V. G-2. Clothing and Incidental Expenses

Effective 3/3/00

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V. G-2. Clothing and Incidental Expenses

Effective 3/3/00

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PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to assure that children in the care and custody of the Department are adequately and appropriately clothed.  The Department will provide clothing for children in its legal custody and may provide clothing for children and young adults for whom the Department is providing care.

 

This policy serves to provide consistency and fairness in the purchase of clothing for children and youth.

 

LEGAL BASE

Title 22, MRSA §4062 establishes the Department’s responsibility to "provide payments to facilities caring for children to meet the costs of clothing, board and care within the limits of available funds."

 

PRACTICE CONSIDERATIONS

It is important that caseworkers be aware of how children for whom we are responsible are dressed.  Children in the Department’s custody and care should always be dressed appropriately for the weather.  Children in the Department’s care and custody should never be able to be subjected to teasing or humiliation due to inadequate clothing or clothing that is not in keeping with prevailing community standards.

 

PURCHASE AND PAYMENT FOR CLOTHING

Clothes are purchased for a specific child from local stores.  Clothing purchases should be in line with prevailing community standards.  The responsibility for budgeting for and purchasing appropriate clothing lies with:

1.The foster parent or child care Facility who receives a clothing allowance payment, or
2.The caseworker who authorizes purchase through a generation of a service authorization and printing of a Purchase Order in Event Tracking in MACWIS.

 

ON-GOING CLOTHING NEEDS

Children shall be placed on a clothing allowance immediately after coming into custody, and into voluntary care if the voluntary agreement so states.

 

Exceptions to the requirement that  children be placed on clothing allowance may be made:

1.When it is anticipated that the child will be dismissed within a very short time.
2.When it is anticipated that the child will remain in a specific foster home/Facility for a very short time and no clothing will be purchased for the child by the foster parent/Facility.
3.When a child is in a living arrangement, such as a boarding school, and there is no appropriate person to receive and manage the clothing allowance.
4.In the rare instance the child’s caretaker is unable to manage the clothing allowance properly.

 

In all of the above instances when a child is in need of clothing the clothing will be purchased by use of a purchase order.

 

When children are returned to their own families, any authorization of clothing will be consistent with the case plan and requires approval of the Casework Supervisor.

 

CLOTHING ALLOWANCES

Clothing allowances are established for three age groupings.  Daily rates for those age groups effective 3/1/2000 are:

 

 Birth through age 3                $1.52

 Age 4 through age 10                $2.47

 Age 11 through 20                $3.67

 

Increases in monthly clothing allowances are made effective on the child’s fourth or eleventh birthday.  The clothing rates are programmed into MACWIS and the program will automatically advance the date on the child’s birthday.

 

Purchase of clothing authorized by the child’s caseworker or supervisor via either the Purchase Order, and/or clothing allowance may not exceed the amount of the established clothing allowance for a child of the particular child’s age, except as provided for in Clothing at Entry into Custody.

 

In addition to the monthly allowance each child may receive an additional allotment to be used for clothing and incidental items such as school supplies.  It is expected that these allotments will be used to buy all necessary clothing and footwear including winter coats and boots.

 

 Beginning of the school year with issuance on August 1:

Age 0-4                        $100.00

Age 5-10                  200.00

Age 11-17                  350.00

 

 Beginning of spring with issuance on April 15:

Age 0-4                        $  65.00

Age 5-10                  100.00

Age 11-17                  250.00

 

These allotments will be automatically calculated and sent to the majority of foster children.  The exceptions are for children currently placed in emergency shelters, shelters for homeless youth, foster children on their own or any child with no current placement or clothing allowance.

 

CLOTHING FOR CHILDREN AT ENTRY TO CUSTODY OF CARE

Suitable clothing the child brings with him may be supplemented when needed to provide him clothing appropriate for the seasons by authorizing purchase(s) by use of Purchase Order in MACWIS.  Clothing at entry into care should not exceed the following amounts the

 

 winter and summer allotment plus
 six months of clothing.

 

Commitment Occurs:

 

8/2 – 4/15

6 Months

Total

Winter Allotment

Age 0-4                       100

 

279.99

 

380.00

Age 5-10                     200

452.00

652.00

Age 11-17                   350

671.61

1,022.00

4/15 – 8/2

 

 

Spring Allotment

Age 0-4                         65

 

280.00

 

345.00

Age 5-10                     100

452.00

552.00

Age 11-17                   250

672.00

920.00

 

SUPPLEMENTARY CLOTHING PURCHASES

Clothing purchases in excess of the monthly clothing allowance are to be authorized for children only upon the specific approval of the Caseworker and Casework Supervisor.

 

On line service authorizations for supplementary clothing made in MACWIS contain the reason the clothing is needed and any supporting facts in the purpose/details window.

 

Approval for the purchase of supplemental clothing is based on the need for the clothing requested and on an evaluation that purchases to replace lost or destroyed clothing will not reinforce irresponsible behavior by the child.  Some reasons for approving supplementary clothing purchases are:

1.A very large weight gain or loss requiring size changes.
2.Destruction or loss of clothing.
3.A move to a new foster home when the child does not bring with him adequate clothing.
4.Special medical problems such as foot problems requiring non-Title XIX reimbursable orthopedic shoes, or incontinence requiring an unusual supply of clothing.

 

The Program Administrator, Child and Family Services is responsible for a periodic review of approved requests for purchases of supplementary clothing to assure compliance with policy.

 

SPECIAL INCIDENTAL ITEMS

Without any prior approval, the child’s caseworker may authorize payment for any necessary incidental items for a specific child pertaining to a child’s daily activities.  This includes such items as infant supplies, initial school supplies and personal hygiene items.  All requests require supervisory approval.