Supportive Child Care Subsidy Policy Statement
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is responsible for determining which children will be referred for Supportive Child Care services. The DCF social worker, with his/her supervisor, will assess the level of risk to the child and the parent's need, interest, and commitment to use Supportive Child Care in order to facilitate progress toward the goals outlined in the family's service plan. Supportive Child Care is intended to be used in conjunction with other services to the parents (such as counseling), since Supportive Child Care services alone typically will not fully address the issues of concern within the family.
The DCF social worker, with his /her supervisor (in collaboration with the area child care coordinator when requested), will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the family and will determine whether child care is an appropriate setting for the child(ren). Although Supportive Child Care has been procured specifically to meet the needs of children in the DCF caseload, it is provided in a group setting. Funding may be available for additional staff and other resources to support child care programs in serving children with a variety of disabilities. Children who exhibit severe behavior that endangers themselves or others are not, however, appropriate for referral.
In order to be able to make an appropriate referral for child care, the DCF social worker must work with the parent to gather pertinent background information about the child and family. This includes, but is not limited to, information concerning the child's development, health (outstanding illnesses, date of last physical), general behavior (eating habits, response to limit setting, toilet training) and previous child care experience (concerns, length of enrollment).
Families must present evidence of current immunizations in accordance with EEC group and school age child care licensing requirements in order to begin center-based Supportive Child Care or within one month of enrollment in family child care. 1 Children must also have, within 30 days of enrollment in center-based child care or family child care, evidence of a physical examination within one year of enrollment. In accordance with EEC licensing regulations and policies, children with a contagious disease (such as chicken pox, head lice, mouth sores, rashes with fever or behavior changes, etc.) should be excluded from care until they are no longer contagious. [See 102 CMR 7.05(5).]
1EEC licensing regulations provide that no child shall be required to have immunizations if his/her parent(s) object in writing to such immunizations on the grounds of their religious beliefs. For school age children evidence may be a signed statement from the parent that such records are on file with the child's school. For all other children, the parents must submit a written statement from the physician. [See 102 CMR 7.09(5) et seq. and 8.14(3)].
Information provided by the Department of Early Education and Care . Created: October 25, 2002.