Section 3, Chapter 1 (Case Opening), Subsection 1 – Case Open Reasons

(Effective:  08/02/2021)

Chapter 1.1 Case Open Reasons

Preponderance of Evidence Cases

In these cases, treatment services are provided because supportive evidence indicated during the child abuse/neglect investigation that abuse or neglect had occurred or is occurring. In most instances, this will be after the investigation has been completed, but it does not preclude a family from receiving services prior to the completion of the report.

Family Assessment and Services Cases

The family assessment is just one segment of the Division’s process to assess and engage the family. It is important to follow up on these referrals so that action is taken with the entire family ensuring that they receive services. There should be involvement of local resources in the community through community team development and intervention.

Newborn Crisis Assessment Cases

In these cases, a home assessment is requested by a physician/health care provider about a newborn child. These are emergency requests from hospitals for drug and non-drug related situations, and involve an infant when personnel have serious concerns about risk to the child upon release from the hospital. Non-drug related referrals will be accepted by CA/N Hotline Unit for children up to one year of age.

Preventive Services Cases

In Preventive Services cases, services are provided to prevent child abuse or neglect from occurring. The parent/caretaker must voluntarily seek or accept services. Contact may originate from a child abuse/neglect investigation which was unsubstantiated, however, the family is experiencing problems, which if unresolved, could potentially contribute to abuse/neglect.  Self-referrals and referrals from other community sources may also warrant the opening of a preventive services case.

To open a case on these families, all the following criteria must exist:

    1. The family must be receptive and want services.
    2. There must be at least one child under age 18, or there must be an expecting parent.
    3. Failure to provide services could result in some identifiable form of abuse or neglect to the child(ren) or the expected child.
    4. Services which are requested are necessary, and are unavailable through any other agency or resource.
    5. Parents/caretakers do not have the capability to obtain services on their own.

Court Involved Cases

In court involved cases, the involvement of the Division has been mandated by the Court. The cases may stem from a CA/N or a non-CA/N referral. Upon receipt of the court order or ICPC referral, the Children’s Service Worker should initiate the family assessment/home study process to evaluate risk factors and determine service needs. Children’s Division should request the court to release services, if it is determined the family is not an appropriate candidate for Children’s Division (CD) services.

Children of Families Serving in the Military

Occasionally, families serving in the military receive Family-Centered Services or their children come into the custody of the Children’s Division. In the event services to a child or family become necessary, staff should be aware of Missouri’s state statutes regarding these families. Section 620.515 RSMo. addresses the Hero at Home program (National Guard or Reserve). This statute states that services shall be made available to the family for up to five years when the primary income earner is on active duty, and during the one-year period following discharge from deployment. The department of economic development shall operate this program through existing programs or by entering into a contract with qualified providers through local workforce investment boards.

Temporary Alternative Placement Agreement (TAPA)

Pursuant to Section 210.123, RSMo and 13 CSR 35-30.030, a TAPA is a voluntary agreement between the Children’s Division, a relative of the child, and the parent or guardian of the child to provide a temporary out of home placement for a child if the parent or guardian is temporarily unable to provide care or support for the child and the child is not in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury, or being sexually abused such that the Children’s Division determines that a referral to the juvenile officer by submitting a CD-235 with a recommendation to file a petition or to remove the child is not appropriate.

Follow Child Welfare Manual – Section 1, Chapter 9 (Safety Planning) for all TAPA requirements while the FCS case is opened.

TAPA and FCS Case Monitoring Requirements

  • A Family Centered Services (FCS) case must be opened within ten (10) days of the execution of the TAPA and the case must remain open during the duration of the agreement;
  • Staff must have personal contact with all the children on the TAPA as appropriate to ensure that the TAPA is being safely implemented but no less than two (2) times per month. One (1) contact with the child must be in child’s relative placement.  Additional contacts may occur virtually or in the community. 
  • One face-to-face home visit per month must be completed on all FCS cases with the parents involved in the TAPA
  • A Team Decision Making (TDM) Meeting must meet at least once every month thereafter for the duration of the TAPA.

Follow Child Welfare Manual – Section 3 – Delivery of Services/Intact Families FCS Policy for provision of FCS services with a TAPA