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New Jersey Department of Children and Families Policy Manual




Child Protection & Permanency

Effective Date:



Intake, Investigation and Response








SPRU Administration



Administrative Staff Responsibility & Supports Toward SPRU Operations




This issuance establishes the required supports and mandates to SPRU staff directed by CP&P administrative staff.




A)   Authority over SPRU Operations


The Area Director must exercise oversight and control over all SPRU operations.


B)   Local SPRU Protocols                                                     


Each county must initiate local protocols for SPRU administrative and/or case handling procedures in addition to the requirements imposed by manual policy.


Local SPRU protocols must be:    


·                   In writing by the Area Director or designee Local Office Manager responsible for SPRU;

·                   Approved by the Area Office or designee, if circumstances are controversial, unusual, or involving costs; and

·                   Distributed by the SPRU Coordinator to all SPRU Workers and SPRU Supervisors serving the county. (See CP&P-II-D-2-800, The SPRU Response Kit).


The Area Director or designee is responsible for advising SPRU staff of any special arrangements or local affiliation agreements regarding reportable conditions or procedures to be followed when contacting the County Prosecutor  after-hours operation.


C)   Reporting Critical Incidents


Area Directors and the Director of IAIU must be contacted after-hours by Local Office Managers, SPRU Supervisor, or SCR staff to handle critical incidents and child deaths or near fatalities. (See CPP-IX-D-1-100, Critical Incident Reporting, and CPP-VIII-A-1-100 ,Child Fatality and Near Fatality Reporting). Each Administrator appoints a member of his or her staff to be his or her designee, to be contacted after-hours in the event that he or she cannot be reached.


D)   Local Office Managers


Upon approving an employee to serve as a SPRU Worker or SPRU Supervisor, (particularly for more than one county) the Office Manager, unit Supervisor, or CP&P Administrator must recognize that the employee will require release time from his or her regularly assigned duties to attend SPRU meetings held individually for each county or Area SPRU operation for which he or she serves.


Release time may also be needed, on occasion, to enable the employee to serve DCF by testifying at court, consulting with day staff or law enforcement, or performing other duties in follow up to SPRU service. (See CPP-II-D-2-700, Field Response Times - Follow Up Next Work Day, CPP-II-D-1-100 - SPRU Personnel Management - SPRU Coordinator).                                                         


All LO Managers must assemble and distribute a list of the LO's professional staff to facilitate SCR or SPRU contact with staff after-hours, when necessary. Components must include:


-       An alphabetized listing of professional staff, indicating their State-issued cellular phone number, personal cell phone numbers or an alternate number that staff can be reached. 


-       Field unit breakdowns (indicating each Supervisor and the Workers in each unit); and


The LO Manager must provide copies to:


-       SCR;

-       The SPRU Coordinator; and

-       The Area Office.


E)   Statewide SPRU Coordinator Committee


The CP&P Director or designee chairs the Statewide SPRU Coordinator    Committee comprised of all SPRU Coordinators. This committee must review, clarify, and develop new policy and procedures to facilitate SPRU matters.



  1. Responsibilities of the Area Director or Designee Regarding SPRU operations include:




·         Appointing, training, and supervising the SPRU Coordinator;


·         Maintaining an adequate number of qualified SPRU Workers available for SPRU assignments. (See  CP&P-II-D-1-200, SPRU Coverage System, Roster and  Registering for Duty);


·         Approving candidates for SPRU Worker service (certify the employee, approving him or her to serve the local SPRU operation for one year);


·         Developing and enforcing a local protocol, which assures that the SPRU Worker registers for SPRU in accordance with CPP-II-D-1-200, SPRU Coverage System, Roster and Registering for Duty. The protocol establishes steps to be taken if SPRU staff repeatedly fails to register for coverage within these parameters and time frames;


·         Developing a local protocol to assure children report to school the first school day after they are placed out-of-home after-hours by SPRU. (See CP&P-VII-A-1-100 Educational Stability, and CP&P-VII-A-1-700, Educational Stability for Children Placed in Resource Family Homes);


·         Auditing and/or terminating individual SPRU Workers from SPRU service, when necessary. (See CPP-II-D-1-100, SPRU Personnel Management , Audit of Individual SPRU Worker);


·         Assuring programmatic and fiscal accountability for work done on SPRU;


·         Assuring and coordinating SPRU candidates attendance at SPRU training and other required training as necessary;


·         Developing and enforcing local guidelines for integrating new SPRU hires into the local SPRU roster, including follow-up to formal SPRU training, inclusion in the SPRU roster upon successfully completing a "probation" period, etc.;


·         Familiarizing SPRU staff with procedures to follow when intervening on military bases located within the county, as applicable. (See CPP-II-C-5-600 CPS Intervention on Military Installations);


·         Addressing unresolved questions or differences between the SPRU Supervisor, SPRU Worker, the assigned Worker/Supervisor, and/or other LO or other DCF/CP&P staff;


·         Reporting to the Area Director any special SPRU need, problem, issue or question, including recommendations for resolution;


·         Advising the Resource Development Specialist of any resource needs/service deficits in the county or throughout the Area;


·         Certifying the SPRU payroll and seeing that SPRU audit requirements are met. (See CPP-II-D-1-800 Annual Review of SPRU Operation);


·         Certifying (e.g., signing) the SPRU roster each year (at the end of a 12-month period), to document completion of the Annual Certification of SPRU staff serving the local SPRU operation. (See CPP-II-D-1-700 Annual Certification of SPRU Staff);


·         Reviewing each exceptional hire, and determining whether his or her services are needed beyond the specified period of hire. (See CP&P-II-D-1-100 Exceptions);


·         LO Managers recommend and/or approve his or her field Worker to serve as SPRU Workers for SPRU operations in other counties. The Managers from the two offices are encouraged to converse about the candidate's work performance, expertise, and experience (See CP&P-II-D-1-100, SPRU Operations Record Keeping).


·         Rescinding approvals on eligibility of SPRU Worker staff serving in county and/or out of county, when that staff member's work performance falls below acceptable level;


·         The head of the respective county SPRU Chain of Command (see CP&P-II-D-1-100, Chain of Command, Local SPRU Operations) contacts the designated, on-call Executive Staff member after-hours to report critical incidents and child deaths or near fatalities. (See CP&P-IX-D-1-100, Critical Incident Reporting, and CP&P-VIII-A-1-100, Child Fatality and Near Fatality Reporting);


Designated Executive Staff may be contacted during non-business hours by SCR for special approvals, assistance, direction, and/or advocacy on an emergency, on an as-needed basis. Upon request, SCR assists the SPRU or IAIU Supervisor to contact or consult:


-       The CP&P Director's Office, for unusual Local Office related situations; and

-       The Director of the Office of Legal Affairs for matters relevant to institutional abuse/neglect (IAIU).


In addition, Executive Staff may be contacted by SCR after-hours employees to assist with inter-departmental and/or intra-departmental problems, issues, or concerns requiring immediate attention. Current home telephone numbers and cellular phone numbers necessary to contact Executive Staff members are posted at the SCR Center at all times.



2.    Director of IAIU Responsibilities                                   


The Director of IAIU is responsible for IAIU operations during work-hours as well as after hours. A Coordinator is designated to assist the Director of IAIU in overseeing the IAIU After-Hours operation, including:

    Appointing qualified IAIU After-Hours Consultants based on staffing needs (See CP&P-II-D-1-100, IAIU After-Hours Consultants Eligibility);


·         Assuring IAIU After-Hours Consultants s are adequately trained; 


·         Circulating a monthly IAIU After-Hours Consultants schedule, and providing it to SCR and IAIU staff;


·         Receiving and reviewing IAIU Form 6-2a, IAIU Consultant Log (After-Hours Response). Following up, as necessary;


·         Developing and enforcing a protocol that assures IAIU After-Hours Consultants register for duty per CPP-II-D-1-200, SPRU Coverage System, Roster and Registering for Duty. The protocol establishes steps to be taken if on-call staff repeatedly fail to register for coverage within prescribed parameters; and


·         Developing and enforcing guidelines for integrating new hires into the IAIU After-Hours Consultant roster.

3.    Role and Responsibilities of IAIU Coordinator         

A Coordinator has administrative responsibilities for the IAIU after-hours operation on a statewide basis, including:

·         Serving as "designee" for the Director of IAIU on all SPRU-related matters;


·         Maintaining a monthly IAIU After-Hours Consultant coverage schedule by:

-   Making the schedule;

-   Providing IAIU Consultants a reasonable opportunity to secure shifts on that schedule;

-   Assuring an IAIU After-Hours Consultant  is assigned to each shift on the schedule;

-   Distributing the schedule to SCR and the IAIU After-Hour Consultant no later than two weeks in advance of the scheduled coverage period;

·         Processing the IAIU After-Hours Consultant payroll;


·         Staffing the IAIU After-Hours Consultant operation with trained, qualified, available staff; 


·         Processing IAIU Form 6-2a, IAIU Consultant Log (After-Hours Response);


·         Providing feedback to IAIU Consultant regarding the quality of his or her performance;


·         Recommending discipline or termination of  the IAIU After-Hours Consultant to the Director of IAIU; and


·         Reporting after-hour trends, questions, resource needs, and problems to the Director of IAIU.

4.    Contacting the Deputy Attorney General                   


A monthly DAG schedule is provided to all SPRU Staff monthly.  SPRU Staff should only reach out to the on-call DAG for legal advise around a complex SPRU intake.


5.    CP&P After-Hours Pediatric Medical and Psychiatric Consultation Protocol


Pediatric Medical Consultants (physicians based at CARES Institute) are on-call 24 hours, seven days a week, and are available to CP&P field staff and SCR staff for consultation on individual medical cases. Calls received after hours (5 pm to 9 am on business days, and weekends and holidays) will be taken by the scheduled, on-call Pediatric Medical Consultant. The number to call is 1-866-930-2316.   


The SPRU Worker consults the SPRU Supervisor if the Cares Physician Consultation is needed.  SPRU may be dispatched to obtain parental consent when appropriate.


See CP&P After-Hours Pediatric Medical and Psychiatric Consultation Protocol