M.A.C. v. Florida Dept. of Children and Families, 73 So.3d 327 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011)

The mother appealed the trial court’s order terminating supervision, adjudicating the child dependent and placing the child with her father who lives out of state. The child was on an “extended visit” with her father in another state. The child’s permanent residence was with the mother. The mother argued that the trial court did not comply with the terms of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) when the trial court placed the child with the father out of state.

The First District Court of Appeal (First DCA) agreed with the mother holding “[a]ccording to the ICPC, of which Florida is a signatory, before a Florida court may place a child involved in dependency proceedings in a foreign state, certain requirements must be met. These requirements include the receiving state’s concurrence to that placement and, because it is otherwise required by Florida law before changing placement, a statutorily-compliant home study. See §§ 409.401 and 39.521(3)(b), Fla. Stat. (2011) There is no record evidence that either of these requirements was met as of the date of the hearing at issue and the court’s order.”

The First DCA went on to state that although the ICPC requirements were not fulfilled, their opinion should not be read to require the child be moved back to Florida while the ICPC requirements and evidentiary hearings are pending.

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