Critical Junctures

A Critical Juncture is any change to a family’s circumstances which has the potential to impact the safety of a child. Therefore, a Critical Juncture necessitates a re-assessment of the family.

A new Progress Update will be created in FSFN at a minimum every ninety days from the approval date of the Ongoing Family Functioning Assessment OR the approval date of the last Progress Update. A new Progress Update will be created sooner when fundamental decisions are being made for the children, or when Critical Junctures are occurring that necessitate a formal re-evaluation of protective capacities and child needs. Such times include but are not limited to the following Critical Junctures:

  • When safety management has resulted in a decision to remove a child from home.
  • At the birth or death of a sibling.
  • Upon the addition of a new family member, including intimate partners.
  • Before changing the case plan to include unsupervised visits.
  • Before recommending or implementing reunification as Conditions for Return are met.
  • Before a recommendation for case closure.
  • When case has been dismissed by the court.

The case manager shall seek a supervisory case consultation to review case dynamics when case circumstances include any of the following. The case consultation will determine if a Progress Update should be completed prior to the 90 day period based on the discretion of the supervisor.

  • When significant changes in family members’ and/or family circumstances warrant review and possible revision to the safety plan and/or case plan, such as a change to unsupervised visitation.
  • When an emergency change in a child's out-of-home safety plan placement is needed.
  • When the children and/or caregivers are making little or no progress toward theestablished outcomes and/or an immediate change in the case plan is needed.
  • After any review (i.e., judicial, administrative, State, or County QA) recommends ordirects that changes be made.
  • At receipt of a new investigation or report of domestic violence in the home.

Supervisory case consultation will be required at Critical Junctures in the development and updating of Family Functioning Assessments; safety planning and safety monitoring; and case planning and progress assessments.