The Emergency Respite Program at A Second Chance, Inc., provides services to children in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties who need emergency placements while we work to explore the kinship resources available to them. The Emergency Respite Program services the triad (birth parents, child/youth and caregiver). When immediate kinship resources cannot be identified, traditional emergency respite care is utilized to provide care for children. Children in our emergency homes begin to receive services when the Department of Human Services (DHS) makes a referral to A Second Chance, Inc. The children vary in age, gender and race. While receiving services in our program, our dedicated staff works to ensure that a more permanent, stable placement is located for children. Our Philadelphia office has been extremely successful in ensuring that kinship homes are identified for our children.
ASCI caseworkers must be equipped to assess all the families with whom we work. Therefore, our training provides practical experiences that foster competency in the issues regarding the child welfare system. All respite caseworkers are trained in the areas of:
- child development;
- family finding;
- issues of separation and loss;
- behavior management;
- human diversity;
- sensitivity to issues of ethnicity, race and socio-cultural and economic status.
- Family Group Decision-Making
Referrals to ASCI
ASCI has the capacity to receive any emergency respite referrals from DHS/CUA at any time. The Central Referral Unit has the ability to contact our intake department at any point in time during normal business hours and our on-call staff after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends/holidays for assistance with placement.
The service planning with any emergency respite case begins immediately upon receipt of a case from DHS/CUA. In conjunction with the DHS/CUA social worker, birth parents, caregiver, child and additional supports identified, service planning begins to occur. Respite caseworkers are required to ensure the immediate safety and stability of the placement. After safety is secured, the team works with the youth, CUA and DHS to help identify family supports. If a viable resource becomes available, ASCI begins our emergency kinship certification process to be completed within 60 days of referral.
- The ASCI respite worker attempts to identify as many family members for the child or young person. The respite worker includes efforts to identify other adults who can or have in the past been key supporters of the child or parents.
- ASCI plans and conducts data mining with DHS and CUA worker.
- ASCI utilizes tools such as Accurint searches, Facebook, pop-ups, letters and other forms of social media to locate possible kinship placement.
- A weekly progress email is generated and submitted to CUA.
- The ASCI respite worker engages identified family/kin who know the child best and have a historic and/or inherent connection in helping the child through information sharing.
- The respite worker prepares the family members identified for specific ways they can support the young person through establishment of committed relationships.
- The respite worker works with CUA/DHS to determine the appropriateness of the placement
- If the family is deemed appropriate for placement, ASCI works with CUA/DHS to move the child/youth with their Kin and begin the certification process.
- ASCI consults with CUA/DHS to discuss any barriers and keep up to date on any/all immediate concerns or needs throughout the planning process.
The ASCI caseworker meets with the child face-to-face at least once every 10 days, or as often as needed to help locate kinship. Relevant topics of discussion may include: how they are feeling in the home, helping to identify kinship resources and any concerns that either the resource parent or child have while placed in the home.
Any unusual or critical incidents, in accordance with state regulations, must be reported orally to DHS/CUA within 24 hours and then followed up in a written report within five calendar days.
Resource Parent Homes
All resource parent homes must comply with PA 3700 regulations and receive ongoing certification and training through ASCI.
Respite Care Report Schedule
|Initial Safety Assessment (ISA)
|Within 24 hours of the placement being received by ASCI.
|To document any contact with anyone pertaining to the case. Please print emails which can be used as case notes.
|To be completed within 72 hours of placement and provided to all parties.
For more information on Respite Care, please contact:
Caitlin Price, Executive Vice President in Philadelphia
Pamela Blackwell, Philadelphia Program Director