260.011 Title, intent, and construction.
Subdivision 1. Sections 260.011 to 260.301 may be cited as the Juvenile Court Act.
Subd. 2. (a) The paramount consideration in all proceedings concerning a child alleged or found to be in need of protection or services is the health, safety, and best interests of the child. In proceedings involving an American Indian child, as defined in section 257.351, subdivision 6, the best interests of the child must be determined consistent with sections 257.35 to 257.3579 and the Indian Child Welfare Act, United States Code, title 25, sections 1901 to 1923. The purpose of the laws relating to juvenile courts is to secure for each child alleged or adjudicated in need of protection or services and under the jurisdiction of the court, the care and guidance, preferably in the child's own home, as will best serve the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical welfare of the child; to provide judicial procedures which protect the welfare of the child; to preserve and strengthen the child's family ties whenever possible and in the child's best interests, removing the child from the custody of parents only when the child's welfare or safety cannot be adequately safeguarded without removal; and, when removal from the child's own family is necessary and in the child's best interests, to secure for the child custody, care and discipline as nearly as possible equivalent to that which should have been given by the parents.
(b) The purpose of the laws relating to termination of parental rights is to ensure that:
(1) reasonable efforts have been made by the social service agency to reunite the child with the child's parents in a placement that is safe and permanent; and
(2) if placement with the parents is not reasonably foreseeable, to secure for the child a safe and permanent placement, preferably with adoptive parents.
Nothing in this section requires reasonable efforts to be made in circumstances where the court has determined that the child has been subjected to egregious harm or the parental rights of the parent to a sibling have been involuntarily terminated.
The paramount consideration in all proceedings for the termination of parental rights is the best interests of the child. In proceedings involving an American Indian child, as defined in section 257.351, subdivision 6, the best interests of the child must be determined consistent with the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, United States Code, title 25, section 1901, et seq.
(c) The purpose of the laws relating to children alleged or adjudicated to be delinquent is to promote the public safety and reduce juvenile delinquency by maintaining the integrity of the substantive law prohibiting certain behavior and by developing individual responsibility for lawful behavior. This purpose should be pursued through means that are fair and just, that recognize the unique characteristics and needs of children, and that give children access to opportunities for personal and social growth.
(d) The laws relating to juvenile courts shall be liberally construed to carry out these purposes.
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes