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2000 Services to Caregivers

2100 Providing Support and Supervision of Foster Families

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider develops and implements a plan to provide support services as needed to the foster families caring for children placed by CPS.

A case manager must be available at all times to assist and support foster parents providing treatment services. Treatment Services are specialized types of child-care services designed to treat and support children with emotional disorders, intellectual and developmental disabilities, pervasive developmental disorder, and primary medical needs.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §748.61

The provider develops and implements a written plan to monitor foster homes every quarter for compliance with minimum standards and service level standards. The provider makes this plan available to CPS upon request.

The provider maintains documentation of all contact with foster families.

2110 Communication Plan

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must develop and implement a written foster family communication plan for disseminating information to the provider’s foster families. The communication plan must be available to CPS upon request; and must include, at a minimum, the following:

  •  the specific type of information that will be provided, including but not limited to:

  •  updates to the minimum standards and residential contracts,

  •  notices from DFPS, and

  •  available training opportunities;

  •  how often the information will be provided, including routine and emergency notices;

  •  methods for providing the information through telecommunication or other appropriate means; and

  •  processes for evaluating the implementation of any required actions that must be taken in accordance with the communication plan notices.

2120 Seven-Day Assessment

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must develop and implement a written plan for contacting foster homes within seven calendar days following a placement to assess:

  •  whether the child’s needs are being met in the foster home; and

  •  how the child is adjusting to the foster home.

2130 Who May Become Foster Parents

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider approves and uses as Foster Parents only U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or other qualified aliens as defined in 8 U.S.C.§1641(b).

2131 Conflicts of Interest

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider avoids financial and other conflicts of interest by prohibiting the following individuals from being a foster parent verified by the provider.

  •  any person authorized to sign a residential contract on behalf of theprovider, or any board member, officer, or employee of the CPA;

  •  any individual or person working in the day-to-day operations of the provider, either as an employee or contractor;

  •  an owner of the agency; and

  •  a member of the governing body;

If these individuals want to become foster parents they must be verified by other CPAs.

2200 Materials Provided to Foster Families

2210 Texas Health Steps

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider distributes Texas Health Steps materials to verified foster homes.  The Texas Health Steps Resource Catalog website contains these materials. The following items must be sent to each foster home at least annually:

  •  Don’t Miss a Beat brochure EPSDT-05;

  •  Checkups Help Children Stay Healthy EPSDT-08;

  •  Good Health Takes More Than an Apple a Day EPSDT-16; and

  •  Case Management CM1-182;

2220 Medicaid Medical Transportation Program

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider distributes information about the Medicaid Medical Transportation program. The Texas Health Steps Resource Catalog website contains these materials.

2230 Providing Respite Care for Foster Families

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider makes emergency caregivers available to provide intermittent alternate care when foster parents show signs of needing a break from fostering.

2300 Intermittent Alternate Care

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

Intermittent alternate care is a planned alternative 24-hour care provided for a child by a licensed Child-Placing Agency as part of the agency or home’s regulated child care. During an episode of intermittent alternate care a child is removed from the foster home for a few days to provide relief to the primary caregiver.

DFPS allows contracted Child-Placing Agencies to use Intermittent Alternate Care to:

  •  provide foster parents additional supports for child-care responsibilities;

  •  increase the retention of foster parents;

  •  decrease the number of moves a child experiences; and

  •  promote the overall development and permanency needs for the child in foster care.

2310 Duration of Intermittent Alternate Care

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

An intermittent alternate care episode lasts more than 72 hours and no longer that 14 days.

If intermittent alternate care is needed for more than 14 days, the provider contacts the CPS caseworker to secure a new placement for the child.

When a child completes an intermittent alternate care episode, the child may not return to intermittent alternate care for at least 10 days.

A foster home providing intermittent alternate care services must allow a minimum of 10 days between the completion of one intermittent alternate care episode and the beginning of the next episode, unless the home is verified exclusively to provide intermittent alternate care.

DFPS reserves the right to permit an increased length of stay when it determines that it is in the child’s best interest and has been approved in writing by the CPS caseworker’s supervisor or designee.

2320 Provider Responsibilities Regarding Intermittent Alternate Care

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

When providing intermittent alternate care, the child-placing agency must document that the intermittent alternate care provider is appropriate to ensure the health and safety of each child in intermittent alternate care.

The provider must ensure that intermittent alternate care is not detrimental to the child.

The provider must approve each episode of intermittent alternate care provided in its homes, and each time one of its homes uses intermittent alternate care.

Before arranging for intermittent alternate care services for the child the provider must obtain written approval from the CPS caseworker.

The provider must ensure that applicable Licensing minimum standards are met.

The provider must ensure that each child receiving intermittent alternate care services in one of the provider’s homes has appropriate sleeping arrangements. This includes comfortable bedding and living arrangements that are behavioral, gender, and age appropriate. Appropriate supervision must be provided at all times to ensure the child’s health and safety.

To ensure continuity of care, the provider must ensure that the following information about the child’s specific needs is provided to the intermittent alternate care provider:

  •  medical care that is currently being provided;

  •  psychiatric care that is currently being provided;

  •  the child’s medication regimen and instructions;

  •  psychological care that is currently being provided;

  •  sleeping information;

  •  discipline instructions;

  •  relevant appointments such as family and sibling visits;

  •  other pertinent information that would benefit the intermittent alternate care provider; and

  •  any expectations that the provider may have of the intermittent alternate care provider.

2330 Qualifications of Intermittent Alternate Care Providers

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must ensure that all intermittent alternate care providers used by the provider are within one of the following categories:

  •  foster parents verified by DFPS or a licensed child-placing agency;

  •  foster parents licensed by the DFPS Child-Care Licensing division;

  •  facilities that provide residential child-care services and have been licensed or verified through the DFPS Child-Care Licensing division;

  •  businesses that have a Home and Community-Support Services certificate from or are verified though the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS); or

  •  an approved individual who meets a minimum set of requirements. These requirements include:

  •  criminal background checks on all individuals or persons living in the home age 14 years of age and older;

  •  background checks on all household members age 14 years old and older;

  •  proof that the person providing intermittent alternate care has a current infant/child/adult CPR and first aid certification;

  •  proof of negative tuberculosis tests for all household members; and

  •  an agreement that the person providing intermittent alternate care agrees to follow the provider’s discipline and confidentiality policies (See the Child Protective Services handbook, 7462.1 Texas Department of Public Safety).

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