5201. Emergency Planning for Licensed and Unlicensed Caregivers

Purpose

  1. To store current licensed and unlicensed caregiver(s) name, address and phone number and emergency contact information for all children in out-of-home care, in case of a disaster or emergency.

Policy

  1. The assigned DLR licensor (licensed placements) and the assigned Social Worker (unlicensed placements) will ensure the following information is documented in the information management system:
    1. Emergency Contact Name; Recommend One In-State and One Out-of-State Contact
    2. Current Address for Caregiver and Emergency Contact Person(s)
    3. Current Phone Number(s) for Caregiver and Emergency Contact Person(s) (As applicable)
  2. The licensor and/or social worker as applicable is responsible for reviewing and updating this information as change occurs and at a minimum once a year.

Service Description

  1. After considering the custodial or the non-custodial parent as a placement resource, DCFS regards relatives to be the first priority for placement of children who are removed from their homes. The relatives must be assessed as being appropriate to the child's needs and capable and willing to cooperate with the case plan. The search for relatives shall continue as long as it is in the best interest of the child or until the permanent plan for a child has been completed. The social worker shall document all search efforts for relatives.
  2. When a child is being placed through a voluntary placement agreement the social worker shall request from the parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s) information regarding relatives who could be considered as possible placement resources by the department.
  3. For a child placed by court order, the court order shall include specific language requiring the parent(s) or legal guardian to provide information regarding relatives or other suitable persons who could be considered as possible placement resources by the department.

Eligibility

Relatives who can assist DCFS and the family in meeting the child's needs are eligible for consideration for placement. Relatives are considered to be those persons who are related to the child by blood, marriage, or adoption. Some relatives who are more distantly related must be licensed as family foster homes. RCW 74.15.02

Procedures

  1. Relatives of the child exempt from licensing
    1. Persons related by blood, marriage, or legal adoption to the child, through the mother or presumed or biological father, including:
      1. Grandparent
      2. Step Parent
      3. Brother
      4. Step Brother
      5. Sister
      6. Step Sister
      7. Uncle
      8. Aunt
      9. Nephew
      10. Niece
      11. First Cousin
      12. Second Cousin
    2. Persons of preceding generations related by blood or adoption as denoted by prefixes of grand, great, and great-great.
    3. Spouses of the above persons, even after the marriage is terminated.
    4. Relatives of any half-sibling of the child as stated above.
    5. "Extended family members" as defined by law or custom of the Indian child's tribe or, in the absence of such law or custom, a person who has reached the age of 18 and who is related to the child as defined in this section and further including second cousin and brother-in-law or sister-in-law.
    6. Unless known to the child or family and approved for placement by the court, any other relatives, including relatives of alleged fathers, must be licensed if DCFS or a child placing agency makes or supervises the placement. See the Case Services Policy Manual, Appendix A, for the definition of "alleged father."
  2. To consider a relative, who is exempt from licensing as a caretaker, the social worker completes a home study/assessment (per Section 45274 Relative Placement Home Study). The worker completes the study prior to placement, except in the case of a parent making the placement before DCFS takes custody or pursuant to a Shelter Care order or a Dependency disposition order.