After a report of suspected child abuse, neglect, or exploitation has been made to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline, a Children's Service Worker will initiate an investigation or family assessment. If a report suggests a child is in immediate danger, a Children’s Service Worker will respond immediately. If a child is not reported to be in immediate danger, a Children’s Service Worker will respond within 24 hours (unless the incident relates to educational neglect only).
The purpose of the investigation/family assessment is to determine if there is potential abuse or neglect and to help the family and the child.
A family assessment or juvenile assessment is a response to a report that focuses on working with the child and the child's family to identify factors that may place the child at risk of future abuse and neglect. Assessments also offers voluntary, community-based services to reduce the risk and support the family.
An investigation is a response to a report of child abuse or neglect that focuses on collecting evidence to determine if a child has been abused or neglected and to decide whether an individual has perpetrated abuse or neglect and should be placed on the Central Registry. Investigations are co-investigated with law enforcement when possible.