Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual

Protection of Children




Table of Contents

The information has been provided from the Child Protective Services manual for the caseworker to use in evaluating whether child abuse/neglect might exist and/or whether a referral to Department of Childrenís Services for further evaluation is in order.


All Family Assistance staff is required to report knowledge of possible statutory rape, as they are required to report any kind of child abuse or neglect.In Tennessee, statutory rape is defined as:


        Consenting sexual penetration when the victim is at least 13 but less than 18 years old and the person he/she consented to have sexual penetration with is at least four (4) years older.Statutory rape is a class E felony.Punishment for a class E felony is a prison sentence ranging from 1 to 6 years.


        Contact your local Department of Childrenís Services (DCS) office and notify the Child Protective Services intake worker of a possible occurrence of statutory rape when a Families First applicant or recipient is:


-    A minor at least thirteen (13) years of age but less than eighteen (18) years of age, and is pregnant or has children; or

-    A parent, legal guardian or custodian on behalf of such a person; and

-    The father of the minorís unborn child or the father of her child(ren) is at least four years older than the minor.


Note: Do not question the pregnant minor regarding the age of the A/P as this is not information we normally gather prior to a childís birth.However, if information presented during the interview reveals that statutory rape is a possibility, contact DCS.Otherwise, A/P information can be collected when the child is born.


Either caseworkers or supervisors may report suspected statutory rape to DCS.Do not document your report in the eligibility and case management system.


Follow up the verbal report by documenting:


        The case name.


        The case number.


        The victimís name.


        The suspected perpetrator.


        The date the report was made to DCS.


        The name of the person who made the report to DCS.


        The name of the DCS Child Protective Services intake worker to whom the report was made.


Provide the statutory rape pamphlet to your clients at orientation and each application and renewal and make them available to your contract providers for distribution to your participants.



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