Recently enacted federal and state law impacts the placement of dependent children and wards of the court across state lines. States must develop a process to ensure that foster care and adoptive home studies for children placed across state lines are completed within 60 calendar days; to establish a 14-day time frame for agencies to reject home studies done in another state for placing a California child across state lines; ensure caregivers access to court proceeding; require the court to consider both in-state and out-of-state options.
The effective date of the federal law was October 1, 2006, but California got an extension. The pertinent provisions of the state implementing legislation (SB 703) were effective January 1, 2008. This letter sets out the California provisions, including the exceptions for the 60 day time frame to do the home study (circumstances beyond agency’s control) and what must be in the home study to be complete, incentive payments for “on time” studies, and data reporting requirements. [Download]