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Policy Manual

Initial Treatment Plans for Children in Foster Care:
Planning Outcomes

Policy Every child in foster care shall have an assigned outcome or goal in their Initial Treatment Plan. The assessment shall commence within two (2) weeks of the date a child enters care and shall be completed within sixty (60) calendar days.
Deferral of Plan Outcome The plan outcome may only be deferred to allow for an assessment of a child's situation if a child has suffered severe abuse or neglect, which requires a determination as to whether the child should be reunited with his/her parents.

In no circumstances shall a child's plan remain undetermined for more than ninety (90) days from the date of placement.

Plan Outcomes The planning outcomes for children in foster care are:

Ÿ return home

Ÿ placement with a relative or extended family member

Ÿ adoption

Ÿ long term care

Ÿ placement with a legal guardian

Ÿ independent living.

Return Home The first plan for a child entering care shall be a return home to his/her parent(s). Exceptions:

Ÿ The parent has requested to voluntarily relinquish parental rights.

Ÿ The child has been abandoned.

Ÿ The parent is unable to provide for the specialized care the child's documented special physical or emotional condition requires.

Ÿ The child, sixteen (16) years of age or older, states he/she is unwilling to return home.

Ÿ The child has suffered abuse and neglect which was so severe that it has been assessed that a return home for this child is not an option.

Placement with Relative or Extended Family Relatives or extended family should be considered for any child who cannot return to his/her parent(s). These resources must be diligently explored as to their willingness and ability to care for the child. All efforts shall be documented with the outcome in the child's uniform case record.

A child may remain in long term relative care if all of the following conditions exist:

Ÿ The relative does not wish to adopt.

Ÿ The relative is unwilling to assume legal guardianship.

Ÿ The relative will sign a long term care agreement.

Ÿ A treatment planing conference has concluded that the plan is in the child's best interest.

Adoption Adoption is to be the first plan for any child who cannot be returned to their own home or the home of a relative.
Long Term Care Long Term Care should not be the first plan for a child in care.

Long Term Care agreements shall be in writing and shall be signed by all involved parties to the agreement (foster parent, child, agency).

A child's plan may be long term care if all of the following conditions exist:

Ÿ The child is over twelve (12) years of age.

Ÿ The placement with the foster parent has been continuous for two (2) or more years.

Ÿ The foster parent(s) does not wish to adopt.

Ÿ The foster parent is willing to provide long term care and sign a written agreement to that effect.

Ÿ The child wishes to remain with his/her foster family.

Ÿ A treatment planning conference has concluded that this plan is in the child's best interest, or

Ÿ a child's plan may be long term care, if he/she repeatedly demonstrated an inability to function in a home setting and the child's current behavior seriously impairs the ability to function in a home setting. This condition must be long term and persistent.

Non-Adoption Status The initial determination and subsequent redetermination that a child cannot be adopted shall be recorded on Certification of Non-Adoption Status (DCF-2079) and filed in the child's uniform case record. All reasons for determining that the child cannot be adopted shall be specifically recorded including, but not limited to, a specific statement describing each effort to locate an adoptive home, including the date of each effort and method or resource used.
Placement With a Legal Guardian Legal guardian placement requires that a plan of return home or adoption is not an option for the child.

Guardianship of the child by the relative, foster parent or other suitable caretaker affords the family unit day to day control over the decisions made in the child's behalf. It allows the child a greater sense of membership in the family and allows the family autonomy without Departmental oversight.

Guardianship transfer works best in cases where finances are either not a consideration or are covered by a third party provider, i.e., AFDC.

The decision to utilize this option must be made at a case planning conference, which concludes that placement with a legal guardian is in the child's best interest, and that interference from the birth parent(s) in the plan is not foreseeable.

Independent Living A sixteen (16) year old or older youth does not wish to be adopted. The case plan would then be Independent Living.

A youth age sixteen (16) or older shall have a plan to enable the youth to plan for and develop necessary skills for independent living.

Connecticut Department of Children and Families Issued: March 1, 1994