1. After a dispositional hearing the court may enter an order transferring the legal custody of the child to one of the following for purposes of placement:
a. A parent who does not have physical care of the child, other relative, or other suitable person.
b. A child placing agency or other suitable private agency, facility, or institution which is licensed or otherwise authorized by law to receive and provide care for the child.
c. The department of human services.
If the child is sixteen years of age or older, the order shall specify the services needed to assist the child in preparing for the transition from foster care to independent living.
1A. The court shall not order group foster care placement of the child which is a charge upon the state if that placement is not in accordance with the regional plan for group foster care established pursuant to section 232.143 for the departmental region in which the court is located.
2. After a dispositional hearing and upon the request of the department, the court may enter an order appointing the department as the guardian of an unaccompanied refugee child or of a child without parent or guardian.
3. After a dispositional hearing and upon written findings of fact based upon evidence in the record that an alternative placement set forth in subsection 1, paragraph "b", has previously been made and is not appropriate the court may enter an order transferring the guardianship of the child for the purposes of subsection 8, to the director of human services for the purposes of placement in the Iowa juvenile home at Toledo.
4. a. Upon receipt of an application from the director of the department of human services, the court shall enter an order to temporarily transfer a child who has been placed in the Iowa juvenile home at Toledo pursuant to subsection 3, to a facility which has been designated to be an alternative placement site for the juvenile home, provided the court finds that all of the following conditions exist:
(1) There is insufficient time to file a motion and hold a hearing for a new dispositional order under section 232.103.
(2) Immediate removal of the child from the juvenile home is necessary to safeguard the child's physical or emotional health.
(3) That reasonable attempts to notify the parents, guardian ad litem, and attorney for the child have been made.
b. If the court finds the conditions in paragraph "a" exist and there is insufficient time to provide notice as required under rule of juvenile procedure 4.6, the court may enter an ex parte order temporarily transferring the child to the alternative placement site.
c. Within three days of the child's transfer, the director shall file a motion for a new dispositional order under section 232.103 and the court shall hold a hearing concerning the motion within fourteen days of the child's transfer.
5. Whenever possible the court should permit the child to remain at home with the child's parent, guardian, or custodian. Custody of the child should not be transferred unless the court finds there is clear and convincing evidence that:
a. The child cannot be protected from physical abuse without transfer of custody; or
b. The child cannot be protected from some harm which would justify the adjudication of the child as a child in need of assistance and an adequate placement is available.
The order shall, in addition, contain a statement that removal from the home is the result of a determination that continuation in the home would be contrary to the welfare of the child, and shall identify the reasonable efforts that have been made.
6. The child shall not be placed in the state training school.
7. In any order transferring custody to the department or an agency, or in orders pursuant to a custody order, the court shall specify the nature and category of disposition which will serve the best interests of the child, and shall prescribe the means by which the placement shall be monitored by the court. If the court orders the transfer of the custody of the child to the department of human services or other agency for placement, the department or agency shall submit a case permanency plan to the court and shall make every reasonable effort to return the child to the child's home as quickly as possible consistent with the best interest of the child. When the child is not returned to the child's home and if the child has been previously placed in a licensed foster care facility, the department or agency shall consider placing the child in the same licensed foster care facility. If the court orders the transfer of custody to a parent who does not have physical care of the child, other relative, or other suitable person, the court may direct the department or other agency to provide services to the child's parent, guardian, or custodian in order to enable them to resume custody of the child. If the court orders the transfer of custody to the department of human services or to another agency for placement in foster group care, the department or agency shall make every reasonable effort to place the child within Iowa, in the least restrictive, most family-like, and most appropriate setting available, and in close proximity to the parents' home, consistent with the child's best interests and special needs, and shall consider the placement's proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement.
8. Any order transferring custody to the department or an agency shall include a statement informing the child's parent that the consequences of a permanent removal may include the termination of the parent's rights with respect to the child.
9. An agency, facility, institution, or person to whom custody of the child has been transferred pursuant to this section shall file a written report with the court at least every six months concerning the status and progress of the child. The court shall hold a periodic dispositional review hearing for each child in placement pursuant to this section in order to determine whether the child should be returned home, an extension of the placement should be made, a permanency hearing should be held, or a termination of the parent-child relationship proceeding should be instituted. The placement shall be terminated and the child returned to the child's home if the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the child will not suffer harm in the manner specified in section 232.2, subsection 6. If the placement is extended, the court shall determine whether additional services are necessary to facilitate the return of the child to the child's home, and if the court determines such services are needed, the court shall order the provision of such services. When the child is not returned to the child's home and if the child has been previously placed in a licensed foster care facility, the department or agency responsible for the placement of the child shall consider placing the child in the same licensed foster care facility.
a. The initial dispositional review hearing shall not be waived or continued beyond six months after the date of the dispositional hearing.
b. Subsequent dispositional review hearings shall not be waived or continued beyond twelve months after the date of the most recent dispositional review hearing.
c. For purposes of this subsection, a hearing held pursuant to section 232.103 satisfies the requirements for initial dispositional review or subsequent permanency hearing.
10. a. As used in this section, "reasonable efforts" means the efforts made to preserve and unify a family prior to the out-of-home placement of a child in foster care or to eliminate the need for removal of the child or make it possible for the child to safely return to the family's home. If returning the child to the family's home is not appropriate or not possible, reasonable efforts shall include the efforts made in a timely manner to finalize a permanency plan for the child. A child's health and safety shall be the paramount concern in making reasonable efforts. Reasonable efforts may include intensive family preservation services or family-centered services, if the child's safety in the home can be maintained during the time the services are provided. In determining whether reasonable efforts have been made, the court shall consider both of the following:
(1) The type, duration, and intensity of services or support offered or provided to the child and the child's family. If intensive family preservation services were not provided, the court record shall enumerate the reasons the services were not provided, including but not limited to whether the services were not available, not accepted by the child's family, judged to be unable to protect the child and the child's family during the time the services would have been provided, judged to be unlikely to be successful in resolving the problems which would lead to removal of the child, or other services were found to be more appropriate.
(2) The relative risk to the child of remaining in the child's home versus removal of the child.
b. As used in this section:
(1) "Family-centered services" means services which utilize a comprehensive approach to addressing the problems of individual family members, whether or not the problems are integrally related to the family, within the context of the family. Family-centered services are adapted to the individual needs of a family in the intensity and duration of service delivery and are intended to improve overall family functioning.
(2) "Intensive family preservation services" means services provided to a family with a child who is at imminent risk of out-of-home placement. The services are designed to address any problem creating the need for out-of-home placement and have the following characteristics: are persistently offered but provided at the family's option; are provided in the family's home; are available twenty-four hours per day; provide a response within twenty-four hours of the initial contact for assistance; have worker caseloads of not more than two through four families per worker at any one time; are provided for a period of four to six weeks; and provide funding in order to meet the special needs of a family.
11. The performance of reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption or with a guardian may be made concurrently with making reasonable efforts as defined in this section.
12. If the court determines aggravated circumstances exist, with written findings of fact based upon evidence in the record, the court may waive the requirement for making reasonable efforts. The existence of aggravated circumstances is indicated by any of the following:
a. The parent has abandoned the child.
b. The court finds the circumstances described in section 232.116, subsection 1, paragraph "h", are applicable to the child.
c. The parent's parental rights have been terminated under section 232.116 with respect to another child who is a member of the same family, and there is clear and convincing evidence to show that the offer or receipt of services would not be likely within a reasonable period of time to correct the conditions which led to the child's removal.
d. The parent has been convicted of the murder of another child of the parent.
e. The parent has been convicted of the voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent.
f. The parent has been convicted of aiding or abetting, attempting, conspiring in, or soliciting the commission of the murder or voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent.
g. The parent has been convicted of a felony assault which resulted in serious bodily injury of the child or of another child of the parent.
[S13, § 254-a20, -a23, 2708, 2709; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, § 3637, 3646, 3647; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, § 232.21, 232.27, 232.28; C66, 71, 73, 75, 77, § 232.33; C79, 81, § 232.102; 81 Acts, ch 11, § 17; 82 Acts, ch 1260, § 23]
83 Acts, ch 96, § 157, 159; 84 Acts, ch 1279, § 16-18; 85 Acts, ch 173, §13; 87 Acts, ch 159, §3; 88 Acts, ch 1134, §52; 88 Acts, ch 1249, §14; 90 Acts, ch 1239, § 10, 11; 91 Acts, ch 232, §7, 8; 92 Acts, ch 1229, § 5; 92 Acts, 1st Ex, ch 1004, § 2; 95 Acts, ch 67, § 16; 97 Acts, ch 99, § 5; 98 Acts, ch 1190, §11-17; 2000 Acts, ch 1067, §10
Referred to in § 225C.49, 232.2, 232.99, 232.103, 232.104, 232.111, 232.116, 232.117, 232.127, 232.182, 232.189, 234.6, 234.35
Copy of dispositional order under subsection 9 to be submitted to foster care review boards; 84 Acts, ch 1279, § 42
Limitation on placing child in mental health institute; 86 Acts, ch 1246, § 305
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© 2001 Cornell College and League of Women Voters of Iowa
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