1. Assess the living conditions in the home to ensure it is safe and healthy for all present:
It is important to carefully inspect the living area for any indication of hazards or unsafe conditions. This includes checking for exposed electrical wiring, faulty appliances, lack of proper smoke alarms, signs of pest infestation, mold or mildew growth, or other health and safety issues.
2. Observe family dynamics, including interactions between adults and children:
It is important to observe the interaction between family members in order to identify any warning signs of abuse or neglect. This includes watching for behavior such as aggression, disrespect, control, or power imbalance within the home. It is also important to pay attention to how each child responds when addressed by an adult present in the home.
3. Identify any issues with the health or safety of any persons in the home:
It is essential to assess the physical and mental well-being of anyone living in the household during a CPS visit. This includes checking for signs of malnutrition, poor hygiene habits, mental health problems, or any other health issues.
4. Determine if there are any signs of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a child in the home:
It is important to look for signs that a child may be experiencing abuse, neglect, or exploitation in the home. This includes looking for physical injuries such as bruises, burns, cuts, and abrasions; observing changes in behavior such as withdrawal, aggression, or depression; and checking for evidence of drug or alcohol use by caregivers.
5. Check that all necessary documents related to child care and guardianship are up-to-date:
It is essential to check that all necessary documentation is needed to ensure the safe and appropriate care of children living in the household is current and up-to-date. This includes documents such as birth certificates, guardianship orders, and court decisions.
6. Verify that each adult present in the home has been properly background checked:
It is important to ensure that all adults living in or visiting the household have undergone an appropriate criminal background check. This is especially important when assessing the suitability of foster parents or adoptive parents for a child.
7. Confirm parental rights and responsibilities are being adhered to:
It is essential to confirm that any legal guardians of children in the household are fulfilling their responsibilities and taking steps to protect their children from harm and exploitation. This includes confirming evidence of protection plans where necessary, ensuring children’s schedules are kept up-to-date and verifying that any court orders related to the child’s care are being correctly enforced.
8. Ensure children’s rights are respected during interviews held during CPS visits:
It is important to ensure that each child present in the home has a right to express their opinions and feelings without fear of retribution or judgment. This includes providing an appropriate space for the child to be interviewed in private, ensuring they understand their rights and duties, and allowing them to have someone else present during any discussions with CPS workers if desired.
9. Make sure appropriate interventions have been made when needed:
It is essential to ensure that any required interventions are put into place before leaving a home visit. This could include providing referrals for specialized counseling services, referring the family to available health and social services, assisting with making a safety plan, or coordinating temporary housing for the child if necessary.
10. Document observations from visits so progress can be tracked over time:
It is important to document all observations from the home visit in order to track any changes over time. This includes making notes about any issues identified, documenting contact with family members, and noting any interventions made during the visit. These records can then be used to review progress at subsequent visits and asses if/when a follow-up visit might be necessary.