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

Date: September 2019

What Are Reasonable Efforts

Citation: Family Code § 262.001

In determining the reasonable efforts that are required to be made with respect to preventing or eliminating the need to remove a child from the child's home or to make it possible to return a child to the child's home, the child's health and safety are the paramount concerns.

When Reasonable Efforts Are Required

Citation: Family Code §§ 262.001; 262.2015

Reasonable efforts must be made as follows:

  • To prevent or eliminate the need to remove a child from the child's home
  • To make it possible for the child to return home
  • To finalize the permanent placement of a child for whom the court has made a finding that reasonable efforts to return the child home are not required

When Reasonable Efforts Are NOT Required

Citation: Family Code § 262.2015

The court may waive the requirement to make reasonable efforts if the court finds that the parent has subjected the child to aggravated circumstances, such as the following:

  • The parent abandoned the child without a means of identifying the child.
  • The child or another child of the parent is a victim of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse inflicted by the parent or another person with the parent's consent.
  • The parent has engaged in conduct against the child or another child of the parent that would constitute the offense of murder, manslaughter, indecency with a child, sexual assault, aggravated assault, injury to a child, abandoning or endangering a child, prohibited sexual conduct, sexual performance by a child, possession or promotion of child pornography, continuous sexual abuse of a child, compelling prostitution, or trafficking of persons.
  • The parent voluntarily left the child alone or in the possession of another person for at least 6 months without expressing the intent to return and without providing adequate support for the child.
  • The parent's parental rights to another child of the parent have been terminated involuntarily based on a finding that the parent knowingly placed or allowed the child to remain in conditions or surroundings, or with persons engaged in conduct, that endangered the child's physical or emotional well-being.
  • The parent has been convicted for the murder or voluntary manslaughter of another child, or aiding, abetting, or attempting such crime.
  • The parent has been convicted of a felony assault that resulted in serious bodily injury of the child or another child of the parent.
  • The parent's parental rights with regard to two other children have been involuntarily terminated.
  • The parent is required under any State or Federal law to register with a sex offender registry.