Notice To Caregiver

Caregivers have the right to be given a minimum of seven-calendar day's written notice for termination of the placement and reasons for the termination of placement. The foster parent has the right to accept a verbal notice instead of a written notice.

Reference Manual of Policies and Procedures CHILD WELFARE SERVICES Division 31-440 FOSTER PARENT(S) NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.

  • The foster parent(s) shall be given at least seven calendar days' advance written notice of intent to remove a child, and of the right to request a grievance review.
  • The exceptions to the seven-day notice will be:
    • The child is in immediate danger.
    • A signed waiver of notice has been obtained from the foster parent(s).
    • A court has ordered the child's removal.
    • Adverse licensing or approval actions have occurred that prohibit the foster parent(s) from continuing to provide services.
    • Removal of a voluntarily placed child is made or requested by the child's parent(s)/guardians.
    • The child is removed from an emergency placement

Unless the child is in immediate danger, he/she shall remain with the foster parent(s), pending decision of the county director, when removal is the basis for a complaint . (Reference31-020)

Grievance Procedures

If you are unable to resolve your issues with the social worker or social worker’s supervisor, file a grievance in writing and request a grievance hearing. Each county shall provide grievance procedures to review complaints from foster parents, legal parents, guardians, and children concerning the placement or removal of a child from a foster home. All issues shall be resolved in the best interest of the child.
Grievance Procedures – Division 31-020 Manual of Policies and Procedures (MPP) Child Welfare Services.

A relative or nonrelative extended family member (NREFM) whose home has been deemed not to meet the approval standards shall be given notice that their home does not meet approval standards and that they have access to the grievance procedures set forth in MPP Section 31-020, provided they appeal the agency's decision in writing within 5 working days of their receipt of the notice.

Notice To Child's Attorney

As soon as a placing agency makes a decision with respect to a placement or a change in placement of a dependent child, but not later than the close of the following business day, the placing agency shall notify the child's attorney and provide to the child's attorney information regarding the child's address, telephone number, and caregiver. (Reference Welfare and Institution Code Section 16010.6)

Separation Of Siblings

Absent exigent circumstances, as soon as a placing agency becomes aware of the need for a change in placement of a dependent child that will result in the separation of siblings currently placed together, the placing agency shall:

  • Notify the child's attorney and the child's siblings' attorney of this proposed separation no less than 10 calendar days prior to the planned change of placement so that the attorneys may investigate the circumstances of the proposed separation.

If the placing agency first becomes aware, by written notification from a foster family agency, group home, or other foster care provider, of the need for a change in placement for a dependent child that will result in the separation of siblings currently placed together, and that the child or children shall be removed within seven days:

  • Notice shall be provided to the attorneys by the end of the next business day after the receipt of notice from the provider.

In an emergency , the placing agency shall provide notice as soon as possible, but no later than the close of the first business day following the change of placement.

Transition

Caregivers should find out at the time of placement if the county has a procedure in place for transitioning foster children from their current placement to any new placement.

  • Develop a transition plan with assistance from the social worker, and
  • Notify the child in advance and discuss the new placement with the child to the extent that he or she is able to understand given age and developmental level.

Although most attachment research finds that moving children too quickly and in a traumatic way can harm the development of the healthy mind, some may argue that children are resilient and will adapt to most situations. Some also say how wonderful it is that the State now has therapy and counseling for children traumatized in such a way. However, most research shows efforts are better spent on a proper transition.

  • Change is seldom easy and can be most difficult for children. The way a person leaves a situation affects the way he or she enters the next. Unfinished business often hinders the ability to start a new situation. In other words, troubles are not left behind; they are exported to a new and different environment.
  • Effects from a sudden trauma such as a move for a child will eventually come out later on in life. This will most likely have a negative impact on her or his childhood and behavior. Many people think that children are resilient and will “get over it” but many do not and most can be spared from having to go through the unpleasant and traumatic experience of loss and grief if guidelines and procedures are put into place and followed.
  • With closure acquired by a proper transition, the child will feel secure in his or her new surroundings which will give him the ability to more successfully make decisions and operate freely and with confidence; unlike the uncertainty of a quick unregulated move that turns his visible world upside down or in most foster children’s cases, invisible.

Contact Us

Office of the Foster Care Ombudsman
Toll-free telephone: 1-877-846-1602
E-mail: fosterfamilyhelp@dss.ca.gov