Court Improvement Program

Laws Affecting Dependency

 

Arizona Revised Statute, Title 8 - Children 

Title 8 of the Arizona Revised Statutes contains several chapters pertaining to children including:

  • Chapter 1 - Adoption;
  • Chapter 5 - Child Welfare and Placement;
  • Chapter 10 - Dependent Children.

 

Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351) 

Through the enactment of P.L. 110-351, Congress changed federal child welfare policy in six key areas:

  • Support for kinship care and family connections;
  • Support for older youth;
  • Coordinated health services;
  • Improved educational stability and opportunities;
  • Incentives and assistance for adoption;
  • Direct access to federal resources for Indian Tribes.

 

Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-89, "ASFA") 

Titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act were amended through the enactment of P.L. 105-89 to clarify certain provisions of P.L. 96-272 and to speed the process of finding permanent homes for children. Through ASFA, emphasis was placed on:

  • Child’s health and safety;
  • Circumstances under which reasonable efforts to reunify would not be required;
  • Shortening the time frames for initiating termination proceedings.

 

Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-272)

Through the enactment of P.L. 96-272, Congress imposed major reform to foster care and gave several additional duties to state juvenile courts. As a result of this legislation, courts must:

  • Evaluate the “reasonable efforts” of the agency to provide services to preserve families;
  • Hold periodic review hearings;
  • Adhere to deadlines for permanency planning decisions;
  • And ensure that there are safeguards in place concerning visitation and placement of the child.

  

Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-608, "ICWA") 

In recognition that “an alarmingly high percentage of Indian families” were broken up by the removal of their children from them and that “an alarmingly high percentage of such children were placed in non-Indian foster and adoptive homes and institutions,” Congress enacted P.L. 95-608. Through this law, standards were established for the placement of Indian children in foster or adoptive homes.