The purpose of the reunification reassessment is to help assess whether children in placement who have a reunification goal should:
All ongoing cases in which at least one child is in placement with a goal of return home. If more than one household is receiving reunification services, complete one assessment on each household.
The ongoing worker.
Prior to each status review hearing and/or Division 31 required review, which occurs at least once every six months, and prior to a recommendation to return a child to the removal home, continue FR, or terminate FR services. To ensure that current SDM assessments are available, they should be completed:
No more than 65 calendar days prior to completing each case plan or recommending reunification or change in permanency planning goal.
Should be completed sooner if there are new circumstances or new information that would affect risk.
The reunification reassessment guides the decision to:
Following the principles of family-centered practice, the reunification reassessment is completed in conjunction with each appropriate household and begins when a case is first opened. The case plan should be shared with the household at the beginning so that the household understands what is expected. The reunification reassessment form should be shared with the household at the same time so that the family members understand exactly what will be used to evaluate reunification potential and the threshold they must reach. Specifically:
For each household participating in reunification services, using the definitions and instructions, complete the following.
Complete all risk items using the definitions, determine the scored risk level, consider overrides, and determine the final risk level.
Complete the visitation plan evaluation for each child in the household, using the definitions, and consider overrides for each child. It is recommended that efforts be made to behaviorally describe visitation quality within the family's case plan relevant to the specific safety threats, risk factors, and underlying family functioning that account for the children being in out-of-home care.
Complete the safety assessment if required by the results of the reunification risk reassessment and visitation plan evaluation. Risk must be either low or moderate and visitation must be acceptable. Consider how the safety threats that led to removal have been mitigated; whether additional safety threats have been identified since removal and if so, whether those threats have been mitigated; or if current safety threats can be controlled in-home through a safety plan. Note that safety threat items that should be assessed when considering any new threat in the home are the same as on the original safety assessment, but may have slight variations to reflect the decision at hand.
After completing the reunification risk reassessment, visitation plan evaluation, and reunification safety assessment (if indicated), select the appropriate decision tree, based on the child's age at the time of removal.
Begin at the top of the tree. Proceed down the tree if the reunification risk level is high or very high, or to the left if the reunification risk level is low or moderate.
Continue following the pathway answering all questions until a termination point is reached. Termination points include:
Consider whether any overrides are applicable, using the definitions. If no overrides apply, mark “No overrides applicable (policy or discretionary).” If an override will be applied, indicate whether it is a policy or a discretionary override and mark the specific reason. Provide explanation where required.