Determining the Best Interests of the Child - Missouri

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Citation: Ann. Stat. § 210.001(1) 

The Department of Social Services shall address the needs of homeless, dependent, and neglected children in the supervision and custody of the Children's Division and to their families-in-conflict by doing the following: 

  • Serving children and families as a unit in the least restrictive setting available and in close proximity to the family home, consistent with the best interests and special needs of the child 
  • Ensuring that appropriate social services are provided to the family unit both prior to the removal of the child from the home and after family reunification
  • Developing and implementing preventive and early intervention social services that have demonstrated the ability to delay or reduce the need for out-of-home placements and ameliorate problems before they become chronic 

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 211.443

The provisions of this section shall be construed to promote the best interests and welfare of the child, as determined by the juvenile court, in consideration of the following:

  • The recognition and protection of the constitutional rights of all parties in the proceedings
  • The recognition and protection of the birth family relationship, when possible and appropriate
  • The entitlement of every child to a permanent and stable home

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