Standards for private organizations

2020 Edition

Family Foster Care and Kinship Care (FKC) 14: Worker Contact and Monitoring

Workers maintain regular contact with children, parents, resource families, and collaborating organizations and agencies to establish positive relationships that promote safety, well-being, and progress towards service and permanency goals.
 

Interpretation

When the organization is working with American Indian and Alaska Native children and families representatives from tribes or local Indian organizations should be informed of regular contact with children, caregivers, and families and be given an opportunity to participate. 
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.
Note: For organizations that provide Foster Care Home Services the worker is the staff person that carries a caseload of resource families.
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 worker contact and meetings in the home
  • Procedures for maintaining contact with other service providers and systems
  • Procedures for preventing and responding to missing children
  • Procedures for responding to allegations of maltreatment in resource families
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Foster parents
    4. Parents
    5. Children and youth
  • Review case records
  • Review resource parent records
  • Observe system that maintains information about children’s current placements

 
Fundamental Practice

FKC 14.01

Meetings with children, parents, and resource parents: 
  1. occur at least once a month;
  2. happen on on a consistent, scheduled basis at mutually agreed upon times, whenever possible;
  3. take place primarily in the home (parent or resource family); and
  4. include time for private discussion with all parties to ensure both children and their caregivers can feel comfortable sharing information.

Interpretation

When treatment foster care is provided, workers should meet with children and resource families at least twice per month. 

The first meeting with the resource parents should occur within the first two weeks of placement, consistent with the assessment timeframes outlined in FKC 4.01

Organizations that provide only Foster Care Home Services may meet with resource families in the home less than monthly, but at a minimum on a quarterly basis. 
Examples: While regular visits will occur on a consistent, scheduled basis, some organizations may also make one unannounced visit per quarter.

 

FKC 14.02

Upon placement in foster care or move to a new resource family home, the worker meets with children and resource families in the new home within three days. 
 

Interpretation

When treatment foster care is provided children should be seen on the first day of placement.
NA The organization provides Family Foster Care Home Services only.

 

FKC 14.03

Contacts with children and parents are used to:
  1. cultivate strong, supportive, and productive relationships; 
  2. monitor and promote safety, permanency, and well-being; and
  3. share information about the children, and facilitate parental involvement in children’s care and activities.

Interpretation

 
Parents should be encouraged to participate in their children’s health appointments, school activities, and other events, and involved in everyday decision making whenever possible, unless contraindicated

Interpretation

Service monitoring should include confirming that services were initiated and are appropriate, and responding to complaints or problems that develop regarding service delivery. 
NA The organization provides Family Foster Care Home Services only. 
Note: For organizations that do not provide services to parents, element (c) does not apply, and elements (a) and (b) apply only to worker contact with the child.

 

FKC 14.04

Workers regularly consult with resource parents to: 
  1. maintain positive relationships; 
  2. monitor and promote safety and well-being;
  3. share all relevant and legally permissible information concerning the children;
  4. clarify their role in supporting and contributing to the service and permanency plan;
  5. inform them about, and encourage their participation in, upcoming team meetings and court hearings, as appropriate;
  6. provide ongoing feedback regarding performance that includes attention to both strengths and needs;
  7. assess whether additional assistance or support is needed; and
  8. respond to questions, concerns, and issues, as needed.

Interpretation

 Safety monitoring should include attention to potential concerns including: inadequate or unsafe heat, light, water, refrigeration, cooking, and toilet facilities; malfunctioning smoke detectors; unsanitary conditions; lack of phone service; unsafe doors, steps, and windows, or missing window guards where necessary; exposed wiring; access to hazardous substances, materials, or equipment; rodent or insect infestation; walls and ceilings with holes or lead; and insufficient space.

Interpretation

While support and consultation will be provided during the regularly scheduled visits described in FKC 14.01, workers must also respond to questions and requests for assistance between visits. 

 

FKC 14.05

Workers actively partner with families to ensure effective service coordination by:
  1. facilitating timely and consistent referrals for assessments and services;
  2. helping family members access needed services and navigate different systems;
  3. communicating with children, parents, and resource families to monitor service delivery, including confirming that services were initiated and are appropriate, and responding to complaints or problems; 
  4. communicating with other workers and/or service providers in a regular and timely manner to share information and monitor service participation and progress; 
  5. ensuring appropriate communication and coordination among the other providers serving children and families;
  6. facilitating timely and consistent referrals for assessments and services; and
  7. mediating barriers to services within the service delivery system.

Interpretation

With regard to element (d), personnel should follow formal procedures for working with service providers and sharing relevant information about a case internally when different workers are responsible for different components of service, or when responsibility for the case is transferred to a different worker. Communication among providers is especially critical when providers work with family members regarding specific issues that may impact safety, such as substance use, mental health, and domestic violence.

 
Fundamental Practice

FKC 14.06

Current information about children’s placements is updated within 24 hours of any change and available to authorized personnel at all times.

 
Fundamental Practice

FKC 14.07

The organization collaborates with law enforcement, public agencies, tribal governments, and other community resources to establish procedures for preventing and responding to missing children that address: 
  1. creating an environment that provides a sense of safety, support, and community;
  2. assessing risk of abduction or running away;
  3. immediately reporting missing children to the organization, law enforcement, and parents;
  4. working in partnership with law enforcement to find missing children, and protocols for sharing and releasing information needed to assist in a search;
  5. welcoming, screening, debriefing, and conducting event-based re-assessments, including re-entry examinations and clinical consultations when children return; and
  6. addressing issues that led to the episode or that arose while children were missing by providing needed supports and ensuring appropriate placements, including new placements when necessary.

 
Fundamental Practice

FKC 14.08

Procedures for responding to allegations of maltreatment by a resource family:
  1. respect the rights and needs of children, their families, and the resource family under investigation; 
  2. address the process for investigation, appeal, and resolution; 
  3. address access to resources or services that can provide support throughout the investigation process; and
  4. are developed in collaboration with law enforcement, tribal governments, and other community agencies, and incorporate input from resource families.

 
Fundamental Practice

FKC 14.09

When children are reunified with their families, they are visited in the home on the day following return to confirm safety.
 
NA The organization has a contract with a public authority that prohibits or does not include aftercare or follow-up upon reunification. 
 

NA The organization provides foster care home services only.