Over 4,600 cases of abuse, neglect, dependency, motions and other investigations were handled during 1998 through the Protective Services Department. Seven Counselors and ten Investigators work with families, social workers, hospitals, and attorneys to screen cases and complete investigations on a daily basis. Through Protective Services, families have access to the Court to have their cases heard or reviewed. Investigators provide the Judges and Magistrates with complete social histories that aid in the disposition of abuse, neglect and dependency cases. Protective Services workers provide a screening process for cases of abuse, neglect or dependency that family members, child welfare workers or other professionals must complete before formal court intervention is initiated. Protective Service investigators are assigned cases once the case been through the preliminary hearing process and must provide a written report to the Court at the time of the final disposition. Each investigator manages an active caseload of 50 or more cases in various stages of completion.
Service staff is also responsible for other investigations as ordered
by the Court including certifications from other counties or other courts,
adult criminal cases involving adults and children, and judicial "by-pass"
cases. Investigators and staff assist clients on a walk-in basis as
well. Protective Service workers can also make referrals to community
resources if Court intervention is not warranted. Protective Service
Investigators and staff meet with clients on a daily basis screening
complaints and/or completing investigations.