Occasionally, there are situations when Family Support Team/Permanency Planning Review Team participants put forth recommendations which Children’s Division (CD) staff cannot accept due to the fact that the recommendations are not believed to be in the best interest of the child and/or conflicts with CD’s policy. Unless otherwise noted in this manual, staff should follow the steps listed below when confronted with a lack of consensus at a FST/PPRT meeting.
The Children’s Service Worker should:
- Inform the participants of the meeting that s(he) may not approve or agree with the specific recommendation, and will seek supervisory guidance.
- Refer the issue to the next level of supervision for review and guidance.
- The Supervisor/Circuit Manager or designee should review the case plan.
- If it is determined the recommendation is in the best interest of the child, the Supervisor/Circuit Manager or designee should provide written documentation to the worker why the specific recommendation is appropriate, and the worker should then submit the case plan to the court of jurisdiction.
- If it is determined the recommendation is not in the best interest of the child, the Supervisor/Circuit Manager or designee should provide the worker with written documentation why the specific recommendation is not appropriate. The worker should then submit the case plan along with a written explanation to the court of jurisdiction why the CD believes the recommendation is not in the best interest of the child.
- If there is still disagreement after discussion with the supervisor and/or Circuit Manager, the county should forward all relevant information to the Regional Office who will review the case to determine how CD should proceed.
Lack of consensus between team members could result in a delay in permanency for the youth, thus it is especially important that this process is followed in a timely manner to avoid any delays to the youth reaching permanency.
The recommendations listed below are two examples which the CD may not agree with, if they were made at a FST/PPRT meeting:
- The FST/PPRT recommends a child be placed in an out-of-state residential treatment facility, or
- The FST/PPRT recommends the separation of a sibling group for placement or adoption.
If there are concerns regarding other recommendations put forth by FST/PPRT participants, staff should refer their concerns to the next level of supervision.
If an attending member of the FST continues to not agree with the decision feeling that the FST procedure was in error or that consensus was not reached due to bias by one or members, refer to Family Support Team Decision Review policy, Section 6 Chapter 7 Subsection 8