Child welfare professionals are required to assess any child joining a household that is involved in an active investigation or ongoing services case. This includes the birth of a new child in any focus household. The child welfare professional must complete an assessment in any of the following circumstances:
Ø A child joins a focus household that is under investigation for allegations of abuse, neglect or abandonment or receiving ongoing services.
Ø A child will be residing in the home of the parent/significant caregiver receiving ongoing case management services. “Resides” means that the child will live in a home on a permanent basis including any timesharing custody agreements
Checklist Before Baby is Born:
· Pre-birth assessment, completed within six months of the due date via FFA-O or Progress Update.
· Supervisor Consult, to review pre-birth assessment.
· Other Parent Home Assessment, if there is a non-maltreating parent to whom the baby will be released.
· Multidisciplinary Staffing, with the parents, grandparents (if the parent is a minor), GAL, current caregivers, appropriate others. If one parent is non-offending, their OPHA must be done prior to the staffing.
· CLS Staffing, with Case Management (supervisor must be present if CM is not fully certified), GAL, and Lead Agency. Prior to Staffing CM must complete a pre-birth assessment and an OPHA.
Checklist After Baby is Born / a New Child Enters the Home
· Re-evaluate the current safety plan to determine any need for changes and implement as necessary. This must be done before a newborn is discharged from the hospital.
· CM must inform GAL of any changes made to the safety plan.
· CM must complete an edit request so that the baby can be added to the FSFN case.
· FFA-O or Progress Update must be completed within 14 business days of the child’s birth or a new child arriving.
· Determine need for Child Placement Agreement if there is an out-of-home safety plan in place.
· Re-assess In-Home Safety Analysis Questions and update Conditions for Return as appropriate.
· CLS Staffing, with Case Management (supervisor must be present if CM is not fully certified), GAL, and Lead Agency. Prior to Staffing CM must complete an FFA-O or Progress Update and an OPHA.
Document pre-birth assessment information in the FFA-Ongoing or Progress Update, whichever is due.
Child Functioning. As age appropriate, what are the feelings expressed by the child about having a new baby in home?
A supervisor consultation will be provided prior to the approval of the FFA-Ongoing or Progress Update to determine if a pre-birth assessment, newborn child assessment, or new child assessment is incorporated.
Post-Birth / Arrival of New Child Assessment
The FFA-Ongoing or Progress Update will provide the following information.
Child Functioning / newborn:
Ø Was the child born full-term?
Ø Was the newborn within a healthy weight range?
Ø Was the child substance-exposed at birth? If so, what were the effects?
Ø What are the ongoing possible effects that the newborn’s parent(s) or caregivers should monitor?
Child Functioning / new child:
Ø Who are the new child’s parents? Why is the new child in the home? How much time is the new child spending in the focus household?
Ø Has the new child been diagnosed with any special needs or conditions that require special care and/or ongoing medical monitoring?
Ø Does the child have any behaviors that require a Child Placement Agreement
Adult Functioning / newborn (unless it was already done in FFA-Ongoing or a Progress Update as the result of a pre-birth assessment)
Ø What are the parent(s)’ current concerns, if any?
Ø What is the plan for the mother’s post-natal care? Are there any barriers to accessing post-natal care?
Ø Does mother have any symptoms of “baby blues” or post-partum depression
Adult Functioning / new child:
Ø How has the care of the new child affected daily household routines and responsibilities of significant caregivers in the home?
Ø Are adults able to provide or access necessary housing and resources to care for the new child?
Ø Do the parent/significant caregiver have any history that is of concern regarding the safety of the mother or the new child? Is there any history of family violence? If yes, are there any current indicators of family violence or a perpetrator’s pattern of coercive control?
Ø Does the parent/caregiver have a current or past history of mental illness or substance use disorder?
Ø Is either parent/caregiver taking prescribed medications for a substance use disorder or other mental health disorder? If yes, who prescribes the medication?
Ø Is a parent with a prior substance abuse history currently prescribed with pain medication (e.g., mother prescribed Oxycodone because of a C-Section)?
Ø Is a parent currently receiving mental health or substance abuse treatment?
Ø Is a parent being drug-tested by a substance abuse treatment provider?
Parenting/Behavior Management / newborn
Ø Were there any concerns raised by hospital staff about the infant and mother-child interactions? Were any concerns raised about siblings or other persons visiting?
Ø Is there shared agreement among all household members as to how to care for the new child?
Ø If there is a parent in a separate household, what are the visitation or shared custody arrangements? If the parent is a non-maltreating parent, has a home study been completed and approved?
Ø How has the care of the new child affected the care and supervision of other children in the home?
Ø If the new child has special needs, is the parent/caregiver able to address those needs?
Ø How has care of the new child affected family dynamics or conditions?
Ø Do the caregivers need additional services or supports?
Update the Safety Analysis to determine whether the criteria for an in-home safety plan are met. As appropriate, the case manager will review and update, or create, Conditions for Return.
For Progress Updates:
ü Is the parent/significant caregiver is making progress towards achieving the outcomes in the case plan?
ü What is the impact of the new child on parent’s ability to continue participation in services.
ü Describe any changes in the family’s change strategies.
ü Determine whether any modifications to case plan outcomes, tasks, and services are necessary.