News & Views - Dec,
1994 Issue #31
THE ICPC AND YOU
by: Dave Pitkin
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.)