IV. D-4A. Domestic Violence Homicide Emergency Assessment
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Purpose: This assessment is part of the emergency/crisis response to a child or children who have just experienced a catastrophic event or series of events in their lives related to domestic violence. The primary purpose of the assessment is to find a safe temporary placement that if possible, can offer comfort, familiarity, predictability and calm to the child. A place where a child will not be subjected to any type of pressure by adults.
This assessment is not meant to be an in depth comprehensive assessment. It must address the special issues related to children who have experienced domestic violence and those adults who step forward to provide care to the child. It will be opened as a Safety Assessment in the parent’s name.
Legal Base: Section 3, Title 22 MRSA §4023, sub. §2, paragraph E.
Section 4. Title 22 MRSA §4023, sub. §8.
These provisions charge the Department with conducting an emergency assessment to determine the temporary placement of a child with a relative or other appropriate adult when that child has lost both parents to a homicide or one parent to a homicide and the other parent has been arrested or otherwise detained for an offense related to the homicide.
As with the provision of all short term emergency services this service cannot be provided for more than 72 hours.
Upon receipt of a call at Intake from law enforcement that a child has lost both parents to a homicide or one parent to the homicide and the other is detained, Intake will record this call the same as all reports of abuse and neglect. This request will be called in and sent to the appropriate District Office immediately. If the call comes in after hours, the stand-by worker must be called immediately.
Potential caregivers who do not have an emergency assessment are not precluded from requesting that they be considered as a caregiver when time permits a comprehensive assessment of the current and future needs of the child, and functioning of the potential caregivers.
There will be situations where one brief assessment is required. There may be an occasional situation where follow-up activities are required. Once the appropriate family has become involved there is no role for the Department.
The outline and questions following are to be used and recorded in the narrative log. A template will be available to "cut and paste" into the narrative log.
The decision window will show a substantiation of neglect by one or both parents. The name(s) of the relatives studied will be entered in he profile window.
Child Abuse and Neglect Allegations
At any time during the assessment process when the caseworker becomes aware that care of the child results in the abuse or neglect of a child or the threat thereof, a standard Safety Assessment will be initiated. The caseworker should consult with their supervisor about this.
An example might be that the deceased mother may have had children with different fathers. We conduct an emergency assessment on two children being cared for by their maternal grandparents. On the third child the non-custodial and different father assumes custody. Our records show that this father has abused children in the recent past and he has two children in foster care with a cease reunification order. The caseworker conducting the emergency assessment will create a report concerning the third child and the report will be a must assign report requiring an assessment to begin immediately.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EMERGENCY ASSESSMENT
Child(ren) for whom assessment is being completed:
Other Members of Household:
ADULT ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS
(These questions must be answered by the primary and secondary caregivers in the home.)
For the Prospective Caregiver(s)
ABOUT THE CAREGIVER(S)
Prior to determining whether and how much in depth the caseworker should interview the child she should consider:
The caseworker will obtain only enough information from the child to determine if they have a clear preference of where they want to be or not be.
The caseworker will gather as much readily available information from multiple sources about where and with whom the child spends time when not in her own home.
The caseworker will assure that appropriate crisis services are available for the child.
Decision: Can this caregiver provide a safe secure home for the child?
Basis for the decision: