The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children outlines the process that states have to ensure consistent protection and services to children who are placed across state lines.

The Compact is a uniform law that has been enacted by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Compact establishes orderly procedures for the interstate placement of children and defines the responsibilities of both the state that is placing the child and of the state in which the child is residing.

For a child in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, an Interstate Compact request must be initiated when an out-of-state family or residential program has been identified as a potential placement resource for that child. Placement with an out-of-state resource cannot occur until approval is provided through the Department's Interstate Compact Unit. For Interstate Compact purposes a placement is "the arrangement for the care of a child with a foster family, a relative/kinship resource, an adoptive family, a parent, or a residential treatment provider whose legal residence is in another state."

If a foster/pre-adoptive family in Massachusetts chooses to move to another state and the child in care will remain in that home, there must be prior approval through the responsible Area Office and a request made through the Interstate Compact Unit for the new state of residence to do an updated homestudy.

Detailed information regarding the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children is available by contacting:

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Department of Children and Families
Attention: Interstate Compact Unit
24 Farnsworth Street
Boston, MA 02210
Local: 617.748.2000
Toll Free: 1.800.548.4802


This information is provided by the Department of Children and Families.