§ 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.


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

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