Section 2, Chapter 3 (County Protocol: Review and Assignment of Reports), Subsection 5 – Combining Reports

(Effective 09/28/2023)

Table of Contents

3.5 Combining Reports

3.5.1 Hierarchy of Calls

3.5.2 Addressing Secondary Calls


3.5 Combining Reports

When multiple reports are received on a family that cannot be duplicated because they involve new allegations, staff can use the Combine Call function to reduce the number of reports.  When new reports are received, staff, preferably the assigning supervisor, should evaluate if new reports and new allegations should be investigated separately from the primary report as there may be new factors in the secondary report that do not pertain to the primary report.

  • Reports can only be combined if the Primary Call is NOT overdue or overdue and delayed status;
  • Only supervisors or above may combine reports;
  • A Supervisor Consult must be entered into FACES on the Primary Call describing why the report was combined, any new allegations, and if the worker needs to make another face to face contact with children outside of already planned visits/services initiated with the family.
  • The primary call number is the lowest (oldest) call number.
  • Calls cannot be combined if the primary call number has a Case Management function associated to it, has a Juvenile Office Referral, or Diversion/TAPA. If there is an active safety assessment (not approved) on the Secondary Call an error will also prevent combining until the safety assessment is approved.
  • If the primary call number has been concluded and approved, reports cannot be combined to it.
  • If contacts are entered on secondary calls, they will transfer to the primary call.  If the same contacts are entered on multiple reports, this will result in duplicate contacts on the primary call.
  • The Review copy of the CA/N1-REF1 displays the combined calls and all maltreatments.
  • ONCE REPORTS ARE COMBINED THEY CANNOT BE UNCOMBINED.  If an error is made in combining reports, this can only be corrected by making a new report to CANHU.  Staff should use the Online System for Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting (OSCR) to make these corrected reports.
  • The maximum number of Parent/Substitutes is two (2).  If combining the call would create more than two, staff will be unable to proceed.  Only reports involving the same Parent/Substitutes may be combined.
  • Evaluate if new reports and new allegations should be investigated separately from the primary report as there may be new factors that do not necessarily pertain to the primary report.  In those cases, do not combine reports;
  • If a report has multiple workers assigned, supervisors should determine who should be the primary worker and make sure all cases are assigned to that worker before combining;
  • Consider if a new Safety Assessment needs to be completed with the family based on any additional allegations from the secondary call;
  • DCNs should be updated and/or added as needed prior to combining calls.  The participant characteristics screen can be accessed from the Combine Call screen by clicking the individual’s name;
  • Addresses and phone numbers will populate from the primary call only.  After reports are combined, staff will need to make sure this information is correct on the primary call;
  • When Combining Calls together, the Primary Call shall be reviewed for accuracy including ensuring that all Alleged Perpetrators, Children, and Maltreatments are displaying correctly.
  • If there are new allegations that include new victims or new alleged perpetrators, staff must check the Participant Characteristics Screen to ensure each person has the correct role, correct associated alleged perpetrator(s), correct DCNs and;
  • Supervisors shall review all combined calls to ensure all allegations have been addressed, all participants have the correct roles, and all correct findings have been made before approving for closure.

3.5.1 Hierarchy of Calls

There are rules around what kind of reports can be combined.  The following is the hierarchy of report types:

    1. Investigations
    2. Juvenile Assessments
    3. Family Assessments
    4. Referrals

FACES will not allow higher level reports to be combined to lower level reports (i.e. an Investigation cannot be combined to a Family Assessment).  Staff must change the primary call to the appropriate track prior to combining calls.  If any combination of reports includes an Investigation, the primary call must end up being an Investigation. If the report(s) does not rise to the level of an Investigative response the Investigation must be track changed to a Family Assessment.  If any combination of assessments includes a Juvenile Assessment, the primary call must end up being a Juvenile Assessment. If combining referrals, they must be the same subtype, i.e. both must be P referrals or both must be Newborn Crisis Assessments. Once a call has been identified as a primary call and had another call combined into it, it can’t then be combined into another call.

NOTE: A Juvenile Assessment cannot be combined to an Investigation.  If an ACI role is added to an Investigation, the worker will receive an error message ‘No participant may have a role of Alleged Child Initiator’ when the report is submitted for approval.

3.5.2 Addressing Secondary Calls

Staff have discretion on whether they make initial contact with the victim child, household child, and other participants on secondary calls.  If the victim child on the secondary call has not yet been seen from the primary call, staff must see them within the assigned response priority level.  Allegations from all calls MUST be addressed thoroughly with the family.  Staff should consult with their supervisor to determine whether reports should be combined and how to address the concerns of the secondary calls. This consultation must be documented in FACES as a Supervisory Consult.  Things to consider when determining whether victim children need to be seen on secondary calls includes, but is not limited to:

    • Were the concerns in the secondary call addressed during the initial contacts with the child(ren) and family?
    • Are there safety concerns that need to be addressed within the assigned response time of the secondary call?
    • How much time has passed since the children were seen?  Staff must make contact with all reporters within forty-eight (48) hours of the receipt of any new report(s).  It is not necessary to give new paperwork (i.e. CS-24, CS-24a, Know Your Rights, etc.).  However, the family must be notified all new reported concerns.


Related Practice Points and Memos:

09/29/2023 CD23-30 – Combining Reports