CHILD WELFARE MANUAL

Section 5, Chapter 2 (Documentation), Subsection 2 – Contact Entries

Effective Date:  8-18-20

 

The purpose of FACES contact entries are to:

  • List the facts and direct observations obtained by the Children’s Service Worker
  • Document the information that supports the activities being done by Children’s Division employees including reasonable efforts and concurrent planning
  • Provide a chronological list of all the activities completed by the Children’s Service Worker

To accomplish these objectives, the FACES contacts must be thorough, accurate, brief, factual, timely, and pertinent.

Thoroughness: The Children’s Service Worker must secure and record all information that influenced critical decisions.   FACES contact entry is thorough when it answers the following questions for the reader: who, what, when, where, why, and how an incident occurred.

Accuracy: Descriptions of observations and statements must be recorded with accuracy and in detail. The following points provide a test of the accuracy of a FACES contact entry:

  • Is the information contained in the recording accurate?
  • Is the information contained in the recording complete?
  • Are there persons or places in the report for which full identifiers are not given?
  • Are the events described in the recording understandable in that they are in proper sequence and the chronology is clearly set forth?
  • Are all articles of evidence, whether obtained by worker or others, identified and their location given?
  • Can the reader tell from the report the relevance of information that has been presented?

Brevity: Effective writing is concise. FACES contact entry should contain no unnecessary words or sentences. Lengthy run-on sentences only confuse the reader. Short declarative sentences convey information more efficiently.

Factual: It is important that the Children’s Service Worker separate facts from judgments or assumptions. This separation encourages the worker to detail facts before forming judgments. The facts should support the decisions made in the work.  When forming and recording professional judgments, the Children’s Service Worker should be extremely cautious with “labeling” terms. The worker should avoid the use of psychological or medical diagnosis which he/she is not qualified to make when describing a condition/behavior.

Timeliness: Timeliness in recording information is important for two major reasons:

  • The sooner the information is recorded, the more accurate it is likely to be
  • For information to be introduced as evidence in a court hearing, records must
    • Be made during the regular course of business
    • Be made at or near the time the event(s) occurred
    • Be recorded by someone who has knowledge of the event(s)

Pertinence: Staff are expected to document pertinent information in FACES and upload pertinent information in Document Imaging. Some examples of pertinent information are:

  • Information that may change the direction of an investigation or case.
  • A case goal change
  • A visitation change
  • A critical event
  • An important event (i.e. parent being arrested, child running away)
  • An OHI investigation occurring on an open case
  • All home visits that occurIt is difficult to clarify every situation that would constitute “pertinent”. It is up to the discretion of the case manager and supervisor to ensure that the information collected pertains to work with the family.           

2.2.1 – Documenting the Mapping Conversations

All Signs of Safety mapping tools including the Case Mapping Tool (CD-218) and the Family Risk Assessment Map (CD-220) must be documented in the case file. The Signs of Safety mapping tools must be uploaded through document imaging in FACES to the electronic case file. The CD-218 uploaded maps can be handwritten or typed.  The CD-220 uploaded maps must be typed.

Staff should include a summary of the mapping conversation with the family in FACES case contact notes. The documentation should show the worries, what is working well, and what needs to happen. The summary may include information on the following:

  • Child safety
  • Home Visit Observations
  • Past Harm – Does the danger match the harm?
  • Future Danger – Does the family understand our worry about the future?
  • Complicating Factors
  • Existing Strengths
  • Existing Safety – What can we build on?
  • Safety Goals – What is the end game?
  • Next Steps
  • Safety Scale