4.58 Mail to Child in OOHC


Practice Guidance


  1. Prior to TPR, Cabinet staff does not open letters to and from a child in OOHC, or withhold letters from a child, unless the court has issued an order prohibiting correspondence from any party to a child in OOHC, at which point the letters are turned over to the court. 
  2. A court order may be sought, upon approval by the FSOS, if the SSW feels that correspondence between a party and a child is detrimental to the child’s well-being. 
  3. When correspondence to or from a child is limited or prohibited, the SSW: 
    1. Explains the reasons to the child; and 
    2. Communicates between the party and the child when appropriate. 
  4. If contact between a child in OOHC and a party has been court ordered to be supervised or monitored, the Cabinet may screen correspondence prior to delivery to the child. 
  5. When the SSW thinks a letter may upset the child, the SSW or caregiver is present when the child opens it. 
  6. The FSOS is only able to approve intercepting or prohibiting correspondence to a child from a parent when: 
    1. The parent’s rights have been terminated; and 
    2. The mail may have a disruptive and destabilizing effect on the child, as determined by a qualified mental health professional.