Methods by which the Multiple Response System allows DSS agencies to respond to reports of Abuse, Neglect or Dependency are Investigative Assessment and Family Assessment.
Investigative Assessment Response: With this response, accepted reports of Abuse are investigated as done traditionally in the past, which are less “family friendly” and places a priority on the safely of the child(ren).
Family Assessment Response: With this response, accepted reports of neglect or dependency, Granville DSS may choose to conduct a Family Assessment. In a Family Assessment, the purpose is not to catch the family unexpectedly, or “in the act.” DSS first contacts the family and schedules a time to meet with them. DSS meets with the family and discusses the reported concerns, addresses the level of risk to the children, and assesses the family’s strengths and needs. Services may be provided to the family during the assessment process, so there is no further need for DSS to stay involved.
However, when an assessment is finished, DSS may find that further services such as In Home Family Services or the filing of a court petition are needed.
Taking custody of children and placing them out of their homes is done only as a very last resort. When children must be removed from a family, placement with relatives is best if possible.
DSS works to complete an investigation within 45 days.