340:75-15-8. Adoption specialist, youth transition specialist, and resource specialist responsibilities
The adoption process is a team effort that includes the adoption specialist, youth transition specialist, child welfare specialist, resource specialist, and service providers, such as resource parents, group homes, or resource family partners. The adoption specialist, youth transition specialist, and resource specialist:
(1) consult with permanency planning, foster care, and child protective services specialists to address permanency issues for the child in out-of-home care; and
(2) conduct an ongoing process that begins with the adoption consultation and concludes when an adoption for a child is finalized by the court. ■ 1 & 2
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:75-15-8
1. Adoption specialist, youth transition specialist, and resource specialist responsibilities include:
(1) the prospective adoptive parent's ongoing assessment;
(2) preparing the adoptive parent to parent the child with special needs;
(3) offering the child for adoptive placement and documenting if the resource family accepted or declined the offer in the KIDS Contacts screen;
(4) facilitating pre-adoption services when the child is placed in trial adoption and until the adoption is finalized, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-15-103;
(5) explaining post-adoption services that may be available, upon the adoptive parent's request after the adoption is finalized, per OAC 340:75-15-124 through 340:75-15-133;
(6) completing a review of the KIDS case and the accompanying paper case record to verify the accuracy of certain information;
(7) coordinating the child's permanency planning;
(8) assuming the lead in a partnership relationship between the child, adoptive parent, and service providers to develop an effective individualized service plan that assists with achieving the child's safety, permanency, and well-being. The adoption specialist addresses, at a minimum the:
(A) appropriateness of the child's care;
(B) child's educational stability, per OAC 340:75-6-50; and
(C) child's need for continued communication and contact with individuals that he or she identifies as important and who connect the child with kin, culture, and community;
(9) identifying the child's needs during the assessment process and arranging services to meet the child's needs to enhance his or her well-being while in out-of-home care;
(10) collaborating with the adoptive parent and service providers to ensure the child is emotionally and psychologically prepared and ready to accept a new family;
(11) preparing the child for adoptive placement through a series of intentional steps and activities;
(12) searching for an adoptive family that is in the child's best interests;
(13) collaborating to plan the child's transition into adoptive placement;
(14) attending court when requested by the court or other Child Welfare Services programs. The specialist must:
(A) review all relevant information prior to court, including:
(i) adoption efforts made on the child's behalf;
(ii) authorization barriers and the expected timeframe for authorization; or
(iii) adoption finalization barriers and timeframes for resolution;
(B) follow Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) dress code, including professional business attire;
(C) arrive early and be respectful of all participants during the hearing; and
(D) be mindful of confidentiality, facial expressions, and body language; and
(15) providing written updates to the court, when requested.
2. (a) Assigning secondary assignment of the permanency planning case to adoption transition. When secondary assignment of a permanency planning case is transferred to a youth transition specialist, he or she reviews the:
(1) permanency plan to ensure the permanency plan of adoption and current Form 04KI012E, Individualized Service Plan (ISP), reflect services and activities appropriate to an adoption plan;
(2) court information in the KIDS Court Hearing, Report/Progress Report, Parental Rights, and Status screens to enter missing or correct inaccurate termination of parental rights and legal status information;
(3) placement history and current placement information;
(4) educational history and current educational information in the KIDS Client/Education screen to update or correct as needed the child's current school information, grade level, education status, school performance, and educational strengths and needs;
(5) medical history and current information in the KIDS Client/Medical screens to update the current medical treatment and child's needs including all medications, immunizations, and behavioral health information;
(6) adoption efforts in the KIDS Adoption Efforts screen for history and to update contacts related to adoption efforts using the purposes of adoption consultation, adoption criteria staffing, adoption matching party, and adoption statewide staffing;
(7) KIDS contacts and information in the KIDS document management system to gain a better understanding of the child and case history including contacts and documents concerning relatives or other important persons in the child's life that expressed an interest in the child's placement; and
(8) child welfare services (CW) paper case record that contains applicable reports and information, per OAC 340:75-1-26. Each section is checked and missing documents are obtained including a certified copy of the child's birth certificate and Social Security card, when applicable.
(b) Placement services. The permanency planning and youth transition specialists provide placement services, per OAC 340:75-6-85 and 340:75-6-85.4. The youth transition specialist:
(1) discusses with the child's current caregiver the:
(A) youth transition specialist's role; and
(B) child's preparation for adoption and OKDHS adoption efforts; and
(2) requests the caregiver complete a current Form 04AN026E, Caregiver's Assessment of Child.
(c) Child assessment and preparation. An indicator of a potentially, successful adoption is the child's ability to attach. The CW specialist assigned to the child solicits the cooperation and assistance of the resource family and other professionals when indicated to help the child accept adoption, and transition into the adoptive placement.
(1) The youth transition specialist begins the child assessment and preparation with the case review and continues to develop Form 04KI012E. The child who is old enough to participate in case planning is included in the process.
(2) Other child assessment and preparation activities, include:
(A) initiating the child's Life Book;
(B) completion of OKDHS Publication No. 85-67 for the child 12 years of age and younger;
(C) completion of OKDHS Publication No. 05-09, Adoption Guidelines for the child 13 years of age and older;
(D) review of The Companion Book for Social Workers to assist adoption transition specialists with OKDHS Publication No. 05-09; and
(E) obtaining a signature on Form 04MP069E, Custody Youth's Consent to a Public Release of Information.
(d) Secondary case assignment to the youth transition specialist. When the secondary assignment of a child's permanency planning case is assigned to a youth transition specialist and the prospective adoptive parent is assigned to a resource specialist, the adoption transition and resource specialists:
(1) consult, regarding:
(A) the offer of the child to the prospective adoptive parent; and
(B) preparation of full disclosure. The youth transition and CW specialists are asked to assist with full disclosure either by direct participation or availability to the prospective adoptive parent in case of questions; and
(2) collaborate to develop a pre-adoptive visitation plan in the child's best interests when the prospective adoptive parent accepts the offer of a child. At a minimum, the youth transition specialist participates in the first pre-adoptive visit.
(e) Additional youth transition specialist duties. Other adoption transition specialist responsibilities, include:
(1) preparing the child's case for transfer to the resource specialist;
(2) ensuring all KIDS information is current prior to transfer;
(3) maintaining an open assignment and reporting to the court as needed; and
(4) requesting the deprived case's dismissal when not done at adoption finalization.