LCCS is committed to permanency planning for children. The permanency plan is outlined in the case plan which is developed with each family. The case plan outlines the goals, objectives, interventions and time frames for their completion. Case plans are developed with parents and approved by the courts. Parents must make significant progress on the case plans. The goal is for children to achieve permanency within the first year. To ensure this happens, custody cases are closely monitored. While the initial goal is usually reunification there are cases where children can not be reunited with their families. In these cases, an alternative permanency plan is made. This is accomplished by developing a concurrent plan with families. Even if there is no placement being made, a thorough list of relatives, which is begun at intake, is compiled. This list is continuously explored and updated throughout the life of the case to identify a safety net provided by their own family who can respite and assist them. There are numerous procedures outlined in detail in the direct services section of the review.
While the direct services department continues to serve the child and family, the Family Based Care (FBC) department serves as a resource to both intake and protective caseworkers in securing placements for children, as necessary. The service philosophy and values under which the agency and FBC department operate include: doing what is in the best interest of the child; minimizing trauma to children through limiting the number of out-of home placements they experience while in care, as well as the number of days they spend in out-of-home placements; performing placement related activities based on the unique needs and situation of each child; approving and supporting kinship families to allow children to remain with family. When the family can not be preserved, foster care services become a temporary solution on the path toward permanence. The purpose of Family Based Care (FBC) services is to provide a safe, stable, and nurturing environment for children who cannot live in their own homes due to abuse, neglect or dependency issues.
When the court grants temporary or permanent custody to LCCS, the FBC department is responsible to locate an appropriate foster home placement for the child. In doing this, the FBC department considers the strengths and needs of the child as provided from the Custody Review Team (CRT), as well as the child profile information gathered. The strengths and need areas of the foster parent(s) are also considered. Information from both sides is utilized in an effort to make a suitable match between the child needing placement and the family willing to accept placement. MEPA laws and regulations are strictly adhered to in placement selection. All foster care settings used are licensed/approved by the state of Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS).
When a foster home has a child for placement, the foster family receives several services to assist in a stable placement. The support worker makes contact with the foster family within 24 hours of the initial placement. The foster family receives regular visits from the direct services caseworker who manages the case and the FBC caseworker who works directly with the foster family for support purposes. The workers discuss with the foster parent(s) the on-going adjustment of the child in the home, case plan goals and visitation, and continuously assess the need for supportive services for the foster family to maintain the child. These services would be implemented to help the foster parents increase their effectiveness in dealing with the child's behaviors. When a foster home has a placement there are multiple areas where services are implemented to ensure a placement meets the needs of the child(ren). When agency foster parents accept children for placement who require additional support services, those services are provided either by LCCS or through referrals to outside agencies.
Such services could include, but are not limited to, crisis response, specialized training regarding any of the child's special needs, mentor services, therapeutic and/or increased support services. The goal of all services is to help the family understand and manage the child's behaviors and effectively work with the child to maintain the placement and prevent disruption. The workers involved with the foster family continuously monitor the child in placement. This begins with the workers making the first seven day visit together, whenever possible. They make a joint visit within the first four weeks of placement and hold a joint team meeting within the first four weeks of placement, with a supervisor taking notes, to review the first few weeks of placement, case plan goals, visitation schedule, as well as to identify any possible areas that need assistance.
The goal of the agency is to maintain a child in a single placement or reduce the minimum number of separations and losses a child experiences. However, there may be times when that goal is not possible due to the need of a more or less restrictive setting or the inability or unwillingness of a specific foster family to provide the anticipated care for the child. Prior to all moves we carefully consider the impact on the child as well as identify strengths and past history of the child to assure the best possible placement for the child is secured. Any requests for removal result in a team meeting with all parties present to identify necessary preventative measure that can be put into place, as well as what a new placement would need to have to meet the child's needs. All preventative measures that are discussed are documented. If the preventative measures are not sufficient and a move is still requested, this will then be referred to the FBC Placement Team, which will review the information from the team meeting to identify the least restrictive setting to best meet the child's needs.
LCCS is committed to permanency planning for children. The permanency plan is outlined in the case plan which is developed with each family. The case plan outlines the goals, objectives, interventions and time frames for their completion. Case plans are developed with parents and approved by the courts. Parents must make significant progress on the case plans. The goal is for children to achieve permanency within the first year. To ensure this happens, custody cases are closely monitored. While the initial goal is usually reunification there are cases where children can not be reunited with their
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