(a) The full child and family services reviews will:
(1) Consist of a two-phase process that includes a statewide assessment and an on-site review; and
(2) Be conducted by a team of Federal and State reviewers that includes:
(i) Staff of the State child and family services agency, including the State and local offices that represent the service areas that are the focus of any particular review;
(ii) Representatives selected by the State, in collaboration with the ACF Regional Office, from those with whom the State was required to consult in developing its CFSP, as described and required in 45 CFR part 1357.15(l) ;
(iii) Federal staff of HHS; and
(iv) Other individuals, as deemed appropriate and agreed upon by the State and ACF.
(b) Statewide assessment. The first phase of the full review will be a statewide assessment conducted by the internal and external State members of the review team. The statewide assessment must:
(1) Address each systemic factor under review, including the statewide information system; case review system; quality assurance system; staff training; service array; agency responsiveness to the community; and foster and adoptive parent licensing, recruitment and retention;
(2) Assess the outcome areas of safety, permanence, and well-being of children and families served by the State agency using data from AFCARS and NCANDS. For the initial review, ACF may approve another data source to substitute for AFCARS, and in all reviews, ACF may approve another data source to substitute for NCANDS. The State must also analyze and explain its performance in meeting the national standards for the statewide data indicators;
(3) Assess the characteristics of the State agency that have the most significant impact on the agency's capacity to deliver services to children and families that will lead to improved outcomes;
(4) Assess the strengths and areas of the State's child and family services programs that require further examination through an on-site review;
(5) Include a listing of all the persons external to the State agency who participated in the preparation of the statewide assessment pursuant to §§ 1355.33(a)(2)(ii) and (iv); and
(6) Be completed and submitted to ACF within 4 months of the date that ACF transmits the information for the statewide assessment to the State.
(c) On-site review. The second phase of the full review will be an on-site review.
(1) The on-site review will cover the State's programs under titles IV-B and IV-E of the Act, including in-home services and foster care. It will be jointly planned by the State and ACF, and guided by information in the completed statewide assessment that identifies areas in need of improvement or further review.
(2) The on-site review may be concentrated in several specific political subdivisions of the State, as agreed upon by the ACF and the State; however, the State's largest metropolitan subdivision must be one of the locations selected.
(3) ACF has final approval of the selection of specific areas of the State's child and family services continuum described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section and selection of the political subdivisions referenced in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.
(4) Sources of information collected during the on-site review to determine substantial conformity must include, but are not limited to:
(i) Case records on children and families served by the agency;
(ii) Interviews with children and families whose case records have been reviewed and who are, or have been, recipients of services of the agency;
(iii) Interviews with caseworkers, foster parents, and service providers for the cases selected for the on-site review; and
(iv) Interviews with key stakeholders, both internal and external to the agency, which, at a minimum, must include those individuals who participated in the development of the State's CFSP required at 45 CFR 1357.15(1), courts, administrative review bodies, children's guardians ad litem and other individuals or bodies assigned responsibility for representing the best interests of the child.
(5) The sample will range from 30-50 cases. Foster care cases must be drawn randomly from AFCARS, or, for the initial review, from another source approved by ACF and include children who entered foster care during the year under review. In-home cases must be drawn randomly from NCANDS or from another source approved by ACF. To ensure that all program areas are adequately represented, the sample size may be increased.
(6) The sample of 30-50 cases reviewed on-site will be selected from a randomly drawn oversample of no more than 150 foster care and 150 in-home services cases. The oversample must be statistically significant at a 90 percent compliance rate (95 percent in subsequent reviews), with a tolerable sampling error of 5 percent and a confidence coefficient of 95 percent. The additional cases in the oversample not selected for the on-site review will form the sample of cases to be reviewed, if needed, in order to resolve discrepancies between the statewide assessment and the on-site reviews in accordance with paragraph (d)(2) of this section.
(d) Resolution of discrepancies between the statewide assessment and the findings of the on-site portion of the review. Discrepancies between the statewide assessment and the findings of the on-site portion of the review will be resolved by either of the following means, at the State's option:
(1) The submission of additional information by the State; or
(2) ACF and the State will review additional cases using only those indicators in which the discrepancy occurred. ACF and the State will determine jointly the number of additional cases to be reviewed, not to exceed 150 foster care cases or 150 in-home services cases to be selected as specified in paragraph (c)(6) of this section.
(e) Partial review. A partial child and family services review, when required, will be planned and conducted jointly by ACF and the State agency based on the nature of the concern. A partial review does not substitute for the full reviews as required under § 1355.32(b).
(f) Notification. Within 30 calendar days following either a partial child and family services review, full child and family services review, or the resolution of a discrepancy between the statewide assessment and the findings of the on-site portion of the review, ACF will notify the State agency in writing of whether the State is, or is not, operating in substantial conformity.
[65 FR 4077, Jan. 25, 2000, as amended at 66 FR 58675, Nov. 23, 2001]
Title 45 published on 2012-10-01
no entries appear in the Federal Register after this date.
This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.