4519. Concrete Goods

Approval: Jennifer Strus, Asst. Secretary

Effective Date: May 1, 2014

Revised Date: July 23, 2017

Sunset Review: July 23, 2020


Purpose 

Assist children and families with concrete goods when those goods or expenditures support child safety, reduce risk of abuse or neglect, prevent out-of-home placement, support out-of-home placement, or facilitate safe reunification. The assistance is intended to remove concrete barriers for successful achievement of case plan goals.

Scope

This policy applies to Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) caseworkers and Division of Licensed Resources (DLR) licensors.

Policy

  1. In-home and out-of-home concrete goods are provided to a child or family when:
    1. Funding is available and approved.
    2. Purchases are made using the most economical and reasonable approach.
    3. Concrete goods meet an identified need through the assessment and supports the case plan per 1140 Family Assessment policy.
  2. Approvals for in and out-of-home concrete good expenditures:
    1. Up to $200 may be approved by the caseworker.
    2. $201 to $500 must be approved by the supervisor.
    3. $501 to $1200 must be approved by the area administrator.
    4. $1201 or more must be approved by the regional administrator.
  3. In-home concrete goods
    1. Are provided to a child or family to maintain child safety and reduce risk, prevent placement or to remove barriers to facilitate a trial return home. Concrete goods include but are not limited to: child safety items, clothing, shelter, furniture, utilities, transportation, or paraprofessional services not available for purchase through a Children's Administration (CA) service contract.
    2. Before in-home concrete goods are authorized:
      1. There is documentation of need either in the assessment or written proof of need, e.g., disconnection notice of utilities or eviction notice.
      2. The family must be willing and able to cooperate with services.
      3. The family must have a plan that will continue to maintain the support provided temporarily by CA. The concrete goods are not intended to be an ongoing means of support.
  4. Out-of-home concrete goods
    Are provided to support parent-child visits or promote the plan for reunification when the child is placed in out-of-home care. Concrete goods include, but are not limited to: games, books for visits, clothing, furniture, or paraprofessional services not available for purchase through a CA service contract.
  5. Out-of-home concrete goods for kinship caregivers who are unlicensed or have a pending foster care license, are flexible in nature and can be used to: 
    1. Support or maintain the placement. 
    2. Facilitate the home study or licensing process including purchase of items required for home study or licensing approval. Purchases or approvals may be completed by DCFS caseworkers or DLR licensors.
  6. Follow 4527. Kinship Care policy when considering concrete goods for a child placed in licensed kinship care.
  7. Concrete goods can be used for the following:
    1. For clothing, follow 4537. Clothing Allowance for Children in Out-of-Home Care.
    2. Housing payment and utilities
      1. Provide first and last months' rent when the family is moving.
      2. Authorize only non-refundable cleaning or security deposits.
      3. Rent (not intended to be ongoing).
      4. Back payments for utilities, garbage pick-up, etc.
    3. Gift cards
      1. Use small denomination gift cards to support transportation of parents to services and visitation, not to exceed $15 per card.
      2. Several cards may be provided to the parent, but should be signed out using the case identification number.
    4. Vehicle repairs which allow parents to go to work, participate in services or parent-child visits, or support their ability to increase their child’s safety.
    5. Food assistance for out-of-home concrete goods should be used to support parent-child visits when a family does not qualify for Community Services Office basic food program.
    6. Food assistance for in-home concrete goods should be authorized until a family becomes eligible for the following or until they can provide sufficient food on their own.
      1. Basic Food through the Department of Social and Health Services Community Services Office (CSO).
      2. The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program.
  8. Payment
    1. The DCFS caseworker initiates a payment request by creating a service referral through casework in FamLink, to generate the authorization.
    2. The DLR licensor sends the Support Funds Form DSHS 06-135 to the DLR regional staff.
    3. The DLR regional staff will:
      1. Order the items identified on the form using the online retailer guide located on the DLR Programs page on the CA intranet. If an item is not listed on the guide, seek approval from the licensing supervisor.
      2. Document the child’s FamLink identification number on the online retailer’s website.
      3. Send the Support Funds Form DSHS 06-135 and receipt to the Headquarters Fiscal Integrity Team.  
  9. Documentation
    1. The DCFS caseworker documents in a FamLink case note how the provision of:
      1. In-home concrete goods will meet, increase, maintain, or establish child safety, reduce risk or stabilize reunification.
      2. Out-of-home concrete goods will support parent-child visits and/or promote the plan for reunification.

Resources