Community Child Protection Team
Community Child Protection Teams (CCPT) were established by law (General Statue 7B-1406) in May of 1991 as a means for the state and local communities to form a partnership to strengthen child protection. This was a result of revenue shortfalls on both the state and local levels, making it difficult to fund the necessary number of social workers needed to investigate abuse/neglect reports and provide needed ongoing services for families.
THE COMPOSITION OF CPT IS MANDATED BY LAW AND INCLUDES:
A. The county DSS director and member of the director’s staff;
B. A local law enforcement officer;
C. An attorney from the district attorney’s office, appointed by the district attorney;
D. The executive director of the local community action agency;
E. The superintendent of each local school system or the superintendent’s designee;
F. A member of the county DSS Board, appointed by the chair;
G. A local mental health professional;
H. The local guardian ad litem coordinator, or the coordinator’s designee;
I. The director of the Health Department; and
J. A local health care provider.
In addition, the county commissioners may appoint up to five additional members to represent various county agencies or the community at large. A list of the current membership is attached to this report, along with a list that specifies what organization or CPT position that each member represents.
In 1998 Community Child Protection Teams were designated as Citizen Review Panels as required by the federal Child Abuse and Prevention Treatment Act. The main focus of Citizen Review Panels is evaluating how child welfare policy established on a federal or state level impacts families and children on a local level. This legislation further requires that consumers of child welfare services be represented.
Duties and responsibilities of the Community Child Protection Team include reviewing active cases in which abuse, neglect, or dependency is found and where resources may be lacking or gaps and deficiencies in resources affect the outcome of the case. Cases may also be brought for review at the specific request of a team member or the department of social services.
The purpose of these reviews is to identify gaps and deficiencies in community resources; to advocate for system improvements and needed resources; to promote collaboration between agencies in the creation or improvement of resources for children; and to inform county commissioners about actions needed to prevent child abuse, neglect, or dependency.
The Rutherford County Community Child Protection Team is combined with the local Child Fatality Prevention Team that was mandated by law in 1993. This team is coordinated through the local health department and is responsible for reviewing all child deaths that occur within the county. The membership mandate varies slightly for each team so all members serve in both roles. Up until January 2005 meetings were held once per quarter. The team now meets twice per quarter with one meeting for the review of Child Protective Services Cases (Child Protection Team) and the other for the review of child fatalities (Child Fatality Prevention Team).
Review active cases in which abuse, neglect, or dependency is found and that are:
- Selected from categories defined by the team.
- Brought for review at the specific request of a team member.
- Brought for review at the initiative of the director of the department of social services.
In Partnership with the Divison's fatality reviewers, each CCPT shall review fatalities, which are:
- Suspected to have resulted from child abuse, neglect or dependency and
- The child or the child's family had received child welfare services within 12 months of the child's death.
HOW CAN I BENEFIT FROM CPT?
- Increased understanding of what the state expects parents to do to protect their children.
- What action the community takes to protect children.
- Knowing how local officials respond to child protection and needs of families.
- An opportunity to voice your ideas about child protection needs in the community.
- Increased understanding of how families and the community are impacted by issues that put children at risk.
- An opportunity to actively participate in community initiatives directed towards child protection, such as volunteer activities, organization of children and/or family programs, and developing private and public partnerships to enhance child protection.
The Rutherford County Child Protection Team meets twice per quarter on the second Tuesday of January, February, April, May, July, August, October, and November
The CCPT/CFPT Meets on the Second Tuesday of the Following Months: