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(a) Special safeguards, resources, and care should be provided to children involved in dependency-neglect cases who are in foster care or in an out-of-home placement because of the temporary or permanent separation from parents.
(b) A child in foster care in the State of Arkansas shall be entitled to the following:
(1) To be cherished by a family of his or her own;
(2) To be nurtured by foster parents who have been selected to meet his or her individual needs;
(3) To be heard and involved with the decisions of his or her life;
(4) To have complete information and direct answers to his or her questions about choices, services, and decisions;
(5) To be informed about and have involvement when appropriate with his or her birth family and siblings;
(6) To have reasonable access to his or her caseworker or a person in the Department of Human Services who can make decisions on his or her behalf;
(7) To express his or her opinion and have it treated respectfully;
(8) To request support and services that he or she needs;
(9) To have individualized care and attention;
(10) To have ongoing contact with significant people in his or her life, such as teachers, friends, personal support, and relatives;
(11) To be notified of changes impacting his or her permanence, safety, stability, or well-being;
(12) To have a stable, appropriate placement if he or she is placed in foster care;
(13) To receive free appropriate education, training, and career guidance to prepare him or her for a useful and satisfying life;
(14) To receive preparation for citizenship and parenthood through interaction with foster parents and other adults who are consistent role models;
(15) To have reasonable access to and be represented by an attorney ad litem in all juvenile judicial proceedings so that his or her best interests are represented;
(16) To receive quality child welfare services;
(17) To have a plan for his or her future and the support needed to accomplish it;
(18) To receive a copy of his or her case record upon exiting foster care;
(19) To be placed in the custody or foster home of relatives, if appropriate, provided the relative caregiver meets all relevant child protection standards; and
(20) To be cared for without regard to race, gender, religion, or disability.
(c) Sibling relationships are recognized to be unique and separate from the parent-child bond due to the similar history, heritage, culture, and biology of the siblings; and sibling separation is a significant and distinct loss that must be repaired by frequent and regular contact, continuity, and stability during a child's placement in foster care or an out-of-home placement; and each child has the right to know and be actively involved in his or her sibling's lives, absent extraordinary circumstances.
(d) In addition to the safeguards identified under subsection (b) of this section, siblings in foster care or in an out-of-home placement in this state are entitled to the following unless a court specifically finds that it is not in the best interest of the child:
(1) To live together in the same placement;
(2) To be separated only after:
(A) An assessment by a mental health professional determines that placement of the siblings together would be detrimental to the health, safety, or well-being of one (1) or more of the juveniles; or
(B) The department presents evidence to the court that there are no available relevant placements near the county where the juvenile resided before entering care;
(3) If separated, to be placed in close proximity to siblings in order to facilitate frequent and meaningful contact;
(4) If separated, to have visitation with all siblings that shall be:
(A) Regular and consistent;
(B) Include face-to-face meetings or alternate methods of communication at least one (1) time per week when possible; and
(C) Outlined in the case plan and approved by the court;
(5) To be actively involved in each sibling's life and share celebrations including birthdays, holidays, graduations, and meaningful milestones;
(6) To attend extracurricular events of each sibling, including without limitation athletic events, musical performances, scouting ceremonies, and church events;
(7) To be included in case plan staffing decisions and permanency planning decisions regarding siblings;
(8) To be informed of the expectations for continued contact in the event that a sibling is placed or adopted separately from the sibling;
(9) To be notified of a change of placement for a sibling;
(10) To be informed when a sibling is being discharged from foster care;
(11) If a sibling leaves care, to be allowed to maintain contact with a sibling who remains in an out-of-home placement;
(12) To be supported in efforts to maintain relationships with siblings who are not in care or have been adopted or placed in permanent custody or guardianship separately from the child;
(13) To not have visitation or contact with a sibling withheld as a behavioral consequence unless there are documented safety concerns; and
(14) If separated, to have the sibling's case reviewed by the court at least one (1) time every ninety (90) days for an assessment of the separation and to determine whether there has been a reasonable effort to reunite the siblings and to allow contact between the siblings consistent with this section.
(e) A minor who is the custodial parent of one (1) or more children and who is placed in foster care shall be placed in the same placement as the child unless the court has adjudicated the child or children of the minor parent to be dependent-neglected and the court finds that it is not in the best interest of the child or children to be placed in the same placement as the minor parent.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - North Dakota Century Code Title 57. Taxation § 57-43.2-11. Report by refiner, supplier, distributor, retailer, importer, or exporter required - last updated January 01, 2020 | https://codes.findlaw.com/nd/title-57-taxation/nd-cent-code-sect-57-43-2-11/
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