Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual

Child Support Cooperation

Revised:

26.5

VERIFICATION

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All good cause claims must be verified.Verification is primarily the responsibility of the caretaker except when the information is already known to the Department or when it is more reasonable for the caseworker to obtain the needed information.

 

The following documents are acceptable for such verification:

 

        Birth certificates, medical records, or law enforcement records that indicate that the child was conceived as the result of incest or forcible rape.

 

        Court document or other records that show that adoption or termination of parental rights legal procedures are pending.

 

        Court, medical, criminal, child protective services, social services, psychological or law enforcement records that show that the absent parent may inflict physical or emotional harm to the child or caretaker if cooperation is required.

 

        A written statement from a public or licensed private social agency that the caretaker is being assisted by that agency to decide whether to keep the child or relinquish for adoption.

 

        Notarized statements from individual other than the caretaker that have knowledge of the good cause circumstances.The statements should include what he/she knows about the situation and how he/she is in a position to know about the circumstances.

 

In some instances, the caretaker may claim good cause for physical harm and there is no documentary evidence.For example, some battered individuals have not reported prior abuse because of fear or embarrassment.In these cases a determination must be made to determine the credibility and reliability of the caretaker.Good cause may be granted in these instances if the physical harm can be reasonably anticipated and the case is fully documented to substantiate this decision.These decisions must be approved by the supervisor prior to granting good cause.

 

If the caretakerís statements and evidence are insufficient to make a decision about good cause, the caseworker may contact the absent parent if necessary.However, before contacting the absent parent, the caseworker must inform the caretaker so that he/she can provide additional verification, withdraw the application or have the case closed or withdraw the good cause claim.

 

Glossary

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