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

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What Are Reasonable Efforts

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-4-21

Reasonable efforts may include the following:

  • An intervention plan designed to achieve placement of the child in the least restrictive setting available, consistent with the best interests and special needs of the child, including a statement of the likely harm the child may suffer as a result of being removed from the parents' home, including emotional harm that may result due to separation from the child's parents, and a statement of how the intervention plan is designed to place the child in close proximity to the parents' home without causing harm to the child due to separation from parents, siblings, or any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests
  • Services offered to the child, his or her family, and the foster care family
  • A case plan that sets forth steps to ensure that the child's physical, medical, psychological, and educational needs are met and that sets forth services to be provided to the child and the child's parents to facilitate permanent placement of the child in the parent's home

When Reasonable Efforts Are Required

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-4-22

Reasonable efforts shall be made to do the following:

  • To prevent the removal of the child from the child's family prior to placement in substitute care
  • To reunite the child with the child's parent
  • To place siblings in custody together, unless such joint placement would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings in custody
  • For siblings not jointly placed, to provide reasonable visitation or other ongoing interaction unless visitation or other ongoing interaction would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings
  • To implement and finalize the permanency plan in a timely manner when reasonable efforts to reunify are not required

When Reasonable Efforts Are NOT Required

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 32A-4-2; 32A-4-22

The court may determine that reasonable efforts are not required to be made when the court finds that the efforts would be futile or that the parent, guardian, or custodian has subjected the child to aggravated circumstances.

Aggravated circumstances are those in which the parent, guardian, or custodian has done any of the following:

  • Attempted, conspired to cause, or caused great bodily harm to the child or great bodily harm or death to the child's sibling
  • Attempted, conspired to cause, or caused great bodily harm or death to another parent, guardian, or custodian of the child
  • Attempted, conspired to subject, or has subjected the child to torture, chronic abuse, or sexual abuse
  • Had parental rights over a sibling of the child terminated involuntarily