§2 ch2: CANHU Protocol: Structured Decision Making (SDM) Screening Process, Response Priority and Track Assignment
2.2 Response Priority Levels
Structured Decision Making (SDM) Response Priority – This tool provides criteria to determine the time frame in which the family should be contacted. There are three response levels, which are applicable for both Investigations and Family Assessments.
NOTE: For all investigations, Missouri statutes require the child(ren) to be seen immediately in emergency situations and within 24 hours for non-emergency cases, except when the only allegation is educational neglect. Immediately is defined per policy as within three (3) hours. For investigations where the only allegation is educational neglect, the victim must be seen within 72 hours.
Level 1 – This is equivalent to an emergency report. Face-to-face contact with all victim(s) listed on the CA/N-1 must be made within three (3) hours from the receipt of the report. A face-to-face contact by the Children’s Division with all children living in the household (victims and non-victims) must be made within 72 hours. Available resources shall be utilized to locate the child(ren), including law enforcement assistance.
Level 2 – Face-to-face contact with all victim(s) listed on the CA/N-1 must be made within 24 hours from receipt of the report. A face-to-face contact by the Children’s Division with all children residing in the home (victims and non-victims) must occur within 72 hours.
Level 3 – Face-to-face contact by the Children’s Division with all children residing in the household (victims and non-victims) must be made within 72 hours from receipt of the report. Investigations and Family Assessments must be initiated within 24 hours unless the only basis for the report is educational neglect, which then must be initiated within 72 hours.
NOTE: For all Response Priority Levels, initial face-to-face contact may be made by members of the multidisciplinary team. Multidisciplinary teams are made up of individuals from other public and private agencies, including but not limited to, local law enforcement, juvenile office, and juvenile court. Section 210.145, RSMo. now specifically includes the school liaison as a member of the multidisciplinary team.
2.2.1 Upgrading Lower Response Priority to Emergencies
In situations where CD field staff has directly observed a home (or other situation) before calling the hotline, CANHU staff will defer to the field worker’s professional judgment if the worker has determined that the situation warrants an emergency:
- If the SDM Response Priority decision is not an emergency, CANHU will override to an emergency (within 3-hour) response based on the field staff's direct knowledge of the situation. (Field staff may refer to the below "Related Subject" Emergency Investigation Criteria.)
- CANHU will document in the narrative that this report was upgraded from a lower SDM priority response to an emergency based on field staff’s direct knowledge of the situation.
- CANHU will not downgrade a call that has been screened as an emergency at the time of the call.
- Downgrading priority response levels may occur at the county office level, given additional information according to policy. (See “Related Subject” below:)
NOTE: If this override decision is challenged by the county of assignment, please respond that this policy was brought forward and approved through the CQI process.