Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

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First Section: 1.14 Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
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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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1.14 Limited English Proficiency (LEP)

Chapter:
Chapter 1-Fundamentals of Practice
Effective:
06/29/2020
Section:
1.14 Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
Version:
4

Legal Authority/Introduction

 
 
 

 

Practice Guidance for Obtaining and Using Interpretation Services

Clients MUST be provided an interpreter free of charge.  In some cases, a client may feel more comfortable with a family member or friend interpreting on his or her behalf.  If a client has been informed that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (Cabinet/CHFS) or Division of Protection and Permanency (DPP) will provide an interpreter without charge but wants to use his or her own interpreter, the client's interpreter may be used, but staff must document the client's choice in the client file and using the Waiver of Interpreter Services - LEP form. When a client opts to use his or her own interpreter, a CHFS qualified interpreter must monitor the interaction whenever possible to ensure interpretation is accurate.  Under no circumstances should a client be encouraged or required to provide his or her own interpreter or to use a child as an interpreter

  
 

If a document translation is needed, DPP staff will:

 
 
  1. Review the SOP forms browser for frequently used forms already translated.
  2.  
  3. Complete the Translation Request Form which is located on the Translation and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Office resources page and e-mails it to the Language Access Section at chfs.translations@ky.gov  as well as copy the departmental contact for translation requests; the document may also be mailed or faxed to the following location:
     
    275 East Main Street, 5C-D
    Frankfort, KY 40621
    Telephone: (502) 564-7770
    FAX: (502) 564-3129

Practice Guidance for Translation Requests

 
  • In-person interpreters cannot translate a written document, such as a safety plan, prevention plan, or aftercare plan from written English to another written language.  They can only verbally translate an English written document to a client.
  •  
  • Do not use Google Translate or any other similar translation application.
  •  
  • Any time CHFS staff serves an LEP client or uses the services of an interpreter, information about that interaction is to be recorded on an online LEP Interaction Tracking Form. This online form also should be used when CHFS staff is unable to provide services due to language barriers. The online LEP interaction/LEP language access training is available from EEO Compliance Branch upon request.
  •  
  • If the document translation request is in regards to a substantiation letter, make sure that the date posted on the letter is the date it was mailed or hand delivered to ensure adherence to appropriate timeframes regarding the complaint process.  
  •  
  • Utilizing office signs will help to provide meaningful services to a client with LEP.   
  •  
  • Access signs and resources, such as "I speak" cards containing 38 languages or "Notice of Interpreter Sign", through the Translation and LEP Office Resources website. 

Procedure

Spoken language interpretive services are necessary when language barriers create communication challenges between Cabinet staff and clients.  It is federally mandated that communication with individuals with LEP is as effective as communication with others.  Free and consistent language interpretation services for persons with LEP are part of the Cabinet's ongoing commitment to quality service and response to the needs of a diverse client population.
 

All DPP staff can access spoken language interpreters through:

 
  1. Accessing the CHFS qualified community partner interpreter directory at the Interpretation Resources website, to obtain in-person interpretation.1   
  2. Accessing the CHFS qualified staff interpreter directory at the Interpretation Resources website, for in-person interpretation, from staff in close proximity.1
  3.  
  4. Contacting the Language Access Section, the Cabinet's internal agency with oversight of the CHFS LEP program, for Spanish/English, telephonic interpretation at:
    • 275 E. Main St., 5 C-D
      Frankfort, KY 40621
      Telephone: (502) 564-7770
     
  5. Contacting Language Services Associates, Interpretalk, the current CHFS telephonic interpretation vendor, to access interpretation services over the phone in over 266 languages, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    DPP staff will dial 1-866-712-2324 to access Interpretalk.  DPP staff will be prepared to provide the following to the coordinator:
  6.  
      1. Agency/Pin Code: D736;
      2. Your name; and 
      3. Your county.

If receiving a phone call from an LEP client, DPP staff will ask client to please hold for an interpreter.  DPP staff will then make a three-way call using the above instructions for Interpretalk. 
 

DPP staff pay for interpreter services by:

 
 
  1. Obtaining the original invoice from the individual interpreter or interpreting service.
  2. Uploading the invoice into the Kentucky Invoice Tracking System (KITS) for payment.
  3. Directing any invoicing related questions to:
CHFS Payables Section
275 E. Main Street 4E-A
Frankfort Ky 40621
Telephone: (502) 564-8890
 
 

Footnote

 
 
  1. DPP staff may obtain a listing of qualified interpreters, including a list of Cabinet staff members qualified to interpret, and a listing of community partner interpreters, by contacting the Language Access Section for in-person interpretation services.  DPP may also obtain this information through the Language Access Section, Interpretation Resources webpage.
 
 
 
 
 

 

1.14.1 Access to Interpreters and Effective Communication for Those Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Chapter:
Chapter 1-Fundamentals of Practice
Effective:
02/18/2019
Section:
1.14.1 Access to Interpreters and Effective Communication for Those Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Version:
1

Legal Authority/Introduction

  
 
  •  

  •  

 
 

Procedure

  

Individuals who are deaf and use American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary language must have access to qualified interpreters during all points of contact with CHFS staff.  Effective communication is mandated by federal and state law.  Services provided by the Cabinet must be equal to those provided to a person who does not have Limited English Proficiency (LEP) or a disability.

 

There is a wide range of language ability and language modality among people who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Individuals may use ASL, other sign languages, gesture, speech, or a combination of methods. It is the responsibility of the cabinet staff to determine a client’s specific language and to provide services that match communication needs.  Staff are responsible for assessing communication needs and determining if an ASL interpreter, other sign language interpreter, assistive listening device, or other accommodation is needed for the individual(s) to fully access cabinet services.

 

 

Division of Protection and Permanency (DPP) staff can access American Sign Language (ASL)

interpreters by: 1

 
 
    1. Completing the online request form for the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH) Interpreter Access Center available at http://www.kcdhh.ky.gov/forms/.

    2. Calling the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH) Access Center at (502)573-2604. 2

    3. Utilizing video relay services (VRS) where DPP staff will speak to a sign language interpreter who will translate English to sign language utilizing a videophone with the client. 3

    4. Utilizing the list of sign language interpreting agencies that serve Kentucky to access interpretation services afterhours.

 

Division of Protection and Permanency (DPP) staff can access captioners by: 4

 
    1. Completing the online request form for the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH) Interpreter Access Center available at http://www.kcdhh.ky.gov/forms/.

    2. Calling the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH) Access Center at 502-573-2604. 5 

    3. Utilizing the KCDHH listing of Kentucky Computer Assisted Real Time Captioning (CART) providers to access captioner services afterhours.

Division of Protection and Permanency (DPP) staff pay for interpreter or captioner services by:

 
 
    1. Obtaining the original invoice from the individual interpreter/captioner or interpreting/captioner agency.

    2. Uploading the invoice into the Kentucky Invoice Tracking System (KITS) for payment.

    3. Directing any invoice related questions to: 

CHFS Payables Section

275 E. Main Street 4E-A

Frankfort, KY 40621

Telephone: (502)564-8890

If there are questions regarding who is responsible for the payment of interpreting or captioning services, when working with other public or private agencies involved, consult with the EEO Civil Rights Compliance Branch are available at:

 

EEO Civil Rights Compliance Branch

275 E. Main St 5C-D
Frankfort, KY  40621
Telephone: (502) 564-7770

Practice Guidance

 Obtaining and Using Interpretation Services:

 
  • Clients must be provided a licensed interpreter at no charge to them for all points of contact with cabinet staff.  Due to a possible conflict of interest and varying levels of signing skill, family members or friends cannot be used. Only licensed interpreters shall be used for department business, per KRS 309.301. A cabinet employee may be utilized if they are licensed by the Kentucky Board of Interpreter for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and no actual or perceived conflict exists.

  • A child’s school ASL interpreter should only be used in an emergency situation or linguistically relevant situation due to the risk of an unethical and dual relationship. If an interpreter cannot be obtained and the child’s safety is immediately at risk, a school interpreter may be used. Similarly, if a child’s school ASL interpreter is more likely to be able to interpret more accurately than an interpreter that is not familiar with the child due to a child’s language dysfluency, a school interpreter may be used.6 However, in all other situations an objective interpreter should be used. The SSW, interpreter, and school interpreter should consult as a team to determine how best to proceed with interpreting.

  • If there are concerns about language deprivation or dysfluency, staff may contact the Out of Home Care Branch in central office, the KY Commission for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing, or a professional skilled in deaf services for recommendations on bridging language needs.

  • All deaf and hard of hearing consumers or community partners should be offered access of communication through email or text message, if possible. Email or text message communication should be offered for the access of brief communication, such as the scheduling/rescheduling of home visits or appointments. Detailed or extensive meetings, such as case plan meetings should occur in person with an interpreter present.

  • American Sign Language does not have a written format. For individuals who are deaf and need to sign forms, such as prevention plans, informed consent must be provided by providing access to an in-person interpreter to interpret the documents for them. 

 
To provide notice of the availability of interpreting services or other language access services, DPP staff will post a NOTICE OF INTERPRETATION SERVICES sign in the office. Utilizing office signs will indicate the compliance of cabinet staff to provide meaningful communication access during all points of contact, per federal law. 

 

 Footnotes

 
  1. American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters are used with individuals that sign.

  2. This is recommended for emergency requests or those that need immediate attention.

  3. Video Relay Services (VRS) are free; however, the client must have videophone equipment and videophone (VP) number to access the service. 

  4. DPP clients who are deaf or hard of hearing and do not sign must also have access to other accommodations including but not limited to assistive listening devices, note takers, or Computer Assisted Real Time Captioning(CART).

  5. This is recommended for emergency requests or those that need immediate attention.

  6. Language dysfluency refers to the child's skill level with language and irregularities.

 

 
 
 

1.15 Working with Families Affected by Substance Misuse

Chapter:
Chapter 1-Fundamentals of Practice
Effective:
06/29/2020
Section:
1.15 Working with Families Affected by Substance Misuse
Version:
3
 

Legal Authority/Introduction

 

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

 

Introduction

The SSW may encounter families affected by substance misuse during all phases of intervention, including during investigations and ongoing case work.  This section of SOP is to be utilized for all of these phases. 

To achieve successful outcomes for the family, cases related to substance misuse must be handled in an intensely collaborative setting. No single agency has the resources, the information base, or the lead role to address the full range of needs of all substance-affected newborns, children and their families. 

 

Practice Guidance 

 

Best practice in cases related to substance misuse requires that:

    • Decisions are made and shared timely with professional reporting sources—especially with birthing hospitals in substance-affected infant cases; 
    • Assessments (investigative and ongoing) cannot be limited to assessment of the parent's caregiving while sober, and must include the degree to which the parent is impaired in terms of day-to-day living and functioning;
    • Regular ongoing contact with services providers is vital to completing the global risk assessment;
    • The frequency of contact with clients and services providers may need to increase beyond the minimum as established in SOPs 3.10 and 4.24 depending on case circumstances; and
    • The worker must continue to make efforts to engage adult clients through the life of the case until a waiver of reasonable efforts is granted or case closure occurs.  Worker should maintain frequency and quality of contacts and work to minimize any resistance to treatment services.

It is important to recognize that in medication-assisted treatment (MAT), prescribed medication could be lifesaving and is an acceptable form of treatment but is only a piece of treatment and should be used in conjunction with additional services. 

Appropriate service matching includes, but is not limited to assessment of the following:

  • Referral of pregnant women, and mothers who have recently given birth, to appropriate and timely prenatal and follow-up postnatal medical care, including MAT or other medications as prescribed by treatment providers.  This is also a good time to discuss birth control methods to begin after the child's birth. 
  • The family is following up with post-delivery medical appointments for the infant, and follows any subsequent recommendations. 
  • The family's parenting skills and developmental expectations for the child, and referral to appropriate classes or support systems, i.e. HANDS or other local community programs.
  • Appropriate nutrition for the child, i.e. formula or breastfeeding, and referral to treatment providers for recommendations regarding breastfeeding mothers who are prescribed MAT or other medications. 
  • Substance misuse treatment is accompanied by a mental health assessment for treatment of the parent's underlying issues that resulted in the substance misuse.
  • Appropriate supports for the family, both personal and community programs that can assist, if needed. 
  • The family's basic needs are met and referral to community programs that can assist, if needed.

Plans of Safe Care (POSC) 

 

For cases involving an infant born identified as substance affected, including withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure or a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), federal requirements require that the worker develop a POSC for the family (CAPTA 106(b)(2)(B)(ii) and (iii)).  The plan should go beyond immediate safety threats to address the health and developmental needs of the affected infant and the caretaker’s need for treatment related to substance misuse and/or mental health.  Additionally, it should identify the services and supports the caretaker needs to strengthen his or her capacity to nurture and care for the infant.  To ensure safety of the infant, it should also incorporate a plan of safe sleep; and a plan for the care of the infant, and any other children, in the event of a return to use.  The child welfare agency will use existing continuous quality improvement (CQI) processes, which includes collaboration with partner agencies, to monitor local development of POSC, referrals to services, and appropriate services to infants and affected family or caregivers.

The identification of a substance-affected infant may occur during any stage of involvement, including at birth or later during the infant’s development and/or as symptoms manifest.  The POSC addresses actions and services for the infant and family’s needs, and these needs must be incorporated into the safety plan, prevention plan, case plan, or aftercare plan in accordance with best practice described in SOP 7.2 CPS Safety Planning, SOP 7.4 CPS Prevention PlanningSOP 7.6 CPS Aftercare Planning, SOP 3.4 Initial In Home Case Planning Conference, SOP 3.13 Ongoing Case Planning, SOP 4.17 Preparation for and Completion of the Ten Day Conference, SOP 4.18 Ongoing Case Planning [OOHC], and SOP 4.36 Case Closure and Aftercare Planning.

Alcohol and substances cause significant changes in brain chemistry, which affects a person’s mood, thinking, behavior, and perception.  It can be difficult for a person to follow through on scheduling and keeping appointments; therefore, it is essential that SSWs assist families with making and keeping appointments or identify a responsible person, such as an appropriate family member/friend or community service provider, to assist the family.

Procedure 

 
The SSW: 
 
  1. Requests a signed release of information for treatment providers, as most providers require a specific form prior to disclosing information;
  2. Makes timely and direct personal contact with treatment providers prior to completing any referral for assessment or drug testing; 1
  3. When there are indicators of substance misuse, requests an initial substance use disorder (SUD) assessment/testing as well as follow up services as determined by ongoing assessment, through the life of the case; 2
  4. Refers the individual to a SUD assessment regardless of the results of a drug test;
  5. Discusses the results of the assessment, including any follow up recommendations, with the evaluator;
  6. Ensures that a safety and/or prevention plan includes specific steps related to the caregivers’ high-risk behaviors and safety of the child in the event of return to use and a plan for safe sleep for infants in the home;3
  7. Increases the frequency of contact with treatment providers and family members based on the case specific needs; 4
  8. Reports any concerns to the treatment provider regarding the caretaker’s functioning or ability to care for the child.  (i.e., the caretaker is nodding off inappropriately, slurring words, appears to be over or under-medicated, etc.);
  9. Assesses if caretaker is taking medication as prescribed (by counting pills or medication strips in the presence of SSW);
  10. Consults with any treatment or medication provider, to incorporate specific treatment information into the child welfare assessment and case planning, including but not limited to:
    1. Safety of child, (i.e., what are the effects of the medication on the caretaker’s ability to function daily and care for the child, safe storage of medications).  Do not assume the treatment provider recognizes or considers safety of the child while in the caretaker’s custody;
    2. Medication management, (i.e., what type of medication is prescribed, what phase of treatment);
    3. Recommendations for follow-up treatment, (i.e., in-patient, outpatient, AA/NA, length of treatment, etc.);
    4. Provider recommendation for mental health treatment.  Best provider practice recommends that mental health treatment accompanies medication management;
    5. Verification of medication doses, (i.e., in the office or self-administered take-home);
    6. Compliance with treatment programs;
    7. Drug test results, both positive and negative, completed through the treatment program; 5 and
    8. Treatment discharge planning, including appropriate aftercare plan if caretaker is continuing MAT after case closure.
  11. Works with service providers regarding recommendations for safe sleep and breast feeding safety, as well as tools for caretakers of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) infants;
  12. Ensures that a treatment plan from any provider is incorporated into ansafety plan, prevention plan, case plan, and/or aftercare plan completed for the family;
  13. Includes information from the treatment provider in the assessment and any case plans developed on behalf of the family;
  14. Relies on treatment providers for medication recommendations, and does not make medication recommendations to individuals;
  15. Does not make recommendations to the court regarding treatment;
  16. Does not take a punitive approach with regard to return to use or treatment plan infractions such as withholding parent/child visits;
  17. Does not set conditions on visitation that aren’t tied to a specific safety threat (i.e. changing unsupervised to supervised, location from out of office to in office);
  18. Does not expect tapering of the dose or an end-date of treatment;
  19. Does not require, or recommend, that the court necessitate tapering of the dose or an end-date of treatment;
  20. Recognizes that some individuals will return to use:
    1. If return to use occurs, SSW assesses the situation by talking to the individual, treatment provider, and any other collaterals;
    2. Assesses the risk to the child in the home; and
    3. Offers additional support to stabilize the situation if possible.
  21. Refers substance misusing caregivers or alternate caregivers to appropriate supportive services including, but not limited to:
    1. HANDS;
    2. KY-Moms MATR; or
    3. Other services appropriate for providing care for infants experiencing withdrawal.
  22. Ensures appropriate designation of a case involving a substance-affected infant through the use of the correct subprogram in the central intake screens to permit reporting of the number of substance-affected infants are reported, and for whom a POSC was developed, and the number of infants for whom a referral was made for appropriate services. 
  23. Reports any concerns regarding treatment providers not following guidelines, or prescribing medications inappropriately, or to a large volume of people to the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure at (502) 429-7150 or http://kbml.ky.gov/Pages/index.aspx;
  24. Immediately consults with FSOS to discuss the discontinuation of the safety and /or prevention plan when the safety threats requiring the provisions within the safety and/or prevention plan have been mitigated prior to the fourteen (14) working day expiration of the plan, and:
    1. If it is determined that the safety plan should be discontiued prior to the expiration date on the safety plan, informs the family and other involved individuals within forty eight (48) hours, by phone call, if the safety/prevention plan will be discontinued prior to the expiration date.  If the family is not available by phone within forty eight (48) hours, SSW will send notification by mail, or conduct a home visit.  
  25. Completes a face-to-face interview with the parent/caregiver within forty eight (48) hours if the safety or prevention plan needs to be renegotiated based on safety threats or risks to the child(ren).  6
 

Contingencies and Clarifications

When developing the POSC, the family, SSW, and other service providers should keep in mind that the postpartum period is a time of unique vulnerability and the risk of return to use increases for the mother due to:

    1. Increased stress associated with motherhood, newborn care, sleep deprivation;
    2. Limited social support and resource availability;
    3. Increased financial demands;
    4. Pain and physical recovery from delivery; and/or
    5. Physiologic transition from pregnant to non-pregnant state.

What to include in a plan of safe care (CAPTA 106(b)(2)(B)(ii)and (iii)):

  1. Service referrals to meet the needs of the mother (CAPTA 106 (b)(2)(B)(ii) and (iii), including but not limited to:
    1. Health care;
    2. Identification of a consistent and appropriate primary caregiver;
    3. Medication management;
    4. Pain management;
    5. Support with breast feeding;
    6. Discussion of family planning;
    7. SUD treatment and mental health services which assist the mother in identifying and accessing the appropriate assessments and treatment services, including the following:
      1. Timely access;
      2. Engagement, retention and recovery supports;
      3. Appropriate treatment (i.e. gender-specific, family focused, accessible, MAT, trauma responsive); and
      4. Depression/anxiety/domestic violence.
    8. Referrals to appropriate supportive services including, but not limited to:
      1. HANDS;
      2. KY-Moms MATR; and
      3. Other services appropriate for providing care for infants experiencing withdrawal;
    9. Appropriate alternate care, i.e. child care referral, respite care by an appropriate relative, etc.
  2. Services referrals to meet the needs of the infant (CAPTA 106(b)(2)(B)(ii) and (iii)) and other children in the home, including but not limited to:
    1. Identification of a consistent pediatrician/healthcare provider;
    2. High-risk follow-up care;
    3. Referral to specialty care, as indicated;
    4. Developmental screening and assessment;
    5. Linkage to early intervention services; and
    6. Plan for safe sleep.
  3. Services to meet the needs of secondary caregivers and other household members, including but not limited to:
    1. SUD assessment and treatment, if indicated;
    2. Mental health assessment and treatment;
    3. Medication management;
    4. Parenting skills (i.e. bonding, nurturing, understanding of the special care needs of the infant and the ability to provide it, etc.); and
    5. Ability to demonstrate the care and protection needs of the infant and any other children living in the home.
  4. A designation of who will monitor the POSC to determine whether and how local entities are making referrals and delivering appropriate services to the infant and affected family or caregiver for cases alleging maltreatment (CAPTA 106(b)(2)(B)(ii) and (iii).
  5. Ensure that the designation for monitoring includes another responsible agency in the aftercare plan, if the child welfare case closes (CAPTA 106(b)(2)(B)(ii) and (iii)).

Related Information

Definitions: 

Substance Use Disorder (SUD):  Substance use disorders are patterns of symptoms resulting from use of a substance, which the individual continues to take despite experiencing problems as a result.
Substance use disorders span a wide variety of problems arising from substance use and cover eleven different criteria:

  • Taking the substance in larger amounts or for longer than the individual intended;
  • Wanting to cut down or stop using the substance but not able to do so;
  • Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of the substance;
  • Cravings and urges to use the substance;
  • Not managing to do what the individual should at work, home or school, because of substance use;
  • Continuing to use, even when it causes problems in relationships;
  • Giving up important social, occupational or recreational activities because of substance use;
  • Using substances again and again, even when it puts the individual in danger;
  • Continuing to use, even when the individual knows they have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by the substance;
  • Needing more of the substance to get the effect the individual wants (tolerance); or
  • Development of withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the substance.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD):  A group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy.  These effects can include physical problems and problems with behavior and learning.  Often, a person with an FASD has a combination of these problems. 

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS):  A result of the sudden discontinuation of fetal exposure to substances that were used or abused by the mother during pregnancy.  This includes any of the adverse consequences in the newborn of exposure to addictive or dangerous intoxicants during fetal development.  The consequences include, but are not limited to, preterm delivery, intrauterine growth retardation, asphyxia, low birth weight, drug withdrawal symptoms after delivery, behavioral, psychiatric, and learning disabilities later in life.

KY-Moms MATR helps expectant Kentucky mothers who are at risk for using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, to reduce harm to their children from their substance use, during and after pregnancy.  Call (800) 374-9146 or visit the Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental, and Intellectual Disabilities website. (See resources)

The Substance Exposed Infant Reporting is a guide for the SSW to use when speaking with the delivering hospital’s medical staff regarding a substance-affected infant.  The checklist can be used during any phase of interaction with the family.  (See resources)

Footnotes 

  

  1. This will ensure that the provider is aware of any case concerns, including relevant criminal charges, and the reason for referral.
  2. Consider that SUD screening is not an all-inclusive depiction of the family's capacity.
  3. See resources for safe sleep website.  
  4. Maintaining the minimum but increasing frequency during times of return to use, or stress that may contribute to return to use.  
  5. Note that some street drugs taken in conjunction with MAT can be fatal. 
  6. The phone call, face-to-face renegotiation (if applicable), and written notification (if applicable) are documented in the assessment and documentation tool (ADT), and the written notification (if applicable) is filed in the case file.   

1.16 Confidentiality and Safeguards Regarding Client, DPP Office, Program and Facility Information

Chapter:
Chapter 1-Fundamentals of Practice
Effective:
11/16/2015
Section:
1.16 Confidentiality and Safeguards Regarding Client, DPP Office, Program and Facility Information
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

All information obtained through the process of providing services to client/individuals of DPP, conducting adult or child abuse, neglect or dependency investigations, foster or adoptive home studies and adoption where judgment has been rendered, is deemed confidential.

Applicants for services and clients of DPP are made aware of the information maintained in their case record.  Information contained in a client’s case record will not be released outside DPP except as specified by KRS 61.870-61.884, Open Records Act and HIPAA regulations.  When statutes are in conflict, the federal law prevails.

Each DPP office, facility and program has in place appropriate administrative, technical and physical safeguards to reasonably secure all information pertaining to a client’s case records and protected health information (PHI) from intentional and unintentional unauthorized use or disclosure.

Any person requesting disclosure of information pertaining to a client’s case record follows the procedures outlined in SOP 30.10 CPS Open Records Request and Disclosure of Information and 30.11 APS Open Records and Confidentiality.  Information regarding notice of privacy practices and access to and obtaining a copy of protected health information is located on the tip sheet Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Tip Sheet linked in this section. 

Procedure

The SSW and appropriate Cabinet staff adhere to the following safeguards regarding the security of a client’s confidential information:

  1. Client information is not discussed in public except in a professional setting required and incidental to the delivery of services or in the performance of other functions required of DPP by federal or state mandate;
  2. Client information or data whether in case record or on computerized file, is maintained in a secure location and away from public access as reasonably appropriate;
  3. If a SSW possesses confidential client information on an electronic device or other computerized file, the SSW keeps the device or file on their person at all times or at the very least, securely locked in the trunk of their vehicle;
  4. Client case records are maintained in locked files when not in use and only limited authorized workforce staff will have access to keys or combinations;
  5. When DPP offices are open to the public, the unlocked files containing client case records are in view and monitored by workforce staff at all times;
  6. Access to any client case record or data file is limited to employees, business associates or service providers who have a legitimate interest in the case or as required by law;
  7. When accessing client case records, computer monitors are positioned as appropriate to reasonably eliminate unintentional, unauthorized viewing;
  8. DPP computers access client case records information via a secure site and only authorized workforce staff with user ID and password with appropriate access level may gain access;
  9. All obsolete client files that are to be disposed are incinerated or shredded by authorized workforce staff;
  10. Interviews with clients of DPP are not filmed, taped, photographed or observed without the knowledge and written consent of the client, except where permitted by law as in the case of child abuse where photographs are permissible;
  11. DPP workforce staff does not provide any adoption case record information when an adoption judgment has been rendered to anyone, even the parties of the adoption, the names of any parties appearing in the records or any copy of the records except upon order of the court which granted the adoption;
  12. DPP offices, programs and facilities have in place appropriate administrative, technical and physical safeguards to reasonably secure and protect protected health information (PHI) from intentional or unintentional unauthorized use or disclosure;
  13. DPP workforce staff adheres to this SOP pertaining to office, programs or facility safeguards to ensure HIPAA privacy regulations.

Practice Guidance

  • Each new workforce staff receives HIPAA training elements within six (6) months after joining DPP;
  • Each new workforce staff, whose job requirements are impacted by a material change in the policies and procedures relating to protected health information (PHI), or by a change in position or job description, receives the training as described above within a reasonable time after the change becomes effective;
  • Upon employment each workforce staff signs the CHFS-219- Employee Confidentiality/Security Agreement, indicating their understanding and compliance to applicable policies and procedures relating to confidentiality and security;
  • The CHFS-219 is then maintained in their personnel file.
  • The Training Branch maintains documentation of each staff member’s completion of HIPAA trainings.
  • Hard copy cases should never be removed from the local office unless they are being transported from one approved DCBS location to another.  Examples include: 
    • 2nd level case reviews;
    • Case transfers; Fatalities;
    • Service complaints/CAPTA appeals;
    • Pre-Permanency conferences;
    • Sealed adoption cases to central office.

Related Information

The department designates an individual from the Office of Legal Services (OLS) at central office as HIPAA privacy officer, responsible for overseeing, counseling and approving the development and implementation of DPP standards of practice relating to the safeguarding of PHI.  The department designates the Office of the Ombudsman, in coordination with the Records Management Section, at central office as the body responsible for receiving complaints concerning HIPAA privacy regulations, validating and approving or denying client or the client’s personal representative’s access to protected health information.

DPP, offices, programs and facilities of the division maintain required standards of practice and procedures in written or electronic form and copies of all communications, actions, activities or designations as are required to be documented under HIPAA privacy regulations, for a minimum period of six (6) years from the later of the date of creation or the last effective date.

The Office of the Ombudsman, in conjunction with the Records Management Section, local offices and workforce staff documents:

  • Any and all signed authorizations;
  • All complaints and their disposition if any;
  • Any sanctions that are applied as a result of non-compliance to HIPAA privacy regulations;
  • Any use or disclosure of PHI for research without the client’s authorization; and
  • Compliance with the Notice of Privacy Practices by retaining:
    • Copies of current and past notices it issues;
    • Written acknowledgements of the receipt of notice;
    • Written documentation of good faith efforts that failed to obtain written acknowledgment; and
    • Any SOP required to implement compliance.
  • Designated case records that are subject to access by clients/individuals and the titles of persons or offices responsible for receiving and processing requests for access.
  • All agreements with the client or personal representative by DPP regarding restriction of use and disclosure of PHI about the client to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations and the titles of persons or offices responsible for receiving and processing requests for restrictions.
  • All agreements with the client or personal representative by DPP regarding amendments to the client’s PHI and the titles of persons or offices responsible for receiving and processing requests for amendments.
  • Accounting of disclosures of PHI required by HIPAA privacy regulations made by DPP to include:
    • The date of the disclosure;
    • The name of the entity or individual who received the PHI and, if known, the address of such entity or individual;
    • A brief statement of the purpose of the disclosure that reasonably informs the individual of the basis of the disclosure;
    • The written accounting of disclosure that is provided the individual; and
    • The titles of persons or offices responsible for receiving and processing requests for an accounting of disclosure by clients.

 

1.17 Informed Consent and Release of Information

Chapter:
Chapter 1-Fundamentals of Practice
Effective:
06/19/2018
Section:
1.17 Informed Consent and Release of Information
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

  • N/A

When providing services it is not unusual to need and/or share information among community partners.  The informed consent forms (DCBS-1 and DCBS-1A) described in this SOP specifies the designated agencies to share information and gives DCBS consent to gather and share information on behalf of the client and family members.  The information will be utilized to verify eligibility, make referrals and provide benefits, service or treatment to the client and family members.

Procedure

The SSW:

  1. Completes the DCBS-1 Informed Consent and Release of Information and Records and/or DCBS-1A Informed Consent and Release of Information Records Supplement when registering the client for services, gathering and/or sharing information an agency not initially designated for release, or when needing to add additional family members;
  2. Completes the DCBS-1 when requesting any information except for those regarding HIV/AIDS and substance abuse treatment; 
  3. Completes DCBS-1A when requesting information regarding HIV/AIDS and substance abuse treatment; 
  4. Legibly enters the name and social security number of the person signing the DCBS-1 and/or DCBS-1A;
  5. Lists the names of the specific agencies or individuals with whom DCBS may
    exchange information as authorized by the adult; 
  6. If additional agencies or individuals are identified, completes another DCBS-1 and/or DCBS-1A;
  7. Checks the specific items on the applicable form requested for release as they relate to services discussed in the assessment and case plan and if "other" is checked, specifies the item to be released;
  8. Requires the individual providing consent to initial beside each checked each item that applies;
  9. Under no circumstances completes or requests a client sign a blanket release for all services (all items checked) unless the assessment and case plan provide documentation of such need;
  10. Lists the name, social security number (SSN) and relationship provided by the adult for each member of the family for whom the individual has legal authority to consent;
  11. Allows for an adult to consent on behalf of children in the family but if consent or information is needed on another adult in the home, that adult must also sign the DCBS-1 and/or DCBS-1A; 
  12. Complete an additional DCBS-1 and/or DCBS-1A if more than two (2) adult signatures are needed;
  13. Completes the duration of release to be:
    1. No more than ninety (90) days from the date of consent for a one time release; or
    2. No more than twelve (12) months from the date of consent for ongoing    cases;
  14. Requires signatures as follows: 
    1. The adult giving consent to the release signs the first signature line;
    2. An additional adult in the family consenting to release signs the second line,
    3. A witness signature is used as designated on the form when an adult uses an “X” as a signature;
  15. Signs the completed form;
  16. Provides a copy of the signed, completed form to each adult signing the form;
  17. Files the original form in the case record;
  18. Completes another DCBS-1 and/or DCBS-1A, updates all relevant information and obtains client consent, if services continue during the month of expiration of the DCBS-1 and/or DCBS-1A.

Practice Guidance

  • The DCBS-1 and/or DCBS-1A remain in effect for the period of time designated from the date of signature unless:
    • The client revokes the consent in writing; or
    • DCBS services have ceased. 
  • If services to the client for a specific program close prior to the expiration date but other DCBS services are being provided, the form remains in effect for the other program areas that are continuing to provide services until the expiration of the consent. 
  • Upon expiration, the other DCBS program will be required to have the client complete a new form.

 

 

1.18 HIV/AIDS

Chapter:
Chapter 1-Fundamentals of Practice
Effective:
01/22/2014
Section:
1.18 HIV/AIDS
Version:
2

Legal Authority/Introduction 

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

HIV is a progressively debilitating disease, but proper treatment can significantly delay the onset of AIDS.  DCBS has a responsibility to clients and strives to provide services to HIV infected individuals while maintaining awareness of agency risk and liability to other clients and personnel.  DCBS has the responsibility to respect HIV/AIDS client’s confidentiality.  DCBS also advocates for the rights of an infected individual to attend day care, preschool, school, adult day care, nursing care or any other needed services under medically and psychosocially appropriate circumstances.

Procedure

Diagnostic Testing and General Case Management

The SSW:

  1. Should actively encourage clients who are at risk for infection to be tested;
  2. Consults the regional attorney and the Medical Support Section to test a client without their permission for reasons concerning the client’s health or another individual’s safety;
  3. Consults with the regional attorney, the Medical Support Section and the child, when age appropriate, when a prospective adoptive parent requests to have the child tested for HIV/AIDS but does not meet any of the high risk indicators;1
  4. Makes arrangements for re-testing when appropriate;  
  5. Completes the assessment that includes questions regarding any high risk behaviors in which the client or family may have been involved for any HIV positive client;
  6. Completes a case plan for an HIV infected client that considers the following:
    1. Presence of behaviors likely to transmit the HIV infection;
    2. Potential needs of the client;
    3. Medical status, history, and symptomatology; and
    4. Availability of needed services;
  7. Clearly documents the regional attorney’s and the Medical Support Section’s decision and reason for any disclosure of information regarding the outcome of a test made without the client’s approval.

Practice Guidance

HIV/AIDS Testing

  • HIV testing may not be required of any client.  Testing may be considered only for individuals for whom the Cabinet is legally responsible if any of the following risk factors are known:
      • Multiple blood or blood product transfusions between 1978-1985;
      • Children born to a mother known to be HIV infected;
      • Children born to a mother who meets the criteria for HIV exposure;
      • Use of intravenous (IV) drugs;
      • Exhibits symptoms of possible HIV infection.  Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
          • Swollen lymph nodes;
          • Weight loss;
          • Fever;
          • Cough and shortness of breath;
          • Soaking night sweats;
          • Shaking chills or fever higher than 100 F for several weeks;
          • Dry cough and shortness of breath;
          • Chronic diarrhea;
          • Persistent white spots or unusual lesions on your tongue or in your mouth;
          • Headaches;
          • Blurred and distorted vision;
          • Rare cancer or fungal infections associated with HIV;
    • A person has been sexually abused/assaulted by anyone who:
      • Has had multiple sexual partners;
      • Has known use of intravenous (IV) drug use;
      • Has hemophilia and has received clotting factor products prior to April 1985;
      • Has had sexual partners known or suspected to be infected with HIV or have the above high risk factors;
    • Client’s request. 
  • Testing of children who are voluntarily committed to the Cabinet requires parental consent.
  • Testing of a child in temporary or emergency custody requires a court order.
  • When a minor is tested of their own accord and refuses to disclose test results, KRS 214.185(6) allows the medical professional to inform the parent or legal guardian of the minor regarding any treatment given or needed where, in the judgment of the professional, informing the parent or guardian would benefit the health of the minor.
  • Testing for infants and young children may be performed by a pediatric specialist.  All other HIV testing may only be performed at testing facilities that offer pre and posttest counseling by specially trained staff. 
  • Pre/Post test counseling services are offered at all local health departments.

Disclosure of HIV/AIDS Status

  • No DCBS personnel who has obtained or has knowledge of a positive HIV/AIDS test result may disclose or be compelled to disclose the identity of any person upon whom a test is performed, or the results of the test in a manner which permits identification of the subject of the test without the written consent of the client.
  • The decision to disclose the HIV/AIDS status without the consent of the client may be made on a case by case basis in consultation with the regional attorney and the Medical Support Section when it is deemed absolutely necessary for the safety and care of the client. 
  • KRS 214.181 allows the information to be released to the following persons:
    • The subject of the test or the subject's legally authorized representative;
    • Any person designated by the client or their legally authorized representative through a DCBS-1A Informed Consent and Release of Information and Records Supplement;
    • A physician, nurse or other health care personnel who has a legitimate need to know the test result in order to provide for his protection and to provide for the patient's health and welfare;
    • A health facility or health care provider which procures, processes, distributes or uses: 
      • Human body part from a deceased person, with respect to medical information regarding that person; or
      • Semen provided for the purpose of artificial insemination;
    • A parent, foster parent, or legal guardian of a minor;
    • Persons allowed access by court order.
  • Disclosure of the confidential HIV status to DCBS personnel may be made on a need to know basis, which is based on the optimal care of the client.
  • DCBS staff that are responsible for disclosing a client’s HIV status or allowing the HIV status of a client to go beyond those with a legitimate need to know are subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Footnotes

  1. Re-testing is conducted six (6) months after the cessation of risk behavior except for infants who shall be tested at nine (9), twelve (12) and fifteen (15) months of age.

2.1 Receiving and Assigning the Report

Chapter:
Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
Effective:
01/9/2020
Section:
2.1 Receiving and Assigning the Report
Version:
8

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Child Protective Services (CPS) are specialized services aimed at safeguarding the rights and welfare of abused, neglected, or dependent children.  The Cabinet has the authority and obligation to assure that reports meet the statutory and regulatory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency before a child protective assessment or investigation begins. 

The Division of Protection and Permanency (DPP) accepts reports that meet the statutory and regulatory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency where the alleged perpetrator is in a caretaking role. The identity of persons who report allegations of child abuse or neglect is kept confidential.  Reports of child abuse or neglect allegations from persons who wish to remain anonymous will be accepted; however, staff encourage all reporters to provide contact information so follow-up can occur if more information is needed.

Procedure

The intake FSOS:

Ensures that the Kentucky Child/Adult Protective Services Reporting System is monitored continuously during business hours (8:00am-4:30pm Eastern Standard Time).

The intake SSW: 

  1. Explains to the reporting source:
    1. His/her immunity from liability pursuant to KRS 620.050; and
    2. The Cabinet’s requirements to maintain the confidentiality of the reporting source, unless ordered to report such by a court;
  2. Attempts to elicit from the reporter as much information about the child’s circumstances as possible, including:
    1. The identity of the reporting source and his/her relationship to the child or situation;
    2. Specific information as to the nature and extent of the abuse, neglect, or dependency;
    3. The cause of the abuse, neglect, or dependency;
    4. The current location of the child and family/caretaker;
    5. Identifying information regarding any witness to the alleged incident;
    6. The condition of the child;
    7. Knowledge or suspicion of a previous occurrence of child abuse or neglect;
    8. Whether the reporting person, or any other person, has taken any action;
    9. Whether there are any immediate safety issues for the child;
    10. Whether there are any safety issues for the investigative worker; and
    11. General information regarding the perpetrator including name, location, and relationship to the child;
  3. Enters reports in TWIST as directed by the  CPS Case Naming Protocol Tip Sheet; and
  4. Assigns reports to the county where the victim resides, except in cases where allegations of abuse or neglect are made against a staff in a specialized setting.  Those referrals are assigned to the county where the facility/home is located.   

When a web based report is received from the Kentucky Child/Adult Protective Services Reporting System, the intake SSW: 

  1. Follows procedure three (3) above;
  2. Copies and pastes the information from the report into the intake screens in TWIST;
  3. Ensures that the web tracker ID is entered in TWIST on the 115 to allow the reporting source to follow-up regarding whether the report was accepted; 
  4. Ensures that all reports received from the site are screened according to the same criteria as all other reports;
  5. Contacts the reporting source via e-mail to advise when the report does not meet criteria, following the template in practice guidance below;
  6. Assigns a report received involving a DCBS or PCP foster/adoptive home, crisis stabilization unit, family registered child care home, licensed child care facility, registered or family child care provider, school employee, supports for community living (SCL), community mental health (CMHC), psychiatric residential treatment facility (PRTF), psychiatric hospital, or day treatment facility to the county where the foster home, facility, or school is located victim resides and forwards it to the FSOS and SSW (for information purposes) in the county where the case of origin is assigned; and in which the facility is located; and  
  7. Assigns all other reports to the county where the victim resides.     

Contingencies and Clarifications

  1. Based on regional protocol, another county may be assigned a foster home referral as deemed appropriate by the SRA.
  2. Requests for Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) home evaluations, home studies, and placement supervision requests are automated and received as an unassigned intake similar to a report received from a JC-3, web, or Centerstone report; however, with an ICPC request, the intake information has already been added.  Centralized intake (CI) staff will complete the intake.  When the intake is approved and a case is created, the case manager then has access to the ICPC request information including all of the attachments that were previously emailed to CI and DCBS staff.  Supervision intakes no longer populate an ADT as they are routed directly to the worker. 
  3. If a report meets acceptance criteria and the parent has already made an appropriate adoptive plan for the child, the intake will continue to be assigned and the investigation will be worked simultaneously with the adoptive plan continuing.  The SSW may not need to seek emergency custody of the child with the appropriate adoptive plan in place.  Contact the Adoption Services Branch at (502) 564-2147 with questions regarding the validity of the adoptive plan. 

Practice Guidance

    • When a CPS report is received and accepted, the agency’s primary responsibility is establishing the safety of the child(ren).  The most critical element in the decision regarding where to assign a report is determined by which county can ensure safety of the child(ren) in the timeliest manner. 
    • Since situations vary between regions, an all inclusive list of potential scenarios is not possible.  However, the following questions should be considered by CI teams and on call staff when making decisions about where to assign an investigative report:
      • Is the child at imminent risk?
      • Where does the child typically reside?
      • Which location would minimize time and travel for an assigned investigator?
    • SRAs have the discretion to assign a report, within their region, to the county determined to be the most appropriate based on workload, staffing, or other personnel needs.  
    • When more than one region is involved, regional management,from both regions (SRAs, SRCAs and SRAAs) is to work together to make the best possible assignments of CPS reports.  The Child Protection Branch is available for consultation regarding SOP clarifications about assignment issues and the Division of Service Regions is available to assist with mediation and resolution of situations as needed. 
  • Each region has an e-mail box to receive the online referrals. 
  • The Kentucky Child/Adult Protective Services Reporting System is not available for use on evenings, weekends, or holidays and the website should not be used for emergency referrals.  

Template for Web Based Reports Not Accepted

  • If a web based report is received, but does not meet acceptance criteria, please copy and paste verbatim the following information into an e-mail response to the reporting source: 
    • Provide the web ID number

      This e-mail is to advise that the report you submitted via the web based reporting system for the Commonwealth of Kentucky did not meet acceptance criteria.

      If you have additional information or concerns not included in the original report, please call the abuse hotline at 1-877-597-2331.

      Thank you,

Related Information

  • The caregiver’s act (HB 176) was enacted to enable relative caregivers to have authority to make health care or school arrangements for a child in their care, who is not currently under the supervision of the Cabinet. 

2.2 Receiving a Specialized Investigation Report

Chapter:
Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
Effective:
09/29/2014
Section:
2.2 Receiving a Specialized Investigation Report
Version:
4

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The centralized intake SSW: 

  1. Contacts the Service Region Administrator (SRA) or designee, who assigns staff to conduct the investigation;1 
  2. Accepts all reports of human trafficking as exploitation reports, and enters them into TWIST under the name of the child’s parent/custodian;
  3. Conducts an investigation for all other types of specialized reports and enters reports in TWIST under the alleged perpetrator’s name;
  4. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 3.10 Onsite Provision of Services when assistance is requested from one county or region to another county or region to provide needed services for specialized investigations.

Footnotes

  1. It is advisable that staff who have direct knowledge of the case not be assigned to conduct the investigation.

2.3 Acceptance Criteria and Reports that do not Meet

Chapter:
Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
Effective:
01/14/2020
Section:
2.3 Acceptance Criteria and Reports that do not Meet
Version:
21

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

 

The Division of Protection and Permanency (DPP) accepts reports that meet the statutory and regulatory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency where the alleged perpetrator is in a caretaking role.  If DPP receives a report of abuse by a person other than a parent, guardian, or other person exercising custodial control or supervision of a child, the SSW immediately notifies the local law enforcement agency or the Kentucky state police and the commonwealth or county attorney of the receipt of the report and its contents, and they shall investigate the matter. DPP will accept reports involving a non-caretaker only if the report involves allegations of human trafficking.    

The identity of persons who report allegations of child abuse or neglect is kept confidential.  Reports of child abuse or neglect allegations from persons who wish to remain anonymous will be accepted; however, staff encourage all reporters to provide contact information so follow-up can occur if more information is needed.

Reports that do not meet acceptance criteria, which means they do not meet the statutory and regulatory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency where the alleged perpetrator is in a caretaking role, are documented in the TWIST system under the "Does Not Meet" path by the SSW taking the report.
The cabinet or its designated representative shall participate in an investigation of non-custodial physical abuse or neglect at the request of the local law enforcement agency or the department of Kentucky State Police.  Reports of human trafficking are always investigated jointly between the cabinet and law enforcement.

Practice Guidance

  • Perpetrators 12-17 years of age- Reports that meets child abuse, neglect, or dependency criteria involving an alleged perpetrator between the ages of twelve and seventeen (12-17) years old in a caretaking role will be accepted.  If substantiated, the child aged twelve to seventeen (12-17) will be identified as the perpetrator.
    • Reports in Active Cases-When the caretaker has an active CPS case and there is a new allegation that meets either child or adult abuse or neglect criteria the report will be accepted and will be investigated or assessed as all other reports.
    • Caretaker Requests for Assistance- The intake SSW may accept a voluntary request for assistance from a caretaker with a previous history if there is a low risk for abuse, neglect, or dependency.
    • Caretakers requesting assistance with custody issues should be referred to court.  If a court requires an agency petition, such an action may be initiated as dependency. 
    • Allegations in an Open Investigation- When allegations are received on a family that are not the same as the original allegations, but are received within thirty (30) working days of the original allegations, the SSW may take this as a second incident and include it in the original report.  
    • Kentucky does not have legal authority to investigate CPS incidents that occurred in other states.  However, allegations that indicate an ongoing or future risk may be evaluated using risk of harm criteria. 
  • DCBS has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet which gives them permission to investigate allegations of abuse or neglect that occur in Department of Juvenile Justice facilities.
  • DCBS does not investigate a report if the victim of the report of abuse, neglect, or dependency is age eighteen (18) or over at the time of the report. 
  • If an infant is relinquished, but the infant is exposed to substances, the report is accepted as risk of harm/neglect and not as safe Infant, per KRS 620.350.   
  • If the parent has already made an appropriate adoptive plan for the child, the reported maltreatment should still be screened and the investigation worked simultaneously with the adoptive plan continuing.  An appropriate adoptive plan includes confirmation that the parent(s) are working with a licensed adoptive agency or an attorney.

Procedure  

  1. Staff should follow the criteria outlined in the table below to determine whether or not a report meets criteria for investigation.  The format of this section is designed so that staff may view the agency’s procedures alongside the corresponding legal rationale for the criteria.  Legal authority has been shaded in light blue to differentiate it from the SOP procedures.
  2. Please be aware that the items included in the following lists are not all inclusive and may include other acts that the FSOS deems appropriate. 
  3. If the report is determined to meet the fatality/near fatality designation please refer to SOP 2.14 Investigations of Child Fatalities and Near Fatalities. 

I. Physical Abuse

 

Legal Rationale

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(a) 1. An injury that is, or has been, observed on a child that was allegedly inflicted non-accidentally by a caretaker;
2. Physical abuse if no current observable injury is seen;
3. A child being hit in a critical area of the body, such as the head, neck, genitals, abdomen, and back; or
4. a. Physical injury to a child, as defined by KRS 600.020(46), that is the result of an altercation between the child and the caretaker.

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a physical abuse report when the reporting source alleges that a child:
   A. Has observable injuries inflicted by a caretaker;
   B. Has been hit in critical areas which include the head, neck, genitals, abdomen or back;
   C. Has been punched, kicked, strangled, shaken or suffocated;
   D. Has been exposed to bizarre or cruel forms of punishment or inappropriate restraint.

Things to Consider

 

Section 2(4)(a) 4.b. The cabinet shall explore the following:
   (i) Age of the child;
   (ii) Precipitating factors;
   (iii) Degree of appropriateness of force used by the caretaker; and
   (iv)Need for further services to assist in eliminating violent behavior in the home;

 

2. When determining the level of risk, the intake SSW considers:
   A. Age of the child, particularly those age four (4) years and under (refer to Acceptance Criteria: Physical Injury & Assault Children 4 years and younger
resource tool to determine how to categorize the injury);

   B. Vulnerability of the child, such as identified disabilities;
   C. Severity of the injury;
   D. Previous history of CPS or APS reports;
3. The intake SSW may accept physical injuries to an adolescent if there is allegedly substantial physical pain or impairment to an adolescent and the injuries were the result of an altercation between the youth and a caretaker.

Reports that do not Meet Criteria 

 

Section 2(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;
(d) The reporter notifies the cabinet that a child is injured, but the reporter does not allege injuries were the result of abuse or neglect;      
(f) Pursuant to KRS 503.110(1), corporal punishment appropriate to the age of the child, without an injury, mark, bruise, or substantial risk of harm;

 

4. Allegations are not accepted if the report:
   A. Concerns corporal punishment appropriate to the age of the child, without an injury, mark, bruise, substantial risk of harm, and not in a critical area of the body; or
   B. The reporting source describes injuries that were not caused by abuse or neglect, such as minor marks in routine areas, like the elbows or knees of an ambulatory child.

 

II. Medical Neglect

 

Legal Rationale (922 KAR 1:330)

 

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(b)7. Medical neglect, in accordance with 42 U.S.C. 5106a(b)(2)(C), if a child has not received a medical assessment or is not receiving treatment for an injury, illness, or disability that if left untreated may:
   a. Be life-threatening;
   b. Result in permanent impairment;
   c. Interfere with normal functioning and worsen;
   d. Be a serious threat to the child's health due to the outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease, unless the child is granted an exception to immunization pursuant to KRS 214.036;

KRS 214.036 Exceptions to testing or immunization requirement:
Nothing contained in KRS 158.035, 214.010, 214.020, 214.032 to 214.036, and 214.990 shall be construed to require the testing for tuberculosis or the immunization of any child at a time when, in the written opinion of his attending physician, such testing or immunization would be injurious to the child's health. Nor shall KRS 158.035, 214.010, 214.020, 214.032 to 214.036, and 214.990 be construed to require the immunization of any child whose parents are opposed to medical immunization against disease, and who object by a written sworn statement to the immunization of such child on religious grounds. Provided, however, that in the event of an epidemic in a given area, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services may, by emergency regulation, require the immunization of all persons within the area of epidemic, against the disease responsible for such epidemic.

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a medical neglect report when the reporting source alleges that a child has not received a medical assessment or is not receiving treatment for an injury, illness, condition or disability that left untreated may:
   A. Be life-threatening;
   B. Result in permanent impairment;
   C. Interfere with normal, physical functioning and worsen without treatment; or
   D. Be a serious threat to the child’s health due to the outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease, unless the child is granted an exception to immunization pursuant to KRS 214.036.

Things to Consider

 

 

2. In cases where caretakers are citing religious reasons for not seeking medical treatment, an investigation would occur if conditions in the above criteria are met, but the caretakers cannot be found negligent based on religious beliefs alone.  Court action may be necessary to protect the child(ren).
3. In cases where the allegation is failure to administer medication, the SSW should consider whether the lack of medication is having a serious negative impact on the child’s ability to function or constitutes a threat to the child’s health. 

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

 

III. Abandonment and Supervisory Neglect

Legal Rationale(922 KAR 1:330)

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(b)2. Supervision neglect if the individual reporting has reason to believe that the physical health and safety of the child may be negatively affected by lack of necessary and appropriate supervision;

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a report of neglect if the reporting source alleges the following:
   A. A child is without supervision;
   B. A child is in an unsafe location;
   C. A child is under inadequate supervision: the caretaker is unqualified (due to the special needs of the child or the level of the caregiver's functioning) or lacks capacity (due to caregiver's age or current impairment);
   D. The physical health and safety of the child may be negatively affected by lack of supervision; or
   E.  A caregiver has abandoned the child with a person who is unwilling or unable to care for the child.

Things to Consider

 

 

2. The intake SSW also considers:  
   A. Age of the child (chronological and developmental);
   B. Length of time the child is unsupervised; 
   C. Maturity of the child;
   D. Availability of other adults/resources to the child; 
   E. Whether or not the child is in a caretaker role; and
   F. Safety hazards present in the home or neighborhood. 
3. The Intake SSW may also accept a report alleging the caretaker knew or should have known and allowed a child age fifteen (15) or under to have sexual contact with another child or adult.

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

 

IV. Substance Misuse (Neglect)

Legal Rationale

Acceptance Criteria

 

KRS 600.020(1)(a)(3)
"Abused or neglected child" means a child whose health or welfare is harmed
or threatened with harm when:
(a) His or her parent, guardian, person in a position of authority or special
trust, as defined in KRS 532.045, or other person exercising custodial
control or supervision of the child: 3. Engages in a pattern of conduct that renders the parent incapable of
caring for the immediate and ongoing needs of the child including,
but not limited to, parental incapacity due to alcohol and other drug
abuse as defined in KRS 222.005;

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a report of neglect related to substance  misuse when:
   A. The reporting source alleges that the caretaker is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence with child(ren) present;    
   B. A reporting source expresses that a child has been physically harmed as a result of the caretaker's substance misuse. 

2. The intake worker may accept a neglect report involving substance misuse when the reporting source has reason to believe that the caretaker is engaging in a pattern of conduct that renders the caretaker incapable of caring for the immediate and ongoing needs of the child including, but not limited to, the caretaker’s incapacity due to alcohol and other drug misuse , including the misuse of prescription drugs. (consider the child's age, agency/criminal history, pattern of behavior, and effects of the substance on

the caretaker's ability to meet the child's needs).

3.  Reports relating to the potential for harm due to a parent's substance misuse should be considered under risk of harm criteria.  

Things to Consider

 

 

 

 

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

Section 2(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

4. Reports of substance misuse are not accepted (including prescription drugs), unless the reporting source provides information that would cause a reasonable person to believe that the caretaker’s use is impairing their ability to meet the needs of their children.

 

V. Food Neglect

 

Legal Rationale (922 KAR 1:330)

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(b)3. Food neglect if a child shows symptoms of:
   a. Malnutrition;
   b. Dehydration; or
   c. Not having been provided adequate food for a period of time that interferes with the health needs of the child, based on height or weight norms for the child’s age;

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a report of food neglect when the reporting source alleges the child:
   A. Has not been provided adequate food for a period of time; or
   B. Has special dietary needs that are not being met; and
   C. Because of the lack of food the child shows symptoms of:
      i. Malnutrition or failure to thrive;
      ii. Dehydration; or
      iii. Not having been provided adequate food for a period of time that interferes with the health needs of the child, based on height or weight norms for the child.

Things to Consider 

 

 

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

Section 2(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

2. Reports that allege simply “no food in the house” are not taken as a report unless the child's health is being impacted.

 

VI. Environmental Neglect

 

Legal Rationale (922 KAR 1:330)

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(b)5. Environmental neglect, if a serious health and safety hazard is present and the caretaker is not taking appropriate action to eliminate the problem;

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a report of environmental neglect when the reporting source alleges the presence of a serious health and safety hazard and the caretaker is not taking appropriate action to eliminate the problem. This may include, but is not limited to:
   A. Exposure to the chemicals that are used to make methamphetamines (meth); or
   B. Exposure to an area where the production past or present of methamphetamine (meth lab) has occurred;
   C. Access to illegal drugs, or non-prescription/prescription medication;
   D. Hazardous objects, chemicals, raw sewage, excrement, lead-based paint;
   E. Exposed wires, broken windows;
   F. Insufficient shelter (i.e. living in cars, under a bridge or camping due to homelessness);
   G. Clutter that creates a fire/safety hazard; or
   H. Infestation of insects, vermin or rodents.

Things to Consider 

 

 

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency.

 

2. When the only allegation is that a house is dirty and does not allege health or safety concerns.

 

VII. Hygiene and Clothing Neglect

Legal Rationale (922 KAR 1:330)

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(b)1. Hygiene neglect if:
   a. A child has physical symptoms that require treatment due to poor care; or
   b. The child's physical health and safety are negatively affected due to an act or omission by the caretaker;
4. Clothing neglect if a child suffers from:
   a. Illness;
   b. Exposure; or
   c. Frostbite due to inadequate clothing provided to the child or the clothing provided is insufficient to protect the child from the elements;

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a report of hygiene neglect when the reporting source alleges a child's physical health and safety is negatively affected due to an act or omission by the caretaker that includes, but is not limited to the following:
   A. Serious physical symptoms that require medical treatment due to poor care, such as scabies, impetigo, or severe diaper rash; 
   B. Serious repeated infestations of lice that impair the health or well-being of  the child, such as a child has sores related to the lice; or
   C. The child smells of urine, feces or other strong body odor. 

2. The intake SSW accepts a report of clothing neglect when the reporting source alleges the following:
   A. The child suffers illness, exposure, or frostbite due to inadequate clothing; or
   B. The child’s clothing is insufficient to protect the child from the elements.

Things to Consider

 

Section 2(3)(b) Refer the caller to a community resource that may meet family needs if available;

 

3. The intake SSW considers whether Family Resource and Youth Service Centers (FRYSC) or the local Health Department have attempted to intervene in the situation if that information is known to the reporting source.

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

Section 2(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

4. Reports are not accepted when the inadequate hygiene conditions or clothing do not adversely affect the health or well-being of the child.

 

VIII. Educational Neglect

 

Legal Rationale (922 KAR 1:330)

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(b)6. Educational neglect if the:
   a. School system has exhausted its resources to correct the problem and complied with its duties pursuant to KRS 159.140; and
    b. Caretaker's neglect prevents the child from attending school or receiving appropriate education;

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a report of educational neglect if the reporting source alleges the following: 
   A. The school system has exhausted its resources to correct the problem and complied with its duties pursuant to KRS.159.140;  and 1
   B. The caretaker’s neglect prevents the child from attending school or receiving appropriate education such that it has a documented negative impact on educational performance.

Things to Consider

 

Section 2(3)(b) Refer the caller to a community resource that may meet family needs if available;

 

 

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

2. Reports that allege educational neglect based solely on the fact that the child is home schooled are not accepted as a report.
3. Reports from entities other than the appropriate school system are not accepted, but are referred back to the school system.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

X.  Risk of Harm (Neglect)

 

Legal Rationale

 

Acceptance Criteria

 

KRS 600.020(1)(a)(3)
"Abused or neglected child" means a child whose health or welfare is harmed
or threatened with harm when:
(a) His or her parent, guardian, person in a position of authority or special
trust, as defined in KRS 532.045, or other person exercising custodial
control or supervision of the child: 3. Engages in a pattern of conduct that renders the parent incapable of
caring for the immediate and ongoing needs of the child including,
but not limited to, parental incapacity due to alcohol and other drug abuse as defined in KRS 222.005;

922 KAR 1:330
Section 2(4)(b) Investigate or conduct a FINSA upon receipt of a report that alleges neglect of a child perpetrated by a caretaker that may result in harm to the health and safety of a child in the following areas:
8. At risk of harm due to an act described at KRS 600.020(1), if a child is:
c. Permitted to use drugs or alcohol under circumstances that create a risk to the emotional or physical health of the child;
d. In a situation if the factors provided in a report indicate that:
r
(ii) The child exhibits physical or behavioral indicators of sexual abuse; or
e. In a situation where the circumstances are such that a child is likely to be physically abused;

 (4) (a) 8.  At risk of harm due to an act described at KRS 600.020 (1), if a child is:

      b. Involved in an incident of domestic violence;

 

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a report alleging risk of harm if a child is:
   A. Placed at risk because the caretaker engages in a pattern of conduct that renders him/her incapable of caring for the immediate and ongoing needs of the child due to incapacity due to alcohol or other drug abuse misuse.  Examples include, but are not limited to:  
   i. Born with non-prescribed drugs in their system or showing signs of withdrawal from non-prescribed drugs (refer to 42 USC 5106a(b)(2)(A)(ii) and KRS 620.030(2); 
   ii. Caregiver is misusing substances, not in treatment, and/or their ability to care for the child is negatively impacted;

   iii. Permitted to use drugs or alcohol under circumstances that create a risk to the physical health of the child; 

   B. A medical or mental health professional expresses concern that the caretaker’s use of alcohol, drugs or medication impairs their ability to meet the child’s needs or results in an unsafe environment for the child; or
   C. In a situation if the factors provided in a report indicate that:
      i. An act of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or prostitution involving a child may occur; or
      ii. The child exhibits physical or behavioral indicators of sexual abuse;
      iii. Non-physical activities such as sexual harassment, invasive or coercive verbal or visual suggestions or stimulation to engage in sexual activities, exposure to sexual activities including internet activities; or
      iv. In a situation where the circumstances are such that a child is likely to be physically abused.

2. The intake SSW accepts a report alleging risk of physical harm if:
   A. A child or other household member being threatened with a weapon;
   B. A child being verbally threatened in a manner that creates fear of bodily harm or death to self and/or others;
   C. A caretaker with a documented history of child or adult abuse/neglect including a caretaker with a previous termination of parental rights judgment;   
   D. Bizarre behavior by a caretaker when there is reason to believe that the caretaker may lose control, which may result in injury to the child;
   E. Previous abuse or neglect by the caretaker, which resulted in a child’s death or near death;
   F. Self-reports from caretaker or guardians who state they are unable to cope and who feel they may hurt their children.

3. The intake SSW may accept a report alleging a child may be at risk of sexual harm if:
   A. CPS records or court records that document that a person in a current caretaking role has committed child sexual abuse;
   B. Specific statements alleging past sexual abuse where a person in a current caretaking role was the perpetrator;
   C. A child exhibiting physical or behavioral indicators of sexual abuse- the SSW uses the Sexual Abuse Tip Sheet as a screening tool;
   D. Suspicious circumstances that would cause a person to believe that an act of sexual abuse may occur (such as additional victims identified during an active sexual abuse investigation or grooming behaviors); or
   E. A child is left unsupervised with a person listed on a sexual offender registry.
   F. A person on a sexual offender registry has continued access to the child.

4. The intake SSW accepts a report of neglect related to exposure to domestic violence if:

    A.  The incident places the child or a household member in danger in situations such as, but not limited to, the following:

i.  The alleged perpetrator assaults the non-offending caretaker/victim while holding the child;

ii.  Items are thrown or weapons are used the vicinity of the child;

iii. The alleged perpetrator uses a firearm during the DV incident;

iv. A child intervenes in an incident of DV, even if uninjured;

v.  A child is restrained or restricted from leaving during the DV incident;

vi. Prolonged exposure to domestic violence;

vii A child or household member is threatened with a weapon;

vii.  The alleged DV perpetrator has made suicidal and/or homicidal statements with plans to follow through.

   5. Terrorizing – any act that exposes a child to intense fear or anxiety of the following: 
     A. Physical or sexual assault or harm to self or loved ones;
     B. Prolonged exposure to domestic violence;
     C. Being placed in a chaotic, unpredictable, dangerous environment likely to cause injury; or      
     D. Verbal threatening in a manner that creates fear of bodily harm or death to self or others.

Things to Consider

 922 KAR 1:330

(4) (a) 8. At risk of harm due to an act described at KRS 600.020 (1), if a child is:

      b. Involved in an incident of domestic violence;

 6.  The intake SSW can accept a report if:

A. DV related injuries to the non-offending caretaker/victim have become severe or more frequent;

B. A child shows behavioral changes that appear to be related to DV in the family, and the child is fearful of physical injury or death to self and/or others; or

C. Due to the violation of a current EPO/DVO, a child is placed in danger.

 

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

 

XI.  Exploitation (Neglect)

 

Legal Rationale (922 KAR 1:330)

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(b)9. Exploitation neglect if the:
   a. Caretaker has used a child or child’s financial resources for personal gain;
   b. Caretaker has enticed a child to become involved in criminal activities; or
   c. Child is a victim of human trafficking;

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a report of neglect if the reporting source alleges the following: 
   A. A caretaker is/has used a child or a child’s financial resources for personal gain, such as money or drugs; 
   B. A caretaker is/has enticed a child to become involved in criminal activities; or
   C. A child victim of human trafficking, meaning one (1) or more child(ren) have been subjected to engage in criminal activity involving forced labor services or commercial sexual activity regardless of whether or not force, fraud or coercion is involved (Refer to the Human Trafficking of Minors Tip Sheet);

2. Reports of sexual exploitation of child(ren) are accepted following the procedures outlined in sexual abuse criteria.

Things to Consider

 

 

 

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

Section 2(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

 

XII. Sexual Abuse

Legal Rationale (922 KAR 1:330)

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(c)1. Receive and investigate a report that alleges sexual abuse of a child committed or allowed to be committed by a caretaker.

KRS 532.045, Section (1)(b) "Position of special trust" means a position occupied by a person in a position of authority who by reason of that position is able to exercise undue influence over the minor;

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a sexual abuse report if the reporting source alleges the following:
   A. Rape;
   B. Sodomy, (oral or anal);
   C. Incest;
   D. Sexual penetrations with a foreign object;
   E. Exposing oneself before a child in a sexual manner;
   F. Exposing the genitals of a child in a sexual manner;
   G. Kissing a child in an intimate manner;
   H. Touching and fondling that is sexual in nature;
      I. Promotion of sexual contact with animals;
   J. Caretakers exposing a child to sexual activity; or
   K. A child seventeen (17) years of age or younger has sexual activity with a caretaker.  

Things to Consider

 

Section 2(4)(c)2. An investigation may be conducted without a specific allegation if a child has a sexually transmitted disease;

 

2. If sexual abuse allegations are not clear, such as in a child exhibiting sexualized behavior, the SSW uses the Sexual Abuse Tip Sheet as a screening tool;
3. A sexual abuse report is considered without specific allegations of sexual abuse when a child has a sexually transmitted disease.

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

Section 2(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

4. The intake SSW refers the report to a medical provider, (see the sexual abuse tip sheet) when the reporting source has generalized concerns regarding the following with no further details to support the allegation:
   A. A child has a red bottom;
   B. A child has a discharge; or
   C. A child is masturbating.

 

XIII.  Emotional Injury

Legal Rationale (922 KAR 1:330)

 

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(e) Investigate or complete a FINSA upon the receipt of a report that alleges emotional injury or risk of emotional injury to a child by a caretaker pursuant to KRS 600.020(25).

 

1. The intake SSW accepts an emotional injury report when:
   A. A child’s mental or emotional well-being, has been harmed or is at risk of harm;
   B. The harm to a child’s mental or emotional well-being is evidenced by a substantial and observable impairment in the child’s ability to function within a normal range of performance and behavior with regard to his age, development, culture, and environment; 
   C. The parent or other caretaker inflicted the harm to the child’s mental or emotional well-being by non-accidental means.
2. When making the decision to accept a report of emotional injury, the intake SSW considers the following caretaker action: 
   A. Spurning – repeated or pervasive actions that belittle or humiliate a child (both verbal and non-verbal)   

B. Parental Alienation- a pattern of acts by one caretaker that sabotages a meaningful relationship to another caregiver;
   C. Isolating – any act that results in the prolonged confinement of a child or the restriction of contact with others;  

D. Denying reasonable affection– actions that cause a child’s need for emotional support/nurturing to not be met.

Things to Consider

 

 

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

Section 2(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

 

XIV.  Dependency

 

Legal Rationale (922 KAR 1:330)

Acceptance Criteria

 

Section 2(4)(d) Receive and investigate or complete a FINSA upon the receipt of a report that alleges a child is dependent, pursuant to KRS 600.020(19);

(5) The following criteria shall be used in identifying a report of abuse, neglect, or dependency not requiring a child protective services investigation or FINSA:
   (g) The report concerns a newborn infant abandoned pursuant to KRS 620.350;

 

1. The intake SSW accepts a dependency report in situations in which a child needs protection but is not alleged to be abused or neglected including but not limited to:
   A. Death or incapacity of caregiver(s) and no alternative caregiver is available; or
   B. Caretaker cannot meet a child’s special needs and has exhausted all available resources; 
   C. A minor is in the US without an adult to care for them;
   D.
A child less than 30 days old, who is not otherwise abused or neglected is abandoned at an emergency medical provider, a hospital, a police station, a fire station or a participating place of worship.  At initiation, the SSW and the FSOS follow the procedures described in SOP 4.21 Safe Infants Act;

  E. A minor is reentering the community setting from a DJJ commitment, but does not have a safe home or custodian to return to.

Things to Consider

 

 

2. Determining the distinction between abuse, neglect and dependency may require consultation through appropriate levels of supervision.

Reports that do not Meet Criteria

 

(5)(c) The problem described does not meet the statutory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency;

 

Contingencies and Clarifications

  1. Reports from court designated workers and family accountability, intervention, and response (FAIR) teams are:
    1. Accepted under the appropriate program/subprogram within this section, if the report contains abuse or neglect allegations; or  
    2. Accepted as a status offender case after other community based alternatives have been exhausted with the child and his/her family if there are no abuse or neglect allegations.
  2. Reports regarding runaway youth for services and care are accepted as an alternative to their prolonged detention.
  3. If a youth who has aged out of out of home care, but has not yet turned nineteen (19), decides to recommit, the centralized intake worker:
    1. Enters the youth into his/her own case in the intake screens in TWIST;
    2. Selects the dependency subprogram and enters the youth’s birthday in a way that indicates he/she is under the age of eighteen (18); and
    3. Assigns the intake to the original commitment county.
  4. Once the case moves from intake to investigation, the SSW who is assigned to the investigation:
    1. Completes the enter/exit screens; and
    2. Corrects the youth’s date of birth to reflect his/her accurate age.
  5. If the youth contacts the local DCBS office, the SSW may forward the youth’s recommitment request to centralized intake (CI) for entry into TWIST and case assignment.
  6. Upon receipt of a report alleging domestic violence or maltreatment of a youth in an intimate cohabitating relationship under the age of eighteen (18), the intake worker may consider an allegation for supervision neglect or risk of harm, if there is a sufficient allegation of a caregiver's failure to protect the youth.

Related Information

General information regarding reports that do not meet criteria.
In addition to the specific reasons listed in the table, the following situations do not meet acceptance criteria for a report: 

  • The situation does not meet the definition of abuse, neglect, or dependency which includes:
    • Generalized feelings of concern regarding the welfare of the child by the reporting source, but no specific allegations are provided that would indicate child abuse, neglect, or dependency; or
    • Reports relating to custody changes, custody issues, or lifestyle issues without allegations of abuse, neglect, or dependency;
  • The alleged victim of maltreatment is age eighteen (18) or older at the time of the report;
  • The whereabouts of the child are unknown, and there is insufficient information to locate the child or explore leads to locate the child;
  • The report concerns child abuse inflicted by a person who is not in a caretaking role 2 (the intake SSW forwards these reports to local law enforcement, Kentucky State Police, as well as the commonwealth's attorney or county attorney);
  • The report concerns a specific incident that has previously been investigated or assessed within the past thirty (30) days and there is no new or additional information or change in circumstances; 3
  • The child who is suspected of being abused, neglected, or dependent resides in a Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) facility (the intake SSW forwards the report to the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, and they conduct the investigation as described in the Allegations of Maltreatment at Hospitals and DJJ Facilities Tip Sheet);
  • The report alleges corporal punishment appropriate to the age of the child, without injury, mark, bruise, not in a critical area of the body or substantial risk of harm.  If the report alleges corporal punishment to a child in a foster/pre-adoptive resource home, the intake SSW immediately notifies the SRA or designee for assignment in accordance with SOP 12.17 Resource Home Reviews;
  • The reporting source describes injuries that were not caused by abuse or neglect, such as minor marks in routine areas like the elbows or knees of an ambulatory child;
  • The report alleges non-intentional injuries resulting from the effort of a caretaker defending him/herself;
  • The report alleges an incident that occurred in another state;
  • Any reports received by the cabinet must meet acceptance criteria prior to protection and permanency staff initiating an investigation/assessment, regardless of the reporting source (refer to CHFS v. Hon. Eleanore Garber and Hon. Jerry Bowles); and 4
  • This agency is not permitted to investigate allegations that occurred in another state.  However, if the other state declines to investigate and DPP determines that there are safety concerns, a risk of harm report may be accepted to ensure the safety of the child.

    Footnotes

    1. Educational neglect generally pertains to children under twelve (12) years of age unless the caretaker is intentionally keeping the child from attending school. Children age twelve (12) and over are considered truant and the school system should pursue filing status charges through the court designated worker.
    2. This is true of all non-caretaker allegations, except human trafficking.  All human trafficking allegations are investigated jointly by the cabinet and law enforcement (refer to SOP 2.15.9 Investigations of Human Trafficking).
    3. Reports concerning the same allegations currently being investigated or assessed do not require separate investigations/assessments.
    4. If the court orders an investigation or assessment of allegations that do not meet acceptance criteria, the FSOS consults with regional leadership as necessary.

    2.4 Court Requested CPS Activity

    Chapter:
    Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
    Effective:
    07/1/2015
    Section:
    2.4 Court Requested CPS Activity
    Version:
    4

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

    The court may order the Cabinet to complete certain activities on behalf of families.  In custody or divorce proceedings, the court may require the Cabinet to provide assistance in interviewing parties to the case, negotiating visitation arrangements, or to conduct a full custodial assessment.  However, any reports received by the Cabinet must meet acceptance criteria (see SOP 2.3 Acceptance Criteria) prior to protection and permanency staff initiating an investigation, regardless of the reporting source (refer to CHFS v. Hon. Eleanore Garber and Hon. Jerry Bowles).    

    Procedure

     

    The Centralized Intake Worker:

    1. Enters the order from the court on the "Court Related/Court Ordered Risk Assessment or Home Evaluation" path; 1
    2. Contacts regional management in the event that the court orders a CPS investigation into allegations that do not meet acceptance criteria.

    Practice Guidance

    • Allegations received by the court should be evaluated on the same basis as any intake, through the centralized intake process.

    Footnotes

    1. The Court Ordered Risk Assessment and Home Evaluation path cannot be moved to the ongoing function and should not be selected for status offender reports. 

    2.5 Not Yet Utilized

    Chapter:
    Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
    Effective:
    12/2/2015
    Section:
    2.5 Not Yet Utilized
    Version:
    7
    This section is not yet utilized.

     

    2.6 Completing the CPS Intake

    Chapter:
    Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
    Effective:
    07/1/2017
    Section:
    2.6 Completing the CPS Intake
    Version:
    7

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

     

    Centralized intake staff utilize the following information to determine which path is most appropriate for each report received: 

    • Law enforcement assist path-Reports that identify a non-caretaker as the alleged perpetrator of maltreatment and, therefore, do not meet the CPS acceptance criteria, are assigned and forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement agency. A non-caretaker report of human trafficking is the only exception.  Reports where law enforcement requests assistance from CPS are also assigned to this path.
    • Safe Infant path-These reports are taken as dependency cases, based on the parameters of the Kentucky Safe Infants Act.  As long as there are no other indicators of abuse or neglect, children abandoned at appropriate “safe places” will be entered on this path.
    • Safety Net path-For use when family support reports discontinuance from the K-Tap program and refers a family for a safety assessment.
    • Status Offender path-Reports that involve children who have been placed on supervision or committed by a family status court or district juvenile court are accepted on this path. 
    • Facility Investigation CPS path-For use when CPS investigations are conducted inside a facility.
    • Court Ordered Risk Assessment or Home Evaluations path-This path is utilized when a relative is being investigated for placement of a child or when the court orders an investigation of a relative’s home.
    • CPS Dependency path-This path is chosen when a report is received about a child’s improper care, custody, control or supervision that is not due to an intentional act or lack of action by a caretaker (922 KAR 1:330).
    • CPS Abuse/Neglect path-This path is chosen when a report is received that meets the statutory or regulatory definition of abuse or neglect where the alleged perpetrator is in a caretaking role (922 KAR 1:330) or in a non-caretaker role for allegations of human trafficking  
    • Resource linkage path-Calls that request agency information or community services are assigned to the resource linkage path.   
    • Does Not Meet-Reports that fall under SOP 2.5 follow this path.
    • Non-Specific Court Orders-Court orders that specify an action other than a risk assessment or home evaluation, a status offender case, or a guardianship action.
    • Out of State Requests for Assistance-Include requests from another state to conduct a relative home evaluation, an adoptive home study, a courtesy activity not related to ICPC/ICAMA, a foster parent home study, or monitor a placement/provide supervision for an out of state child in placement in Kentucky.
    • Non Compact Requests-Includes requests from another state that are not ICPC related for interviews, service provision related to ongoing services, or to monitor family's progress per the other state's request for a family/child currently residing in Kentucky.

    Procedure

    After gathering all available information from the reporting source, the intake SSW:

    1. Advises the reporting source that they will submit the report to the FSOS or designee for intake determination;
    2. Completes the intake documentation and immediately submits it to the FSOS, or designee, for review and approval; and
    3. If taking a child fatality report, enters the date of death.

    The FSOS or designee:

    1. Reviews the intake information received, including the history of the family, and then makes a determination as to:
      1. Whether the call contains protective service allegations;
      2. Whether the report meets acceptance criteria; and, if so,
      3. The immediate safety and risk of harm of the child(ren); and
    2. Completes the intake screens and submits through appropriate channels.
    3. Ensures that specialized investigation reports are entered in TWIST under the alleged perpetrator’s name and referenced back to the facility or other setting;
    4. Ensures that human trafficking (exploitation) reports are entered in TWIST under the name of the child’s custodial parent/caretaker;  1
    5. Immediately notifies the SRA or designee of all reports meeting criteria for a specialized investigation which include:
      1. DCBS or private child placing (PCP) foster and adoptive homes;
      2. Private child caring (PCC) facilities;
      3. Crisis stabilization units;
      4. Registered family child care homes or licensed child care facilities;
      5. Registered (subsidized) or family child care providers;
      6. Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) employees
      7. School personnel;
      8. Supports for community living (SCL);
      9. Community mental health and mental retardation center (CMHC);
      10. Psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTF);
      11. Psychiatric hospitals;
      12. Camps;
      13. Day treatment facilities;
      14. Child fatalities and near fatalities; and
      15. Human trafficking.

    The SRA or designee:

    1. Assigns staff to conduct specialized investigations taking into consideration whether to assign staff who have direct knowledge of the case or whether there is a need to assign the investigation to another county or request assistance from an another service region.

    Footnotes

    1. If the parent/caretaker is not named as responsible for the exploitation, the parent should be listed in the referral screen only, not the incident screen.  The non-caretaker who is responsible for the exploitation should be listed in the incident screen.

    2.7 through 2.9-Not Yet Utilized

    Chapter:
    Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
    Effective:
    12/3/2010
    Section:
    2.7 through 2.9-Not Yet Utilized
    Version:
    1

    Reserved for future use.

     

    2.10 Initiating the Report

    Chapter:
    Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
    Effective:
    06/29/2020
    Section:
    2.10 Initiating the Report
    Version:
    13

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

     

    Introduction

    A report is considered initiated when face-to-face contact with the reported victim(s) occurs. 

    Practice Guidance

      • After a report is assigned, if the initial interview proves that most of the individuals involved in the case reside in a different county, the case may be transferred to the county where the family is residing. 
      • Requesting out of county/state interviews:
        • 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 this SOP.
      • 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.
        • 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.

    Procedure

    Intake and Investigation:

    1. Initiation timeframes begin from the moment the intake SSW submits the report to the intake FSOS, or in after-hours situations, upon decision by the on-call FSOS to accept the report.
    2. Referrals are assigned to and initiated in the county where the victim resides.  However, in cases where allegations of abuse or neglect are made against a staff member in a specialized setting, the referral is assigned and initiated in the county where the facility/home is located.   

    Centralized Intake:

    1. Determines the initial level of risk, based on the:
      1. Child's chronological and developmental age;
      2. Child's vulnerability;
      3. Alleged perpetrator's access to the child;
      4. Nature of the allegations; and
      5. History of the family with the agency and the existence of prior reports.
    2. Includes initial level of risk as it relates to investigation initiation when assigning each report.

    The SSW:

    1. Checks for prior reports and records for all adult household members, prior to initiation or as soon as possible, via:
      1. TWIST; 
      2. Mainframe databases including child abuse/neglect checks (CA/N) EPO-DVO Search website (refer to EPO-DVO Administrator User Guide, EPO-DVO User Guide and TWIST Account Request with EPO-DVO); and
      3. Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) (Refer to AOC Instructions);
    2. Proceeds with the initiation of the investigation seeking assistance from other staff as necessary to ensure worker safety;
    3. Utilizes the following time frames established in administrative regulation 922 KAR 1:330 to initiate the investigation by making unannounced face-to-face contact with the:
      1. Alleged victim(s) within four (4) hours if the report:
        1. Includes a child who is:
          1. The alleged victim of a fatality or near fatality; or
          2. A surviving child in the care of the alleged perpetrator of a child fatality or near fatality.
        2. Indicates a high risk of harm to the child requiring immediate protective intervention;
          1. If there are clear indications from the referral source that the alleged perpetrator does not have immediate access to the alleged victim or other children in the home, an exception may be granted for this timeframe;
          2. It should be clearly documented in the assessment why the report was not initiated within the four (4) hour timeframe;
      2. Alleged victim(s) within twenty-four (24) hours if the report indicates:
        1. A high risk of harm to the child; or
        2. Human trafficking allegation that does not fall within the four (4) hour initiation timeframe;
      3. Alleged victim(s) within forty-eight (48) hours if the report indicates moderate risk of harm;
      4. Alleged victim(s) within seventy-two (72) hours if the report indicates low risk of harm.
    4. Coordinates investigations with law enforcement and the local Children’s Advocacy Center, pursuant to administrative regulation 922 KAR 1:330:
      1. To coordinate the interview and medical examination for a child during a sexual abuse investigation;
      2. To utilize a forensic interviewer as needed (when available); and
      3. As a neutral interview location when appropriate.
    5. Makes legitimate attempts to locate the child including, but not limited to:
      1. Visiting the location where the child is believed to be; and/or
      2. Contacting collaterals that could help verify an address or help locate the child or family, to include the following: 
        1. Family Support;
        2. Child care agencies;
        3. School system;
        4. Court records;
        5. Neighbors;
        6. Family members;
        7. Post office;
        8. Landlords;
        9. Family resource centers;
        10. Law enforcement; or
        11. Other agencies that may be involved with the family;
      3. Contacting the FSOS within twenty-four (24) hours, including weekends, for consultation if all efforts by the SSW to locate the alleged victim(s) have failed;
    6. Requests onsite interviews or assistance, as necessary, to complete the referral;
    7. Shares the case in TWIST so that onsite work can be documented as necessary by the onsite worker;
    8. Makes a preliminary report within seventy-two (72) hours (exclusive of weekends and holidays) on the DPP-115 concerning the action that has been taken on any investigation;
    9. Forwards the report to:
      1. The commonwealth attorney or county attorney; and
      2. The local law enforcement agency or Kentucky state police;
    10. Adheres to court or other agency timeframes for requests that do not meet criteria for an investigation such as court reports, home evaluations, or other general reports that are not required to be initiated by the timeframes specified in procedure #4.

    The worker providing onsite services:

    1. Completes and documents all information in TWIST within fourteen (14) working days.

    Contingencies and Clarifications

      1. When a 2nd incident is received during an open investigation, the SSW:
        1. Initiates the incident with the reported victim(s) within specified timeframes based on the assigned program/subprogram; and
        2. Documents the details of the 2nd incident in the chronology section of the Assessment and Documentation Tool (ADT). 

     

    2.11 Investigation Protocol

    Chapter:
    Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
    Effective:
    06/30/2020
    Section:
    2.11 Investigation Protocol
    Version:
    19

    Legal Authority/Introduction

     

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

     

    Introduction

    The child's safety is always the paramount concern for the child protective services (CPS) caseworker. There are at least two key decision points during which the child’s safety is evaluated.
    •  At the first contact with the child and family, when the SSW must decide whether the child will be safe during the investigation.  This involves addressing the question, is the child in danger right now?

    •  At the conclusion of the investigation, when the caseworker determines the validity of the report and the level of risk for further maltreatment.


    Safety refers to a current condition within a home or family and considers whether or not there is an immediate threat of danger to a child. A threat of danger refers to a specific family situation that is out of control, imminent, and likely to have severe effects on a child. A child is assessed to be safe when there is no threat of danger within the family or home, or, if such a threat does exist, the family has sufficient protective capacities to protect the child and manage the threat.

    Risk refers to the likelihood of maltreatment occurring in the future.  An assessment of risk includes the identification of risk factors, which are family behaviors and conditions that create an environment or circumstances that increase the chance that parents or caregivers will maltreat their children. Risk factors of various degrees and seriousness may exist within a single family, and some risk factors are better than others for indicating the likelihood of child maltreatment.
    Examples of factors that have been associated with increased risk of child maltreatment include parental substance abuse, domestic violence, and parental childhood history of abuse. Young children and children with disabilities have also been found to be at greater risk for maltreatment because of their greater dependency on others for care.

    Practice Guidance

    General Practice Guidance
     
    • The SSW has access to all records and documentation to complete an investigation regarding the child alleged to have been abused or neglected and the alleged perpetrator. 
    • Throughout the investigation, the investigator and FSOS are responsible for assessing for safety threats imminent risk by considering the following: 
      • Children with (or indications there may be) serious injuries from physical abuse, particularly those in critical areas of the body (Refer to Inflicted Head Trauma Fact Sheet and Traumatic Skin Lesions Fact Sheet);
      • Children ages five (5) years and younger;
      • Children suffering from acute untreated medical condition(s) that demand urgent attention whose parent/caretaker is refusing to obtain treatment or cannot be located;
      • Self-referral from a parent/caretaker who states they are currently unable to cope or feel they may harm their child(ren);
      • A child who expresses fear of their current circumstances;
      • Sexual abuse allegations in which the perpetrator is suspected to have immediate access to the alleged victim or other children in the home;
      • Physical abuse or neglect appears imminent;
      • A child presently receiving bizarre forms of punishment, for example being locked in a closet or tied to a chair or bed;
      • A child at risk of immediate harm from a parent/caretaker who is behaving in a bizarre manner;
      • Abandoned (parent/caretaker has no intent to return) children who are currently without supervision of a responsible adult;
      • Children who are currently without supervision by a responsible person who are at risk of harm based on their age, environment, or other factors. The investigation determines the child’s level of maturity, development and ability to function safely alone and whether the family has an established plan of action in case of emergency;
      • Situations involving weapons; or
      • Other situations related to the caregiver's high risk behaviors that constitute immediate risk to the child in the judgment of the FSOS and SSW. 
    • The worker’s contact with the parent or caretaker should occur in the home promptly, or as soon as possible, after interviewing the child(ren) unless there are documented safety threats. issues.
    • The worker does not identify the reporting source to anyone, unless ordered to report such by a court of competent jurisdiction.  If included as a collateral interview, the reporting source should only be identified in the case record/TWIST as a collateral source, rather than the referral source in order to maintain confidentiality.
    • Additional information should not be shared with the reporting source, unless 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.  The worker or FSOS consults with the regional attorney, as needed, when there are concerns regarding the sharing of information.  Workers and supervisors should note that drug treatment information and psychotherapy notes are protected under federal law and cannot be reproduced without a specific release from the client. 
    • When information is to be shared, the worker:
      • 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; 
      • 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:
      • Concerns related to safety threats issues for the child;
        • Domestic violence;
        • Substance use disorder;
        • Mental health history;
        • Learning disabilities of the parent/caretaker; or
        • The finding of an investigation.
    • If necessary, the worker or FSOS may seek assistance from the regional attorney and/or law enforcement if a family or individual fails to cooperate with an investigation. 
    • If the parent has already made an appropriate adoptive plan for the child, the SSW may work the investigation simultaneously with the adoptive plan continuing, and SSW may not need to seek emergency custody of the child with the appropriate adoptive plan in place. Contact the Adoption Services Branch at 502-564-2147 with questions or regarding the validity of the adoptive plan.

      

    Practice Guidance Specific to Methamphetamine Labs

     
    • Initiation of a meth lab allegation investigation should take place within four (4) hours.
    • The investigator does not enter a meth lab location.  If worker or investigator encounters a meth lab during a case contact, the worker/investigator leaves immediately and contacts law enforcement for assistance.
    • The worker or investigator cooperates with law enforcement regarding meth lab protocol.  Law enforcement and a site safety officer may direct documentation of the scene and decontamination procedures.  In the absence of coordination by law enforcement, the worker may contact emergency medical services (EMS) as necessary to evaluate children found in a meth lab and decontamination procedures.  When EMS are not required, the worker ensures that all children that have been exposed to methamphetamine, or the chemicals used to produce methamphetamine, are taken to an emergency room or appropriate medical facility for a complete medical assessment and appropriate decontamination.  If decontamination procedures are not available at the scene, the worker: 
      • Leaves all of the child’s personal belongings (including shoes, blankets, toys, etc.) at the home, due to possible contamination by dangerous toxins;
      • Uses gloves, if possible, to clean the child’s face, hands, and hair with water;
      • Places a protective covering (paper suit), if available, over the child’s clothing for protection; and
      • The SSW may use a blanket, if available, to cover the car seat prior to placing the child in a car for transporting. 
    • The worker utilizes the DPP-106I Methamphetamine Exposure Medical Evaluation and Follow-Up Form to document the physical health and care of an exposed child.  Refer to the Meth Lab Protocol for CPS Workers-Intake and Assessment of Children in or Exposed to Meth Labs and Meth Lab Protocol-Medical Evaluation for Children and Adults.
    • Methamphetamine testing should be completed if possible, within two (2) hours, but no longer than twelve (12) hours, of removal since the drug may not be detectable after that time.  The worker requests from the medical facility the following diagnostic testing: 
      • Urine drug screening, including methamphetamine testing at a detection level;
      • Diagnostic lab work to include the following:
        • CBC with differential; and
        • Chemistry panel including BUN/creatinine and liver functions.
      • Additional tests should include the following:
        • Vital signs;
        • X-ray;
        • EKG;
        • Pulmonary function testing, if clinically indicated; and 
        • A thorough lung examination, including respiratory rate and oxygen saturation on room air.
     

    Practice Guidance Specific to Sexual Abuse Investigations

     
    • Prior to finalizing the investigation, the SSW is encouraged to review the investigation with the local multi-disciplinary team.
    • Additional multi-disciplinary team members may be involved in the investigation per local protocol.
     

    Practice Guidance Specific to Physical Abuse Investigations

     
    • SSW determines the level of pain felt by the child or how the child was impaired due to the reported incident (refer to the Physical Abuse Determination Tip Sheet and Pain Faces for Children Tip Sheet).
    • SSW requests that the parent or guardian have the child examined by a medical provider if the SSW is concerned about the extent of the child’s current or possible injuries upon interviewing the child.   
    • When there is physical evidence of abuse, a medical assessment should be conducted as early as possible in the investigation. The medical support section can also consult with the worker to strategize about what type of medical information is needed and if appropriate, assist with a referral to the division of forensic medicine.

    Practice Guidance Specific to Assessments of Parenting Youth 

    • SSW will assess any parenting youth to ensure appropriate supports are provided if that parenting youth is placed in out-of-home care (OOHC) while parenting or expecting to give birth while in OOHC.
    • No petition should be filed on the parenting youth's child without specific allegations of abuse or neglect to that child.  A dependency petition may be filed if the parenting youth has treatment needs that would not allow the youth and their child to be placed together. 
    • Refer to the Parenting Youth Tip Sheet.
     

    Practice Guidance Specific to Neglect Allegations

     
    • Valid evidence collection sources include medical witnesses, such as a physician, physician’s assistant, or a nurse regarding:
      • Whether the caretaker is providing necessary medical care;
      • Any action or inaction of the caretaker that has placed the child’s health or welfare at risk; and
      • Likely consequences of further action or inaction, (e.g., missed appointments, shots, failure to medicate) on the child’s health.
    • The SSW refers allegations of withholding medically indicated treatment of disabled infants with life threatening conditions in hospitals or health care facilities to the central office medical support section.
    • For educational neglect, valid documentation may include a record of unexcused absences and documentation of prior attempts to intervene in an effort to stop unexcused absences. 
    • For physical neglect, valid documentation may include:
      • Photographs, which show health or safety hazards, of the home;
      • Collateral accounts about the condition of the home, appearance or condition of the child(ren), food supply, or supervision;
      • The presence or extent of domestic violence that is occurring in the family; and
      • Documentation of parents repeatedly leaving child alone or failing to provide essential care.
     

    Practice Guidance Specific to Risks Associated with Domestic Violence

     

      • SSW conducts an in-depth assessment of the:
        • Danger posed to the child;
        • Safety of the child due to the high risk behaviors of the perpetrator; and 
        • Physical, emotional, and developmental impact on the child.
      • SSW assesses the protective capacity of the non-offending parent to ensure the child's safety.
      • SSW provides victims of domestic violence with educational materials through the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
      • Refer to the CPS Reports with Risks Associated with Domestic Violence Tip Sheet for detailed guidance.
      • Refer to SOP 7.4 CPS Prevention Planning SOP 1.8 for non-offending parent/caregiver prevention planning. safety planning.  

         

      Practice Guidance Specific to Asssessments of Parenting Youth

      • SSW will assess any parenting youth to ensure appropriate supports are provided if that parenting youth is placed in out-of-home care (OOHC) while parenting or expecting to give birth while in OOHC.
      • No petition should be filed on the parenting youth's child without specific allegations of abuse or neglect to that child. A dependency petition may be filed if the parenting youth has treatment needs that would not allow the youth and their child to be placed together. 
      • Refer to the Parenting Youth Tip Sheet. 

    Procedure

     

    Sequence of Interviews

    In the following sequence whenever possible, the SSW: 

     
    1. Conducts unannounced face-to-face interviews with all household members including:
      1. The alleged victim;
      2. All other children in the home;
      3. The non-offending parent/caretaker; and
      4. All adults living in the home. 
    2. Conducts face-to-face interviews, or phone interviews at a minimum if face-to-face is not practical, with collaterals, including:
      1. School personnel, within two (2) working days, when school is in session and the child is of school age; and
      2. Other collaterals who can assist in the determination of the incident and provide information to assist with a safety and risk assessment, as necessary. 12
    3. Conducts a face-to-face interview with the alleged perpetrator/caretaker:
      1. If the alleged perpetrator of abuse, neglect, or dependency is a child age twelve (12) to age eighteen (18), and the child/youth was in a caretaking role, the alleged perpetrator is not interviewed without notification to the parent/custodian of the alleged perpetrator. The parent/custodian can require that they, or an attorney, be present for the alleged perpetrator’s interview; and
      2. Provides the alleged perpetrator during their interview (pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 5106a) with:
        1. Notice of the basic allegations, void of any specifics that may compromise the investigation;
        2. Notice that they will be provided notification of the findings upon completion of the investigation; and
        3. A copy of the DPP-155 Request for Appeal of Child Abuse or Neglect Investigative Finding explaining the alleged perpetrators rights to appeal a substantiated finding and who they can contact to file a complaint.
     

    Content of Interviews and Information to be Collected

     

    The SSW:

     
    1. Collects evidence and information for specific documentation in TWIST including:
      1. The identity of every household member, and their relationships to one another;
      2. The date, time, and location of each interview;
      3. A summary of each interview to include the subject’s version of the sequence of events, their account of any observable impact on the child, and details relevant to a safety and risk integrated safety assessment;
      4. Environmental information, particularly as it relates to the allegations;
      5. References to photographs taken or other information collected from collateral sources, including medical records as necessary; and  
      6. Clinical consultations with other professionals as warranted by the case circumstances, i.e. mental health professionals, medical personnel, etc.;
    2. Discusses with the parent/caretaker or children, as appropriate, past agency and/or criminal history;
    3. Determines if the family/household member has resided out of the state within the previous seven (7) years;
    4. Utilizes the Adam Walsh State Contacts for Child Abuse Registries as a resource to contact other states to request records, if the family/household member has resided out of state in the last seven (7) years; and
      1. Discusses the prior history with the family and considers the significance when determining their level of intervention for the current report and findings; and
      2. Contacts the Child Protection Branch at DCBSChildProtection@ky.gov or 502-564-2136 if experiencing difficulty obtaining information from the other state.
    5. Assesses, during each interview, for risk factors related to domestic violence, substance misuse, mental health issues, cognitive delays, or learning disabilities;
    6. Evaluates interview content to determine whether or not accounts of the incident are consistent, and whether or not those accounts conflict with any objective information (i.e. TWIST history, AOC history, medical records, law enforcement records, etc.); and
    7. Visits the child's residence or residences as often as necessary to ensure the child's safety in that setting. 3
     

    Safety and Risk Assessment and Consultation Throughout the Course of the Investigation

     

    The SSW:

     
    1. Continuously evaluates for safety threats and risk throughout interviews and contacts with the family to determine if there are safety threats or risk factors issues that require intervention;
    2. Consults, as necessary, with the FSOS to strategize around any immediate safety threats issues, barriers to the investigative process, and additional information collection that are necessary to the investigation/assessment;
    3. Utilizes the Determination of Findings Matrix to assess whether the child is at serious or imminent risk of removal (472)(i)(2) of the Social Security Act);
    4. When the determination is made that a child is at an immediate safety threat exists risk at any point during contact with the family:
      1. Negotiates a safety prevention plan with the family clearly documenting the provisions and tasks needed to protect the child as agreed upon by the family;  preventive services and interventions agreed upon with the family;
      2. Utilizes the family preservation program (FPP) and other in home services to prevent removal whenever possible and documents why less restrictive alternatives were not utilized in the assessment;
      3. Considers filing a petition (removal or non-removal) in court (Refer to SOP 11 CPS Court); and
      4. Assesses other services that may be of assistance to the family to prevent removal, which may include:
        1. Preventive assistance;
        2. A food bank referral;
        3. Child care assistance; and
        4. Or other supportive services as outlined 922 KAR 1:400;
    5. After identifying safety threats which may prohibit the child(ren) from remaining in the home: Upon determination that the child cannot safely remain in the home:
      1. Consults with regional office utilizing the DPP-20 Safety and Risk Consultation form;  to include at least one masters level practitioner and utilizing the DPP 20 Utilization Review Consult Form.
      2. Participates with the FSOS, and regional office staff in consultation.  The FSOS, chief, acting and/or covering supervisor facilitates the request for the consultation.  For emergency and on-call situations, the FSOS, and regional office staff may consult without the SSW. 
        1. If available, a master's degree level practitioner is recommended as a participant in the consultation.  If one is not available, the SRAA/SRCA or designee is appropriate.  Regional office maintains a copy of the signed DPP-20
        2. Participants should be in agreement with the consultation outcome. If participants are not in agreement, the regional SRCA or SRA (if SRCA is involved with the initial consultation) will be consulted; and
        3. The consultation is not required when the court awards DCBS custody of a child(ren) when DCBS did not request or recommend custody.
      3. Provides the custodial parent with a copy of the When Your Child is Removed from Your Care-Guide for Parents Brochure when a child is removed from their home; and
      4. Follows placement considerations (Refer to SOP 4.9);
    6. Integrates a safety assessment into the investigative narrative that considers:
      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 caregiver's high risk behaviors;
      6. Family interactions and support systems;
      7. Features of the family or individuals that add stressors to the family;
      8. The perpetrator’s access to the child(ren);
      9. The household composition;
      10. The physical household environment; and
      11. The attitude and level of cooperation exhibited by household members;
    7. Determines:
      1. The circumstances leading up to the incident;
      2. The individuals present during the incident;
      3. The sequence of events as the incident transpired;
      4. The observable impact on the child; and
      5. The likelihood of future maltreatment to the child based upon the risk factors identified during the assessment.
    8. Consults with the FSOS immediately to discuss the discontinuance of the safety/ prevention plan when the safety threats requiring the provisions within the plan have been mitigated prior to the fourteen (14) working day expiration of the plan, and;   Consults with FSOS immediately to discontinue the prevention plan when there are no remaining safety threats that require the provisions of the prevention plan, and:
      1. Informs the family and other involved individuals within forty eight (48) hours, by phone call, if the safety/prevention plan will be discontinued prior to the expiration date.  If the family is not available by phone within forty eight (48) hours, SSW will send notification by mail, or conduct a home visit. Conducts an immediate a phone call with the parent/caregiver;
      2. Sends a letter to parent/caregiver discontinuing the prevention plan if all safety threats and risks are eliminated.
    9. Completes a face-to-face interview with the parent/caregiver within forty eight (48) hours if the safety orprevention plan needs to be renegotiated based on safety threats or risks to the child(ren). 5
     

    Contingencies and Clarifications

     
    1. In addition to notifying the school when a report is accepted (see Procedure 2A), the SSW should also notify the school within two (2) working days of the conclusion of the agency's work with the family, if school is in session. 
    2. If an investigation is not completed within thirty (30) working days, the SSW has monthly contact with the family until the investigation is complete and the agency's work with the family is done, or until an ongoing case is opened.
    3. If the cabinet receives custody of a child, the SSW:
      1. Notifies the school principal, assistant principal, or guidance counselor verbally and via e-mail on the day a court order is entered and again on any day a change is made regarding who is authorized to contact or remove the child from school, or on the following school day if the court order or change occurs after the end of the current school day; and
      2. Provides written notification via e-mail within ten (10) calendar days following a change of custody or change in contact or removal authority.
    4. If information is discovered resulting in the basis of the report no longer meeting the acceptance criteria, the SSW can request to discontinue the investigation with a “no finding” determination within ten (10) working days of receipt of report.  A no finding determination cannot: 6
      1. Be utilized for reports received prior to June 28, 2019;
      2. Be utilized with reports designated as specialized investigations, including fatality or near fatality reports, as defined in SOP 2.15; or
      3. Be utilized if multiple interviews have been conducted.
    5. A no finding determination can only be used in familial investigations, and when there are no other risk factors identified in the report, found during interviews with the child(ren) and/or caregivers, or during worker observations of the family and environment.  7
      1. The SSW:
        1. Consults with the FSOS and SRA or designee;
        2. Does not conduct any additional interviews if FSOS and SRA or designee are in agreement that the report meets for a no finding determination;
        3. Submits a determination of no finding and includes a statement in the assessment conclusion narrative box within ten (10) working days of receipt of report; and 8
        4. Sends the DPP-152C notification letter to alleged perpetrator and parent or caregiver within ten (10) working days after final approval from SRA or designee.
      2. The SRA or designee:
        1. Approves the no finding determination in TWIST within ten (10) working days of receipt of report; and
        2. Notifies the child protection branch at DCBSChildProtection@ky.gov of receipt of the report for tracking purposes.
     
     

    Footnotes

    1. Appropriate collaterals may include persons in the community such as school personnel, police officers, relatives, child's physician, family's service/treatment providers, etc. SSW interviews collaterals on behalf of any non-verbal/intellectually impaired child.
    2. Per 2017 Ky. Acts chapter 188, schools and childcare facilities shall provide the cabinet access to interview children without parental consent during an investigation.
    3. Workers may not visit, if through consultation with the FSOS, a residence is unsafe.
    4. The phone call, face-to-face renegotiation (if applicable), and written notification (if applicable) are documented in the ADT, and the written notification (if applicable) is filed in the case file. 
    5. Examples of scenarios in which a no finding determination may be appropriate include but are not limited to:
      1. An allegation that a child has inflicted bruises; however, upon medical examination, the bruises are observed and documented as Mongolian spots, and there are no other risk factors.
      2. Parent of a young child was reported to have a positive drug test for heroin; however, reporting source calls back to state the reporting source erroneously provided the wrong individual’s name, and there are no other risk factors.
    6. Examples of additional risk factors include but are not limited to, the family’s high-risk patterns of behavior, history or current indicators of substance misuse, family violence, mental health issues, agency history, AOC results, worker observations of injuries, unsafe environment, and/or indicators of maltreatment, etc.
    7. Similar to the unable to locate determination, the ADT does not populate with a no finding determination.  SSW includes a statement in the assessment conclusion narrative box documenting that the report no longer meets the acceptance criteria, there are no other risk factors or indicators of maltreatment identified or observed to continue the investigation, and the no finding determination was agreed upon and approved by the SRA or designee within ten (10) working days of receipt of report. 

    2.12 Completing the Assessment and Documentation Tool (ADT) and Making a Finding

    Chapter:
    Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
    Effective:
    06/28/2019
    Section:
    2.12 Completing the Assessment and Documentation Tool (ADT) and Making a Finding
    Version:
    9

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

    The Assessment and Documentation Tool (ADT) is a stand-alone document. It is utilized to conduct a thorough assessment of all reports received, regardless of the assessment path. To conduct a thorough assessment, the SSW must take into consideration information received from all alleged victims, alleged perpetrators, non-offending caretakers, collaterals, and records received. All information is to be documented in the assessment. 

    Practice Guidance 

      • Abused or neglected child as defined in KRS 600.020 is a child whose health or welfare is harmed or threatened with harm when his or her parent, guardian, person in a position of authority or special trust, as defined in KRS 532.045 or other person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child:
        • Inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child physical or emotional injury as defined in this section by other than accidental means;
        • Creates or allows to be created a risk of physical or emotional injury as defined in this section to the child by other than accidental means;
        • Engages in a pattern of conduct that renders the parent incapable of caring for the immediate and ongoing needs of the child including, but not limited to, parental incapacity due to alcohol and other drug abuse as defined in KRS 222.005;
        • Continuously or repeatedly fails or refuses to provide essential parental care and protection for the child, considering the age of the child;
        • Commits or allows to be committed an act of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or prostitution upon the child;
        • Creates or allows to be created a risk that an act of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or prostitution will be committed upon the child;
        • Abandons or exploits the child;
        • Does not provide the child with adequate care, supervision, food, clothing, shelter, and education or medical care necessary for the child's well-being.  A parent or other person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child legitimately practicing the person's religious beliefs shall not be considered a negligent parent solely because of failure to provide specified medical treatment for a child for that reason alone.  This exception shall not preclude a court from ordering necessary medical services for a child; or
        • A person twenty-one (21) years of age or older commits or allows to be committed an act of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or prostitution upon a child less than sixteen (16) years of age.

    Unable to locate:

      • The investigator does not make a determination of “Unable to Locate” until efforts have been made, presented to the supervisor, and approved.  The investigator does not make a determination of “Unable to Locate” if either the victim or caretaker have been located and interviewed.

    No Finding: 


    Beginning on June 28, 2019, if information was discovered resulting in the basis of the report no longer meeting the acceptance criteria, the SSW can request to discontinue the investigation with a “no finding” determination within 10 business days of receipt of report.  A no finding determination cannot:

    1. Be utilized for reports received prior to June 28, 2019;
    2. With reports designated as specialized investigations, including fatality or near fatality reports, as defined in SOP 2.15; 6 or
    3. If multiple interviews have been conducted.

    A no finding determination can only be used in familial investigations, and when there are no other risk factors identified in the report, found during interviews with the child(ren) and/or caregivers, or during worker observations of the family and environment. 7

    The SRA or designee must approve the no finding determination within 10 business days of receipt of report.

     

    Unsubstantiation

    The SSW:

      • Completes the assessment and documents why the assessment is unsubstantiated or in the Risk Assessment Conclusion section;
      • Closes the assessment without an aftercare plan if there are no further issues;
      • Completes an aftercare plan and closes the referral if there are issues that need to be clarified to assist in preventing future abuse or neglect.

     

    Family in need of services

    The SSW:

      • Assesses the situation using all available information and:
        • If the overall assessment indicates moderate risk in the Maltreatment Conclusion section, the SSW considers substantiating the case;
        • If the issue or concern identified falls below the level that would indicate that a protection case needs to be opened, the parent is refusing services, or the results of the Maltreatment Factors section are in the low risk  category, the assessment may be closed and an aftercare plan developed with the family that links them to community resources to prevent the reoccurrence of the reported incident;
      • Consults with the FSOS when a family is found in need of services, but refuses ongoing preventive services.  

    Procedure

    The SSW:

    1. Completes the assessment in TWIST using the appropriate ADT template;
    2. Documents the following information in the Chronology Related Data section of the assessment:
      1. All interview and evidence content;
      2. Dates, times, locations, full names and relationships of everyone interviewed; and
      3. Information gathered/steps taken to assess and protect a child during the assessment;

    3. Ensures that all identifying information including full names, social security numbers, and dates of birth are accurate and associated with the correct individuals in the case (Refer to the Case Naming Tip Sheet when updating information in TWIST);
    4. Identifies and documents safety and risk issues for all children in the home; 
    5. Makes a determination of finding on each child on all reports based upon assessment of credible information and supportive documentation gained in the investigation and the assessment process;
    6. Uses the following guidelines for credible information when determining the finding of an investigation:
      1. Personal observations of the home, child(ren), neighborhood and family interaction;
      2. Interviews with caretakers, alleged victims, alleged perpetrators and collateral sources including witnesses, teachers, neighbors or other sources of information regarding family functioning;
      3. Written statements from caretakers, alleged victims, alleged perpetrators and collateral sources;
      4. Pictures of injuries and/or hazardous living conditions; and
      5. Expert opinions or statements from medical or other professionals who are able to make statements diagnosing a specific condition; or
      6. An adjudication of same by the court;
    7. Ensures that the social work finding is consistent with statute and regulation;
    8. Consults with the FSOS as appropriate when determining the investigative finding;
    9. Completes the assessment within thirty (30) working days; 
    10. Provides the caretaker and alleged perpetrator written notice of the outcome of the investigation, and each receive a DPP-154 Protection and Permanency Service Appeal form. The alleged perpetrator receives a DPP-155 Request for Appeal of Child Abuse or Neglect Investigative Findings form.
    11. If an ongoing case is opened, the SSW provides a copy of the Case Planning Meeting Brochure to custodial parent(s) in person or when sending the notification letter(s).

    Making a finding

    1. After obtaining all information needed to complete the assessment (using the ADT Worksheet), the investigator determines whether the referral is:
      1. Substantiated;
      2. Unsubstantiated;
      3. Family in need of services.
    2. Prior to substantiation or finding a family in need of services, the investigator affirms that:
      1. Injury or risk of injury was inflicted, or that the basic needs of the child are not met;
      2. The injury, risk or omission of care was inflicted non-accidentally; “intentional” is defined in statute (KRS 600.020);
      3. A caretaker was responsible; “caretaker” is defined in statute (KRS 600.020); and
      4. Injury or risk of injury met a threshold recognized by statute, “injury” is defined in statute (KRS 600.020).

    Definitions:

      • Caretaker:  Parent, guardian or other person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child
      • Non-accidental:  Conduct where the actor’s conscious objective is to cause that result or engage in that conduct
      • Injury:  Substantial physical pain or impairment of physical condition
      • Serious Physical Injury:  Physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious and prolonged disfigurement, prolonged impairment of health, or prolonged loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ
      • Needs of the Child: Necessary food, clothing, health, shelter, and education necessary for the child’s well-being
      • Emotional Injury:  Injury to the mental or psychological capacity or emotional stability of a child as evidenced by a substantial and observable impairment in the child's ability to function within a normal range of performance and behavior with regard to his age, development, culture, and environment as testified to by a qualified mental health professional
      • Preponderance of evidence:  The documented evidence is to be sufficient to allow a reasonable person to conclude that the child victim was abused or neglected, and that it is more likely than not that the alleged perpetrator committed the act of commission or omission as governed by KRS 600.020(1).
      • Found and substantiated:  Physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, or dependency that was not originally reported by the referral source, but was found and substantiated during the investigation/assessment
      • Unsubstantiated:  Sufficient evidence, indicators, or justification does not exist for the substantiation of abuse, neglect, or dependency.

    Following a substantiation

    The SSW:

    1. Considers completing, based on identified risks and the caregivers' high risk behaviors:
      1. An aftercare plan if the case will be closed; or
      2. A prevention plan if the case will be opened (Refer to SOP 3.3 Tools for Case Planning); 
    2. Takes age into consideration as follows:
      1. If an investigation of abuse or neglect is substantiated on a child under three (3) years of age, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 5106a(b)(2)(xxi), the SSW makes a referral for early intervention services to the regional service provider for early intervention services using established regional protocol/procedures, and documents the referral in the Chronology Related Data section of the assessment (Refer to Child Development Milestones and First Steps Regional Contact Information);
      2. If the alleged perpetrator of abuse, neglect or dependency is a child age twelve (12) to eighteen (18), and the child/youth was in a caretaking role:
        1. That child/youth is identified as the alleged perpetrator if the investigation/assessment is determined to be substantiated;
        2. Does not release the name of the alleged perpetrator except by court order pursuant to KRS 620.050.
    3. When it is determined that a case will be opened, the SSW ensures that the DCBS-1B Application for Services is completed by all appropriate family members.

    Court involvement

    The SSW:

    1. Determines whether the local judge wants the SSW to tender any Administrative Office of the Court (AOC) form partially or fully completed with the relevant information pertaining to that child for the judge's signature;
    2. Contacts, within forty-eight (48) hours after an adjudicatory finding, the Office of Legal Services (OLS) regional attorney for consultation if the court makes a finding that conflicts with the Cabinet’s finding if the FSOS believes that there is enough evidence to support the original investigative finding;
    3. Decides, after consultation with the FSOS and OLS, whether to proceed with contesting the court’s adjudicatory finding on appeal. 1

    The FSOS:

    1. Changes the department’s finding to match the courts, following any hearing where the court hears evidence on the petition and makes a finding on the allegations presented in the petition;
    2. Only changes the finding of the assessment and:
      1. Documents in TWIST, on the "Amend Results" tab, (refer to Amend Results Tip Sheet, for step by step instruction on this process) the reason the finding is being changed;
      2. Files a hard copy of the court order;
    3. Refers the individual to the CAPTA fair hearing process if a petition is informally adjusted, dismissed, or an agreement made without proof being heard;
    4. Following a CAPTA, files a copy of the final CAPTA order in the case record. 2  3
    5. Sends a notification of findings letter to the caretaker and alleged perpetrator if the finding was overturned via CAPTA process.

    Contingencies and Clarifications

    Request for an extension

    1. If the investigative worker is unable to complete the assessment within thirty (30) working days (forty-five (45) calendar days from receipt of the investigation), the SSW utilizes the following guidelines in determining the need to request an extension: 
      1. The first extension request is approved by the FSOS and may be requested for the following reasons:
        1. Another agency is expected to make available information that is necessary to a finding during an extension period; 4
        2. A specialized investigation requires a large number of individual interviews or consultations with central office; or
        3. Law enforcement is conducting a criminal investigation and has not completed their work on the case. 5
      2. If a second extension becomes necessary it must be approved by the SRAA supervising the FSOS. 
      3. Extension requests are submitted in TWIST to the FSOS or designee by the SSW or by e-mail if TWIST is not available. 
      4. All approved extensions are documented in TWIST in the Risk Assessment Conclusion section of the assessment.
    2. During the extension time period, the SSW makes monthly contacts with the family until:
      1. The investigation is closed and the agency’s work with the family is complete; or
      2. A case is opened with the family and monthly contacts begin in the ongoing function. 

     

    Footnotes

    1. If the decision is to proceed, the OLS regional attorney has ten (10) days to file a motion to alter, amend or vacate the order; or thirty (30) days to file an appeal.
    2. If the final order from a CAPTA fair hearing process overturns the Cabinet's substantiated finding that a child has been dependent, neglected or abused, the Commissioner's office staff changes the finding and notes the reason for the change in the Risk Assessment Conclusion section.
    3. Although the finding is changed, no changes are made to the case record or the assessment.
    4. A finding should not be delayed to wait for a court determination.
    5. CPS findings are not contingent upon law enforcement’s findings.  In cases where law enforcement asks CPS staff to delay making their finding so as not to compromise a law enforcement investigation, CPS staff should seek guidance from regional office.
    6. Examples of additional risk factors include but are not limited to:
      1. The family’s high risk patterns of behavior;
      2. History or current indicators of substance misuse;
      3. Family violence;
      4. Mental health issues;
      5. Agency history;
      6. AOC results;
      7. Worker observations of injuries;
      8. Unsafe environment; and/or
      9. Indicators of maltreatment; etc.
    7. Similar to the unable to locate determination, the ADT does not populate with a no finding determination.  SSW includes a statement in the Assessment Conclusion narrative box documenting:
      1. That the report no longer meets the acceptance criteria;
      2. There are no other risk factors or indicators of maltreatment identified or observed to continue the investigation; and
      3. The no finding determination was agreed upon and approved by the SRA or designee within ten (10) business days of receipt of report.

     

     

    2.13 Notification of Finding and Case Disposition

    Chapter:
    Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
    Effective:
    06/29/2020
    Section:
    2.13 Notification of Finding and Case Disposition
    Version:
    8

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

    The Aftercare Plan is used after an investigation when there are remaining issues that do not rise to the level of opening the case for ongoing services, but may assist the family by preventing future abuse or neglect. This may include when:

    • A substantiated finding will be made, but the referral can be closed;
    • An unsubstantiated finding will be made, but there are safety issues or risks that need to be addressed; or
    • An unsubstantiated finding will be made, but community resources are requested by the family or recommended by the SSW.

    The aftercare plan is used in advance of closing any ongoing case, upon completion of P&P services. The plan indicates what referrals have been made or services recommended to continue preventive measures, which might include actions that the family intends to take as well as community resources that have been arranged.

    Procedure

    Aftercare Planning

    The SSW: 

    1. Consults with the FSOS to determine if an aftercare plan is needed;
    2. Explores with the family and family's support system the need for continued services of another type or from another community partner;
    3. Develops with the family, including identified fathers as outlined in SOP 4.14 Family Attachment and Involvement, and the family's support system a specific and measurable plan for the family to obtain services to address existing needs;
    4. Establishes with the family and the family's support system additional and potential resources that may be called upon to prevent maltreatment or home instability, should a situation or crisis arise in the future;
    5. Provides any needed referrals;
    6. Advises persons served that they may request help from the Cabinet in the future;
    7. Negotiates the aftercare plan with the family and other relevant individuals involved;
    8. Includes monitoring by those who participated in the aftercare planning process; 1 
    9. Ensures the plan is signed and dated by everyone who has a task/role on the plan; 
    10. Provides a copy to the following:
      1. Family members, including children of appropriate age;
      2. Alleged perpetrators (when safe to do so);
      3. Relatives; and
      4. Community partners involved;
    11. Documents on the aftercare plan that community partner(s), when they are included in aftercare planning and are assigned specific tasks, will notify the SSW if the family has difficulty complying with the plan;
    12. Files a hard copy of the aftercare plan, after FSOS review, in the case record.

    The FSOS:

    1. Reviews the aftercare plan and case disposition with the SSW;
    2. Does not close the cases if withdrawal of services places a child at risk of abuse, neglect, or dependency unless court-ordered cooperation from the family cannot be obtained; and
    3. Documents the review in the case record.

    Notification of Findings

    The SSW, upon FSOS approval of the assessment, sends within ten (10) working days:

    1. Notification of a substantiated finding using the DPP-152-Substantiated Investigation Notification Letter to the:
      1. Perpetrator, along with the DPP-155-Request for Appeal of Child Abuse or Neglect Investigative Finding by;
        1. Certified mail to the last known address of the perpetrator;
      2. Victim’s parent/caretaker by;
        1. Certified mail; or
        2. Hand delivery, with the parent/caretaker and a witness signing a written confirmation that the parent/caretaker received the notice;
    2. All other notification of the findings to the alleged perpetrator and the victim’s parent or guardian via the:
      1. DPP-152A-Unsubstantiated Investigation Notification Letter; or
      2. DPP-153-Family In Need of Services Notification Letter
      3. DPP-152C Child Protective Services (CPS) No Finding Notification Letter
    3. Notification of the finding, to all involved other parties, via the:
      1. DPP-152-Substantiated Investigation Notification Letter;
      2. DPP-152A-Unsubstantiated Investigation Notification Letter; or
      3. DPP-153-Family In Need of Services Notification Letter
    4. Notification of the finding to only the victim’s parents or guardian when an investigation has been substantiated and involves one (1) of the following:
      1. Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) and private child placing agency foster/adoptive resource homes;
      2. Private child caring facilities;
      3. Crisis stabilization units;
      4. SCL/CMHC facilities;
      5. Psychiatric residential treatment facilities; or
      6. Psychiatric hospitals;
    5. The appropriate notification of the finding to the alleged victim’s parents or guardian when the investigation involves a:
      1. Registered family child care home or licensed child care facility,
      2. Registered (subsidized) family child care provider,
      3. School employee,
      4. DJJ facility;
      5. Camp; or
      6. Day treatment facility using the:
        1. DPP-152A-Unsubstantiated Investigation Notification Letter; or
        2. DPP-153-Family In Need of Services Notification Letter;
    6. Notification of the finding of an investigation involving a DCBS foster, adoptive, or respite care  home to the regional recruitment and certification (R&C) supervisor;
    7. Notification of the finding to the provider or program director of the facility if there is a substantiated finding and the alleged perpetrator is an employee of a licensed child-caring facility, child-placing agency, or licensed child care center;
    8. The SSW does not send notification of findings to the victim’s parents or guardian if the investigation (for DCBS and PCP agency foster/adoptive resource homes only) in one (1) of the aforementioned settings is unsubstantiated.

    Practice Guidance

    • If an aftercare plan is needed, the plan can include non-protective issues, such as licensing regulations, as well as protective issues that are either child specific concerns or general concerns that affect the home or entire facility or program. 

     

    • If it is decided by all involved that the tasks on the aftercare plan will be monitored, those that may agree to participate in the monitoring include:
      • The R&C worker, for a DCBS foster, adoptive, or respite care home;
      • The DCBS Division of Child Care, for registered family child care homes or licensed child care centers;
      • The DMHMR Division of Mental Retardation for supports for community living (SCL) programs or facilities;
      • The program or agency director and license holder or school superintendent or board, for unlicensed facilities (e.g. YMCA day camps, summer camps and schools);
      • The person identified on the plan, if the issue is child specific; and
      • Identified DPP staff, when appropriate.  The SSW may consult with the Child Protective Services Branch to assist in identifying appropriate DPP staff.

    Related Information

    • Office of the Ombudsman
      (502) 564-5497
      Toll-Free 1-800-372-2973
      TTY (for hearing impaired) 1-800-627-4702

    Footnotes

    1. The SSW does not include monitoring of any portion of an aftercare plan without the provider’s explicit knowledge and written consent.

    2.14 Investigations of Child Fatalities and Near Fatalities

    Chapter:
    Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
    Effective:
    06/29/2020
    Section:
    2.14 Investigations of Child Fatalities and Near Fatalities
    Version:
    6

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

     

    Introduction 

    The Department for Community Based Services (DCBS/Department) investigates all reports of child fatalities or near fatalities that occur due to alleged abuse or neglect by a:

    • Parent;
    • Guardian; or
    • Other person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child.

    KRS 620.050 requires that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS/cabinet) conduct an internal review of any case where child abuse and neglect has resulted in a fatality or near fatality and the cabinet had prior involvement with the child or family. This statute also requires that the cabinet submit a report by September 1 of each year to the governor, the General Assembly, and the state child fatality review team that includes a summary of the internal reviews and an analysis of historical trends.


    All media inquiries are referred to the CHFS Office of Public Affairs at (502) 564-7042. 
     

    Practice Guidance for Receiving and Accepting the Report  

    • Reports of improper use of vehicle (child) restraints and sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) do not meet acceptance criteria unless there are other allegations of maltreatment documented.
    • Notifications to the SRA and/or to the Division of Protection and Permanency (DPP) are not required for resource links or law enforcement assist referral.
    • Intake staff should request that the reporting source provide information regarding the contributing link between the maltreatment and the child’s fatal or near fatal condition.
    • A fatality/near fatality designation cannot be used with a risk of harm (neglect) or dependency sub-program.
    • Centralized intake branch manager can consult with system safety analyst as needed.
    • The region should assign staff that have had no prior involvement with the family to investigate the fatality/near fatality referral.

    Procedure for Receiving and Accepting the Report

    The Central Intake Staff:

    1. Determines if the referral meets criteria as outlined in SOP 2.3 Acceptance Criteria by consultation and approval with the FSOS and central intake branch manager;
    2. Screens the allegation to determine acceptance criteria for the alleged maltreatment and then identify a link that the alleged maltreatment directly contributed to the child’s fatal or near fatal condition.  When this occurs the centralized intake staff will designate the intake in TWIST as a fatality/near fatality.
      1. The fatality designation is used in the intake when a child’s death has occurred.
      2. The near fatality designation is used in the intake when the child has a near death condition as defined in KRS 600.020 (40) as an injury that, as certified by a physician, places a child in serious or critical condition.  Staff shall use the Determining a Near Fatality Tip Sheet to decide if the child’s condition meets criteria for the near fatality designation.
      3. The regional after hour protocol shall be used for screening, designation, determination, and assigning reports that are made outside of regular business hours.  SOP 1.12 defines on-call activities. 
    3. Determines the initiation timeframes as defined in SOP 2.10; and
    4. Immediately notifies the service region administrator (SRA) or, in the absence of the SRA, the designee when the intake meets acceptance criteria and has been designated as a fatality/near fatality.   

    Practice Guidance for Notifications 

    • The SAR is an internal document and is not included in the case file and is not distributed to outside entities.
    • The notification to the court and to Protection and Advocacy will be a written letter drafted by regional staff.
    • Notification to parents should be face-to-face or by phone.

    Procedure for Notifications
     

    1. The SSW or other regional staff immediately notifies the SRA (or in the absence of the SRA, a designee) when an investigation is accepted and has a fatality/near fatality designation and when a child fatality occurs in an active case.
    2. The SRA or designee completes sections I and II of the System Analysis Report (SAR) form and emails DPP.childfatality@ky.gov within forty eight (48) working hours.
    3. The SRA or designee notifies, in writing, the judge of the court of jurisdiction and the guardian ad litem for active court cases within five (5) working days when:
      1. Any child fatality occurs in an active court case; and
      2. A near fatality investigation is accepted in an active court case.
    4. The central office system safety analyst assigns the case a fatality or near fatality number and re-distributes the numbered form to the SRA or designee for use throughout the investigation.
    5. The system safety analyst distributes the numbered SAR to the director of service regions, office of legal services, and records management. 
    6. The SRA or designee notifies the Division of Protection and Advocacy at 5 Mill Creek Park Frankfort, KY 40601 when:
      1. The child is identified as a client of Kentucky’s Protection and Advocacy Division and DCBS has accepted an investigation designated as a fatality;
      2. The child fatality occurs as a result of placement in a seclusion room pursuant to 922 KAR 1:390; or
      3. The child fatality occurs as a result of a therapeutic hold pursuant to 922 KAR 1:300.
    7. The SRA or designee notifies the child’s legal parent(s) of the fatality or near fatality when:
      1. The child is in the custody of the cabinet and placed outside of the birth parent’s home.

     

    Procedure for Securing and Updating the Case Record

    SRA or designee will ensure the case record is changed to controlled access immediately when there is an active case.  

    Active Ongoing Cases:

    1. All ongoing contact (to include R&C case management) with the family immediately stops in an in- home or out-of-home ongoing case for a period of at least fourteen (14) days when an investigation associated to the fatal or near fatal incident has been initiated. The SSW should not have any face-to-face contact with the family within the fourteen (14) day period.
      1. Documentation for home visits, contacts, case plans, etc. that was completed prior to the fatal/near fatal incident, will be updated within three (3) working days for any death or near death in an active case, including deaths where maltreatment has not been alleged.  
      2. Ongoing work may resume with the family after the initial fourteen (14) day period at the discretion of the SRA or designee.  

    Active Pending Investigations:

    1. The SRA or designee shall:
      1. Immediately review the status of any pending investigation;
      2. Determine the amount of work needed to complete and develop a plan for completion; 
      3. Email the plan of completion to the central office system safety analyst within three (3) working days; 
      4. Ensure that all pending investigations are completed, entered into TWIST, and approved within fifteen (15) working days of the fatal/near fatal incident; and
      5. Ensure that support to staff is available to assist them in managing trauma experienced through their involvement with the fatality/near fatality as set forth in SOP 1.13 in accordance with their regional protocol.

    Procedure for the Investigative Process

     

    The SSW shall:

    1. Follow procedures and practice guidelines set forth in SOP 2.10 and SOP 2.11 and follow any initiation timeframes set forth by central intake staff or the on-call FSOS.  Investigative services shall also include:
      1. Engagement with law enforcement for joint investigation;
      2. Collaboration and consultation with first responders, coroners, medical examiners, and medical professionals; and
      3. Collection of all available medical records and review of all records relevant to fatality/near fatality.
    2. Determine the alleged perpetrator’s access to other children of which they may exercise a caretaking role and address any safety threats with those children to determine what safety response is necessary.

    The service region shall:

    1. Provide the system safety analyst an update of the status of the investigation within thirty (30) calendar days of the fatality/near fatality investigation being received. The update shall include:
      1. Anticipated finding and rationale for the finding;
      2. Information regarding the cause of death or mechanism of injuries as determined by the autopsy or pediatric forensic medical consult; and
      3. Summary of tasks to be completed.

    Making a Finding and Completion of the Investigative Assessment

     

    1. The designation of fatality/near fatality shall only be applied to a substantiated finding of maltreatment when the maltreatment has been found to directly contribute to the child’s fatal/near fatal condition.
    2. The fatality/near fatality designation shall only be applied to the subprogram most closely related to the child’s fatal/near fatal condition.  Only one subprogram can have a fatality/near fatality designation.
    3. The investigation shall not be finalized until the receipt of finalized reports from medical examiner, pediatric forensic medicine, or other solicited experts collaborating or reviewing child’s injuries or conditions.
    4. The regional SRCA or AA shall review the completed investigative assessment prior to FSOS approval.
    5. The regional SRCA or designee shall provide notification of the completion of investigative assessment to central office system safety analyst upon approval by completion of section III of the SAR.
    6. The region may consult with the system safety review team or the child protection branch at any time during the investigation as needed. 

    Practice Guidance for the Investigative Process 

     

    • Records collected should include:
      • Birth records;

      • Pediatric records;

      • Hospital records;

      • Immunization records; and/or 

      • Any other records related to the specific health needs of the child.

    • SSW should consult with the system safety analyst regarding how to proceed if a coroner refuses to request an autopsy, and the SSW asserts the need for an exam. 
    • KRS 72.025 and KRS 72.405 mandate that the coroner require a post-mortem examination, which may include an autopsy, on the death of any child where the cause of the death appears to be:
      • Violence;
      • Child abuse;
      • Suicide;
      • Drugs;
      • Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID/SIDS); or
      • A variety of other unexpected or unexplained causes.
    • Information gathered during the course of an investigation, including prior DPP involvement with the family, can be shared with the medical examiner if requested.
    • The SSW should participate in local child fatality response teams to assist in cross communication and sharing information between different agencies.
    • The SSW shall determine in consultation, with the FSOS, if filing court petitions is necessary for the safety of any surviving children when a substantiated finding is made with the fatality/near fatality designation.  The SSW should assess the frequency of the perpetrator’s contact and access to the surviving children and other protective capacity issues within the family.
    • The SSW should assess for sudden unexpected infant death (SUID/SIDS) and safe sleep in all investigations.  See the Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Information Sheet.

    Procedure for System Safety Review (DCBS Internal Review Process) 


    All cases where a child fatality has occurred in an active case and/or accepted as an investigation with the fatality/near fatality designation will have an initial review by the system safety analyst and will be presented to the multi-disciplinary team (MDT)  for consideration of a comprehensive analysis.


    The system safety review team will complete an initial case review, which will include a review of the circumstances of the fatal/near fatal incident, allegations and details of prior investigations, and the provision of ongoing services. The goal of this initial review is to identify features that may be recommended for a more in-depth analysis. Particular attention will be given to history occurring within the twenty four (24) months prior to the fatal/near fatal incident. The details of this process can be found in the System Safety Review Process Manual.

    The process focuses on understanding the complex nature of child welfare work and the factors that influence decision-making and practice in real-time. It moves away from the simplistic approach, which has a tendency to assess blame and results in the application of quick fixes that fail to address the underlying issues. The system safety analyst assigned will complete an initial case review within thirty (30) days of fatality/near fatality notification, identifying potential features for further consideration.

    • A MDT will review the case to make a determination on whether further analysis of the case is recommended. 
    • Cases selected by MDT for further analysis will be given to the system safety analyst for a human factors debriefing.
    • Cases not selected for further analysis will be documented in the SAR and will be scored by the system safety analyst in the System Analysis Scoring Tool after the completion of a pending fatality/near fatality investigation.
    • Information gathered in the human factors debriefings will be presented by the system safety analyst to regional mapping teams.
      • Regional mapping teams will consist of various frontline staff, regional staff, and local community partners;
      • The mapping teams will work to identify systemic issues influencing practice.  
    • Influences revealed in the mapping process will be scored to identify factors impacting practice.  
    • Factors identified will be presented to DCBS leadership for consideration of systematic program improvements.

    Procedure for External Fatality and Near Fatality Review Panel 

      KRS 620.055 establishes an external child fatality near fatality review panel for the purpose of conducting comprehensive reviews of child fatalities and near fatalities reported to CHFS, suspected to be a result of abuse or neglect. The panel shall be attached to the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet for staff and administrative purposes.
       

      The external review panel is composed of governmental appointees and various professionals from other entities related to child welfare. The external panel meetings are open to the public and to media outlets. This panel has the authority to review and analyze all DCBS records and any other records related to fatality/near fatality cases. 
       
       
      The region(s) shall provide all agency records to the system safety review team for submission to the external review panel within thirty (30) days of the fatality/near fatality investigative assessment approval.
       
      The system safety review team is responsible for providing all records to the external review panel.  The file is to be divided and scanned in sections in chronological order:
       
        1. F/NF investigation (DPP-115, Investigative Assessment, Notification of Findings, AOC records and Prevention Plans);
        2. Prior investigations;
        3. Court records;
        4. Medical records;
        5. EMS records;
        6. Autopsy records;
        7. Law enforcement records;
        8. Case plans and evaluations;
        9. Service recordings; and
        10. Any other pertinent professional documents.
       

       

      2.14.2 Notification and Funeral Preparation Regarding a Child Fatality

      Chapter:
      Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
      Effective:
      01/15/2016
      Section:
      2.14.2 Notification and Funeral Preparation Regarding a Child Fatality
      Version:
      1

      Legal Authority/Introduction

      LEGAL AUTHORITY:

       

      Practice Guidance

      • The notification of the birth parents regarding a fatality or near fatality is recommended to be a personal visit. 
      • All personal and family resources, including the child’s trust fund and insurance in the child’s name, are to be exhausted prior to approval of Cabinet funds for funeral and burial expenses.
      • Funeral arrangements remain the responsibility of the birth parents whenever possible unless parental rights have been terminated or a decision is made by the SRA or designee that the Cabinet will assume that responsibility. 
      • The selection of a funeral home, mortician, casket and burial lot are to be based on estimates of cost that are reasonable and on consideration of the choice of the birth parents.
      • The SSW may purchase clothing for burial or the birth family, foster family, extended family, etc. may provide clothing.
      • The SSW may select flowers, billing the Department and forwarding the invoice to the regional billing clerk.
      • Arrangements for religious services may be made with a clergyman of the birth parents’ faith. If the birth parents’ faith is unknown, a clergyman of the foster parents’ faith may conduct services.
      • Trauma is inherent in fatality and near fatality investigations, and in situations where a child dies while actively involved with the agency.  SOP 1.13 Debriefing Protection and Permanency (DPP) Staff on Reaction and Emotional Responses to Trauma was developed to assist P&P staff in coping with reactions to trauma.

      Procedure

      Birth Parent Notification

      The service region administrator (SRA) or designee: 

      1. Appoints a SSW or FSOS to immediately notify the child’s parents of the fatality or near fatality when:
        1. The child is in the custody of the Cabinet and placed out of the birth parent’s home in a:
          1. Foster home;
          2. Cabinet facility; 
          3. Psychiatric unit/hospital; or
          4. Private child-caring facility; and
        2. Parent’s parental rights are intact;
      2. Determines whether to notify birth parents when parental rights have been terminated, there has been ongoing contact or other special circumstances and a finalized adoption has not occurred.
      Funeral Arrangements

      The SSW: 

      1. Explores with the birth parents their ability to accept financial responsibility for the funeral when the child is in the custody of the Cabinet;
      2. Pre-plans the funeral with the birth parents, and/or caregiver if the birth parents are not involved, when a child is in the custody of the Cabinet and their death is imminent, which includes the following steps:
        1. Contacting funeral homes to get cost estimates for a pre-planned funeral, which includes the burial plot and opening of the grave;
        2. Submitting to the FSOS:
          1. A Request for Approval of Special Expense (sample form) for the funeral to the FSOS for review, outlining the specific needs and circumstances pertinent to the request; and
          2. Copies of funeral cost estimates;
      3. Files the Request for Approval for Special Expense and the funeral cost estimate of the funeral home selected in the child’s case record upon approval by the SRA;
      4. Notifies the birth parents and/or caregiver, if the birth parents are not involved, to inform the approved funeral home and proceed with the funeral arrangements;
      5. Forwards invoices upon receipt, along with the special expense approval from the SRA, to the regional billing specialist for processing as normal;
      6. Follows the procedures as outlined in the Practice Guidance section of this SOP for funeral arrangements and payment when a child is in the custody of the Cabinet and death occurs without the opportunity for a pre-planned funeral.

      The FSOS:

      1. Upon review of the special expense form, submits the Request for Approval of Special Expense and copies of the funeral cost estimates to the SRA for approval.

      2.15 Specialized Investigations

      Chapter:
      Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
      Effective:
      04/1/2019
      Section:
      2.15 Specialized Investigations
      Version:
      5

      Legal Authority/Introduction

      LEGAL AUTHORITY:

      Specialized investigations are traditionally more complex, as they typically involve multiple victims and agencies, centers or facilities rather than families.  As a result, additional investigative considerations need to be addressed when handling these types of reports.  It is strongly recommended that experienced CPS investigative workers be assigned to handle specialized investigations.  Having prior experiences in handling these types of investigations, as well as, having the necessary training is also suggested. 

      KRS 620.030(3) requires agencies to cooperate with the Cabinet while conducting CPS investigations.

      The procedures in this SOP are organized as the foundation for specialized investigations involving the following:

      • DCBS or private child-placing (PCP) foster and adoptive homes;
      • Private child-caring (PCC) facilities;
      • Crisis stabilization units;
      • Registered family child care homes or licensed child care facilities;
      • Registered (subsidized) or family child care providers;
      • School employees;
      • Supports for community living (SCL);
      • Community mental health and mental retardation center (CMHC);
      • Psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTF);
      • Psychiatric hospitals;
      • Camps;
      • Day treatment facilities; and
      • Human trafficking.

      Standards of practice (SOP) are also provided for additional guidance for the specific investigation as follows:

      • SOP 2.15.1 Investigations of Foster or Adoptive Homes (DCBS or Private Child-Placing (PCP) Agencies);
      • SOP 2.15.2 Investigations of Licensed Private Child-Caring Facilities;
      • SOP 2.15.3 Investigations of Licensed Child Care Centers;
      • SOP 2.15.4 Investigations of Registered (Subsidized) Family Child Care Homes;
      • SOP 2.15.5 Investigations of School Personnel;
      • SOP 2.15.6 Investigations of Supports for Community Living (SCL) and Community Mental Health/Mental Retardation Center (CMHC);
      • SOP 2.15.7 Investigations of Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTF), Crisis Stabilization Units, or Psychiatric Hospitals;
      • SOP 2.15.8 Investigations Involving DCBS Employees; and
      • SOP 2.15.9 Investigations of Human Trafficking.

      The following procedures in this SOP do not apply to allegations involving maltreatment at hospitals (other than psychiatric) or Department for Juvenile Justice (DJJ) facilities/DJJ operated or contracted detention centers.  The Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigates allegations of maltreatment in hospitals and the internal investigations unit of the Justice Cabinet investigates allegations of maltreatment in DJJ facilities.  DCBS does investigate youth committed to DJJ who are placed in PCC facilities or PCP and DCBS foster homes. 

      A tip sheet has been created for the handling of reports in hospitals and DJJ facilities; refer to the Allegations at Hospitals and DJJ Facilities Tip Sheet.  

      Procedure

      The investigative SSW: 

      1. Assesses the risk to all children in the setting, and determines if children in the legal custody of the Cabinet are to be removed during the investigation;
      2. Consults with the SRA and regional staff, ongoing staff, and central office specialists as needed, to decide, based on the assessed level of risk, whether or not to move children who were not named in the allegations;
      3. Notifies (via fax or email) immediately the appropriate agencies as described in the CPS Investigative Distribution Chart when it is determined by the SSW, in consultation with the SRA or designee, that a child in the legal custody of the Cabinet is at risk or is in imminent danger and it is necessary to remove the child or take other action regarding a home, facility or program;
      4. Documents this information in the assessment;
      5. Documents the verbal notification of the allegations in the assessment;
      6. Distributes a copy of the DPP-115-Confidential Suspected Abuse, Neglect, Dependency or Exploitation Reporting Form, by faxing or e-mailing (DCBSChildProtection@ky.gov), as applicable, to the:1 
        1. Division of Protection and Permanency Child Protective Services Branch for the following:
          1. DCBS and private child-placing agency foster/adoptive homes;
          2. Private child-caring facilities;
          3. Crisis stabilization units;
          4. SCL/CMHC facilities;
          5. Psychiatric residential treatment facilities;
          6. Psychiatric hospitals;
          7. Cabinet employees;
          8. Camps;
          9. Day treatment facilities; and
          10. Human trafficking;
        2. Other appropriate parties, per the Distribution Chart;
      7. Does not share the DPP-115 form with the individual(s) or agency under investigation;
      8. Partners with the Office of Inspector General (OIG) when OIG is involved in an investigation and:
        1. Shares information regarding the agency or facility history and the investigation; and
        2. Conducts a joint investigation whenever possible;
      9. Conducts an unannounced visit to the setting;
      10. Conducts, with OIG staff when applicable/available, an entrance interview with the agency/facility administrator or designee upon arrival at the agency, facility, or hospital setting:
        1. Outlining the nature of the report of child abuse or neglect without disclosing the name of the reporting source;
        2. Determining if the alleged perpetrator is to be reassigned until the investigation is complete; and
        3. Providing only enough information to the administrator or designee to indicate that there has been a report and which children are to be interviewed; 
      11. Determines whether to interview the child in a neutral location or at the placement setting based upon the allegations and the required response time;
      12. Conducts the interview with the child in private, unless the SSW determines that it is in the best interest of the child for other personnel to be present during the interview;2
      13. Completes the following steps if it is determined that other personnel will be present:
        1. Makes the personnel aware that they are subject to subpoena to court for any disclosure statements that the child may make; and
        2. Instructs the personnel to remain:
          1. Silent during the interview; and
          2. Out of the line of sight of the child;
      14. Gives consideration to conducting random interviews with children who are presently in the setting or who have previously been in the setting; 
      15. Gives consideration to conducting interviews with a random sample of children of appropriate age who have previously been in the setting;
      16. Completes the following tasks if other children are interviewed as collaterals:
        1. Obtains the parents’ permission, if possible;
        2. Informs the parent as soon as possible after the interview if the parent is not contacted prior to the interview;
        3. Explains to the parent that his/her child is not the alleged victim; and
        4. Determines in conjunction with the FSOS and child’s parent(s) an appropriate place to interview the child;
      17. Conducts an unannounced visit and interview with the alleged perpetrator in private;
      18. Determines the location of the interview with the alleged perpetrator based upon the allegations, the required response time, and the alleged incident location;
      19. Notifies the alleged perpetrator subject to an investigation of the allegations during the initial face to face contact with the alleged perpetrator by:
        1. Verbally informing the alleged perpetrator of the basic allegations, void of any specifics that may compromise the investigation; and
        2. Verbally informing the alleged perpetrator that they will be provided notification of the findings upon completion of the investigation;
      20. Conducts the aforementioned procedures (#17–19) during the initial face to face contact with the adult caretaker(s) or appropriate supervisor, Director or designee during the entrance interview if the identity of the alleged perpetrator is unknown at the outset of an investigation;
      21. Reviews and/or copies the following types of records that are pertinent to the allegations in the referral or identified safety issues:
        1. Incident reports for the child and staff;
        2. Shift or communication logs;
        3. Previous citations from Office of Inspector General (OIG)/Division of Regulated Child Care or Division of Heath Care Facilities Services;
          Staff training manuals and records;
        4. Internal directives (such as policy, procedure, requirements or recommendations);
        5. Previous allegations;
        6. Personnel records (including criminal records);
        7. Child’s file; and
        8. Child assessment information;
      22. Upon consultation with the FSOS and regional management, contacts central office Child Safety Branch or the Director of Protection & Permanency’s office to address the issue and seek resolution if an agency does not cooperate with the investigation;
      23. Considers who in the line of supervision may have had a role in the incident that resulted in abuse or neglect to a child;
      24. Requests an organizational chart of the facility to determine lines of authority over each program area;
      25. Assesses restraint techniques used by staff in the setting, if alleged physical abuse is a part of the investigation, by reviewing and obtaining documentation on all reports involving restraint and the following information:
        1. Events leading to the use of restraint, including whether de-escalation techniques were used to avoid restraint;
        2. Specific reasons for the use of restraint;
        3. The type of restraint that was chosen and whether it is the least restrictive, based on the size of the child and adult;
        4. How the child’s behaviors were addressed in their treatment plan;
        5. Use of restraint with regard to this child prior to the incident;
        6. Whether there is agency monitoring of the use of child restraint;
        7. The child’s description (or physical demonstration) of the restraint;
        8. Therapist/treatment notes and individual crisis plans for the child;
        9. The child’s medical condition; and
        10. The type and number of hours of training and/or re-certifications the facility staff have completed, as well as applicable procedures, training material, incident reports, and any other written information on child restraint that applies to the home, facility or program;
      26. Reviews prior reports on a facility, DCBS or PCP foster/adoptive home to determine any systemic patterns of behavior or issues that may need to be addressed; 
      27. Considers any ongoing issues or concerns by giving particular attention to previous aftercare plans developed at the end of an investigation;
      28. Provides an update to the SRA or designee on the status of the assessment no less than once per week;
      29. Justifies findings in the assessment documentation and service recordings connected to the investigation;
      30. Includes in the assessment any citations made by OIG as a result of an investigation;
      31. Utilizes procedures in SOP 2.12 Completing the Assessment and Documentation Tool and Making a Finding to make a determination of a finding in a specialized investigation;
      32. Considers substantiation of maltreatment of an individual responsible for the management of the program if there is a well-documented systemic pattern of child abuse or neglect; 
      33. Determines which management individual(s) is responsible for the systemic abuse or neglect by considering who in management knew or reasonably should have known about the systemic issues that lead to the abuse or neglect;3
      34. Takes the following steps prior to a finding of substantiation due to systemic issues against a director, program director, administrator or other designated management staff:
        1. Consults with the FSOS;
        2. If the FSOS agrees with the SSW’s recommendation, consults with the regional attorney and documents the consultation in TWIST;
      35. Notifies the Director of Protection & Permanency’s office that a consultation needs to occur for a determination of the finding against management staff if the regional attorney agrees with the recommendation to substantiate against a director, program director, administrator or other designated management staff;
      36. Makes the determination for a finding on the current alleged incident that occurred and does not base the finding on whether or not the facility has taken any corrective actions (The substantiation must name an individual and cannot be made against an agency or facility);4  
      37. Submits the assessment to the SRA or designee for review when completed;
      38. Discusses with OIG staff, as applicable, prior to conducting an exit interview with the administrator or designee the following:
        1. Findings; 
        2. Any needed follow-up actions; and
        3. Which agency is assigned to the follow-up privately;
      39. Convenes, with OIG as applicable, an exit conference with the agency/facility or hospital program director and license holder, regardless of the finding.  The exit conference is held no later than ten (10) working days after the assessment has been completed and approved;
      40. Facilitates development, during the exit conference, of an aftercare plan (if appropriate), and all participants are asked to participate and sign; 
      41. Discusses concerns with the R&C FSOS/worker for the family for investigations involving a DCBS foster home.5  

      The SRA or designee:

      1. Seeks assistance, as needed, from a Child Protection specialist in the Child Safety Branch when consultation is needed during the course of the investigations such as when:
        1. A home, facility, or program is not cooperative;
        2. There is difficulty in obtaining information; or
        3. There are concerns involving other agencies’ participation in the assessment;
      2. Requests, upon staffing the investigation with the SSW, approval from the Director of Protection & Permanency if the following are recommended:
        1. Suspending DCBS referrals; or
        2. Terminating an agreement or contract.

      Practice Guidance

      • DCBS foster homes include child specific foster homes.
      • The SSW has access to all records and documentation to complete an investigation regarding the child alleged to have been abused or neglected and the alleged perpetrator.

       

      • In joint investigations, the SSW and OIG staff may prepare a final report.
      • The SSW may comment and make recommendations that may be incorporated into the joint investigation report.
      • If the OIG staff and the SSW do not agree on issues of concern, collaboration between the two is encouraged.

       

      • Consultation with the central office Child Protection Branch is highly recommended during an investigation that involves systemic issues in a specialized setting, or if an allegation involves a Director, Program Director, Administrator or other designated management staff. 

       

      • Requests for information regarding the final report by those outside the Cabinet are to be handled through open records procedures, as outlined in SOP 30.12 CPS Open Records Request and Disclosure of Information. 

       

      • The SSW may consult with the Child Protection Branch when seeking to access additional information such as Children’s Review Program reviews or exit interviews.

      Related Information

      • Division of Protection and Permanency Child Protection
        Branch:

      • Phone:  (502) 564-2136
      • Protection and Permanency Director's Office:

        Phone:  (502) 564-6852

      Footnotes

      1. Each service region may establish a centralized point of distribution of information to other staff, foster family, agencies or license holder, as appropriate.
      2. While a private interview of the child is desirable, there may be occasions when the child requests the presence of a teacher, counselor or other school personnel.  
      3. Factors or conditions that may indicate that there are systemic conditions could include a lack of supervision by management over a period of time or a lack of training that creates a risk of harm to children.  
      4. Final approval on a substantiation must be approved by the Director’s Office.
      5. Discussions are held to consider whether a foster home review is recommended and to include the R&C FSOS/worker in aftercare planning, when applicable.

      2.15.1 Investigations of Foster or Adoptive Homes (DCBS or Private Child Placing (PCP) Agencies)

      Chapter:
      Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
      Effective:
      04/1/2019
      Section:
      2.15.1 Investigations of Foster or Adoptive Homes (DCBS or Private Child Placing (PCP) Agencies)
      Version:
      3

      Legal Authority/Introduction

      LEGAL AUTHORITY:

      In addition to the guidelines specified in SOP 2.15 Specialized Investigations, the SSW uses the following procedures in conducting investigations involving DCBS or private child placing (PCP) foster/adoptive homes.

      Procedure

      Upon accepting a report, the SSW:

      1. Provides copies of the DPP-115 to the parties listed on the CPS Investigative Distribution Chart;
      2. Documents these contacts in the assessment, and:
        1. For DCBS foster homes provides a copy of the DPP-115 to the recruitment and certification (R&C) FSOS; or
        2. For PCP foster/adoptive homes:
          1. Notifies the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Office of Inspector General, Division of Regulated Child Care (DRCC), central office Child Caring/Child Placing Branch, via telephone;
          2. Faxes a copy of the DPP-115 to the central office Child-Caring/Child-Placing (CC/CP) Branch using the Specialized Investigation Fax Coversheet;
          3. Notifies the PCP program director of the impending investigation;
      3. Does not provide a copy of the DPP-115 to the PCP agency;
      4. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 2.15 Specialized Investigations when sending notification of a substantiated or unsubstantiated finding.
      5. Provides notification for:
        1. DCBS foster homes to the regional recruitment and certification (R&C) supervisor; and
        2. PCP foster/adoptive homes to the:
          1. Program director and license holder; and
          2. OIG, DRCC, child-caring/child-placing branch. (Refer to the Distribution Chart for a complete listing).

      The SRA or designee, upon staffing the investigation with the SSW:

      1. Requests approval from the Director of Protection & Permanency if any of the following are recommended:
        1. Suspending DCBS placement referrals to a PCP foster/adoptive placement;
        2. Terminating an agreement or contract; or
        3. Substantiation of maltreatment of an individual responsible for the management of a program as specified in SOP 2.15 Specialized Investigations;
      2. Makes a decision to close or continue using the DCBS foster home. 

      Practice Guidance 

      • Specialized investigation procedures are not be applicable for homes in which the adoption has been finalized and the home is no longer active for additional foster placements.
      • If abuse, neglect, or dependency is substantiated in a DCBS foster/adoptive home, a foster home review of the home is completed, unless the home is being closed. 
      • foster home review may also be completed to address any concerns or policy violations identified through the course of the investigation, even if the allegations are not substantiated (Refer to SOP 12.17 Foster and Adoptive Home Reviews). 

      Related Information

      • Cabinet for Health and Family Services
      • Office of Inspector General
        Division of Regulated Child Care (DRCC)
        Central Office Child-Caring/Child Placing
        Phone:  (502) 564-7962
        Fax:  (502) 564-9350

      2.15.2 Investigations of Licensed Private Child Caring Facilities

      Chapter:
      Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
      Effective:
      01/22/2014
      Section:
      2.15.2 Investigations of Licensed Private Child Caring Facilities
      Version:
      2

      Legal Authority/Introduction

      LEGAL AUTHORITY:

      In addition to the guidelines specified in SOP 2.15 Specialized Investigations, the SSW uses the following procedures in conducting investigations involving licensed private child-caring facilities (PCC).

      Crisis stabilization units are categorized either as licensed under a private child-caring (PCC) facility or provided through a community mental health center (CMHC).  The SSW utilizes the procedures set forth in this SOP for all PCC crisis stabilization units and utilizes SOP 2.15.6 for all CMHC crisis stabilization Units. 

      Procedure

      Upon accepting a report, the SSW: 

      1. Provides copies of the DPP-115 to the parties listed on the CPS Investigative Distribution Chart and:
        1. Notifies the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG), Division of Regulated Child Care (DRCC), Child-Caring/Child-Placing (CC/CP) Branch via telephone;
        2. Faxes a copy of the DPP-115 to the central office CC/CP Branch (Refer to the Specialized Investigation Fax Coversheet); and
        3. Documents the notification in the assessment (Refer to KY Children’s Crisis Stabilization Programs for a complete listing of CMHC Crisis Stabilization Units);
      2. Provides written notification to OIG/DRCC if the SSW finds at the time of investigation that a child is in imminent danger or that a child needs to be removed;
      3. Provides written findings to the administrator of the facility within thirty (30) working days of receiving the referral/report, unless an extension is granted by the supervisor, when there is a finding of substantiation of child abuse or neglect and the alleged perpetrator is an employee of the facility;
      4.  Follows procedures outlined in SOP 2.15 Specialized Investigations and SOP 2.13 Case Disposition-Determination Whether to Open a Case when sending notification of a substantiated finding; 
      5. Also provides notification to:
        1. The agency/facility and license holder; and
        2. OIG/DRCC via fax (Refer to the CPS Investigative Distribution Chart for a complete listing);
      6. Sends, upon approval, copies of the assessment for a private child-caring facility (PCC) investigation to OIG (Refer to Private Child Care (PCC) Investigation Tip Sheet).

      Practice Guidance

      • The CC/CP Branch will assign OIG staff as applicable to contact the SSW.

      Related Information

      • Cabinet for Health and Family Services
        Office of Inspector General (OIG)
        Division of Regulated Child Care (DRCC)
        Child-Caring/Child-Placing Branch (CC/CP)
        Phone: 502-564-7962
        Fax: 502-564-9350

      2.15.3 Investigations of Licensed Child Care Centers

      Chapter:
      Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
      Effective:
      01/22/2014
      Section:
      2.15.3 Investigations of Licensed Child Care Centers
      Version:
      2

      Legal Authority/Introduction

      LEGAL AUTHORITY:

      In addition to the guidelines specified in SOP 2.15 Specialized Investigations, the SSW uses the following procedures in conducting investigations involving a licensed or certified family child care home, as defined in KRS 199.894(5), or a licensed child care center, as defined in KRS 199.894(3).

      Procedure

      Upon accepting a report, the SSW: 

      1. Provides copies of the DPP-115 to the parties listed on the CPS Investigative Distribution Chart;
      2. Immediately notifies the following parties of the pending investigation:
        1. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG), Division of Regulated Child Care (DRCC) via telephone for a licensed child care center or a licensed family child care home; or
        2. The Division of Child Care via fax for a registered child care provider;
      3. Documents the notification in the assessment;
      4. Conducts, with DRCC staff if available, an entrance interview with the certified or licensed family child care home provider or center administrator/designee outlining the nature of the report of child abuse or neglect without disclosing the name of the reporting source; 
      5. Provides only enough information to the certified or licensed family child care home provider or center administrator/designee to indicate that there has been a report and which children are to be interviewed; 
      6. Provides written or verbal notification to DRCC as soon as practical if the SSW finds at the time of investigation that a child is in imminent danger or that a child needs to be removed;
      7. Discusses findings privately with DRCC staff prior to conducting an exit interview with the certified or licensed family child care home provider or the license holder of the child care center and the administrator/designee;
      8. Provides written findings to the administrator of the center and license holder within thirty (30) working days of the report/referral, unless an extension is granted by the supervisor, when there is a finding by the SSW of substantiation of child abuse or neglect, and the alleged perpetrator is an employee of the center;
      9. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 2.15 Specialized Investigations and SOP 2.13 Case Disposition-Determination Whether to Open a Case when sending notification of a substantiated finding and also notifies, via fax:  
        1. DCC for a licensed child care center; or
        2. OIG/DRCC for a licensed child care center or licensed family child care home;
      10. Sends, upon approval, via fax, copies of the assessment for licensed child care center investigations to:
        1. OIG/DRCC; and
        2. DCC.

      Practice Guidance

      • The SSW, DRCC staff, and DCC staff, as applicable, share joint responsibility for investigating these reports. If possible, an investigation is conducted jointly.
      • DCBS is the lead investigative agency on allegations of abuse and neglect in licensed family child care homes or licensed child care centers.
      • DRCC determines if a regulation has been violated in certified or licensed family child care homes or licensed child care centers.  

      Related Information

      • Cabinet for Health and Family Services
        Office of Inspector General (OIG)
        Division of Regulated Child Care (DRCC)
        Phone: 502-564-7962
        Fax: 502-564-9350
      • Department for Community Based Services
        Division of Child Care (DCC)
        Phone: 502-564-2524
        Fax: 502-564-3464

      2.15.4 Investigations of Registered (Subsidized) Family Child Care Providers

      Chapter:
      Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
      Effective:
      01/22/2014
      Section:
      2.15.4 Investigations of Registered (Subsidized) Family Child Care Providers
      Version:
      2

      Legal Authority/Introduction

      LEGAL AUTHORITY:

      In addition to the guidelines specified in SOP 2.15 Specialized Investigations, the SSW uses the following procedures in conducting investigations involving a registered (subsidized) family child care provider as described in 922 KAR 2:180.

      Procedure

      Upon accepting a report, the SSW: 

      1. Provides copies of the DPP-115 to the parties listed on the CPS Investigative Distribution Chart and the DCBS Division of Child Care (DCC) Director via fax;
      2. Immediately notifies DCC via telephone of the pending investigation;
      3. Documents the notification in the assessment;
      4. Conducts an entrance interview with the registered family child care provider outlining the nature of the report of child abuse or neglect without disclosing the name of the reporting source;
      5. Provides only enough information to the registered family child care provider to indicate that there has been a report and which children are to be interviewed; 
      6. Provides written notification to DCC as soon as practical if the SSW finds at the time of investigation that a child is in imminent danger or that a child needs to be removed;
      7. Provides the written findings to the family child care provider within thirty (30) working days of receiving the referral/report, unless an extension is granted by the supervisor (922 KAR 1:330), when there is a finding of substantiation of child abuse or neglect and the alleged perpetrator is an employee, substitute, or assistant of the registered family child care home provider;
      8. Conducts an exit interview with the certified or registered provider to share the recommendations, including needed follow-up actions; 
      9. Faxes a copy of the assessment, upon approval, for a registered (subsidized) child care home to the DCC director;
      10. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 2.15 Specialized Investigations and SOP 2.13 Case Disposition-Determination Whether to Open a Case when sending notification of a substantiated or unsubstantiated finding and also notifies via fax the:
        1. Registered child care provider if the provider is not the alleged perpetrator; and
        2. DCBS Division of Child Care Director via fax.

      Related Information  

      • Department for Community Based Services
        Division of Child Care (DCC)
        Phone: 502-564-2524
        Fax: 502-564-3464

      2.15.5 Investigations of School Personnel

      Chapter:
      Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
      Effective:
      01/22/2014
      Section:
      2.15.5 Investigations of School Personnel
      Version:
      2

      Legal Authority/Introduction

      LEGAL AUTHORITY:

      In addition to the guidelines specified in SOP 2.15 Specialized Investigations, the SSW uses the following procedures in conducting investigations involving school personnel.

      If the alleged abuse or neglect occurred when school personnel did not have care/custody or control, law enforcement is notified and the SSW does not conduct an investigation. 

      Procedure

      Upon accepting a report, the SSW: 

      1. Provides copies of the DPP-115 to the parties listed on the CPS Investigative Distribution Chart;
      2. Notifies the school superintendent or appropriate supervisor of the report if the alleged perpetrator is a school employee who is not assigned to the school building (such as a bus driver or maintenance personnel) or is the principal;
      3. Notifies the board of education for the county if the alleged perpetrator is the superintendent;
      4. Conducts interviews away from school grounds, when possible; 
      5. Completes the following steps when intending to interview a child at school:
        1. Informs the appropriate school personnel of their need to interview the child regarding a report;
        2. Provides necessary information concerning the allegation and investigation only to school personnel with a legitimate interest in the case;
        3. Indicates which child(ren) and collaterals (where appropriate) need to be interviewed; and
        4. Provides their identification card;
      6. Notifies the parent(s) that there has been a report involving their child and of the SSW's intention to interview the child;
      7. Determines, in conjunction with the FSOS and the parent(s), an appropriate place to interview the child;
      8. Determines if it is in the best interest of the child for school personnel to be present during the child’s interview;1 
      9. Completes the following steps if it is determined that school personnel will be present:
        1. Makes the school personnel aware that they are subject to subpoena to court for any disclosure statements that the child may make; and
        2. Instructs the school personnel to remain:
          1. Silent during the interview; and
          2. Out of the line of sight of the child;
      10. Reviews and copies school records pertaining to the child without parental permission, pursuant to KRS 620.030(3) if the information is relevant to the allegations reported;
      11. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 2.15 Specialized Investigations and SOP 2.13 Case Disposition-Determination Whether to Open a Case when sending notification of substantiated or unsubstantiated findings according to the CPS Investigative Distribution Chart;
      12. Sends, if substantiated, notification, using the DPP-152B Substantiated Investigation Notification Letter and information regarding the request for appeal of a child abuse or neglect investigative finding process using the DPP-155 Request for Appeal of Child Abuse or Neglect Investigative Finding to the:
        1. Appropriate supervisor (e.g., principal);
        2. School superintendent; and
        3. Education professional standards board;

      13. Provides a copy of the DPP-152A Unsubstantiated Investigation Notification Letter to the appropriate supervisor (e.g., principal) if unsubstantiated;
      14. Informs the FSOS, who then informs the SRA or designee, when there is indication of systemic neglect within the school;
      15. Seeks approval by the Commissioner prior to pursuing systemic neglect against a school administrator.

      The SRA or designee:

      1. Upon review and affirmation of suspected systemic neglect informs the Commissioner in writing, outlining what efforts have been made to address the concerns with the school system.

      Related Information

      • Education Professional Standards Board
        100 Airport Rd., 3rd Floor
        Frankfort, KY 40601

      2.15.6 Investigations of Supports for Community Living (SCL) and Community Mental Health/Intellectual Disability (CMHC)

      Chapter:
      Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
      Effective:
      10/2/2015
      Section:
      2.15.6 Investigations of Supports for Community Living (SCL) and Community Mental Health/Intellectual Disability (CMHC)
      Version:
      3

      Legal Authority/Introduction

      LEGAL AUTHORITY:

      In addition to the guidelines specified in SOP 2.15 Specialized Investigations, the SSW uses the following procedures in conducting investigations involving a certified supports for community living (SCL) provider or community mental health/intellectual disability center (CMHC) of a:

      • Child under eighteen (18) years of age; or
      • Youth age eighteen (18) up to twenty-one (21) years of age and older on extended commitment in the custody of the Cabinet.

      Procedure

      Upon accepting a report, the SSW: 

      1. Provides copies of the DPP-115 to the parties listed on the CPS Investigative Distribution Chart and immediately notifies the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Services, Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, incident manager:
        1. Via fax; or  
        2. Via telephone (When the allegation was made by telephone, the DPP-115 is faxed within twenty-four (24) hours (exclusive of weekends and holidays));
      2. Shares joint responsibility with DMR staff for investigating these reports, and if possible, an investigation is conducted jointly;
      3. Proceeds with the investigation, following procedures and timeframes outlined in SOP 2 Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation, when a joint investigation cannot be conducted;
      4. Conducts, with DMR staff (to the extent possible), an entrance interview with the facility administrator or designee: 
        1. Outlining the nature of the report of child abuse or neglect without disclosing the name of the reporting source; and
        2. Providing only enough information to the administrator or designee to indicate that there has been a report and which child(ren)/youth’s and adult’s wards are to be interviewed; 
      5. Provides written or verbal notification to DMR as soon as practical if the SSW finds at the time of investigation that a child/youth is in imminent danger or that a child/youth needs to be removed;
      6. Provides written findings to the administrator of the facility and license holder within thirty (30) working days of receiving the referral/report, unless an extension is granted by the supervisor, when there is a finding by the SSW of substantiation of child/youth abuse or neglect, and the alleged perpetrator is an employee of the facility;
      7. Confers with DMR staff on the investigation, to the extent possible, prior to issuing any notification of findings;
      8. Sends, upon approval, copies of the assessment for SCL provider agencies and CMHC facilities investigations to:
        1. DMR; and
        2. SRA or designee;
      9. Discusses privately with DMR staff the findings prior to conducting an exit interview with the license holder and the administrator or designee;
      10. Conducts, with DMR staff to the extent possible, an exit interview no later than ten (10) working days after the assessment has been completed and approved with the facility/agency administrator or designee regardless of the finding;
      11. Collaborates and prepares a final report with DMR staff in joint investigations; 1
      12. Incorporates comments and recommendations based on findings justified in the assessment documentation that may be incorporated into the joint investigation report;
      13. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 2.15 Specialized Investigations and SOP 2.13 Case Disposition-Determination Whetherto Open a Case when sending notification of a substantiated or unsubstantiated finding;
      14. Provides notification to the agency/facility and license holder (Refer to the CPS Investigative Distribution Chart for a complete listing).

      Related Information

      • Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Services
        Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities 
        275 East Main Street, 4C-F 
        Frankfort, KY 40621
        Phone: 502-564-7702
        Fax: 502-564-8917

      Footnotes

      1. If upon collaboration, DMR staff and the SSW do not agree on issues of concern, the report would reflect the findings of each with the points of contention addressed accordingly in a professional manner.

      2.15.7 Investigations of Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTF), Crisis Stabilization Units or Psychiatric Hospitals

      Chapter:
      Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
      Effective:
      01/22/2014
      Section:
      2.15.7 Investigations of Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTF), Crisis Stabilization Units or Psychiatric Hospitals
      Version:
      2

      Legal Authority/Introduction

      LEGAL AUTHORITY:

      In addition to the guidelines specified in SOP 2.15 Specialized Investigations the SSW uses the following procedures in conducting investigations involving psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTF), crisis stabilization units, and psychiatric hospitals.

      Crisis stabilization units are categorized either as licensed under a private child caring (PCC) facility or provided through a community mental health center (CMHC).  The SSW utilizes the procedures set forth in this SOP for all CMHC crisis stabilization units and utilizes SOP 2.15.2 Investigations of Licensed Private Child Caring Facilities for all PCC crisis stabilization units.

      Procedure

      Upon accepting a report, the SSW: 

      1. Notifies the SRA and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG), Division of Health Care Facilities and Services (DHCFS) regional office;
      2. Documents the contact in the assessment; 
      3. Notifies OIG/DHCFS regional office, as soon as possible, but no later than the next business day via telephone and faxed written notification if the SSW finds at the time of investigation that a child is in imminent danger or that a child needs to be removed;
      4. Provides the written findings to the administrator of the facility within thirty (30) working days of receiving the referral/report, unless an extension is granted by the supervisor, when there is a finding of substantiation of child abuse or neglect and the alleged perpetrator is an employee of the facility;
      5. Conducts, along with OIG/DHCFS staff, an exit interview with the administrator or designee to share the recommendations, including needed follow-up actions and which agency is assigned to the follow-up;
      6. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 2.15 Specialized Investigations and SOP 2.13 Case Disposition-Determination Whether to Open a Case when sending notification of a substantiated or unsubstantiated finding; 
      7. Also provides notification to:
        1. The agency/facility or license holder; and
        2. OIG/DHCFS regional office via fax (Refer to DHCFS Regional Offices and the Counties Served and Specialized Investigation Fax Coversheet);
          (Refer to the CPS Investigative Distribution Chart for a complete listing)
      8. Faxes, upon approval, copies of the assessment for a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) and psychiatric hospital investigations to OIG/DHCFS regional office.

      2.15.8 Investigations Involving DCBS Employees

      Chapter:
      Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
      Effective:
      08/13/2019
      Section:
      2.15.8 Investigations Involving DCBS Employees
      Version:
      4

      Legal Authority/Introduction

      LEGAL AUTHORITY:

      Employee investigations should be conducted objectively, with privacy, and confidentiality that meets the public expectation for accountability.  The investigating region is responsible for all notifications set forth in this SOP.  Procedures for employee investigations are utilized when a referral is received where an employee or an employee’s household member is in a caretaking role and:

      • Is an alleged perpetrator in an Adult Protective Services (APS) or Child Protective Services (CPS) referral; or
      • Resides in the home where an APS or CPS incident allegedly occurred. 

      For the purposes of employee investigations, an employee includes:  Protection and Permanency (P&P) staff, Family Support staff, and any contract person supervised by the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) and housed in a DCBS office.

      Procedure

      The SSW:

      1. Submits the DPP-115-Confidential Suspected Abuse/Neglect, Dependency or Exploitation Reporting Form to the SRA or designee, through supervisory channels, within one (1) hour of receipt;
      2. Secures the hard copy case record and makes the case controlled access in TWIST; 1 
      3. Follows guidelines in SOP 20 APS Investigations and Assessment, or SOP 2 Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation;
      4. Consults with the employee subject to an investigation concerning the location of any interviews or meetings in order to maintain the employee’s confidentiality; and 2
      5. Complies with SOP regarding timeframes for completion of the investigation. 

      The SRA or designee:

      1. Contacts the Director of Service Regions (DSR) or designee within one (1) hour
      2. Provides a copy of the DPP-115 to the Director of Service Regions or designee and the Assistant Director of Protection & Permanency, within twenty-four (24) hours, via e-mail, and regularly consults with the Director of Service Regions or designee regarding the investigation;
      3. Immediately notifies the SRA or designee where the employee’s workstation is located, if the employee’s workstation is located in a different region from where the alleged incident occurred; 3
      4. Completes the following steps, if the alleged incident occurred in the same region where the employee’s workstation is located:
        1. Consults with the Director of Service Regions or designee regarding:
          1. The assignment of the investigation;
          2. Investigations involving supervisors or other regional office staff so that the investigation may be assigned  to an adjoining region;
          3. Whether it is necessary for the employee to be assigned to alternate duties until the completion of the investigation, the Director of Service Regions or designee consults with the Commissioner, Office of Human Resource Management (or EKU if a contract employee), and Office of Legal Services regarding this decision.  If the employee is given alternate duties:
            1. The decision is reviewed by the SRA or designee and Director of Service Regions or  designee every ten (10) working days until the completion of the investigation; and
            2. The decision to return the employee to regular duty is reviewed by the Director of Service Regions in consult with Office of Legal Services, the Commissioner and Office of Human Resource Management (or EKU if a contract employee); 
        2. Ensures the investigation is assigned:
          1. In another county within the region, but not in the same county in which the employee is currently working or lives;
          2. To a staff person without knowledge of the employee being investigated; 
          3. To an experienced staff person; and
          4. To ensure that support and technical assistance are readily available; 
        3. Ensures the SRCA or SRAA, not in the chain of command for the employee being investigated, consults with the investigator on the investigation; and
        4. Provides written updates to the Director of Service Regions or designee regarding the follow up tasks in need of completion and projected date of completion every ten (10) working days via e-mail, for employees placed on desk duty;
        5. Provides written updates to the Director of Service Regions or designee and the Child Protection Branch regarding the follow up tasks in need of completion and projected date of completion every 30 (thirty) working days via email;
      5. In consult with the Director of Service Regions or designee must approve any time frame extensions;
      6. Must notify the Director of Service Regions or designee if an extension is granted;
      7. Submits a memorandum (through supervisory channels) to the appointing authority (or EKU if a contract employee) setting forth a summary of allegations and findings, and attaches the assessment for review if the allegation is substantiated against the employee;
      8. Along with the appointing authority (or EKU if a contract employee), Director of Service Regions or designee and the Commissioner consult and review the assessment to determine if disciplinary or other personnel action is appropriate;
      9. Of the employee’s service region of residence, in consultation with the Director of Service Regions or designee  determines whether ongoing services for the employee, the employee’s spouse, partner or household member will be provided by another county within the region, or whether the case is to be referred to another region for such services.

      The SSW, FSOS or regional management:

      1. Consults with the central office Child Protection Branch or Adult Protection Branch staff as needed during the investigation and prior to the submission of the assessment.

      The Director of Service Regions or designee:

      1. Maintains a process to “track” investigations involving DCBS employees.

      Upon Completion of the Assessment:

      1. The SRA or designee submits the assessment to the Director of Service Regions or designee and the Child Protection Branch for review within forty-five (45) calendar days.
      2. The Assistant Director of P&P recommends when final approval of the assessment is to occur and DSR provides the final approval to the region .
      3. The SSW, after notification of the Director of Service Region or designee's final approval of the assessment:
        1. Notifies the alleged perpetrator or the victim’s parent(s) or guardian of any findings;
        2. Sends notification of a substantiated finding involving a DCBS employee; and
        3. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 2.15 Specialized Investigations when  sending notification of a substantiated or unsubstantiated findings to the:
          1. Alleged perpetrator (sent to each perpetrator via certified, restricted mail, along with the DPP-155-Request for Appeal of Child Abuse or Neglect Investigative Finding when the finding is substantiated); and 
          2. Parent or guardian.
      4. For APS notifications, follows procedures outlined in SOP 20.11 Completion and Distribution of Investigative Findings Notification
      5.  

      Footnotes

      1. Only those employees with a legitimate interest in the investigation or assessment are allowed access to the information.
      2. The location selected for such interviews/meetings should not breach the confidentiality of the employee.
      3. The investigating region is responsible for all notifications set forth in this SOP.

      2.15.9 Investigations of Human Trafficking

      Chapter:
      Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
      Effective:
      06/15/2018
      Section:
      2.15.9 Investigations of Human Trafficking
      Version:
      5

      Legal Authority/Introduction

      LEGAL AUTHORITY:

      Human trafficking is alleged criminal activity whereby one (1) or more child(ren) are subjected to engage in forced labor or services or commercial sexual activity regardless of whether or not force, fraud or coercion is used.

      Procedure

      The SSW:

      1. Initiates the report within twenty four (24) hours of receipt unless there are high risk factors that need to be addressed sooner;
      2. Investigates the report jointly with law enforcement:
        1. Interviews the perpetrator, only with law enforcement; and
        2. Shares information throughout the investigation;
      3. Conducts interviews relevant to the investigation;
      4. Assesses the child’s safety throughout the investigation;
      5. Investigates whether or not the trafficking activities occurred in other states or countries, or whether or not the victim resided in other states or countries;
      6. Requests consultation with the Child Protective Services Branch (502-564-2136 or DCBSChildProtection@ky.govas needed for guidance during the investigation;
      7. Makes reasonable efforts to keep children with their parents, or reunite them with their parents;
      8. Makes appropriate service referrals for victims and their family members;
      9. Consults with local MDT and presents investigation to the team, KRS 620.040(7)(d).;
      10. Includes an assessment of the individual who is responsible for the human trafficking, even if the individual is a non-caretaker;
      11. Initiates court activity, as necessary, to ensure the child’s safety;
      12. Completes a familial risk assessment as part of the investigation;
      13. Makes a finding based on the risk assessment and family’s need for services;
      14. Mails the appropriate findings letters and appeals forms to caretaker perpetrators per SOP 2.13 Notification of Finding and Case Disposition.

      Contingencies and Clarifications

      When appropriate, the SSW should complete the following tasks: 

      1. Notify the child’s attorney that the child may be a victim of human trafficking (status offender only).
      2. Contact other states to request courtesy interviews for identified individuals who may have information relevant to the investigation.
      3. Conduct forensic interviews of child victims at the Children's Advocacy Center in joint cooperation with law enforcement (KRS 620.040(6)).
      4. Ensure findings for non-caretaker perpetrators are "human trafficking not confirmed" or "human trafficking confirmed."
      5. Ensure findings for caretaker perpetrators are "substantiated," unsubstantiated," or "services needed."
      6. Add a subprogram of sexual abuse for all caretaker perpetrators, if appropriate.

      Related Resources

      • Information on services for human trafficking victims can be accessed through:
        • National Human Trafficking Hotline (888-373-7888); and
        • National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (800-843-5678).
      • When interviewing non-English speaking individuals, refer to SOP 1.14 Limited English Proficiency for assistance. 

      2.16 through 2.22-Not Yet Utilized

      Chapter:
      Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
      Effective:
      12/3/2010
      Section:
      2.16 through 2.22-Not Yet Utilized
      Version:
      1

      Reserved for future use.

       

      2.23 Pediatric Forensic Medicine Consult

      Chapter:
      Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
      Effective:
      04/1/2016
      Section:
      2.23 Pediatric Forensic Medicine Consult
      Version:
      4

      Legal Authority/Introduction

      LEGAL AUTHORITY:

      • N/A

      To determine if an injury appears non-accidental (inflicted) vs. accidental, the SSW may require timely consultation with a qualified medical professional for the assessment of possible abusive injuries.  When a determination cannot be made by medical personnel at the local level, the SSW may request a consultation with the Division of Forensic Medicine (DFM). 

      Procedure

      The SSW:

      1. Reserves consultations for cases in which an expert opinion is required beyond what local medical resources can provide; 
      2. Complies with the following referral guidelines to ensure that this limited resource is used most effectively:
        1. Active physical abuse or neglect investigations, involving a child with a physical injury or physical exam finding that is suspicious for injury may be appropriate for referral if local medical resources are either not available or are unable to determine if the injury/finding is likely to have been the result of maltreatment;
        2. Active investigations involving a reported method of injury that may not be consistent with the noted physical injury may be appropriate for referral (For example, a child with a fracture that is reported to have fallen off the couch); 
        3. Priority should be given to the very youngest, non-verbal children in which it is difficult to determine by interview how the injury occurred;
        4. DFM will not be able see Munchausen’s by Proxy cases; however, limited consultation may be provided by the medical support section;
        5. Consultation on child fatality cases is not available through DFM;
        6. DFM may not be utilized merely for the purpose of obtaining evidence for criminal prosecution of non-caretaker abuse; and
        7. It is important to avoid the subpoena of medical professionals from the DFM to court proceedings when at all possible.   If testimony for custody petitions or dispositional reviews is required, deposition or phone testimony should be utilized;
      3. Discusses the appropriateness of the DFM referral with the FSOS; 1  
      4. Contacts their regional office designee to discuss the referral;
      5. Contacts DFM at (502) 629-3099 during normal business hours to request a consultation, if after consultation with their regional office designee, it is agreed that a referral to DFM is warranted; 
      6. Provides an email, upon DFM’s request, to briefly summarize the discussion and impressions and honors any requests from DFM:
        1. To review current medical records, x-rays and/or photographs in order to accurately assess the situation.  A written report based upon the review will then follow and may be available prior to initial placement decisions, provided the records and photos are received by DFM promptly;
        2. That the child be brought to the DFM clinic or Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville for examination and possible additional medical testing.  Reasonable efforts will be made to avoid the necessity of transporting children long distances, including the use of photographs obtained by DCBS staff;
      7. Completes and faxes the Pediatric Forensic Medicine Consult Request to (502)629-3096 within twenty-four (24) hours; 
      8. Provides DFM all needed background and medical records as expeditiously as possible once a referral is made.

      Practice Guidance

      • In case of an emergency after normal business hours, a DFM clinician may be contacted at (502)629-6000. 
      • After contact is made with DFM, the appropriateness and type of consultation will be decided. 
      • DFM typically provides a written report within thirty (30) days of receiving all necessary requested information from the SSW. 

      Footnotes

      1. If it is agreed that consultation regarding a physical injury is warranted, options for local or regional medical consultation should be first considered. 

      2.24 Child Emotional Abuse Investigations and Emotional Injury Evaluations

      Chapter:
      Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
      Effective:
      02/15/2018
      Section:
      2.24 Child Emotional Abuse Investigations and Emotional Injury Evaluations
      Version:
      3

      Legal Authority/Introduction

      LEGAL AUTHORITY:

      Emotional abuse can be a repeated pattern of caregiver behavior or an extreme incident that conveys to a child that he or she is worthless, flawed, unloved, unwanted, endangered or only of value in meeting another’s needs (American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, 1995). The emotionally abusive act(s) can be grouped into the categories of spurning, terrorizing, exploiting/corrupting, isolating and denying emotional responsiveness.

      Kentucky defines an emotionally abused or emotionally neglected child as one whose health or welfare is harmed or threatened with harm, when his parent, guardian or other person exercising custodial control or supervision inflicts or allows to be inflicted an emotional injury or creates or allows to be created a risk of emotional injury upon the child (KRS 600.020 (1)(a)).

      The statutory definition of emotional injury was modified by the 1998 General Assembly. Kentucky now defines an emotional injury as an injury to the mental or psychological capacity or emotional stability of a child as evidenced by a substantial and observable impairment in the child’s ability to function within a normal range of performance and behavior with due regard to his age, development, culture and environment as testified to by a qualified mental health professional (KRS 600.020 (26)).

      Procedure

      The SSW:

      1. Makes a determination, in consultation with the FSOS, as to whether or not emotionally abusive behaviors have occurred, utilizing the emotional abuse criteria; 1
      2. Offers services to the family, even if no abusive behaviors have occurred, when other concerns exist, or an aftercare plan negotiated with the family has deemed that services are appropriate;
      3. Staffs the referral with the regional emotional injury gatekeeper if emotionally abusive behaviors have occurred;
      4. Makes a determination of findings, as outlined in SOP 2.12 Completing the Assessment and Documentation Tool and Making a Finding; 
      5. Can offer services to the family if no emotional injury is found by the Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP), but other concerns remain;
      6. And family develop an aftercare plan, as needed, if there are no other risk issues that would lead to a case being opened;
      7. Can substantiate risk of harm or find the family in need of services due to neglect if no injury is found, but the QMHP finds the victim is at risk of emotional injury if the abuse continues;
      8. Files a petition, if the family is resistant to services, to ensure that recommendations made by the QMHP and P&P are followed by the family;
      9. Consults with the FSOS, if an injury is present or the child is found to be at risk of harm, to make a determination as to whom the perpetrator is, based on the information collected during the investigation including, but not limited to, the information obtained in the emotional injury assessment report;
      10. Sends a notification letter, as outlined in SOP 2.13 Notification of Finding and Case Disposition, indicating a substantiated finding of emotional injury or if the family is found to be in need of services;  
      11. Includes information in the letter that:
        1. Supports the determination of perpetration, as well as results from the emotional injury assessment report conducted by the QMHP;
        2. Reflects that the Cabinet made the determination regarding the perpetrator, and that the QMHP made the finding of emotional injury to the child;
      12. Completes an assessment when a QMHP makes a report of suspected emotional abuse/ emotional injury that meets criteria for an investigation. 2

      The P&P emotional injury gatekeeper:

      1. Reviews SSW/FSOS request for an emotional injury assessment and provides feedback regarding whether or not moving forward with the assessment is warranted; and Contacts
      2. Assists SSW/FSOS in locating an objective QMHP (a provider with no prior involvement/interaction with the family).

      Practice Guidance 

      • In order for a report of emotional abuse to be substantiated in Kentucky, the Department for Community Based Services and regional mental health/mental retardation boards must work collaboratively by:
        • DCBS investigating the allegations of emotional injury; and
        • Obtaining information to share with the qualified mental health professional (QMHP) to determine whether an emotional injury has occurred.
      • It is the role of:
        • DCBS to investigate the report of emotional injury and determine a perpetrator; and
        • An objective QMHP to determine whether or not:
          • The child has an emotional injury; or
          • There is a risk of emotional injury to the child.
      • Outlined in the Partnership for Services: A Manual of Collaboration for Kentucky’s Social Service and Mental Health Agencies are procedures for both agencies to use in addressing emotional injury assessments to include:
        • Designating individuals as gatekeepers in each region by the community mental health center and DCBS respectively to review a SSW’s request for an emotional injury assessment;
        • Determining if in fact an assessment is warranted by the designated gatekeepers; and
        • Utilizing the emotional abuse assessment referral form and emotional injury checklist as determined by how each region will implement the assessment protocol, which are located in the appendix of the Partnership for Services: A Manual of Collaboration for Kentucky’s Social Service and Mental Health Agencies.
          • DCBS requests an emotional injury assessment through an objective QMHP, who has no prior involvement with the family, for a determination as to whether or not the individual has suffered an emotional injury as a result of the abusive behaviors.
          • The QMHP performs an assessment that includes, but may not be limited to:
            • Demographic information;
            • Statement of chief complaint/allegation;
            • Background information/review of available records/phone consultation with the investigation SSW for information found during collateral contacts;
            • Clinical interview with alleged victim (including mental status exam);
            • Interview with alleged victims, family/caregiver(s) when possible;
            • Objective measures–such measures as are deemed appropriate by examiner and are consistent with the practitioner’s field of study;
            • Review of emotional injury criteria for emotionally abusive behaviors acceptance criteria; and
            • Consideration of recommendations for treatment.
          • The QMHP will make one of the following findings:
            • No emotional injury exists;
            • No emotional injury exists but the victim is at risk of an emotional injury if the abuse continues;
            • Emotional injury exists, but unable to determine the act(s) that resulted in the identified injury; or
            • Emotional injury exists as a result of the reported/alleged abusive behaviors.
          • The QMHP submits the emotional injury assessment report in writing to SSW within thirty (30) days of receiving the referral from SSW along with recommendations for services for the child and family if needed.

          Footnotes

          1. This outlines specific behaviors that are likely to result in emotional injury.
          2. If the reporting QMHP has already completed an emotional injury assessment, no additional assessment is required, but a written report must be sent to the SSW within thirty (30) days of the report being made to P&P.

          2.25 Staffing with FSOS and High Risk Protocol

          Chapter:
          Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
          Effective:
          12/3/2010
          Section:
          2.25 Staffing with FSOS and High Risk Protocol
          Version:
          1

          Content to be added, phase II. 

          2.26 Utilization Review if Removal of a Child from Home

          Chapter:
          Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
          Effective:
          12/3/2010
          Section:
          2.26 Utilization Review if Removal of a Child from Home
          Version:
          1

          Content to be added, phase II. 

          2.27 through 2.29-Not Yet Utilized

          Chapter:
          Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
          Effective:
          12/3/2010
          Section:
          2.27 through 2.29-Not Yet Utilized
          Version:
          1

          Reserved for future use.

           

          3.1 Engaging the Family and Opening the Case

          Chapter:
          Chapter 3-In Home Child Protective Services (CPS) Case
          Effective:
          10/1/2019
          Section:
          3.1 Engaging the Family and Opening the Case
          Version:
          4

          Legal Authority/Introduction

          LEGAL AUTHORITY:

          An in home CPS case is opened when the assessed level of risk determined by the assessment process, the parental/guardian capacity to protect and the level of informal and formal supports indicate that a child may be safely maintained in their home.  A referral for prevention services can be made by the SSW on all open in home CPS cases with a substantiated or a services needed finding (see SOP Chapter 6) for information about DCBS prevention services and referrals.

          The services that a SSW may perform are social work functions such as:

          • Family and individual counseling;
          • Advocacy;
          • Case coordination; and
          • Referral to other agencies or community resources.

          The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) emphasizes key provisions around prevention and family preservation services.  FFPSA stresses that children thrive best and deserve to be in family like settings whenever they can do so safely.  The use of foster care should be an intervention of last resort.  FFPSA has made partial federal title IV-E funds specific to prevention services available to states for the first time.

          Procedure

          The SSW assigned to the family: 

          1. Reviews the results of the investigation/assessment;
          2. Makes the initial home visit within five (5) working days of the case assignment in order to discuss: 1 
            1. The continuing family assessment;
            2. Identifying SSW and family roles and expectations;
            3. Initiating the formation of a family team, including identified fathers as outlined in SOP 4.15 Family Attachment and Involvement; and
            4. Identifying service providers.
          3. Along with the family, identifies needed services and the prevention strategy that will be identified on the case plan and possible evidenced based practices (EBPs) that will be needed to mitigate the risk to the child(ren).
          4. Ensures that the family receives the DPP-154 Service Appeal Request, either by mail or by hand delivery, and documents that the family has received it;
          5. Asks the appropriate family members to sign the:
            1. DCBS-1 Informed Consent and Release of Information and Records (if appropriate for HIV/AIDS, alcohol or other drug treatment);
            2. DCBS-1A Informed Consent and Release of Information and Records Supplement to obtain permission from the client in order to consult with other professionals; and
            3. DCBS-1B Application for Services;
          6. Follows guidelines related to HIPAA compliance;
          7. Ensures that the family case plan is developed within fifteen (15) calendar days of case assignment by the FSOS. 

          Footnotes

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

          3.2 Timeframes and Ongoing Service Requirements for All In Home Services Cases

          Chapter:
          Chapter 3-In Home Child Protective Services (CPS) Case
          Effective:
          10/1/2019
          Section:
          3.2 Timeframes and Ongoing Service Requirements for All In Home Services Cases
          Version:
          5

          Legal Authority/Introduction

          LEGAL AUTHORITY:

          The FSOS and SSW utilize the following timeframes for all in home services cases.

          Procedure

          1. The FSOS assigns the case being opened to the SSW for ongoing services within three (3) working days of the date the assessment results are approved.
          2. The SSW makes a home visit with the family within five (5) working days of case assignment to begin negotiating the:
            1. Prevention strategy for the family;
            2. Evidence based practices (EBPs) to be utilized in prevention services;
            3. Case plan goals to be agreed upon with all family members;
            4. Case plan objectives and tasks; and
            5. Participants who will be invited to participate in case planning, including identified fathers as outlined in SOP 4.14 Family Attachment and Involvement and the service providers.
          3. The SSW negotiates the initial case plan with the family within fifteen (15) calendar days of the case assignment by the FSOS. 
          4. The SSW enters the information in the DPP-1281 Family Case Plan (TWIST) verbatim when the blank signature page of the case plan is signed, based on the negotiated objectives and tasks. 
          5. The SSW reviews with the family any changes to the negotiated objectives and tasks and obtains a new signature page.
          6. The SSW enters the completed/developed date in the “effective from date” on the case plan. This is the date that the family signed the signature page. 1
          7. The SSW enters/submits the case plan information within ten (10) working days from the date it was developed with the family. 
          8. The SSW considers all team member opinions, as well as family circumstances to negotiate at least one task for each objective with a begin and potential end date.
          9. The SSW renegotiates the DPP-1281 case plan with the family every six (6) months until the case is closed.  2
          10. The FSOS approves the case plan within ten (10) working days from the date it was developed with the family and submitted by the SSW.
          11. The SSW mails or delivers the TWIST copy of the case plan to the family within three (3) calendar days of the FSOS approval.
          12. The SSW follows procedures outlined in SOP 3.11 Onsite Provision of Services when assistance is requested from one county or region to another county or region to provide needed ongoing services.
          13. The SSW visits every calendar month, making face to face contact with the family and all children in the home to:
            1. Assess progress on accomplishing Family Case Plan goals, objectives and tasks, and assess the need for continuing prevention services and EBPs;
            2. Observe the interaction among parent, child and siblings; and
            3. Determine the suitability of these interactions and protective capacity of the parent, including identified fathers as outlined in SOP 4.14 Family Attachment and Involvement.
          14. The SSW documents all contacts with or on behalf of the family; service recordings reflect the progress toward prevention strategies, goals, objectives and tasks;
          15. The SSW completes a case plan evaluation/assessment at least every six (6) months, and also:
            1. Within thirty (30) days prior to the family case plan periodic review;
            2. When any significant change occurs in a family, such as:
              1. A need to change prevention strategies, services and/or EBPs;
              2. A trial home visit begins;
              3. Change in the composition of the family;
              4. Loss of job;
              5. Change in family income;
              6. Loss of basic needs being met; or
              7. Prior to considering case closure.
          16. The SSW updates the case plan within six (6) months from the case planning conference date of the previous case plan, and every six (6) months thereafter;
          17. The SSW follows the guidelines for case consultation as outlined in SOP 1.5 Supervision and Consultation.
          18. The SSW follows up with court involvement as necessary, as outlined in SOP 11.14 When to File a Petition.

          Footnotes

          1. The case plan is considered completed/developed on the date it was negotiated. This will be the same date the family signs the signature page of the case plan.
          2. Prevention plans are no longer required to complete a case plan.  The case plan objectives and tasks can be entered directly into TWIST while negotiating the strategies, objectives, and tasks with the family. 

          3.4 Initial In Home Case Planning Conference

          Chapter:
          Chapter 3-In Home Child Protective Services (CPS) Case
          Effective:
          10/1/2019
          Section:
          3.4 Initial In Home Case Planning Conference
          Version:
          9

          Legal Authority/Introduction

          LEGAL AUTHORITY:

          The case planning process, is based on strengths, safety and risk issues identified by the social service worker (SSW) during an investigation, assessment or ongoing casework. The Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) encourages families served to participate fully in the process and to retain as much personal responsibility for case planning as possible.

          The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) allows states to claim partial federal title IV-E reimbursement for in home prevention services. There are elements of the case that require documentation on the family case plan in order for the prevention services to be eligible for claiming. Information from the prevention services referral will populate into the family case plan when the screens are completed in TWIST. Prevention services include Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS), Families and Children Together Safely (FACTS), Diversion, Family Reunification Services (RFS), Kentucky Strengthening Ties and Empowering Parents (KSTEP), and Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) (see)(SOP Chapter 6 for prevention services details and referrals).

          Procedure

          The SSW: 

            1. Involves, to the fullest extent possible, the participation of the family, other significant persons in the child’s life not living in the family unit, ( i.e. legal and/or biological parents (including identified fathers, family, friends etc.) and relatives;
            2. Invites prevention service providers to the case planning conference;
            3. Includes the child or children, when age appropriate, in case planning efforts;
            4. Reviews the case planning process with the family and members of the family’s team, once a case has been opened for ongoing services (this includes a discussion of the need for community partner involvement in case planning);
            5. Provides information, during the initial case planning meeting contact to develop a case plan, when appropriate, about the following:
              1. Basis for DCBS involvement regarding risk and safety issues;
              2. Rights and responsibilities of the parent and child;
              3. Child protective services; and
              4. Service options that address the:
                1. Prevention of future maltreatment, presenting problem or need;
                2. Individual behavior changes needed;
                3. Risk factors that threaten the safety of all family members;
            6. Identifies if the case plan is a FFPSA plan. This is for cases where a prevention services  referral has been made.  This information will populate from the prevention services referral screens in TWIST if a referral for prevention services has been completed in the TWIST screens;
            7. Identifies, when the case plan is identified as a FFPSA plan, the child(ren) that is identified as a candidate for foster care and the start date of their candidacy.  This information will populate from the prevention services referral screens in TWIST; 
            8. Identifies the evidence based practice (EBP) that will be used to mitigate the high risk behaviors or circumstances causing the child to be a candidate for foster care. This information populates from the prevention services referral screens in TWIST;
            9. Identifies a child specific prevention strategy for each candidate and incorporates the EBPs into the case plan objective. See the EBP Selection Document;
            10. Incorporates the following tasks, which is based on a family’s strengths to develop primary objectives that are related to the prevention of further child maltreatment in the home and associated tasks to include:
              1. Identifying strengths of the family;
              2. Identifying high risk behaviors;
              3. Identifying high risk patterns and developing a return to use plan that includes;
                1. Identifying early warning signals;
                2. Planning to prevent high-risk situations;
              4. Ensuring that substance affected infant cases incorporate plan features that provide services to address the health needs of the infant and the substance abuse treatment needs of the caregiver in accordance with SOP 1.15 Working with Families Affected by Substance Use (Sections 106(b)(2)(B)(ii) and (iii) of CAPTA);
                1. Planning to interrupt high-risk situations early, if not prevented; and
                2. Planning for escape from the high-risk situation, if early interruption fails;
              5. Assures that the case plan is:
                1. Specific;
                2. Measurable;
                3. Individualized based on identified safety and risk factors;
                4. Realistic; and
                5. Time limited
            11. Includes in the case plan all services offered to assist the family to improve the following:
              1. Safety;
              2. Care;
              3. Relationship with their children; and
              4. Parent’s ability to fulfill their roles to promote child and family safety, well-being and permanency, whenever possible;
            12. Negotiates the tasks and objectives with the family and community partners and documents them in the case plan;
            13. Ensures that a secondary family level objective is designed, when the child is placed with a relative, to establish tasks and services to keep the child safe in in the relative's home. These objectives and tasks should address permanency, attachment and visitation, medical and mental health needs and education.  The OOHC portion of the DPP 1281 Family Case Plan should be completed when the child is in DCBS custody instead of the secondary level objectives;
            14. Arranges for services from community partners, through use of the assessment and case plan, which may include, but are not limited to, the following:
              1. Child care;
              2. Family preservation and reunification;
              3. Home health;
              4. Mental health;
              5. Physical health;
              6. Education;
              7. Housing; and
              8. Clothing;
            15. Completes the case plan in TWIST;
            16. Submits the case plan to the FSOS for approval after the case planning meeting, with or without the parents’ signature;
            17. Documents in the comment section of the DPP-1281 Family Case Plan (hard copy) why the parents did not sign;
            18. Makes efforts to discuss the case planning conference with each parent, and the child when they are unable to attend;
            19. Mails or distributes a copy of the following documents to the participants listed below:
              1. The approved DPP-1281 Family Case Plan:
                1. Parent or legal guardian (certified restricted mail if not in attendance);
                2. Identified fathers (certified restricted mail if not in attendance);
                3. Any person or agency providing services to the family (with parental consent);
                4. Any community partners assigned a task on the case plan (with parental consent); and
                5. The child’s guardian ad litem, when applicable;
              2. The DPP-154 Protection and Permanency Service Appeal (certified restricted mail) to parent or legal guardian; and
              3. All other relevant documents;
            20. Documents in the service recordings:
              1. How the partnership is carried out in case planning and service delivery; and
              2. When the family declines community partner involvement.
            21. Completes candidacy redetermination via the selection on the DPP-1281, when the need for services extends beyond twelve (12) months. 

          The FSOS:

          1. Provides input into case plan development;
          2. Assists the SSW in determining how to protect the safety of the non-offending parent and children, when domestic violence is involved;
          3. Ensures that the case plan is developed within required timeframes;
          4. Reviews and approves the case plan prior to distribution.

          Practice Guidance

          • In cases where domestic violence has been identified as a risk factor, the SSW collaborates with the family’s team to develop a logical and achievable plan for the children and family by prioritizing service needs.
          • Children identified as candidates for foster care will meet one of the following criteria:
            • A victim of substantiated maltreatment where existing safety and risk factors can be mitigated by provision of in-home services;
            • A child for whom maltreatment has not been substantiated, however, moderate to severe risk factors for maltreatment are present and services are necessary to prevent maltreatment and subsequent entry into foster care; and
            • A child who has recently been reunified for whom services to the family will mitigate identified risks, preventing further maltreatment and re-entry into out of home care.

            Elements of the Case Plan  

            Objectives

            Objectives support the overall goal and are either family related or individual specific.

            Family Level Objectives (FLO) are those things that the whole family can work on. They center around an everyday life event and are always directly related to the maltreatment that resulted in opening the case.   

            Individual Level Objectives (ILO) focus on the individual patterns of high risk behavior that lead to the maltreatment.  It is important to understand why the pattern occurred in order to create the most effective objective. 

            Objective example: 

            A single parent home with two young children, neglect was substantiated and the case was open. The investigator identified during the assessment that the single parent was overwhelmed and that is why the home was unsafe.

            • The FLO would surround ensuring the house is safe and free from environmental hazards.
            • The ILO would surround helping the parent figure out why he/she is overwhelmed and make a plan to manage this issue. 
            • If the investigator had identified that the single parent was depressed and that is why the home was unsafe, the ILO could surround mental health treatment or counseling.
            Strengths

            A child’s and family’s available past and present experiences, assets, interests, resources, resiliency, interests and preferences provide strengths to meet needs.  These strengths should be used when building the action steps of the case plan.

             Needs
            • A need is a requirement that is essential to all human beings such as the need for shelter, food, affiliation or nurturance.
            • A need may be a description of the underlying conditions that are often the source of the problems that a family is encountering.
             Tasks

            Tasks support the objectives and outline what steps will be taken to reach the objectives. 

            Tasks should be person specific, measurable and time limited.  They should answer who, what and when at a minimum. 

            Tasks also: 

            • Identify difficult situations or triggers;
            • Identify early warning signs;
            • Assist families in avoiding high risk situations;
            • Assist families in coping with risk situations not avoiding them. 


            

          Footnotes

          1. The case plan is based on a partnership with the family and others. 
          2. As implemented by DCBS.

          3.5 Participants and Notification for All In Home Cases

          Chapter:
          Chapter 3-In Home Child Protective Services (CPS) Case
          Effective:
          10/1/2019
          Section:
          3.5 Participants and Notification for All In Home Cases
          Version:
          3

          Legal Authority/Introduction

          LEGAL AUTHORITY:

          For all in home services cases, case planning participants are optional based on the family’s request.  Families have the right to choose whom to involve in their case planning.

          Procedure

          The SSW:

          1. Encourages families to involve family members, friends, family members and community partners that have the potential to be beneficial;
          2. Involves the following individuals in case planning, including but not limited to:
            1. Family members of appropriate age, including identified fathers as outlined in SOP 4.14 Family Attachment and Involvement, of appropriate age;
            2. Biological mothers and fathers, step parents, and parent paramours;
            3. Custodians/caregivers (i.e. relative/fictive kin placement caregivers);
            4. FSOS and other staff involved;
            5. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and Guardian Ad Litem, if court is involved;
            6. Parents attorney;
            7. Community partners including service providers and school personnel;
            8. Prevention services providers including:
              1. Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS);
              2. Families and Children Together Safely (FACTS)
              3. Diversion
              4. Family Reunification Services (FRS)
              5. Kentucky Strengthening Ties and Empowering Parents (KSTEP)
              6. Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START)
            9. Children; and
            10. Formal and informal supports for the family;
          3. Notifies, verbally or in writing, in advance all participants expected to attend the case planning conference of the:
            1. Purpose;
            2. Date;
            3. Time; and
            4. Location of the case planning conference;
          4. Provides a copy of the Case Planning Meeting Brochure;
          5. Document, in both the DPP 1281 and service recordings, efforts to involve all of the above parties in the case planning process

          Practice Guidance

          • Although the child’s capacity to participate actively in case planning will need to be decided on a case by case basis, as a guideline, most children who are elementary school aged or older may be expected to participate to some extent.
          • Involvement of both parents is instrumental in achieving desired outcomes for children.  Fathers are required participants even when they are absent from the home.  Workers must make every effort to locate and involve fathers or other available paternal relatives.
          • The lack of the father’s involvement can significantly delay case progress.  Often, fathers are unaware of situations that involve their children for various reasons.  The fathers or their relatives are encouraged to participate in case planning and be allowed to maintain attachment with the child through visitation when appropriate.
          • In situations involving domestic violence, a discussion with the mother will ascertain the level of risk posed if the father is involved in the case planning process. 
          • Recognize that family members may be new participants in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Take the time to explain how these systems work and answer any questions asked by the family.
          • Respect the pace at which the family moves. Intervention is traumatic and the family may need time to process what is happening. Don't rush discussion and be sure to convey the importance of each contact.
          • Recognize the value of the family members and value their expertise on the family history.
          • Involvement of prevention services providers, when applicable, is not optional and should only be declined in the event of a strong objection by the family.  Prevention service providers will be an integral part of the case planning process, development of a child specific prevention strategy and in determining the evidence based practices (EBPs) to be incorporated into the objectives and tasks. 

          3.6 Negotiating Objectives and Tasks

          Chapter:
          Chapter 3-In Home Child Protective Services (CPS) Case
          Effective:
          04/17/2015
          Section:
          3.6 Negotiating Objectives and Tasks
          Version:
          3

          Legal Authority/Introduction

          LEGAL AUTHORITY:

          • N/A

          The objectives negotiated during a case planning conference include primary family level objectives (FLO), secondary FLO and individual level objectives (ILO).  Required objectives differ based on the needs of the family as assessed by the investigation, and family engagement.

          Procedure

          The SSW: 

          1. Negotiates objectives and tasks with the family and community partners, as applicable, during a case planning conference; 
          2. Documents in the case plan the start dates of tasks to achieve the objectives within the six (6) month timeframe;
          3. Provides ongoing assessment of the family’s progress towards the negotiated objectives and tasks, at minimum, by:
            1. Monthly face to face contact by the SSW with the family and children in the home, including identified fathers as outlined in SOP 4.15 Family Attachment and Involvement; and
            2. Quarterly contact by the SSW with community partners.

          Practice Guidance

          • A new/revised ongoing assessment may be completed and the case plan revised when significant changes in the family occur, such as:
            • Change in the composition of the family;
            • Loss of job;
            • Change in family income;
            • Loss of basic needs being met; and
            • New referral;
          • The case plan may also be revised when a change in placement of the child occurs.

           

          • The Quick Reference Grid for P&P Planning is a useful guide for the SSW and specifies required objectives based on the type of case.
          • The case plan tasks are the action steps the family members, SSW and community partners are willing and able to do to achieve the objectives. Timeframes for objectives are automatically set at six (6) months, unless otherwise documented in the case plan.

          3.7 through 3.9-Not Yet Utilized

          Chapter:
          Chapter 3-In Home Child Protective Services (CPS) Case
          Effective:
          12/3/2010
          Section:
          3.7 through 3.9-Not Yet Utilized
          Version:
          1

          Reserved for future use.

           

          3.10 SSW's Ongoing Contact with the Birth Family and Child

          Chapter:
          Chapter 3-In Home Child Protective Services (CPS) Case
          Effective:
          10/1/2019
          Section:
          3.10 SSW's Ongoing Contact with the Birth Family and Child
          Version:
          7

          Legal Authority/Introduction

          LEGAL AUTHORITY: 

          KY Acts Chapter 188

          CAPTA 106(b)(2)(B)

           

           

           

          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.  As part of this obligation, the SSW is required to maintain personal contact with families and children.  Ongoing contact with the family provides information that contributes to a thorough assessment of whether or not the family has reduced the risks that initially lead to the involvement of DCBS. 

          Features of an acceptable pattern of visits include: 

          • Unannounced, if necessary to ensure the child's safety, face to face contact frequently enough to sufficiently evaluate the family’s progress;
          • Sufficient meaningful discussion of case planning tasks and objectives; and
          • Sufficient opportunity to observe the residence(s) of the parent(s) and child(ren), or other family members significant to the case.

          Through the life of the case, the burden is on the SSW to locate and maintain contact with family members based on individual needs of each case. 

          Procedure

           

          Ongoing Contact with the Family

          The SSW: 

          1. Has individual, face to face contact with parents;
          2. Has a private, face to face visit with the child(ren) at least once every calendar month in the home;
          3. Discusses the following with the family during each contact:
            1. Assesses for safety issues, high risk behaviors, or risk factors;
            2. Evaluates the family’s progress toward reducing the immediate safety issues and/or reducing the risks that necessitated case action;
            3. Reviews the family’s progress toward accomplishment of their case planning tasks;
            4. Reviews the tasks of other service providers and progress toward accomplishment of these;
            5. Identifies and resolves barriers to completing case objectives;
            6. Prepares for the next ongoing assessment, case planning conference/periodic review and court hearing; and
            7. When appropriate, prepares an aftercare plan
          4. Thoroughly documents in TWIST service recordings:
            1. All case planning conferences and family team meetings with the type of plan being negotiated (i.e. initial, six (6) month periodic review, modification, etc.) with documentation of who was invited and the attendees. 
            2. Monthly communication with community partners and prevention service providers to document the family's progress (or lack of progress) toward mitigating high risk behaviors;
            3. Monthly observations regarding the family and the home setting;
            4. Monthly progress (or lack of progress) toward each objective and task on the family case plan;
            5. The family’s response to services they receive from other providers;
            6. Additional assessment and planning information provided by the family;
            7. The continued foster care candidacy for each child and the continued need for prevention services and evidence based practices (EBPs) every month; and
            8. That the family has been provided information about the child’s:
              1. Physical and mental health;
              2. Education; and
              3. Activities.
          5. Documents in their ongoing assessments, any barriers to their ability to maintain contact with the family including, but not limited to:

          A. The parent’s whereabouts are unknown;
          B. Written determination by the FSOS that family members are or may be violent; or
          C. Family members refuse to participate in ongoing visits.

          Contingencies and Clarifications

          The SSW is expected to consider and document reasonable efforts for ongoing contact with non-custodial parents during an in home, ongoing case.

          The SSW:   

          1. Respects the decision-making authority of the custodial parent with regards to approaching the non-custodial parent, case planning and information sharing about the case; 
          2. Assesses the custodian’s willingness to work on deficits in the parent/child attachment or cooperative parenting with the non-custodial parent; 
          3. Obtains a description of the custody/visitation arrangements between the non-custodial parent and the child, prior to case planning; 
          4. Conducts an assessment of the non-custodian’s relationship with the child, and an assessment of how well the custodian and non-custodian cooperate to parent/meet the children’s needs; 
          5. Develops case plan objectives and tasks that support or improve the non-custodial parent’s relationship with the child, when the custodial parent is in agreement;
          6. Includes case plan objectives and tasks that improves the ability of the custodial and non-custodial parents to work collaboratively for the child’s benefit; 
          7. Documents whether or not the custodial parent sets limits or rejects proposed changes in the non-custodial parent’s role, or their involvement in the case; 
          8. Documents safety issues that affect the SSW’s ability to engage the non-custodial parent. 

           

          Practice Guidance

          Ongoing Contact with the Child

          • The SSW may utilize the Caseworker Visit Template during the face to face contact with the child. 

          Ongoing Contact with the Family

          • Ideally, the SSW makes face to face contact with parents, in their residences, at a minimum of once per calendar month.  However, the appropriate frequency of visit is guided by the case specific circumstances.  When the overall pattern of face to face visits is not monthly (once per calendar month), the SSW enters an explanation for the pattern of contact into the next case plan evaluation/ongoing assessment.
          • In addition to face to face contact, the SSW may utilize telephone, mail or email; however, the case specific circumstances should guide the overall pattern of contact within the case.
          • The burden is on the SSW to document a pattern of visits with the children and parents that will appropriately demonstrate reasonable efforts to keep children in their own homes, reunify children who have been removed from their homes, or finalize an appropriate permanency plan for children.
          • Workers are not required to execute visits to parents if there is a no contact order prohibiting contact, or if a judge has granted a waiver of efforts in the case.  Workers will document the issuance of such orders in their ongoing assessment until the no contact order is lifted, or until case closure.
          • A worker is prohibited from documenting that a face to face contact occurred, unless an actual face to face visit was completed by department personnel or personnel contracted to make a visit.  An entry reflecting a face to face contact when none actually occurred is considered falsification of records, and is an ethical violation (refer to chapter 2.1 Employee Conduct in the Personnel Procedures Handbook).

           

          3.11 Working with Incarcerated Parents

          Chapter:
          Chapter 3-In Home Child Protective Services (CPS) Case
          Effective:
          03/13/2013
          Section:
          3.11 Working with Incarcerated Parents
          Version:
          5

          Legal Authority/Introduction

          LEGAL AUTHORITY:

          Incarceration of a parent alone does not relieve the SSW of the requirement to provide services in accordance with SOP 1.2 Reasonable Efforts.  Some correctional facilities offer services to inmates that may be relevant as case plan items.  Additionally, the SSW should assist the family in developing a plan for the child to continue a relationship with the incarcerated parent, whether that is through visitation, phone contact, e-mail, etc.

          Procedure

          1. When a case is opened, transferred to a new SSW or a parent is recently incarcerated during an open case, the SSW arranges to meet with the incarcerated parent.
          2. As necessary, the SSW establishes a case plan, within the timeframes outlined in SOP 3.2 Timeframes and Ongoing Service Requirements for All In Home Services Cases. 1 2
          3. The SSW documents the services provided to the parent.   
          4. The SSW documents the pattern of contact between the parent and child(ren), noting relevant details related to visitation activities and parent/child(ren) interaction.
          5. The SSW visits with incarcerated parents frequently enough to: 
            1. Facilitate reasonable efforts;
            2. Communicate effectively about case plan objectives;
            3. Identify and resolve barriers to case objectives; and
            4. To assess whether or not there has been a reduction in any high risk patterns of behavior.
          6. The SSW has quarterly contact with service providers working with the parent on case objectives and tasks.
          7. The SSW works in conjunction with the court and correctional facility to ensure that the incarcerated parent is present for all court hearings, as applicable.
          8. If an incarcerated parent cannot attend a court proceeding, the SSW notifies the incarcerated parent within five (5) working days of the outcome of all court proceedings, and of the next court date.
          9. The SSW documents parental progress towards case plan objectives as part of the ongoing assessment.

          Footnotes

          1. Whenever possible, the correctional facility social worker or service coordinator should be included in case planning with the incarcerated parent to ensure collaboration in the provision of services.
          2. The SSW contacts the correctional facility to obtain information regarding guidelines for visitation and services available to the parent within the facility upon incarceration of the parent.

          3.12 Case Plan Evaluation/Ongoing Assessment

          Chapter:
          Chapter 3-In Home Child Protective Services (CPS) Case
          Effective:
          03/30/2018
          Section:
          3.12 Case Plan Evaluation/Ongoing Assessment
          Version:
          6

          Legal Authority/Introduction

          LEGAL AUTHORITY: 

          Procedure

          The SSW:

          1. Creates the ongoing case plan evaluation/ongoing assessment:
            1. At least every six (6) months;
            2. Prior to the periodic case planning conference; and
            3. Prior to case closure;
          2. Considers the high risk behaviors that brought the family into contact with the agency;
          3. Utilizes information gathered during contact with the family; and contact with the service providers;
          4. Considers the level of cooperation and efforts made by family members to reduce risk and address high risk behaviors;
          5. Assesses whether or not risk has been reduced in the home;
          6. Assesses whether or not the family has achieved their case plan objectives;
          7. Assesses whether or not the child is at serious or imminent risk of placement in foster care (472(i)(2) of the Social Security Act-Redetermination for IV-E Candidate Claiming);
          8. Outlines the services or case actions necessary to achieve the case plan objectives and case closure; and
          9. Submits the evaluation/assessment for supervisor approval.

           

          3.13 Ongoing Case Planning

          Chapter:
          Chapter 3-In Home Child Protective Services (CPS) Case
          Effective:
          10/1/2019
          Section:
          3.13 Ongoing Case Planning
          Version:
          7

          Legal Authority/Introduction 

          LEGAL AUTHORITY:

           

          Procedure

          The SSW:

          1. Is required to hold a new case conference every six (6) months to update the DPP-1281 Family Case Plan following the completion of an ongoing assessment/case plan evaluation;
          2. Is required to engage providers, including prevention service providers, and any other supports identified by the family to attend and participate in the conference;
          3. Is required to convene a family team meeting at a location preferable to the family, when one of the following case plan modifications is needed:
            1. There is a change in providers or services;
            2. A prevention provider requests a change or addition of an evidence based practice (EBP);
            3. The SSW has determined that a change or addition of an EBP is needed;
            4. There is a needed change in the child’s prevention strategy;
            5. A trial home visit has started;
            6. There is a need to change the visitation arrangement;
            7. There is a change in the family composition and/or household members; or
            8. There is a major change in the circumstances of the family, case, and/or risk factors.
          4. Is required to have the parents and other persons involved in the case plan modification meeting and/or the regular case plan meeting sign and date the case plan signature sheet.
          5. Shall distribute a copy of the modified case plan or visitation agreement to the parents;
          6. Shall provide a DPP-154A Notice of Intended Action form if there is a denial, reduction, modification, suspension, or termination of services;
          7. Includes the child or children, when age appropriate, in case planning efforts;
          8. Ensures that a secondary family level objective is designed, when the child is placed with a relative, to establish tasks and services to keep the child safe in the relative's home;
          9. Includes services to provide for the health and safety of children;  
          10. Ensures that the case plan addresses ongoing high risk behaviors;
          11. Ensures the case plan includes a plan of safe care for a substance affected infant when applicable, as described in SOP 1.15 Working with Families Affected by Substance Misuse (CAPTA 106(b)(2)(B)(ii) and (iii)); and
          12. Ensures that the case plan is being written to identify and provide services designed to prevent removal of the child(ren) and that absent effective preventive services, placement in foster care is the planned arrangement for the child pursuant to (472)(i)(2) of the Social Security Act-IV-E Candidate Claiming.

          Practice Guidance

          • If there are significant changes in the family, the case plan may be modified prior to the six (6) month periodic review.
          • Modifications to the case plan shall include a meeting with the family and providers as necessary and can take place in the family's home. 

           

           

          3.14 through 3.17-Not Yet Utilized

          Chapter:
          Chapter 3-In Home Child Protective Services (CPS) Case
          Effective:
          01/1/2012
          Section:
          3.14 through 3.17-Not Yet Utilized
          Version:
          2

          Reserved for future use.

           

          3.18 Assessing the Case for Closure

          Chapter:
          Chapter 3-In Home Child Protective Services (CPS) Case
          Effective:
          01/22/2014
          Section:
          3.18 Assessing the Case for Closure
          Version:
          2

          Legal Authority/Introduction

          LEGAL AUTHORITY:

          Procedure 

          The SSW: 

          1. Initiates completion of the case plan evaluation/ongoing assessment within thirty (30) days prior to closure; 1
          2. Considers whether:
            1. The factors causing maltreatment are resolved to the point that the parent or guardian can protect and meet the needs of the children;
            2. The documented risk of maltreatment is reduced to the point that the parent or guardian can protect and meet the needs of the children; or
            3. The case planning goals have been achieved;
          3. Discusses with the family the possibility of case closure concurrent to the completion of the new assessment;
          4. Documents the mutual agreement to close the case;
          5. Provides the court at least fourteen (14) days advance notice, in writing, of the intention to close the case, if there is court involvement;
          6. Works with the family in developing an aftercare plan that focuses on preventing maltreatment;
          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 in the ongoing disposition TWIST screens including the following information:
            1. Discussion and agreement with the family of the mutual agreement to close the case.
            2. If court involvement, the date the court was sent notice {at least fourteen (14) days advance notice, in writing, of the intention to close the case}.
            3. Rationale for case closure:     
              1. The factors causing maltreatment are resolved to the point that the parent or guardian can protect and meet the needs of the children;     
              2. The documented risk of maltreatment is reduced to the point that the parent or guardian can protect and meet the needs of the children; and      
              3. The case planning goals have been achieved.
            4. A description of the community resources the family has been linked to in the aftercare plan.
          10. Closes the case immediately, if the forms are hand delivered unless the client disagrees with the closure;
          11. Waits ten (10) days prior to closing the case if the forms are sent via U.S. mail. 

            3.19 Aftercare Planning

            Chapter:
            Chapter 3-In Home Child Protective Services (CPS) Case
            Effective:
            12/3/2010
            Section:
            3.19 Aftercare Planning
            Version:
            1

            Content to be added, phase II.

             

            4.1 Consideration of Race and Ethnicity/Maintaining Cultural Connections

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            07/15/2013
            Section:
            4.1 Consideration of Race and Ethnicity/Maintaining Cultural Connections
            Version:
            4

            Legal Authority/Introduction

             

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            The Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 as amended by the Interethnic Adoption Provisions of 1996 requires states to make efforts to recruit a diverse group of resource parents that match the demographic of their population of OOHC children.  However, the law prohibits states from delaying or denying placement based solely on race, color, or national origin of the foster parents or the child. 

            Agencies may not require a certain period of time to search for a same race placement if an appropriate transracial placement is available when the child's need for placement arises.  Nor may the agency routinely permit same-race placements while requiring caseworkers to specially justify a transracial placement.  If no appropriate placement options are immediately available, the agency may conduct a search, but the search cannot be limited to same-race prospective parents except in those rare circumstances where the child has a specific and demonstrable need for a same-race placement.

            While consideration of race and ethnicity are important, consideration of a child’s cultural background is equally paramount.  The Cabinet strives to ensure that a child’s well-being is maintained throughout his/her stay in out of home care and this begins with being sensitive not only to a child’s race and ethnicity, but also to individual family culture.  Culture encompasses many aspects of life and can be individualized to a family or a specific area of the state.  It is important to acknowledge a child’s culture and assist the child in preserving their family’s cultural background while in out of home care.     



            4.2 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            10/22/2019
            Section:
            4.2 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)
            Version:
            3

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a federal law that seeks to keep American Indian/Alaskan Native children with American Indian/Alaskan Native families.  Congress passed ICWA in 1978 in response to the alarming number of American Indian/Alaskan Native children being removed from their homes in communities by both public and private agencies at a much higher rate than non-native children.  The intent of Congress under ICWA was to "protect the best interests of American Indian/Alaskan Native children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families" (25 U.S.C 192).  ICWA sets federal requirements that apply to state child custody proceedings involving an American Indian/Alaskan Native child who is a member of, or is eligible for membership in, a federally recognized tribe.

            ICWA is an integral policy framework on which tribal child welfare programs rely.  It provides structure and requirements for how public and private child welfare agencies and state courts view and conduct their work to serve tribal children and families.  It also acknowledges and promotes the role that tribal governments play in supporting tribal families, both on and off tribal lands.  However, as is the case with many laws, proper implementation of ICWA requires vigilance, resources, and advocacy. [1]

            The following SOP provides guidance for staff regarding how to work with tribal agencies, to ensure the cultural well-being of the child is preserved while continuing monitor overall safety. 

            Procedure 

            The SSW:

            1. Asks both birth parents, for all children (for all in home and out of home care (OOHC) cases), if they are of American Indian/Alaskan Native heritage or enrolled as a member of a federally recognized American Indian/Alaskan Native tribe. SSW documents the responses in the investigative and/or ongoing assessment;
            2. Follows the guidelines outlined in the Indian Child Welfare Act Compliance Desk Aid if either parent reports being of American Indian heritage or is a member of a tribe;
            3. Consults with the Family Services Office Supervisor (FSOS) or designee on case planning and follows provisions of The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) (refer to National Indian Child Welfare Association), upon learning that a child is a member of an American Indian/Alaskan Native tribe or eligible for membership in an American Indian/Alaskan Native tribe;
            4. Sends the Tribal Notification Letter to the designated tribal agent of the tribe(s) indicated, based on the identified American Indian/Alaskan Native heritage.  Copies of the Tribal Notification Letter must be sent to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) regional office where the tribe is located, the BIA regional office where the child is located, and to the Out of Home Care branch manager.
            5. Sends the Tribal Notification Letter to each federally recognized tribe with the identified tribal affiliation if the family reports American Indian/Alaskan Native heritage, is able to determine tribal affiliation, but cannot identify a specific federally recognized tribe.   Copies of the Tribal Notification Letter must be sent to the BIA regional office(s) where each affiliated tribe is located, the BIA regional office where the child is located, and to the Out of Home Care branch manager.  [1]
            6. Sends a letter, to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Eastern Regional Office to document diligent efforts to identify the tribe, if the family reports American Indian/ Alaskan Native heritage, but can not provide information as to tribal affiliation.  This notification is required for both OOHC and in-home cases; 
            7. Notifies the child’s parent or American Indian/Alaskan Native custodian and the child’s Tribal Nation, by registered mail, of any child custody proceedings and of their right to intervene and/or assume jurisdiction;
            8. Ensures that the contents of the notification letter includes the following information:
              1. The child’s name, date of birth and place of birth;
              2. The child’s tribal affiliation, if known;
              3. The names of the child’s parents, parents’ birth places and the child’s mother’s maiden name;
              4. A copy of the petition filed with the court, documenting the imminent risk necessitating the child's removal;
              5. Active efforts made by DCBS to prevent the child's removal or active efforts that are being made to achieve reunification; [2]
              6. A statement of the rights of the biological parents/custodians to intervene in the proceedings;
              7. A statement of right under federal law to court appointed counsel; and
              8. The location, mailing address and telephone number of the court;
            9. Ensures that the family and/or affiliated tribe is aware of their right to intervene in the following court proceedings: 
              1. Child protective cases;
              2. Adoptions;
              3. Guardianships;
              4. Termination of parental rights actions (voluntary and involuntary);
              5. Runaway or truancy matters; or
              6. Voluntary placements of children;
            10. Consults with the tribe to determine if the tribe will request transfer of the case to tribal jurisdiction;
            11. Informs the tribe that they must file a motion or petition to intervene if case transfer or custody is requested;
            12. Ensures title IV-E eligibility has been established, as outlined in SOP 31.2 Title IV-E Eligibility and Reimbursability, at the time of transfer if an eligibility determination has not already been completed;
            13. Provides the tribal title IV-E agency or American Indian/Alaskan Native Indian tribe, any information necessary to continue a child’s title IV-E and Medicaid eligibility, including but not limited to the following:
              1. All judicial determinations stating that continuation in the home from which the child was removed would be contrary to the welfare of the child and that reasonable efforts have been made (section 471(a)(15));
              2. Other documentation that relates to the child’s title IV-E eligibility under sections 472 and 473 of the Act; (guardianship and the child re-enters care);
              3. Information and documentation available regarding the child’s eligibility or potential eligibility for other federal benefits; and
              4. The case plan including health and education records (section 475(1) and 475(1)(C));
            14. Ensures that if an American Indian/Alaskan Native child is removed from home, that he/she is placed in compliance with ICWA preferred placements:
              1. Extended family members;
              2. Other tribal members; or
              3. Other American Indian/Alaskan Native families;
            15. Notifies the private child caring (PCC) or child placing (PCP) agency, when a child is placed in this setting, to inform the agency that the child meets special circumstances for cultural exemptions (i.e. cutting the child's hair).

            The FSOS:

            1. Researches the procedures with the Out of Home Care branch manager when questions arise concerning ICWA.
            2. Ensures that staff send notification as soon as possible upon the identification of a child of American Indian/Alaskan Native heritage. 

            Practice Guidance

            • When a child resides on a reservation, or is a ward of a tribe, the tribe has exclusive tribal jurisdiction over the case (25 USC section 1911).
            • Testimony from expert witnesses, who are familiar with American Indian/Alaskan Native culture, is required before a child can be removed from the home (except during an emergency situation or approval by the FSOS) due to documentable imminent risk (25 USC section 1902).
            • Active efforts must be made to provide remedial services and rehabilitative programs designed to prevent the breakup of or promote the reunification of the American Indian/Alaskan Native family.
            • Active efforts must begin from the moment the possibility arises that the American Indian/Alaskan Native child may be removed.  Active efforts are defined in 25 CFR 23.2. [2]

             

             Contingencies and Clarifications

            • If the child and the tribe(s) are located in the BIA Eastern Region, only one copy needs to be sent to that regional office.  If more than one tribe is notified and more than one tribe is located in the same BIA region, only one letter needs to be sent to the indicated BIA regional office.  Addresses for the BIA regional offices are provided in the Designated Tribal Agent list.
            • ICWA has specific standards that must be met for a witness to be considered an expert witness.  See Guidelines for Implementing the Indian Child Welfare Act

            Footnotes

            1. Kentucky is located in the BIA Eastern Region.  
            2. Active efforts is a higher burden than reasonable efforts.  See the Quick Reference Sheet on active efforts.

             

            4.3 Relative and Absent Parent Search

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            04/1/2019
            Section:
            4.3 Relative and Absent Parent Search
            Version:
            9

            Legal Authority/Introduction

              LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            When a child enters out of home care, exploration of possible relative placement is an extremely important process.  In order for states to receive federal payments for foster care and adoption assistance, federal law (42 USC 617(a)(19)) requires that the SSW "consider giving preference to an adult relative over a non-related caregiver when determining placement for a child, provided that the relative caregiver meets all relevant state child protection standards." 

            P.L. 110.351 requires due diligence to identify and notify all adult relatives of a child within thirty (30) days of the child’s removal and of the relative’s option to become a placement resource for the child.  More importantly, the child(ren) being placed are much more likely to have a significant attachment to the caregiver and other familial support as a result of being placed with a relative.  The following SOP outlines the process used to explore relatives as a possible placement.

            Diligent relative searches also ensure that workers identify significant persons in the child’s life to include in visitation agreements.  Diligent relative searches and sound visitation agreements should be made for relatives.  Notice should also be provided to any parents of a sibling to the child to ensure that appropriate contact can be maintained during reasonable visitation per P.L. 113-183.

            Diligent relative searches must continue at a minimum of every six (6) months during Case Planning conferences and as new relatives may be identified throughout the life of the case.

            Procedure 

            Relative Search

            The SSW:

            1. Attempts to identify and notify all adult relatives by utilizing the DPP-1275A Notice to Relative of Removal of a Child form within thirty (30) days of the temporary removal hearing, and of the relatives’ options to become a placement resource for the child;
            2. Includes the following people from the child’s family in the relative search and notification process:
              1. Parents;
              2. Grandparents;
              3. Adult aunts and uncles;
              4. Adult siblings; and
              5. All parents of a sibling of a child where such parent has legal custody of such sibling (471(a)(29) of the Social Security Act); 1
            3. Completes the DPP-1275 Relative Exploration form, with the family at the ten (10) day conference (Refer to Ten Day Conference Checklist); 
            4. Utilizes the Absent Parent Search Form, the Absent Parent Search Handbook and/or other available search mechanisms to complete the relative search;
            5. Continues to search for relatives beyond the thirty (30) day period when attempts have been unsuccessful, and exploration should occur on an ongoing basis and/or at regularly scheduled case planning conferences every six (6) months to promote permanency for the child;
            6. Provides the Kentucky Relative Caregiver Program Brochure and Child Specific Foster Placement Acknowledgement form when a relative is locate, for information about becoming a potential placement option for the child;
            7. Requests the mother complete the Voluntary Affidavit of Paternity at ten (10) day conference or as soon as the father is identified.  Have the form notarized when a father in the case is not known; 2   3
            8. Writes “refused to name” and has the material signed and notarized if the mother refuses to disclose or does not know the father;
            9. Completes and sends the Letter To Father when a potential (unknown) father has been named;
            10. Upon being contacted by a named potential father, files a petition with the court to compel a paternity test;
            11. Completes additional relative searches after every case planning conference to attempt to identify new relatives during life of the case;

             

            Absent Parent Search

            The SSW: 

            1. Completes the following tasks within the first thirty (30) days of a child entering the custody of the Cabinet:
              1. Conducts an absent parent search if any legal or biological parent is not present in the home and their whereabouts are questionable; and
              2. Conducts a relative search and utilizes an absent parent search to locate the relative;
            2. Or Children’s Benefits Worker (CBW) contacts the state parent locator section of the Division of Child Support using the Absent Parent Search Form and requests a search on the person in question when attempts to locate the birth parent/relative are unsuccessful;
            3. Includes a state of birth and the names of the individual’s parents on the Absent Parent Search Form for requests in which only a name is available;
            4. Gathers as much information possible regarding the absent parent, including:
              1. Date of birth;
              2. Social security number;
              3. Present or previous employers;
              4. Present or most recent address;
              5. Any known relatives;
              6. History of criminal records;
              7. Other social service agencies involved; and
              8. Any benefits received;
            5. Also follows the procedures outlined in SOP 11.31 Determining Who Has Legal Right to the Child;
            6. Prepares and sends a variety of search letters, and makes phone contacts with people who may assist in locating the absent parent;
            7. Documents in TWIST all attempts, written correspondence and telephone contacts to locate the absent parent;
            8. Considers an absent parent for placement, once located, and offers them an opportunity to participate in treatment planning;
            9. Refers to the Absent Parent and Relative Search Handbook if more details are needed;
            10. Renews the search for the absent parent at each case planning conference if the absent parent has not been located;
            11. Completes a search of the Putative Father Registry by emailing the DPP-1305, Putative Father Registry Search Request to PutativeFather@ky.gov.

            Practice Guidance

            • Parental preference is considered when assessing possible relatives but does not relieve DCBS from the responsibility of exploring all relatives.
            • Sending the notification letter informs the relative of the child’s removal, but does not imply or guarantee that DCBS has the intent to place. 
            • Diligent attempts are made to identify and notify all adult relatives of a child within thirty (30) days of the temporary removal hearing and of the relatives’ options to become a placement resource for the child unless there is evidence that disclosure of such information could be harmful to the parent or the child.
            • SOP only establishes a minimum standard for the relative search.  Workers should not use the limited search parameters to limit consideration of relatives for placement consideration.  For the purposes of placement consideration and consideration for the relative placement support benefit (TANF) eligibility, a relative includes:
              • A child’s birth or adoptive parent;
              • A blood relative of the child including a relative of half-blood;
              • Legally adopted or birth children of the adoptive parent and other relatives of such parents;
              • The alleged parent or a relative of the alleged parent may be determined a blood relative through the administrative establishment of paternity; or
              • A relative by marriage of any persons listed in bullet points 2-4 above even if the marriage has ended.  This is true as long as the marriage ended after the child’s birth. 
            • The standard does not require a degree of relatedness, i.e. within a first or second cousin, only that the relative relationship of any degree can be reasonably established.
            • In reference to #2E above:  Although the siblings being placed together would be a relative placement in regard to the sibling relationship, it does not meet the TANF guidelines for a "true" relative placement, and therefore, would not be eligible for the relative support benefit.

            Footnotes

            1. If a child is placed in out of home care and has a half sibling, the custodial parent of the half sibling must be notified, and may be considered for the purpose of arranging visitation that will preserve the continuity of the sibling relationship.
            2. An individual may revoke a voluntary affidavit of paternity upon request.
            3. If a notary is not available in the local office, the mother may make arrangements to obtain a notarized copy and provide it to the SSW. 

            4.5.1 Kinship Care and Relative Benefit Regional Logs

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            04/1/2013
            Section:
            4.5.1 Kinship Care and Relative Benefit Regional Logs
            Version:
            2

            Legal Authority/Introduction 

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            • N/A

             Procedure

             

            To process payments for relative placement support benefits or kinship care the service region: 

            1. Each month:
              1. Reconciles the checking account with their monthly log of kinship care or relative placement support benefit payments; and
              2. Submits to the Director of the Division of Finance Management, by the 10th of the month:
                1. A copy of the reconciliation form;
                2. A copy of the bank statement;
                3. The monthly log; and
                4. Original receipts;
            2. Voids a check that is not cashed by the vendor within ninety-five (95) days;
            3. Requests the bank to process the void and reports the void to the Division of Financial Management;
            4. Maintain all records for a minimum of five (5) years;
            5. Return any funds received from clients to the Director of Financial Management.

            4.5.2 Eligibility Criteria for Children Approved for Kinship Care Benefits Prior to April 1, 2013

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            01/22/2014
            Section:
            4.5.2 Eligibility Criteria for Children Approved for Kinship Care Benefits Prior to April 1, 2013
            Version:
            4

            Legal Authority/Introduction

             LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            Relative caregivers may be eligible to apply for kinship care benefits if it is determined that a child is at risk of removal from the child’s home, with the child’s biological or adoptive parent, and would otherwise be in foster care.  Eligibility is also considered if the child is in the custody of the Cabinet and residing in foster care due to a Cabinet investigation that resulted in a substantiation of abuse or neglect within 120 calendar days of placement in the home of the caretaker relative, or the death of both parents.  However, the child is not eligible for kinship care benefits if the child’s parental relative resides with the child or has legal custody of the child, including joint custody.  

            Protection and permanency staff must maintain an open case until the child reunifies with parents or permanent custody is pursued.  The child's placement with the caretaker relative ideally leads to a more timely and permanent living arrangement and causes less distress for the child.  A timeframe for the pursuit of permanency by the kinship caregiver has been established for both current and future kinship caregivers. 

            Kinship benefits are only provided to those who meet eligibility requirements contained within the corresponding administrative regulation, 922 KAR 1:130; thus, the kinship care program is not an entitlement program.

            Please note that 922 KAR 1:130, section 9 states, “A child shall not be eligible for the Kinship Care program if the child does not have a designated Cabinet worker to monitor the child’s permanency, safety, and well-being, unless the kinship caregiver has pursued permanent custody of the child.” 

            Kinship care benefits utilize Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Block Grant (TANF) funding.  Because TANF funding is utilized, the kinship care program requires, at minimum, the collaboration of DCBS staff dedicated to child welfare, as well as, Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (K-TAP) benefits.

            Each service region develops procedures for the referral and tracking of kinship care cases. The Cabinet and community partners share responsibility for providing a full range of services and support that address the factors that place families at risk of separation and the needs of kinship families.

            Below is a list of definitions that appear throughout the SOP relating to kinship care.  They have been provided as a reference:

            • "Adolescent member of a household" means a youth who:
              • Resides in the home of an individual who applies for approval to be a caretaker relative; and
              • Is age twelve (12) through age seventeen (17).
            • “Adult member of the household" means an adult who:
              • Resides in the home of an individual who applies for approval to be a caretaker relative; and
              • Is age eighteen (18) and older.
            • "Caretaker relative" means a relative with whom the child is, or shall be placed by the Cabinet, who is seeking to qualify as a caretaker relative.
            • "Child", under TANF, means an individual who is:
              • Under age sixteen (16); or
              • Age sixteen (16) to eighteen (18) and in regular full-time attendance in elementary, middle , or high school or equivalent level of vocational or technical school; or
              • Under age eighteen (18) and a graduate of high school or equivalent. 
            • “Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program" or "K-TAP" means Kentucky's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families money payment program established in 921 KAR Chapter 2.
            • “Kinship caregiver" means the qualified caretaker relative of the child with whom the child is placed by the Cabinet as an alternative to foster care.
            • "Relative" means an adult related to a child by blood, marriage, or adoption. 
            • "Respite care" is continuous care for a period of at least twenty-four (24) hours. 

            Procedure

             

            If a child is placed with a caretaker relative in Kentucky by the Cabinet, the designated regional staff determines initial eligibility for kinship care by verifying that the child:

            1. Meets the TANF definition for "child;" 
            2. Is at risk of removal from the home and placement in foster care, or is already in the custody of the Cabinet and residing in foster care, due to:
              1. A Cabinet substantiation of abuse or neglect within one hundred, twenty (120) days of the child's placement with the caretaker relative; or
              2. The death of both parents; and
            3. Will not concurrently receive a foster care per diem, K-TAP or supplemental security income and kinship care.

            If the child is placed with a caretaker relative in Kentucky by another state, pursuant to the Interstate Compact for Children (ICPC), the designated regional staff determines initial eligibility for kinship care by:

            1. Verifying that the child:
              1. Meets the TANF definition for "child;"
              2. Will not concurrently receive a foster care per diem, K-TAP or supplemental security income and kinship care; and
              3. Was placed with the relative within one hundred, twenty (120) days of substantiation of abuse or neglect, or due to the death of both parents; and
            2. Obtaining and maintaining in the child's case file:
              1. A copy of the duly signed agreement; and
              2. Written documentation provided by the other state agency regarding the placement reason(s).

            If a child is placed outside of Kentucky with a caretaker relative and the child and caretaker relative relocate to Kentucky and become residents of Kentucky within forty-five (45) calendar days of the child's placement, the designated regional staff determines eligibility for kinship care by:

            1. Verifying and documenting in the case file:
              1. That the child meets the TANF definition for “child;”
              2. The date of the child's placement with the relative, as documented through court orders or by another state agency;
              3. The reason for the child's placement with the relative;
              4. That the placement is due to a substantiation of abuse or neglect within one hundred, twenty (120) days of the child's placement, or due to the death of both parents; and
              5. The child will not concurrently receive a foster care per diem, K-TAP or supplemental security income and kinship care; and
            2. Obtaining and maintaining in the child's case file evidence of:
              1. Establishment of residence in of Kentucky within forty-five (45) days of the child's placement with the relative;
              2. The caretaker relative's initial contact with the local Cabinet office occurring within forty-five (45) days of the child's placement with the caretaker relative; and
              3. Written documentation, provided by the other state agency, regarding placement reasons. 

            Practice Guidance

            • Per KRS 605.120(5), a child, placed in foster care due to substantiated abuse or neglect, or the death of both parents and later relocated to a placement with a relative, is eligible for the kinship care program.
            • The caretaker relative undergoes initial eligibility determination and determination of eligibility for financial assistance under the kinship care program, regardless of whether or not the caretaker relative received kinship care in other state.
            • Reports must be finalized as "substantiated," if the SSW recommends kinship care for a relative placement.
            • Temporary custody must be granted to either the relative or the Cabinet in order for the relative to be eligible for kinship care benefits. 
            • If a relative is eligible for kinship care benefits, assessments require FSOS approval within thirty (30) working days in order to minimize delay in benefits.  

            4.5.3 Kinship Care Benefits Approvals-Prior to April 1, 2013

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            07/16/2014
            Section:
            4.5.3 Kinship Care Benefits Approvals-Prior to April 1, 2013
            Version:
            5

            Legal Authority/Introduction 

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            Procedure

            1. The SSW documents on the Kinship Care Checklist and assessment reasons the child(ren) cannot remain in the primary caregiver’s home; as well as efforts to engage Family Preservation (FPP) and other in home services, prior to placing the child(ren) with a relative and exploring kinship care options.
            2. The SSW asks the relative if he/she wants to apply for kinship care benefits and shares information about becoming a potential placement option at the time of consideration of a relative placement for a child.
            3. The SSW reviews the KC-01 Kinship Care Program Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, edition 7/03 with the caretaker relative to make certain that the caretaker relative understands his/her rights and responsibilities, particularly those related to the child's permanency if the child and caretaker are eligible for kinship care benefits.
            4. The SSW reviews the following conditions with the relative caregiver which include, but are not limited to:
              1. The income and resources of the caretaker relative is disregarded when the child's eligibility for financial assistance through kinship care is established;
              2. The fact that the caretaker relative is mandated to cooperate in the child support activities pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 608(a)(2) and 921 KAR 2:006, Section 16;
              3. The fact that if the caretaker relative refuses to cooperate with child support activity, the kinship care financial assistance payment is reduced and the Cabinet attempts to obtain a protective payee to administer the payment on behalf of the child;
              4. The fact that if reunification with the birth parents is not possible, permanent custody by the caretaker relative is the ultimate goal of the program.
            5. The SSW signs and dates the KC-01 along with the caretaker relative or authorized representative, and the signed copy is retained in the child’s case file.
            6. The SSW provides copies of the KC-01 to the caretaker relative and the local Family Support office.
            7. The SSW proceeds with a relative placement if the caretaker relative declines the offer of the kinship care and related benefits.
            8. The SSW documents the declination to receive kinship care benefits on the KC-01.
            9. The SSW proceeds with the completion of a criminal background check and child abuse and neglect check on the caretaker relative and each adult household member, and a child abuse and neglect check on each adolescent household member prior to the child's placement with the caretaker relative if the caretaker relative accepts the offer of applying for kinship care and related benefits. 
            10. The SSW determines if the caretaker relative and each adult and adolescent household member meet eligibility criteria as outlined in this SOP. 
            11. The SSW completes a relative home evaluation. 
            12. The SSW along with the caretaker relative (or representative, if authorized in writing), completes and signs the KIM 78KC-Kinship Care Financial Assistance Application, edition 07/03 once the criminal background check, child abuse and neglect check and the home evaluation are completed and approved. 1 
            13. Designated regional staff makes an initial determination of eligibility for kinship care benefits if the relative expresses interest in applying.
            14. Designated regional staff reviews the Kinship Care Checklist and the kinship care packet to ensure all necessary information is present.
            15. Designated regional staff e-mails the Kinship Care Checklist to the following mailbox: CHFS DCBS DPP Kinship Care (see link in Forms and Resources box) for review by central office staff. 2
            16. The SSW attaches the approval e-mail from the central office reviewer to the information packet and forwards it, along with the following information, to the local Family Support office, within three (3) calendar days for consideration of kinship care benefits:
              1. The completed, signed KIM-78KC Kinship Care Financial Assistance Application, edition 07/03; 3 
              2. A copy of the signed KC-01 Kinship Care Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, edition 07/03;
              3. Written verification from the SSW or regional staff that the child meets criteria and the caretaker relative has met initial eligibility criteria; and
              4. Any documentation which may be pertinent in determining eligibility for financial assistance through kinship care. 4 
            17. The SSW notifies the caretaker relative that he/she will receive notice of an appointment with the local Family Support office.
            18. The SSW explains to the caretaker relative that failure to keep an appointment with the Family Support office may result in ineligibility for kinship care benefits.
            19. The SSW documents all contacts with the Family Support office, which is mandated to determine eligibility for kinship care benefits and issue payment, within forty-five (45) calendar days of the date the KIM-78KC is signed by the caretaker relative or representative, unless the Family Support office grants an exception to obtain verification necessary for an eligibility determination. 5
            20. The SSW enters each child approved for kinship care in the OOHC screens as described on the Entering Relative Resources in TWIST tip sheet.
            21. The SSW explains to the caretaker relative that the relative is responsible for reporting within ten (10) calendar days to the Family Support office any change in circumstance that may affect eligibility or the amount of financial assistance;
            22. The SSW contacts the Family Support office and documents the change in the child's case file if the SSW becomes aware of any change in circumstance that may affect eligibility or the amount of financial assistance; 6  
            23. The SSW uses the following principles to guide the development and delivery of supports and services to kinship care families to include:
              1. The child’s safety, well-being and developmental needs are paramount and must be met through a stable, nurturing environment supported by a range of services that address physical, emotional, social, educational, and cultural needs of the child;
              2. The child (ren), parents and kinship care caretaker relatives formally involved with the Cabinet, participate in the decision making process to establish a permanent family arrangement for the child;
              3. Family continuity is important and should recognize and build upon family relationships whenever possible to promoting a child’s:
                  1. Self-esteem;
                  2. Sense of heritage; and
                  3. Cultural connectedness;
              4. Kinship services are negotiated with the family to ensure an understanding and appreciation of the culture of the child (ren) and families served as outlined in SOP 4.1 Native American Child/Maintaining Cultural Connections;
              5. Community partners, including counselors, and mental health care, education, and health care practitioners, involved with the case as requested/permitted by the parent(s) have knowledge of kinship care criteria and case specifics as appropriate;
              6. A wide range of services, ranging from prevention to rehabilitative services, may be offered as appropriate.
            24. The SSW sends a DPP-154 Protection and Permanency Service Appeal along with the DPP-154A Notice of Intended Action stating the reason for denial, if their application to receive kinship care benefits is denied.  

            Practice Guidance

            • The caretaker relative indicates by checking off the appropriate box on the bottom of the KC-01-Kinship Care Program Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, edition 07/03 whether or not s/he formerly accepts or declines the offer to apply for kinship care and related benefits. 
            • If the caretaker relative accepts the offer of applying for kinship care benefits, they must meet all eligibility criteria and be granted final approval by central office.    

            Footnotes

            1. One copy is retained for the case file; another is provided to the caretaker relative.
            2. When a completed checklist is received by central office, the central office reviewer will return the request within forty-eight (48) hours; unless there is necessary information missing, in which case it could take up to one (1) week to process the request. 
            3. Financial assistance eligibility begins the date the child is placed in the caretaker relative’s home.
            4. The relative home evaluation is not shared with the local Family Support Office.
            5. Financial assistance eligibility begins the date the child is placed in the caretaker relative’s home, and this date is indicated on the KIM-78KC.
            6. Depending upon the nature of the change, the case may need to undergo a re-determination or reapplication of eligibility, or reassessment.

            4.5.4 Background Checks for Kinship Care Providers or Relative Caregivers

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            04/1/2019
            Section:
            4.5.4 Background Checks for Kinship Care Providers or Relative Caregivers
            Version:
            4

            Legal Authority/Introduction

             LEGAL AUTHORITY: 

            •  

            Procedure 

            The SSW:

            1. Assures that the kinship care provider, relative, or fictive kin caregiver and each adult member of the household submit to the following background checks prior to approval:
              1. A criminal records check:
                1. An in state criminal records check conducted by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC); or
                2. If the applicant or adult household member has resided out of state within the five (5) year period prior to the date of application, a criminal records check of the National Crime Information Database (NCID) conducted by means of a fingerprint scan as outlined in SOP 12.4.1 Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry and Fingerprint Checks; and 1
              2. A child abuse and neglect check for each state of residence during the past five (5) years using the DPP-159 Background Check for Caretaker Relatives or Kinship Caregivers (as outlined in SOP 12.4.1 Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry and Fingerprint Checks); and
              3. A sex offender registry address check by submitting the DPP-159 to the Central Office Records Management Section;
            2. Assures that each adolescent household member(s) submits to a child abuse and neglect check as outlined in SOP 12.4.1 Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry and Fingerprint Checks;
            3. Does not recommend approval if:
              1. A criminal records check reveals that the applicant, or adult member of the applicant's household, has a:
                1. Felony conviction involving:
                  1. Child abuse or neglect;
                  2. Spousal abuse;
                  3. A crime against a child or children (including child pornography);
                  4. Crime involving violence, including, but not limited to: rape, sexual assault, or homicide; or
                  5. Physical abuse, battery or a drug or alcohol within the five (5) year period prior to the application; or
                2. Criminal conviction relating to child abuse or neglect;
                3. Civil judicial determination related to child abuse or neglect; or
              2. A child abuse or neglect check reveals that the applicant, adolescent member of the applicant's household, or adult member of the applicant's household, has been found to have:
                1. Committed sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child;
                2. Been responsible for a child fatality or near fatality related to abuse or neglect; or
                3. Had parental rights terminated involuntarily; or if
              3. A sex offender registry address check and supporting documentation confirm that a sex offender resides at the applicant's home address;
            4. Considers the approval (on a case by case basis with consideration given to the nature of the offense, length of time and life experiences since the offense) of an applicant, if:
              1. The applicant has been convicted of a nonviolent felony or misdemeanor;
              2. The applicant has been found by the Cabinet or another child welfare agency to have abused or neglected a child, or the applicant's parental rights were voluntarily terminated; 
              3. An adolescent member of the applicant's household has been found by the Cabinet to have abused or neglected a child, or had parental rights voluntarily terminated; or
              4. An adult member of the applicant's household has been convicted of a nonviolent felony or any misdemeanor, found by the Cabinet to have abused or neglected a child or had parental rights voluntarily terminated; 
            5. Contacts the court of jurisdiction for a complete history of the offense or the applicant provides a court certified copy if a criminal records check of an applicant or adult member of the applicant’s household results in a report of a criminal conviction;
            6. Consults with the regional attorney, if appropriate, to determine the nature and classification of an offense if a criminal records check reveals a charge in another state for which Kentucky has no equivalent or a charge with an unknown nature (i.e. violent or non-violent) or classification (i.e. felony or misdemeanor);
            7. Requests that the applicant provide evidence of rehabilitation by submitting the following documentation when a criminal records check reveals a conviction or fine on any charge other than a minor traffic offense on an applicant or adult member of the applicant’s household:
              1. A statement from the appropriate justice agency attesting to the individual's rehabilitation;
              2. A character reference from a person with good standing in the community (not a relative or close friend); or
              3. A statement from an employer, who is aware of the conviction and who can attest to the person's behavior since the conviction;
            8. Interviews all character references when the applicant or adult household member has been convicted of a crime;
            9. Conducts a personal interview for verbal and nonverbal cues to the reference’s response regarding the criminal conviction when possible;
            10. Conducts a phone interview with the reference when an in person interview is not possible;
            11. Holds a staffing with the FSOS and regional staff designated by the SRA when the SSW finds a previous report of either child abuse or neglect or a criminal records check with a negative finding; 2
            12. Obtains permission to proceed with the evaluation process when an applicant or adult member of the applicant’s household has been convicted of a misdemeanor or nonviolent felony.

            The FSOS: 

            1. Submits the applicant's documentation, to the SRA or designee for final approval if the applicant had a prior substantiation of child abuse or neglect.

            The SRA or designee: 

            1. Grants approval of the completed evaluation for an applicant's household with a misdemeanor or nonviolent felony conviction. 

            Contingencies and Clarifications

            1. When urgent placements become necessary, it is the responsibility of the SSW, at the time the child is placed with a relative or fictive kin caregiver, to ensure that a cursory home evaluation is completed, including a home inspection and completion of TWIST, criminal background 3 and sex offender registry address checks, even if a complete assessment cannot be made immediately.  This is imperative to ensure that a child is not placed into unsafe conditions. 
            2. If an adult becomes a new member of an approved kinship care provider’s, relative, or fictive kin caregiver's household, the new adult member of the household submits to background checks within thirty (30) calendar days of residence within the household as described in Procedure 1.
            3. If an adolescent becomes a new member of an approved kinship care provider’s, relative, or fictive kin caregiver’s household, the new adolescent member of the household submits to a child abuse and neglect check as outlined in SOP 12.4.1 Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry and Fingerprint Checks within thirty (30) calendar days of residence within the household.
            4. If a sex offender registry address check indicates a sexual offender is residing in the home of a relative or fictive kin caregiver applicant, the SSW will be contacted by staff in the Division of Protection and Permanency to discuss supporting documentation needed to verify this, and to discuss any protective measures that may need to be taken regarding any child residing in that home. 

            Footnotes  

            1. An AOC check is not required when a NCID check is completed as a records check of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet (Kentucky State Police) is included with a NCID check.
            2. The staffing is utilized to determine if additional action or assessment is needed by either the applicant or the SSW.
            3. AOC checks are only available during business hours.  The SSW should ensure that an official check is completed as soon as possible.

            4.5.5 Relative and Fictive Kin Placement Foster Care Payments

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            05/14/2020
            Section:
            4.5.5 Relative and Fictive Kin Placement Foster Care Payments
            Version:
            4
             
             

            This SOP applies to placements made prior to April 1, 2019

               
            In October 2017, the federal court made a ruling (D.O. v. Glisson) that requires the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) to pay relatives and fictive kin raising kin children a foster care payment.  This is a temporary payment for families and should not be considered as a long-term support.
             
             

            For placements made after April 1, 2019, SOP 4.10.4 Relative Foster Home is followed. 

             

            Introduction

            Foster care payments under this ruling can be made to relatives or fictive kin per the following eligibility requirements:
             
            • There is a DPP-1277Safety Check and Review;
            • The child must currently be in Kentucky’s CHFS custody or was previously in Kentucky’s CHFS custody for the current removal episode prior to the relative or fictive kin receiving temporary custody; and
            • The relative or fictive kin has not yet obtained permanent custody through a DNA-9 (permanent custody order).  This includes cases that are currently closed.
            For active cases, D.O. v. Glisson foster care payments for eligible relatives and fictive kin will begin the date CHFS was awarded custody and the child was placed with the relative or fictive kin.  For inactive cases, payments begin the date the relative or fictive kin contacted the kinship support hotline to inquire about payment eligibility.  Payments are the same rate as the DCBS resource parent daily rate (currently $24.10 if child is under age twelve (12), and $26.20 if child is age twelve (12) and over). 
             
             

            Practice Guidance

             
            1. The SSW encourages the courts to complete the DNA-9 rather than granting permanent custody on a docket sheet, agreed order, DNA-6, or any form other than the DNA-9.
            2. D.O. v. Glisson payments end if/when the relative/fictive kin receives permanent custody through the DNA-9 form as well as other situations described below.
            3. The SSW can seek assistance from Office of Legal Services (OLS) when pursuing permanent custody/DNA-9.
            4. Enter/exit information is submitted electronically on the DPP-1279 Information for OOHC Placement automated form to the regional billing specialist if the child is in CHFS custody at any time (even just a few hours). If the child is not placed in CHFS custody, an out-of-home care (OOHC) request and enter/exit screens should not be completed.
             

            Procedure

             

            For active cases:

             

            The SSW:

            1. Completes what was previously known as the DPP-1277 Relative/Fictive Kin Home Evaluation and discusses the short-term and long-term implications with the relative/fictive kin regarding accepting placement of the child.  The current DPP-1277 Safety Check and Review form is different from the previous DPP-1277 Relative/Fictive Kin Home Evaluation form.  The Relative/Fictive Kin Home Evaluation is no longer an active form and should only be used in cases prior to April 1, 2019;
            2. Uploads the previous version of the  DPP-1277 Relative and Fictive Kin Home Evaluation with approval signatures into the TWIST case;
            3. Explains to the relative or fictive kin that they must make a placement/custody decision by the initial court date from option A or B below:
              1. Caregiver receives temporary custody;
                1. With this option, the caregiver may receive traditional benefits through the Division of Family Support (DFS), i.e. SNAP, medical card, etc.;
              2. CHFS receives temporary custody and the caregiver has the following options:
                1. Caregiver pursues foster parent approval and must complete all requirements;
                  1. Caregiver may receive D.O. v. Glisson foster care payments if eligible while awaiting final approval as a foster parent; or
                2. Caregiver requests to be considered for the D.O. v. Glisson foster care payments without completing the foster parent approval process.
                  1. D.O. v. Glisson foster care payments are temporary and cease when:
                    1. A change in placement occurs;
                    2. The child reaches age 18;
                    3. Legal guardianship is granted;
                    4. The child is adopted;
                    5. The child is reunified with parent/caregiver; and/or
                    6. The relative/fictive kin receives permanent custody by issuance of the DNA-9.
            4. Provides the relative or fictive kin with the D.O. v. Glisson eligibility packet if the relative or fictive kin chooses to pursue these payments.  Eligibility packet includes:
              1. Relative  and Fictive Kin Caregiver Agreement;
              2. Relative/Fictive Kin Placement Billing Invoice Example;
              3. Relative/Fictive Kin Placement Billing Invoice form;
              4. Authorization For Electronic Deposit Of Provider Payment form;
              5. Relative Direct Deposit Letter;
              6. Relative/Fictive Kin Tip Sheet;
              7. Resource Directory form; and
              8. Vendor Request Information form.
            5. Reviews eligibility with the regional point person who makes final determination of eligibility;
            6. Forwards the eligibility packet to Office of Legal Services (OLS) (Teri.Carpenter@ky.gov) and Division of Administration and Financial Management (DAFM) (CHFSrelativepayments@ky.gov);
            7. Submits the DPP-1279 automated TWIST form electronically in TWIST to the regional billing specialist if the child has been in CHFS custody at any point during this removal episode; and
            8. Forwards a copy of the DNA-9 to DAFM (CHFSrelativepayments@ky.gov) and OLS (Teri.Carpenter@ky.gov) to process for discontinuation of payments; or
            9. Sends the relative or fictive kin caregiver notice of ineligibility via the DPP-180 Relative Fictive Kin Per Diem Payment Denial and DPP-154 Protection and Permanency Service Appeal if the caregiver is not eligible to receive payments. 

             
            For inactive cases:


            The SSW refers the relative or fictive kin to the kinship support hotline at 877-565-5608 or relative.supports@ky.gov to inquire about eligibility.

            Kinship support hotline/central office staff:

             

            1. Reviews case for eligibility determination;
            2. Sends notice of eligibility determination to relative or fictive kin;
            3. Sends the eligibility packet to relative or fictive kin if eligible, or DPP-180 Relative or Fictive Kin Per Diem Payment Denial and DPP-154 Protection and Permanency Service Appeal if the caregiver is not eligible to receive payments;
            4. Receives the eligibility packet from relative or fictive kin (if individual meets eligibility criteria);
            5. Forwards the eligibility packet to OLS (who begins working with the relative to obtain permanent custody) and DAFM;
            6. Processes payments based on Relative Placement Billing Invoice received by relative or fictive kin (DAFM);
            7. Discontinues Medicaid and child care assistance if applicable, and re-establishes it under the D.O. v. Glisson foster care payments (DAFM); and
            8. Notifies DAFM when a DNA-9 is issued (OLS).  Court orders may be received from OLS, relatives, or local office staff.

             

            Contingencies and Clarifications  

            1. The relative or fictive kin caregiver submits a relative placement billing invoice (monthly boarding statement) to DAFM each month to document the number of days the child is in their home, special expenses, etc.  The mailing and email addresses are listed on the billing invoice.
            2. The eligibility packet includes child care assistance if the relative or fictive kin caregiver submits proof of at least twenty (20) hours of employment per week.  The relative or fictive kin caregiver is responsible for any overage fees the daycare facility charges above the state rate.
            3. Relative or fictive kin caregiver receives payment once per month until no longer eligible to receive D.O. v. Glisson payments (a change in placement occurs, child reaches age 18, legal guardianship is granted, child is adopted, child is reunified with parent/caregiver, and/or the relative/fictive kin receives permanent custody by issuance of the DNA-9).
            4. D.O. v. Glisson foster care payments may impact other benefits the relative or fictive kin caregiver is already receiving, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (KTAP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), kinship care, Department of Housing and Urban Development Housing Assistance (HUD), and the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP).  The caregiver is responsible to inquire with these agencies and report all payments of benefits to the appropriate agency.
            5. The relative or fictive kin caregiver is eligible to receive all benefits as foster parents, including clothing letter, special expenses, birthday, Christmas, etc. through the D.O. v. Glisson payment process. 
            6. The relative or fictive kin caregiveer may continue to pursue approval as a foster parent if the child is in CHFS custody while receiving the D.O. v. Glisson foster care payments.
              1. The D.O. v. Glisson payments are separate from pursuing approval as a foster parent.
              2. Once foster parent approval occurs, the D.O. v. Glisson payments will transition to foster care payments with the relative or fictive kin as an approved foster parent.
              3. Relatives may also receive the one time relative placement support benefit per SOP 4.5; SSWs must complete the request and Relative Placement Support Benefit Payment Request form.
            7. For inactive cases, OLS pursues permanency for the child.  For active cases, SSW should continue with required pre-permanency conferences with the regional attorney as prescribed in SOP 11.36.1 or pursue permanent custody to the relative/fictive kin by the issuance of the DNA-9.
            8. For inactive cases, the SSW is not required to open a new intake or case. 
               
                  1. r etc.
              1.  
              2.   

              4.5.6 Ongoing Services and Permanency for the Child Placed through Kinship Care

              Chapter:
              Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
              Effective:
              04/1/2019
              Section:
              4.5.6 Ongoing Services and Permanency for the Child Placed through Kinship Care
              Version:
              5

              Legal Authority/Introduction 

              LEGAL AUTHORITY:

              Procedure 

              The SSW:

              1. Follows guidelines for case planning as outlined in SOP chapter 4;
              2. Provides services or facilitates access to services for the relative kinship caregiver and the child to ensure a placement is not disrupted, including case management, described in the child’s permanency plan for at least six (6) months, beginning with the date of the placement of the child with the relative kinship caregiver, or until the relative kinship caregiver has permanent custody of the child;

              3. Completes the following tasks prior to the sixth (6th) month of the child's placement within the relative kinship caretaker's home: 1
                1. Facilitates a meeting to review the child's case plan and placement;
                2. Determines, with the family team, if permanent relative kinship 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;

              4. Closes the case with the relative kinship caregiver and child when:
                1. Permanent custody has been granted to the kinship relative; or
                2. The child has achieved reunification or other permanency; or
                3. Once the petition has been filed by a kinship care provider and the court declines to grant permanent custody, unless the family has ongoing service needs;
              5. Develops an Aftercare Plan with the relative kinship caregiver outlining community supports, including contact information for the Kinship Support Hotline; and  2
              6. Exits the child from placement by completing the Exit Resource Screen in TWIST and selects "Kinship Care Placement" for the reason, once permanency is achieved, if applicable. 3

              Practice Guidance

              • The receipt of financial assistance under the kinship care program continues until the case becomes ineligible for a technical or financial reason. 
              • Permanent custody does not stop the financial assistance, as permanent custody is the desired outcome.

              Footnotes

              1. These tasks are completed at the twelfth (12th) month for kinship care cases. 
              2. Business cards, containing information about the hotline, have been provided to all regions.  If local offices do not have business cards, they may be printed from the Kinship Support Hotline Business Card Template.  
              3. Since TWIST cannot be updated at this time, the “Kinship Care Placement” option is still used for relatives who have custody.

              4.5.7 Start-Up Costs for Children Approved for Kinship Care Prior to April 1, 2013

              Chapter:
              Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
              Effective:
              04/1/2013
              Section:
              4.5.7 Start-Up Costs for Children Approved for Kinship Care Prior to April 1, 2013
              Version:
              2

              Legal Authority/Introduction 

              LEGAL AUTHORITY:

              Procedure

              Effective April 1, 2013, start-up costs are no longer available due to budgetary constraints. 

              The SSW: 

              1. With oversight from the Family Services Office Supervisor, approves the amount of start-up costs that may remain to facilitate permanency and notifies identified regional staff of the necessary start-up costs after indicating the need on the DPP-1276;
              2. Pursues and uses other potential funding sources and community resources prior to pursuing a request for start-up costs.

              Regional staff:

              1. Issues payment by check directly to a vendor provider for the needed services or items, and follows guidelines for tracking of funds as established in Chapter 30 Services and Supports.

              Practice Guidance 

              • Start-up costs for kinship care include providing for an attorney fee, if needed by the caretaker relative in obtaining permanent custody of the child.
              • The total amount of assistance allowed for the kinship care case for start-up costs cannot exceed the maximum amount for the appropriate number of eligible children in the kinship care case as follows:

               Number of Eligible Children  Maximum Payment Amount
               $350
               2  $700
               3  $1,050
               4  $1,400
               5  $1,750
               6 or more  $2,100

               

              4.5.8 Discontinuance of Kinship Care

              Chapter:
              Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
              Effective:
              01/22/2014
              Section:
              4.5.8 Discontinuance of Kinship Care
              Version:
              4

              Legal Authority/Introduction

              LEGAL AUTHORITY:

              Procedure 

              The SSW:

              1. Notifies the kinship caregiver of discontinuance from the kinship care program when the following situations occur, which would make the kinship caregiver ineligible:
                1. The birth parent is residing with the kinship caregiver and the child;
                2. The child is physically relocated to another placement;
                3. The child is absent from the home of the kinship caregiver for a period of thirty (30) days or more (unless the child is absent due to medical care or school attendance);
                4. The child is approved for supplemental security income (SSI); or
                5. The kinship caregiver fails to pursue permanent custody of the child within specified timeframes;
                6. A sex offender registry address check and supporting documentation confirming that a sex offender resides at the applicant's home address;
              2. Notifies the Family Support office, to ensure that the kinship care financial assistance is discontinued after notifying the kinship caregiver of the ineligibility;
              3. Refers the former kinship caregiver to community partners, such as the Family Support office, to explore additional support services;
              4. In addition to following steps one (1) and two (2) above completes the following steps when there is indication that the birth parent is residing with the kinship caregiver and the child:
                1. Assesses the home and placement situation, and documents risk on the assessment, and takes appropriate action; and
                2. Notifies the overseeing court, as necessary;
              5. Follows SOP 4.5.2 General Guidelines for Kinship Care Consideration when it is determined that the child should be placed with another caretaker relative;
              6. Considers a change in caretaker relatives for any of the following reasons:
                1. Death of the kinship caregiver;
                2. Illness or injury of the kinship caregiver, as supported by medical documentation, that inhibits adequate care of the child; or
                3. Active military service of the kinship caregiver;
              7. In addition to following steps one (1) and two (2) above, petitions the overseeing court to notify the court of the following items when financial assistance under the kinship care program is discontinued due to the kinship caregiver’s failure to pursue permanent relative custody of the child:
                1. The kinship caregiver's failure to pursue permanent custody;
                2. Continued best interests of the child; and
                3. Discontinuance from the kinship care program;
              8. Completes an aftercare plan with the relative and child prior to case closure if the child’s placement with the relative remains and is approved by the overseeing court.

              Practice Guidance

              • When a child is absent from the home of the kinship caregiver for a period of thirty (30) days or more and returns to the caretaker relative's home, financial assistance under the kinship care program may resume under the guidelines of  redetermination and reapplication.
              • When the child in the kinship care placement is approved for supplemental security income (SSI) and later outgrows his/her disability, financial assistance under the kinship care program may resume under the guidelines of redetermination and reapplication.
              • To the extent that funds are available the initial finding of substantiated abuse or neglect may be used for reapplication and redetermination of eligibility for financial assistance under the kinship care program, in the following circumstances.  This only applies to children who were determined eligible for the kinship care program prior to April 1, 2013:
                • That any of the circumstances listed above in the first (1st) bulleted point have occurred;
                • That the child is becoming ineligible for SSI; or
                • That the child will be placed with a different caretaker relative.

              4.5.9 Redetermination and Reapplication for Children Approved for Kinship Care Prior to April 1, 2013

              Chapter:
              Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
              Effective:
              04/1/2013
              Section:
              4.5.9 Redetermination and Reapplication for Children Approved for Kinship Care Prior to April 1, 2013
              Version:
              2

              Legal Authority/Introduction 

              LEGAL AUTHORITY:  

              Procedure

              The SSW:

              1. Conducts another relative home evaluation, using the DPP-1276 Relative Home Evaluation form, to evaluate reinstating kinship care funds if kinship care was discontinued for a temporary period of time;
              2. Follows procedures in SOP 12.4 Background Checks for Resource Parents, 12.4.1 Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry and Fingerprint Checks and where applicable SOP 12.4.2 Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry Requests from Another State if a new adult or adolescent has moved into the home since the last home evaluation was completed.

              Practice Guidance

              • After discontinuance, a caretaker relative may be reconsidered for financial assistance under the kinship care program when the child returns to the home of the kinship caregiver, after being absent due to the child’s temporary location or placement such as:
                • Foster care;
                • A residential treatment facility;
                • A psychiatric residential facility;
                • Detention; or
                • A trial reunification with parent for less than sixty (60) days.
              • To the extent that funds are available the initial finding of substantiated abuse or neglect may be used for reapplication and redetermination of eligibility for financial assistance under the kinship care program, in the following circumstances.  This only applies to children who were determined eligible for the kinship care program prior to April 1, 2013:
                • That any of the circumstances listed above in the first (1st) bulleted point have occurred;
                • That the child is becoming ineligible for SSI; or
                • That the child will be placed with a different caretaker relative.
              • If the kinship caregiver does not keep the recertification appointment with Family Support and lacks good cause, the financial assistance under the kinship care program will cease on the case. 
              • There is no re-application process to regain eligibility for kinship care benefits due to missing recertification appointments.

              4.5.10 Service Appeals for Kinship Care Providers, Relative, or Fictive Kin Caregivers

              Chapter:
              Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
              Effective:
              04/1/2019
              Section:
              4.5.10 Service Appeals for Kinship Care Providers, Relative, or Fictive Kin Caregivers
              Version:
              3

              Legal Authority/Introduction

              LEGAL AUTHORITY:

              Procedure 

              The SSW:

              1. Notifies the relative or fictive kin caretaker of changes in services or notification of case closure; 
              2. Provides the DPP-154A Protection and Permanency Notice of Intended Action to the relative or fictive kin caretaker, prior to or concurrent with a denial of supportive services, or a relative placement support benefit, and at least two (2) weeks prior to the case's closure. 

              Practice Guidance

              • An administrative hearing or service appeal in accordance with 922 KAR 1:320 may be requested by a caretaker relative denied supportive services, to facilitate the child's placement stability with the relative kinship caregiver, or start-up costs offered to facilitate a child's adjustment to the new environment with the relative kinship caregiver, prior to April 1, 2013
              • A kinship caregiver who is dissatisfied with an action or inaction on the part of the Cabinet relating to financial assistance under the kinship care program has the right to a hearing pursuant to 921 KAR 2:055. 
              • A child's relative does not have the right to a service appeal or hearing if SSW denies the child's placement in the relative's home.

              4.6 Parenting Youth in Foster Care

              Chapter:
              Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
              Effective:
              07/1/2020
              Section:
              4.6 Parenting Youth in Foster Care
              Version:
              1

              Legal Authority

               
               

              Introduction

               

              Parenting Youth Supplement

               
              To best support parenting youth who are in out-of-home care (OOHC), and their children, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (Cabinet/CHFS) will ensure there are supports and services available that incorporate the research on optimal development and promote a youth’s health and development.
               
               
              There are occasions when a parenting youth could enter foster care with their own biological child.  The parenting youth may be committed to the Cabinet; however, if there are no concerns or safety threats surrounding the parenting youth’s ability to care for the child, the child remains in the parenting youth's custody.  The parenting youth may be eligible for services through the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) for a child who remains in their custody.  The parenting youth supplement provides a payment to the foster parent or caregiver to help meet the everyday needs of the parenting youth’s child.  In retaining custody of their child, the parenting youth, with the support of their foster parent, will be able to apply for services such as child care assistance through the Division of Family Support (DFS).

              Procedure

               
              The SSW: 
               
              1. Ensures that the parenting youth and their child, covered under the parenting youth supplement, remain together in placement.  The SSW will explain to the placement that the parenting youth has retained custody of their own child and will sign all future parental forms and/or applications;
              2. Completes the DPP-116 Parenting Youth Supplement Contract within seventy two (72) hours of placement, and will distribute copies to the following:
                1. Original to the regional billing clerk;
                2. Copy to private child care (PCC) facility or DCBS  foster home (if applicable);
                3. Copy to recruitment and certification (R&C) worker;
                4. Copy to children’s benefit worker (CBW);
                5. Copy for case record; and
                6. Copy to foster parent and/or caregiver.
              3. Assists the parenting youth in applying for child care assistance and other services,  for their dependent child through DFS at:  https://benefind.ky.gov/;
              4. Assists the parenting youth in applying for WIC services;
              5. Assists the parenting youth in obtaining a birth certificate and/or Social Security card for their child;
              6. Facilitates the Parenting Together Plan (PTP) within the first thirty (30) days of placement.  SSW will invite parties that are relevant to the parenting youth, such as the independent living coordinator, case managers, foster parent(s), therapist, etc.  A PTP will be updated by the ongoing worker every six (6) months thereafter, or if circumstances change. 
                1. The PTP will discuss the rights and responsibilities of the parenting youth, including but not limited to:
                  1. Creating a schedule for the parenting youth and provider (who is responsible and daily routines/expectations) and expected parenting skills of child;
                  2. Linking the parenting youth with a local parenting program (i.e. HANDS if applicable or other local program);
                  3. Creating a plan if there is a disagreement with a parenting decision; and
                  4. Implementing interventions (if necessary).
              7. Makes a report to centralized intake (CI) if there are any concerns about abuse, neglect, or dependency regarding the parenting youth and their child;
              8. Will conult with the FSOS, to ensure that safety measures for the parenting youth’s child are in place if a parenting youth is removed from a foster home, private child placing (PCP), or PCC, based on behaviors, medical needs, or other identified issues;
                1. If the child can successfully be placed with the parenting youth, the child will continue to reside with the parenting youth; 
                2. If there are concerns for the safety of the parenting youth’s child, the SSW will follow procedure outlined in SOP 2.1.  The SSW will report to CI to determine if the alleged abuse or neglect meets acceptance criteria.  If it does meet acceptance criteria, the SSW will assist the investigator in completing the DPP-1275 Relative Exploration Form or determine if a child can continue to remain in placement with the parenting youth; 
                3. If the report does not meet acceptance criteria for investigation of abuse, neglect, or dependency, the SSW will implement additional resources for the parenting youth to successfully parent the child; and
                4. If the parenting youth leaves a placement without their child, does not have an identified plan in place, and/or becomes AWOL, the SSW makes a report to CI.
              9. May refer the parenting youth for Family First prevention services if their child is at risk of removal and an evidence-based practice may mitigate this risk.  Refer to Chapter 6 for further details.  Additionally, a parenting youth may be referred to other services in the community.


               

              4.9 Initial Placement Considerations

              Chapter:
              Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
              Effective:
              04/1/2019
              Section:
              4.9 Initial Placement Considerations
              Version:
              9

              Legal Authority/Introduction

              LEGAL AUTHORITY: 

              Out of home care (OOHC) is one of many protective services offered to children and families.  It consists of the provision for children placed in the custody of the Cabinet to receive supplemental care in an approved placement for a planned period of time when it is necessary for a child to be separated from his or her own parents or relatives.

              The Cabinet for Health and Family services assesses and identifies the best placement options for a child.  The social services worker plans for and prepares a child for initial placement, even when that placement is an emergency.  Services are based on the family assessment and case consultation with the family team.  Engaging family members is critical in the placement process.  The family team considers the following factors:

              • The noncustodial parents ability and willingness to care for the child is evaluated before considering other placement options;
              • Placement with appropriate relatives before considering other placement options;
              • Placement with fictive kin;
              • The least restrictive environment available to provide for the child’s individual needs including considerations of the child's current early care and education provider or school;
              • Placement that is in the closest proximity to the family’s home, and within a child’s community that allows a child to remain in the same school district when it is in the child's best interest; 1
              • Placement that is the most culturally competent available, including religious beliefs;
              • Promotes continued contact with the child’s family, friends and other primary connections; and
              • A placement that accommodates siblings being placed together, unless there is a compelling reason that it would not be in the best interest of one or more of the children. 

              Procedure

              The SSW:

              1. Conducts an absent parent search to locate any noncustodial parents and relatives; 
              2. Requests during the temporary removal hearing when the identity of a parent is unknown:
                1. That the court order the family to reveal the identity of the noncustodial parent or absent parent; and
                2. The court order the family to complete the DPP-1275 Relative Exploration Form (refer to SOP 11.15 Temporary Removal Hearing);
              3. Assists the parent or relative in completing the DPP-1275 Relative Exploration Form when necessary;
              4. Conducts background checks if a noncustodial parent is identified as a potential caretaker; 
              5. Asks the family if the child is a member of or eligible for membership in a Native American Tribe and documents in the assessment (refer to SOP 4.1 Native American Child, Maintaining Cultural Connections);
              6. Determines  if the child is part of a sibling group that needs placement and:
                1. Consults with the Family Services Office Supervisor (FSOS) and uses the Placement Decision Making Matrix as a guide to document legitimate reasons for not placing siblings together in the case record (refer to SOP 4.10 and Placement Decision Making Matrix link);
                2. Develops a visitation plan, that is agreed upon by all parties, if siblings will not be placed together initially, and;
                3. Documents efforts to reunite siblings, who are separated during the initial placement, in the same foster/adoptive home unless exceptional reasons exist that prevent reunification (refer to Placement with Siblings Tip Sheet);
              7. 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);
              8. Assesses the placement options to determine the most appropriate, least restrictive placement type if a child is initially unable to be placed with a noncustodial parent or a relative; 
              9. Selects the most appropriate placement type for the child from the following options:
                1. Relative placement with the relative obtaining temporary custody or relative placement with the relative pursuing approval as a child specific foster home (refer to SOP 4.10.4 Child Specific Foster Home);
                2. Fictive kin with the fictive kin caregiver obtaining temporary custody or the fictive kin caregiver pursuing approval as a child specific foster home (refer to SOP 4.10.4 Child Specific Foster Home);
                3. DCBS foster/adoptive home (refer to SOP 4.10 Placement in a DCBS Resource Foster/Adoptive Home); 2
                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 foster/adoptive home, or residential placement) (refer to SOP 4.51 Out of State Placement); 3
              10. Prepares for the Ten (10) day case planning conference as outlined in SOP 4.17 Preparation for and Completion of the Ten (10) Day Conference;
              11. Continues to engage family members and evaluate potential relative placements utilizing the DPP-1275 Relative Exploration Form and interviews with the child and family members.

              Footnotes

              1. Collaborates with the child's school utilizing the Ensuring School Stability Best Interest Determination Tip Sheet.
              2. DCBS foster/adoptive homes must be utilized before seeking placement in a PCC foster home.  Exception requests and regional approval are required for PCC placements for children with a level of care assignment of one (1) or two (2). 
              3. The selected placement shall be the best alternative for the child that is in closest proximity to the child's home county. 

              4.10 Placement in a DCBS Foster or Adoptive Home

              Chapter:
              Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
              Effective:
              11/18/2015
              Section:
              4.10 Placement in a DCBS Foster or Adoptive Home
              Version:
              4

              Legal Authority/Introduction

              LEGAL AUTHORITY:

              Procedure

              The SSW:

              1. Seeks placement for a child in an approved DCBS foster or adoptive home only when an appropriate relative home is not available;
              2. Reviews the following information prior to making a decision to place a child in a DCBS  foster/adoptive home:
                1. Information about the child and family found in the assessment;
                2. The child’s level of care assignment, if available;
                3. Any available documents regarding the child’s physical, mental health and educational background; and
                4. The case plan;
              3. Seeks consultation from members of the family team, especially the child, regarding placement decisions;
              4. Ensures that a DPP-111A Foster Home Contract Supplement is provided to the foster/adoptive parent(s) upon the foster/adoptive home’s acceptance of a child;
              5. Obtains the foster/adoptive home parent’s signature on the DPP-111A; 1
              6. Informs the foster/adoptive parent of any history of inappropriate sexual acts or other behaviors of the child that indicates a safety risk for placement, just as with any other type of substitute care placement;
              7. Is mandated to inform the foster/adoptive parent as soon as practical, but no later than seventy-two (72) hours after receiving information regarding history of inappropriate sexual acts or other behaviors of the child that indicates a safety risk for placement, if the information is not known at the time of placement;
              8. Provides a copy of the signed DPP-111A to the foster/adoptive home and the regional Billing Specialist;
              9. Files the original DPP-111A in the foster/adoptive home’s case file;
              10. Explores placement in a medically complex foster/adoptive home if the child has a physical condition (documented by a physician) which may become unstable or change abruptly and result in a life threatening situation or meets other criteria for medically complex status; 2
              11. May explore placement in a care plus home if the child displays aggressive, destructive or especially disruptive behaviors;
              12. Reports placement information to the Billing Specialist using the DPP-1279 Information for OOHC Placement noting the:
                1. Conditions present at the time of removal; and
                2. Initial placement information.

              The FSOS or designee: 

              1. Signs the completed DPP-111A, including any known history and risk factors regarding the child being placed.

               

              Practice Guidance

              • foster/adoptive home must have a current DPP-111-Foster Home Contract, which has been signed by the resource parents and Cabinet officials prior to a child being placed in their home.
              • Under no circumstances is a child in the custody of the Cabinet allowed to stay overnight in the residence of the SSW or other Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) staff providing protection and permanency services without prior approval from the Commissioner pursuant to 922 KAR 1:350. 
              • The Cabinet may not delay or deny an otherwise appropriate placement on the basis of race, color or national origin of the person or of the child involved; however, compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 does not constitute a violation of Section of 471 (a)(18)(B) of the Social Security Act. 

              Footnotes

              1. In an emergency situation, the DPP-111A is signed within three (3) working days of placement.
              2. The medically complex category of service allows the eligible child to remain in the least restrictive setting, and allows the foster/adoptive parent to be reimbursed for additional and/or more intensive care.

              4.10.1 DCBS Care Plus

              Chapter:
              Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
              Effective:
              04/1/2019
              Section:
              4.10.1 DCBS Care Plus
              Version:
              3

              Legal Authority/Introduction

              LEGAL AUTHORITY:

              Procedure

              The SSW:

              1. Explores placement in a care plus foster/adoptive home if the child:
                1. Displays aggressive, destructive, or disruptive behavior;
                2. Has a diagnosed emotional or behavioral problem;
                3. Is due to be released from a treatment facility;
                4. Is at risk of being placed in a more restrictive setting;
                5. Is at risk of institutionalization; or
                6. Has experienced numerous placement failures;
              2. Discusses the appropriateness and availability of a care plus placement with the recruitment and certification (R&C) team if the child meets the criteria established in the proceeding procedure and has a level of care assignment of three (3), four (4) or five (5);
              3. Forwards the approved care plus referral to the Billing Specialist;
              4. Or R&C worker ensures that the child’s activities and behaviors are recorded on a DPP-130-Weekly Record of Events (WROE) by the foster/adoptive parent;
              5. Visits the child a minimum of twice per month with at least one (1) visit per calendar month occurring in the care plus foster/adoptive home to:
                1. Determine whether the child’s needs are being met;
                2. Provide supportive services to the foster/adoptive parents;
                3. Review the WROE; and
                4. Determine when further services are indicated; 1
              6. Or R&C worker ensures that the care plus foster parent(s) maintains the WROEs in the care plus foster/adoptive home;
              7. Assists by providing the WROEs from the previous placement to the new placement provider if the child’s placement changes.

              The R&C team:

              1. Identifies an approved care plus foster/adoptive home for the child, and when the situation permits, schedules a pre-placement visit for the child with the foster/adoptive parent(s), but more than one pre-placement visit may be needed to successfully transition the child into the home.

              The FSOS or designee:

              1. Approves a care plus per diem rate. The care plus rate may  be made retroactively, however, no more than thirty (30) days from the date of the care plus approval. 

              The SSW, R&C worker and foster/adoptive parent:

              Consider a plan to assess the following prior to placement, or at the time of the first home visit after the child’s placement:

                1. Management of the child’s behaviors in the home, at school, and in other settings;
                2. Specific methods for measuring the child’s progress; and
                3. Meeting the child’s needs when the primary care plus parent is employed outside the home.

              Practice Guidance

              • Because of the excessive demands and stresses related to caring for a child in a care plus foster/adoptive home, weekly phone calls by the SSW are encouraged.

               

              • When the permanency goal is return to parent, ongoing contact between the foster/adoptive parent(s) and the child’s birth family is encouraged during periodic reviews and visitation.
              • The foster/adoptive family is to act as a role model for the birth family, assisting them to implement components of the plan prepared for the child.

               

              • WROE documents are maintained in the care plus foster/adoptive home for a period of one (1) year.

               

              Footnotes

              1. The number of contacts is determined by the needs of the child.

              4.10.2 DCBS Medically Complex Placement

              Chapter:
              Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
              Effective:
              11/18/2015
              Section:
              4.10.2 DCBS Medically Complex Placement
              Version:
              4

              Legal Authority/Introduction

              LEGAL AUTHORITY:

              Procedure

              The SSW:

              1. Considers a child for a possible medically complex designation if the child has a medical condition diagnosed by a physician which includes:
                1. Significant medically oriented care needs related to a serious illness or condition diagnosed by a health professional that may become unstable or change abruptly resulting in a life-threatening event;
                2. A chronic condition that is expected to be life-long and progressive and will require additional oversight; or
                3. A severe disability that requires the routine use of medical devices or assistive technology to compensate for the loss of a vital body function needed to participate in activities of daily  living and significant and sustained care to avert death or further disability.
              2. Obtains documentation of the child's medical condition from a physician and other healthcare providers; 1
              3. Consults with the following people to determine if the child has a medical condition that meets medically complex criteria:
                1. Current medical providers;
                2. The Family Services Office Supervisor (FSOS);
                3. The regional Medically Complex Liaison;
                4. The Medical Support Section; and
                5. CCSHCN nurse consultant;
              4. Completes the following documentation when requesting a medically complex designation:  
                1. The DPP-106B Initial Physical and Behavioral Health History;
                2. M-001 CCSHCN Verbal Release of Information;
                3. Copy of the custody order; and
                4. Any other supporting medical documentation. 
              5. Once approval has been granted for a medically complex designation: 
                1. The medically complex liaison, forwards the documents listed in procedure #4 to the Medical Support Section;
                2. The SSW seeks placement for the child in an approved medically complex home; and
                3. The SSW verifies that the foster/adoptive parents are willing to continue to care for the medically complex child, if placement occurred prior to designation;
              6. The SSW or medically complex liaison contacts the CCSHCN nurse to provide case information prior to the first home visit and the individual health plan (IHP) meeting.

              The Medically Complex Liaison: 

              1. Assists the assigned Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs nurse with arranging the initial individualized health plan meeting within thirty (30) days of the medically fragile complex determination.

              Contingencies and Clarifications

              If a medically complex child becomes hospitalized, the SSW completes the following tasks:

              1. Notifies the medically complex liaison, who in turn, notifies the Medical Support Section within seventy-two (72) hours; and
              2. Ensures that the child has a responsible adult, excluding hospital staff, present at all times. 2 
              3. When a child is placed in the home of a relative or out of state, the SSW:
                1. Ensures that the placement provider submits documentation from a medical provider that they are able to meet the medical needs of the child;
                2. Collects the DPP-104C Medically Complex Monthly Report and provides a copy to the Medically  Complex Liaison and Medical Support Section.

              Practice Guidance

              • All medically complex consultations begin regionally between the SSW, medically complex liaison and the nurse consultant.  The medically complex liaison contacts the Medical Support Section for any additional guidance.   
              • The foster/adoptive parent is required to receive child specific training from a health care professional or a resource parent who has been trained by a health care professional.  Documentation that they are competent to meet the medical needs of the child should be placed in the Provide file. 
              • The following exception requests must be pre-approved by the SRA or designee:
                • A one parent foster/adoptive home is caring for more than one medically complex child;
                • A two parent foster/adoptive home caring is for more than two medically complex children (refer to SOP 12.11.1 Placement Exception Requests); and
                • The home will have more than four children, including the foster/adoptive parent’s own children.
              • The following exception requests must be pre-approved by the Director of the Division of Protection and Permanency: 
                • Non-medically complex placements; and
                • Working outside of the home.
              • The SSW may consult with the medically complex liaison, who in turn consults with the central office Medical Support Section or Out of Home Care Branch if a medically complex placement is not located after a medically complex determination has been made.
              • When a medically complex child is hospitalized, DCBS staff should be available to receive regular updates and to meet with hospital staff regarding the child’s medical treatment plan.  The hospital should have access to a DCBS representative at all times, even on weekends, holidays and after hours.  
              • When a foster parent, SSW or private agency staff are not available to stay with the child:
                • A biological relative may be considered (on a case-by-case basis); or
                • A contract with an agency may be initiated in order to have a responsible adult remain with the child (e.g. a sitter from a nursing pool or home health agency.  The sitter does not have to provide direct medical care, but is to be in the room to facilitate access to medical personnel and provide support to the child, when needed).
              • The medically complex liaison may consult with the Medical Support Section if there are questions regarding the child’s medical treatment.
              • The SSW may contact the designated Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs (CCSHCN) nurse for consultation at any point during the case.
                 
              • It is recommended that the SSW and CCSHCN Nurse attend medical appointments involving a medically complex child when decisions regarding treatment plans are discussed.

              Footnotes

              1. Phone verification with the physician, nurse or hospital social worker is acceptable documentation for confirmation of the child’s diagnosis.  The Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs may be contacted to assist with securing this information if the SSW encounters issues.  
              2. If the child is in an intensive care unit, a responsible adult is not required to be present at all times.

              4.10.4 Relative or Fictive Kin Pursuing Foster Home Approval

              Chapter:
              Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
              Effective:
              05/14/2020
              Section:
              4.10.4 Relative or Fictive Kin Pursuing Foster Home Approval
              Version:
              3

              Legal Authority/Introduction

              LEGAL AUTHORITY:

              Introduction

              A relative or fictive kin caregiver has the ability to pursue approval as a Department for Community Based Services' (DCBS) foster parent through the relative and fictive kin service array.  They may choose to pursue approval as a basic foster home and meet all standards associated with this approval type.  They may also choose to pursue approval as a child specific foster home type.  To support the approval of relative and fictive kin caregivers, waivers for non-safety standards may be applied in the approval of child specific foster homes.  Relative and fictive kin caregivers pursing foster home approval should be encouraged to meet all standards for basic foster home approval. However, child specific approval is utilized for those families that require a waiver of training or a waiver for non-safety standards. 

               

              Practice Guidance

              The DPP-179 Relative and Fictive Kin Caregiver Agreement will be completed with the family once they decide to pursue foster parent approval.  This agreement will be completed and uploaded when the SSW enters the child into out-of-home care (OOHC).  The agreement prompts the Division of Administration and Financial Managment (DAFM) that this is a home that will receive the pre-approval per diem.  1

               

              Procedure

              1. The SSW discusses the service array utilizing the Guide for Relative and Fictive Kin Caregivers, Relative and Fictive Kin Service Array Worksheet, and the DPP-1278 Relative Placement Support Benefit Acknowledgment Form with the prospective relative or fictive kin caregiver at the time of placement.  The SSW will ensure the family completes the DPP-178 Acknowledgement Statement Options and Available Services for Relative and Fictive Kin Caregivers.
              2. If the relative or fictive kin caregiver decides to pursue approval as a foster parent, the SSW and FSOS will ensure that the child remains or is placed in the custody of DCBS. 
              3. The SSW or FSOS will submit a copy of the completed section one (1) of the DPP 1277 Safety Check and Review, DPP-178, and DPP-179 Relative and Fictive Kin Caregiver Agreement  to the recruitment and certification (R&C) supervisor within three (3) working days of the caregiver’s decision to pursue approval as a foster parent.
              4. A relative or fictive kin caregiver pursuing foster parent approval is eligible to receive a reduced per diem until the foster home approval is effective.  In order to be eligible for this payment, all of the following must apply:
                1. The child must be in the custody of DCBS;
                2. The family must be actively pursuing approval as a DCBS foster home; and
                3. The family must sign the DPP-179.
              5. The SSW or FSOS will submit a completed and signed copy of the DPP 1277 Safety Check and Review to the R&C supervisor upon completion, within thirty (30) working days.   
              6. The R&C worker will contact the prospective family and enters the inquiry into TWIST.
              7. The R&C worker will assist the relative or fictive kin caregiver in the foster care approval process as outlined in SOP Chapter 12.3.0.  
                 

              Footnotes 

              1. ​Payment begins the date the child enters DCBS custody; it is not backdated.  The current per diem rate is six ($6) dollars per day, but is subject to change or elimination based on available funding. 

              4.11 Private Child Placing (PCP) or Child Caring (PCC) Agency

              Chapter:
              Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
              Effective:
              07/1/2016
              Section:
              4.11 Private Child Placing (PCP) or Child Caring (PCC) Agency
              Version:
              11

              Legal Authority/Introduction

              LEGAL AUTHORITY:

              Private child caring or private child placing agencies may provide care and services for a child for whom the Cabinet has legal responsibility.

              Procedure

              The SSW:

              1. Seeks placement through a private child placing (PCP) or private child caring (PCC) agency when a DCBS foster and adoptive home is not available or appropriate for a child;
              2. Obtains a level of care assignment for the child, if this has not already been done; 1 
              3. Requests referral of the child to a private child care placement by:
                1. Sending the level of care packet with the assigned level of care to the Regional Placement Coordinator (RPC) during business hours; or
                2. Contacting the PCC directly, utilizing the After Hours Referral Contacts website;
              4. Seeks and selects a placement for a child, in conjunction with the family team and RPC, based on the following criteria:
                1. In the most family like, least restrictive setting;
                2. That most closely meets the child's treatment needs;
                3. With the child’s siblings;
                4. That is in closest proximity to the family’s home; and
                5. That promotes continued contact with the child’s family, friends, community, school and other primary connections;
                6. That is the most culturally competent available, including religious beliefs.

              5. Schedules an interview (if required) for the child with the PCP or PCC staff and makes arrangements for the child’s transportation to each interview;
              6. Completes the DPP-114-Level of Care Schedule, and determines that the completed form is consistent with the child’s assigned level of care when placement is to be made;
              7. Follows the form’s procedural instructions regarding the appropriate signatures, to indicate approval of the child’s placement;
              8. Arranges transportation or transports the child and his/her belongings to the placement on the pre-arranged placement date;
              9. Gives PCP or PCC staff the following information regarding the child upon admission in addition to the approved DPP-114-Level of Care Schedule:
                1. Health insurance information;
                2. Medical passport;
                3. Copy of the DPP-106A Authorization for Health Care;
                4. Educational passport;
                5. Birth certificate (copy);
                6. Social security card (copy); and
                7. Commitment order (copy);
              10. Notifies the agency if the child meets special circumstances for religious or cultural exemptions (i.e. cutting the child's hair may be a violation of his/her religious rights and cultural freedoms);
              11. Sends written notification to the RPC that the child has been admitted to the program;
              12. Provides the PCP or PCC staff the following information regarding the child, within seven (7) business days of admission:
                1. DCBS child/youth action plan;
                2. Visitation agreement; and
                3. Transition plan, if the youth is over seventeen (17);
              13. Provides the PCP or PCC staff the following information regarding the child, within ten (10) business days of admission: 
                1. Reason for referral;
                2. Statement of intended outcomes for placement (including the anticipated length of stay);
                3. Complete placement history; and
                4. Current social, psychological and mental health records;
              14. Requests an out of state placement through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) if the SRA and Commissioner provide written approval of the request to place a child out of state (may be in the form of e-mail);3  4
              15. Completes the following steps if there is a placement disruption that requires a move: 
                1. Consults with the FSOS and keeps the family informed regarding placement options;
                2. Determines whether the child’s level of care assignment is accurate based on the child’s current situation, and (if necessary) requests a redetermination after receiving regional approval to initiate a change in placement;
                3. Notifies the regional placement coordinator (RPC) of the need for a new placement and forwards a revised level of care packet;
                4. Notifies the medically complex liaison, Medical Support Section and the CCSHCN nurse of a medically complex child’s move;
              16. Does not refer a child less than eight (8) years of age or with a level of care of three (3) or less, for placement in a PCC residential program, except under special circumstances, and with SRA approval;
              17. Submits a special request through the SRA to the Director of the Division of Protection and Permanency, to request an exception, if it is determined that a child ages three (3) to six(6) is in need of PCC residential treatment.  The request includes:  
                1. Documentation from the residential child-caring facility staff that there is no less restrictive placement available to meet the child’s mental health, physical, or behavioral needs; and
                2. Verification that the residential child-caring facility:
                  1. Is also licensed to provide emergency shelter services;
                  2. Provides adequate space for the child that is protected from children who are age ten (10) and older;
                  3. Provides sight and sound segregation of the child from children who are age ten (10) and older while the child engages in:
                    1. Sleeping;
                    2. Personal hygiene; and
                    3. Toiletry; and
                  4. Provides staff supervision that supports the child’s individual treatment plan.
                3. The RPC refers the child to appropriate PCP or PCC programs by sending the level of care packet and level of care assignment to the program, and provides the SSW with written notification of the referrals.

                Contingencies and Clarifications

                1. The SSW places children with an assigned level of care (LOC) of one (1) or two (2) in a DCBS foster and adoptive home if not being placed with a relative, except in the following circumstances:
                  1. When a sibling is assigned a level of four (4) or higher, and a placement of siblings together is sought;
                  2. When maintaining the child(ren) in closest proximity to the family’s home; or
                  3. When a special situation exists and the SRA or designee approves placement.

                Practice Guidance

                • The PCP or PCC program provides a response regarding possible placement of the child to the RPC within two (2) working days of receipt of a referral.
                • Prior to private child caring facilities accepting a medically complex youth they are required to submit a written plan addressing how they will meet the medical needs of the youth. This plan is submitted to the medically complex liaison, who forwards it to the Medical Support Section.  A copy is also placed in the child’s case file.
                • The RPC sends written information to the SSW about responses.
                • Transferring a child between programs, facilities or foster homes is considered a placement move.  If a child's placement changes at any point, the SSW should always notify RPC to request a new placement.   
                • Children under eighteen (18) years of age cannot be placed in a scattered site independent living program (ILP).  The SSW should contact the PCC/PCP liaison with questions regarding whether an ILP is considered scattered site.  This should occur prior to placing the youth.
                • If an appropriate in state placement cannot be found and a PCP (PCC Listing) indicates a placement option in one of their out of state foster homes, the placement may be considered in limited situations. 
                • Regional staff consults with the Medical Support Section and/or Out of Home Care Branch regarding medically complex children who are in need of specialized placement, which includes out of state placement.
                • The placement must:
                  • Be in the best interest of the child;
                  • Meet the same requirements and the re-evaluation reviews as outlined in Chapter 12 Foster and Adoptive Family Recruitment, Certification and Reimbursement;
                  • Have the home study reviewed and approved by the SRA;
                  • Be within forty-five (45) miles of the Kentucky border;
                  • Agree to weekly visits by the PCP;
                  • Agree to monthly visits by the SSW;
                  • Comply with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC).  5
                • If the PCP agrees with these stipulations, the SSW seeks written approval through supervisory channels of the SRA and Commissioner prior to any placement.
                • PCP/PCC agencies and any out of state facility submit the DPP-104C Medically Complex Monthly Report to the SSW, medically complex liaison and the Medical Support Section on medically complex children each month.

                Footnotes

                1. For a child entering a private child care emergency shelter, a level of care assignment is sought, but is not required in order to place the child.
                2. Information is to be documented in TWIST.After best efforts to obtain responses from the child’s parent/guardian about parental objection, a no response may be an appropriate choice. (US District Court Western District of KY, Pedreira et.al. VS. CHFS et. al., Civil Action No. 3:00-CV-210-S).
                3. Refer to guidelines found in SOP 10.5 Request to Place a Kentucky Child in Another State for Foster Care or Adoption.
                4. Placement may not be made until approved by ICPC.
                5. Guidelines for out of state placement requests are found in SOP 4.12 Out of State Placement as well as in Chapter 10 Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

                4.11.1 Level of Care Assignment

                Chapter:
                Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
                Effective:
                01/21/2020
                Section:
                4.11.1 Level of Care Assignment
                Version:
                5

                Legal Authority/Introduction

                LEGAL AUTHORITY:

                Procedure 

                The SSW: 

                1. Completes the level of care (LOC) packet for a child who is:
                  1. Four (4) years of age or above; or
                  2. Any child who is designated medically complex regardless of age.
                2. Submits the following documents to the Children’s Review Program (CRP) within ten (10) working days of the child's entry into OOHC in order to obtain a LOC assignment:
                  1. DPP-886A-Application for Referral and Needs Assessment;1
                  2. Screener; and
                  3. For medically complex children, documentation verifying medically complex status.
                3. Follows the guidelines in SOP 4.11.2 Request for Emergency Level of Care Assignment if an unforeseen circumstance necessitates a child without a LOC assignment, or with an expired LOC assignment, to be placed; and
                4. Ensures that the review of the LOC assignment occurs to keep the child’s LOC assignment active. 2

                Practice Guidance

                • Within three (3) working days of receipt of the complete LOC packet, CRP determines the child’s assigned LOC, and returns the completed DPP-886A-Application for Referral and Needs Assessment form to the billing specialist who will forward the form to the SSW.
                • CRP works with the medical support section to obtain an acuity level for children designated medically complex which will be considered when assigning the LOC.    
                • Levels may also be assigned upon request for children under the age of four (4) with significant behavioral or mental health needs.  In these cases, the SSW must submit to CRP a request letter from a supervisor along with the items listed in number two (2) above. If PCC or PCP staff requests that a child under the age of forty eight (48) months be leveled and the SSW and FSOS are not in agreement, a request from the provider will be sent to the Department of Protection and Permanency, Out of Home Care Branch Manager, at 502-564-2147, for determination.
                • The time frame to complete the screener is ten (10) working days, however, because the screener correlates with assigning the LOC and obtaining mental health services, the SSW is encouraged to complete the screener as soon as possible to minimize delays. 

                Footnotes

                1. Any child who is being considered for residential treatment must have a LOC prior to placement.  As such, the LOC packet, including the completed DPP-886A and Screener must be submitted to CRP before placement is secured. 
                2. Review of the LOC assignment is outlined in SOP 4.11.3 Reviews of Level of Care Assignment.

                4.11.2 Request for Emergency LOC Assignment

                Chapter:
                Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
                Effective:
                12/3/2010
                Section:
                4.11.2 Request for Emergency LOC Assignment
                Version:
                1

                Legal Authority/Introduction

                LEGAL AUTHORITY:

                Procedure 

                The SSW:

                1. Requests an emergency level of care assignment through the Interstate Compact (ICPPC) office located in central office at (502) 564-2147, when needed;
                2. Gives the reason for the need for the emergency level of care assignment, and the child’s:
                  1. Name;
                  2. Date of birth; and
                  3. County of commitment;
                3. Contacts the Assistant Director of the Division of Protection and Permanency at 502-564-6852, if someone from the ICPC office is unavailable;
                4. Has the level of care packet completed, as outlined in SOP 4.11.1 Level of Care Assignment, and ready to fax to the Children’s Review Program (CRP) at the time of the request;
                5. Ensures that complete information is sent to CRP to avoid follow-up calls that may delay the process;
                6. Mails the Child Behavioral Check List (CBCL) to CRP, even though it does not have to arrive prior to the emergency level of care assignment. 1

                Practice Guidance

                • The SSW and FSOS should reserve requests for true emergency situations such as unexpected commitments from court or sudden, severe acting out by a child who appears to warrant an immediate placement change.
                • The SSW does not request an emergency level of care assignment if the child does not require an immediate PCC placement or if the child is placed in an emergency shelter or psychiatric hospital. 2

                Footnotes

                1. If it becomes unnecessary for an emergency level of care assignment, the SSW notifies central office.
                2. The Children’s Review Program may require up to twenty-four hours to determine a level on an emergency case, rather than the three working days normally allowed.

                4.11.3 Reviews of LOC Assignment

                Chapter:
                Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
                Effective:
                04/15/2014
                Section:
                4.11.3 Reviews of LOC Assignment
                Version:
                2

                Legal Authority/Introduction

                LEGAL AUTHORITY:

                Procedure

                If the child is in a PCC foster home or a residential facility the SSW:

                1. And foster parent complete or update the CRP-003-Children’s Review Program Foster Care Six-Month Progress Report and forward it to the Children’s Review Program every six (6) months;
                2. And/or foster parent complete the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) for Ages 4-18, and forward it to CRP every six (6) months if the child has an IQ of seventy (70) or above;
                3. And/or foster parent complete the Scales of Independent Behavior–Revised (SIB-R) and the Reiss Scales for Children’s Dual Diagnosis and forward to CRP every twelve (12) months if the child has an IQ below seventy (70).
                4. If the child is placed in a PCC residential facility, and during the LOC review it is determined that a child’s level is decreased from a four (4) or five (5), to a three (3) or lower, the SSW completes a Prevention Plan to outline provisions of a planned placement move based on the re-leveling of the child (refer to SOP 4.11.4 Change in LOC Assignment). 1

                The Medical Support Section:

                1. Receives from CRP, a list every month of medically fragile children, placed in a PCC/PCP, whose acuity level will require a six (6) month reassessment;
                2. Contacts the medically fragile liaison and the Commission for Child with Special Health Care Needs (CCSHCN) nurse to obtain updates on the child in order to assign an appropriate acuity level;
                3. Forwards the acuity level to CRP to inform the level of care assignment as described in SOP 4.11.1 Level of Care Assignment.

                If special circumstances exist which require that the SSW appeal (i.e. request a redetermination of the level of care assignment), the SSW submits: 

                1. DPP-886-Private Child Care Interagency Referral, with Section H completed (for an initial level or reassignment);
                2. CRP-002-Private Child Care Notice of Level of Care Payment or CRP-005-DCBS Foster Care Utilization Review Notice of Level Assignment, with Request for Redetermination section completed (for a level assigned by a utilization review); and
                3. Copies of available documentation that indicate that the child’s level of care assignment may be higher or lower than is appropriate.

                Practice Guidance

                • Following review, CRP sends the assigned level of care to the SSW within ten (10) working days, along with the narrative reports of the CBCL and SIB-R/Reiss.
                • If the child is in a PCP/PCC placement and has a valid initial level of care assignment, the PCP/PCC is responsible for keeping the level of care assignment valid by requesting a utilization review and by completing the appropriate paperwork.
                • CRP is responsible for notifying the Medical Support Section one month in advance of any medically fragile utilization reviews. 
                • For children that are designated medically fragile and also have behavioral issues, CRP will make the final level of care determination.
                • When there is an appeal, CRP sends a copy of the results of the review to the SSW and placement within three (3) calendar days.
                • Levels may also be assigned upon request for children under the age of four (4) with significant behavioral or mental health needs.  Refer to SOP 4.11.1 Level of Care Assignment.

                 

                Footnotes

                1. This planned placement move should be from the residential facility into a foster home setting.

                4.11.4 Change in LOC Assignment

                Chapter:
                Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
                Effective:
                04/15/2014
                Section:
                4.11.4 Change in LOC Assignment
                Version:
                2

                Legal Authority/Introduction

                LEGAL AUTHORITY:

                • N/A

                Procedure

                The SSW and family’s team:

                1. Consult to determine whether the child is to be moved to a placement that better meets his/her service needs and supports his permanency goal when there is a change in the child’s level of care assignment;
                2. Are to consider the generally detrimental effect of moving a child from one placement to another;
                3. Complete a Prevention Plan within ninety (90) days of a the change in LOC that is designed to:
                  1. Focus on the individual needs of the child when the LOC is changed to a three (3) or lower; and
                  2. Move a child from a PCC residential setting into a foster home.

                Contingencies and Clarifications

                1. If it is determined that a child with a LOC of three (3) needs to be placed in a PCC residential or remain in one, an exception is requested through the central office Out of Home Care Branch. 

                4.12 Out of State Placement

                Chapter:
                Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
                Effective:
                01/22/2014
                Section:
                4.12 Out of State Placement
                Version:
                2

                Legal Authority/Introduction

                LEGAL AUTHORITY:

                A child may be placed in an out of state placement when the child is in need of specialized services that are not available in the state of Kentucky.

                Procedure

                1. The Regional Placement Coordinator (RPC) consults with the Children’s Review Program (CRP) statewide placement office and follows the steps below when it has been determined that a child needs the services of an out-of-state facility and all in-state possibilities have been exhausted:
                  1. Requests approval to begin out of state referrals if no new possibilities are formulated; 1 
                  2. Contacts potential out of state placements, prioritizing (in part) according to proximity to the child’s home county upon approval of the search by the CRP statewide placement office;
                  3. Provides instructions to the potential provider as to participation with Kentucky Medicaid and pre-approval, and follows up as appropriate;
                  4. Informs the SSW once an appropriate placement with a Kentucky Medicaid provider is located. 2
                2. The CRP statewide placement office seeks the approval of the DCBS Division of Protection and Permanency Director to begin the out of state placement referral process by faxing (502-564-5995) a written request to the Out of Home Care Branch.
                3. Upon review and concurrence with the Director of Protection and Permananey and the Out of Home Care Branch, an e-mail is sent to the CRP statewide placement office approving the search. 
                4. The SSW contacts the facility to determine when the child can be admitted, with the understanding that placement has not yet been approved.
                5. The SSW requests, through supervisory and regional channels, approval of the interstate placement by the DCBS Division of Protection and Permanency Director.
                6. The SSW submits one (1) referral packet via e-mail to CHFS.Interstate@ky.gov or to the adress below to request a residential treatment center (RTC):

                  Deputy Compact Administrator
                  Kentucky Interstate Compact Office
                  275 East Main Street, 3E-D
                  Frankfort, KY 40621.
                7. The SSW utilizes the ICPC Referral Packet Checklist for Out of State Residential Placements and ensures the referral packet contains the information below in the following order:
                  1. The ICPC Cover Letter;
                  2. Correspondence (letter/email) from CRP or regional/central office that states in state placements are not appropriate;
                  3. Acceptance letter/correspondence from the out of state facility;
                  4. Current court commitment/custody orders, dated within the last twelve (12) months (calendars or dockets do not meet this requirement);
                  5. Current assessment;
                  6. Admission/discharge information from other recent treatment programs;
                  7. Information regarding the child’s DSM IV diagnosis and IQ;
                  8. Completed ICPC Financial/Medical Plan;
                  9. Title IV-E eligibility (OOHC-1262-Title IV-E Eligibility/ Reimbursement Summary form).
                8. The Out of Home Care Branch notifies the SRA or designee of their decision to approve or deny out of state placement within four (4) working days of receipt of the request.
                9. The Deputy compact Administrator (DCA) of Kentucky notifies the SSW and/or the FSOS in writing of approval, upon approval by the DCA or the receiving state.
                10. The SRA assigns a regional designee to follow up on the financial aspect of the placement (including Medicaid precertification). 3
                11. The SSW notifies the RPC and the DCA of Kentucky in writing, using the ICPC-100B Interstate Compact Report on the Child's Placement Status, when placement has taken place or if the approved facility will not be used.
                12. The DCA of Kentucky sends written correspondence (100B) to the DCA of the state in which the facility is located;
                13. The SSW obtains travel approval from the interstate office and forwards it to the SRA.
                14. The SSW follows procedures outlined in SOP 4.54 Transportation and Out of State Travel with a Child in the Custody of the Cabinet  when transporting a child
                15. The SSW notifies the DCA of Kentucky in writing/email if the child is placed in the approved out of state facility and the child returns or is released back to Kentucky.
                16. The SSW has the facility sign a DPP-1278R-OUt of State Psychiatric Hospital/Residential Program Services Agreement or similar provider agreement at the time of the child's admission to an out of state facility.
                17. The DCA of Kentucky closes the interstate case and copies the SSW or FSOS on the correspondence. 4

                 

                  

                Clarifications and Contingencies

                The regional designee:

                1. Requests that the provider assist with an appeal if a child is decertified;
                2. Completes the following steps if the appeal is not successful:
                  1. Ensures that payment to the provider will come from the regional budget as agreed on the DPP-1285R Out of State Psychiatric Hospital/Residential Program Services Agreement, or similar provider agreement;
                  2. Notifies the Director of Protection and Permanency in central office at (502) 564-6852; and
                  3. Consults with the SSW and FSOS and notifies the RPC as to whether a new search for an in-state placement is appropriate.

                Related Information

                • Out of Home Care Branch
                  275 East Main Street, 3E-D
                  Frankfort, KY 40621 

                Footnotes

                1. The request includes documentation of all in state referrals, as well as the recommendation and/or agreement by the SSW and FSOS to begin the out of state referral process.
                2. The cabinet uses a participating Kentucky Medicaid provider first.
                3. The designee’s name is given to the provider at the time of the child’s admission.
                4. It is recommended that a pre-placement visit be scheduled if at all possible.

                4.13 Alternative Placements

                Chapter:
                Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
                Effective:
                08/20/2020
                Section:
                4.13 Alternative Placements
                Version:
                1

                Legal Authority/Introduction

                 

                 

                Procedure

                 

                Job Corps 
                 

                Job Corps is a free educational and vocational training program with campuses across the state.

                Foster youth under the age of seventeen (17) are not typically permitted to reside at Job Corps centers. However, this can be approved on a case-by-case basis.  The SRA or designee should submit a request to the Division of Protection and Permanency (DPP) director or designee, documenting how the placement is in the best interest of the youth. 

                Foster youth age eighteen (18) or older who are on extended commitment to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS/Cabinet) are permitted to reside at a Job Corps center without additional approval. 

                The SSW will ensure that the youth has appropriate placement when Job Corps is not in session.  

                 

                College Campus

                At the discretion of the SSW, foster youth age eighteen (18) or older are permitted to reside on a college campus.  Foster youth under age eighteen (18) may be permitted to reside on a college campus on a case-by-case basis. The SRA or designee should submit a memo requesting approval to the DPP director or designee.  

                The SSW will notify the regional independent living specialist (ILS) that a youth has been approved to live on campus.  The ILS will submit a request for monthly maintenance payments to the Chafee program administrator. 

                Youth who live on a college campus must provide their transcript to the SSW promptly upon the conclusion of each semester.  

                Youth must maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) to be eligible to reside on a college campus.  Youth whose GPA falls below a 2.0 will be issued a warning letter.  If a youth's GPA falls below 2.0 for two (2) consecutive semesters, the youth will not be permitted to reside on campus.  

                The SSW will ensure that the youth has an appropriate placement during holidays and summer breaks.  


                 

                Military Academy/School

                A youth in the custody of CHFS is not permitted to be placed in a military academy or school.    



                 
                 
                 

                ​ 

                4.14 Timeframes for All OOHC Cases

                Chapter:
                Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
                Effective:
                10/6/2020
                Section:
                4.14 Timeframes for All OOHC Cases
                Version:
                8

                Legal Authority/Introduction

                LEGAL AUTHORITY:

                Throughout the life of an out of home care case, there are specific timeframes for conferences, consultations and ongoing service provision that must be met in order to ensure that a case is managed properly, families receive all appropriate services and timely permanency is achieved.  The procedures below assist staff in meeting these timeframe goals.   

                Procedure

                Case Planning

                The SSW:

                1. Notifies the school within two (2) working days:
                  1. When the child is placed in out-of-home care (OOHC) to provide a list of who may contact the child at school and who may pick up and drop off the child; and 
                  2. At the conclusion of the agency’s work with the family.
                2. Convenes a ten (10) day case planning conference within ten (10) calendar days of the temporary removal hearing or voluntary placement agreement (KRS 620.180);
                3. Notifies the child’s assigned managed care organization (MCO) within five (5) working days of the child coming into OOHC, and shares with the MCO, information relevant to the medical and behavioral health care needs of the child;
                4. Sends the completed DPP-106B Initial Physical and Behavioral Health History to the child’s MCO within five (5) working days of the child’s entry into OOHC;
                5. Maintains monthly face-to-face contact with children, biological families, and substitute caregivers;
                6. Considers concurrent planning when negotiating/developing a case plan during the ten (10) day conference; however by the six (6) month periodic review the case is converted to a concurrent planning case if the child is still in OOHC as outlined in SOP 4.19 Consideration/Implementation of Concurrent Planning For Permanency;
                7. Completes the Waiver of Reasonable Efforts Checklist and consults with FSOS at the following points in the case:
                  1. Prior to the emergency custody order;