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Maryland and District of Columbia Streamline Placing Children Across Borders for Foster Care

 

BALTIMORE, MD —(March 5, 2013) The Maryland Department of Human Resources and the District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency have signed an agreement that makes it easier for each jurisdiction to place children in foster care in the other locale. The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) governs procedures for child welfare systems to place children across borders. However, it also allows for neighboring states and territories to establish their own rules. The Maryland- DC agreement supports safe but faster placement by cutting paperwork requirements and waiving the need for state approval before enrolling District foster children in Maryland schools. The agreement also solidifies procedures for rapid placement of children with their relatives in emergency situations.

“The reality of local demographics is that families and other resources span jurisdictions,” said Brenda Donald, director, DC Child and Family Services Agency. “We appreciate Maryland DHR for partnering with us to speed up getting District children into temporary safe havens at a difficult time in their lives.”

“We thank Director Donald for her continued partnership with Maryland,” said Ted Dallas, secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Resources. “This border agreement will help both Maryland and the District work through unnecessary delays in the placement of children and help us keep kids safe.”

Of the 1,400 DC children and youth in District foster care, some 690 (49%) are in Maryland foster homes. To maintain enough beds for DC children and youth in need of foster care, CFSA has traditionally entered into contracts with private agencies that operate networks of foster homes, most of which are in Maryland. CFSA’s current inventory of foster care beds includes 953 in Maryland and 532 in the District. Given the volume of inter-jurisdictional placements from the District to Maryland, the new border agreement is a significant help.

At the same time, CFSA is seeking to recruit more foster homes in the District. Increasing the inventory of homes in the city will allow more District children and youth in need of foster care to remain in their home community. District residents interested in becoming foster parents should call 202-671-LOVE. Maryland residents who want to foster in Maryland should call 888-MD-KIDS2.

 

Media contact: Brian Schleter 443-253-4204 brian.schleter@maryland.gov

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Filed in: Child Welfare

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