Standards for private organizations

2020 Edition

Family Foster Care and Kinship Care (FKC) 7: Child Placement

Children are placed with resource families who can best meet their needs for safety, permanency, and well-being, and best support their ties to family and community.

Interpretation

When placements are made by the court or another provider, the organization should collaborate with the court or placing agency to advocate for appropriate placement and promote placement stability, as emphasized throughout this core concept. An organization that provides emergency placements must document efforts made to meet the standards given the emergency nature of the placement. 
NA The organization has no role in facilitating child placement
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: Foster Care to Adoption programs will implement FKC 7 and AS 9.
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
  • Placement procedures including: 
    1. matching children and resource families
    2. preventing and managing placement disruptions
  • Procedures for reviewing placements and supporting placement changes
  • Policy regarding placement preferences
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Resource parents
    4. Parents
    5. Children and youth
  • Review case records
  • Review resource parent records

 
Fundamental Practice

FKC 7.01

Resource family homes are licensed, approved, or certified according to state, tribal, or local regulation and contain no more than five total children in the home, including no more than: 
  1. two children under the age of two;
  2. four children over the age of 13; and
  3. two children in treatment foster care. 

Interpretation

When children are placed with kin on an emergency basis, the local child welfare agency may allow eligible kin a period of time to work towards certification or licensing as a resource family home. However, criminal and child abuse background checks and preliminary safety assessments must be conducted prior to placement

When the local child welfare agency is not assuming custody of a child, the kinship caregiver’s home may be approved as a temporary placement option while the family works towards stabilization.


Interpretation

The total number of children includes all children under the age of 18 residing with the family, and includes any children residing with the family for overnight respite care. Exceptions to the maximum capacity may be made on a case-by-case basis to keep siblings together, to place children with relatives, to keep parenting youth together with their children, for other extenuating reasons that directly support plans for children to be connected to relationships that are safe, nurturing, and intended to be enduring, or when the home is licensed by the state or tribe to care for more children and demonstrates through the family assessment and home study that the needs of every child can be met.

Interpretation

When resource family homes are routinely licensed, approved, or certified according to state, tribal, or local regulation to contain a total of six children in the home they may receive a rating of 2 when they can demonstrate they are meeting the needs of every child in the home. This can be demonstrated by a combination of factors, such as:
  1. strong performance on safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes, for instance, low placement change rates;
  2. strong performance in resource family satisfaction and retention;
  3. manageable caseload sizes for workers;.             
  4. ensuring space sufficient to maintain a safe and homelike environment; 
  5. increasing the number and frequency of visits by the worker to the home;
  6. offering additional respite or child care opportunities to resource families; and
  7. maintaining a lower capacity in homes where foster children and other dependents have higher needs.

Interpretation

The resource family maximum capacity limits in this standard are not applicable for unlicensed kinship caregivers.

 

FKC 7.02

The organization identifies the best placement for each child using all available information regarding children’s and resource families’ strengths, needs, supports, and resources, including:
  1. information obtained during initial and comprehensive assessments of children and families;
  2. information obtained during assessments and annual reviews of resource parents;
  3. information obtained during ongoing assessments and case reviews; and
  4. the needs of any children already residing with the resource family.

Interpretation

 
Needs to consider include, but are not limited to, needs related to language, any risk of harm to self or others, and any history of human trafficking or running away.

 
Fundamental Practice

FKC 7.03

In order to ensure children are in the most family-like and familiar setting possible, the organization makes reasonable efforts to ensure children are placed: 
  1. with siblings; 
  2. with kin; and
  3. with families that reside within reasonable proximity to their family and home community.

Interpretation

Policy must require that preference be given to kin and deviations from these placement preferences must be documented in the case record with justifications and plans for ongoing contact with siblings or kin.
NA The organization provides Kinship Care Services only.

 

FKC 7.04

American Indian and Alaska Native children are placed according to the placement preferences specified in the Indian Child Welfare Act. 

Interpretation

When the organization is working with American Indian and Alaska Native children and families, tribal representatives and service providers must be involved in placement decisions and moves to ensure compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act, which requires that preference be given to placements in the following order: 
  1. a member of the child’s extended family;
  2. resource families licensed, approved, or selected by the child’s tribe; 
  3. American Indian or Alaska Native families licensed or approved by a non-Native licensing authority; and 
  4. an institution approved by an Indian tribe or operated by an Indian organization.
Alternative placement preferences established by the child’s tribe may apply, and the court may also take into consideration the preferences of the child or his/her birth parents. Organizations should work closely with the child’s tribe to identify placement options within the tribal community. Families from all tribes to which the child has ties should be considered as placement options, and eligibility criteria should be consistent with the norms of the tribe.

Emergency placements involving an American Indian or Alaska Native child must comply with the emergency proceeding provisions set out in the Indian Child Welfare Act. Efforts should be made to identify emergency placements that comply with the placement preferences in ICWA so as to prevent future placement changes in the event that a full child custody proceeding is initiated.
NA The organization provides Kinship Care Services only.

NA The organization provides services for foreign-born children only.

 

FKC 7.05

The organization promotes the stability of children’s living environments and prevents the need for placement changes through coordinated placement planning that:
  1. ensures children, families, and resource families understand the steps involved in the process for a child joining a new family setting and receive support and information throughout; 
  2. provides all legally permissible information about children’s characteristics, behaviors, histories, and permanency goals to prospective resource families; 
  3. ensures that resource families make an informed decision to accept children into their care;
  4. arranges opportunities for children and parents to meet prospective resource families when possible; 
  5. responds proactively to challenges that arise by assessing needs and arranging necessary services and supports; and 
  6. facilitates workers’ ability to spend more time with children, families, and/or resource parents after children first come into the home or when challenges arise. 

 

FKC 7.06

The appropriateness of children's placements is reviewed regularly, and changes occur to support children's best interests and permanency goals, as needed.
Examples: Placement changes that support children’s best interests and permanency goals may include moving from a foster family to an adoptive family, moving from a foster family to a kinship family, or other changes that bring children closer to family or community.

 

FKC 7.07

Children, families, and resource families receive additional support during placement changes that includes: 
  1. sufficient advanced notice provided at least 14 days prior to a placement change, when possible; 
  2. formalized discussions of the reasons for a move or disruption, each party’s feelings about the change, and as needed, interventions to address the reasons for the change;
  3. identification of a resource family or other placement setting that can best promote safety, well-being, and permanency; and
  4. referral to additional services or supports.