INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:75-7-18
family assessment (RFA). The RFA is
completed by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) or an RFA contractor. The
written assessment describes the family based on complete, consistent, and
truthful information gathered by the resource specialist or an RFA contractor
in conjunction with the family, following review of the application and summary
of background information.
(1) Initial visit. The resource
specialist and RFA contractor conduct the initial consultation with the family
in the family's home to answer questions, explain the mutual assessment process
and training requirements, and assess the safety of the home. Observations are documented on Form 04AF004E,
(2) Guidelines and form. The
resource specialist or RFA contractor uses Form 04AF002E, Guidelines for
Resource Family Assessment – Family Profile, to obtain information regarding
the family. When the resource specialist
is completing the RFA, the information is written on Form 04AF003E, Resource
Family Assessment – Family Profile.
(3) Review of resource assessment forms. During the initial consultation visit, the
resource specialist or RFA contractor provides dates for pre-service training
and reviews Forms:
(A) 04AF010E, Resource Family
(B) 04AF001E, Resource Family Application;
(C) 04AF008E, Medical Examination
Report, received by the resource specialist or RFA contractor as soon as
possible or prior to the final consultation visit;
(D) 04AF039E, Child(ren)'s Health
(E) 04AF017E, Resource Parent Health History;
(F) 04AF018E, Child Needs Information List;
(G) 04AF005E, Notice to Resource Applicants, signed by the applicant;
(H) 04MP001E, Consent for Release of Confidential Information, signed
by the applicant;
(I) 08HI003E, Authorization to Disclose Medical Records; and
(J) 04AF021E, Verification of Receipt of DHS Rules.
(4) Tribal membership. The
resource specialist verifies the applicant's tribal membership or tribal
affiliation by obtaining a copy of the tribal membership card and submitting
Form 04TB001E, Letter to Verify Tribal Membership of Resource Family
Applicants, to the tribe to identify valid placement resources for the Indian
child pursuant to the Indian Child Welfare Acts, per Oklahoma Administrative
Code (OAC) 340:75-19.
assessment. Per OAC 340:75-7-18(c), the resource specialist and RFA contractor conduct an evaluation of the
applicant's residence to assess the location, condition, and capacity to
accommodate the child in DHS custody, on Form 04AF004E, House Assessment. Form 04AF004E is signed by the resource specialist
and the supervisor.
arrangements for infants. When there is
a medical reason that an infant cannot or may not sleep on his or her back,
documentation from a health care professional is maintained by the resource
parent and a copy is filed in the resource file.
safety. The resource specialist and RFA
contractor observe all water structures and masses within sight of or
accessible to the living structure or yard.
Form 04MP061E, Water Safety Checklist and Agreement, is completed for
all applicants. The water safety plan
(1) developed with each applicant;
(2) documented and signed by each applicant, resource specialist, and
the resource supervisor;
(3) filed in the resource file;
(4) provided to the applicant;
(5) updated when a change or an addition of a water structure or mass
occurs to the resource home or property;
(6) reviewed at each annual update or reassessment; and
(7) developed or updated as needed.
(1) Documentation of current rabies vaccinations for applicable
animals is maintained in the resource file.
When animals are vaccinated by someone other than a veterinarian,
documentation includes, the:
(A) vaccine proof of purchase date;
(B) vaccine lot number and expiration date; and
(C) date the animal was vaccinated.
(2) Inquiry is made regarding if any animal displayed aggressive
behavior, had bitten anyone, or required restraint due to the animal's nature.
(3) The resource specialist or RFA contractor contacts the Oklahoma
Department of Wildlife or the veterinarian of record when the applicant has an
exotic animal to determine the safety issues for children and documents the
information in the KIDS resource.
Weapon or firearm safety.
(1) A weapon includes, but is not
limited to, a:
(A) gun, such as a pistol, revolver, shotgun, or rifle from which a
projectile is fired by gunpowder, gas, or other means of rocket propulsion;
(B) air-powered BB or pellet gun;
(C) bow and arrow; or
(D) knife, with the exception of cooking or eating utensils, such as a
dagger or knife with a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure applied
to a button, spring, or other device in the handle of the knife.
(2) The applicant and the resource specialist discuss in detail the
applicant's plan to store and secure weapons and firearms or ensure their
inaccessibility at all times to children in the home. Examples of secured weapons or firearms
include, but are not limited to, storing items in a locked gun safe, biometric
safe, or cabinet; using trigger locks; or removing firing pins from firearms.
Weapons security and safety must
be addressed during any subsequent reassessment of the home.
(b) Verification of weapon exemption.
(1) Law enforcement personnel must submit employer-provided
documentation that indicates he or she is required to carry a weapon as a
condition of employment.
(2) A resource parent or applicant licensed to carry a handgun,
whether concealed or unconcealed, must submit a copy of the license.
(3) Continuing weapons licensure and law enforcement employment must
be verified during any reassessment of the home.
Placement in a resource home. When
evaluating placement in a resource home, consideration is given to the number
of children and:
(1) each resource parent's capabilities and skills;
(2) the number and ages of the resource parent's own children;
(3) if the home can physically accommodate the children;
(4) the known behavioral patterns of the resource parent's own
children, the children in foster care currently residing in the home, and the
(5) the presence of additional adult caregivers in the home beyond the
approved resource parents; and
(6) the anticipated effect of the placements upon the resource family
as a unit. The needs of the child placed
in the resource home may restrict the home's capacity regardless of the
approved number of foster care beds in the home.
(b) Exception to the number or age limit of children placed in a
resource home. The placement of a child
in a resource home that causes the home to exceed the allowed number or age
limit, per OAC 340:75-7-18 requires an exception request and approval prior to
placement. Approval is applicable only
for the specific placement in the request.
(1) The child welfare (CW) specialist consults with the resource specialist
concerning the feasibility of an exception for a traditional or kinship
resource to exceed the allowed number or age limit for placements.
(2) The resource specialist submits an exception request to the CW
specialist, CW supervisor, and the resource supervisor that includes the:
(A) reason for the request;
(B) search results for an alternate, appropriate placement for the
(C) name and resource number of the resource family considered for the
(D) number, gender, and ages of children:
(i) the resource home is currently approved for;
(ii) currently placed in the home;
(iii) for whom the request is made; and
(iv) of the resource family;
(E) date and overall results of the last resource home annual update
or reassessment including a review of all previous referrals, policy
violations, and written plans of compliance on the resource home;
(F) number of in-service training hours completed by the resource
family in the last contract year;
(G) summary of the behaviors, treatment needs, and placement and
permanency plans of each child currently placed, and each child included in the
(H) specified time requirements for the exception;
(I) effect of the exception on sibling placement, when any;
(J) summary of previous placements and exception requests for each
child included in the request;
(K) plan for each child's transportation needs in accordance with
state vehicle child safety restraint requirements;
(L) sleeping arrangements for each child in the resource home and the
planned sleeping arrangement for the prospective child;
(M) effect the exception may have on the placement of each child
currently in the home;
(N) resource specialist's recommendation regarding the exception
(O) identification of, and a plan to provide possible services or
supports needed by the children or family, to ensure a safe and stable
(3) The CW specialist documents the exception request and request date
in the child's case KIDS Contacts.
(4) When the request is for overfill of a supported home, the Resource
Family Partner (RFP) foster care worker sends the documentation to the DHS RFP
liaison, who documents the exception request and date in the KIDS Resource
(5) The resource specialist submits the request and documentation to
the resource supervisor for an exception decision and documents the submission
date in KIDS Resource Contacts.
(6) When the home will provide care for up to seven children, the
resource supervisor forwards the request to the field manager for approval or
denial and notifies the resource supervisor of the decision.
(7) In the event the request is for the resource home to care for a
total of eight or more children, the field manager reviews the request and when
in agreement, forwards the request to a Foster Care and Adoptions deputy
director and the regional deputy director for the child's case for
approval. A Foster Care and Adoptions
deputy director consults with the regional deputy director for the child's case
and notifies the field manager of the decision.
The CW and resource supervisors are then notified of the decision.
(8) The specific needs of all children involved, the resource parents,
and the family unit as a whole are the basis for consideration of the
(9) The CW and resource supervisors notify the CW and resource
specialists of the decision.
(10) The decision and plan for additional services and supports is
documented in the child's and resource case KIDS Contacts by the CW and
resource specialists or the DHS RFP liaison.
(11) When an exception is approved to overfill a resource home,
regardless of the number of children placed, the plan to provide additional
services or supports is reviewed and documented at the time of the monthly
contact by the CW specialists assigned to the children placed in the home.
(12) The resource specialist:
(A) makes phone contact with the family on a monthly basis. At least one in-home visit is required per
(B) reviews the plan to address any additional needs, services, and
(C) documents the contacts and plan review in KIDS Resource Contacts.
applicant references. Only a trained resource specialist or an RFA
contractor solicits and reviews information received from references provided
by the applicant regarding the applicant's parenting strategies and
skills. The applicant must have the
three personal references in (1)(A) and the references (1)(B) through (H), when
applicable. The resource specialist or
all information provided by voluntary and applicant- provided references. The resource specialist or RFA contractor
explains to each person contacted as a reference the program expectations and
the needs of children who come into DHS care.
personal references are interviewed by phone or in person, only one of whom can
be a family member.
applicable, all adult children are contacted by letter, phone, or in person to
complete Form 04AF015E, Resource Family Reference Letter for Adult Children.
applicant's current or most recent employer is contacted by letter, phone, or
in person using Form 04AF011E, Resource Family Reference Letter for an
Employer. When the applicant is
self-employed, a reference is obtained from a customer.
applicable, school teachers, counselors, or administrators who have recently
served the applicant's child are contacted by letter, phone, or in person using
Form 04AF014E, Resource Family Reference Letter for School Personnel, to assess
the applicant's involvement in educational issues.
(E) When the
applicant homeschools his or her child, a person with knowledge of the
applicant's homeschooling experience is contacted by letter, phone, or in
person using Form 04AF025E, Resource Family Reference Letter for Homeschooling.
(F) When the applicant
currently receives or received behavioral health services in the past, the
behavioral health care professional is contacted using Form 04AF013E, Adult
Behavioral Health Reference Letter. The
resource specialist or RFA contractor uses Form 08HI003E, Authorization to
Disclose Medical Records, to obtain permission from the applicant to receive
his or her behavioral health information.
(G) When the
applicant's child currently receives or received behavioral health services in
the past, the behavioral health care professional is contacted using Form
04AF012E, Child's Behavioral Health Reference Letter. The resource specialist or RFA contractor
uses Form 08HI003E to obtain permission from the applicant to receive the
child's behavioral health information.
(H) When the required references do not total at least six, the resource
specialist obtains additional personal references;
(2) obtains a copy of DD Form 214, Certificate of Release of Discharge
from Active Duty, to determine the type of discharge, when the applicant was
discharged from the armed forces. Any
discharge other than honorable is specifically addressed in the assessment as a
consideration in the applicant's ability to attend to the safety and well-being
of a child requiring foster care services;
(3) does not deny the continuation of the resource application process
based solely on information provided by a reference. When a reference provides information
requiring further explanation from the applicant, the resource specialist or
RFA contractor discusses the nature of the information without revealing the
(4) requests consultation with the resource supervisor and field
manager to determine the significance of the information provided by a
(A) has a history of abuse and/or neglect that includes victimization
by the applicant;
(B) disagrees with his or her parent's desire to foster; or
(C) has other concerns about his or her parent.
and significant relationship history. A
copy of the current marriage license, each divorce decree, legal separation,
and annulment document, when applicable, is obtained. The resource specialist carefully reviews all
applicable divorce decrees for custody arrangements and any information that
indicates the applicant was not appropriate around children.
(1) When there is a child from a previous marriage, the child's role
in the family is discussed and emotional and financial child support, when
applicable, is documented.
(2) The ability of the applicant to develop and sustain stable
relationships is assessed and documented in the RFA.
Disposition of the RFA. The RFA is approved or denied within
60-calendar days after receipt of Form 04AF001E, Resource Family
Application. The resource specialist:
Forms 04AF002E, Guidelines for Resource Family Assessment – Family Profile, and
04AF003E, Resource Family Assessment – Family Profile, for content;
(2) shares the RFA
with the applicant for the applicant's
input prior to the applicant's decision to select in or out of the resource
with his or her resource supervisor and, when necessary, the field manager to
determine the assessment disposition.
(b) Disposition results.
Disposition of the assessment may result in:
withdrawal of the application. During
the assessment, the applicant is advised of any condition that does not conform
to resource requirements, per OAC 340:75-7 Part 2. When the applicant and resource specialist or
RFA contractor mutually decide to postpone the resource family assessment
process to afford the applicant the opportunity to resolve issues of concern,
the applicant withdraws from the resource program. When the applicant withdraws the
application, the resource specialist sends a letter of confirmation documenting
the withdrawal; or
(2) approval of the RFA.
(A) The resource specialist or RFA contractor reviews and discusses
the assessment, except for the verification and reference sections, with the
applicant for clarification of content.
(B) The resource specialist, resource supervisor, and applicant sign
Form 04AF003E and a copy is provided to the applicant. The home is not considered approved until
meets training requirements;
criminal history records search results based on fingerprints are received
and reviewed; and
resource supervisor reads and signs the RFA.
(C) Prior to the initiation of foster care maintenance payments, the
applicant, per OAC 340:75-7-52, signs the foster care contract.
(D) The resource specialist provides the family with the Foster Parent
Handbook upon placement or signing the contract and documents receipt in KIDS
(E) Each resource parent signs Forms:
(i) 15GR008E, Notice of Grievance Rights – Foster Parents; and
(ii) 10CO135E, Vendor Information (Substitute W-9).
(F) The resource specialist:
(i) copies the
KIDS Pre-Resource to a Resource for each approved resource
home except when the child in DHS
custody is in a kinship placement, per OAC 340:75-7-24;
(ii) end dates
the KIDS Pre-Resource after conversion to a KIDS Resource;
(iii) scans the
signed assessment and documentation into the KIDS Resource
File Cabinet; and
(iv) requests approval of the Family Assessment Line in KIDS.
(G) After signing the RFA, the resource supervisor approves the Family
Assessment Line in KIDS within two-business days for a kinship resource home
and within five-business days for a traditional resource home;
(3) denial of the resource home application.
(A) Before the resource home application is denied, the resource
(i) shares the information with the
(ii) consults with the field manager when determining whether to deny
(iii) staffs with Permanency Planning when denying a kinship home
(iv) documents all information obtained in the resource file and KIDS
Pre-Resource or Resource Contacts;
(v) documents and summarizes the reasons for application denial
including identification of supporting documentation in KIDS Pre-Resource or
(vi) references the contact entry date from (v) in the Application tab
of the Results screen comments box in the Pre-Resource or in the Resource
closure screen; and
(vii) scans the documentation into the KIDS Pre-Resource or Resource
File Cabinet and closes the Pre-Resource or Resource.
(B) When possible, the resource specialist makes face-to-face or phone
contact with the applicant to clarify the reason for denying the application.
(C) Form 04FC020E, Notice of Denial to Resource Applicant, is sent to
the applicant stating the reason for the application denial. Relevant DHS rules or procedures are cited
and attached to the letter.
(D) The resource specialist denying the relative placement:
(i) completes Form 04MP056E, Notice to the Court of Relative Denied Placement;
(ii) provides original Form 04MP056E to the CW specialist who
requested the assessment of the relative placement for submission to the court
(iii) files a copy in the child's case file; and
(iv) scans it into the KIDS Pre-Resource or Resource File Cabinet and
files a copy in the resource file.
to assessment guidelines.
(1) The resource
specialist submits Form 04AF042E, Request for Exception to Resource
Requirements, to the resource supervisor for an exception to the requirements
listed in OAC 340:75-7 Part 2.
When in agreement with an exception request, the resource supervisor sends Form
04AF042E to the field manager for review.
(3) The field
manager approves or denies the exception request and signs Form 04AF042E. A Foster Care and Adoptions deputy director
is consulted when needed. Form 04AF042E
is scanned into the KIDS Resource File Cabinet.
(4) The resource
specialist documents the request and response in KIDS Resource Contacts.
12. Changes in the resource family
resource parent immediately notifies the resource specialist of any:
(A) charges, arrests, or any alleged illegal activity committed by the
applicant or any household member; and
(B) proceeding for a protective order filed by or against the
applicant or any household member;
(2) The resource parent notifies the resource specialist within
24-hours of any household change including, but not limited to:
(A) the address or the home's location including emergency home
(B) any significant change in the home that impacts the family's
(C) the death or serious illness of a resource parent;
(D) any household member's health;
(F) individuals moving in or moving out of the home for any reason; or
(G) new or terminated relationships.
(i) When resource parents divorce,
separate, or the relationship ended, the person who continues to foster retains
the existing resource number and information.
(ii) An addendum is completed
and documented in KIDS Resource Contacts to reflect the household changes.
(iii) A new Form 04AF010E is
completed to address any change to the household's financial status.
(iv) The Out-of-House Date and
Reason is entered in KIDS Resource Homes screen.
(v) When both
resource parents want to continue to foster, the primary resource parent
maintains the original KIDS resource number and another resource is opened
cross-referencing the original resource number.
(vi) When the
primary resource parent does not want to continue fostering and the designated
head of household (HOH) 2 elects to foster, he or she becomes HOH 1 in the
existing KIDS Resource. The person who
wants to continue fostering signs a new foster care contract, per OAC 340:75-7-52, and a new contract number is assigned.
neither resource parent wants to foster, the KIDS Resource is closed.
(3) The resource
specialist addresses any household changes or serious illnesses with the
resource parent within seven-business days and documents the information. An assessment is completed and conducted in
the home regarding the parent's ability to continue providing care for a child
in DHS custody.
(4) The resource
specialist emails a vendor update with a copy of the Social Security card to
*STO.Finance.VUR for name changes.
(5) The resource
specialist updates address changes in KIDS.
A vendor update is not sent for an address change. Address changes made in KIDS automatically
update in Financial Services.
parent death. The resource specialist
consults the surviving HOH, when applicable, to determine his or her interest
in continuation of fostering.
(A) When the
surviving HOH wants to continue as a resource parent, a new contract is signed
and a new contract number is issued.
(B) When the
surviving HOH does not want to continue as a resource parent, he or she may
continue to access the debit card or direct deposit funds until reimbursement
(C) When there
is no surviving HOH, the resource specialist obtains:
(i) the name of
documentation showing the name of the estate's personal representative; and
address where the monies are mailed.
(D) The resource specialist provides
needed information to the Resource Unit for submission to the Child Welfare
Services Operations and Business Processes Section.