Concurrent Planning Defined A-M

Alabama

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

Concurrent planning is a case management method that emphasizes candor, goal setting, and completion of selected activities within specified time limits in work with children and families in order to facilitate a more timely achievement of permanence and stability. This method encourages all individualized service plan team members to achieve the most desirable permanency goal while, at the same time, establishing and pursuing an alternate permanency goal. Such planning should occur from the time of initial engagement with a family rather than sequentially thereafter.

 

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Alaska

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

The Department of Health and Social Services may develop and implement an alternative permanency plan for the child while the department also is making reasonable efforts to return the child to the child’s family. In making determinations and reasonable efforts under this section, the primary consideration is the child’s best interests.

 

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American Samoa

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

 

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Arizona

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

Notwithstanding § 8-845(C) (that requires the court to reunify the family if possible), reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption may be made concurrently with reasonable efforts to reunify the family.

 

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Arkansas

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

Reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption or with a legal guardian or permanent custodian may be made concurrently with reasonable efforts to reunite a child with his or her family.

 

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California

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

When out-of-home services are used and the goal is reunification, the case plan shall describe the services that were provided to prevent removal of the minor from the home, the services to be provided to assist in reunification, and the services to be provided concurrently to achieve legal permanency if efforts to reunify fail.

 

 

If out-of-home services are used and the goal is reunification, the case plan shall describe the services to be provided to assist in reunification and the services to be provided concurrently to achieve legal permanency if efforts to reunify fail. The plan also shall consider in-State and out-of-State placements, the importance of developing and maintaining sibling relationships pursuant to § 16002, and the desire and willingness of the caregiver to provide legal permanency for the child if reunification is unsuccessful.

 

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Colorado

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

Efforts to place a child for adoption or with a legal guardian or custodian, including identifying appropriate in-State and out-of-State permanent placement options, may be made concurrently with reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify the family.

 

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Connecticut

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

In order to achieve early permanency for children, decrease children’s length of stay in foster care, reduce the number of moves children experience in foster care, and reduce the amount of time between termination of parental rights and adoption, the Commissioner of Children and Families shall establish a program for concurrent permanency planning.

Concurrent permanency planning involves a planning process to identify permanent placements and prospective adoptive parents so that when termination of parental rights is granted by the court pursuant to § 17a-112 or § 45a-717, permanent placement or adoption proceedings may commence immediately.

The commissioner shall establish guidelines and protocols for child-placing agencies involved in concurrent permanency planning, including criteria for conducting concurrent permanency planning based on relevant factors such as:

  • The age of the child and duration of out-of-home placement
  • The prognosis for successful reunification with parents
  • Availability of relatives and other concerned individuals to provide support or a permanent placement for the child
  • The special needs of the child
  •  Other factors affecting the child’s best interests, goals of concurrent permanency planning, support services that are available for families, permanency options, and the consequences of not complying with case plans

Within 6 months of out-of-home placement, the Department of Children and Families shall complete an assessment of the likelihood of the child’s being reunited with either or both birth parents, based on progress made to date. The department shall develop a concurrent permanency plan for families with poor prognosis for reunification within such time period. Such assessment and concurrent permanency plan shall be filed with the court.

Concurrent permanency programs must include involvement of the parents and full disclosure of their rights and responsibilities.

 

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Delaware

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

The goals of concurrent planning are:

  • To consider all options open to children and families
  • To support safety and well-being of children and families
  • To promote early permanency decisions for children
  • To decrease length of time in foster care
  • To reduce the number of moves children experience in foster care

Concurrent planning occurs in all stages of service provision to families active with the Division of Family Services.

  • For intact families, concurrent planning is the provision of rehabilitative services while exploring family resources for safety and support or for possible placement, if necessary.
  • Once placement occurs, concurrent planning is used to explore other permanency options for children if they cannot return home.
  • When petitioning the family court for termination of parental rights, concurrent planning consists of providing reasonable efforts to the family toward reunification while simultaneously providing child specific services to prepare the child for adoption.
  • When a child has an approved goal of another planned permanent living arrangement (APPLA), concurrent planning involves a continual review of the resources in the youth’s life for potential permanent placements and relationships.

 

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District of Columbia

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

Reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption, with an approved kinship caregiver, with a legal custodian or guardian, or in another permanent placement may be made concurrently with the reasonable efforts required by § 4-1301.09a(b) (to preserve and reunite the family, prevent placement, or make it possible for the child to return home).

 

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Florida

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

Within 6 months after the date that the child was placed in shelter care, the court shall conduct a judicial review hearing to review the child’s permanency goal as identified in the case plan. At the hearing, the court shall make findings regarding the likelihood of the child’s reunification with the parent or legal custodian within 12 months after the removal of the child from the home. If the court makes a written finding that it is not likely that the child will be reunified with the parent or legal custodian within 12 months after the child was removed from the home, the Department of Children and Family Services must file with the court and serve on all parties a motion to amend the case plan under § 39.6013 and declare that it will use concurrent planning for the case plan. The department must file the motion within 10 business days after receiving the written finding of the court. The department must attach the proposed amended case plan to the motion. If concurrent planning is already being used, the case plan must document the efforts the department is taking to complete the concurrent goal.

 

The case plan must be written simply and clearly in English and, if English is not the principal language of the child’s parent, to the extent possible in the parent’s principal language. Each case plan must contain:

  • A description of the identified problem being addressed, including the parent’s behavior or acts resulting in risk to the child and the reason for the intervention by the department
  • The permanency goal
  • If concurrent planning is being used, a description of the permanency goal of reunification with the parent or legal custodian in addition to a description of one of the remaining permanency goals described in § 39.01

 

 

‘Concurrent planning’ means establishing a permanency goal in a case plan that uses reasonable efforts to reunify the child with the parent, while at the same time establishing another goal that must be one of the following options:

  • Adoption when a petition for termination of parental rights has been filed or will be filed
  • Permanent guardianship of a dependent child under § 39.6221
  • Permanent placement with a fit and willing relative under § 39.6231
  • Placement in another planned permanent living arrangement under § 39.6241

The permanency goal also is the case plan goal. If concurrent case planning is being used, reunification may be pursued at the same time that another permanency goal is pursued.

 

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Georgia

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

At the conclusion of a periodic review hearing, or upon review of a report by a judicial citizen review panel, the court shall issue written findings of facts that include whether the existing case plan is still the best case plan for a child adjudicated as a dependent child and his or her family and whether any changes need to be made to the case plan, including whether a concurrent case plan for nonreunification is appropriate.

 

 

At the initial 75 day periodic review, the court shall approve the completion of the relative search, schedule the subsequent 4-month review to be conducted by the court or a judicial citizen review panel, and shall determine whether the existing case plan is still the best case plan for the child and his or her family and whether any changes need to be made to the case plan, including whether a concurrent case plan for nonreunification is appropriate.

If at any review subsequent to the initial 75 day review the court finds that there is a lack of substantial progress towards completion of the case plan, the court shall order DFCS to develop a case plan for nonreunification or a concurrent case plan contemplating nonreunification.

 

 

When the case plan requires a concurrent permanency plan, the court shall review the reasonable efforts of the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) to recruit; identify; and make a placement in a home in which a relative of a child adjudicated as a dependent child, foster parent, or other persons who have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the child have agreed to provide a legally permanent home for the child in the event reunification efforts are not successful.

 

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Guam

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

 

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Hawaii

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

For all children and families under the jurisdiction of the department and assessed as needing ongoing child welfare casework services, either voluntarily or by court order, the department shall initiate concurrent planning in accordance with departmental procedures. Concurrent planning shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • An assessment to determine the needs of each child to ensure that each child’s needs for safety and permanency are recognized and incorporated into intervention services, treatment, placement, and timely permanency decision making
  • An assessment of the family’s potential to maintain the child in the home or to reunify the child with the family
  • A casework strategy developed with the family that incorporates a plan to maintain or reunify the child with the legal custodian and a plan to provide a permanent home in the following order of preference: through adoption; legal guardianship; or other permanent, out-of-home placement, should reunification not be successful

Concurrent planning shall be initiated in any case in which the department has joined in a petition to terminate parental rights. Concurrent planning for those cases shall include, but not be limited to, identification, recruitment, processing, and approving a qualified adoptive family for the child.

Concurrent planning shall not be implemented in a case in which there is a finding that the child is an abandoned infant or where there has been a finding of aggravated circumstances by the court.

 

 

Based on an assessment of the family, the Department of Human Services shall determine and initiate assessment and treatment services, including, but not limited to, ohana conferencing; concurrent planning; multidisciplinary team consultation; and psychological, psychiatric, psychosexual, or other needed evaluations pursuant to departmental procedures. The department shall provide appropriate and available services to eligible children and their families subject to the availability of funding and resources.

 

 

‘Concurrent planning’ means an ongoing assessment, planning, and service process with concurrent service planning, treatment, and permanency goals depending upon the family situation to ensure the safety, permanency, and well-being of the child.

 

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Idaho

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

‘Concurrent planning’ means a planning model that prepares for and implements different outcomes at the same time.

 

 

If the child is placed in the legal custody of the Department of Health and Welfare, the case plan shall set forth the reasonable efforts that will be made to make it possible for the child to return home. The case plan also shall:

  • Include a goal of reunification and a plan for achieving that goal
  • Include a concurrent permanency goal and a plan for achieving that goal

The concurrent permanency goal may be one of the following: termination of parental rights and adoption, guardianship, or, for youth age 16 or older only, another planned permanent living arrangement. The concurrent plan shall:

  • Address all options for permanent placement of the child, including consideration of options for in-State and out-of-State placement of the child
  • Address the advantages and disadvantages of each option and include a recommendation as to which option is in the child’s best interests
  • Identify the actions necessary to implement the recommended option
  • Set forth a schedule for accomplishing the actions necessary to implement the concurrent permanency goal
  • Address options for maintaining the child’s connections to the community, including individuals with a significant relationship to the child, and organizations or community activities with which the child has a significant connection
  • Identify the names of the proposed adoptive parents, when known, if the permanency goal is termination of parental rights and adoption
  • In the case of a child who has reached age 14, include the services needed to assist the child to make the transition from foster care to successful adulthood
  • Identify any further investigation necessary to identify or assess other options for permanent placement, to identify actions necessary to implement the recommended placement, or to identify options for maintaining the child’s significant connections

 

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Illinois

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

The legislature recognizes that the best interests of the child require that the child be placed in the most permanent living arrangement as soon as is practically possible. To achieve this goal, the legislature directs the Department of Children and Family Services to conduct concurrent planning so that permanency may occur at the earliest opportunity. Permanent living arrangements may include prevention of placement of a child outside the home of the family when the child can be cared for at home without endangering the child’s health or safety; reunification with the family, when safe and appropriate, if temporary placement is necessary; or movement of the child toward the most permanent living arrangement and permanent legal status.

A decision to place a child in substitute care shall be made with considerations of the child’s health, safety, and best interests. At the time of placement, consideration also should be given so that if reunification fails or is delayed, the placement made is the best available placement to provide permanency for the child.

The department shall adopt rules addressing concurrent planning for reunification and permanency. The department shall consider the following factors when determining the appropriateness of concurrent planning:

  • The likelihood of prompt reunification
  • The past history of the family
  • The barriers to reunification being addressed by the family
  • The level of cooperation of the family
  • The foster parents’ willingness to work with the family to reunite
  • The willingness and ability of the foster family to provide an adoptive home or long-term placement
  • The age of the child
  • Placement of siblings

 

 

The legislature recognizes that the best interests of the child require that the child be placed in the most permanent living arrangement as soon as is practically possible. To achieve this goal, the legislature directs the Department of Children and Family Services to conduct concurrent planning so that permanency may occur at the earliest opportunity. Permanent living arrangements may include prevention of placement of a child outside the home of the family when the child can be cared for at home without endangering the child’s health or safety; reunification with the family, when safe and appropriate, if temporary placement is necessary; or movement of the child toward the most permanent living arrangement and permanent legal status.

A decision to place a child in substitute care shall be made with considerations of the child’s health, safety, and best interests. At the time of placement, consideration also should be given so that if reunification fails or is delayed, the placement made is the best available placement to provide permanency for the child.

The department shall adopt rules addressing concurrent planning for reunification and permanency. The department shall consider the following factors when determining the appropriateness of concurrent planning:

  • The likelihood of prompt reunification
  • The past history of the family
  • The barriers to reunification being addressed by the family
  • The level of cooperation of the family
  • The foster parents’ willingness to work with the family to reunite
  • The willingness and ability of the foster family to provide an adoptive home or long-term placement
  • • The age of the child
  • Placement of siblings

 

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Indiana

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

Concurrent planning requires DCS to plan and work towards both reunification and another permanency plan. The intent of concurrent planning is that both plans will be pursued simultaneously and aggressively. Concurrent planning will be considered for all children in need of services cases.

 

 

The use of concurrent planning can be an effective way to ensure that children in out-of-home and in-home care achieve permanency. The Department of Child Services (DCS) will evaluate each case to determine the appropriateness of concurrent planning. DCS will develop a concurrent plan for children in care that meet at least one of the following mandatory concurrent planning indicators:

  • The parent has a history of voluntary termination of parental rights.
  • A minor parent younger than age 16 has no support systems, and placement of the child and parent together has previously failed due to the parent’s behavior.
  • The parent has asked to relinquish the child on more than one occasion following the initial intervention.
  • The parent has a diagnosed mental illness or substance abuse problem that renders him or her unable to provide for or protect the child that, upon assessment, indicates:
    • A history of treatment without response
    • A pattern of noncompliance with medication or treatment intervention

DCS may develop a concurrent plan for children in care who meet at least one of the following potential concurrent planning indicators:

  • There has been a single severe incident of child abuse and/or neglect.
  • The family has a history of repeated, failed attempts to correct conditions that resulted in child maltreatment.
  • The child or his or her siblings have been in out-of-home care on at least one other occasion for 6 months or more or have had two or more prior placements with DCS involvement.
  • There has been an ongoing pattern of documented domestic violence lasting at least 1 year in the household.
  • The parent has a developmental disability or emotional impairment that, upon assessment, indicates that the parent may be unable to provide, protect, or nurture the child, and the parent has no other relatives or social supports able or willing to assist in parenting.

 

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Iowa

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

If reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption or with a guardian are made concurrently with reasonable efforts as defined in § 232.102, the concurrent goals and timelines may be identified. Concurrent case permanency plan goals for reunification and for adoption or for other permanent out-of-home placement of a child shall not be considered inconsistent in that the goals reflect divergent possible outcomes for a child in an out-of-home placement.

 

 

As used in this section, ‘family-centered services’ means services and other supports intended to safely maintain a child with the child’s family or with a relative; to safely and in a timely manner return a child to the home of the child’s parent or relative; or to promote achievement of concurrent planning goals by identifying and helping the child secure placement for adoption, with a guardian, or with other alternative permanent family connections. Family-centered services are adapted to the individual needs of a family in regard to the specific services and other supports provided to the child’s family and the intensity and duration of service delivery. Family-centered services are intended to preserve a child’s connections to the child’s neighborhood, community, and family and to improve the overall capacity of the child’s family to provide for the needs of the children in the family.

The performance of reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption or with a guardian may be made concurrently with making reasonable efforts as defined in this section.

 

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Kansas

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

Concurrent case planning emphasizes frequent interactions with birth families to achieve the preferred permanency goal of reintegration while simultaneously developing another goal as an alternative permanency plan for the child, if reintegration cannot be achieved. Concurrent case planning minimizes the negative impact of separation and loss on the child and maintains the continuity in the child’s family and sibling relationships.

The case manager shall use a concurrent case planning model reflecting frequent parent/child interactions while the child remains placed in a relative, kin, foster, or adoptive home and intensive, time-limited work with birth families targeting the reason the child is in out-of-home placement. The case manager also will develop a network of permanency planning resource parents who can work toward reintegration and also serve as the permanent resource for the child.

When it has been determined by the court that reintegration is no longer a viable option, the alternative permanency goal shall become the primary goal.

 

 

While efforts are being made to reintegrate the child with his or her family, diligent efforts shall be made to locate an absent parent, relatives, and/or nonrelated kin. Reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption or with a legal guardian, including identifying appropriate in-State and out-of-State placements, may be made concurrently with reasonable efforts to reunify the child and family. Assessing the out-of-State placement possibilities when it is in the best interests of the child allows them to become placement options when it is appropriate. These persons shall be explored as a possible resource for the child if reintegration cannot be achieved.

If relatives and/or non-related kin are not an option, efforts shall be made to find a foster/adoptive family. A foster/adoptive family provides out-of-home placement care for the child and works toward reintegration with the family if the plan is feasible. They also agree to be the permanent/adoptive resource for the child if parental rights are terminated. The reintegration/foster care/adoption provider shall recruit and prepare families for this unique role, as well as provide support to these families.

 

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Kentucky

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

Upon notice from any emergency medical services provider or hospital staff that a newborn infant has been abandoned at a hospital, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services shall immediately seek an order for emergency custody of the infant.

Upon the infant’s release from the hospital, the cabinet shall place the child in a foster home approved by the cabinet to provide concurrent planning placement services. As used in this paragraph, ‘concurrent planning placement services’ means the foster family shall work with the cabinet on reunification with the birth family, if known, and shall seek to adopt the infant if reunification cannot be accomplished.

 

 

‘Concurrent planning’ means the cabinet simultaneously plans for:

  • The return of a child in the custody of the cabinet to the child’s parent
  • Another permanency goal for the child if return to parent is not achieved within 15 of the last 22 months, in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 671(a)(16)

Concurrent planning shall be considered during development of the case permanency plan and at the 6-month case review.

 

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Louisiana

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

In addition to investigation or assessment of reports, or both, the local child protection family services unit may offer available information, referrals, or services to the family when there appears to be some need for medical, mental health, social, basic support, supervision, or other services. Assignments for case response and allocation of resources shall be made in the order of children at greatest risk of harm to the lowest risk of harm. The individualized intervention strategies based on this risk assessment may include concurrent planning.

 

 

‘Concurrent planning’ means departmental efforts to preserve and reunify a family or to place a child for adoption or with a legal guardian, which are made simultaneously.

 

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Maine

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

The Department of Human Services may make reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption or with a legal guardian concurrently with reunification efforts if potential adoptive parents have expressed a willingness to support the rehabilitation and reunification plan.

 

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Maryland

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

In establishing the out-of-home placement program, the Social Services Administration shall:

  •  Provide time-limited family reunification services to a child placed in an out-of-home placement and to the parents or guardian of the child in order to facilitate the child’s safe and appropriate reunification within a timely manner
  • Concurrently develop and implement a permanency plan that is in the best interests of the child

Reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption or with a legal guardian may be made concurrently with the reasonable efforts to preserve or reunify the family.

 

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Massachusetts

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

The court shall determine the permanent plan for the child at the permanency hearing. In making such determination, the court shall consult with the child, in an age-appropriate manner, the proposed permanency plan for the child. Such consultation may occur through a report by the Department of Children and Families social worker, the child’s attorney, or a guardian ad litem who has discussed with the child the proposed permanent plan. A child age 16 and over may attend the permanency hearing review. The department shall use reasonable efforts to achieve the permanency plan determined by the court. The department concurrently may use reasonable efforts to achieve an alternative permanent plan if the permanent plan determined by the court is reunification with the family and the goal established through the department’s permanency planning conference is other than reunification.

 

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Michigan

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

Reasonable efforts to finalize an alternate permanency plan may be made concurrently with reasonable efforts to reunify the child with the family.

Reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption or with a legal guardian, including identifying appropriate in-State or out-of-State options, may be made concurrently with reasonable efforts to reunify the child and family.

 

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Minnesota

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

Reasonable efforts to make a placement in a home according to the placement considerations under § 260C.212, subd. 2 with a relative or foster parent who will commit to being the permanent resource for the child in the event the child cannot be reunified with a parent are required under § 260.012 and may be made concurrently with reasonable efforts, or if the child is an Indian child, active efforts to reunify the child with the parent.

 

 

If the child has been identified by the responsible social services agency as the subject of concurrent permanency planning, the court shall review the reasonable efforts of the agency to develop a permanency plan for the child that includes a primary plan for reunification with the child’s parent or guardian and a secondary plan for an alternative, legally permanent home for the child in the event reunification cannot be achieved in a timely manner.

 

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Mississippi

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

At the time of placement, the Department of Human Services shall implement concurrent planning so that permanency may occur at the earliest opportunity. Consideration of possible failure or delay of reunification should be given to the end that the placement made is the best available placement to provide permanency for the child.

The legislature recognizes that the best interests of the child require that the child be placed in the most permanent living arrangement as soon as is practicably possible. To achieve this goal, the department is directed to conduct concurrent planning so that a permanent living arrangement may occur at the earliest opportunity. When a child is placed in foster care or relative care, the department shall first ensure and document that reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate the need to remove the child from the child’s home. The department’s first priority shall be to make reasonable efforts to reunify the family when temporary placement of the child occurs or shall request a finding from the court that reasonable efforts are not appropriate or have been unsuccessful.

At the time of placement, consideration also should be given so that if reunification fails or is delayed, the placement made is the best available placement to provide a permanent living arrangement for the child. The department shall consider the following factors when determining appropriateness of concurrent planning:

  • The likelihood of prompt reunification
  • The past history of the family
  • The barriers to reunification being addressed by the family
  • The level of cooperation of the family
  • The foster parents’ willingness to work with the family to reunite
  • The willingness and ability of the foster family or relative placement to provide an adoptive home or long-term placement
  • The age of the child
  • Placement of siblings

 

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Missouri

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2016

 

Case management plans shall focus on attaining permanency in children’s living conditions to the greatest extent possible and shall include concurrent planning and independent living where appropriate in accordance with the best interests of each child served.

The delivery system shall provide a mechanism for the assessment of strategies to work with children and families immediately upon entry into the system to maximize permanency and successful outcomes in the shortest time possible and shall include concurrent planning.

 

 

The Children’s Division may concurrently engage in reasonable efforts, as described in this section, while engaging in such other measures as are deemed appropriate by the division to establish a permanent placement for the child.

 

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