§6 ch3: Resource Family Assessment and Licensing Process
3.1 Resource Provider Family Assessment
This procedure will be followed for resource provider home assessments.
The Children’s Division is the licensing entity for Missouri resource provider homes. The Children’s Division may contract with private agencies to develop resource homes. The private agency developing and/or maintaining a resource home follows Children’s Division policy. When developing or re assessing a resource provider home, the contractor makes one of the following recommendations to the Children’s Division:
- License or approve a home;
- Deny issuance of a license or approval of a home they are developing;
- Revoke a current open license or approval of a resource home they are maintaining.
The Children’s Division makes the determination of the recommendation.
A Foster Family Home Applicant is one (1) or two (2) primary adult individuals(s) who live in the same household and complete and submit a prescribed application to provide foster care services as parent substitute(s) to foster youth placed in the home.
When two (2) individuals are applying;
- Both individuals must be assessed separately as if they were applying as a single individual,
- If either applicant cannot be approved, the application shall be denied; and
- If both applicants are approved, a single license certificate shall be granted listing the names of both applicants.
The applicant(s) for a license or renewal of a license shall provide any and all documentation and shall execute such authorizations to release information that the Children’s’ Division may determine to be necessary or convenient to obtain information about the applicant(s) and members of the applicant’s household.
If the applicant or any member of the applicant’s household, fails without good cause to provide the information or fails to execute an authorization to release the information, the division may deny the license.
When an application for resource provider is received or an inquiry is made about becoming a resource provider, the individual shall be referred to the Missouri Respite Training: An introduction to Foster Care. Information about the required training is located in Section 4 chapter 17 of the Child Welfare Manual. The inquirer should complete the training prior to referral to STARS pre-service training.
Once the resource development worker receives the completed Foster/Adopt Home Assessment Application, CS-42, and the Foster Family Profile, CD-56, the worker should open an application in FACES. The worker will verify if there is a Departmental Vendor Number, DVN, in FACES. If there is not, the worker will assign a DVN to the applicant. The worker’s recommendation of the application shall not be entered until:
- The certainty of approving the application, or
- Receipt of written request by the applicant to withdraw the application, or
- All due process is complete if denying the application.
Initiate action within thirty (30) days of receipt of the application by:
- Beginning pre-service training;
- Face-to-face contact; or
- Group informational/orientation meeting.
Make referral to the Missouri Respite Care Provider Training: An Introduction to Foster Care Training.
Make referral for fingerprinting and registration with the Family Care Safety Registry.
If background checks are clear, make referral to STARS training.
Begin mutual selection process by personal interview.
Complete resource home assessment using Attachment A, Guide for Conducting Resource Provider Family Assessments and Attachment C, Resource Provider Family Assessment Recording Outline for resource provider families including families and adoptive resources;
Explain the requirement of compliance with licensing rules:
13 CSR 35-60 for foster/relative families;
A child may be placed in a relative home prior to licensure, but only after a safety inspection of the home, Child Abuse/Neglect screening, and Purpose Code X criminal checks are completed. See Section 4.12, Relative Foster Care for background screening procedures for family and agency arranged relative care, and Attachment A, Guide for Conducting Resource Provider Family Assessments of this section for detailed fingerprinting procedure. The relative family will be paid a maintenance payment equal to the traditional foster care payment rate from the date of placement while pursuing completion of the licensing requirements. This shall be no longer than Ninety (90) days. Until the home is fully licensed, the maintenance payment is made with state-only funds; IV-E reimbursement cannot be made. The Relative provider is not eligible for the professional parent incentive payment, PPMN, until they are fully licensed. Relative providers are required to complete STARS or STARS “For The Caregiver Who Knows the Child” training as a condition of licensure. Relative parents who become licensed are eligible for professional parent incentive payments, PPMN.
Complete the assessment and make a recommendation within 120 days of receipt of application.
The Home Assessment is a matter of public record, and thus, open for viewing if a Sunshine Law request, per 610 RSMo, is made. However, certain sections contain sensitive information that is protected from routine public viewing without a court order or written consent by the foster parents. (See sections 610.010(6), 610.021, 610.032.1, 211.321.1, 610.120, 191.656.1, 630.140, 192.067, 192.667.3, 192.739, 620.010.14(7), RSMo).
Obtain applicant’s signature on the home assessment indicating agreement; applicant retains one copy. The home assessment is not completed until the applicant/provider, worker, and worker’s supervisor have signed and dated the home assessment.
Update the vendor screens in FACES.
Provide a Foster Parent Identification Card. Have the resource provider complete the DSS ID Card Application located at http://dssweb/dpl/adman/POLICIES/MO886-3709.pdf. Local staff may take a picture of the resource parent with a digital camera or have the licensed resource parent provide an electronic picture in a jpeg file. Local staff submits the application and jpeg file to assigned Central Office clerical who uploads the information. The card is printed by HRC and returned to the clerical who sends the card to the local office.
Provide and obtain signed Cooperative Agreement for the Purchase of Professional Foster Care Services, CM-14.
Recommend issuance of license to resource providers for a two-year period.
The license is not transferable and applies only to the foster family home to whom it is issued. Upon approval, a single license certificate listing the individual(s) is issued. Only one license may be issued per household.
The license is the property of the division, not the licensee, and is subject to revocation upon failure of the individual(s) to comply with licensing regulations
The license certificate shall be kept on the premises of the home. The license is a public record and shall, upon request, be made available for inspection.
Recommend denial using the Resource Home Adverse Action Report (CS-20), through supervisory lines to the Regional Director:
- Include a summary of the licensing rules on which the decision is based.
- When an adverse action is CA/N related, submit to the Regional Director/designee a copy of the Child Abuse/Neglect Investigation/Family Assessment Summary (CPS-1), and Safety Assessment (CD-17).
- When recommended adverse action is denial, submit a copy of the home assessment to the Regional Director/designee.
- Receive confirmation from the Regional Director/designee of denial decision.
- Notify applicant, by personal contact, of recommended adverse action.
- Notify applicant by registered mail with the Notification of Resource Home Adverse Action letter, CS-20a of adverse action taken and of procedure for fair hearing.
- If no response within thirty (30) calendar days of written notice or after agency decision is upheld in fair hearing process, close the license in FACES with a close reason of denial. Do not enter the denial of the application until the applicant has completed all the due process time frames.
License Maintenance and Renewal
The resource development worker should encourage the resource provider to set up a bookkeeping system whereby detailed records are kept of expenditures for tax purposes.
The assessment should be updated any time there is a significant change in the family situation within two (2) weeks of the resource development worker being notified of the change.A significant change would be a change in household composition, move from one residence to another, major physical changes in the home, death of family member, debilitating illness of a household member, etc.If the update is due to a physical move or physical change in residence, reference must be made to licensing regulation compliance. If the household contains weapons, the worker must personally observe that the storage of the weapons complies with Division policy and foster home licensing rules.
A new Foster Family Profile, CD-56 is to be completed at the time of license renewal, unless there is already a current up-to-date profile in the file.The CD-56 is to be updated when there are changes in the household composition that impact the information gathered on the form.
In order to comply with Council on Accreditation (COA) regarding emergency preparedness, the resource development worker must document that the resource provider has read and understands the Children’s Division’s policy regarding Prevention and Control of Contagious and Infectious Diseases as found in the Missouri Resource Parent Handbook.
Update the appropriate screens in FACES.
Evaluate a resource provider’s continued eligibility at a minimum on a quarterly basis within required license renewal time period.
A resource provider moving to another county/circuit should be placed on Administrative Hold and not receive any additional placements pending the completion of the license transfer process.
The county/circuit from which the provider has moved should notify the receiving county/circuit of the provider’s change in address, and provide necessary information on current placements.Notification and the transfer of records should occur within one (1) week of the move.The sending county must also notify the receiving county of any weapons kept in the household.
The receiving county/circuit should schedule a home visit within two (2) weeks of notification. A new Resource Home and Safety Checklist, CS-45, and updated home assessment must be completed by the receiving county. After the provider’s new home has been inspected and approved, relicensure should be granted. The Administrative Hold should be removed from the Vendor Licensure/Approval and Renewal screen, and provider records updated to reflect the changes.
If the resource family asks to change the age, sex or race of children to be considered for placement, update the appropriate screens in FACES, and request the issuance of a new license/approval certificate.
Foster Family Home licenses are for a two year period. A licensee does not have a right to renewal of his or her license.
Record the reassessment and recommendation information by using Attachment D, Resource Provider Family Renewal Assessment Recording Outline.
Record all transactions of children presented for placement with a family and family’s acceptance or rejection of children including family’s reasons for decision. If a family has not had an alternative care placement for the last twelve (12) months or longer, the worker should discuss the reason why the family has not had a placement during this time period and the types of children in CD custody needing placement. A plan should be made to address the concerns of the foster parent(s) and/or the Division. The foster parent(s) may attend additional training or may be utilized for respite care to address placement concerns. The Professional Family Development Plan (PFDP), CD-100, may be utilized for this process.
The worker should begin the process for closing the license only after working with the foster parent(s) to reach an agreement on placing children in the home and discussion with the worker’s supervisor.The worker should complete the form Resource Home Adverse Action Report, CS-20. This will be considered a voluntary relinquishment of the license, unless licensing violations are present and impact the decision to close the license, and staff should mark other in the reason for the license relinquishment.Staff should explain that the foster home has not had placements for the last twelve 12 months or longer and that an agreement could not be reached for the placement of children in the home.If the foster family does not agree with closing the license, it should be placed on Administrative Hold until such time as the family will accept children or licensing closing or revocation can be completed.Once the Resource Home Adverse Action Report, CS-20, is completed and approved, the license as closed.The close reason used should be “04 - Vendor Resource Discontinued Service”.
For relative and foster care providers, the license may be closed once the foster youth begins a trial home visit. If the worker and supervisor feel the family is appropriate for consideration, they may also discuss with the provider the needs of the circuit for alternative care providers to determine if the provider is interested in becoming a licensed foster home. Section 4 Chapter 12 Subsection 5.1, Relative Foster Care Provider Choose to Become a Foster Home, provides instruction regarding a licensed relative foster home becoming a licensed foster home. The license should be closed if neither of these criteria is met.
Obtain signature on Renewal Assessment indicating agreement; family retains one copy.
Update the license status in FACES, and:
- Recommend issuance of license to resource providers for a two-year period, or
- Recommend issuance of license to relative family for a two-year period, or
- If not renewed, see license denial.
Evaluate resource provider’s expressed interest of becoming resource providers in the Youth with Elevated Needs-Level A program by examining necessary qualifications, and characteristics as listed in Section 4 Chapter 14, Foster Care for Youth with Elevated Needs:
- Enroll prospective Level A resource providers in specialized Level A training.
- Assess prospective Level A resource provider’s performance during specialized Level A training to determine if approval is indicated.
- Obtain and submit to DFAS Purchasing, the Level A resource provider’s signature on the Amendment to Provide Level A Foster Care, CM-3.
Resource Home Licensure Supervision Transfer between Agencies
Instruction regarding the process for a resource home license to be transferred between agencies is located in Section 5 Chapter 3 Subsection 10, Resource Home Licensure Supervision Transfer between Agencies.
Resource File Recording and Composition
Instruction regarding the composition of the resource file is located in Section 5 Chapter 1 Subsection 6, Recording Guidelines and Record Composition – Resource Provider Records.
3.1.1 Administrative Hold
Administrative Hold is used in responding to certain licensing situations which will more effectively serve resource parents, the Children’s Division and most importantly, the safety of children. All suspensions entered on the Vendor Licensure/Approval and Renewal FACES page, require notification of an adverse action which is open to appeal. The Administrative Hold status reflects a less punitive and negative connotation and is not open to appeal. The Administrative Hold status does not prevent the license or approval from expiring.
Depending on the nature of the allegation and the risk assessment, the provider may be placed on Administrative Hold with a corrective action/support plan implemented with no other children placed in the home until the issue is resolved and the Hold status is removed. If no immediate safety risk factors exist to the children during the investigation/assessment (I/A), the children currently in the home should not be removed. If, at the time of the investigation/assessment, it is determined the child will be removed, either at the request of the resource provider or by the investigator, the child’s case manager should be notified in order to schedule a Family Support Team meeting.
The resource development worker should be having and documenting their regular, ongoing discussions with the resource provider regarding any licensing concerns prior to a change in their licensing status. For an Administrative Hold, the resource development worker should notify the provider via a phone call as soon as possible. A follow-up letter should then be sent explaining why the Hold is in effect and how it can be removed/resolved. If the Hold was requested by the provider, the resource development worker should follow up with a letter verifying their request.
Administrative Hold is required in the following circumstances:
- An Out-of-Home Investigation (OHI) is under way involving Legal Status 1 children in the resource provider’s home.The Administrative Hold should remain in effect until the investigation is concluded and all corrective actions/support plans, if any, are successfully completed and documented in the record.
- A CA/N investigation/assessment is under way involving non-Legal Status 1 children in the resource provider’s household.The Administrative Hold should remain in effect until the I/A is concluded and all corrective actions/support plans, if any, are successfully completed and documented in the record.
- Licensing concerns have been noted and a staffing is under way.The Administrative Hold should remain in effect until all corrective actions/support plans, if any, are successfully completed and documented in the record. A status of Administrative Hold does not prevent the license from expiring. If licensing concerns are not resolved before the license expires, the home is closed.
All licenses and approvals must be renewed prior to the expiration date. If a resource home does not complete all the requirements at least ninety (90) days prior to the expiration, the License/Approval Renewal Letter, CD-102, is sent to the resource family reporting the requirements necessary for the home to be renewed.
If the home continues to not meet renewal requirements, the CD-102 letter should be sent again sixty (60) days prior to the expiration date.
If the home continues to not meet renewal requirements thirty (30) days prior to the expiration date, the CD-102 should be sent again and the home placed on Administrative Hold.
Level A, Level B, Medical, Group Home, Respite, and Level B Respite, are vendor types not licenses. The decisions to deny or revoke are not open for appeal as these are contractual services decisions and not licensure decisions.
Administrative Hold status does not prevent the license or approval from expiring. It does, however, allow for data entry in the comment section on the Licensure and Approval and Renewal Screen in FACES regarding the facts of why the home is being placed on Administrative Hold.
If there are placements in the home, plans should be initiated for the children to be moved. Foster youth may not be in an unlicensed foster home without a court order. (The only exception is a relative applicant who is pursuing licensure. Foster youth may remain in the unlicensed relative home for up to ninety (90) days while the applicants are pursuing licensure.)
NOTE: For information regarding the renewal licensing criteria, refer to Section 6 Chapter 3 Subsection 5 Guide for Conducting Renewal Assessment
- A resource provider moving to another county/circuit should be placed on Administrative Hold.
- The resource provider has experienced a significant change in household composition, health, employment, etc. The Administrative Hold should remain in effect until the provider’s situation has been reassessed and the home assessment has been updated. Every effort should be made to complete these actions within two (2) weeks, per the Council on Accreditation (COA). The worker should document all attempts to meet this timeframe, including the provider’s specific actions of non-compliance within that time.
The Administrative Hold is available, but optional in a variety of circumstances, such as, but not limited to:
- The resource provider has had a new birth and needs time to adjust.
- The resource provider feels they need “a break”.
- The Family Support Team has recommended that the resource provider cease new placements during the period of adjustment for an adopted child.
- The resource provider has a biological/adopted child placed in residential care.Per memo CD05-22, no additional children will be placed in the home without the approval of the Circuit Manager (CM) or designee.The guidelines stated in Section 4 Chapter 5 Attachment C, Guidelines for the Placement of Additional Children in Resource Homes where a Child has been Placed in Residential Care should be reviewed and assessed as the provider may need time to work with the child placed in residential care.
If there are questions whether an Administrative Hold or suspend should be implemented, staff should consult with first or second level supervisors for guidance.
The Administrative Hold is selected as the suspend reason on the Vendor Licensure/Approval and Renewal screen in FACES. The Administrative Hold status does not prevent the license or approval from expiring.
The division may deny a license to an applicant, or may revoke the license of a licensee, if the applicant or anyone in the applicant’s household-
- Fails consistently to comply with the applicable provisions of sections 208.400 to 208.535, RSMo, and the rules of the Children’s Division promulgated thereunder;
- Violates any of the provisions of its license;
- Violates state laws and/or rules relating to the protection of children;
- Furnishes or makes any misleading or false statements or reports to the division;
- Refuses to submit to the division any reports or refuses to make available to the division any records required by the division in conducting an investigation;
- Fails or refuses to admit authorized representatives of the division into his/her home at any reasonable time for the purpose of investigation;
- Fails or refuses to submit to an investigation by the division;
- Fails to provide, maintain, equip, and keep in safe and sanitary condition the premises established or used for the care of children being served, as required by law,
rule, or ordinance applicable to the location of the foster home;
- Fails to provide financial resources adequate for the satisfactory care of and service to children being served and the upkeep of the premises; or
- Abuses or neglects children, or is the subject of reports of child abuse or neglect which upon investigation result in a court adjudicated, probable cause and/or preponderance of evidence finding, or is found guilty, pleads guilty to, or pleads nolo contedere to felony crimes against a person to include, but not limited to, felony possession, distribution, or manufacturing of controlled substance crimes as specified in Chapters 195, 565, 566, 567, 568, and 573, RSMo, or a substantially similar offense if committed in another state or country. The division may also deny or revoke a license to any person(s) who are on the respective Department of Health and Senior Services and/or the Department of Mental Health lists that exclude child or adult care employment and/or licensure.
Administrative Hold is used during the period of evaluation and consideration of amelioration.
Recommend revocation of license status using the Resource Home Adverse Action Report, CS-20 through supervisory line to the Regional Director’s office.
- Identify and document the areas of non-compliance;
- In the summary, cite licensing rule(s) on which the decision is based.The summary must contain clear and cogent facts to support staff’s recommendations for revocation of license.
- When adverse action is CA/N related, submit a copy of Child Abuse/Neglect Investigation/Family Assessment Summary, CPS-1.
If it is decided the resource parents should no longer provide out-of-home care, immediately start the revocation procedure. Do not allow license simply to expire.
Receive confirmation from Regional Director of agreement with revocation recommendation.
- Notify resource family by personal contact of recommended adverse action.
- Notify resource family by registered mail with the Notification of Resource Home Adverse Action letter, CS-20a of revocation, citing licensing rule(s).
- Notify foster/relative parents of their right to the fair hearing process.
- If no resource parent response within thirty (30) calendar days of notice, or after agency decision is upheld in fair hearing process, close the vendor iwht the close reason of revocation. Do not enter a revocation in FACES until the time frames have been met for due process.
- Retrieve all foster parent identification cards and approval certificates issued to the resource providers.
- Record revocation activities.
- Close record.
If the Regional Director/designee does not uphold revocation recommendation, continue licensure status.
The Worker must obtain the applicant’s signature on the home assessment indicating agreement.The applicant’s signature is also needed if the worker has decided to deny licensure.The signature indicates that the applicant has reviewed the assessment.
When recommending revocation, cite action taken by the agency to help the family resolve the situation causing the problem(s).Describe what services have been offered to the family and the results.
Chapter Memoranda History: (prior to 1/31/07)