STATE OF WISCONSIN
Department of Health and Family Services
Division of Children and Family Services
           Memo Series DCFS 2000-02
           January 26, 2000

Re:    CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICE
         INVESTIGATION STANDARDS;
         MALTREATMENT BY PARENTS

To: Area Administrators/Assistant Area Administrators
Bureau Directors
County Child Protective Services Supervisors
County Departments of Community Program Directors
County Departments of Developmental Disabilities
    Services Directors
County Departments of Human Services Directors
County Departments of Social Services Directors
Direct Services Supervisors
Licensing Chiefs/Section Chiefs
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators
From: Susan N. Dreyfus
Administrator

On August 5, 1994, the Child Protective Service Investigation Standards were issued. These standards describe the requirements for conducting investigations of alleged maltreatment and vary according to whether the maltreatment is alleged to have been committed by primary caregivers, secondary caregivers or non-caregivers. In the section addressing primary caregivers, separate standards are in place for Maltreatment By Parents, Maltreatment By Close Relatives And Those Sharing The Child’s Dwelling, Maltreatment By Foster Parents, and Maltreatment By Individuals Who Share A Foster Home. The attachment to this memo is the revised Standard for Maltreatment By Parents. It replaces the section, Maltreatment By Parents, pp. 9-12, issued in the Child Protective Service Investigation Standards in 1994. It also affects the requirements for Maltreatment By Close Relatives And Those Sharing The Child’s Dwelling, as investigations in this category are required to follow the Standard for Maltreatment By Parents.

The primary changes in the Maltreatment By Parents Standard are as follows:

  • Standards regarding assessing and responding to safety have been added. These standards are consistent with those presented in the training on child safety provided to county child welfare staff throughout the state.

  • Some requirements in the standard issued in 1994 have been restated, to assure that they are not misunderstood. A recent review of county agency adherence to this Standard revealed misunderstanding of a number of requirements, such as time frames, when safety and risk assessment are required, and what information must be gathered and documented in each case.

  • Definition of "parents", for purposes of determining when the Standard applies, has been expanded.

  • Addition of a section on definitions.

  • Expanded discussion on risk assessment.

  • Expanded discussion of state and federal requirements concerning Indian children.

  • Expanded discussion on collaboration.

  • Expanded discussion on practice considerations and instances where deviation from the Standard is allowed.

The new Standard goes into effect on February 1, 2000.

REGIONAL OFFICE CONTACT: Area Administrator
CENTRAL OFFICE CONTACT: Mary Dibble
Child Protective Services Specialist
DCFS/BPP
1 West Wilson Street
P.O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708-8916
(608) 267-2073

Attachment:

Standard for Maltreatment by Parents


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