Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children - Kansas

Date:

Schedule of Hearings

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 38-2264; Pol. & Proc. Man. § 3205

A permanency hearing shall be held as follows:

  • Within 12 months of the date the court authorized the child's removal from the home and at least every 12 months thereafter
  • Within 30 days of a determination that reintegration may not be a viable alternative for the child

In policy: A formal case planning review is conducted at least every 170 days. Any member of the case planning team may request a formal review of the case plan at any time. The purpose is to re-evaluate the case plan and modify it as needed to better meet the needs of the family and the child.

Persons Entitled to Attend Hearings

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 38-2265

Notice of the time and place of the permanency hearing shall be given to the parties and interested parties and the child, if the child is age 14 or older. The notice shall state that the person receiving the notice shall have the right to be heard at the hearing. The notice shall be sent to the following:

  • The child's foster parents or permanent custodian
  • Preadoptive parents for the child, if any
  • The child's grandparents or, if no grandparent is living, the closest relative of each of the child's parents whose address is known
  • The person having custody of the child
  • Upon request, to any person having close emotional ties with the child and who is deemed by the court to be essential to the deliberations before the court

Individuals receiving notice shall not be made a party or interested party to the action solely on the basis of this notice and opportunity to be heard. Opportunity to be heard shall be at a time and in a manner determined by the court and does not confer an entitlement to appear in person.

Determinations Made at Hearings

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 38-2264

A permanency hearing is a proceeding conducted by the court or by a citizen review board for the purpose of determining progress toward accomplishment of a permanency plan. At each permanency hearing, the court shall do the following:

  • Enter a finding as to whether reasonable efforts have been made by appropriate public or private agencies to rehabilitate the family and achieve the permanency goal in place at the time of the hearing
  • Enter a finding as to whether the reasonable and prudent parenting standard has been met and whether the child has regular, ongoing opportunities to engage in age- or developmentally appropriate activities
  • If the child is age 14 or older, document the efforts made by the Department for Children and Families to help the child prepare for the transition from custody to a successful adulthood

If the permanency goal in place at the time of the hearing is another planned permanent living arrangement, the court shall do the following at each permanency hearing:

  • Ask the child about his or her desired permanency outcome
  • Document the intensive, ongoing, and unsuccessful permanency efforts made by the department to return the child home or secure a placement for the child with a fit and willing relative, legal guardian, or adoptive parent
  • Determine why another planned permanent living arrangement is the best permanency plan for the child and provide compelling reasons why it continues to not be in the best interests of the child to return home, be placed for adoption, be placed with a legal guardian, or be placed with a fit and willing relative

If the child is placed in a qualified residential treatment program at the time of the permanency hearing, the court shall document the following:

  • That the ongoing assessment of the strengths and needs of the child continues to support the determination that the needs of the child cannot be met through placement in a foster family home, that the placement in a qualified residential treatment program provides the most effective and appropriate level of care for the child in the least restrictive environment, and that the placement is consistent with the short-term and long-term goals for the child, as specified in the permanency plan for the child
  • The specific treatment or service needs that will be met for the child in the placement and the length of time the child is expected to need the treatment or services
  • The efforts made by the department to prepare the child to return home or to be placed with a fit and willing relative, a legal guardian, or an adoptive parent, or in a foster family home

When the court finds that reintegration of the family continues to be a viable alternative, the court shall determine whether and, if applicable, when the child will be returned to the parent. The court may rescind any of its prior dispositional orders and enter any dispositional order authorized by this code or may order that a new plan for the reintegration be prepared and submitted to the court.

If the court finds reintegration is no longer a viable alternative, the court shall consider whether the following apply:

  • The child is in a stable placement with a relative.
  • Services set out in the case plan necessary for the safe return of the child have been made available to the parent with whom reintegration is planned.
  • Compelling reasons are documented in the case plan to support a finding that neither adoption nor appointment of a permanent custodian are in the child's best interests.

Permanency Options

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 38-2264

The court or a citizen review board will determine whether and, if applicable, when the child will be placed in any of the following:

  • Reintegrated with the child's parents
  • Placed for adoption
  • Placed with a permanent custodian
  • Placed in another planned permanent arrangement, if the child is age 16 or older and the department has documented that there are compelling reasons why another permanent placement is not in the child's best interests