18.2.5 Ongoing Support to Maintain Level A Placement
The Children’s Service Worker will update the Placement Information on the Alternative Care Client Information screen in FACES.
The Children’s Service Worker will also assess the youth’s overall treatment needs, including educational and emotional needs and will obtain evaluations if needed. The worker will develop a treatment plan with the Family Support Team (FST) for stabilizing their behavior, to improve their level of functioning at home, school and in the community and to achieve permanency.
Resource parents are the primary change agents for youth placed in their care. Clinical intervention should be limited to support and guidance to the resource parents. However, on a case-by-case basis, other therapeutic support may be added for the youth based on that particular situation as recommended by the team working with the youth. (For example: participation in an incest survivor’s group or family therapy with the family of origin).
The Children’s Service Worker will provide at least weekly consultation to the resource parent, with a minimum of one consultation per month occurring in the home. At that time the worker will:
- Assess and monitor the youth’s progress toward treatment and permanency goals;
- Assess and monitor the resource parent’s job performance;
- Review and discuss reports maintained by the resource parent;
- Arrange regularly scheduled respite care;
- Maintain 24-hour availability to the resource parents to assist them with any emergency; and
- Assess the level of care required by the youth at 90-day intervals and move the youth to a less restrictive environment as appropriate.
The Children’s Service Worker will provide the resource parent a written assessment of their job performance at 90-day intervals.
Services to the birth parent will be consistent with the case plan. The Children’s Service Worker will:
- Assess and monitor their progress and keep them informed of their youth’s progress and provide services consistent with the permanency goal;
- Assist them in following through on treatment strategies used by the resource parents when the youth is in their home; and
- Encourage and nurture a relationship between the resource parent and the birth parents, kin and/or adoptive parent(s).The Case Manager will submit reports of the youth’s progress to the FST and submit reports to the court at required intervals. The court reports should incorporate progress reports and the Child Assessment and Service Plan, CS-1, including FST recommendations.
The goal for youth who qualify for the youth with elevated needs program is to stabilize their behavior, to help them function in a less restrictive environment and to achieve permanency. Elevated Needs Level A care IS NOT permanency but is designed to be a stepping stone for the youth to obtain a permanent home. As these youth do have a variety of special needs, the goal of successful permanency can be challenging. Accordingly, resource parents, staff, and other treatment team members must aggressively pursue permanency and use periodic reviews as one of the tools to assure progress toward permanency is occurring.
To assist youth in achieving a permanent home, it is important that the resource parent and the team tailor the level of intensity and intervention to their needs as youth achieve progress and success. The dilemma for the teams may be how to move the youth to the appropriate level of intervention without moving the youth from the current resource home. Ideally, youth who improve in Level A care and are ready for less intensive care could move directly to their permanent home. When that is not possible, the next best solution is to keep the youth in the same resource home under the category of traditional foster care or pre-adoptive home. Youth who are happy in their resource home and are experiencing success should not be moved to a different resource home solely due to no longer needing Level A intervention. Staff, resource parents and the team members must assess each individual situation carefully and negotiate an outcome that is in that youth’s best interests. As noted, the periodic reviews are a critical tool for assuring the youth’s level of intervention is matching their needs and that permanency is on target. As always, the best interest of the youth is the guiding principal with these complex decisions.
Situations where there is disagreement among team members as to continuing need for intervention and/or the appropriate plan for the youth should be referred to the Regional Director or designee for consultation.
Periodic Review schedule
Six (6) months – Multi-disciplinary Selection/Screening team that originally recommended placement with the resource parents and/or the Family Support Team. The team will continue to review youth’s situation every 6 months on an on-going basis.
The FST may conduct a six-month review only if the team includes representatives of the required disciplines/agencies for Selection/Screening team. Also, FST team members must allow for adequate time for an in-depth assessment of the youth’s progress, behaviors, and treatment plan.
Termination of Elevated Needs Classification
Permanency planning shall continue throughout the Level A placement. Seek a less restrictive setting, once the youth’s presenting problems have been replaced with appropriate coping behaviors. It may be necessary to involve a Children’s Service Specialist for consultation if the team is unable to reach a consensus regarding termination of the youth’s classification. Post-placement options include:
- Return to birth parents;
- Placement with a relative provider;
- Return to traditional resource home, or level A resource home;
- Independent living;
- Retention in the current home; or
- Other out-of-home care.
The Screening Team should meet with the Children’s Service Worker, resource parents, youth’s therapist (if applicable), and birth parents to review, collaborate, and determine the appropriate status and step down (graduation) of the youth. The parties should involve a Children’s Service Specialist or Regional Designee for mediation if the parties are unable to reach a consensus regarding termination of the youth’s status.
The Children’s Service Worker should provide ongoing support and assistance to the youth’s caregiver and the referring Children’s Service Worker following the termination of the placement.
Chapter Memoranda History: (prior to 01-31-07)