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3000 Provider’s Obligation to Children

3100 Providing Testimony

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

If CPS requests it, the provider must appear and testify in judicial proceedings, depositions and administrative hearings relating to the child.

If past employees or subcontractors are needed to appear and testify, the provider helps CPS to locate and notify them that they must come to court.

The provider pays for costs associated with providing testimony.

3200 Provider’s Responsibility to Participate in Meetings

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must make every effort to attend and participate in:

  •  conferences required by DFPS that include, but are not limited to, medical, school, Family Group Conferences, Permanency Conferences, Circles of Support Conferences, CPS Transition Plan Meetings, STAR Health Case Conferences and legal staffings;

  •  meetings as required by the court; 

  •  Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) activities, consistent with the Child’s CPS Transition Plan, if applicable;;

  •  any other meetings and activities required by DFPS or the court; and

  •  any meetings necessary to ensure that the caregiver is complying with a child’s plan of service.

3300 Children’s Rights

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must give all children a written copy of the CPS Rights of Children and Youth in Foster Care at the time of placement. The provider, caregiver, or CPS caseworker must review the document with the child and explain the child’s rights. If the child is 5 or older the child should sign the document.

The provider must not deny or restrict, through action or policy, any of the rights listed in the CPS Rights of Children and Youth in Foster Care or the Extended Foster Care Rights and Responsibilities.

When providing services to a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, the provider should contact the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Deafness and Hard of Hearing division to find a deafness resource specialist to help determine how best to ensure effective communication.

3310 Court Attendance

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider must give the child copies of court hearing notices.

The provider must ensure that children ages 4 and older attend permanency and placement court hearings if possible, unless prohibited by court order. If the child cannot attend the court hearing in person, the provider must ensure the child is available to participate through telecommunication, or other means allowed by the court.

The DFPS Statewide Intake hotline’s phone number must be readily available and displayed prominently in all foster care residential facilities. Foster children must be allowed telephone access to reach out to this 24-hour system, free from observation. The Foster Care Ombudsmanposter must be displayed prominently.

3400 Providing Access to Children

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider permits, at all times, access to each child placed in its care by CPS.

The provider ensures that these visits with the child are private, without any caregivers or staff present, and that during this time the child is not monitored by an open intercom, video, or other monitoring system.

This access is provided to:

  •  DFPS employees and designees;

  •  the DFPS third-party contractor for the Texas Service Level System and its employees;

  •  properly identified individuals appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction, such as volunteer or Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), guardians ad litem, and attorneys ad litem; and

  •  individuals on the child’s contact list.

3410 Planning Visits With a Child

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

All parties will exercise their right of access in a reasonable manner and attempt to plan and coordinate such visits in cooperation with the provider. The visits must be planned to minimize disruption of the child’s care.

However, DFPS staff or designees may still make unannounced visits to the provider’s facilities or to a foster home verified by a CPA. 

3420 Confirming Legal Access to a Child

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

If an individual asks for a private visit with a child and claims to be with CASA, the provider or individual caregiver should confirm this.

If the individual claims to be an employee of the CASA, request a court order and review it to be sure it is valid.

If the individual claims to be a CASA volunteer, request:

  •  a court order and review it to be sure it is valid; and

  •  a notification letter of volunteer assignment and acceptance that clarifies the individual’s appointment to the child.

If the provider or individual caregiver cannot readily determine the person’s identity or authority, they must obtain approval from the child’s CPS caseworker before granting the individual access to the child.

3500 Cultural Competence

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

Cultural competence is the ability to provide services effectively to people of various cultures, races, ethnic backgrounds, and religions in a manner that respects the worth of the individuals and preserves their dignity.

The provider ensures that the caregiver provides services to each child in an equally culturally competent manner.

The caregiver attends ongoing education in the form of training, workshops, and other educational opportunities to understand the impact race, culture, and ethnic identity has on themselves and others, and how they impact services to children and families.

3600 Maintaining the Child’s Connections

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider makes and documents efforts to ensure that the child is able to preserve desired and appropriate connections to his or her own cultural identity and community, unless expressly prohibited by the CPS caseworker. This includes friends, peers, family members, religious or spiritual connections, and connections through school and organizations. The provider enables the child to meet with these and any other groups or people to which the child is bonded and which help the child have normal interactions and experiences.

The provider documents names and contact information for these connections and provides them to the child’s family members, potential permanency resources, and DFPS, as requested.

3610 Maintaining the Child’s Contact with Siblings

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

If the child and siblings are separated but within 100 miles of each other, the provider arranges monthly face-to-face meetings in which the children are left to visit without having their conversation or actions directed by the caregiver. 

Sibling visits may not be denied, unless:

  •  a court order exists prohibiting contact;

  •  contact is contrary to the best interest of the child; or

  •  the child refuses contact (the provider must document that CPS approved or acknowledged that the child refuses contact).

3620 Providing Transportation

24 Hour Residential Child Care Requirements Guide December 2016

The provider provides or arranges all travel to ensure the child’s access to:

  •  behavioral health, medical, dental, vision, and pharmacy services;

  •  recreational, educational, and after-school activities, sibling visits, family visits, court hearings, Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) activities, Aging-Out Seminars, Youth Leadership Council activities, Permanency Conferences, CPS Transition Plan Meetings, Family Group Conferences, Circles of Support Conferences, local Texas Workforce Solutions offices, Transition Centers (if available in the area), youth’s place of employment, other normal childhood activities; and

  •  any other services necessary to fulfill the tasks on a child’s plan of service or transition plan.

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