AACWAAdoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act
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Under the AACWA family preservation model, "caseworkers served as intermediaries between their clients and the network of social services provided by the states.
Although AACWA remains in effect, the 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) signaled a change in policy, in particular a shift away from preventive and reunification programs.
Contrary to the AACWA legislation, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) requires agencies to make "active efforts" to provide remedial services designed to prevent the breakup of Indian families.
In 1996, because many of AACWA's provisions had proven ineffective, Congress enacted the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA).
at 78 n.34 (detailing the AACWA "reasonable efforts" requirement).
But when Ronald Reagan reduced spending by 25 percent and transformed the program into a block grant, AACWA became just one more under-funded mandate for child welfare workers to juggle.
AACWA did not adopt Mnookin's more determinate standard that no child should be removed if there are reasonable means to keep the child safely at home, but Congress did take a step in that direction.
Finally, comprehensive and far-sighted solutions are at odds with the current reality of AACWA's short-term mandates.
Although none of the three decisions was based on ICWA, all were decided after the creation of the "reasonable efforts" standard contained in AACWA and one was decided after passage of ASFA.
(91) The result was the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 ("AACWA").
(179) Federal funds could be used to design and operate a program to "help children remain with their families and where appropriate help children return to their families." (180) AACWA required that the case plan include "a plan of services which will be provided in order to improve family conditions and facilitate returning the child to his home." (181)