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New Jersey Department of Children and Families Policy Manual

 

Manual:

CP&P

Child Protection and Permanency

Effective Date:

4-1-2014

Volume:

III

Case Management

Chapter:

C

Case Oversight and Management

Revised Date:

2-01-2021

Subchapter:

3

Contacts

Issuance:

100

Minimum Visitation Requirements (MVR)

 

Purpose:

 

This issuance establishes policy and procedures for CP&P Workers to regularly meet with each child, adolescent or young adult, his or her parent, and, if applicable, out-of-home placement provider, for families in open case status, commonly known as Minimum Visitation Requirements (MVR).

 

Authority:

 

·         N.J.S.A. 30:4C-25, Agents to Visit Children

·         N.J.A.C.3A:15, Services for Children in Out-of-Home Placement

·         N.J.A.C. 3A:12-2, In-Person Visits with Clients and Out-of-Home Placement Providers

Policy:

 

A)   Regular MVR Schedule

In order to assure the maximum benefit of CP&P support and services to children and families, Workers shall make regular, in person, face-to-face visits with all children in open case status, parents, and, if applicable, the out-of-home provider. Workers shall visit with the child, his or her parents, and placement provider as frequently as feasible and necessary to implement all elements of the case plan and to achieve permanency.

 

B)   Frequency of Visits

1.    The established MVR Schedule shall fall between a range of once every week to monthly when the case is considered “open.” When the child is living in his or her own home, the MVR schedule is determined by the New Jersey CP&P Family Risk Assessment, CP&P Form 22-23, and ranges from one to four visits per month. A child in out-of-home placement shall have face-to-face visits with his or her Worker at least twice per month during the first two months of an initial placement, or a change of placement, and thereafter at least once per month throughout the child’s placement. When the case goal is reunification, the Worker continues to visit with the parent or guardian at least twice per month, and at least once per month if the goal differs from reunification. The Worker and Supervisor review the MVR schedule at least once every six months. Modifications to the MVR schedule are made when necessary.

Note: An “open case” is defined as a family or child assigned to a Local Office Worker from SCR or other means (e.g., courts, interstate etc.) to determine risk, safety, or service needs. After the initial investigation or assessment, a determination is made to keep the case open for permanency services or terminate involvement.” In addition, Intake cases are to be seen at least every 30 days and Permanency cases are seen at least monthly.

 

2.    If a court order requires more frequent in-person visits than this policy, then the court order shall take precedence. If the court order requires less frequent Worker-client contacts than this policy, the policy takes precedence.

3.  Families experiencing serious problems, where the risk of removal of a child is extremely high (e.g., drug involved parent, allegations of sexual abuse) may require more frequent visits by the Worker.   

 

C)   Purpose of MVRs

In-person visits shall be made to determine:

1.    Whether the child is receiving appropriate care and is safe from harm;

2.    Whether the objectives of the case plan are being met;

3.    What progress is being made toward achieving the case goal;

4.    Whether barriers to achieving the case goal are being alleviated.

For children in placement, in-person visits shall also serve to determine:

5.    The child’s adjustment to, and progress in, the out-of-home placement; and

6.    Any other relevant information or concerns about the child from the out-of-home placement provider or the child.

D)   Compliance Requirements

1.    The in-person visitation (MVR-minimum visitation requirement) schedule is met when:

  The child, parent(s) when available, and out-of-home placement provider have been seen by the Worker, and

  The current living and sleeping arrangement of the child have been seen at least once during the child's schedule.

2.    Any exception to the established in-person visitation/MVR schedule requires supervisory approval. The reasons for the exception shall be clearly documented in the electronic case record and approved by the Supervisor. The Supervisor shall consult the Casework Supervisor in MVR planning and exceptional situations, when necessary. Some exceptions require Local Office Manager approval in writing; see CP&P-III-C-3-100, Visit Once Every Three Months with Local Office Manager Approval. Whenever the in-person visit is not completed according to the established schedule, reschedule a visit as soon as possible.

3.    Efforts to locate missing children or parents are made in earnest according to the procedures outlined in CP&P-III-C-4-100, Locating a Missing Child/Family, or CP&P-III-B-2-100, Permanency Planning; CP&P-III-B-2-100, Locating A Missing Parent, and documented in the electronic case record.

4.    If a court order requires more frequent in-person visits/MVRs than this policy, then the court order takes precedence. If the court order requires less frequent Worker-client contacts than this policy, the policy takes precedence.

5.    If the child is in a day camp, the Worker shall visit the child after camp hours. If the child is in a sleep-away camp for more than two weeks, the Worker  shall see the child at the sleep-away camp. Consult the Supervisor if this course of action is not feasible.

6.    If a child is visiting a relative out of state who, is a potential placement resource, the Worker contacts the DCF Interstate Services Unit to coordinate a courtesy visit by that state’s CPS agency through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, and/or to request a home study. See CP&P-VIII-D-1-300, CP&P Requests to Out-of-State Agencies.

7.    Exceptions to MVR contacts may need to be made if the parent is incarcerated, hospitalized, in a residential or substance abuse treatment program or facility, residing out of state, or serving in active military service. Document decisions made to permit exceptions, who made the decision, and the reason for the exception. Safe Measure reporting results - "concerns," etc. - may need to be adjusted, based on the granting of an exception to the policy, duly documented in writing.

 

E)   Face-to-Face

MVR visits with children under CP&P care, custody, or supervision; adolescents or young adults; parents; and, if applicable, out-of-home placement providers, for families in open case status who live in New Jersey, or within 50 miles of the State border, are conducted in-person and face-to-face.

F)   Least Restrictive Setting

The Worker shall hold MVR visits in the least restrictive and most comfortable setting possible, one of which shall be in the home, or the resource family home. Office visits may be necessary for meetings with clients known to be violent, mentally unstable, or who have poor impulse control.

 

G)  Missed Visits

The Worker shall make a good faith effort to maintain the MVR schedule. Any exception to the established in-person MVR schedule requires supervisory approval. The reasons for the exception shall be clearly documented in the electronic case record and approved by the Supervisor.

H)   Local Office Manager Authorized to Waive MVR Requirement to Meet with the Parent on a Monthly Basis

The Local Office Manager is authorized to waive an MVR requirement for monthly in-person Worker-parent contact on a case-by-case basis in the following limited circumstances:

 

·         The parent is unwilling to meet with the Worker in-person, as evidenced by the parent repeatedly missing scheduled contacts, the Worker’s inability to meet with the parent by unannounced attempts at varying times, or the parent’s verbal or written refusal to meet with the Worker.

·         The Worker is unable to meet with the parent due to the parent’s unavailability. Such exceptional circumstances include, but are not limited to: the parent resides out of country, the parent is in active military service overseas, or the parent is incarcerated, hospitalized, or in a residential treatment setting

·         The Case Plan does not indicate a continuing need for interaction between the parent and the Worker or other CP&P representative, and the parent requests that in-person contact with CP&P stop, as indicated by his or her action or inaction.

I)     Interstate MVRs – Children in New Jersey

Workers have in-person visits with children from out-of-state who are in placement in New Jersey when CP&P is providing courtesy supervision on behalf of a sending state, under the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. See CP&P-VIII-D-2-200, CP&P Supervision of Out of State Agency (OSA) Placements.

J)    Interstate MVRs – New Jersey Children Placed Out-of-State

When a New Jersey child is placed with a provider who resides out-of-state, the Local Office Manager may approve a modified MVR schedule. See heading C), Procedures for Worker Visits with the Child and the Placement Provider When the Child is Placed Out-of-Home. Between regular visits by the Worker and the child, the Worker maintains monthly telephone contact with the child, parent, and out-of-home placement provider, as well as with collateral individuals, such as school personnel.

 

K)   MVR’s Done by Others on Behalf of CP&P

A Contracted Agency representative, support staff, an out-of-state CPS agency acting under the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, or a service provider who completes the MVR on behalf of CP&P shall meet the following requirements:

·         Be recognized and approved in advance by CP&P as an entity eligible to conduct an MVR;

·         Be a planned, in-person contact; and

·         The entity documents, in writing, a narrative describing the visit, for the child‘s case record.

L)   Trainees and MVRs

When Trainees are in pre-service training, they are not permitted to complete MVRs alone within their first 60 days of service. Assistance and accompaniment by an experienced, skilled Worker is required.

Procedures:

 

1)    Procedure for Establishing and Monitoring the Minimum Visitation Requirement

a)    The Supervisor establishes the in-person MVR schedule in consultation with the Worker at the time of case plan development, within 60 calendar days of State Central Registry assigning the case to the field office, or within 30 calendar days of a child's out-of-home placement, whichever comes first.

b)    The established MVR schedule for the Worker to meet with the child, his or her parent and the out-of-home provider, if applicable, range from once every week to monthly. Any exception requires Local Office Manager approval.

c)    The Worker advises each child, his or her parent, and the out-of-home placement provider of the schedule for in-person visits and any changes in the schedule.

d)    Supervisors monitor completion of the MVR schedule on a monthly basis.

The following factors are considered when determining the frequency of MVR contact:

·      The need for protection of the child; higher risk requires more frequent visits;

·      The need for more frequent visits at the beginning of cases, when risk has just been identified and CP&P does not know the family well, while the Worker starts to build a positive relationship with the family;

·      The child‘s initial adjustment to out-of-home placement and the demands of permanency planning; when a child is first placed out of home, the visitation schedule is enhanced, to help the child adjust to the placement while the Worker works intensively with the parent toward timely reunification;

·      The need to provide direct services by the Worker;

·   The frequency of in-person visits needed to facilitate safety and case planning, including, but not limited to:

-       The need to ensure the safety of the child;

-       The need to build a trusting relationship with a particular family member;

-       The need to impart skills or model behavior to a particular family member;

-       A need for more frequent contacts at the approach to reunification/return home date.

e)    Within 10 working days of receiving the a case assignment, when a case is transferred from “intake” to “permanency” OR transferred from one CP&P Worker to another, the Worker sees a) the child in his or her current residence, b) the parent(s) or other caregiver(s), c) all other household members (including other children placed or residing in the home), and d) the out-of-home placement provider(s), if applicable.

f)  When possible, the sending Worker accompanies the receiving Worker for the initial contact. See CP&P-III-C-1-100, Intraoffice Case Transfer, and discussion of transfer of case assignments in CP&P-II-C-1-200, Office of Supervision, and CP&P-III-C-5-500, section titled Case Transfer to Permanency.

g) Supervisors monitor completion of the MVR schedule on a monthly basis.

2)    Procedure for MVR Schedule When Child Is Living in His or Her Own Home

When the child is living at home with his or her parent or guardian, the MVR schedule is based upon the level of risk determined by CP&P Form 22-23, New Jersey CP&P Family Risk Assessment.

 Worker Minimum Visitation Requirements for In-Home Service Cases

 

Risk Level

Overall Visitation Requirement

Guidelines

Low

One face-to-face visit per month by the Worker with the child(ren) and parent(s) or caregiver(s); and

 

One collateral contact per month by the Worker.

The Worker shall have a face-to-face visit with all children and parent(s)/caregiver(s) at least once per month in the family home. The child and parent/caregiver shall be seen together at least once per month.

 

Moderate

One face-to-face visit per month by the Worker with the child(ren) and parent(s); and

 

Two collateral contacts per month by the Worker.

The Worker shall have a face-to-face visit with all children and parents/caregivers at least once per month in the family home. The child and parent/caregiver shall be seen together at least once per month.

 

High

Two face-to-face visits per month with the child(ren) and caregiver(s) by the Worker or a service provider acting on behalf of CP&P; and

 

Three collateral contacts per month by the Worker.

The Worker shall have a face-to-face visit with all children and parents/caregivers at least once per month in the family home. The child and parent/caregiver shall be seen together at least once per month.

 

Up to one face-to-face visit by a service provider may be applied to the overall visitation requirement. All visits by a service provider shall be documented by a written narrative and provided to the Worker who files it in the case record and documents it in a Contact Activity Note in NJ SPIRIT.

Very High

Three face-to-face visits per month with child(ren) and parent(s)/caregiver(s) by the Worker or a service provider acting on behalf of CP&P; and

 

Three collateral contacts per month by the Worker.

The Worker shall have a face-to-face visit with all children and parents/caregivers at least twice per month. At least one of these visits shall be in the family home. The child and parent/caregiver shall be seen together at least once per month.

 

Up to one face-to-face visit by a service provider may be applied to the overall visitation requirement. All visits by a service provider shall be documented by a written narrative and provided to the Worker who files it in the case record and documents it in a Contact Activity Note in NJ SPIRIT.

 

 

For all in-home cases, regardless of the risk level, all household members/active case participants shall be seen together in the home at least once per month.

3)    Procedures for Worker Visits with the Child and the Placement Provider When the Child is Placed Out-of-Home

 Worker Minimum Visitation Requirements (MVR) for All Children in Placement and their Out-of-Home Placement Providers

 

Placement Type

“MVR” by Worker with the Child

“MVR” with the Placement Provider

Guidelines

Resource Family Homes including Foster, Relative, KLG, Adoptive; Ind. Living; Group Homes; Shelters; in-state and within 50 miles of the NJ State border

Two face-to-face visits with the child the first two months the child is in placement, and any subsequent placement.

 

One face-to-face visit per month thereafter, as long as the child is in out-of-home placement.

The Worker shall have one face-to-face visit per month; and

 

One collateral contact per month.

The first of the two visits may be at the time of placement.

 

The visit with the child shall take place in the resource family home or facility where the child is placed.

 

The Worker shall have a face-to-face visit with the child within five working days of placement, in the home/facility where the child is placed.

 

Treatment-based out-of-home placement programs, in-state and within 50 miles of the NJ State border

Two face-to-face visits per month with the child the first two months the child is in placement, and any subsequent placement.

 

One face-to-face visit per month thereafter, as long as the child is in out-of-home placement.

 

 

The Worker shall have one face-to-face visit per month with a member of the child’s treatment team.

 

One collateral contact per month.

The first of the two visits may be at the time of placement.

 

At least four face-to-face visits per year; aim to coincide with scheduled treatment team meetings.

 

The Worker shall have a face-to-face visit with the child at the facility within five working days of placement.

 

Placement Type

“MVR” by Worker with the Child

“MVR” with the Placement Provider

Guidelines

Resource Family Homes and treatment- based out-of-home placement programs:  Out-of-state, beyond 50 miles of the NJ State border

Four face-to-face visits per year, once every three months (quarterly) by the Worker or a local State CPS agency representative.

 

NOTE:  This schedule shall be approved by the Local Office Manager.

The Worker shall have two face-to-face visits per year with the child’s resource family parent, facility Social Worker, or a member of the child’s treatment team.

 

Monthly telephone contacts.

The CP&P Worker shall have a face-to-face visit with the child at the resource family home or facility at least twice a year.

 

A representative from the local State CPS agency shall have a face-to-face visit with the child at the resource home or facility at least twice a year (3 months apart from the visit by the CP&P Worker) on behalf of CP&P (acting through the ICPC).

 

The CP&P Worker shall have a face-to-face visit with the child in the resource family home or visit the child and attend the conference to develop the treatment plan at the facility where the child is placed, within one month (30 calendar days) of placement.

 

During MVRs, in addition to meeting with the child and the placement provider separately, the Worker also meets with the child and the placement provider together.

4)    MVRs with the Child

When a child is placed out-of-home, or has a change in placement, the assigned Worker proceeds as follows:

·         Have face-to-face contact with the child, his or her parent, and the placement provider, within five (5) workdays of the placement. See the child in the placement home.

·         Help the child to understand the reasons for his or her placement, and the case goal. Help him or her adjust to the placement setting.

·         Strengthen and maintain the child’s relationship with his or her own family, when appropriate.

·         Involve the child in selecting, understanding, accepting, and adjusting to the permanency plan.

·         Assist the child and placement provider to establish and maintain an ongoing and supportive relationship for the duration of the child‘s placement.

·         Meet with the child in private. Also, meet with the child and the resource family parent, or other placement provider, together. Identify the child’s specific needs and any problem areas of concern. Provide or arrange services to appropriately address the child‘s needs. Identify and reinforce the child’s strengths.

·         Provide advocacy and support services to all parties within program and fiscal parameters.

·         Develop a written plan to prepare an adolescent for self-sufficient living.

·         Advise the child of the progress toward achieving the case goal.

·         Facilitate visits in accordance with the visitation plan between the child, parent, siblings, and other interested relatives.

·         Document each in-person visit on a Contact Activity Note in NJS within seven days of contact. Document all contacts with the child, siblings, parent, resource parent, and other household members.

·         The Worker shall have at least two face-to-face visits with the child per month for the first two months that the child is initially placed or changes placements, unless the LOM has approved a different MVR schedule. At least one such visit shall occur in the home of the out-of-home placement provider. The first visit may be at the time the child is placed. After the second month of placement, hold visits once every month, at a minimum.

·         The assigned Worker completes an out-of-home child safety assessment in the new resource family home within five days of placing the child there. See CP&P-IV-A-2-100.4, Intervals for Assessing Child Safety - A Team Approach.

5)    Procedures Related to Worker Contact with Parent when Case Goal is Reunification

The chart below lists the MVR schedule for the Worker to meet with the child’s parent or guardian when the case goal is “reunification.”  When the case goal differs from reunification, the Worker is to visit with the parent or guardian at least once per month.

 

Worker Minimum Visitation Requirements for Parents of Children in Placement with a Goal of Reunification

 

Risk Level

Overall Visitation Requirement

Guidelines

Low

Two face-to-face visits per month by the Worker.

Two face-to-face visits with the parent(s) per month by the Worker, one of which shall be in the parent’s home.

Moderate

Two face-to-face visits per month by the Worker.

Two face-to-face visits with the parent(s), one of which shall be in the parent’s home.

High

Two face-to-face visits per month by the Worker or a service provider acting on behalf of CP&P.

Two face-to-face visits with the parent(s) per month, one of which shall be in the parent’s home.

 

Up to one face-to-face visit by a service provider may be applied to the overall visitation requirement. All visits by a service provider shall be documented by a written narrative and provided to the Worker who files it in the case record and documents it in a Contact Activity Note in NJ SPIRIT.

Very High

Three face-to-face visits per month by the Worker or a service provider acting on behalf of CP&P.

One face-to-face visit with the parent(s) at least twice per month. At least one of these visits shall be in the parent’s home.

 

Up to one face-to-face visit by a service provider may be applied to the overall visitation requirement. All visits by a service provider shall be documented by a written narrative and provided to the Worker who files it in the case record and documents it in a Contact Activity Note in NJ SPIRIT.

 

The assigned Worker proceeds as follows:

·         See the parent within five (5) working days following the child’s placement.

·         Negotiate and renegotiate, as necessary, the visitation plan with the parent and other interested parties, as outlined in CP&P-IV-A-5-100. Complete CP&P Form 26-83, Visitation Plan.

·         Encourage the parent‘s involvement throughout the placement process and the period of supervision. Hold Family Team Meetings, when appropriate.

·         Ensure the parent’s continued understanding of resource family care and of his or her parental rights and responsibilities.

·         Determine the permanent plan and monitor progress toward achieving it.

·         Update the parents on the progress toward achieving the case goal.

·         Identify, provide, and coordinate needed services, including those services designated to facilitate and maximize contacts between the child, siblings, and parent.

·         Keep the parent informed of the child‘s progress in the resource family home, school, and community and of any change in placement.

·         Share health care and mental/behavioral health information concerning the child with the child’s parents and the resource family parents.

·         Inform the parent of the child‘s school progress and of the parent’s right and responsibility to be involved in the child‘s education.

·         Involve the parent in all significant decisions regarding the child and, when appropriate, encourage the parent’s participation in routine affairs.

·         Document all contacts in the electronic case record maintained in New Jersey SPIRIT.

·         Maintain contact with an institutionalized parent in cooperation with institutional staff.

·         If the parent is unwilling to meet with the Worker, as evidenced by his or her refusal to meet or by repeatedly missing or cancelling appointments to meet, the Worker conferences the matter with the Supervisor. If the Supervisor concurs, the issue is brought to the attention of the Local Office Manager, who is authorized to waive the MVR requirement.

6)    Procedures Regarding Worker Contact with Out-of-Home Placement Provider

a)    The Worker visits the placement provider at the location where the child is placed, i.e., in the Resource Family home, independent living setting, etc. The Worker and placement provider work together as partners.

b)    The assigned Worker proceeds as follows:

·         Involve the placement provider in planning for the child, as appropriate, and share relevant information.

·         Consult the placement provider when developing and renegotiating the child‘s visitation plan, CP&P Form 26-83.

·         Identify roles and responsibilities for providing and arranging for services for the child.

·         Ensure that the child’s needs continue to be met and provide or arrange for advocacy and support services for the placement provider on behalf of the child.

·         Consult the placement provider regarding the child‘s strengths, special needs, and problems.

·         Provide the placement provider with comprehensive health and education information concerning the child.

·         Monitor the placement provider’s involvement in the case plan.

·         Update the placement provider on the progress toward achieving the case goal.

·         Record all contacts with the placement provider in a Contact Activity Note in NJS, including significant changes or problems, and the efforts made to resolve the problems.

7)    Procedures Regarding Visits with Child in a Treatment-Based Program Out-of-State

·         When a child is placed in a treatment-based out-of-home placement program further than 50 miles of the New Jersey State border, the assigned Worker proceeds as follows:

·         Speak with the child by telephone within five working days of the child‘s placement, unless contraindicated by the individual treatment plan for the child.

·         Within one month (30 calendar days) of placement, visit the child and attend the conference to develop the child’s treatment plan. Include the parent(s) in this and all subsequent treatment team meetings, whenever possible.

·         Thereafter, at least four face-to-face visits with the child at the facility are required per year (once every three months) by the CP&P Worker or a representative from the local State CPS agency, who may make every second visit, alternating with the CP&P Worker, as explained below.

·         The assigned CP&P Worker shall have at least two face-to-face visits per year (i.e., once every six months, but not more than 180 days apart) with the child at the facility, and with the child‘s Social Worker or a member of the child’s treatment team. Monthly telephone contacts are also required.

·         For MVR requirements to be met, a representative from the local State CPS agency shall have two face-to-face visits with the child at the facility per year (i.e., once every six months, three months after the visits by the CP&P Worker) on behalf of CP&P, acting through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. See CP&P-IV-A-2-500, Safety Assessments in Congregate Care Programs, and the Congregate Care Questionnaire, CP&P Form 22-10.

8)    Visitation Schedule When Child or Parent Reside Out of State

The Local Office Manager may give written approval of an in-person visitation schedule of once every three months (i.e., quarterly) for a child, parent, or out-of-home placement provider, when a child resides in:

·         An out-of-state, treatment-based out-of-home placement program further than 50 miles of the New Jersey State border; or

·         An out-of-state resource family home further than 50 miles of the New Jersey State border. The LOM may approve a yearly in-person visitation schedule of two (2) in-person visits by the CP&P representative and two (2) in-person visits by a representative from the lead child welfare agency in that state on an alternating basis, pursuant to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, N.J.S.A. 9:23-5 et seq.  

9)    Missed Visits

a)    The Worker makes a good faith effort to maintain the MVR schedule. Any exception to the established in-person MVR schedule requires supervisory approval. The reasons for the exception shall be clearly documented in the electronic case record and approved by the Supervisor.

b)    When a parent refuses to meet with the Worker or regularly misses scheduled visits with the Worker, the Worker conferences the situation with the Supervisor to determine a best course of action. Consider renegotiating the contact schedule with the parent or requesting the Local Office Manager waive the MVR requirement due to the parent’s failure to cooperate.

c)    If any in-person visit is not completed, the Worker documents the reason in the case plan, and reschedules the visit as soon as possible.

10)   Procedures Regarding MVRs in Unusual Situations

a)    Child in Day Camp or at Sleep-Away Camp for More Than Two Weeks.

b)    If the child is in a day camp, the Worker visits the child after camp hours. If the child is in a sleep-away camp for more than two weeks, the Worker needs to see the child at the sleep-away camp. Consult the Supervisor if this course of action is not feasible.

 

c)    Child is Visiting Potential Resource Out of State.

d)    If a child is visiting a relative out of state who is a potential placement resource, the Worker contacts the DCF Interstate Services Unit to coordinate a courtesy visit by that state’s CPS agency through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children,  or to request a home study. See CP&P-VIII-D-1-300, CP&P Requests to Out-of-State Agencies. This also applies if the child is residing in an out-of-home placement out of state.

 

e)     Adolescent or Young Adult in Independent Living Placement. The Worker shall have face-to-face contact with the adolescent in independent living at least once every month. The Worker is required to visit the adolescent at the adolescent’s residence at least once every three (3) months, at least four visits per year.

11  Adolescent or Young Adult who is Attending College

a)    In State - the Worker visits with the adolescent who lives on campus and attends college in state once every three months. Schedule the visit in a mutually agreed upon location.

 

b)    Out of State - the Worker is required to have face-to-face contact with an adolescent who attends college out of state when the adolescent is back at the resource home or other placement location while on a school break.

 

12  Parent of Young Adult (18-21 Years Old) in Placement or Independent Living

For young adults, age 18 or older, in out-of-home placement or independent living, who agree to continue to receive services from or through CP&P, the CP&P Worker contact with his or her parents or guardians is as follows:

 

-     If the whereabouts of the parent or guardian are unknown, close out the parent/guardian (remove the parent/guardian from the case). There is no MVR requirement to see the parent/guardian.

-     If CP&P has guardianship of the child (or if CP&P had guardianship, but the order was dismissed based on the child reaching the age of majority), the child is emancipated, or if there is no parent-child contact, close out the parent/guardian (remove the parent/guardian from the case). There is no MVR requirement to see the parent/guardian.

-     If there is ongoing parent-child contact, but the case goal is NOT reunification, reinforce positive, safe parent-child visitation and contact. The Worker maintains contact with the parent in support of the child’s continued interaction with the parent. The Worker and Supervisor determine, together, during case conferencing, whether to keep the parent open as an active case participant or close out the parent (remove the parent from the case).  If the parent remains open as a case participant, the Worker and Supervisor determine the Worker-parent MVR schedule, and document it in the electronic case record.

13)   Other Exceptional Circumstances

a)    Exceptions to the MVR schedule are determined on a case-by-case basis. Any exception to the established in-person MVR schedule requires supervisory approval and the reasons for the exception shall be clearly documented in the electronic case record in a Contact Activity Note, approved by the Supervisor or higher authority. The Supervisor consults with the Casework Supervisor regarding MVR planning in exceptional situations, when necessary.

 

b)    An exception for the Worker to meet with the parent may be warranted when a parent is incarcerated, hospitalized, in a residential or treatment facility, or serving overseas in active military service. A parent incarcerated or in a treatment facility does not automatically warrant an exception to the MVR schedule for the Worker to meet with the parent.

  

c)    When a parent is unwilling to meet with the Worker or “routinely” misses advance-scheduled MVR visits with the Worker, the Worker discusses the situation with his or her Supervisor. If warranted, the Supervisor may direct the Worker to seek Local Office Manager approval to waive the MVR requirement.

 

 

 

 

14)   Documenting MVR Schedule and Individual Visits

a)    The assigned Worker documents the in-person visitation schedule for each family member receiving services in NJ SPIRIT upon completing the case plan.

b)    Different schedules may be selected for each family member. Example: Child - once a month; Parent - once every two weeks; Placement Provider - once a month.

c)    Whenever the in-person visitation schedule changes, the Worker documents the change and the reason for the change in an updated Case Plan, and advises the child, parent, and out-of-home placement provider of the schedule change, as appropriate.

d)    The Worker documents each in-person visit on a Contact Activity Note in NJS, printable as a Contact Sheet, CP&P Form 26-52. Record entries as soon after the contact as possible, but no later than seven (7) days after the contact or event. The Supervisor reviews and approves each Contact Activity Note in NJS (electronic approval).

Include in the Contact Activity Note:

·         The date of the contact;

·         Who was seen;

·         Where the MVR occurred; and

·         What happened during the contact (in narrative text).

e)    If the MVR occurs during a Family Team Meeting, complete the Contact Activity Note within three (3) days of the meeting.

f)     If the MVR is conducted by an outside entity, the assigned Worker assures that this contact information is documented on a Contact Activity Note in NJS, printable as a Contact Sheet, CP&P Form 26-52, or the Worker completes the Contact Activity Note him or herself. Assure that entries are recorded as soon after the contact as possible, but no later than seven (7) days after the contact or event.

 

 

Key Terms (Definitions):

 

·         Minimum Visitation Requirement” or “MVR” means the minimum number of face-to-face, in-person visits between a Worker and a client - children under supervision, their parents or other caregivers, as well as the child’s out-of-home placement provider. Whenever possible, the MVR occurs where the child or parent resides - in the family home or the resource family home - rather than in the CP&P office.

 

·         “Parent,” as used throughout this policy, refers to the custodial parent or caregiver, or the parent or caregiver who had custody of the child before the child was removed from the home and placed into an out-of-home placement setting by CP&P.

 

·         “Out-of-home placement provider” or “placement provider” means the person or facility providing direct out-of-home placement care and services to a child or children in an out-of-home placement setting, including a resource family home (i.e., a resource family parent), a contract foster home, a kin caregiver‘s home, a pre-adoptive home, a group home, a shelter, or a residential treatment center or facility.

 

·         Open Case” is defined as a family or child assigned to a Local Office Worker from SCR or other means (e.g., courts, interstate etc.) to determine risk, safety, or service needs. After the initial investigation or assessment, a determination is made to keep the case open for permanency services or terminate involvement.” In addition, Intake cases are to be seen every 30 days and Permanency cases are seen monthly.

 

Forms and Attachments:

 

·         CP&P Form 22-23, New Jersey CP&P Family Risk Assessment

·         CP&P Form 26-83, Visitation Plan

Policy History:

 

·         3-4-2019

·         4-1-2014