110 CMR 13.02 - Procedures

(1) Upon learning of the death of a child the social worker shall:
(a) immediately notify her/his supervisor, Area Program Manger and Area Director of the death of the child and the circumstances surrounding the death;
(b) collect as much information as possible about the cause of death and circumstances surrounding the death; and
(c) collect as much information as possible to assess the risk and safety issues for the surviving siblings and/or other children in the setting.
(2) Upon learning of the death of a child the Area Director, or the Director of a contracted casework provider agency, shall:
(a) immediately provide verbal notification to the Regional Director and the C.I.U. Director, or designee, of the child's death and provide as much information as is available regarding the circumstances surrounding the death and other children in the setting; and
(b) if the child was residing in an out-of-home setting at the time of her/his death, immediately notify the Director(s) of any other Department Area Office(s), or Director of a contracted provider agency, who has a child in the setting; and
(c) within one working day convene a meeting to coordinate the Department's activities and response to the death; and
(d) ensure that a copy of the Department case record is provided to the Case Investigator at the time of the investigation interview.
(3) Upon teaming of the death of a child the Care Investigation Unit shall:
(a) immediately notify other central office staff as set forth in the Department's Responding to a Child Fatality Policy (Department Policy # 10 002(R)); and
(b) notify the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) if at the time of her/his death the child was residing in a placement subject to EEC licensure (i.e., foster home, pre-adoptive home, group home, shelter, residential facility), or was with a licensed day care provider; and
(c) on the day the CID is notified of the child's death, assign a case investigator who shall immediately contact the Area Director, or designee, and schedule an investigation interview to be conducted within two working days after receiving notification of the child's death; and
(d) the assigned case investigator shall proceed to conduct the investigation following the procedures set forth in the Department's Responding to Child Fatality Policy (Department Policy # 90-002(R)).

These procedures include but are not limited to:

1. interviewing Department staff involved with the child, the child's family, and/or the child's placement;
2. non-Department staff, if appropriate;
3. forward a copy of the case record to an identified member of the Department Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) who reviews the case record in conjunction with the case investigator;
4. requesting, in writing, a copy of the child's autopsy report from the Medical Examiner's office.
(4) After the C.I.U. investigation is completed, a written report shall be prepared and submitted for comments and approval to the Deputy Commissioner for Field Operations, the designated Professional Advisory Committee member, the General Counsel and the Commissioner. The report may contain or address recommendations and/or comments coveting a range of issues including: commendable or deficient casework practices demonstrated in the case, compliance with existing regulations and procedures, the need for new or revised policies or procedures, operational and administrative issues, etc. When approved by the Commissioner, the C.I.U. report shall be delivered to the Deputy Commissioner for Field Operations and to the involved Regional and Area Director. The report shall include a narrative of the facts of the case based upon the information gathered by the C.I.U. The C.I.U. may issue a preliminary report, followed by a final report, if requested to do so by the Commissioner. A final written report shall be delivered to the Commissioner within 30 calendar days after the C.I.U. received notification of the death, unless the child died of natural causes. If the child died of natural causes the final written report shall be delivered to the Commissioner within 60 calendar days after the C.I.U. received notification of the child's death.
(5) The Area Director and/or any Department staff interviewed during the C.I.U. process may request an exit interview with the case investigator. Requests for an exit interview must be made, within 30 days after receipt of the C.I.U. report, through the Area Director and are directed to the Deputy Commissioner or the Director of C.I.U.

The exit interview must include the Area Director, or designated manager, and may include the social worker, supervisor, Regional Director, or designee, or other Department staff interviewed during the C.I.U. process.

Notes

110 CMR 13.02

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