Concurrent Planning for Timely Permanency for Children - New Hampshire

Date: August 2021

Defining Concurrent Planning

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 169-D:2(X)

'Concurrent plan' means an alternate permanency plan for use when a child cannot be safely reunified with his or her parents.

State Approaches to Concurrent Planning

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 169-D:17(II-a); DCYF Pol. Man. § 1625

When a minor is in an out-of-home placement, the court shall adopt a concurrent plan other than reunification for the minor. The other options for a permanency plan include termination of parental rights or parental surrender when an adoption is contemplated, guardianship with a fit and willing relative or another appropriate party, or another planned permanent living arrangement.

From the policy manual: The Division for Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) will make reasonable efforts to maintain the family unit and prevent unnecessary removal of a child from his or her home whenever possible through family engagement, active case planning, and the provision of services as appropriate.

When children cannot be maintained with their family of origin, permanency planning shall begin as soon as the child enters placement and shall include the establishment of both a permanency goal and a concurrent permanency goal within 60 days of removal. Permanency goals include the following:

  • Reunification
  • Adoption
  • Legal guardianship with a fit and willing relative or another appropriate part
  • Another planned permanent living arrangement, as applicable (for a child who is age 16 or older)

Concerted efforts shall be made to actively plan and work on both goals simultaneously until permanency is achieved. This shall include the following:

  • Ongoing assessment of both permanency goals, with focus on achieving the permanency goal, and active concurrent planning
  • Providing paid services and making referrals to community services, as appropriate, to achieve permanency goals in a timely manner

Efforts to achieve timely permanency shall be ongoing and shall include the following:

  • Meaningful and planned engagement with parents or guardians and children, including active pursuit of identifying, locating, and engaging missing parents
  • Ongoing exploration of relatives and child-identified supports as well as notification of the placement to identified relatives
  • Active and timely identification and engagement of individuals identified as potential guardians, adoptive parents, or primary caring adults
  • Thoughtful and timely case planning that identifies the needs of all family members, the family's natural supports, and appropriate services to meet the family's needs

When it is determined that the preferred permanency goal is no longer viable, DCYF shall recommend to the court that efforts to achieve the preferred permanency goal cease and the identified concurrent goal become the new permanency goal.