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

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What Are Reasonable Efforts

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-801; 8-891

'In-home intervention' means a program of services provided pursuant to § 8-891 while the child is still in the custody of the parent, guardian, or custodian.

After a dependency petition is filed, the court may order in-home intervention if all the following are true:

  • The child has not been removed from the home.
  • In-home intervention appears likely to resolve the risk issues described below.
  • The parent, guardian, or custodian agrees to a case plan and participation in services.
  • One of the following conditions exists:
    • The child is at risk of harm due to the inability or unwillingness of the parent, guardian, or custodian to provide food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.
    • The parent, guardian, or custodian is unable to provide proper care, control, and supervision of the child.

The in-home intervention order may include a training or treatment plan for the parent, guardian, or custodian and the child. The in-home intervention shall include a specific time for completion that shall not exceed 1 year without review and approval by the court.

The term 'protective services' is defined as a specialized child welfare program that is administered by the department to investigate allegations and seek to prevent, intervene in, and treat abuse and neglect to promote the well-being of the child in a permanent home and to coordinate services to strengthen the family.

When Reasonable Efforts Are Required

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-846

If the child has been removed from the home, the court shall order the Department of Child Safety to make reasonable efforts to provide services to the child and the child's family.

When Reasonable Efforts Are NOT Required

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-846

Reunification services are not required when one or more of the following aggravating circumstances exist:

  • A diligent search has failed to locate the parent, or the parent has expressed no interest in reunifying the child, for at least 3 months.
  • The parent is suffering from a mental illness or deficiency of such magnitude that the parent is incapable of benefitting from reunification services, or that, even with the provision of services, the parent is unlikely to be capable of adequately caring for the child within 12 months.
  • The child previously has been removed from the home due to physical or sexual abuse, and, after the child was returned to the parent, the child was removed again within 18 months due to additional abuse.
  • The parent committed a dangerous crime against a child, caused a child to suffer serious physical or emotional injury, or knew or reasonably should have known that another person committed a dangerous crime against children or caused a child to suffer serious physical or emotional injury.
  • The parent's rights to another child have been terminated, the parent has not successfully addressed the issues that led to the termination, and the parent is unable to fulfill parental responsibilities.
  • After a finding that a child is dependent, all the following are true:
    • A child has been removed from the parent on at least two previous occasions.
    • Reunification services were offered or provided to the parent.
    • The parent is unable to fulfill parental responsibilities.
  • The parent has been convicted of a dangerous crime against a child; murder or manslaughter of a child; sexual abuse, sexual assault, or molestation of a child; sexual conduct with a minor; commercial sexual exploitation of a minor; or luring a minor for sexual exploitation.
  • The parent of a child has been convicted of aiding or abetting, attempting, conspiring, or soliciting to commit any of the crimes listed above.
  • A child who is currently younger than age 6 months was exposed to a drug or substance and both of the following are true:
    • The parent of the child is unable to discharge parental responsibilities because of a history of chronic abuse of dangerous drugs or controlled substances.
    • Reasonable grounds exist to believe that the parent's condition will continue for a prolonged or indeterminate period based on a competent opinion from a licensed health-care provider with experience in the area of substance abuse disorders.