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Library: Policy

340:75-3-100. Child protective services purpose, philosophy, legal authority, and scope


Issued 7-1-13

(a) Child protective services purpose.  Child protective services (CPS) is a child welfare services provision that focuses on preventing, identifying, and treating child abuse and neglect and ensuring child safety.  Efforts are made to maintain and protect the child in the child's own home when safety threats can be managed and controlled.  The primary purpose of CPS intervention is to:

  • (1) protect the child;
  • (2) assess family strengths and needs; and
  • (3) provide services to remedy the conditions and behaviors that cause abuse, neglect, or safety threats.

(b) Child protective services philosophy.  The child welfare (CW) program emphasizes child safety and family preservation when the child is safely maintained within the family.  While family reunification or rehabilitation is an optimum means for protecting the child, the right to family integrity is limited by the child's right to be protected from abuse and neglect, per Section 1-1-102 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes (10A O.S. § 1-1-102).

  • (1) Consistent with federal and state requirements:
    • (A) reasonable efforts are made when possible to prevent or eliminate the need for the child's removal; or
    • (B) intervention is directed toward child and family reunification when the child will be safe in the home.
  • (2) When the child cannot be safely maintained in the home, court intervention and the child's removal from the home may be necessary.
  • (3) Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) recognizes that when the child is removed from the home, timely achievement of the child's permanency plan is in the child's best interests.

(c) Legal authority for child protective services.

  • (1) 10A O.S. §§ 1-2-101 through 1-2-110 requires that suspected abuse and neglect be reported to OKDHS.  OKDHS conducts a safety analysis and forwards the assessment conclusions or investigation findings to the appropriate district attorney's (DA's) office.
  • (2) 10A O.S. § 1-2-108 requires that OKDHS maintain an information system of the assessment conclusions or investigation findings in addition to other child abuse and neglect related information.
  • (3) 10A O.S. § 1-4-201 sets forth methods by which custody of a child may be assumed.  Law enforcement officers or designated employees of the court are authorized to assume protective custody without a court order in defined circumstances, or the court may issue an order for emergency custody after an application, supported by an affidavit, is submitted by the DA to the court.

(d) Scope of child protective services.

  • (1) CPS intervention is mandated by 10A O.S. § 1-1-102 when a child is abused, neglected, drug-endangered, or at risk of significant harm because of willful acts, intent to act, or omissions by the person responsible for the child's (PRFC) health, safety, or welfare.  CPS addresses intra-familial abuse or neglect and assesses or investigates allegations of abuse or neglect when the perpetrator is identified as:
    • (A) the child's custodial or noncustodial parent;
    • (B) the child's legal guardian or custodian;
    • (C) an adult residing in the child's home including an adult who is cohabitating with the child's parent; or
    • (D) a person other than a PRFC when it is necessary to determine whether the PRFC's actions contributed to the child's abuse or neglect and reflects the PRFC's unwillingness or inability to protect the child.
  • (2) OKDHS is mandated per 10A O.S. § 1-2-105 to investigate alleged abuse or neglect by a PRFC as defined in 10A O.S. § 1-2-105 that includes:
    • (A) a foster parent per OAC 340:75-3-410;
    • (B) an owner, operator, or employee of a child care facility, child care center, or child care home, as defined in 10 O.S. § 402, whether licensed or unlicensed per OAC 340:75-3-110 and 340:75-3-420; and
    • (C) an agent or employee of a public or private residential home institution facility or day treatment program as defined by 10 O.S. § 175.20.
  • (3) Except when employed in a child care facility, school teachers and officials, OKDHS employees, and other persons providing services to the child are not PRFCs.
  • (4) Reports alleging child abuse or neglect in settings above the foster care level are investigated by the Office of Client Advocacy per OAC 340:2-3-32.


Revised 11-1-18

1. (a) Child safety drives each case decision during assessment or investigation, safety planning, court intervention, in a family-centered services case, visitation, and reunification. The safety needs of the child five years of age and younger or a child with a perceived or diagnosed physical or developmental disability is given the greatest consideration as a young or disabled child is more vulnerable to life-threatening consequences of abuse or neglect.

(1) Effective intervention requires Child Protective Services (CPS) to respond with a non-punitive approach and offer help in the least intrusive manner possible.

(2) CPS intervention is directed toward family rehabilitation, when possible.

(3) Per Section 1-1-102 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes, it is presumed when safety threats can be controlled within the home that the child's best interests are ordinarily served by leaving the child in the custody of the parents who are expected to have the strongest bond of love and affection for the child and are best able to provide the child needed qualities that make a child's life safe and secure.

(4) The child's family must be involved and participate in the casework process.

(b) Child protective services are accomplished by:

(1) assessing child safety;

(2) controlling and managing safety threats to protect the child who is abused or neglected or who is at risk of abuse or neglect;

(3) engaging the child's family in the identification and enhancement of the parent's protective capacities;

(4) encouraging behavioral change in the parent or guardian;

(5) helping the parent develop coping skills;

(6) enhancing the parent's problem-solving capabilities and coping skills;

(7) promoting family stability;

(8) reducing stress for the family in crisis; and

(9) referring the parent to available resources that can assist the parent enhance protective capacities.

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