Sunday, June 17, 2018

Bill Of Rights Full context

The Bill of Rights – Full Text

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.



  1. Fourth Amendment

  2.  
  3. FOURTH AMENDMENT: AN OVERVIEW
  4. I. INTERESTS PROTECTED
  5. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides that "[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
The ultimate goal of this provision is to protect people’s right to privacy and freedom from unreasonable intrusions by the government.  However, the Fourth Amendment does not guarantee protection from all searches and seizures, but only those done by the government and deemed unreasonable under the law.
  1. To claim violation of Fourth Amendment as the basis for suppressing a relevant evidence, the court had long required that the claimant must prove that he himself was the victim of an invasion of privacy to have a valid standing to claim protection under the Fourth Amendment.  However, the Supreme Court has departed from such requirement,  issue of exclusion is to be determined solely upon a resolution of the substantive question whether the claimant's Fourth Amendment rights have been violated, which in turn requires that the claimant demonstrates a justifiable expectation of privacy, which was arbitrarily violated by the government.
  2. In general, most warrantless searches of private premises are prohibited under the Fourth Amendment, unless specific exception applies. For instance, a warrantless search may be lawful, if an officer has asked and is given consent to search; if the search is incident to a lawful arrest; if there is probable cause to search and there is exigent circumstance calling for the warrantless search.  Exigent circumstances exist in situations where a situation where people are in imminent danger, where evidence faces imminent destruction, or prior to a suspect's imminent escape.
  3.           On the other hand, warrantless search and seizure of properties are not illegal, if the objects being searched are in plain view. Further, warrantless seizure of abandoned property, or of properties on an open field do not violate Fourth Amendment, because it is considered that having expectation of privacy right to an abandoned property or to properties on an open field is not reasonable. 
    However, in some states, there are some exception to this limitation, where some state authorities have granted protection to open fields.  States can always establish higher standards for searches and seizures protection than what is required by the Fourth Amendment, but states cannot allow conducts that violate the Fourth Amendment.
  4. Where there was a violation of one’s fourth amendment rights by federal officials, A bivens action can be filed against federal law enforcement officials for damages, resulting from an unlawful search and seizure.  Under the Bivens action, the claimant needs to prove that there has been a constitutional violation of the fourth amendment rights by federal officials acting under the color of law. 
  5. However, the protection under the Fourth Amendment can be waived if one voluntarily consents to or does not object to evidence collected during a warrantless search or seizure.
  6.  
  7. II. SEARCHES AND SEIZURES UNDER FOURTH AMENDMENT
  8. The courts must determine what constitutes a search or seizure under the Fourth Amendment.  If the conduct challenged does not fall within the Fourth Amendment, the individual will not enjoy protection under Fourth Amendment.
  9. A. Search
  10. search under Fourth Amendment occurs when a governmental employee or agent of the government violates an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy.
  11. Strip searches and visual body cavity searches, including anal or genital inspections, constitute reasonable searches under the Fourth Amendment when supported by probable cause and conducted in a reasonable manner.
  12. dog-sniff inspection is invalid under the Fourth Amendment if the the inspection violates a reasonable expectation of privacy.  Electronic surveillance is also considered a search under the Fourth Amendment.
  13. B. Seizure of a Person
  14. seizure of a person, within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, occurs when the police's conduct would communicate to a reasonable person, taking into account the circumstances surrounding the encounter, that the person is not free to ignore the police presence and leave at his will.
  15. Two elements must be present to constitute a seizure of a person.  First, there must be a show of authority by the police officer.  Presence of handcuffs or weapons, the use of forceful language, and physical contact are each strong indicators of authority.  Second, the person being seized must submit to the authority.  An individual who ignores the officer’s request and walks away has not been seized for Fourth Amendment purposes.
  16. An arrest warrant is preferred but not required to make a lawful arrest under the Fourth Amendment.  A warrantless arrest may be justified where probable cause and urgent need are present prior to the arrest.  Probable cause is present when the police officer has a reasonable belief in the guilt of the suspect based on the facts and information prior to the arrest.  For instance, a warrantless arrest may be legitimate in situations where a police officer has a probable belief that a suspect has either committed a crime or is a threat to the public security.  Also, a police officer might arrest a suspect to prevent the suspect’s escape or to preserve evidence.  A warrantless arrest may be invalidated if the police officer fails to demonstrate exigent circumstances.
  17. The ability to make warrantless arrests are commonly limited by statutes subject to the due process guaranty of the U.S. Constitution.  A suspect arrested without a warrant is entitled to prompt judicial determination, usually within 48 hours.
  18. There are investigatory stops that fall short of arrests, but nonetheless, they fall within Fourth Amendment protection. For instance, police officers can perform a terry stop or a traffic stop.  Usually, these stops provide officers with less dominion and controlling power and impose less of an infringement of personal liberty for individual stopped.  Investigatory stops must be temporary questioning for limited purposes and conducted in a manner necessary to fulfill the purpose.
  19. An officer’s reasonable suspicion is sufficient to justify brief stops and detentions.  To determine if the officer has met the standard to justify the seizure, the court takes into account the totality of the circumstances and examines whether the officer has a particularized and reasonable belief for suspecting the wrongdoing.  Probable cause gained during stops or detentions might effectuate a subsequent warrantless arrest.
  20. C. Seizure of Property
  21. seizure of property, within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, occurs when there is some meaningful interference with an individual’s possessory interests in the property.
  22. In some circumstances, warrantless seizures of objects in plain view do not constitute seizures within the meaning of Fourth Amendment.  When executing a search warrant, an officer might be able to seize an item observed in plain view even if it is not specified in the warrant.  

III. WARRANT REQUIREMENT
search or seizure is generally unreasonable and illegal without a warrant, subject to only a few exceptions.
To obtain a search warrant or arrest warrant, the law enforcement officer must demonstrate probable cause that a search or seizure is justified.  A court-authority, usually a magistrate, will consider the totality of circumstances to determine whether to issue the warrant.
The warrant requirement may be excused in exigent circumstances if an officer has probable cause and obtaining a warrant is impractical in the particular situation.  For instance, in State v. Helmbright, 990 N.E.2d 154, Ohio court held that a warrantless search of probationer's person or his place of residence is not violation of the Fourth Amendment, if the officer who conducts the search possesses “reasonable grounds” to believe that the probationer has failed to comply with the terms of his probation.
Other well-established exceptions to the warrant requirement include consensual searches, certain brief investigatory stopssearches incident to a valid arrest, and seizures of items in plain view.
There is no general exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement in national security cases.  Warrantless searches are generally not permitted in exclusively domestic security cases.  In foreign security cases, court opinions might differ on whether to accept the foreign security exception to the warrant requirement generally and, if accepted, whether the exception should extend to both physical searches and to electronic surveillances.

IV. REASONABLENESS REQUIREMENT
All searches and seizures under Fourth Amendment must be reasonable.  No excessive force shall be used.  Reasonableness is the ultimate measure of the constitutionality of a search or seizureSearches and seizures with the warrant must also satisfy the reasonableness requirement.
On the other hand, warrantless searches and seizures are presumed to be unreasonable, unless they fall within the few exceptions.
In cases of warrantless searches and seizures, the court will try to balance the degree of intrusion on the individual’s right to privacy and the need to promote government interests and special needs in exigent circumstances.  The court will examine the totality of the circumstances to determine if the search or seizure was justified.  When analyzing the reasonableness standard, the court uses an objective assessment and considers factors including the degree of intrusion by the search or seizure and the manner in which the search or seizure is conducted.

V. EXCLUSIONARY RULE
Under the exclusionary rule, any evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment will be excluded from criminal proceedings.  There are a few exceptions to this rule.
VI. ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE
In recent years, the Fourth Amendment's applicability in electronic searches and seizures has received much attention from the courts.  With the advent of the internet and increased popularity of computers, there has been an increasing amount of crime occurring electronically.  Consequently, evidence of such crime can often be found on computers, hard drives, or other electronic devices.  The Fourth Amendment applies to the search and seizure of electronic devices.
Many electronic search cases involve whether law enforcement can search a company-owned computer that an employee uses to conduct business. Although the case law is split, the majority holds that employees do not have a legitimate expectation of privacy with regard to information stored on a company-owned computer.  In the 2010 case of City of Ontario v. Quon (08-1332), the Supreme Court extended this lack of an expectation of privacy to text messages sent and received on an employer-owned pager.
Lately, electronic surveillance and wiretapping has also caused a significant amount of Fourth Amendment litigation.

VII. THE USA PATRIOT ACT
Following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Congress and the President enacted legislation to strengthen the intelligence gathering community’s ability to combat domestic terrorism.  Entitled the USA Patriot Act, the legislation’s provisions aimed to increase the ability of law enforcement to search email and telephonic communications in addition to medical, financial, and library records.
One provision permits law enforcement to obtain access to stored voicemails by obtaining a basic search warrant rather than a surveillance warrant.  Obtaining a basic search warrant requires a much lower evidentiary showing.  A highly controversial provision of the Act includes permission for law enforcement to use sneak-and-peak warrants.  A sneak-and-peak warrant is a warrant in which law enforcement can delay notifying the property owner about the warrant’s issuance.  In an Oregon federal district court case that drew national attention, Judge Ann Aiken struck down the use of sneak-and-peak warrants as unconstitutional and in violation of the Fourth Amendment.  See 504 F.Supp.2d 1023 (D. Or. 2007).
The Patriot Act also expanded the practice of using National Security Letters (NSL).  An NSL is an administrative subpoena that requires certain persons, groups, organizations, or companies to provide documents about certain persons.  These documents typically involve telephone, email, and financial records.  NSLs also carry a gag order, meaning the person or persons responsible for complying cannot mention the existence of the NSL.  Under the Patriot Act provisions, law enforcement can use NSLs when investigating U.S. citizens, even when law enforcement does not think the individual under investigation has committed a crime.  The Department of Homeland Security has used NSLs frequently since its inception.  By using an NSL, an agency has no responsibility to first obtain a warrant or court order before conducting its search of records.
Another aspect of the Patriot Act, which has been highly confidential was the Telephone Metadata program, which under § 215 of the Patriot Act, had allowed the NSA to collect data about Americans’ telephone calls in bulk, was reviewed by the Second Circuit in ACLU v. Clapper, in which the court held the Telephone Metadata program illegal under the Congress’ original intent under the §215.
The Patriot Act has expired in mid-2015, and since June 2nd, 2015 has been repackaged under the USA Freedom Act.  Although it remains to be seen how the Freedom Act will be interpreted, with respect to the Fourth Amendment protections, the new Act selectively re-authorized the Patriot Act, while banning the bulk collection of data of American’s telephone records and internet metadata and limited the government’s data collection to the “greatest extent reasonably practical” meaning the government now cannot collect all data pertaining to a particular service provider or broad geographic region.

VIII.  FORTH AMENDMENT AND SUPERVISED RELEASE/PAROLE
Probationers—convicted criminal offender who is released into the community under supervision of a probation officer in lieu of incarceration; or parolees—convicts who have served a portion of his judicially imposed sentence in penal institutions, and is released for the remainder of the sentence under supervision of a parole officer for good behavior—can also assert fourth amendment rights, creating a potential confrontation between fundamental constitutional guarantee and the society’s legitimate interest in correctional programs to prevent the convicts from lapsing back into a crime.
Traditionally, courts have struggled with various theories of parole and probation to justify the complete denial of fourth amendment rights to the convicts on supervised release or probation.  The most prevalent of the theories was the “Custody Theory,” under which an offender was said to be entitled to no more liberty than he would have enjoyed had he been incarcerated.  Recently, however, this rationale was rejected by Morrissey v. Brewer, which emphasized that the parolee’s status more closely resembles that of an ordinary citizen than a prisoner.  While the Court noted that since parole revocation only changed the type of penalty imposed on an already-convicted criminal, the Court need not afford the parolees “the full panoply of rights” available under the fourteenth amendment to a free man facing criminal prosecution, the Court held that certain procedural protections must be guaranteed to the parolees facing revocation of the parole.  In general, the released offenders now have been afforded full Fourth Amendment protection with respect to searches performed by the law enforcement officials, and warrantless searches conducted by correctional officers at the request of the police have also been declared unlawful.
However, in reviewing the searches undertaken by the correctional officers on their own initiative, some courts have modified the traditional Fourth Amendment protections to accommodate the correctional officers’ informational needs, developing a modified “Reasonable Belief” standard, under which the correctional officer is permitted to make a showing of less than probable cause in order to justify the intrusion of privacy into the released offender.

Last Edited by Jonathan Kim, June 2017


What Is (And What Isn’t) Child Abuse – The Arizona Spanking Law

As an Arizona State Bar Certified Specialist in family law matters in Arizona, I am often involved in cases where child abuse is alleged by or against one or both parties.  Child abuse is a very serious matter, and the recent killing of a 9 year old boy in Arizona is a reminder to us all that abuse occurs, and abuse is real.
At the same time, abuse is often alleged when there has been no abuse.  In the United States, under Arizona state’s law, a parent may spank a child or take other appropriate physical punishment.  As relevant to parents, Arizona law, A.R.S. § 13-403, which is found within the criminal code, provide the following:
13-403. Justification; use of physical force
The use of physical force upon another person which would otherwise constitute an offense is justifiable and not criminal under any of the following circumstances:
  1. A parent or guardian and a teacher or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor or incompetent person may use reasonable and appropriate physical force upon the minor or incompetent person when and to the extent reasonably necessary and appropriate to maintain discipline.
Accordingly, while walking up to a stranger and striking them on the buttocks with your bare hands may result in your arrest and conviction for battery, spanking your child is a justified use of physical force “when and to the extent reasonably necessary and appropriate to maintain discipline.”
Perhaps the next question is, when and to what extent?  My advice to parents who are divorced, divorcing, or anticipating a divorce, is that you immediately stop any corporal punishment, and immediately find other ways of discipline.
In a healthy marriage, Parent A may spank the child, and when child complains about the physical discipline to Parent B, Parent B would back up Parent A and reiterate to the child that his behavior (leading to the spanking) was inappropriate.  Child quickly learns to correct his behavior, rather than seeking to pit the two parents against each other.
However, in the exact same scenario, except that the parents are divorced or divorcing, and Parent B believes that he/she has hit gold, and immediately calls the police, calls the Department of Child Safety, calls his/her attorney, and the matter quickly escalates into a huge allegation of domestic violence and Parent A being accused of child abuse.  At the end of the court proceedings, Parent A who spanked the child will not likely be penalized as per the statute set forth above such spanking is legally permissible.  However, Parent A may have temporarily lost his/her parenting time while the matter was resolved, may have incurred significant attorney fees (criminal and family law) may have been forced to deal unnecessarily with an intrusion into his home and life by DCS, and may have otherwise spent time, money, and emotional effort on what should have been a non-issue.
In short, if you are in a healthy marriage, and you have a child that requires discipline by spanking, you may appropriately swat the child on the buttocks.  However, if you are divorced or divorcing, I strongly advise parents against disciplining their children as the likely repercussions are extensive and likely not worth the value of the discipline to be achieved.
For those in a healthy marriage, remember that the spanking or other corporal punishment of children must still be “to the extent reasonably necessary and appropriate to maintain discipline.”  Do not hit a child with closed fists.  Do not use belt buckles or other metal objects that may cause physical injury.  Do not apply any discipline while angry.  When in doubt, walk away for an hour or two in order to make sure that you are calm, and that your discipline is based out of love and a desire to train your child, and not based out of frustration or anger.
If you are involved in a divorce, legal separation, or annulment case or other family law case, and if you have determined that you need experienced legal representation, please call 800-899-2730 and ask to speak with Douglas C. Gardner, or visit our website at www.DavisMiles.com.

Resources

Arizona courts craft rule on when DCS can remove children from homes

A new requirement that state workers get a judge's permission before taking children away from their parents could be a landmark shift in Arizona's child-welfare system — or not, depending on how a new system is set up.
Arizona's courts, which have until next year to put that system in place, have drafted a new rule for those warrants. The draft rule spells out for the first time what a child-welfare worker would have to prove before taking away a child.
Proponents of the new requirement believe it will reduce the number of cases in which the Department of Child Safety takes a child away from his or her parents.
Others in the child-welfare field believe a new rule will have minimal impact.
That's because the legislation requiring a warrant provides an out for so-called exigent circumstances: instances where the caseworker believes the child could be harmed in the time it would take to get a court order.

The idea of requiring a warrant before removing a child became a hot topic as the number of Arizona children in state custody peaked at nearly 19,000 early last year.  Critics repeatedly noted the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution bans warrantless removals, although there is an exception for emergency situations.
DCS removed 5,236 children in the six-month period that ended March 31, according to the agency's most recent report.
Now, the court system is weighing public comment on the new rule that might — or might not — throw the brakes on those removals.

How the system would work

 

Under the proposed rule, child-welfare workers who want to remove a child from a home must submit a written application to court, or make a recorded statement, under oath, seeking removal.
The application must include specific details, including:
  • The particular reason why they believe each child is "presently or imminently in danger of abuse or neglect."
  • Facts that detail the circumstances in the home that would require a removal.
  • The availability (or lack of) services that "would remove or control the danger."
  • The name and description of each child.
The rule comes at the direction of the state Legislature. A bill passed in the final hours of this year's legislative session requires the juvenile court by next year to sign off on any request from the state Department of Child Safety to take a child out of the home for alleged neglect or abuse. Those decisions have always been left to state workers.
But the law doesn't specify how the court handles that process. That's why the court has drafted the rule and put it up for public comment.
Comments are open until Oct. 27. The ultimate rule, whatever form it takes, will take effect July 1.

A good start?

DeeAn Gillespie Strub, an attorney who works with families, said she was heartened after a quick glance at the proposal.
"This is an important first step," she said.
As she reads it, Gillespie said she believes the new rule will reduce the number of child removals because it will require caseworkers to think twice about their decision and articulate it to a judge.
"If they (DCS) have to go to court, this is a speed bump that gives them a cooling-off period," she said.
Rep. Kelly Townsend pushed for the warrant language and got it added to a bill as the Legislature was drawing to a close in May. The Mesa Republican said the proposed court rule is a good start, but added it's important to have a clear definition of "exigency" and when it would be invoked.
The court noted in a background memo accompanying the proposed rule that it does not believe it has the responsibility of deciding when exigent circumstances exist. 
Which means the rule, however sweeping, might have little effect. If child-welfare workers say a case is exigent, they won't file for a warrant at all. Ultimately, a ruling on how they make that decision may have to come from the Legislature itself. 

DUI warrants as a model

The warrant process is being modeled after Maricopa County's Initial Appearance Court, where police officers can file an electronic request and a commissioner can respond quickly. It is widely used for warrants to allow DUI tests. Currently, police are getting warrants within 15 minutes, said David Byers, director of the Administrative Office of the Courts.
He predicted a similar process for child removals will reduce the number of times DCS decides on its own to take a child, since access won't be slowed by a drive across town or, in the case of rural Arizona, a drive of several hours. With electronic filing and 24/7 access, caseworkers could get a court decision quickly, Byers said, reducing the circumstances when a caseworker might feel it imperative to take the child for fear the child would be in danger while waiting to get to court.
Starting July 1, all requests for temporary custody orders will be run through Maricopa County, where the court will have commissioners on staff to handle calls 24/7 from caseworkers in all 15 counties. DCS says all of its field workers are now equipped with tablets so the communication can be electronic.
The court got state funding to add 1½ commissioner positions and training will begin in the spring, Byers said. In all, the program will cost $315,800 a year.
The courts and DCS prefer to call the new process a "temporary custody order," saying warrants refer to property and it's insensitive to lump children into the same category.  

Removal process already under fire

An ongoing federal lawsuit is challenging the state's practice of removing children without a court order. Attorneys in the case Pellerin vs. Wagner in July filed a petition for a preliminary injunction to stop the practice.
Ken Pellerin, whose four grandchildren are at the heart of the dispute, questions why the state is not moving immediately on the policy shift. The Fourth Amendment bars warrantless seizures, the legal argument that is key to the Pellerin claim against the state.
"What they're doing is wrong, and they know it is not right," Pellerin said of DCS. "They're ruining families."
His grandchildren, he said, will never be the same after being removed from their parents in 2013. The family is intact now, but the paranoia of being seized again haunts them, he said.
The full rule, and instructions on how to comment, are on the court's website at www.azcourts.gov/Rules-Forum/aft/748.

About this report

In 2016, when the number of children removed from their families peaked at over 18,000, the Arizona Community Foundation gave The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com a three-year grant to support in-depth research on the topic. As part of that effort, reporter Mary Jo Pitzl and our other staff experts investigate the reasons behind the surge in foster children and the systems meant to support and protect them.
Under the proposed rule, child-welfare workers who want to remove a child from a home must submit a written application to court, or make a recorded statement, under oath, seeking removal.
The application must include specific details, including:
  • The particular reason why they believe each child is "presently or imminently in danger of abuse or neglect."
  • Facts that detail the circumstances in the home that would require a removal.
  • The availability (or lack of) services that "would remove or control the danger."
  • The name and description of each child.
The rule comes at the direction of the state Legislature. A bill passed in the final hours of this year's legislative session requires the juvenile court by next year to sign off on any request from the state Department of Child Safety to take a child out of the home for alleged neglect or abuse. Those decisions have always been left to state workers.
But the law doesn't specify how the court handles that process. That's why the court has drafted the rule and put it up for public comment.
Comments are open until Oct. 27. The ultimate rule, whatever form it takes, will take effect July 1.

A good start?

DeeAn Gillespie Strub, an attorney who works with families, said she was heartened after a quick glance at the proposal.
"This is an important first step," she said.
As she reads it, Gillespie said she believes the new rule will reduce the number of child removals because it will require caseworkers to think twice about their decision and articulate it to a judge.
"If they (DCS) have to go to court, this is a speed bump that gives them a cooling-off period," she said.
Rep. Kelly Townsend pushed for the warrant language and got it added to a bill as the Legislature was drawing to a close in May. The Mesa Republican said the proposed court rule is a good start, but added it's important to have a clear definition of "exigency" and when it would be invoked.
The court noted in a background memo accompanying the proposed rule that it does not believe it has the responsibility of deciding when exigent circumstances exist. 
Which means the rule, however sweeping, might have little effect. If child-welfare workers say a case is exigent, they won't file for a warrant at all. Ultimately, a ruling on how they make that decision may have to come from the Legislature itself. 

DUI warrants as a model

The warrant process is being modeled after Maricopa County's Initial Appearance Court, where police officers can file an electronic request and a commissioner can respond quickly. It is widely used for warrants to allow DUI tests. Currently, police are getting warrants within 15 minutes, said David Byers, director of the Administrative Office of the Courts.
He predicted a similar process for child removals will reduce the number of times DCS decides on its own to take a child, since access won't be slowed by a drive across town or, in the case of rural Arizona, a drive of several hours. With electronic filing and 24/7 access, caseworkers could get a court decision quickly, Byers said, reducing the circumstances when a caseworker might feel it imperative to take the child for fear the child would be in danger while waiting to get to court.
Starting July 1, all requests for temporary custody orders will be run through Maricopa County, where the court will have commissioners on staff to handle calls 24/7 from caseworkers in all 15 counties. DCS says all of its field workers are now equipped with tablets so the communication can be electronic.
The court got state funding to add 1½ commissioner positions and training will begin in the spring, Byers said. In all, the program will cost $315,800 a year.
The courts and DCS prefer to call the new process a "temporary custody order," saying warrants refer to property and it's insensitive to lump children into the same category.  

Removal process already under fire

An ongoing federal lawsuit is challenging the state's practice of removing children without a court order. Attorneys in the case Pellerin vs. Wagner in July filed a petition for a preliminary injunction to stop the practice.
Ken Pellerin, whose four grandchildren are at the heart of the dispute, questions why the state is not moving immediately on the policy shift. The Fourth Amendment bars warrantless seizures, the legal argument that is key to the Pellerin claim against the state.
"What they're doing is wrong, and they know it is not right," Pellerin said of DCS. "They're ruining families."
His grandchildren, he said, will never be the same after being removed from their parents in 2013. The family is intact now, but the paranoia of being seized again haunts them, he said.
The full rule, and instructions on how to comment, are on the court's website at www.azcourts.gov/Rules-Forum/aft/748.

About this report

In 2016, when the number of children removed from their families peaked at over 18,000, the Arizona Community Foundation gave The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com a three-year grant to support in-depth research on the topic. As part of that effort, reporter Mary Jo Pitzl and our other staff experts investigate the reasons behind the surge in foster children and the systems meant to support and protect them.

 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Quick Note from the author

June 16, 2018 @ 11:11 am
 
 
Well I might be saying this a little prematurely or maybe unnecessarily but if anything should happen to me sudden please everyone needs to know that I, Jessica Lynn Hepner, did not commit suicide.  I would not have ever chosen suicide.  You can bet your ass that someone had a hand in  my death.
With that being said God Bless each and everyone of you,

Friday, June 15, 2018

2017 Minnesota Statutes

2017 Minnesota Statutes

626.5562 TOXICOLOGY TESTS REQUIRED.

Subdivision 1.Test; report.

A physician shall administer a toxicology test to a pregnant woman under the physician's care or to a woman under the physician's care within eight hours after delivery to determine whether there is evidence that she has ingested a controlled substance, if the woman has obstetrical complications that are a medical indication of possible use of a controlled substance for a nonmedical purpose. If the test results are positive, the physician shall report the results under section 626.5561. A negative test result does not eliminate the obligation to report under section 626.5561, if other evidence gives the physician reason to believe the patient has used a controlled substance for a nonmedical purpose.

Subd. 2.Newborns.

A physician shall administer to each newborn infant born under the physician's care a toxicology test to determine whether there is evidence of prenatal exposure to a controlled substance, if the physician has reason to believe based on a medical assessment of the mother or the infant that the mother used a controlled substance for a nonmedical purpose during the pregnancy. If the test results are positive, the physician shall report the results as neglect under section 626.556. A negative test result does not eliminate the obligation to report under section 626.556 if other medical evidence of prenatal exposure to a controlled substance is present.

Subd. 3.Report to Department of Health.

Physicians shall report to the Department of Health the results of tests performed under subdivisions 1 and 2. A report shall be made on the certificate of live birth medical supplement or the report of fetal death medical supplement filed on or after February 1, 1991. The reports are medical data under section 13.384.

Subd. 4.Immunity from liability.

Any physician or other medical personnel administering a toxicology test to determine the presence of a controlled substance in a pregnant woman, in a woman within eight hours after delivery, or in a child at birth or during the first month of life is immune from civil or criminal liability arising from administration of the test, if the physician ordering the test believes in good faith that the test is required under this section and the test is administered in accordance with an established protocol and reasonable medical practice.

Subd. 5.Reliability of tests.

A positive test result reported under this section must be obtained from a confirmatory test performed by a drug testing laboratory which meets the requirements of section 181.953, and must be performed according to the requirements for performance of confirmatory tests imposed by the licensing, accreditation, or certification program listed in section 181.953, subdivision 1, in which the laboratory participates.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Chapter 4: Section 1 Out-of-Home Dependency

Chapter 4: Section 1
Out-of-Home Dependency  
Policy
The Department shall complete an individual assessment of the placement needs for every child who requires out-of-home care prior to placement in out-of-home care.

The Department shall make reasonable efforts to place a child, who has been removed from his/her home and placed in out-of-home placement, guardianship or adoptive placement, with the child’s sibling or, if that is not possible, to maintain frequent visitation or other ongoing contact between the child and the child’s siblings unless a court determines that the placement or the visitation or contact would be contrary to the child’s or a sibling’s safety or well-being.

When the court has granted a dependency petition, the Department shall provide out-of-home care for a child if no services or interventions can adequately ensure the child's health and safety in the family's home, either:
  • while the parent(s) address(es) the safety factors that prevent them from caring for the child safely at home; or
  • while another permanency plan is implemented.

The Department shall make every effort to minimize the length of time that a child resides in out-of-home care:
  • by working closely with parents, extended family, and community support networks to facilitate the child's safe return to the home; and
  • by actively pursuing a concurrent permanent plan for the child.

Procedures
Decision Making
To determine whether out-of-home care is appropriate, consider these questions:
  • Does the parent lack extended family members, friends or community support networks that can provide sufficient support for the parent and protection for the child to enable the child to stay safely at home at this time?
  • Are there no available community services that can ensure the child's health and safety in the home at this time?
  • Are the parent(s) unwilling or unable to participate in services or interventions that will enable the child to stay safely at home at this time?
  • Does the child's risk of maltreatment at home outweigh the traumatic effects of removal from home?

To decide whether to recommend filing an out of home dependency petition, consider these questions:
  • Does the Family Functioning Assessment (FFA) indicate that there are safety threats that prevent the family from ensuring the child's health and safety at the present time?
  • Does the severity or chronicity of the maltreatment or the vulnerability of the child (due to age, health or special needs) increase the level of concern about the child's safety?
  • Are there any extended family members who could assure the health and safety of the child without necessitating court involvement?
  • Has the use of voluntary, community-based services or interventions, an in-home intervention or an in-home dependency petition been ruled out or attempted unsuccessfully?
  • Is the family likely to endanger the child by fleeing to avoid further intervention?

Implementation
Consult with your supervisor prior to contacting the Attorney General's Office regarding filing a dependency petition.

If you have questions concerning whether there are legal grounds for dependency on a specific case, consult your supervisor or an Assistant Attorney General.

Before calling the Attorney General's Office, have the answers to the following questions available:
  • Is there an open case on the family?
  • Does the petition contain allegations against all parents?
  • Is there a divorce? If so, who has legal custody?
  • Are all persons who provided information named?
  • Will people who provided information be available to testify?
  • Are there medical records, photographs, police reports or other relevant documents?
  • Are there other children in the home not included in the petition? What is their status?
  • Are there any prior DCS reports on this family?
  • Are there other parties who should be included on the petition?
  • Is the child subject to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)?

If so advised by the Attorney General's Office, prepare the dependency petition worksheet, CT00900, found in the Court Document Directory and submit it to the Attorney General's Office following region procedures.

If necessary, conduct an extensive and documented search for missing parents and extended family members or other significant persons as placement resources for the child. If you are unable to identify or locate a parent after conducting a diligent search, complete an Affidavit of Unknown Residence, CT00600, found in the Court Document Directory, and submit it to the Attorney General's Office along with the petition worksheet.

If a parent cannot be identified or located, arrange for service by publication in the newspaper at least five days prior to the dependency hearing. See Locating Missing Parents and Family for Notifications . This Section also provides information about locating relatives and persons who have a significant relationship with the child.

Amend the petition if you learn new, substantive information about the parents after the petition has been filed.

Prepare a Report to the Juvenile Court for the Preliminary Protective Hearing and/or Initial Dependency Hearing, found in Court Document Directory, CT01200. Submit the report to the court not later than the day before the Preliminary Protective Hearing. If the report is prepared for the Initial Dependency Hearing (also known as a 21-Day Hearing), submit it to the court, the Attorney General's office and the Foster Care Review Board at least three working days prior to the hearing. See Court Reports for further instructions on attachments and routing of the report.

For the Preliminary Protective Hearing and the Initial Dependency Hearing, the DCS Specialist must document in the report to the Juvenile Court and be prepared to communicate to the Court, the Department’s efforts to identify and assess placement of the child with the child’s grandparents, great-grandparents, siblings of whole or half-blood, aunts, uncles, first cousins and persons having a significant relationship with the child.

Complete and route the Parental Assessment Financial Statement, FC-009, found in the Forms Registry, as described in Assessing Parent’s Financial Responsibility for Children in Care . Include your recommendation for financial assessment with the Report to the Juvenile Court for Preliminary Protective Hearing and/or Initial Dependency Hearing.

Route a copy of any Court Order or Minute Entry addressing parental assessment to the Parental Assessment Specialist, Site Code 940A. For more Information see Determining Parental Assessment

Route the Report to the Juvenile Court for Preliminary Protective Hearing and/or Initial Dependency Hearing as specified in Preparing Court Reports for DCS Cases

Documentation
Document consultation with your supervisor using the Case Notes window designated as Supervisory Contact type.

Document consultation with the Attorney General's Office using the Case Notes window designated as AG Contact type.

File a copy of the Dependency Petition, along with any Court Orders or Minute Entries resulting from the dependency hearing, in the legal section of the hard copy record.

Document the decision to provide out-of-home care under a dependency by completing the following windows:
  • Legal Status
  • Removal Status
  • Removal Settings for Eligibility
  • Household of Removal
  • Deprivation Factors
  • Family Relationship



 

Effective Date: November 12, 2013

Revision History: November 30, 2012


Chapter 4: Section 2
Locating Missing Parents & Family for Notification
Policy
The Department shall conduct an extensive and documented search for absent parents and guardians in order to facilitate service of process and placement resources for children in out-of-home care.

An extensive and documented search for absent parents shall occur prior to key decision points in the life of a case and no less than once every six months.

Within 30 days of the child’s removal from the custody of the parent, guardian or custodian, the Department shall exercise due diligence to identify and provide notice to all adult relatives of the child including the child’s grandparents, great-grandparents, adult siblings, parents who has custody of any siblings, aunts, uncles and first cousins, and persons who have a significant relationship with the child of the option to become a placement resource for the child(ren). This notice is not required when the relative or person having a significant relationship with the child has a history of family or domestic violence.

The Department shall continue to search for extended family members including the child’s grandparents, great-grandparents, adult siblings, parent who has custody of any sibling, aunts, uncles and first cousins, and persons who have a significant relationship with the child as placement resources for children in out-of-home care. This search must be completed prior to key decision points of case and no less than once every six months

Procedures
Implementation
Obtain personally identifying information and any information on the whereabouts of the absent or missing parent, guardian, custodian, and extended family members including the grandparents, great-grandparents, adult siblings, parents who maintain custody of any sibling , aunts, uncles, first cousins and persons who have a significant relationship with the child from any source who may have this knowledge.

Make diligent efforts to identify and locate the absent or missing parent, guardian, or custodian. Diligent efforts include comprehensive activities to gather contact information such as:
  • providing written notice,
  • mailing certified letters,
  • making visits to last known addresses,
  • telephone calls to last known phone numbers,
  • continuing to ask the relatives including the parents, guardians, child and or others who have contact information,
  • following up on “leads”,
  • making contact with the parent’s and/or Indian child’s tribe or the Indian custodian,
  • holding a Team Decision Making meeting .

If these efforts are unsuccessful, follow procedures to make a missing parent, guardian or custodian search request by making referrals to the DCS Family Locate service. Provide all available identifying information. The minimum information necessary to make a search request is the full name and any aliases of the missing parent, guardian or custodian.

In those instances, where a child is expected to remain in out-of-home care under a dependency petition, the DCS Specialist must:
  • ask the parent or guardian to identify the names, type of relationship, and contact information for the child’s adult relatives including the grandparents, great-grandparents, adult siblings, parents who have custody of any sibling, aunts, uncles and first cousins, and persons who have a significant relationship to the child.
  • If the parent or guardian does not have sufficient information available to locate a relative or person who has a significant relationship with the child, he/she must provide the information as soon as it is available.
  • The parent or guardian must be prepared to provide to the Juvenile Court at the Preliminary Protective Hearing the names, type of relationship and all available information necessary to locate persons related to the child and who have a significant relationship with the child.
  • ask the parent or guardian if he/she is aware of any family or domestic violence by the relative or person who has a significant relationship with the child.
  • send the Notice to Relative or Person Having a Significant Relationship with the Child, CSO-1103 and Response by Relative or Person Having a Significant Relationship with the Child, CSO-1104 to all relatives and persons who have a significant relationship with the child within 30 days of the child’s placement in out-of-home care.
    • Do not send the letter to any relative or person who has a history of family or domestic violence. Family or domestic violence includes a protective or restraining order, physical or sexual abuse in the home, or convictions for family or domestic violence.

Diligent efforts include comprehensive activities to gather contact information and notify all adult relatives and persons having a significant relationship with the child as described above.

If these efforts are unsuccessful A DCS Specialist or designee should complete and email the DCS Family Locate Referral, CSO-1310. The mailbox name is “Family Locate”. For DCS employees, you will find the address in Outlook under “Family Locate".

The form must include the type of action that the request is related to (Investigation, Dependency, Severance…) as these indicators are utilized to prioritize the incoming request. In addition, the Requestor's Information section must be completed to serve as a contact mechanism should additional facts and/or clarification be needed to appropriately conduct the search. Other mandatory fields include:
  • CHILDS case name,
  • Missing person name,
  • Participant # (*),
  • DCS Specialist name,
  • Site Code,
  • Telephone number, and
  • Fax number.

*Please note that the Participant ID number is crucial. Documentation of results and the ability to refer to external vendors is dependent upon this data.

Information such as Date of Birth (DOB), Social Security Number (SSN), physical description, Last Known Address (LKA), etc. should be included, if known. Although completion of the entire document is not required, the DCS Specialist should provide as much data as possible in order to increase the likelihood of a successful and timely locate outcome.

Complete searches for the absent or missing parent, guardian, custodian, prior to key decision points during the case and no less than once every six months. When a child in out-of-home care is not placed with a grandparent, great-grandparent, adult sibling of whole or half-blood, aunt, uncle, first cousin or person who has a significant relationship with the child, or is placed with an extended family member or significant person who is unable or unwilling to provide a permanent placement for the child, initiate searches for extended family members (including the grandparents, great-grandparents, adult siblings of whole or half-blood, aunts, uncles and first cousins) or persons having a significant relationship with the child prior to key decision points during the case and no less than once every six months.

Key decision points include:
  • prior to the filing of the dependency petition;
  • prior to the Preliminary Protective Hearing,
  • disposition Hearing, and Permanency Hearing;
  • prior to the Hearing on the Motion for Guardianship or Termination of Parental Rights;
  • prior to case plan staffings; and
  • When additional information that will assist in the search is discovered.
  • prior to pre-adoptive placement.
Family Locate Unit
  1. Based on the information provided, complete a search of the Arizona Tracking and Locating Automation System (ATLAS) for addresses of parents. If the search is successful, route the results of the search to the assigned DCS Specialist .
  2. If the address of the parent is not found, submit a search request to the Arizona Parent Locator Service, Division of Child Support Services .
  3. If the address of a guardian, custodian, relatives or persons having a significant relationship with the child is unknown, submit the search request to the contracted agency for a professional search. This search includes a search of automated databases such as national credit bureaus, driver’s license bureaus, birth and death records, criminal records, and other appropriate resources .
  4. Indicate a 24 hour or a 5 day search. Designate a 5 day search unless there is an urgent need for the information .
  5. The Arizona Parent Locator Service will search databases including ATLAS, Arizona Technical Eligibility Computer System (AZTECS), BG01, Motor Vehicle Division, and credit bureaus.
  6. If the contract agency’s search is unsuccessful, ensure that the contract agency completes an Affidavit of Diligent Search if the search is needed for service of process purposes. Forward a copy of the Affidavit to the Office of the Attorney General and assigned DCS Specialist .
  7. If the parent, guardian, custodian, relative or person having a significant relationship with the child is located, the contracted agency will follow-up to confirm the address and forward the address to the region staff .
  8. Route the results of a successful search to the assigned DCS Specialist , and the Office of the Attorney General when the search is needed for service of process purposes.
Documentation
Document diligent efforts to locate an absent parent, guardian, custodian, extended family member or other significant person including the request for search using the Locate Efforts case note window and by filing copies of forms requesting a search in the hard copy file .

Document the address of the parent and guardian on the FC-064-A, Attachment A, and process according to directions found in Court Reports

Also, document the address of the parent and guardian using the Address and Phone Numbers window .

File a copy of the Affidavit of Diligent Search in the hard copy record .

File a copy of the Relative or Person Having a Significant Relationship with the Child and Response by Relative or Person Having a Significant Relationship with the Child for each relative or person that you sent the notice to.



 

Effective Date: May 6, 2016

Revision History: November 30, 2012, April 4, 2015


Chapter 4: Section 3
Kinship Care
Policy
For a child who is in the custody of the Department and requires out-of-home care, the Department shall establish kinship foster care services that promote the placement of a child with the child's relative.

The Department shall identify and assess relatives and persons who have a significant relationship with the child for the placement of a child in out-of-home care.

A kinship caregiver means an adult relative or person who has a significant relationship with the child and who is caring for the child under the care, custody and control of the Department. A kinship caregiver shall be evaluated and approved by the Department based upon an assessment of the family and home.

A kinship caregiver shall be at least 18 years of age, be fingerprinted and cleared by a criminal history records check, be cleared by a Department of Child Safety records check of child abuse and neglect reports and history, and able to meet the child's placement needs including health and safety.

All persons age 18 and older residing in the kinship caregiver's household shall be fingerprinted and cleared by a criminal history records check and be cleared by a Department of Child Safety records check of child abuse and neglect reports and history.

The Department shall initiate the assessment of the kinship caregiver as a potential placement for the child within ten working days of the request.

The Department shall provide written notification to a kinship caregiver within 15 working days when the Department determines that it will not recommend the kinship placement to the Juvenile Court. The notification shall include specific reason(s) for the denial of approval, the right to appeal the recommendation and the process to request review of this recommendation through the Department's formal Client Grievance process.

The Department shall provide information to all kinship caregivers about the following financial benefits:
  • TANF/Nutrition Assistance (formerly food stamps) through the DES Family Assistance Administration
  • foster care reimbursement only if they become licensed as family foster parents;
  • monthly personal and clothing allowance on behalf of the child;
  • special payments (other allowances) that may be available to the child; and
  • Kinship Stipend.

The Department shall encourage and support kinship caregivers to become licensed foster parents.


The Department shall obtain a signed statement from a kinship caregiver who elects not to apply for financial services after being informed of the services. The Department shall provide the kinship caregiver a copy of the signed statement.

A kinship caregiver may apply for financial services at any time regardless of whether or not a statement declining financial services has previously been signed by the kinship caregiver.

The Department shall provide non-financial services to all kinship caregivers.

The Department shall share with the kinship caregiver all information about the child to ensure that the caregiver meets the needs of the child and to assist the caregiver in carrying out the case plan.

Procedures
A kinship caregiver means an adult relative or person who has a significant relationship with the child and who is caring for a child under the care, custody and control of the Department.

Identify relatives and persons who have a significant relationship with the child who have an interest in providing care for the child. See Relative Search Best Practice Guide

Inform potential kinship caregivers of the following requirements:
  • Kinship caregivers must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Kinship caregivers and adult household members must be fingerprinted for and cleared by a criminal history record check.
  • Kinship caregivers and adult household members must be checked and cleared for prior and current child abuse and neglect history on the Central Registry and the CHILDS Case Management Information System, and any other state or jurisdiction, if applicable.
  • Kinship caregivers must provide at least two references.
  • Kinship caregivers must agree to personal interviews and at least one home visit.
  • Kinship caregivers and household members must participate in the family assessment process.

Inform all potential kinship caregivers of the financial resources available to them including:
  • family foster home payment (licensure);
  • personal and clothing allowances and other available DCS allowances (See Foster Home Rate Schedule/Allowances);
  • kinship stipend (available to relative caregivers and other non-relative caregivers); and
  • other funding to support extra-curricular/enrichment activities that promote normalcy, such as through the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation.

Review the Financial Resources for Kinship Foster Caregivers informational sheet and assist the caregiver, as needed, to complete related forms.

Inform all kinship caregivers of the non-financial services available to meet the needs of the child, including:
  • child care;
  • parent aide;
  • respite care;
  • case management;
  • family assessment;
  • transportation;
  • housing supports, including community based resources, federal/state funded housing programs (i.e. HUD housing vouchers) and the Housing Assistance program ;
  • parenting skills training;
  • supportive intervention and guidance counseling;
  • emergency services; and
  • additional services that the Department determines are necessary to meet the needs of the child and family.

Preliminary Kinship Caregiver Assessment for Emergency Placements
The kinship caregiver assessment starts with the following initial steps:
  • A determination of the potential caregivers interest now and in the future;
  • A preliminary determination that the potential caregiver(s) has the ability to meet the child's placement needs and support the achievement of the permanency goal including the ability and willingness to care for a sibling group (if applicable). If the caregiver is not willing to care for all or part of the child's siblings, a determination that the caregiver is willing to maintain frequent visitation or other ongoing contact between the child and the child's siblings;
  • Preliminary determination that the potential caregiver(s) meets the requirements for placement consideration based on information obtained from a DPS criminal history record, the DCS Central Registry, CHILDS Case Management Information System, other states or jurisdictions (if applicable), and information disclosed by family members and/or other sources; and
  • At least one visit to the home of the potential caregiver family to complete the Home Safety Checklist for Kinship Foster Caregiver Household, CSO-1014.
    • if any safety hazards exist (e.g., unlocked firearms or medications, swimming pool fence that does not meet the requirements for the child’s age, etc.), do not recommend placement.
    • document on the Home Safety Checklist for Kinship Foster Care Household, CSO-1014 what actions need to be taken to address the safety hazards and schedule a follow-up home visit to ensure safety hazards have been addressed

The DCS Specialist must:
  • engage the potential caregiver in a discussion about his/her capacity and motivation to be a placement resource for the child; and
  • provide the potential caregiver with information about:
    • need for DCS intervention (safety threats to child, and how they may be addressed);
    • child's need for safety, connections to family and culture, and continuity of care;
    • child's current placement and permanency goal;
    • requirement for kinship care placement including the assessment and planning for the child's placement;
    • expectations that the potential kinship caregiver may have of the Department including available supports and services;
    • expectations the Department will have of the potential kinship caregiver;
    • placement preferences;
    • placement options for kinship caregivers including licensed and unlicensed foster care;
    • parents rights and responsibilities in continuing to plan for the care of his/her child;
    • need for parents and family members to be involved in planning, visiting and decision-making now and in the future; and
    • options to resolve disagreements.

If a decision is made to continue with the assessment, prior to placement of the child, the DCS Specialist shall complete the following:
  • Complete a search of the Central Registry, CHILDS Case Management Information System and other states or jurisdictions (if known) for current or prior involvement with child protective services on all adults residing in the home.
  • Review the results of the DCS records check.
  • When a potential kinship caregiver or adult household member has a DCS record of child abuse and neglect indicating that the child would not be safe if placed in the home:
    • inform the potential caregiver that one or more adult household members did not clear the DCS records checks;
    • if the potential caregiver or individual wishes to correct or clarify child abuse or neglect history information, offer the individual an opportunity to provide the information;
    • if the additional information provided does not sufficiently remedy the safety concerns, placement cannot be recommended;
    • complete and send the Kinship Placement Notification to the potential caregiver within 15 working days of the decision not to recommend placement.
  • Have the potential caregiver and all adults in the home complete the Self-Disclosure Statement for Kinship Foster Caregiver Household, CSO-1130.
  • Complete a criminal history records check with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for all adults residing in the home:
    • Submit the DPS criminal history G-22 Child Abuse request to the DPS using the Justice Web Interface (JWI).
    • When a person does not have a social security number, the DPS Criminal Records Check shall still be completed using information currently in CHILDS (including assigned pseudo social security numbers).
    • When a person does not have a social security number, conduct additional searches, including a public records search or information available through local law enforcement.
  • Review and verify the criminal records checks and the information disclosed on the Self-Disclosure Statement for Kinship Foster Caregiver Household.
  • Determine whether the potential caregiver or any adult household member has been convicted of, or is awaiting trial for, or under pending indictment for committing, attempting to commit, soliciting or facilitating or conspiring to commit one or more of the specific criminal offenses identified in Section 2 of the Self-Disclosure Statement for Kinship Foster Caregiver Household. If yes:
    • Inform the potential caregiver that one or more adult household members did not clear the background checks.
    • If the potential caregiver or individual wishes to provide additional information about the criminal history, offer the individual an opportunity to provide the information.
    • If the potential caregiver or individual wishes to review and/or challenge the results of the criminal records check from the DPS, refer him/her to the Criminal History Section at 602-223-2222. Note: the person may request a "review and challenge packet" for an arrest, conviction or indictment by a law enforcement jurisdiction in Arizona. If the criminal record concerns an arrest, conviction or indictment outside Arizona, the individual must contact the applicable law enforcement jurisdiction in that state.
  • If the potential caregiver or adult household member has a criminal history of one or more of the offenses in Section 2 of the Self-Disclosure Statement for Kinship Foster Caregiver Household, the placement cannot be recommended.

If a criminal records check or self-disclosure statement reveals an arrest, conviction, or indictment for any other criminal offense, consider the results of the criminal records check when making the decision about whether to recommend placement of the child with the potential kinship caregiver. Verify and/or consider the following:
  • any new or current safety threats to the child;
  • continued behaviors related to the reason for the child coming into care;
  • the vulnerability of the child needing placement including the child's age and special needs;
  • the extent of the person’s criminal record, including whether the criminal offense was an isolated incident or indicative of a pattern of criminal activity;
  • the length of time that has elapsed since the offense was committed;
  • the nature of the offense;
  • any applicable mitigating circumstances including whether the victim was a child or a vulnerable adult;
  • the degree to which the person participated in the offense; and
  • the extent of the person's rehabilitation, including:
    • completion of probation, parole or community supervision;
    • evidence of positive action to change criminal behavior, such as completing a drug treatment program or counseling, and
    • personal references attesting to the person’s rehabilitation.

Formal Kinship Caregiver Assessment following an Emergency Placement
After making a temporary emergency placement of a child, continue with the assessment within 15 working days of the completed DPS check, if the potential caregiver resides in Arizona.
  • Require all adult household members to complete a fingerprint based background check. Provide Fieldprint instructions to all adults upon placement consideration or emergency placement. If needed, provide assistance in submitting the fingerprints. Additional Department resources can be provided to assist adults that are unable to submit fingerprints to Fieldprint.
    • A person who is denied a Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card may still be considered as a kinship placement, if the offense preventing approval of the Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card is appealable to the Board of Fingerprinting.
    • If any adult household member fails to complete the fingerprint based background check, the child cannot be placed in the home.
    • The DCS Specialist should gather all relevant information and consult with their supervisor for approval to continue placement of the child(ren) in the home.
  • Complete interviews of the potential caregiver and all household members.
  • Complete an assessment of the family and home of the potential caregiver family, using the Assessment for Kinship Foster Care or Significant Person Placement, CT01100, found in the Court Document Directory (see the Assessment for Kinship Foster Care Instructions CT01101 for guidance on completing the Kinship Foster Care or Significant Person Placement form CT01100).
  • Check that the assessment includes at least two reference checks by telephone or letter using the Evaluation of Potential Caretaker(s), for each potential caregiver. For a potential relative kinship foster caregiver, at least one reference should be a relative who is not the parent of the child being considered for placement. An adult child of the potential caregiver should be used as a reference whenever possible.
  • Assess the ability of the potential caregiver to meet the child's safety, well-being and placement needs and the needs of the child's siblings, if applicable.
  • Make a determination that the potential kinship caregiver meets the requirements for placement.

Assessing Potential Kinship Caregivers for a Non-Emergency Placement
Initiate steps above within 10 days, with the exception of the emergency DPS criminal background check, when a potential kinship caregiver is identified for a child who is currently in out-of-home care with a non-kinship placement.

Within ten working days of identifying a potential caregiver who resides out-of-state, follow the procedures to request a home study in Referring a Child for Placement through the ICPC.

Upon completion of a positive assessment and determination that it is in the best interest of the child(ren) to be placed with the kinship caregiver, complete a case conference, following procedures in Placement Stability for Children in Out-of-Home Care to develop a transition plan for the child(ren).

Medical Marijuana
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act enables a person (a qualifying patient), who is registered with the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), to legally obtain, under Arizona law, an allowable amount of marijuana and possess and use the marijuana for its therapeutic effects in treating and alleviating symptoms associated with a debilitating medical condition. However, the possession, sale or transportation of marijuana is still a crime under Federal law.

If a potential kinship caregiver is a qualifying patient, designated caregiver or cultivator of medical marijuana, the following factors should be addressed in the evaluation of the caregiver’s ability to meet the child’s placement needs including child safety and to support achievement of the permanency goal for the child:
  • any action taken by the caregiver to ensure that any child in the home does not have access to the marijuana, such as:
    • the marijuana is clearly labeled, out-of-sight and not accessible to the child,
    • if the potential caregiver is authorized to cultivate marijuana plants for the patient’s medical use, whether the plants are secured in an enclosed, locked facility,
    • if the potential caregiver cooks with marijuana, whether any “resultant” food products are clearly labeled, out-of-sight and not accessible to the child;
  • any action taken by the potential caregiver to ensure that any child in the home is not adversely affected by the patient’s medical use of marijuana such as,
    • plans to consume (smoking, vaporization, infused edible food products, etc.) when the child is not present,
    • if the marijuana is smoked or vaporized, plans to ensure that the child is not exposed to “second hand” smoke or vapor;
  • whether there is another responsible un-medicated caregiver in the home when consumption occurs,
    • if more than one potential caregiver is a qualifying patient, plans to ensure that one caregiver is un-medicated (established routine where one caregiver is un-medicated at all times);
  • the effects of the “debilitating medical condition” and the medical use of marijuana on the caregiver’s ability to provide a safe home environment for the child, and meet the child’s placement needs, including
    • transportation to/from appointments, visitation, and other routine activities,
    • any concerns by the caregiver’s (qualifying patient) physician about the caregiver’s ability to provide for the child’s safety and well-being.

When One or More Potential Kinship Caregivers Have a Positive Assessment:
On a case-by-case basis, consistent with the child's best interests and the current stage of the case, convene a family meeting to attempt to gain consensus regarding the child's placement and a plan to maintain family contact. Reconsider all of the following if the family can not come to consensus:
  • ability and willingness of each caregiver to meet the child's short-term and long-term placement needs including child safety, sibling placement, proximity to the parent's home, ability to remain in the home school district and community, ability to communicate in the child's language, and ability to support cultural connections,
  • established relationship of the child to each caregiver,
  • ability of each caregiver to support the achievement of the case plan, and
  • ability of each caregiver to finalize a permanency or concurrent case plan of guardianship or adoption.


If one kinship foster caregiver cannot care for all the siblings, consider the kinship caregiver who:
  • can best meet the needs of the child;
  • will permit and actively maintain frequent visitation or facilitate other ongoing contact between siblings who are not placed together; and
  • will permit and actively facilitate contact by telephone, mail or visits with the child's parents, family members, other relatives, friend, and any former foster parents, unless the court determines the contact is not in the child's best interest.

If a potential kinship caregiver is not selected, complete and send the Kinship Placement Notification to the potential caregiver within 15 working days of the decision not to recommend placement.

If the kinship care placement selected disrupts, the DCS Specialist must re-contact, reconsider and, if necessary, reassess all relatives and persons having a significant relationship with the child who expressed an interest in being a placement option for the child

Once the kinship foster caregiver is selected:
  • Provide a copy of the Kinship Foster Care for Relatives Caring for Children in DCS Custody booklet (CSO 1047A), to the caregiver and review the pamphlet with the potential caregiver.
  • Review the Financial Resources for Kinship Foster Caregivers informational sheet and provide and review any necessary forms.
  •  Have the kinship caregiver complete and sign the Kinship Placement Agreement and Notification of Resources, CSO-1129. Give a copy of the form to the caregiver. This form informs the caregiver of the following:
    • a monthly personal and clothing allowance will be issued on behalf of the child; and
    • the benefits of applying for foster home licensure or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families/Child Only Cash Assistance and the option to decline these financial services.
  • Complete the Motion for Change of Physical Custody, CT01700, found in the Court Document Directory, and submit the CT01700 and the Assessment for Kinship Foster Care or Significant Person Placement, CT01100, to the Juvenile Court for approval of the placement.
  • Advise kinship caregiver about CMDP.
  • Advise the kinship caregiver about Behavioral Health Services available through the Regional Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA).
  • Provide DCS child care services to the kinship caregiver according to the procedures in Child Care Services or assist the kinship caregiver in completing applications for child care and other available services, as needed
  • Prepare and place a child in kinship foster care, following the Implementation and Procedures Placing Children in Out-of-Home Care
  • Inform the kinship caregiver about special payments available to the child. See Foster Care Rate Assessment & Payment

If the kinship caregiver wishes to apply for foster home licensure, the DCS Specialist will email the completed Kinship Placement Agreement and Notification of Resources, noting “Home Recruitment Response” in the subject line, to the Home Recruitment Response Specialist at Kinship@azdcs.gov, and refer the kinship caregiver to the Home Recruitment Response Specialist at 1-877-543-7633 or http://www.azkidsneedu.gov to initiate the process. Note: while this begins the process for foster home licensure, it does not obligate the caregiver to complete the licensure process, nor does it guarantee that the caregiver will qualify for licensure.

The kinship caregiver should check the applicable box on the Kinship Placement Agreement and Notification of Resources, CSO-1129A and complete the FA-001, Application for Benefits according to the following procedure:
  • indicate that he/she is applying for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families/Cash Assistance (TANF/CA) for only the child placed in his/her care by the Department;
  • complete all application items pertaining to the TANF/CA Program with information relevant to the child being placed; and
  • sign the application.

The DCS Specialist will:
  • Write KFC/DCS/P on the top right corner of the Application for Benefits.
  • Scan and email the Application for Benefits, TANF/CA Contact Form and court order (or Notice to Provider) to the Family Assistance Administration Office (FAA) to FAACDSKinshipFC@AZDES.GOV
  • Inform the kinship caregiver that an FAA worker will either contact him/her by phone or schedule an interview, according to the caregiver's preference to:
    • complete the application process; and
    • determine whether the child is eligible for TANF/CA.
  • Inform the caregiver to notify FAA when the kinship caregiver family is licensed and approved for foster care reimbursement so that FAA can terminate the TANF/CA.
  • Confirm that the kinship caregiver has signed the Kinship Placement Agreement and Notification of Resources, CSO-1129A, declining financial benefits when the kinship caregiver does not wish to apply for:
    • monthly personal and clothing allowances;
    • foster home licensure, or
    • TANF/CA.
  • • Ensure that the kinship caregiver has a copy of the Kinship Placement Agreement and Notification of Resources, CSO-1129A and inform the caregiver that he or she may apply at a later date if desired.

If the Kinship Caregiver wishes to apply for the kinship stipend, provide the Kinship Stipend Request form and assist the kinship caregiver to complete and submit the form.

Documentation
Document the following about potential kinship caregivers using the Relative Information case note type:
  • legal name, DOB, SS#;
  • address and telephone number;
  • citizenship status;
  • discussions with the person regarding his/her ability and willingness to care for the child;
  • date of the criminal records request and the results of the search;
  • date the search for prior child protective services history (including the Central Registry, CHILDS Case Management Information System and other states or jurisdictions) and the results of this search;
  • date and to whom the Kinship Placement Notification, CSO-1013A was mailed; and
  • the kinship caregiver selected and reasons for the selection of the specific family.

Ensure all placement data is entered in CHILDS as soon as the child is placed, or within two working days, according to region procedures.
  • Complete a service authorization for unlicensed relative kinship caregivers using URAD (Unlicensed Relative Application Pending) for relative kinship caregivers who wish to initiate the foster home licensing process.
  • Complete a service authorization for unlicensed relative kinship caregivers using URED (Unlicensed Relative) for relative kinship caregivers who do not wish to initiate the foster home licensing process.
  • Complete a service authorization for an unlicensed non-relative using URND (Unlicensed Non-relative Providers).

When placement with the kinship caregiver is approved, ensure that the kinship caregiver is entered into the CHILDS Provider Management, according to region procedures, through completion of the following windows: Provider Maintenance Detail, Provider Maintenance Facility Detail, Person Detail, Facility Contacts, Provider Maintenance Household, and Provider Maintenance Service Detail.

Document the relationship of the child(ren) to the family/kin member by completing the LCH 024 Family Relationships window.
If siblings are not placed together, document the reason(s) in the Out-of-Home Characteristics window using the Explain window.

File the Information for Kinship Foster Care Placement Consideration in the hard copy case record.

File a copy of the Self-Disclosure Statement for Kinship Foster Caregiver Household, the Home Safety Checklist for Kinship Foster Caregiver Household and the Kinship Placement Notification in the hard copy case record.




 

Effective Date: October 25, 2017

Revision History :May 31, 2016, May 6, 2016, February 14, 2014, July 1st, 2013, November 30. 2012, September 29th, 2017


Placement Needs of Children In Out-of-Home Care
Policy
The Department shall complete an individual assessment of the placement needs for every child who requires out-of-home care prior to placement in out-of-home care.

The Department shall make reasonable efforts to place a child, who has been removed from his/her home and placed in out-of-home placement, guardianship or adoptive placement, with the child’s sibling or, if that is not possible, to maintain frequent visitation or other ongoing contact between the child and the child’s siblings unless a court determines that the placement or the visitation or contact would be contrary to the child’s or a sibling’s safety or well-being

Procedures
Decision Making
The Department shall restrict the placement of children from birth to age (5) in homes where the foster parents have not immunized their own children. The Department shall place children in foster care settings most appropriate to each individual child's clinical and medical reports from previous medial, mental or behavioral health care providers.

The Arizona State Immunization Information System (ASIIS) notification record is available for DCS Specialists to review a child's immunization history. To obtain ASIIS record access, go to https://asiis.azdhs.gov/

The DCS Comprehensive Medical and Dental program (CMDP) can also research the child's immunization record in ASIIS for the DCS Specialist . Send an email to CMDPNurse

To assess the child's placement needs, gather information from:
  • personal observations;
  • clinical and medical reports from previous medical, mental or behavioral health care providers;
  • the child's parents or caregivers;
  • school reports;
  • medical, mental health or behavioral health case records;
  • immunization records;
  • DCS electronic and hard copy case records;
  • previous out-of-home care providers;
  • the child;
  • current receiving foster home and shelter care providers; and
  • relatives.

Gather or initiate a request for any of the above information that is not available at the time of placement within five working days of identifying a potential source of information.

Include in the assessment, a thorough consideration of:
  • the child's relationships and attachments with: parents, grandparents, adult siblings of whole or half-blood, aunts, uncles, first cousins or another member of the child's extended family including persons who have a significant relationship with the child, current foster parents, and former foster parents, if applicable;
  • the child's relationship, attachment and visitation and/or contact with siblings who are placed in out-of-home placement, guardianship or adoptive placement;
  • the characteristics of the child: age, gender, religion, primary language, perceived or identified sexual orientation and gender identity;
  • the child's health and developmental needs: physical, medical, emotional, educational, social and behavioral;
  • the child’s traditions, values, religious or spiritual needs;
  • the mental and behavioral history of the child as potential safety concerns for other children that may have contact with the child;
  • daily routine; and
  • the permanency goal for the child.

Implementation
The race, color or national origin of the child may be considered in the placement decision only when the individualized assessment of the child's needs requires such consideration. The parents’ placement preference regarding race, color or national origin shall not be considered. This reflects the legal requirements of the Multi-Ethnic Placement Act and Interethnic Placement Act.

Consult with the regional mental health specialist when the child has chronic behavioral health needs.

Refer all children in out-of-home placement to the local Regional Behavioral Health Authority ( RBHA) for a behavioral health assessment within 24 hours of removal. See Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Services for Children and Young Adults and Title XIX Covered Services (DCS-1287).

Discuss the assessment of the child's needs with your supervisor and other service team members, as applicable.

Documentation
Document the assessment of placement needs by completing the following windows:
  • Child Assessment and Special Rate Evaluation;
  • Special Needs Detail;
  • Medical/Dental Condition Detail;
  • Medication Detail;
  • Psych/Behavioral Condition Detail;
  • Practitioner Detail;
  • Examination Detail;
  • Participant Education Condition;
  • Participant Education Detail; and
  • Hospitalization Detail.

Note: The Medical Summary Report contains information entered on the above windows. Once the child is in out-of-home care, all medical and dental information will be transmitted from CMDP into these windows in CHILDS, there is no further need for manual data entry.

Any medical, dental or vision service requests must be made through CMDP. Behavioral health service requests need to go through the assigned Regional Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA).

Document that a request has been made through CMDP and/or the RBHA in case notes.

Chapter 4: Section 5
Selecting Out-of-Home Care Provider
Policy
The Department shall seek to provide every child who requires out-of-home care with a placement that addresses his or her unique needs. No single factor shall be the sole determining factor in the selection of a placement.

The Department shall not deny or delay a foster or adoptive placement of a child on the basis of race, color, or national origin of the foster or adoptive parent or the child involved.

Within the constraints of available resources and when consistent with the needs of the child, the Department shall seek to place a child who requires out-of-home care:
  • in close proximity to the parents’ home;
  • with members of the child's extended family and adult siblings or with adults with whom the child has a significant relationship;
  • with minor siblings who are in out-of-home care, unless contrary to the child’s or a sibling’s safety or well-being;
  • in the least restrictive placement that will meet his/her needs;
  • within the child's own school district; and
  • with caregivers who can communicate in the child's language.

If the placement of siblings together is not possible for all or any of the siblings, the Department shall make efforts to maintain frequent visitation or other ongoing contact between all siblings, unless there is documented evidence that visitation or ongoing contact would be contrary to the child’s or a sibling’s safety or well-being.

For children who are not Native American, the order of placement preference, unless otherwise dictated by child need is:
  • parent;
  • grandparent;
  • a member of the child's extended family, including a person who has a significant relationship with the child;
  • licensed family foster home;
  • therapeutic foster care;
  • group home;
  • therapeutic group home;
  • residential treatment facility.

For Native American children, the order of placement preference shall be determined in accordance with the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act, as follows:
  • a member of the child's extended family;
  • a foster home licensed, approved or specified by the child's tribe;
  • an Indian foster home licensed or approved by an authorized non-Indian licensing authority;
  • an institution approved by the Indian tribe, or operated by an Indian organization which has a program suitable to meet the Indian child's needs. (25 U.S.C.§1901 et seq.)

This order of placement preference for Native American children must be followed except under the following circumstances:
  • the child's parents have relinquished their parental rights and requested anonymity (in this case, preference shall be for placement with other Native American families);
  • the child's tribe sets a different order of preference; or
  • the tribe chooses not to intervene in the case and the state court finds that there is good cause to change the order of placement preference. (25 U.S.C.§1901 et seq.)

For children who re-enter out-of-home care after being returned home, the Department shall notify all foster homes in which the child had previously been placed that the child has returned to out-of-home care, unless the foster home has substantiated or outstanding allegations, reports, or investigations known by the department.

For children who re-enter out-of-home care after being returned home, the Department shall place the child in a foster home in which the child previously resided, giving preference to the most recent foster home caregiver, unless:
  • a preferred placement is available and able to meet the child’s needs (such as kinship placement, placement with siblings, or placement in accordance with the Indian Child Welfare Act );
  • placement in a previous foster home is not in the best interests of the child; or
  • none of the prior foster homes agree to placement.

The Department may place a child in excess of the number of children allowed and identified in the foster parent's license; if the Department reasonably believes the foster home has the ability to safely handle additional children and if there are no outstanding concerns, deficiencies, reports, or investigations regarding the foster home; and if the child meets one of the following criteria:
  • the child is part of a sibling group that currently resides in the foster home;
  • the child is part of a sibling group that is being considered for placement in the foster home but because of the maximum child limit, would otherwise have to be separated;
  • the child previously resided in the foster home; or
  • the child is a kinship placement for the foster home.

A DCS employee may be licensed as a foster parent or certified to adopt or be considered for kinship placement.

Procedures
Make reasonable efforts to place the child in the least restrictive placement setting that will meet his/her needs; according to the order of placement preference; in close proximity to the parents’ home; and with all or any of the child’s siblings, unless there is documented evidence that placement together is contrary to the child’s or a sibling’s safety or well-being. Make reasonable efforts to place the child within the child’s own school district and with caregivers who can communicate in the child’s language.

If the placement of siblings together is not possible for all or any of the siblings, make efforts to maintain frequent visitation or other ongoing contact between all siblings unless there is documented evidence that visitation or ongoing contact would be contrary to the child’s or a sibling’s safety or well-being.

When a child returns to care after reunification, notify former foster homes of the child’s re-entry into out-of-home care unless the former foster home has substantiated or outstanding allegations, reports, or investigations known to DCS.
When selecting a child’s placement, follow the order of placement preference. If the child will be placed in a family foster home, give placement preference to the most recent foster home in which the child was previously placed, unless placement in that home is not in the child’s best interest.

Contact the AAG when there are concerns that notifying or placing the child in a previous foster home will be contrary to the child’s safety or well-being.
To select a placement for a Native American child, follow the procedures found in Placement Preferences of an Indian Child.

To select a placement with a kinship foster caregiver, follow the procedures found in Kinship Care.

Selecting a Non-Relative Licensed Foster Home
Consider placing the child in a non-relative licensed foster home when no parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, adult sibling of whole or half-blood, aunt, uncle, first cousin or person who has a significant relationship with the child and can meet the placement needs of the child has been identified. If the child’s needs do not require a more restrictive placement setting, the DCS Specialist or designated region staff completes the following:
  • Identify available foster homes according to region procedures by contacting the appropriate region designee and completing regional placement request forms.
  • Review information on available foster homes to match the child’s placement needs with foster family characteristics and capabilities, using information from the Licensing Worker and other resources, such as home studies. Consider:
    • the expressed wishes of the birth parent and child, if applicable (the parent's preference regarding race, color or national origin shall not be considered);
    • the home’s proximity to the parents’ home and the child’s current school or school district;
    • the strengths and parenting style of the caregiver in relation to the child’s behavior and needs;
    • the caregiver’s willingness to communicate and interact with the birth family to support visitation and the reunification process;
    • the caregiver’s ability and willingness to accept placement of the child and all or any of the child’s siblings;
    • if any siblings will be placed separately, the caregiver’s ability and willingness to provide or assist in maintaining frequent visitation or other ongoing contact between the child and the child’s sibling;
    • the child’s fit with the family with regard to age, gender, and sibling relationships;
    • if the child has chronic behavioral health needs, whether the child’s behavior will place other children in the home at risk;
    • if the child has chronic behavioral health needs, the caregiver’s ability to provide the necessary level of supervision to prevent harm to self or others by the child;
    • whether placement in the home would comply with the Interethnic Adoption Provisions of the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996; and
    • whether placement in the home would be in accordance with the placement preferences of the Indian Child Welfare Act, if applicable.
  • After identifying prospective foster homes, contact prospective foster parents and discuss the child’s needs, permanency goal, and contact and visitation plan; the foster parents’ ability to meet the child’s needs; the foster parents’ ability and willingness to support maintenance of the child’s connections with his/her parents, siblings, extended family and other important connections; the Department’s expectations of the foster parents; and their willingness to consider placement of the child and the child’s siblings, if applicable.
  • Select the foster home that is best able to meet the placement needs of the child and the child’s siblings, if applicable.
  • If necessary, convene a case conference to discuss placement selection.
  • Determine the reimbursement rate to be recommended by reviewing the documented placement needs of the child:
    • medical and any special care requirements;
    • transportation;
    • level of supervision;
    • educational; and
    • mental and behavioral health.

Placing a Child in a Foster Home in Excess of the Number of Children Allowed By the Homes License
When considering placement of a child in a foster home in excess of the number of children allowed (overcapacity)by the home's license, the DCS Specialist and the Licensing Worker must both be informed of, and agree to request the proposed placement.

The Department may place a child in excess of the number of children allowed and identified in the foster parent's license; if the Department reasonably believes the foster home has the ability to safely handle additional children and if there are no outstanding concerns, deficiencies, reports, or investigations regarding the foster home; and if the child meets one of the following criteria:
  • the child is part of a sibling group that currently resides in the foster home;
  • the child is part of a sibling group that is being considered for placement in the foster home but because of the maximum child limit, would otherwise have to be separated;
  • the child previously resided in the foster home; or
  • the child is a kinship placement for the foster home.
  • The DCS Specialist and the Licensing Worker must determine and agree that:
  • the foster home has the ability to safely supervise and care for additional children;
  • there are no outstanding concerns, deficiencies, reports, or investigations regarding the foster home and;
  • the child meets one of the following criteria:
    • the child is part of a sibling group that currently resides in the foster home;
    • the child is part of a sibling group that is being considered for placement in the foster home but because of the maximum child limit, would otherwise have to be separated;
    • the child previously resided in the foster home; or
    • the child is a kinship placement for the foster home.

The DCS Specialist/Placement Coordinator or Agency Licensing Worker may request approval for a foster home that is not licensed for the number of children required to accept an additional child in their home by completing the Overcapacity Placement Request (CSO-1264) and emailing it to the Office of Licensing and Regulation (OLR) at FHLDocs@azdcs.gov

OLR reviews the request and can approve or deny the request. OLR’s decision is then emailed to the:
  • DCS Specialist and Supervisor,
  • Agency Licensing Worker and Supervisor, and
  • Contract Management Analyst (except when the request is denied).

Requests to place a child in a foster home that would cause the foster home to exceed the number of children allowed by the home’s license is will only be reviewed and authorized during normal work hours only.

Selecting a Group Home
Consider placing the child in a group home if no parent, grandparent, member of the child’s extended family, person who has a significant relationship with the child, or licensed foster home that can meet the child’s need has been identified. Placement in a group home may be the least restrictive setting that can meet the child’s needs if:
  • the child has a recent history of unsuccessful placements in family settings, despite provision of services to support placement stability; or
  • the child has supervision or behavior management requirements that cannot be met in a family environment.

If it is determined that the child will be placed in a group home, the DCS Specialist or designated region staff completes the following:
  • Identify available group homes according to region procedures by contacting the appropriate region designee and completing regional placement request forms.
  • Review information on available group homes to match the child’s placement needs with the group home characteristics and capabilities. Consider:
    • the expressed wishes of the birth parent and child, if applicable (the parent's preference regarding race, color or national origin shall not be considered);
    • the home’s proximity to the parents’ home and the child’s current school or school district;
    • the strengths and structure of the group home in relation to the child’s behavior and needs;
    • the caregiver’s ability to provide and facilitate visitation with the birth family
    • if any siblings will be placed separately, the group home’s ability and willingness to provide or assist in maintaining frequent visitation or other ongoing contact between child and the child’s sibling;
    • the child’s fit with the group home with regard to age, gender, and special needs of other children placed in the home;
    • if the child has chronic behavioral health needs, whether the child’s behavior will place other children in the home at risk; and
    • if the child has chronic behavioral health needs, the caregiver’s ability to provide the necessary level of supervision to prevent harm to self or others by the child.
  • After identifying prospective group homes, contact the group home and discuss the child’s needs, permanency goal, and contact and visitation plan; the group home’s ability to meet the child’s needs; the group home’s ability and willingness to support maintenance of the child’s connections with his/her parents, siblings, extended family and other important connections; expectations of the group home; and their willingness to consider placement of the child and the child’s siblings, if applicable.
  • Select the group home that is best able to meet the placement needs of the child and the child’s siblings, if applicable.
  • If necessary, convene a case conference to discuss placement selection.
  • Forward pertinent background information on the child, including previous mental and behavioral health records, to the approved and selected provider.
  • Inform the group home caregivers about the plan for visitation and contact with parents, siblings, and others; and expectations of the group related to visitation, contact, and support of the child’s important connections.

Selecting a therapeutic group home or residential treatment center
Consult with the CMDP Behavioral Health Coordinator regarding placement of the child if the child has chronic behavioral health needs. Refer to Title XIX Behavioral Health & Substance Abuse Services for more information.

For placement in a residential treatment center, contact the CMDP Behavioral Health Coordinator. See Arranging Placement in a Behavioral Health Inpatient Facility.

If a behavioral health group care placement is court ordered:
  • Contact the CMDP Behavioral Health Coordinator to co-ordinate placement services and funding.
  • After making contact with the potential placement, prepare an Addendum Report to the Court, CT00200, advising the court of the status of the order, the provider's name, the funding source, and date the service will begin.
  • Forward the report to the court according to region procedures.
  • If the RBHA refuses to provide court-ordered services, contact the CMDP Behavioral Health Appeals Coordinator to initiate an appeal.

DCS Employees as Out-of-Home Care Providers
An employee who decides to apply for foster parent licensure or adoption certification, or wants to be considered as a kinship care placement, shall provide advanced written notification of this decision to his/her immediate Supervisor and Region Program Administrator.

The assessment of a child’s placement needs and the placement of the child shall be made in accordance with the placement procedures found in Providing Out-of-Home Services Under a Dependency and Adoption: Assessing child's Needs and Preparing for Placement.

The Region Program Administrator of the region in which the child will be placed shall approve the placement of the child, and approve arrangements for supervision of any placement prior to the child’s placement with the employee. Supervision of the child’s placement shall be provided by a unit outside the employee’s Program Manager area.

The employee is entitled to the same benefits and supports as any other licensed foster parent or certified adoptive parent or approved kinship caregiver.

The employee must use approved leave to attend to the needs of the child placed in his/her care.

An employee who has a child placed in his/her care as a licensed foster parent or an adoptive parent or as a kinship caregiver shall not:
  • conduct or be responsible in any manner for the investigation of a report concerning the child while in the employee’s care;
  • be responsible for the case management of the child’s case or the case involving the child’s family;
  • conduct or be responsible for the evaluation of his/her home as a placement option for the child; or
  • access the child’s or the child’s family case information in CHILDS or request information regarding the child’s case from anyone other than the assigned DCS Specialist , Supervisor or Program Manager.

Any report of child abuse or neglect of the child, management of the child’s case or complaints filed concerning the care of a child while in the employee’s home shall be investigated and/or handled by a Program Manager area that does not have direct supervision of the employee.

Documentation
Use the Case Notes window to document notification to the child previous foster parents of the child’s re-entry, and whether or not the former foster home is willing to provide placement.

Use the Case Notes window to document the reason a child’s placement in a foster home in which the child previously resided is not in the child’s best interests, if applicable..

Use the Case Notes window to document the reasons for not placing siblings together.

Use the Case Notes window to document the process of selection and placement of a child in a non-relative foster home.

Use the Case Notes window to document the reasons for exceeding a foster home’s license (overcapacity) when placing of a child in a licensed foster home.

Use the Case Notes window to document the process of selection and placement of a child in a Group Home.

Use the Case Notes window to document efforts made to secure a behavioral health placement for a child.



 

Effective Date: August 9th, 2017

Revision History: November 30, 2012, September 30, 2013


Chapter 4: Section 6
Placing Children in Out-of-Home Care
Policy
The Department shall share with out-of-home care providers, at the time of placement, a written summary of known, unprivileged information regarding the child, including but not limited to:
  • Demographic information;
  • Type of custody and previous placement;
  • Pertinent family information including but not limited to the names of family members who, by court order, may not visit the child;
  • • Known or available medical history including but not limited to:
    • Allergies;
    • Immunizations;
    • Childhood diseases;
    • Physical disabilities;
    • Other idiosyncrasies; and
    • The child's last doctor, if known.
  • A summary of the child's history of adjudication on acts of delinquency, as may be public record and available in the file of the clerk of the superior court.

The Department shall provide children in out-of-home care, age six years of age and older, contact information for his/her DCS Specialist , attorney, or advocate and tell these children that they can speak with these individuals in private if necessary.

The Department shall consider a child's immunization records, according to the Arizona State Immunization Information System (ASIIS), when deciding on placement. The Department shall restrict placing children from birth to five years of age in homes where children who have not been immunized live.

The Department places children in out-of-home care settings most appropriate to each individual child.

The Department shall review their responsibilities with the out-of-home care providers so that they understand their role in following the "reasonable and prudent parent" standard and to provide the child with regular opportunities to engage in age or developmentally appropriate activities. See Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard.

Procedures
At the time of initial placement, complete the following activities regarding the child's rights:
  • Review Notice of Rights for Children and Youth in Foster Care, CSO-1141, with the child (as developmentally appropriate) and care provider together and answer any questions the child or care provider may have;
  • Sign confirming that the rights have been explained in an age-appropriate way and provided;
  • Request the child, age 12 years of age and older (and as developmentally appropriate), sign to confirm receipt of the Notice of Rights;
  • Complete Part B (Contact Information) of the form; asking for the child's input on the "Other Important People in My Life" portion; and
  • Provide the child with his/her copy of the Notice of Rights and A.R.S. § 8-529.

Provide the out-of-home care provider the following "Placement Packet" documents at the time of placement:
  • Child's (temporary or permanent) CMDP I.D. card, when available;
  • Copy of available immunization record for the child as well as a copy of the Arizona State Immunization Information System (ASIIS) notification record. To obtain ASIIS record access go to https://asiis.azdhs.gov/;
  • Placement Packet Checklist and Required Forms (from CHILDS):
    • Notice to Providers (Out-of-Home, Educational, and Medical)
    • Child Information;
    • Child's Health and Medical Record;
    • Allowance Purchase Ledger;
    • Child's Contact Record;
    • Basic Wardrobe and Property Inventory;
    • Child Information Guide (completed when child leaves placement);
    • Notice of Rights for a Child in Out-of-Home Care;
    • Out-of-Home Care Provider Acknowledgement;
    • Notice to Caregivers about Medical/Dental Services; and
    • Behavioral Health Services for Children in Out-of-Home Care Contact Information.
  • Comprehensive Medical and Dental Program (CMDP) New Member Packet;
  • Medical Summary Report (found in CHILDS). The Medical Summary Report includes the most recent information available regarding the child’s health and education. Have the out-of-home care provider sign the Medical Summary Report acknowledging the recommended reimbursement level;
  • Copy of any minute entry setting a future dependency or delinquency hearing involving the child, if available;
  • Case Plan, if available;
  • Copy of the most recent Foster Care Review Board report, if the initial review has been held.

If the child has been in a prior placement, provide the current out-of-home care provider with the above Placement Packet.

Remind the out-of-home care provider of the Department’s transportation requirements for the out-of-home care provider and the need to transport the children safely, more information can be found in Transportation Services.

Share all information to care for the child at the time of placement or as soon as possible after placement, including:
  • Planned appointments and other agency involvement;
  • Cultural practices, traditions, values, and religious involvement;
  • Sexual orientation;
  • Daily routine;
  • Food and activity preferences; and
  • History of abuse or neglect that may affect the child's behavior or needs.

Inform the out-of-home caregiver of the following information:
  • Department contact during and after business hours;
  • Regional Behavioral Health Agency (RBHA) contact information and the ability of the caregiver to access routine behavioral health services directly from the RBHA;
  • Contact and visitation arrangements between the child, child's parents, siblings, relatives, friends, and any former foster parents within the last six months;
  • Services available through the CMDP;
  • The Department's policy on Discipline in Out-of-Home Care, if applicable provide a copy of the Discipline Guidelines;
  • The daily personal allowance provided for the child, as applicable; and
  • Availability of emergency clothing allowances and special payments.

Discuss whether the out-of-home care provider's information should be kept confidential to protect the care provider and members of the care provider’s family.

Inform the out-of-home care provider that s/he must arrange for medical examinations and treatment, as well as immunizations, as specified in Medical Services for Children in Out-of-Home Care. Remind the provider they are able to give consent for evaluation and treatment for emergency conditions, routine medical and dental treatment, testing for HIV, but are unable to consent to general anesthesia, surgery, blood transfusion or abortions.

Share with the out-of-home care provider the Department's policy to (1) support educational stability for children in out-of-home care by maintaining the same school for the child, whenever possible; and (2) if the child has special education needs, to work collaboratively to determine the special education parent for the child. Work with the out-of-home provider to enroll the child in school within 5 days of placement. For more information see Educational for Children in Out of Home Care.

Inform the out-of-home care provider, that s/he cannot significantly alter the child's appearance without approval from the biological parent, which includes cutting the child's hair. Inform the out-of-home care provider when the biological parent has approved a haircut that significantly alters the child’s appearance.

For children placed with a licensed care provider, discuss the rate to be paid as outlined in Foster Care Assessment and Payment.

For children placed with an unlicensed kinship care provider, inform the care provider that he/she will not receive foster care maintenance payments and encourage and assist the unlicensed care provider to apply for foster parent licensing as outlined in Kinship Care.

When placing a child in a group care setting, additionally undertake the following:
  • Arrange a pre-placement interview for the child at the facility;
  • Complete and maintain a copy of the group care agency's registration packet and provide the care provider updates the Placement Packet; and
  • Share with the care provider so they are aware of the visitation plan and ongoing contact between the child, the child's parents and siblings, family members, other relatives, friends and former foster parents.

When placing a child in a residential treatment center, follow the policy and procedures in Arranging Placement in a Behavioral Health Inpatient Facility.

For children who will be placed out-of-state, follow the policies and procedures in ICPC Placements.

Documentation
Enter all placement data in CHILDS as soon as the child is placed or within two working days, including the following data fields: Update the Provider Service Authorization, Placement/ Location Directory, Removal Status.

Complete the Child Assessment and Special Rate Evaluation window when placing a child in a family foster home.

Update the Provider Service Authorization window.

File a copy of the Medical Summary Report, immunization record, Child's Placement Packet contents and Out-of-Home Care Provider Acknowledgment forms with care provider signatures and any other forms signed by the care provider in the hard copy case record.

Document the sharing of all information in the Case Notes window designated as Out-of-Home Care Provider type.

Document in Case Notes that the out-of-home care provider has been given the Out-of-Home Care Provider Acknowledgment; document the steps taken to ensure that the out-of-home care provider is following the "reasonable and prudent parent" standard and whether the child has regular opportunities to engage in age or developmentally appropriate activities.

Document that the Notice of Rights for a Child in Out-of-Home Care was reviewed and discussed with the child by obtaining the child’s signature (if age and developmentally appropriate) and file a copy of the signed form in the case record. Update the Provider Service Authorization, Placement/ Location Directory, Removal Status.


 

Effective Date: April 9, 2016

Revision History: November 30, 2012, September 30, 2013


Chapter 4: Section 07
Placement Stability for Children in Out-of-Home Care
Policy
The Department will promote stability for children in out-of-home care by minimizing placement moves and, when moves are necessary, by providing services to make placement changes successful for the child.

The Department shall provide support services to out-of-home care providers to assist the provider in meeting the child’s needs for safety, permanency, and well-being.

The Department shall provide children in out-of-home care, and out-of-home care providers, current information about matters affecting the child, and provide children and out-of-home care providers an opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings regarding those matters.

The Department shall provide out-of-home care providers adequate notice to attend hearings, case plan staffings, Team Decision Making Meetings (TDM ), and case conferences.

Parents and all interested parties shall be notified if a change in placement is considered .

For a Native American child, the child’s tribe shall be notified and the order of placement preference shall be followed, in accordance with the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act, whenever a change in placement is considered. (25 U.S.C. §1901 et seq .)

The Department may not use as the basis for removing a foster child from a licensed foster parent, the foster parent’s request to disrupt a foster child or the dissolution of an adoption that occurred based on either of the following:
  • The foster or adoptive parent was unable to receive services that the child was statutorily entitled to receive, or
  • The foster child threatened the health or safety of the family .

For children in out-of-home placement, the Department shall facilitate a Placement Stability TDM meeting or participate in a CFT in which the child’s placement needs are discussed, unless the placement change:
  • Is necessary to protect the child from harm or risk of harm;
  • Is planned in order to place the child in a permanent placement, with siblings, in a less restrictive setting or in a therapeutic setting necessary to meet the child’s behavioral health needs; or
  • Is planned in order to place the child in accordance with Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) placement preferences.

The TDM or CFT meeting shall be held at least 3 days prior to the date the requested move is to take place. If an emergency situation exists, the TDM or CFT shall be scheduled within 48 hours of the disrupted placement .

When the licensed foster parent (excluding a shelter care provider or receiving foster home provider) disagrees with the plan to move the child, the Department shall inform the foster parent that they have 24 hours to request a Foster Home Transition Conference to review the reasons for the change of placement. Inform the foster parent that the they are not entitled to a Foster Home Transition Conference when the change of placement is for one of the following reasons:
  • To protect the child from harm or risk of harm;
  • To place the child in a permanent placement;
  • To reunite the child with siblings;
  • To place the child in a least restrictive setting or in a therapeutic setting; or
  • To place the child in accordance with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

The change of placement shall be made only after completion of the Foster Home Transition Conference process unless removal is necessary to protect the child from harm or risk of harm.

The DCS Specialist , the DCS Specialist ’s supervisor, the licensed foster parent, and two members of the FCRB, at minimum, shall participate in the Foster Home Transition Conference.

The Department shall hold the Foster Home Transition Conference within 72 hours, excluding weekends and holidays, of being informed of the licensed foster parent’s disagreement with the change of placement.

The child shall not be removed unless a majority of the members who participate in the Foster Home Transition Conference agree that removal is necessary.

If, as a result of the Foster Home Transition Conference, it is the Department’s continued intent to move the child and the licensed foster parent continues to disagree and the child:
  • Is in the court ordered physical custody of the licensed foster parent, a foster care review board member shall provide a recommendation to the court regarding the removal of the child before the change of physical custody. The child shall remain in the current placement pending a court order for removal.
  • Is not in the physical custody of the licensed foster parent, the licensed foster parent shall be advised of the Department’s conflict resolution process. The Department shall expedite the conflict resolution process. The child shall remain in the current placement pending the outcome of the conflict resolution process.

If the out-of-home caregiver is the child’s prospective permanent placement and the placement disagrees with the removal, the department shall file a motion for removal and/or change of permanency goal (case plan) from adoption to another permanency goal . The child shall remain in the foster home pending a court order for removal.

Procedures
Supporting Placement Stability
To support placement stability, during face-to-face and telephone contacts,:
  • Provide children in out-of-home care and out-of-home care providers current information about matters affecting the child, and
  • Provide children and out-of-home care providers an opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings regarding those matters.

Ensure that all court orders for services and supports for the child and the out-of-home caregivers are met.

Ensure that the services and supports identified in the OOH Support section of the Child(ren) Needs tab of the case plan have been or are being provided to the out-of-home care provider. These services and supports should assist the provider to meet the child’s placement needs including safety and well-being, and promote placement stability. Review the services and supports with the provider regularly, at a minimum every six months during the case plan staffing, and modify the services and supports as needed.

Decision Making
If a change of placement is being considered, that is not being requested by the out-of-home caregiver, the DCS Specialist and the DCS Supervisor should consider if:
  • Additional services and supports can stabilize the placement and prevent a disruption
  • The child is unsafe in the home
  • The home may provide a permanent placement for the child
  • The child is currently placed with siblings
  • The current placement is a grandparent or other relative placement
  • The placement is the least restrictive placement to meet the child’s needs
  • The placement is in accordance with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

A foster child must not be removed from a foster home solely because the foster parent asked for the removal of another foster child or the dissolution of an adoption as a result of:
  • The foster parent’s inability to receive services that the child was statutorily entitled to receive, or
  • Behavior by the foster child that threatens the health or safety of the family.

When assessing the purpose of the move consider the following :
Is the purpose of the removal to place the child in a permanent placement?
  • In this instance the new caregiver is committed to caring for the child permanently.

Is the purpose of the removal to reunite the child with siblings?
  • The new foster care provider can meet the needs of the siblings.
  • The placement of the siblings together is not harmful to the health and safety of any of the siblings.

Is the purpose of the removal to place the child in a kinship foster home?
  • The prospective kinship caregiver meets the department's criteria for approval as a kinship foster parent.
  • The assessment of the kinship foster parent indicates that the kinship foster parent can meet the health, safety and all other placement needs of the child.
  • The court has approved the child's placement with the kinship foster parent.

Is the purpose of the removal to place the child in a less restrictive setting?
  • The child is able to function in a regular foster home which is the most family-like setting and the planned move is from a professional, therapeutic/special foster home to a regular foster home.

Is the purpose of the removal to place the child in a therapeutic setting?
  • The child requires a higher level of care than is being provided by current foster parents and the child's assessed needs require placement in a therapeutic or professional foster home, or in a group home, or therapeutic group care placement, or in a residential treatment center.

Is the purpose of the removal to place the child in accordance with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)? The order of placement preferences is:
  • With a member of the child's extended family (including members of the child's tribe);
  • In a foster home licensed, approved or specified by the child's tribe;
  • In an Indian foster home licensed or approved by an authorized non-Indian licensing authority;
  • In an institution approved by the Indian tribe, or operated by an Indian organization which has a program suitable to meet the Indian child's needs.

If the removal is not for any of the above circumstances, what services can be provided to the child or out-of-home care provider to prevent the move and stabilize the placement?

Unplanned or Unexpected Request for Placement Change by Out-of-Home Care Provider
A requested change in placement that is not planned for or anticipated shall be made only after the Department facilitates a Placement Stability Team Decision Making Meeting (TDM). A TDM does not have to be held if there is an active Child and Family Team (CFT) or there is a planned move due to a step-down from a higher level of care. The TDM shall be held at least 3 days prior to the date the requested move is to take place. If an emergency situation exists, the TDM shall be scheduled within 48 hours of the disrupted placement.

For more information on the TDM, see Team Decision Making .

Planned Change of Placement
Case Conference/ Foster Home Transition Conference
Unless an emergency situation exists, convene a Case Conference at least 14 days prior to the intent to move the child and place the child in another placement. The Case Conference should include the DCS Specialist , DCS Supervisor, out-of-home provider and the child (if appropriate). Whenever possible, this Case Conference should be held in-person, but may also be conducted by telephone. This Case Conference is not necessary if a case plan staffing, TDM or CFT was conducted that included the out-of-home provider and the planned placement change was agreed to and documented in the case plan.

During the Conference:
  • Inform the out-of-home care provider of the intent to move the child, if the provider did not request the placement change; (If possible inform the provider prior to the Case Conference, so the/she has a chance to prepare.)
  • Discuss the reason a placement change is being considered.

Inform the foster parent that the foster parent is not entitled to a Foster Home Transition Conference when the change of placement is necessary to:
  • Protect the child from harm or risk of harm;
  • Place the child in a permanent placement;
  • Reunite the child with siblings;
  • Place the child in a kinship foster home;
  • Place the child in a least restrictive setting or in a therapeutic setting; or
  • Place the child in accordance with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

When the licensed foster parent, excluding a shelter care provider or receiving foster home provider, disagrees with the plan to move the child, proceed with the Foster Home Transition Conference.

If the licensed foster parent does not express disagreement with the planned move during the case conference:
  • Inform the foster parent of their right to have a Foster Home Transition Conference.
  • Inform the foster parent that the Department must be notified within 24 hours if they disagree with the planned move and want to schedule a Foster Home Transition Conference.

If the licensed foster parent notifies the department within 24 hours of the case conference that he/she disagrees with the plan to move the child, proceed to the Foster Home Transition Conference to review the reasons for the change of placement.

If the licensed foster parent disagrees with the plan to move the child, do not start transition planning. Inform the new foster care provider that the placement of the child is on hold until the Foster Home Transition Conference occurs.

Immediately inform the Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) Program Specialist of the foster parent’s disagreement. Provide the foster parent’s name, the child’s name (case name), and the physical custody status of the child to the FCRB Program Specialist.

Schedule the Foster Home Transition Conference to occur within 72 hours, excluding weekends and holidays, of the foster parent’s notification of disagreement with the change in placement. Set a date, time, and place agreeable to the DCS Specialist , the foster parent and the two FCRB volunteers to review the removal.

If the FCRB volunteers request to participate in the Conference by telephone, obtain the name and phone number of the volunteers from the FCRB Program Specialist.

Inform the foster parent and the FCRB volunteers of the date, time and place of the Foster Home Transition Conference.

The DCS Supervisor should be available or, in the Supervisor’s absences, make arrangements for another professional staff person to be available for contact by the licensed foster parent.

Include, at minimum, the DCS Specialist , DCS Supervisor or designee, the licensed foster parent, and two members of the FCRB and foster child age 12 and older, if appropriate.

Other qualified professionals/ persons may participate during all or part of the Foster Home Transition Conference.

Discuss the reason for the planned move to another placement and review the circumstances that resulted in the decision to move the child.

Proceed with the Foster Home Transition Conference even if the FCRB can not provide two members to participate.

At the conclusion of the Foster Home Transition Conference, determine whether the majority of the participants agree that the change in placement is necessary. If the majority of the participants disagree that the change in placement is necessary, the child can not be removed from the placement until final resolution on the child’s placement has occurred.

If, as a result of the Foster Home Transition Conference, the Department still intends to move the child and the licensed foster parent continues to disagree and:
  • The child is in the court ordered physical custody of the licensed foster parent, initiate a change in physical custody using the CT01700 (Motion for Change of Physical Custody, Removal and/or Case Plan). The child shall remain in the current placement pending a court order for removal. A FCRB member will provide a recommendation to the court regarding the removal of the child before the change of physical custody.
  • The child is not in the court ordered physical custody of the licensed foster parent, inform the licensed foster parent of and expedite the Department’s Conflict Resolution Conference process. The child shall remain in the current placement pending the outcome of the expedited Conflict Resolution Conference.

Conflict Resolution Conference
The Conflict Resolution Conference:
  • Occurs within three working days of the Foster Home Transition Conference;
  • Includes, at a minimum, the licensed foster parent, DCS Specialist , DCS Supervisor, the Regional Program Administrator or designee; (Note: The Conflict Resolution Conference is not required if the Foster Home Transition Conference included the members required to participate in the Conflict Resolution Conference.)
  • should be held in-person, but may also be conducted by telephone at a mutually agreed upon time and place;
  • may include other individuals if they agree to maintain confidentiality and sign a Confidentiality Agreement, CSO-1105; and
  • includes a discussion of the reason for the planned removal and the outcome of the Foster Home Transition Conference including the recommendations of the Foster Home Transition Conference participants.

If, at the conclusion of the expedited Conflict Resolution Conference, the Department still intends to remove the child and the licensed foster parent continues to disagree, immediately provide and assist the licensed foster parent with the completion of the Client Grievance, CSO-1016 and expedite the formal Client Grievance process.

The DCS Supervisor should notify the FCRB Specialist of the final outcome of the expedited Conflict Resolution Conference.

Prospective Permanent Placements
Out-of-home caregiver as prospective permanent placement
An out-of-home caregiver (licensed or unlicensed) may also be the child’s prospective permanent placement.

If the child’s permanency goal is adoption and the current caregiver is the child’s prospective permanent placement, a change in the permanency goal (case plan) or change in placement from the prospective permanent placement can not occur without a court order, unless:
  • The removal is required to protect the child from harm or risk of harm, or
  • The prospective permanent placement requests the child’s removal, or
  • The action is required by federal or state law or regulation, or
  • the removal is necessary to comply with the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. § 1903).

The prospective permanent placement has a right to be heard in any court proceeding regarding a change in the child’s permanency goal of adoption or the removal of the child from the placement.
  • A copy of the motion to change the permanency goal of adoption to another permanency goal or for change in placement of the child must be provided to the prospective permanent placement at least 15 days before a hearing on the motion.
  • If the prospective permanent placement does not appear at the hearing, the court may not take any action on the motion unless the court finds that good faith efforts were made to provide a copy of the motion to the prospective permanent placement.

If the out-of-home caregiver is the prospective permanent placement but does not have court ordered physical custody of the child and disagrees with the child’s removal, initiate a motion for removal using the CT01700 (Motion for Change of Physical Custody, Removal and/or Case Plan) before moving the child.

If the out-of-home caregiver is the prospective permanent placement and has court ordered physical custody of the child and disagrees with the child’s removal, initiate a motion for change of physical custody and removal using the CT01700 (Motion for Change of Physical Custody, Removal and/or Case Plan) before moving a child.

If the Department determines that a change in the permanency goal from adoption to another goal is in the child’s best interests and the prospective permanent placement disagrees with the decision, initiate a motion for change of permanency goal using the CT01700 (Motion for Change of Physical Custody, Removal and/or Case Plan).

Ensure that the name(s) and address of the current caregiver are current and accurate on the CT01700 and the FC-064-A, Attachment A. The Attorney General's Office will provide a copy of the motion for removal and/or change of permanency goal (case plan) to the prospective permanent placement only if the prospective permanent placement's name(s) and address are included on the CT01700. Otherwise, the DCS Specialist must provide a copy of the motion for removal and/or change of permanency goal to the prospective permanent placement.

  • Good faith efforts must be made to provide a copy of the motion(s) to the prospective permanent placement at least 15 days before the hearing on the motion.
  • Good faith efforts may include hand delivery, mailing, faxing or emailing the motion to the prospective permanent placement.

For a Native American child, whenever a change of placement is considered, notify the child’s tribe and follow the order of placement preference in accordance with the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act. (25 U.S.C. § 1901 et seq.)

A Transition Plan is required for all children who change placements. If the current out-of-home care provider disagrees with the recommendation to move the child, do not start transition planning until final resolution on the child’s placement has occurred; otherwise proceed with transition planning.

If, at the conclusion of the expedited Conflict Resolution process including the formal Client Grievance process, or hearing on the motion for change of physical custody, removal and/or permanency goal , the decision is to remove the child from the current caregiver, include the existing and the new caregivers in developing the Transition Plan, when possible. When developing the Transition Plan, address the following:
  • notification to the parent, if applicable, and all interested parties that a change in placement is planned;
  • communication between the current and new caregivers before, during and after the placement change;
  • pre-placement contact and visitation between the child and new caregivers;
  • contact and/or visitation between the child and the current caregivers after the placement change, if appropriate;
  • supports and services to the child, current caregivers, and/or new caregivers during the transition period;
  • establishing transition period time frames;
  • preparing the child and current caregiver using available supports and services and strategies to reduce trauma to the child and the caregiver; and
  • transfer of the child’s belongings to protect the child from additional losses.

Unless there are extenuating circumstances, meet the child and the current caregiver within three working days to:
  • obtain the child’s complete Placement Packet; CMDP card; and clothing and other personal items;
  • review the Child Placement Summary /Agreement, FC01100, Agreement Section, to determine whether the current caregiver wishes to maintain contact with the child.

Consult with schools regarding education and special education services and needs prior to moving the child.

Update special education vouchers for a child placed in a group care/residential facility.

Prepare reports to the Juvenile Court, as required.

Documentation
Using the appropriate case note, document the following:
  • Discussions with the supervisor regarding the decision to move the child to another placement;
  • The reason for intended removal of the child from the current caregiver;
  • Contact, if any made with the licensed foster parent regarding the foster parent agreement or disagreement with the plan to move the child or change of permanency goal;
  • The date, time and method used to inform the licensed foster parent of the plan to move the child (include the time frame by which the licensed foster parent must inform the Department of the foster parent’s disagreement with the plan);
  • The foster parent’s agreement or disagreement with the plan to move the child or change of permanency goal;
  • Notification of the FCRB Program Specialist;
  • Date, time and place of the Foster Home Transition Conference; and
  • Date, time and place of the expedited Conflict Resolution Conference (if applicable).

Document the outcome of the Case Conference, the Foster Home Transition Conference, the Conflict Resolution Conference and the Client Grievance process in the Key Issues case note type.

If the Transition Plan was developed during the case plan staffing, document the Transition Plan in the Child(ren) Needs tab of the case plan. Otherwise, document the Transition Plan using the Case Notes window, designated as Case Conference Type.

Complete the Addendum Report to the Juvenile Court for the Motion for Change of Physical Custody, Removal and/or Case Plan if applicable.

Document participation in court hearings using the Case Notes window, Court Hearing type. Update the review date information using the Hearing Documentation window.

When a child is moved from one placement to another, complete the following within two days:
  • If the child is moved from a paid placement to another paid placement, update the Service Stop Date and enter the Termination Reason on the Provider Service Authorization window for the current provider, according to Regional Operating Procedures.
  • Update the Service Authorization Provider Match window for the new provider.
  • If the child is removed from an unlicensed kinship foster care home or significant person and there are no other children placed in the home, end date the Provider Service of URE in Provider Management.
  • Update all placement related windows including the Placement/ Location Detail window if the child is placed in an unpaid placement such as hospitalization, runaway, or detention.

Update information in the following windows: Special Needs Detail, Medical/ Dental Condition, Medication Detail, Psych/ Behavioral Condition Detail, Practitioner Detail, Examination Detail, Participant Education Condition, Participant Education Detail, Hospitalization Detail, and Child Assessment and Special Rate Evaluation and print a new Medical Summary Report. Provide the Medical Summary Report to the new caregiver.

Update the child’s Placement Packet in CHILDS and print a new Placement Packet. Provide the updated child’s Placement Packet to the new caregiver.

If the child is moved to the home of a parent:
  • Enter the Removal End Date and the Removal End Reason of Reunification on the Removal Status window.
  • Update the Placement/ Location Detail window.
  • Obtain income and resource information from the parent and enter it on the Income Detail window.
  • Inform the parent that he or she will either receive notification from AHCCCS to enroll the eligible child into an AHCCCS Health Plan or that he or she will receive notification of discontinued eligibility from the DCS Eligibility Unit.
  • Provide significant information and copies of the child's medical and education records to the parent.

Document the services provided to support the child in out-of-home care and the out-of-home care provider’s ability to meet the child’s needs in Case Notes.

File a copy of the Client Grievance, CSO-1016, if applicable, in the case record.

File forms from the previous caregiver in the hard copy record.




 

Effective Date: August 6, 2016

Revision History: November 30, 2012


Chapter 4: Section 08
Locating Runaway Children
Policy
The Department shall make reasonable efforts to locate a child who is a ward of the court, placed in the care, custody and control of the Department and who has run away from an out-of-home placement.

Upon receiving information that a child has left an out-of-home placement, and is determined to be on runaway status, the Department ensures immediate notification to the child's parents, attorney, guardian ad litem, and caregiver of the child's disappearance.

The Department shall report immediately, and in no case later than 24 hours after receiving, information on missing or abducted children or youth, to:
  • law enforcement authorities for entry into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database; and
  • the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)

Procedures Implementation
Upon notification that a child/youth has runaway, inform the out-of-home placement to make a report to local law enforcement.

The DCS Specialist (or other staff as approved by the supervisor) completes the following:
  • Immediately notify the child’s parents, attorney, and/or guardian ad litem, and caregiver of the child's disappearance.
  • Contact the out-of-home provider by the next working day to assure that a report to local law enforcement has been filed. Obtain the DR number of the law enforcement report.
  • Make a home visit to attempt contact with any identified parent, relative, or other significant person the child may have contacted.
  • Contact the duty Assistant Attorney General within 24 hours of the child's disappearance and initiate a motion for an order to pick up the child. (A pick up order is still required in situations where a warrant has already been or may be issued.)
  • Contact the child's school and obtain any pertinent information regarding the child's disappearance.
  • Attempt to contact the child's friends.
  • Contact any prior placements the child may have contacted and determine if they have any current information about the child.
  • Immediately, and in no case later than 24 hours, contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) to add the missing or abducted child to their database. An online report may be made by visiting: https://cmfc.missingkids.org/reportit.

With approval of the supervisor, submit a referral to +At-Risk Runaways for assistance in locating a runaway child when one or more of the following circumstances exist:
  • The child is suicidal.
  • The child has been diagnosed with a serious mental illness, is prescribed medication for the mental illness and may pose a danger to self and/or others if not receiving treatment and medication as prescribed.
  • The child suffers from a serious physical illness and is prescribed medication, which if not available or administered properly, could place the child at risk of serious physical harm.
  • The child is pregnant.
  • Other specific child safety concerns exist (i.e., child 13 or younger, child is with a known perpetrator of abuse or neglect, child is significantly developmentally delayed, etc.).
  • The child is known to be, or is at risk of becoming, a victim of sex trafficking. Risk factors include but are not limited to: substance abuse, gang affiliation, delinquency, previous victimization.
Email the pick-up order and/or warrant along with the completed Request To Locate At-Risk Runaway Child, found in the Court Document Directory to At-Risk Runaways.

If the child remains on runaway status for seven days, terminate all service and payment authorizations. Do not terminate CMDP.

If the child remains on runaway status and is not able to be located for a period of 90 days or longer
The DCS Specialist (or other staff as approved by the supervisor) must complete the following:
  • Re-contact the child's previous out-of-home care providers to obtain any pertinent information in locating the child.
  • Re-contact the child's previous school (if enrolled prior to running away) and obtain any pertinent information for locating the child.
  • Re-contact the child's parents, relatives or other significant persons to obtain any pertinent information for locating the child.

If the child remains on runaway status for a period of six months or longer and documented diligent efforts have been made to locate the child, the DCS Specialist may consult with the child's Service Team to determine the appropriateness of filing a motion to dismiss the dependency petition, or other course of action.

Before recommending that the dependency petition be dismissed, consider the following:
  • Has the child been in contact with any Service Team member?
  • Has the child expressed any interest in participating in services including placement by the Department?
  • Is the child fully informed of the benefits and services that he/she will forfeit if the dependency petition is dismissed before the child’s 18th birthday?
  • Is the child in need of proper and effective parental care and control?

It is not appropriate to recommend dismissal of the dependency petition if:
  • The child is suicidal.
  • The child has been diagnosed with a serious mental illness, is prescribed medication for the mental illness, and may pose a danger to self and/or others if not receiving treatment and medication as prescribed.
  • The child suffers from a serious physical illness and is prescribed medication, which if not available or administered properly, could place the child at risk of serious physical harm.
  • The child is pregnant.
  • Other specific child safety concerns exist (e.g. child of a young age, child is with a known perpetrator of abuse or neglect, child is significantly developmentally delayed, etc.).

If the Service Team recommends filing a motion to dismiss the dependency petition, consult with the assigned Assistant Attorney General regarding this recommendation.

Upon the child's return to out-of-home care
  • Make a face-to-face contact with the child within 24 hours and determine the need for additional services.
  • Obtain a medical exam for any child where there is indication of high risk behaviors, i.e. sexual activity, drug use, etc., while on runaway status.
  • Notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency and At-Risk Runaways that the child has returned.
  • Assess contributing factors to running away.
  • Assess the child’s experiences while absent from care, including screening to determine if the child is a sex trafficking victim. Report to the appropriate law enforcement agency if it is determined the child was a sex trafficking victim, within 24 hours.
  • Assess the appropriateness of the child returning to the same out-of-home placement and terminate the placement service authorization if a decision is made that the child will not return to the same out-of-home care provider.
  • Contact the duty Assistant Attorney General and initiate a motion to vacate the pick-up order once the child has returned to out-of-home care.
  • Notify NCMEC’s assigned Case Manager.
    • If assigned Case Manager is unknown, call NCMEC at 1-800-THE-LOST to obtain name and contact information for the assigned case manager.

Documentation Document in CHILDS under Locate Efforts all information including report to law enforcement (name of agency, telephone number, and report number), notification of all parties, and specific attempts to locate the child.

End service authorizations by updating the Provider Service Authorization window with Stop Date and Termination Reason after seven days for a child on runaway status, unless an earlier decision was made that the child will not return to the same provider. If this decision was made, terminate the service authorization as of the date of the decision.

Update the Placement/ Location Detail window with the child's current (runaway) status and end date this status when the child returns.

File a copy of the Request to Locate At-Risk Runaway Child form in the hard copy case record.

After the child returns to out-of-home care, document in "Key Issues" the factors that contributed to the child running away and the experiences of the child during the runaway episode. Document that a screening was completed to determine if the child is a possible sex trafficking victim.




 

Effective Date: January 31, 2017

Revision History: November 30, 2012, February 12, 2016, May 6, 2016, July 7, 2016, November 7, 2016



Chapter 4: Section 09
Foster Care Rate Assessment & Payment
Policy
The Department shall provide maintenance payments to licensed resource families for the care of children in out-of-home placement.

All children in licensed out-of-home placements receive a monthly clothing allowance and monthly personal allowance. With supervisory approval, monthly allowance payments may be authorized for children in unlicensed kinship and unlicensed non-relative placements.

At times, special payments may be made to meet the special needs of children in care.

DCS Specialist s are responsible for updating CHILDS with accurate and timely information to facilitate the prompt payment of foster care providers.

Procedures
To initiate payment to resource families, ensure the Service Authorization Request and Approval windows are completed, following region procedures, within two working days of placement.

Use the following information to assure accurate entry into CHILDS:
  • The basic payment for a licensed resource family is FAM FHM-DAY.
  • For children approved for special rates, the applicable rate is added to the basic rate.
  • The basic payment automatically generates the monthly clothing allowance and monthly personal allowance.
  • If a child is placed with an agency (congregate care), the child’s agency based placement rate includes the child’s clothing and personal allowance as part of the overall payment rate.
  • Kinship Foster Care Parents and unlicensed non-relatives are automatically authorized for daily clothing, daily personal and special payment allowances when the child is matched to the kinship foster care parent.
  • Payment cannot be made beyond the service authorization end date. To extend a service authorization use the Service Authorization Request and Approval windows.

To determine the child's eligibility for a Special II or Special III foster care rate:
  • Complete the Child Assessment and Special Rate Evaluation window using the following windows, as applicable, to document the child's needs: Special Needs Detail, Medical/ Dental Condition Detail, Medication Detail, Psych/ Behavioral Condition Detail, Practitioner Detail, Examination Detail, Hospitalization Detail, and Participant Education Condition, and Participant Education Detail.
  • Obtain licensed resource family's signature on the Medical Summary Report. Obtain required approvals using Service Authorization Request and Approval windows according to Region Operating Procedures. Document resource family sign-off by filing the signed Medical Summary Report in hard copy record and by using the Case Notes window designated Out-of-Home Care Provider type.
  • Complete the Service Authorization Request and Service Authorization Approval windows according to Region Operating Procedures.

Request special payments allowances as indicated by the child's and provider's needs. Special payment categories for a child in out-of-home placement are as follows:
  • Emergency/ Special Clothing: Payment up to a maximum of $150 per child, per state fiscal year. Youth in the Independent Living Subsidy Program are not eligible for this allowance.
  • Emergency Special Clothing-Extra: With Supervisor and Program Manager approval, payment can be up to a maximum of $100 per child, per state fiscal year for children whose clothes are lost or destroyed due to circumstances beyond the child’s control (for example: fire, theft, or flood). Youth in the Independent Living Subsidy Program youth are not eligible for this allowance.
  • Special Needs Allowance: With Supervisor approval, payment up to a maximum of $22.50, per child, per state fiscal year to assist resource families. This money is not to be given to the foster child. It may be provided in a lump sum or in smaller payments to foster care providers for holiday, birthday, special occasion or other expenses. Independent Living Subsidy program are not eligible for this allowance.
  • Books and Education: Payment up to a maximum of $82.50 per child, per school year. Use of this allowance for special pre-school programs must be based upon the developmental and educational needs of the child. This payment may also be used for college level, technical and vocational classes for students who have not yet graduated from high school or obtained a G.E.D.
  • Graduation Expenses: Payment up to a maximum of $220 for high school graduation only.
  • Supplemental School Tuition and Fees: With Supervisor approval, payments up to a maximum of $165 per child, per summer session or interim session at year round schools.
  • Camp and Vacation Allowance: This allowance is suspended as of March 1, 2009. When available, this allowance is for a foster child to attend camp or for foster parents to take the child with them on family vacations.
  • Passport allowance: With supervisor approval, payment for fees associated with obtaining a passport or passport card for a foster child are reimbursable (receipts required).
  • For a child age birth to three (3) diapers and/or formula are included in the foster family daily rate.
  • Medically Necessary Diapers/ Briefs for a child ages birth to three (3): Diapers/ briefs may be provided through the Comprehensive Medical and Dental Program (CMDP). To obtain diapers/ briefs, the out-of-home care provider will request documentation from a physician which must include a medical diagnosis/ disability. The diagnosis/ disability may include, but is not limited to:
    • inability to participate in social, therapeutic and education activities,
    • Spina Bifida,
    • malabsorption causing chronic diarrhea states,
    • urinary tract abnormalities causing chronic incontinence; or
    • rectal abnormalities causing chronic incontinence of urine and/or stool.
  • The physician is then requested to fax the documentation to CMDP for authorization. The request for diapers/ briefs will be processed by CMDP. If approved by CMDP, the diapers/ briefs will be delivered to the out-of-home care provider by the approved CMDP vendor.
  • For a child under three (3) with documented special medical needs, the DCS Specialist , with DCS Supervisor approval, may authorize an initial diaper allowance pending the outcome of the CMDP authorization or denial. Payment can be up to $62.50 per month and requires a monthly authorization. If diapers/ briefs are approved by CMDP, end the service authorization.
  • Medically Necessary Diapers/ Briefs for a child ages three (3) and older: With an approved medical diagnosis/ disability, diapers/ briefs may be provided through Comprehensive Medical and Dental Program (CMDP). To obtain briefs/ diapers, the out-of-home care provider will request documentation from the physician, which must include a medical diagnosis. The diagnosis/ disability may include, but is not limited to:
    • inability to participate in social, therapeutic and education activities,
    • Spina Bifida,
    • malabsorption causing chronic diarrhea states,
    • urinary tract abnormalities causing chronic incontinence; or
    • rectal abnormalities causing chronic incontinence of urine and/or stool.
  • The physician is then requested to fax the documentation to CMDP for authorization. The request for diapers/ briefs will be processed by CMDP.

Note: Medically necessary formula is covered by CMDP

Keep in mind the following special payment requirements:
Special diapers payments not covered through CMDP:
  • Obtain documentation from the child's doctor that identifies the medical situation that causes the need for frequent diapering and the frequency of diaper changes.
  • Determine the reimbursement necessary to cover the cost of diapers. (If the resource family is already receiving a regular diaper allowance for a child under 3, subtract it from the cost of the special diapers to determine the special diaper allowance needed.). Payment can be up to $62.50 per month and requires a monthly authorization.
  • Complete the Service Authorization Request window. Use the Explain to include the justification, the cost, the recommended amount, and the time period for reimbursement. Submit the doctor's statement to the Program Manager according to region procedures.
  • Receive approval from the Supervisor for a specified time period and obtain approval if continuation is necessary. Review the need for continued special diaper allowances every three (3) months.

Monthly Personal and Clothing Allowance payments
  • Discuss the monthly personal allowance with care providers. Ensure that providers understand:
    • the amount of the allowance,
    • that personal allowance belongs to the child and cannot be withheld or used as a payment for chores,
    • that small payments for reimbursement of damages or loss may be established in consultation with the DCS Specialist , the provider and the child.

To correct any errors in payment to providers:
Notify the Payment Processing Unit (PPU) by E-Mail alerting them of the payment error. Provide the following information:
For Over-payments:
  • provider's name and ID
  • child's name and ID
  • service for which overpayment was made
  • service month
  • number of units or specific dates of erroneous payment
  • DCS Specialist name and phone number
  • whether provider has submitted check/ money order to DCS Specialist or mailed to PPU (if DCS Specialist has received check/ money order, this shall be forwarded immediately to PPU with explanatory memo containing all the above data)
  • check/ money order must be made payable only to the Department of Child Safety.

Do not accept cash as reimbursement for overpayment from providers.

If necessary, appear as the Department representative at a hearing with the Office of Appeals if a provider disagrees that a payment error has been made or with the amount of the error.
For Underpayments:
  • if error caused by provider, advise provider to resubmit statement/ billing document;
  • if error caused by DCS Specialist , correct appropriate CHILDS windows, consult with PPU;
  • determine if the copy of billing document needs to be re-submitted. If so, advise provider.
End service authorization to by updating the Provider Service Authorization window with Stop Date and Termination Reason:

  • within two days after removal of a child from an out-of-home placement;
  • effective the day of the child's 18th birthday, unless the youth meets the criteria outlined for voluntary foster care for a young adult;
  • after seven days for youth on runaway status, unless it has been decided sooner that the youth will not return to the same facility. If this determination has been made, service authorization is terminated as of the date of the decision;
  • after seven days or up to fourteen days, with Region Program Administrator approval, for youth placed in detention, unless it has been decided sooner that the youth will not return to the same facility or it is likely the youth will remain in detention beyond seven days. If the youth will not return to the same facility, service authorization is terminated as of the date of the decision; and
  • after seven days or up to fourteen days, with Region Program Administrator approval, if the youth is hospitalized or is out of the placement for an extended period of time, including visits to the parent's home unless it is decided that the youth will not return to the same facility. If the youth will not return to the same facility, service authorization is terminated as of the date of the decision

Documentation
Document all information necessary to generate payment on CHILDS, as described above.

Document the circumstances of the overpayment and underpayments using the Case Notes window designated as Collateral Contact type.

Update CHILDS using the Placement/ Location Detail window to reflect any unpaid placements, such as runaway, hospitalization, or detention.

Document the need for special diapers by maintaining a copy of the physician's statement or prescription in the child's hard copy record and using the Practitioner Detail and Examination Detail windows.

Document any reimbursement or restricted access plan for the child's monthly personal allowance using the Case Notes window designated as Out-of-Home Care Provider type. The out-of-home care provider maintains documentation that the child received his or her personal allowance in the Allowance Signoff Ledger, included in the Child's Placement Packet.

Document the circumstances necessitating the use of the Emergency Special Clothing-Extra allowance using the Case Notes window, designated as the appropriate type, and using the Explain on the Service Authorization Request window.

Supervisor:
Document approval using the service authorization window for:
  • Emergency Special Clothing- Extra;
  • Special Needs payments;
  • Supplemental School Tuition and Fees;
  • Diapers; and Camp and Vacation Allowances.

Program Manager:
Document approval using the service authorization window for:
  • Emergency Special Clothing- Extra; and
  • Camp and Vacation Allowances.

Program Administrator :
Document approval using case notes or e-mail to authorize the provision of written approval to the licensed foster parent for the following “bed hold” payments to licensed foster homes:
  • for youth placed in detention payment for an additional seven days;
  • for hospitalized youth payment for an additional seven days; and
  • if the child is out of the placement for an extended period of time, including visits to the parent's home, payment for an additional seven days.



 

Effective Date: November 30, 2012

Revision History:


Chapter 4: Section 10
Discipline in Foster Care
Policy
The Department shall provide discipline guidelines for out-of-home care providers to ensure the health and safety of children, to encourage consistency, to facilitate communication and training, to support a problem-solving perspective regarding difficult care issues, and to provide a supportive atmosphere that allows care providers to identify problems and ask for assistance.

Use of unacceptable modes of discipline upon children in the Department's care shall not be tolerated under any circumstances

Procedures
Discuss discipline with all out-of-home care providers openly to facilitate a problem-solving approach, particularly when they are caring for children with difficult behavior patterns.

Reinforce that the Department considers the following to be acceptable discipline methods:
  • natural and logical consequences;
  • encouragement and praise;
  • positive communication, active listening;
  • "I" messages;
  • incentives/ rewards/ motivation;
  • contracting;
  • redirection;
  • role modeling;
  • time-out; and
  • removal of privileges.

Underscore that the following are unacceptable discipline methods;
  • verbal abuse;
  • food, water and sleep deprivation;
  • cruel, severe or corporal punishment;
  • deprivation of contacts from family members;
  • locking up a child;
  • locking a child out of a home or care facility; and
  • deprivation of personal allowance.

Consult a supervisor immediately if you have reason to believe that a care provider may be using unacceptable methods of discipline.



 

Effective Date::November 30, 2012

Revision History:

Chapter 4: Section 11
Respite Care for Children in Out-of-Home Care
Policy
Within the constraints of available resources, the Department shall provide temporary, short-term respite care for licensed resource families and for unlicensed out-of-home care providers:
  • to provide relief to the caregiver, or to assist the family in coping with the daily demands of providing care to children with significant needs;
  • to provide care during a family crisis, such as illness or death;
  • to provide care when the caregivers are away from home and the foster child cannot accompany the caregivers due to school, parental visits, case plan requirements; or
  • to enable the caregivers to participate in Department approved/sponsored training when child care services are unavailable or unworkable.

Procedures
Follow region procedures for obtaining respite care placements and services from contracted foster home licensing agencies.

For licensed resource families
  • Refer the licensed resource family to their licensing agency to request respite care;
  • Continue the approved foster care rate while the child is with the respite provider;
  • Be aware that a licensed resource family receiving foster care reimbursement is eligible for a minimum of 144 hours or six days of respite care with a licensed foster parent, per fiscal year, provided through the licensed resource family's DCS contracted foster home agency.

For kinship caregivers and unlicensed providers
According to region procedures, arrange for and approve respite care placement with a licensed foster parent through a referral to a contracted foster home licensing agency;
  • Approve up to 144 hours or 6 days of respite foster care.

Do not count against the maximum allowable hours respite care provided:
  • when extraordinary documented needs of a foster child prevents the caregivers from temporarily caring for the other foster children in the home;
  • when the caregivers are away and the child cannot accompany them due to school or case plan requirements; or
  • when the caregivers are participating in training exceeding 24 consecutive hours.

If necessary, obtain approval from the Program Administrator or designee for up to five days additional respite care in emergency situations.

Documentation
For respite care used by kinship foster caregivers and unlicensed providers, document all information necessary to generate payment to the respite foster care parent, according to region procedures.

Document the purpose and approval of respite care not counted against the allowable hours of a licensed resource family using the Case Notes window designated as Out-of-Home Care Provider type.



 

Effective Date::November 30, 2012

Revision History:

Chapter 4: Section 12
Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard
Policy
The Department shall ensure to the greatest extent possible that children in out-of-home care have the opportunity to participate in experiences similar to those of their peers who are not in out-of-home care.

The Department supports out-of-home caregivers to use normalcy standards and, specifically, apply a Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard (RPPS) to determine whether to allow a child to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities. Out-of-home caregivers of children in the Department’s care and custody include licensed individuals and entities and unlicensed individuals.

The RPPS is defined as the careful and sensible decisions that maintain a child’s health, safety, and best interests while at the same time encouraging the child’s emotional and developmental growth, which an out-of-home caregiver shall use when determining whether to allow a child in the Department’s care and custody to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.

Age or developmentally appropriate activities are those that:
  • Are generally accepted as suitable for children of the same chronological age or level of maturity or that are determined to be developmentally-appropriate for a child, based on the cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacities that are typical for an age or age group; and
  • In the case of a specific child, are suitable for the child based on the developmental stages attained by the child with respect to the cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacities of the child.

Group homes, shelters, and other congregate care facilities licensed by, or contracted with, the Department shall designate an on-site individual to apply the RPPS to children in the care and custody of the Department who reside at the facility.

Foster parents and kinship caregivers may leave a foster child in the care of another person and shall:
  • Use reasonable judgment in the foster parent's choice of an adult to provide the care;
  • Notify the Department before the care exceeds twenty-four hours, in a non-emergency situation; and
  • Notify the Department before the care exceeds seventy-two hours, in an emergency situation.

A foster parent who is certified to provide care to a child with developmental disabilities, a medically fragile child or a child receiving treatment foster care shall implement the alternate care plan that is approved by the Department, if the foster parent must leave the foster child in the care of another person.

Procedures
Discuss with out-of-home caregivers the RPPS and the expectation that children in out-of-home care are permitted the experiences of a typical childhood and adolescent activities. Such age and developmentally appropriate activities may include participating in sports teams, field trips, social outings with friends, academic or social clubs, and other endeavors.

In applying the RPPS, inform the out-of-home caregiver to:
  • Gather adequate information about the activity;
  • Assess the appropriateness of an activity for the child's age, maturity and developmental level (cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacity and propensities at that point in time);
  • Assess foreseeable risks and potential hazards and what safety factors and level of supervision may be involved in the activity;
  • Consider where the activity will be held, with whom the child will be going, and when they will return;
  • Determine if the activity maintains or promotes the child's health, safety, best interests, and well-being; and
  • Contact the DCS Specialist when unsure of the appropriateness of a decision, or when support for a particular decision is needed.

Decisions made under the RPPS shall not conflict with any existing court orders, including but not limited to, visitation and therapy orders, unless specifically approved by the DCS Specialist and the court.

When possible, and especially when reunification is the case plan goal, out-of-home caregivers should consult with the biological parents and/or the child's extended family to take into consideration religious and cultural beliefs that may impact or influence any decisions made by the caregivers.

Encourage the child to discuss desired activities during case plan staffings.

Ensure that the child knows who in the group home, shelter, or other congregate care facility is designated as the on-site official to make decisions using the reasonable and prudent parent standard.

Inform out-of-home caregivers that the State may indemnify and hold harmless the caregiver for liability that may be incurred or alleged as a result of giving permission for the child in out-of-home care to participate in activities and functions generally accepted as usual and normal for a child of the child's age group if it is reasonably and prudently given. The state also provides the defense of actions alleging such liability.


Documentation
Document opportunities in the case plan for a child to participate in age or developmentally appropriate activities. See Developing and Reassessing the Family-Centered Case Plan.

Forms


Related Information
Notice of Rights for a Child in Out-of-Home Care (CSO-1141A)

Legal
Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, Public Law 113-183
A.R.S. § 8-511 Short-term Caregiver
A.R.S. § 8-529 Children in foster care; rights
A.R.S. § 8-513 Participation in activities; contact with relatives; placement with siblings

Effective Date: February 12, 2016
Revision History: 

 https://extranet.azdcs.gov/DCSPolicy/#05_Child_Permanency/family_reunification.htm%3FTocPath%3DProgram%2520Policy%2520%7CChapter%25205%2520Child%2520Permanency%7C_____1