587A-4 Definitions. As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Abandoned infant" means a child who is three years old or younger and:

(1) The child's parents, regardless of any incidental contact or communication with the child, have demonstrated an extreme disinterest in or lack of commitment for assuming parental responsibility for the child;

(2) The persons with whom the child resides have not known the identity or whereabouts of the child's parents for sixty days or more, and reasonable efforts have been made to identify or locate the child's parents; or

(3) The child's mother also falls under the provisions of paragraph (1) or (2), and the child's presumed or alleged father has failed to assert a claim or interest as a parent for sixty days or more; provided that the child's father has knowledge of the child's birth and that he is the child's presumed or alleged father.

"Adjudication" means a finding by a court that is supported by a preponderance of the evidence that the child has been harmed or is subjected to threatened harm by the acts or omissions of the child's family.

"Aggravated circumstances" means that:

(1) The parent has murdered, or has solicited, aided, abetted, attempted, or conspired to commit the murder or voluntary manslaughter of, another child of the parent;

(2) The parent has committed a felony assault that results in serious bodily injury to the child or another child of the parent;

(3) The parent's rights regarding a sibling of the child have been judicially terminated or divested;

(4) The parent has tortured the child;

(5) The child is an abandoned infant;

(6) The parent has committed sexual abuse against another child of the parent; or

(7) The parent is required to register with a sex offender registry under section 113(a) of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, title 42 United States Code section 16913(a).

"Authorized agency" means the department, other public agency, or a person or organization that is licensed by the department or approved by the court to receive children for control, care, maintenance, or placement.

"Birth parent" and "biological parent" can be used interchangeably and mean the biological parents of the child. The term "birth", as used in this chapter, is interchangeable with the term "natural", as that term is used in chapter 578.

"Caregiver" means an adult who is not a child's parent or legal and physical custodian, and with whom the child has been residing for at least six months with the verbal or written consent of the child's legal and physical custodian. The status of "caregiver" as used in this chapter does not pertain to court-ordered or voluntary foster placement.

"Case plan" means the combined safe family home factors and the service plan or permanent plan.

"Child" means a person who is born alive and is less than eighteen years of age.

"Clear and convincing evidence" means the degree of proof that will produce in the mind of the trier of fact a firm belief or conviction that the fact sought to be proved is true. This measure falls between the preponderance standard of typical civil cases and the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard of criminal cases.

"Court" means one of the family courts established pursuant to chapter 571.

"Court-appointed special advocate" means a responsible adult volunteer who has been trained and is supervised by a court-appointed special advocate program recognized by the court, and who, when appointed by the court, serves as an officer of the court in the capacity of a guardian ad litem.

"Criminal history record check" means an examination of an individual's criminal history through fingerprint analysis or name inquiry into state and national criminal history records and files, including the files of the Hawaii criminal justice data center.

"Date of entry into foster care" means the date a child was first placed in foster custody by the court or sixty days after the child's actual removal from the home, whichever is earlier.

"Default" means the status found by the court when a party who has been properly served or notified of a scheduled hearing fails to appear at court for the hearing or fails to plead or otherwise defend, thereby allowing the court to proceed without the absent party.

"Department" means the department of human services and its authorized representatives.

"Family" means each legal parent of a child; the birth mother, unless the child has been legally adopted; the concerned birth father as provided in section 578-2(a)(5), unless the child has been legally adopted; each parent's spouse or former spouse; each sibling or person related by blood or marriage; each person residing in the dwelling unit; and any other person or legal entity with:

(1) Legal or physical custody or guardianship of the child, or

(2) Responsibility for the child's care.

For purposes of this chapter, the term "family" does not apply to an authorized agency that assumes the foregoing legal status or relationship with a child.

"Family home" means the home of the child's legal custodian.

"Family supervision" means the legal status in which a child's legal custodian is willing and able, with the assistance of a service plan, to provide the child with a safe family home.

"Foster care" means continuous twenty-four-hour care and supportive services provided for a child by an authorized agency or the court, including, the care, supervision, guidance, and rearing of a child by a resource family.

"Foster custodian" means the authorized agency that has foster custody of the child.

"Foster custody" means the legal status created when the department places a child outside of the family home with the agreement of the legal custodian or pursuant to court order, after the court has determined that the child's family is not presently willing and able to provide the child with a safe family home, even with the assistance of a service plan.

"Foster parent" or "foster family" means a person or family licensed by the department or another authorized agency to provide foster care services for children and can be used interchangeably with "resource family".

"Guardian ad litem" means any person who is appointed by the court under this chapter to protect and promote the needs and interests of a child or a party, including a court-appointed special advocate.

"Hanai relative" means an adult, other than a blood relative, whom the court or department has found by credible evidence to perform or to have performed a substantial role in the upbringing or material support of a child, as attested to by the written or oral designation of the child or of another person, including other relatives of the child.

"Harm" means damage or injury to a child's physical or psychological health or welfare, where:

(1) The child exhibits evidence of injury, including, but not limited to:

(A) Substantial or multiple skin bruising;

(B) Substantial external or internal bleeding;

(C) Burn or burns;

(D) Malnutrition;

(E) Failure to thrive;

(F) Soft tissue swelling;

(G) Extreme pain;

(H) Extreme mental distress;

(I) Gross degradation;

(J) Poisoning;

(K) Fracture of any bone;

(L) Subdural hematoma; or

(M) Death;

and the injury is not justifiably explained, or the history given concerning the condition or death is not consistent with the degree or type of the condition or death, or there is evidence that the condition or death may not be the result of an accident;

(2) The child has been the victim of sexual contact or conduct, including sexual assault; sodomy; molestation; sexual fondling; incest; prostitution; obscene or pornographic photographing, filming, or depiction; or other similar forms of sexual exploitation, including but not limited to acts that constitute an offense pursuant to section 712‑1202(1)(b);

(3) The child's psychological well-being has been injured as evidenced by a substantial impairment in the child's ability to function;

(4) The child is not provided in a timely manner with adequate food; clothing; shelter; supervision; or psychological, physical, or medical care;

(5) The child is provided with dangerous, harmful, or detrimental drugs as defined in section 712-1240, except when a child's family administers drugs to the child as directed or prescribed by a practitioner as defined in section 712-1240; or

(6) The child has been the victim of labor trafficking under chapter 707.

"Imminent harm" means that without intervention within the next ninety days, there is reasonable cause to believe that harm to the child will occur or reoccur.

"Incapacitated person" means a person who, even with appropriate and reasonably available assistance, is unable to substantially:

(1) Comprehend the legal significance of the issues or nature of the proceedings under this chapter;

(2) Consult with counsel; and

(3) Assist in preparing the person's case or strategy.

Incapacity shall not be based solely on a person's status as a minor.

"Ohana conference" means a family-focused, strength-based meeting conducted by trained community facilitators that is designed to build and enhance the network of protection for a child who is subject to a proceeding under this chapter. Ohana conferences include extended family members and other important people in the child's life and rely on them to participate in making plans and decisions. The purpose of the ohana conference is to establish a plan that provides for the safety and permanency needs of the child.

"Parent" means any legal parent of a child; the birth mother, unless the child has been legally adopted; the adjudicated, presumed, or concerned birth father of the child as provided in section 578-2(a)(5), unless the child has been legally adopted; or the legal guardians or any other legal custodians of the child.

"Party" means an authorized agency; a child who is subject to a proceeding under this chapter; the child's parents and guardian ad litem; any other person who is alleged in the petition or who is subsequently found at any child protective proceeding to be encouraging, causing, or contributing to the acts or conditions that brought the child within the scope of this chapter; and may include any other person, including the child's current foster parent or current resource family, if the court finds that such person's participation is in the best interest of the child; provided that the court may limit a party's right to participate in any child protective proceeding if the court deems such limitation of such party's participation to be consistent with the best interests of the child and such party is not a family member who is required to be summoned pursuant to section 587A-13, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

"Permanent custody" means the legal status created by order of the court after the termination of parental rights as set forth in this chapter.

"Permanent plan" means a specific, comprehensive written plan prepared pursuant to section 587A-32.

"Police officer" means a person employed by any county in the State of Hawaii to enforce the laws and ordinances for preserving the peace and maintaining safety and order in the community, or an employee authorized by the director of public safety under section 329-51 or 353C-4 to exercise the powers set forth in this chapter.

"Preponderance of the evidence" means the degree of proof, which as a whole, convinces the trier of fact that the fact sought to be proved is more probable than not. "Preponderance of the evidence" shall be the standard of proof required in any proceeding, unless otherwise specified.

"Protective custody" means the legal status of a child whose physical custody is assumed by a police officer under this chapter.

"Reasonable cause to believe" means the degree of proof that would cause a person of average caution to believe the evidence is reasonably trustworthy.

"Relative" means a person related to a child by blood or adoption, or a hanai relative as defined in this chapter, who, as determined by the court or the department, is willing and able to safely provide support to the child and the child's family.

"Resource family" means a person or family licensed by the department or another authorized agency to provide foster care services for children and can be used interchangeably with "foster parent" and "foster family".

"Safe family home factors" means a list of criteria that must be considered in determining whether a parent is able to provide a safe family home as set out herein in section 587A-7.

"Service plan" means a specific, comprehensive written plan prepared by an authorized agency pursuant to section 587A-27.

"Temporary family supervision" means a legal status created under this chapter pursuant to court order after the department has filed a petition for temporary foster custody, and the court finds it more appropriate to return the child to the child's family home pending an adjudication determination.

"Temporary foster custody" means a legal status created under this chapter with or without a court order, whereby the department temporarily assumes the duties and rights of a foster custodian of a child.

"Termination of parental rights" means the severance of parental rights.

"Threatened harm" means any reasonably foreseeable substantial risk of harm to a child. [L 2010, c 135, pt of 1; am L 2012, c 28, 2; am L 2013, c 246, 4]

 

 

Previous Vol12_Ch0501-0588 Next