the child welfare system Consults on implementation of Federal Requirements (CAPTA, ASFA, CFSR, etc)

3 The National Resource Center for Child Protective Services (cont) Has consulted with Arizona Child Protection program for 6 years Has worked with other National Resource Centers(NRCPPFCP) in collaboration with Arizona to develop, evaluate and implement the Child Safety Assessment (CSA) and the Strengths and Risk Assessment (SRA) decision making tools and methodologies.

4 Child Safety and Joint Investigative Protocols Purpose: – To provide an overview of DCYFs approach to Child Safety and Strengths and Risk Assessment to inform discussions and planning for Joint Investigative Protocols. – To review roles and responsibilities of CPS Specialists in relationship to Law Enforcement and County Attorneys to highlight what each function brings to the collaborative approach

5 Development of Child Safety Approach by DCYF Initial Development/Implementation of CSA/SRA 2005 NRC Evaluation of CSA/SRA with recommendations for improvement Statewide Workgroup refined and further developed the CSA/SRA tools and approaches Full roll out statewide

6 What is the CSA? The Child Safety Assessment is a guided decision making tool that assists CPS Specialists in determining if a child is safe or unsafe with their current caregivers.

7 7 What is the CSA? It is based on research done through an Edna McConnell Clark Foundation grant and knowledge gained over the past 30 years in the CPS field about what family conditions or circumstances result in children being exposed to threats to their safety.

8 8 What is the CSA? The CSA guides the worker to: Gather specific and relevant information beyond the alleged incident of maltreatment Analyze that information and consider threats to child safety Decide if the child is safe or unsafe and Take actions to ensure child safety from the least intrusive to most intrusive perspective

9 What is the SRA? The Strengths and Risk Assessment guides the CPS Specialist to: Assess multiple areas of adult, child and family functioning to determine what risk factors may create threats to child safety or result in areas of need that must be addressed in the case plan. Identifies strengths that can be used to support change

10 Benefits of the CSA/SRA Provides professional framework for the work of CPS Allows for more consistency in decision making Is consistent with state of the art CPS methods and approaches across the nation Meets federal requirements for addressing issues of child safety during the investigation/assessment and in the case plan

11 11 Benefits of the CSA/SRA Identifies the critical behaviors or circumstance that must change that can be discussed with the family in human terms Guides permanency decision making Controls for bias in decision making Brings standardization to decision making across workers, teams, counties and districts

12 Why are standards of practice essential in CPS? All professions have tools that direct their work. Decisions made by CPS are life impacting and demand a well-reasoned, professional approach Absence of professional standards has resulted in too many unsafe children left without safety plans or safe children with unnecessary safety plans

13 13 Why are standards of practice essential in CPS? Controls for Decision Making Maintains professional integrity of CPS as a social work, not a legal intervention Increases the probability of fairness and equity for children and families

14 14 The Child Safety Assessment Handout/Overview

15 15 The Strengths and Risk Assessment Handout/Overview

16 16 Role Confusion: The Big Challenge for Joint Investigative Protocols Social Workers are not police officers or attorneys Attorneys are not social workers or police officers Police Officers are not social workers or attorneys

17 17 Role Confusion: The Big Challenge for Joint Investigative Protocols The process of ensuring child safety is strongest when each role is well defined and brings its own purpose and approach to the table Mutual respect of each role and sound collaboration nets the best results

18 18 CPS Specialist: Roles and Responsibilities CPS is the agency mandated in most States to respond to reports of child abuse and neglect. Receive reports of child abuse and neglect consistent with legislation Ensure Child Safety, Permanency and Well- Being for children

19 19 CPS Specialist: Roles and Responsibilities Conduct initial assessments and investigations regarding suspected maltreatment Conduct Comprehensive Safety Assessments Use the least intrusive method to ensure child safety through Safety Planning

20 20 CPS Specialist: Roles and Responsibilities Control safety threats through Safety Management Conduct assessments of family strengths, resources, and needs

21 21 CPS Specialist: Roles and Responsibilities Develop individualized case plans that address safety threats Provide or arrange direct services to support families in addressing the problems that led to maltreatment Coordinate services provided by other professionals

22 22 CPS Specialist: Roles and Responsibilities Complete case management functions such as maintaining case records, systematically reviewing case plans, filing petitions, writing court reports Make reasonable efforts to keep children home and safe consistent with Federal mandate and AZ statute

23 23 CPS Specialist: Roles and Responsibilities Protect the rights of children who are in our custody Conduct all responsibilities through engaging all family members, respecting the rights and dignity of the family, and involving the family in each step of the process, e.g. Family Team Meetings

24 24 Considerations for Joint Investigative Protocol Development Joint Investigative Protocols need to respect the unique roles and existing protocols of the County Attorney, Law Enforcement and CPS to best ensure positive outcomes Joint Investigative Protocols require cooperation of all three functions in their development and implementation for investigation protocols for cases with Criminal Conduct allegations

25 25 Questions?

26 26 BREAK OUT GROUPS

27 27 Presented By: The National Resource Center for Child Protective Services 925 #4 Sixth Street NW Albuquerque, New Mexico Phone:


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