- At the beginning of each Family Support Team/PPRT meeting the Children’s Division must state: “All information provided in this meeting is confidential. Any one not agreeing to keep information disclosed confidential can be asked to leave the meeting for any portion in which he/she is not testifying.” All persons attending the meeting should sign a confidentiality statement and documentation of those in agreement or disagreement should be included in the CS-1.
- Review issues precipitating out-of-home care, specifics of child abuse/neglect allegations and what actions the agency and family members have taken up to this point.
- Youth engagement in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities and exploration of additional opportunities of this nature are discussed at each meeting for each youth in the family in foster care.
- Determine if a recommendation can be made for the child to go home and what specific services are needed to reunify the family. If a recommendation for immediate reunification is to be made at this time, develop a written service agreement/treatment plan including specific tasks for family and treatment provider, time lines for expected completion and review dates. The task should be germane to issues resulting in out-of-home placement. The team should be sensitive to the parent’s schedule and responsibilities when assigning those tasks. The Children’s Service Worker shall present the recommendations at the protective custody/detention hearing or obtain approval from the court for the child to return home according to local procedures.
- When a parent discloses or a worker/team member discovers that the parent has a criminal history that meets the 210.117 RSMo criteria, and/or the parent is incarcerated, the team shall discuss and make a recommendation to the court regarding continued visitation between the subject parent and their child, as well as include the need to emphasize concurrent planning. These recommendations should only be made when safety structures have been put in place to ensure the child’s safety during visits related to contact with family, including the parent with the criminal history.
Related Subject: Section 7, Chapter 34 Laws Relating to Custody, Placement and Visitation of Children under the Jurisdiction of Juvenile Court
- Determine the reasons a recommendation cannot be made for the child to go home at this time and what further assessments and evaluations are needed before reunification could be recommended.
- Review documents furnished by the parents that shall include child’s birth certificate, Social Security card, immunization record, health and development assessment, and parent’s financial statement. Copies will be provided to team members as appropriate.
- Determine current treatment needs of individual family members and the family as a unit, and incorporate them into the treatment plan.
- Determine if current placement provider can continue to meet the child’s and/or sibling group’s needs or if additional services are needed to maintain the placement. Develop an alternate placement plan giving particular attention to non-custodial parent and kinship resources and the placement of siblings with the same placement provider. Assessment of non-custodial parent, relative, or kinship and kin resources should be completed as necessary.
Related Subject: Section 4, Chapter 7, Attachment D, Guidelines for Sibling Placement
- Develop a written plan for visitation and contact with the participation of Family Support Team/PPRT members. Efforts should be made to include non-custodial parents in visitation planning. The visitation plan should be agreeable and comfortable and made in the best interest of the child and/or sibling group. A Visitation plan should include, but not be limited to the following:
- Who can and cannot participate in visits, i.e. siblings, relatives, family friends, and other persons that the child has significant attachment (Consideration should be given to such visits, especially if requested by the child, and safety and permanency goals can be supported.);
- How to assure safety during visits;
- Whether or not visits will be supervised, if so by whom;
- Frequency of visits;
- Location of visits;
- Transportation to/from visits;
- Schedule and duration of visits (Consideration should be given to the child’s age and development, attachment, and the time needed for a parent and child to bond.);
- Visitation activities;
- Emergency, cancellation and rescheduling procedures;
- Responsibilities of the Children’s Service Worker, parent, placement provider, GAL/CASA, or other appropriate persons;
- Any special conditions affecting visitation, i.e. court ordered; and
- Consideration for increased sibling visitation beyond the current minimum of one (1) time per month if siblings are not placed together.
The Children’s Service Worker should ensure that accommodations are made for any special needs of a child and family (i.e., English as second language/sign language interpreters, accessibility for physical disability or handicap), to assist in facilitating visitation.
Related Subject: Section 4, Chapter 7, Attachment A Visitation and Section 4, Chapter 7.2.2 Family Support Team Meeting and Section 1, Chapter 2.7 Handling of Communications for Children in Out-of-Home Care and
Section 3, Chapter 5, Attachment D, Communications with Non-English Speaking and Special Needs Clients, and Section 4, Chapter 6, Attachment C, Working with Families Needing/Wishing to Communicate in Their Native Language
If the court has denied visitation between parents and/or siblings, the treatment plan should address what needs to occur prior to a recommendation to allow visitation. When it has been determined that TPR will occur, and is in the best interest of the child, a closing visit should occur between child and the parent(s), if possible and allowed by the Court.
Visitation plans should be reviewed and discussed at each FST/PPRT meeting and revised as circumstances change. The Children’s Service Worker shall update the CS-1 when changes are made to the visitation plan.
Related Subject: Section 4, Chapter 7, Attachment A, Visitation
- Schedule the date and time for the 30-day Family Support Team meeting (This meeting meets the statutory requirements for the professional evaluation meeting).
Chapter Memoranda History: (prior to 1/31/07)
- CS03-51, CD04-79, CD05-68, CD05-72, CD06-07, CD06-16, CD06-47, CD06-50, CD06-58, CD06-63, CD06-75, CD06-81