Case Planning for Families Involved With Child Welfare Agencies - Louisiana

Date: April 2018

When Case Plans Are Required

Citation: Children's Code Art. 673; Admin. Code Tit. 67, § 3701

A case plan shall be developed within 60 days after a child enters the custody of a child care agency.

In regulation: Effective April, 1991, a case permanency plan shall be filed with the court when a child enters into custody of the Department of Social Services or into foster care, pursuant to or pending a child in need of care proceeding. The case permanency plan shall be filed no later than 60 days after the child comes into care.

Who May Participate in the Case Planning Process

Citation: Children's Code Art. 673; 676

The custodian shall develop a case plan detailing the custodian's efforts toward achieving a permanent placement for the child. The health and safety of the child shall be the paramount concern in the development of the case plan.

Any party may file a written response to the case plan as submitted.

Contents of a Case Plan

Citation: Children's Code Art. 675

The case plan shall be designed to achieve placement in the least restrictive, most familylike, and most appropriate setting available and in close proximity to the parents' homes, consistent with the best interests and special needs of the child. The health and safety of the child shall be the paramount concern in the development of the case plan.

The case plan shall include at least the following:

  • A description of the type of home or institution in which the child is placed, including a discussion of the child's health and safety, the appropriateness of the placement, and the reasons why the placement, if a substantial distance from the home of the parents or in a different State, is in the best interests of the child
  • A plan for ensuring that the child receives safe and proper care and that services are provided to the parents, child, and foster parents in order to improve the conditions in the parents' home, facilitate the safe return of the child to his own home or other permanent placement of the child, or both, and address the needs of the child while in foster care, including a plan for visits
  • A discussion of the appropriateness of the services that have been provided to the child
  • A plan for ensuring that the child is afforded the greatest opportunity for normalcy through engagement in age- or developmentally appropriate activities on a regular basis by allowing the child's caregiver to make the day-to-day decisions affecting the child€„¢s activities through the use of the reasonable and prudent parent standard
  • If the child has been committed to the custody of a person other than the parents, a recommendation as to an amount the parents are obligated to contribute for the cost of care and treatment of their child
  • For a child age 14 or older, a written, individualized, and thorough transitional plan, developed in collaboration with the child and any agency, department, or individual assuming his or her custody, care, or responsibility, including the following:
    • Identifying the programs and services that will be used to assist the child in achieving a successful transition, including but not limited to education, health, permanent connections, living arrangements, and, if appropriate, independent living skills and employment
    • Ensuring that all records in department files relevant to securing needed services for the child are immediately transmitted to the appropriate service provider
  • Documentation of the efforts the agency is making to safely return the child home or to finalize the child's placement in an alternative safe and permanent home in accordance with the child's permanent plan
  • Assessment of the child's relationships with his or her parents, grandparents, and siblings, including a plan for ensuring that continuing contact with any relative by blood, adoption, or affinity with whom the child has an established and significant relationship is preserved while the child is in foster care
  • Documentation of the compelling reasons for determining that filing a petition for termination of parental rights would not be in the best interests of the child, when appropriate