Summary of State Statutes on Non-Resident Father Notification, Identification and Engagement in Child Welfare.

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National Conference of State Legislatures.
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A non-resident (or non-custodial) father is a parent who does not live in the same household as his child; he may be divorced or separated or may have never married the child's mother, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, Promoting Responsible Fatherhood . While state efforts in the location, identification, and engagement of non-residential fathers in child welfare programs differ, many states are looking at the requirement of locating non-resident fathers in a set timeframe and defining "due diligence" efforts. While many states may have legislation in place around the notification, identification, and engagement to mothers, fathers, or parents in child welfare, this summary of legislation is tailored to these efforts in child welfare to non-resident (non-custodial) fathers, unknown fathers, or absent parents. Due to different terminology used in various states or jurisdictions, it is possible that some relevant provisions are not included. Approximately twenty-one states have enacted legislation around the notification, identification, and engagement of non-resident fathers in child welfare. This includes four states that allow or require that notification to parents regarding a child welfare proceeding be issued by publication and three states that determine a time frame for when parents or other adults shall be identified and notified of a child proceeding. Summaries of related state legislation are detailed in this document. (Author abstract)

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