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  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 2: Case Plans and Case Management Services
4-2   Case Plan Updates

 

Case Plans and Case Management Services
4-2  Case Plan Updates
Reference Points
Overview
DFCS Policy for Case Plans
Preparing for the Case Plan Update
Engaging the Family in the Case Plan Update
Creating the Case Plan Update in CWS/CMS
Completing the Case Plan Update
Printing the Updated Case Plan
Approving the Case Plan
When the Court Orders Services that Are Different from Those in the Case Plan
Documenting SW Planned Contact for Youth on Runaway Status
Documenting SW Planned Contact for ICPC Children
Other References


Reference Points
Effective Date: 8/1/08
Last Updated: 6/23/10
 Legal Basis:
Popup Window Welfare & Institutions Code (WIC) § 16501.1
Popup Window

All County Letter (ACL) 08-51: Social Worker Responsibility to Educate Foster Children on Foster Youth Personal Rights

PDF All County Information Notice (ACIN): I-34-07: Recording Social Worker Contacts in the Child Welfare Services/Case Management System
PDF ACIN I-64-03:  Family Engagement in Case Planning
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word Family Social and Medical History Form (SCZ 222)
 CWS/CMS Forms:
bullet Case Plan Management Section: Case Plan Update


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 and encourage them to be active participants.  A successful case plan is based on a comprehensive assessment of strengths and needs, including presenting issues, ways the family has been more successful in the past dealing independently with these issues, and underlying issues that must be resolved before any strategies can be successful. 


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

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DFCS Policy for 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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Preparing for the Case Plan Update  

When preparing to update the case plan, the social worker:

  • Reassesses the needs of the child and family.

  • Gathers the child's educational information such as grade level, performance, and the need for an Individualized Educational Plan.

  • Requests written reports from therapists, drug treatment counselors, parenting class instructors, etc. 
    • Review and file the reports.  Update the Service Provider notebook.

  • Continues completion of the Family Social and Medical History Form (SCZ 222).

  • Completes the CAT - Continuation and Placement Tool.
    • Do not submit the CAT with the court report.

  • Updates client notebooks in CWS/CMS if there is new information or if the information has changed.
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Engaging the Family in the Case Plan Update  

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 update.
    • 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 update.
    • Explain the terms used in the plan in language that the child can understand.
  • Involves the parents and child in a discussion of the updated case plans goals around concern for the child's safety.
  • 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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Creating the Updated Case Plan in CWS/CMS  

Click here for instructions for creating the Case Plan Update in CWS/CMS.

When creating the Case Plan Update, a dialog box appears that asks, "Would you like to include the Family Assessment Update section on the report?"  The social worker clicks the "Yes" button.  Three items appear in a Family Assessment Update section on the Case Plan:

  • Significant Changes
  • Current Condition Of Child(ren) And Family
  • Family’s Perception Of Their Needs

The social worker is required to respond to each of these items in written narrative form.  The responses may be cut and pasted in the court report under corresponding headings.

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Completing the Updated Case Plan in CWS/CMS  

The Case Plan Update is completed in CWS/CMS by filling in the same pages as are filled in for the initial case plan.

See OPP Chapter 4-1: Initial Case Plan / Section: Case Plan Pages.

  • The goals and objectives of the case plan update continue to follow from the assessment of the family, including strengths and contributing risk factors. 
  • 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. 
  • Case Management Services must include:
    • Arrange Visitation
      • Update the fields for Child-Parent/Legal Guardian Visitation; Child-Sibling Visitation; and Child-Grandparents Visitation.
    • SW Planned Contact
      • Update the fields for Social Worker-Child Contacts; Social Worker-Parent/Legal Guardian Contacts; Social Worker-Care Provider Contacts. 
    • Provide Your Rights Brochure
  • Family engagement services must be included in case management services.
    • Choose Family Engagement as a Service Category on the Case Management Services Page.
    • Choose one or more family engagement options from the drown down menu under the Service Type field on the Case Management Services Page.
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Printing the Case Plan Update  

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

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.

For Case Plan Update approval, the social worker:

  • Reviews the Case Plan for completeness.
  • Submits a signed hard-copy version of the Case Plan to the social work supervisor for approval. 
  • After the supervisor signs and dates the hard copy Case Plan Update, submits to the supervisor the electronic document in CWS/CMS.
  • Has the parents and, if appropriate, the child review and sign the Case Plan Update.
    • A child 12 years and over and receiving Permanency Planning services must be given an opportunity to review and sign the Case Plan Update.
    • Create a signature block in the case plan for any child 12 years or older and in a permanent placement.
    • If the parent or child cannot be located or declines to sign the Case Plan Update, provide an explanation in the signature block.
  • Enters in CWS/CMS on the Case Plan ID page the dates the case plan participants reviewed and signed the Case Plan.
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When the Court Orders Services that Are Different from Those in the Case Plan  

If the Court does not order the social worker's recommendation and/or makes additional orders, upon receipt of the Court Minute Order or notification by the Court, the social worker immediately:

  • Updates the Case Plan in CWS/CMS.
  • Prints and signs a hard copy of the Case Plan Update.
  • Has the social work supervisor sign and date the hard copy.
  • Submits the electronic Case Plan Update to the social work supervisor for online approval in CWS/CMS.
  • Prints out copies for the parents and, if applicable, the child and has them sign the Case Plan Update.
  • Files the hard-copy of the case plan in the case file.

 

Case Plans must be updated before being transferred to another social worker when the Court makes different or additional orders from those recommended by the social worker.

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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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Documenting SW Planned Contact for ICPC Children   CWS/CMS Instructions for  Excluding ICPC Children (children placed in another state)
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Other References  
bullet2 OPP Chapter 4-1:  Initial Case Plan
PDF OPP Chapter 16-5: Education Stability Plan & Documentation in Case Records
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