When a report of maltreatment of a foster child is received, the supervisor of the Access Unit will make a referral by phone to the appropriate independent investigating agency. A follow-up phone report will be made as soon as the assessment of immediate danger is made by a worker from the Department's Access Unit.
The independent investigation agency is expected to initiate a thorough investigation within 24 hours of receipt of the referral. Speed in completing the investigation is of the essence both for the safety of the child involved and to help the licensing agency make a justifiable decision regarding placement in a foster home "in limbo." Obviously, there is also a need to facilitate permanency planning for children.
Weekly progress reports will be made to the referring supervisor from the independent investigating agency. These may be verbal reports form the independent investigator.
The foster parents should be contacted by the independent investigator during the first week of the investigation. All persons in the home will be interviewed. If there is a question of child abuse and neglect regarding persons who previously lived in the foster home, they will also be interviewed by the independent investigator.
The Independent Investigation Report should be completed within 30 days of initial contact with the foster parents.