Child welfare disaster preparedness: minimum criteria for plans

Foster parents, relative caregivers, adoptive families, group homes, residential treatment centers, other facilities serving children in the care of child welfare agencies (e.g., psychiatric hospitals), and all children in the child welfare system, must be included in disaster preparedness planning.

Agencies must have disaster response plans that describe their disaster responses. Plans must address these questions:

  • How will the child welfare agency identify, locate, and continue service availability for children in out-of-home placement who are displaced or adversely affected by a disaster?
  • How will the child welfare agency respond to new child welfare cases in areas adversely affected by a disaster, and provide services in those cases?
  • How will the agency remain in communication with caseworkers and other essential child welfare personnel who are displaced because of a disaster?
  • How will the agency preserve essential program records?
  • How will the agency coordinate services and share information with providers and states/counties (e.g., children placed out of state, counties who may need to use resources across state/county borders)?
  • These criteria are state and federal requirements (see Section 422 (b)(16) of the Social Security Act).

    Resources:

    Coping with Disasters and Strengthening Systems, A Framework for Child Welfare Agencies (PDF)
    Minnesota Adoption and Foster Parent, Family Disaster Plan (DHS-4258F-ENG) (PDF)
    Disaster Preparedness Resource Guide for Child Welfare Agencies (PDF)


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