Subchapter C. GENERAL PROTECTIVE SERVICES


Sec.


3490.201.         [Reserved].
3490.202.         [Reserved].
3490.203—3490.210.         [Reserved].

INTRODUCTION


3490.221.         Applicability.
3490.222.         Purposes.
3490.223.         Definitions.

COUNTY RESPONSIBILITIES


3490.231.      Functions of the county agency for general protective services.
3490.232.      Receiving reports and assessing the need for services.
3490.233.      Protective custody.
3490.234.      Notifications.
3490.235.      Services available through the county agency for children in need of general protective services.
3490.236.      General protective services records.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR GENERAL PROTECTIVE SERVICES


3490.241.      Appeals with respect to general protective services.
3490.242.      Confidentiality.

Cross References

   This subchapter cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.321 (relating to standards for risk assessment).

§ 3490.201. [Reserved].


Source

   The provisions of this §  3490.201 adopted July 28, 1989, effective immediately, 19 Pa.B. 3177; reserved July 2, 1999, effective July 3, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 3513. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (211753).

§ 3490.202. [Reserved].


Source

   The provisions of this §  3490.202 adopted July 28, 1989, effective immediately and applies retroactively to July 1, 1989, 19 Pa.B. 3177; reserved July 2, 1999, effective July 3, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 3513. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (211753).

§ § 3490.203—3490.210. [Reserved].


Source

   The provisions of these § §  3490.203—3490.210 adopted July 28, 1989, effective immediately, 19 Pa.B. 3177; reserved July 2, 1999, effective July 3, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 3513. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (211753) to (211754).

INTRODUCTION


§ 3490.221. Applicability.

 This subchapter applies to the Department and county children and youth social service agencies.

Source

   The provisions of this §  3490.221 adopted July 2, 1999, effective July 3, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 3513.

§ 3490.222. Purposes.

 The purposes of this subchapter are to:

   (1)  Protect the safety, rights and welfare of children so that they have an opportunity for healthy growth and development.

   (2)  Assist parents in recognizing and remedying conditions harmful to their children and in fulfilling their parental duties in a manner that does not put their children at risk.

Source

   The provisions of this §  3490.222 adopted July 2, 1999, effective July 3, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 3513.

§ 3490.223. Definitions.

 In addition to the definitions in §  3490.4 (relating to definitions), the following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Assessment—An evaluation by the county agency to determine whether or not a child is in need of general protective services.

   Custodial parent—The parent responsible for the day-to-day care and supervision of the child.

   General protective services—Services to prevent the potential for harm to a child who meets one of the following conditions:

     (i)   Is without proper parental care or control, subsistence, education as required by law, or other care or control necessary for his physical, mental, or emotional health, or morals.

     (ii)   Has been placed for care or adoption in violation of law.

     (iii)   Has been abandoned by his parents, guardian or other custodian.

     (iv)   Is without a parent, guardian or legal custodian.

     (v)   Is habitually and without justification truant from school while subject to compulsory school attendance.

     (vi)   Has committed a specific act of habitual disobedience of the reasonable and lawful commands of his parent, guardian or other custodian and who is ungovernable and found to be in need of care, treatment or supervision.

     (vii)   Is under 10 years of age and has committed a delinquent act.

     (viii)   Has been formerly adjudicated dependent under section 6341 of the Juvenile Act (relating to adjudication), and is under the jurisdiction of the court, subject to its conditions or placements and who commits an act which is defined as ungovernable in subparagraph (vi).

     (ix)   Has been referred under section 6323 of the Juvenile Act (relating to informal adjustment), and who commits an act which is defined as ungovernable in subparagraph (vi).

   Parent—A biological parent, adoptive parent, legal guardian or primary person responsible for a child.

   Potential for harm

     (i)   Likely, if permitted to continue, to have a detrimental effect on the child’s health, development or functioning.

     (ii)   The term does not include imminent risk as defined in the definition of ‘‘child abuse’’ in §  3490.4.

   Primary person who is responsible for the care of a child—A person who provides or arranges ongoing care and supervision to a child in lieu of parental care and supervision.

   Report—A verbal or written statement to the county agency from someone alleging that a child is in need of general protective services.

Source

   The provisions of this §  3490.223 adopted July 2, 1999, effective July 3, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 3513.

COUNTY RESPONSIBILITIES


§ 3490.231. Functions of the county agency for general protective services.

 Each county agency is responsible for administering a program of general protective services to children that is consistent with the agency’s objectives to:

   (1)  Keep children safely in their own homes, whenever possible.

   (2)  Prevent abuse, neglect and exploitation of children.

   (3)  Overcome problems that could result in dependency.

   (4)  Provide temporary, substitute placement in the home of a relative, other individual who has a significant relationship with the child or the child’s family, a foster family home or residential child-care facility for children in need of this care.

   (5)  Reunite children safely with their families, whenever possible, when children are in temporary, substitute placement.

   (6)  Provide a permanent, legally assured family for children in temporary, substitute care who cannot be returned to their own home.

   (7)  Provide services and care ordered by the court for children who have been adjudicated dependent.

Source

   The provisions of this §  3490.231 adopted July 2, 1999, effective July 3, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 3513.

§ 3490.232. Receiving reports and assessing the need for services.

 (a)  The county agency shall be the sole civil agency responsible for receiving and assessing all reports alleging a need for general protective services. Nothing in this subchapter limits section 6304 or 6334 of the Juvenile Act (relating to powers and duties of probation officers; and petition).

 (b)  The county agency shall provide 24-hours-per-day/7-day-per-week telephone access to receive reports alleging a need for general protective services.

 (c)  The county agency shall see the child immediately if emergency protective custody has been taken, is needed, or if it cannot be determined from the report whether or not emergency protective custody is needed. Otherwise, the county agency shall prioritize the response time for an assessment to assure that children who are most at risk receive an assessment first.

 (d)  The county agency shall use a State-approved risk assessment process for general protective services as required by §  3490.321 (relating to standards for risk assessment) to:

   (1)  Aid in its assessment of whether to accept the family for services.

   (2)  Insure that its assessment is comprehensive.

   (3)  Help determine the need for general protective services.

   (4)  Assist in the development of the family service plan.

 (e)  The county agency shall complete an assessment within 60-calendar days to determine whether or not the child and family should be accepted for general protective services, be referred to another agency for services or close the case.

 (f)  The county agency shall see the child and visit the child’s home during the assessment period. The home visits shall occur as often as necessary to complete the assessment and insure the safety of the child. There shall be a least one home visit.

 (g)  The county agency shall interview the child, if age appropriate, and the parents or the primary person who is responsible for the care of the child. The county agency shall also conduct interviews with those persons who are known to have or may reasonably be expected to have information that would be helpful to the county agency in determining whether or not the child is in need of general protective services.

 (h)  The county agency may make unannounced home visits.

 (i)  The county agency shall provide or arrange appropriate services to assure the safety of the child during the assessment period.

 (j)  The county agency shall initiate the appropriate court proceedings and assist the court during all stages of the court proceedings if the county agency determines that general protective services are in the best interest of a child and if an offer of an assessment, a home visit or services is refused by the parent.

Source

   The provisions of this §  3490.232 adopted July 2, 1999, effective July 3, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 3513.

§ 3490.233. Protective custody.

 (a)  A child alleged to be in need of general protective services may be taken into protective custody under § §  3490.15—3490.17 and 3490.57.

 (b)  The director of a hospital or other medical facility or a person specifically designated in writing by the director, or a physician examining or treating a child may take a child into protective custody if it is immediately necessary to protect the child.

Source

   The provisions of this §  3490.233 adopted July 2, 1999, effective July 3, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 3513.

§ 3490.234. Notifications.

 (a)  The county agency shall notify the parent of the receipt of the report alleging the need for general protective services and that the county agency will do an assessment to determine the need for general protective services. The notification shall be made verbally at the time of the initial interview.

 (b)  The county agency shall provide written notice to the parents and the primary person who is responsible for the care of the child of the county agency’s decision to accept or not accept the family for general protective services within 7-calendar days of making the decision. If the county agency accepts the family for services, it shall include the following information in the notice:

   (1)  The reasons why the county agency accepted the family for services.

   (2)  The right of the custodial parent or the primary person responsible for the care of the child to appeal the county agency’s decision that the child is in need of general protective services.

   (3)  The request for an appeal shall be received by the county agency within 45-calendar days of the mailing date of the written notice in subsection (b).

   (4)  How to appeal the county agency’s decision that the child is in need of general protective services.

   (5)  The written appeal request shall specify the reasons why the child is not in need of general protective services.

Source

   The provisions of this §  3490.234 adopted July 2, 1999, effective July 3, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 3513.

§ 3490.235. Services available through the county agency for children in need of general protective services.

 (a)  The county agency shall provide, arrange or otherwise make available the same services for children in need of general protective services as for abused children under §  3490.60 (relating to services available through the county agency).

 (b)  The county agency shall develop a family service plan as required by §  3130.61 (relating to family service plans) for each family accepted for general protective services.

 (c)  The county agency shall monitor the provision of services and evaluate the effectiveness of the services provided under the family service plan under §  3130.63 (relating to review of family service plans). The county agency worker shall visit the family in performing the case management responsibilities as required by §  3130.63 as often as necessary for management of the service provision at least every 180-calendar days.

 (d)  The county agency may purchase and use the services of any appropriate public or private agency under Chapter 3130 (relating to the administration of county children and youth social service programs).

 (e)  The county agency supervisor shall review each report alleging a need for general protective services which is being assessed on a regular and ongoing basis to assure that the level of services are consistent with the level of risk to the child, to determine the safety of the child and the progress made toward reaching a determination on the need for protective services. The supervisor shall maintain a log of these reviews which at a minimum shall include an entry at 10-calendar day intervals during the assessment period.

 (f)  When a case has been accepted for service and a family service plan has been developed under Chapter 3130, the county agency supervisor shall, within 10-calendar days of the completion of the family service plan, review the plan to assure that the level of activity, in person contacts with the child, oversight, supervision and services for the child and family which are contained in the plan, are consistent with the level of risk determined by the county agency for the case. Documentation of this review shall be in the case record.

 (g)  When a case has been accepted for services, the county agency shall monitor the safety of the child and assure that contacts are made with the child, parents and service providers. The contacts may occur either directly by a county agency worker or through purchase of service, by phone or in person but face-to-face contacts with the parent and the child shall occur as often as necessary for the protection of the child but at least as often as:

   (1)  Once a week until the case is no longer designated as high risk by the county agency, if the child remains in or returns to the home in which the need for general protective services was established and the county agency has determined a high level of risk exists for the case.

   (2)  Once a month for 6 months or case closure when the child is either:

     (i)   Placed out of the home or setting in which the need for general protective services was established.

     (ii)   No longer determined to be at a high risk by the county agency.

 (h)  A periodic assessment of the risk of harm to the child shall be conducted as required by the State-approved risk assessment process.

 (i)  Except when ordered by the court in a proceeding brought under the Juvenile Act, a county agency is not required to duplicate services which are the statutory responsibility of any other agency.

 (j)  The county agency shall aid the child and the family in obtaining benefits and services for which they may qualify under Federal, State and local programs.

 (k)  The family service plan shall contain a provision that requires the parents advise the county agency, within 24 hours, when the child or family move from one residence to another.

Source

   The provisions of this §  3490.235 adopted July 2, 1999, effective July 3, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 3513.

§ 3490.236. General protective services records.

 (a)  Records for reports that are accepted for general protective services shall be maintained under §  3130.43 (relating to family case records). In addition to the information required by §  3130.43, the records shall contain the following information:

   (1)  The nature of each report for general protective services.

   (2)  The date and source of the report.

   (3)  The names and addresses of the persons interviewed in conducting the assessment of each report.

   (4)  The services provided by the county agency during the assessment of the report.

   (5)  How the level of services provided are consistent with the level of risk to the child.

 (b)  Records for reports that are not accepted for service shall be maintained for 5 years following the receipt of the latest report alleging the need for general protective services. The following information shall be maintained:

   (1)  The name and address of the children.

   (2)  The names and addresses of the parents.

   (3)  The names and addresses of the primary persons who are responsible for the care of the child.

   (4)  The allegations of the need for general protective services.

   (5)  The date and source of the report.

   (6)  The names and addresses of the persons interviewed in conducting the assessment.

   (7)  The services provided by the county agency during the assessment.

   (8)  Referral to other community agencies.

   (9)  A summary of the assessment and reasons for not accepting the family for general protective services.

Source

   The provisions of this §  3490.236 adopted July 2, 1999, effective July 3, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 3513.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR GENERAL
PROTECTIVE SERVICES


§ 3490.241. Appeals with respect to general protective services.

 (a)  When a county agency accepts a case for services, the custodial parents or the primary persons who are responsible for the care of the child may appeal that decision.

 (b)  The county agency shall establish policies and procedures for handling these appeals. The policies and procedures shall be in the agency’s manual as required by §  3130.21 (relating to responsibilities of county executive officers).

 (c)  An appeal from the custodial parent or the primary persons who are responsible for the care of the child shall be received by the county agency within 45-calendar days of the date of the letter from the county agency notifying the person of the agency’s decision to accept the child and family for services. The written appeal request shall be made to the county agency administrator and specify the reasons why the child is not in need of general protective services.

 (d)  The county agency shall review the request and issue a written decision to the person who made the request within 45-calendar days of the receipt of the appeal. If the agency denies the request, the person who made the request shall be advised in writing of his right to a hearing before the Department’s Bureau of Hearings and Appeals and that the request shall be made within 45-calendar days of the date of the letter from the county agency notifying the person of the agency’s decision denying the request.

 (e)  If a hearing is requested, the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals will schedule a hearing under Article IV of the Public Welfare Code (62 P. S. § §  401—493), and applicable Department regulations. The burden of proof in the hearing shall be on the county agency. The Department will assist the county agency as necessary.

 (f)  The Department is authorized and empowered to make any appropriate order regarding records to make them accurate or consistent with this chapter.

 (g)  Neither the county administrator nor the director of the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals may issue a ruling modifying the term of a service plan which has been specifically approved or ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.

 (h)  Action by the custodial parent or the primary person who is responsible for the care of the child under this section does not preclude the custodial parent or the primary person who is responsible for the care of the child the right to exercise other appeals available through Department regulations or the courts.

Source

   The provisions of this §  3490.241 adopted July 2, 1999, effective July 3, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 3513.

§ 3490.242. Confidentiality.

 Information obtained by the county agency or Department in connection with general protective services may only be released as follows:

   (1)  Under §  3130.44 (relating to confidentiality of family case records).

   (2)  To another county agency.

   (3)  To an official of an agency of another state that performs general protective services analogous to those services performed by county agencies or the Department in the course of the official’s duties.

Source

   The provisions of this §  3490.242 adopted July 2, 1999, effective July 3, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 3513.



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