AFCARS
(Adoption and Foster Care Automated Reporting System) is a federal program that requires states to report specific data on every child in the care/custody of the states’ child welfare agency during a defined period. AFCARS data and/or data extraction methodology can be reused for the purposes of the Juan F. vs. Rowland Exit Plan in measures that require foster care data spanning a reporting period rather than a specific point in time. Connecticut DCF’s AFCARS extract is adjusted for the purposes of this Exit Plan to exclude Juvenile Justice children who are not dually committed.

Court Disposition
Court hearing held subsequent to an adjudication in which the judge after considering the facts of the Social Study and the total circumstances of the child, orders whatever action is in the best interests of the child.

Discharge Initial Criteria 
Discharge from care is determined by first querying the LINK database to retrieve any placements where the placement ending was accompanied by a Yes answer to the question “Is the end of this placement a discharge from all placements?” For placement endings that were designated as a discharge, the following criteria is used to determine a child’s actual discharge from care date:

  1. If the initial discharge criteria is met and there are no subsequent placements, then check for a Court Disposition that contains a change in Legal Status to Not Committed where the effective date of the court disposition is greater than or equal to the placement end date, use the Effective Date of that Court Disposition as the discharge date.
  2. If the initial discharge criteria is met and there are no subsequent placements and the child’s legal status is anything but Not Committed or Unknown (conversion) then add six months to the end date of the placement.
  3. If the initial discharge criteria is met and there are no subsequent placements and there is no legal history then use placement end date as the discharge date.

Effective Date
Data field existing in LINK data window used to record Court Disposition of Legal Activity on a case. This date is used to reflect the actual date that the court ordered activity is effective as of.

Exception Code
Code(s) used to indicate that there are valid reasons for the Multidisciplinary Evaluation not being completed in accordance with policy. Investigation A fact-finding process that gathers information already begun during the report-taking phase of allegations child abuse, neglect or in danger of abuse. The fact finder (i.e. investigator) must acquire and analyze information to determine whether a child has been abused or neglected and is in need of protective services or other services offered by the Department or the community. DCF Policy 34-2-2 “Investigation Process”

Juvenile Justice 
A system that provides individualized supervision, care, accountability and treatment in a manner consistent with public safety to those juveniles who violate the law.

LINK 
LINK is the agency’s Federally subsidized case management system, or SACWIS (State Automated Child Welfare Information System)

Removal From Home
Removals from home are characterized by a placement entry in LINK that is accompanied by a Yes answer to the question, “Is this a removal from home?” and is used for the purpose of recording a child's entry, or re-entry, in to care.

Report
A verbal, written, or in-person communication to the Department that alleges abuse, neglect or in danger of abuse of a person under eighteen (18) years of age, or of a person over eighteen years of age who is a Department client. A “report of alleged abuse, neglect, or a child in danger of abuse or neglect” comes into existence designates a response time for commencement of the investigation. The report is in LINK and can be found under the Intake Icon, CPS Report, RTM (i.e. Response Time Matrix) Tab, Response Time designation. DCF Policy 33-2 “CareLine: Introduction”

Residential Service

306 Residential School - CPS


Types

307 Residential Tx - CPS
319 Residential Tx - JJ
325 Residential School - Mental Health
328 Residential Tx - Mental Health
334 Residential Tx - Substance Abuse 
514 Residential Tx - Mental Health/Sex Offender
515 Residential Tx - Mental Health Intensive

Service Types

Service Types are various codes used in LINK when an out of home placement is recorded to designate the specific type of placement. (i.e. “Age 0-5 Foster Care, Shelter – Temporary, Residential Treatment – CPS). Every LINK placement is recorded with a Service Type.

Sibling Placement

A brother and/or sister group should be placed together unless there are documented therapeutic reasons for separate placements. Therapeutic reasons include, but are not limited to situations where siblings are placed with multiple relatives, one sibling requires hospitalization and others do not, where siblings were abused by another sibling, etc. Safety factors and the children’s best interests should be considered when making this determination. The therapeutic reason why the siblings must be placed apart shall be documented in the LINK narrative by the DCF Supervisor. Documentation of placements can be found in LINK under the Placement Icon and/or in the LINK narrative.

Transfer of Guardianship

A relative or non-related person who has a judicially created relationship between a child or youth that is intended to be permanent and self-sustaining. This person has the obligation of care and control of the minor child and the authority to make major decisions affecting the child's or youth's welfare.

Treatment Plan

Is a written, clinically appropriate, working agreement between the child, family, caretakers if any, service provider(s) and DCF. The agreement describes and documents the child and/or family’s service needs as well as what DCF, the family and/or the child is required to do to achieve the goals of the plan. Clinically appropriate treatment plans are those in which there is a complete and thorough assessment and the goals, and objectives outlined (which are observable and measurable) are appropriately matched to the identified needs, presenting issues and/or problem areas of the child and/or family. A complete and thorough assessment should include the following elements:

  1. a description of household members and status in the family;
  2. current issues and reason why the case was open, including presenting issues and problem areas;
  3. prior case history with the Department;
  4. family issues as perceived by the parent caretaker;
  5. family strengths and needs,
  6. legal status, including all legal activity and actions, and the status thereof,
  7. a description of services offered and provided to prevent removal of the child from the home and/or to reunify the family;
  8. overall case goal and how the goal will be measured and achieved;
  9. responsibilities and timelines for completing expectations related to the case goal (activities within the planning period); and
  10. educational and health considerations presently being addressed; and
  11. a synopsis of the current visitation plan (if applicable).
Treatment plans are developed and used to:
  1. identify in a time limited and goal oriented format, the problem areas, needs and proposed services to be provided to all children, parents, relatives and caretakers who are active participants in the case;
  2. document and describe reasonable efforts to prevent out-of-home placement of children;
  3. define mutual responsibilities and expectations of children, parents, caretakers, and service providers towards reaching identified case goals
  4. document and describe reasonable efforts to reunify children with their families in a timely manner, and
  5. determine sibling and parental visitation schedule if siblings are not placed together.
In addition to the core family treatment plan, there are various additional treatment plans utilized by the Department depending on the type of case being serviced. Each additional plan required should be documented in LINK under the Treatment Planning Icon. These include:

Adolescent Discharge Plan: a written working document between the youth, service providers and the Department Social Worker developed at least 180 days prior to the youth’s anticipated discharge from the Department’s care. The Discharge Plan should include, but is not limited to the following: the estimated date the youth will leave Department care; the youth’s anticipated living arrangements, an estimate budget; sources and amount of income/assets; assistance to be provided by the Department; a schedule for meeting the worker if the youth chooses to meet with the worker; any other plans necessary to facilitate the youth’s discharge from care; and to facilitate their ability to maintain permanency post-discharge.

Child in Placement Treatment Plan: a written working document between the child, family, caretaker, service provider and the Department Social Worker. This agreement describes and documents the child’s services needs as well as what each party agrees is required to address the service needs and achieve the child’s Permanency Plan. A child in Placement Treatment Plan is created for every child in care and reviewed at specific times per policy. A complete and thorough child assessment should include the following elements:
  1. a description of the child;
  2. the child’s strengths and needs;
  3. family issues as they pertain to the child;
  4. a description of the circumstances leading to the placement episode;
  5. prior placement history;
  6. reasonable efforts made to reunify the child with their family in a timely manner, including a description of the services that have been offered and provided;
  7. case goal and how it will be measured and achieved;
  8. progress and barriers towards meeting the child’s permanency goal;
  9. concurrent planning steps (when reunification is the goal);
  10. mutual responsibilities and expectations of children, parents, caretakers, and service providers for reaching identified case goals;
  11. legal activity and status;
  12. educational status/issues;
  13. MDE results and plant to address results/health considerations; and
  14. a synopsis of the current visitation plan.
Health Treatment Plan Addendum: A plan developed for every child in out-of home care, or for a child who is a member of a family receiving treatment services that has a documented unmet medical need. The plan shall describe a procedure for gathering any diagnostic/assessment needed and shall specify any and all health services to be provided to the child and/or the child’s biological parents.

Independent Living Case Plan: a written working document between the youth, service providers and the Department Social Worker to enable permanency through independent living. This plan is documented on DCF form 2091 which includes information in the following areas: Education, Vocation, Employment/Life Skills, Housing, Financial, Health, Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Parenting, Legal Issues and Obtaining Essential Documents. Every DCF youth in out-of-home care, age sixteen or older, shall have an Independent Living Case Plan, unless there is a documented reason as to why the youth cannot live independently.