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Video Transcribed: What happens after you call the DHS hotline to report abuse or neglect of a child? Oklahoma Child Protective Services Attorney Ryan Cannonie, with CPS investigation defense, and I’ve done some other videos about DHS and I even did one about how to report abuse, but what happens, what’s the next step?
So when you call into that 1-800 number, if that’s the way you called and reported, if it wasn’t a 911 call or something, but if you call DHS’s actual number on that, there’s a person that picks it up.
They get all the information and they either forward that to a DHS worker, an investigator to be investigated or they screen it out. Now a lot of times calls come in and they have their own policies and procedures there, and they will decide not to forward that call on for investigation.
So at that point, it’s done. Unless you can call and basically you have to make a new referral. And the more referrals a case situation gets, the more sometimes especially if it’s coming from multiple people, the more likely they are to investigate.
Or when you give them information or the information that comes in, if it’s not very detailed, if it’s very vague, then they may not want to proceed on it. You need to give them all the information you have and talk to them about why the child is in danger.
So that’s kind of the step of the process there. When you call the number, either it goes to an investigator to be investigated or it’s screened out. Now, when it goes to an investigator, that doesn’t mean that the bat signal goes up in the sky and they immediately come running out and investigate.
Depending on what priority they give it and by priority, there’s a set of guidelines DHS has for which cases have children in the most danger. The most immediate dangerous situation for a child is going to get the first priority.
And in fact, those, they usually have to, from when they get it, I believe they have 24 hours or so to investigate. So sometimes you’ll have DHS out at 10 o’clock at night because they have until midnight to get their investigation done.
Well, if it’s not one of those, then it’s probably going to be a lower priority, which means that a lot of times they will take more time. This is when you have DHS knocking on your door during regular hours of the day, going to school to talk to your child, that type of situation.
So depending on where it falls in DHS’s, their priority list, if it gets past the screener at the hotline will determine how the case is investigated, how long it takes, and how quickly it’s investigated.
If you have other questions about DHS investigations or deprive court or anything involving child custody as it relates to abuse or neglect of children or alleged abuse and neglect to children, then give us a call and we will have an Oklahoma CPS attorney reach you.