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FSFN FAQs

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Adop1. In Post Adoptive case are you supposed to give the child a service role? Adopt2. I have several children who are now in adoptive placements. As I try to enter the adoption eligibility, I get an FSFN message: "A Title IVE Foster Care record must be non-waivered, completed and approved prior to the adoption eligibility." Does this mean that every child who was deemed IV-E for Foster Care under the waiver will need a non-waiver determination completed? Adopt3. What should happen with children getting adoption subsidies who turn 18 when their service doesn't end until the end of the month? Adopt4. Does FSFN prohibit adopted children from being merged to the pre-adoptive child? Adopt5. When you are creating the Post Adoptive case you change the birth name to the adoptive name. During this process of changing the name in FSFN you get a message when you save the change asking if you want to make the name you are changing an "AKA". What is the DCF policy on this? Adopt6. During the creation of the post-adoptive case a new Person ID is created for the child. This new Person ID record has the child's social security number from their birth name Person ID. Since it carries the information to the new name are we to go to the birth name Person ID and remove the social security number on that record? Adopt7. Child is now TPR'd from the adoptive single mother. What information should be entered regarding the father's TPR? Adopt8. When a new intake comes in to the Hotline on a child that has been adopted and results in a removal from the adoptive home, should the intake be linked to the post adoption case? Should the removal be documented in the post adoption case or should a new case be started for this removal? Adopt9. Once an intake is linked to a Post-Adoption case, the intake history on the biological family appears in the investigation because of the link between the post-adoptive child to the pre-adoptive child. Should this information appear in the Post-Adoption case? Adopt10. We have recently had some dependency cases where “Interventions�? have been filed and the Judge has granted them. How do we handle this in FSFN as the CBC is now out of the case?
CP1. Can we close and reopen a Case? CP2. When do services roles within the Maintain Case need to be updated? CP3. What will be the policy guidelines around changing the Case Type in Maintain Case? When does a case change from being an Investigative to In-Home or Out-of-Home case type? Many times a case will have an investigation ongoing with services (either in-home or out-of-home) so which type should be selected? CP4. Who will have the capability to remove/delete an incorrect person/ case participant from a case? CP5. What address is to be used for the 'case' address as users are prompted to enter the case address prior to saving changes (such as changing the case type) on the participants screen? CP6. Where is it written in policy that all case notes for anything happening to a child's case must be entered into the SACWIS system of record (HSn, now FSFN) within 48 hours? CP7. What is the policy for case assignment from one worker to another in FSFN? CP8. Is it required to add a goal for ICPC supervision cases? CP9. Regarding the notes for the out of county services, if the out of county supervision/services worker is not entering the note timely, who gets penalized? CP10. When all participants in a case are not showing how can notes be added? CP12. How do you access the complete history of the work related to a case? CP13. How do I delete a case that was created in error? CP14. If a person is mistakenly added to a case, how can they be removed? CP15. Define "age of majority" as a deactivation option when deactivating a person from the case. CP16. Why would FSFN deny my case closure? CP17. Where is a placement change to put siblings together in the same home documented in FSFN? CP18. What if the case plan or Judicial Review is accepted with out the recommendation of the goal change? Will a new case plan need to be created? Or is there a way to up date the information? CP19. Supervisor and higher should be able to access and do 'casework' without attaching themselves as a secondary. CP21. There is a task for housing (obtaining and maintaining) and hazardous conditions as an issue? CP22. A case worker has two cases that are related. One mother had her children put under a VPS agreement. The mother's step daughter was removed from the home and placed with a relative. Legal had the case worker do the case plan as one document. However, in FSFN shouldn't the cases be separated? What is correct in this situation? CP23. Please verify in the Out of Home Plan on the Special Requirements tab if this entire tab is completed only if the child is placed in an ICWA placement or do they complete the top portion of the tab on every child and the bottom portion of the tab for ICWA placements? The argument seems to be regarding foster parents information being confidential. CP24. At the end of the Case Plan there is the attachments page with check boxes. There is a box for "rights and responsibilities"- where do we find this document? CP25. Will changes made to an application reflect in the case plan template (text) after it is launched CP26. What should be selected for Case Type in the following scenario: The Services Worker has a case with one mother and six children, two children are on a Voluntary Protective Services ("VPS") Case Plan, and four are on a Court-Involved Out-of-Home Case Plan.Should the FSFN Case Type be "Out of Home - Court Ordered" or "In-Home - No Court Involvement"? CP27. Does the Case Type on the Maintain Case Window need to be changed as the case progresses? For example, for a case that comes in as a removal "Out of Home – Court Ordered" but the children are later reunified? CP28. One child of a sibling group has been TPR'd and is legally free for adoption (but not in an identified adoptive placement), the other sibling has a goal of Reunification. Should the siblings be separated in FSFN so the permanently committed child's information does not appear in the case plan and other documents for the other child? CP29. As the FSFN Case Plan contains Visitation Information for the parents and siblings, when would the separate FSFN Visitation Plan be required or needed? We have information that the separate Visitation Plan is required for all Out-of-Home cases but appears this is duplicate information already contained in the Case Plan. CP30. How does one merge cases (e.g., two post-adoption cases) in FSFN? Is there any tutorial available on that? CP31. Is there a policy or other reference giving specific time frames for submitting case closures in FSFN for both judicial and non-judicial cases? CP32. When do you change the legal goal from Reunification to Maintain and Strengthen placement with parent? Is it at the time the court orders the child to be reunified with the parent OR when a permanency/case plan hearing is held and the court approves Maintain and Strengthen case plan?
Fs1. Is there a reporting category for flex funds? Fs2. Invoice Batch Release: Once an invoice batch is released, is there any way to retrieve it? If not, will the CBC be able to store these outside of FSFN? Fs3. Will overpayment adjustments feed back into trust accounts to recoup funds if taken out to cover cost of care? Fs4. If multiple benefits are included in one general trust account (SSI, SSA, etc), which benefit is deducted for cost of care? Fs5. Is there anything in place to prevent a trust account from being overdrawn? Fs6. When withdrawing money from trust accounts to make a payment, does it go through the manual payment process? Fs7. Can we override the cost of care/fees from being deducted from the trust account? Fs8. Where can we document receipts received for trust account withdrawals like we do in our current system? Fs9. Where can we add comments on the trust account record? Fs10. In preparation for creating payments in FSFN, the FSFN invoice should indicate both foster or adoptive parents as the payee. The provider name shows just caregiver 1 as the provider name. How do we ensure the invoice has both caregiver names? Fs11.Would "Administrative" payment field be used for Respite payments? Can we get more detail on when and how to use this field? Fs12. If a rate was entered incorrectly, can a rate payment be entered so that it will make a retroactive payment adjustment; both to increase (higher payment) or decrease (generate recoupment)? In this case the placement has not changed, only the amount associated with the payment has changed. If it can be done, how will it be done?
Ga1. I am trying to add notes to my case, but the participants do not show up for selection. Ga2. I am unable to see the complete history of the work related to my case. Ga3. I assigned a case to one of my investigators, why does it still show me as primary worker? Ga4. I am unable to close a case due to denial message "open approvals". Ga5. What is the correct use of "Subscribe/Unsubscribe" function? Ga6. How do you locate a person's ID number? Ga7. Does FSFN allow for a chrono note entry to be attached to a specific provider? Would a licensing counselor (DCF or CBC) be able to input chronos pertaining to these homes? Ga8. Is the FSFN program designed in such a way that you can type in information and have it populate various reports? Ga9. What do the different audit types mean when a user checks what has been done on a screen in FSFN? Ga10. Is the SSN a required field in FSFN? Does this field allow alpha entries? Ga11. Is the special Judicial Review to be held within 90 days of a youth's 17th birthday a requirement? Ga12. If a parent has two children and one is removed in one county and placed in care and the second child is removed in another county and placed in care in that county...is this one case or two separate cases in FSFN? If it is one case, who is assigned as the primary worker because FSFN only allows on primary worker is assigned to the case? What assignment is to be given to the worker that is not primary? Ga13. Now that FSFN provides the functionality to verify birth information, do we still have to obtain certified copies of birth certificates for children in care? Ga14. Will using the Meetings function in Release 2B of FSFN and recording the outcome of the meeting in the Meetings module replace the need to do a FSFN chrono (case narrative) note about the meeting? Will this meet the DCF requirements for documentation? Ga15. Are we supposed to have the DCF logo or our agency logo on the Notices of hearings and other documents in the Forms section of FSFN? Ga16. Are there specific instructions for filling out the Axis 1 and Axis 2 diagnosis in the mental health tab? Some of the choices do not match up with the doctor diagnosis. Ga17. Should the Mentoring and Modeling for Quality in case management specify every 90 days versus every quarter? For example, the first quarter review may occur July 1, but the second quarterly review may not happen until December 31. Ga18. Is it possible to view Medical/MH information on a closed case Ga19. Does MEETINGS allow the user to print out a meeting sheet that documents what you input as the results of the meeting or is it just view only? Ga20. Who approves the PDS in the system? Does the CPI complete their portion and then the CPIS approve it? Ga21. If parents are married and they own a home together, is the case manager to enter this information in both parents' Assets and Employment records, or just on one? Ga22. What date should be documented in FSFN as the removal date? Ga23. When a parent and child or children are living in a domestic violence shelter, is the Child Protective Investigator or the case manager allowed to enter the "real" physical address of the DV shelter where the child is located into FSFN, or do they have to make up a fictitious address? Ga24. Is there policy or code written about editing case notes in FSFN? What is and is not allowed? Ga26. How do we enter private insurance for a child covered under the parents' insurance into FSFN? Ga27. When should you use absconded over abducted? Ga28. Is there a policy or other reference giving specific time frames for submitting case closures in FSFN for both judicial and non-judicial cases? Ga29. When the court places a child into Permanent Guardianship and closes the case, do we also close the Removal Episode in FSFN? If the child then comes back into out-of-home care because the placement disrupts or the Permanent Guardian dies, is this a new Removal Episode? Who is the child sheltered from? The original removal parents or the Permanent Guardian? Does it matter if parental rights are terminated or not? Ga30. If a child is taking psychotropic medication while residing with his/her parent (in-home) does this information need to be entered within the Medical/Mental Health screens the same as a child in out-of-home care? Do we have to document medical and mental health information in FSFN for in-home supervision cases?
Inv1. What is the process when the inappropriate or wrong assessment is completed on an investigation (e.g., In Home on an Institutional investigation)? Inv2. Does the automated message replace external notifications required to Licensing for Institutional Investigations? Inv3. Investigations, Basic Tab: Time of Incident. Inv4. Please provide guidance on Child Institutional Investigations with regard to (a) creating parent(s) for child victims in the case and (b) whether a case needs to be created for each family/child when an Intake alleges the abuse and neglect of multiple children in an Institutional setting. If multiple cases are created, how will this work if only one Intake comes in, yet an Intake is needed to create each case. Who will the Institutional Intakes and Cases be named after? The Organization/Institution or the perpetrator who works at the Institution/Organization/Facility? Please clarify who we include as Case Participants in FSFN for Institutional Investigation cases. Inv5. When does the '24 hour' timeframe begin? At receipt of complaint by hotline - or commencement? How will this be captured for reporting purposes? Inv6. Do PIs need to track out of state requests for investigations? If so, how? Is it simply via a Service Referral as there is no call into the Hotline? Inv7. Additional Actions is not part of Assessment tabs and PI is prompted to submit Initial review then update this after. Supervisor will be reviewing information absent this information being submitted. Inv8. On-site vs. enhanced investigation - do you determine before you go out? Inv9. If a Person has criminal history, are they to itemize the criminal history or just summarize? Where/how does PI get criminal history from CI Unit? Inv10. Child on Child (COC) safety assessment requires a number for the Answer. However, question #9 it is accepting a "yes" or "no". Inv11. Closure letters will not be automatically sent, but there will be a standard text form in the new FSFN system. Is this form automatically pre-filled at closure, or does the investigator have to fill in the blank areas of the form? Inv12. Is a particular security profile or job designation required to do a Second Party Review of a Safety Assessment? Inv13. Can you select someone other than your supervisor to complete a child assessment review and approval? Inv14. Are we able to add more than one caregiver responsible to our investigations? The system only gives us the option to selected one caregiver responsible to be selected. Inv15. When you go into the background page for the investigation and you click on the view tab next to the prior, it takes you into the prior intake, instead of the prior investigation. Is this an error in the training region or was it set up to do that? If it was set up that way, what would our chances be to (and how would we) request the system to take you into the investigation instead of the intake. The reason for this, when reviewing prior history, we are looking at the outcome as well as the allegations and if that background history page would allow you to go into the investigation, then viewing and printing priors would be fairly simple. Inv16. For cases ESI'd for services, who will have the responsibility to create the living arrangement/placement and child medical/mental health information in FSFN? Inv17. When an investigation comes in and a safety assessment has been completed prior to the victims being seen, is the Child Investigation and Special Conditions Status report tracking that when the victims are seen that an updated safety assessment is due in 48 hours? Inv18. Why can't I create an Investigation on my intake? I don't receive the option to select the radio button when I click on create; I receive a message indicating that the case is in the closure process. Inv19. How much work can I do on my investigation before I can no longer delink the Intake from a case? Inv20. How should the Cases for Institutional Investigations be named? Inv21. What are the closing reasons for child investigations? Inv22. When CPI's create a provider for placement purposes, are these providers supposed to be transferred to the community based care agency when the case is transferred from investigations to case management? Where can I find this information? Inv23. What would be the Service Role for a child/victim's parent/caregivers in an Institutional case/investigation? Inv24. The Child on Child Job Aid clearly states to add the parent/caregivers (including substitute caregivers) as Case Participants. Are they also added to the investigation as Investigation Participants? Inv25. If an intake meets criteria to complete an on-site investigation, what selection should we choose for the "determination" screen? Inv26. When an investigation is moved, does the CPI have to close the originating case shell; assuming nothing else was going on in the originating case shell? Inv27. In reference to the printed Intake Summary on special conditions reports, why does the investigative sub-type reflect 'N/A' instead of the type of special conditions intake, such as child on child or parent in need of assistance? Inv28. When a youth under the age of eighteen is already a participant in a FSFN case, whether In-Home or Out-of-Home Services, and that youth is also a parent who becomes the subject of an abuse investigation, is the investigation created in the existing FSFN Case or is a new FSFN Case created on the youth/parent?
Prov1. Provider Basic - When would you use "Court Order" in the reason field? Prov2. How do we define Caregiver 1 and Caregiver 2 for a Provider? Prov3. Define when to use values listed (Inquiry Info Box, Inquiry Type. For example, difference Other Placement versus Placement). Prov4. Which members of household/organization must be added and what role to use for each? Prov5. Will only investigators be able to create Org. Providers? Prov6. What details are required when creating a new provider (even if not required in FSFN)? Prov7. How are Providers removed from a worker's desktop? What are the re-assignment guidelines? Prov8. If a CPI creates a Provider and chooses Investigation type, which results in "assignment to default worker," how then can anyone maintain that provider since no actual worker has assignment? What if services worker needs to update provider's info? What if PI creates a duplicate (despite built-in search), then will these duplicates always exist? Prov9. Is DCF creating a default user to assign all relative and non-relative providers too? If so how is this done during entry of Provider Inquiry? Will the provider inquiry type of Investigations be used to create the provider under the default user? Prov10. If providers are assigned to this default worker and I want to update the provider information I will have to assign myself as a secondary worker. What Type and Responsibility should be used during this assignment as a Role of secondary to allow and update of the worker? Prov11. For a case Assignment Type of Licensing, how should one apply the different values for Responsibility Type and Role Type? Prov12. If two providers are identified as duplicates and one is a person provider and the other an organization, FSFN does not allow these providers to be merged. Are there any other options to handle these duplicate providers? Prov13. This question is based upon an issue raised with adoptions data as the result of Person and Provider marital status reference values not being consistent for the same person and because staff are entering Providers with a marital status of "Unable to Determine" for a reason that we are unable to determine. We would hope that by the time staff approves a home they would know the marital status. Marital Status in Person Management and in Person Provider have different reference values in the drop downs (see below). If a person is a widow or divorced how do I document that when that same person becomes a relative or an adoption provider for the child? Prov14. Will FSFN allow for documentation of complaints involving licensed providers? The question is in reference to licensed foster homes complaints which may involve allegations such as inappropriate discipline practices, supervision concerns, etc. Prov15. What is the Family Safety Program Office directive for entering "Other Members" into the provider records to track capacity, the "Over 5 Rule" and the "2 Children under 36 Months Rule"? What is the timeframe for completing? Prov16. Should a license be entered for a providers who are licensed by non Family Safety be in FSFN? (Examples: DJJ, AHCA)
Serv1. How to handle errors in Out of Home Placement post approval (since work is frozen). Serv2. When we reopen a case in FSFN, what legal status would we use? Would we enter the previous legal status of adjudicated dependent but make the begin date the case reopening date or would we make the begin date the original adjudication date? Serv3. A child is in an out of home placement but is going on an extended visit. Do we end the placement and enter the extended visit placement as the out of home placement or do we leave the placement and put a note in stating where the child is located? Would there be a difference if the placement is under 30 days or over 30 days? Serv4. When a CBC accepts the case for ongoing services - if a case has both a child who has been removed and a child that remains in the home what case type (Basic tab case) do we assign the case? Our choices are "Out of Home - Court Ordered" and "In Home - Court Ordered"? Serv5. Would this be the correct Case worker assignment values for the following requests? Courtesy Supervision (in state)-Type: Courtesy (Out of Town Inquiry) Responsibility: Case Management / Supervision Role: Courtesy Home study (in state) -Type: Courtesy (Out of Town Inquiry) Responsibility: Home study Role: Secondary Case Plan Assistance (in state) -Type: Courtesy (Out of Town Inquiry) Responsibility: Case Management / Supervision Role: Secondary. Serv6. Single parent private adoption. Child is now TPR'd from the adoptive single mother. What information should be entered regarding the father's TPR? Serv7. In FSFN, what is 'TPR Granted (All)'? Serv8. An ESI staffing occurs on a Monday, the staffing packet is received by Data Services the following day (Tuesday) and the case manager is assigned the day after that (Wednesday). Since FSFN populates the date and time of assignments, is this discrepancy between staffing date and assignment date an issue? In other words, should the case manager be assigned in FSFN on the day of the staffing (Monday)? Is there a required timeframe when a case manager has to be assigned as primary for an ESI? Serv.9 Will the new "Services" tab replace the "Service Referral" window? If not, is there any connection between the two?
TANF1. Why must we complete a Request for TANF Funds form? TANF2. Are Request for TANF Funds forms required to be completed on ALL child protective investigations? TANF3. Must a Request for TANF Funds form be completed on ALL children involved in an institutional investigation or only the specific children named in the Hotline report? TANF4. How do we calculate income when completing a Request for TANF Funds form? TANF5. Are Child Protective Investigators required to complete a hard copy of the Request for TANF Funds form for the parents to sign in addition to completing the electronic version of the form in FSFN. Will investigators have to complete this form twice? TANF6. How are we to complete the Request for TANF Funds form when you have a case/investigation with multiple families in the same household? For example a teenage mother who is the victim of abuse but her child is not. Do we complete two TANF forms as there are two households, or just one? TANF7. How can we create more than one TANF form if the children are not in the same family? TANF8. Once a child has been placed in a Non paid placement and a TANF form is system generated and then completed, If the child has a placement change to another Non paid placement (IE: Another relative), does the system generate a second TANF if the change of placement occurs in the same year. Or does the system keep the information from the first TANF? TANF9. How do we do a TANF determination on a TPR'ed child residing in a pre-adoptive (adoption not finalized yet) home? TANF10. When extra TANF determination from Casework needs completion and FSFN only allows the selection of one child as "Applies To", which child are we including on that TANF? Is it going to then complete one TANF for each child or just include them as a family unit, but not apply the determination to the other children? Examples are Institutional Investigation cases, Child on Child cases, and multiple family households. TANF11. Is it acceptable to create a TANF via 'create casework' instead of the through the investigation? TANF12. Once TANF is created through the investigation, should the investigator submit TANF for "approval" in the options dropdown box or is saving the TANF all they need to do? TANF13. Is it going to be policy for the supervisor to sign the TANF form? For audit purposes, does the TANF form need the supervisor's signature? Does the supervisor need to sign the TANF form and place it in the file? TANF14. When does TANF start, on the "effective date" or on the "approved date"? What about in the case of multiple TANFs? TANF15. Why do we complete a Request for TANF Funds form for institutional investigations when there is no federal reimbursement for them? Shouldn't we only do the TANF form for services cases? TANF16. If there is more than one TANF for an investigation, are all of them approved upon closure of the investigation/special conditions referral? Only one is created as an investigation TANF and the other are created through Casework.

Adoption Answers

Question: In Post Adoptive case are you supposed to give the child a service role?

Answer: The Service Role is not a required field either pre or post adoption. The Service Role does establish the child's "role" as a Participant in the Case, but should not be a critical field in a post-adoption services case.

Date Answered/Reviewed:3/9/09; 8/25/14

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: I have several children who are now in adoptive placements. As I try to enter the adoption eligibility, I get an FSFN message: "A Title IVE Foster Care record must be non-waivered, completed and approved prior to the adoption eligibility." Does this mean that every child who was deemed IV-E for Foster Care under the waiver will need a non-waiver determination completed?

Answer: Yes. Please refer to CFOP 175-71, Chapters 3 and 4 .

(http://www.centerforchildwelfare.org/kb/DCF_Pol/Family Safety CFOP's/175-71FundingElig.pdf page 32)

Specifically paragraph 4-5. , b. "...In the event the child's permanency goal is adoption, the child's eligibility for IV-E foster care using the pre-waiver eligibility policy must be determined and a Notice of Case Action stating such must be completed as a prerequisite to paying any Title IV-E adoption subsidy."

Date Answered/Reviewed: 1/22/10; 8/25/14

Reference/Resource: DCF; CFOP 175-71

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Question: What should happen with children getting adoption subsidies who turn 18 when their service doesn't end until the end of the month?

Answer: To allow the full month of payment for these children, do not assign an age range to the service. Birthday Batch looks for services that have an age range of 13-17, and closes them on the child's 18th birthday.

If it is more a matter of the child getting a payment for the entire month, then the service can be set up as 'Full Month' and will be paid for the entire last month of placement despite the service ending on the child's birthday.

Date: 28-Jan-10

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Does FSFN prohibit adopted children from being merged to the pre-adoptive child?

Answer: If the “Remove�? person is Pre-Adoptive and the “Retain�? person is Post-Adoptive or the “Remove�? Person is Post-Adoptive and the “Retain�? person is Pre-Adoptive or “Remove�? Person has a ‘Pending’ Private Adoption page, then attempts to merge will fail.

Date Answered/Reviewed: 8-29-08; 8-26-14

Reference/Resource: FSFN Person Merge User Guide (2013)


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Question: When you are creating the Post Adoptive case you change the birth name to the adoptive name. During this process of changing the name in FSFN you get a message when you save the change asking if you want to make the name you are changing an "AKA". What is the DCF policy on this?

Answer: The response to this Pop-Up should be 'no', the FSFN User does not wish to create the new adoptive name as an AKA in FSFN. Typically AKAs are nicknames, maiden names, aliases, and the like.

Please note that FSFN is designed to provide a link that will identify the old pre-adoptive case with the new post-adoptive case via a function that displays the pre-adoptive Case ID in parentheses next to the post-adoptive Case ID, and vice versa. This link is also established by Person ID, as well. This is the link that should be utilized to cross reference pre-adoptive and post-adoptive cases in FSFN. Creating an AKA with the new adoptive name or cross referencing via identifiers such as social security numbers should not be necessary or used.

Date Answered/Reviewed: 3/9/09; 8/25/14

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: During the creation of the post-adoptive case a new Person ID is created for the child. This new Person ID record has the child's social security number from their birth name Person ID. Since it carries the information to the new name are we to go to the birth name Person ID and remove the social security number on that record?

Answer: We should not delete key information including identifiers such as social security numbers from the FSFN record. This is important historic information that should be retained. Social Security numbers are not the primary mechanism by which pre-adoptive and post-adoptive cases are linked in FSFN. Pre-adoptive and post-adoptive cases are linked via the establishing of a cross referencing system that displays both old and new Case ID's (and Person ID's when appropriate) side by side. When the pre-adoptive Case ID is displayed, the post-adoptive Case ID is displayed in parentheses, and vice versa.

Date Answered/Reviewed: 3/9/09; 8/25/14

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Child is now TPR'd from the adoptive single mother. What information should be entered regarding the father's TPR?

DCF Answer: While the Father's TPR Date field is red, it is not required information. To document the adoptive mother's TPR, ensure that the removal information in the Placement Screens reflect that the Caregiver Removed From Structure ("Caregiver Structure") reflects single parent. The father's TPR date information would apply only if there was an adoptive father.

Date Answered/Reviewed: 6/21/07; 8/25/14

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When a new intake comes in to the Hotline on a child that has been adopted and results in a removal from the adoptive home, should the intake be linked to the post adoption case? Should the removal be documented in the post adoption case or should a new case be started for this removal?

Answer: The post-adoptive case should be treated as a family case just like any other case. The intake and removal should be linked to the post-adoptive case so that the activities of the family can be tracked under one case. The post adoption subsidy case may remain active and the child may be removed and be in foster care. The federal law states that a subsidy may continue to be paid to an adoptive family even though the child is removed until it is determined that the parent is no longer supporting the child while in care/living with someone else/in residential or the parent becomes no longer legally responsible thru a TPR. FSFN supports the ability to pay a subsidy through an in-home service while the child may potentially be in a removal/placement receiving a board rate payment through the placement.

Notes to CPI: After the investigation has been completed, the post-adoptive case and the subsidy remains open in FSFN and re-assigned back to CBC as primary.

Date Answered/Reviewed:2/11/10; 8/25/14; 6/7/16

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Once an intake is linked to a Post-Adoption case, the intake history on the biological family appears in the investigation because of the link between the post-adoptive child to the pre-adoptive child. Should this information appear in the Post-Adoption case?

Answer: Yes, it is appropriate for this information to display in the prior history section of the intake. The reason it is appearing is due to the link between the pre and post adoptive child. Just because the child has been adopted does not clear the history of abuse that child has endured throughout their lifetime. The primary concern is for the safety and well-being of the child. Giving the CPI the entire history of prior abuse for the child is critical to key safety decisions and service provision and may have an impact on current and future investigations.

Date Answered/Reviewed:2/11/10; 8/25/14

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: We have recently had some dependency cases where “Interventions�? have been filed and the Judge has granted them. How do we handle this in FSFN as the CBC is now out of the case?

Answer: The removal episode and placement is ended when the judge grants the intervention. The case remains open in order to make sure that the adoption does finalize and for us to document the finalization. In cases where the family requests a subsidy, you must document a Private Adoption Page, determine eligibility, have subsidy agreement signed and approved, etc. Click here for a powerpoint that Stephen Pennypacker created and presented to his CLS staff. Only part of this powerpoint is about interventions but it might be helpful.

Date: 28-July-2014

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Case Plan Answers

Question: Can we close and reopen a Case?

Answer: Yes. The master file referred to in the system as "the case" can be reopened when new pieces of casework need to be created and linked to the case. For example, if a new intake is received on a closed case participant, the hotline will re-open the case and link the new intake to the re-opened case. The investigator is then able to create the investigation.

Date: 7-Feb-07; 08/26/2014

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When do services roles within a Maintain Case need to be updated?

Answer: The service role refers to the role that the case participant, whether a household member or not, has in the case. This field is not required when creating a case for the purpose of linking an intake or investigation to a case. However, this field is required if the family is to receive ongoing services.

Date: 11-Feb-07; 08/26/2014

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When does a case change from being an Investigative to In-Home or Out-of-Home case type? Many times a case will have an investigation ongoing with services (either in-home or out-of-home) so which type should be selected?

Answer: At the time of the ESI staffing, when the case is accepted for ongoing services by the CBC provider.

Date Answered: 8-Mar-07; 08/26/2014

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Who has the capability to remove/delete an incorrect person from a case?

Answer: Only a supervisor can remove a person from a case. The CPI can remove a case participant from an investigation

Date: 8-Mar-07; 08/26/2014

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What address is to be used for the "case" address as users are prompted to enter the case address prior to saving changes (such as changing the case type) on the participants screen?

Answer: The person address documents each person or case participant's specific location at a point in time. Consequently, it must be provided each time that the person's address changes, particularly a child's change in address. However, the Case address is a different matter. While the Case Type may indicate what the address may be, the general rule of thumb is:

  • If it is an ongoing services case with or without a removal, it is the caregiver (parents) or removal caregiver's address. This includes cases created as a result of special condition referrals for caregiver unavailable or parent needs assistance.
  • If it is a case created for an institutional investigation or a foster care referral, it is the institution's address.
  • If it is a case created as a result of a services referral, not including ICPC homestudy requests or incoming placements, it is the caregiver's address.
  • If it is a case created through an ICPC request for a homestudy and subsequent placement in Florida, it is the Florida caregiver's address.
  • If it is an adoption subsidy case, it is the adoptive parent's address.
  • If it is a case opened for RTI services to a young adult and there are no other children active or inactive as case participants, it is the young adult's address.
  • If it is a case with only a youth receiving IL or SIL services (are still in a removal episode), the case address is the removal caregiver's address.

Date: 27-Nov-07; 08/26/2014

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Where is it written in policy that all case notes for anything happening to a child/case must be entered into Florida Safe Families Network (FSFN) within 48 hours?

Answer: CFOP 170-1, ch 12 (5) states: "All case activities, including contacts and attempted contacts with a child, the child’s parent or caregiver and collaterals must be entered in FSFN no later than two business days after the actual contact or other event.."

Timely entry of information relating to investigations and case management into the official case file and system of record is critical and should be completed as quickly as possible, not to exceed 48 hours unless otherwise specified in Florida Administrative Code.

Date: 27-Nov-07,

Reviewed/Updated: 08-Mar-10 and 30-Jun-10; 08/26/2014; 7/6/17

Reference/Resource: DCF FSPO; CFOP 170-1, Chapter 12

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Question: What is the policy for case assignment from one worker to another in FSFN?

Answer: A case cannot be transferred from one program to another (investigations to ongoing services) or unit to unit without there being a Case Transfer Staffing (for program to program) or a request from a sending unit supervisor to a receiving unit supervisor (unit to unit).

Any supervisor can transfer the "Case" to another supervisor, as the system will allow this. The policy was outlined in the initial set of FAQs that were posted. Additionally, it specifically states (regarding the practice, not the system) in Chapter 65C-30.002, F.A.C., Early Services Intervention and Case Transfer, as well as 65C-29.012, F.A.C., Transfer of Child Protective Investigations Within and Between Districts.

Date: 27-Nov-07; 08/26/2014

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Is it required to add a goal for ICPC supervision cases?

Answer: No, we do not enter a permanency goal for a child from another state that is placed here in Florida (incoming ICPC cases). The system does not require this. Refer to in the Regulations and Rules for ICPC found in statute Chapter 409.401 and the ICPC operation procedure found in Chapter 175.54.

Date: 17-Dec-07; 08/26/2014

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Regarding the case notes for out-of-county jurisdiction cases, if the out-of-county supervision/services worker is not entering the note in a timely manner, who is penalized?

Answer: This depends whether the out-of-county supervision worker has primary assignment to the child. If he/she does, their agency is the one being documented as not having entered the note in a timely manner. If he/she does not, the primary worker assigned to the case will be the noted as not entering the note in a timely manner. It is not likely that the out-of-countysupervision worker will have primary case assignment. The primary worker is typically the worker in the county of jurisdiction.

Date: 16-Jan-08; Updated: 3-Sep-10

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When all participants in a case are not showing how can notes be added?

Answer: Go to case maintenance page and re-activate the participants, they will now be available for selection.

Date: 6-Feb-08; 08/29/2014

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How do you access the complete history of the work related to a case?

Answer:From Case Book, Case notes display in Center Panel. Click on the View History hyperlink to see all versions of case notes.

Date: 6-Feb-08; 08/29/2014

Reference/Resource: DCF; FSFN Notes User Guide

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Question: How do I delete a case that was created in error?

Answer: From the Maintain Case page click on the REMOVE hyperlink next to each participant to remove all of the participants. Click Save and then Close. A nightly batch process will delete any Cases that contain no participants.

Date: 6-Feb-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: If a person is mistakenly added to a case, how can they be removed?

Answer: From the Maintain Case page, select the Remove hyperlink for the Appropriate participant to be removed. Click Save and then Close.

**NOTE** Only a Supervisor can remove a participant from a case Provided.

Date: 6-Feb-08; 08/29/2014

Reference/Resource: DCF; Maintain Case User Guide

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Question: Define "age of majority" as a deactivation option when deactivating a person from the case.

Answer: "Age of Majority" applies when a youth is deactivated as a participant in a case due to first, having turned age 18 and, second, the Department is no longer providing any services to that youth. It is important to remember that the court may continue to exercise legal jurisdiction over a young adult after the age of 18 under special circumstances defined in Florida Statute and Florida Administrative Code and the Department may continue to provide services (examples are young adults receiving transitional services or aftercare or who are awaiting a decision on their immigration status), so reaching the Age of Majority in and of itself does not always deactivate a participant. The 18 years plus participant may remain active to the case if he or she is continuing to receive services.

"Age of Majority" by definition is that age at which a youth assumes all the responsibilities of an adult under the laws of a given state. This age is legislated individually by each state. Florida's age of majority is 18. Children under 18 are "minors."

Date: 29-Feb-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Why would FSFN deny my case closure?

Answer: The request for case closure may be denied if any of the following items are not completed:

  • Open Living Arrangement
  • Intake not linked to an Investigations
  • PS Reports without completed Initial Assessments
  • Open Placement, Medicaid Certifications not complete
  • Pending or Ongoing Plans
  • Participants in Protective Custody
  • Approval Processing not complete

Date: 12-Mar-08; 08/29/2014

Reference/Resource: DCF; Case Closure Topic Paper

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Question: Where is a placement change to put siblings together in the same home documented in FSFN?

Answer: This topic is addressed in the Case Plan. We also ask if the placement involves separating siblings on the first tab in the OH Plan. If so, staff must have a separated sibling staffing. Staff can also address efforts to re-unite separated siblings in the case notes and in the Case Plan and the JRSSR. References to separated sibling contacts should also be included in the Visitation Plan.

Date: 6-Jun-08; 08/29/2104

Reference/Resource: DCF; Case Planning Topic Paper

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Question: What if the case plan or JR is accepted with out the recommendation of the goal change? Will a new case plan need to be created? Or is there a way to up date the information?

Answer: The Case Plan and JRSSR are frozen upon approval by the supervisor, therefore, any changes to the approved document will require a new (updated) version of work. The information that was approved will copy over to the updated version and the changes can be made prior to re-submitting for supervisory approval.

Date: 6-Jun-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Supervisor and higher should be able to access and do 'casework' without attaching themselves as a secondary.

Answer: A supervisor or above can update any piece of work that has been created by his or her worker; however, a supervisor cannot create a new piece of work unless he or she is assigned to the case as a secondary worker. The case manager (Services Worker) has immediate knowledge and the benefit of first hand observation, interaction and assessment of the family's functioning.

Date: 6-Jun-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: There is no task for housing (obtaining and maintaining) and hazardous conditions as an issue.

Answer: Assuming the user is referencing that there is no ability to identify a "Category," "Factor" and subsequent "Need" for housing, these are reference values that correspond to the needs that are identified on the Family Assessment and they are not required for all Tasks. The user has the flexibility to add an "Identified Problem," "Desired measurable behavioral outcome" and "Specific Task" that is customized for the participant. As such, they should be able to create a case plan item that meets all needs identified for a participant.

Date: 15-Aug-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: A case worker has two cases that are related. One mother had her children put under a VPS agreement. The mother's step daughter was removed from the home and placed with a relative. Legal had the case worker do the case plan as one document. However, in FSFN shouldn't the cases be separated? What is correct in this situation?

Answer: The scenario described is neither a FSFN functionality issue nor a Family Safety Program Office policy issue but, rather, a legal issue involving what appears to be an attempt to combine a Voluntary Protective Services In-Home Case Plan, and case, with a Court-Involved Case Plan, and case, in which a child has been sheltered in an out-of-home placement with a relative. This is not legally possible.

According to Stephen Pennypacker, Esq., Special Counsel, Family Safety Program, Department of Children and Families, this should be two separate case plans - one for the voluntary case plan that does not have court supervision and one for the court-ordered case plan. That does not mean you can not file a copy of the voluntary case plan in the court file and report to the court on compliance as it may impact the court case for the child that was removed. It also does not preclude inclusion in the court-ordered case plan of some accountability for compliance with the voluntary case plan by the non-party parent, i.e., the parent over whom the court has jurisdiction has an obligation to see that the voluntary case plan is completed.

Any time we "remove" a child and require a placement change, we must have a shelter hearing. Unless the child is placed in Voluntary Licensed Care via a Voluntary Placement Agreement, we cannot orchestrate a change of placement without a shelter hearing. It is understood that sometimes there are informal changes of placement required...but, again, it cannot require a change of placement without a shelter order. Please refer this question to CLS in your Region for clarification.

Date: 16-Sep-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Does the Special Requirements tab, in the Out of Home Plan, need to be completed only if the child is placed in an ICWA placement or do they complete the top portion of the tab on every child and the bottom portion of the tab for ICWA placements?

Answer: The Special Requirements tab simply documents that specific steps have been taken to comply with two federal mandates and requirements, the Indian Child Welfare Act and the McKinney-Vento Act. Please refer to Chapter 65C-28.004 (Placement Matching Requirements) for further information on these two federal requirements.

The first tab on this screen, Placement Considerations, provides a box to check if the child has been verified as meeting ICWA criteria. If that box is checked, the Special Requirements tab is mandatory. You will also note if that box is checked the box below it to notify the Tribal Representative on the Placement Considerations tab must also be checked.

On the Special Requirements tab, you must also document what efforts were made to determine whether or not the child meets ICWA criteria. This is to document that we have complied with Chapter 65C-28.013, (Indian Child Welfare Act), which requires that an ICWA determination be made at the onset of each investigation and is required, although this field has not been (yet) made required electronically in the system. This is a narrative description and, again, documents compliance. If the child meets ICWA criteria, the ICWA Placement Provider Options information box must be completed.

The second narrative box on this tab relates to the McKinney-Vento Act and documents that efforts were made to not disrupt the child's educational setting. The Search hyperlink allows the person searching for a placement to conduct a search for an appropriate setting via the Provider Search page. I am not certain what the issue is with regard to foster parent confidentiality and this tab? The Topic paper found on the FSFN and Center for Excellence websites, however, provides the following regarding the Search feature:

When the Search hyperlink is selected, the Provider Search page is displayed for the user to search for a provider. Once a provider is searched out and selected off of the Provider Search page, the Provider will be system derived and will pre-fill into the Provider Name and Provider

Address field in the General Info group box. Also, once the Provider is returned to the Special Requirements tab, the Search hyperlink becomes a Remove hyperlink. Selecting the Remove hyperlink removes the Provider name and address information from the fields on the tab.

Date: 29-Sep-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: At the end of the Case Plan there is the attachments page with check boxes. There is a box for "rights and responsibilities"- where do we find this document?

Answer: There is a set of Rights and Responsibilities that is coded into the CasePlan template. The check box is included to allow you to indicate you have attached an additional set of Rights and Responsibilities specific to your agency. This is not something additional available within FSFN.

Date: 19 Nov 08

Reference/Resource: DCF


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Question: Will changes made to an application reflect in the case plan template (text) after it is launched?

Answer: Once the template is saved, any changes made to the application are not reflected in the template. Changes need to be made before launching and saving the template.

Date: 21 Nov 08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What should be selected for Case Type in the following scenario: The Services Worker has a case with one mother and six children? Two children are on a Voluntary Protective Services ("VPS") Case Plan, and the other four are on a Court-Involved Out-of-Home Case Plan. Should the FSFN Case Type be "Out of Home - Court Ordered" or "In-Home - No Court Involvement"?

Answer: The Case Type "Out-of-Home - Court Ordered" takes precedence over a Voluntary Protective Services Case Plan ("In-Home - No Court Involvement") when both Case Types co-exist in a single FSFN Case. As a general rule, the most restrictive status of a child in the sibling group should take priority as the Case Type.

Date: 29-Apr-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Does the Case Type on the Maintain Case Window need to be changed as the case progresses -- for example, for a case that comes in as a removal "Out of Home – Court Ordered" but the children are later reunified?

Answer: Yes, the Case Type should be changed as necessary as the case progresses.

Date Answered: 12/23/09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: One child of a sibling group has been TPR'd and is legally free for adoption (but not in an identified adoptive placement), the other sibling has a goal of Reunification. Should the siblings be separated in FSFN so the permanently committed child's information does not appear in the case plan and other documents for the other child?

Answer: The Case Plan in FSFN provides the capacity to establish different goals for different children within the same Case Plan. There is also the capacity to have more than one Case Plan within a case. Having different goals for children is not unusual. In the interest of treating a family holistically in FSFN in terms of the FSFN Case, however, we do not want to split a family's case unless absolutely necessary. Children having different goals, even adoption, is not a reason to split a case.

If a new adoptive family is identified and the adoption placement process initiated, it would be appropriate to create a new Case Plan to protect the confidentiality of the adoptive family and, of course, at finalization the FSFN User processes the case in the system in order to create a completely new post-adoption case. (Currently, there technical problems with regard to separating the names of children in the legal header of the Case Plan, should separating case participants even become necessary.)

Date Answered: June 10, 2009

Reference/Resources: DCF Family Safety Program Office

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Question: As the FSFN Case Plan contains Visitation Information for the parents and siblings, when would the separate FSFN Visitation Plan be required or needed? We have information that the separate Visitation Plan is required for all Out-of-Home cases but appears this is duplicate information already contained in the Case Plan.

Answer: The Visitation Plan must be approved by the court and cannot be altered without court approval. Both the Out-of-Home Plan and the Visitation Plan must be attached to the case plan. The JRSS/CPU must address not only the plan for visits as ordered by the court, but must also address the results of the parent-child interaction and any agency recommendations for expansion or restriction of future visitation.

Date: July 2, 2010

Reference: F.S. 39.701 (8)(a)7; DCF Pre-Service Training Curriculum – Case Management Overview

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Question: How does one merge cases (e.g., two post-adoption cases) in FSFN? Is there any tutorial available on that?

Answer: The "Case MergeHow Do I… Guide" has step-by-step instructions for various case merges: open-to-closed, open-to-open, closed-to-open and closed-to-closed. This and other FSFN Release 2B Training Materials can be found on our FSFN Resources page.

Date Answered: January 5, 2011

Reference: FSFN "How Do I... Guide"

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Question: Is there a policy or other reference giving specific time frames for submitting case closures in FSFN for both judicial and non-judicial cases?

Answer: Because FSFN is Florida's official case file of record for investigations and case management whether judicial or non judicial, it is critical that information contained in that record be as current and accurate as possible at any given time. Timely entry of information into FSFN is key and applies equally to documenting case closure (and current case status) under all circumstances as much as it applies to any other data or information required to be documented in FSFN as soon as possible after it occurs.

Please reference Florida Administrative Code s. 65-30.001(13) regarding FSFN as the official case record. (13) "Case File" means all information for a case contained in the department"s statewide automated child welfare information system (SACWIS), i.e., FSFN as well as the supporting paper documentation gathered during provision of services to that family. The "case file" may also refer to a duplicate, paper copy of the electronic case file and the supporting paper documentation.

Date: Nov. 2010

Reference: DCF FSPO

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Question: When do you change the legal goal from Reunification to Maintain and Strengthen placement with parent? Is it at the time the court orders the child to be reunified with the parent OR when a permanency/case plan hearing is held and the court approves Maintain and Strengthen case plan?

Answer: The case plan goal in FSFN needs to be updated (as well as legal and placement status) once the court has ordered that custody be returned to the parents.

Date Answered: Feb 9, 2011

Resources: FAC: 65C-30.014; CFOP 175-38; DCF

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Eligibility Answers

Question: Define "age of majority" as a deactivation option when deactivating a person from the case.

Answer: "Age of Majority" by definition is that age at which a youth assumes all the responsibilities of an adult under the laws of a given state. Florida's age of majority is 18. "Age of Majority" can be used as an option to deactivate a person from the case once the youth has reached the age of 18 AND is no longer receiving any services from the CBC agency.

Date Answered/Reviewed:7/29/08; 8/27/14

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: If an initial Medicaid (2626a) has already been submitted to FLORIDA with a citizenship status of "no," and the child gains citizenship status, how should the user submit this information to FLORIDA?

Answer: The user should launch the 2626a application in FSFN as well as the 2694 (Redetermination) PRIOR to submitting to FLORIDA. Be sure to enter comments that indicate this is a change to citizenship status.

NOTE: The 2694 does not have a section for citizenship status changes, however, when you launch the 2626a after changing the citizenship status in the child's person demographics screen, the 2626a will be updated with the new value.

The 2626a can only be sent on the "Initial" submission to Medicaid. FSFN does allow the user to open the 2626a template on Redeterminations, Update Demographics, etc; however, the transmission to FLORIDA only sends the 2626a as an attachment on the "Initial" only.

Date: 3/25/10

Updated/Reviewed: 4/8/10; 9/2/14

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Since Medicaid eligibility is re-determined annually by the DCF Child in Care worker in FLORIDA does FSFN require this is done there also?

Answer: The results of the re-determination must be documented in FSFN.

Date: 1/26/09

Date Updated/Reviewed: 9/2/14

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Can the CBC agencies select to not complete the re-determinations since the state is under a waiver?

Answer: Florida is under a waiver regarding Title IV-E funding sources. TANF redeterminations are required.

Date: 6/4/09

Date Updated/Reviewed: 9/2/14

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: There are three comments section used during the Eligibility submission process to FLORIDA. Which comment section should be used at what time? Which templates do the comments prefill to? (For FSFN Rev Max Users)

Answer: 1) The comments section on the Title IV-E Eligibility Determination page is for historical recording only. These comments do not populate any of the forms. 2) The comments section on the FLORIDA tab (same page as the Child's removal address, Worker Address, Other Medicaid Information, etc.) are ONLY used to pre-fill the 2626a or the 2293 when the Medicaid Action is "Initial."3) The comments section on the Eligibility Information page (where the user inserts to select the CIC worker/supervisor to send request to) are ONLY used to pre-fill the 2694 template. If using the comments section on the Eligibility Information page, be sure to select a Medicaid action of "Redetermination."

Click Here to see screen shots

Date Updated/Reviewed: 9/2/14

Reference: DCF

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Family Assessment Answers

Question: Who should be included in the family assessment?

Answer: The focus of the FFA will always include the parent/legal guardian of the alleged child victim who resides in the household where the child was maltreated.
The information domains for adult functioning, parenting and discipline/behavior management will be developed separately for each parent/legal guardian or caregiver in the household with significant responsibilities for the care and protection of the child(ren).
Other household members, intimate partners and members of the family resource network who do not have significant responsibility for the care and protection of the child(ren) will be described in the context of any impact they have on adult functioning, parenting and discipline.

Date: 9/9/14

Reference/Resource: Safety Method Practice Guidelines – All Staff; FS 39.01(10);FAC 30.005

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Question: If every person (child or adult) living in the home with the parent/caregiver has to be assessed, how would we put them in the Family Assessment, do we need to add them in FSFN and give them a service role?

Answer: Yes, if not all household members have been included in the initial case, they should be added to the case. The Family Assessment, again, should accurately reflect the members of a child's household. They will have Service Roles attached.

Households fluctuate and may change from the time of initial investigation to case transfer. Household members may come and go and the current household composition should be reflected in the Family Assessment as well as any others who may have a relationship to the child as defined in Chapter 39.

Date: 28-Jul-08

Date Reviewed/Updated:9/9/14

Reference/Resource: DCF; FS 39.301 (3) & (7)

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Question: What if a case reopens for modification of placement and child may or may not switch homes, do we assess caregiver child was removed from and prospective placement (e.g. another family member)?

Answer: If there is a motion to modify a placement, it would be appropriate to update the Family Assessment to reflect the current circumstances surrounding the child and the role of the new, proposed caregiver, background information and his or her relationship with the child, etc.

Date: 28-Jul-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When is staff required to create a Family Assessment in FSFN?

Answer: An initial Family Assessment and an Updated Family Assessment are required by Florida Administrative Code 65C - 30.005 and should be created and documented in FSFN in both new and currently active cases. The initial Family Assessment is completed within 15 working days of the Early Services Intervention staffing and is updated, at a minimum, every 6 months.

*Note: Staff currently practicing the Safety Methodology will update the FFA-ongoing, via a progress update, at critical junctures and no less than every 90 days. Other areas, not practicing the methodology (old cases) will continue to work under the 6 month time frame the family assessment.

Date Answered: 8/7/08

Date Reviewed/Updated: 9/9/14

Reference/Resource: DCF Office of Child Welfare; Phase 1 Implementation Sites: FAMILY FUNCTIONING ASSESSMENT POLICY; FAC 65C-3.005 Family Assessment

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Question: If a parent is non-offending, but unable to locate or refuses to participate, are the counselors required to complete an assessment on the parent or can they check them as Not Applicable and explain this? Hopefully this makes sense, if not let me know. My field experience indicates that you gather as much data as possible on all parents. However, I don't know how this applies to FSFN documents. Can you provide some direction for us?

Answer: The issue is more a legal one than a FSFN one. The parents, wherever they are, are legal parties to the case. Because the Family Assessment forms the foundation and literally generates the Case Plan, it is important to remember that we have legal requirements to provide a Case Plan to the parents and to make documented efforts to locate and involve non-custodial or non offending parents in the case planning process. I realize not all parents want to be a part of the process or be located, but I would be careful about the ""not applicable"" statement unless it can be documented what efforts have been made to involve them.

Be careful of looking at the Family Assessment as not being connected to the Case Plan and the entire legal process.

That being said, if one of the parents truly cannot be located or absolutely refuses to participate, that should be noted in the FA and what information can be gathered and documented about that parent should be included as it is still relevant. Sometimes, what a parent does not do, etc., can tell us more about them than what they do as far as their commitment to the child, parenting, and so on.

Date: 29-Sep-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Do children with goals of adoption, APPLA, or even a child that has been TPR'd, need to have Family Assessments performed every 6 months?

Answer: Six month updates to the initial Family Assessment (or completed more frequently in the event of significant changes during the 6 month interim) are required until the Department's case is closed and services to the family are terminated.

*NOTE Staff currently practicing the Safety Methodology will update the FFA-ongoing, via a progress update, at critical junctures and no less than every 90 days. Other areas, not practicing the methodology (old cases) will continue to work under the 6 month time frame the family assessment.

Date: 3/31/09

Date Updated/Reviewed:9/9/14

Reference/Resource: DCF Office of Child Welfare; Phase 1 Implementation Sites: FAMILY FUNCTIONING ASSESSMENT POLICY; FAC 65C-3.005 Family Assessment

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Question: Should a Family Assessment be completed on Voluntary (non-court) cases?

Answer:The new Safety Methodolgy requires that a Family Functioning Assessment-Investigation (FFA-Investigation) is completed for in-home investigations involving allegations of maltreatment by a parent, legal guardian, and/or other caregiver in the household with significant responsibity for care and protection. The only noted exceptions are when the investigation is being closed out as “Patently Unfounded,�? as a “Duplicate�? report , as a “No Jurisdiction�? report, or if the intake involves the in-home subtype ‘Other.’ Additionally, Fl Administrative code (pre-Safety Methodology) states that the Services Worker shall complete an initial family assessment within fifteen working days following the ESI staffing. The ongoing family assessment shall be completed at least every six months until termination of services. There is no distinction between court involved and non-court involved cases.

Date: 3/17/10

Date Reviewed/Updated: 9/9/14

Reference/Resource: FAC 65C-3.005 Family Assessment; Safety Methodology Practice Guidelines, Investigations

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Financial Services Answers

Question: Is there a reporting category for flex funds?

Answer: No, there is no reporting category, flex funds. Other would be an option. The reference values have been reviewed and flex was not seen there. Flex funds are among those we are working with OS Budget to develop policy around in terms of whether or not and how they are captured. They are currently captured in ICWSIS; however, it is unclear where they landed in FSFN.

Date: 26-Feb-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Invoice Batch Release: Once an invoice batch is released, is there any way to retrieve it? If not, will the CBC be able to store these outside of FSFN?

Answer: The system is designed so that the invoice batch, once released, is picked up in the check write file when the batch processes. The invoice batch cannot be retrieved once it has been released. The most recent check write file will be placed on the FTP server for the CBC to pull for processing by their local accounting system. Historical check write files will be stored in business objects in the "check write" folder.

The check write file that is downloaded for local processing appears to be the most direct way to store the data outside of FSFN. This could be an internal data store used by the accounting package or data could be saved to a standalone file.

Date: 13-May-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Will overpayment adjustments feed back into trust accounts to recoup funds if taken out to cover cost of care?

Answer: Yes. Any overpayments to providers involving money deducted from the child's Master Trust account, requires the replacement of those funds into the child's Master Trust account. Please note this is a manual process not an automated one. (Information Source: FM07: Trust Accounts Topic Paper)

Date: 2-Jun-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: If multiple benefits are included in one general trust account (SSI, SSA, etc), which benefit is deducted for cost of care?

Answer: CFOP 175-59 provides detailed explanation and guidance regarding the administration and appropriate application of specific funds associated with Master Trust accounts. The electronic allocation process is mapped as a part of the FSFN design structure. Funds are accessed in the following order:

  1. SSI
  2. VA
  3. SSA
  4. Other

The FM07: Trust Accounts Topic Paper describes the process which FSFN determines and generates the appropriate allocations:

The Trust Fund Calculation batch is there to help the Trust Account Managers to determine how much of the trust fund money can be used to reimburse the state. This is a step in the reimbursement process. (See FM04a: Reimbursement: Trust Fund Calculation Batch). This batch will access those benefits that have been designated by the Trust Account Manager as available for State reimbursement. The money set aside for Personal Needs and Conserved Funds will automatically be excluded from ongoing cost of care. Other benefits can likewise be indicated as unavailable for State reimbursement. This designation occurs through the Trust Account window. All other benefits will be used to offset the state expense for ongoing cost of care. In addition, any overpayments to provider, for which money was taken from the trust account, must have money manually returned to the child's trust account.

Date: 2-Jun-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Is there anything in place to prevent a trust account from being overdrawn?

Answer: Yes. If there is a manual withdrawal attempted that will overdraw the account, an error message alerts the FSFN user; however, this is not applicable to the automated batch process.

Date: 2-Jun-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When withdrawing money from trust account to make a payment, does it go through the manual payment process?

Answer: Yes.

Date: 2-Jun-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Can we override the cost of care/fees from being deducted from the trust account?

Answer: Yes, but only under very specific circumstances.

Date: 2-Jun-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Where can we document receipts received for trust account withdrawals like we do in our current system?

Answer: Paper receipts provided to fiscal to document expenditures for children may be scanned into the FSFN File Cabinet when that functionality becomes available for use.

Date: 2-Jun-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Where can we add comments on the trust account record?

Answer: A text field is provided on the Maintain Benefit Record for comments associated with the benefit.

Date: 2-Jun-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: In preparation for creating payments in FSFN, the FSFN invoice should indicate both foster or adoptive parents as the payee. The provider name shows just caregiver 1 as the provider name. How do we ensure the invoice has both caregiver names?

Answer: Update the Payee Name on the provider MEMBERS tab. The payee name appear on the invoice for the payment. The Invoice detail shows the provider name. The 188 generated by FSFN shows the Payee name.

Date: 16-Nov-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Would "Administrative" payment field be used for Respite payments? Can we get more detail on when and how to use this field?

Answer: Respite would be established as a Service Type. The Administrative Fee is available if you have an ongoing fee associated with this Placement or Service. An example would be when you have a home managed by a Child Placing Agency. There may be a board rate that is paid to the Provider and an Admin Fee paid to the CPA.

Date: 1-Dec-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: If a rate was entered incorrectly, can a rate payment be entered so that it will make a retroactive payment adjustment; both to increase (higher payment) or decrease (generate recoupment)? In this case the placement has not changed, only the amount associated with the payment has changed. If it can be done, how will it be done?

Answer: There is automated processing to generate overpayments or payments based on retroactive rate changes when the rate is corrected on the Service Rate page, Provider Service Rate page, or using Foster Care Rate Setting. It is a batch process performed by the Calculate Ongoing Amounts Batch (FM01). However, if the rate was entered as a child-specific rate on the OOH Placement page (or Services Page), the Placement must be ended and a new placement created with the new rate. If this is done retroactively, the system will automatically generate the retroactive overpayments for the ended placement, and new payments for the new placement.

Date: 1-Dec-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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General Application Answers

Question: I am trying to add notes to my case, but the participants do not show up for selection.

Answer: Go to case maintenance page and re-activate the participants, they will now be available for selection

Date: 12-Mar-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: I am unable to see the complete history of the work related to my case.

Answer: Deselect the Date Restricted checkbox on the maintain case page.

Date: 12-Mar-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: I assigned a case to one of my investigators, why does it still show me as primary worker?

Answer: Click on the REFRESH icon. Newly created/assigned work will be displayed.

Date: 12-Mar-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: I am unable to close a case due to denial message "open approvals".

Answer: Customer should check to make sure the investigation is closed, check placement and placement/ending to make sure they have been approved (for each child), and check for open interims including searching legal factors and adoption. In addition, please check Placement Correction for pending approvals.

Date: 12-Mar-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What is the correct use of "Subscribe/Unsubscribe" function?

Answer: The user should never click the unsubscribe link. Users by default are subscribed to all reports. If a user clicks the link accidentally, the user should click the subscribe link again to make the report accessible. The "Subscribe/Unsubscribe" link should not be removed from the display since this is also the solution to re-gaining access to the report if the user clicks unsubscribe.

Date: 12-Mar-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How do you locate a person's ID number?

Answer: From the desktop click on search. Enter first and last name of person (and any other available info) and click on SEARCH. When name appears under Persons Returned, their ID number follows their name. EX: John Doe (121212121)

Date: 12-Mar-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Does FSFN allow for a chrono note entry to be attached to a specific provider? Would a licensing counselor (DCF or CBC) be able to input chronos pertaining to these homes?

Answer: Yes, but these notes are called Provider Notes and not chrono notes as we think of them in Case or Investigations. Anyone with access to the system can add a Provider Note.

Date: 28-Jul-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Is the FSFN program designed in such a way that you can type in information and have it populate various reports?

Answer: No. Information typed into the designated screens in FSFN will automatically populate into the corresponding templates such as the Family Assessment, Safety Plan, Out of Home Plan, Visitation Plan, JRSSR, and the Case Plan. A few of the fields on the templates are user entered but most pre-populate based upon information entered on the corresponding data screens. Because the templates function as word documents, information that is user entered on the template is not automatically saved into the system and will have to be re-entered when the template is pre-populated the next time. Also, if a field is pre-populated from a screen the information must be edited on the screen and not on the template.

You use the word "report" and we think of the term report as a data or statistical report pulled from information in the system and FSFN provides a number of statistical reports but I am not certain if this is what you are asking.

Date: 28-Jul-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What do the different audit types mean when a user checks what has been done on a screen in FSFN?

Answer: The Audit search screen will display any actions the worker performed, including actions performed on the Outliner (Desktop) and from the Search page. When the Audit Search screen displays "Edit" or "View" , the worker only looked at pieces of work. When the Audit Search screen displays "Insert","Update", or "Delete" a change has been made to the database. When "open Document" is displayed in the Audit Search screen, it means the worker accessed a template.

Date: 21-Oct-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Is the SSN a required field in FSFN? Does this field allow alpha entries?

Answer: SSN is not a required field in most instances. For example, the Hotline can enter a person without an SSN. This was needed to prevent the Pseudo IDs that were previously entered in FAHIS. SSN not being a required field has been in effect since HSn. But SSN is required for a person to be a Placement Provider and for certain Eligibility Determination requests. SSN must be 9 digits, no Alpha. Other types of IDs, such as SSA and Driver's License, can have both Alpha and Numeric.

Date: 5-Jan-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Is the special Judicial Review to be held within 90 days of a youth's 17th birthday a requirement?

Answer: This Judicial Review is required by Section 39.701(6)(a), Florida Statutes, and Florida Administrative Code Section 65C-30.013 (2)(d)(1).

Date: 5-Feb-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: A parent has two children. One is removed and placed in care in one county, but the second child is removed and placed in care in a different county. Is this one case or two separate cases in FSFN? If it is one case, who is assigned as the Primary Worker? FSFN only allows one primary worker to be assigned to a case. What assignment is to be given to the worker that is not primary?

Answer: Although there may be separate legal cases and Case Plans, this is still one "FSFN Case" involving a single family in FSFN. The intent is to consolidate such cases into a single primary case (typically the one that pre-dates the others) in FSFN. The legal cases can be consolidated into the same legal circuit. If case management should remain in the second county, primary and secondary (out of county) services can be designated.

Date: 9-Feb-09; Updated 3-Sep-10

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Now that FSFN provides the functionality to verify birth information, do we still have to obtain certified copies of birth certificates for children in care?

Answer: The birth verification functionality in FSFN provides a very basic electronic mechanism for verifying birth information. The function does not produce an actual birth certificate and is not equivalent to the certified birth certificate provided by the Office of Vital Statistics. Florida Administrative Code Section 65C-30, - Identification of Children provides the following: Documentation of birth verification is required for all children under court ordered in-home supervision within 15 days after the case has been staffed and transferred to the services unit (Section 65C30.004(3)(a),F.A.C.) "Documentation of verification of the child's birth" within 15 days from initial placement for all children entering out-of-home care (Section 65C30.004(3)(b), F.A.C.)

The above requirements do not specify that the birth verification be certified; however, Florida Statute and Florida Administrative Code also provide:

Section 39.701(6)(a)(2), Florida Statutes, requires that the Judicial Review Social Study Report completed for the Judicial Review hearing held within 90 days of a youth's 17th birthday provide "written verification" that the youth has been provided a "...certified copy of his or her birth certificate...". For children in out-of-home care, Florida Administrative Code Chapter 65C-30.011(4)(a)(1) requires that a ""Copy of the child"s birth certificate or birth verification certified by the Office of Vital Statistics, as appropriate..."" be included in the Child Resource Record. Child Resource Records are not required for children under court-ordered in-home supervision.

While certified birth certificates are not required for children under court ordered in-home supervision, children in out-of-home care, including those in relative and non-relative placements, must have a certified birth certificate in their Child Resource Records. It must be remembered that a certified birth certificate is necessary during case management in such instances as filing a Termination of Parental Rights petition and when applying for certain types of services. Birth verification is not required for children under Voluntary Protective Services.

Date: 16-Feb-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Will using the Meetings function in Release 2B of FSFN and recording the outcome of the meeting in the Meetings module replace the need to do a FSFN chrono (case narrative) note about the meeting? Will this meet the DCF requirements for documentation?

Answer: Yes. It is duplicative to document the substance and outcome of the same meeting twice in the system; however, it IS advisable to note briefly in the case narrative (chrono case notes) that such a meeting did occur and that additional information may be found in the Meeting notes. An example of the value of such documentation would be if a supervisor, a QA Specialist or federal reviewer is looking in the case narrative for a specific required staffing, e.g., a Permanency staffing, he or she may not look in the Meeting section for the notes and might wrongly assume the staffing did not take place. Basic, brief cross referencing between the two locations is, therefore, prudent and recommended.

Date: 9-Mar-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Are we supposed to have the DCF logo or our agency logo on the Notices of hearings and other documents in the Forms section of FSFN?

Answer: Legal documents or any formal document that will presumably become a part of the court record should not contain any form of logo or letterhead. An example of such a document might be a statutorily required notice to a caregiver or to a child regarding a judicial review hearing. There are certain circumstances in which correspondence with letterhead or standardized federal or state forms with logos might be filed with the court; however, these are under specific circumstances and not the same as formal notices or similar documents. An example of such a filing might be a formal response received from a tribe on tribal letterhead regarding an Indian Child Welfare Act case or a state standardized medical form. Forms created by staff and used for legal purposes, however, should not have logos or letterhead.

Date: 10-Apr-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Are there specific instructions for filling out the Axis 1 and Axis 2 diagnosis in the mental health tab? Some of the choices do not match up with the doctor diagnosis.

Answer: The diagnoses listed as specific reference values for Axis I and Axis II on the Mental Health Profile Tab are consistent with those values currently recognized for these two Axes. Values for Axis I and Axis II are established diagnoses and are clinically assessed by the physician. The selection(s) chosen for these fields must match the doctor's written diagnosis. Remember that under each of these broad, very general classifications, however, are multiple "sub" diagnoses. If the diagnosis given by the doctor is one that is actually a diagnoses found under one of the broader classifications, the general classification should be selected and the actual diagnosis noted in FSFN. For example, a youth may be diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa falls under the Axis I general classification of "Eating Disorder" The general classifications for Axis I and Axis II and their corresponding, or "sub", diagnoses can be found in the DSM-IV-TR. If the diagnosis is still unclear, clarification should be requested from the physician.

Date: 3-Jun-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Should the Mentoring and Modeling for Quality in case management specify every 90 days versus every quarter? For example, the first quarter review may occur July 1, but the second quarterly review may not happen until December 31.

Answer: The expectation is that supervisory reviews occur each quarter, but certainly not as described above. The intent is to have frequent, meaningful, and timely discussions with staff. Given the scenario above, six months would have passed between discussions and that is not acceptable. Reviewers should use a logical, common sense approach to assessing this process based on the understanding that supervisory reviews should occur regularly, but at a minimum approximately every 90 days.

Date: 23-Jun-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Is it possible to view Medical/MH information on a closed case?

Answer: You can view the meds main page, but the "edit" link that takes you to the dosage, court approved, parental approved page can not be seen. To view the additional meds page, you must have an assignment to the case.

Assignment to case requires the case be open.

Date: 24-Jun-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Does MEETINGS allow the user to print out a meeting sheet that documents what you input as the results of the meeting or is it just view only?

Answer: There is a blank text template that is available within each meeting. This blank text template can be used to document important meeting decisions and this can be printed. As this is a blank text template, it will not display any of the information added to the Meeting page but any information documented on the text will be maintained within the Meeting module and can be accessed through the options drop down. The print screen is also available for printing what displays on the screen.

Date: 10-Aug-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Who approves the PDS in the system? Does the CPI complete their portion and then the CPIS approve it?

Answer: The PDS legal document requires a Level 2 approval in the system (typically supervisor). If the document includes input from more than one user (ie. CPI and Case Manager), you should have them work on inputting on the same document and determine who is the most appropriate person to do the final approval based on who has the ultimate responsibility for the document.

Date: 11-Aug-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question:
If parents are married and they own a home together, is the case manager to enter this information in both parents' Assets and Employment records, or just on one?

Answer:
To be counted, any asset MUST BE considered available to the individuals.
Please see explanations below:

BANK ACOUNTS: Divided equally if joint owners are receiving assistance. Otherwise, the balance must be entirely counted to the assistance group. If the joint owner IS an applicant/recipient of Cash or Medicaid, then the account is considered to be equally shared. If the joint owner IS NOT an applicant/recipient of Cash or Medicaid, then the account is considered to be available to each owner in its entirety.

HOMESTEAD: Totally excluded if it is the individual principal place of residence. If a second house is owned, the equity value is counted. Unless, it has been temporarily unoccupied, or the owner leaves home but legal spouse or dependent children under 18 reside in the home.

VEHICLES: You must count the average trade-in value minus indebtedness minus up to $8,500.00 if used for employment and training of the assistance group. If the vehicle is not used for employment and training or more than one car is owned, you can exclude up to $8,500.00 for only one car. If all vehicles in family are used for employment and training, combine the equity value of the vehicles, deduct up to $8,500.00. When the vehicle is jointly owned, the asset value of the vehicle is divided by the number of owners. Vehicles are totally exempt if used to transport a disabled member.

Date: 19-Aug-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What date hsould be documented in FSFN as the removal date?

Answer: For the voluntary relinquishments, the removal date is the date of the relinquishments and for others, it would be the date the children were permanently committed to the department.

Date: 29 Sept 2009

Reviewed:29 August 2014

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When a parent and child or children are living in a domestic violence shelter, is the Child Protective Investigator or the case manager allowed to enter the "real" physical address of the DV shelter where the child is located into FSFN, or do they have to make up a fictitious address?

Answer: While we believe that any information entered into FSFN is protected and secure, there is the remote possibility that such information could be compromised. In the case of domestic violence shelters, protection of the shelter's location is critical to the safety of the residents. Only the Post Office Box number of a domestic violence shelter may be entered into FSFN. Most domestic violence shelters will have Post Office Box addresses.

If a shelter does not have a Post Office Box address, a decision must be made as to an appropriate alternate address to use.

Date: 4 Nov 2009

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Is there policy or code written about editing case notes in FSFN? What is
and is not allowed?

Answer: Sections 65C-30(13) and 65C-30(134) of Florida Administrative Code establish our Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System, currently the Florida Safe Families Network (FSFN), as the official record and case file for both child protective investigations and case management. Documenting case notes is an integral and critical function of the FSFN system. Case notes must be accurate, substantive and entered in a
timely manner. Once entered and saved in FSFN, edits to case notes may only be made by the FSFN user who originally created the case note or by his or her supervisor. Any edits or changes made to a case note will be reflected in a "versioned history" of that change, allowing a review of the original language of the case note before edits. The versioned history of the note is available by selecting View History and pressing the Go button on the Options dropdown. FSFN users should always review the history of a
versioned case note. Edits to case notes may also be researched through system audit.

FSFN users should carefully review s. 839.13, Florida Statutes, regarding falsification of public records for specific guidance on maintaining the integrity of any data entered in the FSFN system. This statute refers to penalties for "... Any person who knowingly falsifies, alters, destroys, defaces, overwrites, removes, or discards an official record relating to an individual in the care and custody of a state agency, which act has the
potential to detrimentally affect the health, safety, or welfare of that individual..."; however, there are provisions in that statute for "correcting" or "updating" records. CFOP 175-42 also provides guidance regarding case note documentation.

Any edits to a case note should not alter the substantive content of the events, observations and activities initially reported in that note. Obvious typographical errors may be corrected, such as accidentally reversing the numbers of an address or telephone number or misspelling a key name, place, etc. Information should not be deleted, but may be clarified. Information accidentally omitted or not included in the initial case note should be added to the record by creating a new case note explaining the omission. Information should be updated by the creation of a new case note. Case notes should be documented as completely as possible at the time the events occur as opposed to entering a deliberately brief entry with the intention of adding information via a versioned history at a later date. Any additional information under those circumstances should be entered as a new case note referencing the earlier case note.

Date: 25 Feb 2010

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How do we enter private insurance for a child covered under the parents' insurance into FSFN?

Answer: Information on insurance policies is captured on the Assets and Employment module on the Assets and Liabilities tab. There is also a field found in the Medical and Mental Health screens that documents contact information if the health provider is an HMO. The only place to document type of insurance in the Medical and Mental Health screens is as a "note" in one of the text fields. Contact information for a private health provider should be included in the Case Notes.

Date Answered: June 22, 2010

Date Updated:

Reference/Resource: DCF Family Safety Program Office

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Question: When should you use absconded over abducted?

Answer: "Children and Families Operating Procedure 175-85 ("Prevention, Reporting and Services to Missing Children") provides the following:

a. "Abducted" means that an individual who does not have care and custody of a child under the jurisdiction of a dependency court has taken the child and left the jurisdiction of the court or in some manner is avoiding the supervision ordered by the dependency court.

b. "Absconded" means that an individual who has care and custody of a child under the jurisdiction of a dependency court has taken the child and left the jurisdiction of the court or in some manner is avoiding the supervision ordered by the dependency court.

The difference is in "abducted" the parent is not the custodian of the child (this would, for example, be the abduction of a child in an in-home supervision case by a non-custodial parent) and in ""absconded"", the parent is the custodian of the child (this would, for example, apply to an in-home case in which the family disappears with the child to avoid supervision). These circumstances may apply to Living Arrangements both investigations and in-home cases when the family is under the jurisdiction of the dependency court.

**Please note that the DCF Missing Children Guide currently uses "Parental Abduction"" to describe any abduction of a child by a parent. The word "absconded" is not frequently used as a descriptive term, although it is occasionally used as a verb when referring to an abduction. The term "Endangered" is used if the abduction is suspected to be an abduction by a stranger."

Date: 27-Oct-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Is there a policy or other reference giving specific time frames for submitting case closures in FSFN for both judicial and non-judicial cases?

Answer: Because FSFN is Florida's official case file of record for investigations and case management whether judicial or non-judicial, it is critical that information contained in that record be as current and accurate as possible at any given time. Timely entry of information into FSFN is key and applies equally to documenting case closure (and current case status) under all circumstances as much as it applies to any other data or information required to be documented in FSFN as soon as possible after it occurs.

Date Answered: October 11, 2010

Reference/Resource: Florida Administrative Code s. 65-30.001 (13), DCF Family Safety Program Office

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Question: When the court places a child into Permanent Guardianship and closes the case, do we also close the Removal Episode in FSFN? If the child then comes back into out-of-home care because the placement disrupts or the Permanent Guardian dies, is this a new Removal Episode? Who is the child sheltered from? The original removal parents or the Permanent Guardian?

Does it matter if parental rights are terminated or not?

Answer: When a child is placed by the court into Permanent Guardianship as one of the five permanency goals under section 39. 6221, F. S., and the court closes the case to further services by the Department or its contracted agency, the Removal Episode is considered discharged and is ended in FSFN.

If the child is later removed from the Permanent Guardian and re-enters out-of-home care, a new Removal Episode in entered into FSFN. The child is considered removed from the Permanent Guardian not from the original removal parents even if parental rights have not been terminated. The court may shelter the child and modify the existing custody order, as appropriate, to reflect a new entry and placement in out-of-home care.

Please note that CFOP 175-71 provides definitions for a "Removal Episode" as follows:

3-8. Removal Episode. A "removal episode" refers to the period of time that begins with the child"s removal (physically, judicially, or voluntarily) and includes one or more subsequent placements in out-of-home care settings. A removal episode ends when a child is:

a. Reunified with his/her parent(s); this does not include returned for a trial home visit. A trial home visit is considered a "step in the reunification process," unless it extends for more than six months without a judicial extension; or

b. Legally adopted (finalized); or

c. Permanently placed in the home of a relative or non-relative and the Department and court involvement ceases.

The definition for "Removal Episode" is also found in Florida Administrative Code at s. 65C-30.001 (116) and in federal language on the DHHS Children's Bureau website at the following webpage: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/cwpm/programs/cb/laws_policies/laws/cwpm/policy_dsp.jsp?citID=149

Please note that section 39.6221(5)(6) provides that certain parental rights do remain intact unless parental rights are legally terminated.

(5)The court shall retain jurisdiction over the case and the child shall remain in the custody of the permanent guardian unless the order creating the permanent guardianship is modified by the court. The court shall discontinue regular review hearings and relieve the department of the responsibility for supervising the placement of the child. Not withstanding the retention of jurisdiction, the placement shall be considered permanency for the child.

(6) Placement of a child in a permanent guardianship does not terminate the parent-child relationship, including:

(a) The right of the child to inherit from his or her parents;

(b) The parents" right to consent to the child"s adoption; and

(c) The parents" responsibility to provide financial, medical, and other support for the child as ordered by the court.

Date: October 13, 2010

Reference/Resource: DCF Family Safety Program Office

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Question: If a child is taking psychotropic medication while residing with his/her parent (in-home) does this information need to be entered within the Medical/Mental Health screens the same as a child in out-of-home care? Do we have to document medical and mental health information in FSFN for in-home supervision cases?

Answer: Yes. Any child who is prescribed psychotropic medication, regardless of their living arrangement/ placement, must have this documented in FSFN within the Medical and Mental Health module screens. Unlike children in out-of-home care, children in in-home care, however, are in the legal custody of their parents or legal custodians. The parents/legal custodian can consent to medical treatment and medication without the intervention of the court. The issue with in-home cases is not around consent but, rather, documentation of a child's overall health needs while under the supervision of the Department or contracted agency.

Section 65C-30.007, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), provides that children under the supervision of the Department must be seen, at a minimum, every 30 days. The 30-day face-to-face contact with the child must include information regarding the child's progress in terms of health and well-being. Per F.A.C., this information must be documented in the child's case file (FSFN) within two working days. Documenting a child's medical and mental health history is critical to ensuring child well-being and is essential to providing effective services to families. Requirements to document a child's health needs apply to both investigations and case management. Gathering information on a child's health, including mental health, should be documented in FSFN from the investigation phase throughout the life of the case to termination of services. Medical and mental health information are essential to developing and maintaining other critical FSFN assessments and required documents such as the Family Assessment, Case Plan, JRSSR, Safety Plan and the Out-of-Home Plan. This requirement applies to judicial in-home cases. Non-judicial in-home cases must also have a Family Assessment and Case Plan; however, these are not filed with the court.

Date: Nov-2010

Date Reviewed/Updated: 8/31/16

Reference/Resource: DCF FSPO; FAC 65C-30.007

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ICPC Answers

Question: What address is to be used for the "case" address as users are prompted to enter the case address prior to saving changes (such as changing the case type) on the participants screen?

Answer: The person address documents each person or case participant's specific location at a point in time. Consequently, it must be provided each time that the person's address changes, particularly a child's change in address.

However, the Case address is a different matter. While the Case Type may indicate what the address may be, the general rule of thumb is:

  • If it is an ongoing services case with or without a removal, it is the caregiver (parents) or removal caregiver's address. This includes cases created as a result of special condition referrals for caregiver unavailable or parent needs assistance.
  • If it is a case created for an institutional investigation or a foster care referral, it is the institution's address.
  • If it is a case created as a result of a services referral, not including ICPC homestudy requests or incoming placements, it is the caregiver's address.
  • If it is a case created through an ICPC request for a homestudy and subsequent placement in Florida, it is the Florida caregiver's address.
  • If it is an adoption subsidy case, it is the adoptive parent's address.
  • If it is a case opened for services to a young adult and there are no other children active or inactive as case participants, it is the young adult's address.
  • If it is a case with only a youth receiving IL services (are still in a removal episode), the case address is the removal caregiver's address.

Date Answered: 11/27/07

Dave Reviewed/Updated: 09/15/14

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Is it required to add a goal for ICPC supervision cases?

Answer: No, we do not enter a permanency goal for a child from another state that is placed here in Florida (incoming ICPC cases), as the sending state holds jurisdiction. The system does not require this.

Date:12/17/07

Dave Reviewed/Updated: 09/15/14

Reference/Resource: DCF; FS 409.401l; CFOP 175.54

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Question: When we receive children here form another state through ICPC and are providing courtesy supervision, is there a time limit for "building" the case in FSFN?

Answer: Unless otherwise specified in Florida Administrative Code, ALL casework information should be documented in FSFN within 48 hours. Some actions referenced in Florida Administrative Code give a different time frame, e.g., documenting a visit with a child, or an unsuccessful attempt to make such a visit, must be documented within ""two working days". This 48 hour time frame is a carry-over from HomeSafenet and is supported by requirements found in CFOP 175-42. CFOP 175-42 provides, " Each entry in the case chronological recording will be complete but concise, and must be made at the time of or immediately following the event or contact." The time frames for entering data have not changed with the implementation of FSFN.

Documenting out-of-state children in FSFN as soon as possible is extremely important. We are not only providing supervisory information back to the sending state but in the event of a Hotline report on a child recently placed in Florida, the Hotline and the CPI benefit from current case information being available to them in the system.

Date:7/28/08

Dave Reviewed/Updated: 9/3/10; 09/15/14

Reference/Resource: DCF;F.S.39.301(9)(b)5.; CFOP 175-42 (5); F.A.C. 65C-29.003(6), 65C-30.018

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Question: Is the Case Manager required to obtain birth verification for children placed in Florida via an ICPC request from another state?

Answer: The birth certificate may be sent with the Home Study request from the other state. However, if it is not, the Case Manager is not required to obtain and document the birth certificate for a child placed on Florida via ICPC.

Date: 9/26/08

Dave Reviewed/Updated: 09/15/14

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When do we use the FSFN Case Type "ICPC"? When the children are placed here in Florida from another state or when we send children from Florida out of state, or both?

Answer: The FSFN Case Type "ICPC" is used to designate children coming into Florida from a Sending State and for whom we have no legal jurisdiction. Their legal jurisdiction rests in the Sending State. We, therefore, are not required to have a Florida Case Plan, complete Judicial Reviews or complete similar case management, typically legal, activities. These responsibilities are being completed in and by the Sending State. We are providing the completion of a home study, supervision of the child and services, as indicated.

Children leaving Florida to reside in another state via ICPC are given the FSFN Case Type that corresponds to their case status in Florida. For example, ""Out-of-Home - Court Ordered"" would be the Case Type for a child going to an out-of-home placement in another state. An In-Home Supervision case in Florida moving to another state would have the Case Type "In-Home - Court Ordered Supervision".

"ICPC Priority" is a Case Type referring to an expedited home study request.

Date: 3/9/09

Dave Reviewed/Updated: 09/15/14

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Should the responsibility of completing supervisory reviews for OTI and ICPC cases remain with the Primary Worker's supervisor?

Answer: Supervisors should complete, at a minimum, quarterly reviews on all of the cases of all the workers under their direct supervision, regardless of the legal jurisdiction of the case or the case assignment in FSFN. Supervisory oversight is necessary to ensure all case management responsibilities and tasks (whether primary or secondary) are met and to identify any concerns or omissions. Supervisory oversight is critical to documenting case management requirements in the county of jurisdiction are met, e.g., legal requirements and overall case planning, and in the non-jurisdictional county to ensure appropriate supervision and services for the child and caregivers. Parts of the supervisory review may not be applicable, depending on the case assignment, for all workers. Supervisory review is key to quality assurance in case management regardless of the county of jurisdiction or case assignment.

Date: 5/5/09

Dave Reviewed/Updated: 09/15/14

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Answers

Question: Please verify if this tab is completed only if the child is placed in an ICWA placement or do they complete the top portion of the tab on every child and the bottom portion of the tab for ICWA placements?

Answer:

The Special Requirements tab documents steps taken to comply with two federal mandates and requirements. Please refer to Chapter 65C-28.004 (Placement Matching Requirements), Florida Administrative Code (FAC), for further information on these two important pieces of federal legislation relating to the placement of children: the Indian Child Welfare Act and McKinney-Vento Act.

The Placement Considerations tab provides a checkbox if the child has been verified as meeting ICWA criteria. If checked, the Special Requirements tab is mandatory. Note: if checked, the Tribal Representative (Designated Tribal Agent) must be notified and documented on the Placement Considerations tab.

On the Special Requirements tab, you must also document efforts made to determine whether or not the child meets ICWA criteria to comply with Chapter 65C-28.013, (Indian Child Welfare Act), FAC, which requires that an ICWA determination be made at the onset of each investigation and is required. deleted rest of sentence, this is going to be required. This is a narrative description that documents compliance.

The second narrative box on this tab relates to the McKinney-Vento Act and documents that efforts were made to not disrupt the child's educational setting. The Search hyperlink allows the person searching for a placement to conduct a search for an appropriate setting via the Provider Search page. The information found on the FSFN and Center for Excellence websites, provides the following regarding the Search feature:

When the Search hyperlink is selected, the Provider Search page is displayed for the user to search for a provider. Once a provider is searched out and selected off of the Provider Search page, the Provider will be system derived and will pre-fill into the Provider Name and Provider Address field in the General Info group box. Also, once the Provider is returned to the Special Requirements tab, the Search hyperlink becomes a Remove hyperlink. Selecting the Remove hyperlink removes the Provider name and address information from the fields on the tab.

Date: 29-Sep-08.

Updated: 17-April-2012

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Independent Living Answers

Question: If the child must have a placement, can the child be created as his/her own provider?

Answer: Yes, that is correct. In order for us to make a payment to the youth for his or her Subsidized Independent Living expenses, the youth will have to be entered as a Provider.

Date: 5-Sept-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How do you create a new case for a young adult remaining in or re-entering one of the Independent Living Programs?

Answer: When a young adult enrolls in an Independent Living Program, the case worker will create a new case for the young adult by splitting the original dependency case. A new “split case�? should be created whether or not there are other child victims in the original dependency case. The “split case�? functionality is available on the “Options�? dropdown menu on the Maintain Case page. This feature allows a new case to be created while preserving the young adult’s case history in the new case. Information that is case-specific to the original case remains accessible to the case worker through the new case, such as the Family Assessment, Investigation, Narratives, and legal documents.

Date Answered: 9/5/08

Date Reviewed/Updated: 9/23/14

Reference/Resource: DCF Policy Guidance Memo: (http://www.centerforchildwelfare.org/kb/policymemos/FSFNPolicyGuidanceIL.pdf)

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Question: If a youth in the 18-23 age group is receiving Independent Living services and marries, should the husband and their baby be added to the youth's FSFN Case?

Answer: No, this would be a breach of the husband's and the baby's privacy. Although they are household members, unless there is a dependency case involving the husband and baby, they should not be entered into FSFN (assuming there is no current or open Intake into the system). The Independent Living youth should remain a case of one. The services designated in that case are specific to the Independent Living youth.

If, however, a new Intake is received on one of the members of the household, that report must be added to the existing SIL services case. The FSFN Case is then processed as any other Intake in terms of documentation. Cases in FSFN are intended to encompass all aspects of the family and any services provided to the family and it would not be appropriate to create a separate and parallel case when one already exists in the FSFN system. The receipt of a an Intake report changes the nature of the case, nevertheless, the case should remain one FSFN case.

Date Answered: July 2, 2010

Date Updated/Reviewed: 9/24/14

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When you create a SIL child as a Person Provider what values do you give the Person Provider for "Type", "Lcns Type", "Lcns Agency"?

Answer: The Type is "Services", the Licensing Type is "Not Applicable" and the Licensing Agency is "Not Applicable". The youth is neither licensed nor approved by any agency to provide placement or services. Rather, the youth is created as a Person Provider strictly for the purpose of receiving services from the Department under the Independent Living program.

Date: 10-Aug-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Intake Answers

Question: Currently, FSFN requires the user to identify a caregiver responsible for any verified maltreatments. However, there are instances in which the caregiver responsible is unknown. How should this be reflected in the system?

Answer: FSFN does not allow the user to add an Unknown, Unknown person to the investigation. "In instances in which the hotline intake does not have an unknown participant and:

1. Maltreatment is verified, the possible caregivers responsible are ruled out and the perp is an unknown person other than those named in the intake.

OR

2. Maltreatment is verified, but the alleged caregivers responsible can neither be ruled in or out, meaning, it cannot be determined which of the alleged perps are responsible for the maltreatment.

  • In these instances, the user will add an unknown person to the case and the investigation, as follows:
  • From the dsktop, click on the case name link
  • On the Participants Tab, click Insert button
  • This will bring you to the Search Screen
  • Enter "Unk" on the Last Name field and "Unk" in the first name field. If both are not done at the same time, it is not considered a valid search and the user will have to search again.
  • Click Search, the results are returned
  • Ignore the search results
  • Click Create at the bottom right corner of the screen
  • This will take you to the Person Management screens
  • Create a case participant person with a last and first names of "Unk, Unk"
  • Do not spell out the full name of "Unknown"
  • Once the Unk case participant is created, click on the investigation
  • Click on Participants Tab
  • Click Insert button
  • Additional Case Participants Pop-up Box will appear
  • Select the "Unk, Unk" case participant
  • Click Continue
  • Proceed to complete all other required information.

Date: 21-Jun-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How much work can I do on my investigation before I can no longer delink the Intake from a case?

Answer: The delink intake process can be utilized up to the point where the commencement note is created. Any work on the investigation beyond the commencement note will prevent the ability of the Intake from being delinked. The System automatically assigns the intake to the user completing the delink process.

Date Answered: 3/12/08

Date Updated/Reviewed: 9/24/14

Reference/Resource: DCF; FSFN Intake User Guide

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Question: When a new intake comes in to the Hotline on a child that has been adopted and results in a removal from the adoptive home, should the intake be linked to the post adoption case? Should the removal be documented in the post adoption case or should a new case be started for this removal?

Answer: The post-adoptive case should be treated as a family case just like any other case. The intake and removal should be linked to the post-adoptive case so that the activities of the family can be tracked under one case. The post adoption subsidy case may remain active and the child may be removed and be in foster care. The federal law states that a subsidy may continue to be paid to an adoptive family even though the child is removed until it is determined that the parent is no longer supporting the child while in care/living with someone else/in residential or the parent becomes no longer legally responsible thru a TPR. FSFN supports the ability to pay a subsidy through an in-home service while the child may potentially be in a removal/placement receiving a board rate payment through the placement.

Notes to CPI: After the investigation has been completed, the post-adoptive case and the subsidy remains open in FSFN and re-assigned back to CBC as primary.

Date: 11-Feb-10

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Where is the rule and/or policy about splitting cases/investigations when you have more than one family in a home and there are numerous victims?

Answer: The following policy is from the Family Safety Program Office:

Intakes should be split when there is more than one distinct family unit in a household AND maltreatment allegations exist on both primary caregivers of the two distinct households.

Each distinct household should have their own case shell in the above scenario. However, if there are two family units in one household listed on an intake in the same case shell, but there are no allegations against one of the family units, then all household members (of both family units) should remain on one intake within one case shell and appropriate background checks and assessments completed.

Date: May 25, 2010

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Investigations Answers

Question: What is the process when the inappropriate assessment completed on an investigation (e.g., In Home on an Institutional investigation)?

Answer: The CPI can change the Investigation type at any point up to when the CPI is ready to complete the initial child safety assessment. The CPI must change the investigative type prior to selecting the "Create Initial Safety Assessment" option from the Options drop-down box. The CPI still has the ability to change the investigative type up to the point of saving the initial safety assessment. The CPI will not be able to change the Investigation Type after the initial safety assessment has been saved.

If the user fails to change the type prior to saving, the user will have to close the investigation, have the hotline create a new intake and begin a new investigation shell.

Date: 6-Feb-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Does the automated message replace external notifications required to Licensing for Institutional Investigations?

Answer: No, the automated messaging does not replace the requirement for the CPI to contact the licensing worker. The automated messaging function assists in immediately alerting the licensing worker an ongoing services worker that an intake has been accepted involving the licensed home. However, it does not provide these workers with the information regarding the allegations received, investigative response and investigative findings. The CPI is still required to coordinate the exchange of information between all appropriate parties.

Date: 4-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Investigations, Basic Tab: Time of Incident

Answer: This question refers to the Child Investigation, Basic Tab, "Family Structure at Time of Incident". This is an NCANDS requirement to identify the child"s family structure at the time the alleged incident of maltreatment occurred. The values used are the same as the AFCARS values for the family structure at the time of removal.

Date: 7-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Please provide guidance on Child intakes with regard to (a) creating parent(s) for child victims in the case and (b) whether a case needs to be created for each family/child when an Intake alleges the abuse and neglect of multiple children in an Institutional setting. If multiple cases are created, how will this work if only one Intake comes in, yet an Intake is needed to create each case. Who will the Institutional Intakes and Cases be named after? The Organization/Institution or the perpetrator who works at the Institution/Organization/Facility? Please clarify who we include as Case Participants in FSFN for Institutional Investigation cases.

Answer: For each victim named in an Institutional Investigation, add their primary caregiver(s) as a Case Participant on the Maintain Case page. The parent/caregivers do not need to be added to the Institutional investigation.

An intake can only be associated to one investigation under a singular case. For Institutional intakes, the case will be named after the Institutional provider. For example, Happy Times Child Learning Center. This will allow for the maintenance of all intakes and investigations for a provider to be tracked through one case only. A prior history check on the named victims will reflect the institutional cases to which they maybe associated.

Date: 8-Mar-07

Revised: 30-Mar-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When does the '24 hour' timeframe begin? At receipt of complaint by hotline - or commencement? How will this be captured for reporting purposes?

Answer: Commencement within 24 hours of intake receipt at the hotline is required for all investigations. The initial child safety assessment must be submitted within 48 hrs of first victim seen.

Date: 8-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Do PIs need to track out of state requests for investigations? If so, how? Is it simply via a Service Referral as there is no call into the Hotline?

Answer: Out of state requests for INVESTIGATIONS are accepted as an intake if the screening criteria are met. If this question refers to out-of-state requests to complete a homestudy, this will be accepted as a Service Referral. If this question refers to a request to locate from another state, but the family's specific whereabouts in Florida are not known, an Alert will be entered by the Hotline.

Date: 8-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Additional Actions is not part of Assessment tabs and PI is prompted to submit Initial review then update this after. Supervisor will be reviewing information absent this information being submitted.

Answer: The Additional Actions were moved from within the context of the initial child safety assessment and into the overall investigation shell, as they can be addressed at any point in the investigation. Although information yielded from these additional actions may result in an updated child safety assessment tool, hey reflect needed investigative activities, not assessment factors. The supervisor can access the investigation at any given time during the investigative process and address any additional actions needed.

Date: 8-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: On-site vs. enhanced investigation - do you determine before you go out?

Answer: You determine this at any given time in the investigative process where you have gathered the necessary information to determine if the criteria are met.

Date: 8-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: If a Person has criminal history, are they to itemize the criminal history or just summarize? Where/how does PI get criminal history from CI Unit?

Answer: The CI Unit will document the criminal background information on the Intake. The CPI will summarize this information n the Criminal History Summary and Implications for Child Safety Tab. The same documentation requirements provided in the HSn Workbook apply.

Date: 8-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Child on Child safety assessment requires a number for the Answer. However, question #9 it is accepting a "yes" or "no".

Answer: If the Answer is "0", select no. If there are one or more instances, select "yes". Enter the actual number and related explanation in the text box. A decision was made by the ESC to hold there COC change request for Release 2, as only 3% of intakes received are COCs.

Date: 21-Jun-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Closure letters will not be automatically sent, but there will be a standard text form in the new FSFN system. Is this form automatically pre-filled at closure, or does the investigator have to fill in the blank areas of the form?

Answer: Please see the closing letter text template. This version includes comments that explain whether or not a field is user entered on the template, or pre-filled from the system. This text template has both user entered and pre-filled text from the application. One very important piece for any and all text templates in FSFN: They need to be created prior to closing of the piece of work (that the template is to be attached to). So, for the closing letter - the letter must be generated PRIOR to the investigation being closed.

Date: 21-Jun-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Is a particular security profile or job designation required to do a Second Party Review of a Safety Assessment?

Answer: You do NOT need ANY particular Job Designation for the worker to do a Second Party Review of a Safety Assessment. They can be either a Unit Supervisor, Acting Supervisor, OR Specialist L2 in ANY Unit, or any other Job designation you prefer.

Based on the above I just want to make sure that you can not send it to CPI or clerical staff and get them to do the 2nd party review. From the end of his statement "or any other Job designation you prefer". It appears that it does not tie to a security role. I want to make sure that the security role does match over. I will forward you my original e-mail as I still have no resolution to it. The question was on how to set up our units to do what we are supposed to do. I had it set up with what I thought was correct and now they removed the Unit Supervisor 2 so it has changed and now I am trying to get it straight again without having to put people in multiple times with multiple roles to get it to work correct.

Date: 21-Jun-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Can you select someone other than your supervisor to complete a child assessment review and approval?

Answer: The search link will allow a search of all workers. However, the system checks the selection and gives an error message if the worker chosen is not the primary supervisor or acting supervisor for the unit. There is no restriction that prevents a supervisor from one county being made an acting supervisor of a unit in another county. However, a unit assignment would need to be done by the security officer or security representative prior to the review.

Date: 21-Jun-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Are we able to add more than one caregiver responsible to our investigations? The system only gives us the option to selected one caregiver responsible to be selected.

Answer: Each allegation row can have only one caregiver responsible identified. However, you can insert the maltreatment so that the maltreatment is listed twice; then you can attach one person to each one of the maltreatments.

Date: 21-Jun-07

Reference/Resource: DCF, SE CBC

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Question: When you go into the background page for the investigation and you click on the view tab next to the prior, it takes you into the prior intake, instead of the prior investigation. Is this an error in the training region or was it set up to do that? If it was set up that way, what would our chances be to (and how would we) request the system to take you into the investigation instead of the intake. The reason for this, when reviewing prior history, we are looking at the outcome as well as the allegations and if that background history page would allow you to go into the investigation, then viewing and printing priors would be fairly simple.

Answer: The CPI will have to search for the associated investigation and pull it up in order to see the details of the investigation. However, if the prior investigation is under the same case as the current investigation, that prior investigation will be viewable from the desk top. If it is under a different case, but the current case shows the "related" people, when you click on the icon on the desktop, it will take you to the associated case. When you expand it, you should be able to see the prior investigation.

Date: 21-Jun-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: For cases ESI'd for services, who will have the responsibility to create the living arrangement/placement and child medical/mental health information in FSFN?

Answer: Chapter 65C-29.003 (l), F.A.C., Child Protective Investigations, states "If the department or sheriff's office determines the need to engage ongoing services, whether these services are voluntary or court ordered, an Early Services Intervention (ESI) staffing shall be requested by the child protective investigator and their supervisor, pursuant to the requirements of Rule 65C-30.002, F.A.C. "Chapter 65C-29.003 (6) (a) 1. d. states: " If the child is taken into custody, the child protective investigator shall complete the Emergency Intake Form (attached), in order to identify any current medical information/needs of the child that are known by the parent, guardian or legal custodian." Chapter 65C-30.002 (d) states: "At the ESI staffing, the CPI shall provide: 1. An up-to-date automated investigative file including chronological notes; 4. Name and location of child's medical provider(s) and any health or medical information, if available; 13. Evidence of establishment of the case in the department's statewide automated child welfare information system; "Our office's interpretation of the cited administrative code requirements indicates that the CPI has the responsibility to create the living arrangement/placement and medical/mental health information, prior to and in preparation for, the ESI staffing. An up-to-date automated investigative file, as well as the establishment of the case in the automated system requires that the child's location and placement information be accurately reflected in the system. Additionally, both 65C-29 and 65C-30 require the CPI to document the appropriate medical/mental health information, including medication information.

Date: 21-Jun-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When an investigation comes in and a safety assessment has been completed prior to the victims being seen, is the Child Investigation and Special Conditions Status report tracking that when the victims are seen that an updated safety assessment is due in 48 hours?

Answer: The Child Investigation and Special Conditions Status report provides a "Y" for Completed within 48 hours of first victim seen if the time is < or = 48 hours since the difference is a negative number . As such, if the time is -24 hours (meaning the safety assessment was completed 24 hours prior to the first victim seen), the column displays a "Y" as this is less than 48 hours.

Date: 31-Jan-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Why can't I create an Investigation on my intake? I don't receive the option to select the radio button when I click on create; I receive a message indicating that the case is in the closure process.

Answer: Supervisor needs to go to the Closing History tab in the case, select the status option for the case and change the reason to Closure Disruption. The Supervisor must then go to approval process and select Not Approve and save. Once the closure is disrupted the worker will be able to create the new investigation.

Date: 6-Feb-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How much work can I do on my investigation before I can no longer delink the Intake from a case?

Answer: The delink intake process can be utilized up to the point where the commencement note is created. Any work on the investigation beyond the commencement note will prevent the ability of the Intake from being delinked. The System automatically assigns the intake to the user completing the delink process.

Date: 12-Mar-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How should the Cases for Institutional Investigations be named?

Answer: They come automatically named after the youngest victim's name from the hotline. The CPI is required to change the case name after the mother's name or next in the naming convention hierarchy, as appropriate. If the intake is an institutional intake, the case will be named after the provider's name. If it is a person provider, the person provider's name. If the provider is an institutional provider, the case name is entered as the institutional provider's formal name, entered in the case last name field.

Date: 1-Apr-08

Related FAQs: Intake 3

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What are the closing reasons for child investigations?

Answer: It should be noted that on all investigations that are closed as a duplicate or no jurisdiction, the investigator shall document the rationale for this determination in the chronological record and obtain supervisory approval.

Duplicate - If the review of the prior reports indicates the existence of a prior that contains allegations of the same incident contained in the new initial report, and the new report does not offer new information, additional subjects, new evidence, or additional allegations or incidents, the child protective investigator shall submit the new report for supervisory review and approval to close the report as a duplicate of the prior report.

No Jurisdiction / Federal Property – If during the course of the investigation it is determined that the allegations are of harm or threatened harm to a child residing on federal property such as an Indian reservation, military base, or employee housing at a Federal Prison, etc. (unless there is an agreement with the appropriate authorities to surrender jurisdiction to the Department), the investigator shall immediately transfer the information on the report to the appropriate authorities who have jurisdiction over the property and submit the report for supervisory review and approval to close the report as "No Jurisdiction – Federal Property".

No Jurisdiction / Non Caregiver – If during the course of the investigation it is determined that the instance of known or suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect was alleged to have been perpetrated by someone other than a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child"s welfare, the investigator shall immediately transfer the information on the report to the appropriate county sheriff"s office and submit the report for supervisory review and approval to close the report as "No Jurisdiction – No Caregiver".

No Jurisdiction / Official Capacity – If during the course of the investigation it is determined that the alleged perpetrator is a staff member in a general hospital (excluding a psychiatric ward), law enforcement officer or employee of a jail (excluding a law enforcement officer employed in any facility, service, or program for children that is operated or contracted by the Department of Juvenile Justice) acting in an official capacity, the investigator shall immediately transfer the information on the report to the appropriate county sheriff"s office and submit the report for supervisory review and approval to close the report as "No Jurisdiction – Official Capacity".

No Jurisdiction / Victim Out of State – If during the course of the investigation it is determined that the instance of known or suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect occurred out of state and the alleged perpetrator and the child alleged to be a victim live out of state, then the investigator should transfer the information on the report to the appropriate state and submit the report for supervisory review and approval to close the report as "No Jurisdiction – Victim Out of State".

No Jurisdiction / Victim Over 18 – If during the course of the investigation it is determined that the alleged victim of maltreatment was over the age of 18 at the time of the alleged maltreatment, the investigator shall immediately transfer the information on the report to the appropriate county sheriff"s office and submit the report for supervisory review and approval to close the report as "No Jurisdiction – Victim Over 18".

Closing / No Services – When the investigation is complete and neither voluntary or court ordered services have been referred for any of the participants on the investigation, the child protective investigator shall submit the report for supervisory review and approval to close the report as "Closing – No Services".

Closing / Services – When the investigation is complete and voluntary or court ordered services have been referred for any of the participants on the investigation, the child protective investigator shall submit the report for supervisory review and approval to close the report as "Closing – Services".

Date: 1-Apr-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When CPI's create a provider for placement purposes, are these providers supposed to be transferred to the community based care agency when the case is transferred from investigations to case management? Where can I find this information?

Answer: (From the "How Do I? Job Aids") - Approved relative/non-relative providers will be created by the Child Protective Investigator or Case Manager making the placement.

If the approved provider is created by the CPI and the case is transferred for ongoing services, the assigned to the provider will be transferred to the appropriate caseworker in conjunction with the Case assignment transfer.

The last worker assigned to the approved provider record will be responsible for inactivating the provider record once the approved provider ceases to provide placement services to all the children placed in the home.

Date: 31-Jul-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What would be the Service Role for a child/victim's parent/caregivers in an Institutional case/investigation?

Answer: The Service Role for a child/victim's parent/caregivers in an institutional case/investigation would be "Primary Caregiver".

Date: 30-Mar-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: The Child on Child Job Aid clearly states to add the parent/caregivers (including substitute caregivers) as Case Participants. Are they also added to the investigation as Investigation Participants?

Answer: For each child included as a Participant to a Child on Child Referral, add their Primary Caregiver(s) as a Case Participant on the Maintain Case page. If the child is in out-of-home placement, enter both the primary substitute caregiver and the biological/adoptive parent or caregiver from whom the child was removed. The parent/caregivers (including substitute caregivers) do not need to be added to the Child on Child Referral.

Date: 30-Mar-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: If an intake meets criteria to complete an on-site investigation, what selection should we choose for the "determination" screen?

Answer: The selection as either an on-site investigation or enhanced investigation does not change the child protective investigators selection decision for the "determination" value.

If the investigator determines the report meets the parameters of either a "duplicate" or "no-jurisdiction" report, then they should close as such. If the initial assessment determines the report meets the parameters for an on-site investigation, but the family may benefit from services, then they should refer as appropriate and use the "closing-services" value. For on-site investigations the child protective investigator is still required to assess for service provision and make appropriate referrals. If the initial assessment determines the report meets the parameters for an on-site investigations, and the investigator does not refer the family for services, then the "determination" value is "closing-no services".

Date: 6-May-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When an investigation is moved, does the CPI have to close the originating case shell; assuming nothing else was going on in the originating case shell.

Answer: Yes. The investigation move process does not close the originating case. If there is not additional work that needs to be completed within the originating case, the Case Closure process should be completed and the text field on the case closure can be used to document why the case was opened and closed.

Date: 7-Aug-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: In reference to the printed Intake Summary on special conditions reports, why does the investigative sub-type reflect N/A instead of the type of Special Conditions Intake, such as child-on-child or parent in need of assistance? Is it possible to get this changed so that the type of special conditions report shows on the printed intake summary?

Answer: Special condition referrals are not investigations. Therefore the "investigation sub-type" would not be the appropriate area to document such information. The intake summary does differentiate a special conditions from an investigation, but you are right ... the intake summary does not contain the special conditions type (parent needs assistance, child-on-child, etc). However, this information is easily accessible and viewable on the special conditions tab within the intake in FSFN.

Date: March 2, 2010

Reference: DCF Office of Family Safety

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Question: When a youth under the age of eighteen is already a participant in a FSFN case, whether In-Home or Out-of-Home Services, and that youth is also a parent who becomes the subject of an abuse investigation, is the investigation created in the existing FSFN Case or is a new FSFN Case created on the youth/parent?

Answer: If a youth/parent who is a participant in a FSFN Case becomes the subject of an abuse investigation, a new FSFN case is created as the result of that investigation. Although the youth/parent is residing in the same household as other participants or family members, he or she is still a separate family unit for purposes of an investigation.

Date: July 2, 2010

Reference: DCF

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Legal Answers

Question: In FSFN there are two legal statuses for children whose parental rights were terminated. One is TPR Obtained and the other is TPR Granted (All). What is the difference? When do you use one over the other for legal status?

Answer: TPR OBTAINED can apply to a single parent or more than one parent; however, TPR ALL reflects that TPR has been obtained on ALL persons who have a legal right to the child, be that one, two or three people, etc. That is the intent of the TPR-ALL reference value in the drop-down. In other words, a child is not free for adoption unless the TPR-ALL is selected.

TPR OBTAINED could be that we have TPR on the mother only, or the mother and one of the fathers, but not the other father, if there is a third father. If there are only two parents, a mother and one father, and you have TPR on both of them and they are the only ones with parental rights to the child, then you have TPR-ALL.

Actually, if the mother is the only living parent and the only parent with parental rights to the child, then to TPR her alone, could be a TPR-ALL. There is no one else to TPR.

The way it was originally conceived and expressed in design is that there is a need to capture when only ONE parent is "TPR'd" (or had their legal rights to a child terminated) as opposed to the termination of the parental rights of ALL those who have legally established parental rights to a given child.

A child may have more than two parents with legal rights that must be severed or terminated before they can become legally free for adoption. For example, a birth mother, a proved or acknowledged and legally recognized legal father (mother was legally married to at the time of the child's birth), an actual birth father, etc. There may a legal but not a birth father in the event of a child being born into a legal marriage but not the birth child of the husband, which adds a birth or a putative father. Until all these parents' legal ties are severed, the child is not truly free for adoption.

Date: 16-Sep-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: A case worker has two cases that are related. One mother had her children put under a VPS agreement. The mother's step daughter was removed from the home and placed with a relative. Legal had the case worker do the case plan as one document. However, in FSFN shouldn't the cases be separated? What is correct in this situation?

Answer: The scenario described is neither a FSFN functionality issue nor a Family Safety Program Office policy issue but, rather, a legal issue involving what appears to be an attempt to combine a Voluntary Protective Services In-Home Case Plan, and case, with a Court-Involved Case Plan, and case, in which a child has been sheltered in an out-of-home placement with a relative. This is not legally possible.

According to Stephen Pennypacker, Esq., Special Counsel, Family Safety Program, Department of Children and Families, this should be two separate case plans - one for the voluntary case plan that does not have court supervision and one for the court-ordered case plan. That does not mean you can not file a copy of the voluntary case plan in the court file and report to the court on compliance as it may impact the court case for the child that was removed. It also does not preclude inclusion in the court-ordered case plan of some accountability for compliance with the voluntary case plan by the non-party parent, i.e., the parent over whom the court has jurisdiction has an obligation to see that the voluntary case plan is completed.

Any time we "remove" a child and require a placement change, we must have a shelter hearing. Unless the child is placed in Voluntary Licensed Care via a Voluntary Placement Agreement, we cannot orchestrate a change of placement without a shelter hearing. It is understood that sometimes there are informal changes of placement required...but, again, it cannot require a change of placement without a shelter order. Please refer this question to CLS in your Region for clarification.

Date:16-Sep-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: "If Placement is not in close proximity to the child's home and the child has been removed from his/her school district explain why the placement outside the child's community was necessary" Then below that, is Provider Name and the Search link to put in the placement information!

Answer: The issue: Foster Parents' addresses should not be available to the parents and this template Could be attached to the Case Plan. The Provider Information (name and address) is indeed included on the Out of Home Plan template. The foster parent (or other provider) information on this document, once it goes to the court with the Case Plan, may indeed subject it to viewing by parents and others. Children's Legal Services may wish to consider redacting it.

The Out of Home Plan falls into that group of documents attached to the Case Plan and the JRSSR that contain sensitive information that should be reviewed and possibly redacted or protected, as the attorneys and the courts feel appropriate. This Provider information will also apply to relative and non relative placements.

IMPORTANT: follow-up to this response regarding confidentiality and foster parent information on the Out of Home Plan from Stephen Pennypacker, Esq. Special Counsel, Family Safety Program. We DO need to redact or delete information in the Out of Home Plan that identifies Licensed Providers and their addresses before this information goes to the court as attachments to the Case Plans and the Judicial Review Social Study Reports and can be viewed by others. Security around this information for Relative and Non Relative providers must also be considered if security is an issue with the placement.

Both CPI's and case managers may complete an Out of Home Plan at placement so this applies to both. CLS needs to be aware, as well, that this is an issue.

Date: 30-Sep-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: I am entering a status review hearing date into FSFN. Is there a place where I can enter the reason for the status review hearing, such as "re: status of adoption" or a notes section anywhere?

Answer: When creating a legal page in FSFN, the "Legal Action Initiated" drop down selection box contains a number of options, one of which is "Status Review – Adoption". Also the "Tracking" tab on the legal page contains an additional comments field which can be used to document any additional information necessary for both the "Legal Action and Status" tab and the "Tracking" tab.

Date Answered: June 22, 2010

Date Updated:

Reference/Resources: FSFN multimedia video for legal Staff (Legal Staff (17:12) and FSFN Legal Trainer Guide

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Maintain Services Answers

Question: What is the policy for Maintaining Services in FSFN for Youth 18-23? How should a case worker document in FSFN Independent Living, Transitional, and Aftercare Support Services for youth age 18-23?

Answer: Current Policy:

Current FSFN policy for documenting and tracking youth aging out of care at 18 is to deactivate the youth as a case participant upon turning 18, providing the youth is no longer receiving services. Removal episode and placement end. If the youth, age 18 or over, continues to receive services, he or she remains active as a case participant in their original case. This policy was developed in part around a desire to retain the youth's history under the same case and to support continuity.

Current Considerations:

When youth become adults at age 18 and are continuing to receive services, allowing them to remain active as a case participant raises questions, including legal questions, regarding confidentiality and reasonable expectations for privacy for the now adult youth. The current policy creates a now independent adult as a participant to a case to which he or she may not wish to be connected either legally or in a statewide electronic data system. The other adult participants in the case (parents, relatives, etc.) may have access to information about the youth/adult to which they should not be privy. This policy creates the possibility of intentional and unintentional breaches in privacy and confidentiality as the result of the youth remaining active to a case in which he or she is no longer a dependent minor. While FSFN does have audit capability, if there are breaches of security and confidentiality, this is not a fail-safe. Overflow of information among staff and others is always a possibility.

Current practice in the field appears to be inconsistent despite established policy. Some areas keep the youth active in the original case. Others deactivate the youth based upon reaching age 18, then re-open the youth in a Services Referral case for continued services.

The advantage to the youth remaining active to the original case from a social work and best practice standpoint is that history is readily available to staff, which provides valuable background information and a sense of continuity of services. Disadvantages are the stated legal and privacy considerations and concerns as well as errors generated in FSFN in attempting to document these cases.

New Policy:

The new policy for documenting services to this age group in FSFN will be to deactivate the youth as a case participant to their original case at age 18, ending the placement and the removal episode (reached the Age of Majority). Then, re-open the case as a Services Referral "case of one" with the youth acting as his or her own Provider for payments. For all practical purposes, the youth is now in his or her own Living Arrangement.

Adding a hyperlink between the new and original cases has been discussed; however, it is felt that staff will be able to search and locate the original case easily enough if history, background and other information are needed.

Date: 5 Sep 08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Is there a link between service category and reporting category? Will the system warn if a reporting category that doesn't match the service category is selected?

Answer: This is a how does the system function kind of question. I believe they are indeed linked because the user has to enter them both when completing the process but I do not know if there is a warning if they do not match.

There is no link between the Service Category and Reporting Category nor a warning if it does not match. But they are fairly intuitive and can be changed if it is later discovered they are wrong.

For example Foster Care could match to Foster Care Services, Foster Home, Adoptive Placement, etc. It would not be a good thing if there was an edit to prevent or alert the user to a perceived "mismatched" reporting category.

Date: 26 Feb 09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Is there a reporting category for flex funds?

Answer: No, there is no reporting category, flex funds. Other would be an option. The reference values have been reviewed and flex was not seen there. Flex funds are among those we are working with OS Budget to develop policy around in terms of whether or not and how they are captured. They are currently captured in ICWSIS; however, it is unclear where they landed in FSFN.

Date: 26 Feb 09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What can I do stop users from seeing a "service" that I do not want anyone to use?

Answer:

If you want the service type to not display on any page, on the Maintain Service Type page:

-Uncheck - Payments Allowed

-Uncheck - Ongoing Service/Placement

This will no longer display in the dropdown on the Payment Request, Service Page, or Out of Home Placement.

Date: 23 Sept 2009

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Missing Child Report Answers

Question: How should users (workers and/or supervisors?) document efforts to locate, MCTS, etc. in FSFN?

Answer: This will be done through chronological note entries.

Date: 6-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Who will create Alerts?

Answer: Supervisors will create all alerts except alerts related to missing children. The Missing Children Unit in Central Office will create the missing children alerts.

Date: 8-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How do we add other person (noncase participant) to the alert?

Answer: Unless the child has run away or absconded with another dependent child receiving services, removal caregiver or the placement provider, no other non-case related should be added to the alert. The name of the other nonrelated person with whom the child ran away/absconded with can be entered in the alert's narrative text for informational purposes only.

Date: 6-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What is the policy regarding closing cases where the child is still missing?

Answer: The practice of closing services cases on children currently categorized as missing is not acceptable practice. It is difficult to justify closing a case for a child considered to be at risk significant enough to be under an active services case who is now missing. Staff have no ability to assess the child's safety and well-being. For this reason, FSFN is configured to not allow case closure for children currently categorized as missing in the FSFN system.

Active Missing Child Reports in the FSFN system can only be closed in one of three ways:

1. A child can be located and a "Located Recovery" form can be entered into the FSFN system.

2. A child can turn 18 and ""age-out"" of the system and an "Aged Out Recovery" form can be entered into the FSFN system.

3. A case can be closed by the court and a "Judicial Recovery" form can be entered into the FSFN system. Judicial recoveries can only be utilized in those cases where the court has ruled that the services case be closed while the whereabouts of a child remain unknown.

Neither the case management organization nor a Children's Legal Services attorney may request that a services case be closed while the whereabouts of a child remain unknown. Should the court pursue this option the Children's Legal Services attorney is required to

object on the grounds that the state has no ability to asses the overall safety and well-being of the child as the child's whereabouts remain unknown. All cases that are closed via the Judicial Recovery designation are subject to review to ensure that all proper

protocols and procedures related to closing the case were followed. If discrepancies are identified, staff may be required to go back to court and request that the case be reopened.

Date: 7/7/2008

Revised 3/12/2009

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When the MCR record was completed, incorrect information was used. Is there a way to correct this information? It is defeating one of the purposes of the MCR if we are looking for a child based on incorrect physical description. Is it possible to close that alert/MCR and create a new one with corrected info?

Answer: Ensure that local law enforcement and the FDLE have the correct information and that the correct information is being displayed on the FDLE website. If the case manager wants to emsure that the correct information is being used they need to call the FDLE at 1-888-356-4774 and ask to talk to the FDLE Missing Child Analyst that is handling this case and request that the FDLE change the information within the FDLE database. After they make the request to the FDLE the case manager will need to verify that the change was implemented by going to http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/MCICSearch/Search.asp. The case manager will also need to follow up with the local law enforcement (lle) agency that the child was reported missing to and make sure that they get the updated information to lle so that lle can get the information updated in the FCIC/NCIC system. The MCR locks and cannot be updated once it is transmitted to the FDLE for case opening for this very reason. This process helps ensure that any updated information that might be incorrect is communicated to the proper law enforcement agencies so to ensure that they have the best data available rather than it just getting updated in FSFN system. A final note here is the case manager may also need to contact the National Center for Missing Exploited Children (NCMEC) to ensure the correct information is received.

Date: 7-Jul-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What does the reference value "Missing Child - Debriefing," in the Case Note drop down mean exactly and are there specific areas that need to be addressed?

Answer: The Services Worker or CPI shall interview the child within twenty-four hours of the child's return to determine the child's need for further services and/or change in placement." Children returning from a runaway episode are generally photographed and the results of the interview must be documented in FSFN, including any need for a change of placement.

The "Missing Child How Do I? Guide" refers to the required interview process as a "debriefing" and explains how to create the debriefing Case Note. The "Missing Child Guide" also discusses the debriefing process, tools and requirements. This guide and additional information on runaway debriefings may be obtained on the Missing Child resource page:

http://www.centerforchildwelfare.org/MissingChildren/MissingChildrenResources.shtml

Date: 5-Jul-11

Reference/Resource: DCF FSPO, FAC Section 65C-30.019 (7)

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OOH Placement Answers

Question: Which case status would one use if some of the participant children are reunited and continue under supervision, but other participant children are not reunited and continue in out of home care, either "in-home supervision" or "out of home care"?

Answer: For this instance, retain the "Out-of-Home" case type, as it involves post-placement supervision and children in out-of-home placement.

Date: 27-Nov-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: In this scenario, children are removed from their parents and closed out permanent guardianship with non-relatives. The case is then reopened due to the non-relatives no longer being able to care for the children. The children are removed from the non-relative's home and placed in licensed care for seven days and then placed with a relative. A court order is issued as this is a failed placement and children were brought back into care and now have another six months post placement with the relative.

How is this documented in FSFN? Is this a living arrangement (living with relative) or out of home placement with the grandmother?

Answer: The children have just re-entered out-of-home care via the court order mentioned above (a shelter order) and thus a new Removal Episode is opened in FSFN. (The previous Removal Episode was discharged at case closure.) The current placement with the grandmother is an Out of Home Placement (until such time, for example, as the case is closed with permanent guardianship). Federal language dictates that children in removal episodes are in placements, not living arrangements.

Date: January 19, 2010

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Person Management Answers

Question: When changing unknown, unknown to the new name; the system asks whether to save the unknown, unknown, as an AKA. Should unknowns be saved as AKAs?

Answer: This question refers to the ability to update a person"s name in the person"s demographic record. When updating a name (whether it is "unknown" or from "Bubba" to "Robert", a pop-up message comes up and asks you "You have updated this person"s name. If the user wants to create an AKA record for the previous name? There is the option to respond "Yes" or "No". If the participant that is being updated is "Unknown", simply select "No". Please note that this does not allow the user to create a duplicate record, neither does it allow the user to merge the two records together.

Date: 11-Feb-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Duplicate person issues - how to handle unknowns being updated to correct info when system doesn't force the search function so might be creating a duplicate unknowingly? Group gave example: when you get updated information on a case participant (who came in as unknown, unknown or correct first name with wrong last name), is the policy that the user should Insert a new person - thereby forcing the search, and then add? If so, what to do with the old unknown, unknown or person w/incorrect name? Or is the policy to just correct the wrong info on the person's management page and update it - this may cause creation of duplicates in the system.

Answer: There is limited Person Merge capability in R1. The available functionality is strictly for the purpose of merging unknowns and duplicate persons. When you create a person the system does require the user to complete a search before allowing the user to proceed any further.

Date: 8-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: While working the person merge report we came across one of our RTI teens who is now working at DCF. The ID on the merge report shows one for her as a worker and another ID for her as a case participant. Should these be merged?

Answer: They should be merged - yes - HOWEVER - the system does not allow any workers to be merged. Anytime a worker is created, if the person already exists in the system - for whatever reason - the worker information should be added to the person that exists.

Date: 18-Nov-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: On Person Provider Inquiry Page - Basic Tab - License Type and License Agency: When would the responses be different for these two fields? If the home is licensed through the CBC, I think that it is still a Family Safety Program licensed home, and Family Safety is the Licensing Agency. Is this correct? If it licensed directly by the Department such as a therapeutic home, would it be licensed by Family Safety and a non- Family Safety agency?

Answer: The use of the term "Licensing" in both these fields is confusing if the home is an approved home.

License Types: Relatives, Non Relatives and Adoptive Homes are "Approved" not Licensed. Foster Family Homes are "Licensed". These are Person Providers only, not Organizational Providers. The terminology in the dropdown is confusing because not all Person Providers are going to be licensed providers. Licensed Type can also apply to approved homes. ie: Approved, Licensed by Family Safety, Licensed by Non Family Safety, Not Applicable.

License Agency: The home is either licensed by the Department or it is not. By the Department we mean Family Safety as opposed to another agency or entity, in Florida or out of state. The licensing authority could be another state agency, a private agency or a tribal agency. "Approved" homes such as relatives and non relatives, or adoptions, may also be approved by Family Safety, or not. Again, the terminology is confusing because the "Licensing Agency" may have only approved the home not licensed it.

Examples: If a relative is approved by a CPI working for a sheriff's office under contract to the Department, the Licensing Type is Approved and the Licensing Agency is Family Safety. If a Licensed Foster Home is studied and recommended for licensing by a CBC under contract to the Department and the license is issued by the Department, the Licensing Type is Licensed by Family Safety and the Licensing Agency is Family Safety.

Date: 13-Dec-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question:How do we determine race and ethnicity? Are there definitions on ethnicity?

Answer:The methods for determining and documenting race and ethnicity and the definitions under federal guidelines are based on self disclosure, as well as any supporting official documentation. If the two conflict, the determination should predominately rely upon the personal statement of the individual regarding his or her race and ethnicity and that of their children.

Multi-racial is defined as being composed of, involving, or representing various races, and generally refers to a group or other entity made up of more than one, sometimes several, races. In referring to an individual, the intent is to convey that he or she personally identifies with more than one race. FSFN provides the capacity to document multiple races for individuals.

Please note ethnicity and race are not the same. Ethnicity is more closely identified with a variety of factors including a person's (or his or her family's) country of origin and cultural background and is generally defined as relating to a sizable group of people sharing a common and distinctive heritage including certain racial, national, religious, linguistic, or cultural attributes. While racial groups often have similar ethnic and cultural backgrounds, it must be remembered that they may also be very different. For example, an African American individual who grew up in Cuba or in a Cuban community in the United States may identify racially as African American, but ethnically and culturally as Cuban/Hispanic. It is also important to remember that a person of any race born in the United States, but whose family origin or community is of a specific ethnicity and culture may continue to self identify with that ethnicity and culture.

Date Answered: 1/8/10

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How do we document on the Person Management Screen in FSFN a child who is placed outside the United States? When I enter the street address in the other country and the name of the country, the system forces me to also add a state in the United States or an error is created.

Answer: AFCARS element #42 requires that we enter a yes or no answer to whether or not a child is placed in Florida or outside Florida. This question applies to children placed in another state in the United States or in another country. We document this information on the Person Management screen. To document a child living outside the United States, the FSFN user should select "Non US County" in the county dropdown, then select "98" in the state dropdown and, finally, select the country that applies. The FSFN user must approach the address of the caregiver needing modification through Provider Work. When "98" is added for the state dropdown, the error message no longer displays on the AFCARS exception page.

Date: 28-May-10

Reference/Resource: DCF FSPO

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Question: Who is the legal parent of a child post TPR, but prior to the finalization of an adoption? Who does the CPI list as the parent in the child's person management screen in FSFN since the birth certificate has not been changed and still lists the parent whose parental rights have been terminated?

Answer: Legally, the Department assumes legal guardianship of a child at TPR and becomes the child's legal parent. In regards to how to document in the Person Management screens in FSFN, keep the names of the birth parents until the child's adoption is finalized.

Date: 29-Jul-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Placement Answers

Question: How do we determine how to document a child removed from one parent and placed with the other parent? Is it a Living Arrangement, Service, Out of Home Placement? Also, how do you document a child in a closed permanent guardianship with a relative and the parent petitions the court to have the child placed back with him/her?

DCF Answer: In instances where a child is physically removed from the parent with primary residence and released to the other parent, this will be documented as a change in Living Arrangement. For children in a closed case, where permanency has been achieved with a relative (new statutory goal of permanent guardianship), and the removal parent will petition the court to be reunified with the child: If the court grants the parent's request to re-open the case and consider reunification, the case will be reopened and a new case plan with a permanency goal of reunification will be documented. The child will continue in a Living Arrangement with the relative. In the event that the court eventually returns the child to his/her parent, a removal episode with the relative WILL NOT be documented. Rather, a change in Living Arrangement from the relative to the parent will be documented.

Date: 7-Feb-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How do we document temporary absences from a placement? For example, weekend visits with removal caregivers, a Baker Act, detention, or a week at summer camp (when the child is clearly returning to his or her same placement)?

Answer: Documenting temporary changes in placement with a Removal Episode: Temporary absences from placements within a Removal Episode include such brief and temporary absences from a child's current FSFN placement as summer camp, respite, Baker Act confinement, DJJ detention, and brief hospitalizations. A temporary absence from the child's current FSFN placement might also include visits with relatives and non relatives (both in Florida and out-of-state via ICPC) who are not documented in FSFN as Person or Organization Providers or visits with parents that are scheduled as a part of the reunification process. A temporary absence is, in short, a brief (typically more than 24 hours and less than 30 days) absence from the child's FSFN placement of record with the understanding that the child is returning to the same placement once the temporary absence ends.

All temporary absences from a placement, regardless of the length of the absence, must be documented as a new placement event. This is a federal requirement. Please note that this will not affect the placement stability measures.

A Chronological Note Type of "Note to File – General", describing the circumstances surrounding the temporary absence from placement must be documented in the child's FSFN record.

A child's physical address must be documented in the Person Management screen each time it changes. This data documented for the child's current Primary Residence address on the Person Management screen must match the child's actual physical location at any given time.

To document a temporary absence, the user ends the current placement for reason of "Placement Change Within Removal Episode". All placement events must be linked to a Provider record within the system. The new (temporary) placement is documented either with a Person Provider or Organization Provider within the FSFN system or via the Statewide Visitation Provider.

The user will search the provider listing to determine if the Person Provider, Organization Provider or the Statewide Provider Placement "Service Type" already exists within FSFN for his or her Fiscal Agency. If not, the user will need to create the Placement "Service Type" within the Statewide Provider listing for his or her Fiscal Agency, e.g., "Summer Camp", "Out-of-State Visit - ICPC", "Visit with Parent - Reunification", "Visit with Removal Caregiver - Reunification", and so on.

To end the temporary absence the user will reverse the steps, ending the temporary placement and returning the child to the earlier placement.

Payment to the original placement provider may be maintained during the temporary absence.

Date: 27-Nov-07

Revised: 3-Sep-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: In a case where the children were removed from the biomother and placed with the stepfather (never physically removed from the home), would this be a "Constructive Removal" or "Living Arrangement"?

Answer: If children are removed from the mother's custody and placed with a non-relative, (for example, the step-father, not biological or legal father), this is counted as a removal episode and a placement. The location of the placement is not an issue. The fact that the children were removed from their custodian (the biomother) and placed with a non-relative (the stepfather) is what is important. Please note that all placement requirements will need to be met in this instance (e.g., background check, homestudy, etc.).

If the same situation occurs, but instead it involves a mother and biological or legal father living together, the best approach would be to get a Chapter 39 injunction on the mother and leave the children with the father. Even if a shelter hearing is held, this would not count as a removal episode and placement under the federal requirements, as the feds do not count this as a removal, as long as the children are with a custodial parent.

Date: 11-Dec-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What is the policy on length of absence from a Living Arrangement that constitutes a change in a child's living arrangement?

Answer: A Living Arrangement specifically refers to the child's physical location, the current place bodily occupied by a child, when a child is in an In-Home Supervision case and not in a Removal Episode/Placement. If the Department is responsible for the In-Home Supervision of a child to ensure that child's safety, it is clear we are expected to have FSFN reflect the child's current physical location if the absence from the home is one that is clearly expected to extend beyond a brief visit such as an overnight with a friend or school mate, in keeping with normalcy for children in care, or a very brief visit to the home of a relative. We are referring to the same type of brief absence that might occur with a child in licensed care, i.e., an overnight or "sleep-over" that has been cleared with the Services Worker responsible for the case. More extended absences from the supervised home must be cleared with the Services Worker and in some cases with the court and the Living Arrangement changed to reflect the child's new location. It is important to also update the child's address on the Person Management Screen/Address Tab.

Date: 15-Feb-08

Updated: 6-Apr-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Under what circumstances should the placement type "Foster Home Relative" be used?

DCF Answer: A "Foster Home - Relative" is a licensed foster family home that has been licensed as a child specific placement for a family that is related to the child or children. Sometimes relatives of children who enter care prefer to become licensed rather than go the route of simple relative caregiver as there may be a need for increased supports and services for the child, etc. Sometimes these homes are licensed to accept children other than the ones related to them, sometimes not.

Date: 6-Mar-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What do I need to know about the FSFN approval process to help me with my casework?

Answer:

  • Placements always require approval. Living arrangements do not.
  • If the placement or the placement ending has not bee approved, a new placement CANNOT be done.
  • Placement corrections also require approval.
  • One unapproved placement in the history will stop other placements from occurring.
  • Until the case closure status is accepted, the approval options are grayed out.
Date: 12-Mar-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When a child is in a removal episode and runs away, what is the procedure for documenting this change in placement?

DCF Answer: For any child in a removal episode, a runaway event is treated as a change in placement. Do not create a living arrangement for a child in a removal episode who runs away from his/her placement.

Follow the following procedure:

  • End the current placement with an "Ending Purpose" of "Placement Change within Removal Episode"
  • Select the "End Reason" of "Runaway-Not Closing Case"
  • Create a new placement event with a type of "Runaway"
  • Link the placement to the "Runaway Statewide Provider" in FSFN
  • When the child returns, just reverse the process - end the runaway placement episode with the same Ending Purpose and End Reason.
Date: 12-Mar-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: If there is only one placement, or if the error is on the active removal/placement, we are unable to use the placement correction screen. Can you provide procedure in order to add initial removal reasons in these instances?

Answer: Currently the application does not allow for the placement correction to be used on active removal/placements.

Date: 14-Apr-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Why is the Out-of-Home Plan set up to require two plans for the same placement? It is assumed that they are referring to having to do one for each child, when the placement is the same for both.

Answer: The Out of Home Plan is intended to be an assessment of the needs of a child in relation to a specific proposed placement. This document is intended to ensure good placement matching and placement stability. Because each child's needs and characteristics are highly unique and individual, a separate assessment (Out of Home Plan) is completed for each child and at the time of each placement change.

Date: 6-Jun-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: On the Child In Care (CIC) Annual Review, some of the information in FSFN is not always current. Is there a time standard for entering the information on FSFN after a removal or change has occurred?

Answer: The requirement for entering information into Florida Safe Families Network has not changed from the former HomeSafenet requirement of 48 hours, with the exception of other time frames established in Florida Administrative Code for documenting certain specific actions such as the Missing Children Record. Another example is the time frame for documenting a child visit in FSFN, which is two working days. Time frames for various actions are scattered throughout code, but are typically 48 hours. Regarding documenting a removal or a placement change, in addition to documenting the event in a timely manner, the intent is that we know at all times when a child enters the system and where a child is placed and supposed to be residing. Because in a removal episode there will be a hearing within 24 hours and other legal, case, eligibility and financial actions going into motion that are based on time frames, it is critical that this information is entered almost immediately. Removal and placement information should, therefore, be entered as quickly as possible but certainly no more than 48 hours should ever elapse.

Date: 7-Jul-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What is the permanent legal address of a child in out-of-home care?

Answer:

  • For a child in shelter status the Answer is the parent's address (from whence removed).
  • For a child where parental rights have been terminated, the child's current physical residence.
  • For a child in the temporary custody of the Department or placed with a relative, circumstances may vary; however, in most cases, the permanent address will remain the address of the parent or legal custodian from whom the child was removed unless parental rights are terminated. This is also a consideration in the child remaining in a placement setting in close proximity to his or her school and community at the time of removal.
Date: 10-Jul-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: If a child goes to Respite care less than 30 days, does the child's placement need to be ended and the respite placement entered in as an out of home placement?

Answer: Yes. Any change in the physical setting of a child must be accurately documented in FSFN as a placement change. Please refer to the attached document, which states: " 4. Respite: Choose End Reason of "Provider Requested Change".

Date: 6-Aug-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Regarding documenting children that are Baker Acted how should this be reflected in Placements?

Answer: "Hospitalization/CSU/Baker Act: Choose End Reason of "Hospitalization (more than 30 days)". Please note that the qualifier (more than 30 days) is not a valid qualifier in FSFN and will be removed during future reference data clean-up efforts.

Date: 6-Aug-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Does a Removal Episode also apply to a Voluntary Placement?

Answer: Yes. Both voluntary and involuntary placements are counted and documented per federal requirements as Removal Episodes.

Date: 29-Sep-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Parental Rights to the children have been terminated; however, they are now placed with the same birth parent whose parental rights were previously terminated. This placement is being documented in FSFN as a Living Arrangement, but is the TPR'ed parent documented as a "parent" or a "non-relative" in FSFN?

Answer: The first part of this question for consideration is whether the children have been legally adopted and, therefore, have an adoptive parent or parents who are, in fact, the legal parents. If so, these parents must be in FSFN as the children's parents. They are considered the legal parents. If the children have never been adopted and are TPR'ed but have no legal parents, then our call is to enter that TPR'ed birth parent as the parent. Documenting the placement as a Living Arrangement is correct.

Date: 14-Oct-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: On the Unified Home Study there is a section for background checks. The question on DJJ checks says indicates that a DJJ check has been done on anyone ages 12-26? We aren't understanding why age 26

Answer: This requirement is found for relative and non-relative home studies in Section 65C-28.011(2)(b)(2)(b), FAC, and requires delinquency records checks on all household members and frequent visitors age 12-26 via DJJ. The basis for age 26 is the required retention of juvenile records by DJJ for a special class of offenders known as "serious or habitual delinquent" youth until those individuals become age 26. Again, the implication is that this is a serious group of offenders. Please refer to s. 985.04(7)(b), F.S. and s. 943.0515: 943.0515 Retention of criminal history records of minors.

Date: 17-Dec-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: If a private agency is completing home studies for the purpose of licensing foster homes intended for the placement of dependent children but has no contractual relationship with the Department or any of its contracted agencies, can it have access to FSFN? If not, does iyd home study have to be completed in the Unified Home Study function in FSFN?

Answer: Lead agencies have responsibility for recruiting, training, studying and recommending for licensure family homes intended for the placement of dependent children, whether directly or through a sub-contracted agency. As such, these agencies have full access to FSFN and will be utilizing the Unified Home Study format. The ability to create work, including the Unified Home Study, in FSFN will not be extended to agencies with no contractual relationship to the Department. Studies for licensed foster homes must be documented via the Unified Home Study in FSFN. The Unified Home Study is the intended format for completing and documenting all relative, non-relative, foster and adoptive home studies for placement of dependent children.

Date: 20-Jan-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Is the CPI and/or Caseworker required to provide a copy of the Unified Home Study to the prospective provider?

Answer: Implementation of the Unified Home Study process in FSFN does not alter existing policy regarding providing copies of completed home studies to providers who are the subject of a home study. Sections 65C-13.025 (3)(b)and 65C-13.025(6)(b)4, Florida Administrative Code, establish providing a copy of the Licensing Home Study to the family upon request. Although not required by Florida Statute or Florida Administrative Code, copies of adoptive and relative/non-relative home studies are typically provided to families upon request and/or in keeping with locally established policies and practices.

Date: 31-Mar-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What information, at a minimum, must be entered in FSFN prior to a protective investigator requesting (not via the placement request page) an out-of-home placement for a child?

Answer: From the "Safety Action" tab, when the PI checks the "Out-of-Home" checkbox, the message "An out-of-home placement must be created for each child removed" will appear.

--After closing this message, the PI selects "yes" or "no" for Emergency Removal for each participant listed, enters the date the shelter petition was filed, indicates grounds for removal and reasonable efforts and/or grounds for expedited TPR (if any), and then saves and closes this page.

--Additionally, an Out-of-Home (OH) Plan is required any time there is an out-of-home placement and is a required attachment to the Case Plan.

Date: March 31, 2009

Reference/Resource: DCF, Center"s FSFN page


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Question: A child is placed in foster care under court order, although the court has granted unlimited, unsupervised visits with the parent until the child ages out of the dependency system. For FSFN documentation purposes, what is the child's placement and if the child is no longer in foster care does this fact negatively affect Road to Independence eligibility?

Answer: The child's placement is still considered in foster care until/unless reunified with parents or legal custodians or ordered into some form of permanent guardianship. Thus, in this case the child's out-of-home status satisfies that particular RTI eligibility requirement.

Date: 17-Jun-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How do you correct placements in FSFN; particularly, changing dates that were already approved?

Answer: Once approved, the OOH placement record is frozen. To change the placement record, the current placement would have to be ended..

  • Open OOH Placement Record
  • Options Dropdown
  • Select Removal/Placement Ending, click Go
  • Enter date and time
  • Select ending purpose of "admin change within removal episode"
  • Select ending reason of " placement made in error"
  • Record must be approved
  • A new OOH placement record can be created
  • Child"s address can be updated through the person management record, address tab, click on edit
Date: 28-Jul-09

Reference/Resource: FSFN Trainers

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Question:How do we proceed if a child spends one night in a paid licensed placement, then the shelter order is denied by the court the next day and child exits care?

Answer:The length of time (more or less than 24 hours) the child is in the care of the Department determines how this case is documented.

If the removal period is greater than 24 hours and the discharge reason is "dismissed by court", then the removal is a Removal Episode and the Discharge is considered a reunification. The removal is not considered an actual Removal Episode if the removal period lasts less than 24 hours, regardless of discharge reason.

The Child Protective Investigator will complete a TANF determination based upon the report received by the Hotline at Intake. The TANF determination is good for one year regardless of the outcome of the shelter hearing.

If the child is not sheltered by the court and there are no findings of conditions contrary to the welfare of the child, a Title IV-E eligibility determination is not indicated or appropriate.

Date:14 Sept 2009

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How do you indicate in FSFN that a licensed provider has a capacity waiver?

Answer: The DCF Regional Licensing Specialist will enter the capacity restriction information in the licensing record. CBCs will continue with any current procedure they have in place to request DCF approval of a (capacity) waiver. There is a waiver template available within the FSFN placement record, however, there is no requirement that the template must be used or tracked within FSFN.
Additionally, they system does not prohibit a placement from being made, even when a non-conforming reason indicates that a waiver is necessary. There will be a web-dialog stating there are non-conforming reasons. The user will need to check the reasons that apply and then follow with whatever procedures are in place to obtain approval for a waiver.

Date Answered: August 12, 2009

Reference/Resources: FSFN Trainers

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Question: Currently a waiver is required for over-capacity placements. With FSFN placements are completed by case managers, what controls are in place to ensure that waivers are obtained or is this no longer a requirement?

Answer: The system will provide the user a message if the placement they are making is above the capacity for the Provider. The system will not prevent the placement. The waiver forms are available from the OHP page. The OHP page will also display a check for a "placement exception" when the child is placed in a home that is over capacity. The waiver requirements are not eliminated with the implementation of R2b.

Date: 1-Dec-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How does the placement worker know that there is an outstanding "Placement Request"? Are there any operational reports to help placement manage its workload?

Answer: The system does not provide any automated notification for the Placement Request. Once created, the worker would notify the placement worker outside of FSFN. There are no reports designed to provide information on outstanding Placement Requests.

Date: 1-Dec-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Are there any limitations/restrictions or default settings for the expiration date for bed reservations completed as part of the "Placement Request"?

Answer: The system creates the expiration date of 3 days following the creation of the Bed Reservation

Date: 1-Dec-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Can a "Placement Request" be initiated for a child that is still assigned to a PI unit and is waiting for staffing? If yes, who can initiate it?

Answer: A Placement Request can be initiated by anyone with an assignment to the Case or their Supervisor (CPI included). In addition, this piece of work can also be created by a user that has security to access the Financial Work page.

Date: 1-Dec-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Since the search looks for best match based on location, age, gender, etc, can it be possible for the Potential Homes to have no listing? Or does the system automatically expand the search to include close matches and just rank them lower on the listing?

Answer: The search would look for matches with the criteria entered for Characteristics and Provider Accepts. If there is not a match, the system will not return a Provider. The user would need to remove the criteria to expand the search.

Date: 1-Dec-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Can a placement be entered and approved before finance enters/approves the payment information? If not, will missing finance information cause a placement exception error?

Answer: Placements with Service Types that allow payments (ie. Paid Placements) will require a Fiscal Worker (level 3) approval. This would be the last step in the Approval process. Once an OHP is created, it will appear on the Removal/Placement/Living Arrangement exception report until the final approval.

Date: 1-Dec-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Since there is a Fiscal Agency associated with the placement, how does the fiscal agency get updated if there is a transfer from one fiscal agency to another? Will a new out-of-home placement have to be entered? Will an error/report be generated if the case is assigned to a case worker that doesn't have access to the current fiscal agency?

DCF Answer: If the child's placement responsibility moves from one Fiscal Agency to another, the OHP would be end dated and opened with the new Fiscal Agency and Service. The Fiscal Agency is selected at the point the OHP is created. There is no report that indicates the current worker and the Fiscal Agency for the placement do not match.

Date: 1-Dec-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Are there any reports/ticklers/alerts to check for licensed placements in which the Financial tab has not been completed or which requires approval?

Answer: The "Removal/Placement/Living Arrangement exception report" includes all OHP pages that have been created but have not been approved. When the OHP is routed for approval to a Fiscal Worker, this approval will also appear on this worker"s desktop until approved.

Date: 1-Dec-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Are there any reports to assist in reporting performance on placement/payment information that is entered late into the system? I.e. child placed 6/15, placement information entered 7/1, payment information entered 7/15?

Answer: The "Timeliness of Data Entry" report provides the time frames that it takes to enter information into the FSFN system. Removal and Placement are to data elements captured within this report. The Financial information is not included within this report. This report is provided at the Agency, County and Unit level.

Date: 1-Dec-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What is the difference between the Unified Home Study and the "Reunification" Home Study?

Answer: The Unified Home Study is a study format and template for relatives, non-relatives, licensed homes, adoptions and ICPC. This home study is accessed in the Person Provider module because these individuals are considered "providers" of placements for children. Some are paid providers, some are not. The study can be completed and expanded upon in a progressive manner and can be adapted to the requirements of several different types of home studies, e.g., relative, non-relative, licensed foster home, adoptive, etc.

The Reunification Home Study is not a "provider" type home study. It is, instead, a study and an assessment of the appropriateness of reunifying a child with his or her family following an out-of-home placement and completion of a Case Plan. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the child can safely be returned to the caregivers,usually parents, from whom he or she was removed. Parents are not providers of placements. Because this home study is not a "provider" type home study, it is not housed in the Person Provider module. It is housed in the Forms module. The complete name of this study is the "Parental Reunification Readiness Assessment and Home Study".

Date: 16-Dec-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Policy and Practice Answers

Question: Define when to use Living Arrangement, Placement, or Services in FSFN

Answer: There is no change in practice from HSn in the definition of Living Arrangement, Placement or Other Placement. Only the manner in which it is documented in FSFN has changed:

A placement is the substitute care setting in which a child resides during a removal episode. It refers to a type of placement that is arranged, managed and/or paid for by the Department (such as a shelter, foster, relative or non-relative home). A child can have one-to-many placements within the same removal episode.

A child's living arrangement applies to children living in their own home and describes the living arrangement (such as living with two parents) for the in-home setting. Living arrangement also includes the child(ren) who is/are with a relative (not a parent) or non-relative at the time the Department becomes involved if the children are left in that home. Other Placement refers to a placement of a dependent child not made or managed by the Department of Children and Families (e.g., jail, DJJ commitment facility, runaway over 30 days, etc.). Such a child may be receiving either in-home or out-of-home services.

Date: 11-Feb-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: The system requires that at least one AFCARS Removal From Home value be selected in order to record a child's out-of-home placement. In instances where a sibling is removed for prospective abuse/neglect, which values should be used to be in compliance with AFCARS (e.g., sibling removal for Prospective Physical Abuse due to the severe abuse of a sibling)?

Answer: "When documenting a sibling's removal for prospective abuse/neglect, the user must select the appropriate state required value (e.g., Prospective Sexual Abuse) and also select the reason for the sibling's removal, which creates the threat of harm for the child (e.g., Sexual Abuse). There are other state required values that do not clearly map to an AFCARS value, however, the cause for the removal can be related to one of the AFCARS values as the contributing factor for the removal, such as:

  • Inadequate Supervision due to the parent's Alcohol Abuse.
  • Adoption dissolution due to the adoptive parent's Relinquishment or Caretaker's Inability to Cope or the Child's Behavior Problem.
Date: 11-Feb-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What is the policy on Case/Caregiver 1's name?

Answer: Caregiver 1 should be the primary caregiver for the child. This could be male or female. If the male is not specifically identified as the primary caregiver, the rule of thumb to follow is to select the female head of household. This can be updated later, if appropriate.

Date: 7-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Is there a policy set on what data must be in the system before assigning to case management agency? (similar to info needed for auto case create and subsequent data needed to be entered so there would not be any AFCARS errors).

Answer: CPIs will be expected to document the same information for which they have always been responsible, regardless of which system is used. These responsibilities are specified in Chapters 65C-28, 65C-29 and 65C-30, F.A.C.

Date: 8-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What's the policy for case naming convention? Specifically for naming a institutional investigation involving multiple children?

Answer: For all victims named in an institutional investigation, the child victim's parent/Caregivers' names should be entered in FSFN. An intake can only be associated to one investigation, under a singular case. Therefore, for institutional intakes, the case will be named after the institutional provider. For example, Happy Times Child Learning Center. This will allow for the maintenance of all intakes and investigations for a provider to be tracked through one case only. A prior history check on the named victims will reflect the institutional cases to which they may be associated.

Date: 8-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When a child is on an extended visit and the visit last more than 30 days is there a way to code in FSFN so that they do not show on Not Seen list?

Answer: No, there is no way to code in FSFN so the child on an extended visit that lasts more than 30 days on the Not Seen list. An extended visit that lasts more than 30 days is not an exception for the face-to-face visit with the child.

Date: September 4, 2012

Reference/Resource: 65C-30. 007, F.A.C

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Provider Answers

Question: Provider Basic - When would you use "Court Order" in the reason field?

Answer: Provider Basic Page, Basic Tab, Worker Group box, Accept Reason dropdown box "Court Ordered". This value was requested by design team members in order to be able to document relative/non-relative providers with whom the court may order a child to be placed, prior to the CPI/CBC caseworker being able to complete a homestudy and determine the relative/non-relative"s appropriateness as a placement for the child.

Date: 6-Feb-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How do we define Caregiver 1 and Caregiver 2 for a Provider?

Answer: Caregiver 1 and Caregiver 2 apply to a person provider only, whether licensed or approved. Caregiver 1 shall be the main caregiver for the child when there are more than two caregivers in the household. For example, for an approved relative/non-relative or licensed foster home, where the female will be the main caregiver, the female will be entered as Caregiver 1. Conversely, if the male will be the main caregiver, the male will be entered as Caregiver 1 and the female as caregiver 2.

Date: 7-Feb-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Define when to use values listed (Inquiry Info Box, Inquiry Type. For example, difference Other Placement versus Placement).

Answer: The Provider Inquiry Page is used to document the initial inquiry by a person or organization to become a provider in the system. Completion of this screen creates an inquiry record and when saved, provides a historical record of the documentation. This historical record will be useful when trying to identify potential providers who are declined and "shop around" other areas of the state. In Florida, relative/non-relative caregivers and other providers who come under the jurisdiction of the department have to be created as providers in the system. CPIs have to use this screen when creating a relative/non-relative provider or a provider under investigation, which may not already exist in the system.

As a result, the following values are provided for the Inquiry Type:

  • Investigation – This value is selected when a provider is being created for the purpose of associating the provider to an adult or child investigation (when the provider does not exist in the system at the time that the intake is received).
  • Other Placement – This value is used when creating a provider in the system for the purpose of documenting a child's "Other Placement" (e.g., a DJJ facility).
  • Placement – This value is used when creating a relative/non-relative or licensed placement provider.
  • Service – This value is used when creating a services provider in the system, whether paid by the department or not.
Date: 11-Feb-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Which members of household/organization must be added and what role to use for each?

Answer: For a person provider, all household family members should be documented in the system. The relationship reflected should be the appropriate familial relationship to the caregivers (1 and 2) as reflected in the drop-down box (e.g., caregiver 1, is the main relative/non-relative caregiver for the placed child, daughter is the daughter of the primary caregivers.

One of the benefits to this documentation is to have an up-to-date account of all persons living in the home and their role. This enables the CPI, licensing worker and the caseworker to determine new household members who have come into the home, in order to ensure licensing and background check requirements are in compliance. The Organizational Provider page does not capture family or household members.

Date: 11-Feb-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Will only investigators be able to create Org. Providers?

Answer: Child protective investigators will be able to create organizational providers who do not exist in the system ONLY for the purpose of an investigation, i.e., document a provider who is the subject (the institution) of an investigation. Licensed providers, both person and organizational, can only be created and maintained by licensing staff.

Date: 11-Feb-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What details are required when creating a new provider (even if not required in FSFN)?

Answer: Name, Address, Phone Number, Caregiver 1 and Caregiver 2 Information and Inquiry Type.

Date: 11-Feb-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How are Providers removed from a worker's desktop? What are the re-assignment guidelines?

Answer: Licensed providers will be assigned to the licensing staff responsible for the licensing and re-licensing of the provider. Re-assignment will occur when there is a transfer of that responsibility to another worker, as determined by the supervisor.

Relative/Non-Relative providers will be assigned to the CPI or ongoing services counselor making the placement. If the CPI creates the placement provider in the system, and case is ESI"d to services, the relative/non-relative provider is re-assigned to the ongoing services worker or other CBC staff, per local CBC protocol. Providers created by the CPI for the purpose of an institutional provider will automatically be assigned to a default "dummy" worker, not the CPI. This occurs when the CPI selects a Provider Type of "Investigation" when creating the provider record and the record is completed.

Date: 11-Feb-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: If a CPI creates a Provider and chooses Investigation type, which results in "assignment to default worker," how then can anyone ever maintain that provider since no actual worker has assignment? What if services worker needs to update provider's info? What if PI creates a duplicate (despite built-in search), then will these duplicates just always exist?

Answer: Any worker with the appropriate security can maintain the non-licensed provider record that was created for the purpose of a child or adult investigation.

Date: 8-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Is there a default user to assign all relative and non-relative providers too? If so how is this done during entry of Provider Inquiry? Will the provider inquiry type of Investigations be used to create the provider under the default user?

Answer: The system will assign Relative/Non-relative providers to the worker creating the provider in the system. If it is the CPI, it will be assigned to the CPI. If the case is assigned to services, the CPI will end his/her assignment and assign the provider record to the primary caseworker assigned to the ongoing services case. Relative/Non-relative information needs to be maintained current in the system, therefore the reason for not assigning it to a "default" worker.

Date: 21-Jun-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: If providers are assigned to this default worker and I want to update the provider information I will have to assign myself as a secondary worker. What Type and Responsibility should be used during this assignment as a Role of secondary to allow and update of the worker?

Answer: The last worker assigned to the Relative/Non-relative provider record will be responsible for inactivating the provider record once the Relative/Non-relative ceases to provide placement services for the child. However, they still remain in the system and can be re-activated if needed in the future. The Provider Type should be "Placement", not "Investigations". The Provider Type of "Investigations" is used only to document providers that are created explicitly for the purpose of conducting an institutional investigation, if they do not already exist in the system.

Date: 21-Jun-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: For a case Assignment Type of Licensing, how should one apply the different values for Responsibility Type and Role Type?

Answer: When you select an assignment type of Licensing, the system provides you with the following options for Assignment Responsibility:

Inquiry/Homestudy/Provider Maintenance - This value is selected when the assignment is to a worker who will be responsible for recruitment, conducting the licensing homestudy and once the license is approved, maintaining the provider information in the system. These can be more than one person, e.g., one worker may be responsible for the recruitment (including handling call-in inquiries) and another worker is responsible for conducting the homestudy and once approved, maintaining the information in the system. The Role for a licensing assignment with this responsibility is "Primary". Placement - This value is used to reflect the assignment of a relative/non-relative placement provider to the worker (initially the CPI) creating the relative/non-relative placement provider record. Once the CPI ESI's the case, CPI's assignment will end and the services worker will have primary assignment to the provider record. The Role for a licensing assignment with this responsibility is "Primary". Provider Approval - This value is used to identify the assignment to the DCF licensing specialist responsible for the approval of the license. The Role for a licensing assignment with this responsibility is "Secondary"

Date: 21-Jun-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: If two providers are identified as duplicates and one is a person provider and the other an organization, FSFN does not allow these providers to be merged. Are there any other options to handle these duplicate providers?

Answer: Person Providers and Organization Providers can be linked as duplicates. How-to directions are below.

  • Provider that you want to link to "merge" (remove) must be assigned to you
  • Access the provider from your desktop
  • Change the "Type" of the provider to "Duplicate" from the drop-down list. This will create an active blue "Search" link in the upper right hand corner.
  • Search for the keep Provider to link to. Search by name or provider id
  • Click "Save"
  • You will receive a notification message and also may be prompted to complete required fields if they are blank such as: Lcns. Type; Lcns. Agency; Primary Language; Marital Status
  • Provider will then have a new icon on the desktop
Date: 10-Dec-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Marital Status in Person Management and in Person Provider have different reference values in the drop down box. If a person is a widow or divorced how do I document that when that same person becomes a relative or an adoption provider for the child?

Answer: A widowed or divorced person would be documented in the Provider record as a single male or female. While in Person Management it is possible that a person's marital status may be undetermined (at least initially), there should not be a circumstance in which a person approved as Provider has a marital status that is undetermined.

Date: 9-Apr-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Will FSFN allow for documentation of complaints involving licensed providers? The question is in reference to licensed foster homes complaints which may involve allegations such as inappropriate discipline practices, supervision concerns, etc.

Answer: Allegations such as these are documented in the intake/special conditions foster care module. Additionally, abuse reports are an annual requirement for relicensure. Any such activities, including law enforcement involvement of any household member, during the licensing year should be documented in the relicensing summary portion of the homestudy.

Date: 17-Apr-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What is directive for entering "Other Members" into the provider records to track capacity, the "Over 5 Rule" and the "2 Children under 36 Months Rule"? What is the timeframe for completing?

Answer: Documenting household members in a licensed or approved placement is required by Florida Administrative Code and is key to child safety. FSFN provides the functionality to document this information on the "Member" Tab on the Person Provider page. "Home Members" and "Children in Placement" are documented on the "Member Tab".

Date: 19-Aug-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Should a license be entered for providers who are licensed by non Family Safety be in FSFN? (Examples: DJJ, AHCA)

Answer: There should not be a license created in FSFN for providers not licensed by DCF. The validity of the license should be verified prior to initial placement of the child. Once the license is verified, that information should be entered into FSFN in a way that allows for payment of the provider (in needed) and the tracking of placement for the child. We should not be the keepers/monitors of these providers. Other jurisdiction IVE is correct.

Date: 17-Aug-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Reports Answers

Question: If report is not assigned to you as primary or secondary there is no way to access it: How does someone complete a search/pull up information and respond to complaint, request for information or check highest risk status?

Answer: You can search for a person, case, provider or worker in the system. If the person, case or provider is returned, you can click on the assigned icon and view the information contained, based on your security profile.

Date: 8-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: If another supervisor or specialist is going to assist with reviews, the report needs to be assigned to them. For specialists doing second party reviews, the supervisor has to complete a search for this person and input info. So each second party reviewer will not have information on what needs to be reviewed without pulling management reports.

Answer: The zones/districts/SOs can assign the appropriate security profile to their designated second party reviewer. If the investigation meets second party criteria, on the supervisory screen, when the supervisor clicks on the "Supervisory Review Completed" Option, the system will automatically send the child safety assessment to the designated second party reviewer. This is accomplished by the supervisor clicking on the Second Party Review expando. The supervisor scrolls down to the Supervisor Information group box. Clicks Search and enters the Last Name of the Second Party Reviewer.

Date: 8-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: I can't override sending report to second party reviewer. Also, I can't reopen investigation after closing.

Answer: This is correct. All investigations that meet second party review must be reviewed. The system does allow for a supervisor to submit for second party review an investigation that does not meet the second party review criteria. The investigation is frozen at the time of closure.

Date: 8-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: For a Child on Child report, an assessment due in 7 days. Is this initial assessment or complete investigation?

Answer: The child-on-child statutory requirements do not mandate that an investigation be completed, but rather an assessment of service needs. The 7 day timeframe is for the completion of the COC assessment tool, per statutes.

Date: 8-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: If a victim is not seen due to being out of town or a runaway, will the FSFN report penalize the user for not seeing these victims?

Answer: The Investigation reports that document children seen do not have any circumstances that would exclude a child from the calculation. The Services report that tracks children seen in a month does include exclusions for the purpose of measuring CBC contract performance. The exclusions include children with: 1) Active alerts for Runaway, Absconded or Abducted; 2) A reason not seen of No Contact Order; 3) Placement out of state; or 4) Legal status of Guardianship.

Date: 21-Jun-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: For the Child Investigations At-A-Glance for Open Investigations Report, why does the report track the percent of initial safety assessments submitted in 48-hours of the intake received date?

Answer: This report is designed according to the law ss.39.301(9)(b)5., F.S. -Based on the information obtained from available sources, complete the risk assessment instrument within 48 hours after the initial contact and, if needed, develop a case plan.

Chapter 65C-29.003(6), F.A.C. states: Based on the information obtained from available sources, the child protective investigator shall submit the automated assessment tool within forty-eight hours from the time the first child victim is seen and, if needed, develop a safety plan. The report is reading correctly as designed.

Date: 11-Dec-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: In some cases, even though the father is Unknown, we are getting an AFCARS error for DOB. What is the need for a DOB on an Unknown individual?

Answer: When the father or mother is unknown, obviously you can't correct the error. The reports will continue to "want" this data element. We have requested that the error message be updated to reflect that "If known" link to the father or mother. We understand that some of these errors will continuously remain on the report because the individual is unknown - which is acceptable to leave blank if unknown.

Date: 14-Apr-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Search Answers

Question: Confirm the level of detail users can access from the case outliner returned from search (assuming they are not assigned to the case). For the new tools (Safety Planning, Family Assessment, and Case planning), what does the user see under these icons if they aren't assigned to the case?

Answer: What a user can see under each icon is driven by their security profile. The user will be able to see that there are specific pieces of casework created by viewing the icons on the outliner. However, if the user does not have the security to see the details for a specific piece of work, when the user clicks on the icon, the system will return a message under the icon, alerting them that they do not have the security to view the specific information.

Date: 6-Jun-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: What do the different audit types mean when a user checks what has been done on a screen in FSFN?

Answer: The Audit search screen will display any actions the worker performed, including actions performed on the Outliner (Desktop) and from the Search page. When the Audit Search screen displays "Edit" or "View" , the worker only looked at pieces of work. When the Audit Search screen displays "Insert", "Update", or "Delete" a change has been made to the database. When "open Document" is displayed in the Audit Search screen, it means the worker accessed a template.

Date: 22-Oct-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Why are certain records "date restricted" on the FSFN Desktop? How can I access records that were entered several years ago?

Answer: The "Date Restricted" functionality located on the FSFN Desktop is designed to limit the size of a "search" that a FSFN User completes for a specific type of record or action, e.g., a chrono note (narrative), an educational document, a medical record, an investigation, and so on. The intent of this feature is to limit the time expended and the volume of documents pulled as the result of a search when the FSFN User is wanting only more recent work (most often the case) or to compile documents and work for a specific task, such as preparing a court document in which information from the most recent 6 months is the focus of the work.

Date: 10-Feb-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Services Answers

Question: How should errors in Out of Home Placement post approval be handled (since work is frozen)?

Answer: Out of home placements entered in error can be end dated. Select the "Placement End Reason" of "Placement made in Error". These placements will not be counted as a change in placement.

Date: 7-Mar-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When we reopen a case in FSFN, what legal status would we use? Would we enter the previous legal status of adjudicated dependent but make the begin date the case reopening date or would we make the begin date the original adjudication date?

Answer: Some legal statuses do not "end", for example, "Adjudicated Dependent". The response varies based on whether the closed services legal status was one of those that is never end dated and the status for the re-opened case is different and/or is one that can occur concurrent to an active status.

Date: 21-Jun-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: A child is in an out of home placement but is going on an extended visit. Do we end the placement and enter the extended visit placement as the out of home placement or do we leave the placement and put a note in stating where the child is located? Would there be a difference if the placement is under 30 days or over 30 days?

Answer: Temporary absences are now documented through the child's living arrangement or placement, as applicable. To document an extended visit during a placement event, end the placement and create a new placement type of "Extended Visit" (for now, the system will require you to select a Placement Setting Type, select "Trial Home Visit" - this is a temporary workaround). Go to the Person screens and update the child's location during the extended visit (this way we will know the actual location at any given point in time). Good practice will require that you enter a chrono note documenting information on the extended visit. For reporting purposes, the system will read the length of time for certain types of "placements" that are associated with "temporary absences" and exclude them from both the AFCARS report and the Placement Stability reports.

Date: 21-Jun-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When a CBC accepts the case for ongoing services - if a case has both a child who has been removed and a child that remains in the home what case type (Basic tab case) do we assign the case? Our choices are "Out of Home - Court Ordered" and "In Home - Court Ordered"?

Answer: Best practice is to use the higher level (of involvement) type "Out-of-Home – Court Ordered".

Date: 21-Jun-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Would this be the correct Case worker assignment values for the following requests?

Courtesy Supervision (in state)-Type: Courtesy (Out of Town Inquiry) Responsibility: Case Management / SupervisionRole: Courtesy Homestudy (in state) -Type: Courtesy (Out of Town Inquiry) Responsibility: Homestudy Role: Secondary Case Plan Assistance (in state) -Type: Courtesy (Out of Town Inquiry) Responsibility: Case Management / Supervision Role: Secondary

Answer: Yes to all selections. Another option would be: for the assignment of a case to another services worker particularly when that assignment is specific to an adult/child in the case, is to make the assignment at the participant level.

For example, in a courtesy supervision case, when only one of three siblings is receiving courtesy supervision: Change your desktop view to PARTICIPANTS ONLY. Click on the ACTIONS hyperlink next to the child's name. This brings up the SELECT ACTION pop-up box. Select ASSIGNMENT. Proceed with the same assignment process as you would with a case. This allows you to specify who is actually responsible for the particular case participant.

Date: 21-Jun-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Single parent private adoption. Child is now TPR'd from the adoptive single mother. What information should be entered regarding the father's TPR?

Answer: While the Father's TPR Date field is red, it is not required information. To document the adoptive mother's TPR, ensure that the removal information in the Placement Screens reflect that the Caregiver Removed From Structure reflects single parent. When you go to the Child Interim Information Page, Legal Status Tab, enter only the TPR date for the adoptive mother. Leave the father's blank. The father's TPR date information would apply only if there was an adoptive father.

Date: 21-Jun-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: In FSFN, what is "TPR Granted (All)"?

Answer: This means that the TPR has been obtained by all parties – mother, legal father, biological father, etc., therefore, the (All) qualifier.

Date: 17-Dec-07

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: An ESI staffing occurs on a Monday, the staffing packet is received by Data Services the following day (Tuesday) and the case manager is assigned the day after that (Wednesday). Since FSFN populates the date and time of assignments, is this discrepancy between staffing date and assignment date an issue? In other words, should the case manager be assigned in FSFN on the day of the staffing (Monday)? Is there a required timeframe when a case manager has to be assigned as primary for an ESI?

Answer: There is no discrepancy issue – whoever staffed the ESI was "primary" at that point and it's okay that the case manager was assigned after the ESI staffing took place. In any event, one would not want to purposely input an erroneous case manager assignment date.

Date Answered: June 18, 2010

Reference/Resource: DCF Family Safety Program Office

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Question: Will the new "Services" tab replace the "Service Referral" window? If not, is there any connection between the two?

Answer: There is no connection between these two pages in the system. The Service Referral is an intake that is utilized to reopen a Case for ongoing services. The "Services" page is a piece of work within a case that s utilized to authorize an ongoing service (ie. Adoption Subsidy, IL, Counseling, etc) for the child.

Date: 1-Dec-08

Reference/Resource: DCF

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TANF Answers

Question: Why must we complete a Request for TANF Funds form?

DCF Answer: Florida uses funds provided by the federal government through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families ("TANF") grant to pay for many services associated with child protective investigations and case management to children and their families. The Department is required by the federal government to maintain specific documentation of the services provided and that the families were eligible to receive these services. The Request for TANF Funds form is the document that Florida uses to provide this very critical information to the federal government.

Date: 9-Feb-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Are Request for TANF Funds forms required to be completed on ALL child protective investigations?

Answer: Yes. The Request for TANF Funds/Eligibility Determination form must be completed for each child/family when an abuse or neglect "report" has been generated through the Hotline and an investigation has been initiated (includes institutional reports); a service response has been initiated; a parent or other adult specified relative has made a voluntary request for services from the family services counselor or case manager; a child has experienced a special needs adoption disruption or has been placed under court-ordered protective supervision or foster care post-placement supervision; or, services are needed for a child who is at imminent risk of removal because of abuse or neglect and who is under protective supervision in his/her own home with a parent or specified relative.

Date: 9-Feb-09

Reference/Resource: DCF; CFOP 175-93

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Question: Must a Request for TANF Funds form be completed on ALL children involved in an institutional investigation or only the specific children named in the Hotline report?

Answer: Request for TANF Funds forms need only be completed for the children named in the Hotline report or added to the report during investigation. It is not necessary to complete a form for each child in the institution unless he or she is added as a participant to the investigation.

Date: 9-Feb-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How do we calculate income when completing a Request for TANF Funds form?

Answer: In cases in which a child is residing with a parent or parents, calculate the income of the parental household including the income of the child, if any, based upon guidance provided in CFOP 175-93. If the child is residing in a non-parental setting (e.g., a relative, non-relative or in a residential home), the child is considered a family of one and the income calculated is only that of the child. Please follow guidance provided in CFOP 175-93 for the specific definitions, calculations and parameters for completing the Request for TANF Funds form.

Date: 2/9/2009

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Are Child Protective Investigators required to complete a hard copy of the Request for TANF Funds form for the parents to sign in addition to completing the electronic version of the form in FSFN. Will investigators have to complete this form twice?

Answer: No. The electronic Request for TANF Funds form will meet the requirements set forth in CFOP 175-93. The Child Protective Investigator must gather the information from the family or the caregiver, complete the electronic version of the form in FSFN, print the form, sign it, place the original in the paper case file, then send a copy to Revenue Maximization.

Date: 9-Feb-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How are we to complete the Request for TANF Funds form when you have a case/investigation with multiple families in the same household? For example a teenage mother who is the victim of abuse but her child is not. Do we complete two TANF forms as there are two households, or just one?

DCF Answer: In this case, two Request for TANF Funds forms will be completed, one for each family.

Date: 16-Feb-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How can we create more than one TANF form if the children are not in the same family?

Answer: There can only be one TANF created from the investigation. If additional TANF records need to be created, the investigators (and case managers) can create additional child specific TANF record from Create Case Work.

Date: 16-Mar-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Once a child has been placed in a Non paid placement and a TANF form is system generated and then completed, If the child has a placement change to another Non paid placement (IE: Another relative), does the system generate a second TANF if the change of placement occurs in the same year. Or does the system keep the information from the first TANF?

Answer: A TANF determination is valid for one year from the "Effective From Date"of the TANF determination unless "Effective To Date" is specified differently. A TANF determination will need to be completed prior to the annual determination if the child returns home, is placed in a non relative placement, or if the child is placed in licensed care. Status changes and annual determination of a TANF determination will be listed on the "TANF Determinations Due Report" that is accessed through the FSFN reporting subsystem. A TANF determination can be completed for a change in relative (unpaid) placement but is not required.

TANF records are created one per Removal Episode when a child is placed in an unpaid out-of-home placement. If a child moves to another unpaid placement within the same Removal Episode, another TANF form is not created by the system, nor is a new TANF form generated when an unpaid placement is ended.

Date: 4-Jun-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: How do we do a TANF determination on a TPR'ed child residing in a pre-adoptive (adoption not finalized yet) home?

Answer: The child is still in an open removal episode in out-of-home care until the adoption is finalized; the removal episode is discharged; the placement ended, and the case closed to services. This is an institutional investigation. For TANF purposes, the pre-adoptive parents are the child's caregivers and the child is considered a "family or household of one". The prospective adoptive family is not responsible for the income for the child, we are.

Below is directly from the TANF training PowerPoint: Institutional Investigations

• Complete a TANF form and conduct eligibility for each alleged child victim

• Consider each child as "family or household of one" – only one child on the form

Date: 29-Jul-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When we have to complete an extra TANF determination from Casework and FSFN only allows us to select one child as "Applies To", which child are we including on that TANF? Are we going to then complete one TANF for each child or just include them as a family unit, but not apply the determination to the other children? Examples are Institutional Investigation cases, Child on Child cases, and multiple family households.

Answer: The "Include" checkboxes should be checked for any member of the Household/Economic Unit. The number of members checked will determine the number of members in the household. The "Applies To" box indicates to whom this eligibility determination applies.

If created through Create Casework, there can only be one child selected that the form applies to. The form created through the Investigation allows multiple "applies to" and will automatically create the multiple forms. If created through Create Casework, the forms must be created individually for each child.

Date: 3-Aug-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Is it acceptable to create a TANF via "create casework" instead of the through the investigation?

Answer: The correct workflow is to create the TANF through the investigation. This TANF must be created through the Options dropdown of the Investigation or Special Condition Referrals to be considered completed for purposes of the closure. Users will not be able to close the investigation if they create the TANF via "create casework" and will have to recreate via the investigation.

Date: 10-Aug-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Once TANF is created through the investigation, should the investigator submit TANF for "approval" in the options dropdown box or is saving the TANF all they need to do?

Answer: Saving the TANF is appropriate. The TANF will be approved at closure of the investigation.

Date: 10-Aug-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Is it policy for the supervisor to sign the TANF form? For audit purposes, does the TANF form need the supervisor's signature? Does the supervisor need to sign the TANF form and place it in the file?

Answer: If the supervisor does not approve the TANF form electronically, a signed hard copy of the TANF form must be maintained for the record. In short, the TANF determination must have a documented approval by the supervisor, either handwritten or electronic. The approval of TANF by the CPI supervisor as documented electronically in the FSFN database is sufficient for audit. The supervisor's approval of the TANF determination when closing the investigation constitutes an electronic "signature" of approval, a separate hard copy is not necessary.

Date: 17-Aug-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When does TANF start, on the "effective date" or the "approved date"? What about in the case of multiple TANF?

Answer: The "effective date" is the date that the TANF program should start, not the "approved date" since several days may elapse before approval occurs. Once approval is received, we go back and use the "effective date." If we have multiple TANF, which sometimes happens, then the "effective dates" would vary.

Date: August 23, 2010

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Why do we complete a Request for TANF Funds form for institutional investigations when there is no federal reimbursement for them? Shouldn't we only do the TANF form for services cases?

Answer: The investigation is a service. The TANF form is also used to determine the percentage of children eligible under TANF for cost allocation. We must complete the TANF form and determine eligibility to support our claim of administrative costs for the investigation. The Department does not have to refer a case to other services to claim the administrative costs incurred. These are, for example, staff time, office materials, travel, etc.

Date: 26-Mar-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: If there is more than one TANF for an investigation, are all of them approved upon closure of the investigation/special conditions referral? Only one is created as an investigation TANF and the other are created through Casework.

Answer: Only the one form created through investigation will be approved upon closure of the investigation. The forms created through Create Casework must be approved within five days of completion. The TANF created through Casework should be able to be created by either the PI or the Case Worker. It does not need to be done by a Supervisor, though it could be. The Casework TANF Approval process always goes to the logged on worker's supervisor, unless the logged on worker is a supervisor or acting supervisor. Only the TANF created through the investigation goes through approval at the time of investigation. All others, those created through casework, go to that worker's supervisor for approval.

Date: 18-Jun-09

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Unified Home Study Answers

Question: Within the Unified Home Study, what fields must be completed for the Emergency Relative or Non-Relative Placement Home Study?

Answer: Section 39.521(2)(r), F.S., defines the minimum requirements for assessing a home for an emergency placement.

  • An interview with the proposed legal guardian to assess their commitment and ability to care for the child;
  • Records checks through SACWIS;
  • Local and statewide criminal and juvenile records checks through FDLE on all household members 12 and older;
  • FDLE/FBI fingerprints check for all household members 18 and older;
  • Out-of-state criminal checks for any individual who has resided outside of Florida;
  • An assessment of the physical environment of the home;
  • A determination of the financial security of the proposed custodians;
  • Details of child care arrangements needed if the proposed legal guardian works outside of the home;
  • Documentation of counseling and information provided to the proposed legal guardian regarding the dependency process and possible outcomes; and
  • Documentation that information regarding available community support services has been provided.
If the emergency “placement�? being considered is for release to the other parent not residing in the household of the alleged abuse/neglect, then prior to release of the child to the other parent, the investigator or case manager shall conduct an “Other Parent Home Assessment�? by completing the following actions:
  • Verify legal parental relationship by examining a birth certificate, child support order, child support payment record, or other official government documentation establishing relationship.
  • Complete a modified home study of the other parent’s household to determine the household composition, gather demographics of all household members, conduct a home visit, and complete any background screening requirements;
  • Assess to determine the other parent’s and any adult household members in a significant caregiver role adult functioning and protective capacities;
  • Assess to determine the other parent’s willingness and ability to provide supervision and protection in alignment with the Department; and
  • Ensure that the release of the child to the other parent does not represent a rebuttable presumption of detriment as defined in s.39.0139, and thus pose a threat of danger to the child.
Date: April 29, 2013

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: The CPI does an emergency HS for placement with a relative or non-relative. The case is then staffed to CBC for ongoing case management services. The child remains in the placement. Does the CBC have to take the information from emergency HS and do a relative or non-relative HS or does the emergency HS done by the CPI remain as the completed HS until some factor in the home changes?

Answer:The CPI or sheriff conducting an emergency relative or non-relative home study is responsible for conducting as complete and thorough a study of the prospective placement home as possible given the circumstances. At a minimum, the CPI or sheriff must complete the requirements for an emergency home study per s. 39.521(2)(r), F.S. Any information not captured by the CPI or sheriff on the emergency relative or non-relative home study should be completed by the ongoing services case manager or licensing specialist after case transfer. The CBC case manager completes a revised home study on the same home when there are changes in the household composition or other critical juncture.

Date: April 29, 2013

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: If the CPI shelters a child from a parent and plans to release the child to the other parent who is a non-household member, would the CPI complete the Emergency UHS or the Parent Placement UHS?

Answer: Parents are not considered ‘placements�? nor “providers,�? as they are legally responsible for the care, safety and well-being of their children and we do not license parents as providers to care for their own children. The UHS is created from the Person/Provider inquiry and page/ record in FSFN, and because a parent is never a provider, the CPI will complete the “Other Parent Home Assessment�? (OPHA).

Date: April 29, 2013

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: Once the UHS is a page in FSFN and not a template as currently designed, will there be an electronic signature for worker/supervisor or is the expectation to print out the attestation and signature pages for all to sign? Also, if printing out signature page, is it required to scan into FSFN and if so where?

Answer: The home study has an Attestation Page attachment that the family is required to sign. This attachment is NOT to be signed as part of the UHS finalization; it is simply an attestation by the prospective caregiver(s) that the information they provided to the Department to inform our assessment of their home is true and accurate. The Signature Page attachment will need to be printed, signed, and scanned as an attachment into the UHS page in FSFN. Depending on the home study purpose, the signature page requires the signatures of the CPI, CPI Supervisor, Case Manager, Case Manager Supervisor, Licensing Specialist, Licensing Supervisor, Program Director, and CBC Executive Director.

Date: April 29, 2013

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question: When would a CM use the emergency relative or non-relative home study or is this not a home study they would ever use?

Answer: Case Managers should use the Relative or Non-Relative Home Study for planned placements. It is rare that a Case Manager would have a need to complete an “emergency�? relative or non-relative home study.

Date: April 29, 2013

Reference/Resource: DCF

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Question:Is there a policy on using the copy for Home Studies in FSFN as I was informed it should never be used?

Answer: The FSFN Unified Home Study E-Learning Module states "if a subsequent home study is created from the same Person Provider Record, the worker has the option to copy information from any previously created home studies for that Person Provider Record".

Date: January 20, 2016

Reference/Resource: FSFN E-learning Module (Unified Home Study: Person Provider and Emergency Placement http://centervideo.forest.usf.edu/fsfnenduser/emplacement/start.html), FSFN Unified HS User Guide (http://www.centerforchildwelfare.org/kb/FSFN/UnifiedHomeStudyUG.pdf)

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