Oregon Department of Human Services

Rule Rule 407-045-0885
Child-In-Care Abuse Rules: Investigating Reports of Abuse


An OTIS investigator must attempt and, when possible, complete all of the following activities when a report has been assigned for investigation:

(1)

The OTIS investigator must contact the responsible law enforcement agency, if applicable, as provided in ORS 419B.015 (Report form and content), to establish if a criminal investigation is being conducted and jointly determine the roles and responsibilities of OTIS and the law enforcement agency in their respective investigations.

(2)

Share information and coordinate with Department personnel or other appropriate entities who have responsibilities to the child associated with the report of abuse or the child-caring agency, proctor foster home, ODDS licensed group home, ODDS host home, or ODDS foster home.

(3)

Make initial contact with the alleged victim of abuse within the OTIS initial contact timeline assigned at screening. When an alleged victim is currently a child the OTIS investigator must attempt to contact the alleged victim’s legal guardian within the OTIS initial contact timeline assigned at screening.

(4)

Attempt to interview the following:

(a)

The alleged victim in the report. The OTIS investigator must notify the legal guardian of a child prior to any interview with a child, unless notification is prohibited by law or court order or would compromise safety or a criminal investigation.

(b)

Any witnesses to the alleged abuse.

(c)

The respondent or, when the respondent is a child-caring agency, ODDS licensed group home or ODDS host home, the individual responsible for the child-caring agency, ODDS licensed group home, or ODDS host home:

(A)

If the respondent refuses to be interviewed, this must be documented in the abuse investigation report.

(B)

If the respondent does not respond to a request to be interviewed, at least three additional attempts to interview the respondent must be made:

(i)

At least one of the additional three attempts must be made by phone to the last known phone number.

(ii)

At least one of the additional three attempts must be made by mail to the last known address.

(iii)

All attempts to contact the respondent must be documented in the abuse investigation report.

(d)

Others who may have knowledge of the facts of the alleged abuse or related circumstances as determined appropriate by the OTIS investigator.

(5)

Conduct interviews in person when practicable.

(6)

Conduct interviews with alleged victims and witnesses alone (without the presence of employees of the child-caring agency, ODDS licensed group home, ODDS host home, proctor foster parent, ODDS foster parent or Department personnel) if determined appropriate by the OTIS investigator.

(7)

Inform individuals being interviewed that they may decline to be interviewed.

(8)

Inform any child being interviewed that the child may have present during the interview:

(a)

The parent or guardian of the child, if the child has not been committed to the custody of the Department or Oregon Youth Authority;

(b)

The attorney for the child; and

(c)

Others the child wants present during the interview if the OTIS investigator determines the presence of the individual is appropriate.

(d)

Comply with ORS 419B.045 (Investigation conducted on school premises) when an interview or other contact will occur on public school premises.

(9)

Obtain and review relevant material evidence, which includes, but is not limited to:

(a)

Conducting a site visit to the child-caring agency, proctor foster home, ODDS licensed group home, ODDS host home, or ODDS foster home, that is the subject of the report of abuse or other relevant location as determined appropriate by the OTIS investigator.

(b)

Receiving and/or reviewing photographs, video or audio records from the child-caring agency, proctor foster home, ODDS group home, ODDS host home, ODDS foster home, or the community.

(c)

Receiving, reviewing, or copying records, documents and materials pertaining to the alleged victim of abuse including, but not limited to, incident reports, evaluations, treatment or support plans, treatment notes or progress records, or other documents as determined appropriate by the OTIS investigator.

(d)

Receiving, reviewing, or copying relevant records, documents and materials pertaining to an employee, contractor, or volunteer of a child-caring agency, proctor foster home, ODDS licensed group home, ODDS host home, or ODDS foster home, including, but not limited to, personal contact information, employee records, records of past complaints or concerns and attendance records.

(e)

Receiving, reviewing, or copying records, documents and materials pertaining to the respondent and anyone who resides in or frequents the child-caring agency, proctor foster home, ODDS licensed group home, ODDS host home, or ODDS foster home.

(f)

Taking photographs as determined appropriate by the OTIS investigator.

(g)

Receiving and reviewing relevant law enforcement records.

(10)

When an OTIS investigator observes a child, who has suffered a suspicious physical injury and the OTIS investigator is certain or has reasonable suspicion that the injury is or may be the result of abuse, the OTIS investigator must comply with ORS 419B.023 (Duties of person conducting investigation under ORS 419B.020) (Karly’s Law). This includes:

(a)

Identifying the protocols and procedures of the applicable county multidisciplinary child abuse team described in ORS 418.747 (County teams for investigation); and

(b)

Ensuring photographs are taken and medical assessments are pursued as provided in the applicable protocol.

(11)

If any of the requirements in (1) through (10) of this rule cannot be met:

(a)

Consult with an OTIS supervisor regarding the requirements that cannot be met;

(b)

Obtain approval from an OTIS supervisor for deviating from the requirements of this rule; and

(c)

Explain which requirements in this rule that cannot be met and document OTIS supervisor approval in the investigative report.

(12)

If an OTIS investigator becomes aware of conditions that do not constitute abuse, but is or threatens a danger to any child at a child-caring agency or to the public, or places the health, safety, or welfare of a child at risk, immediately submit a ODHS Form 1303. This includes, but is not limited to, when an OTIS investigator has reason to believe a child-caring agency has not complied with the Department’s background check rules as required in the Department’s background check rules.

(13)

If an OTIS investigator has reason to believe a crime has occurred, the crime must be immediately reported to law enforcement, even if the crime is unrelated to the report of abuse.

(14)

When investigation activities are complete:

(a)

Unless an exception in OAR 407-045-0886 (Child-In-Care Abuse Rules: Exception to Completing an Investigation) (Exception to Completing an Investigation) applies, make an abuse determination as provided in OAR 407-045-0887 (Child-In-Care Abuse Rules: Abuse Determination);

(b)

Issue an abuse investigation report as provided in OAR 407-045-0890 (Child-In-Care Abuse Rules: Abuse Investigation Report); and

(c)

Make notifications as provided in OAR 407-045-0895 (Child-In-Care Abuse Rules: Notifications at the Conclusion of an Investigation).
Source

Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021