5600. Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children

Approval:  Natalie Green, Assistant Secretary of Child Welfare Division

Effective Date:  July 1984

Revised Date:  July 1, 2024

Sunset Review:  July 31, 2028


The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) governs the arrangement of all placements of children in the Department of Children, Youth, and Family (DCYF) placement and care authority who cross state boundaries.


Chapter 26.34 RCW  Interstate Compact on Placement of Children

PL 109-239  Safe & Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act


  1. Headquarters (HQ ICPC is responsible for administering and overseeing the Compact to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations. 
  2. Children requiring ICPC in or out-of-state placement must be placed in a safe and suitable environment, and with persons or facilities meeting qualifications of the state where the child is located, to provide for the care of the child. 
  3. Child safety, permanency and well-being must be the focus throughout the home study process, supervision and ICPC closure. 
  4. ICPC Offices are responsible for monitoring licensed group care facilities as guided by the Compact: 
    1. Approving placement prior to sending the child. 
    2. Monitoring the facility while the child is placed there. 
    3. Preventing abandonment of a child in a residential facility in another state. 
  5. ICPC must be followed when a child is placed across state lines in the following situations: 
    1. Relatives or foster care placements for public child welfare agencies. 
    2. Parent placement unless the court has found the parent to be fit and the placement with the parent is in the child's best interest as determined by the court. 
    3. Adoption, including public child welfare agency and private independent adoptions. 
    4. Group Care or Residential placements, public child agency and private parent placements. 
  6. Caseworkers must notify HQ ICPC immediately if: 
    1. A placement is disrupting and whether services are recommended to assist in stabilizing the placement, e.g., individual or family counseling, crisis intervention services, etc. 
    2. A child is removed or can no longer remain in the approved placement home. 
    3. Any intake received on a child placed in or out-of-state on an ICPC placement resource. 
  7. The ICPC is violated in the following situations: 
    1. Placing a child in or out-of-Washington without ICPC approval. 
    2. Extending a visit. 
    3. Establishing a permanent plan without HQ ICPC concurrence. 
    4. Parents moving into an approved ICPC placement without HQ ICPC approval. 
  8. Consequences if the compact is not followed (applies to in or out-of-state ICPC placements): 
    1. A child may need to return to the state that has jurisdiction. 
    2. A child in another state without ICPC approval does not receive courtesy supervision or services. 
    3. ICPC request may not be processed or denied. 
    4. Sanctions  


Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children Placed Out-of-State policy 

Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children Placed in Washington State policy