Access and Initial Assessment (IA) Information Access Access is the process of receiving, analyzing and documenting reports of alleged child maltreatment. The functions of Access are as follows: Receive and document reports of alleged maltreatment from the community Identify families that the child protective services (CPS) system must respond to Determine the urgency of the response time Initiate an assessment of child safety and family strengths Indian Child Welfare at Access Tribal engagement should begin at the point of Access. A CPS agency is able to disclose information to the tribal social services department to support tribal staff in clearly identifying the child, facilitate a county-tribal collaborative response whenever possible, and facilitate the delivery of prevention and supportive services by the tribe. Requirements: When a report of abuse and/or neglect is received on an Indian child or unborn Indian child, the agency must notify the tribe of the report received within 24 hours. Additional Indian Child Welfare information is available at Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act. Initial Assessment Initial assessment is the process of: Investigating alleged maltreatment Assessing the family condition to determine if the conditions and/or behaviors in the home pose a risk to a child’s safety Determining what services may be needed to help the family enhance parental protective capacities to establish a safe environment for the child(ren) Initial Assessment has three tiers; Primary, Secondary and Non-Caregiver. Role of CPS Caseworker in a Primary Assessment A primary assessment will be completed when the alleged maltreatment is by parents, caregivers, other’s living in the household, or an unknown maltreater. The case worker must: Conduct a comprehensive assessment in order to: assess and analyze Present and Impending Danger Threats to child safety take action, when necessary, to control threats to child safety determine the need for CPS Ongoing Services (voluntary or court-ordered) determine whether maltreatment occurred assist families in identifying community resources Engage families in providing protection for their children Explain the initial assessment process to the family including the purpose of the interview(s) and any needed collaboration with other agencies (e.g., law enforcement, regulatory agency) Identify children who may be subject to the Indian Child Welfare Act Role of CPS Caseworker in a Secondary and Non-Caregiver Assessment A secondary or non-caregiver assessment will be completed if the alleged maltreatment is by someone outside the family. The case worker must: Explain the initial assessment process to the family including the purpose of the interview(s) and any needed collaboration with other agencies (law enforcement, regulatory agency) Notify the family of their right to consent to an interview of their child as well as themselves Explain how information obtained during the initial assessment may be used (court proceeding) Conduct an assessment to: assist parents in managing any Present Danger Threats to child safety, when needed determine the need for CPS ongoing services (voluntary or court-ordered) in secondary assessments, determine whether maltreatment occurred assist families in identifying community resources, and arranging services for their child, when needed Collaborate, as appropriate, with law enforcement, licensing, regulatory, or administrative agencies Identify children who may be subject to the Indian Child Welfare Act Indian Child Welfare at Initial Assessment In all aspects of CPS intervention, an Indian child’s family and tribe must be informed and the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) must be followed. During Initial Assessment, caseworkers must determine whether the child has American Indian heritage and might be affiliated with a tribe or tribes. The process required to make and document this determination is described in the Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act Desk Aid (DCF-P-2536). Use of Separation/Placement of an Indian Child Active efforts are required when an Indian child is separated or placed as part of CPS intervention. These efforts include ongoing, vigorous and concerted interventions which are intended to promote communication, collaboration, and coordination with the Indian child’s tribe in all aspects of CPS intervention. More information about active efforts can be found in this Active Efforts Guide (DCF-P-464) Additional Indian Child Welfare information is available at Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act. Access and Initial Assessment Resources Statutes, Standards, Policies Statutes Chapter 48 (the Children’s Code) is the Wisconsin statute governing the CPS Access and Initial Assessment process and requirements Standards Child Protective Services Access and Initial Assessment Standards guides practice for Wisconsin’s CPS Access and Initial Assessment functions. Child Protective Services Safety Intervention Standards guides practice for the assessment and intervention of safety in Wisconsin’s CPS system. Policy Memos Child Welfare Policy Memos - This is a searchable table of all active memos related to Wisconsin Child Welfare. WICWA Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act provides information on the required responsibilities for Indian child welfare practices in Wisconsin. Reports and Data Child Protective Services (CPS) Access Reports Dashboard provides cumulative information related to Access screening decisions and trends in Wisconsin for the calendar year. Initial Assessment (IA) Timeliness and Workload Dashboard provides data on performance in Initial Assessments in the most recent month and in six month trends, including workload detail. Child Welfare Case Record Continuous Quality Improvement Reports - Wisconsin’s child welfare system uses Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) System to better understand what affects our system’s performance. This deeper understanding helps to guide improvements to: Child welfare practice Processes Outcomes Child Welfare Data and Reports- a collection of reports and data specific to Wisconsin Child Welfare. Additional Information Child Welfare and Program Definitions document discusses and defines terms frequently used in child welfare. Safety Plan Categories and Definitions are reviewed and described in this document. Wisconsin Child Abuse Network (WICAN) provides helpful resources for medical providers and those wanting more information about medical signs of child abuse and neglect. Training Child Welfare Policy and Program Information Webinars provides links to Division of Safety and Permanency (DSP) informative and educational webinars related to specific child welfare and youth justice policies and programs. New! Wisconsin Child Welfare Professional Development System (PDS) provides pre-service, foundation, and special topic training for Wisconsin’s child welfare workers. Wisconsin Children’s Court Improvement Program provides resources and e-learning activity with an overview of child safety decision making and the courts.