Determining the Best Interests of the Child - New Hampshire

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Citation: Rev. Stat. § 169-C:2(I)-(II)

It is the purpose of this chapter, through the mandatory reporting of suspected instances of child abuse or neglect, to provide protection to children whose life, health, or welfare are endangered.

It is a further purpose of this chapter to establish a judicial framework to protect the rights of all parties involved in the adjudication of child abuse or neglect cases. Each child coming within the provisions of this chapter shall receive, preferably in the child's own home, the care, emotional security, guidance, and control that will promote the child's best interests. If the child should be removed from the control of his or her parents, guardian, or custodian, adequate care shall be secured for the child. This chapter seeks to coordinate efforts by State and local authorities, in cooperation with private agencies and organizations, citizens' groups, and concerned individuals, to do the following:

  • Protect the safety of the child
  • Take such action as may be necessary to prevent the abuse or neglect of children
  • Preserve the unity of the family
  • Provide protection, treatment, and rehabilitation, as needed, to children placed in alternative care
  • Provide assistance to parents to deal with and correct problems in order to avoid removal of children from the family

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 169-C:2(III)

This chapter shall be liberally construed to the end that its purpose may be carried out, as follows:

  • To encourage the mental, emotional, and physical development of each child coming within the provisions of this chapter, by providing him or her with the protection, care, treatment, counseling, supervision, and rehabilitative resources that the child needs and has a right to receive
  • To achieve the foregoing purposes and policies, whenever possible, by keeping a child in contact with his or her home community and in a family environment by preserving the unity of the family and separating the child from his or her parents only when the safety of the child is in danger or when it is clearly necessary for the child's welfare or the interests of public safety, and when it can be clearly shown that a change in custody and control will plainly be better for the child
  • To provide effective judicial procedures through which the provisions of this chapter are executed and enforced and that recognize and enforce the constitutional and other rights of the parties and ensures them a fair hearing