Concurrent planning, required by the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, is an approach that seeks to eliminate delays in attaining permanent families for children and youth in foster care. Effective implementation requires comprehensive and early assessment. It involves identifying and working toward a child's primary permanency goal (such as reunification with the birth family) while simultaneously identifying and working on a secondary goal (such as guardianship with a relative). This practice can shorten the time to achieve permanency if efforts toward the primary goal prove unsuccessful because progress has already been made toward the secondary goal. Resources include State and local examples.
209: Concurrent Planning
Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center
Provides an overview of the goals and timeline for permanency with a specific emphasis on working with families to develop concurrent child welfare plans.
Concurrent Planning for Timely Permanency for Children
Concurrent Planning for Timely Permanence
Parent Fact Sheet on Concurrent Planning (PDF - 186 KB)
Families and Communities United (2013)
Explains ways that parents can be active participants in concurrent planning through working with their caseworker and children throughout the process.
State and local examples
Concurrent Planning Is Mandated by Law
Describes concurrent planning in California, including when it occurs, how it should work, laws, policies, practices, definitions, and more.
Concurrent Planning Steps and Timeline (PDF - 311 KB)
Berger & Wright (2017)
State of Oregon Judicial Department, Citizen Review Board
Outlines concurrent planning in the State of Oregon and steps that should occur immediately after a child is taken into custody, by 6 months after a child is placed in care or with a relative, and by a year or more after a child is placed in care and or with a relative.
Permanency Best Practices for Minnesota's Foster Care Youth (PDF - 203 KB)
Gueinzius & Hillel (2014)
William Mitchell Law Review, 40(3)
Defines permanency as it relates to youth in foster care in Minnesota and includes a discussion on concurrent permanency planning in the State. The article reviews Minnesota's goals for using this method to reduce delays in attaining permanency for children in care.
Permanency Planning Resource Guide (PDF - 702 KB)
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (2018)
Discusses case planning for permanency in Texas, including concurrent planning. This guide describes how and when to use concurrent planning and best practices.
Permanency Planning – Concurrent Permanency Planning (PDF - 155 KB)
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (2014)
Provides an overview of concurrent permanency planning in Michigan, including Federal and State laws, concurrent planning components, timeframes, and implementing multiple plans. There is also a section on concurrent planning with Native American children.
Selecting Permanency Goals (PDF - 438 KB)
Virginia Department of Social Services (2017)
Explains six processes that support concurrent planning and three essential practices for developing concurrent planning within the framework of permanency goal development.