210.720 Permanency Hearings

Court-ordered custody — written report of status required for court review, when — permanency hearing when, purpose. — 1.  In the case of a child who has been placed in the custody of the children’s division in accordance with subdivision (17) of subsection 1 of section 207.020 or another authorized agency by a court or who has been placed in foster care by a court, every six months after the placement, the foster family, group home, agency, or child care institution with which the child is placed shall file with the court a written report on the status of the child.  The court shall review the report and shall hold a permanency hearing within twelve months of initial placement and at least annually thereafter.  The permanency hearing shall be for the purpose of determining in accordance with the best interests of the child a permanent plan for the placement of the child, including whether or not the child should be continued in foster care or whether the child should be returned to a parent, guardian or relative, or whether or not proceedings should be instituted by either the juvenile officer or the division to terminate parental rights and legally free such child for adoption.

  2.  In such permanency hearings the court shall consider all relevant factors including:

  (1)  The interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child’s foster parents, parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests;

  (2)  The child’s adjustment to his or her foster home, school and community;

  (3)  The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, including any history of abuse of any individuals involved.  If the child is in the care of an authorized agency based on an allegation that the child has abused another child and the court determines that such abuse occurred, the court shall not return the child to or permit the child to reside in any residence located within one thousand feet of the residence of the abused child, or any child care facility or school that the abused child attends, until the abused child reaches eighteen years of age.  The prohibitions of this subsection shall not apply where the alleged abuse occurred between siblings; and

  (4)  The needs of the child for a continuing relationship with the child’s parents and the ability and willingness of parents to actively perform their functions as mother and father for the needs of the child.

  3.  The judge shall make written findings of fact and conclusions of law in any order pertaining to the placement of the child.

(L. 1982 H.B. 1171, et al., A.L. 1990 H.B. 1370, et al., A.L. 1998 H.B. 1822 merged with S.B. 674, A.L. 2005 S.B. 155, A.L. 2014 H.B. 1299 Revision)