The Compact is a uniform law enacted by all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands to assist in the placement of children from one state to another. Provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) ensure the same protection and services to children as if they had remained in their home state.

The Compact applies to:

  • Children who are wards of the court and are being placed with a parent or relative when a parent or relative is not making the placement;
  • Children who are entering foster care or a placement for the purpose of adoption;
  • Children who are wards of the court for placement in a group home and/or residential treatment facility;
  • Children who are to be placed in a group home and/or residential treatment facility by a legal guardian;
  • Children who are placed by a legal guardian with a person outside of the third degree of relationship;
  • Children who are adjudicated delinquents for placement in a group home and/or residential treatment facility.

ICPC provides the sending agency the opportunity to obtain home studies in the receiving state prior to placement of the child. The prospective receiving state ensures that the placement is not “contrary to the best interests of the child” and that all applicable laws and policies are followed before it approves the placement. ICPC guarantees the child’s legal and financial protection once the child moves to the receiving state. The sending agency receives the opportunity to obtain supervision and regular reports on the child’s adjustment and progress in the placement.

The sending agency is defined as a party state to the Compact, officer or employee, a subdivision of a party state, a court of a party state, a person, corporation, association, charitable agency or other entity which sends, brings, or causes to be sent or brought any child into another party state. Placement is defined as the arrangement for the care of a child in a family home, or boarding home, or group home and/or residential treatment facility. The Compact does not apply to placement of children into any institution caring for the mentally ill, mentally defective or epileptic, or any institution primarily educational in character, and/or any hospital or other medical facility.