Resource Specialists’ Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Recruitment. The resource specialist engages in activities designed to recruit resource families who reflect the diversity of the children in out-of-home care and who are willing and able to parent children with special needs. Every effort is made to place a child in a kinship placement.
  2. Inquiries. The resource specialist discusses with each potential applicant the basic responsibilities and requirements expected of a resource parent, the types of children requiring out-of-home placement, and the elements of the approval process.
  3. Assessment process. A DHS contractor completes the resource family assessment. The initial consultation with the family is completed in the family’s home. The resource specialist:
    1. Conducts at least two home visits with the family, excluding the final review of the assessment
    2. Evaluates the prospective foster or kinship home to assess the location, condition, and ability to accommodate children in foster care
    3. Contacts three personal references by phone or in person
  4. Training. The resource specialist:
    1. Assists the applicant in pre-service training
    2. Documents all other training the resource family completes, including 12 hours of required in-service training
    3. Engages the family in completing the required 12 hours of in-service training each calendar year
    4. Provides the resource family with materials to obtain the 12 hours of in-service training
    5. Assists the family in completing requirements, if applicable
  5. Disposition of the assessment. The resource specialist:
    1. Confirms in writing all decisions made regarding the assessment and application process
    2. Shares with the applicant the resource family assessment for the applicant’s input prior to deciding to select in or out of the foster care program
    3. Provides the applicant with an explanation of the reasons the assessment is denied, if applicable
    4. Provides the applicant with a copy of the resource family assessment, if the assessment is approved
  6. Reimbursement. The resource specialist:
    1. Refers relative kinship providers to the local DHS office for the application of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits pending completion of the assessment process
    2. Enters an initial training stipend of $375 when the kinship providers are enrolled in training
    3. Enters a final training stipend of $375 when the kinship providers complete training no later than seven days after the documentation of completion has been entered into KIDS
    4. Coordinates with the local DHS office when TANF benefits should end and foster care payments will begin
    5. Assists families in applying for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security for a parent who is deceased or disabled, per OAC 340:75-7-52.1
    6. Responds to reimbursement issues timely
  7. Retention. The resource specialist engages in activities that value and support the foster parent’s role and assists the resource family in navigating the Child Welfare system.
  8. Re-assessments. The resource specialist timely completes the yearly re-assessments.
  9. Visitation. The resource specialist visits the resource family in their home at least quarterly to provide ongoing support and address any concerns or issues that the resource family may have.
  10. Placements. The resource specialist:
    1. Carefully considers the child’s physical and emotional health and safety in identifying placements, including potential kinship providers
    2. Works with the resource family to place siblings together
  11. Investigations and policy violations. The resource specialist works in conjunction with the resource family to address any identified issues, concerns, or policy violations through a written plan of compliance, per OAC 340:75-7-94, to ensure the placement is safe and stable for children.
  12. Team member. The resource specialist:
    1. Works as a professional team member with Permanency Planning, Child Protective Services,Adoption Services, and the resource family to ensure the child’s safety, well-being, and permanency
    2. Treats the resource family with respect and assists the resource family with any issues arising with the children placed in the home and any concerns they have as a resource family
  13. Closure. The resource specialist assesses the need for closure of a resource home and timely completes all necessary documentation regarding closure of the home
  14. Fair hearing. The resource specialist prepares documentation for a fair hearing, per OAC 340:75-1-12.6

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