CHILD WELFARE MANUAL

Section 6, Chapter 3 (Resource Provider Family Assessment Process), Subsection(1)

3.1   Resource Provider Family Assessment

Licensing of Foster Family Home Rules are located on the Secretary of State web page, 13 CSR 35-60.

This procedure will be followed for resource provider home assessments.

The Children’s Division is the licensing entity for Missouri resource provider homes. The Children’s Division may contract with private agencies to develop resource homes. The private agency developing and or maintaining a resource home follows Children’s Division policy. When developing or re assessing a resource provider home, the contractor makes one of the following recommendations to the Children’s Division:

  1. License or approve a home;
  2. Deny issuance of a license or approval of a home they are developing;
  3. Revoke a current open license or approval of a resource home they are maintaining.

The Children’s Division makes the determination of the recommendation.

A Foster Family Home Applicant is one (1) or two (2) primary adult individuals(s) who live in the same household and complete and submit a prescribed application to provide foster care services as parent substitute(s) to foster youth placed in the home.

When two (2) individuals are applying;

  1. Both individuals must be assessed separately as if they were applying as a single individual,
  2. If either applicant cannot be approved, the application shall be denied; and
  3. If both applicants are approved, a single license certificate shall be granted listing the names of both applicants.

 The applicant(s) for a license or renewal of a license shall provide any and all documentation and shall execute such authorizations to release information that the Children’s’ Division may determine to be necessary or convenient to obtain information about the applicant(s) and members of the applicant’s household.

If the applicant or any member of the applicant’s household, fails without good cause to provide the information or fails to execute an authorization to release the information, the division may deny the license.

Step 1

When an application for resource provider is received or an inquiry is made about becoming a resource provider, the individual shall be referred to the Introduction to Missouri Foster Care and Respite Care Resource Provider Training. Information about the required training is located in Section 6 chapter 17, Respite Care ,of the Child Welfare Manual. The inquirer should complete the training prior to referral to STARS pre-service training.

Once the resource development worker receives the completed Foster Adopt Home Assessment Application, CS-42, and the Foster Family Profile, CD-56, the worker should open an application in FACES. The worker will verify if there is a Departmental Vendor Number, DVN, in FACES. If there is not, the worker will assign a DVN to the applicant. The worker’s recommendation of the application shall not be entered until:

  1. The certainty of approving the application, or
  2. Receipt of written request by the applicant to withdraw the application, or
  3. All due process is complete if denying the application.

Step 2

 Initiate action within thirty (30) days of receipt of the application by:

  1. Beginning pre-service training;
  2. Face-to-face contact; or
  3. Group informational, orientation meeting.

Step 3

Make referral to the Introduction to Missouri Foster Care and Respite Care Provider Training.

Step 4

Make referral for fingerprinting and registration with the Family Care Safety Registry.

Step 5

If background checks are clear, make referral to STARS training.

Step 6

Begin mutual selection process by personal interview.  

Step 7

Complete the resource home assessment using the Guide for Conducting Resource Provider Family Assessments located in subsection 3.1.3 of this section. Record the home assessment per the outlines provided in Section 6 Chapter 3 subsection 8.

Explain the requirement of compliance with licensing rules, 13 CSR 35-60 for foster and relative foster families.

A child may be placed in a relative home prior to licensure, but only after a safety inspection of the home, Child Abuse and Neglect screening, and Purpose Code X criminal checks are completed. See Section 6.16, Relative Foster Care for background screening procedures for family and agency arranged kinship care, and Section 6 Chapter 19 subsection 1 for detailed fingerprinting procedure. The relative family will be paid a maintenance payment equal to the traditional foster care payment rate from the date of placement while pursuing completion of the licensing requirements. This shall be no longer than Ninety (90) days. Until the home is fully licensed, the maintenance payment is made with state-only funds; IV-E reimbursement cannot be made. Relative providers are required to complete STARS or STARS “For the Caregiver Who Knows the Child” training as a condition of licensure.

Complete the assessment and make a recommendation within 120 days of receipt of application.

Step 8

Obtain applicant’s signature on the home assessment indicating agreement; applicant retains one copy. The home assessment is not completed until the applicant, provider, worker, and worker’s supervisor have signed and dated the home assessment.

Step 9

Update the vendor screens in FACES.

Step 10

Provide a Foster Parent Identification Card. Have the resource provider complete the DSS ID Card Application. Local staff may take a picture of the resource parent with a digital camera or have the licensed resource parent provide an electronic picture in a jpeg file. Local staff submits the application and jpeg file to assigned Central Office clerical who uploads the information. The card is printed by HRC and returned to the clerical who sends the card to the local office.  

Step 11

Provide and obtain signed Cooperative Agreement for the Purchase of Professional Foster Care Services, CM-14.

License Issuance

Recommend issuance of license to resource providers for a two-year period.

The license is not transferable and applies only to the foster family home to whom it is issued. Upon approval, a single license certificate listing the individual(s) is issued. Only one license may be issued per household.

The license is the property of the division, not the licensee, and is subject to revocation upon failure of the individual(s) to comply with licensing regulations

The license certificate shall be kept on the premises of the home. The license is a public record and shall, upon request, be made available for inspection.

License Denial

Recommend denial using the Resource Home Adverse Action Report, CS-20, through supervisory lines to the Regional Director:

  1. Include a summary of the licensing rules on which the decision is based.
  2. When an adverse action is CAN related, submit to the Regional Director or designee a copy of the Child Abuse and Neglect Investigation Family Assessment Summary (CPS-1), and Safety Assessment (CD-17).
  3. When recommended adverse action is denial, submit a copy of the home assessment to the Regional Director or designee.
  4. Receive confirmation from the Regional Director or designee of denial decision.
  5. Notify applicant, by personal contact, of recommended adverse action.
  6. Notify applicant by registered mail with the Notification of Resource Home Adverse Action letter, CS-20a, of adverse action taken and of procedure for fair hearing.
  7. If no response within thirty (30) calendar days of written notice or after agency decision is upheld in fair hearing process, close the license in FACES with a close reason of denial. Do not enter the denial of the application until the applicant has completed all the due process time frames. Refer to Section 6 Chapter 7 regarding the Children’s Division’s licensing decision appeal processes.

License Maintenance and Renewal

The resource development worker should encourage the resource provider to set up a bookkeeping system whereby detailed records are kept of expenditures for tax purposes.

The assessment should be updated any time there is a significant change in the family situation within two (2) weeks of the resource development worker being notified of the change. A significant change would be a change in household composition, move from one residence to another, major physical changes in the home, death of family member, debilitating illness of a household member, etc. If the update is due to a physical move or physical change in residence, reference must be made to licensing regulation compliance. If the household contains weapons, the worker must personally observe that the storage of the weapons complies with Division policy and foster home licensing rules. The worker will not require the resource provider to list all the weapons in the home or sign a document regarding the weapons in the home.

A new Foster Family Profile, CD-56, is to be completed at the time of license renewal, unless there is already a current up-to-date profile in the file. The CD-56 is to be updated when there are changes in the household composition that impact the information gathered on the form.

In order to comply with Council on Accreditation (COA) regarding emergency preparedness, the resource development worker must document that the resource provider has read and understands the Children’s Division’s policy regarding Prevention and Control of Contagious and Infectious Diseases as found in the Missouri Resource Parent Handbook.

Related Subject: Department of Social Services, Human Resource Center, Emergency Management and Safety, Family Disaster Plan.

Update the appropriate screens in FACES. Evaluate a resource provider’s continued eligibility at a minimum on a quarterly basis within required license renewal time period.

A resource provider moving to another  county or circuit should be placed on Administrative Hold and not receive any additional placements pending the completion of the license transfer process.

The county or circuit from which the provider has moved should notify the receiving county/circuit of the provider’s change in address, and provide necessary information on current placements. Notification and the transfer of records should occur within one (1) week of the move. The sending county must also notify the receiving county of any weapons kept in the household.

The receiving county or circuit should schedule a home visit within two (2) weeks of notification. A new Resource Home and Safety Checklist, CS-45, and updated home assessment must be completed by the receiving county. After the provider’s new home has been inspected and approved, re-licensure should be granted. The Administrative Hold should be removed from the Vendor Licensure, Approval and Renewal screen, and provider records updated to reflect the changes.

If the resource family asks to change the age, sex or race of children to be considered for placement, update the appropriate screens in FACES, and request the issuance of a new license and approval certificate.

Foster Family Home licenses are for a two year period. A licensee does not have a right to renewal of his or her license.

Record the reassessment and recommendation information by following the instructions in section 6 Chapter 3 Subsection 1.3.

Record all transactions of children presented for placement with a family and family’s acceptance or rejection of children including family’s reasons for decision. If a family has not had an alternative care placement for the last twelve (12) months or longer, the worker should discuss the reason why the family has not had a placement during this time period and the types of children in CD custody needing placement. A plan should be made to address the concerns of the foster parent(s) and or the Division. The foster parent(s) may attend additional training or may be utilized for respite care to address placement concerns. The Professional Family Development Plan (PFDP), CD-100, may be utilized for this process.

Related Subject: Section 6 Chapter 2.5.1 Professional Family Development Plan (PFDP)

The worker should begin the process for closing the license only after working with the foster parent(s) to reach an agreement on placing children in the home and discussion with the worker’s supervisor. The worker should complete the form Resource Home Adverse Action Report, CS-20. This will be considered a voluntary relinquishment of the license, unless licensing violations are present and impact the decision to close the license, and staff should mark other in the reason for the license relinquishment. Staff should explain that the foster home has not had placements for the last twelve (12) months or longer and that an agreement could not be reached for the placement of children in the home. If the foster family does not agree with closing the license, it should be placed on Administrative Hold until such time as the family will accept children or licensing closing or revocation can be completed. Once the Resource Home Adverse Action Report, CS-20, is completed and approved, the license is closed. The close reason used should be “04 – Vendor Resource Discontinued Service”.

For relative foster care providers, the license may be closed once the foster youth begins a trial home visit. If the worker and supervisor feel the family is appropriate for consideration, they may also discuss with the provider the needs of the circuit for alternative care providers to determine if the provider is interested in becoming a licensed foster home. Section 6 Chapter 16 Subsection 5.1, Relative Foster Care Provider Choose to Become a Foster Home, provides instruction regarding a licensed relative foster home becoming a licensed foster home. The license should be closed if neither of these criteria is met.

Obtain signature on Renewal Assessment indicating agreement; family retains one copy.

Update the license status in FACES, and:

  1. Recommend issuance of license to resource providers for a two-year period, or
  2. Recommend issuance of license to relative family for a two-year period, or
  3. If not renewed, see license denial.

Evaluate resource provider’s expressed interest of becoming resource providers in the Youth with Elevated Needs-Level A program by examining necessary qualifications, and characteristics as listed in Section 4 Chapter 14, Foster Care for Youth with Elevated Needs:

  1. Enroll prospective Level A resource providers in specialized Level A training.
  2. Assess prospective Level A resource provider’s performance during specialized Level A training to determine if approval is indicated.
  3. Obtain and submit to DFAS Purchasing, the Level A resource provider’s signature on the Amendment to Provide Level A Foster Care, CM-3.

Resource Home Licensure Supervision Transfer between Agencies

Instruction regarding the process for a resource home license to be transferred between agencies is located in Section 5 Chapter 4 Subsection 10.        

Resource File Recording and Composition

Instruction regarding the composition of the resource file is located in Section 5 Chapter 1 Subsection 4, Case Records and Filing, Recording Home (Licensing) Records.

3.1.1 Administrative Hold

Administrative Hold is used in responding to certain licensing situations which will more effectively serve resource parents, the Children’s Division and most importantly, the safety of children. All suspensions entered on the Vendor Licensure Approval and Renewal FACES page, require notification of an adverse action which is open to appeal. The Administrative Hold status reflects a less punitive and negative connotation and is not open to appeal. The Administrative Hold status does not prevent the license or approval from expiring.

Depending on the nature of the allegation and the risk assessment, the provider may be placed on Administrative Hold with a corrective action and support plan implemented with no other children placed in the home until the issue is resolved and the Hold status is removed. If no immediate safety risk factors exist to the children during the investigation assessment (IA), the children currently in the home should not be removed. If, at the time of the investigation assessment, it is determined the child will be removed, either at the request of the resource provider or by the investigator, the child’s case manager should be notified in order to schedule a Family Support Team meeting.

The resource development worker should be having and documenting their regular, ongoing discussions with the resource provider regarding any licensing concerns prior to a change in their licensing status. For an Administrative Hold, the resource development worker should notify the provider via a phone call as soon as possible. A follow-up letter should then be sent explaining why the Hold is in effect and how it can be removed or resolved. If the Hold was requested by the provider, the resource development worker should follow up with a letter verifying their request.

Administrative Hold is required in the following circumstances:

  1. An Out-of-Home Investigation (OHI) is under way involving Legal Status 1 children in the resource provider’s home. The Administrative Hold should remain in effect until the investigation is concluded and all corrective actions and support plans, if any, are successfully completed and documented in the record.
  2. A CAN investigation or assessment is under way involving non-Legal Status 1 children in the resource provider’s household. The Administrative Hold should remain in effect until the IA is concluded and all corrective actions and support plans, if any, are successfully completed and documented in the record.
  3. Licensing concerns have been noted and a staffing is under way. The Administrative Hold should remain in effect until all corrective actions and support plans, if any, are successfully completed and documented in the record. A status of Administrative Hold does not prevent the license from expiring. If licensing concerns are not resolved before the license expires, the home is closed.

All licenses and approvals must be renewed prior to the expiration date.

If a resource home does not complete all the requirements at least ninety (90) days prior to the expiration, the License and Approval Renewal Letter, CD102, is sent to the resource family reporting the requirements necessary for the home to be renewed.

If the home continues to not meet renewal requirements, the CD-102 letter should be sent again sixty (60) days prior to the expiration date.

If the home continues to not meet renewal requirements thirty (30) days prior to the expiration date, the CD-102 should be sent again and the home placed on Administrative Hold.

Administrative Hold status does not prevent the license or approval from expiring. It does, however, allow for data entry in the comment section on the Licensure and Approval and Renewal Screen in FACES regarding the facts of why the home is being placed on Administrative Hold.

Level A, Level B, Medical, Respite, and Level B Respite, are vendor types not licenses. The decisions to deny or revoke are not open for appeal as these are contractual services decisions and not licensure decisions.

If there are placements in the home, plans should be initiated for the children to be moved. Foster youth may not be in an unlicensed foster home without a court order. (The only exception is a relative applicant who is pursuing licensure. Foster youth may remain in the unlicensed relative home for up to ninety (90) days while the applicants are pursuing licensure.)

4.  A resource provider moving to another county, circuit or agency should be placed on Administrative Hold.

5.  The resource provider has experienced a significant change in household composition, health, employment, etc. The Administrative Hold should remain in effect until the provider’s situation has been reassessed and the home assessment has been updated. Every effort should be made to complete these actions within two (2) weeks, per the Council on Accreditation (COA). The worker should document all attempts to meet this timeframe, including the provider’s specific actions of non-compliance within that time.

The Administrative Hold is available, but optional in a variety of circumstances, such as, but not limited to:

  1. The resource provider has had a new birth and needs time to adjust.
  2. The resource provider feels they need “a break”.
  3. The Family Support Team has recommended that the resource provider cease new placements during the period of adjustment for an adopted child.
  4. The resource provider has a biological ot adopted child placed in residential care. Per memo CD05-22, no additional children will be placed in the home without the approval of the Circuit Manager (CM) or designee. The provider may need time to work with the child placed in residential care.

If there are questions whether an Administrative Hold or suspend should be implemented, staff should consult with first or second level supervisors for guidance.

The Administrative Hold is selected as the suspend reason on the Vendor Licensure, Approval and Renewal screen in FACES. The Administrative Hold status does not prevent the license or approval from expiring.  

3.1.2 Revocation

The division may deny a license to an applicant, or may revoke the license of a licensee, if the applicant or anyone in the applicant’s household;

(A) Fails consistently to comply with the applicable provisions of sections 208.400 to 208.535, RSMo, and the rules of the Children’s Division promulgated thereunder;

(B) Violates any of the provisions of its license;

(C) Violates state laws and or rules relating to the protection of children;

(D) Furnishes or makes any misleading or false statements or reports to the division;

(E) Refuses to submit to the division any reports or refuses to make available to the division any records required by the division in conducting an investigation;

(F) Fails or refuses to admit authorized representatives of the division into his or her home at any reasonable time for the purpose of investigation;

(G) Fails or refuses to submit to an investigation by the division;

(H) Fails to provide, maintain, equip, and keep in safe and sanitary condition the premises established or used for the care of children being served, as required by law, rule, or ordinance applicable to the location of the foster home;

(I) Fails to provide financial resources adequate for the satisfactory care of and service to children being served and the upkeep of the premises; or

(J) Abuses or neglects children, or is the subject of reports of child abuse or neglect which upon investigation result in a court adjudicated, probable cause and or preponderance of evidence finding, or is found guilty, pleads guilty to, or pleads nolo contedere to felony crimes against a person to include, but not limited to, felony possession, distribution, or manufacturing of controlled substance crimes as specified in Chapters 195, 565, 566, 567, 568, and 573, RSMo, or a substantially similar offense if committed in another state or country. The division may also deny or revoke a license to any person(s) who are on the respective Department of Health and Senior Services and or the Department of Mental Health lists that exclude child or adult care employment and or licensure.  

Administrative Hold is used during the period of evaluation and consideration of amelioration.

Recommend revocation of license status using the Resource Home Adverse Action Report, CS-20, through supervisory lines to the Regional Director’s office:

  1. Identify and document the areas of non-compliance;
  2. In the summary, cite licensing rule(s) on which the decision is based. The summary must contain clear and cogent facts to support staff’s recommendations for revocation of license.
  3. When adverse action is CAN related, submit a copy of Child Abuse and Neglect Investigation or Family Assessment Summary, CPS-1.

If it is decided the resource parents should no longer provide out-of-home care, immediately start the revocation procedure. Do not allow license simply to expire.

Receive confirmation from Regional Director of agreement with revocation recommendation.

  • Notify resource family by personal contact of recommended adverse action.
  • Notify resource family by registered mail with the Notification of Resource Home Adverse Action letter, CS-20a, of revocation, citing licensing rule(s).
  • Notify foster and relative foster parents of their right to the fair hearing process.
  • If no resource parent response within thirty (30) calendar days of notice, or after agency decision is upheld in fair hearing process, close the vendor with the close reason of revocation. Do not enter a revocation in FACES until the time frames have been met for due process.
  • Retrieve all foster parent identification cards and approval certificates issued to the resource providers.
  • Record revocation activities.
  • Close record.

If the Regional Director or designee does not uphold revocation recommendation, continue licensure status.

The worker must obtain the applicant’s signature on the home assessment indicating agreement. The applicant’s signature is also needed if the worker has decided to deny licensure. The signature indicates that the applicant has reviewed the assessment.

When recommending revocation, cite action taken by the agency to help the family resolve the situation causing the problem(s). Describe what services have been offered to the family and the results.

3.1.3 Guide for conducting Resource Provider Family Assessments

Beginning the Assessment

The agency has a responsibility:

  1. To provide enough information so applicants can make a knowledgeable decision about becoming resource parents.
  2. To interpret the assessment process as one in which together the resource development worker and the prospective resource providers can determine potential for successful foster or adoptive parenting.
  3. To convey information to the applicants so they may learn about children they can best serve.
  4. To share information regarding the selection process and selection philosophy that the agency is seeking a resource family who can best meet the child(ren)’s needs and serve the best interests of the child(ren). Important information to be shared with resource applicants who desire to adopt includes:
    • Referral of their written assessment to the local Children’s Division office and agencies when such organizations recruit families for the type of child they can accept.
    • A brief outline of the agency’s selection process including informing them they may be asked to participate in an interview with the selection committee and they may refuse this interview without the decision influencing the staffing committee’s consideration of them as a resource for the child.
    • A description of the committee and its team effort.
  5. To convey information and promote discussion between the resource worker and the applicants so that a determination may be made as to the applicant(s)’ ability to parent children who have different cultural needs than the applicant(s).
  6. To exchange information in such a way the agency and applicants can mutually determine whether or not it is desirable the home assessment be continued.
  7. To share the importance of training for the effective role of a resource parent.
  8. To assure compliance with licensing regulations, beginning with sharing a copy with applicants. 13 CSR35-60
  9. To provide a copy of the Foster Parent Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, RSMo 210.566
  10. To provide a copy of the Foster Care Bill of Rights, RSMo210.564.
  11. To review the Resource Parent Acknowledgement of Home Assessment & Case File Information Access, CD-128, and obtain signature(s).
  12. To review the Safe Sleep Practices Form, CD-117. Explain to applicant they must agree to the practices and sign the form.
  13. To review the Resource Provider Discipline Agreement, CD-119. Explain to the applicant they must agree to the practices and sign the form.
  14. To provide a copy of the HIPAA Information for Resource Parents, CD-194, and obtain signature(s).
  15. To review the Notice of Hazards, CD-101 and obtain signatures.
  16. To review the Acknowledgement form, CD-108 and obtain Signatures

The home assessment must be completed within 120 days of receipt of the application and shall consist of:

  1. Joint and separate interviews with the applicants, children, and all others in the home. There shall be a minimum of four separate in-home consultations during the pre-service training. The total number of hours spent conducting visits shall consist of at least ten hours.
  2. Completion of all required pre-service training:
    1. Introduction to Missouri Foster and Respite Care Provider training, two (2) hours
    2. STARS Pre-service training, 27 hours
  3. Compliance with the physical aspects of licensing regulations must be determined.
  4. A minimum of three references, returned.
  5. A completed Foster Family Profile, CD-56.Review of Family Support Division (FSD) screens. The county should begin the review by using the following screens:
    1. SCLR – Department of Social Services (DSS) data base (access with name, sex, and date of birth),
    2. IPAR – FSD information (accessed by DCN),
    3. FM0D– FSD participation screen (accessed by DCN or SSN),
    4. OVCI – Claims and Restitution (CARS) information (accessed by DCN),

      When information is found regarding an applicant, the system inquirer should continue using other pertinent screens to gather as much data as possible to assist in the decision-making process. This information is confidential pursuant to Section 208.120 RSMo, therefore do not print the screens or place printed screens in the case file.

  6. Review FACES screens regarding history with the Division. Begin with Call Case Prior History Search.
  7. Review appropriate screens to verify prior history of licensure and or contracting as a resource provider.

Background checks shall be completed for every applicant and adult household member (age 17 and older). Supporting documentation of each step is to be filed in the licensing record. The same steps are to be followed in the completion of any ICPC assessment as are followed for licensure as referenced in Memorandums CD04-63 and CD07-44. Details regarding all required background checks are located in Chapter 19 of this section.

Except for the specific felony history listed below, a criminal history, child abuse and neglect history, or other review information does not automatically preclude licensure. Staff should determine the relevance of all such findings to child caring responsibilities, and should seek guidance from supervisors. A supervisor must review and evaluate the background information if there is a record of conviction (other than those listed below) and or child abuse and if the decision is to approve the home assessment. The supervisor’s review and decision to approve or disapprove must be documented.

Felony Convictions

Staff may not approve the application of any person in which a record check reveals that the individual pled guilty or was found guilty of a felony for child abuse or neglect, spousal abuse, domestic violence, a crime against children (including child pornography), or a crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, homicide or other physical assault or battery was determined by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Staff may also not approve the application of any person who has had a court of competent jurisdiction determine a felony conviction for physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense.

Household members age 17and older shall disclose criminal history. Consideration shall be made of felony cases where the individual pled guilty, is found guilty and /or convicted of a criminal offence or pled guilty but received and suspended imposition of sentence (SIS).

In the unlikely event it is determined the best interest of a child would be served by placement in an unlicensed home, and a court of law has ordered the child placed in the unlicensed home, written approval must be obtained through supervisory lines to the Regional Director. The Regional Director must review the request and, if in agreement, forward with their recommendation to the Deputy Director for Children’s Division for final consideration. Written requests should include a thorough description of the applicant’s situation and why it would be in the child’s best interest to be placed in an unlicensed home. If approved by the Deputy Director, IV-E funding may not be used and the worker will be responsible for notifying the Eligibility Specialist who will ensure that state only funds are used.

If a resource parent commits a felony act as listed previously in this section which results in a conviction or the resource parent admits to committing the act and receives an suspended imposition of sentence (SIS ) federal funds may not be used for foster care maintenance or adoption assistance payments if any of the aforementioned conditions exist. It is imperative that in those circumstances the worker notifies the Eligibility Specialist who will enter the correct fund code for state only funding.

The Assessment Process Includes

Orientation to agency and foster care program, as contained in Specialized Training Assessment Resources and Support (STARS) Pre-Service Training and given through individual interviews. Completion of 27 hours of STARS Pre-Service Training is required of each adult desiring licensure prior to issuance of a license. All adults in the household who will have child care responsibility will be required to attend state approved resource parent training.

During the assessment process, the worker should evaluate the ability of the applicant(s) to read and write at a level necessary to participate effectively in society. The applicant must be able to communicate with the agency, health care and other service providers. The applicant must also be able to communicate with the foster youth in the foster youth’s language.

Obtain a photograph from family of the household members, including pets, if applicable, in front of their home. A household member is any person who regularly lives, shares common area and sleeps in the home. Any individual who is living, sharing a common area and sleeping in the home temporarily for more than two consecutive weeks is considered a household member. ,As this will be used in helping prepare a child for placement, include as much detail as possible. This photograph is to be placed with the Foster Family Profile, CD-56, under separate cover sheet and placed in the front of the Resource Provider record. The family’s photograph and the Foster Family Profile, CD-56, will serve as the Foster Family Profile.

The following forms are to be reviewed with the applicant(s), agreed to by the applicant(s), signed by the applicant(s), placed in the forms section of the resource provider case record, and presented at each re-licensure to be signed and agreed to again.

  • Resource Parent Acknowledgement of Home Assessment & Case File Information Access, CD-128
  • Safe Sleep Practices Form, CD-117
  • Resource Parent Discipline Agreement, CD-119
  • HIPAA Information for Resource Parents, CD-194
  • A copy of The Foster Parent Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, RSMo 210.566 is to be provided to the applicant.
  • A copy of the Foster Care Bill of Rights, RSMo 210.564 is to be provided to the applicant.

An exchange of information should occur between the resource development worker and applicant that will promote discussion to determine if the applicant is able to parent children who have different cultural needs than the applicant. This is to be done with all applicants and should not be used to discourage an applicant from parenting trans-culturally. Record all information in the assessment.  

Determination of Capacity for Foster and Adoptive Parenting

Assessment of Motivation and Attitudes, Including:

  1. How and why the applicants became interested in becoming foster and or adoptive parents and why they are applying now;
  2. What are applicants’ experiences with children;
  3. Reactions of applicants to abusing or neglecting parents;
  4. Do they understand the significance of the biological parents to the children? Are they willing to work with the child’s biological parents and siblings;
  5. Are applicants comfortable in accepting both their own and the children’s positive and negative feelings;
  6. Are children allowed to participate in problem solving in matters concerning their own behavior;
  7. The reason they are interested in parenting culturally diverse children and the impact of their decision on their family, extended family, friends, and neighbors;
  8. Assess applicant’s life style, the ability to teach a child coping skills for their cultural heritage and give a child sense of cultural knowledge, pride, and identity;
  9. Is the applicant family financially stable?
  10. Applicant has a complete understanding of and examples are documented regarding how they will implement the Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standard.

Physical and Personality Description, Observations of Applicants’ Family and Individual Functioning

Life History, Including:

  1. Past relationships with parents, siblings, extended family;
  2. Significant events, both positive and negative, as described by applicant;
  3. Prior marital relationships, if applicable. When completing ICPC assessments and home studies and the applicant is a birth parent, determine if an ex parte order or dissolution of marriage order exists which limits or denies custody or visitation rights. If such an order exists, it must be followed by the agency in planning for the child. Determine if the parent or relative has had a criminal conviction of a felony violation of Chapter 566 (Sexual Offenses) or Chapter 568 (Offenses Against the Family) when that child was the victim (courts may not award custody or visitation to a parent who has such a conviction in a proceeding for marriage dissolution, legal separation, or child support).
  4. Their own nationality and sense of cultural identity, knowledge of other identities, cultures, and the significance of these inter-relationships.

Current Relationships:

  1. What are the applicant’s life style and practices, including culture, and leisure activities (13 CSR 35-60.030 6 (D);
  2. Discuss family interaction, respective roles, openness of communication, decision –making, rules, discipline, stability of marriage including husband and wife, children, and extended family; stability of marriage;
  3. Discuss family interaction with the community, including school, neighborhood, and larger community;
  4. What support systems are available to applicants; 
  5. Foster or relative provider’s ability to protect the child from the parent, and ability to maintain contact with the parent and practice co-parenting decision making, where appropriate.
  6. Discuss family pets and the importance of pets to the child.

Discuss Family Interaction with the Community, Including School, Neighborhood, and Larger Community:

  1. What support systems are available to the applicants?
  2. Evaluate the cultural composition of the neighborhoods, including schools, churches, child care centers, and other organizations with which the child would interact. Evaluate with the applicants how these resources can be used to benefit the child’s diverse cultural needs. 

The Foster Youth as a Family Member:

  1. What is of most importance to the applicants in the maintenance of their household routines?
  2. What behavior in a child is intolerable to them?
  3. Can applicants set limits but at the same time remain flexible? (Some children respond best to highly structured environments and others need more freedom.)
  4. What are the applicants’ expectations of a child? (Include personality, achievement, and affect-based response.)
  5. For how many children do the applicants want to provide care? More if siblings? (Keep in mind the five children limit for resource homes includes all children living in the home, e.g. their own children; six – ten children for large family resource homes.)
  6. If there are birth or adopted children, how do they feel about their parents providing care to foster youth, and has this been discussed thoroughly with them? (At least one interview with children already living in the home is required.)
  7. How do grandparents view the addition of foster youth?
  8. Determine applicant’s understanding and knowledge of the development and behavior of children through a discussion of the following general parenting skills:
    • Parent structures environment so that it is safe and healthy for the child;
    • Parent expresses positive feelings toward the child verbally and physically;
    • Parent recognizes and responds appropriately to the child’s verbal and physical expressions of needs and wants;
    • Parent consistently uses basic behavior management techniques in dealing with the child;
    • Parent consistently uses appropriate techniques to discipline the child and refrains from corporal punishment;
    • Parent guides child toward increasing independence;
    • Parent behaves in a way that recognizes the immaturity of the child; and
    • Parent uses Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standard for making decision about the foster youth’s participation in activities.

Adoptive Child as Family Member:

  1. Discuss the type of child desired, and expectations of an adopted child.
  2. Are all the family members (including extended family) accepting of the plan to adopt?
  3. How will their routine be affected by an additional child?
  4. Discuss their acceptance of a child not shaped by them, biologically or socially.
  5. The willingness and commitment of the family to discuss adoption with the child, and the same with extended family, and community, as appropriate.
  6. How will they deal with negative community attitudes?
  7. Determine the applicants’ understanding and knowledge of the development and behavior of children.
  8. Will the family accept the child’s previous family – visits, phone calls, etc.?

Number of Children Placed in the Home:

Resource homes shall not exceed the number of children in the home as outlined in the licensing rules. However there may be times when providing approval for exceeding the allowable limit may be obtained. Homes exceeding the licensing rules may be granted a temporary exception for the following reasons:

  1. To allow a parenting youth in foster care to remain with the child of the parenting youth;
  2. To allow siblings to remain together;
  3. To allow a child with an established meaningful relationship with the family to remain with the family; and
  4. To allow a family with special training or skills to provide care to a child who as a severe disability.

To request an exception, staff should complete the placement exception form, CD-201. Additional foster youth shall not be placed in these homes until such time the home is in compliance with licensing rules.

Discipline:

  1. How were applicants disciplined as children and by whom? Have the applicants recall some of their feelings about these methods of discipline.
  2. Is the discipline they now use the same as they themselves received? Have they changed their methods, and if so, how and why?
  3. Do the applicants understand corporal punishment is not allowed

Money Management:

  1. How do the applicants manage their money?
  2. What are the family members’ roles in management?
  3. Do they have income sufficient to support all members of the family?

Health:

  1. What are the applicants’ attitudes toward medical care and good health practices?
  2. If any household member smokes, discuss the locations and frequency that foster youth will be exposed to secondhand smoke. Refer the family to the required pre-service video. Each resource parent completes the training and receives a one hour in-service training credit using code V113, Secondhand Smoke Exposure. Discuss the resource parent(s)’ plan to talk to foster youth about smoking and modeling healthy choices. Complete the Notification of Hazards, CD-101.
  3. If there are health problems, how do the family members cope with them? If there is a disability, how do other family members compensate?
  4. Secure from their physician a health statement for each member of the family on the prescribed form.
  5. History of hospitalization for either physical or emotional problems.
  6. History of treatment for any psychiatric problem.
  7. History of treatment for any form of substance abuse.

Pursuant to section 210.496 RSMo, disability or disease of an individual cannot be the basis for a determination that an applicant is unfit or not suitable to be a resource parent without a specific showing that the disability or disease causes a substantial and significant risk of harm to a child or an inability to be a resource parent.

For an adoptive resource applicant the preferred age differential between the children placed for adoption and the adoptive parent(s) is such that the adoptive parent(s) can be expected to rear the child to adulthood.

When the above standard cannot be met by an adoptive resource applicant, inquiry must be made about the family’s willingness to obtain commitment from other immediate or extended family members to rear the adopted child to adulthood.

Employment:

  1. Discuss employment history with applicants.
  2. If both are employed, what are the child care plans for foster youth and natural children?
  3. Secure from employer a statement verifying employment and job performance, using the Employee Reference Questionnaire, CS-101c.
  4. Inform that care of foster youth shall not be combined with regular, part, or full-time care of other children or with other service or business conducted in the home without written approval of the division.

Religion:

  1. What are the applicants’ religious preferences, practices and attitudes?
  2. Would children placed in the home be allowed to pursue their own religious beliefs?

Children in the Home:

  1. What is the applicant’s educational preference (i.e. public school, home-schooling, private schooling)?
  2. What is the school history of each child in the home?
  3. What are the applicant’s thoughts on the importance of education on a child’s future?
  4. What is the development and adjustment to school of each?

The Home and Community:

  1. Describe the home, adequacy of space, type of furnishings, state of repair, housekeeping conditions, the surroundings and the neighborhood.
  2. Describe the room intended for a foster or adoptive youth and its furnishings and size.
  3. Confirm there are no surveillance cameras in areas of the home that violate the privacy of the foster youth, e.g. bathrooms and dressing areas.
  4. Give a brief description of the community. (Consider economic level, moral influence, housing standards, health conditions, recreation, school, and church.)
  5. Is there access to special resources such as diagnostic clinics, therapists, and special medical facilities?  

References:

  1. At least three references unrelated to the applicant must be provided with the Personal Reference Questionnaire, CS-101f. If the family has children, provide a School Reference Request, CS-101e to each child’s teacher.
  2. How long have they known the family and in what capacity?
  3. What are the references’ opinions of the applicants’ relationship with each other and the stability of their marriage?
  4. What is the reference’s opinion of the applicants’ ability to parent their own children, as well as a foster youth?
  5. If names for adult children no longer residing in the home were submitted in Section II on the Foster Adopt Home Assessment Application, CS-42, the worker may mail each one a CS-101f to provide an opportunity for comment.

Evaluation

Using the statements of the applicants, the statements of the references and your own observations, assess and summarize whether these applicants are capable of meeting the needs of and providing opportunities for the healthy growth and development of a child(ren) coming into the custody of the Division. Assess and summarize applicants’ strengths and weaknesses such as:

  1. Their capacity to make a child a part of the family;
  2. Their capacity to work with biological parents and make decisions for the foster youth’s participation activities by co-parenting with the foster youth’s parent(s) or guardian(s);
  3. The capacity to use Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standards;
  4. Their capacity to understand and handle problems; and
  5. Their warmth, love, understanding and ability to foster a FAMILY, not just a child.

Assess and summarize the family, the physical environment and other issues that assure compliance with foster family home licensing rules.

Recommendation

  1. Selected In as a resource provider for the Children’s Division:

    Explain to the applicant the recommendation of their home to be a resource home regarding the number, age and sex of child or children the applicants could best serve to prospective resource parent.

  2. Selected Out as a resource provider for the Children’s Division:

    Explain recommendation if it is to deny an individual or family as applicants, remembering that such a decision should not be a surprise to the applicants. Such a recommendation can be made any time during the home assessment process. Also, remember that the worker should be honest with the applicant regarding the decision, recognizing the applicant’s sensitivity and tolerance.

Selection out of resource parenting services requires the resource development worker to be prepared to provide documentation of facts that support the applicant(s) is not in compliance with Statute, Rule and Policy if the applicant(s) should request a fair hearing to pursue a grievance of the decision.

Chapter Memoranda History: (prior to 01-31-07)

CS03-05, CS03-51, CD04-05, CD04-63, CD04-79, CD04-96, CD05-04, CD05-76,

CD05-80, CD06-29, CD06-46, CD06-60

Memoranda History:

CD07-15, CD07-36, CD07-44, CD07-54, CD07-55, CD07-59, CD07-73, CD08-56,, CD08-64, CD08-107, CD09-22,  CD09-88, CD10-08, CD10-61, CD10-65, CD10-116, CD10-127, , CD11-22, CD11-86, CD11-107, CD12-46, CD12-62, CD12-85, CD13-50, CD14-09, CD14-27, CD14-40, CD14-64, CD15-48, CD15-75, CD16-18, CD16-45, CD 16-65, CD17-14, CD17-42, CD18-39, CD19-16