Case Planning for Families Involved With Child Welfare Agencies - Michigan

Date:

When Case Plans Are Required

Citation: Comp. Laws § 712A.18f

Before the court enters an order of disposition, the agency shall prepare a case service plan that shall be available to the court and all the parties to the proceeding.

Who May Participate in the Case Planning Process

Citation: Comp. Laws § 712A.13a; Foster Care Pol. Man. § 722-06

The case service plan shall be developed by an agency and shall include services to be provided by and responsibilities and obligations of the agency, as well as activities, responsibilities, and obligations of the parent.

The case service plan may be referred to using names different from 'case service plan,' including, but not limited to, a parent/agency agreement, a parent/agency treatment plan, or a service agreement.

In policy: Casework service requires the engagement of the family in development of the case service plan. This engagement must include an open conversation between all parents/guardians and the caseworker in:

  • Discussing needs and strengths
  • Establishing the case service plan
  • Reaching an understanding of what is required to meet the goals of the case service plan
  • Discussing concurrent permanency planning

Parental participation in case service plan development is required. Parental engagement is an invaluable tool for achieving an early return home for children in foster care. Parents must be encouraged to actively participate in developing the Parent-Agency Treatment Plan and Service Agreement section of the case service plan.

Contents of a Case Plan

Citation: Comp. Laws § 712A.18f; Foster Care Pol. Man. § 722-06

The case service plan shall provide for placing the child in the most familylike setting available and in as close proximity to the child's parents' home as is consistent with the child's best interests and special needs. The case service plan shall include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • The type of home or institution in which the child is to be placed and the reasons for the selected placement
  • Efforts to be made by the child's parent to enable the child to return to his or her home
  • Efforts to be made by the agency to return the child to his or her home
  • The schedule of services to be provided to the parent, the child, and, if the child is to be placed in foster care, the foster parent to facilitate the child's return to his or her home or to facilitate the child's permanent placement
  • Unless parenting time, even if supervised, would be harmful to the child as determined by the court, a schedule for regular and frequent parenting time between the child and his or her parent, which shall not be less than once every 7 days
  • Efforts to be made by the agency to provide frequent in-person visits or other ongoing interaction between siblings, unless the court determines that sibling visits or contact will not be beneficial to one or more of the siblings
  • Conditions that would limit or preclude placement or parenting time with a parent who is required by court order to register under the sex offenders registration act

In policy: The Parent-Agency Treatment Plan and Service Agreement section of the case service plan must state specifically what the parents will need to do to achieve reunification and what the agency will do in support of parental objectives. The Parent-Agency Treatment Plan and Service Agreement must be:

  • Specific to the individual needs of the family and children
  • Inclusive of the family's viewpoint
  • Written in a manner that is easily understood by all parties

There must be a plan for ensuring that each child who is placed out of his or her own home receives safe and proper care and services. The plan must include documentation of all of the following:

  • The services provided to the parents, child, and foster parent or relative caregivers in order to improve the conditions in the parent's home to facilitate a safe return of the child to his or her own home or the permanent placement of the child
  • The needs of the children while in foster care
  • The services to the children and foster parents or relative caregivers to meet those needs
  • The appropriateness of the services that have been provided to the child
  • A statement that safe and proper care and services must be provided