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New Jersey Department of Children and Families Policy Manual




Child Protection and Permanency





Out of Home Placement



Residential Placement




Residential Placement



Pre-Placement Preparation



Planning                               12-1-79


Planning is essential as the placement process can be quite disturbing to the child and the family. Sufficient time to adjust to the various steps of the placement process is required by the child and parent(s). Emergency placements are to be avoided, except under the most extreme circumstances. When an emergency placement is necessary, the principle of planning applies as far as possible and as the reality of the situation permits.


Preparing for Separation             6-12-2000


Placement by Voluntary Consent          6-12-2000


A potentially difficult and frightening aspect of residential placement is that the child will be leaving his home for totally unfamiliar surroundings. The success or failure of the placement can be determined to a great extent by the way in which the Worker prepares the child and family for separation.


Relationship of Worker and Child         12-1-79


Prior to actual placement of a child in the facility it is hoped that a positive relationship has been established between the child and the Worker responsible for the placement. There should be several interviews during which the Worker should give the child opportunities to discuss why he must leave his home and why residential care was selected. The child needs to know and understand why he is being placed.


Emphasize particularly the role of the parent(s) in the placement. The child's feelings toward his parent(s), both positive and negative must be acknowledged and dealt with in an objective, accepting manner.


Pre-placement Interview              12-1-79


Whenever possible the child should be taken to visit the residential facility in order to familiarize himself with the new surroundings, reduce anxiety about living in a new environment, and become acquainted with the staff that will be treating him. The pre-placement also affords the facility the opportunity to discuss its program and expectations with the child. It is an excellent opportunity for the facility to better evaluate its ability to meet the child's needs. Pre-placements can be as little as a few hours at the facility to a visit lasting several days.


If it is not possible for a pre-placement visit to be arranged, give a description of the facility and group living to the child. Also give the assurance that his parent(s) can visit according to the regular visiting plan of the residential facility.


Parent Participation in Placement Planning   12-1-79


Allow the parent(s) every opportunity to be involved in a constructive way in the child's placement. Placement outside the home is frequently construed as punishment by the child and the parent(s) can do much to change that attitude with his questions and comments about the placement plan or particular facility. The parent(s) can do much to enable his child to accept the placement. No child is expected to carry alone the responsibility for his behavior and the need to change it, particularly when parental attitudes toward him contribute so much to his difficulties.


Post Pre-Placement Interview                12-1-79


It is recommended that the child not be left at the facility after the pre-placement interview. The Worker, child, and family should have the opportunity to discuss their views (positive and negative) of the facility.


School and Medical Preparation            11-20-2001


The Worker has involved the child's school from the beginning in planning for residential placement. If the child is not classified, the Child Study Team is requested to evaluate and develop an individualized education plan. If the Worker is uncertain about the child's responsible school district due to many moves or to a question about the whereabouts of the parents when the child was placed out-of-home by CP&P, use the CP&P Form 25-65, Department of Education School District Determination. The child's expenses for special education are charged to the responsible school district.


No child may be placed without the involvement of the child's responsible school district in the planning and funding arrangements of the education portion of the child's placement.


The School District Determination form is completed by the Worker, signed by the Supervisor, and forwarded to the liaison to the Office of Education, Statewide Operations. The Liaison reviews the form and sends it to the DCF Office of Education. A reply indicating the school district responsible for the child's special education expenses generally is received by the Worker from the Liaison within two to four weeks.


Use the same procedures to request an emergency school district determination, i.e., the Liaison to the Office of Education processes the request.


The Worker is responsible for notifying the child's school of his acceptance in the residential facility and the date the child will leave the public school. The school then prepares and sends to the facility the child's transfer and medical records including immunization records.


Whenever a child is prepared for admission, a full medical examination using CP&P Form 11-2 must be completed by a pediatrician or other qualified physician in accordance with the facility's requirements, or within 30 days prior to admission.


If a child's background history indicates behaviors and/or family history which place the child at risk of HIV infection, the Worker, in consultation with the Supervisor and the Child Health Unit, makes a decision regarding the need to test the child for HIV infection. See CP&P-V-A-1-1000. Testing of adolescents should be done with the informed consent of the adolescent and in conjunction with counseling and education.


Interim Report         3-18-88


If the child has been accepted by a facility but placed on a waiting list, several months may elapse until placement. An interim report bringing the child's original psychosocial summary up to date may be required by the facility. The report should also include a description of the efforts made by the Worker during the waiting period to prepare the child for placement. The supervising Worker is responsible for preparing this report.


Procedures Related to Pre-placement Preparations            3-18-88





1. Schedule and conduct necessary

     Interview with child and family.


2. Discuss plans for residential

     placement with the supervisor of

     child study team and other

     appropriate school personnel.


3. Request the child's current

     educational classification.


4. Request child study team

     classification if child has not been

     classified or if classification is not

     up-to-date. See CP&P-IV-E-2-100.


5.  Review child's record to determine

      the school district responsible for

      paying for child's educational



6    If there is a question regarding

      Which school district is responsible 

      for educational expenses, complete

      and send CP&P Form 25-65

      Department of Education School

      District Determination, to the

      Liaison at the Office of Education, 

      statewide Operations.


Liaison to Office      


7.  Review CP&P Form 25-65,

      Department of Education School

      District Determination, for

      completeness and forward to DCF

      Office of Education.

      DCF Office of Education.        


DCF Office of Education

8.  Review and forward to New Jersey

      Department of Education.


N.J. Dept. of Education

9.  Determine child's responsible

      school district and notify Liaison to

      Office of Education through DCF

      Office of Education.


Liaison to Office Case Manager

10. Notify Worker of child's school 

       district determination.


11. Contact the responsible school

       district and discuss plans for child's

       residential placement.


12. Request Form 417 from the

       County Child Study Team which

       indicates the designated school

       district to be responsible for child's

       educational expenses.

13. In situations where the child is

       determined by the New Jersey

       Department of Education to be

       "State, Responsible," Form 417 is

       handled by an assigned contractor

       from the DCF Office of Education.

       The Worker receives notification to

       forward all relevant materials to the

        DCF Office of Education.



14.  Advise supervisor of acceptance

        notification and/or pre-placement

        interview request.


15.  Discuss acceptance with child and



16. Arrange pre-placement interview.


17. Call facility and set date(s) for




18. Inform child and family of pre-

       placement date(s).


19. Notify and invite school special

       service personnel to pre-

       placement visit.



20. Arrange for parent to accompany

       the child.



21. Transport or if necessary,

       arrange for appropriate public

       transportation to and from the



22. Attend pre-placement interview

       fully prepared to discuss the child's

       current situation and needs as well

       as future plans.


23. Advise public school of child's

       acceptance to residential program

       and request transfer card and

       medical records.


24. Arrange for medical examination.


25. Prepare interim report if



26. Document pre-placement interview

       in child's case record.