All adults 18 years and older residing in the Resource Parents’ home is required to complete a Child Protective Services (CPS) clearances and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and State Background checks. Fingerprinting codes and locations will be provided to Resource Parent to have their fingerprints completed.
Resource Parents must not smoke in the presence of the child. Resource Parents may designate a part of their house as a smoking area, provided that the child’s access is restricted. Smoking is also prohibited in a motor vehicle while child(ren) are being transported.
Resource Parents are mandated to review and sign acknowledging an understanding of the discipline policy which prohibits the use of corporal punishment as a form of discipline for the child(ren).
Resource Parents are mandated to review and sign acknowledging that they understand sign Angel’s Law and the policy supporting appropriate blinds in the home.
RABIES SHOT REQUIREMENT
Pets in the home that are eligible for vaccines/immunizations must have their rabies shots; documentation must be submitted to the Department.
Swimming pool at resource homes shall be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition. The pool must meet county zoning, building and health codes or ordinances. An in-ground pool when not in use, must have the pool area completely enclosed by a fence, at least four (4) feet high and the fence gate must be kept locked. Children should not be left unattended when in or around the pool. Resource parents must be CPR certified in the event of an emergency.
All medications must be kept in a lock box and stored where children cannot gain access to them easily. Psychotropic medications for foster children require an approval from the director.
All guns in resource homes must be registered; if guns in the resource home are not registered, they must be removed from the premises. Ammunition and guns must be stored in locked boxes in separate locations in the home.
CHANGES IN RESOURCE PARENTS HOUSEHOLD
Resource Parents must notify the Department within five (5) working days of changes in the resource family household. Changes include: loss of employment/ new employment, child care arrangements, composition of the household, residence, telephone number, health status, or stressful life events, which may affect the placement. Additional notifications may include but are not limited to: criminal charges, investigations or other findings related to any crimes committed by a household member, which may impact the well-being of the foster child or the status the resource home approval.
Prospective Resource Parents are required to complete twenty seven (27) hours of pre-service training prior to homestudy completion. Once the home study is completed and the home has been active for one year, a reconsideration/review will be conducted on the home. Each year Resource Parents are required to complete ten 10 hours of in service training (a total of twenty 20 hours per couple, ten (10) hours per single head of household). The Department announces trainings throughout the year via email, newsletters and online. Resource Parents are allowed to complete four (4) hours training online each year. The online trainings can be obtained at www.fosterparentstest.com/charlescounty.htm. The remaining six (6) hours of training require face to face interaction. Resource parents are expected to complete trainings on Discipline, Behavior Management and Grief and Loss every two years. All the Resource Parents are required to be trained on Reasonable and Prudent Parenting. It is the responsibility of Resource Parents to obtain these trainings before annual reconsiderations/review of the resource home is due. Failure to have the necessary training may result in the closing of your resource home.
REASONS FOR PLACEMENT
Children are placed in foster care because of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and abandonment. A child in the custody of the Department of Social Services is NOT synonymous with a child being legally free. Therefore, a child in foster care will be reunified with their family members, unless it has been explicitly stated that the parental rights have been terminated. Additionally, if a pregnant teen is placed in care, unless otherwise noted, that unborn child is not in the custody of the local Department of Social Services.
NOTIFICATION FOR RESOURCE PARENTS
Resource Parents are contacted for placement pending or soon after a child comes into care. Notification may come through the form of a Child Protective Services Worker (CPS), In Home Services Worker (IH), or a Resource Home Worker contacting approved Resource Parents with a placement. The Case Manager will provide all the information available regarding the child(ren). As additional information is obtained, the Case Manager will relay the information to the Resource Parents. The Case Manager will remain involved in the case for a short time, usually 30-60 days. The child’s case will then be assigned to an Out of Home Worker (OOH), who works with the foster child, foster parents and birth parents. Questions pertaining to the foster child(ren) should be directed to the OOH worker.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A CHILD HAS BEEN PLACED IN YOUR HOME
There will be a SHELTER CARE HEARING the next business day. For example, if the child(ren) are removed from the biological parents on the weekend, the subsequent court day would be that Monday. Resource parent should have adequate leave time in order to take time off to from work to attend this court hearing with the children. During this hearing, the court will decide if the child should remain in foster care or not.
Resource Parents are mandated reporters, if you learn something about the child(ren), e.g. The child(ren) were sexually abused, or injured while in your care, a report to the case worker must be made within 24 hours.
AFTER THE FIRST (1st) COURT HEARING
If the court ordered the child(ren) into the care and custody of Department of Social Services with placement in your care, as Resource Parents, it is mandated the child(ren) must go to the doctor within FIVE days of placement. Sometimes the CPS worker may make the doctor’s appointment but this does not always happen, so be prepared. Resource Parents will be given a Health Passport which contains the health insurance card/dental insurance card for child(ren); a Medi-Alert form; Child’s Health History, a Developmental Status form; 631-E form that must be completed at each doctor’s visit, except for psychological therapy or allergy series; If Resource parents do not receive and sign off stating that they received a health passport or the health passport does not include all documents, then contact the Out of Home Case Manager.
Thirty (30) days (or less) from the SHELTER CARE HEARING there will be an ADJUDICATION HEARING where the court determines the facts of the case. A DISPOSITION HEARING is usually held the same day as the ADJUDICATION HEARING, but can be held within thirty (30) days later. During the DISPOSITION HEARING, the Court determines whether the Child is In Need of Assistance (CINA) and if reasonable efforts were made to prevent placement of the child in the custody of DSS. The Court also determines the child’s placement and services needed for the child and parents.
The local Department of Social Services will hold an “ICEBREAKER meeting”, shortly after the removal of the child(ren). This meeting allows the Case Manager, biological parents, and resource parents to have an opportunity to meet, to discuss visitation plans and a phone call schedule. Resource parents have an opportunity to interact with the birth parent, in an effort to learn about the child’s likes/dislikes, allergies, health concerns, etc.
RESOURCE PARENT PROOF OF IDENTITY
Resource Parents will obtain a general purpose letter from the Case Manager who placed the child their home. This letter will serve as a form of identification. It allows Resource Parents to enroll the child in school and take the child to doctor’s visit. It does not grant Resource Parents’ permission to sign off on ANY major decisions that may affect the child(ren), i.e. surgical procedures, IEP’s, vacation plans, etc. If permission is needed for the child, please contact the OOH worker or confirm with the Case Manager that you are allowed to sign on the parents’ behalf. To complete school enrollment you must provide the following documentation:
• Documentation that you authorized to enroll the child in school
• Photo identification
• Proof that child is in the care of the State
The part of the court document showing legal custody. The court order must also be shown to Student Services at the Board of Education.
A placement letter stating the child is in care
• Proof of residency
A lease, rent receipt, deed or property tax bill A bill such as a gas bill, electric bill, water
bill, cable bill, non-cellular telephone bill
All health care appointments must be kept: Appointments with dentist, primary care physician, specialist, therapists, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc. In the event that the Resource Parents are unable to make the scheduled appointment, endeavor to obtain the earliest appointment available.
APPLYING FOR WOMAN, INFANT AND CHILDREN
Depending on the age of the child (usually under five years of age), the child may qualify for Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Program. Applying for WIC is done through the local Health Department. The child must be present at the first interview. Resource Parents need to show documentation that the child(ren) is placed in their care. Documentation includes Birth certificate, Medical Assistance Card, Identification for the child(ren) and Social Security Card (if given). Additionally, Resource Parents are required to show their Resource Parent ID in the form of the general purpose letter and proof of residency in the form driver’s license, and copy of lease. When the child(ren) moves from one resource home to the next, the existing WIC checks must be returned to the local health department; ask the WIC representative to reissue the existing WIC checks to the current resource parent. Contact Charles County Department of Health at 301-609-6900 to verify documentation needed to apply for WIC.
The monetary stipend is used to cover board and clothing allowance in accordance with Department guidelines for the care of the child. The stipend is used to provide, but is not limited to; the child’s needs such as clothing (including school uniforms), school supplies, food, incidentals, as well as to cover participation in social and recreational activities.
SCHEDULE A: FAMILY FOSTER CARE RATES
|Care Type||Monthly Board||Pier Diem||Monthly Clothing Allowance||Total|
|Infant through Age 11||$832.00||$29.33||$60.00||$892.00|
|Age 12 and older||$832.00||$27.82||$75.00||$907.00|
|Infant through Age 11||$890.00||$31.23||$60.00||$950.00|
|Age 12 and older||$890.00||$31.72||$75.00||$965.00|
|Emergency Foster Home Shelter Care Retainer Fee|
Schedule B: Initial Clothing Maximum Allowances
(Initial one-time only clothing allowances are made on an “as needed” basis not to exceed the maximum in this schedule.)
|Infant through age 11||$60|
|Age 12 and older||$75|
POINTS OF CONTACT FOR CHARLES COUNTY DSS
Points of contact for all questions and concerns specific to the child in the home within the first thirty 30 days are to be directed to the Child Protective Services Worker. After the Adjudicated Hearing, the Out of Home Worker will be the point of contact for questions and concerns specific to the child. If questions and concerns arise and you are unable contact the Out of Home worker, contact the Out of Home Supervisor or Out of Home Administrator. Questions specific to foster parenting role is directed to the Resource Home Worker. If questions and concerns arise and you are unable contact the Resource Home Worker, contact the Resource Home Supervisor or Resource Home Administrator.