2000 Jordan Institute
are a Crucial Part of the Principles of Concurrent Planning
Differential Assessment/Diagnosis: After
evaluation of family strengths/resources, all families in North
Carolina are given a concurrent plan.
Full Disclosure: Tell parents about
concurrent plan (as well as urgency of reunification and detrimental
effects of out-of-home care). The families' options are thoroughly
and repeatedly reviewed with them in an open, honest manner.
efforts are made to institute frequent parental visiting, even
with ambivalent or unresponsive parents. The agency's zeal
in promoting visiting will result in either faster reunification
or early decision-making in favor of an alternative permanent
plan" (Katz, 1999). "Accurate and descriptive documentation
of visitation patterns and progress serves the dual purpose
of providing clear evidence for discharge or termination of
parental rights" (Wattenberg, 1997).
Plan A and Plan B: Have an alternate
plan if reunification does not occur. Start an early search
for immediate and extended relatives. Identify relatives or
foster families ready to adopt, become guardians, or accept
custody of the children involved.
Written Agreement and Time Line: Outline
short-term goals and long-term permanency goals and highlight
how visitation fits in the picture. Adhere to and make sure
families are informed of time lines and expectations. Draw parents/relatives
into case planning early and clarify time lines as needed. Parents
should have an overall case plan in small steps that can be
documented to evaluate progress.
- Behavior, Not Promises: Make it clear to parents that
what matters is what they do, not what they say they will do.
Documented behaviors are the only evidence that can be reported
in court. Make sure there is accurate and descriptive documentation
while tracking actual eventsdescribe what the parents did.
- Forensic Social Work: Legally sound casework/case planning
supports concise court reports and competent testimony.
- Success Redefined: Primary goal is timely permanency,
with family reunification as the first, but not the only, option.
(Source: Katz, L. (1999). Concurrent planning: Benefits and
pitfalls. Child Welfare, 78(1), 71-87.)
© 2000 Jordan Institute for Families