Determining the Best Interests of the Child - Idaho


Citation: Idaho Code § 16-1601

The policy of the State of Idaho is hereby declared to be the establishment of a legal framework conducive to the judicial processing, including periodic review of child abuse, abandonment, and neglect cases and the protection of any child whose life, health, or welfare is endangered. At all times, the health and safety of the child shall be the primary concern.

Each child coming within the purview of this chapter shall receive, preferably in his or her own home, the care, guidance, and control that will promote his or her welfare and the best interests of the State of Idaho; and if he or she is removed from the control of one or more of his or her parents, guardian, or other custodian, the State shall secure adequate care for him or her, provided, however, that the State of Idaho shall, to the fullest extent possible, seek to preserve, protect, enhance, and reunite the family relationship.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to allow discrimination on the basis of disability. This chapter seeks to coordinate efforts by State and local public agencies, in cooperation with private agencies and organizations, citizens' groups, and concerned individuals, to do the following:

  • Preserve the privacy and unity of the family, whenever possible
  • Take such actions as may be necessary and feasible to prevent the abuse, neglect, abandonment, or homelessness of children
  • Take such actions as may be necessary to provide the child with permanency, including concurrent planning 
  • Clarify for the purpose of this act the rights and responsibilities of parents with joint legal or joint physical custody of children at risk
  • Maintain sibling bonds by placing siblings in the same home when possible and support or facilitate sibling visitation when not, unless such contact is not in the best interests of one or more of the children