Presentation on theme: "1 Strategies for addressing challenges around Termination of Parental Rights. Presenters: Bill Stanton, Consultant, ICF Consulting Mary Coogan, Esq. Advocates."— Presentation transcript:
1 Strategies for addressing challenges around Termination of Parental Rights. Presenters: Bill Stanton, Consultant, ICF Consulting Mary Coogan, Esq. Advocates for Children in New Jersey
2 Outline Overview of CFSR process. ASFA. New Jersey CFSR court related outcomes. CFSR TPR outcomes. How have other states done? New Jersey TPR Case law National TPR PIP strategies. Conclusion and discussion.
3 What is the focus of CFSR : Safety Permanency Well Being
4 CFSR Measures Safety Permanency Well Being Outcomes Items Outcomes Items Outcomes Items Outcomes Items Outcomes Items Outcomes Items
5 Systemic Factors Statewide Information System Case Review System Quality Assurance System Staff and Provider Training Service Array and Resource Development Agency Responsiveness to the community Foster and Adoption Home Licensing, approval, and recruitment
6 Case Review System Item 25: Written Case Plan. Does the State provide a process that ensures each child has a written case plan, to be developed jointly with the childs parents and, when appropriate, the child? Item 26: Periodic Reviews. Is there a process for periodic review of the status of each child, no less frequently than once every 6 months, either by a court or by administrative review?
7 Case Review System Item 27: Permanency Hearings. Does each child in foster care have a permanency hearing in a qualified court or administrative body no later than 12 months from the date the child entered foster care and no less frequently than every 12 months thereafter? Item 28: Termination of Parental Rights. Is there a process for Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) proceedings in accordance with the provisions of ASFA? Item 29: Notice of Hearings and Reviews. Is there a process for foster parents, pre-adoptive parents, and relative caregivers of children in foster care to be notified of, and have a right to be heard in, any review or hearing held with respect to the child?
8 What is ASFA? P.L Signed into law on November 19, 1997 ASFA was enacted in an attempt to correct problems that were inherent in the Foster care system. Section 103 addresses TPR.
9 P.L Section 103 "(E) in the case of a child who has been in foster care under the responsibility of the State for 15 of the most recent 22 months, or, if a court of competent jurisdiction has determined a child to be an abandoned infant (as defined under State law) or has made a determination that the parent has committed murder of another child of the parent, committed voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent, aided or abetted, attempted, conspired, or solicited to commit such a murder or such a voluntary manslaughter, or committed a felony assault that has resulted in serious bodily injury to the child or to another child of the parent, the State shall file a petition to terminate the parental rights of the child's parents (or, if such a petition has been filed by another party, seek to be joined as a party to the petition), and, concurrently, to identify, recruit, process, and approve a qualified family for an adoption, unless--
P.L "(i) at the option of the State, the child is being cared for by a relative; "(ii) a State agency has documented in the case plan (which shall be available for court review) a compelling reason for determining that filing such a petition would not be in the best interests of the child; or "(iii) the State has not provided to the family of the child, consistent with the time period in the State case plan, such services as the State deems necessary for the safe return of the child to the child's home, if reasonable efforts of the type described in section 471(a)(15)(B)(ii) are required to be made with respect to the child.". 10
New Jersey CFSR case review systemic factor outcomes Case Review System rated a ANI. Case Plan rated ANI. Periodic Review rated a strength. Permanency Hearings rated a strength. TPR rated a ANI. Notification of foster parents and care givers rated a strength. 11
Why was TPR rated a ANI. Process for filing a petition for TPR, but need to improve compliance. Courts routinely provide parents with ongoing opportunities to continue to work toward reunification. Some courts do not accept TPR petitions until the extensions have expired and the court has ordered DYFS to file a TPR petition or to change the goal to adoption. 12
How have other states done? Of the 42 States with completed Round II Final CFSR Reports, the overall ranking for the Case Review System Systemic Factor is as follows: –1 State was In Substantial Conformity. –39 States were not in substantial conformity: More than one of the requirements fail to function as described in each requirement. –2 States were not in substantial conformity. Both of these States got ANI on 26, 27, and 28 13
How have other states done with TPR? 9 States were a strength. 33 states a ANI. 14
Recent New Jersey TPR Case Law 15
What are the challenges in New Jersey around TPR? 16
National TPR PIP Strategies What are other states doing to address TPR challenges? 17