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

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What Are Reasonable Efforts

Citation: Ann. Code § 31-34-21-5.5

The term 'reasonable efforts' refers to measures taken to provide services to preserve and reunify families.

When Reasonable Efforts Are Required

Citation: Ann. Code § 31-34-21-5.5

The Department of Child Services shall make reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify families as follows:

  • If the child has not been removed from the home, to prevent or eliminate the need for removing the child
  • If the child has been removed from the home, to make it possible for the child to return safely home as soon as possible

When Reasonable Efforts Are NOT Required

Citation: Ann. Code § 31-34-21-5.6

Reasonable efforts to reunite a child with his or her family or to preserve a family are not required when the court finds any of the following:

  • A parent has been convicted of causing a suicide, involuntary manslaughter, rape, criminal deviate conduct, child molesting, or exploitation of a victim who is the parent's child or the child's other parent.
  • A parent has been convicted of murder or voluntary manslaughter of a victim who is the parent's child or the child's other parent.
  • A parent has been convicted of attempting, aiding, or conspiring to commit any of the above crimes.
  • A parent has been convicted of any of the following:
    • Battery, aggravated battery, criminal recklessness, or neglect against a child
    • Promotion of human labor trafficking, promotion of human sexual trafficking, promotion of child sexual trafficking, promotion of sexual trafficking of a younger child, child sexual trafficking, or human trafficking
    • An offense comparable to any offense described above under Federal law or the law in another State, territory, or country
  • The parental rights of a parent with respect to a sibling have been involuntarily terminated.
  • The child is an abandoned infant.