Preparation for placement will vary with each child and should be adapted to his/her age, experience; individual needs, personality, and circumstances necessitating placement, as well as any special problems presented by the prospect of placement.
Parents should be involved in as much of this process as is practically possible and appropriate for the child’s best interest:
- The Children’s Service Worker shall take the following steps to prepare the child for placement:
- The worker should discuss out-of-home care with the child (what it means and the purpose) and the new events that will be happening in the child’s life.
- The worker should describe the resource provider as follows:
- The resource family, the resource provider’s other children, pets, house, family activities, etc. and should share pictures of the resource family, if possible.
- The facility, other residents, rules, program design and educational, therapeutic, and recreational services.
- The Children’s Service Worker shall encourage the parent(s) to discuss the out-of-home care placement in a positive manner with the child. The worker shall also assist the family in notifying the child’s school, doctors, dentists, and others with whom the child may have been involved.
- The child should know, if possible, when he will see his/her family again. A visit shall take place prior to the 72-hour team meeting if the court has not restricted visitation. Consideration to restricting visitation should only occur when there is a danger to the child or if visitation would compromise legal testimony (i.e., perpetrator convincing child to change testimony). This visit may be in conjunction with the family assessment process.
Related Subject: Section 4 Chapter 7 Attachment A Visitation
- The worker should discuss with the child, the child’s feelings about the placement.
- If a pre-placement medical examination of the child was not obtained prior to placement, a Healthy Children and Youth (HCY) medical examination should be obtained within 24 hours after placement. This initial health examination does not need to be a full Healthy Children and Youth (HCY) assessment. The purpose of the initial health examination is to identify the need for immediate medical or mental health care and assess for infectious and communicable diseases. When possible, this initial health examination should be completed by the child’s current primary care physician as they know the child and have knowledge of the child’s medical history.
If a provider is not readily accessible, this exam must occur within 72 hours of the initial placement.
A full HCY examination including eye, hearing, and dental examinations should be completed no later than 30 days after the child is placed in Children’s Division (CD) custody. In addition, children should receive a developmental, mental health, and drug and alcohol screening within 30 days of the child’s entry into care. If needs are identified, these needs must be treated as soon as possible:
- If appropriate, the parent shall accompany the child for the examination.
- A copy of the medical report will be obtained and given to the resource provider, with a copy maintained in the file. The report shall also be shared with the parent(s) if they are unable to accompany the child to the physician.
- The resource provider shall meet the parent (if safety is not an issue) and child. There will be an opportunity at this time for the parents to share with the resource provider information regarding their child and to discuss methods to involve the parent(s) in the child’s new school, medical appointments, and other activities. The Children’s Service Worker shall serve as the catalyst to assist the resource provider and parents in this beginning process of establishing a positive working relationship that will best assure that the child’s needs are met.
- The Children’s Service Worker shall give the resource provider the following information:
- Copy of the Authorization to Provide Emergency Alternative Care, CS-33;
- MO HealthNet Eligibility Authorization (IM-29);.
- Initial clothing authorization or information and procedures for obtaining clothing;
- Name and phone number of the child’s current school;
- Name and 24-hour phone contact numbers of worker and supervisor;
- Dates and time of planned contacts with the parents, visits, the 72-hour Family Support Team (FST) meeting, and an explanation of the specific role the resource provider will play in the various meetings;
- Any other documents/reports required by the resource provider at the time of initial placement.
- The necessary HCY form, if applicable, to be completed by the physician at the examination if the resource provider will be accompanying the child to the appointment;
- All available medical/health and information on the child’s special needs. This information may be available on the Child/Family Health and Development Assessment, CW-103 and attachments A and B. The CW-103 should be updated as this information becomes available throughout the life of the case. The updated CW-103 should be shared with the resource provider as information is obtained.
- The resource provider will be responsible for the following:
- Efforts should be made by the resource provider and the Children’s Service Worker to involve the parent in educational, medical and other activities related to the child’s placement.
- Notifying child(ren)’s present school of child(ren)’s placement in out-of-home care and new school enrollment and inquiries of child’s special educational placement.
- Enrolling child in new school or preschool and make arrangements for special educational needs to be met.
- Obtaining any needed medical exam including 24-hour exam and follow-up medical treatment for child.
- Documenting placement and other pertinent information in a life book for the child.
Related Subject: Section 4 Chapter 6 Attachment A Creating a Life Book
- The Children’s Service Worker will be responsible for local county procedures for:
- Notifying the Eligibility Specialist of the placement. The Eligibility Specialist will notify the Family Support Division (FSD) of placement and determine program eligibility for child.
- Updating the Alternative Care (AC) Client Information screen in FACES and, as appropriate, the Family-Centered Services (FCS) Information screen, Vendor Licensure/Approval and Renewal FACES screen, Residential Treatment Referral, CS-9, SEAS Request and Eligibility Form, CS-67, and SEAS Authorization Form, CS-67As, and HCY MO 8809/CS for immediate services such as emergency residential placements, day care, emergency evaluations, or SAFE exams
- Having the resource provider sign the Emergency Waiver of Two Week Notice, CS-44, if the child is in an emergency foster care placement.
- Scheduling the 72-hour team meeting and notifying all appropriate parties. If all team members are unable to attend, critical members are the parent(s), child(ren), resource provider and Children’s Service Worker. Verbal and/or written information from other team members should be obtained by the Children’s Service Worker for presentation at this meeting. The meeting should be scheduled at a time and location convenient to the parent(s).
- This meeting should take place within three (3) working days of the child being taken into protective custody.
- Notifying the child’s school that they are the assigned worker for the family and solicit their involvement in treatment planning for the child.