DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 7: Relative Home Approvals
7-6 Annual Reassessments and Updates
Relative Home Approvals
7-6 Annual Reassessments and Updating Changes
Reference Points
Overview
Annual Reassessments
Approval Updates
New Adult Moves into the Home
New Adult Found to be Having Significant Contact with the Child Already Placed in the Home
Placing Another Dependent Child into the Home
Non-CWS Child Moves into the Home
Family Moves
Correction to an Entry
Other References


Reference Points
Effective Date: TBA
Last Updated: 4/30/10
 Legal Basis:
pdf California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Manual of Policy and Procedures (MPP), Division 31-445
pdf CDSS MPP Division 31-401
Popup Window Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Section 361.3 &.4
Popup Window WIC Section 309 & 309 (d)
pdf California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Division 6, Chapter 9.5, Article 3
pdf All County Letter (ACL) 04-02:  Periodic Reassessment of Relative and NREFM Providers
pdf Community Care Licensing (CCL) Evaluator Manual - Background Checks
Popup Window Health and Safety Code (HSC) Section 1522.1
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word CACI - Child Abuse Central Index Check
MS Word Director's Exemption Regarding WIC 361.4 (d) (3) SCZ49)
MS Word

Emergency Plan for Foster Family Homes (LIC610B)

MS Word Exemption Review/Request Letter SCZ200N
MS Word Exemption Review/Decision Letter SCZ200P
bullet Important Information for Caregivers (SCZ200J)
 

MS Word  SCZ200J / English

MS Word  SCZ200J / Spanish

pdf Out-of-State Disclosure & Criminal Record Statement (LIC 508 D)
 

pdf  LIC 508 D (Spanish)

pdf LIC 508 D (Vietnamese)

MS Word Placement/Address Change (SCZ17)
MS Word Sheriff's Dept. Criminal Record Check Request (CLETS) - Combined SCZ 686A-SCZ152A for Parents and Other Adults
MS Word 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)

 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)


Overview  

At least once a year, social workers reassess relative and non-relative extended family member (NREFM) caregiver homes for compliance with approved standards. In order to continue to qualify for federal financial assistance, caregiver homes must be periodically reassessed to determine the continued appropriateness of the placement and compliance with state foster family home licensing/approval standards. Social workers also perform reassessments or updates of an approved home when a new adult or a new child joins the household or when the caregiver moves the household to a new residence.

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Annual Reassessments  

During the annual reassessment, the social worker is required to:

  • Review with the caregiver the Emergency Plan for Foster Family Homes (LIC610B).
  • Verify that the Plan has been posted in the home.
  • Verify that the emergency procedures have been practiced every month.

 

In order to complete the annual reassessment, the social worker:

  • Prints out the SOC-815-817-818 Combined forms, which includes the Cover Page for the Placement Tracking Team (PTT).
  • Completes the SOC 817 and 818 during the home inspection with the relative or NREFM.
  • Completes the SOC 815 to indicate that the caregiver home continues to meet approval standards.
  • Submits the SOC 815 to supervisor for supervisor's approval signature.
  • Completes the Cover Page of the SOC-815-817-818 Combined forms, marking option #3 and filling in prior approval date.
  • Forwards the Cover Page and copies of the SOC 815,817 and 818 to the PTT.
  • Files the 3 SOC forms with original signatures in the case file.
  • Includes a statement in the next court Status Review Hearing that the caregiver home continues to meet approval standards.

For sibling groups, see OPP Chapter 7-3: Completing the SOC Forms.


It is not necessary to have adults undergo Live Scan fingerprinting, if they have already been Live Scanned, previously.

Any new adult in the home or any new adult found to be having significant contact with the child already placed in the home must undergo a complete background check.  If the social worker learns of a new adult in the home or having significant contact with the child at or near the time of the annual reassessment or other occasion requiring re-approval (e.g., the family moves), the relative or NREFM home cannot be re-approved until the new adult has been cleared in regards to criminal and child abuse records.

Any change in the home environment that does not meet approval standards requires that a Documented Alternative Plan (DAP) or Corrective Action Plan (CAP) be developed during the time of the reassessment. The home cannot be re-approved until the DAP has been approved and/or the deficiency corrected as stated in the CAP.

 

If a relative home is not re-approved by the end of the month following the month in which the re-approval is due (approximately 30 days), the child is federally eligible for foster care funding, and the relative caregiver is receiving federal AFDC-FC, the social worker informs the child's eligibility worker that the federal AFDC-FC payment should be discontinued until the home is re-approved.

If a NREFM is not re-approved by the end of the month following the month in which the re-approval is due (approximately 30 days), the social worker informs the child's eligibility worker to discontinue federal or state AFCD-FC funds until the home is re-approved.

At the time of the annual reassessment, it is good practice for the social worker to provide the caregiver with a new copy of the Important Information for Caregivers (SCZ200J) brochure and the Foster Youth Rights Publications.

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Approval Updates  

When Is an Update Required

Relative/NREFM home approval updates are required when:

  • There is a change in the relative or NREFM household circumstances requires relative home approval updates. Those circumstances include when:
    • A new adult joins the household.
    • A new adult begins to have significant contact with the child.
    • An additional non-dependent child joins the household.
    • The social worker becomes aware that a minor over the age of 14 years may have a criminal record.
  • A correction to a previously submitted SOC form needs to be made between the initial assessment and the annual reassessment or between annual reassessments.

Updates are completed at the time the social worker identifies the change in circumstance or the mistaken entry.  The update should not wait until the reassessment is due.


Completing an Update

To complete a home approval update, the social worker:

  • Prints out the SOC 815-817-818 Combined form, which includes the Cover Page for the Placement Tracking Team (PTT).
  • Conducts a complete reassessment using all three SOC forms.
    • The social worker reviews with the caregiver the Emergency Plan for Foster Family Homes (LIC 610B) and verifies that the plan has been posted in the home and that emergency procedures have been practiced every six (6) months.
  • Submits the SOC 815 to the supervisor for the supervisor's approval signature.
  • Completes the Cover Page, marking option 4 and filling in the prior approval date.
  • Submits to the PTT:
    • The Cover Page from the SOC Combined form.
    • Copies of the SOC 815, 817 and 818.
    • A completed Placement/address Change (SCZ17), showing the caregiver's address change.
  • Files the original SOC forms and a copy of the SCZ17 in the case file under the Placement section.


The reassessment results in a new approval date and a new reassessment due date one year from the updated approval date.

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New Adult Moves into the Home or A Minor In The Home Has A Criminal History  

If a new adult joins the household, a background check of the individual must be conducted. Likewise, if the social worker learns that a minor over 14 in the home may have a criminal history, a background check must be conducted.  The home may not be re-approved until all required background clearances on the individual are completed.

The social worker:

  • Obtains an Out-of-State Disclosure & Criminal Record Statement (LIC 508 D)) completed by the new adult or minor.
  • Requests California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) criminal record information on the new adult, using Sheriff's Dept. Criminal Record Check Request (CLETS) - Combined SCZ 686A-SCZ152A for Parents and Other Adults.
  • Ensures that Live Scan Fingerprinting of the individual is completed within ten (10) days of requesting the CLETS record check.
    • If the criminal background checks show convictions of a non-exemptible criminal offense, the social worker either:
      • Verifies that the adult is not residing in the home, or
      • Immediately removes the child.
    • If the criminal background checks show convictions that may be exempted, the placement may continue while a Director's Exemption request is processed only if the worker determines that, based on the nature and circumstances of the reported conviction as described by the convicted adult, the child's best interest will be served by continued placement in the home. This determination and the facts and circumstances supporting it must be documented in the CWS/CMS Contact Notebook within forty-eight hours of the assessment. If a determination is made that the child's best interest will not be served by continued placement in the home, either the adult or the child must leave the home until an exemption is granted.

  • Conducts a CWS/CMS search  to check for child abuse and neglect records for the new adult.
  • Develops a Corrective Action Plan (SCZ 200L) with the relative or NREFM caregiver, noting the deficiency as Article 3, Foster Family Homes Standards #89319, Criminal Record Clearance.
    • The out-of-state record check must be completed within 30 days.

    The new adult may remain in the home pending all clearance documentation if there are no other concerns.  All clearances must be processed immediately upon learning that the new adult is in the household.  The social worker cannot wait to process the clearances until the home approval reassessment is due.  Until the new adult is fully cleared, he or she must never be the sole supervising adult for the child(ren).


  • Reviews the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) response from the Live Scan fingerprint submission or from a direct request to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
    • If the new adult has a child abuse referral history, the child's continued placement requires that the social worker obtain an Administrative Review.
    • The social worker or the Director may deny approval to any adult with a history of child abuse or neglect or with multiple inconclusive Emergency Response referral dispositions.

  • Copies the last completed Approval of Family Caregiver Home (SOC 815).
  • Adds the name of the new adult or minor.
  • Adds criminal and child abuse record check and DOJ RAP-Backs requested dates on page 3 of the copy.
    • Also add Exemption Requested and Exemption Granted/Denied dates, if applicable.
  •  
    • Initials and dates next to either  "All Adults Cleared" or "Not Cleared" under "1. Criminal Record/Prior Abuse Clearance," on page 1 of the copy.
  • Re-signs and redates his/her signature on page 2 above the original signature, noting "update" above the new signature.
  • Submits the form to the supervisor for supervisor to re-sign and redate his/her signature on page 2 above the original signature, noting "update" above the new signature.
  • Files the revised SOC 815 in the case file under Placement section.

Do not send a copy of the updated SOC 815 to the PTT.



In addition to the background check of the individual, the caregiver's home must be reassessed if a new adult has moved into the home. The social worker:

  • Conducts a site inspection to reassess the home.
    • If necessary, the the social worker completes an Alternative and/or Corrective Action Plan.

  • Copies the last completed Checklist of Health and Safety Standards for Approval of Family Caregiver Home (SOC 817).
  • Makes any changes to the entries on the SOC 817.
  • Initials and dates any changes.
  • Re-signs and redates his/her signature on page 2 above the original signature, noting "update" above the new signature.
  • Files the revised SOC 817 in the case file under Placement section.

Do not send a copy of the updated SOC 817 to the PTT.

    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
New Adult Found to be Having a Significant Contact with the Child Already Placed in the Home  

If the social worker learns of a new adult who will be having significant contact with a child already placed in the relative or NREFM home, a background check of the individual must be conducted. The home cannot be re-approved until all required background clearances are completed on the individual.

The social worker:

  • Obtains an Out-of-State Disclosure & Criminal Record Statement (LIC 508 D) completed by the new adult.
    • An out-of-state child abuse record check is not required for an adult who will be having significant contact with a child placed in a relative/NREFM home if the adult does not reside in the home.


  • Requests California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) criminal record information on the new adult, using Sheriff's Dept. Criminal Record Check Request (CLETS) - Combined SCZ 686A-SCZ152A for Parents and Other Adults.
  • Ensures that Live Scan Fingerprinting of the individual is completed within ten (10) days of requesting the CLETS record check.
    • If the criminal background checks show convictions of a non-exemptible criminal offense, the social worker either:
      • Verifies that the adult is not having contact with the child, or
      • Immediately removes the child.
    • If the criminal background checks show convictions that may be exempted, the placement may continue while a Director's Exemption request is processed only if the worker determines that, based on the nature and circumstances of the reported conviction as described by the convicted adult, the child's best interest will be served by continued placement in the home. This determination and the facts and circumstances supporting it must be documented in the CWS/CMS Contact Notebook within forty-eight hours of the assessment. If a determination is made that the child's best interest will not be served by continued placement in the home, either the social worker must ensure that the new adult will not have further contact with the child or the child must leave the home until an exemption is granted.

  • Conducts a CWS/CMS search  to check for child abuse and neglect records for the new adult.
  • Reviews the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) response from the Live Scan fingerprint submission or from a direct request to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
    • If the new adult has a child abuse referral history, the child's continued placement requires that the social worker obtain an Administrative Review.
    • The social worker or the Director may deny approval to any adult with a history of child abuse or neglect or with multiple inconclusive Emergency Response referral dispositions.
  • Copies the last completed Approval of Family Caregiver Home (SOC 815).
  • Adds criminal and child abuse record check and DOJ RAP-BAcks requested dates on page 3 of the copy.
    • Also add Exemption Requested and Exemption Granted/Denied dates, if applicable.
     
    • Initials and dates next to either  "All Adults Cleared" or "Not Cleared" under "1. Criminal Record/Prior Abuse Clearance," on page 1 of the copy.
  • Re-signs and redates his/her signature on page 2 above the original signature, noting "update" above the new signature.
  • Submits the form to the supervisor for supervisor to re-sign and redate his/her signature on page 2 above the original signature, noting "update" above the new signature.
  • Files the revised SOC 815 in the case file under Placement section.

Do not send a copy of the updated SOC 815 to the PTT.

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Placing Another Dependent Child into the Home  

The social worker who wants to place another Dependent child in the relative or NREFM home:

  • Consults with the social worker for the child previously paced in the home.
  • Conducts a complete full relative home reassessment for all children in the home under DFCS supervision.
    • The SOC 815-817 and 818 are all used for the reassessment.
    • A new approval date and reassessment date results.

It is not necessary to obtain a new Director's Exemption for criminal convictions for the caregivers, adults in their homes or other adults with significant contact with the child. There should not be any new convictions that are not already dealt with, because the Department has established subsequent arrest notification with the Department of Justice for all individuals whose backgrounds have been checked for a relative home approval.



As a means to avoid relatives and NREFMs having to get fingerprinted, again, the following procedure is followed:

  •  An envelope marked "Criminal and Child Abuse Records" is created.
  •  All names and case numbers of the Dependent children living in the caregiver home are written on the Criminal and Child Abuse Records envelope.
  • The envelope is retained in the files of the social worker assigned to the child who was first placed in the home.
  • If that child's case is closed before the case of the subsequently place child
    • The envelope is forwarded the assigned social worker to be placed in the file of the subsequently placed child.
    • The No Longer Interested Notification(s) concerning the person cleared for approval related to the originally placed child are NOT sent to DOJ.
  • When the cases of all of the children living in the caregiver home are closed:
    • The No Longer Interested Notification concerning the person cleared for approval related to the originally placed child is sent to DOJ.
    • The case of the last child whose case was closed that contains the envelope is sent to the Retention Center.
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Non-CWS Child Moves Into the Home  

If a new child who is not under the supervision of the DFCS joins or plans to join the caregiver's household, the social worker:

  • Conducts a site inspection to reassess the home.
    • If necessary, develops an Alternative Plan or Corrective Action Plan.

  • Copies the last completed Checklist of Health and Safety Standards for Approval of Family Caregiver Home (SOC 817).
  • Make any changes to the entries on the SOC 817.
  • Initials and dates any changes.
  • Re-signs and redates his/her signature on page 2 above the original signature, noting "update" above the new signature.
  •  Files the updated SOC 817 in the case file under Placement flap.

Do not send a copy of the updated SOC 817 to the PTT.

If the social worker believes that a child over the age of 14 may have a criminal record, the worker requests a CLETS and Live Scan criminal record check for that child.  The results are documented in the CWS/CMS Case Notes.

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Family Moves  

If the family moves to a new residence, the social worker:

  • Prints out the SOC-815-817-818 Combined forms, which includes Cover Page for the Placement Tracking Team (PTT).
  • Conducts a complete reassessment using all 3 SOC forms.
    • The reassessment results in a new approval date and new reassessment due date one year hence.
     
  • Submits the SOC 815 to the supervisor for supervisor's approval signature.
  • Completes Cover Page (part of SOC-815-817-818 Combined forms), marking option 4 and filling in the prior approval date.
  • Forwards Cover Page and copies of the SOC 815,817 and 818 to the PTT.
  • Submits a completed Placement /Address Change (SCZ17) to the PTT, showing caregiver's address change.
  • Files the SOC forms with original signatures and a copy of the SCZ17 in the case file under the Placement section.

Note: If the child's caregiver is receiving foster care funds, the foster care funds will be discontinued upon the family's moving out of the former residence and will not resume until the new residence is approved.

 
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Correction to an Entry  

To correct a previously submitted SOC form between the initial assessment and the annual reassessment, or between annual reassessments, the social worker:

  • Copies the form requiring correction.
  • Writes correct information on the copy.
  • Initials and dates the correction(s).
  • Re-signs and redates his/her signature on page 2 above the original signature, noting "update" above the new signature.
  • Submits the form to the supervisor for supervisor to re-sign and redate his/her signature on page 2 above the original signature, noting "update" above the new signature.
  • Files the copy of the corrected form in the child's case file under the Placement flap.

Do not send a copy of the updated form to the PTT.

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Other References  
bullet2 CWS/CMS search  to check for child abuse and neglect records
Bullet OPP Chapter 7-3: Completing the SOC Forms
Bullet Foster Youth Rights Publication
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