DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 10: Contacts and Visitation
10-4  Temporary Leaves from Placement
Contacts and Visitation
10-4  Temporary Leaves from Placement
Overview
Definition of Brief, Temporary Leave
Responsibility for Assessments
Brief, Infrequent Care Arrangements and Age-Appropriate Activities (Prudent Parent)
Assessing a Temporary Caregiver Residing in State
Assessing a Temporary Caregiver Residing Out of State
When a Child Returns from a Temporary Leave
Court Orders Regarding Temporary Leaves


Reference Points
Effective Date: 3/1/06
Last Updated: 3/4/08
 Legal Basis:
Popup Window Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) § 309(d)
Popup Window WIC § 362.04 and 362.05
PDF CDSS All County Letter (ACL)No. 05-39: Extracurricular, Enrichment  and Social Activities for Foster Children
PDF ACL NO. 06-02: Use of Occasional Short-Term Babysitters by Foster Caregivers
PDF Standing Court Order Regarding Foster Youth Children Participation in Summer Camp and School Sponsored Activities
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
bullet

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

 

PDF LIC 508 D / English
PDF LIC 508 D (Spanish)

PDF LIC 508 D (Vietnamese)

MS Word Facsimile Inquiry for Child Abuse Central Index (CACI)
MS Word Placement/Address Change (SCZ 17 Auto)
MS Word Sheriff's Dept. Criminal Record Check Request (CLETS) - Combined SCZ 686A-SCZ152 for Caregivers and Volunteers
PDF Request for Live Scan Services form (BCII 8016) (sample only- original in duplicate)
PDF Service Documentation Log (SC 909)
MS Word Checklist of Health and Safety Standards for Approval of Family Caregiver Home (SOC 817)
 CWS/CMS Forms:
bullet Checklist of Health and Safety Standards for Approval of Family Caregiver Home (SOC 817)
bullet Contact Notebook: Contact Notes


Overview  

Children who are in placement under DFCS supervision will sometime have opportunities to visit relatives, friends or mentors for short periods. These stays in brief, temporary care are encouraged, because they help children stay connected to family and others who have had significance in their lives.  In keeping with DFCS policy of ensuring the safety of those children under its supervision, those people with whom a child may have a brief stay must be assessed as being able to provide for the child's safety and well-being.

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Definition of Brief, Temporary Leave  

A brief, temporary leave regarding a dependent child or child in temporary custody is defined as an overnight stay with and under the supervision of a relative or non-relative adult lasting no more than 3 (three) nights, unless an extension is approved in writing by the social work supervisor.  SSPM's are to be notified of any extension beyond 3 nights.

  • Brief, temporary leaves shall not exceed 7 (seven) nights, even with an approved extension, except in the following cases:
     
    1. Court orders for an extended stay.
       
    2. Runaway from the Children's Shelter that is labeled as "Temporary Leave" in CWS/CMS.
      • Those "leaves" may last up to 10 days, without an approved extension, before the Shelter placement must be terminated.
    3.  
    4. Summer/school holiday vacations or special events, after which all parties understand that the child will return to his/her original placement.
      • Summer/school holiday vacations or leaves for special events must be approved by the social worker and authorized by the Court, if necessary. See Authorization for Travel.
         
    5. Trial return home with Wraparound services.
      • A child may return home on a trial basis with Wraparound services for up to 30 days.
       
    6. ICPC placement.
      • Under ICPC guidelines, the purpose of a visit is to provide the child with a social or cultural experience of short duration, up to 30 days, such as a stay in a camp or with a friend or relative who has not assumed legal responsibility for providing child care services.
       
      • If a stay in an out-of-state home does not from the outset have an express terminal date, or if its duration is not clear from the circumstances, it shall be considered a placement or proposed placement and not a visit, in which case an ICPC application must be completed.
     
  • In no instance shall a child be "paper admitted" to the Children's Shelter and immediately released to a relative on a brief, temporary leave basis.
    • If, after removal of a child from the parents' care, a relative or NREFM home is located for the child and the intention is for the child to remain in the relative or NREFM home as a placement in the event that the child is not returned home, a temporary, emergency assessment of the relative or NREFM home must be conducted following WIC § 309(d) or 361.45.
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Responsibilities for Assessments  

The primary social worker is responsible for assessing the relative or non-relative with whom a dependent child, placed in any out-of-home placement, will be staying on a temporary leave basis.

Note: Childcare providers for licensed foster parents are approved through the State Community Care Licensing (CCL), not through procedures for assessing an adult for brief, temporary care.

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Brief, Infrequent Care Arrangements and Age-Appropriate Activities (Prudent Parent)  

Licensed and certified foster parents, relatives and non-relative extended family members (NREFMs) are authorized to arrange for brief, infrequent care for children under their supervision and to allow court-dependent children to participate in age-appropriate activities.

  • Infrequent Care Arrangements - Up to 24 Hours

An individual does not need to be assessed, when that individual provides infrequent, brief, temporary care of the child, up to 24 hours, as arranged by the child’s caregiver. Welfare and Institutions Code 362.04 permits foster parents, relative caregivers and NREFM caregivers to arrange for occasional, short-term babysitting without having the babysitter undergo licensing requirements (assessments). This does not include ongoing day care.

WIC 362.04 states in pertinent part that:
"Every caregiver may arrange for occasional short-term babysitting of their foster child and allow individuals to supervise the foster child...on occasions, including, but not limited to, when the foster parent has a medical or other health care appointment, grocery or other shopping, personal grooming appointments, special occasions for the foster parents, foster parent training classes, school-related meetings (such as parent-teacher conferences), business meetings, adult social gatherings, or an occasional evening out by the foster parent."

The law instructs that the caregiver provide the temporary care provider with adequate information about the child, any required medications and an emergency contact number.

NOTE: For A Child Placed At the Children's Shelter

It is presumed that the social worker will not have a relationship or adequate information about a person with whom a brief, temporary stay may be arranged for a child by the social worker. Therefore, any leave of any length for children in the Shelter or for whom the social worker is directly arranging the leave requires an assessment of the temporary care provider.

 

  • Age-Appropriate Social or Enrichment Activities
    WIC § 362.05 goes on to state, in pertinent part, that:
    "Every child adjudged a dependent child of the juvenile court shall be entitled to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities. No state or local regulation or policy may prevent or create barriers to participation in those activities. Each state and local entity shall ensure that....agencies promote and protect the ability of dependent children to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities....The caretaker shall take reasonable steps to determine the appropriateness of the activity in consideration of the child's age, maturity, and developmental level.”

Following are some general, not inclusive, guidelines:

 
Acceptable
Unacceptable
School sanctioned activities for which the school has arranged a chaperone.
Parties at which beer will be served or drugs will be available.
Church sanctioned activities for which the church has arranged a chaperone.
Rave parties
Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, 4-H or service club activities

Allowing child to remain out past a curfew instated by law enforcement.

Camp
 
Pajama parties
 
Dates when the child is 16 and date partner is a person under 18 (no permission for sexual activities).
 

 

  • Prudent Parent Standard

In allowing for caregiver discretion in either choosing an occasional baby-sitter or allowing the child to participate in activities outside the home, the law uses the "reasonable and prudent parent standard" characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the child's health, safety, and best interest.

If a social worker has reason to believe that the person with whom a caregiver is leaving a child has a criminal or child abuse/neglect record, has a physically unsafe home or cannot provide adequate care and supervision for the child, the social worker must discuss the concerns with the caregiver and arrange for an assessment of the temporary care provider. Likewise, if the social worker has reason to believe that the caregiver is allowing the child to participate in activities that are not appropriate or during which the child is left with inadequate supervision, the social worker should consult with his/her supervisor before discussing the situation with the caregiver.

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Assessing a Temporary Caregiver Residing In State  

Prior to authorizing a brief, temporary leave for a child residing in any out-of-home placement, the social worker:

  1. Has the caregiver and all adults in the home sign an Out-of-State Disclosure & Criminal Record Statement (LIC 508 D)indicating they have no criminal record.  
     
  2. Submits requests for a CLETS Criminal Background Check  for all adults in the home, using the "Sheriff's Department Criminal Record Check Request (SCZ686A) and the Live Scan Referral (SCZ152).
    • Live Scan results can be pending while the temporary leave occurs, but fingerprinting must be completed within the 10 days of the CLETS record check.
    • All persons for whom a CLETS record check is requested must submit to fingerprint clearance via Live Scan within 10 judicial days of the CLETS record check.
      • If the person does not submit to Live Scan fingerprinting within the 10 days, either the person or the child must leave the home.
     
  3. Confirms that the caregiver and all adults in the home have no criminal record, according to the CLETS results.  

    If the temporary caregiver or any adult in the home..

     

    Then the social worker..

    has no criminal record per the LIC 508(d), CLETS and/or Live Scan

    Enters the results of the criminal record check results in a Contact Note.

    Note: If the temporary leave is approved on the basis of a clear CLETS and subsequent Live Scan results show that an adult has a criminal record, an immediate exemption must be obtained or the temporary leave must end.

    has a criminal record per the LIC 508(d), CLETS and/or Live Scan

    Submits a request for an exemption prior to allowing the child to go on the temporary leave, if the social worker determines that the temporary leave is still in the child's best interest.

    When the CLETS and the subsequent Live Scan results are received:

    • Enter criminal record check results in a Contact Note.
    • Follow Director's Exemption procedures for criminal history



  4. Conducts record search for child abuse and neglect records for the adult(s) via a:
    • Live Scan, if there is time to receive the results, or
    • Facsimile Inquiry for Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) if results are needed immediately, and
    • CWS/CMS record search.
     
  5. Confirms that neither the caregiver nor any adults in the home have a child abuse or neglect record in which they are named as the perpetrator, according to a check of the CWS/CMS database and CACI. 

    If the temporary caregiver or any adult in the home..

    Then the social worker..

    has no child abuse record history Enters that information in a Contact Note.
    has a child abuse record history

    Submits a request for a

    Child Abuse and Neglect Record Review of the child abuse or neglect history, if the social worker determines that the temporary leave is in the child's best interest.

    Enters the child abuse or neglect record check results in the Contact Notebook.



  6. Completes a site inspection of the home using the Checklist of Health and Safety Standards for Approval of Family Caregiver Home (SOC 817) as a guide.
  7. Relays to the temporary caregiver any special needs and ensures that the temporary caregiver is able to meet all of the child's needs.

  8. Briefly reviews elements of the child's rights, such as the child's right to make phone calls and to not be disciplined by corporal punishment.

  9. Completes and submits a Placement/Address Change Form (SCZ 17) (page 14) to the PTT to document the child's actual location.

     

NOTE: The above assessment procedures do not result in a relative/NREFM home approval nor are they the procedures for assessing a home for a temporary, emergency placement.

 

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Assessing a Temporary Caregiver Residing Out of State   

If the relative or acquaintance requesting a brief, temporary visit with the child resides out of the State, the social worker:

  • Contacts the public child welfare agency nearest to the caregivers' residence and request:
    • A courtesy home inspection of the caregivers' residence.
      • If that agency is unable to assist, the social worker or assigned case aid must complete the home inspection.
    • The results of a child abuse history record check, from that agency's system, on each caregiver and each adult in the home.
     
  • Sends to the caregivers:
    • An Out-of-State Disclosure & Criminal Record Statement (LIC 508 D) for each caregivers and each adult in the home, indicating they have no criminal record. 
      • Include a return addressed, stamped envelope for return of the LIC 508D.
       
  • Completes a Live Scan Referral (SCZ 152) for each caregiver and each adult in the home.
    • The SCZ 152 is included in the Sheriff's Dept. Criminal Record Check Request (CLETS) - Combined SCZ 686A-SCZ152 for Caregivers and Volunteers.
      • Do not process the SCZ 686A for out-of-state caregivers.
    • Attach a Request for Live Scan Services form (BCII 8016) (link is a sample only) to the corresponding Live Scan Referral for each caregiver and each adult in the home .
    • Review the Request for Live Scan Services form with the Live Scan clerical staff to assure that the form is completed correctly.  This step may save you valuable time.
      • The form must indicate that sub-arrests are requested.
      • The Live Scan clerical staff will mail or fax the forms to the caregivers.
       
  • Instructs the caregiver to:
    • Take both the Request for Live Scan Services and attached Live Scan Referral to a Sheriff's Office in their vicinity for processing.
      • The caregivers will not be charged for processing the Live Scan results.
      • If they are charged with a "rolling" fee, they can be reimbursed through DFCS.
      • If the caregivers report that there is no Live Scan available in their area, contact Live Scan clerical for instructions on exemptions and obtaining fingerprint cards.
    • Return the completed LIC 508D forms to the social worker.
     
  • Follows the same procedures, 7. through 10. above, as for In-state caregivers.
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When a Child Returns from a Temporary Leave  

When a child returns from a temporary leave, the social worker:

  • Completes a Placement/Address Change Form (SCZ 17) to indicate that the child has returned to his/her placement.
  • Submits the SCZ 17 to the Placement Tracking Team (PTT).
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Court Orders Regarding Temporary Leaves   Any specific order of the court regarding temporary care of the child shall be obeyed. If obeying the order appears to potentially compromise the safety of the child, in accordance with the procedures outlined above, the social worker should immediately notify his/her supervisor and consult with County Counsel.
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Other References  
bullet2 Temporary, Emergency Relative Home Assessments
bullet2 CLETS Criminal Background Checks for Relative Home Approvals
bullet2 Alternative Plans and Corrective Action Plans
bullet2 Director's Exemption: Criminal History Record
bullet2 Child Abuse and Neglect Record Review
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