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  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 4: Case Plans and Case Management Services
4-1 Initial Case Plan

 

Case Plans and Case Management Services
4-1 Initial Case Plan
Reference Points
Overview
DFCS Policy on Case Plans
Who Must Develop the Case Plan
Preparation for Developing the Case Plan
Engaging the Family in the Case Plan Process
Prerequisite Updating of the Client Notebook in CWS/CMS
Steps for Creating the Case Plan in CWS/CMS
Goals and Objectives
Case Plan Pages
Documenting SW Planned Contact for Youth on Runaway Status
Printing the Case Plan
Approving the Case Plan
Reviewing the Case Plan with the Parents and Child
When a Non-Dependent Sibling of a Dependent Child Enters the Child Welfare System
Other References


Reference Points
Effective Date: 8/1/08
Last Updated: 6/23/10
 Legal Basis:
PDF California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Manual of Policies and Procedures (MPP) Division 31-101.512; 31-205.47; 31-206; 31-210.1; 31-215 Regulations
PDF CDSS MPP Division 31-405.5 and 31.445.2
PDF CDSS MPP Division 31-525.11-.15
Popup Window Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) § 16001.9
Popup Window Welfare and Institutions § 16501.1(a); 16501.1(e); 16501.1 (f)(4); 16501.1(f)(9); 16501.1(f)(12); 16501.1(g)(5)(b)(9)
PDF All County Information Notice ACIN I-64-03:  Family Engagement in Case Planning
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word Family Social and Medical History Form (SCZ 222)
MS Word Voluntary Family Maintenance Agreement (SC 1380)
MS Word

Informal Supervision Agreement (SC1649)

 CWS/CMS Forms:
bullet Client Management Section: Client Notebooks
bullet Case Management Section: Case Plan
bullet Comprehensive Assessment Tool (CAT)- Continuing Services


Overview  

Case planning clarifies the expectations of the social worker and the family regarding the intended outcome of child welfare services.  The case plan is a joint social worker-family effort that results in a written agreement between the parents/guardians and the Department of Family and Children's Services (DFCS).

DFCS is committed to ensuring that parents and children are involved in the case plan process from its beginning.  Social workers shall engage the family members in a collaborative and supportive manner and encourage them to be active participants in the process.   An interactive process with the family is necessary in order to complete a comprehensive assessment of a child's needs and develop a relevant service plan. 


Full disclosure is provided to parents in all stages of case planning.  Informing parents of what the benefits and consequences are of not completing case plan services within a prescribed time is a principle of concurrent planning.

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DFCS Policy on Case Plans  

DFCS policy regarding case plans, which follows from state laws and regulations, is as follows:

  • Case plans must be approved by the social work supervisor online in CWS/CMS and by the supervisor signing and dating the hard copy case plan.
  • Initial case plans must be completed and approved online in CWS/CMS within 30 days of whichever of the following is the earliest date:
    • First contact with the child by the ER social worker or
    • Removal of the child from the family home, or
    • The jurisdictional hearing.
      • This applies to all social workers who complete initial case plans.

  • Case plans must be updated a minimum of every six months.
    • At a minimum, the case plan shall be updated in conjunction with each status review hearing but no less frequently than once every six months. ( WIC § 16501.1)

  • Social workers make concerted efforts to actively involve the mother, father and child(ren) in the case planning process.

  • A Comprehensive Assessment Tool - Continuing Services is completed with every initial case plan and case plan update.
  • For each Case Plan created for a child under DFCS supervision receiving Informal Supervision and Voluntary Family Maintenance services, a corresponding Case Plan Family Assessment is created in CWS/CMS.
  • For Case Plans Updates completed for dependent children under court supervision, the social worker is required to complete the Family Assessment Update section of the Case Plan. 
    • Social workers are highly encouraged to create Case Plan Family Assessments in CWS/CMS for each child under DFCS supervision receiving court-ordered Family Maintenance, Family Reunification, and Permanency Planning services for whom a CWS/CMS Case Plan is created. 

 

  • Contact exceptions (waivers) must be documented in the Case Plan.
    • Case plans are updated at the time a contact waiver is approved.

  • The social worker provides the substitute caretaker with a copy of the child's Client Responsibility Sheet, which is derived from the child's case plan.
  • All parents or legal guardians receiving services are given the opportunity to review and sign the case plan and receive a copy of the Case Plan.
  • A child who is 12 years of age or older and in a permanent placement is given the opportunity to review and sign the case plan and receive a copy of the case plan.  [(WIC § 16501.1(f)(12)]
  • The dates upon which the parents and/or children reviewed and signed or declined to sign the case plan are entered in the Case Plan ID page.
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Who Must Develop the Initial Case Plan  
  • When an Emergency Response (ER) or Dependent Intake (DI) social worker offers Voluntary Family Maintenance (VFM) or Informal Supervision (IS) services, the VFM or IS social worker completes the Initial Case Plan, unless the case is not received by the VFM or IS social worker within 15 days of the initial face-to-face contact with the child.
    • If a VFM or IS case is not received by the VFM or IS social worker within 15 days of the initial face-to-face contact with the child, the ER or DI social worker must complete the Initial Case Plan.
    • When voluntary services are offered, the case plan is developed from the VFM, IS or Voluntary Placement Agreement.
    • If a parent refuses to sign a case plan for a voluntary program, voluntary services cannot be offered. 

  • When a child is removed from his or her home and a petition is filed, the Dependent Intake social worker completes the Initial Case Plan.
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Preparation for Developing the Case Plan  

Prior to developing the Initial Case Plan, the social worker must make an assessment of the family by:

  • Reviewing the CAT tools:
    • Response Determination and
    • Emergency Response - Initial Safety Assessment and Referral Disposition.

  • Reviewing the referral folder and/or Intake Packet.
  • Confirm that the information in CWS/CMS is current and complete.
    • Create and/or update all Client Notebooks.
  • Review any TDM Safety Plan and incorporate the goals and objectives of the Safety Plan within the case plan.
    • Do not attach the TDM Safety Plan to a court report.
  •  
  • Complete the CAT - Continuing Services Assessment Tool.
  • Discuss the case plan with the parents and child, if the child is 12-years-old and in permanency planning, and request that they participate in the development of the plan.
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Engaging the Family in the Case Plan Process  

Family-centered case planning ensures the involvement and participation of family members in all aspects of case planning, so services are tailored to best address the family's needs and strengths. It includes the family members' recommendations regarding the types of services that will be most helpful to them, timelines for achieving the plan, and expected outcomes for the child and family.

The social worker:

  • Encourages the parents and child to participate in the development of the case plan.
    • Explain the purpose of the case plan and that the plan is flexible according to the changing needs of the family.
    • Schedule a meeting that focuses on the development of the case plan.
    • Explain the terms used in the plan in language that the child can understand.
  • Involves the parents and child in a discussion of the case plans goals around concern for the child's safety and well-being.
  • Focuses on family strengths, with specific attention to culture, traditions, values and lifestyle as a means to build a bridge for case planning and service delivery.
    • Actively involve the parents in identifying strengths and needs.
    • This objective my be accomplished during a TDM.
  • Helps the family define what each member can do for themselves and where other family members may be of help.
    • Ask what the family has done in the past in order to successfully solve problems.
    • Ask the parents and child to identify services and service providers that have helped them in the past.
  • Discusses the relinquishment option and provides full disclosure to the participants regarding time frames of reunification and the consequence of not meeting the limits.
    • Use the approach that the agency wants to help the parents meet the time limits.
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Prerequisite

Updating of the Client Notebook in CWS/CMS

 

Before creating the Initial Case Plan, a social worker must update the Client Notebook and case information for each child in CWS/CMS.  If there are siblings to be included in the Case Plan, the information discussed below must be verified in each sibling's CWS/CMS case notebook.

Case Notebook

  • Projected End Date
    • Found on the Case Notebook ID page, this date is an estimate of how long it will take the child to exit the child welfare system.

  • Case Status
    • Found on the Case Notebook ID page, the information indicates whether the case is voluntary or there is court involvement.
      • When there is a change in case status between voluntary and court involvement, click the  (+)  under Case Status before changing the actual Status button.
      • Social workers may need to consult with Dependent Intake (DI) Control Clerks ( 408-975-5411) for help with the Case Status date.

  • Service Component
    • Found under the Svc Comp tab of the Case Notebook, this indicates the service program under which the family is receiving child welfare services.
      • The court orders the service program for the family and/or child, except for cases in the per-dispositional phase, during which the service program reflects whether the child has been removed from the parents or legal guardians (Family Reunification) or is living with the parents or legal guardians (Family Maintenance).
      • Any changes in the program that the social worker makes to this field should be reported to the DI Control Clerk or South County Control Clerk, so that case counts remain correct.



Client Notebook

In the Client Management Section (blue button), the Client Notebook for each case plan participant must be opened and the information for the following fields must be verified and/or completed.

  • Under the ID Page Tab
    • Middle Name
    • Social Security Number
    • Date of Birth
    • Language
    • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic or Latino Origin
  • Under the Demo Page Tab
    • Education Information
      • If neither box is checked, the social worker describes in narrative the plans/attempts to acquire the education information.
    • Health Information
      • If the box is not checked, the social worker describes in narrative the plans/attempts to acquire the health information.
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Steps for Creating the Initial Case Plan in CWS/CMS  

Creating the Initial Case Plan

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Goals and Objectives  

The goals and objectives of the case plan must follow from the assessment of the family, including strengths and contributing risk factors.  If a petition has been filed on the case, the goals and objectives must follow from the allegations on the petition.  For example, a parent would not be required to drug test, if there are no allegations on the petition alleging substance abuse. The social worker may individualize the case plan from the list of options provided in CWS/CMS. 

The overall number of objectives to be worked on at any one time are limited to those essential to a minimally acceptable level of parenting.  Specifically in voluntary cases, two or three objectives are usually sufficient.

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Case Plan Pages  

The Case Plan In CWS/CMS has seven tabs representing seven pages or sections in the case plan to be addressed.  They are:

 

ID Page

This section of the case plan is mostly self-populating.

The social worker:

  • Ensures that the information is accurate and current for all participants by making sure that the Client Notebooks are accurate and current.
  • Completes the Participants' Review table of the ID page.
  • After completing the case plan and reviewing it with the parents and/or children:
    • Enters the dates that the case plan participants reviewed and signed the case plan.
      • In addition to parents, children who are 12-years-old and older in in Permanency Planning must be given, by law, an opportunity to review and sign the case plan.

 

Case Plan Participants Page

For this page, the social worker selects:

  • The case plan participants, which include the focus children and the parents.
  • A case plan goal
  • The projected goal completion date for each focus child.
  • Whether the child was assessed by adoptions and, if so, the outcome of the adoption assessment.
  • The Concurrent Plan for the child.

 

Contributing Factors Page

This page is completed for Case Plans for families receiving Voluntary Family Maintenance or Informal Supervision services.  Completion of this page is not required for Case Plans for court dependent children.  However, the information regarding contributing factors must be incorporated in the corresponding court report.

 

Strengths Page

This page is completed for Case Plans for families receiving Voluntary Family Maintenance or Informal Supervision services.  Completion of this page is not required for Case Plans for court dependent children.  However, the information regarding family strengths must be incorporated in the corresponding court report.

 

Service Objectives Page

For this page, the social worker:

  • Identifies service objectives and client responsibilities for each case plan participant, including specific activity, frequency and projected completion date.
    • Limit the service objectives and responsibilities to four or five of those that are most relevant to the case plan goals and reflect the recommended court orders.  If necessary, use the Description narrative box to detail the objectives.

 

Planned Client Services Page

For this page, the social worker:

  • Identifies for each participant a category(ies) of service(s) and service type.
  • Provides start and end dates for each service.
    • Limit the planned services to four or five of those that are most relevant to the case plan goals and reflect the recommended court orders.  If necessary, use the Description narrative box to detail the planned services.

 

Case Management Services Page

For this page, the social worker:

  • Chooses:
    • Service Category - Case Management Services
      • Choose Arrange Visitation from the Service Type drop down menu and detail the visitation schedule between the child and the child's:
        • Parents
        • Siblings
        • Grandparents
          • Do not leave any of the areas blank.  If visitation will not occur between the child and any of the above listed parties, indicate why visitation is not scheduled.

      • Choose SW Plan Contact from the Service Type drop down menu and detail the contact schedule between the social worker and the:
        • Child
        • Parents
        • Substitute Care Provider

      or indicate why the social worker has no planned contact with any of the above parties.

    • Services Category - Family Engagement
      • Choose one or more family engagement options from the drown down menu under the Service Type field.

     


    • Two additional items from the Case Management Services category or any of the other Service Categories.
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Documenting SW Planned Contact for Youth on Runaway Status  

Because social workers are unable to make monthly contacts directly with youth on runaway status, specific documentation must be entered into CWS/CMS to indicate that the youth is unavailable for contact.

CWS/CMS Instructions for  Excluding Runaway or Abducted Children in Contacts

DFCS policy regarding youth on runaway status is for social workers to make monthly efforts to contact individuals significant to the youth in order to make inquiries that may  possibly lead to information regarding the whereabouts of the youth.   The monthly contacts with these individuals and/or other efforts to locate the youth is documented in a CWS/CMS Contact.

Additionally, if the placement for the youth is not going to continue, the social worker end dates the placement by submitting a Placement/Address Change form (SCZ17), Scenario A — "Child's Whereabouts Unknown (Case Remains Open)" to the Placement Tracking Team (PTT).

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Printing the Case Plan and Related Documents  

When the case plan has been completed in CWS/CMS and before it is approved by the social work supervisor, the social worker prints the case plan.

  • If an English/Spanish Case Plan is chosen, when printing, both an English and Spanish case plan print out.
  • A Spanish-only case plan cannot be printed.
  • Only the Case Plan Headings are printed in Spanish on the Spanish version of the Case Plan.  The body of the report prints in English.
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Approving the Case Plan  

Case plans must be approved by social work supervisors online in CWS/CMS and the hard copy document must be signed and dated by both the social worker and supervisor.

Social Worker

 

The social worker:

Social Work Supervisor

When receiving the case plan for approval, the social worker supervisor:

  • Reviews the case plan and each supporting document, including the CAT, for compliance with DFCS policies, mandatory and/or regulatory issues and appropriate selection of the case plan goal and the services necessary to meet the goal.
  • If approved, signs and dates the hard copy document of the case plan.
  • Approves the case plan online in CWS/CMS .
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Reviewing the Case Plan with the Parents and Child  

After the case plan is approved by the social work supervisor, the social worker:

  • Discusses the approved case plan with the parent/guardian and the child, if the child is old enough to participate in the development of the plan.
  • Requests that the parents/guardians sign the case plan.
    • If the parents/guardians cannot be located or decline to sign the Case Plan, provide an explanation in the signature block.
    • If the social worker is unable to obtain the parents'/guardians' signatures, services are still provided.

  • Requests that the child, if over 12-years-old and receiving Permanency Planning Services, sign the case plan.
    • Create a signature block in the case plan for any child 12 years or older and in a permanent placement.
      • If the child cannot be located or declines to sign the Case Plan, provide an explanation in the signature block.
      • If the social worker is unable to obtain the parents'/guardians' signatures, services are still provided.

  • Provides a copy of the approved case plan to the parent/guardian and the child if the child is over 12-years-old and receiving Permanency Planning services.
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When a Non-dependent Sibling of a Dependent Child Enters the Child Welfare System   When a non-dependent sibling of a dependent child enters the child welfare system, either through voluntary or court-ordered services, the social worker completes a new Initial Case Plan for the new non-dependent sibling and integrates the sibling into the original dependent child's case plan at the time of that child's case plan update.
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Other References  
MS Word2 Updating the Client Notebook and Case Information in CWS/CMS
bullet2 OPP Chapter 4-1.1: Case Plan Family Assessments
bullet2 OPP Chapter 4-2: Case Plan Updates
bullet2 OPP Chapter 4-3: Transitional Independent Living Plan (TILP)
bullet2 OPP Chapter 4-4: Domestic Violence: Services and Case Plans
MS Word2 How to Print Out Case Plan Transitional Independent Living Plan
MS Word2 How to Print Out Case Plan Service Objectives and Client Responsibility Sheet
bullet2 OPP Chapter 5-1: Health and Education Passport (HEP)
bullet2 OPP Chapter 10-1: Contact Requirements
bullet2 OPP Chapter 10-2: Contact Waivers
MS Word2 How to print the case plan
bullet2 Instructions for Pending Approval of the Case Plan in CWS/CMS
bullet2 Instructions for Approving the Case Plan on CWS/CMS-Supervisor
MS Word2

OPP Chapter 16-5: Education Stability Plan & Documentation in Case Records

 

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