3100. Family Reconciliation Services

Approval:             Connie Lambert-Eckel, Acting Assistant Secretary

Original Date:      December 15, 1996

Revised Date:      October 19, 2017

Policy Review:     October 19, 2020


Purpose

Family Reconciliation Services (FRS) are voluntary services designed to resolve problems related to family conflict, at-risk youth, or a child who may be in need of services. These services are provided to alleviate personal and family situations which present a serious and imminent threat to the health and stability of the family and reunify the family, maintain the family unit or avoid out-of-home placement.

Scope

This policy applies to Children’s Administration (CA) staff.

Laws

RCW 13.32A   Family Reconciliation Act

43.185C.290   Youth services - Child admitted to secure facility - Maximum hours of custody - Evaluation for semi-secure facility or release to department of social and health services - Parental right to remove child - Reconciliation effort - Information to parent and child - Written statement of services and rights - Crisis residential center immunity from liability

43.185C.315  Youth services - HOPE centers - Establishment - Requirements

Policy

  1. The caseworker must:
    1. Contact the family within twenty-four hours of being assigned the case, excluding weekends and holidays, to schedule an interview and assessment.
    2. Complete a Family Assessment  with the involvement of a multidisciplinary team, if applicable, to determine available services to keep the family intact.
    3. Complete in FamLink, the Commercially Sexually Exploited Child (CSEC) screening tool DSHS 15-476 if a youth is suspected, indicated or confirmed of being a CSEC.
    4. Refer a child or youth with complex behavioral health needs for a Wraparound Intensive Services (WISe) screen per 9717 WISe policy.
    5. Follow policy 1160 Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) for youth indicated or confirmed CSEC.
    6. Follow policy 4420 Health and Safety Visit requirements for all cases open beyond 60 calendar days.
    7. Upon request by the parent or child complete a Family Assessment for Child In Need of Services (CHINS) or At-Risk Youth (ARY).
    8. File a CHINS petition on behalf of the youth when no dependency is being pursued, the parent has not filed an ARY petition, and the Department is asking the court to approve an out-of-home placement under the following circumstances:
      1. The child has been admitted to a crisis residential center or has been placed by the department in an out-of-home placement, and:
        1. The parent has been notified that the child was so admitted or placed.
        2. The child cannot return home and legal authorization is needed for out-of-home placement beyond seventy-two hours.
        3. No agreement has been reached between the parent and child as to where the child shall live.
        4. No child in need of services petition has been filed by either the parent or child.
        5. The parent has not filed an at-risk youth petition; and
        6. The child has no suitable place to live other than the home of his or her parent.
      2. The child has been admitted to a crisis residential center and:
        1. Seventy-two hours, including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, have passed since such placement.
        2. The staff, after searching with due diligence, have been unable to contact the parent of such child, and
        3. The child has no suitable place to live other than the home of his or her parent.
      3. An agreement between the parent and child made pursuant toRCW 13.32A.090(3)(d)(ii) or pursuant to RCW 13.32A.120(1) is no longer acceptable to the parent or child, and:
        1. Seventy-two hours, including Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, have passed since such notification.
        2. No new agreement between parent and child as to where the child shall live has been reached.
        3. No child in need of services petition has been filed by either the child or the parent.
        4. The parent has not filed an at-risk youth petition; and
        5. The child has no suitable place to live other than the home of his or her parent.
      4. The petition must:
        1. Be filed in the county where the parent resides.
        2. Allege the child is a CHINS.
        3. Ask only that the placement of a child outside the parent’s home be approved.
    9. Authorize emergency medical and dental care if a youth is placed in out-of-home care on a CHINS order.
    10. Request a dismissal of a CHINS out-of-home placement no more than 180 calendar days from the initial review hearing (9 months total).
    11. When requested, assist the parent in filing an ARY petition in the county where the parent resides and allege that:
      1. The child is an at-risk youth.
      2. The parent has the right to legal custody of the child.
      3. Court intervention and supervision are necessary to assist the parent in maintaining the care, custody and control of the child.
      4. Alternatives to court intervention have been attempted or there is good cause why such alternatives have not been attempted.
    12. Close case after 30 days unless referred for contracted services, or a CHINS or ARY petition have been filed or granted.
    13. Close case once contracted services, CHINS or ARY end.

Procedures

  1. The caseworker must:
    1. Assess the family and refer to appropriate services to avoid out-of-home placement.
    2. Report to intake when any child in an open case is believed to be at imminent risk of serious harm or there is a new allegation of child abuse or neglect
    3. Staff case with supervisor if:
      1. Services other than family crisis counseling is needed.
      2. The case needs monitoring or services beyond 30 days.
    4. Make a referral to a contracted service provider when appropriate.
    5. If ordered by the court, for a CHINS or ARY dispositional hearing:
      1. Submit a dispositional plan,
      2. Monitor compliance with the dispositional order,
      3. Assist in coordinating the provision of court-ordered services, and
      4. Submit reports at subsequent review hearings regarding the status of the case.
    6. Request dismissal of the CHINS when it is not feasible for CA to provide services due to one or more of the following circumstances:
      1. The child has been absent from court approved placement for 30 consecutive days or more;
      2. The parents and/or the child refuse to cooperate in available, appropriate intervention aimed at reunifying the family; or
      3. The department has exhausted all available and appropriate resources that would result in reunification.

Forms

Commercially Sexually Exploited Child (CSEC) Screen DSHS form 15-476

Family Assessment DSHS form 15-279