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News & Views - Dec, 1994 Issue #31 

by: Dave Pitkin
Skyland Ranch
Gold Bar, Washington

The Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) is a statutory scheme adopted by EVERY STATE IN THE UNION, according to Ann Lundeen the ICPC Manager for Washington State. 

Under this act an "agency" is any governmental institution or even the child's parents if they are acting to place their own child outside the home for any appreciable period of time. Where that "placement" (theoretically even in the home of a relative) is interstate the "Compact" comes into play. 

The purpose of the act is to make sure that where there is a "placement", the child will not become a ward of the receiving state should the "placement" be terminated for any reason. 

The sending agency must enter into a contractual agreement with the receiving jurisdiction to the effect that the sending agency guarantees that it will return the child back to the sending agency for further placement at its own expense. This scheme prevents a child from being abandoned in the receiving jurisdiction thereby becoming a burden on its taxpayers. 

When we send placement materials to parents, we are now required to send forms for them to execute and forward through the ICPC MANAGER in their state to the ICPC MANAGER for Washington. She makes sure that the necessary CYA contract is on file and sends us a copy of it for our records. It is a misdemeanor to accept the physical person of a child into the state of Washington, without first having this contract in your possession. 

Where there is an emergency placement, I am told that Ms. Lundeen will accept FAX copies of all necessary documents and will expedite her functions. That is not to say that all jurisdictions will handle the matters in the same fashion. 

We are faced with a statutory scheme which has been largely ignored by everyone but which is becoming more enforced each passing day. I am told that there have been criminal prosecutions for violations in the State of Arizona already and we were threatened with prosecution by DSHS here in Washington. 

The act itself states that the ICPC Manager is to make a determination that the "placement" is appropriate. I have not been confronted by anyone seeking to review the determination by us and the parents of a child to second guess the placement itself. I suppose that it could arise however due to the language of the compact. 

I recommend that each agency call the ICPC Manager for its own jurisdiction and establish a protocol for handling the out of state youngster before BIG BROTHER COMES CALLING. Our manager is sending me the name and address of all Managers throughout the United States. If you need that kind of information I will be glad to be of assistance. -Dave Pitkin 206-793-0486 

Copyright 1994, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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