Case Planning for Families Involved With Child Welfare Agencies - Connecticut

Date: April 2018

When Case Plans Are Required

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 17a-15; Pol. Man. § 36-1

The commissioner of the Department of Children and Families shall prepare and maintain a written plan for care, treatment, and permanent placement of every child and youth under the commissioner's supervision.

In policy: Initial and ongoing family case plans shall be developed for the following:

  • All families with an open case
  • Families with a child in placement whose permanent or concurrent plan is reunification
  • Families with a child in placement (regardless of the child's permanency plan) for whom the department is providing services (other than visitation) to address a parent's or guardian's identified needs

Initial and ongoing child in placement (CIP) case plans shall be developed for the following:

  • Children who are at home but committed to the department
  • Youth age 18 and older while their case remains open
  • Children in out-of-home care regardless of age or placement type when the legal basis for the placement is:
    • A Voluntary Services Program placement
    • A court order
    • A voluntary placement agreement

Who May Participate in the Case Planning Process

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 17a-15; Pol. Man. § 36-1

The child and his or her parent or guardian may request a hearing to contest any provision in the plan.

In policy: The goal of case planning shall be to assess and address the family's needs in a culturally and linguistically responsive manner through engagement and partnership with family members and service providers.

Contents of a Case Plan

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 17a-15; Pol. Man. § 36-1 (Prac. Guide)

The plan shall include, but not be limited to the following:

  • A diagnosis of the problems of each child
  • The proposed plan of treatment services and temporary placement
  • A goal for permanent placement of the child, which may include reunification with the parent, transfer of guardianship, adoption, or, for a child age 16 or older, another planned permanent living arrangement

The child's health and safety shall be the paramount concern in formulating the plan.

In policy: All of the following elements shall be included and discussed in the child's case plan:

  • A description of the conditions and safety factors that resulted in the child's placement
  • A description of the child, including the date of birth; race, ethnicity, and gender; languages spoken; immigration status; physical description; and strengths, skills, and interests
  • The child's emotional or behavioral status, including current diagnoses and medication and any unresolved issues
  • The child's educational development, including the following:
    • Grade level and performance
    • Special education needs, if applicable
    • Proximity to the school of origin from home at the time of removal
    • If applicable, the reason the child did not remain in school of origin
  • A description of child's social support, including family and community resources
  • A description of the child's current placement
  • The rationale for visits or other contact with parents, siblings, and others who have a significant role in the life of the child
  • A discussion of the child's physical health, including medical, dental, and vision information; immunizations and medications; and any diagnoses
  • An assessment of adult relatives and other potential permanency resources, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, and step- and half-relatives

The plan for a child who is age 13 or older shall include, but not be not limited to, the following topics:

  • The child's need to develop life skills and knowledge to enable self-sufficient living
  • The need for an assessment to determine the child's educational or vocational interests and level of ability, and/or post-high school educational interests
  • Whether the child has taken a career interest assessment/learning style inventory
  • Issues of sexual orientation
  • Issues of cultural awareness
  • The need for future referral to adult services
  • Medical coverage
  • Housing
  • Finances (including any ongoing sources of income and any survivor benefits)
  • Parenting issues
  • Independent Living Passport and essential documents
  • The identification of workforce supports or employment services