1150. Case Plan

Approval:  Connie Lambert-Eckel, Acting Assistant Secretary

Original Date:  July 1, 1997

Revised Date: July 1, 2018

Policy Review: July1, 2021

Purpose Statement

The case plan specifies actions the parent/guardian must complete to reduce or eliminate safety threats and increase their protective capacities to assure the child’s safety and well-being. Children’s Administration (CA) develops the case plan with family members and community partners. Case plans are required for Family Voluntary Services (FVS), Child and Family Welfare Services (CFWS) and Family Assessment Response (FAR) if the case remains open beyond 45 days.


This policy applies to DCFS staff.                            


42 USC 675, Sec. 475 Title 42 - The Public Health and Welfare

RCW 13.34 Juvenile Court Act - Dependency and Termination of  Parent-Child Relationship

RCW 26.44.030  Reports - Duty and authority to make - Duty of receiving agency - Duty to notify - Case planning and consultation - Penalty for unauthorized exchange of information - Filing dependency petitions - Investigations - Interviews of  children - Records - Risk assessment process.

RCW 74.13.280 Client information.

RCW 74.13.330  Responsibilities of foster parents.

RCW 74.14A.020  Services for emotionally disturbed and mentally ill children, potentially dependent children, and families-in-conflict.

RCW 74.14A.025 Services for emotionally disturbed and mentally ill children, potentially dependent children, and families-in-conflict - Policy updated.

RCW 74.14C.005 Findings and intent.


  1. The caseworker must:
    1. Create a case plan if:
      1. The case plan for a CFWS dependency case is the court report. See the court report policy. For CFWS cases, launch the court report through the Comprehensive Family Evaluation (CFE) in FamLink.
      2. The case plan for FVS  is Case Plan Form 15-259A unless the children are placed in out-of-home care on a Voluntary Placement Agreement (VPA) 60 days or longer. If the child is placed under a VPA, the case plan is the court report. For FVS cases initiate the Case Plan Form 15-259A through the CFE in FamLink or the court report through the CFE.
      3. The case plan for Family Assessment Response (FAR) is Case Plan Form 15-259A. For FAR cases, initiate the case plan through the FAR Family Assessment in FamLink.
      4. Inform the caregiver of the dates and location of the dependency review and permanency planning hearings if the child is dependent pursuant to a proceeding under RCW 13.34. Document notice has been provided to the caregiver in a case note.
    2. The case plan must:
      1. Be developed with the child, if developmentally appropriate, and the child’s parent or legal guardian, caregiver, representatives of the Indian child’s tribe or designee of that tribe, family supports and other applicable providers.
      2. Be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely and understandable by all parties.
      3. Address behavioral changes by building on strengths and reducing safety threats, risks and address challenges faced by the parents.
      4. Include and connect goals that are directly linked to the identified safety threats and risks.
      5. Include interventions and services that focus and build upon family strengths and are responsive to individual, culture and family needs. 
      6. Employ the least intrusive interventions, which engage the family, to address identified safety threats and risks, provided the child is adequately protected. 
      7. Ensure all services and tasks:
        1. Are goal-oriented
        2. Establish a plan for permanency at the onset of service delivery in order to best serve the child and family's needs.
        3. Are directed toward achieving the permanency planning goals and the health, safety, and well-being of the child.
      8. Be provided to the parent or legal guardian. (See the court report policy for the complete list of all parties who must receive a copy of the court report.) Include the caregiver and incorporate their feedback in the development of the case plan for a child in out-of-home placement.
    3. Complete and approve the Family Assessment Response Family Assessment (FARFA), or CFE within 45 calendar days of intake or case transfer as part of the case planning process. 
    4. Engage specific community stakeholders to improve the coordination of needed services for the prevention of child abuse or neglect and the preservation of families.
  2. The supervisor must review and approve the finalized case plan.


Case Plan Form 15-259A