Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

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First Section: 3.7 through 3.9-Not Yet Utilized
Last Section: 4.28.5 Educational Training Voucher for Aged Out Youth

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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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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.     

    Procedure

    The SSW: 

    1. Assesses culture, defined or observed by the family members and community partners; 1
    2. Assesses the needs of children, biological families and caregivers for cultural issues that will need to be addressed to maintain connections to a child’s culture;
    3. Considers race or ethnicity in selecting a foster or adoptive home for a child only in rare circumstances when:
      1. The special or distinctive needs of a child require it; and
      2. Those needs can be documented or substantiated;
    4. Consults with the Service Region Administrator (SRA) or designee, through supervisory channels, regarding the needs related to race, color, or national origin of the child;
    5. Documents discussion of:
      1. The risk of harm of delaying placement;
      2. The ability of a prospective foster or adoptive parent who does not share the child’s racial or ethnic background to meet the special needs;
      3. The child’s other important needs; and
      4. Conformity to the provisions of the Multi-Ethnic Placement Act (MEPA);
    6. Consults with the FSOS or designee regarding concerns related to the Multiethnic Placement Act and Interethnic Adoption Provisions (MEPA-IEPA) for purposes of:
      1. Removing barriers to permanency for children in the child protective system;
      2. Ensuring that adoption or foster placements are not delayed or denied based on race; color or national origin; and
      3. Ensuring that the cultural needs of a child are met, but not assuming that needs can only be met by a racially or ethnically matched parent;
    7. Uses positive aspects of the family’s culture to motivate behavior changes;
    8. 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 a central office specialist when questions arise concerning culture, race or ethnicity.

    Practice Guidance

    • Children who are not US citizens and become involved with the agency, may be eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status and may be permitted to apply for a green card, if:  
      • The child is placed under the legal custody of the state or other individual appointed by the state (i.e. relatives);
      • The child cannot be reunited with one or both parents due to abuse, abandonment or neglect; and
      • It is not in the child’s best interests to be returned to his/her country of citizenship. 
    • If a child is eligible for SIJ status, the SSW should assist the child in obtaining his/her green card.  The United States Citizenship web page offers guidance on how to complete this task. 

    Footnotes

    1. Culture consists of all the ideas, objects and ways of doing things in terms of describing the family’s entire way of life. 

    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:
    07/2/2019
    Section:
    4.5.5 Relative and Fictive Kin Placement Foster Care Payments
    Version:
    3
     
     

    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 an approved home evaluation;

      • 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 of the DCBS resource parent daily rate (currently $24.10 if child is under age 12, and $26.20 if child is age 12 and over). 

     
     
     

    PRACTICE GUIDANCE

     
     
     
      1. 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. SSW can seek assistance from OLS when pursuing permanent custody/DNA-9.

      4. Enter/Exit information is submitted electronically on the DPP-1279 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 request and enter/exit screens should not be completed.

     

    Procedure

     

    For active cases:

     

    The SSW:

     
    1. Completes the Relative/Fictive Kin Home Evaluation (DPP-1277) and discusses the short-term and long-term implications with the relative/fictive kin regarding accepting placement of the child;

    2. Uploads 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, caregiver may receive traditional benefits through the Division of Family Support (DFS), i.e. KTAP, SNAP, medical card, etc.;

      2. CHFS receives temporary custody and the caregiver has the following options:

        1. Caregiver pursues foster parenting 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 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, etc.

    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:

    5.  
      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.  

      9.  
    6. Reviews eligibility with the regional point person who makes final determination of eligibility; 

    7. 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); 

    8. 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

    9. 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

    10. 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. Relative or fictive kin 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 submits proof of at least 20 hours of employment per week.  Relative or fictive kin is responsible for any overage fees the daycare facility charges above the state rate.

    3. Relative or fictive kin 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, etc.).

    4. D.O. v. Glisson foster care payments may impact other benefits the relative or fictive kin 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).  Caregiver is responsible to inquire with these agencies and report all payments of benefits to the appropriate agency.

    5. Relative or fictive kin 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. Relative or fictive kin signs a DPP-179 Relative and Fictive Kin Caregiver Agreement which explains that the relative/fictive kin must agree to obtain permanent custody of the child if they choose to receive D.O. v. Glisson payment. 

    7. Relative or fictive kin 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 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.

    8. For inactive cases, OLS pursues permanency for the child.  For active cases, SSWs 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.

    9. For inactive cases, the SSW is not required to open a new intake or case. 

     
      
     
      

    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 through 4.8-Not Yet Utilized

    Chapter:
    Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
    Effective:
    12/3/2010
    Section:
    4.6 through 4.8-Not Yet Utilized
    Version:
    1

    Reserved for future use.

     

    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 Foster Home

    Chapter:
    Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
    Effective:
    04/1/2019
    Section:
    4.10.4 Relative Foster Home
    Version:
    2

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

    Introduction

    A child specific foster home is an approved DCBS family foster home that provides placement for
    children related to them by blood, marriage, adoption, or fictive kin. Child specific foster homes go through
    the same approval process as regular DCBS foster homes, including pre-service training, home assessments/visits, safety and background checks, and the SAFE home study. A child specific foster parent receives child specific foster care per diem reimbursement for the care of a child in the legal custody of DCBS.  In order to support the approval of relative and fictive kin caregivers, non-safety waivers may be applied in the approval of child specific foster homes. Child specific foster homes should be encouraged to meet all standards for foster home approval.  However, approvals shall be assessed on a case by case basis to determine waivers that may be necessary for approval.

    Procedure

    1. Discusses the service array utilizing the Relative Fictive Kin Caregiver Brochure, Service Array Worksheet, and acknowledgment form with the prospective relative or fictive kin caregiver at the time of placement.
    2. If the relative or fictive kin caregiver decides to pursue approval as a child specific foster parent then the SSW and FSOS will ensure that the child remains or is placed in the custody of the Cabinet. 
    3. The SSW or FSOS will submit a copy of the completed section 1 of the DPP 1277 Home Evaluation to the R&C supervisor within three (3) business days of the caregiver’s decision to purse approval as a foster parent.
    4. The SSW or FSOS will submit a completed and signed copy of the DPP 1277 Home Evaluation to the R&C supervisor upon completion.
    5. The R&C worker will assist the relative or fictive kin caregiver in the foster care approval process as outlined in Chapter 12.
       

    Practice Guidance

    • Caregivers that have temporary custody are ineligible for approval as a child specific foster home effective 4/1/19.

     

    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.

      4.12 through 4.13-Not Yet Utilized

      Chapter:
      Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
      Effective:
      12/3/2010
      Section:
      4.12 through 4.13-Not Yet Utilized
      Version:
      1

      Reserved for future use.

       

      4.14 Timeframes for All OOHC Cases

      Chapter:
      Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
      Effective:
      02/22/2019
      Section:
      4.14 Timeframes for All OOHC Cases
      Version:
      7

      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 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 MCO within five (5) working days of the child coming into out of home care, 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;
        2. Prior to the temporary removal hearing;
        3. Ten (10) day conference/First FTM/initial case plan;
        4. Periodic review case plan at six (6) months;
        5. Nine (9) months after removal (during pre-perm with regional attorney); and
        6. Every case plan review thereafter. 
      8. Consults with the regional attorney about the appropriateness of requesting a waiver of reasonable efforts through the court, if any of the criteria in the checklist are selected/apply to the case. 1
      9. Convenes the first periodic review/case conference of the case plan within six (6) months of the temporary removal hearing or placement and the procedures in SOP 11.31 Process for Court Case Review thereafter until permanency is achieved (475 (5)(B));
      10. Facilitates scheduling of a placement court review no later than six (6) months after the child is removed from the home, regardless of placement or custody, when the child is sixteen (16) or younger at the time of removal in accordance with Family Court Civil Rule 34;
      11. Requests a pre–permanency planning conference prior to pursuing an involuntary termination of parental rights (TPR), during or before the ninth (9th) month in care;
      12. Requests a permanency hearing within twelve (12) months of the temporary removal hearing or voluntary placement agreement and every twelve (12) months thereafter until permanency is achieved as required by Title IV-E, Section 475(5)(E) of the Social Security Act;
      13. 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; and
      14. Following a termination of parental rights, facilitates the scheduling of a court review in accordance with Family Court Rule 36. 2

       

        Investigations and Ongoing Assessments

        The SSW: 

          1. Completes the investigation within thirty (30) working days of acceptance of the referral
          2. Completes the evaluation of the prior case plan/assessment within 30 days of the development of the next case plan.
          3. Completes all case plan evaluations/assessments prior to the development of case plans in six (6) month intervals.

         

         

        Regional Case Consultations

        1. The FSOS and designated regional staff meet to consult on the progress of an out of home care ongoing case:
          1. After a child has been in out of home care for three (3) months; and 
          2. Every six (6) months thereafter (9 month, 15 month, 21 month, etc.) until the child achieves permanency.

        Contingencies and Clarifications

        1. After a waiver of reasonable efforts is received the SSW:
          1. Completes a pre-permanency meeting with the regional attorney within thirty (30)  days;
          2. Schedules a new case plan and a written notice is provided to the parents;
          3. Shifts focus of the case plan to transitioning the child to adoption;
          4. Maintains parent/child visitation in accordance with SOP 4.19 Visitation Agreement;
          5. Completes case planning tasks with the parents which include continuing to work  with services providers to reduce high risk behaviors in the event the parents' appeal  is in their favor or TPR is not granted;
          6. Ceases worker visits to the parents; 3
          7. Prepares the child for the final parent child visit and supports the child through adoption. 4
        2. May continue to send written notice to the parents to demonstrate the provision of  reasonable efforts, or may continue to make efforts to locate a parent's address if  previously unknown;
        3. Documents the circumstances necessitating fewer face to face visits, i.e. an incarcerated  or out of state parent, if monthly contact with biological families is not possible;
        4. Enters a new case plan with the goal of adoption in TWIST and begins work on the 161 packet so that the regional attorney may proceed with filing the termination of parental rights petition, oncea waiver of reasonable efforts is ordered.
           

        Footnotes

        1. SSWs can request a waiver of reasonable efforts based on the checklist criteria at any point in the case; however, they should complete the checklist at each of the four (4) points listed in this section.
        2. The hearing is to occur within ninety (90) days of the TPR order, in order to review progress toward finalization of an adoptive placement for the child.
        3. The parents may still have case plan tasks related to supporting the child, preparing the child for the final parent-child visitation and adoption, and continuing to work independently on their high-risk behaviors.
        4. Parent-child visits may proceed at the direction of the court through the termination of parental rights.

        4.15 Family Attachment and Involvement

        Chapter:
        Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
        Effective:
        01/1/2012
        Section:
        4.15 Family Attachment and Involvement
        Version:
        2

        Legal Authority/Introduction

        LEGAL AUTHORITY:

        Active participation by family members is desired, needed and valued in all aspects of an out of home care case. To the extent possible the SSW engages both maternal and paternal family members equally in the assessment and case planning process from the first point of intervention.

        It is important to demonstrate sensitivity and empathy to the crisis that family members may be experiencing, especially if they are separated from their child(ren).

        The involvement of all parents in the lives of their children, even when there is domestic violence present, is important for attachment and bonding. All parents have a right and responsibility to be involved in their children’s lives, always considering the safety of the child(ren) and the non-offending parent.

        Procedure

        The SSW:

        1. Contacts the biological father/mother or conducts an absent parent and relative search on all identified fathers and relatives within thirty (30) calendar days;1
        2. Documents efforts in TWIST (to generate an Absent Parent Form) and utilizes the Absent Parent and Relative Search Handbook to assist in completing searches;
        3. Identifies and explores placement of the child with available relatives, if known (both maternal and paternal); otherwise follows the same procedures outlined in the absent parent search in locating family members;
        4. Engages the father/mother and/or family members to solicit involvement in permanency planning for the child;
        5. Conducts case planning and provide needed/requested services;
        6. Includes the father/mother in a regular visitation schedule that promotes and maintains attachment unless the following exists:
          1. Parental rights have been terminated; or
          2. Participation would be contrary to the best interest of the child.

        Practice Guidance

        • The Cabinet is required to offer needed services to both parents.  Failure to provide services to the absent parent may significantly impact timely permanency. 
        • Recognize that family members may be new participants in the child welfare and court system. Take the time to explain how these systems work and answer any questions asked by the family. Ensure the family understands that events can occur at certain timelines during the life of the case, (i.e., filing of termination petition at fifteen (15) months of child being in foster care).
        • 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.

        The SSW promotes:

        • Parent and child attachment through frequent visitation and other forms of regular contact; and
        • Efforts to maintain attachment of the child to other significant family members that are involved in the life of the child, to include biological father or paternal family members.

        Footnotes

        1. The same aforementioned procedures would be used to locate the mother or other maternal family members.

        4.16 Participants and Notification for All OOHC Cases

        Chapter:
        Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
        Effective:
        09/30/2015
        Section:
        4.16 Participants and Notification for All OOHC Cases
        Version:
        4

        Legal Authority/Introduction

        LEGAL AUTHORITY:

        Procedure 

        The SSW:

        1. Is required to invite the following individuals to the case planning conference:
          1. Both legal and biological parents, absent parents, non-custodial parents and family members, including identified fathers as outlined in SOP 4.15 Family Attachment and Involvement;
          2. Children, six (6) years of age and older (unless there is a clinical justification for not doing so or the SSW has evaluated the child and deems it not in child’s best interest to participate); 1
          3. Other Cabinet staff involved, which may include the designated swift chair when the child’s permanency goal is being changed to adoption and at subsequent case planning conferences as outlined in SOP 13.3 Swift Adoptions;
          4. Objective third party as required for periodic reviews; 2
          5. Two (2) people chosen by the child (who are not a foster parent or caseworker for the child), when the child has attained 14 years of age;  (Section 475 (1)(B) of the Social Security Act) 3
          6. Parent’s attorney, if applicable;
          7. Child’s attorney, Guardian Ad Litem;
          8. County attorney;
          9. Caregiver (foster parents, PCC provider, relative, etc.); and
            Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA);
        2. Is required to permit a child to designate one of their chosen participants to be the child’s advisor, and as necessary, to advocate with regard to the application of the reasonable and prudent parenting standard; (Section 475 (1)(B) of the Social Security Act)
        3. Is required to notify all participants of any case planning conference, ten (10) calendar days prior to the conference for all OOHC cases, excluding the ten (10) day conference;
        4. Notifies legal parents, biological parents, and/or guardians by certified mail;
        5. Documents efforts to identify relatives on the DPP-1275 Relative Exploration Form;
        6. Documents attempts to notify absent parents and non-custodial parents;
        7. Follows the procedures outlined in SOPs 4.17 Preparation for and Ten (10) Day Conference and 4.18 Ongoing Case Planning to inform the parent(s) that a case planning conference occurred in their absence if a parent(s) fails to attend;
        8. Includes absent parents in the case plan by including at least one objective that addresses “non-involvement;”
        9. Conducts an absent parent search, if the parent’s whereabouts are unknown, and documents under the objective that addresses non-involvement of the parent; 4 
        10. Creates an objective and associated task that address the parent’s non-involvement regardless of their willingness to participate if/when the parent is located.

        Practice Guidance

        • The SSW may invite and involve the following individuals (with parents consent), not inclusive in case planning:
          • Community partners including service providers;
          • Extended family members;
          • The Independent Living Coordinator for all youth ages seventeen (17) and over; and
          • Other participants the family wants present.

         Footnotes

        1. 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.
        2. An objective third party is a person who is not responsible for case management and who is not in direct line of supervision of the case.  Examples include:  permanency specialist, an SSW who is not directly involved in the case or regional office staff.  It is preferred that the objective third party is a protection and permanency employee.  The objective third party’s signature must be on the case plan in order to appropriately document participation.  The Service Region Administrator (SRA) or designee approves third party participants who are not professional staff.
        3. The worker, in consultation with the FSOS, may reject an individual selected by the child if the agency has cause to believe the individual would not act in the best interest of the child.
        4. This task may prevent delays in termination of parental rights (TPR) in the future.  

        4.17 Preparation for and Completion of the Ten (10) Day Conference

        Chapter:
        Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
        Effective:
        01/15/2019
        Section:
        4.17 Preparation for and Completion of the Ten (10) Day Conference
        Version:
        18

        Legal Authority/Introduction

        LEGAL AUTHORITY:

         

        From the moment of the initial contact with the family, the SSW and the department are obligated under federal and state law to make reasonable efforts to keep families intact whenever possible, and in removal situations, to make reasonable efforts to reunify children with their families.  OOHC case plans are also expected to make appropriate plans to ensure the child’s mental health, educational stability, physical health, the establishment and support of a stable placement for the duration of their time in OOHC.  Additionally, for a child in OOHC the SSW and the department are responsible for creating a plan that demonstrates reasonable efforts to obtain a safe, permanent placement that permits the child to exit foster care in a reasonable timeframe.  The components of a well-designed case plan include documentation around all these efforts. 

        Key strategies for the achievement of an appropriate case plan include the engagement of family members and use of a family team meeting model when appropriate, appropriate identification and implementation of concurrent case plan goals when appropriate to the case specific circumstances, and the development of the key family level and individual level objectives that identify key benchmarks for the evaluation of the family’s progress.
         

        Procedure

        Prior to the 10 (ten) calendar day conference the SSW: 

        1. Obtains current assessment information from the investigative SSW, the petition for removal and may consider information from previous assessments, if the initial assessment is not completed prior to the ten (10) day conference, to assist in completing the case plan (Refer to Ten Day Conference Checklist); 1
        2. Notifies the child’s assigned MCO (within five (5) days of the child coming into out of home care) and shares with the MCO, information relevant to the medical and behavioral health care needs of the child;
        3. Reviews the case history, circumstances and investigative information to determine if the case meets concurrent planning criteria for the initial case plan;
        4. Along with the FSOS, completes the concurrent planning review tool and files it in the case record prior to the ten (10) calendar day case planning conference;
        5. Engages the family to solicit and encourage their approval for community partner involvement in developing the case plan;
        6. Ensures that the DCBS-1B Application for Services is  completed by all appropriate family members;
        7. Makes attempts to identify and include both parents and relatives in the case conference/team meeting; 2
        8. Includes the child or children, when age appropriate in case planning efforts;
        9. Empowers children age fourteen (14) and older in the development of their own case plan and transition planning for a successful adulthood;
        10. Permits a child who has attained fourteen (14) years to designate up to two (2) additional people to participate in the case planning conference, one of whom may be designated as the child’s advisor, and when necessary, to advocate with respect to the application of the reasonable and prudent parent standard; (Section 475 (1)(B) of the Social Security Act) 3
        11. Ensures full disclosure by respectful, candid discussion from the outset with all parties involved in the case planning and service provision of the following:
          1. Negative impact of foster care on children;
          2. Clarity about the birth parent’s rights and responsibilities;
          3. Services DCBS will provide;
          4. Permanency options;
          5. Concurrent Planning; and
          6. Consequences for not following the Case Plan; and
        12. Identifies relatives, family supports and community partners to include at the mandatory ninety (90) day family team meeting (refer to SOP 1.7 Family Team Meetings (FTM)).
        13.  

        During the ten (10) day case planning conference the FSOS or designee:

        1. Chairs the meeting and provides input into case plan development;
        2. Ensures that the case plan is developed within required timeframes; and
        3. Reviews and approves the case plan prior to distribution.

        During the ten (10) day case planning conference the SSW:

        1. Assists the family in completing the DPP-1275 Relative Exploration form, if not previously completed;
        2. Provides a copy of the When a Child is Removed From Your Care handbook to the birth parents/caregiver, if they have not already received it;
        3. Completes the DPP-106B Initial Physical and Behavioral Health History with the family and ensures that it is submitted to the child's MCO provider immediately following the meeting;
        4. Informs the parent/guardian that: 
          1. It is their right and responsibility to make health care decisions about their child, as well as the expectation that they will participate in these decisions;
          2. Their child may receive certain routine and non-routine health care while in care (use the DPP-106A to explain this);
          3. If they choose not to consent to routine health care and non-routine health care for their child, DCBS may do so under its authority as the legal guardian; 
          4. DCBS honors their role as the parent and will make every effort to involve them in decisions about their child’s health care needs; and
          5. If they are unwilling to sign the DPP-106A for a specific reason (i.e. religious beliefs), DCBS staff will consult with regional management for assistance in determining appropriate steps for consent;
        5. Ensures that the conference includes a presentation of ASFA guidelines, including the Cabinet’s obligation to make reasonable efforts to finalize a permanent placement and the Cabinet’s obligation to file for a termination of parental rights once the child has been care for 15 months under federal law: (475 (5)(E) and 45 CFR 1356.21 (i)(1)(i));
        6. Establishes the permanency goal or concurrent goals; 4
        7. Utilizes the Case Planning Objectives–OOHC Tip Sheet and ensures that the case plan contains one family level objective that focuses on:
          1. The reason the child was removed from the home; and
          2. Tasks the family must complete for reunification;
        8. Ensures that there are specific tasks developed related to the individual's high risk behaviors; 
        9. Adds a concurrent planning permanency objective in the child/youth action section of the case plan if the case meets criteria for concurrent planning;
        10. Checks the concurrent planning box in TWIST if concurrent goals are established;
        11. Negotiates or renegotiates the location, length and frequency regarding visits between the child, siblings and their parent(s) depending on the parent(s) circumstances and the child’s age;
        12. Ensures the following components are documented on the case plan in accordance with provisions of Title IV-E of the Social Security Act):
          1. Permanency goal(s);
          2. Information related to aggravated circumstances or safe infant provisions, if applicable;
          3. Services that will be provided to the parents that will constitute reasonable efforts to reunify the children;5
          4. Services that will be provided to achieve the least restrictive (most family like) placement and one that is in the closes proximity to the parents' home (Sec 475 and 42 USC 675);
          5. A schedule for visitation between the child and parent ensuring that visits occur no less than every two (2) weeks, unless there is a documented reason regarding why this is not in the child's best interest. Visits are designed to enhance and support the relationship (refer to OOHC Visitation Tip Sheet for more information regarding frequency and duration of visits);
          6.  A schedule for visitation between separated siblings, as appropriate to the case circumstances, designed to enhance and support the relationship;
          7. Documentation of the child specific efforts being taken to finalize a permanent placement for the child, including efforts to identify, recruit, process or approve a qualified family for (475(1)(E) and (5)(E)):
            1. Relative placement;
            2. Adoption;
            3. Legal guardianship;
          8. Documentation of justification for the selection of “another planned permanent living arrangement,” when selected as the goal for the child (45 CFR 1356.21(h)(3);
          9. A plan for assuring that services are provided to the child and placement provider in order to address the needs of the child while in foster care (Sec 475 (1)(b).  Such a plan should incorporate the following documentation pertaining to health and education records (Sec. 475 (1)(c):
            1. The names and addresses of the child's health and educational providers;
            2. The child's grade level performance;
            3. The child's school record;
            4. A record of the child's immunizations;
            5. The child's known medical problems;
            6. The child's medications;
          10. Objectives, tasks or other notes that constitute a plan for the child’s educational stability (refer to SOP 4.28 Meeting Educational Needs) as required by Sec 475 (1)(g) and Sec 471 (a)(30) of the Social Security Act, including:
            1. Assurances that each placement takes into account the appropriateness of the child’s current school setting, including early care and education provider or school,  as well as the proximity of the placement to the child’s school at the time of placement;
            2. Collaborates with the local education agency (LEA) utilizing the points of contact (POCs)    for the Kentucky Department of Education and discusses the factors to  consider on the Ensuring School Stability Best Interest Determination Tip Sheet; 
            3. Insure the child is able to attend the same school where enrolled at the time of each placement; and
            4. Assurances that, when a change of schools is necessary, the child will be immediately enrolled in an appropriate school, with all of the educational records of the child provided to the new school;
            5. Verification that a child, who has attained the minimum age for compulsory school attendance, is attending school in accordance with state law; or
            6. Regularly updated medical documentation that verifies that a child is incapable of attending school;6
          11. description of the programs and services which will assist youth in preparing for the transition to adulthood as outlined in SOP 4.29.1 Independent Living Services (Sec 475 (5)(c)(i));
          12. A transition plan, for youth 17 and over, updated as appropriate during the periodic review (Sec 475 (5)(H);
          13. Signatures of the conference participants;
        13. Collaborates with parents and caregviers to complete the partnership plan.  Copies will be distributed to all members of the partnership team.  The  Partnership Plan will address (at minimum) the following:

          1. Information about the child's likes, dislikes, fears, strengths, etc.;
          2. Barriers to child youth action plan objectives and how these barriers will be addressed by the partnership team; and
          3. Communication plan for the partnership team. 
        14. Documents the following:
          1. Efforts to discuss the case planning conference with each parent, current caregiver for the child and the child when they are unable to attend; and
          2. Efforts made to involve both parents, the child’s guardian or custodian;
          3. An age appropriate discussion with child in foster care who has attained fourteen (14) years of age, regarding the child’s rights as described on the DPP-1281 Family Case Plan;  (475a of the Social Security Act)
          4. Filing the child’s signature page acknowledging the child’s receipt of a copy of their rights;  (475a of the Social Security Act)
        15. Enters the case plan information in TWIST, with or without the parents' signatures, and submits it to the FSOS who approves it within ten (10) days from the case planning conference date;
        16. 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 receives a full copy (certified mail if not in attendance);
            2. Identified fathers receive a full copy (certified mail if not in attendance);
            3. Any person or agency providing services to the family (service providers for the parents receive a copy of the family portion);
            4. Any community partners assigned a task on the case plan (with parental consent); and
            5. The child’s guardian ad litem;
          2. The DPP-154 Protection and Permanency Service Appeal (certified mail) to parent or legal guardian; and
          3. All other relevant documents;
        17. Submits to the court a case plan, visitation agreement and prevention plans no later than thirty (30) calendar days after the effective date of the court order for each child placed in the custody of the Cabinet by either a commitment order or temporary custody order (45 CFR 1356.21(i)(2) and Family Court Rule 29;
        18. Dockets a placement court review no later than 6 months after the child is removed from the home, regardless of placement or custody, when the child is 16 or younger at the time of removal in accordance with Family Court Civil Rule 34;  
        19. Files, for the purpose of the court review, a dispositional report with the court at least three (3) days prior to the hearing (Family Court Civil Rule 28);
        20. Sends a copy of the case plan to the Administrative Office of the Courts Citizen Foster Care Review Board Program at the following address at the same time the case plan is submitted to the court:

          Dependent Children’s Services
          Administrative Office of the Courts
          100 Millcreek Park
          Frankfort, KY 40601

        Practice Guidance

        • Appropriate family and individual level objectives and tasks are developed in consideration of the safety issues that brought the child into OOHC.  In domestic violence situations, the FSOS assists the SSW in determining how to protect the safety of a non-offending parent and children.
        • The minimum frequency for periodic reviews and case planning conferences are dictated by law.  The cabinet may hold additional case conferences or family team meetings as necessary to adapt the case plan to the family when their needs change; however, any changes to the case plan should be documented and validated by conference participants in accordance with agency practice and applicable law.
        • Any revisions or updates to the plan must be developed in consultation with the child and up to two (2) members of the case planning team designated by the child.  (Section 475 (1)(B) of the Social Security Act)
        • The SSW may convene a family team meeting, when appropriate, for the development of the case plan. This family team meeting should include all parties to the case including:
          • Parents;
          • Caregivers (any one caring for the child);
          • Child (when appropriate); and
          • Other supports identified by the parents.
        • The SSW will not involve the parents in the case planning process if parental rights have been terminated, unless the FSOS or designee determines that it is in the child's best interest.
        • For any situation where the goal, or one of the goals, is “return to parent,” R&C or PCP staff assigned to the foster home should be committed to working toward reunification with the birth family, and should be prepared for the possibility that an absent parent or relative may be located several months into the child’s placement, or that adoption may not be an appropriate option for the child.
        • Concurrent planning does not mean moving the children or changing the permanency goal. It does mean adding a concurrent alternate permanency objective in the child/youth action section and associated task in the case plan to secure permanency for the child in the event that the child cannot be returned to the parents or family.
        • The three primary permanency goals for concurrent planning, in order of preference, are:
          • Return to parent;
          • Permanent relative placement; and
          • Adoption.
        • The following are secondary permanency goals and are explored only after exhausting all three primary permanency goals:
          • Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (PPLA); and
          • Legal Guardianship.
        • Child specific recruitment efforts to find a permanent placement may include such efforts as the use of adoption exchanges and other exchange systems that facilitate orderly and timely in-state and interstate placements.
        • The SSW should incorporate, into the case planning discussion, appropriate use of the DPP-330-Educational Advocacy Request Form, if the birth parent agrees to allow the foster and adoptive parent to make educational decisions on behalf of the child as outlined in SOP 4.28.2 Providing Educational Services under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA).  Use of the form does not limit parental rights, and the SSW continues to engage the biological parents in decision-making regarding the child’s educational services.
        • Although many children in OOHC will be reunified, alternative permanency planning will be pursued beginning no later than the six (6) month periodic review to ensure that all children have a permanent family as quickly as possible.

         

        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 examples:

        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; and 
        • Assist families in coping with risk situations not avoided.

         

         

         

        Footnotes

        1. The case plan is considered timely if completed within ten (10) calendar days of the temporary removal hearing, even if the assessment is not yet completed.
        2. Absent parent and relative searches must be conducted, within thirty (30) calendar days of the child’s entrance into OOHC, on all identified fathers and relatives and documented in TWIST to generate an Absent Parent Form (TWIST).
        3. The  SSW, in consultation with the FSOS, may at any time reject a person selected by the child if the worker has good cause to believe the individual would not act in the best interests of the child.  (Section 475 (1)(B) of the Social Security Act) 
        4. In voluntary TPR situations, if the worker has obtained a waiver of efforts based on the parents intention to voluntarily TPR, a case planning meeting is held, but plans to reunite parent and child are not required.
        5. If a child is not enrolled in school as required by state law, the child becomes ineligible for IV-E benefits. The SSW notifies the CBW accordingly of changes to the child's enrolment status (Sec 471(a)(30)).
        6. The SSW ensures the correct placement information is entered in TWIST.

         

        4.18 Ongoing Case Planning

        Chapter:
        Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
        Effective:
        01/15/2019
        Section:
        4.18 Ongoing Case Planning
        Version:
        17

        Legal Authority/Introduction

        LEGAL AUTHORITY:

        Following a child’s entrance into OOHC, federal law requires that the department conduct periodic case reviews to ensure appropriate service provision and evaluation of the family’s progress.  Periodic reviews are held every six months from the date the child entered out of home care. 

        A well executed periodic review should include a review of the needs and strengths from prior case conferences, a current assessment of whether or not the family has a continued need for department intervention, and whether or not a safety issue necessitates the child’s continued placement in OOHC.  OOHC case plans are also expected to make appropriate plans to ensure the child’s mental health, educational stability, physical health, the establishment and support of a stable placement for the duration of their time in OOHC.  Additionally, for a child in OOHC the SSW and the department are responsible for creating a plan that demonstrates reasonable efforts to obtain a safe, permanent placement that permits the child to exit foster care in a reasonable timeframe.  The components of a well-designed case plan include documentation around all these efforts. 

        Key strategies for the achievement of an appropriate case plan include the engagement of family members and use of a family team meeting model when appropriate, appropriate implementation of concurrent case plan goals when appropriate, and the development of the key family level and individual level objectives that identify key benchmarks for the evaluation of the family’s progress. 

        Procedure

        Prior to all periodic reviews the SSW: 

        1. Reviews the case history, circumstances and investigative information to determine if the case meets concurrent planning criteria for the initial case plan;
        2. Completes the Waiver of Reasonable Efforts Checklist and consults with the FSOS.  Refers to SOP 11.8 Judicial Determination of Reasonable Efforts and Aggravated Circumstances, if the case meets for waiver of reasonable efforts;
        3. Compiles current assessment information from collateral sources, including updated information from the most recent assessment;
        4. Engages the family to solicit and encourage their approval for community partner involvement in developing the case plan;
        5. Makes attempts to identify and include both parents and relatives in the case conference/team meeting; 1  2
        6. Includes the child or children, when age appropriate in case planning efforts;
        7. Includes the child's caregiver in case planning efforts;
        8. Empowers children age fourteen (14) and older in the development of their own case plan and transition planning for a successful adulthood;
        9. Permits a child who has attained fourteen (14) years to designate up to two (2) additional people to participate in the case planning conference, one of whom may be designated as the child’s advisor, and when necessary, to advocate with respect to the application of the reasonable and prudent parent standard, as outlined in SOP 4.30 Normalcy for Children and Youth in Out of Home Care (Section 475 (1) (B) of the Social Security Act);  3
        10. Ensures full disclosure by respectful, candid discussion from the outset with all parties involved in the case planning and service provision of the following:
          1. Negative impact of foster care on children;
          2. Clarity about the birth parent’s rights and responsibilities;
          3. Services DCBS will provide;
          4. Permanency options;
          5. Concurrent Planning; and
          6. Consequences for not following the case plan.

        Six (6) Month Periodic Reviews

        The FSOS: 

        1. Chairs the periodic review and provides input into case plan development;
        2. Reviews and approves the case plan by signature and date prior to distribution.

        The SSW:

        1. Holds case planning conference periodic reviews as appropriate or as needed, but is required to hold one within six (6) months of a child’s temporary removal hearing and/or order of temporary custody or placement date of a voluntary commitment;
        2. Holds subsequent periodic reviews within six (6) months of the previous review when the child remains in OOHC;
        3. Converts the case to concurrent planning at the first periodic review, unless one of the following situations occurs:
          1. An AFSA exemption has been granted by the court;
          2. The case is a status case; or
          3. The goal for the case is planned permanent living arrangement, legal guardianship or emancipation;
        4. Determines the permanency goal or goals that are in the best interest of the child;
        5. Establishes a target date for achievement of the permanency goal or goals;
        6. Ensures that the immediate safety needs of the child and the risk of future abuse and/or neglect should guide the selection of goals, objectives and tasks;
        7. Ensures that there are specific tasks developed related to the individual's high risk behaviors;
        8. Ensures that the goals, objectives and tasks outlined in the case plan support the permanency plan;
        9. Specifies the activities or tasks to be undertaken, the person(s) responsible for each task and the time frames for achieving the goals, objectives and tasks;
        10. Develops the child/youth action plan as described in the Case Planning Objectives-Out of Home Care (OOHC) Tip Sheet;
        11. Ensures that the periodic review includes the following:
          1. A discussion of ASFA guidelines, including the cabinet’s obligation to make reasonable efforts to finalize a permanent placement and the cabinet’s obligation to file for a termination of parental rights once the child has been care for 15 months under federal law: (475 (5)(E) and 45 CFR 1356.21 (i)(1)(i));
          2. A discussion of the problems that are barriers to the child’s safe return home or other permanent placement and the progress of the family and child to overcoming each barrier;
          3. A review of the appropriateness of services, including assessment and recommendations from community partners, whether services are being provided according to schedule and whether the parties, including identified fathers as outlined in SOP 4.14 Family Attachment and Involvement with expectations set for them are complying with those expectations;
          4. A review of any plan of safe care developed for a substance affected infant as required by CAPTA 106(b)(2)(B)(ii)and (iii) (referenced in SOP 1.15);
          5. A review of the quality and appropriateness of visits between parents and children, and between siblings;
          6. A review of the child’s health, including mental health and educational history and current status are reviewed and the plan for meeting the child’s needs is reviewed;
          7. A review of the steps the agency is taking to ensure that the child’s foster family home or child caring institution is following the reasonable and prudent parent standard, and to ascertain whether the child has regular, ongoing opportunities to engage in age or developmentally appropriate activities; (Section 475 (5)(B))
          8. A discussion of any goal of a planned permanent living arrangement (PPLA) to ensure documentation of intensive, ongoing, and as of the date of the review, unsuccessful efforts to return the child home or secure a placement for the child with a fit and willing relative (including adult siblings), a legal guardian, or an adoptive parent, including efforts that utilize search technology (including social media) to find biological family members for the children; (Section 475A)
          9. A decision, based on (a) and (b) above, about whether the child may be returned home immediately and safely maintained in the home (Sec 475(5)(B));
        12. Ensures that the following components are always documented on the case plan documentation includes (in accordance with provisions of Title IV-E of Social Security Act):
          1. Permanency goal(s);
          2. Appropriate services to the parents that will constitute reasonable efforts towards reunification;
          3. Services that will be provided to achieve the least restrictive (most family like) placement that is in the closest proximity to the parents’ home (Sec 475 and 42 USC 675);
          4. A schedule for visitation between the child and parents, ensuring that visits are occurring no less than once every two weeks, unless there is a documented reasons regarding why this is not in the child's best interest.  Visits are designed to enhance and support the relationship (refer to OOHC Visitation Tip Sheet for information regarding frequency and duration of visits);
          5. A schedule for visitation between separated siblings, as appropriate to the case circumstances, designed to enhance and support the relationship;
          6. Documentation of the child specific efforts being taken to finalize a permanent placement for the child, including efforts to identify, recruit, process or approve a qualified family for (475(1)(E) and (5)(E)):
            1. Relative placement;
            2. Adoption;
            3. Legal guardianship placement;
          7. Documentation of the reasons permitted under law for not initiating TPR when the child has been care for fifteen (15) of the last forty eight (48) months, one of which must be met for an ASFA exception:
            1. The child is being cared for by a relative; or
            2. A compelling reason why filing for termination would not be in the best interest of the child; or
            3. Failure to provide, consistent with the time period in the case plan, services deemed necessary for the safe return of the child to the home, when reasonable efforts are required (45 CFR 1356.21 (i)(2));
          8. Documentation of justification for the selection of “another planned permanent living arrangement,” when selected as the goal for the child (45 CFR 1356.21(h)(3));
          9. A plan for assuring that services are provided to the child and placement provider as necessary to support the placement and  meet needs of the child while in foster care (Sec 475(1)(b)).  Such a plan should incorporate the following documentation pertaining to health and education records (Sec 475(1)(c)):  
            1. The names and addresses of the child's health and educational providers;
            2. The child's grade level performance;
            3. The child's school record; 
            4. A record of the child's immunizations;
            5. The child's known medical problems;
            6. The child's medications;
          10. Objectives, tasks or other notes that constitute a plan for the child’s educational stability (reference SOP 4.28 Meeting Educational Needs) as required by Sec 475 (1)(g) and Sec 471 (a)(30) of the Social Security Act, including:
            1. Assurances that each placement takes into account the appropriateness of the child’s current school setting, as well as the proximity of the placement to the child’s current school at the time of placement;
            2. Assurances that the cabinet coordinated with the local education agency to insure the child is able to attend the same school where enrolled at the time of each placement; and
            3. Assurances that, when a change of schools is necessary, the child will be immediately enrolled in an appropriate school, with all of the educational records of the child provided to the new school;
            4. Verification that a child, who has attained the minimum age for compulsory school attendance, is attending school in accordance with state law; or
            5. Regularly updated medical documentation that verifies that a child is incapable of attending school; 4
          11. Information describing the safety and appropriateness of the child’s current placement, and any consideration being given to change in placement is presented to conference participants (U.S. Code 42 USC Section 675 (1)(A); 5
          12. A description of the programs and services which will assist youth in preparing for the transition to adulthood as outlined in SOP 4.29.1 Independent Living Services (Sec 475(5)(C)(i));
          13. A transition plan, for youth 17 and over, updated as appropriate during the periodic review (Sec 475(5)(H));
          14. Signatures of the periodic review participants, including an objective 3rd party as required by federal law (Sec 475(6));
        13. Ensures an out of home care child who has attained fourteen (14) years of age is provided a copy of their rights included with the DPP-1281 Family Case Plan, and files the child’s signed acknowledgement of receipt with the agency’s copy of the case plan;  (475a of the Social Security Act)
        14. Ensures that the parent/guardian is informed of their right and responsibility to make health care decisions about their child, as well as the expectation that they will participate in these decisions;
        15. Ensures that a signed DPP-106A is maintained in the child’s file; 
        16. Enters the case plan information and submits it to the FSOS who approves it within ten (10) days from the case planning conference date;
        17. Submits the case plan to the FSOS with or without the parents’ signatures and documents in the comment section of the DPP-1281 Family Case Plan why the parents did not sign;
        18. Ensures that all required signatures are obtained on the approved case plan including, but not limited to the following:
          1. Parent, guardian or custodian (including non-custodial parent);
          2. Child (if age and developmentally appropriate);
          3. Foster and adoptive parent;
          4. Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA);
          5. Guardian ad litem (GAL);
          6. Private child placing or private child caring agency worker;
          7. SSW; and
          8. FSOS;
        19. Dockets a placement court review no later than six (6) months after the child is removed from the home, regardless of placement or custody, when the child is sixteen (16) or younger at the time of removal in accordance with Family Court Civil Rule 34;
        20. Files, for the purpose of the six (6) month review, a dispositional report with the court at least three (3) days prior to the hearing (Family Court Civil Rule 28);
        21. Submits a copy of every case plan, visitation agreement, and prevention plans to the court (45 CFR 1356.21 (i)(2) and Family Court Civil Rule 29); 6
        22. Mails or distributes a copy of the family plan portion of the DPP-1281 Family Case Plan to:
          1. Parent, guardian or custodian (including identified fathers);
          2. Any person or agency providing services to the family; and
          3. Administrative Office of the Courts Citizen Foster Care Review Board Program at the following address:

            Dependent Children’s Services
            Administrative Office of the Courts
            100 Millcreek Park
            Frankfort, KY 40601
        23. Distributes the out of home child/youth portion of the DPP-1281 to the following:
          1. Family, including identified fathers as outlined in SOP 4.14;
          2. Caregiver (foster parents, PCC provider, relative, etc.);
          3. Case planning participants in attendance (with the consent of the parents or court order);
          4. Parent’s attorney, if applicable;
          5. Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), if applicable (the CASA worker receives all information pertaining to the child’s case plan and may have case plan information pertaining to the parents with their consent or court order);
          6. Administrative Office of the Courts Citizen Foster Care Review Board Program for the five (5) day initial case planning only;
          7. Any community partners assigned a task at parent’s request in the case plan, (with parent consent);and
          8. Child’s attorney, Guardian Ad Litem;
        24. Mails a copy of the approved DPP-1281 Family Case Plan, DPP-154 Protection and Permanency Service Appeal and other approved documents, by certified mail, to all biological and legal parents if the parent or guardian did not attend the case plan meeting;
        25. Documents the following in TWIST:
          1. Efforts to involve both parents, the child’s guardian or custodian in the case planning process;
          2. Contents of the dispositional report; and
          3. Court hearings and any court orders.

        Annual Periodic Reviews and Permanency Hearings

        The SSW: 

        1. Prepares for the second periodic review, approximate to the child’s twelfth (12th) month in care, prior to the permanency hearing;
        2. Determines, in consultation with supervisor staff and other professionals involved in the case, whether or not to pursue either a termination of parental rights or an exemption to ASFA requirements at the next annual permanency hearing when the goal, or one of the concurrent goals, is adoption.
        3. Considers the length of time the child has been in care;
        4. Considers whether or not services provided to the parent have been adequate for reunification, and whether or not additional services are likely to facilitate a safe reunification;
        5. Holds the case conference as required;
        6. Completes the case plan document as required;
        7. Documents case conference activities;
        8. Requests the annual permanency hearing be scheduled within thirty (30) days of the development of the case plan using the DPP-165 Permanency Hearing Notification within sixty (60) days of the required due date:
          1. No later than twelve (12) months from the date the child entered OOHC, and
          2. Every twelve (12) months thereafter for as long as the child remains in OOHC;
        9. Files a dispositional report, case plan, visitation agreement, and any prevention plans at least three (3) days prior to any annual review in accordance with Family Court Rules 28 and 29;  
        10. Ensures the dispositional report includes sufficient documentation of the information discussed and reviewed during the periodic review to include:
          1. The discussion of ASFA guidelines, including the cabinet’s obligation to make reasonable efforts to finalize a permanent placement and the cabinet’s obligation to file for a termination of parental rights once the child has been care for 15 months under federal law: (475 (5)(E) and 45 CFR 1356.21 (i)(1)(i));
          2. The problems that are barriers to the child’s safe return home or other permanent placement and the progress of the family and child to overcoming each barrier;
          3. The appropriateness of services, including assessment and recommendations from community partners, whether services are being provided according to schedule and whether the parties, including identified fathers as outlined in SOP 4.14 Family Attachment and Involvement with expectations set for them are complying with those expectations;
          4. The quality and appropriateness of visits between parents and children, and between siblings;
          5. The child’s health, including mental health and educational history and current status are reviewed and the plan for meeting the child’s needs is reviewed;
          6. The steps the agency is taking to ensure that the child’s foster family home or child caring institution is following the reasonable and prudent parent standard, and information about whether the child has regular, ongoing opportunities to engage in age or developmentally appropriate activities (Section 475 (5)(B));
          7. Documentation of (only for a child who has attained 16 years of age) a compelling reason for the selection of the goal of APPLA (Section 475 (5)(B));
          8. Documentation, for children with a goal of APPLA, of intensive, ongoing, and as of the date of the court hearing, unsuccessful efforts to return the child home or secure a placement for the child with a fit and willing relative (including adult siblings), a legal guardian, or an adoptive parent, including efforts that utilize search technology (including social media) to find biological family members for the children (Section 475A);
          9. Documentation regarding ongoing searches for relatives at a minimum of every six (6) months during case planning conferences;
          10. A decision, based on (a) and (b), about whether the child may be returned home immediately and safely maintained in the home (Sec 475(5)(B));
        11. Ensures the contents of the dispositional report are reflected in TWIST;
        12. Obtains the judicial determination regarding the appropriateness of the permanency goal; 
        13. Obtains a judicial determination regarding the appropriateness of the agency’s efforts to finalize the permanency plan;
        14. Convenes another periodic review, to change the goal per court order if the court does not approve the permanency goal; and
        15. Documents the hearing and any court orders in TWIST, noting the court’s agreement with or deviation from the dispositional report.

        Practice Guidance

        • SSW, parents, and caregivers will review the partnership plan and determine if any updates are needed to address any identified needs. 
        • It is important to ensure the case plan is realistically related to the underlying needs of the family;
        • In cases where domestic violence has been identified, the SSW consults with the FSOS to determine how to best plan for the safety of the non-offending parent and children.
        • Recognizing the importance of both formal and informal community supports to the family is an important aspect of case plan development.
        • The SSW may convene a family team meeting, when appropriate, for the development of the case plan and may include any or all of the following community partners:
          • Parent, guardian, or custodian (including noncustodial parent);
          • Child (if age appropriate and developmental level);
          • Foster and adoptive parent(s);
          • Court Appointed Special Advocate;
          • Guardian Ad Litem;
          • Private child placing agency (PCP) or private child care agency (PCC);
          • Formal and informal supports; and
          • SSW and Supervisor.
        • The SSW will not involve the parent in the case planning process if parental rights have been terminated, unless the FSOS or designee determine it is in the child's best interest.
        • While the participation of the child’s parents is important, the review is required within six (6) months of the child’s temporary removal hearing/placement or the last periodic review, even when the parents do not attend.
        • When the child cannot return home immediately or be safely maintained in the home, alternative permanency goals will be considered.  The SSW, for example, may choose “Return to Parent” as a permanency goal and at the same time, have an alternate permanency objective and tasks in the OOHC section of the case plan. 
        • The SSW MAY NOT choose a goal of PPLA for a child less than sixteen (16) years of age.  (Section 475 (5)(C)(i) of the Social Security Act)
        • The SSW assesses the progress of the family in meeting the family and individual objectives as part of ongoing assessment and service delivery.
        • Any revisions or updates to the plan must be developed in consultation with the child and up to two (2) members of the case planning team designated by the child. (Section 475 (1) (B) of the Social Security Act)
        • Federal language around “compelling reasons” for an ASFA exception is broad.  Such reasons may include, but are not limited to, a determination that adoption isn’t an appropriate goal—perhaps due to the parents’ progress, or that there are international legal obligations that preclude termination.  The worker, in consultation with the FSOS as appropriate, may exercise some discretion on whether or not “compelling reasons” exist. 
        • Child specific recruitment efforts to find a permanent placement may include such efforts as tribal, state, regional and national adoption exchanges, and electronic exchange systems in order to facilitate orderly and timely in state and interstate placements (when the child’s goal is adoption).
        • Public Law 96-272 (IV-E) requires the participation of one objective third party in the periodic review, who is not:
          • The case manager;
          • In the line of supervision for the case; or
          • Involved in the delivery of services to either the child or the parents.
        • Examples of acceptable objective third party participants include the following: 
          • Permanency specialist;
          • An SSW or FSOS who is not directly involved with the case; or
          • Regional office staff.
        • It is preferred that the objective third party is protection and permanency employee.
        • Periodic reviews are scheduled on a day and time when primary participants can attend.
        • Participants are encouraged to attend, in part by convenience of schedule and sufficient notice.
        • The permanency hearing is required no later than twelve (12) months from the date the child entered OOHC by order of temporary custody following the temporary removal hearing or placement as a result of voluntary commitment and every twelve (12) months thereafter if custody and out of home placement continues (Sec 475(5)(c)). 

        Footnotes

        1. Absent parent and relative searches must be conducted, on all identified fathers and relatives, within 30 calendar days of the child’s entrance into OOHC and documented in TWIST to generate an Absent Parent Form (TWIST form) and continue at a minimum of every six (6) months during case planning conferences.
        2. In voluntary TPR situations, if the worker has obtained a waiver of efforts based on the parents intention to voluntary TPR, a case planning meeting is held, but plans to reunite parent and child are not required.
        3. The  SSW, in consultation with the FSOS, may at any time reject a person selected by the child if the worker has good cause to believe the individual would not act in the best interests of the child. (Section 475 (1)(B) of the Social Security Act)
        4. If a child is not enrolled in school as required by state law, the child becomes ineligible for IV-E benefits.  The SSW notifies the CBW accordingly of changes to the child’s enrollment status as they pertain to IV-E eligibility. (Sec 471 (a)(30)).
        5. The SSW ensures the correct placement information is entered in TWIST.
        6. This includes both the family and out of home care youth portions of the case plan. 

        4.19 Visitation Agreement

        Chapter:
        Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
        Effective:
        01/15/2019
        Section:
        4.19 Visitation Agreement
        Version:
        5

        Legal Authority/Introduction

        LEGAL AUTHORITY:

         

        Procedure

        Creating and Maintaining the Visitation Agreement

        The SSW:

        1. Negotiates and signs with the family, caregiver or placement provider a visitation agreement regarding visitation arrangements with parent(s), siblings, relatives and others that are important to the child during the initial case planning conference;
        2. Reviews the visitation agreement with the participants, at minimum, during each subsequent periodic review of the case plan and revisions are made as appropriate;
        3. Negotiates the frequency of visits depending on the parent(s) circumstances and the child’s age, however at minimum:
          1. Within the first week of placement; and
          2. Every two (2) weeks;
        4. Documents any FSOS approved exception regarding the frequency of visits in the case record;
        5. Follows procedures outlined below after the agreement has been negotiated and signed;
        6. Follows the procedures outlined in SOP 4.18 Ongoing Case Planning when visitation arrangements need modification prior to a periodic review.
        7. Ensures that a partnership plan has been negotiated with the parents and caregivers to include discussion surrounding the visitation agreement and to ensure that each individual has input.

         

        The FSOS:

        1. Must approve any exceptions to the minimum standards regarding frequency of visits between parent and child.

        The SRA or regional office designee:

        1. Must approve visits between the child, parents and/or siblings in the DCBS office, unless the court has ordered supervised visits.

        Visitation

        1. The SSW, Social Services Aide (SSA) or contracted agency staff (where applicable) will supervise visits, however in some special case appropriate situations the foster/adoptive parents, relatives or other persons deemed appropriate may supervise visits, upon approval by the FSOS or designee.

        The SSW or designee: 

        1. Uses the Visitation Checklist/Summary to document observations, behaviors and required interventions during the supervised visit;
        2. Uses the developmentally age appropriate activities chart found on the OOHC Visitation Tip Sheet to assist and guide the parent(s) in thinking about developmentally age appropriate activities that the child will enjoy and promote healthy attachment;
        3. Encourages the parent to attend medical appointments, school conferences and other activities in which the child is involved;
        4. Documents each visit in the service recording, including observations of parent-child interactions before, during, and after the visit, when it is supervised;
        5. Documents the child’s behavior prior to and after visits, as well as, the caregiver’s observations;
        6. Documents a visit that is not kept, cancelled, or rescheduled;
        7. Notes the change on the visitation agreement and sends the revised agreement to all parties when a visit is rescheduled (this is the duty of the SSW).

        The FSOS: 

        1. Grants prior approval for visit cancellations, unless the parent requests cancellation of a visit however the FSOS may grant emergency cancellation and or rescheduling for: 1
          1. Illness;
          2. Inclement weather; or
          3. Other unforeseeable emergencies.

        The SSW: 

        1. Occasionally observes visits if visits are not normally supervised;
        2. Seeks prior written approval from the SRA or designee to suspend a visit if there exists reasonable cause to believe that visitation between a child and a parent or sibling is detrimental to the child’s health, welfare, or physical or emotional condition;
        3. Documents the circumstances regarding any suspension, including:
          1. The person(s) involved;
          2. Their relationship to the child;
          3. The reason for the suspension; and
          4. The length of the suspension.

        Practice Guidance

        • The SSW is aware that continuing and timely visits between the child, parent(s) and siblings is crucial for the maintenance of psychological connections.
        • Visits are designed to:
          • Improve the parent(s), including identified fathers as outlined in SOP 4.15 Family Attachment and Involvement, and child’s relationship;
          • Reassure the child and the parent(s) of the prospect for reunification; and
          • To demonstrate appropriate parenting skills.
        • The SSW is aware the parent(s) have the right to petition the court for review of the visitation agreement when they are dissatisfied with the visitation schedule/arrangements. 
        • The SSW should make every effort to schedule a visit at least one time per week, if possible.  For infants and young children visits should be scheduled two (2) to three (3) times per week in order to facilitate attachment.
        • The length of the visit should be at least one (1) hour.
        • The length of the visit should give the parent and child sufficient time to interact and practice skills they have learned and work on the issues that resulted in the child entering care.
        • Approval by the SRA or regional office designee is required to hold visits in the office, unless the court has ordered that the visits be supervised.  The SSW should document in the case record why visits are not being held in the home (i.e. unsafe physical environment, safety risk to staff, court ordered supervision, etc.).
        • The visitation agreement should document who will be supervising the visit (i.e. SSW, Social Service Aid, etc.) and who can and cannot visit with the child.
        • Participants such as grandparents, family friends and previous caregivers should be included in some visits if the child requests their presence, and it does not place the child at risk or compromise the achievement of case planning goals.} 

        Footnotes

        1. Visits are not cancelled or rescheduled because of unexpected problems in staff schedules.

        4.20 Not Yet Utilized

        Chapter:
        Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
        Effective:
        04/11/2012
        Section:
        4.20 Not Yet Utilized
        Version:
        3

        Reserved for future use.

        4.21 Safe Infants Act

        Chapter:
        Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
        Effective:
        07/1/2016
        Section:
        4.21 Safe Infants Act
        Version:
        4

        Legal Authority/Introduction

        LEGAL AUTHORITY:

        The Kentucky Safe Infants Act allows parents to leave newborn infants less than thirty (30) days old at a staffed police station, fire station, hospital or participating place of worship without fear of criminal prosecution or allegation of neglect.  The medical provider, firefighter, police officer or staff member at a participating place of worship should ensure the child is seen at the nearest emergency room for an evaluation and contact child protective services.  As long as there are no other indicators of abuse or neglect, the department initiates the case as a dependency action.  If the parents do not come forward within the initial thirty (30) days of placement, the department requests a waiver of efforts and proceeds with termination of parental rights.

        Procedure

        The SSW:

        1. Immediately seeks an emergency custody order (ECO) on behalf of the newborn infant, when DCBS is notified of a newborn infant meeting criterion for safe infant;
        2. If the newborn infant is born outside of or relinquished at a place other than a hospital, requests within twelve (12) hours that the newborn infant receives a full trauma workup by a medical provider, including blood work, full skeletal and a CT scan as recommended by the physician;
        3. Offers the person or parent the following brochures if the SSW has contact with the person or parent relinquishing the newborn infant: 
          1. A Safe Place for Your Baby, which explains the parent’s rights to reclaim the newborn infant; and 
          2. Maintaining Good Health After a Pregnancy;
        4. Attempts to complete the following tasks if the person or parent relinquishing the newborn infant is willing:
          1. Obtain as much medical information about the parents using the voluntary medical information questionnaire (the DPP-1268 Medical Information for Newborn Infants); and
          2. Provide information regarding:
            1. Family services;
            2. Termination of parental rights; and
            3. Adoption;
        5. Does not place the parent’s identity in the petitions or other legal documents, including the case plan, ADT or case file unless the parent(s) does not want to remain anonymous;
        6. Places the infant in a foster/adoptive home approved to provide concurrent planning placement services after obtaining emergency custody of the infant and upon the infant’s release from the hospital;
        7. Completes the appropriate assessment tool in TWIST;
        8. Opens a case and develops an out of home care case plan;
        9. Documents in the applicable sections of the case plan related to the parent that the parent is unknown;
        10. Does not pursue placement with an individual claiming to be a relative of the newborn infant that has been relinquished because to do so would be to acknowledge the identity of the parent, and because the SSW has no way of confirming whether the individual is a relative;
        11. During the initial thirty (30) days of placement, assistance is requested from law enforcement officials to utilize the Missing Child Information Center and other national resources for the purpose of ensuring that infant is not a missing child;
        12. Notifies the District court and the Circuit or Family court if a claim of parental rights is made during the initial thirty (30) days of placement or prior to the court order terminating parental rights;
        13. Completes the following tasks if a termination of parental rights proceeding is postponed because a parent attempts to reclaim a relinquished infant:
          1. Conducts an investigation or assessment of the parent’s current circumstances and ability to provide for the child;
          2. Conducts a home evaluation;
          3. Makes recommendations to the court based on findings from investigation or assessment and the home evaluation;
        14. Provides services to reunify the family or proceeds with termination of parental rights based on the findings of the court.
        15. Completes the following tasks if a parent does not contact the Cabinet within thirty (30) days after relinquishing the infant: 
          1. Immediately consults with the regional attorney to seek involuntary termination of parental rights of the unknown parents and the authority to place the child for adoption; 
          2. Requests a waiver of efforts in District or Family court; 
          3. Requests the judge make a judicial determination that the infant is an abandoned infant; and 
          4. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 11.36.2 Initiating a Request for an Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights;

        Practice Guidance

        • When filing the emergency custody order (ECO), the body of the petition includes facts known about the situation, including but not limited to:
          • Where the infant was born (name of hospital) or where the child was relinquished (hospital, fire station, police station, place of worship);
          • Who relinquished the child (for example, a mother who declined to give her name);
          • If the parent(s) indicated a desire to place the child for adoption anonymously;
          • Why the case is brought before the court, in accordance with KRS 620.350;
          • The infant’s name (which is recorded on the petition as “Baby Girl Jane Doe” or Baby Boy John Doe,” until the foster parent names the infant with a first name and middle name).
        • The Circuit or Family court may take one of the following actions if a claim of parental rights is made r prior to the court order terminating parental rights:
          • Place the involuntary TPR proceeding on hold for up to ninety (90) days;
          • Remand the case to District court where an adjudicatory hearing is held within ten (10) days of the assertion of parental rights; or
          • Enter an order requiring genetic testing to establish maternity or paternity at the expense of the claimant.
        • The sole act of relinquishment as it pertains to the Safe Infants Act does not result in a finding of abuse or neglect; other indicators of child abuse or neglect must be present.
        • The petition to terminate parental rights is made by the Office of Legal Services (OLS) within sixty (60) days of the judicial determination that the child is an abandoned infant.
        • From the point the TPR is filed, or if the agency joins a petition for termination filed by another party, the  worker begins working simultaneously with R&C as appropriate to identify, recruit, process, and approve a qualified family for adoption.  (Title IV-E, Section 475 (5)(E) of the Social Security Act and 45 CFR 1356.21 (i)(3)).

         

        4.22 through 4.23-Not Yet Utilized

        Chapter:
        Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
        Effective:
        12/3/2010
        Section:
        4.22 through 4.23-Not Yet Utilized
        Version:
        1

        Reserved for future use.

         

        4.24 SSW's Ongoing Contact with the Birth Family and Child, Including the Medically Complex Child

        Chapter:
        Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
        Effective:
        01/15/2019
        Section:
        4.24 SSW's Ongoing Contact with the Birth Family and Child, Including the Medically Complex Child
        Version:
        16

        Legal Authority/Introduction

        LEGAL AUTHORITY:

         

        From the moment of the initial contact with the family, the SSW and the department are obligated under federal and state law to make reasonable efforts to keep families intact whenever possible; and in removal situations, to make reasonable efforts to reunify children with their families.  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. 


        Caseworkers are required to conduct face to face visits with children placed in department foster/adoptive homes at least once every calendar month. 

        Features of an acceptable pattern of visits to parents or other significant family members include: 

        • Face to face contact frequently enough to 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.

        Procedure

        Ongoing Contact with the Child

        Following any placement (initial or move) the SSW: 

        1. Uses face to face contact to evaluate the safety of the child's placement and to ensure the child's assessed needs are being served appropriately through correct services referrals;
        2. Will review/update the child youth action plan and complete a new Partnership Plan with all required individuals as outlined in SOP.
        3. Must return within ten (10) calendar days after placement, to have an additional private face to face visit with the child; 1
        4. Has phone contact with the child within five (5) calendar days of placement, if the child is age appropriate to respond by phone; if not age appropriate, the SSW assesses the child’s transition to placement and any placement needs through child’s caretaker;
        5. Has a private face to face visit with the child, and a face to face visit with their caregiver in their placement at least once every calendar month in order to assess progress toward case plan goals and objectives and to assess adjustment to the out of home care placement;
        6. Visits a child designated as medically complex:
          1. Jointly with the CCSHCN nurse within thirty (30) calendar days of the child’s designation as medically complex for the initial visit; then
          2. At least one (1) time per calendar month, in the placement setting, which includes DCBS foster/adoptive homes, private child placing foster homes, private child caring facility, psychiatric or medical hospital, supports for community living (SCL) programs or a relative placement as determined by the child's needs; 2 and 
          3. Face to face annually in the placement setting, when the child is placed out of state, or as often as needed, based on the child’s needs;
          4. Monthly by phone contact in order to receive the child’s medical updates for out of state placements;
          5. Enters into TWIST that the CCSHCN nurse had face to face contact with the child as reported on his/her contact note;
        7. Has private face to face contact in the child’s placement setting at least quarterly if the child is in a private child caring (PCC) facility or in private child placing (PCP) foster care;
        8. Has private face to face contact in the child’s placement setting annually if the child is placed out of state;
        9. Utilizes the DPP-1294 Rehabilitation Services Monthly Report submitted by the PCC/PCP to document monthly face to face contact between the PCC/PCP personnel and the child, but contacts the facility's treatment/clinical staff, by telephone, at least monthly (when no visit is scheduled) to assess the child's progress towards case plan goals, objectives and tasks; and
        10. When a child is placed out of state, uses progress reports, collected at least every 6 months, from a caseworker for the state agency where the placement is located or from the placement provider, to document monthly face to face contact and assess the child’s progress towards case plan goals, objectives and tasks;
        11. Has monthly phone contact with the child or the child’s placement when a child is placed in an out-of-state setting.

        Ongoing Contact with the Birth Family

        The SSW:

        1. Conducts face to face visits with parents and other household members 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 parental progress in reducing risk.3
        2. Accomplishes case specific intervention tasks during the contact, as well as:
          1. Assesses for safety issues, high risk behaviors, or risk factors
          2. Evaluates the family’s progress at 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 and those of other service providers;
          4. Identifies and resolves barriers to case objectives;
          5. Provides the family with information about their child, especially placement and well-being issues;
          6. Prepares for a case planning conference, periodic review or court hearing; and
          7. When appropriate, prepares an aftercare plan;
        3. Thoroughly documents:
          1. Observations regarding the family and the home setting;
          2. Progress towards each task on the family case plan;
          3. The family’s response to services they receive to other providers;
          4. Additional assessment and planning information provided by the family; and
          5. That the family has been provided information about the child’s:
            1. Placement;
            2. Physical and mental health;
            3. Education; and
            4. Activities;
        4. Documents in their ongoing assessments any barriers to their ability to maintain contact with the family including, but not limited to:
          1. The parent’s whereabouts are unknown;
          2. Written determination by the FSOS that family members are or may be violent; or
          3. Family members refuse to participate in ongoing visits.

        Ongoing Contact with the Caregiver

        The SSW:

        1. Conducts face to face visits with caregivers and other household members during visit with the child to:
          1. Assess progress in the following areas on the child youth action plan and assist in identifying barriers to meeting the needs of the child:
            1. Physical health;
            2. Mental health;
            3. Education/development;
            4. Attachment/visitation issues; and
            5. Permanency.
          2. Assess needed supports and resources for the caregiver; and
          3. Provide assistance and prepare caregiver for court hearings, case planning conferences, and appointments.
        2. Accomplishes case specific intervention tasks during the contact, such as:
          1. Assess placement stability;
          2. Evaluate caregiver's commitment; and
          3. Implement Partnership Plan (i.e. working in partnership with the birth family)
        3. Thoroughly documents:
          1. Observations regarding the family and the home setting;
          2. Progress towards each task on the child youth action plan;
          3. Caregiver's response to services they receive and their response to meeting the child's needs;
          4. Additional assessment and planning information needed for the caregiver; and
          5. That the caregiver has been provided information about the child's:
            1. Physical and mental health;
            2. Education; and
            3. Activities.
        4. Documents in the ongoing assessment any barriers to their ability to maintain contact with the caregiver. 

        Practice Guidance

        Ongoing Contact with the Child

        • The SSW may utilize the Caseworker Visit Template during the face to face contact with the child. 
        • If a child is in a supports for community living (SCL) program, the SSW may use the Support for Community Living Program Visit-Review of Records and Facility Form at each monthly visit to the child’s placement setting, providing a copy to the central office SCL liaison. 
        • The SSW may contact the central office SCL liaison if there are concerns, questions or a need for a MRDD case consultation after reviewing the Supports for Community Living Tip Sheet and the Resource Manual for Youth with Disabilities in Foster Care.

        Ongoing Contact with the Family

        • 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 SSW documents a pattern of visits with the children and parents that will appropriately demonstrate reasonable efforts to reunify children who have been removed from their homes or finalize an appropriate permanency plan for children.
        • Workers are not required to execute monthly visits to parents if there is a no contact order prohibiting contact, or if a judge has granted a waiver of efforts on 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).

        Ongoing Contact with the Medically Complex Child

        • The CCSHCN nurse visits a child designated as medically complex at least one (1) time per calendar month in the placement setting, which includes, but is not limited to a DCBS resource foster/adoptive home, a private child placing foster home, psychiatric or medical hospital, independent living or a supports for community living (SCL) program, as determined by the child's needs
        • The CCSHCN nurse forwards documentation of the monthly home visit to the SSW who then enters it into contacts.
        • The CCSHCN nurse sends a copy of the contact note to the SSW, which is filed in the hard copy case.   
        • The SSW, medically complex liaison or caregiver may request consultation at any time with the Medical Support Section regarding a medically complex child.
        • The Medical Support Section may:
          • Upon request, provide consultation and a visit to the medically complex child and/or placement; and
          • Notify the FSOS responsible for the child if the Medical Support Section determines a condition that warrants additional attention.
        • The SSW, R&C worker or CCSHCN nurse reviews and discusses the following, as related to the specific needs of the medically complex child during the home visit (as applicable):
          • MCO case management;
          • Transportation arrangements for the child;
          • Home health referrals and/or durable medical equipment (CCSHCN nurse may assist);
          • Availability of all medications and medical technology to care for the needs of the child;
          • Supportive services to the caregiver(s);
          • Future needs of the caregiver(s);
          • Respite and/or babysitting issues;
          • Upcoming service needs;
          • Child/youth action plan and individual health plan with the caregiver and the child, when appropriate;
          • Current diet and eating pattern;
          • Medical passport, including medication logs;
          • Transition planning; and
          • Other information including:
            • The child's weight;
            • Alertness;
            • Physical condition;
            • Current diet and eating patterns;
            • Mental health needs;
            • Medication log;
            • Current medical services;
            • Any illness or medical change since the last visit; and
            • Recent or future medical appointments.
        • The foster/adoptive parent, relative and/or out of state placement provider completes the DPP-104C Medically Complex Monthly Report and submits it to the SSW, who forwards it on to the:
          • CCSCHN nurse;
          • Region's medically complex liaison; and
          • Medical Support Section, if issues are identified on the report.

        Footnotes

        1. This is in addition to the initial visit when the child is taken to the placement for the first time.
        2. When the Cabinet has custody, the CCSHCN nurse accompanies the SSW on visits to children in relative placements.  This meets the agency’s requirement of two (2) visits per month.
        3. The SSW may also contact the incarcerated parent in between quarterly visits by using mail, telephone or technology such as Skype, if appropriate.

        4.25 Ongoing Contact Between Parents and Children in Out of Home Care

        Chapter:
        Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
        Effective:
        12/3/2010
        Section:
        4.25 Ongoing Contact Between Parents and Children in Out of Home Care
        Version:
        1

        Content to be added in phase II.

         

        4.26 Meeting Basic Health Care Needs

        Chapter:
        Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
        Effective:
        01/21/2020
        Section:
        4.26 Meeting Basic Health Care Needs
        Version:
        6

        Legal Authority/Introduction

        LEGAL AUTHORITY:

        Procedure

        The SSW: 

        1. Completes the following forms upon entry of a child into OOHC:
          1. DPP-106A Authorization for Routine Health Care and Authorization for Non-Routine Health Care;
          2. DPP-106B Initial Physical and Behavioral Health History to obtain an outline of the child's medical history from the family; and
          3. Screener.
        2. Ensures that the child receives a physical health screening within forty-eight (48) hours of an order in which a child enters the custody of the Cabinet, and treatment for any injury/illness that may be the result of maltreatment within twenty-four (24) hours of the order; 
        3. Notifies the child’s assigned MCO within five (5) working days of a child’s entry into OOHC;
        4. Shares the child’s medical and behavioral health care needs with the MCO in order to assure all needs are addressed;
        5. Submits the DPP-106B Initial Physical and Behavioral Health History to the MCO within five (5) working days of the child’s entry into OOHC. Staff submits the DPP-106B for MCO signature, but it is not required for DCBS records;
        6. Foster parent/caretaker, or parent completes section I of the DPP-106C-Child Medical History and Annual Physical Exam (section II is completed by the medical provider during the physical exam);
        7. Makes arrangements for the child to attend the following appointments within two (2) weeks of an order in which a child enters the custody of the Cabinet, either via a temporary order of custody or commitment: 1
          1. Medical exam (documented on the DPP-106D-Medical Appointment);
          2. Dental examinations (documented on the DPP-106E-Dental Appointment); and
          3. Visual exam (documented on the DPP-106F-Visual Screening);
        8. Facilitates completion of the child’s mental health screening performed by a qualified mental health professional (documented on the DPP-106G-Mental Health Services) within thirty (30) days of a child’s entry into OOHC;
        9. Makes arrangements and documents service provision when the screening indicates that further assessment or treatment is necessary; 2
        10. Arranges for a child to have a complete medical, dental, and visual examination no less than once per year; 3 
        11. Uses the medical passport guidelines to document the physical and mental health care services for a child in OOHC;
        12. Follows additional guidelines for the passport health plan if the child is in OOHC and case responsibility is assigned to Breckinridge, Bullitt, Carroll, Grayson, Hardin, Henry, Jefferson, Larue, Marion, Meade, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble, or Washington County;
        13. Follows guidelines for authorization for medical services for a child in OOHC;
        14. Follows guidelines for medical care for a medically complex child;
        15. Provides the child of an appropriate age a written summary of information about his health, and (when there is a signed DCBS-1 Informed Consent and Release of Information and Records) the health of his birth parents, and includes a copy in the child’s record to include the following information regarding the family’s known health history:
          1. Immunizations;
          2. Operations;
          3. Childhood illnesses; and
          4. Mental illness.
        16. Maintains a written summary of the birth parents’ known health history in the case record based on information obtained through interviews, observation, or health records received to include the following information:
          1. The status of the birth parents’ past and current physical and mental health;
          2. Physical and mental health services that have been or are being provided to them;
          3. Their history of substance use or abuse; and
          4. Physical or developmental disabilities.

        Practice Guidance

        • File all documentation once completed in the case file.
        • The child’s mental health screening refers to a basic mental health assessment, rather than a full mental health diagnostic examination.
        • Children under five (5) are to receive an Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Services (EPSDT) screening from the local health department or, if eligible, a First Steps screening (federal zero to three program) as a substitute for a mental health screening.
        • The SSW should be aware that a child who is eligible for medicaid is also eligible for EPSDT services from the local health department.
        • The documentation provided by the medical or mental health professional is an appropriate substitute for the following forms: 
          • DPP-106C Child Medical History and Annual Physical Exam;
          • DPP-106D Medical Appointment;
          • DPP-106E Dental Care;
          • DPP-106F Visual Screening; and
          • DPP-106G Mental Health Services.
        • The foster/adoptive parent of a child with diabetes may administer or assist with the self-administration of medication if the foster/adoptive parent has been trained to administer insulin and glucagon, recognize the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, and take appropriate steps to respond to these symptoms by:
          • A physician who is licensed under the provisions of KRS Chapter 311;
          • An advanced practice registered nurse, registered nurse, or licensed practical nurse who is licensed under the provisions of KRS Chapter 314; or
          • Any other health care professional with diabetes treatment within his or her scope of practice.
        • The foster/adoptive parent must receive written authorization from the health care practitioner which contains the following information, in order to administer or assist with administration of diabetes medication:
          • Youth's name;
          • Name and purpose of the medication;
          • Prescribed dosage;
          • Route of administration;
          • The frequency with which the medication may be administered; and
          • Circumstances under which the medication may be administered.

        Footnotes

        1. The MCO should assist the worker in locating providers and arranging these appointments.
        2. Arrangements are made for initial service provision within two (2) working days of the receipt of the information.
        3. More frequent examinations are arranged as necessary, based on the child’s age and physical condition.

        4.26.1 Medical Passport

        Chapter:
        Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
        Effective:
        11/18/2015
        Section:
        4.26.1 Medical Passport
        Version:
        5

        Legal Authority/Introduction

        LEGAL AUTHORITY:

        Procedure

        The SSW:

        1. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 4.26 Meeting Basic Health Care Needs;
        2. Provides the medical passport to the caregiver upon initial removal and ensures the medical passport stays with the child throughout his/her stay in out of home care (OOHC); 1
        3. Utilizes the medical passport forms, or documentation provided by the medical/mental health professional, to document the physical and mental health care services that a child received prior to entry, and after entry into OOHC;
        4. Provides the child’s medical passport to the child’s custodian and maintains a copy of the medical passport in the case file when the child is released from Cabinet commitment.

        Practice Guidance

        • Forms in the medical passport document information such as:
          • Authorization for the child’s medical treatment;
            • To be updated when there is any type of custody change;
            • Telephone numbers for the FSOS, SSW and after hours contact should be provided in order to obtain consent as needed; 
          • Information about payments for medical services;
          • Physical health examinations and treatment;
          • Medications the child is taking;
          • Medical history;
          • Immunizations;
          • Allergies;
          • Mental health screening;
          • Dental Care; and
          • Visual screening.
          • Medical Passport forms include: 
            • DPP-105 Medical Information on the Child’s Birth (used when taking custody of a newborn from a hospital);
            • DPP-106A Authorization for Routine Health Care and Authorizatino for Non-Routine Health Care (refer to SOP 4.26.2 Authorization for Medical Services);
            • DPP-106B Initial Physical and Behavioral Health History (used only upon entry into care to capture child and family's medical history);
            • DPP-106D Medical Appointment (used for any ongoing medical appointments occurring between the annual physical exam);
            • DPP-106E Dental Appointment (used for both initial, annual, and any appointments occurring between the annual dental exam);
            • DPP-106F Visual Screening (used for both initial, annual, and any appointments occurring between the annual visual exam);
            • DPP-106G Mental Health Screening (used for both initial screening and any ongoing mental health appointments);
            • DPP-106H Prescription and OTC Medication Administration (used by foster parent/caregiver to document all medication uses as described in SOP 12.10 Rights/Responsibilities of DCBS Foster/Adoptive Home Parents);
            • DPP-106I Methamphetamine Exposure Medical Evaluation and Follow-Up Form as referenced in SOP 2.12 Children Exposed To Meth Labs; and
            • DPP-106J Medication Transfer Form (used by foster parent/caregiver to document all medications being transferred from one placement to another).
            • The Immunization Certificate provided by the child's physician.
          • Foster parents are to maintain the medical passport.  It is the responsibility of DCBS staff to ensure that the medical passport remains with the child, and current, throughout their time in OOHC and through any placement moves.   
          • A duplicate copy of the medical passport should be provided to the parents or relatives if the child is returned home, and the original will become part of the child’s case file.

          Footnotes

          1. Documentation from the medical provider may be used in place of the forms as long as the document provides the needed information.

          4.26.2 Authorization for Medical Services

          Chapter:
          Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
          Effective:
          08/6/2014
          Section:
          4.26.2 Authorization for Medical Services
          Version:
          5

          Legal Authority/Introduction

          LEGAL AUTHORITY:

          DCBS defines “routine health care” as routine care in an office setting, to treat symptomatic, chronic or acute illnesses and diseases to include: 

          • Preventive care measures, such as physicals;
          • Simple laboratory tests (not to include testing for HIV/AIDS);
          • Immunizations;
          • Treatment of communicable diseases;
          • Non-invasive radiology procedures;
          • Routine suturing of minor lacerations;
          • Routine dental care;
          • Other medical procedures not listed, but generally governed by implied consent guidelines in the community setting. 

          DCBS defines “non-routine health care” as any medical or surgical treatment not listed in the definition of routine health care.  Non-routine health care requires a parent or legal guardian to consent to care.  If the parent or legal guardian is unavailable, DCBS staff consults regional management for assistance in determining appropriate steps for consent.  This may involve consultation with the regional attorney regarding the need for judicial intervention.  

          Procedure

          1. The SSW follows procedures outlined in SOP 4.26 Meeting Basic Health Care Needs in addition to the procedures outlined below.
          2. DCBS does not consent to anything other than routine health care if the child is in the emergency or temporary custody of the Cabinet.  The only exception to this is if neither the parent nor the court has provided consent prior to the medical procedure, in which case, the SSW advises the FSOS and the FSOS may sign the consent form. 1

          Routine Health Care

          The SSW:

          1. Asks the parent/guardian to sign the DPP-106A Authorization for Health Care upon the child’s entry into out of home care;2
          2. Places the original signed DPP-106A in the hard copy file and provides a copy to the placement provider, at the time of the child's placement;
          3. Informs the placement provider that they must maintain a copy of the DPP-106A in the medical passport and also provides a copy to the medical provider when services are needed. 

          Non-Routine Health Care

          If a child is in the emergency or temporary custody of the Cabinet:

          1. Only a parent or judge may grant approval for anything other than routine health care;
          2. The SSW documents the judge’s or parent's consent into the child’s case record to include:
            1. Written authorization from the parent(s) to provide necessary medical services; or 
            2. An order for medical examination or treatment of juvenile completed and signed by the judge. 
          3. The SSW documents in the case record the:
            1. Nature of the emergency; and
            2. Efforts to locate the parents and judge to obtain consent.
          4. The SSW requests the assistance of the court for payment of medical treatment if the child is ineligible for medical assistance. 
          5. The FSOS authorizes treatment in an emergency when the child requires immediate medical attention and the parent or judge cannot be located;
          6. The caregiver may authorize treatment only in an emergency, when a child needs emergency medical treatment and the SSW or FSOS cannot be located.

          If a child is committed to the Cabinet: 

          1. The FSOS is permitted to authorize treatment, if the parent(s)/legal guardian is not able to be reached;
          2. The caregiver may authorize treatment only in an emergency, when a child needs immediate medical treatment and the SSW or FSOS cannot be located;
          3. The SSW provides notification the child’s parents when their location is known and parental rights are intact within one (1) working day of any:
            1. Emergency medical treatment;
            2. Serious illness; or
            3. Major surgery.

          If a child is on extended commitment with the Cabinet:

          1. The youth is responsible for authorizing medical treatment.
          2. If the youth is unable to consent, the child’s health care proxy is responsible for authorization. 
          3. If the youth, or their proxy, is unable to authorize medical treatment, the court, SSW or FSOS is permitted to authorize treatment. 

          If a child is on voluntary commitment to the Cabinet: 

          1. The FSOS consents to treatment when a parent cannot be located in emergency situations;
          2. The placement provider may authorize treatment only in an emergency, when a child needs medical treatment and the SSW or FSOS cannot be located. 

          Contingencies and Clarifications

          1. If the parent or child/youth refuses treatment, the SSW consults with the prescribing health care provider to determine if: 
            1. The treatment or medication is medically necessary;
            2. If the child may be harmed if he/she does not receive the treatment or medication; or
            3. If there are less invasive treatments or medications available.
          2. If the SSW determines that the treatment is necessary to protect the child/youth from harm and having the treatment is in the best interest of the child, the SSW consults with regional management or legal counsel regarding the need for judicial intervention. 
          3. The SSW does not consent to anything other than routine health care if the child is in the emergency or temporary custody of the Cabinet.  The only exception to this is if neither the parent nor the court can be contacted prior to the medical procedure. 
          4. Unless termination of parental rights (TPR) has occurred this agency is required to engage and inform birth parent of any and all medical procedures.  
          5. The following health care decisions, do not require consent from a parent/guardian: 
            1. Prenatal care;
            2. Contraception; and
            3. Examination, diagnosis and treatment for conditions that, if care was delayed in order to obtain consent, would result in serious threat to the life of the child/youth or serious worsening of the medical condition.
          6. The burden falls to the medical office to contact DCBS requesting a signed consent.

          Footnotes

          1. The SSW may also consult with the Medical Support Section as necessary.
          2. This form verifies that DCBS is the legal custodian of the named child and as such is authorized to consent to routine and/or necessary medical care.  It also allows the parent to permit such care.

          4.26.3 Standardized Screening and Assessment for Children in Out of Home Care

          Chapter:
          Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
          Effective:
          01/21/2020
          Section:
          4.26.3 Standardized Screening and Assessment for Children in Out of Home Care
          Version:
          1

          Legal Authority/Introduction

          Legal Authority: 

          • N/A 

           

          The purpose of the standardized Screener is to enhance behavioral health services for children in out-of-home-care (OOHC). Upon a child’s entry into OOHC, the SSW will complete the Screener to engage with the child and family and gather information about the child’s traumatic experiences and symptoms of concern. If a child scores in the clinical range on any of the screening tools, the child will be referred to an approved behavioral health provider for additional clinical assessment


          The behavioral health provider will complete a Kentucky Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (KY-CANS) assessment with the child and family of origin (if applicable). Through the KY-CANS Assessment Report, the behavioral health provider will share the recommended treatment modalities and frequency of services, diagnosis, and actionable items identified through the assessment process. The initial KY-CANS will be completed within thirty (30) days of placement (or completion of Screener). In order to monitor progress over time, the KY-CANS Assessment will be re-administered every ninety (90) days. Upon receipt of the KY-CANS Assessment Report in TWIST, the SSW will utilize the report to update the case plan and monitor a child’s progress over time. As part of the process, information from the Screener and the KY-CANS will be used to enhance communication between DCBS and behavioral health providers, support the child’s placement, and engage the family/caregiver on the need for services. The processes created around screening are designed to address child behavioral health needs early in the OOHC episode in order to enhance placement stability and permanency.

           

          Procedure

          The SSW:
           
          1. Completes the following documents, within ten (10) working days of the child’s entry into OOHC, when a child is being referred or recommended for non-residential placement:
            1. DPP-886A Application for Referral and Needs Assessment; and
            2. Screener.
          2. Completes the following documents immediately upon entry into OOHC when a child is being referred or recommended for residential placement;
            1. DPP-886A Application for Referral and Needs Assessment; and
            2. Screener.
              1. Screener should be completed with the following guidelines:
                1. For children six (6) years of age and younger, information is solicited from the caregiver(s) and/or collaterals;
                2. For children seven (7) years of age and older, a face-to-face interview is conducted with the child to obtain the information and any additional information that is needed, may be obtained through caregiver and/or collateral interviews; and
              2. The Screener is entered into TWIST for scoring.
          3. Completes the following steps when screening results indicate a KY-CANS Assessment is needed:
            1. Completes the DCBS Behavioral Health Referral Form for the behavioral health provider for children not served by a PCC/PCP; 
            2. Forwards the DCBS Behavioral Health Referral Form, Screener, and results to the DCBS regional liaison;
            3. Places a hardcopy of the Screener results in the file;
            4. Documents Screener results and action in TWIST service recordings; 
            5. Shares screening results with the R&C worker and or PCC/PCP case manager, based on placement; and
            6. Discusses screening results with caregiver/family of origin, and youth. 
          4. Completes the following steps when screening results indicate a KY-CANS Assessment is not needed:
            1. Documents screening results and action in TWIST service recordings;
            2. Shares screening results with the R&C worker and/or PCC/PCP case manager based on placement;  
            3. Discusses screening results with caregiver/family of origin and youth; and 
            4. Screens a child within ten (10) calendar days if any of the following occurs:  
              1. Child did not screen in previously and:
                1. Fourteen (14) day notice has been issued for a placement change;  
                2. A new incident of maltreatment is received; or
                3. Permanency goal is changed. 
          5. Reviews KY CANS Assessment results and completes the following steps during or before the ninety (90) day family team meeting (FTM):  
            1. Discusses KY CANS Assessment results with the behavioral health provider;
            2. Shares KY CANS Assessment results with the R&C worker;
            3. Discusses KY CANS Assessment results with the caregiver, family of origin, and youth at the next face-to-face contact after receipt, but no later than thirty (30) days after receipt;
            4. Modifies the case plan to reflect intensity of services and treatment needs recommendations;
            5. Places a hardcopy of the KY CANS Assessment results report in the case file; and
            6. Documents KY CANS Assessment results and action in TWIST service recordings.

            4.26.4 Passport Health Plan

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            12/3/2010
            Section:
            4.26.4 Passport Health Plan
            Version:
            1

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            • N/A

            Procedure

            The SSW: 

            1. Completes the CHFS Out of Home Care Services Plan for Physical Health when a child enters OOHC and is placed in a county which is served by passport health plan;
            2. Mails a copy of the physical health information section from the child’s case plan and the CHFS Out of Home Care Service Plan for Physical Health to the following address within five (5) working days of the child’s entry into OOHC:

              DCBS Region 3 Managed Care Liaison
              908 West Broadway
              Louisville, Kentucky  40203
            3. Follows the procedures #1 and #2 above when a child placed in OOHC moves from a county not served by a passport health plan to a county served by a passport health plan;
            4. Retains the child’s passport card in the case record for possible future use when a child moves from a county served by a passport health plan to a county not served by a passport health plan.

            The DCBS Managed Care Liaison:

            1. Provides periodic six (6) month updates on the child’s physical and mental health progress to the passport health plan contact;
            2. Meets monthly with passport’s foster care liaison and a nurse case manager from passport to review referrals, discuss care coordination or case management needs, and billing problems.

            The Children’s Benefits Worker:

            1. Ensures the county code on the case record reflects the actual county of residence of the child; 
            2. Enters the mailing address as the county location of the child’s SSW.

            Practice Guidance

            As of 6/21/07, the following sixteen counties are served by passport health plan:

            • Breckinridge;
            • Bullitt;
            • Carroll;
            • Grayson;
            • Hardin;
            • Henry;
            • Jefferson;
            • Larue;
            • Marion;
            • Meade;
            • Nelson;
            • Oldham;
            • Shelby;
            • Spencer;
            • Trimble; and
            • Washington.

            4.26.5 Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT)

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            05/1/2014
            Section:
            4.26.5 Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT)
            Version:
            2

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            • N/A

            Procedure 

            The SSW: 

            1. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 4.26 Meeting Basic Health Care Needs;
            2. Documents the use of EPSDT services when appropriate.

            Practice Guidance

            • A child in OOHC who is eligible for Medicaid is also eligible for EPSDT services, such as:
              • Immunizations;
              • Hearing tests;
              • Vision tests;
              • Physical health examination; and
              • Other services for early detection of conditions and provisions of routine well child care.
            • A child in OOHC who is eligible for Medicaid may also be eligible for EPSDT special services, which are not routinely covered by Medicaid, but are medically necessary and pre-authorized by Medicaid. For example, if a provider can demonstrate medical necessity for unique durable medical equipment, EPSDT special services may cover its cost.

            4.27 Meeting Medically Fragile Health Care Needs

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            12/3/2010
            Section:
            4.27 Meeting Medically Fragile Health Care Needs
            Version:
            1

            Content to be added, phase II. 

            4.27.1 Individual Health Plan for the Medically Complex Child

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            11/18/2015
            Section:
            4.27.1 Individual Health Plan for the Medically Complex Child
            Version:
            5

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            • N/A

            The individual health plan (IHP) meeting was established to assess the ongoing needs of the medically complex child.  A review of the IHP is completed every three (3) months within the region.  The medically complex liaison, Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs (CCSHCN) nurse, care providers and others who are involved in the child’s medical care should attend this meeting.  The IHP is to be updated every six (6) months. 

            The CCSHCN nurse may utilize the DPP-104C Medically Complex Monthly Report in preparation and development of the child’s IHP.

            During the initial IHP meeting and once every six (6) months thereafter, the medically complex service team:

            • Develops an IHP;
            • Reviews current medical services and medical providers;
            • Incorporates the current and potential medical and rehabilitative needs of the child, and awareness of long-term needs of the child into the child’s care and treatment;
            • Identifies additional services to meet the child’s needs;
            • Discusses transition planning when applicable; and
            • Assesses whether the child’s needs continue to warrant a medically complex designation.

            Procedure

            The SSW: 

            1. Assists the CCSHCN nurse in inviting participants to the IHP meeting;
            2. Attends and participates in the IHP meeting; and
            3. Places one copy of the IHP in the request and/or agency case file.
            4. If the SSW cannot attend the IHP meeting, the FSOS attends in the worker’s place; and if the FSOS is unable to attend, a representative from regional office attends.

            Contingencies and Clarifications

            For out of state placements the SSW and medically complex liaison conduct:

            1. The initial IHP within thirty (30) days of the designation; and
            2. An IHP meeting during the annual face to face visit in the placement setting (refer to SOP 4.24 SSW’s Ongoing Contact with the Birth Family and Child, Including the Medically Complex Child).
            3. For children who are placed with a relative and/or out of state, the medically complex liaison completes the IHP.

            Practice Guidance

            The CCSHCN nurse:

            • Schedules and completes an initial individual health plan (IHP) meeting within thirty (30) calendar days of the child's designation as medically complex;
            • Invites the members of the medically complex service team including, but not limited to the following people, to assist with the child’s planning:
              • MCO case manager;
              • Birth parents;
              • Foster/Adoptive parents and either the R&C worker or private agency staff, as applicable;
              • Medical providers;
              • Service providers;
              • SSW;
              • FSOS;
              • Medically complex liaison;
              • Medical Support Section; and
              • Any other appropriate family member;
            • Requests written recommendations prior to the meeting and documents oral information provided by the team members in the child’s case record, all of which are considered at the IHP meeting if a team member is unable to attend;
            • Contacts the child’s physicians to receive a current verbal report on the child’s medical status (e.g. medications, treatment, etc.) and to request medical records from the previous six (6) months;
            • Completes the medically complex child’s DPP-104B Individual Health Plan and distributes the signed copies to all team members, including the Medical Support Section of Protection and Permanency (P&P) following the initial IHP meeting and every six (6) months thereafter;
            • Reviews the IHP every three (3) months with the team;
            • Schedules additional IHP meetings once every six (6) months and the team:
              • Reviews the plan to ensure that it meets the child's current needs; and  
              • Re-evaluates the child's continued medically complex status;
            • Contacts the Medical Support Section if it is determined that the child may no longer require a medically complex designation. 
            • The medical support section makes the final decision on the removal of the designation and notifies the CCSHCN nurse and medically complex liaison.
            • If a decision is reached to discontinue medically complex status, the team makes recommendations regarding the child’s future placement options and aftercare planning. 
            • If the foster/adoptive home parent is agreeable to providing continued care of the child, the child can remain in the same placement.

            4.27.2 Extraordinary Medical Care/Medical Expenses of a Medically Complex Child

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            11/18/2015
            Section:
            4.27.2 Extraordinary Medical Care/Medical Expenses of a Medically Complex Child
            Version:
            3

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            • N/A

            Procedure

            The SSW:

            1. Arranges with the caregiver for the child to receive necessary treatment and to have the bill submitted to DCBS, if the medical card will not cover the bill; 1
            2. Immediately files for reconsideration if Medicaid denies needed medical treatment for the child; 

            Footnotes

            1. Instructions for filing are listed on the denial form.

            4.27.3 Serious Injury of a Child in Foster Care

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            12/3/2010
            Section:
            4.27.3 Serious Injury of a Child in Foster Care
            Version:
            1

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            • N/A

            Procedure

            The SSW:

            1. Determines that medical treatment has been sought, or directs that it be initiated when a child in OOHC incurs serious physical injury;
            2. Follows guidelines of Child Fatality/Near Child Fatality, and any appropriate regional procedures;
            3. Makes a report if there is reason to suspect that the child’s injury was due to maltreatment and a report has not been made;
            4. Directs all inquiries from the media to the Cabinet’s office of communications.

            4.27.4 Life Support Systems

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            12/3/2010
            Section:
            4.27.4 Life Support Systems
            Version:
            1

            Legal Authority/Introduction 

            LEGAL AUTHORITY: 

            •  

            Procedure

            The SSW:

            1. Or other Cabinet representative informs the hospital personnel of their responsibility to do all that is within their power to sustain a child’s life when a child in OOHC is admitted to the hospital in an emergency and life support systems may be needed; 1 
            2. Immediately notifies the parents, the court, and through supervisory channels, the SRA and Director of the Division of Protection and Permanency;
            3. Facilitates transmission of a letter to the hospital administrator, by the most expedient method, containing the following information, if the child is under emergency custody or temporary custody:
              1. A confirmation of the Cabinet’s standard of practice to advocate use of life support systems;
              2. A certified copy of the custody order;
            4. Facilitates transmission of a letter to the hospital administrator, by the  most expedient method, containing the following information, if the child is committed and parental rights have been terminated:
              1. A conformation of the Cabinet’s standard of practice to advocate use of life support systems; and
              2. A certified copy of the terminated order making a child a ward of the Cabinet;
            5. Completes the following steps regarding a child under voluntary commitment, only if the parent cannot be notified:
              1. Sends a letter to the parent in order to confirm the Cabinet’s standard of practice regarding the use life support systems; and
              2. Facilitates transmission of a letter to the hospital administrator, by the most expedient method containing the following information: 
                1. A confirmation of the Cabinet’s standard of practice to advocate the use of life support systems;
                2. A certified copy of the voluntary commitment order; and
                3. A notarized statement documenting the Cabinet’s efforts to locate the parent.

            Practice Guidance

            • If the child is under emergency custody or temporary custody, the court may give verbal approval for the use of life support systems and the approval may be transmitted by the court or by the SSW on behalf of the court.
            • If the child is under voluntary commitment, it is the parent’s responsibility to make a decision regarding the use of life support systems for the child.

            Footnotes

            1. The Cabinet will promote provision of life sustaining treatment, by whatever means, until a decision is made by the appropriate party to extend or end treatment.

            4.27.5 Ending Use of Life Support Systems

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            01/30/2018
            Section:
            4.27.5 Ending Use of Life Support Systems
            Version:
            4

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            Procedure

            1.The SSW or other Cabinet representative follows the procedures below, when the attending physician has determined that the child has no chance of survival without continued life support or if a do not resuscitate (DNR) order is recommended:

            1. The SSW provides the following information to the medically complex liaison during their consultation:
              1. Copy of the current custody order;
              2. Diagnosis of the child;
              3. Medical status of the child; and
              4. A letter from the physician supporting their medical recommendations.
            2. The medically complex liaison forwards the above information to the Medical Support Section; and
            3. The Medical Support Section submits the custody order and the letter from the physician to the Director of the Division of Protection and Permanency or designee, and also provides a copy to the Office of Legal Services.

            If the child is in the custody of the Cabinet and parental rights are intact: 

            1. The parent is the only person who has decision making authority regarding the decision to end use of life supports;
            2. The SSW immediately notifies the parents, and (through supervisory channels) the Director of the Division of Protection and Permanency or designee and DJJ, if there is joint custody;
            3. The committing court does not have the authority to order the cessation of life support systems even if the parent’s whereabouts are unknown.
            4. The Cabinet may not request or consent to the cessation of life support systems.  If the parents do not agree to the cessation of life support systems for their child, their decision must be upheld.  Parents are the only individuals with decision making authority.
            5. The Cabinet should make every effort to locate the parents to discuss cessation of life support systems regarding their child.  In situations where the parents cannot be located, the Cabinet may not consent to cessation of life support systems.  The child's medical state must remain the same.

            If the child is in the custody of the Cabinet and parental rights have been terminated: 

            1. The SSW completes the Do Not Resuscitate Checklist for Worker (found in the Steps to Obtain a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order or Termination of Life Support document) and submits it to the medically complex liaison, who in turn, forwards it to the Medical Support Section.
            2. The SSW immediately notifies the Medical Support Section, and (through supervisory channels) the Medical Support Section informs the Director of the Division of Protection and Permanency (DPP) or designee and the Office of Legal Services.
            3. The director of DPP or designee, consults with the DCBS commissioner and the Cabinet secretary regarding whether to petition the court regarding the request to order cessation of life supports.
            4. The SSW or Cabinet representative petitions the court when approval by the secretary is granted.  1
            5. The SSW or other Cabinet representative follows additional regional guidelines, as appropriate.

            Practice Guidance

            • The director of DPP or designee submits the information from the treating physician and the custody order to the commissioner.
            • The commissioner submits the information from the treating physician and the custody order to the Cabinet secretary.
            • The secretary:
              • Reviews all submitted information;
              • Approves or denies the motion by the court after consultation with the Office of Legal Services; or
              • Objects to a motion in court filed by the hospital, physician, etc. requesting a DNR order or discontinuance of life support.
            • If the secretary approves the motion, the Office of Legal Services advises the regional attorney to seek a court order or indicate the Cabinet’s position on any motion filed by a hospital, doctor, etc.

            Footnotes

            1. A court order is the only permissible authorization for discontinuance of life support systems. 

            4.28 Meeting Educational Needs

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            01/25/2019
            Section:
            4.28 Meeting Educational Needs
            Version:
            8

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            LEGAL AUTHORITY: 

            The Department for Community Based Services will make every effort to ensure a child’s educational stability and document those efforts.  Federal law requires that those efforts include the agency’s attempts to ensure the child can remain in the same school that the child attended prior to removal, documentation around educational assessments and services to support the child’s educational needs, and the appropriate transfer of school records when a change in schools is necessary.  DCBS recognizes schools may have legitimate interest in reports of abuse or neglect of school aged children.

            The child’s needs are assessed at every case conference.  Case plan objectives and action steps are developed accordingly.  The SSW encourages the child’s parent, guardian or custodian to permit the inclusion of the child’s teacher, school social worker, and any other identified educational supports in case plan conferences/family team meetings.  The SSW advises birth parent(s), guardian or custodian of their right to approve the foster parent to co-serve as a parent with respect to educational decisions and release of the child’s educational records. 1

            DCBS does not authorize children in out of home care to be home-schooled without court authorization, except for homebound programs that are administered by a public or private school.  DCBS does not authorize children in out of home care to enroll in non-accredited educational programs that are not recognized by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).

            Procedure

            1. When school is in session and the child is of school age, the SSW notifies the school within two (2) working days:
              1. At the beginning of an investigation or assessment, when the child is a victim of alleged abuse or neglect; and
              2. At the conclusion of the agency’s work with the family.

             

            The SSW:

            1. Notifies the principal or any assistant principal of the school in which the child is enrolled and the school district director of pupil personnel verbally and via e-mail or facsimile, when custody of a child is granted to the cabinet through an emergency, temporary or permanent court order:
              1. on the day a court order is entered; and
              2. on any day a change is made regarding who is authorized to contact or remove the child from school grounds, or on the following school day if the court order or change occurs after the end of the current school day.
            2. Provides written notification via email, facsimile or by hand delivery a copy of the court order within ten (10) calendar days following a change of custody or change in contact or removal authority, if notification is not provided on the day of removal.
            3. Works with school personnel and foster/adoptive parents, upon entry into OOHC, to ensure that the child may remain in the school he or she attended prior to removal;
            4. If transfer of schools is necessary, enrolls a child of school age in a public school within three (3) working days of the child’s placement when offices are open for enrollment unless one of the following circumstances exists: 
              1. An alternative education plan has been recommended by the child's home school and approved by the court; or
              2. The child/youth has a medical condition, which prohibits them from attending school.
            5. Reviews the assessment and any other available information regarding the child’s developmental or educational background prior to the case planning conference;
            6. Leads the family’s team in a review of the child’s developmental and educational history, functioning and needs during the initial case planning conference and periodic reviews;
            7. Documents plans for educational stability during initial and periodic case conferences.  Education information should include but is not limited to:
              1. A determination of whether or not the child will attend the same school previously attended prior to any placement change; and
              2. If the child must transfer to a different school:
                1. Efforts made to allow the child to remain at the school he or she attended at the time of removal or any placement change;
                2. Arrangements for transportation when appropriate;
                3. Distance of the school the child will be attending from the child’s current placement;
                4. Documentation supporting the determination that a transfer of schools is in the best interest of the child;
                5. The name of the school the child will be attending while in OOHC; and
                6. Arrangements for enrollment with new school including transfer of education records; or
              3. Regularly updated medical documentation that verifies that a child is incapable of attending school; 2 
              4. Includes any assessed needs on the child/youth action plan;
              5. Discusses the appropriateness of pursuing a high school equivalency diploma, if the child is designated as a state agency child as defined in SOP 4.28.3, who is seventeen (17) years old, assesses the appropriateness of pursuing a high school equivalency diploma; and
              6. Discusses with the child that attainment of a high school equivalency diploma does not exempt the child from compulsory attendance.
            8. Makes a referral to Early Start, Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT), or other appropriate foster/adoptive for a developmental screening within thirty (30) days for any child under the age of five (5);
            9. Facilitates an educational assessment through the local education agency (LEA) to be completed and submitted to the court of competent jurisdiction within sixty (60) days of commitment;
            10. Incorporates appropriate contacts, with teachers or school staff member to gather information as part of ongoing assessment and service delivery;
            11. In cooperation with the caregiver, maintains contact with the child’s early intervention service provider or school staff to:
              1. Determine the child’s level of functioning;
              2. Identify current or potential problems; and
              3. Review the progress report or report card;
            12. Informs staff of a school or educational facility that the SSW will make a request for a completed educational passport for a child, when the child moves from one school to another.

            Practice Guidance

            • School disruption can cause extreme emotional stress from a child and may affect his or her academic performance, development and/or overall well-being.  There are ways DCBS can attempt to minimize the effects on the child, including:
              • Collaborating with school staff and utilizing the Educational Passport as early as possible in determining best educational placement to meet the child's needs;
              • Placing a child with a foster/adoptive family living in the same school district;
              • Assisting the foster/adoptive family living in a different district with arranging transportation for the child so that he or she can continue to attend the same school;
              • Delaying a change in placement until the end of a school semester or year, when appropriate;
              • Scheduling visitation with parents and medical and court appointments during non-school hours, whenever possible; and
              • Contacting other schools in the same or an adjoining school district regarding the requirement for and the availability of school-provided transportation between the school and the family foster/adoptive home.
            • If the child in out of home care has been placed with a  DCBS foster/adoptive family in the same school district but outside the attendance area for the school where the child was previously attending, or would have attended before the placement, the SSW may complete a special expense for mileage reimbursement for transportation to the child's previous school in order to support educational continuity for the child.  make a special expense request to reimburse the foster/adoptive parent for the additional mileage, when reasonable, to maintain a child in his or her home school. This applies only after a Foster/Adoptive Home can justify that the transportation allowance in the per diem has been exhausted.
            • If the child in out of home care has been placed with a PCC/PCP outside of the attendance area for the school, the child's SSW may request mileage reimbursement for transportation to the child's previous school in order to support educational continuity for the child.  This applies only at the request of the SSW.  The DCBS SSW will complete a special expense for the mileage reimbursement and submit it to the billing specialist.  The PCC/PCP will submit it to the billing specialist for payment. 
            • The SSW should incorporate, into the case planning discussion, appropriate use of the DPP-330-Educational Advocacy Request Form, if the birth parent agrees to allow the foster/adoptive parent to make educational decisions on behalf of the child as outlined in SOP 4.28.2 Providing Educational Services under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). The SSW continues to engage the biological parents in decision-making regarding the child’s educational services. Although many children in OOHC will be reunified, alternative permanency planning will be pursued beginning no later than the six (6) month periodic review to ensure that all children have a permanent family as quickly as possible.
            • Assistance may be requested from the Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs (OCSHCN) in identifying and addressing health issues in the child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for a child designated as medically complex.

            Footnotes

            1. The birth parent(s), guardian or custodian may elect to grant permission in writing on the Educational Advocacy Request form (DPP-330).
            2. If a child is not enrolled in school as required by state law, the child becomes ineligible for IV-E benefits.  The SSW notifies the CBW accordingly of changes to the child’s enrollment status (Sec 471 (a)(30)).

            4.28.1 Educational Assessment

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            01/22/2014
            Section:
            4.28.1 Educational Assessment
            Version:
            2

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            Procedure

            The SSW: 

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

             

            4.28.2 Providing Educational Services Under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            11/18/2015
            Section:
            4.28.2 Providing Educational Services Under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)
            Version:
            3

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            Over fifty percent (50%) of children in the custody of the Cabinet are receiving special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA is a federal law that ensures services to children with disabilities.  IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.

            The Early Intervention Program, created by IDEA, is a program for children from birth to their third birthday who are experiencing developmental delays, or who have a physical or mental condition with a high probability the condition will result in delay.  Services for eligible children are explained in an individualized family service plan (IFSP) developed collaboratively by the family, the evaluator and early intervention professionals.

            An IFSP is a written plan for providing early intervention services to eligible children.  The plan is based on a First Steps evaluation and assessment completed following the initial referral.  A meeting to develop the initial IFSP is conducted within forty-five (45) days of the completed assessment.  IFSPs are reviewed at least every six (6) months, but may be held more frequently as needed or at the family’s request. 

            IFSP services are administered through First Steps.  First Steps is a statewide early intervention program that provides services to children with developmental disabilities.  This program offers comprehensive services through a variety of community agencies and is administered by the Department for Public Health in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

            Part B of IDEA establishes a federal entitlement for eligible children ages 3-21 years of age with disabilities to receive a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE).  It also establishes a federal framework for states to identify and evaluate children with suspected disabilities in order to provide services to eligible children.  The law identifies a child’s parent as an equal and key participant in their child’s education and establishes procedural safeguards to ensure that all parents are included in the educational decision making process. The law requires school districts to designate a multidisciplinary team to conduct comprehensive evaluations of children and develop an individualized education plan (IEP) for those who are eligible for services.  An IEP is a child specific, written plan of action that describes the individualized services, modifications and accommodations to be provided to a child to ensure successful involvement in the general education curriculum.   

            Procedure

            The SSW: 

            1. May not make educational decisions or serve as a surrogate parent for a child in the custody of the Cabinet that qualifies for IDEA;
            2. During the initial case planning conference recommends to the birth parent(s) that the  foster/adoptive parent be approved to co-serve as a parent with respect to educational decisions (i.e. Admissions and Release Committee (ARC) meetings, IFSP meetings and decisions regarding the child’s IEP and IFSP) in the event that the birth parent cannot attend meetings in order to ensure that a child’s educational needs are not disrupted while the child is placed in out of home care;
            3. Explains that the birth parent must grant permission in writing for the foster/adoptive parent to make educational decisions on the parent’s behalf; 
            4. Informs the birth parent that signing the DPP-330 Educational Advocacy Request Form does not negate the birth parent’s status as the primary authority to make, change or alter educational decisions; 1 
            5. Ensures that the status of the DPP-330 is reassessed at each case planning conference; 
            6. Completes one of the following tasks if unable to locate the birth parent(s), or the parent(s) do not attend the initial case planning conference:
              1. Presents the option to the birth parent to complete the DPP-330 as quickly after this date as possible; or
              2. Requests the court assign the child’s foster/adoptive parent as the child’s educational surrogate;
            7. Or foster/adoptive parent provides a completed copy of the DPP-330 to school personnel once the form is completed by the birth parent.  

            Contingencies and Clarifications

            1. For all children, birth to age 3, and who are involved with a substantiated case of abuse or neglect, the SSW makes a referral to First Steps. 2

            Practice Guidance

            • Under IDEA, parental consent is requested by the school prior to:
              • Conducting an initial evaluation;
              • Initial provision of special education and related services; and
              • Re-evaluation.
            • Under IDEA part C, parental consent is required for the provision of early intervention services and approval of the ISFP.
               
            • The local education agency (LEA) must assign a person to act as a surrogate parent for a child when:
              • No parent can be identified;
              • After reasonable efforts, the whereabouts of a parent cannot be discovered; or
              • Parental rights are terminated.
            • The agency is not permitted to provide copies of a TPR order to a school or to First Steps as documentation regarding the appointment of a surrogate, unless ordered by the court.  However, the SSW may provide a confidential statement, on agency letterhead, that parental rights have been terminated.  It is permissible that the date of TPR and the presiding court be included in this statement. 
            • If the birth parent agrees to allow the foster/adoptive parent to co-serve as parent in regards to educational decisions on behalf of the child, the birth parent: 
              • Completes and signs the DPP-330-Educational Advocacy Request Form stating his/her intentions to grant the foster/adoptive parent the ability to make educational decisions at the five day case planning conference; and
              • Has the ability to rescind the DPP-330 at any point he/she chooses.
            • Although the SSW may not make educational decisions for a child, it is recommended that the SSW:
              • Attend or be included in the Admissions and Release Committee (ARC) meeting or IFSP for the purpose of facilitating the provision of services identified by ARC or IFSP members to meet the child’s educational needs. ARC or IFSP members include birth parents, surrogate parents (when applicable),  school principal, general education teacher, special education teacher, special education facilitator, speech pathologist, guidance counselor, and other evaluators as required;
              • Request notification when changes or modifications are made in the child’s IEP or IFSP;
              • Obtain a copy of the child’s IEP or IFSP developed during the ARC of IFSP meeting;
              • Obtain a copy of any other school records regarding the child’s educational progress; and
              • Retain a copy of the IEP or IFSP an additional educational records in the child’s case.

            Footnotes

            1. Whenever the birth parent and foster/adoptive parent attend an ARC or IFSP meeting together, the birth parent remains the primary authority to make educational decisions on behalf of the child.
            2. Parental consent is not required to make a referral for a First Steps evaluation.

            4.28.3 Accessing Educational Records for Children and Youth in Foster Care and Guidelines for Educational Passports

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            07/1/2017
            Section:
            4.28.3 Accessing Educational Records for Children and Youth in Foster Care and Guidelines for Educational Passports
            Version:
            5

            Legal Authority/Introduction

             

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            The Uninterrupted Scholars Act (USA) amends the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to allow DCBS access to educational records of children placed in foster care. The USA states that child welfare workers, who have the right to access a child’s case plan, are also afforded the right to access a foster child’s educational records. 

            The amendment will help ensure that school records requested for the educational passport, including individual education plans (IEP), are transferred quickly when a child moves to a different school, due to placement in foster care.   In addition, it eliminates the requirement that the education agency provide notice to a parent regarding the release of education records to the child welfare agency, when an order has been issued and the parent is involved in court proceedings involving a child abuse, neglect or dependency action.  The amendments to FERPA in the Uninterrupted Scholars Act will assist DCBS in fully implementing the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 that promotes improved educational experiences and outcomes for children in foster care.

            The Educational Passport is the document that assists the Cabinet and the school in determining what educational records are to be released for state agency children

            State agency children are children committed to or in the custody of the cabinet who are placed in a CHFS services operated or contracted institution, treatment center, facility, including those for therapeutic foster care and excluding those for non-therapeutic. State agency children include children placed in a private facility pursuant to child care agreements. 

            This Educational Passport is to be completed by the school or educational facility which a state agency foster child is leaving.  This document provides the child’s new school or facility with basic demographic and academic information about the child.  It is utilized to ensure the timely transfer of educational records and share the educational needs of the child with the new school.  The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is responsible for providing the educational passport form to the receiving school or educational facility. The school is responsible for transferring the child's records to the new school.  

            Procedure

            The SSW or designated staff, ensures that the following tasks are completed when a state agency foster child transfers from one school to another: 1

            1. Requests copies of the educational records listed on the Educational Passport form, when enrolling a foster child in school or when the child transfers schools; 2
            2. Requests the school transfer the child's education records immediately to the new school;
            3. Provides a copy of the Educational Passport form to the school the child is transferring from;
            4. Obtains a copy of the completed Educational Passport form from the transferring school, within two (2) days, and provides that to the child’s new school, within two (2) days of receipt;
            5. Signs the Release of Records to State Child Welfare Agency form, provided by the school, as requested;
            6. Requests that fees for copies of a foster child’s educational records be waived, if payment is requested by a school; 
            7. Includes information from an educational passport in the assessment and addresses services that meet the needs of the child in the child/youth action plan section of the case plan;
            8. Requests educational records as needed throughout the life of the case;
            9. Provides a copy of the Collective Letter Between DCBS and the Department of Education to the school for review, when school personnel are unaware of the provisions in the USA.

            Practice Guidance

            DCBS staff:

            • Should be aware that staff in the schools want to protect confidentiality and may not be familiar with DCBS staff in the school district;
            • Remember to maintain confidentiality.  Basic information may be shared with school personnel, concerning a child, only if it is determined that the person has a legitimate interest and an ongoing, continuous relationship with the child;
            • Contacts the school to find out what documentation is required to enroll the child;
            • Should contact the school prior to enrolling a child or withdrawing a child whenever possible.  Staff may have changed and a phone call will help the school prepare for the child’s arrival (refer to Statewide School Contact List); 
            • Provide his/her name, state the purpose of the visit and provide ID; and
            • Request educational services to assist the child if needed.
            • A copy of 702 KAR 3:220(4)(7), which specifies the fees for copies of educational records for children receiving free or reduced price lunch shall be waived, may be provided as necessary.  Foster children automatically qualify for free lunch via their status, pursuant to federal law.
            • It is recommended that the FSOS or designated regional staff send a letter to each school (principal, guidance counselor and family resource center) at the beginning of the school year.  The letter should provide the names of staff members and the FSOS’s contact information.  Inform appropriate school personnel that they are welcome to contact DCBS if they have any questions or concerns.  If a new staff member joins the team an updated letter should be provided to the school.
            • When moving a child from one school to another, always provide the school the child is leaving with an educational passport request form to facilitate the transfer of the child’s records from one school to the next.  It is the school’s responsibility to transfer the education records immediately.  Request copies of the child’s school records for the child’s case file.  The Educational Passport form provides a listing of essential documents. 
            • The SSW should communicate with foster/adoptive parents about the requirements for enrolling or withdrawing children in foster care from school to prevent the child from incurring unnecessary absences.
            • The educational assessment process should be facilitated as soon as the child enters foster care to help expedite the provision of services for identified delays or other educational needs.
            • The court should be made aware of the child’s educational status (grade level, current school, attendance, overall performance, and any changes in current school settings).
            • DCBS can only share a child’s educational records when it pertains to the child’s education plan.
            • Foster/adoptive parents can request and receive copies of educational records for children placed in their care if the birth parent grants permission in writing, or they have been assigned as the child’s educational surrogate.

            Footnotes 

            1. These tasks may be completed by DCBS staff, resource foster/adoptive parents or private agency foster parents.
            2. These records should provide information to assess the child’s/youth’s current educational level and functioning.

            4.28.4 Higher Education Assistance

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            12/3/2010
            Section:
            4.28.4 Higher Education Assistance
            Version:
            1

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            Procedure

            If the youth is eligible for a tuition waiver as established in KRS, KAR:

            1. The SSW provides the youth with the DPP-333 Tuition Waiver for Foster and Adopted Children, which is presented to the post-secondary institution.

            If the youth or adult is committed (includes extended or reinstated) the following steps apply to tuition assistance (not tuition waiver) 
            The SSW: 

            1. Assists the student in selecting a post-secondary education institution and applying for all appropriate forms of financial assistance;
            2. Or Independent Living Coordinator (ILC) is to assist the student with his request for tuition assistance from the Cabinet rather than waiting for grant and scholarship awards;
            3. Completes the DPP-103 and submits it through supervisory channels to the SRA or designee for approval four (4) weeks before funds are needed.  1

            The Chafee Program Administrator in central office:

            1. Returns the verified DPP-333, Tuition Waiver for Foster and Adopted Children to the requesting institution within thirty (30) working days of its receipt.

            Practice Guidance

            • The post-secondary institution submits the DPP-333-Tuition Waiver for Foster and Adopted Children to central office and requests confirmation of the youth’s eligibility.
            • Re-submittal of the DPP-333, Tuition Waiver for Foster and Adopted Children is necessary when the youth transfers to another public post-secondary institution in Kentucky.
            • If the youth is determined by the Cabinet to be ineligible for a tuition waiver, he may request an administrative hearing.


             

            • If the youth or adult is committed (includes extended or reinstated), the following steps apply to tuition assistance (not tuition waiver):
              • Payment for clothing, incidental and allowance may be made in a lump sum for the semester or monthly payments to the student;
              • When the student will attend a school outside his home county, the SSW may refer the student to the ILC or appropriate FSOS located in the county where the student’s school is located. A copy of the approved DPP-103 may be attached to the referral letter. Specific services may be requested for the student.

            Footnotes

            1. Separate requests should be submitted for each semester and summer session.

            4.28.5 Educational Training Voucher for Aged Out Youth

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            12/3/2010
            Section:
            4.28.5 Educational Training Voucher for Aged Out Youth
            Version:
            1

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            Procedure

            If the youth is eligible for education training voucher (ETV) funding as established in 42 USC 677 and 922 KAR 1:500:

            1. The SSW, the regional Independent Living Coordinator (ILC) or the Chafee Program Administrator provides the DPP-334 Request for Educational and Training Voucher Funds to the eligible youth to complete and return to the regional ILC or the Chafee Program Administrator;
            2. The regional ILC submits the DPP-334, Request for Educational and Training Voucher Funds, by mail or fax to the central office Chafee Program Administrator and requests confirmation of the youth’s eligibility;
            3. Central office verifies eligibility and notifies the ILC and the youth by mail within thirty (30) working days of its receipt.

            If the youth or adult is committed (includes extended or reinstated):
            The SSW:

            1. Assists the student planning to exit out of home care (OOHC) on or after the eighteenth (18th) birthday in selecting a post-secondary education or job training program and applying for all appropriate forms of financial assistance; 
            2. Completes the DPP-334 and submits it to the regional ILC or Chafee Program Administrator for verification and approval four (4) weeks before the youth exits OOHC and ETV funds are needed.

            Practice Guidance

            • Re-submittal of the DPP-334-Request for Educational and Training Voucher Funds is necessary every semester.
            • The eligible youth is required to provide verification of good standing or satisfactory progress in a program on a monthly basis by using the DPP-335 Monthly Academic Standing and Enrollment Verification, obtained from the Chafee Program Administrator or regional ILC.
            • If the youth is determined by the Cabinet to be ineligible for educational and training voucher funding, the youth may request an administrative hearing.

             

            • Separate requests for ETV funds should be submitted each semester.

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