DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 12: Assignment, Transfer, and Closure of Referrals and Cases
12-8.1  Transferring a Case for Adoption Finalization
Assignment, Transfer, and Closure of Referrals and Cases
12-8.1  Transferring a Case for Adoption Finalization
Reference Points
Overview
Early Preparation for Adoption Finalization
Criteria for the Adoption Finalization Unit Accepting a Case
Procedures for Submitting a Case for Adoption Finalization
Other References


Reference Points
Effective Date: TBA
Last Updated: 2/8/11
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word Family Social and Medical History Information Form (SCZ 222)
MS Word Adoption Finalization Check List (SCZ 93)


Overview   In the Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children's Services, the Adoption Finalization Unit processes the needed information and documentation needed to finalize an adoption.  The Adoption Finalization Unit writes the Adoption Child Assessment, completes documents for submission to the State and for the Adoption Assistance Program, prepares court documents for the Finalization Court Hearing, and provides to the adoptive family full disclosure information, which includes redacted reports and documentation regarding the child.   The Adoption Finalization social worker is a secondarily assigned social worker to the case, who processes the adoption finalization.  The Continuing social worker remains the primary worker and continues to offer Permanency Planning services to the child.
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Early Preparation for Adoption Finalization  
  • Dependent Intake (DI) Social Worker

A number of documents, reports, and records, as well as family demographic information, gathered by the DI social worker is used by the Adoption Finalization social worker, if reunification services are not successful and an eventual permanent plan of adoption is made on behalf of the child.  It is near the start of child welfare services, at the Dependent Intake stage, that the parents may be most cooperative in supplying the social worker with information about the family to assist in providing appropriate care for the child during efforts at reunification.  Later, if reunification services are not successful, the parents may not want to cooperate in providing information, or their whereabouts may be unknown. The DI social worker begins the Family Social and Medical History Information Form (SCZ 222) and completes it as extensively as possible.  Additionally, the DI social worker obtains:

  • Certified birth certificates
  • Birth records
  • Medical and dental records
  • School reports and records
  • Psychological evaluations, if applicable

 

  • Continuing Social Work Supervisor

When a Continuing social work supervisor receives a Family Reunification (FR) case from Dependent Intake (DI), the supervisor reviews the case to determine 1) the age of the child and 2) the prognosis for reunification.  If the child is under age 3 and/or the prognosis for reunification is poor, the supervisor:

  • Instructs the assigned social worker to review the Family Social and Medical History Information Form (SCZ 222) begun by previous social workers for the child.




  • Social Worker

When a child is brought into temporary custody, one of the social worker's responsibilities is to identify a concurrent home for the child.  A concurrent home is one in which the caregivers cooperate with reunification services offered to the child's family, while being willing to establish a permanent home for the child, through adoption or guardianship, if the parents do not successfully reunify with their child. 

It is the social worker's responsibility to discuss concurrent planning with out-of-home caregivers as soon as possible, including during the initial discussion of placing the child in the home if the placement is with relatives or non-relative extended family members (NREFMs).  If a child is place in an Emergency Satellite Home (ESH), the issue of concurrency is discussed with the ESH parents after the 59 day assessment phase.  At that time, the ESH parents may be considered for a concurrent permanent placement of the child if no relatives or NREFMs have been identified.  See OPP Chapter 6-3: Emergency Satellite Home (ESH) Placements.  If the Dependent Intake social worker has not discussed concurrent planning with the out-of-home caregivers, the Continuing social worker discusses it with them. 

At the point the caregivers state that they are willing to provide a concurrent, permanent plan of adoption for the child, the social worker refers the caregivers for an adoption home study.

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Criteria for the Adoption Finalization Unit Accepting a Case  

The Adoption Unit will accept a case for processing of the adoption finalization when:

  • Parental rights have been terminated,
  • An Adoption Home Study has been completed,
  • The documentation and information listed on the Adoption Finalization Checklist (SCZ93) has been gathered,
  • All information on ICWA is complete and updated in CWS/CMS, and
  • The case file is organized.
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Procedures for Submitting a Case for Adoption Finalization  
Task
Who
  • Ensures that all documents, records, and information listed on the Adoption Finalization Checklist (SCZ 93) are pulled from the case file.
    • The Continuing social worker may have to retrieve case file volumes from the Retention Center to locate the needed documents or information.
      • Ensure that all case file volumes are accounted for.
    • The eligibility worker may have to be contacted to obtain information related to foster care rates.
  • Ensures that all ICWA fields are complete and updated in CWS/CMS.
  • Submits the case file and the stack of pulled documents to the social work supervisor for review.
  • Forwards to the Adoption Finalization social worker ongoing documents, reports, etc. regarding the child that are received while the adoption finalization is in process.
    • Do not wait until the case is about to be closed to forward these documents and reports.

Continuing

Social Worker

  • Reviews the case file against the Adoption Finalization Checklist (SCZ 93), assuring that all required documents and information has been gathered.
  • Ensures that all case file volumes are accounted for.
  • Contacts the Adoption Finalization Unit supervisor to notify the supervisor that the case is ready for secondary assignment
  • Submits the case file and stack of pulled documents to the Adoption Finalization Unit supervisor for review.
Social Work Supervisor
  • Reviews the case file against the Adoption Finalization Checklist (SCZ 93).

Adoption Finalization (AF)

Unit

Supervisor

If the AF supervisor.. then the AF supervisor..
accepts the case
  • notifies the Continuing supervisor that the case has been approved for acceptance by the Finalization Unit and that the file is ready to be split.
  • gives the case to the Adoption clerical staff so the case can be split.
  • contacts the Continuing social work supervisor if the case is not returned within 2 weeks of it being sent for splitting.
does not accept the case returns the case file to the Continuing supervisor, listing the missing or incomplete documents or information.
  • Splits the case.
  • Forwards the case file and the stack of pulled documents to the Adoption Finalization Unit Control Clerk (E5CC).

Adoption

Clerical

  • Assigns the case to an Adoption Finalization social worker.
  • Makes the assigned social worker the secondary worker in CWS/CMS.
  • Emails the primary social worker and social work supervisor with the name of the assigned adoption finalization social worker.

Adoption Finalization

Unit

Supervisor

  • Writes the Adoption Child Assessment.
  • Works with the adoption family to complete all required state documents.
  • Provides to the adoptive family full disclosure information regarding the child.
  • Negotiates Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) benefits with the proposed adoptive parent(s).
  • Completes the Adoption Placement Agreement.
  • Assists the proposed adoptive family with petitioning the court to order the adoption.
  • Arranges scheduling of the Adoption Finalization Hearing.
  • Prepares the court report for the Finalization Hearing.
  • Notifies the Continuing social worker and social work supervisor of the finalization court hearing.
  • Submits all required documents to the State.
Adoption Finalization Social Worker
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Other References  
bullet2 OPP Chapter 6-3: Emergency Satellite Home (ESH) Placements
bullet2 OPP Chapter 12-8.2: Adoption Finalization Case Closing
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