Supportive Child Care Subsidy Policy Statement
Initiating a Referral
When a DCF social worker and his/her supervisor (in collaboration with the area child care coordinator when requested) determine that Supportive Child Care is a necessary and appropriate service for a child and family, the DCF social worker will refer the child to Supportive Child Care services by completing a DCF Authorization for Supportive Child Care form and gathering all information outlined below.
Release of Information
As part of the referral process the DCF social worker will obtain a Release of Information from the family in order to complete the DCF Authorization for Supportive Child Care form. The DCF social worker will inform the family that there will be a frank discussion with the Supportive Child Care provider about the needs of the family and the child. The social worker will explain that the discussion will help to maximize the provider's ability to meet the needs of the family and to minimize the likelihood of premature termination once placement has occurred. In addition, the DCF social worker will inform the family that the Supportive Child Care provider is under contractual obligation to share information with DCF about the child's well being and progress while the child is enrolled in Supportive Child Care.
DCF Authorization for Supportive Child Care
The DCF social worker will complete the DSS Authorization for Supportive Child Care form, and include (in an attachment) a description of the child's behavior and a summary of the family's psychosocial history (such as that portion of the completed DCF Assessment form that relates to the child's behavior and family dynamics, or a copy of all or part of the DCF Service Plan). In addition, the DCF social worker with his/her supervisor (in collaboration with the area child care coordinator when requested) will determine whether the parent will be exempt from paying fees, and whether the child care provider must provide transportation between home or school. The social worker will note any fee and/or transportation requirements on the DCF Authorization for Supportive Child Care form. If a child is of school age and requires after-school or before-school care, the worker will also document information regarding the child's school. All information gathered through the referral process will be the foundation for discussion at a pre-placement conference.
After supervisory approval, the DCF social worker will send the completed referral form and attachments to the DCF area child care coordinator for processing. The social worker must assure that the referral includes information about outstanding family issues relevant to the child care placement.
This information shall include
- the age of the child
- whether or not the child is toilet trained
- the type of child care preferred
- previous child care experience
- the days and hours needed, and
- any special needs or particular family concerns or considerations (such as any restrictions on either parent's access to the child)
All the information requested on the form must be entered. Failure to enter all requested information may result in a parent being denied access to Supportive Child Care. Required information includes the case ID number, the child's social security number 1, the DCF authorization number (child's person ID number), the child's behavioral information and a summary of the family's psychosocial history.
Medical Records and Immunizations
Upon forwarding the DCF Authorization for Supportive Child Care form to the DCF area child care coordinator, the social worker will work with the parent to obtain documentation that the child has had an annual physical examination and all immunizations are up to date as required under EEC child care licensing regulations. If necessary the social worker will help the family to arrange for a physical examination.
Notice of Child Care Availability
If a Supportive Child Care slot is available, the DCF area child care coordinator will notify the social worker and complete the Authorization section of the DCF Authorization for Supportive Child Care form, including a tentative date for the child to start care. The DCF area child care coordinator will transmit the DCF Authorization for Supportive Child Care form to the appropriate contracted provider. Only one referral per child will be made at any given time.
The provider must notify the DCF area child care coordinator of the date the child actually starts participating in the program. If necessary, the DCF area child care coordinator will revise the DCF Authorization for Supportive Child Care form to include the actual start date.
When a Supportive Child Care slot is not available, the DCF area child care coordinator will enter the child on the DCF area office waitlist for the next appropriate slot in accordance with DCF priorities for enrollment, and will notify the referring DCF social worker. While waiting for a Supportive Child Care placement, the DCF social worker will arrange other support services for the family, when possible.
When the DCF area child care coordinator becomes aware that a slot will soon become available or is currently vacant, the DCF area child care coordinator will immediately notify the appropriate DCF social worker. Within one week of receiving this information, the DCF social worker will either initiate the referral for service or inform the area child care coordinator that the family is no longer interested in Supportive Child Care.
If the DCF social worker does not respond to the area child care coordinator within one week, the DCF area child care coordinator will try to fill the vacant slot with the next child on the waitlist by notifying that child's social worker of the pending opening.
1Otherwise eligible parents may not be denied care for refusing to provide a social security number.
Information provided by the Department of Early Education and Care. Created: October 25, 2002.