VIII. B-1. Adoption Recruitment, Placement and Supervision

Effective 5/3/02

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VIII. B-1. Adoption Recruitment, Placement and Supervision

Effective 5/3/02

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SELECTION OF THE FAMILY

The following principles will be applied in selecting a home for all children in need of placement.

 

1.Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, and Eskimos
a.For Indian children subject to the Indian Child Welfare Act, the requirements of the Act shall be met.
b.For Indian children not subject to the Indian Child Welfare Act, the principles of the Act shall be applied.

 

2.Religion

If requested in writing by the parents of a child in custody, that the child be placed in a family of the same general religious faith, the Department will make a good faith effort to do so if a suitable family of such faith can be found in a reasonable time frame for the child.  Those placement efforts must be documented in the child's record.

 

3.Principles for Selection

The following principles shall be applied:

(1)All placements shall be made in the best interests of the child, based upon the child’s individual needs as assessed and documented in accordance with the Guidelines for Permanency Assessment.
(2)Consistent with the kinship care provision of Title 22 MRSA Section 4063, the Department shall consider giving preference to an adult relative over a non-related caregiver when determining a placement for a child, provided that the relative caregiver meets all relevant Maine child protective standards including "Family Standards for Foster and Adoptive Families."  Caretakers of the child, including foster families who have established positive relationships, will be considered as the next preferred status after relatives.  Priority shall be given to the most appropriate family located after active recruitment on district, state and national exchanges, unless the Adoption Program Specialist has approved a recruitment waiver.  Recruitment waivers by the Adoption Program Specialist are not needed for foster parent or relative adoptions.
(3)In compliance with the Multiethnic Placement Act as modified by the Interethnic Adoption Provision, and the Adoption and Safe Families Act, neither the Department nor any other entity in Maine that receives federal funds and is involved in adoption or foster care placements may:
 Deny to any person the opportunity to become an adoptive or a foster parent, on the basis of the race, color, gender, marital status or national origin of the person, and/or of the child involved; or
 Delay or deny the placement of a child for adoption, or into foster care, on the basis of the race, color, gender, marital status or national origin of the adoptive or foster parent of the child involved.
 Delay or deny placement of a child when an approved and appropriately matched adoptive family is available outside the jurisdiction with the responsibility for handling the case of the child.  DHS will provide an opportunity for an administrative hearing to an individual who alleges that the state has denied them this opportunity or the state had not acted with reasonable promptness.  The Bureau Director or his/her designee will respond to this request.

 

(4)In determining a specific family’s ability to meet a specific child’s needs, consistent with the child’s best interests, the Department shall consider the following:
(a)The assessed permanency needs of the child, as outlined in the permanency guidelines.
(b)The capacity of the prospective adoptive family to meet those needs, as documented in the adoptive family’s study and as a result of interviews with family members.

 

This analysis shall be documented in the child’s record.

 

4.Considerations regarding adoption assistance and purchase of service
a.If equally appropriate families are identified, preference will be given to those families who can adopt with the least financial assistance. Staff are not to delay adoptive placement by "shopping" for families that require the least financial assistance. Relatives and foster families wanting to adopt children they have been caretaking are exempt from this requirement.
b.If a purchase of service contract applies, preference will be given to the appropriate family requiring the least expensive contract for services.
c.No child may be introduced to or placed with a family requiring a purchase of service contract or adoption assistance agreements until all required staff have signed the agreements.
d.Considerations a. and b. are waived for foster parents or relatives adopting children with special needs.

 

5.Bureau of Child and Family Services Employees

Current or former Bureau of Child & Family Services employees approved for adoptive placement will not be considered for placement of a child from the district in which they work, or in which they have worked within the past five years.

 

There will be no legal risk adoptive placements with the Bureau of Child & Family Services employees. BCFS employees who are related to a child in custody are exempted from this provision. The Bureau Director may approve a written waiver if deemed appropriate in other compelling situations.

 

Recruitment of Approved Adoptive Families

Because the child is the Department's client, the Department's primary responsibility is to meet the needs of the child to be placed.  Therefore, recruitment and placement of the child with an appropriate, approved family will not be delayed while an unstudied non-related family goes through the study process.

 

If a child is legally free and emotionally ready for adoption, but no home is readily available in the district that meets the principles and priorities specified above or if a larger pool of likely resources is needed prior to making a selection, the child will be listed on "The Northern New England Exchange" and other state and national electronic photo listing services. This listing should be done within 90 days of the child becoming legally available for adoption.

 

For children needing more expanded recruitment, referrals are to be made to the BCFS’s contracted agency to do active child specific recruitment such as Thursday’s Child on TV, radio, newspapers and other forms of targeted recruitment. These recruitment efforts will be documented in the child’s case plan to document compliance with the Adoption and Safe Families Act’s requirement of the state’s "reasonable efforts" to locate, place and finalize a child whose permanency plan is adoption.

 

Responsibility for Selection

The caseworker who has been assigned responsibility for adoptive placement of the child, subject to the approval of their adoption supervisor or designee, shall be responsible for screening available adoptive homes.  Based on the assessed permanency needs of the child who is part of a sibling group, every reasonable effort should be made to locate a home where siblings can be together.  If a decision is made to place siblings in separate adoptive homes, this decision must have the approval of the supervisor and the reasons must be fully documented in the child's record.  Consideration in that instance should be given to families who are willing to maintain contact between the siblings.

 

The needs of the child shall have been documented with recent medical, dental, developmental, psychological, psychiatric and social history and accompanying assessments/evaluations, educational information, family history and documents required in the child’s permanency assessment.

 

The caseworker and supervisor are responsible for selecting an appropriate home that has the potential to best meet the assessed needs of the child.  In making this selection, the caseworker will recommend and the supervisor will review those approved adoptive families selected for final decision.  The caseworker who has been assigned responsibility for placement of the child, and his/her supervisor if needed, shall interview the prospective family or families personally.

 

Procedures for Selection of the Family in which the Child is to be Placed

The record of the family selected shall be given, with the child's permanency assessment and all required documents, to the supervisor for review.  The caseworker assigned responsibility for placement of the child and the caseworker for the prospective adoptive parents will discuss the proposed placement.

 

The supervisor of the caseworker who has been assigned responsibility for adoptive placement of the child has responsibility for approving the final selection.  When the decision to place with a specific family has been reached and has been approved by the supervisor, the caseworker assigned responsibility for placement of the child shall record the selection and the decision-making process in the narrative log of the child's record in MACWIS.  There is no appeal process for this decision.

 

Preparation of the Family

Once a specific family has been selected, the caseworker responsible for the placement of the child and the adoptive parent(s)' caseworker with their respective supervisors shall agree upon a plan for preparation of the family.  No child shall be introduced to or placed in an adoptive home until he or she has been cleared legally and administratively for adoption, except as provided by policy Section VIII B Termination of Parental Rights/ Criteria for Placement of a Child for Adoption / Legal Risk.  No child shall be introduced to or placed with an adoptive family until purchase of service and/or adoption assistance agreements issues are settled. If purchase of service or adoption assistance are to be provided, written agreements must have been signed prior to introduction of the child.  Once legal clearance is obtained and purchase of service/adoption assistance is approved, the caseworker is responsible for preparing the child and foster family for the eventual separation and placement.

 

The plan shall consist of the following steps:

1.The child’s caseworker, and the caseworker who will be supervising the placement will describe the child orally to the prospective adoptive parents and use pictures when available.  Information about the child, his/her birth family, special needs, and prognosis will be shared with the adopting family.  The long-term impact of the needs and experiences of the child will be discussed with the adoptive parent(s). Care must be taken to protect the confidentiality of sensitive information about the child and their birth and foster families.  Medical, dental, developmental, educational psychological, psychiatric and social history and accompanying assessments, as well as all family history and documents required in the child’s permanency assessment relevant to the needs of the child shall be shared with the adoptive family in writing.  This information exchange is captured on the child’s background and history form, signed by the adoptive parent[s] and BCFS staff, to be filed in the child’s record and at probate court.  Identity of the child and family shall be protected from persons other than the adoptive family.  The child’s caseworker shall record all oral and written information given to the adoptive parent[s] regarding the child’s assessed needs and capacities.
2.For private agency placements, written purchase of services agreements specifying supervisory responsibility and frequency, as well as the content of supervisory reports, must be made between the district and agency prior to introduction of the child or placement.
3.For out-of-state placements, the Interstate Compact on Placement of Children law and policy shall apply and be followed prior to the child’s final move to the family.
4.If the caseworker assigned to adoptive placement of the child and the adoptive family's caseworker and prospective adoptive parents agree that proceeding toward placement is appropriate, the family book will be forwarded to the child's caseworker to assist in preparing the child to meet the family.  After the child has been prepared to meet the family, a meeting between the child and family will be arranged which provides suitable support for the prospective adoptive family and the child.  The child's caseworker should attend this meeting.
5.Following the meeting, the family’s caseworker will evaluate the interaction between the adoptive family and the child and the reactions of each to the other, and will help the adoptive family discuss their feelings and thoughts about the child.  The child's caseworker will discuss with the child his or her feelings and thoughts about the family.  It should be clear that the final responsibility for the decision to continue with the placement process rests with both caseworkers and their respective supervisors.  The prospective adoptive family and child should be involved in this decision-making process as fully as is appropriate.
6.When it is decided to place the child in the adoptive family's home, the caseworker(s) involved shall facilitate the move according to a transition plan which best meets the child's needs and readiness for placement.

 

Placement of the Child

The amount of service and the time involved will vary according to the age and specific needs of the child.  Contact with the foster parents and other significant persons [e.g. siblings] after placement in the adoptive home may be arranged by the caseworker and the adoptive parent[s], as indicated by the child's needs. By the time of placement the adoptive parents and private adoption agency staff [if services are purchased] shall have received the following:

 The child's life book/story, including pictures of the child and important people in his or her life.
 Copies of any and all medical, dental, developmental, psychological, psychiatric and social history and accompanying assessments/evaluations, as well as all family history and documents required in the Guidelines for Permanency Planning Assessment with identifying information and information which is not pertinent to the needs of the child deleted;
 Educational information, including the name of the last school attended, grade, and other pertinent educational background and documents
 Written or oral assessment of the child given by the foster family, including description of the child's behavior, habits, dietary needs, favorite activities, etc.
 Background and history disclosure form required by Title 18-A section 9304 for probate court that documents all of the issues of abuse and neglect that the agency is aware of.  This also includes signed documentation of the adoptive parent having received all required information noted above.

 

The caseworker shall explain all articles of the Adoptive Home Placement agreement to the adoptive parents.  The caseworker and the adoptive parent[s] must sign 2 copies of this agreement prior to placement.  One copy of this agreement remains with the adoptive parents and one is placed in the child's case record.  

 

ADJUSTMENT PERIOD

The adjustment period allows the agency and adoptive parents an opportunity to determine whether the adoptive parent[s] is able to meet the child's needs, and to allow the agency an opportunity to support and facilitate the merging of parents, child and other family members into a family unit.  This is the period between the day of placement and the date of legalization of adoption in the Probate Court.  It shall extend from a minimum period of six months to a maximum of eighteen months, except as provided below.  When foster parents are adopting a child who has already lived with them for at least the minimum adjustment period, the six-month period of placement may be waived with the approval of the adoption supervisor.  During the adjustment period the Department retains custody and decides whether to consent to the adoption.

 

The caseworker, recognizing that unique factors exist in adoptive placements will help the adoptive parents and child cement their relationship and will provide or arrange for the range of services as necessary to accomplish the objective.  These include referral to community services where indicated.  Support visits by the caseworker in the adoptive home shall occur as often as needed but at least one time within the first two weeks of placement.  The caseworker must have at least one telephone contact within the first week of placement, if unable to visit during the first week.  The second support visit shall occur between the 2nd and 6th week of placement.  From this point on for new placements, support visits are to occur monthly for the first 6 months of the adjustment period.  After 6 months, with the concurrence of the adoptive parent[s], the support visits shall be every 6 weeks, up to the legalization in probate.  For stable foster parent adoptions, with the concurrence of the parent[s], support visits will be at no less than 6 week intervals. Additional contacts may include group supervision, telephone contacts, and office visits. During these visits the caseworker shall be exploring and evaluating with the adoptive family the adjustment of the child and the capacity of the couple to assume the role of parents in respect to the needs of the child.  Date and type of contacts will be recorded in the child’s narrative record, which also includes the mandatory well-being and safety review assessment.  These requirements apply to the purchase of service agencies and are to be written into the contract with the agency.  If children are placed with private agencies, either in or outside of Maine, then the adoption worker will be expected to make a final visit prior to the adoption being legalized.

 

If the decision to legalize the adoption is not made within twelve months and an extension of the adjustment period is to be sought by the adoption supervisor, the adoptive parent(s) and the child, if of appropriate age, should be involved in the decision.  Extension beyond the maximum adjustment period of 18 months shall be considered only under very unusual circumstances.  The casework supervisor shall have the responsibility for determining whether or not extension shall be recommended to the District Child Welfare Program Administrator.

 

The caseworker shall document fully the reasons for a request for an extension of the adjustment period.  This material shall be reviewed by the casework supervisor and discussed in supervisory conference.  The result of this conference will be documented in the record by the caseworker and read by the casework supervisor.  The supervisor's recommendation and the case record are submitted to the District Child Welfare Program Administrator for approval of adoptive placements beyond 18 months.

 

DISRUPTION OF ADOPTIVE PLACEMENT PRIOR TO LEGALIZATION

If it becomes evident to the adoptive family or the caseworker during the adjustment period that this may not be an appropriate placement for the child, termination or interruption of placement will be considered.  The caseworker shall substantiate in the record the basis for questioning the placement.  The caseworker and the casework supervisor will review the entire record material and evaluate the current situation.  If the caseworker and supervisor concur on the plan for removal, the result of the conference shall be documented in the child’s case record. If this is an emergency removal, due to safety reasons, this protocol may be reviewed after the removal of the child from the home

 

Before the agency decides to terminate the placement against the adoptive parent[s] wishes, the District Child Welfare Program Administrator, the Adoption Program Specialist and involved Assistant Attorney General’s staff shall be fully informed by the supervisor of the proposed plan at the time the decision is made.

 

Implementation of the decision shall be thoughtfully planned and carried out to assure the greatest support and the least trauma for all concerned.  Every attempt shall be made to replace the child in another appropriate adoptive home as quickly as the child's best interests indicate.  

 

COMPLETION OF THE ADOPTION

At the end of the adjustment period the caseworker shall complete an evaluative summary of the adjustment experience.  The major areas to be stressed are:

 The child's physical, emotional and developmental progress;
 The adoptive parents' demonstrated capacity to meet the special needs of the child;
 Functioning of the child within the family system;
 Prognosis and recommended services to support the placement;
 Recommendation as to legalization of the adoption.

 

This summary is submitted to the unit supervisor for review and approval.  

 

Upon approval of the adjustment period summary by the unit supervisor, the caseworker shall instruct the adoptive parents to have their attorney initiate a Petition for Adoption in the Probate Court.  The caseworker will provide the attorney with the necessary information to complete the adoptive petition, including:

1.A copy of the DHS Submission to the Probate Court of an addendum to probate court forms A1 and A10;
2.Copies of original Order Placing Child in the Full Custody of DHS;
3.Copies of Order of Termination of Parental Rights/Surrender and Release;
4.Copy of the child's long form Birth Certificate.

 

When the caseworker receives the petition from the adoptive parents' attorney, the caseworker presents it to the unit supervisor with signed Completion of Adoption Form and the appropriate documents attached as specified on form.

 

When the unit supervisor is satisfied that all administrative requirements are met, s/he signs the Completion of Adoption Form and waiver for foster parent adoption if appropriate.

 

The form is routed through central office to be signed by the Commissioner and returned to the District.  The caseworker will then present the petition and related documents in hand or by mail to the adoptive parent's attorney together with the long form birth certificate, the original Surrender and Release or an attested copy of the legal document awarding custody of the child to the Department, and an attested copy of the court order(s) of Termination of Parental Rights and Submission by Custodian to the probate court of an addendum to probate court forms A1 and A10.

 

At the time the adoption is being legalized in Probate Court, the DHS staff are to request and obtain a copy of the adoption decree from either the family or the family’s attorney. This decree is to be sent to Central Office /Adoption Staff who will complete the Form BSSAC-035/Report of Adoption/Vital Statistics and return a copy of this form to the District Staff for filing in the child’s legal record. The child’s MACWIS case is updated with all required information/elements that are found on the Adoption Assistance Program Transfer Checklist. The child’s MACWIS case is then electronically transferred to central office for ongoing maintenance of the adoption assistance program within 30 days of the legalization. The evaluative summary of the probationary period may serve as the dismissal summary. The caseworker is to notify the District’s Assistant Attorney General of the adoption legalization. The AAG will file a motion to dismiss the Child Protective Petition and obtain the Order of Dismissal.

 

 

POST LEGALIZATION ADOPTION SERVICES

PURPOSE

Adoption is a lifelong experience and the needs of the adoptive family change over time. Children placed through the Department of Human Services, who have their permanency needs met through adoption, should have access to ongoing support through information and resources, as needed, throughout their lives. Agency services should remain available to adoptive families after legalization of adoption upon request of the adoptive family and as resources permit.  These services may be available through the direct services of DHS staff, referral to other agencies/practitioners that deliver contracted services, and through advocacy with other resources.  Adoptive families and children may be served by the Department after legalization if the caseworker, supervisor and the Child Welfare Program Administrator agree that such services are needed to insure the well being and safety of the child, and the Department's resources are available. The minimum expectation is that the district staff will provide consultation to the adoptive parent[s] and inform them of  post adoption services and funding that are presently available.

 

FUNDS

Funds have been allocated for the purpose of providing post-adoption services to families of DHS children who have been adopted.  Although extensive efforts are made prior to legalization to plan for future service needs, the Department has made this provision to assist children and families in managing circumstances that might otherwise lead to a disruption in the adoption, as well as to maintain the well being and safety of the children and their families.  Funding will be divided among the Districts, depending on the preceding year’s number of adoption legalizations.

 

PHILOSOPHY

It is the intent of the Department that persons seeking post-adoptive services will remain in control of and responsible for the decisions affecting them.  It is up to the adoptive family/child/adult adoptee to request, secure and make appropriate use of post-adoptive services.  DHS will screen for eligibility, assess the need for services and will assist in paying for the services when eligibility criteria are met.  DHS will follow the same cost sharing philosophy as we do in the adoption assistance program and the Maine Adoption Guides Project.  We will look at the special needs of the child, along with the circumstances of the family, as well the supports in place in the community.  If the family circumstances are appropriate, the staff may negotiate [defined as "come to an agreement with"] with the family to share the cost of the service.

 

ELIGIBILITY

Only families who adopted DHS children, either through DHS or through private adoption agencies, are eligible for these funds.  Since private adoption agencies are required to provide post legalization services as part of their Child Placing Agency Rules, the private agency families will be asked to first inquire there for the availability of services.  Families served by the Maine Adoption Guides Project are not eligible for these funds, as these services can be covered by the project’s funding.

 

Further, with the exception of record search:

 The family must be experiencing a situation that could result in a disrupted adoption and or be affecting the well being or safety of the child.
 It is the intention of the family to keep the child as part of the family unit and
 These funds may be used for post-adoption services only when all other funding sources have been exhausted [e.g.. respite care through Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services / Children’s Services];

 

This may include a coordination of multiple "last resort" funding sources.  

If it looks like the requests in the District for services are lower than the funding available that fiscal year, the Program Administrator and adoption supervisor may use this funding in a more flexible and discretionary way

 

Families who meet these criteria will be eligible for up to $2000.00 of post-adoption services funding per state fiscal year [July 1 to June 30], dependent upon availability of funds and the priority of the requests during that funding year.

 

RANGE OF SERVICES

Non-residential services that assist in assessing the family’s post-adoption needs as well as services that address those needs will be covered, up to $2000.00 per family per state fiscal year.  The primary focus of these services are to reduce disruptions.  The secondary focus is to improve the well-being and safety of children and reduce the factors that may precipitate disruption or harm.

 

Agencies and providers who deliver post-adoptive services pursuant to this policy must act in accordance with MRSA Title 22 Section 4008 when disclosing information.

 

Examples of allowable services include but are not limited to;

 Record Search--an adoptive parent, an adopted child with parental approval or an adult adoptee may request information from the case record for the purpose of medical/social history or general background.  In a medical emergency, a priority response will occur.  Funding for this service may include a face-to-face meeting with the individual to report on and process the findings.  Requests for record search for the purpose of reunion are not covered by these funds and may be referred to the Reunion Registry (DHS Vital Statistics Division) or a private agency.
 Case Management - If not covered under any other available source.
 Adoption Related Training - that will enhance parent capabilities and foster better understanding of children’s needs. Target audiences may include support group facilitators, approved service providers and adoptive parents.
 Adoption Support Groups – stipend for facilitator, meeting space and other materials required.
 Advocacy- In arenas such as PET/Education meetings or mental health services.
 Transportation - If not covered by any other sources such as Medicaid
 One-to-one aide in the home – If not covered other source such as Medicaid.
 Respite - funds may be used for a child to be placed outside the home in a non-residential setting when the placement is short-term, is a defined part of the overall case plan and it is intended that the child return home. Concurrently, there will be an intervention (formal or informal) with the adoptive parent(s) designed to assist them in meeting the needs of the adoptive child. The family and caseworker must first explore the availability of this service through Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services / Children’s Services. If there is a waiting list, these funds may be used to carry the family through this time period.

 

INELIGIBLE SERVICES

Funds from this account may not be used to pay for out of home placement for purposes other than respite, for legal fees relating to criminal defense or for a record search for reunion purposes.  Out of home placement for the purpose of evaluation is not covered by these funds.

 

PROCEDURES

Intake

Applications can be made through either the DHS adoption unit that placed the child or the district which covers the geographic area the adoptive family currently lives.  Funding will be divided among the Districts, depending on the preceding years number of legalizations.  It is preferred that the DHS staff that has the most knowledge of the child/family will process the request.  Intake requests will be written on the application form provided for this use.  All requests will be immediately forwarded to the adoption supervisor or designee who will review the application and determine if the family meets the eligibility criteria.  Also to be considered are the duration and severity of the circumstances precipitating the request for services, the available resources and the funding currently available at that stage of the state’s fiscal year. The application with supervisor approval will be forwarded to the CW Program Administrator for final approval. The Intake process will proceed in a timely fashion and the family will receive written notice of the decision.

 

Assessment

At the supervisor or designee’s discretion, the DHS adoption unit may make an assessment of an eligible family for post-adoption services or may refer the assessment of the family to a private provider. No further services will be delivered without the prior approval of the DHS adoption supervisor.  Upon completion of the assessment, if warranted, the family and the service provider will develop a plan for post-adoption services.  The family is responsible for communicating the plan to the DHS adoption supervisor or designee.

 

Provision of Services

Selection

Pursuant to the plan developed with the family, DHS will provide the family with resource information as necessary.  The family will self-refer to a resource or a provider and will make all ancillary arrangements necessary to access services.  The DHS adoption supervisor is authorized to approve a provider, as the supervisor deems the provider suitable to deliver the needed service (after exploring credentials, experience, fees, etc.).  

 

Authorization

The family will contact the DHS adoption supervisor or designee prior to beginning services, in order to inform DHS of their selection and to advance the payment process.

 

Reports

The service provider(s) will be expected to furnish periodic written reports/ recommendations to the family who will in turn submit a copy to DHS for the family’s record.  DHS will review and consider these reports as part of any subsequent assessment of the family.

 

Payment for Services

When the family notifies DHS of its selection of a resource or a service provider(s), the adoption supervisor/designee shall approve payment and track available district funding from the designated post adoption services account, with concurrent approval of the local District Program Administrator for amounts over $250.  The adoption program specialist will provide the Program Administrator a quarterly report with an updated amount of the district funding.

 

 

GUIDELINES for PERMANENCY ASSESSMENTS

The major criteria for determining the permanency needs of a child are the child’s social situation, the child’s needs and capacities, and the child’s legal status. These guidelines can be utilized across the continuum of child welfare services and programs, from the initial consideration of removing a child from his/her family to providing post-adoption services.

 

1.Child’s Social Situation

Factors to be considered in evaluating the child’s social situation are:

 the circumstances of the child’s coming into care,
 the birth/legal parents’ current circumstances and capacities to provide for the child
 their attitude toward a permanent plan
 the appropriateness and possibility of placement of the child with relatives.  

 

Exploration of the current circumstances of the child’s birth parents must be made and services must be offered to help them become able to provide for the child before deciding to move toward an alternative permanent placement. The exceptions would be if the parent is absent and cannot be located with diligent search, compelling reasons are present, or the parent refuses or is unable to make a good faith effort toward rehabilitation and reunification.

 

2.Assessment of the Child’s Needs and Capacities

The following health and background information should be collected as an ongoing part of the case planning process and immediately upon a child’s entry into foster care.  This information is to be used in assessing the child’s needs and capacities, as well as in matching, presenting and placing the child:

 The child’s current medical, dental, developmental and psychological history, including an account of the child’s prenatal care, medical condition at birth, and developmental milestones, any drugs or medication taken by the birth parents during pregnancy, any prior medical, psychological, or psychiatric examinations and diagnoses of the child, any physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect suffered by the child and the impact of that abuse and neglect, any developmental assessment reflecting deviation from typical development, the child’s current developmental level and a record of any immunizations/ health care received while in out of home or other care.
 Relevant information concerning the medical and mental health history of the child’s birth parents, sibling, and relatives, including multiple generations whenever possible, any known diseases or hereditary predisposition to disease, age and cause of death to close relatives of the birth parents, any notable positive health finding such as longevity, any addiction by the birth family to alcohol and/or other drugs, the health of the child’s mother during her pregnancy and the health of each parent at the time of the child’s birth.

 

Relevant information concerning the social history of the child, including;

 The child’s personality and temperament, including sensitivities, likes and dislikes, and the special aptitudes and interests
 The child’s enrollment and performance in school, results of educational testing, and any special educational needs
 Any significant events that could affect the child’s capacity to relate to a new family
 An account of the child’s past and existing relationships with any individuals with whom the child has lived or visited
 Any history related to the child’s placement in out of home care, including reasons for placement, attachment and moves prior to placement, length of time in care, types of care [family foster home, group care, residential treatment], number of placements and reasons for re-placement
 Letters, pictures, videotapes, gifts, etc. from the birth family for the child
 Reasons for the child’s permanent placement

 

Relevant information concerning the social history of the child’s birth parents, siblings and other relatives including:

 The family’s racial, ethnic, cultural and religious background, and a general description of the child’s birth parents, siblings and other close relatives,[to include a photograph of the child’s birth parents]
 Specific information on the child’s racial, ethnic, cultural and religious background if different from that of other members of the family
 Relationship of the parents and their reason[s], if applicable for selecting/consenting to a specific placement plan
 Tribal affiliation of a Native American family, as well as other information needed to clarify the legal/eligibility status and the tribal jurisdictions regarding their placement
 Level of educational attainment of birth parents and sibling of the child and information about any known learning disabilities
 Special skills, interests or aptitudes
 Specific accomplishments of the birth parents or other members of the family
 Employment and/or vocational information of the birth parents
 Any background information related to criminal convictions for a felony, previous judicial orders terminating parental rights or substantiated reports of child abuse or neglect
 Any long term history of multiple generation that provides a picture of the birth family over time