Over the past several weeks, UPE and DCFAS met to discuss updates to several policies and procedures, including Safety Planning and Safety Plan, ICWA: Inquiry and Initial Noticing Requirements, and the 387 Supplemental and 342 Subsequent Petition -Program Duties.
While most of the updates were codifying the current practices, provided additional clarification to tasks, and ensuring the policy reflected recent legal changes, one significant change was presented. The Department proposed modifying the timeline to complete and enter safety plans from 5 work days to 2 calendar days. UPE immediately objected to this and questioned the Department's rationale. The Department stated the safety plan is important information to have and have found that workers weren't entering into CWS/CMS timely. Therefore, according to the Department, making a stricter timeline would be a way to ensure the information was available.
Additionally, while discussing the other policies, UPE uncovered the Department's intent to change the Department's documentation timeline from 5 workdays to 5 calendar days. A huge shift from the current practice with a significant impact.
To make matters worse, the Department was not forthcoming with this information. They failed to mention this change and intended to slip it in without any regard for the impact this will have on the worker. This is simply unrealistic with high caseloads, limited resources, and additional tasks due to state mandates. It's clear the Department is far removed from the work you all do and what it takes. Instead of offering relief, they intend to make your jobs harder. UPE let the Department know that we are not in agreement with any proposed timeline changes that would make our members' jobs harder.
The Department intends to take back our concerns to ELT. Stay tuned.
Thank you to our 008 Board Members Eric Booker and Sarah Singleton for their advocacy.