Standards for Canadian organizations

2020 Edition

Group Living Services (CA-GLS) 7: Child Permanency

The organization participates in or facilitates permanency planning to promote physical, emotional, and legal permanence for children.

Interpretation

When the organization is not responsible for facilitating permanency planning, it should document all participation in the process and any efforts to connect children to positive relationships with significant adults. 

In addition, organizations should demonstrate their role in supporting timely permanency planning through regular case record documentation and official reports which comment on children’s and/or families’ progress towards permanency goal(s).
NA The organization does not provide out-of-home care for children in the custody of a public authority/agency.
2020 Edition

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Purpose

Group Living Services allow individuals who need additional support to regain, maintain, and improve life skills and functioning in a safe, stable, community-based living arrangement.
Note: Permanency planning often occurs in conjunction with service planning.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for permanency planning
  • Procedures for finding and engaging kin
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include: 
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Residents and their families
  • Review case records

 

CA-GLS 7.01

Permanency planning:
  1. occurs with families and the team of people that support them, including out-of-home care providers, service providers, and extended family members or other supportive individuals identified by the family, as appropriate;
  2. is scheduled at times when appropriate parties can attend; and
  3. is child-driven, with children actively involved in every stage of the process as appropriate to their age and developmental level.
Examples: Child-driven permanency planning can include, but is not limited to, involving children in:
  1. conversations about what permanency means to them;
  2. the discovery of extended family and other significant adults; and
  3. the formation of a permanency team that will support their desired outcomes and have an ongoing role in their lives.

 

CA-GLS 7.02

The organization collaborates with children, parents, and the local child protection agency to identify, notify, and engage relatives and other close, supportive adults that can be resources or supports for placement and permanency for children of all ages, regardless of whether or not they currently wish to be adopted.
Examples: Procedures for identification of kin may include:
  1. engaging children and family members in identification;
  2. conducting a thorough review of the case record;
  3. using technological resources for family-finding; 
  4. providing notification in family members’ preferred languages; and
  5. providing notifications in multiple forms, including written form.

 

CA-GLS 7.03

Concurrent planning is documented and includes:
  1. early, preliminary, and reasoned assessment of the potential for reunification, the best interests of the child, and the need for an alternative plan;
  2. full disclosure to involved parties of all permanency options, including expectations, implications, available supports, and legal timelines;
  3. joining a resource family that is prepared to develop a life-long relationship with the child; and
  4. counselling parents about relinquishment and alternative permanency options if needed.

Interpretation

The age of a child should not limit the consideration of all permanency options.

 

CA-GLS 7.04

Permanency plans document:
  1. permanency goals;
  2. why goals are in the best interest of children and their well-being;
  3. why other permanency options are not appropriate; and
  4. how service plans and identified interventions support permanency and child well-being.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-GLS 7.05

In compliance with applicable legislation, regulations, and/or contracts, legal permanency planning occurs with children and families according to the following standard timeframes:
  1. within 60 days of placement a court-determined permanency plan is developed;
  2. at least every six months a court or administrative review of progress towards permanency occurs;
  3. within 12 months of placement, and every 12 months thereafter, a permanency hearing evaluates the permanency goal and determines the need for an alternative goal; and
  4. after a child has been in placement for 15 of the most recent 22 months, a legally-exempted permanency decision is made or proceedings are initiated for the termination of parental rights.

Interpretation

The length of time a child has been in care cannot be the only justification for terminating parental rights. In order to support parents that are actively making progress towards reunification but need more time, the organization can work with the public agency/authority to determine a compelling reason for not filing for the termination of parental rights. Whenever possible, the permanency timeline for parents with substance use conditions should reflect the time needed to receive substance use treatment services and make progress towards recovery. The mental health status and readiness of the child should also be taken into consideration when assessing permanency goals.
NA The organization only provides services to children in which there is no dependency/family court involvement.

 

CA-GLS 7.06

Case records document efforts made to support parents toward reunification, including:
  1. involvement in assessment, service planning and service selection;
  2. access to needed services and supports, including both formal and informal community resources;
  3. ongoing, constructive, and progressive contact with their children; and
  4. reduction of barriers to contact and involvement in the child’s care.

Interpretation

Documentation must be in a format legally admissible as evidence to facilitate court proceedings.
NA The organization does not provide services to parents.