Child protection investigation is the investigation of child abuse and neglect, as well as the provision of short-term, concrete services to children and families. These services are legally mandated, specialized investigations and social services for children who are alleged to be neglected, abused, exploited or without proper custody or guardianship.
To report suspected child abuse, call 855-4LA-KIDS (855-452-5437) toll free 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
How does Child Protection Investigation work?
The investigation process begins with a report of child abuse and/or neglect of a child living in a family, day care center and restrictive care facilities, or a foster home. Reports are received by the local Child Welfare office which has the responsibility to investigate the report. Reports are screened to determine if the reported information constitutes a report of child abuse and/or neglect that Child Welfare should investigate.
The report must concern:
- an alleged child victim under the age of eighteen,
- a parent or caretaker as the alleged perpetrator or with alleged or unknownculpability in the maltreatment, and
- an allegation that the condition of the child presents a substantial risk of harm to his health or welfare.
The child protection investigation worker investigates the allegations made by the reporter in order to determine whether or not a child has been abused and/or neglected. In addition to the determination of the validity of the report, the worker is responsible for assessing the risk of further harm or injury to a child victim.
How long can the service be received?
The service can be received for as long as it takes to complete the child protection investigation. Once the investigation has been completed, the case is closed if the finding is invalid, or transferred to the Family Services Program if it is valid and there is a need for ongoing sources to the family.
If the child abuse and/or neglect is serious enough to remove the child from the home, the case is staffed prior to the removal and an instanter order is obtained from a judge. The child is then placed in foster care. However, prior to removal reasonable efforts are made to prevent the removal.
Reporting Child Abuse or Neglect
Mandated Reporters Form (Fax Mandated Reporters form to your parish Child Welfare Office.)
For more information please visit the Department of Children and Family Services web page regarding child abuse and neglect at: http://dss.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&pid=109