The California Department of Social Services has released an All County Letter announcing the delay of the Level-of-Care (LOC) Rate Determination Protocol until February 1, 2018 in order to provide additional time to counties to train their workforce and establish clear procedures regarding the appropriate use of the LOC Protocol.
As described in a previously issued ACL, changes occurring as part of California’s Continuum of Care Reform include the newly established Home-Based Family Care LOC rate structure. Under the new rate structure, the age-based system is replaced by a four-tiered rate structure (Basic Level Rate, LOC 2, LOC 3 and LOC 4) based on the child’s needs as determined by the LOC Protocol which uses a set of core domains describing the care needs for the child and Resource Family’s (RF) level of expected supervision and supports.
Beginning in February, the LOC Protocol will be used for initial/new and existing placements if there is a triggering event, with RFs, Foster Family Agencies (FFAs), foster homes certified by an FFA that are in the process of becoming RF-approved homes, relatives, Non-Related Extended Family Members, and non-minor dependents not residing in a Supervised Independent Living Placement.
The delay of the LOC Protocol impacts the implementation of Phase II rates for some placements. For all new placements that occur between December 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018, the Basic Level Rate will be paid until an LOC rate determination can be made on or after February 1, 2018. If an LOC 2-4 rate is determined, the rate will have an effective date retroactive back to the date of initial/new placement. To read the ACL, follow this LINK.