DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 18: Financial Support Systems
18-3.1  DFCS Special Funds (SCZ 414Z)- For Services

 

Financial Support Systems
18-3.1  DFCS Special Funds (SCZ 414Z) - For Services
Reference Points
Overview
General Things to Know about Special Funds Requests
52 Week Batterers Intervention Program
Child Care - Special Funds
Child Care - Child Development Program -CAPP
Child Care - CDP-IVE
Drug Testing
Emergency Respite Care
Expert Witness for ICWA Hearings
Eye Exams and Glasses
Medical Procedures
Mental Health Patch
Mental Health Services (private)
Dental
Orthodontics
Parent Education - Santa Clara County Contracted Services
Paternity Testing
Psychological Evaluations
Contacts


Reference Points
Effective Date: In effect
Last Updated: 4/13/11
 Legal Basis:
Popup Window Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) § 244.6
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word Referral for Juvenile Dependency Court-Ordered Psychology Exam (SCZ 1671c.doc)
MS Word DFCS Special Funds Request (SCZ 414Z)


Overview  

The DFCS Special Funds Program is designed to provide one-time services to a family or child in need.  Different services may be requested over any length of time.  However, each type of service will be authorized only once per family/child.  DFCS Special Funds come from a variety of sources.  Social workers make requests and the management analysts determine which fund to access for payment of the requested item or services.

DFCS Special Funds are limited.  Community resources must first be considered before requesting funding through DFCS Special Funds.

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General Things to Know About Special Funds Requests  
  • The DFCS Special Funds analysts are the only persons authorized to spend DFCS Special Funds.

  • Written authorization from a Special Funds analyst is required for verification of request approval.

  • Written authorization approving a request for funds is required prior to purchase of items or services, though there are exceptions for emergency situations.
  • Social workers and caretakers should not purchase items prior to approval, because they will likely not be reimbursed.

  • Social workers should not promise payment or allow a client to begin services until written approval from the Special funds Unit is obtained.

 

  • Special Funds are limited and, therefore, the amount paid for items is also limited.
    • The cost of a specific item for purchase must be reasonable.
    • Special Funds has targeted costs for various items, based on average retail costs from a number of local stores.
  • Social workers should direct questions and concerns regarding a Special Funds requests to a Special Funds analyst.

  • Clients should not be directed to contact the Special Funds analyst or Accounts Payable directly.

  • Completed forms make for quicker approvals.
    • Social Worker's Name and the Case Name and Number are required on the SCZ 414Z.
    • Incomplete forms will cause a delay in processing and may be returned to the social worker for completion.
     
  • The social worker is not required to obtain W-9 Tax forms from the vender for pre-approved requests involving counseling, parenting education, child care, orthodontics or medical/dental care.

  • The social worker must notify a Special Funds analyst when there is a program service change in the case, e.g. case going from FR to PP.

  • If the vendor your client must use will not provide any kind of written documentation (voided receipt, training receipt, etc.), the Item and Purchase Information (SCZ167b) form may be used to document the cost of the necessary items.

  • Obtaining a check requires 10 working days. Anything less is considered a RUSH request and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please write “RUSH” on the top of this form.

  • All approvals will be copied to the SW.
    • All denials will be returned to the SW with denial information in writing.

  • On each type of Special Funds request form, signature lines for the required signatures are included.
    • Signature requirements vary, depending upon the type of request.
  • There is a 6 month time limit on using County issued checks and purchase orders.
  • Checks and purchase orders obtained for one purpose cannot be use for another.
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52 Week Batterers Intervention Program  

DFCS Special Funds provides assistance for payment of certified 52 Week Batterers' Intervention Programs (BIPs). 

Santa Clara County Certified Batterers/Domestic Violence Programs


To request funds for clients who are residents of Santa Clara County, social workers:

  • Determine if the client has a financial need for assistance in paying for the program.
  • If there is a financial need, complete The DFCS Special Request Funds - Batterers Intervention (52 week) Services (SCZ414Z).
  • Submit the SCZ414Z to the Batterers Intervention Coordinator, Ayanna Vanderbilt at the San Jose Family Resource Center. 
    • Phone: 408-793-8817, Fax: (408) 793-8807, Email: Ayanna.Vanderbilt@ssa.sccgov.org.

To request funds for clients who do not reside in Santa Clara County, social workers:

  • Continue to use the SCZ414Z-Therapeutic and Ad Hoc Parent Ed Services for Adults



For those clients needing financial assistance, DFCS funds include the cost of:

  • the intake/enrollment fee
  • each 52 group sessions that the client attends
  • assessments
  • reports
  • exit interviews
  • materials

Clients are required to pay the $5.00 co-payment for the intake appointment, each session they attend, and the exit interview.  Most Programs require cash co-payments.



Arrangements have been made for service providers to bill the DFCS Special Funds Unit directly.  If a bill is not received by the Special Funds unit within six months from the date of approval or if more than six months lapses between billings, the "Plan" is voided.

 

DFCS Special Funds Unit:

  • "Plans" for BIP's must be approved prior to services starting.
  • Sends copies of Paid Invoices to the social worker for filing in the case file.
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Child Care - Special Funds  

DFCS Special Funds may be requested for child care for birth parents, relatives and non-relative extended family members (NREFMs).  They are not available to licensed foster parents.

When submitting a SCZ 414Z for child care, no attachments are necessary.

Funding Limits

  • Maximum 90 days (12 weeks) - one time per child/per lifetime


 

Licensed

Child Care

*Unlicensed

Child Care

Infant

< 1-yr-old

$210/wk

$180/wk

Child

= or >

1-yr-old

$180/wk

$130/wk

*Provider required to be:

  • Finger printed and TB tested or
  • Qualified through Trustline through 4C's. 
    • Provider cannot be providing day care for children of any other family, other than their own children.

Other Information

  • The social worker must consider all available resources for child care, prior to requesting DFCS Special Funds, including:
    • CDP-CAPP (408)-271-7448
    • CDP_IVE (408)-271-7448
    • 4 C's (408)-487-0749
    • Non-Santa Clara County homes (1-800-424-2246)
    • Parents and relative/NREFM caregivers living outside of Santa Clara County must be registered for all child care programs available in their county of residence prior to requesting DFCS Special Funds.
 
    Program
    Contact

    CDP -

    Child Development Program

    Kim Wahl

    (408) 271-7448

    4 C's (408) 271-7448
    HeadStart (408) 453-6980

     

 

  • Only one funding source may be accessed per child.
    • If any other program begins paying before DFCS Special Funds begin, the social worker must notify the Special Funds Analyst immediately.

  • Child care is only provided when all adults in the home are working.
    • Work schedules must be included in the request.
  • Clients should be told to pay co-payments to the vendor at the time of service.

  • Approval must be obtained before child care begins.
  • A "PLAN" for child care services will be written and authorized by the Special Funds Analyst and submitted to the child care provider. 
    • A copy of the PLAN is sent to the social worker.
    • Special Funds may not be used to pay for services rendered prior to the authorization date.

  • The Special Funds Analyst will send the vendor:
    • A grant letter explaining the policies, limits and payment procedures.
    • Billing information.
    • A supply of attendance forms and self-addressed envelopes for billing purposes.
      • The provider should be completed and returned to the Special Funds Analyst in the self-addressed envelopes.

  • Parent or caregiver must assume responsibility for payment of child care once the DFCS Special Funds limit is reached.
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Child Care - CDP-CAPP  

Eligibility for subsidized child care through the Child Care Child Development Program-CAPP applies to three priority levels. 

Priority One

  • Applies to cases where the child is receiving family maintenance or family preservation services and child care is required as part of the case plan. 
    • This does not include family reunification services.
  • Only available for Santa Clara County cases.
  • Caregiver must either live or work in Santa Clara County.
  • Eligibility for CalWORKs must have been denied or sanctioned prior to an application for child care under the .  If determined to be eligible for CalWORKs, child is NOT eligible for CDP.
  • The referral is only for 1 year.  After 1 year, the family will be recertified to determine if they are income eligible and have a need to remain in the program.

 

Priority Two

  • Applies to cases where the child is at risk of abuse or neglect in his/her current home and child care is necessary to alleviate the risk.
  • Limited to 3 months of coverage.
  • Only referrals from professionals (psychiatrists, mental health workers, etc.)  outside of DFCS staff are accepted.
  • Only available for Santa Clara County cases.
  • Caregiver must either live or work in SCC.
  • Eligibility for CalWORKs must be denied or sanctioned prior to application.  If determined to be eligible for CalWORKs, the child is NOT eligible for CDP.
  • After 3 months, the family will be recertified to determine if they are income eligible and have a need to remain in the program.

 

Priority Three

  • Applies to all other families, as long as they are income eligible, and they have a documented need (work, school, job search and homelessness).  For out of home placements, only the child’s income is counted.
  • Only available for SCC cases.
  • Caregiver must either live or work in SCC.
  • Eligibility for CalWORKs must have been denied or sanctioned prior to application. 
    • If determined to be eligible for CalWORKs, the child is NOT eligible for CDP.

The request is submitted to the Social Services Child Development Program, 373 W. Julian, 5th floor.

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Child Care - CDP-IVE  

Eligibility for subsidized child care under the Child Development Program - IVE includes:

  • DFCS dependent children ages 1 through 6.
    • DFCS Director's approval is required for children under the age of one-year to receive subsidized care.
    • A memo indicating the Director's approval must be attached to the request form.
  • The child(ren) must be placed in a county licensed foster home, relative home or non-related extended family member (NREFM) home.
  • The family must live in Santa Clara County.
  • All adults in the home must be employed.
    • Child care is provided during the hours of employment.
  • Children ages 3-5 must be enrolled in a preschool program.
  • Child care providers must be licensed through California Community Licensing.
    • DFCS Director's approval is required for alternate care providers who are not licensed.
    • A memo indicating the Director's approval must be attached to the request form.
  • A new application must be completed with each placement change, if continued child care is required.

The request is submitted to the Social Services Child Development Program, 373 W. Julian, 5th floor.

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Drug Testing  

For requests for drug testing funding, the DFCS Special Funds Request (SCZ 141Z) is:

  • Completed and signed by the social worker.
    • No supervisor signature is necessary.
  • Submitted directly to the DFCS Drug Testing Customer Service Technician (CST), Tel: (408) 501-6320..



Funding Limits

  • None

 

Other Information

  • Court-ordered drug testing is scheduled and approved by the DFCS Drug Testing Program.
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Emergency Respite Care  

Respite care is available for relative caregivers through Catholic Charities. The Catholic Charities program is not connected to the Special Funds Program. The program does provide relatives with up to 5 hours/week of respite care for each child placed in their homes.

Tel:  (408) 325-5164. 


DFCS Special Funds may be requested for Emergency Respite Care for relative or NREFM caregivers and, in some cases, for licensed foster parents. 

When submitting a SCZ414Z for Emergency Respite Care, no attachments are necessary.


For emergency respite exceeding 72 hours, caregivers who are receiving any type of foster care or non-needy CalWORKs are expected to use some of this funding to make a co-payment directly to the respire provider at the time the children are dropped off with the respite provider.  The amount of the co-payment varies based upon the monthly foster or CalWORKs payments.

 

Other Information

  • Emergency Respite Care is defined as the caregiver having a medical or family crisis, which requires the short-term immediate care of a child under DFCS supervision.
  • Respite care provider is required to be finger printed and TB tested. 
  • Respite care provider cannot be providing day care for children of any other family, other than their own children.
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Eye Exams and Glasses  

When submitting the SCZ 414Z for eye exams and/or glasses, the social worker must attach:

  • Written estimate showing the item price, the total and the tax.
    • It must also show the length of time treatment will take.
  • W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification.
    • The W-9 will be needed for most doctors and dentists.
    • Check with the Special Funds Analysts before asking the client to get a W-9 from the facility.

Funding Limit

  • $2000 per incident

 

Other Information

  • The social worker should review the possibility of payment through private insurance and MediCal, prior to requesting Special Funds.

  • Special Funds can be used for co-payments required by private insurance.


  • Assistance available for children receiving voluntary or court-ordered services under DFCS.
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Expert Witness for ICWA Hearings  

At three stages of a juvenile dependency case when the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) may or does apply, there is a requirement of qualified expert testimony to support court action.  Those three stages are:

  • Foster care placement
  • Termination of parental rights and
  • Placement of an Indian child in a home that is not a placement preference due to the extraordinary needs of the child.

The failure to produced qualified expert witness testimony may vitiate any proceedings held in court.

According to Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) § 224.6(a), "When testimony of a "qualified expert witness" is required in an Indian child custody proceeding, a "qualified expert witness" may include, but is not limited to, a social worker, sociologist, physician, psychologist, traditional tribal therapist and healer, tribal spiritual leader, tribal historian, or tribal elder, provided the individual is not an employee of the person or agency recommending foster care placement or termination of parental rights."  WIC § 224.6(c) goes on to state, " Persons with the following characteristics are most likely to meet the requirements for a qualified expert witness for purposes of Indian child custody proceedings:

  1. A member of the Indian child's tribe who is recognized by the tribal community as knowledgeable in tribal customs as they pertain to family organization and child rearing practices.
  2. Any expert witness having substantial experience in the delivery of child and family services to Indians, and extensive knowledge of prevailing social and cultural standards and child rearing practices within the Indian child's tribe.
  3. A professional person having substantial education and experience in the area of his or her specialty.

County counsel informs the social worker of the need for an expert witness and may be able to direct the social worker to a qualified expert in the area of Indian child welfare.  When an expert witness is required, the social worker:

  • Contacts the expert witness as requested by County Counsel to get an estimate of the costs. 
    • It is recommended that this estimate include all possible costs as it is acceptable to bill for less; however, any additional costs will have to be submitted in a subsequent SCZ414Z.
  • Completes a DFCS Special Request - Misc Service (SCZ414Z).
    • All costs for the expert testimony must be pre-approved
  • Submits the SCZ414Z to the Special Funds Unit.

The Special Funds Unit processes the approval.  The Plan that is approved is FAXed to the expert witness vendor. Invoicing and payment is processed by the Special Funds Unit.

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Medical Procedures  

When submitting the SCZ 414Z for a medical procedure, the social worker must attach:

  • Written estimate showing the cost of the procedure or a receipt for unavailable emergency treatment.
    • It must also show the length of time to complete the entire procedure
  • W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification.
    • The W-9 will be needed for most doctors and dentists.
    • Check with the Special Funds Analysts before asking the client to get a W-9 from the facility.
  • a Medi-cal denial letter, If the child has Medi-cal.

 

Other Information

  • The social worker should review the possibility of payment through private insurance and MediCal, prior to requesting Special Funds .

  • Special Funds can be used for co-payments required by private insurance.


  • Assistance available for children receiving voluntary or court-ordered services under DFCS.
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Mental Health Patch  

Requests for funds through Mental Health Patch monies follow the following procedures.

Social Workers:

  • Obtain services approval through RISC.
  • Completes The DFCS Special Request Funds - Mental Health Patch (SCZ414Z):
    • For new placements:
      • At the time of placement.
    • For existing placements:
      • At the time of the next invoice is received by the social worker.
  • Attaches the group home agreement.
  • Forwards the form and attachments to the DFCS Special Funds Unit.
  • Directs all invoices to the DFCS Special Funds Unit for processing.
    • Social workers do not complete an SCZ 414Z for each monthly invoice. 

DFCS Special Funds Unit:

  • Provides an approved "Plan" similar to the Plans provided for Ad Hoc Counseling services.
  • Sends copies of Paid Invoices to the social worker for filing in the case file.
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Mental Health Services (Private)  

When submitting a SCZ414Z for private mental health services, no attachments are necessary.



Funding Limits

  • For adults, a maximum of twelve (12)sessions at $90/one-hour session.
    • For most services, the adult receiving the services pays a minimum five (5) dollar co-payment per session to the provider.
  • For individual therapy for a child or family therapy, one extension of 12 sessions may be authorized, depending upon the availability of funding.  Further extensions require a therapeutic summary report and treatment plan in order to be considered.



Other Information

  • Special Funds may be requested for mental health services, only when the client is not eligible for:
    • Victim Witness Funds
    • MediCAL
    • Private insurance
    • County Mental Health services (contact Family Resource Centers)
      • Special Funds can be requested to pay for the co-payment for any of the above service providers.
  • Services for adults are dependent upon availability of funding.
  • Special Funds for mental health services can be approved for a parent when:
    • Participation in mental health services is court-ordered and part of the case plan.
      • If the service program changes to Permanency Planning, DFCS Special Funds will be discontinued for the parent, if service participation is not included in the case plan.
    • The parent is making good progress on his/her case plan and is motivated to comply with all court ordered services and case plan activities.
    • The parent is the most likely parent to reunify with the child.
  • Services include, but are not limited to the following types of counseling:
    • Individual
    • Conjoint
    • Family
    • Group
    • Domestic Violence
    • Substance Abuse
    • Sexual Abuse, including specialized services for children through EMQ Families First.

  • A "PLAN" for mental health services will be written and authorized by the Special Funds Analyst and submitted to the mental health agency/therapist.
    • A copy of the PLAN is sent to the social worker.
    • Special Funds may not be used to pay for services rendered prior to the authorization date.
    • The "PLAN" will be voided, if the PLAN is more than six months old and has not been utilized by the client or billed by the service provider.

  • Due to the Special Funds funding limits, the social worker should discuss with the client how the client plans to pay for continued services after the 12 sessions, if continued participation is required.

  • Special Funds will not pay providers for missed or late sessions.
    • The client is responsible for the full amount as required by the provider for any missed or late sessions.

  • The adult to be receiving the services is required to pay a co-payment of at least $5 per session and no less than $1 per session.
    • Any co-pay of less than $5 must be justified by the social worker on the request form. 
    • Clients should be informed that they must pay the co-payment to the agency/therapist at the time of service.


  • Special Funds for mental health services may be requested for children or parents, when participation in mental health services is part of the case plan.
    • If the service program changes to Permanency Planning, DFCS Special Funds will be discontinued for the parent, if service participation is not included in the case plan.

  • Special Funds can only be used for services utilized during the time a case is open.
    • Funding will be discontinued at the time of case closure for both parents and children.
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Dental  

When submitting the SC414Z for a dental procedure, the social worker must attach a:

  • Written estimate showing the cost of the procedure or a receipt for the emergency treatment.
  • W-9 Request for Taxpayer identification and Certification.
    • The W-9 will be needed for most doctors and dentists.
    • Check with the Special Funds Analysts before asking the client to get a W-9 from the facility.
  • Supplemental Service (SS) denial, if the child has Medi-cal, Denti-cal, or EPSDT.
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Orthodontics  

When submitting the SCZ 414Z for orthodontics, the social worker must attach a:

  • Medi-cal denial or Handicapping Labi-lingual Deviation (HLD) Index form completed by the dentist.
  • Written estimate showing the item price, the total and the tax.
    • It must also show the length of time treatment will take.



Other Information

  • The social worker must review the possibility of payment through private insurance and MediCal, prior to requesting Special Funds .

  • Special Funds can be used for co-payments required by private insurance.

  • A "PLAN" for orthodontic services will be written and authorized by the Special Funds Analysts and submitted to the orthodontist.
    • A copy of the PLAN is sent to the social worker.
    • Special Funds may not be used to pay for services rendered prior to the authorization date.

  • The authorization for orthodontic services will be voided after six months, if services have not been used or if the vendor has not billed the agency.



Special Issues

  • DFCS only initiates Orthodontics plans for children in out-of-home placement.  If a child returns home mid-treatment and his/her parents cannot afford the orthodontic payments, DFCS will continue to pay until the case closes or the child emancipates.

  • Regulations prohibit payment for services, once a child is emancipated and/or the case is closed.

  • If it is likely that the child will emancipate prior to completion of orthodontic services, the social worker:
    • Works with ILP (EYS) and other community funding sources to cover monthly treatment fees, and/or
    • Assesses whether the parent will have enough money to cover the remaining costs of services.

  • See Department Memorandum dated 5/13/06: Orthodontic Special Funds Requests.
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Parent Education  

When submitting a SCZ 414Z for parenting education classes, no attachments are necessary. 



Funding Limits

  • Maximum of twelve (12) sessions at $90/per session.
    • For most services, the adult receiving the services pays a minimum five  (5) dollar co-payment per session/class to the provider.


Other Information

  • Contact the Parent Education Program Coordinator, Rosa Benns Tel: (408) 793-8815 regarding DFCS and Contracted Parent Education Services prior to located and referring clients to a private agency/therapist/instructor and before requesting Special Funds.

  • A "PLAN" for parent education classes will be written and authorized by the Special Funds Analyst and submitted to the private agency/therapist/instructor.
    • A copy of the PLAN is sent to the social worker.
    • Special Funds may not be used to pay for services rendered prior to the authorization date.
    • The "PLAN" will be voided, if the PLAN is more than six months old and has not been utilized by the client or billed by the service provider.

  • Due to the Special Funds funding limits, the social worker should discuss with the client how the client plans to pay for continued services, if continued classes will be required.

  • Special Funds will not reimburse providers for missed or late sessions.
    • The client is responsible for the full amount for any missed or late sessions.

  • Clients should be informed that they must pay the co-payment to the agency/therapist/instructor at the time of service.
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Paternity Testing  

When submitting a SCZ 414Z for paternity testing to the Permanency Planning Coordinator, the social worker attaches:

  • The court order for the paternity testing, if the parent is incarcerated.

 

Funding Limits

  • N/A

 

Other Information

  • Court ordered paternity testing is coordinated by the DFCS social worker through Central Medical Laboratory.


  • DFCS Special Funds Request is submitted directly to the Patrick Solich, Social Work Coordinator II, Tel: (408) 501-6515.


  • For testing outside of Santa Clara County, the social worker contacts the Social Work Coordinator II, Patrick Solich, Tel: (408) 501-6515.


  • Paternity test results for clients living in Santa Clara County usually take about 3 weeks.
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Psychological Evaluations  

When submitted a SCZ 414Z for psychological testing to the Juvenile Court Evaluations Coordinator, the social worker attaches:

  • Referral for Juvenile Dependency Court-Ordered Psychology Exam (SCZ 1671c)

 

Funding Limits

  • Court-ordered evaluations only


Other Information

  • The DFCS Special Funds Request is submitted directly to the Juvenile Court Evaluations Coordinator, Anelda Qualitieri, Tel: (408) 501-6845.

  • The Coordinator will arrange for the psychological evaluation with an approved psychologist.


  • The Coordinator will process the SCZ 414Z and invoice for payment.
  • Psychological evaluation reports are submitted to the Coordinator who will deliver them to the social worker.
  • Clients who arrange their own evaluations are responsible for payment.
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Contacts  

Contact: Special Funds Desk

  • Special.Funds@ssa.sccgov.org
  • Tel: (408) 501-6867
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Other References  
MS Word2 Department Memorandum dated 5/13/06: Orthodontic Special Funds Requests
MS Word2 Santa Clara County Certified Batterers/Domestic Violence Programs
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