Resources and information about legal issues relevant to achieving permanency for children and youth in out-of-home care, including:
National Center for State Courts
Describes how judicial leadership has contributed to a child protection environment in the United States where collaboration with social services, attorneys, services providers, and others has resulted in better service to families and a reduction in the number of children and youth in care. This website provides information on strategies to help judges create an outcome-oriented court when it comes to child protection.
Permanency Barriers Project
American Bar Association, Center on Children and the Law
Promotes permanency for children in the child welfare system and aims to help States bring together advocates, professionals, and the larger community to develop permanency solutions. The project identifies delays in the case management process; designs action plans and helps to fix delays; establishes written protocols and procedures; provides training; and monitors jurisdictions to ensure that reforms are implemented.
Plans of Safe Care: An Issue Brief for Judicial Officers (PDF - 409 KB)
National Quality Improvement Center for Collaborative Community Court Teams & National Center for State Courts (2020)
Provides guidance to judicial officers on implementing plans of safe care to address the health needs of substance-exposed infants and their families.
Plans of Safe Care for Infants With Prenatal Substance Exposure and Their Families
Promoting Permanency for Teens: A 50 State Review of Law and Policy
Johnson, Speiglman, Mauldon, Grimm, & Perry (2018)
Explores the diversity of State policies and practices for teens in foster care in two areas: the need for a permanent connection to a family, and practical needs for transitioning to legal adulthood, independence, and self-sufficiency. Recommendations for how to help achieve permanency for these youth are included.
Understanding Child Welfare and the Courts
Youth Voices for Permanency – Four Steps Judges and Court Professionals Can Take to Promote Permanency for Youth in Foster Care
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Voice for Adoption (2018)
Presents input from foster youth, judges, advocates, and child welfare organizations on how courts can help make a difference and help foster youth achieve permanency. The resource includes links to a permanency guide bench card and a courtroom guide.
Reasonable and Active Efforts, and Substance Use Disorders: A Toolkit for Professionals Working With Families In or At Risk of Entering the Child Welfare System (PDF - 378 KB)
National Quality Improvement Center for Collaborative Community Court Teams & American Bar Association, Center on Children and the Law (2020)
Provides information for legal professionals about the reasonable and active efforts requirements, examples of how to meet those standards, and ways to use reasonable efforts to support families affected by substance use disorders.
Reasonable Efforts: A Judicial Perspective (PDF - 682 KB)
Reviews the history of the "reasonable efforts" concept and explains the legal requirements imposed on children's services agencies and the responsibilities placed on courts through legislation. The resource also discusses Federal legislation relating to reasonable efforts, barriers that limit judges' ability to address reasonable efforts, and best practices judges can use when addressing reasonable efforts.