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PAC Meeting Blog
written by Jaoni Wood and Lisa Mathey, NewFound Families Representatives
On December 13th, the Permanency Advisory Committee (PAC) met in Charlottesville to discuss several agenda items intended to improve Virginia’s child welfare system. Jaoni Wood and Lisa Mathey were there to share input from the family perspective.
Traci Jones from VDSS shared the latest update on the use of the new Transcription Services available to local agency workers. This service is being implemented to improve the process of entering case notes by the agency workers into OASIS, the state’s record keeping database. In this new process, agency workers will dictate notes from their case visits via telephone to Deposition Services. The transcribed notes will be returned to the agency worker by email. The agency worker will then be able to cut and paste the transcribed notes into OASIS.
Morgan Nelson, QAA Supervisor, presented the findings from the recent federal Child and Family Services (CFSR) review. This review was conducted between April and June 2017 in 9 localities in Virginia to ensure there is conformity with federal child welfare requirements, and help identifying strengths and weaknesses in Virginia’s child welfare practices and programs. Reviewers were state, local agency and community stakeholder volunteers. They reviewed 70 cases in the 9 localities. Federal staff conducted a secondary oversight review of a sample of completed cases. The need for significant improvements in certain areas was found.
As a result of the review, the following outcomes were identified and will be addressed in Virginia’s Performance Improvement Plan (PIP).
Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) Activity
Meeting attendees participated in round table discussions on the following goals that will be addressed in the PIP. There was a lot of in-depth discussion of ways the state and agencies can better work together and with biological and foster families to achieve safety and permanency for children in Virginia’s foster care system.
Goal 1: (INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT LATER DATE)
Goal 2: (INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT LATER DATE)
Goal 3: (Permanency) Improve permanency outcomes through maintaining the continuity of family, relationships, maintaining connections, placing siblings together and with relatives when possible.
Goal 4: (Well-Being) Improve families’ capacities to provide for their children’s needs through assessing the needs and providing services to children and parents.
Goal 5: (Quality Assurance and Case Review Systemic Factors) Utilize a case review process and CQI system that applies data to inform, manage, and improve practice and outcomes through continual assessment of effectiveness of program improvement implemented.
PAC members will review the draft PIP and provide input for revisions at the next meeting on Wednesday, March 15, 2018. Agencies across Virginia will see further reviews in the coming year to measure improvements in the areas identified.
INTERESTED IN LEARNING ABOUT THE RESULTS OF THE FEDERAL CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES REVIEW? CLICK HERE.
Hi! This is Cate Hawks, your Executive Director. I am pleased to be representing all of you at the National Foster Parent Association (NFPA) meetings this week. I serve on the State Council of Affiliates representing Virginia and I am a member of the NFPA Board of Directors, as well. We have had some great coversations these past two days. I want to share with you a few really cool things for you to consider and to let you know about something we are working on for you and your families.
During the NFPA Council of State Affiliate's meeting, we had very rich discussions about the need for recreational activities for children that you are all caring for and nurturing. During that conversation, I began doing a bit of research about our national parks entrance fees. In that research, I discovered two things...one there is a national park program giving free national park passes to EVERY 4th grader in the US...AND, a national park program providing FREE lifetime park passes to persons with disabilities and this includes those receiving Social Security Disability Income checks. Many of the children in foster care are eligible for social security disability income as well as children who have been adopted or living in kinship care homes.
We have also contacted the Virginia Department of Natural Resources to rekindle our previous request for free state park passes for our families. I have not heard back from the Virginia director working on this option, but will update this article when I do hear back.
In the meantime, please be sure to apply for your FREE national park pass, if the children in your home qualify and this would be an opportunity that would assist your family.
Will post more later. Thanks for being with us!
NORMALCY, by Brenda Sayers Wilkins
In Sept. 2014, our federal government passed a bill cited as the "Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act". Within this act, subtitle B, is "Improving Opportunities for Children in Foster Care and Supporting Permanency". This fairly recent act supports a "reasonable and prudent parent standard" for children in foster care, group homes or residential settings. Prudent Parenting allows these children the right to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural and social activities, with careful and sensible parental decisions based on health, safety and best interest of the child.
For the most part, the maintenance payment received by foster parents is to help with the cost of transporting children to school. However, there are times when a decision is made that it is in the best interest of the child to continue attending the school they attended prior to entering foster care. In such cases, there are funds available to help cover the transportation cost.
Click here to learn more about the decision-making process regarding allowing children to conitnue attending their school of record prior to entering foster care.
Whether you are an adoptive, foster, or kinship parent, you are well aware of the expense associated with multiple medical and therapeutic appointments. There is some relief for you through a program called, Logisiticare. This is a Medicaid-funded program designed to offset the cost of transporting patients to Medicaid-eligible appointment. To be eligible for the mileage reimbursement or transportation program, the person being transported must be a Medicaid client and must be requesting transportation/reimbursement to a Medicaid eligible provider appointment.
TAX INFORMATION FOR ADOPTIVE, FOSTER, AND KINSHIP FAMILIES
During this past year, you may have agreed to open your home to new children…perhaps you became a foster parent or continued fosterin;, adopted a child; or took over the legal custodial care of a relative’s child. A part of that responsibility includes financial obligations. The funds provided by the local, state, and federal governments are seldom sufficient to raise the child in a manner that provides for all of their basic needs let alone special needs. Knowing that, government does provide for certain tax benefits to help you afford to continue to provide for the children in your care. In this article, we will break down some of the basics of tax benefits for foster, adoption, and kinship care.