41-3-1010. Review -- scope -- procedures -- immunity. (1) (a) The board shall review the case of each child in foster care focusing on issues that are germane to the goals of permanency and to accessing appropriate services for parents and children. In evaluating the accessibility, availability, and appropriateness of services, the board may consider:
(i) the safety of the child;
(ii) whether an involved agency has selected services specifically relevant to the problems and needs of the child and family;
(iii) whether caseworkers have diligently provided services;
(iv) whether appropriate services have been available to the child and family on a timely basis; and
(v) the results of intervention.
(b) The board may review the case of a child who remains in or returns to the child's home and for whom the department retains legal custody.
(2) The review must be conducted within the time limit established under the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, 42 U.S.C. 675(5).
(3) The district court, by rule of the court or on an individual case basis, may relieve the board of its responsibility to review a case if a complete judicial review has taken place within 60 days prior to the next scheduled board review.
(4) Notice of each review must be sent to the department, any agency directly responsible for the care or placement of the child, the parents and their attorneys, the foster parents, a relative caring for the child, the preadoptive parents, the surrogate parents, the child who is the subject of the review if 12 years of age or older, the child's attorney or the child's assigned attorney, the guardian ad litem, the court-appointed special advocate of the child, the county attorney or deputy attorney general actively involved in the case, the Indian child's tribe if the child is an Indian, and other interested persons who are authorized by the board to receive notice and who are subject to 41-3-205. The notice must include a statement that persons receiving a notice may participate in the hearing and be accompanied by a representative.
(5) After reviewing each case, the board shall prepare written findings and recommendations with respect to:
(a) whether reasonable efforts were made prior to the placement to prevent or to eliminate the need for removal of the child from the home and to make it possible for the child to be returned home;
(b) the continuing need for the placement and the appropriateness and safety of the placement;
(c) compliance with the case plan;
(d) the progress that has been made toward alleviating the need for placement;
(e) a likely date by which the child may be returned home or by which a permanent placement will be finalized;
(f) other problems, solutions, or alternatives that the board determines should be explored; and
(g) whether the district court should appoint an attorney or other person as special advocate to represent or appear on behalf of the child pursuant to 41-3-112.
(6) Whenever a member of a board has a potential conflict of interest in a case being reviewed, the member shall declare to the board the nature of the potential conflict prior to participating in the case review. The following provisions apply:
(a) The declaration of the member must be recorded in the official records of the board.
(b) If, in the judgment of the majority of the board, the potential conflict of interest may prevent the member from fairly and objectively reviewing the case, the board may remove the member from participation in the review.
(7) The board shall keep accurate records and retain the records on file. The board shall send copies of its written findings and recommendations to the district court, the department, and other participants in the review unless prohibited by the confidentiality provisions of 41-3-205.
(8) The board may hold joint or separate reviews for groups of siblings, but the court shall issue specific findings for each child.
(9) The board may disclose to parents and their attorneys, foster parents, children who are 12 years of age or older, childrens' attorneys, and other persons authorized by the board to participate in the case review the records disclosed to the board pursuant to 41-3-1008. Before participating in a board case review, each participant, other than parents and children, shall swear or affirm to the board that the participant will keep confidential the information disclosed by the board in the case review and will disclose it only as authorized by law.
(10) A person who serves on a board in a volunteer capacity, as provided in this part, is considered an agent of the judiciary and is entitled to immunity from suit as provided in 2-9-112.
(11) The board may, at the discretion of the court and absent an objection by a party to the proceeding, conduct permanency hearings as provided in 41-3-445.
History: En. Sec. 10, Ch. 610, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 386, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 177, Ch. 546, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 570, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 382, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 34, Ch. 449, L. 2005.