4.16 Participants and Notification for All OOHC Cases



Practice Guidance

  • The SSW may invite and involve the following individuals (with the parent's consent), not inclusive in case planning: 
    • Community partners, including service providers;
    • Extended family members; 
    • The independent living coordinator (ILC) for all youth ages seventeen (17) and over; and 
    • Other participants th​e family wants present.


The SSW:

  1. Is required to invite the fol​lowing individuals to the case planning conference: 
    1. Both legal and biological parents, absent parents, non-custodial parents and family members, including identified fathers as outlined in SOP 4.15 Family Attachment and Involvement; 
    2. Children, six (6) years of age and older (unless there is a clinical justification for not doing so, or the SSW has evaluated the child and deems it not in child’s best interest to participate); 1 
    3. Other Cabinet staff involved; Objective third party as required for periodic reviews; 
    4. Two (2) people chosen by the child (who are not a foster parent or caseworker for the child), when the child has attained fourteen (14) years of age; (Section 475 (1)(B) of the Social Security Act) 3 
    5. Parent’s attorney, if applicable; 
    6. Guardian ad litem (GAL); County attorne​y; 
    7. Caregiver (foster parents, private child care provider, relative, etc.); 
    8. Court-appointed special advocate (CASA); and 
    9. Private child care (PCP) case manager. 
  2. Is required to permit a child to designate one of their chosen participants to be the child’s advisor, and as necessary, to advocate with regard to the application of the reasonable and prudent parenting standard; (Section 475 (1)(B) of the Social Security Act) 
  3. Is required to notify all participants of any case planning conference, ten (10) calendar days prior to the conference for all out-of-home care (OOHC) cases, excluding the ten (10) day conference; 
  4. Notifies legal parents, biological parents, and/or guardians by certified mail; 
  5. Documents efforts to identify relatives on the DPP-1275 Relative Exploration Form; 
  6. Documents attempts to notify absent parents and non-custodial parents; 
  7. Follows the procedures outlined in SOP 4.17 Preparation for and Ten (10) Day Conference and SOP 4.18 Ongoing Case Planning to inform the parent(s) that a case planning conference occurred in their absence if a parent(s) fails to attend; 
  8. Includes absent parents in the case plan by including at least one (1) objective that addresses “non-involvement;”
  9. Conducts an absent parent search, if the parent’s whereabouts are unknown, and documents under the objective that addresses non-involvement of the parent; 4 
  10. Creates an objective and associated task that addresses the parent’s non-involvement regardless of their willingness to participate if/when the parent is located; and 
  11. Will hold the FTM at a time convenient for family members.​ 5


  1. Although the child’s capacity to participate actively in case planning will need to be decided on a case-by-case basis, as a guideline, most children who are elementary school-aged or older are expected to participate to some extent. 
  2. An objective third party is a person who is not responsible for case management and who is not in the direct line of supervision of the case. Examples include a permanency specialist, or an SSW who is not directly involved in the case or regional office staff. It is preferred that the objective third party is a protection and permanency employee. The objective third party’s signature must be on the case plan in order to appropriately document participation. The service region administrator (SRA) or designee approves third party participants who are not professional staff. 
  3. ​The worker, in consultation with the FSOS, may reject an individual selected by the child if the agency has cause to believe the individual would not act in the best interest of the child. 
  4. This task may prevent delays in termination of parental rights (TPR) in the future. 
  5.  The FTM should be held at a neutral location that is convenient for the family, caregivers, and other meeting attendees. Consideration should be given to resource limitations of the family.