1. The department shall develop an assessment-based approach to respond to child abuse reports in accordance with the provisions of this section. The assessment-based approach shall be utilized on a pilot project basis in areas of the state selected by the department. The pilot projects shall be selected in a manner so the pilot projects are in both rural and urban areas. During the period beginning April 18, 1997, and ending June 30, 1998, the department shall incrementally expand the pilot projects areas in a manner so as to ensure the assessment-based approach is used throughout the state as of July 1, 1998. The department shall adopt rules to implement the provisions of this subsection.
2. Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 232.70 and 232.71, in the pilot project areas, the department's responsibilities in responding to a child abuse report shall be in accordance with this section.
3. Upon receipt of a child abuse report in a pilot project area, the department shall notify the appropriate county attorney of the receipt of the report and shall perform an assessment. The department shall commence the assessment within twenty-four hours of the receipt of the report. The primary purpose of the assessment shall be to protect the safety of the child named in the report. The secondary purpose of the assessment shall be to engage the child's family in services to enhance family strengths and to address needs.
4. An assessment is subject to the provisions of section 232.71 as though the department is performing an investigation under that section for all of the following:
a. Notification of a child's parents in accordance with section 232.71, subsection 1.
b. Interview of a person alleged to have committed the child abuse in accordance with section 232.71, subsection 2, paragraph "e".
c. Notification of a facility providing care to a child in accordance with section 232.71, subsection 4.
d. Request for information from any person believed to have knowledge of a child abuse case and referral of a child to a physician in accordance with section 232.71, subsection 5.
e. Confidential access to a child in accordance with section 232.71, subsection 6.
f. Requests for information from the department of public safety in accordance with section 232.71, subsection 15.
g. Establishment and usage of a multidisciplinary team in accordance with section 232.71, subsection 16.
h. The department shall work with representatives of law enforcement at the local level to develop a protocol for joint investigative processes.
5. A child abuse assessment shall be completed in writing within twenty business days of the receipt of the report. The assessment shall include a description of the child's condition, identification of the injury or risk to which the child was exposed, the circumstances which led to the injury or risk to the child, and the identity of any person alleged to be responsible for the injury or risk to the child. In addition, the assessment shall identify the strengths and needs of the child, and of the child's parent, home, family, and community. Upon completion of the assessment, the department shall consult with the child's family in offering services to the child and the child's family to address strengths and needs identified in the assessment.
6. The department shall provide the juvenile court and the county attorney with a copy of the written assessment pertaining to the child abuse report. The juvenile court and the county attorney shall notify the department of any action taken concerning an assessment provided by the department.
7. The department shall implement the pilot projects by January 15, 1996. The department shall report to the governor and the general assembly concerning the pilot projects on or before December 16, 1996. The report shall include the following information:
a. A description of successes and problems encountered in implementing the pilot projects.
b. An analysis of the effect of the pilot projects on utilizing the child abuse registry for the tracking of a pattern of child abuse incidents.
c. The outcome changes for children in the pilot project areas where the assessment approach is utilized in response to an allegation of child abuse versus the investigation approach utilized in other areas of the state.
d. A copy of any report provided by a county attorney in a pilot project area, a copy of any report provided by the county attorneys association, and a copy of any report provided by the juvenile court in a pilot project area.
It is the intent of the general assembly to consider implementing statewide an assessment-based approach to respond to child abuse reports commencing February 10, 1997.
95 Acts, ch 147, §5; 96 Acts, ch 1175, § 1--;3; 97 Acts, ch 35, §1; 97 Acts, ch 176, §4
Referred to in § 232.68, 232.71D, 235A.19
Implementation; special protocol under certain circumstances; 95 Acts, ch 147, § 9 ~ISection will be repealed and new sections 232.71B and 232.71C will become effective July 1, 1998; see 97 Acts, ch 35, §6, 7, 24, 25
© 1998 Cornell College and League of Women Voters of Iowa
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