Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children - Ohio

Date: February 2020

Schedule of Hearings

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 2151.417; Admin. Code § 5101:2-38-09

Any court that issues a dispositional order may review at any time the child's placement or custody arrangement, the child's case plan, the actions of the public children's services agency or private child-placing agency in implementing that case plan, the child's permanency plan if the child's permanency plan has been approved, and any other aspects of the child's placement or custody arrangement.

The court shall hold a review hearing as follows:

  • No later than 1 year after the child was first placed in care and every 12 months thereafter
  • Within 30 days of a finding that reasonable efforts to return the child home are no longer required

In regulation: Each public children's services agency shall review the case plan no later than every 90 days from whichever of the following activities occurs first:

  • The original agency court complaint date
  • The date the agency received custody of the child
  • The date of court-ordered protective supervision
  • The date the parent, guardian, or custodian signed the case plan for in-home supportive services only

Persons Entitled to Attend Hearings

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 2151.417

The court shall give notice of every hearing to the following:

  • Appropriate agency employees
  • The child's parents
  • Any person who had guardianship or legal custody of the child
  • The guardian ad litem
  • The child

Determinations Made at Hearings

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 2151.417

At the court hearing, the court shall determine the following:

  • The appropriateness of any agency actions
  • The safety and appropriateness of continuing the child's placement or custody arrangement
  • The extent of compliance with the child's case plan
  • The extent of progress that has been made toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating the child's placement in foster care
  • Whether any changes should be made to the child's permanency plan or placement
  • A likely date by which the child may be safely returned home or placed for adoption or legal custody
  • If an administrative review has been conducted, whether the conclusions of the review are supported by a preponderance of the evidence, and approve or modify the case plan based upon that evidence
  • When approving a permanency plan, whether the agency required to develop the plan has made reasonable efforts to finalize it

If the court finds the agency has not made reasonable efforts to finalize the plan, the court shall require the agency to use reasonable efforts to do the following:

  • Place the child in a timely manner into a permanent placement
  • Complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child

In making reasonable efforts, the agency shall consider the child's health and safety as the paramount concern.

Permanency Options

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 2151.417

The permanency plan developed by the agency must specify whether and, if applicable, when the child will be safely returned home or placed for adoption or legal custody. If the agency determines that there is a compelling reason why returning the child home or placing the child for adoption or legal custody is not in the best interests of the child, the plan shall provide that the child will be placed in a planned permanent living arrangement.