§ 1-4-707. Dispositional orders--Determinations
A. The following kinds of dispositional orders may be made and shall be in accordance with the best interests of the child:
1. a. The court may place the child under protective supervision by the Department of Human Services in the home of the child with the parent or legal guardian with whom the child was residing at the time the events or conditions arose that brought the child within the jurisdiction of the court, subject to such conditions as the court may prescribe that would reasonably prevent the child from continuing to be deprived.
b. The court may place the child with the noncustodial parent, if available, upon completion of a home assessment, unless the court finds that the placement would not be in the best interests of the child. Any party with knowledge of the facts may present evidence to the court regarding whether the placement is in the best interests of the child. If the court places the child with the parent, it may do either of the following:
(1) order that the noncustodial parent assume sole custodial responsibilities for the child. The court may also order reasonable visitation and the payment of child support by the child’s other parent. The court may then terminate its jurisdiction by entering a final permanency order. The final order entered determining custody, visitation and child support from the deprived action:
(a) shall remain in full force and effect and shall control over any custody or child support order entered in an administrative or district court action initiated prior to or during the pendency of the deprived action until such time as it is modified by a subsequent order of the district court, and
(b) may be docketed and filed in the prior existing or pending administrative or district court action; provided, however, if there is no administrative or district court action then in existence, the surviving order may be used as the sole basis for opening a new administrative or district court action in the same county where the deprived action was pending or in the county where the legal custodian of the child resides. When applicable, the clerk of the juvenile court shall transmit the surviving order to the clerk of the district court of the county where the order is to be filed along with the names and last-known addresses of the parents of the child. The clerk of the district court shall immediately upon receipt open a file without a filing fee, assign a new case number and, when applicable, file the order and send by first-class mail a copy of the order with the new or prior existing case number back to the juvenile court and to the parents of the child at their last-known address. The order shall not be confidential and may be enforced or modified after being docketed and filed in the prior existing or new administrative or district court action, or
(2) order that the noncustodial parent assume custody of the child under protective supervision by the Department. The court may order that:
(a) reunification services be provided to the parent or legal guardian from whom the child has been or is being removed,
(b) services be provided solely to the parent who is assuming physical custody of the child in order to allow that parent to later obtain legal custody without court supervision, or
(c) services be provided to both parents, in which case the court shall determine, at a subsequent review hearing, which parent, if either, shall have custody of the child.
c. If the court orders the child into the home of a father whose paternity has not been established, the alleged father must cooperate in establishing paternity as a condition for the child’s continued placement in the alleged father’s home.
d. If the court issues an order for protective supervision of the child in the home of a parent, the court may order any of the following:
(1) that a party or other person living in the home vacate the child’s home indefinitely or for a specified period of time within forty-eight (48) hours of issuing the order, and
(2) that a party, a parent, or a legal guardian of the child prevent a particular person from having contact with the child.
e. At any time during the deprived child proceedings, the court may issue an order specifying the conduct to be followed by any person living in the home that the court determines would be in the best interests of the child. The conduct specified shall be such as would reasonably prevent the child from continuing to be deprived.
f. The order placing the child under supervision by the Department in the child’s own home shall remain in effect for a period of one (1) year. In appropriate circumstances, the court may extend or reduce the period of supervision by the Department.
2. a. If the court is unable to place the child in the home of a parent, the court shall give a preference for placing temporary custody of the child with a relative as specified in Section 1-4-204 of this title, subject to the best interests of the child and the conditions and restrictions specified in Section 1-4-705 of this title. In determining whether to place temporary custody of the child with a relative, the court may consider the following factors:
(1) the physical, psychological, educational, medical, and emotional needs of the child,
(2) the wishes of the parent, the relative, and child, if appropriate,
(3) whether placement of the siblings and half-siblings can be made in the same home, if that placement is found to be in the best interest of each child,
(4) the background information of the relative and any other person living in the home, including whether any such person has a prior history of violence, acts of child abuse or neglect, or any other background that would render the home unsuitable,
(5) the nature and duration of the relationship between the child and the relative, and the relative’s desire to care for and to provide long-term permanency for the child if reunification is unsuccessful, and
(6) the ability of the relative to do the following:
(a) provide a safe, secure, and stable environment for the child,
(b) exercise proper and effective care and control of the child,
(c) provide a home and the necessities of life for the child,
(d) protect the child from his or her parents,
(e) facilitate court-ordered reunification efforts with the parent,
(f) facilitate visitation with the child’s siblings and other relatives, and
(g) arrange for appropriate and safe child care, if necessary.
b. If more than one appropriate relative requests preferential consideration pursuant to this section, each relative shall be evaluated under the factors enumerated in this paragraph. However, whenever a new temporary custody order regarding the child must be entered, consideration shall again be given as described in this section to relatives who have been found to be suitable and who will fulfill the permanency needs of the child.
c. If the court does not place temporary custody of the child with a relative pursuant to this subsection, the court shall state for the record the reasons placement with that relative was denied.
3. a. The court may place the child in the custody of a private institution or agency, including any institution established and operated by the county, authorized to care for children or to place them in family homes.
b. In placing a child in a private institution or agency, the court shall select one that is licensed by the Department or any other state department supervising or licensing private institutions and agencies; or, if such institution or agency is in another state, by the analogous department of that state.
c. Whenever the court shall place a child in any institution or agency, it shall transmit with the order of commitment a summary of its information concerning the child, and such institution or agency shall give to the court such information concerning the child as the court may at any time require.
4. The court may place the child in the custody of the Department.
a. In selecting a placement for a child in its custody, the Department shall make an individualized determination based upon the child’s best interests and permanency plan regarding the following placement options:
(1) a home or facility that meets the preferences specified by the state and federal Indian Child Welfare Acts1 when applicable,
(2) the home of a noncustodial parent,
(3) the home of a relative approved by the Department,
(4) the home of a nonrelative kinship family approved by the Department,
(5) an approved foster home in which the child has been previously placed,
(6) a suitable nonkinship foster family or family-style living program approved by the Department,
(7) a suitable licensed group home for children, or
(8) an independent living program.
b. (1) Unless the child is placed with relatives or in accord with the federal and state Indian Child Welfare Acts, the child shall be placed, when possible, in the county of residence of the child’s parent or legal guardian in order to facilitate reunification of the family.
(2) If an appropriate placement is not available in the county of residence of the parent or legal guardian, the child shall be placed in an appropriate home in the nearest proximity to the resident county of the parent or legal guardian.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to mean that the child’s placements shall correspond in frequency to changes of residence by the parent or legal guardian. In determining whether the child should be moved, the Department shall take into consideration the potential harmful effects of disrupting the placement of the child and the reason of the parent or legal guardian for the move.
c. If the child is part of a sibling group, it shall be presumed that placement of the entire sibling group in the same placement is in the best interests of the child and siblings unless the presumption is rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence to the contrary.
5. The court may order the Department to coordinate the provision of services provided by other agencies in order that the court-approved permanency plan may be achieved.
6. a. If the court determines that reunification services are appropriate for the child and a parent, the court shall allow reasonable visitation with the parent or legal guardian from whose custody the child was removed, unless visitation is not in the best interest of the child, taking into consideration:
(1) protection of the physical safety of the child,
(2) protection of the life of the child,
(3) protection of the child from being traumatized by contact with the parent, and
(4) the child’s expressed wishes.
b. A court may not deny visitation based solely on the failure of a parent to prove that the parent has not used legal or illegal substances or complied with an aspect of the court-ordered individualized service plan.
7. The court may order a permanent guardianship to be established as more fully set forth in Section 1-4-709 of this title.
8. Except as otherwise provided by law, the court may dismiss the petition and terminate its jurisdiction at any time for good cause shown when doing so is in the best interests of the child.
B. Any order entered pursuant to this section shall include:
1. A statement informing the child’s parent that the consequences of noncompliance with the requirement of the court may include termination of the parent’s rights with respect to the child; or
2. A statement informing the child’s legal guardian or custodian that the consequences of noncompliance with the requirement of the court may include removal of the child from the custody of the legal guardian or custodian.
C. 1. In any dispositional order removing a child from the home of the child, the court shall make a determination as to whether, in accordance with the best interests and the health, safety, or welfare of the child, reasonable efforts have been made to provide for the safe return of the child to the child’s own home.
2. If reasonable efforts are required for the safe return of the child to the child’s home, the court shall allow the parent of the child not less than three (3) months to correct the conditions which led to the adjudication of the child as a deprived child; however, the time period for reunification services may not exceed seventeen (17) months from the date that the child was initially removed from the child’s home, absent a finding of compelling reasons to the contrary.
3. If the court finds that continuation of reasonable efforts to return the child home are inconsistent with the permanency plan for a child, the court shall determine whether reasonable efforts have been made to complete the steps necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child.
4. Reasonable efforts to reunite the child with the child’s family shall not be required pursuant to the provisions of Section 1-4-809 of this title.
D. In any dispositional order involving a child sixteen (16) years of age or older, the court shall make a determination, where appropriate, of the services needed to assist the child to make the transition from out-of-home care to independent living.
E. In accordance with the safety or well-being of any child, the court shall determine in any dispositional order whether reasonable efforts have been made to:
1. Place siblings, who have been removed, together in the same foster care, guardianship, or adoptive placement; and
2. Provide for frequent visitation or other ongoing interaction in the case of siblings who have been removed and who are not placed together.