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CAP History

  » Program Model Structure
  » Target Cases
  » Provider
  » Tools
  » Referral Process
  » Timelines
  » Report


In 2007, the Governor’s Office asked the Children’s Administration for recommendations to increase child safety.  CA proposed a program that would improve the safety of children in their home by guiding decision-making and safety planning in complex, high risk cases.  CA proposed to make this program available at the front end of a case, with the overall goal to reduce recurrence of child maltreatment. 

The proposal was included in the Governor’s budget and was funded by the legislature in a budget proviso, “solely to contract with medical professionals for comprehensive safety assessments of high risk families receiving in-home child protective services or family voluntary services.  The safety assessments will use validated assessment tools to guide intervention decisions through the identification of additional safety and risk factors.” 

On May 15, 2008, a planning meeting was held to develop recommendations on the structure and implementation of CAP.  The planning team was comprised of CA regional staff, CA Policy and Practice Improvement, CA Indian Child Welfare, CA Practice Model, Harborview Medical Center, Office of the Ombudsman, and the University of Washington Evidence Based Practice Institute.  The planning team recommendations are included in the proposal below. 

On July 10, 2008, CA Leadership approved the CAP be administered through a contract with Harborview Medical Center.  Assessments would be conducted regionally by community partners trained by Harborview. 

The program was phased-in, with four of six regions having the service available. 

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Program Model Structure – Approved providers to administer a systematic and standardized initial assessment that identifies problems and needs of parents and children.  The program would provide baseline information on current family functioning.

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Target Cases – Higher risk cases involving children age birth to twelve who have complex issues such as serious physical abuse, severe/chronic neglect, and sexual abuse.  These are cases where the social worker is extremely concerned and is not sure how to proceed with service planning.  Generally, CAP is targeted to the needs of Family Voluntary Services high-risk, in-home cases.

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Provider – The contract is held by Harborview Medical Center to employ and/or subcontract with trained Master’s level staff to complete assessments for referred clients.  In addition, Harborview Medical Center provides supervision, support and continuous quality assurance.

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Tools – The assessment will be based on empirically identified problem areas and validated assessment tools such as:

  • Brief Child Abuse Potential Inventory
  • Parenting Stress Index
  • Patient Health Questionnaire
  • Pediatric Sympton Checklist
  • Child Distress/Trauma Assessment
  • Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Abuse Involvement Screening Test
  • Conflict Tactics Scale
  • Parents Evaluation of Developmental Status

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Referral Process – CA staff will forward the following to the provider:

  • DSHS Consent Form (DSHS 14-012)
  • Current CPS referral including case notes
  • Referral history for the family
  • Safety assessment and plan
  • Global Appraisal of Individual Needs - Short Screener (GAIN-SS) assessment
  • Structured Decision Making (SDM) and Risk Assessment (if available)
  • Family assessment (if available)
  • Medical reports (if available)
  • Child Protection Medical Consultation Report (if applicable)

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Timelines – Families will be seen within 7 business days of the referral being made and the final report/findings will be submitted within 20 business days of the referral being made. A follow-up staffing occurs with CA staff and the family to review the results and identify any needed intervention and services.

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Report – Short in length, with recommendations on safety/risks which can be used to inform service planning with the family.

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