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In 1980, Congress passed the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act.1 The Adoption Assistance Act requires, in part, that states receiving federal monies under the Act>>

make “reasonable efforts” to prevent the removal of children from their homes and,
whenever possible, to reunify children placed in foster care with their

In 1997, Congress passed the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA),2 which modifies the reasonable efforts requirement by allowing exceptions to the requirement in certain situations and by using the same term reasonable efforts

to describe a new child welfare agency requirement to find permanent  homes for children.

“Reasonable efforts” has been one of the most hotly debated and confusing issues in the field of child welfare over the past two decades.
(And Here WE are Today?)