The ICPC requires that states return home study evaluations in a timely way, and has established different timelines according to the relevant Regulation Type. 

  • For Regulations 1 and 2, the Receiving State has 60 calendar days to return a Home Study Evaluation and at least an initial report.

  • For Regulations 4 and 12, the Receiving State has 3 business days. 

  • For Regulation 7, priority placements, the Receiving State has 20 business days.

Some of these timelines are outlined in federal statute as well, see below for more information about the Safe and Timely Act. 

Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006

This backgrounder outlines the rules surrounding Safe and Timely requirements implemented in the Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006.

The Safe and Timely act amended the Social Security Act to require each state plan for foster care and adoption assistance to provide that the state shall: (1) have in effect procedures for orderly and timely interstate placement of children; (2) complete home studies requested by another state within a specified period; (3) accept such studies received from another state; and (4) not impose any restrictions on contracting with a private agency to conduct such a study.

The Safe and Timely Act applies to public cases such as foster care cases and included ICPC Regulations 1 and 2, and requires a report back to the Sending State about the safety and suitability of the placement within 60 calendar days.

The Safe and Timely Act 

Initial Home Study Report: 

(a) Pursuant to the Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006, within sixty (60) days after receiving a home study request, the receiving state shall directly or by contract conduct, complete, and return a report to the sending state on the results of the study of the home environment for purposes of assessing the safety and suitability of the child remaining in the home. The report shall address the extent to which placement in the home would meet the needs of the child. In the event the parts of the home study involving the education and training of the placement resource remain incomplete, the report shall reference such items by including a prospective date of completion. 

(b) Approval of the request may be conditioned upon compliance by the placement resource with any licensing or education requirement in the receiving state. If such condition is placed upon approval, a reasonable date for compliance with the education or licensing requirement shall be set forth in the documentation granting approval.