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February 2000  -  Volume 3  -  Issue 2

Reporting of Critical Incidents

Rexford Nickerson,
Presidio, Inc., Director of Human Resources

Effective September 1, 1999, the State Department of Human Services revised the requirements for reporting critical incidents and implemented a new form that must be submitted to State DHS within 24 hours of each incident. Generally speaking, and there are a log of "gray areas," any accident, injury or behavior that requires contact with an "outside" professionals including representatives from the police department, fire department, emergency room/urgent care clinic (or same-day visit to a doctor's office), mental health clinic (or same-day visit with a therapist) should be immediately reported.

Of course allegations must always be reported and as a means of "defensive parenting," even small bumps, bruises and scrapes or any other happening that leaves a mark on a child (or an adult that was caused by a child) should be reported as well. Even thought minor events can seem ordinary and common to active children - and eve thought we treat foster-kids like our own and often we feel like they are our own - they are not our children and we need to protect ourselves by sharing information. I is always a good idea to keep a good daily log of every child's goings and doings. Yet, it can also be important to report the small stuff too. This information is a very brief summary ans should only be used in conjunction with the full text of the new rules. If you have not done so already, it is very important to review th actual rule changes to assure continuous compliance with State regulations. Visit the State's home page at: for this and other useful information.

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