☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 211

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  211.183.  Order to include determination of efforts of division — definition of reasonable efforts by division — modification of the permanency plan, when — reasonable efforts not required, when — permanency hearing, when. — 1.  In juvenile court proceedings regarding the removal of a child from his or her home, the court's order shall include a determination of whether the children's division has made reasonable efforts to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child and, after removal, to make it possible for the child to return home.  If the first contact with the family occurred during an emergency in which the child could not safely remain at home even with reasonable in-home services, the division shall be deemed to have made reasonable efforts to prevent or eliminate the need for removal.

  2.  "Reasonable efforts" means the exercise of reasonable diligence and care by the division to utilize all available services related to meeting the needs of the juvenile and the family.  In determining reasonable efforts to be made and in making such reasonable efforts, the child's present and ongoing health and safety shall be the paramount consideration.

  3.  In support of its determination of whether reasonable efforts have been made, the court shall enter findings, including a brief description of what preventive or reunification efforts were made and why further efforts could or could not have prevented or shortened the separation of the family.  The division shall have the burden of demonstrating reasonable efforts.

  4.  The juvenile court may authorize the removal of the child even if the preventive and reunification efforts of the division have not been reasonable, but further efforts could not permit the child to remain at home.

  5.  Before a child may be removed from the parent, guardian, or custodian of the child by order of a juvenile court, excluding commitments to the division of youth services, the court shall in its orders:

  (1)  State whether removal of the child is necessary to protect the child and the reasons therefor;

  (2)  Describe the services available to the family before removal of the child, including in-home services;

  (3)  Describe the efforts made to provide those services relevant to the needs of the family before the removal of the child;

  (4)  State why efforts made to provide family services described did not prevent removal of the child; and

  (5)  State whether efforts made to prevent removal of the child were reasonable, based upon the needs of the family and child.

  6.  If continuation of reasonable efforts, as described in this section, is determined by the division to be inconsistent with establishing a permanent placement for the child, the division shall take such steps as are deemed necessary by the division, including seeking modification of any court order to modify the permanency plan for the child.

  7.  The division shall not be required to make reasonable efforts, as defined in this section, but has the discretion to make reasonable efforts if a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that:

  (1)  The parent has subjected the child to a severe act or recurrent acts of physical, emotional or sexual abuse toward the child, including an act of incest; or

  (2)  The parent has:

  (a)  Committed murder of another child of the parent;

  (b)  Committed voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent;

  (c)  Aided or abetted, attempted, conspired or solicited to commit such a murder or voluntary manslaughter; or

  (d)  Committed a felony assault that resulted in serious bodily injury to the child or to another child of the parent; or

  (3)  The parent's parental rights to a sibling have been involuntarily terminated.

  8.  If the court determines that reasonable efforts, as described in this section, are not required to be made by the division, the court shall hold a permanency hearing within thirty days after the court has made such determination.  The division shall complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child.

  9.  The division may concurrently engage in reasonable efforts, as described in this section, while engaging in such other measures as are deemed appropriate by the division to establish a permanent placement for the child.


(L. 1985 H.B. 366, et al. § 4, A.L. 1987 S.B. 244, A.L. 1998 H.B. 1822 merged with S.B. 674, A.L. 2014 H.B. 1299 Revision)

---- end of effective  28 Aug 2014 ----

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