Cross-Reporting Among Agencies That Respond to Child Abuse and Neglect - Maryland

Date: February 2021

Cross-Reporting Between Child Protective Services and Law Enforcement

Citation: Fam. Law § 5-704(b)

An individual who notifies the appropriate authorities under this section shall make the following:

  • An oral report, by telephone or direct communication, as soon as possible to the local department or appropriate law enforcement agency
  • A written report to the local department no later than 48 hours after the contact, examination, attention, or treatment that caused the individual to believe that the child had been subjected to abuse or neglect with a copy given to the local State's attorney

An agency to which an oral report of suspected abuse or neglect is made shall immediately notify the other agency. This paragraph does not prohibit a local department and an appropriate law enforcement agency from agreeing to cooperative arrangements.

Other Reporting Requirements

Citation: Policy Directive SSA-CW # 16-5

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) outlines requirements and procedures to be followed when serving Indian children. It applies to all State child custody proceedings, including protective custody actions. Children and parents must be asked if they are of Native American heritage. Workers cannot base their decision about whether a child has Native American heritage solely on appearance. This determination must occur and be documented at intake, placement, and any other time the permanency plan is changed.

If any indication of Native American heritage is determined, a diligent search immediately shall be initiated for the child's Tribal affiliation. If a specific Tribe has been named, the child's Tribe shall be contacted within 24 hours. Within 7 days, written notice shall be sent to the Tribe by certified mail with return receipt requested.

If a child belongs to a federally recognized Tribe, the worker must address the following requirements:

  • Notification to Native American parents and the Tribe regarding State proceedings involving the child and their right to intervene
  • Special placement preference for Native American children
  • Active efforts to prevent the breakup of the Native American family
  • Use of Tribal courts in child welfare matters, including the Tribe's right to intervene in State proceedings or transfer proceedings to the jurisdiction of the Tribe

Once the Tribe determines that a child is enrolled or is eligible for enrollment, it has the right to the following:

  • To be informed of all progress and proceeding regarding the child
  • To determine the child's placement (Tribal home)
  • To allow the placement of the child by the local department
  • To intervene in any State court proceeding

The Tribe is to notify the local department of the following:

  • The intent to take custody and commitment of the child under ICWA
  • The intent to allow placement of the child in a Native American foster home
  • The intent to allow the State to place the child with a non-Native American foster home
  • The intent to consent to State proceedings to terminate parental rights and place the child for adoption

The local department is to proceed with the child's case while awaiting a decision from the Tribe. The local department must continue to keep the Tribe informed of the child's status and any proposed changes. Should the Tribe decide to take custody and commitment of the child, the local department will work with the Tribe to transfer jurisdiction of the court and to physically place the child with the Tribe. Alternatively, the Tribe may direct that the child be placed with a Native American home within the State, and preferably within the child's community.