340:75-8-39. Child welfare (CW) specialist and Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) staff shared responsibilities for a child receiving Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS)
(a) Long-term plan.CW and DDS staff work together in identifying and developing the best long-term plan for a child in Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) custody who has an intellectual disability.Permanency planning begins immediately after a child enters DHS custody, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-6-31, and continues until the child returns home or an appropriate permanency plan is achieved.• 1
(b) Guardianship.When a child in DHS custody reaches 16 years of age, the CW specialist and DDS case manager review the permanency plan for transition to adulthood and complete a capacity assessment to determine necessity for an adult guardian, per OAC 340:100-3-5.Guardianship is generally not established prior to 18 years of age.
(1) When guardianship is determined appropriate for a child who is transitioning from DHS custody to independence, the CW specialist coordinates with DDS to identify and establish a guardianship relationship for the child. • 1
(2) The CW specialist, DDS area guardianship coordinator, and, when applicable, DDS volunteer recruiter, assist the potential guardian to petition for guardianship a minimum of 30-calendar days prior to the child's 18th birthday in preparation for a hearing on or immediately following the child's 18th birthday.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:75-8-39
1.Initiation of guardianship identification.
(1) By the child's 16th birthday or if the child is 16 years of age or older when placed in Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) custody, the child welfare (CW) specialist and Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) staff work together to evaluate the need for guardianship.
(2) The guardianship capacity assessment is scheduled during the team meeting closest to the child's 16th birthday.
(3) The DDS case manager, DDS area guardianship coordinator (GC), CW specialist, CW supervisor, and any placement and service providers most familiar with the child attend the team meeting that initiates the guardianship capacity assessment process.The GC chairs this meeting.
(4) The CW county of jurisdiction specialist:
(A) assists the DDS case manager in compiling a list of interested parties for notification of the guardianship capacity assessment;
(B) provides the DDS case manager with contact information, such as addresses and phone numbers of interested parties, and any concerns of any person who may be willing to serve as a guardian;
(C) completes monthly reviews of the status of guardian identification; and
(D) requests assistance from the Child Welfare Services (CWS) liaison to DDS when a guardian is not identified by the child's 17th birthday.
(5) When the CW specialist, DDS case manager, and CWS liaison to DDS are unable to identify a potential guardian for a child who receives DDS Home and Community Based Services, the DDS case manager notifies the DDS area GC who makes a referral to the contracted agency that recruits and trains volunteer guardians for DDS.
(6) When a person is identified to serve as guardian, the CW specialist and DDS case manager assist the person and child to build a relationship, when one does not already exist.
(7) The CW specialist and DDS case manager request, when possible, that the guardianship hearing be scheduled on the same day as the CW hearing ending DHS custody.