Section 4, Chapter 6 (Working with Parents), Subsection 4 – Preparing the Parent for the Child’s Return

Effective Date:  7-2-2021

In preparation for the child’s return, the Children’s Service Worker and parent should discuss anticipated issues and develop plans for coping with those issues. These issues include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Change in parents’ lifestyle, particularly if they have not had any child care responsibility
  • How current family relationships might be affected
  • Child’s behavior,(i.e., feelings of separation and loss from resource provider, testing rules and limits)
  • Child may compare parents to resource provider
  • Child must adjust to new community and school
  • Child may feel insecure and be “clingy” due to fear of another separation from parents and
  • Parents may have periods of uncertainty about their ability to adequately meet the child’s needs.

As the time for the child’s return nears, visits between parent(s) and child should be more frequent and of longer duration (i.e., overnight, weekends, etc.). Also, the parent(s) will likely need additional support during this time. The Children’s Service Worker should attempt to meet face-to-face with the parent(s) at least once per week in the home during this transition phase.
Prior to the child’s actual return to the home, the Children’s Service Worker shall provide the parent(s) and child with a reunification packet which must contain:

    1. The original birth certificate (a copy of the original must be retained in the case record)
    2. The original social security card (a copy of the original must be retained in the record)
    3. Copies of medical records or medical log, including immunization record and names and addresses of primary medical practitioners. This summary shall emphasize special medical needs of the child and appropriate treatment
    4. A copy of report cards, transcript or grade records and the most current Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
    5. Written information or brochures on helpful resources (i.e., food stamps, housing authority, and energy assistance). The Children’s Service Worker shall assist the family in accessing these services in the community
    6. Written summary of out-of-home placements and his/her growth, behaviors, and experiences during that time
    7. Pictures of the child contained in the case record
    8. Personal records (i.e., baptism record)
    9. Information regarding the child’s KIDS account. The Children’s Service Worker shall coordinate with the Social Security Specialist to assist the family in the payee application process if the child has been receiving Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits and provide the family with the Change of Custodian Payee Request Form
    10. Life book
    11. Application for Medical Insurance (if applicable)

In addition to the continued responsibilities of the agency, parent and child(ren), the Social Service Plan Child section shall specify any ongoing needs of the child(ren) and the supports to meet those needs. The Social Service Plan – Long Term Safety/Support plan section shall address the specific plan of the family and safety network members around continued protection and safety of the child(ren) after case closure. Additional ongoing supports shall also be specified to continue to support the needs and progress of the family (i.e., child care, medical care, counseling, parent aide services and other supportive services).

At the termination of a case, the closing Social Service Plan assessment must be completed with the family within 15 days prior to the closing visit date and requires Supervisor approval prior to closing the case in FACES. Each Social Service Plan requires Supervisor approval and signature prior to submission in FACES.

Title XIX MO HealthNet should be open from the time the child enters foster care until the court terminates jurisdiction or returns legal custody to the parents unless the family requests it be closed earlier. The Children’s Service Worker will need to ensure the parent receives the MO HealthNet card to use for the child. If applicable, the worker should encourage the parent to apply for medical insurance benefits through Family Support Division for the child, if needed, prior to the termination of jurisdiction to ensure that there is no disruption in insurance coverage for the child.

If the child is going to be approved for MO HealthNet coverage through FSD, the worker should inform the FSD worker when the court is going to terminate jurisdiction or returns legal custody to the parents so they can coordinate the closing of the Alternative Care Client Information screen, SS-61 in FACES with the opening of Mo HealthNet in FSD.Family Support Division staff will not be allowed to open the child’s Medicaid eligibility if the child has an active AC function in FACES. Staff may close the Title XIX in FACES prior to termination of jurisdiction if the child has insurance coverage elsewhere. To close the Title XIX Information, staff should enter an end date under the Title XIX Information section on the AC Client Information screen in FACES.