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4500 Interstate Placements

CPS October 2017

When DFPS seeks to place a child in DFPS custody outside Texas, or another state requests to place a child in Texas, the child’s placement is subject to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). The ICPC is enacted as part of the Texas Family Code §162.101.

ICPC regulations are published online by the Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (AAICPC).

The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children applies primarily to::

  •   placements of children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect, in which the state has taken legal custody; and

  •   private placements for adoption and specialized residential care.

The ICPC does not apply when a mentally ill or developmentally disabled child is placed in a facility for acute short-term treatment for stabilization in an emergency.

Caseworkers who have questions about whether the ICPC applies to a case must consult as soon as possible with:

  •   the ICPC regional coordinator; or

  •   the attorney representing DFPS.

For an overview of the ICPC process, see the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) Resource Guide.

For information on private placements for adoption and specialized residential care, see the Private Interstate Adoption Resource Guide.

4510 Placing Children Outside of Texas

CPS October 2017

When a Texas caseworker places a child in another state, the caseworker must continue to apply all of the policies and procedures for substitute care services that apply to the child’s case. See 6000 Substitute Care Services.

4511 Documenting a Request to Place a Child Outside of Texas

CPS October 2017

Before placing a child in another state, the caseworker must request:

  •   a home screening in that state; and

  •   permission to place the child in the other state.

To begin this process, the caseworker must prepare an interstate placement request packet in IMPACT

See the ICPC Checklist.

Refer to the ICPC Resource Guide for information on completing the request packet.

The caseworker must submit the competed interstate placement request packet for supervisory approval no later than 15 calendar days from the date a home screening was determined to be necessary.

The supervisor must submit the approved home study request to the regional ICPC coordinator, who submits it to the Texas Interstate Compact Office (TICO). TICO must receive the approved home screening request no later than 30 calendar days from the date a home screening was determined to be necessary.

4512 Expedited ICPC Home Screening

4512.1 Criteria for an Expedited Home Screening

CPS October 2017

A Texas caseworker may request an expedited home screening for an Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) case, only if:

  •   the proposed caregiver has one of the relationships to the child listed below; and

  •   at least one of the circumstances listed below applies.

Valid Relationship

The proposed caregiver must be the child’s:

  •   parent;

  •   stepparent;

  •   grandparent;

  •   adult brother or sister;

  •   adult aunt or uncle; or

  •   guardian.

Cousins, great-aunts, great-uncles, and great-grandparents do not meet the criteria for the degree of relationship between the child and the proposed caregiver. Fictive kin, such as close family friends, also do not meet the criteria.

Applicable Circumstances

In addition, at least one of the following circumstances must apply:

  •   an unexpected dependency exists because of a sudden or recent incarceration, incapacitation, or death of a parent or guardian. (Incapacitation means a parent or guardian is unable to care for a child because of the parent or guardian’s medical, mental, or physical condition);

  •   the child is currently in an emergency placement;

  •   the court finds that any child in the sibling group of the child being placed has a substantial relationship with the proposed placement; or

  •   a child being placed is age four or younger. If the child age four or younger is in a sibling group with older siblings, then the older siblings may be placed in the same proposed placement with the younger child.

When an Expedited Home Screening Cannot Be Requested

A Texas caseworker may not request an expedited home screening if:

  •   the proposed placement is for a foster or adoptive home;

  •   the child is already placed in the receiving state, in violation of ICPC guidelines; or

  •   the proposed placement is with a non-custodial parent and the placement does not meet the criteria for requesting a home study specified in 4513.1 Placing a Child with an Out-of-State Non-Custodial Parent

4512.2 Initiating an Expedited Home Screening

CPS October 2017

All of the documentation specified in 4511 Documenting a Request to Place a Child Outside of Texas applies to expedited home screenings.

In addition, the caseworker must ensure that the following are uploaded or entered into the request packet in IMPACT:

  •   ICPC Criteria for Priority Home Screening – Form ICPC105;

  •   Order of Compliance (Priority Court Order); and

  •   Priority Home Study Request form.

The caseworker must send the packet to the ICPC administrator within three business days of receiving the order of compliance.

ICPC regulations require the other state’s interstate compact office to return a completed priority home screening to the Texas Interstate Compact Office within 20 calendar days from the date the other state’s interstate compact office receives and accepts the priority ICPC placement request packet.

For actions required to obtain a court order for an expedited placement, see 5812.2 Required Actions to Request a Court Order for an Expedited Placement Decision Pursuant to Regulation 7.

4513 Placing a Child with an Out-of-State Caregiver

4513.1 Placing a Child with an Out-of-State Non-Custodial Parent

CPS October 2017

A non-custodial parent is a parent with whom the child was not living at the time of removal.

The caseworker may only initiate an Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) home study request on a non-custodial parent if:

  •   the non-custodial parent’s rights to the child were previously terminated; or

  •   the court orders DFPS to initiate an ICPC home study and the caseworker:

  •   provides CPS state office with a copy of the court order; and

  •   completes the placement request packet in IMPACT (See 4511 Documenting a Request to Place a Child Outside of Texas).

If neither of the above situations applies, and a non-custodial parent living outside of Texas requests the child be placed with him or her, the caseworker must not initiate an ICPC home study request. Instead, the caseworker must assess the parent as described in 4513.11 Assessing the Non-Custodial Parent.

The assessment may still result in the caseworker initiating an ICPC home study request if the non-custodial parent chooses that option, or the court orders the home study after conducting a hearing on the parent’s ability to adequately and safely care for the child and finds that the parent is unfit. See 4513.13 If the Caseworker Has Concerns With the Placement.

For the process that the Texas Interstate Compact Office and the other state follow, see 9200 Placing Children from Texas in Another State and its sub-items.

4513.11 Assessing the Non-Custodial Parent

CPS October 2017

The caseworker must conduct an assessment to determine the non-custodial parent’s fitness, which is the parent’s ability to safely and adequately care for the child and the child’s best interest.

To assess the non-custodial parent for placement without initiating an ICPC home study request, the caseworker must take following steps.

Background Checks

Background Checks in Other States

If background check results have not already been obtained during the Investigation stage, the caseworker must request that the parent make a good faith attempt to obtain from the parent’s current state of residence:

  •   a child abuse and neglect central registry check; and

  •   a state-based criminal history check.

Only the parent, not the caseworker or DFPS attorney, may contact the other state’s child welfare office to obtain the child abuse and neglect central registry check, as this would violate the ICPC.

If the caseworker has reason to believe that the parent may have criminal history from another state besides Texas and the state where the parent currently resides, the caseworker must request that the parent obtain an FBI fingerprint-based criminal history check instead of a state-based criminal history check.

If the caseworker has reason to believe that the parent may have child abuse and neglect history from a state other than Texas and the state where the parent currently resides, the caseworker must request that the parent make a good faith attempt to obtain a child abuse and neglect central registry check from that state, in addition to obtaining one from the state where the parent currently resides.

The caseworker must work with the non-custodial parent to obtain the necessary information. However, if the caseworker cannot acquire the information, the lack of this information is not a basis for determining the parent’s fitness.

Texas Name-Based Search

The caseworker must conduct a name-based search of the parent in the Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS) database and in IMPACT.

Home Visit

The caseworker must attempt to secure a home visit of the parent’s residence by local law enforcement, CASA, or a similar entity apart from the other state’s child welfare agency.

Phone Interview

The caseworker must conduct a phone interview with:

  •   the non-custodial parent;

  •   other individuals living in the parent’s home; and

  •   the parent the child was removed from, if appropriate.

During these phone interviews the caseworker must assess the parent’s fitness. If the non-custodial parent has access to video conferencing, the caseworker must attempt to conduct the interview with that parent using video conferencing to assess the parent’s home and living situation.

If the parent is unable to obtain background check results from the state the parent is living in or the caseworker is unable to obtain a home visit, the caseworker must attempt to obtain as much information as possible through the interviews.

Issues to Address

During the interviews, the caseworker must address the following issues:

  •   the child’s age, wishes, and needs;

  •   whether the parent is prepared and able to address any special therapeutic, medical, or other needs of the child, such as trauma from abuse or neglect, physical or mental disabilities, etc.;

  •   whether the parent is financially able to provide a stable home for the child;

  •   whether other individuals who are age 14 or older and live in the home, or will have substantial contact with the child have a child abuse and neglect and/or criminal history. If the caseworker has reason to believe that child abuse and neglect and/or criminal history exist, the caseworker must request that the individual make a good faith attempt to obtain a child abuse and neglect central registry check and/or a state-based criminal history check;

  •   the nature of the abuse or neglect in the custodial parent’s home;

  •   the extent to which the parent was or should have been aware of the circumstances that caused the removal from the custodial parent;

  •   the degree of existing relationship or history with the child, including when the non-custodial parent last lived with, visited, or communicated with the child;

  •   the ability of both parents to cooperate regarding parenting and/or reunification;

  •   the terms of any existing custody order, including any restrictions on access or requirement that the non-custodial parent’s visitation be monitored.

The caseworker must also consider any other evidence of the non-custodial parent’s fitness, including but not limited to evidence that any court with jurisdiction over child custody cases has:

  •   ordered that any child be removed from that parent’s care and the parent has not regained custody;

  •   terminated the parent’s rights with regard to any of the parent’s children; or

  •   limited the parent’s contact with regard to any of the parent’s children.

The caseworker must discuss any concerns regarding the placement with the child’s attorney and/or guardian ad litem.

4513.12 If the Caseworker Does Not Have Concerns With the Placement

CPS October 2017

If, based on the information obtained from the parent’s assessment, the caseworker does not have concerns about the parent’s fitness, the caseworker must request that the Texas court:

  •   make a finding in the court order that placement with the non-custodial parent is no longer contrary to the child’s welfare;

  •   enter an order placing the child with the parent, and

  •   dismiss the case.

See 4513.14 Issues to Address Before Dismissal and Placement With the Non-Custodial Parent.

4513.13 If the Caseworker Has Concerns With the Placement

CPS October 2017

The caseworker must not base her or his concerns about the placement and the parent’s lack of fitness on the inability to obtain background checks or a home visit. The caseworker’s concerns must be based on other evidence that the parent would not be able to adequately and safely parent the child.

If, based on the information obtained from the assessment, the caseworker has concerns regarding the non-custodial parent’s fitness, the caseworker must inform the non-custodial parent that he or she can either:

  •   request that the Texas caseworker initiate an ICPC home study; or

  •   request a hearing in the Texas court to determine whether the non-custodial parent can provide a fit placement for the child.

Requesting an ICPC Home Study

If the non-custodial parent requests that the Texas caseworker initiate an ICPC home study, the caseworker must prepare the documentation specified in 4511 Documenting a Request to Place a Child Outside of Texas. The caseworker must submit the competed documentation for supervisory approval no later than 15 calendar days after the date of the non-custodial parent’s request.

The supervisor submits the approved home study request to the regional ICPC coordinator, who submits it to the Texas Interstate Compact Office (TICO). TICO must receive an approved home study request no later than 30 calendar days after the date of the non-custodial parent’s request.

Requesting a Hearing in the Texas Court

If the parent requests that a hearing be set, all parties, including DFPS, will have the opportunity at the hearing to present evidence regarding the parent’s fitness or lack of fitness.

Court Determines the Parent is Fit

If the trial court finds insufficient evidence to show the parent is unfit, the attorney representing DFPS must request that the Texas court:

  •   make a finding in the court order that placement with the non-custodial parent is no longer contrary to the child’s welfare;

  •   enter an order placing the child with the parent; and

  •   dismiss the case.

See 4513.14 Issues to Address Before Dismissal and Placement With the Non-Custodial Parent.

Court Determines the Parent is Unfit

If the court finds the evidence shows the parent is unfit, the attorney representing DFPS must request that the court order that DFPS remain managing conservator with responsibility for placement and care of the child.

If the court enters such an order, the parent may still seek placement of the child under the ICPC. If the parent requests that DFPS initiate an ICPC home study the caseworker must prepare the documentation specified in 4511 Documenting a Request to Place a Child Outside of Texas. The caseworker must submit the competed documentation for supervisory approval no later than 15 calendar days after the date of the non-custodial parent’s request.

The supervisor submits the approved home study request to the regional ICPC coordinator, who submits it to TICO. TICO must receive an approved home study request no later than 30 calendar days after the date of the non-custodial parent’s request.

4513.14 Issues to Address Before Dismissal and Placement With the Non-Custodial Parent

CPS October 2017

The Texas court must order that the child be placed with the parent and dismiss the case if:

  •   the caseworker does not have concerns with the placement after assessing the parent; or

  •   the court finds that the parent is fit after conducting the hearing. 

Before the case is dismissed, the caseworker must take the following actions.

Addressing Issues in Transporting the Child

If the parent does not have the financial means to pick the child up from Texas, the caseworker must address this issue with the court before dismissal. At that time, the court and the Texas caseworker must determine the most safe and appropriate way to get the child to the parent.

Prior or Existing Custody Orders

If the parent is not already represented by legal counsel, the caseworker must inform the parent to consult an attorney or legal aid to determine if:

  •   there are any prior existing custody orders that need to be modified; or

  •   the parent needs to seek legal custody of the child after placement.

The caseworker may refer the parent to private legal aid resources that can help the parent modify any prior existing custody orders or seek custody if there is no existing order.

Once the appropriate actions have been taken, the caseworker must request dismissal of the case.

4513.2 Placing a Child with an Out of State Custodial Parent

CPS October 2017

If the custodial parent moves out of state during the pending suit affecting the parent-child relationship (SAPCR) and placement with that parent is an option, the caseworker must initiate an ICPC home study request on the custodial parent. See 4511 Documenting a Request to Place a Child Outside of Texas

4513.3 Placing a Child with a Relative

CPS October 2017

Placement with relatives must comply with DFPS’s policy and the other state’s requirements for such placements. If the other state does not require the relative to be verified or licensed, the relative may qualify for the Texas Kinship Program including integration and reimbursement funding.

See:

4511 Documenting a Request to Place a Child Outside of Texas

4114.12 Placement With Relatives and Fictive Kin

6652 Explaining the CPS Financial Assistance Available to a Kinship Caregiver

6680 Permanency Care Assistance (PCA)

4513.4 Placing a Child With a Foster Family Outside of Texas

CPS October 2017

In some situations, DFPS may place a child with a foster family that lives outside of Texas.

If the foster family is licensed or verified, the caseworker must first:

  •   notify the supervisor and program director before proceeding with an ICPC request; and

  •   obtain approval from the program administrator (PA) before submitting the ICPC placement request packet.

In order to approve the request, the PA must determine that:

  •   it is in the child’s best interest to be placed with the foster family;

  •   the foster family is able to meet the child’s ongoing medical and financial needs;

  •   the foster family is licensed by a private child-placing agency (CPA) in the other state and the CPA has entered into a contract with DFPS, or the foster family is licensed through the appropriate state agency in the other state.

Placing a child With a Close Friend of the Child’s Family

While DFPS treats the placement of a child with close friends of the child’s family like a placement with a relative, most states require close friends to be trained and licensed as foster caregivers.

Before submitting an ICPC placement request packet, the caseworker must research (through the regional ICPC coordinator or ICPC staff at the DFPS state office) the other state’s policy on placing a child with a close friend of the family.

Examples of Out-of-State Placements

The child’s birth family has moved to another state, and the child needs to be placed with a caregiver who lives near the birth family.

The child has grown attached to a foster family that must move outside of Texas and moving with the foster family will not affect the child’s or family’s ability to achieve the goals established in the child’s permanency plan.

For detailed information about coordinating a foster child’s move with a foster family, see 4513.6 If a Texas Caregiver Moves to Another State.

4513.5 Placing a Child With an Adoptive Family Outside of Texas

CPS October 2017

In some situations, a Texas caseworker may place a child in DFPS custody for adoption with a family that lives outside of Texas.

Documentation

To request permission to place a child for adoption in another state, the caseworker must prepare the IMPACT documentation specified in 4511 Documenting a Request to Place a Child Outside of Texas.

The caseworker must include additional information in the cover letter and ICPC Placement Request Packet.

Cover Letter

The cover letter must:

  •   specify whether DFPS will support the adoption financially, as identified in:

  •   1700 Adoption Assistance Program, and

  •   1760 Medicaid Coverage, the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance, and Adoption Assistance;

  •   identify any other sources of financial assistance, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI); and

  •   indicate whether the adoption will be consummated in Texas or the other state.

Family Verified by Private CPA

If the prospective adoptive family is approved through a private child-placing agency (CPA) in the other state, the cover letter must also include a written statement confirming that DFPS has a current contract in place with the out-of-state CPA. The child’s Texas caseworker must obtain confirmation of the contract.

See 8263 Out-of-State Adoption Placements.

ICPC Placement Request Packet

The caseworker must upload all of the following into the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) placement request packet:

  •   the court order terminating parental rights and appointing DFPS as the child’s permanent managing conservator;

  •   the results of the adoptive home screening, if it has been completed (actual FBI results will not be released to other states); and

  •   the child’s Health, Social, Educational, and Genetic History (HSEGH) report.

For information on the HSEGH report, see:

6921 Completing the Health, Social, Educational, and Genetic History (HSEGH) Report

For additional information about placing children for adoption in other states, see:

6935 Adoptive Homes in Other States

6946 Making Placements in Other States

4513.6 If a Texas Caregiver Moves to Another State

CPS October 2017

If a child’s caregiver moves to another state, and it is in the child’s best interest to move with the caregiver, the caseworker must ask the other state for permission to continue the placement there.

The caseworker must prepare the same documentation specified in 4511 Documenting a Request to Place a Child Outside of Texas. The caseworker also must:

  •   indicate, in the Interstate Compact Cover Letter in IMPACT, that the child has been placed with the caregiver and the child has already moved with that caregiver to the other state.

  •   include in the ICPC placement request packet:

  •   the caregiver’s most current home screening, including verification that all required criminal background checks are completed according to the placement type and that all persons required to undergo a criminal background check are cleared. Actual FBI results must not be released to other states; and

  •   the IMPACT Form 2261 Compact Report ICPC (100B). The form includes information about the child’s caregiver and the placement date.

4513.61 If the Caregiver Is a Foster Family

CPS October 2017

If the child’s caregiver is a foster family, the ICPC placement request packet must include a copy of either of the following, verifying the family as a foster family in Texas:

  •   a license issued by a child-placing agency (CPA) in Texas; or

  •   a certificate issued by DFPS (Form 2909 Foster Only Certificate or Form 2912 Foster Adoptive Home Certificate, Dual-Licensed).

If the foster parent is licensed or verified, the caseworker must follow 4513.4 Placing a Child With a Foster Family Outside of Texas.

Effective Period of Texas Licensure

The foster family’s Texas license or verification remains in effect for up to 90 days while the family applies for a license in the other state. A DFPS program administrator (PA) can extend the family’s Texas licensure for 60 additional days, if it is clear that the family will be licensed in the other state during the extension.

Other states generally accept a family’s Texas licensure or verification, as long as the license or verification remains in effect.

If the caregiver’s application for a foster care license in the other state is denied, the caseworker must have the child returned to a placement in Texas within 5 business days.

4513.62 Adoptive Families

CPS October 2017

If the caregiver is an adoptive family, the placement request packet must include the additional documentation specified in 4513.5 Placing a Child With an Adoptive Family Outside of Texas.

If the adoptive parent is licensed through a child-placing agency (CPA) in Texas, the caseworker must:

  •   notify his or her supervisor and program director before proceeding with an ICPC request; and

  •   obtain approval from his or her program administrator (PA) before submitting the ICPC placement request packet.

4513.7 Placing a Child in a Residential Treatment Center Outside of Texas

CPS October 2017

A Texas caseworker may place a child under DFPS conservatorship in an out-of-state residential treatment center if:

  •   an out-of-state facility is better equipped to meet a child’s specific needs; or

  •   there are no Texas facilities with available capacity to meet the child’s needs.

Before submitting an ICPC (Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children) Placement Request to place a child in an out-of-state residential treatment center, the caseworker must:

  •   ensure that both of the following contracts are executed and in place:

  •   a child-specific contract for placement out-of-state, in a residential treatment center; and

  •   a separate contract for supervision; and

  •   notify Texas Interstate Compact office (TICO) and the residential treatment placement coordinator of the proposed placement.

The CPS associate commissioner or designee must approve the child specific contract for placement. The regional director or designee must approve the contract for supervision.

Upon approval of the child-specific residential contract, the caseworker must submit the ICPC Placement Request through IMPACT, as specified in 4511 Documenting a Request to Place a Child Outside of Texas.

TICO assists in locating a licensed social worker in the other state to contract with Texas for courtesy supervision. The contract for supervision services requires monthly face-to-face contact between the contractor and the child placed in the out-of-state residential treatment. The contractor is required to provide a monthly supervision report to the child’s Texas caseworker.

Additionally, the child’s Texas caseworker must make monthly contact with the child by telephone or electronic means such as Skype or email.

The caseworker must thoroughly document in IMPACT all contacts made by the contractor and caseworker.

4513.8 If a Juvenile Probation Officer Requests Placement in a Licensed Residential Facility

CPS October 2017

A juvenile probation officer in either Texas or another state may request to place an adjudicated delinquent in a licensed residential facility.

This type of placement may be covered either by the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) or by the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Juveniles (ICJ).

See the ICPC Resource Guide for more information.

4514 Obtaining the Other State’s Decision on an Interstate Placement

CPS October 2017

After the caseworker completes the interstate placement packet, IMPACT forwards the placement packet to the regional Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) coordinator. The regional ICPC coordinator reviews the packet, and if he or she approves it, forwards it to the Texas Interstate Compact Office (TICO). After reviewing the packet, TICO forwards the placement packet to the interstate compact office in the other state, for a review and decision.

4514.1 Notification

CPS October 2017

The other state’s compact office notifies Texas CPS about its decision by completing Section IV of the Placement Request (100A) in IMPACT, and sending TICO:

  •   one copy of the home screening; and

  •   one copy of the signed Placement Request (100A) with the placement recommendation.

TICO uploads the home screening and signed Placement Request (100A) in IMPACT, which notifies the caseworker.

4514.2 If Permission Is Denied

CPS October 2017

If the receiving state does not approve a placement request, DFPS must not recommend the placement to the court. Making a placement in violation of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas.

Texas Family Code §§162.102 Article IV, 162.107

If the other state’s compact office does not approve the placement request, the child’s Texas caseworker must:

  •   notify the Texas court that the other state denied the placement; and

  •   recommend against placing the child with that caregiver.

The child’s Texas caseworker must close the ICPC case in IMPACT and keep in the external paper file all of the copied, faxed, or emailed documents used to create the placement request packet.

If the court orders the child to be placed in an unapproved placement, the placement violates the law and the other state is not obligated to provide courtesy supervision. In such an instance, DFPS must object to the placement on the record.

See 5314 Court Orders That Violate the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

4514.3 If Permission Is Granted

CPS October 2017

If the other state’s compact office approves the placement request, the child’s Texas caseworker must seek the court’s approval to proceed with the placement.

If the court approves the placement, the child’s Texas caseworker must maintain a file on the approved interstate placement request packet, including all of the copied, faxed, or emailed documents used to create the placement packet.

Extension

Approval of an ICPC placement is valid for six months from the date that the other state’s interstate compact officeapproves and signs the Placement Request (100A). DFPS has until the end of the approval period to determine whether to place the child with the family.

The other state’s interstate compact office may give an extension to allow a child to complete the school year or semester. The child’s Texas caseworker must notify TICO for approval of an extension before the Placement Request (100A) expires. If an extension goes beyond six months, the approval expires and the Texas caseworker must begin the approval process again.

4515 Placing the Child in the Other State if the Placement is Approved

CPS October 2017

Once the other state’s interstate compact office approves the placement, and a Texas court allows the placement to proceed, the Texas caseworker must make the necessary arrangements to place the child outside of Texas.

In addition, the caseworker must notify the regional well-being specialist to ensure that any medical needs for the child are arranged before the child’s placement in the receiving state.

The regional well-being specialist must be notified at least 30 days before the child’s placement, whenever possible.

See the ICPC Resource Guide for more information on well-being specialists.

While the child is in the other state, the other state’s agency provides ongoing supervision. See 6418 The Supervision Services Expected From Another State.

4515.1 Notifying the Other State

CPS October 2017

After the child is placed in the other state, the child’s Texas caseworker must:

  •   document the child’s placement in IMPACT within 24 hours, or by 7PM the next business day;

  •   complete a Form 2261 Compact Report ICPC (100B) in IMPACT, within seven business days of the child’s placement; and

  •   submit the 100B to the supervisor for approval.

IMPACT submits the 100B to the regional ICPC coordinator and Texas Interstate Compact Office (TICO) as secondary approvers.

TICO prints out the 100B from IMPACT, and signs, dates and sends it to the receiving state to notify the state that the child has been placed and to initiate courtesy supervision. TICO uploads the signed copy of the 100B to the child’s case in IMPACT.

The Texas caseworker must maintain monthly contact with the child.

See:

6411.6 Contacts with Out-of-State Placements

6418 The Supervision Services Expected From Another State

4515.2 Requirement That the Court Retain Jurisdiction After Making an Interstate Placement

CPS October 2017

Once a child is placed in the other state, the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) requires DFPS to retain jurisdiction until:

  •   the child:

  •   is adopted;

  •   reaches the age of majority;

  •   becomes self-supporting; or

  •   the receiving state agrees with discharging the child or dismissing the legal case.

Texas Family Code §162.102 Article V

This requirement is intended to ensure that DFPS remains legally responsible for the child until the case is resolved. As long as DFPS retains jurisdiction, if the placement is disrupted, or the child requires additional services or funding, DFPS remains responsible for accepting custody of the child or making an alternative approved placement.

4515.3 Canceling a Placement Request

CPS October 2017

If for any reason the child’s Texas caseworker and supervisor decide not to place the child with the approved caregiver in the other state, the caseworker cancels the placement request.

To cancel a placement request, the caseworker must:

  •   complete Form 2261 Compact Report ICPC (100B) in IMPACT;

  •   obtain approval from the supervisor through IMPACT for canceling the placement; and

  •   submit 100B to the regional ICPC coordinator.

The regional ICPC coordinator approves the placement cancellation and submits 100B to TICO for secondary approval.

TICO prints out the 100B from IMPACT, and signs, dates and sends it to the receiving state to notify the state that the placement request is cancelled. TICO uploads the signed copy of the 100B to the child’s case in IMPACT.

4516 Closing an ICPC Case

4516.1 Final Recommendation

CPS October 2017

If the child’s Texas caseworker and the other state’s agency agree that the child’s out of state placement no longer needs to be supervised, the other state’s agency prepares a final supervisory report recommending a legal action that will close the child’s case and complete the interstate placement process.

The final actions that the Texas court may take include, but are not limited to:

  •   terminating DFPS’s appointment as the child’s managing conservator;

  •   consummating the child’s adoption, or terminating DFPS conservatorship to allow a court in the other state to consummate the adoption;

  •   authorizing the child to be legally emancipated in the other state; or

  •   acknowledging that the child has reached majority age.

The other state’s agency sends a final report to the other state’s compact office.

If the other state’s compact office agrees with the agency’s recommendation:

  •   the other state’s compact office prepares an ICPC transmittal letter to that effect and sends the ICPC transmittal letter and the final report to the Texas Interstate Compact Office (TICO);

  •   TICO sends a copy of the ICPC transmittal letter and a copy of the report to the regional ICPC coordinator;

  •   the ICPC coordinator forwards the copies of the ICPC transmittal letter and report to the caseworker; and

  •   the caseworker requests the recommended court order to terminate jurisdiction and close the case.

4516.2 Agreement

CPS October 2017

The Texas caseworker must notify the following of the final recommendation:

  •   CPS;

  •   the other state’s agency;

  •   the other state’s interstate compact offices;

  •   TICO;

  •   the caregiver; and

  •   the child (if appropriate).

All of the parties must agree with the final recommendation before the court holds a final hearing. If any participant does not agree, the other state’s agency must continue supervising the placement until a recommendation is developed that everyone agrees to.

The Texas caseworker must document all efforts to obtain agreement of the final recommendation.

4516.3 The Final Court Order

CPS October 2017

When a court issues its final order, the caseworker must:

  •   complete Form 2261 Compact Report ICPC (100B);

  •   obtain a copy of the final court order;

  •   keep one copy of each document (the report and court order) in the child’s case file; and

  •   send one copy of each document to the regional ICPC coordinator, who then forwards the documents to TICO.

TICO then:

  •   closes its file on the child; and

  •   sends Form 2261 Compact Report ICPC (100B) and the final court order to the receiving state’s interstate compact office for closure.

If the court order that completes the interstate placement process involves the child’s discharge from substitute care, the caseworker must, to the extent possible, apply the policies specified in 6180 Discharging Children From Substitute Care.

4520 Placing Children From Another State In Texas

CPS October 2017

Types of Placements

Under the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), agencies in other states can request a home study for any of the following types of caregivers in Texas:

  •   Parents that have been found to be unfit (See 4522 Accepting Requests From Other States to Place With a Non-Custodial Parent Living in Texas)

  •   Relatives

  •   Foster families

  •   Adoptive families

  •   Licensed residential-care facilities

Working Under the ICPC

The Texas Interstate Compact Office (TICO) must authorize every ICPC placement with a Texas caregiver.

4521 Illegal Interstate Placements

CPS October 2017

If a Texas caseworker learns or suspects that a child has been placed across state lines without the approval of an interstate compact office, even if a judge has ordered the placement, the caseworker must immediately notify the Texas Interstate Compact Office (TICO) in writing about the placement.

Upon notification of the illegal placement, TICO contacts the sending state’s interstate compact office to determine whether the placement is subject to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC).

If the other state’s agency retains legal jurisdiction, TICO:

  •   asks the other agency for an interstate placement request; and

  •   refers the case to the appropriate regional office for a home screening and a placement recommendation.

Court Has Terminated Legal Jurisdiction

If the court in the other state has terminated its legal jurisdiction and given the child’s caregiver full legal custody, the placement is no longer subject to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

If, during the home screening process, the caseworker discovers that the other state’s jurisdiction has ended, the caseworker must:

  •   stop the home screening;

  •   notify the ICPC regional coordinator of the legal status; and

  •   send TICO a memorandum explaining the situation, along with a copy of the court order terminating the other agency’s jurisdiction (if available).

TICO closes the IMPACT case.

4522 Accepting Requests From Other States to Place With a Non-Custodial Parent Living in Texas

CPS October 2017

The Texas Interstate Compact Office (TICO) will only process incoming parent home study requests on parents who have been found to be unfit. In order to prove unfitness, the other state must provide either:

  •   an order from a court in any state with jurisdiction over child custody matters that has made a finding that the parent is unfit; or

  •   an order, from the court in the other state that has jurisdiction over the current matter, that the ICPC be initiated on the parent.

4522.1 Completing a Home Screening When a Child From Another State Is Placed in Texas

CPS October 2017

Assignment and Notification

If another state wants to place a child in Texas, the other state’s agency completes an interstate placement packet (including a home screening request) and submits it to that state’s interstate compact office, which then forwards it to the Texas Interstate Compact Office (TICO).

TICO reviews the packet for completeness. If the packet is complete, TICO creates an ICPC case in IMPACT.

The regional ICPC coordinator assigns a caseworker, or a contractor under contract with DFPS, to complete the home screening.

Conducting the Home Screening

The caseworker or contractor assigned to conduct the home screening must:

  •   review the placement request packet; and

  •   contact the family with whom the sending agency wants to place the child.

If the caseworker or contractor needs more information to complete the home screening, the caseworker or contractor must contact the regional ICPC coordinator.

The caseworker or contractor must complete Form 6588 A Kinship Caregiver Home Assessment. The caseworker or contractor must complete the form whether the caregiver is the child’s parent, the child’s relative, a foster parent, an adoptive parent, or a dual license parent.

Foster or Adoption Referrals

A completed Form 6588 Kinship Caregiver Home Assessment does not satisfy the requirements for placement as a foster, adoption, or dual license parent placement. The caregiver must still complete the training required by the DFPS Child Care Licensing Division and the minimum standard rules for licensing.

If the completed Form 6588 recommends placement, the ICPC coordinator will forward the referral to a foster-adoption (FAD) supervisor, who assigns a FAD caseworker to complete the process for verifying and approving the placement.

See the ICPC Resource Guide, under Foster Care Placements, for guidelines on actions DFPS takes based on the foster home’s verification or licensure status.

Parent or Relative Referrals

A completed Form 6588 satisfies the requirements for placement when requesting an ICPC home screening for a parent or non-verified relative placement.

If another state wants to place the child with a relative, or a non-custodial parent who has been found to be unfit, the caseworker completing the home screening follows the guidelines in 6623 Complete a Risk Assessment and a Written Home Assessment of the Kinship Caregiver.

Approving the Home Screening

Federal law requires that the other state’s interstate compact office receive the completed Form 6588 Kinship Caregiver Home Assessment no later than 60 calendar days from the date that TICO receives the request.

42 U.S.C. §671(a)(26)

A CPS supervisor must read and sign the home screening and provide a separate placement recommendation.

The CPS supervisor conducting the review must verify that all required criminal background checks are completed according to the placement type and that all persons required to undergo a criminal background check are cleared. The home screening addresses specific convictions; however, actual FBI results are not released to other states.

After receiving supervisory approval of the home screening, the regional ICPC coordinator uploads the approved home screening into the ICPC case in IMPACT.

In the ICPC Resource Guide, see Understanding the Interstate Placement Process for more information on the process by which the other state receives the Texas home screening and placement recommendation, makes a placement decision, and proceeds with placement in Texas.

4523 Notification and Supervision

CPS October 2017

Arranging the Placement

After the Texas Interstate Compact Office (TICO) approves a request to place a child in Texas and the court in the other state orders the placement, the other state agency communicates directly with the caregiver.

Notification

After the child has been placed, the other state’s compact office notifies TICO by forwarding a copy of a completed Form 2261 Compact Report ICPC (100B). TICO updates IMPACT with the information from the 100B. TICO is always the primary on the case. TICO assigns the case to the ICPC regional coordinator as the secondary staff.

The regional ICPC coordinator must notify the designated CVS program director or supervisor to assign a courtesy caseworker to supervise the placement. The designated CVS program director or supervisor must assign the courtesy supervision caseworker within two days of receiving notification. The ICPC regional coordinator assigns the courtesy supervision caseworker as the secondary staff.

Recording the ICPC Placement in IMPACT

Once the courtesy supervision caseworker is assigned to the placement, he or she must enter the placement in IMPACT within 24 hours, or by 7PM the next business day

To record the new placement, the courtesy supervision caseworker must:

  •   review information on the Form 2261 Compact Report ICPC (100B);

  •   open the Placement page in the child’s Substitute Care stage; and

  •   select the resource identification number by choosing the correct resource or person from the directory.

The courtesy supervision caseworker must supervise the placement as described in 6417 Supervising a Child Placed in Texas From Another State.

4524 Requirement That the Court Retain Jurisdiction After Making an Interstate Placement

CPS October 2017

Once a child is placed in Texas, the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) requires the other state to retain jurisdiction until:

  •   the child:

  •   is adopted;

  •   reaches the age of majority;

  •   becomes self-supporting; or

  •   the receiving state agrees with discharging the child or dismissing the legal case.

Texas Family Code §162.102 Article V

This requirement is intended to ensure that the other state remains responsible for the child until the case is resolved. As long as the other state retains jurisdiction, if the placement is disrupted, or the child requires additional services or funding, the other state’s agency remains responsible for making an alternative approved placement.

4525 If a Caregiver Moves During the Supervision of an ICPC Case

4525.1 Caregiver Moves Within Texas

CPS October 2017

If a child and a caregiver in an interstate placement in Texas move to another county in Texas during the supervisory period of an Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) case, and the other state does not notify the Texas Interstate Compact Office (TICO):

  •   the caseworker supervising the placement must send written notice of the move to TICO and the new region’s regional ICPC coordinator, within 24 hours of becoming aware of the move;

  •   the supervisor must reassign the ICPC case to a courtesy supervision caseworker in the new area within two days of receiving notification.

The newly assigned caseworker must begin supervising the placement immediately upon receiving notification. The caseworker must conduct a face-to-face supervision within seven days of notice being notified.

See 6314 Services to Children and Parents Across Regional Lines for policy regarding ongoing courtesy supervision.

When a licensed foster family home moves to new address, the DFPS Child Care Licensing (CCL) Division must renew the home’s license. The foster family itself, however, is responsible for notifying CCL of the move.

See 7624.2 If Foster Families Move Out-of-State.

4525.2 Caregiver Moves Outside of Texas

CPS October 2017

If a child and a caregiver move to another state, or return to the other state, the Texas caseworker must:

  •   send TICO written notice of the move; and

  •   close the case in IMPACT.

4526 Interstate Placement Disruption

CPS October 2017

If an interstate placement in Texas fails and the child can no longer remain with the caregiver, the caseworker supervising the placement must:

  •   notify the Texas Interstate Compact Office (TICO) immediately; and

  •   take whatever other actions are necessary to protect the child from harm.

TICO will:

  •   contact the other state’s interstate compact office to recommend that the child return to the other state;

  •   send a closing report to the other state when the child returns to that state; and

  •   close the case.

Under the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), the other state’s agency must reimburse DFPS for any expenses DFPS incurs in the child’s removal, temporary placement, or both. If the other state’s agency does not do so, the caseworker must contact TICO for assistance.

4527 Closing an ICPC Case

4527.1 Final Recommendation

CPS October 2017

The supervisory period in most interstate placements is six months.

If the Texas caseworker supervising an interstate placement in Texas and the other state agency agree that the placement no longer needs to be supervised, the Texas caseworker must prepare a final supervisory report recommending a legal action that closes the child’s case and complete the interstate placement process.

The final actions that the court in the other state may take include, but are not limited to:

  •   dismissing the other state agency’s appointment as the child’s legal custodian;

  •   placing the child in the caregiver’s legal custody;

  •   consummating the child’s adoption, or dismissing the other state agency’s custodianship to allow a court in Texas to consummate the adoption;

  •   authorizing the child to be legally emancipated in Texas; or

  •   acknowledging that the child has reached majority age.

4527.2 Agreement

CPS October 2017

The Texas caseworker supervising the interstate placement in Texas must upload the final supervision report to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) case in IMPACT. The Texas Interstate Compact Office (TICO) must print and sign the report and send it to the other state’s interstate compact office for review and agreement.

The other state’s agency notifies TICO of the final recommendation:

All parties must agree with the final recommendation before the court holds a final hearing. If any participant does not agree, the Texas caseworker must continue supervising the placement until a recommendation is developed that everyone agrees to.

The caseworker must document all efforts to obtain agreement of the final recommendation.

4527.3 The Final Court Order

CPS October 2017

The other state’s compact office forwards TICO:

  •   the Form 2261 Compact Report ICPC (100B); and

  •   the final court order.

TICO uploads the documents into the ICPC case in IMPACT and notifies the regional coordinator and courtesy worker through IMPACT. The Texas courtesy worker closes the case.

If the other state’s agency sends the Form 2261 Compact Report ICPC (100B) and final order directly to the Texas caseworker supervising the placement, the caseworker must upload the documentation into the ICPC case in IMPACT and notify TICO by email.

4527.4 Ending the Placement in IMPACT

CPS October 2017

The caseworker must close the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) case in IMPACT once both Texas and the other state agree on closure and the other state has sent the Form 2261 Compact Report ICPC (100B) and final order to TICO. See 4527.2 Agreement.

Before IMPACT case closure the caseworker must:

  •   document any contacts made during the month of closure and notification to family that the ICPC case is being closed;

  •   upload the Form 2261 Compact Report ICPC (100B) if obtained from the sending state (the case can be closed without the 100B if the other state only sends dismissal orders and confirmation that it has closed its case);

  •   upload the final order dismissing the sending state’s legal jurisdiction;

  •   update any information that is not current, such as the placement address and principals.

4530 Interstate Visits

CPS October 2017

Visits Outside Texas

If a prospective caregiver, who resides outside Texas, requests that a child in DFPS conservatorship visit that caregiver in the caregiver’s state, the caseworker must notify TICO in writing.

Before approving the visit, TICO:

  •   verifies that the request meets the criteria for an ICPC visit;

  •   verifies that the child will return to the sending state at the end of the visit; and

  •   notifies the receiving state’s interstate compact office prior to the visit.

A visit is defined as a stay that lasts for fewer than 30 calendar days. See Regulation nine of the ICPC Regulations.

A stay that lasts longer than 30 calendar days may be considered a visit if it begins and ends during a child’s vacation from school.

Visits In Texas

Whenever a caseworker learns that a child from another state is staying in Texas, the caseworker must notify the Texas Interstate Compact Office (TICO) immediately, in writing, if the stay is:

  •   longer than 30 calendar days; and

  •   without ICPC approval.

If the placement is subject to the ICPC, TICO requests that the sending state initiate an ICPC placement packet.

If TICO does not receive an ICPC placement packet, TICO staff request that the child be returned to the sending state.

See 5310 The Requirement for Staff to Elevate Certain Court Orders and its sub-items.

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