Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

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First Section: 4.55.1 Pregnant Youth
Last Section: 12.3 Foster and Adoptive Home Applicant Assessment
Last Section: 12.3.0 Foster and Adoptive Inquiry

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Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual

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4.55.1 Pregnant Youth

Chapter:
Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
Effective:
11/18/2015
Section:
4.55.1 Pregnant Youth
Version:
3

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Ensures that the youth receives a physical examination, following the guidelines in Chapter 4.26 Meeting Basic Health Care Needs for confirmation of pregnancy and to determine when the  baby is due to be born when pregnancy of a committed youth is suspected;
  2. Refers the youth for medically complex designation at any time during the pregnancy, if it is determined that the pregnancy is high risk or that the fetus has medical complications;
  3. For a pregnant youth, ensures that the youth is assessed if substance use/abuse is suspected;
  4. Ensures that the pregnant youth completes an online Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment to determine areas in which the youth has strengths and/or needs assistance for:
    1. Independent living by selecting the age appropriate assessments; and
    2. Pregnancy and delivery by selecting the Casey Inventory for Pregnant Teens (see Related Information for appropriate websites);
  5. Ensures that the pregnant youth:
    1. Attends all prenatal appointments; 
    2. Enrolls and attends all prenatal Lamaze classes when recommended by the medical provider; 
    3. Enrolls and participates in the HANDS program offered through the local health department;
    4. Receives mental health services, if needed;
  6. Convenes a family team meeting following the guidelines in SOP 1.7 Family Team Meetings  and includes participants including, but not limited to:
    1. The pregnant youth;
    2. The youth’s birth parents if no TPR;
    3. Suspected or confirmed birth father;
    4. Foster parents or private child care (PCC) worker;
    5. Regional Independent Living Coordinator;
    6. HANDS (health department) worker; and
    7. Mental health therapist, if applicable;
  7. Facilitates topics in the case plan meeting such as:
    1. Placement status and/or placement change to a:
      1. Foster home;
      2. Residential facility; or
      3. Transitional living placement;
    2. Information on making an informed decision about parenting, adoption or abortion;
    3. The youth’s educational progress, including options such as special educational services and/or tutoring if needed; and
    4. Referrals for services such as:
      1. Life skills classes, if not already completed;
      2. Parenting classes;
      3. Kentucky Organization for Foster Youth (KOFFY) meetings, if age 15 through age 18 and not yet in college;
      4. Kentucky Youth Connects (KYNEX) meetings, if age 18 or older and attending college; and
      5. Mentoring, if not already participating;
  8. Once the baby is born, the SSW:
    1. Ensures that the youth:
      1. Attends all post-natal checkups as scheduled; and
      2. Attends all well-baby checkups as scheduled;
    2. Requests paternity testing;
    3. Assists the youth with the following referrals:
      1. WIC program through the local health department;
      2. Family Support for needed services;
      3. Daycare assistance when the youth is ready to return to school and/or work; and
      4. First Steps, as needed. 

4.55.2 Family Planning for Pregnant Youth

Chapter:
Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
4.55.2 Family Planning for Pregnant Youth
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

  • N/A

Procedure

  1. The SSW discusses the subject in a factual, objective manner, as with any other medical reference when a child in OOHC requests information about:
    1. Abortion;
    2. Adoption;
    3. Keeping a baby; or
    4. Sterilization.
  2. If the SSW is not familiar with a subject, or is not comfortable discussing it with the youth, the SSW may request the assistance of staff or health professionals.
  3. The role of the SSW or other staff is to inform the youth about all possibilities and to remain neutral in presentation. 
  4. The person discussing options with the youth should be familiar with each option and the related regional or state resources, including:
    1. Available medical and adoption services;
    2. Financial support;
    3. Counseling; and
    4. Any other appropriate service.
  5. When the youth is aware of each option and asks for assistance with a referral, the person provides information that the youth needs to contact the resource.
  6. After the youth is aware of all options and has referral information, the SSW does not become directly involved in implementation of the youth’s plans.
  7. The SSW documents on TWIST contact screens that:
    1. The youth has been provided information about options and resources;
    2. Who provided the information; and
    3. The date on which the information was provided.

4.56 Use of Tobacco Products

Chapter:
Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
4.56 Use of Tobacco Products
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Does not purchase tobacco products for a child in OOHC;
  2. Informs non-relative caregivers (e.g. foster parents, private child care providers) that Kentucky law prohibits them from purchasing tobacco products for use by a child in their care;
  3. Assists the child and his/her caregiver in an attempt to eventually eliminate the child’s tobacco use, and lists efforts on the child/youth action plan section of the case plan if a child who enters OOHC uses tobacco products.

Practice Guidance

  • Family members of a child committed to the custody of the Cabinet are not permitted to purchase tobacco products for the youth.
  • Nicotine replacement products may be purchased (by the care provider, and reimbursed) and the SSW may seek assistance from the child’s physician. 
  • If the child is in a placement that does not offer smoking cessation services they may participate in smoking cessation services offered by local health departments or their contracted agents at no cost.

4.57 Photography, Videotaping or Audio Taping of a Child in OOHC

Chapter:
Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
Effective:
09/14/2018
Section:
4.57 Photography, Videotaping or Audio Taping of a Child in OOHC
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

A child in OOHC may not be depicted in a photograph, videotape or audiotape for promotional purposes, or in a manner that would cause the child or family to suffer discomfort or embarrassment.  A child should not be identified as a foster child in any type of publication or public exhibit. 

A consent form is not required for photographs or videotaping that occur as part of the child’s daily routine, and which are not intended for public viewing, such as family photos, photos for the child’s lifebook or case file, school/yearbook pictures, or videotape of a special event for the child. 

Photographs, videotapes or audiotapes of a child who is available for adoption and registered through the Kentucky Adoption Profile Exchange (KAPE) for the purpose of seeking and securing an adoptive placement for the child.  

A recent photograph may also be provided to law enforcement and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the event a child has gone missing.

 

Procedure

The SSW: 

  1. Upon a request for permission to photograph, video or audio tape a child in out of home care considers, on a case specific basis, the following factors:
    1. Nature of the request;
    2. Intended use of the photos or tapes;
    3. Desires of the child; and
    4. Desires of the child’s parent(s), if parental rights are intact; 
  2. Completes the DCBS-2 Release of Information for Photography, Videotaping or Audio Taping to approve the request;
  3. Obtains a DCBS-2 signed by the child’s parent, if parental rights are intact, whenever possible.

4.58 Mail to Child in OOHC

Chapter:
Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
Effective:
02/1/2015
Section:
4.58 Mail to Child in OOHC
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

  • N/A

Procedure

  1. Prior to TPR, Cabinet staff does not open letters to and from a child in OOHC, or withhold letters from a child, unless the court has issued an order prohibiting correspondence from any party to a child in OOHC, at which point the letters are turned over to the court. 
  2. A court order may be sought, upon approval by the FSOS, if the SSW feels that correspondence between a party and a child is detrimental to the child’s well-being.
  3. When correspondence to or from a child is limited or prohibited, the SSW:
    1. Explains the reasons to the child; and
    2. Communicates between the party and the child when appropriate.
  4. If contact between a child in OOHC and a party has been court ordered to be supervised or monitored, the Cabinet may screen correspondence prior to delivery to the child.
  5. When the SSW thinks a letter may upset the child, the SSW or caregiver is present when the child opens it.
  6. The FSOS is only able to approve intercepting or prohibiting correspondence to a child from a parent when:
    1. The parent’s rights have been terminated; and
    2. The mail may have a disruptive and destabilizing effect on the child, as determined by a qualified mental health professional. 

4.59 Change of Surname for a Youth in OOHC

Chapter:
Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
4.59 Change of Surname for a Youth in OOHC
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

  • N/A

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Considers whether there is a planned permanent living arrangement agreement or an adoption petition pending, and the wishes of the child, birth parents, and caregivers;
  2. Contacts the regional attorney or Office of General Counsel for guidance in the procedure with the approval of the FSOS. 1

Footnotes

  1. Caregivers are responsible for filing the petition and any associated costs.

4.60 State I.D. and Driver's License for Children in the Custody of the Cabinet

Chapter:
Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
Effective:
10/1/2018
Section:
4.60 State I.D. and Driver's License for Children in the Custody of the Cabinet
Version:
4

Legal Authority/Introduction

 

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

 
 

 

 

Procedure 

 

State Identification Card

 

  1. The SSW will provide youth in out of home care (OOHC) a signed copy of the Cabinet Verification of Youth's Custody/Commitment Status letter, signed by DCBS worker, indicating who is approved to sign for youth's application for a state identification card (I.D.).
  2. To apply for an I.D. the youth will provide the verification letter, original birth certificate, and social security card to the Department of Motor Vehicles
 

 Driver's Instructional Permit

 

 

 
  1. The SSW, or other Cabinet staff, may not sign an application for a driver’s license or permit for a youth in out of home care (OOHC) under the age of (18) eighteen, including children whose parent's rights have been terminated and are awaiting permanency.
  2. An application to obtain a driver's license or permit for a youth in the custody of the cabinet may be signed by:
    1. The youth's parent, legal guardian, grandparent, adult sibling, aunt or uncle, if parental rights have not been terminated;
    2. Another person who is at least age eighteen (18);
    3. The foster parent or caregiver with whom the youth resides when the reasonable and prudent parent standard is applied in partnership with the cabinet; or
    4. The youth, without another person upon verification:
      1. By the cabinet that the youth is in the custody or commitment of the cabinet; and
      2. That the youth has an insurance policy.
  3. The SSW, in collaboration with the youth's foster parent or caregiver, uses the reasonable and prudent parent standard to determine the youth's readiness to obtain an instructional permit and driver's license. 
  4. The independent living specialist (ILS) convenes and facilitates a meeting to discuss the requirements for applying for a driver's permit under the graduated driving program in Kentucky.  The meeting includes, but is not limited to, the following participants:
    1. SSW (as available);
    2. Child;
    3. Caregiver;
    4. Foster parent;
    5. Any other significant person in the child's life, who can assist in the determination.
  5. The independent living specialist (ILS):
    1. Reviews the DPP-17 Readiness for Driving Agreement and completes it with meeting participants during the meeting
    2. Informs the child, or other person signing the application is aware they will be held jointly liable with the minor for any damages caused by negligence;
    3. Informs the youth that the cabinet, or anyone who signs permission for the youth to obtain their permit or license, can file a verified request with the Transportation Cabinet to cancel a youth's permit or license, if at any time the child no longer meets the requirements to maintain a license.
  6. The ILS may hold follow-up meetings as necessary.
  7. The SSW provides the youth with a signed copy of the Cabinet Verification of Youth's Custody/Commitment Status letter, signed by the SRA or designee, if it is determined that the youth will be approved to pursue attainment of his/her permit or license. 1
 

 

 

Practice Guidance

 
  • As funds allow, youth in OOHC age sixteen (16) through twenty one (21) or their caregiver may request reimbursement, up to five hundred dollars ($500), for the cost of completing a state approved driver's education program. Caregivers should request reimbursement by providing proof of payment and the signed Cabinet Verification of Youth's Custody/Commitment Status letter to the regional billing specialist.  Youth should request reimbursement by providing itemized proof of payment to their regional independent living specialist.  Youth and caregivers can also request direct payment to the vendor by providing an invoice to the regional independent living specialist. 
  • As funds allow, caregivers of youth age sixteen (16) through eighteen (18) in OOHC can request reimbursement for the cost of adding youth to their personal vehicle insurance policy. Caregivers should request quarterly reimbursement via their monthly boarding statement.  Caregivers should provide a statement from their insurance company, detailing the added cost incurred for covering the youth, along with a the signed verification of commitment letter. 
  • If a youth causes damage to the caregiver's vehicle while driving, the caregiver can request reimbursement of their deductible, up to one thousand dollars ($1,000). The caregiver should submit proof of payment and signed verification of commitment letter to the regional billing specialist.
  • Central office staff on the Out of Home Care Branch are available for consultation and guidance as needed.
  1.  
  2. The child is required to provide a copy of their custody or commitment order to the SSW before verification of their custody/commitment status can be provided.

 

 

4.61 Employment for a Youth in OOHC

Chapter:
Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
4.61 Employment for a Youth in OOHC
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

  • N/A

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Ensures that the youth is assisted with structuring a budget after the youth obtains employment;
  2. Notifies the Children’s Benefits Worker (CBW) when a youth obtains employment, as the youth’s title IV-E reimbursability and eligibility may be affected;
  3. Consults with the CBW as to eligibility requirements for spend down coverage if the youth loses medical assistance benefits.

Practice Guidance

  • It is recommended that the youth spend at least fifty (50) percent of the money he earns as he chooses, and the remainder placed into savings for purchase of transportation or to meet expenses upon release from commitment.
  • When a major expenditure (such as purchase of a car) is part of the youth’s independent living services plan, the FSOS may approve a reduction of the savings percentage.

4.62 Household Work and Operation of Machinery

Chapter:
Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
Effective:
06/5/2013
Section:
4.62 Household Work and Operation of Machinery
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

  • N/A

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. And family’s team consider the youth’s age, maturity and abilities in considering whether a youth should be permitted to operate mechanized equipment under proper supervision;
  2. Documents the youth’s participation in household work or operation of machinery in the child/youth action plan portion of the case plan.

Practice Guidance

  • The family’s team considers the youth’s participation in household work activities that are appropriate for a youth of similar age, maturity, and abilities.
  • The types of jobs held by other children in the household or community may guide the family’s team in its decisions.
  • Special requests for activities such as hunting, tattooing, ear or body piercing, riding four wheelers, etc. are only granted with approval by the FSOS and:
    • The biological parent (if parental rights are intact); or
    • The committing court.

4.63 Athletic Program Participation

Chapter:
Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
4.63 Athletic Program Participation
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

  • N/A

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Seeks permission from the child’s birth parent to allow the child to participate in an athletic program if parental rights are intact;
  2. Is able to consent for the child’s participation if the birth parent is not available or will not grant permission for the child to participate.

Practice Guidance

  • Foster parents may not provide consent for a child’s participation in an athletic program.
  • When the sponsoring organization offers insurance coverage, arrangements are made for the child to participate in the insurance program, and the foster parents are reimbursed for its cost.

4.64 Census Count for a Youth in OOHC

Chapter:
Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
4.64 Census Count for a Youth in OOHC
Version:

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

  • N/A

Procedure

  1. The SSW assists the caregiver to properly count a child in OOHC during the U.S. Census.

Practice Guidance

  • The caregiver provides to the census enumerator:
    • The name of the child, as it has been given to the caregiver by the SSW;
    • Available information about gender, race and religion.

4.65 Credit Reports for Youth in Foster Care

Chapter:
Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
Effective:
09/30/2015
Section:
4.65 Credit Reports for Youth in Foster Care
Version:
3

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY: 

Procedure

For youth who are fourteen (14) and older

  1. Central office staff request a credit check annually for all youth who have attained fourteen (14) years of age and shares the results with the FSOS, who in turn, forwards them on to the appropriate SSW.
  2. If no credit history is found, the SSW discusses the results with the youth and maintains a copy in youth’s case file, annually. 
  3. If issues are discovered with the youth’s credit history, the SSW assists the youth in resolving these issues by following guidelines on:
    1. The Administration for Children and Families website; and
    2. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website.
  4. The SSW notifies the central office point person at (502) 564-2147, once issues are resolved. 

For youth who are eighteen (18) and older

  1. The SSW assists all youth, eighteen (18) and older, in   requesting and interpreting a credit check through AnnualCreditReport.com , until the youth exits care.
  2. If no credit history is found, the SSW discusses the results with the youth and maintains a copy in youth’s case file, annually. 
  3. If issues are discovered with the youth’s credit history, the SSW assists the youth in resolving these issues by following guidelines on:
    1. The Administration for Children and Families website; and
    2. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website.
  4. The SSW reports the following information to central office, via e-mail (chaffeeilp@ky.gov) or by telephone:
    1. Youth’s name;
    2. Date of birth;
    3. Social security number;
    4. Date credit check was requested online;
    5. Credit report outcomes; and
    6. Date any issues were resolved (as applicable).

Practice Guidance

  • During the case planning, tasks are added to the Independent Living Section of the case plan such as:
    • Central office staff will request an annual credit check for youth at age fourteen (14) through seventeen (17) and provide the results to the FSOS who will disseminate the results to the appropriate SSW. 
    • The SSW will assist in requesting an annual credit check for youth at age eighteen (18) until the child is discharged from care. 
    • The SSW will share the results of the credit check with all youth, fourteen (14) and up and provide additional information about why a credit check is necessary, how to dispute and what to look for when reviewing a credit report. 
    • Additional information can be found on the Federal Trade Commission’s website.
  • Central office staff works directly with the credit bureaus, TransUnion, Equifax and Experian, to request credit checks for youth ages fourteen (14) through and seventeen (17). 

4.66 Critical Situations

Chapter:
Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
Effective:
02/15/2012
Section:
4.66 Critical Situations
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

  • N/A

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Or other staff assigned by the SRA or designee, notifies the child’s family within one (1) working day when a critical situation occurs;
  2. Ensures that a report has been made to the following agencies, when the situation involves a report of suspected maltreatment:
    1. Appropriate regional office; and
    2. Division of licensed child care in the Office of the Inspector General;
  3. Refers all inquiries from the media to the Cabinet’s office of communications;
  4. Follows any additional regional procedures as appropriate. 

Practice Guidance

  • When a critical situation occurs, a caregiver initiates attempts to report the situation to the SRA or designee, immediately.
  • Critical situations include:
    • Serious illness or death of a child;
    • The child’s absence without leave (AWOL);
    • Possession of a deadly weapon by a child;
    • The child is an alleged victim or perpetrator of:
      • Abuse;
      • Neglect;
      • Physical assault; or
      • Sexual assault;
    • Alleged criminal activity by the child requiring notification of law enforcement; or
    • Suicide attempt of a child.
  • The PCC or PCP agency director or designee, submits a comprehensive written report regarding a critical situation to the SSW.

 

4.67 Locating Missing Children-Including Runaways

Chapter:
Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
Effective:
03/30/2016
Section:
4.67 Locating Missing Children-Including Runaways
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY: 

  • (35)

As part of P.L. 113-183 “Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act” DCBS is required to “implement specific protocols for expeditiously locating any child missing from foster care.”  This not only includes children who may have been abducted, but also children who have run away, sometimes referred to as AWOL.  

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Files a missing persons report with the local law enforcement agency (city, county or state) for any missing child that is committed to the Cabinet, no later than twelve (12) hours after receiving notification that a child has gone missing;
  2. Notifies the following agencies about the missing child immediately, but no later twenty-four (24) hours after a child has gone missing:
    1. Local law enforcement:  1
      1. Provide law enforcement any information that could aid in locating the child, at the time of the initial report, and any time new information becomes available;
      2. Provide a complete description of the child;
      3. Provide a recent photo (if available);
      4. Provides child’s possible whereabouts, known places or locations the child frequents, and known habits of the child;
      5. Provide the child’s date of birth, school, and grade;
      6. Describe the circumstances surrounding the disappearance/AWOL;
      7. Provide medical and/or dental providers’ names;
      8. Provide the complete name and description of (if applicable) the abductor, or the last person with whom the child was seen, or vehicle involved;
      9. Record the name and badge number of the officer who takes the report.  Find out who will follow up the initial investigation.  Also, be sure to request the case number of the missing persons report;
      10. Ask that all data regarding the missing child be entered into the Law Information Network of Kentucky (LINK) computer, National Crime Information Center (NCIC) 2 computer, and the Kentucky Missing and Exploited Children Unit;
      11. Double check to make sure that the Kentucky Missing and Exploited Children Unit receives a KSP 261 Missing Persons Report and a current photo so that a flyer can be distributed statewide and to surrounding states;
      12. Wait 24 hours and then check with the police to determine that the information has been entered. Ask to receive a copy of the printout, if desired. If the information has not been entered into the LINK and NCIC computers, then contact the Kentucky Missing and
      13. Exploited Children Unit and sign an affidavit that the local agency is in noncompliance with the law; and
      14. Request that you be kept informed on a regular basis of the status of the investigation; and
    2. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC): 2
      1. During office hours a web report to NCMEC may be made through the NCMEC microsite under the Report a Missing Child Here tab
      2. If urgent or after business hours call:  1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)
      3. Basic information you will always be asked to provide
        1. Child's full name
        2. Child's date of birth
        3. Date child went missing
        4. City and state from where child went missing
        5. Guardian information including agency name, and telephone
        6. Law enforcement information including agency name and telephone
        7. A recent photo of the child (if available)
      4. NCMEC also requests comprehensive information regarding the child in order to be able to effectively assist in locating the child. If it is available, physical descriptive information (e.g. height, weight, hair and eye color, clothing worn), any risks or endangerments to the child, circumstances surrounding the incident, and description of any person who may be with the child; 3
  3. Provides notice to the court of the child's disapperance within twenty-four (24) hours and requests a pickup order.  The SSW will request that the pickup order explicitly asks that the child be returned to DCBS or directly to a placement.  4
  4. Documents the details of their activities in case contacts;
  5. Attends court proceedings regarding the child upon his/her return to placement;
  6. Arranges transportation for the child to their placement resource upon th child's return;
  7. Interviews the child within forty-eight (48) hours of their return to evaluate the following:
    1. Factors that contributed to the child's disappearance;
    2. Current level of functioning;
    3. The child's experiences while missing;
    4. Screening for human trafficking victimization while absent from their placement; and
  8. Refers the child to the local child advocacy center (CAC), if applicable, and makes corresponding report to centralized intake as needed for any alleged maltreatment that occurred while child was AWOL.

Contingencies and Clarifications

  1. The SSW follows procedures listed in SOP 2.15.9 Investigations of Human Trafficking if a child reports being a victim of human trafficking, or is identified as a victim of human trafficking, after their return.
  2. If the SSW and the FSOS determine through consultation, that a habitual runaway status petition is necessary, they may initiate contact with the court designated worker to initiaite that action.

 

 

Footnote

  1. Information provided by the Kentucky Missing and Exploited Children .  Kentucky Missing and Exploited Children reporting/follow-up contact information is 1-800-KIDSSAF (1-800-543-7723).  Per the FBI, law enforcement agencies enter reports into NCIC that are accessible to law enforcement agencies nationwide.  Therefore, once DCBS reports a misssing child to local law enforcement, this information should be entered into NCIC.
  2. Information provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) .  NOTE:  Each worker can create an individual account on the NCMEC microsite unless region/county has one person designated to report missing children via the NCMEC online reporting microsite.  Multiple workers should never use the same NCMEC online reporting account.
  3. Law enforcement does not automatically report a misssing child to NCMEC.  NCMEC will not already have the requested information if it was previously reported to law enforcement.
  4. Filing a runaway petition in district/family court is a separate step from filing a report with law enforcement. Law enforcement does not file runaway petitions in court on missing children. An AWOL/runaway petition must be filed by parent/guardian/next of kin for any child not in the custody of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS).

5.1 Relative and Fictive Kin Evaluation and Placement Consideration

Chapter:
Effective:
04/1/2019
Section:
5.1 Relative and Fictive Kin Evaluation and Placement Consideration
Version:
1

​Legal Authority/Introduction

 
  •  

  •  

  •  

  •  

  • KY Acts Chapter 10 

 

Placement with a relative caregiver:

 

Placement with a relative is used as an alternative to foster care when the agency determines that a child can no longer remain safe in their home.  The term 'placement with a relative' applies when a child is placed with a relative via a prevention plan or through temporary or permanent custody, given by the court to the relative or the Cabinet.  Regardless of how the child came to be placed with the relative, P&P provides case management activities that seek to utilize a least restrictive placement, assist parent/caretakers in reunifying with their child(ren), providing supportive services to the relative and achieving alternative permanency for the child if reunification is not possible.

 

If the Cabinet is granted custody of the child, all applicable OOHC standard of practices (SOPs) are utilized.  If the child is placed on a prevention plan with a relative or in the custody of the relative, in home SOPs are applicable.  The following SOP is utilized for any placement with a relative regardless of who has custody.

Placement with a fictive kin caregiver:

 

Fictive kin are individuals who are not related to a child by birth, marriage, or adoption; however, they have developed an emotionally significant relationship with a child.  These individuals may include a trusted school teacher, coach or neighbor.  Fictive kin may be utilized when a child is removed from their home of origin and when no family members or relatives are identified as an appropriate placement option for a child. 

Practice Guidance

  • It is imperative to make a quality first placement for a child when placing with a relative or fictive kin caregiver.  This minimizes the number of placement moves for the child.
  • When a child is placed in a relative or fictive kin placement, all information remains in the case of origin.  A new case is not opened for this purpose.  If the relative or fictive kin resides in a different county than the primary caregiver, the case will remain where the primary caregiver resides.  The case is then shared with the county in which the relative or fictive kin caregiver resides. 
  • The decision to place the child with a relative or fictive kin is based on the child's needs and which setting is most suited to meet those needs.
  • Criteria for the SSW's assessment of whether it is appropriate to place a child with a relative or fictive kin caregiver may include, but are not limited to the:
    • Child's relationship with the relative or fictive kin;
    • Relative or fictive kin's ability to meet the child's basic needs;
    • Relative or fictive kin's ability to meet the child's medical, emotional, educational, or treatment needs;
    • Possibility of placing siblings together.
  • The DPP-1277 Safety Check and Review should be legible.  The document shall be electronically prepared and uploaded into iTWIST upon approval by the FSOS.
 
 

Placement with a Fictive Kin Caregiver:

 
 
 

The SSW is not obligated to search for or seek out fictive kin placements however may utilize fictive kin if presented with an appropriate option.  If a fictive kin caregiver becomes an approved foster home, per diem reimbursements will begin upon approval and will not be made retroactively.

Placement with a Relative Caregiver:

 
  • Relative Placement Support Benefits (RPSB) is provided one (1) time to facilitate the placement of a child with a non-parental relative if it is determined that a child is at risk of being placed in foster care, or is in the custody of the Cabinet and residing in foster care due to abuse or neglect naming the child's biological or adoptive parent as the perpetrator; or the death of both parents.
 
​Number of Eligible Children Maximum Payment Amount​
1​​ ​$350
​2 ​$700
​3 ​$1,050
4​ ​$1,400
​5 ​$1,750
6 or more ​ ​$2,100
 
  • Upon the initial relative's receipt of temporary custody of the child, the SSW completes the RPSB Payment Request form timely and emails the form to the Division of Administration and Financial Management (DAFM) at rpsbdafm@ky.gov for payment directly to the relative.  The relative should receive payment within seven (7) to ten (10) business days.
  • The full amount of RPSB is issued by check or electronic fund transfer directly to the relative to support the initial relative placement.
  • RPSB is available at the initial relative placement when the relative or Cabinet is granted temporary custody of a child.  Retroactive RPSB payments will be made no further than ninety (90) days prior to June 2, 2017, and are not available if the child moves to a subsequent relative placement.  Items purchased through RPSB follow the child(ren).  
 

Procedure

 

The SSW:

 
  1. May utilize fictive kin placements for children removed from their home of origin when biogical parents and other family members are not considered a placement option for a child;
  2. Assesses the relationship of the individual considered for fictive kin placement during the initial case planning conference.
  3. Informs potential relative or fictive kin caregiver immediately upon placement consideration they may apply to become a foster home while the child in their care is in the custody of the Cabinet; however, if they choose not to seek approval as a foster parent they will not have the option to do this at a later time after they have received temporary custody; 1
  4. Informs potential relative or fictive kin caregiver of the two permanency options that the caregiver may pursue per the Kentucky Relative Caregiver Program Brochure, Service Array Worksheet, and DPP-178 Relative and Fictive Kin Caregiver Acknowledgement Statement form;
    1. Caregiver obtains custody- Relative or fictive kin is granted custody, guardianship, or power of attorney (POA);
      1. Relative or fictive kin may be eligible for traditional benefits and supportive services, including but not limited to:
        1. KTAP, SNAP, KCHIP, child care assistance, and possibly other supports or forms of assistance;2 and
        2. Caregiver is initially granted temporary custody of the child and agrees to seek permanent custody of the child if the child cannot safely reunite with the birth or adoptive parent.
    2. DCBS obtains custody- Relative or fictive kin pursues approval as a child specific foster home per SOP chapter 12;
      1. Child enters and/or remains in the Cabinet's custody;
      2. The SSW or FSOS submits a copy of the completed section I of the DPP-1277 to the local recruitment and certification (R&C) supervisor within three (3) business days of the caregiver's decision;
      3. The SSW or FSOS submits a completed and signed copy of the DPP-1277 to the R&C supervisor upon completion;
      4. The R&C supervisor assists the relative or fictive kin caregiver with the foster care approval as outlined in SOP chapter 12;
      5. Caregiver completes training and foster home study requirements, background requirements, etc. per SOP chapter 12;
      6. Upon approval as a child specific foster home, caregiver is eligible to receive the child specific foster home per diem;
      7. Caregiver may also choose to pursue approval as a basic DCBS foster home and complete the requirements; and
      8. Caregiver agrees to pursue adoption of the child if the child cannot safely reunite with the birth or adoptive parent, or the caregiver may choose to pursue permanent custody.  If permanent custody is granted, the caregiver would be made aware that any per diem being provided would be discontinued.
  5. Advises the relative or fictive kin that the Cabinet must maintain custody of the child if the caregiver relative pursues foster or adoption certification;
  6. Advises the relative or fictive kin that financial assistance, outside of public benefits, is not available unless the caregiver is pursuing approval as a foster parent, and provides the Kentucky Relative Caregiver Program Brochure and Service Array Worksheet;
  7. Discusses the permanency options and provides relative or fictive kin with the Kentucky Relative Caregiver Program Brochure, Service Array Worksheet, and Acknowledgement form;
  8. Advises that the caregiver must make their decision of which permanency option best suits their family's needs by the initial court date;
  9. Ensures that the relative or fictive kin signs the Acknowledgment form prior to the first court date;
  10. Gathers the original signed Acknowledgement form from the caregiver and refers them to the local R&C team if the caregiver chooses to pursue approval as a foster parent (see SOP 4.10.4 Child Specific Foster Home); 3
  11. Refers the caregiver to other supportive services if the caregiver chooses not to pursue approval as a foster parent;
  12. Visits the relative or fictive kin home and if placement needs are immediate, conducts an initial placement assessment by completing section1 of the DPP-1277 Relative Home Evaluation, which includes:
    1. An evaluation of the home environment;
    2. The relative of fictive kin caregiver's willingness and ability to accommodate for the child within the home and meet the child's needs (e.g. providing for the child's sleeping and eating, maintaining, adequate heat and ventilation in the home, using active smoke detectors in home, assuring the child's inaccessibility to medication alcoholic beverages, poisonous or cleaning materials, ammunition, firearms, unsupervised contact with the child's birth parent, understanding the child's trauma, ability to seek treatment for the child as needed, etc.);
    3. Anticipated Relative Placement Support Benefit (RPSB) needed to provide for the child's immediate need for clothing, school supplies, additional furniture, or a deposit for a larger apartment after local community resources have been exhausted (is any);
  13. Conducts background checks on the relative and fictive kin home members consistent with SOP 4.5.4 Background Checks for Caregivers to include;
    1. Completion of iTWIST check;
    2. Criminal background check; and
    3. Sex offender registry address checks.
  14. Discontinues the home evaluation process if a negative background check is returned (refer to procedure #3 in SOP 4.5.4);
  15. Completes section II of the DPP-1277 Relative and Fictive Kin Home Evaluation, within thirty (30) working days, documenting the following factors;
    1. The relative or fictive kin caregiver's willingness and ability to protect the child from abuse or neglect and provide full time care;
    2. The relative or fictive kin caregiver's willingness and ability to participate in the child's case permanency plan;
    3. Discussion of permanency tracks and resource options with the family per the Kentucky Relative Caregiver Program Brochure and the family's ability to provide care for the child if they do not pursue approval as a foster parent, or are not eligible for other supportive benefits;
    4. Referral to the kinship support hotline and KY FACES for links to other appropriate supportive services; 4
    5. The relative or fictive kin caregiver's willingness and ability to access transportation, telephone, medical services, first aid supplies, the child's school, counseling and other needs for the child;
    6. The relative or fictive kin caregiver's willingness and ability to understand the impact that familial abuse, neglect or substance misuse may have on a child and the child's extended family;
    7. The results of the criminal background check(s), sex offender registry address check(s), and child abuse and neglect checks(s); and
    8. Assesses the family's current income and expenses taking into consideration outside resources including public assistance that may be used to support the family.  If there is an income deficit, the SSW discusses the feasibility of the placement and the relative's ability to meet the needs of the child both in the short and long term.
  16. Provides, at the home evaluation visit, a copy of Reporting Child Abuse Neglect and Dependency booklet to help relatives and fictive kin caregivers recognize and report child abuse or neglect, and documents this in the service recordings;
  17. Provides information, within the first five (5) days of placement, about the requirement to complete a Cabinet approved one and one half (1.5) hours of Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma (PAHT) training to individuals caring for a child under the age of five (5), and documents completion of the training in the hard file; 5
  18. Explains the Cabinet’s requirement to make monthly home visits, facilitate visitation between parents, children and siblings, and hold case planning conferences to meet the needs of the child and plan for permanency;
  19. Completes the DPP-1278 Relative Placement Support Benefit Acknowledgment Form with a relative caregiver based on needs identified and documented in the home evaluation;
  20. Submits to the FSOS, within thirty (30) working days of the placement, the completed DPP-1277 Relative and Fictive Kin Home Evaluation with attached background check documentation;  6
  21. Enters each child who is in the custody of the Cabinet and placed with a relative or fictive kin in the out of home care (OOHC) screens as described on the Entering a Child Placed with a Relative in TWIST tip sheet and submits the DPP-1279 Adding a Relative to the Resource Directory electronically in TWIST;
  22. Follows out of state placement guidelines when placing a child with relatives or fictive kin caregivers living in another state;
  23. Informs the caregiver of any history of inappropriate sexual acts or other behaviors of the child that indicates a safety risk for placement as would be the case with any other type of substitute care placement;
  24. Informs the caregiver within seventy-two (72) hours after receiving the information if such information is not known at the time of placement, per mandate; and
  25. Petitions the court for an exit to temporary custody or legal guardianship for a relative or fictive kin who does not complete foster home certification within four (4) months of the child's entry into the placement, and discusses the service array with the caregiver.  Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis.
 

Procedure for ICPC Requests for Fictive Kin Caregivers: 

 

The SSW:

 

Follows the same procedure in state placement procedures with the following exceptions:  

 
  1. Submits an ICPC request to the Kentucky Interstate office.  The signed Caregiver Agreement must be included with the request packet.  An expedited request cannot be completed since the Placement Resource (PR) is not a relative.  Not all states will accept fictive kin requests.  Contact the KY ICPC office to determine if the receiving state will accept a fictive kin request or if a foster home request will need to be submitted;
  2. Receives a completed home evaluation from the receiving state;
  3. Receives the one-time PAHT requirement from the PR prior to placement.  This can be completed while the home study is being conducted or once approval is received, but must be completed before placement is to occur.  The worker documents completion of the training in the case file and includes verification of completion with the 100B.  

​Footnotes

 
  1. The decision by the relative to pursue foster parent approval does not guarantee approval.
  2. Fictive kin caregivers are not eligible to receive the Relative Placement Support Benefit (RPSB).
  3. Retains the original signed Acknowledgement Form in the case file.
  4. Refer relative or fictive kin caregivers to the kinship support hotline and KY FACES for additional supportive services: 1-877-565-5608;  relative.supports@ky.gov; https://prdweb.chfs.ky.gov/kyfaces/.
  5. PAHT is a one-time requirement and may be viewed by the relative or fictive kin caregiver on the Cabinet's YouTube site (see link in Forms and Resources section). After completion of the training, the relative or fictive kin caregiver submits the Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma Certificate of Completion form to the worker, to be placed in the hard file. 
  6. The caregiver obtains a copy of the evaluation through open records.

 

5.2 Ongoing Services and Permanency for the Child Placed through Relative or Fictive Kin Placement

Chapter:
Effective:
04/1/2019
Section:
5.2 Ongoing Services and Permanency for the Child Placed through Relative or Fictive Kin Placement
Version:
1

​Legal Authority/Introduction

 
  • KRS Chapter 205

Practice Guidance

 

Upon the immediate placement of a child in a relative or fictive kin caregiver's home, the caregiver chooses which permanency and placement option best suits their family's needs.  They may choose between two options:

 
  1. Caregiver obtains custody-Relative or fictive kin is granted custody, guardianship, or power of attorney (POA); or

  2. DCBS obtains custody-Relative or fictive kin pursues approval as a child specific foster home per SOP Chapter 12.

Procedure

For relatives or fictive kin caregivers choosing option I (relative or fictive kin is granted custody, guardianship, or power of attorney (POA));

 
 

The SSW:

  1. Follows guidelines for case planning as outlined in SOP chapter 4;

  2. Follows guidelines for home visits as outlined in SOP chapter4;

  3. Continuously assesses the safety of the child in the home and any identified high risk patterns of behavior of the caregiver;

  4. Provides or facilitates access to supportive services for the relative or fictive kin caregiver and the child to prevent placement disruption, including case management, described in the child's permanency plan per SOP chapter 4 until the child has obtained permanency;

  5. Completes the following tasks every six (6) months of the child's placement with the relative or fictive kin caregiver who has custody of the child, 1

    1. Facilitates a meeting to review the child's case plan and placement;

    2. Determines, with the family team, if permanent relative or fictive kin placement is in the best interest of the child;

    3. Prepares a court recommendation pertaining to the permanent custody of the child when applicable; and

    4. Requests that the case be re-docketed for court action to determine permanent custody pursuant to KRS 620.027.

  6. Closes the case with the relative or fictive kin caregiver and child when:

    1. Permanent custody has been granted to the relative or fictive kin caregiver; or

    2. The child has achieved reunification, guardianship, power of attorney, or other permanency;

    3. Once the petition has been filed by a relative or fictive kin caregiver and the court declines to grant permanent custody, unless family has ongoing service needs.

  7. Develops an aftercare plan with the relative or fictive kin caregiver outlining community supports, including contact information for the Kinship Support Hotline and KY FACES. 2

 
 
 

Footnotes

  1. These tasks are completed at the twelfth (12th) month for kinship care cases.
  2. Kinship Support Hotline business cards may be printed from the Kinship Support Hotline Business Card Template in SOP 4.5.6; Ky FACES may be accessed at the following address; https://prdweb.chfs.ky.gov/kyfaces/ .

9.1 Introduction to Status Offender Services

Chapter:
Chapter 9-Status Offender Services
Effective:
01/22/2014
Section:
9.1 Introduction to Status Offender Services
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

  • N/A

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) has a statutory responsibility to provide appropriate services to children who have been placed on supervision or committed by the Family Status court or the District juvenile court to the Cabinet as status offenders.  

A status offense, as defined in KRS Chapter 600, is an act that can be brought before the court, which if committed by an adult, would not be a crime.  Such acts include, but are not limited to, beyond control of parent or school, truancy, runaway and/or alcohol and tobacco charges.

Services to status offenders and their families may include, assisting the court by preparing pre-disposition reports based on the assessment, working with community partners/agencies in order to provide diversion or treatment services in the home, arranging for appropriate family and individual counseling as needed and/or arranging for out of home placement in foster care or residential care as needed.

When a youth deemed to be a status offender is placed in out of home care, the SSW follows all out of home care SOP (Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services) in addition to the SOP found in this chapter when working with the youth and family.

 

 

 

9.2 Kentucky Status Offenders

Chapter:
Chapter 9-Status Offender Services
Effective:
07/1/2015
Section:
9.2 Kentucky Status Offenders
Version:
3

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Prior to any court action on any status offense complaint, the parties involved will meet with the Court Designated Worker (CDW) to determine if the complaint needs to be referred to the court, referred to a public or private social services agency and to enter a diversionary agreement. 

If the child successfully completes the diversionary agreement, the case is closed; however, failure to comply with diversionary agreement will result in a formal court referral.  If the court adjudicates the finding of status offender, the court can order DCBS to complete a predisposition investigation (PDI) report.  When this occurs, the SSW follows procedural steps laid out in this SOP.   

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Enters the intake a “Court Related/Status Offender” in TWIST;
  2. Completes Sections 1-5 of the Court Ordered Status Offender ADT, but does not finalize it or submit it prior to attending the court hearing; 1
  3. Takes the ADT sections that have been completed to court and utilizes it as the PDI. 2
  4. If the status offender is released at the dispositional hearing, the SSW:
    1. Completes Section 6 of the ADT;
    2. Selects “Close Referral” in the “Outcome” section; and
    3. Completes an Aftercare Plan.
  5. If the status offender is probated to DCBS at the dispositional hearing, the SSW:
    1. Completes Section 6 of the ADT;
    2. Selects “In home ongoing case” in the “Outcome” section;
    3. Develops an in home case plan; and
    4. Assists the family and child in accessing community services by completing the following:
      1. Referrals to family preservation services;
      2. Referrals to intensive in-home services;
      3. Referrals of the family to homemaker services;
      4. Short term crises intervention;
      5. Dispute mediation;
      6. Parent training; or
      7. Community restitution services; and
      8. Follows up with the community service provider to assure the completion, or lack thereof, of the community service if a child is to voluntarily perform community service as a diversion.
  6. If the status offender is committed to DCBS at the dispositional hearing, the SSW:
    1. Completes Section 6 of the ADT;
    2. Selects “Out of home ongoing case” on the “Outcome” screen;
    3. Selects the most appropriate, least restrictive placement type from the following options:
      1. Non-custodial parent;
      2. Relative placement;
      3. DCBS resource home (refer to SOP 4.10 Placement in a DCBS Resource Home);
      4. PCC foster home (refer to SOP 4.11 Private Child Placing (PCP) or Child Caring (PCC) Agency);
      5. Residential placement; and
      6. Out of state placement (relative, relative resource home, or residential placement) (refer to SOP 4.51 Out of State Placement); and
    4. Prepares for the Five (5) Day Case Planning Conference as outlined in SOP 4.17 Preparation for and Five (5) Day Conference.

Footnotes

  1. The SSW completes Sections 1-5 of the ADT in order to compile all necessary information for the PDI report.  The assessment should not be submitted or finalized in any way prior to attending court.  Once the court hearing is complete, the SSW can then complete the rest of the assessment based on what the court finds. 
  2. The purpose of the PDI is to lead the disposition hearing so that appropriate services can be ordered for the status offender.

9.3 In State Runaways

Chapter:
Chapter 9-Status Offender Services
Effective:
03/30/2016
Section:
9.3 In State Runaways
Version:
3

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

When a child is taken into protective custody by law enforcement and suspected of being a runaway, DCBS may become involved, if necessary.   In these circumstances, it is the police officer’s duty to notify the following people, in the following order:

  • Parent, guardian, or person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child;
  • The CDW;
  • The Cabinet or DJJ, if appropriate.

If the child is discovered to be a habitual runaway, as defined by 600.020(30), DJJ is responsible for assisting law enforcement; however, if the child is not a habitual runaway, it is DCBS that assists law enforcement. 

Procedure

Intervention Process for a Child Suspected to be a Runaway with No Current Open Investigation or Ongoing Case

The SSW:

  1. Assists the officer with temporary placement of the child; and
  2. Attends the detention hearing, as scheduled.
  3. If at the detention hearing the child is released to DCBS, the court will issue an Emergency Custody Order (ECO) (pursuant to KRS chapter 620), place the child with the Cabinet and the SSW files a petition with the court.
  4. At this point, the SSW:
    1. Enters the case as “Court Related Activities/Status Offender” in the intake screens in order for the Court Ordered Status Offender ADT to be completed;
    2. Determines if the child has needs that will impact placement (may consult with the family services office supervisor and regional staff to discuss the needs of the child from information provided on the placement summary request);
    3. Selects the most appropriate, least restrictive placement type from the following options:
      1. Non-custodial parent;
      2. Relative placement;
      3. DCBS resource home (refer to SOP 4.10 Placement in a DCBS Resource Home);
      4. PCC foster home (refer to SOP 4.11 Private Child Placing (PCP) or Child Caring (PCC) Agency);
      5. Residential placement; and
      6. Out of state placement (relative, relative resource home, or residential placement) (refer to SOP 4.51 Out of State Placement); and
    4. Prepares for the Five (5) Day Case Planning Conference as outlined in SOP 4.17 Preparation for and Five (5) Day Conference.

Intervention Process for a Runaway who is in an Open Case with DCBS

The SSW:

  1. Files a missing persons report, within twenty-four (24) hours, with the local law enforcement agency for all runaways who are committed to the Cabinet.  This will be entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC);
  2. Files a motion to redocket;
  3. Requests a pickup order if the child is in the custody of the Cabinet.

 

 

9.4 Runaways from Out of State

Chapter:
Chapter 9-Status Offender Services
Effective:
07/1/2015
Section:
9.4 Runaways from Out of State
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

  • N/A

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Notifies the Interstate Compact on Juveniles office at 502-573-2738 within twenty-four (24) hours, exclusive of weekends and holidays, in the event that a child from another state is picked up as a runaway;
  2. Refers the report to the Interstate Compact on Juveniles office if notification is received that a runaway child from Kentucky has been picked up in another state; 
  3. Assists the court (if court ordered) with locating a non-secure placement for the child until the home state is able to arrange return of the child.

Practice Guidance

  • The SSW may assist the court with locating a non-secure placement for the child until the home state is able to arrange return of the child. 
  • Issues related to reimbursement for placement are referred to the ICJ office.
  • An extradition hearing is held in Juvenile Court before a child is returned to the child’s home state.

 

9.5-Not Yet Utilized

Chapter:
Chapter 9-Status Offender Services
Effective:
07/1/2015
Section:
9.5-Not Yet Utilized
Version:
2

Not Yet Utilized. 

9.6-Not Yet Utilized

Chapter:
Chapter 9-Status Offender Services
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
9.6-Not Yet Utilized
Version:
1

Reserved for future use.

 

 

9.7 Intake and Investigation, Including Interviews

Chapter:
Chapter 9-Status Offender Services
Effective:
03/7/2014
Section:
9.7 Intake and Investigation, Including Interviews
Version:
4

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

Intake

The SSW:

  1. Makes a report to centralized intake (CI) to be entered as "Court Related/Status Offender;" and
  2. Meets with FSOS as needed to determine the most appropriate services.

Investigation

The SSW:

  1. Makes face to face contact with the parent/caretaker in their home during the course of the investigation, as soon as possible, and gathers environmental information, particularly as it relates to the status offender and other children living in the home;
  2. Conducts face to face interviews with:
    1. The status offender;
    2. All children in the home;
    3. All adults living in the home;
  3. Conducts interviews, as appropriate, with:
    1. Non-custodial or absent parents;
    2. Extended family members;
  4. Conducts collateral interviews to verify information obtained from other sources or to seek other information relevant to the investigation; 1
  5. Checks for prior reports and records for all adult household members, as soon as possible, via:
    1. TWIST;
    2. Mainframe databases including Child Abuse/Neglect checks (CA/N),
    3. EPO-DVO Search website (Refer to EPO-DVO Administrator User Guide,   EPO-DVO User Guide and TWIST Account Request with EPO-DVO); and
    4. Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) (Refer to AOC Instructions);
  6. Asks questions to assess risk and safety issues in the family regarding current and past issues regarding the following, when interviewing children, parents and collaterals: 
    1. Domestic violence;
    2. Substance use/abuse; or
    3. Mental health issues and learning disabilities (Refer to Mental Health/Illness Indicators Tip Sheet);
  7. Discusses with the parent/caretaker and/or status offender, past agency and/or criminal status history;
  8. Completes the investigative assessment and makes a determination of findings within thirty (30) working days of the report, unless it must be completed sooner based on an up-coming court date;
  9. Sends a notificationof findings letter, to the parent/caretaker, within ten (10) days of the FSOS's approval of the assessment;
  10. Assists the family in solving the status behavior/family issues;
  11. Refers the child and family to appropriate services and treatment as needed.

Interviewing


General interviewing protocol for investigations

The SSW:

  1. Determines whether the child(ren) or the parent/caretaker is interviewed first, giving consideration to the:
    1. Nature of the referral;
    2. Current location of child(ren);
    3. Indicated risk to the child(ren); and
    4. Known violence by the parent/caretaker;
  2. Conducts face to face interviews with:
    1. The alleged victim(s);
    2. All children in the home;
    3. The alleged perpetrator/caretaker;
    4. The non-offending parent/caretaker; and
    5. All adults living in the home;
  3. Observes the child for injury, general physical condition and parental interaction, if too young to be interviewed, and documents the information in the assessment;
  4. Assesses safety by considering the following:
    1. The age of the child(ren);
    2. Harm or threats of harm, and severity;
    3. Vulnerability and protective capacities of the child(ren);
    4. Capacity of the parent/caretaker to protect the child(ren);
    5. The perpetrator’s access to the child(ren); and
    6. Any other information necessary to determine the validity of the report, which may include interviews with the referral source, witnesses or other collaterals with relevant information about the family or the allegations;
  5. Makes face to face contact with the parent/caretaker in their home during the course of the investigation, promptly or as soon as possible, after interviewing the child(ren) unless there are documented safety issues;2  
  6. Notifies the parent/caretaker subject to an investigation of the allegations during the initial face to face contact pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 5106a by:
    1. Verbally informing the parent/caretaker of the basic allegations, void of any specifics that may compromise the investigation;
    2. Verbally informing the parent/caretaker that they will be provided notification of the findings upon completion of the investigation; and
    3. Providing the parent/caretaker a copy of the DPP-154 Protection and Permanency Service Appeal explaining the parent's/caretaker's right to file a complaint and who they can contact to do so; 
  7. Documents the verbal notification of the allegations in TWIST;
  8. Conducts the aforementioned procedures during the initial face to face contact in the child’s home, if the identity of the alleged perpetrator is unknown at the outset of an investigation, with the:
    1. Parent;
    2. Guardian; or
    3. Adult caretaker;
  9. Maintains the confidentiality of the referral source/reporting individual’s identity at all times during the investigation, unless ordered to report such by a court of competent jurisdiction;
  10. Conducts interviews, as appropriate, with:
    1. Non-custodial or absent parents;
    2. Extended family members; and
    3. The referral source when contact information is available for that individual;
  11. Identifies the referral source as a collateral source, rather than the referral source in TWIST to maintain confidentiality;
  12. Conducts collateral interviews to verify information obtained from other sources or to seek other information relevant to the investigation; 3  
  13. Requests the assistance of the regional attorney and/or law enforcement  if a family or individual fails to cooperate with an investigation; 4
  14. With the FSOS, consults with the regional attorney, as needed, when there are concerns regarding the sharing of information;
  15. Shares additional information with the reporting source, after consultation with the FSOS, if the reporting source is a person in a continuing and ongoing professional relationship with the child or family (such as a physician, therapist, family resource center staff, health department staff or teacher) and meets the standard under KRS 620.050 as having a legitimate interest in the case;
  16. Completes the following tasks if a determination is made that the reporting source has a legitimate interest:
    1. Informs the reporting source with legitimate interest that the information is being shared based upon the conditions of KRS 620.050 and information may not be further shared with others; 
    2. Shares information that may be relevant with the person with legitimate interest that is specific to the child, summarizing services the parent/caretaker may be receiving to address abuse or neglect issues including:
      1. Concerns related to safety issues for the child;
      2. Domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health history or learning disabilities of the parent/caretaker; or
      3. The finding of an investigation.

Interviewing protocol when child/family member resides out of state/county

The SSW:

  1. Contacts the county in the state where the perpetrator resides and requests that services be provided to the perpetrator;
  2. Contacts the appropriate law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where the alleged incidents were reported to have occurred for assistance, when assigned a sexual abuse investigation;
  3. Follows these procedures when the Cabinet receives a referral of abuse or neglect that occurred in another state, but the child is now residing in Kentucky:
    1. Contacts the social service agency in that state to make a referral and Cabinet staff interviews the child at the request of the out of state agency;
    2. Assesses the current safety of the child due to risk of harm should the other agency not request interviews;
    3. Completes the referral here, if the entire family is living in Kentucky; however, the SSW will: 
      1. Notify law enforcement in the other state; and
      2. Document this notification;
    4. Makes attempts to locate the family through the following methods if a family moves during an investigation:
      1. Family Support;
      2. The school system;
      3. Driver’s licenses; or
      4. Any other methods of locating available;
  4. Shares the case so information can be entered in TWIST and requests onsite interviews of individuals needed to complete the referral if the investigation has been initiated with an interview of the child and the family moves; 
  5. Follows these procedures, after consultation with the FSOS, when requesting interview assistance:
    1. Calls the county intake with the following information:
      1. The name and location of the individual(s) to be interviewed;
      2. The specific information, if any, that needs to be obtained during the interview; and
      3. The name and location of any collateral contacts that need to be interviewed;
    2. Sends a follow-up request in writing (by email or fax);
  6. Follows these procedures, after consultation with the FSOS, when requesting documentation assistance:
    1. Calls the centralized intake team with the exact documentation needs, including the contact’s:
      1. Name;
      2. Address; and
      3. Phone number;
    2. Shares the case with the county providing the onsite services;
  7. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 3.2 Timeframes and Ongoing Service Requirements for All In Home Services Case Planning or SOP 4.14 Timeframes for All OOHC Cases for referrals that result in a case being opened for ongoing services.
  8. The SSW providing the onsite services completes and documents all information in TWIST within fourteen (14) working days.

Practice Guidance

The following are examples of how DCBS may become involved with a child determined by the court to be a status offender:

  • Order from judge requesting a pre-disposition report;
  • Order placing child on court ordered supervision/probation to DCBS;
  • Order committing a child as a status offender to DCBS.

 

  • An extension may be granted for completing an investigation by the FSOS as specified in SOP 2.30 Completing the Assessment, and is documented in the assessment. 
  • To provide continuity of services to the families and children served during an investigation, it is preferential for the assigned worker to complete all interviews if the distance is not prohibitive.
  • Referrals are assigned and initiated  in the county where the victim resides.
  • An onsite request to another county or region for information regarding an investigation is made to assist in obtaining:
    • Interviews;
    • Police reports;
    • Hospital or other medical records; and
    • Legal documentation (from courthouse, etc.).
  • Any request to another county or region for onsite services, particularly in regards to initiation of an investigation, for the purpose of interviews, will be completed within the same timeframes as any other investigation as outlined in SOP 2.10 Initiating the Report.

Filing out of county/region petitions

  • A petition may be filed regarding a family either in the county where they reside or where the incident occurs. The former is preferred to avoid unnecessary travel for the family.
  • In cases where abuse, neglect, or dependency petitions have been filed, the investigating SSW who filed the petition(s) and the onsite SSW attend the court hearing.

 

Footnotes

  1. Appropriate collaterals may include persons in the community such as school personnel, medical personnel, relatives, law enforcement, etc.
  2. It is important to gather environmental information, particularly as it relates to the allegations.
  3. Appropriate collaterals may include persons in the community such as school personnel, medical personnel, childcare providers, neighbors, relatives, law enforcement, etc.  
  4. Law enforcement may seek a search warrant or other judicial relief.

9.8 Dispositional Report for Status Offenders

Chapter:
Chapter 9-Status Offender Services
Effective:
01/10/2011
Section:
9.8 Dispositional Report for Status Offenders
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY: 

  •  

Status offenders ordered to be detained by the court pending adjudication and disposition may be placed in a non-secure facility, a secure juvenile detention facility, or a juvenile holding facility.  DCBS is not responsible for the cost of the placement until the court renders a final disposition and commits the child to the Cabinet.

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Prepares a dispositional report if so ordered by the court;
  2. Files the report using the form and format specified by the court, to the court and the legal counsel for all parties three (3) days prior to the dispositional hearing.

Practice Guidance

  • The pre-disposition report provides relevant information on the child and family and is presented to assist the court in making a dispositional finding. 
  • A report is prepared after the child has been adjudicated unless waived by the child. The child can determine that no pre-dispositional report is needed. 
  • Recommendations for status offenders include:
    • Supervision/probation to DCBS for a period of ninety (90), one-hundred, twenty (120), or one-hundred, eighty (180) days; and
    • Status commitment to DCBS for the purpose of treatment.

9.9 Assessment

Chapter:
Chapter 9-Status Offender Services
Effective:
01/22/2014
Section:
9.9 Assessment
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

  • N/A

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Assesses the family and status offender based on the information gained from family and collateral interviews; 
  2. Identifies safety and risk issues for all children in the home, including assessment of current and past domestic violence, substance abuse and mental health issues, and documents in the assessment;
  3. Assesses and considers:
    1. The age of the child(ren);
    2. Severity of exhibited status behaviors (i.e. running away, physical altercations with family members, truancy, substance abuse, etc);
    3. Capacity of the parent/caretaker to supervise/protect the child(ren);
    4. Any other information necessary to determine the interventions needed to alleviate the current situation which may include interviews with school personnel, therapists and other community agencies;
  4. Completes the timeliness of initiation template in the Chronology section of the assessment; 1  
  5. Completes the assessment within thirty (30) working days. 

Practice Guidance

  • All interviews, information gathered or steps taken to assess family and status offender during the investigation or assessment are documented in the assessment.  Dates, times and locations of all interviews are also documented in the assessment.

Footnotes

  1. The number of these attempts and their frequency are based on the risk to the child(ren) such as age, current allegations, agency history etc. and in consultation with the FSOS.

9.10 In Home Case Planning

Chapter:
Chapter 9-Status Offender Services
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
9.10 In Home Case Planning
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Receives a court order that delineates the terms and conditions with which the child is to comply when the judge orders DCBS to provide supervision;
  2. Meets with the child and family within five (5) working days after case assignment to begin developing the family case plan;
  3. Updates the case plan every six (6) months, or when significant changes occur. 

Practice Guidance

  • The case plan for a child who will reside in their own home or a relative placement includes:
    • Provisions for curfew;
    • The worker’s frequency of supervisory contact with the child;
    • Provisions for appropriate educational and health services;
    • Schedule for counseling the child and family;
    • Plans for aftercare; and
    • Court orders.

9.11 In Home Service Provision

Chapter:
Chapter 9-Status Offender Services
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
9.11 In Home Service Provision
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

  • N/A

Intensive In-Home Services (IIHS) is a time limited crisis intervention resource that is intended to prevent the unnecessary placement of children.

Procedure 

Referral and Selection Process for Intensive In Home Services (IIHS)

The SSW:

  1. Identifies a family who may be a candidate for the intensive in home services (IIHS);
  2. Consults with the FSOS, and if appropriate, a referral is submitted to the regional referral and selection staff;
  3. Completes the referral form for IIHS, to include information on identified fathers and paternal family members as outlined in SOP 4.14 Family Attachment and Involvement;
  4. Seeks approval of the FSOS, and forwards the referral to the regional referral and selection staff who then forwards the referral to the IIHS provider;
  5. Upon approval from the FSOS and the regional referral and selections staff, discusses the potential referral with the family to:
    1. Inform the family that IIHS is an alternative to out of home placement;
    2. Determine the family’s willingness to participate with the referral to IIHS;
    3. Inform the family that referral to IIHS is based upon availability and regional referral and selection review; and
    4. Inform the family that if IIHS is appropriate and available, a referral will be initiated upon the family’s agreement and that if the referral is approved, IIHS will schedule a visit within twenty-four (24) hours of receipt of the referral;
  6. Should, if possible, join the IIHS staff for the initial visit within twenty-four (24) hours of receipt of referral;
  7. Consults with IIHS staff as often as necessary, based on the needs of the family, during the course of the in home service provision;
  8. Conducts (at minimum) one joint home visit with IIHS staff and is encouraged to consult with IIHS staff through:
    1. Telephone contact;
    2. IIHS staff weekly case conferences;
    3. Cabinet case planning meetings; or
    4. Other face to face contacts;
  9. Reviews the IIHS aftercare plan and provides follow-up services as necessary once IIHS involvement has been terminated;
  10. Ensures that the case record includes the following IIHS documentation:
    1. IIHS client referral form;
    2. IIHS intervention/treatment plan;
    3. IIHS two month progress report;
    4. IIHS aftercare plan; and
    5. Documentation of contacts with IIHS staff.

Working with a Family Utilizing IIHS

The SSW who works with IIHS clients completes the following tasks and expectations throughout the life of the case: 

  1. Conducts a clinical assessment with the family that must include the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale (NCFAS) or NCFAS-R for reunification cases;
  2. Develops an intervention/treatment plan within thirty (30) days of receipt of referral based on the completed clinical assessment which:
    1. Ideally includes any community partners/agencies involved with family;
    2. Includes client centered, specific and individualized goals and dates of completion;
    3. Has a provider assisting the family in accessing appropriate community services deemed necessary and provides other services that are not available from existing community resources;
  3. Provides at least half of the services in the family’s home or other natural community setting;
  4. Carries no more than six (6) cases at one time;
  5. Is available to families twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week;
  6. Has regular (weekly) contact with DCBS worker to update family’s progress;
  7. Completes another NCFAS or NCFAS-R at two months to determine progress;
  8. Develops an aftercare plan for the family and NCFAS or NCFAS-R for case closure meeting;
  9. Conducts a post evaluation of the family at three (3), six (6) and twelve (12) months.

The SRA or designee:

  1. Designates a cabinet staff person to be the regional referral and selection staff and this individual assumes responsibility for reviewing all referrals to IIHS.

Practice Guidance

  • The clinical assessment may also include other assessment tools and ideally includes information provided by the DCBS worker and must be completed within ninety-six (96) working hours of receipt of referral. 

Eligibility Requirements for IIHS:

  • The family must have an open case with the Department for Community Based Services;
  • There is at least one target child in the home between the ages of five (5) and seventeen (17) and is enrolled in school;
  • The family’s current income does not exceed the maximum amount allowable to receive TANF funds.

 

 Additional content will be added to this section in Phase II.  

 

 

9.12 Case Planning for Status Offenders

Chapter:
Chapter 9-Status Offender Services
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
9.12 Case Planning for Status Offenders
Version:
1
Content to be added in Phase II.

9.13 Placement for Status Offenders

Chapter:
Chapter 9-Status Offender Services
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
9.13 Placement for Status Offenders
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure 

The SSW: 

  1. Notifies the committing court in writing within fourteen (14) days of the move if the SSW wishes to place a committed child back in the home; 1
  2. Consults with the FSOS and SRA, or designee, to determine what action steps are necessary to conform to KRS 605.090(b) (1);
  3. Follows the guidelines for OOHC, as the Cabinet is the legal custodian of the child, even though the parent has physical custody.

Additional content to be added to this section in Phase II.

Footnotes

  1. Placement in the home is a rare occurrence and is generally initiated by the committing court.

9.14 through 9.17-Not Yet Utilized

Chapter:
Chapter 9-Status Offender Services
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
9.14 through 9.17-Not Yet Utilized
Version:
1

Reserved for future use.

 

9.18 Ongoing Services

Chapter:
Chapter 9-Status Offender Services
Effective:
03/30/2016
Section:
9.18 Ongoing Services
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

General Ongoing Services for Status Offenders

The SSW:

  1. Receives a court order that delineates the terms and conditions with which the child is to comply when the judge orders DCBS to provide supervision;
  2. Follows the case planning standards of practice upon receipt of an order of supervision from the Juvenile court;
  3. Reports any violation of court orders to the community court as set forth in SOP 11.7 Motion to Redocket;
  4. Develops an aftercare plan upon case closure;
  5. With the approval of the FSOS, sends a letter to the committing court summarizing the case and providing notice that the case is being closed when a child and family have completed the requirements of a case plan and do not require further services;
  6. Completes the letter to the committing court no less than two (2) weeks prior to the case being closed.
  7. Does not provide supervision beyond the child’s eighteenth birthday if the court does not order a specific time frame;

When a child determined to be a status offender is placed outside the region:

  1. The SSW, with the approval of the FSOS, requests staff from the region where the child is placed to assign a onsite worker to make monthly visits to the child and family;
  2. The onsite worker submits a report to the referring SSW summarizing the visits and noting any issues or concerns about the child’s treatment;
  3. The SSW is responsible for monitoring the child’s placement and updating the family case plan when a child returns home. 

In Home Ongoing Services

The SSW:

  1. Reviews the results of the assessment, pre-disposition report and the prevention plan for a child who has been placed on court ordered supervision;
  2. Makes the initial home visit within five (5) working days of the case assignment in order to discuss:
    1. Continuing the family assessment;
    2. Identifying SSW and family roles and expectations; and
    3. Initiating the formation of a family team, including identified fathers as outlined in SOP 4.14 Family Attachment and Involvement; 1 
  3. And family revise the prevention plan, if necessary;
  4. Ensures that the family receives the DPP-154 Protection and Permanency Service Appeal, either by mail or by hand delivery, and documents that the family has received it;
  5. Asks the appropriate family members to sign the DCBS-1 Informed Consent and Release of Information and Records and (if appropriate for HIV/AIDS, alcohol or other drug treatment) the DCBS-1A Informed Consent and Release of Information and Records Supplement to obtain permission from the client in order to consult with other professionals;
  6. Follows guidelines related to HIPAA compliance;
  7. Makes referrals to appropriate in home service providers including, but not limited to:
    1. Community Collaboration for Children,
    2. Family preservation services;
    3. Intensive in home services;
    4. Any other local agency/community partner, that may be beneficial in helping the youth/family successfully complete their case plan;
  8. Ensures that the family case plan is developed within fifteen (15) calendar days of case assignment by the FSOS;
  9. Does not provide supervision beyond the child’s eighteenth birthday if the court does not order a specific time frame.

Practice Guidance

  • If a child adjudicated as a status offender requires placement in a residential treatment center, group home or treatment foster home, Cabinet staff may be directed by the Juvenile court to provide ongoing services.
  • In disposition of a status offender case, the Juvenile court judge may order that a child be supervised for a period of time by the Cabinet to insure that terms and conditions imposed by the court are being met.

 

  • In disposition of a status offender case, the Juvenile court judge may order that a child be supervised for a period of time in the home by the Cabinet to ensure that terms and conditions imposed by the court are being met.

Footnotes

  1. The purpose of the first visit is to engage the family in establishing a therapeutic relationship based on trust.

9.19 Case Closure and Aftercare Planning

Chapter:
Chapter 9-Status Offender Services
Effective:
01/22/2014
Section:
9.19 Case Closure and Aftercare Planning
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

 

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

 Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Terminates supervision when any of the following events occur:
    1. Time ordered by the court has expired;
    2. Child reaches his/her 18th birthday;
    3. Child has successfully complied with the case plan and the orders of the court; or
    4. Child has been convicted of a public offense and has been committed or probated to the Department of Juvenile Justice;
  2. Submits a letter to the court, no less than two (2) weeks prior to case closure, summarizing the case and specifying a date by which DCBS will cease supervision before closing a case; 
  3. Initiates completion of the ongoing assessment within thirty (30) days prior to closure and considers whether:
    1. The factors surrounding the status behaviors are resolved to the point that the parent or guardian can appropriately supervise the youth;
    2. The documented status behaviors have been reduced to the point that the child is able to function appropriately at home, school and in the community; and
    3. The case planning goals have been achieved;     
  4. Discusses with the family the possibility of case closure concurrent to the completion of the new assessment;
  5. Documents the mutual agreement to close the case;
  6. Works with the family in developing an aftercare plan that focuses on preventing further status behaviors;
  7. Links the family to community resources as necessary;
  8. Provides the family, including identified fathers as outlined in SOP 4.14 Family Attachment and Involvement with the following forms:
    1. DPP-154A Notice of Intended Action, advising of the intention to close the case; and
    2. DPP-154 Protection and Permanency Service Appeal, advising of the right to a fair hearing;
  9. Summarizes the reason for closure, including the aftercare plan, and closes the case.

Practice Guidance

  • If the forms are hand delivered, the SSW may close the case immediately, unless the client disagrees with the closure.
  • If the forms are sent via U.S. Mail, the SSW should wait ten (10) days prior to closing the case.

10.1 Introduction to ICPC Home Studies

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
11/1/2012
Section:
10.1 Introduction to ICPC Home Studies
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children is a uniform law that has been enacted by all fifty (50) states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Kentucky’s interstate compact legislation is KRS 615.030. It establishes orderly procedures for the interstate placement of children and outlines responsibility for those involved in placing the child.  The Kentucky ICPC office is responsible for the daily tasks associated with the administration of the compact.  All interstate placements including parent, relative, foster care, public and private adoptions and residential treatments are cleared through this office.

Federal legislation H.R.5403–Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006, P.L.109-239 establishes specific timelines for interstate relative, foster care and adoptive home study requirements. A state is required to complete and report on the interstate relative, foster care or adoptive home study by another state within sixty (60) calendar days, with an incentive payment awarded to the state for each interstate relative, foster care/adoptive home study completed within thirty (30) calendar days. The parts of the foster care/adoptive home study involving training and fingerprint checks by the Kentucky State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigations requirements do not have to be completed within the same timelines.

To remain eligible for IV-E funding, the Cabinet does not impose any limitations on the receiving state’s ability to contract with a private agency for the purpose of conducting the interstate study.  The Cabinet treats any home study received from another state, tribe, or private agency under contract with a state/tribe as meeting any Cabinet requirement for the completion of the home study; unless, within fourteen (14) days of receiving the report, the state determines, based on grounds specific to the content of the report, that making a decision in reliance on the report would be contrary to the welfare of the child.  The Cabinet does not deny or delay the placement of a child for adoption when an approved family is available outside the state (Title IV-E; Section 471(a)(23)(A)&(B) of the Social Security Act).

The Cabinet provides a general e-mail address for staff to utilize when making ICPC requests:  CHFS.Interstate@ky.gov.  The e-mail address may be used for inquiries, for submission or receipt of documentation (status reports, progress reports, referral packets, etc.), or for any other ICPC information.  The ICPC office will reject or return incomplete requests.

10.2 Priority Placement Request for a Kentucky Child (Regulation 7)

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
01/11/2019
Section:
10.2 Priority Placement Request for a Kentucky Child (Regulation 7)
Version:
3

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

 

The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) includes a provision, Regulation 7, to expedite certain cases involving out of state relative placements.  Those considered relative are parents, stepparents, grandparents, adult aunts or uncles, adult brothers or sisters or the child’s guardian.  If Regulation 7 does not apply, the child may still be placed, if appropriate, through a non-priority request (refer to SOP 10.3 Non-Priority Request to Place a Kentucky Child in Another State with a Parent or Relative).

The case must meet at least one of the following criteria in order to be considered a Regulation 7 case:

  • Unexpected dependency due to a sudden or recent incarceration, incapacitation or death of a parent or guardian;
  • The child sought to be placed is four (4) years of age or younger, including sibling groups sought to be placed with the same proposed placement resource;
  • The court finds that any child in the sibling group sought to be placed has a substantial relationship with the proposed placement resource. Substantial relationship means the proposed placement has a familial or mentoring role with the child, has spent more than cursory time with the child, and has established more than a minimal bond with the child; or
  • The child is currently in an emergency placement for less than thirty (30) days.

 

This regulation does not apply if:

  • The child is already in the receiving state in violation of ICPC;
  • The request for placement of the child is for foster care or adoption; or
  • The court places the child with a parent from whom the child was not removed, the court has no evidence the parent is unfit, does not seek any evidence from the receiving state the parent is either fit or unfit, and the court relinquishes jurisdiction over the child immediately upon placement with the parent.

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Determines if the child meets the criteria for priority placement;
  2. Immediately submits a recommendation to the court, requesting a court order for priority placement, if the child meets criteria (Regulation 7 Priority Placement Mandatory Court Language is linked above); and
  3. Sends a copy of the following documents to the Kentucky ICPC office within three (3) business days of receiving the signed court order:
    1. The court order for priority placement;
    2. ICPC-100A Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children Request form; and
    3. A completed referral packet (Refer to ICPC Checklist).

The Kentucky ICPC office:

  1. Notifies the FSOS or SSW of receipt of the packet and accompanying documentation via email;
  2. Reviews the packet for accuracy and ensures that all necessary documentation is included;
  3. Notifies the SSW and FSOS immediately via email if there is missing information;
  4. Approves and signs the ICPC 100A; and
  5. Forwards the packet and accompanying documentation to the receiving ICPC office within two (2) business days.

When Kentucky children receive a priority placement:

  1. The receiving ICPC office notifies the receiving local child welfare office and requests that a priority placement home study be conducted.

The receiving local child welfare office:

  1. Conducts a priority placement home study no later than twenty (20) business days from the date the priority request was received; and
  2. Sends the completed home study to the receiving ICPC office.

The receiving ICPC office:

  1. Reviews and approves the home study; and
  2. Notifies the sending ICPC office that the home study has been approved, by sending the completed home study and approved ICPC-100A Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children Request.

Contingencies and Clarifications

  1. If a child is removed from a caretaker in Christian, Trigg or Todd counties in Kentucky, and an appropriate relative is located in Montgomery county Tennessee, the SSW may follow provisions of the Tennessee/Kentucky Border Agreement for expedited placement.  Any questions regarding the border agreement should be directed to the Deputy Compact Administrator, who can be reached at (502) 564-2147.
  2. If a child is removed from a caretaker in Boone, Campbell, or Kenton counties in Kentucky, and an appropriate relative is located in Hamilton County Ohio,  the SSW may follow provisions of the Ohio/Ky Border Agreement for expedited placement. Any questions regarding the border agreement should be directed to the Deputy Compact Administrator, who can be reached at (502)564-2147.

Practice Guidance

  • The recommendation submitted to the court requesting priority placement should contain similar language to the following:
    • “Based on ICPC Regulation 7, this case meets the criteria for priority placement based on the following. . .”  Then list the specific criteria that apply to the child(ren).
  • The cover letter included with the referral packet should document that the case is entitled to priority placement and the specific qualifying criteria that apply to the child(ren).
  • The interstate compact may not apply when the court orders a child to be placed with a non-custodial parent who lives out of state.  In this situation, the two states must work together to come to an agreement regarding details of the child’s placement (refer to Regulation 3).
  • DCBS does not require that prospective out of state relative placements be licensed or approved for foster care prior to placement.  However, if the receiving state requires this certification, Kentucky will ensure all qualifications are met and will forward documentation to the appropriate ICPC office. 
  • Requests for parent or relative home studies outside of the United States are not governed by the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.  The SSW or FSOS may work directly with the child welfare agency in the specific country or the international social service, and can be contacted at the following address:
    • International Social Service—United States of America Branch, Inc. (ISS-USA)
      200 E. Lexington Street, Suite 1700
      Baltimore, MD 21202
      Telephone: 443-451-1200
      Fax: 443-451-1220
      Email: iss-usa@iss-usa.org  
      Website: www.iss-usa.org  

Related Information

The centralized intake telephone number for Tennessee is:

  • 1-877-237-0004.
This is the telephone number that should be utilized when initiating a placement utilizing the Kentucky/Tennessee Border Agreement.
 

The centralized intake telephone number for Ohio is:

  • 1-513-241-KIDS (5437) 

This is the telephone number that should be utilized when initiating a placement utilizing the Kentucky/Ohio Border Agreement.

10.3 Non-Priority Request to Place a Kentucky Child in Another State with a Parent or Relative

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
01/11/2019
Section:
10.3 Non-Priority Request to Place a Kentucky Child in Another State with a Parent or Relative
Version:
6

Legal Authority / Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Requests a parent or relative interstate home study evaluation, submits a comprehensive referral packet via e-mail at to CHFS.Interstate@ky.gov or to the address below: 1  

    Deputy Compact Administrator
    Kentucky Interstate Compact Office
    275 East Main Street 3E-D
    Frankfort, Kentucky 40621
  2. Utilizes the ICPC checklist and ensures the referral packet contains the information below in the following order:
    1. The ICPC Cover Letter Statement of Family Case Manager; 2
    2. A completed ICPC-100A-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children Request form for each child (Refer to Instructions for ICPC-100A);
    3. Current court commitment/custody orders, dated within the last twelve (12) months; 3
    4. Assessment;
    5. DPP-1281 Family Case Plan;
    6. Social history/needs assessment (if available);
    7. Medical records/history (to include immunization records and the DPP-106 series forms);
    8. School records (grades, attendance, IEP, behavior reports, etc., if applicable);
    9. Completed ICPC Financial/Medical Plan form regarding how the resource/Cabinet will meet the financial and medical needs of the child;
    10. Title IV-E eligibility (OOHC-1262-Title IV-E Eligibility/Reimbursement Summary form),
    11. Copy of the child(ren)’s birth certificate and social security card; 4 
    12. Verification of paternity if the biological father is not listed on the birth certificate (this may include paternity testing, a marriage license or child support documentation/court order);
  3. Follows additional procedures in SOP 10.4 Request to Place a Kentucky Child Another State with a Parent or Relative Court Jurisdiction Only (CJO) Cases if the court has granted temporary custody of the abused, neglected or dependent child to someone other than the Cabinet and the Cabinet is court ordered and/or requesting a home study on a parent or relative from another state;
  4. Treats any home study received from another state, tribe, or private agency under contract with a state/tribe as meeting any Cabinet requirement for the completion of the home study; unless, within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the report, the state determines, based on grounds specific to the content of the report, that making a decision in reliance on the report would be contrary to the welfare of the child;
  5. Documents decisions about interstate placements thoroughly in the child’s case record and on the case plan.

The ICPC office mails or e-mails:

  1. The ICPC-100A–Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children Request form and packets to the receiving state's ICPC office for processing within three (3) business days of receipt of the referral packet;
  2. A copy of the approved or denied home study from the other state to the requesting FSOS.

The SSW notifies the Kentucky ICPC office, via e-mail:

  1. Once it is determined that the parent or relative home is approved for placement, or that it will not be utilized; 
  2. Regarding the child’s placement date (as requested on the cover letter), if the parent or relative home is utilized for placement. 5

Contingencies and Clarifications

  1. If a child is removed from a caretaker in Christian, Trigg or Todd counties in Kentucky, and an appropriate relative is located in Montgomery county Tennessee, the SSW may follow provisions of the Tennessee/Kentucky Border Agreement for expedited placement.  Any questions regarding the border agreement should be directed to the Deputy Compact Administrator, who can be reached at (502) 564-2147.
  2. If a child is removed from a caretaker in Boone, Campbell, or Kenton counties in Kentucky, and an appropriate relative is located in Hamilton county Ohio, the SSW may follow provisions of the Ohio/Kentucky Border Agreement for expedited placement.  Any questions regarding the border agreement should be directed to the Deputy Compact Administrator, who can be reached at (502) 564-2147.

Practice Guidance 

  • The interstate home study is completed within thirty (30) calendar days and may not exceed sixty (60) calendar days upon receipt by the receiving state’s local office.
  • KRS 615.030 and the compact allows the receiving state of a requested interstate home study to request of the sending state additional information as it may deem necessary under the circumstances to carry out the purpose and policy of this compact.
  • Incomplete referral packets will be returned to the requesting SSW or FSOS.
  • The Kentucky ICPC office copies the SSW or FSOS on all correspondence to/from the requesting state. 
  • The interstate compact may not apply when the court orders a child to be placed with a non-custodial parent who lives out of state.  In this situation, the two states must work together to come to an agreement regarding details of the child’s placement (refer to Regulation 3).
  • DCBS does not require that prospective out of state relative placements be licensed or approved for foster care prior to placement.  However, if the receiving state requires this certification, Kentucky will ensure all qualifications are met and will forward documentation to the appropriate ICPC office. 
  • Requests for parent or relative home studies outside of the United States are not governed by the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.  The SSW or FSOS may work directly with the child welfare agency in the specific country or the international social service, and can be contacted at the following address:
    • International Social Service—United States of America Branch, Inc. (ISS-USA)
      200 E. Lexington Street, Suite 1700
      Baltimore, MD 21202
      Telephone: 443-451-1200
      Fax: 443-451-1220
      Email: iss-usa@iss-usa.org  
      Website: www.iss-usa.org

Related Information

The centralized intake telephone number for Tennessee is:

  • 1-877-237-0004.

This is the telephone number that should be utilized when initiating a placement utilizing the Kentucky/Tennessee Border Agreement.  

The centralized intake telephone number for Ohio is:
 
  • 1-513-241-KIDS (5437).
This is the telephone number that should be utilized when initiating a placement utilizing the Ohio/Kentucky Border Agreement.  

Footnotes

  1. Please do not combine placement resources in the same referral packets. If you are requesting an interstate home study on more than one placement resource in the same state then each placement resource must have its own comprehensive referral packet specific to that placement resource.
  2. Click on cover letter link below to complete the template provided. This will create a consistent, uniform format to be mailed to the receiving state along with prompting the user to complete the necessary information required on the cover letter.
  3. The adjudication court order is preferred/recommended.
  4. Federal law requires proof of title IV-E eligibility and citizenship/identity for any child whose receipt of Medicaid is part of their ICPC financial/medical plan.
  5. Placement approval is valid for six (6) months from the date on the ICPC-100A Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children Request.

10.4 Request to Place a Kentucky Child in Another State with a Parent or Relative-Court Jurisdiction Only Cases

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
11/1/2012
Section:
10.4 Request to Place a Kentucky Child in Another State with a Parent or Relative-Court Jurisdiction Only Cases
Version:
2

Legal Authority / Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:  

  •  
  •  
  •  

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Follows procedures in SOP 10.3 Non-Priority Request to Place a Kentucky Child in Another State with a Parent or Relative, as well as, the following procedures;
  2. Includes the following information for open cases where the Cabinet does not have legal custody/commitment of the child(ren) (CJO cases):
      1. Court order showing who has legal custody; and
      2. Court order requesting an interstate home study;
  3. Prints the 100A–Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children Request and obtains the judge’s signature, as the “sending agency or person;
  4. Sends the signed 100A along with the complete referral packets to the Kentucky interstate compact office;
  5. Treats any home study received from another state, tribe, or private agency under contract with a state/tribe as meeting any Cabinet requirement for the completion of the home study; unless, within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the report, the state determines, based on grounds specific to the content of the report, that making a decision in reliance on the report would be contrary to the welfare of the child;
  6. Documents decisions about interstate placements thoroughly in the child’s case record and on the case plan;
  7. Informs the court that pursuant to KRS 615.030 and the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC):
    1. The sending agency (the Kentucky court) shall retain jurisdiction over the child in all matters in relation to the custody, supervision, care, treatment and disposition of the child which it would have if the child had remained in the sending agency's state, until the child is adopted, reaches majority, becomes self-supporting or is discharged with the concurrence of the appropriate authority in the receiving state; and
    2. The Cabinet will serve as the agent for the court throughout the interstate process and will ensure compliance with the compact.

The ICPC office mails or e-mails:

  1. The ICPC-100A Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children Request form and packets to the receiving state’s ICPC office for processing within three (3) business days of receipt of the referral packet;
  2. A copy of the approved or denied home study from the other state to the requesting SSW.

The SSW the Kentucky ICPC office, via e-mail:

  1. Once it is determined that the parent or relative home is approved for placement, or that it will not be utilized; 
  2. Regarding the child’s placement date (as requested on the cover letter), if the parent or relative home is utilized for placement. 1

 Practice Guidance

  • Since the Cabinet does not have legal custody of the child(ren) in CJO cases the court order must state in some manner that the:
    • Kentucky court shall retain jurisdiction over the child in all matters in relation to the custody, supervision, care, treatment and disposition of the child; and
    • Cabinet will maintain an open case to serve as the agent for the court throughout the interstate process to ensure compliance with the compact until the child is adopted, reaches majority, becomes self-supporting or is discharged with the concurrence of the appropriate authority in the receiving state.
  • The court order must include: “The Kentucky court will retain jurisdiction over the child(ren). CHFS will request an interstate home study and maintain an open case to serve as the agent for the court throughout the interstate process to ensure compliance with the compact.”
  • The SSW may use and customize the ICPC Judicial Request Letter to assist in:
    • Informing the judge of the requirements by the receiving state to fulfill Kentucky’s request for an interstate home study; and
    • Obtaining the judge’s signature on the 100A.
  • Referral packets on CJO cases, that are incomplete, will be returned to the sending SSW or FSOS.
  • The interstate compact may not apply when the court orders a child to be placed with a non-custodial parent who lives out of state.  In this situation, the two states must work together to come to an agreement regarding details of the child’s placement (refer to Regulation 3).
  • DCBS does not require that prospective out of state relative placements be licensed or approved for foster care prior to placement.  However, if the receiving state requires this certification, Kentucky will ensure all qualifications are met and will forward documentation to the appropriate ICPC office. 
  • Requests for parent or relative home studies outside of the United States are not governed by the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.  The SSW or FSOS may work directly with the child welfare agency in the specific country or the international social service, and can be contacted at the following address:
    • International Social Service—United States of America Branch, Inc. (ISS-USA)
      200 E. Lexington Street, Suite 1700
      Baltimore, MD 21202
      Telephone: 443-451-1200
      Fax: 443-451-1220
      Email:
      iss-usa@iss-usa.org 
      Website:
      www.iss-usa.org

Footnotes

  1. Placement approval is valid for six (6) months from the date on the ICPC 100A.

10.35 Child Protective Services (CPS) Referrals and CPS Alerts

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
11/1/2012
Section:
10.35 Child Protective Services (CPS) Referrals and CPS Alerts
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Practice Guidance

  • Child Protective Services (CPS) referrals and CPS alerts to another state should be made directly to the other state’s CPS hotline.
  • For information or assistance in obtaining hotline phone numbers, contact the interstate compact administrator at (502) 564-2147.

10.5 Request to Place a Kentucky Child in Another State for Foster Care or Adoption

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
11/1/2012
Section:
10.5 Request to Place a Kentucky Child in Another State for Foster Care or Adoption
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Follows procedures in SOP 10.3 Request to Place a Kentucky Child in Another State with a Parent or Relative, as well as, the following procedures to request a foster care home study;
  2. Includes in the “brief overview” section of the cover letter that:
    1. The Cabinet is requesting a foster care or adoptive home study; and
    2. The placement resource has been informed that they will be required to meet the licensing, certification or approval process of the state where they reside to qualify for the foster care or adoptive home study and have agreed to comply;
  3. Follows procedures in SOPs 10.23 through 10.32 to request an adoptive home study;
  4. Treats any home study received from another state, tribe, or private agency under contract with a state/tribe as meeting any Cabinet requirement for the completion of the home study; unless, within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the report, the worker determines, based on grounds specific to the content of the report, that making a decision in reliance on the report would be contrary to the welfare of the child; and
  5. Documents decisions about interstate placements thoroughly in the child’s case record and on the case plan. 1

The ICPC office mails or e-mails:

  1. The ICPC-100A Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children Request form and packets to the receiving state’s ICPC office for processing within three (3) business days of receipt of the referral packet;
  2. A copy of the approved or denied home study from the other state to the requesting FSOS.

Practice Guidance

  • If an ICPC case transfers from foster care to adoption, a new ICPC referral will be required.
  • As with all foster care cases, reasonable efforts for interstate placement cases must be made in accordance with KRS. 620.140, per KRS 610.127unless reasonable efforts are not required.

Footnotes

  1. Placement approval is valid for six (6) months from the date on the ICPC 100A.

10.6 Request from Another State to Place a Child with a Parent or Relative in Kentucky

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
01/11/2019
Section:
10.6 Request from Another State to Place a Child with a Parent or Relative in Kentucky
Version:
5

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

CHFS requires any out of state agency wishing to place a child in Kentucky to submit an Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) referral packet to the Kentucky ICPC Office by contacting (502) 564-2147 or CHFS.Interstate@ky.gov.

In accordance with federal law, the ICPC referral process must be completed no later than sixty (60) calendar days after the initial request is received by the Kentucky ICPC office. In order to meet this time requirement, the Kentucky ICPC office requires that the local DCBS office complete a home study within forty-five (45) calendar days of the date it receives the referral packet.

The Kentucky ICPC office will reject incomplete requests, which could result in placement delays or denials.

Procedure 

The Kentucky ICPC office:

  1. Reviews the request and referral packet within three (3) business days of receipt; and
  2. Sends a hard copy of the home study referral via email or regular mail to the appropriate DCBS local office; and
  3. Indicates the expected return date for their home study and placement recommendation.

The FSOS:

  1. Assigns the home study request to a SSW for completion.

The SSW:

  1. Completes the home study within twenty (20) business days of receipt of the request from the ICPC office when a priority placement (Regulation 7) is requested;
  2. Completes the home study within forty-five (45) calendar days of receipt of the request from the ICPC office; 1
  3. Follows the guidelines in 4.5.4 Background Checks for Kinship Care Providers or Relative Caregivers and documents the results in the home study;
  4. Sends a letter of non-compliance to the family and the ICPC office after two (2) failed attempts (first by phone, then by mail) to contact the proposed placement resource in order to complete the home study;
  5. Denies the placement based on non-compliance with the home study process when the family cannot be contacted to complete all necessary steps;
  6. Meets with the FSOS to establish the results of the home study (i.e. approval or denial); and
  7. E-mails or mails (via regular mail), one (1) copy of the home study and background checks to the ICPC office (as requested on the cover letter), to include the child’s placement date, if the parent or relative home is utilized.

The Kentucky ICPC office:

  1. Reviews the home study and ensures that it was completed correctly;
  2. Forwards the parent or relative home study and signed ICPC-100A to the requesting state for placement approval if all requirements have been met;
  3. Forwards the parent or relative home study and signed ICPC-100A to the requesting state for placement denial if all requirements have not been met or if the home is not appropriate for placement and closes the interstate case;
  4. Copies the FSOS on all correspondence to/from the requesting state.

Practice Guidance

  • The request for a home study that has been previously completed and approved is shared in accordance with SOP 30.11 CPS Open Records Requests and Disclosure of Information.
  • Placement approval is valid for six (6) months from the date on the ICPC-100A.
  • The interstate compact may not apply when the court orders a child to be placed with a non-custodial parent who lives out of state.  In this situation, the two states must work together to come to an agreement regarding details of the child’s placement (refer to Regulation 3).
  • If a child is removed in Montgomery county, Tennessee, and an appropriate relative is located in Christian, Trigg or Todd counties in Kentucky, the Tennessee/Kentucky Border Agreement may be utilized for expedited placement.  Any questions regarding the border agreement should be directed to the Deputy Compact Administrator, who can be reached at (502) 564-2147.
  • If a child is removed from a caretaker in Boone, Campbell, or Kenton counties in Kentucky, and an appropriate relative is located in Hamilton county Ohio, the SSW may follow provisions of Ohio/Kentucky Border Agreement for expedited placement.  Any questions regarding the border agreement should be directed to the Deputy Compact Administrator, who can be reached at (502)564-2147.

Footnotes

  1. Refer to SOP 4.5.5 Relative Home Evaluation, which includes an assessment of the safety and suitability of the home for placement, criminal history and background check results, the extent to which the proposed placement can meet the needs of the child, and a specific placement recommendation.

10.7 Request from Another State to Place a Child for Foster Care or Adoption in Kentucky

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
11/1/2012
Section:
10.7 Request from Another State to Place a Child for Foster Care or Adoption in Kentucky
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

CHFS requires any out of state agency wishing to place a child in Kentucky to submit an Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) referral packet to the Kentucky ICPC Office by contacting (502) 564-2147 or CHFS.Interstate@ky.gov.

In accordance with federal law, the foster care or adoption home study is to be completed within thirty (30) calendar days, but not to exceed sixty (60) calendar days, that the initial request is received by the Kentucky ICPC office.  This timeframe does not include the required training and FBI fingerprint checks, as it may take longer for these items to be completed.

The Kentucky ICPC Office will reject or return incomplete requests.

Procedure 

The Kentucky ICPC office:

  1. Reviews the request and referral packet within three (3) business days of receipt; and
  2. Sends a hard copy of the home study referral, via email or regular mail, to the appropriate R&C FSOS; and
  3. Indicates the expected return date for their home study and placement recommendation.

The R&C worker:

  1. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 12.3 Resource Home Approval Process and:
    1. Notes that all the requirements outlined in SOP 12.3 must be completed for the foster care/adoptive home study with the exception of the required:
      1. Cabinet approved training; and
      2. Fingerprint checks by the Kentucky State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigations;
  2. Completes the interstate foster care/adoptive home study within thirty (30) calendar days and may not exceed sixty (60) calendar days;
  3. Mails or e-mails the home study to the Kentucky ICPC office upon completion (excluding the required training and FBI fingerprint checks);
  4. Provides written confirmation to the Kentucky ICPC office whether or not the required training and fingerprint checks have been completed.

The Kentucky ICPC office:  

  1. Forwards the preliminary foster care/adoptive home study to the requesting state (with the exception of the required training and fingerprint checks);
  2. Holds the ICPC-100A until the SSW provides written confirmation to the Kentucky ICPC office whether or not the required training and fingerprint checks have been completed;
  3. Forwards the final foster care/adoptive home study and signed ICPC-100A to the requesting state for placement approval if all requirements have been met;
  4. Denies the placement via the ICPC-100A, mails it to the requesting state, and closes the case if the foster care/adoptive home study is denied;
  5. Copies the FSOS on all correspondence to/from the requesting state.

Practice Guidance

  • The complete foster care/adoptive home study includes the narrative, letter of approval or denial, background check results, and training record.
  • Placement approval is valid for six (6) months from the date on the ICPC 100A.
  • The request for a foster care/adoptive home study that has been previously completed and approved is shared in accordance with SOP 30.11 CPS Open Records Requests and Disclosure of Information.
  • If an ICPC case transfers from foster care to adoption, a new ICPC referral will be required.
  • As with all foster care cases, reasonable efforts for interstate placement cases must be made in accordance with KRS. 620.140, per KRS 610.127,unless reasonable efforts are not required.

10.8 Request for Supervision and Services for ICPC Placements, Including Ongoing Contact with Child

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
11/1/2012
Section:
10.8 Request for Supervision and Services for ICPC Placements, Including Ongoing Contact with Child
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Supervision, service provision and ongoing contact with a child in an ICPC placement is essential in order to ensure that the child receives all necessary services and is in the best possible placement.  When a child from another state is placed in a Kentucky home through ICPC, the SSW meets face to face with the child in their placement at least once every calendar month.  This enables the SSW to assess progress toward case plan goals and objectives and to assess adjustment to the placement.  For Kentucky children that are placed in another state, the Kentucky SSW has face to face contact with the child in his/her placement setting annually.  The Kentucky worker makes an ICPC request for supervision, service provision and ongoing contact with the child, including face to face contacts, every calendar month.  The information in the following procedures applies to approved home studies.  If another state denies placement, the case is closed and services will not be offered to the family.  CHFS will not place children in homes that have not been approved by the receiving state. 

Procedure

For Contacts with Out of State Children Placed in Kentucky

  1. The Kentucky ICPC office e-mails the ICPC-100B  Interstate Compact on Child's Placement Status form to the designated FSOS within three (3) business days of receipt from the sending state. 1

The Kentucky SSW:

  1. Contacts the family to schedule the visit with the child;
  2. Conducts the visit with the child in the home;
  3. Sends an email to the sending state’s social worker, informing them of the date the visit occurred, as well as a brief overview of the visit;  2
  4. Enters the information from the face to face contact in the TWIST case;
  5. Provides the ICPC Quarterly Progress Report to the Kentucky ICPC Office as often as requested, but no less than every three (3) months;
  6. Notifies the Kentucky ICPC office in writing of:
    1. All initial placements of Kentucky children in other states, or children from other states who are placed in Kentucky;
    2. Any changes in placement involving Kentucky children; and
    3. All placement changes involving children from other states.  3

For Contacts with Kentucky Children Placed Out of State

The SSW:

  1. Makes an ICPC request for supervision, service provision and face to face contact with the child (face to face contact must occur every calendar month);
  2. Conducts an annual visit with the child by:
    1. Contacting the placement to schedule the visit; 
    2. Contacting the social worker in the receiving state, informing them of when they plan to visit with the child;
    3. Obtaining approval for out of state travel from the SRA or the ICPC office (Refer to 10.38 Out of State Travel for DCBS Staff);
    4. E-mailing the out of state social worker if he/she does not attend the visit, informing the worker of the date the visit occurred, as well as a brief overview of the visit;
    5. Completing the ICPC 100B and sends it to the Kentucky ICPC office via e-mail;
    6. Entering the contact information in TWIST;
  3. Communicates with the others state’s local worker to discuss the child’s placement, needs, concerns, etc.;
  4. Submits all written reports through the ICPC office in both states; and
  5. Seeks written concurrence from the receiving state to seek permanency and closure of the interstate case after the second positive progress report.

The Kentucky ICPC office: 

  1. Signs the 100B-Interstate Compact Report on Child's Placement Status form and forwards it to the receiving state's ICPC office for supervision, services and quarterly progress reports;
  2. Copies the SSW or FSOS on all correspondence to/from the receiving state.

Practice Guidance

  • Kentucky retains jurisdiction over children placed out of state in all matters relating to the custody, supervision, care, treatment and disposition until the child is adopted, reaches majority, becomes self-supporting or is discharged with the concurrence of the appropriate authority in the receiving state.
  • When a child from another state is placed in Kentucky, during the period of supervision, the Kentucky SSW makes any necessary referrals for services that have been identified by the sending state or family. These ICPC supervision cases should be managed similarly to an ongoing Kentucky DCBS case in regard to monthly visits, reports, referrals for services, follow-up, etc.
  • The Kentucky SSW should be in communication with the onsite worker in the other state to discuss the child’s placement, needs, concerns, etc. All written reports are sent through the ICPC offices in both states.

Footnotes

  1. The ICPC-100B initiates the supervision process when placement occurs.
  2. The email should include any questions or concerns the child and/or family has, as well as any concerns noted by the SSW.
  3. This also applies to changes in the placement address, which includes county changes, and termination of jurisdiction which results in case closure.

10.9 Case Closure (Termination of Jurisdiction)

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
11/1/2012
Section:
10.9 Case Closure (Termination of Jurisdiction)
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

In accordance with federal law, the court of original jurisdiction (the court in the sending state) retains jurisdiction over the case. The receiving state has no legal authority over the child(ren), except to provide supervision and services as specified in the interstate compact for the placement of children (ICPC) agreement (KRS 615.030).

For out of state children placed in Kentucky, it is recommended that after six (6) months of supervision, the Kentucky SSW recommends the sending state seeks permanency, if the child has adjusted well to the placement.  This recommendation is documented in the ICPC Quarterly Progress Report.  Once an adoption is finalized, or a new custodian is established, the ICPC case may be closed. 

Jurisdiction may be terminated by the court when the child:

  • Is adopted;
  • Reaches the age of majority according to the laws of the sending state; or
  • Is discharged from the custody/commitment of the sending state with concurrence of the ICPC Office in the receiving state.

If the child/youth is discharged without an adoption, a new order to a new custodian should be made, if the child/youth has not reached the age of majority. 

All states require approval from both state’s ICPC offices prior to the dismissal of custody/commitment of a Kentucky child placed out of state.

Procedure

For a Kentucky child placed out of state

  1. The receiving state ICPC office recommends dismissal of custody/commitment by submission of an ICPC supervision report to the Kentucky ICPC office.
  2. Upon receipt of the report, the Kentucky ICPC office forwards the report to the local DCBS office within three (3) business days of receipt of the report.

The SSW:

  1. Convenes a family team meeting (FTM) or case conference to ensure that the team agrees with the receiving state’s recommendation of custody/commitment dismissal and case closure;
  2. Advises the Kentucky ICPC office of the recommendation to dismiss custody/commitment;
  3. Requests a court hearing to dismiss custody/commitment;
  4. After the hearing, sends an ICPC-100B Interstate Compact Report on Child’s Placement Status form and any relevant court orders to the Kentucky ICPC office to advise of the dismissal of jurisdiction and closure of the case; and
  5. Ends the placement in TWIST.
  6. The Kentucky ICPC office forwards all relevant information to the receiving state’s ICPC office.

For an out of state child placed in Kentucky

The SSW:

  1. Convenes a FTM or case conference to determine whether custody/commitment dismissal is in the child’s best interests;
  2. Completes an ICPC Quarterly Progress Report to advise the Kentucky ICPC office of its recommendation to dismiss custody/commitment; and
  3. Submits the ICPC Quarterly Progress Report to their FSOS for approval.

The FSOS:

  1. Approves the ICPC Quarterly Progress Report; and
  2. Immediately forwards the ICPC Quarterly Progress Report to the Kentucky ICPC office.

The Kentucky ICPC office:

  1. Forwards the ICPC Quarterly Progress Report to the sending state’s ICPC office within three (3) business days of receipt; and
  2. Upon receipt of all relevant information from the sending state’s ICPC office regarding custody/commitment dismissal, forwards any relevant information to the DCBS local office.

Practice Guidance

  • When the decision is made to recommend custody/commitment dismissal to the court for an ICPC placement, the SSW should work with the family to make sure they are prepared to assume total responsibility of the child in their care.
  • The SSW should assist the family by making sure the child’s medical, educational, mental health, and other specific needs will continue to be met after DCBS is no longer involved with the family.
  • Upon receipt of the court order that dismisses custody/commitment, the SSW should notify the family within two (2) business days that the case has officially closed.

10.10 Financial and Medical Responsibility for Kentucky Children Placed Out of State

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
11/1/2012
Section:
10.10 Financial and Medical Responsibility for Kentucky Children Placed Out of State
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY: 

DCBS retains financial and medical responsibility for all DCBS children placed out of state, until jurisdiction is terminated with approval from the receiving state (Refer to SOP 10.9 ICPC Case Closure (Termination of Jurisdiction)).

Procedure

The Kentucky SSW:

  1. Completes the ICPC Financial/Medical Plan;
  2. Sends the ICPC Financial/Medical Plan packet to the receiving state, when an out of state placement is being pursued;
  3. Prints the OOHC-1262 Title IV-E Eligibility/Reimbursement Summary form; and
  4. Assures that upon approval/licensure/certification, the appropriate foster care payments for the care of the child are made during the period of the placement.

Practice Guidance 

  • DCBS may pay out of state approved/licensed/certified foster families of Kentucky children at the basic per diem rate.
  • DCBS will not pay a per diem to biological parents or relatives of Kentucky children placed out of state. Kentucky kinship care payments cannot be made to out of state relatives, however, payments can be made to relatives who are approved/licensed/certified for foster care. Some states require relatives to become foster parents.
  • Children are not Title IV-E eligible when they are in the parent or relative’s custody (CJO cases).

10.11 through 10.12-Not Yet Utilized

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
11/1/2012
Section:
10.11 through 10.12-Not Yet Utilized
Version:
2

Reserved for future use.

 

10.13 Introduction to Compliance with Interstate Compact on Juveniles

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
10.13 Introduction to Compliance with Interstate Compact on Juveniles
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

  • N/A

A child from another state apprehended in Kentucky, as a runaway must be returned to their home state through the Interstate Compact on Juveniles (ICJ).  Likewise, the same procedure is applied for children from Kentucky who have fled to another state.  The Justice Cabinet, Department of Juvenile Justice, is responsible for administering ICJ procedures.

Procedure 

The SSW:

  1. Notifies the Interstate Compact on Juveniles office at 502-573-2738 within twenty-four (24) hours, exclusive of weekends and holidays, in the event that a child from another state is picked up as a runaway; 
  2. Refers the report to the Interstate Compact on Juveniles office if notification is received that a runaway child from Kentucky has been picked up in another state. 

Practice Guidance

  • The SSW may assist the court with locating a non-secure placement for the child until the home state is able to arrange return of the child. 
  • Issues related to reimbursement for placement are referred to the ICJ office.
  • An extradition hearing is held in juvenile court before a child is returned to the child’s home state.

10.14 Status Offender Referrals and Return of Runaways

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
08/22/2016
Section:
10.14 Status Offender Referrals and Return of Runaways
Version:
3

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

The Interstate Compact on Juveniles (ICJ) governs all interstate referrals regarding status offenders for whom a warrant/pickup order exists, regardless of which state agency has custody.  The Department of Juvenile Justice administers this compact.  DCBS staff are not authorized to make out of state travel arrangements without going through the Department of Juvenile Justice. DCBS staff may contact DJJ at (502) 573-2738.

Procedure

When a child committed to DCBS has been determined to be a runaway, the SSW:

  1. Files a missing person report with the local law enforcement agency that will be entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC);
  2. Files a runaway petition with District/Family Court and requests a pick-up order be issued; and 
  3. Contacts DJJ for assistance once the child is located and/or detained.

Clarifications and Contingencies

  • If a local DCBS office is made aware of a runaway from another state, the SSW or FSOS contacts DJJ for assistance.
  • If a local DCBS office receives notification from another state that a Kentucky runaway has been located in that state, the SSW or FSOS refers the other state’s worker to their ICJ office for assistance. The SSW or FSOS contacts the Kentucky DJJ office for assistance in having the child returned to Kentucky.

Practice Guidance

Definitions:

  • Runaway-A youth who is within the jurisdictional age limit established by his home state and leaves the active custody of a parent, guardian or person or agency having legal custody or supervision without permission and flees to another state.
  • National Crime Information Center (NCIC)-A computerized index of criminal justice information (i.e. criminal record history information, fugitives, stolen properties, missing persons). It is available to federal, state and local law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies and is operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Visit the website for the Interstate Commission for Juveniles as an additional resource when referring staff to other ICJ offices.

10.15 through 10.22-Not Yet Utilized

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
11/1/2012
Section:
10.15 through 10.22-Not Yet Utilized
Version:
2

Reserved for future use. 

 

10.23 Introduction to Making Adoptive Interstate Placements

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
09/14/2018
Section:
10.23 Introduction to Making Adoptive Interstate Placements
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

  • N/A

The SSW may consider an out of state family for a child when parental rights are terminated and a Kentucky family has not been identified.  Prior to a referral to Kentucky Adoption Profile Exchange (KAPE), an out of state referral could be considered, if the child has psychological ties or a prior relationship with a particular out of state family. 

Once a child is registered in KAPE the child is listed on Kentucky's website, which functions as an exchange and is accessible nationwide.  This meets the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) requirements to recruit nationally.  Additionally, KAPE staff can refer the child to out of state adoption agencies and exchanges to search for a family at any time. 

Before the Kentucky child visits with the out of state family, both states sign the ICPC-100A Interstate Compact Placement Request approving the proposed placement.

Out of state families may be considered for the referral and possible adoptive placement of Kentucky children if they meet the same requirements as Cabinet approved adoptive families. The Kentucky Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) is not obligated to accept a particular out of state family for consideration. If a family is approved for placement, staff responsible for the child holds a pre-placement conference for the child.

No out of state adoption agency or worker has the authority to come into Kentucky and conduct an adoptive home study or provide any other adoption services to a Kentucky family. Likewise, the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services does not conduct adoptive home studies or related social services in another state or for an out of state resident who comes into Kentucky seeking adoption services.  Such violations may be subject to criminal or civil penalties.  Additionally, violation constitutes grounds for the suspension or revocation of either state's ability to legally place children.

 

10.24 Requirements for Out of State Adoptive Families

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
09/14/2018
Section:
10.24 Requirements for Out of State Adoptive Families
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The ICPC compact administrator or Kentucky Adoption Program Exchange (KAPE) specialist:

  1. Complete the following tasks if the family’s agency is a licensed private adoption agency: 1  
    1. Negotiates the cost of purchase of service;
    2. Ascertains that the agency understands all payments are tied to the completion and submission of written supervisory reports to the child's worker or KAPE specialist, if the child is referred to KAPE;
    3. Explains that payments are made in three (3) installments:
      1. Following placement, but after the out of state staff have made at least one (1) home visit and submitted a report;
      2. Approximately the fifth (5th) or sixth (6th) month when out of state staff have submitted a report; and
      3. Following legalization when a certified copy of the finalization and a copy of the court report have been received by the KAPE specialist or the ICPC compact administrator; and
    4. Facilitates the co-signing of the Statement of After-Placement Services, by the agency staff and a KAPE specialist.

Practice Guidance

  • Requirements for out of state families are as follows:
    • The family must be presently working with their state’s public child welfare agency or with a licensed private adoption agency in their state.
    • All private adoption agencies must provide a copy of their state license along with current adoptive home study and attachments, including an acceptance scale.
    • The family must have an adoptive home study, which has been completed or updated by their present adoption agency, current within one (1) year by the date of the completion of the interstate referral package.
    • A home study cannot be accepted unless it is completed by a social worker employed by or under contract to the public agency or licensed child placing adoption agency in the family’s state of residence.
    • The adoptive home study should document the preparation process used to train the family to meet the needs of the child(ren) the family desires to receive.

 

  • Attachments to the family’s adoptive home study include:
    • The medical report including statements regarding the physical health of all family members living in the household, current within one (1) year;
    • Certified (by county clerk or vital statistics) copies of marriage and, when applicable, divorce, and death verifications of previous spouse(s);
    • Criminal records checks (including FBI) in the family’s current city, county, and state, and from previous cities, counties, and states where the family has resided within the last five (5) years;
    • Central registry check for child abuse/neglect;
    • A copy of any custody investigation, child abuse/neglect report, or spouse abuse reports previously completed by any agency;
    • Five (5) reference letters–two (2) personal, one (1) neighbor, and two (2) credit references.  This item can be negotiated with the out of state agency;
    • A statement from the agency currently addressing the family’s status with any previous adoption/foster care agency and any additional clarification, i.e., the reason that the family is no longer active with that agency, etc.;
    • A written report detailing any physical/mental condition, treatment/counseling or hospitalization for such conditions for any family member. This report should include the dates of treatment/hospitalization, the diagnosis, the prognosis and the therapist’s recommendation regarding appropriateness of proposed adoptive placement with the family. In the case of a psychiatric hospitalization, the agency should send the admission and discharge summary. Families with conditions or problems which can be expected to negatively impact their ability to parent a child with special needs placed in their home cannot be accepted for consideration;
    • Any birth or adoptive child living in the adoptive family’s home must have been in the home for one (1) year by the time of placement;
    • Any child in the home for the purpose of adoption must have had his adoption finalized before the referral of a Kentucky child. An exception may be made if the child to be referred is a sibling of a child previously placed with the adoptive applicant;
    • The family signs an agreement with the Cabinet stating that no additional child will be accepted into their home for adoption until the Kentucky child has been in placement with them for one (1) year and the adoption has been finalized. The Kentucky Adoption Profile Exchange (KAPE) specialist  prepares and processes the agreement for children who are registered with KAPE. For other children, the SSW with case responsibility prepares and processes the agreement. Signed copies are sent to the workers in both states.

Footnotes

  1. Reciprocity exists between states' adoption or child welfare agencies.

10.25 Obtaining an Out of State Home Study

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
09/14/2018
Section:
10.25 Obtaining an Out of State Home Study
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

  1. The SSW makes a request through the Kentucky ICPC Compact Administrator for a home study of the out of state potential adoptive family if the child is not referred to the Kentucky Adoption Program Exchange (KAPE).
  2. The KAPE specialist asks the family to have their agency send a home study for review if the child has been referred to KAPE If the family has a copy of their home study they can also submit it to be used for initial screening to determine if they are a match for the child.
  3. The SSW or KAPE specialist submits a comprehensive referral packet to the following address when it is believed that the placement is appropriate and an adoptive referral is desired:

    Deputy Compact Administrator:
    Kentucky Interstate Compact Office
    275 East Main Street 3C-E
    Frankfort, Kentucky 40621

A  referral packet can also be emailed to :  CHFS.Interstate@ky.gov

 

Practice Guidance

  • The referral packet should contain (in the following order) a:
    • ICPC Cover Letter/Statement of Family Case Manager which is required by the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), to include: 1
      • The child(ren)’s name, date of birth, race, sex and social security number;
      • The placement resource’s name, address, telephone number, social security number and relationship to the child(ren);
      • The SSW’s office address, telephone number and e-mail address; and
      • A brief overview regarding the adoptive referral request. 
    • Court commitment/custody orders current and dated within the last twelve (12) months;
    • Court order documenting the termination of parental rights (TPR);
    • Child’s current presentation summary packet;
    • Home study, if applicable or complete;
    • Non-Indian Affidavit;
    • Completed ICPC Financial/Medical Plan form regarding how the resource/Cabinet will meet the financial and medical needs of the child;
    • Signed Purchase of Services Agreement letter, if applicable;
    • Statement of After Placement Services form, if applicable;
    • Verification of Title IV-E eligibility;
    • Child(ren)’s birth certificate(s);
    • Social security card;
    • The original ICPC-100A Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children Request requesting the home study and possible placement;
    • Recent medical health, mental health, and educational records; and
    • Most recent copy of the case plan.

Footnotes

  1. Click on cover letter link in the Forms and Resources box to complete the template provided.  This will create a consistent, uniform format to be mailed to the receiving state along with prompting the user to complete the necessary information required on the cover letter. 

10.26 Request for ICPC Approval of Out of State Visitation and Placement

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
09/14/2018
Section:
10.26 Request for ICPC Approval of Out of State Visitation and Placement
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

For children registered with the Kentucky Adoption Program Exchange (KAPE), the child's SSW, the FSOS of child's case, the Child-Focused Recruitment Model (CFRM) staff, and other individuals as needed obtains and reviews the family’s home study and the home study agency’s license to determine if the requirements of 922 KAR 1:100 and agency requirements for out of state families are met.

Procedure

  1. The adoption services branch staff sends a copy of the adoptive home study, and the home study review form to the CFRM worker and FSOS.  If the child does not have a CFRM recruiter, the home study, home study review form, and a DPP-193 Adoptive Review Committee Comments form is sent to the SSW and FSOS for consideration.
  2. The child's adoptive review committee (the SSW, FSOS, and a third party) evaluates the prospective adoptive family's ability to meet the child's needs. THE CFRM recruiter may be invited to the adoptive review committee and can serve as the third party.
  3. A member of the child's adoption review committee notifies the adoption services branch staff that the family is a match for the child.
  4. The adoption services branch staff follows the process in SOP 10.25 Obtaining an Out of State Home Study if a referral is requested by an out of state worker.
  5. The adoption services branch staff negotiates the purchase of service fees during the agency and family’s review of the presentation material. 1 
  6. The adoption services branch staff confirms the agreement in writing and provides the agency the steps for billing once the fees for services are established. 2 
  7. A member of the child's adoption review committee completes the interstate packet and sends it to Kentucky’s ICPC compact administrator when the family accepts the referral and the Purchase of Services Letter has been signed by all parties3 
  8. A member of the child's adoption review committee  initiates a formal written ICPC placement request through the Kentucky ICPC coordinator seeking approval for the child’s placement with the proposed out of state adoptive family. 4
  9. Staff can proceed with the pre-placement conference and subsequent visitation once both states have signed the ICPC-100A Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children Request.

Upon completion and approval of the ICPC-100A:

  1. The ICPC coordinator notifies the adoption services branch staff and the SSW of the action taken either approving or denying the child’s placement with the out of state adoptive family; and
  2. The SSW completes plans with the out of state family’s worker for travel to the pre-placement conference, initial meeting, and visit with the child.

Footnotes

  1. Fees are negotiated, but cannot exceed more than $5000/$2500 for first and subsequent children (for siblings being placed together).  
  2. The adoption services branch staff must receive the original invoice and a narrative with the child’s name, DOB, KY’s DCBS case number and an itemized list of dates services were provided to the child;
  3. The packet includes information detailed in SOP 10.25 Obtaining an Out of State Home Study;
  4. The ICPC coordinator can be reached at 502-564-2147. 

10.27 Travel Expenses for the Out of State Family

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
10.27 Travel Expenses for the Out of State Family
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The child’s SSW:

  1. Completes the following tasks when the out of state family needs some or all of their travel expenses paid by the Cabinet:
    1. Negotiates the request directly with the family;
    2. Calls the travel agency to obtain the cost of the flight making the airline reservations;
    3. Contacts a local hotel for costs;
    4. Prepares a travel request memorandum and submits it at least two (2) weeks prior to the expected date of travel;
    5. Determines from the travel agency where the tickets will be sent;
    6. Makes lodging reservations at a hotel or motel convenient for visitation with the child;
    7. Arranges for the local or regional office to be billed for lodging expenses; 1
    8. Informs the family that if needed, a reservation for a rental car must be made through their credit card; 2 
    9. Notifies the family’s SSW and the family directly of all travel plans and reservations.

Central office staff:

  1. Notifies the travel agency and the SSW when the approval for the travel is granted, and sends copies of the approval memorandum to field staff for use when submitting bills for travel reimbursement.

The SRA: 

  1. Approves any travel changes that result in an increased cost. 3 

Practice Guidance

  • The Cabinet may reimburse travel expenses for out of state families (who cannot pay) to attend a pre-placement conference or visit a Kentucky child.
  • Travel requests cannot be processed unless both states have signed the Interstate Compact on Placement of Children 100A forms approving the proposed placement. 
  • The Kentucky SSW cannot incur any travel expenses other than the SSW’s own expenses on a personal credit card.  If the SSW does so, there is no assurance that the SSW will be reimbursed.
  • The SSW cannot use a personal credit card for any of the family's expenses.
  • The family must obtain, save and submit all receipts for covered expenses. No expense will be reimbursed without a receipt, regardless of the amount even it is less than ten dollars ($10). This includes, but is not limited to, children’s meals and parking.
  • When the family prefers to drive, a travel request is submitted containing a notarized estimate of round trip mileage at the current state billing rate, hotel, and meal expenses.  Receipts must be submitted for reimbursement in the same fashion.


 

  • The travel request for the potential adoptive family includes all anticipated trips (dates of departure and return), destinations, and an itemized list of all expenses to be reimbursed.  
  • Final approval is granted by the director of the Division of Protection and Permanency.

Footnotes

  1. The SSW, in consultation with the regional billing specialist may explore with Kentucky state parks whether they are willing to direct bill to the local office.
  2. Families are told that car rental agencies usually do not accept payment in cash and require a credit card.  The SSW does not use a personal credit card to obtain the rental.
  3. The family should be encouraged to meet any of the travel expenses they are able to meet.

10.28-Not Yet Utilized

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
11/1/2012
Section:
10.28-Not Yet Utilized
Version:
2

Reserve for future use.

 

10.29 Services Required After Out of State Placement

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
10.29 Services Required After Out of State Placement
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The adopting family’s SSW:

  1. Provides support services to the child and adopting family after placement and during the entire period prior to adoptive finalization including:
    1. Phone contact with the family within twenty-four (24) hours after placement;
    2. A face to face visit with the child and adopting family no later than three (3) working days after placement;
    3. Weekly phone contact with the adopting family during the first month of placement;
    4. At least monthly face to face visits with the child and adopting family in the family’s home until the adoption is finalized;
    5. Sending monthly written reports to the ICPC coordinator (copies may also be sent to the child's SSW and the SNAP worker);
    6. Face to face visits, at least every two (2) weeks, when serious adjustment problems of the child and adopting family are occurring;
    7. Interviewing the child privately at each visit;
    8. Notifying the child’s Kentucky SSW by phone of significant problems in adjustment;
    9. Cooperating with Kentucky staff concerning the appropriate care and services to be provided to the child and family including special treatment or counseling;
    10. Giving Kentucky at least two (2) weeks notice of plans to move or return a child, except in cases whereby Kentucky staff agree that an emergency requiring shorter notice exists;
    11. Assisting in the return of the child to the authorized representative of the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services upon request of the Cabinet;
    12. Ensuring that necessary medical services are provided according to the needs of the child;
    13. Ensuring that corporal punishment is not being used with the child and that the family understands alternate methods of discipline;
    14. Recommending adoption finalization in writing after a successful adjustment period of six (6), or longer when necessary;
    15. Assisting the family and the Kentucky SSW in negotiating the post adoption assistance agreement and the nonrecurring expense agreement, if applicable;
    16. Providing the services to allow the family to finalize the adoption in their own state; and
    17. Forwarding a certified copy of the adoption petition and final decree of adoption to the SNAP worker or ICPC compact administrator.

10.30 SSW's Responsibility for the Child After Out of State Placement

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
10.30 SSW's Responsibility for the Child After Out of State Placement
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The Kentucky SSW:

  1. Retains responsibility for the child placed out of state until the adoption is finalized;
  2. Requests the monthly post-placement supervision documentation with the family and child from the adoptive family’s agency in a timely manner directly or through the interstate office when they are not received;
  3. Sends copies of the post placement supervision documentation to the ICPC deputy administrator and to the Special Needs Adoption Program (SNAP) worker, if it is not sent through the Interstate Compact on Placement of Children offices by the adoptive family’s agency;
  4. Arranges return of the child if disruption of the placement occurs, unless the adoptive family’s agency is able to provide assistance in placing the child with another resource within their agency;
  5. Provides recommendations for finalization when the worker feels the child is prepared for permanency; 1
  6. Obtains certified copies of the child's birth certificate and the termination of parental rights order when the adoption assistance and nonrecurring expense agreements are approved and the adoption is ready to be finalized;
  7. Compares the birth certificate with the termination order for accuracy of the spelling of the child’s name and correct birth date; 
  8. Provides the Office of the General Counsel copies of the birth certificate and TPR order, when an error is found on the order terminating parental rights, and asks that a motion be prepared to request the correction;
  9. Prepares the notarized consent to adopt and obtains the signature of the FSOS;
  10. Sends an original copy of the following documents to the child’s SNAP worker:
    1. A cover letter listing items enclosed;
    2. Certified copy of the birth certificate;
    3. Certified copy of order terminating parental rights;
    4. The Cabinet’s notarized consent to adopt;
    5. A copy of the DPP 1258-Adoption Assistance Agreement signed by all parties (The original document is retained in local SSW’s file); and
    6. A copy of the DPP-1258A Non-recurring Adoption Expense Agreement signed by all parties (The original document is retained in local SSW’s file).

The central office SNAP worker:

Retains a copy of the above documentation and forwards a copy to the ICPC Deputy Administrator;

Sends the documents including the original certified copy of birth, the original certified copy of TPR and the original certified copy of the Consent to Adopt directly to the family's attorney;

Notifies all parties that copies have been sent.

The ICPC deputy administrator:

Forwards the originals to the state where the child is placed.

The Adoption Services Branch staff:

Reviews the post-placement supervision documentation on the child and family, and consults with the SNAP worker on any problems arising in the placement.

Practice Guidance

  • The adoptive family's worker is expected to send the Kentucky SSW monthly recordings of post-placement visits with the family and child.

Footnotes

  1. The period of post-placement services required before the adoptive petition can be filed varies, but usually requires nine (9) months to one (1) year. 

10.31 Out of State Petitions for Finalization of Adoption

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
09/14/2018
Section:
10.31 Out of State Petitions for Finalization of Adoption
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The adoptive family’s SSW:

  1. Prepares the report to the court (or the state’s equivalent); and
  2. Sends a certified copy of the adoption decree and a copy of the court report to the Kentucky Adoption Profile Exchange (KAPE) specialist or the Kentucky ICPC deputy administrator, when the judgment of adoption is granted.

10.32 Kentucky Families Adopting Through Out of State or Out of Country Adoption Agencies

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
10.32 Kentucky Families Adopting Through Out of State or Out of Country Adoption Agencies
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

When prospective adoptive parents are considering adoption of a child from another state and request release of their home study, regional staff informs them that the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) governs preparation and placement of the child.  The ICPC administrator for the state that may place the child is to request the family's home study from the ICPC administrator of the receiving state. Regional staff will inform prospective adoptive parents if they send a home study directly to an agency or individual in another state, an invalid adoption may result.

Procedure

For all families residing in Jefferson County
Regional staff:

  1. Obtains a signed request for release of the adoptive home study from the prospective adoptive parents;
  2. Sends a copy of the entire, un-redacted adoptive home study and all attachments to the prospective adoptive parents, upon receipt of a signed request;
  3. May assist prospective adoptive parents with the interstate compact process to facilitate submittal of the study to another state.

For families residing outside of Jefferson County
Regional staff:

  1. Submits the original request for release, signed by the prospective adoptive parents; a copy of the entire, unredacted adoptive home study; and all attachments to:

    Records Management Section, 3E-G
    275 East Main Street
    Frankfort, Kentucky 40621
  2. May assist prospective adoptive parents with the interstate compact process to facilitate submittal of the study to another state.
  3. The Records Management Section sends a copy of the entire, unredacted adoptive home study to the prospective adoptive parents upon receipt of a signed request and home study from the regional staff.

The interstate coordinator:

  1. Refers the family to Kentucky licensed private adoption agencies upon receiving a written request from an out of state licensed private adoption agency to study a Kentucky family for one (1) of the agency’s children.

Practice Guidance

  • The Cabinet does not provide case management services to Kentucky families attempting to adopt through licensed private adoption agencies in other states or countries or to Kentucky families initiating adoptions through public adoption agencies in other states or countries.


 

  • When a Kentucky family wants to adopt a child legally committed to a licensed private adoption agency in another state or country, the family requests the out of state or out of country agency to write to the ICPC Deputy Administrator requesting a home study for the family.
  • Any request from other countries must be provided in English.
  • The agency:
    • Provides certification of licensure;
    • States that it plans to place a child with the Kentucky family;
    • Provides the source of their children; and
    • States how they legally free the children for adoption.
  • All activities are coordinated through the interstate offices of both states.
  • The adoptive home study must meet the requirements of both states.
  • When the home preparation narrative is completed, a copy is sent by the Kentucky private agency worker directly to the child’s out of state agency.
  • Prospective adoptive parents may request release of their adoptive home study by submitting a signed, written request (as required by the Kentucky Open Records Act) to the Records Management Section.
  • The Kentucky private adoption agency worker requests birth, developmental, medical, background, and legal status information on the child.  The material is submitted as a part of the Interstate Compact on Placement of Children referral through the other state’s interstate office to the Kentucky ICPC deputy administrator.
  • When all materials have been received by both workers, the Kentucky private adoption agency worker and the out of state worker communicate by phone or correspondence.
  • Placement cannot be made until both states have signed the ICPC-100A Interstate Compact Placement Request. The Kentucky private adoption agency worker contacts the ICPC deputy administrator for assistance.
  • When the two (2) workers and other staff agree, the information on the child is presented to the family. 
  • After the family hears the information they may be ready for a visit with the child or may have questions to be answered before a visit is arranged.
  • The Kentucky private adoption agency notifies the Kentucky ICPC deputy administrator whether the agency and family are accepting of the referral.
  • If the referral is accepted, the deputy signs the Interstate Compact on Placement of Children ICPC-100A, notifies the other state’s deputy of the acceptance, and then distributes the 100As.
  • The two (2) workers arrange a time and place in the child’s state for the family and child to visit. If, after visiting the child, the family wants to proceed with placement, further visits are planned. The number of visits depends on the age and needs of the child.
  • Once placement is made, the Kentucky licensed private adoption agency worker is responsible for post-placement services. Quarterly reports regarding post-placement progress are sent by the Kentucky private agency worker directly to the child’s worker with two (2) copies to the Kentucky ICPC administrator

Related Information

Services for Kentucky families at the request of out of state public agencies:

  • The out of state public agency desiring to place a child with a Kentucky family requests the Cabinet to prepare home studies and provide placement, post-placement, and finalization services.
  • All such requests are made by the other state’s ICPC office.
  • When the child to be adopted has special needs the family must complete pre-service family preparation training.
  • The Cabinet does not approve or disapprove courtesy adoptive home studies, but the FSOS and SSW provide a recommendation.
  • Any approval of a courtesy adoptive home study is granted by the out of state agency.


Kentucky families finalizing a private agency out of state child adoption:

  • Since both state’s finalization requirements are to be met, the family may have to wait six (6) months or more before receiving the notarized consent of the placing agency to allow the adoption petition to be filed.
  • When the family is filing their adoption petition in Kentucky, the Kentucky private adoption agency worker requests a certified copy of the birth certificate, a certified copy of the order terminating parental rights, or the other state’s equivalent, and the out of state agency’s notarized consent to the adoption.
  • A letter of permission signed by the Commissioner to satisfy KRS 199.470(4)(b) may be necessary when an out of state child is being adopted in Kentucky.
  • The permission letter may be requested by the Kentucky private adoption agency worker through central office adoption staff. The Cabinet’s notarized consent, DPP-215, to the adoption is not necessary since the child is not committed to the Cabinet. The child must have been in the home for at least three (3) months before the adoption petition is filed per KRS 199.470(3).
  • After receiving the adoptive petition and the request for preparation of the court report, the Kentucky private adoption agency worker prepares the report to the court and submits the original and one (1) copy to the central office adoption specialist who reviews it, and if the report is complete, submits the original of the report to the appropriate court with an explanatory cover letter.
  • When the Kentucky private adoption agency worker receives notice from central office that the adoption judgment has been granted, the Kentucky SSW notifies the child’s worker in the other state through the ICPC deputy administrator by sending the county and date of the adoption judgment and a copy of the judgment, when possible.
  • The new birth certificate is requested from the Office of Vital Statistics in the child’s state of birth. The request, accompanied by proof of the adoption (the Circuit court clerk’s completed VS-102 form and a copy of the judgment of adoption may have already been sent to the other state’s vital statistics office by Kentucky Vital Statistics) and the appropriate fee, is generally handled by the attorney for the family.
  • The assistance of the private adoption agency worker and central office staff may be necessary to supply information and the address of the appropriate vital statistics office.
  • When the child came from a state which allows out of state families to finalize the adoption in the child’s state and the family chooses to finalize in the child’s state, the Kentucky private adoption agency worker has little responsibility for finalization. In such cases the Kentucky private agency worker verifies that a copy or notice of the adoption judgment is received by the Adoption Services Branch upon finalization to allow case closure.

Inter-country adoptions:

  • Inter-country adoptive placements occur when a child from another country is being placed with a Kentucky family.
  • The ICPC adoption coordinator is involved in every inter-country adoptive case.
  • The preparation process addresses the family’s experience with and ability to accept the type of child requested.
  • Kentucky licensed private child-placing agencies are contacted by the family to arrange for home studies, placement, and after-placement services when the child is committed to an out of state or out of country licensed adoption agency.
  • The inter-country adoption is considered an independent adoption when the child’s placement has been arranged by someone other than a licensed adoption agency.
  • The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is involved in all inter-country placements. USCIS approval is necessary before the child’s exit visa is issued allowing the child to leave the foreign country and enter the United States.
  • The majority of inter-country adoptions are finalized before the child enters the United States.
  • When the adoption is finalized in Kentucky, after-placement and finalization services for Kentucky families are the same as for interstate placements.
  • Kentucky does not issue a new birth certificate for foreign-born children adopted in Kentucky. VS-54-Record of Foreign Birth is issued in lieu of a birth certificate by the Office of Vital Statistics in Frankfort. A similar form, G-641-Certificate of Birth Data Form is issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Inter-country, agency adoptive placement:

  • A licensed private adoption agency in another state of the United States with contacts in the child’s country requests in writing the completion of an adoptive home study on a Kentucky family by a Kentucky licensed private adoption agency.
  • The same procedures for home preparation are followed as for interstate cases. The Kentucky private agency worker requests material on the child directly from the other agency, or when that is not possible, directly from the family.
  • The Kentucky private agency worker is responsible for notifying the intermediary agency or the agency in the other country that the adoption has been finalized.

Inter-country, independent adoptive placement:

  • A DPP-187 Independent Adoption Application is required for proposed inter-country adoptions in which the applicants have identified a specific child as available for adoption and a licensed adoption agency is not making the placement. All inter-country, independent adoptive placements are coordinated through the interstate/independent adoption specialist in the Adoption Services Branch.
  • The same placement investigation procedures pertaining to the proposed adoptive parents are followed as in other independent adoptions.
  • In most circumstances it is impossible to arrange for anyone in the child’s country of origin to interview members of the child’s family to obtain health and background information pertaining to the child. During interviews with the proposed adoptive family, the worker inquires as to what information is available about the child from any intermediary in the child’s country of origin. This information is included in the placement investigation report.
  • Federal immigration law requires that home studies completed for inter-country adoption include a child abuse/spouse abuse registry check conducted on each adult household member. The adoptive applicants are responsible for obtaining this information through personal application to Records Management in central office.
  • Per KRS 615.040, the proposed adoptive family is required to post a ten thousand dollar ($10,000) child importation bond with the County Judge Executive in their county of residence. A copy of this bond is provided to the interstate/independent adoption specialist as part of the applicant’s placement investigation report.
  • The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in Louisville, Kentucky is involved in all inter-country adoptions, and families are required to file I-600 or I-600A petitions through the Kentucky’s INS office. Cabinet staff requests a copy of the prospective adoptive parent’s petition during the investigation process and provide a copy to central office with the placement investigation report.
  • An adoption court in the country of the child’s origin has jurisdiction for planning for the child’s adoption. If for some reason the child to be adopted is already in the United States on a visa, other than a visa for the purpose of adoption at the time of the filing of the DPP-187, consult with the central office inter-country adoption specialist regarding how to proceed.

 

10.36 Child Protective Services (CPS) Records Requests

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
11/1/2012
Section:
10.36 Child Protective Services (CPS) Records Requests
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Practice Guidance

  • To obtain child protective services (CPS) records from out of state, contact the state’s CPS hotline, and follow their instructions.
  • Most states require the request to be submitted on department letterhead and faxed to the appropriate office.
  • For further information or assistance, contact the interstate compact administrator at (502) 564-2147.

10.37 Custody Investigations

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
11/1/2012
Section:
10.37 Custody Investigations
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Practice Guidance

  • Child custody home studies that do not involve a substantiation of abuse, neglect or dependency are not covered by the interstate compact.
  • This type of referral is submitted directly to the local child welfare office in the other state.
  • Contact the interstate compact administrator for assistance at (502) 564-2147.

10.38 Out of State Travel for DCBS Staff

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
11/1/2012
Section:
10.38 Out of State Travel for DCBS Staff
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

DCBS staff may travel out of state if authorized to transport children to and from placements.  DCBS will pay all transportation costs related to the out of state placement of a DBCS child. This includes travel costs related to the child returning to Kentucky for visits with parents and/or siblings as well as travel costs for the SSW to visit a Kentucky child placed out of state through the ICPC program.

Prior approval is to be obtained for all interstate travel including: 

  • Placement of children;
  • Retrieval of children; and
  • Case related out of state travel for children.

Travel arrangements must be made ahead of time in order to qualify for the lowest airfare rates possible.

DCBS will not pay any transportation cost associated with:

  • The ICPC placement of a child from another state being placed in Kentucky;
  • Private interstate adoptions; or
  • International adoptions.

For DCBS children, DCBS will pay for the return of the child to the state of Kentucky should the placement fail or no longer be in the child’s best interest.

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Upon approval by the SRA or designee, submits the request for travel to the ICPC office;
  2. Contacts the interstate compact administrator for assistance, by email or telephone at (502) 564-2147 for all interstate related out of state travel questions;
  3. Submits the CHFS-005 Request for Authorization for Out of State Travel form to the interstate compact administrator, by faxing the completed form to (502) 564-5995 prior to submitting any out of state travel expenses; 1 
  4. Submits all out of state travel expenses on a separate standard travel vouchers along with a copy of the approved CHFS-005 and receipts, regardless of the amount (even if the amount is under $10.00) to the Travel Branch for reimbursement;
  5. Follows standard travel regulations which can be found on the travel website:
    http://finance.ky.gov/internal/travel.

The interstate compact administrator:

  1. Sends via email, information regarding how to make flight arrangements, should the travel involve air travel;
  2. Faxes or e-mails the approved CHFS-005 to the SSW, upon approval from the Commissioner or designee, authorizing reimbursement of the out of state travel expenses.

Practice Guidance

  • The SSW will be issued electronic tickets for all interstate related out of state travel flights.
  • The electronic airline tickets are direct billed to the interstate office only.
  • All other travel expenses incurred are paid by the SSW and are reimbursed. 

Footnotes

  1. The CHFS-005 does not have to be submitted prior to travel; however, it must be submitted prior to submitting the travel voucher(s) for reimbursement because it must be included with the travel vouchers. Make sure the fax cover sheet is addressed to the interstate compact administrator and includes a return fax number.

11.1 Preparation for Court

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.1 Preparation for Court
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

The Social Service Worker (SSW) is central to the provision of child protective services and, therefore, the entire abuse, neglect and dependency court process.  As representatives of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Community Based Services (DCBS), the SSW is responsible for the investigation of child maltreatment reports and the provision of protective services.  This requires the ability to be flexible; at times, acting in an evidence gathering function, while at the same time completing a thorough assessment of family strengths and needs, and coordinating the provision of services to address issues related to the maltreatment.  At all times, the primary focus of the SSW is the safety of the child.  It is critical therefore, that the SSW carefully balances the circumstances in the home with the potential trauma to the child should the child be placed elsewhere.  Both decisions have very significant long term implications for the child.

The SSW should understand his/her role in the court process and be prepared for each court appearance. The standards of practice (SOP) 1 in this chapter provide principles to guide the SSW in the duties involving court responsibilities; however, consultation with supervisors and OLS on case specific court issues is essential for appropriate regional and local court protocols. One of the basic principles is the need for comprehensive and timely judicial actions in child welfare cases. Victims of child abuse and neglect come before District, Juvenile and Family court judges for protection from further harm and for timely decision making for their future.  In response, judges make critical legal decisions and oversee social service efforts to rehabilitate and maintain families, or to provide permanent alternative care for child victims. Courts and the Cabinet work together to make sure a safe, permanent and stable home is secured for each abused and neglected child.

The role of the SSW in court includes knowing where and when to exercise flexibility and compromise on original plans; responding to new, emergent information; and knowing when to state for the record that the Cabinet’s position is distinct from that of the court or other participant’s opinions. Accordingly, it is imperative that the SSW be professional in conduct and attire and to present promptly and prepared. 2 

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Is fully prepared with relevant and reliable information at each court appearance and  prepared to:
    1. Present information from the investigation and the assessment;
    2. Make recommendations for disposition at the appropriate time; and
    3. Provide information, as requested by the court, regarding the progress of the case at all court hearings;
  2. Knows all court dates and is present;
  3. Arranges to have another worker represent DCBS and provides this SSW with the necessary information for the court if unable to attend;
  4. Knows the facts of the case;
  5. Presents up to date information regarding the child and parents, including information from treatment providers, care providers, schools, relatives or others as appropriate;
  6. Identifies the eligible resources and the reasons why they are appropriate;
  7. Knows the requirements of each stage of the court process and the corresponding expectations;
  8. Knows the documentation and time schedules set by law and the court;
  9. Notifies the client of the Cabinet’s recommendations prior to the court proceeding unless there are safety considerations, which would justify withholding this information;
  10. Is prepared to implement any court orders and any dispositional recommendations made by the agency and accepted by the court;
  11. Contacts Office of Legal Services immediately if there are concerns about a court order;
  12. Prepares the child for testimony (without instructing the child on specifically what to say) and has the child available to testify, as needed;
  13. Anticipates and plans for any safety considerations; and
  14. Is prepared to testify truthfully in a clear and concise manner.

Footnotes

  1. Due to the discretionary nature of social work, the facts and circumstances of a particular case may warrant deviation from the SOP. However, deviation should only occur upon consultation and approval of the Family Services Office Supervisor (FSOS).
  2. An FSOS or senior SSW should support new SSWs until they become knowledgeable about the court process.

11.2 Subpoenas and Confidentiality

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
04/7/2014
Section:
11.2 Subpoenas and Confidentiality
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

If subpoenaed, the SSW:

  1. Appears at the designated time in court with any appropriate documentation; 
  2. Consults with the Office of Legal Services (OLS) prior to the time for appearance; and
  3. Observes the recommendation of OLS, which may include filing a motion to quash where appropriate.

If the party who subpoenaed the records does not meet one of the exceptions of KRS 620.050, the SSW:

  1. Advises the court that the records cannot be provided to the requesting party without a court order;
  2. Takes precautions that referral sources are not disclosed if the court issues an order authorizing disclosure of the case record as outlined in SOP 30.10 CPS Open Records Request and Disclosure of Information;
  3. Takes precautions that all attorney-client privileged communications with OLS are not disclosed as outlined in SOP 11.3 Attorney-Client Privileged Information, if the court issues an order authorizing disclosure of the case record; and
  4. Discloses a referral source when the court has privately reviewed the case record and determined that the referral was fraudulently made and thus orders the disclosure.

The SSW:

  1. Brings a summation or notes  to court, which address services provided and recent events that have occurred in the case; and
  2. Asks the court for a brief recess to consult with OLS when questions regarding disclosure of information arise, even if court ordered to do so;
  3. Follows the procedures as outlined in SOP 11.3 Attorney-Client Privileged Information when dealing with privileged information, as all communications between the SSW and OLS are confidential.

11.3 Attorney-Client Privileged Information

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.3 Attorney-Client Privileged Information
Version:
1

 Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

All communications between the SSW and Office of Legal Services (OLS) are privileged and are not disclosed to the court, other attorneys, the client or other individuals.  Attorney-client privileged information is not subject to open records or discovery requests.

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Consults with an attorney from OLS before disclosing any attorney-client privileged information, which includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    1. DSS-161-Request for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights;
    2. Chronological summary;
    3. Witness list; and
    4. Correspondence/discussions between OLS and the SSW;
  2. Segregates any correspondence and/or any other documents containing communications with OLS from the remaining case record in:
    1. A separate location in the case file designated for attorney-client privileged information; and
    2. Such a manner that the information can be easily removed when non-DCBS staff is reviewing the case record to eliminate unauthorized disclosure, including discovery reviews by opposing counsel;
  3. Documents in TWIST contact screens that a discussion with OLS occurred and the date of the occurrence. 1

Footnotes

  1. Details of the discussions between OLS and the SSW are not entered into TWIST.

11.4 Regional Attorney and Office of Legal Services

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.4 Regional Attorney and Office of Legal Services
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Practice Guidance

  • The SSW and the FSOS may consult with the regional attorney or OLS after reviewing a specific case situation.
  • The regional attorney is available to help the SSW with:
    • Petitions;
    • CAPTA hearings;
    • TPRs;
    • Appeals of court orders;
    • Permanent custody actions for kinship care relatives, if time/resources permit; and
    • Any other legal advice relating to casework.

11.5 Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.5 Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

The court appoints a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) to represent the best interest of the child.

Procedure

The SSW cooperates with the GAL, as appropriate, to include:

  1. Access to the case record of the child, except for privileged attorney-client material, as well as copies from the file;
  2. Access to the child by arranging:
    1. Private meetings with the child if requested by the GAL; and
    2. Transportation for the child to meet with the GAL.

Related Information

  • The GAL may bill the Cabinet for services provided; however, the fee is not to exceed $500.00, and it is paid through the Finance and Administration Cabinet.

11.6 Overview of Notifications to the Court

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
01/10/2011
Section:
11.6 Overview of Notifications to the Court
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

 

Procedure

The SSW notifies the appropriate court in writing regarding the following information:

  1. Copies of a modified case plan and Visitation agreement within fourteen (14) days of any change;
  2. Notice of a change in the child’s placement within fourteen (14) calendar days of the new placement and giving the reason for the move;
  3. Results of the educational assessment of each child committed as abused, neglected or dependent within sixty (60) calendar days of child’s commitment;
  4. Change of permanency goal;
  5. Notification of the Cabinet’s intent to release a child from commitment fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the intended release date; and
  6. Notification of the death of a child in the Cabinet’s custody.

11.7 Motion to Redocket

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.7 Motion to Redocket
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

 

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Confers with the county attorney and FSOS, then requests a motion to redocket by following the appropriate regional and local court protocols; 
  2. Requests the court clerk’s office to place the case on the docket for review;
  3. Notifies all involved parties as to the date and time of court once the case is placed on the court docket for review;
  4. Requests a motion to redocket in the following situations:
    1. To amend, with the assistance of the county attorney, a previous petition due to new information;
    2. When a youth, or parents or other caregiver fail to follow court orders associated with their child protection case;
    3. When a child has gone missing or runaway during an open, court-active case; 1
    4. When needing to seek permission for medical treatment for a child in emergency or temporary custody as outlined in SOP 11.21 Medical Consent for Child in Emergency or Temporary
    5. When a there is a lack of cooperation or failure by the youth, parent or other caregiver to follow the case plan;
    6. To request a change in custody;.To request a change in custody;
    7. To request permanent custody for a kinship care relative after a child has been successfully in placement for six (6) months as outlined in SOP 4.5 Kinship Care Program-Introduction;
    8. To seek court approval of a planned permanent living arrangement, refer to Permanency Goals in OOHC Cases Tip Sheet;
    9. To extend commitment of a youth as outlined in SOP 4.29.2 Transition Planning for OOHC Youth;
    10. To request cessation of life support systems for a child in the Cabinet’s care as outlined in SOP 4.27.5 Ending Use of Life Support Systems.  When faced with a child needing life support the SSW follows the procedures outlined in SOP 4.27.4 Life Support Systems; and
    11. Other times as indicated by significant changes in a child or family’s situation.

Footnotes

  1. When the child is in the custody of the cabinet, the worker also follows the procedures referenced in SOP 4.67 Locating Missing Children-Including Runaways.
 

11.8 Judicial Determination of Reasonable Efforts and Aggravated Circumstances

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
03/15/2018
Section:
11.8 Judicial Determination of Reasonable Efforts and Aggravated Circumstances
Version:
3

Legal Authority/Introduction

 

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

 
 

From the moment of the initial contact with the family, the SSW and the department are obligated under federal and state law to make reasonable efforts to keep families intact whenever possible, and in removal situations, to make reasonable efforts to reunify children with their families.  Only the court has the legal authority to determine if reasonable efforts have been made or are perhaps not required based on the case specific situation.

 

During removal situations, the worker demonstrates to the court’s satisfaction that either services were provided to prevent removal, or that the lack of services was necessary for the immediate safety of the child.  In open OOHC cases, the worker demonstrates that the agency has and is making reasonable efforts to reunify the family or finalize another permanent placement for the child. Federal law also recognizes specific situations in which a waiver of reasonable efforts may be sought from the court, infants considered abandoned under state law or children entering or living in foster care where aggravated circumstances exist in the case of origin.  To obtain a waiver of efforts, the worker is responsible for demonstrating to the court’s satisfaction that a legitimate exemption exists and request a waiver of efforts from the court. 

 

Procedure

 

At the time of removal, the SSW:

 
  1. Completes a DSS-1266 Affidavit of Reasonable Efforts, and files it with the court clerk’s office the next working day to show that all reasonable efforts have been made to prevent the removal of a child from their home;
  2. Forwards a copy of the DSS-1266 to the Child Benefits Worker (CBW) within ten (10) working days of removal to apply for title IV-E benefits, which is required to meet requirements of P.L. 96-272, title IV-E eligibility;
  3. Completes the Waiver of Reasonable Efforts Checklist and consults with FSOS at the following points in the case:
    1. Five (5) day conference/First FTM/initial case plan;
    2. Periodic review case plan at six (6) months;
    3. Nine (9) months after removal (during pre-perm with regional attorney); and
  4. Consults with the regional attorney about the appropriateness of requesting a waiver of reasonable efforts through the court, if any of the criteria in the checklist are selected/apply to the case. 1

 

 

At any point in the protection case, the SSW:

 
  1. May request a waiver of efforts from the court if the child is subject to aggravated circumstances, or if the child has been found to be an abandoned infant under state law.
 

At the annual permanency hearing, the SSW:

 
  1. Obtains judicial orders pertaining to reasonable efforts and forwards a copy to the child benefits worker.
 

For all judicial orders pertaining to reasonable efforts or waiver of efforts, the SSW:

 
  1. Forwards a copy of the court’s orders on the AOC forms to the child benefits worker within 10 days of issuance; and
  2. Maintains a copy of all judicial determinations and orders in the hard copy; and
  3. Documents the outcome of court hearings in the appropriate TWIST screens.
 

Practice Guidance

 
  • Only a judge may grant an exception to reasonable efforts being made with a family if the court determines that one of the conditions exist as outlined in this SOP.
  • Practice related to aggravated circumstances is guided by KRS 600.020 and KRS 610.127:
    • The parent has not attempted or has not had contact with the child for a period of not less than ninety (90) days;
    • The parent is incarcerated and will be unavailable to care for the child for a period of at least one (1) year from the date of the child's entry into foster care and there is no appropriate relative placement available during this period of time;
    • The parent has sexually abused the child and has refused available treatment;
    • The parent has sexually abused the child or is required to register on a sex offender registry under 42 USC sec. 16913, of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006;
    • The parent has a criminal conviction of having caused or contributed to the death of another child of the parent;
    • The parent has committed a felony assault resulting in serious bodily injury to the child or another child of the parent;
    • The parent has had their parental rights to another child involuntarily terminated;
    • The parent has been found by the cabinet to have engaged in abuse of the child that required removal from the parent's home two (2) or more times in the past two (2) years;
    • The parent has engaged in a pattern of conduct/behavior, for a period of not less than ninety (90) days, due to alcohol or other drug abuse that has rendered the parent incapable of meeting the child’s needs and has refused or failed to complete available treatment;
    • The parent has caused the child serious physical injury;
    • The parent is not able to protect the child from substantial risk of physical or emotional injury even with services, for twelve (12) months, due to mental illness, mental retardation or other developmental disability; and
    • Other circumstances that may exist that are inconsistent with the best interest of the child and with the permanency plan for the child.
 

 Contingencies and Clarification

  1.  After a waiver or reasonable efforts is received the SSW;
    1. Completes a pre-permanency meeting with the regional attorney within thirty (30) days;
    2. Schedules a new case plan and a written notice is provided to the parents; 2
    3. Shifts focus of the case plan to transitioning the child to adoption;
    4. Completes case planning tasks with the parents which include continuing to work with service providers to reduce high-risk behaviors in the event the parents' appeal is in their favor or TPR is granted;
    5. Ceases visits and task provision to the parents; 3
    6. Prepares the child for the final parent-child visit and supports the child through adoption. 4
  2. May continue to send written notice to the parents to demonstrate the provision of reasonable efforts to locate a parent's address if previously unknown;
  3. Enters a new case plan with a goal of adoption in TWIST and begins work on the 161 packet so that the regional attorney may proceed with filing the termination of parental rights petition, once a waiver of reasonable effots is ordered.

 

Foot Notes

  1. SSWs can request a waiver of reasonable efforts based on the checklist criteria at any point in the case; however, they should complete the checklist at each of the four (4) points listed in this section.
  2. Case planning tasks are developed with the parents and child.
  3. The parents may still have case plan tasks related to supporting the child, preparing the child for the final parent-child visitation and adoption, and continuing to work independently on their high-risk behaviors.
  4. Parent-child visits may proceed at the direction of the court through the termination of parental rights.

11.9 Educational Assessment of a Child in Placement

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
03/30/2016
Section:
11.9 Educational Assessment of a Child in Placement
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW: 

  1. Arranges for each child to have an educational assessment following the procedures within sixty (60) days of the commitment date of a child and provide the court of jurisdiction an assessment of the child to determine the:
    1. Child's current and historical educational functioning;
    2. Child's emotional and behavioral functioning; and
    3. Extent to which the child's life experiences and circumstances of commitment have created a disabling condition requiring special educational programming or other services to provide the child an appropriate public education.
  2. The parent and the caregiver work with the school district to arrange for the child to receive an appropriate education following the procedures outlined in SOP 4.28 Meeting Educational Needs, based upon the child’s assessed needs.
  3. Makes a referral for an educational assessment for the child of legal school age who is committed to the Cabinet as abused, neglected or dependent, by sending:
    1. A letter from the SSW (or the completed school district form) to the person in charge of special education for the school district, and copied to the Director of the family resource or youth services center (FRYSC);
    2. Copies of KRS 605.110, KRS 620.145; and 
    3. The SSW’s assessment of the child’s emotional and behavioral functioning, which may include (but is not limited to):
      1. The child’s ability to build and maintain satisfactory relationships with peers or adults;
      2. The child’s capacity to live in a family or family environment;
      3. The child’s ability to control his behavior and make appropriate decisions that exhibit age-appropriate judgment; and
      4. The child’s ability to protect himself at an age-appropriate level;
  4. Sends a follow-up letter, and copies the letter to the FRYSC director, the SRA and the court if a response has not been received within thirty (30) days of the referral;
  5. Shares a copy of the child’s educational assessment with the caregiver during the first visit following its filing with the court; and
  6. Sends a copy of the child’s educational assessment to the caregiver within sixty-five (65) days of the child’s commitment.

11.10 through 11.12-Not Yet Utilized

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.10 through 11.12-Not Yet Utilized
Version:
1

Reserved for future use.

 

11.13 How to File a Petition

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
01/10/2011
Section:
11.13 How to File a Petition
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Files an AOC-DNA1 Juvenile Compliant/Petition, the legal document to initiate formal court proceedings in District, Juvenile or Family court, for a substantiated abuse, neglect or dependency petition as follows:1 2
    1. Marks the appropriate box to indicate whether the petition is based on abuse, neglect or dependency;
    2. Includes the affiant’s sworn statement setting forth the allegations of abuse, neglect or dependency in regard to the child;
    3. Includes a complete and accurate statement of the allegations, which if found to be true, meets the definition of a dependent, abused or neglected child;
    4. States how the alleged dependency, abuse or neglect occurred by answering the following questions:
      1. Who the alleged victim is;
      2. Who the alleged perpetrator is;
      3. What specifically happened;
      4. When did it occur; and
      5. Where did it occur;
    5. Includes the names and addresses of both parents on the petition, if known, and every effort is made to secure both; and
    6. Files the petition in the court clerk’s office and a hearing date is set;
  2. Attaches a list of witnesses’ names and addresses as appropriate to the original petition; 3 
  3. Immediately notifies Office of Legal Services (OLS) if a judge orders the SSW to file a petition in a case that the Cabinet was not intending to file a petition;
  4. Amends the original petition to include any additional allegations when further information or new allegations are discovered; this allows evidence regarding these allegations to be presented in court. 4  

Footnotes

  1. The county attorney may assist the SSW in preparing the petition.
  2. A separate petition is filed for each child, even if the child is part of a sibling group.
  3. The county attorney may find this useful in preparing the case.
  4. The petition is the legal basis or framework for any further action in court, and only the facts alleged in the petition may be presented as evidence in court.

11.14 When to File a Petition

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.14 When to File a Petition
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. May file a petition for removal or non-removal;
  2. Files a petition, after consultation with the FSOS, when:
    1. A child is in imminent danger; or
    2. A child is at risk of significant injury or harm;
  3. Should consider filing a petition, in the following types of cases:
    1. A child is at risk of ongoing abuse, neglect or dependency;
    2. A child is five (5) years of age or younger, with substantiated physical abuse;
    3. A child is neglected, resulting in significant risk of injury or harm;
    4. A child is sexually abused; or
    5. The family is not cooperating, and, as a result, the child is at risk of further abuse or neglect;
  4. Documents in the assessment the reason(s) justifying why a petition is not filed when, upon consultation with the FSOS, it is determined that a petition is not necessary;
  5. In jurisdictions in which the county attorney makes the final determination if a petition may be filed:
    1. Documents efforts to file the petition; and
    2. Places a copy of the denied petition in the case record;
  6. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 11.13 How to File a Petition when filing the petition;
  7. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 11.25 Adjudication Hearings when there are questions and/or concerns regarding the court finding.1 

Practice Guidance

  • Special consideration should be given in situations where the child is currently protected, but it may be advantageous to obtain a court adjudication of abuse or neglect, which carries more weight than an agency finding. 
    • For example, when a child has been sexually abused but is currently being protected, the perpetrator may have access to other children, now or in the future, and a court finding may be necessary to take protective measures.

Footnotes

  1. Based on the evidence presented, the judge makes a finding of fact and conclusion of law regarding whether or not a child is dependent, neglected or abused.

11.15 Temporary Removal Hearing

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
01/1/2012
Section:
11.15 Temporary Removal Hearing
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

 

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

COA STANDARDS:

  • N/A

At a temporary removal hearing, the court determines whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that the child would be dependent, neglected or abused if returned to or left in the custody of his parent or other person exercising custodial control or supervision even though it may not have been proved conclusively who perpetrated the dependency, neglect or abuse.

Procedure

 

The SSW:

  1. Participates in the temporary removal hearing and presents evidence, with the assistance of the county attorney, on behalf of the child and the Cabinet;
  2. Requests a temporary removal hearing, which must be held within seventy-two (72) hours, excluding weekends and holidays, of when an emergency custody order (ECO) is issued, unless waived by the parent(s) or other person exercising custodial control or supervision;1
  3. When possible, prepares the family for the temporary removal hearing, which may include an explanation of the following:
    1. Court proceedings;
    2. Right to counsel;
    3. Role of the attorneys;
    4. Role of the Cabinet;
    5. Probability that the hearings will be conducted in an informal manner with the general public excluded from the court; and
    6. People who are allowed in the court:
      1. Families;
      2. Guardian ad litem (GAL); and
      3. Concerned parties;
  4. Provides a copy of the When Your Child is Removed From Your Care handbook to the birth parents/caregiver;
  5. Requests that the court orders the custodial parent to name the non-custodial parent if unknown or not legally established and completes the DPP-1275 Relative Exploration Form2  

Practice Guidance

  • In cases, which are commenced by the SSW filing a petition as outlined in SOP 11.14 When to File a Petition, a temporary removal hearing must be held within ten (10) days of the date of filing the petition, unless waived by the parent or other person exercising custodial control or supervision.

Footnotes

  1. This is outlined in SOP 11.20 Emergency Custody Order.
  2. This is for the purposes of exploring relative placements as outlined in SOP 4.3 Relative and Absent Parent Search.

11.16 Temporary Custody

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.16 Temporary Custody
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

The court considers the wishes of the child’s parent or legal custodian regarding possible placements and may grant temporary custody to a relative, friend of the child or family, the Cabinet or a child caring facility/child placing agency.

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Follows SOP 11.1 Preparation for Court when a child is placed in the temporary custody of the Cabinet;
  2. Seeks authorization from the parent/custodian or judge and follows procedures outlined in SOP 11.21 Medical Consent for Child in Emergency or Temporary Custody to provide any medical services to the child when the Cabinet places a child pursuant to a temporary custody order; and
  3. Seeks financial support from both parents for the care of the child as outlined in SOP 11.22 Non-Custodial Parent and Financial Support.

11.17 Expiration of Temporary Custody Order to the Cabinet

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
01/9/2012
Section:
11.17 Expiration of Temporary Custody Order to the Cabinet
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

The child remains in temporary custody with the Cabinet for a period of time not to exceed forty-five (45) days from the date of the removal from his home.  The court conducts the adjudicatory hearing and makes a final disposition within forty-five (45) days of the removal of a child.  The court may extend such time after making written findings establishing the need for the extension and after finding that the extension is in the child’s best interests.  

Procedure

  1. The SSW requests the court begin an adjudication hearing on each child in the temporary custody of the Cabinet no later than ten (10) calendar days prior to the forty-five (45) day maximum; 1  and if required, contacts the OLS regional attorney for further instructions, prior to the child returning home. 2
  2. The FSOS:
    1. Completes the notification to the court of impending expiration of temporary custody order (TWIST) letter to notify the court judge when the TCO is about to expire and  no date for an adjudication hearing is set within the forty-five (45) day period;
    2. May send a letter to the judge, if a judge does not respond to the letter notifying the court of the TCO's expiration, stating the following:
      1. Date the TCO expires;
      2. Date the child will be returned home; and
      3. SSW's concerns, if it is not in the child's best interest to be returned home.

Footnotes

  1. This allows the FSOS to send follow-up notification letter(s) if needed.
  2. If the court does not respond to either the SSW’s request or the FSOS’s letter.

11.18 Voluntary Commitment

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.18 Voluntary Commitment
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

A request to consider a child for voluntary commitment may originate with parents, guardians or staff of the Cabinet.  The decision to seek voluntary commitment for reasons other than adoption is made only after a thorough discussion of available community resources, exploration of relatives as a placement resource, or other appropriate services to prevent an unnecessary foster care placement.

Consultation with and written approval by the Service Region Administrator (SRA) or designee is necessary prior to accepting a voluntary commitment.  Situations where this might be appropriate include cases where a:

  • Juvenile parent may be in the custody of the Cabinet/Department for Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and has a child who is in need of placement; 
  • Parent, through no fault of their own (dependency), needs to have their child placed in foster care for a short determinate amount of time due to a situation rendering them temporarily unable to care for the child.

When parents request that the Cabinet accept custody of their children for a stated period of time, the SSW should discuss the rights and responsibilities of parents in regard to their child in foster care prior to entering into a voluntary commitment. The SSW negotiates a case plan, as outlined in the case planning section of SOP 4 Out of Home Care (OOHC) Services, with the family and child. In cases where there is an issue of protection, consideration is given to filing an abuse, neglect, or dependency petition.

The Cabinet may accept a voluntary commitment of the child to the Cabinet by the child’s parent, guardian or other person having legal custody; however, the Cabinet will refuse to accept any child on a voluntary commitment unless:

  • Adequate facilities, funds, and resources are available to care for the child; and
  • Commitment is in the best interest of the child.

As a condition of any voluntary commitment, the Cabinet enters into an agreement with the parent, guardian or other person having legal custody of the child consenting to their commitment to pay an agreed sum for the care and treatment of the child.  The sum is determined by the needs of the child and by the ability of the parent, guardian, or other person having legal custody to pay.

In the case of a voluntary commitment, the Cabinet expends funds as necessary to give the child all services available to any committed child including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Diagnosis;
  • Treatment;
  • Foster care;
  • Day care;
  • Institutional care;
  • Treatment in a facility;
  • Psychological care; and
  • Psychiatric care.

The parent or guardian signs a medical consent form so that the Cabinet can authorize medical care for the child, if necessary.

Procedure

When parents request that the Cabinet accepts custody of their children for a stated period of time, prior to entering into a voluntary commitment, the SSW:

  1. Discusses the rights and responsibilities of parents in regard to their child in foster care;
  2. Negotiates a case plan,; and
  3. Gives consideration to filing an abuse, neglect or dependency petition in cases where there is an issue of protection.

The SSW: 

  1. Completes and presents to the parents for their signature the DPP-167 Consent to Voluntary Commitment form; 1 
  2. Obtains a copy of health insurance or Medicaid card covering the child from the parents, guardian or person exercising custodial control;
  3. Follows the procedures outlined in SOP 4 Out of Home Care (OOHC) Services if the child is accepted for voluntary commitment;
  4. Completes the following tasks if it appears that the voluntary commitment will exceed one hundred, eighty (180) days:
    1. Takes the matter to court, prior to the one hundred, fortieth (140th) day, for a best interest determination, which gives the court sufficient time to render the required determination;
    2. Requests a written determination by the court that return of the child to the child’s home is contrary to the welfare of the child; 2
    3. Notifies the Children’s Benefits Worker (CBW) so that title IV-E funding is discontinued if the determination is not obtained by the one hundred, eightieth (180th) day; and 3
    4. Documents the notification in the case record.

Footnotes

  1. This form includes the amount of child support the parents, guardian or person exercising custodial control agrees to pay for the care and treatment of the child, during their voluntary commitment to the Cabinet. 
  2. This is necessary for a continuation of title IV-E funding as outlined in SOP 31.1 Title IV-E Determination.
  3. Notification may be done verbally.

11.19 Release from Voluntary Commitment

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.19 Release from Voluntary Commitment
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

The person who consented to a voluntary commitment may request in writing to the Cabinet that the child be released from commitment.

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Prepares a letter addressed to the person or persons who signed the voluntary commitment indicating the:
    1. Release of the child from commitment within ten (10) days, if it is in the child's best interest to do so; and
    2. Date the child is being returned to their care, custody and control;
  2. Has the letter signed by the Family Services Office Supervisor (FSOS) with copies to appropriate staff;
  3. Documents in the case record the plan for release as outlined in SOP 4.37 Case Closure and Aftercare Planning; and
  4. Releases children from voluntary commitment prior to closing the case.

Practice Guidance

  • The SSW files a petition requesting a hearing on the matter before the District, Juvenile or Family court when the SSW and the Cabinet believe it is not in the child's best interest to be returned home.

11.20 Emergency Custody Order (ECO)

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
08/15/2018
Section:
11.20 Emergency Custody Order (ECO)
Version:
4

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

An emergency custody order (ECO) is effective for no more than seventy-two (72) hours, exclusive of weekends and holidays, unless there is a temporary removal hearing, as outlined in SOP 11.15 Temporary Removal Hearing, held by the court to determine if the child shall be held for a longer period.  The seventy-two (72) hour period may be extended or delayed upon the waiver or request of the child’s parent or person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child.

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Requests an emergency custody order (ECO) from a District, Juvenile or Family court judge, in conjunction with the utilization review consultation (UR) process after consultation and approval by the FSOS/regional office in the following situations:
    1. The child is in danger of imminent death or serious physical injury or is being sexually abused; or
    2. The parent has repeatedly inflicted or allowed to be inflicted by other than accidental means physical injury or emotional injury.  Reasonable and ordinary discipline is acceptable as long as reasonable and ordinary discipline does not result in abuse or neglect as defined in KRS 600.020; or
    3. The child is in immediate danger due to the parent’s failure or refusal to provide for the safety or needs of the child;
  2. Files the petition and other documentation as required by the court;
  3. Determines whether the local judge wants the SSW to tender an AOC form partially or fully completed with the relevant information pertaining to that child for the judge's signature;
  4. Determines where the child is located at the time of the ECO and formulates a plan to take physical custody of the child in a way that is the least traumatic for the child to include contacting law enforcement personnel to physically remove the child;
  5. Provides a copy of When Your Child is Removed From Your Home-Guide for Parents to the custodial parent(s) upon removal;
  6. Secures law enforcement assistance if entry is denied or the parents refuse to relinquish the child;
  7. Files the original ECO, upon signature by the judge, with the court clerk’s office; 1  2
  8. Retains a copy of the ECO and files the copy in the child’s case record.

Practice Guidance

  • The court for the county where the child ordinarily resides or will reside, or the county where the child is present may issue an ex parte emergency custody order when:
    • It appears to the court that removal is in the best interest of the child;
    • There are reasonable grounds to believe, as supported by affidavit or by recorded sworn testimony, that the child is at risk of imminent harm; and
    • The parents or other person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child are unable or unwilling to protect the child.
  • The judicial determination that results in the child's removal must coincide with (i.e., occur at the same time as) the Cabinet's action to physically or constructively remove the child, unless the court order specifies an alternative timeframe for removal. 
  • If a court makes a judicial determination that it is contrary to the child's welfare to remain at home (without specifying an alternative timeframe) and the child does, in fact, remain at home and no removal occurs, the requirement for removal is not met and the child is ineligible for title IV-E.
  •  
    If the child's safety is not at risk and the court chooses to order in home services to prevent having to remove the child, it should do so.
  • States cannot issue "blanket" removal orders in an attempt to guarantee title IV-E eligibility in the event that the child has to be removed from the home at some point in the future.

  • The court may take into account the wishes of the parent or person exercising custodial control of the child and place the child with a relative, or any other appropriate person or agency, including the Cabinet.
  • The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) is responsible for completing the notice of emergency removal (dependency action), and providing it to the parent, guardian or other person with legal custody via the sheriff or authorized designee to:
    • Serve the parent or other person exercising custodial control or supervision with a copy of the ECO; or
    • Make a good faith effort to notify the nearest known relative, neighbor or other person familiar with the child if such person cannot be found.
  • It is strongly advised that the SSW secure law enforcement personnel assistance when taking physical custody of a child.
  • If the emergency is such that no law enforcement personnel are available, the SSW may remove the child with the ECO if it can be accomplished without placing the worker or child in jeopardy.
  • If a petition is filed and a child is not removed in an emergency situation, a dependence information sheet is completed and provided to the parent or custodial person by the clerk’s office when the petition is filed. 
  • The SSW does not assume responsibility for delivering this document to the parents.

Footnotes

  1. The court clerk’s office arranges for a person authorized to serve process (e.g. sheriff) to present a copy to the parent or other person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child.
  2. Family Court Rule 19(2) prohibits the removal of a child based on a judge's verbal order.

11.21-Not Yet Utilized

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
10/15/2012
Section:
11.21-Not Yet Utilized
Version:
2

Reserved for future use.

 

11.22 Non-Custodial Parent and Financial Support

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.22 Non-Custodial Parent and Financial Support
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Notifies the non-custodial parent, when the parent’s whereabouts are known, of all actions pending in court and all DCBS case conferences as outlined in SOP 4.20 Participants and Notification for All OOHC Cases;
  2. Requests the court to order child support from both parents for the care of the child;
  3. Follows and initiates the procedures as outlined in SOP 4.3 Relative and Absent Parent Search, if the non-custodial parent’s whereabouts are unknown, at the time the Cabinet is given custody of the child.

Practice Guidance

  • If a child has been placed in the custody of the Cabinet or someone other than the previous custodial parent, the non-custodial parent has the right to:
    • Request that the child be placed with them; and
    • Visit with the child, unless otherwise ordered by the court, and to participate   in case planning for the child.

11.23 Procedures When the Court Orders Specific Placement

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.23 Procedures When the Court Orders Specific Placement
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

The court may recommend a specific placement of a child committed to the Cabinet, but cannot order the Cabinet to place a child in a particular placement. If the court orders a particular placement at any time a child is in the custody of the Cabinet, the child may not be eligible for title IV-E benefits. 

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Follows SOP 11.1 Preparation for Court when out of home placement of a child is considered;
  2. Consults with the FSOS and immediately notifies the OLS regional attorney if issues arise, such as the court ordering a specific placement.

11.24 Completing and Filing Subpoenas

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.24 Completing and Filing Subpoenas
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

  • N/A

Procedure


When a subpoena is necessary, the SSW:

  1. Arranges for:
    1. The subpoena of witnesses as outlined in SOP 11.20 Emergency Custody Order (ECO) in preparation for the adjudication hearing; and
    2. Assistance in completing and filing subpoenas from the county attorney or the Office of Legal Services (OLS);
  2. Obtains the subpoena forms from the office of the court clerk and:
    1. Completes the subpoena form;
    2. Files the form in the court clerk’s office; and
    3. Delivers the form to the sheriff’s office for service.

Practice Guidance

  • The court ordering a party to attend the hearing issues a subpoena, which contains the following:
    • Name of the court and the title of the action;
    • Person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony at a specified time/place, and it may also require the person to produce business records, papers, or other documents; or
    • Person to whom it is directed to only provide the presentation of records known as a subpoena duces tecum.

11.25 Adjudication Hearing

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.25 Adjudication Hearing
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Practice Guidance

  • The adjudication hearing is the trial process in which the court determines whether allegations of dependency, abuse or neglect concerning a child are true and sustained by the evidence presented by the county attorney and SSW on behalf of the cabinet.
  • In all cases, the legal rights of interested parties are affected by the adjudication, and they therefore are entitled to notice as a matter of constitutional law.
  • If the allegations in the petition filed by the SSW seeking court intervention on behalf of the child are found to be true by a preponderance of evidence during the adjudication hearing the:
    • Court may proceed to the disposition stage; and
    • The SSW may be able to secure the cooperation of the parents who have denied any problems exist. 
  • A clear record of the facts established by the county attorney and SSW at the adjudication hearing may be useful in later legal proceedings to:
    • Foreclose later factual disputes;
    • Determine who shall have responsibility for the child and under what conditions;
    • Provide the basis for state intervention into a family; and
    • Proceed to the dispositional hearing to address the nature of such intervention.
  • The SSW should be aware that the adjudication hearing and dispositional hearing are held at separate times, but in certain cases may be addressed at the same hearing. 
  • It may be appropriate for the SSW to allow the dispositional hearing to follow immediately after the adjudicatory phase of the process if:
    • All required reports are available and have been received by all parties or their attorneys at least three (3) days in advance of the hearing and the judge has had the opportunity to review the reports after the adjudication; or
    • The SSW is prepared to make a verbal recommendation as to the disposition of the child. If the disposition is to be commitment, the waiver is not valid unless the Cabinet consents. The SSW requests from the court, time to prepare a pre-dispositional investigation report for the court regarding disposition if they are not ready to make a verbal recommendation.

11.26 Admissions and Agreements

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.26 Admissions and Agreements
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Objects to an admission or stipulation of dependency when the evidence strongly supports a finding of abuse or neglect by expressing any objection:
    1. First to the county attorney;
    2. To the court of record if the admission or stipulation is accepted over the cabinet’s objection; and
    3. After consultation with FSOS, to the Office of Legal Services (OLS) immediately after court to see if other relief can be obtained;
  2. Pursues allegations of abuse or neglect based on these considerations, unless the:
    1. County attorney or OLS states that the allegations cannot be proved; or
    2. Allegations cannot be proved without the child’s in court testimony and mental health experts state that such testimony would be traumatic to the child.

Practice Guidance

  • Many petitions do not go to an adjudication hearing when the petition is uncontested by an:
    • Admission by the parents or their attorney; or
    • Agreement or stipulation among the parties, which takes the place of an adjudication hearing.
  • Admission or stipulation may take place at any time during the court proceedings up until the adjudication hearing.
  • When petitions are uncontested, it is essential that the court’s findings accurately record the reasons for the Cabinet’s intervention and any admission or agreement that does not accurately describe the abuse or neglect.
  • It is important to note that “dependency” means a child is under improper care, custody or control through no fault of the parent when negotiating the findings.

11.27 Court Reports

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
01/15/2019
Section:
11.27 Court Reports
Version:
3

Legal Authority/Introduction

 

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

 
 

Throughout the life of a case, there are several occasions when a report may be made to the court .  According to statute a court review is referred to as a case review.  Policy reflects this language. Although each court has its own way of handling cases, reports may be submitted for the following types of hearings:  

 
  • Court Ordered Home Evaluation:  Contains information regarding a youth’s relationship with a proposed relative for placement purposes; as well as the relative’s ability and willingness to care for the needs of the child. 
  • The pre-dispositional investigation report: contains relevant information on the youth and family, which will assist the court in making a dispositional finding on a youth who has been adjudicated as dependent, abused, neglected or as a status offender.
  • Scheduled Judicial Review (Status Review):  Contains information about the current status of the ongoing case, the child(ren) and family. 
  • Annual Permanency Review:  Contains information regarding the current status of the ongoing case and what steps have been completed in order to achieve permanency for the youth. 
 

Each of these types of court hearings require their own report and assist the court in making decisions regarding the best interests of the child(ren). 

 

Procedure

 

Court Ordered Home Evaluation Reports

 

The SSW: 

 
  1. Prepares the report using the Court Ordered Risk Assessment or Home Evaluation or the Investigation Report Concerning Custodial Arrangements for the Child (in TWIST);
  2. Submits the report to the court based on the given timeframes set forth by the judge. 
 

Dispositional Reports

 


The SSW:

 
  1. Prepares a dispositional report for the court as required by court practice and case circumstance (Family Court Civil Rule 28);
  2. Provides the court the dispositional investigation report three (3) days prior to the dispositional hearing.
 

Case Review Court Reports

The SSW

 
  1. Prepares the case review report outline and submits it to the judge within each court’s specified timeframes.
  2. Ensures that the report contains clearly written and appropriate information about the services necessary to prevent foster care placement or reunification of the children.
 

Annual Permanency Review Reports

 

The SSW:

 
  1. Completes and submits the report for the annual permanency review and the case plan, to the court, at least three (3) days prior to the hearing.

11.28 Dispositional Hearing

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.28 Dispositional Hearing
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 11.26 Admissions and Agreements when parties admit the allegation of the petition or stipulate to a set of facts for the adjudication; 
  2. Requests service providers as needed to be witnesses if there are factual disputes concerning these issues due to the fact that the dispositional hearing determines whether the cabinet has made reasonable efforts to avoid the need for placement and what services are needed;
  3. Notifies other required participants when necessary of the dispositional hearing to be present, to include:
    1. Parents whose rights have not been terminated, including putative fathers;
    2. Relatives with legal standing or other custodial adults;
    3. Attorney for parents;
    4. GAL for the child;
    5. CASA worker if one has been assigned; and
    6. Foster parents;
  4. Requests, as needed, the presence of individuals, to include the following, who may be called upon to care for the child or work with the family due to the fact that the dispositional hearing focuses on the future well-being of the child:
    1. Public health officials;
    2. Mental health professionals;
    3. Other service providers/community partners;
    4. Close family friends;
    5. Responsible relatives; and
    6. Personnel from any government agency in contact with the child or family;
  5. Submits a written pre-dispositional report three (3) days prior to the dispositional hearing, which may include:
    1. Summary of allegations;
    2. Statement of family changes that are needed to correct the problems necessitating state intervention, with timetables for accomplishing them;
    3. Summary of parent(s) living conditions and employment;
    4. Summary of parent(s) education;
    5. Summary of services currently being provided;
    6. Description of services to be provided to assist the family;
    7. Description of actions to be taken by parent(s) to correct the identified problems;
    8. Description of the child’s placement and where it is located;
    9. Proposed arrangements for visitation;
    10. Placement of the child’s siblings and, if they are to be apart, proposed arrangements for visitation;
    11. An appropriate long term plan for the child’s future; and
    12. Proposed child support.

Practice Guidance

  • Different witnesses may be required to address dispositional issues as opposed to the witnesses who were needed at the adjudication hearing.
  • Decisions at the dispositional hearing help the Cabinet, the SSW and parents develop an appropriate case plan to address the specific problems identified during adjudication, which necessitated state intervention with the family.
  • Effective dispositional proceedings enable the SSW and the judge to evaluate progress in the case and identify:
    • Where family problems clearly exist;
    • Appropriate services; and
    • Appropriate objectives and tasks.
  • A final court disposition is to be completed within forty-five (45) days of the removal of the child.

11.29 Dispositional Alternatives

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.29 Dispositional Alternatives
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Practice Guidance

  • Before a child is committed to the Cabinet or placed in OOHC under the supervision of the Cabinet, the SSW demonstrates to the satisfaction of the court, that reasonable efforts have been made to enable the child to remain at home.
  • In determining the disposition of all cases brought on behalf of abused, neglected or dependent children, the court considers the child’s best interests when selecting between dispositional alternatives, to include:
    • Informal adjustment;
    • Protective order, such as requiring the parent or guardian to abstain from abusive or neglectful conduct towards the child;
    • Orders authorized pursuant to KRS 403.740 Emergency Protective Order and KRS 403.750 Court Orders-Amendment;  
    • Placing the child at home under the supervision of the Cabinet, which determines appropriate services; and
    • Committing the child to the Cabinet.

11.30 Permanency Hearings

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
01/1/2012
Section:
11.30 Permanency Hearings
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

A permanency hearing is held no later than twelve (12) months after the date the child is considered to have entered foster care and every twelve (12) months thereafter, as long as the Cabinet retains custody of the child. This includes youth eighteen (18) years of age or older on extended/reinstated commitment as long as the Cabinet retains custody.

Procedure

  1. The Children’s Benefits Worker (CBW) notifies the FSOS and the SRAA or designee of the due date for the permanency hearing ninety (90) days prior to the deadline.
  2. The FSOS and SRAA or designee notifies the SSW responsible for the case of the ensuing deadline.

The SSW:

  1. Prepares for the second periodic review as outlined in SOP 4.35 Ongoing Case Planning prior to the permanency hearing;
  2. Sends a copy of the DPP-165 Permanency Hearing Notification to the court requesting a permanency hearing no later than sixty (60) calendar days prior to the required due date, which is: 1
    1. No later than twelve (12) months from the date the child entered out of home care (OOHC) by order of temporary custody during the temporary removal hearing or placement as a result of voluntary commitment; and
    2. Every twelve (12) months thereafter if custody and out of home placement continues; and
    3. Within thirty (30) days of the development of the case plan;
  3. Refers to the Permanency Goals in OOHC Cases Tip Sheet in preparing for the permanency hearing;
  4. Or designated regional staff notifies and invites the following individuals to the scheduled court hearing:
    1. Child’s mother;
    2. Child’s father;
    3. Relative caregiver; and
    4. Child’s foster/pre-adoptive parent(s) or private child care provider; 2
  5. Documents the notification of the invitation to the scheduled court hearing on the DPP-165 and maintains a copy of the case file;
  6. Provides a written report (case plan) to the court, which includes the information, required pursuant to KRS 610.125;
  7. Provides the following information to the court, which is found in the case plan, in the following circumstances:
    1. That a child be returned home on a certain date, it documents:
      1. How the conditions or circumstances leading to the removal of the child have been corrected, including services provided and services that need to continue after the child’s return;
      2. The frequency of recent visitation and its impact on the child; and
      3. A plan for the child’s safe return home and follow-up supervision after the family’s reunification; 
    2. Termination of parental rights, it documents:
      1. Facts and circumstances supporting the grounds for termination; and
      2. A plan to place the child for adoption;
  8. Ensures that any ASFA exemption is clearly documented on the case plan prior to submission to the court;
  9. Files a dispositional report, case plan, visitation agreement, and any prevention plans at least 3 days prior to any annual review in accordance with Family Court Rules 28 and 29;  
  10. Ensures the contents of the dispositional report are reflected in TWIST;
  11. Obtains the judicial determination regarding the appropriateness of the permanency goal; 
  12. Obtains a judicial determination regarding the appropriateness of the agency's efforts to finalize the permanency plan; and
  13. Maintains a copy of the court order in the case file;
  14. Convenes another periodic review, to change the goal per court order if the court does not approve the permanency goal; and
  15. Documents the hearing and any court orders in TWIST, noting the court’s agreement with or deviation from the dispositional report;
  16. Or FSOS immediately contact the Office of Legal Services (OLS) regional attorney for consultation on the case, if after reviewing the court’s decision, the SSW and FSOS do not agree with the court’s permanency decision.

Practice Guidance

The SSW:

  • Is aware that statutory deadlines for permanency planning hearings are seen as maximums rather than standard times;
  • Is aware that termination of parental rights is not a permanency goal but the process to reach the permanency goal of adoption.

Footnotes

  1. Pursuant to KRS 610.125 (3) the court is required to schedule a hearing within sixty (60) days of this notice and notify all concerned parties as noted on the DPP-165.
  2. If deemed appropriate by the court, the above concerned parties may be asked to present any evidence relevant to the determination of a permanency goal for the child.  Concerned parties should be prepared to provide factual information if requested.

11.31 Determining Who has Legal Right to the Child

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
01/15/2019
Section:
11.31 Determining Who has Legal Right to the Child
Version:
3

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Determines who has potential legal rights to the child to ensure that:
    1. The rights of all persons having a direct, legal relationship to the child are terminated; and
    2. No possibility exists, however remote, that the birth or legal parent could invalidate the child’s adoption;
  2. Talks with the birth mother, relatives and family friends to determine who has potential legal rights to the child, and obtains an Affidavit of Paternity if applicable. Refer to SOP 4.3 Relative and Absent Parent Search regarding time frames.  
  3. Checks appropriate documents to determine who has potential legal rights to include:
    1. Birth certificate;
    2. Marriage license;
    3. Divorce decrees;
    4. Child support records;
    5. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) records;
    6. Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (KTAP) records;
    7. DCBS case records, including the child’s file; and
    8. A search of the Putative Father Registry.
  4. Researches those persons having a legal relationship to the child to include:
    1. The mother;
    2. The legal father:
      1. Is a man who has been adjudged to be the legal father of the child or is presumed to be the father due to marriage; and
      2. The biological father  may be the same person, but this is not always the case; and
    3. An alleged or putative father, which may include more than one alleged or putative father; and
    4. Adoptive parents (mother and father) who are the legal parents of the child.

Notifying and Locating Alleged or Putative Fathers

 

The SSW: 

  1. Includes the alleged or putative father(s) as a party to the termination of parental rights (TPR) action in the same manner as any other party to an involuntary termination action if one (1) of the following conditions exists: 
    1. He is known and voluntarily identified by the mother by affidavit
    2. Prior to the entry of a final order in a termination proceeding, he shall have acknowledged the child as his own by affirmatively asserting paternity in the action or to the custodial agency or the party bringing the action within sixty (60) days after the birth of the child; 
    3. he has caused his name to be affixed to the birth certificate of the child;
    4. He has commenced a judicial proceeding claiming parental right;
    5. He has contributed financially to the support of the child, either by paying the medical or hospital bills associated with the birth of the child or financially contributed to the child's support; or
    6. He has married the mother of the child or has lived openly or is living openly with the child or the person designated on the birth certificate as the biological mother of the child;
    7. He has registered with the Putative Father Registry.
  2. Contacts the putative or legal father to obtain his signature on the Disclaimer of Paternity (TWIST) form if the putative or legal father of a child does not acknowledge paternity of the child;
  3. Documents in the case record unsuccessful efforts to obtain a signature of the alleged father;
  4. Makes efforts to secure information about the identity of the father by following procedures in this section of SOP, as well as, SOP 4.3 Relative and Absent Parent Search when the identity of the father is unknown.
  5. If a search  has not already occurred, will request that a search of the putative father registry be completed by submitting the DPP-1305, Putative Father Registry Search Request to PutativeFather@ky.gov

11.32 Process for Court Case Reviews

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
02/22/2019
Section:
11.32 Process for Court Case Reviews
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction 

 

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

 
  •  
  

Procedure 

 

A case review is held no later than six (6) cumulative months after the date the child is committed and every three (3) cumulative months thereafter, as long as the Cabinet retains custody of the child,

 
 

The SSW:

 
  1. Or designated regional staff notifies and invites the following individuals if the court schedules a hearing:

  2.  
    1. Child's mother;

    2. Child's father;

    3. Relative caregiver; and 

    4. Child's foster/pre-adoptive parent(s)or private child care provider. 1

  3. Documents the notification of the invitation to the scheduled court hearing in the case record;

  4.  
  5. Provides a written report to the court, which includes the information, required pursuant to KRS 620.180;

  6.  
  7. Provides the following information to the court:

  8.  
    1. Recommendation regarding the child's best interest in regard to permanency including:

      1. Reunification;

      2. Termination of parental rights;

      3. Permanent Relative Custody; or

      4. Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (PPLA).

     
  9. Maintains a copy of the court review and any orders in the case file;

  10.  
  11. Files a subsequent report, every three (3) cumulative months after the initial six (6) month review;

  12.  
  13. Documents the review and any other court orders in iTWIST, noting the court's agreement with or deviation from the review report.  

 

Practice Guidance

Judges may choose to review the Cabinet's case review court report without holding a hearing every three (3) months.  The Cabinet is required to submit this case review court report every three (3) cumulative months as described in the procedure above, regardless of whether a hearing is scheduled. 

 

    1. If deemed appropriate by the court, the above concerned parties may be asked to present any evidence relevant to the determination of a permanency goal for the child.  Concerned parties should be prepared to provide factual information if requested. 
 

11.35 Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights (TPR)

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.35 Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights (TPR)
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Assistance may be given to a parent in the preparation of a voluntary petition upon approval by the FSOS. The Office of Legal Services (OLS) may assist in drafting and filing a voluntary TPR action. Voluntary terminations from seriously emotionally disturbed or mentally retarded parents shall not be accepted without consultation from OLS.

The petition for voluntary TPR is filed in Family or Circuit court of the judicial circuit where the petitioner or child resides or in the Family or Circuit court in the county in which juvenile court actions, if any, concerning the child have commenced.  Pursuant to KRS 625.040, no petition can be filed prior to three (3) days after the birth of the child.

Practice Guidance

  • When the child’s custody is to be vested in the Cabinet upon the court’s entry of the final order of termination, the SSW follows procedures outlined in SOP 11.37 Appearance Waiver and Consent to Adopt and will not under any circumstance sign an appearance waiver or consent to adopt form.
  • When only one parent has consented to a voluntary termination of parental rights, consideration is given to other persons having rights to the child.  A plan is made regarding those persons having parental rights to the child, prior to the SSW assisting the parent in filing a petition for voluntary termination as outlined in SOP 11.35.1 Voluntary TPR Petition/Drafting.
  • Under no circumstance will the Cabinet assist a parent who is seeking termination of parental rights as a means of abdicating a child support responsibility or adoption planning has not been initiated by:
    • A child placing agency;
    • A relative exempted pursuant to KRS 199.470 (4); or
    • An individual with the written approval pursuant to KRS 199.473.
  • Under these circumstances the SSW contacts OLS for legal assistance if the Cabinet opposes the parent’s petition.

11.35.1 Voluntary TPR Petition/Drafting

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/15/2013
Section:
11.35.1 Voluntary TPR Petition/Drafting
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

When a birth parent expresses a desire to voluntarily terminate his/her parental rights, the SSW:

  1. Advises the parent to discuss this matter with his/her attorney before making any final decisions;
  2. Informs the parent’s juvenile court attorney of the request, or in cases where there is no appointed attorney for the parent, informs the regional attorney;
  3. Prepares and submits a summary informing the FSOS of a parent’s request to complete a voluntary termination of parental rights (TPR); 1
  4. Includes the following information for this summary:
    1. Parent information-name, date of birth, county of residence;
    2. Child information-name, date of birth, sex, race;
    3. Legal residence of petitioner;
    4. List of persons having parental rights to the child and the plan for these persons;
    5. Reasons for termination action; and
    6. Brief summary of casework services provided to the parent in reaching the decision to plan for adoptive placement of the child;
  5. Includes in the summary casework, services provided to the minor’s parents in case situations involving an unmarried minor parent;

Practice Guidance

  • Assistance in drafting a petition may be sought through the regional attorney;
  • The regional attorney may provide the worker with paperwork for the voluntary TPR to be given to the parent.  The parent must file the paperwork themselves.
  • In those jurisdictions that require an attorney to file the voluntary TPR petition, the SSW may request OLS to assist the court with the procedural aspects of the action.

Footnotes

  1. The summary provided to the FSOS is signed and dated by the SSW.

11.35.2 Voluntary TPR Hearing and Order of Judgment

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.35.2 Voluntary TPR Hearing and Order of Judgment
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Attends the voluntary TPR hearing and accepts the child for placement for adoption  if TPR is granted and wardship transferred to the Cabinet;
  2. Obtains a certified copy of the order terminating parental rights and the order of   judgment from the Circuit court clerk;
  3. Forwards the certified copy to the central office Adoptions Branch;
  4. Maintains copies of each in the child and the family’s case record file;
  5. Prepares the child’s presentation summary as outlined in the SOP 13.10 Preparing the Presentation Summary Packet.

Practice Guidance

  • The Family or Circuit court sets a date for the TPR hearing within three (3) days after a petition for voluntary TPR is filed. 
  • The hearing is:
    • Held not more than thirty (30) calendar days after the petition is filed;  and
    • To prove to the court that TPR and placement of the child with the Cabinet is in the best interest of the child.
  • A private hearing is held and an official or mechanical record is:
    • Made of the proceedings; and
    • Retained by the court for a period of five (5) years.

 

  • After close of testimony, the court enters an order terminating all parental rights     and obligations of the parent and transfers wardship of the child(ren) to the Cabinet or other person or agency the court believes best qualifies to receive them.
  • The order terminating parental rights and order of judgment is recorded by the circuit court clerk in the court records. 
  • Termination judgment orders are confidential records, and requests for copies will be processed through open record procedures as outlined in SOP 30.12 Open Records Request and Disclosure of Information.

11.36 Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights (TPR)

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
01/15/2019
Section:
11.36 Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights (TPR)
Version:
4

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

For children in out of home care (OOHC), the SSW, in consultation with supervisor staff and other professionals involved in the case, may consider pursuing termination of parental rights at any point in the case depending on the case specific circumstances.  In general  the family is unable or unwilling to meet the child’s need for a permanent, safe and nurturing home, the Cabinet considers termination of parental rights as a means to provide permanency.  Prior to filing for the involuntary TPR, the SSW seeks parental consent for a voluntary TPR as outlined in SOP 11.35 Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights (TPR), which:

    • Is generally less difficult for the child; and
    • Leaves the parent(s) with some sense of self-esteem that they have acted in the best interest of the child.

Once a child has been OOHC for fifteen (15) of the last forty eight (48) months, state law requires the agency to file for termination of parental rights, unless there are compelling reasons not to file.  The agency may elect not to file or join a petition to terminate the parental rights of a parent if:

    • The child is being cared for by a relative;
    • The agency has documented in the case plan (which must be available for court review) a compelling reason for determining that filing such a petition would not be in the best interests of the individual child; or
    • The agency has not provided to the family, consistent with the time period in the case plan, services deemed necessary for the safe return of the child to the home, when reasonable efforts to reunify the family are required.   (45 CFR 1356.21 (i)(2)).

Federal language around “compelling reasons” is broad.  Such reasons may include, but are not limited to:  that no grounds for TPR exist, that adoption isn’t an appropriate goal—perhaps due to the parents’ recent progress, that there are international legal obligations that preclude termination, etc.  The worker, in consultation with the FSOS as appropriate, may exercise some discretion as to whether or not there is a compelling reason not to move forward with TPR.  However, the justification for not moving forward will be clearly documented, as required by the federal standard, on the case plan and available for court case review.  According to statute a court review is referred to as a case review.  Policy reflects this.

Procedure

The SSW: 

  1. Consults with supervisory staff and the Office of Legal Services at any point in the case when a waiver of efforts has been issued by the court for any reason;
  2. Consults with supervisory staff and other professionals involved with the child and family making the decision to pursue involuntary TPR in the absence of a waiver of efforts
  3. Considers the length of time the child has been in care;
  4. Considers whether or not services provided to the parent have been adequate for reunification, and whether or not additional services are likely to facilitate a safe reunification;
  5. Determines, in consultation with supervisor staff and other professionals involved in the case, whether or not to pursue a goal change to termination of parental rights or an exemption to ASFA requirements at the next annual permanency review;
  6. Schedules a pre-permanency conference to coincide with the OOHC regional consultation occurring when the child has been in out of home care for nine (9) months and invites the Office of Legal Services (OLS), in accordance with any decision to file for termination of parental rights;
  7. Reviews the grounds for involuntary TPR with the regional attorney to assess the evidentiary needs for termination;  
  8. Holds the periodic review and case planning conference prior to the next annual permanency court review;
  9. Requests the annual permanency hearing be scheduled within 30 days of the development of the case plan;
  10. Ensures a copy of the case plan, goal(s), prevention plans, and dispositional report are provided to the court prior to the hearing (Family Court Civil Rule 29);
  11. Ensures the dispositional report reflects the agency’s intent to move forward with a termination of parental rights;
  12. Ensures the contents of the dispositional report are entered into TWIST;
  13. Ensures that the case plan reflects the court approved goal after a goal change is made in court;
  14. Submits the DSS-161 Request for Involuntary TPR to the SRA or designee within 2 calendar weeks of the court’s acceptance of the agency’s dispositional report and the goal of adoption;
  15. Upon receipt of the signed DSS-161, forwards a copy of the signed DSS-161 to the Office of Legal Services;
  16. Receives the petition for involuntary TPR from OLS and reviews it for accuracy;
  17. Signs, swears to and attaches to the petition for TPR the DSS-160 Statement of Representative of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which states that the Cabinet has facilities to receive the care, custody and control of the child;
  18. Does not attempt to set any type of hearing date when filing the petition, but coordinates with OLS to file the petition for termination with the appropriate family or circuit court clerk within 3 working days;
  19. Continues service provision to the family, including reunification efforts;
  20. From the point at which the petition is filed, or when the agency joins a petitions to TPR, the agency begins working simultaneously with R&C as appropriate to identify, recruit, process, and approve a qualified family for adoption.  (Title IV-E, Section 475 (5)(E) of the Social Security Act and 45 CFR 1356.21 (i)(3)).
  21. Submits all necessary paperwork to facilitate the child's pemanency plan to the court no longer than thirty (30) days after a court enters the termination of parental rights judgement.  This includes the child's presentation summary packet as well as the identification of an adoptive home if determined. 

Practice Guidance

  • Federal law (Title IV-B, Section 475 (5)(E) of the Social Security Act and 45 CFR 1356.21 (i)), requires that when a child has been in foster care for 15 of the most recent 22 months a petition is filed.  However, state law requires fifteen (15) out of forty eight (48) months a petition must be filed by the end of the child’s 15th month in foster care, unless there are compelling reasons not to file.  In calculating when to file a petition, the state:
    • Will calculate the 15 out of the most recent forty eight (48) month period from the date the child entered foster care as per requirements of state law;
    • Will use a cumulative method of calculation when a child experiences multiple exits from and entries into foster care during the forty eight (48) month period; 
    • Will not include trial home visits or runaway episodes in calculating 15 months in foster care.
  • If a waiver of efforts has been issued by the court for any reason, the SSW consults with supervisory staff and Office of Legal Services as necessary to ensure that the petition for involuntary termination is filed as quickly as possible.  Service provision to the family is no longer required unless the court has specifically made orders regarding additional service provision.  The SSW updates any existing case plans and visitation schedules accordingly.
  • Per federal law (45 CFR 1356.21 (i)(1)(ii), when an infant has been designated by the court as abandoned under the state’s safe infant laws, the petition to terminate parental rights must be filed within 60 days of the judicial determination that the child is an abandoned infant.
  • Per federal law (45 CFR 1356.21 (i)(1)(iii), if a waiver of efforts has been granted because of the parents previous felony conviction, the petition for termination must be filed within 60 days of the judicial determination that reasonable efforts to reunify are not required.  Applicable convictions under Kentucky statute include: 
    • A situation where the parent caused or contributed to the death of another child of the parent;
    • A felony assault that resulted in serious bodily injury to the child or to another child of the parent;
  • If another party files a petition to involuntarily terminate the parents’ rights, the worker notifies the Office of Legal Services.  OLS files a motion to be joined as a party to the petition.  (Title IV-B, Section 475 (5)(E) of the Social Security Act and 45 CFR 1356.21 (i)).
  • State law (KRS 625.090) governs termination of parental rights procedures.  The Circuit Court may involuntarily terminate all parental rights of a parent of a named child, if the Circuit Court finds from the pleadings and by clear and convincing evidence that:
    • The child has been adjudged to be abused or neglected, as statutorily defined, by a court of competent jurisdiction;
    • The parent has been convicted of a criminal charge relating to the physical or sexual abuse or neglect of any child and that physical or sexual abuse, neglect, or emotional injury to the child named in the present termination action is likely to occur if the parental rights are not terminated; and
    • Termination would be in the best interest of the child.
  • State law provides that no termination of parental rights shall be ordered unless the Circuit Court also finds by clear and convincing evidence the existence of one (1) or more of the following grounds:
    • That the parent has abandoned the child for a period of not less than ninety (90) days;
    • That the parent has inflicted or allowed to be inflicted upon the child, by other than accidental means, serious physical injury;
    • That the parent has continuously or repeatedly inflicted or allowed to be inflicted upon the child, by other than accidental means, physical injury or emotional harm;
    • That the parent has been convicted of a felony that involved the infliction of serious physical injury to any child;
    • That the parent, for a period of not less than six (6) months, has continuously or repeatedly failed or refused to provide or has been substantially incapable of providing essential parental care and protection for the child and that there is no reasonable expectation of improvement in parental care and protection, considering the age of the child;
    • That the parent has caused or allowed the child to be sexually abused or exploited;
    • That the parent, for reasons other than poverty alone, has continuously or repeatedly failed to provide or is incapable of providing essential food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or education reasonably necessary and available for the child's well-being and that there is no reasonable expectation of significant improvement in the parent's conduct in the immediately foreseeable future, considering the age of the child;
    • That:
      • The parent's parental rights to another child have been involuntarily terminated;
      • The child named in the present termination action was born subsequent to or during the pendency of the previous termination; and
      • The conditions or factors which were the basis for the previous termination finding have not been corrected;
    • That the parent has been convicted in a criminal proceeding of having caused or contributed to the death of another child as a result of physical or sexual abuse or neglect; or
    • That the child has been in foster care under the responsibility of the cabinet for fifteen (15) of the most recent forty eight (48) months preceding the filing of the petition to terminate parental rights.
  • State law permits the court to consider the following factors:
    • Mental illness as defined by KRS 202A.011(9), or mental retardation as defined by KRS 202B.010(9) of the parent as certified by a qualified mental health professional, which renders the parent consistently unable to care for the immediate and ongoing physical or psychological needs of the child for extended periods of time;
    • Acts of abuse or neglect as defined in KRS 600.020(1) toward any child in the family;
    • If the child has been placed with the cabinet, whether the cabinet has, prior to the filing of the petition made reasonable efforts as defined in KRS 620.020 to reunite the child with the parents unless one or more of the circumstances enumerated in KRS 610.127 for not requiring reasonable efforts have been substantiated in a written finding by the District Court;
    • The efforts and adjustments the parent has made in his circumstances, conduct, or conditions to make it in the child's best interest to return him to his home within a reasonable period of time, considering the age of the child;
    • The physical, emotional, and mental health of the child and the prospects for the improvement of the child's welfare if termination is ordered; and
    • The payment or the failure to pay a reasonable portion of substitute physical care and maintenance if financially able to do so.
  • Under state law, if the parent proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the child will not continue to be an abused or neglected child as defined in KRS 600.020(1) if returned to the parent, the court in its discretion may determine not to terminate parental rights.
  • In cases where the court has declined a goal change, but OLS has certified the case for TPR, the SSW may update the case plan goal to adoption once the TPR petition has been filed.

11.36.1 Pre-Permanency Planning Conference

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.36.1 Pre-Permanency Planning Conference
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Requests that the regional attorney or Office of Legal Services (OLS) set up a conference to review the prospect of involuntary TPR prior to the next family team meeting or permanency hearing if the DCBS is considering changing the child’s goal to adoption;
  2. Refers to the Permanency Goals in OOHC Cases Tip Sheet for information regarding the pre-permanency planning conference.

11.36.2 Initiating the Request for Involuntary TPR

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.36.2 Initiating the Request for Involuntary TPR
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Forwards DSS-161 Request for Involuntary TPR and the pre-permanency planning certificate (provided by the regional attorney) to the Office of Legal Services (OLS) following the information provided in the Permanency Goals in OOHC Cases Tip Sheet.

11.36.3 Attorneys Involved in the TPR Action

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.36.3 Attorneys Involved in the TPR Action
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Practice Guidance

  • The SSW is knowledgeable of and works with, as appropriate, the attorneys involved in the TPR action, to include the:
    • Guardian ad litem (GAL):  The GAL is an attorney who is appointed to represent the best interest of the child as outlined in SOP 11.5 Appointment of the Guardian Ad Litem (GAL);
    • Parents’ attorney:  Parents have a right to legal representation in termination actions.  If a parent does not have an attorney and the Circuit court determines the parent to be indigent, the court may appoint an attorney to represent the interest of the parents;
    • Regional attorney:  The regional attorney or other attorney assigned by the Office of Legal Services (OLS), which represents the Cabinet in the TPR action;
    • Warning order attorney:  A warning order attorney is necessary when the party to be summoned is avoiding summons or the party’s whereabouts are unknown.  If the party is out of state but a current address is known, then the party may be served by certified mail, by personal service or by the warning order attorney; 
  • The SSW does not attempt to request the appointment of a warning order without explicit direction from OLS.
  • The Circuit court clerk appoints a warning order attorney, upon request of the petitioner. 
  • The warning order attorney is required to report the results of their efforts to the court within fifty (50) days after appointment.

11.36.4 Notice to OLS of Filing the Involuntary TPR Petition

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.36.4 Notice to OLS of Filing the Involuntary TPR Petition
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Informs OLS within seven (7) working days of the date the:
    1. Petition was filed;
    2. Summonses were served; and
    3. Information regarding the appointment of the:
      1. GAL;
      2. Warning order attorney; and
      3. Parent’s attorney;
  2. Submits the DSS-177-Report of Filing of Petition for Involuntary TPR with the information gathered and then submits the missing information to OLS upon receipt if the summonses have not been served within seven (7) days.

Practice Guidance

  • The DSS-177-Report of Filing of Petition for Involuntary TPR serves as notice to OLS.
  • The information for completing the DSS-177 may be obtained from the Family or Circuit court clerk.

11.36.5 Witness Conference and TPR Subpoenas

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.36.5 Witness Conference and TPR Subpoenas
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Practice Guidance

  • Conferences between the SSW, other DCBS staff, other witnesses and the regional attorney are essential for proper preparation of an involuntary TPR action. 
  • A witness conference is a face to face meeting, which gives the regional attorney an opportunity to prepare witnesses for their testimony. 
  • In a non-contested TPR case, a witness conference may not be needed.

The SSW may: 

  • Be requested by OLS to assist in arranging conferences.
  • Arrange for the subpoena of witnesses if the Office of Legal Services (OLS) requests this.  
  • Request assistance from the county attorney or OLS in completing and filing the subpoenas as outlined in SOP 11.24 Completing and Filing Subpoenas.

 

11.36.6 Involuntary TPR Hearing and Order of Judgment

Chapter:
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Effective:
01/10/2011
Section:
11.36.6 Involuntary TPR Hearing and Order of Judgment
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The regional attorney involved in the termination:  

  1. Notifies the local office of the court’s decision in the case by forwarding, immediately upon receipt, a certified copy of the order of judgment to the appropriate local DCBS staff.

The SSW:  

  1. Forwards a certified copy of the judgment along with the presentation summary (TWIST) form to the central office Adoptions Branch upon receipt of the order of judgment, if termination is granted; 1 
  2. Redockets the case for a post-termination court review in accordance with Family Court Civil Rule 36.  The hearing is to occur within 90 days from the date of the entry of the order of termination, and reviews progress towards finalization of an adoptive placement for the child.

Practice Guidance

  • The SSW is the agency representative of the Cabinet during the hearing, while the Office of Legal Services (OLS) regional attorney represents the Cabinet as a party to the action.
  • The SSW should be:
    • Familiar with the entire case history/file; and
    • Thoroughly prepared to testify and to assist the regional attorney during all hearings.
  • The court hearing is a formal, private trial conducted according to the Kentucky rules of civil procedure and as such the SSW is thoroughly prepared and knowledgeable that:
    • As the petitioner, the Cabinet is required to present its proof first;
    • After each witness testifies, the witness may be cross examined by the attorney for the parent and by the guardian ad litem for the child;
    • After the Cabinet has presented all of its evidence, the parents may testify and may call other witnesses; and
    • If contested, these hearings are generally formal, lengthy and demanding.
  • The judge prepares the findings of fact and conclusion of law and enters a judgment, either affirming or dismissing the petition for termination.  These orders are entered into the court records.
  • The order of judgment is sent to the petitioner (Cabinet). 
  • The order of judgment is a confidential record and requests for copies shall be processed only by an open records request as outlined in SOP 30.11 CPS Open Records Request and Disclosure of Information. 
  • If a termination is granted, the parents have 30 days to file an appeal of the judgment in Circuit Court.  Service provision should continue within that 30 day interim. 
  • If an appeal is filed, service provision to the parents continues throughout the appeal process.  The trial is not legally concluded until all avenues of appeal are exhausted.

Footnotes

  1. Copies are kept in the child's file and the family case record.

11.37 Appearance Waiver and Consent to Adopt

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.37 Appearance Waiver and Consent to Adopt
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Requests the parent(s) to appear before the court for the termination hearing to avoid potential conflicts of interest by the Cabinet and ensure that parents seeking voluntary termination of parental rights (TPR) are fully aware of the finality of TPR and consequences of  their action; 1 
  2. Does not utilize appearance waiver and DSS-215-Consent to Adopt form when the child’s legal custody will be transferred to the Cabinet.

Practice Guidance

  • Kentucky statute allows an appearance waiver and DSS-215-Consent to Adopt form be filed with the termination petition when the parent initiates a voluntary TPR action in Family or Circuit court and chooses not to attend the proceeding.

Footnotes

  1. The parent(s) cannot be required to attend the TPR hearing.

11.38 Services to the Family During an Appeal

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.38 Services to the Family During an Appeal
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Practice Guidance

  • Either party may appeal the case to the Court of Appeals within thirty (30) calendar days of the judge’s decision, which can uphold or rescind the decision of the Circuit court.
  • After a decision by the Court of Appeals, either party may request the Supreme Court hear the appeal.
  • Either party may request a temporary stay, referred to as a “Stay of Judgment” to set aside the Circuit court’s order while the appeal is pending by:
    • First, requesting the stay through the Circuit court; and 
    • Second, requesting the stay through the Appellate Court if not granted by the Circuit court.
  • The SSW may continue providing services to the family during the appeals process when appropriate and in the child’s best interests.
  • In some instances the court may order or the Cabinet may agree to continue visitation.

11.39 through 11.41-Not Yet Utilized

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.39 through 11.41-Not Yet Utilized
Version:
1

Reserved for future use.

 

11.42 Return of a Committed Child to Care

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.42 Return of a Committed Child to Care
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Follows the specific procedures pursuant to KRS 605.090 when removing a child that has been placed with the parents on supervised placement, while committed to the Cabinet if:
    1. The SSW believes that the committed child continues to be dependent, neglected, or abused, but immediate removal is unnecessary to protect the child from imminent death or serious physical injury, the casework situation and evidence is reviewed with the FSOS to determine whether to continue work with the family intact or to remove the child;
    2. It appears that the child's health or welfare or physical, mental or emotional condition is subjected to or threatened with real and substantial harm and there is not reasonably available an alternative less drastic than removal of the child from the home;
    3. Finds a committed, unattended child who is too young to take care of themselves; and
    4. There exist reasonable grounds to believe that the child is in danger of imminent death or serious physical injury or is being sexually abused and that the parents are unable or unwilling to protect the child;
  2. Makes every effort to ensure that the court makes a determination as to whether continuance in the home is contrary to the welfare of the child to include assistance of the county attorney to ensure the correct wording on the removal order. 1

Practice Guidance

  • The return of a committed child does not include a child who is home for a visit as specified in the visitation contract and then returns to his placement; however a visit home that is not in the visitation contract is considered a return home by the federal Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA), Pub. L. 105-89; and the SSW updates the visitation contract and mails copies of the revised contract to all parties, including the court when a previously unscheduled visit is to occur. 2
 

Footnotes

  1. If the determination is not made, the Cabinet does not receive title IV-E funding for this child.
  2. The revised visitation contract submitted to the court does not require the parent’s signature.

11.43 Release or Extension/Reinstatement of Commitment for Youth

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.43 Release or Extension/Reinstatement of Commitment for Youth
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

  • N/A
  • KRS 620.140 Dispositional alternatives
  • KRS 625.025 Extension of wardship to age twenty-one

The Cabinet releases a child from custody in accordance with the statute under which the custody was obtained.  In the case of temporary or emergency custody orders, children shall not remain in the Cabinet's custody past the statutory expiration of these court orders as outlined in:

  • SOP 11.20 Emergency Custody Order (ECO); and
  • SOP 11.17 Expiration of Temporary Custody Order to the Cabinet.

Commitment of the child to the custody of the Cabinet for placement is for an indeterminate period of time not to exceed the attainment of the age eighteen (18). 

The court, may upon motion of the child youth who is or has been committed to the Cabinet, and with the concurrence of the Cabinet authorize:

  • An extension of commitment up to age twenty-one (21) for the purpose of the youth participating in state and federal educational programs or for assistance in establishing independent living arrangements;
  • A reinstatement of commitment if the request is made prior to the youth reaching nineteen (19) years of age to allow participation in state and federal educational programs or for assistance in establishing independent living arrangements;
  • The Cabinet to assist the youth in establishing independent living arrangements;
  • The SSW follows the procedures outlined in SOP 4.29.2 Transition Planning for OOHC Youth.

Any child committed to the Cabinet may be released from commitment with prior written notice to the committing court fourteen (14) days before the date of release, unless the court objects and orders otherwise. 

 

11.43.1 Release of Commitment of a Child Committed as Dependent, Neglected or Abused

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.43.1 Release of Commitment of a Child Committed as Dependent, Neglected or Abused
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW: 

  1. Prepares the intent to release from dependency commitment (TWIST) letter and forwards it to the FSOS for approval and signature;
  2. Completes and forwards the DPP-154A-Notice of Intended Action form ten (10) days prior to release of the youth notifying the parents of the cabinet’s intent and files a copy in the case record.

The FSOS: 

  1. Files a copy of the letter in the case record;
  2. Completes the following tasks if there are no objections from the court on releasing the child from commitment:
    1. Completes and forwards the release from dependency commitment (TWIST) letter to the:
      1. Judge of the committing court;
      2. Child's attorney;
      3. County attorney;
      4. Parents; and
      5. Citizen Foster Care Review Board;
    2. Completes procedures on the AOC-656-Order of Discharge; and
    3. Files a copy of both in the case record;
  3. Updates the case record to reflect that the child is no longer committed to the Cabinet;
  4. Approves and forwards the intent to release from dependency commitment letter to provide written notice of the Cabinet’s intent fourteen (14) days prior to releasing the child from commitment to the:
    1. Judge of the committing court;
    2. County attorney;
    3. Child’s attorney;
    4. Citizen Foster Care Review Board.

11.43.2 Release of Commitment of Status Offenders

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.43.2 Release of Commitment of Status Offenders
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW: 

  1. Prepares the AOC-656-Order of Discharge form and intent to release from status offender commitment (TWIST) letter and forwards to the FSOS for approval and signature;
  2. Forwards a completed copy of the DPP-154A-Notice of Intended Action form ten (10) days prior to the release of the youth notifying the parents of the Cabinet’s intent and files a copy in the case record;
  3. Updates the case record to reflect that the child is no longer committed to the Cabinet.

The FSOS or designee: 

  1. Consults with the SRA or designee prior to making a final decisionto release the youth from commitment if the youth is under eighteen (18) years of age and is absent without leave (AWOL);
  2. Approves and forwards the intent to release from status offender commitment letter to provide written notice of the Cabinet’s intent fourteen (14) days prior to releasing the youth from commitment to the:
    1. Judge of the committing court;
    2. County attorney;
    3. Youth’s attorney;
    4. Residential treatment facility or group home, if applicable;
    5. Citizen Foster Care Review Board; and
  3. Files a copy in the case record;
  4. Completes the following tasks if there is no objection from the court:
    1. Completes and forwards a copy of the release from status offender commitment letter to the:
      1. Judge of the committing court;
      2. Youth's attorney;
      3. County attorney;
      4. Residential treatment facility or group home, if applicable;
      5. Youth;
      6. Youth’s parents; and
    2. Completes procedures on the AOC-656-Order of Discharge;
    3. Files a copy of both in the case record.

 

11.43.3 Discharge Involving Interstate Compact

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.43.3 Discharge Involving Interstate Compact
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Completes the following in cases where the interstate compact is involved and a committed child is placed out of state:
    1. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 11.43.1 Release of Commitment of a Child Committed as Dependent, Neglected or Abused;
    2. Prepares three (3) additional copies of the order of discharge and forwards to the Deputy Compact Administrator in central office for distribution; 
  2. Notifies the Deputy Compact Administrator immediately by letter of the change in the child's status with recommendations for the disposition of the funds in interstate cases where trust funds are involved.

The Deputy Compact Administrator in central office: 

  1. Coordinates a required agreement between receiving and sending states before discharge.

11.43.4 Disabled Youth

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.43.4 Disabled Youth
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Considers if disability proceedings are indicated for one of the following reasons, through a review, at least six (6) months prior to the date of expiration of commitment of a youth committed to the cabinet who is physically or mentally incapable of managing the normal activities of daily living:
    1. Guardianship; or
    2. Extension of commitment;
  2. Does not release commitment on individuals who appear to be incapable of making decisions or managing their own affairs until a plan has been developed to ensure their care.
  3. Requests the involvement of staff from the Department for Aging and Independent Living, Division of Guardianship in planning for the youth and follows the procedures outlined in SOP 4.29.2 Transition Planning for OOHC Youth.

11.44 Court Ordered or Requested Child Custody Investigations

Chapter:
Chapter 11-CPS Court
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
11.44 Court Ordered or Requested Child Custody Investigations
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services upon order or request of the Circuit/Family court conducts an investigation concerning custodial arrangements for a child at the time of either the initial child custody decree or modification and submits to the same court a written report concerning custodial arrangements for the child.

DPP may assist Circuit/Family courts through services to children, whenever requested by the court.

DPP does not have the authority nor does it perform services related to problems involving visitations of the non-custodial parent unless ordered by the court or child support payments for children not committed to the cabinet.  Refer parties requesting assistance in these matters to seek advice of legal counsel or child support enforcement.

The fact that DPP may be in the process of conducting a custody investigation relative to a particular family does not preclude DPP from receiving and  investigating a report of suspected abuse, neglect or dependency of a child(ren) in the same family.  Both the order/request for an investigation and report concerning custodial arrangements for the child and the report of suspected abuse, neglect or dependency are handled separately according to respective statutory requirements and Standards of Practice (SOP).

Procedure

The FSOS:

  1. Assigns an SSW to investigate orders/requests for custody investigations from Circuit/Family court.

The SSW:

  1. Prepares a written report, using the “Investigation Report Concerning Custodial Arrangements for the Child” (TWIST form), to respond to the court’s request;
  2. Submits the original copy of the report and any required attachments to the Circuit/Family court judge with a cover letter on department stationery, containing the following information:
    1. Confirms receipt of the court’s request and completion and submission of the report; and
    2. Requests that the cabinet be granted a fee of $250.00 for completion of the report; 
  3. Retains a copy of the report and the letter in the local office;
  4. Determines the following information from the court in all requests: 1
    1. What information is expected (if different from the “Investigation Report Concerning Custodial Arrangements for the Child” outline);
    2. Specific questions concerning the request before the investigation begins; and
    3. The timeframe for completing the investigation;
  5. Does not distribute copies of the report to any attorneys or parties to the action, unless so ordered or requested by the court.

Practice Guidance

  • Orders/requests for investigations and reports concerning custodial arrangements come directly from Circuit/Family court to a local DCBS office by: 
    • Written order/request, which is the preferred method; or
    • Oral request, when a case is already in litigation.
    • Any fee collected for the Cabinet’s services is paid to the Circuit court clerk with instructions to forward any fees collected to the:
      • Department for Community Based Services
        Resource Management Section
        275 East Main Street, 3 C-D
        Frankfort, Kentucky 40621
    • Negotiable instruments shall be made payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer.
    • A copy of an “Order for Custody Evaluation Payment” (TWIST forms) may also be attached to the letter.

     

    • If the FSOS or designee determines that the Circuit/Family court time frame for completing the investigation is too short, Office of Legal Services (OLS) may be contacted to consider requesting an extension.

    Footnotes

    1. The SSW conducting the investigation and preparing the report is subject to testify in court concerning the report.

    12.1 Introduction to Recruitment and Certification of DCBS Resource Homes

    Chapter:
    Chapter 12-Resource Family Recruitment, Certification and Reimbursement
    Effective:
    12/3/2010
    Section:
    12.1 Introduction to Recruitment and Certification of DCBS Resource Homes
    Version:
    1

    Content to be added, phase II.

     

     

     

    12.2 Diligent Recruitment of Foster and Adoptive Home Parents

    Chapter:
    Chapter 12-Resource Family Recruitment, Certification and Reimbursement
    Effective:
    11/18/2015
    Section:
    12.2 Diligent Recruitment of Foster and Adoptive Home Parents
    Version:
    2

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

    Each service region develops an annual plan for diligent recruitment and retention of resource families, which is reviewed and updated on a semi-annual basis. The plan is based on the region’s assessment of their current and projected placement needs and considers the Multi-Ethnic Placement Act and Inter-Ethnic Placement Act (MEPA/IEPA) requirements. Regional diligent recruitment plans may be requested by the diligent recruitment policy analyst in central office to contribute to the statewide plan.

    Practice Guidance

    • Regional diligent recruitment plans include the following components:
      • An overview of the region’s basic principles regarding the plan;
      • Accurate descriptions of the characteristics  of children coming into out of home care and children awaiting adoptive homes;
      • Accurate descriptions of the approved resource homes in the region;
      • Targeted demographic/geographic and general recruitment strategies that are  aimed at all parts of the state’s communities;
      • Diverse methods for disseminating both general and child specific information;
      • Strategies for assuring that all prospective parents have access to the home study process, including location and hours of information meetings and family preparation pre-service training;
      • Strategies for retention of approved homes, including descriptions of support services and other resources;
      • Strategies for training and preparing agency staff to work with diverse cultural, racial and economic communities in a culturally competent manner.

    12.2.1 Region Budget for Recruitment

    Chapter:
    Chapter 12-Resource Family Recruitment, Certification and Reimbursement
    Effective:
    11/18/2015
    Section:
    12.2.1 Region Budget for Recruitment
    Version:
    3

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

    • N/A

    Procedure

    1. The SRA or designee will submit an email to kevin.mcafee@ky.gov detailing the items to be purchased and any required justification. Upon receipt, the request will be reviewed by the adoptions branch manager or designee and a response will be returned with an approved or other recommendation.
    2. The R&C FSOS submits an electronic request through the Procurement, Payables and Asset Tracking System .


          

    Practice Guidance

    • Each region may spend up to $4000 in a state fiscal year (SFY) calendar for expenses related to resource home parent recruitment; except Jefferson, Northern Bluegrass and Southern Bluegrass, which may spend up to $6000 in a SFY.
    • These funds may not be used for printing or clothing, totes, or staff accessories.
    • The region, as part of their annual diligent recruitment plan as described in SOP 12.2 Diligent Recruitment of Resource Home Parents, provides specific details on how funds for recruitment will be spent. 
    • Funds for regional recruitment are available and paid on the basis of the state fiscal year. 
    • Requests for recruitment expenses may be made quarterly or all at one time.
    • Regional staff uses the Cabinet’s contract for memorabilia and bids are not required if using the contracted vendor.  If the vendor does not offer the desired items on contract, another vendor may be used. 
    • If the expenditure for non-contract items is in excess of $2500, the region seeks three informal bids with the lowest bidder receiving the contract after prior approval from the OOHC Branch.
    • Each region is responsible for monitoring expenditures related to recruitment.

    12.2.2 Printing of Recruitment Material

    Chapter:
    Chapter 12-Resource Family Recruitment, Certification and Reimbursement
    Effective:
    12/3/2010
    Section:
    12.2.2 Printing of Recruitment Material
    Version:
    1

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

    Procedure

    1. The R&C Worker submits printing requests for recruitment materials such as brochures, posters, etc., to the SRA. 
    2. The SRA approves all requests prior to submitting requests for printing to the Out of Home Care Branch Manager in central office.

    Practice Guidance

    • All printed materials are to incorporate:
      • State branding (Unbridled Spirit, etc.); and
      • Statement that the material was paid for by state funds.
    • To request printing services, the region provides the following information to the CHFS Contract Oversight-Division of Procurement Services:
      • Paper stock;
      • Dimensions of your finished piece (8 ½" x 11" or 8 ½" x 5 ½" etc.);
      • Ink colors;
      • Kind of document (book, booklet, flyer, brochure, manual, form, etc);
      • Number of pages or sheets of paper printed front or front and back;
      • Copy preparation.  Provide both electronically and hard copy;
      • The finishing processes (folding, binding, numbering, perforating, etc.);
      • The quantity of finished product; and
      • The distribution (delivery in Frankfort, by UPS shipment, or by Postal Service).
    • The region also submits to the CHFS Contract Oversight-Division of Procurement a DOA-9 and a CHR-156 Request for Purchase (the CHR-156, for printing, does not need approval by the OOHC branch as specified in SOP 12.2.1 Region Budget for Recruitment).
    • The printing materials and the DOA-9 and CHR-156 may be emailed to CHFS Contract Oversight- Division of Procurement or mailed via USPS to:

      Division of Procurement Services
      275 E. Main, 4E-B
      Frankfort, KY 40621
    • Specific questions about printing may be directed to the Division of Printing at 502-564-2670.

    12.2.3 Recruitment Bonus

    Chapter:
    Chapter 12-Resource Family Recruitment, Certification and Reimbursement
    Effective:
    12/3/2010
    Section:
    12.2.3 Recruitment Bonus
    Version:
    1

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

    • N/A

    Procedure

    The R&C worker:

    1. Completes a memo of approval requesting that a resource family receive a recruitment bonus after a family the current resource family referred becomes an approved resource;
    2. Submits the memo to the FSOS for approval;
    3. Attaches a copy of the Foster and Adoptive Parent (FAP) TRIS Intake Form, showing the referring resource home parent as the referral source, and a copy of the approval letter sent to the new resource home; and
    4. Submits the approved memo and attachments to the Billing Specialist.

    Practice Guidance

    • When an applicant, who becomes approved as a resource home parent to provide foster care services, names a current resource home parent as the referral source on the TRIS intake form, the referring resource home parent receives:
      • A $100 bonus for each resource home that is approved for the first of two new resource homes;
      • A $150 bonus for the third and fourth new resource home;
      • A $200 bonus for the fifth and sixth resource home; and 
      • After the sixth resource home, the bonus is $250 for each newly approved resource home. 
    • A resource parent who is an active and paid member of the Foster/Adoptive Training Support Network is ineligible to receive the recruitment bonus.

     

    12.3 Foster and Adoptive Home Applicant Assessment

    Chapter:
    Chapter 12-Resource Family Recruitment, Certification and Reimbursement
    Effective:
    04/1/2019
    Section:
    12.3 Foster and Adoptive Home Applicant Assessment
    Version:
    3

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

    Recruitment and certification (R&C) staff, regional management and central office staff work to ensure that there is a sufficient number and appropriate type of foster and adoptive homes available to meet the unique needs of Kentucky’s children receiving out of home care services.  CHFS provides for the diligent recruitment of potential foster and adoptive families that reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of children for whom foster and adoptive homes are needed. Homes recruited and certified must be willing to accept children with a variety of complex needs in out of home care.

    Successful foster and adopting requires knowledge and skills beyond that of parenting one’s own biological children. The foster and adoptive home parent’s role includes intentional, active involvement in advocating for, planning, and providing services to meet the individual needs of children in out of home care, and includes involvement with the child’s birth parents. Foster and adoptive home parents are considered full, participating members of the family’s team and work in partnership with the birth family as well as agency staff and community partners.

    Procedure

    The R&C Worker: 

    1. Verifies that the foster and adoptive home applicant is at least twenty-one (21) years of age;
    2. Verifies proof of the applicant's United States citizenship or legal immigrant status;
    3. Refers to the Legal Status Documentation for proof of citizenship or legal immigrant status; 1
    4. Obtains verification from the applicant of any previous divorce(s), death of a spouse, and present marriage; 2 
    5. Verifies that a foster and adoptive home parent who drives should:
      1. Possess a valid driver’s license;
      2. Possess a proof of liability insurance; and
      3. Abide by passenger restraint laws
    6. Ensures that all the applicants attendance at the information meeting is documented in iTWIST;
    7. Provides a Foster/Adoptive Applicant packet to all applicants who wish to pursue fostering or adopting a child.  The packet includes: 
      1. The application;
      2. Informed Consent and Release of Information and Records;
      3. DPP-157 Background checks for Applicants of Foster/Adoptive Parents;
      4. DPP-170 Financial Statement-Foster or Adoptive Parent Applicant;
      5. DPP-107 Health Information Required for Foster or Adoptive Home Parent Applicants or Adult Household Members;
      6. DPP-108 Health Information Required for Foster or Adoptive Home Parent Applicants Regarding Dependent Children;
      7. Foster/Adoptive Checklist; and
      8. DPP-117 Verification of Marriage and Divorce or copies of the marriage certificate or divorce decree;
    8. Provides the SAFE Questionnaire I after the applicant completes meeting one (1);
    9. Conducts background checks as specified in SOP 12.4 Background Checks for Foster and Adoptive Parents;
    10. Obtains agreement on the decision to foster or adopt a child from each adult member of the applicant’s household;
    11. Ensures that all adult household members complete the DPP-107 Health Information Required on Foster and Adoptive Home Applicants or Adult Household Member, within the last year: 3
      1. The DPP 107 shall document the:
        1. General health of the parent;
        2. Applicant is free of communicable diseases;
        3. Medical ability to care for child placed in the applicant's home;
        4. All household members must disclose current mental health and/or substance misuse issues, including any history of drug or alcohol misuse or treatment; and
        5. Require further documentation and/or evaluation to determine the suitability of the home if there are any indicators of current or past mental health issues or substance misuse. 
      2. Each adult member of the applicant’s household, stating that the individual is free of:
        1. Communicable or infectious disease; or
        2. A condition that presents a health or safety risk to a child placed in the applicant’s home;
    12. Ensures that a DPP-108 Health Information Required for Foster and Adoptive Home Applicants Regarding Dependent Children, is completed within the past year for any child living in the household and current within one year, attesting to the:  
      1. General health of the child;
      2. Child is free of communicable diseases; and
      3. Child is current on immunizations, unless a medical exception is warranted and approved by the Director of DPP or designee;  
    13. Ensures all children in the household are current on immunizations unless:
      1. A medical exemption (whether temporary or permanent) or provisional status has been documented and approved by a physician, advanced practice registered nurse, physician's assistant, pharmacist, local health department administrator, registered nurse or licensed practical nurse designee, and there is a copy of the EPID-230 Commonwealth of Kentucky Certificate of Immunization Status in case file for each child's exemption; or
      2. The child's parents are opposed to immunizations based on religious grounds, and there is a copy of the EPID-230A Commonwealth of Kentucky Parent or Guardian's Declination on Religious Grounds to Required Immunizations in the case file for each child's exemption; 4 or 
      3. The immunizations have been administered, but the continued vaccination schedule was objected to based on religious grounds and there is a copy of the EPID-230A in the case file for each child's exemption. 5
    14. Reviews the completed DPP–107 and DPP-108, to ensure that each adult and child member of the applicant household is free of any illness or condition that would present a health or safety risk to a child placed in the home;
    15. Ensures applicants demonstrate functional literacy such as being able to read medication labels;
    16. Reviews the completed DSS-170 Financial Statement, and verifies that the foster and adoptive home applicant has a source of income sufficient to meet the applicant's household expenses and to ensure stability of the family unit that is separate from the foster care reimbursement and/or adoption assistance.  Families should not be denied solely based on whether they are receiving public benefits or housing assistance.  The receipt of benefits contributing to a period of stability should be taken into consideration.  These situations should be considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on a variety of factors, including but not limited to: their current financial stability and the length of time since the bankruptcy;
    17. Updates the case document iTWIST screen as completed documents are received from the family;
    18. Notifies employed applicants that they will be required to have a plan for child care by the time of placement; 
    19. Obtains from the applicant(s):
      1. The names of three (3) personal references including:
        1. One (1) relative; and
        2. Two (2) non-relatives.
      2. Two credit references; or
      3. A current credit report; 6
    20. Completes the SAFE reference letter with the personal references via mail, in person, or by telephone;
    21. Interviews the adult children of the foster and adoptive home applicant who do not live in the home in person or by telephone 7 or the adult children may provide signed and dated letters of reference regarding the applicant’s parenting history; 8
    22. Obtains the following documents from an applicant who does not have custody of his/her children:
      1. A copy of the visitation order;
      2. A copy of the child support order; and
      3. Proof of current payment of child support;
    23. Assesses the family by completing a minimum of three (3) meetings in the home with the applicant(s) as follows:
      1. Home visit one (1) - Introductory get acquainted interview, discussion regarding SAFE Questionnaire I (QI) and home environment requirements;
      2. Home visit two (2) - The R&C worker administers the SAFE Questionnaire II (QII).  QII is never out of the sight of the R&C worker. 9
        1. Observes both applicants or a single parent applicant while completing QII.  The applicant(s) are instructed they may not talk or discuss the questionnaire.
        2. When QII is completed, the R&C worker immediately interviews each applicant one-on-one, separately and privately. No children or other adults should be in the home when QII is administered.  QII interviews should be no longer than forty-five (45) minutes each.
      3. Home visit three (3) - Marriage or support interview. The family and others frequently residing in the home can be interviewed at this time.
    24. Following each interview, completes a psychosocial inventory utilizing the SAFE Desk Guide and SAFE methods of documentation
    25. Upon completion of the psychosocial inventory or within five (5) working days,  consults with the FSOS regarding assigned desk guide and mitigation ratings;
    26. During the applicants pre-service training and in home interview the R&C worker assesses: 
      1. The applicant's home environment and prerequisites as outlined in SOP 12.13 Home Environment Prerequisites;
      2. Participation of the other household members in the decision to foster or adopt;
      3. Expectations regarding changes or added responsibility; and
      4. Impact on applicants birth children.
    27. Upon completion of the home study requirements and pre-services, a decision regarding approval and denial shall be made as outlined in SOP 12.7 Approval and Denial. 10

     

    Practice Guidance

    • The Cabinet, may not deny any person the opportunity to become a foster or adoptive parent on basis of race, color or national origin of the person or of the child involved (title IV-E of section 471(a)(18)(A) of the Social Security Act).
    • If a foster and adoptive home applicant is not twenty-one (21) years of age, the applicant may be approved as an exception by the SRA or designee if the applicant is:
      • At least age eighteen (18);
      • Related to a child in the custody of the Cabinet;
      • Able to meet the needs of the child; and
      • Able to provide a placement in the best interest of the relative child. 

     

    • Placement considerations for the following vulnerable populations coming into care will be of the utmost importance with regard to assessing risk for health conditions:
      • Children under the age of two (2);
      • Children coming into care without current immunizations; and
      • Children with existing complex health conditions.
    • Children designated or potentially designated, as medically complex, must be placed in foster and adoptive homes where all household members have received vaccinations; and
    • Placement decisions outside of the provisions in the two (2) bulleted points above must be approved by the SRA or designee with the risk assessed to the child in placement, considering with the specific health needs of the child and documented in the child's case record.
    • Foster and adoptive parent applicants will be disqualified if a member of the prospective foster or adoptive parent's home presents a health and safety risk to a child in foster care as assessed by a health care professional and documented on the DPP-107 Health Information for Required Foster or Adoptive Parents, Applicants or Adult Household Members or the DPP-108 Health Information Required for Foster or Adoptive Parents or Applicants Regarding Dependent Children.
    • If there is an epidemic in a given area, the Cabinet may by emergency regulation require the immunization of all persons within the area of epidemic against the disease responsible for the epidemic.
    • Interested foster and adoptive home applicant(s) must attend at least one (1) information meeting.
       
    • A married, single, or unmarried person may apply to become foster and adoptive home parents. 

     

    Footnotes

    1. The R&C worker may refer to the Legal Status Sample Documents for assistance in identifying the different types of identifications.
    2. It is also recommended, but not required, that the SSW obtain verification regarding any child fatalities in the family.
    3. The form is completed by the applicant’s primary care physician health care provider.  If a primary care physician is not available, a health professional completes the form. 
    4. Exemptions can only be made on foster parent's dependent children and are not permitted for children in the custody of the Cabinet.
    5. The EPID-230 Commonwealth of Kentucky Certificate of Immunization Status must be issued, marked and approved to designate a "religious objection" to the immunization requirement.
    6. If the foster or adoptive parent applicant does not have a credit report, two (2) credit references will fulfill the requirement.
    7. An exception may be granted if the person is deployed or other circumstances exist that would prevent the adult child from being interviewed.
    8. At the SSW’s or FSOS's discretion, additional interviews may be conducted of family members.
    9. Questionnaire I and II must be administered to all applicants.  QII may also be administered to other adults in the home or family when deemed appropriate by the R&C worker.
    10. The Cabinet recruits a foster and adoptive home and approves the foster and adoptive home prior to the placement of a child.

    12.3.0 Foster and Adoptive Inquiry

    Chapter:
    Chapter 12-Resource Family Recruitment, Certification and Reimbursement
    Effective:
    09/10/2019
    Section:
    12.3.0 Foster and Adoptive Inquiry
    Version:
    1

    ​Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY;

    •  

     

     Practice Guidance

    • Staff accepting inquiries should be courteous and knowledgeable regarding the program area.  This call begins the relationship between the foster/adoptive parent and DCBS and should reflect the values of our agency.
    • Staff may utilize the iTWIST Provide Inquiry Form and Informational Packet Templates (Welcome letter, FAQs) to streamline the process and to insure complete inquiry data.

    Procedure

     The R&C FSOS: 

    1. Reviews the in progress foster/adoptive inquiry screen and determines which inquiries are new and need to be assigned; and

    2. Assigns the inquiry to an R&C worker for completion. 

      The R&C Worker: 

    1. Attempts to make phone contact with the prospective foster/adoptive parent within two (2) business days after a web-based report is received from Kentucky FACES portal or from another county or region;
    2. Sends an informational packet to the prospective foster/adoptive parent via mail or email on the date the phone contact is attempted. The informational packet will include at minimum:
      1. A welcome letter;
      2. Listing of dates of upcoming informational meetings and pre-service training; and
      3. Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Foster Parent.
    3. Enters the date the informational packet is sent to iTWIST.  

    THE FSOS: 

    1. Ensures that foster and adoptive inquiries are monitored daily during business hours  (8:00am - 4:30pm Eastern Standard Time).  

    The SSW:

    1. Returns phone messages to prospective foster/adoptive parents within two (2) business days to complete inquiry;
    2. Uses the provide inquiry template during a face to face meeting or phone communication to gather the required information from the prospective foster/adoptive parent and all other adult household members:
      1. Inquiry date;
      2. Name;
      3. Date of Birth;
      4. Address;
      5. Email address;
      6. Type of inquiry; and
      7. Prompt for the inquiry.
    3. Sends an informational packet to the prospective foster/adoptive parent via mail or email on the date the contact was made.  The informational packet will include at a minimum:
      1. A welcome letter;
      2. Listing of dates of upcoming informational meetings and pre-service training; and
      3. Foster/Adoptive Parent Frequently Asked Questions.
    4. Completes the inquiry screens in iTWIST within three (3) business days of the contact and enters the date that the informational packet was sent to the family. 

     

      

     

       

           

       

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