Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children - Michigan

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Schedule of Hearings

Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 712A.19; 712A.19a

Review hearings shall be held as follows:

  • No more than 182 days after the child is place under the jurisdiction of the court
  • Every 91 days after that for the first year that the child remains in care
  • After the first year, no later than 182 days from the immediately preceding review hearing and every 182 days thereafter until the case is dismissed
  • Every 182 days if the child is in a permanent foster family agreement or placed with a relative

A permanency hearing shall be held as follows:

  • Within 12 months if a child remains in foster care and parental rights to the child have not been terminated
  • Every 12 months thereafter during the continuation of foster care
  • Within 30 days after a judicial determination that reasonable efforts to reunite the child and family are not required

Persons Entitled to Attend Hearings

Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 712A.19; 712A.19a

Written notice of the permanency hearing and a statement of the purposes of the hearing, including a notice that the hearing may result in further proceedings to terminate parental rights, shall be served upon all of the following:

  • The agency
  • The child's foster parent or custodian
  • If the parental rights to the child have not been terminated, the child's parents
  • If the child has a guardian, the guardian for the child
  • If the child has a guardian ad litem, the guardian ad litem
  • If Tribal affiliation has been determined, the elected leader of the Indian Tribe
  • The attorney for the child, the attorneys for each party, and the prosecuting attorney if the prosecuting attorney has appeared in the case
  • If the child is age 11 or older, the child
  • Other persons as the court may direct

Written notice of a review hearing shall be served upon all the above. In addition, if a nonparent adult is required to comply with the case service plan, the nonparent adult must receive notice.

Determinations Made at Hearings

Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 712A.19; 712A.19a

At a review hearing, the court shall review on the record all the following:

  • Compliance with the case service plan with respect to the services provided or offered to the child, the child's parent, guardian, custodian, or nonparent adult if the nonparent adult is required to comply with the case service plan
  • Whether the parent, guardian, custodian, or nonparent adult, if the nonparent adult is required to comply with the case service plan, has complied with and benefited from those services
  • Compliance with the case service plan with respect to parenting time with the child
  • The extent to which the parent complied with each provision of the case service plan, prior court orders, and an agreement between the parent and the agency
  • Likely harm to the child if the child continues to be separated from the child's parent, guardian, or custodian
  • Likely harm to the child if the child is returned to the child's parent, guardian, or custodian
  • The extent of progress made toward alleviating or mitigating the conditions that caused the child to be placed in foster care or remain in foster care
  • Modifications needed to any part of the case service plan including, but not limited to, the following:
    • Additional services that are necessary to rectify the conditions that caused the child to be placed in foster care or to remain in foster care
    • Additional actions to be taken by the parent, guardian, nonparent adult, or custodian to rectify the conditions that caused the child to be placed in foster care or to remain in foster care
  • The continuing necessity and appropriateness of the child's placement

At a review hearing, the court shall approve or disapprove a qualified residential treatment program placement, as provided § 722.123a.

At the permanency planning hearing, the court shall do the following:

  • Review the status of the child and the progress being made toward the child's return home
  • Consider whether the child should be placed in the permanent custody of the court
  • Obtain the child's views regarding the permanency plan in a manner that is appropriate to the child's age
  • In the case of a child who will not be returned home, consider in-State and out-of-State placement options
  • In the case of a child placed out-of-State, determine whether the out-of-State placement continues to be appropriate and in the child's best interests
  • Ensure that the agency is providing appropriate services to assist a child who will transition from foster care to independent living
  • Determine whether the agency, foster home, or institutional placement has followed the reasonable and prudent parenting standard so that the child has had regular opportunities to engage in age- or developmentally appropriate activities
  • Determine whether the State has provided the child's family, consistent with the time period in the case service plan, with the services necessary for the child's safe return to his or her home, if reasonable efforts are required

Permanency Options

Citation: Comp. Laws § 712A.19a

At the permanency hearing, the court shall determine whether and, if applicable, when the following must occur:

  • The child may be returned to the parent, guardian, or legal custodian.
  • A petition to terminate parental rights should be filed.
  • The child may be placed in a legal guardianship.
  • The child may be permanently placed with a fit and willing relative.
  • The child may be placed in another planned permanent living arrangement, but only in those cases in which the agency has documented to the court a compelling reason for determining that it would not be in the best interests of the child to follow one of the options listed above.

If the agency demonstrates that initiating termination of parental rights to the child is clearly not in the child's best interests, or the court does not order the agency to initiate termination of parental rights to the child, the court shall order one or more of the following alternative placement plans:

  • If the court determines that other permanent placement is not possible, the child's placement in foster care must continue for a limited period to be stated by the court.
  • If the court determines that it is in the child€™s best interests based on compelling reasons, the child's placement in foster care may continue on a long-term basis.
  • If the court determines that it is in the child's best interests, appoint a guardian for the child, with the guardianship continuing until the child is emancipated.