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Adoption and Safe Families Act – Permanency Plans and Hearings

Permanency Hearings

The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) requires states to conduct a permanency hearing within 12 months of a child’s placement in foster care and at least every 12 months thereafter for as long as the child is in foster care. The date of the child’s placement in foster care is the earlier of the following two dates: the date of the first judicial finding that the child is abused or neglected or 60 days after the removal of the child from his or her home.

If a court determines that a state is not required to make reasonable efforts to reunify the child’s family, the ASFA requires a permanency hearing to be conducted within 30 days of the court’s determination.

The ASFA requires states to provide notice of any review or hearing and an opportunity to be heard to foster parents, prospective adoptive parents, and relatives who are caring for the child.

Permanency Plans

The ASFA requires states to adopt a permanency plan for each child who has been removed from his home due to abuse or neglect. The plan must establish a planned permanent living arrangement for the child. The plan may involve returning the child to his parents, a termination of parental rights, adoption of the child, placement of the child with a relative, or a legal guardianship.

The ASFA requires states to document their efforts to find permanent homes for children.

Copyright 2014 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.