Interstate Compacts Overview

The Connecticut Department of Children and Families, Office of Foster Care and Adoption Services, administers four distinct interstate compacts, which are used to facilitate the placement and movement of children across state lines, either into Connecticut or from Connecticut to another state. The four compacts are described below:

  1. The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC): This compact applies to the placement of children into foster care, relative care, adoption, and residential placements into all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories. Connecticut General Statutes (CGS)-17a-175-182.
  2. The Interstate Compact on Juveniles (ICJ):  This Compact applies to the placement or movement of youth who are on probation or on parole in their home state, and to non-delinquent run-aways. All 50 states are members. CGS 46b-151-151g.
  3. The Interstate Compact on Mental Health (ICMH):   This compact applies to children who are transferred from a public psychiatric facility in one state to the same kind of facility in another state. Not all states are members of this compact. CGS 17a-615-618.
  4. The Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (ICAMA):   This compact applies to children receiving adoption assistance who move with their adoptive families, and ensures that they can receive medical benefits in their new state of residence, provided that this state is a member of this compact. (Forty-four states belong to this compact). CGS 17a-116d-116e.

 

Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children - ICPC

Overview
This law (Connecticut General Statute 17a-175-182) is designed to protect the best interests of children who are being placed outside of Connecticut and those children who are being placed in Connecticut in foster care, relative care, adoption, or a residential facility.

In Connecticut, the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) is housed in the Department of Children and Families and administered by the Office of Foster Care and Adoption Services, 505 Hudson Street, Hartford, CT 06106.

What is the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children?
The ICPC is a statutory law in all 52-member jurisdictions (CGS 17a-175-182) and a binding contract between member jurisdictions that establishes uniform legal and administrative procedures governing the interstate placement of children.

What is the purpose of the ICPC?
The ICPC is based on the premise that children requiring out-of-state placement should receive the same protections and services that would be provided if they remained in their home states. Each child who requires placement out of their home state should receive the maximum opportunity to be placed in a suitable environment and with persons/institutions that have appropriate qualifications and facilities to provide the necessary/desirable degree and type of care that said child requires. In addition, the ICPC assures that legal and financial responsibilities are assigned for supporting the placement prior to making the placement.

What safeguards are offered by the ICPC?
The sending state can have:

  • A home study and evaluation of placement resource in receiving state.
  • Continued jurisdiction over the child in the receiving state.
  • Supervision and regular reports on child’s adjustment and progress in placement.

The receiving state can ensure that the:
  • Placement is not contrary to the interests of the child.
  • Child is guaranteed legal and financial protection by determining these responsibilities prior to placement.

Who must use the ICPC?
Sending agencies that send, bring, or cause a child to be sent or brought from one party jurisdiction to another must use the ICPC. Sending agencies include the following:
  • A state party to the ICPC or any officer or employee of a party state;
  • A subdivision, such as a county or a city, or any officer or employee of the subdivision;
  • A court of a party state; or
  • Any person (including parents and relatives in some instances), corporation, association, or charitable agency of a party state.

What types of cases are subject to the ICPC?
Generally-placements preliminary to a possible adoption or foster care, including:
  • Placements with Parents: birth parent reunification in another state whenever a court has jurisdiction over a child who is being placed;
  • Kinship Care: kinship care by a relative in another state whenever a court has jurisdiction over a child who is being placed;
  • Foster Family Care/Foster Group Homes: placements unrelated to the child;
  • Residential Care: placement in a residential facility.
  • Domestic Adoption: by a public agency or private child-placing agency;
  • International Adoption: when not finalized in the foreign country.

What type of placements are exempt from the ICPC?
  • Placements between relatives: sending or bringing of a child into a receiving state by his parent, step-parent, grandparent, adult aunt or uncle, or his/her guardian and leaving the child with any such relative or non-agency guardian in the receiving state
  • Placements made under other compacts: i.e., the Interstate Compact on Juveniles
  • Placements into certain types of institutions. i.e., boarding schools, hospitals, Job Corps, etc.
  • Placements made pursuant to Divorce: divorce, custody investigations involving home studies
  • Visits

Visits - Regulation No. 9
A visit is defined under regulation #9 and does not require ICPC approval to wit. A visit is defined as a stay for 30 days or less, unless it takes place entirely within a child’s academic summer vacation. The visit is to provide a child with a social or cultural experience and cannot be extended or renewed to exceed the presumed visit time frames.
 
Placements with Non-custodial Parents - Regulation No. 3
The Compact does not apply whenever a court transfers the child to the non-custodial parent and the court:
  • Does not have evidence before it that such parent is unfit
  • Does not seek such evidence
  • Does not retain jurisdiction over the child after the court transfers the child

The ICPC Process
Responsibilities of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families or the Connecticut Superior Court for Juvenile Matters:
  • Prepare 3 Referral Packets and forward to the Connecticut ICPC Office, DCF, Office of Foster Care and Adoption Services, 505 Hudson St., Hartford, CT 06106. (ICPC checklist: DCF 2226).
  • Retain Custody/Jurisdiction (Article V).
  • Provide ongoing planning for the child (Article V).
  • Maintain financial obligation (Article V).
     o Maintenance payment (foster care)
     o Medical payment
     o Daycare/other services
     o Counseling, if necessary
     o Make travel arrangements for the child

Responsibilities of the Connecticut ICPC Office
  •  Review and forward referrals to the Receiving State ICPC office.
  • Assure compliance with Connecticut laws and the ICPC.
  • Monitor placement status/progress toward the permanency goal.
  • Resolve problems between the Receiving State and the CT DCF local office/SCJM.

Responsibilities of the Receiving State’s ICPC Office
  • Review and forward referrals to the Receiving State’s local agency office.
  • Assurance compliance with the Receiving State’s laws and ICPC.
  • Approve or deny placement.
  • Refer for Supervision and Monitoring of the Placement.
  • Resolve problems with the Sending State and the Receiving States local agency office.
  • Approve dismissal of the sending agency’s custody.

Responsibilities of the Receiving State’s Local Agency Office
  •  Complete the home study/make recommendations regarding the placement.
  • Supervise the placement.
  • Complete quarterly reports.
  • Ensure requested/required services are received.
  • Notify state’s ICPC office when problems occur.
  • Recommend dismissal/case closure or return of child to sending state, when appropriate.

Frequent ICPC Concern/Issue: Priority Requests: Regulation No. 7.
Priority Placements This regulation requires that states give priority to proposed placements that meet the eligibility requirements, i.e., the proposed placement recipient is one of the enumerated relatives in Article VIII (a), i.e., parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, etc. (excludes cousins) and is under 2 years of age, is in an
emergency shelter or the child has spent a substantial amount of time with the placement recipient.
Priority Placement Regulation does not apply where the placement request is for:
  •  Licensing or approving foster family care.
  • Adoption.
  • Instances where the child is already in the Receiving State in violation of the ICPC.

Frequent ICPC Concern/Issue: Placements without ICPC approval: Violation of Article 111 and CGS 17a-175-182 
  •  No Supervision Services for child in Receiving State.
  • Child is denied protections to which they are entitled.
  • Failure to arrange for adequate services for the child and family may cause disruption of the placement, and/or return of the child to the sending agency if placement proves to be inappropriate.
  • The caretaker may be unable to enroll the child in school or obtain financial support/medical coverage for the child.

Frequent ICPC Concern/Issue: Supervision and Retention of Jurisdiction
  • Retention of jurisdiction of the child by the sending state is MANDATORY until jurisdiction can be properly dismissed under ICPC (Article V).
  • The Sending Agency continues to have responsibility for permanency planning and Financial Support/Maintenance of the child for the duration of the placement.
  • The Receiving Agency provides supervisory visits and quarterly progress reports regarding the child’s adjustment, assessment of the placement’s ability to meet the child’s needs, and the appropriateness of the permanency goal.
  • The standard supervision period is 6 months but may be longer depending on the child’s needs and the permanency goal.
  • Jurisdiction can only be terminated if the child is:
     o Adopted
     o Reaches majority age.
     o Becomes self-supporting.
     o Discharged with the concurrence of the Receiving State’s ICPC.

 

The Interstate Compact on Juveniles (ICJ)

Overview
This law (Connecticut General Statutes 46b-151-151g) provides for the protection and welfare of juveniles and the public. Reference (DCF Policy 47-4-1). All committed delinquents and juvenile probationers placed into and out of Connecticut or who have escaped or absconded across state lines must meet the requirements of this compact and be referred through this office. Runaways who refuse to return must also be referred to the Interstate Compact.
 
In Connecticut, the Interstate Compact on Juveniles (ICJ) is housed in the Department of Children and Families and is administered by the Office of Foster Care and Adoption Services, 505 Hudson Street, Hartford, CT 06106. All fifty states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands are participants in this compact.
 
What is the Interstate Compact on Juveniles?
The ICJ was established for the following reasons:

  1. To ensure that adjudicated juveniles are provided adequate supervision and services in the receiving state as ordered by the judge or parole authority in the sending state.
  2. To ensure that the receiving community is protected.
  3. To return non-adjudicated runaway youth, absconders, and escapees to their own states.
  4. To return juveniles charged as being delinquent to a demanding state other than their home state where they are alleged to have committed a delinquent act.
  5. To make contracts for cooperative institutionalization in member states for delinquents needing special services.
How to use the Interstate Compact for Juveniles
The process (see DCF Policy 47-4-3) for the placement and supervision of a delinquent juvenile from Connecticut into another State is as follows:
  1. All requests for home studies and evaluations to assess possible placements must be referred through the interstate compact office.
  2. Compile a Juvenile Compact Packet:
    • Cover letter or memo;
    • ICJ Form IV-Investigation Request;
    • Application for compact services and memorandum of understanding and waiver;
    • Social history. Treatment plan, adjustment reports, etc.; and
    • Court order.
  3. The packet is then sent to the receiving state.
  4. Upon approval from the receiving state the placement may occur.
Supervision
Connecticut requires a semi-annual written report to conform to state statute. Other information should be reported immediately, including parole violations. If the parolee is unable to make an adequate adjustment, the receiving state shall advise the sending state with recommendations for alternate placement or return to the sending state.
 
Termination of supervision and closing of the case is not done until written permission is received from the sending state.  The process (see DCF Policy 47-4-4) for placement and supervision of a delinquent juvenile from another state into Connecticut is as follows: 

All requests for home studies and evaluations to assess possible placements in Connecticut will be referred through the Interstate Compacts Office (ICO). After the ICO screens the packet for completeness, it will be sent to the appropriate staff person for assignment. If the placement is deemed appropriate, the report will be sent to the receiving state and Connecticut will accept supervision of the delinquent juvenile. The sending state is responsible for transportation and notifying the receiving state of the placement date when supervision will begin.
 
Return of Connecticut Escapees, Absconders and Runaways - Overview
Connecticut needs the following information:
  • Where is the juvenile? (Telephone number and name of contact person)
  • Will the child return voluntarily? (Sign ICJ Form III)
  • Are charges pending? If so, they must be disposed of before release and return can be effected.
  • How soon can the subject be released?
  • Method of transportation
  • Physical description of the subject
  • Date of birth, date of Department’s jurisdiction, and full name of the juvenile
Procedures for Return of Connecticut Escapees, Absconders and Runaways
Notify the ICO immediately or the next working day of the escapee or the absconder. In the case of runaways, notification is needed when there are court charges in the holding state, the runaway refuses to return, or assistance is needed. The ICO will coordinate the return arrangement with the holding state and Department staff for all committed delinquents, and may assist with the return of runaways when needed.
 
Voluntary return per ICJ Article VI is arranged after all the forms are filled out and the juvenile has been informed of his rights in court. This usually can be effected within a few days.
 
Involuntary return: If the escapee or absconder refuses to return voluntarily the holding state may request that a Requisition for Escapee or Absconder be filed per Article V of the Compact. Upon receipt of the Requisition in the holding state, the court or the ICO of that state shall issue an order to take the juvenile into custody using an Order of Detention (ICJ Form B). The juvenile shall be presented to the juvenile court in the holding state and if the judge finds the requisition is in order, the juvenile may then be returned to the demanding state. Travel arrangements will be handled by the ICO.
 
Involuntary return of a runaway: The holding state may request that a Request for a Runaway Juvenile (ICJ Form I) be filed per Article IV of the Compact. The Judge in the holding state’s juvenile court may hold a hearing to determine whether the petitioner is entitled to legal custody and whether or not it is in the best interest of the juvenile to return to his/her home state. If the judge determines that the juvenile should be returned, all forms are completed and the juvenile is taken into custody and then is brought before the judge who will inform him/her of the demand for his return. If the judge agrees that the juvenile shall be returned to the demanding state, that state, upon notice of the juvenile’s release, will coordinate the travel arrangements.

 

 

Interstate Compact on Mental Health - ICMH

Overview
This law (Connecticut General Statutes 17a-615-618) provides the legal basis for the institutionalization or other appropriate care and treatment of mentally ill and mentally deficient children and youth under the age of eighteen regardless of residence requirements, and authorizes supplementary agreements for joint or cooperative use of mental health resources. (DCF Policy 47-5-1)
 
In Connecticut the ICMH is housed in the Department of Children and Families and administered by the Office of Foster Care and Adoption Services, 505 Hudson Street, Hartford, CT 06106.
 
What is the Interstate Compact on Mental Health?
This compact specifically provides for:

  • Institutional transfers of mentally ill or mentally deficient youngsters (until age 18) from one state to another.
  • Return of mentally ill or mentally deficient patients until age 18 who have escaped across state lines.
  • Aftercare services for mentally ill or mentally deficient youngsters in the receiving state.
   
Institutional Transfers out of Connecticut (DCF Policy 47-5-2)
All requests to transfer a patient to an out-of state facility must be referred to the Deputy Administrator for processing, referral, and initial evaluation. Such requests should be based on clinical determinations following the evaluation of the patients’ total situation. Any patient may be transferred to any compact member state if both sending and receiving states determine that the patient has close and interested relatives, friends and/or guardian in the compact state and transfer to the state would be in the best interest of the patient.
 
A clinical summary should be submitted which should include information noted in DCF Policy 47-5-2.   The Deputy Administrator will review requests for transfer, make the appropriate referrals, conduct any negotiations necessary and make any necessary detailed travel arrangements.
 
Institutional Transfers into Connecticut (DCF Policy 47-5-3)
All requests to transfer a patient to a Connecticut facility will be referred to the ICO. If the patient is accepted, the sending state is responsible for transportation and notifying the receiving state of the transfer date. An authorization letter, a certified copy of the commitment papers and up-to-date clinical summary must accompany the youngster. To complete the admission, it is required in Connecticut that the commitment procedure be followed with the Probate Court.
 
Return of Escapees to and from Connecticut (DCF Policy 47-5-4)
All referrals need to be made to the Interstate Compact Office. Once a patient is located in another state the following should be put into place:

  1. The ICO should be notified of the detention of a suspected patient absent without authorization and all pertinent details that would be helpful in returning the patient to his resident state.
  2. Patients on unauthorized leave from institutions in other states may be detained in an appropriate facility until transfer arrangements can be made for a return to the resident facility or a different facility.
  3. A patient on unauthorized leave from another state will not be returned to that state until proper authorization from that state and all appropriate arrangements have been made.
  4. Cost of returning a patient to his resident state is to be paid by the sending state.

Aftercare Services (DCF Policy 47-5-5)
Referrals may be made through the Interstate Compact Office. If use of the Interstate Compact is necessary or desired in order to obtain aftercare services in another state ICO should be notified and appropriate authorization should be received prior to the discharge of a patient to a relative or other individual in another state.

 

   

The Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (ICAMA)

Overview
This law (CGS 17a-116d and 17a-116e) establishes the legal basis to require that each special needs adopted child with a valid subsidy agreement who moves across state lines be provided with Medicaid assistance in the state in which they reside. (DCF Policy 47-6-1) 
 
In Connecticut ICAMA is housed in the Department of Children and Families and is administered by the Office of Foster Care and Adoption Services, 505 Hudson Street, Hartford, CT 06106.
 
What is the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance?
ICAMA is the agreement among compact states that special needs adopted children who move from the state in which they were adopted will be provided Medicaid assistance in the state in which they reside. This is accomplished via the transmission of forms and supporting documentation by the state with which the adoptive child’s parents have an adoption subsidy agreement. The child’s Title IV-E eligibility status will dictate the manner and method of establishing the medical assistance for the special needs child.
 
Who uses the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance?
All special needs adopted children from Connecticut residing in another state and/or those entering Connecticut from another state that meet the Title IV-E eligibility for adoption assistance will be provided with their state of residence Medicaid, based solely on their Title IV-E eligibility.
 
Those children who do not meet Title IV-E eligibility criteria will be provided with their residence state’s Medicaid via the COBRA option (if the state has executed the COBRA Option) or the residence state’s State Funded Medical Assistance. Medicaid is provided to these children through a reciprocity agreement. If a state does not provide such reciprocity, the Connecticut child will retain his/her Connecticut Medicaid eligibility and other means of providing medical services and support must be explored.
 
Regardless of the child’s Title IV-E status and type of Connecticut Medicaid granted (federally or state funded), the levels of service, access to providers, enrollment in and exemption form managed care, etc. are identical.
 
Connecticut Child Moving Out of State
When an adopted child receiving a Connecticut adoption subsidy moves out of state, the subsidized adoption unit will notify the ICAMA liaison who will process the appropriate documents to initiate medical assistance in the new state. If the child is not eligible for medical assistance in the new state, Connecticut retains responsibility for ensuring that the child’s special medical needs are covered.
 
Adopted Child with a Valid Subsidy Agreement Moves Into Connecticut
Regardless of a child’s IV-E eligibility, in all instances when a special needs adopted child enters Connecticut with a valid adoption subsidy agreement, Connecticut Medicaid will be granted through the Department of Social Services. The ICAMA liaison will determine the appropriate medical coverage group for this child and complete re-determinations of the medical assistance as required by the Department of Social Services.