The agency assesses prospective foster parents and their homes to ensure that children receive safe, sufficient, and appropriate care.
Note: Foster Care to Adoption programs will implement PA-FC 17 and PA-AS 3.
Homestudies are completed prior to placement, and are updated:
Interpretation: In an emergency situation and upon court order a homestudy may be completed immediately following placement. Changes that warrant a follow-up assessment include but are not limited to: individuals who move in or out of the home; death or debilitating illness of a caregiver; structural defects in the home related to fire, flood, or natural disaster; or legal proceedings affecting the family such as eviction or divorce.
The homestudy includes an assessment of factors that may impact the ability of prospective foster parents to provide care, protection, and experiences that enhance healthy development including:
Interpretation: The homestudy assessment should include all adults and children living in the home, including the identification of roles and an assessment of each personís ability to contribute positively to the childís healthy development.
Foster parents and other adult caregivers in the home have health assessments completed prior to licensing, or within 45 days after receiving their first child, and again when their license is renewed, to identify any health concerns that could impact caregiving responsibilities.
Interpretation: Special circumstances, including the health needs of the foster parent, warrant more frequent assessment. The agency should consult with the local public health authority to determine if a skin tuberculin test should be included in the assessment. A written statement from a physician or other qualified health professional regarding the personís health is acceptable to meet the intent of the standard. If the assessment indicates a mental health concern, the individual must also obtain a formal evaluation from a mental health professional.
Criminal background and child abuse registry checks are conducted for all adults in the home prior to placement, in accordance with applicable federal and state requirements.
Each foster home is regularly assessed to identify and address any safety concerns including, but not limited to:
Foster parents who transport children in their own vehicles:
Interpretation: Regarding element (e), this information should be provided as frequently as necessary, based on the amount of time licenses and insurance are valid. For example, if licenses are valid for two years, license validation can occur every two years. Regarding validation of appropriate insurance coverage, it is suggested that the agency maintain a copy of each foster parentís auto policy declaration.
Note: In some cases this standard may not be applicable to all foster parents (e.g., if foster parents live in urban areas and utilize public transportation instead of private vehicles).
The agency selects therapeutic foster parents based on established criteria that include:
NA The agency does not provide therapeutic foster care.