340:75-6-86. Changes in child's living arrangements
• 1 through 6
(a) Notification requirement when child in custody is moved from one location to another. • 1 & 2 Section 1-4-804 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes (10A O.S. 1-4-804) requires when the child in Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) custody is moved from one location to another, within a reasonable time after DHS is aware of the need for movement, but in no event less than five judicial days prior to movement unless an emergency exists, DHS notifies the:
- (1) court of jurisdiction;
- (2) child's attorney of the child's specific location;
- (3) district attorney;
- (4) Post Adjudication Review Board;
- (5) court-appointed special advocate, when any, of the child's specific location;
- (6) guardian ad litem of the child, when any, of the child's specific location;
- (7) the tribal representative involved in the case, when any, of the child's specific location; and
- (8) Child Support Services office in the county of jurisdiction.
(b) Emergency movement of the child in custody. "Emergency," as used in 10A O.S. 1-4-804, means movement of the child that is:
- (1) pursuant to a court order including, but not limited to, an order authorizing placement of the child with a parent or sibling;
- (2) immediate removal of the child without delay or notice requested by the child-placing agency or child's foster parent;
- (3) for emergency medical or mental health treatment;
- (4) for substantial noncompliance by the foster parent or child-placing agency with applicable placement standards and agreements such that the child is in imminent danger; or
- (5) due to a pending investigation of an allegation of abuse or neglect of a child by the foster parent, child-placing agency, or other person residing in the foster family home.
(c) Removal notification when child has resided in foster home or group home for three months or more. • 2
- (1) Pursuant to 10A O.S. § 1-4-805, except in an emergency, when the child has resided with the foster parent or in a group home for three months or more, written notice is provided five judicial days prior to the child's removal from the foster parent or group home to the:
- (A) tribal foster parent;
- (B) emergency foster parent;
- (C) therapeutic foster parent;
- (D) Developmental Disabilities Services foster parent;
- (E) kinship foster parent;
- (F) non-kinship foster parent; and
- (G) court.
- (2) The length of time applies to placement in each individual therapeutic or contract foster home or group home and not placement with the therapeutic or contract agency.
(d) Objection to removal when child has resided in foster home or group home for more than six months. When the child has resided in the same foster home or group home for more than six months, the foster parent or group home representative has the right to file a written objection to the child's removal from the placement home per 10A O.S. § 1-4-805.
- (1) The objection must be filed with the court and served on DHS within five judicial days after receipt of the notice to remove the child.
- (2) Timely filing and service of the objection stays removal of the child pending review by the court, unless the reason DHS stated for removal is due to an emergency, per subsection (b) of this Section.
(e) Hearing on objection to child's removal from the foster home or group home. When the child is being removed from the foster home or group home and any party, the foster parent, or group home representative files an objection, an informal placement review hearing is held within 15 judicial days per 10A O.S. § 1-4-805. The court may order the child remain in, or be returned to, the objecting foster parent's home or group home when the court finds the DHS placement decision was arbitrary, inconsistent with the child's permanency plan, or not in the child's best interests.
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 (DHS) custody is moved from one location to another, DHS notifies the tribe, when applicable, within no less than five judicial days prior to movement unless an emergency exists. DHS requests 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 completes Forms 04KI025E, Change in Placement Notification for Child's Attorney, and 04KI026E, Change in Placement Notification for the Judge, regarding the child in DHS 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 or group home, an assessment is made by the CW specialist, supervisor, resource specialist or group home liaison, 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 Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-3-8.1. When multiple counties are involved, the assessment includes the CW specialist, 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 or group home representative at least five judicial days before the change of placement occurs, unless an emergency exists, then 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 or group home representative regarding the child's removal; and
(E) advises the foster parent or group home representative to seek legal counsel when the foster parent or group home representative has questions about filing an objection to the removal.
(3) Documenting notification to foster parent or group home representative of child's removal.
(A) The CW specialist obtains the signature of the foster parent or group home representative on two originals of Form 04MP014E and one original form is given to the foster parent or group home representative. When the foster parent or group home representative refuses to sign the form, CW staff documents the refusal on the original retained by DHS and in KIDS Contacts screen.
(B) The second original, signed by the foster parent or group home representative is retained by DHS and is scanned into the KIDS file cabinet and filed in the child's paper case record. One copy is filed in the resource record and one copy is sent to the:
(2) contract foster care agency foster parent, or group home representative, as applicable; or
(3) child's tribe, as 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 or group home representative prior to the removal; and
(ii) continues diligent efforts until contact, in person or by phone, is made with the foster parent or group home representative.
(B) Notification attempts are made in the manner and order described in (i) through (iii) of this subparagraph.
(i) The CW specialist makes a home visit to the new foster parent or group home immediately after the child's placement in the new location.
(ii) When the foster parent is not home or group home representative is unavailable, the CW specialist leaves a note instructing the foster parent or group home representative to immediately contact the CW specialist.
(iii) The CW specialist immediately phones the foster parent's residence or group home representative and leaves a phone message with contact instructions when the foster parent or group home representative has voice mail.
(5) Placement disruptions. When the child's placement disrupts, the CW specialist, when applicable:
(A) determines other placement options to meet the child's needs that include ICWA placement preferences, when applicable. Prior to placing the child, the CW specialist considers:
(i) if 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
(B) 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.
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:
(2) child's attorney;
(3) district attorney;
(4) post-adjudication review board;
(5) court-appointed special advocate, when applicable;
(6) guardian ad litem, when applicable; and
(7) 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 DHS 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 the 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;
(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, when any, related to the move.
(3) When the out-of-state move is approved by the district director, the CW specialist initiates an Interstate Compact for Placement of Children request for a foster home assessment per OAC 340:75-1-86.