340:75-6-31.1. Family meeting (FM) process
The FM's purpose is to facilitate planning, team decision-making, and engaging the family of the child in Oklahoma Department of Human Services custody.
(1) The court may require facilitation of a meeting no later than 30-calendar days prior to a permanency hearing when a child was in out-of-home care for 12 months or longer, per Section 1-4-810 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes and an FM is used for this purpose.
(2) An FM includes parents, caregivers, children, relatives, family friends, child welfare specialists, service providers, community group members, and other appropriate community partners, when appropriate.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:75-6-31.1
1.(a) Family meeting (FM) purpose and requirements.The FM is designed to assist the child welfare (CW) specialist with achieving timely permanency for the child in Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) custody or under DHS.
(b) FM process.The FM process is initiated for each child in DHS custody or under DHS supervision who is placed in his or her own home or outside of the parent, legal guardian, or custodian's home including out-of-state Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) placements.
(1) FM participants include, but are not limited to, the:
(ii) legal guardian, when any;
(iii) extended family and kinship relations as requested by the family;
(v) court-appointed special advocate (CASA) or guardian ad litem, when applicable;
(vi) tribal representative, when applicable;
(vii) attorney; and
(viii) assigned CW specialist, CW supervisor, and assigned successful adulthood specialist, when appropriate;
(C) service providers;
(D) Developmental Disabilities Services staff, when applicable;
(E) SoonerStart staff, when applicable;
(F) post-adjudication review board (PARB) member;
(G) district attorney;
(H) other family supports;
(I) Systems of Care; and
(J) Comprehensive Home-Based Services (CHBS).
(2) Prior to case discussion, the FM facilitator:
(A) explains the confidential nature of the meeting;
(B) requests all team members sign the confidentiality section of Form 04MP046E, Family Meeting Report; and
(C) uses Form 04MP046E as a reference source for discussion by the team.
(3) The process addresses placement issues and essential case elements including efforts to place the:
(A) child with relatives; and
(B) siblings together.At each FM:
(i) a placement review is conducted for each sibling to determine if each child is placed with relatives and if all siblings are placed together;
(ii) when siblings are not placed together, a plan is developed or updated to reunite the siblings, when feasible, in placement; and
(iii) when placing siblings together is not feasible, a plan is developed or updated to maintain, when possible, sibling connections.
(c) Required FM.An FM is held:
(1) within 60-calendar days of the child's removal or petition filing date, whichever is earlier;
(2) within 30-calendar days following the assessment of child safety when an in-home or out-of-home safety plan is necessary.The FM purpose in this situation is to engage families in identifying supports or resources that can assist in keeping the child safely in the home or assist in the identification of possible kinship caregivers for the child when necessary;
(3) within 30-calendar days after the court determines reasonable efforts to reunite the child with the parent are not required;
(4) a minimum of once every six months to continue to engage the PRFCs;
(5) as part of the ongoing assessment process and Individualized Service Plan (ISP) development to:
(A) identify barriers to the child's permanent placement; and
(B) propose and implement solutions to the barriers;
(6) when a decision is made to actively implement concurrent planning or an alternate permanency plan to ensure the family understands the poor prognosis indicators for reunification and the need to identify an alternate permanent caregiver;
(7) prior to reunification when a decision is made to reunify the child and the person responsible for the child (PRFC), to identify the supports the PRFC needs from the extended family to enhance child safety;
(8) for every youth 14 years of age and older to develop a successful adulthood plan, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-6-110.
(A) The youth is present at the FM.
(B) The youth is given the opportunity to invite the supportive connections of his or her choosing to the FM;
(9) within 120-calendar days before a youth ages out of care.The 90-calendar day plan is then incorporated into a report to deliver to the court within 90-calendar days of the youth aging out of care; and
(10) before the goal of PAPP is approved by the supervisor.The FM's purpose at this time is to meet with the child and all identified permanent connections, CW specialist, and CW supervisor to discuss and agree upon the permanency plan that is in the child's best interests.The FM report must include a detailed description of how and why all other permanency options were ruled out and what ongoing steps will be taken to achieve permanency for the child.
2.FM responsibility.The county with court jurisdiction coordinates and conducts the FM.The CW specialist in the county of jurisdiction:
(1) contacts the appropriate persons to participate as FM members for each case;
(2) obtains input from each district involved when services are provided to the child and family by more than one district;
(3) informs any FM member, who is unable to attend the meeting that written or verbal information from the member provided to the CW specialist at least 24 hours prior to the FM, is presented at the meeting;
(4) documents the FM results in KIDS Contacts screen no later than 30-calendar days after completion of each FM; and
(5) reports FM results to the court.
3.FM documenting and reporting.The CW specialist:
(1) documents the FM in KIDS Contacts screen no later than 30-calendar days after the completion of each FM;
(2) summarizes the FM results in the KIDS Contacts screen and at a minimum, includes:
(B) discussions regarding each identified barrier to permanency;
(C) action steps identified, the name of the person responsible for completing the action step, and the completion time requirement for each action step; and
(D) all FM purpose options in KIDS that apply;
(3) attaches Form 04MP046E or includes a summary of the FM on Form 04KI014E, Individualized Service Plan (ISP) Progress Report, for the next court hearing following the FM; and
(4) scans completed FM forms into KIDS File Cabinet.
4.FM, permanency meeting, and permanency report.When an FM is held as a permanency meeting to discuss recommendations regarding the child's permanency plan, information gathered during the meeting is included in Form 04KI014E, per OAC 340:75-1-18.1.The progress report includes, but is not limited to:
(1) efforts and progress by the child's parent to:
(A) comply with the ISP requirements;
(B) change behaviors or conditions; and
(C) develop protective capacities; and
(2) the status of the child including the child's behavioral, physical, and emotional health.
5.FM during trial reunification.An FM is not required for the child placed in trial reunification unless the court orders an extension of trial reunification beyond six months.During the trial reunification FM, the team:
(1) identifies issues and concerns that necessitated the trial reunification extension; and
(2) proposes a plan to address the issues including, but not limited to:
(A) recommendations for services;
(B) initiation or modification of safety plans; and
(C) other strategies to meet identified family needs as applicable and appropriate.
6.FM and adoption criteria staffing.When the child's foster parent requests adoption of the child, a local adoptive placement criteria staffing is required.
(1) The criteria staffing may occur concurrently with the FM when the FM is held within 30-calendar days of the foster parent's request.The adoption specialist's attendance at the FM is mandatory.
(2) Forms 04MP046E and 04AN020E, Adoptive Placement Criteria Staffing Documentation, are completed by the CW specialist in the county of jurisdiction.Upon completion of the FM, the CW specialist provides a copy of Form 04AN020E to the adoption specialist in attendance for processing.