Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children - Colorado

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Schedule of Hearings

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 19-3-702; 19-3-702.5; 12 Code of Regs. 2509-4(7.304.65)

Permanency hearings shall be held as follows:

  • As soon as possible after the dispositional hearing, but no later than 12 months after the child has entered foster care
  • Every 12 months thereafter while the child remains in an out-of-home placement
  • Within 30 days after a finding that reasonable efforts are not required
  • Within 3 months in counties with expedited permanency planning for children under age 6

The court shall conduct a periodic review at least every 6 months.

In regulation: An administrative review is conducted by the Department of Human Services, Administrative Review Division. If there is no objection by any party to the action, the court may order that an administrative review substitute for a 6-month periodic review.

Persons Entitled to Attend Hearings

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-3-702; 12 Code of Regs. 2509-4(7.304.65)

The following persons shall be present at all hearings:

  • The parents of the child
  • The child, if appropriate
  • The foster parents, preadoptive parents, or relative caregivers, if any

In regulation: An administrative review is open to the participation of the parents of the child; the child (if age appropriate, as determined by the caseworker); and the out-of-home care provider, preadoptive parents, or relatives/kin who are providing out-of-home care for the child. All attorneys of record must be invited to court-ordered administrative reviews.

Determinations Made at Hearings

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 19-3-702; 10-3-702.5

At the permanency hearing, the court shall first determine whether the child shall be returned to the child's parent, and, if applicable, the date on which the child shall be returned, and whether reasonable efforts have been made to find a safe and permanent placement for the child. If the child is not returned to his or her parent, the court shall determine whether there is a substantial probability that the child will be returned within 6 months.

At any permanency hearing conducted by the court, the court shall make determinations as to the following:

  • Whether procedural safeguards to preserve parental rights have been applied in connection with any change in the child's placement or any determination affecting parental visitation of the child
  • Whether reasonable efforts have been made to finalize the permanency goal
  • If a child resides in a placement out of State, whether the out-of-State placement continues to be appropriate and in the best interests of the child
  • Whether a child or youth who is age 14 or older is receiving transition services to successful adulthood, regardless of his or her permanency goal
  • Whether the current placement of the child or youth could be a permanent placement, if necessary

Periodic reviews conducted by the court shall determine the following:

  • Whether the safety of the child or youth is protected in the placement
  • Whether reasonable efforts have been made to find a safe and permanent placement for the child or youth
  • The continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the placement of the child or youth
  • The extent of compliance with the case plan and the extent of progress that has been made toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement out of the home
  • A likely timeframe in which the child or youth will be returned to a parent or legal guardian or be in a safe and permanent home
  • If the child or youth is not likely to be returned to a parent or legal guardian within 6 months, a finding about whether the child or youth is in a potential permanent placement and, if not, a likely timeframe when he or she will be in a safe and permanent home

Permanency Options

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-3-702

If the child cannot be returned to the parent, the court shall determine the future placement of the child. Options for placement may include the following:

  • Adoption
  • Legal guardianship or custody
  • Placement with a fit and willing relative
  • Another permanent living arrangement