Strategies to Maximize Normalcy in Congregate Care: Making the Most of the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard.
Youth Policy Institute of Iowa.
Published: November 2016
Youth Policy Institute of Iowa (YPII)
6200 Aurora Avenue, Suite 206E
Des Moines, IA 50322
Tel: (515) 727-4220
Fax: (515) 727-4223
Sponsoring Organization: Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative. Iowa Department of Human Services.
To inform and support efforts to comply with the provisions in the Strengthening Families Act that include the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard requirement, the Youth Policy Institute of Iowa (YPII) and Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) convened key stakeholders from across the State for facilitated discussions on improving normalcy in congregate care settings. Attendees, including representatives from DHS, young people who have spent time in the foster care system, and congregate care provider staff, learned about the recent laws, adolescent brain development, and results of a youth survey before generating actionable steps that agencies can take to promote normalcy for young people in congregate care settings. This report summarizes those discussions and the policy and practice recommendations that emerged from this process. It begins by explaining the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard is intended to empower the foster child’ s caregiver to make parental decisions that maintain the safety, well-being, and best interest of the child while encouraging participation in normal activities. Information is then provided on normalcy and adolescent brain development, and results from a survey of 454 young people about their social experiences while in out-of-home placement are shared. Recommendations are then made for maximizing normalcy in group settings and include: implement an individualized, youth-driven approach, address both the physical and environment and staff culture, conduct thorough policy and practice reviews, strengthen and utilize community opportunities and resources, and build awareness and collaboration. 5 references. (Author abstract modified)
group homes; foster care; foster adolescents; foster homes; adolescent development; adolescent psychology; caretakers; federal laws; PL 113-183; Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard; Iowa