Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children - District of Columbia

Date: February 2020

Schedule of Hearings

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 4-1301.09a; 16-2323

A review hearing shall be held every 6 months for as long as the child remains in an out-of-home placement.

A permanency hearing shall be held within the either of the following timeframes:

  • Within 12 months of the child's entry into foster care and at least every 6 months thereafter
  • Within 30 days after a determination that reasonable efforts for reunification are not required

Persons Entitled to Attend Hearings

Citation: Ann. Code § 16-2323

Notice of hearings shall be provided to all parties and their attorneys. Parties include the child and the child's parents or guardians.

Determinations Made at Hearings

Citation: Ann. Code § 16-2323

The purpose of the review hearing is to determine the following:

  • The safety of the child
  • The continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the placement
  • The extent of compliance with the case plan
  • The extent of progress toward alleviating the causes necessitating placement in foster care
  • A date by which the child may be returned to the parent or placed in a permanent placement

The purpose of the permanency hearing shall include the determinations required above and determining the permanency plan for the child, including whether the child will be permanently placed and, if so, when.

Permanency Options

Citation: Ann. Code § 16-2323

Permanent placement options include the following:

  • Return to the parent
  • Placement for adoption
  • Legal custody or guardianship
  • Another planned permanent living arrangement, such as placement with a kinship caregiver, another relative placement, or independent living