A residential placement means a foster child has been placed in a licensed publicly or privately owned facility, other than a private family home, where 24-hour care is provided to children SEPARATED FROM THEIR FAMILIES. Residential facilities for children include group homes, and psychiatric hospitals.
Residential placement offers care and treatment for children as an alternative to the traditional family environment. Residential programs differ in size, and types of children served, staff size and qualification, and services provided.
Before a placement in a residential facility an agency must have done the following:
- Attempted to use community based services and less restrictive alternatives
- Complied with local procedures for residential placement established by the Community Policy and Management Team (CPMT) and Family Assessment & Planning Team (FAPT).
- Completed documentation of these processes in the case record.
How a Placement is selected:
The first step is to compare the child's needs with the services offered by the facility. The child and parents or prior custodian can give input in determining the appropriateness of the residential placement for the child. Factors that are considered in determining an appropriate facility include:
- Diagnosis and treatment of child
- Accessibility of placement to parents or prior custodians
- The child's and family's readiness for placement and treatment
- Opportunity for parental/family involvement and participation in the treatment plan
- Services to return children to the community
- Duration of treatment
- Cost and funding resources
- Transition plan to return the child to the parent/community
Residential placements are usually considered as the last alternative in caring for a foster child. Other options must be explored before this is considered. A referral to the FAPT (Family Assessment & Planning Team) is necessary to discuss the assessments and planning for the child.