INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SERVICES
I. Service Description
A. The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) intends to contract with
providers throughout the state to implement fatherhood programming to provide
assistance and support to fathers whose children are involved with DCS.
B. Providers will work actively with DCS employees to successfully engage fathers
in services that will improve safety, stability, well-being, and permanency for
C. Providers will assist fathers in strengthening the relationship with their children
and promoting positive relationships between the families, the local DCS Family
Case Managers, and others involved in their children’s care.
II. Service Delivery
A. The direct worker shall make efforts to make periodic visits to DCS offices to
network with FCMs and attend Child and Family Team Meetings (CFTMs) when
B. The provider will secure and maintain a working relationship with the Family
Case Manager and the other relevant DCS staff to provide a liaison between the
fathers and DCS.
C. When Family Case Managers have exhausted all known diligent search efforts
and inquiries, providers will assist in locating and engaging fathers (including
those who may be incarcerated or who live out of state).
D. The provider will actively engage referred fathers with the goal of increasing their
involvement in the DCS case.
E. The provider will conduct intake interviews, and collect demographic, and other
outcome data for reporting purposes.
1. Services must include ongoing monitoring of father/parental progress.
F. The provider will work collaboratively with DCS, other contracted providers,
community organizations, and individuals to develop, maintain, and provide
appropriate programming for fathers whose children are involved in the child
G. The provider will possess a clear understanding of male learning styles and male
help seeking behaviors.
H. The provider will practice effective techniques for father engagement through a
non-judgmental, holistic viewpoint regarding father/child relationship, focusing
on the child in the context of the family.
I. The provider will refer participants, when indicated, to community resources and
J. The provider will promote community awareness regarding the value of engaging
fathers of children involved in the child welfare process, through presentation and
K. The provider will develop a working relationship with local child support
enforcement offices and staff members in order to be of mutual assistance in
helping obtain appropriate financial support of children.
L. Services will be provided at times convenient for or necessary to meet the
family’s needs, not according to a specified work week schedule.
M. Services will be provided in-home, in the community environment, in the DCS
office, and/or the provider’s office.
N. Services will be based on the families established DCS Case Plan/Disposition or
Informal Adjustment, while taking into consideration the recommendation of the
Child and Family Team, as applicable.
O. Services will be conducted with behavior and language that demonstrates respect
for socio-cultural values, personal goals, lifestyle choices, and complex family
interactions and be delivered in a neutral, valued, and culturally competent
P. The provider will coordinate and provide Fatherhood Programming utilizing a
DCS approved educational curricula such as Bringing Back the Dads, 24/7 Dads,
Inside Out Dads and Bridges out of Poverty.
1. Any other curricula must have prior approval from DCS Central Office
prior to use.
Q. The Programming can be provided through the use of group or one-on-one
R. All curricula must include child support enforcement education and financial
S. The Fatherhood Programming and other individual work with the father may
provide any combination of the following kinds of services:
1. Information regarding the CHINS legal process including court
procedures, parental participation requirements, court ordered services,
visitation with the children, reimbursement of cost for services, and other
aspects related to the legal process;
2. The expectations of the family related to participation in court ordered
services and visitation with the children, attendance at court, appropriate
dress for court, and other aspects related to the legal process;
3. Information regarding the parent’s rights and the CHINS proceedings, the
length of time the children may be in care prior to a permanency
procedure, termination of parental rights, and family and team meetings
4. Role of the Court Appointed Special Advocate or Guardian Ad Litem;
5. An informal environment for fathers to discuss issues that brought them to
the attention of DCS and develop suggestions that may assist in resolving
these issues as a group;
6. Educational programs using speakers recruited from the local professional
community to assist and educate fathers in areas such as:
a) Abuse and neglect;
b) Increasing parenting skills;
c) Substance abuse;
d) Anger management;
e) Advocacy with public agencies including the children’s schools;
f) Issues of interest to the parents related to their needs and the needs
of their children
g) Coaching and information to develop attitudes and social skills
needed for improved family relations and personal responsibility;
h) After consultation with the Family Case Manager, providers will
make concerted, organized, and systematic efforts to connect
children with their incarcerated father (if applicable), through
video conferencing, face-to-face contact, correspondence and by
telephone, unless the court has determined that visiting would put
the child in danger; and
i) Supports fathers and parental relatives in court and Child and
Family Team Meetings by providing transportation and/or
transportation voucher when appropriate.
T. Supervised visitation
1. Supervised visits will be billed separately from other services within the
standard and will consist of work within the scope of this service standard.
2. The Individual and Monthly Visitation Reports must be used to document
the supervised visitation portion of the services provided.
3. The Monthly Progress Report will be used to document other services
provided within this service standard.
4. Further instructions on how to facilitate, document, and bill for visitation
is outlined in the Visitation Facilitation Service Standards:
a) Section II (Service Delivery Referral Process)
b) Service VII (Billable Units)
c) Section XI (Training)
III. Target Population
A. Services must be restricted to the following eligibility categories:
1. Fathers of children who have substantiated cases of abuse and/or neglect
and will likely develop into an open Informal Adjustment (IA) or CHINS
2. Fathers of children which have an IA or the children have the status of
IV. Goals and Outcomes
A. Goal #1: Timely initiation of services with the fathers.
1. Outcome Measure: 95% of all incarcerated fathers referred with a valid
contact and/or address will receive a telephone call or a drop by contact
attempt within 5 (five) business days of the referral.
2. Outcome Measure: 75% of all fathers will have face-to-face contact within
10 (ten) business days of the referral.
B. Goal #2: Timely receipt of electronic outcome reports.
1. Outcome Measure: 100% of reports will be received timely.
a) An approved data sharing process, documenting services for each
referred father, will be electronically forwarded to DCS Central
Office designated email address: Researchevaluation@dcs.in.gov.
C. Goal #3: Engage fathers in services that will reduce barriers to safety, stability,
well-being, and permanency for their children.
1. Outcome Measure: 60% of all fathers referred will become actively
engaged in the DCS open case as evidenced by visitation with their
children, participation in CFTM, and the DCS Case Plan.
2. Outcome Measure: 100% of all referred fathers who received a face-toface
contact will have a paternal genogram created and sent to the FCM
within 30 (thirty) days of the first face-to-face contact.
a) Genograms will be created using guidance found at
D. Goal #4: Coordinate efforts between the Department of Corrections and/or local
detention facilities, child welfare agencies, and the courts to ensure incarcerated
fathers are notified of court proceedings regarding the care and custody of their
child (ren) when appropriate.
1. Outcome Measure: 60% of incarcerated fathers will become actively
engaged in the DCS open case as evidenced by contact with their children
via email, visitation, phone, or video communication.
E. Goal #5: DCS/Probation and clients will report satisfaction with services.
1. Outcome Measure: DCS/Probation satisfaction will be rated 4 and above
on the Service Satisfaction Report.
2. 90% of clients will rate the services “Satisfactory” or above on satisfaction
survey developed by the service provider, unless one is distributed by
DCS/Probation to providers for their use with clients.
V. Minimum Qualifications
A. Direct Worker
1. Direct workers under this standard must meet one of the following
a) Bachelor’s degree in Psychology or Sociology, or Social Work
b) Master’s degree in Psychology, Sociology, Social Work; OR
c) Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a directly related human services
field. The individual must also:
(1) Complete a minimum of 39 semester/58 quarter hours in
the following coursework:
(a) Human Growth and Development
(b) Social and Cultural Foundations
(c) Lifestyle and Career Development
(e) Gender and Sexual Orientation
(f) Ethnicity, Race, Status, and Culture
(i) Social Work
(k) Ethics and Philosophy
(l) Physical and Behavioral Health
(m) Family Relationships
(n) Advocacy and Mediation
(o) Case Management
(p) Resources and Systems
(q) Social Policy
(r) Community Planning and Relations
(s) Crisis Intervention
(t) Substance Use
(u) Counseling and Guidance
(v) Educational Studies
(2) The individual must complete the Human Service Related
Degree Course Worksheet.
(a) For auditing purposes, the worksheet should be
completed and placed in the individual’s personnel
(b) Transcripts must be attached to the worksheet.
(3) Coursework must be completed at a satisfactory level, no
less than a C- for any quarter or semester grade in
d) Other non-Human Service related Bachelor’s degrees will be
(1) Minimum of two years-experience
(a) Providing a service to families that need assistance
in the protection and care of their children and/or providing
skills training, development, and habilitation.
(i) Experience gained by an employee in which
the employee was not qualified to complete
the work at the current or previous employer
does not count toward the required two (2)
year experience in combination with a
2. The individual must possess a valid driver’s license and the ability to use a
private car to transport self and others, and must comply with the state
policy concerning minimum car insurance coverage.
3. In addition to the above:
a) Knowledge of child abuse and neglect, and child and adult
b) Knowledge of community resources and ability to work as a team
c) Belief in helping clients change their circumstances, not just adapt
d) Belief in adoption as a viable means to build families
e) Understanding regarding issues that are specific and unique to
adoptions such as loss, mismatched expectations and flexibility,
loss of familiar surroundings, customs and traditions of the child’s
culture, entitlement, gratification delaying, flexible parental roles,
4. Supervisors under this standard must meet one of the following minimum
a) Master’s or Doctorate degree in Social Work, Psychology, or
directly related human services field from an accredited college
and completion of DCS Supervision Qualification Training
requirements specified for Masters level supervisors.
b) Master’s Degree in Social Work, Psychology, Marriage and
Family Therapy, or related human services field, and two (2) years
related clinical experience with a clinical license issued by the
Indiana Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist, or Mental
Health Counselor Board
c) A Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, Psychology, or directly
related human services field from an accredited college with five
years-experience delivering home based child welfare or home
based probation services with one year experience under the DCS
Home Based Casework Service Standards (Community Partners,
Father Engagement, or Home Based Family Centered Casework)
and completion of DCS Supervisor Qualification Training
requirements specified for Bachelor’s level supervisors.
(1) The individual must have a minimum of 6 months of
experience with the current agency or must have provided
supervision under the service standard for at least 1 year at
a different agency.
(2) All staff who are supervised by a bachelor’s level
supervisor must have clinical consultation a minimum of
(a) This supervision can be provided in a group format.
(b) Supervisors should be present during clinical
consultation, as this time can apply towards the
minimum staffing requirements required for
5. Supervision Training Criteria:
a) All providers providing supervision must adhere to the DCS
Supervisor Qualification Training.
b) The DCS Supervisor Qualification Training outlines a training
c) These trainings can be completed by the agencies own training
program if it meets the competencies or utilizes DCS resources to
d) The link for the DCS Supervisor Qualification Training can be
found at http://www.in.gov/dcs/3493.htm
a) Supervisors must respond to the ongoing individual needs of staff
by providing them with the appropriate combination of training
b) The frequency and intensity of training and supervision are to be
consistent with “best practices” and comply with the requirements
of each provider’s accreditation body.
c) Supervision should include individual, group, and direct
observation modalities and can utilize teleconference technologies.
d) Under no circumstance is one-on-one supervision to be less than
one (1) hour of supervision per 25 hours of face-to-face direct
client services provided, nor occur less than every two (2) weeks.
a) All agencies must have policies that require regular shadowing (by
supervisor) of all staff at established intervals based on staff
experience and need.
b) Shadowing must be provided in accordance with the policy.
c) The agency must provide clear documentation that shadowing has
C. Clinical Consultation
1. Applicable when the supervisor meets the requirements at a Bachelor’s
Degree level, as described above. The individual providing Clinical
Consultation under this standard must meet one of the following minimum
a) Master’s Degree in Social Work, Psychology, Marriage and
Family Therapy, or related human services field, and two (2) years
related clinical experience with a clinical license issued by the
Indiana Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist, or Mental
Health Counselor Board
b) All staff who are supervised by a Bachelor’s level supervisor must
have a minimum of quarterly clinical supervision.
(1) The consultation can be provided in a group or individual
(2) Bachelor’s level Supervisor should be present during
clinical consultation with direct staff.
(3) This time is applicable to minimum supervision
requirements only if conducted one-on-one with staff.
VI. Billing Units
A. Face to Face
1. Includes client specific face-to-face contact with the identified
client/family during which services as defined in the applicable Service
Standard are performed.
2. Includes Child and Family Team Meetings or case conferences initiated or
approved by DCS for the purposes of goal directed communication
regarding the services to be provided to the client/family.
a) Members of the client family are to be defined in consultation with
the family and approved by DCS. This may include persons not
legally defined as part of the family.
3. Includes no more than five (5) hours of time spent locating fathers
including making telephone calls, attempted face-to-face contacts,
collateral contacts, or completing online searches.
4. Includes crisis intervention via telephone with the identified client family.
a) Best practice would include a follow up face to face visit with the
b) Crisis over the phone is for extraordinary circumstances and
should not be the mode to which ongoing services are provided.
5. Billing for additional collateral contacts can be approved by DCS when
attempting to locate and/or engage an incarcerated client or client living
out of state.
6. Not included are routine report writing and scheduling of appointments,
collateral contacts, travel time, and no shows.
a) These activities are built into the cost of the face-to-face rate and
shall be billed separately.
1. A minimum of three (3) fathers from at least 2 different referral sources
must be in attendance in order to bill for group.
2. Services include group goal direct work with clients.
3. To be billed per group hour.
C. Supervised Visitation
1. Time spent supervising visits will be billed separately from other services
within this standard and will consist of work within the scope of this
2. The rate will be the same as the face-to-face rate, but will include only
time spent face-to-face supervising the visit.
3. Any other billable time as defined in the face-to-face rate should be billed
under the face-to-face rate.
4. Services may be billed in 15 minute increments; partial units are rounded
to the nearest quarter hour using the following guidelines:
a) 0 to 7 minutes – do not bill (0.00 hour)
b) 8 to 22 minutes- 1 fifteen minute unit (0. 25 hour)
c) 23 to 37 minutes – 2 fifteen minute units (0.50 hour)
d) 38 to 52 minutes- 3 fifteen minute units (0.75 hour)
e) 53 to 60 minutes- 4 fifteen minute units (1.00 hour)
5. When DCS requests the provider to check in intermittently - at least once
per hour - , the provider can bill in increments of 30 minutes for each
check-in, provided that the total amount of time billed should not exceed
the total length of the visit.
D. Interpretation, Translation, and Sign Language Services
1. The location of and cost of Interpretation, Translation, and Sign Language
Services are the responsibility of the Service Provider.
2. If the service is needed in the delivery of services referred, DCS will
reimburse the Provider for the cost of the Interpretation, Translation, or
Sign Language service at the actual cost of the service to the provider.
3. The referral from DCS must include the request for Interpretation services
and the agencies’ invoice for this service must be provided when billing
DCS for the service. Providers can use DCS contracted agencies and
request that they be given the DCS contracted rate but this is not required.
4. The Service Provider Agency is free to use an agency or persons of their
choosing as long as the service is provided in an accurate and competent
manner and billed at a fair market rate.
5. Certification of the Interpreter is not required; however, the interpreter
should have passed a proficiency test in both the spoken and the written
language in which they are interpreting.
1. The provider of this service may be requested to testify in court.
2. A Court Appearance is defined as appearing for a court hearing after
receiving a written or email request or subpoena from DCS to appear in
court, and can be billed per appearance.
3. If the provider appeared in court two different days, they could bill for 2
a) Maximum of 1 court appearance per day.
4. The Rate of the Court Appearance includes all cost associated with the
court appearance, therefore additional costs associated with the
appearance cannot be billed separately.
1. If the services provided are not funded by DCS, the “Report” hourly rate
will be paid.
2. A referral for “Reports” must be issued by DCS in order to bill.
G. Incarcerated Father Communication Services
1. To enhance communication with DOC incarcerated fathers.
2. Services include:
a) Email communication
b) Inbound video grams
c) Video visits
3. Agencies will partner with the current DOC’s incarcerated father
communications service provider and will be reimbursed at actual cost.
4. Incarcerated father communication will be approved during a CFTM, and
CFTM minutes must authorize the request, along with the appropriate
level of communication.
VII. Case Record Documentation
A. Case record documentation for service eligibility must include:
1. A completed, and dated DCS/Probation referral form authorizing services
2. Copy of DCS/Probation Case Plan, Informal Adjustment documentation,
or documentation of requests for these documents from referral source
3. Safety issues and Safety Plan documentation
4. Documentation of Termination/Transition/Discharge Plans
5. Treatment/Service Plan
a) Must incorporate DCS Case Plan goals and child safety goals
b) Must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time
Sensitive goal language
6. Monthly reports are due to the 10th day of each month following the
month of service. Case documentation shall show when report is sent.
a) The monthly report will include the following:
(1) Summary of services;
(2) Father’s involvement with the child(ren);
(3) Father’s parental progression as evidence by visitation
supervision and unsupervised visitation with child(ren);
(4) Participation in Child and Family Team Meetings;
(5) Father’s involvement in the DCS Case Plan;
(6) Established paternity and if the father is paying child
(7) Engagement in fatherhood curriculum and/or
successfully/unsuccessful completion of referral sources
will be provided to the referring FCM monthly.
b) Provider recommendations to modify the service/treatment plan
c) Discuss overall progress related to treatment plan goals including
specific examples to illustrate progress
7. Progress/Case Notes must document:
b) Start time
c) End time
e) Individual providing service
8. When applicable, Progress/Case notes may also include:
a) Service/Treatment plan goal addressed (if applicable)
b) Description of Intervention/Activity used towards treatment plan
c) Progress related to treatment plan goal including demonstration of
d) Barriers: lack of progress related to goals
e) Clinical impressions regarding diagnosis and or symptoms (if
f) Collaboration with other professionals
g) Consultations/Supervision staffing
h) Crisis interventions/emergencies
i) Attempts of contact with clients, FCMs, resource parents, other
j) Communication with client, significant others, other professionals,
school, resource parents, etc.
k) Summary of Child and Family Team Meetings, case conferences,
9. Supervision Notes must include:
a) Date and time of supervision
b) Individuals present
c) Summary of supervision discussion including presenting issues
and guidance given
10. Child and Family Team Meeting minutes authorizing usage of JPAY
11. Paternal genogram and documentation of when it was sent to referral
VIII. Service Access
A. All services must be accessed and pre-approved through a referral form from the
referring DCS staff.
B. In the event a service provider receives verbal or email authorization to provide
services from DCS/Probation an approved referral will still be required.
C. Referrals are valid for a maximum of six (6) months unless otherwise specified by
D. Providers must initiate a re-authorization for services to continue beyond the
IX. Adherence to the DCS Practice Model
A. Services must be provided according to the Indiana Practice Model, providers will
build trust-based relationships with families and partners by exhibiting empathy,
professionalism, genuineness and respect.
B. Providers will use the skills of engaging, teaming, assessing, planning and
intervening to partner with families and the community to achieve better
outcomes for children.
X. Interpretation, Translation, and Sign Language Services
A. All Services provided on behalf of the Department of Child Services must include
Interpretation, Translation, or Sign Language for families who are non-English
language speakers or who are hearing- impaired.
B. Interpretation is done by an Interpreter who is fluent in English and the non-
English language and is the spoken exchange from one language to another.
C. Certification of the interpreter is not required; however, the interpreter should
have passed a proficiency test in both the spoken and the written language in
which they are interpreting.
D. Interpreters can assist in translating a document for a non-English speaking client
on an individual basis, (i.e., An interpreter may be able to explain what a
document says to the non-English speaking client).
E. Sign Language should be done in the language familiar to the family.
F. These services must be provided by a non-family member of the client, be
conducted with respect for the socio- cultural values, life style choices, and
complex family interactions of the clients, and be delivered in a neutral-valued
G. The Interpreters are to be competent in both English and the non-English
Language (and dialect) that is being requested and are to refrain from adding or
deleting any of the information given or received during an interpretation
H. No side comments or conversations between the Interpreters and the clients
XI. Trauma Informed Care
A. Provider must develop a core competency in Trauma Informed Care as defined by
the National Center for Trauma Informed Care—SAMHSA
1. Trauma-informed care is an approach to engaging people with histories of
trauma that recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and
acknowledges the role that trauma has played in their lives.
2. NCTIC facilitates the adoption of trauma-informed environments in the
delivery of a broad range of services including mental health, substance
use, housing, vocational or employment support, domestic violence and
victim assistance, and peer support. In all of these environments, NCTIC
seeks to change the paradigm from one that asks, "What's wrong with
you?" to one that asks, "What has happened to you?"
3. When a human service program takes the step to become traumainformed,
every part of its organization, management, and service
delivery system is assessed and potentially modified to include a basic
understanding of how trauma affects the life of an individual seeking
4. Trauma-informed organizations, programs, and services are based on an
understanding of the vulnerabilities or triggers of trauma survivors that
traditional service delivery approaches may exacerbate, so that these
services and programs can be more supportive and avoid re-traumatization
B. Trauma Specific Interventions: (modified from the SAMHSA definition)
1. The services will be delivered in such a way that the clients/families feel
respected, informed, connected, and hopeful regarding their own future.
2. The provider must demonstrate an understanding, through the services
provided, of the interrelation between trauma and symptoms of trauma
(e.g., substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety)
3. The provider will work in a collaborative way with child/family, extended
family and friends, and other human services agencies in a manner that
will empower child/family.
A. Service provider employees are required to complete general training
competencies at various levels.
B. Levels are labeled in Modules (I-IV), and requirements for each employee are
based on the employee’s level of work with DCS clients.
C. Training requirements, documents, and resources are outlined at:
1. Review the Resource Guide for Training Requirements to understand
Training Modules, expectations, and Agency responsibility.
2. Review Training Competencies, Curricula, and Resources to learn
more about the training topics.
3. Review the Training Requirement Checklist and Shadowing
Checklist for expectations within each module.
XIII. Cultural and Religious Competence
A. Provider must respect the culture of the children and families with which it
B. All staff persons who come in contact with the family must be aware of and
sensitive to the child's cultural, ethnic, and linguistic differences.
C. All staff also must be aware of and sensitive to the sexual and/or gender
orientation of the child, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or
1. Services to youth who identify as LGBTQ must also be provided in
accordance with the principles in the Indiana LGBTQ Practice
2. Staff will use neutral language, facilitate a trust based environment for
disclosure, and will maintain appropriate confidentiality for LGBTQ
3. The guidebook can be found at:
D. Efforts must be made to employ or have access to staff and/or volunteers who are
representative of the community served in order to minimize any barriers that
E. Contractor must have a plan for developing and maintaining the cultural
competence of their programs, including the recruitment, development, and
training of staff, volunteers, and others as appropriate to the program or service
type; treatment approaches and models; and the use of appropriate community
resources and informal networks that support cultural connections.
XIV. Child Safety
A. Services must be provided in accordance with the Principles of Child
B. All services (even individual services) are provided through
the lens of child safety.
1. As part of service provision, it is the responsibility of the service provider
to understand the child safety concerns and protective factors that exist
within the family.
2. Continual assessment of child safety and communication with the
Local DCS Office is required. It is the responsibility of the service
provider to report any safety concerns, per state statue, IC 31-33-5-1.
C. All service plans should include goals that address issues of child safety and the
family’s protective factors. The monthly reports must outline progress towards
goals identified in the service plans.