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

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The Hotline social worker determines, based on information received during the call, whether there appears to be sufficient evidence of neglect or abuse.  If sufficient evidence does not exist to suspect neglect or abuse, a referral remains closed and is "evaluated out of the system", and the family may be referred to voluntary services in the community.  If there does appear to be sufficient evidence of abuse or neglect, then a referral is opened and further assessment and investigation is begun. 

Under San Francisco's Differential Response model, the Hotline social worker determines the initial response path for all referrals. There are three possible initial response paths.

Path 1: Community Response - When there are no known safety issues and a low to moderate level of future maltreatment, the family is referred to voluntary support services in the community. This is the path for all referrals that are evaluated out of the system.

Path 2: FCS and Community Response - When the safety threat is assessed as moderate to high, a referral is opened. The response team may include a Public Health Nurse, CalWORKs worker or other representative who may already be working with the family.

Path 3: FCS only (and possible Law Enforcement) Response - When the safety threat is assessed as high to very high, a referral is opened.