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Library: Policy

340:75-1-26. Child Welfare Services records

Revised 7-1-13

     Pursuant to Section 1-6-108 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes, Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) records regarding deprived children are maintained by OKDHS, until otherwise provided by law.    1   A case record is established when:

  • (1) the client or client's representative requests service;

  • (2) service is requested on the client's behalf and the requested service is available through the Child Welfare Services program; or

  • (3) a report of child abuse or neglect is assessed or investigated.


Revised 8-15-17

1.(a) Recording delivery of child welfare (CW) services.Delivery of CW services is recorded by:

(1) entry into the KIDS system;

(2) storing documents and digital images in the KIDS File Cabinet; and

(3) maintaining a paper case file of all related case documents and information.

(b) Purpose of CW case record.The CW specialist uses the CW case record to document demographic information, decisions, and actions made with or on behalf of the child and family served by CW.All notes and phone messages are maintained in the paper case record and are not destroyed.The case record is:

(1) a tool that assists the CW specialist develop a clear understanding of the client's situation and a basis for planning client services;

(2) evidence the client has been offered, requested, or needed services and is receiving services through staff delivery, purchase of services, or referral;

(3) documentation of the services' goals;

(4) documentation that Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) responsibilities are fulfilled;

(5) evidence that the client's eligibility was satisfactorily determined or re-determined;

(6) a reference used by the CW specialist to review DHS CW client history, as needed;

(7) an aid in the supervision and evaluation of the CW specialist's work performance; and

(8) a source for social and economic studies and surveys performed by DHS to identify program planning needs.

(c) Title IV-E documents scanned into the KIDS File Cabinet.Documents necessary to maximize Title IV-E funding are scanned into the KIDS File Cabinet within 15-business days following the hearing, signing, or receipt of the document and include:

(1) each court order regardless of type or findings.The orders scanned into the KIDS File Cabinet mirror the documents in the court file located at the court clerk's office or are copies of orders obtained from the court clerk's office.

(A) Each court order is stored in the Court tab of the File Cabinet.

(B) Each court order is given the document type "Court Orders."

(C) The file name that includes the hearing date is chosen by the CW specialist.

(D) The description is the hearing type, such as adjudication, disposition, or permanency and the hearing date;

(2) the voluntary placement agreement (VPA).

(A) The VPA is stored in the Client tab.

(B) The VPA is given the document type "User Generated Form."

(C) The file name is chosen by the CW specialist.

(D) The description is "Voluntary Placement Agreement – Client Name;" and

(3) the birth certificate.

(A) The birth certificate is stored in the General tab.

(B) The birth certificate is given the document type "Birth Verification."

(C) The file name is chosen by the CW specialist.

(D) The description is "Client Name."

(d) Paper case record.The majority of direct service CW case information is entered into the KIDS system.A paper case record is established to maintain case-related documents that are not found or stored in KIDS, are not generated by CW, or require signatures and dates when submitted to another entity such as the court or client.

(e) Case record security.Paper case records are filed in locked file cabinets, according to the active or closed case status.

(1) Case records are stored in locked file cabinets in the district office, until the requirements for storage are met per subsection (h) of this Instruction.

(2) Special circumstances require additional security such as case restriction.A CW case is restricted in KIDS when:

(A) a DHS employee or employee's relative is involved in a case;

(B) the case is highly publicized; or

(C) the case involves a public figure.

(3) The CW supervisor determines when a case is restricted.Most CW cases do not require restriction.When the CW supervisor deems a case needs restricting, the following steps occur:

(A) the CW supervisor clearly documents in the comments box under the restrict log of the KIDS case the reason the case requires restriction.When this case involves a DHS employee or employee's relative, the CW supervisor includes the name and position of the current DHS employee;

(B) the district director maintains restricted paper case records in a secure file separate from the district's case record files; and

(C) the CW supervisor reviews the need for continued use of case restriction every two years, whenever there is a change in the CW supervisor overseeing the case, and prior to case closure.When a restricted case involves a DHS employee that is no longer employed by DHS, the CW supervisor can remove the restriction.

(f) Transfer of electronic and paper case records.

(1) Timeliness.Timely case transfer is necessary to ensure continuity of services to the child and family.Services to the child and family are not delayed because the paper case record is not received, is missing information in the KIDS case, or any other issue.CW supervisors discuss areas of concern, coordinate, and communicate with each other to resolve issues to avoid delay of services.

(A) Prior to case transfer in KIDS, the receiving district is notified of the transfer by phone or email and provided information about the family.

(B) When the initial transfer notice is provided by email, the initiating district CW specialist contacts the receiving district CW specialist by phone to discuss current case circumstances no later than five-business days after the transfer.

(2) Primary case transfer.The primary CW supervisor transfers primary case responsibility in KIDS no later than five-business days after:

(A) the county of jurisdiction changes;

(B) a youth attains the age of majority, is in voluntary placement in a district other than the county of jurisdiction, and no other child is provided services in the case; or

(C) a family receives family-centered services or Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) case services from another state and the family moves.

(3) Transfer of primary or secondary paper case record.The corresponding CW paper case record is sent within 10-business days of the change in case status to the other district.

(4) Case content.Cases scheduled for transfer are updated with current information including, but not limited to:

(A) the child's custody status and any upcoming hearing dates;

(B) client information, such as address, phone number, employment, and placement;

(C) data regarding visits with parents, relatives, siblings, and other family members;

(D) scheduled or canceled visits;

(E) recent contacts with clients and collaterals; and

(F) services scheduled, offered, or provided to the child, family member, and caregiver with type of service, date of service, and service provider's name.

(5) Completion of services in secondary district.When services are completed or are no longer needed in the secondary district, the CW supervisor of the:

(A) secondary case:

(i) returns the secondary district paper case record to the primary district within 10-business days; and

(ii) end dates the secondary assignment in KIDS.

(B) primary case, upon receipt of the secondary paper case record:

(i) reviews the secondary paper case record for records that are not filed in the primary case record;

(ii) files these records in the primary case record; and

(iii) prepares the duplicate case record for security destruction per DHS:2-21-55 and 2-21-57.

(6) Closed case transfer.The district requesting a closed CW paper case record stored in another district office requests the case transfer.The corresponding CW paper case record is sent to the requesting district no later than two-business days following the request.

(g) Documentation of race and Hispanic or Latino origin.

(1) The Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) is a federal data collection effort that provides child-specific information regarding children covered by Title IV-B and Title IV-E of the Social Security Act.The collection of uniform data on race and Hispanic or Latino origin is an important piece of AFCARS documentation in the case record.

(2) Race and ethnicity information is based on a client's perception of himself or herself, or in the case of young children, how the person responsible for the child identifies the child.The CW specialist asks each adult and child, when age appropriate, to identify all applicable racial categories to which the adult or child belongs.Additionally, the CW specialist asks if the adult or child is of Hispanic or Latino origin.U.S. Census Bureau standards indicate the child of Hispanic origin may be of any race.Self-identification or self-reporting is the preferred method of gathering information on race and Hispanic or Latino origin.

(A) American Indian or Alaskan native persons have origins in any of the original peoples of North or South America, including Central America, and maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment.

(B) Asian persons have origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.

(C) Black or African American persons have origins in any of the original peoples of Africa.

(D) Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander persons have origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

(E) White persons have origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

(F) Unable to determine is a valid choice for race or Hispanic or Latino origin when the:

(i) child is very young or the child or adult is severely disabled and there is no person available to identify the child or adult's race or Hispanic or Latino origin;

(ii) adult or, when age appropriate, the child refuses to identify his or her race or Hispanic or Latino origin; or

(iii) parent, relative, or guardian refuses to identify the child's race or Hispanic or Latino origin.

(h) Document and photograph storage.WORD documents and digital images are stored in the KIDS File Cabinet.

(1) Saving documents to KIDS.Refer to the File Cabinet How To found in KIDS/Help/How To's for instructions on saving documents.

(2) Storing digital images and photographs.The CW specialist stores all photographs as taken.Due to legal issues, no enhancements, such as color, brightness and contrast, or editing of photographs are permitted.Refer to Storing Photographs and Images How To, found in KIDS/Help/How To's for instructions on using a digital camera and saving digital images and photographs.

(i) Case closure.

(1) Services to clients may terminate contrary to the CW specialist's recommendation by client decision, by court order, or per the individualized service plan.When the CW specialist determines other services are needed, the CW specialist makes diligent efforts to refer the client to another agency or resource and documents the concerns and efforts.

(2) A CW case is closed in KIDS when there are no outstanding ticklers or actions associated with the case, each client in the case has a DHS client number, and there are no open lines of service.The CW specialist enters the date and reason for closing the case and a closing summary describing the services provided to the child and family.Reasons for closing the CW case include, but are not limited to:

(A) mutually agreed-upon goals are completed;

(B) the protective capacities of the person responsible for the child are adequate and the child is safe;

(C) services needed are outside CW's scope; or

(D) the court case is dismissed or closed.

(j) Paper case record storage and retrieval.

(1) Closed paper case records are stored locally in locked file cabinets until:

(A) the youngest child in the case reaches 18 years of age and no longer receives services;

(B) there has been no case activity for a minimum of two years; or

(C) a decision is made to send the case to DHS Records Management Section for central storage.

(2) When a case meets requirements for storage, the file is sent for storage or retrieval per instructions on the DHS Support Services records website located under Support Services/Departmental Services/Records Management/Records Storage.Prior to sending the file for storage, the CW specialist and CW supervisor:

(A) reduce the paper file to include only those items not located in the electronic file cabinet in KIDS; and

(B) when the case was restricted at the time of case closure, determine if the case needs to remain restricted after closure.

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