May 05, 2015

CEA Meeting Minutes 5/5

• Introductions
• Speaker from Child Protective Services: Kerry Williams
o Mandated reporters are required to make a report based on reasonable cause or suspicion of maltreatment or abuse
 Call the State Central Registry at 1-800-342-3720
• Talk to an operator in Albany and they decide if the call is appropriate. If it is, the operator will send the call to the local CPS district
• If it is not, the operator can refer the caller to the appropriate entity
o The State Central registry can be used as a consultant
 Appropriate calls: the child is under 18 years old and the person who is legally responsible for the child is over 18 years old
 After the mandated reporter makes a hotline call, they have to fill out a DSS2221 form within 48 hours and submit it to their local district
 Once the state accepts the call, and passes it onto the local district, CPS has 24 hours to assess the safety of the child
• Face-to-face with the child, alleged perpetrator, and/or phone call with the reporter
• CPS is required to see all subjects of the report and all of the kids in the home face-to-face
• There has to be some credible evidence to substantiate the report- very minimal evidence, not like a criminal case
• The mandated reporter will receive a letter about the findings of the case
• Appeal process:
o The family will receive a letter in the mail if the case was indicated
o The family can write to Albany to appeal the case
o Albany will lead an administrative review to see if there was some credible evidence
 May reach out to the local district for some external evidence
o If the family is still not satisfied with the ruling, they can request a fair hearing (mini trial)
 The decision will be based off a preponderance of evidence for the case
o Family Violence Team
 The unit was created because family violence is all intertwined with domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse
 2 advocates employed by Haven House are part of this team to provide linkage to services for the victims
 The volume of domestic violence cases has been more than anticipated
 Most of the reports come from a mandated reporter
 The unit gets a few cases from APS
 The grandparents are seen as a resource for the child – 1017 temporary Guardian
o Uses of CPS for agencies who provide services to older adults
 CPS is an angle to get services into the home if there is a child involved
• Do not need a victim willing to prosecute an abuser if there is a child involved
• If the child is witnessing domestic violence- there is enough to raise charges
• CPS has an internal policy to report elder abuse to APS if they suspect it or see it
 Should an older adult present in the hospital with a condition that they need treatment for and a child they are responsible for is at home without supervision, CPS can try to link that child with services or other responsible parties while the guardian is receiving treatment
o Dealing with false hotline calls
 Calling the State Central Registry can be used by parties who are unsatisfied with a custody arrangement as an annoyance technique
• CPS has to treat all of the cases the same way by still doing an investigation on the allegations
• If there are too many false claims by an individual, contact the police department in the jurisdiction of where the situation is happening
o Would have to be able to prove who is calling in order for something to actually happen
o Police could go interview the believed caller to see what is going on
o Criteria for working with teens
 Four questions:
• Is this the child’s behavior?
• Is the parent aware?
• Is the parent taking steps to address the issues?
• Can we keep the child safe with services?
 CPS tries to exhaust all services available before they get to the court system
 Generally speaking, parents are financially responsible for children up to age 21
• Children can petition for child support from their parents if they are kicked out of the house before age 21
 NYS does not recognize emancipation
• Announcements
o Elder Law Fair on 6/17 from 9am – 1pm at the Adam’s Mark Hotel
o CASE Annual Network Conference on 5/13 from 8-1 in Sanborn
o Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence Meeting on 5/8 at Catholic Charities
o Southtowns Coalition Meeting on 5/12 at Elderwood in Hamburg
o SAFE Trainings are ongoing in the community
o Stay tuned for local listening sessions for the White House Conference on Aging