Case Planning for Families Involved With Child Welfare Agencies - Missouri

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When Case Plans Are Required

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 210.112; Code of State Regs. Tit. 13, § 40-30.010

Contracts for services shall require that a case management plan consistent with all relevant Federal guidelines be developed for each child at the earliest time after the initial investigation but in no event longer than 14 days after the initial investigation or referral for services by the division. The case management plan shall be presented to the court and be the foundation of service delivery to the child and family.

In regulation: Every child in the care and custody of, or receiving social services from, the Division of Family Service of the Department of Social Services shall have a case plan developed for the purpose of preventing removal of the child from the care of the parents, reuniting a child separated from parents, or securing a permanent placement for a child if it is determined the child cannot be reunited with his or her parents.

Every case plan must be developed within 30 days from the date that it has been determined a child should receive protective services or from the date that a judicial determination has been made that the child should be placed in the care and custody of the division. Thereafter, each case plan shall be reviewed and modified, as necessary, every 6 months. The purpose of the review is to determine the extent of compliance with the case plan and determine what changes, if any, should be made.

Who May Participate in the Case Planning Process

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 210.110

A family support team meeting will be convened by the division or children's services provider on behalf of the family and/or child for the purpose of determining service and treatment needs, determining the need for placement, developing a plan for reunification or other permanency options, determining the appropriate placement of the child, evaluating case progress, and establishing and revising the case plan.

Contents of a Case Plan

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 210.112; Code of State Regs. Tit. 13, § 40-30.010

The case management plan shall, at a minimum, include the following:

  • An outcome target based on the child and family situation achieving permanency or independent living, where appropriate
  • Services authorized and necessary to facilitate the outcome target
  • Timeframes in which services will be delivered
  • Necessary evaluations and reporting

In addition to any visits and assessments required under case management, services to be provided by a public or private children's services provider under the specific case management plan may include family-centered services, foster and adoptive parent recruitment and retention, residential care, in-home services, foster care services, adoption services, relative care case services, planned permanent living services, and family reunification services. In all cases, an appropriate level of services shall be provided to the child and family after permanency is achieved to ensure a continued successful outcome.

In regulation: A case plan is a written document that describes social and child welfare services and activities to be provided by the division and other local community agencies for the purpose of achieving a permanent familial relationship for the child. This case plan shall include, at a minimum, the following information:

  • Identifying information about the child and his or her immediate and extended family
  • A description of the factors and conditions, including the psychological needs of the child, that caused the division to determine that protective or alternative care services were needed or a copy of the judicial determinations made regarding the child's placement in the custody of the division
  • A description of what efforts were made to prevent removal from the custody of the parents, to reunify the family, or to achieve a permanent placement for the child
  • A statement of the intended plan for permanency for the child, which shall consist of one of the following:
    • Maintain the child with the parents
    • Reunite child with his or her family if a judicial determination has been made for the child to be removed from the custody of the parents and placed in an alternate care facility
    • Place the child for the purpose of adoption
    • For a child age 16 or older, maintain the child in a long-term separation from his or her parents with an agreed-upon plan with the care provider
  • A description of how the plan is designed to maintain or reunite the child with his or her parent or achieve a permanent substitute placement for the child including the following:
    • A description of the social services to be provided and a description of the services needed to carry out any requirements of a judicial determination proceeding or order with a designation of the responsible parties for the provision of any services
    • A description of the responsibilities of the parents
    • A description of parental behaviors that determine that services are no longer necessary or that alternative care is no longer needed
  • A description of the appropriateness and necessity for placement away from the parents if the court has ordered placement, including at a minimum, the following:
    • The least restrictive characteristics of the alternate care placement facility correlated to the condition and best interests of the child
    • The degree of proximity of the alternate care placement facility to the location of the parents' residence
    • A description of how the needs of the child will be met while in placement
    • A parental visiting schedule, including frequency, location, arrangements, and a method of documentation for actual visits
  • An evaluation of case plan achievement by all parties, including a time period for case plan achievement