28-712.01. Alternative response demonstration projects; Review, Evaluate, and Decide Team; duties; department; duties; Inspector General's review.

(1) This section applies to alternative response demonstration projects designated under section 28-712.

(2) The Review, Evaluate, and Decide Team shall convene to review intakes pursuant to the department's rules, regulations, and policies, to evaluate the information, and to determine assignment for alternative response or traditional response. The team shall utilize consistent criteria to review the severity of the allegation of child abuse or neglect, access to the perpetrator, vulnerability of the child, family history including previous reports, parental cooperation, parental or caretaker protective factors, and other information as deemed necessary. At the conclusion of the review, the intake shall be assigned to either traditional response or alternative response. Decisions of the team shall be made by consensus. If the team cannot come to consensus, the intake shall be assigned for a traditional response.

(3) In the case of an alternative response, the department shall complete a comprehensive assessment. The department shall transfer the case being given alternative response to traditional response if the department determines that a child is unsafe. Upon completion of the comprehensive assessment, if it is determined that the child is safe, participation in services offered to the family receiving an alternative response is voluntary, the case shall not be transferred to traditional response based upon the family's failure to enroll or participate in such services, and the subject of the report shall not be entered into the central registry of child protection cases maintained pursuant to section 28-718.

(4) The department shall, by the next working day after receipt of a report of child abuse and neglect, enter into the tracking system of child protection cases maintained pursuant to section 28-715 all reports of child abuse or neglect received under this section that are opened for alternative response and any action taken.

(5) The department shall make available to the appropriate investigating law enforcement agency, child advocacy center, and county attorney a copy of all reports relative to a case of suspected child abuse or neglect. Aggregate, nonidentifying reports of child abuse or neglect receiving an alternative response shall be made available quarterly to requesting agencies outside the department. Such alternative response data shall include, but not be limited to, the nature of the initial child abuse or neglect report, the age of the child or children, the nature of services offered, the location of the cases, the number of cases per month, and the number of alternative response cases that were transferred to traditional response. No other agency or individual except the office of Inspector General of Nebraska Child Welfare, the Public Counsel, law enforcement agency personnel, child advocacy center employees, and county attorneys shall be provided specific, identifying reports of child abuse or neglect being given alternative response. The office of Inspector General of Nebraska Child Welfare shall have access to all reports relative to cases of suspected child abuse or neglect subject to traditional response and those subject to alternative response. The department and the office shall develop procedures allowing for the Inspector General's review of cases subject to alternative response. The Inspector General shall include in the report pursuant to section 43-4331 a summary of all cases reviewed pursuant to this subsection.

Source:Laws 2014, LB853, § 4; Laws 2017, LB225, § 2.