|Action||Adopt new standards for licensed private child-placing agencies.|
|Comment Period||Ends 4/1/2011|
Provider Homes 22VAC40-131-180
1. B &C These sections seem to focus on the completion of the home study application before gathering and assessing begins by the licensee. Suggest combining B & C and strike the word “completion” to allow the licensee to begin the process of gathering and assessing information before the full application is completed.
2. Home Study Requirements
J.1.b. Tuberculosis screenings is referenced in this regulation. To maintain consistency with other standards, suggest this read “tuberculosis tests or screenings.”
J.2.b (2). "verifications of provider couple's marriages and divorces" ... This is the standard which we took in the past to mean that if the provider is a couple and they cannot verify they are married, then we cannot use them. We assume that this interpretation is now incorrect considering the new anti-discrimination clause referred to above, or we should see guidance clarifying that we are only to verify marriage or divorce decrees if such documents are legally allowable in the state.
3. Home Environment
R.1. Define other weapons, as this could lead to kitchen utensils all being locked up if not provided guidance on a list of weapons to be secured.
S. "Applicant shall document that household pets etc" Need guidance on how to demonstrate this regulation to meet licensing expectations. Suggest this read “applicant shall ensure that household pets have current rabies vaccinations, present as safe to be around children, and present no health hazard to children in the home.”
4. Initial Approval or Disapproval of Home
H. "Following approval ... shall provide orientation etc." The usual practice in TFC is to do orientation and pre-service training before or during the actual home study process since training serves also as an opportunity for mutual selection. Suggest striking orientation from H.1. and be included in 22VAC40-131-210A.
5. Provider training and Development
B.Suggest “prior to renewal of approval, training should be provided relevant to the needs of the family and children served, as appropriate.” At renewal, families should not have to go through all pre-service training again. Ideally, provider is training family throughout year since last renewal to ensure relevant training is held.
6. Training and Development for Providers of Short-term foster care
7. Monitoring and Re-evaluation of Provider Homes
K.1&2 "Document each visit and contact with provider etc." Suggest guidance that this standard relates only to visits and contacts with families who have no placements and during process of evaluating. Visits and contacts made on behalf of placed children are documented and kept in the child's record and are extensive; such a requirement would cause redundancy and inefficiency if visits and contacts must be filed in both charts, not to mention lots of trees being cut down to support the paperload.
8. Capacity of Provider Home
Suggest that written justification be required when more than two unrelated children are placed in a treatment foster home. Suggest exempting sibling groups from requiring written justification.
Children's Services 22VAC40-131-250
1. Intake, Acceptance and Placement
D. "Prior to provision of IL services ... if 18 ...shall enter into a contractual agreement ..." If this new requirement does not apply to individuals receiving only routine IL skills training which all TFC programs are encouraged to deliver to all youth, then the statement should read "Prior to provision of IL placement services ..."
H1-8 regulates that these items need to be documented before accepting a child for placement. 250P states all of the required elements in250H need to be in the child’s file within 30 days of placement. Suggest regulation for 250H read “ Prior to accepting a child for placement in a foster care home, treatment foster home, short-term foster care home, or an independent living arrangement the licensee shall attempt to gather, review and document the following in the child’s file:” 250P would remain as it currently reads. This suggested language would result in all documentation required in h being in the child’s file within 30 days (as required in P) but allows both the LDSS and LCPA time to gather the information.
2. Social History
A . We appreciate the extended period of time to collect social history data to fit more in line with CTSP development. However, for children in foster care who we anticipate shall be longer term placements, but actually exit the program within the first 30-45 days, and when there is no plan for re-entry, We would suggest waiving the social history. This is an extra, unnecessary burden for unplanned placement disruptions. Suggest the regulation read complete social history at 45 days.
A1. Suggest guidance to define that subsequent short term placements are not part of the initial series of contracted short term placement, but are in fact relating to subsequent contracted short term placement series, so we don’t have to update social history every other weekend if that is the frequency of the short term placement or respite agreement.
3. Foster Home Agreements
The current Foster Home Agreement which now includes the new Code of Ethics is 5 pages long. Over 20 additional items have been added here and it likely that this new agreement might reach 10 pages or more. This does not seem reasonable especially for certain placements such as weekend respites. Items such as permissions (for out-of-state travel & fundraising) are most always not relevant for these short placements. We currently keep such agreements in the child's record and inform foster parents as needed. Often agreements such as these have to be 'agreed upon' for each instance of out-of-state travel etc., so DSS may be reluctant to sign away such permissions to a foster parent on a non-specific basis.
4. Medical, Dental, and Psychiatric Examinations and Care
Thank you for the 60 days. That will be a big help in scheduling and getting to appointments within regulated time frames.
A1. Would like clarification regarding youth placed in an emergency situation that stay fewer than 60 days. Suggest waiving 60 day requirement in such unplanned short term placements.
C11. Suggest using the word “disabling” instead of “handicapping” to be consistent with current terminology in the field.
K.2. run-on sentence.
K-M are items concerning providers/foster parents would be more reasonably addressed in section 22VAC40-131-180 for Home Study Requirement .
5. School Enrollment
6. Clothing and Spending Money for Children
7. Reports and Policies to protect Children
D2. & E. Suggest that the requirement in D2 for notifying the offices of licensing about a child’s death includes the phrase “no later than the end of the next business day following the child’s death.” However in standard 320 E. serious incidents, accidents, or injuries to the child, while including 24 hour legal notice to the guardians, etc. also require 24 hour notice to the department’s licensing representative. It seems that these incidents should be congruent with the standard notification of death, to read “on the next business day, to the department of licensing representatives.” Clarification is also suggested on defining “serious incidents” otherwise the department of licensing representatives will be overloaded with reports on school suspensions, et. as serious incident is defined in many contracts with localities in many different ways.