Protecting Abused, Neglected, and Abandoned Children: A Proposal for Provisional Out-of-State Kinship Placements Pursuant to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children

The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children deals with the interstate placement of abused, neglected and abandoned children. This article addresses the critical need for reform of the Interstate Compact and attempts to tackle its most serious flaw-the lack of a provisional placement for children awaiting approval of out-of-state kinship placements. The recently enacted Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006 (the “Act”) is seriously flawed to the detriment of one of our country’s most vulnerable groups and the very population it is designed to protect-children who have been abused, neglected and abandoned. This article criticizes the Act and Mther current reform efforts and proposes a provisional placement system that would allow children to be immediately placed with family members across state lines. The implementation of a provisional placement will: (1) encourage many courts who are currently ignoring the mandates of the Interstate Compact to comply with its provisions; (2) minimize the trauma associated with being separated from a biological parent; (3) enhance the likelihood that siblings can remain together while in foster placement; (4) decrease the overall number of placements to which a child is subjected; and (5) free up scarce traditional foster placements for other child placements.