65C-29.003. Child Protective Investigations  


Effective on Sunday, June 05, 2016
  • 1(1) Responding to Reports.

    5(a) The child protective investigator supervisor may downgrade an immediate response 16to a 24-hour response only if the local investigative unit has obtained additional information from the reporter or law enforcement subsequent to the information collected by the Florida Abuse Hotline that indicates the child is no longer in imminent danger of being harmed. The rationale for this determination shall be approved by the supervisor and documented in the 74Florida Safe Families Network (FSFN).

    79(b) 80When a report is received on a child who is a resident of Florida and the alleged maltreatment occurred in Florida, but the child is temporarily out of state, the investigation shall 112be commenced 114by contacting the child welfare agency responsible for child abuse or neglect investigations in the state where the child is temporarily located. The purpose of the contact is to request a timely face-to-face interview with the child in order to ascertain his or her safety, and to determine when the child is expected to return to Florida.

    171(c) In instances where the Florida Abuse Hotline accepts an abuse report but the child protective investigator subsequently determines through obtaining additional information that the allegations or facts do not meet the criteria for an investigation, the report shall be closed as “No Jurisdiction,” after review and approval by the child protective investigator supervisor.

    226(2) Investigative Requirements. For every report received, the following actions shall be completed:

    239(a) 240A determination shall be made as to whether the reporter should be contacted 253prior to commencement of the investigation 259to obtain additional information on the child or family or to clarify information obtained by the Florida Abuse Hotline. 278When circumstances preclude contacting a reporter prior to commencement (such as when a concern for child safety and the need for expediency warrants a post-commencement contact) or when an attempted contact is unsuccessful, the investigator shall contact the reporter after the initial on-site response is completed.

    324(b) 325Information shall be collected describing the 331physical, developmental and behavioral 335characteristics and overall functioning 339of the 341children in the home and 346documented in the case 350record. While interviewing and visually observing the child, the child protective investigator shall be sensitive to issues arising from a child’s age and developmental stage, ethnicity, and gender.

    378(c) Information shall be collected on the parent’s or caregiver’s overall functioning, parenting style and disciplinary and behavior management practices and documented in the case record. Any person alleged to have maltreated a child shall be interviewed.

    415(d) If 417during the course of the investigation 423it is determined that there is a need to remove physical evidence from the home, other than taking a child into protective custody, the investigator shall request local law enforcement to initiate a criminal investigation.

    458(e) 459Abuse history and criminal records checks shall be requested by the child protective investigator on all adult household members not screened by the Florida Abuse Hotline at the time the report was accepted. The criminal records check shall be initiated within 24 hours of the individual’s identity and presence in the home becoming known to the investigator. Records checks shall also be completed on any adult visitor to the home who provides care or supervision of the child outside the parent’s immediate presence while visiting the home. If the family has lived in another state within the past five (5) years, the child protective investigator shall contact the appropriate law enforcement and child protection agencies in the state where the family resided and request a criminal, including local, and abuse history check on all subjects and household 596members of the report.

    600(f) Safety Assessments.

    6031. The child protective investigator shall complete a present danger assessment for all investigations, excluding institutional and special conditions investigations. Upon completion of the present danger assessment, the child protective investigator shall complete all additional investigation activities necessary to assess for impending danger threats in the home unless it is determined, with supervisory approval, that the report is:

    661a. Patently unfounded; or

    665b. A false report.

    669Cessation of investigative activities may not occur prior to the investigator obtaining the approval of the child protective investigator’s supervisor.

    6892. When a child protective investigator identifies the presence of present or impending danger, the investigator shall take the least intrusive actions to ensure the child’s immediate and on-going safety. 719If the 721child protective investigator 724determines the need to engage ongoing services, whether these services are 735non-judicial 736or court ordered, 739a case transfer conference shall be convened between the investigator, contracted service provider and the parent(s) to arrange for the provision of case management services764.

    765(3) 766Safety Planning Requirements. For every report received in which a danger threat has been identified, the following actions shall be completed:

    787(a) Upon the identification of a danger threat, 795the child protective investigator shall determine if, with the provision of 806safety management services and the implementation of an in-home safety plan, 817the child can safely remain at home.

    8241. 825If the child cannot remain in the home without safety management, the child protective investigator must develop an out-of-home safety plan. If the family has not made a family-made arrangement prior to the Department’s intervention or the family-made arrangement is inappropriate due to the circumstances surrounding the danger threat(s) in the home, the child protective investigator shall take the child into protective custody and determine from the following list the least intrusive protective actions to ensure the child’s safety:

    904a. Release of the child to the other parent shall be the first safety action considered.

    920b. When the other parent is unavailable or not an appropriate placement option, the next least intrusive action is placement of the child with a relative.

    946c. When a relative is unavailable or not an appropriate placement option, the next least intrusive action is placement of the child with a non-relative who is known to the family and who is able to provide for the health and safety of the child and has an established relationship with the child.

    999d. When non-relatives are not available or are not appropriate placement options, the child shall be placed in licensed care.

    10192. The child protective investigator shall assess the child’s needs for immediate services and accommodations upon removal and prior to placement, and take steps to ensure those immediate needs are met.

    1050(b) If a child is removed from the home, the child protective investigator shall maintain the child in 1068the current school setting 1072unless it is determined that 1077continuing attendance 1079is not in the child’s best interest, 1086or ongoing safety issues require transfer to a new school1096.

    1097(c) Supervisors shall review all safety plans 1104within 24 hours of identification of present or impending danger to ensure 1116that the plan appropriately addresses the identified danger threats.

    1125(4) 1126Supervisors shall conduct an initial supervisory consultation with the investigator within five (5) days of the assignment of the investigation to discuss the status of the investigation and the assessment activities conducted to date.

    1160(5) A second 1163tier consultation shall review and document in FSFN all reports in which1175:

    1176(a) 1177An in-home present danger safety plan is initiated with the family.

    1188(b) 1189An impending danger safety plan is initiated with the family and a dependency petition is not filed in court.

    1208(c) There are no identified danger threats in the home, i.e. the child is assessed as “safe”, but the child’s risk assessment score is high or very high.

    1236(d) There is a child death with surviving siblings in the home.

    1248(6) The child protective investigator shall determine in all investigations whether a child is an Indian child or Alaskan Native child, 1269as defined by the Indian Child Welfare Act, codified at 127925 U.S.C. s. 1901 1283et seq. 1285When it is determined that the child is an Indian child or Alaskan Native child, the child protective investigator shall comply with the provisions of the Act.

    1312Rulemaking 1313Authority 131439.012, 131539.0121, 131639.301(14)(c) FS. 1318Law Implemented 132039.301 FS. 1322History–New 5-4-06, Amended 12-31-14, 12-13-15, 3-29-16, 6-5-16.

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