Attached is the revised document entitled "Case Finding Determinations in Cases of Child Abuse and Neglect." It provides policies and guidelines for determining case findings in reports of alleged child abuse and neglect, per s. 48.981(3)(c)4., Stats.
The policy on case finding determinations was initially developed concurrently with the 1996 revisions in the CFS-40 (previously DCS-40) form and "DCS-40 Child Abuse and Neglect Investigation Report Instructions" published in January of 1996. Both documents use the same case finding determinations. This memo describes the process and criteria for arriving at case determinations. The "DCS-40 Child Abuse and Neglect Investigation Report Instructions" describe how to document information on the reporting form.
A draft of this memo was issued at the same time as the 1996 revisions in the reporting form. The draft was to be used as guidelines. The memo was formally issued in August of 1998, encompassing changes that had been made in the interim in statutory definitions of child abuse. In October of 1998, counties were required to implement an appeals process for persons substantiated as having abused or neglected a child. The appeals process raised issues requiring further clarification in this memo.