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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

260C.204 PERMANENCY PROGRESS REVIEW FOR CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE FOR SIX MONTHS.

(a) When a 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 progress hearing to review:

(1) the progress of the case, the parent's progress on the case plan or out-of-home placement plan, whichever is applicable;

(2) the agency's reasonable, or in the case of an Indian child, active efforts for reunification and its provision of services;

(3) the agency's reasonable efforts to finalize the permanent plan for the child under section 260.012, paragraph (e), and to make a placement as required under section 260C.212, subdivision 2, in a home that will commit to being the legally permanent family for the child in the event the child cannot return home according to the timelines in this section; and

(4) in the case of an Indian child, active efforts to prevent the breakup of the Indian family and to make a placement according to the placement preferences under United States Code, title 25, chapter 21, section 1915.

(b) The court shall ensure that notice of the hearing is sent to any relative who:

(1) responded to the agency's notice provided under section 260C.221, indicating an interest in participating in planning for the child or being a permanency resource for the child and who has kept the court apprised of the relative's address; or

(2) asked to be notified of court proceedings regarding the child as is permitted in section 260C.152, subdivision 5.

(c)(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 sections 260C.503 to 260C.521.

(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:

(i) to develop a plan for legally permanent placement of the child away from the parent;

(ii) to consider, identify, recruit, and support one or more permanency resources from the child's relatives and foster parent to be the legally permanent home in the event the child cannot be returned to the parent. Any relative or the child's foster parent may ask the court to order the agency to consider them for permanent placement of the child in the event the child cannot be returned to the parent. A relative or foster parent who wants to be considered under this item shall cooperate with the background study required under section 245C.08, if the individual has not already done so, and with the home study process required under chapter 245A for providing child foster care and for adoption under section 259.41. The home study referred to in this item shall be a single-home study in the form required by the commissioner of human services or similar study required by the individual's state of residence when the subject of the study is not a resident of Minnesota. The court may order the responsible social services agency to make a referral under the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children when necessary to obtain a home study for an individual who wants to be considered for transfer of permanent legal and physical custody or adoption of the child; and

(iii) to file a petition to support an order for the legally permanent placement plan.

(d) Following the review under this section:

(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 section and a trial on the petition held within 60 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 section and a trial on the petition held within 60 days of the filing of the petition.