A. Mandatory Provisions
There are certain basic provisions that must be approved by the county commissioner's court and must be included in each contract. The county judge and the county commissioners must review these provisions and determine if they are willing to accept them. Any questions, objections, comments, or suggestions made by these officials are noted on the right side of the page. The provisions in this section are changed only with state office approval. Mandatory provisions are
1. The contract provides a county-wide, jointly financed, state administered, regionally operated program for protection of children.
2. The program is not a probation or general relief program and DFPS staff are not an extension of any law enforcement agency
3. The county must appoint a county child welfare board according to state statutes. The size, membership, and experience of the board must be determined by the county commissioner's court and DFPS. The county commissioner's court and DFPS must assign duties to the child welfare board including, but not limited to, the following:
a. Assist DFPS in identifying and meeting the needs of the children in the county who are covered under this contract;
b. Develop local policies consistent with DFPS policies related to expenditures of county funds;
c. Prepare an annual budget for child protective services and present this budget to the county commissioner's court for consideration;
d. Regularly review the expenditure of funds; and
e. Explain DFPS services to the community
According to state laws the child welfare board is an entity of DFPS for providing state and local services for children and their families and coordinating utilization of federal, state, and local funds for these services.
4. The county must maintain a foster care program which will pay the full cost of care for any child in DFPS's managing conservatorship who needs protective placement. In this program, the county must pay at least the minimum daily rate established by DFPS for foster care of children. The county must agree not to pay less for the care of AFDC and state-paid foster care children than it pays for other foster care children. DFPS will pay the Medicaid premiums for medical coverage for eligible children in foster care. DFPS will consider SSA, SSI, VA benefits, child support, and all other funds for the care of children before DFPS requests the county to provide for the children.
5. The county's total fiscal year expenditures (excluding payment for AFDC) for the protective services program must equal or exceed the amount the county appropriated or spent (whichever is less) for the fiscal year before the contract is signed. The county's annual obligation for protective services expenditures may be reduced to an amount equal to the annual amount spent by DFPS for state-paid foster care. The county must extend its protective services program to carry out the provisions of the contract and to strengthen the program.
6. The county must follow the financial and statistical reporting systems of DFPS.
7. None of the county funds provided under this contract are federal funds except for revenue sharing funds. The county must agree that the money has not been used to secure federal matching.
8. The county must keep fiscal documents to ensure that claims for federal matching funds are according to federal requirements and to allow audit of these documents.
9. The county must agree to be responsible for any deficiency in the amount of payment found after monitoring or auditing by DFPS or HHS. The county must be responsible for collecting and reimbursing any amount in excess of the proper billing amount.
10. DFPS is responsible for the daily administration of the child protective services program.
11. DFPS has total responsibility for the employment, supervision, and dismissal of employees in this program.
12. The county must agree that the child protective services program in the county meets state licensing standards for child caring and child placing.
13. The county must agree to follow DFPS's plan for personnel administration. This includes job classifications, salary scales, travel allowances, per diem expenses, and observance of state holidays and merit system provisions.
14. The county must not discriminate in employment, service, or dismissal because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or handicap. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 must be observed in all county operations.
15. The county commissioner's court, the child welfare board, and DFPS must review the contract at least annually to determine if revisions are needed. DFPS and the county must approve in writing any necessary amendments.
16. The contract begins on the effective date. It ends whenever federal, state, or county governments stop participating in the program, by mutual consent of all parties, or within thirty days after written notice. If DFPS ceases to have the legal responsibility or financial ability to fulfill this contract, the contract is immediately terminated.
B. Optional Provisions
If the county agrees to the mandatory provisions listed in Section A, DFPS and the county must negotiate the state and county responsibilities for provisions in Section 0. These negotiations are conducted individually for each county based on the circumstances in the county The DFPS region where the county is located negotiates provisions in Section 0. The region does not submit the contract outline to state office unless the region agrees to the negotiated provisions in Section 0. In the space provided, the region indicates how each provision will be met.
1. Services other than foster care including homemaker services, clothing, transportation of children, medical care not provided through Title XIX, psychological and psychiatric evaluations and treatment, day care, legal services, and other related expenses. Note: For a county to have an adequate child protective services program, other services besides foster care are required. The listed services are not funded by the state and federal governments or are inadequately funded. These services are within the responsibility of the county government.
2. Administration services for program staff located in the county These services may include office space, utilities, equipment, supplies, telephone, travel, and per diem. Note: The county is usually responsible for the office space and utilities for staff located in the county. If the county does not want to provide this, the region may agree to pay these expenses.
3. The system used in handling local funds. Note: Counties may process local funds through the regular county procedures or by the child welfare board. The county must account for children's private funds separately The county must account for private funds not designated for specific children. The county may designate how county funds are spent. DFPS staff must recommend how private funds are spent.
4. The entity responsible for maintaining fiscal documents of expenditures under the contract. Note: The county may keep this responsibility or delegate it to the child welfare board or DFPS.
C. General Provisions
Information recorded in Sections A and 0 of the contract outline (mandatory and optional provisions) will be reviewed by state office to determine if DFPS and the county can agree on the terms of a child protective services contract. DFPS and the county must resolve any questions or problems indicated in the outline before a contract may be drafted. Submitting this outline to state office does not commit DFPS to establish a contract with the county DFPS will consider the county officials' suggestions and requests. The suggestions or requests will be reflected in the terms of the contract only if state office approves them.
When a county commissioner's court officially votes to contract with DFPS, a copy of the official minutes of the commissioner's court meeting, at which this action is taken, must be submitted to the state office of DFPS.
List below the name of the county and four county commissioners exactly as they should appear on a contract. If the county commissioner's court prefers to authorize only the county judge to sign a contract, please indicate this.
Indicate the date when the county wants the contract to be effective.
Send this completed outline to:
Child Protective Services