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Reasonable Efforts To Prevent Foster Placement: A Guide to Implementation, Second Edition

NCJ Number
D Ratterman; G D Dodson; M A Hardin
Date Published
140 pages
This monograph aims to provide judges, lawyers, policymakers, child welfare agency officials, and child advocates with information and guidance on the legal aspects of the implementation of Federal requirements for reasonable efforts to enable children to remain in their own homes in safety rather than being placed in foster care.
The reasonable efforts provision of Public Law 96-272 emphasizes services to children and their families and requires a judicial determination that reasonable efforts to prevent removal were made if the State is to be eligible for Federal foster care funds. The Federal regulations issued under the law require that documentation of reasonable efforts be included in each child's federally mandated case plan. As of 1986, a total of 21 States have laws that address that judicial determination of reasonable efforts. The manual's guidelines rest on information provided by State child welfare agency administrators regarding State laws, regulations, policy guidance, court rules, and forms related to the requirements. Individual sections define and explain the requirements and their funding consequences, the steps and standards involved in judicial determination of reasonable efforts, documentation requirements for agencies and courts, and the implementation of reasonable efforts. 395 footnotes; 37 references; and 15 appendixes presenting sample forms, texts of State laws and Federal regulations, court orders, and related materials.