Juvenile Law Center

Child Welfare and Foster Care|Normalcy for Foster Youth

Issue Brief: The Role of the Courts in Implementing the Strengthening Families Act

This Issue Brief provides detailed information for implementing select provisions of the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act that impact older youth in the child welfare system. The Brief focuses on the following provisions of the federal law: permanency; youth engagement, transition planning, and discharge documents; normalcy; and youth who run from or are missing from foster care. The Issue Brief outline the legal requirements for each provision as well as questions the court can ask to ensure that youth are engaged in decision making and that the provisions of the law are fully being carried out. The Issue Brief also provides strategies for advocates and attorneys so that they can effectively prepare youth for court and case planning and so that they can use the law to improve services and outcomes for the youth they are working with.


ABA Center on Children and the Law, Juvenile Law Center
February 2016

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