The organization participates in or facilitates a permanency planning process with families to promote stability and permanency.
Interpretation: Permanency work is aimed at achieving physical, emotional, and legal permanency for children and youth. Public and private agency roles in the permanency planning process are defined by federal and state rules, regulations, or contracts.
Note: When the agency is not responsible for facilitating permanency planning, it documents attempts to participate in the process.
Interpretation: Intensive efforts should be made to locate family members who can be involved in permanency planning and who may wish to (re)establish positive relationships with the child. Tribal representatives and service providers should be involved in the permanency planning process when the Indian Child Welfare Act applies.
Interpretation: The age of a youth should not limit the consideration of all permanency options. Tribal definitions of permanency should be recognized and incorporated into the permanency plan.
Interpretation: In extenuating circumstances the plan can be completed within 60 days. The timeframe for achieving permanency is consistent with state and federal regulations, and in most cases the permanency hearing should take place within 12 months. Whenever possible, the permanency timeline for parents with substance use conditions reflects the time needed to receive substance use treatment services and make progress towards recovery.
Concurrent planning is undertaken when appropriate and includes:
Interpretation: Federal and state statutes or administrative rules may provide guidance about when concurrent planning is appropriate, and how concurrent planning is to be conducted.
Interpretation: The child's extended family and other community members should be considered when identifying potential family resources, when appropriate.
The child, parents, foster parents, and relevant professionals participate in a court or administrative case review at least every six months to assess:
Interpretation: Federal laws, state statutes or administrative rules may provide guidance about when and how administrative reviews are to be conducted. The case review may be conducted by or in collaboration with the public authority. The review is scheduled at times when appropriate parties can attend.
Interpretation: When the case involves an Indian child, a representative from the tribe or a local Indian organization should receive timely notification of court or administrative case reviews, be given an opportunity to participate, and be informed of any changes made to the permanency plan.
Children are actively involved in the permanency planning process, and receive information about progress toward permanency as appropriate to their age, cultural needs, and developmental level.
The case record documents opportunities provided to parents in support of reunification, including:
Interpretation: Resources can include support from extended family members or the tribal community when one has been identified.
Note: The documentation must be in a format legally admissible as evidence to facilitate court proceedings.
The organization recommends, or files, a petition to terminate parental rights for children who have been in care for 15 of the most recent 22 months, unless case-specific information legally exempts a child.
Interpretation: The reason submitted for termination of parental rights cannot be the length of time a child has been in care. When the decision is made not to reunify the child and parents, the justification and an alternative permanency goal are entered into the case record.
Interpretation: When the case involves an Indian child, the organization should collaborate with the tribe to ensure compliance with Indian Child Welfare Act requirements governing the termination of parental rights.