Child Exit Surveys are conducted on every child age five and older (can also be three or four years old if verbal and responsive) up until their eighteenth birthday who leaves a licensed out-of-home care placement (foster home, group home, residential facility, etc.) of at least 30 days. Child Exit Surveys are completed to obtain the child’s perspective on the level and quality of care provided to them. The purpose of the Child Exit Survey is to make sure our children are living in safe homes, feel safe in these homes, to help foster parents maintain acceptable standards of professionalism and consistency, and to create a team approach in the foster home where children feel positive about their experience.
The Child Exit Survey addresses the following areas with the child:
Ø Safety- Did the child feel safe in the home? Were there any safety concerns?
Ø Comfort- Was the child made to feel welcome? Did the child feel happy?
Ø Basic Needs- Was there adequate food? Did the child have enough clothes?
Ø Cleanliness- Was the home clean?
Ø Discipline- What type of discipline was used? Was the child treated fairly?
Ø Privileges- What were the rules of the home?
Ø Visitation/Contact- Was the child able to visit with and/or contact their sibling, parent, or other individual?
Ø Observations- What are the interviewer’s observation of the child and the home?
Expectations of the Child Exit Survey:
Ø It is the Case Manager’s (CM) responsibility to conduct Child Exit Interviews within five (5) days of the child leaving their licensed placement if the child has lived in that home for 30 days or more.
Ø Exit Interviews are conducted in a neutral and comfortable setting for the child, and are never to take place in the home from which the child is leaving.
Ø If the child is uncooperative or too upset to complete the survey, the CM will encourage interaction but will reschedule the interview if that appears to be in the best interest of the child.
Ø The CM reads the questions and records detailed answers verbatim. Efforts are made not to ask leading questions or to influence the child’s response in any way through the interviewer’s facial expressions, body language, or comments. Answers should be recorded in sufficient detail to ensure it is in the context of the child’s age and individual circumstances regarding things such as bedtimes, chores, privileges, etc.
Ø The CM documents his/her observations of the child during the interview process.
Ø The CM asks for an explanation/clarification from the child for any neutral or poor ratings provided
Ø Children who have medical or mental conditions that prevent them from being able to answer the questions are exempt from the interview process. However, documentation of observations are made to determine the quality of their care in any home they leave through other means (i.e.- unannounced visits to the home, collateral contacts from school or other provider, etc).
Ø The Child, CM, and CM Supervisor review and sign the Exit Survey prior to submitting it to the designated distribution list in Outlook. The original Exit Survey is submitted to the Records Room for filing in the Mental Health Outcomes/Audits tab in ASK.
Ø If the child expresses or discloses an issue of concern relating to the quality of care that does not rise to the level of abuse, neglect, or maltreatment, the interviewer shall document this information on the Child Exit Survey, discuss information with their Supervisor, and submit a Foster Home Concern form if deemed necessary.
Ø If the child alleges abuse, neglect, or maltreatment during the interview, the interviewer is mandated to make an immediate report to the Abuse Hotline.