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

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Cross-Reporting Between Child Protective Services and Law Enforcement

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 14-3-206

Reports of child abuse or neglect or of suspected child abuse or neglect made to the local child protective agency or local law enforcement agency shall be conveyed immediately by the agency receiving the report to the appropriate local child protective agency or local law enforcement agency. The agencies shall continue cooperating and coordinating with each other during the assessment or investigation.

Other Reporting Requirements

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§€‚14-3-204; 14-3-206; Prot. & Juv. Serv. Man. § 2.6

The local child protective agency shall make reasonable efforts to determine if the person responsible for the welfare of a child in a suspected case of child abuse or neglect is a member of the armed forces or if the child is enrolled in the defense enrollment eligibility reporting system of the U.S. Department of Defense.

If the person responsible for the welfare of a child is a member of the armed forces or if the child is enrolled in the defense enrollment eligibility reporting system of the U.S. Department of Defense, the report shall be conveyed to the State judge advocate for the Wyoming Military Department.

In policy: The Department of Family Services (DFS) shall comply with all mandates of the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), which includes preventing the unnecessary and arbitrary removal of Indian children from their families and Tribes; placing an Indian child who must be removed in an available and safe home that reflects the unique values of Native American culture; and adhering to the placement requirements of ICWA.

The caseworker shall ask if the child has any Indian heritage during the initial contact with the parent or custodian of the child. The caseworker shall make reasonable efforts to determine the identity and location of the child's Indian parents, custodians, and Tribe whenever DFS knows or has reason to believe a child has Indian heritage. If the ICWA status has not been determined, but DFS has reason to know that the child may be Indian, then DFS is required to treat the child as an Indian child. DFS shall continue to inquire as to Tribal heritage and request information that may lead to a determination that ICWA applies to the proceeding.

The caseworker shall make active efforts, meaning affirmative, active, thorough, and timely efforts intended primarily to maintain or reunite an Indian child with his or her family.

If a child is removed from his or her home and placed in DFS custody, the caseworker shall identify whether or not the child is an Indian child as defined as 'any unmarried person younger than age 18 and is either (A) a member of an Indian Tribe or (B) is eligible for membership in an Indian Tribe and is the child of a member of an Indian Tribe.'

ICWA applies in the following types of court proceedings involving out-of-home placement:

  • Child protection
  • Guardianship or adoption
  • Any type of case involving termination of parental rights, regardless of the type of case
  • Any case in which the permanency plan is not reunification, which may include juvenile delinquency cases

The child's Indian Tribe has a discrete interest, separate from a parent's interest, in any proceeding involving the child, and that interest shall be protected throughout the child custody proceeding. The child's Indian Tribe has the right to intervene at any point and, absent good cause to the contrary or objection by the parents, may receive a transfer of jurisdiction of the case to the appropriate Tribal court.