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    Legal Issues for the CIP Assessment of Interstate Child ... Legal Issues for the CIP Assessment of Interstate Child ... Presentation Transcript

    • Legal Issues for the CIP Assessment of Interstate Child Welfare Proceedings Mark Hardin National Child Welfare Resource Center for Legal and Judicial Issues ABA Center on Children and the Law AAICPC Conference May 4, 2008 © ABA MMVII, MMVIII
      • Disclaimer: This presentation presents my interpretations of law and practice and does not necessarily reflect official Children’s Bureau or ABA policy.
    • Contents of Presentation
      • CIP assessment of legal system role in interstate judicial proceedings
      • Possible legal and judicial issues and reforms in interstate child welfare proceedings
      • How the federal Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Children Act of 2006 (Pub. Law 109-239, amending Title IV-E) affects interstate child welfare proceedings
    • Required Assessment of Legal System Role in Interstate Placements
      • Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Children Act of 2006
      • Assessment by CIP programs
      • Role, responsibilities, and effectiveness of state courts
      • Assessment completion deadline is June 30, 2008
    • Overview of Steps Suggested by Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues (ABA) in CIP Assessment of Interstate Placements:
      • Step One: Review and Describe Current Laws and Policies
      • Step Two: Prepare Overview of ICPC Process from Selected
      • ICPC Cases
      • Step Three: Conduct Interviews
      • Step Four: Conduct Surveys
      • Step Five: Prepare Initial Report
      • Step Six: Complete Final Report
    • Step One: Review and Describe Current Laws and Policies
      • Review current ICPC and ICPC materials available from national organizations to gain basic understanding of law regarding interstate placement process. Include review of Regulation Seven and its forms.
      • Obtain and summarize applicable non-ICPC state agency regulations, forms, and policy regarding interstate placement of foster children into adoptive or foster homes.
      • Review and describe other current state statutes, court rules (if any), and case law in your state regarding interstate placement of foster children into adoptive or foster homes.
      • As needed, interview ICPC director, ICPC staff (if any), and agency attorneys knowledgeable about the ICPC (if any) to explain how they interpret the law or policies.
      • Prepare report on current laws and policies.
    • Step Two: Prepare Overview of ICPC Process from Selected ICPC Cases
      • Begin by interviewing ICPC director and staff (if any) to understand how the process works in the state. Start by finding out how a typical interstate placement proceeds step by step.
      • To further understand the process of interstate placements, do several (three to five) in depth case reviews to further understand the process of interstate placements.
        • Review both ICPC files and court files for each case.
        • Arrange telephone interviews with caseworkers or judges, as needed, to explain selected cases.
        • Prepare narrative for each selected case.
        • Describe generally each step, sources of delay, how court may have fit into the process, and what might be improved.
      • Based on preliminary interviews, review of ICPC related materials, and law:
        • Prepare brief overview of the interstate placement process, including role of courts.
        • Prepare first list of types of interstate placement related delays and causes.
        • Prepare preliminary description of procedural protections available to all parties in interstate placements.
      • Prepare detailed flow chart of the agency and court interstate placement process.
        • Ask ICPC manager and staff to review or possibly help with the chart.
        • Include modified steps when ICPC Regulation Seven is applied.
    • Step Three: Conduct Interviews
      • Interview judges and court staff: Because of the relatively low numbers of such cases, select experienced judges with specialized dockets.
        • Prepare instrument.
        • Conduct interviews of individual judges or focus groups of judges regarding the timeliness and fairness of interstate placements.
        • Prepare summary of interviews.
      • Interview of other agency staff:
        • Prepare instrument.
        • Conduct interviews of one or more focus groups of experienced caseworkers and supervisors regarding interstate placements.
        • Prepare summary of interviews.
    • Step Four: Conduct Surveys
      • Draft brief survey instrument or instruments.
      • Circulate the survey(s) or post online.
      • Tabulate the results.
    • Step Five: Prepare Initial Report
      • Draft initial comprehensive report based on all aspects of study, including:
        • Summary of law and policy.
        • Current agency and judicial practice.
        • Results of interviews and survey.
        • List and description of possible reforms.
      • Edit report based on comments of CIP advisory board.
    • Step Six: Revise Recommendations and Complete Final Report
      • Conduct additional interviews or focus groups of opinion leaders to evaluate practicality of possible reforms.
        • Ask CIP for list of persons to consult.
        • Arrange interviews.
        • Send list of possible reforms prior to interviews.
        • Prepare interview summaries.
      • Revise recommendations based on interview and send to CIP.
      • Meet with CIP to regarding revisions.
      • Edit and complete report, incorporating final recommendations.
    • Federal requirements for CIP Assessment of Interstate Placements
      • Cooperation in information sharing by courts
      • Testimony across state lines, without need to travel
      • Participation of parties and attorneys across state lines, without need to travel
    • Court System to Assess And Improve Timeliness In Interstate Placements
      • “ (a) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall make grants, in accordance with this section, to the highest State courts in States participating in the program under part E, for the purpose of enabling such courts—
        • (1) to conduct assessments, in accordance with such requirements as the Secretary shall publish, of the role, responsibilities, and effectiveness of State courts in carrying out State laws requiring proceedings (conducted by or under the supervision of the courts)—
        • * * *
        • (E) that determine the best strategy to use to expedite the interstate placement of children, including—
            • (i) requiring courts in different States to cooperate in the sharing of information;
            • (ii) authorizing courts to obtain information and testimony from agencies and parties in other States without requiring interstate travel by the agencies and parties; and
            • (iii) permitting the participation of parents, children, other necessary parties, and attorneys in cases involving interstate placement without requiring their interstate travel;”
        • (Note: language added in 2006 is underlined)
        • Social Security Act § 438, 42 U.S.C. §629h
      • BACKGROUND :
      • Federal law is supposed to help courts play a more positive role in interstate placements, including but not limited to more effectively implementing the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) or its proposed replacement.
      • Underlying concerns: Delays in interstate placements; need to ensure safety in interstate placements, and lack of procedural fairness.
      • Therefore, CIPs are to assess judicial role in interstate placements and develop plans for improvement.
      • BACKGROUND CONTINUED:
      • As opposed to large scale civil litigation, there is a lack of practical and fair procedures for interstate child welfare cases.
      • This is due in part to the limited resources of the parties and their lawyers.
      • In particular, the parties have no practical means to be heard when the proposed receiving state refuses to accept the child.
      • Statutory Language (E)(i) – “requiring courts in different statesto cooperate in the sharing of information” in interstate placement cases:
        • Should courts should be able to count on the help of courts in other states to collect and share evidence?
        • If so, what help and why?
      • Statutory language (E)(ii) – “authorizing courts to obtain information and testimony from agencies and parties in other States without requiring interstate travel by the agencies and parties”:
        • Should courts have practical and affordable means to get testimony from other states?
        • If so, what and why?
      • Statutory language (E)(iii) – “permitting the participation of parents, children, other necessary parties, and attorneys in cases involving interstate placement without requiring their interstate travel”:
        • Should parties living in other states be able to participate on their own initiative without having to travel to the court hearing the case?
        • Should attorneys located in one state be enabled to effectively represent their clients without traveling to another state?
        • If so, how and why?
        • SHOULD CIP INTERSTATE ASSESSMENTS BE BROADENED?
        • Should CIP projects study other legal-system-related causes of interstate placement delays?
        • Should CIP projects address judicial compliance with other federal requirements regarding interstate placements?
        • Should CIP projects develop legal system solutions to other causes of delays affecting interstate litigation?
    • Legal and Judicial Reform Issues in Interstate Child Welfare Proceedings
      • Possible reforms to permit active party and attorney involvement across state lines
      • Possible reforms to strengthen interstate judicial cooperation
      • Current legality of possible reforms
      • Technology supports
      • Other issues?
    • Possible reforms to permit active party and attorney involvement across state lines ( 42 U.S.C. §629h(a)(1)(E)(ii))
      • Interstate testimony through conference calls and videoconferences?
          • Need to legally clarify:
            • Identification of witnesses?
            • Swearing of witnesses and application of perjury laws?
            • Assessment of credibility of witnesses?
      • Interstate transmission or transportation (e.g., mailing) of documents, objects, or other evidence?
          • Need to legally clarify:
            • Authentication of evidence?
            • Secure transmission or transportation of evidence?
            • Admissibility of evidence?
      • Allow parties living in other states to participate as parties in interstate litigation without having to travel to the court hearing the case?
        • Need to legally clarify:
          • Interstate filing of motions and petitions?
          • Making appearances without personally coming to court – e.g., through calls, letters, or affidavits?
      • Enable parties living in other states to arrange on their own initiative to testify and present evidence?
        • Need to legally clarify:
          • Direct communications with court staff to request interstate testimony (e.g., through conference calls or videoconferences)?
          • Technology or other support from the courts in which the parties are living?
      • Allow attorneys located in one state to file motions in the other as well as to question and cross examine witnesses in teleconferences and video conferences that are convened by a judge in another state?
        • Needs:
          • Supportive state laws and rules of professional responsibility?
          • Mandatory association with attorney in the other state?
          • Appointment of attorneys in both states?
          • Technology or other support from courts of state in which attorneys and their clients reside (for teleconferences or videoconferences)?
    • Possible means to strengthen interstate judicial cooperation (42 U.S.C. §629h(a)(1)(E)(ii))
      • At request of judge from another state, judge issues request or order to the local child welfare agency for the evaluation, within a specified time, of a foster home, parent, or child located in area?
          • Needs for legal clarification:
              • Statute or court rules directing cooperation and setting forth procedure for a judge to make the request in one state and for a judge in the other state to issue a request or order?
              • Criteria for issuance of such request or order?
              • Forms?
              • Procedural protections?
      • At request of a judge from another state, a local judge conducts a hearing to gather specific information requested and sends exhibits, findings of fact, and transcript?
          • Needs for legal clarification:
              • Statute or court rules authorizing and setting procedure for a judge to make the request in one state and for a judge in the other state to issue a request or order?
              • Criteria for issuance of such request or order? Mandate?
              • Forms?
        • Judges in different state communicate directly, such as by telephone, to organize the interstate litigation process or to discuss legal issues
          • Need for legal clarification:
              • Statute or rules of judicial conduct authorizing communications?
        • Judge where witness or party is located assists with interstate telephonic or video hearings, such as by identifying and swearing in witness and witnesses – possibly with witnesses also sworn in by judge located in the other state?
          • Needs for legal clarification:
              • Statute or court rules authorizing or directing such assistance?
              • Forms?
      • Judges co-preside in interstate hearings, asking additional questions, observing the demeanor and credibility of any witnesses, and sharing such observations with the other judge?
          • Needs for legal clarification:
              • Statute or court rules directing or authorizing procedure?
              • Procedural guidelines for procedure in statute and court rules?
              • Criteria for applicability of such procedure?
              • Forms?
    • Technology and other issues
      • What technology supports are needed or would be helpful?
      • What other reforms might improve interstate litigation in child welfare cases?
    • Current Legality of Such Reforms?
        • Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction
        • Enforcement Act (UCCJEA):
        • Are §§10-12 of the state’s version of the UCCJEA applicable in interstate placement cases?
          • If so, does the UCCJEA enable judges to use the procedures described earlier to facilitate interstate testimony and evidence?
          • If so, can parties or their attorneys initiate the proceedings and testimony as described above to facilitate information sharing?
          • Notes:
            • The UCCJEA, which was designed principally to establish which state courts have jurisdiction in private custody cases, also includes provisions for interstate cooperation in this litigation.
            • While the law is not clear, there is some caselaw saying the UCCJEA applies.
      • UCCJEA § 110: COMMUNICATION BETWEEN COURTS.
      • (a) A court of this State may communicate with a court in another State concerning a proceeding arising under this [Act].
      • (b) The court may allow the parties to participate in the communication. If the parties are not able to participate in the communication, they must be given the opportunity to present facts and legal arguments before a decision on jurisdiction is made.
      • (c) Communication between courts on schedules, calendars, court records, and similar matters may occur without informing the parties. A record need not be made of the communication.
      • (d) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), a record must be made of a communication under this section. The parties must be informed promptly of the communication and granted access to the record.
      • (e) For the purposes of this section, "record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.
      • Comments from UCCJEA §110 :
      • This section emphasizes the role of judicial communications. It authorizes a court to communicate concerning any proceeding arising under this Act. . . . Communication can occur in many different ways such as by telephonic conference and by on-line or other electronic communication. The Act does not preclude any method of communication and recognizes that there will be increasing use of modern communication techniques. . . . Communication between courts is often difficult to schedule and participation by the parties may be impractical. Phone calls often have to be made after-hours or whenever the schedules of judges allow.
      • UCCJEA § 111: TAKING TESTIMONY IN
      • ANOTHER STATE.
      • (a) In addition to other procedures available to a party, a party to a child-custody proceeding may offer testimony of witnesses who are located in another State, including testimony of the parties and the child, by deposition or other means allowable in this State for testimony taken in another State. The court on its own motion may order that the testimony of a person be taken in another State and may prescribe the manner in which and the terms upon which the testimony is taken.
      • (b) A court of this State may permit an individual residing in another State to be deposed or to testify by telephone, audiovisual means, or other electronic means before a designated court or at another location in that State. A court of this State shall cooperate with courts of other States in designating an appropriate location for the deposition or testimony.
      • (c) Documentary evidence transmitted from another State to a court of this State by technological means that do not produce an original writing may not be excluded from evidence on an objection based on the means of transmission.
      • UCCJEA § 112: COOPERATION BETWEEN
      • COURTS; PRESERVATION OF RECORDS.
      • (a) A court of this State may request the appropriate court of another State to:
      • (1) hold an evidentiary hearing;
      • (2) order a person to produce or give evidence pursuant to procedures of that State;
      • (3) order that an evaluation be made with respect to the custody of a child involved in a pending proceeding;
      • (4) forward to the court of this State a certified copy of the transcript of the record of the hearing, the evidence otherwise presented, and any evaluation prepared in compliance with the request; and
      • (5) order a party to a child-custody proceeding or any person having physical custody of the child to appear in the proceeding with or without the child.
      • (b) Upon request of a court of another State, a court of this State may hold a hearing or enter an order described in subsection (a).
      • (c) Travel and other necessary and reasonable expenses incurred under subsections (a) and (b) may be assessed against the parties according to the law of this State.
      • (d) A court of this State shall preserve the pleadings, orders, decrees, records of hearings, evaluations, and other pertinent records with respect to a child-custody proceeding until the child attains 18 years of age. Upon appropriate request by a court or law enforcement official of another State, the court shall forward a certified copy of those records.
      • From comments to UCCJEA §112:
      • This section is the heart of judicial cooperation provision of this Act. It provides mechanisms for courts to cooperate with each other in order to decide cases in an efficient manner without causing undue expense to the parties. Courts may request assistance from courts of other States and may assist courts of other States. . . .
      • The term "social study" as used in the UCCJA was replaced with the modern term: "custody evaluation." The Act does not take a position on the admissibility of a custody evaluation that was conducted in another State. It merely authorizes a court to seek assistance of, or render assistance to, a court of another State.
      • Apart from UCCJEA, do other existing state laws support the legality of procedural improvements such as those described earlier and, if so, under what conditions?
        • For example, are there laws or judicial rules authorizing telephone or video conferences and, if so, do they apply to interstate proceedings?
        • If so, what are the procedures for such conferences?
        • For example, what procedural protections, if any, are currently provided for parents and children if a state child welfare agency decides to decline to accept placement of a foster child from another state?
      • What is the status of the new proposed ICPC in the state?
      • What are the procedures for involvement of out of state lawyers in state cases?
      • If the reforms aren’t legal what would it take to make them legal?
        • Federal law?
        • Federal regulations alone?
        • ICPC rules – under current or proposed ICPC?
    • How the Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Children Act affects interstate child welfare cases
      • Reasonable efforts
      • Case plans, case reviews, permanency hearings
      • Home study deadlines
      • Criminal records and interstate central registries checks
    • Reasonable Efforts – Considering the Appropriateness of Interstate Placements
      • “ [I]f continuation of reasonable efforts [to preserve and reunify families] 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 (including, if appropriate, through an interstate placement) , and to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child;”
        • ( Note: language added in 2006 is underlined)
        • Social Security Act section 471(a)(15)(C), 42 U.S.C. §671(a)(15)(C)
    • How should courts help implement this new reasonable efforts requirement?
        • Make sure to consistently consider possible interstate placements and ask about it when making reasonable efforts determinations?
        • Consistently address out-of-state placements in written reasonable efforts findings?
        • Enhanced training on reasonable efforts, including regarding interstate placements?
        • Develop sample questions and checklists?
        • Put this issue into statutes, court rules, court forms, judicial benchbooks, and manuals?
    • Possible areas of interstate reasonable efforts inquiry:
        • Identifying relatives or others close to the child who are resources as permanent families and who live in other states.
        • Assessing whether the state properly considered such relatives or others for permanent placement of the child.
        • Assessing whether the state adequately followed through to arrange and finalize identified potential out-of-state permanent placements.
    • Concurrent reasonable efforts for interstate placement
      • “ (F) 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 preserve and reunify families];”
        • ( Note: language added in 2006 is underlined)
        • Social Security Act section 471(a)(15)(F), 42 U.S.C. §671(a)(15)(F)
    • How should courts help implement this requirement?
        • Address the issue of concurrent plans, even when relatives live across state lines?
        • Incorporate this issue in reasonable efforts inquiries?
        • Address this in training?
        • Put it into statutes, judicial benchbooks, and legal manuals?
        • Include it in educational programs with illustrative examples?
    • Examples of how concurrent planning for out of state placements might actually work:
        • Arranging out-of-state visits with potential permanent caregivers while also working on family reunification.
        • Doing adoption or legal guardianship assessments of out-of-state relatives or others close to the child while also working on family reunification.
    • Case Plans – Considering the Appropriateness of Interstate Placements
      • “ (1) The term "case plan" means a written document which includes at least 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 to facilitate orderly and timely in-State and interstate placements.”
        • (Note: language added in 2006 is underlined)
      • Social Security Act § 475(a)(1)(E), 42 U.S.C. §671(a)(1)(E).
    • Permanency Hearings – Considering the Appropriateness of Interstate Placements
        • During permanency hearings, if the plan is not to return the child to the parent, the court is to consider both in-state and out-of-state permanent placement options.
        • Social Security Act §§471(a)(15)(E)(i), 475(5)(C)(i); 42 U.S.C. §§ 6 71(a)(15)(E)(i) , 675(5)(C)(i)
    • How should courts help implement this requirement?
        • Make sure to consistently consider possible out-of-state placements during permanency hearings?
        • Consistently address out-of-state placements in written permanency hearing findings?
        • Incorporate this into training and give it major emphasis?
        • Develop sample questions and checklists?
        • Put it into statutes, court rules, court forms, judicial benchbooks, and manuals?
    • TIMELY INTERSTATE HOME STUDIES
        • “ [W]ithin 60 days after the State receives from another State a request to conduct a study of a home environment for purposes of assessing the safety and suitability of placing a child in the home, the State shall, directly or by contract—
          • (I) conduct and complete the study; and
          • (II) return to the other State a report on the results of the study, which shall address the extent to which placement in the home would meet the needs of the child;”
        • (Note: underlined language added in 2006)
        • Social Security Act section 471(a)(26)(A)(i), 42 U.S.C. §671(a)(26)(A)(i)
    • In a nutshell:
        • Within 60 days after a state receives a request for a home study from another state, the state must complete the home study and submit it in writing to the state making the request.
    • LOOPHOLES IN FEDERAL LAW FOR TIMELY HOME STUDIES
      • Is the receiving state free to act as it hasn’t received a request when the request from the sending state is incomplete? In other words does the deadline not begin to run unless there is a proper request?
      • Is there a deadline within which the receiving state must notify the sending state that its request is insufficient?
      • Upon being notified that an application is insufficient or incomplete, is there a deadline for the sending state to resubmit a properly completed application?
      • Is there any oversight or consequences for local agencies or state agencies that submit improper or incomplete requests for interstate home studies?
      • Once it has become clear that an interstate placement should be considered, are local and state governments required to make timely requests for such studies?
      • Are there any specific deadlines for making and processing such requests?
      • Are there any specific circumstances (e.g., an out of state parent or relative has been identified) in which such requests are required?
      • Given these and other gaps, is the federal statutory requirement largely ineffective?
    • Extensions of home study deadline
      • (ii) in the case of a home study begun on or before September 30, 2008, if the State fails to comply with clause (i) within the 60-day period as a result of circumstances beyond the control of the State (such as a failure by a Federal agency to provide the results of a background check, or the failure by any entity to provide completed medical forms, requested by the State at least 45 days before the end of the 60-day period), the State shall have 75 days to comply with clause (i) if the State documents the circumstances involved and certifies that completing the home study is in the best interests of the child; except that
      • (iii) this subparagraph shall not be construed to require the State to have completed, within the applicable period, the parts of the home study involving the education and training of the prospective foster or adoptive parents;
        • (Note: underlined language added in 2006)
        • Social Security Act section 471(a)(26)(A)(ii), 42 U.S.C. §671(a)(26)(A)(ii)
    • Questions:
      • After September 30, is it no excuse that there have been delays in criminal records or medical checks? I think the answer is yes.
      • Is it fully optional whether to complete foster parent education and training before completion of a home study? I think the answer is yes.
      • For answers to several other questions, go to the online Children’s Bureau Policy Manual, section 8.3C: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/j2ee/programs/cb/laws_policies/laws/cwpm/policy_dsp.jsp?citID=90 – questions 3 to 8.
    • Training and education requirement
        • States are not required to complete the training and education portion of home studies prior to placement. Should they?
          • Is placing an abused or neglected child in a home without training on their unique needs advisable?
          • Might placing a child with a family that has not been informed about relevant agency requirements and legal implications jeopardize their long-term permanency?
    • Duty to respond to the home study
      • (B) the State shall treat any report … that is received from another State or an Indian tribe (or from a private agency under contract with another State) as meeting any requirements imposed by the State for the completion of a home study before placing a child in the home, unless, with in 14 days after receipt of the report, the State determines, based on grounds that are specific to the content of the report, that making a decision in reliance on the report would be contrary to the welfare of the child; and
        • (Note: underlined language added in 2006)
      • Social Security Act § 471(a)(26)(B), (C), 42 U.S.C. §671(a)(26)(B), (C)
    • How should courts help states achieve timely home studies?
        • Make sure to consistently consider the deadlines and causes of delays whenever interstate home studies are pending?
        • Consistently address delays in interstate home studies in written findings if interstate home studies are delayed?
        • Describe the whole process of interstate home studies in judicial bench books and manuals, clarifying deadlines and sources of delay?
        • Develop sample questions and checklists regarding the interstate placement process?
        • Address the timeliness of home studies in statutes, court rules, and court forms, as discussed earlier, calling on courts to inquire into and follow up on these issues?
    • CRIMINAL RECORDS CHECKS
      • Why are there references to timely criminal records checks in the Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Children Act?
        • Delays in interstate criminal records checks can seriously hold up interstate placements.
        • Criminal records checks can help ensure safety in interstate placements.
      • Background:
        • FBI National Crime Information Database (NCID)
          • Hard copies or electronic (e.g., “live scan”)
          • Name checks under certain circumstances
        • State criminal records databases
        • State “criminal records repository”:
          • Under federal law, each state must designate one such repository
          • Only that repository can make requests and receive NCID data
      • Records checks required whether or not child is eligible under Title IV-E
        • Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) §106(b)(2)(A)(xxii), 42 U.S.C. §5106a(b)(2)(A)(xxii)
      • Must check both NCID and state databases for Title IV-E eligible children
        • Social Security Act § 471(a)(20)(A), 42 U.S.C. §671(a)(20)(A), Federal Policy Manual Section 8.4F
        • The governor must send a letter to the U.S. Attorney General requesting access in child welfare cases
      • Main sources of delays in getting NCID records:
        • State processing of requests for NCID records
          • Getting request to NCID
          • Getting data back to entity requesting it
          • Ensuring that requests to NCID are in good form
          • Getting corrected information to NCID when needed
          • Must determine steps involved, who and how many responsible, and actual timeliness of steps
        • FBI processing of records requests:
          • Processing hard copies
          • Must determine: the steps involved, who and how many are responsible, and actual timeliness of steps
    • Are criminal records checks relevant to CIP assessment?
        • Checks may delay interstate placements
        • Checks are the responsibility of child welfare and criminal justice agencies
        • Judges and attorneys should, on case by case basis, track progress and barriers to interstate placements
        • Relevant to reasonable efforts findings, review hearings (reviewing case plans), and permanency hearings
    • CENTRAL REGISTRIES CHECKS
      • For prospective foster and adoptive homes, the state must request check of a state child abuse and neglect central registry
        • Social Security Act section 471(a)(20), 42 U.S.C. §671(a)(20)(B)
      • Must check central registry of each state where prospective caregivers lived in last five years.
      • Must include every adult living in household.
      • Condition of Title IV-E eligibility (matching funds)
      • Note : This applies when children are moved to foster care in another state.
    • Some other possible related legal issues:
        • Does state law require cooperation with other states’ requests for central registry requests?
        • Are there timeliness requirements for central registry requests to other states -- and responses to such requests from other states?
        • What protections are in effect (or are needed) to ensure that due process and privacy isn’t violated?
    • To Contact Us: Jennifer Renne, 202-662-1731, [email_address] Mark Hardin, 202-662-1750, [email_address] National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues ABA Center on Children and the Law 740 15th Street, NW Washington, DC 20005-1022 Website: http://www.abanet.org/child/nrclji