background shadows

A close up of a sign

Description automatically generated

Policy Manual

 

Manual: CP&P

Child Protection and Permanency 

Effective Date: 04-05-2010

Volume: IV

Out of Home Placement

Chapter: A

General Placement

Revised Date: 10-04-2021

Subchapter: 11

Home Selection

Issuance: 100

KLG vs. Adoption

 

Purpose:

 

This issuance establishes policy and procedure related to making a resource placement decision, including adoption or KLG, for a child who cannot be reunited with his or her birth family and is placed by CP&P with a kin caregiver. 

 

Authority:

 

·         P.L. 272, Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act 

·         P.L. 105-89, Adoption and Safe Families Act 

·         N.J.S.A. 3B:12A-1-6, Kinship Legal Guardianship Act 

·         N.J.S.A. 30:4C-84-89 et seq. 

·         N.J.S.A. 30:4C-15 (d) and (f), Petition to terminate parental rights, conditions 

·         N.J.S.A. 30:4C-15.3, Exemptions from requirement to file petition seeking termination of parental rights 

 

 Policy:

 

A) Concurrent Planning and Permanency

Federal and State law require the Division to implement concurrent planning for all children in out-of-home placement, including children placed with kinship caregivers by the Division. 

B) First Placement - Best Placement Practice Model

The Division removes a child from his or her parent's care only when the child cannot remain safely at home. The overall goal of the Division is to place each child, as quickly as possible, with a family willing to make a permanent commitment, through adoption or KLG, if family reunification efforts fail. Temporary or interim placements for a child should be avoided, as they cause additional emotional trauma. In considering the suitability of kin for placement, the Division assesses his or her willingness and ability to adopt the child or obtain KLG.  

C) Making the Resource Placement Match: Assessing the Best Interest of the Child  

1)    Willing and Able - Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 30:4C-12.1, when CP&P places a child out of home, it is obligated to search for and assess prospective kinship caregivers, to determine if there are any who are both "willing and able" to provide a safe placement for the child:  

                                      i.        Does the kin meet, or with assistance can he or she meet, licensing standards for a resource home (e.g., physical space, background checks on all adults in the home)?     

                                    ii.        Can the prospective kinship caregiver meet the child's needs and protect the child (e.g., provide food, clothing, shelter, supervision, routine and special medical or mental health care, education)?  

2)    If more than one kinship household has been determined to be both "willing and able" to care for the child, a "best interest" decision must be made. Best Interest of the child is determined by a comprehensive assessment, which includes a thorough examination of the child's strengths and needs, the suitability of the kinship family to meet those needs, and the family's willingness and ability to make a commitment to the child.  

D) Child's Strengths and Needs

Assessment of the child's strengths and needs includes, but is not limited to, the following factors: 

1)    Child specific information, such as: 

                                     i)        Medical, dental, mental health, and educational needs 

                                    ii)        Whether the child is functioning at the appropriate developmental age and, if not, what are the child's special needs

                                  iii)        Whether the child exhibits behavior dangerous to him or herself or others 

                                  iv)        Whether the child is involved in the juvenile justice system 

                                    v)        The child's interests and talents 

                                  vi)        Sexual orientation and identity 

2)    The child's background, including: 

                              i)        Maternal and paternal family history 

                             ii)        Religious and cultural needs 

3)    The child's connections with: 

                             i)        Parents - the level of bonding, concerns about the parents, and the relationship with the parent's paramour or partner, if appropriate 

                            ii)        Siblings or other relatives - the level of bonding, concerns about residing with siblings or other relatives 

                          iii)        The school community - relationships with teachers, mentors, and peers, adjustment, grades 

                          iv)        Other community groups (e.g., the child's church, community center, other activities and organizations) - focusing on relationships 

E) Suitability of Kin to Meet the Child's Needs and Make a Commitment to the Child

Assessment of the suitability of kin for placement and permanency includes, but is not limited to, the following factors: 

1)    Is the home licensed or can it meet resource family care licensing standards?   

2)    Is the kin able to provide a safe environment for the child and to protect the child, especially from the child's parents, if they were abusive? Is the kin committed to the safety protection plan developed for the child and child's parents? If the kin cannot abide by the safety protection plan and protect the child, the placement should not be made under any circumstances. 

                             i)        Note:  A child's parent cannot reside in the home, unless an exception is made by an Area Director. Staff may seek an exception only when the parent is dependent upon the caregiver, because the parent is a minor and keeping the child and parent together is part of the case plan, or the parent is developmentally challenged, and not capable of residing independently. See CP&P-IV-D-2-200, Child's Parent Residing In KLG Caregiver's Home Precludes Eligibility.  

3)    Is the kin willing to make a permanent commitment to  the child through adoption or KLG, if reunification cannot be achieved? Is the kin committed to long term care and stability? Can he or she raise the child to adulthood based on his or her health, stability, age?  

4)    Does the kin have a strong family connection (i.e., What is the strength and level of the family network, including size, level of commitment, and involvement? How close is the kin to other family members, physically and emotionally? Will he or she reinforce an ongoing family connection)? 

5)    Can the kin meet the child's needs or be trained to meet the needs? Is he or she willing to partner with CP&P to provide services? 

6)    Will the kin consider taking in the child's siblings? If not, will the kin support maintaining the sibling relationship? Is the home physically close to the siblings?  

7)    Is the kin's home the least restrictive placement, close to the child's school, community, or county? 

8)    Does the kin require subsidy? Would the child be eligible for an adoption or KLG subsidy? 

F) Mandated Full Disclosure

1)    The Worker is required to meet with the kin caregiver to have an in-depth discussion about  adoption and KLG as early as possible prior to, or immediately following, the initial placement of a child in the kin caregiver's home. The purpose of this discussion is to enable the kin to express, as early on as possible what permanency option is in the best interest of the child and family. Details of the discussion must be thoroughly documented on a contact activity note in NJS.  

2)    The kin acknowledges that full disclosure was provided by signing CP&P Form 4-18,  Adoption and KLG Comparison Chart, Acknowledgement Receipt. 

G) Dispute Resolution Regarding Placement Decision

1)    Unwilling and Unable - If CP&P finds a relative or person with a kinship relationship to the child to be "unwilling" or "unable" to care for the child, the  prospective kin caregiver has the right to request a dispositional hearing to enable the child to be placed in his or her home (N.J.S.A. 30:4C-12.1(b) and N.J.A.C. 3A:5-3.1(a)2). See CP&P IV-B-2-500 Assessing Kin to Provide Care for a Child in Need of out of Home Placement (Prospective Kinship Caregiver Rule Out Criteria) 

2)    Best Interest - If a relative or person with a kinship relationship to the child who CP&P finds willing and able to provide care (i.e., CP&P has not ruled out the  prospective kin caregiver), is not selected by CP&P for the placement of a child based on the child's best interest, the  prospective kin caregiver does not have administrative appeal rights. 

 

Forms and Attachments:

 

  • CP&P Form 4-18,  Adoption and KLG Comparison Chart Acknowledgement Receipt 
  • CP&P Form 26-80, Court Report 

·         CP&P Form 26-81, Case Plan Assessment 

·         CP&P Form 26-87, Desired Family Outcomes and Specific Activities 

  • CP&P Form 26-88, Concurrent Planning Flow Chart 

·         CP&P Form 26-89, Concurrent Planning Guide 

 

Related Information

 

·         CP&P-IX-G-1-100 Procedures to Request Adult Probation Records 

·         CP&P-III-B-2-200 Commitment to Permanency 

·         CP&P-III-B-2-100, Permanency Planning 

·         CP&P-IV-B-2-100, Resource Home Selection  

·         Permanency Fact Sheet 

 

 

Policy History

 

·         10-04-2021

·         04-05-2010