2440. CPS Service Delivery

Approval:   Jennifer Strus, Assistant Secretary

Original Date:  March 31, 2017

Policy Review:  March 31, 2020


Provide guidance for Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation caseworkers to determine if voluntary services are needed and whether services will be delivered by the CPS caseworker or Family Voluntary Services (FVS) caseworker. Services are directed at eliminating safety threats, preventing placement, reducing risk and increasing the parent’s protective capacities to assure the child's safety and well-being.


RCW 26.44.180 Investigation of child sexual abuse -- Protocols -- Documentation of agencies' roles.


  1. The CPS investigation caseworker must:
    1. Determine if voluntary services are necessary and in the child’s best interest when there is an identified safety threat on the Safety Assessment or a moderate high or high risk score on the Structured Decision Making Risk Assessment (SDMRA) by completing all of the following:
      1. Consult with a CPS supervisor and review the following information:
        1. Safety Assessment
        2. Initial interviews
        3. Case history
        4. SDMRA
      2. Consider the following factors:
        1. Identified safety threats.
        2. Existing protective factors within the family and their support system.
        3. Level of family crisis.
        4. Family’s ability and willingness to engage in services and achieve their goals within the time period specified.
        5. Services that will help maintain or restore a safe, stable family environment.
        6. Whether safety and protection of the child does not appear to require court intervention.
    2. If voluntary services are expected to last less than 60 calendar days from the intake date and the case is not transferred to FVS, complete the following:
      1. Initiate referrals to service providers or community resources at any time during the investigation when brief services are expected to be completed within sixty days. Examples include:
        1. Removal of health and safety hazards from the home or minor repairs.
        2. The family will benefit from additional resources, e.g., childcare, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), bus pass, public health nurse, First Steps, Women, Infant and Children (WIC), Domestic Violence programs, Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT), or family planning.
      2. Coordinate with family members and community partners when recommending services.
      3. Complete a new safety assessment at key decision points per CA Safety Assessment policy.
      4. Ensure services paid by CA are completed within the investigation timeframe of 60 days unless there is an extension resulting from law enforcement request per RCW 26.44.185.
    3. If the case will transfer to FVS, initiate referrals to service providers or community resources and work with the CPS supervisor to:
      1. End the CPS assignment if the investigation is complete.
      2. Co-assign the case if the investigation is not complete.
    4. Consult with the CPS supervisor to determine if court intervention is needed if a family declines services, and any of the following exists:
      1. Safety threats exist and cannot be managed or controlled in the home.
      2. There is a moderate high or high risk score on the SDMRA.
      3. Reasonable efforts have not increased the parent’s protective capacities.
    5. If a child’s safety cannot be managed or controlled in the home:
      1. Initiate a Voluntary Placement Agreement (VPA) when the child is  anticipated to safely return to his or her parent within 90 days.  
      2. Initiate court intervention if the child is not anticipated to return to his or her parent within 90 days.
  2. The CPS supervisor must:
    1. Collaborate with the FVS supervisor when it is determined that FVS is appropriate, and a FVS caseworker is assigned.
    2. Consult with the area administrator (AA) when there is a disagreement about a CPS investigation identified for FVS.
    3. Document in a supervisory case note his or her review of the completed investigation, and transfer to FVS.