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Section/Rule:124.10
Subject: Rule 124 - Rules of Practice and Procedure in Juvenile and Family Court Divisions of The Circuit Court - Part II. Rules Relating to Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings - Custody - Hearings Publication / Adopted Date:May 20, 2009
Topic:Permanency Review HearingRevised / Effective Date:January 1, 2010


124.10 PERMANENCY REVIEW HEARING
a. A permanency review hearing in a proceeding under subdivision (1) of subsection 1 of section 211.031, RSMo, shall be held within the time frame in Rule 124.01b(3). The hearing may be as formal or informal as the court considers appropriate, consistent with constitutional and statutory requirements. The court may take judicial notice of the court’s file. The court may take testimony or receive evidence. The rules of evidence do not apply.
b. At such a permanency review hearing, the court shall consider any written reports or social records presented by any party and additionally shall consider:
(1) the attempts of the children’s division to identify and locate any biological parent whose identity or location is unknown unless such efforts have been excused by the court;
(2) the efforts of the children’s division to finalize the permanency plan in effect and whether those efforts have been reasonable;
(3) whether the permanency plan in effect continues to serve the best interests of the juvenile and, if not, which permanency plan is most appropriate for the juvenile; and
(4) the recommendations of the guardian ad litem and court appointed special advocate.
c. At such a permanency review hearing, the court shall:
(1) enter an order for the legal and physical custody of the juvenile and, if awarding legal and physical custody of the juvenile to a parent, guardian or custodian, relieve the children’s division of custody and, if appropriate, terminate jurisdiction;
(2) continue or, as appropriate, modify the social service plan and any court-ordered services; division to finalize the permanency plan in effect for the juvenile and whether those efforts have been reasonable;
(4) determine and, in accordance with the best interests of the juvenile, order:
(A) the permanency plan that is most appropriate for the juvenile; and
(B) the reasonable efforts required of the children’s division to finalize the permanency plan that is most appropriate for the juvenile; and
(5) schedule a permanency hearing within the time frame in Rule 124.01b(2).
Comment
This Rule 124.10 governs not only the initial permanency review hearing but also each subsequent permanency review hearing.
Permanency review hearings are required, even after the parents’ rights have been terminated, until the juvenile attains age 21 or until the earlier entry of a legally final permanency order; i.e., return of the juvenile to the legal custody of a parent, adoption or guardianship.
If reunification is not the permanency plan that is most appropriate for the juvenile, the permanency plan for the juvenile must be one of the following:
1. adoption;
2. guardianship;
3. placement with a fit and willing relative; or
4. another planned permanent living arrangement.
The considerations for the court in determining, pursuant to Rule 124.10c(3), whether the children’s division has made reasonable efforts to finalize the permanency plan in effect and, pursuant to this Rule 124.10c(4)(a), which permanency plan is most appropriate for the juvenile, are detailed in Rule 124.09e.
The Adoption and Safe Families Act allows a juvenile’s permanency plan to be another planned permanent living arrangement only when the children’s division documents compelling reasons why the other permanency plans are not in the best interests of the juvenile.
For a juvenile in the legal custody of the children’s division in a proceeding under subsection 1 of section 211.031, RSMo, to be eligible for Title IV-E funding, the Adoption and Safe Families Act requires a judicial determination within 12 months of the date the juvenile is considered to have entered foster care and at least annually thereafter of the reasonable efforts of the children’s division to finalize the permanency plan in effect. Therefore, this determination may be made at a permanency review hearing under this Rule 124.10.
Under section 210.565, RSMo, grandparents who request consideration are given preference and first consideration for out-of-home placement, and a juvenile in out-of-home placement shall be placed with a relative whenever such placement is not contrary to the best interests of the juvenile.
Under section 211.177, RSMo, grandparents have a right to intervene if custody of a grandchild is in issue unless the court determines that such intervention is contrary to the best interests of the juvenile.
When placing a juvenile outside Missouri, including placing with a parent or relative, or terminating jurisdiction over a juvenile placed outside Missouri, in a proceeding under subdivision (1) of subsection 1 of section 211.031, RSMo, the court and all parties must comply with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. See section 210.620, RSMo.
Cross-reference: Sections 211.032.4, 211.171.1, 210.720, 211.183, and 211.447.2, RSMo.
(Adopted May 20, 2009, eff. Jan. 1, 2010.)