Children's Administration, Department of Social and Health Services
Children's Administration, Department of Social and Health Services
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Practices and Procedures Guide



The Practice and Procedures Guide outlines required policy and procedures for Children's Administration (CA) staff and supports the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), federal laws and regulations.

As the over arching framework, the Children's Administration Practice Model provides the foundation for a clinical model that sets out the philosophy and theory of practice and directs the policies and procedures of the agency toward family centered practice. The framework enables social workers to:

  • Prioritize partnership to ensure safety by building a consensus with the family and service providers around the primary safety and risk concerns.
  • Locate the problem(s) within the everyday life of the family and identify the individual with the high risk behavior that led to maltreatment through an assessment.
  • Help families identify cycles of maltreatment and utilize relapse prevention techniques to prevent further maltreatment.
  • Develop co-constructed plans with the family that target the primary area of safety and risk by sorting out information into family and individual level objectives.
  • Develop tasks to achieve outcomes that are skill-based and not just measured by compliance.
  • Celebrate and document even the smallest success and progress made by the family, and note when improvements have not been made.

CA's practice, which draws from family development theory, relapse prevention theory, and solution-focused therapy, provides a roadmap for establishing working partnerships and targeting pertinent behaviors in an effort to overcome safety threats and prevent problem relapse and recidivism. CA's practice model is informed by Solution Based Casework, an evidence-based practice model for assessment, case planning, and casework management in child welfare.

CA's work with families is anchored in the following three beliefs:

  • Families encounter common everyday life challenges;
  • Dangerous behaviors and safety threats occur within the context of everyday life and service planning for prevention must be directly tied to those events; and
  • Service planning must target the reinforcement and development of situation-specific, behavioral relapse prevention skills.

CA Policy Transformation and Manual Conversion Format

The Children's Administration (CA) implemented a new policy format to use in the CA Practice and Procedures Manual effective October 31, 2009.

All future CA policies will be in this new format and will be incorporated into the existing manual. As we go forward, you will see both the old format and the new templates within our policy manual until we can completely transform all polices.

This new format will replace the current format in on-going scheduled policy rollouts. The policy transformation process includes collapsing and removing the Case Services and Operations Manuals. All future policies will be in the new format and placed in the Practice and Procedure Manual as they are implemented. Policy and procedure design include following components:

Purpose Statement Outlines the reason for the policy and how the policy will support practice.

Legal citations specific to the subject matter contained in the policy. This could include: RCW, WAC and Federal or Public Law citations and hyperlinks.


Policy - A written statement of principles and positions that define required practice, organizational operations and services required by federal and state laws.

  • Required Procedure - Mandatory steps to ensure the policy is implemented correctly and includes steps the agency does not want staff to overlook.
  • Suggested Procedure - Suggested method by which a policy can be accomplished; it provides suggested instructions to carry out a policy statement.
Additional Template Sections
  • Cultural Considerations
  • Automated Actions
  • Tips
  • Forms and Tools
  • See Also
  • Resources

Cultural Considerations

Family Centered Approach:
The effectiveness of CA staff's engagement with the family can directly affect their willingness to work with the department. The level of trust and integrity established between the agency and the family often has a direct relationship on the child being able to remain/reunify with his/her family. Everyone who meets the family needs to build positive relationships.

The definition of family varies from group to group. While the dominant culture has focused on the nuclear family, African Americans define family as a wide network of extended family, non-blood kin and community. Native American Indian families traditionally include at least three generations and multiple parental functions delegated among aunts and uncles, as well as grandparents and cousins. Different cultural groups also vary in their traditional practices and views of adoption.

Determine if there are cultural considerations that need to be addressed as part of the planning process, for example, obtaining information about protocols, such as, how to approach a family, use of a cultural elder, matriarch or patriarch or the need for a culturally appropriate support person.

1100. Child Safety

Purpose Statement Providing for child safety is part of CA's core mission. Safety is the primary and essential focus that informs and guides all decisions made from Intake through case closure. This includes removal and reunification decisions. Assessing the safety of children is essential in all placement settings (in-home and out-of-home).

Public Law 93-247 (as amended)

45 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 1340

45 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 1357.20

RCW 13.34

RCW 74.13

RCW 26.44

WAC 388-15

WAC 388-70

  1. Decisions on child safety are based on comprehensive information, logical reasoning and analysis (not incident-based or reactionary).
  2. The safety decision making process must include a continuous assessment of present and impending danger throughout the life of the case.
  3. A focus on safety must be maintained from the initial assessment through case closure using required tools to assess, control and manage safety threats.
  4. Every social worker will assess the safety of the child for present or impending danger. If present danger exists the worker will take an immediate protective action.
  5. A decision that a child is unsafe does not mean the child must be removed.
  6. A decision to place a child in out-of-home care is a safety decision. This level of intervention is only justified when it is clear that child safety cannot be controlled and managed in the home.
  7. Conditions for return home are designed to ensure that children are returned when no safety threats exist or an in-home safety plan can be implemented and sustained. Also there is indication that the parents are moving towards change to control and manage child safety.

1110. Present Danger

Purpose Statement Present danger can occur at anytime throughout the life of a case and must be assessed on a continual basis. A determination must be made if immediate protective actions are necessary to protect a child and the level of intervention required to keep the child safe.
  1. Assess if present danger exists during any contact with a child to determine if an immediate, significant and clearly observable behavior or situation is actively occurring and is threatening or dangerous to a child.
  2. When present danger exists, identify and take immediate protective action(s) necessary to create child safety.
  1. When assessing Present Danger in a Family Assessment Response case. Document present danger and protective actions through the Present Danger Assessment at least once during service delivery.
  2. In all other programs, document all protective actions taken to manage or control present danger in a FamLink case note using the protective action activity code or through completion of the Present Danger Assessment.
  3. When children in CA's care and custody are determined to be in present danger in licensed or unlicensed care, children are removed from that placement. Notify intake per policy.

Present Danger Guide

Protective Action Guide

When Children are In Danger - article

Comparing and Understanding the Differences: Risk of Maltreatment, Present Danger, Impending Danger - article

1120. Safety Assessment

Purpose Statement Safety Assessment is used throughout the life of the case to identify impending danger and determine whether a child is safe or unsafe. It is based on comprehensive information gathered about the family at the time the safety assessment is completed.
  1. A child will be determined safe or unsafe by gathering and assessing comprehensive information about a family's behaviors, functioning and conditions. The information is assessed in order to determine the presence or absence of safety threats.
  2. A Safety Assessment is completed at key decision points in a case to identify impending danger and to inform and implement safety plans with families to control or manage those threats.
  1. Complete a Safety Assessment at the following key points in a case:
    1. On all CPS and DLR/CPS intakes (including new intakes on active cases) no later than 30 calendar days from date of intake. DLR/CPS follows additional requirements per DLR/CPS Use of Safety Assessment and Safety Planning Tools Policy.
    2. During the completion of the Family Assessment or Assessment of Progress.
    3. Before recommendation to court for unsupervised or overnight visits.
    4. When considering reunification or trial return home.
    5. When present danger exists in the home.
    6. When there is a change of anyone living in the home or a visitor resides on the premises for more than fourteen days and:
      1. A child is in-home, or
      2. A child is out-of-home and having unsupervised visitation in the parent(s) home.
    7. When considering case closure.
  2. Review safety assessment at case transfer.
  3. Determine if the child is safe or unsafe by:
    1. Gathering and assessing information through a review of CA history of prior reports and service interventions, interviews, and observations. Verify information through source documents and contacts with sources or collaterals. Information collected will include but is not limited to the following:
      1. Nature and extent of the maltreatment,
      2. Sequence of events that accompany the maltreatment,
      3. Child functioning on a daily basis,
      4. Parental disciplinary practices,
      5. General parenting practices, and
      6. Adult functioning.
    2. Consider and evaluate each potential safety threat against the safety threshold criteria to determine if safety threat(s) exist.
    3. When a safety threat exists, the child is considered unsafe and requires a Safety Plan.
  4. Establish if an in-home or out-of-home safety plan is most appropriate when a child is unsafe using the safety plan analysis criteria in FamLink. When considering an out-of-home safety plan utilize a shared planning or FTDM meeting per policy.
  5. When children in CA's care and custody are determined to be unsafe in licensed or unlicensed care, children are removed from that placement.

Information Gathering Questions

Safety Threats Guide

Safety Threshold Guide

1130. Safety Plan

Purpose Statement The Safety Plan is a written agreement between a family and CA that identifies how safety threats to a child will be immediately controlled and managed. The Safety Plan is implemented and active as long as threats to child safety exist and caregiver protective capacities are insufficient to protect the child.
  1. Develop an in-home or out-of-home safety plan with the family to manage the identified safety threats to protect an unsafe child.
  2. Safety Plans control or manage threats to a child's safety, have an immediate effect and contain safety services and actions only. These must be immediately accessible and available.
  3. Safety planning occurs in the least intrusive manner based on a thorough analysis of in-home and out-of-home options. A decision that a child is unsafe does not always lead to a removal.
  4. Out-of-home safety plans must contain conditions for return home.
  5. Safety plan participants must be suitable and reliable in order to provide a greater level of protection for the child than the parent can or will provide.
  6. Oversight and administration of the Safety Plan is the responsibility of CA.
  7. Continuously evaluate and modify the Safety Plan as long as safety threats exist.
  1. Develop a Safety Plan with the parent(s) and others immediately when a child is identified as unsafe and either:
    1. Remains in the home,
    2. Is placed in out-of-home care,
    3. Is returned home by a court order, or
    4. Is returning home when the safety threats can be managed or controlled in the home.
  2. Follow FTDM policy when considering out-of-home placement or returning a child home.
  3. Follow SAY policy and PAAY policy when working with youth identified as SAY or PAAY.
  4. Develop one safety plan for the family when a child (ren) remains in the home and another child (ren) is placed out-of-home.
  5. DLR/CPS follow additional requirements per DLR/CPS Use of Safety Assessment and Safety Planning Tools Policy for DLR/CPS.
  6. Assess the suitability and reliability of potential safety plan participants not working in their professional capacity. Complete interviews and background checks (BCCU criminal history and FamLink history) by the following:
    Participant Role Required Check(s) Disqualify Process Plan Completion
    • Parent present (supervised)
    • FamLink Check
    • Founded Finding waiver approval process at RA level
    • FamLink history staff with supervisor
    • Complete Safety Plan with a Completed FamLink check
    • Parent not present (unsupervised)
    • FamLink Check
    • BCCU Check
    Complete Safety Plan with:
    • Completed FamLink check
    • BCCU check requested
  7. Include within the Safety Plan for:

    In-Home Safety Plan

    1. Activities/tasks that control for safety threats or substitutes for diminished caregiver protective capacities.
    2. Use of the family's suitable, formal and informal supports in order to manage safety threats.
    3. Details for monitoring the safety plan.
    4. Supports, safety services and actions at critical times when safety threats exist.
    5. Formalize any protective action taken if applicable.

    Out-of-Home Safety Plan

    1. Activities/tasks that control for safety threats or substitutes for diminished caregiver protective capacities.
    2. A plan for how the child will be kept safe during any contact with the parent including addressing:
      1. If visits will be supervised and by whom
      2. Transportation arrangements for supervision
      3. Safety considerations while the parents have contact with the child during services
    3. A description of how the child will be safe in placement including :
      1. Visits with social worker
      2. Health screens, school, etc.
    4. Conditions for return home. Document on the safety analysis and plan tab in comments section.
  8. See additional requirements for serious physical or sex abuse cases per 2331(E) Response to Serious Physical and Sexual Abuse
  9. Supervisor must review and approve all safety plans in FamLink within two business days of entry. Any safety plan developed as a result of the FamLink override must be staffed with the Area Administrator or designee.
  10. Supervisor must review safety plans every 30 days.
  11. Review and monitor the in-home safety plan twice monthly. Revise the safety plan as threats emerge or are eliminated. This review must be documented in FamLink.
  12. Review and monitor the out-of-home safety plan every 30 days. Revise the safety plan as threats emerge or are eliminated. This review must be documented in FamLink.

Safety Analysis Guide

Protective Action Guide

1135. Infant Safety Education and Intervention

Approval: Jennifer Strus, Assistant Secretary

Effective Date: October 31, 2014

Sunset Review: September 30, 2018


Children's Administration is committed to improving child safety outcomes for children under one year of age through early intervention and education with caregivers. Data indicates children birth to one year are the primary victims of critical incidents. They are the most vulnerable to risk of harm from decreased parental capacity due to alcohol/or drugs, sleep-related deaths and maltreatment such as Shaken Baby Syndrome and blunt-force head trauma.


P.L. 11-320 Child Abuse Prevention Treatment Act (CAPTA) of 2010


Note: The requirements listed in this policy do not apply to children who are placed out-of-state through Interstate Compact and Placement of Children.

  1. Newborn: Plan of Safe Care

    Assigned DCFS staff must develop and document a Plan of Safe Care on all:

    1. Screened-in intakes that identify a newborn as AFFECTED by substance(s); and
    2. Newborns born to a dependent youth.
  2. Birth to 6 months: Period of Purple Crying
    1. Assigned DCFS staff will inquire if parents or caregivers have previously received information on Period of Purple Crying when working with families.
    2. DLR Licensors will inquire if parents or caregivers have previously received information on Period of Purple Crying when licensing or approving a home study for families accepting placements.
    3. Assigned CA staff will provide Period of Purple Crying educational materials to any parent/caregiver who has not previously received information.
    4. Document when and if the caregiver received the information on Period of Purple Crying.
  3. Birth to One Year: Infant Safe Sleep
    1. Assigned CA staff will conduct a safe sleep assessment when placing a child in a new placement setting or completing a CPS intervention involving a child aged birth to one year, even if the child is not identified as an alleged victim or an identified child.
      1. The assessment must be completed where the child primarily resides.
      2. DLR CPS investigators will review the licensed facility environment for safe sleep.
    2. When licensing or approving a home study with families accepting placements for infants, the home study workers will assess the sleeping environment and educate the family on safe sleep practices.
    3. Document the results of the safe sleep assessment.


  1. Birth to 6 months: Period of Purple Crying

    Assigned DCFS and Home Study staff must:

    1. Determine if the parent/caregiver (licensed or unlicensed) has already received the "Period of PURPLE Crying" education and DVD/booklet.
      1. If already received, discuss any questions the caregiver may have regarding Period of PURPLE Crying.
      2. If not received:
        1. Provide the "Period of PURPLE Crying" education and DVD/booklet. Review and discuss the information outlined in the booklet. The following key points should be relayed to caregivers:
          1. Teach what the letters "PURPLE" stand for as well as why understanding normal infant crying is important.
          2. Reinforce to families that if an infant is crying and they become frustrated they should put the infant down in a safe environment.
          3. Explain that caregiver's frustration due to Period of Purple Crying may cause the caregiver to shake the baby which can result in significant, if not life threatening, effects.
        2. Play the 10 minute "PURPLE" video for the caregivers after your presentation of the booklet if resources are available.
          1. Emphasize the importance of the material presented.
          2. Reinforce to the caregivers that all persons who will be caring for their infant should review this information.
          3. Remind caregivers about the 17-minute soothing film on the DVD to help caregivers understand ways to soothe their baby and cope with inconsolable crying periods.
    2. Document in a case note or provider note:
      1. When the caregiver receives or has previously received the Period of Purple Crying education and materials, or
      2. If the caregiver refused to discuss the Period of Purple Crying materials.
  2. Birth to One Year: Infant Safe Sleep

    Assigned DCFS and Home Study staff must:

    1. Complete a safe sleep assessment with the caregiver by:
      1. Reviewing the Infant Safe Sleep Guidelines (DSHS 22-1577) with caregivers of infants younger than 12 months during the first in-person meeting.
      2. Assessing for a safe sleep environment using the Infant Safe Sleep Guidelines (DSHS 22-1577).
    2. Engage the caregiver to create a safe sleep environment if one does not exist.
    3. Consult with his or her supervisor when there are additional risk factors (e.g., substance abuse, mental health issues, etc.) associated with a caregiver's ability to maintain child safety and a safe sleep environment.
    4. Documentation will include:
      1. Results of safe sleep assessment (if needed) in the Investigative Assessment, FAR Family Assessment, Comprehensive Family Evaluation, Home Study or provider note, whichever is most appropriate.
      2. If the caregiver refused to participate in the process of creating a safe sleep environment for the child.
      3. Any safety concerns or risk factors identified in licensed facilities will be immediately shared with the licensor.

Forms and Tools

Period of Purple Crying Video:

Infant Safe Sleep Assessment Guidelines (DSHS 22-1577)

A program of the Safe Sleep campaign:
The following free materials (available in English and Spanish) from the Safe to Sleep campaign and will be available in local offices for distribution to families caring for infants under the age of one year:

Honor the Past, Learn for the Future: Reduce the Risk of SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Causes of Infant Death (American Indian/Alaska Native Outreach)


A Program of the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome -

1140. Family Assessment/Assessment of Progress

Purpose Statement Conducting an assessment of the family is a process of gathering information to gain a greater understanding of how a family's strengths, needs and resources affect child safety, well-being, and permanency. Assessments are completed in partnership with the family to understand what everyday life challenges and individual caregiver patterns of behaviors contribute to child safety threats that are to be addressed in case planning.
  1. Family members must be included in the assessment process.
  2. Assessments must include information and input from professionals and other collateral contacts that have knowledge of the child and family.
  3. Assessments of the family are completed at key decision points in a case. Assessments identify the enhanced protective and diminished protective capacities directly related to the identified safety threats.
  4. Information contained in the Investigative Assessment (IA) help to determine investigation findings and includes the SDMRA tool, whether alcohol or controlled substances contributed to alleged abuse or neglect, and case disposition
  5. Information contained in the Comprehensive Family Evaluation (CFE) and the FAR Family Assessment (FAR FA) help to develop the Case Plan.
  6. The CFE and FAR FA also assist in updating the Case Plan by evaluating a parent's progress in services designed to increase protective capacities and reduce or eliminate safety threats.
  7. Decisions to reunify are based on safety. The decision to reunify a child with a family is made when no safety threats exist or an in-home safety plan can replace an out-of-home safety plan.
  1. Complete:
    1. The Investigative Assessment within 60 calendar days of Children's Administration receiving the intake.
    2. The Initial CFE within 45 calendar days of a FVS or CFWS case assignment (include supervisor approval in FamLink).
    3. The Far FA upon case closure, no later than 90 days from intake.
  2. Update the CFE:
    1. Every 90 days on FVS cases.
    2. A minimum of every 6 months or when a new ISSP report to the Court is required for a CFWS case.
    3. When an identified family or individual level objective has been achieved.
    4. When conditions for return home have been achieved.
    5. When developing or changing a case plan.
    6. Prior to case closure.
  3. Complete the FAR FA and CFE with the family to address changes in behaviors, conditions and attitudes related to safety.
  4. Assess conditions for return home when updating a CFE. Review how the safety threat(s) is or is not being managed by the caregiver, how the parent is incorporating service provisions into their daily life and if the safety threat can be managed in the family.

Investigative Assessment Guide

Comprehensive Family Assessment Guide

Comprehensive Family Evaluation for Legally Free Children Guide

1150. Case Plan

Purpose Statement The Case Plan specifies what must change to reduce or eliminate safety threats and increase the parent or caregiver's protective capacities to assure the child's safety and well being. CA co-develops case plans with family members and community partners.
  1. Case plans are focused, time limited, behaviorally specific, attainable, relevant, and understandable to all.
  2. Case plans must focus on behavioral change to reduce safety threats and increase parental protective capacities so that parents can resume the protective function for the family.
  3. Case plans must include both family and individual level objectives that are directly linked to the identified safety threats.
  4. Each objective must be supported by specific and measurable tasks that outline the action steps needed to successfully achieve each objective.
  5. Assigned tasks are action steps that family members, social workers, providers, resources and natural supports are willing and able to do to achieve the objectives.
  6. Family and individual level objectives provide the basis for the case plan and involvement with CA. Once objectives are achieved, CA's involvement with the family ends.
  1. Develop case plans with the family, providers, resources and natural supports as applicable during a face-to-face meeting or shared planning meeting.
  2. Complete a Family Assessment when developing a case plan and complete the Assessment of Progress when changing or ending the case plan.
  3. Develop Voluntary Case Plans when the family meets criteria per Service Agreement Policy and Court Ordered Case Plans when the family meets criteria per 43081 Dependency Petition Process.
  4. Create an Initial Voluntary Case Plan for a period up to 90 calendar days. A subsequent Case Plan may be developed for an additional 90 calendar days with supervisor approval. If services are extended beyond 180 calendar days, AA approval is required.
  5. Connect objectives to the safety threats identified through assessment. Objectives should not change throughout the life of the case.
  6. Include required objectives based on the identified safety threats and needs of the family as assessed by the Safety Assessment(s) and information obtained through working with the family. Objectives include:
    1. Primary Family Level Objectives (FLO)
    2. Secondary FLO
    3. Individual Level Objectives (ILO)
    4. Child Action Plan (out-of-home care only)
  7. Include at a minimum the following under both the family and individual level objective on the initial case plan:
    1. A specific and measurable plan.
    2. Provider/service/natural supports/social worker to assist in the development of this plan. Include social worker's role in acquiring resources.
    3. A process of how and who this plan will be shared and by when.
    4. How progress will be documented and celebrated.
  8. Follow the same format for updated and ongoing case plans. Reflect the continued use of a provider, resource, social worker or natural supports.
  9. Attach any provider plan developed with the parent(s) to the case plan when presented in court.
  10. Identify the underlying and contributing factors associated with the safety threats so the factors can be addressed within the case plan.
  11. Identify and coordinate the services needed for the:
    1. Reduction or elimination of safety threats to the child.
    2. Enhancement of parental protective capacity to change conditions, circumstances or behaviors contributing to the identified safety threat.
  12. Evaluate and measure progress in the assessment of progress based on the behaviorally-specific objectives required and described in the case plan.
  13. Update and revise the case plan when reunifying the child. The case plan must address the transition process for children and parents per Trial Return Home Policy. Continue assessing identified objectives after child returns home.

1700. Case Staffings

Dependency Timeline & Schedule of Case Staffings

Purpose Statement All staffings engage parents in the shared planning process to develop family specific case plans focused on identified safety threats and child specific permanency goals. Working in partnership with families, natural supports and providers helps identify parents' strengths, threats to child safety, focus on everyday life events, and help parents build the skills necessary to support the safety and well-being of their children. The shared planning process integrates all CA staffings.
  1. Engage families, natural supports and providers in case planning. Schedule staffings in a location and time that meets the needs of the parent(s) and their participants whenever possible.
  2. Identify all relevant case participants.
  3. Schedule staffings to correspond with planning for court hearings whenever possible.
  4. Multiple issues impacting children and families may be addressed in one meeting rather than separate meetings held for each issue.
  5. Utilize staffings to assist you and the family to develop or review resources or approaches to address child safety.
  6. Prepare for staffings by determining how the participants can contribute to the case discussion and planning.
  7. Utilize the concurrent planning process to develop child specific permanency goals.

Practice Model Website on the Children's Administration Intranet


DSHS 14-474 Shared Planning Form

Related Staffings

43104. Multi Disciplinary Staffings for Youth Exiting Care (age 17.5)

4533. Behavior Rehabilitative Services (BRS) Staffing

45431. Foster Care Assessment Program (FCAP)

10.01 Local Indian Children Welfare Committee (LICWAC)

1710. Shared Planning

Purpose Statement Shared Planning Meetings bring individuals together to help make decisions for children about safety, permanency and well-being.

RCW 13.34.067

RCW 13.34.145

  1. Shared Planning meetings must occur within the required timeframes.
  2. Required participants must be invited to Shared Planning meetings.
  3. Safety, Permanency and Well-Being for the child and family must be discussed during Shared Planning meetings.
  4. Shared Planning Meetings must be documented in FamLink using the Shared Planning Form.
  1. Conduct a Shared Planning Meeting within the following timeframes (Combine Shared Planning Meetings as needed) to address the safety, permanency and well-being of the child:
    1. Within 6 months of child's OPD.
    2. Within 9 to 11 months of child's OPD prior to Permanency Planning Hearing.
    3. Every 12 months or until the child's permanent plan is achieved or the case is closed.
    4. Within 30 days of a Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) referral to the Assistant Attorney General (AAG).
    5. Within 30 days after following the court orders a TPR.
    6. Within 10 days of the youth's confirmation of pregnancy. See 43066. Pregnant and Parenting Policy.
  2. Invite the following participants to Shared Planning Meetings at a minimum of 5 calendar days before the meeting when possible:
    1. Parent(s)
    2. Youth (as developmentally appropriate)
    3. Youth's mentor (if applicable)
    4. Family members/relatives
    5. Caregiver(s)

      Note: Parent(s) must agree for Caregiver(s) to attend a Shared Planning Meeting when conducted in place of a Case Conference.

    6. Tribe(s)
    7. LICWAC member if Tribal staff is not available or Tribe is unknown
    8. Community partners, e.g., school personnel, health professional, etc.
    9. CASA/GAL/Attorney(s)
    10. Other persons identified by child or family
    11. Agency staff as needed:
      1. CHET Worker
      2. Adoption Worker
      3. Placement Coordinator

    Important: If the child, caregiver or parent is unable to attend the Shared Planning Meeting their input will be presented by the assigned worker and considered in the decision-making process.

  3. Provide access and opportunities for incarcerated parents to participate in shared planning meetings either through video or teleconference if the parent is unable to attend in person.
  4. Address the following elements (when applicable) during Shared Planning Meetings:
    1. Safety
      1. Assessments related to safety
      2. Safety ,transition and safety planning
      3. Family strengths, community and cultural supports
      4. Services needed to eliminate safety concerns
    2. Permanency
      1. Strengths and challenges to timely permanence for the child
      2. Placement stability, need for services to reduce risk of disruption
      3. Efforts to place siblings together and/or maintain sibling vists or contacts
      4. Relative search, maternal and paternal/relative home
      5. Status of Tribal affiliation and Tribal involvement
      6. Plan to maintain community and cultural connections
      7. Permanency planning goals and progress, including barriers to reunification; TPR, compelling reasons and alternate permanency plan including adoption
      8. Update visit plan, including sibling visits
    3. Well-being
      1. Mental health, physical health and educational well-being of child
      2. Services to support healthy development
      3. Assign roles and responsibilities for child's education
      4. Update medical information
      5. Results of the CHET screening and other assessments if available. If not available CHET results must be presented at the next scheduled Shared Planning Meeting.
      6. Independent Living Services
      7. Transition plans
      8. Alternative plan for assessment and treatment if child has been denied mental health or substance abuse services
      9. Cultural and/or Tribal connections
  5. Document all Shared Planning Meetings in FamLink using the Shared Planning Form within the required documentation timeframes.
Effective Date Initial:     Revised: 10/31/2014 Approved by: Jennifer Strus, Asst. Secretary

1720. Family Team Decision Making Meetings

Purpose Statement Family Team Decision Making (FTDM) meetings bring people together who are involved with the family to make critical decisions regarding the removal of child(ren) from their home,changes in out-of-home placement, and reunification or placement into a permanent home.

RCW 13.34.067

RCW 13.34.145

  1. Family Team Decision Making (FTDM) meeting must occur within the required timelines.
  2. The required participants must be invited to the FTDM meeting.
  3. FDTM meetings must be documented in FamLink using the Shared Planning Form and case note.
  1. Conduct a FTDM meeting within the following timeframes (Convene additional FTDM meetings as needed):
    1. Prior to removing a child and anytime out-of-home placement of a child is being considered.
    2. If a child is placed into protective custody by law enforcement, the FTDM must be held as soon as possible and no later than 72 hours of the placement and always prior to the shelter care hearing.
    3. Prior to moving a child from one placement to another.
    4. Prior to reunification of a child with parent(s) or exiting from care.
  2. Invite the following participants to the FTDM meeting when possible:
    1. Parent(s)
    2. Youth (developmentally appropriate)
    3. Youth's mentor (if applicable)
    4. Family members/relatives
    5. Caregivers (if parent(s) agree)

      Note: Parent(s) must agree for Caregiver(s) to attend a FTDM when conducted in place of a Case Conference.

    6. Tribe(s)
    7. Community partners
    8. CASA/GAL/Attorney(s)
    9. Other identified by child or family
    10. Agency staff as needed:
      1. Social Worker Supervisor (attend if possible but not required)
      2. CHET Worker
      3. Adoption Worker
      4. Placement Coordinator

    Important: If the child, caregiver or parent is unable to attend the FTDM meeting, their input will be presented and considered in the decision-making process.

  3. Document meeting attendees in the Shared Planning Section of FamLink within the required documentation timeframes. (Include any decisions reached and any plans made at the meeting, include items needed from those responsible for tracking issues in a case note,).

Family Team Decision-Making (FTDM) Practice Guide

1730. Shelter Care Case Conference

Purpose Statement Provide an opportunity to develop and specify in a written case plan the expectations of both CA and the parent regarding the care and placement of their child.

RCW 13.34.067

RCW 74.14A.020

RCW 13.34

  1. Following Shelter Care and no later than thirty days prior to Fact Finding hearing CA will facilitate a conference to develop a written service agreement.
  2. Required participants must be invited to the Shelter Care Case Conference.
  1. Schedule a Case Conference meeting when the court establishes shelter care and no later than thirty days before the Fact Finding court hearing.
  2. Invite to the case conference the following individuals:
    1. Parents
    2. Youth (as developmentally appropriate)
    3. Parents and youth's assigned counsel
    4. GAL or CASA
    5. Tribe(s)
    6. Other persons identified and agreed upon by the parties
  3. Develop a written case plan including the expectations of CA and the parents regarding the care and placement of the parent's child.
  4. Document the Case Conference within the Shared Planning Page in FamLink.
  • Case Plan

1740. Child Protection Teams (CPT)

Purpose Statement Child Protection Teams provide confidential, multi-disciplinary consultation and recommendations to the Department on cases where there will not be an FTDM, and there is a risk of serious or imminent harm to a young child and when there is dispute if an out-of home placement is appropriate.

Executive Order 12-04

WAC 388-15-033

  1. Regional Administrators (RA), or their designee, must establish and maintain at least one Child Protection Team in each region.
  2. Child Protection Teams will include at least four selected professionals that provide services to abused and neglected children or their families.
  3. Child Protection Team recommendations are advisory to CA staff.
  1. Child Protection Teams participants may include:
    1. Law enforcement
    2. Physicians, and/or other medical professionals
    3. Mental health/substance abuse counselors
    4. Educators, CASA's, foster parents
    5. Domestic Violence advocates and/or experts
    6. DSHS staff with specific and complementary skills/knowledge to a CPT
    7. Other Mandated Reporters
    8. Professionals who play a significant role with the family
  2. Staff are required to submit a CPT Case Presentation Summary to the CPT Coordinator:
    1. In all child abuse or neglect investigation cases in which the assessment requires the Department to offer services, and a Family Team Decision Making (FTDM) meeting will not or cannot be held, and the child's age is six years or younger; and
    2. In all child abuse and neglect cases where serious professional disagreement exists regarding a risk of serious harm to the child and where there is a dispute over whether out-of-home placement is appropriate.
    3. When the Department chooses to bring a case to CPT believing that such a consultation may assist in improving outcomes for a particular child.
  3. CPT Coordinators must:
    1. Coordinate and manage CPT membership, recruitment, training, scheduling, record -keeping including CPT recommendations, reporting and communication for the CPT.
    2. Provide in writing the CPT staffing recommendations to the assigned worker and supervisor following the staffing.
    3. Maintain a tracking system to document activity for staffings and recommendations.
    4. Document the CPT in the Shared Planning section in FamLink per Shared Planning FamLink Manual.
  • Child Protection Team Volunteer Handbook