4.2 Non-Caretaker “N” Referrals
Local offices should develop protocols within their multidisciplinary teams for the dissemination of N-Referrals to the appropriate agencies. In general, if the identified alleged perpetrator is a child or adolescent youth, the county office should refer the matter to the local juvenile office. If the alleged perpetrator is an adult, the county office should refer the information to local law enforcement. This may vary, depending on each local jurisdiction.
The following is a list of steps that local office staff should consider taking in order to address the reported concern and to connect families with appropriate community resources. Regardless of the nature and extent of the reported concern, staff must contact the reporter within forty-eight (48) hours, unless information indicates an emergency situation, in which case the reporter should be contacted as soon as possible. Staff should discuss the situation with the reporter and seek supervisory consultation as needed to determine the most appropriate response, which may include any or all of the following list of possible actions taken.
Possible N-Referral “actions taken” are as follows:
- Contact the reporter to obtain any additional information, or to ensure that complete and accurate information is available to forward on to law enforcement and/or the juvenile office.
- Follow locally established protocols for disseminating the referral to the appropriate law enforcement agency and/or juvenile office.
- Emergency N-Referrals should be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency and/or juvenile office within the Level 1 Response timeframes (three hours).
- The reporter may also be made aware that the referral will be disseminated to the appropriate law enforcement agency and/or juvenile office, who in turn, may contact them directly.
- Collateral contacts may be necessary to address the concerns.
- The reporter, staff, or appropriate law enforcement agency and/or juvenile office personnel may contact the family by telephone to assist the family in making appropriate referrals.
- Staff may contact the family to obtain additional information and assess the needs of the family. If interviews of the children are necessary they should be conducted with the permission of the parent/guardian.
- A home visit may be necessary to address the concerns.
- Staff may determine that, based upon additional information, a CA/N report is necessary. If so, staff should cause a “Field Report” to be made to CANHU, and document in the N-Referral summary that a “Field Report” was made.
- Referrals to community agencies or the provision of Family-Centered Services (FCS) may be offered.
- Referrals received on families with an open FCS or AC case should be given to the case manager whenever possible. If the referral is assigned to the county in which the child is residing for the next 24 hours, the case manager should be informed and, if necessary, involved in the completion of the referral process. However, in this situation, it would be the responsibility of the county which received the referral assignment to complete the referral process (including documentation in FACES) or arrange for it to be transferred to the case manager county at the discretion and agreement of each county.