HB 2761 advises that the court must consider both the value of a child’s bonding and attachment to long-term caregivers and the value of family attachment when determining permanency.
Each child’s petition shall contain a description of the department’s efforts to identify relatives and other suitable persons who can provide support for the family and potential placement of the child.
When determining a child’s out-of-home placement, the court shall give weight to the child’s stability of placement, length of stay, and attachment to the current long-term care provider in determining what is in the best interest of the child.
In regards to shelter care orders, prior to authorizing continued shelter care the department must submit a written report to all parties and the court that includes: the specific efforts taken by the department to identify relatives and if authorized other suitable persons for potential placements of the child or support for the family and the efforts taken by the department to support natural connections to the family.
The family assessment response worker shall, if authorized by the family, make reasonable efforts to locate relatives or other suitable persons who can provide support to the family. Within the out-of-home care social study conducted by the department, the department shall conduct an extensive family search beginning at the time a child is placed in out-of-home care.
The department shall encourage and support continued relationships between birth families and adoptive parents when that relationship is in the best interest of the child.