Q: I am a THP+FC provider and have been told by Community Care Licensing that interim regulations require that all THP+FC participants have a telephone in their living units at all times. If the Non-Minor Dependent (NMD) has access to a cell phone but not a land line, would this satisfy the requirement?
A: Yes, access to a cell phone would meet the telephone service requirement, but the provider should formulate a Documented Alternative Plan (DAP) in the Plan of Operation to demonstrate this. A DAP may look similar to the following:
Documented Alternative Plan (DAP): The NMD will have access to a cell phone and/or a land line at all times. If the NMD only uses cell phones they will make sure there is always a working cell phone on the premises if someone is home. In addition, the cell phone/s will be stationed in centralized area and accessible to all individuals in the home. The cell phone/s will be set to an audible ring tone that be heard and a fully charged battery back-up will be available at all times.
If the NMD is a custodial parent, there should be a working phone at all times when the child is in the living unit and the DAP should include specifications of how a baby sitter/caregiver for the child will have access to a cell phone when the NMD is not present.