Memorandum of Understanding between the Division of Children and Family Services and all Cuyahoga County Law Enforcement Agencies
Law enforcement officers and child protection specialists (“CPS”) share a common and important role: determine if child abuse or neglect has occurred, who is responsible, and what actions are necessary to protect the child. In Cuyahoga County, both groups work to ensure the child’s immediate physical safety and to minimize the effects of trauma associated with abuse and neglect, including limiting the number of times a child is interviewed. Positive and collaborative interaction between law enforcement and CPS promotes better outcomes for children.
The State of Ohio requires the Cuyahoga County Division of Children & Family Services (“CCDCFS”) and law enforcement agencies to coordinate investigations and share information. As CPS and police are often the first responders to an incident, they are able to set the tone for an efficient and thoughtful investigation that may ultimately involve professionals from many disciplines. This Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) delineates the roles and responsibilities of each official and agency in assessing or investigating cases of child abuse or neglect in Cuyahoga County.
Working as a team, all who respond to allegations of abuse and neglect can help assure safety and reduce trauma, the two most important outcomes for our children.
The primary goals of the MoU are:
- To ensure the prompt reporting of all incidents of suspected child abuse and\or neglect, including human trafficking
- To conduct comprehensive and coordinated investigations of suspected child abuse or neglect, including human trafficking
- To eliminate all unnecessary interviews of children who are the subject of reports of child abuse or neglect
- To provide, when feasible, for only one interview of a child who is the subject of a report of child abuse or neglect.