CHILD WELFARE MANUAL

Section 4, Chapter 7 (Family Support Teams), Subsection 1 – Types of Family Support Team Meetings

Effective Date:  5-1-19

 

Meetings organized and held by the Division serve specific purposes, as detailed below:

72-Hour Family Support Team Meeting – The Family Support Team will determine if the child(ren) can be reunited immediately with his/her parents or if continued out-of-home care is warranted and develop an appropriate preliminary case plan. If the recommendation is for the child(ren) to remain in custody, the Children’s Service Worker will involve the Family Support Team in identifying those extended family members (as well as unrelated persons) who may have had an ongoing, significant relationship with the child to determine potential placement resources for the child(ren). A preliminary visitation plan should be developed at this time to assure visitation between the child, their parents, and/or siblings.

For youth age 14 and older, the Adolescent FST Guide (CD94) and Individualized Action Plan Goals (CD94) must also be completed. See Chapter 5 for more information on Older Youth.

When possible, with the best interest of the child in mind, arranging for the child to continue to attend the same school should be discussed during the 72-hour Family Support Team meeting.

NOTE: If a circuit has implemented Team Decision Making (TDM) then this meeting can be combined with the Initial TDM.  When this occurs, the case management portion of the meeting should be held directly after the TDM decision is made and concluded.

30-Day Family Support Team Meeting – The Family Support Team (FST) meets within 30 days to solidify the plan and assess progress on resolving issues that led to placement.  This can then determine whether the child can be returned home safely and/or what additional services are needed toward resolution of issues. A case plan shall be completed within 30 days of the child entering Division custody. A comprehensive visitation plan should already be developed to assure visitation between the child, their parents, and/or siblings.

60-Day Family Support Team Meeting – The Family Support Team (FST) meets during this meeting to assess progress on the case plan.  This can then determine whether the child can be returned home.

90-Day Family Support Team Meeting – The Family Support Team (FST) meets during this meeting to assess progress on the case plan.  This can then determine whether the child can be returned home.

Subsequent Team Meetings – The purpose of subsequent team meetings is to review the family’s progress, revise treatment plans, review and revise visitation plans, and recommend family reunification or other permanency plans (i.e., adoption, guardianship, independent living, etc.).

Permanency Planning Review Team (PPRT) meetings – These meetings must be held prior to six months from the date the child entered care, and then every six months thereafter for as long as the CD maintains custody. The PPRT is comprised of the same people as the FST except that at least one person not responsible for the case management of, or delivery of services to, either the child or the parents must participate in the PPR.  The Permanency Planning Review Team’s purpose is to determine:

  • The safety, health and well-being of the child and their adjustment to placement
  • The continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the placement
  • The extent of compliance with the case plan
  • The extent and progress which has been made in alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care
  • The quality and compliance of the visitation plan
  • To project a likely date by which the child may be returned to and safely maintained in the home or placed for adoption or legal guardianship
  • Review of educational stability of the child
  • Discussion of normalcy and age-appropriate activities the child has been involved in

All information provided at meetings or administrative hearings regarding removal of a child is confidential except:

  • A parent or a party may waive confidentiality for himself or herself.
  • Any parent has the absolute right to record or videotape such meeting to the extent allowed by the law.
  • No parent or party shall be required to sign a confidentiality agreement before testifying or providing information at such meeting or hearing.
  • Any person, other than a parent or party, who does not agree to maintain confidentiality, may be excluded from any portion of the meeting during which he/she is not testifying or providing information.

The Children’s Service Worker should ensure that accommodations are made for any special needs of Family Support Team members (i.e., English as second language/sign language interpreters, accessibility for physical disability or handicap).

Placement Stability FST Meetings

A team meeting shall be held prior to taking any action relating to a change in placement of a child in the Division’s custody. The FST should review the Foster Family Profiles of potential resource providers in determining and selecting the most appropriate placement for the child. When the welfare of a child in the custody of the Division requires an immediate or emergency change of placement, CD may make a temporary placement and shall schedule a FST meeting within 72 hours of the temporary placement.

The purpose of the placement stability FST is to:

  • Help stabilize the child in the current placement by considering the factors contributing to the request for change of placement and addressing those specific factors with the placement provider;
  • Assess the child’s placement needs, the needs of the placement provider, and identify additional supports or services to maintain the placement;
  • Discuss the need for a different placement only if the current placement cannot be maintained, and evaluate service and treatment needs prior to selecting the next placement provider;
  • Determine the most appropriate placement for the child and ensure that the receiving placement provider has all the information about the child and child’s family (per Section 210.566 RSMo) as well as the services identified by the Placement Stability FST prior to the transition;
  • Discuss the child’s educational needs and work with local school districts to ensure the child remains in the current school district when possible. Educational stability should be a priority when assessing the child’s placement needs and making placement decisions; and
  • Reduce the amount of placements for the child and increase child stability.

NOTE: If a circuit has implemented Team Decision Making (TDM) then the Placement Stability TDM process takes the place of the Placement Stability FST.

Separation of Siblings FST meetings

An FST meeting is to be held prior to the separation of a sibling group. The Children’s Service Worker should document that reasonable efforts were made to place the sibling group with the same placement provider, and why such placement was not possible.