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Utah Code Title 62A. Utah Human Services Code § 62A-4a-205. Child and family plan--Parent-time and relative visitation

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(1) No more than 45 days after a child enters the temporary custody of the division, the child's child and family plan shall be finalized.

(2)(a) The division may use an interdisciplinary team approach in developing each child and family plan.

(b) The interdisciplinary team described in Subsection (2)(a) may include representatives from the following fields:

(i) mental health;

(ii) education;  and

(iii) if appropriate, law enforcement.

(3)(a) The division shall involve all of the following in the development of a child's child and family plan:

(i) both of the child's natural parents, unless the whereabouts of a parent are unknown;

(ii) the child;

(iii) the child's foster parents;  and

(iv) if appropriate, the child's stepparent.

(b) Subsection (3)(a) does not prohibit any other party not listed in Subsection (3)(a) or a party's counsel from being involved in the development of a child's child and family plan if the party or counsel's participation is otherwise permitted by law.

(c) In relation to all information considered by the division in developing a child and family plan, additional weight and attention shall be given to the input of the child's natural and foster parents upon their involvement pursuant to Subsections (3)(a)(i) and (iii).

(d)(i) The division shall make a substantial effort to develop a child and family plan with which the child's parents agree.

(ii) If a parent does not agree with a child and family plan:

(A) the division shall strive to resolve the disagreement between the division and the parent;  and

(B) if the disagreement is not resolved, the division shall inform the court of the disagreement.

(4) A copy of the child and family plan shall, immediately upon completion, or as soon as reasonably possible thereafter, be provided to the:

(a) guardian ad litem;

(b) child's natural parents;  and

(c) child's foster parents.

(5) Each child and family plan shall:

(a) specifically provide for the safety of the child, in accordance with federal law;  and

(b) clearly define what actions or precautions will, or may be, necessary to provide for the health, safety, protection, and welfare of the child.

(6) The child and family plan shall set forth, with specificity, at least the following:

(a) the reason the child entered into the custody of the division;

(b) documentation of the:

(i) reasonable efforts made to prevent placement of the child in the custody of the division;  or

(ii) emergency situation that existed and that prevented the reasonable efforts described in Subsection (6)(b)(i), from being made;

(c) the primary permanency plan for the child and the reason for selection of that plan;

(d) the concurrent permanency plan for the child and the reason for the selection of that plan;

(e) if the plan is for the child to return to the child's family:

(i) specifically what the parents must do in order to enable the child to be returned home;

(ii) specifically how the requirements described in Subsection (6)(e)(i) may be accomplished;  and

(iii) how the requirements described in Subsection (6)(e)(i) will be measured;

(f) the specific services needed to reduce the problems that necessitated placing the child in the division's custody;

(g) the name of the person who will provide for and be responsible for case management;

(h) subject to Subsection (10), a parent-time schedule between the natural parent and the child;

(i) subject to Subsection (7), the health and mental health care to be provided to address any known or diagnosed mental health needs of the child;

(j) if residential treatment rather than a foster home is the proposed placement, a requirement for a specialized assessment of the child's health needs including an assessment of mental illness and behavior and conduct disorders;

(k) social summaries that include case history information pertinent to case planning;  and

(l) subject to Subsection (12), a sibling visitation schedule.

(7)(a) Subject to Subsection (7)(b), in addition to the information required under Subsection (6)(i), the plan shall include a specialized assessment of the medical and mental health needs of a child, if the child:

(i) is placed in residential treatment;  and

(ii) has medical or mental health issues that need to be addressed.

(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (7)(a), a parent shall retain the right to seek a separate medical or mental health diagnosis of the parent's child from a licensed practitioner of the parent's choice.

(8)(a) Each child and family plan shall be specific to each child and the child's family, rather than general.

(b) The division shall train its workers to develop child and family plans that comply with:

(i) federal mandates;  and

(ii) the specific needs of the particular child and the child's family.

(c) All child and family plans and expectations shall be individualized and contain specific time frames.

(d) Subject to Subsection (8)(h), child and family plans shall address problems that:

(i) keep a child in placement;  and

(ii) keep a child from achieving permanence in the child's life.

(e) Each child and family plan shall be designed to minimize disruption to the normal activities of the child's family, including employment and school.

(f) In particular, the time, place, and amount of services, hearings, and other requirements ordered by the court in the child and family plan shall be designed, as much as practicable, to help the child's parents maintain or obtain employment.

(g) The child's natural parents, foster parents, and where appropriate, stepparents, shall be kept informed of and supported to participate in important meetings and procedures related to the child's placement.

(h) For purposes of Subsection (8)(d), a child and family plan may only include requirements that:

(i) address findings made by the court;  or

(ii)(A) are requested or consented to by a parent or guardian of the child;  and

(B) are agreed to by the division and the guardian ad litem.

(9)(a) Except as provided in Subsection (9)(b), with regard to a child who is three years old or younger, if the plan is not to return the child home, the primary permanency plan for that child shall be adoption.

(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (9)(a), if the division documents to the court that there is a compelling reason that adoption, reunification, guardianship, and a placement described in Subsection 80-3-301(6)(e) are not in the child's best interest, the court may order another planned permanent living arrangement in accordance with federal law.

(10)(a) Except as provided in Subsection (10)(b), parent-time may only be denied by a court order issued in accordance with Subsection 80-3-406(9).

(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (10)(a), the person designated by the division or a court to supervise a parent-time session may deny parent-time for that session if the supervising person determines that, based on the parent's condition, it is necessary to deny parent-time in order to:

(i) protect the physical safety of the child;

(ii) protect the life of the child;  or

(iii) consistent with Subsection (10)(c), prevent the child from being traumatized by contact with the parent.

(c) In determining whether the condition of the parent described in Subsection (10)(b) will traumatize a child, the person supervising the parent-time session shall consider the impact that the parent's condition will have on the child in light of:

(i) the child's fear of the parent;  and

(ii) the nature of the alleged abuse or neglect.

(11) The division shall consider visitation with their grandparents for children in state custody if the division determines visitation to be in the best interest of the child and:

(a) there are no safety concerns regarding the behavior or criminal background of the grandparents;

(b) allowing visitation would not compete with or undermine the reunification plan;

(c) there is a substantial relationship between the grandparents and children;  and

(d) the visitation will not unduly burden the foster parents.

(12) The child and family plan shall incorporate reasonable efforts to:

(a) provide sibling visitation when:

(i) siblings are separated due to foster care or adoptive placement;

(ii) visitation is in the best interest of the child for whom the plan is developed;  and

(iii) the division has consent for sibling visitation from the legal guardian of the sibling;  and

(b) obtain consent for sibling visitation from the sibling's legal guardian when the criteria of Subsections (12)(a)(i) and (ii) are met.

Cite this article: - Utah Code Title 62A. Utah Human Services Code § 62A-4a-205. Child and family plan--Parent-time and relative visitation - last updated May 05, 2022 |

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