§4 ch8: Ongoing Casework For Out-of-Home Care
8.1 Services for Family-Centered Out-Of-Home Care
Activities for Ongoing Casework:
- Present the case at each Family Support Team (FST)/Permanency Planning Review Team (PPRT) Meeting.
- Implement the treatment plan using steps outlined in Chapter 7 of this section.
- Continue placement support services:
- Make necessary plans for the child who may require a different out-of-home care setting.
- Utilize the Family-Centered Services Family Assessment, CD-14, packet tools to assess the family and provide services to the parents and child. All parents should be given the opportunity to be involved in the assessment process. It is important to assess each parent to obtain a thorough understanding of the family functioning. Ongoing case management after the initial 30 days requires a minimum of one face-to-face visit in the parental home per month between the worker and the parents. If the parents do not live together, a minimum of one face-to-face visit in each home per month must be conducted. The Parental Home Visit Checklist, CD-83, should be utilized to document any safety concerns with the household for home visits and possible reunification, as well as topics discussed with the parents, which address the case plan and the achievement of case goals. The form should be retained and kept in the Assessment and Services Section of the case record:
- Continue any needed referrals and assistance to the parent(s) for accessing primary and preventive health care, including prenatal care, well-baby and postnatal care.
- Assess progress at each FST/PPRT meeting, renegotiate the plan if necessary and determine permanency options:
- Placement with a Fit and Willing Relative; or
- Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA).
NOTE: When reunification with the natural parents is the goal, steps should be taken as quickly as possible to achieve it. Concurrent planning also begins at initial out-of-home placement.
Close attention must be given to permanency plan achievement for children receiving out-of-home care services. Administrative reviews, court reports, court hearings, and FSTs all combine to assist in achieving and protecting the child’s right to a permanency family who accommodates the child’s special needs and best interests.
- Include both parents in the development of the Child Assessment and Service Plan, CS-1, which will be presented at the 30 day Family Support Team meeting, and every 30 days thereafter until adjudication. The CS-1 should be updated every six (6) months after adjudication and when there is a major change to the case such as a change of the permanency plan or placement change.
- Review decision with both parent(s).
- Provide "What’s It All About? A Guidebook for Youth In Out-of-Home Care", for all youth coming into care ages 14-21, or turning 14 while in care.
- Assess youth’s (ages 14 - 21) strengths and needs by completing the Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment and the Life Skills Strengths/Needs Assessment Reporting Form, CD-97. Develop the Adolescent FST Guide and Individualized Action Plan, CD-94, for presentation at the first six (6)-month PPRT meeting and each subsequent PPRT. The youth must be engaged during the case planning process/assessment and should acknowledge his/her personal responsibility for the success of the plan. The Children’s Service Worker should also involve in the assessment and case plan development the:
- Birth/foster parents; and
- Residential treatment provider, if placed in residential treatment.
- Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) Contracted Worker (once youth has been referred for CFCIP Services).
- Refer youth, ages 14 through 21 to the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP), by submitting a referral form to the Older Youth Transition Specialist.
- If the youth resides in a county other than the case manager county, the Children’s Service Worker in the youth’s county of residence shall help facilitate the completion of the Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment by the resource provider and youth. The Children's Service Worker will also assist with the completion of the Life Skills Strengths/Needs Assessment Guideline Questions, CD-96, and the Life Skills Strengths/Needs Assessment Reporting Form, CD-97. The Adolescent FST Guide and Individualized Action Plan, CD-94, shall be completed by the case manager with the assistance of the service worker.
- Add recommendations of the FST/PPRT to the Child Assessment and Service Plan, CS-1, and CD-94 for youth 14 or over.
- Submit a report to the court outlining the recommendations from the FST/PPRT and any other necessary information:
- A completed CS-1 and CD-94 for youth ages 14 or over should be submitted to the court.
- Request the court amend the current court order if placement/services recommended in the long-term permanency treatment plan are deleted or if the permanency goal changes.
- Obtain court approval for the permanency option chosen and any recommendations made in the court report.
- Begin implementation of decision, referring to pertinent procedures.
- Continue efforts to locate absent parent(s).
- Record all activities every 30 days.
- Begin TPR actions, if adoption was the permanency option chosen.
- Review with immediate supervisor monthly all cases that have not resulted in a child’s permanent placement, in the case of infants, such case reviews shall occur weekly.
- Develop other permanency options (concurrent planning) if adoption is not likely and reunification is not possible.
- Continue reports to court as necessary.
- Request the court amend the current court order if any treatment services or permanency options change.
- Seek administrative review in the last 30 days of each treatment period as follows:
- From the Circuit Manager or his/her designee by the end of each treatment period.
- From the Regional Director or his/her designee by the end of the fifth treatment period (15 months).
- Circuit Managers may request a Regional Director review at any time if the case assessment indicates major barriers exist in achieving the treatment plan.
- Seek additional reviews from the Regional Director and/or Central Office, if the following conditions appear to exist:
- Return of the child to the biological family is unlikely;
- The court has taken no action regarding the Division’s request to file a TPR request;
- The court has denied a termination of parental rights petition; or
- Other barriers are identified which impede case progress.
If a child remains in out-of-home care beyond 15 months, the total situation must be aggressively evaluated keeping in mind the principle of permanency planning.
If return of the child is unlikely or TPR action is deemed impossible, a guardianship plan must be discussed through supervisory channels.
Regional office can seek case review assistance from Central Office, if necessary, to aid in permanency plan achievement to prevent foster care drift. The request to Central Office should be submitted with appropriate materials including an assessment of the major barriers to case progress.