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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 53 Pa.B. 1782 (March 25, 2023).

55 Pa. Code § 3490.321. Standards for risk assessment.


§ 3490.321. Standards for risk assessment.

 (a)  The standards established for risk assessment shall include the following:

   (1)  A statement of purpose for the process.

   (2)  The core set of factors against which risk shall be assessed.

   (3)  The application of the process, including the points at which the process shall be applied and the periodicity of application.

   (4)  The recordkeeping requirements.

   (5)  The process for State approval.

 (b)  The Department and counties will review the implementation of the risk assessment process on an ongoing basis to ensure that the standards established are consistent with good practice and the results of research.

 (c)  The county agency shall implement the State-approved risk assessment model developed by the Department in consultation with the Risk Assessment Task Force.

 (d)  The county agency shall apply the State-approved risk assessment process established under this section in performing the duties under Subchapters A and C (relating to child protective services; and general protective services).

 (e)  The factors which shall be assessed by the county agency include the following:

   (1)  The characteristics of the environment in which the child abuse occurred including the history of prior abuse and neglect.

   (2)  The characteristics of the parent, caregiver, household member, primary person responsible for the welfare of a child and perpetrator including history of drug and alcohol abuse.

   (3)  The characteristics of the family including the history of family violence.

 (f)  The county agency shall rate each factor in subsection (e) and shall provide documentation in the record to support the identified level of risk and to assure the child’s safety.

   (1)  Each factor shall be rated using one of the following designations:

     (i)   No risk.

     (ii)   Low risk.

     (iii)   Moderate risk.

     (iv)   High risk.

   (2)  If a county agency is unable to assess the risk of a specific factor listed in subsection (e), the county agency shall indicate the reasons in the record.

 (g)  At the time of the report of suspected child abuse or allegations of children in need of general protective services, the county agency shall make an initial determination of the risk to the child.

   (1)  The county agency need not complete the risk assessment process if after one contact with the family the report is determined to be without any merit.

   (2)  The county agency shall document evidence which supports this finding in the record.

 (h)  Periodic assessments of risk shall be completed by the county agency as follows:

   (1)  At the conclusion of the intake investigation which may not exceed 60-calendar days.

   (2)  Every 6 months in conjunction with the family service plan or judicial review unless one of the following applies:

     (i)   The risk to the child remains low or no risk.

     (ii)   The child has been placed out of the home for more than 6 months and there are no other children in the home.

   (3)  Thirty-calendar days before and after the child is returned to the family home unless one of the following applies:

     (i)   The risk to the child remains low or no risk.

     (ii)   The child’s return home was not anticipated by the county agency. A risk assessment for these cases shall be completed within 2 weeks of the child’s return to the home.

   (4)  Thirty-calendar days prior to case closure.

 (i)  The county agency shall conduct a risk assessment as often as necessary to assure the child’s safety.

 (j)  The county agency shall assess the safety and risk of the child when the circumstances change within the child’s environment at times other than required under this section.

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.232 (relating to receiving reports and assessing the need for services).

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