Sometimes caseworkers can encounter special situations during the NPA case initiation process that require additional steps or actions that differ slightly from "normal" case initiation procedures. This topic contains information on the following subjects:
Children who are in the protective custody of DSS can be NPA participants in ACTS if no funds from IV-E or SFHF are being applied to the child's cost of care. In this situation, caseworkers should follow the appropriate steps for initiating an NPA case-- with these exceptions:
Sometimes caseworkers can encounter a situation in which the mother in a case is legally a "minor", an unemancipated person under the age of eighteen (18). Many times when this situation occurs, someone other than the minor mother is the client in the case (often a parent or grandparent of the minor mother.) Caseworkers must indicate in ACTS whether a minor mother who is not the client is actively involved in the case or not.
A minor mother who is not the client can still be actively involved in the case. For example, a minor mother can provide information about the father; participate in paternity testing; or be named in, sign, or receive legal documents.
Some county departments of social services refer Work First or Medicaid applicants to CSS immediately after taking the application, which is known as an "immediate referral".
NOTE: The information that follows also applies to immediate referrals that include a payee change.
CSS caseworkers in counties that use the immediate referral process must first determine whether or not a case already exists in ACTS with the same participants who are in the immediate referral.
If a case already exists in ACTS, a new case is not created. The EIS Case number is not assigned (or re-assigned) to the client's MPI # or to the case.
When a case DOES NOT already exist in ACTS, caseworkers create the appropriate NPA case (or cases.) ACTS gives caseworkers the capability to create an NPA case using EIS participants with pending IV-A applications (or a combination of EIS pending participants and ACTS participants.) Data for these EIS participants is stored in the EIS "holding tank". When a case is created using participants in the EIS holding tank, much of the EIS participant data is brought from the holding tank and inserted in the appropriate fields in ACTS, so that caseworkers do not have to manually enter it in ACTS.
A federal child welfare project known as the “IV-E Waiver Demonstration Project" operated in the following North Carolina counties: Alamance, Brunswick, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cleveland, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Haywood, Johnston, Pasquotank, Rockingham, Scotland. Union, Wake, Wayne, Yadkin, and Yancey). This temporary project has ended.
Assisted or subsidized guardianship was one component of the project. Guardianship is a permanency option for some children for whom reunification with the parent(s) is ruled out and adoption is not deemed to be in the child's best interest. Only local child support offices serving these counties can receive referrals of Assisted Guardianship cases.
For questions or clarification on any of the policy contained in these manuals, please contact your local county office.