Here is the director's reply to my email asking about the bill language:
The TPR and RE issues you address are simply language required by the feds to access IV-E funds-they determined the language….we just included it in the bill.TPR means termination of parental rights; RE means reasonable efforts. "Simply language required. . . to access [federal] funds". Language, by the way, that is incorporated into a court findings and order. I continue to delude myself into thinking that court findings and order reflect fact-finding and legal interpretation. Well, that they are supposed to, even when it is vividly apparent that too often they are mere word-formulas delivered in order to sanction executive action by the government (child welfare agencies are executive agencies) and ensure the agency has every possible opportunity to reimburse itself. Can anybody say "boilerplate"?
I doubt this will have much impact--any impact--on the situation of those youth who opt to stay with foster parents. (Some stay anyway, with or without agency involvement. ) A colleague in efforts to reform child welfare (and reform what passes for child welfare reform) is suspicious of the bill and its possible coercive uses. I'm sure we will see at least some misuse once it is passed (it will be passed, no doubt about that) and I suspect it will be the kind of misuse that is hard to pin down--but which you understand if you can see it close up. But what I read loudly and clearly into the director's email is that this is what "TPR and RE" always mean. They are word-vehicles for unlocking federal funds. The surest way to challenge a child welfare agency is to threaten the money supply. Do they profit from child welfare? I don't believe so, although some disagree.
But what is government when words have no meaning?