IV. D-5. Mandatory Referrals to Child Development Services
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Legal Base: Section 106 (2) (A) (xxi) [p.l. 108-36] directs each state to have:
"provisions and procedures for referral of a child under the age of 3 who is involved in a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect to early intervention services funded under part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act."
In Maine this means that the Bureau of Child and Family Services will refer cases to Child Development Services.
Purpose: This policy sets forth the guidance that provides for this Bureau to carry out its legal mandate as it is described above. This policy outlines the referral process to be used for all children under the age of 3 who are involved in a substantiated case of child abuse and neglect. If a child is a member of the household, the child is involved.
The Federal statute and this policy was created to assure that all children under the age of 3 have the opportunity to:
This mandate came in recognition that children who are abused and neglected are at greater risk of:
Therefore, the goal is to assure these children be screened to determine if early intervention services are required. Some services available for children who are eligible are:
At the completion (supervisory approval) of the Safety Assessment, the caseworker will inform the parent(s) that a referral to Child Developmental Services will be made. The caseworker will inform the parent(s) of the potential benefits to their child of such a referral. The caseworker will give the parent(s) a copy of the informational brochure from CDS that explains the program to them.
At the same time as the substantiation notification letter is generated, a referral form to Child Developmental Services will also be generated regarding children in the home under the age of 3. This form is to be mailed to the appropriate Child Developmental Services office immediately (see appendix I for a list of CDS offices and Appendix II for a copy of the form).
Issue of Consent
Caseworkers must make a referral to CDS whether or not a parent gives consent to that referral. The law allows the caseworker to supply CDS with the child’s name, birth date and contact information for the parents, guardian or other caretaker. Upon receipt of the referral, CDS is governed by its own laws and regulations concerning providing services to children without parental consent. When children have come into the Department’s custody, we of course will consent to the referral.
Counties Covered by the Pediatric Rapid Evaluation Program (PREP)
When a child has been screened/evaluated by the PREP, the caseworker does not have to make an immediate referral to CDS. PREP will be responsible for recommending to the caseworker that a referral be made to CDS when PREP’s screening has determined there is a need for a full evaluation of the child.
CHILD DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES
TO: Child Developmental Services
FROM: Child Welfare District ________
Date of Birth:
Parent or other legal guardian’s name(s):
Custody of DHHS: yes no
Parental Consent: yes no