340:75-19-29. Voluntary foster care for the child in tribal custody younger than 18 years of age
(a) Purpose of voluntary foster care. The Indian child may be placed in voluntary foster care with either Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) or the tribe at the parent's or legal guardian's request. Voluntary foster care:
(1) is available as a preventive and protective service to enhance family functioning without court intervention, per Oklahoma Administrative Code 340:75-4-12.1; and
(2) may be approved for tribal children who are placed within the tribe in a tribal foster care home for up to 90-calendar days for children younger than 18 years of age. Voluntary foster care placements that extend beyond 90-calendar days require a judicial determination to the effect that continued voluntary foster care is in the child's best interest. • 1
(b) Tribe's responsibilities for voluntary foster care.
(1) When the Indian child welfare (ICW) worker places the child in voluntary foster care, the tribe obtains a written voluntary foster care agreement.
(A) The agreement does not require court action, and the child is returned to the parent or guardian upon request. When the parent or guardian fails to meet the terms of the agreement or cannot be located, court involvement is required.
(B) The tribe submits Form 04TB004E, Indian Child Welfare Program Referral, and a memo requesting approval for voluntary foster care to tribal IV-E program staff.
(2) The child's tribe notifies tribal IV-E program staff when:
(A) the child leaves the placement; or
(B) court action is initiated.
(c) Evidence gathered during the Indian child's voluntary foster care episode. The ICW worker or child welfare specialist advises the parent, Indian custodian, or legal guardian at the time of the child's placement that any evidence gathered during the time the child is placed in voluntary foster care may be used as a basis for court action, per Section 1-7-112 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes.
1. Voluntary foster care. In addition to the requirements in Oklahoma Administrative Code 340:75-4-12.1, the child welfare (CW) specialist notifies the child's tribe of the voluntary foster care placement and follows the placement preferences prescribed in the federal and state Indian Child Welfare Acts. Tribal IV-E program staff approves the voluntary foster care placement.