background shadows


NJ DCF Logo with reverse copy 


New Jersey Department of Children and Families Policy Manual




Child Protection and Permanency

Effective Date:








Revised Date:







CP&P Forms 26-81, Case Plan Assessment


Click here to view or print the CP&P Form 26-81.




Complete this form in NJ SPIRIT. The form is an individualized written statement of the Division's intervention on behalf of a child residing at home or in out-of-home placement. The Case Plan Assessment documents the risk factors identified and specifies services or actions needed to resolve identified problems and achieve the case goal. See CP&P-III-B-1-100, Case Plan, and CP&P-III-B-4-400, Case Goals.


As part of the Case Plan Assessment, a determination must be made as to whether the child is in serious or imminent risk of removal if the preventative services defined in the plan weren’t implemented.  If the following preventative services are implemented, and without these services the child would be removed and placed in care:


·         Safety Protection Plan,

·         Family Preservation Services,

·         Strengthening Families Services,

·         Homemaker services,

·         Substance use services,

·         Home health aides,

·         Nursing services, or

·         Services provided by the children’s system of care to prevent placement;


The child is considered a ‘candidate’ for removal and the caseworker completes the case plan to open the family for services.  Upon creating the case plan, the caseworker is automatically directed to select the case goal for each child.  Caseworkers will also be prompted by a drop down box to select whether the child is at “serious risk of removal” from home and placement in an out of home care if preventative services are not provided.  Note that an explanation is required in text box 1 of the Case Plan Assessment and the box should be changed to ‘Yes’, after the goal is identified on the Case Plan.



This determination must be reviewed at least every six months.  If the services, which are defined above, are discontinued due to a reduction in risk, the case plan should be updated and the box should be changed to ‘No’.  If the risk again reaches a point where the child is again a ‘candidate’ as defined in this policy, the Case Plan should reflect such and the box should again reflect ‘Yes’.”


CP&P Form 26-81 contains information needed when completing a Court Report, CP&P Form 26-80. (Unlike this form, the Court Report does not prefill in NJS. When completing a Court Report, copy and paste information from CP&P Form 26-81 into it, as needed.)


CP&P Form 26-81 is used to document the full status of a case at the time of the following events:


·      LO Case Transfers


·      Permanency Hearings


·      Periodic Court Reviews


·      Child Placement Review Board (CPRB) Reviews


·      CP&P Internal Placement Reviews


·      Documentation of Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) Exceptions


The Case Plan Assessment is prepared:


·         Within sixty (60) calendar days of SCR assigning a CPS report or a CWS referral to the field office for investigation or response;


·         Within thirty(30) calendar days for in-home cases where there is imminent risk of removal but for CPP actions


·         Within thirty (30) calendar days of a child entering or (re-entering) out-of-home placement; and


·         Every six months thereafter.


The Case Plan Assessment contains confidential information. The Supervisor and Workers are responsible to sign and approve the document.




Complete the form in the NJS Case Plan window by accessing it through NJ SPIRIT desktop > Create Case Work > Case Plan Assessment > Case Plan> Select appropriate case > Create> Case Goals Tab > Options Drop-down.


View or print a blank version of CP&P Form 26-81 through the on-line Forms Manual. A blank form may be used for note-taking purposes, as a tool for gathering information.




If CP&P has knowledge of an outstanding restraining order under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, do not disclose the victim's (i.e., the non-offending parent's) address unless so directed by the court. In those situations, the victim's address is redacted (blackened out) prior to form distribution. An electronic copy of the CP&P Form 26-81 is saved in its entirety in the NJ SPIRIT electronic case record.


Note: When a copy of the form is requested, additional confidential information may need to be redacted (completely removed or blackened out), determined on a case-by-case basis.




Prior to completing the Case Plan Assessment, complete the following; Supervisory approval is required:


·   MVR Visitation Requirements Window for all Participants (Create > Case Work > Structured Assessments > Options Drop-down; or, if creating the Case Plan when an investigation is open > Create > Case Work > Investigation > Options Drop-down)


·   Create and/or update the Legal Action and Legal Status records for the child(ren) prior to creating the Case Plan (Create > Case Work > Court/Legal Drop-down > Select Legal Action or Legal Status)


When completing the Application for Emergency Assistance or Services section of the Case Plan, ensure that all information and signatures are obtained from the parent(s)/guardian(s).


For children in-home, complete Section One entitled, Request and Agreement. This section is only required to be completed when a child and/or family is requesting and/or receiving services.


For children in out-of-home care, complete Sections One, Two, and Three.


A hard copy should be signed and kept in the current case record.


This section of the form is completed once a year




Child (ren) health information attached:


·   Attach CP&P Form 11-10, Health Passport and Placement Assessment, to CP&P Form 26-81, for the CP&P Internal Placement Review, and for each parent and the primary caregiver of each child.


·   Provide the resource parent with a copy of the CP&P Form 11-10 for the child(ren) in his/her care only.


Case Plan Family Agreement attached:


·         Attach CP&P Form 26-25 and 26-26, Case Plan Family Agreement With a Team and Case Plan Family Agreement Without a Team, to capture the working agreement made with the family either within a team meeting and/or outside of a team meeting. 






Case Record





Electronic Copy


NJS Electronic Case Record