2010 Arkansas Code
Title 9 - Family Law
Subtitle 3 - Minors
Chapter 27 - Juvenile Courts And Proceedings
Subchapter 4 - Division of Dependency-Neglect Representation
§ 9-27-402 - Case plans.

9-27-402. Case plans.

(a) A case plan shall be developed in all dependency-neglect cases or any case involving an out-of-home placement. The Department of Human Services shall be responsible for developing case plans in all dependency-neglect cases, and in family in need of services or delinquency cases when custody is transferred to the department, pursuant to 9-27-328. The case plan shall be:

(1) (A) Developed in consultation with the juvenile's parent, guardian, or custodian and, if appropriate, the juvenile, the juvenile's foster parents, the court-appointed special advocate, the juvenile's attorney ad litem, and all parties' attorneys.

(B) If the parents are unwilling or unable to participate in the development of the case plan, the department shall document that unwillingness or inability and provide this written documentation to the parent, if available. The department shall then prepare a case plan conforming as nearly as possible with the requirements set forth in this section.

(C) A parent's incarceration, by itself, does not make a parent unavailable to participate in the development of a case plan;

(2) (A) Developed and filed with the court no later than thirty (30) days after the date the petition was filed or the juvenile was first placed out of home, whichever is sooner.

(B) If the department does not have sufficient information prior to the adjudication hearing to complete all of the case plan, the department shall complete those parts for which information is available.

(C) All parts of the case plan shall be completed and filed with the court thirty (30) days after the adjudication hearing;

(3) Signed by and distributed to all parties, and distributed to the juvenile's attorney ad litem, court-appointed special advocate, and foster parents, if available; and

(4) (A) Subject to modification based on changing circumstances.

(B) All parties to the case plan shall be notified of any substantive change to the case plan.

(C) A substantive change to a case plan includes, but is not limited to, such changes as the placement of the juvenile, the visitation rights of any party, or the goal of the plan.

(b) When the juvenile is receiving services in the home of the parent, guardian, or custodian, the case plan shall include at a minimum, in addition to the requirements in subsection (a) of this section:

(1) A description of the problems being addressed;

(2) A description of the services to be provided to the family and juvenile specifically addressing the identified problems and time frames for providing services;

(3) A description of any reasonable accommodations made to parents in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to assure to all the parents meaningful access to reunification and family preservation services;

(4) The name of an individual who the petitioner, parent, guardian, or custodian knows is claiming to be or who is named as the father or possible father of the juvenile and whose paternity of the juvenile has not been judicially determined; and

(5) A description of how the juvenile's health and safety will be protected.

(c) When the juvenile is receiving services in an out-of-home placement, the case plan must include at a minimum, in addition to the requirements in subsections (a) and (b) of this section:

(1) (A) A description of the permanency goal.

(B) If the goal at the permanency planning and fifteenth-month hearing is not adoption, the department shall document in the case plan a compelling reason why filing a petition to terminate parental rights is not in the best interest of the juvenile;

(2) The specific reasons for the placement of the juvenile in care outside the home, including a description of the problems or conditions in the home of the parent, guardian, or custodian that necessitated removal of the juvenile and the remediation of which will determine the return of the juvenile to the home;

(3) A description of the type of out-of-home placement selected for the juvenile, including a discussion of the appropriateness of the placement;

(4) A plan for addressing the needs of the juvenile while in the placement, with emphasis on the health and safety safeguards in place for the child, including a discussion of the services provided within the last six (6) months;

(5) (A) The specific actions to be taken by the parent, guardian, or custodian of the juvenile to eliminate or correct the identified problems or conditions and the period during which the actions are to be taken.

(B) The plan may include any person or agency who shall agree to and be responsible for the provision of social and other family services to the juvenile or the parent, guardian, or custodian of the juvenile;

(6) The visitation rights and obligations of the parent, guardian, or custodian and the state agency during the period the juvenile is in the out-of-home placement;

(7) The social and other family services to be provided to the parent, guardian, or custodian of the juvenile, and foster parent, if any, during the period the juvenile is in placement and a timetable for the provision of those services, the purposes of which shall be to promote the availability to the juvenile of a continuous and stable living environment, promote family autonomy, strengthen family life when possible, and promote the reunification of the juvenile with the parent, guardian, or custodian;

(8) To the extent available and accessible, the health and education records of the juvenile, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 675(1);

(9) A description of the financial support obligation to the juvenile, including health insurance of the juvenile's parent, parents, or guardian;

(10) (A) A description of the location of siblings.

(B) If siblings have been separated, a statement of the reasons for separation and the efforts that have been and will be made to enable the siblings to maintain regular contact while separated and to be reunited as soon as possible;

(11) When appropriate for a juvenile sixteen (16) years of age and over, the case plan must also include a written description of the programs and services that will help the juvenile prepare for the transition from foster care to independent living;

(12) A written notice to the parent or parents that failure of the parent or parents to comply substantially with the case plan may result in the termination of parental rights and that a material failure to comply substantially may result in the filing of a petition for termination of parental rights sooner than the compliance periods set forth in the case plan itself;

(13) (A) As required by 9-27-103, a plan for ensuring the placement of the child in foster care takes into account the appropriateness of the current educational setting and the proximity of the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement; and

(B) (i) An assurance that the department has coordinated with appropriate local educational agencies to ensure that the child remains in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement; or

(ii) If remaining in the school is not in the best interest of the child, assurances by the department and the local educational agencies to provide immediate and appropriate enrollment in a new school, with all of the educational records of the child provided to the school; and

(14) As required by 9-27-363, the department in conjunction with other representatives of the juvenile shall provide the juvenile with assistance and support in developing a transition plan that is personalized at the direction of the juvenile and includes specific options on housing, health insurance, educational opportunities, local opportunities for mentors and continuing support services, and workforce supports and employment services, and is as detailed as the juvenile may elect.

(d) The case plan is subject to court approval upon review by the court.

(e) A parent's, guardian's, or custodian's participation in the development or the acceptance of a case plan shall not constitute an admission of dependency-neglect.

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