First Lady Sheena Greitens announced Thursday that Missouri is modernizing its foster care system by joining the National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE). NEICE allows child welfare agencies to share Interstate Compact and the Placement of Children (ICPC) forms and information electronically.
The First Lady’s statement is below:
“Red tape and bureaucracy shouldn’t keep kids in foster care from finding their “forever families.”
If a family in Iowa or Illinois wants to adopt a child from Missouri foster care, or an aunt in Arkansas wants to become their guardian, the child shouldn’t have to wait in limbo for six months or a year until the paperwork gets done. But all too often, that’s exactly what happens.
That’s why I’m delighted today to announce that Missouri is joining the National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE). It’s designed to expedite the placement of children in safe, permanent families across state lines, and to reduce administrative paperwork and costs.
NEICE takes a system that currently relies on photocopying and snail mail and puts that process online, cutting out unnecessary red tape and bureaucratic delays. A pilot study found that NEICE cut the time spent on paperwork for an interstate placement by 20% to 45%. Kids got to their forever families over a month faster.
Eventually, NEICE could also be used to facilitate inter-state cooperation on issues like child abuse investigations and combating human trafficking.
Eric and I are excited about this step, and what it means for Missouri’s children: less time in limbo because of bureaucracy and red tape, and quicker movement into a safe, stable, and loving family.”
“Every day matters in the life of a child and they deserve action, not delays,” said Tim Decker, Director of Children’s Division.
“This is a common-sense step to get better results for our kids. Certainly the children and youth of Missouri deserve the best that we can offer,” said Dr. Steve Corsi, Director of the Department of Social Services.