Presentation on theme: "Genetic Paternity Testing and Child Support Programs."— Presentation transcript:
Genetic Paternity Testing and Child Support Programs
Objective: A genetic paternity test in a timely fashion Why: Determination of fit and willing relatives for placement Prevents delays in establishing permanency for the minor child Prevents attachment and bonding with third party foster parents, or a man who is later proven not to be the father when child could be bonding with appropriate relative placements, including the putative father.
Traditional Approach 1. DFCS SSCM makes a referral to Child Support Services (DCSS) This referral occurs as part of the referral to Rev Max for eligibility determination for IV-E and Medicaid Social Services Manual Chapter 1000, Page 28 (no later than 5 working days after the child’s removal) RMS refers the parents to DCSS 2. DFCS SSCM waits for an order to be established on the parents.
Reasons for Not Referring 1) Child in permanent custody of DFCS *(New law in effect which says support owed until adoption should change this section of policy) 2) Those who have returned home at the time the eligibility determination is completed, those who are returned home at the 72 hour hearing 3)Those who receive adoption assistance benefits ERG Procedure 339, Page 1-2
Exceptions Those whose parents are unknown; and Those for whom “good cause” not to refer exists and is supported by written justification statement signed by County Director/Program Director
When will DCSS pay for DNA testing See Practice Issues: Where paternity is an issue, DCSS will arrange and pay for DNA testing, but only in conjunction with a case that has been referred for full DCSS services.
Other needs (2) Any other need by the county department to establish paternity; e.g., in preparation for filing a TPR petition, identification of a placement resource, etc. will require DFCS to schedule and pay for the testing. See Section 1016, Fiscal, for UAS Code 518, First Placement/Best Placement Wrap-Around Services for payment options. Also see PUP SERVICES INVOICE (UAS 521) ERG Procedure
Can you get a “timely” paternity determination for child welfare purpose by relying on a DCSS referral? What is the best case scenario ?
Referral Process Case is sent from CSSM to REV/MAX for eligibility determination Time Frame: within DCSS receives the referral from SHINES—(daily View direct report) Case is assigned a case number in the $TARS system: auto populated by STARS Agent Reviews the Vital Records Birth Index and Paternity Acknowledgment Screen
Establishment Procedure If the Agent determines that there is a legal father other than the father named by DFCS, agent must notify that DCSS must pursue the legal father for establishment of exclusion If not an issued, the office receiving the referral will register the case within 3 days of the date of receipt of referral. Acknowledge receipt of referral within 20 days
DCSS Referral An appointment letter is first mailed to the alleged father (AF – this is how DCSS refers to them in their procedure manual) and this letter includes a specific appointment date/time for the AF to appear and meet with an agent to settle the case by consent order. As far as how many days lapse within the appointment and court cycle, the appointment will most likely be set within a month of when the letter is mailed out. If the AF appears and will consent, or if he won’t consent or doesn’t appear, they prepare the court docs while he is in the office or on the date of the missed appointment. They have the AF either sign an acknowledgement and waiver of service, or they route the case on to the ADA or SAAG to have signed, and then the staff has it filed with the clerk, sent to the sheriff for service. The diagram of what happens depends on whether the AF cooperates or not. Also, offices that e-file will process their documents a little differently, but the general process is the same.
Child Support Services Establishment Process Legal Secretary files with Clerk of Court, obtains case number and sends the package to the sheriff’s office for service for first court appearance. Court appearance usually set 30 days out to ensure service and to comply with civil practice provisions. Litigant entitled to 30 days after date of service to file an answer (with 15 additional days to buy out of default)
Child Support Procedure Genetic Paternity Testing Results: Within 2-3 weeks of testing. Samples are currently obtained by DCSS employees in the office or at court Results are sent, if HIPPA signed by both parties; if not, only a paternity determination letter is mailed. Case set for court to establish child support obligation, order sent to DFCS.
Foster Care Services: Fiscal In Home Case Management (Entitlement Code 71) Purpose: to provide case management assistance to families in completing the defined goals and steps of the Case Plan Service activities: Activities, include establishing paternity (DNA testing)
Uniform Accounting System Codes (UAS) COSTAR Section 3006 Revised November UAS Program 521 PUP (CONTRACT FOR CERTAIN SERVICES REQUIRED) continued ALLOWABLE ENTITLEMENT CODES DESCRIPTION CODE SPECIFIC SERVICE REQUIREMENTS Paternity Testing/DNA Testing 51e CONTRACT REQUIRED Up to $ maximum per service
Procedure from Office Using PUP funds “We use Georgia On-Site Lab Testing and it is $200 per child and for the father. They typically have the results within two weeks max. We use PUP funds to pay for it through a service authorization.” Tasondra D. Terrell, LMSW Social Services Supervisor Rockdale Co. DFCS 975 Taylor St.
Costs Associated with Paternity Testing Child Support Services $29.65/person, total cost = $88.95 DFCS contract As of November, 2013 not to exceed $200.00
Reasonable Efforts to Preserve or Reunify the Family Placement in the most appropriate, least restrictive, and most family-like setting available……. (f) services are to be Consistent and timely
DFCS TIMEFRAMES 30 days of the date after a child who is placed in DFCS custody to complete a case plan O.C.G.A. Section Diligent Search for Relatives, includes the duty to search for relatives and make a “comprehensive search of data bases” O.C.G.A. Section
DFCS TIME FRAMES Disposition Hearing If not held in conjunction with adjudication, held and completed within 30 days after the conclusion of adjudication hearing Documents to be considered prior to disposition, the social study report, if applicable if made by DFCS and case plan
Periodic Review Hearings Periodic Review Hearing Initial within 75 days of adjudication Next review 4 months following the initial review What is being done at this hearing—At the initial 75 day periodic review, the Court shall approve the completion of the relative search, schedule the 4 month review— (c)
P ermanency Planning Hearing Children Under 7—no later than 9 months after child entered foster care Child Age 7 and Above- no later than 12 months after the child has entered foster care Non-Reunification No later than 30 days after DFCS has submitted the written report
Permanency planning report Report Includes: A statement as to the availability of a safe and appropriate placement with a fit and willing relative of such child Or other persons who have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to a child or a statement as to why such placement with a relative or other person is not safe or appropriate
Relative Search by DFCS Diligent Search shall be conducted at the onset of the case and duty is continuing Search shall be completed, documented in writing and filed with the Court within 30 days from the date on which the alleged dependent child was removed from home A “minimum” diligent search, includes: (7) any other reasonable means that are likely to identify relatives or other persons who have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the child (b)(7)
Meetings and Assessments: Time Frames for child in foster care Juvenile Court Proceeding Family Team Meeting Comprehensive Child and Family Assessment (expediting permanency) following the 72 hour hearing when the child is detained
What’s New in the DCSS World Patricia K. Buonodono, JD, CWLS Child Support Project Director Staff Attorney, Georgia Commission on Child Support Administrative Office of the Courts
References Division of Child Support Services, Employee Reference Guide-Procedure 0339, Foster Care, Revised 9/9/2013 Procedure 327, Genetic Testing 327
References O.C.G.A. Section , et seq. O.C.G.A. Section , et seq. Social Services Manual Chapter 1000 COSTAR-Support Services, Section 3006 PUP Services Invoice (UAS 521)
Contact Information Lisa M. Mantz, Associate Judge Newton County Juvenile Court Patricia K. Buonodono, JD, CWLS, Child Support Project Director Staff Attorney, Georgia Commission on Child Support Administrative Office of the Courts 244 Washington Street, Suite 300 Atlanta, Georgia Office: (404) Cell: (404) Fax: (770)