In-home services samples are family-based and are selected from a universe of cases provided by the State. The State should provide the universe as soon as possible after the review sites are selected. The universe of in-home services cases should include the State’s non-foster care cases for which the State’s title IV-E/IV-B agency is responsible as defined in State policy, or the families served pursuant to the State’s Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP). Juvenile justice cases, mental health cases, and other in-home services cases, even if they are not federally funded, are to be included in the State’s in-home services universe if the services the State IV-E/IV-B agency provides to them, either directly or through contractual arrangements, are provided pursuant to the State’s CFSP. This would include, for example, the requirement that a State have a pre-placement preventive services program to help children at risk of foster care placement remain safely with their families.
In determining whether an in-home services case should be included in the universe, the State should consider the following criteria:
- Whether the State or local title IV-E/IV-B funded child welfare agency has or had ongoing responsibility for the case, as defined in State policy, or the families are served pursuant to the State’s CFSP
- Whether the case was open for at least 60 consecutive days during the sampling period and did not have any children in the family in foster care for 24 hours or longer during any portion of the review period
The Children's Bureau Regional Office staff should determine whether the State’s in-home services cases are listed by family or by child. If a State lists its in-home services cases by child instead of by family, the Children's Bureau Regional Office will request that the State provide its list of in-home services cases with the children from each family grouped together. The ease of grouping these cases will depend on whether children from the same family have the same case number or another designation that identifies them as being from the same family.
Upon receiving the list of cases, the Children's Bureau data team will select a total of 150 in-home services cases from the three review sites, on the basis of the proportion of cases to be reviewed at each site. If 10 of the 25 in-home services cases (40 percent) scheduled to be reviewed are in county A, for example, the Children’s Bureau data team selects a sample of 60 (0.4 x 150) in-home services cases from county A’s list. If this is not possible, the Children's Bureau data team attempts to preserve the proportionality of the cases scheduled for review at each site to the extent possible. The Children's Bureau then re-randomizes the cases in each sample before transmitting these to the State.
After the State receives the three re-randomized samples, it verifies and finalizes the list of cases to be reviewed and schedules cases sequentially from the lists, maintaining the exact order used in the sample provided by the Children's Bureau and eliminating any ineligible cases after consultation with the Children's Bureau Regional Office.
If 25 in-home services cases cannot be scheduled on site, no substitution of foster care cases will be undertaken. At least two alternate in-home services cases should be available from the lists at each site in the event that in-home services cases are eliminated during the onsite review. If the target number of in-home services cases cannot be reached or adjustments across sites are necessary, the Children's Bureau Regional Office will seek to review a minimum of five in-home services cases for the two non-metropolitan sites.