Chapter 3 : Section 6.3

Transportation Services

Policy

The Department will transport children safely.

The Department will share responsibility for routine transportation of children in out-of-home care with caregivers as specified in the Case Plan.

The Department will take adequate steps to assure the safety of children who require non-routine travel.

To the extent that resources allow, the Department may provide bus passes to assist in meeting the transportation needs of older youth, parents, guardians and custodians to complete services and supports identified in the family’s Case Plan, and in the youth's Transition Plan.

Bus passes for transportation shall be provided at the discretion of the Department.

If bus passes are unavailable to complete the services and supports identified in the case plan or in the youth's Transition Plan, the Department shall work with the youth, parent, guardian, or custodian and other community providers to obtain alternative transportation to complete the services and support identified in the case plan or Independent Living Plan.

Procedures

When a Child Needs Routine Transportation

Use a child passenger restraint system for any child under five years of age or who is under eight years of age and who is not more than four feet nine inches tall, or the vehicle restraint system, which includes both the lap and shoulder belt if the vehicle is equipped with shoulder belts, for any child over four and under 16 years of age.

Clarify expectations related to transportation with caregivers.

Arrange for the caregiver to provide transportation for routine health care and activities.

Contact Mercy Care DCS CHP Member Services (833-711-0776) to arrange non-emergency transportation for medical or dental services when the caregiver cannot transport the child.

Contact the Child and Family Team for transportation to non-emergency behavioral health or substance abuse treatment services.

When a Child Requires Non-Routine Travel

Determine if the child will travel alone, with the DCS Specialist, or with a non-agency escort, based upon the age, development and special needs of the child.

Confer with the receiving agency and/or caregiver.

Obtain approval of the Program Manager or designee according to region procedures.

Obtain a court order, if the child will:

  • travel out of state for more than 30 days, or

  • travel out of the country.

When the Child is Traveling Alone

Make arrangements with the state-contracted travel agency or commercial transportation company.

Prepare a Payment Voucher, using the Invoice tab, according to regional procedures.

Provide the transportation company with an affidavit specifying:

  • the child's identification;

  • the names and phone numbers of the DCS Specialist and Program Supervisor;

  • the legal status of the child and court order if needed;

  • the travel arrangements and destination;

  • the name of the person to meet the child;

  • the responsibility for the child's medical care; and

  • the emergency contact name and phone number.

When the Child is Traveling with the DCS Specialist

Create a transportation plan, specifying transportation arrangements, a placement plan and a description of the DCS Specialist 's role and responsibility. If applicable, prepare a justification to accompany the child out of state.

Submit the transportation plan to the DCS Program Administrator for approval at least ten working days prior to departure. See Children in Care, DCS Escorts and Reimbursement for Client Expenses for additional information.

When the child is traveling with a non-agency escort

Use an adult who has a positive relationship with the child and has references to verify their reliability.

Create a travel plan for supervisor approval, including the following affidavit information:

  • the child's identification;

  • the names and phone numbers of the DCS Specialist and supervisor;

  • the legal status of the child and court order if needed;

  • the travel arrangements and destination;

  • the escort’s name and contact information;

  • the responsibility for the child's medical care; and

  • the emergency contact name and phone number.

Prepare relevant information regarding the child's special needs (general health, medical needs, prescription drugs, and special diet) for the escort, and maintain this information in a separate, sealed envelope.

Send the travel plan to the destination prior to departure.

Arrange for payment of transportation costs of child and escort as well as per diem expenses, according to Children in Care, DCS Escorts and Reimbursement for Client Expenses.

Bus Pass Retention and Distribution

The following procedures are to be used for the retention and distribution of bus passes for older youth, parent, guardian or custodian related travel:

  • The Contract Manager will retain the Bus Pass Log – RO (CSO-1095) used to record bus passes distributed to the Program Manager (PM).

  • The PM obtains bus passes from the Contract Manager. The PM signs the Bus Pass Log – RO (CSO-1095) specifying the number of bus passes received with the sequence of the unique identifiers for the bus passes, and the date of receipt.

  • The PM will retain bus passes that have not been distributed to the Program Supervisors in a locked secure location (such as a locked desk or filing cabinet) and retain the keys.

  • The PM will determine the number of bus passes distributed to the Program Supervisor.

  • The Program Supervisor will sign the Bus Pass Log – PM (CSO-1093) specifying the number of bus passes received with the unique identifiers for the bus passes, and the date of receipt.

  • The PM will retain the logs used to record the number of bus passes distributed to each Program Supervisor and the date of the distribution.

The Program Supervisor is responsible for distributing the bus passes to the Child Safety Specialists. The DCS Specialist should adhere to the following procedures for documenting bus pass distribution:

  • The DCS Specialist obtains bus passes from the Program Supervisor or designee. In the absence of the immediate supervisor, the DCS Specialist may obtain bus passes from an alternate supervisor, the PM or their designees.

  • The DCS Specialist completes the Bus Pass Log – DCSUS (CSO-1093) retained by the Program Supervisor. The log is to include the unique identifier for the bus passes, Guardian Assessment or Case ID, number of bus passes distributed, the DCS Specialist 's signature, and the date of distribution. The log and the bus passes are retained in a locked secure location (such as a locked desk or filing cabinet) and the Program Supervisor retains the key.

  • The DCS Specialist will distribute the bus passes to the client.

  • The client will sign and date the Bus Pass Affidavit (CSO-1092) which specifies the Guardian Assessment or Case ID and the unique identifier for each bus pass received.

  • The DCS Specialist will give the signed Bus Pass Affidavit (CSO-1092) to the Program Supervisor or designee from whom the passes were received.

  • The Affidavits will be kept with the corresponding DCSUS (CSO-1094) log until the quarterly review has been completed.

  • After the quarterly review, the affidavits should be filed in the client hard copy record.

Additional Transportation Services

To the extent financial resources allow, additional transportation services may be available in order to complete the goals of the case plan, or Independent Living Plan for a youth, parent, guardian, or custodian. Consult the Service Approval Matrix for more information.

Additionally, if a parent, guardian, or custodian is enrolled with other Department of Economic Security programs, the local Regional Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA), or the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), medical transportation services may be available through those programs. Discuss options with the parent, guardian, and custodian.

Transportation services may also be available through community resources as well. For more information see 211Arizona under Transportation.

DCS Performance Improvement and Accountability

Quarterly reviews will be conducted by the DCS Performance Improvement and Accountability unit. The review will consist of the following:

  • Security – seeing where the bus passes and logs are stored;

  • Reconciliation – reviewing the logs, affidavits and passes to ensure that all passes are accounted for; and

  • Policy and procedures – reviewing affidavits and logs to ensure that they are completed accurately and thoroughly.

Documentation

File the Bus Pass Affidavit (CSO-1092) in the hard copy record after the Quarterly review is complete.

File the Taxi Cab Request in the hard copy record and as an Artifact in Guardian.

Effective Date: March 5, 2021
Revision History: November 30, 2012, September 16, 2013, February 1, 2021