Personnel are qualified and receive support to provide immediate and ongoing services to children in need of protection.
Note: When the agency is unable to fully implement one or more personnel standards, intensive efforts should be made to fully implement the other standards. For example, if the agency is unable to recruit workers with specific qualifications, it can ensure that appropriate supervision and workload standards are implemented.
Child protection workers are qualified by:
Supervisors are qualified by an advanced degree in social work or a comparable human service field and at least two years experience working with children and families, preferably in child protective services.
Child protection workers have the competencies needed to:
Interpretation: Competency can be demonstrated through education, training, or experience.
Child protective services workers and supervisors, depending on job responsibilities, are knowledgeable about relevant provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), including:
Interpretation: The agency can consider the average number of cases where the Indian Child Welfare Act applies when determining which personnel need to be trained. Screening personal must be trained on relevant provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
A manageable workload, which includes caseload and other organizational responsibilities:
Interpretation: Case complexity can take into account: intensity of child and family needs, size of the family, and the goal of the case. Generally, caseloads do not exceed 15 investigations or 15-30 open cases. However, there are circumstances under which caseloads may exceed these limits. For example, caseload size may vary depending upon the volume of administrative case functions (e.g., entering notes, filing, etc.) assigned to the worker. Caseloads may also be higher when agencies are faced with temporary vacancies on staff. New personnel should not carry independent caseloads prior to the completion of training.
Note: The evaluation of this standard will focus on whether the assigned workload is manageable for staff, taking into account the factors cited in the standard and interpretation. The specific caseload sizes stated in the interpretation are only a suggestion of what might be appropriate. Each agency should determine what caseload size is appropriate, and reviewers will evaluate: (1) whether the agency’s designated caseload size reflects a manageable workload, and (2) whether the agency maintains caseloads of the size it deemed appropriate.
Supervisory personnel are involved in all decisions related to child safety and permanency, and workers have access to a supervisor by telephone 24 hours a day.
Supervisors or experienced workers provide additional support when personnel are new or are still developing competencies.
The program director or designee ensures:
Interpretation: Non-exempt employees are compensated for overtime according to the Fair Labor Standards Act.