Screening of referrals:
Referrals may come in the form of verbal, written or personal communication of possible child abuse with a family unit.  Questions will be asked such as the following:

  • Where is the child/children?
  • Where are the parents?
  • Who is caring for the children at this time?
  • What risk factors have you observed to consider this child abuse?
  • Is there anyone available that can care for the children to allow the case manager to come out and investigate the child abuse concern?
  • Are there extended family members nearby to care for the children?
  • Are the parents drunk?

Case managers will reassure the referral source that someone will come to the home to investigate the complaint.

Investigation of Complaint:
A case manager will come to the home, school or any other place to investigate a child abuse concern.  If the parents are drunk, the case manager can be assisted by the RCMP to ensure the case manager and the children are safe from violence.  The case manager will thoroughly assess the situation and make further arrangements for the safety of the children until the parents can be interviewed for some explanation to their activities leading to this investigation. 
Two results may occur: there is a reasonable explanation and children are not at risk.  The case can be closed.  There are reasonable factors to believe that children are at risk due to something the case manager has observed, heard, smelled, and touched.  The factors will have to be substantiated in family court.  Hearsay cannot be used to judge a situation.   Only when the case manager does the investigation will there be any action taken due to the above factors for physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and physical neglect are evident to the investigation case manager.
The case manager will arrange with the parents to have a family circle once it has been determined the severity of the problem.  The family circle is totally up to the parents as to who to this family circle.  This will empower the parents to help themselves and to make a commitment to the welfare of their children.  Within this family circle, the service plan will be developed stating how, where, and when the resources will be utilized by the parents.  This gives the parents a chance to commit themselves by developing and signing the service plan that will resolve the social problems that are causing the child abuse concern.  The family circle will be done for every family that comes to the attention of Agency Chiefs Child and Family Services.
Change of Status:
Once the investigation is opened, the case manager will change the status of the case to one of the following:

  • Apprehension:

Supervision order
Temporary order
Long Term order

  • Support Agreement
  • Voluntary Agreement

The change of status is now in place.  For the next time duration, the case manager will monitor the progress of the family unit.  In the event the service plan does not work for parents, another family circle will be arranged.  In this family circle, other plans will be arranged by the parents, case managers, other professionals and invited guests of the parents.  Elders will be utilized within this family circle.
All measures will be taken prior to apprehending any children.  Parents will be given chances to organize their lives in order to provide a secure, safe, and stable environment for their children by providing all or some available resources within their home communities.  In the event the extended family is not a resource, another home will be used within the same community.

 

 
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