Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (10/05/2004)

Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2004 - (Sec. 2) Expresses the sense of Congress that States should revise the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

(Sec. 3) Amends the Social Security Act to require each State to: (1) have in effect procedures for orderly and timely placement of children, in foster care or for adoption, across State lines; and (2) complete home studies for such purpose within 60 days of another State's request.

(Sec. 4) Requires each State to complete home studies for such child placement purposes within 60 days of another State's request.

Expresses the sense of Congress that States should use private agencies to conduct home studies and give full faith and credit to other States' home study reports.

Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make incentive grants to States that complete timely interstate home studies.

(Sec. 5) Revises requirements for completing background checks before placement approval and for checking of child abuse registries. Suspends and subsequently eliminates an opt-out provision.

(Sec. 6) Allows access to the Federal parent locator service to courts in foster care or adoptive placement cases.

(Sec. 7) Revises requirements relating to caseworker visits.

(Sec. 8) Revises requirements relating to health and education records.

(Sec. 9) Revises requirements relating to notice of proceedings.

(Sec. 11) Provides for consideration of out-of-state placements in permanency hearings, case plans, and case reviews.

(Sec. 14) Requires State plans for child welfare services to contain assurances that the State shall make use of cross-jurisdictional resources to facilitate timely adoptive or permanent placements for waiting children. Requires assurances that the State shall eliminate legal barriers to such use of interjurisdictional resources. Includes contracts for the purchase of services among the ways States are to use such resources.

(Sec. 15) Directs the Comptroller General to study State performance of background checks for child placements.