Supportive Child Care Subsidy Policy Statement
The DSS social worker with his/her supervisor will:
- determine (in collaboration with the area child care coordinator, when requested) whether Supportive Child Care is an appropriate service for the family, in accordance with the family's service plan, interest in using Supportive Child Care, and the child's behavioral, medical and mental health;
- determine (in collaboration with the area child care coordinator, when requested) whether the child will require transportation between home or school and child care, and whether to exempt the parent from fee paying responsibilities;
- complete the DSS Authorization for Supportive Child Careform and submit it to the DSS area child care coordinator, with supporting information about the child and family;
- notify the family of the referral, advise them about the medical documentation necessary to facilitate enrollment, and assist them in arranging for the child's annual physical, when needed;
- obtain a release of information from the family to share appropriate information with the Supportive Child Care provider; and
- inform the family that the Supportive Child Care provider is under contractual obligation to share information with DSS about the child's well-being and progress.
(See policies P-EEC-Supportive-03: Determining Appropriateness for Referral ; Supportive- 04: Assessing Supportive Fees ; Supportive -05: Assessing Transportation Needs ; Supportive-06: Referrals, and Supportive -07: Enrollment.)
Before the child's first day in Supportive Child Care the DSS social worker must:
- arrange with the family and the Supportive Child Care provider a date for all parties to meet in a pre-placement conference;
- if scheduling is delegated to the Supportive Child Care provider, contact the family to facilitate enrollment if alerted by the Supportive Child Care Provider that the provider has not been able to establish contact with the family within three days after a referral;
- re-contact the family to determine a date and whether the referral should be pursued or withdrawn, when alerted by the area child care coordinator that the supportive child care provider has not been able to establish contact with the family within one week of the referral date;
- notify the are child care coordinator if a decision is made to withdraw the referral; and
- attend a pre-placement conference with the Supportive Child Care provider and the parents in order to ensure that disorganized or resistant families make the connection with the program necessary for the child to begin Supportive Child Care, and to establish a consensus on goals, timelines and respective roles and responsibilities.
(See policy P-EEC-Supportive-07: Enrollment.)
45 Day Post-Placement Conference
Within 45 (calendar) days of enrollment in care the Supportive Child Care provider will meet with the family to share the provider's initial assessment of the child, the child's individualized plan, the goals to be achieved during the next quarter, and to begin transition planning. If the DSS social worker does not attend this meeting, the DSS social worker must contact the Supportive Child Care provider within 5 days to discuss:
- the outcome of the meeting, parent responsiveness, and individual goals for the child, if any are discussed;
- the relationship of the child's individualized plan to the goals of the DSS service plan for the family;
- the DSS social worker's expectations regarding the nature and frequency of the Supportive Child Care provider's ongoing contact with the DSS; and
- DSS criteria for case closing and anticipated date of termination of Supportive Child Care services.
(See policy P-EEC-Supportive-15: Provider Responsibilities 45-Days After Placement .)
The DSS social worker must maintain regular contact with the Supportive Child Care provider to:
- obtain updates about the child's attendance and progress in care, and to discuss any concerns reported by the Supportive Child Care provider that jeopardize the child's placement (such as misuse of transportation, poor attendance, or extreme behavior problems);
- discuss the Supportive Child Care provider's recommendations regarding referral of the family to additional support services in the community, when applicable;
- share information about changes in the family's DSS service plan that may affect the child's placement in Supportive Child Care, including events that would affect the child's behavior in care, and any plans for termination of Supportive Child Care services; and
- work with the Supportive Child Care provider whenever possible to schedule the provider's quarterly progress reports at times which coincide with the DSS Progress Supervisory or Foster Care Reviews.
(See policy P-EEC-Supportive-08: Case Management and Reauthorization.)
Case Management & Reauthorization
The DSS social worker with his/her supervisor will:
- reassess (in collaboration with the area child care coordinator when requested) the appropriateness of Supportive Child Care services, transportation services, and parent fees at least every six months (and at any time concerns are expressed by the Supportive Child Care provider that may jeopardize a child's continuation of Supportive Child Care Services);
- review the child and family's circumstances at a Progress Supervisory or Foster Care Review, and determine whether continued Supportive Child Care is appropriate;
- invite the Supportive Child Care provider to attend the portion of the review that focuses on the child's progress. When the reauthorization timeframe does not coincide with the review, or when the Progress Supervisory Review is a written review process, the DSS social worker must talk with the Supportive Child Care provider and must consider the provider's feedback and the contents of the provider's quarterly progress reports in determining the appropriateness of continuing Supportive Child Care;
- update the DSS Authorization for Supportive Child Care form and submit it to the DSS area child care coordinator, indicating whether care will be continued for an additional six months or terminated;
- complete and submit to the Area Director (or his/her designee) for approval a Supportive Child Care One Year Exception form when services will be required beyond the normal one year time limit; and
- submit both the DSS Authorization for Supportive Child Care form and an approved Supportive Child Care One Year Exception form to the DSS area child care coordinator to extend services beyond one year.
(See policy P-EEC-Supportive-08: Case Management & Reauthorization.)
Termination of Care
Authorization for Supportive Child Care ends upon completion of one year of Supportive Child Care services (unless an exception is approved by DSS), when the family's DSS case closes, or when other circumstances impact on the feasibility of continuing Supportive Child Care such as a child being removed from his/her home to an out-of-area location, excessive absence, misuse of transportation services, or when disruptive behavior endangers the safety of the child or others at the child care program.
When the DSS social worker closes the case or when Supportive Child Care will be reduced or terminated for any other reason, the DSS social worker must:
notify the DSS area child care coordinator and the Supportive Child Care provider of a child's termination from care at least three weeks prior to the termination of care;
- inform families of their right to a DSS Fair Hearing process; and
- direct the family to the Central Department DSS Fair Hearing Department in order to obtain the appropriate forms.
(See policy P-EEC-Supportive-09: Termination of Supportive Child Care & DSS Appeal Rights .)
When the DSS social worker is notified by the area child care coordinator of an expected opening in Supportive Child Care for a child in his/her caseload, the DSS social worker must:
- confirm whether the child will be utilizing the slot opening within one week; or
- inform the DSS area child care coordinator of the change in plans if the child will not be using the slot immediately, and
- inform the area child care coordinator whether the child will remain on the waitlist for future placement and where the child's name should placed on the waitlist (retained at the top or placed at the bottom of the waitlist).
Children referred by the DSS social worker for Supportive Child Care who were placed on the waitlist require an updated referral annually. When notified by the DSS area child care coordinator of the upcoming anniversary date of the child's placement on the waitlist, the DSS social worker must:
- complete an updated DSS Authorization for Supportive Child Care form within two weeks, or
- notify the DSS area child care coordinator that the referral is withdrawn.
(See policy P-EEC-Supportive-10: Waitlist Management.)
Information provided by the Department of Early Education and Care. Created: March 4, 2008.