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Policy Manual

CHILD PROTECTIVE INVESTIGATIONS
Conducting the Investigation

34-3-6
Determination and Conclusion

Policy Upon completion of the field response, the investigator shall take the actions specified below to complete the investigation and make a determination that child abuse or neglect is substantiated or not substantiated.

The investigation supervisor shall review the investigation to ensure compliance with investigation policy and good case practice.

The investigation shall be completed, as verified with the preparation of the DCF-2074, Investigation Protocol, within thirty (30) calendar days of acceptance of the report at the Hotline.

See each of the following policies for more information:

Steps to Conclude the Investigation The investigator shall take the steps below to follow-up the field response and conclude the investigation:
  • document information gathered during the investigation
  • complete a risk assessment
  • submit a request for a State Police criminal record check on the alleged perpetrator, adults in the home and other adults who have child caring responsibilities or access to the child in the home, if not done previously
  • refer family members for a drug and/or alcohol screen, if needed
  • contact collaterals
  • discuss the case with the supervisor, taking into consideration all facts that were collected during the investigation to determine the plan of action
  • determine with the supervisor if child abuse is substantiated or not substantiated
  • determine appropriate juvenile court action (see below -- Use of Juvenile Court)
  • take removal actions, when indicated
  • determine case disposition
  • provide notification of the results of the investigation to those specified below
  • with the supervisor, utilize the DCF-2075, "Investigation Checklist", as a guide to ensure that all required actions have been completed.
Making a Determination Upon completion of an investigation, the investigator, in consultation with his/her supervisor, shall make a final determination that the report of child abuse or neglect is either "substantiated" or "not substantiated".

    Note: An allegation of "in danger of abuse" must be substantiated or not substantiated as "abuse" or "neglect".

     

Investigation Determination Condition
Substantiated Reasonable cause to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred.
Not substantiated Lack of reasonable cause to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred

 

Use of Juvenile Court If abuse is substantiated, the investigator (or on an open treatment case, the treatment worker) shall consult with the Program Supervisor and AAG to determine if there is a legally sufficient case to bring to Juvenile Court.

A decision not to file in a case which is otherwise legally sufficient must be made by the Program Director and fully documented in the LINK record.

Note:  In any case in which abuse or neglect is substantiated, DCF shall not recommend to extended family of the child that they pursue action in the Probate Court.

Cross-Reference46-3-3, "Authority of the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters"

Notification to Child's Parents/Guardians Within thirty (30) days of completion of an investigation, the investigation supervisor shall ensure that the child's parents or guardians are notified in writing of the outcome of the investigation, utilizing DCF-2210, "Notification of Investigation Results".
Notification to Perpetrator Within thirty (30) days of completion of an investigation, the investigation supervisor shall ensure that the perpetrator, if one has been identified, is notified in writing of the outcome of the investigation, utilizing DCF-2210, "Notification of Investigation Results".
Notification to Mandated Reporter Within ten (10) working days of completion of the investigation, the investigation supervisor shall ensure that the mandated reporter is informed of the outcome of the investigation, by use of DCF-2122, "Mandated Reporter Letter".
Others to be Notified When Abuse or Neglect is Substantiated Upon completion of an investigation, in addition to notifying the child's parents or guardians, the perpetrator and the mandated reporter of the outcome, the investigation supervisor shall ensure that the following persons are notified of substantiated abuse or neglect:

 

Type of Substantiation Provide Notification to...
Sexual abuse or serious physical abuse Notify and provide a copy of the investigation report to:
  • the Chief State's Attorney, or designee, or a state's attorney for the judicial district in which the child resides or in which the abuse or neglect occurred
  • the appropriate local law enforcement authority
  • the Bureau Chief of Child Welfare Services.
Abuse or neglect at an institution or facility that provides care for children which is subject to licensure by the state, including the Department of Public Health and the Department of Mental Retardation (see specifics below) Notify the state agency responsible for such licensure and provide records, whether or not created by the department, concerning such investigation .
Abuse or neglect at a day care facility licensed by the Department of Public Health Notify and provide a copy of the investigation report to the DPH Director of Day Care Licensing.
Abuse or neglect perpetrated by an unlicensed person receiving payments from the Department of Social Services for providing day care. Notify the designated official in DSS by use of DCF-2221, "Report to DSS of Abuse or Neglect Involving an Unlicensed Day Care Provider".

Important Note:  If during an investigation of such an unlicensed provider, a child is assessed as being in immediate danger, the investigation supervisor shall notify the Department of Social Services.  DSS will then notify the parent of any child receiving day care of the unsuitability of the person to provide day care.

Also, notify DSS when a child is removed from his/her family and such unlicensed day care is no longer necessary.

Cross-Reference: 36-106, "Abuse or Neglect Concerning Unlicensed Day Care Providers"

Abuse or neglect in a Department of Mental Retardation operated, licensed, or contracted/funded facility Notify and provide a copy of the investigation report to the designated official in DMR.
Abuse by a school employee who holds a certificate, permit or authorization issued by the State board of Education Notify and provide a copy of the investigation report to the employing Superintendent.
Abuse by a staff member of a public or private institution or facility providing care for children or private school Notify and provide a copy of the investigation report to the Executive Director.

 

Disposition of Investigation Below are the possible dispositions of an investigation:

 

If the Investigation
Determination is...
Then, the Disposition is..
Substantiated
  • Transfer the case to a DCF child protective service unit for provision of mandatory services (See note below)

or

  • Close the case, with or without referral for services to be provided by another state agency or a community service provider.

Important Note:

Transfer to a DCF service unit is mandatory in all cases in which abuse is substantiated, unless deemed inappropriate by the Program Director.

Not substantiated Close the case, with or without referral for services to be provided by another state agency or a community service provider.
 
Documentation of Investigation Within five (5) days of completion of the investigation, the investigator shall
  • enter the investigation information in LINK, including the Investigation Summary, DCF-2074
  • transmit the information to the supervisor for approval.
Case Transfer to Protective Services Upon transfer of an investigation to child protective services, all relevant information shall be shared with the new child protective worker and/or supervisor.

Connecticut Department of Children and Families                                Effective Date:   October 1, 2000 (Revised)