Out-of-home-care (OOHC) is one of many protective services offered to children and families. It consists of the provision for children placed in the custody of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (Cabinet/CHFS) to receive supplemental care in an approved placement for a planned period of time when it is necessary for a child to be separated from his or her own parent(s) or relatives.
The Cabinet assesses and identifies the best placement options for a child. The SSW plans for and prepares a child for initial placement, even when that placement is an emergency. Services are based on the family assessment and case consultation with the family team. Engaging family members is critical in the placement process. The family team considers the following factors:
- The noncustodial parent's ability and willingness to care for the child is evaluated before considering other placement options;
- Placement with appropriate relatives before considering other placement options;
- Placement with fictive kin;
- The least restrictive environment available to provide for the child’s individual needs, including considerations of the child's current early care and education provider or school;
- Placement that is in the closest proximity to the family’s home, and within a child’s community that allows a child to remain in the same school district when it is in the child's best interest; 1
- Placement that is the most culturally competent available, including religious beliefs;
- Promotes continued contact with the child’s family, friends, and other primary connections; and
- A placement that accommodates siblings being placed together unless there is a compelling reason that it would not be in the best interest of one or more of the children.