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

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Cross-Reporting Between Child Protective Services and Law Enforcement

Citation: Cent. Code § 50-25.1-05(1), (3)

The Department of Human Services immediately shall initiate a child protection assessment, alternative response assessment, or family services assessment of any report of child abuse or neglect, including, when appropriate, the child protection assessment, alternative response assessment, or family services assessment of the home or the residence of the child, any school or child care facility attended by the child, and the circumstances surrounding the report of abuse or neglect.

If the report alleges a violation of a criminal statute involving sexual or physical abuse, the department shall initiate a child protection assessment by contacting the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the alleged criminal violation. The department and an appropriate law enforcement agency shall coordinate the planning and execution of the child protection assessment and law enforcement investigation efforts to avoid a duplication of factfinding efforts and multiple interviews. If the law enforcement agency declines to investigate, the department shall continue the child protection assessment to a determination.

Other Reporting Requirements

Citation: CPS Man. § 640-01-10-70

At first contact with a family (e.g., a child protection assessment) and before every change or potential change in custody, the caseworker should ask a client family whether they self-identify as American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native American. If the client responds that they are American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native American or believe there is Native ancestry, the caseworker should ask the client family which Tribe(s) they identify with and if they are members and/or enrolled with a Tribe.

If the family Identifies as American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native American, Tribal membership must be verified by sending a notice to the child's Tribe via their designated Tribal service agent to confirm that the child is a member or that the child is eligible for membership and confirm a parent's membership. Notice must be sent by registered mail, return receipt requested. A copy of this notice should be filed in the case file and with the court, along with any returned receipts.

No requests for a court proceeding (except for emergency removals) can be made until any of the following timeframes are met:

  • At least 10 days after receipt of notice by the parents or Indian custodian or after 30 days if 20 additional days are requested by the parents or Indian custodian to prepare for the proceeding
  • At least 10 days after receipt of notice by the Tribe or after 30 days if the Tribe requests an additional 20 days to prepare or the proceeding
  • No fewer than 15 days after receipt of notice by the Bureau of Indian Affairs

The Indian Child Welfare Act allows the parent, Indian custodian, or child's Tribe to request that the child custody proceeding be transferred to the Tribal court. If the Tribe requests, orally or in writing, a transfer of the proceeding to its Tribal court, the caseworker should inform the parents or Indian custodian of their right to object to the transfer.

The State court must transfer the case to the Tribal court unless any of the following apply:

  • The Tribal court declines jurisdiction.
  • Either parent objects to the transfer.
  • The State court determines that 'good cause' exists to deny the transfer.