Children's Administration, Department of Social and Health Services
Children's Administration, Department of Social and Health Services
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Operations Manual


Any CA staff, volunteers, interns, or foster parents transporting children, whether in a privately owned or state vehicle, shall ensure that the children use age-appropriate child safety seats or restraints. Such driver must also possess a current, valid driver's license and liability insurance.

5610. Purpose and Scope

  1. Purpose:

    To ensure Children's Administration (CA) is in compliance with the Department of Social and Health Services' (DSHS) Coordinated Special Needs Transportation Services Administrative Policy 8.09. Administrative Policy 8.09 requires all DSHS Administrations to support special needs coordinated transportation for persons with special transportation needs as outlined for non-emergent medical transportation (WAC 388-546-5000 through WAC 388-546-5500). CA will work cooperatively to coordinate transportation services to ensure all eligible DSHS and CA clients have access to covered services. Through cooperation and coordination with other Administrations, CA will ensure transportation services are:

    1. Safe,
    2. Efficient,
    3. Cost effective, and
    4. Appropriate to the needs of DSHS/CA clients.
  2. Scope
    1. This policy applies to all CA:
      1. Divisions, sections, and units; and
      2. Transportation services provided to and for persons with special transportation needs as defined by Chapter 47.06B RCW, whether those services are delivered by CA staff or by a CA contracted vendor.

5620. Background

  1. Chapter 47.06B RCW was amended in 1999, and states in part:

    "It is the intent of the legislature that...public agencies sponsoring programs that require transportation services coordinate those transportation services. Through coordination of services, programs will achieve increased efficiencies and will be able to provide more rides to a greater number of persons with special needs." RCW 47.06B.010

  2. DSHS Administrative Policy 8.09 was adopted on July 1, 2001. Policy 8.09 requires all DSHS Administrations to adopt individual policies to ensure DSHS covered transportation services are coordinated for persons with special transportation needs.

5630. Definitions

  1. The Agency Council on Coordinated Transportation (ACCT) - Was created by, authorized by and implements Chapter 47.06B RCW. ACCT is the formal decision making body that is charged with making regular reports to the legislature regarding compliance with Chapter 47.06B RCW.
  2. Contractor - An individual or agency that enters a contractual agreement with the department to provide specific services for a fee or rate.
  3. Department - Department of Social and Health Services.
  4. The Program for Agency Coordinated Transportation (PACT) - Is authorized by RCW 47.06B.015. PACT is responsible for improving access to social and health services and increasing efficiencies of transportation services for persons with special transportation needs, through coordination of transportation services.
    • PACT Forum - A forum for state agency representatives to discuss and resolve coordination and program policy issues that may impact transportation coordination for persons with special transportation needs. The PACT Forum serves as the formal work group for the ACCT.
  5. Persons With Special Transportation Needs - Those persons who because of physical or mental disability, income status, or age are unable to transport themselves or purchase transportation
  6. Program - Any service unit of the department that designs, schedules, plans or administers services for department clients.
  7. Service Provider - An individual or an agency:
    1. Contracted to provide the amount and kind of services requested by the department; and
    2. Providing services only to those individuals determined eligible by the department; or
    3. Providing services authorized by the department on a fee-for-service or per-unit basis.
  8. Special Needs Coordinated Transportation - Transportation for persons with special transportation needs (and their personal attendants) that is developed through a collaborative community process involving transportation providers; human service programs and agencies; consumers; social, educational, and health service providers; employer and business representatives; employees and employee representatives; and other affected parties (RCW 47.06B.012.) . Medicaid recipients in need of medical transportation are eligible for coordinated transportation services.

5640. Policy

  1. To ensure administrative compliance by January 1, 2002 each division, section, and unit must make available information on special needs coordinated transportation to persons with special transportation needs when they access covered CA programs.
  2. The Management Services Division (MSD) is the Lead Division and will fulfill the responsibilities of the Lead Division (see below).
  3. Lead Division Responsibilities:
    1. Facilitate communication with all divisions regarding DSHS Policy 8.09.
    2. Consult with all divisions as necessary to ensure compliance with Policy 8.09.
    3. Assign a representative to participate in PACT Forum and work groups and ACCT work groups, as necessary.
    4. Establish and facilitate a management committee to cooperatively implement the requirements of the Special Needs Transportation Policy.
    5. Members of the management team will be from the Management Services Division, Division of Program and Policy Development, Division of Children and Family Services, Division of Licensed Resources and other members as needed. The committee member will be appointed by the division director and will be responsible to:
      1. Develop written protocols incorporating current client transportation grievance procedures.
      2. Ensure written procedures are available that provide information specifying how persons with special transportation needs may access coordinated transportation.
      3. Provide information for the initial report to the DSHS Deputy Secretary and yearly reports thereafter.
      4. Provide direct information to the committee member's Division Director for staff distribution or assignment.
  4. Each Division's Responsibilities:
    1. Follow Lead Division recommendations. If disputes occur, the management committee will attempt to resolve the differences. If the management committee is unable to resolve the dispute, Division Directors will facilitate solutions or refer to Assistant Secretary for final decision.
    2. Whenever possible, evaluate the potential effects on persons with special transportation needs when citing new facilities for programs (or when contracting with CA service providers) that directly provide services for persons with special transportation needs.
    3. To the extent practical, consider contractual incentives to help ensure transportation services are coordinated when contracting for services that will be available for persons with special transportation needs. Example: Giving bonus points to bidders that can document a history of providing coordinated transportation services or have a history of participation in coordination activities.
    4. Develop tracking mechanisms to report identified costs of providing transportation for persons with special transportation needs, according to parameters defined by the Office of Financial Management.
    5. Will assess the potential effects on persons with special transportation needs when making programmatic, policy, or service changes that may affect the ability of persons with special transportation needs to access CA services. Divisions should include transportation providers, service agencies, and stakeholders when assessing these potential effects.
  5. Annual Reporting Requirements:
    1. The lead agency will be responsible to produce the report consisting of information provided by the individual divisions. The management committee representative will be responsible for ensuring information is available. At a minimum, the initial report must include the following headings:
      1. Status of Compliance to Administrative Policy No. 8.09,
      2. Identified Barriers to Policy No. 8.09,
      3. Action Plan to Remove Barriers to Policy No. 8.09, and


5710. Blood Borne Pathogens Protection Plan

5711. Purpose and Scope

  1. Employers must assess the risk to employees for a reasonably-anticipated potential for occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials during the course of performing their assigned duties. Although the risk of occupational exposure to blood borne pathogens (BBP) has been determined to be quite low for Children's Administration personnel, CA has stipulated this Blood Borne Pathogens Protection Plan to further minimize the risk of exposure, to provide guidance addressing unexpected exposure to blood and/or bodily fluids, and to meet requirements set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA).
  2. The plan applies to and is accessible to all employees and will be reviewed and updated annually, or as required by statute.

5712. Definitions

Definition of terms applicable to the Plan is found in Appendix A.

5713. Methods of Implementation

  1. General-All employees will use Universal Precautions (see Appendix A) whenever there is reasonably anticipated contact with blood or other potentially infectious fluids.
  2. Safe First-Aid Practices
    1. The Regional Administrator or appropriate Director shall ensure that each office provides and maintains first aid kits and equipment which minimally include several sets of gloves, CPR protective shields, germicidal hand wipes, and plastic disposal bags.
    2. First line supervisors in each office shall inform their employees of the location of, and ensure that they have immediate access to, first aid equipment and will encourage them to use it while rendering first aid.
    3. Staff designated by the Regional Administrator or the applicable Director shall determine the location of first aid kits, to include placement in state cars and in office reception areas, bathrooms, and kitchens. Designated staff shall develop local procedures which include local office information and methods for documenting notification to staff.
    4. The office procedures shall designate and identify staff responsible for stocking of the kit and include posting names of responsible staff.
    5. Whenever blood or other potentially infectious materials may be present, the employee rendering first-aid shall use appropriate personal protective equipment, such as gloves. The employee shall immediately wash his/her hands after gloves are removed.
    6. The person giving CPR shall use a one-way valve micro-shield and then appropriately discard it.
    7. If there is more than one victim, the person giving assistance shall use new protective equipment, such as gloves and CPR micro-shields, for each victim.
  3. Disposal of Contaminated Items
    1. Staff shall handle all material exposed to and contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials with gloves. Staff shall place and transport contaminated material in a plastic bag that prevents soak-through and/or leakage to the exterior.
    2. The employee shall label the bag as to contents with label prominently displayed and dispose of contents in trash bins unless contents meet the definition of regulated waste (See Appendix A). In that case, the employee shall dispose of contents in accordance with state and local regulations; e.g., by taking the bag to a local hospital or medical clinic for disposal, by depositing with the fire department's emergency response team on the scene, or by calling the local solid waste utility for further information.
  4. Laundry
    1. To prevent the spread of contamination, staff shall remove all clothing that has been contaminated with gloves and place it in a plastic bag that prevents soak-through and/or leakage. The bag shall be labeled as to contents with label prominently displayed.
    2. The employee shall change out of contaminated clothing. CA shall provide temporary clothing, such as surgical scrubs, for the person to wear.
    3. If the employee is in the field and not intending to return to the work site, he/she should remove contaminated clothing, place it in a plastic bag immediately on arriving home, and return it to the work site as soon as possible.
    4. Employees shall not take contaminated personal clothing home for home-laundering.
    5. The CA office, in accordance with local or regional procedures, shall arrange for professional cleaning, laundering, repair and/or disposal and replacement of the garment at no cost to the employee. Payment for the cleaning will be handled according to regional policy. Local procedures shall state to whom the contaminated laundry shall be given.
  5. Cleaning
    1. All CA property that may have been contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials shall be cleaned immediately or as soon as possible after the incident, in accordance with local procedures.
    2. Employees shall wear gloves during all cleaning procedures.
    3. Employees shall dispose of gloves used for cleaning procedures into a plastic bag. The employees shall wash their hands immediately after gloves are removed.
    4. Each CA office shall provide and make available appropriate cleaning supplies, such as bleach, Lysol, AseptiCare, or MegaSol.
    5. Employees shall use a household bleach solution in a mixture of one part bleach to 10 parts water made fresh for immediate use or an appropriate germicide, which may include Lysol Spray, AseptiCare, or MegaSol.
    6. Staff shall handle all broken glass or other "sharps" with broom, dust pan, tongs, or forceps in order to reduce the risk of exposure. If items are contaminated, staff shall pour bleach solution or germicide over the area, prior to removal.
    7. Staff shall dispose of broken glass and/or "sharps" into containers that are leak-, spill- and cut-proof.
  6. Training
    1. The Regional Administrator or Director, as applicable, shall arrange for all employees to be trained in order to become knowledgeable on the plan.
    2. Training shall be provided during work hours and free of charge to all employees.
    3. All new employees shall be trained during employee orientation.
    4. The training shall address, at a minimum, the following subjects:
      1. Blood borne pathogens.
      2. Universal precautions.
      3. Safe first-aid practices.
      4. Blood borne Pathogens Protection Plan.
    5. All employees who have received training shall sign a S. F. 141, Developmental Training Report.
  7. Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, Evaluation, and Follow-up-Each Regional Administrator, Regional Manager, or Director, as appropriate, shall arrange for provision of post-exposure follow-up and prophylaxis to all employees who have an exposure to blood and/or other potentially infectious body fluids while on the job.
    1. Employee Self-Care-Every employee shall be informed during training of the following necessary self-care process:
      1. Exposure to the eyes - Flush eyes with water and/or appropriate solution.
      2. Exposure to the nose - Blow nose and wipe inside of nostril.
      3. Exposure to the mouth - Spit and rinse mouth.
      4. Exposure to skin - If a hand washing facility is not available, wipe immediately with germicidal towelette and then, as soon as possible, wash in hand washing facility.
    2. Incident Reporting-After every incident involving blood or other potentially infectious material, the employee shall report the incident to a supervisor. If exposure has occurred, the supervisor shall assist the employee in filling out a Report of Employee Personal Injury, DSHS 3-133.
    3. Medical Follow-up
      1. The supervisor shall ask the employee to go to a licensed health care professional immediately or at least within 24 hours of the incident for a post-exposure evaluation and follow-up.
      2. The employee will take the following to the health provider:
        1. A copy of the Report of Employee Personal Injury, DSHS 3-133.
        2. A post-exposure evaluation form for the health care professional's written opinion.
        3. A copy of the portion of WAC 296-62-08001(6) noting requirements for evaluation & follow-up.
      3. The supervisor shall complete the Report of Employee Personal Injury, DSHS 3-133, and route copies following the instructions on the form, including forwarding a copy of the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) report to the Office of Safety & Risk Management, once the completed copy is received from the health care provider.
      4. Post-exposure evaluation and follow-up may consist of HIV counseling and testing, Hepatitis B immunoglobulin, and the offer of the full series of the Hepatitis B vaccine.
        1. CA shall make available all post-exposure evaluation and follow-up, including hepatitis B vaccination, at no cost to the employee.
        2. Employees who decline to receive recommended HBV vaccination must sign a declination form.
      5. The designee of the Regional Administrator or Director, as applicable, shall request that the source individual have his/her blood tested as soon as possible, with the test results disclosed to the exposed employee. The source individual is not required by law to have the tests or to disclose test results.
      6. The designee shall remind the exposed employee that the test results are not to be disclosed to anyone, except for the health care provider providing the employee's medical evaluation. When the source individual is already known to be infected with hepatitis B virus or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), blood testing for these viruses need not be requested.
    4. Record-Keeping
      1. The health care provider will report back to CA that appropriate post-exposure evaluation, prophylaxis, and follow-up has been offered.
      2. All medical records of this exposure follow-up will be kept confidential by CA for the duration of the person's employment plus thirty years. Records will be maintained by the DSHS Office of Risk Management, Safety and Health Section, and will not be included in the employee's personnel file.
    5. Payment
      1. The regional office, for field staff, and state office, for headquarters staff, shall make payment for supplies, laundering, shots, and other expenses related to first aid practices, BBP exposures, and exposure preparations.
      2. The Regional Administrator or Director, Division of Management Services, as appropriate, shall determine the method of payment and include funding in the appropriate budget.
      3. The Regional Administrator, the Regional Manager, and the applicable Director shall ensure the development of local procedures, including identification of person to whom payment questions and requests shall be directed.

5720. Blood Borne Infections

5721. Purpose and Scope

This section provides guidelines for the implementation of procedures pertaining to infections carried in the blood, such as Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), specifically Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV).

5722. Definitions

For definitions relating to this section, see Appendix A.

5723. Implementation Practices/Procedures

  1. Non-Discrimination
    1. CA shall not discriminate against persons with or perceived to have HIV infection. This policy includes discrimination against employees, clients, licensees, contractors, or volunteers. Procedures for persons who believe they have been subjected to discrimination because of HIV status are found in DSHS Administrative Policy 6.09.
    2. Licensees are not required by law to share their HIV status with licensers. If this information is shared by the licensee or prospective licensee, licensers may request additional health information, as is the case with disclosure of any serious illness of a licensee. Decisions regarding continued licensing of an HIV infected person are made in the same manner as any serious illness.
  2. Regional HIV/BBP Coordinator
    1. Each Regional Administrator must designate an HIV/BBP Coordinator to oversee issues related to HIV, HBV, and other BBPs.
    2. The social worker refers all HIV/HBV affected cases and issues related to BBP to the regional HIV/BBP Coordinator for consultation and staffing as appropriate.
    3. The Coordinator:
      1. Provides information and consultation on CA policy.
      2. Provides consultation for case management.
      3. Serves as liaison with the health care community and AIDS service organizations.
      4. Convenes the HIV/BBP Advisory Team.
  3. Regional HIV/BBP Advisory Team
    1. Each Regional Coordinator must develop an HIV/BBP Advisory Team to advise on issues related to HIV, HBV, and other BBP.
    2. The Regional HBV/BBP Advisory Team:
      1. Assists, as necessary, with development of regional guidelines on issues related to HIV/BBP.
      2. Provides case consultation, as needed.
  4. Universal Precautions-All staff, out-of-home care providers, volunteers, licensees, and respite care providers must use universal precautions when dealing with children in care and treat all blood and body fluids containing blood as if known to be infectious. See section 5710, Blood Borne Pathogens Protection Plan.
  5. HIV Testing
    1. HIV testing of a child is a medical procedure and, therefore, must be done only in consultation with the Regional HIV/BBP Coordinator and on the recommendation of the local health department or a licensed health care provider knowledgeable about HIV infection.
      1. When HIV testing of a child under the age of 14 is being requested as a result of potential perinatal exposure, the social worker or HIV/BBP Coordinator shall inform the child's mother of the request and ask the mother to provide the results of her past HIV tests or to be tested in order to possibly eliminate the need for testing of the child. This testing is voluntary and will be confidential, consistent with this section.
      2. When parental rights have been terminated, the social worker of a child under the age of 14 may authorize HIV testing.
      3. The social worker shall obtain a court order for testing if the parent or legal guardian is unavailable or unwilling to provide consent for testing of a child under the age of 14 and if a medical reason for testing exists.
      4. If a child under 14 years of age tests positive for any STD, including HIV, the HIV/BBP Coordinator shall ensure that the medical professional or the local health department notifies the parent or legal guardian of the test results.
    2. HIV/STD testing of a youth age 14 or over requires the written consent of the youth or a court order. The youth may request testing on his/her own authority.
      1. The written consent or court order shall authorize test results for HIV or HBV to be released to the social worker and out-of-home care provider.
      2. When obtaining a court order or a consent for HIV testing, the social worker shall, if needed, also gain authority to share the results with others who have a compelling "need to know" and are not otherwise authorized to know under chapter 70.24 RCW. All such individuals shall be identified in the consent or court order. The consent or court order shall authorize treatment, as necessary.
  6. Confidentiality/Disclosure
    1. Infection with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases is a personal and private matter. Staff, care providers, and volunteers shall treat information related to these issues in a confidential and respectful manner and shall not disclose this information except in accordance with state law and as provided in this section and paragraphs G and H, below
    2. Disclosure Practices and Criteria
      1. The social worker shall ensure that the child's current health care provider is aware of the child's exposure to HIV/HBV.
      2. Social workers shall not disclose information related to a parent or child's HIV or other STD status to other CA employees, except their immediate supervisor, manager, and HIV/BBP Coordinator.
      3. When the social worker or HIV/BBP coordinator provides written disclosure of HIV/BBP status information to someone outside of CA, the social worker or HIV/BBP Coordinator shall include the following statement on the Disclosure of Confidential HIV Information, DSHS 09-837:

        This information has been disclosed to you from records whose confidentiality is protected by state law. State law prohibits you from making any further disclosure of it without the specific written consent of the person to whom it pertains or as otherwise permitted by state law. A general authorization for the release of medical or other information is not sufficient for this purpose.

      4. When the social worker or HIV/BBP coordinator provides HIV/BBP information regarding a parent or child is disclosed orally to someone outside of CA, the social worker shall send the Disclosure of Confidential HIV Information, DSHS 09-837, to the person(s) receiving the information within 10 days of the disclosure.
      5. Documentation that a parent or child has been tested for HIV or other BBP shall be recorded and stored electronically in FamLink.

        Document HIV/BBP status in the "Medical Problems" pop-up. Copies of medical records regarding the testing results or HIV/BBP related information will be scanned and stored in the FamLink "Filing Cabinet". Access to this information is secured and limited to the assigned social worker and their supervisor.

        Copies of documents and medical records regarding HIV/BBP status or related information may also be kept in a "privileged/confidential information" envelope used to safeguard sensitive case information. Access to this envelope is strictly limited to those authorized by law, with consent or as noted on a court order. Access to other parts of the child's record does not assume the right to access HIV/BBP information.

      6. Social workers shall not disclose HIV/BBPinformation in written reports to the court without consultation with the assigned legal counsel.
      7. When HIV/BBP information is discussed in court, the social worker, through legal counsel, shall make special arrangements with the court to protect the confidentiality of the parties.
  7. Placement
    1. DCFS staff shall inform the residential care provider of the child's HIV/HBV status, if known. The social worker shall not inform the residential care provider of the HIV/HBV status of a child age 14 or older without the child's permission or a court order. However, the social worker shall inform the child that no placement will be made without disclosure of such status to the prospective residential care provider.
    2. HIV exposed/infected children may be placed with other children unless otherwise advised by the health care provider. However, DCFS staff shall not place known HBV infected children or perinatally exposed infants in households with other unvaccinated persons.
    3. The social worker shall strongly consider a child's and/or parent's wish not to disclose a child's positive HIV/HBV status to relatives when investigating a potential relative placement. However, if the child is actually placed, the social worker must disclose the child's HIV/HBV status. This revelation could negatively impact family relationships.
    4. The social worker shall arrange for provision of medical attention for the HIV/STD infected/exposed child by a physician knowledgeable in this specialty area.
    5. When placing a child known to be HIV/HBV exposed or infected, the social worker, in addition to providing the residential care provider with information regarding the child's current health status and names of all health care providers, shall inform the residential care provider of all resources involved and provide instruction in any special care needs of the child prior to placement.
    6. If exposure of infection is discovered after placement, the social worker shall immediately provide the above information to the residential care provider and ensure the provision of instruction in any special care needs.

    7. When HBV infection is discovered in an individual living or working in a foster/receiving/group home, the social worker shall immediately notify the Regional HIV/BBP Coordinator and the local health department. Public health department recommendations for testing and immunization of household contacts shall be followed. DCFS staff shall place no additional unimmunized children in the home while the possibility of exposure exists.
  8. Adoption
    1. The adoption worker or HIV/BBP Coordinator shall provide prospective adoptive parents with all available information on the STD/HIV/HBV status of children under 14 years of age.
    2. For children age 14 or above, the social worker shall not disclose status without the child's permission but shall not place the child without such disclosure.
    3. Staff shall share the STD/HIV/HBV status, if known, of the parents, if the possibility of infection of the child by that parent exists. In such cases, the identity of the parents may not be disclosed.
    4. CA staff shall identify children with HIV infection in adoption exchange books and/or media as having "serious medical problems." HIV exposure of uninfected children does not need to be noted in exchange books. Only when a serious inquiry is received and the social worker has determined that the family is a potential candidate should the child's specific medical history be discussed. The social worker shall not disclose the child's name until the family is selected as the adoptive family.
    5. The social worker shall provide prospective adoptive parent(s) with the Child's Medical and Family Background Report, DSHS 13-041(X). The social worker shall include on the document all available medical information related to the child and biological parent, including HIV/STD information if possibility of exposure exists. The identity of the parent is not disclosed on this form.
    6. When HIV testing is recommended, the social worker shall consult with the HIV/BBP Coordinator and arrange for completion of the test prior to finalization of the adoption.
    7. The social worker shall inform the prospective adoptive parent that HIV I infection may qualify a child for adoption support.
  9. Training
    1. CA shall arrange for all employees to receive HIV/BBP training which covers prevention, transmission, infection control, treatment, testing, confidentiality CA-related policy and procedure, as it relates to adults and children.
    2. All individuals and agencies licensed by CA shall receive HIV/BBP training which covers prevention, transmission, infection control, treatment, testing, confidentiality and CA-related policy and procedure, as it relates to adults and children.


5810. Purpose And Scope

  1. This policy establishes guidelines for CA staff to ensure that the right of foster children to privacy in their homes is respected and that the use of electronic monitoring devices is limited to those situations where it is the least intrusive means of meeting the particular needs of the child whose behavior is being monitored.
  2. This policy applies to all facilities licensed by the Division of Licensed Resources' (DLR) Office of Foster Care Licensing (OFCL).
  3. This policy covers the use of video cameras and auditory listening devices.
  4. This policy does not include restrictions for door monitors, window alarms, or other motion detectors.

5820. Policy

  1. Washington statutory (RCW 9.73.030) and constitutional law (U.S. Constitution Amendment 4; WA constitution, article 1, ยง 7) guarantee the right to privacy.
  2. The statute (RCW 9.73.030) governing the use of electronic eavesdropping devices prohibits any person from intercepting or recording any private conversation by electronic or other device, unless all persons engaged in the conversation consent to the interception or recording. Violation of this statute may result in criminal and civil sanctions.
    1. The Washington Constitution protects a person from government intrusion into the individual's private affairs or home without authority of law.
    2. The constitutional right to privacy may be invaded only if:
      1. There is a necessary governmental purpose that justifies the intrusion; and
      2. There is no less restrictive means available to accomplish that purpose.
  3. CA prohibits the use of video and auditory monitoring of a foster child in the child's foster/group homes unless (1) the Division of Licensed Resources (DLR) Director grants approval for the use of an electronic monitoring device in the specific foster home, and (2) the court approves implementation of the monitoring as part of the child's case plan.

5830. Definition

  1. "Electronic monitoring" means video monitoring or recording and auditory listening or recording used to either watch or listen to children as a way to monitor their behavior. "Electronic monitoring" does not include the use of listening devices to monitor:
    1. Infants and toddlers;
    2. Medically fragile or sick children;
    3. Video recording equipment to document actions of a child as directed in writing by the child's physician;
    4. Video recording for special events such as birthday parties or vacations; or
    5. The use of door or window alarms or motion detectors.

5840. Procedures

  1. In any case in which video or audio monitoring of a foster child is proposed, an exception to the Department's prohibition against electronic monitoring may be requested by the child's social worker.
  2. The social worker must assess the need for electronic monitoring for a specific child in a specific home by using the following steps:
    1. If the child does not have a therapist the social worker will:
      1. Consult with supervisor to determine if there is sufficient evidence to justify obtaining the services of a therapist.
      2. The supervisor may convene a staffing meeting of key personnel to discuss the proposal and need for electronic monitoring in the foster home. Specifically the staffing:
        1. Evaluates the consequences of acquiring the services of a therapist; and
        2. Determines if the child's circumstances require the need for electronic monitoring.
      3. If the supervisor and/or the staffing determine a therapist is justified, a therapist is obtained to assess the child.
      4. If it is determined the child's circumstances do not require the need for a therapist no further action is required.
    2. The social worker will contact the child's therapist and convene a staffing of key personnel, including the therapist, to discuss the proposal and need for electronic monitoring in the foster home;
      1. The therapist will determine the best method to meet the needs of the child and if there is a need for electronic monitoring. The therapist will provide a written recommendation for the child.
      2. If the therapist determines electronic monitoring is unnecessary, no further action will be required.
      3. The social worker sends a notice to the guardian ad litem, appropriate service providers, and the child's parents when electronic monitoring is recommended.
  3. Following receipt of the therapist's written recommendation of electronic monitoring of the child, the social worker, the recommending therapist, and the foster parents/group home staff must meet to consider and to document:
    1. The reason(s) and need for the electronic monitoring of the child in the foster home;
    2. Whether less restrictive means of meeting the needs of the child are available;
    3. The least intrusive method and means of using electronic monitoring equipment to monitor the child, addressing:
      1. A description of the equipment proposed to be used;
      2. The location in the home where the equipment will be placed;
      3. Who will monitor the child and how will the monitoring be accomplished.
      4. The impact of the electronic monitoring on any other children in the foster home.
    4. If the final recommendation is for approval of electronic monitoring, the social worker must forward written documentation to the licensor of the foster/group home designated for the child. The documents will explain the decision-making factors described in paragraph 3, above.
      1. The licensor must reply in writing to the child's social worker designating whether the home is appropriate for the plan established in the proposed policy waiver.
      2. The licensor will clarify any concerns the licensor has about implementing the proposal in the designated foster/group home.
    5. The request for approval of an exception to this policy will be forwarded to the Division Director for final approval. The approval for the use of electronic monitoring equipment applies to a specific child in a specific foster home or facility.
  4. If the DLR Director approves electronic monitoring, the case plan for the child must include:
    1. The reasons for the electronic monitoring;
    2. The therapist's goals;
    3. The timeframe for review or removal of the electronic monitoring equipment; and
    4. A description of the type of equipment to be used, and the manner in which it will be used.
  5. A court must make final approval of the use of electronic monitoring in a child's case plan.
  6. Following DLR Director approval and following court approval of the case plan, the social worker and the out-of-home care provider may implement the electronic monitoring of the child as set forth in the case plan.
  7. If a child moves to another foster/group home, the approval ends and the social worker must request another approval at the next home.