(Revised 2/10/07 ML #3053)
Planning for the permanency of children in North Dakota is based on the concept that every child is entitled to live in a permanent home, in which the child’s health, mental wellness, and safety are the paramount concern. This is normally the home of the child’s parents, and it is the State policy that reasonable efforts must be made to assure the child’s health and safety in that home, or to return a child removed from the home as soon as that can be done consistent with the child’s health and safety. However, if this is not feasible, then reasonable and timely efforts are made to place the child with a fit and willing relative, an adoptive home, a legal guardian, or other appropriate permanent solution which will avoid the unnecessary movement of the child between caretakers. The longer the child is in an unsettled status, the more difficult it will be for the child, and other caretakers to participate positively in the replacement plans. In making decisions related to the child, her/his health, safety, and well being are the paramount concerns. The Foster Care Child and Family Team meeting/Wraparound philosophy is the cornerstone for the delivery of permanency services in the Foster Care for Children Program in North Dakota.
(See Wraparound Manual Chapter 641.)