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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 158370 Find in a Library
Title: Making Reasonable Efforts: Steps for Keeping Families Together
Editor(s): L Lange
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 120
Sponsoring Agency: Child Welfare League of America, Inc.
Arlington, VA 22202-4801
Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
New York, NY 10177
National Center for Youth Law
Oakland, CA 94612
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Reno, NV 89507
Youth Law Ctr
San Francisco, CA 94104
Sale Source: Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
250 Park Avenue
Room 900
New York, NY 10177
United States of America
Type: Guideline
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: These guidelines for preventing the unnecessary removal of children from their families are intended for use by judges, social services personnel, and attorneys who represent children and parents.
Abstract: One of the major provisions of the Federal Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 is the requirement that judges determine whether reasonable efforts have been made to enable children to remain safely at home before they are placed in foster care. The act also requires that reasonable efforts be made to reunite foster children with their biological parents. A notable omission from the act is a definition of "reasonable efforts." This book provides guidelines for what constitutes "reasonable efforts." The guidelines are designed to assist professionals in defining, providing, and enforcing reasonable efforts toward enabling children to remain safely at home before they are placed in foster care or to rejoin their biological families if possible. The guidelines are divided into three sections. The first two focus on the legal system and the third on the social services system. Each section provides two kinds of information. First, they provide basic "black letter" guidelines for attorneys, judges, and agency personnel to use in meeting their respective obligations in determining whether reasonable efforts have been made. Second, they provide explanatory information on each guideline, including citations of applicable case law, national standards, secondary reference materials, and policy considerations. Following the guidelines is a list of supplementary materials and resources, as well as an appendix that contains a sample court order, sample findings of fact and conclusions of law, and a reasonable-efforts checklist. A resource list of organizations and publications is provided.
Main Term(s): Parent-Child Relations
Index Term(s): Child placement services; Child protection laws; Child protection services; Child welfare; Family courts; Family reunification
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