Concurrent Planning for Timely Permanency for Children - Florida

Date: August 2021

Defining Concurrent Planning

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 39.01(18)

'Concurrent planning' means establishing a permanency goal in a case plan that uses reasonable efforts to reunify the child with the parent, while at the same time establishing another goal that must be one of the following options:

  • Adoption when a petition for termination of parental rights has been filed or will be filed
  • Permanent guardianship of a dependent child under
  • 39.6221
  • Permanent placement with a fit and willing relative under § 39.6231
  • Placement in another planned permanent living arrangement under § 39.6241

State Approaches to Concurrent Planning

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 39.01(59); 39.6011(2); 39.701(2)(d)(5)

The permanency goal also is the case plan goal. If concurrent case planning is being used, reunification may be pursued at the same time that another permanency goal is pursued.

The case plan must be written simply and clearly in English and, if English is not the principal language of the child's parent, to the extent possible in the parent's principal language. Each case plan must contain the following:

  • A description of the identified problem being addressed, including the parent's behavior or acts resulting in risk to the child and the reason for the intervention by the department
  • The permanency goal
  • If concurrent planning is being used, a description of the permanency goal of reunification with the parent or legal custodian in addition to a description of one of the remaining permanency goals described in § 39.01

Effective October 1, 2021: Within 6 months after the date that the child was placed in shelter care, the court shall conduct a judicial review hearing to review the child's permanency goal as identified in the case plan. At the hearing, the court shall make findings regarding the likelihood of the child's reunification with the parent or legal custodian. In making such findings, the court shall consider the level of the parent or legal custodian's compliance with the case plan and demonstrated change in protective capacities compared to that necessary to achieve timely reunification within 12 months after the removal of the child from the home. The court also shall consider the frequency, duration, manner, and level of engagement of the parent or legal custodian's visitation with the child in compliance with the case plan.

If the court makes a written finding that it is not likely that the child will be reunified with the parent or legal custodian within 12 months after the child was removed from the home, the Department of Children and Family Services must file with the court and serve on all parties a motion to amend the case plan under § 39.6013 and declare that it will use concurrent planning for the case plan. The department must file the motion within 10 business days after receiving the written finding of the court. The department must attach the proposed amended case plan to the motion. If concurrent planning is already being used, the case plan must document the efforts the department is taking to complete the concurrent goal.