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Guiding Principals for SURVIVAL March 15, 2011 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Guiding Principals for SURVIVAL March 15, 2011 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Guiding Principals for SURVIVAL March 15,

2 Purpose The purpose of this training is to educate newly licensed Foster Parents and to remind current Foster Parents of various processes and policies at PSF. “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 2

3 Acronyms See handout “Common Acronyms for Child Welfare Professionals”. Keep this tool handy for this training. “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 3

4 Circuit 3 & 8 Organization Flowchart “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” Department of Children and Families Family Preservation Services of Florida Devereux Children’s Home Society Camelot Community Care Partnership for Strong Families 4

5 PLACEMENT 5

6 To place our children within their county of origin To keep siblings groups in the same placement or within the same county as their siblings To identify and provide our children with a stable placement during their stay within the foster care system To provide our children with a home that understands and is able to support their specific needs “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” PSF Placement Goals 6

7 Abuse or neglect is reported to the Abuse Hotline If child is believed to be in imminent danger the child is removed and placed with a family member or family friend. If no placements are found then the child is put into Foster Care. Placement Coordinators will receive a call from a PI or FCC indicating the need of a placement. Our Placement Coordinators will first look through the list of all the foster homes that have the capacity within the child’s county of origin and begin making phone calls. If no home is willing or able to take care of the child, the Placement Coordinators begin to look for the closest foster home within Circuits 3 & 8. Sometimes children will be placed out of our coverage area or even separated from their siblings. Placement Process “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 7

8 Child’s Identifying Info (Full legal name, age, DOB, SS #, Medicaid #) Reasons for child coming into Foster Care Why does this child need a new placement? Any known issues? (Aggressive, sexualized, depression) How long the child has been in foster care? Does the child have any siblings in care? Do they have visits? Does this child get along with other kids? How many previous placements has the child had? Do you have the child’s Blue Folder? (Placement letter, records) What is the permanency goal for the child? (Reunification, adoption) Is the child on any medications? Know allergies to meds or food? Is the child currently involved in any counseling, therapy? What school/day care does the child attend? Who is the child’s Family Care Counselor? Top Questions for Placement Coordinators “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 8

9 If you do not feel comfortable or unable to provide this child with all of their physical, emotional, and behavioral issues please say “No”!!! Nothing will be held against you if you choose not to take a child into your care. There are plenty of children that need homes. “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” Golden Rule Regarding Placements 9

10 Respite care is defined as a minimum of a 24 hour break in providing care. Each foster family is entitled to 12 respite days per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30 of each year). Licensing standards require that all respite providers must be screened. If Respite care is provided outside of the foster home the respite provider must be a licensed foster parent. All respite providers must be given the following information: -Family Care Counselor’s name & telephone number -Emergency telephone numbers -Child’s physician’s name and phone number -Child’s School Information -Child’s Medicaid Information Respite Care “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 10

11 “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” Placement Contacts Mia Jones- Placement Supervisor Office: Cell: Dorothy Nye Bradford, Union, Baker, Lafayette, Suwannee, Hamilton, Madison, &Taylor Counties Office: x 303 Cell: Joyce Griffin Placement Administrative Assistant Arenetta Jacobs Columbia County, APD & Therapeutic. Office: x 316 Cell: Pascha Coonradt Levy, Dixie, Gilchrist Counties Office: x 344 Cell: Kishanna Spooner Alachua County Office: Cell: Daphne Gainey Alachua County Office: Cell:

12 A Blue Folder is a standardized record developed and maintained for every child entering out-of-home care. This folder at a minimum should include: –Placement Letter (Letter granting temporary legal custody) –Authorization for Consent to treat (Medical) –Initial Placement Information (Name, SS#, DOB, Background) –Shelter Order ( Petition filed with the courts asking child be removed from home) –Child Profile & Family Safety Contract ( For case involving sexual abuse) If you did not receive a blue folder, please ask the worker who transported the child to your home to contact the responsible Family Care Counselor (FCC) or the Child Protective Investigator (CPI). Both you and the FCC should continuously be adding items to the blue folder as the case progresses. Blue Folders “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 12

13 HOW TO LOOK UP STAFF 13

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18 18 See Attached Handout Numbers to Know

19 TEEN NORMALCY 19

20 Normalcy for adolescents and teenagers in the custody of the Department 65C-30 (10). Adolescents and teenagers who are in the custody of the department shall, as appropriate based on age and maturity level, be allowed and encouraged by the licensed out-of-home caregiver, to engage in appropriate social and extracurricular activities to promote the child’s social development and maturity. The Services Worker and the licensed out-of-home caregiver shall work together to ensure the following: Support of school attendance, participation, and educational Planning (i.e. College, vocational, or technical) Assist in Life Skills development ( i.e. money management, personal hygiene, consumer awareness, housekeeping, job seeking, etc.) Provision of training and information (i.e. drug and alcohol use/abuse, teen sexuality issues, runaway prevention, etc.) Affording the child every opportunity for social development (i.e. approved/planned overnight outings deemed safe by caregiver, etc.) Encouraging participation in extracurricular activities (i.e. sports, clubs, hobbies, etc.) “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” What is Normalcy? 20

21 The Normalcy Teen Plan (F.S. 65C-30 (10)) is a written plan that outlines age appropriate activities and responsibilities developed for each youth ages in licensed care. In accordance with Florida Statue, the Teen Plan must be developed in collaboration with the teen, foster parent (caregiver), Family Care Counselor, and Independent Living Case Manager, if available. Each Teen Plan is specific to the individual teen and must be reviewed and updated every ninety days, or more often as needed. “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” Normalcy Teen Plan 21

22 Children in licensed care are eligible for Educational and Normalcy Funds. These funds were created with the intention of allowing children of all ages to participate in community and educational activities. Educational Funds= Each foster child is eligible for $ of educational funding each fiscal year. Funding can be spent on school supplies, summer camp, tutoring, school activities (clubs, sports, band), school pictures, dances (prom, etc.), yearbooks and anything related to education. Normalcy Funds= Normalcy funding is available for activities such as theme park tickets, school activities, summer camps and anything related to normal child activities. When in doubt, please contact your Recruitment and Retention Specialist. “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” Normalcy Activities for Children 22

23 $300 per child/per year limit. All activities must be pre-approved. All receipts or other information must be submitted with the request. Request must be made to your Recruitment & Retention Specialist. All requests will be submitted for final approval to Partnership CEO or to the Senior Vice-President. Upon approval, a check will be cut and mailed to address provided on form. Please allow two weeks for approval. Request for gas, hotel, food, spending money or taxes will not be approved. All requests are subject to denial due to lack of funding or not meeting the qualifications. “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” Normalcy Funding Guidelines 23

24 FINANCIAL 24

25 “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” ***Allowances can not be withheld as a form of discipline as per 65c (7) Page 23*** ***Overpayments must be immediately returned back to the PSF Finance Department*** Monthly Board Rate Breakdown 25

26 Initial Emergency Shelter - This would be considered an emergency shelter or when a child is first removed from their home. The initial clothing voucher is filled out by the Protective Investigator or Family Care Counselor and issued at the initial placement to the foster parent. Initial clothing vouchers are as follows: o Children aged 0 through 12 years: $50.00 o Children aged 13 years and above: $70.00 Foster Parents can take vouchers to the following stores to redeem them: o JC Penney in Lake City o Kmart in Gainesville o All Beall’s Outlet Store within our 13 Counties. If the foster parent does not wish to use the voucher at the stores listed above, they can spend the voucher amount’s listed above at any store they want to purchase clothing and shoes. In cases like these, foster parents will be reimbursed through Finance. Make a copy of the receipts for your records first, then submit receipts to: Attention: Lisa Vickery, 515 North Main Street, Gainesville, FL Lisa Vickery can also be reached at “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” Initial Clothing Vouchers 26

27 “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” Annual Clothing Vouchers Annual clothing allowances are funds that must be utilized for the purchase of clothing and shoes for children that are in licensed care. Children 0-4 receive $ 200 Children 5-17 receive $ 300 It is mandatory for all foster parents to submit receipts to Lisa Vickery in the Finance Department at 5950 NW 1 st Place, Suite A Gainesville, FL within 30 days of receiving the allowance. Only receipts within the 30 day timeframe will be accepted. If receipts are not received, or do not total the amount of the clothing allowance, the money will be recouped your next board rate check. If a child moves from your home and you have been given the clothing allowance, contact Lisa Vickery immediately at (352) The money must be returned back immediately to the address above. 27

28 Child Trust Funds Funding for children eligible for SSA/SSI or other benefits from their birth parents. A portion is used to off-set the cost of their care, remaining funds are available for use by the child. Children use this fund via their FCC. Funding can be used for almost anything the child wants, such as computers, clothes, media, etc. After $1,500, the money stop’s accruing. Contact the child’s FCC or Dawn McDowelle ( ) if you have a child with a trust fund or believe your child should have a trust fund. Any items purchased for the child belong to the child and MUST be moved with the child. “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 28

29 You may be reimbursed for the following types of travel expenses incurred as a Foster Parent: –To transport the child to medical & mental health appointments –To transport the child to “special” educational & vocational training –To transport the child to visits with parents, siblings, or relatives –You may also be reimbursed for transportation to approved in-service training sessions. If you are not a Medicaid provider, you may submit your travel reimbursement requests to Lisa Sullivan, Licensing Administrative Assistant. They may be reached at These requests should be submitted on a monthly basis and PSF will reimbursed at a rate of $0.38/mile. “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” Travel Reimbursement 29

30 Travel must be submitted by the 20 th of each month Travel can be reimbursed for up to three previous months All travel must be submitted by month on separate forms Travel reimbursement form should include: your name and signature, the child’s name, the FCC’s name, travel date, travel to/from, purpose of travel, number of miles, and start/arrival times Sign the form before it is submitted on the line that says ‘Employee Signature’ All travel forms must have original signatures. No fax or s allowed ALL TRAVEL REQUIRES DOCUMENTATION OR PROOF; SUCH AS A NOTE FROM THE FCC FOR VISITATION, NOTE FROM DOCTOR, A COPY OF THE CERTIFICATE OR THE TRAINING AGENDA. ***IF IN DOUBT PLEASE ASK*** “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” Travel Reimbursements Must 30

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32 Damage Claim Process When can I file a damage claim? –If a foster/shelter child in your home causes you property damage or direct medical expenses. –A claim must be filed with the “Restitution Claim Form”. What will I need? –The date of the incident –The claimants contact information –A brief statement of the incident –Pictures if applicable –Signature from a worker who has verified the damage occurred (#9) –Receipts for repair or medical expenses. “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 32

33 Damage Claim Process Things to remember: Claims can ONLY be filed by the claimant within 120 days of the incident Pictures and supporting documentation help Form must be filled out completely Make copies of everything Send form as Certified Mail For #5 on the form, make sure you have: Lisa Vickery 5950 NW 1 st Place, Suite A Gainesville, Fl “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 33

34 ABUSE REPORTS 34

35 More Professionals see the children regularly Children know how to work the system Some biological parents might make reports “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” Why are abuse reports called? 35

36 A Child Protective Investigator (CPI or PI) will get in touch with you or come to your home You are allowed to know the allegations You cannot know the reporter (only the PI has this information) Answer the PI’s questions and work with them. If you need reassurance contact FAST “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” What happens when an abuse report is called in? 36

37 The PI will interview all the children involved (including possibly your biological and adopted children) The PI will interview you and any other people related to the case What will the PI do? “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 37

38 DCF will place a No Placement Hold on your home –This will remain in affect until the case is officially closed PSF Licensing Analyst will be in touch with the PI –PSF cannot speak with you about the case until we receive clearance from the PI “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” What will Licensing do? 38

39 The PI has 60 days from the start of the case to close it in the FSFN system Any reports are maintained in FAHIS –These reports are not found through most job related background searches Important Information: “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 39

40 There are three outcomes from an abuse report –No Indicators –Some Indicators –Verified The PI should send you a letter stating their findings soon after closing the case If you have not received this information, please contact DCF or the PI directly. Abuse Report Outcomes: “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 40

41 No Indicators –Usually has no affect on the license –The report will be discussed in your annual re- licensing home visit Some Indicators/Verified –Case is staffed at Foster Care Review Committee (A meeting between DCF, PFSF Licensing, PFSF QA, CPI, and CMA) How do Outcomes Affect my License? “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 41

42 From the FCRC, recommendations are created Possible follow-up –Support Plan: a six month plan to add support to a foster home to improve the quality of care. –Corrective Action Plan: usually 6 months of follow- up with Licensing Analyst including tasks to reduce risks in the foster home –Suspension: A temporary break in the license –Revocation: Removal of license by DCF Outcomes of Some Indicator/Verified “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 42

43 F.A.S.T. Foster Allegation Support Team- self run by the Florida State Foster Adoptive Parent Association. Contact Person- Eddie Easter –1-800-FAST – “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 43

44 The Purpose of F.A.S.T. To provide support to the Foster Parent when an allegation has been or might be brought against him or her. To provide an immediate response to the Foster Parent. Keep Foster Parents informed of procedures and the process if an allegation is made. To provide an environment without judgment to assist Foster Parents and their families. “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 44

45 Pointers for Dealing with an Allegation Keep a complete written journal of all dates, times, events and communications. Insist on giving full input into the investigation. Call the FAST hotline for support. Request assistance from the agency in explaining to the children what is happening and why. Maintain your sense of professionalism as foster parents. Cooperate with the investigation. “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 45

46 LICENSING 46

47 Changes during the Licensed Year (F.S. 65C ) Report within 48 hours of incident: –Law Enforcement involvement with any household member –A change in marital status –A change in household composition –A change in physical address –Changes in financial situation –Serious health issues –If situations not reported and child safety is threatened, a license could be suspended, revoked or denied “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 47

48 Changes during the Licensed Year (F.S. 65C ) Report immediately: –Change in marital status –A change of home telephone number –Change of mailing address –Change of employment/significant change in work schedule –Change in household composition If your not sure, contact your Licensing Specialist! “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 48

49 “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” If your physical address is going to change during the year let your Licensing Specialist know as early before hand as possible Within 30 days of your moving into the new residence we must have: –New application for Licensure –New floor plan & emergency evacuation route –New County Health Inspection –New Radon test –Pictures of every room in the home –Licensing Specialist must do a home visit to do addendum to the home study If this is not sent to DCF within 30 days your license will be revoked and any foster children in your home will have to be removed Change of Address 49

50 We need parental permission or a court- order for ANY AND ALL psychotropic medications. –This includes any changes in dosage or type of medication. Only a Psychiatrist can prescribe these medications. Psychotropic Medications “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 50

51 Never give a child a prescription medication without checking to ensure it is not a psychotropic medication Never approve any prescription or change in prescription for a psychotropic medication Ensure that you have the approval form or court order in the blue folder for all children taking Psychotropic medications. You must keep a log of every dosage of Psychotropic Medication given to a child in your home. (see handout) Best Practice is to log ALL MEDICATIONS given to children. Your Responsibility “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 51

52 RETENTION 52

53 Home Visit Form Child well being Health Dr Visit’s Medications Household Caregiver Case Plan Visitation Immediate Safety and Risk Next Court Hearing Caregiver Comments Signatures “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 53

54 Staffings Staffings are a very important part of Case Management. This is where decisions are made about the child and their goal. There are many staffings you can be a part of –Early Intervention Services (ESI) –Family Team Conferences (FTC) –Licensing –Reunification –Permanency –Adoptions –Independent Living “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 54

55 Foster Parent Mentor Program Foster Parent Mentors are available to assist you. What does a Mentor do? –Assist foster parents with information –Help you communicate with your CMA –Offer solutions to foster parent problems that may occur –Encourage education and training required to maintain licensure. “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 55

56 Training Hours Each Foster Parent needs 8 hours of Training every year to be re-licensed. Where to get training: –Foster Adoptive Parent Association (meeting times in Foster Times) –Special Training Announcements (ex. Sexual Abuse with Robert Edelman or Legal Training with Kelsey Burnette) – MAPP refresher –Online at or –Various workgroup meetings at PSF –Children’s Week at the Capitol –Florida State Foster Adoptive Parent Association Annual Conference in June or various other conferences –On the job training ALL TRAININGS MUST BE PRE-APPROVED by your Licensing Specialist or Recruitment and Retention Specialist. “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 56

57 Communication Foster Parent List –Recruitment and Retention sends various s out announcing free activities, training opportunities and community resources available to parents. – Tatianna or Waheeda to get on the list. Foster Times –Mailed and ed quarterly. “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 57

58 Foster Parent Manual Communication Financial Legal Medical School What to do if a child… What to do if you want to… When a child arrives… Licensing Rules PSF Policies on Foster Care Appendix “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 58

59 Foster Parent Complaint Process Foster Parent Concern Family Care Counselor Recruitment and Retention Specialist Service Center Contact Family Care Counselor Supervisor Program Director “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 59

60 Gainesville Karen Sheppard Trenton Pat Brown-Scott x Starke Erica Tollett x316 Live Oak Derek Prowse x 317 Lake City Janeen Rawls x317 Service Center Contacts for Case Management “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 60

61 Quality Assurance Complaint Process If your concern has not been resolved, please follow these steps: –Go to –Click on “Contact Us” –Click on the “Questions or concerns regarding child and family services” box. –Fill out the form –Someone from PSF/CMA will notify you in regards to the complaint. “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 61

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64 March- Children’s Week at the Capitol April- Child Abuse Prevention Month May- Foster Parent Appreciation Month Summer- Back to School Drive November- National Family Week December- Holiday Toy Drive “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” Foster Parent Support Activities 64

65 “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” Service Center Contacts for Clothing Closet Gainesville Call your FP Liaison Trenton Laura Blanton x 301 Starke Christine Franklin Live Oak Rosemary Jackson x 301 Lake City Waverly Dobbs x

66 “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” Wanted: Caring & Committed Foster Parents Eligibility: All active foster parents in good standing; PSF employees; partner agency employees; and DCF staff. Process: Give prospective foster parents name and contact information to your Recruitment and Retention Specialist, Tatianna Kelaita or Waheeda Bacchus. PSF will reward you with $ for each family that you refer to become a licensed foster home. Payment will be made when the family referred becomes licensed and accepts their first foster child. Reward Program 66

67 Partner Family Families who work with Bio Parents and the CMA to get the child home as quickly and safely as possible. You will be required to attend court, staffings and work closely with the agency for various tasks. In the event that the child does not go home, this foster home would adopt this child. This home would be the ONLY placement for this child. PPF Homes require additional training A PPF child must be placed in your home by the PSF when identified. You will not be able to take any other children unless approved by PSF. For more information or to sign up, contact Tia Stover at or “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 67

68 Foster Adoptive Parent Association Alachua- Meets Saturdays from 10:00am-Noon every month in Gainesville. Baker, Bradford and Union- Meets every other month on Tuesdays from 6:00-8:00pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Starke Columbia, Suwannee, Lafayette, Hamilton, Madison and Taylor- Meets every other month on Tuesdays from 6:00-8:00pm at the Lake City Service Center. Levy, Gilchrist and Dixie- Meets the 2 nd Thursday of every other month from 6:30-8:30pm at the First Baptist Church of Bronson. Visit for more information. Date, Time, and Location subject to change. Access to verify information for FAPA meetingswww.pfsf.org “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 68

69 Licensing, Recruitment and Retention Tia Stover- Foster Care Recruitment & Licensing Manager Lisa Sullivan- Licensing Administrative Assistant –Handles all travel reimbursements and forms from Licensing Ellene Kelly- Foster Care Licensing Specialist –Covers re-licensure for Alachua County Brenda Mims- Foster Care Licensing Specialist –Covers re-licensure for Bradford and Union Counties “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 69

70 Licensing, Recruitment and Retention Marcus Long- Foster Care Licensing Specialist –Covers re-licensure for Suwannee, Lafayette, Madison and Taylor Counties Conda Curry-Green- Foster Care Licensing Specialist x 305 (located at the Lake City Service Center) –Covers re-licensure for Baker, Columbia and Hamilton Counties Lolita Mims- Foster Care Licensing Specialist x 307 (located at the Trenton Service Center) –Covers re-licensure for Levy, Gilchrist and Dixie Counties “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 70

71 Licensing, Recruitment and Retention Recruitment and Retention Waheeda Bacchus- Recruitment & Retention Specialist –Covers Alachua, Baker, Bradford,Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy, and Union Counties Tatianna Kelaita - Recruitment & Retention Specialist –Covers Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, and Union Counties “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” 71

72 Ask as many questions as possible before accepting a child into your home. Takes notes with the information given from the Placement Specialist or the PI. (Get signatures when possible) Make sure you have received the child’s Blue folder, and make sure it has all needed forms (Placement letter, consent to treat, etc.) Keep a composition notebook and write detailed notes on every child in your home. (Get signatures when possible) Limit posting pictures of your foster children on any social networking or media site Don’t get creative!!! “ Without Every Leaf, the Tree is Incomplete” Best Practices/CYB 72

73 Questions ? 73


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