Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

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First Section: 2.11 Investigation Protocol
Last Section: 13.22 FTM/Periodic Review for Children in Adoptive Placement

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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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2.11 Investigation Protocol

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

Legal Authority/Introduction

 

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

 

Introduction

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

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


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

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

Practice Guidance

General Practice Guidance
 
  • The SSW has access to all records and documentation to complete an investigation regarding the child alleged to have been abused or neglected and the alleged perpetrator. 
  • Throughout the investigation, the investigator and FSOS are responsible for assessing for safety threats imminent risk by considering the following: 
    • Children with (or indications there may be) serious injuries from physical abuse, particularly those in critical areas of the body (Refer to Inflicted Head Trauma Fact Sheet and Traumatic Skin Lesions Fact Sheet);
    • Children ages five (5) years and younger;
    • Children suffering from acute untreated medical condition(s) that demand urgent attention whose parent/caretaker is refusing to obtain treatment or cannot be located;
    • Self-referral from a parent/caretaker who states they are currently unable to cope or feel they may harm their child(ren);
    • A child who expresses fear of their current circumstances;
    • Sexual abuse allegations in which the perpetrator is suspected to have immediate access to the alleged victim or other children in the home;
    • Physical abuse or neglect appears imminent;
    • A child presently receiving bizarre forms of punishment, for example being locked in a closet or tied to a chair or bed;
    • A child at risk of immediate harm from a parent/caretaker who is behaving in a bizarre manner;
    • Abandoned (parent/caretaker has no intent to return) children who are currently without supervision of a responsible adult;
    • Children who are currently without supervision by a responsible person who are at risk of harm based on their age, environment, or other factors. The investigation determines the child’s level of maturity, development and ability to function safely alone and whether the family has an established plan of action in case of emergency;
    • Situations involving weapons; or
    • Other situations related to the caregiver's high risk behaviors that constitute immediate risk to the child in the judgment of the FSOS and SSW. 
  • The worker’s contact with the parent or caretaker should occur in the home promptly, or as soon as possible, after interviewing the child(ren) unless there are documented safety threats. issues.
  • The worker does not identify the reporting source to anyone, unless ordered to report such by a court of competent jurisdiction.  If included as a collateral interview, the reporting source should only be identified in the case record/TWIST as a collateral source, rather than the referral source in order to maintain confidentiality.
  • Additional information should not be shared with the reporting source, unless the reporting source is a person in a continuing and ongoing professional relationship with the child or family (such as a physician, therapist, family resource center staff, health department staff, or teacher) and meets the standard under KRS 620.050 as having a legitimate interest in the case.  The worker or FSOS consults with the regional attorney, as needed, when there are concerns regarding the sharing of information.  Workers and supervisors should note that drug treatment information and psychotherapy notes are protected under federal law and cannot be reproduced without a specific release from the client. 
  • When information is to be shared, the worker:
    • Informs the reporting source with legitimate interest that the information is being shared based upon the conditions of KRS 620.050 and information may not be further shared with others; 
    • Shares information that may be relevant with the person with legitimate interest that is specific to the child, summarizing services the parent/caretaker may be receiving to address abuse or neglect issues including:
    • Concerns related to safety threats issues for the child;
      • Domestic violence;
      • Substance use disorder;
      • Mental health history;
      • Learning disabilities of the parent/caretaker; or
      • The finding of an investigation.
  • If necessary, the worker or FSOS may seek assistance from the regional attorney and/or law enforcement if a family or individual fails to cooperate with an investigation. 
  • If the parent has already made an appropriate adoptive plan for the child, the SSW may work the investigation simultaneously with the adoptive plan continuing, and SSW may not need to seek emergency custody of the child with the appropriate adoptive plan in place. Contact the Adoption Services Branch at 502-564-2147 with questions or regarding the validity of the adoptive plan.

  

Practice Guidance Specific to Methamphetamine Labs

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

Practice Guidance Specific to Sexual Abuse Investigations

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

Practice Guidance Specific to Physical Abuse Investigations

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

Practice Guidance Specific to Assessments of Parenting Youth 

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

Practice Guidance Specific to Neglect Allegations

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

Practice Guidance Specific to Risks Associated with Domestic Violence

 

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

       

  Practice Guidance Specific to Asssessments of Parenting Youth

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

Procedure

 

Sequence of Interviews

In the following sequence whenever possible, the SSW: 

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

Content of Interviews and Information to be Collected

 

The SSW:

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

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

 

The SSW:

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

Contingencies and Clarifications

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

Footnotes

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

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

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

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

Practice Guidance 

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

Unable to locate:

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

No Finding: 


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

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

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

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

 

Unsubstantiation

The SSW:

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

 

Family in need of services

The SSW:

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

Procedure

The SSW:

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

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

Making a finding

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

Definitions:

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

Following a substantiation

The SSW:

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

Court involvement

The SSW:

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

The FSOS:

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

Contingencies and Clarifications

Request for an extension

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

 

Footnotes

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

 

 

2.13 Notification of Finding and Case Disposition

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

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

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

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

Procedure

Aftercare Planning

The SSW: 

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

The FSOS:

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

Notification of Findings

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

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

Practice Guidance

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

 

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

Related Information

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

Footnotes

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

2.14 Investigations of Child Fatalities and Near Fatalities

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

Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

 

Introduction 

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

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

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


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

Practice Guidance for Receiving and Accepting the Report  

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

Procedure for Receiving and Accepting the Report

The Central Intake Staff:

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

Practice Guidance for Notifications 

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

Procedure for Notifications
 

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

 

Procedure for Securing and Updating the Case Record

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

Active Ongoing Cases:

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

Active Pending Investigations:

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

Procedure for the Investigative Process

 

The SSW shall:

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

The service region shall:

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

Making a Finding and Completion of the Investigative Assessment

 

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

Practice Guidance for the Investigative Process 

 

  • Records collected should include:
    • Birth records;

    • Pediatric records;

    • Hospital records;

    • Immunization records; and/or 

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

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

Procedure for System Safety Review (DCBS Internal Review Process) 


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


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

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

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

Procedure for External Fatality and Near Fatality Review Panel 

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

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

     

    2.14.2 Notification and Funeral Preparation Regarding a Child Fatality

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

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

     

    Practice Guidance

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

    Procedure

    Birth Parent Notification

    The service region administrator (SRA) or designee: 

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

    The SSW: 

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

    The FSOS:

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

    2.15 Specialized Investigations

    Chapter:
    Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
    Effective:
    05/28/2021
    Section:
    2.15 Specialized Investigations
    Version:
    6

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

    Introduction 

    Specialized investigations are traditionally more complex, as they typically involve multiple victims, agencies, centers, or facilities rather than families.  As a result, additional investigative considerations need to be addressed when handling these types of reports.  It is strongly recommended that experienced Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) investigative social workers be assigned to conduct specialized investigations.  A SSW with prior experience in conducting these types of investigations, as well as having completed the necessary training, is also suggested. 

    KRS 620.030(3) requires agencies to cooperate with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS/Cabinet) while conducting child protective services (CPS) investigations.

    The procedures in this standard of practice (SOP) are organized as the foundation for specialized investigations involving the following:

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

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

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

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

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


    Practice Guidance

    • DCBS foster homes include child-specific foster homes.
    • The SSW has access to all records and documentation to complete an investigation regarding the child alleged to have been abused or neglected and the alleged perpetrator.
    • In a combined investigation with OIG, the SSW and OIG staff may prepare a final report.
    • The SSW may comment and make recommendations that may be incorporated into the combined investigation report.
    • If the OIG staff and the SSW do not agree on issues of concern, a collaboration between the two agencies is encouraged.
    • Consultation with the Child Protection Branch is highly recommended during an investigation that involves systemic issues in a specialized setting, or if an allegation involves a director, program director, administrator, or other designated management staff. 
    • Requests for information regarding the final report by those outside the Cabinet are to be handled through open records procedures, as outlined in SOP 30.12 Request from the Public for CA/N Checks and Central Registry Checks.
    • The SSW may consult with the Child Protection Branch when seeking to access additional information such as Children’s Review Program reviews or exit interviews.

    Procedure

    The investigative SSW: 

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

    The SRA or designee:

    1. Should conduct at least one consultation using the form for all specialized investigations in this section;
    2. Seeks assistance, as needed, from a specialist in the Child Protection Safety Branch when consultation is needed during the course of the investigation such as when:
      1. A home, facility, or program is not cooperative;
      2. There is difficulty in obtaining information; or
      3. There are concerns involving other agencies’ participation in the assessment.
    3. Requests, upon staffing the investigation with the SSW, approval from the DPP director if the following are recommended:
      1. Suspending DCBS referrals; or
      2. Terminating an agreement or contract.


    Related Information

    • ​Division of Protection and Permanency Child Protection Branch:
    Phone:  (502) 564-2136
    Fax:  (502) 564-3096

    • Division of Protection and Permanency Director's Office:
    ​Phone:  (502) 564-6852

    Footnotes

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

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

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

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

    Procedure

    Upon accepting a report, the SSW:

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

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

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

    Practice Guidance 

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

    Related Information

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

    2.15.2 Investigations of Licensed Private Child Caring Facilities

    Chapter:
    Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
    Effective:
    05/28/2021
    Section:
    2.15.2 Investigations of Licensed Private Child Caring Facilities
    Version:
    3

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:


     

    Introduction 


     

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

    Crisis stabilization units are categorized either as licensed under a PCC facility or provided through a community mental health center (CMHC).  The SSW utilizes the procedures set forth in this standard of practice (SOP) for all PCC crisis stabilization units and utilizes SOP 2.15.6 Investigations of Supports for Community Living (SCL) and Community Mental Health/Intellectual Disability (CMHC) for all CMHC crisis stabilization units. 


     

    Practice Guidance

     

    • The Office of Inspector General (OIG), Division of Regulated Child Care (DRCC), Child Caring/Child Placing Branch will assign OIG staff,as applicable, to contact the SSW.

    Procedure

    Upon accepting a report, the SSW: 

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


    Related Information

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

    2.15.3 Investigations of Licensed Child Care Centers

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

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

    Procedure

    Upon accepting a report, the SSW: 

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

    Practice Guidance

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

    Related Information

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

    2.15.4 Investigations of Registered (Subsidized) Family Child Care Providers

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

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

    Procedure

    Upon accepting a report, the SSW: 

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

    Related Information  

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

    2.15.5 Investigations of School Personnel

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

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

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

    Procedure

    Upon accepting a report, the SSW: 

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

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

    The SRA or designee:

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

    Related Information

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

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

    Chapter:
    Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
    Effective:
    05/28/2021
    Section:
    2.15.6 Investigations of Supports for Community Living (SCL) and Community Mental Health/Intellectual Disability (CMHC)
    Version:
    4

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

    Introduction 


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

    • Child under eighteen (18) years of age; or
    • Youth age eighteen (18) up to twenty-one (21) years of age and older on extended commitment in the ​custody of with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (Cabinet/CHFS).

    Procedure

    Upon accepting a report, the SSW: 

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

    Related Information

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

    Footnotes

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

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

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

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

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

    Procedure

    Upon accepting a report, the SSW: 

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

    2.15.8 Investigations Involving DCBS Employees

    Chapter:
    Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
    Effective:
    12/15/2020
    Section:
    2.15.8 Investigations Involving DCBS Employees
    Version:
    5

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

    • Is an alleged perpetrator in an adult protective services (APS) or child protective services (CPS) referral; or
    • Resides in the home where an APS or CPS incident allegedly occurred. 

    For the purposes of employee investigations, an employee includes employees within the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) in one of the following divisions: 

    • The Division of Service Regions (DSR);
    • The Division of Family Support (DFS); and
    • The Division of Protection and Permanency (DPP).  

    This includes any individual that works for and/or is contracted to complete work on behalf of any of the three (3) divisions and/or is housed in an office with staff for any of these three (3) divisions.  

    Procedure

    The SSW:

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

    The SRA or designee:

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

    The SSW, FSOS, or regional management:

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

    The Director of Service Regions or designee:

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

    Upon Completion of the Assessment:

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

    Footnotes

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

    2.15.9 Investigations of Human Trafficking

    Chapter:
    Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
    Effective:
    05/28/2021
    Section:
    2.15.9 Investigations of Human Trafficking
    Version:
    6

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

    Introduction 


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

    Procedure

    The SSW:

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

    Contingencies and Clarifications

    When appropriate, the SSW should complete the following tasks: 

    1. Notify the child’s attorney that the child may be a victim of human trafficking (status offender only);
    2. Contact other states to request courtesy interviews for identified individuals who may have information relevant to the investigation;
    3. Conduct forensic interviews of child victims at the Children's Advocacy Center in joint cooperation with law enforcement (KRS 620.040(6));
    4. Ensure findings for non-caretaker perpetrators are "human trafficking not confirmed" or "human trafficking confirmed";
    5. Ensure findings for caretaker perpetrators are "substantiated," unsubstantiated," or "services needed"; and 
    6. Add a subprogram of sexual abuse for all caretaker perpetrators, if appropriate.
    7. Inform the parent/guardian verbally or in writing on agency letterhead by drafting a brief letter regarding the finding. Contents of the letter should be decided on a case by case basis.

    Related Resources

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

    2.15.10 Investigation of Female Genital Mutilation

    Chapter:
    Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
    Effective:
    10/2/2020
    Section:
    2.15.10 Investigation of Female Genital Mutilation
    Version:
    1

    ​​

    ​Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY

    ​​Procedure
     

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

    Contingencies and Clarifications
     

    When appropriate, the SSW should complete the following tasks: 
      1. ​​Notify the child’s attorney that the child may be a victim of female genital mutilation (status offender only);
      2. Contact other states to request courtesy interviews for identified individuals who may have information relevant to the investigation; and ​
      3. Conduct forensic interviews of child victims at the Children's Advocacy Center jointly with law enforcement (KRS 620.040(6)).

    ​Related Resources
     

    • ​​When interviewing non-English speaking individuals, please refer to SOP 1.14 Limited English Proficiency for assistance. ​
     


     ​


     

    2.16 through 2.22-Not Yet Utilized

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

    Reserved for future use.

     

    2.23 Pediatric Forensic Medicine Consult

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

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

    • N/A

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

    Procedure

    The SSW:

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

    Practice Guidance

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

    Footnotes

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

    2.24 Child Emotional Abuse Investigations and Emotional Injury Evaluations

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

    Legal Authority/Introduction

    LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

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

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

    Procedure

    The SSW:

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

    The P&P emotional injury gatekeeper:

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

    Practice Guidance 

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

        Footnotes

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

        2.25 Staffing with FSOS and High Risk Protocol

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

        Content to be added, phase II. 

        2.26 Utilization Review if Removal of a Child from Home

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

        Content to be added, phase II. 

        2.27 through 2.29-Not Yet Utilized

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

        Reserved for future use.

         

        3.1 Engaging the Family and Opening the Case

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

        Legal Authority/Introduction

        LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

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

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

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

        Procedure

        The SSW assigned to the family: 

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

        Footnotes

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

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

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

        Legal Authority/Introduction

        LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

        Procedure

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

        Footnotes

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

        3.4 Initial In Home Case Planning Conference

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

        Legal Authority/Introduction

        LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

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

        Procedure

        The SSW: 

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

        The FSOS:

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

        Practice Guidance

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

          Elements of the Case Plan  

          Objectives

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

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

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

          Objective example: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Tasks also: 

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


          

        Footnotes

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

        3.5 Participants and Notification for All In Home Cases

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

        Legal Authority/Introduction

        LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

        Procedure

        The SSW:

        1. Encourages families to involve family members, friends, family members and community partners that have the potential to be beneficial;
        2. Involves the following individuals in case planning, including but not limited to:
          1. Family members of appropriate age, including identified fathers as outlined in SOP 4.15 Family Attachment and Involvement, of appropriate age;
          2. Biological mothers and fathers, step parents, and parent paramours;
          3. Custodians/caregivers (i.e. relative/fictive kin placement caregivers);
          4. FSOS and other staff involved;
          5. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and Guardian Ad Litem, if court is involved;
          6. Parents attorney;
          7. Community partners including service providers and school personnel;
          8. Prevention services providers including:
            1. Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS);
            2. Families and Children Together Safely (FACTS)
            3. Diversion
            4. Family Reunification Services (FRS)
            5. Kentucky Strengthening Ties and Empowering Parents (KSTEP)
            6. Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START)
          9. Children; and
          10. Formal and informal supports for the family;
        3. Notifies, verbally or in writing, in advance all participants expected to attend the case planning conference of the:
          1. Purpose;
          2. Date;
          3. Time; and
          4. Location of the case planning conference;
        4. Provides a copy of the Case Planning Meeting Brochure;
        5. Document, in both the DPP 1281 and service recordings, efforts to involve all of the above parties in the case planning process

        Practice Guidance

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

        3.6 Negotiating Objectives and Tasks

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

        Legal Authority/Introduction

        LEGAL AUTHORITY:

        • N/A

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

        Procedure

        The SSW: 

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

        Practice Guidance

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

         

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

        3.7 through 3.9-Not Yet Utilized

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

        Reserved for future use.

         

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

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

        Legal Authority/Introduction

        LEGAL AUTHORITY: 

        KY Acts Chapter 188

        CAPTA 106(b)(2)(B)

         

         

         

        From the moment of the initial contact with the family, the SSW and the department are obligated under federal and state law to make reasonable efforts to keep families intact whenever possible; and in removal situations, to make reasonable efforts to reunify children with their families.  As part of this obligation, the SSW is required to maintain personal contact with families and children.  Ongoing contact with the family provides information that contributes to a thorough assessment of whether or not the family has reduced the risks that initially lead to the involvement of DCBS. 

        Features of an acceptable pattern of visits include: 

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

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

        Procedure

         

        Ongoing Contact with the Family

        The SSW: 

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

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

        Contingencies and Clarifications

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

        The SSW:   

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

         

        Practice Guidance

        Ongoing Contact with the Child

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

        Ongoing Contact with the Family

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

         

        3.11 Working with Incarcerated Parents

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

        Legal Authority/Introduction

        LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

        Procedure

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

        Footnotes

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

        3.12 Case Plan Evaluation/Ongoing Assessment

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

        Legal Authority/Introduction

        LEGAL AUTHORITY: 

        Procedure

        The SSW:

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

         

        3.13 Ongoing Case Planning

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

        Legal Authority/Introduction 

        LEGAL AUTHORITY:

         

        Procedure

        The SSW:

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

        Practice Guidance

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

         

         

        3.14 through 3.17-Not Yet Utilized

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

        Reserved for future use.

         

        3.18 Assessing the Case for Closure

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

        Legal Authority/Introduction

        LEGAL AUTHORITY:

        Procedure 

        The SSW: 

        1. Initiates completion of the case plan evaluation/ongoing assessment within thirty (30) days prior to closure; 1
        2. Considers whether:
          1. The factors causing maltreatment are resolved to the point that the parent or guardian can protect and meet the needs of the children;
          2. The documented risk of maltreatment is reduced to the point that the parent or guardian can protect and meet the needs of the children; or
          3. The case planning goals have been achieved;
        3. Discusses with the family the possibility of case closure concurrent to the completion of the new assessment;
        4. Documents the mutual agreement to close the case;
        5. Provides the court at least fourteen (14) days advance notice, in writing, of the intention to close the case, if there is court involvement;
        6. Works with the family in developing an aftercare plan that focuses on preventing maltreatment;
        7. Links the family to community resources as necessary;
        8. Provides the family, including identified fathers as outlined in SOP 4.14 Family Attachment and Involvement with the following forms:
          1. DPP-154A Notice of Intended Action, advising of the intention to close the case; and
          2. DPP-154 Protection and Permanency Service Appeal, advising of the right to a fair hearing;
        9. Summarizes the reason for closure in the ongoing disposition TWIST screens including the following information:
          1. Discussion and agreement with the family of the mutual agreement to close the case.
          2. If court involvement, the date the court was sent notice {at least fourteen (14) days advance notice, in writing, of the intention to close the case}.
          3. Rationale for case closure:     
            1. The factors causing maltreatment are resolved to the point that the parent or guardian can protect and meet the needs of the children;     
            2. The documented risk of maltreatment is reduced to the point that the parent or guardian can protect and meet the needs of the children; and      
            3. The case planning goals have been achieved.
          4. A description of the community resources the family has been linked to in the aftercare plan.
        10. Closes the case immediately, if the forms are hand delivered unless the client disagrees with the closure;
        11. Waits ten (10) days prior to closing the case if the forms are sent via U.S. mail. 

          3.19 Aftercare Planning

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

          Content to be added, phase II.

           

          4.1 Consideration of Race and Ethnicity/Maintaining Cultural Connections

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

          Legal Authority/Introduction

           

          LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

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

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



          4.2 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

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

          Legal Authority/Introduction

          LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

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

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

          Procedure 

          The SSW:

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

          The FSOS:

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

          Practice Guidance

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

           

           Contingencies and Clarifications

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

          Footnotes

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

           

          4.3 Relative and Absent Parent Search

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

          Legal Authority/Introduction

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

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

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

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

          Procedure 

          Relative Search

          The SSW:

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

           

          Absent Parent Search

          The SSW: 

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

          Practice Guidance

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

          Footnotes

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

          4.5.1 Kinship Care and Relative Benefit Regional Logs

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

          Legal Authority/Introduction 

          LEGAL AUTHORITY:

          • N/A

           Procedure

           

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

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

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

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

          Legal Authority/Introduction

           LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Procedure

           

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Practice Guidance

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

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

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

          Legal Authority/Introduction 

          LEGAL AUTHORITY:

          Procedure

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

          Practice Guidance

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

          Footnotes

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

          4.5.4 Background Checks for Kinship Care Providers or Relative Caregivers

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

          Legal Authority/Introduction

           LEGAL AUTHORITY: 

          •  

          Procedure 

          The SSW:

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

          The FSOS: 

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

          The SRA or designee: 

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

          Contingencies and Clarifications

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

          Footnotes  

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

          4.5.5 Relative and Fictive Kin Placement Foster Care Payments

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

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

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

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

           

          Introduction

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

          Practice Guidance

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

          Procedure

           

          For active cases:

           

          The SSW:

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

           
          For inactive cases:


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

          Kinship support hotline/central office staff:

           

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

           

          Contingencies and Clarifications  

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

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

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

            Legal Authority/Introduction 

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            Procedure 

            The SSW:

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

            3. Completes the following tasks prior to the sixth (6th) month of the child's placement within the relative kinship caretaker's home: 1
              1. Facilitates a meeting to review the child's case plan and placement;
              2. Determines, with the family team, if permanent relative kinship placement is in the best interest of the child;
              3. Prepares a court recommendation pertaining to the permanent custody of the child when applicable; and
              4. Requests that the case be re-docketed for court action to determine permanent custody pursuant to KRS 620.027;

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

            Practice Guidance

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

            Footnotes

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

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

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

            Legal Authority/Introduction 

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            Procedure

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

            The SSW: 

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

            Regional staff:

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

            Practice Guidance 

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

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

             

            4.5.8 Discontinuance of Kinship Care

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

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            Procedure 

            The SSW:

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

            Practice Guidance

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

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

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

            Legal Authority/Introduction 

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:  

            Procedure

            The SSW:

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

            Practice Guidance

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

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

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

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            Procedure 

            The SSW:

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

            Practice Guidance

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

            4.6 Parenting Youth in Foster Care

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

            Legal Authority

             
             

            Introduction

             

            Parenting Youth Supplement

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

            Procedure

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


             

            4.9 Initial Placement Considerations

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            12/28/2020
            Section:
            4.9 Initial Placement Considerations
            Version:
            10

            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 (CHFS) assesses and identifies the best placement options for a child.  The social services worker (SSW) 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. Makes a request 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. That 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;
            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 sibling visitation plan, that is agreed upon by all parties, if siblings will not be placed together initially;  
              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); and
              4. Assesses the possibility of placement with a birth sibling that is currently in foster care or has been previously adopted. The SSW shall explore the placement possibility with recruitment and certification (R&C) or the private child placing (PCP) provider.  When seeking foster care placement, families caring for siblings of the child shall have priority for placement.
            7. Ensures that all prospective placements are given information surrounding the child’s known needs, so that the placement can make an informed decision regarding their ability to provide ongoing care. 
            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 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 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 Foster/Adoptive Home); 2
              4. PCP 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 4.12 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​ ​to ensure educational stability.
            2. DCBS foster/adoptive homes must be utilized before seeking placement in a PCP foster home.  Exception requests and regional approval are required for PCP 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:
            04/20/2021
            Section:
            4.10 Placement in a DCBS Foster or Adoptive Home
            Version:
            5

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            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. 

            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 either the out-of-home care request, or placement change screens in TWIST.  

            The FSOS or designee: 

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

            Footnotes

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

            4.10.1 DCBS Care Plus

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

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            Procedure

            The SSW:

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

            The R&C team:

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

            The FSOS or designee:

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

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

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

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

            Practice Guidance

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

             

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

             

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

             

            Footnotes

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

            4.10.2 DCBS Medically Complex Placement

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

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            Procedure

            The SSW:

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

            The Medically Complex Liaison: 

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

            Contingencies and Clarifications

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

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

            Practice Guidance

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

            Footnotes

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

            4.10.4 Relative or Fictive Kin Pursuing Foster Home Approval

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

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            Introduction

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

             

            Practice Guidance

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

             

            Procedure

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

            Footnotes 

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

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

            Chapter:
            Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
            Effective:
            01/29/2021
            Section:
            4.11 Private Child Placing (PCP) or Child Caring (PCC) Agency
            Version:
            12

            Legal Authority/Introduction

            LEGAL AUTHORITY:

            Introduction


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

            Practice Guidance

            • The PCP or PCC program provides a response regarding possible placement of the child to the regional placement coordinator (RPC) within two (2) working days of receipt of a referral.
            • Prior to a PCC facility 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 then 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 needs change at any point, the SSW should always exhaust Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) foster care, as appropriate, then complete an updated DPP-886A Application for Referral and Needs Assessment in TWIST and submit to Children's Review Program (CRP) for placement. 
            • Children under age eighteen (18) 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; and
              • Comply with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC).  1
            • 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.

            Procedure

            The SSW:

            1. Seeks placement through a PCP or PCC agency when a DCBS foster and adoptive home is not available or appropriate for a child;
            2. Obtains a level of care (LOC) assignment for the child, if this has not already been done; 2 
            3. Follows procedures detailed in​ SOP 4.51.1 Placement in a Congregate Care (Residential Treatment) Setting when a youth is being considered or referred for residential treatment; ​3 
            4. Requests referral of the child to a PCC placement by:
              1. Documenting on the DPP-886A and email the RPC to advise that the DPP-886A has been uploaded; 
              2. Se​nding the referral packet via TWIST with the assigned LOC to the RPC during business hours;​4 or
              3. Contacting the PCC directly, utilizing the After Hours Referral Contacts website;
            5. 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;
              5. That promotes continued contact with the child’s family, friends, community, school and other primary connections; and
              6. That is the most cross-culturally informed and responsive available, including religious beliefs.
            6. Schedules an interview (if required) for the child with the PCP/PCC staff and makes arrangements for the child’s transportation to each interview;
            7. Completes the DPP-114-Level of Care Schedule and determines that the completed form is consistent with the child’s assigned LOC when placement is to be made;
            8. Follows the form’s procedural instructions regarding the appropriate signatures, to indicate approval of the child’s placement;
            9. Arranges transportation or transports the child and his/her belongings to the placement on the pre-arranged placement date;
            10. Gives PCP/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);
            11. 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);
            12. Sends written notification to the RPC that the child has been admitted to the program;
            13. Provides the PCP/PCC staff the following information regarding the child, within seven (7) working days of admission:
              1. DCBS child/youth action plan;
              2. Visitation agreement; and
              3. Transition plan, if the youth is over age seventeen (17);
            14. Provides the PCP/PCC staff the following information regarding the child, within ten (10) working 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;
            15. Requests an out-of-state placement through the 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); 5 6
            16. 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 LOC 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. Exhausts DCBS foster care per regional protocol, if foster care is appropriate;  
              4. Notifies the RPC of the need for a new placement by completing a new DPP-886A in TWIST and submitting to CRP for placement if DCBS foster care is not appropriate or available; 
              5. Notifies the medically complex liaison, medical support section, and the SKY MCO nurse of a medically complex child’s move;
            17. Does not refer a child less than eight (8) years of age or with a LOC of three (3) or less, for placement in a PCC residential program, except under special circumstances, and with SRA approval;  ​
            18. ​​Follows procedures detailed in SOP 4.51.1 Placement in a Congregate Care (Residential Treatment) Setting for any child placed in a PCC residential treatment setting.  
            ​The RPC :
              1. Refers the child to appropriate PCP/PCC programs by sending the ​referral packet and LOC assignment to the program, and provides the SSW with written notification of the referrals.

               

              Footnotes

              1. 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.
              2. For a child entering a PCC emergency shelter, a LOC assignment is sought, but is not required in order to place the child.
              3. SOP 4.51.1 Placement in a Congregate Care (Residential Treatment) Setting aligns practice with guidelines and requirements for the placement of youth in residential treatment facilities, in addition to their ongoing treatment, discharge, and aftercare planning, established under the Family First Prevention Services Act.​
              4. In the event of an emergency referral, the SSW should contact CRP via email or phone to advise of an imminent placement need. Efforts to complete the DPP-886A should be made to ensure the most appropriate placement.  ​
              5. Refer to guidelines found in SOP 10.5 Request to Place a Kentucky Child in Another State for Foster Care or Adoption.
              6. Placement may not be made until approved by ICPC.

               

              4.11.1 Level of Care Assignment

              Chapter:
              Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
              Effective:
              04/20/2021
              Section:
              4.11.1 Level of Care Assignment
              Version:
              6

              Legal Authority/Introduction

              LEGAL AUTHORITY:

               

              Practice Guidance

              • The DPP-886A should be detailed and complete to ensure that a child is assigned an accurate level of care (LOC) to support appropriate placements.  Detailed and thorough DPP- 886As support a child’s placement stability by ensuring the child is matched with the best placement to meet their needs.
              • Within three (3) working days of receipt of the completed LOC packet, Children's Review Program (CRP) determines the child’s assigned LOC and returns the completed DPP-886 Private Child Care Client Inter-Agency Referral Form  to the billing specialist who will then 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 procedure number two (2) below.  If PCC or PCP staff requests that a child under the age of forty-eight (48) months be assigned a LOC and the SSW and FSOS are not in agreement, a request from the provider will be sent to the Division of Protection and Permanency, Out-of-Home Care Branch Manager, at 502-564-2147 for determination.
              • The period 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. 

              Procedure 

              The SSW: 

              1. Completes the LOC packet for a child who is:
                1. Four (4) years of age or above; 
                2. Under age four (4) with and expired LOC; or
                3. Any child who is designated medically complex regardless of age.
              2. Submits the DPP 886A Application for Referral and Needs Assessment and supporting documentation electronically via TWIST within five (5) working days of the child’s entry into out-of-home care (OOHC) in order to obtain a LOC assignment; 1
              3. Completes Screener in TWIST no later than ten (10) working days from the child's entry into OOHC;
              4. 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
              5. Ensures that the review of the LOC assignment occurs to keep the child’s LOC assignment active. 2

               ​​

              Footnotes

              1. Supporting documentation may include;
                • A psychological assessment;
                • Treatment recommendations;
                • IEP;
                • 504; and
                • The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) assessment, etc.
              2. 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. 
              3. 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:
              04/20/2021
              Section:
              4.11.2 Request for Emergency LOC Assignment
              Version:
              2

              Legal Authority/Introduction

              LEGAL AUTHORITY:

               

              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 (LOC) assignment if the child does not require an immediate PCC placement, or if the child is placed in an emergency shelter or psychiatric hospital.
              • The Children's Review Program (CRP) may require up to twenty-four (24) hours to determine a LOC in an emergency case, rather than the typical three (3) working day time frame. 

              Procedure 

              The SSW:

              1. Requests an emergency LOC assignment through the Out-of-Home Care (OOHC) Branch 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. Has the level of care packet completed in TWIST, as outlined in SOP 4.11.1 Level of Care Assignment; 
              4. Ensures that complete information is sent to CRP to avoid follow-up calls that may delay the process; and
              5. Notifies CRP via email or phone, advising them of the need for an emergency level once the information is submitted via TWIST.

               

              Footnotes

              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:
              04/20/2021
              Section:
              4.11.4 Change in LOC Assignment
              Version:
              3

              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/her permanency goal when there is a change in the child’s level of care (LOC) 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.


              4.12 Out of State Placement

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

              Legal Authority/Introduction

              LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

              Procedure

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

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

               

                

              Clarifications and Contingencies

              The regional designee:

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

              Related Information

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

              Footnotes

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

              4.13 Alternative Placements

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

              Legal Authority/Introduction

               

               

              Procedure

               

              Job Corps 
               

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

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

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

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

               

              College Campus

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

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

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

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

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


               

              Military Academy/School

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



               
               
               

              ​ 

              4.14 Timeframes for All OOHC Cases

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

              Legal Authority/Introduction

              LEGAL AUTHORITY:

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

              Procedure

              Case Planning

              The SSW:

              1. Notifies the school within two (2) working days:
                1. When the child is placed in out-of-home care (OOHC) to provide a list of who may contact the child at school and who may pick up and drop off the child; and 
                2. At the conclusion of the agency’s work with the family.
              2. Convenes a ten (10) day case planning conference within ten (10) calendar days of the temporary removal hearing or voluntary placement agreement (KRS 620.180);
              3. Notifies the child’s assigned managed care organization (MCO) within five (5) working days of the child coming into OOHC, and shares with the MCO, information relevant to the medical and behavioral health care needs of the child;
              4. Sends the completed DPP-106B Initial Physical and Behavioral Health History to the child’s MCO within five (5) working days of the child’s entry into OOHC;
              5. Maintains monthly face-to-face contact with children, biological families, and substitute caregivers;
              6. Considers concurrent planning when negotiating/developing a case plan during the ten (10) day conference; however by the six (6) month periodic review the case is converted to a concurrent planning case if the child is still in OOHC as outlined in SOP 4.19 Consideration/Implementation of Concurrent Planning For Permanency;
              7. Completes the Waiver of Reasonable Efforts Checklist and consults with FSOS at the following points in the case:
                1. Prior to the emergency custody order;
                2. Prior to the temporary removal hearing;
                3. Ten (10) day conference/first family team meeting (FTM)/initial case plan;
                4. Periodic review case plan at six (6) months;
                5. Nine (9) months after removal (during pre-permanency consultation 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 procedure 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 TPR, 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; and 
                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.
                  3. Use of the Ongoing OOHC Case Consultation Template and Agency Case Consultation Template is not required during these regional consults (i.e. ASFA consults, etc.).

                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; and 
                4. Enters a new case plan with the goal of adoption in TWIST and begins work on the DSS-161 Request for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights packet so that the regional attorney may proceed with filing the TPR petition, once a 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 TPR.

                4.15 Family Attachment and Involvement

                Chapter:
                Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
                Effective:
                10/6/2020
                Section:
                4.15 Family Attachment and Involvement
                Version:
                3

                Legal Authority/Introduction

                 

                LEGAL AUTHORITY:

                 
                 

                 

                 

                Engaging families in the case planning process promotes the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families in the child welfare system and is central to successful practice.  Effective family engagement occurs when the SSW actively collaborates and partners with family members throughout their case, recognizing them as the experts on their respective situations, and empowering them in the process.  Family-centered, strengths-based case planning and case management engages family members throughout the case to ensure services are tailored to best address the family's strengths and needs.  Family members can recommend services that will be most helpful to them and their families.

                 


                Practice Guidance

                 
                • The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (Cabinet/CHFS) 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.  Do not rush discussions 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.
                 

                Procedure

                 

                The SSW:

                 
                1. Contacts the father/mother or conducts an absent parent and relative search on all identified parents and relatives within thirty (30) calendar days of the child’s entry into out-of-home care (OOHC);
                2. Documents efforts in TWIST 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, at a time convenient to the family, and provide needed/requested services; and
                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.

                ​​Contingencies and Clarifications

                • Case planning meetings should be held at a neutral location that is convenient for the family, caregivers, and other meeting attendees.  Consideration should be given to resource limitations of the family. 

                4.16 Participants and Notification for All OOHC Cases

                Chapter:
                Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
                Effective:
                10/6/2020
                Section:
                4.16 Participants and Notification for All OOHC Cases
                Version:
                6

                Legal Authority/Introduction

                LEGAL AUTHORITY:

                Practice Guidance

                • The SSW may invite and involve the following individuals (with the parent's consent), not inclusive in case planning:
                  • Community partners, including service providers;
                  • Extended family members;
                  • The independent living coordinator (ILC) for all youth ages seventeen (17) and over; and
                  • Other participants the family wants present.

                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; 
                  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 fourteen (14) years of age;  (Section 475 (1)(B) of the Social Security Act) 3
                  6. Parent’s attorney, if applicable;
                  7. Guardian ad litem (GAL);
                  8. County attorney;
                  9. Caregiver (foster parents, private child care provider, relative, etc.); 
                  10. Court-appointed special advocate (CASA); and
                  11. Private child care (PCP) case manager.  
                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 out-of-home care (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 SOP 4.17 Preparation for and Ten (10) Day Conference and SOP 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 (1) 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 addresses the parent’s non-involvement regardless of their willingness to participate if/when the parent is located; and
                11. Will hold the FTM at a time convenient for family members.​  5

                 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 are 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 the direct line of supervision of the case.  Examples include a permanency specialist, or 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.  
                5. The FTM should be held at a neutral location that is convenient for the family, caregivers, and other meeting attendees.  Consideration should be given to resource limitations of the family.  

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

                Chapter:
                Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
                Effective:
                10/6/2020
                Section:
                4.17 Preparation for and Completion of the Ten (10) Day Conference
                Version:
                19

                Legal Authority/Introduction

                LEGAL AUTHORITY:

                 

                From the moment of the initial contact with the family, the SSW and the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) 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.  Out-of-home care (OOHC) case plans are also expected to make appropriate plans to ensure the child’s mental health, educational stability, physical health, and 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 DCBS 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 (FTM) 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.
                 

                 

                Practice Guidance

                 

                • Appropriate family and individual level objectives and tasks are developed in consideration of the safety threats 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 child(ren)
                • The minimum frequency for periodic reviews and case planning conferences are dictated by law.  The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (Cabinet/CHFS) may hold additional case conferences or FTMs 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 an FTM, when appropriate, for the development of the case plan.  This FTM should include all parties to the case including:
                  • Parents;
                  • Caregivers (anyone 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,” recruitment and certification (R&C) or private child placing (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) The 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, unless through supervisory consultation it is determined that the parents are making significant case plan progress. 

                 

                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.

                 

                 

                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 managed care organization (MCO) (within five (5) days of the child coming into OOHC) and shares with the MCO information relevant to the medical and behavioral health care needs of the child;
                3. Reviews the case history, circumstances, and investigative information to determine if the case meets concurrent planning criteria for the initial case plan;
                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; 2
                6. Includes the child or children, when age appropriate in case planning efforts;
                7. Empowers children age fourteen (14) and older in the development of their own case plan and transition planning for successful adulthood;
                8. 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
                9. 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. The negative impact of foster care on children;
                  2. Clarity about the 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.
                10. 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)).
                11.  
                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 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: 
                  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 the Adoption and Safe Families Act (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 (TPR) once the child has been in care for fifteen (15) of the most recent twenty two (22) 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 to support permanency for the child. 
                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;
                  4. Services that will be provided to achieve the least restrictive (most family like) placement and one that is in the closest proximity to the parents' home (Sec 475 and 42 USC 675);
                  5. A schedule for visitation between the child and the 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 the 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; or
                    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; and
                    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. Ensure the child is able to attend the same school where enrolled at the time of each placement;
                    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; and
                    6. Regularly updated medical documentation that verifies that a child is incapable of attending school; 5
                  11. 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));
                  12. A transition plan, for youth age seventeen (17) and over, updated as appropriate during the periodic review (Sec 475 (5)(H); and
                  13. Signatures of the conference participants.
                13. Collaborates with parents, caregivers, and youth to complete the DCBS 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;
                  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) and
                  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, safety plans, 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 six (6) months after the child is removed from the home, regardless of placement or custody, when the child is age sixteen (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); and
                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

                   
                   
                ​​​

                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.  
                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 parent's 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 title IV-E benefits.  The SSW notifies the child benefits worker (CBW) accordingly of changes to the child's enrolment status (Sec 471(a)(30)).

                4.18 Ongoing Case Planning

                Chapter:
                Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
                Effective:
                10/6/2020
                Section:
                4.18 Ongoing Case Planning
                Version:
                19

                Legal Authority/Introduction

                LEGAL AUTHORITY:

                Following a child’s entrance into out-of-home care (OOHC), federal law requires that the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS/department) conduct periodic case reviews to ensure appropriate service provision and evaluation of the family’s progress.  Periodic reviews are held every six (6) months from the date the child entered OOHC. 

                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.   At the first periodic review, a case plan evaluation/ongoing assessment will be completed in TWIST, which will document the ongoing progress of the family since the prior case plan.  This will include safety and risk assessments, and the family's progress towards permanency.  OOHC case plans are also expected to make appropriate plans to ensure the child’s mental health, educational stability, physical health, and the establishment and support of a stable placement for the duration of the child's 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 (FTM) 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.  The SSW, in collaboration with the family, the family's support network, service providers, and other community professionals develops a family assessment to identify safety threats and problematic behaviors.  The SSW then collaborates with the family to identify strategies and interventions to facilitate needed changes

                Once the SSW has completed the assessment, the information must be incorporated into an effective, thoughtful case plan.  The case plan provides a framework for case decision making and addresses the following questions:

                • What are the family outcomes that, when attained, will indicate that safety threats have been successfully addressed, risk has been reduced, and the effects of maltreatment have been successfully mitigated?
                • What tasks must be undertaken to attain these outcomes?
                • What intervention approaches or services will facilitate the successful attainment of outcomes and achievement of goals?
                • How and when will progress in implementing tasks, attaining outcomes, and achieving goals be evaluated?
                   

                Practice Guidance

                • SSW, parents, and caregivers will review the DCBS 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 an FTM, 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 and developmentally appropriate);
                  • Foster and adoptive parent(s);
                  • Relative or fictive kin caregiver;
                  • Court-appointed special advocate (CASA);
                  • Guardian ad litem (GAL);
                  • Private child placing agency (PCP) or private child care agency (PCC);
                  • Formal and informal supports; and
                  • SSW and FSOS.
                • 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. 
                • Children in status cases and those with a goal of planned permanent living arrangement (PPLA) should continue to receive concurrent planning services.  Intensive ongoing efforts to return the child to the home or secure placement with a fit and willing relative, legal guardian, fictive kin, or adoptive parent, including efforts that utilize search technology to find the biological family, should continue. 
                • 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 permanency goal of PPLA for any child placed in a PCC residential placement or other placement such as supports for community living (SCL) group homes must be approved by the DCBS commissioner or designee.  The Division of Protection and Permanency (DPP) director is the designated approval authority for these requests.  Please see the Permanency Goals in OOHC Case tip sheet for detailed instructions regarding the approval request process. 
                • Careful consideration should be given when requesting the goal of PPLA for children placed in PCC residential and other non-foster home placements.  It is important for children to maintain familial and non-familial connections with caregivers.  The goal of PPLA would be appropriate for children placed in residential settings when the child has established familial and/or non-familial connections with individuals and those individuals, as well as the child, are actively working towards placement with the individuals once treatment goals are met.
                • The SRA approves the goal of PPLA for children placed in DCBS foster homes, PCP foster homes, or other placements such as SCL family home providers where the placement has the same family structure as a foster home.
                • 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 Adoption and Safe Families Act (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 (title 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 a 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)). 

                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 successful adulthood;
                9. Permits a child who has attained age 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. The 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; and
                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. Assesses the case for concurrent planning at the first periodic review, unless through supervisory consultation, it is determined that the parents are making significant case plan progress towards reunification;
                4. Assesses the case to​ concurrent planning at each subsequent periodic review; 
                5. Determines the permanency goal or goals that are in the best interest of the child;
                6. Establishes a target date for achievement of the permanency goal or goals;
                7. 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;
                8. Ensures that there are specific tasks developed related to the individual's high-risk behaviors;
                9. Ensures that the goals, objectives, and tasks outlined in the case plan support the permanency plan;
                10. Specifies the activities or tasks to be undertaken, the person(s) responsible for each task and the time frame for achieving the goals, objectives, and tasks;
                11. Develops the child/youth action plan as described in the Case Planning Objectives-Out of Home Care (OOHC) Tip Sheet;
                12. 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 (TPR) once the child has been in OOHC for fifteen (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, 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 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 or fictive kin (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) and
                  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));
                13. Ensures that the following components are always documented on the case plan documentation (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 (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 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. A schedule for visitation between children in OOHC and significant individuals in their lives, including relatives and fictive kin as case appropriate;
                  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; or
                    3. Legal guardianship placement;
                  8. Documentation of the reasons permitted under law for not initiating a TPR when the child has been in 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 fictive kin;
                    2. A compelling reason why filing for a TPR 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));
                  9. 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));
                  10. A plan for assuring that services are provided to the child and placement provider as necessary to support the placement and meet 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; and
                    6. The child's medications.
                  11. 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 ensure the child is able to attend the same school where enrolled at the time of each placement;
                    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
                  12. 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
                  13. 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));
                  14. A transition plan, for youth age seventeen (17) and over, updated as appropriate during the periodic review (Sec 475(5)(H));
                  15. Signatures of the periodic review participants, including an objective third party as required by federal law (Sec 475(6));
                14. Ensures that a child in OOHC 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 acknowledgment of receipt with the agency’s copy of the case plan;  (475a of the Social Security act)
                15. 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;
                16. Ensures that a signed DPP-106A is maintained in the child’s file; 
                17. Enters the case plan information and submits it to the FSOS who approves it within ten (10) days from the case planning conference date;
                18. 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;
                19. 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. Relative or fictive kin caregiver;
                  5. Court-appointed special advocate (CASA);
                  6. Guardian ad litem (GAL);
                  7. PCC or PCP agency worker;
                  8. SSW; and
                  9. FSOS;
                20. 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 age sixteen (16) or younger at the time of removal in accordance with Family Court Civil Rule 34;
                21. Files, for the purpose of the six (6) month review, a court case review ​report with the court at least three (3) days prior to the hearing (Family Court Civil Rule 28);
                22. Submits a copy of every case plan, visitation agreement, ​​saftey plan, and prevention plan to the court (45 CFR 1356.21 (i)(2) and Family Court Civil Rule 29); 6
                23. 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
                24. Distributes the OOHC 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. 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 ten (10) 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. Guardian ad litem.
                25. 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;
                26. 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 court 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; 
                2. Determines, in consultation with the supervisor, staff, and other professionals involved in the case, including but not limited to Office of Legal Services (OLS), whether or not to pursue a TPR or an exemption to ASFA requirements at the next annual permanency hearing when DCBS will be requesting a goal of 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;7
                6. Completes the case plan document as required;
                7. Documents case conference activities;
                8. Requests the annual permanency hearing 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 court report, case plan, visitation agreement, safety plan, 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 court 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 TPR once the child has been care for fifteen (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, educational history, and the current status is 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 age sixteen (16))a compelling reason for the selection of the goal of PPLA (Section 475 (5)(B));
                  8. Documentation, for children with a goal of PPLA, 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 or fictive kin (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 court 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; and
                14. Documents the hearing and any court orders in TWIST, noting the court’s agreement with or deviation from the court report.
                ​​

                Footnotes

                1. Absent parent and relative searches must be conducted, on all identified fathers and relatives, within thirty (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 parent's 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 title IV-E benefits.  The SSW notifies the CBW accordingly of changes to the child’s enrollment status as they pertain to title 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 OOHC youth portions of the case plan. 
                7. The case plan goal must match the court's goal.  In situations where the case has been consulted on through a pre-permanency conference with OLS, OLS has certified the case for TPR during the pre-permanency conference, but the court denied the goal change to adoption, the SSW should select adoption as the concurrent planning goal.  The SSW and FSOS should consult with OLS regarding proceeding with the filing of the TPR petition in these cases.
                 

                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 Child and Family, Including the Medically Complex Child

                Chapter:
                Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
                Effective:
                03/1/2021
                Section:
                4.24 SSW's Ongoing Contact with the Child and Family, Including the Medically Complex Child
                Version:
                17

                Legal Authority/Introduction

                LEGAL AUTHORITY:

                 

                From the moment of the initial contact with the family, the SSW and the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) 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 out-of-home care (OOHC) in all placement settings at least one (1) time 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; 
                • Sufficient opportunity to observe the residence(s) of the parent(s) and child(ren), or other family members significant to the case;
                • Assessment of the current condition within a home or family and considerations of whether or not there is an immediate safety threat to a child; and
                • Assessment of risk, which includes the identification of risk factors, which are family behaviors that create an environment or circumstances that increase the chance that parents or caregivers will maltreat their children.  

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

                Practice Guidance


                 
                Video Conferencing
                 
                Video conferencing is a beneficial tool for staff to contact families and children.  Typically, video conferencing cannot be considered as a face-to-face visit with a family or child.  However, under specific circumstances, such as a state of emergency, caseworkers can utilize video conferencing as a means to conduct face-to-face visits.  When these special circumstances are in place, the Division of Protection and Permanency (DPP) will provide guidance to field staff indicating that video conferencing is an appropriate option for conducting face-to-face visits. 

                 

                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 Behavioral Health Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (BHDID) 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.
                • Case workers are prohibited from documenting that a face-to-face contact occurred, unless a  face-to-face visit was completed by department personnel. Falsification of documentation is an ethical violation.  Please refer to chapter 2.1 Employee Conduct in the Personnel Procedures Handbook for additional information. 

                Ongoing Contact with the Medically Complex Child

                • The Supporting Kentucky Youth (SKY) managed care operation (MCO) nurse visits a child designated as medically complex at least two (2) times per calendar month in the placement setting, which includes, but is not limited to a DCBS resource foster/adoptive home, a PCP foster home, psychiatric or medical hospital, independent living, or a SCL program, as determined by the child's needs. 
                • The SSW communicates with the assigned MCO nurse regarding the child monthly.  This should include obtaining updates on the child’s medical conditions, diagnoses, progress or challenges, change in treatment or medications, etc.
                • The SKY MCO nurse uploads documentation of the monthly home visit in the SKY module and to the SSW accesses the documentation from the SKY module to enter the contact into TWIST and files a copy in the hard copy case file. 
                • 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 SKY MCO nurse reviews and discusses the following, as related to the specific needs of the medically complex child during the home visit (as applicable):
                  • Managed care organization (MCO) case management;
                  • Transportation arrangements for the child;
                  • Home health referrals and/or durable medical equipment (SKY MCO 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:
                  • SKY MCO nurse;
                  • Region's medically complex liaison; and
                  • Medical Support Section, if issues are identified on the report.

                Procedure

                Ongoing Contact with the Child


                 

                Following any placement (initial or move) the SSW: 

                1. Uses face-to-face contact to assess safety threats and risk factors surrounding ​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 Supporting Kentucky Youth (SKY) MCO 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, PCP foster homes, PCC facility, psychiatric or medical hospital, SCL programs or a relative placement as determined by the child's needs; 2 
                  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; and
                  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, at least one (1) time per calendar month, in the child's placement setting; 
                8. Has private face-to-face contact in the child’s placement setting annually if the child is placed out of state;
                9. Reviews service recordings 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 face-to-face contact occurred with PCC/PCP staff during the monthly visit) to assess the child's progress towards case plan goals, objectives, and tasks; 
                10. When a child is placed out of state, uses progress reports, collected at least every six (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; and
                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 Child's 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 threats, high risk behaviors, or risk factors;
                  2. Evaluates the family’s progress at reducing the immediate safety threats 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 for safety threats, high risk behaviors, or risk factors; 
                  2. 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. ​
                  3. ​​Assess needed supports and resources for the caregiver; and 
                  4. 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. 

                Footnotes

                1. This is in addition to the initial visit when the child is taken to the placement for the first time.
                2. The Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) nurse will visit the child in the placment setting one (1) time every calendar month and provide a contact note to the SSW.  
                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:
                  06/4/2020
                  Section:
                  4.26.2 Authorization for Medical Services
                  Version:
                  6

                  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; and
                  • 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 should attempt to engage the parent(s) of a child in the custody of or committed to the cabinet upon entry into out of home care (OOHC). 1 DCBS may consent to non-routine or routine medical procedures in the event either parent is unable to be reached.  An exception may be made if the parent has provided consent prior to the medical procedure, in which case, the SSW advises the FSOS and the FSOS may sign the consent form, which also authorizes a foster parent to sign for medical consent in non-routine situations. 2  The SSW or FSOS should be notified by the next working day following a medical appointment in which they could not be reached for consent.   

                  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;3
                  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; and
                  3. Informs the placement provider that they must maintain a copy of the DPP-106A in the medical passport and 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. 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 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; and
                  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 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. If neither the parent nor the court can be contacted prior to the medical procedure, the FSOS or SSW may provide consent for treatment or authorize the foster parent to provide consent for treatment. 
                  4. Unless termination of parental rights (TPR) has occurred, this agency is required to engage and inform the child's parent(s) 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 should document attempts to obtain medical consent from parents in a variety of ways including home visits and phone calls. 
                  2. The SSW may also consult with the medical support section as necessary.
                  3. 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 or authorize a foster parent to provide consent.  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:
                    02/4/2021
                    Section:
                    4.28 Meeting Educational Needs
                    Version:
                    9

                    Legal Authority/Introduction

                    LEGAL AUTHORITY: 

                    The Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) will make every effort to ensure a child’s educational stability and will document those efforts.  Federal law requires that those efforts include:

                    • Agency attempts to ensure the child can remain in the same school that they 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 the parent(s), guardian(s), or custodian(s) of their right to approve the foster parent(s) 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 (OOHC) 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 OOHC to enroll in non-accredited educational programs that are not recognized by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).

                    Practice Guidance

                    • School disruption can cause extreme emotional stress for 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 who lives in a different school 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, 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 OOHC has been placed with a DCBS foster/adoptive family outside the attendance area for the school where the child was previously attending, the SSW may complete a special expense for mileage reimbursement for transportation to the child's previous school to support educational continuity for the child.  
                    • If the child in OOHC has been placed in a private child caring (PCC) facility or private child placing (PCP) home 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 PCC/PCP will submit a request to the billing specialist for payment.  The DCBS SSW will complete a special expense for the mileage reimbursement and submit it to the billing specialist who will authorize the payment.  
                    • The SSW should incorporate, into the case planning discussion appropriate use of the DPP-330-Educational Advocacy Request Form, if the parent(s) agrees to allow the foster/adoptive parent(s) 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 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 at 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 Kentucky Suppporting Kentucky Youth (SKY) MCO to identify and address health issues in the child’s individualized education plan (IEP) for a child designated as medically complex.​

                    Procedure


                    The SSW:

                    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.
                    2. Notifies verbally and via e-mail or fax, the principal or assistant principal and the district school director of pupil personnel of the school in which the child is enrolled, 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.
                    3. Provides written notification via email, fax, 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.
                    4. 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;
                    5. If a 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. 
                      1. The SSW immediately contacts the receiving school district to inform of the pending enrollment changes. 
                      2. The SSW, in coordination with the PCP worker will determine which one will accompany the child and the foster parent, or caregiver, if applicable, to the new school to enroll the child.  
                      3. If the SSW or PCP worker is unable to accompany the foster parent or caregiver, if applicable, to the school for enrollment, the SSW will contact the applicable school staff by phone during the day of enrollment to advise of information pertaining to the child's unique needs, (i.e., current support services, medical and behavioral health history, individual service plans) to prevent disruption in educational support services for the child.  
                      4. The foster parent will promote educational stability by collaboration with the SSW and district while the child is placed in the home.  
                    6. ​Does not enroll a child of school age in a public school when one of the following 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.
                    7. Reviews the assessment and any other available information regarding the child’s developmental or educational background prior to the case planning conference;
                    8. 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;
                    9. 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 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.
                      3. Regularly updated medical documentation that verifies that a child is incapable of attending school; 2 
                      4. Any assessed needs on the child/youth action plan;
                      5. Discusion of 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; and 
                      6. Discussion with the child that attainment of a high school equivalency diploma does not exempt the child from compulsory attendance.
                    10. Makes a referral to Early Start, Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT), or other appropriate foster/adoptive programs for a developmental screening within thirty (30) working days for any child under the age of five (5);
                    11. Facilitates an educational assessment through the local education agency (LEA) to be completed and submitted to the court of competent jurisdiction within sixty (60) working days of commitment;
                    12. Incorporates appropriate contacts with teachers or school staff member to gather information as part of ongoing assessment and service delivery;
                    13. 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;
                    14. 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.


                    Footnotes

                    1. The parent(s), guardian(s), or custodian(s) may elect to grant permission in writing on the DPP-330 Educational Advocacy Request form.
                    2. If a child is not enrolled in school as required by state law, the child becomes ineligible for title IV-E benefits.  The SSW notifies the children's benefits worker (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 condi