Child Protective Services receives screens, and investigates reports of child abuse, neglect and dependency. Services are offered to child and family unit while assuring protection of the child/children. Eligibility for these services requires that the child be under the age of 18 and a Buncombe County resident.
What Does In Home Services Mean?
N. C. law requires that counties provide services to ensure a child'safety and that his/her basic needs are being met by his/her parent, guardian, or caretaker. If an investigative assessment social worker informs you that your case will be substantiated and transferred to a In Home Services social worker, this means that another social worker will be contacting you to assist with providing appropriate servces to you and your family. This is an effort to preserve your family as well as to strengthen your family as a unit.
What Can I Expect?
Within 7 calendar days of the substantiation, an In Home Services social worker will be contacting you to introduce him/herself.
This social worker will have at least monthly face-to face contact with you and your family as well as contact with others involved, i.e., therapists, doctors, other family members, on a bi-weekly basis to assure progress toward the treatment goals is continuing. Always the focus of an In Home Services worker's efforts is to ensure protection of the involved children and the preservation of the family.
Shortly thereafter, the In Home Services social worker will discuss what is called a family services case plan. This is a document which will be jointly developed between your family and family In Home Services worker. This plan will specifically address the behaviors which were identified as posing risk to your children and how you and the In Home Services social worker agree to address the issues.
Remember, if you have previously signed a protection plan with the children's protective services investigative social worker, it remains in effect until further notice. The family services case plan will reflect a time for review and will also spell out specifics which may occur should you fail to comply, protect, and provide for your children. This document requires both the family In Home Services social worker and the parent(s), guardian(s), or caregiver(s), signatures and you will be provided with a copy. Any changes or updates can occur at anytime deemed appropriate.
Dependent upon your situation, a child and family team may be established. This is a team comprised of professionals, parents, and the family social worker involved with your family. You should always be an active participant on these teams.
What Are The Possible Outcomes?
If you actively participate and change the behaviors which posed risk to your child(ren), the family In Home Services worker will close your case. However, if the risk factors are not reduced or should you refuse to cooperate, the family In Home Services social worker will present the situation to the In Home Services social work supervisor and a decision will be made as in the best interests of your child(ren).
This may mean to ensure the child(ren)'s safety, the Department will pursue Court action. In a very small number of cases, the child(ren) may be placed out of the home, either voluntarily or by the Department's petitioning the Court. We want children to remain with their families and that will be the focus of our work together.
You and your family have the right to be treated with respect and courtesy, also to have your questions answered and your telephone messages returned in a timely manner.
If you have an emergency, you may contact the In Home Services social worker between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. at the In Home Services worker's number.
If you feel the situation will not wait until the social worker returns your call, you may contact the clerical support person for assistance.
What Can I Do To Help The Process?
- Allow the In Home Services social worker to come to your home.
- Keep all scheduled appointments
- Discuss any concerns you may have reasonably and calmly.
- Work with the In Home Services worker to develop the plan for your family.
- Understand that the In Home Services social worker will be working with you to preserve your family and strengthen it as a unit.