American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review - Volume 58


Used by permission.


The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA, 1997) represented an emerging consensus that foster care should not be a long-term solution for children. Foster care is intended to provide a temporary living arrangement until permanency can be achieved, but, at the time ASFA was passed, some children were spending large proportions of their childhoods in temporary homes. In many cases, these children had a permanency plan of reunification that had little chance of being realized. Thus, the overarching goals of ASFA were to reduce the amount of time children spent “in limbo” and to promote permanency, while maintaining explicit preferences for family preservation and reunification.