Unaccompanied Children Services support youth safety and well-being, facilitate family involvement and provide necessary supports to children seeking physical and emotional safety and legal protection.
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.
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
In a few instances, client or staff signatures are missing and/or not dated; or
With few exceptions, staff work with persons served, when appropriate, to help them receive needed support, access services, mediate barriers, etc.; or
Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
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
In several instances, client or staff signatures are missing and/or not dated; or
Quarterly reviews are not being done consistently; or
Level of care for some clients is clearly inappropriate; or
Service planning is often done without full client participation; or
Appropriate family involvement is not documented; or
Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing; or
Individual staff members work with persons served, when appropriate, to help them receive needed support, access services, mediate barriers, etc., but this is the exception.
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.
Service planning and monitoring procedures
No On-Site Evidence
Interviews may include:
Review case records
The assessment-based service plan is developed in a timely manner with the full participation of the child and includes:
agreed upon goals, strengths, desired outcomes, and timeframes for achieving them;
services and supports to be provided, and by whom;
procedures for expedited service planning when crisis or urgent need is identified; and
the signature of the child and/or legal guardian, as appropriate.
Safety plans are developed, when appropriate, and are based on the risk assessment and specialized care needs of the child.
The worker and a supervisor, or a service or peer team, participate in a documented 30 day review of the service plan to assess:
service plan implementation;
progress toward achieving service goals and desired outcomes;
the continuing appropriateness of the service goals; and
the need to revise, cancel, or add new goals and/or objectives.
Programs serving unaccompanied children are required by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to review and update service plans 30 days after the comprehensive assessment is completed. Best practice is to conduct a more frequent review given that these children are a vulnerable population with unique service needs and in care for a limited time period.
Regarding documentation, any revisions to the service plan or service goals should be signed by staff conducting the case review, and case notes should reflect that the child understands and is involved in any changes to goals and/or objectives.
Timeframes for service plan reviews should be adjusted depending upon:
issues and needs of persons receiving services;
frequency and intensity of services provided;
changes in child’s life situations or psychological conditions; and
frequency of contact with informal caregivers and cooperating providers.
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.
The worker and child, and potential sponsors, family members, and other supportive individuals with the consent of the child when appropriate:
review progress toward achievement of agreed upon service goals to the extent possible; and