CPS reports are received locally from the State Central Registry. The Department is mandated to investigate them.
The Department is required to assess the safety of all the children in the household within 24 hours. This requires a face-to-face contact and assessment of the home. This service needs to be provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, which necessitates on-call staffing. In certain circumstances, the Department must ensure children's safety by putting preventive measures in place or making referrals for families who need assistance. Staff works with families to find solutions and work voluntarily with community services. In the more serious situations, the Department is legally bound to remove a child from the household and initiate family court proceedings. This is always a last resort and staff work diligently to engage the family in safety planning before this option is considered.