Partnership Plan for Children in Out-of-Home Care

All foster parents must sign and enter into an agreement with the Safe Children Coalition and DCF in order to obtain licensure. Caregivers, however, are not the sole responsible party for ensuring quality care to children who enter out-of-home. Rather, it is a shared responsibility between the biological family, the caregiver, the CBC agency, and DCF. None of us can succeed by ourselves. Success in any case is contingent on the nature and quality of relationships between these key stakeholders throughout the child’s stay in care. The Partnership Plan, a product of the Quality Parenting Initiative, replaces the Bilateral Agreement and is intended to create a more inclusive, collaborative environment that embraces caregivers as partners. This is an integral step in improving and ensuring quality parenting for those children we serve in out-of-home care settings. It is intended to strengthen the depth and quality of the relationship between team members and to refocus organizational culture on partnership and open communication rather than simply on compliance and oversight.

Purpose: To articulate a common understanding of the values, principles and relationships necessary to provide children in out-of-home care with normal childhoods as well as loving and skillful parenting which honors their loyalty to their biological family.

**Effective 2018, each time a child moves placement, a new Partnership Plan must be signed by the Out of Home Caregiver and representative from the Case Management Organization and placed in the child’s file.**

The following are some highlights addressing the relationship between foster parents and case management:

Foster Parent Responsibilities

• Respectful partnership. Professional behavior.

• Participation in development and implementation of case planning. Includes participation in all team meetings or court hearings related to the child’s care and future plans.

• Excellent parenting - trauma sensitive care, family centered practice, and normalcy.

• Effectively advocate for all children’s needs.

• Possess or obtain timely and relevant knowledge and skills to meet the needs of the child(ren) in their home.

• To the best of their ability to provide placement stability and when necessary to participate in thoughtful and individual transition planning.

• To transport and accompany the child to medical, dental, and mental health appointments.

• Accompany and participate fully in children’s appointments for medical, dental, mental health, education and normalcy needs. Sharing of information with team.

• Support child’s attachment to family and assist in visitation and other communication. Mentor family and assist with continuity of care when the goal is reunification.

• Obtain and maintain child’s records important to the child’s well being.

Case Manager Responsibilities

• Respectful partnership. Professional behavior.

• Support and facilitate foster parent’s participation. Provide inclusive process with alternative methods when foster parent cannot be physically present.

• Enable and empower foster parents through services and supports necessary to provide quality care.

• Support foster parent’s role as children’s advocate and to not retaliate against them for their efforts.

• Provide all available information to foster family and assist family in obtaining support, training and skills necessary regarding the children.

• Facilitate cooperation and sharing of information by all involved. Consideration for child’s needs in development of transition planning.

• Facilitate as needed and support foster parent’s participation in meeting child’s needs. Sharing of information. Provide assistance when necessary.

• Provide foster parents with the information, guidance, training and support necessary for implementation of family centered practice.

• Work in partnership to obtain and share records for Child Resource Record, medical, dental, school, special events and achievement and photographs.