STATE OF WISCONSIN
Department of Health and Family Services
Division of Children and Family Services
            DCFS Memo Series 2006 - 07
              March 23, 2006
            Re:  DEADLINES FOR COMPLETING
                   AND APPROVING INITIAL
                   ASSESSMENTS

             SUPERSEDES DCFS MEMO 2001-04

 

To: Area Administrators/Assistant Area Administrators
Bureau Directors
County Departments of Community Programs Directors
County Departments of Developmental Disabilities Services Directors
County Departments of Human Services Directors
County Departments of Social Services Directors
Licensing Chiefs/Section Chiefs
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators
From: Burnie Bridge
Administrator

 Document Summary:

This memo provides direction regarding deadlines for completing and approving Initial Assessment documentation in eWiSACWIS. This numbered memo replaces DCFS Numbered Memo 2001-04 that provided direction on deadlines for submitting completed CFS-40 forms.

Background:

In addition to addressing ongoing needs for child maltreatment data, the DCFS is responsible for meeting two annual child abuse and neglect data reporting requirements. First, child maltreatment data is provided annually to the federal Children's Bureau on a federal fiscal year (FFY) basis to meet National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) reporting requirements. NCANDS data includes child-specific data for each Protective Service (PS) report that is screened-in and investigated and includes summary data regarding PS Reports, investigation timeliness and service provision. Data for a given FFY period is currently required to be submitted by March 31 of the following year.

The DCFS is also required by state statute to prepare an annual child abuse and neglect report for the Governor and the Legislature. This report covers a calendar year (CY) period and provides statewide and county-specific information on PS Reports and Initial Assessments. DCFS begins to receive requests for preliminary child maltreatment data within six months of the end of the previous CY period.

Under the current Child Protective Services Investigation Standards, investigations on screened -in PS Reports must be completed within 60 days of the date the report was received by the local agency. The completed investigation, or Initial Assessment, must be approved in eWiSACWIS by a supervisor. The authority to specify the format with which such information is documented is granted to the Department under s. 48.981(3)(c) 8., Stats.

Deadlines for Approving and Documenting Initial Assessment Results:

Given the above deadlines for meeting federal and state level child abuse and neglect reporting requirements and the state policy and statutes governing such practice, the following deadlines apply for completing and approving initial assessments in eWiSACWIS:

NCANDS-

  • For screened-in PS Reports received during a FFY Period (October 1 through September 30) - The Initial Assessment must be completed and approved by the supervisor by January 1 of the following year.

  • Any PS Report that is received during the FFY period, where the Initial Assessment is not approved by the above cut-off date will be submitted to NCANDS for the following FFY period.

State Annual Child Abuse and Neglect Report-

  • For screened-in PS Reports received during a CY Period (January 1 through December 31) - The Initial Assessment must be completed and approved by the supervisor by April 1 of the following year.

  • Any PS Report that is received during the CY period, where the Initial Assessment is not approved by the above cut-off date, will not be included in the annual child abuse and neglect report or in agency-level statistics for that CY period and will not be included in the report for the following CY period.

eWiSACWIS Reports Related to Access (Intake) and Initial Assessments:

Several reports are available to support the ability of local agencies to monitor the number of and data quality and timeliness associated with PS reports and initial assessments. These reports include the following:

  • Interim Intake Report (SM0100a) - Indicates the number of PS Reports and service intakes that were screened in and screened out by supervisors during the report period to give agencies information on the volume of their intake activity. The Intake report is based on the current eWiSACWIS intake functionality and provides a breakdown by PS Reports and Service Referrals. The report is designed to provide simple case lists and does not show subsequent processing of PS Reports by Initial Assessment staff. This report was put into production in January 2006. Additional data elements for the summary and case detail outputs for this report will be issued in April 2006.

  • CPS Timeliness Report (SM06a05) - Provides summary and case specific data regarding the timeliness of worker assignment, initial face-to-face contact, and supervisory approval of screened-in PS Reports and the corresponding approved Initial Assessments. This report was put into production in December 2005 and is used to monitor timeliness of initial face to face contacts under the Program Enhancement Plan developed in response to the federal Child and Family Services Review.

  • Initial Assessment Data Quality Report (SM06a06) - Tracks key decision-making timelines and child and caretaker characteristics relevant to improving data quality of PS Reports and Initial Assessments. The report is intended for use by counties to monitor entry of essential data for State Child Abuse and Neglect and Federal NCANDS reporting, and the report includes summary and case detail outputs. The report indicates all PS Reports received for the report period, creation of Initial Assessments and entry of essential assessment information. The report also indicates cases where 10 days has lapsed from the date the PS Report was received and no Initial Assessment has been created. This report was put into production in January 2006.
REGIONAL OFFICE CONTACT:  Area Administrator
CENTRAL OFFICE CONTACT: Michelle Rawlings
Office of Program Evaluation and Planning
(608) 264-9846
rawlimm@dhfs.state.wi.us
 

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