The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 33: Human Services

Chapter 49: CHILD WELFARE SERVICES

Sub-Chapter 02: Reporting Abuse Of Children

33 V.S.A. § 4915a. Procedures for assessment



§ 4915a. Procedures for assessment

(a) An assessment, to the extent that is reasonable under the facts and circumstances presented by the particular valid allegation of child abuse or neglect, shall include the following:

(1) An interview with the child's parent, guardian, foster parent, or any other adult residing in the child's home who serves in a parental role. The interview shall focus on ensuring the immediate safety of the child and mitigating the future risk of harm to the child in the home environment.

(2) An evaluation of the safety of the subject child and any other children living in the same home environment. The evaluation may include an interview with or observation of the child or children. Such interviews shall occur with the permission of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian.

(3) In collaboration with the family, identification of family strengths, resources, and service needs, and the development of a plan of services that reduces the risk of harm and improves or restores family well-being.

(b) The assessment shall be completed within 45 days. Upon written justification by the Department, the assessment may be extended, not to exceed a total of 60 days.

(c) Families have the option of declining the services offered as a result of the assessment. If the family declines the services, the case shall be closed unless the Department determines that sufficient cause exists to begin an investigation or to request the state's attorney to file a petition pursuant to chapter 55 of this title. In no instance shall a case be investigated solely because the family declines services.

(d) When an assessment case is closed, there shall be no finding of abuse or neglect and no indication of the intervention shall be placed in the Registry. However, the Department shall document the outcome of the assessment. (Added 2007, No. 168 (Adj. Sess.), § 6.)