Case Planning for Families Involved With Child Welfare Agencies - Maine

Date: April 2018

When Case Plans Are Required

Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4041

When a child is considered to have entered foster care, a plan for reunification and rehabilitation of the family must be developed.

Who May Participate in the Case Planning Process

Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4041

The Department of Health and Human Services shall develop a rehabilitation and reunification plan as provided in this subparagraph. In developing the rehabilitation and reunification plan, the department shall make good-faith efforts to seek the participation of the parent.

Contents of a Case Plan

Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4041

Information that must be included in developing the plan includes the problems that present a risk of harm to the child, the services needed to address those problems, provisions to ensure the safety of the child while the parent engages in services, a means to measure the extent to which progress has been made, and visits that protects the child's physical and emotional well-being.

The rehabilitation and reunification plan must include the following:

  • The reasons for the removal of the child from the home
  • The changes that are necessary to eliminate jeopardy to the child while in the care of a parent
  • Rehabilitation services that will be provided and must be completed satisfactorily prior to the child's returning home
  • Services that must be provided or made available to assist the parent in rehabilitating and reuniting with the child, as appropriate to the child and family, including, but not limited to, reasonable transportation for the parent for visits and services, child care, housing assistance, assistance with transportation to and from required services, and other services that support reunification
  • A schedule of and conditions for visits between the child and the parent designed to provide the parent and child time together in settings that provide a parent-child interaction as positive as can practicably be achieved while ensuring the emotional and physical well-being of the child when visits are not detrimental to the child's best interests
  • Any use of kinship support, including, but not limited to, placement, supervision of visits, in-home support, or respite care
  • A reasonable time schedule for proposed reunification, reasonably calculated to meet the child's needs
  • A statement of the financial responsibilities of the parent and the department during the reunification process