FCASPL 101 (Foster Care Certificates)
Family, Children and Adult Services Procedure Letter No. 101
December 13, 2006
TO: All Family, Children and Adult Services Manual Holders
FROM: Barbara E. Riley, Director
SUBJECT: Changes to Procedures for Issuance of Family Foster Home Certificates and FACSIS/SIS Data Update Due by December 31, 2006

In order to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the issuance of certificates for foster homes, the Office for Children and Families (OCF) is implementing some changes to the internal processing of the JFS 01317 "Recommendation for Certification/Recertification of a Foster Home" that will be used until your agency is converted to the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS).

Pursuant to OAC 5101:2-5-22 Recommendations for initial foster home certification, the recommending agency must have the required FACSIS/SIS data entered into the automated system no later than the date that the agency submits the JFS 01317 containing its recommendation for certification of the foster home to the department. Similarly, OAC 5101:2-5-24 Foster home recertification procedure requires that FACSIS/SIS data be complete at the time that the JFS 01317 containing the recommendation for recertification is received.

Each public children services agency (PCSA) is responsible for entering its own data into FACSIS/SIS. Private agencies fulfill this requirement by submitting the JFS 01639 "Micro-FACSIS Private Agency Form (PCPA and PNA), Own Agency Foster Home -Resource 01" to the department. The data should be complete in accordance with the policy set forth in the Micro-FACSIS Usage Document which can be obtained at: https://jfs.ohio.gov/ocf/FACSIS/usage/ and in FCASMTL No. 124 Revised PCPA and PNA Data Entry Forms for Micro-FACSIS and new form instructions issued on April 16, 2002 which

can be obtained at http://emanuals.jfs.ohio.gov/.

The changes to the OCF processing for issuance of certificates may impact the effective dates of certificates. This could be a concern for placement decisions and federal reimbursement for placements. Pursuant to OAC 5101:2-5-22, no initial certificate will be made effective any earlier than the date of the receipt stamp on the JFS 01317. The effective dates for recertifications will continue to be set in accordance with OAC 5101:2-5-24.

Certificates will not be issued if information on the JFS 01617 is incorrect or the FACSIS/SIS data elements are incomplete. Certificates will not be issued when documentation for criminal background checks, Event 820 for the required BCII and Event 822 for applicable FBI, is missing for any household member for whom a background check is required by rule.

Please note the following:

  • If OCF receives a JFS 01317 that is incorrect, OCF will contact the recommending agency by phone or e-mail to request that the agency submit the correct information. Corrections to the JFS 01317 may be submitted by phone, mail, email or fax at the numbers listed below. If the corrections are received within two weeks, the date stamp on the originally submitted JFS 01317 will be used to establish the effective date of the certificate.
  • If the corrections to the JFS 01317 are not received by OCF within two weeks, OCF will return the JFS 01317 to the recommending agency. The JFS 01317 may be resubmitted to OCF by the recommending agency when the information is complete at the address listed below. For any JFS 01617 that was returned to the recommending agency, the date that the corrected JFS 01617 is received and date stamped by OCF will be used to establish the effective date of the certificate.
  • For public agencies, if complete FACSIS/SIS data are not available for review in the automated system by OCF at the time that the JFS 01317 is received by OCF, OCF will contact the recommending agency by phone or e-mail to request that the agency update the FACSIS/SIS data. Public agencies must notify OCF when the FACSIS/SIS data has been updated in the automated system by phone, mail, e-mail or fax at the numbers listed below.
  • For private agencies, if the JFS 01639 is not compete and available for review by OCF at the time that the JFS 01317 is received by OCF, OCF will contact the recommending agency by phone or e-mail to request that the agency correct the information on the JFS 01639. Corrections to the JFS 01639 may be made by phone or e-mail or by submitting a corrected JFS 01639 by mail or fax at the numbers listed below.
  • If the FACSIS/SIS information is not available for review by OCF or the corrections to the JFS 01639 are not received by OCF within two weeks, OCF will return the JFS 01317 to the recommending agency. The JFS 01317 may be resubmitted to OCF by the recommending agency when the FACSIS/SIS information is complete or the JFS 01639 has been corrected and submitted to OCF at address listed below. For any JFS 01317 that was returned to the recommending agency due to incorrect SACWIS/SIS information, the new date that the JFS 01317 is received and the supporting FACSIS/SIS data is available for review will be used to establish the effective date of the certificate.

To ensure Ohio's compliance with Federal regulations for claiming Title IV-E reimbursement, the recommending agency should take no more than thirty days between the date on the original JFS 01317 which recommended the home and the agency's correction of errors/omissions. OCF will continue to set the effective dates of certificates in accordance with the OAC, when all required information is available for review by ODJFS.

Pursuant to the instructions in the Micro-FACSIS Usage Document, agencies are required to complete Event 820 "Criminal Background Check" and, in some cases, the Event 822 "FBI Background Check" for registered foster homes. Under separate cover, agencies will receive a listing of all currently certified foster homes as documented in FACSIS/SIS that have missing 820 and 822 events. Agencies must review these lists for accuracy and complete the required data elements in FACSIS/SIS by December 31, 2006.

  • If a foster family who was initially certified before October 29, 1993 and has been continuously certified, it was not required to have a criminal background check in accordance with ORC 2151.86. Agencies however are encouraged to enter data in the 820 and 822 events if the foster home record documents that a BCII/FBI background check was completed on the family. In subsequent data reports families who were initially certified prior to 1993 who have not had a background check will be eliminated from the report.
  • For any foster home noted on the list that the agency has closed, the agency must submit a JFS 01317 indicating the closure and enter the Event 816 "Certificate Closed Event" in FACSIS/SIS.
  • For any foster home that was initially certified by one agency and then transferred to another agency, the current recommending agency should contact the initial certifying agency to obtain the date of the criminal background check. If the date can not be ascertained and the current agency has completed a background check, that date should be used. Otherwise the date should remain blank in FACSIS/SIS. Agencies should note that the lack of data in this event may cause the family to appear on subsequent data reports. OAC 5101:2-5-31 Sharing or transfer of a foster home, which will become effective on December 11, 2006, will require that when a foster home is transferred to a new agency, the receiving agency must conduct a criminal background check.

In order to prevent undue delays in the processing of foster home certificates, agencies should carefully review their certification and recertification reviews for compliance with all applicable Administrative Code rules. They should also assure that all JFS 01317s containing the recommendations for certification are free of errors and omissions and that FACSIS/SIS data is submitted timely in accordance with Administrative Code requirements and Micro-FACSIS usage document.

Some of the common errors that will interrupt the processing of an initial certificate or recertification are indicated below:

  • Incomplete or missing items on the JFS 01317 "Recommendation for certification/recertification of a foster home":
  • Identifying Information
  • Transaction Type
  • Signature of Assessor
  • Signature of Authorized Representative (needed even if it is the same as the Assessor)
  • Incomplete or missing items in FACSIS/SIS or on the JFS 01639 "Own Agency Foster Home -Resource 01":
  • Dates of birth for all household members
  • Information regarding capacity, minimum and maximum age, acceptable sex and race
  • Excluding characteristics
  • Event 800, "Completed Application Received"
  • Events 820 "Criminal Background Check" (BCII) and 822 "FBI Background check" FOR ALL REQUIRED MEMBERS OF THE HOUSEHOLD (Children over age 12 and adults over age 18)
  • Indication of length of Ohio residency

For custodial agencies, Events 850, 812, 814 and 818 are required FACSIS/SIS data elements; however; at this time the absence of data in these events will not interrupt the processing of a certificate. Event 850 "Local Educational Agencies" is needed for the Ohio Department of Education, and Event 812 "Foster Caregiver Parent Family Structure," Event 812 "First Foster Caregiver Parent Demographics" and Event 818 "Second Foster Caregiver Demographics" are needed for AFCARS compliance. Missing information from these events will be indicated on the AFCARS exception reports.

Please use the following numbers for contacting OCF:

  • By mail at: Office for Children and Families, Foster Home Certifications, 255 East Main Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
  • By phone at: (614) 644-6140
  • By e-mail at: ligona@odjfs.state.oh.us
  • By fax at: (614) 466-0164

Agencies that would like to designate a single point of contact for communications regarding any information needed to complete the processing of certificates, should provide the agency's name, the contact person's name, phone number and e-mail address to the OCF Helpdesk at HELP-DESK-OCF@odjfs.state.oh.us. To assist our staff, please list in the subject heading of the email "Foster Case certificate processing -Agency single point of contact."

For questions regarding this letter, please contact the OCF Helpdesk at 1-866-886-3537, option 4.

Procedure Letters FCASPL No. 101