The incumbent serves as a foster family licensing worker within a Region of the Department of Child Services (DCS). The purpose of the position is to improve the provision of foster care services to children, by providing targeted and timely services related to foster care support, recruitment, licensing, and retention. Incumbent will work to decrease placement moves for children, increase availability and use of local placements, use more appropriate placements resulting from the enhanced ability to understand and match the needs and strengths of children with prospective foster caregivers, expedite the training and licensure of relatives, provide better customer service and support to foster parents, increase the quality and quantity of foster homes through the use of targeted recruitment strategies to meet regional needs, and provide greater support to Family Case Managers (FCM) in making placement determinations for children.
Obtain information from prospective foster parents and conduct Orientation Meetings (individual, group, by phone) to provide information about licensure.
Facilitate foster parents' completion of pre-service, medical (CPR, First Aid, Universal Precautions), and in-service training.
Conduct pre-service (if certified trainer), plan and conduct monthly in-service trainings.
Distribute and assist families in completing paperwork required for initial licensure, annual review, and relicensure.
Conduct home visits for initial licensure, annual review, and relicensure. Assess the physical environment, engage in thoughtful dialogue, and utilize self-assessment tools to determine families' suitability for new or continued licensure.
Prepare and update written home studies documenting information such as: physical environment, preparation, strengths and needs, family structure, parenting styles, skills to meet the needs of children in care, type of children best suited for the placement.
Conduct background checks for initial licensure, annual review, and relicensure.
Make licensure recommendations including: approvals, denials, waivers, variances, exceptions, transfers, probationary status, and revocations.
Assist foster parents in completing applicable assessments to identify strengths and needs prior to and after licensure. Utilize the results to plan training activities relevant to identified needs and further develop foster parents' skills.
Enter information into ICWIS and maintain paper licensing files.
Work with local DCS offices to serve as a liaison between families and FCM's.
Assist FCM's in providing information to and support for relative placements.
Cultivate and maintain supportive relationships with foster parents, including: regular phone contact, home visits, timely answers/resolutions, planned networking activities.
Facilitate foster parent support meetings that include 1 in-service training hour per meeting.
Maintain master list of all foster and respite homes in the region; assist FCM's in matching children and foster parents for emergency/non-emergency placements and respite.
Assess allegations of licensing rule violations that do not meet the statutory definition of child abuse and neglect. Write a detailed report including the allegations, findings, and recommendations for corrective action (if needed).
Follow-up and make recommendations regarding any licensing concerns that arise due to allegations that meet the statutory definition of child abuse or neglect, including screened out, unsubstantiated, and substantiated reports.
Accept on-call responsibility (includes weekends and holidays) as assigned for placement consultation and foster parent support.
Targeted recruitment of foster family homes
Other duties as assigned
Bachelor's degree from an accredited college/university required. At least 15 semester hours or 21 quarter hours in child development; criminology; criminal justice; education; healthcare; home economics; psychology; guidance and counseling; social work; or sociology required (copy of transcript must accompany the application or must be submitted at the time of interview if granted).
BSW and/or MSW degree preferred
Thorough knowledge of federal, state and local legislation, policies rules and regulations related to child welfare/child development programs;
Thorough knowledge of established social work principles, theories and methodologies, including social psychology and family relations;
Broad knowledge of the organization and operation of county, state, and federal government;
Thorough knowledge of diverse cultural/ethnic backgrounds;
Specialized knowledge of principles and practices of social work, casework, group and individual counseling and sociology including new methods and theories.
Specialized knowledge of computers, the operations of software programs, and computerized eligibility and tracking systems;
Specialized knowledge of public and private community resources;
Specialized knowledge of risk, safety, and strengths assessment tools and the principles of a structured decision making process to reduce risk to children;
General knowledge of customer service principles;
Working knowledge of legal practices and civil court proceedings;
Excellent research and writing skills for purposes of evaluating and reporting on services;
Ability to use tact and empathy in dealing with people of diverse backgrounds;
Ability to address the public in an open forum or to address special interest groups and organizations such as local service groups or groups of service providers;
Ability to communicate well, both verbally and in writing;
Ability to prepare clear, concise reports;
Ability to exercise sound judgment while managing crisis situations;
Ability to manage multiple priorities;
Ability to analyze complex and varied situations and negotiate resolutions to complex problems or situations;
Ability to anticipate problems and initiate corrective actions;
Ability to develop, coordinate and present training programs;
Ability to work independently;
Ability to travel.
The Indiana Department of Child Services is a drug free workplace. Candidates are subject to pre-employment and random drug/alcohol testing.
The State of Indiana offers a comprehensive benefit package which includes medical, dental, vision, life insurance, retirement plans and accrued leave.
Equal Employment Opportunity:
The State of Indiana is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
State Of Indiana