Category: Foster Care and Adoption Laws »

Services to families in crisis and how states get reimbursed

SERVICES TO FAMILIES IN CRISIS – AS MANDATED BY 42 U.S.C. § 671 (a) (15) and 672 (a) (1)an agency cannot be reimbursed for the cost of a child’s out-of-home care unless the reasonable efforts requirement is met.

§ 671. State plan for foster care and adoption assistance

  • (a) Requisite features of State planIn order for a State to be eligible for payments under this part, it shall have a plan approved by the Secretary which -
    • (1) provides for foster care maintenance payments in accordance with section 672 of this title and for adoption assistance in accordance with section 673 of this title;
    • (2) provides that the State agency responsible for administering the program authorized by subpart 1 of part B of this subchapter shall administer, or supervise the administration of, the program authorized by this part;
    • (3) provides that the plan shall be in effect in all political subdivisions of the State, and, if administered by them, be mandatory upon them;
    • (4) provides that the State shall assure that the programs at the local level assisted under this part will be coordinated with the programs at the State or local level assisted under parts A and B of this subchapter, under subchapter XX of this chapter, and under any other appropriate provision of Federal law;
    • (5) provides that the State will, in the administration of its programs under this part, use such methods relating to the establishment and maintenance of personnel standards on a merit basis as are found by the Secretary to be necessary for the proper and efficient operation of the programs, except that the Secretary shall exercise no authority with respect to the selection, tenure of office, or compensation of any individual employed in accordance with such methods;
    • (6) provides that the State agency referred to in paragraph (2) (hereinafter in this part referred to as the “State agency”) will make such reports, in such form and containing such information as the Secretary may from time to time require, and comply with such provisions as the Secretary may from time to time find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports;
    • (7) provides that the State agency will monitor and conduct periodic evaluations of activities carried out under this part;
    • (8) provides safeguards which restrict the use of or disclosure of information concerning individuals assisted under the State plan to purposes directly connected with (A) the administration of the plan of the State approved under this part, the plan or program of the State under part A, B, or D of this subchapter (including activities under part F of this subchapter) or under subchapter I, V, X, XIV, XVI (as in effect in Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands), XIX, or XX of this chapter, or the supplemental security income program established by subchapter XVI of this chapter, (B) any investigation, prosecution, or criminal or civil proceeding, conducted in connection with the administration of any such plan or program, (C) the administration of any other Federal or federally assisted program which provides assistance, in cash or in kind, or services, directly to individuals on the basis of need, (D) any audit or similar activity conducted in connection with the administration of any such plan or program by any governmental agency which is authorized by law to conduct such audit or activity, and (E) reporting and providing information pursuant to paragraph (9) to appropriate authorities with respect to known or suspected child abuse or neglect; and the safeguards so provided shall prohibit disclosure, to any committee or legislative body (other than an agency referred to in clause (D) with respect to an activity referred to in such clause), of any information which identifies by name or address any such applicant or recipient; except that nothing contained herein shall preclude a State from providing standards which restrict disclosures to purposes more limited than those specified herein, or which, in the case of adoptions, prevent disclosure entirely;
    • (9) provides that the State agency will -
      • (A) report to an appropriate agency or official, known or suspected instances of physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, or negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child receiving aid under part B of this subchapter or this part under circumstances which indicate that the child’s health or welfare is threatened thereby; and
      • (B) provide such information with respect to a situation described in subparagraph (A) as the State agency may have;
    • (10) provides for the establishment or designation of a State authority or authorities which shall be responsible for establishing and maintaining standards for foster family homes and child care institutions which are reasonably in accord with recommended standards of national organizations concerned with standards for such institutions or homes, including standards related to admission policies, safety, sanitation, and protection of civil rights, and provides that the standards so established shall be applied by the State to any foster family home or child care institution receiving funds under this part or part B of this subchapter;
    • (11) provides for periodic review of the standards referred to in the preceding paragraph and amounts paid as foster care maintenance payments and adoption assistance to assure their continuing appropriateness;
    • (12) provides for granting an opportunity for a fair hearing before the State agency to any individual whose claim for benefits available pursuant to this part is denied or is not acted upon with reasonable promptness;
    • (13) provides that the State shall arrange for a periodic and independently conducted audit of the programs assisted under this part and part B of this subchapter, which shall be conducted no less frequently than once every three years;
    • (14) provides (A) specific goals (which shall be established by State law on or before October 1, 1982) for each fiscal year (commencing with the fiscal year which begins on October 1, 1983) as to the maximum number of children (in absolute numbers or as a percentage of all children in foster care with respect to whom assistance under the plan is provided during such year) who, at any time during such year, will remain in foster care after having been in such care for a period in excess of twenty-four months, and (B) a description of the steps which will be taken by the State to achieve such goals;
    • (15) effective October 1, 1983, provides that, in each case, reasonable efforts will be made (A) prior to the placement of a child in foster care, to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from his home, and (B) to make it possible for the child to return to his home;
    • (16) provides for the development of a case plan (as defined in section 675(1) of this title) for each child receiving foster care maintenance payments under the State plan and provides for a case review system which meets the requirements described in section 675(5)(B) of this title with respect to each such child; and
    • (17) provides that, where appropriate, all steps will be taken, including cooperative efforts with the State agencies administering the plans approved under parts A and D of this subchapter, to secure an assignment to the State of any rights to support on behalf of each child receiving foster care maintenance payments under this part.
  • (b) Approval of plan by SecretaryThe Secretary shall approve any plan which complies with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section.

(Amendment to above)

COATS (AND WYDEN) AMENDMENT NO. 4909 (Senate – July 18, 1996)

[Page: S8227]

Mr. ROTH (for Mr. Coats, for himself and Mr. Wyden) proposed an amendment to the bill, S. 1956, supra; as follows:

At the end of chapter 7, of subtitle A, of title II, add the following:

SEC. . KINSHIP CARE.

Section 471(a) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 671(a)) is amended–

(1) by striking `and’ at the end of paragraph (16);

(2) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (17) and inserting `; and’; and

(3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

`(18) provides that States shall give preference to an adult relative over a non-related caregiver when determining a placement for a child, provided that the relative caregiver meets all relevant State child protection standards.

END


§ 672. Foster care maintenance payments program

  • (a) Qualifying childrenEach State with a plan approved under this part shall make foster care maintenance payments (as defined in section 675(4) of this title) under this part with respect to a child who would meet the requirements of section 606(a) of this title or of section 607 of this title but for his removal from the home of a relative (specified in section 606(a) of this title), if -
    • (1) the removal from the home occurred pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement entered into by the child’s parent or legal guardian, or was the result of a judicial determination to the effect that continuation therein would be contrary to the welfare of such child and (effective October 1, 1983) that reasonable efforts of the type described in section 671(a)(15) of this title have been made;
    • (2) such child’s placement and care are the responsibility of
      • (A) the State agency administering the State plan approved under section 671 of this title, or (B) any other public agency with whom the State agency administering or supervising the administration of the State plan approved under section 671 of this title has made an agreement which is still in effect;
    • (3) such child has been placed in a foster family home or child-care institution as a result of the voluntary placement agreement or judicial determination referred to in paragraph (1); and
    • (4) such child -
      • (A) received aid under the State plan approved under section 602 of this title in or for the month in which such agreement was entered into or court proceedings leading to the removal of such child from the home were initiated, or
      • (B)(i) would have received such aid in or for such month if application had been made therefor, or (ii) had been living with a relative specified in section 606(a) of this title within six months prior to the month in which such agreement was entered into or such proceedings were initiated, and would have received such aid in or for such month if in such month he had been living with such a relative and application therefor had been made. In any case where the child is an alien disqualified under section 1255a(h), 1160(f), or 1161(d)(7) (FOOTNOTE 1) of title 8 from receiving aid under the State plan approved under section 602 of this title in or for the month in which such agreement was entered into or court proceedings leading to the removal of the child from the home were instituted, such child shall be considered to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (4) (and the corresponding requirements of section 673(a)(2)(B) of this title), with respect to that month, if he or she would have satisfied such requirements but for such disqualification.(FOOTNOTE 1) See References in Text note below.
  • (b) Additional qualificationsFoster care maintenance payments may be made under this part only on behalf of a child described in subsection (a) of this section who is -
    • (1) in the foster family home of an individual, whether the payments therefor are made to such individual or to a public or nonprofit private child-placement or child-care agency, or
    • (2) in a child-care institution, whether the payments therefor are made to such institution or to a public or nonprofit private child-placement or child-care agency, which payments shall be limited so as to include in such payments only those items which are included in the term “foster care maintenance payments” (as defined in section 675(4) of this title).
  • (c) “Foster family home” and “child-care institution” definedFor the purposes of this part, (1) the term “foster family home” means a foster family home for children which is licensed by the State in which it is situated or has been approved, by the agency of such State having responsibility for licensing homes of this type, as meeting the standards established for such licensing; and (2) the term “child-care institution” means a nonprofit private child-care institution, or a public child-care institution which accommodates no more than twenty-five children, which is licensed by the State in which it is situated or has been approved, by the agency of such State responsible for licensing or approval of institutions of this type, as meeting the standards established for such licensing, but the term shall not include detention facilities, forestry camps, training schools, or any other facility operated primarily for the detention of children who are determined to be delinquent.
  • (d) Children removed from their homes pursuant to voluntary placement agreementsNotwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, Federal payments may be made under this part with respect to amounts expended by any State as foster care maintenance payments under this section, in the case of children removed from their homes pursuant to voluntary placement agreements as described in subsection (a) of this section, only if (at the time such amounts were expended) the State has fulfilled all of the requirements of section 627(b) of this title.
  • (e) Placements in best interest of childNo Federal payment may be made under this part with respect to amounts expended by any State as foster care maintenance payments under this section, in the case of any child who was removed from his or her home pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement as described in subsection (a) of this section and has remained in voluntary placement for a period in excess of 180 days, unless there has been a judicial determination by a court of competent jurisdiction (within the first 180 days of such placement) to the effect that such placement is in the best interests of the child.
  • (f) “Voluntary placement” and “voluntary placement agreement” definedFor the purposes of this part and part B of this subchapter, (1) the term “voluntary placement” means an out-of-home placement of a minor, by or with participation of a State agency, after the parents or guardians of the minor have requested the assistance of the agency and signed a voluntary placement agreement; and (2) the term “voluntary placement agreement” means a written agreement, binding on the parties to the agreement, between the State agency, any other agency acting on its behalf, and the parents or guardians of a minor child which specifies, at a minimum, the legal status of the child and the rights and obligations of the parents or guardians, the child, and the agency while the child is in placement.
  • (g) Revocation of voluntary placement agreementIn any case where -
    • (1) the placement of a minor child in foster care occurred pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement entered into by the parents or guardians of such child as provided in subsection (a) of this section, and
    • (2) such parents or guardians request (in such manner and form as the Secretary may prescribe) that the child be returned to their home or to the home of a relative, the voluntary placement agreement shall be deemed to be revoked unless the State agency opposes such request and obtains a judicial determination, by a court of competent jurisdiction, that the return of the child to such home would be contrary to the child’s best interests.
  • (h) Aid to families with dependent childrenFor purposes of subchapters XIX and XX of this chapter, any child with respect to whom foster care maintenance payments are made under this section shall be deemed to be a dependent child as defined in section 606 of this title and shall be deemed to be a recipient of aid to families with dependent children under part A of this subchapter. For purposes of the preceding sentence, a child whose costs in a foster family home or child-care institution are covered by the foster care maintenance payments being made with respect to his or her minor parent, as provided in section 675(4)(B) of this title, shall be considered a child with respect to whom foster care maintenance payments are made under this section.

REASONABLE EFFORTS MANDATES – a “safeguard’ to parents and children that families not be traumatized due to needless separation from each other

  • …by inexperienced, ill-trained or racially-socioeconomically-gender biased Child Protection caseworkers or officials.

IN THE EVENT OF ‘EMERGENCY REMOVAL’ of a child from his home – a “safeguard’ to parents and children that due process will be guaranteed by informed, unbiased judiciaries, who are to mandate accountability for ‘reasonable efforts’, that ‘Child Protection’ agencies be mandated:

  • to prove compliance with ‘reasonable efforts’ and not merely accept a preprinted form submitted by Child Protection agencies, for a ‘rubber-stamped approval’ by the court , thereby denying the parent and child due process rights to present evidence to the contrary.

The family courts, almost without fail – accepts preprinted ‘reasonable efforts’ forms from caseworkers…without question


TITLE I–REASONABLE EFFORTS AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION PLACEMENTS

SEC. 101. CLARIFICATION OF THE REASONABLE EFFORTS REQUIREMENT.

(a) In General.–Section 471(a)(15) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 671(a)(15)) is amended to read as follows:

”(15) provides that–

”(A) in determining reasonable efforts to be made with respect to a child, as described in this paragraph, and in making such reasonable efforts, the child’s health and safety shall be the paramount concern;
”(B) except as provided in subparagraph (D), reasonable efforts shall be made to preserve and reunify families–

”(i) prior to the placement of a child in foster care, to prevent or eliminate the need for removing the child from the child’s home; and
”(ii) to make it possible for a child to safely return to the child’s home;

”(C) if continuation of reasonable efforts of the type described in subparagraph (B) is determined to be inconsistent with the permanency plan for the child, reasonable efforts shall be made to place the child in a timely manner in accordance with the permanency plan, and to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child;
”(D) reasonable efforts of the type described in subparagraph (B) shall not be required to be made with respect to a parent of a child if a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that–

”(i) the parent has subjected the child to aggravated circumstances (as defined in State law, which definition may include but need not be limited to abandonment, torture, chronic abuse, and sexual abuse);
”(ii) the parent has–

”(I) committed murder (which would have been an offense under section 1111(a) of title 18, United States Code, if the offense had occurred in the special maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the United States) of another child of the parent;
”(II) committed voluntary manslaughter (which would have been an offense under section 1112(a) of title 18, United States Code, if the offense had occurred in the special maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the United States) of another child of the parent;
”(III) aided or abetted, attempted, conspired, or solicited to commit such a murder or such a voluntary manslaughter; or
”(IV) committed a felony assault that results in serious bodily injury to the child or another child of the parent; or

”(iii) the parental rights of the parent to a sibling have been terminated involuntarily;

”(E) if reasonable efforts of the type described in subparagraph (B) are not made with respect to a child as a result of a determination made by a court of competent jurisdiction in accordance with subparagraph (D)–

”(i) a permanency hearing (as described in section 475(5)(C)) shall be held for the child within 30 days after the determination; and
”(ii) reasonable efforts shall be made to place the child in a timely manner in accordance with the permanency plan, and to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child; and

”(F) reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption or with a legal guardian may be made concurrently with reasonable efforts of the type described in subparagraph (B);”.

(b) Definition of Legal Guardianship.–Section 475 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 675) is amended by adding at the end the following:

”(7) The term ‘legal guardianship’ means a judicially created relationship between child and caretaker which is intended to be permanent and self-sustaining as evidenced by the transfer to the caretaker of the following parental rights with respect to the child: protection, education, care and control of the person, custody of the person, and decisionmaking. The term ‘legal guardian’ means the caretaker in such a relationship.”.

(c) Conforming Amendment.–Section 472(a)(1) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 672(a)(1)) is amended by inserting ”for a child” before ”have been made”.
(d) Rule of Construction.–Part E of title IV of such Act (42 U.S.C. 670-679) is amended by inserting after section 477 the following:

42 USC 678

”SEC. 478. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

”Nothing in this part shall be construed as precluding State courts from exercising their discretion to protect the health and safety of children in individual cases, including cases other than those described in section 471(a)(15)(D).”.

SEC. 102. INCLUDING SAFETY IN CASE PLAN AND CASE REVIEW SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS.

Title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) is amended–

42 USC 622.

(1) in section 422(b)(10)(B) —

(A) in clause (iii)(I), by inserting ”safe and” after ”where”; and
(B) in clause (iv), by inserting ”safely” after ”remain”; and

42 USC 675.

(2) in section 475 —

(A) in paragraph (1)–

(i) in subparagraph (A), by inserting ”safety and” after ”discussion of the”; and
(ii) in subparagraph (B)–

(I) by inserting ”safe and” after ”child receives”; and
(II) by inserting ”safe” after

(B) in paragraph (5)–

(i) in subparagraph (A), in the matter preceding clause (i), by inserting ”a safe setting that is” after ”placement in”; and
(ii) in subparagraph (B)–

(I) by inserting ”the safety of the child,” after ”determine”; and
(II) by inserting ”and safely maintained in” after ”returned to”.

SEC. 103. STATES REQUIRED TO INITIATE OR JOIN PROCEEDINGS TO TERMINATE PARENTAL RIGHTS FOR CERTAIN CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE.

(a) Requirement for Proceedings.–Section 475(5) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 675(5)) is amended–

(1) by striking ”and” at the end of subparagraph (C);
(2) by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (D) and inserting ”; and”; and
(3) by adding at the end the following:

”(E) in the case of a child who has been in foster care under the responsibility of the State for 15 of the most recent 22 months, or, if a court of competent jurisdiction has determined a child to be an abandoned infant (as defined under State law) or has made a determination that the parent has committed murder of another child of the parent, committed voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent, aided or abetted, attempted, conspired, or solicited to commit such a murder or such a voluntary manslaughter, or committed a felony assault that has resulted in serious bodily injury to the child or to another child of the parent, the State shall file a petition to terminate the parental rights of the child’s parents (or, if such a petition has been filed by another party, seek to be joined as a party to the petition), and, concurrently, to identify, recruit, process, and approve a qualified family for an adoption, unless–

”(i) at the option of the State, the child is being cared for by a relative;
”(ii) a State agency has documented in the case plan (which shall be available for court review) a compelling reason for determining that filing such a petition would not be in the best interests of the child; or
”(iii) the State has not provided to the family of the child, consistent with the time period in the State case plan, such services as the State deems necessary for the safe return of the child to the child’s home, if reasonable efforts of the type described in section 471(a)(15)(B)(ii) are required to be made with respect to the child.”.

(b) Determination of Beginning of Foster Care.–Section 475(5) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 675(5)), as amended by subsection (a), is amended–

(1) by striking ”and” at the end of subparagraph (D);
(2) by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (E) and inserting ”; and”; and
(3) by adding at the end the following:

”(F) a child shall be considered to have entered foster care on the earlier of–

”(i) the date of the first judicial finding that the child has been subjected to child abuse or neglect; or
”(ii) the date that is 60 days after the date on which the child is removed from the home.”.

42 USC 675 note.

(c) Transition Rules.–

(1) New foster children.–In the case of a child who enters foster care (within the meaning of section 475(5)(F) of the Social Security Act) under the responsibility of a State after the date of the enactment of this Act–

(A) if the State comes into compliance with the amendments made by subsection (a) of this section before the child has been in such foster care for 15 of the most recent 22 months, the State shall comply with section 475(5)(E) of the Social Security Act with respect to the child when the child has been in such foster care for 15 of the most recent 22 months; and
(B) if the State comes into such compliance after the child has been in such foster care for 15 of the most recent 22 months, the State shall comply with such section 475(5)(E) with respect to the child not later than 3 months after the end of the first regular session of the State legislature that begins after such date of enactment.

(2) Current foster children.–In the case of children in foster care under the responsibility of the State on the date of the enactment of this Act, the State shall–

(A) not later than 6 months after the end of the first regular session of the State legislature that begins after such date of enactment, comply with section 475(5)(E) of the Social Security Act with respect to not less than \1/3\ of such children as the State shall select, giving priority to children for whom the permanency plan (within the meaning of part E of title IV of the Social Security Act) is adoption and children who have been in foster care for the greatest length of time;
(B) not later than 12 months after the end of such first regular session, comply with such section 475(5)(E) with respect to not less than \2/3\ of such children as the State shall select; and
(C) not later than 18 months after the end of such first regular session, comply with such section 475(5)(E) with respect to all of such children.

(3) Treatment of 2-year legislative sessions.–For purposes of this subsection, in the case of a State that has a 2-year legislative session, each year of the session is deemed to be a separate regular session of the State legislature.
(4) Requirements treated as state plan requirements.–For purposes of part E of title IV of the Social Security Act, the requirements of this subsection shall be treated as State plan requirements imposed by section 471(a) of such Act.

42 USC 675 note.

(d) Rule of Construction.–Nothing in this section or in part E of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 670 et seq.), as amended by this Act, shall be construed as precluding State courts or State agencies from initiating the termination of parental rights for reasons other than, or for timelines earlier than, those specified in part E of title IV of such Act, when such actions are determined to be in the best interests of the child, including cases where the child has experienced multiple foster care placements of varying durations.

SEC. 104. NOTICE OF REVIEWS AND HEARINGS; OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD.

Section 475(5) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 675(5)), as amended by section 103, is amended–

(1) by striking ”and” at the end of subparagraph (E);
(2) by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (F) and inserting ”; and”; and
(3) by adding at the end the following:

”(G) the foster parents (if any) of a child and any preadoptive parent or relative providing care for the child are provided with notice of, and an opportunity to be heard in, any review or hearing to be held with respect to the child, except that this subparagraph shall not be construed to require that any foster parent, preadoptive parent, or relative providing care for the child be made a party to such a review or hearing solely on the basis of such notice and opportunity to be heard.”.

SEC. 105. USE OF THE FEDERAL PARENT LOCATOR SERVICE FOR CHILD WELFARE SERVICES.

Section 453 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 653) is amended–

(1) in subsection (a)(2)–

(A) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by inserting ”or making or enforcing child custody or visitation orders,” after ”obligations,”; and (B) in subparagraph (A)–

(i) by striking ”or” at the end of clause (ii);
(ii) by striking the comma at the end of clause (iii) and inserting ”; or”; and
(iii) by inserting after clause (iii) the following:
”(iv) who has or may have parental rights with respect to a child,”; and

(2) in subsection (c)–

(A) by striking the period at the end of paragraph

(3) and inserting ”; and”; and

(B) by adding at the end the following:

”(4) a State agency that is administering a program operated under a State plan under subpart 1 of part B, or a State plan approved under subpart 2 of part B or under part E.”.

SEC. 106. CRIMINAL RECORDS CHECKS FOR PROSPECTIVE FOSTER AND ADOPTIVE PARENTS.

Section 471(a) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 671(a)) is amended–

(1) by striking ”and” at the end of paragraph (18);
(2) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (19) and inserting ”; and”; and
(3) by adding at the end the following:
”(20)(A) unless an election provided for in subparagraph (B) is made with respect to the State, provides procedures for criminal records checks for any prospective foster or adoptive parent before the foster or adoptive parent may be finally approved for placement of a child on whose behalf foster care maintenance payments or adoption assistance payments are to be made under the State plan under this part, including procedures requiring that–

”(i) in any case in which a record check reveals a felony conviction for child abuse or neglect, for spousal abuse, for a crime against children (including child pornography), or for a crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, or homicide, but not including other physical assault or battery, if a State finds that a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the felony was committed at any time, such final approval shall not be granted; and
”(ii) in any case in which a record check reveals a felony conviction for physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense, if a State finds that a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the felony was committed within the past 5 years, such final approval shall not be granted; and

”(B) subparagraph (A) shall not apply to a State plan if the Governor of the State has notified the Secretary in writing that the State has elected to make subparagraph (A) inapplicable to the State, or if the State legislature, by law, has elected to make subparagraph (A) inapplicable to the State.”.

SEC. 107. DOCUMENTATION OF EFFORTS FOR ADOPTION OR LOCATION OF A PERMANENT HOME.

Section 475(1) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 675(1)) is amended–

(1) in the last sentence–

(A) by striking ”the case plan must also include”; and
(B) by redesignating such sentence as subparagraph (D) and indenting appropriately; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:
”(E) In the case of a child with respect to whom the permanency plan is adoption or placement in another permanent home, documentation of the steps the agency is taking to find an adoptive family or other permanent living arrangement for the child, to place the child with an adoptive family, a fit and willing relative, a legal guardian, or in another planned permanent living arrangement, and to finalize the adoption or legal guardianship. At a minimum, such documentation shall include child specific recruitment efforts such as the use of State, regional, and national adoption exchanges including electronic exchange systems.”.

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Posted by admin - November 14, 2010 at 2:33 am

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HHS Awards $39 Million to States for Increasing Adoptions

HHS Awards $39 Million to States for Increasing Adoptions

WASHINGTON–The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today awarded $39 million to 38 states and Puerto Rico for increasing the number of children adopted from foster care. States use the funds from this adoption incentive award to improve their child welfare programs.

“America’s communities benefit when children grow up in stable families”

“All children deserve loving, safe and permanent homes,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “It is gratifying that most states continue to excel in promoting the adoption of children from foster care. I sincerely thank every adoptive family that has welcomed a child into their home.”

States receive $4,000 for every child adopted beyond their best year’s total, plus a payment of $8,000 for every child age 9 and older and $4,000 for every special needs child adopted above the respective baselines. The year 2007 is the baseline.

This year’s incentive award recipients completed more adoptions in 2009 than in the 2007 baseline year.

“America’s communities benefit when children grow up in stable families,” said David A. Hansell, HHS acting assistant secretary for children and families. “We’re very pleased that the adoption incentives program is helping states improve their programs and place more children into homes that are theirs forever.”

States and territories receiving today’s funding are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Puerto Rico.

A list of each state’s adoption incentive award amount can be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/news/press/2010/fy10_adoption_incentive_awards.htm.

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.

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Posted by admin - November 13, 2010 at 2:31 am

Categories: Foster Care and Adoption Laws   Tags: , , , , ,

Nancy Schaefer and husband murder report from the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC.com)

“Conservative political activist and former state Sen. Nancy Schaefer and her husband Bruce have died of an apparent murder-suicide. Few details were available Saturday, the day after the couple’s bodies were found. It could be weeks before autopsy results are available, Habersham county Coroner Kasey McEntire told the AJC Saturday….

…GBI spokesman John Bankhead told the AJC there will be a thorough investigation into what happened. He could not say who might have been the shooter. Six GBI agents and two crime scene technicians were at the scene of the Schaefer home in Habersham County Friday night.

Sen. Don Thomas, a physician and who said he knew the couple well,  said he believed Bruce Schaefer, 74, had cancer.

“In those moments, you are not at your complete sanity,” said Thomas, of Dalton. “Some people figure the best way is to end it for both of you. They were married for so long. Loved each other so much. When you see somebody that you love so much, every now and then, you think the best way out of it is to go and be with the Lord. ”

Schaefer, a former Atlanta mayoral candidate and two-term senator, was beaten by Habersham County Commission Chairman Jim Butterworth in a north Georgia Republican runoff in 2008….

Neill Herring, a veteran environmental lobbyist, said Schaefer came to symbolize “a period in Georgia history where the Christian right was really in the ascendancy. I almost feel like her defeat in the last election was a sign that that power had began to wane.”

Schaefer and her husband were the parents of five children and moved to Habersham County in North Georgia after living in Atlanta for 35 years. The daughter of a North Georgia Superior Court Judge and granddaughter of a state legislator, Schaefer, 73,  entered the public eye in 1985 when she organized a Constitutional Liberties Rally in Atlanta.

The following year, she founded Schaefer Family Concerns, Inc., a nonprofit foundation dedicated to issues such as display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings and opposition to abortion.

She was the Republican nominee for Lt. Governor in 1994. In 1998, she sought the GOP nomination for governor.

According to her state senate biography, she was an eight year Trustee of the National Ethics and Religions Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). She represented Family Concerns and the SBC at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, the U.N. Conference on Human Settlements in Istanbul, the U.N. Conference on Food in Rome, Italy and the U.N. follow up Conference to Beijing in New York.

She is a former First Vice President of the Georgia Baptist Convention, a frequent speaker to churches of all denominations, a speaker to civic and political organizations, and a frequent guest on radio and local and national television programs across the nation. She was also a Sunday School Teacher.

Nancy Schaefer was chosen as a Gracious Lady of Georgia, served on numerous advisory boards and directorships and in 2001 became the first woman Trustee for Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa, Georgia.

As a state senator, Schaefer represented the 50th district, including Banks, Franklin, Habersham, Hart, Rabun, Stephens, and Towns Counties, as well as part of White County.


(WSB Radio/AP) Investigators with the GBI and the Habersham County Sheriff’s Department can’t find any evidence that the husband of former State Senator Nancy Schaefer was suffering from a terminal illness when he shot her in the back and then killed himself in their Clarksville home.

Habersham County Sheriff Joel Terrell told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution “talking with the family, talking with the daughter who saw them about every other day, they didn’t know anything about it (an illness).”

Bruce Schaefer, 74, shot Nancy Schaefer, 73, once in the back while she slept and then shot himself in the head.  Investigators believe the murder-suicide occurred sometime Thursday night or Friday morning.

GBI spokesman John Bankhead said in a prepared statement that investigators found a handgun near Bruce Schaefer’s body and several letters written by Schaefer to family members, including a suicide note.

Sheriff Terrell said “some financial problems were mentioned” in the notes left behind by Bruce Schaefer.  But he said “he had seen nothing so far that establishes a clear motive.”

AJC

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Posted by admin - November 10, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Categories: Child Abuse Laws, Foster Care and Adoption Laws   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Adopt Children Online Photolisting Directory

Directory of State and International Adoption Photolistings of children who wait for adoption.U.S. National & Regional Adoption Photolisting | State Adoption Agencies Photolisting | International Adoption Photolisting | Non profit Adoption Agency Photolisting (Asia Only)

Thanks to those who have sent corrections. Updates are always welcome – contact Allison Martin at 5martin@bellsouth.net .

U.S. National Adoption Photolistings and U.S. Regional Adoption Photolistings

Faces of Adoption: Wednesday’s Child

Children Awaiting Parents

Adopt America Network

AdoptUSkids.org or http://www.adoptuskids.org/servlet/page?_pageid=186&_dad=portal30&_schema=PORTAL30

Adoption Exchange – Midwest

Northwest Adoption Exchange

Spaulding for Children (Southwest)

Three Rivers Adoption Council (TRAC)

Adoption Center of Delaware Valley

U.S. State Adoption Agency Photolistings

Alabama adoption photolisting: http://www.adoptuskids.org/states/al/index.aspx

Alaska (Northwest Adoption Exchange): http://www.nwae.org/wait-aka.html

Arizona adoption photolisting: http://www.aask-az.org/adoption/index.html

Arkansas adoption photolisting: http://www.arkansas.gov/dhhs/adoption/adoption.html

California Kids Connection: http://www.cakidsconnection.org/index.html

California – Santa Clara: http://www.santaclaraadoption.org/children.html

California (Los Angeles County): http://adopt.org/wednesdayschild/LOSANGELES/index.htm

Colorado: http://www.adoptuskids.org/states/co/index.aspx (or) http://adoptex.org/wchildform.cfm

Connecticut: http://www.adoptuskids.org/states/ct/index.aspx

Delaware: http://www.cffde.org/adopt-spec.htm

District of Columbia adoption photolisting: http://adopt.org/wednesdayschild/WASH/index.htm

Florida: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/adoption/

Georgia: http://www.myturnnow.com/

Georgia (Savannah -Chatham County): http://www.chathamdfcs.org/kids/adoption/adoption.html

Idaho adoption photolisting: http://www.idahowednesdayschild.org/ or http://www.localnews8.com/wedchild/index.htm

Idaho (Northwest Adoption Exchange): http://www.nwae.org/wait-id.html

Illinois : http://www.adoptinfo-il.org/illinoischildren1-main.htm

Indiana : http://www.ai.org/fssa/adoption/

Iowa: http://www.iakids.org/or http://iowakidsnet.com

Kansas: https://www.kcsl.org

Kentucky: https://apps.chfs.ky.gov/snap/

Louisiana: http://www.adoptuskids.org/states/la/index.aspx

Maine: http://www.afamilyforme.org

Maryland : http://www.adoptuskids.org/states/md/index.aspx

Massachusetts: http://www.mareinc.org

Michigan : http://www.mare.org

Minnesota: http://www.mnadopt.org/

Minnesota (Hennepin County): http://www10.co.hennepin.mn.us/csp/Adoptions/refinesearch.csp

Minnesota (Ramsey County): http://www.co.ramsey.mn.us/hs/adoption/waiting.asp

Mississippi adoption photolisting: http://www.mdhs.state.ms.us/fcs_adopt.html

Missouri : http://www.dss.mo.gov/cd/adopt/index.htm or http://www.adoptuskids.org/states/mo

Missouri (Jackson Country): http://www.kclinc.org/mdfs/

Montana : http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/index.shtml

Nebraska: http://www.hhss.ne.gov/adoption/children.htm Nebraska Heart Gallery http://www.nebraskaheartgallery.org/heartgallery.htm

Nevada: http://www.cox.com/lasvegas/WelcomeHome/

http://www.co.washoe.nv.us/socsrv/socsrv_child_adoption_recruit.html

New Jersey: http://www.state.nj.us/njfosteradopt/adoption/

New Mexico: http://www.heartgallerynm.org/kids/

New York : http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/adopt/internet/InternetPhotoinq.asp or http://www.dfa.state.ny.us/

New York (New York City): http://www.nyc.gov/html/acs/html/become_parent/meet_our_kids.shtml

North Carolina : http://www.adoptuskids.org/states/nc/index.aspx

North Dakota: http://www.nd.gov/dhs/services/childfamily/adoption/adoptuskids.html

Ohio: http://jfs.ohio.gov/oapl/

Ohio (Athens County): http://www.seorf.ohiou.edu/~accs/

Ohio (Franklin County): http://www.co.franklin.oh.us/children_services

Ohio (Hamilton County): http://www.hcadopt.org/

Ohio (Marion County): http://www.marionkids.com/fosteradopt.htm

Ohio (Montgomery County): http://www.montcsb.org/Our_Kids/watc.htm

Ohio (Stark County): http://www.co.stark.oh.us (scroll down for adoption photolisting, under online)

Ohio (Summit County): http://www.summitkids.org/

Ohio (Sundusky County): http://www.sanduskycountydjfs.org/chsvc.htm

Oklahoma http://www.adoptex.org/ or http://www.okdhs.org/adopt/

Oregon : http://boysandgirlsaid.org/programs/wendys-wonderful-kids/

Oregon (Northwest Adoption Exchange): http://www.nwae.org/wait-or.html

Pennsylvania: http://www.adoptpakids.org/photoalbum.asp

Rhode Island : http://www.adoptionri.org/

South Carolina : http://www.adoptuskids.org/states/sc/index.aspx

South Dakota: http://dss.sd.gov/adoption/childrenwaiting/

Tennessee : http://www.state.tn.us/youth/adoption/index.htm

Texas (Texas Adoption Resource Exchange): http://www.adoptchildren.org

Utah: https://www.utdcfsadopt.org

Vermont: http://dcf.vermont.gov/projectfamily/adopting/children

Virginia : http://www.dss.virginia.gov/family/ap/children_for_adoption.html

Washington (Northwest Adoption Exchange): http://www.nwae.org/wait-wa.html

West Virginia: http://www.wvdhhr.org/oss/adoption/

Wisconsin : http://www.wiadopt.org or http://www.wiadopt.com/AdoptionResourcesOfWisconsin.aspx

Wyoming: http://dfsweb.state.wy.us/adoption.html

International Adoption Photolistings

Waiting Children of Asia

Child Amputee Network

Deaf Adoption News Service (Text Listing)

Precious in His Sight

Rainbow Kids: Waiting Children of the World

The Welcome Garden

Agency International Adoption Photolistings (Asia only)

AAC Adoption and Family Network – Waiting Children Photolisting

Childrens Home Society Family Services – Children Waiting for International Adoption

Dillon International – Children Waiting for Adoption

Family Adoption Consultants – Adoption Photolisting Waiting Children

Holt International – Waiting Child Photolisting


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Posted by admin - at 4:07 pm

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