A. The family builders program is established in the department. The department may implement the program through collaborative partnerships between the department, community social service agencies, family support programs and other community organizations, which may include faith-based organizations, to establish a system that, through referral to a network of contracted neighborhood-based agencies, provides a variety of community-linked family preservation and support services to assist families to prevent and remedy conditions or circumstances that cause child abuse or neglect.
B. The department may contract with neighborhood-based agencies and organizations to conduct family assessments, provide case management and provide the necessary services to protect the child and support the family on referral from the department.
C. During the initial contact with a family, the provider shall:
1. Verbally inform the prospective program participants that the department referred the family to the provider after investigation of a report of abuse or neglect.
2. Verbally inform the prospective program participants that they do not have to accept services.
3. Obtain the written, informed consent of the prospective program participants who choose to accept the services offered. The consent form shall include a description of the services offered and the rights and responsibilities of the program participants and a statement that emphasizes the voluntary nature of the program.
D. Contracts shall require that the provider establish a continuum of services for families through written agreements with community agencies and organizations to provide required services to families. The provider may purchase or obtain without cost the services of any agency or organization that may provide resources to assist the family.
E. Contracts shall require that the provider initiate a thorough family assessment and necessary services within forty-eight hours, excluding weekends and holidays, after the provider receives the referral from the department.
F. The department shall provide information to the provider concerning the current report and any information from records it deems appropriate. All information received by the provider regarding the report of abuse or neglect and department records is subject to the confidentiality requirements of section 8-807. Information in the records of the provider concerning the families served by the program is available for the purposes of evaluating the program.
G. On receipt of a referral from the department, within forty-eight hours the provider shall attempt to contact the family in person, initiate a family assessment with the consent of the family and offer to assist the family to obtain the services that are necessary to reduce or eliminate the causes for the initial information being received by the department and other identified needs of the family.
H. If at any time during the initial contact or during the course of service delivery the provider determines that the child is in imminent danger of abuse or neglect, the provider shall immediately report the case to the department or the appropriate law enforcement agency, or both, for appropriate action. In all cases the provider and any agency under subcontract to the provider shall retain records of information on initial and ongoing contact with the family and the final disposition of the case and shall provide this information to the department.
I. A family who is offered services by the provider may refuse to accept those services. The provider shall document the family’s refusal of services in the case record.
J. The provider shall conduct an assessment in the home and with the family’s participation shall develop an initial plan within thirty days based on the family’s needs. The provider shall assist the family in identifying and providing appropriate services. The provider shall monitor the progress made by the family based on the plan expectations and shall conduct home visits to determine the safety of the child and any other children in the home at the time of the visit.
K. The department shall require that the provider establish a local advisory board composed of appropriate community representatives, including representation from families in the community and local public agencies. The local advisory board shall ensure that a continuum of services is provided for families and shall provide oversight to the program.
L. The department shall identify goals, objectives and outcomes for family builders programs.
M. If the department expands the program to new geographic areas, it shall hold at least one informational meeting to inform potential providers of the opportunity to bid on the contract. The department shall provide adequate public notice of each meeting to potential providers in the same manner as provided in section 41-2533.
N. The department shall develop performance standards for the contracts, provide training to the provider or organization staff involved in service delivery to these families regarding child abuse and neglect and monitor the performance of the providers.
O. The program established by this section ends on July 1, 2024 pursuant to section 41-3102.
P. For the purposes of this section:
1. “Provider” means a community social services agency, family support program or community organization, including a faith-based organization, that is awarded a contract by the department.
2. “Services” includes:
(a) Family assessment.
(b) Case management.
(c) Child day care.
(d) Housing search and relocation.
(e) Parenting skills training.
(f) Supportive intervention and guidance counseling.
(h) Emergency services.
(i) Intensive family preservation.
(j) Parent aide services.
(k) Respite services.
(l) Shelter services with parental consent.
(m) Additional services that the department determines are necessary to meet the needs of the families.