How to write a Motion To Dismiss for CPS Juvenile Court In North Dakota

The goal here is to show the court that the assessment of harm and neglect against you should have been UNFOUNDED (you are not guilty) and therefore the court has no jurisdiction over the child and should close the case.

You will also want to show that the intake worker lied and coerced you which means that the judges decisions to make your child a ward of the court was based on more than hearsay (which is legal in most juvenile courts) but was based on distortion, misrepresentation, lies, and omission. This would mean that the judge would have to reconsider the evidence.

If you actually DID neglect or harm your child according to the state statutes, and they have shown evidence of it, this will not work for you.

Check out our LEGAL DISCLAIMER before you get started.

Step 1. Download this FREE program to write your Motion To Dismiss in. It is called Open Office.

Step 2. Download this template and open it using the Open Office program.

Step 3. Download this EXAMPLE to see what yours should look like.

Step 4. Start writing your story of who you are and how you got involved with CPS using the format of the template. Everything that is printed in red must be changed or taken off.

Step 5. When it comes time to talk about a certain subject, use the case law citations and CPS statutes and state law below to back your claims.

CLICK HERE to see an online version - Motion To Dismiss

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON FOR LANE COUNTY

JUVENILE DEPARTMENT

In the matter of

Haiden Tipaloo

Jaiden Tipaloo

Kaiden Tipaloo

Minor Children,

Court Numbers: 16JU00258

16JU00325

16JU00765

MOTION TO DISMISS DUE TO LACK OF JURISDICTION

Comes now Petitioner Jeramey Tipaloo (Father) based upon the attached Declaration, moves the court for a Judgment dismissing the above-captioned cases.

DATED this day of November _____, 2016

_____________________________________

Petitioner, signature

Submitted by:

________________________________________________________________________________

Petitioner, Print Name Address or Contact Address

________________________________________________________________________________

City, State, Zip Telephone or Contact Telephone

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON FOR LANE COUNTY

JUVENILE DEPARTMENT

In the matter of

Haiden Tipaloo

Jaiden Tipaloo

Kaiden Tipaloo

Minor Children

Court Numbers: 16JU00258

16JU00325

16JU00765

MOTION TO DISMISS DUE TO LACK OF JURISDICTION

I, Jeramey Tipaloo (Father), Petitioner in the above proceeding, make this declaration in support of my motion to dismiss the above-captioned cases. I request the court dismiss these cases for the following reasons:

On January 12th, 2016, at 2 p.m.,CPS intake caseworkers Brooke Sinclair, Megan Favreau and (4) Florence P.D. Police Officers made face to face contact with Jeramey J. Tullis.

Intake Worker Brooke Sinclair stated at the door that “We are here to investigate a report of child abuse and neglect,”

I felt I had nothing to hide and was sure that my children had never been abused or neglected, welcomed the intake caseworkers and Florence P.D. Officers into the home.

I have a naturaly loud voice. Mix that with the emotional stress of 4 police and 2 caseworkers entering my home and accusing me of neglect and abuse of my children. My demeanor was as any normal father would be to protect his children from being taken away. My voice was loud and demanding of proof of harm.

The intake worker would not give me any specifics of how I had harmed my children.

I stationed myself leaning backwards on the kitchen bar with my legs crossed and demanded the caseworker for documentation of proof of the allegations.

The intake worker, Brooke Sinclair, sat on the couch silent, looking aimlessly around at coworker Megan Favreau and police officers for answers. 

Meanwhile the two older boys were scared of the situation and kept behind my legs where they felt safe. The oldest boy was intuitivly following my demenor by peeking out from my legs and telling the intakeworker “GO! GO!”

The intake worker made a decision from that scene that there would be inpending danger caused to the children and that it was an emergency to take all 3 children.

I called my wife at work saying “Come home quick! CPS is here and they are taking our children.”

She arrived at home and met the intake workers Brooke Sinclair, and Megan Favreau outside on front step. Brooke Sinclair said “There is reasonable cause to believe that there is a threat of harm in the household.”

When my wife entered the home, she saw me leaning against the kitchen island with my back and Haiden and Jaiden are behind me giggling and playing with each other. They were running around with smiles on their faces while playing

The youngest child was sound asleep in his bassinet in the bedroom.

Intake worker Brooke Sinclair stated to my wife “The children were cowering behind the father.”

My wife asked the CW for a CPS handbook so that we could know our rights. The CW handed her a pamphlet that explained nothing of what was happening at this time and why she had the right to take our children.

My wife asked to speak to Brooke Sinclair’s supervisor (Julie Harper).

The caseworker got on her phone and walked out towards the driveway. After a few minutes she hung up the phone and returned to the front step.

My wife asked why she did not allow her to speak to her supervisor while she had her on the phone.

The CW stated she was not allowed to let her use her phone and she preceded to give my wife her supervisors business card.

My wife immediately attempted to call the supervisor from the house phone and got the answering machine. She then left a voicemail for Julie Harper to contact her as soon as possible.

My wife asked for a court order and the caseworker walked out to her car and grabbed a piece of paper and wrote “Threat of Harm” on it.

Meanwhile, I called his Domestic Violence Advocate Pamela Long at Siuslaw Outreach Services. I stated that Pamela wanted to speak to Brooke Sinclair.

The CW refused to talk to her and stated “I do not have time to talk to her.”

One of the Police officers got on the phone and advised Pamela that CPS was here and they are taking the children into CPS care.

The DV advocate asked to speak to me again, in return she asked me to hand the phone to the CW and that she needed to speak to her.

I handed the CW the phone. As soon as she had it in her hand, she hung it up refusing to speak to the Domestic Violence Advocate.

We both objected to the caseworker’s decision. The Florence Police Department officers and CPS caseworkers both stated that if we interfere with the taking of the children, we would both would be arrested.

Both caseworkers and a officer all cornered Haiden, Jaiden, and my wife all in the laundry room. The intake caseworker said to my wife, “Meaghan if you come with us and leave Jeramey we can get you and your boys into a Hotel room tonight and you can keep your kids, but Jeramey cannot come and cannot have contact with you or the children.”

My wife begged with the caseworker, “Please don’t take our boys, Our boys need us, you don’t how how much trauma you are causing them right now.”

We asked if we could feed the children the meal I had just made for them. The CW said “No we will get them something to eat.”

The caseworker proceeded to get Haiden and Jaiden into the bedroom to get clothes on them.

My wife then asked the CW “Can I please breastfeed our newborn please before you take him? You just woke him up and I do not have a breastpump.

The CW said “No, we have some formula at the DHS office we could give him.”

The second CW, Megan Favreau went into the master bedroom grabbed the baby (Kaiden) from his bassinet where he was asleep. Immediately put him into the car seat and could not figure out how to buckle the infant into the car seat. She then took him to the CPS vehicle.

While we were in the boys bedroom getting the boys clothes, the CW came into the room with clothes too small from a bag marked S.O.S. for donation and put them on the children.

The CW asked for our car seats to transport them and began searching around in closets and rooms for them without any permission. We pulled the car seats out of the living room closet. The CW’s then put the children into the back of their car.

The CW suggested that my wife go with the police escort up to the DHS office in Florence to speak with her more about the reason why CPS was taking our children into protective care.

My wife offered to get some juice for the kids but the CW would not wait for her. I then gave it to a police officer to give to the CW.

My wife took the escort ride up to the local DHS office in Florence. She then waited for the CW half an hour in a room by herself. All she could hear was our children screaming at the top of their lungs.

The intake CW entered the room and said that she had me on the speaker phone. I was distraught and was crying and blaming myself for the children being taken away. My loudness again was taken as proof that there was a impending safety threat.

The CW then preceded to use coercion by telling my wife “You should leave Jeramey and if you want any chance of getting your children back you should sign these papers.” She asked for a copy of them and has never received the copies to this date.

We object to the coercion from the CW to get my wife to sign a plea of guilt at the DHS office in Florence Oregon. She did not know at that time that that paper she signed was a plea of guilt. She hearby resinds her signiture on this form. “Consent” that is the product of official intimidation or harassment is not consent at all. Citizens do not forfeit their constitutional rights when they are coerced to comply with a request that they would prefer to refuse. Florida v. Bostick, 501 US 429 (1991). Coercion can be mental as well as physical. Blackburn v. Alabama, 361 US (1960)

Again, neither of us were told what specific impending threat of harm caused our children to be taken away.

I asked the CW if our children had anything to eat. The CW stated “ We gave them some snacks.”

The pleading filed by the agency contained no information indicating any actual imminent danger to our children or that any one of them had been injured on the day they were removed. The allegations and contentions in the pleading filed by the agency had no factual support. This went against the requirement of 419B.866 (3)(d)

The pleading filed by the agency stated the reason that the children were taken as, “One or both parents’ or caregivers’ behavior is violent and/or they are acting (behaving) dangerously.” CPS has never shown this court any evidence that there was any violence involved between us at any time. The evidence that was submitted to the court only showed that there were arguments and yelling. Never any violence. This went against the requirement of 419B.866 (3)(d)

Oregon law provides that a child may be removed without a court order only if, based on the totality of the circumstances, there is reasonable cause to believe that the child is in imminent danger of physical or sexual abuse. Moreover, the agency must show that it is contrary to the welfare of the child to remain in our home, and consistent with the circumstances and ensuring that the child is safe, that reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate the need for removal from their home.

After a child is removed without a court order, Oregon law mandates that CPS show that: (1) there is a continuing danger to the physical health or safety of the child if the child is returned home, or there is evidence of sexual abuse and the child is at substantial risk of future sexual abuse; (2) it is contrary to the child’s welfare to remain in the home; and (3) reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate need for removal.” All of these things must be shown by the agency in order to meet their burden of proof under Oregon Juvinile laws.

CPS did not show this court any one of these mandated requirements were fulfilled because they did not first meet their burden of proof with evidence that there was any violence. This went against the requirements of 419B.866 (3)(c)(d)

CPS could not show that there is a continuing danger to the physical health or safety of the child if the child is returned home or that it is contrary to the children’s welfare to remain in the home because they have never proven that there was a safety threat of violence in the first place. This went against the requirements of 419B.866 (3)(c)(d)

If there is no imminent or inpending dangers such as “severe abuse” “severe harm” according to the definitions of 419B.005, OAR 413-015-0425, OAR 413-015-0115, and OAR 413-015-0115 (47) then there is no safety threat. If there is no safety threat, then this allegation of “One or both parents’ or caregivers’ behavior is violent and/or they are acting (behaving) dangerously.” should have been UNFOUNDED.

CPS has failed to fulfill the requirements of 419B.866 (3)(c)(d) in that they failed to show the court WHAT imminent abuse or severe harm would have befell the children if left at home. Oregon law states that that the intakeworker should be able to describe it. CPS failed to describe it as per OAR 413-015-0115. If it cannot be described then the accusations should have been UNFOUNDED.

The intake worker and the CW have never clearly described and articulated what severe harm was imminant or about to happen. The intake worker and CW have clearly based her finding on a gut feeling.

OAR 413-015-0115 Definitions

  1. Observable” means specific, real, can be seen and described. Observable does not include suspicion or gut feeling.”

CPS knowingly misled the Court with statements in the caseworker’s sworn affidavit and with sworn testimony at the ex parte hearing required by the Oregon Juvinile Code. CPS knowingly misled the court with lies of ommission by not showing the court that there was NO violence in the mother and fathers relationship and there was no violence on the day of the children’s abduction. There was no imminent danger to the children on the evening that the children were removed.

By intentionally and consciously ommiting this important information, shows a doing wrong for dishonest purpose. This went against the requirements of 419B.866 (3)(a)

419B.866 Signing pleadings required; effect of signing or not signing.

(3)(a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (d) of this subsection, by signing, filing or otherwise submitting an argument in support of a petition, answer, motion or other paper, an attorney or party makes the certifications to the court identified in paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of this subsection and further certifies that the certifications are based on the person’s reasonable knowledge, information and belief formed after the making of any inquiry that is reasonable under the circumstances.

(b) A party or attorney certifies that the petition, answer, motion or other paper is not being presented for any improper purpose including, but not limited to, harassing or causing unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation.

(c) An attorney certifies that the claims and other legal positions taken in the petition, answer, motion or other paper are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for the extension, modification or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law.

(d) A party or attorney certifies that the allegations and other factual assertions in the petition, answer, motion or other paper are supported by evidence. An allegation or other factual assertion that the party or attorney does not wish to certify is supported by evidence must be specifically identified. The party or attorney certifies that the party or attorney reasonably believes that an allegation or other factual assertion so identified will be supported by evidence after further investigation and discovery. [2001 c.622 §20]

This case should have been closed at screening because it did not constitute a report of child abuse or neglect, as defined in ORS 419B.005

(4) Close at Screening: A report will be closed at screening if one of the following subsections applies:

(a) The screener determines that information received:

(A) Does not constitute a report of child abuse or neglect, as defined in ORS 419B.005 or, when applicable, Oregon Laws 2016, chapter 106, section 36, and the screener determines:

  1. That the information describes behaviors, conditions, or circumstances that pose a risk to a child;

Oregon Laws 2016, chapter 106, section SECTION 38. (1) The investigation conducted by the Department of Human Services under section 37 of this 2016 Act must result in one of the following findings:

(a) That the report is substantiated. A report is substantiated when there is reasonable cause to believe that the abuse of a child in care occurred.

(b) That the report is unsubstantiated. A report is unsubstantiated when there is no evidence that the abuse of a child in care occurred.

  1. That the report is inconclusive. A report is inconclusive when there is some indication that the abuse occurred but there is insufficient evidence to conclude that there is reasonable cause to believe that the abuse occurred.

SECTION 39. ORS 419B.005 is amended to read: 419B.005. As used in ORS 419B.005 to 419B.050, unless the context requires otherwise:

(1)(a) “Abuse” means:

(A) Any assault, as defined in ORS chapter 163, of a child and any physical injury to a child which has been caused by other than accidental means, including any injury which appears to be at variance with the explanation given of the injury.

(B) Any mental injury to a child, which shall include only observable and substantial impairment of the child’s mental or psychological ability to function caused by cruelty to the child, with due regard to the culture of the child.

(G) Threatened harm to a child, which means subjecting a child to a substantial risk of harm to the child’s health or welfare.

Neither the intakeworker or the caseworker have reported in any way that the children suffered from any “assault”, “Physical injury”, “observable and substantial impairment” or “ substantial risk of harm”. This report should have been unsubstantiated or NOT FOUNDED. There was insufficient information to support this being a disposition of child abuse or neglect.

The Case Progress Evaluation Summary reads; “On January 5th, 2016, the agency received a call of concern for the children in the care of Mr. Tullis and Ms. Gotterba. The agency responded on 1/13/2016 and CPS caseworkers Brook Sinclair, Megan Favreau and Florence Police Officers made face to face contact with Mr. Tullis at his residence in Florence, Oregon.”

The law at ORS 413-015-0210 states that the caseworker must make contact within 5 calendar days. The law also states that the information from an informant must constituted a report of child abuse or neglect as defined in ORS 419B.005. If it does not, then the report must be closed at screening. No where in the caseworkers report to the court or in the original petition to the court did DHS or CPS show that they had met these requirements.

According to 413-015-0210

Determining Department’s Response and Required Time Lines for CPS Information

(1) After the screener completes screening activities required by OAR 413-015-0205, and the screener determines the information received is CPS information, the screener must determine the Department response, either CPS assessment required or close at screening. If a CPS assessment is required, the screener must then determine the time line for the Department response, either within 24 hours or within five calendar days.

(2) CPS assessment required. A CPS assessment is required if:

(a) The screener determines that information received constitutes a report of child abuse or neglect, as defined in ORS 419B.005, and the information indicates:

(A) The alleged perpetrator is a legal parent of the alleged child victim;

(B) The alleged perpetrator resides in the alleged child victim’s home;

  1. The alleged perpetrator may have access to the alleged child victim, and the parent or caregiver may not be able or willing to protect the child;

(3) Response Time Lines. If the screener determines that a CPS assessment is required, the screener must:

(a) Determine the CPS assessment response time line. The time line for the Department response refers to the amount of time between when the report is received at screening and when the CPS worker is required to make an initial contact. When determining the response time, the screener must take into account the location of the child, how long the child will be in that location, and access that others have to the child.

(A) Within 24 hours: This response time line is required, unless paragraph (B) of this subsection applies, when the information received constitutes a report of child abuse or neglect as defined in ORS 419B.005 or, when applicable, Oregon Laws 2016, chapter 106, section 36.

(B) Within five calendar days: This response time line must only be used when the screener can clearly document how the information indicates the child’s safety will not be compromised by not responding within 24 hours and whether an intentional delay to allow for a planned response is less likely to compromise the safety of the child.

(4) Close at Screening: A report will be closed at screening if one of the following subsections applies:

(a) The screener determines that information received:

(A) Does not constitute a report of child abuse or neglect, as defined in ORS 419B.005

419B.005 Definitions. As used in ORS 419B.005 to 419B.050, unless the context requires otherwise:

(1)(a) “Abuse” means:

(A) Any assault, as defined in ORS chapter 163, of a child and any physical injury to a child which has been caused by other than accidental means, including any injury which appears to be at variance with the explanation given of the injury.

(B) Any mental injury to a child, which shall include only observable and substantial impairment of the child’s mental or psychological ability to function caused by cruelty to the child, with due regard to the culture of the child.

(D) Sexual abuse, as described in ORS chapter 163.

(F) Negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child, including but not limited to the failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter or medical care that is likely to endanger the health or welfare of the child.

(G) Threatened harm to a child, which means subjecting a child to a substantial risk of harm to the child’s health or welfare.

I object to the intake workers witch hunt to try and find something to pin on me. The law states that there must already be a known exigent circumstance existing before conducting a search or seizure without a warrant or court order. This exigent circumstance must directly be associated with harm to the childs life or limb. “Government officials are required to obtain prior judicial authorization before intruding on a parent’s custody of her child unless they possess information at the time of the seizure that establishes ‘reasonable cause to believe that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury and that the scope of the intrusion is reasonably necessary to avert that specific injury.’” Mabe v. San Bernardino Cnty., Dep’t of Pub. Soc. Servs., 237 F.3d 1101, 1106 (9th Cir. 2001)

I object that the intake worker has clearly violated our children’s Fourth Amendment rights. A man demanding his rights and his childrens rights with a loud voice does not equal “violence”.The father was not directing his negative attention to the children. The father was not violently in a physical fight with anyone where a child could get in the way and be harmed. The children had no bruises or marks to show that abuse had already happened to them and that it was impending that it would happen again soon. Two children playing behind their fathers legs does not equal “cowering” as the CW insinuates. Two children hiding behind their fathers legs when 6 people are in the same room arguing with the parent does not equal impending doom, exigent circumstances or imminent danger to the children.

For purposes of the Fourth Amendment, a “seizure” of a person is a situation in which a reasonable person would feel that he is not free to leave, and also either actually yields to a show of authority from police or social workers or is physically touched by police. Persons may not be “seized” without a court order or being placed under arrest. California v. Hodari, 499 U.S. 621 (1991).

Being there was no evidence of an imminent threat of harm to any one of our children, the CPS investigator violated our childen’s clearly established fourth amendment rights.

The Fourth Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or Affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Our children are undeniably entitled to stay with their parents without governmental interference.

The CPS investigater had neither a warrant nor probable cause to seize our children.

In order to prevail, therefore, she must have demonstrate a governmental interest sufficient to justify dispensing with constitutional protections. The record before us is devoid of such.

As previously noted, there was no evidence of danger to our children sufficient to implicate the state’s interest in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of them as minors.

You cannot seize childern simply because their parent is yelling.

The social workers were specifically charged with protecting children where there were allegations of abuse. There is no indication in this record of any threat to our children’s safety, nor was she investigating allegations that our children had previously suffered abuse at the hands of their parents.

Under the circumstances, our children enjoyed a clearly established right to maintain their relationship free from interference by state actors.

According to OAR 413-015-0400, when the agency makes a determination of the presence of a safety threat, there are 5 factors that all have to be met and present at the same time in order for it to be FOUNDED.

  1. A family condition is out-of-control.

According to OAR 413-015-0425 “Out of control” means”

  1. (d) “family behaviors, conditions, or circumstances that can affect a child’s safety are unrestrained, unmanaged, without limits or monitoring, not subject to influence or manipulation within the control of the family, resulting in an unpredictable and chaotic family environment.”

The father was in control of himself and restrained by leaning against the kitchen bar and crossing his legs. He only argued his points with a loud voice. He did not threaten anyone, throw things, or break things. He was simply reacting to a situation where officials were trying to take his children without due cause. Even if these actions and attitudes resulted in a chaotic family environment, it did not fullfill the other factors that would have entitled the intakeworker to take the children.

  1. A family condition is likely to result in harm.

According to OAR 413-015-0115 “Harm” means:

  1. “….. any kind of impairment, damage, detriment, or injury to a child’s physical, sexual, psychological, cognitive, or behavioral development or functioning. “Harm” is the result of child abuse or neglect and may vary from mild to severe.”

A father leaning up against a kitchen bar did not show any actions that would likely result in direct harm to his children.

  1. The severe effect is imminent: reasonably could happen soon.

According to OAR 413-015-0115 (47) “Severe harm” means:

(a) Significant or acute injury to a child’s physical, sexual, psychological, cognitive, or behavioral development or functioning;

(b) Immobilizing impairment; or

  1. Life threatening damage.

Even if it were true that the children were cowering behind their father, the intake worker and CW have never seen anything even close to a severe effect or severe harm that was imminent.

  1. The family condition is observable and can be clearly described and articulated.

OAR 413-015-0115 Definitions

  1. Observable” means specific, real, can be seen and described. Observable does not include suspicion or gut feeling.”

The intake worker and the CW have never clearly described and articulated what severe harm was imminant or about to happen. The intake worker and CW have clearly based her finding on a gut feeling.

  1. There is a vulnerable child.

According to OAR 413-015-0115 “Vulnerable child” means:

(53) …..a child who is unable to protect himself or herself. This includes a child who is dependent on others for sustenance and protection.

A “vulnerable child” is defenseless, exposed to behaviors, conditions, or circumstances that he or she is powerless to manage, and is susceptible and accessible to a threatening parent or caregiver.

Vulnerability is judged according to physical and emotional development, ability to communicate needs, mobility, size, and dependence.

According to OAR 413-015-1000

Threat of harm, includes all activities, conditions, and circumstances that place the child at threat of severe harm of physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, mental injury, or other child abuse or neglect.

According to OAR 413-015-0425

Present Danger is an IMMEDIATE, SIGNIFICANT, and clearly observable severe harm or threat of severe harm occurring in the present.

According to OAR 413-015-0425

Impending Danger is a state of danger in which family conditions, behaviors, attitudes, motive, emotions and /or situations are out of control and , while the danger may not be currently active, it can be anticipated to have severe effects on a child at any time.

The key word here is severe as in SEVERE HARM and SEVERE EFFECTS.

According to OAR 413-015-0115 statute (47) “Severe harm” means:

(a) Significant or acute injury to a child’s physical, sexual, psychological, cognitive, or behavioral development or functioning;

(b) Immobilizing impairment; or

(c) Life threatening damage.

The CPS’s evaluation should have been decided as UNFOUNDED according to Oregon law and CPS’s own rules. This claim of Neglect and Threat of Harm should never have been brought to this court because it does not fit the statutory definition of child abuse or neglect.

CPS has not shown evidense in any manner that our children have suffered ANY severe harm. Nor have they shown that any severe effects were imminent such as:

  • Significant or acute injury
  • Immobilizing impairment
  • or Life threatening damage

CPS has never proven that our current mental condition placed or will place our children at a threat of severe harm.

The CW has also stated in her Ongoing Safety Plans and the Child Welfare Case Plans that,”There is a long history of domestic violence occuring between Meaghan Gotterba and Jeramy Tullis. The children have wittnessed the DV betweem their parents.”

Although arguing or talking in foul language is not appropreate in front of children or anywhere else, arguing is not part of CPS’s own examples of this mentioned safety threat. CPS has never shown evidence that any of our children “…demonstrates an observable, significant effect.” The term “Family Discord” is not even used in the discriptions of any of the Oregon Safety Threats.

Below is the examples of this peticular Safety Threat as brought out in CPS’s own Screening and Assessment Handbook, Chapter II –

  • Examples:
  • Violence includes hitting, beating or physically assaulting a child, spouse or other family member.
  • Violence includes acting dangerously toward a child or others, including throwing things, brandishing weapons, aggressively intimidating and terrorizing. This includes making believable threats of homicide or suicide.
  • Family violence involves physical and verbal assault on a parent, caregiver or member of the child’s household in the presence of a child; the child witnesses the activity; and the child demonstrates an observable, significant effect.
  • Family violence occurs and a child has been assaulted or attempted to intervene.
  • Family violence occurs and a child could be inadvertently harmed even though the child may not be the actual target of the violence.
  • Parent/caregiver whose behavior outside of the home (e.g., drugs, violence, aggressiveness, hostility) creates an environment within the home which threatens child safety (e.g., drug labs, gangs, drive-by shootings).
  • Due to the batterer’s controlling behavior, the child’s basic needs are unmet.

The federal Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) and Oregon law require Child Welfare caseworkers to make efforts to prevent the need to remove a child from his or her home prior to placing the child in protective custody, to return the child to a parent, and to achieve permanency for a child who cannot be returned to his or her home.

The intakeworker’s wrongful conduct violated clearly established law. Genuine issues of material fact exist regarding the reasonableness of the intakeworker’s conduct.

This blatant disregard for the childrens 4th amendment rights, the states rules and regulations and Federal laws has striped the intakeworker and caseworker of their Qualified Immunity. They both have been trained in their scope of work and clearly went against what a reasonable person would have known.

Qualified immunity shields government officials from liability when they are acting within their discretionary authority and their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional law of which a reasonable person would have known. Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818, 102 S.Ct. 2727, 73 L.Ed.2d 396(1982);

Characteristically the Court has defined these elements by identifying the circumstances in which qualified immunity would not be available. Referring both to the objective and subjective elements, we have held that qualified immunity would be defeated if an official “knew or reasonably should have known that the action he took within his sphere of official responsibility would violate the constitutional rights of the [plaintiff], or if he took the action with the malicious intention to cause a deprivation of constitutional rights or other injury . . . .” Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818, 102 S.Ct. 2727, 73 L.Ed.2d 396 (1982)

I object to the intakeworkers “fishing expedition” and “witch hunt” to try and find a reason to take our children. Even if it was true that the children were “cowering” behind me, the intakeworker clearly did not see a exigent circumstances that would harm life or limb.

Under “Reasons Services Could Not be Provided to Prevent removal Of the Child from the home” in the report to the court, the CW gives the reason “During the initial assessment, Mr Tullis was angry and volatile with the DHS intakeworker. The agency was unable to develop an in-home plan due to Mr Tullis’ lack of cooperation.

Nowhere in the law of OAR 413-015-0400 and nowhere in CPS statutes does it require that an in-home-plan be put into place if there is no reason­able cause to believe that child abuse or neglect occurred or was about to occur soon.

Nowhere in the law of OAR 413-015-0400 and nowhere in CPS statutes does it require that an in-home plan should be put into place if the parent is angry that someone is there trying to take their children away.

It is to only be put into place IF the intakeworker has reason­able cause to believe that child abuse or neglect occurred or it is going to occur soon.

This claimed exigent is less than the real, genuine or bona fide emergency required by the constitutions, federal and state.

The only reason that the intakeworker took the children was because the fathers yelling was of inconvenience to the intakeworker and not of exigent circumstances relating to the children. The fathers yelling was only an excuse to take the children instead of real cause mandated by law.

Being there was NO true exigent circumstances, the caseworker would need a warrant or court order to take the children. If she had persuded a court for a court order or warrant, It would have been based on lies and ommissions as the original petition to the court was.

As the United States Supreme Court has explained: “In terms that apply equally to seizures of property and to seizures of persons, the Fourth Amendment has drawn a firm line at the entrance to the house. Absent exigent circumstances, that threshold may not reasonably be crossed without a warrant.” ( Payton v. New York (1980) 445 U.S. 573, 590 [100 S.Ct. 1371, 1382, 63 L.Ed.2d 639].)

A due-process violation occurs when a state-required breakup of a natural family is founded solely on a “best interests” analysis that is not supported by the requisite proof of parental unfitness. Quilloin v. Walcott, 434 U.S. 246, 255, (1978)

The CW has never presented to this court any evidence that was explicitly documented that showed any reasonable efforts were made to prevent removal of two boys that were playing behind their father legs and one infant sleeping in its bed. Just using one of Oregons 16 safety threats title as a reason to take a child and not backing it up with evidence does not fulfill the letter of the law.

Judicial determinations that remaining in the home would be contrary to the welfare of the child and that reasonable efforts were made to prevent removal and to finalize the permanency plan in effect, as well as judicial determinations that reasonable efforts are not required, must be explicitly documented, made on a case-by-case basis, and stated in the court order. A transcript of the court proceeding is the only other documentation that will be accepted to verify that these determinations have been made. Affidavits, nunc pro tunc orders, and references to state law are not acceptable. 45 C.F.R. §1356.21(d). The court, after hearing the evidence, must be satisfied that reasonable efforts . . . have been made. Review and approval of the [state] agency’s report and recommendation alone are not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Act; the court must make a determination that the agency’s efforts were, in the judgment of the court, reasonable for preventing placement. With regard to emergency situations, if the agency’s judgment was that services could not have prevented removal of the child, the court at the time of the adjudicatory hearing must find that the lack of preventive efforts was reasonable.

CPS was never required by the court to provide specific and detailed documentation to prove that Reasonable Efforts were in fact made. 42 C.F.R. Section 1356.21(d) requires documentation of judicial determinations concerning both reasonable efforts and contrary to the welfare findings. They are to be explicitly documented on a case by case basis and so stated in the court order. Facts substantiating the legal conclusion must be stated in the order. Lack of compliance results in denial of federal funds for the child’s foster placement.

According to OAR 413-040-0013

Every 30 days the Ongoing Safety Plan is to be reviewed and updated to be current. Any previously identified Safety Threats that have been reduced or eliminated will be shown to be so.

The caseworker, Stacie Navarro, has never done this.

According to OAR 413-040-0013

Every 30 days there is to be a face-to-face review with parent on progress toward achieving the current Conditions For Return and Expected Outcomes.

This has never been done by the caseworker.

According to OAR 413-040-0016 and OAR 413-040-0010

Every 90 days (or any time within the 90 days) there is to be a full face-to-face current Case Plan review with the parent. This would include reviewing and updating the Ongoing Safety Plan, Action Agreement, Expected Outcomes, and Conditions For Return.

The fact is, after the first separate Action Agreements were signed back in 3/10/16 by both parents, the caseworker has NEVER visited our home or updated anything thru a face-to-face with either parent. To date over 6 months have passed by.

This means that the caseworker has committed malfeasance 28 times (14 times with each parent.)

In fact, the caseworker STILL to this date has not talked to the parents specifically about the conditions for return, expected outcomes, nor has she talked to the parents personally about a case plan where everything is updated. She also has not updated any visitation plan with them. They have never seen any visitation plan other than the original one made at intake almost 6 months ago. In fact, the visitation plan dated 3/2/16 submitted to court in the case file was not even signed by the caseworker or the parents.

And because of the CW’s lack of mandated monthly updates, this means that the caseworker presented false information in the CRB on 7/7/16 and the Oregon Family Decision Meeting on 9/15/16. This also means that the CW passed on false information to the caseworker’s supervisor. This also means that false information was presented to Dr. Basham for the Psych Evaluations by stateing that the parents were in a violent relationship.

And because of the caseworker, Stacie Navarro, not doing her mandated obligations of updating anything, she has thus given false testimony to this court at every hearing so far.

The CW lack of updating the case causes the court to not know the truth. This is basicly a lie of ommission. A lie of omission is to remain silent when ethical behavior calls for one to speak up. A lie of omission is a method of deception and duplicity that uses the technique of simply remaining silent when speaking the truth would significantly alter the other person’s (the judge’s) capacity to make an informed decision.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said it best, “The government’s interest in the welfare of children embraces not only protecting children from physical abuse, but also protecting children’s interest in the privacy and dignity of their homes and in the lawfully exercised authority of their parents.Calabretta v. Floyd, 189 F.3d 808 (9th Cir. 1999).

We are therefore establishing ON THE RECORD that we strongly challenge that any lawfull reason existed to remove our children.

Therefore, we strongly challenge this courts jurisiction over this matter.

We withdraw and rescind any and all signatures to “voluntary” safety and service plans or any other “agreements”. Such signatures were obtained through duress, threat, and coercion. We now explicitly withdraw any consents we gave.

We withdraw any plea of guilt that we were coerced and tricked into signing.

I am petitioning the court to dismiss jurisdiction, close the case, and order that the children are returned home immediately.

I hereby declare that the above statements are true and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief. I understand they are made for use as evidence in court and I am subject to penalty for perjury.

DATED this day of ___________, 20____ .

Petitioner (signature) _________________________________________

Print Name _________________________________________________

Address or Contact Address ____________________________________

City, State, Zip Code __________________________________________

Telephone or Contact Telephone ________________________________

STATE OF OREGON           )

)     ss.

County of Lane )

SIGNED AND SWORN to before me on this ______ day of ______________, 2016.

_____________________

SEAL

Attorney’s signature______________________________________________

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON FOR LANE COUNTY

JUVENILE DEPARTMENT

In the matter of

Haiden Tipaloo

Jaiden Tipaloo

Kaiden Tipaloo

Minor Children,

Court Numbers: 16JU00258

16JU00325

16JU00765

MOTION TO DISMISS DUE TO LACK OF JURISDICTION

Based upon the Motion to Dismiss filed by the plaintiff , IT IS HEREBY ORDERED these cases be dismissed

___ resolving and disposing of all remaining issues and parties (general)

___ disposing of defendant (s) _______________________________________________________ (limited) and it is further ordered this case is dismissed

___ with prejudice

___ without prejudice

DATE: ___________________

______________________________________________

CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE

North Dakota

 

Child Witnesses to Domestic Violence

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Current Through April 2016

Circumstances That Constitute Witnessing

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Consequences

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

 

Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect

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Current Through February 2016

Physical Abuse

‘Abused child’ means an individual younger than age 18 who is suffering from abuse as defined in § 14-09-22(1), caused by a person responsible for the child’s welfare.

A child is abused when a parent, adult family or household member, guardian, or other custodian of any child willfully inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child mental injury or bodily injury, substantial bodily injury, or serious bodily injury as defined by § 12.1-01-04. A child is abused when a person who provides care, supervision, education, or guidance for a child unaccompanied by the child’s parent, adult family or household member, guardian, or custodian in exchange for money, goods, or other services and while providing such services commits an offense under this section.

‘Deprived child’ means a child who is a victim of human trafficking as defined in title 12.1.

Neglect

‘Neglected child’ means a deprived child as defined in chapter 27-20.

‘Deprived child’ means a child who:

  • Is without proper parental care or control, subsistence, education, or other care or control necessary for the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health or morals; and the deprivation is not due primarily to the lack of financial means of the child’s parents, guardian, or other custodian
  • Has been placed for care or adoption in violation of law
  • Is without proper parental care, control, education, or other care and control necessary for the child’s well-being because of the physical, mental, emotional, or other illness or disability of the child’s parent or parents; and such lack of care is not due to a willful act of commission or act of omission by the child’s parents, and care is requested by a parent
  • Is in need of treatment and whose parents, guardian, or other custodian have refused to participate in treatment as ordered by the juvenile court
  • Was subject to prenatal exposure to chronic and severe use of alcohol or any controlled substance in a manner not lawfully prescribed by a practitioner
  • Is present in an environment that subjects the child to exposure to a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia

‘Prenatal exposure to a controlled substance’ means use of a controlled substance by a pregnant woman for a nonmedical purpose during pregnancy as evidenced by withdrawal symptoms in the child at birth, results of a toxicology test performed on the mother at delivery of the child at birth, or medical effects or developmental delays during the child’s first year of life that medically indicate prenatal exposure to a controlled substance.

Sexual Abuse/Exploitation

‘Sexually abused child’ means an individual younger than age 18 who is subjected by a person responsible for the child’s welfare or by any individual to sexual abuse, as described in §§ 12.1-20-01 through 12.1-20-07 [including gross sexual imposition, continuous sexual abuse of a child, sexual imposition, corruption or solicitation of minors, luring minors by computer or other electronic means, sexual abuse of wards, sexual exploitation by a therapist, or sexual assault] and §§ 12.1-20-11 through 12.1-20-12.2 [including incest, deviate sexual act, indecent exposure, or surreptitious intrusion], or sexual exploitation, as described in chapter 12.1-27.2 [sexual performances by children].

Emotional Abuse

A child is an ‘abused child’ when the person responsible for the child’s welfare inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child a mental injury.

Abandonment

Citation: Cent. Code § 27-20-02
The term ‘abandon’ means:

  • Failure by a noncustodial parent, without justifiable cause, to communicate significantly with the child or to provide for the care and support of the child as required by law
  • Actions by a custodial parent that include:
    • Leaving the child for an indefinite period without making firm and agreed upon plans with the child’s immediate caregiver for the parents’ resumption of physical custody
    • Following the child’s birth or treatment at a hospital, failing to arrange for the child’s discharge within 10 days after the child no longer requires hospital care
    • Willfully failing to furnish food, shelter, clothing, or medical attention that is reasonably sufficient to meet the child’s needs

‘Abandoned infant’ means a child who has been abandoned before reaching age 1.

Standards for Reporting

Citation: Cent. Code § 50-25.1-03
A report is required when a mandatory reporter knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is abused or neglected or has died as a result of abuse or neglect.

Persons Responsible for the Child

‘A person responsible for the child’s welfare’ means a person who has responsibility for the care or supervision of a child and who is:

  • The child’s parent, an adult family member of the child, any member of the child’s household, the child’s guardian, or the child’s foster parent
  • An employee of, or any person providing care for the child in, a public or private school or child care setting
Exceptions

No exceptions are specified in statute.

 

Definitions of Domestic Violence

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Current Through August 2013

Defined in Domestic Violence Civil Laws

‘Domestic violence’ includes physical harm, bodily injury, sexual activity compelled by physical force, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, sexual activity compelled by physical force, or assault, not committed in self-defense, on the complaining family or household members.

Defined in Child Abuse Reporting and Child Protection Laws

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Defined in Criminal Laws

The sentence for an offense under § 12.1-17-01 (simple assault), 12.1-17-01.1 (assault), 12.1-17-02 (aggravated assault), 12.1-17-03 (reckless endangerment), 12.1-17-04 (terrorizing), or 12.1-17-05 (menacing) against an actor’s family or household member, as defined in § 14-07.1-01, must include an order to complete a domestic violence offender treatment program, unless the court makes written findings for the record explaining why such an order would be inappropriate.

Persons Included in the Definition

‘Family or household member’ means:

  • A spouse or former spouse
  • Family member
  • A parent or child
  • Persons related by blood or marriage
  • Persons who are in a dating relationship
  • Persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past
  • Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they are or have been married or have lived together at any time
  • For the purpose of the issuance of a domestic violence protection order, any other person with a sufficient relationship to the abusing person, as determined by the court

 

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

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Current Through June 2013

Confidentiality of Records

All reports made under this chapter, as well as any other information obtained, are confidential and must be made available to persons listed below.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records

Reports and information shall be made available to:

  • A physician who reasonably suspects that a child may have been abused or neglected
  • A person who is authorized to place a child in protective custody when necessary to determine whether to place the child in protective custody
  • Authorized staff of the department, children’s advocacy centers, appropriate State and local child protection team members, or citizen review committee members
  • Any person who is the subject of a report
  • Public officials and their authorized agents who require the information in connection with the discharge of their official duties
  • A court when it is necessary for the determination of an issue before it
  • A person engaged in bona fide research
  • A mandated reporter who has made a report of suspected child abuse or neglect, if the child is likely to or continues to come before the reporter in his or her official or professional capacity
  • Parents or a legally appointed guardian of a child who is suspected of being, or having been, abused or neglected
When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Use of Records for Employment Screening

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

 

Immunity for Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect

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Current Through March 2015

Any person, other than the alleged violator, participating in good faith in making a report, assisting in an investigation or assessment, furnishing information, in providing protective services, or who is a member of the child fatality review panel is immune from any civil or criminal liability–except for criminal liability as provided for under penalties for failure to report and false reporting–that otherwise might result from reporting the alleged case of abuse, neglect, or death resulting from child abuse or neglect.

For the purpose of any civil or criminal proceeding, the good faith of any person who is required to report cases of child abuse, neglect, or death must be presumed.

 

Making and Screening Reports of Child Abuse and Neglect

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Current Through February 2013

Individual Responsibility to Report

All mandated reporters shall immediately report cases of known or suspected abuse or neglect to the Department of Human Services. Oral reports must be followed by written reports within 48 hours if requested by the department.

Content of Reports

A requested written report must include information specifically sought by the department if the reporter possesses or has reasonable access to the information.

Reporting Suspicious Deaths

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Reporting Substance-Exposed Infants

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Agency Receiving the Reports

Reports must be made to the Department of Human Services.

Initial Screening Decisions

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Agency Conducting the Assessment/Investigation

The department, in accordance with rules adopted by the department, immediately shall initiate an assessment of any report of child abuse or neglect.

If the report alleges a violation of a criminal statute involving sexual or physical abuse, the department and an appropriate law enforcement agency shall coordinate the planning and execution of their investigation efforts to avoid a duplication of fact-finding efforts and multiple interviews. The department or the law enforcement agency may refer the case to a children’s advocacy center for a forensic interview, forensic medical examination, and other services.

Assessment/Investigation Procedures

The department shall initiate an assessment of any report of child abuse or neglect including, when appropriate, the assessment of the home or the residence of the child, any school or child care facility attended by the child, and the circumstances surrounding the report of abuse or neglect. As part of the assessment, the department shall:

  • Interview, without the consent of a person responsible for the child’s welfare, the alleged abused or neglected child and any other child who currently resides or who has resided with the person responsible for the child’s welfare or the alleged perpetrator
  • Conduct the interview at a school, child care facility, or any other place where the alleged abused or neglected child or other child is found

The department shall adopt guidelines for case referrals to a children’s advocacy center. When cases are referred to a children’s advocacy center, all interviews of the alleged abused or neglected child conducted at the children’s advocacy center shall be audio-recorded or video-recorded.

In regulation: Assessments of reports of suspected child abuse or neglect must reflect:

  • An assessment process designed to collect sufficient information to make a decision whether services are required to provide for the protection and treatment of an abused or neglected child
  • Assessment techniques that include interviewing and observing the subject, the child victim, and other interested or affected persons and documenting those interviews and observations
  • Conclusions and a summary based on information gathered by the assessment
Timeframes for Completing Investigations

All nonemergency child abuse or neglect assessments must be initiated no later than 72 hours after receipt of a report by the assessing agency unless the department prescribes a different time in a particular case. In cases involving a serious threat or danger to the life or health of a child, the assessment and any appropriate protective measures must commence immediately upon receipt of a report by the assessing agency.

Assessments of reports of suspected child abuse or neglect must be completed, a decision made, and a written report completed and submitted to the regional child protection service supervisor or other person designated by the department within 62 days from the date of receipt of the report unless an extension of the time is requested of and granted by the department.

Classification of Reports

Upon completion of the assessment of the initial report of child abuse or neglect, a decision must be made whether services are required to provide for the protection and treatment of an abused or neglected child.

 

Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect

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Current Through August 2015

Professionals Required to Report

The following professionals are required to report:

  • Physicians, nurses, dentists, dental hygienists, optometrists, medical examiners or coroners, or any other medical or mental health professionals
  • Religious practitioners of the healing arts
  • Schoolteachers, administrators, or school counselors
  • Addiction counselors, social workers, child care workers, or foster parents
  • Police or law enforcement officers, juvenile court personnel, probation officers, division of juvenile services employees
  • Members of the clergy
Reporting by Other Persons

Any other person who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is abused or neglected may report.

Institutional Responsibility to Report

Reports involving known or suspected institutional child abuse or neglect must be made and received in the same manner as all other reports made under this chapter.

An employer is prohibited from retaliating against an employee solely because the employee in good faith reported having reasonable cause to suspect that a child was abused or neglected, or died as a result of abuse or neglect, or because the employee is a child with respect to whom a report was made.

There is a rebuttable presumption that any adverse action within 90 days of a report is retaliatory. For purposes of this subsection, an ‘adverse action’ is action taken by an employer against the person making the report or the child with respect to whom a report was made, including:

  • Discharge, suspension, termination, or transfer from any facility, institution, school, agency, or other place of employment
  • Discharge from or termination of employment
  • Demotion or reduction in remuneration for services
  • Restriction or prohibition of access to any facility, institution, school, agency, or other place of employment or persons affiliated with it
Standards for Making a Report

A report is required when a reporter has knowledge of or reasonable cause to suspect that a child is abused or neglected, if the knowledge or suspicion is derived from information received by that person in that person’s official or professional capacity.

A person who has knowledge of or reasonable cause to suspect that a child is abused or neglected based on images of sexual conduct by a child discovered on a workplace computer shall report the circumstances to the department.

Privileged Communications

A member of the clergy is not required to report such circumstances if the knowledge or suspicion is derived from information received in the capacity of spiritual adviser.

Any privilege of communication between husband and wife or between any professional person and the person’s patient or client, except between attorney and client, cannot be used as grounds for failing to report.

Inclusion of Reporter’s Name in Report

Not addressed in statutes reviewed.

Disclosure of Reporter Identity

All reports are confidential and must be made available to a parent, the child’s guardian, and any person who is the subject of a report; provided, however, that the identity of persons reporting or supplying information is protected.

 

Parental Drug Use as Child Abuse

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Current Through April 2015

‘Deprived child’ means a child who:

  • Was subject to prenatal exposure to chronic and severe use of alcohol or any controlled substance in a manner not lawfully prescribed by a practitioner
  • Is present in an environment subjecting the child to exposure to a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia as prohibited by § 19-03.1-22.2

Unless a greater penalty is otherwise provided by law, a person who knowingly or intentionally causes or permits a child or vulnerable adult to be exposed to, to ingest or inhale, or to have contact with a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia is guilty of a Class C felony.

Unless a greater penalty is otherwise provided by law, a person who violates the subsection above, and a child or vulnerable adult actually suffers bodily injury by exposure to, ingestion of, inhalation of, or contact with a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia, is guilty of a Class B felony.

If the exposure, ingestion, inhalation, or contact results in the death of the child or vulnerable adult, the person is guilty of a Class A felony.

‘Prenatal exposure to a controlled substance’ means use of a controlled substance, as defined in chapter 19-03.1, by a pregnant woman for a nonmedical purpose during pregnancy as evidenced by withdrawal symptoms in the child at birth, results of a toxicology test performed on the mother at delivery of the child at birth, or medical effects or developmental delays during the child’s first year of life that medically indicate prenatal exposure to a controlled substance.

 

Representation of Children in Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings

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Current Through August 2014

Making The Appointment

The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to represent the child in every case involving an abused or neglected child that results in a judicial proceeding.

In court rules: A GAL must be appointed if the court finds an appointment is necessary to protect the best interests of the child involved. In determining whether to appoint a GAL, the court shall consider, among other factors, whether:

  • There is an allegation of sexual abuse.
  • There is an allegation of domestic violence resulting in serious bodily injury or involving the use of a dangerous weapon.
  • There is an allegation of a pattern of domestic violence occurring within a reasonable time proximate to the proceeding resulting in a reasonable fear for the safety of a party or the minor child.
  • The child has special needs.
  • The child has, at any time, been placed in foster care or in the home of a third party.
  • There is an allegation the child is in an unstable environment.
  • There has been repeated post-decree litigation involving custody or visitation issues.
  • The interests of the child and either or both parents are in substantial conflict.
  • A GAL could provide the court with significant information not otherwise available or likely to be presented by the parents.
  • There are any other areas of special concern that may impact the best interests of the child.
The Use of Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs)

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Qualifications/Training

To be eligible for appointment as a GAL, an attorney must have completed 18 hours of GAL-related training. To remain eligible to be appointed as GAL, an individual shall complete an additional 18 hours of GAL-related training every 3 years.

Specific Duties

A GAL shall advocate the best interests of the child as to legal custody, physical placement, visitation, and support. A GAL shall function independently, in the same manner as an attorney for a party to the action, and, consistent with the Rules of Professional Conduct, shall consider, but not be bound by, the wishes of the child or others as to the best interests of the child.

After appointment, a GAL shall:

  • Work with a custody investigator, if appointed, to coordinate investigation activities and avoid duplicating services
  • Interview and observe the child to ascertain the facts relevant to custody, the child’s wishes, the need for independent evaluation, and the need for and appropriateness of interim judicial relief
  • Advise the child and the child’s parents of the role and responsibilities of the GAL
  • Interview potential witnesses, lay and expert, with relevant knowledge of the child or parties
  • Participate in meetings impacting the life of the child, including permanency planning meetings and other activities that may be directed by the court

A GAL may apply for a court order to protect the child, to obtain temporary relief, to determine custody, or to determine visitation. A GAL shall participate whenever any party requests an interim court order that may affect the child. He or she also may request an independent court-ordered evaluation or study, including a custody investigation.

The GAL shall also participate in all pretrial procedures and negotiations and endeavor to resolve the case without the need for a trial. The GAL may not disclose or participate in the disclosure of information to any person who is not a party to the case, except as necessary to perform the GAL duties or as may be specifically provided by law.

How the Representative Is Compensated

The supreme court shall pay reasonable compensation for a GAL. If, after due notice to the parents or other persons legally obligated to care for and support the child, and to a child older than age 18, and after affording them an opportunity to be heard, the court finds that they are financially able to pay all or part of the costs and expenses payable by the supreme court, the court may order them to pay the same and prescribe the manner of payment.

Unless it finds that there is no likelihood that the party is or will be able to pay attorney’s fees and expenses, the court shall order the parents (or other persons legally obligated to care for and support the child) and the child, if older than age 18, to reimburse the presumed amount of indigent defense costs and expenses, as determined by the Commission on Legal Counsel for Indigents, and the court shall notify the party of the right to a hearing on the reimbursement amount. If the party or the State requests a hearing within 30 days of receiving notice, the court shall schedule a hearing at which the actual amount of attorney’s fees and expenses must be shown. In determining the amount of reimbursement and method of payment, the court shall consider the financial resources of the party and the nature of the burden that reimbursement of costs and expenses will impose.

 

Case Planning for Families Involved With Child Welfare Agencies

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Current Through April 2014

When Case Plans Are Required

A permanency hearing will be conducted with respect to a child who is in foster care to determine the permanency plan for the child.

Who May Participate in the Case Planning Process

Every county social service board must have a county permanency planning child and family team. The supervising agency must invite the child’s parents, the foster parents, and the guardian ad litem to participate in the permanency planning meeting for the foster child unless good cause exists to exclude any person from the planning meeting.

The foster parents shall participate in the permanency planning child and family team for the child. The foster parents shall cooperate in carrying out the objectives and goals of the permanency plan for the foster child in their care.

Contents of a Case Plan

The plan must include:

  • Whether and, if applicable, when the child will be returned to the parent
  • Whether and, if applicable, when the child will be placed for adoption, and the State will file a petition for termination of parental rights
  • Whether and, if applicable, when a fit and willing relative or other appropriate individual will be appointed as a legal guardian
  • Whether, if applicable, to place siblings in the same foster care, relative, guardianship, or adoptive placement, unless it is determined that the joint placement would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings
  • Whether, if applicable, in the case of siblings removed from their home who are not jointly placed, to provide for frequent visitation or other ongoing interaction between the siblings, unless it is determined to be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings
  • In cases where there is a compelling reason that it would not be in the child’s best interests to return home, to have parental rights terminated, to be placed for adoption, to be placed with a fit and willing relative, or to be placed with a legal guardian, whether and, if applicable, when the child will be placed in another planned permanent living arrangement
  • In the case of a child who has been placed in foster care outside of the State where the home of the parents is located, or if the parents maintain separate homes outside of the State where the home of the parent who was the child’s primary caregiver is located, whether out-of-State placements have been considered, and if the child is currently in an out-of-State placement, whether the placement continues to be appropriate and in the child’s best interests
  • In the case of a child who has attained age 16, the services needed to assist the child to make the transition from foster care to independent living

 

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2012

Efforts to place a child for adoption, with a fit and willing relative or other appropriate individual as a legal guardian, or in another planned permanent living arrangement, may be made concurrently with reasonable efforts [to preserve and reunify the family].

 

Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children

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Current Through January 2016

Schedule of Hearings

A permanency hearing shall be held:

  • No more than 12 months after the child has been placed in foster care and every 12 months thereafter
  • Within 30 days of a finding that reasonable efforts to reunify are not required
  • Within 12 months of a hearing conducted on a petition filed under § 27-20-30.1 [requesting that a foster youth who is older than age 18 but younger than age 21 remain in or return to foster care]

In policy: Periodic reviews are conducted quarterly and referred to as the child and family team meeting.

Every child in foster care must have a permanency hearing within 12 months of the child’s entry to foster care or continuing in foster care following a previous permanency hearing. The hearing must be held in a juvenile court or Tribal court of competent jurisdiction. In addition, a permanency hearing must be conducted within 30 days after a court determines that reasonable efforts are not required because:

  • A parent has subjected the child to aggravated circumstances.
  • The parental rights of the parent with respect to another child of the parent have been involuntarily terminated.
Persons Entitled to Attend Hearings

Notice of a hearing shall be provided to:

  • The child
  • The child’s parent
  • The child’s guardian or custodian
  • All parties affected

In policy: Foster parents of the child and any preadoptive parent or relative providing care for the child must be provided with written notice of, and a right to be heard in, any proceeding with respect to the child. A full hearing is required. Paper reviews, ex parte hearings, agreed orders, or other actions or hearings that are not open to the participation of the parents of the child, the child (if age appropriate), and foster parents or preadoptive parents (if any) are not permanency hearings.

Determinations Made at Hearings

At the hearing, the court shall determine whether the purposes of the placement order have been accomplished.

In policy: The periodic review determines:

  • The safety of the child
  • The continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the placement
  • The extent of compliance with the case plan
  • The extent of progress that has been made toward alleviating the causes that necessitated the foster care placement
  • A projected date by which the child may be returned to and safety maintained in the home or placed for adoption or legal guardianship

The periodic review also will determine and assess the steps the agency is taking to ensure the child’s foster family or child care institution is following the reasonable and prudent parent standard and to ascertain whether the child has regular, ongoing opportunities to engage in age or developmentally appropriate activities to achieve normalcy.

The permanency hearing shall determine the permanency plan for the child. The hearing also shall:

  • Consider in-State and out-of-State placement options, and if a child is already in an out-of-State placement, whether that placement continues to be appropriate and in the child’s best interests
  • In the case of a child who has reached age 16, the services needed to assist the child to make the transition from foster care to Independent Living
Permanency Options

At a permanency hearing, the court will determine the permanency plan for the child, which may include:

  • Whether and, if applicable, when the child will be returned to the parent
  • Whether and, if applicable, when the child will be placed for adoption and the State will file a petition for termination of parental rights
  • Whether and, if applicable, when a fit and willing relative or other appropriate individual will be appointed as a legal guardian
  • Whether, if applicable, to place siblings in the same foster care, relative, guardianship, or adoptive placement, unless it is determined that the joint placement would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings
  • Whether, if applicable, in the case of siblings removed from their home who are not jointly placed, to provide for frequent visitation or other ongoing interaction between the siblings, unless it is determined to be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings
  • In cases in which a compelling reason has been shown that it would not be in the child’s best interests to return home, to have parental rights terminated, to be placed for adoption, to be placed with a fit and willing relative, or to be placed with a legal guardian, whether and, if applicable, when the child, age 16 or older, will be placed in another planned permanent living arrangement

 

Determining the Best Interests of the Child

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Current Through March 2016

If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that a child is of sufficient maturity to make a sound judgment, the court may give substantial weight to the preference of the mature child. The court also shall give due consideration to other factors that may have affected the child’s preference, including whether the child’s preference was based on undesirable or improper influences.

In determining parental rights and responsibilities, the court shall consider evidence of domestic violence. If the court finds credible evidence that domestic violence has occurred, and there exists one incident of domestic violence that resulted in serious bodily injury or involved the use of a dangerous weapon or there exists a pattern of domestic violence within a reasonable time proximate to the proceeding, this combination creates a rebuttable presumption that a parent who has perpetrated domestic violence may not be awarded residential responsibility for the child. This presumption may be overcome only by clear and convincing evidence that the best interests of the child require that the parent have residential responsibility.

The best interests and welfare of the child are determined by the court’s consideration and evaluation of all factors affecting the best interests and welfare of the child. These factors include all of the following, when applicable:

  • The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parents and child and the ability of each parent to provide the child with nurturing, love, affection, and guidance
  • The ability of each parent to assure that the child receives adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and a safe environment
  • The child’s developmental needs and the ability of each parent to meet those needs, both in the present and in the future
  • The sufficiency and stability of each parent’s home environment, the impact of extended family, the length of time the child has lived in each parent’s home, and the desirability of maintaining continuity in the child’s home and community
  • The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child
  • The moral fitness of the parents, as that fitness impacts the child
  • The mental and physical health of the parents, as that health impacts the child
  • The home, school, and community records of the child and the potential effect of any change
  • Evidence of domestic violence
  • The interaction and interrelationship, or the potential for interaction and interrelationship, of the child with any person who resides in, is present, or frequents the household of a parent and who may significantly affect the child’s best interests
  • The making of false allegations not made in good faith, by one parent against the other, of harm to a child
  • Any other factors considered by the court to be relevant to a particular parental rights and responsibilities dispute

 

Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights

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Current Through January 2013

Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights

The court may terminate the parental rights if:

  • The parent has abandoned the child.
  • The child is subjected to aggravated circumstances.
  • The child is a deprived child, and the court finds:
    • The causes of the deprivation are likely to continue and for that reason the child is suffering or will likely suffer serious physical, mental, moral, or emotional harm.
    • The child has been in foster care for at least 450 out of the previous 660 nights.

‘Aggravated circumstances’ means a parent:

  • Abandons, tortures, chronically abuses, or sexually abuses a child
  • Fails to make substantial, meaningful efforts to secure treatment for his or her addiction, mental illness, behavior disorder, or other conditions for 1 year or one-half of the child’s lifetime, measured in days
  • Engages in a sexual offense in which a child is the victim or intended victim
  • Commits one of the following crimes:
    • Murder, manslaughter, or reckless homicide and the victim is another child of the parent
    • Aiding, abetting, attempting, conspiring, or soliciting to commit one of the above crimes, and the victim is a child of the parent
    • Aggravated assault, and the victim is a child of the parent and has suffered serious bodily injury
    • Assault, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, or terrorizing and a child is the victim or intended victim
  • Has been incarcerated under a sentence for which the latest release date is:
    • In the case of a child age 9 or older, after the child’s majority
    • In the case of a younger child, after the child is twice the child’s current age, measured in days
  • Subjects the child to prenatal exposure to chronic or severe use of alcohol or any controlled substance in a manner not lawfully prescribed
  • Allows the child to be present in an environment subjecting the child to a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia
Circumstances That Are Exceptions to Termination of Parental Rights

A petition for termination of parental rights need not be filed if:

  • The child is being cared for by a relative approved by the Department of Human Services.
  • The department has documented in the case plan a compelling reason for determining that filing such a petition would not be in the child’s best interests.
  • The department has determined:
    • Reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify the family are required under § 27-20-32.2 to be made with respect to the child.
    • The case plan provides such services as are necessary for the safe return of the child to the child’s home.
    • Such services have not been provided consistent with time periods described in the case plan.
Circumstances Allowing Reinstatement of Parental Rights

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

 

Kinship Guardianship as a Permanency Option

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Current Through December 2014

Definitions

‘Fit and willing relative or other appropriate individual’ means a relative or other individual who has been determined, after consideration of an assessment that includes a criminal history record investigation to be a qualified person and who consents in writing to act as a legal guardian.

The term ‘relative’ means:

  • The child’s grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling, half-sibling, aunt, great-aunt, uncle, great-uncle, nephew, niece, or first cousin
  • An individual with a relationship to the child, derived through a current or former spouse of the child’s parent, similar to a relationship described above
  • An individual recognized in the child’s community as having a relationship with the child similar to a relationship described above
  • The child’s stepparent
Purpose of Guardianship

The court may establish a guardianship as a dispositional alternative if a child has been adjudicated as deprived, unruly, or delinquent.

In policy: Guardianship is considered only after other options such as return home, termination of parental rights, and adoption are ruled out.

A Guardian’s Rights and Responsibilities

A guardian of a child has the powers and responsibilities of a legal custodian if there is a parent with remaining parental rights. If there is no parent with remaining parental rights, the guardian has the rights of a legal custodian and the authority to consent to the child’s adoption, marriage, enlistment in the armed forces of the United States, and surgical and other medical treatment. A guardian is not liable to third persons by reason of the parental relationship for acts of the child. In particular, and without qualifying the foregoing, a guardian has the following powers and duties:

  • The guardian must take reasonable care of the child’s personal effects and commence protective proceedings if necessary to protect other property of the child.
  • The guardian is empowered to facilitate the child’s education, social, or other activities and to authorize medical or other professional care, treatment, or advice.
  • A guardian shall file an annual report with the court informing the court of the status or condition of the child and provide a copy of the report to the child. The report must include changes that have occurred since the previous reporting period and an accounting of the child’s estate.
Qualifying the Guardian

The court may appoint as guardian any person whose appointment would be in the best interests of the minor. The court shall appoint a person nominated by the minor, if the minor is age 14 or older, unless the court finds the appointment contrary to the best interests of the minor.

In policy: Under § 27-20-47(1)(b), the court may appoint ‘a fit and willing relative or other appropriate individual’ as the child’s legal guardian. ‘Fit and willing relative or other appropriate individual’ is defined as a relative or other individual who has been determined, after consideration of an assessment that includes a criminal history record investigation to be a qualified person and who consents in writing to act as a legal guardian.

Procedures for Establishing Guardianship

A person becomes a guardian of a minor upon appointment by the court. The guardianship status continues until terminated, without regard to the location from time to time of the guardian and minor ward. The court may appoint a guardian for an unmarried minor if all parental rights of custody have been terminated or suspended by circumstances or prior court order.

Notice of the time and place of the hearing of a petition for the appointment of a guardian of a minor is to be given to:

  • The minor, if the minor is age 14 or older
  • The person who has had the principal care and custody of the minor during the 60 days preceding the date of the petition
  • Any living parent of the minor

Upon hearing, if the court finds that a qualified person seeks appointment, the venue is proper, the required notices have been given, and the welfare and best interests of the minor will be served by the requested appointment, it shall make the appointment. In other cases, the court may dismiss the proceedings or make any other disposition of the matter that will best serve the interest of the minor. If necessary, the court may appoint a temporary guardian, with the status of an ordinary guardian of a minor, but the authority of a temporary guardian shall not last longer than 6 months.

If, at any time in the proceeding, the court determines that the interests of the minor are or may be inadequately represented, it may appoint an attorney to represent the minor, giving consideration to the preference of the minor if the minor is age 14 or older.

Contents of a Guardianship Order

By accepting a testamentary or court appointment as guardian, a guardian submits personally to the jurisdiction of the court in any proceeding relating to the guardianship that may be instituted by any interested person. Letters of guardianship must indicate whether the guardian was appointed by will or by court order.

In policy: Generally speaking, the guardian has the rights and responsibilities that a parent would ordinarily have. It may be helpful to think of parental rights and responsibilities as a bundle: In some cases, the guardian will have the entire bundle; in other cases, the court’s order creating the guardianship may divide the bundle between the guardian and a parent or others, such as a grandparent. The division of the bundle of rights and responsibilities will depend on the facts of a given case, with the court being guided by the welfare and best interests of the minor. An order appointing a legal guardianship terminates any authority of a parent that is granted to the legal guardian under that order.

Parental child support responsibility continues with respect to a minor child who is subject to a guardianship order. If a child support order does not exist at the time the guardianship is granted, an order may subsequently be established to ensure that parents fulfill their parental obligations related to support of the child.

The child support obligation does not always end with termination of parental rights. Legal guardians, wards, and parents will need to refer to the order establishing the guardianship and to the order terminating parental rights, if any, to determine the status of a particular right or responsibility.

Modification/Revocation of Guardianship

A guardian’s authority and responsibility terminates upon the death, resignation, or removal of the guardian, or upon the child’s death, adoption, marriage, or attainment of majority. Termination does not affect the guardian’s liability for prior acts nor the guardian’s obligation to account for funds and assets of the child.

A guardian may petition for permission to resign. A petition for permission to resign may include a request for the appointment of a successor guardian. Resignation of a guardian does not terminate the guardianship until it has been approved by the court.

The director, the child if age 14 or older, or any party to the proceeding in which the child’s status was adjudicated may petition for the removal of a guardian on the grounds that the removal would be in the best interests of the child. A petition for removal may include a request for the appointment of a successor guardian.

After notice and hearing on a petition for removal or for permission to resign, the court may terminate the guardianship and make any further order that may be appropriate. If, at any time in the proceeding, the court determines that the interests of the child are, or may be, inadequately represented, it may appoint an attorney to represent the child, giving consideration to the preference of the child if the child is age 14 or older.

Eligibility for Guardianship Subsidy

It is possible to create a legal guardianship in which the ward does not reside with the guardian, but lives in some other setting. This is not the intent of the Department of Human Services’ subsidized guardianship program. To be eligible for the subsidized guardianship, the guardian must agree that the ward’s permanent residence will be with the guardian. In certain instances the ward may be briefly out of the home without affecting the subsidy, such as brief medical treatment.

Persons eligible for subsidy include:

  • Foster youth age 12 and older for whom reunification and adoption have been ruled out as the permanency plan
  • Youth who are legally free for adoption and do not wish to or cannot be adopted
  • Youth in temporary custody whose parents are incapacitated or unwilling to have anything to do with planning for the child and whose parental rights will not be terminated.

Siblings also will be included if one member of the sibling group is age 12 or older. Eligibility is limited to children who have been in the State foster care system for at least 6 months and for whom the State has responsibility for maintenance payments.

Priority is given to youth age 16 and older. Sibling groups also will be given priority status if one member of the group is at least age 16.

In order to receive subsidy payments, the guardian must be at least age 21 and have received contingent approval for a subsidy for the child’s needs prior to the guardianship appointment. Guardianship requires a court assessment and a background check.

Links to Agency Policies

North Dakota Department of Human Services, Subsidized Guardianship Policy Manual

 

Placement of Children With Relatives

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Current Through July 2013

Relative Placement for Foster Care and Guardianship

The term ‘fit and willing relative or other appropriate individual’ means a relative or other individual who has consented in writing to act as a legal guardian.

The term ‘relative’ means:

  • The child’s grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling, half-sibling, aunt, great-aunt, uncle, great-uncle, nephew, niece, or first cousin, which relationship may derive from a marriage or former marriage
  • An individual with a relationship to the child, derived through a current or former spouse of the child’s parent, similar to a relationship described above
  • An individual recognized in the child’s community as having a relationship with the child similar to a relationship described above
  • The child’s stepparent
Requirements for Placement with Relatives

Before the fit and willing relative or other appropriate individual can accept guardianship, an assessment must be made that includes a criminal history record investigation under chapter 50-11.3, and this person must be qualified under chapter 30.1-27 to act as legal guardian.

No person may furnish foster care for children for more than 30 days a year without first procuring a license. This provision does not apply when the care is provided in the home of a person related to the child by blood or marriage. A relative providing care shall submit to a criminal history record investigation as required under § 50-11-06.8.

In regulation: Kinship care provides a monthly maintenance payment to a child residing outside the child’s parental home with a caregiver who is related to that child within the fifth degree of kinship. Before placing a child in kinship care for more than 30 days, the child’s custodian must have completed a family study, a child abuse and neglect background check, and other investigations as the department may determine necessary to demonstrate that:

  • The home in which care is provided is in fit and sanitary condition and properly equipped to provide good care to the child.
  • The caregiver and other adults residing in the home are properly qualified to carry out the duties and responsibilities of a kinship care provider.
  • Kinship care provided in the home is for the public good in accordance with sound social policy and with due regard to the health, morality, and well-being of all children cared for in the home.
  • The home is maintained according to standards prescribed by the department.

Within the limits established by the department, supportive services may provide reimbursements for child care expenses, transportation, clothing, and activity fees.

Requirements for Placement of Siblings

Reasonable efforts must be made to preserve families, reunify families, and maintain family connections, and:

  • To place siblings in the same foster care, relative, guardianship, or adoptive placement, unless it is determined that such a joint placement would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings
  • In the case of siblings removed from their home who are not jointly placed, to provide for frequent visits or other ongoing interaction between the siblings, unless it is contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings
Relatives Who May Adopt

A relative is any person related to the minor by marriage, blood, or adoption, including a grandparent, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, uncle, or aunt.

Requirements for Adoption by Relatives

The report of the investigation must contain a review of the child’s history; a preplacement adoption assessment of the petitioner, including a criminal history record investigation of the petitioner; a postplacement evaluation of the placement with a recommendation as to the granting of the petition for adoption; and any other information the court requires regarding the petitioner or the minor.

An investigation and report is not required in cases in which a stepparent is the petitioner or the person to be adopted is an adult.

The court may waive the home study requirement if the petitioner is a relative other than a stepparent, the minor has lived with the petitioner for at least 9 months, and no allegations of abuse or neglect have been filed against the petitioner or any member of the petitioner’s household.

 

Reasonable Efforts to Preserve or Reunify Families and Achieve Permanency for Children

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Current Through March 2016

What Are Reasonable Efforts

The term ‘reasonable efforts’ means the exercise, by the agency granted authority over the child of due diligence in using appropriate and available services to meet the needs of the child and his or her family in order to prevent removal of the child from the child’s family or, after removal, to use appropriate and available services to eliminate the need for removal, to reunite the child and his or her family, and to maintain family connections. In determining reasonable efforts to be made with respect to a child under this section, and in making reasonable efforts, the child’s health and safety must be the paramount concern.

When Reasonable Efforts Are Required

Reasonable efforts must be made to preserve families, reunify families, and maintain family connections:

  • Prior to the placement of a child in foster care, to prevent or eliminate the need for removing the child from his or her home
  • To make it possible for a child to return safely to his or her home
  • To place siblings in the same foster care, relative, guardianship, or adoptive placement, unless it is determined that such a joint placement would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings
  • In the case of siblings removed from their home who are not jointly placed, to provide for frequent visitation or other ongoing visitation between the siblings, unless it is contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings

If the court determines that continuation of reasonable efforts is inconsistent with the permanency plan for the child, reasonable efforts must be made to place the child in a timely manner in accordance with the permanency plan and to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child.

For the purpose of § 27-20-30.1 [concerning continued foster care for older youth], reasonable efforts must be made to meet the child’s needs before a foster care placement for a child remaining in care for continued foster care purposes.

When Reasonable Efforts Are NOT Required


Reasonable efforts are not required if:

  • The parent has subjected the child to aggravated circumstances, in which a parent:
    • Abandons, tortures, chronically abuses, or sexually abuses a child
    • Fails to make substantial efforts to secure treatment for an addiction, mental illness, or other condition for 1 year or one-half a child’s lifetime, whichever time period is less
    • Engages in deviant sexual acts, sexual abuse, etc., in which the victim is a child
    • Commits murder, manslaughter, or negligently causing the death of another, or the attempt to commit such crimes, and the victim is another child of the parent
    • Commits aggravated assault in which the victim is a child of the parent and suffers serious bodily injury
    • Commits assault, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, or terrorizing in which a child is the victim or intended victim
    • Has been incarcerated under a sentence for which the release date is:
      • In the case of a child age 9 older, after the child’s majority
      • In the case of a child under age 9, after the child is twice the child’s current age
    • Subjects the child to prenatal exposure to chronic or severe use of alcohol or any controlled substance in a manner not lawfully prescribed by a practitioner
    • Allows the child to be present in an environment subjecting the child to exposure to a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia
  • The parent has had parental rights to another child terminated involuntarily.

 

Standby Guardianship

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Current Through February 2015

Who Can Nominate a Standby Guardian

A parent or a guardian of a minor, by a properly executed power of attorney, may delegate to another person, for a period not exceeding 6 months, any of the parent’s or guardian’s powers regarding care, custody, or property of the minor child, except the power to consent to marriage or adoption of a minor ward.

How to Establish a Standby Guardian

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

How Standby Authority is Activated

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Involvement of the Noncustodial Parent

Citation:
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Authority Relationship of the Parent and the Standby

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Withdrawing Guardianship

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

CPS Statutes & Rules

 

Child Protection Services Manual

Emergency Intervention 640-10-105

Emergency Medical, Psychiatric Treatment, or Hospitalization 640-10-105-05

Temporary Protective Custody 640-10-105-10

When a child is taken into temporary custody and placed in shelter
care, the juvenile court must hold a shelter care hearing (to
determine probable cause to detain or retain custody) within 96
hours (NDCC 27-20-17). Temporary custody orders must be put in
writing by the juvenile court within 24 hours of the issuance of the
order (NDCC 27-20-06). The judge (or referee) at the shelter care
hearing can issue an order for the child to remain in shelter care for
up to 60 days, however, if court intervention is sought beyond a
temporary custody order (petition for deprivation) a petition must be
filed with the juvenile court within 30 days . Appropriate extensions
of the order may be requested by the State’s Attorney, based on the
facts of an individual case.

The Uniform Juvenile Court Act (NDCC 27-20-13) authorizes juvenile
supervisors, law enforcement officers, physicians treating a child, or
otherwise by order of the juvenile supervisor or pursuant to a court
order under this Act, to take temporary protective custody of a child
without the consent of the person(s) responsible for the child’s
welfare, if they have reasonable grounds to believe that:
• The child is suffering from illness or injury;
• That the child is in immediate danger from the surroundings;
• That the child’s removal is necessary;
• That the child has run away from parents or other custodian; or
• By order of the juvenile supervisor (i.e., if the child is in
imminent danger, deprived, delinquent, unruly, as found in
NDCC 27-20-06.
A Social Worker has no authority to remove a child from the
custody of parents. Removal may only be accomplished by court
order, with the assistance of the juvenile supervisor, or law
enforcement officer. (NDCC 27-20)

 

Child Sexual Abuse 640-15-05-01
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
In North Dakota, the criminal statute for sex offenses is NDCC §12.1-
20. The criminal statue on sexual performances by children is NDCC
§12.1-27.2.
At the extreme end of the spectrum, sexual abuse includes sexual
intercourse and/or its variations. These behaviors may only be the
last step in a progressive pattern of sexual abuse. For that reason
and because of their effects, exhibitionism, fondling, and any other
sexual contact with children is also considered sexually abusive.
Concern for safety or risk involving sexual abuse could include when
a caregiver does not protect a child from being sexually abused by
others.
Non-touching sexual abuse may include:
• Indecent exposure/exhibitionism;
• Exposing children to pornographic material;
• Deliberately exposing a child to the act of sexual
intercourse;
• Masturbation in presence of a child;
• Making sexually provocative comments to a child;
• Child is harassed, encouraged, pressured, or
propositioned to perform sexually; or
• Voyeurism
Touching sexual abuse may include:
• Fondling of private areas;
• Making a child touch another’s sexual organs; or
CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES MANUAL
Division 20
Program 600 Service Chapter 640-01 – 85
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North Dakota Department of Human Services
• Any penetration or attempt at penetration of a child’s
vagina, anus, or mouth by a penis or any other object
that doesn’t have a valid medical purpose.
Sexual exploitation of a child may include:
• Engaging a child or soliciting a child for the purposes of
prostitution;
• Using a child in the recording, filming, photographing or
as a model in the filming or photographing of
pornographic material; or
• Denying of age appropriate privacy to a child.
Sexual activity between children:
Sexual activity between children should be considered a
risk in most situations if an age difference of four years or
more exists, if coercion exists, if one child is prepubescent
and the other is post-pubescent, or if children
are of similar age, but one child has a cognitive and /or
physical limitation. If the acts appear to be more
sophisticated than age appropriate, consideration should
be given to possible sexual victimization of at least one of
these children by a third party.
CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES MANUAL
Division 20
Program 600 Service Chapter 640-01 – 85
_______________________________________________________
North Dakota Department of Human Services
Psychological Maltreatment 640-15-05-05
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
(The definition of ”neglect” in NDCC 50-25.1 is used when a decision
is made that ”Services are Required” and the Maltreatment is
Psychological)
Psychological maltreatment may be defined as the psychological
consequences of patterns of behavior by a caregiver involving
rejecting, isolating, threatening, ignoring, and/or exposing to
negative influences, whether through acts of omission or
commission. These acts are judged by a mixture of community
values and professional expertise to be inappropriate or damaging.
Rejecting is a concern for safety or risk when the caregiver is
refusing to acknowledge the child’s worth and the legitimacy of the
child’s needs. Examples include:
• The caregiver consistently singles out one child to scapegoat,
criticize, or punish, to perform most of the household chores or
receive fewer rewards of praise;
• The caregiver has consistent unrealistic expectations of
achievement for the child that are shown by the caregivers
criticizing, punishing, or condemning when the child does not
achieve far above capabilities in school, sports, or social status;
• The caregiver regularly denigrates and belittles the child, stating
that the child is different and unacceptable, or that the child
reminds everyone of a person who is totally unacceptable by the
family;
• The caregiver doesn’t allow the children physical contact,
nurturing;
• Child’s faults and shortcomings are clearly overemphasized,
criticism/disapproval disproportional to actual behavior or used
in an unfair and inconsistent way — excessive; or
CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES MANUAL
Division 20
Program 600 Service Chapter 640-01 – 85
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North Dakota Department of Human Services
• Caregiver uses excessive threats of punishment in an attempt
to control the child.
Isolating is a concern for safety or risk when the caregiver cuts the
child off from normal social experiences prevents the child from
forming friendships, makes the child believe that he or she is alone in
the world. Examples include:
• Punishment doesn’t fit the behavior or is inconsistent; or
• The caregiver makes inappropriate demands on or exploits the
child.
Threatening is a concern for safety or risk when the caregiver
verbally assaults the child, creates a climate of fear, bullies, or
frightens the child. Examples include:
• Sensory deprivation or placement in a frightening situation (i.e.,
in the dark, etc.); or
• Direct or indirect verbal threats of abuse or harm that, if carried
out, could result in physical or emotional harm.
Ignoring is a concern for safety or risk when the caregiver deprives
the child of essential interaction and responsiveness, stifling
emotional growth and intellectual development. Examples include:
• Caregiver shows no attachment to the child and fails to provide
nurturance;
• The caregiver expresses no affection toward the child and
avoids all physical closeness such as hugging, touching, or
holding;
• There is a lack of discipline/rules; or
• The caregiver is inattentive, indifferent — there is little
stimulation offered in the home.
Negative Influences are a concern for safety or risk when the
caregiver “mis-socializes” the child, encourages the child to engage
in destructive antisocial behavior, and/or illegal activities; such as
gang behavior, and makes it difficult for the child to have normal
social experiences. Examples include:
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• The caregiver exposes the child to maladaptive and harmful
influences or illegal activities, permits or forces the child to
engage in the same;
• The caregiver exposes the child to pornographic material; or
• The caregiver exposes the child to adult sexual activity.
Refusal of Services by a caregiver to a psychologically/ emotional
impaired child (i.e., a child at risk for suicide, child who misuses
chemicals) is a concern for safety or risk. An example is:
• The caregiver fails to follow through with a referral from a
professional and that failure results in increased risk to a child.
• A caregiver fails to follow through with a referral for evaluation
or treatment for a child who is reported to have been sexually
abused or is reported to have been sexually abusing other
children.
Emotional or behavioral problems of the child, which can be
correlated to the caregiver’s behavior, may be a concern for safety or
risk. Examples include:
• The caregiver provides no stability or security for the child
inasmuch as expectations are unpredictable and change
frequently;
• Rigid requirements for the child at one time to indifference to
behavioral standards another time;
• Unrealistic expectations for behavior–without an understanding
of age-appropriate behaviors;
• Child punished for being unable to comply with demands; or
• Caregiver exposes child to abusive third parties or fails to take
steps to stop repeated abuse by third parties.
Domestic Violence is a concern for safety or risk when children are
exposed to domestic violence (adults hitting each other or the threat
of physical violence). Children may be put in the position of feeling
responsible to protect themselves or the adult being abused.
Examples include:
• Child is physically involved in a domestic dispute;
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• Child is in the area creating possibility of injury to the child;
• Child is verbally threatened by one or more adult family
members/caregivers during a domestic abuse event;
• Child is aware of the domestic violence; or
• A firearm or other weapon is used during a domestic dispute
and the child is present.
Parental/Caregiver Relations may be a concern for safety or risk
when children are continually being placed in the middle of custody
and visitation disputes between their caregivers, or being asked to
choose sides, caregivers degrade each other in front of the children.
Examples include:
• Children who are frequently uprooted or whose custody is
unclear or constantly changing; or
• Children drawn into arguments between caregivers.
Caregiver Capacity Concerns may be a concern for safety or risk.
Examples include:
• Children who are living in environments where one or both of
the caregivers are actively chemically addicted;
• Caregivers who suffer from a mental illness, mental retardation,
physical handicaps that limit their ability to protect their
children because of their impairment, not through a lack of will
and this impairment results in increased risk of harm to the
child; or
• Children, whose caregivers cannot provide the protection and
supervision basic to keep them safe, are exposed to situations
in which they may be exploited, molested, injured, and/or
neglected. (These children live with the fear that if they are
exposed to harm their caregivers won’t be able to help them.)
NOTE: More information on psychological maltreatment can be found
in “The Psychologically Battered Child” written by James Garbarino,
Edna Guttman, and Janis Wilson Seely. Psychological maltreatment
should also be considered as component/consequence of other forms
of maltreatment (i.e., physical abuse and neglect, sexual abuse). On
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page 8 of “The Psychologically Battered Child”, it states “rarely does
one form of maltreatment occur alone (physical abuse without
psychological abuse; sexual assault in the absence of emotional
threat). When one form of maltreatment does exist in isolation of
others, it is likely to be psychological in nature. Rarely, if ever, does
a child experience physical abuse or neglect, or sexual assault or
exploitation, in a relationship that is positive and nurturing.”
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Physical Abuse 640-15-05-10
(Revised 10/1/07 ML #3112)
View Archives
Abused Child is defined in NDCC 50-25.1-02(3).
Concerns for safety or risk involving physical abuse exist when a
caregiver uses physical force on a child such that injury to the child
occurs or could occur. Examples of physical abuse may include:
 Bruises  Bloodied nose
 Welts  Sprains
 Cuts  Brain or neurological
damage
 Abrasions  Death
 Fractures  Subdural hemorrhage
 Burns/scalds  Internal injuries
 Contusions  Poisoning
 Loss of teeth  Gunshot wounds
 Physical punishment of an infant
 Shaking infant or preschooler
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• Striking children with object when any of the following occur:
• The child is struck some place other than the buttocks;
• A bruise or injury results;
• The number of strikes is more than one or two;
• Done frequently; or
• Used on preschoolers.
• Striking children on or about the head and face;
• Striking children with a closed hand;
• Throwing children in such a manner that there is risk of
injury;
• Throwing objects that create a risk of injury;
• Kicking a child;
• Biting a child;
• Forcing a child to ingest a noxious substance, i.e.
tobacco, alcohol, soap, pepper, Tabasco sauce, etc.; or
• Forced feeding.
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Physical Neglect 640-15-05-15
Inadequate Supervision 640-15-05-15-01
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
The ultimate responsibility for the safety, care, well being, and
behavior of dependent children remains with the parent or caregiver,
whether they are present to personally supervise them or not.
The age of the child is not the only factor that should be considered
when children are left alone. Other factors include the maturity of the
child, emotional health factors, the child’s physical or cognitive
limitations, length of time left alone, time of day or night, other
children present or to be supervised, location and environmental
conditions, frequency of being left alone and the accessibility of a
parent or other responsible adult.
Inadequate supervision may exist when the guidelines outlined below
are not met.
• For children 0-4 years of age:
• Outside of the home the child should be in view of the
caregiver at all times. The caregiver must be able to
respond to the child’s immediate need for protection
from harm;
• Children should not be left alone in a vehicle for more
than a brief period of time. If left alone the child should
be in direct view of the caregiver at all times. The
child(ren) should be in a restraint unable to put the
vehicle in gear; and
• Inside the home, a caregiver should be available and
able to respond to the child to provide immediate care
and protection from harm.
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• For children 0-17 (specific minimum ages outlined):
• Children eight (8) years of age or under should be
supervised at all times with a caregiver available. An
eight year old should not be left in charge of children;
• Children who are nine (9) years old should not be left
unsupervised for periods greater than two (2) hours
during the daytime. This age child should not be
unsupervised at night and should not supervise other
children;
• Children who are 10 and 11 years old may be left alone
for longer periods of time. However, caution is advised
in leaving a child unsupervised during sleeping hours.
Children in this age should not be responsible for
younger children;
• Children who are the age of twelve (12) years and older
may be permitted to act as babysitters. It is
recommended that they successfully complete an
approved child-care training course. Caution should be
advised on number of children left in care, length of time
for care giving responsibility, factors regarding special
needs of children left in care and resources available to
child providing care;
• Children under 15 years of age should not be left
unattended overnight;
• Caution should be taken in leaving 15-17 year olds alone
overnight. Extended absences of caregivers are not
recommended; and
• Caregivers should adhere to supervision requirements of
public facilities, (i.e. Video Arcades, Drop-In Centers,
Pools, Restaurants, etc.).
All children left home alone must be able to demonstrate:
• Knowledge of where their parents or other responsible adults
are, how to reach them, and length of time of absence; and
• Knowledge of emergency procedures and arrangements for
emergency situations.
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Inadequate supervision may also exist in circumstances where the
caregivers are present but physically or mentally impaired to such an
extent that they are unable to provide supervision or respond to the
needs of the child.
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Abandonment 640-20-05-15-05
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
Abandonment may exist when the caregiver of the child fails to make
appropriate child care arrangements during an extended absence.
Arrangements include:
• Children left with a responsible substitute caregiver;
• The parent returns at the designated time or the current
caregiver is willing or able to continue to care for the child;
• The caregiver must be advised of parent’s whereabouts and the
anticipated length of the arrangement; and
• Appropriate arrangements for emergency situations must be
made.
Abandonment may exist when there is:
• Relinquishment of care giving;
• The caregiver has been absent for 96 hours and the caregivers
whereabouts are unknown; and
• Substitute caregiver is not being financially supported for the
care of the child (ren).
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Environment 640-15-05-15-10
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
Neglect may exist when a condition is such that it is harmful or
potentially harmful to the children. The accessibility and potential
harm of the following should be evaluated:
Condition of the home presents an immediate risk to the child’s
physical well-being:
• Broken glass or other potentially injurious object;
• Spoiled food that is potentially accessible to child;
• No guards (as age appropriate) on open windows/or on
stairwells;
• Lead paint or other toxic materials that is potentially accessible
to child (this includes medications);
• Inadequate sewage disposal;
• Animal or human waste;
• Leaking gas or toxic fumes;
• Broken or missing windows;
• Inadequate/unsafe heat;
• Drugs or alcohol accessible to child;
• Specific fire hazard/ exits from home; and
• Accessibility to, or improper storage of, firearms or other
weapons.
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Nutrition 640-15-05-15-15
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
Neglect may exist when a child is not provided adequate nutrition
and nourishment and/or failure to thrive is present. Supportive
documentation by medical professional is advisable.
Nutritional neglect may exist in the following:
• Inadequate nutritional food in home. Children unable to feed
themselves. May eat nonfood items or spoiled food;
• Children suffer from clinical symptoms of malnutrition,
dehydration, or food poisoning; and
• Child deliberately or intentionally not fed or given water for at
least one day, or fed minimally and nutritionally inadequate
food for several days.
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Clothing/Hygiene 640-15-05-15-20
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
Neglect may exist in the following circumstances:
• Failure to provide clothing adequate for the weather;
• When a child’s lack of cleanliness has caused the child to be
offensive to others; i.e., when the child is ostracized because of
body odor;
• If a child and/or his/her clothing are infested with lice, fleas,
and goes untreated, even when provided information or
medication to relieve problem; and
• That there is an identified risk of harm to the child as the result
of the clothing or wrapping used.
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Medical Neglect 640-15-05-15-25
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
Neglect in this category may exist when caregivers fail to seek
medical or other treatment for a health condition, which left
untreated could become severe enough to represent a health danger
or permanent impairment/disfigurement to the child. Supportive
documentation from a physician/medical professional needs to be
sought.
In addition, failure to provide or allow needed care in accord with
recommendations of a competent health care professional, or failure
to seek timely and appropriate medical care for a serious health
problem, which any reasonable person would have recognized as
needing professional medical attention, may be neglect.
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Educational Neglect 640-15-05-15-30
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
North Dakota Century Code Chapter 15.1-20-01, “Compulsory
attendance” directs, that the caregiver(s) for a child “between the
ages of seven and sixteen years shall ensure that the child is in
attendance at a public school for the duration of each school year.”
This law also says that if a person enrolls a child of age six in a public
school, the caregiver shall ensure that the child attends the public
school for the duration of the school year. A caregiver may withdraw
a child of age six from the public school. This section of the law does
not apply if the reason for the withdrawal is the child’s relocation to
another school district. State statute also provides that a child may
receive home education unless the child has a developmental
disability that meets the legal definition. There are also other
allowable exemptions in NDCC section 15.1-20-02.
Educational neglect may exist when a child aged seven to sixteen is
not meeting the mandated educational requirements with consent,
encouragement or insistence of the caregiver. When a child does not
attend school or receive appropriate home schooling, the reasons
behind their lack of attendance can vary. Caregivers’ actions or
inaction has direct impact on the child’s educational growth.
Educational neglect may also be a symptom of much more complex
issues within the family, such as domestic violence or parental
substance abuse or mental health concerns that prevent the child’s
caregiver from insuring the child’s regular attendance at school.
Other underlying forms of abuse or neglect may also play a role in
the lack of school attendance e.g. the child who is physically or
sexually abused may be or feel physically unable to come to school;
a child who is neglected may be too malnourished to participate in
school or may lack warm clothing to travel to school on a winter day.
The school must demonstrate attempts to resolve the issue with the
parent. (See Fact Sheet) Examples include:
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• A situation in which a caregiver refuses to permit a child to
attend school and makes no other provision for the child’s
education, such as home schooling;
• Action on the part of the parent requires an older child to stay
home from school to provide childcare for a preschool sibling;
• Inaction of the parent that hinders the child’s school
attendance.
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Failure to Protect 640-15-05-15-35
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
Concerns for safety or risk are present when caregivers fail to protect
a child from harm or threat of harm. Examples include:
• Person poses physical or sexual threat to child (ren) and
caregiver does not act to protect child (ren);
• Caregiver exposes children to threatening or dangerous
conditions or situations, including knowingly subjecting children
to an untreated sexual offender;
• Report of abuse between siblings and caregiver does not act to
protect child (ren); and
• Caregiver is not responding to the degree of threat presented
or, is not cooperating with professional recommendations of
suicidal children.
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Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol or Controlled
Substances 640-15-05-15-40
(Revised 10/1/07 ML #3112)
View Archives
A child is subjected, prenatally, to the chronic or severe use of
alcohol or any controlled substance not lawfully prescribed (NDCC
27-20-02 (f)).
(Refer to definitions in section 640-35-05-01.)
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Environmental Exposure to Controlled Substances
640-15-05-15-45
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
Concerns for safety or risk are present when:
A caregiver subjects a child to exposure to, a controlled substance,
chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia (NDCC 27-20-02 (g)).
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Safety/Strengths/Risk Assessment Required
640-15-10
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
The Safety/Strengths/Risk Assessment Form (SSRA), SFN 455 (88kb
pdf) (computer format is also acceptable), is designed to provide
Child Protection Services (CPS) social work staff with an assessment
instrument which permits an analysis of specific factors.
The safety/strengths/risk assessment process allows for the
assessment of safety and the risk of future maltreatment while
noting the strengths of the family. These strengths along with any
necessary service intervention may be the key to the amelioration of
child maltreatment in a particular family. One expectation of the
safety/strengths/risk assessment process is that it will assist in the
decision-making and will provide more consistency statewide. It
should be viewed as a tool or aid to completing our work on behalf of
children and families.
Our Safety/Strengths/Risk Assessment Form has been developed
from Missouri’s risk assessment, which is used for their Family
Centered Services. We first incorporated the Missouri model in our
Family Focused Services and modified it some more for use in CPS
assessments.
The Safety/Strengths/Risk Assessment Form must be completed for
each CPS assessment. (Except for out-of-home assessments, See
640-05-30.)
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Purpose of Safety/Strengths/Risk Assessment
640-15-10-01
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
The twenty-one (21) identified factors were selected as areas, which
provide information on safety, strengths, and risks of future child
maltreatment, as well as service needs of the child and family.
Decisions whether services will be required and whether appropriate
services need to be recommended to families will be based, in large
part, on the assessment factors.
The Safety/Strength/Risk Assessment Form is designed to achieve
the following goals:
• To provide staff with an assessment tool to document
interaction of children, family, and environment;
• To provide social work staff with the means to document, in
writing, a decision regarding the assessment factors. It will
assist staff in organizing their discoveries/impressions about a
family, thereby arriving at more than a “gut level” feeling about
an assessment of safety/strengths/risk. If there have been
multiple CPS assessments, the Safety/Strengths/Risk
Assessment Forms may provide a chronology of the areas of
risk from previous assessments, enabling staff to note changes
in risk level from one CPS assessment to another; and
• To provide Social Workers with a document by which pertinent
information will be shared. A completed Safety/Strengths/Risk
Assessment Form, when used in conjunction with other file
documents, can supply Social Workers with the family profile in
which to base recommendations regarding anticipated service
needs. The completed form should be given to the staff
providing Wraparound case management services.
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Completion of Safety/Strengths/Risk Assessment
640-15-10-05
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
The Safety/Strengths/Risk Assessment is a tool to provide a
framework for assessing family strengths and resources as well as
the risks associated with child maltreatment, both current and future.
It is assumed that past and present behaviors are predictors of
future behavior. The Safety/Strengths/Risk Assessment is meant to
reflect and document information gathered in a CPS assessment. It is
expected that Social Workers doing these assessments will use their
professional skills, education, and experience to record their
observations and impressions of family functioning, centered in the
21 factors, with this tool.
Assessment of safety, strength, and risk is the Social Worker’s
evaluation of specific child/family factors present, which lead to a
conclusion regarding the family’s risk of maltreatment profile. Risk is
documented at the appropriate level (High, Intermediate, No/Low,
Not Assessed), based on information known at the time of the CPS
assessment. The information on the completed form will be discussed
with the CPS Team, along with any child maltreatment risks, to make
a decision on whether services are required.
When determining whether each factor on the safety/strengths/risk
assessment form should be rated “High”, “Intermediate” or “No/low”,
here are some guidelines:
• Select a rating of “High”:
• When a Safety concern has been verified through
observation, information obtained through interviews, or
information obtained through other agencies (such as
police report, medical records, etc).
• When the information gathered through observation,
information obtained through interviews, or information
obtained through other agencies (such as police report,
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medical records, etc) indicates that parenting behavior,
conditions, situations, beliefs, or perceptions are likely
to be harmful and destructive to a child’s cognitive,
social, emotional or physical development.
• Select a rating of “Intermediate”:
• When the information gathered through observation,
information obtained through interviews, or information
obtained through other agencies (such as police report,
medical records, etc) indicates that parenting behavior,
conditions, situations, beliefs, or perceptions are
somewhat likely to be harmful and destructive to a
child’s cognitive, social, emotional or physical
development.
• Select a rating of “No/low”:
• When the information gathered through observation,
information obtained through interviews, or information
obtained through other agencies (such as police report,
medical records, etc) indicates that family/caregiver
capacities, supports, resources, values, and coping
strategies are used:
• to prevent child maltreatment;
• to ensure a child’s safety;
• to reduce risk of future maltreatment; or
• are unlikely to be harmful and destructive to a
child’s cognitive, social, emotional or physical
development
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Completion of the SSR Assessment for More than One
Child 640-15-10-05-01
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
If more than one child is involved in the CPS assessment, the risk
level rating in the “risk level” column for each factor (high,
intermediate, low) should reflect the greatest degree of risk for any
single child in the family. The Social Worker will use the comment
section of the form to document and explain the cause of the
suspected maltreatment and effect of that suspected maltreatment
on the child for each of the factors for each of the children involved.
Only one Safety/Strengths/Risk Assessment Form needs to be used
per case and there should be only one rating in the “risk level”
column on the SFN 455 (88kb pdf) (Safety/Strengths/Risk
Assessment) for each factor.
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Regional Supervisors Review of Safety/Strengths/
Risk Assessment 640-15-10-05-05
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
If Regional Supervisors or designee does not agree with level of risk
documented, he/she may change the risk level. These changes
should be written on original form and initialed.
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Use of Comment Sections of the Safety/Strengths/
Risk Assessment 640-15-10-10
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
It is expected that the comment sections will be completed for each
of the twenty-one (21) factors. The comments should be used to:
• Note specific strengths and risks found during the assessment;
• Note if there is information or knowledge unavailable on a
particular factor; and
• Note any additional observations made by collaterals or CPS
staff.
Information recorded in the comments section needs to support the
level of risk assigned to each factor and document the cause of the
suspected maltreatment and effect of that suspected maltreatment
on the child for each of the factors. If this section is left blank, the
level of risk assigned appears unsupported. If the
Safety/Strengths/Risk Assessment form is not adequately completed,
it will be returned to the CPS Social Worker for completion.
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Recording Information on the Safety/Strengths/Risk
Assessment (SSRA) (SFN 455) 640-15-10-15
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
Each factor in the Safety/Strengths/Risk Assessment Form is to be
rated High, Intermediate, No/Low, or Not Assessed. If a rating of
“not assessed” is used, an explanation of why this factor was not
assessed should be included in the comments section below the
factor.
Below is a numbered list, which corresponds to the factors of the
Safety/Strengths/Risk Assessment Form. Please refer to it as needed
to lend clarity or consistency to the assessment process.
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Child Factors 640-15-10-15-01
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
Factor # 1. CHILD’S ABILITY TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR
SELF
Assess the child’s capacity for self care and protection based on age,
maturity and capability. Assess whether this child is capable of
exercising appropriate judgment to provide supervision and safety
and to obtain help for him/her self.
Safety:
Safety is assessed as to the vulnerability of the child related to
maltreatment factors and family/caregiver factors.
Strengths should be identified when child:
• Is 10 years or older and cares for and is able to protect self with
limited adult assistance
• Has no physical or mental limitations
• Shows age appropriate cognitive abilities
• Is able to attend to tasks at an age appropriate level
• Is exceptionally mature for his/her age
• Demonstrates a good understanding of emergency responses
and is fully aware of how to contact appropriate adults or
emergency services if necessary
• Is visible to teachers and others on a daily basis
Risk may be identified when child is:
• Less than age 5 and/or unable to care for or protect self without
adult assistance or
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• Over age 5 with severe physical illness (needs medical attention
or is physically frail or sickly), mental handicap (emotionally
fragile) or impaired development (lacks mobility)
• Age 5 through 9 and requires adult assistance to care for and
protect self
• Over age 9 with minor physical illness/mental limitation or
impaired development
• Overactive, is difficult or provocative
• Unable to communicate needs or conditions/behaviors that are
occurring
• Not able to sense danger; is not alert to threats in others or
environment
• Not in school, day care, or place where outsiders can observe
child’s condition, or the child’s visibility to teachers and others is
sporadic
Life Domains: Family, Physical Health, Emotional/Behavioral
Factor # 2. CHILD’S MENTAL HEALTH
Use this factor to measure the child’s stress level, mental coping
ability and resiliency. It is inclusive of mental health diagnoses made
by a professional, but does not exclude observed or expressed
concerns of the CPS Social Worker, parent, teacher, or others.
Safety:
Safety is assessed as to the vulnerability of the child related to
maltreatment factors and family/caregiver factors.
Strengths should be identified when child:
• Appears to have good mental health
• Has appropriate social skills
• Exhibits coping skills or has shown resilience in spite of some
hardships
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• Has no or few apparent mental health difficulties or
• Has mild symptoms with little impact on daily activities
• Is receiving treatment or no treatment is needed
• Shows evidence of conscience development
Risk may be identified when child:
• Has serious mental disturbance
• Is unable to function independently or attend daily activities or
impaired functioning in daily activities
• May be a danger to self or others
• Needs constant supervision
• Is at risk for hospitalization or out of home treatment
• Threatens or attempts suicide or expresses suicidal ideation
• Threatens to run away or has run away
• Is capable of and likely to self mutilate
• Abuses substances; may or has overdosed
• Is depressed or withdrawn, avoidance of others or exhibits
depressive behaviors/emotions or mood disturbance
• Is provocative (sexually, physically aggressive, whiny, etc.),
and cannot inhibit self expression as a self protective action
• Believes he or she deserves maltreatment
Life Domain: Emotional/Behavioral
Factor # 3. CHILD’S BEHAVIOR
Assess the behaviors exhibited by the child which could be indicative
of stress, abuse, or other causes and which may test the ability of
caregivers to respond appropriately to the child. Record truancy and
academic performance here, carefully weighing whether this is
behavior of the child versus educational neglect (factor # 5). Also
include any anti-social, violent or criminal activity, or drug or alcohol
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use by the child. Include documentation of professionals involved
with the child, but do not exclude the observations or expressed
concerns of the CPS Social Worker, parent, or others.
Safety:
Safety is assessed as to the vulnerability of the child related to
maltreatment factors and family/caregiver factors.
Strengths should be identified when child:
• Is generally viewed by parents, teachers and other adults as
having positive behaviors
• Shows absence of major behavior problems
• Shows comfort in the caregiver’s presence
• Has appropriate social skills
Risk may be identified when child:
• Is often disobedient, ungovernable, argumentative
• Breaks curfew, runs away, fights with family and/or others
• Shows extreme aggression, self endangering behaviors and/or
violent tantrums or defiance
• Threatens or is anti-social
• Uses drugs/alcohol
• Has severe sexual acting out
• Has ongoing truancy
• Has frequent school suspensions
• Is a crying infant who cannot be soothed
• Is unable to meet a parent’s unrealistic expectations (being
potty trained at 6 months, for example)
Life Domains: Emotional/Behavioral, Education/Vocational
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Maltreatment Factors 640-15-10-15-05
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
Factor # 4. SEVERITY AND/OR FREQUENCY OF ABUSE
Assess the frequency and effects of any physical intervention (or
threat of physical intervention) with the child by the caregiver.
Document any injuries, treatment of any injuries, and any other
effects (including psychological effects, such as fear) on the child,
created by the physical intervention.
Safety concerns should be identified when child:
• Has an unexplained injury.
• Has serious injury requiring medical attention or hospitalization.
• Has a sibling who was abused which resulted in injury, death or
dysfunction.
• Is young child struck on or about the head and face.
• Was struck with a closed hand.
• Use of any extreme physical treatment of a child which causes
or is likely to cause an injury e.g. torture, extensive bruises,
multiple serious abrasions, broken bone(s), significant hair loss
from being pulled, inflicted serious and or multiple burns,
internal injuries which might result from kicking, pushing,
throwing or slamming.
• Suffers risk of injury by objects being thrown.
• Is forced to ingest a noxious substance, i.e. tobacco, alcohol,
soap, pepper, Tabasco sauce, etc.
• Is forced fed
• Receives punishment resulting in injury including but not limited
to:
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• Fractures • Brain or neurological
damage
• Burns/scalds • Death
• Confusions • Subdural hemorrage
• Loss of teeth • Internal injuries
• Missing hair • Poisoning
• Bloodied nose • Gunshot wounds
• Sprains
• Is an infant and was physical punished
• Is infant or preschooler shaken
• Is sexually abused including:
• Indecent exposure/exhibitionism and/or voyeurism
• Taking sexualized pictures of a child
• Children exposed to pornographic material
• Deliberately exposing a child to the act of sexual
intercourse
• Masturbation in presence of a child
• Child is harassed, encouraged, pressured, or
propositioned to perform sexually
• Making a child touch another’s sexual organs
• Any penetration or attempt at penetration of a child’s
vagina, anus, or mouth by a penis or any other object
that doesn’t have a valid medical purpose
• Sexual intercourse and/or its variations
• Fondling, and any other sexual contact with
children
• Experiences heightened the level of pain or injury; e.g.,
cigarette burns, an instrument is used and there is no remorse
• Parent’s motivation to teach or discipline seems secondary to
inflicting pain and/or injury and there is no remorse
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• Parent’s action was not impulsive; there was sufficient time and
deliberation to assure that the actions hurt the child and there is
no remorse
• Parent do not acknowledge any guilt or wrong doing and they
intended to hurt the child
• Parent show no empathy for the pain or trauma the child has
experienced and they intended to hurt the child
• Parent feel justified; may express that the child deserved it and
they intended to hurt the child
• History and circumstantial information are incongruent with the
parent’s explanation about injuries and conditions
• Parent’s verbal expressions do not match their emotional
response and there is not a believable explanation
• Parent’s regrets are unbelievable, self serving, or associated
more with getting caught than with what was done
• Parent shows no recognition of wrong or inappropriateness, or
demonstrates a self righteous attitude and believes actions were
justified, or rationalizes the maltreating behavior as discipline,
training or in the best interest of the child
• Parents view their abusive behavior as a parental right
• Caregiver’s explanations for serious maltreatment are
inconsistent or change over time
Strengths should be identified when:
• Family Interactions are free of violence and children feel safe
from harm
• No injury
• No discernable effect on child
• Isolated incident
• Caregiver does not discipline impulsively, but is thoughtful and
deliberate in deciding to discipline
• History and circumstantial information are consistent with the
caregiver’s explanation
• Caregiver shows empathy for the child
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• Caregiver has made appropriate arrangements which have been
confirmed to assure that the child is not left alone with the
maltreating caregiver, including having another adult present
within the home who is aware of the protecting concern and is
able to protect the child
• Child communicates openly about people and events in his/her
home and is not afraid
Risk may be identified when:
• Physical injury
• Bruises
• Welts
• Cuts
• Abrasions
• Ongoing history or pattern of punishment to the child
• Striking children with object when any of the following occur:
• The child is struck some place other than the buttocks
• Injury results
• The number of strikes is more than one or two
• Done frequently
• Used on preschoolers
• Sexual activity between children in most situations if an age
difference exists, if coercion exists, or if one child is prepubescent
and the other is post-pubescent
• Sexually provocative comments are made to a child
• The child indicates fear of the home or people within the home,
either through behaviors such as crying, jitters, or withdrawal,
or by describing threats or previous experiences which form the
basis for fear
• Child afraid to go home or is non-communicative when asked if
he/she is afraid of home, of going home, or of people in their
home
• There is no precedence for the current maltreatment in respect
to type and severity, and the caregiver demonstrates
appropriate concern and tolerance
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Life Domains: Physical Health, Family
Factor # 5. SEVERITY AND/OR FREQUENCY OF NEGLECT
Assess whether the child’s physical needs are being met; whether
food, clothing, and shelter are adequate. If basic needs are not being
met, assess whether the lack of necessities due to poverty. If so,
document the causes in #16. Assess whether medical care is being
provided as recommended by the medical community. Assess
whether psychological/ mental health care is being provided as
recommended by the mental health community. Assess whether the
child is being psychologically maltreated (ignoring, isolating, etc.).
Assess whether the caregiver is providing education according to
state statute. Include other neglect concerns here, as well. Assess
the supervision of children over age 10. Supervision of children under
10 years old should be assessed in factor #11.
Safety concerns may be identified when caregiver:
• Threatens to break bones, poison, suffocate, shoot, burn,
choke, kill, starve, lock out, abandon, etc.
• Is unwilling to provide minimal medical, educational,
psychological, food and/or shelter needs of child
• Has a confirmed history or pattern of leaving child unsupervised
or unprotected for excessive periods of time
• Takes no action when child has physical symptoms from
maltreatment which require immediate medical attention such
as failure to thrive
• Does not know what basic care is or how to provide it; i.e. how
to feed, diaper, protect, or supervise appropriate to child’s age
or need
• Does not seek treatment for a child’s immediate and dangerous
medical or mental health condition
• Does not recognize the child’s condition, or view it as less
serious than it is, or rationalize the condition as not affecting
the child and/or as not causing a safety concern
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• Skills are exceeded by special needs and demands that a child
displays that affect safety
• Refuses services to a psychologically/ emotional impaired child
(i.e., a child at risk for suicide, child who misuses chemicals).
• Is present but physically or mentally impaired to such an extent
that they are unable to provide supervision or respond to the
needs of the child.
• Does not respond to a child who is suffering from clinical
symptoms of malnutrition, dehydration, or food poisoning.
• Does not provide adequate food and children are unable to feed
themselves and may eat nonfood items or spoiled food.
Strengths should be identified when a caregiver:
• Meets physical needs and child shows signs of good health and
grooming
• Provides adequately for the child’s needs and child shows no
discernable effects of neglect
• Currently meets basic needs for food, clothing, shelter,
education and medical care
• In the past, the caregiver has met the child’s basic physical and
emotional needs
• Demonstrates awareness of child’s physical or mental health
condition, is able to communicate the seriousness of it, and is
meeting the needs of the condition
• Is actively involved in child’s education
Risk may be identified when a caregiver:
• Is sporadic in meeting medical, educational psychological, food
and/or shelter needs of child
• Has an unconfirmed history or pattern of leaving child
unsupervised
• Fails to make appropriate child-care arrangements during an
extended absence.
• Fails to provide adequate clothing for the weather
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• Fails to provide cleanliness which has caused a child to be
offensive to others; i.e., when the child is ostracized because of
body odor
• Does not respond when a child and/or his/her clothing are
infested with lice, fleas, and goes untreated, even when
provided information or medication to relieve problem
• Does not respond when there is an identified risk of harm to the
child as the result of the clothing or wrapping used
• Does not provide or allow needed care in accord with
recommendations of a competent health care professional, or
failure to seek timely and appropriate medical care for a serious
health problem which any reasonable person would have
recognized as needing professional medical attention
• Does not provide consent, encouragement or insistence to a
child, aged seven to sixteen, in order to meet the mandated
educational requirements. Caregivers’ actions or inaction has
direct impact on the child’s educational growth.
• Rejects or refuses to acknowledge the child’s worth and the
legitimacy of the child’s needs.
• Consistently singles out one child to scapegoat, criticize, or
punish, to perform most of the household chores or receive
fewer rewards of praise
• Has consistent unrealistic expectations of achievement for the
child that are shown by the caregivers criticizing, punishing, or
condemning when the child does not achieve far above
capabilities in school, sports, or social status (e.g. babies and
toddlers not expected to cry, expected to be still for extended
periods of time, to be toilet trained or eat neatly)
• Regularly denigrates and belittles the child, stating that the
child is different and unacceptable, or that the child reminds
everyone of a person who is totally unacceptable by the family
• Doesn’t allow the children physical contact, nurturing
• Clearly overemphasizes, criticizes/disapproves of a child in a
way that is disproportional to actual behavior or used in an
unfair and inconsistent way – excessive
• Uses excessive threats of punishment in an attempt to control
the child.
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• Isolates; cutting the child off from normal social experiences,
preventing the child from forming friendships, or makes the
child believe that he or she is alone in the world.
• Doesn’t fit the punishment to the behavior or is inconsistent
• Makes inappropriate demands on or exploits the child
• Ignores; depriving the child of essential interaction and
responsiveness, stifling emotional growth and intellectual
development.
• Shows no attachment to the child and fails to provide
nurturance
• Expresses no affection toward the child and avoids all physical
closeness such as hugging, touching, or holding
• Does not develop/enforce appropriate rules
• Is inattentive, indifferent — there is little stimulation offered in
the home
• Exhibits behavior which is correlated to emotional or behavioral
problems of the child
• Provides no stability or security for the child inasmuch as
expectations are unpredictable and change frequently
• Has rigid requirements for the child at one time to indifference
to behavioral standards another time
• Has unrealistic expectations for behavior without an
understanding of age-appropriate behaviors
• Punishes child for being unable to comply with demands
• Describes child as ugly, stupid, or in some other demeaning or
degrading manner
• Curses at a child and/or repeatedly humiliates a child
• Fails to protect a child from harm or threat of harm
• Does not act to protect children when a person poses physical
or sexual threat to child(ren)
• Exposes children to threatening or dangerous conditions or
situations, including knowingly subjecting children to an
untreated sexual offender
• Does not act to protect children when there is a report of abuse
between siblings
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• Exposes child to abusive third parties or fails to take steps to
stop repeated abuse by third parties
• Threatens, or verbally assaults the child, creates a climate of
fear, bullies, or frightens the child.
• Uses sensory deprivation or placement in any situation to
frighten a child (i.e., in the dark, etc.)
• Uses direct or indirect verbal threats of abuse or harm that, if
carried out, could result in physical or emotional harm
• Does not provide adequate supervision as described below:
• Children who are 10 and 11 years old may be left alone
for longer periods of time. However, caution is advised
in leaving a child unsupervised during sleeping hours.
Children in this age should not be responsible for
younger children;
• Children who are the age of twelve (12) years and older
may be permitted to act as babysitters. It is
recommended that they successfully complete an
approved child-care training course. Caution should be
advised on number of children left in care, length of time
for care-giving responsibility, factors regarding special
needs of children left in care and resources available to
child providing care
• Children under 15 years of age should not be left
unattended overnight
• Caution should be taken in leaving 15-17 year olds alone
overnight. Extended absences of care givers are not
recommended
All children left home alone must be able to demonstrate:
• Knowledge of where their parents or other
responsible adults are, how to reach them, and
length of time of absence; and
• Knowledge of emergency procedures and
arrangements for emergency situations.
• Deliberately or intentionally, does not feed or provide water to a
child for at least one day, or fed minimally and nutritionally
inadequate food for several days.
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Life Domains: Physical Health, Family, Financial/Economic, Basic
Needs, Emotional/Behavioral, and Education/Vocational
Factor # 6. LOCATION OF INJURY
Assess any injuries as to location, type, size, appearance, etc. Also,
document who has observed the injury, taken photographs, etc.
Assess the content and information provided by the caregiver by
looking for consistency, conflict, logic, and reasonableness.
Safety concerns may be identified when a caregiver:
• Causes injury to head, face, or genitals
• Acknowledges the presence of injuries and /or conditions but
plead ignorance as to how they came to be and/or express no
concern
• Causes “Battered Child Syndrome”
• Appears to be competent, but the child’s symptoms do not
match the family appearance and there is no explanation for the
child’s symptoms
• Provides explanations that are far- fetched
• Offers explanations that contradict facts related to the
conditions, the incident and injury, as observed by CPS Social
Worker and/or supported by other professionals
• Offers an explanation about injuries or conditions which is
incongruent with the history and circumstantial information
• Makes verbal expressions that do not match emotional response
and there is not a believable explanation
Strengths should be identified when a caregiver:
• Does not have a history of physical force used with children
• Does not have any history of injury
• Offers facts and explanations related to the conditions, the
incident and injury that are consistent and supported by CPS
Social Worker or other professionals
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Risk may be identified when caregiver:
• Causes injury to head, face, genitals
• Causes injury to buttocks, torso
• Caregiver explanation is not consistent with injury
Life Domains: Family, Physical Health
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Family/Caregiver Factors 640-15-10-15-10
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
Factor # 7. CONDITION OF HOME
Assess the child’s physical environment. Include the family home,
yard, and immediate neighborhood. In addition, document hazards in
addition to the examples listed on the “hard card”; such as poison or
medications accessible to the child. Exclude parental substance
use/abuse, domestic violence, etc., and record these in the
appropriate factors of the assessment.
Safety:
• The physical condition of home threatens family health and
safety, requiring immediate attention but cannot be
immediately remedied or is out of family’s control
• Child’s health or welfare is in danger because of lack of suitable
housing
• Broken glass or other injurious object accessible to child
• Spoiled food that is accessible to a young child
• No guards (as age appropriate) on open windows/or on
stairwells
• Lead paint or other toxic materials that is accessible to child
(this includes medications)
• Inadequate sewage disposal
• Animal or human waste accessible to a young child
• Leaking gas or toxic fumes
• Broken or missing windows
• Inadequate/unsafe heat
• Drugs or alcohol accessible to child
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• Accessibility to firearms or improper storage of firearms or other
weapons
• No housing or emergency shelter; child must or is forced to
sleep on the street, in a car, etc.
Strengths:
• The home is free of health and safety hazards
• Home is relatively clean, uncluttered
• Sleeping arrangements are appropriate
• Basic furnishings are present
• There is evidence of child’s belongings, toys, photos, clothing,
etc. readily visible in the home
• Family expresses pride in their home
• There is evidence of home decoration and creature comforts
present in the living areas of the home
Risk:
• Housing is below minimal standards
• Overcrowding, cluttered, disorganization
• Garbage not disposed
• Utilities/sewer inoperative
• Situation requires immediate remediation but conditions are
correctable/affordable
• Caregiver refuses offer of temporary housing or shelter or
caregivers refuse to separate so the children can receive
temporary shelter
Live Domains: Basic Needs, Physical Health
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Factor # 8. CAREGIVER’S ALCOHOL AND DRUG USE
Assess parental substance use. Document information or records
obtained from family and collateral sources as well as that obtained
from police reports, addiction records, etc. Assess use and abuse as
well as diagnosed addiction.
Safety:
• A parent is currently intoxicated and is the sole caregiver
• Alcohol/drug addiction which interferes with functioning
• Behavior (drugs, violence, aggressiveness and hostility) creates
an environment within the home, which threatens child safety,
i.e.: drug parties, gangs, etc.
• Active use of substances that result in impulsive, dangerous
behaviors
Strengths:
• Minimal use with no discernable effect on children
• Has a history of chemical abuse, but has a confirmed period of
recovery
• Caregivers indicate that they abstain from the use of alcohol
and drugs
• Caregivers indicate they have/have had problems with
substance use, but no effects are seen on the children, i.e.
school attendance is good, appropriate supervision is provided
or arranged, parental usage is confined away from the children,
there have been no legal problems or domestic violence
resulting from the usage, no loss of familiar roles due to usage
Risk:
• Frequent use of alcohol and/or drug with discernable effect on
user or family
• History of addiction/dependency and/or now in alcohol/drug
treatment
• Denies substance abuse problem
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• Children who are living in environments where one or both of
the care givers are actively chemically addicted
• Loss, or threatened loss of one or more familiar roles due to
usage (i.e. job, relationship, etc.)
• History of failed treatment
• May be involved in other illegal activities to support dependence
Life Domains: Family, Emotional Behavioral, Community, Legal
Factor # 9. CAREGIVER’S PARENTING SKILLS
Assess the observed and expressed parental knowledge and skills of
the caregiver. Include collateral observations, but exclude substance
abuse and domestic violence and record these in the appropriate
factor (8 & 19). Assess whether the parenting skills are age
appropriate, provide adequate nurturing, set appropriate limits and
consequences, and promote the child’s well being.
Safety:
Safety is assessed as to the vulnerability of the child related to
maltreatment factors and family/caregiver factors.
• Unwilling/incapable of providing necessary parenting skills
• Lacks knowledge to assure minimal level of child care
• Child has observable symptoms of poor care or emotional
distress
Strengths:
• Exhibits appropriate parenting skills and knowledge pertaining
to child rearing, child development
• Communicates appropriate standards for social behavior
• Displays affection and shows proper concern
• The caregiver has met the child’s basic emotional needs in the
past,
• The caregiver has raised the child for a significant period of time
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• Caregiver responds appropriately to the child’s verbal and nonverbal
signals
• Caregiver has the ability to put the child’s needs ahead of their
own
• Child shows comfort in the caregiver’s presence
• Caregiver accepts some responsibility for the problems that
brought the family to Child Protection Services
• Caregiver has adequate knowledge and skills to fulfill parenting
responsibilities and tasks, including any special needs of the
child
• Caregiver does not place responsibility on the child for the
problems of the family
• Demonstrates emotional bonds with a child that are expressed
and demonstrated as being unconditional
• Has attachments with a child that are consistent with healthy
adult relationships rather than the adult being dependent on the
child
Risk:
• Inconsistent display of necessary parenting skills and/or
knowledge required to provide a minimal level of child care
• May have frequent unrealistic expectations of child
• Has difficulties enforcing rules
• Sometimes appears indifferent about child’s development and
emotional growth
• Harsh or unreasonable rules or few rules which are rarely
enforced
• Little or no affection displayed toward child
• Parental helplessness
• The caregiver has not raised the child for a significant period of
time
• Caregiver responds punitively to the child’s verbal and nonverbal
signals
• Caregiver puts their own needs ahead of the child’s needs
• Child is distressed in the caregiver’s presence
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• Caregiver lacks knowledge and skills to fulfill parenting
responsibilities and tasks
• Caregiver places responsibility on the child for the problems of
the family
• The roles of parent and child are reversed
Life Domain: Family
Factor # 10. CAREGIVER’S METHODS OF DISCIPLINE &
PUNISHMENT OF CHILD
Assess caregiver methods of communication, limit setting and
correction, including physical interventions. Assess whether the
method(s) used are developmentally appropriate and realistic. Assess
the use and intent of physical intervention.
Safety:
• Force intends to cause considerable pain or scare child badly
• Has caused injury
• Parents state they will maltreat
• Parents talk about being worried, fearful, preoccupied with
maltreating or hurting the child
• Parents describe incidents involving discipline which have gotten
out of hand
• Parents are distressed, “at the end of their rope” and are asking
for some relief in either specific terms (“take the child”) or
general terms (“please help me before something awful
happens”)
• Parents ask for the child to be placed
• Parents see the child as constantly causing the parent to be
angry at the child and the parent acts on that anger
• Use or threatened use of guns, knives or any other weapon or
implement
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Strengths:
• Physical punishment not used or used sparingly – not the first
response to misbehavior
• Verbalizes disapproval constructively
• May be authoritarian, but not hostile
• Caregivers are able to communicate disapproval and to correct
without the use of violence
• Caregiver does not discipline impulsively, but is thoughtful and
deliberate in deciding to discipline
• Discipline used is developmentally appropriate
• Discipline is intended to teach rather than to punish
Risk:
• Physical punishment is first reaction, preferred method, often
used
• May use physical discipline but does not intend to physically
harm child
• Tends to yell and threaten with little or no redirection or
teaching
• May ridicule, call child names, or use profanity
• Hits child for minor misbehavior or accidents
• Inappropriate severity
• Holds grudges against child
• Verbally hostile, unpredictable, irrational
• Parents describe conditions and situations which stimulate them
to think about maltreating
• One parent is expressing a concern for what the other parent or
someone else in the care-giving role is capable of or may do
• Parents threaten the child with “putting them away” or having
“the state take you”
• Parents identify things that the child does that aggravate/annoy
the parent and cause the parent to want to attack the child
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• Manipulation/retaliation (e.g. threats of having to go to a foster
home, not being able to see a parent any more, a
parent/caregiver having to go to jail, etc.) for a child’s contact,
communication or disclosure resulting in CPS involvement
• Use of abusive treatment and/or torture as a form of “discipline”
such as forcing a child to kneel on a broom stick or rice, forcing
a child to stand for hours, forcing a child to do an inordinate
number of push ups, sit ups, etc.
Life Domain: Family
Factor # 11. CAREGIVER’S SUPERVISION OF CHILDREN
UNDER AGE 10
Assess the supervision of children under age 10. Use factor #5 for
children over 10.
Safety:
• Lack of supervision and environmental hazards pose a clear
danger
• Child often left alone or with an incapable person
• No ability to obtain emergency help
• Child has been injured or emotionally traumatized due to lack of
supervision
• Caregiver’s whereabouts are unknown and/or have not returned
according to plan
• Caregiver is present but impaired and unable to provide care
• The child has been abandoned / no one knows where the parent
is
• No one has any idea who the caregivers are
• Caregivers are physically or mentally disabled/incapacitated and
cannot provide for basic care
• Inadequate supervision may be a safety concern when:
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• A child 0-4 years old is outside of the home the child and
out of the view of the caregiver.
• A child 0-4 years old is left alone in a vehicle for more
than a brief period of time and not in direct view of the
caregiver.
• A caregiver is not available and not able to respond, a
child 0-4 years old to provide immediate care and
protection from harm
• A child 8 years old or younger is left in charge of other
children
• For children 0-10 (specific minimum ages outlined):
• Children eight (8) years of age or under should be
supervised at all times with a caregiver available. An
eight year old should not be left in charge of children
• Children who are nine (9) years old should not be left
unsupervised for periods greater than two (2) hours
during the daytime. This age child should not be
unsupervised at night and should not supervise other
children
• Caregivers should adhere to supervision requirements of
public facilities, (i.e. Video Arcades, Drop-In Centers,
Pools, Restaurants, etc.).
• All children left home alone must be able to
demonstrate:
• Knowledge of where their parents or other
responsible adults are, how to reach them, and
length of time of absence
• Knowledge of emergency procedures and
arrangements for emergency situations
Strengths:
• Appropriate caregivers are always present
• Child’s whereabouts and activities are known
• Makes safe substitute child care arrangements when needed
• Caregiver has a reliable babysitter, including overnight care
when needed
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• Substitute caregivers are aware of parent’s whereabouts,
expected time of return, and how to contact emergency help if
needed
Risk:
• Child may infrequently wander off from home or get into things
that could cause harm
• Unsuitable child care arrangements
• Too much responsibility for self care; latchkey
• Allows child to wander in/out of home or through neighborhood
without supervision
• The caregiver has left the child with someone, but has not
returned according to plans, or did not express plans to return,
or has been gone longer than the person keeping the child
expected or would be normally acceptable
• Caregiver’s unexplained and unplanned absence exceeds a few
days
• Caregiver does not attend to a child to the extent that the
child’s need for adequate care goes unnoticed or unmet (e.g.
although caregiver is present, a child can wander outdoors
alone, play with dangerous objects, play on unprotected window
ledge or be exposed to other serious hazards)
Life Domain: Family
Factor # 12. CAREGIVER’S LEVEL OF COOPERATION
Assess the cooperation, compliance, and follow through by
caregivers. Assess whether the child/family received needed services
and whether safety was provided for, despite the caregiver’s
expressed feelings or attitude (positive or negative). Assess the
family/caregiver(s) willingness to provide for the child’s needs or
effect any needed changes.
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Safety concerns may exist when a caregiver:
• Denies problem issue(s)
• Sabotages services
• Refuses to cooperate
• Uninterested or evasive
• Active or passive resistance
• Threatening or hostile
• Has previously fled in response to CPS involvement
• Has removed child from a hospital against medical advice
• Has removed a child from a safe place
• Has a history of keeping a child at home, away from peers,
school, and other outsiders for extended period of time
• Says they may flee or it appears they are planning to flee
• Refuses access to child
Strengths should be identified when a caregiver:
• Is able to identify areas for improvement and are committed to
growth and change
• Has demonstrated willingness and ability to resolve problem and
protect child
• May have ambivalence about services but actively involved in
case planning
• May disagree, but provides constructive alternatives
• Is willing to work to make improvements
• Is cooperating with the Social Worker’s efforts to provide
services and assess the specific needs of the family
• Has the capacity to learn from an experience and then to apply
that learning to new experiences
Risk may be identified when a caregiver:
• May appear compliant but doesn’t follow through on
referral/services
• Is often defensive when services focus on self
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• May complain without proposing alternatives
• Must be prodded often, but is not always hostile
Life Domain: Family
Factor # 13. CAREGIVER’S ABILITY TO PROBLEM SOLVE AND
ACCESS SERVICES
Assess the family/caregiver’s ability to martial its resources and use
his/her strengths to overcome obstacles to change. Assess the
family’s need for assistance or support to overcome obstacles or to
identify and martial strengths. Assess whether the caregiver sees
obstacles as insurmountable and expresses unwillingness to change.
Safety concerns may be identified when a caregiver:
• Refuses services when they are directly offered
• May reject, or seek to give up parental responsibility
• Is not responding to the degree of threat presented or, is not
cooperating with professional recommendations for suicidal
children.
Strengths should be identified when a caregiver:
• Is determined to meet children’s needs and knows how to go
about getting needs met
• Usually has good judgment and plans ahead
• Knows how to go about getting family needs met for health
care, education, etc.
Risk may be identified when a caregiver:
• Is sometimes impulsive or careless
• May lack confidence or knowledge of negotiate service delivery
system
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• Is generally disorganized, which prevents effective follow
through
• Has good intentions but is not able to translate them into
effective action
• Does not believe that meeting needs of child is a priority
• Considers child care an imposition
• Has a history of refusing services that would enable the
caregiver to meet a child’s need for care and protection
(medication, for example)
• Is indifferent to services when they are directly offered
Life Domains: Social/Recreational, Community
Factor # 14. STRENGTH OF FAMILY SYSTEM
Assess the family’s functioning. Observe the dynamics of the
members of the household. Include the observations of the CPS
Social Worker, family and collateral contacts. Assess the role of
extended family, friends, and service providers, etc. as support
systems in #15.
Safety concerns may be identified when the caregiver:
• Engages in frequent and pervasive discord
• Assumes child-like role or allows child to assume a parental role
• Continually places children in the middle of custody and
visitation disputes between their caregivers, or children are
being asked to choose sides, or when care givers degrade each
other in front of the children.
Strengths should be identified when family members:
• Are able to set goals and to problem solve together
• Have respect for themselves and for others
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• Have identified beliefs, traditions, rituals that promote a feeling
of belonging and well being
• Act in appropriate roles
• Resolve conflict in cooperative consolidated manner
• Rarely draw children into adult arguments
• Are able to communicate without violence
• Know what to expect from each other
• Are close and committed to each other
• Recognize each other’s strengths and needs
• Try to meet the needs of each member
• Handle crises so they do not disrupt the lives of others
• Have a way of taking time out from one another
• Express traditions and beliefs which all members feel good
about
• Feel safe from all harm
• Can specifically articulate a plan to protect the child, such as the
parent leaving when a situation escalates, calling the police in
the event a restraining order is violated, etc.
Risk may be identified when family members:
• Have more than usual amount of conflict
• Difficulty expressing feelings or ideas
• Cannot resolve conflicts without resentments or grudges
• Often focus conflict on the children or blame the children for
conflict
• Is very limited in interpersonal communication
Life Domains: Family, Spiritual/Cultural
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Factor # 15. STRENGTH OF SUPPORT SYSTEMS
Assess supports available to the child/family. Include both formal and
informal supports. Document whether supports include protective
services being provided for safety or risk.
Safety:
Safety is assessed as to the vulnerability of the child related to
maltreatment factors and family/caregiver factors.
Strengths should be identified when family members:
• Have a stable dependable support system of relatives/friends
• Have someone to turn to when help is needed
• Have followed through on commitments in the past
• Have positive, significant relationships with other adults who
seem free of overt pathology (spouse, caregivers, friends,
relatives)
• Have a meaningful support system that can help him/her now
• Have extended family nearby who are capable of providing
support
• Have an extended family history which shows family members
are able to help appropriately when one member is not
functioning well
• Have relatives who come forward to offer help when the child
needed placement
• Have relatives who have followed through on commitments in
the past
• Have an ethnic, cultural, or religious heritage which includes
emphasis on mutual care-giving and shared parenting in times
of crisis
• Have a history which shows the consistency of a parental
caregiver
• Have a history which shows evidence of the caregiver’s
childhood needs being adequately met
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Risk may be identified when Caregivers:
• Have limited support from family or friends
• Are generally private and not trusting of outsiders but has social
skills to develop helping relationships
• Have no extended family members who live close by or who
may be supportive
• Have limited access to available community services
• Have no one to turn to for help
• Do not know how to develop helping relationships and/or refuse
offers of help
• Have no social involvement with the community
• Have no phone or transportation available
• Have few tangible attachments
• Experience a lack of necessary supports that would enable a
caregiver to adequately care for and protect a child given their
physical or mental limitations
Life Domains: Family, Community, Social/Recreational,
Spiritual/Cultural
Factor # 16. INCOME
Assess financial resources, including public assistance benefits, in
terms of meeting the child’s/family’s basic needs. Assess resources
such as child support and irregular or intangible sources of income,
which may be provided by extended family, or friends (such as
transportation or childcare). Also, assess debts such as unpaid child
support, credit card debt, overdue or excessive loans, gambling
debts, or excessive medical expenses.
Safety:
• Totally without or very limited income
• Unable to cover very basic survival needs
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• On the verge of eviction
• Out of food
• No resources or relief in sight
• Family has no food, clothing and shelter, not through simple
lack of financial means
• Family finances are insufficient to support unusual need that, if
unmet, could result in a threat of harm; e.g. medical need
• Parents lack the life management capacity to properly use
resources if they are available
• Parents spend impulsively resulting in a lack of basic necessities
which threaten safety
Strengths:
• Adequate financial resources to provide for family
• Family scrapes by and debts are eventually paid
• Caregiver has a history of stability in housing
• Caregiver has a solid employment history
• Caregiver has financial resources
• Caregiver’s education goals have been met
• Caregiver has employable skills
• Family meets its basic needs for food, shelter, and clothing
Risk:
• Limited income or income fluctuates causing sporadic shortages
of necessities
• Adequate income but not used for child’s needs
Life Domains: Financial/Economic, Basic Needs
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Factor # 17. PREVIOUS HISTORY OF ABUSE/NEGLECT
Assess past history of child protection service involvement with this
caregiver as a subject. Document prior reports with decisions, assess
in terms of recommendations followed or services completed and
observable changes in present or future risk to the child.
Safety:
• Previous reports show serious CA/N
• Previous abuse or neglect that was serious enough to cause or
could have caused serious injury or harm
• Caregiver has previously lost custody of a child as a result of a
child protection proceeding or parental rights have been
terminated on another child
• There is an escalating pattern of maltreatment
• Caregiver does not acknowledge or take responsibility for prior
inflicted harm to a child
• More than one SIDS death in the immediate or extended family
• Caregiver denies a history of child abuse or neglect despite
medical or child protective records indicating otherwise
Strengths:
• No protective services provided in the past
• Reports on file, but a history of cooperating with services
demonstrates growth and development
• Caregiver has demonstrated the ability to protect the child in
the past while under similar circumstances and family conditions
Risk:
• Protective Services may have been completed, but no significant
changes are evident
• Multiple assessments with services required or no services
required, but services recommended decisions
Life Domain: Family
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Factor # 18. CAREGIVER’S PHYSICAL, INTELLECTUAL,
EMOTIONAL ABILITIES
Assess caregiver physical and mental health, emotional and mental
capabilities. Include medical and mental health diagnoses,
disabilities, cognitive impairments, and learning disabilities. Also
include observed or expressed concerns and self disclosed
information concerning functioning or life stressors.
Safety:
• Severely handicapped
• Major mental illness
• Severe intellectual limitations and is unable to perform any child
rearing care
• Acute psychiatric episode with hospitalization
• Attempts suicide in presence of child
• Caregiver(s) make impulsive decisions and plans which may
leave children in precarious situations
• Caregiver(s) has behaviors that are uncontrolled and leave the
children in threatening situations such as providing basic care
• Caregiver(s) demonstrate cruel and bizarre thoughts or actions
• Caregiver(s) are delusional, experiencing hallucinations
• Caregiver(s) express pathological emotion and behavior
including the absence of conscience and concern or regard for
others
• Caregiver(s) cannot control sexual impulses
• Caregiver(s) are so depressed they are not functionally able to
meet basic needs of the child
• Caregiver(s) intellectual capacity affects judgment/knowledge in
ways that prevent providing safe care
• Caregiver(s) do not know how, or do not apply, basic safety
measures such as keeping medications, sharp objects,
household cleaners, etc. out of reach of small children
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• The child is seen as the devil, demon possessed evil, a bastard,
etc.
• Caregiver(s) lack the capacity to fully understand the child’s
condition or the threat of harm
• Caregiver(s) cannot provide the protection and supervision
basic to keep children safe and children are exposed to
situations in which they may be exploited, molested, injured,
and/or neglected.
• Caregiver with a diagnosed serious mental illness is not taking
prescribed psychotropic medications and so expresses bizarre
and/or irrational thoughts, demonstrates impaired judgment,
sees or hears things that are not there, is unable to meet basic
needs for a child
• Caregiver(s) behavior indicates a significant lack of control (e.g.
reckless, unstable, raving, explosive, suicidal and/or homicidal
behavior)
Strengths:
• Alert, intelligent and capable
• No, or very minor, intellectual/physical limitations
• In control of mental faculties
• Limitations have minimal impact on child caring capabilities
• Emotionally sound with little apparent anxiety or can cope with
anxiety productively
• Caregiver has someone to turn to for health care needs
• Caregiver uses medical care for self appropriately
• Caregiver’s hygiene and grooming are consistently adequate
• Caregiver does not have significant individual needs that might
affect the safety of the child, such as severe depression, lack of
impulse control, medical needs, etc.
• Caregiver is emotionally capable to carry out a plan or to
intervene to protect the child (caregiver not incapacitated by
fear of maltreating partner)
• Demonstrates emotional stability, resiliency and health
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Risk:
• May be physically/emotionally handicapped
• Moderate intellectual limitations
• Poor reasoning abilities
• Needs planning assistance to protect child
• Impaired ability to perform child caring role
• Major life stressor in past 12 months with some anxiety related
impairment
• Care giver(s) suffer from a mental illness, mental retardation,
physical handicaps that limit their ability to protect their
children because of their impairment, not through a lack of will
and this impairment results in increased risk of harm to the
child
• A credible report by a relative or another collateral of a history
of major mental illness, child abuse or neglect or domestic
violence that is being denied by the caregiver
Life Domains: Physical Health/Emotional/Behavioral
Factor # 19. CAREGIVER’S ANTI-SOCIAL, VIOLENT, OR
CRIMINAL ACTIVITY
Include documentation of arrests and convictions including those
concerning domestic violence. Assess for the presence of domestic
violence.
Safety:
• Criminal record/personal history of violence against others and
threatens force/violence against family members and/or others
• The caregiver exposes the child to maladaptive and harmful
influences or illegal activities, permits or forces the child to
engage in the same
• Stalking behavior and/or threats to seriously injury of kill a
family member
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• Suspected or observed domestic violence abuser has had recent
violent outbursts that have resulted in injury or threat of injury
to a child
• Caregiver is forced, under threat of serious harm, to participate
in or witness abuse of a child, or a child is forced, under threat
of serious harm, to witness or participate in the abuse of a
caregiver
• Caregiver has unexplained injuries and denies that the
suspected or observed abuser is responsible for abuse of the
child or abuse of the caregiver, despite evidence to the contrary
• Child is physically involved in event of domestic violence
• A firearm or other weapon is used during a domestic dispute
and the child is present
• Caregiver is unable to provide basic care and/or supervision for
the child because of injury, incapacitation, forced isolation, or
other controlling behavior of the suspected or observed
domestic violence abuser
• Children put in the position of feeling responsible to protect
themselves or the adult being abused
Strengths:
• No history of anti-social, violent/criminal activities
• No history of domestic violence
• Demonstrates a control of negative impulses
• Caregiver is well connected to community, institution, and/or
other organizations such as churches, schools, self-help groups,
etc.
Risk:
• Threatens force/violence against family members or others but
has not physically assaulted a family member
• Record of non-violent criminal activity
• Demonstrates impulsive aggressive behavior, temper outbursts
or harmful physical reactions (i.e. throwing things)
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• Children are exposed to domestic violence (adults hitting each
other or the threat of physical violence).
• Child is in the area where domestic violence occurred, creating a
high level of risk of injury
• Child is verbally threatened by one or more adult family
members/caregivers during a domestic violence event
• Child is aware of the domestic violence
• Caregiver has a history of repeated violent relationships
• Caregiver “mis-socializes” the child, encourages the child to
engage in destructive antisocial behavior, and/or illegal
activities; such as gang behavior, and makes it difficult for the
child to have normal social experiences.
• Caregiver’s denial of domestic violence in the face of police
reports to the contrary
Life Domains: Family, Legal
Factor # 20. SUBJECT’S ACCESS TO CHILD
Assess the subject’s access to the child and the influence of any
protective caregivers. If the child has been placed in protective care,
also assess the risk prior to the placement (i.e.; at the time of an
incident) and the potential safety concerns and/or risk if the potential
placement would end.
Safety:
Safety is assessed as to the vulnerability of the child related to
maltreatment factors and family/caregiver factors.
Strengths:
• Not the subject of this report, or in spite of this current
assessment, is seen as positive and nurturing to child and
generally able to protect
• Out of home, no access to child
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• Child protected during visitation
• Child is under constant supervision of protecting adult in the
house
• Protective caregiver acknowledges need for protection
• Caregiver believes the child’s report of maltreatment and is
supportive of the child
• Caregiver is physically able to intervene to protect the child
• Caregiver is capable of understanding the specific threat to the
child and the need to protect
• Caregiver displays concern for the child and the child’s
experience and is intent on emotionally protecting the child
• The non-maltreating caregiver consistently expresses belief that
the maltreating caregiver is in need of help and that he/she
supports the maltreating caregiver getting help. This is the
caregiver’s point of view without being prompted by CPS
• Caregiver has asked the maltreating parent to leave the
household
• Caregiver has made appropriate arrangements, which have
been confirmed, to assure that the child is not left alone with
the subject
• Caregivers have legally separated and the non-maltreating
parent has/does demonstrate behavior to suggest he/she will
not reunite until circumstance warrants or they are proceeding
with a divorce action
Risk:
• In home or other environments with complete access to child
• Uncertainty if other adult will deny access to child
• Protective caregiver denies need for/ ability to protect child
• Child is blamed and held accountable for CPS involvement
• Conflicts that parents experience with others (family members,
neighbors, friends, school, police, CPS, etc.) are considered to
be the child’s fault
• Losses the parents experience (job, relationships, etc.) are
attributed to the child
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Life Domains: Family, Legal
Factor # 21. PRESENCE OF PARENT SUBSTITUTE
Assess the influence of any “parent substitute”, including any
“significant other” or “live-in” of the parent, stepparent,
grandparents, etc.
Safety:
Safety is assessed as to the vulnerability of the child related to
maltreatment factors and family/caregiver factors.
Strengths:
• No parent substitute in the home
• Parent substitute is viewed as a supportive, stabilizing influence
• Caregiver has legally separated from the maltreating
parent/parent substitute and has/does demonstrate behavior to
suggest he/she will not reunite until circumstance warrants or
they are proceeding with a divorce action
• Caregiver and child have a strong bond and caregiver is clear
that the number one priority is the well being of the child
• Parent substitute has raised the child for a significant period of
time and the relationship is/has been positive
Risk:
• Parent substitute resides with the family and is the subject
• Parent substitute is in home on an infrequent basis and
assumes only minimal caregiver responsibility
• There is concern that the paramour/parent substitute is a
negative influence on child/parent
Life Domain: Family
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Time for Completing Assessments 640-15-15
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
Assessments of reports of suspected child abuse or neglect must be
completed, decision made, and the written report to the regional
office within sixty-two days from the date the report is received by
the assessing agency unless an extension of the time is requested of
and granted by the Department.
A request for extension must be provided to the Regional Supervisor
in writing, giving the reason an extension is needed.
The Regional Supervisor will grant the extension, whatever the
reason. Additional extensions may be given if requested in writing.
The reason(s) for a request for time extension(s) need to be
recorded by the Regional Supervisor, but should not be used as
criteria for granting an extension. If there is a pattern developed for
any particular county or Social Worker needing an excessive number
of extensions, the Regional Supervisor will discuss the situation with
the county social work supervisor or director to determine if there is
need for training or any other need which can be provided to assist
with the timeliness.
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Services Required Decision 640-15-20
(Revised 10/1/07 ML #3112)
View Archives
The Safety/Strengths/Risk Assessment summary identifies a high
level of risk for the child(ren) and/or the family needs are such that
immediate service is required. NDCC § 50-25.1-05.2 requires a
referral to Juvenile Court when a decision is made for Services
Required. Therefore, a referral to the Juvenile Court must be made
with a written request for some court action. A referral to the
State’s Attorney may be made (depending on the case). The Social
Worker completing the CPS assessment is responsible for the written
request to the Juvenile Court. When a decision is made that services
are required, a Social Worker (case manager) must be assigned to
provide or coordinate services. The services identified in the service
plan should relate to the safety or risk factors identified.
When a decision is made that ”Services Are Required,” it is a decision
that reflects the belief that a child is abused or neglected as defined
in NDCC § 50-25.1.
If the subject of the report is an out-of-state resident, we do not
have jurisdiction to make a “Services Required” decision. Please refer
to Section 640-05-40-15.
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No Case Manager Assigned 640-15-20-01
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
When a “Services are Required” decision is made, if for some reason,
the county decides that a case manager will not be assigned, the
rationale for this decision must be documented in the case file.
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Services Required Referral of Children Under Age
Three to Developmental Disabilities Services
640-15-20-05
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
When a decision of “Services Required” is made and there is a victim,
who is under the age of three (3), a referral shall be made for
eligibility determination for DD Case Management. If there are other
young children (under age three who are not victims) about whom
the Social Worker has some concerns, it would be good practice to
make a referral for them also, but it is not required.
The Social Worker completing the CPS assessment shall:
• notify the caregiver of the child that such a referral has been
made, providing the caregiver a fact sheet developed by the
Department for this purpose. There is no requirement to get a
signed consent from the parent before referral.
• complete a written referral to the regional DD program
administrator using the referral form developed by the
department for these referrals.
• notify the supervisor of the Social Worker assigned as the child
welfare case manager (it is recognized that in some counties
the cps Social Worker and the case manager will be the same
person so this step of notification will not be necessary in this
situation)
• document in the written assessment report that the referral and
notifications have taken place.
The Regional CPS Supervisor or designee shall:
• document, on the Child Protection Services team staffing form,
the need for the referral to the Developmental Disabilities
Services Unit.
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No Services Required 640-15-25
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
When a decision is made that ”No Services Are Required,” it is a
decision that reflects the belief that a child is not abused or neglected
as defined in NDCC § 50-25.1. However, the safety/strengths/risk
assessment could show the family may benefit from services
recommended related to the assessment.
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Services Recommended 640-15-25-01
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
The Safety/Strengths/Risk Assessment identifies a low to
intermediate risk level for the child(ren) and the family has service
needs, but court action will not be requested at the time of the
decision.
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No Services Recommended 640-15-25-05
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
The Safety/Strengths/Risk Assessment identifies no to low risk for
the child(ren); and/or the Child Protection Service Team suggests
discussion with the family on the availability of services, which are
unrelated to child abuse or neglect or; The Risk Assessment indicates
the family’s service need is non-existent.

Notification of the Case Decision 640-15-30
Notification to the Subject of Case Decision
640-15-30-01
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
Informing the subject of the outcome of the assessment is an
important activity performed by Social Workers in the final stage of
the assessment process as provided in NDCC 50-25.1-11. This
notification will serve to bridge the assessment and follow-up
services the agency offers.
The Child Protection Social Worker completing the assessment of a
report of suspected child abuse or neglect shall provide notification of
the case decision to, the subject of the report. This notification shall
be made in person. When the case decision is “Services Required”,
the notification to the subject shall be made face-to–face. If a face-to
–face notification cannot be done, the reason needs to be
documented. When the case decision is “No Services Required, the
notification may be made either face-to- face or by telephone.
Written notification must also be provided.
If the subject of the report cannot be located to receive in-person
notification, or notifying the subject in-person presents a danger to
the Social Worker, the case file must reflect this.
SFN 499 (Affidavit of Mailing) (50kb pdf) must be completed and
mailed to the subject with the written notification of the case
decision. A copy of this form becomes a part of the case file and is
sent to the regional human service center with the completed written
report.
CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES MANUAL
Division 20
Program 600 Service Chapter 640-01 – 85
_______________________________________________________
North Dakota Department of Human Services
Letter of Notification to Subject 640-15-30-01-01
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
The following components must be included in the letter
notifying the subject of the “services required” decision.
1. Date:
Use the date the letter will be sent.
2. Inside address:
Use the subject’s mailing address.
3. RE: Subject(s) __________
Victim(s) ___________
Type of Maltreatment __________
4. Greeting:
Generally, use Mr., Mrs., Ms., but first names are acceptable if
enough rapport has been developed, the family has stated it is
their preference, or if formality appears to intimidate the
person(s). The letter should be addressed to the subject
(caregiver) only.
5. Connecting and rapport building sentences:
Remind the caregiver of the time you have spent together and
of something you identified as a strength during your visit as
well as the purpose of the contact.
6. Paragraph on legal responsibility of CPS to complete to
do an assessment
Let the subject know why you have been involved with them,
even though a verbal explanation was given, it is important to
give this information in writing.
7. Explain the decision on this case
Explain that a decision has been made that (name of child(ren))
has been abuse or neglected and that the decision has been
CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES MANUAL
Division 20
Program 600 Service Chapter 640-01 – 85
_______________________________________________________
North Dakota Department of Human Services
made that services are required for the protection and
treatment of the child(ren).
8. Explain the specific type of abuse or neglect
Include the specific type(s) of maltreatment (abuse and/or
neglect) and explain why the decision was made. Explain the
behavior that is causing or caused the maltreatment.
The decision has been made that neglect
occurred and that services are required to
provide for the protection and treatment of
Jack and Jill. Neglect was identified because
the children were left alone again, even
though the dangers of doing this have been
discussed with you in the past. Jack and Jill
are afraid of being hurt and are not mature
enough to be at home alone caring for
themselves for an entire weekend. We also
believe your drinking plays a part in not
making proper arrangements for Jack and Jill’s
care and contributes to the risk they face
while they are home alone and even after you
return when you are impaired by alcohol. Jack
and Jill worry about your drinking and are
afraid you will be angry and yell at them or
hurt them when you come home.
9. Explain referral to the court
The decision of “Services Required” for the protection of (name
the children) makes it mandatory that we refer the assessment
information to the Juvenile Court. The Juvenile Court may
decide that no court intervention is necessary, that an informal
meeting will be held or, that a formal hearing is needed.
10. Paragraph to address services based on the
Safety/Strengths/Risk Assessment/ Offer of Assistance:
Let the family know what is expected of them and how to take
the next step. Also, tell them what you will do to assist them
and offer to be available. Use narrative form to explain the
actual risks to the children and avoid a listing of specific risks
identified on the Safety/Strengths/Risk Assessment form. .
CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES MANUAL
Division 20
Program 600 Service Chapter 640-01 – 85
_______________________________________________________
North Dakota Department of Human Services
NOTE: Required services pertain to subject only
11. Explain the right to appeal the decision
12. Explain the subject’s name will go on Child Abuse and
Neglect Index
13. Provide phone number and/or information on how the
social worker will contact the family
14. Closing
15. Signature
CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES MANUAL
Division 20
Program 600 Service Chapter 640-01 – 85
_______________________________________________________
North Dakota Department of Human Services
Notification to a Non-Subject Parent or Legally
Appointed Guardian 640-15-30-05
(Revised 5/1/06 ML #2977)
View Archives
When a decision is made that services are required to provide for the
protection or treatment of an abused or neglected child, the Child
Protection Social Worker shall provide written notice of the decision
to the parents or legally appointed guardian who is not the subject of
the report of suspected child abuse or neglect. The Social Worker
shall consider any known domestic violence when providing this
notification. If parent or legally appointed guardian cannot be
located, this needs to be documented in the case file.
CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES MANUAL
Division 20
Program 600 Service Chapter 640-01 – 85
_______________________________________________________
North Dakota Department of Human Services
Notifying Educators of the Decision 640-15-30-10
(Revised 10/1/07 ML #2977)
View Archives
There are many reasons why educators are so vital in identifying,
treating, and preventing child maltreatment:
• First, they have close and consistent contact with children.
• Second, educators have a professional and legally mandated
responsibility for reporting suspected maltreatment. While
educators facilitate children’s learning, children cannot learn
effectively if their attention or energy is sapped by the conflicts
inherent in being maltreated.
• Third, school personnel have a unique opportunity to advocate
for children, as well as provide programs and services that can
help children and strengthen families.
It is important to realize that a positive relationship with a supporting
adult may enhance the resiliency of children who have been abused,
are at-risk for being abused, or live in a home where no
maltreatment occurs but the family experiences other problems, such
as substance abuse.
Because of their close and consistent contact with children and their
families, educators are in a unique and critical position to help deal
with Child Protection Services issues.
Reporting suspected cases of maltreatment is just the beginning of
the child protection process. Treatment, rehabilitation, strengthening
the family, and preventing future abuse still lie ahead.
Traditionally, the roles of the school and the educator in dealing with
child maltreatment have ended with reporting, but this has changed.
CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES MANUAL
Division 20
Program 600 Service Chapter 640-01 – 85
_______________________________________________________
North Dakota Department of Human Services
Increasingly, educators are providing assistance and support to child
protective services (CPS) staff by sharing relevant information about
families and children after they have been reported; providing
services to the child, parents, and the family; and participating on
multidisciplinary teams. Schools also are actively involved in
community efforts to reduce the incidence of child maltreatment.
Educators are in a unique position to provide valuable support to
maltreated children and their families. The expertise needed to
assess special needs and design programs to fit those needs already
exists within the schools. Highly trained educators, already in the
schools and skilled in working with children and parents, can be of
great help to maltreated children and their families.
The child abuse and neglect law permits CPS to make information
available to educators in public schools as agents representing
public officials.
View Educator Notification Sample Letter in Appendix/Supporting
Documents.
When a child is interviewed at the school as a result of a report of
suspected child abuse or neglect, whether the school is the reporting
source or not, the school should be notified of the child abuse or
neglect concern in the report of suspected child abuse or neglect and
of the CPS assessment decision if the social worker and social
worker’s supervisor believe it is appropriate.
• If the school is the reporting source the information on the
decision of the CPS assessment shall be provided to the person
who made the report.
• If the school is not the reporting source, information on the
child abuse or neglect concern in the report of suspected child
abuse or neglect and the CPS assessment decision should be
provided to the principal, school social worker or school
counselor of the school where the child attends.
CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES MANUAL
Division 20
Program 600 Service Chapter 640-01 – 85
_______________________________________________________
North Dakota Department of Human Services
The child abuse and neglect law provides for the confidentiality of
any information regarding the child abuse and neglect report and
assessment. The person notified at the school should be reminded
about the legal responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of the
information being provided and the possible penalty if confidentiality
is breached.

 

27-20-02. Definitions.
As used in this chapter:
1. “Abandon” means:
a. As to a parent of a child not in the custody of that parent, failure by the
noncustodial parent significantly without justifiable cause:
(1) To communicate with the child; or
(2) To provide for the care and support of the child as required by law; or
b. As to a parent of a child in that parent’s custody:
(1) To leave the child for an indefinite period without making firm and agreed
plans, with the child’s immediate caregiver, for the parent’s resumption of
physical custody;
(2) Following the child’s birth or treatment at a hospital, to fail to arrange for the
child’s discharge within ten days after the child no longer requires hospital
care; or
(3) To willfully fail to furnish food, shelter, clothing, or medical attention
reasonably sufficient to meet the child’s needs.
2. “Abandoned infant” means a child who has been abandoned before reaching the age
of one year.
3. “Aggravated circumstances” means circumstances in which a parent:
a. Abandons, tortures, chronically abuses, or sexually abuses a child;
b. Fails to make substantial, meaningful efforts to secure treatment for the parent’s
addiction, mental illness, behavior disorder, or any combination of those
conditions for a period equal to the lesser of:
(1) One year; or
(2) One-half of the child’s lifetime, measured in days, as of the date a petition
alleging aggravated circumstances is filed;
c. Engages in conduct prohibited under sections 12.1-20-01 through 12.1-20-08 or
chapter 12.1-27.2, in which a child is the victim or intended victim;
d. Engages in conduct that constitutes one of the following crimes, or of an offense
under the laws of another jurisdiction which requires proof of substantially similar
elements:
(1) A violation of section 12.1-16-01, 12.1-16-02, 12.1-16-03, or 14-09-22 in
which the victim is another child of the parent;
(2) Aiding, abetting, attempting, conspiring, or soliciting a violation of section
12.1-16-01, 12.1-16-02, or 12.1-16-03 in which the victim is a child of the
parent; or
(3) A violation of section 12.1-17-02 in which the victim is a child of the parent
and has suffered serious bodily injury;
e. Engages or attempts to engage in conduct, prohibited under sections 12.1-17-01
through 12.1-17-04, in which a child is the victim or intended victim;
f. Has been incarcerated under a sentence for which the latest release date is:
(1) In the case of a child age nine or older, after the child’s majority; or
(2) In the case of a child, after the child is twice the child’s current age,
measured in days;
g. Subjects the child to prenatal exposure to chronic or severe use of alcohol or any
controlled substance as defined in chapter 19-03.1 in a manner not lawfully
prescribed by a practitioner; or
h. Allows the child to be present in an environment subjecting the child to exposure
to a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia as
prohibited by section 19-03.1-22.2.
Page No. 1
4. “Child” means an individual who is:
a. Under the age of eighteen years and is not married; or
b. Under the age of twenty years with respect to a delinquent act committed while
under the age of eighteen years.
5. “Custodian” means a person, other than a parent or legal guardian, who stands
in loco parentis to the child or a person to whom legal custody of the child has been
given by order of a court.
6. “Delinquent act” means an act designated a crime under the law, including local
ordinances or resolutions of this state, or of another state if the act occurred in that
state, or under federal law, and the crime does not fall under subdivision c of
subsection 19.
7. “Delinquent child” means a child who has committed a delinquent act and is in need of
treatment or rehabilitation.
8. “Deprived child” means a child who:
a. Is without proper parental care or control, subsistence, education as required by
law, or other care or control necessary for the child’s physical, mental, or
emotional health, or morals, and the deprivation is not due primarily to the lack of
financial means of the child’s parents, guardian, or other custodian;
b. Has been placed for care or adoption in violation of law;
c. Has been abandoned by the child’s parents, guardian, or other custodian;
d. Is without proper parental care, control, or education as required by law, or other
care and control necessary for the child’s well-being because of the physical,
mental, emotional, or other illness or disability of the child’s parent or parents,
and that such lack of care is not due to a willful act of commission or act of
omission by the child’s parents, and care is requested by a parent;
e. Is in need of treatment and whose parents, guardian, or other custodian have
refused to participate in treatment as ordered by the juvenile court;
f. Was subject to prenatal exposure to chronic or severe use of alcohol or any
controlled substance as defined in chapter 19-03.1 in a manner not lawfully
prescribed by a practitioner;
g. Is present in an environment subjecting the child to exposure to a controlled
substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia as prohibited by section
19-03.1-22.2.
h. Is a victim of human trafficking as defined in title 12.1.
9. “Detention” means a physically secure facility with locked doors and does not include
shelter care, attendant care, or home detention.
10. “Director” means the director of juvenile court or the director’s designee.
11. “Fit and willing relative or other appropriate individual” means a relative or other
individual who has been determined, after consideration of an assessment that
includes a criminal history record investigation under chapter 50-11.3, to be a qualified
person under chapter 30.1-27, and who consents in writing to act as a legal guardian.
12. “Home” when used in the phrase “to return home” means the abode of the child’s
parent with whom the child formerly resided.
13. “Juvenile court” means the district court of this state.
14. “Juvenile drug court” means a program established in a judicial district consisting of
intervention and assessment of juveniles involved in forms of substance abuse;
frequent drug testing; intense judicial and probation supervision; individual, group, and
family counseling; substance abuse treatment; educational opportunities; and use of
sanctions and incentives.
15. “Permanency hearing” means a hearing, conducted with respect to a child who is in
foster care, to determine the permanency plan for the child which includes:
a. Whether and, if applicable, when the child will be returned to the parent;
b. Whether and, if applicable, when the child will be placed for adoption and the
state will file a petition for termination of parental rights;
c. Whether and, if applicable, when a fit and willing relative or other appropriate
individual will be appointed as a legal guardian;
d. Whether and, if applicable, to place siblings in the same foster care, relative,
guardianship, or adoptive placement, unless it is determined that the joint
placement would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings;
e. Whether and, if applicable, in the case of siblings removed from their home who
are not jointly placed, to provide for frequent visitation or other ongoing interaction
between the siblings, unless it is determined to be contrary to the safety or
well-being of any of the siblings;
f. In cases in which a compelling reason has been shown that it would not be in the
child’s best interests to return home, to have parental rights terminated, to be
placed for adoption, to be placed with a fit and willing relative, or to be placed with
a legal guardian, whether and, if applicable, when the child, aged sixteen or older,
will be placed in another planned permanent living arrangement. The court shall:
(1) Ask the child whether the child has a desired permanency outcome of
another planned permanent living arrangement,
(2) Make a judicial determination explaining why another planned permanent
living arrangement is the best permanency plan for the child, and
(3) Identify the compelling reasons it continues not to be in the best interest of
the child to return home, be placed for adoption, be placed with a legal
guardian, or be placed with a fit and willing relative;
g. In the case of a child who has been placed in foster care outside the state in
which the home of the parents is located, or if the parents maintain separate
homes, outside the state in which the home of the parent who was the child’s
primary caregiver is located, whether out-of-state placements have been
considered. If the child is currently in an out-of-state placement, the court shall
determine whether the placement continues to be appropriate and in the child’s
best interests; and
h. In the case of a child who has attained age fourteen, the services needed to
assist the child to make the transition to successful adulthood.
16. “Protective supervision” means supervision ordered by the court of children found to
be deprived or unruly.
17. “Relative” means:
a. The child’s grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling, half-sibling, aunt, great-aunt,
uncle, great-uncle, nephew, niece, or first cousin;
b. An individual with a relationship to the child, derived through a current or former
spouse of the child’s parent, similar to a relationship described in subdivision a;
c. An individual recognized in the child’s community as having a relationship with
the child similar to a relationship described in subdivision a; or
d. The child’s stepparent.
18. “Shelter care” means temporary care of a child in physically unrestricted facilities.
19. “Unruly child” means a child who:
a. Is habitually and without justification truant from school;
b. Is habitually disobedient of the reasonable and lawful commands of the child’s
parent, guardian, or other custodian and is ungovernable or who is willfully in a
situation dangerous or injurious to the health, safety, or morals of the child or
others;
c. Has committed an offense applicable only to a child, except for an offense
committed by a minor fourteen years of age or older under subsection 2 of
section 12.1-31-03 or an equivalent local ordinance or resolution;
d. Has committed an offense in violation of section 5-01-08; or
e. Is under the age of fourteen years and has purchased, possessed, smoked, or
used tobacco, tobacco-related products, electronic smoking devices, or
alternative nicotine products in violation of subsection 2 of section 12.1-31-03;
and
f. In any of the foregoing instances is in need of treatment or rehabilitation.
As used in this subsection, “electronic smoking devices” and “alternative nicotine
products” have the same meaning as in section 12.1-31-03.
Page No. 3
20. “Willfully” has the meaning provided in section 12.1-02-02.

It is important to know that when you make up your motion to dismiss, you will only be able to use opinions from the right court of appeals for YOUR area. There are 11 of them. If you do not know which district you would choose from CLICK HERE. Each have reconsidered court cases from the area that they represent.

For each subject you would like to consider in your motion, choose the correct reviewed case from the appeal court, US Law, or State law. Insert them into your motion as needed.

 

5. I was told by caseworkers name that if I did not tell her anything that CPS would take my child away.

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

Coercive or intimidating behavior supports a reasonable belief that compliance is compelledCassady v. Tackett, 938 F. 2d (6th Cir. 1991).

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

Consent” that is the product of official intimidation or harassment is not consent at all. Citizens do not forfeit their constitutional rights when they are coerced to comply with a request that they would prefer to refuse. Florida v. Bostick, 501 US 429 (1991).  

Coercion can be mental as well as physical.Blackburn v. Alabama, 361 US (1960)

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

10.  HH told me that if I did not answer a few questions, my child would be taken into DHS custody and placed in foster care. I was coerced into speaking with her and did so under duress. 

11.  The evidence used to gain entry did not satisfy the standard of probable cause.

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

ANY type of communication, which conveys the idea to the parent that they have no realistic alternative but to allow entry negates any claim that the entry was lawfully gained through the channel of consent.  “Consent to warrantless entry must be voluntary and not the result of duress or coercion. Lack of intelligence, not understanding the right not to consent, or trickery invalidate voluntary consent”.Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, 412 US 218 (1973). 

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

13.  

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

Police officers and social workers are not immune from coercing or forcing entry into a person’s home without a search warrant.  Calabretta v. Floyd (9th Cir. 1999).

However, when determining whether the court has jurisdiction because of conditions and circumstances, the focus must be on the child’s current conditions and circumstances and not on some point in the past. Father caused injury to child, court took jurisdiction. Mother left father and improved her life. Court had no more jurisdiciton of child. State ex rel Juv. Dept. v. S. A., 230 Or App 346, 347, 214 P3d 851 (2009)

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

16.  There are two and only two recognized exceptions to the requirement of having a warrant for the conduct of a child abuse investigation:

a.) The adult in charge of the premises gives the social worker his/her free and voluntary consent to enter the home.

b.) The social worker possesses evidence that meets two standards:

(1) it satisfies the legal standard of establishing probable cause; and

(2) the evidence demonstrates that there are exigent circumstances relative to the health of the children.

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

 

17.  CPS worker HH was in fact, acting under the authority or color of state law at the time this occurred in her official capacity as a social worker for Iowa DHS.

18.  Her execution of Iowa Department of Human Services’ “customs” and/or “policies” were the moving force behind her unconstitutional acts, and that personally, her individual unconstitutional acts violated my clearly established constitutional rights of which a reasonable official would have knownDavis v. Scherer (1984).

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

As the United States Supreme Court has explained: “In terms that apply equally to seizures of property and to seizures of persons, the Fourth Amendment has drawn a firm line at the entrance to the house. Absent exigent circumstances, that threshold may not reasonably be crossed without a warrant.” ( Payton v. New York (1980) 445 U.S. 573, 590 [100 S.Ct. 1371, 1382, 63 L.Ed.2d 639].)

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

 

 

25.  There was no court order for this, nor did exigent circumstances exist as stated by Caseworkers Name in her initial assessment. 

26.  .    

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

Social workers and police cannot lawfully seize a child without a warrant or the existence of probable cause to believe the child was in imminent danger of harm. Where police were not informed of any abuse of the child prior to arriving at caretaker’s home and found no evidence of abuse while there, seizure of the child was not objectively reasonable and violated the clearly established Fourth Amendment rights of the child. Wooley v. City of Baton Rouge, (5th Cir. 2000).

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

Child removals are “seizures” under the Fourth Amendment.  Seizure is unconstitutional without a court order or exigent circumstances. Brokaw v. Mercer County, (7th Cir. 2000)

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

For purposes of the Fourth Amendment, a “seizure” of a person is a situation in which a reasonable person would feel that he is not free to leave, and also either actually yields to a show of authority from police or social workers or is physically touched by police. Persons may not be “seized” without a court order or being placed under arrest. California v. Hodari, 499 U.S. 621 (1991).

As the United States Supreme Court has explained: “In terms that apply equally to seizures of property and to seizures of persons, the Fourth Amendment has drawn a firm line at the entrance to the house. Absent exigent circumstances, that threshold may not reasonably be crossed without a warrant.” ( Payton v. New York (1980) 445 U.S. 573, 590 [100 S.Ct. 1371, 1382, 63 L.Ed.2d 639].)

“Exigent circumstances” means “an emergency situation requiring swift action to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to property, or to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect or destruction of evidence.” ( People v. Ramey, supra, at p. 276.)

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

Jordan by Jordan v. Jackson, 15 F. 3d 333, 342-346 (4th Cir. 1994) (” The State’s removal of a child from his parent’s home indisputably constitutes an interference with a liberty interest of the parents and thus triggers the procedural protections of the 14th amendment. . . . Forced separation of parent from child, even for a short time, represents a serious impingement on those rights.”)

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

Absent extraordinary circumstances, a parent has a liberty interest in familial association and privacy that cannot be violated without adequate pre-deprivation procedures. An ex parte hearing based on misrepresentation and omission does not constitute notice and an opportunity to be heard. Procurement of an order to seize a child through distortion, misrepresentation and/or omission is a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Parents may assert their children’s Fourth Amendment claim on behalf of their children as well as asserting their own Fourteenth Amendment claim. Malik v.Arapahoe Cty. Dept. of Social Services, (10th Cir. 1999)

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

38.  The CPS Assessment report falsely states that I told her I used meth once a week for the past several months.  I did NOT make this statement to anyone, and my UA on March 11, 2011 was negative.  

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

Court orders obtained based on knowingly false information violates Fourth Amendment.  Brokaw v. Mercer County, (7th Cir. 2000).

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

39.  On March 12, 2011, I signed over temporary legal guardianship of my child to Don and Sarah Boeckholt, for a period not to exceed 6 months.

40.  CPS removed my child after I informed Ms. Hewitt of this fact, which she failed to disclose to the court during the removal hearing. This is a lie of omission. A lie of omission is to remain silent when ethical behavior calls for one to speak up. A lie of omission is a method of deception and duplicity that uses the technique of simply remaining silent when speaking the truth would significantly alter the other person’s (the judge’s) capacity to make an informed decision.

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

 

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

 

23.  I was coerced into signing a “voluntary” Safety Plan.  The CPS worker, Caseworkers Name, threatened me that if I did not sign the “voluntary” service plan that my child would be TPR’ed. 

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

 According to Amanda C., by and through Gary Richmond, natural parent and next friend, appellee, v. Kelly Case, appellant. N.W.2d  Filed May 23, 2008. No. S-06-1097 this is unauthorized practice of law and acting under the Color of Law.

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

 

1st Circuit

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9th Circuit

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11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

27.  The assessment by Caseworker’s name does not specify what exigent circumstances existed or what immediate danger to life or health my child was in to justify an emergency situation. None of the following apply:

Put CPS rules of exigent circumstances here

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

If anything, this case shows you that you must challenge the court or you will not get another chance.

SAMPLE:   I am therefore establishing ON THE RECORD that I strongly challenge that an emergency existed to remove my child, and most certainly do withdraw any “voluntary” agreements I was coerced into entering into.

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

In the opinion of Judge Stephen Limbaugh Jr. in the majority Opinion of the Supreme Court of Missouri, In the Interest of: P.L.O. and S.K.O., minor children. SC85120 (3/30/2004):  “The mother voluntarily consented to the court’s jurisdiction over her children, voluntarily transferred their custody to the division and never challenged the circumstances of their removal. Accordingly, she cannot now challenge whether an ’emergency’ existed to justify removal of her child under (the statute in question) and this court need not address such a challenge.”

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

CPS Statutes

36.  The CPA falsely states that there are domestic violence issues in the home. My child herself states that Steve was never mean to us, and that she did not witness any violence.

37.  CPS worker caseworkers name states that my child witnessing domestic abuse constitutes as neglect/denial of critical care and is basis for her removal.  

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

In a landmark class action suit in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, U.S. District Judge Jack Weistein ruled on Nicholson v. Williams, Case No.: 00-cv-2229, the suit challenged the practice of New York’s City’s Administration for Children’s Services of removing the children of battered mothers solely because the children saw their mothers being beaten by husbands or boyfriends.  Judge Weistein ruled that the practice is unconstitutional and he ordered it stopped.

3rd Circuit

The Department failed to show any evidence to support that father himself caused injuries.
The trial court found that something happened to the child over the weekend and that the injuries were consistent with “child physical abuse.” The Third District Court of Appeal (Third DCA) agreed with the trial court that the child was harmed pursuant to the statutory definition of harm but found the Department failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the Father inflicted or allowed someone else to inflict the injuries to the child. Specifically, the Third DCA pointed to a lack of any evidence to support that Father caused the injuries and noted that the child was exposed to a number of individuals over the weekend, including Father’s wife, her children and a number of other relatives. H.C. v. Department of Children and Family Services and Guardian ad Litem Program, 141 So.3d 243 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014)

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

 

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

Judicial determinations that remaining in the home would be contrary to the welfare of the child and that reasonable efforts were made to prevent removal and to finalize the permanency plan in effect, as well as judicial determinations that reasonable efforts are not required, must be explicitly documented, made on a case-by-case basis, and stated in the court order.  A transcript of the court proceeding is the only other documentation that will be accepted to verify that these determinations have been made. Affidavits, nunc pro tunc orders, and references to state law are not acceptable.  45 C.F.R. §1356.21(d). The court, after hearing the evidence, must be satisfied that reasonable efforts . . . have been made.  Review and approval of the [state] agency’s report and recommendation alone are not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Act; the court must make a determination that the agency’s efforts were, in the judgment of the court, reasonable for preventing placement. With regard to emergency situations, if the agency’s judgment was that services could not have prevented removal of the child, the court at the time of the adjudicatory hearing must find that the lack of preventive efforts was reasonable.

43.  The reasonable efforts claimed to have been made by CPS were inconsistent in the various court documents, which was not questioned before making a determination.

44.  CPS was never required to provide specific and detailed documentation to prove that Reasonable Efforts were in fact made.  

 

 

1st Circuit

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8th Circuit

The juvenile court is required to make factual findings to support its conclusion that reasonable efforts have been made to avoid or eliminate the need for removal of the child from the home. It is not sufficient to merely conclude that reasonable efforts have been made without more. In Interest of B.L., 491 N.W.2d 789, 791 (Iowa App. 1992).

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

42 C.F.R. Section 1356.21(d) requires documentation of judicial determinations concerning both reasonable efforts and contrary to the welfare findings. They are to be explicitly documented on a case by case basis and so stated in the court order. Facts substantiating the legal conclusion must be stated in the order. Lack of compliance results in denial of federal funds for the child’s foster placement.

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

Police officer and social worker may not conduct a warrantless search or seizure in a suspected child abuse case absent exigent circumstances.  Defendants must have reason to believe that life or limb is in immediate jeopardy and that the intrusion is reasonable necessary to alleviate the threat.  Searches and seizures in investigation of a child neglect or child abuse case at a home are governed by the same principles as other searches and seizures at a home. Goodv. Dauphin County Social Services (3rd Cir. 1989)

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

 

 

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

A police officer and a social worker may not conduct a warrantless search or seizure in a suspected child abuse case absent exigent circumstances. Defendants must have reason to believe that life or limb is in immediate jeopardy and that the intrusion is reasonable necessary to alleviate the threat. Searches and seizures in investigation of a child neglect or child abuse case at a home are governed by the same principles as other searches and seizures at a home.  Good v. Dauphin County Social Services (3rd Cir. 1989).

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

Children may not be removed from their home by police officers or social workers without notice and a hearing unless the officials have a reasonable belief that the children were in imminent danger.  Ram v. Rubin, (9th Cir. 1997)

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

The Department failed to show any evidence to support that father himself caused injuries.
The trial court found that something happened to the child over the weekend and that the injuries were consistent with “child physical abuse.” The Third District Court of Appeal (Third DCA) agreed with the trial court that the child was harmed pursuant to the statutory definition of harm but found the Department failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the Father inflicted or allowed someone else to inflict the injuries to the child. Specifically, the Third DCA pointed to a lack of any evidence to support that Father caused the injuries and noted that the child was exposed to a number of individuals over the weekend, including Father’s wife, her children and a number of other relatives. H.C. v. Department of Children and Family Services and Guardian ad Litem Program, 141 So.3d 243 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014)

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

Defendants could not lawfully seize child without a warrant or the existence of probable cause to believe child was in imminent danger of harm. Where police were not informed of any abuse of the child prior to arriving at caretaker’s home and found no evidence of abuse while there, seizure of the child was not objectively reasonable and violated the clearly established Fourth Amendment rights of the child. Wooley v. City of Baton Rouge, (5th Cir. 2000)

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

 

 

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