Table of Contents
3.2 Assigning CA/N Reports and Non-CA/N Referrals
The Local Office will be responsible for reviewing CA/N Reports and Non-CA/N Referrals received from CANHU. If the local office does not feel the report or referral was screened in correctly, staff should contact a CANHU supervisor as soon as possible after first consulting with a field supervisor. Staff may submit these concerns by contacting: CD.CANHUSupervisors@dss.mo.gov.
CANHU is able to resubmit corrected reports within seventy-two (72) hours; however, emergency reports can only be resubmitted within thirty (30) minutes of the alert time.
Assignment of CA/N Reports and Non-CA/N Referrals shall be made based on local protocol. Reports must be assigned in such a way that will ensure all Investigations, Family Assessments, or Juvenile Assessments are initiated within 24 hours of receipt of the report from the CANHU (or 72 hours in reports of educational neglect), and immediately in emergencies.
When reports and referrals are assigned, the following should be considered:
- Whether particular staff has skills in certain areas;
- When there is an open CA/N Report or Non-CA/N Referral, consideration should be given to assigning new concerns to the same worker to provide continuity to families;
- Caseload size;
- After-hours assignment;
- Type of report (i.e., should educational neglect reports be assigned to one staff person who has an on-going working relationship with the school district?);
- Geographic considerations (i.e., based on school districts. This may assist in developing a good working relationship with school personnel and may also aid in conserving mileage); and,
- Staff’s familiarity with local resources.
CA/N Reports received on an open FCS case will be screened as either an Investigation, Family Assessment, of Juvenile Assessment, as appropriate. The Children’s Service Worker assigned to the FCS case or another Children’s Service Worker can conduct the report. The importance of worker continuity for families and the family’s relationship with the assigned FCS worker should be taken into consideration when determining the appropriate worker to complete the CA/N Report. If the family has an open FCS case and the report or referral is assigned to another worker, that worker must consult with the FCS worker for input regarding the family prior to concluding the report.
When a CA/N Report or Non-CA/N Referral is submitted to the assigned county, FACES will automatically assign it to the primary worker listed for the selected office for the timeframe the call is submitted.
When the CA/N Report or Non-CA/N Referral is received at the county office, staff will access the report using the Report/Referral Status Log in FACES. Staff will click the accept button and navigate to the CA/N Report and Referral Assignment screen where they will be able to reassign the report or referral as necessary.
In reports that meet the criteria for being transferred as referenced below, if safety has been assured of the victim child(ren), all contacts shall be entered into FACES prior to the transfer request being made. If safety has not been assured of the victim child(ren), all efforts must be made by the transferring county to timely communicate relevant information to the receiving county prior to request for transfer. All contacts by the transferring county must be entered into FACES within 24 hours of the transfer being accepted by the receiving county. The worker initially assigned to the case should be available throughout the case to answer questions and also to participate in ongoing discussion as needed.
CANHU often assigns reports to the county in which the child will be located within the next twenty-four (24) hours, even when that is not the child’s residence county. This is done to help ensure the child is located within the response priority timeframes. Examples of these situations include: child(ren) on a weekend visit with a non-custodial parent, child is hospitalized and an emergency response is indicated, or child is placed in a residential facility.
Often, it is more appropriate for the residence county to complete the report than the non-residence county, requiring a transfer of report assignment. Examples of such situations include, but are not limited to:
- Child is CD custody in County A, but placed in County B. A hotline is received in County B, but the allegations are on the parents of the child who reside in County A.
- Child is hospitalized in County A due to physical abuse injuries. The family resides and the incident occurred in County B.
If a family moves from a county during an Investigation, Family Assessment, or Juvenile Assessment, the decision to transfer the report to the new residence county should be handled on a case-by-case basis. Things that should be considered prior to requesting or accepting report transfer include, but are not limited to:
- How much of the report is left to complete? If the prior residence county has completed the bulk of the report, it may be more appropriate for that county to conclude the report. If safety has not yet been assured, or if only minimal contacts have been made, it may be more appropriate for the new residence county to conclude the report.
- Are the needs of the family such that they are best addressed by in-depth assessment and linkage to resources in the new residence county?
There are times when a report is assigned to a county incorrectly. If this occurred due to an error by CANHU staff, CANHU can re-assign the report to the correct county. CANHU should be notified of the error within a reasonable time frame so that the correct county can make timely initial contact.
There may be times that, once the report is initiated, the worker determines the family does not reside in the county. Staff in the county the report was initially assigned to should contact staff in the correct residence county to request report transfer. Examples of these types of situations include, but are not limited to:
- The parent and child(ren) left the household address as a result of the incident and are now staying with relatives in another county.
- The child was hospitalized in County A, but was discharged and returned to County B before the worker was able to make initial contact.
The Out-of-Home Investigation (OHI) Unit will follow the same transfer procedures. If, upon initial investigation, the report should be transferred from the county to OHI, or from OHI to the county, staff should confirm with staff in the other county/unit before requesting CANHU to transfer.
The safety of the child(ren) and the needs of the family should always be given first priority when deciding to accept transfer. Prior to accepting transfer, the receiving county may wish to first complete a courtesy request to ensure the report is appropriate for transfer. It is never appropriate to refuse transfer solely based on the sending county’s failure or inability to make initial contact timeframes. Staff should use their supervisory chain of command when they encounter difficulties in transferring reports.