DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 11: Concurrent Planning and Adoption
11-9.1 Non-Relative Guardianships with Dependency Dismissed
Concurrent Planning and Adoption
11-9.1   Non-Relative Guardianships with Dependency Dismissed
Reference Points
Overview
Dismissing Dependency on Non-Relative Guardianship Cases
Procedures for Non-Relative Guardianships after Dependency is Dismissed
Setting Up Case Folders After Guardianship is Established and Dependency Dismissed
Case Plans for Non-Dependent Non-relative Guardianship Cases
Ongoing Services for Non-Relative Guardianships
Procedures for Non-Relative Guardianships Established in Probate Court Applying for Financial Assistance
Procedures for Non-Relative Guardianships Previously Established in Probate Court/ Guardians Have Funding and Now Want Services
Terminating Services for Non-Relative Guardianships
Other References


Reference Points
Effective Date: In effect
Last Updated: 10/16/13
 Legal Basis:
Popup Window Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) § 11405
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word Placement/Address Change (SCZ17)
MS Word Permanent Placement Child Contact Waiver (SCZ1334)
MS Word DFCS Request - Special Care Increment (SCZ 414Z)
 CWS/CMS Forms:
PDF Case Management Section: Case Plan
PDF Services Management Section: Contacts


Overview  

When a guardianship is established at the 366.26 Hearing, generally, juvenile court dependency is dismissed because the legal guardian is now the responsible party to meet the needs of the child. In providing services leading up to the guardianship, the social worker has supported the guardian family to function without child welfare services by helping the family to secure and engage in supportive community services, as well as to anticipate future needs of the child. The role of the social worker is minimized by virtue of the legal standing of the guardians. 

However, if the non-relative guardian chooses to accept financial assistance through state foster care funds, the case remains open in CWS/CMS as a requirement under Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) § 11405. 

Further, the guardian must cooperate with the development of a written assessment of the child's needs, an update of the assessment at least every six months, the development of a case plan which is to be updated every six months with the assessment, and a contact with the child at least every six months.

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Dismissing Dependency on Non-Relative Guardianship Cases  

Because non-relative guardianship cases now remain open for services-only and a social worker remains on the case, the need for court dependency is further diminished.

Social Workers are instructed to dismiss dependency once guardianship is established for non-relatives, unless there is a specific, identifiable need for continued court intervention.  After guardianship is established, approval by a program manager must be obtained to keep dependency. 


One circumstance for which continued dependency is required is for the provision of Wraparound services.  If Wraparound services would provide needed stability in the guardian family, dependency must continue because it is one of the qualifying criteria for Wraparound services.

When dependency is dismissed, the CWS/CMS case remains open under Voluntary Permanency Planning services. 

  • Updates need to be made in CWS/CMS to the Family Assessment, Case Plans, and Contacts. 
  • Special Care Increments need to be reassessed every six (6) months. 
  • No further entries are required in CWS/CMS for Health and Education Passports. 
  • Guardians may sign for psychotropic medication, so no further entries need to be made for court authorization of psychotropic medication.

 

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Procedures for Non-Relative Guardianships after Dependency is Dismissed

 

The Social Worker recommends that guardianship be established and dependency be dismissed, unless continued dependency is approved by the supervisor. 

After dependency is dismissed in a non-relative guardianship case, the case remains open in CWS/CMS, if the guardians choose to accept state foster care funds.  If the non-relative guardians choose not to accept financial assistance, the CWS/CMS case is closed, and no further monitoring is required.  

DI legal clerk:

  • Enters the court results (guardianship established and dependency dismissed) in CWS/CMS.


Social Worker

  • Completes a Placement/Address Change (SCZ17), Scenario I, after the dependency is dismissed.
    • Choose "Guardianship established, Non-relative ."

  • Submits the SCZ17 to the Placement Tracking Team (PTT).
    • PTT changes the Case Status from Court Involvement to Voluntary and changes the Service Component to Permanency Planning.

  • Completes a Continuing Comprehensive Assessment Tool (CAT).

  • Develops a voluntary CWS/CMS case plan with the guardians and child, within 30 days of the dismissal of dependency.
    • Complete a full CWS/CMS Family Assessment as part of the case plan process.
    • Services goals and objectives may be limited to one or two objectives if the child is stable in the family, but all areas of concern should be addressed in the case plan.

  • Updates the Special Care Increment (SCI) authorization, if applicable.
    • Update the SCI at the time of the Initial Voluntary Case Plan so that updates come due at the same time.
    • If the child is not receiving an SCI, an assessment of the child to determine if the child meets the criteria for an SCI should be made at each contact with the child.

  • Completes a Permanent Placement Child Contact Waiver (SCZ1334) for a 6-month waiver (Part II. on the waiver).

  • Makes contact with the child every six months or more often if assessed to be needed.

  • Updates the Family Assessment and Case Plan every six months.
    • For youth who are 16 and older, an updated Transitional Independent Living Plan (TILP) is also required to be completed along with each updated Case Plan.

  • Documents contacts in CWS/CMS.

  • Verifies that the Case Status in CWS/CMS is Voluntary and that the Service Component is Permanency Planning.



Placement Tracking Team (PTT)

  • Changes the case status from Court Involvement to Voluntary

  • Changes the Service Component to Permanent Planning, if the case is not already in that service component. 

 

A Voluntary Placement Agreement (SOC155) is not required.

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Setting Up Case Folders After Guardianship is Established and Dependency Dismissed  

A case folder, light green in color, is used as the case file for non-relative guardianship cases.  After dependency is dismissed:

Social Worker:

  • Prepares the case files to be sent to the Retention Center

  • Makes a copy of the following documents and places them to the top of the case files to be sent to the Retention Center:
    • Letter of Guardianship
    • Latest Court Report
    • Birth Certificate
    • Social Security Card
    • DFCS Special Funds (SCZ414Z) for cases with SCIs
    • Any other document that will be helpful for future reference


  • Attaches a Memo to the case file requesting that the Continuing clerk prepares a Non-relative Guardianship case folder.

 

Continuing Clerk:

  • Prepares a label with the case name (child’s name) and case number and applies it to the green Non-relative Guardianship case file.

  • Inserts the documents on top of the case file to be sent to the Retention Center into the green Non-relative Guardianship file.

  • Applies a 2x4 “Non-relative Guardianship Case” label to each volume of the case file to be sent to the Retention Center.

    • This will indicate that there is a parallel guardianship case for the child with additional information.

  • Returns the green Non-relative Guardianship case folder to the assigned social worker.
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Case Plans for Non-Dependent Non-relative Guardianship Cases  

Case Plans for cases involving Non-Dependent Legal Guardianships should be brief but address services related to any needs or concerns.

Social workers must incorporate a Transitional Independent Living Plan (TILP) into the case plans of non-dependent youth in non-relative guardianships.

 

For a guardianship case in which the child is stable, the social worker might choose under:

Service Objectives:

For “Service Objectives,” the social worker might choose:

  • Monitor child’s health, safety, and well being

Planned Client Services:

For “Planned Client Services,” the social worker might choose:   

  • “Health/CHDP Services” under Category.
  • Under “Type”:

HEP – Physical Exam and

HEP – Dental Exam

      • It is not necessary to enter health and education information in CWS/CMS.
      • Alternately, Education, Tutoring, Counseling, or Psychotropic Medication Monitoring may be selected under Category for “Planned Client Services” when they are applicable and appropriate to the child’s circumstances.

Case Management Services:

For “Case Management Services,” the social worker might choose:

  • Provide crisis intervention
  • SW Planned Contacts
    • Schedule for Service for Planned Contacts would be:
        • Occurrences 1;
        • Frequency Every 6 months;
        • Contact/Visitation Waivers: Child Placed with Legal Guardian
          • The social worker must complete the SCZ1334 contact waiver.
         
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Ongoing Services for Non-Relative Guardianships  

Services continue for guardian families until the guardianship terminates.   The social worker provides referrals as required.  Guardian families do not qualify to receive respite care funds, family preservation or out-of-home care services funds, such as recreation, social, or  graduation funds.

The child does qualify for  Special Care Increments and services through Medi-cal, such as System of Care and Therapeutic Based Services.

Youth are eligible for ILP services up to their 21st birthday provided Guardianship with a non-relative was established after the child was 8-years-old, dependency is dismissed, and the youth continues to receive Permanency Planning services. Please refer to OPP Chapter 6-7: Independent Living-skills Program (ILP) for further information. 

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Procedures for Non-Relative Guardianships Established in Probate Court Applying for Financial Assistance  

When guardianships are established in Probate Court, the guardian family is referred to the Department of Employment and Benefits (DEBS) for a determination of eligibility for funding assistance.  If they qualify, the guardians will receive State funding, and a social worker must be assigned to the case to provide ongoing assessments of the child as required under W&IC § 11405. 

Eligibility Worker:

  • Completes the Child Welfare Intake (SCZ 1489A). 
  • Forward the SCZ1489A to ER clerical for case opening.


Emergency Response Clerical

  • Opens a voluntary PP case in CWS/CMS.
  • Contacts DI clerical for social worker assignment.
  • Creates a case file for the new non-relative guardian case.
  • Forwards the case file to the assigned social worker.

Social Worker

  • Contacts the guardian family to introduce himself/herself.
  • Assesses the child.
  • Completes a Placement/Address Change Form (SCZ17), Scenario D to generate the SOC 158 for payment purposes.
  • Develops a voluntary CWS/CMS case plan with the guardians and child, within 30 days of case assignment.
    • Complete a full CWS/CMS Family Assessment as part of the case plan process.
    • Service goals and objectives may be limited to one or two objectives if the child is stable in the family, but all areas of concern should be addressed in the case plan.
  • Applies for a Special Care Increment (SCI), if the social worker determines that the child meets the criteria for an SCI.
    • If the child is not receiving an SCI, an assessment of the child to determine if the child meets the criteria for an SCI should be made at each contact with the child.
  • Completes a Permanent Placement Child Contact Waiver (SCZ1334) for a 6-month waiver (part II. on the waiver).
  • Makes contact every six months or more often if assessed to be needed or requested by the guardians or child.
  • Updates the case plan every six months.
  • Updates SCI every six months, if applicable.
  • Documents contacts in CWS/CMS.

A Voluntary Placement Agreement (SOC 155) is not required.

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Procedures for Non-Relative Guardianships Previously Established in Probate Court/ Guardians Have Funding and Now Want Services  

When there is a Probate Guardianship where the guardians are already receiving funding assistance but want services, the guardian will likely call the Eligibility Worker.  The same procedures as in Procedures for Non-Relative Guardianships Established in Probate Court Applying for Financial Assistance are followed except that the social worker does not complete an SCZ17 form, since financial assistance is already established.

 

A Voluntary Placement Agreement (SOC 155) is not required.

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Terminating Services to Non-relative Guardianships  

Voluntary Permanency Planning services continue for the guardian family and child until the guardianship terminates.  Termination may occur when:

  • The child ages out of the child welfare system.
  • The guardianship is set aside through court order, and the case reverts back to a dependency case.
  • The child is removed from the care of the guardian due to abuse or neglect, and the case reverts back to a dependency case.
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Other References  

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OPP Chapter 4-3: Transitional Independent Living Plan (TILP)

OPP Chapter 6-7: Independent Living-skills Program (ILP)

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