Concurrent Planning for Timely Permanency for Children - Minnesota

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Defining Concurrent Planning

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 260C.223

Concurrent permanency planning involves a planning process for children who are placed out of the home of their parents pursuant to a court order, or who have been voluntarily placed out of the home by the parents for 60 days or more and who are not developmentally or emotionally disabled. The responsible social services agency shall develop an alternative permanency plan while making reasonable efforts for reunification of the child with the family, if required by § 260.012. The goals of concurrent permanency planning include the following:

  • To achieve early permanency for children
  • To decrease children's length of stay in foster care and reduce the number of moves children experience in foster care
  • To develop a group of families who will work toward reunification and also serve as permanent families for children

The commissioner of human services shall establish guidelines and protocols for social services agencies involved in concurrent permanency planning, including criteria for conducting concurrent permanency planning based on relevant factors, such as the following:

  • The age of the child and duration of out-of-home placement
  • The prognosis for successful reunification with parents
  • The availability of relatives and other concerned individuals to provide support or a permanent placement for the child
  • The special needs of the child and other factors affecting the child's best interests

Concurrent permanency planning programs must include involvement of parents and full disclosure of their rights and responsibilities, goals of concurrent permanency planning, support services that are available for families, permanency options, and the consequences of not complying with case plans.

State Approaches to Concurrent Planning

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 260C.201, subd. 2(5)(c); 260C.605, subd. 1(b); 260.012(a), (k)

If the child has been identified by the responsible social services agency as the subject of concurrent permanency planning, the court shall review the reasonable efforts of the agency to develop a permanency plan for the child that includes a primary plan for reunification with the child's parent or guardian and a secondary plan for an alternative, legally permanent home for the child in the event reunification cannot be achieved in a timely manner.

Reasonable efforts to make a placement in a home according to the placement considerations under § 260C.212, subd. 2 with a relative or foster parent who will commit to being the permanent resource for the child in the event the child cannot be reunified with a parent are required under § 260.012 and may be made concurrently with reasonable efforts or, if the child is an Indian child, active efforts to reunify the child with the parent.

Once a child alleged to be in need of protection or services is under the court's jurisdiction, the court shall ensure that reasonable efforts, including culturally appropriate services, by the social services agency are made to prevent placement or to eliminate the need for removal and to reunite the child with the child's family at the earliest possible time. The court also must ensure that the responsible social services agency makes reasonable efforts to finalize an alternative permanent plan for the child.

Reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption or in another permanent placement may be made concurrently with reasonable efforts to prevent placement or to reunify the child with the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed. When the responsible social services agency decides to concurrently make reasonable efforts for both reunification and permanent placement away from the parent, the agency shall disclose its decision and both plans for concurrent reasonable efforts to all parties and the court. When the agency discloses its decision to proceed on both plans for reunification and permanent placement away from the parent, the court's review of the agency's reasonable efforts shall include the agency's efforts under both plans.