Concurrent Planning for Timely Permanency for Children - Maryland

Date: August 2021

Defining Concurrent Planning

Citation: Code of Regs. §

'Concurrent permanency planning' means the process of taking concrete steps to implement both primary and secondary permanency plans, for example, by providing time-limited family reunification services while also exploring relatives as resources.

State Approaches to Concurrent Planning

Citation: Fam. Law § 5-525(c)(1)-(2), (e)(3); Code of Regs. §

In establishing the out-of-home placement program, the Social Services Administration shall do the following:

  • Provide time-limited family reunification services to a child placed in an out-of-home placement and to the parents or guardian of the child in order to facilitate the child's safe and appropriate reunification within a timely manner
  • Concurrently develop and implement a permanency plan that is in the best interests of the child

Reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption or with a legal guardian may be made concurrently with the reasonable efforts to preserve or reunify the family.

In regulation: Within 60 days after the child's removal from his or her home, the local department, together with the child's parent or legal guardian, shall develop a written case plan for each child in out-of-home placement.

The local department shall do the following:

  • Identify and develop a concurrent permanency plan, as appropriate
  • Consider the following factors in determining that the concurrent permanency plan is in the best interests of the child:
    • The child's ability to be safe and healthy in the home of his or her parent or legal guardian
    • The child's attachment and emotional ties to his or her siblings, parents, or legal guardian
    • The child's emotional attachment to his or her current caregiver and the caregiver's family
    • The length of time the child has resided with the current caregiver
    • The potential emotional, developmental, and educational harm to the child if moved from his or her current placement
    • The potential harm to the child by remaining in State custody for an excessive period of time
  • Prioritize permanency plan options using the following order of preference:
    • Reunification with the parent or legal guardian
    • Placement with a relative for adoption or custody and guardianship
    • Adoption by a nonrelative
    • Guardianship by a nonrelative
    • Another planned permanent living arrangement
  • Project the year and month when the concurrent permanency plans shall be achieved
  • Describe the specific service and behavioral objectives that shall be achieved before the return of the child to the parents or legal guardian if one of the concurrent permanency plans is reunification
  • Identify the services to be provided to the parents, legal guardian, and the child in order to achieve the permanency goals