E. Expedited Placement Request

Under certain conditions, a court may request an expedited home study. Cases involving a child who is under the jurisdiction of a court are eligible, if at least one of the following criteria is met:

•   The child is being considered for placement in another state with a parent, stepparent, grandparent, adult uncle or aunt, adult brother or sister, or the child's guardian;

•   There is unexpected dependency due to a sudden or recent incarceration, incapacitation or death of a parent or guardian. Incapacitation means a parent or guardian is unable to care for a child due to a medical, mental or physical condition of a parent or guardian;

•   The child sought to be placed is four years of age or younger, and can include older siblings sought to be placed with the same proposed placement resource;

•   The court finds that any child in the sibling group sought to be placed has a substantial relationship with the proposed placement resource. Substantial relationship means the proposed placement has a familial or mentoring role with the child, has spent more than cursory time with the child, and has established more than a minimal bond with the child; or

•   The child is currently in an emergency placement.

Expedited placement option is not available where:

•   The child has already been placed in the receiving state in violation of the ICPC, unless a visit has been approved in writing by the receiving state Compact Administrator and a subsequent order entered by the sending state court authorizing the visit with a fixed return date in accordance with ICPC Regulation 9; or

•   The intention of the sending state is to place the child for licensed or approved foster care or adoption.

•   The court places the child with a parent from whom the child was not removed, the court has no evidence the parent is unfit, does not seek any evidence from the receiving state the parent is either fit or unfit, and the court relinquishes jurisdiction over the child immediately upon placement with the parent.

It is not within a judge's discretion to make all orders expedited. The situation must fit those criteria outlined in ICPC Regulation 7 for priority placement to be available; ordering expedited cases is not a matter of discretion for judges. [92]