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Updated COVID-19 Mitigation Guidance

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The Pennsylvania Office of Children, Youth, and Families (OCYF) has issued updated general guidance reflecting the Governor’s and Secretary of Health’s COVID-19 Mitigation Orders and how they will impact services offered to children, youth, and families served by counties and providers licensed by the Department of Human Services (DHS), Office of Children, Youth, and Families.

This guidance replaces the guidance previously issued on June 5, 2020 that was based on the Governor’s strategic three-phased approach (red/yellow/green) to reopen the commonwealth and ongoing mitigation efforts to limit the community spread of COVID-19.

The guidance can be found here.

These safety precautions, including social distancing and building safety protocols, shall be followed for the purpose of minimizing the spread of COVID-19:

      • In-person contact, as required by the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) for Child Protective Services (CPS) and general protective services (GPS) investigations, will continue with strict safety precautions that comply with Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance;
      • Telework is mandatory unless impossible;
      • Previously issued DOH guidance for universal precautions applies;
      • All agencies with in-person operations must follow business and building safety orders;
      • Agencies must follow the most recent orders and guidelines to include masking requirements, travel restrictions, and continued social distancing requirements; and
      • All agencies must screen employees prior to each shift, or for employees who don’t work shifts, before the employee starts work. Visitors should be screened prior to entering the building for visitation. When children return from home visits, screening protocols should be in place to assess for the need to quarantine (See the Symptom Screening Tool).

Visitation requirements for child residential facilities, child and youth agencies, foster care agencies, and adoption agencies:

      • Visitation frequency and type (in-person/virtual) will continue to be directed by the Court for Children under their jurisdiction. All in-person visitation should consider the unique needs of the child, youth, or family and follow the Governor’s orders and updated DOH protocols.

Please contact RCPA Children’s Division Director Jim Sharp with any questions or clarifications.