Supporting Normative Experiences for Children, Youth, and Youth Adults in Foster Care: Applying a Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard, 15-OCFS-ADM-21, New York State Office of Children and Family Services (2015)

Statutes, Regulations, and Agency Guidelines

This Administrative Directive (ADM) by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services provides information to local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs)—agencies authorized to operate, manage, supervise, or own group homes or other such child care institutions—regarding implementation of the reasonable and prudent parent standard (“the standard”) as required by the federal 2014 Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act. Among other things, the standard is important for supporting normative experiences—the age and developmentally appropriate experiences all youth need to develop into a successful adulthood—and must be applied while maintaining the health, safety, and best interests of youth.

For example, caregivers and youth facility staff are advised to support adolescents in learning about physical and emotional developments and healthy sexual identity and behavior. The ADM also emphasizes training for caregivers and youth facility staff as critical to ensure a successful shift in the culture of foster care in New York, and it includes three attachments for further guidance in applying the reasonable and prudent parent standard, including an FAQ and a list of caregiver considerations.