Improving Permanency Hearings: Sample Court Reports

Mark Hardin ABA Center on Children and the Law The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, Public Law 105-89 (ASFA) enacted new requirements for permanency hearings on behalf of children in foster care. ASFA's requirements for permanency hearings were further strengthened by regulations issued in 2000. 65 Fed. Reg. 4019-4093, codified at 45 CFR §§ 1355-1357.

The combined impact of ASFA and the 2000 regulations is that the new requirements for permanency hearings are far stricter than those formerly required by federal law. The new strengthened requirements are supposed to ensure more timely permanent homes for children in foster care. These materials set forth the nuts and bolts of effective permanency hearings. Through the use of forms, they set forth the issues to be addressed in each permanency hearing. At the same time, they provide a record of the agency's recommendations and the court's decisions at the hearing.