Implications of and State Strategies for Addressing the Referral Provisions of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 2003 (CAPTA)Delaware’s Policies and Procedures for referrals to early intervention when involved in substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect National OSEP Early Childhood ConferenceFebruary 9, 2005Rosanne Griff-Cabelli, Part C Coordinator Delaware Birth to Three Early Intervention System, DHSS
Delaware has had policies and agreements in place since 1996 on children referred for early intervention who are involved in a substantiated case of abuse and neglect. • Division of Family Services (DFS) Management Directive on Early Intervention Services under IDEA (1996) • State of Delaware official response from the Deputy Attorney General on referrals to Division of Public Health (1995) • Operations Agreement to support service coordinator positions who are employed by DFS and act as liaisons among DFS and the early intervention programs (1996) • Protocol, training and computerized developmental checklist for referrals from DFS to early intervention programs • Memorandum of Understanding between DFS and Division of Public Health (DPH – Child Development Watch is the early intervention program and is housed within DPH) (2002)
Division of Family Services (DFS – known in many states as Child Protective Services) Management Directive on Early Intervention Services under IDEA (1996) • Management Directive references the Interagency Agreement for the implementation of Part C, Birth to Three Early Intervention System • Policy that DFS will conduct preliminary screening to identify suspected/diagnosed established conditions and/or developmental delays for a child aged birth to 36 months in any active DFS case.
Procedures indicate: • DFS Family Service Specialists (DFS Worker) will discuss the screening with parents and request they refer child to Child Development Watch (CDW). • DFS Worker may make referral when parent of an identified child is unwilling to refer to CDW. Verbal/written consent is not necessary to make a referral to CDW triage. • CDW will accept and triage the referral for multidisciplinary assessments. • Parental consent is required for developmental evaluations under IDEA • If a parent cannot be found, an Educational Surrogate Parent will be needed to provide consent • DFS Worker will maintain regular contact with the CDW Service Coordinator
State of Delaware official memo from the Deputy Attorney General on referrals to Division of Public Health (1995) • Memo indicated that DFS may make the referral without parental consent to early intervention once a child has been identified in need of early intervention services • Once referral is received by CDW, it is CDW’s responsibility to work with the family and gain voluntary consent for the child to participate in the evaluation and assessment.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between DFS and DPH (2002) • MOU is broader than Part C and covers high risk referrals birth to age 18 between DFS and DPH • MOU allows the DFS Worker to refer to DPH Nurse if family refuses the multidisciplinary assessments and is still active with DFS • MOU contains protocol for Referrals to CDW and that DFS Worker will utilize a variety of developmental checklists and charts to identify all children with suspected established conditions and/or developmental delays
Operations Agreement to support service coordinator positions who are employed by DFS and act as liaisons among DFS and the early intervention programs (1996) • Protocol, new worker and ongoing training, and computerized developmental checklist for referrals from DFS to CDW are in place • Monthly reports from the DFS computerized system are generated on number of potential referrals to CDW • DFS has two full time workers at CDW (funded from state Part C dollars) who act as half time service coordinators and as liaisons to DFS workers to monitor the referral process, conduct training, and provide resources and technical assistance to both DFS and CDW staff • DFS/CDW liaisons are housed at the CDW programs and are assigned cases active with DFS (other CDW Service Coordinators have active DFS cases). DFS/CDW liaisons provide consultation, as needed with all active DFS cases within CDW.