Significant Revisions to RCCL Minimum Standards
Revisions to the minimum standards took effect September 1, 2010. The most significant
revisions are outlined below. Licensing will offer technical assistance on any changes that require
more of operations until July 1, 2011. However, until that date, Licensing staff will be discussing
these changes with operations, asking about their plan to come into compliance, and
documenting technical assistance.
Revisions for Both Facilities and Child-Placing Agencies
Must document a child's high risk behaviors upon admission, and
must document a safety plan that the staff/caregivers will
implement related to each child's high risk behavior(s), as
Must document "no known allergies" in/on a child's record if the
748.393 749.577 child has no known allergies (cannot simply leave this space
For children 14 years old or older, must include in the service plan
how the child will be provided with experiential life skills training.
Requirements for discharge documentation have been rearranged,
and the time frame for sending discharge documentation to the
next placement/caregiver has been changed from 30 to 15 days.
Record of medications given to the child must include reason each
prescription medication was prescribed.
Licensing will only cite an operation for violating its own policies if
it is a policy Licensing requires. Also, if the policy relates to a
748.103 749.103 specific minimum standards requirement, such as training hours,
Licensing will only cite if the operation fails to meet the specific
Instead of an annual financial audit, operations are now required
to obtain an annual financial review by an independent Certified
Public Accountant. CPAs also have the option to maintain proof of
748.163 749.163 reserve funds equal to at least 3 months of operating expense
(instead of the annual financial review). If a CPA chooses to
maintain reserve funds, this requirement applies on an ongoing
basis (not just annually).
The "competency and prudent judgment" standard may only be
748.507 749.607 cited when no other standard has been cited for the exact same
Staff, caregivers, foster parents, etc. must reported alleged or
suspected child abuse or neglect directly to DFPS, and may NOT
rely on the operation administrator or administrative staff to make
Children may participate in unsupervised activities based on the
supervision instructions in the child's service plan and on the
caregiver's assessment of the child. Specific requirements must
Caregivers may obtain half of their required pre-service
emergency behavior intervention training within 90 days after
beginning child care duties (half must be completed before
beginning duties). Administrative staff may obtain all of their pre-
service emergency behavior intervention training within 90 days
after beginning duties.
Staff and caregivers exclusively serving children with primary
medical needs are exempt from pre-service and annual emergency
behavior intervention training.
A CPS child's health passport will be considered part of his/her
medical record, so that the operation is not required to duplicate
in the child's record any information that is already in the child's
health passport. However, the health passport does not include all
information required for documentation of a medical or dental
exam, so the operation will have to supplement the health
passport with additional information in the child's record at the
Doctors/dentists are no longer required to sign documentation of a
medical or dental exam.
Operations are permitted, but not required, to physically restrain
748.2455 749.2055 children who are actively running away when certain safety risk
"Helpful information" box added clarifying when "critical injury or
illness" is reportable. Based on previous FAQ.
"Helpful information" box added clarifying the requirements for
combining the admission assessment and preliminary and/or initial
"Helpful information" box added clarifying what is/is not required
when transferring a child.
Revisions for Facilities Only
RTCs are now a subset of GROs. However, this is just a label change.
748.43, 748.5 RTCs are still defined as unique operations and still have minimum
standards specific to them.
Deleted the requirement to post a daily schedule, although a daily
schedule will still be required.
748.1003, Child/caregiver ratios are now based on the children in a specific group,
748.1007 not on the operation as a whole.
748.1003, Child/caregiver ratios count children under 5 years old as two children,
748.1007 rather than having separate ratio requirements for younger children.
Clarification that sleeping ratios are for night-time only, and only when
the children are asleep.
RTCs and emergency care services programs may conduct routine
searches (such as daily when children return from school) if the searches
748.1113 are justified in policy and conducted uniformly. Searches may not require
the removal of clothing other than jacket, hat, shoes, socks, etc (outer
GROs that have an emergency care services program on the same
property with other programs may now allow the children in emergency
care to mix with other children for transportation, recreation, and meals.
Sleeping arrangements and therapeutic activities must remain separate.
748.3751 to Lifeguard requirements for swimming activities that occur away from the
748.3767 operation have been modified.
Children in care may now act as a lifeguard for the operation under
748.43(10), Defined "cottage home" and made exceptions or changes to specific rules
748.931(a)(3), for cottage homes and caregivers in cottage homes (e.g., caregiver
748.1003(c), training, supervision, kitchen requirements).
Revisions for Child-Placing Agencies Only
CPA main office and each branch office must have specific hours of operation,
must notify Licensing of the hours of operation for each office, and must notify
Licensing in advance of any changes to an office's hours of operation.
A branch office closing due to Licensing action must close each foster home,
749.307 OR the CPA must comply with specific requirements before transferring the
foster home to another branch office within their CPA.
CPA staff and foster parents must sign form 3001, regarding foster parent
749.2488 rights, at the time the foster home is verified. Form available on DFPS web
site and smiley face.
Standard changed to clarify that "annual" emergency behavior intervention
749.947 training means training every 12 months (not each calendar year or each
Documentation of supervisory foster home visits must be signed by a foster
parent present for the visit.
Replaced rule requiring the CPA to have a separate license for each DFPS
749.305 region in which the CPA operates. See detailed explanation in a separate
Annual training exceptions/exemptions added for caregivers who are away
749.951 from home on an extended basis due to military service or as a condition of
749.1803, Standard changed to add clarifications regarding required supervision for
749.1841 infants and toddlers.
749.1813, Requirements added related to safe sleep for infants and toddlers.
Foster family homes no longer have child/caregiver ratios, only capacity limits
if the home has only one caregiver.
749.2563, Child/caregiver ratio flexibility added to rule for foster group homes. Based on
749.2567 previous FAQ.
Foster family homes NOT caring for children with primary medical needs now
749.2903- have the option of a fire inspection (by a local fire official or certified inspector)
749.2905 OR a fire safety evaluation by the CPA staff. CPA staff must use form 3003 to
conduct a fire safety evaluation.
Foster homes may have trampolines as long as specific safety and supervision
requirements are met.
A CPA is not required to update its own foster home screening unless required
749.2453 to do so under 749.307, or unless the foster home left the CPA and is
Adoptive home screening update requirements have changed. Previously
required that, after six months, the home screening be updated within 30 days
749.3633, before a child is placed in the home (including a home visit). New rule requires
749.3635 an updated every 12 months and after a major life change in the adoptive
family, with a visit within 90 days before each home study update is approved
by the child placement management staff.