State agency clients returning to their parental home

A child who is placed by the Department of Health and Human Services outside the family home in a foster home or in a children’s residential care facility through the Intensive Temporary Residential Treatment process becomes a “state agency client” under Maine statute and Department of Education regulations, resulting in a shift of administrative and fiscal responsibility for the education of that child.

Sometimes, such a child is later returned to the family home from which s/he was removed. For some time, the Department has followed an unwritten policy that a child who is returned to the family home retains state agency client status for an additional six months. The Department believes that this unwritten policy is not authorized by statute or regulation, and creates unnecessary uncertainty regarding a child’s status.

Accordingly, the Department will discontinue following this unwritten policy beginning April 11, 2016. After that date, a state agency client who is returned to the family home will lose state agency client status on the date that the child resumes residence in the family home.

For more information contact Maine DOE’s Jon Braff at jonathan.braff@maine.gov or call 624-6671.