Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Sequoyah Memorial Office Building, 2400 N. Lincoln Blvd. • Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-3646 • Fax (405) 521-6684 • Internet: www.okdhs.org
 
340:110-5-57. Requirements for foster home agencies
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Revised 11-1-13

 

(a) Agency responsibility.  The licensed foster home agency (agency) retains legal responsibility for supervision, decision-making, and ensuring continuity of care.  The agency is responsible for certification of the foster home to Child Care Services (CCS) Licensing, on forms provided by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) that verify the foster home meets minimum requirements.

  • (1) Criminal history records search.  The agency conducts a criminal history records search for each member of the foster family who is 18 years of age or older.
    • (A) Authorized agencies.  A criminal history records search is obtained from:
      • (i) the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI); and
      • (ii) the authorized agency in a person's previous state of residence when the person has resided in Oklahoma for less than one year;
      • (iii) a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) national criminal history search, based on the fingerprints of the individual; and
      • (iv) a search of any child abuse registry maintained by a state in which the prospective foster parent or any adult living in the home of the prospective foster parent has resided in the past five years.
    • (B) Sex Offenders Registry.  The OSBI report must include a search of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections files maintained by OSBI pursuant to the Sex Offenders Registration Act.
  • (2) Disqualifying crimes.  A prospective foster parent is not an approved placement for a child when the prospective foster parent or any other person residing in the home of the prospective foster parent has been convicted of any of the following felony offenses:
    • (A) within the five-year period preceding the application date, physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense;
    • (B) child abuse or neglect;
    • (C) domestic abuse;
    • (D) a crime against a child, including, but not limited to, child pornography; or
    • (E) a crime involving violence including, but not limited to, rape, sexual assault, or homicide, but excluding those crimes specified in (A) of this paragraph.
  • (3) Certification.  A copy of the certification is maintained in the foster home file.
    • (A) Certification of the foster home applies only to the location of the residence at the time the home study is made.
    • (B) If the family moves, the agency certifies the new location.
  • (4) Policy.  The agency provides foster parents with agency policy relative to foster care.
  • (5) Medical services.  The agency ensures the child in foster care receives appropriate medical services.
  • (6) Case planning.  The agency is responsible for case planning.
  • (7) Supervision.  The agency provides supervision at least once a month to each child in foster care, including private visits with the child in foster care and on-site visits to the home, to assess the continued suitability of the foster home environment.
  • (8) Written agreement.  The agency has a written agreement with the foster family, and provides the foster parents a copy of the agreement.  The agreement includes statements:
    • (A) regarding the financial agreement, when applicable, between the agency and the foster home;
    • (B) that the foster home will not:
      • (i) accept a non-relative child from any source other than through the foster home agency without the approval of the certifying agency; or
      • (ii) provide child care on a regular basis;
    • (C) that the agency has the right to remove the child at its discretion;
    • (D) that the child in foster care is discharged from foster care only with the consent of the agency;
    • (E) that visitation by the child's parents or relatives must be approved by the agency;
    • (F) regarding absences of the child from the home, including respite care, as per agency policy;
    • (G) that the foster parents agree to cooperate with agency staff in evaluating the foster home and in the ongoing supervision of the foster home; and
    • (H) that the foster parents agree to contact the agency when a household member is alleged to have committed an act described in (a)(2) of this Section.
  • (9) Grievance policy and procedure.  The agency has written grievance policy and procedure for foster parents and children.

(b) Foster home certification.  Certification of the foster home includes written documentation of:

  • (1) application for foster home certification that includes prior child care experience with other agencies;
  • (2) appropriate immunizations for the foster parents' children;
  • (3) a statement from a health professional certifying that all members of the household have had a physical examination within one year prior to application, verifying that they:
    • (A) are in good health; and
    • (B) do not have a condition that would interfere with household members' ability to care for children;
  • (4) three written references from non-relatives who have knowledge of family functioning;
  • (5) a current, completed foster home study before the home is approved; and
  • (6) a criminal history records search conducted for each household member who is 18 years of age or older, per OAC 340:110-5-57(a)(1) – (2).

(c) Foster home study.  The agency prepares a written home study before approving the foster home and prior to placement of a child that contains at a minimum, information regarding:

  • (1) interviews and home visits.  Interviews and home visits include documentation of at least one:
    • (A) separate face-to-face interview with each parent, school-age child, and any other household member;
    • (B) joint face-to-face interview; and
    • (C) home visit;
  • (2) household composition.  Information regarding household composition includes each person residing in the home;
  • (3) criminal history records search.  A criminal history records search is conducted on each household member who is 18 years of age or older, per OAC 340:110-1-57(a)(1) – (2), prior to initial approval of the home and when a new household member, 18 years of age or older, moves into the home;
  • (4) foster child preferred.  The foster home study includes statements regarding the applicant's preference for age, gender, and special needs of the child;
  • (5) motivation, attitudes, and expectations.  The foster home study includes motivation and attitudes toward foster care and expectations regarding children in foster care;
  • (6) health.  Health information for each household member includes:
    • (A) present physical health;
    • (B) emotional stability;
    • (C) medical history; and
    • (D) any history of drug or alcohol use;
  • (7) family functioning;
  • (8) foster parents' marital status.  The foster home study includes information regarding the marital status of the foster parents, such as present marital status, history of previous marriages or significant relationships, date of present marriage, and description of the marriage or relationship;
  • (9) employment.  The foster home study includes the employment history of family members;
  • (10) financial information.  Financial information in the foster home study includes documentation of annual income;
  • (11) education.  The foster home study includes information regarding the education of family members;
  • (12) religion.  Information regarding religion includes the family's religious preference and practices;
  • (13) description of the home.  The description of the home includes the:
    • (A) type of dwelling and physical description; and
    • (B) location of the home and description of the neighborhood;
  • (14) weapons and firearms.  The foster home study includes the location of weapons and firearms, if any, and an explanation of safety precautions;
  • (15) transportation.  Information regarding transportation includes the family's means of transportation and verification of:
    • (A) a valid driver's license for each family member who will transport a child in foster care;
    • (B) license tag;
    • (C) insurance; and
    • (D) an agreement to transport all children and adults in compliance with applicable state law, per Section 11-1112 of Title 47 of the Oklahoma Statutes;
  • (16) family history.  The foster home study includes information regarding family history, including:
    • (A) names of parents and siblings;
    • (B) dates and places of birth;
    • (C) physical health and mental stability;
    • (D) relationship with family members;
    • (E) social, cultural, and religious orientation; and
    • (F) information regarding the foster parent's childhood including how they were disciplined;
  • (17) written references.  The foster home study includes three written references from persons who have information relative to the family's ability to provide foster care that include:
    • (A) name, address, and telephone number;
    • (B) when and how the person became acquainted with the applicants;
    • (C) how often the person has contact with the family;
    • (D) information regarding family functioning; and
    • (E) opinions regarding personal qualities and ability to provide care for children in foster care; and
  • (18) recommendation.  The foster home study includes the recommendation whether to approve the home that:
    • (A) is signed and dated by the person who conducted the foster home study and the child placement supervisor; and
    • (B) when approved, contains the type of child preferred and number of children for which the home is approved.

(d) Annual home study updates.  The foster home study is updated annually to include:

  • (1) documentation of a home visit;
  • (2) documentation of a face-to-face interview with each parent, school-age child, and any other household member;
  • (3) current vehicle insurance verification; and
  • (4) reports of any significant changes from the initial home study.

(e) Foster parent training.  The agency provides and documents that each foster parent has received at a minimum:

  • (1) six hours of orientation or pre-service training prior to approval of the foster home or placement of a child and includes at a minimum:
    • (A) organizational structure of the agency;
    • (B) agency policy;
    • (C) program philosophy;
    • (D) confidentiality;
    • (E) mandatory reporting of child abuse;
    • (F) grievance process;
    • (G) emergency medical procedures; and
    • (H) fire and disaster plans;
  • (2) six additional hours of training within the first calendar year of certification that is relevant to the needs of the child placed in the foster parent's care and is documented by the agency to include, but is not limited to:
    • (A) normal child development;
    • (B) behavior management;
    • (C) separation and loss; and
    • (D) infection control and injury prevention; and
  • (3) 12 hours of training each calendar year thereafter that is relevant to foster parents' roles and responsibilities and may include workshops and video presentations.

 

 

Last Updated:  11/20/2013