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2007 Minnesota Statutes

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260C.201 DISPOSITIONS; CHILDREN WHO ARE IN NEED OF PROTECTION OR
SERVICES OR NEGLECTED AND IN FOSTER CARE.
    Subdivision 1. Dispositions. (a) If the court finds that the child is in need of protection
or services or neglected and in foster care, it shall enter an order making any of the following
dispositions of the case:
(1) place the child under the protective supervision of the responsible social services agency
or child-placing agency in the home of a parent of the child under conditions prescribed by the
court directed to the correction of the child's need for protection or services:
(i) the court may order the child into the home of a parent who does not otherwise have
legal custody of the child, however, an order under this section does not confer legal custody
on that parent;
(ii) if the court orders the child into the home of a father who is not adjudicated, he must
cooperate with paternity establishment proceedings regarding the child in the appropriate
jurisdiction as one of the conditions prescribed by the court for the child to continue in his
home; and
(iii) the court may order the child into the home of a noncustodial parent with conditions and
may also order both the noncustodial and the custodial parent to comply with the requirements of
a case plan under subdivision 2; or
(2) transfer legal custody to one of the following:
(i) a child-placing agency; or
(ii) the responsible social services agency. In making a foster care placement for a child whose
custody has been transferred under this subdivision, the agency shall make an individualized
determination of how the placement is in the child's best interests using the consideration for
relatives and the best interest factors in section 260C.212, subdivision 2, paragraph (b); or
(3) order a trial home visit without modifying the transfer of legal custody to the responsible
social services agency under clause (2). Trial home visit means the child is returned to the care of
the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed for a period not to exceed six months.
During the period of the trial home visit, the responsible social services agency:
(i) shall continue to have legal custody of the child, which means the agency may see the
child in the parent's home, at school, in a child care facility, or other setting as the agency deems
necessary and appropriate;
(ii) shall continue to have the ability to access information under section 260C.208;
(iii) shall continue to provide appropriate services to both the parent and the child during
the period of the trial home visit;
(iv) without previous court order or authorization, may terminate the trial home visit in order
to protect the child's health, safety, or welfare and may remove the child to foster care;
(v) shall advise the court and parties within three days of the termination of the trial home
visit when a visit is terminated by the responsible social services agency without a court order; and
(vi) shall prepare a report for the court when the trial home visit is terminated whether by
the agency or court order which describes the child's circumstances during the trial home visit
and recommends appropriate orders, if any, for the court to enter to provide for the child's safety
and stability. In the event a trial home visit is terminated by the agency by removing the child to
foster care without prior court order or authorization, the court shall conduct a hearing within ten
days of receiving notice of the termination of the trial home visit by the agency and shall order
disposition under this subdivision or conduct a permanency hearing under subdivision 11 or 11a.
The time period for the hearing may be extended by the court for good cause shown and if it is in
the best interests of the child as long as the total time the child spends in foster care without a
permanency hearing does not exceed 12 months;
(4) if the child has been adjudicated as a child in need of protection or services because the
child is in need of special services or care to treat or ameliorate a physical or mental disability or
emotional disturbance as defined in section 245.4871, subdivision 15, the court may order the
child's parent, guardian, or custodian to provide it. The court may order the child's health plan
company to provide mental health services to the child. Section 62Q.535 applies to an order for
mental health services directed to the child's health plan company. If the health plan, parent,
guardian, or custodian fails or is unable to provide this treatment or care, the court may order it
provided. Absent specific written findings by the court that the child's disability is the result of
abuse or neglect by the child's parent or guardian, the court shall not transfer legal custody of the
child for the purpose of obtaining special treatment or care solely because the parent is unable
to provide the treatment or care. If the court's order for mental health treatment is based on a
diagnosis made by a treatment professional, the court may order that the diagnosing professional
not provide the treatment to the child if it finds that such an order is in the child's best interests; or
(5) if the court believes that the child has sufficient maturity and judgment and that it is in
the best interests of the child, the court may order a child 16 years old or older to be allowed to
live independently, either alone or with others as approved by the court under supervision the
court considers appropriate, if the county board, after consultation with the court, has specifically
authorized this dispositional alternative for a child.
(b) If the child was adjudicated in need of protection or services because the child is a
runaway or habitual truant, the court may order any of the following dispositions in addition to or
as alternatives to the dispositions authorized under paragraph (a):
(1) counsel the child or the child's parents, guardian, or custodian;
(2) place the child under the supervision of a probation officer or other suitable person in the
child's own home under conditions prescribed by the court, including reasonable rules for the
child's conduct and the conduct of the parents, guardian, or custodian, designed for the physical,
mental, and moral well-being and behavior of the child; or with the consent of the commissioner
of corrections, place the child in a group foster care facility which is under the commissioner's
management and supervision;
(3) subject to the court's supervision, transfer legal custody of the child to one of the
following:
(i) a reputable person of good moral character. No person may receive custody of two or
more unrelated children unless licensed to operate a residential program under sections 245A.01
to 245A.16; or
(ii) a county probation officer for placement in a group foster home established under the
direction of the juvenile court and licensed pursuant to section 241.021;
(4) require the child to pay a fine of up to $100. The court shall order payment of the fine in a
manner that will not impose undue financial hardship upon the child;
(5) require the child to participate in a community service project;
(6) order the child to undergo a chemical dependency evaluation and, if warranted by the
evaluation, order participation by the child in a drug awareness program or an inpatient or
outpatient chemical dependency treatment program;
(7) if the court believes that it is in the best interests of the child or of public safety that the
child's driver's license or instruction permit be canceled, the court may order the commissioner
of public safety to cancel the child's license or permit for any period up to the child's 18th
birthday. If the child does not have a driver's license or permit, the court may order a denial
of driving privileges for any period up to the child's 18th birthday. The court shall forward an
order issued under this clause to the commissioner, who shall cancel the license or permit or
deny driving privileges without a hearing for the period specified by the court. At any time
before the expiration of the period of cancellation or denial, the court may, for good cause,
order the commissioner of public safety to allow the child to apply for a license or permit, and
the commissioner shall so authorize;
(8) order that the child's parent or legal guardian deliver the child to school at the beginning
of each school day for a period of time specified by the court; or
(9) require the child to perform any other activities or participate in any other treatment
programs deemed appropriate by the court.
To the extent practicable, the court shall enter a disposition order the same day it makes a
finding that a child is in need of protection or services or neglected and in foster care, but in no
event more than 15 days after the finding unless the court finds that the best interests of the
child will be served by granting a delay. If the child was under eight years of age at the time the
petition was filed, the disposition order must be entered within ten days of the finding and the
court may not grant a delay unless good cause is shown and the court finds the best interests of the
child will be served by the delay.
(c) If a child who is 14 years of age or older is adjudicated in need of protection or services
because the child is a habitual truant and truancy procedures involving the child were previously
dealt with by a school attendance review board or county attorney mediation program under
section 260A.06 or 260A.07, the court shall order a cancellation or denial of driving privileges
under paragraph (b), clause (7), for any period up to the child's 18th birthday.
(d) In the case of a child adjudicated in need of protection or services because the child
has committed domestic abuse and been ordered excluded from the child's parent's home, the
court shall dismiss jurisdiction if the court, at any time, finds the parent is able or willing to
provide an alternative safe living arrangement for the child, as defined in Laws 1997, chapter
239, article 10, section 2.
(e) When a parent has complied with a case plan ordered under subdivision 6 and the child is
in the care of the parent, the court may order the responsible social services agency to monitor the
parent's continued ability to maintain the child safely in the home under such terms and conditions
as the court determines appropriate under the circumstances.
    Subd. 2. Written findings. (a) Any order for a disposition authorized under this section shall
contain written findings of fact to support the disposition and case plan ordered and shall also
set forth in writing the following information:
(1) Why the best interests and safety of the child are served by the disposition and case
plan ordered;
(2) What alternative dispositions or services under the case plan were considered by the court
and why such dispositions or services were not appropriate in the instant case;
(3) When legal custody of the child is transferred, the appropriateness of the particular
placement made or to be made by the placing agency using the factors in section 260C.212,
subdivision 2, paragraph (b)
;
(4) Whether reasonable efforts consistent with section 260.012 were made to prevent or
eliminate the necessity of the child's removal and to reunify the family after removal. The court's
findings must include a brief description of what preventive and reunification efforts were made
and why further efforts could not have prevented or eliminated the necessity of removal or that
reasonable efforts were not required under section 260.012 or 260C.178, subdivision 1; and
(5) If the child has been adjudicated as a child in need of protection or services because the
child is in need of special services or care to treat or ameliorate a mental disability or emotional
disturbance as defined in section 245.4871, subdivision 15, the written findings shall also set forth:
(i) whether the child has mental health needs that must be addressed by the case plan;
(ii) what consideration was given to the diagnostic and functional assessments performed
by the child's mental health professional and to health and mental health care professionals'
treatment recommendations;
(iii) what consideration was given to the requests or preferences of the child's parent or
guardian with regard to the child's interventions, services, or treatment; and
(iv) what consideration was given to the cultural appropriateness of the child's treatment
or services.
(b) If the court finds that the social services agency's preventive or reunification efforts have
not been reasonable but that further preventive or reunification efforts could not permit the child to
safely remain at home, the court may nevertheless authorize or continue the removal of the child.
(c) If the child has been identified by the responsible social services agency as the subject
of concurrent permanency planning, the court shall review the reasonable efforts of the agency
to recruit, identify, and make a placement in a home where the foster parent or relative that has
committed to being the legally permanent home for the child in the event reunification efforts are
not successful.
    Subd. 3. Domestic child abuse. (a) If the court finds that the child is a victim of domestic
child abuse, as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 28, it may order any of the following
dispositions of the case in addition to or as alternatives to the dispositions authorized under
subdivision 1:
(1) restrain any party from committing acts of domestic child abuse;
(2) exclude the abusing party from the dwelling which the family or household members
share or from the residence of the child;
(3) on the same basis as is provided in chapter 518, establish temporary visitation with regard
to minor children of the adult family or household members;
(4) on the same basis as is provided in chapter 518 or 518A, establish temporary support or
maintenance for a period of 30 days for minor children or a spouse;
(5) provide counseling or other social services for the family or household members; or
(6) order the abusing party to participate in treatment or counseling services.
Any relief granted by the order for protection shall be for a fixed period not to exceed
one year.
(b) No order excluding the abusing party from the dwelling may be issued unless the court
finds that:
(1) the order is in the best interests of the child or children remaining in the dwelling;
(2) a remaining adult family or household member is able to care adequately for the child or
children in the absence of the excluded party; and
(3) the local welfare agency has developed a plan to provide appropriate social services to
the remaining family or household members.
(c) Upon a finding that the remaining parent is able to care adequately for the child and
enforce an order excluding the abusing party from the home and that the provision of supportive
services by the responsible social services agency is no longer necessary, the responsible social
services agency may be dismissed as a party to the proceedings. Orders entered regarding the
abusing party remain in full force and effect and may be renewed by the remaining parent as
necessary for the continued protection of the child for specified periods of time, not to exceed
one year.
    Subd. 4. Support orders. If the court issues an order for protection pursuant to section
260C.201, subdivision 3, excluding an abusing party from the dwelling who is the parent of
a minor family or household member, it shall transfer the case file to the court which has
jurisdiction over proceedings under chapter 518 or 518A for the purpose of establishing support
or maintenance for minor children or a spouse, as provided in chapter 518 or 518A, during the
effective period of the order for protection. The court to which the case file is transferred shall
schedule and hold a hearing on the establishment of support or maintenance within 30 days of
the issuance of the order for protection. After an order for support or maintenance has been
granted or denied, the case file shall be returned to the juvenile court, and the order for support or
maintenance, if any, shall be incorporated into the order for protection.
    Subd. 5. Visitation. If the court orders that the child be placed outside of the child's home or
present residence, it shall set reasonable rules for supervised or unsupervised parental visitation
that contribute to the objectives of the court order and the maintenance of the familial relationship.
No parent may be denied visitation unless the court finds at the disposition hearing that the
visitation would act to prevent the achievement of the order's objectives or that it would endanger
the child's physical or emotional well-being. The court shall set reasonable rules for visitation for
any relatives as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 27, and with siblings of the child, if
visitation is consistent with the best interests of the child.
    Subd. 6. Case plan. (a) For each disposition ordered where the child is placed away from a
parent or guardian, the court shall order the responsible social services agency to prepare a written
out-of-home placement plan according to the requirements of section 260C.212, subdivision 1.
(b) In cases where the child is not placed out of the home or is ordered into the home of a
noncustodial parent, the responsible social services agency shall prepare a plan for delivery of
social services to the child and custodial parent under section 626.556, subdivision 10, or any
other case plan required to meet the needs of the child. The plan shall be designed to safely
maintain the child in the home or to reunite the child with the custodial parent.
(c) The court may approve the case plan as presented or modify it after hearing from the
parties. Once the plan is approved, the court shall order all parties to comply with it. A copy of the
approved case plan shall be attached to the court's order and incorporated into it by reference.
(d) A party has a right to request a court review of the reasonableness of the case plan upon a
showing of a substantial change of circumstances.
    Subd. 7. Order duration. Subject to subdivisions 10 and 11, all orders under this section
shall be for a specified length of time set by the court not to exceed one year. However, before
the order has expired and upon its own motion or that of any interested party, the court shall,
after notice to the parties and a hearing, renew the order for another year or make some other
disposition of the case, until the individual is no longer a minor. Any responsible social services
agency receiving legal custody of a child shall report to the court at such periods as the court may
direct and as required under juvenile court rules.
    Subd. 8. Service of order. Any person who provides services to a child under a disposition
order, or who is subject to the conditions of a disposition order, shall be served with a copy of the
order in the manner provided in the rules for juvenile courts.
    Subd. 9. Transfer of legal custody orders. When the court transfers legal custody of a child
to any licensed child-placing agency or the responsible social services agency, it shall transmit
with the order transferring legal custody a copy of its findings and a summary of its information
concerning the child.
    Subd. 10. Court review of foster care. (a) If the court orders a child placed in foster care,
the court shall review the out-of-home placement at least every 90 days as required in juvenile
court rules to determine whether continued out-of-home placement is necessary and appropriate or
whether the child should be returned home. This review is not required if the court has returned the
child home, ordered the child permanently placed away from the parent under subdivision 11, or
terminated rights under section 260C.301. Court review for a child permanently placed away from
a parent, including where the child is under guardianship and legal custody of the commissioner,
shall be governed by subdivision 11 or section 260C.317, subdivision 3, whichever is applicable.
(b) No later than six months after the child's placement in foster care, the court shall review
agency efforts pursuant to section 260C.212, subdivision 2, and order that the efforts continue if
the agency has failed to perform the duties under that section.
(c) The court shall review the out-of-home placement plan and may modify the plan as
provided under subdivisions 6 and 7.
(d) When the court orders transfer of custody to a responsible social services agency
resulting in foster care or protective supervision with a noncustodial parent under subdivision
1, the court shall notify the parents of the provisions of subdivisions 11 and 11a as required
under juvenile court rules.
    Subd. 11. Review of court-ordered placements; permanent placement determination.
    (a) This subdivision and subdivision 11a do not apply in cases where the child is in placement
due solely to the child's developmental disability or emotional disturbance, where legal custody
has not been transferred to the responsible social services agency, and where the court finds
compelling reasons under section 260C.007, subdivision 8, to continue the child in foster care
past the time periods specified in this subdivision. Foster care placements of children due solely to
their disability are governed by section 260C.141, subdivision 2a. In all other cases where the
child is in foster care or in the care of a noncustodial parent under subdivision 1, the court shall
commence proceedings to determine the permanent status of a child not later than 12 months after
the child is placed in foster care or in the care of a noncustodial parent. At the admit-deny hearing
commencing such proceedings, the court shall determine whether there is a prima facie basis for
finding that the agency made reasonable efforts, or in the case of an Indian child active efforts,
required under section 260.012 and proceed according to the rules of juvenile court.
    For purposes of this subdivision, the date of the child's placement in foster care is the
earlier of the first court-ordered placement or 60 days after the date on which the child has been
voluntarily placed in foster care by the child's parent or guardian. For purposes of this subdivision,
time spent by a child under the protective supervision of the responsible social services agency in
the home of a noncustodial parent pursuant to an order under subdivision 1 counts towards the
requirement of a permanency hearing under this subdivision or subdivision 11a. Time spent on a
trial home visit counts towards the requirement of a permanency hearing under this subdivision
and a permanency review for a child under eight years of age under subdivision 11a.
    For purposes of this subdivision, 12 months is calculated as follows:
    (1) during the pendency of a petition alleging that a child is in need of protection or services,
all time periods when a child is placed in foster care or in the home of a noncustodial parent
are cumulated;
    (2) if a child has been placed in foster care within the previous five years under one or more
previous petitions, the lengths of all prior time periods when the child was placed in foster care
within the previous five years are cumulated. If a child under this clause has been in foster care for
12 months or more, the court, if it is in the best interests of the child and for compelling reasons,
may extend the total time the child may continue out of the home under the current petition up to
an additional six months before making a permanency determination.
    (b) Unless the responsible social services agency recommends return of the child to the
custodial parent or parents, not later than 30 days prior to the admit-deny hearing required
under paragraph (a) and the rules of juvenile court, the responsible social services agency shall
file pleadings in juvenile court to establish the basis for the juvenile court to order permanent
placement of the child, including a termination of parental rights petition, according to paragraph
(d). Notice of the hearing and copies of the pleadings must be provided pursuant to section
260C.152.
    (c) The permanency proceedings shall be conducted in a timely fashion including that any
trial required under section 260C.163 shall be commenced within 60 days of the admit-deny
hearing required under paragraph (a). At the conclusion of the permanency proceedings, the
court shall:
    (1) order the child returned to the care of the parent or guardian from whom the child was
removed; or
    (2) order a permanent placement or termination of parental rights if permanent placement or
termination of parental rights is in the child's best interests. The "best interests of the child" means
all relevant factors to be considered and evaluated. Transfer of permanent legal and physical
custody, termination of parental rights, or guardianship and legal custody to the commissioner
through a consent to adopt are preferred permanency options for a child who cannot return home.
    (d) If the child is not returned to the home, the court must order one of the following
dispositions:
    (1) permanent legal and physical custody to a relative in the best interests of the child
according to the following conditions:
    (i) an order for transfer of permanent legal and physical custody to a relative shall only be
made after the court has reviewed the suitability of the prospective legal and physical custodian;
    (ii) in transferring permanent legal and physical custody to a relative, the juvenile court shall
follow the standards applicable under this chapter and chapter 260, and the procedures set out
in the juvenile court rules;
    (iii) an order establishing permanent legal and physical custody under this subdivision
must be filed with the family court;
    (iv) a transfer of legal and physical custody includes responsibility for the protection,
education, care, and control of the child and decision making on behalf of the child;
    (v) the social services agency may bring a petition or motion naming a fit and willing relative
as a proposed permanent legal and physical custodian. The commissioner of human services shall
annually prepare for counties information that must be given to proposed custodians about their
legal rights and obligations as custodians together with information on financial and medical
benefits for which the child is eligible; and
    (vi) the juvenile court may maintain jurisdiction over the responsible social services agency,
the parents or guardian of the child, the child, and the permanent legal and physical custodian
for purposes of ensuring appropriate services are delivered to the child and permanent legal
custodian or for the purpose of ensuring conditions ordered by the court related to the care and
custody of the child are met;
    (2) termination of parental rights when the requirements of sections 260C.301 to 260C.328
are met or according to the following conditions:
    (i) order the social services agency to file a petition for termination of parental rights in
which case all the requirements of sections 260C.301 to 260C.328 remain applicable; and
    (ii) an adoption completed subsequent to a determination under this subdivision may include
an agreement for communication or contact under section 259.58;
    (3) long-term foster care according to the following conditions:
    (i) the court may order a child into long-term foster care only if it approves the responsible
social service agency's compelling reasons that neither an award of permanent legal and physical
custody to a relative, nor termination of parental rights is in the child's best interests;
    (ii) further, the court may only order long-term foster care for the child under this section if it
finds the following:
    (A) the child has reached age 12 and the responsible social services agency has made
reasonable efforts to locate and place the child with an adoptive family or with a fit and willing
relative who will agree to a transfer of permanent legal and physical custody of the child, but
such efforts have not proven successful; or
    (B) the child is a sibling of a child described in subitem (A) and the siblings have a significant
positive relationship and are ordered into the same long-term foster care home; and
    (iii) at least annually, the responsible social services agency reconsiders its provision of
services to the child and the child's placement in long-term foster care to ensure that:
    (A) long-term foster care continues to be the most appropriate legal arrangement for meeting
the child's need for permanency and stability, including whether there is another permanent
placement option under this chapter that would better serve the child's needs and best interests;
    (B) whenever possible, there is an identified long-term foster care family that is committed
to being the foster family for the child as long as the child is a minor or under the jurisdiction of
the court;
    (C) the child is receiving appropriate services or assistance to maintain or build connections
with the child's family and community;
    (D) the child's physical and mental health needs are being appropriately provided for; and
    (E) the child's educational needs are being met;
    (4) foster care for a specified period of time according to the following conditions:
    (i) foster care for a specified period of time may be ordered only if:
    (A) the sole basis for an adjudication that the child is in need of protection or services is
the child's behavior;
    (B) the court finds that foster care for a specified period of time is in the best interests
of the child; and
    (C) the court approves the responsible social services agency's compelling reasons that
neither an award of permanent legal and physical custody to a relative, nor termination of parental
rights is in the child's best interests;
    (ii) the order does not specify that the child continue in foster care for any period exceeding
one year; or
    (5) guardianship and legal custody to the commissioner of human services under the
following procedures and conditions:
    (i) there is an identified prospective adoptive home agreed to by the responsible social
services agency having legal custody of the child pursuant to court order under this section
that has agreed to adopt the child and the court accepts the parent's voluntary consent to adopt
under section 259.24, except that such consent executed by a parent under this item, following
proper notice that consent given under this provision is irrevocable upon acceptance by the court,
shall be irrevocable unless fraud is established and an order issues permitting revocation as
stated in item (vii);
    (ii) if the court accepts a consent to adopt in lieu of ordering one of the other enumerated
permanency dispositions, the court must review the matter at least every 90 days. The review will
address the reasonable efforts of the agency to achieve a finalized adoption;
    (iii) a consent to adopt under this clause vests all legal authority regarding the child,
including guardianship and legal custody of the child, with the commissioner of human services
as if the child were a state ward after termination of parental rights;
    (iv) the court must forward a copy of the consent to adopt, together with a certified copy of
the order transferring guardianship and legal custody to the commissioner, to the commissioner;
    (v) if an adoption is not finalized by the identified prospective adoptive parent within 12
months of the execution of the consent to adopt under this clause, the commissioner of human
services or the commissioner's delegate shall pursue adoptive placement in another home unless
the commissioner certifies that the failure to finalize is not due to either an action or a failure to
act by the prospective adoptive parent;
    (vi) notwithstanding item (v), the commissioner of human services or the commissioner's
designee must pursue adoptive placement in another home as soon as the commissioner
or commissioner's designee determines that finalization of the adoption with the identified
prospective adoptive parent is not possible, that the identified prospective adoptive parent is not
willing to adopt the child, that the identified prospective adoptive parent is not cooperative in
completing the steps necessary to finalize the adoption, or upon the commissioner's determination
to withhold consent to the adoption.
    (vii) unless otherwise required by the Indian Child Welfare Act, United States Code, title 25,
section 1913, a consent to adopt executed under this section, following proper notice that consent
given under this provision is irrevocable upon acceptance by the court, shall be irrevocable upon
acceptance by the court except upon order permitting revocation issued by the same court after
written findings that consent was obtained by fraud.
    (e) In ordering a permanent placement of a child, the court must be governed by the best
interests of the child, including a review of the relationship between the child and relatives and
the child and other important persons with whom the child has resided or had significant contact.
When the court has determined that permanent placement of the child away from the parent is
necessary, the court shall consider permanent alternative homes that are available both inside
and outside the state.
    (f) Once a permanent placement determination has been made and permanent placement has
been established, further court reviews are necessary if:
    (1) the placement is long-term foster care or foster care for a specified period of time;
    (2) the court orders further hearings because it has retained jurisdiction of a transfer of
permanent legal and physical custody matter;
    (3) an adoption has not yet been finalized; or
    (4) there is a disruption of the permanent or long-term placement.
    (g) Court reviews of an order for long-term foster care, whether under this section or section
260C.317, subdivision 3, paragraph (d), must be conducted at least yearly and must review
the child's out-of-home placement plan and the reasonable efforts of the agency to finalize the
permanent plan for the child including the agency's efforts to:
    (1) ensure that long-term foster care continues to be the most appropriate legal arrangement
for meeting the child's need for permanency and stability or, if not, to identify and attempt to
finalize another permanent placement option under this chapter that would better serve the child's
needs and best interests;
    (2) identify a specific long-term foster home for the child, if one has not already been
identified;
    (3) support continued placement of the child in the identified home, if one has been identified;
    (4) ensure appropriate services are provided to address the physical health, mental health,
and educational needs of the child during the period of long-term foster care and also ensure
appropriate services or assistance to maintain relationships with appropriate family members and
the child's community; and
    (5) plan for the child's independence upon the child's leaving long-term foster care living as
required under section 260C.212, subdivision 1.
    (h) In the event it is necessary for a child that has been ordered into foster care for a specified
period of time to be in foster care longer than one year after the permanency hearing held under
this section, not later than 12 months after the time the child was ordered into foster care for a
specified period of time, the matter must be returned to court for a review of the appropriateness
of continuing the child in foster care and of the responsible social services agency's reasonable
efforts to finalize a permanent plan for the child; if it is in the child's best interests to continue the
order for foster care for a specified period of time past a total of 12 months, the court shall set
objectives for the child's continuation in foster care, specify any further amount of time the child
may be in foster care, and review the plan for the safe return of the child to the parent.
    (i) An order permanently placing a child out of the home of the parent or guardian must
include the following detailed findings:
    (1) how the child's best interests are served by the order;
    (2) the nature and extent of the responsible social service agency's reasonable efforts, or,
in the case of an Indian child, active efforts to reunify the child with the parent or guardian
where reasonable efforts are required;
    (3) the parent's or parents' efforts and ability to use services to correct the conditions which
led to the out-of-home placement; and
    (4) that the conditions which led to the out-of-home placement have not been corrected so
that the child can safely return home.
    (j) An order for permanent legal and physical custody of a child may be modified under
sections 518.18 and 518.185. The social services agency is a party to the proceeding and must
receive notice. A parent may only seek modification of an order for long-term foster care upon
motion and a showing by the parent of a substantial change in the parent's circumstances such
that the parent could provide appropriate care for the child and that removal of the child from the
child's permanent placement and the return to the parent's care would be in the best interest of the
child. The responsible social services agency may ask the court to vacate an order for long-term
foster care upon a prima facie showing that there is a factual basis for the court to order another
permanency option under this chapter and that such an option is in the child's best interests.
Upon a hearing where the court determines that there is a factual basis for vacating the order for
long-term foster care and that another permanent order regarding the placement of the child is
in the child's best interests, the court may vacate the order for long-term foster care and enter a
different order for permanent placement that is in the child's best interests. The court shall not
require further reasonable efforts to reunify the child with the parent or guardian as a basis for
vacating the order for long-term foster care and ordering a different permanent placement in the
child's best interests. The county attorney must file pleadings and give notice as required under the
rules of juvenile court in order to modify an order for long-term foster care under this paragraph.
    (k) The court shall issue an order required under this section within 15 days of the close of
the proceedings. The court may extend issuing the order an additional 15 days when necessary in
the interests of justice and the best interests of the child.
    (l) This paragraph applies to proceedings required under this subdivision when the child is
on a trial home visit:
    (1) if the child is on a trial home visit 12 months after the child was placed in foster care or in
the care of a noncustodial parent as calculated in this subdivision, the responsible social services
agency may file a report with the court regarding the child's and parent's progress on the trial
home visit and its reasonable efforts to finalize the child's safe and permanent return to the care
of the parent in lieu of filing the pleadings required under paragraph (b). The court shall make
findings regarding reasonableness of the responsible social services efforts to finalize the child's
return home as the permanent order in the best interests of the child. The court may continue the
trial home visit to a total time not to exceed six months as provided in subdivision 1. If the court
finds the responsible social services agency has not made reasonable efforts to finalize the child's
return home as the permanent order in the best interests of the child, the court may order other or
additional efforts to support the child remaining in the care of the parent; and
    (2) if a trial home visit ordered or continued at proceedings under this subdivision terminates,
the court shall re-commence proceedings under this subdivision to determine the permanent status
of the child not later than 30 days after the child is returned to foster care.
    Subd. 11a. Permanency review for children under eight. (a) Hearing to review progress
of the case. If the child was under eight years of age at the time the petition was filed alleging the
child was in need of protection or services, and the child continues in placement out of the home
of the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed, no later than six months after the
child's placement the court shall conduct a permanency hearing to review the progress of the case,
the parent's progress on the out-of-home placement plan, and the provision of services.
(b) County attorney and responsible agency's duties. Based on its assessment of the
parent's or guardian's progress on the out-of-home placement plan, the responsible social services
agency must ask the county attorney to file a petition for termination of parental rights, a petition
for transfer of permanent legal and physical custody to a relative, or the report required under
juvenile court rules.
(c) Court's findings. (1) If the parent or guardian has maintained contact with the child and
is complying with the court-ordered out-of-home placement plan, and if the child would benefit
from reunification with the parent, the court may either:
(i) return the child home, if the conditions which led to the out-of-home placement have been
sufficiently mitigated that it is safe and in the child's best interests to return home; or
(ii) continue the matter up to a total of six additional months. If the child has not returned
home by the end of the additional six months, the court must conduct a hearing according to
subdivision 11.
(2) If the court determines that the parent or guardian is not complying with the out-of-home
placement plan or is not maintaining regular contact with the child as outlined in the visitation plan
required as part of the out-of-home placement plan under section 260C.212, the court may order
the responsible social services agency to develop a plan for permanent placement of the child
away from the parent and to file a petition to support an order for the permanent placement plan.
(d) Responsible agency's or county attorney's duties. Following the review under
paragraphs (b) and (c):
(1) if the court has either returned the child home or continued the matter up to a total of six
additional months, the agency shall continue to provide services to support the child's return home
or to make reasonable efforts to achieve reunification of the child and the parent as ordered by the
court under an approved case plan;
(2) if the court orders the agency to develop a plan for the transfer of permanent legal and
physical custody of the child to a relative, a petition supporting the plan shall be filed in juvenile
court within 30 days of the hearing required under this subdivision and a trial on the petition held
within 30 days of the filing of the pleadings; or
(3) if the court orders the agency to file a termination of parental rights, unless the county
attorney can show cause why a termination of parental rights petition should not be filed, a
petition for termination of parental rights shall be filed in juvenile court within 30 days of the
hearing required under this subdivision and a trial on the petition held within 90 days of the
filing of the petition.
    Subd. 12. Continuance of case. If it is in the best interests of the child to do so and if the
allegations contained in the petition have been admitted, or when a hearing has been held as
provided in section 260C.163 and the allegations contained in the petition have been duly proven,
before the entry of a finding of need for protection or services or a finding that a child is neglected
and in foster care, the court may continue the case for a period not to exceed 90 days on any
one order. Following the 90-day continuance:
(1) if both the parent and child have complied with the terms of the continuance, the case
must be dismissed without an adjudication that the child is in need of protection or services or that
the child is neglected and in foster care; or
(2) if either the parent or child has not complied with the terms of the continuance, the court
shall adjudicate the child in need of protection or services or neglected and in foster care.
History: 1999 c 139 art 3 s 23; art 4 s 2; 1999 c 245 art 8 s 54-57; 2000 c 260 s 40; 2001 c
178 art 1 s 16-23,44; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 9 s 47; 2002 c 304 s 7; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 2004 c 288
art 3 s 29; 2005 c 136 art 15 s 5; 2005 c 159 art 2 s 16-18; 2005 c 164 s 29; 2005 c 165 art 2 s
3,4; 1Sp2005 c 5 art 2 s 80; 1Sp2005 c 7 s 28; 2007 c 147 art 1 s 18

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