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OHIO – Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC)


Any adoption or foster care placement that involves the placement of a child outside of Ohio will involve a federal law called the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). All 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands are members of the Compact. To proceed with an adoption, please note that it is illegal to move a child across state lines without first complying with the ICPC requirements. Ohio is one of the few states to enact a new version of the ICPC that was drafted in 2005. This FAQ should help inform you about Ohio’s ICPC requirements and the differences between the new ICPC and the current ICPC.

The additional information on and proposed legislative language of the new ICPC can be found at: www.aphsa.org/Policy/icpc2006rewrite.htm

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the purpose of the ICPC?

A: The purpose of the ICPC is to ensure that if a child is moved across state lines, that child’s rights are protected as if they were in their home state and all legal requirements are observed. The ICPC is designed to: provide a monitoring mechanism during the transition and placement of the child in another state; ensure the child receives services; ensure compliance with the laws of each state; and provide the child with an alternative should the placement prove not to be in their best interest or if the need for out-of-state services ends.

Q: Who does the current ICPC apply to?

A: The Compact currently covers foster children being placed with a relative or another caregiver, children moving across state lines with their foster parents, children placed for adoption by a public or private agency or by a private attorney, children placed in residential treatment facilities by parents, parents placing children with non-relatives, and pregnant mothers going across state lines to give birth and place their children for adoption. The state where the child is currently residing is called the “sending” state and the state where the child will be placed is called the “receiving” state.

Q: What is the process involved under the ICPC?

A: The sending state must provide the receiving state with notice of its intention to place a child across state lines. This requires the sending state to complete several forms and a case plan. These forms along with the case plan are forwarded to the receiving state’s Compact Administrator for review. Upon careful review and evaluation, the receiving state approves or denies the placement by sending notice of its decision to the sending state. If approved, procedures are initiated to place the child in the receiving state. Services for the child are to continue as if the child were still in his/her home state.

Q: How do I comply with the current ICPC?

A: Compliance differs depending on whether Ohio is the sending or receiving state. The agency or adoption professional that you are working with should complete the necessary paperwork to comply with the ICPC. Each state has a Compact Administrator that oversees the process of interstate placements. Proof that the ICPC was complied with will be requested before an adoption can be finalized. (§5101:2-52-04 & 5101:2-52-06)

Q: What are the responsibilities of the agencies under the current ICPC?

A: The sending agency, although it no longer has physical custody of the child, still retains all legal and financial responsibility. This means the sending agency retains the right to make all decisions regarding the care and custody of the child while the child is in the receiving state. The sending agency also must keep the receiving agency up-to-date on any changes regarding the status of the child during the placement. The receiving agency is responsible for the maintenance and welfare of the child during the child’s stay in the receiving state.

Q: Are there safeguards offered under the current ICPC?

A: There are safeguards in place for the child as well as the parties involved in the placement. The sending agency may request a home study and an evaluation of the proposed placement to ensure the child’s safety. The sending agency also retains jurisdiction during the child’s placement and is entitled to regular, on-going progress reports. The child is guaranteed legal and financial protections by keeping this responsibility with the sending agency. The receiving state is safeguarded by allowing it to apply its own laws and policies to the placement as well as to supervise the placement.

Q: Did Ohio ratify the ICPC?

A: Yes. Ohio along with all of the other states has codified the ICPC in the Ohio Revised Code. Actually, Ohio is one of the few states to adopt the New ICPC. However, the old ICPC is still in full force and effect until 35 states ratify the New ICPC. (§5103.20)

Q: A child placement Compact already exists. Why should we replace it?

A: The current Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children was adopted in 1960 as an answer to states’ concerns about protecting children placed across state lines. Before the Compact was implemented, states had no authority over the children once the children were placed outside of its borders. The Compact has now been in effect almost 50 years and needs to be updated to keep in line with the ever changing laws and technology. This will allow the state’s to continue to promote safety and permanency for children while promoting timely placements. Signing a new Compact will provide uniformity among the states laws in regulating the placement of children across state lines.

Q: How will the revised ICPC improve the interstate placement of children?

A: The proposed new Compact will change the following: (1) narrows the applicability of the Compact to the interstate placement of children in the foster care system and those placed across state lines for adoption; (2) requires the development of time frames for completion of the approval process; (3) establishes clear rulemaking authority, (4) provides enforcement mechanisms; (5) clarifies state responsibility; and (6) ensures states’ ability to purchase home studies from licensed agencies to expedite the process.

Q: Who does the new ICPC apply to?

A: The Compact currently covers the interstate placement of: an abused, neglected or deprived child; a child adjudicated delinquent or unmanageable and is subject to ongoing court jurisdiction; a child placed by a public or private agency for purposes of adoption. (§5103.20)

Q: What safeguards are included in the new ICPC?

A: The new ICPC includes improved legal framework that will strengthen enforcement authority. Compliance and enforcement will be encouraged by a wide range of measures, including technical assistance, alternative dispute resolution, suspension, termination, and legal action in federal court. In addition, the new Compact will have a committee type structure in place that will hopefully allow for speedy identification of potential problems and a timely process for addressing concerns.

Q: Must all states adopt identical language?

A: Yes. Generally, the Compact language must be identical in the substantive provisions of the agreement. However, the format of the agreement can be different from state to state; otherwise material differences in language in any state statute purporting to adopt the Compact could render it “void” or “voidable.”

Q: When will the new ICPC go into effect?

A: In order for the new Compact to be in effect 35 states must adopt it. Once that has happened, none of these states will be able to operate under the old Compact. States that have adopted the new Compact will only be able to deal with states in a similar situation, meaning that if a state has not adopted the new Compact a contractual relationship cannot exist with a state that has. However, under the terms of the new Compact, the old Compact’s rules will remain in effect among both old and new Compact states for the first twelve months until the new rules can be statutorily adopted. This will allow interstate placements to be made in both new and old Compact states during that twelve month period. After the initial twelve months, new Compact states will only be allowed to conduct interstate placements with each other.

QQ: What recent Legislative activity has taken place on the ICPC?

A: As of November 15, 2012, - 12 States have enacted the Compact, 1 State has introduced the Compact, and 1 State has passed the Compact in one chamber. For more information about the new ICPC, please visit: http://www.aphsa.org/Policy/icpc_rewrite.htm

Q: Who is the ICPC Administrator for Ohio and how do I contact them?

A: The Ohio Deputy Compact Administrator is Carrie Anthony, Director, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The Deputy Compact Administrator is James Williams, Bureau Chief, Office for Children and Families.

All correspondence, questions and telephone calls should go to:

ODJFS - Bureau of Child Welfare Policy
50 West Town Street, 6th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Telephone: (614) 752-1255

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