340:75-15-41.3. Adoption criteria staffing
(a) The adoption criteria staffing determines the type of adoptive placement that meets the child's long-term needs and best interests. The adoption criteria staffing does not constitute agency approval or authorization for an adoptive placement.
(b) Every effort is made to place the child with suitable relatives, per Section 1-4-706 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes (10A O.S. § 1-4-706).
(c) A prospective adoptive parent who has the ability to meet the child's needs may be identified during the adoption criteria staffing.
(d) Factors in paragraphs (1) through (10) of this subsection are considered when identifying the placement that meets the child's long-term needs and best interests.
(1) Siblings. Siblings are:
(A) placed together when possible, unless a joint placement is contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings; or
(B) separated for purposes of adoptive placement only in certain circumstances, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-6-85.
(2) Attachment. The nature and degree of the child's attachment to the siblings, foster family, and significant others is assessed and considered as an indicator of the child's ability to attach to an adoptive family.
(3) Age. Age is evaluated as a factor in relation to the adoptive applicant's ability to parent the child into the child's adult years, provided age is not used as the basis to deny an applicant.
(4) Health. The adoptive applicant's health records are evaluated to determine if he or she has the:
(A) health to participate with the child in normal developmental activities; and
(B) ability to parent the child beyond the child's age of majority.
(5) Culture. Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) does not:
(A) rely on generalizations about the child's cultural identity needs based on a particular race or ethnicity; or
(B) presume from the adoptive applicant's race or ethnicity that the applicant is able or unable to maintain the child's ties to another racial, ethnic, or cultural community.
(6) Indian child.
(A) A child who is an Indian child as defined by the federal and state Indian Child Welfare Acts (ICWA), Section 1901 et seq. of Title 25 of the United States Code (25 U.S.C. §§ 1901 et seq.) and 10 O.S. §§ 40 through 40.9, is placed according to ICWA placement preference order or the Indian child's tribe's preference order as established by tribal resolution, per OAC 340:75-19-23.
(B) Prior to placing the Indian child outside ICWA preference order or the child's tribe's preference order, the CW specialist assigned to the child requests the court conduct a hearing to determine if good cause exists to allow placement of the Indian child outside ICWA- or tribal-specified placement preference order. ICWA requires that:
(i) a good cause hearing be held when a child's placement is outside the ICWA- or tribal-specified placement preference order;
(ii) prior notice of the good cause hearing is given to all parties, including the tribe; and
(iii) the court makes a finding as to whether good cause exists to not follow the ICWA- or tribal-specified placement preference order.
(7) Religion. The child in OKDHS custody is provided an opportunity for spiritual and moral development. When the child has made a religious commitment or the parent made a specific religious request, OKDHS makes reasonable efforts to find an adoptive family of like religious faith.
(8) Language. When the child's primary language is not English or is sign language, special consideration is given to identifying an adoptive family fluent in his or her language.
(9) Education. The child is provided the opportunity to develop his or her potential and is not subjected to unrealistic academic expectations.
(10) Resources. The adoptive family must have adequate resources to meet the child's financial, medical, health, educational, shelter, and emotional needs. Adoption assistance is a resource for the child who meets eligibility criteria, per OAC 340:75-15-128.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:75-15-41.3
1. Adoptive placement criteria staffing procedures.
(1) The adoption specialist in collaboration with the permanency planning specialist schedules the time and place for the criteria staffing during the initial adoption consultation.
(2) When the child's permanency plan is adoption, the child welfare (CW) specialist completes Form 04AN020E, Adoptive Placement Criteria Staffing Documentation, within 14-calendar days of the petition or motion to terminate parental rights to the child being filed.
(3) The child's assigned CW specialist completes Form 04AN020E for each prospective adoptive family considered.
(4) Prior to the criteria staffing, the permanency planning specialist and CW supervisor review and update Form 04AN020E to the extent possible.
(5) The child's assigned CW specialist notifies certain criteria staffing participants including, but not limited to, the:
(A) adoption specialist;
(B) CW supervisor;
(C) resource specialist; and
(D) Developmental Disabilities Services case manager, when applicable.
(6) The adoption specialist invites certain criteria staffing participants, who include, but are not limited, to:
(A) other persons with information that may assist with planning for the child;
(B) the applicable district director;
(C) an Indian Child Welfare tribal worker, when applicable;
(D) Office of Juvenile Affairs staff, when applicable;
(E) the therapeutic foster care (TFC) director, when applicable; and
(F) a SoonerStart representative, when applicable.
(7) Each criteria staffing participant is required to review and sign Form 04AN020E.
(8) The assigned court-appointed special advocate (CASA), when applicable, reviews Form 04AN020E.
(A) Additional information CASA provides may be included on Form 04AN020E.
(B) The child's assigned CW specialist requests that CASA sign Form 04AN020E verifying he or she reviewed the content and was provided notification of the criteria staffing's date, time, and location.
(9) The child's assigned CW specialist:
(A) attaches the most recently completed Form 04MP046E, Family Team Meeting Report, to Form 04AN020E;
(B) attaches a copy of the applicable court order or court minutes to Form 04AN020E when the court of jurisdiction has given specific direction or issued a court order regarding the child's adoptive placement. When a court directive or order is applicable, but not attached, the directive or order is identified on Form 04AN020E as an action step to be completed with a due date;
(C) discusses the child's legal status and any legal barriers to adoption and updates Form 04AN034E, Adoption Consultation Documentation, when needed;
(D) discusses concerns regarding sibling placement and separation with the designated Permanency Planning Program Unit representative prior to submitting a request for sibling separation.
(i) Refer to Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-6-85 for additional information regarding sibling separation and Permanency Planning Program Unit sibling placement reviews.
(ii) When a sibling placement and separation discussion is not completed prior to the criteria staffing, the need for a discussion is identified as an action step with a due date on Form 04AN020E.
(iii) Sibling placement reviews are requested, per OAC 340:75-6-31.1 Instructions to Staff;
(E) attaches a copy of Form 04AF004E, House Assessment, to Form 04AN020E, when Form 04AF004E was previously completed for the child's relative. When Form 04AF004E is not attached, the need to obtain it is identified as an action step with a due date on Form 04AN020E; and
(F) conducts a KIDS search of identified prospective adoptive parent(s).
(i) The results of each child protective services investigation and assessment, any policy violations, and written plans of compliance are included on Form 04AN020E.
(ii) When the KIDS search results are not obtained prior to the criteria staffing, the need for the results is identified as an action step with a due date on Form 04AN020E.
(10) The resource and CW supervisors review the completed Form 04AN020E, including the documented action steps and sign it as mandatory reviewers.
(A) When areas of concern are not identified, the adoption specialist proceeds with the child profile referral and requests medical records from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA).
(i) When the resource identified for the child is the family with whom the child currently resides:
(I) Form 04AF030E, Family Resource Re-assessment, or an addendum to Form 04AF003E, Resource Family Assessment–Family Profile, is completed; or
(II) Form 04AF003E is completed when the family was never assessed using Form 04AF003E.
(ii) The child's CW specialist notifies the identified family of the criteria staffing results.
(B) When an area of concern or placement dispute is identified, the adoption specialist or resource supervisor promptly notifies the field manager. When a resolution is not reached following the field manager's review, he or she requests an internal CWS staffing including appropriate service providers, tribal workers, and other services affiliated with the case.
(11) Post-criteria staffing responsibilities. During the criteria staffing, specific responsibilities are assigned including, but not limited to:
(A) documenting in the permanency planning case in KIDS:
(i) the adoptive placement criteria staffing in the Contacts screen; and
(ii) each service referral in the Adoption Efforts screen and completing the Quad screen within the Adoption Efforts screen;
(B) copying the child's biological KK paper-case record;
(C) researching each OKDHS record related to the child, including Adult and Family Services records and medical records within the OHCA-maintained database;
(D) completing Form 04AN023E, Child Profile Referral, for submission to the profile contractor after the criteria staffing. The referral packet includes, at a minimum:
(i) a copy of the child's biological KK case;
(ii) a copy of the child's full-certified birth certificate;
(iii) a copy of each legal order pertaining to the child's custody status and disposition including, but not limited to, the:
(I) affidavit and application for emergency custody and the initial order placing the child in OKDHS emergency custody;
(II) initial deprived petition, any subsequent amended petitions, or post-adjudication petitions;
(III) adjudication orders;
(IV) order placing the child in OKDHS temporary;
(V) order placing the child in OKDHS permanent custody;
(VI) dispositional orders;
(VIII) order terminating each parent's parental rights; and
(IX) relinquishment of parental rights document, when any;
(iv) KIDS reports, including Forms:
(I) 04KI028E, Family Functional Assessment, attached for each child and biological parent;
(II) 04KI036E, Referral/Investigation/Assessment Contacts Report;
(III) 04KI043E, Client Medical and Psychological Information;
(IV) 04KI010E, Placement Worksheet; and
(V) 04KI027E, Child Placement History;
(v) Form 08HI003E, Authorization to Disclose Medical Records, for each medical, dental, and psychological record and Form 04MP001E, Consent for Release of Information, for each:
(I) educational provider identified in the case record; and
(II) medical, dental, and psychological provider identified within the OHCA-maintained database;
(vi) mailing Form 04AN012E, Perinatal Information, to the hospital where the child was born for hospital personnel to complete;
(vii) Form 04AN347E, Medical and Social History Report for Adoption;
(viii) Form 04AN026E, Caregiver's Assessment of Child;
(ix) OKDHS Publication No. 85-67, My Feelings About Adoption, for children up to 13 years of age, and OKDHS Publication No. 05-09, Adoption Guidebook, for children 13 years of age and older; and
(x) Form 04AN020E, Adoptive Placement Criteria Staffing Documentation Form;
(E) initiating completion of Forms 04AN347E, 04AN026E, and OKDHS Publications No. 85-67 and 05-09.
(i) The forms are completed by the adoption specialist, adoption transition specialist, or child's assigned CW specialist as part of the preparation for adoption. When appropriate, former foster parents and relatives, or other CW specialists, are contacted for additional information.
(ii) The resource assessment contractor completes Form 04AN022E, Child Profile Assessment for Adoption, including attachments;
(F) arranging for the child to be staffed at the next statewide adoption staffing after completion of Form 04AN022E, when there is not an identified adoptive family;
(G) scanning copies of each recommended resource family assessment to the appropriate folder in Microsoft Outlook at Public Folders/All Public Folders/STO DCFS/Adoption/Staffing Lists for review within seven-calendar days after the statewide adoption staffing;
(H) assisting with the selection and recommendation process;
(I) initiates the authorization process for the selected prospective adoptive placement no later than five-business days after the prospective adoptive parent's selection; and
(J) assisting with referrals for media recruitment, adoption parties, and adoption exchanges when there is not a recommended resource family for the child. When a prospective adoptive parent is not identified during the statewide adoption staffing, the CW specialist:
(i) refers the child for child-specific targeted recruitment no later than 10-business days after the statewide adoption staffing, per OAC 340:75-15-82;
(ii) works diligently to find a prospective adoptive parent for the child; and
(iii) presents the child's case again at the next statewide adoption staffing.