U.S Code last checked for updates: Jun 24, 2024
§ 629h.
Entitlement funding for State courts to assess and improve handling of proceedings relating to foster care and adoption
(a)
In general
The Secretary shall make grants, in accordance with this section, to the highest State courts in States participating in the program under part E of this subchapter, for the purpose of enabling such courts—
(1)
to conduct assessments, in accordance with such requirements as the Secretary shall publish, of the role, responsibilities, and effectiveness of State courts in carrying out State laws requiring proceedings (conducted by or under the supervision of the courts)—
(A)
that implement this part and part E of this subchapter;
(B)
that determine the advisability or appropriateness of foster care placement;
(C)
that determine whether to terminate parental rights;
(D)
that determine whether to approve the adoption or other permanent placement of a child; 1
1
 So in original. Probably should be followed by “and”.
(E)
that determine the best strategy to use to expedite the interstate placement of children, including—
(i)
requiring courts in different States to cooperate in the sharing of information;
(ii)
authorizing courts to obtain information and testimony from agencies and parties in other States without requiring interstate travel by the agencies and parties; and
(iii)
permitting the participation of parents, children, other necessary parties, and attorneys in cases involving interstate placement without requiring their interstate travel; and 2
2
 So in original. The word “and” probably should not appear.
(2)
to implement improvements the highest state 3
3
 So in original. Probably should be capitalized.
courts deem necessary as a result of the assessments, including—
(A)
to provide for the safety, well-being, and permanence of children in foster care in a timely and complete manner, as set forth in the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (Public Law 105–89), including the requirements in the Act related to concurrent planning;
(B)
to implement a corrective action plan, as necessary, resulting from reviews of child and family service programs under section 1320a–2a of this title; and
(C)
to increase and improve engagement of the entire family in court processes relating to child welfare, family preservation, family reunification, and adoption, including by training judges, attorneys, and other legal personnel.
(b)
Applications
In order to be eligible to receive a grant under this section, a highest State court shall have in effect a rule requiring State courts to ensure that foster parents, pre-adoptive parents, and relative caregivers of a child in foster care under the responsibility of the State are notified of any proceeding to be held with respect to the child, shall provide for the training of judges, attorneys, and other legal personnel in child welfare cases on Federal child welfare policies and payment limitations with respect to children in foster care who are placed in settings that are not a foster family home, and shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such form, and including such information and assurances as the Secretary may require, including—
(1)
a description of how courts and child welfare agencies on the local and State levels will use not less than 30 percent of grant funds to collaborate and jointly plan for the collection and sharing of all relevant data and information to demonstrate how improved case tracking and analysis of child abuse and neglect cases will produce safe and timely permanency decisions;
(2)
a demonstration that a portion of the grant will be used for cross-training initiatives that are jointly planned and executed with the State agency or any other agency under contract with the State to administer the State program under the State plan under subpart 1, the State plan approved under section 629d of this title, or the State plan approved under part E; and
(3)
a demonstration of meaningful and ongoing collaboration among the courts in the State, the State agency or any other agency under contract with the State who is responsible for administering the State program under this part or part E, and, where applicable, Indian tribes.
(c)
Amount of grant
(1)
In general
From the amounts reserved under sections 629f(b)(2) and 629g(b)(2) of this title for a fiscal year, each highest State court that has an application approved under this section for the fiscal year shall be entitled to payment of an amount equal to the sum of—
(A)
$255,000; and
(B)
the amount described in paragraph (2) with respect to the court and the fiscal year.
(2)
Amount described
(3)
Indian tribes
From the amounts reserved under section 629f(b)(2) of this title for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall, before applying paragraph (1) of this subsection, allocate $1,000,000 for grants to be awarded on a competitive basis among the highest courts of Indian tribes or tribal consortia that—
(A)
are operating a program under part E, in accordance with section 679c of this title;
(B)
are seeking to operate a program under part E and have received an implementation grant under section 676 of this title; or
(C)
have a court responsible for proceedings related to foster care or adoption.
(d)
Federal share
(Aug. 14, 1935, ch. 531, title IV, § 438, formerly Pub. L. 103–66, title XIII, § 13712, Aug. 10, 1993, 107 Stat. 655, as amended Pub. L. 105–89, title III, § 305(a)(3), Nov. 19, 1997, 111 Stat. 2130; renumbered § 438 of act Aug. 14, 1935, and amended Pub. L. 107–133, title I, § 107, Jan. 17, 2002, 115 Stat. 2418; Pub. L. 109–171, title VII, § 7401(a), Feb. 8, 2006, 120 Stat. 148; Pub. L. 109–239, §§ 8(b), 9, July 3, 2006, 120 Stat. 513; Pub. L. 109–288, § 9, Sept. 28, 2006, 120 Stat. 1255; Pub. L. 111–242, § 133(2), Sept. 30, 2010, 124 Stat. 2613; Pub. L. 112–34, title I, § 104, Sept. 30, 2011, 125 Stat. 374; Pub. L. 115–123, div. E, title VII, §§ 50741(c), 50752(d), (e), Feb. 9, 2018, 132 Stat. 256, 263; Pub. L. 116–260, div. X, § 7(d), div. CC, title III, § 305(b), Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 2414, 2994; Pub. L. 117–328, div. FF, title VI, § 6103(a)(4), Dec. 29, 2022, 136 Stat. 5965.)
cite as: 42 USC 629h