DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 12: Referral/Case Assignment, Closing and Transfer
12-9 Differential Response-Path IV: Dismissing a Court Case
Referral/Case Assignment, Closing and Transfer
12-9  Differential Response-Path IV: Dismissing a Court Case
Reference Points
Overview
Criteria for Referral for Path IV Services
Social Worker's Role
Differential Response (DR) Coordinator's Role
Lead Agency's Role
Contacts
Other Reference


Reference Points
Effective Date: 4/29/08
Last Updated: 7/31/12
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word Differential Response Path IV Referral (SCZ214B)
MS Word

Release of Information (SCZ 1029) - English/Spanish

 CWS/CMS Forms:
bullet Comprehensive Assessment Tool (CAT) - Case Closure
bullet Court Management Section - Court Reports


Overview  

Differential Response is a flexible, customized approach within identified response paths to reports of child abuse or neglect.  The approach is based on an assessment of safety and risk within a family and the ascertainment of facts to determine the strengths, resources and needs of the child(ren) in the family as well as the other family members.  Of the four Differential Response Paths, Path IV focuses on families who have successfully reunified after involvement with the Department of Family and Children's Services (DFCS) and the juvenile dependency court.  Based on the social worker's assessment of a family's needs at the time of court dismissal, community services may be offered to the family in order to maintain stability and reduce the reoccurrence of child maltreatment and re-entry of the family into the child welfare system after court dependency has ended.  At a minimum, information and resources based on the family's individual needs are provided to all families by the assigned social workers, upon closure of the case.  The information includes the variety of voluntary services offered through community-based organizations and the DFCS' Family Resource Centers that can support the family to continue addressing the issues which led to the original court action.

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Criteria for Referral for Path IV Services  

The criteria for referring a family for Path IV Differential Response services are that:

  • The family resides in Santa Clara County.
  • The family received court-ordered services.
  • The family successfully completed the DFCS case plan goal and objectives.
  • Dismissal of dependency is anticipated in the near future.
  • The family would benefit from and is willing to accept voluntary services through one of the community agencies contracted to provide aftercare services.

Eligible families are referred to community-based organizations based on individual family needs and eligibility criteria.

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Social Worker's Role  

In referring families to community agencies for Path IV services, the social worker:

  • Determines if the family meets the eligibility criteria.
  • Determines that the family's case will likely be dismissed by the Court at the next hearing, no less than two months away.
  • Obtains the family's willingness and agreement to accept Path IV services.
  • Obtains a release of information from the family to allow DFCS to release the family's information to the community-based agency.
  • Identifies the family's aftercare needs.
  • Identifies the services that will meet the family's aftercare needs.
  • Completes the Differential Response Path IV Referral (SCZ214B).
  • Forwards the Referral and the signed release of information to the Differential Response (DR) Path II-IV Coordinator.

 

When verification is received that the case is accepted for Path IV services, the social worker:

  • Schedules a meeting with the family and community agency to complete the warm handoff of the case and to begin developing a case plan with objectives, activities and services.
    • The plan could also be completed at a Family Conference or TDM.
    • A safety plan should be considered in cases of continued risk such as domestic violence, sexual abuse and/or physical abuse.
  • Documents the aftercare plan in the CWS/CMS Contact Notebook.

  • Prepares the court report with the recommendation to dismiss the case, listing the recommended aftercare service interventions in the court report.
    • The aftercare plan may be used to support the dismissal recommendation.
  • Documents the development of the Path IV case plan in the Comprehensive Assessment Tool (CAT)- Case Closure.
  • Documents that the family will receive Path IV services in the Discharge Summary section in CWS/CMS.

 

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Differential Response Coordinator's Role  

The Differential Response Coordinator for Path II-IV referrals:

  • Reviews the Differential Response Path IV Referral (SCZ214B) to review for completeness and to verify the family's eligibility.
  • Forwards the completed Referral and release of information to the community agency.
    • If the referral cannot be submitted, the coordinator consults with the referring social worker.
  •  
  • Collects feedback data from the community agencies regarding the family's use of services, progress and outcome.
  • Inputs the data into the DR database.

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Community Agency's Role  

Community agencies provide families with basic case management and linkages to community resources.  They also continue to monitor services in which the family is already participating.  Their role is to promote the stability and well-being of the children as well as that of the entire family.

After receiving a referral from DFCS, the community agency which will be serving the family:

  • Sends the DR Path II-IV coordinator verification that the case is accepted for assignment.
  • Contacts the assigned social worker to plan transition of services to the community agency after dependency is dismissed.
  • Meets with the family and social worker to begin developing a case plan.
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Contacts  
  • Differential Response Path II-IV Coordinator

Angela Carbone

373 W. Julian St., 2nd flr.

Tel: 408-501-6415

Fax: (408) 792-1466

           Angela.Carbone@ssa.sccgov.org

  • Differential Response Social Services Program Manager

Miday Tovar

408-501-6521

Miday.Tovar@ssa.sccgov.org

 
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Other References  
bullet2 Differential Response- Path I: Evaluated-out Referrals
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