Child Care Licensing Inspects Random Sample of Agency Foster Homes

Original Article Here

eSenate Bill 6, passed during the 79th regular legislative session amended the Texas Human Resource Code (HRC) 42.044(e) to require Child-Care Licensing (CCL) to inspect a random sample of agency foster homes. Information gained during these inspections must be used to determine a child-placing agency’s (CPA) compliance with the licensing law, rules and minimum standards.

In preparation to meet this requirement, CCL conducted focus group and feedback meetings with representatives from the foster care community** to gain insight into the concerns that foster parents and child-placing agencies may have regarding these inspections. Input from these meetings was used in developing CCL staff training, creating inspection procedures and forms, and identifying the best ways to share information with CPA’s and foster homes.

**Why with the foster care community? To find out what they’re afraid of and how they can comply without exposing the truth? Why don’t they consult with the members of the community that are affected by this – ie the natural birth parents of the children affected by CPS?

Are there minutes of those meetings and Are those minutes available for public review. If not, why not? What do we need to do in order to obtain those?

Why isn’t there feedback and inspections from 3rd party objective members of community? From former foster children?

DFPS statisticians pull a random sample list of homes from the DFPS database on a quarterly basis. From this sample, CCL staff plan and conduct their inspections. Additional homes are selected as a part of each sample to compensate for homes that have closed or have changed operating status. Foster homes that are not inspected during the sample period may be selected again in a future sample. Since inspections are conducted to evaluate how well a CPA is doing, foster homes that move from one CPA to another may be selected and inspected again with each subsequent move.

Minimum standard Section 749.2489 requires a CPA submit information about a foster home’s verification status to CCL within two working days of a change. This can easily be done by completing an Agency Home Report available in the CCL on-line provider section of our DFPS website. Up to date information on a foster home helps CCL staff better prepare for an inspection and avoids unnecessary contact with foster parents in inactive or closed status.

Foster Home Inspection Protocol

CCL mailed a pre-inspection notice to each foster home selected in the random sampling process. In most circumstances, CCL staff will announce their inspections to ensure that an adult caregiver is present during the inspection**. Once an inspection is scheduled, we encourage foster parents to explain about the CCL visit to their foster children and other persons in the home. CCL staff will have a picture ID card to present upon arrival at the foster home.

**Yeah sure they inform them ahead of time – how nice…. do they inform natural birth parents ahead of time that they’re coming by to check the homes of the children??? They do this to ensure an adult caregiver is present during the inspection? Um…. its a foster home with children in it, don’t you think an adult caregiver SHOULD ALWAYS BE PRESENT ANYWAY? What about suprise inspections? This is no way to “reform” how foster homes are run… this is a way to look good on paper but skirt the real issues…

CCL staff must use a foster home sampling guide to conduct their inspection. This ensures consistency in the type of information that is gathered about each foster home. During the inspection, CCL staff will interview foster parents and verbal children who are present, walk through the home both indoors and out, and review paperwork on file in the home, to determine how well the CPA is doing its job in verifying and monitoring their foster homes.

At the end of the inspection, any areas of concern are discussed with the foster parent or adult caregiver during an exit interview. CCL staff will leave a brief report, identifying concerns and discussion points. A summary letter outlining the minimum standards related to these concerns is sent to the CPA within 10 days. The CPA is responsible for following-up with the home to ensure concerns are addressed. If immediate hazards are found during an inspection, CCL staff will contact the CPA within 24 hours of the inspection.

and then what do they do??? they don’t remove the children from that home as if they would to a parent???

Before leaving the home, CCL staff will also provide a feedback form with a postage paid return envelope. This form gives the foster parent an opportunity to tell CCL about the inspection experience and share suggestions for improvement.

Foster parents who have questions or concerns regarding an inspection should contact** their CPA. CPAs that have questions or concerns regarding the sampling program or a sampling report should contact their DFPS Licensing Representative or Licensing Supervisor.

**I think that I will contact them as they suggest the foster parent to do. We’ll see what response I get.

No, i’m not a foster parent, I’m a birth parent. And in December 2004 my son arrived at a visit black and blue beaten up with a black eye and blood covered his shirt and was still dried in his nose and on his little body. I requested records of the agency he was placed at, and received, after many many many months of persistence in order to even GET THEM, incidents of many things, but not anything with regard to MY child’s black eye and bloody appearance. If you go to my profile and click on the audio link, you’ll hear a recording from that visit where I was shocked to see his condition, and he tells me what happened, but i have yet to find an incident report on that. Matter of fact, in the months prior to that incident, my son was abused terribly and for some reason in my case files, those months’ reports are missing, and the caseworker has since left and so there is a note by the following caseworker that she is unable to go back and fill in those incidents because the original caseworker left no notes of that time. Isn’t that called backdating?

The truth about these facilities are amazingly disgusting…. and I vow to tell as much truth as I can to you, because even with my obsessive persistence and passionate desire to seek it out, I have a hard time finding it, its buried very deep behind corporate veils.

Still, I’m doing it for the children – as THEY purport themselves to be doing…. then prove it CPS – prove it!!

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