Federal laws and policies outline and provide guidance to States on the permanency planning requirements for children and youth served by child welfare agencies. The following resources address Federal laws that affect the permanency process in child welfare.
National Indian Child Welfare Association
Discusses the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, including requirements of the law. The resource also provides links to recent guidelines and Federal regulations related to the legislation.
The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980
Child and Family Services Reviews Information Portal
Explains the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, which requires that child protective services agencies make reasonable efforts to avoid the unnecessary removal of children from their homes and to reunify children in foster care with their families when possible.
Child Welfare Legislative History
U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means (2011)
Describes legislative history related to the development of programs currently authorized under titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act.
Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act
North American Council on Adoptable Children (2017)
Explores the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 and discusses the impacts of the legislation, including how the law enhances adoption incentives, enables States to receive Federal funds for guardians, and promotes family connections.
Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 (25 U.S.C. §§ 1901-63) (PDF - 216 KB)
Tribal Court Clearinghouse
Provides the text of ICWA, which protects the best interests and promotes the stability and security of Indian children and families.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau (2018)
Lists Federal child welfare legislation that has played a role ensuring safety, permanency, and well-being for children and youth.
Leveraging the Family First Prevention Services Act to Improve Use of Title IV-E GAP (PDF - 1,720 KB)
Describes the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 and how the law has implications for connecting children to relative caregivers and promoting permanency through guardianship. The document reviews how States and Tribes operating a Federal title IV-E Guardianship Assistance Program can use the law to strengthen and promote their programs.
Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PDF - 301 KB)
Capacity Building Center for States
Explains the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program, which seeks to prevent child maltreatment, enable children to remain safety at home with their families, and ensure permanency for children in foster care. The program enables States and Tribes to operate a coordinated program of community-based services to achieve its goals.
Public Law 105-89 – Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (PDF - 213 KB)
U.S. Government Printing Office (1997)
Describes an act that promotes timely permanency planning and placement for children in foster care and the importance of children's safety and well-being during the permanency process.
Public Law 110-351 – Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008
U.S. Government Printing Office (2008)
Provides the full text of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, which amended parts B and E of title IV of the Social Security Act to connect and support relative caregivers, improve outcomes for children in foster care, provide for Tribal foster care and adoption access, and to improve incentives for adoption.