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

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What Are Reasonable Efforts

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 260.012

Reasonable efforts are made by the responsible social services agency exercising due diligence to use culturally appropriate and available services to meet the needs of the child and the child's family. Services may include those provided by the responsible social services agency and other culturally appropriate services available in the community.

When determining whether reasonable efforts have been made, the court shall consider whether services to the child and family met the following standards:

  • Relevant to the safety and protection of the child
  • Adequate to meet the needs of the child and family
  • Culturally appropriate
  • Available and accessible
  • Consistent and timely
  • Realistic under the circumstances

In the case of an Indian child, the responsible social services agency must provide active efforts, as required by the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978.

When Reasonable Efforts Are Required

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 260.012

The social services agency has the burden of demonstrating the following:

  • It has made reasonable efforts to prevent placement of the child in foster care.
  • It has made reasonable efforts to eliminate the need for removal of the child from the child's home and to reunify the child with the child's family at the earliest possible time.
  • It has made reasonable efforts to finalize an alternative permanent home for the child, and it has considered permanent alternative homes for the child inside or outside of the State.
  • Reasonable efforts to prevent placement and to reunify the child with the parent or guardian are not required.

When Reasonable Efforts Are NOT Required

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 260.012

Reasonable efforts always are required except when any of the following apply:

  • A parent has subjected the child to egregious harm.
  • The parent's parental rights to another child have been terminated involuntarily.
  • The child is an abandoned infant.
  • The parent's custodial rights have been involuntarily transferred to another relative.
  • A determination has been made that additional reasonable efforts would be futile and unreasonable under the circumstances.
  • The parent has been convicted of murder, manslaughter, assault, or assault with substantial bodily injury, or an attempt or conspiracy to commit any of these crimes, and the victim was another child of the parent.
  • The parent has committed sexual abuse against the child or another child of the parent.
  • The parent has committed an offense that requires registration as a predatory offender under § 243.166, subd. 1b.
  • The parent has been convicted of assault or assault with substantial bodily injury, and the victim was the surviving child.