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Administration for Children and Families
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN
|1. Log No.: ACYF-IM-94-22||2. Issuance Date: 12/1/94|
|3. Originating Office: Children's Bureau|
|4. Key Word: Multiethnic Placement Act|
TO: State IVB/IVE Agencies State Civil Rights Officers
SUBJECT: Multiethnic Placement Act
LEGAL AND RELATED REFERENCES: Title IVB, Subpart 1 section 422(b) of the Social Security Act; 42 U.S.C. 622; Title XI, section 1123 of the Social Security Act; 42 U.S.C. 1302 1320 b13; Improving America's School Act of 1994, Public Law 103382 which includes the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994; 45 CFR 1356.20
DISCUSSION: On October 20,1994, the President signed the "Improving America's Schools Act of 1994, Public Law 103382" which includes among other provisions, the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994. The purpose of this information memorandum is to provide preliminary information about the Multiethnic Placement Act and to highlight its importance for the submittal of your June 30, 1995 State plans.
This new law is designed to prohibit discrimination in the placement of children on the basis of race, color or national origin. The law prohibits an agency or entity that receives Federal assistance and that is involved in adoptive or foster care placements from delaying or denying the placement of a child solely on the basis of race, color, or national origin of the adoptive or foster parent or parents involved.
The new law permits an agency to consider, in determining whether a placement is in a child's best interests, the child's cultural, ethnic, and racial background and the capacity of prospective foster or adoptive parents to meet the needs of a child of this background. This factor must be considered in conjunction with other factors relevant to the child's best interest.
The new law also is designed to insure that agencies engage in active recruitment of potential foster and adoptive parents who reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of the children needing placement. Section 554 of the Multiethnic Placement Act amends Section 422(b) of the Social Security Act (the Act) and Part A of title XI of the Act. The amendment to section 422(b) of the Act specifies the following requirements for child welfare services programs: "[Each plan for child welfare services under this part shall . . .] (9) provide for the diligent recruitment of potential foster and adoptive families that reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of children in the State for whom foster and adoptive homes are needed." Specific attention also needs to be given to the new Section 1123 of the Act which was added to address the enforcement of State plans.
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) have the responsibility for implementing the new legislation. OCR will provide guidance on the legislation and also is the agency which will administer the compliance for all requirements.
By March 1, 1995, ACF will provide instructions on the new provisions applicable to State plans.
ATTACHMENT: Copy of the Multiethnic Placement Act
INQUIRIES TO: Regional Administrators,
Regional Managers, OCR
Olivia A. Golden
Administration on Children, Youth and Families