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Library: Policy

340:75-19-32. Agreement for foster care

Revised 9-15-22

(a) The Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Section 40.7 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes authorizes Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) to enter into contractual agreements with Indian tribes for the care and custody of Indian children and jurisdiction over child custody proceedings which provide for orderly transfer of jurisdiction on a case-by-case basis and provide for concurrent jurisdiction.  The objective of the agreements is to enhance coordination and cooperation between the tribes and OKDHS in providing appropriate foster care and related services to Indian children in both OKDHS and tribal custody.

(b) OKDHS pays the costs of foster care to tribally approved foster homes for the placement of Indian children in OKDHS or tribal custody.  •  1

(c) Tribes develop and implement tribal foster home standards according to each tribe's culture and standards.  The tribe's foster home standards are submitted in writing to OKDHS tribal program staff and the tribe uses these standards to certify tribal foster homes.  Tribal-certified foster families may serve as placement resources for the Indian child in OKDHS or tribal custody.  •  2

(d) The foster care maintenance payment to the tribal-certified foster home is initiated only after the tribe submits the tribal-certified foster resource home study.  Maintenance payments are not provided to any tribal foster home prior to the tribe's approval date and OKDHS' receipt of all required documentation including all required background checks.  The tribe mails or faxes each completed tribal-certified foster resource home study and re-assessment to Child Welfare Services (CWS) tribal IV-E program staff.  The Indian child welfare (ICW) worker sends documentation of the effective date and reason for closure of tribal foster homes to CWS tribal IV-E program staff.

(e) Confidentiality is addressed in each contractual agreement for foster care.  The tribe agrees to exercise confidentiality and provide information only to those persons who need the information in order to exercise the tribes' rights under the federal and state ICWA.  •  3

(f) Federal and Oklahoma laws and regulations regarding review hearings, permanency hearings, case plans, and recordkeeping are applicable to the Indian child placed in tribal custody and a tribal foster home.

(g) Each contractual agreement for foster care includes OKDHS responsibilities for placement of the Indian child in tribal custody.

(h) The tribe agrees to abide by the placement preferences of the federal and state ICWA unless the tribe establishes a different order of preference by resolution.  The tribe submits any changes in the tribe's placement preference order, in writing, within 10-calendar days, to OKDHS tribal program staff.

(i) The Plan of Operation is a binding part of each contractual agreement for foster care and sets forth tribal foster home procedures and protocols for the placement and services of the Indian child in tribal custody.  •  1   

Revised 9-15-22

1. Agreements for foster care.

(1) Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) tribal program staff:

(A) conducts an annual, or as needed, monitoring visit to each tribe to ensure the contractual agreement requirements are satisfied;

(B) provides written documentation of the findings to the tribe and tribal officials; and

(C) develops agreements for individual tribes.

(2) Tribal inquiries regarding contractual agreement for foster care are referred to OKDHS tribal program staff.

(3) OKDHS tribal program staff serves as the contact for resolving any questions or conflicts involving the provisions of the contracts, or in consultation with OKDHS Legal Services.  The tribe designates one or more persons responsible for resolving questions and conflicts.

2. KIDS resource.  Tribal IV-E program staff or the designee:

(1) opens a tribal-certified foster home resource in KIDS and assigns the foster home contract number on the OKDHS Finance system.  Tribal IV-E program staff is listed on the tribal-certified foster home case; and

(2) end dates closed tribal-certified foster homes.

3. Confidentiality.  Both OKDHS and the tribe are bound by confidentiality.  Information sharing by OKDHS and the tribe follows federal and state laws, and Oklahoma Administrative Code 340:75-1-42 through 340:75-1-44.

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