Implementation of Reform
As the range of proposed modifications to the ICPC is considered, one of the critical issues is the method that should be utilized to promote the implementation of the needed reforms. By virtue of its current status as a compact, the ICPC can be modified only with the consensus of all parties -- the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands. It is highly unlikely that this large and diverse group of governmental entities will easily reach agreement on substantive changes in the Compact, re-engineering of the ICPC implementation process, and imposition of new measures to ensure enforcement of the needed reforms. In particular, the enforcement recommendations related to financial incentives and penalties and legal recourse suggest that reform of the ICPC may be best accomplished through a mechanism other than attempting to amend the compact itself.
Federal legislation that supplants the existing compact is a more realistic alternative to reform of the interstate placement process. Federal law -- in the form of Titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act93 and the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment and Adoption Reform Act94 -- already address critical aspects of child welfare. The inclusion of interstate placements of children in publicly supported foster care within the ambit of federal law would be consistent with the existing nature and scope of federal oversight of child welfare practice and policy. It is likely to be the only realistic alternative to true interstate placement reform.
POLICY AND PRACTICE
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