What is the purpose of a Home Visit?
The purpose of a home visit is to assess the safety and well- being of the child, as well as, address concerns and needs of the child and/or caregivers, determine appropriateness of the placement, and provide support to the caregivers and inform the progress of the case.
When must a Home Visit be done?
· Initial face-to face (FTF) contact with the child and caregiver is to occur within two working days after the case is accepted for services at the child’s current place of residence.
· When a child is in Shelter Status FTF contact shall occur every seven days. (Shelter Status=legal status that begins when the child is taken into protective custody of the department and ceases when the court: grants custody to a parent and/or after disposition of the petition for dependency.)
· Once the child has been Adjudicated Dependant (after Disposition) by the Court, FTF contact is required with each child a minimum of once every twenty five days in the child’s current residence. FTF contacts must occur more frequently when the child’s situation dictates more frequent contact as assessed by the case manager and the case manager supervisor.
· At least once every three months the case manager will make an unannounced visit to the child’s current residence.
· Once a child in run away status returns, a FTF home visit should take place immediately in order to assess the child’s mental/physical state and gain insight into the reason he/she ran away.
Expectations/Guidelines of a Home Visit:
· Meet with the child and caregivers in their current residence.
· Speak with each child individually, alone and away from others, to assess child’s adjustment, progress, needs and/or concerns and overall well-being.
· Examine the child for cleanliness, health, and signs of injury, abuse and/or neglect.
· Evaluate the home environment for appropriateness and safety.
· Discuss concerns and/or needs with the caregiver and provide referrals for services.
· Discuss stages of change and progress and/or concerns with services.
· Inform the caregiver and child (if age appropriate) of upcoming court hearings, staffings, etc.
· Obtain updates and copies of the child’s medical, dental and mental health records, appointments, procedures, prescriptions and dosage.
· Obtain updates and copies of the child’s educational records and progress (if age appropriate).
· Observe interactions between the caregivers/family members and the child.
· Obtain updated photographs of the child using the Mindshare mobile application.
· Review the Child Resource Record at each home visit to ensure that information is current.
· Follow up on previous concerns or referrals with caregiver and/or the child.
· Discuss how visitation is going with parents/siblings.
· Assess and discuss Safety Plan in effect with the current participants, their role in the plan and the safety management techniques being utilized to determine if the current safety plan is still effective.
· Document where the child sleeps and who (if applicable) sleeps in the bedroom with the child.
· Document home visit information in FSFN or the Mindshare mobile application (which uploads to FSFN) within 48 hours of the FTF visit occurring.