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Health Care > Assessments, Exams and Testing > Identifying A Client's Disability & Need For Services

Identifying and Documenting a Client’s Disability and Need for Special Services

0600-505.12 | Revision Date: 07/01/14


This policy guide details procedures to ensure that staff identify and document a client’s disability and needs for services. For the purpose of this policy guide, a client may include a child, birth parent, caregiver, or other individual who has a significant role in the child’s case.



Identification and Documentation of a Client’s Disability and the Need for Special Services


Receiving Information Indicating a Client has a Disability 

ER/Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities


Helpful Links


Referenced Policy Guides


Version Summary

This policy guide was updated from the 06/28/10 version, as part of the Policy Redesign, in accordance with the DCFS Strategic Plan.


Identification and Documentation of a Client’s Disability and the Need for Special Services

DCFS is required by law to ensure:


DCFS must also provide an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to request the auxiliary aids and services of their choice. The exception is when either another effective means of communication or assistance exists or the requested communication means is not required under existing regulations.


Once information is obtained that identifies a client as disabled, DCFS is required to ensure that this disability is documented in the case record. Requests for auxiliary aids and/or services must also be documented.


Receiving Information Indicating a Client has a Disability

ER/Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities

  1. Gather information and documentation on the client/client, including:


  1. Complete and/or update the required Family Background forms (FB #1, #2, Addendum, #3, #3 - Coversheet).


  1. Refer to Concurrent Planning and the Concurrent Planning Assessment (CPA) and the Health and Education Questionnaire to ensure that full information regarding a client’s disability is obtained.


  1. Ask the client and, in the case of a young child, the parent/caregiver or the adult with knowledge of the child’s disability, if there are any special auxiliary aids to further assist the client with communicating or accessing appropriate services.


  1. Document the client’s health status, disability, and request(s) for auxiliary aids and services of their choice in the Health and Education Notebook and the Contact Notebook.


  1. Evaluate the client’s eligibility for the following:


  1. Consult with the PHN about the case. If appropriate, inquire about obtaining the auxiliary aids and services specified by the client.


  1. Provide the necessary referrals to meet the client’s needs and/or assist with effective communication and access to services.
  1. For deaf or hearing-impaired clients, consider services through the DCFS Deaf Services Unit.


  1. Use a telecommunication device (TDD) or other equally effective telecommunications systems to communicate with individuals with impaired hearing or speech during any future contacts.

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Family Background #1

Family Background #2 - DI

LA Kids

Family Background #1

Family Background #2 - DI

Family Background Addendum (Use with FB1 and/or FB2)

Family Background #3 - Medical and Social History Information About the Birth Mother/Father

Family Background #3 - Coversheet

JV-225, Health and Education Questionnaire

Referenced Policy Guides

0070-501.10, Communication Needs of Non-English Speaking Clients

0080-507.20, Concurrent Planning and the Concurrent Planning AssessmentAn assessment document as prescribed in Welfare and Institutions Code Sections 366.21(I), 366.22(b) and 361.5(g). The CPA is initiated by the case carrying Children's Social Worker and completed by the APRD CSW when adoption home study for attached children or matching/recruitment activities for unattached children are initiated. (CPA)

0300-503.12, Health and Education Questionnaire

0600-505.10, Placing Children with Special Health Care NeedsAssembly Bill 2268, defines children with special health care needs as those children who are either temporarily or permanently dependent upon medical equipment or in need of other specific kinds of specialized in-home health care, as determined by the child’s physician. See "medically fragile."

0070-516.10, Assessing a Child's Development & Referring to a Regional Center

0900-522.10, Specialized Care Increment (SCI) – D-Rate

0900-522.11, Specialized Care Increment (SCI) – F-Rate

0900-523.10, Social Security(SS)/Supplemental Security Income (SSISupplemental Security Income. This program pays monthly benefits to blind or disabled children/youth who have limited income and resources. It is administered by Social Security.) Benefits for Children in Care

1000-504.10, Case Transfer Criteria and Procedures

FYI 12-34, Referral to the Deaf Services Units, 08/20/12


California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Manual of Policies and Procedures (MPP) Division 21-115 – Contains, in part, the provisions for services to applicants and recipients who are non-English speaking or who have disabilities.


CDSS MPP Division 31-201 – States, in part, that when it has been determined that child welfare services are to be provided, the social worker is required to complete an assessment for each child for whom child welfare services are to be provided, and also gather and evaluate information relevant to the case situation and needs.

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