Report Title:

Permanency Hearings

 

Description:

Amends chapter 587, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to ensure compliance with federal Title IV-E hearing requirements. Effective July 1, 2050. (SD2)

 


THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

912

TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2009

S.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO PERMANENCY HEARINGS.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. Chapter 587, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"587   Permanency hearings. (a) A permanency hearing shall be held within twelve months of the child's initial date of entry into out-of-home care or within thirty days of a judicial determination that the child is an abandoned infant or that aggravated circumstances are present and reasonable efforts to reunify a child and family are not required. The permanency hearing may be held simultaneously with a review hearing. The status of the child shall be reviewed at least every twelve months thereafter, for as long as the child remains in out-of-home care under the placement responsibility of the department.

(b) The court shall review the status of the case to determine whether the child is receiving appropriate services and care, that case plans are being properly implemented, and that activities are directed toward a permanent placement for the child. Procedural safeguards relating to notice, participation of the parties, and appeal shall be provided according to the rules of the court. At the permanency hearing, the court shall:

(1) Determine whether the department has made reasonable efforts to finalize a permanency plan for the child within twelve months of the initial date of entry into out-of-home care;

(2) Determine the safety of the child and 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 progress that the family has made in making the home safe;

(4) Determine the extent of progress toward resolving the problems that caused the placement and necessitate continued placement;

(5) Project a likely date for the child's return to a safe family home, or permanent placement out of the family home, in the following order of preference: through adoption, through legal guardianship, or through other permanent out-of-home placement;

(6) Determine the need for a permanent plan hearing pursuant to section 587-73;

(7) Determine in the following order of preference whether, and if applicable when, the child will be:

(A) Returned to the legal custodian;

(B) Placed for adoption and parental rights divested;

(C) Placed in a legal guardianship;

(D) Placed permanently with a fit and willing relative; or

(E) Placed in another planned permanent custody living arrangement, but only in cases where the department has documented to the court a compelling reason for determining that it would not be in the best interest of the child to follow one of the four specified options above;

(8) In the case of a child who will not be returned to the parent, the hearing shall consider in-state and out-of-state placement options;

(9) If the child is placed out of the state in which the home of the legal custodian is located, determine whether the out-of-state placement continues to be in the best interest of the child;

(10) Consult, in an age appropriate manner, with the child about the proposed permanency or transition plan; and

(11) Determine, in the case of the child who has attained sixteen years of age, the services needed to assist the child to make the transition from foster care to independent living.

(c) After considering the criteria above, the court shall set the case for either a permanent plan hearing or a review hearing as deemed appropriate."

SECTION 2. Section 587-71, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:

1. By amending subsection (e) to read:

"(e) If the child's family home is determined not to be safe, even with the assistance of a service plan pursuant to subsection (d), the court may[, and if the child has been residing without the family home for a period of twelve consecutive months shall,] set the case for a show cause hearing as deemed appropriate by the court, at which hearing the child's family shall have the burden of presenting evidence to the court regarding [such] the reasons and considerations as the family has to offer as to why the case should not be set for a permanent plan hearing. Upon such show cause hearing as the court deems to be appropriate, the court shall consider the criteria set forth in section 587-73(a)(1), (2), and (4), and:

(1) Set the case for a [permanent plan] permanency hearing [and order that the authorized agency submit a report pursuant to section 587-40]; or

(2) Proceed pursuant to this section."

2. By amending subsection (j) to read:

"(j) If the court makes a determination that aggravated circumstances are present under this section, the court shall set the case for a [show cause] permanency hearing [as deemed appropriate by the court] within thirty days. [At the show cause hearing, the child's family shall have the burden of presenting evidence to the court regarding the reasons and considerations as to why the case should not be set for a permanent plan hearing.]"

3. By amending subsection (p) to read:

"(p) Nothing in this section shall prevent the court from setting a show cause hearing, a permanency hearing, or a permanent plan hearing at any time the court determines such a hearing to be appropriate."

SECTION 3. Section 587-72, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"587‑72 Review hearings. (a) Except for good cause shown, the court shall set each case for review hearing not later than six months after the date that a service plan is ordered by the court and, thereafter, the court shall set subsequent review hearings at intervals of no longer than six months until the court's jurisdiction has been terminated or the court has ordered a permanent plan and has set the case for a permanent plan review hearing. The court may set a case for a review hearing upon the motion of a party at any time if the hearing is deemed by the court to be in the best interests of the child.

(b) Upon each review hearing, the court shall consider fully all relevant prior and current information pertaining to the safe family home guidelines, as set forth in section 587‑25, including but not limited to the report submitted pursuant to section 587-40, and:

(1) Determine whether the child's family is presently willing and able to provide the child with a safe family home without the assistance of a service plan and, if so, the court shall terminate jurisdiction;

(2) Determine whether the child's family is presently willing and able to provide the child with a safe family home with the assistance of a service plan and, if so, the court shall return the child or continue the placement of the child in the child's family home under the family supervision of the appropriate authorized agency;

(3) If the child's family home is determined, pursuant to paragraph (2) not to be safe, even with the assistance of a service plan, order that the child remain or be placed under the foster custody of the appropriate authorized agency;

(4) Determine whether the parties have complied with, performed, and completed every term and condition of the service plan that was previously court ordered;

(5) Order revisions to the existing service plan, after satisfying section 587-71(h), as the court, upon a hearing that the court deems to be appropriate, determines to be in the best interests of the child; provided that a copy of the revised service plan shall be incorporated as part of the order;

(6) Enter further orders as the court deems to be in the best interests of the child;

(7) Determine whether aggravated circumstances are present and, if so, the court shall set the case for a [show cause] permanency hearing [as the court deems appropriate] within thirty days. [At the show cause hearing, the child's family shall have the burden of presenting evidence to the court regarding the reasons and considerations as to why the case should not be set for a permanent plan hearing]; and

(8) If the child has been residing outside the family home for twelve consecutive months from the initial date of entry into out-of-home care, set the case for a [show cause] permanency hearing [as deemed appropriate by the court. At the show cause hearing, the child's family shall have the burden of presenting evidence to the court regarding the reasons and considerations as to why the case should not be set for a permanent plan hearing].

(c) In any case [that] where a permanent plan hearing is not deemed to be appropriate, the court shall:

(1) Make a finding that the parties understand that unless the family is willing and able to provide the child with a safe family home, even with the assistance of a service plan, within the reasonable period of time specified in the service plan, their respective parental and custodial duties and rights shall be subject to termination; and

(2) Set the case for a review hearing within six months.

(d) If the child has been residing outside of the family home for an aggregate of fifteen out of the most recent twenty-two months from the initial date of entry into out-of-home care, the department shall file a motion to set the matter for a permanent plan hearing unless:

(1) The department has documented in the safe family home guidelines prepared pursuant to section 587-25(a), a compelling reason why it would not be in the best interests of the child to file a motion; or

(2) The State has not provided to the family of the child, consistent with the time period in the service plan, such services as the department deems necessary for the safe return of the child to the family home;

provided that nothing in this section shall prevent the department from filing such a motion to set a permanent plan hearing if the department has determined that the criteria in section 587-73(a) are present.

(e) If the child's family home is determined not to be safe, even with the assistance of a service plan pursuant to subsection (b)(2), the court may set the case for a show cause hearing as deemed appropriate by the court, at which hearing the child's family shall have the burden of presenting evidence to the court regarding the reasons and considerations as the family has to offer as to why the case should not be set for a permanent plan hearing. Upon such show cause hearing as the court deems to be appropriate, the court shall consider the criteria set forth in section 587-73(a)(1), (2), and (4), and:

(1) Set the case for a permanency hearing; or

(2) Otherwise proceed pursuant to this section."

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.