Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

4.35 Reunification, Including Extended Visitation, Case Planning and Transitional Supports to Families

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter 4-Out of Home Care Services (OOHC)
4.35 Reunification, Including Extended Visitation, Case Planning and Transitional Supports to Families

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Legal Authority/Introduction



Trial Home Visitation

The SSW: 

  1. Must have a specifically written and agreed upon visitation agreement as outlined in SOP 4.17 Visitation Agreement for a trial home visit for any child in custody (temporary or committed) of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), or it is considered a return home;
  2. And family establish guidelines for the trial home visits and a prevention plan is negotiated as outlined in SOP 1.8 Prevention Planning, regarding the visitation; 
  3. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 9.13 Placement for Status Offenders when there is no visitation agreement and the child has been returned to the home of the parent;
  4. Schedules trial home visits when the family has made the required progress with the task and goals of the case plan and the best interest of the child is reunification with the family and should be:
    1. Time specific;
    2. Outlined on a visitation agreement; and
    3. Agreed upon and signed by the worker, child, family or other involved parties;
  5. Follows procedures outlined in SOP 4.45 Movement from a Home Placement if the SSW feels it is unsafe or is no longer in the best interest of the child to remain in the home; 1
  6. Follows TWIST procedures to ensure that the child’s placement is accurately captured in the system and if the child is still committed, does not exit the child from out of home care (OOHC) even if they are at home;
  7. Moves the child from the DCBS foster or adoptive home or PCC foster home/facility and selects “Trial Home Visit” as the reason for the move and the date the child moved;
  8. Does not complete the “Reason Exited from Care” portion of the screens unless the child has been officially released by the appropriate court system; 
  9. Continues to follow all OOHC guidelines as the Cabinet is still the legal custodian of the child when a child in the custody of CHFS is placed in the home on a trial visit or officially placed back in the home; 2
  10. Assures that the child continues to receive a medical card through our Children’s Benefits Worker (CBW) or through Family Support since the Cabinet still has legal responsibility; 3 
  11. Within forty-eight (48) hours of a child entering a trial home visit, completes the DPP-1279 Information for OOHC Placements Form and notifies the regional CBW and Billing Specialist of the trial/relative visit or change in placement for any child receiving federal benefits such as supplemental security income (SSI), black lung, SSA survivors (RSDI) or other federal entitlements;  
  12. Will advise the parents to apply for a change of payee for the benefits. 4  

The CBW:

  1. Will complete and submit the DCBS–173 Benefits Change Notice to the DCBS Children’s Trust Fund Division to request the parent or relative placement become the payee, even if the child is still in the custody of CHFS upon a child’s entry into a trial home visitation. 

Practice Guidance

  • As long as the child is on a “trial home visit” with the family and the visit as agreed upon by the SSW and the family is documented on the visitation agreement and signed, it is not necessary to file a petition to remove the child from the home if the visit proves unsuccessful.
  • Trial home visits should be relatively short in duration unless a situation exists that the worker is attempting to preserve the child’s eligibility for state or federal educational opportunities as outlined in SOP 11.16 Independent Living Services, by leaving a child committed who is nearing their eighteenth (18th) birthday. Federal guidelines prohibit a trial home visit exceeding six (6) months without prior court authorization.


  • The prevention plan for a trial home visit should detail conditions that the parent (or others) and child must meet for the child to remain in the home. These conditions can include but are not limited to:
    • Supervision issues;
    • School attendance (if applicable);
    • Substance/drug issues;
    • Daily routine care;
    • Physical/mental health needs.


  • When a child returns home for a trial home visit and the Cabinet retains legal custody, if the child is IV-E eligible, the child becomes “Title IV-E Eligible/Not Reimbursable” as the Cabinet will not be providing a payment to a placement.
  • For a trial home visitation, the DCBS Children’s Trust Fund staff will notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) that the child has been placed in the home of the parents. 



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




  1. This will require court involvement and is different than a trial visit.
  2. The child must continue to be assessed and services provided as they are still considered in OOHC until the appropriate court has released custody and the case is switched to an In-Home case plan.
  3. Once the child is released from custody it is the responsibility of the parent to meet these needs. 
  4. The SSA will determine whether benefits will continue to the parents.   


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