Case Planning for Families Involved With Child Welfare Agencies - Idaho

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When Case Plans Are Required

Citation: Ann. Code § 16-1621; Admin. Code 16.06.01.422

In every case in which the child is determined to be within the jurisdiction of the court, and there is no judicial determination that aggravated circumstances were present, the Department of Health and Welfare shall prepare a written case plan, including in cases in which the parent is incarcerated. The court shall schedule a case plan hearing to be held within 30 days after the adjudicatory hearing. The case plan shall be filed with the court no later than 5 days prior to the case plan hearing.

In regulation: The department must complete a written alternate care plan within 30 days after a child has been placed in alternate care and at least every 6 months thereafter. A copy of the alternate care plan will be provided to the child's parent, legal guardian, foster parent, Indian custodian, Tribe, and to the child if he or she is older than age 12.

Who May Participate in the Case Planning Process

Citation: Ann. Code § 16-1621; Admin. Code 16.06.01.011

Copies of the case plan shall be delivered to the parents and other legal guardians, the prosecuting attorney or deputy attorney general, the guardian ad litem, and attorney for the child.

Notice of the case plan hearing shall be provided to the parents and other legal guardians, the prosecuting attorney or deputing attorney general, the guardian ad litem, attorney for the child, the department, and foster parents.

Although foster parents are provided notice of this hearing, they are not parties to the child protective action.

In regulation: The family case plan, also referred to as a family service plan, is a written document that serves as the guide for provision of services. The plan, developed with the family, clearly identifies who does what, when, how, and why. The family plan incorporates any special plans made for individual family members. If the family includes an Indian child, then the child's Tribe, Tribal elders, or leaders should be consulted early in the plan development.

Contents of a Case Plan

Citation: Ann. Code § 16-1621

If the child is placed in the legal custody of the department, the case plan shall set forth reasonable efforts that will be made to make it possible for the child to return home. The case plan also shall:

  • Identify the services to be provided to the child, including services to identify and meet any special educational, emotional, physical, or developmental needs the child may have and services to assist the child in adjusting to the placement or to ensure the stability of the placement
  • For youth age 14 and older, identify the services needed to assist the youth in making the transition to successful adulthood
  • Address options for maintaining the child's connection to the community, including individuals with a significant relationship to the child; ensure educational stability, including efforts to keep the child in the same school; a plan for visits; and placing siblings together, if possible
  • Include a goal of reunification and a plan for achieving that goal
  • Include a concurrent permanency goal and a plan for achieving that goal

The reunification plan shall identify all issues that need to be addressed before the child can safely be returned home without department supervision. The plan shall specifically identify the tasks to be completed by the department, each parent, or others to address each issue, including services to be made available by the department to the parents and in which the parents are required to participate, as well as deadlines for completion of each task. The case plan shall state with specificity the role of the department toward each parent. When appropriate, the plan should identify terms for visitation, supervision of visitation, and child support.

The concurrent permanency goal may be one of the following: termination of parental rights and adoption; guardianship; or, for youth age 16 or older only, another planned permanent living arrangement. The concurrent plan shall:

  • Address all options for permanent placement of the child, including consideration of options for in-State and out-of-State placement
  • Address the advantages and disadvantages of each option and include a recommendation as to which option is in the child's best interests
  • Identify the actions necessary to implement the recommended option
  • Set forth a schedule for accomplishing the actions necessary to implement the concurrent permanency goal
  • Address options for maintaining the child's connection to the community, including individuals with a significant relationship to the child, and organizations or community activities with which the child has a significant connection
  • Identify the names of the proposed adoptive parents when known if the permanency goal is termination of parental rights and adoption
  • In the case of a child who has reached age 14, include the services needed to assist the child to make the transition from foster care to successful adulthood
  • For youth with a proposed permanency goal of another permanent planned living arrangement, document efforts made to place the youth in an adoptive placement, a guardianship, or with a fit and willing relative
  • The steps taken by the department to ensure that the youth's foster parents are following the reasonable and prudent parent standard when making decisions about whether the youth can engage in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural and social activities
  • Identify further investigation necessary to identify or assess other options for permanent placement, to identify actions necessary to implement the recommended placement, or to identify options for maintaining the child's significant connections