DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 11: Concurrent Planning and Adoption
11-10  Guardianship to Adoption

 

Concurrent Planning and Adoption
11-10  Guardianship to Adoption
Reference Points
Overview
Guardianship Has Been Established and the Case Remains Open for Services
The Case Is Not Open for Services and the Guardians Reside in Santa Clara County
Social Worker Responsibilities for Reopened Cases of Previously Dismissed Guardianship
Assessing the Current Guardianship

Guardians Reside Out-of-County

Funding Issues
Contacts
Other References


Reference Points
Effective Date: TBA
Last Updated: 7/30/09
 Legal Basis:
Popup Window Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) § 366.3(c)
Popup Window WIC § 388
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word

Sheriff's Dept. Criminal Record Check Request (CLETS) Combined

SCZ 686 - SCZ 152 for Caregivers and Volunteers

MS Word Request to Change a Court Order (JV-180)
MS Word Juvenile Court Transfer Out Orders (JV550)
 CWS/CMS Forms:
bullet Court Management Section:  Court Report


Overview   After the establishment of a guardianship, guardians may decide to petition to adopt the child over whom they are guardians.  Adoption provides an even more permanent arrangement for the child in their care.  If the child was a dependent and the guardianship was established in Juvenile Dependency Court, the petition to change from guardianship to adoption is filed with the dependency court clerk and dependency is reinstated for the child, pending the completion of the adoption procedures.  The guardianship remains intact until the adoption is finalized.
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Guardianship Has Been Established and the Case Has Remained Opened for Services  

When a guardian directly notifies the child's assigned social worker that he/she wants to pursue adoption of the child over whom he/she is guardian, the social worker:

  • Discusses the reasons regarding the change of permanent plan to adoption with the guardians and, if age-appropriate, with the child.
  • Assesses whether adoption is an appropriate plan for the family.


If the social worker.. then the social worker..
agrees with the plan to adopt

refers the guardian for an Adoption Home Study.

  • The guardian is instructed to call 299-KIDS to begin the adoption home study.

 

does not agree with the plan for adoption, discusses with the guardians, and child if appropriate, the reason(s) for not agreeing to the plan.

 

 


If a preliminary assessment from the Resource Family Home Study social worker indicates that..

 

 

then the child's social worker..

the guardian's Home Study will be approved
  • Files a Request to Change Court Order (JV-180) to set a WIC § 388 Hearing or advises the guardians to file the JV-180 with the Dependency Court Clerk.
the guardian's Home  Study will not be approved.
  • Does not take any further action.
  • Continues to provide permanency planning services to the guardian and child if those services were being offered previously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Case Is Not Open for Services and the Guardians Reside in Santa Clara County  

A guardian may file a Request to Change Court Order (JV-180) with the Juvenile Court Clerk's Office when a guardianship case is closed to request that the matter be open for a change of the child's plan to adoption.  After the JV-180 is filed, a 388 Petition Hearing is set by the Court, and the Court Clerk's Office notifies all parties of record of the 388 Petition Hearing.  

  • The Judge decides whether to set the matter for a 388 Petition Hearing, based on the merits of the information in the JV-180.
  • There are occasions when the court will directly set a 366.26 Hearing, by-passing the 388 Petition Hearing.  In these cases, the case is directly assigned to a Continuing social worker.


  • If a 388 Petition Hearing is set by the court, the county clerk notices all parties, and the case file is forwarded to DFCS.
    • If the court declines to hear the matter, nothing is forwarded to DFCS.

 

  • County Counsel appears at the first scheduled 388 Hearing, usually scheduled 10 days from the court's review of the petition.
    • Counsel is appointed at this hearing and the matter is continued, usually for 45 days to allow for a social worker assessment.
    • Relevant temporary orders may be made at this hearing, e.g., ordering the child to remain with the guardians; ordering the parents to have no contact, etc.


  • County Counsel forwards the file to the Court Services supervisor who reviews the file and gives it to the Dependent Intake Control Clerk (DICC).

  • The DICC opens a case in CWS/CMS.
    • A referral is not created for these cases.
    • An SCZ17 is not initially created for these cases since the child remains with the guardian(s).


 

    If.. then..
    there is no open connected case or case closed within the past six (6) months the matter is put on the DI case assignment sheet for assignment in the regular DI rotation.
    there is an open case on a sibling or if the Dependency case was closed within the past 6 months the Court Services supervisor forwards the file to the social work supervisor of the social worker of the siblings or worker who closed the case within the past 6 months.  That supervisor assigns the case to his or her worker.

    the case has been directly set for a 366.26 Hearing

    the case is assigned to a Continuing social worker.

 

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Social Worker Responsibilities for Reopened Cases of Previously Dismissed Guardianship  

Upon the opening of the case in CWS/CMS, the assigned social worker:

  • Discusses the assessment with the guardians, and child if appropriate, and the reasons for agreeing with or not agreeing with the plan.


  • Refers the guardians for a Home Study if it appears that the recommendation will be to set a 366.26 Hearing for recommendation of a change of the permanent plan to adoption.
    • If the social worker is not recommending the plan of adoption, the family is told that they may still request a Home Study for purposes of adoption.
  • Completes a relative/NREFM home approval if Dependency is to be reinstated and:
  • the guardians do not have a current foster care license and
  • the guardians wish to continue to receive federal or state funds for the care of the child upon reinstatement of Dependency.
    • When referring the guardians for Live Scan fingerprinting for the home approval, check both the Sub Arrest Relative and Petition for Adoption boxes on the Live Scan Referral (SCZ 152) to indicate that two sets of fingerprints are required.  This will avoid having the guardians having to make two Live Scan appointments.
    • Upon receiving both sets of results from the Live Scan, place a memo on the results designated for the adoption finalization process to indicate that the results have been obtained.
      • These results will later be forwarded to the Resource Home Unit social worker who completes the Home Study.

  • Prepares a 388 Petition Hearing Report.
    • Depending upon the assessment, the social worker makes a recommendation to the Court to do one of the following:
      • Set a 366.26 Hearing to change the permanent plan or
      • Dismiss the 388 petition.
     
  • If the recommendation is to reinstate dependency and proceed with a permanent plan of adoption, the social worker preparing the 388 Hearing Report also develops the case plan and attaches it to the 388 Hearing court report.

  • Contacts the E51 Court Services/Adoptions supervisor to advise the supervisor of the case.


  • Completes required contacts with the child and guardians as necessary once the case is opened in CWS/CMS.

 

If.. then the social worker..
the petition is granted, Dependency is reinstated, and the matter is set for a 366.26 Hearing

for DI and Continuing social workers:

  • Submits a Placement/Address Change Form (SCZ17) to the Placement Tracking Team (PTT) with the placement type in order to continue monthly financial assistance to the guardians.
  • Changes the Services Component in CWS/CMS to Permanency Planning.

 



For DI only:

  • Completes a Purple Transfer Sheet.
  • Transfer Case Summary Form (SCZ 409)
  • Submits the case to the social work supervisor for transfer to a Continuing unit.
 
The petition is not granted
  • Completes a CAT - Closing Summary.
  • Submits the case to the social work supervisor for closing in CWS/CMS.
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Assessing the Current Guardianship  

In preparing the 388 Hearing Report, the social worker gathers information regarding the current guardianship to assess whether a change of plan to adoption is in the child's best interest.

An assessment of the child includes:

  • The age of the child.


  • The length of time since the guardianship was established.


  • The child' adjustment in the guardian home.
    • How does the child feel about the guardians?
    • What are the indicators of attachment?
    • How does the child feel about being adopted by the guardians?
  • The status of the child's health, education, development, and mental health.
    • Gather enough information to present the information in the court report.  


An assessment of the guardian includes:

  • The guardians' motivation to adopt.
  • A description of the physical home environment.
  • A description the family composition.
  • The guardian"s:
    • Health
    • Employment status and income
  • The results of current background checks.
 
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Guardians Reside Out-of-County

 

When the Guardians Live in Another California County and the Santa Clara County Juvenile Dependency Court Accepts the Transfer-In and Sets a 388 Petition Hearing

When the Court Support Unit social worker receives notice that the Santa Clara County dependency court has accepted a Transfer-In of a matter of a guardian having petitioned the court to adopt the guardian child and the guardians live in a California County other than Santa Clara, the social worker:

  • Does not complete an assessment.
  • Does not recommend the setting of a 366.26 Hearing.
  • Prepares a 388 Petition Hearing Report to the court with recommendations that the matter be transferred out to the guardian's current county of residence.
    • Use Transfer Out Recommendations
    • Use the Juvenile Court Transfer Orders (JV550).
     
  • Uses one or more of the following reasons for the recommendation to Transfer-Out the matter back to the guardian's county of residence:
    • There is a protocol adopted by both State and County that states the jurisdiction of a case may be transferred to another county when the child has lived in that other county for a year.
    • Residency must be verified prior to the hearing, and it is more practical for a social worker in the county of residence to complete the verification.
    • The 388 Petition Hearing is scheduled 90 days from the Transfer-In Hearing, and for practical purposes the social worker in the county of residence is more able to complete an assessment within the 90 day period.
    • The child welfare agency in the guardian's county of residence or the State adoption agency must complete an adoption Home Study.
    • The guardians have better access to resources in their own county of residence, and the child welfare agency staff in the county of residence are more familiar with those resources than the DFCS social worker.
    • The guardian family has been receiving aid from the county of residence.
    • A relative/NREFM home approval must be completed, resulting in the possibility of long-distance travel for the DFCS social worker.
     
  • Bay Area Intercounty Transfer Protocol (ICT)
  • Statewide Intercounty Transfer Protocol (ICT)– 12/03/03





When the Court Does Not Order the Transfer Out Recommendation and Orders DFCS to Proceed with the Assessment of the Guardians

 

If the Santa Clara County Juvenile Dependency Court does not order the Transfer-out, the Court Support Unit social worker proceeds with the assessment for the 388 Hearing.




When the Court Accepts the JV-180 Request and at the Same Time

Sets a 366.26 Hearing

If the matter comes to Court Support Unit social worker already set for the 366.26 Hearing and the guardians reside in another county, the social worker proceeds with the assessment for the 366.26 Hearing.

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Funding Issues  
  • Relatives receiving KinGAP
    • The social worker:
      • Completes a relative home approval.
      • Immediately after dependency is reinstated, submits to the Placement Tracking Team:
      • A copy of the SOC forms for the relative home approval.
      • A Placement/Change Address (SCZ17) to show placement of the child in the home of the relative.
      • Contacts the Foster Care Eligibility Bureau, Tel: (408) 271-7400 to:
        • Advise the eligibility worker that dependency has been reinstated in order for the eligibility worker to send notice regarding discontinuation of KinGAP.
        • Inform the eligibility worker that the reinstatement of dependency is based on the original petition that led to the original dependency.
          • On that basis, if the original  petition led to foster care eligibility, that linkage will resume, thereby, foster care will be available to the relative guardians, when the home is approved.
          • If the social worker learns from the eligibility worker that the child was previously ineligible for foster care or if it the eligibility worker is unable to establish a linkage, the social worker immediately directs the relative guardian to apply for CalWORKs.
             

  • Relative Guardians not Receiving KinGAP
    • Relatives who are not receiving funding, may apply for CalWORKs upon the reestablishment of dependency for the guardian child if the guardian wishes to begin to receive financial assistance.   The guardian is not required to apply for assistance.

 

  • Non-relative Guardians receiving AFDC financial assistance.
    • The social worker:
      • Completes a non-relative extended family member (NREFM) home approval.
      • Immediately after dependency is reinstated, submits to the Placement Tracking Team:
        • A copy of the SOC forms for the relative home approval.
        • A Placement/Change Address (SCZ17) to show placement of the child in the home of the relative.


  • Non-relative guardians not receiving financial assistance
    • Non-relative guardians do not have to receive financial assistance if they choose not to receive it.
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Contacts  

Foster Care Eligibility Bureau

Tel: (408) 271-7400

 

 

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Other References  
bullet2 OPP Chapter 7-1: Relative Home Approvals
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