Agency Based Screening and Assessment

Please prepare a 5 to 8 page response to the following ten questions about the agency in which you are doing your field practice.
1. Please type and double space this paper.
2. Please address all of the elements in the questions, but write your paper in narrative form using APA style.

Agency Based Screening and Assessment

1) What is the screening and assessment process at your agency?
The screening / assessment process is based on criteria set forth by the state of Ohio and federal guidelines such as the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). We are governed by the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) and the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC). Child Protective Services is a state run / county administered system. So the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has established a comprehensive Screening Guidelines document. {all SDM’s should have a copy} (Screening Decision Making). This helps us make decisions that do not violate parental rights. {you can talk about quality of life versus child maltreatment}
2) How are problems identified, classified and communicated at this agency?
Reports of child abuse and neglect are assessed based on the guidelines. The report either meets criteria or it doesn’t. If it meets criteria, then it is “screened in”, classified, and routed to a unit for investigation or assessment {you could mention the Differential Response Models}. If the report is “screened out’ it is still entered into the database called SACWIS (Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System). This practice came about in part due to child death {2 neighboring counties were receiving reports of a toddler being injured, each county told the caller to call the other county due to the family address appearing to be in the other county, no report was written down/entered in a database. Neither county could see that there were multiple calls being made. No one investigated. The child died at the hands of mother’s boyfriend}
3) Is the DSM used at your agency? Who assigns diagnoses, i.e., which professionals and how are diagnoses decided – by individuals or by team? If the DSM isn’t used, why not?
The DSM (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is not used at FCCS (Franklin County Children Services). This is due to the fact that not all caseworkers/supervisors/administrators have the education, credentials, and training to assign diagnosis. FCCS hires related degrees. Staff is very familiar with the DSM as many clients either have a diagnosis when the case opens, or through our case planning we ask that a client (adult or child) complete a psychological evaluation and the diagnostic summary is returned to us. We use this information to help a client receive treatment, services or benefits.

4) What are clients told about confidentiality and the limits of confidentiality? What is your assessment of the adequacy of the information about confidentiality and its limits at this agency?
Confidentiality is taken very seriously at FCCS. The community has to trust that their identity will be kept confidential or they may be reluctant to report suspected child maltreatment. Clients also have a strict right to confidentiality. Many clients feel shame by having a CPS case. We guard the information that is shared with 3rd parties and we always obtain a Release of Information from the client. The seriousness of confidentiality begins in orientation and are reiterated daily throughout ones career.
5) What are the most common problems addressed by this agency? What types of problems do the clients bring to this agency?
The most common problems are child abuse and child neglect. However, we also serve unruly and delinquent youth. Poverty, addiction and mental illness are some of the main problems that clients present with. All of these issues make the tough job of parenting, even harder. {you can give an example of each: utilities shut off due to non-payment/children not dressed appropriately for the weather/family living in a car or shelter; substance exposed newborns; teens or parents with significant mental illness}

6) How well do you think this agency assesses strengths and competencies as well as problems? What could be improved in the assessment process to balance problems and strengths assessment?
FCCS is very strengths based in thought and action. {you can cite the Guiding Principles We are committed to our Guiding Principles:
• We are child welfare professionals
• We honor families
• We value every child
• We value partnerships
Children Services is the public agency mandated by federal and state law to ensure that our community’s children are safe and well cared for. We provide protection, care and permanency for children who are abused, neglected or dependent. By being in partnership with more than 100 agencies and organizations, and with the help of over 700 employees, 500 kinship families, 200 adoptive families, 500 volunteers and mentors and hundreds of community foster parents, the agency is committed to making sure that every child has a safe and stable home. Children Services social workers and support staff work to build stable and supportive living settings for young people, strengthen family life and assist parents in meeting their responsibilities to their children. FCCS receives approximately 30,000 referrals annually through our

and the whole Alternative Response philosophy Alternative Response (AR) is a way to serve screened-in reports at an earlier stage by engaging familes in a non-adversarial process of linking them to needed services.
Primary focus:
• establishing safety not blame
• Parent as partner using collaborative practices
• Non-judgmental, honest & attentive responses
• Child safety is addressed within context of family well-being
• Services not surveillance
– no labels, partnering with the family, etc…} The Family Assessment and the Case Plan both speak to strengths and concerns. We know that a family is not defined by the presenting problem. They functioned before we became involved and they will function after the case closes. We know to draw on strengths and culture.

7) Is medication a part of the treatment plan at this agency? If so, how are clients, including children and adolescents involved in the decision?
Research shows that children involved in the child welfare system have suffered more trauma than children not involved with CPS (Child Protective Services). When addressing trauma, sometimes there is an assessed need for medication. The parent is always consulted – even when FCCS holds custody. However, if FCCS holds custody, we can override a parents’ refusal, but we try to get them to talk to the doctor and agree to at least give it a try. Our medical team is also consulted on any medication consents.
8) What are the systems for referral at this agency? How are decisions for referrals made and communicated with clients?
Clients are told that FCCS caseworkers are case managers, not clinicians/therapists. Therefore those services will be referred out to others. Fortunately, FCCS is located in a major metro city Where services are readily available. Also, FCCS has a large budget, so we can secure master contract and individual contracts with various providers. There is often no cost to clients.
9) Does your agency have a safety policy for clients, workers, and the community? If so, please describe the policy.
See attached Policy – Handbook. Mention RAVE is a cell phone notification system. This is the Emergency Notification Policy where all agency work phone numbers and employee emails have been uploaded to the RaveAlert system by IS and must be updated routinely by staff once all employees establish their Rave login. Should an emergency, weather calamity or natural disaster occur, identified staff persons will draft the emergency notice and send it to staff in accordance with the Inclement Weather Policy and the agency’s Disaster Plan (This system is not intended for normal storm conditions, tornado watches, fire alarms or other rapidly changing conditions and it is not intended to be the Only form of notification. Your supervisor and/or the news media may also be alerted to issues that immediately affect agency employees and the public). Also each location of FCCS has Deputies in each building.

10) Are there any other issues regarding the assessment process at this agency about which you would like to comment?
Assessment is at the center of what we do. Our outcomes are measured by Safety, Permanency and Well Being. All of those domains require ongoing assessment and planning by the service team. The CAPMIS tools help to guide our assessment and decision-making.

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