§587A-30 Periodic review hearing. (a) The court shall set a periodic review hearing to be conducted no later than six months after a child's date of entry into foster care. Thereafter, the court shall conduct periodic review hearings at intervals of no longer than six months until the court's jurisdiction is terminated unless the child is in the permanent custody of the department or an authorized agency. If the child is in the permanent custody of the department or an authorized agency, the court shall conduct a permanency hearing at intervals of no longer than six months until the court's jurisdiction is terminated. The court may set a case for a periodic review hearing upon the motion of a party at any time, if the court deems the hearing to be in the best interests of the child.
(b) At each periodic review hearing, the court shall review the status of the case to determine whether the child is receiving appropriate services and care, whether the case plan is being properly implemented, and whether the department's or authorized agency's activities are directed toward a permanent placement for the child. At the hearing, the court shall:
(1) Determine whether the child is safe and enter orders:
(A) That the child be placed in foster custody if the court finds that the child's remaining in the family home is contrary to the welfare of the child and the child's parents are not willing and able to provide a safe family home for the child, even with the assistance of a service plan;
(B) That the child be placed in family supervision if the court finds that the child's parents are willing and able to provide the child with a safe family home with the assistance of a service plan; or
(C) To terminate jurisdiction if the court finds that the child's parents are willing and able to provide the child with a safe family home without the assistance of a service plan;
(2) Determine the continued need for and appropriateness of the out-of-home placement;
(3) Determine the extent to which each party has complied with the case plan and the family's progress in making their home safe for the child;
(4) Determine the family's progress in resolving the problems that caused the child harm or to be threatened with harm and, if applicable, the necessity for continued out-of-home placement of the child;
(5) Project a likely date for:
(A) The child's return to a safe family home; or
(B) The child's permanent placement out of the family home in the following order of preference:
(ii) Legal guardianship; or
(iii) Other permanent out-of-home placement;
(6) Evaluate visitation arrangements; and
(7) Issue such further or other appropriate orders as it deems to be in the best interests of the child.
(c) If the child has been in foster care under the responsibility of the department for an aggregate of fifteen out of the most recent twenty-two months from the date of entry into foster care, the department shall file a motion to terminate parental rights, unless:
(1) The department has documented in the safe family home factors or other written report submitted to the court a compelling reason why it is not in the best interest of the child to file a motion; or
(2) The department has not provided to the family of the child, consistent with the time period required in the service plan, such services as the department deems necessary for the safe return of the child to the family home.
(d) Nothing in this section shall prevent the department from filing a motion to terminate parental rights if the department determines that the criteria for terminating parental rights are present. [L 2010, c 135, pt of §1; am L 2011, c 51, §5]