4.30 Normalcy for Children and Youth in Out of Home Care


​​​​​​​​​​​Normalcy is the right for all children and youth in out-of-home care (OOHC) to participate in age appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities, to achieve emotional well-being and to develop valuable coping skills.

When children participate in extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities, it allows them an opportunity to gain skills to become independent, and learn about making good decisions. Some children may test boundaries and break rules, however, with oversight and guidance, this is how the child can learn about natural consequences and gain an understanding of making positive choices.

Normalcy for children and youth in OOHC is achieved when these children and youth learn skills, take advantage of opportunities to participate in developmentally age appropriate activities, and develop relationships while growing up in a stable, loving family and a supportive community. Children and youth in OOHC should be afforded the same opportunities and experiences as children and youth who are not in OOHC. To promote normalcy, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (Cabinet/CHFS) must be responsive to the needs and voices of children, youth, and emerging adults.

The daily per diem for youth in OOHC includes money for extracurricular, enrichment, school, and social-related activities, (e.g., clubs, ballgames, participation in dance class, gymnastics, karate, church, team sports, band, etc.). As funds allow, Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) will use Youth Development Funds to supplement the additional cost to participate in these activities for youth age fourteen (14) through age twenty-one (21). These funds should only be requested when other funding sources have been explored and exhausted (such as foster parent per diem, community programs, MCO, etc.).

Yearly Limit Expenditures:

  • Extracurricular activities (up to $500 per year)
Lifetime Limit Expenditures:

  • Computer (up to $400) 
  • Driver education and documentation (up to $500) 
  • Transportation (up to $500) 
  • Employment (up to $300) 
  • Education (up to $500) 
  • College preparation (up to $300) 
  • ​Second Chance Scholarship ($1,000)

​The term 'reasonable and prudent parent standard' (RPPS) means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, and best interests of a child, while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child. A child's caregiver shall use RPPS when determining whether to allow a child in OOHC (under the responsibility of DCBS) to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities. Caregivers are DCBS and private child placing (PCP) foster parents, authorized staff, or officials working in a private child care (PCC) facility. In some circumstances, caregivers are also relatives when DCBS retains custody.​

Practice Guidance

  • PCP foster parents and PCC authorized officials receive the same training on the RPPS as required by DCBS foster parents; 
  • Authorized PCC staff who have been trained on the RPPS are available on site twenty-four (24) hours a day; 
  • PCP staff are available twenty-four (24) hours a day to foster/adoptive parents for consultation and decision making pertaining to the RPPS.
 Typical Activities Non-Typical
 Sleepovers Surgery
 Swimming Birth parent and sibling visits
 Dating Court orders
 Hunting Medications - psychotropic, birth control
 Riding jet skis Tattoos, body piercings, etc.
 Family camping outings Return a child to birth parent without court approval
 Obtaining a driver's license Discipline policy

 Operating power lawn mowers ​Operation of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) unless abiding by KRS 189.515
  • Operating an ATV is not an RPPS activity as specifically addressed in KRS 189.515. Caregivers must follow the requirements listed below regarding the use of ATVs: 
    • A caregiver of a minor who is under the age of six (6) shall not knowingly allow that person to operate or be a passenger on an all-terrain vehicle; 
    • A person under the age of sixteen (16) years shall not operate an all-terrain vehicle except under direct supervision of a caregiver; 
    •  A person under the age of sixteen (16) years, when operating or riding as a passenger on an all-terrain vehicle, shall wear approved protective headgear at all times that the vehicle is in motion; 
    • A caregiver of a minor who is under the age of sixteen (16), or who does not possess an instruction permit, an intermediate license, or an operator’s license shall not knowingly allow that person to carry a passenger while operating an all-terrain vehicle.; and 
    • A caregiver of a minor under the age of sixteen (16) shall not knowingly allow that person to operate an all-terrain vehicle in violation of the age restriction warning label affixed by the manufacturer as required by the federal all-terrain vehicle standards.
  • Caregivers must use the RPPS characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the child’s health, safety, and best interest when selecting babysitters.
  • Babysitters must be age eighteen (18) or older for youth leveled three (3), four (4), or five (5), designated as care plus, or medically complex.
  • Babysitters for medically complex children must be certified in CPR and first aid for adults, infants, and children and receive child specific training.
  • Babysitters for care plus children must also receive child specific training or have training in the mental health treatment of children.


The SSW:
  1. Understands that children and youth are allowed to engage in age or developmentally appropriate activities as determined by the child’s caregiver when the caregiver makes decisions using a RPPS; 
  2. Informs caregivers that the law provides legal protection and requires liability standards for caregivers who make decisions applying the RPPS; 
  3. Empowers caregivers to unilaterally make routine caregiving decisions without having to get permission first through regional approval; 
  4. Is available for consultation and guidance when appropriate; 1 and 
  5. Makes caregivers aware of youth’s rights by informing caregivers of the following requirements: 
    1. Youth age fourteen (14) and older receive a list of youth rights;3 
    2. Youth age fourteen (14) and older are included in case planning and in identification of advisors/advocates;4 
    3. Youth age fourteen (14) and older are involved in transition planning for successful adulthood; 
    4. Judicial review of normalcy is mandated for youth who have a permanency goal of PPLA; and 
    5. School age youth should be included in case planning if developmentally appropriate.
The R&C worker:
  1. Ensures that DCBS foster/adoptive parents receive training on the RPPS; 
  2. Assures DCBS foster/adoptive parents who receive RPPS training that they are allowed to select short-term babysitters for periods of less than twenty four (24) hours for children in their care; 
  3. Requests an exception from the FSOS when circumstances warrant using a babysitter for a period lasting longer than twenty four (24) hours, but not to exceed seventy two (72) hours;5 ​and 
  4. Documents the reason for the exception in the case record.
The independent living specialist:
  1. Receives Youth Development Funds request form and supporting documentation; and 
  2. ​Submits documents to the central office Chafee program administrator for approval.​


  1. Birthparents should be consulted, when appropriate. 
  2. These requirements are outlined in case planning SOP 4.17 Preparation for and Completion of the Ten (10) Day Conference and SOP 4.18 Ongoing Case Planning. 
  3. If the youth did not receive a copy of Rights of the Child at the case planning conference, the worker will provide a copy. 
  4. The youth may invite up to two (2) people to the case planning conference. The SSW, in consultation with the FSOS, may at any time reject a person selected by the youth if the worker has good cause to believe the individual would not act in the best interests of the child. (Section 475(1)(B) of the Social Security Act) 
  5. Babysitting for children who are designated as medically complex is not to exceed twenty-four (24) hours. Any caregiving arrangement beyond twenty-four (24) hours should follow respite guidelines.