Case Planning for Families Involved With Child Welfare Agencies - Kansas

Date: April 2018

When Case Plans Are Required

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 38-2263; Pol. & Proc. Man. § 3200

Whenever a child is subject to the jurisdiction of the court pursuant to the code, an initial permanency plan shall be developed for the child and submitted to the court within 30 days of the initial order of the court.

In policy: The initial case plan is developed within 20 calendar days of the date the services are initiated. The date services are initiated is defined as either the date the family agrees to work with the Department for Children and Families (DCF) (beyond 30 days) or the date of referral to a child welfare case management provider.

A child/family case planning conference shall be completed with the family when:

  • There is an open family services case and the child is not in the custody of DCF.
  • There is an open family preservation case and no child in the family is in DCF custody.
  • A youth, no longer in DCF custody, requests self-sufficiency/independent living services.
  • A child is in DCF custody, regardless of placement setting.

A case plan is required for all cases open for services.

Who May Participate in the Case Planning Process

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 38-2263; Pol. & Proc. Man. §§ 3200; 3207

If the child is in the custody of DCF or DCF is providing services to the child, DCF shall prepare the plan. Otherwise, the plan shall be prepared by the person who has custody or, if directed by the court, by a court services officer.

In policy: Case planning involves the child, mother, father, the family's supports, and community supports. Case plans shall utilize information provided by the mother, father, child, relative/nonrelated kin, and other support persons identified or agreed upon by the family.

The following persons must be invited to participate in all case-planning conferences:

  • Parents or legal guardians
  • The child, if age 7 or older, provided the child has the ability to understand the process
  • The case management provider or social worker

In addition, if a child is in DCF custody, the following persons shall be invited:

  • The DCF staff assigned to the case
  • The guardian ad litem
  • The resource family, including relative and nonrelated kin providers, for a child in out-of-home placement
  • The court-appointed special advocate, if applicable
  • The Tribal representative for children when the Indian Child Welfare Act applies
  • The independent living coordinator for all youth in out-of-home placement starting at age 16, to begin preparation for self-sufficiency services if needed

Other persons who should be invited may include the following:

  • Residential or institutional setting treatment staff, if applicable
  • The prospective custodian or prospective adoptive parents, if applicable
  • Teachers
  • The education advocate assigned to the child
  • The youth's positive adult connection
  • Any other individuals important to the family or the child who can contribute to the case-planning process
  • The case manager of a parent with a disability, if applicable
  • The corrections counselor for an incarcerated parent or parole officer for a paroled parent

Contents of a Case Plan

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 38-2263; Pol. & Proc. Man. §§ 3200; 3230

The permanency plan:

  • Describes the permanency goal that, if achieved, will most likely give the child a permanent and safe living arrangement
  • Describes the child's level of physical health, mental and emotional health, and educational functioning
  • Provides an assessment of the needs of the child and family
  • Describes the services to be provided the child, the child's parents, and the child's foster parents, if appropriate
  • Includes a description of the tasks and responsibilities designed to achieve the plan and to whom assigned
  • Includes measurable objectives and time schedules for achieving the plan

In addition to the requirements above, if the child is in an out-of-home placement, the permanency plan shall include the following:

  • A plan for reintegration of the child's parent or parents, or if reintegration is determined not to be a viable alternative, a statement for the basis of that conclusion and a plan for another permanent living arrangement
  • A description of the available placement alternatives
  • A justification for the placement selected, including a description of the safety and appropriateness of the placement
  • A description of the programs and services that will help the child prepare to live independently as an adult

In policy: The plan contains specific services to be provided to meet the needs of the family. It identifies specific steps to be taken by the family, the social worker, child welfare case management provider, and any other service providers involved. The plan documents this participation for purposes of meeting the child's protection objective of the plan, the goals for the family, and/or young adult working toward self-sufficiency, timeframes to meet goals, criteria for success, and permanency goals.

Case plans shall:

  • Be relevant to the critical issues in the family situation
  • Be realistic in terms of the emotional, physical, and intellectual capabilities of the family members
  • Be written in language that is clear and understandable to the family and youth
  • Address the issues identified in the family-based assessment
  • Specify the steps to be taken to address the identified issues
  • Describe how success shall be determined
  • Specify the timelines and review dates
  • Describe possible outcomes as the case plan is implemented
  • Have the signature of all case plan participants
  • Document the participation of the family in family meetings
  • Include any relevant orders from the court
  • Include actions likely to be taken if conditions of the agreement are not carried out

A case plan shall:

  • Contain timelines for reintegration or other permanency goal, or self-sufficiency, child protection objectives, and measurable tasks needed to be accomplished
  • Include the visiting/interaction plan
  • Document service delivery
  • Document reasonable efforts made to make it possible for a child to safely return home
  • Document if the court has found such efforts not to be a viable alternative