COVID-19 extension of child welfare caseworker visits by alternative means

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has informed counties of extensions of various COVID-19 policies for child welfare services caseworker visits. ACIN I-33-20, summarized here, about monthly caseworker visits using alternative contact methods is extended until the end of the COVID-19 State of Emergency.  (ACL 20-73, June 26, 2020.)

COVID-19 extension of various foster care and child welfare changes

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has informed counties of extensions of various COVID-19 policies for foster care and child welfare services.  The following guidance is extended until the end of the COVID-19 State of Emergency:  ACL 20-33, summarized here, about placement preservation in the event of exposure to, symptoms of or a positive test for COVID-19, and ACL 20-58, child welfare reassessments during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

The following guidance is extended through August 4, 2020: ACIN I-32-20, summarized here, verification of foster care status for cell phone access.  ACL 20-74 (June 26, 2020).

COVID-19 CalFresh emergency allotment for July 2020

California has been approved to issue an emergency allotment of CalFresh for July, 2020.  The emergency allotment will be issued on August 16 to raise each household’s monthly CalFresh allotment to the maximum allowable for the household size.  Per guidance from the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), households already receiving the maximum allotment are not eligible to receive an emergency allotment.

Moving forward, emergency allotments may be approved by FNS on a month-to-month basis until the Secretary of Health and Human Services rescinds the public health emergency. (ACWDL, June 23, 2020.)

COVID-19 extension of child care for families at risk

In All County Welfare Directors Letter May 4, 2020, summarized here, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) implemented extension of child care vouchers under the Foster Care Bridge program that would expire for 60 days because of COVID-19 until June 30, 2020.  CDSS has issued instructions extending this authority until August 4, 2020.  (All County Welfare Directors Letter, June 19, 2020.)

COVID-19 resuming in-person requirements for RFA complaint investigations

In ACL 20-43, summarized here, the California Department of Social Services provided guidance regarding waiver of in-person various requirements for Resource Family Approval (RFA).  Effective July 1, 2020, all requirements for in person complaint investigations are reinstated.  All other waivers in ACL 20-43 remain in place.

Investigations of complaints that do not alleged serious health and safety risk may continue remotely on a case-by-case basis, if the state, county, or local public health department provides direction and/or shifts back to Stage 1, the resource family refuses entry because of their COVID-19 related concerns, or the resource family, child, or someone else in the household is experiencing symptoms of or has tested positive for COVID-19.  If in-person contact is not possible because of one of these exceptions, the flexibilities in ACL 20-43 may be used through August 5, 2020.  (ACL 20-71, June 18, 2020.)