INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:75-6-86
1. Tribal notification of child's change of placement. When a child in Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) custody is moved from one location to another, OKDHS notifies the tribe when applicable, within no less than five judicial days prior to movement unless an emergency exists. OKDHS requests that the tribe assist with identifying an appropriate placement within the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) placement preferences.
2. Notification of change in placement. The child welfare (CW) specialist in the county of jurisdiction completes Forms 04KI025E, Change in Placement Notification for Child's Attorney, and 04KI026E, Change in Placement Notification for the Judge, regarding the child in the child in Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) custody no later than one business day after the child is placed when the child changes placement or to report the initial placement after the deprived petition is filed.
3. Removal of the child from placement.
(1) Assessment of emergency removal from placement. Before emergency removal of the child from the foster parent, an assessment is made by the CW specialist, supervisor, resource specialist, and district director to determine the best course of action to avoid trauma to the child and disruption of the child's placement, when possible, per OAC 340:75-3-8.1. When multiple counties are involved, the assessment includes the CW county of jurisdiction worker, CW supervisor, and district directors.
(2) Notification of removal from placement. The CW specialist:
(A) prepares two originals of Form 04MP014E, Notice of Child's Removal from Out-of-Home Placement;
(B) obtains the supervisor's approval;
(C) hand delivers Form 04MP014E, to the foster parent at least five judicial days before the change of placement occurs, unless an emergency exists and advance notice is not required.
(i) In the event of an emergency, Form 04MP014E is provided at the time of the child's removal, when possible.
(ii) When not provided at the time of the child's removal, Form 04MP014E is provided no later than one business day after the removal;
(D) documents in KIDS Contacts screen, each communication with the foster parent regarding the child's removal; and
(E) advises the foster parent to seek legal counsel when the foster parent has questions about filing an objection to the removal.
(3) Documenting notification to foster parent of child's removal.
(A) The CW specialist obtains the signature of the foster parent on two originals of Form 04MP014E and one original form is given to the foster parent. When the foster parent refuses to sign the form, CW staff documents the refusal on the original retained by OKDHS and in KIDS Contacts screen.
(B) The second original form signed by the foster parent is retained by OKDHS and scanned into the KIDS file cabinet and filed in the child's paper case record. One copy is filed in the resource record and a copy is sent to the:
(2) therapeutic foster care agency, when applicable;
(3) emergency foster care agency, when applicable; or
(4) child's tribe, when applicable.
(4) Emergency removal from placement.
(A) When the decision to remove a child is based on an emergency and the child's removal will occur from a location other than the child's placement, the CW specialist:
(i) makes diligent efforts to notify the foster parent prior to the removal; and
(ii) continues diligent efforts until contact, in person or by phone, is made with the foster parent.
(B) Notification attempts are made in the manner and order described in units (i) through (iii) of this subparagraph.
(i) The CW specialist makes a home visit to the foster parent immediately after the child's placement in the new location.
(ii) When the foster parent is not home, the CW specialist leaves a note instructing the foster parent to immediately contact the CW specialist.
(iii) The CW specialist immediately phones the foster parent's residence and leaves a phone message with contact instructions when the foster parent has voice mail.
(5) Placement disruptions.
(A) When the child's placement disrupts, the CW district of placement specialist, when applicable:
(i) immediately phones the CW county of jurisdiction specialist to determine other placement options to meet the child's needs that include ICWA placement preferences, when applicable. Prior to placing the child, the CW specialists involved consider:
(I) whether the child has family or other established connections in the current placement community such as friends, school, or place of worship;
(II) the need for further diligent search efforts for relatives;
(III) placement with siblings or placement in close proximity to siblings;
(IV) placement in close proximity to the parent, when reunification is the permanency plan;
(V) the need to maintain the child's education in the same school district;
(VI) the need for continuation of counseling and therapy with the same provider; and
(VII) placement in accordance with ICWA; and
(ii) in an emergency situation such as a placement disruption after normal business hours, weekends, and holidays, makes diligent attempts to maintain the child in the district of placement until further assessment of the child's needs is conducted the next business day in:
(I) the approved alternate caregiver's home when appropriate;
(II) relative or kinship respite care;
(III) another foster home; or
(IV) a youth services shelter in or near the district of placement.
(B) The CW specialist's responsibility in each district does not end until the child is placed. Transportation responsibilities from the district of placement are contingent upon the distance required to facilitate another placement. When the new placement is located in a district that is:
(i) closer to the district where the placement disrupted, the CW district of placement specialist transports the child to the new placement; or
(ii) between the district of placement and county of jurisdiction, the CW specialists share or split the time involved in transporting the child. CW staff in the district of the disrupted placement meet CW county of jurisdiction staff at an agreed upon location between the district where the placement disrupted and the district in which the child will be placed.
4. Notification to parent of the child's change of placement. The parent, legal guardian, or custodian involved with the child and deprived court case is informed of:
(1) each change in the child's living arrangements;
(2) the address of the child's placement when case circumstances allow; and
(3) the child's location when needed for scheduled family visits or correspondence.
5. Pre-approval required before the child moves within Oklahoma with the Bridge resource parent. Pre-approval is required before the child placed in a Bridge resource home moves to another district within Oklahoma. When approval is granted for the child to move with the Bridge resource parent, the CW specialist, within five business days after notification that the Bridge resource parent is moving out of district, notifies the:
(1) the court;
(2) child's attorney;
(3) district attorney;
(4) post-adjudication review board;
(5) court-appointed special advocate, when applicable;
(6) other guardian ad litem, when applicable; and
(7) the child's tribe, when applicable.
6. Pre-approval required before the child moves out-of-state with the Bridge resource parent. Prior approval of the district director is required before the child in OKDHS custody moves out-of-state with the Bridge resource parent. The district director considers authorization for the move when reunification is no longer the goal for the child and family.
(1) The CW supervisor, after consulting with the CW and resource specialist and resource supervisor requests, when appropriate, approval for the child's move out of state with the Bridge resource parent by memorandum to the district director.
(2) The memorandum includes:
(A) the reasons for the request;
(B) the benefits to the child;
(C) a medical plan that includes a manner of payment for necessary and expected services; and
(D) court orders or conditions set by the court related to the child's potential move, such as whether the child must appear at future court hearings; and
(E) recommendations from the child's attorney, if any, related to the move.
(3) When the out-of-state move is approved by the district director, the CW specialist initiates an ICPC request for a foster home assessment per OAC 340:75-1-86.