STATE OF WISCONSIN
The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) of 1997 introduced the concept of concurrent planning.
1997 Wisconsin Act 237 (the Budget Adjustment Bill), which contains statutory language implementing the ASFA requirements, includes the following at s.48.355(2b):
(2b) CONCURRENT REASONABLE EFFORTS PERMITTED. A county department, the department, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, or the agency primarily responsible for providing services to a child under a court order may, at the same time as the county department, department or agency is making the reasonable efforts required under sub. (2)(b)6., work with the department, a county department under s.48.57(1)(e) or (hm) or a child welfare agency licensed under s.48.61(5) in making reasonable efforts to place the child for adoption, with a guardian or in some other alternative permanent placement.
This language allows social workers to simultaneously provide reasonable efforts to reunify the family and develop an alternative permanent placement plan. Attached to this memo is material which defines and describes the implications of concurrent planning.
Please share this material with appropriate staff in your agency as well as court staff who may be working with this issue. I hope that you find this information useful as your agency integrates the recent statutory changes.
We will forward additional information on this topic as it becomes available. We will also be providing training on this and related topics within the next year.
Attachment: National Resource Center for Permanency Planning