Neb. Admin. Code 7-003
NEBRASKA ADMINISTRATIVE CODE
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SYSTEM
TITLE 390: CHILD WELFARE
CHAPTER 7: OUT-OF-HOME PLACEMENT
7-003 CONDITIONS WHEN PLACEMENT CAN OCCUR
7-003.01 VOLUNTARY PLACEMENT
A voluntary placement is an option once in-home service efforts have been explored and placement is not expected to exceed six months. Voluntary placement cannot be used for juvenile or status offenders.
Voluntary placement should be considered when a parent has no other option for the care of his/her child and:
- requires short-term hospitalization; or
- has a short-term jail sentence; or
- needs short-term respite care while in-home services are being arranged.
Refer to Voluntary Placement Process in Out-of-Home Placement Guidebook for further guidelines, forms and forms instructions.
7-003.01A CONDITIONS FOR COMPLETING A VOLUNTARY PLACEMENT
1. Before making a voluntary placement
The parent(s) will:
- Be fully advised and understand the process;
- Both agree to place the child unless:
a. one parent cannot be located; or
b. contacting a parent would be contrary to child's best interest;
- Agree to assume financial responsibility for cost of placement to the fullest extent possible;
- Agree to participate in specific case plan activities and services; and
- Sign the "Voluntary Placement Agreement" Form (custodial parent only).
2. After completing a Voluntary Placement Agreement
- The parent(s) and case manager will review the family's progress according to the time frames of the case plan.
- The parent(s) has the right to terminate the agreement at any time, and the child must be returned home.
- If at any time, a risk determination indicates the need for court intervention, a referral will be made to the county attorney for possible filing of a petition. (See 390 NAC 2-008).
- If the child does not return home within six months and the presenting situation still exists, a referral will be made to the county attorney for possible filing of a petition (See 390 NAC 8-001, Court and Legal Issues).
7-003.01B NATIVE AMERICAN CHILDREN
Any voluntary placement of a Native American child is required by Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-1506(1) and the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) to be executed in writing and recorded before a judge of a court of competent jurisdiction. The written consent must be accompanied by the presiding judge's certificate that the terms and consequences of the consent were fully understood by the parent or Native American custodian.
7-003.02 EMERGENCY CUSTODY PLACEMENT (POLICE HOLD)
When a child is placed in emergency protective custody by the authority of a law enforcement officer, and the officer places the child into the temporary custody of the Department for placement and care, the Department has the responsibility to provide the child with:
- Temporary placement in the least restrictive environment consistent with her/his needs;
- Supervision of care; and
- Consent for necessary emergency medical, psychological or psychiatric treatment.
Emergency protective custody ends after 48 hours, and the child must return to the parent or legal guardian if a court order for continued Department custody is not issued by the time the 48 hours expire. The Department is responsible only for transportation while the child is in the custody of the Department.
AUTHORITY AND SOURCE
Statutory Reference: Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-250(4).
The child is eligible for payment upon emergency custody. The payment process for emergency custody placement will be one of the following:
- Emergency shelter or foster care contract,
- Foster Care Payment Determination, or
- Group home contract rate. (See Out-of-Home Guidebook process and forms)
(See Out-of-Home Placement Guidebook for process and forms)
7-003.03 COURT-ORDERED PLACEMENT
The Department will follow orders issued by the court regarding placement of children. If the caseworker determines that the order for placement is inadequate, factual supporting information will be brought to the attention of the county attorney and guardian ad litem with a request to modify the court order for placement. A copy of this request will be sent to the Department legal staff. If either the guardian ad litem or county attorney does not seek to modify the court order within a reasonable time, the System legal staff will be contacted to pursue legal action. (Refer to 390 NAC 8-000, Court and Legal Issues, for time frames and further legal information.)
7-003.04 MEDICAL CARE FOR WARDS
The worker will gather information about the child's health from his/her parents. Children in out-of-home care, including children at YRTC's, will receive a health examination during the first 14 days of placement. Children committed to HHS-OJS for an evaluation will also receive a health examination. The purpose of the examination, will be to determine the physical condition, including growth and development status, of the child at the time of placement and whether the child has any contagious diseases that may affect placement. Information regarding the presence of any contagious or communicable disease will be shared with the physician and prospective home or facility before placement.
Children in out-of-home care will receive ongoing coordinated medical care under the direction and supervision of the worker.
The caregiver is responsible for:
- Insuring that the child receives age-appropriate immunizations;
- Informing the worker of all illnesses, accidents, injuries and other accidents requiring medical attention;
- Insuring that the child receives regular medical care and medical care based on the child's needs; and
- Updating the Child's Health Record.
To assure continuity in medical care, if a child has a primary care physician when entering care the Department will attempt to use this provider whenever possible.
Children in out-of-home care will receive an annual health exam. The caregiver will use the Health Check (EPSDT) program for the child's annual health check.