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

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Cross-Reporting Between Child Protective Services and Law Enforcement

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 28-711; 28-713

Law enforcement agencies receiving any reports of child abuse or neglect under this subsection shall notify the Department of Health and Human Services the next working day by phone or mail.

The department shall establish a statewide toll-free number to be used by any person any hour of the day or night, any day of the week, to make reports of child abuse or neglect. Reports of child abuse or neglect not previously made to or by a law enforcement agency shall be made immediately to such agency by the department.

Unless a report is assigned to alternative response, upon the receipt of a call reporting child abuse and neglect, it is the duty of the law enforcement agency to investigate the report, to take immediate steps to protect the child, and to institute legal proceedings if the child is seriously endangered and immediate removal is necessary to protect the child. The law enforcement agency may request assistance from the department during the investigation and, by the next working day, shall notify either the hotline or the department of receipt of the report, including whether or not an investigation is being undertaken by the law enforcement agency. A copy of all reports, whether or not an investigation is being undertaken, shall be provided to the department.

When a report is assigned for traditional response, the department shall assess the safety of the child at the time of the assessment, the risk of future child abuse or neglect, the need for services to protect and assist the child and to preserve the family, and whether the case shall be entered into the central registry. As part of the investigation, the department may request assistance from the appropriate law enforcement agency or refer the matter to the county attorney to initiate legal proceedings.

If in the course of an investigation the department finds a child is seriously endangered in the child's surroundings and immediate removal is necessary to protect the child, the department shall make an immediate request for the county attorney to institute legal proceedings.

When a report contains an allegation of out-of-home child abuse or neglect, a law enforcement agency or the department shall immediately notify each person having custody of each child who has allegedly been abused or neglected, unless the person to be notified is the subject of the report. The department or the law enforcement agency shall provide such person with information about the nature of the alleged child abuse or neglect and any other necessary information. The department also shall provide such social services as are necessary and appropriate under the circumstances to protect and assist the child and to preserve the family.

By the next working day after receiving a report of child abuse or neglect, the department shall make a written report to the proper law enforcement agency in the county and enter in the tracking system of all child protection cases opened for investigation and any action taken.

The department shall, upon request, make available to the appropriate investigating law enforcement agency and the county attorney a copy of all reports relative to a case of suspected child abuse or neglect.

Other Reporting Requirements

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 28-713; Admin. Code Tit. 390, § 4-007.03

In situations of alleged out-of-home child abuse or neglect, if the subject of the report of child abuse or neglect is a school employee and the child is a student in the school to where the school employee works, the department shall immediately notify the Commissioner of Education of receipt of the report, including whether or not an investigation is being undertaken by the law enforcement agency or the department.

In regulation: Department staff will use Tribal social services whenever possible when working with Native American parents and children. Case planning and service provision will be based upon the social and cultural standards of the Tribe. Active efforts will be made to provide culturally relevant remedial and rehabilitative services to prevent the breakup of the family and to reunify the child and family. The 'active efforts' standard places a higher burden of proof on the department than 'reasonable efforts.'