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  • Summary date: Mar 8 2021 - View Summary

    Enacts new GS 7B-300.1 to prohibit a county department of social services from supplementing child protective services intake screening criteria with county policy that is more stringent than, or in addition to, State policy. 

    Requires the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Social Services (Division), to implement a rapid consultation system to provide consultation to counties when making decisions regarding the safety of children. Requires the system to consist of a telephone line that a county worker or supervisor can access at any time when the individual has concerns about the correct screening decision, assessment track, or applicable response time frame for a specific case. Requires Division staff to consult with the individual making the request within 24 hours of receipt; requires at least two Division staff workers to consult on each call for consistency. Requires the Division to implement the system no later than June 30, 2022, and to report to the specified NCGA committee by December 31, 2022.

    Requires the Division to periodically assess county department of social services workers' and supervisors' comprehension and correct implementation of State policy and their training needs regarding the screening of reports of alleged child maltreatment. Requires assessment through the use of hypothetical vignettes or other appropriate assessment tools; requires retraining as necessary. Requires the Division to: (1) increase the frequency of intake training; (2) develop an intermediate intake screening course that bridges the gap between newer and more experienced workers; and (3) require county social services workers and supervisors to complete an intake screening training at least every three years. Requires implementing the assessment and training requirements by June 30, 2022, and requires a report to the specified NCGA committee by December 31, 2022.

    Requires the Division to consult with the Children's Research Center or a similar organization, in revising the child protective services structured intake form. Requires the form, at a minimum, to ensure it continues to meet federal and State requirements and provides consistency for use statewide. Requires the form to be recertified every five years and requires consultation with the Children's Research Center or a similar organization when State policy changes require modifications to the form. Requires the Division to report, beginning January 1, 2022, to the specified NCGA committee on its process of revising the structured intake form and requires continued reporting every six months thereafter until revisions are complete.

    Requires the Division to implement statistically valid program monitoring for county intake screening procedures and establish measurable performance benchmarks. Requires that the benchmarks be measurable, consistent, and applicable in all counties. Requires county data reviews for intake screening to be performed at least annually beginning no later than December 31, 2024. Sets out sampling requirements. Requires the Division to report to the specified NCGA committee beginning June 30, 2022, and continuing each year thereafter until December 31, 2024.