2012 Indiana Code
TITLE 31. FAMILY LAW AND JUVENILE LAW
ARTICLE 34. JUVENILE LAW: CHILDREN IN NEED OF SERVICES
CHAPTER 19. DISPOSITIONAL HEARING

IC 31-34-19
Chapter 19. Dispositional Hearing

IC 31-34-19-1
Dispositional hearing; issues for consideration
Sec. 1. (a) The juvenile court shall complete a dispositional hearing not more than thirty (30) days after the date the court finds that a child is a child in need of services to consider the following:
(1) Alternatives for the care, treatment, rehabilitation, or placement of the child.
(2) The necessity, nature, and extent of the participation by a parent, a guardian, or a custodian in the program of care, treatment, or rehabilitation for the child.
(3) The financial responsibility of the parent or guardian of the estate for services provided for the parent or guardian or the child.
(b) If the dispositional hearing is not completed in the time set forth in subsection (a), upon a filing of a motion with the court, the court shall dismiss the case without prejudice.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.17. Amended by P.L.55-1997, SEC.20; P.L.146-2006, SEC.48; P.L.48-2012, SEC.62.

IC 31-34-19-1.1
Mandatory attendance at predispositional hearing by report preparer
Sec. 1.1. At a dispositional hearing under this chapter, the person that prepared the predispositional report:
(1) must be present, if possible; and
(2) if present, shall provide testimony when requested to explain how the individuals participating in the conference described in IC 31-34-18:
(A) examined the available options; and
(B) recommended the options that most closely coincide with the guidelines provided in IC 31-34-18-4.
As added by P.L.55-1997, SEC.21.

IC 31-34-19-1.3
Notice of disposition of hearing; duties of court
Sec. 1.3. (a) The department shall provide notice of the date, time, place, and purpose of the dispositional hearing under this chapter to each:
(1) party or person for whom a summons is required to be issued under IC 31-34-10-2; and
(2) foster parent or other caretaker with whom the child is placed for temporary care;
at the time the dispositional hearing is scheduled.
(b) The court shall:
(1) provide a person required to be notified under subsection (a) an opportunity to be heard; and
(2) allow a person described in subdivision (1) to make

recommendations to the court;
at the dispositional hearing.
As added by P.L.138-2007, SEC.72.

IC 31-34-19-2
Admissibility of reports
Sec. 2. (a) Any predispositional report may be admitted into evidence to the extent that the report contains evidence of probative value even if the report would otherwise be excluded.
(b) If a report contains information that should not be released to the child or the child's parent, guardian, or custodian, a factual summary of the report may be admitted.
(c) The:
(1) child;
(2) child's parent, guardian, or custodian;
(3) person representing the interests of the state; and
(4) foster parent or other caretaker who is entitled to notice of the dispositional hearing under section 1.3 of this chapter;
shall be given a fair opportunity to controvert any part of the report admitted into evidence.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.17. Amended by P.L.138-2007, SEC.73.

IC 31-34-19-3
Civil commitment; child with a mental illness
Sec. 3. If it appears to the juvenile court that a child has a mental illness, the court may:
(1) refer the matter to the court having probate jurisdiction for civil commitment proceedings under IC 12-26; or
(2) initiate a civil commitment proceeding under IC 12-26.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.17. Amended by P.L.99-2007, SEC.196.

IC 31-34-19-4
Discharge of child; continuance of proceeding; no release of local office or the department of child services from obligations to child
Sec. 4. If:
(1) a child is referred to a probate court;
(2) the juvenile court initiates a commitment proceeding; or
(3) the court transfers a commitment proceeding under IC 12-26-1-4;
the juvenile court shall discharge the child or continue the court's proceedings under the juvenile law. However, if the child is under the custody or supervision of a local office or the department, the juvenile court may not release the local office from the obligations of the local office or the department to the child pending the outcome of the proceeding under IC 12-26.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.17. Amended by P.L.145-2006, SEC.309; P.L.128-2012, SEC.163.
IC 31-34-19-5
Release of local office or the department of child services from obligations to child placed in state institution
Sec. 5. If the court authorizes a child who is under the custody or supervision of a local office or the department to be placed in a state institution (as defined in IC 12-7-2-184) for voluntary treatment in accordance with IC 12-26-3, the court may not release the department from obligations of the local office or the department to the child until a parent, guardian, or other responsible person approved by the court assumes the obligations.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.17. Amended by P.L.145-2006, SEC.310; P.L.128-2012, SEC.164.

IC 31-34-19-6
Dispositional decree; factors
Sec. 6. If consistent with the safety of the community and the best interest of the child, the juvenile court shall enter a dispositional decree that:
(1) is:
(A) in the least restrictive (most family like) and most appropriate setting available; and
(B) close to the parents' home, consistent with the best interest and special needs of the child;
(2) least interferes with family autonomy;
(3) is least disruptive of family life;
(4) imposes the least restraint on the freedom of the child and the child's parent, guardian, or custodian; and
(5) provides a reasonable opportunity for participation by the child's parent, guardian, or custodian.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.17. Amended by P.L.55-1997, SEC.22.

IC 31-34-19-6.1
Juvenile court entering dispositional decree or a modification to a dispositional decree; department consideration of juvenile court recommendations; written findings by juvenile court; appeal by department
Sec. 6.1. (a) Before entering its dispositional decree or a modification to a dispositional decree, the juvenile court shall do the following:
(1) Consider the recommendations for the needs of the child for care, treatment, rehabilitation, or placement made by the department in the department's predispositional report.
(2) Consider the recommendations for the needs of the child for care, treatment, rehabilitation, or placement made by the parent, guardian or custodian, guardian ad litem or court appointed special advocate, foster parent, other caretaker of the child, or other party to the proceeding.
(3) If the juvenile court determines that the best interests of the child require consideration of other dispositional options, submit the juvenile court's own recommendations for care,

treatment, rehabilitation, or placement of the child.
(b) If the juvenile court accepts the recommendations in the department's predispositional report, the juvenile court shall enter its dispositional decree with its findings and conclusions under section 10 of this chapter.
(c) If during or after conclusion of the dispositional hearing or modification hearing, the juvenile court does not accept the recommendations of the department as set out under subsection (a) in the predispositional report and states that the juvenile court wants the department to consider the recommendations made under subsection (a)(2) or (a)(3), the dispositional hearing or modification hearing shall be continued for not more than seven (7) business days after service of notice of the juvenile court's determination. The department shall consider the recommendations that the juvenile court requested the department to consider and submit to the juvenile court a supplemental predispositional report stating the department's final recommendations and reasons for accepting or rejecting the recommendations that were not included in the department's original predispositional report. If the juvenile court accepts the recommendations in the department's supplemental report, the juvenile court may adopt the recommendations as its findings and enter its dispositional decree.
(d) The juvenile court shall accept each final recommendation of the department contained in a supplemental predispositional report submitted under subsection (c), unless the juvenile court finds that a recommendation is:
(1) unreasonable, based on the facts and circumstances of the case; or
(2) contrary to the welfare and best interests of the child.
(e) If the juvenile court does not accept one (1) or more of the department's final recommendations contained in the department's supplemental predispositional report, the juvenile court shall:
(1) enter its dispositional decree with its written findings and conclusions under sections 6 and 10 of this chapter; and
(2) specifically state why the juvenile court is not accepting the final recommendations of the department.
(f) If the juvenile court enters its findings and decree under subsections (d) and (e), the department may appeal the juvenile court's decree under any available procedure provided by the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure or the Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure to allow any disputes arising under this section to be decided in an expeditious manner.
(g) If the department prevails on appeal, the department shall pay the following costs and expenses incurred by or on behalf of the child before the date of the final decision:
(1) Any programs or services implemented during the appeal initiated under subsection (f), other than the cost of an out-of-home placement ordered by the juvenile court.
(2) Any out-of-home placement ordered by the juvenile court and implemented after entry of the dispositional decree or

modification order, if the court has made written findings that the placement is an emergency required to protect the health and welfare of the child.
If the court has not made written findings that the placement is an emergency, the department shall file a notice with the Indiana judicial center.
As added by P.L.146-2008, SEC.601. Amended by P.L.48-2012, SEC.63.

IC 31-34-19-7
Factors to consider for dispositional decrees that include out-of-home placement
Sec. 7. In addition to the factors under section 6 of this chapter, if the court enters a dispositional decree regarding a child in need of services that includes an out-of-home placement, the court shall consider whether the child should be placed with the child's suitable and willing blood or adoptive relative caretaker, including a grandparent, an aunt, an uncle, or an adult sibling, before considering other out-of-home placements for the child.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.17. Amended by P.L.70-2004, SEC.20; P.L.234-2005, SEC.182.

IC 31-34-19-8
Provision of copies of dispositional report
Sec. 8. The juvenile court shall send a copy of the dispositional report described in section 10 of this chapter to each person who receives placement or wardship of the child.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.17.

IC 31-34-19-9
Advisement of modification procedures
Sec. 9. The juvenile court shall advise the child and the child's parent, guardian, or custodian of the procedures under IC 31-34-23.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.17.

IC 31-34-19-10
Findings and conclusions
Sec. 10. (a) The juvenile court shall accompany the court's dispositional decree with written findings and conclusions upon the record concerning the following:
(1) The needs of the child for care, treatment, rehabilitation, or placement.
(2) The need for participation by the parent, guardian, or custodian in the plan of care for the child.
(3) Efforts made, if the child is a child in need of services, to:
(A) prevent the child's removal from; or
(B) reunite the child with;
the child's parent, guardian, or custodian in accordance with federal law.
(4) Family services that were offered and provided to: (A) a child in need of services; or
(B) the child's parent, guardian, or custodian;
in accordance with federal law.
(5) The court's reasons for the disposition.
(b) The juvenile court may incorporate a finding or conclusion from a predispositional report as a written finding or conclusion upon the record in the court's dispositional decree.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.17. Amended by P.L.55-1997, SEC.23; P.L.146-2006, SEC.49.

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