This revision of the Child Protective Services Handbook was published on June 2, 2008. Summaries of new revised items are provided below.
Before September 1, 2007, the ETV program’s eligibility criteria precluded a youth from receiving education and training vouchers for post-secondary education, if he or she was:
· under 18 years old, the age for mandatory school attendance ; and
· without a high school diploma or general equivalence.
TAC §700.1615(a)(2) was amended to allow a youth in DFPS foster care to receive education and training vouchers for post-secondary vocational education, if he or she:
· is 16 years old; and
· is attending a course of instruction to prepare for the high school equivalency examination, based on the recommendation of Child Protective Services.
See the federal definition of foster care in 45 CFR §1355.20.
The item below is revised to reflect this change:
6723.1 Education and Training Voucher Program for Youth Aging Out of Care
Section 1460 has been expanded to include details on discontinuing services, closing a case in IMPACT, preparing the paper file, and retaining, returning, and deleting items from a paper record when the record is closed.
The item below is revised to update links to the items changed with this revision. No other changes were made to the content of the item listed below.
6844 Making Adoptive Placements in Other Regions and With Private Agency Adoptive Homes
The item and appendix referenced below are revised or deleted to reflect updated policy regarding the Rights of Children and Youth in Foster Care (CPS Rights). CPS staff received this document with PSA 08-093, issued on April 8, 2008. Effective on the date of issue, this policy requires CPS staff to review the children’s rights document with children and older youths in DFPS foster care and their caregivers:
· when children and older youths come into care; and
· when placements change.
The following item has been revised to reflect these requirements:
6534 Rights of Children and Youth in Foster Care
The following appendix has been deleted because the Rights of Children and Youth in Foster Care has been posted on the public DFPS Web site:
Appendix 6534 Listing of Rights of Children and Youth in Foster Care
A reference to the deleted Appendix 6534 has been removed from 6513 Sibling Contact, and redirected to the Rights of Children and Youth in Foster Care.
The STAR Health program provides health care services to children when they enter DFPS conservatorship and coordinates care when the children change placements.
This policy update clarifies procedures for arranging the enrollment of children in conservatorship in the Star Health program and reflects the time frames for updating in IMPACT the details of a child’s:
· initial removal from the home;
· subsequent placements; and
· medical consenter.
The details must be entered in IMPACT no later than 7 p.m. on the next calendar day. The change in policy affects staff who:
· conduct investigations;
· provide family-based safety services; and
· provide conservatorship services.
DFPS staff were informed of this policy change with the issuance of PSA 08-060 on February 11, 2008. The policy went into effect on March 1, 2008.
The following items have been added or revised:
2223.31 Documentation of Removal, Initial Placement and Medical Consenter
2235.52 Children Are at Risk
2238.2 Transferring a Case to Conservatorship
3152.1 Transferring From Family-Based Safety Services to Substitute Care
3153 Removal After Reunification
3160 The Family Service Plan
6121.6 Documenting a Child’s Removal and Opening the SUB Stage
6317 Make the Placement
6930 Documentation of Substitute Care
6933 Documentation of a Child’s Biographical Data
These changes regarding caseworker visits apply to children and their parents or caregivers who are receiving family-based safety services (FBSS) and family reunification safety services (FRE).
The policies are revised to more clearly detail the activities involved in planning for, conducting, and following up on face-to-face contacts with children and families.
· ensures the safety, permanency, and well-being of children;
· meets federal requirements; and
· helps families access medical, social, educational, and other services.
Majority of Contacts at Residence
At a minimum, the worker sees each child (including those in voluntary placements) and each parent or caregiver who receives services, at least once per month. The majority of contacts must occur in the home. More visits occur depending on the risk to the child and the level of intensity assigned to the case.
The visits must be well planned. The worker must review the service plan and any issues that have come up since the last visit. In planning for the visit, the worker contacts service providers to discuss progress in the case; reviews the case record to see if any medical, educational, psychological, or treatment reports or other critical documents have been received; reviews notes or materials to be familiar with the family’s needs and situation; and reviews information that may need to be provided to or requested from the parent or caregiver.
Content of the Visit
The revised policy identifies topics the worker must address with the child. The worker observes the child’s interaction with the parent or caregiver, and spends quality time with each child separate from the parent or caregiver.
The worker also walks through the home and backyard during a visit to observe the circumstances in which the child is living.
Assessment of the Visit
Both during and after the visit, the worker must assess the family’s progress, the child’s interaction with the parent or caregiver, and the safety of the home environment. The worker also assesses the parent’s or caretaker’s ability, willingness, and efforts to care for the child and meet the child’s needs, particularly those of safety.
Documentation of the Visit
After each contact, the worker must document observations of and discussions with the child and parent or caretaker and must note any follow-up needed.
Critical contacts for FBSS cases are any face-to-face contacts made with any principals in the case. Workers must enter information on critical contacts into IMPACT by the next day.
Follow Up on Identified Issues
The worker must follow through with meeting any identified needs for the family. This may include revising the service plan, setting up services, assisting parents, or caregivers in setting appointments for a medical specialist to see the child, or setting an appointment at the child’s school.
3313 Caseload, Frequency, and Content of Face-to-Face Contact
3313.1 Determining Caseload Size
3313.2 Making Face-to-Face Contact
3313.3 Meeting Federal Requirements
3313.4 When Face-to-Face Contact Is Made By Another Worker
3323 Caseload, Frequency, and Content of Face-to-Face Contact
3323.1 Determining Caseload Size
3323.2 Making Face-to-Face Contact
3323.3 Changing the Frequency of Contact
3333 Caseload, Frequency, and Content of Face-to-Face Contact
3333.1 Determining Caseload Size
3333.2 Preparing for Face-to-Face Contact
3333.3 Changing the Frequency of Contact
3421 Discharge Planning Meeting and Home Visits
3421.1 Assessing Risk and Reviewing the Family Plan
3421.2 Scheduling the Discharge Planning Meeting
3423 Making Face-to-Face Contact
3423.1 Home Visits Before a Child Returns Home
3423.2 Home Visits After a Child Returns Home
3423.3 Making Contact 48-Hours After a Child Returns Home
3424 Terminating Conservatorship
3425 Closing the Case
3443 Caseload, Frequency, and Content of Face-to-Face Contact
3443.1 Determining Caseload Size
3443.2 Making Face-to-Face Contact
3453 Caseload, Frequency, and Content of Face-to-Face Contact
3453.1 Determining Caseload Size
3453.2 Making Face-to-Face Contact
3453.3 Decreasing Contact
Appendix 3130: Types of Family-Based Safety Services
Cross-references to the revised items have been updated in the following items:
3141 Overview of Case Transition, Initial Face-to-Face Contact, and Frequency of Face-to-Face Contacts With Children and Parents
3145 Documenting the Case
3410 Purpose of FRS
3420 Regular Reunification Safety Services
3454 Initial Face-to-Face Contact and Intensive Reunification Safety Services Assessment
6611.2 Conducting Visits With the Family
6611.4 Initiate the Reunification Process
6611.52 Maintaining Contact With Families When Children Are Returned Home
6710 Services Preceding Discharge
6721 Family Reunification