Division of Family & Children's Services
1-800-222-8000 | (601) 432-4570
Reporting abuse, neglect and exploitation in the State of Mississippi
Licensed Care Facility Abuse
Mississippi Department of Health
Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Office of State Attorney General
Law: Mississippi Code
The Mississippi Child Care Licensing Law governs the licensing of child care facilities. Referenced Statutes: Mississippi Code of 1972 - Sections 43-15-1, 43-15-5, 43-15-7, 43-15-9, 43-15-105, 43-15-107, 43-15-111, 43-15-113, 43-15-115, 43-15-117, 43-15-119, 43-15-123, 43-16-3, 43-16-7 and Sections 43-20-1 through 43-20-21.
The goal of placement shall be to strengthen, repair and reunify the family.
What is Licensing?
Licensing is a form of regulatory process geared toward reducing risks and thereby providing protection for persons who may use the service.
What is the Basis for Licensing?
The basis for the licensing of residential child caring facilities is vested with the Mississippi Department of Human Services. The Mississippi Department of Human Services shall have the authority, and it shall be its duty to administer and supervise the licensing and inspection of all private child placing and residential child caring facilities, for the care of dependent and neglected children in foster family homes, in addition to maintaining the staff/child ratio.
What Facilities Must be Licensed?
All facilities not required to register under the Residential Child Notification Act, Mississippi Code 1972, Sections 43-16-1 through 43-16-23, shall be licensed by the Mississippi Department of Human Services, provided minimum requirements have been met.
Need for Protection
In an effort to protect children, it is sometimes deemed necessary to arrange alternate living care. The protection of these children and assurance that they are cared for are the primary responsibility of the state.
Enforcement of licensing standards is the responsibility of the MDHS licensing staff provided a facility is MDHS licensed. Without enforcement, the state's responsibility for protecting children has no basis.
All residential child caring facilities are required to be chartered.
Inquirers regarding licensing are not encouraged to apply for a license until they have reviewed Licensing Standards regarding the services they propose to offer and about licensing regulations governing the provision of those services.
Licensing Study for Child Placing Agencies
The initial licensing study for child placing agencies requires a review of office space and equipment, emphasis is given to staffing, program policies and organization. It is not always possible to measure these services until the agency has been in operation for a period of time.
Licensing Study for Residential Child Care
The initial licensing study for residential child care is more complex. The process from initial planning, fund raising, and staffing may take a year or longer. Occasionally, rules pertaining to the physical facilities site may require several on-site visits.
Licensing Standards for residential child caring and child placing agencies require licensee to submit an application for relicensure at least sixty (60) days before expiration date of the current license. When a timely reapplication is submitted, the current license remains in effect until the state licensor issues or denies the request for re-licensure. Once the minimum requirements have been met, the license is issued.
The primary purpose of monitoring is to review areas previously noted as weak or deficient, to follow up on complaints, or to make routine checks of previously cited violations.
Review of Records
There are two types of files that facilities are required to maintain:
Consultation given by licensing staff falls into three categories:
Negative Licensing Action
Negative licensing action will not come as a surprise to applicants or licensees, as they will be apprised of any and all action(s) that will be taken against them.
The licensing staff is responsible for determining the reasons and merits for any request for a waiver, alternative ways to comply and more importantly, potential adverse effects on children.
Types of Services
There are currently three types of services under licensure:
Every person/organization whose activities are regulated through licensing requirements has the right to a notice of the requirements, noncompliance, information for correcting areas of noncompliance, and a reasonable time frame for coming into compliance. Each agency/person has the right to a fair hearing.
Licensing requirements will be enforced equally for all MDHS-licensed agencies.
The Child Residential Home Notification Act/Registration of Unlicensed Residential Homes
Unlicensed residential facilities are required to submit a monthly report to the Mississippi State Department of Health, Division of Child Care Facilities Licensure.
Mississippi Department of Human Services
Division of Family & Children's Services
1-800-345-6347 | (601) 359-4487