Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children - Alaska

Date:

Schedule of Hearings

Citation: Alaska Stat. §§ 47.10.086; 47.10.080

f the court determines that reasonable efforts are not required to be provided, the court shall hold a permanency hearing for the child within 30 days after the determination.

Within 12 months after the date a child enters foster care, the court shall hold a permanency hearing. The court shall hold a hearing to review the permanent plan at least annually until implementation of the plan is successful. If the plan approved by the court changes after the hearing, the Department of Health and Social Services shall promptly apply to the court for another permanency hearing, and the court shall conduct the hearing within 30 days after application by the department.

Persons Entitled to Attend Hearings

Citation: Alaska Stat. §§ 47.10.030; 47.10.080

In all cases under this chapter, the child, each parent, the Tribe, foster parent or other out-of-home care provider, guardian, guardian ad litem of the child, and each grandparent of the child shall be given notice of the proceedings and the possibility of termination of parental rights and responsibilities.

The department shall give advance written notice of all court hearings to a child's grandparent if the following apply:

  • The grandparent has contacted the department, provided evidence of being the child's grandparent, requested notice about the hearings in the child's case, and provided the department with a current mailing address.
  • The department is aware that the child has a grandparent and the grandparent's mailing address is on file.

The department is not required to give advance notice to a grandparent about hearings in a child's case if the grandparent has been convicted of a crime in which the child was the victim or is prohibited by a court order from having contact with the child.

The department, the child, and the child's parents, guardian, and guardian ad litem are entitled, when good cause is shown, to a permanency hearing on application. If the application is granted, the court shall afford these persons and their counsel reasonable advance notice and hold a permanency hearing where these persons and their counsel shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard.

The persons entitled to notice under § 47.1030(b) and the grandparents entitled to notice under § 47.10.030(d) are entitled to notice of a permanency hearing and are also entitled to be heard at the hearing. The child shall be afforded the opportunity to be present and to be heard at the permanency hearing.

Determinations Made at Hearings

Citation: Alaska Stat. § 47.10.080

At each hearing, the court shall determine the following:

  • Whether the department has made reasonable efforts to offer appropriate family support services to remedy the parent's or guardian's conduct or conditions in the home that made the child a child in need of aid
  • Whether the parent or guardian has made substantial progress to remedy the parent's or guardian's conduct or conditions in the home that made the child a child in need of aid
  • If the plan is for the child to remain in out-of-home care, whether the following are true:
    • The child's placement continues to be appropriate and in the best interests of the child.
    • The department is making reasonable efforts to find a permanent placement for the child.
  • Whether the department has made reasonable efforts to finalize the permanent plan for the child

Permanency Options

Citation: Alaska Stat. § 47.10.080

When establishing the permanency plan, the court shall determine the following:

  • Whether and when the child should be returned to the parent or guardian
  • Whether the child should be placed for adoption or legal guardianship and whether a petition for termination of parental rights be filed by the department
  • Whether there is a compelling reason that the most appropriate placement for the child is in another planned, permanent living arrangement

If the department has recommended another planned, permanent living arrangement under § 47.14.100(p), the court findings under this paragraph must include the steps that are necessary to achieve the new arrangement.