Sunday, October 4, 2015

Intervention to Prevent Child Custody Loss in Mothers with Schizophrenia

Intervention to Prevent Child Custody Loss in Mothers with Schizophrenia Mary V. Seeman Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, One King's College Circle, 7213 Medical Sciences Building, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1A8 Received 3 July 2011; Accepted 9 September 2011 Academic Editor: Susana Ochoa Copyright © 2012 Mary V. Seeman. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Abstract Depending on jurisdiction, time period studied, and specifics of the population, approximately 50 percent of mothers who suffer from schizophrenia lose custody of their children. The aim of this paper is to recommend interventions aimed at preventing unnecessary custody loss. This paper reviews the social work, nursing, psychology, psychiatry, and law literature on mental illness and custody loss, 2000–2011. Recommendations to mothers are to (a) ensure family health (b) prevent psychotic relapse, (c) prepare in advance for crisis, (d) document daily parenting activities, (e) take advantage of available parenting resources, and f) become knowledgeable about legal issues that pertain to mental health and custody. From a policy perspective, child protection and adult mental health agencies need to dissolve administrative barriers and collaborate. Access to appropriate services will help mothers with schizophrenia to care appropriately for their children and allow these children to grow and develop within their family and community. 1. Intervention to Prevent Child Custody Loss in Mothers with Schizophrenia A psychotic illness can, but does not need to, interfere with an individual’s ability to be a good parent. Given well-timed, appropriate, and adequate education and resources, many individuals with psychotic illness succeed in parenting their children. This is not always recognized by child welfare workers who may continue to be influenced by outdated views of psychotic illness as intractable and parenting with schizophrenia as impossible [1]. Without effective intervention, parents who suffer from psychotic illness too often lose custody of their children [2], an unfortunate outcome that can be avoided by early intervention [3–5]. The emphasis in this clinical review is on mothers with a diagnosis of schizophrenia (because there is very little literature on fathers and effects on children merit a separate paper). 2. Method This paper used the following grouped search terms in Google Scholar (which includes MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and SOCINDEX, as well as the nursing and legal literature) for the years 2000–2011: schizophrenia/diagnosis/custody; schizophrenia/impact/custody; schizophrenia/postpartum/custody; schizophrenia/termination parental rights. Following the literature review and case illustrations (from which identifying facts have been removed), recommendations are made for mothers, care providers, and policy makers. 3. Prevalence of Custody Loss in Mothers with Psychosis Studying reports published in the last ten years, it appears that approximately 50% of women with schizophrenia who are mothers lose custody of their children, either temporarily or permanently, although the percentage varies by jurisdiction. For instance, a report from Canada indicates that 84% of parents treated for schizophrenia by a community treatment team were not living with their children at the time of interview [6], but this figure includes both male and female parents, so is probably higher than it would be for women alone. In London, UK, Howard and colleagues [7] established that 63% of women with psychosis (but only 26% of men) were parents. Hollingsworth [8] studied 322 women with serious mental illness and found that 26% had lost custody at some point in the child’s life. A survey of mothers in psychiatric rehabilitative services [9] reported that 68% had been permanently separated from at least one child under the age of 18, often with little subsequent contact. The number of women with schizophrenia who experience custodial loss of their children is probably diminishing with time, as stigma lessens and interventions improve. Nevertheless, it remains high and effective intervention at the earliest stage of psychosis is warranted. 4. The Impact of Diagnosis on Custody Loss Mothers with serious mental illness, as a group, fear that schizophrenia is equated in the mind of the public with parental incompetence or, worse, with parental neglect or violence [10]. This may well be the case because mothers with schizophrenia are often given relatively little opportunity to prove their parenting competence. Ackerson [11] has commented that parents with a diagnosis of psychosis are victimized twice first, by psychotic illness, then by protective removal of their children. 5. The Impact of Custody Loss on Mothers Removing a child from a mother’s care causes grief and distress to both. It is especially difficult for the mother when she has had little say in the process or when the event occurs at a time when she is too ill to understand what is happening. Diaz-Caneja and Johnson [12], in their qualitative study of 22 women with schizophrenia who were mothers, conclude that fear of losing child custody or access is always uppermost in the minds of severely mentally ill women, making it problematic to disclose to their care providers parenting difficulties that they may experience. Sands and colleagues [13] have reported that mothers with mental illness whose children are apprehended by child protection agencies are usually bewildered by events and confused about what steps to take in order to regain custody. Without psychiatric and legal guidance, they find it difficult to maintain contact with their children. 6. Postpartum Vulnerability to Custody Loss The postpartum period is a particularly vulnerable time for women at risk of losing custody. Psychotic symptoms may emerge for the first time during this period and, for mothers with a prior history of mental illness, the risk of relapse is high during this reproductive phase [14, 15], bringing with it a very real threat of protective removal of children from the mother’s care. Newborns are the most vulnerable members of society, and child protection legislation is therefore biased, as it needs to be, towards their needs rather than to the needs of the mother, however vulnerable she may also be. In order to meet the demands of competent infant care and retain custody of their infants, young mothers with severe postpartum psychiatric illness require substantial support and advocacy [16]. 7. Composite Case Example of Unnecessary Children’s Aid Involvement in Postpartum Psychosis Patient A. was admitted to hospital for a postpartum psychotic episode. She had never been ill before. While she was in hospital, her infant was looked after at home by her parents. The baby’s father was also involved in the child’s care. Before the patient’s hospital discharge, the psychiatric resident contacted Children’s Aid, as a preventive measure, in order to notify the agency that Ms. A. might need help with mothering. Ms. A. had by then recovered and was functioning well. Psychiatric followup had been arranged, in addition to which several adults at home expressed willingness and availability to help look after the baby. The decision to call Children’s Aid was solely determined by the fact that the patient had suffered a psychosis, placing her “on the books” of Children’s Aid. While this could be perceived as a safety precaution for the family, it could also become a problem for the mother should, for example, the baby’s father decide in the future to sue for sole custody of the child. 8. Causes of Termination of Parental Rights The central moral and legal issue involved in temporary or permanent cessation of parental rights is the child’s safety. When an environment is unsafe, the child must be removed until the situation changes [17, 18]. For small children, the safety of the environment is generally judged on the presence/absence of abuse and neglect. The parent must be able to provide basic care (shelter, nutrition, hygiene, clothing, and medical care) and security (protection from dangers, including unsafe people). As the child grows older, other domains of the parental environment take precedence. Brockington et al. [18] categorize these as the parent’s ability to provide: emotional warmth (comfort, praise, and affection), encouragement of learning (through play, language, support of schooling, and social opportunities), guidance and setting consistent limits (teaching consideration of others, self-discipline, and internal moral values), and a stable family base for engagement with the wider world. Assessing competent parenting requires skill and experience. While it is relatively easy to ascertain the presence of gross neglect or abuse, the more subtle qualities of parenting are harder to evaluate. Parent competency instruments are imperfect; they tend to focus on deficits rather than on strengths, and they are subject to cultural biases, since parental norms differ among cultures [19, 20]. 9. Overrepresentation of Psychiatric Patients in Parental Termination Hearings Besides parental competence, conditions such as physical and mental disability, side effects of medications, hospitalization history, quality and permanence of living arrangements, employment record, and socioeconomic status enter into decision making about custody. These variables are all intimately associated with mental illness, and, as a result, parents with psychiatric diagnoses are overrepresented in parental termination proceedings. In an Australian study, parental psychiatric illness was the most prevalent condition at such court hearings [21]. Marital status is also important—unmarried women (and this describes the majority of women with a diagnosis of schizophrenia) are more likely to lose custody than their married peers [22]. Social integration in a network of family, friends, and community members, often deficient in women with schizophrenia, is also relevant [8]. The more dense a social network is, the less likely it is for children to be apprehended by child protection services. The diagnosis of schizophrenia in itself undermines a woman’s chances of retaining custody, so does the substance abuse that frequently accompanies mental illness [7]. Recent studies have shown that substance abuse is perhaps the most important contributory factor [23, 24], although there are many interacting factors that determine out-of-home placements. Young mothers suffering from psychosis find it very hard to disentangle themselves and their children from the web of problems in which they become caught. 10. Preventing Custody Loss: Recommendations for Mothers and Care Providers There are several ways in which mothers with severe mental illness can reduce the risk of child apprehension. It is the responsibility of care providers to provide mothers with this information and training in order to help them to preserve the integrity of their family [25]. 10.1. Maintaining Mental Health In trying to provide for their children, mothers often neglect their own health and yet maintenance of personal health is a crucial first step toward ensuring child custody. This includes proper diet, a healthy sleep schedule, an exercise program, regular physician and mental health visits, and adherence to a prescribed regimen of medication. When questioned, most mothers with schizophrenia do understand that custody can be lost if prescribed treatment for their condition is not adhered to [26]. When women deny psychiatric illness, the intense desire to retain custody of their children can be used as a form of leverage, a controversial but effective strategy [26–28]. 11. Case Example Patient B., the sole caregiver of a 5-year old son, sought treatment for psychotic symptoms but refused antipsychotic medication. She was hospitalized against her will after she was verbally abusive to another mother at her son’s school. During her hospitalization, her son was placed in the care of a cousin. In hospital, Ms. B. continued to refuse medication. She asked for a lawyer to represent her so that she could leave hospital and return to her son. The lawyer advocated for her with hospital staff and persuaded Ms. B. to agree to community treatment orders (outpatient commitment), which included monthly depot antipsychotic injections. The lawyer convinced her that this would be her best recourse in order to regain custody of her son. Ms. B. had an excellent therapeutic response to the antipsychotic and soon went home. Her son returned to her care, and, when the 6-month community treatment order expired, Ms. B. continued the injections voluntarily because she felt so much better. Child protection worked collaboratively with legal and mental health agencies to help this family stay together. Followup after many years showed that Ms. B. has succeeded as a parent. She has had no further hospitalizations, and her son remains in good health. As symptoms of psychosis decline, parenting stress is reduced and the quality of parenting inevitably improves [29]. Addressing symptoms alone is never sufficient [30], but does show the court that mothers are taking responsibility for this aspect of their recovery. 11.1. Self-Monitoring for Signs of Relapse Avoiding recurrence of symptoms and the possibility of hospitalization is important for continuity of parental care, which means that psychiatric crises need to be avoided through anticipatory planning and self-monitoring. Mothers can be advised to maintain a written list of personal relapse triggers and early warning signs (sleeplessness, lapsed hygiene, increased suspiciousness, and so on) and to be knowledgeable about their medications. A requirement for dose changes whenever relapse threatens should be thoroughly discussed between mothers and care providers; the mother needs to know when and how she can increase (or decrease) her prescription to prevent a crisis. She needs to document what has worked in previous predicaments of a similar nature and what she can do to avert them. She needs ready access to crisis help. Evidence of self-monitoring convinces the court that mothers recognize that they suffer from a potentially relapsing illness and are doing their best to prevent recurrence. 11.2. Developing a Crisis Plan Should hospitalization become necessary, it is important for mothers to be prepared for this disruption in their ability to care for their children. Several crisis plan templates are available electronically for parents with mental illness, none of which have as yet been evaluated for effectiveness [31]. It is best for all family members and all care providers to be involved in developing the crisis plan. The aim is to negotiate what needs to occur in an emergency and to clarify the responsibility of each member of the support network. Older children need to be part of the response team as they may be the first to notice their mother’s early illness symptoms and they need to know whom to turn to under such circumstances. It is important, however, not to overburden children with the responsibility of looking after an ill parent. The phone numbers and addresses of surrogate caregivers must be made available to children and also to care providers. Thought should be given to establishing backup caregivers in case of the unavailability of first choices. The plan should be written down, shared, and periodically updated because names and details will change. It should include critical information about the children’s needs: their doctor, dentist, teachers, allergies, food and activity preferences, favorite toys, bedtime routines, and physical and psychological history. Plans for family pets should be included. Reupert and colleagues [31] report that it typically takes 6–12 months to develop a comprehensive crisis plan because all the necessary interagency meetings take that long to organize. Such a plan indicates to the court that mothers place their parental responsibilities above all else. 11.3. Taking Advantage of Parenting Resources Depending on the community, parenting skills classes, parenting mutual aid or support groups, parent coaches, parenting warm lines, home visiting, and respite services may all be available resources [32–34]. An online parenting course has even been developed in The Netherlands [35]. Well-trained care providers should be able to point mothers in the right directions to access the best resources [36]. Upgrading parental skills demonstrates to the court that mothers are trying their best to be responsible parents. 11.4. Documenting Household and Child Care Routines When asked by a judge to give evidence of good parenting, many mothers do not know what to say, especially because such questions are not usually asked of mothers unless they suffer from mental illness. The judge, however, is entitled to ask about safety issues and about issues pertaining to domains of parenting competence similar to those outlined by Brockington et al. [18] Mothers can be helped to document the day to day manner in which they address their child’s instrumental and emotional problems, how they help their children resolve conflicts, how they set limits, and how they help to socialize their children. They need to build a record detailing their parenting strengths and the quality of the bonds that exist with their children. Care providers should be able to provide guidance for the mother so that she is not at a loss when questions about her parenting emerge in court. 11.5. Navigating the Legal System Mothers need to understand the mandated child abuse reporting laws of their jurisdictions. They need to connect with attorneys who understand mental illness and family law and the family court system and who can act as strong advocates. Policies intended to promote a speedy resolution for children in out-of-home care may unintentionally discriminate against parents with mental illness because they fast-track the termination of parental rights, allowing only a brief time period for new parents to meet the goals set by child protection agencies. Attorneys and care providers need to help mothers achieve these goals as quickly as possible by ensuring access and legal rights to the necessary supports and services. Collaboration is important between child protection and lawyers who represent parents in custody and termination proceedings. It is not an easy collaboration, however, because child welfare professionals and court professionals come from two distinct cultures, the first a culture of care and concern, the second an adversarial system that, above all else, values individual rights [37]. There is a definite need for mental health education of judges and court professionals. 12. Recommendations for Policy Makers Early intervention services, adult mental health services, and child protection services often act in competition rather than in cooperation [38]. It is crucial to develop a philosophy and care system that cooperatively addresses the needs of the whole family. There is now a promising evidence base of effectiveness of wraparound services for families impacted by serious mental illness [39]. The term, “wraparound,” is increasingly being used to describe a family-driven, strengths-based approach that uses an array of both formal services and natural supports [40]. Another phrase often used is “system of care.” A system of care is a network of structures and relationships that is held together by shared values and that operates across administrative and funding jurisdictions [41, 42]. A family-driven system of care is based on the needs of children, parents, and extended family. It supports choice, ongoing evaluation, and accountability and promotes partnerships between families and professionals, collaboration between multiple agencies and service sectors, and individualized services that are sensitive to cultural differences. The cultural sensitivity of a service refers to the ability of its staff to understand, value, and incorporate the perspective of the family into service provision and, whenever possible, provide services in the family’s language of choice. In a wraparound system, there is a single point of entry for the many services that are provided. Among these are early identification and prevention strategies, attention to reproductive and child health, substance abuse counseling, case management, liaison with schools and the legal system, financial support, crisis management, housing, transportation aid, vocational help, spiritual, cultural, and recreational guidance, and respite care. 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Monday, September 14, 2015

Drugs and how long they stay in your urine and in a hair follicle test

Alcohol in the urine 6-24 hours in the hair 90 days Marijuana in the urine 3 to 30 days in the hair 90 days Cocaine in the urine 2-10 days in the hair 90 days Amphetamines in the urine 1-3 days in the hair 90 days Opiates in the urine 2-3 days in th hair 90 days PCP in the urine 3-30 days in the hair 90 days MDMA in the urine 3-4 days in the hair 90 days Benzodiazepines 1-6 weeks in the urine 90 days in the hair Barbituarates in the urine 1-3 weeks in the hair 90 days Codeine 2-3 weeks in urine 90 days in the hair LSD 2-4 hours in urine 4 days in hair Nicotine 2-4 days in urine 90 days in hair

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Child Protective Services in 2013 had removed from home 6 kids killed in Houston shooting
Kids killed in shooting had been taken from home by state By JUAN A. LOZANO | Associated Press | Aug 11, 2015 4:47 PM CDT HOUSTON (AP) — Six children who were fatally shot in their Houston home along with their mother and her husband were temporarily removed by Child Protective Services from the household in 2013 after allegations of domestic violence and a lack of supervision. The children were placed in foster care in September 2013 when the agency filed a lawsuit to remove them from the home. They were returned about a month later after the suit was dismissed by a judge, Patrick Crimmins, a spokesman for Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, which includes CPS, said Tuesday. Questions about the agency's dealings with the family have arisen since the six children, their mother, Valerie Jackson, and her husband were killed Saturday. Jackson's former domestic partner, David Conley, is charged with capital murder for their deaths, and the Harris County Sheriff's Office has said problems between Conley and Jackson might have led to the shootings. Court records show Conley, 48, had a history of domestic violence against Jackson, something Child Protective Services noted in its 2013 lawsuit. Crimmins said he couldn't comment on why Juvenile Court Judge Glenn Devlin dismissed the lawsuit. Natalie Yates, Devlin's court coordinator, said the judge can't comment on the lawsuit due to confidentiality issues. Donna Everson, an attorney who was appointed to represent the six children, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. According to CPS' lawsuit, the children told authorities they were often left alone. On at least two occasions, then-7-year-old Caleb left the home and wandered around the family's neighborhood unsupervised. Another child, Nathaniel, told investigators "he gets whooped all the time." Killed in the shooting on Saturday were: Jackson, 40; her husband, Dwayne Jackson; and her children, 13-year-old Nathaniel; 11-year-old Honesty; 10-year-old Dwayne; 9-year-old Caleb; 7-year-old Trinity; and 6-year-old Jonah. Authorities say Nathaniel was Conley's son from his relationship with Valerie Jackson, while the Jacksons were the parents of the other five children. All were shot in the head. Conley's court appointed attorney, Joseph Scardino, didn't return a phone call seeking comment on the allegations Tuesday. Court records show Conley had been charged at least twice with assaulting Valerie Jackson, most recently last month. They had recently ended their relationship. Neighbors told reporters after the shooting that they had been concerned about the children. "The little one, Jonah, he used to be on the street by himself with the other kids, cars driving by and everything and no adult supervision," said Carlos Sanchez, 40, who lived across the street from the family. Crimmins said in an email that although the children were returned to the home, Conley and Valerie Jackson were ordered to participate in counseling and random drug testing. That part of the case was dismissed in March 2014 after they successfully completed all court-ordered services, Crimmins said. The agency conducted periodic visits and interviews with the children until the case was closed on May 27, 2014, he said. --- This story has been corrected to show the first name of two of the shooting victims is Dwayne, not Dewayne. ___ Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter at

Child Protective Services Had Contact with Family Prior to Killing
Updated: 08/09/2015 6:45 PM Created: 08/09/2015 9:00 PM HOUSTON (AP) — The latest on eight people — including six children and two parents — found dead inside a Houston-area home (all times local): ___ 4:45 p.m. An official with Texas Child Protective Services said the agency had prior contact with people at a Houston home where two adults and six children were shot to death. Spokeswoman Estella Olguin said Sunday that a preliminary review found the previous involvement. She said an internal review was under way by their Office of Child Safety to evaluate "any prior contacts with the family to ensure they were handled appropriately." She had no further details Sunday afternoon. David Conley has been charged with three counts of capital murder after the discovery of the bodies. Authorities discovered the bodies after they were called to the home for a welfare check Saturday. Conley was taken into custody after surrendering to authorities. ___ 3 p.m. Authorities identified the eight people fatally shot at a Houston home as two adults and six children ranging in age from six to 50 years. At a Sunday afternoon news conference, prosecutors and police said that a 40-year-old female victim had a prior relationship with David Conley, who is charged with capital murder in the family's death. The children, two girls and four boys, were ages 13, 11, 10, 9, 7 and 6. At least one of those was believed to be Conley's child, they said. ___ 2 p.m. All eight victims — two adults and six children— found in a Houston-area home were shot in the head, according to an arrest affidavit for a man charged with capital murder. The arrest affidavit was read in court Sunday afternoon at a probable cause hearing for 48-year-old David Conley. He didn't appear in court. The judge denied him bond. According to the arrest affidavit, Conley said he had discovered on Saturday morning that the locks had been changed at the house after he'd moved out. He then entered the home through an unlocked window and restrained, shot and killed the eight people. Police later responded to a welfare check at the house and got no response at the door but saw through a window a male on the floor with a gunshot wound. Police then heard gunshots coming from the front of the house. A standoff ensued between officials and Conley and he later gave himself up to authorities and was arrested. ___ 11:30 a.m. The man charged following the discovery of two adults and six children slain in a Houston-area home has a long criminal history that includes violence. David Conley, 48, was charged with three counts of capital murder after the discovery of the bodies. One capital murder count covers multiple deaths. Another is for a person under 6 years of age, according to court records. He was being held Sunday in Harris County Jail. Bond has not yet been set. Court records show Conley's criminal history dates back until at least 1988, with the most recent incident last month, when was charged with assault of a family member. In court documents, authorities say the suspect had been arrested for allegedly assaulting the woman he was living with at the home where the bodies were found. Court documents say that in the incident last month Conley pushed the woman's head against a refrigerator multiple times after she tried to stop him from disciplining her son with a belt. The case was still pending. In 2013, he was charged with aggravated assault for threatening the same woman with a knife. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine months in the county jail. In 2000, he was arrested for retaliation, accused of putting a knife to his then-girlfriend, threatening to kill her, her baby and himself. That came after she filed an assault charge for cutting her with a knife and punching her in the face. He was sentenced to five years in prison for retaliation. ___ 11 a.m. Court records show that a 48-year-old man has been charged with three counts of capital murder after authorities discovered the bodies of two adults and six children slain in a Houston-area home. David Conley was being held Sunday in Harris County Jail. Bond has not yet been set for him. An attorney is not yet listed for him. Court records show that one capital murder count covers multiple deaths. Another capital murder count is for a person under 6 years of age. Authorities had been called to the home for a welfare check. Conley was taken into custody after surrendering to authorities. By late Sunday morning, authorities had begun removing bodies from the home. ___ 10 a.m. The area around a Houston-area home where authorities say two adults and six children have been found dead is still cordoned off, with sheriff's deputies coming in and out of the house and the medical examiner's office having arrived at the scene. The Harris County Sheriff's Office says a 48-year-old man is in custody after surrendering to authorities. The eight people were found dead in the home after a welfare check. Neighbor Dalila Mercado says when she arrived home last night officers had already blocked off the area. She said she was sitting in her driveway when she heard gunshots coming from the house and officials then told her and her family to go inside their home. Mercado said she could still see from her bedroom window and watched as a man was escorted out of the house after midnight. She said officials then had him next to her fence, taking fingerprints and photographs. She says, "It was shocking. I haven't slept all night." Mercado says she didn't know the residents of the house well, but would occasionally say hello to a woman and see children waiting to catch the school bus. She said she didn't recognize the man taken out of the house. The relationship between the man and the victims wasn't immediately known. ___ 9:25 a.m. Texas authorities say two adults and six children have been found dead inside a Houston-area home and a 48-year-old man who exchanged gunfire with police is in custody. The Harris County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Sunday morning that the eight people were found dead after a welfare check was conducted at the home. The man was taken into custody after members of the Harris County Sheriff's Office High Risk Operations Unit and Hostage Negotiation Team negotiated his surrender. Harris County Sheriff spokesman Thomas Gilliland tells KHOU-TV ( ) that deputies were called to the home about 9 p.m. Saturday. He says deputies subsequently received information indicating that a man inside the home was wanted on an aggravated assault warrant. Gilliland says while waiting for a High Risk Operations Unit, deputies spotted the body of a juvenile through a window. Four deputies forced themselves inside, prompting the suspect to begin shooting. Deputies pulled back, and the man surrendered about an hour later. Officials say more information will be given at a news conference set for 3 p.m.

Child Protection Protocol in final draft

By Sharon Mathala The Child Protection Protocol, which is in its final draft, is said to be the solution to the problem of growing crimes against children, which attract low conviction rates. - See more at: The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) in conjunction with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) presented the final draft yesterday. Speaking at the official launch yesterday, the deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Halakangwa Mbulai says, “Botswana and its partners continue to observe the incidence of issues that affect children, and on which immediate action needs to be taken”. “Such issues include orphanhood, increasing incidents of child abuse, exploitation, neglect, juvenile delinquency as well as children who are forced to take up parenting roles, engage in employment to support families as well as survive on the streets,” says Mbulai. She also stated that the draft Protocol is largely derived from the current challenges related to facilitating access to justice for children. “In spite of increased volumes of offences against children, we still get very low conviction rates and worse still very few cases reaching trial stage. This may be largely attributed to the unclear process and roles of service providers throughout the child protection continuum,” she explains. A UNICEF assessment conducted in 2013 dubbed Botswana Youth Risk Behavioural Surveillance Survey on 10- to 19-year-old students indicated that physical and sexual violence was rampant in schools. The survey also revealed that 12.8 percent of sexually experienced students were forced to have sexual intercourse during the 12 months prior to the survey whilst 13 percent of sexually experienced students had been raped the first time they had sexual intercourse. Child protection specialist, Ben Semommung said, “40 percent of students were reported to have been picked on or bullied during the 30 days prior to the survey, whilst 25.1 percent of students were threatened or injured with a weapon”. The draft also addresses issues ranging from interviewing a child in a case of sexual or physical abuse, discipline that violates the child’s dignity, actions of social worker upon receipt of allegations to when the child does and does not need protection. “A child protection service or provider or agency must intervene to protect a child who might actually suffer cruel or inconsiderable discipline, harmful discipline is correcting or disciplining a child in a cruel or inconsiderable way not matching the child’s age or condition or that whose purpose the child does not understand,” reads the draft. The Protocol will also challenge the issue of child negligence. It states, “Child negligence is failure to provide the child or young person with an adequate standard of nutrition, medical care, clothing shelter or supervision to the extent where the health development of the child is significantly impaired or placed under serious risk”. It (Protocol) aims to define respective roles and responsibilities for child protection in Botswana so that all children in the country are protected. - See more at:

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Handbook Revision, July 2015

Handbook Revision, July 2015

This revision of the Child Protective Services Handbook was published on July 10, 2015.

CPS wants to ensure that the general public understands what critical actions caseworkers are required to perform and why. To further this understanding, CPS has set up a policy e-mail box for the general public: Please feel free to contact us, via this email address, with any general questions related to policy.

For questions or concerns regarding specific cases, please contact the caseworker or supervisor, or the Office of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-720-7777.

Decrease to Reimbursement for Nonrecurring Adoption and PCA Expenses (PATS 8142)

The items below are updated to comply with changes to the related rules at 40 Texas Administrative Code §700.850 and §700.1043 that were amended effective 6/1/2012.

The rules established that for new Adoption Assistance (AA) and Permanency Care Assistance (PCA) agreements signed on or after August 1, 2012, the maximum reimbursement for both nonrecurring AA and nonrecurring PCA expenses will be decreased to $1,200 per child.


1616.5 Reimbursing Nonrecurring Expenses Covered by Permanency Care Assistance

1714.7 Reimbursement of Nonrecurring Expenses of Adoption

Most Recent Revisions To CPS Protocol

Handbook Revision, July 2015

This revision of the Child Protective Services Handbook was published on July 1, 2015.

CPS wants to ensure that the general public understands what critical actions caseworkers are required to perform and why. To further this understanding, CPS has set up a policy e-mail box for the general public: Please feel free to contact us, via this email address, with any general questions related to policy.

For questions or concerns regarding specific cases, please contact the caseworker or supervisor, or the Office of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-720-7777.

When a Child Dies (PATS 8147)

This policy has been revised to add language that instructs regional directors what to do when a child death occurs that could be related to unreported abuse or neglect.


2331 When a Child Dies

1950 Newborns, Children, and Youth Who Are Exposed to Drugs or Alcohol

1950 Newborns, Children, and Youth Who Are Exposed to Drugs or Alcohol
1951 Children and Adolescents Who Smoke Marijuana, Use Other Drugs, or Drink Alcohol
1951.1 Youth Who Are Not in DFPS Conservatorship and Are Not Unemancipated

CPS June 2010

Unless legally married or otherwise legally emancipated, a youth is not considered an adult until the age of 18, even if the youth is a parent.

Guiding Principle

Court orders requiring drug testing supersede the guiding principle below.

When a caseworker becomes aware that a child or adolescent is smoking marijuana, using drugs, or drinking alcohol, the caseworker treats the situation as a medical concern that must be addressed by the parent, just as any other medical concern must be.

Treating the situation as a medical concern assumes that a child using drugs is in need of protection. The intent is to:

  •  rule out any medical complications associated with drug exposure; and

  •  give the parent an opportunity to take ownership for the issues that may have led the child to use and help the child obtain any necessary treatment.

The caseworker does not administer drug tests to the child. If the allegation involves a child age 10 or older as an alleged perpetrator, the caseworker obtains written consent from the parent to send the child to a drug testing laboratory.

If the parent refuses to give written consent for the testing, the caseworker discusses with his or her supervisor the possibility of seeking legal intervention.

Parent Obtains Testing and Treatment for the Youth

The caseworker seeks to empower and encourage the parent to take responsibility to obtain testing, screening, assessment, or treatment for the child or adolescent, if it appears necessary.

Necessity is based on credible evidence that the youth might be using drugs or drinking alcohol; for example, a parent stating that a child or youth has been exposed to drugs or alcohol. As appropriate, the worker assists the parent in accessing substance abuse services through a medical clinic or provider, such as a primary care physician, health clinic, or emergency room.

If the medical provider recommends treatment, the caseworker assists the parent in accessing services in the community. Or, the worker refers the parent and child to a provider of outreach, screening, assessment, and referral (OSAR) services. The youth must be age 13 or older to be referred to OSAR. See 1912 Referring Clients to DSHS-Funded Substance Abuse Treatment.

The parent has the right to purchase over-the-counter drug tests as an initial step in arranging for the youth to be seen by a medical provider or OSAR.

1951.2 Children and Adolescents in DFPS Conservatorship

CPS June 2010

Guiding Principle

Due to the physical and psychological harm drug use may cause a child or youth, CPS practice is to take a medical approach when addressing the issue.

If a caseworker or medical consenter suspects that a child or youth may be using drugs, the caseworker or medical consenter may have the child tested only by a medical provider.

The caseworker and medical consenter:

  •  must not administer drug tests to the youth; and

  •  must not give permission for the youth to be tested initially by any entity that is not a medical provider.


If a youth is under the supervision of Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) or the county juvenile probation department, the youth can be tested for drugs by the juvenile system.


To have a youth tested by a medical provider, the caseworker the medical consenter, makes an appointment with the youth's health care provider or primary care physician (PCP), just as he or she would if the youth were sick.

As in any medical emergency situation, if the youth appears to require immediate medical care, the youth must be taken to an emergency care facility. The caseworker or medical consenter then informs the health care provider or the PCP about the concern for the youth's possible use or abuse of drugs or alcohol. The health care provider or PCP may refer the youth to a substance abuse professional.

At the time the youth is suspected to be using or abusing drugs or alcohol, the caseworker:

  •  collaborates with the regional DFPS substance abuse specialist and the DFPS well-being specialist to coordinate the most appropriate services for the youth's individual needs;

  •  Follow the recommendation of qualified professionals in addressing the youth's substance abuse issues, the caseworker incorporates the recommendations into the child's plan of service and follow the treatment recommendations of the doctor or qualified professional, which may include residential treatment and rehabilitation services. When appropriate and available, the youth's treatment services must be located within the youth's community.

1951.3 Youth in Extended Care or Return to Care

CPS June 2010

Youth who are 18 years of age or older and are receiving extended care or return-to-care services are considered young adults. Young adults are subject to the drug testing policy for adults. While in a DFPS placement, the young adult must abide by the voluntary agreement that he or she signed to remain in conservatorship.

If it is suspected that a young adult is abusing substances, the caseworker:

  •  makes the appropriate referrals to services to assess whether substance abuse treatment is needed; and

  •  encourages the young adult to seek services.

1952 Newborns Exposed to Drugs or Alcohol
1952.1 Safety Plan for a Substance-Exposed Newborn

CPS June 2010

An allegation that a newborn has been exposed to drugs or alcohol could result in DFPS filing legal paperwork to be named the newborn's temporary managing conservator.

The tasks the caseworker must accomplish in an open case are explained in the table below:

Stage of the Case

Task the Caseworker Completes


Complete a risk assessment within 30 days of the birth of the newborn.

FBSS Home Visit

See 3000 Family Based Safety Services to determine the frequency of home visits.

Family Service Plan (FBSS or CVS)

For the timelines within which to complete or update a family service plan, see:

3000 Family Based Safety Services; and 

6000 Substitute-Care Services.

During a home visit

Provide the parent with available information about:

  •  infant care and development,

  •  safe sleep precautions,

  •  SIDS reduction, and

  •  substance abuse

  •  parenting

  •  Early Childhood InterventionExternal Link (ECI) program of the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS).

At any stage that is appropriate

Schedule a Family Team Meeting or a Family Group Conference.


1121 Family Group Decision-Making (FGDM)

2440 Family Team Meetings

6273.1 Family Group Conferences

Appendix 6273.1: Roles and Responsibilities of Family Group Decision-Making (FGDM) Staff

If services beyond the investigation are provided

Consider referring the mother (or the mother and newborn) to an inpatient substance abuse program.

Specify whether participation is voluntary or is based on CPS holding an order of Temporary Managing Conservatorship.

Note the referral in the family's service plan.

Consider case for Family Drug Treatment Court if available in your region. See Appendix 1961: Family Drug Treatment Courts (FDTCs) for more information.

1930 Casework Practice for Substance Abuse Cases

1930 Casework Practice for Substance Abuse Cases
1931 Overview of Casework Practice for Substance Abuse Cases
1931.1 The Definition of a Drug

CPS June 2010

The word drug, as used in this policy, refers to:

  •  controlled substances;

  •  prescriptions;

  •  over-the-counter medications; and

  •  alcohol.

1931.2 Obtaining Diagnostic Classifications From Professionals

CPS June 2010

When a client appears to be using drugs, the caseworker refers the client to professionals for in depth screening, assessment, or treatment.

The caseworker does not make any diagnostic classifications regarding the criteria of drug or alcohol use by the client. Classifications are made by licensed professionals.

For a summary of the criteria, see Appendix 1931.2: Criteria for Diagnosing Substance Abuse.

1931.3 Guiding Principles of Drug Testing

CPS June 2010

Administering a drug test does not change the protocols for conducting an investigation or for performing casework. The caseworker does not rely solely on a drug test to arrive at a conclusion or make a decision in a case.

The caseworker considers the entire case, including:

  •  both the negative and positive results of drug tests; and

  •  all other evidence, such as statements from collateral witnesses (such as teachers, neighbors, and family doctors), the effect of any drug use on the children in the case, and the ability of the parent to protect the child.

1931.4 Marijuana Policy

CPS June 2010

In compliance with Texas law and the schedules of controlled substancesExternal Link required by the Department of State Health Services, DFPS considers marijuana a Schedule I Controlled Substance that is illegal.

Medical Marijuana

The State of Texas and DFPS do not recognize the use of medical marijuana, whether taken in pill form or by smoking. DFPS views marijuana as analogous to any other illegal substance or the use of alcohol as it relates to a child's safety.

1931.5 Determining Safety and Risk When Marijuana, Other Substances, or Alcohol Are Present

CPS June 2010

Caseworkers need to determine whether the use of marijuana, other illegal substances, or alcohol:

  •  puts a child in situations of danger or harm; or

  •  places the child at risk for abuse or neglect.

Immediate Safety

In assessing the child's immediate safety, the caseworker assesses the following:

  •  Parental behavior – For instance, erratic behavior that makes the parent appear unable to protect the child, or the inability to separate reality from hallucinations.

  •  Physical signs of impairment – For example, in the case of marijuana use, the physical signs of impairment could include altered perception, dilated pupils, lack of concentration and coordination, craving for sweets, increased hunger, laughter, slowed thinking, slowed reaction time, and respiratory infections (The caseworker may also notice the smell of burned rope. Physical impairment indicates that threats are present, the child is vulnerable, and the parent does not have sufficient protective capacities to deal with the threats to the child's safety. For more information, see, Appendix 1931.1: Physical Signs and Symptoms of Drug or Alcohol Use.

  •  The lack of a sober, protective parent present who possesses sufficient protective capacities to mitigate threats.

  •  A child's age and level of vulnerability as a measure of the extent to which threats or risk of harm are present.

  •  Whether the basic needs of child are being met; for example, determining whether the child is so severely neglected due to the parent's substance use or abuse that the child needs immediate medical attention.

  •  Accessibility to substances – A child's accessibility to marijuana, other substances, prescriptions drugs, or alcohol makes the child vulnerable to threats or dangers.

  •  physical safety – The extent to which the living environment creates the condition for threats or harm to the child; for example, a child living in a home where Methamphetamine is cooked.

Risk in Foreseeable Future

To assess the risk of abuse and neglect in the foreseeable future, if CPS were no longer involved, the following tasks are completed by the caseworker:

  •  Conduct a full risk assessment

  •  Talk to collaterals, especially school officials or child care staff

  •  Assess for prior CPS history, criminal history, and substance abuse history

  •  Assess for prior or current participation in treatment programs

  •  Review mental health, psychiatric history, or both

  •  Determine when the parent last used a substance 

  •  Ask the parent about the friends and family members that visit the home in relationship to their drug use and history

  •  Ask about the presence of a sober protective caregiver who has sufficient protective capacities to manage threats

1932 Screening and Assessing for Substance Abuse
1932.1 Screening for Substance Abuse

CPS June 2010


Using a simple screening questionnaires, the caseworker determines whether a parent is in need of further screening, assessment, or treatment for substance abuse.

The following questionnaires are easy screenings for the caseworker to administer:

  •  CAGEWord Document (Cut Down, Annoyed, Guilty, and Eye-Opener)

  •  UNCOPEWord Document (Using, Neglected, Cut Down, Objected, Preoccupied, and Emotional)


The caseworker also considers the following as further intervention when a client indicates that he or she is using marijuana or other controlled substances, or is using alcohol in a way that threatens the child's safety:

  •  Observation

  •  Medical, criminal, and substance abuse histories

  •  Collateral reports

  •  Examination of the living environment

  •  Information from the case record


A screening for drug or alcohol use can be conducted in any stage of the case.

1932.2 Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

CPS June 2010

When appropriate, the caseworker may administer either of the following screening questionnaires when interviewing a pregnant mother who is alleged to be drinking alcohol while pregnant:

  •  T-ACEWord Document (Tolerance, Annoyance, Cut Down, and Eye-Opener)

  •  TWEAKWord Document (Tolerance, Worry, Eye-Opener, Amnesia, and Cut Down)

The T-ACE and the TWEAK questionnaires help identify the risk of alcohol use during pregnancy. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can damage the embryo or fetus.

If the questionnaire indicates that a pregnant mother is drinking alcohol, the caseworker refers her to a health clinic or physician.

1932.3 Drug Use Outside of the Home

CPS June 2010

A caseworker considers a parent's drug use as he or she would any other evidence in a case; that is, the caseworker considers it along with all other available evidence when:

  •  making a disposition;

  •  evaluating a parent's need for treatment; or

  •  assessing the safety of a child.

Whether the drug use occurs inside or outside the home must not automatically lead the caseworker to one conclusion or another. Each case must be reviewed and addressed individually; for example, whether the parent tests positive for or admits to using marijuana, other illegal substances, or alcohol either outside of the home or outside of the presence of the children (for example, if the parent smoked marijuana at a party that was held away from the home).

In arriving at a disposition, the caseworker follows the statutory definitions of abuse and neglect. It is the effect that the marijuana smoking, drug use, or alcohol use have on the child and the child's safety that guides the disposition, rather than purely the parent's use of the substance.

To arrive at a disposition, the caseworker takes into account that a child's safety is based on:

  •  the child's vulnerability;

  •  the threats of danger within the family; and

  •  the capacity of a protective caregiver.

1940 Establishing Protective Measures When a Child Is Threatened by Substance Abuse

CPS June 2010

When a child's safety is threatened by a client's use of marijuana, other substances, or alcohol, or when there is a risk that the child's safety could be threatened, the caseworker puts protective measures into place.

The table below lists some of the protective measures the caseworker can consider:

Protective Measure


Related Definitions

Ensure the child's immediate safety

  •  Safety assessment

  •  Safety plan

  •  Parental-child safety placement (voluntary placement by the parent, as opposed to by a court order)

  •  Conservatorship removal

Safe child:

Vulnerable children are safe when there are no threats of danger within the family or when the parents possess sufficient capacity to manage threats and protect the child.

Help client achieve and maintain abstinence

  •  Random drug testing

  •  Physician-prescribed medications to treat a drug or alcohol addiction

  •  Detoxification

Refraining from the use of alcohol or other drugs.

(Abstinence from alcohol applies to parents who have endangered a child's safety when drinking)

Develop a relapse safety plan

  •  Network of abstinent and sober friends and family members

  •  Identified friend or family member to protect the child

Plan to provide safety for the child, if the parent contemplates a relapse or experiences a relapse

Seek judicial oversight

  •  Motion to participate

  •  Order in aid of investigation

  •  Family treatment drug court

  •  Petition for temporary managing conservatorship

Involvement of the court to mitigate problems of substance abuse and child safety

Develop reliable sources of support

  •  TANF

  •  Protective day care

  •  Medicaid

  •  Employment or job training

  •  Food stamps

  •  Housing or public housing

Having tangible resources that enable a parent to recover, or to improve enough to meet the parent's and family's financial and basic needs.

Guide parenting and child development

  •  Parenting class

  •  Participation in ECI (Early Childhood Intervention)

Having knowledge about parenting, child development, and alternative forms of discipline

1923 Testing for Substance Abuse 1923.1 Detection Periods for Substance Abuse

1923 Testing for Substance Abuse
1923.1 Detection Periods for Substance Abuse

CPS June 2010

For detection periods, see Appendix 1922.1: Detection Periods for Abused Substances.

1923.2 Diluted Samples Obtained During Testing

CPS June 2010

A diluted sample indicates that a client drank a large amount of water at some time before the drug test.

When the lab indicates that a sample is diluted, the caseworker can take one the following actions to arrive at a conclusion about the client's use:

  •  Have the client retested

  •  Request a different type of testing, such as requesting a hair follicle test instead of a urine test

  •  Rely on credible evidence obtained through observation, information from collateral sources (such as a teacher, neighbor, or family doctor), and the case history

1923.3 Instant (Swab) Tests and Court Hearings

CPS June 2010

An instant test is a swabbing of a client's oral fluids. The test is performed by a caseworker to test for recent drug use. If possible, the test results are confirmed by a laboratory.

Using the Tests in Court

Before presenting the results of instant swab tests as evidence in court, the caseworker must obtain confirmation from a laboratory.

1923.4 Using Acceptable Contractors to Obtain Test Results

CPS June 2010

DFPS accepts lab test results from physicians, hospitals, the legal system (such as the adult probation department), and providers of substance abuse treatment in order to assess safety and to assess the need for services and treatment.

1923.5 Frequency of Random Substance Abuse Testing

CPS June 2010

In general, the caseworker may conduct random drug tests when substance abuse laboratory testing is allowed under 1920 Substance Abuse Testing; that is, when:

  •  a case is scheduled for closure;

  •  reunification of the child with his or her family is contemplated;

  •  there are changes in the parent's appearance, behavior, or affect;

  •  new information is received about possible substance abuse;

  •  the client has terminated substance abuse treatment;

  •  the client shows signs of returning to seeking and using drugs, including  associating with former friends and family members who use drugs; keeping drug paraphernalia in the home; or making statements minimizing or denying having a problem with drugs or alcohol;

  •  the client refuses to create a relapse safety plan (see 1966 Developing a Safety Plan in Case a Client Relapses);

  •  the client minimizes or denies seeking and using drugs seeking and after test results come back positive;

  •  there are signs that abstinence is being threatened; for example, when a client increases the amount of alcohol consumed or begins to smoke cigarettes frequently to relieve anxiety;

  •  the client has made minimal or no effort to mitigate the substance abuse related problems that led to abuse and neglect;

  •  the client is not involved in substance abuse treatment or aftercare, even though it was recommended; and

  •  the regional substance abuse specialist recommends testing.

Hair Follicle Testing

The caseworker determines the frequency with which random hair follicle testing may be conducted, by following regional protocols.

1923.6 Situations Not Appropriate for Drug Testing

CPS June 2010

It is not appropriate for a caseworker to arrange for drug testing when a parent is:

  •  actively involved in substance abuse treatment and the treatment provider conducts random testing that is based on laboratory confirmation.

  •  randomly tested by another entity, such as a probation department or drug court, and the test is confirmed by a laboratory. The caseworker must check into the frequency of testing by the other entity, before random testing is discontinued by CPS.

1923.7 Discontinuing Drug Testing

CPS June 2010

The caseworker must discuss with the supervisor and the client's treatment provider when contemplating discontinuing routine drug testing.

The discontinuation or modification of routine drug testing may be considered when:

  •  A parent does not exhibit substance seeking and using behaviors (for example, when associating with former friends or family members who use drugs; keeping drug paraphernalia in the home; or making statements minimizing or denying having a problem with drugs or alcohol); and

  •  The parent has a consistent pattern of negative tests results.

1923.8 Assessing Test Results or Accepting an Admission

CPS June 2010

Positive Result

The caseworker must assess a positive drug test result in relationship to the child's safety and risk. The result must be discussed with the parent in a timely manner.

If a parent with a positive drug result is not engaged in substance abuse treatment and is actively parenting a child, the caseworker refers the parent to:

  •  a provider of outreach, screening, assessment, and referral (OSAR) services or

  •  a provider of substance abuse treatment.

The threshold that makes a referral appropriate is based on the definition of a child not being safe. That is, a child is not safe when:

  •  threats or dangers exist in the family that are related to substance use;

  •  the child is vulnerable to such threats; and

  •  the parent who is using substances does not have sufficient protective capacities to manage or control threats.

Client Admission

A client's verbal or written admission is accepted as a positive result of drug use; however good casework practice calls for getting the client to sign a statement of use.

Testing to Rule Out Under-Reporting

If a client admits to drug use, is not engaged in treatment, and is actively parenting children, the caseworker may consider referring the client to a substance abuse provider for screening, assessment, or treatment.

Referral may be necessary because clients sometimes under-report drug use or do not admit to all of the substances that they have used.

Clients likewise may under-report:

  •  the frequency with which they use dugs,

  •  the quantity of drugs they use, and

  •  the amount of money they spend on the drugs.

Negative Result

When the result of a parent's drug test is negative, the caseworker:

  •  notifies the parent about the result in a timely manner; and

  •  encourages the parent's abstinence and provides positive feedback.

Refusal to Test

When testing is appropriate under 1920 Substance Abuse Testing, but the client refuses to take a drug test, the caseworker must document the refusal to be tested.

If a parent refuses to take a drug test or refuses to allow a child who is an alleged perpetrator to be tested, the caseworker consults with the supervisor in a staffing meeting. The supervisor may recommend legal intervention, if the evidence raises concern for the child's safety.

For cases under court jurisdiction, the caseworker must notify the judge and attorneys about the client's refusal to test.

1923.9 Documenting Prescribed Medicine Before Offering Drug Testing

CPS June 2010

When testing is appropriate under 1920 Substance Abuse Testing, the caseworker must document any prescribed medication that the client is taking.

The documentation may be made by:

  •  completing a regional form; or

  •  entering the details in the Contact Narrative in the IMPACT system.

The caseworker must share the information about the client's medication with the lab's medical review officer (MRO).

1924 Special Situations Related to Substance Abuse
1924.1 Methadone and Prescription Medication

CPS June 2010


If the parent tests positive for methadone, the caseworker:

  •  obtains a release (Form 2062Word Document DFPS Release of Confidential Information to DSHS/Substance Abuse Services) from the parent;

  •  verifies with the methadone clinic, that the parent has a prescription for methadone and is taking methadone as prescribed; and

  •  assesses the effect that the methadone dosage has on the parent's ability to provide consistent and safe supervision of the children.

Prescription Medicine

Similar to methadone, the caseworker must assess the effect that prescription medications have on a parent's ability to provide supervision and to keep children safe.

To determine whether the client is taking his or her medication as prescribed, the caseworker must check with the client's medical provider.

For the caseworker to obtain the information from the medical provider, the client needs to sign a consent-to-release form (Form 2062Word Document DFPS Release of Confidential Information to DSHS/Substance Abuse Services).

If the client refuses to sign the release form, the caseworker consults with the supervisor about whether to request legal intervention.

1924.2 The Infectious Client

CPS June 2010

If the caseworker is concerned that a client may have an infectious disease, the caseworker, with the supervisor's approval, refers the client to a local drug-testing facility for a urine test in lieu of an oral test.

Testing Within 48 Hours

The client must be tested within 48 hours after the contact with the caseworker.

1924.3 Drug Use During a Parent-Child Visit or FGDM Conference

CPS June 2010

A court order supersedes the following DFPS policies.

Parent-Child Visit

If a parent appears to be under the influence of a controlled substance and or alcohol, the parent-child visit must not occur.

Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) Conferences

A parent or participant who is visibly intoxicated during a family group decision making (FGDM) conference, must be excused from the conference.

The caseworker does not administer an oral test during the FGDM conference. Any required testing occurs at the end of the meeting and preferably at a location away from the FGDM immediate site.

For policy on the testing of youth, see 1951 Children and Adolescents Who Smoke Marijuana, Use Other Drugs, or Drink Alcohol.

The existence of a positive drug result in the case record does not automatically exclude a parent from visiting with the child or attending a FGDM. The caseworker needs to weigh the benefits of the visit or attendance when confronted with a positive drug reading in the case record.

If the child will not be in danger, the visit or participation may be allowed.

1924.4 The Court Testimony of the Medical Review Officer

CPS June 2010

Because of the high costs, testimony provided by technicians, medical review officers (MRO), or other personnel employed by drug testing facilities is reserved for extreme circumstances; for example, parental termination hearings in substitute care cases when a judge requires testimony in person.

Alternatives to consider before requesting court room testimony from a representative of a drug testing laboratory include:

  •  depositions at locations near the drug testing laboratory; and

  •  testimony provided via teleconference.

If DFPS concludes that court room testimony is necessary from a representative of a drug testing laboratory, the DFPS region requiring the testimony:

  •  negotiates payment rates;

  •  negotiates travel expenses;

  •  renders payment for court-related services; and

  •  renders payment for testimony provided by a representative of a drug-testing laboratory.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

THE LATEST: Missing 9-month-old now back in Child Protective Service custody

THE LATEST: Missing 9-month-old now back in Child Protective Service custody
Posted: Jul 16, 2015 7:03 PM PST Updated: Jul 17, 2015 3:43 PM PST Jacoby Davis, Photo: CPS

Jacoby Davis, Photo: CPS

Jessica Batey, Photo: CPS

Jessica Batey, Photo: CPS

THE LATEST: Sherry Pulliam, Media Specialist with CPS, confirmed with CBS19 that the child was found just outside Canton.

He is now in foster care and is in good condition.

“The mother, I believe, has not been arrested,” Pulliam said.

CBS 19 called Smith County Sheriff’s Office and Lt. Gary Middleton says, “It’s a CPS case, so we’re not investigating.”

UPDATE: SMITH COUNTY (KYTX) - Jacoby Davis is now back in Child Protective Services custody, Media Specialist Shari Pulliam confirmed to CBS19. Davis had been missing since Thursday.

UPDATE: Smith County (KYTX) -- Child Protective Services is asking for help in locating a missing 9-month-old boy.

Jacoby Davis is missing, according to officials, and was last seen with his mother, 25-year-old Jessica Batey and the child's father, 30-year-old Brandon Davis. The pair no longer has custody of the child. Jacoby were last seen with Batey and Davis in the Tyler/Lindale area, but their location is not known as of now.

Shari Pulliam with CPS tells CBS 19, the baby was removed from the home for alleged neglectful supervision. Pulliam has reason to believe the baby is in immediate danger.

The public is asked to call 903-495-5973 if there is any helpful information in locating 9 month old Jacoby.

Arizona kids score low in well-being report

Mary Jo Pitzl, The Republic |


Arizona continues to rank near the bottom nationally in key indicators of child well-being, according to a report released today.

The good news is the percent of Arizona teens who say they abused drugs or alcohol has plummeted compared to other states, and Arizona has improved its national ranking for the share of kids ages 16-19 not going to school and not working, rising five places to 40th among the 50 states.

But the overall rankings in the annual Kids Count databook, compiled by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, show Arizona stuck at 46th nationally, the same spot it held in last year’s report.

The low ranking is influenced heavily by poverty, with the state maintaining ranking 48th in the percentage of kids living in high-poverty areas as well as children without health insurance.

The report notes 12 percent of Arizona’s kids have no health insurance, compared to 7 percent nationally. Arizona is the only state without a Children’s Health Insurance Program, a federal program designed for kids whose families make too much to qualify for Medicaid and who do not have private insurance. The program requires states to match the federal dollars.

Pre-school is another area where Arizona ranks low, at 48th nationally. But the state Department of Education is distributing a $20 million federal grant to extend pre-school to 21 areas across the state.

The money should fund 57 programs for children from impoverished areas in Maricopa, Cochise, Pima, Santa Cruz and Yuma counties, said Terry Doolan, early-childhood education director at the Department of Education.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Prep drill for Jade Helm 15 includes children


Defense film released 'so the public will see it and accept what's coming'

Published: 05/20/2015 at 7:34 PM


Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.



The Jade Helm 15 military training exercise planned this summer in many states in the southern and western parts of the U.S. is generating more alarm, with accusations now that the federal government is releasing videos featuring children “so that the public will see it and accept what’s coming.”

WND previously reported the U.S. military officials are trying to allay fears and minimize concerns by meeting with local governments and briefing them.

But a new video issued by the Department of Defense features children, critics contend, “so that the public will see it and accept what’s coming,”according to the AllNewsPipeline.

The video was posted online by The Next News Network, which reported it shows drills preparatory to this summer’s Jade Helm 15.

“It’s pretty hard to miss the children behind the same fencing as the mock demonstrators,” the site reported. “These are the U.S. Marines from 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division practicing ‘assault support tactics’ in Yuma, Arizona, as part of a seven-week exercise prior to the Jade Helm 15 exercises.”

It credits Sgt. Daniel D. Kujanpaa with the video.

Next News Network asserts, “It’s our responsibility to inform these soldiers to question and refuse these unconstitutional orders.”

Stefan Stanford at All News Pipeline said the video is more “shocking proof that even our children will not be immune from the effects of what they are preparing for as even kids are now included in FEMA camp roundup drills.”

Another blog, The Daily Sheeple, said the video reveals “our troops training to take on dissidents right here on American soil.”

“How much more proof do you need? There’s no conspiracy theory here, only conspiracy fact. Our soldiers are clearly training for martial law scenarios where they have to detain the American people right here in the U.S. in our own backyards.”

See the video:

As WND reported, the military insists inaccurate information is being circulated by people with “personal agendas.”

But one recent poll showed that message wasn’t getting traction, with nearly half of voters concerned Washington “will use U.S. military training operations to impose greater control over some states.”

And one voter in five is “very concerned.”

The results come from Rasmussen Reports, which surveyed 1,000 likely voters between May 7 and 10.

The polling company asked whether the government’s military training plan is an infringement of the rights of citizens, whether the respondent favors or opposes those exercises in their state, and how concerned are they over whether Washington “will use U.S. military training operations to impose greater control over some states.”

The training exercises this summer have been named Jade Helm 15, and WND reported when the concerns moved well beyond the fringe frets over black helicopters and secret prison sites.

Read the warning from Judge Andrew Napolitano, “It is Dangerous to Be Right when the Government is Wrong.”

That was when Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, released a statement responding to constituents’ worries about the exercise in six states involving thousands of military personnel on public and even private land.

“Over the past few weeks, my office has been inundated with calls referring to the Jade Helm 15 military exercise scheduled to take place between July 15 and September 15, 2015. This military practice has some concerned that the U.S. Army is preparing for modern-day martial law,” Gohmert said.

“Certainly, I can understand these concerns. When leaders within the current administration believe that major threats to the country include those who support the Constitution, are military veterans, or even ‘cling to guns or religion,’ patriotic Americans have reason to be concerned.

“We have seen people working in this administration use their government positions to persecute people with conservative beliefs in God, country, and notions such as honor and self-reliance. Because of the contempt and antipathy for the true patriots or even Christian saints persecuted for their Christian beliefs, it is no surprise that those who have experienced or noticed such persecution are legitimately suspicious.”

Jade Helm is getting a lot of attention for several reasons, including the fact that the military has designated for purposes of its exercise several mostly Republican regions as “hostile” territories.

“Having served in the U.S. Army, I can understand why military officials have a goal to see if groups of Special Forces can move around a civilian population without being noticed and can handle various threat scenarios,” Gohmert wrote. “In military science classes or in my years on active duty, I have participated in or observed military exercises; however, we never named an existing city or state as a ‘hostile.’ We would use fictitious names before we would do such a thing.

“Once I observed the map depicting ‘hostile,’ ‘permissive,’ and ‘uncertain’ states and locations, I was rather appalled that the hostile areas amazingly have a Republican majority, ‘cling to their guns and religion,’ and believe in the sanctity of the United States Constitution. When the federal government begins, even in practice, games or exercises, to consider any U.S. city or state in ‘hostile’ control and trying to retake it, the message becomes extremely calloused and suspicious.”

Rasmussen said that just 20 percent of voters “now consider the federal government a protector of individual liberty.” And 60 percent see the government as a threat to individual liberty instead. Only 19 percent trust the federal government to do the right thing all or most of the time.

WND also reported when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order to the Texas State Guard to oversee any activities in his state to ensure that Texans’ “safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed.”

“By monitoring the operation on a continual basis, the State Guard will facilitate communications between my office and the commanders of the operation to ensure that adequate measures are in place to protect Texans,” he told Maj. Gen. Gerald Betty, commander of the Texas State Guard.

“Directing the State Guard to monitor the operation will allow Texas to be informed of the details of military personnel movements and training exercise schedules, and it will give us the ability to quickly and effectively communicate with local communities, law enforcement, public safety personnel and citizens.”

U.S. Army Special Operations Command officials told WND that the training is scheduled, and soldiers benefit from such practices on areas not inside military bases.


Jade Helm map showing Texas, Utah and part of California as "hostile"

Jade Helm map showing Texas, Utah and part of California as “hostile”

Also commenting was Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who told he’s been trying to get answers from the Pentagon.

“My office has reached out to the Pentagon to inquire about this exercise. We are assured it is a military training exercise. I have no reason to doubt those assurances, but I understand the reason for concern and uncertainty, because when the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many citizens don’t trust what it is saying.”