DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES

Division of Social Services

Statutory Authority: 31 Delaware Code, Section 512 (31 Del.C. 512)

16 DE Admin. Code 11003

PROPOSED

PUBLIC NOTICE

Child Care Subsidy Program

DSSM 11003.7.8 Special Needs Children

In compliance with the State's Administrative Procedures Act (APA - Title 29, Chapter 101 of the Delaware Code) and under the authority of Title 31 of the Delaware Code, Chapter 5, Section 512, Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS) / Division of Social Services is proposing to amend Child Care Subsidy Program policies in the Division of Social Services Manual (DSSM) regarding Special Needs.

Any person who wishes to make written suggestions, compilations of data, testimony, briefs or other written materials concerning the proposed new regulations must submit same to Sharon L. Summers, Policy, Program & Development Unit, Division of Social Services, 1901 North DuPont Highway, P.O. Box 906, New Castle, Delaware 19720-0906 or by fax to (302) 255-4425 by May 31, 2009.

The action concerning the determination of whether to adopt the proposed regulation will be based upon the results of Department and Division staff analysis and the consideration of the comments and written materials filed by other interested persons.

SUMMARY OF PROPOSED CHANGE

The proposed change described below amends Child Care Program policies in the Division of Social Services Manual (DSSM) regarding Special Needs. The purpose of this change is to clarify policy for individuals with special child care needs.

Statutory Authority

• 45 CFR Part 98, Child Care and Development Fund

• 45 CFR 98.20, A child’s eligibility for child care services

Summary of Proposed Change

DSSM 11003.7.8, Special Needs: The changes clarify and improve the readability and usability of the rule regarding child care services for eligible children with special needs. This includes removing examples and outdated language.

DSS PROPOSED REGULATION #09-17

REVISION:

11003.7.8 Special Needs Children

The designation of special needs impacts both eligibility and parent fees.

See section 11004.7 to determine eligibility for waiving the parent fee.

Eligibility

A family can be eligible for Child Care for a child that is between ages 13 and under 19 if the child has a special need that requires child care. This would mean the child is unable to care for himself physically or emotionally, or Division of Family Services (DFS) has referred the child for care due to a protective need.

Families with special needs children or adults must meet the need for services and income eligibility.

EXAMPLE: A financially eligible family with two working parents requests child care for their 14 year old child with Downs Syndrome. The 14 year old is incapable of caring for himself due to the Downs Syndrome. They would be eligible for Child Care due to the special needs of the child.

The special need of a child or an adult that directly results in the need for child care can in itself be the need for care when determining eligibility as long as they meet financial eligibility.

EXAMPLE: A financially eligible family of four with a working Father and a stay at home Mother requests child care for their 12 month old child with a developmental delay. In this case if it is verified that the child needs child care services to assist in increasing the development of the child, they would be eligible.

EXAMPLE: A financially eligible family of four with a working Father and a stay at home Mother requests child care for their two children ages 2 and 4. The mother was involved in a car accident and is unable to get out of bed. The special need of this mother would be the need for care.

All special needs for both the child and adult must be verified by using the Special Needs form.

Special circumstances within a family may be considered on a case by case basis when determining the need for child care. These cases must be approved by the Child Care Administrator.

EXAMPLE: Two older grandparents have custody of their 4 yr. old grandchild. The grandmother is unable to care for the child due to health reasons and the grandfather would like to look for work. There is no need for care since the grandfather is in the home. The circumstances of this four year old could qualify the grandparents for special needs child care. In this case still try to get a special needs form filled out that would address the 4 yr. olds need to be in a day care setting with other children to enhance the child's social and emotional development.

Division of Family Services

DFS cases meet the need for service due to the DFS referral. DFS cases do not need to meet financial eligibility. DFS cases that are non citizens and do not meet our citizenship criteria are eligible for services due to the DFS referral. DCIS II Child Care Sub system would place these cases in Category 51.

Parent fees may be waived for DFS cases on a case by case basis, with supervisory approval.

9 DE Reg. 572 (10/01/05)

10 DE Reg. 1007 (12/01/06)

45 CFR 98.20

Eligibility

Families requesting Special Needs Child Care must be technically and financially eligible.

EXCEPTION: DFS referrals do not have to meet financial criteria.

If the parent/caretaker meets the need criteria as listed in 11003.8, the family will not be eligible for Special Needs Child Care unless the child requires care that cannot be provided in a regular day care.

To be eligible for Special Needs care the parent/caretaker or child must meet the definition of need as explained below.

Children with Special Needs:

A child that is 13 through 18 years of age may be eligible for Special Needs Child Care if the child’s physical, medical or emotional condition is such that he is unable to care for himself. Children under age 13 may qualify for Special Needs Child Care if they have a need that cannot be met in a regular day-care setting. Children 13 years of age and older are only eligible for Special Needs Childcare.

Documentation of the condition may be provided on the Special Needs Form or any other written correspondence submitted by a physician or medical professional with the authority to do so.

Adults with Special Needs:

A parent/caretaker may be eligible for Special Needs Child Care services if the parent has a condition which makes the parent/caretaker unable to care for his/her child.

Documentation of the condition may be provided on the Special Needs Form or any other written correspondence submitted by a physician or medical professional with the authority to do so.

Families with Protective Child Care Needs

Children referred by the Division of Family Services (DFS) may be eligible for Special Needs Child Care.

A child that is active with and referred by DFS for child care:

1. is considered to have met the need criteria;

2. does not have to meet the financial criteria;

3. may receive child care regardless of citizenship status.

9 DE Reg. 572 (10/01/05)

10 DE Reg. 1007 (12/01/06)

12 DE Reg. 1363 (05/01/09) (Prop.)