Clinicians at birthing hospitals are mandatory reporters and must contact Child Protective Services when there are child protective concerns. Clinicians are mandated to report when:
- Child protective/safety concerns are present with any newborn
- Newborns test positive for illicit substances, non-prescribed medications, or misused prescribed medications
- Newborns experience withdrawal from illegal, non-prescribed, or misused prescribed medications
- Healthcare providers have evidence of ongoing substance use by the parent that creates safety concerns
- A newborn is diagnosed with FASD, or the infant has known prenatal alcohol exposure when there are safety concerns for the infant
When infants with prenatal substance exposure do not meet these criteria, and if there are no safety concerns, clinicians initiate the Plan of Safe Care (POSC) through an online referral to Help Me Grow.
The POSC online portal's algorithm will help a clinician determine the appropriate action:
- The healthcare provider identifies an infant as substance-exposed and obtains consent from the family for the Help Me Grow referral. Via the online POSC referral portal, the provider fills out the initial segment (the data tracking form) for all substance-exposed infants. This form, which collects de-identified data, automatically gets sent to DCYF.
- If a report is needed, the online portal's algorithm will direct the provider to call DCYF Intake. DCYF will complete the POSC (or refer back to Help Me Grow if a screen-out occurs).
- If a notification is required, the online portal's algorithm will direct the provider to complete the POSC. The POSC is automatically sent to Help Me Grow.
- Help Me Grow will reach out to the family and refer them to services based on the POSC and other wrap-around supports. HMG-WA will collect de-identified data elements to report (in aggregate) to DCYF regularly.