Concurrent Planning for Timely Permanency for Children - Kansas

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Defining Concurrent Planning

Citation: Pol. & Proc. Man. § 3232

In policy: Concurrent case planning emphasizes frequent interactions with birth families to achieve the preferred permanency goal of reintegration while simultaneously developing another goal as an alternative permanency plan for the child if reintegration cannot be achieved. Concurrent case planning minimizes the negative impact of separation and loss on the child and maintains the continuity in the child's family and sibling relationships.

The case manager shall use a concurrent case-planning model reflecting frequent parent/child interactions while the child remains placed in a relative, kin, foster, or adoptive home and intensive, time-limited work with birth families targeting the reason the child is in out-of-home placement. The case manager also will develop a network of permanency-planning resource parents who can work toward reintegration and also serve as the permanent resource for the child.

State Approaches to Concurrent Planning

Citation: Pol. & Proc. Man. § 3232

The case manager and supervisor shall use the Concurrent Case Planning Guide or a research-based instrument to staff cases where concurrent planning might be in the best interests of the child. Early reunification prognosis indicators and poor prognosis indicators shall be noted. If the staffing concludes a concurrent case plan should be done, a case plan shall be scheduled within 30 days.

When it has been determined by the court that reintegration is no longer a viable option, the alternative permanency goal shall become the primary goal.

While efforts are being made to reintegrate the child with his or her family, diligent efforts shall be made to locate an absent parent, relatives, and/or nonrelated kin. 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 reunify the child and family. Assessing the out-of-State placement possibilities when it is in the best interests of the child allows them to become placement options when it is appropriate. These persons shall be explored as a possible resource for the child if reintegration cannot be achieved.

If relatives and/or nonrelated kin are not an option, efforts shall be made to find an adoptive family. A foster family who is a potential adoptive resource provides out-of-home placement care for the child and works toward reintegration with the family if the plan is feasible. They also agree to be the permanent/adoptive resource for the child if parental rights are terminated. The reintegration/foster care/adoption provider shall recruit and prepare families for this unique role, as well as provide support to these families.

Relative, kin, foster, or adoptive families who have children in their care with a concurrent case plan should understand their dual role. The reintegration/foster care/adoption provider shall select the family by considering the family's ability to not only meet the current needs of the child but the future needs as well. The placement of a child with a relative, kin, foster, or adoptive family shall be made only after a team of professionals have carefully considered all factors relevant to the family and the well-being of the child.