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

Date: September 2019

What Are Reasonable Efforts

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-1-103(89), (10)

The term 'reasonable efforts' means the exercise of diligence and care for children who are in out-of-home placement or are at imminent risk of out-of-home placement. In determining whether it is appropriate to provide, purchase, or develop the supportive and rehabilitative services that are required to prevent unnecessary placement of a child outside of a child's home or to foster the safe reunification of a child with a child's family, or whether it is appropriate to find and finalize an alternative permanent plan for a child, In making reasonable efforts, the child's health and safety shall be the paramount concern. Services provided by a county or city agency in accordance with § 19-3-208 are deemed to meet the reasonable effort standard described in this subsection. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to conflict with Federal law.

The term 'appropriate treatment plan,' as used in § 19-3-508(1)(e), means a treatment plan approved by the court that is reasonably calculated to render the particular respondent fit to provide adequate parenting to the child within a reasonable time and that relates to the child's needs.

When Reasonable Efforts Are Required

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-1-115(6)

Reasonable efforts must be made as follows:

  • To prevent or eliminate the need to remove the child from the home
  • To reunite the child and the family if legal custody has been awarded to the Department of Human Services

When Reasonable Efforts Are NOT Required

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-1-115(7)

Reasonable efforts are not required to prevent the child's removal from the home or to reunify the child and the family in the following circumstances:

  • The court finds that the parent has subjected the child to aggravated circumstances to such an extent that grounds exist for termination of the parent's parental rights, as described in § 19-3-604(1).
  • The parental rights of the parent with respect to a sibling of the child have been involuntarily terminated, unless the prior sibling termination resulted from a parent delivering a child to a firefighter or a hospital staff member pursuant to § 19-3-304.5.
  • The court finds that the parent has been convicted of murder or voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent; aiding, abetting, or attempting to commit such crimes; or a felony assault that resulted in serious bodily injury to the child or to another child of the parent.