The Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network’s Legal Services Initiative incorporated the term "diligent search" into practice in 2003. Diligent search is a search conducted to locate parents, relatives or other potential permanency resources or connections for a child who is receiving services from or who is in the custody of an agency.
The SWAN LSI Diligent Search Packet contains vital information and forms to help paralegals and agency staff search for relatives or other people who may become a permanency resource for a child in the child welfare system. The packet contains information pertinent to individual Pennsylvania counties as well as information about international searches.
The packet illustrates each county's distinct efforts and procedures set in place to search for parents or other possible placement resources for children. The Diligent Search Packet also captures sample procedures and forms used by searchers.
Since the first Diligent Search Packet was released in 2005, federal and state legislation and state initiatives continue to alter the focus of searching. SWAN LSI paralegals and agency workers throughout Pennsylvania rely on the Diligent Search Packet to ensure compliance with all mandates in their diligent search efforts. FDR's legal team reviews and updates this critical resource on an annual basis.
Family Design Resources, Inc. developed the 2016 ICWA Search Guide to help both state and tribal agencies across the United States comply with federal laws and regulations when working with an Indian child or family. In efforts to meet active efforts, as outlined in the newly issued ICWA Regulations, FDR has created this comprehensive tool to assist child welfare workers to identify and locate potential tribal connections to allow the tribe to determine eligibility and placement. As with any search process, FDR encourages that the worker begin the search process immediately upon discovery that the child is or the worker has to reason to know that the child may be an Indian child. Early identification encourages proper implementation and compliance with ICWA.
This Guide is to be used in conjunction with the law and as a supplemental tool in the complete Diligent Search process. The Guide walks a searcher through the what, why and how of an ICWA search and provides important considerations, samples, tools and forms.
For more information about Diligent Search or ICWA specific search, including additional training and consultation, please contact the Program Development Office.