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Guidelines for Preparing & Conducting the Review Of Oklahoma.

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Presentation on theme: "Guidelines for Preparing & Conducting the Review Of Oklahoma."— Presentation transcript:

1 Guidelines for Preparing & Conducting the Review Of Oklahoma

2 Protocol & Demeanor Before the Review: Comply with the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act requirements Thoroughly prepare all cases being reviewed Arrive on time During the Review: Exhibit appropriate and unbiased behavior when interested parties are present Ask appropriate & relevant questions. Listen to other board members to prevent repetitive questioning. Be mindful of the sensitivity and confidentiality of the information being discussed- especially when children are present Do NOT lecture interested parties, practice law or therapy during the review. Even though each Board has an appointed member as the “Board Chair”, the Board functions as a group. Be willing to accept redirection from your fellow board members Handle deficiencies in case management professionally. Be conscious of the amount of time designated for the review and staying on schedule. After the Review: End the review appropriately- thank everyone for their participation Do NOT discuss the cases outside of the meeting room (i.e., hallway, restroom, etc.) 2

3 Prepare for the meeting Develop the meeting agenda Is your board ensuring that it reviews all open cases at least once every six months? Or are you solely relying on court or OKDHS to set your review schedule? Share the responsibilities among board members so that more than one person knows the process. Comply with the Oklahoma Open Meetings Act Agenda post 24 hours in advance Minutes of the actions taken Notify members and interested parties Remind board members of meeting. Inform OKDHS, CASA, ICW workers, Court Clerks, foster parents, etc. of the cases to be reviewed Prepare for court files to be available Confirm with Court Clerk (or other) that files will be available for the meeting 3

4 Getting the Meeting Started Determine whether guests will be attending Identify whether any guests are interested parties to the cases being reviewed or whether they are members of the public. If non-routine interested parties will be attending attempt to have prior notification given. For interested parties such as foster parents, parents, therapists consider having their case(s) reviewed first so they do not have to wait Quorum check ½ of board membership present, plus one Call the meeting to order Announce the meeting, clarify Open Meetings Act compliance Public comments If guests attending are not interested parties this is their opportunity to give comments to the board. The board is not able to discuss cases at this time. If the guests have information on the cases they may share it with the board but the board members may not share any case information. Enter into executive session Prior to reviewing cases the board must enter into executive session. “As permitted by Oklahoma Statute, Title 10, section (F.) I propose this board enter into executive session.” Only board members and interested parties can be involved in executive session. Interested parties can only be present for the discussion of cases they are involved in. Interested parties are not required to participate. The board determines who will or will not be involved. 4

5 Overview of the Review Interested Parties Court files are good to determine the decisions of the court but generally shed little light into the details of each case. Information from interested parties is critical in understanding the full scope of each case. The more sources of information only enhances the boards understanding and increases its ability to provide the court with useful recommendations. While going over the court file information let caseworker give names, ages and current placement information. This may give the board an understanding of how close the worker is to the case. When a caseworker does not know the basic information of a case ASK MORE QUESTIONS. If the worker doesn’t know then who does? Get a brief history Its important to know the background of the case but it is not the board’s role to re-investigate the case. The board needs to understand the dynamics of the family and decisions made by the court and agencies, but the board does not need to expend time looking for faults in past decisions. Look for solutions to help the case from this point forward. Identify the current situation The board needs to know where the children, parents, etc. are now, how they are doing, how much progress is being made, etc. Determine the recommendations of the interested parties What to the other players think are the important issues? What will they recommend to the court? Develop the board’s recommendation 5

6 Important Information to Gather Pertaining to the child:  Reasons for entering foster care  Child’s grade & academic performance  Child’s ethnicity/ICWA status  Child’s placement: placement type, current placement date, initial placement date  Services child is receiving or is in need of  Siblings/Biological parent visits Any difficulties following visits?  Medical & Dental needs being addressed  Is the child dually adjudicated (probation)?  Is the child compliant with probation requirements?  Is the child eligible for/participating in independent living skills training?  Is the child AWOL? If so, has a pick up order been issued? Slide 6

7 Important Information to Gather Pertaining to the Biological Parents:  Case plan requirements/Case Plan Goal  What services have been offered?  Is there compliance?  Be Specific for each requirement.  Is there anything preventing compliance that the DHS can resolve?  Paternity established?  Whereabouts unknown- have parent locators been completed?  Are there any unresolved legal issues/probation requirements? Slide 6

8 Important Information to Gather Pertaining to the Placement:  Are foster parents/relative caregivers in need of services?  How often do they have contact with the case worker?  Does the case worker visit the child monthly?  Do they see a need for additional services for the child?  How is the child’s behavior following the visits with siblings/parents?  Is this potential foster/adoptive or guardianship placement?  Did they receive a placement information packet when the child was first placed with them? Slide 6

9 Are Federal and State laws being followed?  ASFA  ICWA Are agency policies being adhered to?  OKDHS Are you doing your job?  PARB statutes  3 Questions that require a response from the Board. These questions assist the board with identifying concerns that are further discussed during the meeting. The appropriateness of the goals and objectives of the treatment and service plan The appropriateness of the goals and objectives of the permanency plan and permanency planning The appropriateness of the services provided to the child, and to the parent, step parent, or other adults living in the home of the child, or legal guardian, or custodian. Do you see issues within your community that need to be addressed?  Is there a lack of a particular service? Are terminations not occurring? Are there delays in court proceedings? etc.  Can your board find ways to address these issues?  Does the board need to contact OCCY?  Is it an issue that the State Post Adjudication Review Advisory Board can help? In addition to best interests… 7

10 Findings & Recommendations The Board describes their concerns and documents their recommendations.  Restating the history of the case is not needed  The courts already know the history  Other reports have this information  Stating recent changes or expected changes is appropriate  Point out new or planned events that may impact the case  Documenting concerns expressed by interested parties is appropriate  Particularly concerns of foster parents or others who may not have a strong voice in the proceedings  Pointing out any concern of the board is important  Court hearings are often spent addressing big matters such as placement, custody, and permanency. Sometimes little matters that significantly impact the child can get over looked. 8

11 Does the board need to talk to the Judge, District Attorney, OKDHS staff ? Do all the parties have all the necessary information? Does the judge need to be aware of a situation? Does the board need to contact OCCY? OCCY is able to investigate information and can intervene in a case if necessary Sometimes it doesn't feel like enough 9

12 CONCERNS- What is the board concerned about? Example: “The board is concerned that the plan for these children is family reunification.” WHY? All concerns should be supported by case details which can be received from statements made by interested parties and/or from information contained in the reports being considered by the board. 1 to 3 supporting statements should be used for every concern listed. Example: “The board is concerned that the plan for these children is family reunification. The child’s behavioral difficulties seem to escalate each time there is a significant change in his life. The mother has not been able to maintain a stable housing arrangement for almost a year. The paternity between the mother’s previous boyfriend’s has not been determined due to their unknown whereabouts. What is the board’s recommendation regarding the concern or issue? For every concern identified, there should be an action statement such as a recommendation or encouragement which is directed to a specific person and/or agency who is responsible for addressing the issue. Example: “The board is concerned that the plan for these children is family reunification. The child’s behavioral difficulties seem to escalate each time there is a significant change in his life. The mother has not been able to maintain a stable housing arrangement for almost a year and reportedly stays with different friends and even strangers. The paternity between the mother’s previous boyfriend’s has not been determined due to their unknown whereabouts. The board recommends the case plan goal be changed. The mother has failed to correct the conditions that led to the child’s removal. The board recommends that termination of parental rights be pursued.” Not a bad idea to qualify your sources of information Example: “Based on the information from the court file and verbal report given by the case worker….. What is a Good Recommendation Slide 10, 11, 12

13 Not a bad idea to state your sources of information Example: “Based on the information from the court file and verbal report given by the case worker….. What is a Good Recommendation 13


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