Monitoring Child Placements
After a child is placed into family care, regular follow-up visits (or “case monitoring”) allow a trained case worker to monitor the child’s wellbeing and adjustment. Case monitoring may include assessing family support services to determine if they are meeting needs, engaging with teachers and service providers who can give insights into the child’s adjustment, and encouraging children and family members to share their views and concerns (individually and confidentially to ensure their full views are heard). Any issues should be addressed immediately by appropriate follow-up, such as linking the child or family to relevant services. If serious issues such as child abuse are suspected, the child may be transferred to a short-term placement or foster family until the situation can be more fully assessed and remediated.
A child’s case is “closed” when the goals and objectives, including the permanency goal, of the care plan have been met and the long-term protection and care are reasonably assured, or the child has reached an age of independence and can be reasonably expected to have success in living independently (care leaving). As in all other steps, closure includes discussions with other professionals, family members, and the child to ensure that everyone is prepared for and in agreement with the closure, and that there is understanding of where and to whom to turn if help is needed in the future. In many cases specialized services or supports can continue. A case can be reopened any time a serious concern is raised and substantiated.
Monitoring & Evaluation of Reintegration Toolkit Provides ideas about, examples of, and suggestions for how organizations could collect monitoring and evaluation data with, from, and about the children and young people they work with. (RISE Learning Network)
Young Care Leavers and Social Inclusion Guidelines: Life After Institutional Care – Equal Opportunities and Social Inclusion for Young People, Identification and Promotion of Best Practices Provides a matrix of guidelines to increase the likelihood of social inclusion for young people who have been released from the child protection system. (Amici dei Bambini)
The Transitions Initiative: Youth Aging Out of Alternative Care Features results from a needs assessment in Ethiopia, that focused on identifying the strengths, needs, and risks of orphaned and vulnerable adolescents who are transitioning to independence. The data collected has served to inform the overall Transitions Initiative to establish a comprehensive support system for youth aging out of care. (International Organization for Adolescents)
Guidelines on Children’s Reintegration Includes guidance on stages of reintegration (both emergency and nonemergency contexts), case management process, working with family, post-reunification support and monitoring, and reintegration within the wider continuum of child protection. (Family for Every Child)