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Library: Policy

340:75-3-450. Drug-endangered child

1 through 7

Revised 4-9-19

(a) Substance abuse considered during safety determination and family intervention strategy.Addiction to and misuse of alcohol and controlled dangerous substances, including prescription medication may impact the person responsible for the child's (PRFC's) ability to provide child safety.Substance use alone does not directly determine child abuse or neglect; however, it is a factor considered when safety determinations and intervention strategies are considered.

(b) Investigation instead of assessment conducted when report alleges child is drug-endangered.Per Section 1-2-102 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes, when the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) determines a child meets the definition of a "drug-endangered child," as defined in 10A O.S. § 1-1-105, or a child diagnosed with a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, DHS conducts an investigation of the allegation and does not limit the evaluation of the circumstances to an assessment.

(c) Law enforcement assistance required to initiate investigation of child abuse or neglect alleging methamphetamine production.The DHS child abuse or neglect investigation involving allegations of methamphetamine production is initiated only with the assistance of law enforcement.

(d) Records regarding infants born exposed to alcohol or other harmful substances.Per Section 1-550.3 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes (63 O.S. § 1-550.3, DHS maintains up-to-date records of infants born exposed to alcohol or other harmful substances.

(1) "Harmful substances" means an intoxicating liquor or a controlled dangerous substance.

(2) The records detailed in 63 O.S. § 1-550.3 include data necessary for surveys and scientific research and other data that is necessary and proper to further the recognition, prevention, and treatment of infants born addicted to or prenatally exposed to harmful substances.

(3) DHS compiles and evaluates information received from the reports into a report distributed on or before January 1, of each year to the Governor, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and such other persons as DHS deems advisable or necessary.


Revised 9-16-21

1Employee safety when production of methamphetamine is alleged.  The investigation alleging the production of methamphetamine is initiated only with law enforcement assistance.  Each Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) employee assigned to the investigation takes precautions to ensure personal safety and the safety of others during the investigation.

2Drug abuse trends and indicators.  Child Welfare Services (CWS) maintains regular contact with law enforcement to stay informed about the most current illegal substance abuse trends and indicators of methamphetamine use and production.

(1) Prescription medication misuse can be a factor in alleged child abuse and neglect cases.

(2) The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (OBNDD) is available to assist child welfare (CW) specialists in cases involving the drug-endangered child.

(3) The Oklahoma Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) was enacted into law by the Oklahoma Anti-Drug Diversion Act found at Section 2-309 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes to reduce prescription fraud, substance abuse, "doctor shopping," and other illegal activity related to pharmaceutical drug diversion.

(i) When allegations of prescription drug abuse or misuse are alleged in a report, the CW specialist contacts law enforcement or the district attorney (DA) to inquire about accessing information through the PMP.

(ii) When the information is obtained, the CW specialist utilizes all pertinent information necessary to assist in a thorough safety evaluation.

3Common methamphetamine production locations.  Outbuildings, vehicles, hotel and motel rooms, apartments, storage sheds, garages, and vacant buildings are common places where methamphetamine is produced.

4Safety precautions when investigating allegations of production of methamphetamine.  When initiating an investigation alleging production of methamphetamine, the CWS specialist:

(1) requests law enforcement accompany the specialist to the home;

(2) remains in the car until law enforcement determines the residence is safe to enter; and

(3) does not enter the residence under any circumstance when there is evidence of a methamphetamine laboratory.

5 Safety precautions for the child exposed to methamphetamine.  Each district office follows safety precautions for the child likely exposed to a methamphetamine laboratory.

(1) Each district office develops and maintains agreements with law enforcement to manage decontamination procedures for the exposed child.

(2) An exposed child is immediately taken by law enforcement or the CW specialist for a medical exam.

6.  Infant alleged to be born substance exposed or affected.

(1) When an infant is alleged to be born substance-exposed or affected, the CW specialist obtains the infant's test results.  Cord blood is the preferred testing method.  When cord blood is not available, meconium is the preferred testing method.

(2) An infant who tests positive is referred to services to alleviate the effects of the substance on the child's development.  Whenever the infant is diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), commonly referred to as withdrawal, or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), the CW specialist develops a plan of safe care for the infant and mother or caregiver.

(A) When a referral is received and subsequently screened out and assigned as a plan of safe care, contact is made with the mother or caregiver within five-business days of receiving the referral.

(B) When a referral is received and accepted for Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation a plan of safe care is required in addition to following CPS investigation and safety analysis protocols found in Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-3-200340:75-3-220, and 340:75-3-300.

(C) The plan of safe care includes referring the infant to SoonerStart and a medical provider to evaluate the effects of the substance on the child's development.  When available, a referral to a pediatric NAS clinic is preferable.

(D) The CW specialist inquires about any plans previously developed by a hospital or medical professional to address the infant's and the mother's or caregiver's health and substance use or abuse treatment needs.  Such plans are appropriate for inclusion in the plan of safe care.

(E) The mother or caregiver is referred to substance abuse services that include a substance abuse assessment.

(F) The plan of safe care is documented in a KIDS contact with the purpose of "plan of safe care" and on the Form 04MP078E, Family Service Agreement (FSA)/Safety Plan.  A completed copy of the Form 04MP078E is provided to the family and uploaded into the KIDS document management system.

(G) Within 60-calendar days of the plan of safe care's assignment, the CW specialist contacts the service providers and parent or caregiver prior to the plan of safe care's closure to find out the infant's and the mother's or caregiver's progress in services. The information gathered is documented in a KIDS contact with the purpose of "plan of safe care follow up."

(H) As part of the plan of safe care, the CW specialist evaluates if other service referrals are needed for the parent or caregiver and makes those referrals as necessary.  Examples may include referrals to receive assistance with housing, transportation or daycare services.

(I) If at any time during the plan of safe care referral, the CW specialist becomes aware of allegations of abuse or neglect or has concerns for the safety of the newborn or children in the home, the CW specialist informs the mother or caregiver that the plan of safe care referral is being upgraded to a CPS investigation.  The CW specialist begins a CPS investigation and safety analysis per OAC 340:75-3-200340:75-3-220, and 340:75-3-300.

(3) The CWS specialist evaluates the impact of the:

(A) substance use on the person responsible for the child's (PRFC's) health, safety, and welfare ability to provide care for the infant; and

(B) PRFC's drug of choice and how it affects the PRFC's overall functioning, cognitive ability, and safety decisions.

(4) Due to unpredictable behaviors, the PRFC who uses methamphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), heroin, cocaine, or any combination of drugs is viewed as unable to provide minimal basic care for the infant or child.

(5) When the infant, mother, or caregiver test positive for methamphetamines, PCP, heroin, cocaine, or any combination of drugs and court-ordered placement in OKDHS custody is not requested, the CW:

(A) supervisor immediately staffs the decision with the district director for approval and documents the staffing in Contacts;

(B) specialist completes Form 04CP010E, Substance Exposed/Affected Newborn Staffing, and consults with the DA or assistant DA, outlining the reasons court intervention is not requested and what interventions must be put in place to ensure the infant's safety;

(C) specialist enters the case staffing into the appropriate KK indicating that recommendation to "not request court-ordered placement in OKDHS custody" was discussed with the district director and DA;

(D) specialist completes Form 04KI003E, Report to District Attorney, within five-judicial days when the infant is in emergency custody or is the subject of an in-home or out-of-home Safety Plan.  Reports with a finding of "Substantiated" or "Unsubstantiated" with no recommended safety intervention are submitted within 30-calendar days to the appropriate DA's office; and

(E) specialist maintains the recommendation not to remove the infant, unless new information is obtained and a determination is made that court intervention is the only option to ensure the infant's safety.

(6) When other adults reside in the substance-abusing PRFC's home, the same evaluation is conducted on each adult.

7.  Records regarding infants born exposed to alcohol or other harmful substances.  The Child Protective Services Programs Unit compiles the annual report regarding the number of children born substance-exposed and affected using information collected from KIDS.

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