☰ Revisor of Missouri

Title XII PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE

Chapter 210

< > Effective - 28 Aug 2023, 3 histories bottom

  210.305.  Emergency placements, grandparent or relative placement preferred — definitions — diligent efforts search, when — court filing, contents — notice requirements. — 1.  When an initial emergency placement of a child is deemed necessary, the children's division shall immediately begin a diligent search to locate, contact, and place the child with a grandparent or grandparents or a relative or relatives of the child, subject to subsection 3 of section 210.565 regarding preference of placement, except when the children's division determines that placement with a grandparent or grandparents or a relative or relatives is not in the best interest of the child and subject to the provisions of section 210.482 regarding background checks for emergency placements.  If emergency placement of a child with grandparents or relatives is deemed not to be in the best interest of the child, the children's division shall document in writing the reason for denial and shall have just cause to deny the emergency placement.  The children's division shall continue the search for other relatives until the division locates the relatives of the child for placement or the court excuses further search.  Prior to placement of the child in any emergency placement, the division shall assure that the child's physical needs are met.

  2.  For purposes of this section, the following terms shall mean:

  (1)  "Diligent search", an exhaustive effort to identify and locate the grandparents or relatives whose identity or location is unknown.  "Diligent search" shall include, but is not limited to:

  (a)  Interviews with the child's parent during the course of an investigation, while child protective services are provided, and while such child is in care;

  (b)  Interviews with the child;

  (c)  Interviews with identified grandparents or relatives throughout the case;

  (d)  Interviews with any other person who is likely to have information about the identity or location of the person being sought;

  (e)  Comprehensive searches of databases available to the children's division;

  (f)  Appropriate inquiry during the course of hearings in the case; and

  (g)  Any other reasonable means that are likely to identify grandparents, relatives, or other persons who have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the child;

  (2)  "Emergency placement", those limited instances when the children's division is placing for an initial placement a child in the home of private individuals, including neighbors, friends, or relatives, as a result of a sudden unavailability of the child's primary caretaker.

  3.  A diligent search shall be made to locate, contact, and notify the grandparent or grandparents of the child within three hours from the time the emergency placement is deemed necessary for the child.  During such three-hour time period, the child may be placed in an emergency placement.  If a grandparent or grandparents of the child cannot be located within the three-hour period, the child may be temporarily placed in emergency placement; except that, after the emergency placement is deemed necessary, the children's division shall continue a diligent search to contact, locate, and place the child with a grandparent or grandparents, or other relatives, with first consideration given to a grandparent for placement, subject to subsection 3 of section 210.565 regarding preference of placement.

  4.  A diligent search shall be made to locate, contact, and notify the relative or relatives of the child within thirty days from the time the emergency placement is deemed necessary for the child.  The children's division shall continue the search for the relative or relatives until the division locates the relative or relatives of the child for placement, for six months following the child's out-of-home placement, or the court excuses further search, whichever occurs first.  The department shall resume search efforts if ordered by the court, a change in the child's placement occurs, or a party shows that continuing the search is in the best interests of the child.  The children's division, or an entity under contract with the division, shall use all sources of information, including any known parent or relative, to attempt to locate an appropriate relative as placement.

  5.  The children's division shall file with the court information regarding attempts made under this section within thirty days from the date the child was removed from his or her home, or as otherwise required by the court, and at each periodic review hearing.  Such information shall include:

  (1)  A detailed narrative explaining the division's efforts to find and consider each potential placement and the specific outcome;

  (2)  The names of and relevant information about grandparents and relatives of the child;

  (3)  Steps taken by the division to locate and contact grandparents and relatives of the child;

  (4)  Responses received from grandparents and relatives of the child;

  (5)  Dates of each attempted or completed contact with a grandparent or relative of the child;

  (6)  Reasons why a grandparent or relative of the child was not considered for emergency or permanent placement of the child; and

  (7)  All efforts for placement of the child through an interstate compact agreement under section 210.620, including:

  (a)  The names of grandparents or relatives of the child who were considered for an interstate placement;

  (b)  Any pending placement of the child through an interstate compact agreement; and

  (c)  All potential out-of-state placements outside of an interstate compact agreement and the reasons such placements have not been initiated.

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If an out-of-state placement option exists and the division has failed to file a request with the receiving state under the requirements of an interstate compact agreement under section 210.620, the court shall enter a finding that the division has not made a due diligence search and shall order the division to file a request with the receiving state under the terms of the interstate compact.

  6.  All grandparents or relatives to the child identified in a diligent search required by this section, subject to exceptions due to family or domestic violence or other safety concerns, shall be provided with notice, via certified mail as appropriate, that includes, but is not limited to:

  (1)  A specification that an alleged dependent child has been or is being removed from his or her parental custody;

  (2)  An explanation of the options a grandparent or relative has to participate in the care and placement of the alleged dependent child and any options that may be lost by failing to respond to the notice;

  (3)  A description of the process for becoming a licensed foster family home and the additional services and supports available for children placed in approved foster homes;

  (4)  A description of any financial assistance for which a grandparent or relative may be eligible; and

  (5)  An explanation that any response received after thirty days or willful failure to respond upon receiving a notice may result in the grandparent or relative of the child not being considered for placement.

  7.  If a grandparent or relative entitled to notice under this section fails to respond to the division, responds and declines to be considered as placement for the child, or is otherwise presently prevented from being considered as placement for the child and later petitions the court for a change in placement, such person shall provide evidence that such change is in the child's best interests.

  8.  Nothing in this section shall be construed or interpreted to interfere with or supersede laws related to parental rights or judicial authority.

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(L. 2009 H.B. 154, A.L. 2022 S.B. 683, A.L. 2023 S.B. 186)


---- end of effective  28 Aug 2023 ----

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210.305 8/28/2023
210.305 8/28/2022 8/28/2023
210.305 8/28/2009 8/28/2022

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