Adopted Children & Social Security Numbers

The following is a Release from the Mandatory Information Committee (MIC) for November 2015 which contains some updated Practice Alerts and Practice Guidelines including adopted children and their Social Security Numbers.

Mandatory Information Communication (MIC) Release, November 2015

303.7 Transition to Adult Living (Jen)

Updates to Practice Guideline Section 303.7.

Why needed:  New federal requirements mandate that Child and Family Services must obtain credit reports for all youth ages 14+ each year until the youth exits care.  Previously we only had to complete this requirement for youth 16+.

Impact on frontline caseworkers:  Caseworkers with youth on their caseloads age 14+ will need to review with the youth the credit report to determine if there are any discrepancies in the report.  The caseworker will then notify the state office (Linda O’Brien), who will then work with the credit reporting agencies to resolve the discrepancy.

Practice Alert:  Adopted Children and Social Security Numbers

Prior to 2001, after a legal adoption in court, the child’s Social Security Number was changed with their new name.  In 2001 with the “war on terrorism”, the fear of a person being able to create a new false identity inspired the federal government to issue a policy regarding adopted children. It stated, in summary, that if a child knew they were being adopted, the adopting parents could not change the child’s Social Security Number.  In essence, this affected any child older than about five years of age.

The policy has now been reversed back to the prior Social Security policy.  All children under the age of 18 years who are adopted are permitted to apply for a new Social Security Number.

Why needed:  Some Social Security offices in Utah are aware of the change and follow this new practice, but some are not aware.  If you are notified that an official at a Social Security office refuses to change an adoptive child’s Social Security Number, email Jeri Boyle (jeriboyle@utah.gov) the location of the Social Security office that made the refusal.  She will contact Social Security and get the confusion resolved.

Impact on frontline caseworkers: Minimal.

Practice Alert:  Results of Fatality Review

Why Needed: Each quarter the Department of Human Services Fatality Review Committee reviews the cases of deceased children who have had Child and Family Services interventions at some time in their life.  As a result of these reviews, the Fatality Review Committee makes recommendations regarding trends that are seen in practice or specific issues on specific cases. In this quarter there are four trends that will be included in this Practice Alert.

  1. Physical Abuse should be supported even if the perpetrator states the act was

“unintentional” or that he or she “did not mean to leave injuries.”  Caseworkers should be looking at results, not intentions.  Each caseworker needs to assess the safety and risk of children, as well as the incident that was reported to make a finding.

  1. In the event that a caseworker learns a foster parent is using physical discipline on children placed in their homes, they need to report this to the Resource Family Consultant, who will notify the Office of Licensing. Caseworkers must also report allegations of abuse and neglect to Intake.
  2. A mark or a bruise is not necessary to support an allegation of Physical Abuse.
  3. Caseworkers need to remember to have their documentation done in a timely manner. This includes all case types.
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