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  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 7: Relative Home Approvals
7-5 Relative Home Approvals for Children Placed Outside of Santa Clara County

 

Relative Home Approvals
7-5 Relative Home Approvals for Children Placed Outside of Santa Clara County
Reference Points
Overview
RHAs for Relatives Residing in Other Counties
Relative Home Assessments for Relatives Residing in Other States (ICPC)- Preliminary Steps
Requesting ICPC Relative Home Assessments
Criminal Record Checks for Persons in Other States
If Placement is Made in Another State
When An Approved Relative Moves Out-of-State with the Child
Periodic Verification
RHAs for Other Countries
Adoption Cases
Other References


Reference Points
Effective Date: TBA
Last Updated: 3/21/07
 Legal Basis:
pdf

California Code of Regulations: Foster Homes

Title 22, Division 6, Chapter 9.5

Popup Window Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) § 361.4
pdf California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Manual of Policy and Procedures (MPP), Division 31-435
pdf CDSS MPP Division 31-401
Popup Window Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) 16501.1
Popup Window Family Code Section 7911.1
pdf All County Letter (ACL) #05-13 - Relative and NREFM Home Approvals - Frequently Asked Questions
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word Assessment Request From Non-Contiguous County
bullet SOC-815-817-818 Combined
 

MS Word SOC-815-817-818 Combined / English

MS Word SOC-815-817-818 Combined / Spanish - 817-818

MS Word SOC-815-817 Combined/Vietnamese - Caregiver

Acknowledgement and Agreement

    pdf Caregiver Declaration and Agreement - Vietnamese (SOC 818)

MS Word Sheriff's Dept. Criminal Record Check Request (CLETS) Combined SCZ 686A - SCZ 152 for Caregivers and Volunteers
MS Word Caregiver Information Sheet (SCZ 200A)
MS Word Placement/ Address Change (SCZ 17)
 CWS/CMS Forms:
bullet Approval of Caregiver Home (SOC 815)
bullet Checklist of Health and Safety Standards (SOC 817)
bullet Caregiver Assessment - Declaration and Agreement (SOC 818)
bullet ICPC 100A, Interstate Compact Application Request to Place Child
bullet ICPC 100B, Interstate Compact Report on Child's Placement Status


Overview  

Regardless of where a child is place, the caregiver and the caregiver's home must meet minimal foster home licensing standards in their locale.

DFCS social workers are responsible for completing or assuring the completion of assessments/reassessments of relative and non-relative extended family member (NREFM) homes in Santa Clara County and all other counties in California.  For out-of-state placements, through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), DFCS social workers are responsible for ensuring that relatives meet the licensing standards in the state where the child is placed.

    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
RH Assessment Requests for Relatives Residing in Other Counties  

All relative and NREFM caregivers in California must meet the same foster home standards to be certified as approved caregivers. (California Code of Regulations: Foster Homes Title 22, Division 6, Chapter 9.5, Article 3).

DFCS social workers may request courtesy assistance with relative home assessments in other counties from the child welfare agency in the county in which the relative resides.  There is agreement among a majority of California counties to assist each other in approving relative and non-relative extended family member (NREFM) homes located outside the county of jurisdiction.  Not all counties are included in the agreement, though those that are not included may agree to assist with the approval process if contacted. 

  • Requesting Assistance from a County Which Is Not Participating in the Intercounty Agreement                                                              

    When a prospective relative/NREFM home is located in a county which is not participating in the Intercounty Agreement, the social worker:

      • Uses the Relative Approval County Contacts list, to identify a supervisor or manager in the county in which the prospective caregiver resides.
        • Counties in white are not participating in the agreement.
      • Discusses the request for assistance with the home approval and reassessments.
      • Seeks agreement on the suggested division of responsibilities outlined in the Intercounty Agreement Guidelines.
      • If agreement is reached for the receiving county to assist, enters a secondary assignment in CWS/CMS to the social worker in the receiving county.

    Whether the other county agrees to assist with the approval or not, the responsibility of ensuring that the approval process, as well as all reassessments, is conducted remains with the DFCS social worker.

 


  • Requesting Assistance from a County Which Is Participating in the Intercounty Agreement
 

    When a prospective relative/NREFM home is located in a county which is participating in the Intercounty Agreement, the social worker:

    • Uses the Relative Approval County Contacts list, to identify a supervisor or manager in the county in which the prospective caregiver resides.
      • Counties highlighted in yellow are participating in the agreement.
    • Asks the supervisor or manager in that county for assistance with the initial approval.

 


DFCS Social Worker Responsibilities when Participating County Assists

  • Enter a secondary assignment to the social worker in the receiving county.

  • Completes the Assessment Request from Non-Contiguous County.
  • Provides the receiving county with an assessment of the child's needs.
    • A letter or copy of a court report.


  • Completes all criminal clearances.
    • Provide LiveScan forms and instructions to all persons requiring criminal clearances. (WIC § 361.4)
    • Verify from the Live Scan DOJ results that DFCS will receive subsequent arrest notification for each person for whom criminal records were checked.

  • Processes any necessary request for:
  • Secures funding for purchases needed for a corrective acton plan for the relative/NREFM home.
     
  • Enters a secondary assignment to the social worker in the receiving county.




Receiving County Social Worker Responsibilities when Participating County Assists

  • Notifies requesting county of receipt of assignment.

  • Completes the Checklist of Health and Safety Standards for Approval of Family Caregiver Home (SOC 817).

  • Develops any necessary Alternative Plan (DAP) or Corrective Action Plan (CAP).
    • Santa Clara County may be asked to participate with the caregiver in financing purchases necessary to complete a CAP.

  • Completes the Relative or Non-Relative Extended Family Member
    Caregiver Assessment (SOC 818) in assessing the caregiver's ability to care for the child's needs.
    • Obtain necessary signatures on the form.


  • Conducts training and orientation for the caregiver, including information regarding the child's personal rights.
  • Faxes the SOC 817 and SOC 818 to the social worker in the requesting county.
  • Mails originals of the SOC 817 and SOC 818 to the social worker in the requesting county.

 

   If..

Then the DFCS Social Worker..

The caregiver is approved

Completes the Approval of Family Caregiver Home (SOC 815) for supervisory signature.

If the child is placed, submits to the PTT:

  • Caregiver Information Sheet (SCZ200A)
  • Placement/Address Change Form (SCZ17)
  • Copies of the SOC 815, 817 (with any DAP or CAP) and 818.
  • Combined SOC 815, 817-818 Cover Sheet.
The caregiver is approved and the child is not placed with the caregiver

Notifies the caregiver in writing:

  • That he/she has been approved as a caregiver but is not being recommended for placement and
  • The reason why he/she is not being recommended for placement.

The caregiver is not approved

Sends the caregiver:

  • Denial of Caregiver Home Approval (SCZ 200Q)

    and, if applicable

  • The letter regarding denied exemption request and/or administrative finding of unsuitability.




If the prospective caregiver who is denied approval or placement of the child requests a grievance review hearing:

  • The DFCS social worker:
    • Works with the receiving county to arrange any grievance review hearings requested by the prospective caregiver.
      • Notifies receiving County immediately upon receipt of a request for a grievance hearing.
      • Participates in administrative hearing and provides hearing officer with necessary information (may be done via teleconference).
  • The receiving county social worker:
    • Assists with grievance review hearings by providing location and testimony, as needed.

 

NOTE: Santa Clara County may additionally ask the receiving county for ongoing courtesy supervision of the relative of NREFM placement, whether or not the receiving county assists with the approval or reassessment.  A separate request must be made for courtesy supervision.

    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Relative Home Assessments for Relatives Residing in Other States (ICPC) - Preliminary Steps  

When a dependent child under DFCS supervision is placed out-of-state, the caregiver and caregiver's home must meet the licensing standards in the state where the child is placed.  If the state licenses their relative caregivers as part of their Title IV-E eligibility process, the relative caregiver must be licensed in that state in order for the placement to be eligible for IV-E reimbursement.  Reassessment are completed only if it is a requirement of the receiving state.



Preliminary Questions

Prior to requesting an ICPC home study, the social worker must know:
  • If the child is "federally eligible?"
    • Eligibility in regards to federal foster care funding under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act.
  • If the child is placed with the relative out-of-state, what funding would the relative choose to receive?
    • Title IV-E foster care funding.
      • Same rate as paid in the receiving state.
      • This is only an option if the child is federally eligible.
    • California CalWORKs non-needy relative funding .
      • May be more than the receiving state's foster care rate.
      • This is only an option if the child is federally eligible.
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
      • Paid by the receiving state.
      • This is an option whether or not the child is federally eligible.

  • If the child is federally eligible and the relative would choose Title IV-E funding, what kind of home study is required?
    • If the state licenses their relative caregivers as part of their IV-E eligibility process, then the relative caregiver must be licensed in that state in order to be eligible for IV-E reimbursement.
    • If the state does not license their relatives as part of their IV-E eligibility process, the relative caregiver must meet any other standard the state requires in lieu of licensing for IV-E funding.

 

 

Step I.

The social worker asks the eligibility worker :
  • If the child is federally eligible.
  • How much a relative in California receives from CalWORKS as a non-needy relative?
  • If Medi-Cal is the child's medical coverage, or if the child has another type of medical coverage.

 

 

 

 





Step II.

Identifying Funding Options

If the child is federally eligible, the social worker asks the child welfare agency in the receiving state.. If the child is NOT federally eligible, the social worker asks the child welfare agency in the receiving state..
  • If a relative must be a licensed foster parent in order to receive IV-E foster care funding in that state.

    or

  • If there is another status that allows the receiving state to pay IV-E funding for placement of a child in that state.

 

  • What the foster care rate is for a federally eligible child in placement with a relative caregiver who qualifies to receive IV-E funding.
  • If the relative could apply for non-needy relative welfare benefits (TANF) for the child in the receiving state, if the child were placed with the relative.
    • If yes, how much would the relative receive?
  • If a relative must be a licensed foster parent in order to care for a relative child placed through ICPC.

 

  • If the relative could choose to apply for non-needy relative welfare benefits (TANF) for the child in the receiving state, if the child is placed with the relative?
    • How much would the relative receive?
    • Would the child be eligible for that state's Medicaid?

 



Step III.

Providing Information to the Caregiver

If the child is federally eligible, the social worker.. If the child is NOT federally eligible, the social worker..
  • Provides the relative with information about the
    • IV-E foster care rate
    • CalWORKs relative benefit rate and
    • TANF non-needy relative benefit through the receiving state
       
  • Asks the caregiver to make a preliminary decision about which funding source he/she would select, if the child were placed.

 

  • Informs the relative about the child's medical coverage and, if the child has no other medical coverage, that the child is eligible for medical coverage from the receiving state.
  • Provides the relative with information about the
    • CalWORKs relative benefit rate and
    • TANF non-needy relative benefit through the receiving state
       
  • Asks the caregiver to make a preliminary decision about which funding source he/she would select, if the child were placed.

 

  • Informs the relative about the child's medical coverage and, if the child has no other medical coverage, that the child will be eligible for Medi-Cal from California and that there are limitations to using this coverage such as:
    • Emergency treatment for the child in the receiving state
    • Medical and dental care can only be provided by an approved (by California Medi-Cal) provider.

 

 

Step IV.

Determining the Type of Home Study Required

Consult with the DFCS ICPC Coordinator about what type of study will be appropriate to request on the Interstate Compact Placement Request (ICPC 100A)

If the receiving state.. Then the social worker requests a..
Licenses all of their relatives Foster Home Study
Will only assess the relative and home according to licensing standards by actually licensing the relative Foster Home Study

Licenses all of their relatives as a part of their IV-E eligibility process, and:

  • the child is federally eligible and
  • the relative preliminarily chose IV-E foster care funding
Foster Home Study

Licenses all of their relatives as a part of their IV-E eligibility process, and:

  • the child is federally eligible and
  • the relative preliminarily chose CalWORKs relative benefits rather than IV-E foster care funding
The type of study recommended by the receiving state.

Licenses all of their relatives as a part of their IV-E eligibility process, and:

  • the child is federally eligible and
  • the relative preliminarily chooses TANF relative caregiver rates that are available from the receiving state
The type of study recommended by the receiving state.

Does not license relatives, and

  • the child is federally eligible and
  • the relative preliminarily chose IV-E foster care funding
The type of study recommended by the receiving state that would enable the relative to receive IV-E foster care funding.

Does not license relatives, and

  • the child is federally eligible and
  • the relative preliminarily chose CalWORKs relative benefits, rather than IV-E foster care funding
The type of study recommended by the receiving state.

Does not license relatives, and

  • the child is federally eligible and
  • the relative preliminarily chooses TANF relative caregiver rates that are available from the receiving state
The type of study recommended by the receiving state.
    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Requesting ICPC Relative Home Assessments  

The social worker initiates an ICPC request by submitting the following documents to the DFCS ICPC Coordinator for review and forwarding to the ICPC Coordinator in the receiving state.

  • A cover letter stating:
    • Name(s), address(es), telephone number(s) and relationship(s) of the prospective relative caregiver(s).
    • Name(s), age(s), gender(s) and current living situation of the child(ren) to be place.
    • Case plan goal:
      • Family Reunification: State the anticipated date by which reunification must occur.
      • Permanency Planning: State the anticipated permanent plan (pending 366.26 hearing) or court-ordered permanent plan (after the 366.26 hearing).

  • A request for the receiving state to inform the DFCS social worker whether periodic license renewal or a Relative Home reassessment is required in the receiving state if placement is made.
  • A list referencing the following other referral documents:
    • A fully completed ICPC-100A form.
    • A “Federal Medical (Title IV-E) Eligibility/Ineligibility and Medical/Financial Plan” form (SC 692) completed and signed by the child’s eligibility worker.
    • A copy of the court order pursuant to which DFCS (the sending agency) has authority to place the child and stating the service program (FM, FR or PP).
    • A case history for the child (Court reports may be submitted and augmented with additional and/or updated information in the cover letter.)
    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Criminal Record Checks for Persons in Other States  

The caregiver, all adults in the caregiver's home and any adult who has significant contact with the child are required to have criminal and child abuse record checks.  Ordinarily, the DFCS social worker can forgo arranging the criminal record check and can rely on the receiving state's agency to follow its local criminal clearance requirements and procedures as a part of the home study/licensing process.

The social worker cannot receive criminal background checks on individuals in other states through the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department using the SCZ 686A form.  The only way for the DFCS social worker to receive criminal record information on individuals in other states is to arrange for Live Scan fingerprinting in the receiving state (if it is available) and for results to be sent to DFCS.

If the social worker determines that it is necessary to arrange for a criminal record check on an individual in a relative home in another state, the social worker should first verify that Live Scan fingerprinting is available to the individual in the other state by calling the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the area in which the individual resides.  If Live Scan fingerprinting is available, the social worker requests assistance to arrange for the fingerprinting from the DFCS Live Scan staff at 975-5116.

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If Placement is Made in Another State  

Following the receipt of the home study and the ICPC 100A showing that the receiving state has approved placement, the social worker:

  • Sends the DFCS ICPC Coordinator a completed Interstate Compact Report on Child's Placement Status (ICPC 100B) to notify the receiving state of the date of the placement.
  • Forwards to the PTT:
    • A copy of the ICPC 100A showing the receiving state's approval for the placement of the child.
    • The appropriate Placement/Address Change (SCZ 17)

The PTT forwards the copy of the ICPC 100A and signed SOC 158 to the assigned eligibility worker.

    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
When An Approved Relative Moves Out-of-State with the Child  

If a relative family with a current relative home approval is moving to another state more than 45 days in future, the normal procedures outlined above are applicable.  In submitting the request for home study, the social worker should make it specific and clear in the cover letter where the family will be residing (address) and that the family is not yet in the receiving state. The anticipated date of their arrival should also be included. As much information as reasonably possible must be provided to the receiving state concerning the location and character of the family in the receiving state.

If a relative family with a current relative home approval is moving to another state in 45 days or less, the referral documents listed above are immediately prepared, promptly processed by the DFCS ICPC Coordinator and submitted to the receiving state’s Compact administrator. The DFCS ICPC Coordinator shall request that the receiving state provide prompt handling of the case.

  • In addition to the referral documents listed above, copies of the most recent relative caregiver approval documents (SOC 815, SOC 817 and SOC 818) or foster care license are provided.
  • The receiving state’s Compact Coordinator should consider the approval as sufficient to support a determination of qualification for the caregiver to continue care of the child pending assessment in the receiving state, unless the receiving state’s Compact Coordinator has substantial evidence to the contrary.

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Periodic Verification  

Verification of licensure or reassessments should be completed, only if it is a requirement of the receiving state or country.  If such verification is done periodically, the social worker submits to the PTT:

  • A copy of the renewed foster home license

    or

  • A copy of the report from the receiving state or country documenting the reassessment,
    • It may be necessary to remind the social worker in the receiving state to send the periodic verification.

The PTT forwards a copy of renewed license or report documenting the reassessment to the assigned eligibility worker.

    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
RHAs for Other Countries  

Before a child is placed in a relative or NREFM home in another country, the social worker:

  • Makes a written request for the social service agency in the other country or for the International Social Services to submit a written assessment of the relative caregiver, based on prevailing basic standards for relative caregivers who care for children under that government's supervision.
  • Forwards to the PTT a copy of the:
    • Caregiver Information Sheet (SCZ200A)
    • Placement/Address Change Form (SCZ 17)
    • Written assessment completed by the social service agency in the other country or by the International Social Service.
    • Periodic home reassessments, if required by the county in which the child is placed.
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Adoption Cases   For children with adoption permanency plans (i.e., freed for adoption or pending the 366.26 hearing), social workers should consult with the DFCS ICPC Coordinator and the Permanency Planning Coordinator. Generally, a second ICPC request for an “Adoptive Home Study” should follow completion of the initial Relative Home Study or Foster Home Study. Requesting only an Adoptive Home Study, or requesting this study along with a Relative or Foster Home Study, may delay the receiving state’s approval of the placement and/or prevent payment of Title IV-E funds.
    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Contacts  

Meheret Sellassie, Social Work Supervisor

Telephone: (408)501-6848

Email: Meheret.Sellassie@ssa.sccgov.org

 
    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Other References  
MS Word2 Relative Approval County Contacts
MS Word2 Intercounty Agreement/Guidelines for Relative Home Assessments
bullet2 OPP Chapter 7-13: Director's Exemptions
bullet2 OPP Chapter 7-14: Child Abuse and Neglect Record Review
Popup Window2 International Social Services
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