Case Planning for Families Involved With Child Welfare Agencies - Oregon

Date: April 2018

When Case Plans Are Required

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 417.368; Admin. Rules § 413-040-0010

The Department of Human Services shall consider the use of a family decision-making meeting in each case in which a child is placed in substitute care for more than 30 days. When the department determines that the use of a family decision-making meeting is appropriate, the meeting shall be held, whenever possible, before the child has been in substitute care for 60 days. If the department elects not to conduct a family decision-making meeting, the reasons for that decision shall be clearly documented in the written service plan of the child developed by the department.

In regulation: The caseworker must develop the case plan within 60 days of a child's removal from home or within 60 days of the completion of the Child Protective Services (CPS) assessment, in cases where the child remains in the home of a parent or legal guardian.

Who May Participate in the Case Planning Process

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 417.371; Admin. Rules § 413-040-0010

If the department determines that the use of a family decision-making meeting is appropriate, the department shall conduct and document reasonable inquiries to promptly locate and notify the parents, grandparents, and any other family member who has had significant, direct contact with the child in the year prior to the substitute care placement.

All family members notified by the department may attend the meeting unless the department determines that the safety of any attendee will be compromised by the attendance of any family member.

The term 'family member' includes any person related to the child by blood, marriage, or adoption, including, but not limited to, parents, grandparents, stepparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins, or great-grandparents. 'Family member' also includes a child age 12 or older or a child younger than age 12, when appropriate.

In regulation: The persons involved with the department in the development of the case plan include the parents or guardians, unless their participation threatens or places other participants at risk. In addition, the planning team shall include the child who has reached age 14 and, at the option of the child, up to two members chosen by the child who are not the child's foster parent or caseworker or an individual the department has good cause to believe would not act in the best interests of the child. One of these individuals may be designated to be the advisor of the child and, as needed, advocate for the child with respect to the application of the reasonable and prudent parent standard to the child.

Additional persons involved with the department in the development of the case plan may include the child, regardless of age; adoptive parents; an Indian custodian, when applicable; other relatives, persons with significant attachments to the child, the substitute caregiver, and other professionals, when appropriate.

Contents of a Case Plan

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 417.375; Admin. Rules § 413-040-0010

If the department conducts a family decision-making meeting, the meeting shall result in the development of a written family plan that may include a primary permanent plan, concurrent permanent plan, placement recommendations, and service recommendations. The family plan or service agreement also shall include the following:

  • The expectations of the parents of the child and other family members
  • Services the department will provide
  • Timelines for implementation of the plan
  • The benefits of compliance with the plan
  • The consequences of noncompliance with the plan
  • A schedule of subsequent meetings, if appropriate

The department shall incorporate the family plan developed at the family decision-making meeting into the department's service plan for the child to the extent that the family plan protects the child, builds on family strengths, and is focused on achieving permanency for the child within a reasonable time.

In regulation: The case plan must include all of the following information:

  • Family composition
  • Safety threats identified in the CPS assessment
  • The ongoing safety plan
  • The findings of the protective capacity assessment
  • Expected outcomes and actions that each parent is taking to achieve the expected outcomes
  • Services to the child that include the following:
    • The identified needs and services provided to any child placed in substitute care and the reasons the substitute care placement is the least restrictive placement to meet the child's needs
    • The child's health information
    • The child's education services, education history, high school credits earned by a child older than age 14, and any special educational needs
    • Services to transition the child to successful adulthood in all cases when the child is age 14 or older
  • Services the department will provide, including the following:
    • Case oversight and routine contact with the parents and the child
    • Appropriate and timely referrals to services and service providers suitable to address identified safety threats or strengthen parental protective capacity
    • Appropriate and timely referrals to services and service providers suitable to address the needs of the child
    • Timely preparation of reports to the court or other service providers
    • The date that the progress of the parents in achieving expected outcomes will be reviewed

When the child is in substitute care, the case plan must also include the following:

  • Current placement information, including the following:
    • The location of the child and the substitute caregiver, except when doing so would jeopardize the safety of the child or substitute caregiver
    • Documentation that the child is receiving safe and appropriate care in the least restrictive environment able to provide safety and well-being for the child
  • The child's record of visits with his or her parents and siblings
  • The permanency plan
  • The conditions for return
  • The concurrent permanent plan and the progress the department has made in implementing the concurrent permanent plan

As applicable, the caseworker also must include the following in the case plan:

  • The goals and activities required for an Indian child under the Indian Child Welfare Act or for a refugee child under the Refugee Act
  • Recommendations of expert evaluations department whenever the recommendations may impact parental protective capacities or treatment services for the child
  • Diligent efforts to place the child with relatives and with siblings who are also in substitute care, maintain sibling connections, and keep siblings together
  • Orders of the court

The case plan for any child who has reached age14 must include a document that describes the rights of the child with respect to education, health, visitation, and court participation and the right to stay safe and avoid exploitation.