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4000 Services to Children

4100 Assessment, Service Planning, and Coordination

4110 Diagnostic Assessments

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider performs assessments to determine the child’s service level.

4120 Assessing a Child’s Readiness for Independence

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

To determine whether the child is ready to live independently, the provider coordinates with DFPS or a Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) contract provider to complete the Casey Life Skills Assessment.

The provider ensures that the caregiver guides and supports children 14 to 18 years of age to assume progressively greater responsibility for implementing service plan strategies that are designed to meet their needs and achieve their goals.

The provider ensures that the caregiver provides guidance and support to older children (18 to 22 years of age) to help them assume primary responsibility for implementing their service plan strategies.

4200 Service Planning and Coordination

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider develops, coordinates, and implements a service plan that supports the DFPS Permanency Plan for the Child. The plan specifies the services that will be provided to the child to meet the child’s specific needs.

4210 Participants in Service Planning

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider invites the CPS caseworker to participate in service planning meetings and, and the provider should make reasonable efforts to send a representative to participate in DFPS Permanency Planning meetings.

The provider should offer children, youth, and families an opportunity to participate. They can help identify needed services and contribute to development of the service plan. 

4220 Developing the Service Plan

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The service plan must incorporate and be consistent with:

  •  the child’s permanency planning and permanency goals, as identified by DFPS;

  •  the child’s plans for normalcy, including social, extracurricular, recreation and leisure activities (see 4400 Routine Recreational and Normalcy Activities);

  •  plans to integrate the child into the community and community activities; and

  •  any short term and long term behavioral goals.

If appropriate, the service plan should also include components of the child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) and the Individual Transition Plan (ITP). These are developed by the school’s Admission, Review, Dismissal (ARD) committee.

If a child between ages 14 and 22 has taken the Casey Life Skills Assessment to determine his or her readiness to live independently, the service plan should include the results of the assessment.

The service plan should be consistent with the Early Childhood Education (ECI) Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP), if applicable.

The provider must collaborate with STAR Health and other medical professionals to ensure the child’s medical information is accurate, and that the service plan accommodates any special medical needs.

If the plan for the child is that he or she should transition to a new living arrangement or to new provider services, the service plan should specify how the provider will  help the child make the transition.

4230 Documentation of the Service Plan

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider sends a copy of the service plan to CPS within ten days of completing it, documenting the date the plan was sent.

4300 Changing Placements for Children with Primary Medical Needs

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider ensures that the child is enrolled in the Service Management program when the STAR Health contractor (Superior/Cenpatico) determines the child meets the criteria for the program.

The provider requests coordination services from STAR Health Service Management before requesting a placement change for a child with primary medical needs.

When the placement change is requested, the provider provides the child’s CPS caseworker with  information about the child’s:

  •  medical conditions and diagnoses;

  •  current healthcare needs;

  •  current services in place that must be continued at the new placement (for example, private duty nursing, personal care services, speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc.).

  •  standing or scheduled future appointments, including those with any specialist providers; and

  •  special transportation requirements.

The child’s CPS caseworker will also need a list of purchased or rented durable medical equipment or supplies, and any training the next caregiver will require.

4310 Primary Medical Needs (PMN) Meeting

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider participates in a primary medical needs (PMN) meeting, facilitated by the CPS well-being specialist, to ensure that all information needed for safe transition of the child has been provided. If a PMN meeting cannot be held before the placement change, the current provider coordinates with the child’s CPS caseworker to participate in a PMN meeting as soon as possible following the placement change.

4400 Routine Recreational and Normalcy Activities

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider ensures that the child has opportunities to participate in indoor, outdoor, school, community, and religious or spiritual activities, including unsupervised activities that are:

  •  age or developmentally appropriate;

  •  varied;

  •  interactive with peers; and

  •  of interest to the child.

This should include appropriate activities for youth with primary medical needs, intellectual or developmental disabilities, or other special medical needs or physical disabilities.

The provider ensures that the caregiver supervises these activities according to Minimum Standards for Child-Placing Agencies and the child’s service level requirements.

The provider ensures that the caregiver uses a “reasonable and prudent parent standard” to decide whether a child may participate in an unsupervised activity and intervenes, as necessary, to reduce the risk of injuries.

4410 Documentation of Normalcy Activities

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider documents opportunities provided for the child in the case record, including activities the child declined.  If the provider did not approve of some activities, the reasons must be documented.

4500 Basic Life Skills and Social Skills

4500 Basic Life Skills and Social Skills

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide October 2017

The provider must ensure that the caregiver teaches the child basic life and social skills, so that the child can care for him or herself and function in the community. The child must be offered a variety of experiential learning opportunities through the use of two or more basic life skills activities a month, whether in the home or the community.

Basic life skills activities are skills, attitudes, and new ways of thinking that the child is exposed to through hands-on learning opportunities.

Life-skills trainings are tailored to a child's skills and abilities and must include, at a minimum:

  •   performing basic household tasks;

  •   maintaining personal hygiene;

  •   doing laundry;

  •   grocery shopping;

  •   meal preparation and cooking;

  •   learning about nutrition to promote healthy food choices;

  •   using public transportation (when appropriate);

  •   balancing a checkbook;

  •   managing personal finances in accordance with the Financial Literacy Educational Program Expectations; and

  •   establishing a savings account for youth and young adults who have a source of income.

See the Resources to Aid Caregivers in Providing Experiential Life Skills Training and Normalcy Activities to Foster Youth page on the DFPS website.

 

4510 Children’s Income

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must offer, or ensure that the caregiver offers, to assist:

  •  children ages 14 or older who have a source of income to establish a savings plan and, if available, a savings account that the child can manage independently;and

  •  children ages 18 up to 22 years of age who have a source of income to obtain a savings or checking account with a financial institution.

Texas Finance Code §201.101

4520 Normal Activities

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide October 2017

The provider must offer, or ensure that the caregiver offers, age-appropriate activities suitable for the child's level of maturity and age, including activities not listed in the child's service plan. Child-placing agencies must train caregivers and use a reasonable and prudent parental standard to decide whether a child may participate in an unsupervised activity. It is not necessary to obtain prior approval from DFPS for the child to participate in normal activities.

Activities can include, but are not limited to:

  •   participating in academic and non-academic extracurricular activities at school;

  •   visiting with friends or attending regular social events;

  •   working at a job; or

  •   volunteering in the community.

4600 Routine 24-Hour Child Care

4610 Food

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must ensure that the caregiver provides food in accordance with minimum standard requirements, which state that each child must receive fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products at least once a day.

Children should have input into meal planning.

4620 Clothing and Personal Items

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider maintains an inventory of the child’s clothing and personal items that are of substantial medical, monetary, or sentimental value by:  

  •  completing an inventory of clothing and personal items at admission;

  •  updating the inventory of clothing and personal items quarterly and at discharge; 

  •  ensuring that the child (if able) and the provider sign and date the clothing and personal item inventory; and

  •  sending the clothing and personal item inventory with the CPS caseworker at discharge.

The provider must provide each child with appropriate clothing (see the Glossary for the definition of appropriate clothing). The provider ensures that the caregiver makes reasonable efforts to ensure the child wears appropriate clothing.

The child must be allowed to label his or her clothes and other items with the child’s name or initials. 

The provider ensures that the caregiver provides the child with appropriate items necessary to meet his or her hygiene and personal grooming needs. The caregiver encourages the child to use the items by:

  •  ensuring that grooming products meet the child’s ethnic hygiene and individual hair care needs;

  •  ensuring sufficient hot water is available for daily baths or showers; and

  •  providing training and education as necessary to ensure the child understands the concepts of personal hygiene and grooming and what he or she needs to do on a daily basis to achieve and maintain good hygiene and grooming.

4630 Room, Board, and Furnishings

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider ensures that the caregiver provides each child with a bed, sheets, towels, blankets, bedspreads, pillows, mattresses and other furnishings necessary to meet the child’s needs. The caregiver ensures that the items are kept clean and in good repair.

The caregiver ensures that the child has personal storage space for his or her clothing and personal items. If the child is able to look after his or her own needs the caregiver provides individual storage space in the bedroom for clothing and personal items.

The caregiver provides behavioral, gender, and age-appropriate living arrangements for each child in accordance with minimum standards. Exceptions may be made for sibling groups to keep them together.

4700 Discipline and Crisis Management

4710 Discipline

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider ensures that the caregiver uses appropriate authority and discipline practices, demonstrating trauma-focused techniques as necessary, to set limits for behavior and help the child develop the capacity for self-control.

Discipline policies must be consistent with the minimum standards.

Minimum Standards for Child-Placing Agencies, 40 TAC Chapter 749, Subchapter K, Division 6, Discipline and Punishment

Minimum Standards for General Residential Operations, 40 TAC Chapter 748, Subchapter M Discipline and Punishment

The caregiver must not:

  •  use, give permission to use, or threaten to use physical discipline with any child;

  •  threaten the child with loss of visits or any type of contact with family or siblings as a punishment or deterrent to behavior;

  •  threaten the child with loss of placement as a punishment or deterrent to behavior; or

  •  use unproductive work as a form of punishment.

Minimum Standards for Child-Placing Agencies §749.1955

Minimum Standards for General Residential Operations §748.2305

4720 De-Escalation and Crisis Management

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider ensures that the caregiver develops and implements emergency behavior intervention policies that are consistent with the minimum standards.

Minimum Standards for Child-Placing Agencies, 40 TAC Chapter 749, Subchapter L, Foster Care Services: Emergency Behavior Intervention

Minimum Standards for General Residential Operations, 40 TAC Chapter 748, Subchapter N Emergency Behavior Intervention

 

The provider ensures that the caregiver:

  •  uses de-escalation techniques until all are exhausted before using more restrictive and intrusive behavior intervention;

  •  uses trauma-informed interventions in all behavior management de-escalation and crisis management techniques;

  •  uses developmentally- and age-appropriate emergency behavior intervention techniques, as described in the minimum standards, to resolve emergencies; and

  •  manages the home in a manner that minimizes disruption during a crisis.

4800 Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Program

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

A child from birth to age 3 is eligible for Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) services. The provider ensures that the caregiver fully participates in the child’s ECI evaluation and process for developing an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) for ECI services.

Texas Education Code §29.012

4810 Applying for ECI Services

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider sends written notice to the local ECI program not later than the third calendar day after the date a child is placed into care.

Texas Education Code, §29.012

The notice must include, at a minimum:

  •  the child’s name and date of birth;

  •  the name of the caregiver;

  •  the child’s address; and

  •  contact information for the provider.

The caregiver also has the option of using the DFPS Sample Letter to ECI Program for this notification, available on the Residential Child Care Contracts and Required Forms page of the DFPS website.

4820 Addressing Concerns About the Child’s Development

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

If the provider has a concern about the physical or mental development of a child under the age of 3, the provider notifies the CPS caseworker and primary care physician.

If the caseworker or physician determine a referral is necessary, the provider applies for ECI services.

4830 Disagreement About ECI Services

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

If the provider consents to the child’s recommended and additional ECI Program services, the provider must fully participate in and support such services.

If the provider declines to consent to any of the child’s recommended and additional ECI Program services, the provider must immediately submit a detailed written report to the CPS caseworker explaining why the declined services are not in the best interest of the child.

If the provider disagrees or has a concern with any matter related to the identification, evaluation, placement, or provision of ECI services, the provider has the right to file a complaint and request a hearing.

4840 Continuing ECI Services

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

If the child was receiving ECI services before placement, the provider ensures that the services continue.

4850 Maintaining Documentation

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider enters written consent for the child’s ECI information into the child’s health passport.

The provider also gives written consent to the child’s CPS caseworker to directly access ECI records from the ECI program if necessary.

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