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Together We Can October 5, 2010 Lafayette, Louisiana

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DOING MORE WITH LESS: Making Reasonable Efforts Findings When There Are Not Enough Resources To Reach the Permanency Goals. Together We Can October 5, 2010 Lafayette, Louisiana. Goals. The history- why Reasonable efforts Changing landscape Making/taking it personal Initiatives - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Together We Can October 5, 2010 Lafayette, Louisiana

  • Together We CanOctober 5, 2010Lafayette, LouisianaDOING MORE WITH LESS:Making Reasonable Efforts Findings When There Are Not Enough Resources To Reach the Permanency Goals

  • GoalsThe history- whyReasonable effortsChanging landscapeMaking/taking it personalInitiativesWhat we do and why we do itLeadership/PartnershipThe future

  • I saw them tearing a building down- a gang of men in my home town

  • My Trip Here



  • Status in StatesStates' tax revenue fell 11.7% in 1st 3 mos of 09- the steepest decline on record45 states reported taxes for Apr and May haveseen revenue declines of about 20%Corporate income taxes down 18.8% in the first quarter, personal income taxes dropped 17.5%; & sales taxes declined 8.3%State tax revenues at 2005 levels in the 1st quarter, erasing 3 yrs of gains for new programs & salaries With stimulus money, states face deficits more than $200 billion in the next few yrs

  • Last Year Budget Gaps According to the Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2010

  • 10 States & Their DeficitsCalifornia- Massive cuts in education, layoffs etc- $20Billion deficit in 2011Oklahoma- Ok but energy price drop- 26% revenue dropArizona- Hit by housing and tourism drop- 30% budget gapIllinois- pension payment delays & others- $11 Billion gap/$5B owed/ 47% Hawaii- 3 day a month furloughs, Ed cuts, income tax- 21% budget gap

  • 10 States & their DeficitsNew Jersey- 3rd highest deficit- already cut $800 million and now moreNew York- 3 Billion deficit-double next year- delay payments- 100,000 layoffNevada- House W & M chair says submit budgets 50% of last yearsColorado-efforts to balance budget run into law requiring education increases Michigan- unemployment worst in the nation- revenue down lots

  • History of Child Welfare:Understanding the Responses


  • History1st reported case of abuse in US18th century - Children were indentured to work and learn a trade1832 Cholera epidemic- orphan asylums1853 response to them was NY Childrens Aid Society 1853-1890 moved 92,000 kids to Midwest1886- Charles Birtwell of Boston Champions return home 1909- White House Conference adopts Birtwell and temp foster care payments

  • History p 21923- 34 states had Childrens Aid Societies- kids exploited- criticism of placing kids out and multiple placements1959- Maas and Engler study- Children in Need of Parents- kids spent 3 years in care- neglect, abandonment and poverty reasons for placement The 60s- Fleming Rule- cant refuse AFDC for bad homes- keep AFDC & reasonable efforts to improve AND SO THE FEDS STEPPED IN!!

  • 1974 Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)Child abuse prevention- Childrens trust fundsNational Standards for child protectionCoordinated community response for investigation and prosecution GAL/CASA for every child Research and other grants

  • 1978Indian Child Welfare ActSet out for children of native AmericanheritageProcess to address problemsDifferent standardsChoice of tribe

  • I hope this starts to capture your attention on the history of where we have come from

  • 1980 Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act- IV-B & IV-EPolicy to insure that children receive proper care while in foster carePolicy of Feds:1. No child in care who could be safely home2. Procedural reforms3. Planning reforms4. Reunification

  • Public Law 96-272The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980To get Fed funds, States must: implement services, provide protections for families & develop mandates and timetablesPolicy- END FOSTER CARE DRIFTTRUST IN STATE JUDICIARY- juvenile and family court

  • Federal Requirements of 96-272Evaluation of reasonableness of servicesto preserve familiesPeriodic review hearings in foster care casesAdherence to deadlines for permanency planning decisionProcedural safeguards concerning placement and visitation

  • 1993 Family Preservation ActGrants to state courts to review systems by looking at statisticsGrants to states to improve systems practice in abuse and neglect proceedingsKnown as Court Improvement Projects

  • 1974 Multi-Ethnic Placement ActMEPAResponse to policy initiatives delaying permanencySome limits on placement standards Has severe penalties

  • 1995 Block GrantsJust what it saysFeds provide $$ for states to use as best they saw it with limited regulations

  • Adoption and Safe Families ActNov 19, 1997Promotes health and safety of the childPromote TIMELY decision makingClarifies reasonable effortsContinues Family Preservation ProgramRequires TPR in certain situationsFoster care is TEMPORARY Permanency planning begins immediately Need for innovation

  • 1999Foster Care Independence ActProvides resources for kids aging out of the system

  • 2001Strengthening Abuse and Neglect Courts Act SANCAHelping Court fulfill the mission of ASFABrings $$ to the Courts But not much

  • 2008Fostering Connections ActEducation stability- attend/achieveHealth care- Medicaid- EPSDTCan extend foster care to 21Can us subsidized guardianshipKinship care- ID relatives- trainingOver time- delinks IV-E 1996 AFDCTraining support Tribal issues


  • Its not so much what we dont know that holds us back, its all we do know that just isnt so!

  • The average movement of a child to a less restrictive or more permanent placement occurs nine days before the next Court hearing- and it doesnt matter whether that hearing is six months, three months or one month later


  • Sec 1356.21 (b) of AFSA and RegsREASONABLE EFFORTS45 C.F.R. Sec 1356

  • Reasonable Efforts under 96-272Ensures that no child should be in foster care who can effectively and safely be protected in own homeWhen removal is necessary, reunification is the goal before any other arrangement is tried unless it is not possible to reunify while protecting the childs safety

  • Who Should Provide the OversightExecutive Branch?Legislative?NO- it is the Judicial branchSpecifically- Juvenile and Family CourtsThrough- Reasonable Efforts Findings

  • 1997- THE ISSUES ON REASONABLE EFFORTSDissatisfied w/compliance with 96-272Growth in foster care numbersHigh profile child death casesConcern over increasing costsToo many kids growing up in the systemDramatically changing welfare systemInnovations in child welfare practices Computer information management

  • ASFA CLARIFIES REASONABLE EFFORTSChilds safety is paramount (not reunification)Childs right to permanency vs parents right to the childR/E to preserve family precedes foster careR/E not required if aggravating facts existR/E not required if felony conviction for injury to child or siblingR/E not required if a prior involuntary TPR Must find Contrary to childs welfare to remain at homep 4050

  • REASAONABLE EFFORTS TO MOVE CHILD TO PERMANENCYReunification takes a back seat if it is inconsistent with timely permanencyIf R/E are not necessary, hearing on permanency has to happen in 30 daysR/E to reunification, adoption or placement with guardian can be concurrent

  • The Regs on ASFA gave us more to do and sat on the system HARD

  • FEDERAL REGS AS OF JAN. 25, 2000-REASONABLE EFFORTSp. 1 Judicial statement that it was contrary to childs welfare to remain at home p 4050No distinction between R/E in emergency or non-emergency removalStates get 60 days to get judicialdetermination of R/E to provide judicial determination of removal- not on a specific dateW/I 12 mos child enter foster care, State gets a judicial determination that R/E made to implement case plan for permanency- finalityIV-E eligibility absolutely linked to judicial determination of R/E NO Nunc pro Tunc entry on R/E at first hearing

  • FEDERAL REGS AS OF JAN 25, 2000 REASOANBLE EFFORTS p 2IV -E funds will not be available if Court doesnt make a reasonable efforts finding for removal p. 5052Problems- 1. Form over substance 2. Court finding is critical- use wisely 3. Agency efforts at first contact are !!!!! 4. What are the necessary services? 5. What of unaccompanied refugee minors P 4052

  • REGS IN FEDERAL REGISTER OF REASONABLE EFFORTS p 3 When R/E are required, state and Court determines level of effort that is reasonable-Based on safety considerations and circumstances of familySometimes based on assessment of family, state decides it is reasonable to make no efforts to keep child in home or reunifyThe Court, if it agrees with the states decision, should find that the agencys efforts were reasonable, NOT that reasonable efforts were not requiredp. 4053

  • Is it starting to feel a little MESSY??


  • CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF CHILD WELFARE SERVICESTighter Time-Lines and Higher Level of Accountability to:Ensure the safety and well-being of children health & safetyAssess the willingness and ability of parents/caregiversMobilize services for the child and familyExpedite the achievement of the permanency goal within unless there are Compelling Reasons

  • CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF CHILD WELFARE SERVICESGreater Emphasis on Collaboration and PartnershipsCommunity-Neighborhood Responses, Systems and Services - Keeping the services as close and as accessible to the child and family as possiblePartnerships - Em

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