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Standard 6 Transferring a Case

Overview

This standard outlines requirements for CASs related to transferring cases both within a CAS (e.g. between workers or between the investigation and ongoing phases of service), and between CASs (e.g. in different territorial jurisdictions). In particular, it includes requirements with respect to the following:

Intent

The requirements in the standard are designed to ensure that transfers of cases between workers are conducted seamlessly, with as little disruption or delay to the child and family as possible, and with no interruptions in service.

Standard #6 Transferring a Case

Standard

This standard applies to case transfers at any phase in the delivery of child protection services described in this document.

For all case transfers:

The receiving worker reads the case record (including the history of previous child protection involvement) so as to have a thorough, longitudinal understanding of the risks, needs, strengths and protective capacity of the family and its individual members as they relate to the current protection concerns. A transfer conference is also held which at minimum includes the transferring worker and/or their supervisor and the receiving worker during which the case is reviewed and transfer arrangements are agreed upon.

The supervisor of the transferring worker reviews and approves all transfer documentation submitted by the transferring worker.

For transfers within CASs:

A transfer visit is to be conducted with the family that includes the transferring and receiving child protection workers. The case transfer is effective on the date of the transfer visit.

The transfer visit occurs within ten (10) days of submission of transfer documentation for approval to the supervisor.

Any existing safety plan continues without interruption during the transfer from one worker to another. Until the case is transferred, the transferring worker is responsible for managing any safety plan and addressing other case management issues.

The receiving worker notifies all other actively involved case collaterals of his/her identity and contact information within seven (7) days of assuming case responsibility.

Cases that are receiving ongoing child protection services and which will be transferred require a documented summary update of significant case events that have taken place since the last case review. If the existing risk/reunification or family and child strengths and needs assessments are no longer relevant/reflective of the family’s current functioning, the transferring worker completes new assessments to reflect the current situation. Similarly if the service plan is no longer relevant, the transferring worker updates the service plan.

For transfers between CASs:

Referral – The transferring CAS informs the receiving CAS verbally and in writing that the case will be transferred. The referral and all other subsequent steps in the transfer process are documented by the transferring and receiving CASs in contemporaneous case notes in the case record.

Transfer Conference – Following the Referral, and in advance of the confirmation of transfer, a transfer conference is held, which minimally includes the transferring and receiving workers and their supervisors, during which the case is reviewed and transfer arrangements are agreed upon.

Confirmation of Transfer – Within 10 working days of receiving the verbal referral, the receiving CAS will send written confirmation of the transfer to the transferring CAS. The confirmation of transfer must include at minimum the following information:

Face-to-Face Contact with the Family – The receiving worker’s first face-to-fact contact with the family should occur no later than 10 working days of the receiving CAS sending written confirmation of the transfer.

Transfer is Effective – The transfer is effective once both of the following have occurred:

Case Management Until Transfer is Effective – Any existing safety plan continues without interruption during the transfer from one CAS to another. Until the transfer is effective, the transferring worker is responsible for managing any safety plan and addressing other case management issues. If a family has already moved to another jurisdiction, the receiving CAS should act as the transferring CAS’s agent to assist the transferring CAS in managing the case until the transfer is effective.

Processing and Contents of Transfer Documentation

Transferring documentation (approved by a Supervisor) is forwarded by the transferring CAS to the receiving CAS within 2 working days of the transferring CAS making its referral.

If the receiving CAS requires further documentation from the transferring CAS it will request the information in writing.

At minimum, the transferring CAS provides the following documentation to the receiving CAS:

For cases transferred at the investigation stage when a family has relocated to another jurisdiction during the investigation

For cases transferring after the conclusion of an investigation

For cases transferring from ongoing services

The receiving worker notifies all other actively involved case collaterals of his/her identity and contact information within seven (7) days of assuming case responsibility (i.e. within seven days of the first face-to-face contact with the family).

Practice Notes
For Transfers within CASs

The Transfer Conference and the Transfer Visit

During the transfer conference, the receiving worker discusses the case with the transferring worker and collaboratively develops a plan for the transfer visit with the family.

The transfer visit serves as a bridge between the investigative phase of service and the ongoing phase of intervention with the family, or between one worker and another. It is good practice to include other agency workers providing service and the family’s support team in the transfer visit whenever possible. The receiving worker uses the first contact with the family as an opportunity to begin to establish rapport with the various family members.

Transfers from Intake/Investigation

During the transfer visit with the family, the investigative worker reviews the original referral information, the outcome of the safety assessment and safety plan (where applicable), the outcome of the risk assessment and the verification decision, and provides the rationale for the provision of ongoing child protection services to the child and family.

Transfers from Ongoing Services

When a case that is receiving ongoing service is transferred, the transferring worker reviews the most recent assessments and the service plan with the family and receiving worker, noting progress that the family has made and the goals that are still to be achieved.

Notifying Actively Involved Case Collaterals

Actively involved case collaterals include individuals who are actively involved in the safety plan for the child or the service plan, and/or who are integral to mitigating the risk of child protection concerns in regards to a particular child. For some cases where there is a higher degree of risk or the child is highly vulnerable, the worker should use clinical judgment to determine whether case collaterals should be notified of the worker’s identity and contact information in less than 7 days (which is the maximum timeframe the standard allows for).

For Transfers Between CASs

The Transfer Conference

Due to geographical constraints, unlike transfers within a CAS from Intake/Investigation or from Ongoing service, it may not be possible for transfer conferences involving CASs in different jurisdictions to occur in person. Instead, they may be conducted by telephone. The purpose of these transfer conferences is for the receiving worker and supervisor to discuss the case with the transferring worker and supervisor so that they may collaboratively develop a plan for the transfer. The following items may form part of the transfer conference discussion:

Summary of Timelines for Transfers Between CASs

Day 1: Referral – The transferring CAS informs the receiving CAS verbally and in writing that the case will be transferred. The transferring and receiving CASs document this communication in contemporaneous case notes.

Day 3: Transfer Documentation is Sent – The transferring CAS forwards Supervisor-approved documentation to the receiving CAS.

Up to Day 10: Transfer Conference Occurs – During this period of time the transferring and receiving workers and supervisors discuss the case and collaboratively develop transfer arrangements. Where geography prohibits a face-to-face meeting between the transferring and receiving CASs, a telephone or video case conference may be convened to discuss all issues related to the case.

Day 10: Confirmation of Transfer Letter is Sent – The receiving CAS sends to the transferring CAS written confirmation of the transfer. This letter includes the plan for the family, the name of the receiving worker and supervisor responsible for the case, and the date of the planned first face-to-face contact with the family.

Up to Day 20: Face-to-Face Contact with the Family – The receiving worker has a first face-to-fact contact with the family no later than 10 working days after sending the confirmation of transfer letter to the transferring CAS, which is equivalent to 20 days after first receiving the referral. The particular date of the face-to-face contact is set out in the confirmation of transfer letter.

Transfer is effective – The following examples may assist the transferring CAS in determining when its file may be closed:

Before closing its file, the transferring CAS should confirm that the face-to-face meeting occurred in accordance with the date specified in the confirmation of transfer letter.

Delays in First Face-to-Face Contact for Transfers Between CASs

Where there are extenuating circumstances preventing the receiving worker from having the first face-to-face contact with the family within 20 days of receiving the referral, the transferring and receiving CASs should work collaboratively and in a manner that considers the particular needs of the child and family.

In situations of such delay, the transferring CAS remains responsible for managing any safety plan or case management issues until the face-to-face meeting occurs, with the receiving CAS acting as the transferring CAS’s agent to assist the transferring CAS in managing the case until the transfer is effective.

Dispute Resolution in the Context of Transfers Between CASs

Transferring of documentation and related processes should not interfere with immediate child safety interventions and assessments. CASs should work cooperatively and collaboratively.