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

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Cross-Reporting Between Child Protective Services and Law Enforcement

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10A, §§ 1-2-101; 1-2-102

The Department of Human Services shall establish a statewide centralized hotline for the reporting of child abuse or neglect to the department. Any person who has reason to believe that a child under age 18 is a victim of abuse or neglect shall report the matter immediately to the department through the hotline. Any allegation of abuse or neglect reported in any manner to a county office shall immediately be referred to the hotline by the department.

Every school employee having reason to believe that a student younger than 18 is a victim of abuse or neglect shall report the matter immediately to the department and local law enforcement. Every school employee having reason to believe that a student age 18 or older is a victim of abuse or neglect shall report the matter immediately to local law enforcement.

Upon receipt of a report that a child may be abused, neglected, or drug-endangered, the department shall conduct a safety analysis. The department shall forward a report of its assessment or investigation and findings to any district attorney's office that may have jurisdiction to file a petition pursuant to § 1-4-101 of this title.

If, upon receipt of a report alleging abuse or neglect or during the assessment or investigation, the department determines that the alleged perpetrator is someone other than a person responsible for the child's health, safety, or welfare and the alleged abuse or neglect of the child does not appear to be attributable to failure on the part of a person responsible for the child's health, safety, or welfare to provide protection for the child, the department shall immediately make a referral, either verbally or in writing, to the appropriate local law enforcement agency for the purpose of conducting a possible criminal investigation.

Whenever, in the course of any criminal investigation, a law enforcement agency determines that there is cause to believe that a child may be abused or neglected by reason of the acts, omissions, or failures on the part of a person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of the child, the law enforcement agency shall immediately contact the department for the purpose of an investigation.

Other Reporting Requirements

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10A, § 1-2-102; Tit. 10, §§ 40.3; 40.4

The department shall determine the military status of parents whose children are subject to abuse or neglect. If the department determines that a parent or guardian is currently serving on active duty in the U.S. military, the department shall notify a U.S. Department of Defense family advocacy program that there is an investigation into the parent or guardian. The department shall forward a report of its assessment or investigation and findings to the appropriate military law enforcement entity.

The Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) applies to all State voluntary and involuntary child custody court proceedings involving Indian children, regardless of whether or not the children involved are in the physical or legal custody of an Indian parent or Indian custodian at the time state proceedings are initiated.

The court shall seek a determination of the Indian status of the child in any of the following circumstances:

  • The court has been informed by an interested party, an officer of the court, a Tribe, an Indian organization or a public or private agency that the child is Indian.
  • The child who is the subject of the proceeding gives the court reason to believe he or she is an Indian child.
  • The court has reason to believe the residence or domicile of the child is a predominantly Indian community.

The court shall seek verification of the Indian status of the child from the Indian Tribe or the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). A determination of membership by an Indian Tribe shall be conclusive. A determination of membership by BIA shall be conclusive in the absence of a contrary determination by the Indian Tribe.

In all Indian child custody proceedings of ICWA, including voluntary court proceedings and review hearings, the court shall ensure that the district attorney or other person initiating the proceeding shall send notice to the parents or to the Indian custodians, if any, and to the Tribe that is or may be the Tribe of the Indian child, and to the appropriate BIA area office. The notice shall include the following information:

  • The name and Tribal affiliation of the Indian child
  • A copy of the petition by which the proceeding was initiated
  • A statement of the rights of the parents or Indian custodians and the Indian Tribe to do any of the following:
    • Intervene in the proceeding
    • Petition the court to transfer the proceeding to the Tribal court of the Indian child
    • Request an additional 20 days from receipt of notice to prepare for the proceeding; further extensions of time may be granted with court approval
  • A statement of the potential legal consequences of an adjudication on the future custodial rights of the parents or Indian custodians
  • A statement that if the parents or Indian custodians are unable to afford counsel, counsel will be appointed to represent them
  • A statement that Tribal officials should keep confidential the information contained in the notice

Notice of review hearings shall be sent, via regular first-class mail, to the Tribe of the Indian child unless the Tribe is present at the time the review hearing is set and consents to the date of the review. A Tribe's right to notice under this section is not dependent on intervention into the case. The notice shall be evidenced by filing a certificate of mailing prior to the review hearing.