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Human Services Agency of San Francisco
Department of Aging & Adult Services * Department of Human Services

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Based on the report, Hotline staff will determine the level of risk to the child. Hotline social workers utilize a standardized, research-based assessment tool known as SDM-Structured Decision Making to help identify the risk and safety factors, and to determine the type of initial response that is required.

Key questions at this stage include:

  • Is the child in imminent danger?
  • What is the risk of maltreatment?
  • What are the family's strengths and resources?
  • Does the suspected child abuse meet the legal definition of abuse or neglect?
  • Is an in-person response required, and if so, how quickly?