340:75-1-28. Child Welfare Services contingency fund
When assessing risk of abuse or neglect, and poverty is identified as a contributing factor a flexible contingency fund, subject to the availability of funds, may be used to provide immediate assistance for the family for services such as food, clothing, utility bills, rent, home or car repairs, and public transportation tokens.
(1) The fund is used for a one-time purchase of goods, services, or both, needed to maintain the child safely in the home or return the child safely to the home.
(2) The contingency fund may be utilized for purchased services for the child in Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) custody.
(3) Payment for services through the contingency fund are not assured.
(4) The contingency fund is not used to reimburse the client, OKDHS employee, or other person for purchases made on behalf of the client.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF
1.Intent and establishment of contingency fund.
(1) The contingency fund, in conjunction with safety and service planning per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-3-110, is used for a one-time purchase of goods, services, or both, needed to maintain the child safely in the home or return the child safely to the home.The contingency fund may also be utilized for purchased services for children in Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) custody.
(2) The contingency fund accounts provide families, involved in open child protective services (CPS), family-centered service (FCS), permanency planning, or after-care permanency planning cases, with support services necessary to provide for and protect their children.
(3) The contingency fund is not used for families that are referred to Comprehensive Home-Based Services (CHBS), as CHBS offers another source of discretionary funds for families.Contingency fund determinations are made on a case-by-case basis.
(4) Payment for services through the contingency fund cannot be assured.
(5) Contingency fund accounts are established for each of the five Child Welfare Services (CWS) regions, and personnel from each district office are designated to access the respective regional fund.
(6) Contingency funds are not used to pay attorney or other legal fees to establish a guardianship of a child involved with CPS, FCS, or permanency planning.
2.Contingency fund authorization procedures.The district director designates specific district personnel with authority to access funds from the regional CWS contingency fund accounts and establishes procedures for the district office.District procedures include:
(1) the specific method for the child welfare (CW) specialist to make written contingency fund requests and for written approvals to be given;
(2) a means to track the district's issuance of contingency fund authorizations;
(3) personnel responsible for, and the location of, the fiscal year contingency fund files for the district office;
(4) procedures for regular monitoring of contingency fund authorizations;
(5) a plan to ensure personnel involved in the contingency fund process are properly informed regarding requirements contained in this Section; and
(6) procedures and a plan to conduct annual service utilization reviews.
3.Monitoring contingency funds.
(1) To maintain appropriate internal controls and the segregation of financial duties, the district director assigns personnel who do not have direct case responsibility to issue contingency fund authorizations on the Finance system.Contingency fund authorizations may be assigned to regional personnel by the regional deputy director.
(2) Contingency fund overrides are issued by personnel designated by the regional deputy director.
(3) To ensure DHS rules are followed, CW supervisors regularly review contingency fund authorizations requested by CW specialists.
(4) Regional deputy directors, district directors, or designees periodically monitor contingency fund expenditures.
4.Determining need for contingency funds.The CW specialist responsible for the client receiving the goods or services:
(1) determines the need for the goods or services;
(2) determines that the goods or services are not available elsewhere for free;
(3) locates service providers;
(4) makes a written request for approval of the contingency funds, according to region-established protocol.CW supervisors, district directors, and other personnel designated by the district or deputy director for the region approve contingency fund authorization requests in writing;
(5) when the family receives Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), contacts the Adult and Family Services (AFS) worker to determine if flexible funds were utilized.When available, TANF flexible funds are used in lieu of the CW contingency fund; and
(6) documents the contingency fund request in the KIDS Contacts screen:
(A) according to protocol established by the region; or
(B) no later than the fourth day of the month following authorization.
5.(a) Allowable services.
(1) Allowable services are those required to maintain the child in the home, return the child to the home, or to maintain the well-being of the child's family.The contingency fund is used to pay vendors for goods and services that are properly authorized and provided to the client.The contingency fund is not used to reimburse the client, a DHS employee, or another person for purchases made on behalf of the client.
(2) Ongoing maintenance or installment payments are not allowed.Cost limits for contingency fund object codes are not exceeded except when an override is approved by designated personnel in the regional office.Account limits are listed on DHS Appendix C-19, Child Welfare Contingency Fund Accounts.
(3) The issuance of more than one contingency fund authorization to purchase the same goods or services is not permitted.
(4) Gift cards cannot be purchased with contingency funds.
(b) Examples of allowable goods or services.
(1) Food.This includes a one-time purchase of food for the household not available through Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) or another program, including infant formula and baby food, sufficient to supply the family for a period of time, until the family receives some type of income or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
(2) Clothing.This includes an emergency supply of clothing, shoes, or both, appropriate for weather conditions for infants and children in the household and adequate clothing for children to attend school.In addition, this may include work clothing for the person responsible for the child (PRFC) when the PRFC is actively involved in a job search, training, or was guaranteed a job and demonstrated the need for such clothing.
(3) Rent deposit or monthly payment.When adequate housing is needed to prevent the removal of the child, documented rental deposits and the first month's rent are paid or a single month's rent is paid to avoid eviction.
(4) Utility deposits or monthly payment.When the lack of utilities in the home may result in the removal of the child, required utility deposits or overdue payments for gas, electricity, and water are covered.This does not include phone deposits or overdue phone bills.
(5) Home repairs.When the condition of the home may result in the removal of the child, home repairs may include plumbing, painting, repair of broken windows, doors, steps, and stairs, purchase of screens and door locks, and rodent or insect fumigation.
(6) Furniture and appliances.This includes adequate beds and bedding for infants, children, and the PRFC, as well as basic necessities, such as a dining table and chairs.
(7) Car repairs.To be eligible for car repairs, the PRFC must need the car for transportation to obtain or maintain employment or to ensure adequate medical or behavioral health care for the child to prevent removal from the home.When available, public transportation is used in lieu of car repair payments.
(8) Public transportation vouchers or tokens.When the PRFC requires public transportation to obtain or maintain employment or to ensure adequate medical or behavioral health care for the child, a three-month supply of public transportation vouchers or tokens is provided.
(9) Miscellaneous.This includes goods and services that are required, but not specifically covered by other object codes.
(10) Purchased services.This includes specific services designed to meet the identified needs of the child in DHS custody or those of a PRFC as part of an individualized service plan.Examples include tutoring, mentoring, group and family counseling, job placement, therapeutic or recreational services, and educational or vocational advocacy services that are not available through other sources or from volunteers.
(11) Automobile.This includes payments for the purchase of an automobile, down payment for an automobile purchase, assistance making a monthly automobile payment, tag, title, and tax for an automobile, or an automobile insurance payment.The payment of any automobile-related costs using contingency funds must be for the purpose of obtaining or maintaining employment or to ensure adequate medical or behavioral health care for the child.When available, public transportation is used in lieu of payment for automobile-related expenses from this object code.
6.Authorizing payments and services.Payments and services are pre-determined by the CW specialist.All services are obtained at the lowest possible cost or best value to the state.Only personnel designated by the district or regional deputy director are authorized to issue contingency fund authorizations via the Finance system.
(1) The CW specialist responsible for the client receiving the goods or services:
(A) refers to DHS Appendix C-19, Child Welfare Contingency Fund Accounts, for the list of services, cost limits, and object codes;
(B) negotiates for the goods or services for the client at the least possible cost or best value and determines whether the cost of labor can be reduced or donated.
(i) When requesting the contingency fund for rent deposits or monthly payment, the CW specialist verifies the client's address and obtains a copy of the rent, lease, or mortgage agreement prior to requesting a contingency fund authorization.
(ii) Prior to requesting the contingency fund for utility deposits or monthly payments, the CW specialist verifies the utility service is for the client's residence.The name of the utility service customer, account number, and address of the utility service are included in the description of services on the contingency fund authorization form;
(C) requests designated personnel access the authorization screen through the Finance system to enter the required provider information; and
(D) after receiving written approval of the contingency fund request and obtaining the contingency fund authorization, signs and delivers the authorization form to the client to provide to the vendor.
(2) Upon receipt of the goods or services, the client provides the CW specialist with a copy of the receipt or invoice from the vendor to verify the goods or services received were those authorized according to the description on the authorization form.
(3) The CW specialist or CW supervisor files the receipt or invoice, the contingency fund request, and a copy of the contingency fund authorization form in the district's contingency fund file for the fiscal year in which the purchase was made.
(4) After the goods or services are delivered, the vendor submits the contingency fund authorization form and the invoice to DHS Finance and Administration.Payment is made no later than five-business days from the date the invoice is received.
(A) Clients are not entitled to receive refunds from vendors for contingency fund purchases.Refunds from a vendor for goods or services are made directly to the DHS Finance and Administration.
(B) When clients receive refunds from the vendor, they must reimburse DHS for the amount of the refund.The CW specialist coordinates with DHS Finance and Administration and follows DHS Finance and Administration procedures for refunds and reimbursements for refunds.
7.(a) Service utilization.The CW specialist enters the goods or services, payment, or both, in KIDS Service Log by accessing the Services/Serv Logs/Select Client/Services screen.
(b) Service outcomes.The district director or designee annually reviews the district's Service Utilization Report regarding the utilization of the CW contingency fund accounts and determines outcomes for the families who utilized the contingency fund service.The outcomes information is used to allocate future funds.