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232.104 Permanency hearing.

1. If a child has been placed in foster care for a period of twelve months, or if the prior legal custodian of a child has abandoned efforts to regain custody of the child, the court shall, on its own motion, or upon application by any interested party, including the child's foster parent if the child has been placed with the foster parent for at least twelve months, hold a hearing to consider the issue of the establishment of permanency for the child.

Such a permanency hearing may be held concurrently with a hearing to review, modify, substitute, vacate, or terminate a dispositional order. Reasonable notice of a permanency hearing in a case of juvenile delinquency shall be provided pursuant to section 232.37. A permanency hearing shall be conducted in substantial conformance with the provisions of section 232.99. During the hearing the court shall consider the child's need for a secure and permanent placement in light of any permanency plan or evidence submitted to the court. Upon completion of the hearing the court shall enter written findings and make a determination based upon the permanency plan which will best serve the child's individual interests at that time.

2. After a permanency hearing the court shall do one of the following:

a. Enter an order pursuant to section 232.102 to return the child to the child's home.

b. Enter an order pursuant to section 232.102 to continue placement of the child for an additional six months at which time the court shall hold a hearing to consider modification of its permanency order. An order entered under this paragraph shall enumerate the specific factors, conditions, or expected behavioral changes which comprise the basis for the determination that the need for removal of the child from the child's home will no longer exist at the end of the additional six-month period.

c. Direct the county attorney or the attorney for the child to institute proceedings to terminate the parent-child relationship.

d. Enter an order, pursuant to findings required by subsection 3, to do one of the following:

(1) Transfer guardianship and custody of the child to a suitable person.

(2) Transfer sole custody of the child from one parent to another parent.

(3) Transfer custody of the child to a suitable person for the purpose of long-term care.

(4) Order long-term foster care placement for the child in a licensed foster care home or facility.

3. Prior to entering a permanency order pursuant to subsection 2, paragraph "d", convincing evidence must exist showing that all of the following apply:

a. A termination of the parent-child relationship would not be in the best interest of the child.

b. Services were offered to the child's family to correct the situation which led to the child's removal from the home.

c. The child cannot be returned to the child's home.

4. Any permanency order may provide restrictions upon the contact between the child and the child's parent or parents, consistent with the best interest of the child.

5. Subsequent to the entry of a permanency order pursuant to this section, the child shall not be returned to the care, custody, or control of the child's parent or parents, over a formal objection filed by the child's attorney or guardian ad litem, unless the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence, that returning the child to such custody would be in the best interest of the child.

6. Following the entry of a permanency order which places a child in the custody or guardianship of another person or agency, the court shall retain jurisdiction and annually review the order to ascertain whether the best interest of the child is being served. When such order places the child in the custody of the department for the purpose of long-term foster care placement in a facility, the review shall be in a hearing that shall not be waived or continued beyond twelve months after the permanency hearing or the last review hearing. Any modification shall be accomplished through a hearing procedure following reasonable notice. During the hearing, all relevant and material evidence shall be admitted and procedural due process shall be provided to all parties.

Section History: Recent form

87 Acts, ch 159, §4; 89 Acts, ch 229, §6; 95 Acts, ch 182, § 5

Internal References

Referred to in § 232.102


Development of subsidized guardianship program to assist guardians of certain children with permanency orders under subsection 2, paragraph "d", subparagraph (1); 95 Acts, ch 205, § 10

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