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

Date: September 2019

What Are Reasonable Efforts

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 587A-2; 587A-27

The service plan shall be carefully formulated with the family in a timely manner. Every reasonable opportunity should be provided to help the child's legal custodian to succeed in remedying the problems that put the child at substantial risk of being harmed in the family home. Each appropriate resource, public and private, family and friend, should be considered and used to maximize the legal custodian's potential for providing a safe family home for the child. Full and careful consideration shall be given to the religious, cultural, and ethnic values of the child's legal custodian when service plans are being discussed and formulated.

The service plan shall provide the specific steps necessary to facilitate the return of the child to a safe family home, if the proposed placement of the child is in foster care under foster custody. These specific steps shall include treatment and services that will be provided, actions completed, specific measurable and behavioral changes that must be achieved, and responsibilities assumed.

When Reasonable Efforts Are Required

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 587A-2

The service plan shall effectuate the child's remaining in the family home, when the family home can be immediately made safe with services, or the child's returning to a safe family home.

When Reasonable Efforts Are NOT Required

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 587A-28; 587A-4

The court need not order a service plan if the court finds that aggravated circumstances are present. The term 'aggravated circumstances' means any of the following:

  • The parent has murdered or has solicited, aided, abetted, attempted, or conspired to commit the murder or voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent.
  • The parent has committed a felony assault that results in serious bodily injury to the child or another child of the parent.
  • The parent's rights regarding a sibling of the child have been judicially terminated.
  • The parent has tortured the child.
  • The child is an abandoned infant.
  • The parent has committed sexual abuse against another child of the parent.
  • The parent is required to register with a sex offender registry under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C. § 16913).