Depending on the nature of the complaint, the Community Care Licensing Investigator will:
- Come to your home (this home visit is generally unannounced) per regulation.
- Tell you about the complaint verbally and in writing.
- Talk to the foster children. The investigator may see the children at school or some other location before you know about the complaint.
- Ask you about the complaint and listen to your side of the story.
- Speak with the child’s social worker about the complaint. When the protection of children is an issue, the police, Juvenile Court, Emergency Response social worker or the child's social worker may investigate or remove foster children from your home at any time. This can happen during the investigation and without advanced notice.
- Talk with others who may know about the child and/or the situation. This may include school personnel, doctors, police, and other foster children in the home.
Although foster family agency personnel are prohibited from discussing the specific incidents that gave rise to the investigation, they are are able to provide support during the investigation. This includes ensuring that all documentation is in order. Your track record and history as a foster parent is also discussed and shared with the investigator.
Independent of the findings, a good practice is to develop a "plan of correction", either to respond directly to the findings of the investigation or to preempt similar situations to arise in the future.
Be aware that during the investigation, under most circumstances, the Placement Agency (county) may place a "hold" on your home, and you will not receive any new placements pending the outcome of the investigation.
Note the Community Care Licensing does not place holds on home and they only conduct an investigation. However, the county office places holds on homes.
Even after the investigation is completed, "removing the hold" may take some time.