Arizona Department of Child Safety: Policy and Procedure Manual

Chapter 3: Section 10.2

Services for Incarcerated Parents

Policy

Reunification services shall be provided to a parent who is incarcerated and a party to a dependency case unless the court relieves the Department of the responsibility to provide services based on a finding of aggravating circumstances.

 

The Department of Child Safety shall communicate with incarcerated parents and appropriate correctional service staff to inform them of case plan, service needs, and to determine what reunification services may be provided at the correctional facility. If available, reunification services may be provided by the correctional facility if the inmate is eligible and allowed by Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) regulations. Otherwise, the Department must provide reunification services if allowed by ADC regulations.

 

The parent, to the extent possible, shall participate in case plan staffings, visitation, and services.

 

Procedures

Determining appropriate reunification services

If the court has ordered reunification services, consider the following questions:

 

Provide the parent with the name and addresses for the court and their assigned attorney handling the dependency proceedings.

 

Notify the parent of court and Foster Care Review Board hearings and case plan staffings, and make certain his/her voice and perspective are represented during these hearings and staffings.

 

Invite the parent and, whenever possible, facilitate the parent’s participation in case plan staffings.

 

Contact the correctional service facility staff to arrange for the parent to participate in case plan staffings and Foster Care Review Board hearings telephonically or in person.

 

Develop a family intervention and a contact and visitation plan with the parent. Consider the following factors when developing the visitation plan: age of the child, distance to the prison, the potential impact of in-person prison visits on the child, and appropriateness of the parent/child during previous visits.

 

Include in plan the frequency of contact between the parent and the DCS Specialist . See Planning Services and Supports to Achieve the Permanency Goal to determine when an exception to monthly face-to-face contact with the parent is appropriate.

 

Ensure the parent is fully aware of the case plan tasks that must be completed to maintain the parent-child relationship, to facilitate family reunification and the consequences if the parent fails to complete the tasks. Provide a copy of the case plan to the parent.

To obtain services for a parent who is incarcerated at the ADC, contact with the parent’s Correctional Officer III. Coordinate contact between the parent and the Correctional Officer III. For those parents detained in county jail facilities, contact the program coordinator.

 

Make a written request for available services in the prison facility. If services are not available, request permission for the Department to provide on-site reunification services to the parent. Request any assessments, evaluations, or other information to further explore service needs as appropriate.

 

Request the parent complete a release of information with ADC to share the results of any assessments or evaluations.

 

Complete the Authorization to Disclose Health Information (CSO-1038A) to allow the agencies to share information regarding mental health and/or substance abuse treatment for a parent participating in these services.

 

Request from the parent and/or Correctional Officer III confirmation of the parent’s participation in services.

 

In carrying out the visitation plan, consult your supervisor if restrictions or concerns regarding in-person prison visitations arise. If the child is being negatively impacted by in-person prison visits, consult with a psychologist to assist in determining the appropriateness of continuing the visits. If it is determined the visitation is detrimental to the child and not in the child’s best interests, facilitate the parent/ child relationships through other means such as letters, phone calls, gifts, etc.

 

If reunification services are not required

Discuss with the assigned Assistant Attorney General whether the parent’s criminal history and length of incarceration might justify pursuing an order waiving reunification services and/or pursuing a permanency goal other than reunification with the incarcerated parent.

 

While seeking an order waiving reunification services based on aggravating circumstances, will the lack of or discontinuation of services compromise implementation of another permanent plan for the child, especially adoption?

 

If reunification services will not enable the parent to adequately address the risk factors within a time frame that meets the permanency needs of the child, consult with your supervisor and the assigned Attorney General regarding filing a motion with the court requesting a judicial finding that reunification services not be provided. This consultation may occur as early as the filing of the dependency petition. Continue to provide reunification services until the court relieves the Department of this responsibility.

 

If a decision is made to file such a motion, the report to the court should specifically address:

 

If the court enters an order the Department is not required to provide reunification services, implement another permanent plan for the child .

 

Pima County Adult Detention Clearance

To request clearance to visit inmates at the Pima County Adult Detention Center (PCADC), complete the following:

 

Upon completion, deliver the signed cover letter and CCV Request Form to the front desk at PCADC. Expect to be cleared to visit inmates within 2-3 days.

 

Once cleared, that clearance will elapse at the end of one year unless a request is resubmitted.

 

 

 

 

Effective Date: November 30, 2012

Revision History: