Hidden in the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 are two words that came to summarize the expectations of the law, typify its vagueness, and predict its controversy-"reasonable efforts." This article explores five factors to clarify the policy implications of the reasonable efforts phrase: " the disproportionately large effects of the requirement for "reasonable efforts;"

  • the unanticipated consequences of the clause;
  • the shift in the locus of control from social service agencies to court authorities;
  • the reduction in discretion for direct and administrative social work personnel; and
  • the social, political, and economic realities that framed the reasonable efforts debate.

Off-campus users:

You may need to log in to your campus proxy before being granted access to the full-text above.