8.1 Court Requested/Ordered Adoptive Assessment:
Chapter 453, RSMo, allows the Juvenile Court to request/order Children’s Division (CD) to complete assessments on families petitioning to adopt a child. If the child was placed prior to a petition being filed, the court is mandated to order CD to complete the assessment.
- The resource development worker will receive juvenile court request/order for adoptive family assessment and initiate contact with the family within 48 hours if the court ordered an assessment because transfer of custody occurred without a valid court order.
- The resource development supervisor will request that the court refer the investigation request to a private licensed agency on those assessments where there was a court order transferring custody.
- The resource development Worker will initiate contact within ten days with prospective adoptive family, if court won’t refer elsewhere.
- Begin the assessment process by personal interview with prospective adoptive family.
- Compile pertinent historical and current information on the child to be adopted and his/her birth parents.
- Compile information about the circumstances of the child’s placement including an interview with the birth parents, especially if the court ordered the assessment because transfer of custody occurred prior to obtaining a court order.
- Interview the child, if age appropriate.
- Interview birth parents, if able to locate.
- Assess child’s physical, mental, racial/ethnic or other conditions pertinent to the suitability for adoption by the prospective family.
- Assess prospective adoptive parent’s suitability to parent the child.
- Submit a written report to the court within 90 days of the request/order if child was legally placed in the home.
- Submit a written report to the court within 30 days of the request/order if assessment was ordered by the court because transfer of custody occurred prior to obtaining a court order.
- Contact the court, in writing, prior to the date the assessment is due, if after diligent effort, the assessment cannot be completed. Inform court of the reason(s) the assessment could not be completed and when the court can expect it.
- Provide a copy of the report to family’s attorney and child’s Guardian ad Litem.
- Record activities.
- Close record after submission of the report to the court unless the court requests additional assistance.