Safety Outcome 2

Children are safely maintained in their homes whenever possible and appropriate.

Item 3:
Item 3 (D): What kinds of safety issues should reviewers capture in Question D for a child in foster care? How is that unique from what is captured in Questions E and F?

In responding to Question D, reviewers must consider whether the safety-related incidents outlined in D1 were present in the foster care case. Recurring maltreatment may occur in a foster care case so reviewers must assess that. The other safety incidents outlined in D1 occur with the child’s family, typically in the family home. These kinds of concerns may be applicable to a foster care case if the child was reunified or placed on a trial home visit during the period under review. Questions E1 and E consider safety issues specifically related to visitation with family members (visitation here refers to periodic visitation and not a trial home visit) and Questions F1 and F focus specifically on safety issues that occur in the child’s foster care placements and/or with foster parents.

Item 3:
Item 3 (E, F): For foster care cases, if there are NO safety concerns related to E and F, how should reviewers capture that in the instrument since there is no NA option for foster care cases?

Since there is no NA option in these questions for foster care cases, if there are no safety concerns related to E and F, reviewers should respond as follows: Reviewers should select the option, “No safety concerns existed for the target child related to visitation that were not adequately addressed,” in E1 and answer No to E. Reviewers should select the option, “No safety concerns existed for the target child while in foster care placement that were not adequately addressed,” in F1 and answer No to F.

Item 3 – Siblings of a Target Child who has been TPR’d but remains in foster care:
When considering risk and safety assessments conducted during the period under review (PUR), the Round 4 Quality Assurance Guide instructs users to ensure that reviewers consider any children remaining in the family home, as reflected in Table G1, regardless of an intervening TPR, until the target child exits foster care. Should reviewers interpret this guidance as a requirement?

Per the OSRI instructions under Item 3, “For foster care cases, questions A and B should be answered for the target child in foster care and any children remaining in the home.” The QA guide provides additional guidance that OSRI users should consider case-specific and family circumstances when determining if any children remaining in the home following a termination of parental rights (TPR) should be considered when answering questions A and B. The term “consider” used in the referenced QA guide language should not be interpreted as a “requirement”; rather, it means that case-specific circumstances should be taken into account and professional judgment applied. For example, in a foster care case, there could be situations where it may not be reasonable to expect the agency to conduct ongoing risk and safety assessments of the child(ren) remaining in the home when the intervening TPR occurred prior to the PUR and there are no known current child maltreatment concerns related to any of those children. However, if any child remaining in the family home was the subject of an accepted maltreatment report during the PUR, we would expect to see risk and safety assessments of the children in the home addressed in Item 3—regardless of an intervening TPR.