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Site Updated: Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Welcome to CPS SAMS Q & A


If we receive an intake assessment with insufficient information‚ can staff contact collaterals in addition to the reporter for additional information to assist in the screening decision?

No‚ the decision to accept the intake must be based upon information that the reporter is able to provide. It is appropriate to contact the reporter in order to get additional information or to clarify allegations and family conditions if necessary. It is imperative that thorough interviews be conducted with the reporter in order to make the screening decision.

There was a discussion during SAMS intake assessment training regarding FF response times. This discussion revolved around the children being seen within 24 hours unless otherwise justified. Also‚ there was discussion regarding regarding the very infrequent times referrals would be assigned as 14 days. Please clarify the response times for CPS.

There will be 3 response maximum times in SAMS¦ immediate response (0­2 hours)‚ up to 72 hours‚ and up to 14 days. The supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the referral is responded to in the manner required to ensure child safety based upon the allegations and family conditions. The Supervisor may require CPS Social Workers to respond quicker than the maximum timeframe allowed. For example‚ a referral may allege that a vulnerable child is in impending danger. The supervisor may assign a 72 hour maximum response time but advise their staff to respond the next day if the situation so indicates. It is recommended that contact with the victim child and family be made as soon as possible regardless of the maximum response time allowed.

In most circumstances when children are abused or neglected or subject to conditions where abuse or neglect is likely to occur‚ the 14 day response time will likely be used less than the other maximum response times.

Why doesn´t the Hot Line enter a referral into FACTS whenever they receive a phone call from law enforcement?

Sometimes‚ the Hot Line receives calls from law enforcement officials who are requesting that a social worker contact them. The official does not want to make a referral and sometimes‚ refuses to provide any further information to the Hot Line. Their only request is for a social worker to contact them. Because there is no information regarding a child‚ family or allegations of abuse or neglect‚ the Hot Line will not enter a referral into FACTS in this particular circumstance. The Hot Line will contact the social worker on call‚ as requested by the Law Enforcement official. If a District finds that this is occurring frequently with one of their law enforcement agencies‚ the District should contact the law enforcement agency to determine why this is regularly occurring and if there may be a better way to handle communication between law enforcement officers and social workers.

This‚ in no way‚ implies that the Hot Line will not take referrals from law enforcement. If the officer wants to make a referral and will provide the information for the referral to the Hot Line‚ the Hot Line will enter the referral into FACTS and will proceed as usual.

Will Supervisors still approve Family Functioning Assessments on the approval screen in FACTS?

Yes‚ the FFA will be approved in FACTS. Please review the document titled CPS Family Functioning Assessment for detailed information concerning what is still required in FACTS.

Should the Hotline save their Intake Present Danger Assessment in the FACTS file cabinet?

Yes‚ the hotline should save their completed Intake Present Danger Assessment in the file cabinet. Many districts have different supervisor´s screening reports throughout the day. If the Intake Present Danger Assessments were only emailed there would likely be Present Danger Assessments sitting on a supervisor´s email that would not be seen by the supervisor who may be screening the report.

How is the ASO Safe Bundle used in Safety Planning?

One of the services that are provided through the ASO is Safety Services. The Safety Services is a grouping or bundle of services for families to assist in assuring safety for children by controlling impending dangers identified during the CPS Family Functioning Assessment (FFA). The bundled services must be carefully coordinated by the CPS social worker with any other formal or informal safety services that are put in place. The provider must be available to respond to crisis within the family during business and non-business hours. The CPS social worker should specify the intensity⁄frequency of the services in the safety plan. The mix of the services in the bundle should be specified by the CPS social worker in the safety plan‚ also. All services in the bundle do not have to be provided to every family‚ but may be provided. The services must be apportioned according to the need to control impending danger which must be specified in the safety plan.

A referral for Socially Necessary Services without adequate planning with the Family and other Formal and Informal Safety Resources often times may not protect the children from impending danger. For example‚ an infant is determined to be unsafe due to the Caregiver being unwilling or unable to perform parental duties and responsibilities. The safety plan could be that the parent⁄caregiver agrees to allow a relative(s) and the Socially Necessary Services provider to supervise the caregiver and assist in preparing bottles‚ home making‚ assist in bathing the child‚ etc in the evenings and weekends. The child is also in daycare during the week which provides a safe environment when the relative(s)‚ friends and the Socially Necessary Services provider are not available. These safety services would control the impending danger and allow the child to remain safely in their home while treatment services were being established based upon the Family Assessment and Treatment Plan. This is a brief example of a safety plan including both informal and formal safety services.

The paper Family Functioning Assessments can be altered or deleted once saved in the file cabinet. This could be an issue and questioned during lawsuits or grievance hearings. Why does FACTS allow documents to be added after the case approved?

A decision was made to implement SAMS as a hybrid system‚ partially in FACTS and partially on paper, and this issue cannot be resolved. This functionality is required because paper documents come into offices after cases have been closed. FACTS is currently being rebuilt to incorporate the SAMS process and a minimal amount of casework will be completed on paper in the future.

SAMS Protocol in curriculum⁄FFA handout notebook is near 20 pages long and in policy it is 2 pages. Could a consideration be made to include an instruction in policy directing staff to consider the SAMS protocol (understandable that the whole protocol document was not included verbatim in policy) but wanting folks to consider the whole protocol as a guide in directing practice&

The SAMS FFA Protocol found in Policy Section 4.2 states and references⁄hyperlinks the following sections as being the FFA protocol¦ worker preparation‚ initial contact‚ information collection‚ Assessment Areas‚ Present danger assessment‚ Temporary protection planning‚ Safety Evaluation and Safety conclusion. In total the FFA Protocol is over 30 pages long. Training curriculum must go into much more detail than the policy. Policy tells you what to do‚ training tells you what to do and how to do it. Training curriculum must be reviewed after training and not just used while in the classroom.

Any merit to developing a reference/desk guide for SAMS- along the lines of the Decision Making Handbook used with CARF?

A supervisor’s desk guide is being developed by ACTION for child protection.

What role do ongoing workers have in managing the Safety Plan? What if the Ongoing CPS Worker receives a case with an insufficient Safety Plan or a safety plan that is not practical?

When a case is transferred to CPS Ongoing, the Ongoing CPS Social Worker assumes responsibility for safety management which may include modifying the safety plan. Of course‚ continual practice issues such as this need to be addressed through your regular chain of command if the safety plan implemented by the Family Functioning Assessment Social Worker is not appropriate.

Where is it documented in FACTS that an Intake Assessment is assigned for a 24 hour response?

Intakes that are accepted for an assessment may be designated within FACTS for a 0­2‚ 72 hour or 14 day maximum response time. However‚ this time frame does not preclude the supervisor from directing the social worker to respond more quickly. The Supervisor may require CPS Social Workers to respond quicker than the maximum timeframe allowed. The Supervisor Recommendation box is used to capture additional comments or directives made by the supervisor. If the supervisor indicates that a response time of 24 hours is appropriate‚ that comment should be documented in the supervisor recommendation box.

If a referral is called in about a family in a pilot county‚ but it is entered in FACTS in a non­pilot county by a non­pilot worker‚ utilizing the regular CPS policy and procedure‚ what should the SAMS worker in the pilot county do?

The social worker in the SAMS pilot county should convert the referral to SAMS.

The temporary protection plan indicates that the plan may only be in effect for seven days unless approved in accordance with policy. Is this calendar days or working days?

It is seven calendar days. There may be instances when additional days are needed to gather sufficient information to determine if a child is in impending danger or to implement the appropriate safety plan. In those situations additional time can be approved. Please review SAMS CPS Policy Section 4.8 for more information.

Is it appropriate to refer to earlier Initial Assessments or Family Functioning Assessments as a location to find information concerning family functioning? For example‚ "see Initial Assessment # for information concerning child functioning&quot& is sometimes written in the elements.

All relevant information used to make decisions about a family should be contained in the FFA. The family‚ or others‚ should not have to piece together information recorded in past Initial Assessments or Family Functioning Assessments to determine why current decisions were made. There may be occasions when information concerning a particular family functioning area may mirror information that was collecting during an earlier IA⁄FFA. In those situations it is appropriate to cut⁄paste the information into the current FFA but the information must be accurate to current family functioning. It is not appropriate to cut⁄paste information concerning maltreatment and nature as those are specific to the current referral.

More importantly for CPS Social Workers and Supervisors to consider is that for every FFA completed, the information collection standard remains the same. It is inappropriate to assume that because an FFA was recently completed there is no need to collect sufficient information in all family functioning areas. Sufficient‚ relevant information concerning maltreatment‚ nature‚ adult general functioning‚ child functioning‚ parenting‚ and discipline must be collected each time an FFA is completed to make a decision about child safety.

There are occasions when a reporter is called back to clarify information. Sometimes the reporter may be called back by the Supervisor rather than the CPS Social Worker who took the report. Is it appropriate for the Supervisor to make changes to the intake based upon that information if the intake has not been approved?

Yes‚ it is appropriate to make changes to the Intake Assessment prior to approval based upon the additional information that is gathered.

REVISED: November 16‚ 2010


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