0100-510.50 | Revision Date: 07/01/14
This policy guide outlines the steps to take when placing a child six (6) years old or younger in group home care and the group home assessment requirement for children/youth residing in group home care longer than one year.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Youth Residing in Group Home Care Longer than One (1) Year
Group Home Reassessment Requirement
Placement of Children Six (6) Years or Younger in a Group Home Care Setting
Placement Prior to the Disposition Hearing
Placement after the Disposition Hearing
Assessing Youth Residing in Group Home Care Longer than One (1) Year
Placing a Child in Group Home Care
Referenced Policy Guides
This policy guide was updated from the 03/04/10 version, as part of the Policy Redesign, in accordance with the DCFS Strategic Plan. This policy guide incorporates content from FYI 14-04, Assessing Youth Residing in Group Homes Longer than One Year, thereby cancelling that FYI. The title of the policy has changed from Placing Children Six Years of Age or Younger in Congregate Care.
The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is mandated to report to the California Legislature on the assessment of each youth placed in a group home for longer than one (1) year and the outcomes of transitional planning for each youth. Pursuant to All County Letter (ACL) 13-86, the CDSS has developed a procedure for identifying youth who have been placed in group homes for one (1) year or longer. This procedure helps to determine the need for the youth’s continued stay in group home care or, if appropriate, to develop a plan for them to transition to a family like setting.
Twice a year, the CDSS will use the information contained in CWS/CMS to identify:
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Once a year, the information on the CDSS list of children/youth in group home care for over three hundred and sixty-five (365) days is provided by the ARA and/or SCSW to CSWs. CSWs will reassess any child/youth identified on their caseload on their next monthly visit with the child/youth. Information gathered at this visit will help to determine whether or not the group home placement continues to be suitable and appropriate based on the child/youth's identified needs and strengths.
When children age six (6) or younger require out-of-home care placement, the assessment process and placement selection must take the following into consideration:
These young children should never be placed in group home care unless exceptional circumstances exist that require group home care services.
The court must find that a child’s placement in a group home care facility is necessary to obtain a complete and adequate evaluation of the child, including placement planning and transition. The CSW must clearly document the reasons supporting a child’s placement in group home care in the Detention Hearing Report and/or Jurisdiction/Disposition Hearing Report.
The placement cannot exceed sixty (60) calendar days unless the child's case plan documents the need for extended placement and has been approved by the CSW's ARA.
Children age six (6) or younger may be placed in a group home care facility after disposition only if his/her unique needs require specialized care, which can only be provided in such a facility. The need for specialized care and the nature of the treatment plan must be clearly documented in the Case Plan. The length of time in a group home care facility must not exceed more than one hundred and twenty (120) calendar days, unless additional time is needed based on the treatment plan and the Case Plan that was approved by the SCSW.
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Information to be Documented
Placement in group home are prior to the disposition hearing
Placement in group home care after the disposition hearing
Case Plan Update
If the child is being placed in group home care prior to the disposition hearing:
If the child is being placed in group home care after the disposition hearing:
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Assessing Child/Youth Residing in a Group Home Longer than One Year
DCFS 280, Technical Assistance Action Request
DCFS 709, Foster Child Needs and Case Plan Summary
DCFS 6019, Group Home Reassessment Summary
0070-516.15, Screening and Assessing Children for Mental Health Services and Referring to the Coordinated Services Action Team (CSAT)
0070-548.01, Child and Family Teams
0080-502.10, Case Plans
0100-525.41,The Wraparound Services Program
0300-303.15, Writing the Detention Report
0300-503.10, Writing the Jurisdiction/Disposition Report
0300-503.97, Notice of Replacement Report
0300-506.05, Communication with Attorneys, County Counsel, and Non-DCFS Staff
0600-500.20, Health and Medical Information
0900-522.10, Specialized Care Increment (SCI) – D-Rate
All County Letter (ACL) 13-86 – Assessing Youth Residing in Group Home Care Longer than One Year
Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Section 319.2 – States that when a child under the age of six (6) is not released from the custody of the court, he/she may be placed in a community care facility that is licensed as a group home for children or in a temporary shelter care facility only when the court finds that placement is necessary to secure a complete and adequate evaluation. This includes placement planning and transition time. The placement period shall not exceed sixty (60) days unless a Case Plan has been developed, the need for additional time is documented in the Case Plan, and it has been approved by the supervisor of the caseworker's supervisor.
WIC Section 361.2(e)(8) – States that a child under the age of six (6) may be placed in a community care facility that is licensed as a group home for children or in a temporary shelter care facility only under specific circumstances.
WIC Section 16516.5 – States that all foster children placed in group homes by county welfare departments or county probation departments shall be visited at least monthly by a county social worker or probation officer. Each visit shall include a private discussion between the foster child and the county social worker or probation officer. The discussion shall not be held in the presence or in the immediate vicinity of the group home staff. The contents of the private discussion shall not be disclosed to the group home staff. The social worker or probation officer may, however, disclose information under specific circumstances.
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