Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

12.8 Non Safety Standard Waiver Process

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter 12-Resource Family Recruitment, Certification and Reimbursement
12.8 Non Safety Standard Waiver Process

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Legal Authority/Introduction  


A child specific foster home is an approved DCBS family foster home that provides placement for children related to them by blood, marriage, adoption, or fictive kin. Child specific foster homes go through the same approval process as regular DCBS foster homes, including Pre-Service training, home assessments/visits, safety and background checks, and the SAFE Home Study. A child specific foster parent receives child specific foster care per diem reimbursement for the care of a child in the legal custody of DCBS.  In order to support the approval of relative and fictive kin caregivers, non-safety waivers may be applied in the approval of child specific foster homes. Child specific foster homes should be encouraged to meet all standards for foster home approval.  However, approvals shall be assessed on a case by case basis to determine waivers that may be necessary for approval. 



  1. The R&C worker considers waivers in the following areas in the approval of a child specific foster home;

    1. Financial references;

    2. Personal references;

    3. Adult child references;

    4. Separate bed;

    5. DPP 107 Health Information Required Information Required for Foster or Adoptive Parents, Applicants or Adult Household Members ;

    6. DPP 108 Health Information Required for Foster or Adoptive Parents or Applicants Regarding Dependent Children;

    7. Marriage/divorce documentation;

    8. Financial concerns;

    9. Patterns of low risk criminal charges/convictions;

    10. Patterns of unsubstantiated CPS/APS reports or resource links;

  2. If in the course of the home study process the R&C worker and FSOS determine an appropriate waiver listed above is needed the R&C worker completes the CHFS Waiver of Non-Safety Standards for Child Specific Foster Home form and submits to the FSOS for review. The requested waiver will be reviewed during a consultation between the FSOS and SRAA/SRCA. This process does not require a formal meeting.

  3. Upon receipt of the waiver, the FSOS consults with the SRAA/SRCA to discuss the circumstances and justification of the waiver request.

  4. The waiver will be approved or denied within seven (7) business days of receipt. 

  5. The FSOS and/or SRAA/SRCA may request additional documentation or develop an action plan to mitigate risk.

    1. Action planning may need to occur prior to approval as a child specific home; or

    2. The home may be approved with detailed and time limited action steps.

  6. If the SSW, FSOS, and/or SRAA/SRCA is unable to come to an agreement regarding the approval or denial of a waiver, the SRA will be the final decision making authority.

When a waiver is recommended:


The R&C worker:

  1. Documents the justification and circumstances of the waiver in the   SAFE home study narrative.

  2. Meets with the applicant of the child specific foster home to discuss anyaction planning present in the waiver approval.

  3. Completes approval process as described in SOP 12.3 Foster and Adoptive Home Applicant Assessment,  upon completion of action plan items.


When a waiver is denied:


The R&C worker:

  1. Notifies the child’s SSW and FSOS regarding the inability to approve the applicant as a child specific foster home.

  2. Will provide all information to the ongoing FSOS to determine the viability of the children remaining in the current placement.  if the denial is a result of an ongoing safety risk.Schedules a meeting with the family to discuss the denial of the child specific foster home approval and present the family with the service array and legal options moving forward, if it is determined that the children may safely remain in the home.


Practice Guidance


Non-Safety Approval Standards


Examples of non‐safety child specific foster home standards which may be considered for a waiver include, but are not be limited to:

  1. Income: Consider flexibility regarding the income verification process. Assess how the relative is currently maintaining sufficiency, including any public assistance, including housing. For example, if they are showing an income deficit, ask them about other resources to meet the family needs (e.g. a grandmother or other relative who lives in or out of the home who helps out financially).

  2. References:  References shall be attempted by two different methods.  These attempts will be documented in the case record.  Negative references shall be discussed during consultation with the FSOS. Further determination should be made regarding the necessity for a waiver.

  3. Separate Bed:  Consider flexibility regarding the space in the home.  Bed sharing may be determined to be in the best interest of the child to allow placement and stability with a relative caregiver. SSW must assess safety risks associated with bed sharing and document in the waiver request.  Room sharing may occur with the relative and child on a case by case basis with the absence of safety risks.

  4. Physical Health:  The applicant and all household members will be assessed for ongoing physical and mental health needs in the course of the home study process.  If the family is determined to have no concerning physical or mental condition, including medication use, the DPP 107 or DPP 108 may be waived. However, if the applicant or household member disclosed a medical or mental health condition that may impact their ability to meet the short term or long term needs of a child, a DPP 107 or DPP 108 shall be required. If an applicant or household member is prescribed narcotics, multiple medications, or medication that may impair their caretaking ability, a DPP 107 or DPP 108 shall be required.  DCBS may request additional information regarding the applicant’s treatment history as identified in the home study process.

  5. Marriage/ Divorce: Consider flexibility in the requirement of marriage and divorce documentation.  However, the family should be made aware of long-term barriers to permanency that occur without the presence of these documents. (e.g. adoption with married but separated partners).

  6. Patterns of low risk criminal and child/adult protection history:  Consider flexibility in approvals of child specific foster homes when the child’s best interest is met with placement with relative or fictive kin. DCBS shall consider the length of time and frequency of the records.  In addition, the applicant’s participation and completion of treatment and services shall be considered. All requirements in SOP 12.4 Background Checks for Foster and Adoptive Parents shall be met for approval.

  7. All non-safety waivers will be requested by the R&C worker via the Child Specific Non-Safety Waiver form and submitted to the FSOS. Consultation regarding this waiver should have occurred between the SSW and FSOS prior to the submission of the waiver.  Waivers should be submitted as soon as the need is identified.

  8. If a family no longer requires a waiver, the R&C worker and FSOS will consult regarding the change in circumstances.  Depending on the waiver, further consultation may be needed with the SRAA/SRCA prior to releasing the waiver.  The waiver release will be documented in services recordings and on the original waiver form.









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