Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children - Kentucky

Date:

Schedule of Hearings

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 610.125; 620.270

A permanency hearing shall be held as follows:

  • No later than 12 months after the child has entered foster care
  • Every 12 months thereafter as long as the child remains in placement
  • Within 30 days after a determination is made that reasonable efforts to reunify are not required

The local citizen foster care review board shall review the case of each child placed in the custody of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services by an order of temporary custody or commitment by the court. The review shall occur at least once every 6 months until the child is no longer in the custody of the cabinet or until an adoption proceeding becomes final.

Persons Entitled to Attend Hearings

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 610.125; 620.270

The following persons shall be notified of the hearing:

  • The child's parents
  • The foster parents
  • Any preadoptive parent
  • Any relative or fictive kin providing care for the child
  • The attorney for the parent
  • The attorney or court-appointed special advocate for the child
  • The foster care review board member assigned to the case

The child's parent, foster parent, preadoptive parent, relative, and fictive kin providing care to the child shall have the right to be heard. The attorney for the parent, attorney for the child, or court-appointed special advocate, if deemed appropriate by the court, may present any evidence relevant to the determination of a permanency goal for the child.

Notice of the local citizen foster care review board review and the right to attend and participate in the review shall be provided to the child's parents, if parental rights have not been terminated or surrendered; the parent's attorney; the guardian ad litem, the attorney for the child, or both; the foster parents; the prospective adoptive parent; the relative providing care for the child; and the child who is a party to the proceeding.

Determinations Made at Hearings

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 610.125; 620.270

The court shall review the care and progress of the child since the last permanency hearing, including the following:

  • How long the child has been committed to the cabinet
  • The services and assistance provided to the parent since the last hearing and the results achieved
  • The efforts and progress of the child's parent since the last hearing, including the number and dates of parental visits and the extent, quality, and frequency of the parent's communications with the child
  • Familial and institutional barriers to the following:
    • Returning the child to the home
    • Ending the commitment of the child to the cabinet
    • Delivery of appropriate services needed by the child
  • Recommendations of services needed to make the transition from out-of-home care to independent living for children who have reached age 14
  • An evaluation of the child's current placement and services provided to the child
  • Recommendations for services required to end the commitment of the child to the cabinet, to return the child home, or to facilitate another permanent placement
  • Recommendations for the permanency goal for the child

For a child with another planned permanency arrangement as the child's permanency goal, the court will review the following:

  • The intensive, ongoing efforts to return the child to the home or secure a placement with a fit and willing relative, legal guardian, fictive kin, or adoptive parent, including efforts that utilize search technology to find the birth family
  • The steps the agency is taking to ensure that the child's foster family home or licensed child-caring facility is following the reasonable and prudent parent standard
  • The cabinet's efforts to ensure the child has regular, ongoing opportunities to engage in age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate activities, including consulting with the child in an age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate manner about the opportunities of the child to participate in the activities

During each 6-month review, the local citizen foster care review board shall review the following:

  • The status of the child and his or her placement as shown through the case permanency plan, case record, and case progress reports
  • The efforts or adjustment the parent has made in his or her circumstances, conduct, or conditions to make it in the child's best interests to return home within a time considering the age of the child
  • The efforts of the cabinet to locate and provide services to the parents of the child
  • The efforts of the cabinet and other agencies to facilitate the return of the child home or to find an alternative permanent placement if reunion with the parent is not feasible

Permanency Options

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 610.125

The court shall consider the following options:

  • If parental rights have not been terminated, whether the child should be returned to the parent
  • Whether the child should be placed for adoption
  • Whether the child should be placed with a permanent custodian
  • Whether the cabinet has documented a compelling reason that it is in the best interests of the child who is age 16 or older to be placed in another planned permanent living arrangement other than those listed above

Prior to approving another planned permanent living arrangement as the permanency goal, the court shall do the following:

  • Ask the child about his or her desired permanency outcome
  • Make a judicial determination explaining why, as of the date of the hearing, another planned permanent living arrangement is the best permanency goal 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 or fictive kin