(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 260.755, subdivision 8, the best interests of the child must be determined consistent with sections 260.751 to 260.835 and the Indian Child Welfare Act, United States Code, title 25, sections 1901 to 1923.
(b) The purpose of the laws relating to juvenile courts is:
(1) 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;
(2) to provide judicial procedures which protect the welfare of the child;
(3) 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;
(4) to ensure that when removal from the child's own family is necessary and in the child's best interests, the responsible social services agency has legal responsibility for the child removal either:
(i) pursuant to a voluntary placement agreement between the child's parent or guardian and the responsible social services agency; or
(5) to ensure that, when placement is pursuant to court order, the court order removing the child or continuing the child in foster care contains an individualized determination that placement is in the best interests of the child that coincides with the actual removal of the child; and
(6) to ensure that when the child is removed, the child's care and discipline is, as nearly as possible, equivalent to that which should have been given by the parents and is either in:
(ii) the home of a relative pursuant to emergency placement by the responsible social services agency under chapter 245A; or
(iii) a foster home licensed under chapter 245A.
The purpose of the laws relating to permanency and termination of parental rights is to ensure that:
(1) when required and appropriate, reasonable efforts have been made by the social services agency to reunite the child with the child's parents in a home 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 or a fit and willing relative through transfer of permanent legal and physical custody to that relative.
Nothing in this section requires reasonable efforts to prevent placement or to reunify the child with the parent or guardian to be made in circumstances where the court has determined that the child has been subjected to egregious harm, when the child is an abandoned infant, the parent has involuntarily lost custody of another child through a proceeding under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, or similar law of another state, the parental rights of the parent to a sibling have been involuntarily terminated, or the court has determined that reasonable efforts or further reasonable efforts to reunify the child with the parent or guardian would be futile.
The paramount consideration in all proceedings for permanent placement of the child under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, or the termination of parental rights is the best interests of the child. In proceedings involving an American Indian child, as defined in section 260.755, subdivision 8, 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.
The laws relating to the child protection provisions of the juvenile courts shall be liberally construed to carry out these purposes.
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes