Multi-Agency Response Team (MART) Referrals
0070-548.09 | Revision Date: 7/1/2014


This policy guide reviews the procedures for all new and existing referrals that are identified as MART referrals and cases.

Table of Contents

Version Summary

This policy guide was updated from the 03/11/11 version, as part of the Policy Redesign, in accordance with the DCFS Strategic Plan.


Multi-Agency Response Team (MART)

The Multi-Agency Response Team (MART) works in collaboration with law enforcement to provide emergency protective services to children identified in homes associated with high levels of illegal gang, firearm and narcotic activity, as well as investigating other high profile “intelligence sensitive” child endangerment cases.  The goal of MART is:

  • To provide an expedited and trained response to law enforcement referrals in order to minimize the traumatic effect these crimes have on children and families;
  • To forge a better partnership between DCFS and Law Enforcement to protect abused and neglected children through shared guidelines, established protocols, on-going training and the sharing of information;
  • To develop a plan to consistently respond to at risk children in narcotic and/or gang related warrant executions, parole/probation search investigations and in other high profile “intelligence sensitive” investigations.


MART is comprised of highly trained and countywide case-carrying Emergency Response Children Social Workers who have Service Planning Area (SPA) specific out-stations at both DCFS Regional Offices and within Law Enforcement Stations. MART also maintains a Compton/MART Office Headquarters.

MART CSWs are highly trained to respond with Law Enforcement. For the Safety of CSWs and the children, it is imperative that MART staff respond to MART identified referrals. Due to the close working relationship between MART and Law Enforcement agencies, MART referrals are usually self-generated after the initial response by MART SCSWs or CSWs who:

  • Adhere to Emergency Response Policy and utilize Child and Family Team Meeting (CFT);
  • Respond to countywide requests, 24 hours a day from Law Enforcement agencies (i.e. Specialized Task Forces).
  • In most instances, advance intelligence gathered by Law Enforcement field agents has determined that children are present and/or are likely to be present in volatile environments where weapons and narcotics are readily accessible.

When MART Responds

MART provides expeditious, countywide response with Law Enforcement under the following circumstances when children are present:

  • Warrant Service (Arrest or Search) – Law Enforcement provides advance notice to the DCFS-MART Supervisor and/or Coordinator requesting participation in scheduled warrant executions with narcotic or gang-related child endangerment factors.
  • Parole/Probation – Compliance Searches.
  • Drug-Endangered Children (DEC) Investigations – Operations where children are at risk from exposure to toxins and dangers associated with clandestine, home-based drug laboratories, and marijuana grows/cultivations. Specialized Law Enforcement personnel notify the DCFS-MART Supervisor and/or Coordinator when it is suspected that children are being exposed to toxins and other dangers associated with the manufacture or trafficking of controlled substances.
  • High Profile/Priority – Registered sex offenders and child pornography.
  • Intelligence Sensitive Investigations – Homicide, human trafficking, terrorism, prostitution rings, organized crime activities, fugitive apprehension, and other federal RICO filing crimes with a child endangerment nexus.
  • Government Office Inquiries – Government agencies request for MART to assist with abatement, truancy sweeps, and other special investigation requests.

High Priority Cases

A High Priority Case from MART has one or more of the following characteristics:

  • The family has ties to Organized Crime;
  • It is an Intelligence Sensitive case (i.e. Homicide, Wire-Taps, Undercover Agents, Child Porn/Prostitution Rings, Human Trafficking, Terrorism, Department Personnel implications);
  • There is an abduction risk;
  • There are on-going threat factors to children, family and/or staff.

Prior to transferring a High Priority Case, a case conference will take place among DCFS staff to ensure that their efforts are coordinated effectively and support the objectives outlined in the Case Plan. The case conference will determine the following:

  • High Priority issue(s) of the case;
  • A High Priority Case Transfer Plan that facilitates a safe and smooth transition for the child utilizing social work best practice and considering the best interests of the child;
  • Follow-up tasks that need to be completed, including whether or not the Sending CSW will remain as a Secondary Assignment and for how long.

MART/Drug-Endangered Children (DEC) Referrals Received by the Child Protection Hotline (CPH)

CPH CSW Responsibilities

  1. Receive the MART or DEC referral from law enforcement or a Specialized Task Force and/or the MART Coordinator, SCSW or CSW.
    • If the referral originates from law enforcement only, verbally notify the CPH duty SCSW and telephone the MART Coordinator immediately at (323) 869-6895 (24 hours).
  2. Provide the reference number of the referral to law enforcement or the Specialized Task Force and the MART Coordinator.
  3. Follow established policy and procedures for generating a referral. In addition:
    1. Code the Response Time “Immediate, Respond within 2 hours;”
    2. Indicate the location where the CSW should respond (in DEC cases the parent/caregiver may have already been arrested and the residence quarantined);
    3. Enter “Special Project” in the Screener  Alert Section;
      1. For MART referrals, also enter, “MART Referral,” and “Police Alert.”
      2. For DEC referrals, also enter, “DEC Referral”, and “Police Alert.”
    4. Select Special Project Tab, create a Special Project Name by clicking on the + sign;
      1. For MART referrals, select, “M.A.R.T. Team.”
      2. For DEC referrals, select, “Meth Lab Exposed.”
  4. Complete a Live-Call form and indicate that it is a MART referral and Police Alert.
  5. Map the referral to the MART Office/Compton Office.

CPH SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Follow all established policy and procedures for reviewing and approving a referral.
  2. Confirm that a primary assignment was made to the in-box of the MART Office and telephone the MART Coordinator at (323) 869-6895 to notify him/her that a referral has been assigned to the MART unit.

MART Referrals Received in Regional Offices or at ERCP

ER SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the referral and immediately contact the MART Coordinator at (323) 869-6895 to discuss the referral.
    1. If the MART Coordinator confirms that the referral is a MART referral, reassign the referral to MART.
    2. If the referral is not a MART referral, assign the referral to an ER CSW and comply with the response time.

Responding to Open Referrals/Cases When a Child(ren) Is Taken into Temporary Custody

MART CSW Responsibilities

  1. Follow all policy and procedures in conducting the Emergency Response investigation and taking the child(ren) into temporary custody.
  2. Input all required information into CWS/CMS.
  3. Close the referral investigation by choosing, “Child already in case” or, “Open a new case”.
  4. Notify the Case-Carrying CSW, SCSW, and ARA by telephone (leave a voicemail) or by e-mail informing them that MART has taken the child(ren) into temporary custody. Provide the child’s current location and a brief explanation as to why the child(ren) was removed.
  5. Request SCSW on-line approval. Forward hard-copy documentation (e.g., police report, medical report, signed placement agreement, etc.) to the MART SCSW.

MART SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Receive and review hard-copy documents (e.g., police report, medical report, signed placement agreement, etc.) and on-line case for completeness. If any additional forms or information are required, contact and obtain them from the MART CSW.
  2. Approve placement and the Detention Report on-line.
  3. Close the referral investigation by approving “child already in case” or “open a new case.”
  4. If necessary, complete assignment match for office location.
  5. Make primary assignment to the receiving office SAAMS Unit.
  6. Within 5-calendar days, forward hard-copy documents to the assigned SCSW and CSW.

High Priority Cases Sent to a Regional Office by MART

MART SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Consult with the Transfer Desk to determine the office to which the case will be sent.
  2. Meet with the ARA to discuss the High Priority issues of the case and make a plan that will facilitate a safe and smooth transition for the child.

MART ARA Responsibilities

  • Contact the Receiving ARA to arrange a case conference and determine mutually who the participants will be (e.g. ARAs, SCSWs, CSWs).

CPH SCSW Approval

  • Approve referrals assigned to MART.
  • Approve Drug Endangered Children (DEC) referrals

MART SCSW Approval

  • Approve placement of child taken into temporary custody.
  • Approve Detention Report after a child is taken into temporary custody.


LA Kids

Live-Call, CWS/CMS “Live Call” Form


0050-502.10, Child Protection Hotline (CPH)

0050-503.15, Child Protection Hotline (CPH) Referrals: Screening Decision and Response Priority

0070-548.10, Investigation, Disposition and Closure of Emergency Response Referrals

0070-548.20, Taking Children into Temporary Custody

0300-303.15, Writing the Initial Hearing Report

0400-503.10, Contact Exemptions and Requirements

0600-518.31, Children Exposed to Drug Labs


Penal Code, Section 13879.80-13879.81 – Implementation multi-agency response teams consisting of law enforcement, prosecution, and health or children’s services that can respond effectively to clandestine laboratories in which children are present.

Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 306 – The conditions under which any social worker in a county welfare department, or an Indian tribe that has entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1 while acting within the scope of his or her regular duties under the direction of the juvenile court and pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 272, may take into and maintain temporary custody of a minor who has been declared a dependent child of the juvenile court under Section 300 or who the social worker has reasonable cause to believe is a person described in subdivision (b) or (g) of Section 300.

California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Manual of Policies and Procedures (MPP) Division 31-115 – The circumstances under which the social worker shall conduct an in-person immediate investigation.