Answer: While the statute itself does not contain such requirements, regulations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Family and Youth Services Bureau do contain a requirement that a program contact a youth’s parents, legal guardians or other relatives within 72 hours of a youth entering the program. However, these regulations were revised last fall in response to comments from advocates, including SchoolHouse Connection, to specify that such contact is based on the best interest of the youth. If a program determines that it is not in the youth’s best interest to contact a youth’s parents, legal guardians or other relatives, or if such individuals cannot be located or the youth refuses to disclose their contact information, the program must inform another adult identified by the youth, document why it is not in the best interest to contact a parent, legal guardian or other relative, and send the documentation to the regional program specialist. You can read the requirements and other related information on page 34 of the regulations, and specifically §1351.24(e).

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