Subchapter D. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES AND GENERAL PROTECTIVE SERVICES


INTRODUCTION

Sec.


3490.301.    Applicability.
3490.302.    Purpose.
3490.303.    Definitions.

STAFF ORIENTATION, TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS


3490.311.    Establishment of a staff development process.
3490.312.    Training program requirements for direct service workers.
3490.313.    Direct service worker certification requirements for supervisors who supervise direct service workers.
3490.314.    Training and certification requirements for supervisors who supervise direct service workers.

RISK ASSESSMENT


3490.321.    Standards for risk assessment.
3490.322.    County agency compliance with risk assessment standards.

ANNUAL REPORT


3490.331.    Annual report on required activities.

STAFF RATIOS


3490.341.    Staff-to-family ratios.

FAILURE TO COOPERATE


3490.351.    Willful failure to cooperate.

STANDARDS FOR STAFF


3490.361.    Requirements for agencies providing protective services.
3490.362.    Licensure requirements for persons providing services arranged or provided by the county agency.

ATTORNEY FOR THE COUNTY AGENCY


3490.371.    Availability of an attorney for the county agency.

LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS


3490.381.    Law enforcement assistance.

ANNUAL PLAN


3490.391.    County agency plan.

TRANSFER OF CASES


3490.401.    Intercounty transfer of cases.

Source

   The provisions of this Subchapter D adopted July 2, 1999, effective July 3, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 3513, unless otherwise noted.

INTRODUCTION


§ 3490.301. Applicability.

 This subchapter applies to county agencies and other agencies and persons who provide services to abused and neglected children.

§ 3490.302. Purpose.

 The purpose of this subchapter is to consolidate regulations that apply to both child protective services and general protective services.

§ 3490.303. 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:

   CORE—Training in foundation level skills which are needed by all direct service workers in county agencies to provide services to abused and neglected children and their families.

   Risk assessment—A Department-approved systematic process that assesses a child’s need for protection or services based on the risk of harm to the child.

   Training program—The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Competency-Based Training and Certification Program.

STAFF ORIENTATION, TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS


§ 3490.311. Establishment of a staff development process.

 (a)  In fulfillment of the requirements of section 6383 of the CPSL (relating to education and training), the Department will implement an initial and ongoing training program for direct service workers and supervisors in county agencies.

 (b)  To implement the training program, the Department will establish a steering committee cochaired by a representative from the Department and a representative from the Pennsylvania Children and Youth Administrators, Inc.

 (c)  The steering committee shall provide recommendations to the Department for the establishment and implementation of policies and procedures relating to staff orientation, training and certification as required by the CPSL and this chapter and provide recommendations for overall staff development designed to improve the competency of the direct service workers and supervisors in county agencies.

 (d)  The steering committee shall include among its functions the evaluation of program effectiveness tested against measurable outcomes.

§ 3490.312. Training program requirements for direct service workers.

 (a)  The county agency shall establish and implement policies for orientation of direct service workers.

 (b)  The county agency shall establish and implement written policies on the assignment of cases to new staff and staff reassigned as direct service workers, including the criteria used to determine when a worker is prepared to assume responsibility for a full caseload.

 (c)  The county agency shall implement the supervisors’ orientation, training and resource manual. A county agency may implement its own process or manual provided it addresses the objectives of the manual provided through the training program and is approved by the Department.

 (d)  The Department, with consultation from its steering committee, will establish standards, a process and a program for county agencies relating to the initial and ongoing certification of direct service workers including the following requirements:

   (1)  Direct service workers include the persons providing direct services to children and families and case management functions on a full-time or part-time basis.

   (2)  Direct service workers hired on or after July 1, 1996, shall be certified under the established standards within 18 months of their date of employment.

   (3)  Direct service workers who are not in a permanent employment status as of July 1, 1996, shall be certified by December 31, 1997.

   (4)  Permanent direct service workers hired prior to July 1, 1996, are certified.

   (5)  Direct service workers hired after June 30, 1996, who are in the process of achieving initial certification may be assigned a caseload, up to the caseworker-to-family ratio of the county agency, based on the worker’s ability to handle job duties as determined by the written policy of the county agency.

   (6)  Initial certification of direct service workers shall include the following components:

     (i)   A minimum of 120 hours of CORE training.

       (A)   The content of CORE training shall be determined by the Department in consultation with the steering committee.

       (B)   The content of CORE training shall be subject to periodic review by the Department and the steering committee for continued relevancy.

       (C)   An overview of CORE training shall be communicated by the Department to the county agencies and direct service workers through a Departmental bulletin.

       (D)   Upon request by a county agency and approval by the Department, a county agency may provide the CORE training developed by the training program to its direct service workers.

       (E)   The county agency shall maintain a record of CORE training completed for certification in the employe’s personnel file.

     (ii)   A decision by the employing county agency that the worker is certified.

       (A)   The decision shall be based on an assessment of the worker’s ability to apply the principles, concepts and content of CORE training, the supervisors’ orientation, training and resource manual or its equivalent and other learning opportunities to on-the-job situations. The assessment shall conclude with a decision of whether or not the worker is certified.

       (B)   The assessment shall be in writing and reviewed with the employe. The employe shall be given a copy of the assessment. A copy of the assessment shall be maintained in the employe’s personnel file.

   (7)  The county agency shall determine the county agency’s training year.

   (8)  Ongoing certification of direct service workers, shall include the following:

     (i)   Documentation of completion of a minimum of 20 hours of training annually. For direct service workers who complete the CORE training during the county agency’s training year, the county agency shall prorate the number of required training hours that a direct service worker shall take in the county agency’s training year schedule.

       (A)   Training content shall be based on the annual administration of an assessment of individual training needs and the development of an individual training plan.

       (B)   Ongoing training, as identified in the individual training plan, may be obtained through the training program, provided by a county agency or obtained through another provider.

     (ii)   Courses from an accredited school of social work which are successfully completed by a direct service worker shall be acceptable in meeting the ongoing certification requirements.

     (iii)   The county agency shall maintain a record of training required for ongoing certification, including the needs assessment, training plan and courses attended in the employe’s personnel file.

     (iv)   The date of initial certification for grandfathered workers is June 30, 1996.

   (9)  The county agency shall provide its direct service workers the opportunity to obtain initial and ongoing certification status.

   (10)  The county agency may not allow an employe who fails to achieve or maintain certified status to perform direct service duties.

§ 3490.313. Direct service worker certification requirements for supervisors who supervise direct service workers.

 (a)  Supervisors who supervise direct service workers shall be certified as a direct service worker.

   (1)  Supervisors with permanent status on June 30, 1996, and who supervise direct service workers are grandfathered as certified direct service workers.

   (2)  Supervisors hired, transferred or promoted after June 30, 1996, who are not certified, shall meet the certification requirements in the training program requirements for direct service workers within 12 months of employment or transfer.

 (b)  Supervisors who supervise direct service workers who fail to meet the requirement of subsection (a) may not be permitted by the county agency to supervise direct service workers.

§ 3490.314. Training and certification requirements for supervisors who supervise direct service workers.

 Persons employed, hired, transferred or promoted to supervise direct service workers on or after October 1, 1998, shall complete a supervisor’s training program approved by the Department in consultation with the steering committee.

RISK ASSESSMENT


§ 3490.321. Standards for risk assessment.

 (a)  The standards established for risk assessment shall include the following:

   (1)  A statement of purpose for the process.

   (2)  The core set of factors against which risk shall be assessed.

   (3)  The application of the process, including the points at which the process shall be applied and the periodicity of application.

   (4)  The recordkeeping requirements.

   (5)  The process for State approval.

 (b)  The Department and counties will review the implementation of the risk assessment process on an ongoing basis to ensure that the standards established are consistent with good practice and the results of research.

 (c)  The county agency shall implement the State-approved risk assessment model developed by the Department in consultation with the Risk Assessment Task Force.

 (d)  The county agency shall apply the State-approved risk assessment process established under this section in performing the duties under Subchapters A and C (relating to child protective services; and general protective services).

 (e)  The factors which shall be assessed by the county agency include the following:

   (1)  The characteristics of the environment in which the child abuse occurred including the history of prior abuse and neglect.

   (2)  The characteristics of the parent, caregiver, household member, primary person responsible for the welfare of a child and perpetrator including history of drug and alcohol abuse.

   (3)  The characteristics of the family including the history of family violence.

 (f)  The county agency shall rate each factor in subsection (e) and shall provide documentation in the record to support the identified level of risk and to assure the child’s safety.

   (1)  Each factor shall be rated using one of the following designations:

     (i)   No risk.

     (ii)   Low risk.

     (iii)   Moderate risk.

     (iv)   High risk.

   (2)  If a county agency is unable to assess the risk of a specific factor listed in subsection (e), the county agency shall indicate the reasons in the record.

 (g)  At the time of the report of suspected child abuse or allegations of children in need of general protective services, the county agency shall make an initial determination of the risk to the child.

   (1)  The county agency need not complete the risk assessment process if after one contact with the family the report is determined to be without any merit.

   (2)  The county agency shall document evidence which supports this finding in the record.

 (h)  Periodic assessments of risk shall be completed by the county agency as follows:

   (1)  At the conclusion of the intake investigation which may not exceed 60-calendar days.

   (2)  Every 6 months in conjunction with the family service plan or judicial review unless one of the following applies:

     (i)   The risk to the child remains low or no risk.

     (ii)   The child has been placed out of the home for more than 6 months and there are no other children in the home.

   (3)  Thirty-calendar days before and after the child is returned to the family home unless one of the following applies:

     (i)   The risk to the child remains low or no risk.

     (ii)   The child’s return home was not anticipated by the county agency. A risk assessment for these cases shall be completed within 2 weeks of the child’s return to the home.

   (4)  Thirty-calendar days prior to case closure.

 (i)  The county agency shall conduct a risk assessment as often as necessary to assure the child’s safety.

 (j)  The county agency shall assess the safety and risk of the child when the circumstances change within the child’s environment at times other than required under this section.

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.232 (relating to receiving reports and assessing the need for services).

§ 3490.322. County agency compliance with risk assessment standards.

 (a)  Each county agency shall implement a State-approved risk assessment process in performance of its duties under sections 6362 and 6375 of the CPSL (relating to responsibilities of county agency for child protective services; and county agency requirements for general protective services) and this chapter.

 (b)  Each county agency shall implement the State-approved risk assessment process approved by the Department on July 1, 1997.

 (c)  The county agency shall implement its risk assessment process in a way which supports its overall decision making process for, and approach to, protective services.

 (d)  The county agency in developing and implementing the family service plan and placement amendment as required by Chapter 3130 (relating to administration of county children and youth social service programs) shall assure that the level of activity, in person contacts with the child, oversight, supervision and services for the child and family are consistent with the level of risk as determined by the county agency.

ANNUAL REPORT


§ 3490.331. Annual report on required activities.

 (a)  The Department will report annually to the Governor and General Assembly on the activities of this chapter, including the operations of the Statewide Central Register and the protective services provided by the county agencies. The report shall contain a statistical analysis of the following:

   (1)  The reports of suspected child abuse received by the Department.

   (2)  The reports of suspected student abuse received by the Department.

   (3)  The results of requests for child care clearances received by the Department.

   (4)  The costs to implement the law.

   (5)  An evaluation of services offered in response to the CPSL.

   (6)  The protective service referrals received and accepted by county agencies.

   (7)  The children over whom the county agencies maintain continuing supervision.

   (8)  The protective service cases closed by county agencies.

   (9)  The services provided to children and their families.

   (10)  Recommendations for legislative changes and the estimated increase or decrease in cost.

 (b)  The data required in subsection (a)(6)—(9) shall be submitted by the county agencies through the Children and Youth Quarterly Aggregate Reporting System on form CY-28 until the Department has implemented the child specific Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System which will include information on protective services.

STAFF RATIOS


§ 3490.341. Staff-to-family ratios.

 A county agency shall have sufficient, qualified staff and be organized to perform the functions required by the CPSL and this chapter. Staff-to-family ratios for protective service workers shall be in accordance with § §  3130.32 and 3140.17 (relating to staffing requirements; and review of county plans and budgets).

FAILURE TO COOPERATE


§ 3490.351. Willful failure to cooperate.

 An agency, school district or facility, or a person acting on behalf of an agency, school district or facility, that violates this chapter by willfully failing to cooperate with the Department or a county agency when investigating a report of suspected child abuse, suspected student abuse or suspected neglect commits a summary offense for a first violation and a misdemeanor of the third degree for subsequent violations under section 6346 of the CPSL (relating to cooperation of other agencies).

STANDARDS FOR STAFF


§ 3490.361. Requirements for agencies providing protective services.

 The county agency shall arrange for or provide protective services for children and their families only through agencies that comply with § §  3130.21, 3130.39 and 3130.40 (relating to responsibilities of county executive officers; services and facilities which may be used; and delivery of services through other service providers).

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.362 (relating to licensure requirements for persons providing services arranged or provided by the county agency).

§ 3490.362. Licensure requirements for persons providing services arranged or provided by the county agency.

 The county agency shall arrange for or provide services from persons who are not affiliated with an agency under §  3490.361 (relating to requirements for agencies providing protective services) only if the person possesses a valid license issued by the Department of State, if the profession is subject to mandatory licensure.

ATTORNEY FOR THE COUNTY AGENCY


§ 3490.371. Availability of an attorney for the county agency.

 The county agency shall retain or ensure the availability of an attorney for consultation with and representation of the county agency in fulfilling its responsibilities under the CPSL and this chapter.

LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS


§ 3490.381. Law enforcement assistance.

 A county agency staff member may request a law enforcement officer to be present at any time during the course of fulfilling the county agency staff person’s responsibilities under the CPSL and this chapter without violating the confidentiality provisions of the CPSL or this chapter when the worker fears for his own safety or the safety of anyone else involved.

ANNUAL PLAN


§ 3490.391. County agency plan.

 The county agency shall comply with Chapter 3140 (relating to planning and financial reimbursement requirements for county children and youth social service programs) regarding the development and submission of a plan for the provision of protective services required by the CPSL and this chapter.

TRANSFER OF CASES


§ 3490.401. Intercounty transfer of cases.

 (a)  County agencies shall share that information which will assist them in protecting children.

 (b)  When a report of suspected child abuse is under investigation, a report is being assessed to determine the need for general protective services or when a case has been accepted for protective services and the family moves to another county, and the address is known, the county agency shall:

   (1)  Immediately telephone the receiving county agency and tell them:

     (i)   The name and address of the child and parents.

     (ii)   The reason for agency involvement.

     (iii)   The status of the case.

     (iv)   The services that were being provided.

     (v)   The level of risk assigned to the case.

     (vi)   Other information that would assist the receiving agency.

   (2)  Within 24 hours of the phone call, send a fax to the receiving agency to confirm the referral. The faxed information shall contain:

     (i)   The name and address of the child and parents.

     (ii)   The level of risk assigned to the case.

     (iii)   The status of the case.

 (c)  The receiving agency shall accept the referral and determine what services are necessary to protect the child from abuse or neglect.

 (d)  When the case is a high risk case, the receiving county agency shall reassess the risk of abuse or neglect to the child and see the child within 24 hours of receiving the telephone referral. The county agency worker shall see the child at the child’s new address.

 (e)  The receiving agency shall notify the referring agency of the status of the referral upon completing the investigation or assessment.

 (f)  Regardless of whether or not the address of the child and family is known, within 72 hours of the telephone referral, the referring agency shall fax or send by overnight mail to the receiving agency the following:

   (1)  The family demographics.

   (2)  The current family service plan and placement amendment.

   (3)  The current risk assessment matrix and summary.

   (4)  Court petitions and court orders.

   (5)  A social summary, when available.

   (6)  A copy of the CY-48 and other relevant ChildLine forms.

   (7)  Other information that would assist the receiving agency in providing services to the child and parents.

 (g)  When a report of suspected child abuse or neglect is under investigation or assessment or when a case has been accepted for protective services and the family moves to another county, and the county where the child has moved to is known but not the street address, the referring county agency shall telephone the receiving county and give it the names and dates of birth of the child and parents.

 (h)  The referring and receiving agency shall make reasonable efforts to locate the family, including as appropriate, based on the age of the child and other circumstances, by contacting the following:

   (1)  Post office of the last known address.

   (2)  School.

   (3)  Health professionals and health agencies.

   (4)  Domestic relations office.

   (5)  Parent locator services.

   (6)  Law enforcement official.

   (7)  County assistance office.

   (8)  Known relatives.

   (9)  Known neighbors.

 (i)  The referring and receiving county shall document their efforts to locate the child and family.

 (j)  The receiving county shall notify the referring county:

   (1)  Within 10 days of locating the child and family, when found.

   (2)  When the county has exhausted all reasonable efforts to locate the family.

Notes of Decisions

   Record of Proceedings

   Where a mother claimed that it was an abuse of discretion not to transfer her child’s case to the children and youth services of the county to which the mother moved, the appellate court was unable to properly review the appeal in the absence of a transcript of the proceedings. Therefore, the matter was remanded for an evidentiary hearing to construct a record for appellate review. In the Interest of J.H., 788 A.2d 1006 (Pa. Super. 2001).



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