Reasonable Efforts to Preserve or Reunify Families and Achieve Permanency for Children - Connecticut

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What Are Reasonable Efforts

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 46b-129

The term 'reasonable efforts' refers to the services to be provided to the parents and the steps the parents may take to address the problems that prevent the child from safely reuniting with the parents.

When Reasonable Efforts Are Required

Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 46B-129; 17a-111b

The Department of Children and Families must make reasonable efforts to keep the child or youth with his or her parents prior to the issuance of an order to remove the child from the home. If the child is removed from the home, reasonable efforts must be made to achieve the goals of the permanency plan.

The Commissioner of Children and Families shall make reasonable efforts to reunify a parent with a child unless the court (1) determines that such efforts are not required pursuant to § 17a-111b(b) or § 17a-112(j), or (2) has approved a permanency plan other than reunification pursuant to § 46b-129(k).

When Reasonable Efforts Are NOT Required

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 17a-111b

The commissioner or any other party may, at any time, file a motion with the court for a determination that reasonable efforts to reunify the parent with the child are not required. The court may determine that such efforts are not required if the court finds upon clear and convincing evidence the following:

  • The parent has subjected the child to the following aggravated circumstances:
    • The parent has abandoned the child.
    • The parent has inflicted or knowingly permitted another person to inflict sexual molestation or exploitation or severe physical abuse on the child or engaged in a pattern of abuse of the child.
  • The parent has killed, through a deliberate, nonaccidental act, another child of the parent or a sibling of the child; or has requested, commanded, importuned, attempted, conspired, or solicited to commit or knowingly permitted another person to commit the killing of the child, another child of the parent, or a sibling of the child.
  • The parent has committed or knowingly permitted another person to commit an assault, through deliberate, nonaccidental act, that resulted in serious bodily injury of the child, another child of the parent, or a sibling of the child.
  • The parental rights of the parent to a sibling have been terminated within 3 years of the filing of a petition pursuant to this section, provided the commissioner has made reasonable efforts to reunify the parent with the child for at least 90 days.
  • The parent was convicted of sexual assault, except a conviction of a violation of § 53a-71 or 53a-73a resulting in the conception of the child.
  • The child was placed in the care and control of the commissioner pursuant to the provisions of §§ 17a-57 to 17a-61, inclusive.