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NJ DCF Logo with reverse copy


New Jersey Department of Children and Families Policy Manual




Child Protection and Permanency

Effective Date:



Intake Investigation and Response



Initial Response




Case Opening or Closure



Documentation of Cases to be Opened for Service



Documentation, Cases to be Opened for Services   11-29-2010


For cases being opened for CP&P services, the assigned Worker shall prepare his or her case recording in NJ SPIRIT, and the Supervisor shall review and approve that work, within:


·         Sixty (60) calendar days of assignment of a CPS report from State Central Registry to the Local Office;


·         Sixty (60) calendar days of assignment of a child welfare service (CWS)                    assessment from State Central Registry to the Local Office; or


·         Thirty (30) calendar days of a child entering out-of-home placement, whichever comes sooner.


Complete the Case Plan, CP&P Form 26-81.


Ideally, the plan is developed at a Family Team Meeting, and specifies the services or actions needed to resolve identified problems, reduce or eliminate risk, and select, and ultimately achieve, the case goal.  The Case Plan specifies who will provide the needed services and the anticipated time frame for providing each service.  See CP&P-III-B-1-100,  Case Plan, CP&P-III-B-4-400, Case Goals, and CP&P-III-B-5-500, Family Engagement.


The Initial Response Program permits 60 calendar days for completing the investigation/assessment, making a finding determination, documenting casework activities and decision-making in NJS, and completing the Case Plan.


In respect to this overall timeframe - 60 calendar days - the Worker completes DCF Form 2-1 or 3-1, the Investigation Summary or the CWS Assessment Summary, Contact Activity Notes, and the Case Plan, CP&P Form 26-81, as soon as the response is completed and needed information is gathered. To allow adequate time for supervisory review, the Worker completes this work in NJ SPIRIT no later than 45 days following case assignment from SCR. The Supervisor is given 15 days to review and approve the work.


For children entering placement during the initial response period, the Worker completes the Case Plan, CP&P Form 26-81, within 20 days from assignment, leaving 10 days' time for supervisory review and approval.


The Division shall further document the Case Plan (CP&P Form 26-81) in NJS at least once every six months after the initial documentation.


The assigned Worker also completes CP&P Form 26-87, Desired Family Outcomes and Specific Activities. For cases in litigation, also complete CP&P Form 26-80, Court Report, in NJS.


See CP&P-III-C-6-100, Case Recording.


Related Policies and Related Forms   11-29-2010


     CP&P-III-B-4-400, Case Goals


     CP&P-III-C-6-100, Case Recording


•     CP&P-III-B-1-100, Case Plan


•     CP&P-III-B-5-500, Family Engagement


•     DCF Form 2-1, Investigation Summary


•     DCF Form 3-1, CWS Assessment Summary


•     CP&P Form 26-80, Court Report


•     CP&P Form 26-81, Family Summary/Case Plan


•     CP&P Form 26-87, Desired Family Outcomes and Specific Activities