Mandated Reporter Training - Unit 5
- Service Planning
- Identification of needs and resources to alleviate abuse/neglect.
- Family reassessed periodically and service plan adjusted to meet present needs.
- Case will eventually close with reduced child abuse/neglect.
- Court Action
- When the Department seeks court action, it means that the child's safety is extremely compromised without the intervention of the legal system. The department decides when a case rises to the level where it should be considered by the court, but a judge decides, based on the evidence presented, as to whether or not a child should be removed from his/her family in accordance with the legal standards that have been set by state law.
- The Department may also seek another legal outcome, and that is to not change custody, but to order the family to participate in available services that would make the family environment safe.
- Both of these court outcomes are reviewed periodically in court to assess progress and determine outcomes. When children are removed from their families, services are provided to alleviate the circumstances leading to the abuse/neglect so that a child may eventually return home if the parents have engaged in treatment and made the necessary changes.
- During these legal reviews, a court may determine:
- That the home environment is now safe and return a child to the custody of his/her parents.
- That the changes made do not yet alleviate the unsafe environment and to continue with rehabilitation services with the child in state custody.
- That the home environment will not change or be safe in a time frame to meet the child's needs. The department may, at this point, seek to terminate parental rights in order to allow the child to be adopted.