This section shows how to assess if children qualify for protective services.
Defining protective services
Qualifying for protective services reduces the number of eligibility requirements. Having fewer eligibility requirements reduces the burden of applying and processing the application. Whether a child is in need of protective services is not determined by federal law and does not need to be based on placement in the state’s foster care system. Instead, Lead Agencies must define protective services, preferably in a way that best serves their community.
What information should I capture?
Include a Yes or No question for each situation defined as qualifying for protective services. This question should ask whether the situation applies to the family applying.
When an applicant answers Yes to any of the included questions, OCC recommends not asking
- Whether parents are working. Parents are not required to work when their child qualifies under the Lead Agency’s definition of protective services.
- Whether parents are attending school or job training. Parents are not required to attend school or job training when their child qualifies under the Lead Agency’s definition of protective services.
- About family income. Lead Agencies can waive income requirements on a case by case basis when a child qualifies under the Lead Agency’s definition of protective services. OCC recommends asking for family income only if it is needed to make an eligibility determination.
Example application screen
Ask about situations that qualify for protective services
Each Lead Agency will need to include their own set of qualifying situations.
What's included in the Guide
Defining, collecting, and verifying eligibility information