When policy meets practice: The untested effects of permanency reforms in child welfareedit
The Adoption and Safe Families Act (P.L. 105-89; ASFA) passed into federal law in 1997. ASFA emphasized child protection over family preservation, and introduced reforms intended to increase the likelihood and the speed with which children in the child welfare system attain a permanent home. This article details two provisions of the law, concurrent planning and reunification exception, and explores challenges in their implementation. These provisions have the potential to shift the nature of how child welfare services are delivered, and which families will receive them. An examination of implementation in the state of California suggests there is a need for further research regarding the application and effectiveness of these reforms to ensure they produce their intended effects.