According to Florida Statue 39.01(11) Case Plan is defined as a document prepared with input from all parties, follows the child from voluntary services through dependency foster care, termination of parental rights proceeding or related activity or process. A well-crafted Case Plan describes “what will occur in order to effect what must change”.
The Case Plan establishes a road map to achieve the child’s safety, well-being, and permanency by outlining the desired outcomes for the caregivers and the steps necessary to achieve those outcomes. It keeps a record of the tasks and activities designed to change the conditions or the behaviors that affect the child’s safety, well-being and permanence. Case Planning requires involvement and input by the parent(s) and the children (if age appropriate) in order to identify the correct outcomes and steps for the family. The services described in the Case Plan must be written simply and clearly in English or the primary language of the child’s parent. The Case Plan must be distributed to all parties whose whereabouts are known, not less than 3 business days before the disposition hearing, but must be submitted to the court no later than 60 days from the child’s removal from the home. Case Plans must be individualized to meet each family’s specific needs and to utilize and enhance each family’s strengths.
The Case Plan for each child must include a description of the services offered and provided to prevent removal of the child from the home and must include the Rilya Wilson Act requirements. The Rilya Wilson Act was passed by the Florida Legislature to add a layer of protection for Florida children who are in the custody of the State. The Act requires that CBC providers communicate and share information with local School Readiness Coalitions and licensed early education or child care providers (Licensed Childcare) and provides priority childcare for children ages birth to the age of school entry. The Act requires that these children attend 5 days a week unless exempted by the Court.
- The recommendations from the child’s Comprehensive Behavioral Health Assessment (CBHA) must be included in the Case Plan. It may be necessary to submit an amended Case Plan to the court if the recommendations are not known at the time the initial Case Plan is written.
- If the child is 13 years and older the Case Plan must include Independent Living Skills tasks.
Creating the Case Plan in FSFN requires that the Ongoing Family Functioning Assessment for the case be completed first to ensure that all necessary information has been gathered and assessed to create a Case Plan tailored to the unique needs of the family.
A Case Plan Worksheet must be completed for each household that has an Ongoing Family Functioning Assessment created. Case Plan tasks for individuals residing in a household in which a Family Functioning Assessment was not required, can be added to the Case Plan Worksheet for the removal household.
After completing the Case Plan Worksheet, a legal document must be created to generate the Case Plan in a format that can be filed with the court.