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Library: Policy

317:40-5-50. Specialized Foster Care Scope

Revised 9-15-23

(a) SFC provides up to 24 hours per day of in-home residential habilitation services funded through the Community Waiver or the Homeward Bound Waiver.  SFC serves individuals 3 years of age and older.  SFC provides an individualized living arrangement in a family setting including up to 24 hours per day of supervision, supportive assistance, and training in daily living skills.

(b) SFC is provided in a setting that best meets the member's specialized needs.

(c) Members in SFC have a written plan that addresses visitation, reunification, or permanency planning, and which may also address guardianship as the member approaches 18 years of age.

(d) As per the requirements in (1) through (4) of this subsection, SFC providers:

(1) are approved through the home profile process described in Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 317:40-5-40;

(2) have a current Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver contract with the Oklahoma Health Care Authority; and

(3) have a current Fixed Rate Foster Home Contract for room and board reimbursement with Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) when:

(A) the SFC member is a child; or

(B) required by the adult SFC recipient's Personal Support Team (Team).

(e) A child in Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) or tribal custody who is determined eligible for HCBS Waiver services, per OAC 317:40-1-1, is eligible to receive SFC services if the child's special needs cannot be met in a Child Welfare Services (CWS) foster home.

(1) SFC provides a temporary, stable, nurturing, and safe home environment for the child while OKDHS plans for reunification with the child's family.

(2) In the event reunification is not achievable, SFC may be provided on a long-term basis while other more permanent living arrangements are sought.

(3) When the court has established a specific visitation plan, the CWS specialist informs the SFC provider, the member, the DDS case manager, and the natural family of the visitation plan.

(A) The SFC provider cooperates with the visitation plan between the child and family as prescribed by the court or the member's Team.

(B) The reunification effort is the joint responsibility of the:

(i) CWS worker;

(ii) DDS case manager;

(iii) natural family; and

(iv) SFC family.

(C) For children in OKDHS custody, CWS and DDS work together to determine the need for guardianship.  When it has been established that a legal guardian is in the child's best interest, both programs work together to locate a guardian.

(f) SFC is a temporary service provided to children who are not in OKDHS custody when SFC services are needed to prevent institutionalization.

(1) SFC is intended to allow relief for the member's family that cannot be satisfied by respite services provisions or other in-home supports.

(2) SFC provides a nurturing, substitute home environment for the member while plans are made to reunify the family.

(3) Visitation with the family is a part of the reunification efforts for non-custody children.  Visitation must not be intrusive to the SFC home.

(4) Parents of a child receiving SFC services must comply with the requirements listed in (A) through (D) of this paragraph.

(A) Natural or adoptive parents retain the responsibility for their child's ongoing involvement and support while the child is in SFC.

(i) The parents are required to sign a written agreement allowing OKDHS to serve as the representative payee for the child's Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits, other government benefits, and court-authorized child support.

(ii) SSA and other government benefits, and child support are used to pay for room and board.   HCBS services do not pay for room and board.

(B) Parental responsibilities of a child receiving voluntary SFC are to:

(i) provide respite to the SFC provider;

(ii) provide transportation to and from parental visitation;

(iii) provide a financial contribution toward their child's support;

(iv) provide in kind supports, such as disposable undergarments, if needed, clothing, recreation, birthday and holiday presents, school supplies, and allowances or personal spending money;

(v) follow the visitation plan as outlined by the member's Team, per OAC 317:40-5-52;

(vi) maintain ongoing communication with the member and SFC provider by letters, telephone calls, video conferencing, or email;

(vii) be available in an emergency;

(viii) work toward reunification when appropriate;

(ix) provide written consent for medical treatments as appropriate;

(x) attend medical appointments, when possible, and keep informed of the member's health status;

(xi) participate in the member's education plan per Oklahoma State Department of Education regulations; and

(xii) be present for all Team meetings.

(C) When moving out of Oklahoma, parents of a child receiving voluntary SFC are responsible for taking their minor child with them, since the child is no longer eligible for services because he or she is no longer an Oklahoma resident.

(D) For children 18 years of age and younger, the case manager reports to CWS if the family moves out of Oklahoma without taking their child with them or if the family cannot be located.

(g) SFC is an appropriate living arrangement for many adults.  The decision to use SFC for an adult is based on the member's need for residential support as described in the member's Individual Plan (Plan).

(1) In general, SFC is appropriate for members who have not experienced family life.  A child served in SFC may continue to receive services in the home indefinitely after turning 18 years of age.

(2) The member who receives SFC services lives in the provider's home.

(3) Visitation with the adult member's family is encouraged and arranged according to the member's preference.    Visitation is not intrusive to the SFC home.

(h) When natural or other unpaid supports are not available, the SFC provider may request respite support.

(1) Respite units do not replace the responsibilities of the SFC provider on a regular basis.

(2) All Respite units must be justified in the member's Plan process.

(3) No more than 720 hours annually may be authorized unless approved by the DDS director or designee.

(A) The daily respite rate is used when respite is provided for a full 24-hour day.  A day is defined as the period between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m..

(B) The hourly respite rate is used when respite is provided for a partial day.

(C) The provider may serve more than one member through shared staffing, but may not bill habilitation training specialist (HTS) services or the hourly respite rate for multiple members at the same time.

(4) No spouse or other adult living in the provider household may serve as paid respite staff.

(5) Consideration is given to authorizing additional respite hours when providing additional relief represents the most cost-effective placement for the member and:

(A) there are multiple members living in the home;

(B) the member has an on-going pattern of not sleeping at night; or

(C) the member has an on-going pattern of not working or attending employment services, in spite of continuing efforts by the Team.

(i) HTS services may be approved by the DDS director or designee when providing SFC with additional staffing support represents the most cost-effective placement for the member when:

(1) there is an ongoing pattern of not sleeping at night; or

(2) there is an ongoing pattern of not working or attending employment, educational, or day services;

(3) there are multiple members living in the home;

(4) a time-limited situation exists in which the foster parent is unable to provide SFC, and the provision of HTS maintains the placement or provides needed stability for the member, and must be reduced when the situation changes;

(5) must be reviewed annually or more frequently as needed; and

(6) must be documented by the Team and the Team must continue efforts to resolve the need for HTS.

(j) A member may receive therapeutic leave for no more than 14-consecutive days per event, not to exceed 60-calendar days per Plan of Care year.

(1) The payment for a day of therapeutic leave is the same amount as the per diem rate for SFC services.

(2) Therapeutic leave is claimed when the member does not receive SFC services for 24-consecutive hours from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. because of:

(A) a visit with family or friends without the SFC provider;

(B) vacation without the SFC provider; or

(C) hospitalization.

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