Standards for private organizations

2020 Edition

Family Foster Care and Kinship Care (FKC) 10: Services for Children and Youth

Children and youth receive developmentally-appropriate support and services that promote well-being.

Interpretation

Informal Kinship Care Programs should work closely with kinship caregivers to meet the needs identified in the standards through support and mentoring, advocacy, direct referrals for service, and linkages to community resources. 
 
NA The organization does not provide case management services for children.
2020 Edition

Currently viewing: FAMILY FOSTER CARE AND KINSHIP CARE (FKC)

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Purpose

Children in Family Foster Care and Kinship Care live in safe, stable, nurturing, and often temporary family settings that best provide the continuity of care to preserve relationships, promote well-being, and ensure permanency.
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 referring children to services
  • Procedures for educational collaboration and support
  • Informational materials provided to children
  • Community resource and referral list 
  • Contracts or service agreements with community providers for the provision of services to children and youth
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Resource parents
    4. Children and youth
  • Review case records
  • Visit resource family homes

 
Fundamental Practice

FKC 10.01

Children receive a developmentally-appropriate orientation to the program and the resource family that addresses:
  1. their rights and responsibilities when they are not living with their parents or primary caregivers;
  2. what they need to feel safe and what they should do when they do not feel safe, including attention to both the risks of, and alternatives to, running away;
  3. the rules in the program and in the resource family’s home and their response to the rules; and
  4. their ongoing contact with their parents, siblings, extended family, friends, and community.

 
Fundamental Practice

FKC 10.02

Children reside in safe and supportive homes that provide: 
  1. a safe, pleasant, and welcoming atmosphere;
  2. nurturing and nonjudgmental family relationships that promote positive attachment and support emotional development and well-being; 
  3. age- and developmentally-appropriate boundaries, supervision, and discipline; 
  4. an orderly but flexible daily schedule that is balanced with attention to development and well-being; and
  5. space in their room to personalize.

 
Fundamental Practice

FKC 10.03

In order to ensure that their personal care needs are met, children are provided with: 
  1. a physical environment and materials that support healthy development;
  2. sufficient and nutritious meals and snacks; 
  3. clothing that is clean, seasonal, age appropriate, and comfortable;
  4. an allowance for personal needs, as appropriate;
  5. assistance in meeting personal care needs, as appropriate; and
  6. regular access to a telephone to contact workers, advocates, service providers, and approved family and friends.

 

FKC 10.04

Children have opportunities to participate in a range of age and developmentally appropriate social, recreational, cultural, educational, religious, and community activities of their choice.

Interpretation

Children in out-of-home care should be able to participate in the same range of normal activities and life experiences as children living with their own families, and have the right to choose whether or not they wish to participate in a resource family’s religious activities.
Examples: Participating in “normal” activities activities can help children and youth form healthy relationships, develop interests, build skills, and prepare for responsible adulthood, and may include:
  1. joining a club or sports team;
  2. attending a dance class;
  3. spending time with friends;
  4. having a sleepover;
  5. attending field trips;
  6. volunteering;
  7. dating;
  8. learning to drive; and
  9. holding a part-time job.

 

FKC 10.05

In an effort to facilitate normalcy and help resource parents make appropriate decisions regarding the children in their care, the organization clarifies:
  1. resource parents’ authority to make day-to-day decisions regarding children’s participation in activities, including the specific types of activities they are permitted to authorize;
  2. factors to consider in determining whether an activity is safe and appropriate for a particular child; and
  3. the extent to which resource parents are protected from liability if a child is harmed during the course of an activity they approved.

Interpretation

In determining whether a child should be allowed to participate in a particular activity the resource parent should consider: (1) the child’s age, developmental level, maturity, and behavioral history; (2) potential risk factors associated with the activity; (3) the best interest of the child, including potential for emotional and developmental growth; and (4) whether the resource parent would permit his or her own children to participate in the activity in question.

When regulation or contract requires the organization to obtain approval from the public authority prior to a resource parent approving an activity, the organization should work with the resource parents and the public authority to ensure that requests are approved efficiently and promote normalcy to the greatest extent possible.

 

FKC 10.06

Children receive any additional services and supports needed to help them:
  1. regulate their emotions and behavior;
  2. communicate effectively; 
  3. form positive relationships with adults and peers; and
  4. explore and develop their personal, social, and cultural identities.
Examples: Sources of support may include, but not are limited to: workers, resource families, family members, peers, and community members and organizations. Services can include but are not limited to: counseling or group therapy, formal opportunities for social skills development, and mentoring services. 

 

FKC 10.07

Children receive support to achieve their full educational potential through: 
  1. enrollment and participation in education;
  2. services and supports that promote positive development;
  3. regular and ongoing communication and collaboration between workers, educators, resource families, and parents regarding children’s educational achievements and challenges, as well as any social or behavioral issues in the school setting; 
  4. stability in their home schools, unless it is determined not to be in their best interest;
  5. educational assessments and an individual education plan when needed; 
  6. tutoring; and 
  7. advocacy.
Examples: Depending on age and developmental level, appropriate education supports and services may include:
  1. early childhood education programs; 
  2. early intervention services;
  3. accredited primary and secondary schools; and 
  4. after-school or youth development programs.

 

FKC 10.08

Children are treated in a trauma-informed manner and when needed are connected to trauma-informed services that are designed to:
  1. maximize their sense of safety;
  2. help them understand and process their traumatic experiences;
  3. facilitate the development of skills and strategies to use when confronted with reminders of trauma;
  4. help create and sustain positive attachments with caring adults and peers; and
  5. help caregivers and parents understand how children’s past experiences may impact their present behavior, and appropriately support children’s recovery.

 

FKC 10.09

In an age- and developmentally-appropriate manner, the organization works with children, parents, and resource families to promote children’s self-sufficiency and informed decision-making related to:
  1. activities of daily living; 
  2. practicing effective interpersonal communication and conflict resolution;
  3. promoting and managing health;
  4. obtaining housing and managing their households;
  5. accessing educational opportunities; 
  6. obtaining and maintaining employment;
  7. money management, including budgeting, saving, investing, buying on credit, and debt counseling;
  8. accessing community resources; and
  9. navigating public assistance and other governmental programs.

Interpretation

The standard is applicable for all children regardless of age. FKC 15 provides further detail as to the services and supports provided to youth as they move towards the transition to adulthood.