Definition and Purpose
Protective Services (PS) child care is a purchased child care service for children who are receiving preventive services or treatment for child abuse or neglect. Children in Out-of-Home care are also eligible for Protective Services child care. Child care services may be available to families and children who receive services through the Children's Division as part of the family's Written Service Agreement, CD-14B, or Child Assessment and Service Plan, CS-1. The need for child care services must be documented in the narrative of the child's case record. The Children's Service Worker must document that child care services are needed using the CD-14B, FCS Family Assessment Packet in the family's case record. Under no circumstances may a child remain eligible for PS child care after the PS case is closed, with the exception of Adoption Subsidy and Legal Guardianship Subsidy cases.
In order to support the continuity of care and promote bonding and attachment, every effort should be made to allow a child to remain with the same child care provider. It is recognized that the child care provider may be a concrete support for the child and family. When a child has a stable child care provider as a part of their support system, the Children's Service Worker should make reasonable efforts to encourage the child care provider to become contracted or registered. In the event that the provider does not choose to enter into one of these agreements, other alternatives should be made to best meet the child care needs of the child. Programs subject to Protective Services Child Care policy include:
State law requires that any provider receiving state or federal funds from any source for providing child care must be licensed or registered. Federal regulation 45 CFR Subpart A 98.2(1) states, in order to receive federal Child Care and Development Funds, a provider must be "licensed, regulated or registered". Families or staff may contact the local child care resource and referral agency for assistance in locating a child care provider. (www.mo.childcareaware.org)
The following sections define how PS child care should be determined and the process for authorizing care to eligible providers.
Children in the legal custody of the Children's Division must access child care with a licensed/contracted provider.
If circumstances allow, it is encouraged that the Children's Service Worker and the resource provider/s visit the potential child care provider to determine if the provider will meet the needs of the child prior to placing an Out-of-Home Care child in a child care setting. For information on what to look for when placing a child in child care, or to locate a potential provider, review the resources and tips published by Child Care Aware® of Missouri .
When a licensed/contracted child care provider is secured, authorize the appropriate level of care. Authorized units of care should correspond with the amount of care needed by the resource provider/s unless otherwise indicated in the child's family treatment plan.
Related Subject: 1220.025.00 Individual Authorization Process and 1220.025.05 Authorization Limits.
While policy requires the utilization of licensed/contracted care, it is understood that extenuating circumstances may make licensed/contracted care unattainable due to the lack of availability, accessibility or appropriateness of care. In these situations the Children's Service Worker must enter a waiver request in the FAMIS/FACES Interface System for review and approval by the supervisor prior to placing a child with a non-licensed provider or within 24 hours of placing the child in the facility.
NOTE: Convenience and/or personal preference do not justify a waiver from using licensed/contracted child care.
If the chosen provider is not currently registered with DSS, the provider must apply for registration. The Children's Service Worker is to E-mail the name, address, telephone number and Social Security Number of the provider to the Child Care Provider Relations Unit (CCPRU) at firstname.lastname@example.org . Upon receipt of this information, the CCPRU worker will mail a registration packet to the potential provider and facilitate the registration process.
Related Subject: 1215.020.00 Provider Registration Process
The registration process takes approximately 60 days to complete. Workers need to have the providers registered as quickly as possible as children will not be able to be authorized to a provider until the provider's registration is complete. Resource parents needing child care should contemplate this prior to having children placed in their home to ensure that appropriate care is available when needed. Child care providers that agree to care for protective service children can register prior to actually having a child needing care.
Children in Children's Division custody who are residing outside the State of Missouri are required to follow the same child care guidelines as Out of Home Care children living in Missouri. Child care is to be provided by a licensed provider in the state of residence or a waiver must be obtained prior to utilizing an unlicensed provider. Out of state unlicensed providers cannot be used unless a waiver has previously been approved.
All out of state child care providers, including those who are licensed by the state in which they reside, must be registered in Missouri by complying with all requirements, including background screenings for child abuse/neglect and criminal history in the state of their residence. They must complete and submit a FA-350, Child Care Provider Registration Application and Agreement, and provide verification that they are compliant with their home state's child care regulations.
Related Subject: 1215.010.20 Out of State Providers
CD staff should contact the appropriate CCPRU county of the child's location to begin the registration process.
Families receiving Children's Division services through Intensive In-Home Services (IIS) or Family-Centered Services (FCS), and have demonstrated a need for child care as defined in sections 1210.020.00, 1210.020.05, 1210.020.10, and 1210.020.15, must have their eligibility established first through the Family Support Division (FSD) and their income must be considered as part of the eligibility determination. If the child is approved by the Family Support Division for child care, the eligibility specialist should note the child as special needs in FAMIS to ensure the provider receives the special needs rate differential. Also, the eligibility specialist will need to waive the sliding fee for the child in FAMIS. If the FSD application is rejected, the Children's Service Worker may authorize services through the Children's Division if child care is recommended as part of the family's written service agreement. FCS and IIS families may utilize either licensed/contracted child care or registered child care. However, no payment for child care can be made until the provider is either contracted or registered.
Adoption Subsidy/Legal Guardianship families may choose to use a licensed/contracted or registered child care provider without obtaining a waiver. Adoptive parent(s) and legal guardian(s) should be made aware that they may utilize a child care provider of their choice. However, to be reimbursed by the Children's Division, the provider must be licensed/contracted or registered with the Department of Social Services.
Children's Division staff must authorize a child for child care in the FAMIS/FACES Interface System. Staff can authorize a child for no more than one year. Authorizations require supervisory approval. Notices are sent to the resource parent(s) after authorizations have been approved. Child care providers are sent notification of approved authorizations.
Protective Services child care providers will be reimbursed at the state maximum Child Care Rate for the county of the provider's residence (except for Adoption Subsidy and legal Guardianship case agreements approved prior to November 14, 2006 which were negotiated at a specific dollar amount). Reimbursement rates may be accessed through the DSS internet site at https://apps.dss.mo.gov/childcarerates/.
The rate change from infant to toddler is made the first day of the month following the child's second birthday. The rate change for school age children is made the first day of the month following the child's fifth birthday.
In addition to their base rate of reimbursement, providers may receive certain rate differentials if the child and/or the provider are eligible.
Related Subject: 1215.035.00 Child Care Rate Differential
Out of state providers are reimbursed at the highest rate allowed in Missouri by facility type and age of child. Those rates are the same as the rates for St. Louis City and St. Louis County providers (See rates at https://apps.dss.mo.gov/childcarerates/).
Payment for child care services is made directly to a contracted or registered child care provider with a Child Care Vendor Invoice. However, in limited situations, reimbursements can be authorized directly to the parent/resource parent. Reimbursement for child care provided to a protective service child must be authorized by the designated supervisor, prior to the child attending the child care facility.
If a parent/resource parent of a protective service child has been authorized for reimbursement, the case manager will indicate this in the FAMIS/FACES Interface child care authorization process. Once the child care authorization has been approved by the case manager's supervisor, an Action Notice (CD-150) will generate to the parent detailing the reimbursement process.
Licensed/contracted providers are prohibited from charging PS families additional fees above the reimbursement paid by the Children's Division. PS families and children include, but are not limited to, families or children receiving Adoption Subsidy, Family- Centered Out-of-Home Care (Foster Care), Family-Centered Services, Legal Guardianship Subsidy, and Intensive In-Home Services. Any additional funds include registration fees, co-payments, field trip fees, transportation fees, etc. When information is received indicating the practice of charging additional fees to these families by a licensed/contracted provider, report this information to the Children's Division, Contract Management Unit.
Related Subject: 1225.020.00 Absences and Holidays Policy
The Children's Service Worker/authorizing worker shall monitor the parent/child use of child care. He/she shall discuss any concerns about the appropriate use of the service with the family. Verbal communication should occur continuously between the worker, provider, and the family.
Children's Division staff is to refer child care provider issues or concerns to the appropriate Child Care Provider Relations Unit.
If a child care authorization changes or child care is no longer needed, it is the Children Service Worker's responsibility to adjust the authorization in the FAMIS/FACES Interface System. FSD staff will not be able to approve children leaving the custody of the Children's Division for Income Maintenance Child Care until the Protective Service Child Care has been closed.