DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 1:  Financial Support Systems
18-4  Minor Dependent Parents in Foster Care
Financial Support Systems
18-4  Minor Dependent Parents in Foster Care
Reference Points
Overview
Whole Family Foster Homes (WFFH)
New Legislation
Financial Eligibility of Infants Placed with Minor Dependent Parents
Shared Responsibility Plan
Recruitment and Training of WFFH
Social Worker Responsibilities
Birth Father's Status
Placement Tracking Team (PTT) Responsibilities
CWS/CMS Entry by PTT


Reference Points
Effective Date: DRAFT
Last Updated: 03/17/08
 Legal Basis:
Popup Window SB 500
PDF CDSS All County Letter No. 06-04: Minor Dependent Parents in Foster Care
Popup Window California Penal Code Section 261.5
Popup Window Welfare & Institutions Code (WIC) § 300 (j)
Popup Window WIC § 362.1 (a) (1) (B) (3)
Popup Window WIC & 11400(t)
Popup Window WIC § 16002.5
Popup Window WIC § 16501.25 (a), (b) and (c)
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word Shared Responsibility Plan
MS Word Placement Address/Change Form (SCZ 17)
 CWS/CMS Forms:
bullet Services Management Section: Contact Notebook
bullet Case Information Notebook:  Special Project Codes


Overview   Effective January 1, 2006, California State Senate Bill (SB) 500 has made changes to the rates paid for infants placed in foster care with their minor dependent parents.  It also changed placement requirement regarding those infants.  The changes were intended to reinforce established child welfare policy goals of keeping children with their court-dependent minor parents, whenever possible.
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Whole Family Foster Homes  

A new placement category, "Whole Family Foster Home (WFFH)", has been established by SB 500.  This placement option was designed specifically to assist the minor parent in developing the skills necessary to provide a safe, stable and permanent home for his/her child.  Further, a higher payment rate was scheduled to cover the costs of the care and supervision provided in WFFHs and to increase the incentives for placing foster teens and their children together.

WFFHs can be a family home, approved relative caregiver or non-relative extended family member (NREFM) home or a Foster Family Agency (FFA) home.  Caregivers must be specifically recruited and trained for the WFFH placement option.  The child of the minor parent does not have to be a dependent child to qualify for placement in a whole family foster home.

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New Legislation  

New legislation amends dependency statues pertaining to jurisdiction of the juvenile court and visitation statutes: 

  • The Legislature declares that a child whose parent has been adjudged a dependent child of the court pursuant to this section shall not be considered to be at risk of abuse or neglect solely because of the age, dependent status, or foster care status of the parent.
  • Visitations statutes have been revised for the purposes of maintaining family ties and facilitation reunification.  Revised visitation statues authorize the court to order visitation among appropriate family members unless visitation would be detrimental to the teen parent. 
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Financially Eligibility of Infants Placed with Minor Dependent Parents  
If.. Then.. If..
  • Infant is a dependent
  • Both minor mother and infant receive separate full AFCD-FC payments
  • Minor mother is receiving reunification services
  • Any placement
  • No SRP
  • Infant is a non-dependent
  • AFDC-FC rate for minor mother
  • Infant Supplement of $391.
  • The placement is not a WFFH
  • No Shared Responsibility Plan
  • Infant is a non-dependent

 

  • AFDC-FC rate for minor mother
  • AFDC-FC rate for infant
  • Placement is a WFFH
  • No Shared Responsibility Plan
  • Infant is a non-dependent

 

  • AFDC-FC rate for minor mother
  • AFDC-FC for infant 
  • $200 enhanced infant supplemental      
  • Placement is a WFFH
  • Shared Responsibility Plan has been developed
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Shared Responsibility Plan  

When the child of a teen parent is not subject to the jurisdiction of the dependency court but is in the full or partial physical custody of the teen parent, a written Shared Responsibility Plan (SRP) shall be developed. 

The SRP is a written agreement outlining the responsibilities between the substitute care provider and the minor mother in caring for the child.  The goal of the SRP is to keep the minor mother with their infant children and assist in becoming skilled caretakers of their infants. 

 

  • Those participating in the development of the SRP should include:
    • Teen parent
    • Caregiver
    • Social worker
    • FFA case manager, if placement is an FFA
    • Any individual identified by the teen parent
    • Child's other parent, if appropriate
    • Other extended family members
  • Goals of the SRP are to:
    • Facilitate a supportive home environment for the teen parent and the child
    • Enable the teen parent to independently provide a safe, stable and permanent home for the child.
      • The plan is in no way to limit the teen parent's legal right to make decisions regarding the care, custody and control of the child.
    • Supports the teen parent's Case Plan (including the TILP) and any visitation orders made by the Court.
      • The SRP cannot conflict with the teen parent's case plan or any visitation orders made by the court.
    • Aid the teen parent and the caregiver to reach agreements aimed at reducing conflict and misunderstandings.
      • The SRP identifies:
        • The duties, rights and responsibilities of the teen parent and the caregiver.
        • Supportive services to be offered to the teen parent by the caregiver and/or the FFA case manager.
  •  
  • Areas to be addressed in the SRP plan must include:
    • Feeding
    • Clothing
    • Hygiene
    • Purchase of necessary items, including food, clothing and toys.
    • Health care
    • Transportation to health care appointments, child care and school
    • Provision of child care and babysitting
    • Discipline
    • Sleeping arrangements
    • Visitation schedules among the child, non-custodial parent and other family members.
      • The plan for facilitating the visitation should also be addressed.

Note:  If appropriate and the teen parent agrees, refer the family for a Family Conference to help facilitate the development of the Shared Responsibility Plan (SRP).  FAX a Family Conference Referral to (408) 975- 5869 or tdm@ssa.sccgov.org

  • The SW must develop the SRP with the WFFH Certified Caregiver and teen parent within 30 days of placement of the teen parent and non-dependent child, or the birth of the pregnant teen's child.

 

  • Copies of the developed plan are distributed to the:
    • Teen parent
    • Teen parent's attorney
    • Caregiver
    • Social worker
    • Foster Care Eligibility Worker
    • FFA case manager, if applicable
  • Copies of the SRP are maintained in the case records of both the:
    • Social worker and
    • Foster Care (FC) Eligibility worker
      • FC Eligibility Worker must receive a most recent copy of the SRP every six (6) months. 

  • Documentation of compliance with the shared responsibility plan (SRP) requirements must be retained in the case record in CWS/CMS Contact Notes.
    • The documentation must be written in a way that demonstrates the plan meets the required elements.

  • The SRP:
    • Remains in effect as long as it is relevant.
    • May be amended at any time to meet the current needs of the family.
    • The caregiver must advise the social worker of any changes made to the SRP.
  •  
  • The SRP Rate:
    • Is an additional $200/month for the WFFH Certified Caregiver.
    • Is available for each non-dependent child for whom an SRP has been developed.
    • Creates a financial incentive for caregivers who choose to develop a SRP with teen parents placed in their care.


    Note:  Every six (6) months the SRP must be reviewed, updated and reauthorize by the SW and resubmitted to the EW to continue SRP rate for WFFH.
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Recruitment and Training of WFFH  

To qualify for the WFFH program, resource families must be certified licensed or approved homes, specifically recruited and trained to assist the minor parent  in developing the skills necessary to provide a safe, stable, and permanent home for the child. 

The following homes are eligible for the WFFH program:

  • County Licensed Foster Family Home
  • Approved relative caregiver
  • Approved non-relative extended family member
  • Foster Family Agency Certified Homes (FFA)

Foster Family Agencies (FFA) are responsible for the recruitment and training of certified foster families who wish to become WFFH placements.  The Department will offer WFFH training and will be made available to outside agencies if space is available.   

FFA's will be responsible for the following:

Note:  The additional infant supplement payment to care for a non dependent infant placed with minor dependent parent in a  FAA certified home must be provided to the certified foster parent. 

For additional information on training and recruitment to become a WFFH, please call (408) 299- Kids.      

 

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Social Worker Responsibilities  

SW responsibilities when a dependent minor assigned to their case has an infant child:

  • If the dependent minor mother's infant is a non-dependent, determine if the minor's caregiver has received training to be be a Whole Foster Family Home (WFFH) or would like to participate in a training to be certified as a WFFH placement. 
    • Caregiver will need to complete and submit proof of training to become a WFFH placement.
    • Call (408) 299-kids for next available training.
  •  
  • Complete the Shared Responsibility Plan with the minor mother and caregiver, only if the placement is a WFFH. 
    • If the dependent minor mother is placed in a FFA, include the FFA social worker when completing the the Shared Responsibility Plan. 
     
  • Complete the Placement / Address Change Form (SCZ 17),

Section F. Minor Mother Placed with Infant Child,  Placement Moves (Case Remains Open) (link to the SCZ 17)

    Based on the minor mother's placement and infant's dependency status select one out of the six categories:

    CWS/CMS:  Special Project Codes

    S-NON WFFH Non-Dep Inft No SRP

    S-WFFH Non-Dep Inft  No SRP

    S-WFFH Non-Dep Inft With SRP

    Note:  The codes above apply to infants that are non-dependents of the juvenile court.

    S-Dep Minor Parent With DepInfant 4A

    S-Dep Minor Parent With DepInfant 4B

    S-Dep Minor Parent With DepInfant 4C

    Note:  The codes above apply to infants that are dependents of the juvenile court. 
  • Submit the Placement/Address Change Form (SCZ 17)to PTT
    • Sign the SOC 158
    • If applicable, attach a copy of the Shared Responsibility Plan (SRP)
  • Every six (6) months resubmit a copy of the SRP to the EW for continuation of SRP rate.
    • Review and update the SRP to reflect current case plan.
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Birth Father's Status  

The status of the father of the child of a DFCS supervised teen mother must be investigated.  According to Penal Code Section 261.5, any person who engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is not more than three years older or three years younger than the perpetrator, is guilty of a misdemeanor.  Perpetrators who are more than three years older than the minor or perpetrators age 21 or older when the minor is under 16 years of age have committed either a misdemeanor or a felony in causing the teen mother to become pregnant.  If the father's identity is known, this crime must be reported to law enforcement. 

Visitation:

  • All fathers must be permitted visitation with his child, unless the court finds clear and convincing evidence that visitation would be detrimental to the child (WIC 362.1).  The assigned social worker must arrange visits as determined by the case plan and court order. 
  • Non-custodial parents who have a commitment to their child and who have been assessed by the social worker to be an appropriate parental figure are to be encouraged to develop a relationship with their child.  The non-custodial parent's plan for visitation with his or her child shall be included in the case plan and discussed with the custodial parent and, if applicable, the custodial teen parent's out-of-home caregiver, social worker and FFA social worker, if applicable. 
    • Non-custodial parent willing to be involved with the child must complete the following:
      • Out-of-State Disclosure of Criminal Records Statement LIC 508 D
      • CLETS Criminal Background Check, using Sheriff's Department Criminal Record Check Request (SCZ 686)  and Live Scan Referral (SCZ 152)
      • Facsimile inquiry for Child Abuse Central Index (CACI)
      • CWS/CMS Record Search
      • Site inspection of the home using checklist of health and safety standards for approval of family caregiver home (Soc 817) as a guide
    • Refer to Contacts and Visitation:  OPP 10-4 Temporary Leaves from Placement
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PTT Responsibilities  

The following responsibilities apply to the Placement Tracking Team:

  • Within one business day of receiving the SCZ 17 and any necessary related documents (or corrected SCZ 17/documents), the PTT:
    • Reviews the Special Code selected and required attachments necessary for minor mother and infant child:
      • Shared Responsibility Plan
    • Enters Special Code under the Case Information Notebook (CIN), Special Project Code in CWS/CMS.
      • If the infant is a Dependent of the Court, enter the Special Project Code in the infant's Case Information Notebook. 

      Note:  The following Special Project Codes apply to Dependent Infant's of the Court:

      S-Dep Minor Parent with DepInfant (4A);( 4B); (4C)

      • If the infant is not a Dependent of the Court, enter the Special Project Code in the minor parents Case Information Notebook.

      Note:  The following Special Project Codes apply to Non-Dependent infants of the Court placed with Minor Parent:

      S-NON WFFH Non-Dep Inft NO SRP; S-WFFH Non-Dep Inft No SRP; S-WFFH Non-Dep Inft With SRP

      • Review CWS/CMS Entry Codes for instructions on how to enter Special Project Codes in CWS/CMS Case Information Notebook.
       
      • Forwards two (2) SOC 158 forms to the social worker (one with a red stamp).
        • If applicable, ensure the SW attaches a copy of the Share Responsibility Plan with their signed SOC 158. 
       
      • Forwards the SOC 158 signed by the social worker to the Foster Care Eligibility In-Basket, within one business day of receiving the signed SOC 158 back from the social worker.
        • If applicable, attach
          • Shared Responsibility Plan
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CWS/CMS Entry by PTT  

Special Projects Codes must be entered in clients' Case Information Notebook in CWS/CMS.  The Special Projects Codes may not be entered in the Referral, Case  or Placement Notebook.  In cases where the infant is a non-dependent, the Special Project Code must be entered in the minor parent's Case Information Notebook.  When the infant is a dependent, the Code is entered in the infant's Case Information Notebook.

CWS/CMS:  Special Project Codes:

If mother is placed with.. Then..
  • Non-dependent infant
  • Not a WFFH
  • No SRP
S-Non WFFH Non-Dep Inft No SRP
  • Non-dependent infant
  • WFFH
  • No SRP
S-WFFH Non-Dep Inft No SRP
  • Non-dependent infant
  • WFFH
  • SRP

S-WFFH Non-Dep Inft w/SRP

(Place Code in the Infant's CIN)

  • Dependent infant
  • FH, Relative, NREFM
  • No SRP

S-DepMinorParent w/ Depinfant4A

(Place Code in the Infant's CIN)

  • Dependent Infant
  • FFA
  • No SRP

S-DepMinorParent w/Depinfant4B

(Place Code in the Infant's CIN)

  • Dependent Infant
  • Group Home
  • No SRP

S-DepMinorParent w/Depinfant4C

(Place Code in the Infant's CIN)

Special project codes were developed to track data for these specialized placements.  Comparisons will be made with other types of placements for minor mothers and their infants.  Legislation requires that statistics be collected and reported to the legislature on minors who are placed in WFFH's. 

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Other References  
PDF Other Reference Text goes here...
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