Family foster care homes [Rev eff. 8/1/07]

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All family foster care homes must comply with the "Rules Regulating Family Foster Care Homes" and the "General Rules for Child Care Facilities".

7.708.1 FAMILY FOSTER CARE HOMES [Rev. eff. 8/1/07]

A. "Family foster care home", as defined at Section 26-6-102, C.R.S., means a facility that is certified by the county department or a child placement agency for child care in a place of residence of a family or person for the purpose of providing twenty-four (24) hour family care for a child under the age of eighteen years who is not related to the head of such home, except in the case of relative care. The term includes any foster care home receiving a child for regular twenty-four (24) hour care and any home receiving a child from any state-operated institution for child care or from any child placement agency. The number and age of foster children for which a license may be issued is determined by the following factors:

1. No foster child shall be placed in a foster home if that placement will result in more than four foster children in that home, or a total of eight children (foster and non-foster), or more than two children under two years of age, except in those instances in which the placement of a sibling group in a foster home would exceed the limits. If the placement of a sibling group results in exceeding the above limits, no other foster children can be placed in the home.

2. A family foster care home may serve a maximum of one foster child enrolled in Children’s Habilitation Residential Program (CHRP) and 2 other foster children or 2 foster children enrolled in CHRP and no other foster children, unless there has been prior written approval by the CHRP waiver administrator. Placements of three (3) children approved for CHRP funding may be made if the agency can demonstrate to the CHRP waiver administrator that the provider has sufficient knowledge, experience, and supports to safely meet the needs of all of the children in the home. In any case, no more than three (3) children enrolled on the CHRP waiver and no (0) non-CHRP children will be placed in one foster home. Emergency placements will not exceed maximum established limits. Facilities that exceed established capacity at the time the rule takes effect will be grandfathered in; however, with attrition, capacity must comply with the rule.






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3. Family foster care providers who are serving foster children enrolled in the Children’s Habilitation Residential Program (CHRP) waiver shall be in compliance with rules contained within the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing’s Medical Assistance Manual at Section 8.508 (10 CCR 2505-10).

4. Family foster care may be provided to children from birth to 18 years of age and to those persons to 21 years of age who are placed by court order prior to their eighteenth birthday.

5. When a certified family foster care home only provides temporary emergency care for foster children, the home may be certified for up to six foster children with no more than two foster children, including the caretaker's own children, under two years of age. There can be no more than a total of six foster children in the home except in sibling placements. The number of additional foster children under six years of age to be cared for shall be specified on the certificate and in the home study. Such a family foster care home shall be designated as a receiving home. The designation shall appear on the certificate.

a. No foster child shall remain in that family foster care home at the receiving home rate longer than 90 consecutive days, in accordance with the requirements of Section 7.417.4.

b. The number of foster children to be cared for at the receiving home rate and any foster children to be cared for at the regular foster home rate shall be included on the certificate.

c. Each receiving home parent shall have two years experience as a foster parent, although the certifying agency may take into account other relevant education and experience.

d. Each receiving home parent shall complete 32 hours of on-going training every year as identified in his/her training development plan. This training shall include the following competencies.

1) Issues regarding emergency and crisis placement of children with unknown histories; and,

2) Dynamics of victimization issues, with emphasis on appropriate age and developmental levels; and,

3) Cultural, spiritual, and religious awareness, consideration for, sensitivity to, and tolerance of each child individually.

e. Because receiving homes are likely to have quick turn-over of the children in care, supervision and monitoring of the receiving home shall be carried out according to the following:

1) One face-to-face contact shall be made with the receiving home parent(s) at least every week when children are in placement in the home, with a minimum of two visits per month occurring in the receiving home.

2) Documentation of such contact shall be in the provider file, as well as in each file of all foster children in the home.

3) The purpose of the contact is to address any questions the receiving home parent has about the children in care, to observe child care when appropriate and to provide support to the receiving home parent.

f. A receiving home shall have a comprehensive annual evaluation, which includes a review of any critical incidents, any allegations of institutional abuse, and the skills, needs, and competencies of the receiving home parent(s).

6. A family foster care home may not be operated without a license or a certificate as required by law and Section 7.701.4 of these rules, and the number of foster children cared for in such facility may not exceed the number authorized by such license or certificate.

7.708.11 Definitions [Rev. eff. 4/1/12]

"Certifying authority" means licensed child placement agencies and county departments of social/human services that have the authority to certify family foster care homes, including kinship care homes.

"Child specific foster care" is care where the foster child has a prior relationship to the foster parent(s).

"County designee" is the representative of a county department designated by the county executive director to make certain key decisions regarding foster children.

"Dangerous behavior" is behavior that poses a clear and present safety hazard to a foster child or to others.

"De-escalation" is the use of therapeutic interventions with a foster child during the escalation phase of a crisis. The interventions are designed to allow foster children to contain their own behavior so that acute physical behavior does not develop which would lead to the need for use of a physical restraint.

An "emergency situation" is one in which a foster child is in actual danger to him/herself or others, or when there is a present danger of extensive property damage.

"Escalation" is an increase in intensity of a foster child's out-of control behavior.

The "Family Service Plan" is a case services plan completed by a county caseworker jointly with the foster child, parents, and foster parents within sixty (60) calendar days of placement for each foster child receiving services from a county department of social/human services.

"Kinship family foster care" is the full time nurturing and protection of foster children by kin. Kin are relatives or persons ascribed by the family as having a family-like relationship. These relationships take into account cultural values and continuity of significant relationships. Kinship family foster care is considered a form of out-of-home placement and a type of family foster care home.

"Mechanical restraint" means the use of devices intended to involuntarily restrict the movement or normal functioning of a portion of an individual's body. Mechanical restraint does not include the use of protective devices used for the purpose of providing physical support or prevention or accidental injury.

"Personal restraint" is the physical intervention by a foster parent(s) in an emergency situation to limit, restrict, or control the dangerous behavior of a foster child by means of physical holding of the foster child. Physical restraint does not include the holding of a foster child for less than five minutes for protection of the foster child.

"Reasonable", as used in these rules, means appropriate and suitable, not excessive or extreme.

"Religion", where used in these rules, includes traditional religious beliefs and spiritual beliefs such as those of Native Americans.

"Therapeutic services" means a program of foster care that incorporates treatment for the special physical, psychological, or emotional needs of a child placed with specially trained foster parents.

"Treatment Foster Care" means a clinically effective alternative to residential treatment facilities that combines the treatment technologies typically associated with more restrictive settings with a nurturing and individualized family environment.


7.708.21 Character, Suitability, and Qualifications of Family Foster Parents [Rev. eff. 8/1/07]

A. A certificate shall be denied in accordance with Section 7.500.312, D.

B. Each foster parent in the family foster care home shall demonstrate an interest in, and a knowledge of, foster children and a concern for their proper care and well-being.

C. A certificate may be denied or revoked if the foster parent(s)’ own children have been placed in foster care or a residential treatment facility under circumstances which demonstrated that the foster parent or another resident of the home was abusive, neglectful, or a danger to the health, safety, or well-being of those foster children.

D. The family foster care home parents shall be able to provide for a foster child's proper physical, mental and character development.

E. Applicants shall demonstrate stability in family relationships within the home where family foster care is to be provided.

F. The licensing or certifying authority must receive at least three written statements which describe the applicant's character, interpersonal relations, and ability to provide care for foster children from references provided by the applicant, at least two from a source/person who are not related to the applicant and who have known the applicant one year or longer (references need not be residents of Colorado). Licensing or certifying representatives may contact others who may have knowledge or information regarding the applicant's character or suitability.

G. The foster home parent shall possess basic knowledge of child care and good nutrition, and shall cooperate with the licensing or certifying agency in programs designed to increase such knowledge.

H. Licenses or certificates shall not be granted to applicants who are less than twenty one years of age on the date of application for such license or who lack adequate physical stamina to care for children.

I. Foster parents shall protect foster children from exposure to second hand tobacco smoke.

1. Smoking is prohibited inside the foster home at all times when a child(ren) is in placement.

2. Smoking is prohibited in a foster parents’ or substitute caregiver’s motor vehicle when a foster child(ren) is in placement in the foster care home.

3. Smoking includes carrying or having in one’s possession a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe or other object giving off tobacco smoke.

J. The financial resources of foster parents shall be adequate to assure that the home where the care is provided is maintained in safe repair and in conformity with standards and that the requirements of these regulations can be fulfilled.

K. A license or certificate shall not be granted for a family foster care home unless the applicant has demonstrated the ability to manage a household so that the licensing or certifying authority may determine that the applicant is able to acquire food, materials and other equipment as may be required for child care and to maintain records pertaining to foster children, including records required by statute or regulations.

L. Each foster parent shall have a health assessment within one year prior to certification or within 30 calendar days after certification and thereafter as required, in writing, by a licensed health care professional. The reports of the medical examinations shall be dated and signed by the examining physician or nurse practitioner and shall be provided to the certifying authority. Reports shall include a statement of the evaluation of the person's physical ability to care for foster children.

If, in the opinion of the licensed health care professional or the assessment worker, an emotional or psychological condition exists which would have a negative impact on the care of foster children, the issuance of a license shall be conditioned upon the satisfactory report of a licensed mental health practitioner.

M. Children of the foster home parents and any other persons not placed by the agency and living in the family foster care home shall obtain a medical statement from a licensed health care professional verifying that each such person suffers from no illness or communicable disease which would adversely affect foster children in care. This statement shall be obtained annually or as required in writing by an approved health care professional. A licensed health care professional is defined as a physician, nurse practitioner, or a physician's assistant. This statement shall have been signed within the twelve month period preceding the original license or full certificate granted to the home.

7.708.22 Physical Requirements for a Safe and Adequate Family Foster Care Home [Rev. eff. 4/1/12]

A. Licensing or certifying representatives are authorized but not required to consult the state or county department of health regarding sanitary standards and to consult local fire departments regarding questions of fire safety. A license or certificate may be denied or revoked in the event an applicant or licensee refuses to permit an investigation by these authorities if requested by a licensing or certifying representative, or if such authority advises, that a license or certificate not be issued.

B. The following shall be required of all family foster care homes:

1. There shall be an outdoor play space free from hazards of not less than 75 square feet per child in care who is between 12 months and five years of age. This area shall be fenced or otherwise protected. If the area is not fenced, outdoor play shall be supervised by the foster care provider or designee and a specific plan for how safety is to be assured shall be documented in the case file.

2. The presence of firearms and ammunition is strongly discouraged in any home in which foster children are 'cared for. Any weapons such as firearms, air rifles, bows, hunting knives or hunting sling shots shall be unstrung and unloaded at all times when foster children are in the home and shall be stored in locked containers out of the reach of foster children. Ammunition and arrows shall be stored in separate locked containers. Firearms which are solely ornamental are excepted from the storage requirement. Weapons shall not be transported in any vehicle in which foster children are riding unless the weapons are made inoperable and inaccessible. Law enforcement professionals are exempted from the requirements of this section if conditions of their employment require them to carry weapons.

3. At least 35 square feet of usable indoor space exclusive of halls, baths and sleeping area shall be available for each child. However, when a sibling group is placed together in a single foster home, a variance from the minimum space standards is permitted.' All floor space shall have carpets, tile or smooth finish which may be easily cleaned, interior walls shall be constructed of solid material and be free from holes. Unfinished basements must be inaccessible to foster children when safety hazards are present.

4. Exterior doors shall be maintained in such a manner which would permit easy exit. Interior doors shall be designed to prevent children from being trapped.

5. A basement which will be used regularly in the care of children in any manner shall be equipped with more than one exit; such exit may be an accessible window. See Section 7.708.31.G, for additional requirements for nighttime care.

6. The home shall-be equipped with refrigeration, and provisions shall be made for the washing, rinsing and storing of dishes in a safe and sanitary manner.

7. Toys and outdoor play equipment meeting the requirements of Section 7.708.31, F.2.a. shall be available.

8. A comfortable bed or crib in a clean, well-ventilated room, which not customarily used for other purposes such as a kitchen, dining room hall or bathroom, shall be available for all children in the home, including birth or adoptive children or foster children. There shall be a minimum of forty (40) square feet of floor space for each foster child's bed, and the be should be placed at least two feet apart when arranged in parallel.

9. No family foster care home shall be used for a rental income business an adult foster care facility. A business of a nature which might hazardous to the health, safety, morals or welfare of foster children shall not be operated on the premises of the foster home. In order to support youth with an independent living stipend, a family foster care home may provide a home for a youth that previously resided in foster care in the home on or before the youth’s eighteenth (18th) birthday. The youth shall solely occupy a bedroom and shall not occupy a bedroom with a child or youth in foster care. The family foster care home may accept a negotiated portion of the independent living stipend. Negotiation shall include the youth, caseworker, and foster parent(s).

10. Mobile homes used as foster homes shall have at least two exits, be skirted and properly installed and stabilized.

11. Safety issues related to swimming pools shall be assessed by the certification worker, addressed by the county or state health department as necessary, and documented in the case file.

12. If there is a trampoline on the foster home property, safety issues regarding its use must be agreed upon with, the foster parents a addressed in writing in the case file.

C. A certificate shall be denied, suspended, revoked or made probationary for failure to repair or otherwise comply with any of the preceding requirements when a defect or noncompliance with such requirement has been noted by the licensing or certifying representative and brought to the attention of the licensee or applicant in writing.

7.708.23 Foster Home Site

A. The family foster care home must be located in an area that is accessible to health resources, public and private utilities, adequate and safe water supplies, sewage disposal, and fire and police protection.

B. The family foster care home must comply with local zoning department requirements.

C. The entire premises of the family foster care home are subject to inspection for licensing or certification purposes, including, but not limited to, me residence where care is to be provided, the grounds surrounding the family foster care home, the basement, the attic (if accessible), any storage buildings, and a garage or carport, if applicable.

D. The family foster care home, including indoor and outdoor space, shall be maintained in a clean and safe condition free from hazards to health and safety.

7.708.24 Foster Home Maintenance

A. The family foster care home shall be kept in good repair and maintained in a safe, clean, and sanitary condition.

B. All areas of the family foster care home available to foster children's activities including equipment, materials and furnishings shall be of sturdy, safe construction, easy to clean, and free of hazards, such as sharp points or comers, splinters, protruding nails, broken play and recreational equipment, or paint that contains lead or other poisonous materials and might be dangerous to the life or health of foster children.

C. All areas of the family foster care home shall be kept free from accumulation of significant amounts of non-essential materials such as furnishings, newspapers, or magazines that could pose a fire or health hazard.

D. Provision shall be made for collection, storage, and disposal of trash to prevent infestation by rodents.

7.708.25 Fire Safety [Rev. eff. 8/1/07]

A. Fire hazards, such as defective electrical appliances and electric cords, dangerous or defective heating equipment or flammable material stored in such a manner as to create a risk of fire shall be corrected or eliminated.

B. The family foster care home shall contain at least one U.L-approved fire extinguisher, highly visible, easily accessible, and in working condition, weighing not less than five pounds, that has a rating of 2A, 10BC. This requirement may be waived if more extensive fire-control measures are required by a local fire department.

C. A smoke detector, in working condition, must be installed on each level of the family foster care home and near sleeping areas.

D. No gas space heaters, open-flame gas or oil stoves, hot plates, or un-vented heaters shall be used in the family foster care home for heating purposes. No electric space heaters shall be used in the family foster care home for permanent heating purposes.

E. Flammables aerosol paints, insecticides, chemicals, and other dangerous materials shall be locked or stored so they are inaccessible to foster children and must be stored in areas separate from sleeping or living areas. Flammables shall be stored in an approved container.

F. Heating devices such as radiators, registers, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, and steam and hot water pipes that pose a fire or bum hazard to foster children shall be screened or otherwise protected.

G. Flammable material must not be stored near a furnace, hot water heater, or other heating device.

H. There shall be no candles or other burnable objects permitted in foster children's sleeping areas. Foster children shall not be permitted to smoke inside the foster care home or in any vehicle used to transport children.

I. Exit doors shall be clearly identified to all foster children. No lock or fastening to prevent free escape from the inside of any room used by the foster children shall be permitted.

J. Exit routes shall be kept free of discarded furniture, furnishings, laundry, and stacks of newspapers or magazines that could interfere with the prompt evacuation of the family foster care home.

7.708.26 General Comfort and Safety [Rev. eff. 4/1/12]

A. All hazardous chemicals, tools, and other equipment, including matches, plastic bags, paints, gasoline, medicines, insecticides, and cleaning and laundry materials, shall be stored out of reach of young foster children. Products which could cause poisoning or contamination shall not be stored in areas where food is stored or prepared.

B. Water from any source other than a regular municipal water supply shall be tested annually for compliance with water quality requirements.

C. The family foster care home shall be equipped with adequate light, heat, ventilation, and plumbing for safe and comfortable occupancy.

D. The family foster care home must be equipped with hot and cold running water.

E. All stairways containing more than four steps shall be equipped with a handrail.

F. The family foster care home shall have immediate access to a working telephone, and emergency numbers shall either be posted near the telephone or be immediately available, including those related to medical care, fire, law enforcement, and poison control where available. Numbers for the agency or person having legal custody of each foster child shall also be readily available.

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