0070-532.10 | Revision Date: 07/29/15
This policy guide provides information on how ER CSWs are to assess allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct during an emergency response investigation. Instructions are provided on observing, gathering and assessing evidence.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Assessment of Child Sexual Abuse
Investigating Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse
ER CSW Responsibilities
Investigating Allegations of Sexual Misconduct between Children
ER CSW Responsibilities
Referenced Policy Guides
This policy guide was updated from the 07/01/14 version to support the implementation of the Individualized Investigation Narrative.
Sexual AbuseThe victimization of a child by sexual activities, including, but not limited to, those activities defined in Penal Code Section 11165.1(a)(b)(c). See "sexual assault" and "sexual exploitation.", the victimization by sexual activities, is defined by law as a sexual assault or sexual exploitation.
Sexual AssaultConduct in violation of laws pertaining to: Section 261 (rape), 264.1 (rape in concert), 285 (incest), 286 (sodomy), subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 288 (lewd or lascivious acts upon a child under 14 years of age), 288a (oral copulation), 289 (penetration of a genital or anal opening by a foreign object), or 647a (child molestation). If there are no indicators of abuse, “sexual assault” does not include voluntary sodomy, voluntary oral copulation, or voluntary sexual penetration unless the conduct is between a person 21 years of age or older and a minor under 16 years of age. includes:
If there are no indicators of abuse, “sexual assault” does not include voluntary sodomy, voluntary oral copulation, or voluntary sexual penetration unless the conduct is between a person twenty-one (21) years of age or older and a minor under sixteen (16) years of age.
Sexual ExploitationConduct involving matter depicting a minor engaged in obscene acts in violation of Section 311.2 (preparing, selling, or distributing obscene matter) or subdivision (a) of Section 311.4 (employment of minor to perform obscene acts). Any person who knowingly promotes, aids or assists, employs, uses, persuades, induces or coerces a child, or any person responsible for a child's welfare who knowingly permits or encourages a child to engage in, or assist others to engage in, prostitution or a live performance involving obscene sexual conduct or to either pose or model alone or with others for the purpose of preparing a film, photograph, negative, slide, drawing, painting or other pictorial depiction involving obscene sexual conduct. 'Person responsible for a child's welfare' means a parent, guardian, foster parent, or a licensed administrator, or employee of a public or private residential home, residential school, or other residential institution. Any person who depicts a child in, or who knowingly develops, duplicates, prints, or exchanges, any film, photograph, video tape, negative, or slide in which a child is engaged in an act of obscene, sexual conduct, except for those activities by law enforcement and prosecution agencies and other persons described in subdivisions (c) and (e) of Section 311.3.' includes:
An assessment of child sexual abuse must be provided at the earliest opportunity. The ER CSW investigating allegations of sexual abuse must be familiar with the physical and emotional indicators of the abuse. The ER CSW must also obtain the information and/or documentation necessary to make an accurate assessment.
Staff must consult and collaborate with the Department of Mental Health professionals and/or the CSAT team leads (SLS/MAT Coordinator) representing the Bureau of the Medical Director in identifying appropriate interventions and services as needed.
Whenever possible, ER CSWs and SCSWs are encouraged to work cooperatively and collaboratively with the local Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) in the investigation of sexual abuse cases.
Medical examinations can yield forensic evidence that is admissible in both dependency and criminal court. In the absence of forensic evidence, medical examiners can explain how the lack of findings may be consistent with a child’s statements.
Medical exams (either forensic or exams to detect and treat child abuse injuries and neglect) are prohibited, unless one or more of the following conditions exist:
Where exigent circumstances do not exist, a request for an investigative/evidentiary medical examination should be made at a court hearing or in a warrant application.
Children over 12 must consent to the exam themselves. The exam should not be performed by force even on younger children. There should be only one physical/forensic examination of a child.
CSWs are to submit a Medical Hub Referral Form to the Medical Hub to request a forensic evaluation. Contact the Medical Hub to consult with a medical provider and to obtain direction on the appropriateness and timing of the forensic evaluation. Consultation is with a Specialist who is a medical provider with specialized training in detecting and treatment of child abuse injuries and child neglect. It is the responsibility of the Specialist to determine if and when a forensic examination is appropriate.
To test a child for HIV, consent is required. A CSW may consent for infant's age 0-12 months when certain conditions are met.
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ER CSW Responsibilities
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LA County Medical Hub Core Services - Escalation Decision Tree for CSWs
Medical Hub Referral Form
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0050-502.10, Child Protection Hotline (CPH)
0070-516.15, Screening and Assessing Children for Mental Health Services and Referral to the Coordinated Services Action Team (CSAT)
0070-547.13, Concurrent Investigations with Law Enforcement
0070-548.01, Child and Family Teams
0070-548.10, Disposition of Allegations and Closure of Emergency Response Referrals
0070-548.20, Taking Children into Temporary CustodyThe removal of a child from the home of a parent or legal guardian and placement or facilitation of placement of the child in the home of a non-offending parent, relative, foster caregiver; group home or institutional setting.Temporary custody also includes: placing hospital holds on children; situations in which the CSW interrupts an established Family Law Court custody or visitation orders when the CSW believes that if the order is carried out, the child would be placed in immediate risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation and the child is allowed to remain in the home of the non-offending parent; situations in which DCFS requests that law enforcement remove a child from the home of his or her parent/legal guardian and the CSW places the child with a relative or unrelated caregiver; and situations in which the child is living with a relative or an unrelated caregiver and all of the following conditions exist: child’s parent is asking for the child to be returned home, CSW believes that the return of the child to his or her parent would place the child at risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation, CSW does not allow the child to be returned to his or her parent; and, the child remains in the home of the relative or is placed in out-of-home care.
0070-548.24, Structural Decision Making (SDM)
0070-548.25, Completing the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Safety Plan
0070-560.05, Joint Response Referral: Consulting with PHN
0070-570.10, Obtaining Warrants and/or Removal Orders
0080-502.25, Family Maintenance Services for Court and Voluntary Cases
0300-318.05, Obtaining Restraining Orders
0400-503.10, Contact Requirements and Exceptions
0600-500.00, Medical Hubs
0600-502.20, HIV/AIDS Testing and Disclosure of HIV/AIDS Information
Health and Safety Code Section 121020 – Provides a listing of who may consent to HIV/AIDS testing on behalf of a person not competent to consent on their own. Includes children under 12. Also addresses obtaining court authorization.
Penal Code 11165.1 – Defines sexual abuse as a sexual assault or sexual exploitation.
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