232.2  Definitions.

As used in this chapter unless the context otherwise requires:

1.  "Abandonment of a child" means the relinquishment or surrender, without reference to any particular person, of the parental rights, duties, or privileges inherent in the parent-child relationship. Proof of abandonment must include both the intention to abandon and the acts by which the intention is evidenced. The term does not require that the relinquishment or surrender be over any particular period of time.

2.  "Adjudicatory hearing" means a hearing to determine if the allegations of a petition are true.

3.  "Adult" means a person other than a child.

4.  "Case permanency plan" means the plan, mandated by Pub. L. No. 96-272, as codified in 42 U.S.C. § 671(a)(16), 627(a)(2)(B), and 675(1),(5), which is designed to achieve placement in the least restrictive, most family-like setting available and in close proximity to the parent's home, consistent with the best interests and special needs of the child, and which considers the placement's proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement. The plan shall be developed by the department or agency involved and the child's parent, guardian, or custodian. The plan shall specifically include all of the following:

a.  Plans for carrying out the voluntary placement agreement or judicial determination pursuant to which the child entered care.

b.  The type and appropriateness of the placement and services to be provided to the child.

c.  The care and services that will be provided to the child, biological parents, and foster parents.

d.  How the care and services will meet the needs of the child while in care and will facilitate the child's return home or other permanent placement.

e.  To the extent the records are available and accessible, a summary of the child's health and education records, including the date the records were supplied to the agency or individual who is the child's foster care provider.

f.  When a child is sixteen years of age or older, a written plan of services which, based upon an assessment of the child's needs, would assist the child in preparing for the transition from foster care to independent living. If the child is interested in pursuing higher education, the plan shall provide for the child's participation in the college student aid commission's program of assistance in applying for federal and state aid under section 261.2.

g.  The actions expected of the parent, guardian, or custodian in order for the department or agency to recommend that the court terminate a dispositional order for the child's out-of-home placement and for the department or agency to end its involvement with the child and the child's family.

h.  If reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption or with a guardian are made concurrently with reasonable efforts as defined in section 232.102, the concurrent goals and timelines may be identified. Concurrent case permanency plan goals for reunification, and for adoption or for other permanent out-of-home placement of a child shall not be considered inconsistent in that the goals reflect divergent possible outcomes for a child in an out-of-home placement.

5.  "Child" means a person under eighteen years of age.

6.  "Child in need of assistance" means an unmarried child:

a.  Whose parent, guardian or other custodian has abandoned or deserted the child.

b.  Whose parent, guardian, other custodian, or other member of the household in which the child resides has physically abused or neglected the child, or is imminently likely to abuse or neglect the child.

c.  Who has suffered or is imminently likely to suffer harmful effects as a result of either of the following:

(1)  Mental injury caused by the acts of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian.

(2)  The failure of the child's parent, guardian, custodian, or other member of the household in which the child resides to exercise a reasonable degree of care in supervising the child.

d.  Who has been, or is imminently likely to be, sexually abused by the child's parent, guardian, custodian or other member of the household in which the child resides.

e.  Who is in need of medical treatment to cure, alleviate, or prevent serious physical injury or illness and whose parent, guardian or custodian is unwilling or unable to provide such treatment.

f.  Who is in need of treatment to cure or alleviate serious mental illness or disorder, or emotional damage as evidenced by severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal or untoward aggressive behavior toward self or others and whose parent, guardian, or custodian is unwilling or unable to provide such treatment.

g.  Whose parent, guardian, or custodian fails to exercise a minimal degree of care in supplying the child with adequate food, clothing or shelter and refuses other means made available to provide such essentials.

h.  Who has committed a delinquent act as a result of pressure, guidance, or approval from a parent, guardian, custodian, or other member of the household in which the child resides.

i.  Who has been the subject of or a party to sexual activities for hire or who poses for live display or for photographic or other means of pictorial reproduction or display which is designed to appeal to the prurient interest and is patently offensive; and taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, scientific, political or artistic value.

j.  Who is without a parent, guardian or other custodian.

k.  Whose parent, guardian, or other custodian for good cause desires to be relieved of the child's care and custody.

l.  Who for good cause desires to have the child's parents relieved of the child's care and custody.

m.  Who is in need of treatment to cure or alleviate chemical dependency and whose parent, guardian, or custodian is unwilling or unable to provide such treatment.

n.  Whose parent's or guardian's mental capacity or condition, imprisonment, or drug or alcohol abuse results in the child not receiving adequate care.

o.  In whose body there is an illegal drug present as a direct and foreseeable consequence of the acts or omissions of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian. The presence of the drug shall be determined in accordance with a medically relevant test as defined in section 232.73.

6A.  "Chronic runaway" means a child who is reported to law enforcement as a runaway more than once in any thirty-day period or three or more times in any year.

7.  "Complaint" means an oral or written report which is made to the juvenile court by any person and alleges that a child is within the jurisdiction of the court.

8.  "Court" means the juvenile court established under section 602.7101.

9.  "Court appointed special advocate" means a person duly certified by the judicial branch for participation in the court appointed special advocate program and appointed by the court to represent the interests of a child in any judicial proceeding to which the child is a party or is called as a witness or relating to any dispositional order involving the child resulting from such proceeding.

10.  "Criminal or juvenile justice agency" means any agency which has as its primary responsibility the enforcement of the state's criminal laws or of local ordinances made pursuant to state law.

11.  "Custodian" means a stepparent or a relative within the fourth degree of consanguinity to a child who has assumed responsibility for that child, a person who has accepted a release of custody pursuant to division IV, or a person appointed by a court or juvenile court having jurisdiction over a child. The rights and duties of a custodian with respect to a child are as follows:

a.  To maintain or transfer to another the physical possession of that child.

b.  To protect, train, and discipline that child.

c.  To provide food, clothing, housing, and medical care for that child.

d.  To consent to emergency medical care, including surgery.

e.  To sign a release of medical information to a health professional.

All rights and duties of a custodian shall be subject to any residual rights and duties remaining in a parent or guardian.

12.  "Delinquent act" means:

a.  The violation of any state law or local ordinance which would constitute a public offense if committed by an adult except any offense which by law is exempted from the jurisdiction of this chapter.

b.  The violation of a federal law or a law of another state which violation constitutes a criminal offense if the case involving that act has been referred to the juvenile court.

c.  The violation of section 123.47 which is committed by a child.

13.  "Department" means the department of human services and includes the local, county and regional officers of the department.

14.  "Desertion" means the relinquishment or surrender for a period in excess of six months of the parental rights, duties, or privileges inherent in the parent-child relationship. Proof of desertion need not include the intention to desert, but is evidenced by the lack of attempted contact with the child or by only incidental contact with the child.

15.  "Detention" means the temporary care of a child in a physically restricting facility designed to ensure the continued custody of the child at any point between the child's initial contact with the juvenile authorities and the final disposition of the child's case.

16.  "Detention hearing" means a hearing at which the court determines whether it is necessary to place or retain a child in detention.

17.  "Director" means the director of the department of human services or that person's designee.

18.  "Dismissal of complaint" means the termination of all proceedings against a child.

19.  "Dispositional hearing" means a hearing held after an adjudication to determine what dispositional order should be made.

20.  "Family in need of assistance" means a family in which there has been a breakdown in the relationship between a child and the child's parent, guardian or custodian.

21.  "Guardian" means a person who is not the parent of a child, but who has been appointed by a court or juvenile court having jurisdiction over the child, to have a permanent self-sustaining relationship with the child and to make important decisions which have a permanent effect on the life and development of that child and to promote the general welfare of that child. A guardian may be a court or a juvenile court. Guardian does not mean conservator, as defined in section 633.3, although a person who is appointed to be a guardian may also be appointed to be a conservator.

Unless otherwise enlarged or circumscribed by a court or juvenile court having jurisdiction over the child or by operation of law, the rights and duties of a guardian with respect to a child shall be as follows:

a.  To consent to marriage, enlistment in the armed forces of the United States, or medical, psychiatric, or surgical treatment.

b.  To serve as guardian ad litem, unless the interests of the guardian conflict with the interests of the child or unless another person has been appointed guardian ad litem.

c.  To serve as custodian, unless another person has been appointed custodian.

d.  To make periodic visitations if the guardian does not have physical possession or custody of the child.

e.  To consent to adoption and to make any other decision that the parents could have made when the parent-child relationship existed.

f.  To make other decisions involving protection, education, and care and control of the child.

22. a.  "Guardian ad litem" means a person appointed by the court to represent the interests of a child in any judicial proceeding to which the child is a party, and includes a court appointed special advocate, except that a court appointed special advocate shall not file motions or petitions pursuant to section 232.54, subsections 1 and 4, section 232.103, subsection 2, paragraph "c", and section 232.111.

b.  Unless otherwise enlarged or circumscribed by a court or juvenile court having jurisdiction over the child or by operation of law, the duties of a guardian ad litem with respect to a child shall include the following:

(1)  Conducting in-person interviews with the child, if the child's age is appropriate for the interview, and interviewing each parent, guardian, or other person having custody of the child, if authorized by counsel.

(2)  Conducting interviews with the child, if the child's age is appropriate for the interview, prior to any court-ordered hearing.

(3)  Visiting the home, residence, or both home and residence of the child and any prospective home or residence of the child, including each time placement is changed.

(4)  Interviewing any person providing medical, mental health, social, educational, or other services to the child, before any hearing referred to in subparagraph (2).

(5)  Obtaining firsthand knowledge, if possible, of the facts, circumstances, and parties involved in the matter in which the person is appointed guardian ad litem.

(6)  Attending any hearings in the matter in which the person is appointed as the guardian ad litem.

c.  The order appointing the guardian ad litem shall grant authorization to the guardian ad litem to interview any relevant person and inspect and copy any records relevant to the proceedings, if not prohibited by federal law. The order shall specify that the guardian ad litem may interview any person providing medical, mental health, social, educational, or other services to the child, may attend any departmental staff meeting, case conference, or meeting with medical or mental health providers, service providers, organizations, or educational institutions regarding the child, if deemed necessary by the guardian ad litem, and may inspect and copy any records relevant to the proceedings.

23.  "Health practitioner" means a licensed physician or surgeon, osteopath, osteopathic physician or surgeon, dentist, optometrist, podiatric physician, or chiropractor, a resident or intern of any such profession, and any registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

24.  "Informal adjustment" means the disposition of a complaint without the filing of a petition and may include but is not limited to the following:

a.  Placement of the child on nonjudicial probation.

b.  Provision of intake services.

c.  Referral of the child to a public or private agency other than the court for services.

25.  "Informal adjustment agreement" means an agreement between an intake officer, a child who is the subject of a complaint, and the child's parent, guardian or custodian providing for the informal adjustment of the complaint.

26.  "Intake" means the preliminary screening of complaints by an intake officer to determine whether the court should take some action and if so, what action.

27.  "Intake officer" means a juvenile court officer or other officer appointed by the court to perform the intake function.

28.  "Judge" means the judge of a juvenile court.

29.  "Juvenile" means the same as "child". However, in the interstate compact on juveniles, sections 232.171 and 232.172, "juvenile" means a person defined as a juvenile in the law of a state which is a party to the compact.

30.  "Juvenile court officer" means a person appointed as a juvenile court officer under section 602.7202 and a chief juvenile court officer appointed under section 602.1217.

31.  "Juvenile court social records" or "social records" means all records made with respect to a child in connection with proceedings over which the court has jurisdiction under this chapter other than official records and includes but is not limited to the records made and compiled by intake officers, predisposition reports, and reports of physical and mental examinations.

32.  "Juvenile detention home" means a physically restricting facility used only for the detention of children.

33.  "Juvenile parole officer" means a person representing an agency which retains jurisdiction over the case of a child adjudicated to have committed a delinquent act, placed in a secure facility and subsequently released, who supervises the activities of the child until the case is dismissed.

34.  "Juvenile shelter care home" means a physically unrestricting facility used only for the shelter care of children.

35.  "Mental injury" means a nonorganic injury to a child's intellectual or psychological capacity as evidenced by an observable and substantial impairment in the child's ability to function within the child's normal range of performance and behavior, considering the child's cultural origin.

36.  "Nonjudicial probation" means the informal adjustment of a complaint which involves the supervision of the child who is the subject of the complaint by an intake officer or juvenile court officer for a period during which the child may be required to comply with specified conditions concerning the child's conduct and activities.

37.  "Nonsecure facility" means a physically unrestricting facility in which children may be placed pursuant to a dispositional order of the court made in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

38.  "Official juvenile court records" or "official records" means official records of the court of proceedings over which the court has jurisdiction under this chapter which includes but is not limited to the following:

a.  The docket of the court and entries therein.

b.  Complaints, petitions, other pleadings, motions, and applications filed with a court.

c.  Any summons, notice, subpoena, or other process and proofs of publication.

d.  Transcripts of proceedings before the court.

e.  Findings, judgments, decrees and orders of the court.

39.  "Parent" means a biological or adoptive mother or father of a child but does not include a mother or father whose parental rights have been terminated.

40.  "Peace officer" means a law enforcement officer or a person designated as a peace officer by a provision of the Code.

41.  "Petition" means a pleading the filing of which initiates formal judicial proceedings in the juvenile court.

42.  "Physical abuse or neglect" or "abuse or neglect" means any nonaccidental physical injury suffered by a child as the result of the acts or omissions of the child's parent, guardian or custodian or other person legally responsible for the child.

42A.  "Preadoptive care" means the provision of parental nurturing on a full-time basis to a child in foster care by a person who has signed a preadoptive placement agreement with the department for the purposes of proceeding with a legal adoption of the child. Parental nurturing includes but is not limited to furnishing of food, lodging, training, education, treatment, and other care.

43.  "Predisposition investigation" means an investigation conducted for the purpose of collecting information relevant to the court's fashioning of an appropriate disposition of a delinquency case over which the court has jurisdiction.

44.  "Predisposition report" is a report furnished to the court which contains the information collected during a predisposition investigation.

45.  "Probation" means a legal status which is created by a dispositional order of the court in a case where a child has been adjudicated to have committed a delinquent act, which exists for a specified period of time, and which places the child under the supervision of a juvenile court officer or other person or agency designated by the court. The probation order may require a child to comply with specified conditions imposed by the court concerning conduct and activities, subject to being returned to the court for violation of those conditions.

46.  "Registry" means the central registry for child abuse information as established under chapter 235A.

47.  "Residual parental rights and responsibilities" means those rights and responsibilities remaining with the parent after transfer of legal custody or guardianship of the person of the child. These include but are not limited to the right of visitation, the right to consent to adoption, and the responsibility for support.

48.  "Secure facility" means a physically restricting facility in which children adjudicated to have committed a delinquent act may be placed pursuant to a dispositional order of the court.

49.  "Sexual abuse" means the commission of a sex offense as defined by the penal law.

50.  "Shelter care" means the temporary care of a child in a physically unrestricting facility at any time between a child's initial contact with juvenile authorities and the final judicial disposition of the child's case.

51.  "Shelter care hearing" means a hearing at which the court determines whether it is necessary to place or retain a child in shelter care.

52.  "Social investigation" means an investigation conducted for the purpose of collecting information relevant to the court's fashioning of an appropriate disposition of a child in need of assistance case over which the court has jurisdiction.

53.  "Social report" means a report furnished to the court which contains the information collected during a social investigation.

54.  "Taking into custody" means an act which would be governed by the laws of arrest under the criminal code if the subject of the act were an adult. The taking into custody of a child is subject to all constitutional and statutory protections which are afforded an adult upon arrest.

55.  "Termination hearing" means a hearing held to determine whether the court should terminate a parent-child relationship.

56.  "Termination of the parent-child relationship" means the divestment by the court of the parent's and child's privileges, duties and powers with respect to each other.

57.  "Voluntary placement" means a foster care placement in which the department provides foster care services to a child according to a signed placement agreement between the department and the child's parent or guardian.

58.  "Waiver hearing" means a hearing at which the court determines whether it shall waive its jurisdiction over a child alleged to have committed a delinquent act so that the state may prosecute the child as if the child were an adult.

Section History: Early form

  [S13, § 254-a14, -a21; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, § 3618, 3619, 3620, 3638; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, § 232.2, 232.3, 232.4, 232.22; C66, 71, 73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 232.2; 82 Acts, ch 1209, § 1]

Section History: Recent form

  83 Acts, ch 96, § 157, 159; 83 Acts, ch 186, § 10054, 10055, 10201; 84 Acts, ch 1279, § 1, 2; 87 Acts, ch 121, § 1, 2; 88 Acts, ch 1134, § 46, 47; 89 Acts, ch 169, § 1; 89 Acts, ch 229, § 1-4; 89 Acts, ch 230, § 1, 2; 90 Acts, ch 1251, § 22; 91 Acts, ch 232, § 1; 92 Acts, ch 1231, § 10; 93 Acts, ch 93, §1; 94 Acts, ch 1046, §1, 2; 94 Acts, ch 1172, §12; 95 Acts, ch 108, § 16; 95 Acts, ch 147, § 3; 95 Acts, ch 182, § 1, 2, 6; 95 Acts, ch 191, § 7; 96 Acts, ch 1092, § 1; 97 Acts, ch 90, §1; 97 Acts, ch 126, §10; 97 Acts, ch 164, §1; 98 Acts, ch 1019, §1; 98 Acts, ch 1047, §21; 98 Acts, ch 1190, §1-3; 99 Acts, ch 164, §1; 99 Acts, ch 208, §33, 34

Internal References

  Referred to in § 232.82, 232.83, 232.89, 232.98, 232.102, 232.117, 232.126, 232.149, 235A.15, 237.3, 282.30, 709A.5, 915.37


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