5101:2-48-12.1 Adoption homestudy updates.

(A) All adoption homestudies shall be updated every two years from the date of approval of the initial homestudy or the date of approval of the most current update, whichever is more recent. If a homestudy is simultaneously approved for adoption and certified for foster care by the same agency, the spans shall be the same for both programs from the date of the foster home certification.

(1) If an approved adoptive home is subsequently certified for foster care by the same agency that approved the home for adoption, the adoptive homestudy shall be updated at the same time the home is initially certified for foster care so that the spans will coincide.

(2) If a certified foster home is subsequently approved for adoption by the same agency that certified the home for foster care, the next adoption update shall be completed when the current foster care certificate is recertified so that the spans will coincide.

(B) The public children services agency (PCSA), private child placing agency (PCPA), or private noncustodial agency (PNA) shall ensure that employees or persons under contract with the agency to complete adoption homestudy updates comply with the following requirements.

(1) The assessor definition in rule 5101:2-1-01 of the Administrative Code.

(2) Rule 5101:2-48-06 of the Administrative Code.

(3) Section 3107.014 of the Revised Code.

(C) The agency shall notify the adoptive parent(s) of the date of expiration of the homestudy not fewer than ninety days or more than one hundred fifty days prior to the expiration date. The notification shall:

(1) Identify any information or documentation that is required for the homestudy update.

(2) Be completed on the JFS 01331, "Notice of Expiration and Reapplication for a Foster Home Certificate or Adoption Homestudy Approval" (rev. 12/2014).

(D) Following agency notification to the adoptive parent as required by paragraph (C) of this rule, if the adoptive parent fails to either reapply or voluntarily terminate prior to the expiration date of the approval, the homestudy approval shall expire. If the family wishes to have an adoption homestudy approval after the expiration date, they shall reapply through the initial homestudy application process pursuant to rule 5101:2-48-09 of the Administrative Code.

Following the expiration of an adoption homestudy approval:

(1) If the agency has access to the statewide automated child welfare information system (SACWIS), the agency shall enter the appropriate data into the system to close the adoption homestudy.

(2) If the agency does not have access to SACWIS, the agency shall submit a JFS 01318 "SACWIS Private Agency Provider Request" (rev. 12/2014) to the Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) to close the adoption homestudy.

(E) If the adoptive parent has applied to update an adoption homestudy prior to the expiration of a current adoption approval, an assessor shall complete a JFS 01385 "Assessment for Child Placement Update" (rev. 12/2014), ensure that the adoptive parent remains in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 5101:2-48 of the Administrative Code, and determine the continued suitability of the adoptive family. The agency shall compile and review the following documents, in addition to completing the JFS 01385:

(1) The most recent JFS 01653 "Medical Statement for Foster Care/Adoptive Applicant and All Household Members" (rev. 6/2009) completed for the applicant and all household members by a licensed physician, physician assistant, clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse practitioner or certified nurse-midwife. The agency may require a new JFS 01653 if the agency deems it necessary.

(2) The agency may require a report of a physical, psychiatric or psychological examination or treatment of the adoptive parent(s) or other household member in order to ensure the safety, health or care of an adoptive child. The examination shall be conducted by a licensed physician, psychologist, or other certified or licensed professional.

(3) The most recent fire inspection by a state certified fire safety inspector or the state fire marshal's office using the JFS 01200 "Fire Inspection Report for Residential Facilities Certified by ODJFS" (rev. 2/2015) or other form used for a local or state fire inspection. The agency may require a new fire inspection at the time of the update if the agency deems it necessary to ensure the home is free from conditions which may be hazardous to the safety of an adoptive child.

(4) The most recent JFS 01681 "Applicant Financial Statement" (rev. 10/2000). The agency may require a new JFS 01681 if there have been any substantial changes to the adoptive family's financial situation.

(5) The most recent well water test approved by the health department, if applicable. The agency may require a new well water test if the agency deems it necessary.

(6) The most recent JFS 01530 "Large Family Assessment" (rev. 12/2014), if applicable. If the family circumstances have changed substantially since the previous JFS 01530, or if a JFS 01530 was not previously completed and is now required, the agency shall complete a new JFS 01530 at the time of the update.

(7) If the agency has the ability to complete the search in SACWIS, the agency shall complete an alleged perpetrator search of abuse and neglect report history through the system for each adoptive parent and adult household member. If the agency does not have the ability to complete the search in SACWIS, the agency shall request a search of the system from ODJFS for each adoptive parent and each adult household member.

(a) A report with the results of the search shall be placed in the adoptive provider record.

(b) This report is to be used to determine the continued suitability of the adoptive family.

(8) The agency shall conduct a safety audit utilizing the JFS 01348 "Safety Audit"

(rev. 12/2014) completed within six months prior to the approval of the adoption homestudy update, documenting the residence continues to meet all safety standards.

(9) The most recent criminal records check for the adoptive parents and adult household members. Once a homestudy is approved, a new criminal records check shall be conducted, pursuant to section 2151.86 of the Revised Code, for the adoptive parent(s) and each adult household member every four years prior to approving the adoption update. If an existing resident of the home, including youth placed in the home, turned eighteen years of age during the current approval span, the agency shall have criminal records checks completed at the time of the next update and every four years thereafter at the time of update.

(10) A minimum of one written reference from a professional who is knowledgeable of the family dynamics and family functioning. If a reference is not available from a professional, a personal reference from someone aware of the adoptive family's functioning is permissible. This reference shall not be completed by a relative or a household member. This reference is required for families who are only approved for adoption by the recommending agency. If the family is also certified for foster care by the recommending agency, the reference is not required.

(F) An assessor's update of an adoption homestudy shall include at least one home visit and one interview with each member of the household (except foster children) over the age of four years currently residing in the home. This may be a joint interview or individual interviews.

(G) If an agency receives a completed JFS 01331 at least thirty days prior to the expiration date of the adoption approval, an agency shall follow the requirements listed in this rule to complete the assessment for the update of the adoption approval.

(1) At the completion of the assessment and prior to the expiration of the current adoption homestudy approval span:

(a) An agency with access to SACWIS shall enter the required data into the system documenting one of the following:

(i) Adoption update approval.

(ii) Denial of the adoption update and closure of the adoption homestudy.

(iii) Closure, based on receipt of voluntary withdrawal.

(b) An agency without access to SACWIS shall submit a JFS 01318 to ODJFS documenting one of the following:

(i) Adoption update approval.

(ii) Denial of the adoption update and closure of the adoption homestudy.

(iii) Closure, based on receipt of voluntary withdrawal.

(2) The effective date of the adoption homestudy approval shall be the first day following the expiration of the previous approval span.

(H) If an agency receives a completed JFS 01331 less than thirty days prior to the expiration of the adoption approval, the agency may complete the requirements listed in this rule if they have sufficient time and resources to complete the assessment and submit the requirements in paragraph (G) of this rule prior to the expiration date of the current approval span.

(1) If the agency is unable to complete the update of the adoption approval prior to the expiration, the adoption approval will expire on the date of expiration.

(2) If the adoption approval expires, the agency shall, within ten days after the expiration date of the current approval span:

(a) Provide written notification to the family of the following:

(i) That the adoption homestudy approval has expired.

(ii) That the family must reapply for initial adoption approval pursuant to rule 5101:2-48-12 of the Administrative Code if they would like to obtain adoption homestudy approval.

(b) An agency with access to SACWIS shall enter the required data into the system to document the provider has closed because the adoption homestudy approval has expired.

(c) An agency without access to SACWIS shall submit a JFS 01318 to ODJFS documenting the provider has closed because the adoption homestudy approval has expired.

(I) The assessor shall provide written notification to the applicant(s) of approval or denial of the update to the adoption homestudy. The written notification shall be provided to the adoptive family within ten days of completion of the adoption approval update.

(1) Adoption homestudy update approval notification shall include, at a minimum, the following information:

(a) Date of approval of the adoption homestudy update with the date the update expires.

(b) A description of the characteristics of the child or children for whom the update is being approved.

(2) Adoption homestudy update denial shall include, at a minimum, the following information:

(a) A detailed explanation of the reasons for the denial.

(b) A description of procedures for an agency review pursuant to rule 5101:2-48-24 of the Administrative Code.

Replaces: 5101:2-48- 12.1

Effective: 11/1/2015
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 11/01/2020
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5103.03, 5153.166, 3107.033
Rule Amplifies: 2151.86, 3107.031, 5103.18
Prior Effective Dates: 12/11/2006, 8/14/08, 7/1/09