110 CMR 6.03 - Permanency Hearing

A Permanency Hearing is a review conducted by a court of competent jurisdiction under M.G.L. c. 119, ยง 29B, of a child or young adult younger than 22 years old in substitute care. The Department shall participate in a permanency hearing to determine a child's or young adult's permanency plan within 12 months of an initial order of commitment, or grant of custody to the Department, and every 12 months thereafter as long as the child or young adult remains in substitute care. If a child or young adult has entered substitute care through a voluntary placement agreement as set forth in 110 CMR 4.10 through 4.14, the permanency hearing will be held within 12 months of the child or young adult entering placement or within 60 days of the Department obtaining court custody, whichever is later. For children who remain in the Department's custody after they are placed home, a permanency hearing will be conducted if at the time the review is scheduled the child has been home for less than six months.

The process utilized for a permanency hearing shall be in accordance with Trial Court Rule VI Uniform Rules for Permanency Hearings. The Department shall file with the court which committed the child to the Department's custody a permanency report prior to the permanency hearing date, and shall send a copy of the report to the attorneys of record, or to a party who is unrepresented. The outcome of the Department's FCR and Permanency Planning Conference is included in the permanency report. If a parent has signed an adoption surrender, or if a parent's parental rights have been terminated by a court of law, the parent or his or her counsel will not be sent a copy of the permanency report.

The Department shall notify the child's current foster/pre-adoptive parent of the date of the permanency hearing. The current foster/pre-adoptive parent has the right to be heard at the permanency hearing.

At the permanency hearing the court shall determine the permanent plan for the child. In making such determination the court shall consult with the child, in an age-appropriate manner, about the proposed permanency plan for the child. Such consultation may be through a report by the Department social worker, the child's attorney or a guardian ad litem whose has discussed with the child the proposed permanent plan. A child 14 years of age or older may attend the permanency hearing review. The Department shall use reasonable efforts to achieve the permanency plan determined by the court. The Department may concurrently use reasonable efforts to achieve an alternative permanent plan if the permanent plan determined by the court is reunification with the family and the permanency plan established through the Department's permanency planning conference is other than reunification.


110 CMR 6.03
Amended by Mass Register Issue 1399, eff. 9/6/2019.

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