DAR File No. 39939

This rule was published in the December 1, 2015, issue (Vol. 2015, No. 23) of the Utah State Bulletin.


Human Services, Child and Family Services

Rule R512-301

Out-of-Home Services, Responsibilities Pertaining to a Parent or Guardian

Notice of Proposed Rule

(Amendment)

DAR File No.: 39939
Filed: 11/12/2015 09:41:02 AM

RULE ANALYSIS

Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

The purpose of this rule modification is to bring the rule in line with current statute and practice.

Summary of the rule or change:

This rule change is intended to make the rule technically correct with current practice.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Section 62A-4a-106
  • Section 62A-4a-102
  • Section 62A-4a-105

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

There will be no increase in cost or savings to the state budget because these proposed changes do not increase workload that would require additional staff or other costs.

local governments:

Local governments have no responsibility for services offered by Child and Family Services and are therefore not affected by this rule and will experience no fiscal impact.

small businesses:

Small businesses have no responsibility for services offered by Child and Family Services and are therefore not affected by this rule and will experience no fiscal impact.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

There is no expected fiscal impact for "persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local government entities" because funding requests for services offered by Child and Family Services come out of already-existing budgets.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

Child and Family Services determined that there will be no compliance costs for affected persons because there are no specific costs involved with the changes being made to this rule.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

This rule will have no fiscal impact on businesses.

Ann Williamson, Executive Director

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

Human Services
Child and Family Services
195 N 1950 W
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84116

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Carol Miller at the above address, by phone at 801-557-1772, by FAX at 801-538-3993, or by Internet E-mail at carolmiller@utah.gov
  • Julene Robbins at the above address, by phone at 801-538-4521, by FAX at 801-538-3942, or by Internet E-mail at jhjonesrobbins@utah.gov

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:

12/31/2015

This rule may become effective on:

01/07/2016

Authorized by:

Brent Platt, Director

RULE TEXT

R512. Human Services, Child and Family Services.

R512-301. Out-of-Home Services, Responsibilities Pertaining to a Parent or Guardian.

R512-301-1. Purpose and Authority.

(1) The purposes of this rule are to clarify:

(a) Roles and responsibilities of Child and Family Services to a parent or guardian of a child receiving out-of-home services in accordance with Rule R512-300, and

(b) Roles and responsibilities of a parent or guardian while a child is receiving out-of-home services.

(2) Sections 62A-4a-105 and 62A-4a-106 authorize Child and Family Services to provide out-of-home services and 42 USC 672 authorizes federal foster care. 42 USC 672 as amended by Public Law [110-351 (October 7, 2008)]113-183 (September 29, 2014), and 45 CFR Parts 1355 and 1356 [(October 1, 2008)](January 6, 2012) are incorporated by reference.

(3) This rule is authorized by Section 62A-4a-102.

 

R512-301-2. Definitions.

The following terms are defined for the purposes of this rule:

(1) Child and Family Services means the Division of Child and Family Services.

(2) Out-of-Home Services means those services defined in Rule R512-300.

(3) Child and Family Team means a group that includes the child and family and other concerned individuals involved in providing formal or informal supports or services to the family, that[and] meet[s] together as often as needed to assist[support] the family [and assist them ]in meeting their needs[to achieve], providing a safe home for their children, and achieving the goals that will lead to conclusion of Child and Family Services involvement. The family is involved in identifying individuals they want included as a part of the Child and Family Team.[This may include the referent or other concerned individuals identified by the family as support persons.]

(4) Reunification means safely returning the child to the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed by court order or through a voluntary placement.

 

R512-301-3. Child and Family Services Roles and Responsibilities to a Parent or Guardian of a Child Receiving Out-of-Home Services when Reunification is the Primary Permanency Goal.

(1) Child and Family Services is responsible to make reasonable efforts to reunify a child with a parent or guardian when a court has determined that reunification is appropriate , in accordance with Section 62A-4a-203 , or when a child has been placed with Child and Family Services through a voluntary placement.

(2) Child and Family Services shall actively seek to involve[the involvement of the] both the custodial and non-custodial parents or guardians in the Child and Family Team process, unless their whereabouts are unknown, including participation in establishing the Child and Family Team, completing an assessment, developing the Child and Family Plan, and selecting the child's primary and concurrent permanency goals, as described in Rule R512-300. Child and Family Services shall also involve the child's foster parents, stepparent (when appropriate), and the Guardian ad Litem, if one has been appointed by the court.

(3) The Child and Family Plan shall [not only address the child's strengths and needs, but shall also address the family's strengths and underlying needs]address the strengths and needs of both the child and the family. In accordance with Section 62A-4a-205, the plan shall identify [specifically ]what the parents must do in order for the child to be returned home, [including how those]specifically how the requirements may be accomplished [behaviorally ]and how the[y] requirements shall be measured. The plan shall also include the specific services needed to reduce the problems that necessitated placing the child in out-of-home care. Child and Family Services shall utilize and complete an assessment, with the input of the Child and Family Team, to identify the provisions that will be included in the plan. Provisions of the plan shall be crafted by the Child and Family Team and designed to maintain and enhance parental functioning, [care]improve safety, well-being, and permanency for the child, and preserve familial connections.

(4) In accordance with Section 62A-4a-205, additional weight and attention shall be given to the input of the child's parent s and the foster parents in the plan development.

(5) Child and Family Services shall make a substantial effort to develop a Child and Family Plan with which the child's parents agree. If a parent does not agree with the services outlined on the Child and Family Plan, Child and Family Services shall make attempts to resolve the disagreement, and, if unsuccessful, shall inform the court of the disagreement.

[(5)](6) The parent or guardian, foster parent, Guardian ad Litem, and the parent or guardian's legal counsel shall be provided a copy of the completed Child and Family Plan upon finalization of the plan, or as soon as reasonably possible following finalization.

[(6)](7) The caseworker shall make diligent attempts to have regular face-to-face contact with the parent or guardian in order to facilitate progress towards [goal achievement as determined by the needs of the parent and the recommendations of the Child and Family Team]completion of the provisions outlined in the Child and Family Plan. At a minimum, the caseworker shall visit the parent or guardian at least once per month.

[(7)](8) Child and Family Services shall make diligent efforts to engage a parent or guardian in continuing contacts with the child, whether through visitation, phone, or written correspondence, when it is not prohibited by court order. Visitation requirements specified in Rule R512-300 apply.

[(8)](9) Child and Family Services shall also make reasonable and diligent efforts to engage and involve a parent or guardian in [appropriate parenting tasks]their child's activities and appointments, such as attending school meetings, recreational activities, and health care visits, when it is determined to be safe for the child and not prohibited by court order.

(10) Child and Family Services must include the parent or guardian as fully as possible when making health care decisions for the child, as long as the child's health and well-being are not compromised by the decision.

[(9)](11) The parent or guardian has a right to reasonable notice and may participate in court and administrative reviews for the child in accordance with 42 USC 675 and Section 78A-6-317.

 

R512-301-4. Roles and Responsibilities of a Parent or Guardian of a Child Receiving Out-of-Home Services when Reunification is the Primary Permanency Goal.

[In addition to responsibility to comply with orders made by the court, a parent or guardian has responsibility to:]A parent or guardian is responsible for:

(1) Complying with court orders.

[(1)](2) [Participate]Participating in the Child and Family Team process.

[(2)](3) [Provide]Providing input into the assessment and Child and Family Plan development process [to help], in order to identify specific behavioral changes [in behavior ]and actions necessary to enable the child to safely return home.

[(3)](4) [Complete]Completing goals and objectives of the plan.

[(4)](5) [Communicate]Frequently communicating with the caseworker about their progress [in completing the plan or regarding problems in meeting specified goals or objectives in advance of]or inability to comply with the objectives of the plan, prior to the proposed completion time frames.

[(5)](6) [Maintain]Maintaining communication and frequent visitation with the child in accordance with Rule R512-300, when not prohibited by the court.

[(6)](7) [Provide]Providing information [necessary]to enable Child and Family Services to determine the child's eligibility for Federal benefits while in care , in accordance with Rule R512-300[, including]. Necessary information includes information on household income, assets, and household composition.

[(7)](8) [Provide]Providing financial support for the child's care , in accordance with 42 USC 671 , and Sections 62A-4a-114 and 78A-6-1106, unless deferred or waived as specified in Rule R495-879.

 

R512-301-5. Guidelines for Making Recommendations for Reunification to the Court.

(1) In accordance with Section 62A-4a-205, when considering reunification, the child's health, safety, and welfare shall be the paramount concern.

(2) The Child and Family Team shall consider the following factors in determining whether to recommend that the court order reunification:

(a) The risk factors that led to the placement were acute rather than chronic.

(b) The child and family assessments (including [factors such as threats of harm, protective capacities of the parent or guardian, the child's vulnerabilities, the level of informal and formal supports available to the family, and the family history, including past patterns of behavior]the safety, risk, and family functioning assessments, as well as any other pertinent assessments) conclude that the parent appears to possess or [have the potential to develop]has developed the ability to ensure the child's safety and provide a nurturing environment.

(c) The parent is committed to the child and indicates a desire to have the child returned home.

(d) The child has a desire for reunification , as determined using age appropriate assessments.

(e) Members of the Child and Family Team support a reunification plan.

(f) If the parent is no longer living with the individual who severely abused the minor, reunification may be considered [if]when the parent is able to implement a plan that ensures the child's ongoing safety.

(g) Existence of factors or exceptions that preclude reunification as specified in Section 78A-6-312.

(3) Child and Family Services shall provide additional relevant facts, when available, to assist the court in making a determination regarding the appropriateness of reunification services, such as:

(a) The parent's failure to respond to previous services or [service plan]Child and Family Plans.

(b) The child being abused while the parent was under the influence of drugs or alcohol , and whether the parent's substance abuse continues to impact their ability to safely parent.

(c) Continuation of a chaotic, dysfunctional lifestyle.

(d) The parent's past history of violent behavior and whether any behavioral changes have been made to address that behavior.

(e) The testimony of a properly qualified professional or expert witness that the parent's behavior is unlikely to be successfully changed.

 

R512-301-6. Return Home and Trial Home Placement.

(1) When [a child and family's safety needs have been met and the original reasons and risks have been reduced or eliminated, the]the safety issues that resulted in the child being placed in out-of-home care are remedied or eliminated and the parent has demonstrated the behavioral changes needed in order to safely enable the child to return home, Child and Family Services may recommend a trial home placement or a return home to the court. The child may return home[,] when allowable by court order or in conjunction with provisions of a voluntary placement.

(2) Successful reunification shall be systematically considered and planned for from the earliest possible point in the life of the case. Prior to the child being physically returned home, [T]the Child and Family Team shall [plan for the transition and return home prior to the child being returned.]discuss and have a well-defined plan for the child to transition home from out-of-home care. Good transition planning shall include identifying ongoing formal and informal supports, as well as crisis or relapse planning, in order to prevent reentry into out-of-home care.

(3) In order for all pertinent parties to adequately prepare for the child to return home, Child and Family Services shall provide reasonable notice (unless otherwise ordered by the court) of the date the child will be returning home. [to all pertinent parties such as]Parties to be notified include the child, parents, members of the Child and Family Team, Guardian ad Litem, out-of-home care provider, school staff, therapist, and other partner agencies.[, so all parties can be adequately prepared for the return home.]

(4) [Prior to and when the child is returned home, ]Child and Family Services shall provide services directed at assisting the child and family make a successful [with the ]transition of the child back into the home , and shall [contact relevant parties to ensure]have supports in place to help observe and monitor that no further abuse or neglect is occurring to the child.

(5) If it is determined that the child and family require more intensive services to ensure successful reunification, intensive family reunification or In-Home [s]Services may be utilized in accordance with Rule R512-100.

(6) A child may be returned home for a trial home visit for up to [60]90 days. The trial home visit shall continue until the court has returned custody to the parent or guardian.

 

R512-301-7. Voluntary Relinquishment of Parental Rights.

(1) When it is not in a child's best interest to be reunified with the child's parents, Child and Family Services may explore with both parents the option of voluntary relinquishment in accordance with Section 78A-6-514.

(2) If the child is Native American, provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), 25 USC 1913 shall be met.

 

R512-301-8. Termination of Parental Rights.

(1) If a court determines that reunification services are not appropriate, Child and Family Services shall petition for termination of parental rights in accordance with 42 USC 675, 42 CFR 1356.21, and Section 62A-4a-203.5 unless exceptions specified in 42 CFR 1356.21 or Section 62A-4a-203.5 apply.

(2) Child and Family Services shall document in the Child and Family Plan [care by kin or]and the court report when a determination is made that there are compelling reasons [for determining ]that filing for termination of parental rights is not in the child's best interest[s] and shall make the plan available to the court for review.

(3) When Child and Family Services files a petition to terminate parental rights, if a permanent family has not already been identified for the child, the caseworker must [also ]concurrently begin to identify, recruit, process, and seek approval of a qualified adoptive family for the child. These efforts must be documented in the case record as specified in Rule R512-300.

(4) If the child is Native American, provisions of the ICWA, 25 USC 1913, shall be met.

(5) Child and Family Services shall not give approval to finalize an adoption until the period to appeal a termination of parental rights has expired. If an appeal has been filed, the adoption may not be finalized until the appeal is resolved.

 

KEY: social services, child welfare, domestic violence, child abuse

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [December 22, 2010]2016

Notice of Continuation: May 16, 2013

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 62A-4a-102; 62A-4a-105; 62A-4a-106

 


Additional Information

More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.

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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Carol Miller at the above address, by phone at 801-557-1772, by FAX at 801-538-3993, or by Internet E-mail at carolmiller@utah.gov; Julene Robbins at the above address, by phone at 801-538-4521, by FAX at 801-538-3942, or by Internet E-mail at jhjonesrobbins@utah.gov.  For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Division of Administrative Rules.