COVID-19 resuming in-person visitation for dependent children and wards

In ACL 20-25, summarized here, the California Department of Social Services provided guidance regarding waiver of in-person monthly caseworker visits for dependent children and wards.  County child welfare agencies and juvenile probation departments are to resume requirements in-person visits for children, wards and nonminor dependents effective July 1, 2020.

Before conducting an in-person visit, county staff should screen for COVID-19.  If someone in the household has been exposed to COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms, the caseworker should obtain essential protective gear (gloves, face covering, hand soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant) before the in-person visit.

Visits may be conducted by videoconference 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 family or caregiver refuses entry because of their COVID-19 related concerns, or the family, caregiver, 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 20-25 may be used through August 14, 2020.  (ACL 20-70, June 17, 2020.)