Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

13.18 Pre-Placement Visits

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter 13-Adoption Services
13.18 Pre-Placement Visits

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Legal Authority/Introduction



The SSW:

  1. Talks with the child and caregiver after each visit with the adoptive family;
  2. Requests that school records be transferred; and
  3. Secures the current medical records and immunization records for the adoptive parents and the recruitment and certification (R&C) worker.

The R&C worker:

  1. Contacts the family after each visit to discuss the family’s needs and concerns;
  2. Identifies and begins securing appropriate resources the family may need after placement; and
  3. Begins to establish a relationship with the child.

The SSW and R&C worker:

  1. Document all services and contacts with the adoptive family and child during the visitation process within thirty (30) days.

Practice Guidance

The SSW follows these guidelines in planning visitation:

  • The timeframe and number of visits is based on the age, development and needs of the child; 1 
  • The first few visits are for brief periods of time and increase in duration as the child becomes more comfortable;
  • The first meeting should occur in the foster home or other appropriate setting (with the exception of PCC facility or hospital placement) and should last between one (1) and three (3) hours; 
  • The R&C worker or the SSW should monitor the first visit;
  • If siblings are placed in separate foster homes, coordination of the most appropriate visitation location for all of the children is considered;
  • An overnight or weekend visit should never occur on the first visit or until the child has shown positive signs of adjustment. 
  • Overnight visits are increased gradually in duration and frequency before the actual placement; and
  • In compliance with Kentucky Revised Statutes, all children under forty (40) inches must be transported in an approved car seat.

Related Information

  • During the pre-placement conference (or at any point during the referral process) the chair/SSW discusses reimbursement of travel expenses.
  • Expenditures of $500 or less are approved by the FSOS.
  • Expenditures over $500 are approved by the service region administrator (SRA). Some families may wish to be reimbursed up front for travel expenses.
  • The following steps may be taken to process travel expense requests:
    • The child’s SSW submits one (1) written request to the FSOS or SRA to cover all estimated expenses.  The request includes the estimated cost of travel, lodging and food for the estimated duration of the visitation;
    • A copy of the approval is forwarded to the R&C worker, the regional billing specialist and the adoptive family;
    • The R&C worker assists the adoptive family in keeping an itemized record of each visit, including mileage, lodging and food receipts;
    • Receipts must be submitted for all expenses, regardless of the amount (even if the amount is under $10). This includes, but is not limited to, children's meals and parking;
    • Original invoices are submitted to the regional billing specialist for reimbursement.


  1. More frequent visits are needed for a younger child.


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