Child and Family Services (PA-CFS) 8: Ongoing Assessment and Case Review
Ongoing assessments and evaluations of progress enable the agency to protect children’s safety, meet children’s and families’ needs, and determine when cases can be closed.
When the case involves an American Indian or Alaska Native child and family, the agency must provide timely notification of case reviews to tribal representatives to ensure their involvement, particularly when changes are made to the plan.
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Examples: Depending on safety threats and family circumstances it may be appropriate to develop or revise an in-home safety plan, or to place a child in out-of-home care. In-home safety plans are not only useful in preventing out-of-home placements—they can also enable children in out-of-home care to return home if safety concerns can be managed with an in-home plan, even when ongoing services to reduce risk remain necessary.
The worker and family, and supportive individuals of the family’s choosing, when appropriate:
regularly review and document how the case is progressing, including progress toward achievement of service goals and family members’ perspectives on case progress and concerns; and
sign revisions to service goals and plans.
When children are in out-of-home care resource families or residential treatment providers should be involved in progress reviews and sign updated service plans, with the parent’s consent when possible, unless parental rights have been terminated.
The worker and a supervisor, or a clinical, service, or peer team, review the case quarterly, or more frequently depending on case status, to assess:
safety concerns and the appropriateness of safety plans;
service plan implementation;
progress toward achieving service goals and desired outcomes, including permanency goals;
the continuing appropriateness of service goals, including permanency goals;
family time plans, as applicable; and
compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act, as applicable.
When experienced workers are conducting reviews of their own cases, the worker’s supervisor must review a sample of the worker’s evaluations as per the requirements of the standard. When arranging an adoption or guardianship, a review should occur weekly for infants and monthly for all other children awaiting adoption or transfer of custody.
The agency considers safety, risk, and progress toward goals in making decisions regarding the status of the case, including in determining whether a case can be closed.
Interpretation: When the permanency goal has been changed to adoption or guardianship, the case will be closed once permanency has been achieved or the youth has transitioned from the system, rather than based on an evaluation of risk and safety.