CHILD PROTECTIVE ACT
16-1620. finding of aggravated circumstances — Permanency plan — hearing. (1) After a judicial determination that reasonable efforts to return the child to his home are not required because aggravated circumstances were found to be present, the court shall hold a permanency hearing within thirty (30) days after the finding and every twelve (12) months thereafter for as long as the court has jurisdiction. The department shall prepare a permanency plan and file the permanency plan with the court at least five (5) days prior to the permanency hearing. If the permanency plan has a goal of termination of parental rights and adoption, the department shall file the petition to terminate as required in section 16-1624(2), Idaho Code. Copies of the permanency plan shall be delivered to the parents and other legal guardians, prosecuting attorney or deputy attorney general, the guardian ad litem and attorney for the child.
(2) The permanency plan shall have a permanency goal of termination of parental rights and adoption, guardianship or, for youth age sixteen (16) years and older only, another planned permanent living arrangement and shall set forth the reasonable efforts necessary to finalize the permanency goal.
(3) The permanency plan shall also:
(a) Identify the services to be provided to the child, including services to identify and meet any educational, emotional, physical or developmental needs the child may have, to assist the child in adjusting to the placement or to ensure the stability of the placement;
(b) Address all options for permanent placement of the child, including consideration of options for in-state and out-of-state placement of the child;
(c) Address the advantages and disadvantages of each option and include a recommendation as to which option is in the child’s best interests;
(d) Specifically identify the actions necessary to implement the recommended option;
(e) Specifically set forth a schedule for accomplishing the actions necessary to implement the permanency goal;
(f) Address the options for maintaining the child’s connection to the community, including individuals with a significant relationship to the child, and organizations or community activities with which the child has a significant connection. This shall also include the efforts made to ensure educational stability for the child, the efforts to keep the child in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement or the reasons why remaining in that school is not in the best interests of the child;
(g) Document that siblings were placed together or, if siblings were not placed together, document the efforts made to place siblings together, the reasons why siblings were not placed together, and a plan for ensuring frequent visitation or ongoing interaction between the siblings, unless visitation or ongoing interaction would be contrary to the safety or well-being of one (1) or more of the siblings;
(h) For youth age fourteen (14) years and older:
(i) Identify the services needed to assist the youth to make the transition from foster care to successful adulthood; and
(ii) Document the youth’s rights in regard to education, health, visitation, court participation and receipt of an annual credit report, including a signed acknowledgment by the department that the youth was provided with a written copy of these rights and that the rights were explained to the youth in an age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate manner;
(i) For youth age sixteen (16) years and older with a proposed permanency goal of another planned permanent living arrangement, document:
(i) The intensive, ongoing, and, as of the date of the hearing, unsuccessful efforts made to place the youth with a parent, in an adoptive placement, in a guardianship, or in the legal custody of the department in a placement with a fit and willing relative, including an adult sibling;
(ii) Why another planned permanent living arrangement is the best permanency plan for the youth and compelling reasons why, as of the date of the permanency hearing, it would not be in the best interests of the youth to be placed permanently with a parent, in an adoptive placement, in a guardianship, or in the legal custody of the department in a placement with a fit and willing relative, including an adult sibling;
(iii) The steps that the department has taken to ensure that the youth’s foster parents or child care institution are following the reasonable and prudent parent standard when determining whether to allow the youth in their care to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural and social activities; and
(iv) The opportunities provided to the youth to engage in age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate activities;
(j) If there is reason to believe the child is an Indian child and there has been no final determination as to the child’s status as an Indian child, document:
(i) The efforts made to determine whether the child is an Indian child; and
(ii) The department’s efforts to work with all tribes of which the child may be a member to verify whether the child is a member or eligible for membership; and
(k) Identify the prospective adoptive parents, if known; if the prospective adoptive parents are not known, the department shall amend the plan to name the proposed adoptive parents as soon as such persons become known.
(4) The court shall hold a permanency hearing to determine whether the best interests of the child are served by adopting, rejecting or modifying the permanency plan proposed by the department. At each permanency hearing:
(a) For youth age twelve (12) years and older, unless good cause is shown, the court shall ask the youth about his desired permanency outcome and consult with the youth about his current permanency plan;
(b) If there is reason to believe that the child is an Indian child and there has not been a final determination regarding the child’s status as an Indian child, the court shall:
(i) Inquire about the efforts that have been made since the last hearing to determine whether the child is an Indian child; and
(ii) Determine that the department is using active efforts to work with all tribes of which the child may be a member to verify whether the child is a member or eligible for membership;
(c) If the child is being treated with psychotropic medication, these additional requirements shall apply:
(i) The department shall report to the court the medication and dosage prescribed for the child and the medical professional who prescribed the medication; and
(ii) The court shall inquire as to, and may make any additional inquiry relevant to, the use of psychotropic medication; and
(d) If a child is in the legal custody of the department and the court has approved placement of the child in a qualified residential treatment program, then at each hearing pursuant to this section and each hearing held pursuant to section 16-1622, Idaho Code, the department shall document:
(i) That ongoing assessment of the strengths and needs of the child continues to support the determination that the needs of the child cannot be met through placement in a foster family home, that the placement in a qualified residential treatment program provides the most effective and appropriate level of care for the child that is in the least restrictive environment, and that the placement is consistent with the short- and long-term goals for the child, as specified in the permanency plan for the child;
(ii) The specific treatment or service needs that will be met for the child in the placement and the length of time the child is expected to need the treatment or services; and
(iii) The efforts made by the department to prepare the child to return home or to be placed with a fit and willing relative, with a legal guardian, with an adoptive parent, or in a foster family home.
(5) Notice of the permanency hearing shall be provided to the parents and other legal guardians, prosecuting attorney or deputy attorney general, guardian ad litem, attorney for the child, the department and foster parents; provided however, that foster parents are not thereby made parties to the child protective act action.
(6) The permanency plan as approved by the court shall be entered into the record as an order of the court. The order may include interim and final deadlines for implementing the permanency plan and finalizing the permanency goal.
(7) For youth with a proposed or current permanency goal of another planned permanent living arrangement, at each permanency hearing the court shall make written, case-specific findings that as of the date of the permanency hearing another planned permanent living arrangement is the best permanency plan for the youth and that there are compelling reasons why it is not in the youth’s best interests to be placed permanently with a parent, in an adoptive placement, in a guardianship, or in the legal custody of the department in a placement with a fit and willing relative, including an adult sibling.
(8) The court may authorize the department to suspend further efforts to reunify the child with the child’s parent, pending further order of the court, when a petition or other motion is filed in a child protection proceeding seeking a determination of the court that aggravated circumstances were present.
[16-1620, added 2005, ch. 391, sec. 22, p. 1282; am. 2013, ch. 287, sec. 4, p. 747; am. 2016, ch. 265, sec. 4, p. 707; am. 2016, ch. 347, sec. 3, p. 1002; am. 2017, ch. 58, sec. 4, p. 99; am. 2021, ch. 281, sec. 5, p. 844.]