Time limits are needed to:
- Evaluate the success of the specific tasks;
- Help the FST measure progress on an ongoing basis;
- Prevent the family from being overwhelmed; and
- Ensure permanency for the child as soon as possible. Measuring progress in increments makes goal attainment more manageable.
It is important not to mislead the family when discussing the time limits of the treatment plan.
The FST should discuss that, depending on case progress, successive treatment plans may be necessary if problems reoccur.
The maximum length of a Written Service Agreement is 90 days from the date it is signed by the family members. Treatment goals that are identified in the plan are expected to be achieved in this period.
During the 30-day agreement period, the Children’s Service Worker and family shall complete the initial assessment and treatment plan. If unresolved treatment issues exist after the plan’s expiration, the team must decide, based on assessed risk, if the plan should be renewed for another 90 days, or recommend reunification or some other permanent plan. A new assessment and treatment plan is due within 30 days of the plan’s expiration.