Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

1.9 Working With Service Providers

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter 1-Fundamentals of Practice
1.9 Working With Service Providers

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Legal Authority/Introduction


The SSW actively encourages and supports parent participation in the assessment, planning and service delivery processes. The SSW provides encouragement and support that include engaging the parents, discovering barriers to their participation and, when possible, removing the barriers.

The SSW has the responsibility to continually gather and incorporate information from all sources into a coherent, individualized assessment of the child and family. The SSW initiates services, makes appropriate referrals, and documents contacts with the family, child and service providers. Ongoing documentation includes the SSW’s efforts to arrange services, the family’s efforts to utilizing services, and the family’s demonstrated progress toward removing the risk factors that led to the removal. The SSW documents whether the parents are making behavioral changes that are allowing them to more appropriately parent their child.


The SSW:

  1. Identifies, with the family team, needed services and supports, and makes referrals which could assist:
    1. The family to improve the safety, care of and relationship with their children; or
    2. The parents’ ability to fulfill their roles to promote family safety, permanency and well-being;
  2. Locates the most appropriate service providers in the community (or outside the community, if there are limited resources) once service needs have been identified through the assessment process by considering the following issues: 
    1. The services offered;
    2. The agency’s flexibility in scheduling;
    3. The affordability of services for the family; and
    4. The family’s identification of community resources that have or have not been beneficial in the past;
  3. Presents service options to the family and individual family members, who are offered the opportunity to choose a provider when possible; 1
  4. Ensures that the DCBS-1 Informed Consent and Release of Information and Records and/or the DCBS-1A Informed Consent and Release of Information Supplement once the provider is chosen and follows guidelines for HIPAA compliance;
  5. Attends appointments, whenever possible, with the service provider, alone or with the family, as necessary to ensure continuity of treatment goals;
  6. Gives the service provider information regarding the reason for the Cabinet’s involvement with the family, the assessed strengths and needs of the family and a copy of the most recent family case plan, if appropriate;
  7. Maintains (at a minimum):
    1. Quarterly face to face contact with service providers, including the court appointed special advocate (CASA) in order to assess the family’s progress towards achievement of case goals, objectives and tasks; and alleviation of risk to the children; and
    2. Monthly telephone contact, if no face to face visit is scheduled, with the treatment/clinical staff at a PCC or hospital facility, to assess the child's progress toward achievement of case plan goals, objectives and tasks, and documents the content of the contact in the case record; 2
  8. During the referral process, inquires about the provider’s agency policy and procedures regarding providing written reports, and explains that there is the possibility that they may be asked to testify in court on behalf of the child, family or the Cabinet;
  9. Follows guidelines for ongoing contact with the child and family, and documents in service recordings the progress toward goals, objectives, and tasks;
  10. Ensures that the educational, health care (including mental health) and independent living needs of the child are met by following the guidelines in the appropriate SOPs, and by reviewing the out of home care (OOHC) case plan;
  11. Follows guidelines for critical situations as appropriate, which include the following:
    1. Serious illness or death of a child;
    2. The child’s absence without leave (AWOL);
    3. Possession of a deadly weapon by a child;
    4. The child is an alleged victim, or perpetrator, of:
      1. Abuse;
      2. Neglect;
      3. Physical assault; or
      4. Sexual assault;
    5. Alleged criminal activity by the child requiring notification of law enforcement;
    6. Suicide attempt of a child; or
    7. Emergency placement or hospitalization of a child in a:
      1. Crisis stabilization unit;
      2. Medical hospital; or
      3. Psychiatric hospital;
  12. Continually assesses and documents whether services provided are helping the family to:
    1. Identify strengths, competencies or resources to promote the safety and well-being of the family, and to prevent unnecessary out of home care or hospitalization of a child;
    2. Reframe problems in new and more helpful ways; and
    3. Formulate solutions to specific problems;
  13. Includes treatment providers in family team meetings and case conferences with the family whenever possible;
  14. Follows up with court involvement, as necessary, and provides updates to the citizen’s foster care review board as requested;
  15. Follows the appropriate guidelines for service delivery in addressing the following special casework services:
    1. Family preservation program;
    2. Weatherization program;
    3. Preventive assistance; and/or
    4. Safety net.

Contingencies and Clarifications

  1. The Cabinet seals references to a positive test for a non-prescribed controlled substance for a woman who:
    1. Enrolls in and maintains substantial compliance with both a substance abuse treatment or recovery program and a regimen of prenatal care as recommended by her health care practitioner throughout the remaining term of her pregnancy; and
    2. Achieves certified completion of the treatment or recovery program; or
    3. Has achieved substantial compliance with a substance abuse treatment or recovery program within six (6) months after giving birth, whichever is earlier.


  1. The parent and youth select services for the youth.
  2. In extenuating circumstances, e-mail communication may suffice for a specific month's contact.


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