Case Planning for Families Involved With Child Welfare Agencies - Minnesota

Date: April 2018

When Case Plans Are Required

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 260C.212

An out-of-home placement plan shall be prepared within 30 days after any child is placed in foster care by court order or a voluntary placement agreement between the responsible social services agency and the child's parent.

Who May Participate in the Case Planning Process

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 260C.212

An out-of-home placement plan is a written document that is prepared by the responsible social services agency jointly with the parent(s) or guardian of the child and in consultation with the child's guardian ad litem, the child's Tribe if the child is an Indian child, the child's foster parent, or representative of the foster care facility, and, where appropriate, the child. When a child is age 14 or older, the child may include two other individuals on the team preparing the child's out-of-home placement plan. The child may select one member of the case-planning team to be designated as the child€„¢s advisor and to advocate with respect to the application of the reasonable and prudent parenting standards. The responsible social services agency may reject an individual selected by the child if the agency has good cause to believe that the individual would not act in the best interests of the child.

For a child in voluntary foster care for treatment under chapter 260D, preparation of the out-of-home placement plan shall additionally include the child's mental health treatment provider. For a child age 18 or older, the responsible social services agency shall involve the child and the child's parents, as appropriate.

Contents of a Case Plan

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 260C.212

The plan shall include the following:

  • A description of the foster care home or facility, including how the out-of-home placement plan is designed to achieve a safe placement for the child in the least restrictive, most familylike setting available, and is in close proximity to the home of the parent when the case plan goal is reunification
  • The specific reasons for the placement of the child in foster care
  • When reunification is the plan, the changes the parents must make for the child to safely return home
  • A description of the services offered and provided to prevent removal of the child from the home and to reunify the family
  • A description of any services or resources that were requested by the child or the child's parent or foster parent since the child's placement in the residential facility and whether those services or resources were provided
  • The plan for visits with the parents, other relatives, and siblings of the child if the siblings are not placed together in foster care
  • When a child cannot return to the care of either parent, documentation of steps to finalize adoption as the permanency plan for the child through reasonable efforts to place the child for adoption
  • When a child cannot return to the care of either parent, documentation of steps to finalize the transfer of permanent legal and physical custody to a relative as the permanency plan for the child
  • Efforts to ensure the child's educational stability while in foster care, including the following:
    • Efforts to ensure that the child remains in the same school in which the child was enrolled prior to placement
    • If it is not in the child's best interest to remain in the same school, efforts to ensure immediate and appropriate enrollment in a new school
  • The educational records of the child
  • The efforts by the agency to ensure the oversight and continuity of health-care services for the foster child
  • The health records of the child
  • An independent living plan for a child age 14 or older, including, but not be limited to, the following objectives:
    • Educational, vocational, or employment planning
    • Health-care planning and medical coverage
    • Transportation, including, where appropriate, assisting the child in obtaining a driver's license
    • Money management, including the responsibility of the agency to ensure that the child annually receives, at no cost to the child, a consumer report and assistance in interpreting and resolving any inaccuracies in the report
    • Planning for housing
    • Social and recreational skills
    • Establishing and maintaining connections with the child's family and community
    • Regular opportunities to engage in age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate activities typical for the child's age group, taking into consideration the capacities of the individual child
  • For a child in voluntary foster care for treatment under chapter 260D, diagnostic and assessment information, specific services relating to meeting the mental health care needs of the child, and treatment outcomes
  • For a child age 14 or older, a signed acknowledgment that describes the child's rights regarding education, health care, visitation, safety and protection from exploitation, and court participation; receipt of the documents identified in § 260C.452; and receipt of an annual credit report