Office Of Child Advocate For Children S Protection And-Books Pdf

Office of Child Advocate for Children s Protection and
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State of Missouri, Child Advocate for Children s, Protection and Services. Annual Report 2017, Mailing Address, P O Box 809, Jefferson City MO 65102. Telephone 866 457 2302, E mail oca oca mo gov, TTY Missouri Relay Center 800 735 2966. Website http www oca mo gov, State of Missouri, Office of Child Advocate. for Children s Protection and Services, Michael L Parson Post Office Box 809 Kelly Schultz.
Governor Jefferson City 65102 Child Advocate, 573 522 8683. Toll free 866 457 2302, The Honorable Michael L Parson. Governor of the State of Missouri, The Honorable Zel M Fischer. Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court, Dear Governor Parson and Chief Justice Fischer. I am pleased to present the 2017 Annual Report of the Office of Child Advocate The. report covers the time frame of January 1 2017 through December 31 2017. I am honored to be appointed the Child Advocate I truly appreciate this opportunity to. serve the children and families of Missouri Our office remains committed to our charge. to review complaints advocate for abused and neglected children and to recommend. changes with the goal of improving the child welfare system for Missouri s children. Thank you for your commitment to the children and families of Missouri. Respectfully submitted by, Kelly Schultz, Table of Contents.
Recommendations for Systematic Improvements 5, Operation of the Office 8. Role of the Office 8, Receiving Investigating and Concluding Complaints 9. SB341 Review Procedures 11, Increasing Knowledge of Professionals Public 11. Stewards of Children 12, Complaint Types and Sources New Cases 14. Types of New Complaints 14, Sources of New Complaints 14.
Location of Children Referred 15, Effectiveness Measurements 16. Acknowledgements 17, Appendix A Office of Child Advocate County Review Policy 18. Appendix B Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 37 160 19. Appendix C Stewards of Children Brochure 24, Recommendations for Systematic Improvements. Maintaining Parental Visits Benefit Children, The Office of Child Advocate continues to express concerns regarding visitation and specific. practices in circuits denying visits between parents and children While there has been. improvement across the state OCA still finds visitation being used as a way to reward or. punish parents versus making the decision based on the child children s best interest. Visitation decisions should be based solely on the safety and well being of a child Visitation. should not be used as a means to coerce the parent into compliance with the written service. agreement or based on the results of urine analysis UA for drugs By denying visitation based. on a lack of parental compliance or a positive drug screen the team effectively punishes the. child as well as the parent Practices such as requiring three clean UAs prior to allowing. visitation harms children lengthens the time in alternative care and are not effective in. changing parental behavior, The Office of Child Advocate recommends that the Children s Division establish a visitation.
plan between the parent s guardian s and or custodian s and child within 30 days of the. child entering care to be filed with the court The visitation plan should include an assessment. of the risk and safety factors present the purpose of the visitation the expectations and. conditions of visitation the location frequency and duration of the visitation the persons. permitted to participate in the visitation with consideration of family members present to assist. in the supervision of the child if appropriate the roles and responsibilities of the team members. involved in the visitation an assessment of transportation concerns requirements for oversight. and activities permitted during the visitation The visitation plan should be least restrictive. conducive to the safety and well being of the child Further an initial visit between the parent. s guardian s or custodian s and child should occur within 72 hours of the child s placement. into protective custody excluding weekends and holidays unless the Children s Division and. multidisciplinary team determine that visitation would endanger the physical health or. emotional well being of the child, In custody procedures Section 452 400 RSMo establishes that the standard to deny visitation. between a parent and a child requires the court to find that visitation would endanger the. child s physical health or impair his or her emotional development At this time there is no. statutory required findings to deny visitation in Section 210 or 211 Office of Child Advocate. recommends that a statutory change be considered requiring courts to hold a hearing and. make similar findings prior to denying visitation Children s Division should use similar. articulation of harm when recommending cessation of visitation to the court Absence the. ability to articulate the physical or emotional harm visitation is recommended. Maintaining frequent and meaningful contact between parents and children benefits children. Research has continually demonstrated improved outcomes. Children who were visited frequently once a week or once every two weeks exhibited. fewer behavioral problems than children who were visited infrequently once a month or. less or not at all Overall children who had frequent contact with their parent s showed. less anxiety and depression than children whose parents visits were either infrequent or. non existent Cantos Gries 1997, Children who were visited frequently by their parent s were more likely to have higher well. being ratings adjusted better to placement and were less likely to be discharged from. placement Hess 2003, Visitation also, Supports attachment. Eases pain of separation, Maintains and strengthens family relationships. Reassures a child that their parent s is are all right and helps them to eliminate self. blame for placement, Supports the family in dealing with changing relationships.
Enhances parent motivation to change by providing reassurance that the parent child. relationship is important for a child s well being. Provides opportunities for parent s to learn and try new skills. Supports a child s adjustment, Enables the parent s to be active and stay current with their child s development. education and medical needs church and community activities. Provides opportunities for parent s to assess how their child is doing and share. information about child s needs, Assists in the assessment of parenting capacities and permanency goals. Reduces time in Alternative Care, Increases likelihood of reunification. Residential Care, The Office of Child Advocate recognizes the value of structured environments and intensive. therapeutic treatment available in residential facilities However OCA recommends that. Children s Division enhance their placement decisions expectations of facilities and. improve their preparation for a child s transition Placement in a residential facility should be. based on the child s need for intensive therapeutic treatment based on safety and well being. concerns that cannot be addressed in a less restrictive environment Placement should. never be based on bad behavior or as a punishment Unfortunately we have found in. records workers documenting their conversations that if a child continues to do a specified. behavior they will be sent to residential, Additionally once a child is placed the family support team should immediately begin.
planning for transitioning the child back to the community Maintaining contact with family. including parents siblings and extended family is critical for the child and should not be. based on levels Connection to family is not to be earned Phone calls and visitation. decisions should be based solely on the child s safety and wellbeing Other community. members the child has a connection with should be considered as visitation resources as. well Identification of where the child is going to reside after discharge should also take. place immediately If the child will transition into a new foster home that identified. placement should become involved at the earliest opportunity to engage in the child s. treatment therapy and visits This will not only help build a connection between the child. and future placement but will also allow the future family to fully understand the child s. needs what services and support they will need in place prior to discharge and help ensure. a child s successful transition, OCA had the opportunity to observe Greene County s Residential Placement Review. Hearings These monthly hearings address why a child is placed in residential the treatment. goals progress that has been made the discharge plan and services to be put in place to. ensure the transition from residential is successful Since beginning these review hearings in. February of 2017 Greene County has created a culture of planning for transition. Finally a child s safety in a residential facility must be ensured While a restraint may be. necessary at times to protect a child or other children in a facility any injury resulting from a. restraint must be closely scrutinized The State should review if the restraint was necessary for. safety or used as a means of gaining compliance punishment Opportunities for de escalation. should be reviewed Patterns of restraints and any injuries should be reviewed as a whole. versus just investigating each isolated incident Ultimately the definition of abuse and neglect. does not distinguish between where a child resides If it would be considered abuse in a. home it should be considered abuse in a residential facility. Hess Peg 2003 Visiting Between Children in Care and Their Families A Look at Current Policy The. National Resource Center for Foster Care Permanency Planning pp 1 21. Cantos A L Gries L T 1997 Behavioral Correlates of Parental Visiting During Family Foster Care. Child Welfare 76 2 309 330, The Office of Child Welfare Ombudsman was established by Governor Bob Holden s. Executive Order in 2002 to act as an agent of accountability regarding Children s Protection. Services In 2004 the 92nd General Assembly passed Speaker Catherine Hanaway s House. Bill 1453 The legislation changed the office name to the Office of Child Advocate for. Children s Protection and Services and strengthened the role of the office Governor Jay. Nixon signed Senator Jane Cunningham s Senate Bill 54 into law in 2011 authorizing the. Office of Child Advocate to coordinate mediation efforts between school districts and students. when allegations of child abuse arise in a school setting In 2014 Senator Eric Schmitt s. SB869 and Rep Bill Lant s HB1092 were signed into law by Governor Nixon authorizing OCA. to intervene on behalf of a child during judicial proceedings Senator Jeanie Riddle s 2015. SB341 authorized OCA to conduct a county review of policy and procedures of Children s. Division the Juvenile Office and guardian ad litem to improve the handling of child welfare. cases within a circuit See Appendix B for statute language Since its inception the office. has served a total of 11 077 children, Operation of the Office. The Office of Child Advocate is, directed by the Missouri Child OCA staff. Advocate who is appointed by the Kelly Schultz Missouri Child Advocate. Governor and Chief Justice of the, Supreme Court with the advice and Teri Armistead General Counsel.
consent of the Senate Carolyn Swanigan Assistant Prog Mgr. Kate Watson Assistant Prog Mgr, The Office of Child Advocate is funded Courtney Davis Reviewer. through state general revenue funds, and federal funds distributed through. the Department of Social Services The budget appropriation for 2017 2018 was 326 430. Role of the Office, The Office of Child Advocate operates under the Office of Administration and is therefore. independent of the Department of Social Services Children s Division the Department of. Mental Health and the Juvenile Court The office provides citizens an avenue to obtain an. independent and impartial review of disputed decisions actions and inactions regarding any. child at risk of abuse neglect or other harm, The Office of Child Advocate offers seven primary services to concerned citizens. Foster care case management review, Unsubstantiated hotline investigation reviews.
Mediation between parents and schools regarding abuse allegations. Review child fatalities with a history of child abuse and neglect concerns or. involvement with the Children s Division, Intervene on behalf of a child during judicial proceedings. Review policy and procedures of Children s Division the Juvenile Office and. guardian ad litem within a county, Increase knowledge of professionals and the general public regarding child. Provide information and referrals for families needing resources. Additional responsibilities include, Offering case specific and systemic recommendations when appropriate. Improve family services by examining laws policies and procedures. Provide an annual report to the Governor and Chief Justice. Educate the public regarding the child welfare process in Missouri while increasing. public awareness of the Office of Child Advocate, Receiving Investigating and Concluding Complaints. Receiving Complaints, From January 1 through December 31 2017 the Office of Child Advocate received 1 224.
complaints contacts including registered concerns from 541 new complainants 284. Children s Protection and Services and strengthened the role of the office Governor Jay Nixon signed Senator Jane Cunningham s Senate Bill 54 into law in 2011 authorizing the Office of Child Advocate to coordinate mediation efforts between school districts and students when allegations of child abuse arise in a school setting In 2014 Senator Eric Schmitt s SB869 and Rep Bill Lant s

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