Vendor Questions & Answers
”MAKING A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE”
2006-2008 CHILD WELFARE SERVICES PLAN
RFP QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Any changes or corrections acknowledged in the answers to the questions will be made in the appropriate standard and the revised service standards will be posted on the website with the revision date included to ensure that the correct version is available to everyone.
Note: Additional questions and answers were added on December 15, 2005.
Q.1 We have provided a home-based counseling program in Marion County since 2002. We are a well respected provider with good outcome data. I am surprised to see the State is requiring a current license for Master Level Therapists. My staff is not yet licensed, although a few are close to sitting for exam. Typically the cost of hiring therapists who are already licensed is prohibitive. When submitting for these dollars under the current RFP, are we permitted to write one letter of exception and include the entire list of Master Level Therapists? Or are to write a separate letter for each therapist? And is the State willing to reconsider this criteria?
A.1 If an agency’s staff person does not meet the minimum qualifications but the agency wishes to pursue approval of a particular staff person, the agency must submit a request with the proposal stating the qualifications and experience of the staff person and whether the request is for a permanent waiver or if the staff person has plans to meet the qualifications within a specified period of time. The request should include the unique qualifications and length of service in your organization of the person for whom the waiver is requested along with previous trainings, a plan for ongoing training, and the supervisory arrangements. If approval is given, it is for that particular individual only. If the request is being made for a number of your staff for the same program, the request can be made on one letter but the justification must be staff specific. Approval for permanent or temporary waivers will be made by DCS Central Office Staff. Any new staff members hired as a result of contracts received or resignations tendered must also apply for a waiver if they do not meet the minimum criteria.
Q.2 On the website for the Indiana Regional CW plan under the CFCIP definition of services, the first sentence states ages as 14-18. Should this read 16-18 rather than 14-18? The target population says "16".
A.2 The correct age is 16-18 rather than 14-18.
Q.3 In reviewing the recently released RFF Attachment A & B, we are struggling to see where we would propose our case management of permanent wards program. To recap, that program is responsible for managing the cases for the permanent wards in Allen County, locating permanent homes for them, and assisting in preparing the family & child for adoption. It doesn’t seem to fit under the standards listed and the non-standardized options don’t fit this program either. This program has been in existence over ten years and has been deemed to be quite successful in meeting permanency goals. Can you please provide us with some guidance?
A.3 Adoption services are available for wards who need permanent homes. The service standards that appear to fit your program are Adoption Family Preparation, Adoption Child Preparation, and Pre/Post Adoption Services. You could propose to provide all three of these services as they cover the services that you have identified.
Q.4 Will every county have funds available to provide the new Intensive Family Reunification Services and Intensive Family Preservation Services?
A.4 Startup Funds will be made available to each county. Program Funds for these services will be on a reimbursement basis to the local offices. The contractor will be paid from the local office and the local office will submit claims to the state for reimbursement. Every county will receive an allocation of funds.
Q.5 I just copied off the new Child Welfare Services Plan. Do I understand right that funding for local programs, i.e. park programs, alternative school, mentoring programs, programs where counties have awarded a grant will now have to submit a proposal?
A.5 Everyone who receives funds in 2007 will be submitting proposals, but they don't necessarily have to submit one right now based on this child welfare services plan. If the Regional Services Councils identify programming that they want to have available in their region, service standards will be developed. The regions will then be sending out their own RFP's. Anyone interested in providing any of the services identified in this plan should submit a proposal whether or not they have received IV-B funding in the past.
Q.6 Are the Community Partners for Child Safety programs new?
A.6 Yes this is a new program.
Q.7 For several years our agency has provided prevention services in our county through the Parents As Teachers program as a prevention program. We receive some IV-B and some Kids First funding for that program. Service Standards for Parent Education refer to the Target Population as those with substantiated reports or those removed from their homes. Our Parent Education services are not limited to that population. The part of the plan entitled “Prevention and Support Services (Family Support)” has an expanded Target Population, but Service Access is limited to those referred through DCS or “a referral from a DCS approved source.” Does universal access parent education fit into the Prevention and Support Services part of the DCS plan? Some of the Target Population definitions, outcomes, and service access definitions sound more like Family Preservation language. Does our Parents As Teachers program continue to fit with the DCS plan?
Could a Parent Education certification from the Parents As Teachers National Center be considered in the Qualifications for Parent Education services?
A.7 Your program appears to be a prevention and support program for families who have not had contact with the DCS. Prevention services are available through Prevention and Support Services (Family Support). Families and children who are at risk of abuse or neglect are included in the target population. If your program is supported through a DCS contract for services, referrals that you receive would most likely be from a DCS approved source such as community sources, schools, medical community or self-referral which would all qualify as a “DCS approved source”. Any referrals from these sources would most likely be families “at risk of abuse or neglect” which is an identified target population. Even though clients are not known to DCS, school staff will complete a referral form that is provided by the DCS. It is expected that your services would closely follow the parent education service standards with the exception of the target population since you are proposing for a prevention and support program.
Parent Education certification would meet the qualifications of a paraprofessional. Supervision must be provided by a person with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Social Work, Psychology, Sociology or related field.
Q.8 Do individual programs which are listed under II.I Prevention Services—Community Partners for Child Safety (Definition of Services) apply for funds under this category? This funding source seems to define our Parents As Teachers program in our county for which we have received IV-B II funds and Kids First funds. Then do we define how these services are provided by choosing a service standard?
A.8 Community Partners for Child Safety service standard is a clearly defined program that may or may not fit your program. You may be able to make adjustments to your program to meet the standards if you choose to propose for this service. All proposals must meet the service standards for the program being proposed.
Q.9 For 15+ years the Miami County Nurturing Parenting Program has been a collaborative effort between the Miami County DCS and Peru Community Schools. The understanding has been that each organization refers families to the program, making it not a "pure" IV-B program. In the Service Access area I read that "all services must be pre-approved through a referral form from the referring DCS." Referrals made by counselors from Peru Schools would not necessarily be known to DCS and would not have IV-B referral forms. Does this new proposal mean Peru Schools and Miami County DSC can no longer collaborate in the way we have?
A.9 If your program is funded through IV-B or other funding through the DCS, a proposal must be submitted. If your program is supported through a DCS contract for services, referrals that you receive would most likely be from a DCS approved source such as community sources, schools, medical community or self-referral which would all qualify as a “DCS approved source”. Any referrals from these sources would most likely be families “at risk of abuse or neglect” which is an identified target population. Even though clients are not known to DCS, school staff will complete a referral form that is provided by the DCS. It is expected that your services would closely follow the parent education service standards with the exception of the target population since you are proposing for a prevention and support program.
Q.10 What number of clients will be served? Is the response to the RFP to be regional or state wide?
A.10 You must decide what volume of service you are able to provide taking into account your experience, infrastructure, training, ability to hire qualified staff. The proposals should be submitted for each county that you are choosing to serve. We would encourage you to submit a regional proposal if you have the capacity to do so.
Q.11 If a provider wants to provide services in a specific region, do they have to serve every county in that region?
A.11 No, providers can propose for each county they wish to serve. However, if providers plan to serve more than one county in a region, we urge them to submit a regional proposal. It is anticipated that Regional Services Councils will give some extra consideration for Region wide proposals.
Q.12 Are probation referred kids eligible for Intense Family Preservation and Reunification?
A.12 Probation youth are not excluded if they meet the criteria of number 2 or 3 and 4 of the service standards and the required case record documentation is provided.
Q.13 Are IFPS and IFRS billable by the hour or on a per diem?
A.13 There is not a per diem. The billable units are included in the service standards. After the program development, services are billed in phases as described for IFPS or stages as described for IFRS. The proposed rate should be based on the service and the time frame required for each phase or stage to provide services. For IFPS, there is a lump sum rate for phase one (first 42 days) for a specified period of time and phase two is hourly.
For IFRS, there is a lump sum rate for stage one (first 42 days) and stage two (four to six weeks). Stage 3 is billed monthly. Other billable units are also included with each of these services that are not to be included in the rate for program development or the rate proposed for IFPS phases or IFRS stages.
Q.14 Will you better define a “Beneficial Camp Program”? What are the requirements for reimbursement?
A.14 Beneficial Camp programs are those that serve youth and are designed to improve: personal, academic, and family issues; self-confidence; self-esteem; and social skills and have solid processes that are in line with best practices. Reimbursement is based on billing points that are agreed upon between the county and the agency proposal that is accepted.
Q.15 In reviewing the target population for the Homemaker/Parent Aide position I noticed a change. The change involves the exclusion of the prevention component of the previous standards. The two (2) definitions removed are: Children and families that are considered "at-risk" of abuse and neglect and Families and Children that the local office have identified through reports of abuse and neglect or other community partners as needing services to avoid child abuse & neglect. We have a Local Coordinating Council to review every family accepted into our Wraparound Process in Knox County which our County Director is a member. We have used this service to help these families even though they are not always an open case with the DCS. Is there anywhere where these families who are at-risk can qualify for these services?
A.15 Prevention services are available through Prevention and Support Services (Family Support). Families and children who are at risk of abuse or neglect are included in the target population. If your program is supported through a DCS contract for services, referrals that you receive would most likely be from a DCS approved source such as community sources, schools, medical community or self-referral which would all qualify as a “DCS approved source”. Any referrals from these sources would most likely be families “at risk of abuse or neglect” which is an identified target population. It is expected that your services would closely follow the homemaker/parent aide service standards with the exception of the target population since you are proposing for a prevention and support program.
Q.16 Will information be available as to the expected number of clients and expected funding per service per county as was included in the Program Specification sheets during the last proposal cycle? I would imagine that there are a number of counties not interested in contracting for some of the services and it would be very helpful for us to know which services are not necessary to propose for which counties.
A.16 There are no Program Specification sheets provided for this RFF. You must decide what volume of service you are qualified to provide taking into account your experience, infrastructure, training, ability to hire qualified staff.
Q.17 Could you please clarify which services require completely separate proposals and which can be combined into a larger “Comprehensive” proposal? For example, during the last cycle, the FAKT Training and the Chafee absolutely had to be separate, but we were allowed to combine a large number of other services (i.e. Adoption, Counseling, Foster Home Studies, Therapy) into a “Comprehensive” proposal.
A.17 Community Partners for Child Safety, FAKT Training, and Chafee IL services all require separate proposal. The intent of the "Budget" portion of the proposal is to document the service provider resources, including direct service staff, supervisory and administrative staff, and necessary overhead expenses, being allocated to each proposed service. Therefore, it is assumed that most services as defined in the service standards, will require a stand alone budget section. Exceptions could occur when more than one "logically related" service is being integrated into a single program (e.g., home based therapy and home based casework. In determining whether or not to include more than one service in a single budget, please try to judge whether or not a clear documentation of resources will be compromised as a result of multiple services being combined. It is also intended that more than one "Budget" could be integrated with a single narrative, depending on the nature and scope of the overall services being proposed.
Q.18 How do I find out the service rates set forth in the contract for IV-B Part 1 Funding, IV-B Part 2 Funding, SSBG, CFCIP, Kids Trust Fund, CBCAP and County Funding. Please indicate the web address if the information is available on-line.
A.18 There are no identified service rates. Your proposal should indicate your rate for each billable unit included in the service standard based on the cost to provide the service. The budget justification sheets should be of assistance in determining your costs.
Q.19 I am a female and own and operated a registered professional psychology corporation in Indiana. At this time I have no other employees but would need to hire support staff and possibly another psychologist if I received a contract. I meet the Women's Business Enterprise but not the Minority Business Enterprise criteria. How do I indicate that I would hire a qualified person from a minority group if I received a contract? Should I submit a waiver and, if so, how would I explain my situation? I think this might be appropriately filed under "Other description."
A.19 Primary vendors would need to gain MBE/WBE participation. Even if the primary vendor is a certified MBE/WBE, they would still need to get a subcontractor who is a certified MBE/WBE. The current goals for professional services are: MBE: 7% WBE: 10%. Waivers are still available, but a good faith effort must be made.
Q.20 What are the necessary steps in becoming registered with the Secretary of State so that I might be considered for a State contract? Please provide a phone number, web site, contact person, etc.
Verification of Secretary of State registration:
- The company is registered with the Secretary of State, am I suppose to provide some type of verification or documentation of such?
- If so, what specifically is being requested and where do I get it?
A.20 Secretary of State's Office, Corporations Division
302 W. Washington Street, Room E-018
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Information Line: 317-232-6576
Fax Back line to obtain forms: 1-800-726-8000
Office Hours: 8:00 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday except state holidays
The responsibility for checking to make sure someone is registered with the Secretary of state lies with the State as part of the contracting process.
Q.21 I am the Director of a Not for Profit who has received Kids First Trust Fund dollars for the past 10 years. We serve two counties that are currently in different regions. I have been told that RFP's are being accepted from Providers who are able to serve their entire region with the proposed services, not just specific counties. Is this true? If I submit an RFP do I need to propose service to the entire region or only the counties that my Organization currently serves?
A.21 Proposals will be accepted for any county in any region or for regions. The Regional Service Councils will determine what will be funded. There may be some county contracts and some regional contracts. We encourage providers who are submitting proposals for more than one county to consider a Regional proposal. Regional Services Councils may give some extra consideration for Region wide proposals.
Q.22 I didn't find the addresses for the regional managers listed in my packet but instructions were to mail them a copy of the RFP from pg. 5 of attachment B.
A.22 The addresses are now listed on the website under Regional Managers.
Q.23 In reference to home based casework services, please describe in more detail the target population. Do self and other non-DCS community referrals meet the target population criteria definitions?
A.23 Self referrals and other non-DCS community referrals would include families and children who are at risk of abuse or neglect and are included in the target population for Prevention and Support Services (Family Support). If your program is supported through a DCS contract for services, referrals that you receive would most likely be from a DCS approved source such as community sources, schools, medical community or self-referral which would all qualify as a “DCS approved source”. Any referrals from these sources would most likely be families “at risk of abuse or neglect” which is an identified target population. It is expected that your services would closely follow the Home-Based Casework service standards with the exception of the target population since you are proposing for a prevention and support program.
Q.24 The Young Moms' Self-Sufficiency Program/Youth Service Bureau of St. Joseph County, Inc. is a current recipient of Title IV-B Intensive Casework family support funds. Our target population has been young moms at high risk of abuse and neglect. Our referral stream has included voluntary self-referrals or by community referral sources approved by our local DCS office. Do we remain eligible to apply for future Home-Based Casework Services? We have had a high demand for our services on a local level with a persistent waiting list. We collaborate closely with a wide range of community resource representatives. We are planning to apply for both Home-Based Casework Services funding consideration and Prevention-Community Partners for Child Safety. Is it safe to assume that this will require the submission of two separate proposals or can we be considered for both since they are logically linked together in key areas?
A.24 See the answer above regarding voluntary services. Separate proposals must be submitted for Home-Based Casework and Community Partners for Child Safety. The proposal must identify in the target population if this is a prevention program.
Q.25 In reference to Community Partners for Child Safety, governance: Would governance be satisfied if a special committee of my board of directors would be created that had board representation, community partner representation, and former client representation?
A.25 The governance is determined by the local partners. Governance includes all partners or a way to communicate with partners. An extension of an existing board would be appropriate as long as it focuses on the desired outcome. We are trying to be very flexible so communities can set this up the way that works best for them and meets their needs.
Q.26 Are we to prepare a budget for the entire 2 ½ year period of time or are we to prepare an annual budget? And are we to include the number of families served for 2 ½ years per year?
A.26 Proposals must include a budget for the entire 2 ½ year time period and the number of families for whom services can be provided to based on the capability of the agency and the budget submitted.
Q.27 How do we bill for no-shows (people who do not maintain their appointments, are not present when making a home visit)?
A.27 Unless there is a no-show billing unit included in the service standard, no-shows should be built into the rate for services.
Q.28 The Service Description indicates that the Foster Family Support Coordinator (FFSC) will work with all foster families by the county being served. Does this include families that are licensed through private, specialized foster care agencies?
A.28 This includes foster families licensed through the county only.
Q.29 Under the Service Description, the FFSC is to provide the individual training needs assessment for foster parents. When will this be provided to the FFSC and when will the FFSC be trained on this tool? Who will the information be provided to? Who will keep a record of the ITNA?
A.29 It is expected that the ITNA will be made available to service providers and training on the use of the tool provided. The information would be provided to the county licensing case manager. The service provider would keep a record of the ITNA and develop in-service training based on the needs of the foster families as identified through the ITNA.
Q.30 Currently in Allen County, approximately 90-100 people attend the monthly support meetings. Refreshments will be quite expensive, and childcare for 100 foster families will be a large expense. We will have to make sure that we have enough people to provide childcare for a hundred foster families, and therefore, will require them to pre-register so that we can have adequate staff for these. Will the childcare providers be paid? Will there be a billable rate for childcare providers and for refreshments?
In Allen Co., 90% of licensed foster families would be 207 people at monthly support meetings. This would require the rental of a large space, not only for the foster families, but for children, adoptive parents, and court-ordered substitute caregivers. Will there be a billable rate specifically for renting a facility large enough to hold 207 people?
A.30 The cost to provide the services as set out in the service standards should be included in the rate that is proposed to provide the service. This service is meant to provide support to foster families which would be very difficult in a group that large. Based on the number of families in the county, it might be feasible to hold more than one meeting in different locations for the convenience of foster families.
Q.31 Bi-weekly phone contact in Allen County would require 230 phone calls every two weeks to be made to all foster parents, or 460 calls per month. Is the State of Indiana anticipating funding more than one Foster Family Support Services worker per county?
A.31 The proposal must be realistic as to service provision given the number of foster parents. If more than one worker is needed to serve the number of foster families, then the proposal should reflect that.
Q.32 Under the service standards, it indicates that a quarterly newsletter will be developed for foster parents and DCS staff. Currently, we are doing a newsletter monthly for foster parents to notify them of the support group meetings. Does this mean we will not be allowed to provide them with a monthly newsletter?
A.32 This newsletter is to be a link between family case managers and foster families to introduce new staff and foster families and provide information to the foster families of upcoming trainings and support group topics. Monthly newsletters could continue to be provided if approved by the county.
Q.33 Service description item #13 states “Provide foster families with a certificate for training hours received signed by the presenter”. Currently our FAKT Coordinator approves the association training topics and the Vice President of the association signs the certificates for the sessions. Having the presenter sign the certificates may be difficult. Can the association officers continue to sign the certificates as long as the presenter’s information is listed on it?
Q.34 Does this 95% retention rate take into account normal attrition, families who become licensed for relatives and stop after the situation with the relative resolves, families whose licenses are revoked because of a substantiation of abuse/neglect, families who adopt and no longer wish to foster or have no more room, etc.?
A.34 If a provider has nationally benchmarked data that indicates a lower retention rate is realistic, that information can certainly be presented in their proposal and the committee will make a judgment on its validity based on the services proposed to be provided.
Q.35 After reading the proposal, and knowing the hope that Systems of Care (SOC) can apply, I only see that Prevention community partners may be only avenue. Am I missing something?
A.35 There is no service standards written specifically for Systems of Care however you might find that one or more of the service standards are compatible in developing a system of care. Regional Services Councils may identify this program as an additional program they would like to develop in the region. If that occurs, a separate Request for Proposal will be developed.
Q.36 Under Target Population, who will give the Foster Family Support Coordinator (FFSC) a list of the court-ordered substitute caregivers and adoptive parents? How will the FFSC make visits to adoptive parents of wards of this county who reside outside of this county and outside of this State of Indiana? Would this apply only to pre-adoptive placements or also to adoptive families following finalization?
A.36 The target population indicates who may be served under this service standard if they choose. Court ordered substitute caregivers and adoptive parents may choose to participate in this service but are not required to do so.
Q.37 100% of foster families reporting their belief that the DCS respects the work is an unattainable goal. There will always be families who are not happy with something. Will the State develop an evaluation that allows foster families to reflect their feelings in regards to DCS and also to record their concerns? Does the FFSC have the ability to influence the evaluations of DCS case managers to reflect their treatment of foster parents if the FFSC is responsible for the foster families’ belief about all of DCS?
A.37 If a provider has nationally benchmarked data that indicates a lower outcome rate is realistic, that information can certainly be presented in their proposal and the committee will make a judgment on its validity based on the services proposed to be provided. An evaluation form will be developed by the DCS for foster families and provided to contracted service providers.
Q.38 What does the Program Satisfaction Report look like? Who sends the report? Who completes the report? Who receives the completed report? Who compiles all the data? Is there a way to respond?
A.38 The Program Satisfaction Report has been changed to the Service Satisfaction Report and is in Attachment C of the Regional Plan for Child Welfare Services. This is a form competed by the DCS related to their satisfaction with the services provided by the service provider and is compiled by the Child Welfare Coordinators and provided to the counties.
Q.39 Qualifications of the Foster Family Support Coordinator (FFSC): It states that failure to maintain confidentiality may result in immediate termination of the service agreement. Does the FFSC need to have all foster parents sign a release so that the FFSC can talk with DCS case managers, Foster Care Plus workers, other service providers, CASA, etc.?
A.39 The FFSC is contracted to talk to the foster parents and provide information to the DCS. No release is needed for purposes of sharing information between these two groups of people. Only county foster parents are served through this contract. The FFSC would not be involved with other service providers, CASA, etc. through this service except in the event that they may be a speaker at a support group meeting. All potential Foster parents should sign an agency confidentiality statement. If a circumstance arises requiring other contacts, it is expected that a release of information and/or confidentiality statement will be signed.
Q.40 If all services must be pre-approved through a referral form from the referring DCS, does the FFSC need a referral each time there is contact with a foster parent or can the DCS send a referral either upon initial contact with a family or licensing a family and that referral remain active as long as the family maintains a license? Since the FFSC works with all of the families on a continual basis, not always pre-planned, this pre-approval seems to limit what the FFSC can do when a foster parent calls and needs help.
A.40 The DCS will identify either verbally or in written form who is eligible to participate in this service which may include a list of all licensed foster parents and others who are invited to participate.
Q.41 Because of the requirements of the FFSC for reporting, paperwork time needs to be included in a billable rate. It states that all billed time must be associated with a family/client. How will we bill for paperwork time for required reports (quarterly reports, support groups, newsletters, etc.)? All of these responsibilities are related to all foster parents, not one in particular.
A.41 The hourly rate includes face to face contact (support meetings) with the identified clients. Collateral contacts (phone calls), scheduling of appointments and report writing are all included in the hourly rate. These responsibilities are related to the position which includes all eligible participants.
Q.42 If an agency currently has vacant positions and those positions are a part of the IV-B proposal, would it be appropriate to write in the position and indicate that it is vacant, and simply use a salary range for the position? If not, please address how the proposal should be written to include those positions.
A.42 The positions should be identified with the estimated salary included for the positions and the agency should submit a position description.
Q.43 What is the hourly billable rate for Foster Home Studies? Are interstate compact requests included under this Service Standard, or are there additional requirements or different timelines for interstate compact requests?
A.43 There are no identified service rates. Your proposal should indicate your rate for each billable unit included in the service standard based on the cost to provide the service. Interstate compact requests may be included in this service standard. The timeline for completion would be the same as other requests and determined from the time the referral is received by your agency.
Q.44 The Service Standard Adoption – Family Preparation indicates that the assessment must include reference forms completed by 5 non-relatives. According to the Child Welfare Manual, Section 7, Adoption Services, No. 712.241: References, 3 references are required. Will 712.241 be changed to indicate that we need to collect 5 non-relative references?
A.44 The correct number is three of which one may be a relative. This change will be made in the service standard.
Q.45 If the home study is child-specific for a family, will the contractor also present the family at the SNAP Council in Indianapolis or will the Regional SNAP Specialist present the family to the council?
A.45 A child specific family preparation should only be taken to the Regional SNAP Team as the family is not a resource for other children. If the family wishes to adopt other children, then it should also be taken to the State SNAP Council in Indianapolis.
Q.46 Is the adoption meeting held in the region the same thing as the Regional SNAP Council Meeting?
A.46 The SNAP Council is the statewide meeting of SNAP specialists (representing their regions children and families) and contracted LCPA (representing their families). The regional meetings are referred to as the Regional Adoption Team Meetings, not Councils.
Q.47 According to the Service Description, #8 states that we must have a Consent to Release Information for foster family home license or adoption. According to the Manual, under 7.12.32, Consent for Release of Information – it states “the Consent to Release Information for foster family home license or adoption is in Appendix LL of this section.” According to the Manual at cwmanual7.pdf there is an Appendix LL, but it is not in the online manual.
A.47 This form will be provided by the DCS. Forms are continuing to be updated and will be added to the website prior to the start of the contracts.
Q.48 According to the information stated, the DCS Local Manager cannot override the recommendation of the Adoption Team. Does this mean that only the DCS Regional Manager can override the recommendation of the Adoption Team?
A.48 The standard will be corrected to state that the DCS Director and/or the DCS Regional Manager can override the recommendation of the Adoption Team. The DCS Director signs the Consent for Adoption for the child.
Q.49 It states that Family Preparation Services must be completed within 45 days of receipt of referral. Currently, paperwork and training is initiated at the time that a referral is received. Generally, paperwork and training is not completed within 45 days of receipt of the referral. Therefore, how does the State foresee home studies to be completed within 45 days of receipt of referral?
A.49 The referral for family preparation should not be made until the family has completed training. The length of time is 60 days rather than 45 days. Forty five days will be removed from the service standard.
Q.50 According to the proposal, it is stated that Family Preparations must be completed within 45 days of receipt of the referral. Under the Goals and Outcome Measures, it states that 95 percent of the families will have their home studies completed within 60 days of the referral. Please clarify the length discrepancy.
A.50 The section where 45 days is listed is incorrect and will be corrected. The outcome measures statement is correct.
Q.51 Does the State have a satisfaction survey that they are proposing contractors should use?
A.51 A family satisfaction survey will be developed and provided to selected service providers prior to the begin date of the contracts.
Q.52 With the new requirement that fingerprint checks be made, how can a family’s home study be completed within the time frame suggested in this proposal, knowing that it takes much longer for fingerprints to be processed?
A.52 The policy on fingerprint checks is currently being developed for adoptive homes. After release of the fingerprint check policy for adoptive families, providers will be notified. The current policy requires criminal history and CPS checks to be completed. The target population for family preparation requires that the family has already successfully passed a criminal history check prior to the referral being made. The home study is to be completed in 60 days with an additional 14 days to provide the written report to the referring DCS which should be adequate time.
Q.53 In the Target Population section, the 7 – 17 years of age has already caused some dissatisfaction. For example, not having studies for families of Safe Haven babies or younger children coming through the system because of abuse or neglect. Is it up to the County when they are making the referral to determine that the family is only interested in children ages 7 – 17? How will the contractor address this if they are proceeding with a home study and the family changes the age that they are interested in?
A.53 The family must be made aware of the guidelines by the county and the service provider prior to the start of the home study. The age range may be changed to 9-17 in the near future. The families should be made aware that payment for the homestudy will only be made for the target population for children ages 7-17. If their study does not meet the qualifications for payment the provider will need to obtain payment from the family.
Q.54 Again, according to the Target Population stating that we are targeting families that want ages 7 – 17, in the Child Welfare Manual, under 805.13, for a child to be considered a child with special needs, the State has determined that they have at least one of the following factors or conditions at the time of adoptive placement:
- A child is two years of age or older and is a member of a recognized minority group.
- A child is a member of a commonly recognized minority group.
- A child is a non-minority child who is six years of age or older.
- A child is a non-minority child and is a member of a sibling group of two or more children, one of whom is six years of age or older.
- A child has a medical condition or physical, mental or emotional handicap, or has a recognized high risk of such a condition or handicap.
A.54 The definition quoted above is for Title IV-E Adoption Assistance Program for specific special needs. That definition has been changed to read:
child two (2) years of age or older: or
a child who is a member of a sibling group of two (2) or more children and who must be placed together with the sibling group in the same home. (NOTE: At least one (1) child in a sibling group must be two (2) years old);
a child with a medical condition or physical challenge, as determined by a physician licensed to practice medicine in Indiana or another state or territory; or
a child with a mental, emotional, or developmental challenge as determined by a physician licensed to practice medicine in Indiana or another state or territory.
Q.55 Who will explain to families that our target population is 7 – 17 when the definition of a special needs child is younger than that? And who will refer the families who want to adopt younger children elsewhere and why would we if they are willing to accept children under age 7 who fit into categories b through e above (Q.54)?
A.55 This program is to locate families for children that are hard to place which includes older children and sibling groups.
Q.56 According to the Child Welfare Manual, under 712.43, families have up to 30 days to complete their updating information and return it to the agency in order to initiate a home study update. It is presumable that families have at least 30 days to complete paperwork for an initial home study. Again, how can home studies be completed within 45-60 days of receipt of referral, if the referral initiates the paperwork for the home study?
A.56 Families must be informed at the first meeting of the contractors timeline in completing their home study and the need for the prospective adoptive family to provide all requested information quickly in order to ensure that the timeline can be met.
Q.57 Under Case Record Documentation ? – Increase the number of children free for adoption: Please explain what “documentation of all contacts regarding adoptive families and a record of services provided to them with goals, objectives of services, and dates of services” means?
A.57 This means that the worker will keep logs for all visits and contacts with the families. Contact notes need to address the goal/objective of each contact and the date of service.
Q.58 The SNAP will sign a recommendation form that the contractor submits with their claim for payment. When will the SNAP sign this recommendation form? Will it be at the local meeting, the regional meeting, or the State meeting? Will the claim form be a State Form provided to the contractor?
A.58 The family preparation (written home study) must be presented at the regional adoption team and that is where the SNAP specialist signs the form. The agency would then include the signed page with the claim form provided by the State that is submitted for payment.
Q.59 Billable Units up to 12 Hours: How will the time be billed for the trip to the local meeting, the Regional SNAP meeting, and the State SNAP Team meeting? Twelve (12) hours will not cover the amount of travel time and time spent in meetings presenting the family three different times.
A.59 Time billed for the trips is hourly as identified in the hourly rate billable unit. If additional time is required beyond the 12 hours, approval must be received from the referring DCS worker prior to the time being spent to ensure payment of the claim.
Q.60 In Northeast Indiana, there has not been an adoption orientation meeting provided by SNAP or the DCS. According to the Manual under 712.21, an adoption orientation meeting is made available on a regular basis at designated sites within the region. Would this be something that could be contracted for and paid for by the State under this particular service standard?
A.60 An adoption orientation meeting could be submitted as a separate service in the proposal.
Q.61 Under Service Description, #12 lists the Outline for Adoption/Foster Family Preparation Summary as something that has to be included in the assessment. The wording is unclear. Please clarify – is this referring to our using the outline for the assessment format?
A.61 This outline is the Spaulding for Children Adoption Family Summary Outline and it must be followed to write the home study. This outline is included in the Child Welfare Manual Chapter 7 Appendix PP.
Q.62 Under the assessment criteria, the subject of FBI fingerprint checks has not been addressed. Why not?
A.62 The target population states that this service is for families who have successfully passed a criminal history check and successfully completed FAKT training including the 6 hours of permanency training. At this stage, FBI fingerprints are not required for a person to be licensed. The policy on FIB fingerprints in adoption is currently being developed.
Q.63 Are interstate compact requests included under this Service Standard, or are there additional requirements or different timelines for interstate compact requests?
A.63 All referrals come from the local DCS offices and may include interstate compact home studies. The timelines will be the same, from the date the referral is received.
Q.64 Who will be responsible for being the advocate for the adoptive parent if they use their adoption home study for a placement out of county or out of state? If the contractor is responsible for this, will there be an additional time that can be billed as the adoptive family advocate?
A.64 When a family is selected to be interviewed by a DCS office, the agency completing the home study serves as the advocate for the adoptive family. These families are recruited for in-state children. If the 12 hour limit has been met in completing the family preparation, additional hours would need to be requested from the county in order to claim for this service.
Q.65 Under the requirements for Stepparent Adoption Home Studies, the home study must be completed within 60 days of receipt of the referral or by the timeframe specified by the DCS at the time of referral. Does this mean that the DCS will be completing all of the paperwork and providing the paperwork to the contractor along with the referral so that we can complete the study within 60 days? Presently, the contractor is providing the paperwork to the family at the time that the referral is initiated by DCS.
A.65 The DCS will provide the selected service provider with the court order requesting the home study with contact information. The service provider is to provide the paperwork to the family at the time the referral is initiated.
Q.66 The Service Standard for Adoption/Stepparent Adoption Studies and Custody Studies indicates under the Target Population that this could also include independent adoptions. The paperwork for an independent adoption would be different than the paperwork for Custody/Stepparent Adoption. Again, will this information be provided by the County to the family prior to the referral being initiated? And what about counties referring families for SNAP studies to facilitate a private adoption?
A.66 The target population indicates that only independent adoptions are included only if they are court ordered. The paperwork would be the same.
Q.67 Are Interstate Compact (ICPC) requests included under Step Parent Adoptions, or are there additional requirements or different timelines for Interstate Compact requests?
A.67 Interstate Compact requests are included under Foster Home Studies/Updates/Relicensing Studies and are expected to meet the requirements and timelines of the service standard. No step-parent adoptions are included in ICPC requests. The approval of the ICPC homestudy is the responsibility of the DCS.
Q.68 Under this Step Parent Adoptions Billable Rates, there is no notation that travel time will be billed at the same rate as home visits, paperwork time, court testimony. How will travel time be billed?
A.68 The hourly rate includes preparation for home visits and mileage which includes travel. There is no court testimony for step parent adoptions.
Q.69 The life book noted in Adoption-Child Preparation would be obtained from what source?
A.69 The DCS will provide the selected service provider with guidelines regarding inclusion of information into the child’s Life book.
Q.70 Under Child Preparation, Goal #1, it states that 100% of the children referred will complete an initial assessment within 30 days. After the initial assessment it is assumed by the goal that all children will only have 30 more days to complete their life book and to understand adoption. That means that the child essentially will only have 60 days from the time of referral to:
- complete their life book with the assistance of a child’s case manager, therapist, foster parent, CASA and other individuals; and
- understand and explore the painful issues regarding the termination of parental rights, adoption, grief and loss, loyalty, etc.
This appears to be a very tight timeframe for a child who has gone through such trauma. Can that goal be rewritten to include a more adequate timeframe?
A.70 The assessment is to be completed within the first 30 days which means it should not take the entire 30 days. Once the assessment is completed, the Life book can be started allowing time for the preparation to be completed in 60 days. If additional time is needed, the agency must present an acceptable case to the child’s FCM for that purpose. The Life book should have been started before the child’s plan becomes adoption and should be available to build upon.
Q.71 Under Child Preparation, Goal # 2, #1: 90% of the children over the age of four will verbalize their understanding of adoption. Will there be a standardized method that the State will use to measure this goal? How can this be completed within 60 days if placement or recruitment has not occurred?
A.71 Following the assessment and through the process of completing the Life book, the child should be able to verbalize an understanding of adoption.
Q.72 Under Goal # 2, #2: 95% of the children between ages 4 and 10 will be able to draw an adoptive family and name the family members. What is the time frame for this to occur if there is recruitment going on? How can family members be named if a family has not yet been located? Is this to include their biological siblings? How can this be completed within 60 days if recruitment has not yet occurred?
A.72 This means that children will be able to identify family members such as mother, father, brother, sister, aunt and uncles, grandparents, pets, etc. If a family has not been located, names cannot be included with these positions in the family. They may identify biological family members to help them understand the roles of each person in a family. Many children aren’t aware of extended biological family members but may identify “chosen” family members.
Q.73 Under Child Preparation, Goal #2, #3: 95% of the children prepared over the age of 10 will name family members of the adoptive family. How can this be completed within 60 days if recruitment is occurring?
A.73 See the answer to question 72.
Q.74 At what point will the children available for adoption be referred to the program? Once a family is identified/ a match is made, or only when comprehension/ acceptance of being adopted appears to be a concern?
A.74 When a child is free for adoption.
Q.75 Under Child Preparation, Goal #2, #4: It states that 100% will have a completed life book. Again, with the short timeframe of 60 days in which this needs to be completed, is it unrealistic to expect that a life book can be completed within 60 days of the date of referral. Can a greater time frame be approved?
A.75 This can be completed with concentrated work with case manager, CASA, others involved in the child’s case, and the child. Pictures may be taken of items, people, and places important to the child.
Q.76 Under Child Preparation, Goal #3, #1: Please provide a copy of the Satisfaction Survey that a child over the age of four will complete to indicate their comfort with the adoption process. Again, this needs to be completed within 60 days of the date of referral. How can this happen if the child is in recruitment? Will a child oriented, user friendly form be provided by the State?
A.76 This child oriented, user friendly survey will be developed by the DCS and provided to the selected service provider prior to the start date of the contract.
Q.77 Under Child Preparation, Goal #3, #2: Who in DCS completes the Program Satisfaction Report?
A.77 The DCS workers referring to this service.
Q.78 Under Billable Units, we will only have 12 hours to prepare the child for adoption, complete the preparation of the life book, and do what is required. Realistically, is 12 hours enough time for a child this age to understand the complexities of adoption, to complete a life book, and to answer a Satisfaction Survey indicating that they are satisfied with the adoption process?
A.78 Twelve hours should be sufficient over the period of 60 days. If additional time can be justified, approval must be received from the referring DCS prior to providing the service in order to claim for the additional time.
Q.79 Catholic Charities is interested in applying for office-based services under Pre-Post Adoption Services to include face-to-face counseling, written monthly reports, and testimony for pre and post-placement adoption services. Under the Service Description, it states that visitation staff must respect confidentiality. Who is the visitation staff?
A.79 Visitation is a typo and will be removed from the service standard. It should read that Staff must respect confidentiality.
Q.80 Under Pre-Post Adoption Services, Goals and Outcome Measures, 95% of the families will have a written treatment plan prepared and sent to the referring worker following receipt of the referral within 30 days of contact with the client. In the case of a post-adoption service, the family will need to sign a Release of Information stating that it is okay to send it to referring worker. Is there a Release of Information Form that the State has developed? Who will the referring worker be within the County DCS?
A.80 For DCS services, there must be a release of information signed in order to share information with the referring worker. The referring worker is the person in the DCS that referred the family. If the family is a self-referral, the supervisor would need to determine the designated referring worker, most likely the worker managing adoption cases.
Q.81 Under Pre-Post Adoption Services, if this is counseling, will there be a referral for pre/post-adoptive parents and a separate referral for children for counseling? The issues that they may have could be with one another; and therefore, confidentiality must be protected for both the pre/post-adoptive parents and the child.
A.81 The referral form should indicate who in the family is referred for services. One form will suffice as long as the family members are checked as clients to be served.
Q.82 Under Pre-Post Adoption Services, Goal #3, # 1: Is it mandatory for all families who are referred for office-based counseling to attend a support group?
A.82 The support group is an additional service that families may or may not participate in regardless of whether they are receiving counseling. Many families only participate in support groups and just need to know from other adoptive families that they are not alone in the experiences they are going through and share success stories or work together to develop solutions to similar problems.
Q.83 Under Pre-Post Adoption Services, Goal #4, Outcome Measure: DCS and Family Satisfaction Surveys, will a copy of the Satisfaction Survey for this particular service be provided by the State?
Q.84 Who will create the pre- and post-tests related to the CHINS Parent Support Services process? Who will create the curriculum for the training/information sessions?
A.84 Pre-and post-tests will be developed by DCS and provided to the selected service provider prior to the begin date of the contracts. The curriculum will be provided to selected providers prior to the start date of the contract.
Q.85 In regards to CHINS Parent Support Services, Goal #1 Outcome Measure: What kind of measuring tool will be used to determine whether 90% of the parents participating in the process have identified their role in the substantiated allegation of abuse and neglect; and will this information be used against them in Court?
A.85 This outcome measure is being removed from the service standards.
Q.86 Under CHINS Parent Support Services, Goal #3, DCS & Foster Family Satisfaction with Services: How will DCS measure their program satisfaction?
A.86 The Program Satisfaction Report has been changed to the Service Satisfaction Report and is in Attachment C of the Regional Plan for Child Welfare Services. This is a form completed by the DCS related to their satisfaction with the services provided by the service provider and is compiled by the Child Welfare Coordinators and provided to the counties. The family satisfaction form will be developed by the DCS and provided to the selected provider prior to the start date of the contract.
Q.87 Will the clients who receive the CHINS Parent Support Services sign a Release of Information so that reports can be made back to the case manager at the County?
Q.88 In regards to the billing units for CHINS Parent Support Services, it appears that the CPSW (CHINS Parent Support Worker) will be called to testify in Court. How will the confidentiality of the participants in the support group be protected?
A.88 It is always a possibility that the worker may be called to testify to the attendance and participation of an individual or family in this service. Families must sign a release of information when they begin services related to the referral source and the court.
Q.89 Under the CHINS Parent Support Services, will the parents of the client and family understand that what they say may be used against them in Court, or who will develop their rights and responsibilities in regards to this service? Will this service be Court-ordered?
A.89 Any service that is provided to a family by the DCS is subject to court testimony by the service providers. This service may have voluntary participation by CHINS parents initially but may be court ordered once the courts become aware of the availability of the service.
Q.90 Under the Counseling-Individual/Family service standard, it indicates that the services must be compatible with the established Department of Child Services Service Referral Agreement, informal adjustment or a CHINS Case Plan. Will the County case manager provide this information along with the referral made to the agency so that services can be tailored to these plans? Will the client be required to sign a Release of Information so that the counselor can release confidential information to the County case manager?
A.90 All service providers should have a release of information to the DCS signed by all clients who are referred by the DCS as common practice. Information is required to determine progress in the client’s case. The plan of the case should be requested with the referral form if it is required documentation listed in the service standard. The plan of the case may be a Case Plan, Informal Adjustment, or a Service Referral Agreement based on the type of case. If the document is not a required in documentation for the service standard, the plan of the case should be indicated in the goals and objectives of the service on the referral form.
Q.91 Under the Counseling-Individual/Family service standard, in regards to the target population, if children and families are referred for counseling, will separate referrals be made for the parents and the child so that the individuals can be seen separately?
A.91 The referral form should indicate who in the family is referred for services. One form will suffice as long as the family members are checked as clients to be served.
Q.92 Under the Counseling-Individual/Family service standard, in regards to Goal #3 – the Development of Positive Means of Managing Crisis, #1 states that 90% of the individuals and families served will not be subject to a new investigation during the service provision period. What is the length of the service provision? Will it be a set time frame or can it vary from case to case based upon need?
A.92 The period of the service provision time is dependent on the progress that the family makes because of the services being provided. The time frame is from the first contact to case closure. Any service provision over 6 months requires a reauthorization of referral by the DCS.
Q.93 Under the Counseling-Individual/Family service standard, under Goals & Outcome Measures, Goal # 3 DCS & Client Satisfaction with Service Provided: who will develop the Program Satisfaction Report and who will collect the satisfaction surveys from the client?
A.93 The Program Satisfaction Report has been changed to the Service Satisfaction Report and is in Attachment C of the Regional Plan for Child Welfare Services. This is a form competed by the DCS related to their satisfaction with the services provided by the service provider and is compiled by the Child Welfare Coordinators and provided to the counties. The client satisfaction form will be developed by the DCS and provided to the selected provider prior to the start date of the contract. The provider will administer the client satisfaction survey to the client for outcome data and be prepared to report the results in their annual evaluation.
Q.94 Under Family Case Conferencing, according to the Outcome Measures of Goal #2, it appears that no family meeting will be held prior to seven (7) working days from the referral. Is this correct or should it read “A family meeting will be held within seven (7) working days from the referral”?
A.94 This outcome measure indicates that those expected to participate in the meeting will be provided written notification 7 days prior to the date of the scheduled meeting.
Q.95 Under Family Case Conferencing, Goal # 4 indicates that there is a Program Satisfaction Report. Who will create this report?
A.95 The Program Satisfaction Report has been changed to the Service Satisfaction Report and is in Attachment C of the Regional Plan for Child Welfare Services. This is a form competed by the DCS related to their satisfaction with the services provided by the service provider and is compiled by the Child Welfare Coordinators and provided to the counties. The client satisfaction form will be developed by the DCS and provided to the selected provider prior to the start date of the contract. The provider will administer the client satisfaction survey to the client for outcome data and be prepared to report the results in their annual evaluation.
Q.96 Under Family Case Conferencing, Goal #4 also indicates that 94% of the families will rate their services satisfactory. Who will create this Client Satisfaction Report?
A.96 The client satisfaction form will be developed by the DCS and provided to the selected provider prior to the start date of the contract. The provider will administer the client satisfaction report to the client for outcome data and be prepared to report the results in their annual evaluation.
Q.97 Under Family Case Conferencing, #2 of the Case Record Documentation indicates that the documentation of regular contact with the referred family/children and the referring agency will be noted in the case record. The summary does not indicate how many family meetings will be required. Will the family meeting occur more than once to modify the agreed upon plan?
A.97 The family meetings will be determined by the DCS based on the needs of the family or a schedule set by the DCS.
Q.98 Because of the high case loads in particular counties, will there be a maximum number of families on a caseload that a staff person will have at any given time?
A.98 The number will be based as each county develops criteria as to which families to refer to this service. The agency must decide what volume of services you are qualified to provide taking into account your experience, infrastructure, training, ability to hire qualified staff etc.
Q.99 Under CHINS Parent Support Services, Goal # 2 Outcome Measures, who will be responsible for developing the pre- and post-tests at the beginning and conclusion of the sessions?
A.99 Pre-and post-tests will be developed by DCS and provided to the selected service provider prior to the begin date of the contracts.
Q.100 Currently we are providing FAKT services. We distribute a quarterly newsletter. The standard service description refers to a monthly newsletter. We will be held to that expectation or can we continue distributing quarterly newsletters? If quarterly distributions are no longer acceptable, would every other month be acceptable?
A.100 You will be held to the monthly newsletters requirement. Foster parents need information monthly regarding available trainings and articles that are of benefit to them related to the children they foster.
Q.101 Various FAKT Coordinators have staff trained in the Visiting Nurse Supervised Visitation Training. Will this be the one we will train under this standard?
A.101 Service providers who receive contracts will be provided with the supervised visitation training curriculum for foster parents that is approved by the state.
Q.102 Is six hours the maximum length for an in-service session or will there be some leeway based upon the material being trained?
A.102 No, six hours is the length of the permanency in-service training. Other in-service training may be for as short a time as one hour or as long as eight hours or more depending on the material that is being covered.
Q.103 Case managers, supervisors, and other LCPA staff have been included under target population. Does this mean we can now bill for training these groups or combined groups of these individuals and foster, adoptive, kinship care givers?
A.103 Case managers and supervisor are included in the target population for current contracts and training provided to them can be billed. LCPA staff should not be included in the target population and will be removed from the service standard as they provide training for their own staff.
Q.104 Since FAKT Coordinators are not involved in licensing and do not have access to ICWIS, tracking Goal #1, item #2, 90% of participants who complete pre-service training will become licensed, will be difficult. Will a means for securing this information be provided by the state?
A.104 Follow up should take place with the county licensing case manager regarding families that are trained to determine if they have become licensed.
Q.105 Since some of the counties that the FAKT Coordinators service are larger (such as Allen, Lake, Marion, etc.), Goal #2, item #1, 100% of foster parents who become licensed will complete the required number of hours of training annually based upon the license they hold, will be nearly impossible to ascertain. Will a time efficient method for securing this information be provided by the state?
A.105 Through coordination with the county licensing worker, this information can be obtained as families may obtain hours that are not provided by the contracted service provider such as attending approved conferences, training through support groups, community mental health trainings, etc.
Q.106 Currently FAKT Coordinators typically do not receive a written or verbal referral to train interested foster, adoptive, and kinship care applicants. Families are sent to us by the staff at the local DCS, IFCAA, other care providers, attorneys and many are self-referred. Will a referral form be created to be used by local DCS staff to initiate training services? If so, will IFCAA begin referring families only to the DCS and not to the FAKT Coordinators?
A.106 For all families or individuals applying for FAKT training, the local DCS must be contacted to receive verbal or written approval. Documentation in the provider records must be made indicating verbal or written approval of each individual being trained. A documentation form will be created for contracted service providers to provide consistency for audits.
Q.107 Court Time Rate Question: "The provider may bill up to one hour per day for testimony in client/family specific court hearings as requested and approved by the DCS" I am assuming this is referring to non DCS court hearings ie: criminal court hearings, custody hearings, etc where providers are subpoenaed to testify on behalf of the client - if DCS approves? Is this accurate?
A.107 No. This is referring to CHINS or Probation Court hearings where the DCS or Probation staff requests that the worker providing services testify in court on the work being done with the family or any written report that has been submitted based on work with the family. This billable unit is included in every service standard where there is a possibility of required court testimony. Court testimony regarding a written custody study may be required in a non-DCS case.
Q.108 Home-Based Casework Services Goal #1 Outcome #1 Question: Does face to face contact mean literally face to face (as in home visit) or face to face billable (which could include phone contact)?
A.108 Face-to-face is literally face-to-face.
Q.109 Will the local DCS offices be required to give the provider the risk assessment with the referral ( Home Based Intensive Family Reunification Services) ? How are we to measure this outcome?
A.109 Yes, as this will be needed to determine if you met this outcome measure.
Q.110 Who pays for the Functional Family Therapy training? Does the State, or is that something we need to put in the budget for? Is specific training for Functional Family Therapy paid for by the state like the Homebuilders Model trainings? How does someone get this?
A.110 The state does not provide this training. It would need to be included in the budget. Information regarding training for this service can be obtained from Holly DeMaranville - FFT Communications Coordinator, (206)369-5894) or firstname.lastname@example.org . Additional information regarding this service is available at http://www.fftinc.com/.
Q.111 If I do a proposal for a service will I have to do it for the entire region? or can providers designate the counties in the region they can cover? Do we have to bid on the whole region for a particular service?
A.111 Proposals will be accepted for any county in any region or for regions. The Regional Service Councils will determine what will be funded. There may be some county contracts and some regional contracts. We encourage providers to submit regional proposals if feasible. The Regional Services Councils will give some extra consideration for Region wide proposals.
Q.112 Will more than one provider be chosen for a service? If a provider is chosen and services are inadequate, will another RFP be issued?
A.112 Regional Services Councils will make the determination as to the number of providers they need for any given service. Another RFP will not be issued if services are inadequate. Counties and regions will determine the process to be used if additional services are needed because of inadequate services.
Q.113 Can I submit a proposal for services that I am not currently providing or do I need to be providing that service currently? Will County DCS offices fill out RFPs to provide the services? On that list, what services are needed in our area?
A.113 You do not currently have to be providing services to submit a proposal for services through this RFF. However, your experience, training etc. will be considered as part of the evaluation of proposal process. Regional Services Councils will choose services based on their needs from proposals submitted. It is possible that Regions will release other Requests for Proposals for services in their region not included in this proposal, based on the regional needs assessment as conducted by the Regional Services Councils.
Q.114 What exactly is the Community Partners for Child Safety? a facility? DCS operated agency? a center with services from different providers?
A.114 This is a center based program funded through this RFF. Please review the service standards for a description of the program. Time and funding has been allotted for program development prior to serving clients. It is all of the above (or could be) EXCEPT it is not DCS operated. It is envisioned to be a partnership of appropriate entities, agencies in each county/region. Each partner is expected to be a referral source, a financial contributor, and a part of governance. The purposes are to improve family functioning so that DCS never has a case of substantiated abuse on a participating family and to improve family functioning.
Q.115 Are we going to know which regions want which services?
A.115 Agencies should propose services that they are able to provide to counties or regions. Counties or regions will determine which services they wish to purchase.
Q.116 Can we use qualified students for financial offsets to decrease the unit rate?
A.116 Not unless they meet the qualifications for the particular service standard.
Q.117 What do we do if we already have county contracts (e.g., Parenting Assessment, Family Group Conferencing, Family Preservation)? Does this replace them?
A.117 Proposals should be submitted for any services that the agency would like to offer to the counties or regions using any of the identified funding streams. If you already have contracts in place with a County as a result of a Request for Proposal Process, please contact the County Director for further direction on this issue.
Q.118 Home-Based Casework Services - Is it intentional that the category “children and families who are currently in substitute care and who are in need of reunification services” is not part of the target population for Home-Based Casework Services?
A.118 Any child or family who has a child protection service investigation initiated would include children who are currently in substitute care and in need of reunification services. This was an omission. “Children and families who are currently in substitute care and who are in need of reunification services” will be added to the service standard.
Q.119 Are DCS case plans required to be in our agency files? If so, how do we get them from DCS workers? We’ve been unable in the past.
A.119 The required documentation is listed for each service standard. If a case plan is listed, it must be obtained from the worker. If there are challenges obtaining this plan, the worker’s supervisor should be consulted.
Q.120 “FAKT training coordinator must recommend every FAKT trainer”, is this an agency supervisor or a state consultant?
A.120 All referrals to for a person to participate in a Training of Trainers for FAKT must come through a FAKT training coordinator, local DCS office, or LCPA agencies.
Q.121 Could we receive a copy of the Youth Level of Service Inventory?
A.121 This tool is used with the Functional Family Therapy. Information regarding this service can be found at http://www.fftinc.com/ .
Q.122 Do non-standardized programs require a proposal? Can non-standardized programs be better explained? Why are they different? (Respite, Daycare)
A.122 These programs require a proposal. They are items for which standards have yet to be developed.
Q.123 Currently the state is cut into thirds. What is in the scope, regions wise, for the voluntary services case worker? Is it now by region?
A.123 The regions to be served will be very similar to those currently being served only will fall within the new region lines which may add or remove a county or two from the current configuration. Approximately the same number of counties will be included in each third of the state.
Q.124 How would you define a “community neighborhood” in light of applying to a whole region? How would that be operational?
A.124 This is defined in the service standard. Program development is provided in the billing units to allow programs to define their community neighborhood.
Q.125 Do we send in a separate set of proposals for each different region applied to for the same service? (For Example: Applying for home-based services in 3 different regions, do we send in 3 proposals unique to those regions?)
A.125 A single proposal would be appropriate but page 9 of the budget pages would need to be included for each region you are choosing to serve.
Q.126 Under the Program Objectives and Evaluation section of the application it reads that the “applicant agrees to complete program evaluations using the format and procedures as defined by the DCS”. Where can this be found?
A.126 They are in Appendix C of the planning document and will be provided to the selected service provider prior to the start date of the contract.
Q.127 Adoption – Can we substitute master’s degree for 3 years experience for kids in substitute care?
A.127 A Master’s degree is only sufficient if the person has knowledge of issues related to kids in foster care. The degree cannot replace experience with kids in substitute care. This experience may be through work in residential facilities, home based service provision, etc.
Q.128 Parenting Assessment – What does commence mean in “Services must commence within 3 working days”?
A.128 This means that a phone or face-to-face contact must be made with the referred family within 3 working days of receiving the referral.
Q.129 Chafee – What are “soft-skilled” services? Do youth have to be 18 and in foster care to be eligible for room & board? Can LCSW authorize less qualified staff (LSW)?
A.129 Soft skills include time management, anger management, appropriate peer and adult interaction, and other skills that youth develop through everyday activities. Youth must turn 18 in foster care to be eligible for room and board funding. An LSW could provide these services if they meet the qualifications in the service standards. Staff must meet the qualifications in the service standards. If an agency’s staff person does not meet the minimum qualifications but the agency wishes to pursue approval of a particular staff person, the agency must submit a request with the proposal stating the qualifications and experience of the staff person along with a plan for the person to meet the minimum qualifications in a given period of time. If the agency is requesting a permanent waiver for a particular employee, that must also be noted. If approval is given, it is for that particular individual only. If the request is being made for a number of your staff for the same program, the request can be made on one letter but the justification must be staff specific. This criterion will remain in place allowing agencies time for their staff to meet the qualifications.
Q.130 Prevention Services/Community Partners for Child Safety – How do we obtain the curriculum for staff development and service delivery?
A.130 DCS will notify agencies regarding this by the time contract decisions are made. It is anticipated that we will use the Healthy Families curriculum. The goal of the Healthy Families Think Tank is that the entire curriculum will be web-based by May 2006. Some modules are already developed. The advantages to web-based training are many including less cost and consistent statewide training. This information should be helpful in budgeting for service delivery.
Q.131 Prevention Services/Community Partners for Child Safety – Goal #1 – Specify whether face-to-face contact needs to be within 3 days or 5 days?
A.131 5 days
Q.132 There is an indication that progress notes need to be submitted to DCS in addition to monthly reports and closing summaries. Please clarify whether DCS wants the progress note connected to every contact for a family. This could be hundreds of notes.
A.132 Progress notes must be kept in the case files for audit purposes. The reports required are determined by each DCS office. It is the responsibility of each provider to verify the frequency of reporting for the counties they plan to serve will require.
Q.133 Prevention Services/Community Partners for Child Safety - What is the Standardized Family Functioning Scale?
A.133 The assessment tool will be determined and made accessible by DCS prior to the begin date of the contract and in time to conduct staff training. It is anticipated that this tool will be the same as the one used for Healthy Families (Kempe) with some modification for age of the child.
Q.134 Is the intention that mentors be paid or unpaid for purposes of the Chafee proposal?
A.134 Mentors are to be unpaid volunteers. Costs for activities, mileage not to exceed the State rate of $.40 per mile, and criminal history checks for mentors should be built into the budget.
Q.135 Home-based Casework Services – The outcome requires to “DCS satisfaction rated 4 and above on the program satisfaction report”. How will we as provider have access to that information?
A.135 The Program Satisfaction Report has been changed to the Service Satisfaction Report and is in Attachment C of the Regional Plan for Child Welfare Services. This is a form competed by the DCS related to their satisfaction with the services provided by the service provider and is compiled by the Child Welfare Coordinators and provided to the counties. The providers will be given those reports as well.
Q.136 For Parent Education services, we could have a mixed group – DCS clients and prevention clients. Can we establish individual rates for clients served in a group setting to accommodate this? The mix of these two client groups changes – sometimes there are only 2 DCS clients, and other times only 2 prevention clients.
A.136 A group rate would need to be established with individual rates determined within that structure so that you can bill separately for different clientele.
Q.137 In the past we have proposed and been paid for transportation service as complements to another direct services. There is no service standard for transportation and it doesn’t fit within the description of the direct service (visitation supervision). How can we still include transportation?
A.137 Travel time is a billable expense under visitation and includes mileage. This billable unit is included in every service where transportation is needed.
Q.138 How does the foster family licensing/re-licensing service standard (Letter O) differ from the current contract that some agencies have with Marion County? Is this intended to replace those contracts?
A.138 This service standard was not intended to replace the unique contract in Marion County and does not apply to it. Although this service standard may have been modified it existed prior to the Marion County Contracts.
Q.139 According to the RFP drug testing will include only the cost of the screen and the tester will be a certified drug counselor. Over the years we found that the tester and the counselor needed to therapeutically be 2 different people if for no other reason that the client will allow the counselor in but will often times avoid the tester. What then is the compensation for someone that handles urine specimens, it was unclear in the RFP? Also, currently there are approximately 100 clients that we test weekly and the standards note that a certified drug abuse counselor can only work with 4 -5 cases thus we would need more than 20 certified counselors for testing only. Is this a correct interpretation of the new standards? In the past the evaluation process included testing urine/hair follicle to support the findings of the evaluative tool but it included a joint effort by the tester and the therapist to conclude and determine what should be recommended to the court.
A.139 Based on this service, it appears that you may want to submit two different rates for drug testing: certified drug abuse counselor and those skilled in sample collection. Those doing sample collection are not required to be certified drug abuse counselors but the collector should be highly trained in sample collection and the chain of custody procedures to document the integrity and security of the specimen from time of collection until receipt by the laboratory. Both could also be required to testify in court. This information will be added to the service standard with a billing unit for sample collection.
Q.140 I know there has been talk about regionalization of services with agencies providing services to multiple counties. Is it expected that we will accomplish that during the contract year of this RFP? Or do we need to demonstrate that we are working towards that?
A.140 The expectation over time is that the majority of agencies providing service will do so on a regional basis. That is not expected to occur as a result of this RFF. It is also acknowledged that counties will continue to have some unique providers. The Regional Services Councils will determine the best approach for their region.
Q.141 Do the rates for services provided in each county by the same organization have to be same? For example, since my home office is in Lafayette and I would have to send someone to Delphi in Carroll County to do work, can I charge more for an hour of counseling in Carroll County to absorb that expense? Or do I need to determine a rate for all counseling services no matter where provided that would include that?
A.141 Rates do not have to be the same if there is justification for the difference. Proposed rates are expected to cover the costs of proposed services and to be usual and customary rates for the type of service, qualifications of staff, and the geographic location of families to be served.
Q.142 We do not see a service standard for Group Counseling? We are interested in continuing to provide services to adolescents and youth (and their families) who commit sexual offenses and the best modality for the delivery of that service is in groups. How should we proceed on this issue.
A.142 The ‘per person group hour’ is available in the Counseling service standard which will provide a group hour rate.
Q.143 We have a current CBCAP contract. Will that be affected by the new plan? If so, how?
A.143 Yes. CBCAP funds are included in this RFF for Prevention Services - Community Partners for Child Safety. The CBCAP contracts run through 9-30-06. There will be no opportunity to renew the present contract. Your agency should have received a letter from James W. Payne dated 11-21-05 that further explains this answer.
Q.144 Children’s Bureau and the Villages have two programs contracts collaboratively—FAKT and Foster Parent Licensing and Re Licensing. CB does West and Villages does East. Is there an opportunity for our two agencies (or any agencies for that matter) to submit a collaborative proposal?
A.144 Yes. Agencies may submit collaborative proposals for each service. FAKT must be separate from other services being proposed.
Q.145 Is there a requirement for one or two facilitators in Family Group Conferencing?
A.145 There is no requirement for the number of facilitators. There would be no additional reimbursement as the billable unit is per hour.
Q.146 For Family Group Conferencing—Are no shows billable?
A.146 Unless there is a no-show billing unit included in the service standard, no-shows should be built into the rate for services.
Q.147 For Family Group Conferencing—Will each region develop their own strategic plan around this service the way Marion County did?
A.147 Any strategic plan will be developed by the Regional Services Councils.
Q.148 I would like clarification regarding on a statement on page 21 of the Chafee IL – Chafee Foster care Independence Program. In the second paragraph it states: Services should be provided according to the developmental needs and differing stages of independence of the youth but should not be seen as a single event, or as being provided in a substitute care setting. The portion I need clarification about is the last phrase should not be seen as being provided in a substitute care setting. How would a youth qualifying for the services obtain the services? If a group home provided the services in IL groups, individual coaching etc. can they apply for the funding?
A.148 This statement means that IL services are ongoing services that each youth will be provided to assist them regardless of their level of independence. Chafee funds are managed through contracted service providers to youth in local foster homes, relative foster homes, and court approved placements. Youth aging out of care at 18 or older are to be referred for transition services to Chafee contracted service providers within 6 months of their case being dismissed regardless of the type of placement they are in. Youth is residential care, group homes, and LCPA foster homes should be provided IL services as part of the per diem which could include groups, daily milieu, individual coaching, etc.
Q.149 If the new service standards have raised the staff qualification levels, has DCS projected the cost impact to providers (which is ultimately passed on to the state and county government)?
A.149 Agencies are expected to document the cost of providing services related to the requirements of the service standards they are proposing for.
Q.150 As a provider works toward meeting the higher staff qualification levels, through training and higher new hire qualifications, it is very likely that providers will experience a higher staff cost in the second year of the contract. Can a provider propose higher fees for the second year of the contract?
A.150 No. Rates will be set for the entire 2 ½ year contract. Providers should plan accordingly.
Q.151 Some service standards state that the travel time billing rate is to include mileage paid at the rate of $.40 per mile, but that mileage expenses are not to be added to travel time. If it is a provider’s policy to pay less than the state mileage rate, do they have to increase their rate to meet the $.40 per mile?
A.151 No. Providers just cannot exceed the $.40 per mile State rate.
Q.152 The service standards specify the frequency for case record documentation. However, the standard also allows for “…more frequently if requested…” Knowing that there are costs associated with generating these reports, can providers effectively predict their costs if they do not know what a county may request?
A.152 The reports required are determined by each DCS office. It is the responsibility of each provider to verify the frequency of reporting for the counties they plan to serve will require.
Q.153 There are goals and outcome measures that deal with improved family functioning, strengthening parents’ abilities, and independence. Some of the services define acceptable measures higher than the customer satisfaction rating described. For example, Home-based Casework Services calls for at least 75% of families that were intact prior to services will remain intact. At the same time, the service standard calls for at least 94% of the families completing services will rate the services as “satisfactory” or above. It would seem that families that did not remain intact might not find the services to be “satisfactory.” Should the satisfaction measure be more related to the other service measures?
A.153 Family satisfaction with services is not totally dependent on intact status.
Q.154 During the current contract period, providers have experienced long delays in getting IV-B and Chafee contract amendments. In some cases, services are being provided for several months while amendments and claim forms are being processed. Can the new contracts give counties and regions more flexibility when they need to change or add a provider?
A.154 This continues to be an area that the DCS will improve upon.
Q.155 Will contracts be issued on a region by region basis? Since contracts will be “zero” based, to reduce paperwork and improve flexibility, will “state-wide” contracts be issued to a provider serving multiple regions?
A.155 Contracts will be issued on proposals that are accepted whether regional or county specific. Statewide contracts will be used for easier movement of the funds for inactive or underused contracts.
Q.156 Who approves requests for staff qualification waivers? Once the contracts are issued, when it is necessary to get a waiver for a new hire, how long will it take to get the waiver approved?
A.156 The requests for waivers will be approved by DCS Central Office Staff. Once the contract is in place and the contractor wants to hire a person who is not qualified by the service standards, the contractor seek approval from the DCS. The contractor must document what steps have been taken to hire a qualified person and why they were unable to do so. They must then justify why they think the person they are proposing to hire meets a standard that should be approved by the DCS. No payment will be made for the services delivered by the employee until official approval is granted by DCS.
Q. 157 DCS will provide initial training and consultation for the Intensive Family Preservation service. What costs will providers be responsible for related to this training (travel, lodging, reference materials, manuals, etc.)? How will agencies be reimbursed for the Program Development phase of the Intensive Family Preservation service?
A.157 Agencies should estimate the cost of program development based on the service standard. This amount will be divided by the number of months expected up to 3 months. Training will be provided regionally with all materials provided. Agencies will be responsible for staff time, all travel/per diem costs and other program development costs.
Q.158 Services provided under Intensive Family Preservation are to be billed at the end of each phase. Phase 2 is expected to take five months. Does a provider have to wait until the end of this period or are interim billings allowed?
A.158 Claims may be submitted on a monthly basis.
Q.159 Are there costs associated with training in the HOMEBUILDERS program? Are there ongoing costs, such as test scoring or supplies?
A.159 There are no training costs as the State will provide the training. Training will be held regionally. Once training is complete, there are no ongoing required costs specifically related to this program.
Q.160 To determine the feasibility of proposing services in various regions, will the state release info showing the anticipated needs and available funding by service area and region?
A.160 Providers need to proposed base on their capacity and experience. Funding allocations for some services will be posted to the website.
Q.161 I need to find out the reasonable and customary rates for psychological services in LaPorte County. (1) Where should I look? (2) Where can I find the allowable fees for psychological evaluation services through Title IV-B, Parts 1 and 2; these were not included in the RFP and I am a new bidder.
A.161 The RFF is not specifying guidelines, providers should budget based on actual costs of providing services.
Q.162 What does the phrase “Proposals that are not postmarked by the DCS Regional Child Welfare Services Coordinator on the deadline date will not be considered” mean? I thought providers were supposed to have their proposals postmarked by the deadline, not the Service Coordinators. Do we have to send proposals in early so the Coordinator can re-mail them by the deadline?
A.162 It should read, “Proposals received by the DCS Regional Child Welfare Services Coordinator that are not postmarked by US Postal Service by the deadline will not be considered.”
Q.163 Attachment A, page 76, Homemaker/Parent Aide Standards, III. Goals and Outcome Measures, Goal #1, (4) “100% of written referrals will be provided to the contractor within 5 days of initiating verbally requested services.” Isn’t this a performance indicator of DCS staff? If so, is it appropriate here? The contractor would have no control over this goal and shouldn’t be held accountable for it.
A.163 This outcome measure will be removed from the service standard. Providers need to have written referrals as evidence of authorization of services. Providers will need to have written referrals for billing and audit purposes.
Q.164 Appendix A, page 83, PREVENTION - COMMUNITY PARTNERS FOR CHILD SAFETY, Service Description, Services, “Referred families will have a face to face contact from the agency within 5 working days from the date of referral” and page 84, Goals, Goal #1, (1) “95% of families referred will have a face to face contact with staff within 3 working days of referral” are in conflict. Is the standard 3 or 5 days? 3 days would be very difficult to meet consistently.
A.164 5 days. The correction will be made in the service standards.
Q.165 I don’t understand the model for the Community Partners for Child Safety program. The following quote seems to indicate that the Community Partnership Project Manager will be a State DCS employee hired by the RSC and be directed by the RSC – “The recruitment and hiring of a Community Partnership Project Manager by the Regional Services Council (designee) within 2 months of the start of the contract. The Project Manager will develop and initiate the program effort as identified by the Regional Service Council …” If so, what is the role of the grantee? Or, if a grantee hires the CPPM and other staff and oversees the program, then the governance structure would have to include ultimate oversight by the agency board of directors, right? Or, are you envisioning the creation of a new agency started by a DCS employee and created through partnerships with existing agencies? In the latter case, again, who is the grantee?
A.165 The employee will be an employee of the agency that is awarded the contract. It would be wise to have the Regional Services Council approve the person hired as Project Manager; however, this may be delegated to the agency. Oversight belongs to the agency that is awarded the contract. However, it is expected that this project will not be just an extension of the contractor, but belong to the community/county/region. Therefore, while governance can be fit into the agency structure, it is expected that a governing structure include all the community partners. To get buy-in, the partners need to have a voice in how the "Child Safety" program works in the community.
Q.166 For Home-Based Therapy, can other income sources be combined with the DCS funding, e.g., Medicaid?
A.166 No. Any service paid by Medicaid is assumed to be total payment. Private insurance funds can supplement IV-B or county pay, but a provider cannot be reimbursed more than the unit rate.
Q.167 Our agency has one comprehensive program through which we deliver a broad range of services. If we want to propose 11 services that each have their own service standards, but are a part of this Comprehensive Program, do we have to write 11 separate proposals with 11 separate budgets? Or can we write 1 (one) comprehensive proposal with each service clearly narrated and outlined with 1 (one) comprehensive budget?
A.167 You could write one comprehensive proposal with separate budgets provided for each service standard with the exception of Chafee Independent Living, FAKT, and Community Partners which must be separate proposals.
Q.168 Is Drug Testing a stand alone service to have a separate proposal and budget and is it a separate billable unit? If not, are the cost of the tests to be a part of the Substance Abuse Assessment, Treatment and Monitoring Standards?
A.168 Drug testing could be a stand alone service using the Substance Abuse Assessment, Treatment, & Monitoring service standard for that component. The rate would be actual cost and would include all costs related to the drug screen (e.g., staff time, supplies).
Q.169 If a family/client is referred to our agency and we conduct an Assessment- Parenting/Family Functioning and determine that the family/client also needs a substance assessment, do we bill the substance abuse assessment under Assessment- Parenting/Family Functioning or Substance Abuse Assessment, Treatment & Monitoring? And are these done in two different interview dates?
A.169 This service would be billed under Assessment-Parenting/Family Functioning since the possibility of providing a substance abuse assessment is included in the service standard. This would be a separate interview from the parenting/family functioning assessment interviews.
Q.170 How do the Service Standards relate to the 12 service categories defined in the “Development of the Regional Plan”? Which definition should we refer to?
A.170 The 12 service categories defined in the plan are funding sources. Most have specific service standards that fit under these categories. Refer to the service standards for specific definitions.
Q.171 Can an agency have multiple budgets feeding into 1 (one) narrative?
Q.172 If the new service standards have raised the staff qualification levels, has DCS projected the cost impact to providers (which is ultimately passed on to the state and county government)?
Q.173 Will the Regional Coordinators be processing all invoices regardless of funding source?
A.173 No determination has been made at this time.
Q.174 Is there any more specific information available defining unallowable costs?
Q.175 What is meant by "center-based" in the 1st sentence of the "Prevention - Community Partners for Child Safety" service standard?
A.175 Center based means the program will be housed in a facility.
Q.176 Will the State be providing +/or fund IFPS training for the Intensive Family Reunification Services also or just for the Intensive Family Preservation Services?
A.176 The State will be funding the training for Intensive Family Preservation only. Intensive Family Reunification incorporates IFPS in Phase 2 with a Preparation Phase and an Aftercare Phase. Agencies should follow the standards provided for these other two phases.
Q.177 What IFPS curriculum/model will DCS be promoting and how similar will it be to the existing SOC initiatives across the state (ala Dawn Project, Circle Around Families, etc.)?
A.177 Homebuilders Model. Wraparound Services Standards are not included in this RFF. Regional Services Councils will determine if their region wants to develop a proposal for this service.
Q.178 The sixth outcome measure under Goal #1 with the goal regarding prevention of substantiated child abuse cases with 90% of the families. With 80% of the target population being voluntary and referrals from various community sites – how are you envisioning the information would be shared? Would there be a required release of information signed by the participants? Would the Regional Offices be checking the status of families?
A.178 The DCS will provide this information.
Q.179 Would the on-call staff availability need to be with the primary agency grantee or could it be a community partner?
A.179 The on-call staff available needs to be with the primary agency grantee.
Q.180 We currently perform home studies for step-parent adoptions (for non-CHINS children) in Allen County. The cost of these adoptions is paid by the parent. Do we need to submit an RFP to continue to do these home studies?
A.180 If there are no funds being paid for your services through the DCS, you do not need to submit a proposal.
Q.181 We currently have a contract from a County Office of Family and Children (OFC) to provide case management to and recruit and support volunteer mentors for families referred to us from the public assistance (i.e., TANF, Food Stamps, etc.) department at the OFC. The RFP that we submitted last year for these contracted services was submitted under the Parent Education service standards. When we submit an RFP this year for the exact same program and services to families, do we submit again under Parent Education, or should we apply under the Home-Based Intensive Family Preservation service standard?
A.181 Providers should submit proposals based on the service standards that most closely fit their programs. Since this appears to be a prevention program, the services must follow the specific service standard with the exception that the target population can include prevention services. Remember that the funding available through these contracts are to prevent abuse and neglect not to prevent people from receiving public assistance.
Q.182 We currently have a contract from a County Office of Family and Children (OFC) to provide home-based case management and drug screening services to families referred to us from the Child Protective Services department. The RFP submitted last year for this contract was filed under the Parent Education service standard. When we submit an RFP for the same program and services this year, do we submit again under Parent Education, or under the Home-based Intensive Family Preservation service standard?
A.182 Providers should submit proposals based on the service standards that most closely fit their programs.
Q.183 The following paragraph is under Foster Care Maintenance (IV-B Part I & II): For Group or Institutional care this category includes the reasonable costs of administration and operation of institutional/group home care that is required to provide food, clothing, shelter, daily supervision, school supplies, a child’s personal incidentals and entertainment, liability insurance with respect to the child and reasonable travel to ensure the child’s appearance at visitations and court hearings. How are these funds distributed and who can apply for them?
A.183 This is included in the Child Welfare Services Plan but is not a part of the RFF. This is the funding that covers foster care payments for local foster homes.
Q.184 Can we write our proposal explaining our services and leave it to your staff to determine which Service Standards apply or must we attempt to figure that out ourselves?
A.184 No, the proposal must indicate services that the agency wishes to provide based on the services standards. The proposal needs to identify on page 1 which standards are being used.
Q.185 Can our proposal include more than one service?
A.185 Yes, but you will need to provide separate budgets, but could have one comprehensive narrative. Chafee Independent Living, FAKT, and Community partners must be completely separate.
Q.186 If we currently provide service in one or two counties in a region must we be willing to expand to the entire region?
A.186 Not all services need to be region wide. Providers should apply within the capacity of their organizations. Each region will decide which providers to fund. If providers are applying to cover more than one county in the region, we encourage them to explore the possibility of providing the services to the Region.
Q.187 Sup. Visitation Service Standards, Page 101, #4 Documentation to DCS within 3 days of visit. Does this refer to progress notes/contact logs?
A.187 This refers to documentation of substance regarding the visit.
Q.188 How much total funding is predicted for Title IV B funds per year?
A.188 Allocation figures have not yet been released.
Q.189 How will the terms "usual & customary" be defined for determining rates--are all regional councils instructed to interpret such the same way or will there be variances across the State?
A.189 “Usual and customary” is the amount that is charged in any given area. The councils are aware of the rates charged for services in their regions and are aware that they vary across the State.
Q.190 Will rates among submitted RFFs be compared State-wide or within regions for allocating RFF points?
A.190 They will only be compared within the region.
Q.191 Can some social worker supervision occur in part by phone or electronically?
A.191 Supervision must be face-to-face.
Q.192 Define "paper record"; can electronic records be printed periodically to meet the standard for keeping a paper record?
A.192 Yes, but auditors will want to see the paper record and must be available to them.
Q.193 Do agencies continue to provide a pool of mentors for participants to choose from in IL programs?
A.193 Agencies should assist youth in identifying mentors from their circle of acquaintances, friends, family, etc. If the youth is unable to identify someone who may be willing to serve in this capacity, it would be the responsibility of the agency to locate a mentor for the youth.
Q.194 Will CHAFEE IL funds supersede other funds in a given region, i.e. use of MRO dollars in reducing IL funds?
A.194 If MRO dollars are available, those funds should be used first.
Q.195 Can you differentiate more on travel time versus paid mileage? Can time billed or mileage be case specific or is it always contract driven?
A.195 Travel time (per hour) should be billed, not mileage. Unless otherwise noted in the service standards, travel time would be case specific.
Q.196 Can licensed supervisors of social work staff supervise multiple programs; Are there limits on number of staff supervised or number of programs?
A.196 Supervisors of social work staff can supervise multiple programs. Some service standards include the number of staff that a person may supervise and they require that supervision be one-on-one and face-to-face. If you have further questions on best practice, refer to Child Welfare League of America.
Q.197 Where it mentions weekly supervision of workers, is that one-on-one or can that be in groups or phone conferencing?
A.197 Weekly supervision is one-on-one supervision face to face. This could include group supervision bi-weekly with no more than 4 employees to 1 supervisor.
Q.198 Since there are a variety of home based approaches available for RFF contracting, does this mean that all approaches are being considered by each region or only certain models? How will agencies submitting proposals know what is preferred?
A.198 The agency submitting the proposal needs to determine the model the agency wishes to use. If the agency knows that a certain model is preferred in their region/county, then the proposal should be based on this. For IFPS and IFRS, the Homebuilders model must be used.
Q.199 Since the guidelines indicate that only mileage or drive time is paid one-way, this seems to eliminate use of part-time employees which could lower costs for agencies and the State in favoring full-time staff who could drive from case to case throughout the day--is there any proposed changes for this?
A.199 The standards should read “to and from the client/family’s home”. This correction will be made on all service standards indicating Travel Time.
Q.200 What is the timing of allowing waivers for staff in process of getting Masters or licensing certification? Is this done after listing proposed staff in the RFF, before applying, or when?
A.200 Waiver requests should be submitted with your proposal.
Q.201 Turning Point Domestic Violence Services located in Columbus has reviewed the RFP and have narrowed our submission interest to the area of Prevention and Support Services, with the specific Service Standard: Parent Education. We provide services that strongly fit the Service Definition. In reviewing the target population, about 1/3 of the clients served in-shelter fit Item 1 of II. Target Population (page 52 of Attachment B). Can you identify if the streams that the IV-B intends to fund would apply to an organization that will provide parenting services to ‘a fair’ number of clients that are targets? Also, on the curriculum, can a ‘hybrid’ curriculum (combination of Domestic Violence focused programs) be used?
A.201 Your clients in-shelter would probably fit the target population of: Families and children who are at risk of abuse or neglect are included in the target population. Even though clients may not be known to DCS, shelter staff could complete a referral form that is provided by the DCS. It is expected that your services would closely follow the parent education service standards with the exception of the target population since you are proposing for a prevention and support program.
Q.202 How should I submit my Excel spreadsheet?
A.202 Electronic copies of the budget and narrative can be submitted to the Child Welfare Service Coordinators via 3 ½ inch floppy disk or CD.
Q.203 In regards to the Visitation Facilitation, can you write the RFP to address the Visit Facilitation-Professional level only or do you need to be able to provide all three levels of paraprofessional, professional, and therapeutic supervised visitation levels?
A.203 You may propose for any or all of the levels. The Regional Services Councils will decide which services will be funded.
Q.204 I am wondering where I might find the dollar amounts we may charge for each service.
A.204 There are no dollar amounts in the RFP. Rates should be determined based on the cost of providing the service.
Q.205 In the instructions under Section II, item D. client fees are discussed. This appears to be an area of change under the current RFP. Does the billing under this contract have to wait until we discover what may or may not be paid by an insurer or the individual?
A.205 This is the exact language in the assurances that were signed for current contracts. Other available funding must be accessed prior to billing for funds through these contracts.
Q.206 Is there a model envisioned for Prevention Services?
A.206 It is anticipated that Community Partners for Child Safety will be the prevention model.
Q.207 Will greater preference be given to proposals that serve all the counties in a region? Preference to partnerships?
A.207 Some Service Standards listed imply collaborations or partnerships. It is anticipated that the Regional Services Councils will give some extra consideration for Region wide proposals.
Q.208 Our program works with teen parents that attend designated high schools. Can this funding be used for the enhancing and expansion of an existing program or is to be a new program? (We previously had Kids First Trust Funding and currently receiving CBCAP funding)
A.208 Kids First Trust Funding and CBCAP Funding is for new programs that attempt to keep children safe in their own homes through improved family functioning. If funded through these funds, this program cannot be limited to teen parents, although teen parents could be appropriately referred to the program. A teen parent program/agency may apply for this contract if services are delivered to all needed populations and includes other community partners.
This program could be funded through Title IV-B Part II-Prevention and Support Services (Family Support).
Q.209 Is there a minimum or maximum amount of funding that can be requested? Are there matching funds required?
A.209 No matching funds are required for any of the funding sources. There is also no minimum or maximum amount of funds amount of funds that can be requested.
Q.210 Does the funding for prevention come from the KFTF and CBCAP funds only?
A.210 No, Title IV-E waiver savings funds will be used for start up costs for Community Partners for Child Safety. Additional funding will be secured once programs are established.
Q.211 Must families meet at least one eligibility category or they must meet all three eligibility categories?
A.211 For Community Partners for Child Safety, they must meet one category. The goal is to serve anyone who needs service. That's why the eligibility categories are not restrictive. The reason that we want persons eligible for Healthy Families to be served by Healthy Families is because it will increase the number of families that can be served statewide, thereby maximizing funding availability.
Q.212 Can the “visits” be conducted in school for teen parents or does it have to be in the home?
A.212 The Community Partners for Child Safety is center based program with a home visitation component; however, soundly expressed rationale for a combination of home and school visits could be approved.
Q.213 Parent Partners – could the Parent Partners be the parents of the teen parents (grandparents of the baby) – however the program’s main emphasis is on the actual teen parent? Because of the 3-generation homes that most of the teens live in, the grandparents are very important to the success of the teen parent. Additionally, the teen parents are children – so we are very concerned about abuse and neglect of the teen.
A. 213 Yes. It would be beneficial in some cases for the parent partners to be parents and grandparents. It is not necessary for every case to have a parent partner. Parent partners do, however, need to be involved in the governance of the program.
Q.214 Are the service standards Foster Family Support Services and Foster Home Studies/Updates/Relicensing Studies for regular Foster Care or for Therapeutic Foster Care families?
A.214 They are for regular (county) foster homes.
Q.215 Can agencies propose to provide services for a specific county in a region?
A.215 Yes, but if the agency is proposing for more than one county in a given region, we would encourage them to consider preparing a proposal to provide services for the region. It is anticipated that the Regional Services Councils will give some extra consideration for Region wide proposals.
Q.216 Are we supposed to come up with our own objectives or can we use the outcome measures as objectives?
A.216 You must use the stated outcome measures. Any additional measures may be added as long as they follow the overall goal.
Q.217 In the RFF there is a direct deposit authorization form; if that is used, what information will be exchanged from the remitter (State or County) to an agency about the billings being paid? There is certain specific information needed in a business office to apply the funds to the proper invoice in receivables.
A.217 Information has been requested but has not been received. It is our assumption that you will be provided with information each time a deposit is made but this will be checked out farther.
Q.218 This may be redundant, but I wish to be sure that services applied for can be specific to a county or counties in a region without necessarily having to provide the service to all counties in a region. Would you clarify, please?
A.218 You may propose for any county in a region without applying to serve all counties. However, if an agency is planning to submit a proposal for more than one county in a region, we encourage that agency to consider providing services to the entire region. It is anticipated that the Regional Services Councils will give some extra consideration for Region wide proposals.
Q.219 Because the contract is based on a 2 1/2 year spread, cost yearly; is there a formula or process for cost of living adjustments, merit raises to staff, etc.; Is this to be predicted & averaged out over the life of the contract?
A.219 Yes, there is no set formula.
Q.220 Pre/Post Placement & Post Adoption Services: Can home-based and office-based services include case management?
A.220 The service standard does not include case management but you could provide case management for post adoption services through the Home Based Services service standard. A proposal for Home Based Services for adoption services must specify that pre-post adoption families will be served.
Q.221 According to this Service Standard, only licensed masters degree staff are eligible to provide services under this standard. If case management can be provided, can bachelor’s level people do case management under the supervision of a master’s level licensed therapist?
A.221 Please see the answer to question 220.
Q.222 Could additional goals and outcome measures be provided under the Pre/Post Placement and Post-Adoption Services to include permanency case management services for children referred to Catholic Charities for permanency placements? If so, can the case managers who perform this task hold a Bachelor’s level or comparable degree? Can the target population be expanded?
A.222 Case management is available through Home Based Casework Services and Bachelor’s level staff can provide this service. Each standard was developed to include the appropriate target population.
Q.223 Adoptive Family/Foster Family Preparation Assessments and Updates: Psychological evaluations are required in Allen County. These evaluations are interpreted by a licensed psychologist. Will a billable rate for psychological evaluations and/ or face-to-face psychological evaluations be provided or will we be required to determine and propose one?
A.223 Psychological evaluations are available through the Diagnostic and Evaluation Service Standard.
Q.224 Adoptive Family/Foster Family Preparation Assessments and Updates: Is there a billable unit for a referral for a family who does not complete the home study process because of their failure to initiate or continue services?
A.224 The billable unit is hourly. An incomplete report due to the family not following through would be denied. Contracted agencies will be paid for their work without regard to approval or denial of the preparation.
Q.225 If we are currently providing a service that does not fall under a Service Standard, can we propose it under a Non-Standardized Program Specification, and how would we structure it?
A.225 Most any program is compatible with existing service standards by using a combination of service standards. Non-standardized programs are primarily prevention and most are named in the grid at the end of Attachment A.
Q.226 On the Budget Personnel Justification Worksheet: If a position, for example, Home Study Specialist, is going to work in more than one Service Standard, do we put all the Service Standards in the drop-down box under “B” or should we list the position one time for each service they will be providing?
A.226 You would list the position one time for each service standard they will be providing.
Q.227 Budget Narrative: Item B, Other Direct Costs – Travel Expenses: According to the narrative, it states that we are to estimate the number of miles to be driven annually. Because this is a 2½-year program proposal, should the Budget Justification Form estimate the miles to be driven in 2½ years?
Q.228 On the forms provided at the website, Child Welfare Services RFF, the Direct Deposit Form is a form from the Child Support Bureau indicating that we must have “a valid address on our child support record at the Clerk of Court’s office for this arrangement to be valid.” Is this the correct form or will a different direct deposit form be provided for our use?
A.228 The correct form has been posted on the website.
Q.229 If our agency already has a direct deposit form on file for a contract where the same services are being provided as the ones we are proposing for, do we need to include a new direct deposit form with each proposal?
A.229 A new form will be needed for each approved contract.
Q.230 Budget Personnel Justification Worksheet: # 2 – Fringe Benefits: Shouldn’t fringe benefits also include life and disability insurance costs, health insurance costs, etc.?
Q.231 Foster Parent Recognition (under Non-Standardized Programs) does not require a proposal. If we want to provide the service of coordinating, scheduling, and facilitating recognition events how would we indicate our interest in doing this (in what format) and how would we structure it?
A.231 A proposal letter would need to be submitted through the same process as proposals explaining: the education, training, and recruitment components of your plan; a budget indicating the cost of the program for the number of participants; and any other costs associated with your suggested program.
Q.232 Under the Service Unit Rate Justification Definition/Costs Analysis, are we to propose the number of units for 30 months?
Q.233 Under Service Unit Definitions, how do you bill for unit rates not in the drop down box such as indirect costs (i.e. space rental)? Shouldn’t there be a indirect cost definition?
A.233 You can only bill for items in the drop boxes. Indirect costs are to be factored into face-to-face or other direct service billing units.
Q.234 Under Service Unit Definitions (for all standards), how do we bill for collateral services such as paperwork time?
A.234 You can only bill for items in the drop boxes. Costs related to paper work are to be factored into the face-to-face or other direct billing units as per instructions.
Q.235 Suppose you have a staff person that has a bachelor's degree and has been in a therapist or counselor position for a number of years (being supervised by a person with a master's degree and license). The person does not meet the "new" minimum requirements obviously, but they do not plan to pursue an avenue to meet the "new" minimum requirements. (obtaining a Master's degree with License). What action should the agency take?
A.235 You may want to request a permanent waiver. See answer to Question 1.
Q.236 If during the completion of the assessment- parenting/family functioning tool, a drug/alcohol assessment is needed, do we have to get the approval of the DCS case worker to complete the drug/alcohol assessment?
A.236 Approval is already given with the referral since the standard includes a drug/alcohol assessment if substance abuse issues are prevalent. Additional approval is not necessary.
Q.237 After the assessment - parenting/family functioning is complete and recommendations have been made to DCS, does the provider have to await approval on the recommendations from DCS before rendering services?
A.237 The assessment-parenting/family functioning is for an assessment only. Based on the recommendations included in the assessment, the DCS will make a referral to a contracted provider to provide the recommended services.
Q.238 Is there a minimum or maximum dollar amount that can be proposed in the RFF?
A.238 No. The amount proposed for any service should be based on the cost of providing the service being proposed.
Q.239 In former proposals, parent education could be provided in the individual family’s home. Is that no longer an option? Is providing a group or class the only option to providing the service to families? There are families who will not attend a class, but are open to allowing a visit in their “natural environment – their home”
A.239 The standard states, “Parent education is provided in a group setting except for those instances where a family is unable to function appropriately or understand the material in a group setting”. This allows for individual work with a family if necessary. An hourly rate for individuals is included in the billable units.
Q.240 Is there a required pre-test or post-test which the state is requiring in order to measure the increase in the parent’s ability to provide emotional, physical and safety needs (Visitation Facilitation) ?
A.240 There is no pre-post test required for this service.
Q.241 In the past, local DFC’s have allowed agencies to identify “at risk” families based on criteria such as literacy, education, first time parents, teen parents etc. With the new service standards can families only receive services with a direct referral or can DCS approve individual family selection for services with pre-determined criteria.
A.241 At risk families are provided prevention services through IV-B Part II-Family Support and the Community Partners for Child Safety Program. Families and children who are at risk of abuse or neglect are included in the target population. If your program is supported through a DCS contract for services, referrals that you receive would most likely be from a DCS approved source such as community sources, schools, medical community or self-referral which would all qualify as a “DCS approved source”. Any referrals from these sources would most likely be families “at risk of abuse or neglect” which is an identified target population. It is expected that your services would closely follow the homemaker/parent aide service standards with the exception of the target population since you are proposing for a prevention and support program.
Q.242 Can you provide more clarification on mileage vs. travel time?
A.242 Travel time is the amount of time spent in travel as indicated in the applicable billable unit. Mileage costs are the estimated miles to be driven while in travel time to and from the intended service. The anticipated cost of mileage is to be included in travel time expenses.
Q.243 For those of us who are technology challenged is there an easier way to get a copy on which we can type?
A.243 On the webpage under RFF forms, there is a PDF file of the documents that you will need that can be printed out and used in a typewriter.
Q.244 On page 2 of 128, it lists (t.) Parent Education, Kids First Trust Fund, CBCAP. Are these the funds that will be used to provide this service?
A.244 On page 2 of Attachment A, Parent Education has five funding sources listed which do not include Kids First Trust Fund and CBCAP.
Q.245 Is there a requirement that the number of families being served must increase the second year or that services must be changed for the second year?
A.245 The proposal should indicate the number of families to be served for the entire 2 ½ year contract.
Q.246 Can you provide more information in regards to what is expected concerning the Minority and Women’s Business portion of the RFF?
MBE/WBE question: In the ...PARTICIPATION PLAN, third sentence, "While the participation may be as a subcontractor, second tier..." Can this apply to the professionals I use to deliver contracted program services, or is it for suppliers of goods such as office supplies, cleaning services, etc.?
A.246 Primary vendors would need to gain MBE/WBE participation. Even if the primary vendor is a certified MBE/WBE, they would still need to get a subcontractor who is a certified MBE/WBE. The current goals for professional services are: MBE: 7% WBE: 10%. Waivers are still available, but a good faith effort must be made.
Q.247 Will the December 22 nd postmark still be the deadline, since the question/response period has been extended?
The RFF was originally to be posted November 4. Since it was posted on November 15, will the deadline for submission be extended to allow providers sufficient preparation time?
A.247 The question period was extended but the postmarked, by the U.S. Postal Service, deadline will remain December 22 nd .
Q.248 In regards to Functional Family Therapy - what is the cost of the training/program certification? How long is the training/certification process? who is responsible for the cost of the training/certification? Where is the training?
A.248 The state does not provide this training. It would need to be included in the budget. Information regarding training for this service can be obtained from Holly DeMaranville - FFT Communications Coordinator, (206)369-5894) or email@example.com . Additional information regarding this service is available at http://www.fftinc.com/ .
Q.249 General information, page 1, first paragraph, second to last sentence, "The funding is a projection of anticipated appropriations from Federal, State and Local sources. a): Am I to request funds for all projected appropriations needed for all services, regardless of the funding source, the Company wants to provide? Basically an all inclusive request. b): Or is it to request IVB funds only? c): If it's for IVB funds only, how does the company determine the amount of services if we have no idea of what the allocations available per Region or County are going to be? (trying to anticipate questions to your possible answers) d): If it's for all services and funding sources, how do I differentiate the pay scale to the contractors depending on the funding source on the budget justification sheet? IVB dollars cannot allow for profit, but other funding sources do, so I pay different scales depending on the funding source. The Company is a "For Profit" agency.
A.249 Different rates cannot be charged for the same service regardless of the funding source. Rates are to be dependent on cost, not funding source.
Q.250 In the "General Information" dated Nov. 15, 2005, under "Submission of the proposal and checklist", item #2. on page 2 states "Cover page of the proposal or assurances are not signed. I am unable to locate the cover page. Where can I find it please?
A.250 The cover page is page 1 of the budget. The assurances page is on page 2 of the Proposal for the use Federal, State, and County Funds.
Q.251 Attachment B: Section VI: Application Narrative, Item D, "Program Description/Service Delivery Methods" first sentence "indicate those responsible for completion of tasks..." More than one person is responsible for completion of tasks, including family members, but do you want specific names of staff in the narrative or just the title of the worker, e.g. HBCWS or Home Based Therapist provider? The work plan/treatment plan will be specific to person.
A.251 The title of the worker must be included in the narrative.
Q.252 Services Standards; HBCS and Visit Facilitation under IV. Qualifications, "...under the direct weekly supervision of ..." What specifically does the word "direct" mean? Is this availability of the supervisor for consultation by phone, e-mail, meeting, or all of those methods?
A. 252 Direct means face-to-face.
Q.253 Attachment E: 2006-2008 Time Table, Child Welfare Services Planning Document, March 31, 2006, Contract Developed and sent to grantee: a): Is this the time that providers know if they have been approved (they receive the contract) or will there by some method of notification prior to this date? b): How and when does an agency know if their request has been rejected?
A.253 All providers who have submitted proposals should be officially notified as to the decisions of the Regional Services Councils by the end of March.
Q.254 For the Family Case Conference service standard, I am wondering why it requires the staff to have a master’s degree. This is the service standard that most closely fits the systems of care in existence in much of the state, but the vast majority of those are staffed by bachelor’s level persons who for the most part are supervised by an individual with a master’s or above. As it stands, this would disqualify them from applying for funding. I notice that there is allowance made for staff who do not meet this qualification, but a plan must be submitted giving a timeframe in which the qualification will be met. I would request that this be changed to a master’s level person or a bachelor’s supervised by a master’s with the same supervision ratio given in other standards. Is this possible?
A.254 The Family Group Conferencing Program is a specialized service and the qualifications are appropriate for those providing this service. An allowance has been made for current staff to apply for a waiver if they do not have the specified qualifications. A Family Group Conference as specified in these standards is not the same program as a family case conference held regularly in a System of Care Program.
Q.255 Regarding budget pages 4, 5 & 6. In the past, the MSD of Martinsville has provided the items listed under B Other Direct Costs 1 through 9 and C Indirect Cost 1 & 2 as In-kind Contributions. If the amounts are listed on pages 4 & 5, won’t they also need to be listed on the Budget Justification Worksheet? If the funding is requested for personnel salaries only, do pages 4 & 5 need to be completed?
A.255 You cannot bill out more than your expenses. Only costs documented in the budget can be included in unit rate calculation. If a service provider donates portions of their costs, that needs to be reflected in lower unit rates.
Q.256 Can a provider specify which county(ies) it intends to serve within a region, or does it need to serve the entire region? For example, within Region 2 there are six counties, but can a provider specify that it will only serve two of those counties?
A.256 Providers can specify the county or counties they wish to serve. If a provider plans to submit a proposal to provide service to more than one county, we encourage the provider to consider providing the service to the entire region. It is anticipated that the Regional Services Councils will give some extra consideration for Region wide proposals.
Q.257 In terms of the negotiated rates for services, is there recommended rate allowed (for example, the allowable Medicaid rate for a specific service) or does the contract simply go to the service that bids the lowest?
A.257 There is no recommended rate. Each county will make that determination based on the proposals being reviewed. The score sheet is online if there are any questions as to how decisions are made.
Q.258 If the services contracted are also billable under MRO (for example, Diagnostic and Evaluation Services), is there a preference as to which funder is to be billed?
A.258 Other available funding sources must be billed first. Any service paid by Medicaid is assumed to be total payment.
Q.259 How does this RFP relate to the Title IV-B and Title XX applications?
A.259 Title IV-B and Title XX are potential funding streams for services proposed.
Q.260 Is it possible to learn who is already providing these services within a specific region in order to explore possible collaborations?
A.260 That information may be obtained from the local office director or regional manager.
Q.261 On page 16 of the RFP under Section V Budget Regional Request Summary it says, Complete a separate page 9 for each region to be served by this proposal. . . . Purpose: The purpose of this form is to allow the applicant to specify the counties to be served. Within each county, the applicant is to specify the projected total number clients/families for each county and the funds requested for each service. I wanted to make sure we could select some counties within in a region to submit proposals to without having to submit proposals for all counties in a region. Is this correct?
A.261 Yes .
Q.262 The units are per hour but we have always billed per case (homestudy). Can we continue to bill per homestudy?
A.262 No, the billable units must be billed hourly as indicated in the service standard.
Q.263 If we put into our grant proposal an hourly rate of $30 per hour for our program coordinator but we receive funding less than the proposal, can we reduce the hourly rate or number of hours to match the revised funding amount?
A.263 Yes .
Q.264 What is family conferencing? Is this a service for court related situations?
A.264 The service standard explains the service. It is a service for cases involved with the courts.
Q.265 Can a DCS choose more than one provider for the same service?
Q.266 Why is there a difference between the degree requirements of the Home-Based Intensive Family Preservation provider and the Home-Based Intensive Family Reunification? The former requires a bachelor and the latter requires a master.
A.266 That was an oversight. The qualifications are the same for both services. The additional qualifications will be added to the Home-Based Intensive Family Preservation service standard. The bachelor level must have 2 years experience.
Q.267 Regarding the requirement that 94% of families will rate services as satisfactory or above - how is this survey conducted? Does the DCS survey the family? Does the provider? Is every family surveyed? Is it verbal or written? We are extremely concerned about this requirement. If we are doing our job, 94% is unreasonable and unattainable. For example, if we go to court to testify and the testimony is not in the families favor - they would not give us a satisfactory rating. If we are doing supervised visits and the county moves to termination of parental rights, those families would not give us a satisfactory rating. In looking at our current cases, we project that POSSIBLY 54% might be a more realistic goal.
A.267 The client satisfaction form will be developed by the DCS and provided to the selected provider prior to the start date of the contract. The provider will administer the client satisfaction report to the client for outcome data and be prepared to report the results in their annual evaluation. Client satisfaction is not entirely associated with the results of their case.
Q.268 Regarding the requirement that no more than one hour of preparation and one hour of court time can be billed - in over 90% of cases where we are subpoenaed to court, our employee is at court 3-4 hours. In these cases are we to absorb the time that is not billable?
A.268 Court time on the case provides for the time a worker is testifying and preparation. Travel time may be billed for court appearances.
Q.269 Regarding the requirement that supervised visitation reports be received by DCS within 3 days of each visit - we do weekly and monthly reports. This requirement would involve the worker actually mailing a report the day the visit was done. This does not give the worker's supervisor a chance to read the documentation. It will also drastically increase the amount of paperwork sent to the DCS and placed into the file at DCS. When there are more than one visits per week (which typically there are), it seems more efficient to document the entire week of visits and send them once a week. Would this process be acceptable?
A.269 Once a week is acceptable, however, visits where inappropriate behavior occurs with either parent, the DCS referring worker must be notified immediately.
Q.270 If a CMHC is proposing to serve 2 regions, can we submit the same proposal to the appropriate people in both regions, or do we need to provide 2 regional specific proposals?
A.270 If you are proposing for 2 different regions, you could submit the same proposal with a separate page 9 budget sheet for each region.
Q.271 In supervised visitation - there are three levels (Paraprofessional, Professional, Therapeutic) other than the degree the person doing the visit has, is there any difference in the requirements between Paraprofessional and Professional? Does there have to be a separate referral for a Professional and a Paraprofessional for each case? The concern is that if a person with a bachelors degree is providing supervised visits and someone else covers on the weekend or takes over the case, if they do not have a bachelors degree (or vice versa) then do we need to get a new referral?
A.271 Please refer to the service standards as to the three levels of supervision. The level of service that is requested is based on the needs of the county and the families being served. The referral from the county will be for a particular level and that level of service will be expected when services are provided.
Q.272 In regard to the requirement that home-based therapists have no more than 8 families on their caseload: Are therapists allowed to be engaged with additional service provision via other contracts, while also serving 8 families through this money?
A.272 The full time person (40 hours a week) can not have more than 8 cases on their caseload at any given time.
Q.273 For those services with qualifications stating "Master's degree in social work..." is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) accepted licensure if supervised by LCSW, LMFT and/or LMHC?
A.273 Only if the standard does not designate that it must be an LCSW, LMFT and/or LMHC.
Q.274 RE: Prevention -- Community Partners for Child Safety. Who (or an example of) the Regional Services Council (designee) referenced under program development? Please elaborate on the Community Partner for Child Safety funding concept. Is the Community Partners for Child Safety a regional or community /county service?
A.274 See the answers to questions 114, 130, 133, and 165 for a better understanding of this program.
Q.275 Are there approved rates (range of rates) for services?
A.275 No. Rates should be based on the cost of providing the service.
Q.276 Regarding the proposal format, is there a page limitation?
A.276 No but it is important that information provided is specific to the proposed service. The use of an outline format may make the proposal more readable.
Q.277 Where is the electronic format Word application located?
A.277 The format is only in PDF and Excel.
Q.278 What process is available to contracted agencies when they are unable to secure a written referral following a verbal referral from DCS?
A.278 The provider should contact the referring worker and then follow the chain of command (supervisor, county director, regional manager) if this request does not result in the referral form. Any services provided without a written referral form could result in the lack of payment or an audit finding which could require repayment.
Q.279 In the interest of best practice, enabling service dollars to “follow the child”, can organizations which are statewide apply to provide a specific service for ALL Regions, if they have the capacity to do so?
Q.280 Adoption – Child Preparation - What will be the process and timeline for obtaining DCS approval for additional service hours?
A.280 A written request to the county referring worker and written approval from the county Director or designee before any additional services are provided to ensure payment.
Q.281 Adoption – Family Preparation - Comprehensive family preparation, as outlined in the RFF can take 10 to 12 or more hours. This leaves little time to conduct a thorough matching process. Will consideration be given to increasing the total hours beyond 12 to insure that the matching activities outlined in the RFF can be adequately and appropriately performed? What will be the process for obtaining DCS approval for additional hours?
A.281 A written request to the county referring worker and written approval from the county Director or designee before any additional services are provided to ensure payment.
Q.282 In many cases, DCS or other service providers have provided the training, criminal history check, etc. for families who are referred for home studies. Obtaining verification of training, completed criminal histories, etc. is sometimes problematic. Will a standard process and timeframe for providing such information to the home study provider be established?
A.282 Information should be obtained at the time the referral is made. Work should not begin until all information is provided by the referring worker.
Q.283 Pages 7-8 of the RFF states Family Preparation services are to be completed within 45 days of receipt of referral but the home study is to be completed within 60 days of receipt of referral. Which time frame is correct?
A.283 The section where 45 days is listed is incorrect and will be corrected in the standard. The homestudy is to be completed in 60 days.
Q.284 Family Preparation services - Target Population #2 page 7 - … and are 7 to 17 years of age… Is the local DCS office able to adjust the target population around the area of age? There are situations where there might be sibling group with a child or children that are less than 7 years old.
A.284 The local office could adjust the age requirement such as when a sibling group includes a child under age 7.
Q.285 Family Preparation services - Goal #1/bullet point 1, 2 & 3, page 8 – What is the process in those situations when securing CPS and Criminal Histories is not possible within 60 days of referral or within 14 days of the last contact with the adoptive family. It can take months before outside agencies respond to requests for this information.
A.285 The target population states that this service is for families who have successfully passed a criminal history check and successfully completed FAKT training including the 6 hours of permanency training. At this stage, FBI fingerprints are not required for a person to be licensed. The policy on FIB fingerprints in adoption is currently being developed.
Q.286 Family Preparation services - Goal #3, bullet point 2, page 8 – 90% of families who are selected for a placement will have their adoption petitions filed within one year of placement. This is dependent upon many variables that are not necessarily under the control of the contracted provider. Who will determine what is the contractor’s responsibility and what is the county’s responsibility?
A.286 If the contractor completes their responsibility within the timeframes, that is all they will be held accountable for.
Q.287 Adoption – Pre / Post-Placement and Post Adoption Services - What will be the process and timeline for obtaining DCS approval for additional service hours?
A.287 A written request to the county referring worker and written approval from the county Director or designee before any additional services are provided to ensure payment.
Q.288 Goal #3, bullet point 1 – 100% attendance at support groups may be unrealistic given the busy schedules of most families. Is there room for negotiating the attendance rate to 90%?
A.288 100% is the goal since the adoptive families have requested services.
Q.289 Further explanation is needed on the following - Funds received from the family for this study must be used to offset the use of federal funds for this service.) Does this mean that the contracted agency will need to bill the family directly for this service?
A.289 If the family is court ordered to pay for the service, the provider will bill the family directly for the service.
Q.290 Chafee IL – Foster care independence program - Are “youth identified volunteer mentors” required to meet the same screening and training standards as the “agency provided” mentoring services individuals?
A.290 They must have the same screening as agency provided mentors.
Q.291 The Regional Plan for Child Welfare Services states that mentors will be volunteers only. Page 22 of the RFF lists mentoring as a required service through “an existing mentoring program.” If the existing mentoring program uses paid staff instead of volunteers, can staff in the mentoring program be used as long as the youth chooses the staff member?
A.291 Not if they are paid. It is expected that these relationships will endure beyond the youth’s involvement with the system.
Q.292 What is the minimum number of clients required to meet the educational “group” standard?
A.292 Three or more unrelated clients.
Q.293 Do the “up to $1,000.00” emancipation goods and services dollars come out of the $3750.00 funds available per client or is it in addition to those dollars?
A.293 No. The $3,750 funds are available for identified room and board expenses only.
Q.294 Youth Advisory Boards - Who / how, will be responsible for scheduling and coordinating the Quarterly meetings between regions?
A.294 The State Independent Living Coordinator.
Q.295 Chafee IL – Voluntary Services Coordinator - How many positions will be funded? Will there be one FTE per DCS region?
A.295 3 positions which will include one for the north, central, and south regions of the State.
Q.296 CHINS Parent Support Services - Service Description: In cases where fewer than 3 unrelated persons attend group, will the provider be able to bill for preparation time?
A.296 No .
Q.297 Family Case Conferencing - Can a BA / BS level staff person do the preparation work, inviting participants, assisting with transportation, etc., at a per hour rate and the Master level licensed person do the facilitating, report development and other related direct family work?
A.297 Yes, a BA/BS level staff person can do the preparation work in close partnership with a Master’s level licensed person who will do the facilitating, report development and other related direct family work. This information will be added to the hourly rate billable unit for this service standard.
Q.298 Foster/ Adoptive/ Kinship Caregiver Training - Page 53 of the RFF requests a verbal / written referral for each person receiving training. This requirement was eliminated in the last contract as requiring a DCS referral eliminates families who see ads about foster parenting or call to self-refer. Will a DCS referral be required?
A.298 For all families or individuals applying for FAKT training, the local DCS must be contacted to receive verbal or written approval. Documentation in the provider records must be made indicating verbal or written approval of each individual being trained. A documentation form will be created for contracted service providers to provide consistency for audits.
Q.299 Page 53 of the RFF requires monthly reports to DCS for all other training provided. Is there a form DCS provides for this or is the monthly billing submission acceptable?
A.299 What is provided for monthly billing is acceptable.
Q.300 Foster Family Support Services - What are the requirements for the childcare provider at support group meetings; i.e., licensed childcare provider, criminal history check, etc.?
A.300 Criminal history and CPS check must be done on anyone providing childcare for foster children during support group meetings. This will be added to the service standard.
Q.301 Is bi-weekly contact with all county foster parents required?
Q.302 Court appearances, when required, are reimbursed for up to one hour of preparation and up to one hour per day for testimony. Is there a provision for billing beyond this in those cases where the court appearance, or waiting for the court appearance, takes longer?
A.302 Court time on the case provides for the time a worker is testifying and preparation. Travel time may be billed for court appearances also. There is a one hour billing limit.
Q.303 How does the request for this service relate to the same service that was originally bid out in Department of Child Services RFP 5-108? Are there specific counties or Regions for which this service is a priority… if so, please indicate them.
A.303 This is separate from that RFP. This is a county or region specific service that may be selected as a funded service.
Q.304 Foster Home Studies / Updates / Relicensing Studies - What will be the process and timeline for obtaining DCS approval for additional service hours?
A.304 A written request to the county referring worker must be made and written approval from the county Director or designee received before any additional services are provided to ensure payment.
Q.305 Prevention Services – Community Partners for Child Safety - Since there are one or two current program models in Indiana, is there a proposed budgetary range for both the program development period and the actual service delivery array? If so, can you please share those ranges?
A.305 There are no ranges.
Q.306 We are applying to provide Home-Based Casework Services and would like to know if there is a certain number of goals and objectives that are to be included. Are we to choose one outcome measure from each goal? Any goal we choose?
A.306 All goals and objectives from the service standards should be included.
Q.307 We plan to submit an application for three separate programs within our organization. Under your service standards F, I, J, L, T and U (as listed on the website) are we required to serve all counties in our region in order to be considered for funding?
Q.308 Is the deadline for prevention dollars/proposals the same as the non-prevention proposals?
Q.309 Would you identify any programs in Indiana replicating the service standard for the Prevention -- Community Partners for Child Safety program?
A.309 Neighborhood Alliance for Child Safety, Marion County, Indianapolis, Indiana
Q.310 Would you identify model programs replicating the service standards for Parent Education and/or Counseling -- Individual/Family?
A.310 There are several successful programs in the State. We are unable to list specific program due to the competitive nature of this bid process.
Q.311 There are several areas in the RFF where the inquiry is to indicate the total number of families/clients to be served. Should this number be based on a year of service or projected for the life of the contract (30 months)?
A.311 For the life of the contract.
Q.312 RFF narrative: a part is highlighted in yellow. It says an outline of the format and contents of the progress notes, reports and closing summary and the anticipated time-line for submitting these to the DCS is included in attachment A.
A.312 It is to be included in Attachment A of your proposal.
Q.313 Even though foster care is defined as "24 hour substitute care for children placed away from their parents or guardians and for whom the State agency has placement and care responsibility," youth placed in residential facilities are no longer eligible for Chafee services until six months prior to release (transition services). This excludes many youth in need of services --- both CHINS and Probation youth (who are almost always in residential placement, not foster homes). Granted, "soft skills" are included in residential treatment, however, "hard skills" are NOT provided in residential treatment unless so stated in the per diem. As contract providers, we are charged with meeting monthly with the DCS, identifying Chafee eligible youth, and providing those skills. If the county is identifying these youth as in need of IL services, why are we denying this population and how can we be expected to adequately prepare them for emancipation in only six months?
A.313 Since IL Services are required by federal law whether or not Chafee funds are used, case managers will be required to ensure that IL services which include “hard skills” are included in the per diem for youth age 16 and older who are placed in programs other than local foster care, relative care, or court approved placements. Transition services will begin at age 17 (instead of 17 1/2). Those who age out of care are exempt from the 6 month requirement of being in care. These two changes will be made in the service standards.
Q.314 Finding interested mentors for our youth is often difficult. If a mentor is self-identified and selected by a youth, at what point does it become our responsibility to intervene and do background checks, education checks, etc. and require them to come in for supervision? What if the mentor is appropriate but doesn't have a high school diploma? If a mentor is truly benefiting a youth, do we interrupt this relationship based upon our contract requirements?
A.314 Once a mentor is identified by the youth, the agency should contact the person to determine their interest. At this point the agency should explain the guidelines and start the background checks. The mentor must meet the qualifications for mentors and must not have criminal history.
Q.315 Does travel time and/ or mileage cover routine errands such as taking the youth shopping, to other services such as Work 1, doing housing searches, etc. as required under the service description?
A.315 Travel with the client would be face-to-face time.
Q.316 Under Billable Units, it states that Case Conferences and Collateral; contacts need to be approved by DCS. Is it realistic to attain permission from the DCS Case Manager every time a contact is made with landlords, employers, utility companies, schools, etc? Is this permission also required for non-ward billing? Will we then have to contact the IL Voluntary Services Case Manager each time a contact is made?
A.316 Any collateral contacts over 8 hours per month requires approval from the DCS Case Manager. For non-wards, collateral contacts over 8 hours per month require the approval of the DCS Director of the county of residence.
Q.317 Under Billable Units, only one hour of prep time and one hour of testimony is allowed per day. What about the wait time which accompanies court appearances and is beyond our control?
A.317 Only one hour can be billed for testimony per day. The wait time would not be billable. You should build the cost of this into your unit rate.
Q.318 Under Billable Units, No Shows:
For Non-Wards, who are often unstable, are we really expected to terminate services after only three consecutive no-shows? Again, for Non-Wards, who are often in crisis, are we really not allowed to do unscheduled home visits and/ or not allowed to bill for them?
A.318 After 3 no shows, the provider would need to contact the State IL Coordinator to determine if continuation of services is appropriate. The no-show billing unit includes unscheduled visits as long as they are indicated on the referral form. Permission should be obtained in writing.
Q.319 Under the new contract, under Case Record Documentation, it states for wards and non-wards, that the Chafee Supplement (OMR) is to only be done at 6 months of service and at discharge. Is this correct? If this is correct, how do we collect data?
A.319 Yes. A copy of the data that was submitted in the Chafee Supplement can be emailed to the provider and printed out for the paper file. The Chafee website will be available to draw down data reports on all youth served based on your Agency Code.
Q.320 The RFF asks for the "amount requested". In the past, each county put forth about how much money (need) they thought would be in their counties and then we requested for the region. If the amounts (need) the counties have is not specified, then are we to figure a fulltime position for two and a half years?
Example: Jay and Randolph put $2,000 towards diagnostic and evaluation - we request $2, 000 and figure how many people we can serve for a certain rate.
A.320 Your proposal should reflect what your agency is capable of providing. The regions will select the programs they are interested in funding.
Q.321 Without the $2,000 projection, how do we determine our request. Do we figure a fulltime position with constant clientele? Do we figure a rate and guess at how many times it will be used? Etc.
A.321 Your proposal should reflect what your agency is capable of providing. The regions will select the programs they are interested in funding.
Q.322 Since deadline for questions was moved back and personnel stated at Sept. 12 meeting that proposals would be looked at after the holidays, can deadline be moved for submission of proposals to Jan. 3rd or 5th? This would give agencies a little more time to complete proposal, realizing changes in guidelines. With mailing concerns, it currently leaves providers less than 3 weeks with the Dec. 22nd deadline.
A.322 The deadline will remain December 22nd.
Q.323 In the review of proposals, comparison of proposals will not be " apples to apples", will reviewers be trained to compare rates between programs providing more services vs. programs providing lower amounts of services, or will comparison be reduced to what program is cheapest regardless of the amount of services being provided?
A.323 There are many items which are taken into account when reviewing proposals. The score sheet is available on the website for your review.
Q.324 Regarding Direct Deposit Authorization that is posted on the website, State form 51519:
- in the name of custodial parent box, do we enter business entity?
- in the SS# of custodial parent box, do we enter business EIN#?
- in the signature of custodial parent box, do we enter name of CEO?
A.324 The correct form has been posted.
Q.325 Regarding justification of present employees who do not meet change in qualifications: please respond to this scenario - 55 yr. old employee providing quality services, with client and county satisfaction, being supervised by master level and doctorate level, has no intention of returning to college. Does this person have to quit or be discharged from present position, thereby causing an agency to lose a valued, effective employee, just because he/she does not return to college and create a timeline for completion of degree required by a certain deadline?
A.325 No. You may request a permanent waiver, see Answer to Question 1.
Q.326 When our independent auditor completed audit of Title IV-B, he inquired as to why the claims cannot be sent via internet to reduce amount of paperwork being sent back and forth? Thereby reducing paperwork and postage expense. Or, if this does exist, why has it not been provided to our agency, or has it been provided to some agencies and not others. We heard something about a pilot project for online submission of claims but were never given information.
A.326 This is not currently available for programs through this RFF.
Q.327 Problems regarding cost of preparing claims and inconsistency between regions:
- different versions of how 80/20% split and in combining 80% totals of multiple counties of IL wards are completed on claim cover sheets, then state claim forms, then state bar coded forms, then county expenditure forms; resulting in rounding errors and inaccuracies which lead to return of claims to the agency and delays in receipt of payment. This additional time in completing tasks lead to inefficient and unnecessary utilization of staff time with no ability to recover such expenses.
- while some regions accept computer calculation, other regions completes via hand held calculator. Rounding is different, so difference requires return of claim, delay in payment, inefficient utilization of staff time, additional postage expense, all for maybe a 25 cent difference, or sometimes a 1 cent difference.
A.327 There will be no match issues in the new contracts. The State has secured matching funds for all independent living services. This should solve the problem.
Q.328 In programs that require a $300 amount to aid clients in emergency situations, will this expenditure always need to be approved by county directors prior to money being given out? Emergency money being given to clients without prior authorization of county directors puts agencies in the position of not being able to claim the dollars on this aspect of some services, such as Intensive Home Base.
A.328 This expenditure is approved by virtue of the referral for IFPS and IFRS and should be included in the cost of the program. It does not require additional DCS authorization. Details will be worked out with selected service providers. “Approval is required in writing by the referring DCS” will be removed form the billing unit.
Q.329 Regarding Mentoring in an IL program: If a youth picks a mentor and a background checks reveals an unacceptable mentor, is the agency responsible to eliminate the mentor or monitoring the mentor? This places an agency in a position of liability issues to the agency and endangerment of a youth.
A.329 If the mentor is unacceptable based on the background check, that person would be eliminated.
Q.330 How should agencies address and resolve keeping costs feasible in the ability to provide IL services to clients across several counties with the additional requirements and expectations of the service standards?
A.330 Your proposal should reflect what your agency is capable of providing. The regions will select the programs they are interested in funding.
Q.331 If a therapist is carrying the maximum allowed, 8 families, in their caseload, will that therapist be allowed to complete an assessment on a new referral if the need arises? This over and beyond the 8 family maximum number allowed.
A.331 The maximum for a fulltime therapist is 8 families and the therapist would be allowed to complete an assessment if the need arises but cannot take that family as an additional case.
Q.332 For Home Based Therapy services, what is the industry's average number of hours or face to face contacts per week per family?
A.332 This varies based on the model you are using. The number of contacts is based on the needs of the family being served.
Q.333 Most of our existing and new referrals present with substance abuse issues, and the service standards for counseling and home based therapy list substance abuse as one of the areas of emphasis in performing these treatments. Do we need to distinguish between a Home Based Therapist and a Substance abuse Treatment Therapist or can they be used interchangeably?
A.333 If you are billing for services under Home Based Therapy or Counseling, the staff member must meet the minimum qualifications. Otherwise, this would be permissible.
Q.334 Under the service standards for Substance Abuse Assessment, treatment and monitoring, it states that the minimum qualifications of the direct service staff is a Master's Degree and license.., does this treatment include home based treatment and in office? Is it expected that the person possessing the Master’s degree and license will perform drug screens or can we use a paraprofessional to do drug screens?
A.334 Services could be home based or in office, depending on what the referring county requests. Those doing sample collection are not required to be certified drug abuse counselors but the collector should be highly trained in sample collection and the chain of custody procedures to document the integrity and security of the specimen from time of collection until receipt by the laboratory. This information will be added to the service standard with a billing unit for sample collection.
Q.335 If an agency utilizes sub-contractors rather than employees as trainers or in other direct service roles as part of a contract, are those individuals required to be registered with the Secretary of State?
A.335 No not according to the contract language the sub-contractors must be approved by the DCS.
Q.336 There seem to be similarities between Adoption-Pre/Post-Placement and Post-Adoption Services and Foster Family Support Services yet the Billable Units are much different. Explain the reason, please.
A.336 These are entirely different programs. Therefore, the billing is set up to accommodate each specific program.
Q.337 Please explain why 8 hours of billable time are allowed for a step-parent study and only 6 hour are allowed for a foster homestudy. The foster home study normally is more time-consuming to complete.
A.337 This is a typo. It should be 8 hours for the foster home study also. The correction will be made in the service standard.
Q.338 Is there a list of usual and customary rates?
A.338 "Usual and customary" is the amount that is charged in any given area. The councils are aware of the rates charged for services in their regions and are aware that they vary across the State.
Q.339 Is the Foster/Adoptive/Kinship Proposal required to be submitted separately from all other services?
Q.340 Define face to face contact for Foster Home Studies/ Updates/Relicensing Studies.
A.340 Time spent face-to-face with the client during which services as defined the service standard are performed.
Q.341 Define "under the direct weekly supervision. "Does this include telephone, e-mail, fax or is it required to be face to face?
A.341 Supervision must be face-to-face.
Q.342 What qualifies as weekly?
A.342 Weekly means Sunday through Saturday.
Q.343 Please explain: "The introduction of foster parents supervising visitation services for children in their care when appropriate is to be included." Is there a curriculum that is to be included as part of pre-service training or is it to be offered as an in-service? Will there be a TOT for the chosen providers for the "Supervision of Visitation" curriculum and, if so, how many hours is the TOT?
A.343 Service providers who receive contracts will be provided with the supervised visitation training curriculum for foster parents that is approved by the state. This will be offered as an in-service training.
Q.344 May a provider develop a monthly newsletter for multiple regions if providing services in more than one region?
A.344 Yes. As long as the newsletter addresses available training in each region. Unit rate costs should reflect this .
Q.345 As has been done in the past, will prospective and licensed caregivers be able to attend training outside of their own region if they choose to do so?
Q.346 Will prospective caregivers be able to join a pre-service training that is already underway to allow them to complete training more timely or at a conveniently located site?
A.346 No, caregivers are required to begin the pre-service training at session one but can attend other sessions our of order if necessary based on their schedule.
Q.347 Please clarify: "The pre-service training will be provided in each region so that no family must wait longer than a month to begin pre-service training." I suspect that there will be some regions that will not need more than one pre-service a month. What will be the ramifications if there is more than one month between trainings, i.e. one month's training begins on the first Saturday of the month and the next month's training does not begin until the second Saturday of the month?
A.347 Training must be available to prospective foster parents in a timely fashion. Your scenario describes a situation that would be acceptable based on the needs of the region.
Q.348 If less than 7 people are registered for a pre-service training, at what point may the training be cancelled? (Suggestion: 48 hours in advance, i.e. if the training is scheduled to begin at 9 AM Saturday morning, then if less than 7 are registered at 9 AM Thursday the provider MAY cancel training. At the provider's discretion, they may wait to cancel until closer to the training time).
A.348 When it is obvious on that there will not be 7 people for a training scheduled on Saturday, the training needs to be cancelled. The provider will make the call as to when to cancel the training and ensure that those registered are notified timely.
Q.349 Please explain: "Monthly in-service training is required for licensed DCS foster and kinship families living in Indiana." When is this effective and how many hours of training are licensed foster and kinship caregivers required to attend each month?
A.349 Monthly in-service trainings are currently required. Licensed foster parents are required to obtain 10 hours of in-service training annually. This correction will be made in the service standards.
Q.350 What will be the method for seeking pre-approval from DCS for in-service trainings?
A.350 Once a family registers for in-service training, the county of residence of the family must be contacted to receive verbal or written approval.
Q.351 Please clarify the allowed billable units. Is the "Coordination for training per hour" to be billed as the number of training hours for pre-service, in-service, and first aid, CPR, UP? In other words, for a 20-hour pre-service, 20 hours of coordination time would be claimed at "x" number of dollars and for a 4-hour in-service, 4 hours of coordination would be claimed?
A.351 Coordination time is the amount of time the coordinator spends performing the duties outlined in the service standards. This does not refer to the number of hours of actual training. Training is reimbursed at actual cost.
Q.352 Would a "coordination for training per month" be considered as an acceptable billable unit?
A.352 No, this is hourly.
Q.353 Are "miscellaneous costs" intended to be reimbursed dollar for dollar at actual cost? For example, if refreshments for a training cost $40.37, is the original receipt to be submitted with a claim for 40.37 units at $1/unit? For trainer costs, is the trainer's claim for services including prep time, training time, travel time, and mileage to be submitted? Or are we to propose a set rate per hour of training delivered that covers all costs associated with that training, as is being done in the current contracts? So in other words, we would bill 2 units for a 2-hour in-service or 20 units for a 20-hour pre-service?
A.353 Yes, receipts and trainers' claims would be submitted for reimbursement at actual cost. You are not able to bill per hour of training.
Q.354 Can newsletter costs be included/absorbed as part of coordination costs rather than as a separate rate(s)?
A.354 This is a separate rate.
Q.355 Please explain, "For hourly rates . . . all billed time must be associated with a family/client." Training and coordination of training does not lend itself to being billed as an hourly family/client unit since much of the work is done for multiple clients as a group. How is this to be handled?
A.355 FAKT hourly rates are not per family/client. The Standard will be changed to reflect the correction.
Q.356 VI. Case Record Documentation 2) Please explain the documentation of coordination services.
A.356 The description in VI. Case Record Documentation includes a description of the required documentation.
Q.357 Please explain: VII. Service Access "Services can be accessed by persons interested in becoming a licensed foster/kinship foster home or adoptive parents either through the local DCS or through the contracted agency providing the training." Does this mean that if an LCPA is awarded the training contract that the LCPA will be able to train their own folks under the DCS contract?
A.357 This is incorrect. The FAKT contracts will be for county foster homes only. The Standard will be clarified to reflect for DCS foster homes only.
Q.358 In the Qualification Section of Adoption--Pre/Post Placement and Post-Adoption Services it indicates that a Licensed Master's degreed person shall provide "support family services". Is this referring to the Support Groups indicating that the support groups must be led by licensed, master's degreed personnel?
A.358 All services under Pre/Post Placement and Post-Adoption Services (with the exception of respite care) require a licensed Master's degreed person.
Q.359 Also, in the service description of Adoption--Pre/Post Placement and Post-Adoption Services, under service access it indicates the need for a DCS referral. Do we need referrals for each person/family participating in the support group service? It seems that the documentation required for this service which is a Sign In sheet and note about subjects covered in each session would raise a question as to the need for referrals for each person/family.
A.359 Yes. Referrals should be obtained from the identified adoption specialist in the county.
Q.360 The CHINS Parent Support Services indicates the groups will be 3-12 unrelated participants. Does this mean mother and fathers will need to be in different groups? Or do we count participants as family units and the number of people will be 3-24?
A.360 This is incorrect. It should read at least 3 participants with no more than 12 total participants.
Q.361 In the Foster/Adoptive/Kinship Caregiver Training service standards it say, "Monthly in-service training is required for licensed DCS foster, and kinship families living in Indiana" (p 50, last paragraph on the page). Does this mean that all foster parents will now need to attend an in-service every month?
A.361 No, this means monthly in-service training must be available. The requirement of 10 hours per year is still in effect. The Standard will be changed to reflect the correction.
Q.362 Is there any availability of reimbursement/support for development of the Functional Family Therapy (FFT) program which would require extensive training and the time of multiple people?
A.362 The state does not provide this training. It would need to be included in the budget. Information regarding training for this service can be obtained from Holly DeMaranville - FFT Communications Coordinator, (206)369-5894) or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Q.363 In what category would ICPC home studies be done?
A.363 ICPC home studies can be referred under Foster Home Studies.
Q.364 Is FAKT billing really open to any kind of billing structures or are there some parameters/ or structures that would be required?
A.364 The billing units are defined in the service standards. You may only bill according to the units in the service standards.
Q.365 As there has been considerable state-wide emphasis on the development of systems of care and as it was my understanding that this emphasis was a state-wide collaboration that included DCS, I am wondering how systems of care fit into the current funding proposals. Neither the prevention proposal or the case conferencing proposals seem to have high fidelity to the models of wraparound and collaboration suggested by previous grant-based programs. The current proposals appear to cut out some of the high need, multi-system cases served by some of our wraparound processes and will decrease the ability to leverage Medicaid because at a prevention level, there will less ability to diagnose. Certainly prevention is important and I am happy to see the state fund it, I am just unclear where systems of care are going or if the message is that this is the only state funded direction for systems of care.
A.365 There are no service standards written specifically for Systems of Care in this RFF. Regional Services Councils will determine if they wish to develop a Systems of Care Program in their region and will release a Request for Proposal separately for this service if they so decide.
Q.366 We are happy to see the state's emphasis on experienced, credentialed and licensed people providing services. At the same time, we do have some curiosity regarding the systemic interventions to be able to address a shortage of licensed, master-degreed service providers. We are aware that we are not the only agency experiencing this shortage and thus, will not be able to write for many of the services because of that, in spite of the strong supervision that we provide or the multidisciplinary team environment in which our people are working. We will, of course, write for exceptions for some of our people but because some of this is new programming and because we already are experiencing staff vacancies because of the shortage of credentialed service providers, we will pass on some things. Our question would be whether there will be a second round with re-considered credentials if indeed proposals don't come in as expected.
A.366 Agencies may request waivers for current or proposed staff. See Answer to Question 1.
Q.367 Would you identify any programs in Indiana replicating the service standard for the Prevention -- Community Partners for Child Safety program?
A.367 Neighborhood Alliance for Child Safety, Marion County, Indianapolis, IN.
Q.368 Would you identify model programs replicating the service standards for Parent Education and/or Counseling -- Individual/Family?
A.368 There are several successful programs throughout the state of Indiana. Due to the competitive nature of this RFF, we are unable to list specific programs.
Q.369 Attachment B, page 15: If the hourly billing rate, for example, Homemaker face to face, court, travel, collateral contacts will be proposed at the same dollar rate per hour is it necessary to break down or can the billable unit be defined to include: HM, case conferences, court etc.?
A.369 Providers may only bill according to the units as defined in the service standards.
Q.370 Service Standard for Assessment-Parenting/Family Functioning (p.17) the second paragraph in regards to substance abuse. Does the qualified staff person have to also meet the qualifications set forth in the Service Standards for Substance Abuse Treatment (86) in order to administer the SASSI-3?
A.370 A person who meets the qualifications of the service standard would be able to administer the SASSI-3.
Q.371 Please clarify the statements on pages 1 and 2 of the General Information section. Page 1 (last paragraph) indicates the proposal must be postmarked on or before December 22, while page 2 (third paragraph, underlined sentence) indicates that the Regional Coordinator will postmark on the deadline date.
A.371 Page 2 should indicate that the proposal being mailed to the Regional Coordinator must be postmarked by the US Postal Service by December 22. Remember, you are responsible for sending copies to each county DCS and regional manager for each region/county you are proposing to serve.
Q.372 If all of the start up funds for the Community Partners for Child Safety are not used, can the funds be rolled over into the program?
A.372 Yes, as long as the funds are used within the time frame of the contract.