According to language in the private child caring /private child placing (PCC/PCP) agreement, all private agencies are required to prepare a discharge packet when a child exits their facility. For planned discharges or when the private agency or Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) provides a two (2) week notice, the packet is provided to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (Cabinet) SSW on the date of discharge and must include the PCC/PCP Discharge Summary form.
In the event of an unplanned discharge, the agency prepares and submits the PCC/PCP Discharge Summary to the Cabinet SSW on the first business day following the discharge.
Placement moves, in general, can be a stressful time for children and caregivers. Thoughtful and purposeful planning is required to ensure the transition occurs with the least disruption. All placement moves (except those that pose an imminent risk) require a written transition plan. Open communication and engagement with the family and caregiver prepares the parties and allows them to support the child. Feedback and recommendations from treatment providers should be utilized and incorporated into the transition plan for a placement move.
- Per contractual agreement, a PCC or PCP agency must give the Cabinet a two (2) week notice of a child’s unplanned discharge.
However, if a child is hospitalized or goes AWOL while in a PCC/PCP placement and CHFS does not approve a bed hold request for that child (refer to SOP 4.53 Bed Hold-Private Residential or PCP Foster Care Placement):
- The date of disruption become the discharge date for the child; and
- The PCC/PCP provider does not have to provide a two (2) week written notice for the discharge
- The SSW involves the family’s team in planning for a child’s discharge from a PCC or PCP placement. This includes holding a meeting with the parties to discuss and develop a transition plan that includes the following, if applicable:
- A time frame for the transition to occur while allowing for frequent and meaningful visitation that assists the child’s acclimation to the new placement;
- A schedule of visitation dates with the new placement;
- A plan for how the child will be informed of the placement move, to include therapists when possible;
- Any therapeutic recommendations for the transition provided by community partners;
- Referrals for in-home services;
- A plan for any future contact after the transition has occurred;
- A plan for sibling visitation/reunification if the move results in a sibling separation; and
- Discussion of upcoming court dates.
- If the court orders an immediate transition, the SSW will request time for a transition to occur to meet the best interests of the child. However, if this request is denied, the SSW will contact the Office of Legal Services (OLS).
- The focus is on achievement of legal permanency in a timely manner, while meeting the child’s needs.
- Following discharge from a PCC or PCP program, the youth may:
- Be returned to his family;
- Be placed in a DCBS foster or adoptive home; or
- Be placed in another setting.
- The SSW utilizes the PCC-PCP Discharge Checklist when discharging the child from a PCC/PCP.
- For planned discharges, the SSW obtains all items on the PCC-PCP Discharge Checklist (including the PCC-PCP Discharge Summary) before leaving one PCC/PCP agency and delivering the child to their next placement.
- For unplanned/emergency discharges, the SSW provides the items on the PCC-PCP Discharge Checklist to the new agency upon receipt.
- The Cabinet must provide a ten (10) day verbal and written notice prior to a new placement or reunification occurring, unless the Cabinet determines that the child is in imminent danger or the court orders placement sooner.
Contingencies and Clarifications
- The SSW submits a letter of complaint to the PCC and the Division of Protection and Permanency (DPP) in central office if a program discharges a child without a two (2) week notice and the SSW is not in agreement with the discharge.
- If action is initiated based on the complaint letter, DPP informs the SSW and PCC/PCP within five (5) working days of initiation of the action.