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Child Protection Services

Since 1968, county agencies have been required to make a determination as to whether child abuse occurred in cases of reported alleged maltreatment. Over the years, statutory requirements have expanded to include making determinations in reports of neglect, as well as abuse, and determining whether abuse or neglect is likely to occur. Policies regarding case finding terminology have also changed over the years.  

The case finding decision is critical. It has implications for whether a family will receive services, whether a child care or foster care license may be revoked and, under recent state legislation, whether a person may hold certain licenses or be employed in certain professions. It also impacts decisions regarding a court action and removal of children from their homes. As such, it requires careful deliberation and supervisory oversight and approval.


The case finding terminology which is used for allegations that abuse or neglect has occurred is the following:




There is preponderance of the evidence that abuse or neglect has occurred.


Substantiated/ Mutual Sexual Activity:


There is a preponderance of the evidence that sexual contact or sexual intercourse occurred which was mutual and had no aspects of assault, coercion or exploitation.




There is not a preponderance of the evidence that abuse or neglect has occurred or evidence gathered lends weight to the belief that abuse or neglect did not occur.


Critical Sources of Information Not Accessible/Unsubstantiated:


Critical sources of information necessary for establishing a preponderance of evidence cannot be found or accessed.



What is the Appeals Process for Substantiation?


Upon receipt of a Notice of Substantiation letter, the aggrieved party must request in writing the desire to appeal the substantiation of abuse or neglect. This request must be sent to the Child Protective Services Supervisor noted on the letter within 30 days of the receipt of the letter.


The aggrieved party will then receive a written notification of the next step to appeal the substantiation.


 La Crosse County, Wisconsin

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