DFCS Online Policies & Procedures
DFCS Online Policies & Procedures
California Code of Regulations: Foster Homes
Title 22, Division 6, Chapter 9.5
Checklist of Health and Safety Standards (SOC 817)
SCZ 200K / English
SCZ200L / Spanish
During the inspection of the relative's or non-relative extended family member's (NREFM's) home, the social worker may identify a situation that does not meet the health and safety guidelines as specified on the Checklist of Health and Safety Standards (SOC 817). If the deficiencies are correctable, the two methods to document the process for bringing the home into compliance are an Alternative Plan, also referred to as a Documented Alternative Plan (DAP), and/or a Corrective Action Plan (CAP). The difference between the two is that a DAP is permitted to be used with some situations, while a CAP is required to be used with other situations, when the home is not in compliance.
The social worker has the responsibility to determine the length of time, within 30 days, in which a correction must be made by the caregiver. The worker is also responsible to provide reasonable assistance to the caregiver in meeting the required standard. Failure to comply results in ineligibility for or loss of foster care funding for the caregiver and, if a foster child is in the home, the possibility that the child will be removed from the home.
California Assembly Bill 1695 mandates that the standards used to evaluate and grant or deny approval of a relative or NREFM home shall be the same as the core standards for licensing foster family homes. This includes the use of Documented Alternative Plans and Corrective Action Plans as specified in the California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Division 6, Chapter 9.5, Article 3.
An “Alternative Plan”, also referred to as a “Documented Alternative Plan (DAP)”, is a written authorization for a caregiver to use an alternative arrangement, based on a unique need or circumstance specific to a child being considered for placement. The Alternative Plan is used to meet the intent of a specific standard, as permitted in the California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Division 6, Chapter 9.5, Article 3.
Corrective Action Plan
A “Corrective Action Plan (CAP)” is a written plan developed with the caregiver to correct a deficiency in a specific standard, as required by the California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Division 6, Chapter 9.5, Article 3.
Immediate Impact Deficiencies
“Immediate impact deficiencies” are deficiencies that, if not corrected, would have a direct and immediate risk to the health, safety or personal rights of the child. Social workers must ensure that caregivers immediately correct the deficiencies, if a child is in placement with the caregiver. If the child has not been placed with the caregiver, the correction must take place prior to placement. If placement is imminent, the correction should be accomplished in twenty-four (24) hours or less.
Potential Impact Deficiencies
“Potential impact deficiencies” are deficiencies that, without correction, could become a risk to the health, safety or personal rights of the child.
An immediate impact deficiency must be corrected before the child can be initially placed in the caregiver's home. Examples of immediate impact deficiencies include:
For reassessment of the caregiver home, examples of deficiencies include all of the above, as well as:
Examples of potential impact deficiencies include:
For reassessment of the caregiver's home, the deficiencies include all of the above, as well as:
The social worker uses the Checklist of Health and Safety Standards (SOC 817) when assessing or reassessing a caregiver's home. If the social worker observes a condition in the caregiver home that does not meet the required standards, the social worker:
A caregiver cannot be approved or re-approved until conditions outlined in the Corrective Action Plan are met.
Alternative Plans are only permitted to resolve deficiencies 1(a) through (i) and 2 on the Checklist of Health and Safety Standards (SOC 817). Deficiencies on items 3 through 16 on the Checklist must be resolved through a Corrective Action Plan.
The social worker develops an Alternative Plan (SCZ 200K) as a written authorization for a foster family home to use as an alternative in limited circumstances. The plan is based upon a unique need or circumstance specific to the child being considered for placement and in order to meet the intent of a specified standard. The Alternative Plan includes:
The social worker may need to develop an Alternative Plan for an initial assessment. The worker may also need to develop an Alternative Plan, when conditions in the home change and an Alternative Plan is an appropriate means to satisfy approval standards. If circumstances in the home change between annual reassessments, and an Alternative Plan is the means to satisfy approval standards, the social worker immediately develops the Alternative Plan with the caregiver and documents the plan on form SCZ 200K. The social worker does not wait until the next reassessment to develop the Alternative Plan.
Any situation that does not meet standards 3 through 16 on the Checklist of Health and Safety Standards (SOC 817) requires a CAP. When the social worker determines that a deficiency exists in one of these areas, the social worker discusses each deficiency with the caregiver and then develops a Corrective Action Plan (SCZ 200L) with the caregiver. A CAP must be developed for each deficiency. The CAP describes the actions that the caregiver must take to bring the home into compliance with licensing/approval standards.
If the deficit is not able to be corrected during the visit, then the social worker completes a CAP in writing and provides a copy to the caregiver. The CAP includes:
In determining the date for correcting a deficiency, the social worker considers the following:
Once a deficiency is identified and a CAP developed, Title 1V-E (foster care) funding is not available to the caregiver until the month in which the corrections are completed and the caregiver's home fully meets the standards. See Eligibility to Receive Financial Assistance.
When there is a dependent child in the home:
When placement of a dependent child in the home is imminent:
When there is no dependent child in the home and no immediate plans to place a child in the home:
For more information about a CAP, see pages 3-5 of the Checklist of Health and Safety Standards (SOC 8170.
The social worker verifies that corrections outlined in the CAP are completed within the required timeframes. Verification of the CAP compliance is made by an in-person visit to the home or by the caregiver providing the Department with acceptable documentation that the deficiencies have been corrected.
The social worker enters the CAP completion date on page 2 of the SOC 815 on the line “Plan of Correction completed on.”
When the social worker initiates a CAP during an assessment or reassessment, foster care payments are available for the entire month if:
However, if the caregiver does not correct all CAP deficiencies within 30 days of the reassessment due date, the social worker ensures that all state and federal foster care payments are discontinued, until the home meets all of the relative/NREFM approval requirements. The social worker notifies the foster care eligibility worker to discontinue payments.
Caregiver failure to comply with the CAP results in the loss of foster care funding. The social worker consults with his/her supervisor to discuss further options, which includes the possibility of removing the child from the home.
Instructions for inputting DAP and CAP documentation can be found in the following sections in Chapter 7-3: Completing the SOC Forms: