Concurrent Planning for Timely Permanency for Children - Arizona

Date:

Defining Concurrent Planning

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

State Approaches to Concurrent Planning

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-845(D); DCS Pol. Man., § 3.2

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.

In policy: Concurrent permanency planning shall occur for all children in out-of-home care with a permanency goal of family reunification when family reunification is unlikely to occur within 12 months of the child's initial removal.

An assessment of the prognosis of family reunification shall be completed within 45 days of the child's initial removal. If there is a poor prognosis for reunification, a planned set of concurrent-planning activities will be implemented to ensure that potential or identified alternate caregivers are prepared to care for the child on a permanent basis if needed. These concurrent-planning activities will assist in selecting the final concurrent permanency goal.

Within 6 months of actively working with the family on both the reunification plan and concurrent-planning activities, a final concurrent permanency goal must be established.

Based on the results of the family-functioning assessment, the caseworker will review the family's strengths, caregiver protective capacities, resources, and prognosis indicators. The caseworker will use this information to complete an assessment of the likelihood of family reunification within 12 months of the child's initial removal.

The caseworker must complete a reunification prognosis assessment for both parents, guardians, and/or custodians no later than 45 days from the child's initial removal. When the assessment is completed and the prognosis of achieving family reunification is assessed as unlikely to occur within 12 months of the child's initial removal, a planned set of concurrent-planning activities will be implemented to do the following:

  • Identify and assess potential caregivers
  • Place the child with suitable caregivers
  • Confirm that the caregivers are prepared to care for the child on a permanent basis, if needed

Once a need for a concurrent permanency plan has been identified, the caseworker must simultaneously and actively pursue the family reunification permanency goal and implement a planned set of concurrent-planning activities, including the following:

  • Interviewing the child, parents, grandparents, other extended family members, and other persons who have a significant relationship with the child to identify potential permanent caregivers for the child
  • Assessing potential caregivers for the child
  • Ensuring that all potential caregivers and all adult household members are fingerprinted for a criminal records check
  • Ensuring that a central registry check is completed on all potential caregivers and all adult household members
  • Ensuring that the identified caregivers are aware of the need for concurrent planning and the child's need for a permanent caregiver if reunification is not achieved
  • Transitioning the child into the home of the identified caregivers if the child is not already placed
  • Encouraging the caregivers to pursue foster home licensing
  • Providing services to support the child's placement with the caregivers