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Case Plans are created soon after removal or disposition. The Case Plan is updated regularly or any time there is a significant change in the case. Case Plans include the strengths and needs of the child and parent/guardian/custodian, as well as objectives and activities. The Case Plan is what steers the parent/guardian/custodian to address the wellbeing of the child and family. A child and family’s available past and present experiences, assets, interests, resources, and preferences provide strengths to meet needs. The family may be encountering problems that are causing behaviors that are harmful to the family. A need is the underlying condition that may be the source of the behaviors. Objectives are goals and are the map for change. Activities are directions for how the family can meet their needs and be able to achieve their objectives. Activities should be reasonable enough for people to have confidence they can accomplish them. The Case Plan will include a Permanency Goal for the child. The Permanency Goal is the desired result of DCS intervention and is consistent with the health, safety, well-being and best interests of the child. Permanency means the child has a safe, stable and secure home and family with lifelong relationships. When a child is first removed the goal is usually Reunification. As the case develops over time other Permanency Goals may come to be in the child’s best interests. Other Permanency Goals are: Guardianship, Adoption or Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA). The parent/guardian/custodian should be provided with a copy of the case plan by the Family Case Manager. Special arrangements may be needed for families where domestic violence has been identified. For questions specific to your case please speak with your Family Case Manager, and for more information read DCS policy for Developing the Case Plan.
How Are Case Plans Developed?
A CFTM will be held where the Family Case Manager works with the parent/guardian/custodian, extended family, the child (if age and developmentally appropriate), and the CFT to develop the Case Plan. The Family Case Manager may also seek input from professionals who may not be members of the CFT, but who have knowledge relating to the child and family’s strengths and needs. These professionals may be physicians, mental health professionals, school personnel, and other community service providers. The foster parents, kinship caregivers and the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)/Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) must be included in the development of the Case Plan. If these parties are not members of the CFT, and the parent/guardian/custodian does not wish they become members for the purpose of developing the Case Plan, the Family Case Manager will hold a Case Plan Conference to include all required parties.