Child and Family Services Policy XI B Reasonable Steps to Inform Parties of

Child and family services policy xi b reasonable

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Child and Family Services Policy XI-B- Reasonable Steps to Inform Parties of Intent or Action (effective 10/1/90) states that when the Department is contemplating short-term emergency services, or intends to request a preliminary protection order, or intends to file a child protection petition, it must attempt to notify relatives who have been the primary caretaker for at least the past month. This policy also sets time frames for attempts to inform persons regarding child protection action. What changes in performance and practice have been made since the previous CFSR? The 2003 CFSR rated Item 29 as an area needing improvement because Department staff were inconsistent in notifying foster parents, pre-adoptive parents, and relative caregivers regarding reviews or hearings, and the courts were not consistent in ensuring opportunities for these caregivers to provide input into the reviews or hearings. The inconsistency in notification of foster parents was documented by DHHS in its 2003 Statewide Assessment. The finding on the court’s inconsistency was based on stakeholder statements during the onsite review. The 2004 Program Improvement Plan had two corrective actions: 1. Each district will make and implement a plan to ensure notifications are being sent in a timely manner. 2. Training will be provided about the role foster parents and caregivers play in court as a core training and ensure that it is an ongoing topic in foster parent pre-service training. Current district performance on notification is not systemically tracked. Regarding foster parent training, relevant core foster parent training was developed and was last offered in fiscal year 2007. The right to notification is mentioned in foster parent pre-service training, but foster parents rights, roles, and responsibilities with respect to hearings are not addressed in a substantial way. Maine CFSR Statewide Assessment 158 March 2009
In 2007, the applicable law was amended to state that in addition to foster parents, pre-adoptive parents, and relatives providing care have the right to attend and to be heard in any proceeding held with respect to the child. The amendment made DHHS responsible for providing prior written notice of all proceedings to pre-adoptive parents and relative caregivers, in addition to foster parents. Current practice – what does the data show? Prior written notification is regularly monitored through caseworker, supervisor, and PQI case reviews, but is not formally tracked or reported out through monthly PQI statistics. Regarding foster parent/pre-adoptive parent/relative caregiver notification, a PQI query of all foster care cases reviewed between November 2007 and November 2008 found that foster parents/caregivers were notified of upcoming court proceedings in 75% of the cases reviewed.

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