§ 7–2106. Monitoring of residents placed outside District or in therapeutic care.
(a)(1) The Mayor and the Board of Education shall ensure that every resident receiving therapeutic care has an up-to-date, individualized treatment plan (“ITP”) composed of coordinated therapeutic, educational, and residential components. Each ITP shall be jointly formulated and approved by the Department of Human Services (“DHS”) and the District of Columbia Public Schools (“DCPS”) no later than 30 days after a child is determined to be in need of therapeutic care. As required by 20 U.S.C. § 1401 et seq., a resident with a disability receiving therapeutic care and in need of special education shall also have a current individualized education program (“IEP”).
(2) DHS and DCPS shall update each resident’s ITP no less than once a year. Copies of each resident’s current ITP and, if applicable, IEP shall be on file with both DHS and DCPS.
(b)(1) The Mayor and the Board of Education shall establish a youth residential monitoring committee (“monitoring committee”) that includes at a minimum representatives from DHS and DCPS. Each facility providing therapeutic care to a District child, whether located inside or outside the District, shall submit to the monitoring committee quarterly reports on that child’s progress in meeting his or her treatment and educational goals. With the exception of foster homes, each facility providing emergency or continuing care to a District child outside the District shall submit to the monitoring committee quarterly reports on that child’s physical, emotional, and educational development.
(2) Quarterly reports submitted under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be on forms jointly developed by DHS and DCPS and shall be made available at all judicial and administrative reviews of a child’s placement.
(c) The monitoring committee shall meet at least 4 times a year with the caseworker of each District child placed outside the District or in therapeutic care to review that child’s quarterly reports and, if the child is expected to be discharged in the near future, to determine whether an aftercare plan has been prepared pursuant to subsection (f) of this section. If the committee finds that a child’s current placement is inadequate, that a child’s ITP or IEP needs revision, or that a required aftercare plan is lacking, it shall within 15 days report its findings and recommendations to the Director of DHS and the Superintendent of Schools. DHS and DCPS shall adopt or reject these recommendations within 15 days after their receipt.
(d)(1) The monitoring committee shall at least once a year conduct an on-site assessment of each District child placed outside the District or in therapeutic care to determine:
(A) The adequacy of the child’s placement or the extent of the facility’s compliance with the child’s ITP or IEP;
(B) Whether the child’s ITP, IEP, or level of care needs revision;
(C) Whether the child can receive equivalent care closer to home or in a less restrictive placement; and
(D) Whether appropriate aftercare preparations have been made if the child is due to be discharged within 30 days.
(2) Within 15 days after conducting an on-site assessment, the monitoring committee shall file a written report of its findings and recommendations with the Director of DHS and the Superintendent of Schools. If while conducting an assessment the committee observes 1 or more conditions that it believes are in violation of this chapter, a rule issued pursuant to this chapter, or any other District or federal law, it shall report these suspected violations to DCRA pursuant to § 7-2105(c).
(3) If the monitoring committee determines that a facility is not adequately meeting a child’s needs or is not in compliance with a child’s ITP or IEP, or if DCRA determines that a facility located outside the District is not in substantial compliance with District licensure standards, that facility shall be promptly notified of the necessary corrective actions. If the committee or DCRA is not satisfied that appropriate actions are being taken, it shall recommend to the Director of DHS and the Superintendent of Schools that the child be transferred to an appropriate alternative placement.
(e) The caseworker of each District child placed outside the District or in therapeutic care shall visit that child at least once a year. In meeting this requirement, the caseworker may accompany the monitoring committee when it conducts its on-site assessment under subsection (d) of this section.
(f)(1) The Mayor and the Board of Education shall ensure that, before a District child placed outside the District or in therapeutic care is brought home, he or she has a comprehensive aftercare plan composed of in-home supportive services and, if necessary, transitional living arrangements. Each child’s aftercare plan shall be jointly formulated and approved by DHS and DCPS no later than 30 days before the child leaves a facility.
(2) The monitoring committee shall meet personally with each child’s aftercare worker at least twice in the 6 months following a child’s release into aftercare to review the continued adequacy of, and the extent of compliance with, the child’s aftercare plan. If the committee finds that a child’s aftercare plan needs revision or is not being carried out, it shall within 15 days report its findings and recommendations to the Director of DHS and the Superintendent of Schools. DHS and DCPS shall adopt or reject these recommendations within 15 days after their receipt.
(g) The Mayor and the Board of Education shall report annually to the Council on:
(1) The total number of residents in therapeutic care, the total number of residents located outside the District, the facilities in which they are placed, the annual cost of these facilities, and the number of residents who have ITPs, IEPs, or aftercare plans;
(2) The number of new residents in therapeutic care, the number of new residents placed outside the District, and the number, outcome, and length of stay of planned and unplanned discharges;
(3) A summary of individual facility effectiveness in meeting the needs of residents in therapeutic care; and
(4) A list of those facilities located outside the District that have been found not to be in substantial compliance with District licensure standards.
(h) Once rules have been issued under subsection (i) of this section, no District child shall reside in a facility located outside the District for more than 60 days if that facility has never been visited by the monitoring committee, the child’s caseworker, or representatives from DCRA.
(i) No later than 12 months after August 13, 1986, the Mayor and the Board of Education shall each issue rules, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, and consistent with 20 U.S.C. § 1401 et seq., to carry out the purposes of this section.