DYS working on new child abuse case protocols


The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs’ Division of Youth Services is working with various agencies to clarify the proper standard procedures when it comes to dealing with child abuse cases, neglect cases, and juvenile probation cases.

DYS conducted a training to set such protocols last Aug. 9 with partner agencies Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Public Safety, Department of Corrections, Domestic Violence Intervention Center, Karidat, and the Northern Marianas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.

DYS administrator Vivian T. Sablan, in an email to Saipan Tribune, said a lot of thought has been put into child abuse cases, neglect cases, and juvenile probation cases because of the sensitivity of the situation.

She said there are cases where children answer back to parents with a disrespectful tone, while the parent, in an attempt to discipline the child, hits the child. Cases such as these were brought up during the meeting with other government agencies and whether it’s proper to file the case under juvenile probation or child abuse.

Sablan said it is a given that these types of cases are connected to one another and this was discussed during the training session earlier this month.

“The overall objective was to provide clarification on protocol matters for DYS on child abuse and neglect cases and juvenile probation cases all whom DYS comes into contact with from the moment a report is taken,” said Sablan.

Many points were tackled on the protocol training such as the notification of the DYS as soon as the DPS responds to child abuse and neglect cases, and the notification on needed forensic interviewing as DYS is the only agency that has trained forensic interviews. Sablan said the interagency meeting was a first and there would be many more to follow.

“This is the first official interagency meeting and subsequent meetings will be coordinated.”

She added talks about the new standard procedures will definitely bring forth changes at DYS. “The discussions will also have a significant impact in the DYS SOP details, which was also the reason the DYS/DOC legal counsels were present,” said Sablan. (Erwin Encinares)

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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