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

Date: September 2019

What Are Reasonable Efforts

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 211.183

The term 'reasonable efforts' means the exercise of reasonable diligence and care by the Children's Division to utilize all available services related to meeting the needs of the juvenile and the family.

When Reasonable Efforts Are Required

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 211.183

Reasonable efforts must be made to do the following:

  • To prevent or eliminate the need for the removal of the child
  • After removal, to make it possible for the child to return home

When Reasonable Efforts Are NOT Required

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 211.183

The division shall not be required to make reasonable efforts, but it has the discretion to make reasonable efforts if the court has determined the following:

  • The parent has subjected the child to severe or recurrent acts of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, including an act of incest.
  • The parent has committed murder or voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent, or aided, abetted, or attempted such act.
  • The parent has committed a felony assault that resulted in serious bodily injury to the child or to another child of the parent.
  • The parent's parental rights to a sibling have been terminated involuntarily.