Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA) is meant to be a planned permanent placement for the child, not just a foster care placement that can be indefinitely extended. The child must be 16 years of age or older to choose the permanency option. Choosing this option is appropriate when there is a specific, long-term placement for the child and when it has been documented to the court that compelling reasons exist which make the other permanency options unacceptable. The compelling reasons must be clearly identified and documented in the record. According to ASFA regulations, examples of compelling reasons include: when an older teen requests emancipation; when there is a significant bond, but the parent cannot care for the child due to disability; and when an Indian tribe has identified an APPLA for the child (see Section 4.23.2 for specific case study examples).
As with Placement with a Fit and Willing Relative, an APPLA is not a legal final permanency option. Therefore, the court must continue to hold annual permanency hearings until such time that the court enters a legal final permanency order (return to legal custody of parent, TPR and adoption or guardianship) or the child reaches age 21. The case manager shall continue to schedule regular PPRT meetings and provide support services as identified by the FST/PPRT.
An APPLA should be selected as the most appropriate permanency option under these circumstances:
- The child objects to TPR, and the juvenile court and/or Division believes it is in the best interest of the child not to pursue termination;
- Adoption has been ruled out;
- Guardianship or transfer of custody has been ruled out;
- Placement with a Fit and Willing Relative has been ruled out;
- There is an identified appropriate planned permanent living arrangement in which the child wishes to continue living;
- All possible additional services are explored with the child and/or the placement provider to provide permanency; and
- The child is age 16 or older.
The out-of-home care provider will make a formal Planned Permanency Agreement with the Division for this purpose.
NOTE: Ruling out more permanent options based only on a child’s age is contrary to the goals of ASFA. Individual determinations about each child’s needs and circumstances are necessary.
Related Subject: Section 4, Chapter 23 Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA)
Information regarding the above material about Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement is credited to Making It Permanent: Reasonable Efforts to Finalize Permanency Plans for Foster Children / by Cecilia Fiermonte and Jennifer L. Renne; copyright 2002 © American Bar Association. Reproduced by permission. All rights reserved.