Case Planning for Families Involved With Child Welfare Agencies - Ohio

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When Case Plans Are Required

Citation: Rev. Code § 2151.412

Each public children services agency and private child-placing agency shall prepare and maintain a case plan for any child to whom the agency is providing services and to whom any of the following applies:

  • The agency filed a complaint alleging that the child is an abused, neglected, or dependent child.
  • The agency has temporary or permanent custody of the child.
  • The child is living at home subject to an order for protective supervision.
  • The child is in a planned permanent living arrangement.

Each public children services agency shall prepare and maintain a case plan or a family service plan for any child for whom the agency is providing in-home services pursuant to an alternative response.

The case plan must be filed with the court prior to the child's adjudicatory hearing but no later than 30 days after the earlier of the dates on which the complaint in the case was filed or the child was first placed into shelter care.

All parts of the case plan shall be completed by the earlier of 30 days after the adjudicatory hearing or the date of the dispositional hearing for the child.

Who May Participate in the Case Planning Process

Citation: Rev. Code § 2151.412

Any agency that is required to prepare a case plan shall attempt to obtain an agreement among all parties, including, but not limited to, the parents, guardian, or custodian of the child, and the guardian ad litem of the child regarding the content of the case plan.

Contents of a Case Plan

Citation: Admin. Code § 5101:2-38-06

The case plan shall include, but not be limited to, the following elements:

  • The parties involved in the case plan and their individual responsibilities
  • A statement of goals and objectives to be achieved and conditions in the home that must be improved to ensure the child will be safe and will receive proper care
  • Anticipated timeframes for attainment of goals and objectives
  • Identification of services requested by or provided to the child or the child's parent to achieve the goals
  • The appropriateness of supportive services offered or provided to prevent removal of the child from the child's parent
  • Specification of case management, casework services, and/or, if appropriate, therapeutic counseling

For each child placed in a substitute care setting, the case plan also shall include, but not be limited to, the following elements:

  • The type of substitute care placement
  • The appropriateness and safety of the placement
  • The reasonable efforts made or will be made to make it possible for the child to return to the child's home or identify that reasonable efforts are not required
  • The steps to be taken to ensure services are provided to the child and the child's parent to do one of the following:
    • Facilitate the reunification of the child with the child's parent
    • Locate a safe, planned permanent living arrangement for the child
  • The steps to be taken to assure services are provided to the child and substitute caregiver to address the needs of the child while the child is in the substitute care placement
  • A schedule for regular and frequent visits, including an explanation of the reason for any restrictions on location of visits or the need for supervision of visits, between the child and the child's parent for children in temporary custody
  • The reason why parental rights shall not be terminated pursuant to the requirements contained in rule 5101:2-42-95
  • For a child age 16 or older, programs and services to assist the child to prepare for transition to independent living and emancipation, if appropriate

If the case plan goal is adoption or another planned permanent living arrangement, the case plan shall include the steps the agency is taking to do one of the following:

  • Place the child with an adult relative expressing an interest in adopting the child and meeting all relevant State child protection standards, a guardian, or an adoptive family
  • Find an adoptive family for the child through child-specific recruitment efforts
  • Identify a planned permanent living arrangement for the child
  • Finalize the adoption or guardianship

When a child is placed in substitute care, the case plan shall indicate that the substitute care setting is:

  • Safe and consistent with the best interests and special needs of the child
  • The least-restrictive, most familylike setting available
  • In close proximity to the home from which the child was removed or the home in which the child will be permanently placed
  • In close proximity to the school in which the child was enrolled prior to the placement
  • Designed to enhance reunification, if appropriate

The agency shall document in the case record the reason why certain elements were not contained in the case plan document due to the permanent custody status of a child.