Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC)
The ICPC is a contract among member states and U.S. territories authorizing them to work together to ensure that children who are placed across state lines for foster care or adoption receive adequate protection and support services. The ICPC establishes procedures for the placement of children and fixes responsibility for agencies and individuals involved in placing children. To participate in the ICPC, a state must enact into law the provisions of the ICPC. In 1975, California adopted the provisions of the ICPC, now found at Family Code Section 7900, et seq. This statute designates the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) as "the appropriate public authority" responsible for administration of ICPC.
The purpose of the ICPC is to protect the child and the party states in the interstate placement of children so that:
- The child is placed in a suitable environment;
- The receiving state has the opportunity to assess that the proposed placement is not contrary to the interests of the child and that its applicable laws and policies have been followed before it approves the placement;
- The sending state obtains enough information to evaluate the proposed placement;
- The care of the child is promoted through appropriate jurisdictional arrangements; and
- The sending agency or individual guarantees the child legal and financial protection.
The need for the ICPC grew out of work performed in the late 1950’s when a group of social service administrators and state legislators informally studied the problems of placing children out-of-state for adoption or foster care.
Although some federal statutes regulated interstate movement they did not provide protection for children moved between states. The group found that a sending state, in the absence of the ICPC, could not compel the receiving state to provide protection or support services for a child. In addition, a receiving state, in the absence of the ICPC, could not compel a sending state to remain financially responsible for the child. In response to this group’s findings, the ICPC was drafted. Currently, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands have joined the ICPC. Each member of the ICPC appoints a Compact Administrator that is responsible for the administration of the ICPC in it's jurisdiction. In California, the Compact Administrator is the Deputy Director of the CDSS Children and Family Services Division.
In California, requests for out-of-state placements into residential treatment facilities and group homes are centralized and processed by the CDSS Out-of-State Placement Policy Unit. The CDSS has delegated the responsibility and functions associated with interstate placement requests in relative homes, foster family homes and prospective adoptive homes to counties and licensed adoption agencies. Each county has an ICPC Liaison who processes interstate foster care placements, including relative and non- offending parent placements. The CDSS and county adoption agencies process public agency interstate adoptions. Private agency adoptions are processed by California full-service licensed adoption agencies. Interstate independent adoptions are processed through the CDSS Adoptions Regional and Field Offices and the counties of Alameda, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
In 1974, the ICPC administrators formed the Association of Administrators of the ICPC (AAICPC) to provide technical and support services to its members. The American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) acts as the Secretariat to the Association of Administrators. The APHSA is a non-profit organization that represents a variety of state interests in the field of health and human services. For further information, the AAICPC may be contacted at:
810 First Street, NE, Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20002-4267
FAX (202) 289-6555
AAICPC website: www.aphsa.org/content/AAICPC/en/home.html
Frequently Asked Questions About the ICPC
WHAT IS THE SENDING AGENCY/STATE?
The sending agency/state is a member state, officer or employee of the member state; a subdivision of a member state, or officer or employee of the subdivision; a court of a member state; a person, corporation, association, charitable agency or other entity which sends, brings, or causes to be sent or brought any child to another member state.
WHAT IS THE RECEIVING STATE?
The receiving state is the state to which the child is sent, brought, or caused to be sent or brought for placement with state or local public authorities, or for placement with private agencies or persons.
WHAT IS A PLACEMENT?
A placement is the arrangement for the care of a child in a foster home or in a child-caring agency or institution, including placement with a relative, or into a pre-adoptive home.
WHAT TYPES OF INTERSTATE PLACEMENTS ARE SUBJECT TO THE ICPC?
The ICPC applies to the following:
- Placement preliminary to an adoption (adoptions include placements made by public agencies or birth parents);
- Placement into foster care (foster care placements are those in licensed/approved foster family homes, including homes of relatives;
- Placement with parents and relatives when a parent or relative is not making the placement; and
- Placement into a residential facility, (this form of foster care includes placements into residential treatment centers, group homes and child care institutions;
WHAT TYPES OF INTERSTATE PLACEMENTS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE ICPC?
- Placements into schools where the primary purpose for the placement is educational;
- Placements into medical and mental facilities;
- Placements made by a child’s parent, stepparent, grandparent, adult sister or brother, adult aunt, or uncle, or non-agency guardian with any such relative or non-agency guardian;
WHAT FORMS ARE NEEDED IN THE ICPC PROCESS?
- ICPC Form 100A : this form is the actual contract between the sending state and the receiving state. A placement cannot be made until the Compact Administrator or designee from both states has signed the ICPC 100A.?
- ICPC Form 100B : this form is used to inform the receiving state when a child is actually placed into their state, and to inform the receiving or sending state that an ICPC case has been closed.?
WHAT DOCUMENTATION IS NEEDED FOR AN ICPC PLACEMENT REQUEST?
- Court order
- Case plan
- Summary of information on the child
- Financial and medical plan
WHO SUPERVISES THE PLACEMENT AFTER A CHILD IS PLACED IN THE RECEIVING STATE?
The receiving state provides courtesy supervision of a child until the ICPC case is closed. However, when a California dependent or ward of the juvenile court is placed in an out-of-state residential facility or group home the California sending agency is responsible for supervising the placement.
WHEN CAN AN ICPC CASE BE CLOSED?
An ICPC case can be closed only when a child is adopted, reaches age of majority, or becomes self-supporting or when the appropriate authorities in the sending state and receiving state concur that the ICPC case can be closed.
WHAT IS THE CALIFORNIA STATE ICPC CONTACT?
California contact is: ICPC@dss.ca.gov
WHO ARE CALIFORNIA’S ICPC COUNTY LIAISONS?
WHO ARE ICPC STATE LIAISONS?
ICPC State Contact List
HOW CAN I LOCATE A CALIFORNIA LICENSED ADOPTION AGENCY?
California Licensed Adoption Agency
HOW CAN I LOCATE A STATE ADMINISTRATOR?
ICPC State Administrators
Guide to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS
In California the Interstate Compact on Juveniles (ICJ) office address is as follows and is not a part of the California Department of Social Services:
Department of Juvenile Justice
4241 Williamsborough Drive, Suite 223
Sacramento, CA 95823
Telephone: (916) 262-1374
Child Abuse Registry: (916) 227-3285 name checks for victims and suspects for out of state investigative agencies on former California residents only.
Mental Health Compact Office: None. Responsibility for interstate transfers rest with the superintendent of the individual State Hospital, the local Director of the Regional Center for the Developmentally Disabled or the local Director of Mental Health Services.
California Missing Children’s Clearinghouse: Telephone: 1-800-222 FIND