340:75-8-11.1. Contracted foster care (CFC) in therapeutic foster care (TFC) or intensive therapeutic family care (ITFC) homes
(a) Purpose. A TFC or ITFC contractor may utilize certified TFC or ITFC homes to provide contracted foster care (CFC) to children in the legal custody of, or who are voluntarily placed with, Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS), or a child in an Indian tribe's custody with an OKDHS tribal agreement. TFC or ITFC contractor CFC placements are submitted for approval to the TFC field manager or field administrator prior to admission to CFC placement in a specified home. Approval may be contingent upon funding availability.
(b) Population served. Children may be considered for CFC placement in a TFC or ITFC home on a case-by-case basis. Prior approval with a designated time frame the TFC field manager or field administrator determines is required when a child:
(1) placed in TFC or ITFC, no longer requires TFC or ITFC level of care and steps down to a traditional foster care level in the current placement;
(2) needs traditional foster care placement in the same home with a sibling, who is placed in the home on TFC or ITFC level of care;
(3) needs placement in traditional foster care in the same home with his or her parent, who is in OKDHS or tribal custody, and is placed on a TFC or ITFC level of care;
(4) needs to return to a home where he or she was previously placed, following an unsuccessful permanency effort, such as trial adoption or trial reunification;
(5) appears to meet criteria for placement in TFC or ITFC and needs immediate placement when Oklahoma Healthcare Authority (OHCA) approval is not available because the placement need developed outside OHCA business hours or the business day closed without a return call from OHCA. The contractor may assist with the child's immediate placement. This placement is documented and reimbursed through the contractor's resource family partnership (RFP) contract for traditional foster care placements or by placement in CFC. OHCA approval is obtained the following business day after placement. Once OHCA approval is obtained, the child is admitted to TFC or ITFC.
(A) When OHCA denies TFC or ITFC placement and when the family agrees to keep the child, the child may remain in the CFC home.
(B) When the family does not agree to keep the child, the contractor and CWS specialist immediately coordinate to ensure a new placement referral is initiated for placement in the appropriate level of care; or
(6) a child needing traditional foster care level is placed with a specific TFC or ITFC home due to the home's unique characteristics that meet the child's needs. This placement requires prior approval of the TFC or ITFC contractor and the TFC field manager or field administrator. Examples of unique characteristics include the ability to communicate with the child in a language other than English, specialized medical training, and wheelchair accessible housing and transportation.
(c) CFC admission procedure. All admissions to CFC have prior approval from the TFC field manager or field administrator; are determined on a case-by-case basis; and are subject to funding availability.
(1) The TFC or ITFC contractor notifies the child's CWS specialist and CWS supervisor when the child is determined to no longer meet TFC or ITFC level of care criteria and is appropriate to step down to traditional foster care. The TFC or ITFC contractor and CWS staff, and tribal staff for a child in tribal custody, determine the most appropriate placement option for the child, including possible CFC placement in the current TFC or ITFC placement. When the child's team determines that remaining in the child's current TFC or ITFC home as a CFC level placement is the child's best placement option, the contractor submits the request to the TFC field manager or field administrator for approval, prior to placement.
(2) OKDHS may request the TFC or ITFC contractor consider a CFC placement for the child meeting criteria as sibling to a TFC or ITFC child, a child of a parent placed in TFC or ITFC, or a child returning to placement after failed permanency placement. When in agreement with the request for CFC placement, the TFC or ITFC contractor submits the request to the TFC liaison or liaison supervisor for approval prior to placement.
(3) The TFC or ITFC contractor submits the request for CFC placement to the TFC field manager or field administrator, the request includes, but is not limited to, the:
(A) child's name, date of birth, and KK number;
(B) county of jurisdiction and the CWS specialist's name and phone number;
(C) criteria identification for CFC placement for a:
(i) child stepping down from TFC or ITFC, include the date of anticipated step down;
(ii) child whose parent is in TFC or ITFC or sibling placements, include the name and date of placement of the TFC or ITFC sibling or parent; and
(iii) return to previous placement, include the child's previous placement and discharge dates from the proposed placement home;
(D) description of any special care or behavioral health needs for the child considered for CFC placement, and the proposed foster parent's training or skills to meet those needs;
(E) each proposed foster parent's work schedule and planned child care use while the proposed foster parent is working; ■ 1
(F) names, ages, and genders of all children currently living in the home and their relationships to the proposed foster parents;
(G) number of bedrooms in the home and how the bedrooms will be allocated with an additional child or children in the home; and
(H) summary of previous abuse and neglect referrals and all plans of compliance or corrective action plans.
(4) The TFC liaison and liaison supervisor provides a written response for request approval or denial. Email approval is a valid written response. The response is maintained in the child's file and in the foster home file when placement is completed.
(5) At the time of CFC placement, the TFC or ITFC contractor provides written notification of the placement date to the TFC liaison and liaison supervisor and the CWS specialist by submitting Form 04FT004E, Notice of Child's Location.
(6) The TFC liaison documents the child's CFC placement in KIDS. ■ 2
(d) The CFC discharge procedure.
(1) Discharge planning is coordinated between TFC or ITFC contractor staff and the child's CWS specialist and tribal worker.
(2) Discharges from CFC are reported to the TFC liaison and liaison supervisor and the child's CWS specialist within five-business days from the date of discharge by submitting Form 04FT004E.
(3) The contractor averts disruption, when possible, through the use of additional services, respite, disruption prevention meetings, and other identified methods to stabilize placement. The child must meet CFC criteria for placement in a new TFC or ITFC home.
(4) The CWS specialist is notified immediately of all changes in the child's location, including respite, within one-business day of the date of the change in location by submitting Form 04FT004E.
(e) CFC respite. The TFC or ITFC contractor ensures resource homes have access to both planned and unplanned respite care providers for children placed in CFC. Respite care may be utilized for the same reasons and time periods specified, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-8-11, for respite care for a child in TFC or ITFC placement. Any respite provider is fully informed of a child's special needs and has skills or training to meet those needs, prior to assuming care of the child, while ensuring the safety and well-being of all children in the home. Respite for children placed in CFC may be provided by accessing:
(1) a TFC or ITFC home in compliance with all certification requirements;
(2) identification and approval of an alternate caregiver, per OAC 340:75-7-65; or
(3) a traditional foster care resource, when available, by coordinating with the child's CWS resource staff. When utilizing a traditional foster care resource for respite, the contractor is responsible for paying the daily board rate directly to the foster family providing care for the child. The payment rate is the same daily rate as a traditional foster care maintenance payment per Appendix C-20, Child Welfare Services (CWS) Rates Schedule, including any difficulty of care rate in effect for the child. ■ 3
(f) TFC or ITFC contractor requirements for CFC.
(1) The TFC or ITFC contractor:
(A) provides 24-hour support services to homes providing CFC placements including crisis intervention, consultation, training, and referral to services as needed;
(B) complies with policies and procedures established for TFC or ITFC placements regarding management of a CFC placement child's property, allowance, funds, and Life Books;
(C) ensures the TFC or ITFC contractor or subcontractor staff, CFC foster parents, respite providers, and alternate caregivers comply with OKDHS policy regarding discipline, behavior management, and corporal punishment, per OAC 340:75-7-38;
(D) provides written reports to the child's CWS specialist or tribal worker on a quarterly basis, or more frequently when requested by OKDHS or the court. The report includes:
(i) a summary of progress and overall adjustment made in the placement, during or following visitation with the child's parents, siblings, and important connections;
(ii) the child's strengths and behavioral concerns;
(iii) medical or psychological appointments and outcomes; and
(iv) the child's identified need for additional services;
(E) coordinates with the child's CWS specialist to make referrals and obtain needed services for the child; and
(F) participates in all OKDHS initiated staffings or meetings regarding the child and may choose to attend court proceedings for the child. The court may mandate TFC or ITFC contractor attendance to some court proceedings.
(2) The TFC or ITFC contractor staff:
(A) immediately reports to the Oklahoma Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-522-3511, any allegations or suspicions of abuse or neglect of a child, per Section 1-1-105 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes (10A O.S. § 1-1-105) and OKDHS policy. The TFC or ITFC contractor ensures CFC foster parents understand and acknowledge that failure to report is a misdemeanor offense, failure to report with prolonged knowledge is a felony, and upon conviction, is punishable, per 10A O.S. § 1-2-101, and may result in discontinued use of the home to provide placement for children in OKDHS custody;
(B) cooperates with CWS on any referral regarding alleged abuse or neglect assessed or investigated per OKDHS policy and state law. No new placements are assigned to the home until the assessment or investigation is completed and a finding is made regarding the allegations. CWS program staff notifies the TFC or ITFC contractor of the assessment conclusion or investigation finding and jointly determines if a written plan of compliance, training, or assessment is needed prior to the home's continued use; and
(C) establishes a procedure to address and document a response to concerns in a CFC foster home that do not warrant a referral for an abuse or neglect assessment or investigation. Examples of this type of concern include, but are not limited to, a foster parent's judgment or supervision, disciplinary practices, non-compliance with policy or contract, unacceptable housing standards, inadequate clothing provisions for the child, or a lack of involvement in the child's education or independent living skills. When documented efforts to address these issues do not remove the concerns, CWS has the right to decline the use of the home.
(3) TFC or ITFC contractor makes the child's records and resource file available for review by CWS specialists, CWS TFC program staff, or tribal worker assigned to the child.
(g) Foster parent supports for CFC.
(1) Child care. OAC 340:75-7-65 provides for the availability of child care subsidy benefits for a child placed in a CFC foster home while the foster parent is employed outside of the home for at least 20 hours weekly. ■ 1
(2) Travel reimbursement. OAC 340:75-7-65 provides for CFC parent reimbursement for a child's transportation that meets specific criteria. ■ 4
(3) Difficulty of care (DOC) reimbursement. OAC 340:75-7-53 provides for the availability of DOC reimbursement for a child in CFC placement based on the child's extraordinary physical, mental, or emotional needs, per Appendix C-20. ■ 5
(h) Foster home insurance. Liability insurance is provided for TFC, ITFC, and CFC foster families for damages caused by the child in OKDHS custody according to the policy terms. Foster families have the right to receive a copy of the liability insurance policy, per Section 1-9-119 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma. Foster parents are responsible for deductibles.
(i) Child safety.
(1) The TFC or ITFC contractor ensures:
(A) the foster parent takes all necessary steps to provide for the safety of children in placement;
(B) the foster parent knows where the child is at all times. The TFC or ITFC contractor and foster parent immediately follow protocol in OAC 340:75-8-6(4) to notify CWS staff and law enforcement in the event a child is:
(i) removed by anyone without authorization;
(ii) taken into custody by law enforcement officials;
(iii) leaves without authorization or runs away; or
(iv) otherwise cannot be located;
(C) CWS is notified of any changes in the coordinated foster family circumstances that may affect the child's safety or stability in placement, including changes in finances, location, health, relationships, or household members;
(D) the CFC home and TFC or ITFC contractor comply with OAC 340:75-7-18 to immediately complete assessment of new household members; and
(E) the CFC home is not providing routine child care as a licensed or unlicensed child care provider.
(2) The TFC or ITFC contractor, the foster parent, or both obtain CWS permission before taking a child in OKDHS custody out-of-state for an overnight stay.
(3) CWS specialist reports all concerns for abuse or neglect in a CFC home to the Oklahoma Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-522-3511.
(4) The TFC or ITFC contractor participates in regularly scheduled staffings on all child abuse and neglect referrals with CWS program staff, per OAC 340:75-3-410. Each foster care resource file must contain a log of all investigations and screened-out referrals for use as a continual assessment of safety and resource home developmental needs.
(5) TFC program staff reports to the TFC or ITFC contractor for evaluation and response, all contract and policy violations, and concerns for child safety and well-being that do not meet criteria for abuse or neglect referral. The TFC or ITFC contractor reports resolution of the concerns to the TFC liaison supervisor within 15-calendar days of the report of violations or concerns.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:75-8-11.1
1. The Child Welfare Services (CWS) specialist assists the contracted foster care (CFC) parent to access child care services in compliance with Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-7-65 and Instructions to Staff.
2. The CWS specialist ensures the child is pre-approved for CFC by the therapeutic foster care (TFC) field manager and documents the new CFC placement episode with the contracted agency and CFC home.
3. The CWS specialist assists the TFC or intensive treatment family care (ITFC) contractor to locate available respite in traditional foster homes. The CWS specialist:
(1) refers the child's respite request to the local foster care resource staff using established foster care protocol for placement and notifies the TFC or ITFC contractor when respite is available;
(2) assists the TFC or ITFC contractor in utilizing the respite home by coordinating the respite schedule, transportation, and additional planning for the time the child will be in respite care; and
(3) coordinates with resource staff and the TFC or ITFC contractor to determine the reimbursment amount the CFC contractor pays to the respite provider in compliance with OKDHS Appendix C-20, Child Welfare Services (CWS) Rates Schedule, including any difficulty of care (DOC) rate in effect for the child. Payment for respite care is paid to the respite provider by the 15th of the following month.
4. Travel reimbursement. When the CFC parent is eligible for travel reimbursement, the CWS specialist submits approved Form 10AD006E, Travel Claim, directly to claims in Financial Services.
5. DOC funds are available to reimburse the CFC contractor for payments to a CFC foster parent for the additional care and supervision required due to the child's extraordinary physical, mental, or emotional needs.
(1) Levels of DOC and rates descriptors are defined, per OAC 340:75-7-53 and Appendix C-20.
(2) The CWS specialist enters the DOC recommendation in KIDS and obtains approval, per OAC 340:75-7-53.
6. When the TFC or ITFC contractor fails to satisfactorily resolve reported concerns, the CWS specialist reports all contract and policy violations and concerns for child safety and child well-being that do not meet the criteria for abuse or neglect referral to the TFC liaison.