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

4310. Services to Adolescents

43101. Assessment and Learning Plan

Purpose Statement Youth receive the resources, tools and services to develop the life skills required to become self-sufficient adults.
Laws

RCW 74.13.031 (14) - Provide Independent Living Services to Youth

RCW 74.13.540 - Independent Living Services

WAC 388-147-0190 What Independent Living Skills May be Offered?

PL 106-169 John H. Chafee Foster Care Independent Living Act

Policy
  1. All youth 15 and older who are in out-of-home care for more than 30 days must receive the Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment (ACLSA) and Learning Plan (LP) annually.
  2. All Independent Living (IL) services provided to youth must be documented in FamLink on the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) tab on the IL page.

    Note: Permanency planning continues for youth regardless of age, including efforts towards adoption.

Procedures
  1. Inform youth and their caregivers of the ILS services available beginning at age 15.
  2. Assist youth with completing the Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment (ACLSA) and developing a culturally appropriate Learning Plan (LP). You will find this tool at http://caseylifeskills.force.com/.
  3. Coordinate the development of the LP with the local school district for any youth age 16 and older receiving special education services.
  4. Assist youth to update their ACLSA and LP, at least annually.
  5. Document the ACLSA, LP, services provided and youth's progress in the youth's electronic case file under the IL page. Create the document titled: "Independent Living Youth Learning Plan and Progress Report" to attach to the youth's report to the court.
  6. Provide life skill development training on parenting to pregnant or parenting teens.
  7. Discuss with youth at age 17 the importance of the Youth Survey and provide youth the website link to take the survey.
  8. Document all services and Youth Survey discussions provided to the youth in FamLink under the NYTD section of the IL page.
Forms and Tools
  • DSHS 15-353 - Independent Living Services Referral
  • DSHS 15-386 - Independent Living Youth Learning Plan and Progress Report
  • Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment (ACLSA) and Learning Plan (LP) can be located at http://caseylifeskills.force.com/
Resources
  • Q & A for National Youth in Transition Database
  • Youth prior to their eighteenth birthday may be eligible for up to $500.00 to help attain their IL goals.
  • Contracted IL services may be available to assist youth in the completion of the Assessment and LP. Contact your local office IL Coordinator to see if this service is available to your youth.
  • Youth may receive services (including the ACLSA and LP) from contracted IL Services. If youth is participating in contracted IL services, make sure you receive documentation from IL provider that youth completed the ACLSA and developed a Learning Plan.

43102. CA Responsibilities to Youth 12 and older

Purpose Statement

Dependent youth age 12 and older will understand Children's Administration (CA) duties and responsibilities to foster youth including their right to request counsel.

Dependent youth age 16 and older will understand the importance of their Consumer Credit Report by receiving a copy of their report yearly, review the report and address any discrepancies.

Laws

RCW 74.13.031 (16) services advisory committee

RCW 13.34.100 (6) Appointment of counsel for child

PL 112-34 The Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act

Policy

CA staff must:

  1. Discuss CA's duties and responsibilities to all dependent youth including the youth's right to request counsel within 30 days of the youth becoming age 12 and at least annually thereafter.
  2. Assist youth, 16 and older, in obtaining and reviewing a copy of their Consumer Credit Report annually.
  3. Assist youth in correcting any inaccurate credit information.
  4. Document these discussions in the electronic case notes and in the report to the court.
Procedures
  1. Provide and discuss the following information with dependent youth within 30 days of the youth becoming age 12 and annually thereafter:
    1. Notification of their right to request counsel and ask youth if they would like counsel.
    2. Annual copy of the Your Rights, Your Life: A Resource for Youth in Foster Care review it with the youth, and answer any questions.
    3. The link to the CA website for additional information, contained at http://www.independence.wa.gov.
  2. Inform youth age 16 and older how to obtain their consumer credit report and assist them in requesting a copy annually through www.annualcreditreport.com.
  3. Review the report with the youth and identify any discrepancies. If discrepancies are identified, assist youth to contact the nationwide consumer credit reporting company that provided the credit report. Follow dispute instructions at each of the following websites:
    1. Equifax - www.investigate.equifax.com
    2. Experian - www.experian.com
    3. TransUnion - www.transunion.com
  4. Document in FamLink case notes and in the report to the court the information above was provided and explained to the youth. Also document on the NYTD tab of the IL page under element "Budget & Financial Management" that the youth received "consumer awareness".
Cultural Considerations

Family Centered Approach:
The way CA staff engages the family (or fails to engage the family) can directly affect the willingness of the family to work with other members of 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.

For example:
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.

Forms and Tools

Your Rights, Your Life: A Resource for Youth in Foster Care

Resources

Websites: http://www.independence.wa.gov
http://www.annualcreditreport.com

Washington State Annual Credit Check Policy Q&A

Contracted IL services may be available to assist youth in requesting their annual credit report and assist with resolving any discrepancies.

DVD entitled: "Back on track: Information for youth in foster care"

Suggested Practice Tips
  1. When discussing the ISSP with the youth, discuss the responsibilities of CA including their right to request counsel and provide opportunities for them to ask questions.
  2. Provide the youth with a copy of the youth-oriented DVD entitled "Back on track: Information for youth in foster care" that explains more details of the dependency process.
  3. If youth is participating with a contracted Independent Living (IL) provider they can assist the youth with requesting their own credit report and provide a copy to the social worker.

43103. Washington State Identicards for Foster Youth

Social workers have authority to request WA State Identicards for dependent youth in foster care and for youth placed in WA State through an Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). Identicards give youth needed identification to assist with tasks such as opening a bank account, applying for a job or obtaining housing.

Social workers must follow the identified procedures when working with Department of Licensing (DOL) to assist foster youth (or youth placed through an ICPC) in obtaining a WA State Identicard.

Social workers must:

  1. Complete the new WA State Identicard form (DSHS 11-077) and make 2 copies:
    1. copy for the youth to take in person to the local DOL office
    2. copy for the youth's file
  2. Insert a color photograph of the youth in the WA State Identicard form (DSHS11-077). The youth should also sign the form if they are available. This will enable DOL to identify the youth when the youth visits DOL to request the Identicard.
  3. If youth's signature is not on the original form, the youth will need to sign their copy of the form before they take it to the local DOL.

  4. Send original form to DOL. There are 2 ways to send this form to DOL:
    1. First class mail to: PO BOX 9030 Olympia WA 98507, Attn: Driver Examining Foster Care Kids
    2. Scanned and emailed electronically to: DOLDSDSHSLETTER@DOL.WA.GOV
    3. Please send the form as an attached word document or adobe only. Include in the subject line the last name, first name, middle initial and date of birth of the youth. Please do not leave any spaces between each section. For example John L. Doe born 01/01/1988 would be DoeJohnL010188.

  5. Social worker will NOT attach any of the "additional documents" in the form they send to DOL. The "additional documents" indicated on the form and a copy of the form will be given to the youth to take in person to any DOL.
  6. The youth should allow the following number of business days after social worker submitted form before going to the local DOL.

    Email: 3 business days
    First Class Mail: 7 business days

    The youth will have 60 calendar days to go to the local DOL to request the Identicard. After 60 days the social worker will need to submit a new request.

  7. Social workers may take the completed form to the local DOL office if the identified foster youth will be accompanying them.
    1. The form must be completed with the photograph inserted and include the "additional documents" checked on the form.
    2. Social workers will need to show CA identification.

Driver's Education and Driver's License
Social workers do not have authority to approve a foster youth's participation in driver's education or to obtain a driver's license. The parent/guardian or the court must give formal approval. http://www.dshs.wa.gov/ca/pubs/mnl_pnpg/chapter4_4300.asp

43104. Transition Planning for Dependent Youth 15-18 Years (In care 30 days or more)

Purpose Statement Transition Planning and services provide youth exiting care an opportunity to have a smooth and successful transition into adulthood.
Laws

RCW 74.13.031 (14) Provide Independent Living Services to Youth

RCW 74.13.540 Independent Living Skills

42 U.S.C. 677 John H. Chafee Foster Care Independent Living Act

Policy
  1. All dependent youth must have a Shared Planning Meeting between age 17 and 17.5 to discuss and develop a personalized, youth directed Transition Plan.
  2. All dependent youth must have an updated Transition Plan that addresses all six federal topics within 90-days before turning age 18 or for youth electing to participate in the Extended Foster Care Program within 90 days before they complete their high school or GED program. This transition plan must be attached to the report to the court when requesting dismissal of dependency at age 18 or at every review hearing when the youth is in the Extended Foster Care Program. Federal requirements include:
    1. Education
    2. Employment
    3. Housing
    4. Health Insurance
    5. Local opportunities for mentors and continuing support
    6. Work force supports and employment services
  3. All dependent youth must receive a copy of their health and education record and be informed of how to access their case record prior to exiting care.
Procedures
  1. Conduct a Shared Planning Meeting between age 17 and 17.5 to assist the youth with the development of a Transition Plan to aid in a safe and successful transition into adulthood.
  2. The meeting must occur even when a youth is on the run, and the transition plan should be shared with the youth upon return to care.
  3. Complete the Transition Plan for Youth Exiting Care form (DSHS 15-417) during the Shared Planning Meeting. The Transition Plan must address the six required areas outlined above in (B) (1-6).
  4. Review and update the transition plan with the youth during the monthly health and safety visits and follow up with assigned individuals on any uncompleted tasks identified in the transition plan. This process will continue until the youth exits leaves care. Document the visits in the electronic case file under "Monthly Health and Safety Visits."
  5. Update the Transition Plan, including all six federal topic areas within 90-days before the youth leaves care at age 18 or the later age if they elect to participate in the Extended Foster Care Program.
  6. Attach the transition plan to the report to the court when submitting a request to the court for dismissal of dependency at age 18 or for dismissal of youth's participation in the Extended Foster Care Program.
  7. Consult with Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) and coordinate the youth's continued DDD services beyond age 18 years of age.
  8. Document the Shared Planning meeting and the development and updates to the youth's Transition Plan in FamLink and in the report to the court.
  9. Provide youth with a copy of their health and education record prior to exiting care and inform them how to access their case record after exiting care. Complete the Ward of the Court Verification form (DSHS 27-056) for youth (if applicable.)
Cultural Considerations

Family Centered Approach:
The way CA staff engages the family (or fails to engage the family) can directly affect the willingness of the family to work with other members of 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.

For example:
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.

Forms and Tools
See Also
Resources
  • Youth in foster care prior to their eighteenth (18) birthday may be eligible for up to $500.00 to help attain their IL goals.
  • Social worker should inform youth of their eligibility to receive transitional living services through a contracted provider until age 21.
Suggested Practice Tips
  1. This meeting should be youth focused and youth driven. Social worker should discuss with the youth prior to this meeting any important persons the youth would like to have participate in the meeting and invite these persons to participate.
  2. Other participants that should be invited include:
    1. Independent Living contractor
    2. DDD Social Worker and any other social worker involved
    3. Community Service Offices (CSO)
    4. Caregiver
    5. Biological or extended family
    6. Any community agencies working with the youth
    7. CASA, GAL, or attorney appointed for the youth
  3. Social worker and contracted IL provider (if applicable) should gather any of the required documents and information prior to the transition planning.
  4. Social worker and youth should sign the transition plan and provide a copy to the youth.
  5. Social worker must place a signed copy of the transition plan in the youth's file.
  6. Social worker must meet with the youth prior to exit from care and provide youth with any additional information and documents as indicated on the transition plan.

43105. Extended Foster Care Program

Approval

By: Jennifer Strus, Asst. Secretary

Effective Date: June 22, 2011

Revised Date: July 7, 2012
July 28, 2013
June 12, 2014

Sunset Review: June 2018

Purpose Statement The Extended Foster Care Program (EFC) is a voluntary program created to support eligible youth between the ages of 18 through 20 with continued foster care placement and services in their transition to adulthood.
Laws

Public Law 110-351 - Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act 2008

RCW 13.34.267

RCW 13.34.268

RCW 74.13.020

RCW 74.13.031

WAC 388-148-0010

WAC 388-25-0110

WAC 388-25-0500 through 388-25-0548

Policy
  1. Provide written information about the EFC program with youth between the age of 17 and 17.5.
  2. To be eligible for the EFC program, a youth on his or her 18th birthday must be legally dependent, in foster care, and:
    1. Enrolled in high school or a high school equivalency program;
    2. Enrolled, applied for, or can show intent to timely enroll in a post-secondary academic or post-secondary vocational certification program;
    3. Participating in a program or activity designed to promote or remove barriers to employment; or
    4. Employed 80 hours or more a month (Effective March 1, 2015)

    NOTE: A tribal dependent may be eligible for the EFC program if the tribe's code defines "child" up to the age of 21 and he or she meets the above qualifications.

  3. Eligible youth must elect to participate in the EFC program:
    1. Starting on his or her 18th birthday; or
    2. Prior to his or her 19th birthday.
  4. Eligible youth, who do not elect to participate in the program on their 18th birthday, will have their dependency action dismissed. These youth have until their 19th birthday to request to enter into the EFC program.
  5. Youth re-entering foster care before their 19th birthday must meet program eligibility and sign a Voluntary Placement Agreement (VPA) for Extended Foster Care Services (DSHS 15-431).
    1. Only one VPA can be signed between a youth's 18th and 19th birthday
    2. Youth's placement in care on a VPA cannot exceed 179 days
    3. A VPA cannot be completed on a youth who has reached age 19 or older
  6. All youth in EFC receive the following: monthly health and safety visits; regular court reviews; case planning activities; and services tailored to meet their transition needs while participating in the program.
  7. EFC youth may be placed in licensed foster care, with relatives, other suitable adults or in Supervised Independent Living (SIL) settings. SIL settings include but are not limited to: apartment living; room and board arrangements; college or university dormitories; and shared roommate settings. SIL settings must be approved by CA and the court.
  8. EFC youth may leave a placement setting to participate in normal childhood activities for up to 72 hours. Youth may be gone for longer than 72 hours with assigned CA worker approval.
  9. Youth can transition between eligibility categories but must remain eligible in one category.
  10. CA must verify the youth meets the eligibility criteria prior to every court review.
  11. Youth participating in the EFC program can exit the program at any time.
  12. Adoption Support or Relative Guardianship Assistance Program subsidies may continue if they were established on or after the youth's 16th birthday and youth meets EFC eligibility criteria. The caregiver will receive the benefits or subsidies until the youth turns 21.
  13. For ICPC cases:
    • Washington as the sending state -
      • The assigned CA worker must contact the ICPC Unit to determine if the receiving state will provide case management services to EFC youth.
      • If receiving state does not provide case management services, the assigned CA worker is responsible for ensuring monthly visits and case management services are provided.
    • Washington is the receiving state -
      • Provide EFC services to ICPC youth who were placed in Washington prior to their 18th birthday. Sending state must also have an EFC program and request WA to continue to provide this service.
      • EFC is not provided to incoming youth who were not in WA prior to their 18th birthday.
Procedures
  1. Begin discussing the EFC Program with dependent youth when the youth turns 17 and during all transitional staffing's per 43104 Transition Planning for Dependent Youth 15 -18 Years Policy.
  2. Document in the report to the court that the youth has been provided information about the EFC Program.
  3. Coordinate with the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) (per the CA/DDA Memorandum of Understanding), the youth, and the youth's assigned CASA/GAL, counsel, and court to assist youth with the decision to decide whether to enter into the EFC Program when youth is disabled.
  4. Determine youth's eligibility for EFC on their 18th birthday.
  5. Complete the Extended Foster Care Participation Agreement Form (10-432) with youth who elect to participate on their 18th birthday. Provide the completed form to all involved parties including the court.
  6. Complete a new Foster Care Rate Assessment when a youth enters the EFC program and is in a licensed placement. Follow rate assessment policy as long as youth remains in a licensed placement setting.
  7. Request court approval for SIL placement settings and work with regional lead to determine appropriate payment for approved placement setting.
  8. If the youth does not elect to participate in the EFC program, request that the court dismiss the dependency and end the placement episode in FamLink when case has been dismissed in court.
  9. Youth requesting to re-enter foster care through the EFC program after their case was dismissed must have:
    1. An intake created that is assigned to the office where the youth is currently residing. Any CA staff receiving a youth's request to enter the EFC program must connect the youth to an intake worker or ensure the intake is created on the youth's behalf.
    2. Program eligibility determined and documented in FamLink by assigned CA worker, and a Voluntary Placement Agreement (VPA) for Extended Foster Care Services (DSHS 15-431) signed before entering care.
    3. A non-minor dependency action filed within 179 days from date the VPA was signed.
    4. An Initial Health Screen completed within required timeframe.
    5. A denial letter DSHS 06-165 within 10 calendar days of agency decision. When denying a youth access to EFC program staff case with regional lead prior to sending letter. A youth is denied access when he or she:
      1. Was not eligible on his or her 18th birthday
      2. Does not meet any of the eligibility criteria
      3. Had a previous EFC VPA
      4. Is 19 or older when making the request
  10. Request court dismissal of the dependency when the youth is:
    • Not eligible on their 18th birthday
    • Eligible but chooses not to participate in the program on their 18th birthday
    • No longer meets eligibility requirements
    • When youth turns 21 or leaves the program
    • Not participating with the dependency court order, case plan, or placement rules
    • When youth has left approved placement for more than 72 hours without approval
  11. EFC services are provided with a direct focus on helping prepare the non-minor dependent for a successful transition to adulthood. Assigned CA worker will work with youth and caregiver (when applicable) to develop a set of guidelines that focus on helping the youth gain more independence.
  12. Document in FamLink that the placement has ended once the court dismisses the dependency.
  13. For ICPC Cases:
    • Washington as sending state - When a receiving state is not accepting an ICPC request for an EFC youth, all efforts must be made to find a contracted provider who can provide the required services in the receiving state.
Forms and Tools

DSHS 10-432 Extended Foster Care Agreement Form

DSHS 15-431 Voluntary Placement Agreement for Extended Foster Care Services

DSHS 06-165 EFC Denial Letter

See Also

4311. Social Worker Role

  1. Social workers have primary responsibility to coordinate the case planning efforts (per Child Safety Section policy) of all persons working on behalf of the child. This includes helping to develop goals and the means to their achievement with the parents in order to strengthen the family.
  2. Information Sharing-Either prior to or soon after placement, the social worker must have a candid discussion with the care providers to inform them of the following:
    1. The reasons for the placement.
    2. Full disclosure of the child's needs and characteristics.
    3. The agency plan for the child's parents, relatives, and the care providers.
    4. The legal process.
    5. The child's right to have reasonable access to uncensored communication (i.e. private telephone calls, uncensored mail) with parents, relatives, and others. Exceptions to the rights result if court orders or case plans restrict the child's contact with certain people for their safety or the safety of others, or for the child's well-being.
  3. The social worker must give the foster care provider/agency information and resources, within available funding, to assist with the stability of the placement and to meet the needs of the child.
  4. The social worker works with the placement family/agency and with the other professionals involved in the case to support the permanent plan for the child.
  5. See the Case Services Policy Manual, chapter 4000, section 4120, paragraph A, for requirements to disclose information regarding HIV infection and sexually transmitted diseases to the residential care provider for the child who is less than 14 years of age.

4312. Outside Communication for Children in Out-of-Home Care

Purpose Statement Evaluate child safety and support to caregivers when determining outside communication with parents, relatives and other important people to the child in out of home care.
Laws

RCW 13.34.136

Policy
  1. Children in out-of-home care must have reasonable access to uncensored communication with parents, relatives, and other people important to the child.
  2. Communication restrictions must be based on a pending investigation or an identified child safety issue and be addressed in a court order or service plan.
  3. Child safety issues must be addressed prior to allowing the child to participate in any communications with parents, relatives or people important to the child.
Procedures
  1. Notify and collaborate with the child (if age appropriate), child's out-of-home caregiver, parent(s), relative(s) and important people to the child to develop the child's communication plan. Communication may include:
    1. Private telephone calls;
    2. Mail and gifts;
    3. Electronic communication (E-mail and other electronic social networking avenues such as Facebook, My Space and Twitter). Access to electronic communication is based on reasonable caregiver or social worker discretion and on electronic device availability.

    Note: Visitation occurs per 4254. Parent-Child-Sibling Visiting Policy

  2. Discuss with caregivers any court orders or service plans that restrict the child's contact with family, relative or important people to the child. Limited or censored communication could include:
    1. Opening and reviewing mail for appropriate child related content.
    2. Opening gifts to determine age appropriateness.
    3. Monitoring of email or phone calls for appropriate child related content.
    4. Determining age appropriate use of social networking sites, including limitations.

      Note: Allowing children access to electronic communication as described above is based on reasonable caregiver discretion and on electronic device availability.

  3. Inform caregivers on social networking websites regarding children in out-of-home care must not include:
    1. Child's name
    2. Identify the child as being a foster child.
    3. Discussion about case specific information about the child or the child's family
  4. Inform caregivers if there are safety reasons why unidentified photos may not be posted on the caregiver's social networking site(s).
  5. Discuss communication planning with the child and caregiver during monthly visits.
  6. Conduct when needed, a Shared Planning Meeting if communication needs to be limited or censored due to safety concerns.
  7. Document the child's communication plan and any decisions to limit a child's communication in the electronic case file.
Cultural Considerations

Family Centered Approach:
The way CA staff engages the family (or fails to engage the family) can directly affect the willingness of the family to work with other members of 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.

For example:
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.

See Also

4254. Parent-Child-Sibling Visiting Policy

2440 Service Agreements Policy

4301 Shared Planning Policy

ISSP Guide

4313. Partnering with Out-of-Home Caregivers

Purpose Statement

Support out-of-home caregivers* as important and respected team members who have a vital role in meeting the individual needs of children.

*Caregivers include: Foster parents, relatives, and suitable persons

Laws

RCW 74.13.332 Rights of Foster Parents

RCW 74.13.333 Rights of Foster Parents - Complaints-Investigations-Notice

RCW 13.34.260 Foster Home Placement - Parental Preferences

Policy
  1. Out-of-home caregivers have the right to be treated with respect and be supported in their responsibilities for the protection, daily care, and nurturance of the child in their home to maintain the health and safety of the child.
  2. Out-of-home caregivers may participate as members of the child's treatment team with valuable input about the child's behavior, school and medical status, response to parental visits, and growth and development.
  3. Out-of-home caregivers must always be valued and supported in their responsibility to record and share information with the social worker or other agency/ community staff working on behalf of the child; i.e., schools, therapists, and SSI facilitators.
  4. Out-of-home caregivers must never be intimidated, threatened, or discriminated against when the caregiver complains, provides information, assists, or participates in any part of a complaint process.
Procedures
  1. Invite the Caregiver to participate in the development of the service plan for the child, assist in family visitation (if appropriate) and model effective parenting behavior for the parent(s).
  2. Discuss the child's communication plan per 43022 Outside Communication for Children in Out-of-Home Care Policy with the caregiver.
  3. Invite the Caregiver to participate in shared planning meetings per 4413-Placement Services and 45303-Procedures.
  4. Include the Caregiver in court hearings per 5760-Fact Finding and Dispositional Hearings.
  5. Confirm therapeutic foster care and group/rehabilitative care providers are providing additional therapeutic service as defined in their DSHS contracts.
Cultural Considerations

Family Centered Approach:
The way CA staff engages the family (or fails to engage the family) can directly affect the willingness of the family to work with other members of 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.

For example:
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.

See Also

43022 Outside Communication for Children in Out-of-Home Care

4413-Placement Services

45303-Procedures

5760-Fact Finding and Dispositional Hearings

Resources

A Relatives Guide to Child Welfare Services

Building a Future for Washington's Children-Foster Care Improvement Plan

Suggested Practice Tips
  1. It is important to create both the perception and reality that Caregivers and Social Workers are working together in complementary roles to mutually assure that the best interests of the child are achieved.
  2. Based on experience, some Caregivers may perceive their role is viewed by social workers as secondary to Children's Administration. We are partners in making decisions that are in the best interest of the child and need demonstrate the respect and value each other's perspectives.
  3. Respectful communication is critical to creating good partnerships. We need to work together as a team to plan the best outcomes for children in out-of-home care.
  4. Decisions regarding the child and his/her placement in the home will be made with careful consideration to the child's needs and with respect to the connection that has developed between the child and the Caregiver.

4330. Open Communication Agreements

Purpose Statement

Assist and advise birth, adoptive parent(s) and known siblings when it is appropriate and in the child's best interests to consider an Open Communication Agreement.

Open Communication Agreements provide an opportunity for birth parents, adoptive parents and known siblings to have an agreed type of post adoption contact.

Laws
Policy
  1. An Open Communication Agreement must be determined to be appropriate or not appropriate during the child's case plan and prior to filing the termination petition.
  2. An Open Adoption Agreement may be entered into prior to a termination hearing when it is in the best interests of the adoptee and there is a willing adoptive parent/s.
  3. Determine and document that an Open Communication Agreement is in the best interest of the child both now and in the future.
Procedures
  1. Consider establishing an Open Communication Agreements with birth parents when:
    1. The department and GAL have stated it is in the best interest of the child adoptee through a shared planning meeting to maintain contact with a birth parent post adoption. Best interest of the child includes but is not limited to when:
      1. There is an emotional attachment on the part of the adoptee and continued communication post adoption supports the adoptees:
        1. Sense of well-being and security
        2. Identity development
        3. Stability
        4. Wishes of not losing contact
      2. It creates an opportunity for adoptive parents to receive medical and educational information to support parenting.
      3. It does not interfere with the physical safety and welfare of the adoptee and adoptive parents.
    2. The prospective adoptive parent(s) has agreed to enter into an Open Communication Agreement.
    3. The Open Communication Agreement provides an opportunity for the adoptee, and adoptive parents to maintain an agreed form of post adoption contact.
    4. The birth parent(s) has the developmental capacity to understand the terms of an Open Communication Agreement.
    5. There is a favorable relationship between the birth parent(s) and adoptee.
    6. The Open Communication Agreement is completed prior to a relinquishment or termination.
    7. The Open Communication Agreement is prepared with the birth parent(s), prospective adoptive parent(s) and their individual legal council.
  2. Ensure the following CA staff attend the Shared Planning meeting when determining any ongoing contact post adoption:
    1. Adoptee's social worker and supervisor,
    2. Adoptive family social worker and supervisor,
    3. Each child's CASA/GAL,
    4. Social worker or supervisor from the Adoption Program/Unit,
    5. Service providers for adoptee as appropriate.
  3. Conduct a Shared Planning Meeting to determine and document the following:
    1. An Open Communication Agreement with the birth parent(s) is in the best interest of the child adoptee.
    2. The benefits of maintaining connections between a birth parent(s) and prospective adoptive parent(s) can benefit the adoptees the well-being.
    3. Identify the type of on-going communication that is most appropriate for the child:

      Note: At a minimum a letter and photo one time per year

    4. Obtain signed approval from the Area Administrator or designee when the staffing decision approves the Open Communication Agreement.
  4. Discuss with a youth age 14 and over (younger if appropriate) the youth's interests in maintaining contact with birth parents and known siblings. The discussion should include:
    1. Type and amount of contact the youth feels would be beneficial.
    2. The youth's understanding of an Open Communication Agreement.
  5. Advise birth parent(s):
    1. About the option to enter into an Open Communication Agreement,
    2. The Open Communication Agreement must be signed prior to signing the relinquishment document or prior to a termination hearing.
    3. To consult their attorney prior to signing the Open Communication Agreement.
  6. Advise prospective adoptive parent(s):
    1. To consult their attorney, prior to entering into an Open Communication Agreement, and;
    2. The costs and services related to negotiating an Open Communication Agreement may be considered as a non-recurring expense under the adoption support program.
  7. An Open Communication Agreement must be signed by the following parties:
    1. Prospective adoptive family
    2. Birth parent(s), if applicable
    3. Known sibling(s), if applicable
    4. CASA/GAL or child's therapist, if applicable
    5. Area Administrator or designee
  8. The signed Open Communication Agreement needs to be submitted to both Juvenile Court at the relinquishment or termination hearing and Superior court for the adoption hearing.
  9. Maintain a copy of the agreement in the child's adoption file (legally free).
  10. If a staffing decision does not support an Open Communication Agreement with:
    1. A birth parent(s), the social worker will pursue termination of parental rights.
    2. A known sibling, document the decision in the adoptee's case record and the sibling's case record.
  11. Consider establishing an Open Communication Agreement with known siblings when:
    1. The department and GAL have stated it is in the best interest of the child adoptee through a shared planning meeting to maintain contact with a sibling post adoption. Best interest of the child includes but is not limited to when:
      1. There is an emotional attachment on the part of the adoptee and continued communication post adoption supports the adoptees:
        1. Sense of well-being and security
        2. Identity development
        3. Stability
        4. Wishes of not losing contact
      2. It does not interfere with the physical safety and welfare of the adoptee and adoptive parents.
    2. The prospective adoptive parent(s) has agreed to enter into an Open Communication Agreement.
    3. Sibling(s) are placed separately and have an established relationship.
    4. Maintaining on-going connections post adoption is in the adoptees best interest both now and in the future.
    5. No safety concerns prevent on-going contact post adoption between the adoptee and the known sibling(s) placed separately.
    6. The Open Communication Agreement provides the opportunity for the adoptee, known sibling(s) and adoptive parent(s) to exchange information post-adoption finalization.
    7. A GAL or court appointed attorney represents the separated sibling and approves the Open Communication Agreement
    8. The Open Communication Agreement is prepared with prospective adoptive parent(s), known sibling(s) and their individual legal council.
    9. The known sibling has been provided with legal counsel.
  12. Ensure the following CA staff attend the Shared Planning meeting when determining any ongoing contact post adoption:
    1. Adoptees social worker and supervisor
    2. Adoptive family social worker and supervisor
    3. Known sibling
    4. The social worker for the known sibling and supervisor
    5. Each child's CASA/GAL
    6. Social worker or supervisor from the Adoption Program/Unit
    7. Service providers for adoptee as appropriate
  13. Conduct a Shared Planning Meeting to determine and document the following:
    1. An Open Communication Agreement with the birth parent(s) is in the best interest of the child adoptee.
    2. The benefits of maintaining connections between a known sibling and prospective adoptive parent(s) can benefit the adoptees the well-being.
    3. Identify the type of on-going communication that is most appropriate for the child:

      Note: At a minimum a letter and photo one time per year

    4. Obtain signed approval from the Area Administrator or designee when the staffing decision approves the Open Communication Agreement.
  14. Advise prospective adoptive parent(s):
    1. To consult their attorney, prior to entering into an Open Communication Agreement, and;
    2. The costs and services related to negotiating an Open Communication Agreement may be considered as a non-recurring expense under the adoption support program.
  15. If a staffing decision does not support an Open Communication Agreement with:
    1. A birth parent(s), the social worker will pursue termination of parental rights.
    2. A known sibling, document the decision in the adoptees case record and the sibling's case record.
  16. An Open Communication Agreement must be signed by the following parties:
    1. Prospective adoptive family
    2. Birth parent(s), if applicable
    3. Known sibling(s), if applicable
    4. CASA/GAL or child's therapist, if applicable
    5. Area Administrator or designee
  17. The signed Open Communication Agreement needs to be submitted to both Juvenile Court at the relinquishment or termination hearing and Superior court for the adoption hearing.
  18. Maintain a copy of the agreement in the child's adoption file (legally free).
Cultural Considerations

Family Centered Approach:
The way CA staff engages the family (or fails to engage the family) can directly affect the willingness of the family to work with other members of 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.

For example:
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.

4340. Guardianship

Purpose Statement Provide permanency for children in out-of-home care. A permanent plan of guardianship provides long term permanency, safety, and well-being for the child.
Laws
Policy
  1. Permanent plan of guardianship must be in the child's best interest and specific criteria must be followed. Permanent planning must be in accordance with 4305 Permanent and Concurrent Planning and 4301 Shared Planning.
  2. Permanency planning continues until a permanency goal is achieved and ongoing until case closure.
  3. Guardianship may occur when a child cannot:
    1. Safely be reunified with his or her birth parents;
    2. Adoption has been determined not to be in the child's best
  4. Guardianships may be unsubsidized or subsidized in accordance with 43401 Relative Guardianship Assistance Program.
  5. Refer to 10.30 (E) ICW Manual when developing a permanent plan of guardianship for Indian children.
  6. Regional Administrator or designee approval is required prior to asking the court to support guardianship as a permanent plan.
  7. Dependency Guardianships established prior to June 10, 2010 may be converted to a Title 13 Guardianship in accordance with the procedures provided below.
  8. Guardianships should not be vacated or a Voluntary Placement Agreement (VPA) accepted in order to make a child eligible for foster care services. These options should only occur when safety issues arise or permitted by RCW.
  9. Licensed guardians are not required to maintain their license after the guardianship is established.
Procedures
  1. Determine and document that the decision to establish a guardianship is an appropriate permanent plan prior to court approval when the following are met:
    1. A 4301. Shared Planning meeting has been convened and it has been determined and the steps documented that return home or adoption is not appropriate.
    2. Efforts made to discuss and input received from the following persons:
      1. Child's Parents:
        1. Permanency options includes:
          1. Return home
          2. Adoption
          3. 3rd party custody
          4. Guardianship both subsidized and unsubsidized
        2. If the discussion with the birth parents did not occur then why the discussion did not occur.
      2. Current Caregiver:
        1. Permanency options includes:
          1. Return home
          2. Adoption
          3. 3rd party custody
          4. Guardianship both subsidized and unsubsidized
    3. Reasons why a permanent placement with a prospective guardian and the establishment of a guardianship is in the child(s) best interest and the following has occurred/applies.
      1. The relative guardian has a strong commitment to be a permanent home for the child.
      2. There is an emotional bond and a strong attachment between the child and the relative guardian(s).
      3. The guardian(s) is licensed as a foster parent.
      4. The child requests the permanent plan of guardianship and has lived with the relative guardian, in licensed foster care for six (6) consecutive months.
      5. The Permanency Planning Benefits and Limitation Matrix has been reviewed with the proposed guardian and youth. The proposed guardian understands requirements that in order to receive a guardianship subsidy per 43401 Relative Guardianship Assistance Program.
      6. The child's considerations for connections have been considered and will be met by the proposed relative guardian
      7. The child's medical issues are met by the proposed relative guardian
      8. The child has strong community ties, which may include church, school, relatives and friends.
  2. Ensure the proposed guardian is in agreement of the plan and has signed the Declaration of Proposed Guardian (Court Forms Title 13 Guardianship).
    1. Provide the proposed guardian(s) a copy of the Questions and Answers for Caregivers on Guardianship for Children in Foster Care.
    2. The social worker has verbally advised and documented the following discussion with the proposed guardians:
      1. Verbally advise the proposed guardian that the following services are not available under the Title 13 Guardianship include but not limited to:
        1. Mileage
        2. Travel reimbursement
        3. Respite care
        4. Clothing vouchers
        5. Child care
        6. Case aid services
        7. Tutoring
        8. Case management services
        9. Educational support
      2. Once a guardianship is established, the child is not in foster care and previous case management services are not available after the guardianship is established.
      3. The relative guardian may request additional services through community resources or through CA for Family Voluntary Services, Family Reconciliation Services or referrals to other services. Available services are dependent upon program eligibility criteria.
  3. Obtain Regional Administrator or designee approval prior to submitting a permanent plan of guardianship to the court.
    1. The assigned social worker will:
      1. Complete the Guardianship Approval Checklist DSHS 15-324 and attach all required documents.
      2. Provide the relative family with the RGAP paperwork to be completed and submitted to the RGAP Gatekeeper.
      3. Submit the request through your supervisor for approval to be sent to the Area Administrator.
      4. The Area Administrator must review all requests for a guardianship.
  4. Any person that is a party to the dependency proceeding may request a guardianship be established by filing a Title 13 Guardianship petition in juvenile court.
    1. A dependent child age 12 years or older is a party to the proceedings.
    2. A proposed guardian age 21 or over has the right to intervene in guardianship proceedings.
  5. Unsubsidized guardianships may proceed providing the above items have been met and the social worker has:
    1. Advised the proposed guardians of the option and requirements to be eligible to receive guardianship subsidy through CA.
    2. Advised the proposed relative guardian of the option to apply to receive benefits through the local community services office.
  6. Subsidized guardianships may be established Per 43401 Relative Guardianship Assistance Program.
    1. Notify the R-GAP gatekeeper when the guardianship is established for subsidized guardianships.

    NOTE: The amount of the monthly cash payment cannot exceed 80% of the amount the child would receive in foster family home and does not include additional services.

  7. All services provided prior to the establishment of the guardianship will be terminated on the effective date of the guardianship order.
  8. Request the dismissal of the dependency after the entry of the guardianship order.
  9. Dependency Guardianships established prior to June 10, 2010 may be converted to a Title 13 Guardianship under the following conditions:
    1. The dependency guardian and the department have both agreed to convert the existing dependency to a Title 13 Guardianship.
    2. The department or the dependency guardian may request a change in the guardianship to the juvenile court.
    3. When the court dismisses the converted guardianship the social worker can close the case.
  10. Case management and the borrowed bed fees will be terminated on the effective date of the guardianship order on families that are licensed by a private agency.
  11. Guardianship case closure
    1. All services will be terminated on the date of Title 13 Guardianship Order.
    2. Guardianship subsidies will continue on converted guardianship cases.
    3. CA will not be able to pay additional services after converting to a Title 13 Guardianship.
    4. Document in FamLink
  12. Modification of a guardianship order may occur upon the request of the guardian or the parent of the child. CA is not involved with Title 13 Guardianships once they are established.
  13. Termination/Vacating a guardianship order may only occur in rare instances and cannot be vacated to establish a child as a foster child in order to be eligible for additional services.
    1. An order of termination/vacating the guardianship can occur when the court has found:
    2. A substantial change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or the guardian since the guardianship order was finalized and that termination of the guardianship is necessary to serve the best interests of the child; or
    3. The parent is seeking to regain custody of a child age 12 years or older where evidence is provided to the court, based on change in circumstances since guardianship was established and that the:
      1. Parent has successfully corrected the parenting deficiencies identified in the dependency action and returning the child to the custody of a parent no longer creates a risk of harm to the child's health, safety or welfare.
      2. Child agrees to the terminating the guardianship and returning custody to the parent; and
      3. Returning the child to the custody of the parent is in the best interests of the child.
    4. Upon the entry of an order terminating a guardianship the court will:
      1. Grant custody of the child to the parent; or
      2. Grant custody of the child to a substitute guardian; or
      3. Grant temporary custody of the child to the department for placement
    5. When a guardianship is vacated and the child returns to foster care, the child should be placed with an appropriate out-of-home caregiver and create a new placement under the original case.
Cultural Considerations

Family Centered Approach:
The way CA staff engages the family (or fails to engage the family) can directly affect the willingness of the family to work with other members of 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.

For example:
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 with 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. Under Washington law, relatives are defined in RCW 74.15.020 (a)

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.

Considerations for Connections may include, but are not limited to: identifying and recognizing the child's cultural identity and their affiliations to their culture, tribe, religious/spiritual beliefs, recreational activities personal interests, friends, classmates, siblings, extended family, parents and other significant adults such as teachers, coaches or neighbors.

Forms and Tools
  • Permanency Planning Benefits and Limitations
  • Educational Resources for Youth (anticipated availability 1/2011)
  • Declaration of Proposed Guardian
  • Guardianship Approval Checklist
Resources
  • Affidavit by Proposed Guardian
  • Q&A Caregivers
  • Q&A Social Workers
  • Q&A Court
Suggested Practice Tips

Caregivers should always be considered and participate in case planning. It is helpful if you ask caregivers to answer the following questions to aid in developing in a permanent plan.

  • Does the caregiver:
    • Believe the best plan for the child is to remain in their home and be a part of their family?
    • Have support from family, friends, community etc?
    • Believe that the child is a permanent member of their family?
  • Is the caregiver:
    • Capable and interested in caring for the child/youth without the support of a social worker?
    • Capable and willing to address the educational, health, mental health and other needs of the child/youth?
    • Willing and able to continue providing a safe and stable home environment for the child/youth?

43401. Relative Guardianship Assistance Program (R-GAP)

Purpose Statement Support permanency for children placed with a licensed relative when return home and adoption have been determined not in the child's best interest. The Relative Guardianship Assistance Program (R-GAP) provides financial support to qualified relatives to care for children in their care.
Laws
Policy

    Eligibility:

  1. The Relative Guardianship Assistance Program (R-GAP) is a subsidy program for licensed relatives that enter into a guardianship for children in out-of-home care.
  2. A permanent plan of Guardianship is appropriate only when reunification with the parents and adoption and have been ruled out per 4305 Permanent and Concurrent Planning.
  3. The R-GAP subsidy is only available for licensed relative caregivers who meet the definition of relative per RCW 74.15.020(2)(a) Relative Definitions and the child is IV-E eligible.
  4. Children eligible for the R-GAP program are categorically eligible for Title XIX Medicaid benefits.
  5. DLR- Non-safety standards on a case by case basis when licensing relatives that intend to become a Title 13 Guardian may be waived through an Administrative Approval.
  6. A sibling is eligible for a guardianship subsidy under R-GAP when another R-GAP eligible sibling is placed in the same relative home.
  7. RGAP services may continue for youth 18 -21 years old who had a guardianships established after July 22, 2011 when the following applies:
    1. Youth achieved permanency through guardianship at the age of 16 or older and the youth is:
      1. Enrolled in high school; or
      2. Enrolled in a General Education Diploma (GED) Program or equivalent secondary education program.
      3. Enrolled, has applied or can show intent to timely enroll in post secondary or post secondary vocational education program.
      4. Youth achieved permanency through guardianship and the child has a mental or physical handicap which warrants the continuation of assistance.
  8. An R-GAP Agreement will remain in effect regardless of the guardian's state of residence unless anything in procedures E. applies.
  9. Agreement:

  10. Relative Guardianship Assistance Program Agreement (DSHS 15-391), must be signed prior to establishing a guardianship order.
  11. R-GAP Agreements are contracts between the relative guardian(s) and CA.
Procedures
  1. Determine and document the Guardianship is an appropriate permanent plan for the child(ren) because of the following reasons:
    1. Through a shared planning meeting per 4301. Shared Planning a determination is made that documents the steps taken to determine that return home or adoption is not appropriate.
    2. Efforts made to discuss:
      1. Adoption with the child's relative foster parent and reasons why adoption is not an option
      2. Guardianship with the parent/s about guardianship or reasons why the discussion did not occur
    3. Determine and document one or more of the following reasons why a permanent placement with a prospective relative guardian and receipt of guardianship subsidy through the R-GA Program is in the child(s) best interest:
      1. The relative guardian has a strong commitment to be a permanent home for the child.
      2. There is an emotional bond and a strong attachment between the child and the relative guardian(s).
      3. The relative is a licensed foster parent.
      4. The child has lived with the relative guardian in a licensed foster care for six (6) consecutive months.
      5. The Permanency Planning Benefits and Limitation Matrix (insert link) has been reviewed with the proposed caregiver and youth.
      6. The child's considerations for connections have been considered and will be met by the proposed relative guardian.
      7. The child's medical issues are met by the proposed relative guardian
      8. The child has strong community ties, which may include church, school, relatives and friends
  2. Determine the child meets the following R-GAP requirements:
    1. Has resided in the home of the licensed relative for six consecutive months.
    2. Dependent child of Washington State
    3. If age 14 and older child consents to the Guardianship as their permanent plan
    4. Is a sibling of an eligible child placed together in the same guardianship home
  3. Determine the relative caregiver meets the following R-GAP requirements:
    1. Is a relative as defined in RCW 74.15.020(2)(a) which does not include suitable person; and
    2. Has been licensed as a foster parent and has had the child placed in his/her care a minimum of six months prior to entering into a Guardianship order.
  4. Develop an R-GAP guardianship subsidy agreement for each eligible child:

    Social worker will:

    1. Provide relative guardian(s) with an R-GAP Application and Worksheet (DSHS 15-392 and 15-390) forms.
    2. Complete the child's section of the R-GAP application.
    3. Provide documentation of the licensure in the application packet.
    4. Notify IV-E Specialists to complete IV-E Federal Funding Eligibility Determination for R-GAP in FamLink then complete RGAP Eligibility Criteria tab.
    5. Submit the completed application packet to the R-GAP Regional Gatekeeper.

    Note: There are no income requirements for relative guardians to receive reimbursement for expenses associated with the R-GAP program.

    R-GAP Regional Gatekeeper will:

  5. Review application packet and:
    1. Determine IV-E eligibility status by reviewing IV-E Eligibility Determination (DSHS 14-319) form for R-GAP.
    2. Negotiate the monthly subsidy amount; approve any non-recurring expenses for the finalization of the guardianship with the relative guardian. Guardianship monthly subsidy amount cannot exceed 80% of the amount the child would receive if the child were in a foster family home and does not include additional services.
    3. Create and send the R-GAP agreement (DSHS 15-391) form to the relative caregiver for signature.
    4. Submit the signed R-GAP agreement to the appointing authority for signature.
    5. Provide a signed copy of the R-GAP agreement to the child's assigned social worker and to the relative guardian.
    6. Authorize appropriate RGAP service in FamLink for the agreed monthly subsidy and agreed non-recurring expenses.
    7. Update provider information by adding the child to the Non-CA Children in Placement group box on the placements tab in provider maintenance.
    8. Create amendments to the R-GAP Agreement upon the request of the relative guardian(s) and agreement of the department.
    9. End the RGAP service payment and open the RGAP over 18 service code for eligible youth.
  6. Terminate the R-GAP agreement according to the terms of the agreement or if one of the following occurs:
    1. The child reaches 18 years of age.
    2. The guardian no longer has legal responsibility for the child.
    3. The guardian is no longer providing financial support for the child.
    4. The guardian or child dies.
    5. The youth over age 18 has completed or is no longer enrolled in high school, G.E.D. program, equivalency program, secondary or post secondary vocational education program or has reached the age of 21 whichever occurs first.
  7. A fair hearing may be requested by any individual whose claim for Guardianship Subsidy through the R-GAP under title IV-E is denied or is not acted upon with reasonable promptness.
Forms and Tools
  • Permanency Planning Benefits and Limitations
  • Educational Resources for Youth
  • Declaration of Proposed Guardian
  • Guardianship Approval Checklist
Resources
  • RGAP Gatekeeper Quick Reference Guide (coming soon)
  • FamLink RGAP Aide (RGAP Agreement - QHG & RGAP over 18 - QHG
  • Affidavit by Proposed Guardian
  • Q&A Caregivers
  • Q&A Social Workers
  • Q&A Court
  • SSI & RGAP (coming soon)
  • Documenting a vacated guardianship FamLink aid (coming soon)
Suggested Practice Tips

Caregivers should always be considered and participate in case planning. It is helpful if you ask caregivers to answer the following questions to aid in developing in a permanent plan.

  • Does the caregiver:
    • Believe the best plan for the child is to remain in their home and be a part of their family?
    • Have support from family, friends, community etc?
    • Believe that the child is a permanent member of their family?
  • Is the caregiver:
    • Capable and interested in caring for the child/youth without the support of a social worker?
    • Capable and willing to address the educational, health, mental health and other needs of the child/youth?
    • Willing and able to continue providing a safe and stable home environment for the child/youth and after the age of 18 if the youth elects to participate in the extended foster care program to complete his/her secondary education?

4350. Status of Relatives of Specified Degree with Legally Free Children

  1. Children's Administration acknowledges a continuing relationship between relatives of specified degree and children whose parental rights have been terminated in those cases where the relatives choose to continue a relationship with the child and the continuing relationship is in the best interest of the child. This acknowledgment applies to all legally free children in the custody of the department. RCW 13.34.180, 13.34.210, 26.33.295, and 74.15.020
  2. Relatives of specified degree, as defined in RCW 74.15.020 and this Practices and Procedures Guide, chapter 5000, section 5230, remain legal relatives when a child becomes legally free if those relatives wish to maintain a relationship with the child and the social worker assigned to the child determines, consistent with the Shared Decision Making model contained in the CA Case Services Policy Manual, Appendix C, the continuing relationship to be in the best interest of the child.
  3. CA staff must treat relatives of specified degree as the staff treats all relatives of specified degree under the rules of the foster care and foster family home licensing programs.
  4. CA staff must treat these affected relatives of specified degree the same as all relatives of specified degree under the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) program.
  5. The rights of the affected relatives of specified degree do not extend beyond adoption of the child except through an open adoption agreement as described in RCW 26.33.295. See section 4330, above.
  6. In determining which adoptive placement is in the best interest of the child, family relationships will be only one of the factors considered by DCFS staff. Other factors include, but are not limited to:
    1. Attachment to and relationship with the child.
    2. History of parenting.
    3. Ability to meet the special needs of the child.
    4. Ability to meet the basic needs of the child.
    5. Family composition.
    6. Child's preferences.
    7. Ability to meet the cultural needs of the child. A placement resource need not be of the same ethnic background as the child in order to meet the ethnic or cultural needs of the child. Unless a compelling reason is identified, CA staff will not match children to a placement family on the basis of race.
  7. The rights of relatives of legally free Indian children, as defined in the CA Indian Child Welfare Manual, the Tribal-Washington State Indian Child Welfare Agreement of 1987, and the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 must be preserved in accordance with those requirements.

4400. TANF Benefits

Purpose Statement Family(s) receiving TANF benefits prior to child(ren) entering out-of-home care may be eligible for 180 days of ongoing benefits to support the goal of reunification. These benefits support families by maintaining housing and access to services or community supports.
Policy

When a child is removed from a parent's home, coordination must occur with Economic Services Administration (ESA) to discuss the parent's eligibility for 180 days of ongoing TANF benefits.

Procedures
  1. Provide ESA the following information to determine the parent's ongoing eligibility for TANF benefits while their child(ren) are in out-of-home care:
    1. Child's identified primary plan.

      Note: Return home is generally the primary plan for the child for the first 6 months in out-of-home care.

    2. Service Plan for the parent(s). (Discuss specific services designed to safely return the child(ren) home within 6 months).
  2. Provide ESA with case updates and family progress outlined in the timeframes below:
    • Open TANF cases
      • Prior to the 6 month dependency review hearing
      • When reunification of the child(ren) is imminent
      • When plan of reunification changes
    • Closed TANF cases
      • When referring parent(s) for new TANF application 30 days prior to the child(ren) returning home.
  3. Document the discussion and decisions in the electronic case file.
Cultural Considerations

Family Centered Approach:
The way CA staff engages the family (or fails to engage the family) can directly affect the willingness of the family to work with other members of 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.

For example:
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.

4410. Characteristics

4411. Mission and Values

For a description of CA's mission and values, see the CA Case Services Policy Manual, chapter 1000, section 1200.

4412. Supportive Services

Supportive services are those non-placement services available to either prevent the out-of-home placement of a child, reunify a family following placement, or maintain/improve functioning of a child in a placement setting. CA authorizes and provides all services within the context of a time-limited, goal-oriented case plan.

4413. Placement Services

Purpose Statement Ensure when a child is placed in out-of-home care the agency provides and shares all placement information known to the child's caregiver.
Laws

RCW 74.13.280 - Client Information

RCW 26.44.030 - Reports

Policy
  1. Caregivers of children in out-of-home placement must be provided all information about the child(ren) being placed in their care (For adoptive placements, see Section 45403 and for youth 17.5 years or older see Section 43103 (f)).
  2. When placing all youth identified as SAY or PAAY, SAY policy 45361 and PAAY policy 45362 must be followed
  3. Children must not be placed in the following locations:
    1. DSHS local offices
    2. Institutions not set up to receive foster children, such as adult mental hospitals or detoxification facilities where children and adults commingle.
Procedures
  1. Share child specific information with caregivers including but not limited to:
    1. Child Information/Placement Referral form (DSHS 15-300)
    2. Reasons for placement including any abuse and neglect history
    3. Health, mental health, education report or information known about the child
    4. Child specific safety concerns and safety planning
    5. Child specific case plan for permanency and well-being
    6. Information on all youth identified as SAY, PAAY, high risk, and sexually reactive/problematic per RCW.13.280 and as identified per SAY/PAAY policy 4536.
    7. Child Health and Education Tracking Screening Report (DSHS 14-444)
    8. Court Hearing Notice-report to the court Cover Letter (DSHS 15-319)
    9. Report to the court (DSHS 15-209)
    10. Shared planning meeting notice may be given by telephone, face to face contact, e-mail or written notification using the Caregiver Staffing Notice Form (DSHS 15-311)
    11. Child Supervision Plan (DSHS 15-352)
    12. Shared Planning Meeting and Checklist for Youth Exiting Care (per Section 43103 (f)).
  2. Complete and provide the Child Information/Placement Referral form DSHS 15-300 to caregivers in one of the following circumstances:
    1. No later than 72 hours after initial placement.
    2. No later than 24 hours after an urgent change in placement. Urgent is defined as one of the following:
      1. A court order has been entered requiring an immediate change in placement.
      2. The child is unsafe.
    3. At or before a planned change in placement.
  3. Document that the completed Child Information/Placement Referral form was provided to the caregiver by uploading into FamLink a:
    1. Signed and dated copy of the form, or
    2. Copy of the email sending the completed form to the caregiver.
  4. Complete and provide the Health, Mental Health and Education Report to caregivers when new health, mental health, and/or education information is obtained about the child.
  5. Notify and share information with the child's Guardian Ad Litem/Court-Appointed Special Advocate, when:
    1. A report is received of alleged abuse or neglect is involving a dependent child.
    2. A disposition of the investigation is complete.
  6. Prior to placing a youth identified as SAY or PAAY, SAY policy 45361 or PAAY policy 45362 must be followed.
  7. Obtain Regional Administrator approval prior to placing any child in an apartment or motel with a licensed foster parent, relative or caregiver.
  8. Document when and what information has been shared with the caregiver in case note section of the electronic case file and place a copy of any written documentation in the child's file.
Cultural Considerations

Family Centered Approach:
The way CA staff engages the family (or fails to engage the family) can directly affect the willingness of the family to work with other members of 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.

For example:
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.

Visual Aids Information Sharing Quick Reference
Forms and Tools

Youth Supervision and Safety Plan Tips

Youth Supervision and Safety Plan 15-352

SAY/PAAY Policy Summary

Statewide SAY and PAAY Quality Assurance Plan

See Also

For more detailed information about information sharing refer to these policies in the Practice and Procedures Guide and the Permanency Planning Guide

4301. Shared Planning
43063. Compelling Reasons
43091. Individual Service and Safety Plan
43092. Child Health and Education Tracking
4421. Health and Safety of Children
45203. Procedures for Access
4530. Foster Care
4536. Sexually Aggressive Youth Program
45362. Physically Assaultive/Aggressive Youth
Permanency Planning Practice Guide
CHET Practice Guide

4420. Monthly Visits with Children, Out-0f-Home and Caregivers and Parents

Approval

By: Jennifer Strus, Asst. Secretary

Effective Date: April 30, 2007

Revised Date: June 12, 2014

Sunset Review: June 2018

Purpose Statement Monthly visits are face-to-face visits with children, parent(s) and caregiver(s) conducted by the assigned CA worker that provide ongoing assessments of the health, safety, permanency and well-being of children and promote achievement of case goals. The visits are well-planned and involve the child, out-of-home caregiver, and all known parents in all cases of children in CA custody and cases that are open for in-home voluntary services.
Policy
  1. Children in CA custody must receive private, individual face-to-face Health and Safety visits by the assigned CA worker every calendar month, not to exceed 40 days between visits.
    1. The first visit must occur within one week (seven calendar days) of the child's initial placement or any change of placement. (Placing a child is not considered a Health and Safety visit.)
    2. For children who are in an in-home dependency and children who are returned home on a trial home visit, all Monthly Health and Safety visits must occur in the home where the child resides. (This does not preclude additional visits outside the home.)
      1. Children ages 0-5 years require two in-home visits every calendar month for the first 120 calendar days of an established in-home dependency.
    3. (One of the two visits may be conducted by a CA paraprofessional or contracted provider). For children who are in out-of-home placements, the majority of Health and Safety visits must occur in the home where the child resides. If the CA worker visits the child in another location, the CA worker must document the reason and benefit gained.
  2. Children not in CA custody who receive in home voluntary services; Family Voluntary Services (FVS) or Family Reconciliation Services (FRS) must have face-to-face Health and Safety visits by the assigned CA worker every calendar month, not to exceed 40 days between visits. The majority of the Health and Safety visits must occur in the home where the child resides.
  3. Out-of-home caregivers must receive face-to-face monthly visits by the assigned CA worker every calendar month, not to exceed 40 days between visits. Visits with children and caregivers may occur during the same face-to-face monthly visit.
  4. All known parents or legal guardians involved in shelter care, dependency proceedings or voluntary services must receive face-to-face monthly visits by the assigned CA worker every calendar month until the case is closed or the child becomes legally free or the court determines that reasonable efforts towards reunification are no longer required. See list of exceptions below in procedures G.1.

    For in-home and out-of-home cases, "parents" includes: The child's biological parents, or the child's primary caregiver(s) with whom the child lives or for whom the child was removed.

  5. All known parents or legal guardians who receive in-home voluntary services, Family Voluntary Services (FVS) or Family Reconciliation Services (FRS) must have face-to-face monthly visits by the assigned CA worker every calendar month until the case is closed.
  6. All visits must be documented in a case notes within 3 calendar days of the visit occurring.
  7. CA must conduct an unannounced social worker visit with caregivers in 10% of randomly selected homes. The caregivers requiring an unannounced visit are randomly selected in FamLink.
Procedures
  1. Health and Safety Visits According to Case Type:
    1. Children in their own homes
    2. The assigned CA worker conducts monthly visits in the following cases:

      1. In-home dependencies, including dependent children who return home on a trial return home or remain home under the jurisdiction of the court until dismissal of the dependency (See Practices and Procedures {P&P} Section 43051A).
      2. Courtesy Supervision when requested.
      3. Interstate Compact on Placement of Children (ICPC) cases.
      4. Family Voluntary Services (FVS) and Family Reconciliation Services (FRS)
      5. Voluntary Service Agreement (VSA) (See P&P Section 2440) cases.
      6. Child Protection Services (CPS) cases open beyond 90 days until the case is submitted for case closure. Note: Visits may be conducted by another case carrying CPS worker with the approval of the assigned CPS worker's supervisor.
    3. Children in out-of-home care
    4. The assigned CA worker conducts monthly visits in the following cases:

      1. When a dependency petition is filed or established and the court has ordered that the child reside in out-of-home placement (includes youth in the Extended Foster Care Program).
      2. When the child is placed under a Voluntary Placement Agreement (VPA) (See P&P Section 4307).
      3. Courtesy Supervision cases.
      4. Interstate Compact on Placement of Children (ICPC) cases. When an interstate compact agreement is made with another state to provide services, the CA worker will request, in writing, the following actions be completed by the receiving state:
        1. conduct monthly face-to-face CA worker visits (not to exceed 40 days between each visit) and
        2. submit a report to CA on the visits on a monthly basis.

      Note: The receiving state may contract with a private agency for such visitation.

  2. The assigned CA worker visits with child
  3. At each visit, the worker, at-a-minimum, completes the following activities:

    1. Assesses for present danger per Child Safety Section policy
    2. Observes:
      • How the child appears developmentally, physically and emotionally;
      • How the parent/caregiver and the child respond to each other;
      • The child's attachment to the parent or caregiver; and
      • The home environment (when the visit occurs in the home where the child lives). If there are changes to a licensed foster home(such as new family members) the CA worker must notify the licensor.
    3. Discusses with the verbal child(ren) in private, separate from the parent/caregiver, either in the home or in another location where the child is comfortable.
    4. Discussion will include:

      • Inquiry as to whether the child feels safe in their home or placement
      • Inquiry about the child's needs, wants and progress
      • How visits with siblings and parents are going
      • Inquiry about participation in and interest in normal childhood activities
      • Case activities and planning such as visits and permanent plan.
    5. Confirms that each child capable of reading, writing, and using the telephone has a card with the CA worker's name, office address, and phone number.
    6. Discusses specific objectives outlined in the 43066. Pregnant and Parenting Policy with pregnant and parenting youth.
  4. Assigned CA worker Coordination with Federally Recognized Tribes
    1. Contact the child's Tribe(s) to discuss and plan how to involve the Tribe(s) in the monthly visits. Document the contact and plan in the case notes.
    2. Contact non federally recognized tribes when a parent(s) wants their involvement and has signed a release.
  5. Assigned CA worker with the Out-of Home Caregiver
  6. The worker conducts monthly in person visits with the out-of-home caregiver. The location of the visit may vary. During the visit with the out-of-home caregiver, the worker:

    1. Discusses the child's well-being and permanency goals;
    2. Observes the child and caregiver relationship and home environment when a visit occurs in the caregiver's home;
    3. Assesses the caregiver's ability to provide adequate care and maintain placement stability;
    4. Identifies any support or training needs;
    5. Inquires about the child's visits with siblings and parents and how child is responding; and
    6. Discusses any normal childhood activities in which the child is participating or in which she or she is interested.
    7. Communicates the parent's opinions regarding their child's participation in normal childhood activities.
  7. Assigned CA worker Visits with Known Parent(s) or Legal Guardians
    1. Assigned CA worker must conduct monthly in person visits with all known parent(s) or legal guardians involved with the case plan in the following circumstance:
      1. CPS investigation cases open beyond 90 days
      2. CPS FAR cases open beyond 45 days
      3. In-home services case, FVS or FRS
      4. CFWS cases with children who remain in the home or placed in out-of-home care.
    2. The majority of monthly visits should occur where the parent(s) reside but may occur in other agreed locations.
    3. Assigned CA worker and parent visits must focus on:
      1. Case planning, service delivery and goal achievement;
      2. Progress made to eliminate or manage the identified child safety threats;
      3. Barriers to needed services;
      4. Permanency planning for the child;
      5. Child and parent visitation; and
      6. Review of a child's interest in and pursuit of normal childhood activities.
    4. The assigned CA worker monthly visits with out of state parent(s) or incarcerated parent(s) may occur:
      1. In person
      2. By telephone
      3. By mail
  8. Assigned CA Worker Documentation
  9. Document health and safety visits in case notes within 3 calendar days of each visit in the following manner:

    1. Use the following codes for visits and attempted visits for all children
      1. Health and Safety Visit (assigned CA worker)
      2. Health and Safety Visit (attempted) *use to document efforts to conduct the Health and Safety Visit. An actual visit must take place for compliance with policy.
      3. Health and Safety Monitoring Visit (Conducted by Other Agency) used only for:
        1. Out-of-state ICPC Cases,

          Note: A visit by a CPA worker does not relieve CA workers from completing their monthly visits. Both visits MUST be documented in FamLink.

        2. Use the following code for visits with out-of-home caregivers:

        3. Monthly Caregiver Contact (in-Person)
      4. Document worker visits with each parent for each child (on a case) who requires a visit. Select and use the following parent visitation activity codes:
        1. Visit-SW Parent (Mother).
        2. Visit-SW Parent (Father).
        3. Visit-SW Parent (Attempted).
  10. Assigned CA Worker Visit Exceptions
    1. Use and document only the following visitation exceptions on the Extension/Exception Page in FamLink:
      1. The mother or father(s) whereabouts is unknown after performing ongoing diligent efforts as per 4423 Relative Notification Policy & 5750 Shelter Care Policy to locate them.
      2. A parent was located but the parent indicated no interest in being involved in the child's life or refuses to have contact with the agency.
      3. Visit between the CA worker and the father or mother is contrary to the child or CA worker safety.
      4. Parental rights for the mother or father were terminated with no plan for parental involvement.
      5. Father or mother is deceased.
  11. Supervisors must approve the visit exception within 3 calendar days of social worker's request and discuss during Monthly Supervisory Case Reviews, per policy.
  12. Use the Monthly Caregiver Contact (in-person) code for visits with caregivers.
  13. Unannounced Assigned CA Worker Monthly Visit with Caregiver
    1. The assigned CA worker conducts an unannounced visit with a caregiver within 30 days of receiving the automated notification from FamLink.
    2. During the visit the worker will complete steps D (1-5) above.
    3. When the unannounced visit occurs within the monthly visit timeline, this visit meets the monthly caregiver visit requirement in addition to the unannounced monthly visit requirement.
    4. An assigned CA worker may conduct an unannounced home visit in any placement setting when child safety is in question.
  14. Use the following activity code for the randomly selected visit
    1. Unannounced Assigned CA Worker Monthly Visit
      1. Unannounced Health and Safety Visit or
      2. Unannounced Health and Safety Visit Attempted
See Also 1100 Child Safety Policy
2332 FAR Policy
2440 Voluntary Case Plan Policy
4423 Relative Notification Policy
43051A Trial Return Home Policy
4307 Voluntary Placement Agreement Policy
4430 Courtesy Supervision Policy
46100 Monthly Supervisory Case Reviews Policy
5300 Interstate Compact on Placement of Children (ICPC) Policy
5750 Shelter Care Policy
6100 Client and Travel Policy
Resources Caregiver Guidelines for Foster Childhood Activities
Monthly Health & Safety Visits - Child Checklist
Monthly Health & Safety Visits - Caregiver Checklist
Monthly Visits With Parents Desk Aide
Travel Quick Reference Guide

44201. Social Worker Monthly Health and Safety Visits for Youth in JRA Facilities

442011. Purpose

Monthly contacts by a CA social worker with a dependent youth committed to Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration (JRA) addresses on-going case planning issues and treatment progress to support the youth's permanency following discharge.

442012. Policy

  1. The CA social worker will talk with the JRA counselor and dependent youth each month and address treatment progress, case planning, discharge planning, and other relevant monthly visit issues.
  2. The CA social worker will determine on a case-by-case basis the frequency of the face-to-face contact with the youth based on individual case needs.

442013. Procedure

  1. Contact JRA counselor and dependent youth on a monthly basis. Contact may be by phone or in person.
  2. Document contact in FamLink using the "Health and Safety monitoring visit conducted by other agency" code.
  3. Consider the following factors when determining if a face to face visit should occur:
    1. Current needs of the youth based on consultation with the JRA counselor and youth.
    2. Legal status of the youth.
    3. Involvement of the youth's family.
    4. Contact with other significant adults outside the facility.
    5. Permanent plan and necessary steps to achieve it.
    6. Length of time until discharge, with particular consideration given to attendance at the Pre-Release Transition Planning meeting.
  4. Coordinate schedules with the JRA counselor and youth at a time most appropriate to the youth's treatment program and school schedule.

Note: Do not request courtesy supervision for monthly visits with dependent youth in JRA, as it does not meet the purpose of the policy.

4421. Smoking Near Children

44211. Purpose:

This policy ensures compliance with RCW 74.13 that sets child safety as a paramount goal in caring for children who are in the department's custody. The legislature has recognized "the increasing evidence that tobacco in closely confined places may create a danger to the health of some citizens of this state". The State Department of Health and the American Lung Association have both issued reports concluding that second hand smoke is particularly harmful to children. Additionally RCW chapter 70.160 prohibits smoking in any public place except for designated smoking areas.

44212. Policy

The policy prohibits smoking by CA staff when acting in any official capacity with client children and foster youth 18-21 years of age. Smoking is prohibited while transporting client children under age 18 and foster youth 18-21 years of age when using either state vehicles or private vehicles. It further prohibits smoking when there is direct contact with client children under age 18 and foster youth 18-21 years of age such as talking with a child outside of a building, going to a cafe for refreshments, or any public venue where smoking may be permitted.

44213. Definitions

  1. A "public place" is defined as "that portion of any building or vehicle used by and open to the public, regardless of whether the vehicle is owned in whole or in part by private persons or entities, the state of Washington, or other public entity, and regardless of whether a fee is charged for admission".
  2. "CA staff" refers to all employees of the Children's Administration of the Department of Social and Health Services and also includes volunteers, and interns. After July 1, 2004, contractors shall be subject to the same restrictions under this policy as CA staff.
  3. "Client Children" refers to any child(ren) that is receiving services from DSHS in any capacity.

44214. Procedure:

  1. Smoking Prohibited in Presence of Client Children and Foster Youth:
    1. Pursuant to CA Policy 02-10 (applicable to contractors after July 1, 2004), smoking in the presence of DCFS client children is prohibited under the following circumstances:
      1. When transporting client children under age 18 and foster youth 18-21 years of age;
      2. When there is direct contact with client children under age 18 and foster youth 18-21 years of age such as talking with a child or accompanying a child, even when in a public place where smoking may otherwise be permitted; and
      3. The contractors shall ensure that after July 1, 2004, the Contractor's staff, employees, volunteers, and subcontractors comply with the policy against smoking in the presence of client children and foster youth as outlined above.

4422. Guidelines for Client Referrals to Contractors

  1. Social Workers must provide contractors with written information regarding referred cases. The release of information to contracting agencies is permitted under RCW 13.50.100. The social worker provides the following information in the initial referral, when available and applicable:
    1. Date and time of referral.
    2. Inclusive dates of service authorization.
    3. Purpose of the referral. Provide a clear statement to the contractor regarding type of case; e.g., crisis intervention, child abuse, reunification, etc., and the services to be performed.
    4. Clear, written expectations to the contractor; e.g., "This is a CPS case. Please provide unannounced visits, document your observations, and report them to the assigned social worker."
    5. Description of family strengths and extended family networks (if known).
    6. Family members' responses to current and past services.
    7. Known or suspected past or current mental health, developmental, or other health related disabilities and conditions.
    8. Known or suspected past or current involvement with drugs, alcohol, or illegal activities.
    9. Copy of current report to the court.
  2. The social worker complies with the following procedures for ongoing case management:
    1. Keep the contractor informed of new developments/concerns regarding referred case.
    2. Keep a written record of required reports, noting date due, date received, acceptable, non-acceptable, etc.

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