Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC)



The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) is the mandatory legal process the county agency uses to place a child from one state to another for purposes of foster care and/or adoption. It was enacted to ensure protection and services for foster children that are placed across state lines.

For additional information and resources, please visit the California Department of Social Services ICPC webpage.



The ICPC was written in the late 1950s and adopted by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Interstate Compact contains 10 “Articles” and 12 “Regulations.”

The Articles define the types of placements and senders subject to the law, the procedures to be followed in making an interstate placement, and the safeguards, services and construction of the law.  The Regulations specify the protocols and the forms required to be used by all the sending and receiving states and agencies in arranging, making, processing, supervision, and payment for placement.

For general information and updates on ICPC Regulations, please visit the Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children webpage to learn more.  The full text of the ICPC Regulations are located here.


Out of State Visit vs. Placement

A placement is the arrangement for the care of a child in a foster home or in a child-caring agency or institution, including placement with a relative, or into a pre-adoptive home. A visit is intended as only a visit and must be for 30 days or less. For more information on the definition of a “visit," please refer to ICPC Regulation No. 9 (scroll to pgs. 38-39).


General ICPC Process

An ICPC placement request is initiated by the sending state agency.  The “sending agency/state” is the state that has jurisdiction over the foster child. The “receiving agency/state” is the state of the potential placement.

For states with a "centralized" system (all states except for California, Ohio and Colorado): The sending state caseworker creates a placement request packet about the foster child and sends it to sending state ICPC central office, which in turn sends it to the receiving state, which in turn sends it to the local social services agency of the potential placement. The social services agency of the potential placement completes a homestudy report for the potential placement and sends it to the central ICPC office of the receiving state, which approves or denies the request and notifies the sending state and the local social services agency in the sending state.

For states with a "decentralized" system (i.e. California, Ohio and Colorado):  The local services agency (county level) directly sends or receives the ICPC paperwork (depending on whether the foster and adopted youth is coming or going).  In cases where the youth is coming or going to a residential treatment center (RTC) or group home/Short Term Residential Treatment Program (STRTP) in another state or vice versa, the central (State) office processes the ICPC requests.

Of particular importance to the children and their caregivers involved are ICPC Regulation No. 2 (scroll to pgs. 6-12) and Regulation No. 6 (scroll to pgs. 29-30), which set the protocols and deadlines for ICPC processing.


California Law Governing ICPC

In 1975, California adopted the provisions of the ICPC, now found in Family Code Section 7900, et seq. California Family Code Sections 7900 through 7913 discusses appropriate authorities, assessment protocols, time lines, and financial responsibilities.  Pursuant to Family Section 7907.3, the ICPC does not apply to the sending or bringing of an Indian child into another state as part of a transfer of jurisdiction to an Indian Tribe.  Sections 7911, and 7911.1 provide that “On and after January 1, 2017, the licensing standards applicable to out-of-state group homes certified by the State Department of Social Services shall be those required of short-term residential treatment centers operated in this state.”

California juvenile courts must apply California Rule of Court 5.616, which implements the purposes and provisions of the ICPC, when placing children who are dependents or wards of the juvenile court and for whom placement is indicated in any other state, the District of Columbia, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

California Department of Social Services Child Welfare Services Manual Division 31-510 outlines the CWS procedures for out of state placements.

H.R. 4472, 114th Congress (2015 -2016)  “Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act” amends part E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance) of title IV of the Social Security Act to include an electronic case processing system as part of the procedures that a state must have in effect for the orderly and timely interstate placement of children.


California ICPC Court Forms for Expedited Requests

These forms are to be used to expedite the receiving state's evaluation process and help the California court (sending state) determine whether it is suitable to place the child out-of-state, as directed by ICPC Regulation No. 7 (scroll to pgs. 30-37).

JV-565 Form is the Request for Expedited Placement Under the ICPC

JV-567 Form is the Expedited Placement Under the ICPC: Findings and Orders

Expedited requests can only be made if certain criteria are satisfied pursuant to ICPC Regulation No. 7 (see also California Rule of Court 5.616(h)).

The placement in another state must be with:  a stepparent, grandparent, adult aunt or uncle, adult sibling, or legal guardian.

In addition, the juvenile dependency court must find that the child to be placed meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • Unexpected dependency due to the sudden or recent incarceration, incapacitation, or death of a parent or guardian. Incapacitation means the parent or guardian is unable to care for the child due to the parent's medical, mental, or physical condition;
  • The child is 4 years of age or younger;
  • The child is part of a group of siblings who will be placed together, where one or more of the siblings is 4 years of age or younger;
  • The child to be placed, or any of the child's siblings in a sibling group to be placed, has a substantial relationship with the proposed placement resource as defined in section 5(c) of Regulation No. 7; or
  • The child is in an emergency placement.

There are additional requirements to qualify for an expedited ICPC, please review the ICPC regulation No. 7 and California Rule of Court 5.616(h).


Contacting ICPC Administrators

The Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on Placement of Children (AAICPC) was established in 1974 and given oversight authority to see that the protocol operates more effectively. AAICPC does not handle questions about individual cases.  Those questions go to the local placement agency or to the state administrators.

If you have a question about the ICPC process (including steps, paperwork, etc.) or want to check on the status of your ICPC application, consider contacting the local county liaison first.

Directory of ICPC Administrators by state (updated as of August 2021).

Directory of Local County Liaisons in California (updated as of January 2022, note: this list is updated monthly)

*note:  please check the CDSS ICPC website for most updated contact lists for county and state ICPC administrators.


Legal Disclaimer: Advokids provides educational information and resources to those who use our website, call our hotline, or submit requests for information via the website. Any information provided may not be construed as the giving of legal advice to any person about a particular legal matter and should not be relied upon as the basis for taking a particular action or refraining from taking a particular action in any legal matter. If you want or need legal advice about a particular legal matter, you should consult a lawyer.

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