Personnel are qualified and receive support to promote the safety and well-being of children, youth, and families, and facilitate permanency within established timeframes.
Note: When the agency is unable to fully implement one or more of the standards within this section, intensive efforts should be placed on fully implementing the other standards. For example, if the agency is unable to recruit workers with specific qualifications, it can ensure that appropriate supervision and workload standards are implemented.
Foster care workers are qualified by:
Foster care workers have the competencies and support needed to:
Interpretation: Competency can be demonstrated through education, training, or experience.
Foster care workers demonstrate a commitment to a child’s right to live as a member of a family and achieving permanency for all youth in care.
Foster care workers and supervisors, depending on job responsibilities, are knowledgeable about relevant provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) including:
Interpretation: The agency can consider the average number of cases where the Indian Child Welfare Act applies when determining which personnel need to be trained. Screening personal must be trained on the relevant provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Supervisors are qualified by an advanced degree in social work or a comparable human service field and two years experience working with children and families, preferably in foster care.
A manageable workload, which includes caseload and other agency responsibilities:
Interpretation: Case complexity can take into account: intensity of child and family needs, size of the family, and the goal of the case. Generally, caseloads do not exceed 18 children or 8 children with special therapeutic needs. However, there are circumstances under which caseloads may exceed these limits. For example, caseload size may vary depending upon the volume of administrative case functions (e.g., entering notes, filing, etc.) assigned to the worker. Caseloads may also be higher when agencies are faced with temporary vacancies on staff.
Note: The evaluation of this standard will focus on whether the assigned workload is manageable for staff, taking into account the factors cited in the standard and interpretation. The specific caseload sizes stated in the interpretation are only a suggestion of what might be appropriate. Each agency should determine what caseload size is appropriate, and reviewers will evaluate: (1) whether the agency's designated caseload size reflects a manageable workload, and (2) whether the agency maintains caseloads of the size it deemed appropriate.
Supervisors or experienced workers provide additional support when workers are new or are still developing competencies.