Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children - Mississippi

Date: February 2020

Schedule of Hearings

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 43-15-13; 43-21-603; 43-21-613

The Department of Child Protection Services shall complete an administrative review on each child within the first 3 months and a relative placement, fictive kin placement, or foster care review once every 6 months after the child's initial 48-hour shelter hearing.

A permanency hearing must be held as follows:

  • Within 30 days of a finding that reasonable efforts to reunify the family are not required
  • With 12 months after the earlier of an adjudication that the child has been abused or neglected or the date of the child's removal from the allegedly abusive or neglectful custodian and/or parent

Persons Entitled to Attend Hearings

Citation: Ann. Code § 43-15-13

The following persons may be present and give testimony at the hearing:

  • The parent
  • The foster parent
  • The grandparents
  • The guardian ad litem of the child, when appointed, and the court-appointed special advocate of the child
  • Representatives of any private care agency that has cared for the child
  • The family protection worker or family protection specialist assigned to the case

Determinations Made at Hearings

Citation: Ann. Code § 43-15-13

The review shall include at a minimum an evaluation of the child based on the following:

  • The extent of the care and support provided by the parents while the child is in temporary custody
  • The extent of communication with the child by parents or guardian
  • The degree of compliance by the agency and the parents with the social service plan
  • The methods of achieving the goal and the plan establishing a permanent home for the child
  • Social services offered and/or utilized to facilitate plans for establishing a permanent home for the child

Permanency Options

Citation: Ann. Code § 43-15-13

The goal of the service plan shall be either of the following:

  • Return the child to his or her natural parent(s)
  • Refer the child to the appropriate court for termination of parental rights and placement in a permanent relative's home, adoptive home, or foster/adoptive home

Permanent living arrangements may include prevention of placement of a child outside the home of the family when the child can be cared for at home without endangering the child's health or safety; reunification with the family, when safe and appropriate, if temporary placement is necessary; or movement of the child toward the most permanent living arrangement and permanent legal status.