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Library: Policy

340:75-7-37.1. Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) resource specialist responsibilities

  4 through 6

Revised 9-17-18

The resource specialist, per Section 1-9-114 of Title 10Aof the Oklahoma Statutes (10A O.S. § 1-9-114) engages in timely activities designed to recruit, assess, approve, support, re-assess, and retain resource families by working cooperatively with internal and external sources to provide a safe environment while the child in DHS custody is placed in a resource home. The resource specialist's primary responsibility is to locate through diligent efforts safe, appropriate, and preferably kinship, placements for the child in DHS custody, per 10A O.S. § 1-4-204 and, Oklahoma Administrative Code 340:75-6-85, and to coordinate and cooperate with other child welfare specialists to meet the goals for safe and informed resource homes that reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of children for whom resource homes are needed, per 10A O.S. § 1-9-114. 1 through 3



Revised 9-15-20

1.(a) Resource home recruitment.

(1) The resource specialist engages in activities designed to recruit resource families that reflect the diversity, including the racial and ethnic backgrounds of the children in out-of-home care, and who are willing to parent the child with special needs.

(2) Per Section 1-4-204 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statues, diligent efforts are made to place the child in Oklahoma Human Services(OKDHS) custody with relatives and persons who have a kinship relationship with the child.

(3) Kinship or traditional resource inquiries are documented by the resource specialist in KIDS as a Pre-Resource.The resource specialist discusses the:

(A) basic responsibilities and requirements expected of a resource parent;

(B) distinctive needs children have, who require out-of-home placement;

(C) process required for approval as a resource parent; and

(D) potential applicant's questions or concerns.

(b) Resource home assessment process.The resource specialist ensures a safe environment, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-7-15 and OAC 340:75-7-18 for the child by:

(1) completing the initial consultation with the family in the family's home;

(2) evaluating the potential resource home to assess the location, condition, and ability to accommodate children in OKDHS custody using Form 04AF004E, House Assessment;

(3) evaluating each potential resource applicant's and adult household member's child welfare (CW) and criminal histories;

(4) enrolling the potential resource applicant in required pre-service training;

(5) completing and submitting Form 04AF009E, Referral for Resource Family Assessment, to the resource family assessment (RFA) contractor within five-business days of receipt of the completed application with:

(A) Form 04AF004E completed at the initial home visit by the resource specialist;

(B) Form 04AF001E, Resource Family Application;

(C) Form 04AF007E, Records Check Documentation;

(D) Form 04AD003E, Request for Background Check, for each applicant and adult household member;

(E) Form 04AF043E, Resource Family Application Other Adults in the Home, when applicable; and

(F) other forms or documents the applicant provides to the resource specialist;

(6) reviewing and assessing information received regarding the applicant during pre-service training;

(7) ensuring the applicant timely completes the pre-service training; and

(8) determining the outcome of the RFA by:

(A) confirming with the applicant, in writing, all decisions made regarding the assessment and application process;

(B) providing the applicant with the reasons the assessment was denied, when applicable; and

(C) providing the applicant with a copy of the RFA without the reference and protected information sections when the assessment is approved.

(c) Referral of the resource parent for temporary benefits pending foster care maintenance payment.The resource specialist:

(1) refers relative kinship providers to the local OKDHS office to apply for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits pending completion of the assessment process;

(2) coordinates with the local OKDHS office to determine when TANF benefits end and foster care maintenance payments begin;

(3) following the applicant's final approval, timely responds to foster care maintenance payment issues; and

(4) assists the resource parent in completing Form 10AD006E, Travel Claim, for mileage, per OAC 340:75-7-65, when applicable.

(d) Resource parent retention.The resource specialist is the key person providing necessary information to the resource parent and engages in activities to support the resource parent's role and assists him or her navigate the CW system.The resource specialist commits to respond to the resource parent's questions and inquiries within one-business day.

(e) Monthly contact with resource families.The resource specialist:

(1) provides ongoing support and addresses concerns or issues the resource family may have;

(2) is required to have monthly verbal contact with the resource family.

(A) Before each monthly contact, the resource specialist prepares by reviewing the previous month's Form 04AF041E, Guide for Monthly Resource Home Contact.

(B) Monthly verbal contact is made by phone, unless:

(i) an in-home visit is required as part of an overfill support plan;

(ii) an in-home visit is required due to an on-going written plan of compliance (WPC); or

(iii) it is time for the quarterly in-home visit.

(C) All monthly contacts are documented on Form 04AF041E, and scanned into the KIDS Resource File Cabinet.A summary is documented as monthly contact in KIDS Resource Contacts; and

(3) is required to have one contact each quarter in the resource home.

(f) Resource family annual updates or reassessments.The resource specialist within 30-calendar days of the due date, completes the annual update or reassessment, per OAC 340:75-7-94, by:

(1) addressing concerns not previously addressed with the resource family;

(2) providing the resource parent with materials to obtain the required 12 hours of in-service training; and

(3) documenting all completed resource parent training.

2. Team member.The resource specialist:

(1) treats the resource family with respect;

(2) assists the resource family with issues and concerns regarding the child placed in the home;

(3) collaborates as a professional team member with permanency planning services, child protective services, adoption services, and the resource family to ensure the child's safety, welfare, and permanency; and

(4) assists with gathering information regarding the child including, but not limited to, medical, educational, behaviors, tribal affiliations, visitation plans, and important connections to help the resource family care for the child safely and appropriately.

3. Placement considerations for the child in OKDHS custody.Per OAC 340:75-6-85, the resource specialist:

(1) considers the child's physical and emotional health and safety when identifying placements, including potential kinship providers; and

(2) collaborates with the resource family to place siblings together.

 4.(a) Investigations and policy violations.The resource specialist works with the resource family to address identified issues, concerns, and/or policy violations through a WPC, per OAC 340:75-7-94, to ensure the placement is safe and stable for children.

(b) 10-day investigation staffing.

(1) Per OAC 340:75-3-410, the 10-day staffing is a process designed to utilize the perspective of each specialist involved with the child in OKDHS custody and the foster or trial adoptive family to make informed decisions concerning:

(A) dynamics in the home;

(B) maltreatment in the home;

(C) protective capacities of the foster or trial adoptive parent; and

(D) possible trauma triggers for the child.

(2) During the 10-day staffing a discussion occurs concerning the:

(A) home's safety;

(B) placement of each affected child;

(C) pending companion referrals; and

(D) establishment of roles and responsibilities, upon the conclusion of the investigation, for follow-up required by each CW specialist.

(3) Within 10-business days of receipt of a report of a resource home investigation, the child protective services specialist arranges a 10-day staffing to determine if it is safe for the child to remain in, or return to, the resource home.The assigned resource specialist, resource supervisor, and field manager participate in the staffing.The 10-day staffing is documented in KIDS Resource Contacts by the resource specialist.

5.Resource home closure.The resource specialist assesses the need for closure of a resource home and timely completes all necessary documentation related to the home's closure, per OAC 340:75-7-94.

6. Fair hearing.The resource specialist prepares documentation for the fair hearing, per OAC 340:2-5-96.

7.Court attendance.The resource specialist attends court when requested by the court or other Child Welfare Services programs.The resource specialist must:

(1) review all relevant information regarding the resource home prior to court;

(2) follow OKDHS dress code including professional business attire;

(3) arrive early and be respectful of all participants during the hearing; and

(4) be mindful of confidentiality, facial expressions, and body language.

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