According to the Council on Accreditation (COA) closing a case is a ‘planned, orderly process’. Throughout the life of the case, documentation of on-going assessment and planning supports the decision to close out services when that time comes. This tip briefly touches on the very complex and important processes of case closure.
A formal family-centered closure staffing that includes input from all parties to the case, any tribal affiliates and all provider agencies must be held for all cases. During the staffing, case progression and obstacles that remain are discussed. A transition plan for closure is developed that addresses services still needed, available resources and emergency services.
If closure is contested or there are any concerns all parties must be present at the staffing. If closure is uncontested written recommendations are required.
Court ordered cases can not be closed unless the child has reached age 18, or the court has authorized the closure and the child has been stable with the same caregiver for at least 6 months. If risk factors remain after those 6 months of supervision the case should be staffed for extending the supervision longer, with details of the concerns needing resolution. When it is a court ordered case, the case management agency must request the extension of supervision be approved by the Court. (NOTE: There are some instances when a child is released to a non-offending parent that this 6 month period is reduced.)
Prior to staffing for closure, a case closure checklist is completed by the case manager and submitted with the staffing packet and supporting documentation to the supervisor for approval. The case manager must determine if there is an open protective investigation and whether any have occurred within the 6 months prior. Background screens must be updated on all household members, any needed visitation and safety plans must be developed and a Progress Update must be completed.
Case Management must ensure that all follow ups from the case closure staffing are completed in a timely manner to ensure the family has all the resources and supports necessary to maintain a safe and healthy household.
The case manager must prepare a termination summary or a Judicial Review Social Summary Report that addresses the initial reason for involvement with case management, progress made toward resolving issues that resulted in intervention, current status of safety, explanation case plan outcomes that were met and those that were not, aftercare planning efforts, and the reason closure of services is being requested. (FAC 65C-30.022)
For court order in-home supervision, supervision shall not be terminated until authorized by court order.
All case activities, staffings, plans, events and contacts are documented in the Florida Safe Families Network (FSFN) within 48 hours