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H.B. 63 Enrolled
7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill: amends education requirements in order to comply with the requirements of
10 the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008;
11 amends the Child Welfare Services part of the Utah Human Services Code; and
12 amends the Juvenile Court Act of 1996. This bill also repeals provisions relating to
13 Foster Care Citizen Review Boards.
14 Highlighted Provisions:
15 This bill:
16 . amends education requirements related to enrollment and attendance in order to
17 comply with the requirements of the federal Fostering Connections to Success and
18 Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008;
19 . makes the disciplinary team approach to developing a child and family plan
21 . deletes obsolete provisions relating to records of juvenile court proceedings;
22 . deletes all provisions and references relating to Foster Care Citizen Review Boards;
23 . reassigns certain statutory provisions and responsibilities of Foster Care Citizen
24 Review Boards to the Division of Child and Family Services;
25 . requires a court to attempt to keep sibling groups of minors in state custody
26 together, if keeping the sibling group together is practicable and in accordance with
27 the best interest of the minors;
28 . amends provisions relating to the conduct of periodic review hearings for a minor
29 in state custody;
30 . provides that the intentional, knowing, or reckless killing by a child's parent of the
31 child's other parent, without legal justification, constitutes primae facie evidence of
32 parental unfitness; and
33 . makes technical changes.
34 Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
36 Other Special Clauses:
38 Utah Code Sections Affected:
40 53A-2-207, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 346
41 53A-11-101.5, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2007, Chapter 81
42 62A-4a-205, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
43 63I-1-278, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapters 3, 148 and renumbered
44 and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 382
45 78A-6-115, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
46 78A-6-312, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
47 78A-6-314, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
48 78A-6-315, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
49 78A-6-317, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 87 and renumbered and
50 amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
51 78A-6-508, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 137 and renumbered and
52 amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
53 78A-6-902, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
55 78B-8-101, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
56 78B-8-102, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
57 78B-8-103, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
58 78B-8-104, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
59 78B-8-105, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
60 78B-8-106, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
61 78B-8-107, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
62 78B-8-108, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
63 78B-8-109, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
64 78B-8-110, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
66 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
67 Section 1. Section 53A-2-207 is amended to read:
68 53A-2-207. Open enrollment options -- Procedures -- Processing fee --
69 Continuing enrollment.
70 (1) Each local school board is responsible for providing educational services
71 consistent with Utah state law and rules of the State Board of Education for each student who
72 resides in the district and, as provided in this section through Section 53A-2-213 and to the
73 extent reasonably feasible, for any student who resides in another district in the state and
74 desires to attend a school in the district.
75 (2) (a) A school is open for enrollment of nonresident students if the enrollment level
76 is at or below the open enrollment threshold.
77 (b) If a school's enrollment falls below the open enrollment threshold, the local school
78 board shall allow a nonresident student to enroll in the school.
79 (3) A local school board may allow enrollment of nonresident students in a school that
80 is operating above the open enrollment threshold.
81 (4) (a) A local school board shall adopt policies describing procedures for nonresident
82 students to follow in applying for entry into the district's schools.
83 (b) Those procedures shall provide, as a minimum, for:
84 (i) distribution to interested parties of information about the school or school district
85 and how to apply for admission;
86 (ii) use of standard application forms prescribed by the State Board of Education;
87 (iii) submission of applications from December 1 through the third Friday in February
88 by those seeking admission during the early enrollment period for the following year;
89 (iv) submission of applications by those seeking admission during the late enrollment
91 (v) written notification to the student's parent or legal guardian of acceptance or
92 rejection of an application:
93 (A) within six weeks after receipt of the application by the district or by March 31,
94 whichever is later, for applications submitted during the early enrollment period;
95 (B) within two weeks after receipt of the application by the district or by the Friday
96 before the new school year begins, whichever is later, for applications submitted during the
97 late enrollment period for admission in the next school year; and
98 (C) within two weeks after receipt of the application by the district, for applications
99 submitted during the late enrollment period for admission in the current year; and
100 (vi) written notification to the resident school for intradistrict transfers or the resident
101 district for interdistrict transfers upon acceptance of a nonresident student for enrollment.
102 (c) (i) Notwithstanding the dates established in Subsection (4)(b) for submitting
103 applications and notifying parents of acceptance or rejection of an application, a local school
104 board may delay the dates if a local school board is not able to make a reasonably accurate
105 projection of the early enrollment school capacity or late enrollment school capacity of a
106 school due to:
107 (A) school construction or remodeling;
108 (B) drawing or revision of school boundaries; or
109 (C) other circumstances beyond the control of the local school board.
110 (ii) The delay may extend no later than four weeks beyond the date the local school
111 board is able to make a reasonably accurate projection of the early enrollment school capacity
112 or late enrollment school capacity of a school.
113 (5) A school district may charge a one-time $5 processing fee, to be paid at the time of
115 (6) An enrolled nonresident student shall be permitted to remain enrolled in a school,
116 subject to the same rules and standards as resident students, without renewed applications in
117 subsequent years unless one of the following occurs:
118 (a) the student graduates;
119 (b) the student is no longer a Utah resident;
120 (c) the student is suspended or expelled from school; or
121 (d) the district determines that enrollment within the school will exceed the school's
122 open enrollment threshold.
123 (7) (a) Determination of which nonresident students will be excluded from continued
124 enrollment in a school during a subsequent year under Subsection (6)(d) is based upon time in
125 the school, with those most recently enrolled being excluded first and the use of a lottery
126 system when multiple nonresident students have the same number of school days in the
128 (b) Nonresident students who will not be permitted to continue their enrollment shall
129 be notified no later than March 15 of the current school year.
130 (8) The parent or guardian of a student enrolled in a school that is not the student's
131 school of residence may withdraw the student from that school for enrollment in another
132 public school by submitting notice of intent to enroll the student in:
133 (a) the district of residence; or
134 (b) another nonresident district.
135 (9) Unless provisions have previously been made for enrollment in another school, a
136 nonresident district releasing a student from enrollment shall immediately notify the district of
137 residence, which shall enroll the student in the resident district and take such additional steps
138 as may be necessary to ensure compliance with laws governing school attendance.
139 (10) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (10)(c), a student who transfers between
140 schools, whether effective on the first day of the school year or after the school year has begun,
141 by exercising an open enrollment option under this section may not transfer to a different
142 school during the same school year by exercising an open enrollment option under this section.
143 (b) The restriction on transfers specified in Subsection (10)(a) does not apply to a
144 student transfer made for health or safety reasons.
145 (c) A local school board may adopt a policy allowing a student to exercise an open
146 enrollment option more than once in a school year.
147 (11) Notwithstanding Subsections (2) and (6)(d), a student who is enrolled in a school
148 that is not the student's school of residence, because school bus service is not provided
149 between the student's neighborhood and school of residence for safety reasons:
150 (a) shall be allowed to continue to attend the school until the student finishes the
151 highest grade level offered; and
152 (b) shall be allowed to attend the middle school, junior high school, or high school
153 into which the school's students feed until the student graduates from high school.
154 (12) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, a student shall be allowed to
155 enroll in any charter school or other public school in any district, including a district where the
156 student does not reside, if the enrollment is necessary, as determined by the Division of Child
157 and Family Services, to comply with the provisions of 42 U.S.C. Section 675.
158 Section 2. Section 53A-11-101.5 is amended to read:
159 53A-11-101.5. Compulsory education.
160 (1) For purposes of this section:
161 (a) "Intentionally" is as defined in Section 76-2-103 [
162 (b) "Recklessly" is as defined in Section 76-2-103 [
163 (c) "Remainder of the school year" means the portion of the school year beginning on
164 the day after the day on which the notice of compulsory education violation described in
165 Subsection (3) is served and ending on the last day of the school year[
166 (d) "School-age child" means a school-age minor under the age of 14.
167 (2) Except as provided in Section 53A-11-102 or 53A-11-102.5 , the parent of a
168 school-age minor shall enroll and send the school-age minor to a public or regularly
169 established private school [
171 (3) A school administrator, a designee of a school administrator, or a truancy specialist
172 may issue a notice of compulsory education violation to a parent of a school-age child if the
173 school-age child is absent without a valid excuse at least five times during the school year.
174 (4) The notice of compulsory education violation, described in Subsection (3):
175 (a) shall direct the parent of the school-age child to:
176 (i) meet with school authorities to discuss the school-age child's school attendance
177 problems; and
178 (ii) cooperate with the school board, local charter board, or school district in securing
179 regular attendance by the school-age child;
180 (b) shall designate the school authorities with whom the parent is required to meet;
181 (c) shall state that it is a class B misdemeanor for the parent of the school-age child to
182 intentionally or recklessly:
183 (i) fail to meet with the designated school authorities to discuss the school-age child's
184 school attendance problems; or
185 (ii) fail to prevent the school-age child from being absent without a valid excuse five
186 or more times during the remainder of the school year;
187 (d) shall be served on the school-age child's parent by personal service or certified
188 mail; and
189 (e) may not be issued unless the school-age child has been truant at least five times
190 during the school year.
191 (5) It is a class B misdemeanor for a parent of a school-age minor to intentionally or
192 recklessly fail to enroll the school-age minor in school, unless the school-age minor is exempt
193 from enrollment under Section 53A-11-102 or 53A-11-102.5 .
194 (6) It is a class B misdemeanor for a parent of a school-age child to, after being served
195 with a notice of compulsory education violation in accordance with Subsections (3) and (4),
196 intentionally or recklessly:
197 (a) fail to meet with the school authorities designated in the notice of compulsory
198 education violation to discuss the school-age child's school attendance problems; or
199 (b) fail to prevent the school-age child from being absent without a valid excuse five
200 or more times during the remainder of the school year.
201 (7) A local school board, local charter board, or school district shall report violations
202 of this section to the appropriate county or district attorney.
203 (8) The juvenile court has jurisdiction over an action filed under this section.
204 Section 3. Section 62A-4a-205 is amended to read:
205 62A-4a-205. Child and family plan -- Parent-time.
206 (1) No more than 45 days after a child enters the temporary custody of the division,
207 the child's child and family plan shall be finalized.
208 (2) (a) The division [
209 each child and family plan.
210 (b) The interdisciplinary team described in Subsection (2)(a) [
212 (i) mental health;
213 (ii) education; and
214 (iii) if appropriate, law enforcement.
215 (3) (a) The division shall involve all of the following in the development of a child's
216 child and family plan:
217 (i) both of the child's natural parents, unless the whereabouts of a parent are unknown;
218 (ii) the child;
219 (iii) the child's foster parents; and
220 (iv) if appropriate, the child's stepparent.
221 (b) In relation to all information considered by the division in developing a child and
222 family plan, additional weight and attention shall be given to the input of the child's natural
223 and foster parents upon their involvement pursuant to Subsections (3)(a)(i) and (iii).
224 (c) (i) The division shall make a substantial effort to develop a child and family plan
225 with which the child's parents agree.
226 (ii) If a parent does not agree with a child and family plan:
227 (A) the division shall strive to resolve the disagreement between the division and the
228 parent; and
229 (B) if the disagreement is not resolved, the division shall inform the court of the
231 (4) A copy of the child and family plan shall, immediately upon completion, or as
232 soon as reasonably possible thereafter, be provided to the:
233 (a) guardian ad litem;
234 (b) child's natural parents; and
235 (c) child's foster parents.
236 (5) Each child and family plan shall:
237 (a) specifically provide for the safety of the child, in accordance with federal law; and
238 (b) clearly define what actions or precautions will, or may be, necessary to provide for
239 the health, safety, protection, and welfare of the child.
240 (6) The child and family plan shall set forth, with specificity, at least the following:
241 (a) the reason the child entered into the custody of the division;
242 (b) documentation of the:
243 (i) reasonable efforts made to prevent placement of the child in the custody of the
244 division; or
245 (ii) emergency situation that existed and that prevented the reasonable efforts
246 described in Subsection (6)(b)(i), from being made;
247 (c) the primary permanency goal for the child and the reason for selection of that goal;
248 (d) the concurrent permanency goal for the child and the reason for the selection of
249 that goal;
250 (e) if the plan is for the child to return to the child's family:
251 (i) specifically what the parents must do in order to enable the child to be returned
253 (ii) specifically how the requirements described in Subsection (6)(e)(i) may be
254 accomplished; and
255 (iii) how the requirements described in Subsection (6)(e)(i) will be measured;
256 (f) the specific services needed to reduce the problems that necessitated placing the
257 child in the division's custody;
258 (g) the name of the person who will provide for and be responsible for case
260 (h) subject to Subsection (10), a parent-time schedule between the natural parent and
261 the child;
262 (i) subject to Subsection (7), the health and mental health care to be provided to
263 address any known or diagnosed mental health needs of the child;
264 (j) if residential treatment rather than a foster home is the proposed placement, a
265 requirement for a specialized assessment of the child's health needs including an assessment of
266 mental illness and behavior and conduct disorders; and
267 (k) social summaries that include case history information pertinent to case planning.
268 (7) (a) Subject to Subsection (7)(b), in addition to the information required under
269 Subsection (6)(i), the plan shall include a specialized assessment of the medical and mental
270 health needs of a child, if the child:
271 (i) is placed in residential treatment; and
272 (ii) has medical or mental health issues that need to be addressed.
273 (b) Notwithstanding Subsection (7)(a), a parent shall retain the right to seek a separate
274 medical or mental health diagnosis of the parent's child from a licensed practitioner of the
275 parent's choice.
276 (8) (a) Each child and family plan shall be specific to each child and the child's
277 family, rather than general.
278 (b) The division shall train its workers to develop child and family plans that comply
280 (i) federal mandates; and
281 (ii) the specific needs of the particular child and the child's family.
282 (c) All child and family plans and expectations shall be individualized and contain
283 specific time frames.
284 (d) Subject to Subsection (8)(h), child and family plans shall address problems that:
285 (i) keep a child in placement; and
286 (ii) keep a child from achieving permanence in the child's life.
287 (e) Each child and family plan shall be designed to minimize disruption to the normal
288 activities of the child's family, including employment and school.
289 (f) In particular, the time, place, and amount of services, hearings, and other
290 requirements ordered by the court in the child and family plan shall be designed, as much as
291 practicable, to help the child's parents maintain or obtain employment.
292 (g) The child's natural parents, foster parents, and where appropriate, stepparents, shall
293 be kept informed of and supported to participate in important meetings and procedures related
294 to the child's placement.
295 (h) For purposes of Subsection (8)(d), a child and family plan may only include
296 requirements that:
297 (i) address findings made by the court; or
298 (ii) (A) are requested or consented to by a parent or guardian of the child; and
299 (B) are agreed to by the division and the guardian ad litem.
300 (9) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (9)(b), with regard to a child who is three
301 years of age or younger, if the goal is not to return the child home, the permanency plan for
302 that child shall be adoption.
303 (b) Notwithstanding Subsection (9)(a), if the division documents to the court that
304 there is a compelling reason that adoption, reunification, guardianship, and a placement
305 described in Subsection 78A-6-306 (6)(e) are not in the child's best interest, the court may
306 order another planned permanent living arrangement in accordance with federal law.
307 (10) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (10)(b), parent-time may only be denied by
308 a court order issued pursuant to Subsections 78A-6-312 (2)(a)(ii) and (b).
309 (b) Notwithstanding Subsection (10)(a), the person designated by the division or a
310 court to supervise a parent-time session may deny parent-time for that session if the
311 supervising person determines that, based on the parent's condition, it is necessary to deny
312 parent-time in order to:
313 (i) protect the physical safety of the child;
314 (ii) protect the life of the child; or
315 (iii) consistent with Subsection (10)(c), prevent the child from being traumatized by
316 contact with the parent.
317 (c) In determining whether the condition of the parent described in Subsection (10)(b)
318 will traumatize a child, the person supervising the parent-time session shall consider the
319 impact that the parent's condition will have on the child in light of:
320 (i) the child's fear of the parent; and
321 (ii) the nature of the alleged abuse or neglect.
322 Section 4. Section 63I-1-278 is amended to read:
323 63I-1-278. Repeal dates, Title 78A and Title 78B.
324 (1) The Office of the Court Administrator, created in Section 78A-2-105 , is repealed
325 July 1, 2018.
329 repealed July 1, 2016.
331 repealed July 1, 2009.
333 repealed July 1, 2009.
334 Section 5. Section 78A-6-115 is amended to read:
335 78A-6-115. Hearings -- Record -- County attorney or district attorney
336 responsibilities -- Attorney general responsibilities -- Disclosure -- Admissibility of
338 (1) (a) A verbatim record of the proceedings shall be taken by an official court reporter
339 or by means of a mechanical recording device in all cases that might result in deprivation of
340 custody as defined in this chapter. In all other cases a verbatim record shall also be made
341 unless dispensed with by the court.
342 (b) (i) Notwithstanding any other provision, including Title 63G, Chapter 2,
343 Government Records Access and Management Act, a record of a proceeding made under
344 Subsection (1)(a) shall be released by the court to any person upon a finding on the record for
345 good cause.
346 (ii) Following a petition for a record of a proceeding made under Subsection (1)(a), the
347 court shall:
348 (A) provide notice to all subjects of the record that a request for release of the record
349 has been made; and
350 (B) allow sufficient time for the subjects of the record to respond before making a
351 finding on the petition.
352 (iii) A record of a proceeding may not be released under this Subsection (1)(b) if the
353 court's jurisdiction over the subjects of the proceeding ended more than 12 months prior to the
355 (iv) For purposes of this Subsection (1)(b):
356 (A) "record of a proceeding" does not include documentary materials of any type
357 submitted to the court as part of the proceeding, including items submitted under Subsection
358 (4)(a); and
359 (B) "subjects of the record" includes the child's guardian ad litem, the child's legal
360 guardian, the Division of Child and Family Services, and any other party to the proceeding.
365 (2) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (2)(b), the county attorney or, if within a
366 prosecution district, the district attorney shall represent the state in any proceeding in a minor's
368 (b) The attorney general shall enforce all provisions of Title 62A, Chapter 4a, Child
369 and Family Services, and this chapter, relating to:
370 (i) protection or custody of an abused, neglected, or dependent child; and
371 (ii) petitions for termination of parental rights.
372 (c) The attorney general shall represent the Division of Child and Family Services in
373 actions involving a minor who is not adjudicated as abused or neglected, but who is otherwise
374 committed to the custody of that division by the juvenile court, and who is classified in the
375 division's management information system as having been placed in custody primarily on the
376 basis of delinquent behavior or a status offense. Nothing in this Subsection (2)(c) may be
377 construed to affect the responsibility of the county attorney or district attorney to represent the
378 state in those matters, in accordance with the provisions of Subsection (2)(a).
379 (3) The board may adopt special rules of procedure to govern proceedings involving
380 violations of traffic laws or ordinances, wildlife laws, and boating laws. However,
381 proceedings involving offenses under Section 78A-6-606 are governed by that section
382 regarding suspension of driving privileges.
383 (4) (a) For the purposes of determining proper disposition of the minor in dispositional
384 hearings and establishing the fact of abuse, neglect, or dependency in adjudication hearings
385 and in hearings upon petitions for termination of parental rights, written reports and other
386 material relating to the minor's mental, physical, and social history and condition may be
387 received in evidence and may be considered by the court along with other evidence. The court
388 may require that the person who wrote the report or prepared the material appear as a witness
389 if the person is reasonably available.
390 (b) For the purpose of determining proper disposition of a minor alleged to be or
391 adjudicated as abused, neglected, or dependent, dispositional reports prepared by [
393 may be received in evidence and may be considered by the court along with other evidence.
394 The court may require any person who participated in preparing the dispositional report to
395 appear as a witness, if the person is reasonably available.
396 (5) (a) In an abuse, neglect, or dependency proceeding occurring after the
397 commencement of a shelter hearing under Section 78A-6-306 or the filing of a petition under
398 Section 78A-6-304 , each party to the proceeding shall provide in writing to the other parties or
399 their counsel any information which the party:
400 (i) plans to report to the court at the proceeding; or
401 (ii) could reasonably expect would be requested of the party by the court at the
403 (b) The disclosure required under Subsection (5)(a) shall be made:
404 (i) for dispositional hearings under Sections 78A-6-311 and 78A-6-312 , no less than
405 five days before the proceeding;
406 (ii) for proceedings under Title 78A, Chapter 6, Part 5, Termination of Parental Rights
407 Act, in accordance with Utah Rules of Civil Procedure; and
408 (iii) for all other proceedings, no less than five days before the proceeding.
409 (c) If a party to a proceeding obtains information after the deadline in Subsection
410 (5)(b), the information is exempt from the disclosure required under Subsection (5)(a) if the
411 party certifies to the court that the information was obtained after the deadline.
412 (d) Subsection (5)(a) does not apply to:
413 (i) pretrial hearings; and
414 (ii) the frequent, periodic review hearings held in a dependency drug court case to
415 assess and promote the parent's progress in substance abuse treatment.
416 (6) For the purpose of establishing the fact of abuse, neglect, or dependency, the court
417 may, in its discretion, consider evidence of statements made by a child under eight years of
418 age to a person in a trust relationship.
419 Section 6. Section 78A-6-312 is amended to read:
420 78A-6-312. Dispositional hearing -- Reunification services -- Exceptions.
421 (1) The court may:
422 (a) make any of the dispositions described in Section 78A-6-117 ;
423 (b) place the minor in the custody or guardianship of any:
424 (i) individual; or
425 (ii) public or private entity or agency; or
426 (c) order:
427 (i) protective supervision;
428 (ii) family preservation;
429 (iii) subject to Subsection 78A-6-117 (2)(n)(iii), medical or mental health treatment; or
430 (iv) other services.
431 (2) (a) (i) Whenever the court orders continued removal at the dispositional hearing,
432 and that the minor remain in the custody of the division, the court shall first:
433 (A) establish a primary permanency goal for the minor; and
434 (B) determine whether, in view of the primary permanency goal, reunification services
435 are appropriate for the minor and the minor's family, pursuant to Subsection (3).
436 (ii) Subject to Subsection (2)(b), if the court determines that reunification services are
437 appropriate for the minor and the minor's family, the court shall provide for reasonable
438 parent-time with the parent or parents from whose custody the minor was removed, unless
439 parent-time is not in the best interest of the minor.
440 (iii) (A) In cases where obvious sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, abandonment,
441 severe abuse, or severe neglect are involved, neither the division nor the court has any duty to
442 make "reasonable efforts" or to, in any other way, attempt to provide reunification services, or
443 to attempt to rehabilitate the offending parent or parents.
444 (B) In all cases, the minor's health, safety, and welfare shall be the court's paramount
445 concern in determining whether reasonable efforts to reunify should be made.
446 (b) (i) For purposes of Subsection (2)(a)(ii), parent-time is in the best interests of a
447 minor unless the court makes a finding that it is necessary to deny parent-time in order to:
448 (A) protect the physical safety of the minor;
449 (B) protect the life of the minor; or
450 (C) prevent the minor from being traumatized by contact with the parent due to the
451 minor's fear of the parent in light of the nature of the alleged abuse or neglect.
452 (ii) Notwithstanding Subsection (2)(a)(ii), a court may not deny parent-time based
453 solely on a parent's failure to:
454 (A) prove that the parent has not used legal or illegal substances; or
455 (B) comply with an aspect of the child and family plan that is ordered by the court.
456 (c) (i) In addition to the primary permanency goal, the court shall establish a
457 concurrent permanency goal that shall include:
458 (A) a representative list of the conditions under which the primary permanency goal
459 will be abandoned in favor of the concurrent permanency goal; and
460 (B) an explanation of the effect of abandoning or modifying the primary permanency
462 (ii) A permanency hearing shall be conducted in accordance with Subsection
463 78A-6-314 (1)(b) within 30 days if something other than reunification is initially established as
464 a minor's primary permanency goal.
465 (iii) (A) The court may amend a minor's primary permanency goal before the
466 establishment of a final permanency plan under Section 78A-6-314 .
467 (B) The court is not limited to the terms of the concurrent permanency goal in the
468 event that the primary permanency goal is abandoned.
469 (C) If, at any time, the court determines that reunification is no longer a minor's
470 primary permanency goal, the court shall conduct a permanency hearing in accordance with
471 Section 78A-6-314 on or before the earlier of:
472 (I) 30 days from the day on which the court makes the determination described in this
473 Subsection (2)(c)(iii)(C); or
474 (II) 12 months from the day on which the minor was first removed from the minor's
476 (d) (i) (A) If the court determines that reunification services are appropriate, it shall
477 order that the division make reasonable efforts to provide services to the minor and the minor's
478 parent for the purpose of facilitating reunification of the family, for a specified period of time.
479 (B) In providing the services described in Subsection (2)(d)(i)(A), the minor's health,
480 safety, and welfare shall be the division's paramount concern, and the court shall so order.
481 (ii) The court shall:
482 (A) determine whether the services offered or provided by the division under the child
483 and family plan constitute "reasonable efforts" on the part of the division;
484 (B) determine and define the responsibilities of the parent under the child and family
485 plan in accordance with Subsection 62A-4a-205 (6)(e); and
486 (C) identify on the record the responsibilities described in Subsection (2)(d)(ii)(B), for
487 the purpose of assisting in any future determination regarding the provision of reasonable
488 efforts, in accordance with state and federal law.
489 (iii) (A) The time period for reunification services may not exceed 12 months from the
490 date that the minor was initially removed from the minor's home.
491 (B) Nothing in this section may be construed to entitle any parent to an entire 12
492 months of reunification services.
493 (iv) If reunification services are ordered, the court may terminate those services at any
495 (v) If, at any time, continuation of reasonable efforts to reunify a minor is determined
496 to be inconsistent with the final permanency plan for the minor established pursuant to Section
497 78A-6-314 , then measures shall be taken, in a timely manner, to:
498 (A) place the minor in accordance with the permanency plan; and
499 (B) complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the
501 (e) Any physical custody of the minor by the parent or a relative during the period
502 described in Subsection (2)(d) does not interrupt the running of the period.
503 (f) (i) If reunification services are ordered, a permanency hearing shall be conducted
504 by the court in accordance with Section 78A-6-314 at the expiration of the time period for
505 reunification services.
506 (ii) The permanency hearing shall be held no later than 12 months after the original
507 removal of the minor.
508 (iii) If reunification services are not ordered, a permanency hearing shall be conducted
509 within 30 days, in accordance with Section 78A-6-314 .
510 (g) With regard to a minor who is 36 months of age or younger at the time the minor is
511 initially removed from the home, the court shall:
512 (i) hold a permanency hearing eight months after the date of the initial removal,
513 pursuant to Section 78A-6-314 ; and
514 (ii) order the discontinuance of those services after eight months from the initial
515 removal of the minor from the home if the parent or parents have not made substantial efforts
516 to comply with the child and family plan.
517 (h) With regard to a minor in the custody of the division whose parent or parents are
518 ordered to receive reunification services but who have abandoned that minor for a period of
519 six months from the date that reunification services were ordered:
520 (i) the court shall terminate reunification services; and
521 (ii) the division shall petition the court for termination of parental rights.
522 (i) When a court conducts a permanency hearing for a minor under Section
523 78A-6-314 , the court shall attempt to keep the minor's sibling group together if keeping the
524 sibling group together is:
525 (i) practicable; and
526 (ii) in accordance with the best interest of the minor.
527 (3) (a) Because of the state's interest in and responsibility to protect and provide
528 permanency for minors who are abused, neglected, or dependent, the Legislature finds that a
529 parent's interest in receiving reunification services is limited.
530 (b) The court may determine that:
531 (i) efforts to reunify a minor with the minor's family are not reasonable or appropriate,
532 based on the individual circumstances; and
533 (ii) reunification services should not be provided.
534 (c) In determining "reasonable efforts" to be made with respect to a minor, and in
535 making "reasonable efforts," the minor's health, safety, and welfare shall be the paramount
537 (d) (i) There is a presumption that reunification services should not be provided to a
538 parent if the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that any of the following
539 circumstances exist:
540 (A) the whereabouts of the parents are unknown, based upon a verified affidavit
541 indicating that a reasonably diligent search has failed to locate the parent;
542 (B) subject to Subsection (3)(d)(ii), the parent is suffering from a mental illness of
543 such magnitude that it renders the parent incapable of utilizing reunification services;
544 (C) the minor was previously adjudicated as an abused child due to physical abuse,
545 sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation, and following the adjudication the minor:
546 (I) was removed from the custody of the minor's parent;
547 (II) was subsequently returned to the custody of the parent; and
548 (III) is being removed due to additional physical abuse, sexual abuse, or sexual
550 (D) the parent:
551 (I) caused the death of another minor through abuse or neglect; or
552 (II) committed, aided, abetted, attempted, conspired, or solicited to commit:
553 (Aa) murder or manslaughter of a child; or
554 (Bb) child abuse homicide;
555 (E) the minor suffered severe abuse by the parent or by any person known by the
556 parent, if the parent knew or reasonably should have known that the person was abusing the
558 (F) the minor is adjudicated an abused child as a result of severe abuse by the parent,
559 and the court finds that it would not benefit the minor to pursue reunification services with the
560 offending parent;
561 (G) the parent's rights are terminated with regard to any other minor;
562 (H) the minor is removed from the minor's home on at least two previous occasions
563 and reunification services were offered or provided to the family at those times;
564 (I) the parent has abandoned the minor for a period of six months or longer;
565 (J) the parent permitted the child to reside, on a permanent or temporary basis, at a
566 location where the parent knew or should have known that a clandestine laboratory operation
567 was located; or
568 (K) any other circumstance that the court determines should preclude reunification
569 efforts or services.
570 (ii) The finding under Subsection (3)(d)(i)(B) shall be based on competent evidence
571 from at least two medical or mental health professionals, who are not associates, establishing
572 that, even with the provision of services, the parent is not likely to be capable of adequately
573 caring for the minor within 12 months from the day on which the court finding is made.
574 (4) In determining whether reunification services are appropriate, the court shall take
575 into consideration:
576 (a) failure of the parent to respond to previous services or comply with a previous
577 child and family plan;
578 (b) the fact that the minor was abused while the parent was under the influence of
579 drugs or alcohol;
580 (c) any history of violent behavior directed at the child or an immediate family
582 (d) whether a parent continues to live with an individual who abused the minor;
583 (e) any patterns of the parent's behavior that have exposed the minor to repeated
585 (f) testimony by a competent professional that the parent's behavior is unlikely to be
586 successful; and
587 (g) whether the parent has expressed an interest in reunification with the minor.
588 (5) (a) If reunification services are not ordered pursuant to Subsection (3)(a), and the
589 whereabouts of a parent become known within six months of the out-of-home placement of the
590 minor, the court may order the division to provide reunification services.
591 (b) The time limits described in Subsection (2) are not tolled by the parent's absence.
592 (6) (a) If a parent is incarcerated or institutionalized, the court shall order reasonable
593 services unless it determines that those services would be detrimental to the minor.
594 (b) In making the determination described in Subsection (6)(a), the court shall
596 (i) the age of the minor;
597 (ii) the degree of parent-child bonding;
598 (iii) the length of the sentence;
599 (iv) the nature of the treatment;
600 (v) the nature of the crime or illness;
601 (vi) the degree of detriment to the minor if services are not offered;
602 (vii) for a minor ten years of age or older, the minor's attitude toward the
603 implementation of family reunification services; and
604 (viii) any other appropriate factors.
605 (c) Reunification services for an incarcerated parent are subject to the 12-month
606 limitation imposed in Subsection (2).
607 (d) Reunification services for an institutionalized parent are subject to the 12-month
608 limitation imposed in Subsection (2), unless the court determines that continued reunification
609 services would be in the minor's best interest.
610 (7) If, pursuant to Subsections (3)(d)(i)(B) through (K), the court does not order
611 reunification services, a permanency hearing shall be conducted within 30 days, in accordance
612 with Section 78A-6-314 .
613 Section 7. Section 78A-6-314 is amended to read:
614 78A-6-314. Permanency hearing -- Final plan -- Petition for termination of
615 parental rights filed -- Hearing on termination of parental rights.
616 (1) (a) When reunification services have been ordered in accordance with Section
617 78A-6-312 , with regard to a minor who is in the custody of the Division of Child and Family
618 Services, a permanency hearing shall be held by the court no later than 12 months after the
619 original removal of the minor.
620 (b) If reunification services were not ordered at the dispositional hearing, a
621 permanency hearing shall be held within 30 days from the date of the dispositional hearing.
622 (2) (a) If reunification services were ordered by the court in accordance with Section
623 78A-6-312 , the court shall, at the permanency hearing, determine, consistent with Subsection
624 (3), whether the minor may safely be returned to the custody of the minor's parent.
625 (b) If the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that return of the minor
626 would create a substantial risk of detriment to the minor's physical or emotional well-being,
627 the minor may not be returned to the custody of the minor's parent.
628 (c) Prima facie evidence that return of the minor to a parent or guardian would create a
629 substantial risk of detriment to the minor is established if the parent or guardian fails to:
630 (i) participate in a court approved child and family plan;
631 (ii) comply with a court approved child and family plan in whole or in part; or
632 (iii) meet the goals of a court approved child and family plan.
633 (3) In making a determination under Subsection (2)(a), the court shall review and
635 (a) the report prepared by the Division of Child and Family Services;
636 (b) any admissible evidence offered by the minor's guardian ad litem;
637 (c) any report [
639 (d) any evidence regarding the efforts or progress demonstrated by the parent; and
640 (e) the extent to which the parent cooperated and availed himself of the services
642 (4) (a) With regard to a case where reunification services were ordered by the court, if
643 a minor is not returned to the minor's parent or guardian at the permanency hearing, the court
645 (i) order termination of reunification services to the parent;
646 (ii) make a final determination regarding whether termination of parental rights,
647 adoption, or permanent custody and guardianship is the most appropriate final plan for the
648 minor, taking into account the minor's primary permanency goal established by the court
649 pursuant to Section 78A-6-312 ; and
650 (iii) establish a concurrent plan that identifies the second most appropriate final plan
651 for the minor.
652 (b) If the Division of Child and Family Services documents to the court that there is a
653 compelling reason that adoption, reunification, guardianship, and a placement described in
654 Subsection 78A-6-306 (6)(e) are not in the minor's best interest, the court may order another
655 planned permanent living arrangement, in accordance with federal law.
656 (c) If the minor clearly desires contact with the parent, the court shall take the minor's
657 desire into consideration in determining the final plan.
658 (d) Consistent with Subsection (4)(e), the court may not extend reunification services
659 beyond 12 months from the date the minor was initially removed from the minor's home, in
660 accordance with the provisions of Section 78A-6-312 , except that the court may extend
661 reunification services for no more than 90 days if the court finds that:
662 (i) there has been substantial compliance with the child and family plan;
663 (ii) reunification is probable within that 90-day period; and
664 (iii) the extension is in the best interest of the minor.
665 (e) (i) In no event may any reunification services extend beyond 15 months from the
666 date the minor was initially removed from the minor's home.
667 (ii) Delay or failure of a parent to establish paternity or seek custody does not provide
668 a basis for the court to extend services for that parent beyond that 12-month period.
669 (f) The court may, in its discretion:
670 (i) enter any additional order that it determines to be in the best interest of the minor,
671 so long as that order does not conflict with the requirements and provisions of Subsections
672 (4)(a) through (e); or
673 (ii) order the division to provide protective supervision or other services to a minor
674 and the minor's family after the division's custody of a minor has been terminated.
675 (5) If the final plan for the minor is to proceed toward termination of parental rights,
676 the petition for termination of parental rights shall be filed, and a pretrial held, within 45
677 calendar days after the permanency hearing.
678 (6) (a) Any party to an action may, at any time, petition the court for an expedited
679 permanency hearing on the basis that continuation of reunification efforts are inconsistent
680 with the permanency needs of the minor.
681 (b) If the court so determines, it shall order, in accordance with federal law, that:
682 (i) the minor be placed in accordance with the permanency plan; and
683 (ii) whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the minor be
684 completed as quickly as possible.
685 (7) Nothing in this section may be construed to:
686 (a) entitle any parent to reunification services for any specified period of time;
687 (b) limit a court's ability to terminate reunification services at any time prior to a
688 permanency hearing; or
689 (c) limit or prohibit the filing of a petition for termination of parental rights by any
690 party, or a hearing on termination of parental rights, at any time prior to a permanency
692 (8) (a) Subject to Subsection (8)(b), if a petition for termination of parental rights is
693 filed prior to the date scheduled for a permanency hearing, the court may consolidate the
694 hearing on termination of parental rights with the permanency hearing.
695 (b) For purposes of Subsection (8)(a), if the court consolidates the hearing on
696 termination of parental rights with the permanency hearing:
697 (i) the court shall first make a finding regarding whether reasonable efforts have been
698 made by the Division of Child and Family Services to finalize the permanency goal for the
699 minor; and
700 (ii) any reunification services shall be terminated in accordance with the time lines
701 described in Section 78A-6-312 .
702 (c) A decision on a petition for termination of parental rights shall be made within 18
703 months from the day on which the minor is removed from the minor's home.
704 (9) If a court determines that a child will not be returned to a parent of the child, the
705 court shall consider appropriate placement options inside and outside of the state.
706 Section 8. Section 78A-6-315 is amended to read:
707 78A-6-315. Periodic review hearings.
716 (1) At least every six months, the division or the court shall conduct a periodic review
717 of the status of each child in the custody of the division, until the court terminates the
718 division's custody of the child.
719 (2) (a) The review described in Subsection (1) shall be conducted in accordance with
720 the requirements of the case review system described in 42 U.S.C. Section 675.
721 (b) If a review described in Subsection (1) is conducted by the division, the division
723 (i) conduct the review in accordance with the administrative review requirements of
724 42 U.S.C. Section 675; and
725 (ii) to the extent practicable, involve volunteer citizens in the administrative review
729 (i) submit a copy of its dispositional report to the court to be made a part of the court's
730 legal file[
731 (ii) provide [
734 dispositional report to each party in the case to which the review relates.
735 (b) [
737 each dispositional report submitted under Subsection (3)(a)(i) in the same manner as the court
738 receives and reviews [
740 (c) If a report submitted under Subsection (3)(a)(i) is determined to be an ex parte
741 communication with a judge, the report shall be considered a communication authorized by
742 law. [
743 (d) A report described in Subsection (3)(a)(i) may be received as evidence, and may be
744 considered by the court along with other evidence. The court may require any person who
745 participated in the dispositional report to appear as a witness if the person is reasonably
747 Section 9. Section 78A-6-317 is amended to read:
748 78A-6-317. All proceedings -- Persons entitled to be present.
749 (1) A child who is the subject of a juvenile court hearing, any person entitled to notice
750 pursuant to Section 78A-6-306 or 78A-6-310 , preadoptive parents, foster parents, and any
751 relative providing care for the child, are:
752 (a) entitled to notice of, and to be present at, each hearing and proceeding held under
753 this part, including administrative [
754 (b) have a right to be heard at each hearing and proceeding described in Subsection
756 (2) A child shall be represented at each hearing by the guardian ad litem appointed to
757 the child's case by the court. The child has a right to be present at each hearing, subject to the
758 discretion of the guardian ad litem or the court regarding any possible detriment to the child.
759 (3) (a) The parent or guardian of a child who is the subject of a petition under this part
760 has the right to be represented by counsel, and to present evidence, at each hearing.
761 (b) When it appears to the court that a parent or guardian of the child desires counsel
762 but is financially unable to afford and cannot for that reason employ counsel, and the child has
763 been placed in out-of-home care, or the petitioner is recommending that the child be placed in
764 out-of-home care, the court shall appoint counsel.
765 (4) In every abuse, neglect, or dependency proceeding under this chapter, the court
766 shall order that the child be represented by a guardian ad litem, in accordance with Section
767 78A-6-902 . The guardian ad litem shall represent the best interest of the child, in accordance
768 with the requirements of that section, at the shelter hearing and at all subsequent court and
769 administrative proceedings, including any proceeding for termination of parental rights in
770 accordance with Part 5, Termination of Parental Rights Act.
771 (5) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (5)(b), and notwithstanding any other
772 provision of law:
773 (i) counsel for all parties to the action shall be given access to all records, maintained
774 by the division or any other state or local public agency, that are relevant to the abuse, neglect,
775 or dependency proceeding under this chapter; and
776 (ii) if the natural parent of a child is not represented by counsel, the natural parent
777 shall have access to the records described in Subsection (5)(a)(i).
778 (b) The disclosures described in Subsection (5)(a) are not required in the following
780 (i) subject to Subsection (5)(c), the division or other state or local public agency did
781 not originally create the record being requested;
782 (ii) disclosure of the record would jeopardize the life or physical safety of a child who
783 has been a victim of abuse or neglect, or any person who provided substitute care for the child;
784 (iii) disclosure of the record would jeopardize the anonymity of the person or persons
785 making the initial report of abuse or neglect or any others involved in the subsequent
787 (iv) disclosure of the record would jeopardize the life or physical safety of a person
788 who has been a victim of domestic violence; or
789 (v) the record is a report maintained in the Management Information System, for
790 which a finding of unsubstantiated, unsupported, or without merit has been made, unless the
791 person requesting the information is the alleged perpetrator in the report or counsel for the
792 alleged perpetrator in the report.
793 (c) If a disclosure is denied under Subsection (5)(b)(i), the division shall inform the
794 person making the request of the following:
795 (i) the existence of all records in the possession of the division or any other state or
796 local public agency;
797 (ii) the name and address of the person or agency that originally created the record;
799 (iii) that the person must seek access to the record from the person or agency that
800 originally created the record.
806 Section 10. Section 78A-6-508 is amended to read:
807 78A-6-508. Evidence of grounds for termination.
808 (1) In determining whether a parent or parents have abandoned a child, it is prima
809 facie evidence of abandonment that the parent or parents:
810 (a) although having legal custody of the child, have surrendered physical custody of
811 the child, and for a period of six months following the surrender have not manifested to the
812 child or to the person having the physical custody of the child a firm intention to resume
813 physical custody or to make arrangements for the care of the child;
814 (b) have failed to communicate with the child by mail, telephone, or otherwise for six
816 (c) failed to have shown the normal interest of a natural parent, without just cause; or
817 (d) have abandoned an infant, as described in Subsection 78A-6-316 (1).
818 (2) In determining whether a parent or parents are unfit or have neglected a child the
819 court shall consider, but is not limited to, the following circumstances, conduct, or conditions:
820 (a) emotional illness, mental illness, or mental deficiency of the parent that renders the
821 parent unable to care for the immediate and continuing physical or emotional needs of the
822 child for extended periods of time;
823 (b) conduct toward a child of a physically, emotionally, or sexually cruel or abusive
825 (c) habitual or excessive use of intoxicating liquors, controlled substances, or
826 dangerous drugs that render the parent unable to care for the child;
827 (d) repeated or continuous failure to provide the child with adequate food, clothing,
828 shelter, education, or other care necessary for the child's physical, mental, and emotional
829 health and development by a parent or parents who are capable of providing that care;
830 (e) whether the parent is incarcerated as a result of conviction of a felony, and the
831 sentence is of such length that the child will be deprived of a normal home for more than one
832 year; or
833 (f) a history of violent behavior.
834 (3) A parent who, legitimately practicing the parent's religious beliefs, does not
835 provide specified medical treatment for a child is not, for that reason alone, a negligent or unfit
837 (4) (a) Notwithstanding Subsection (2), a parent may not be considered neglectful or
838 unfit because of a health care decision made for a child by the child's parent unless the state or
839 other party to the proceeding shows, by clear and convincing evidence, that the health care
840 decision is not reasonable and informed.
841 (b) Nothing in Subsection (4)(a) may prohibit a parent from exercising the right to
842 obtain a second health care opinion.
843 (5) If a child has been placed in the custody of the division and the parent or parents
844 fail to comply substantially with the terms and conditions of a plan within six months after the
845 date on which the child was placed or the plan was commenced, whichever occurs later, that
846 failure to comply is evidence of failure of parental adjustment.
847 (6) The following circumstances constitute prima facie evidence of unfitness:
848 (a) sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, injury, or death of a sibling of the child, or of
849 any child, due to known or substantiated abuse or neglect by the parent or parents;
850 (b) conviction of a crime, if the facts surrounding the crime are of such a nature as to
851 indicate the unfitness of the parent to provide adequate care to the extent necessary for the
852 child's physical, mental, or emotional health and development;
853 (c) a single incident of life-threatening or gravely disabling injury to or disfigurement
854 of the child; [
855 (d) the parent has committed, aided, abetted, attempted, conspired, or solicited to
856 commit murder or manslaughter of a child or child abuse homicide[
857 (e) the parent intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes the death of another parent
858 of the child, without legal justification.
859 Section 11. Section 78A-6-902 is amended to read:
860 78A-6-902. Appointment of attorney guardian ad litem -- Right of refusal --
861 Duties and responsibilities -- Training -- Trained staff and court-appointed special
862 advocate volunteers -- Costs -- Immunity -- Annual report.
863 (1) (a) The court:
864 (i) may appoint an attorney guardian ad litem to represent the best interest of a minor
865 involved in any case before the court; and
866 (ii) shall consider the best interest of a minor, consistent with the provisions of Section
867 62A-4a-201 , in determining whether to appoint a guardian ad litem.
868 (b) In all cases where an attorney guardian ad litem is appointed, the court shall make
869 a finding that establishes the necessity of the appointment.
870 (2) An attorney guardian ad litem shall represent the best interest of each child who
871 may become the subject of a petition alleging abuse, neglect, or dependency, from the earlier
872 of the day that:
873 (a) the child is removed from the child's home by the division; or
874 (b) the petition is filed.
875 (3) The Office of the Guardian Ad Litem Director, through an attorney guardian ad
876 litem, shall:
877 (a) represent the best interest of the minor in all proceedings;
878 (b) prior to representing any minor before the court, be trained in:
879 (i) applicable statutory, regulatory, and case law; and
880 (ii) accordance with the United States Department of Justice National Court
881 Appointed Special Advocate Association guidelines;
882 (c) conduct or supervise an independent investigation in order to obtain first-hand, a
883 clear understanding of the situation and needs of the minor;
884 (d) (i) personally meet with the minor;
885 (ii) personally interview the minor if the minor is old enough to communicate;
886 (iii) determine the minor's goals and concerns regarding placement; and
887 (iv) personally assess or supervise an assessment of the appropriateness and safety of
888 the minor's environment in each placement;
889 (e) file written motions, responses, or objections at all stages of a proceeding when
890 necessary to protect the best interest of a minor;
891 (f) personally or through a trained volunteer, paralegal, or other trained staff, attend all
892 administrative and [
893 (g) participate in all appeals unless excused by order of the court;
894 (h) be familiar with local experts who can provide consultation and testimony
895 regarding the reasonableness and appropriateness of efforts made by the Division of Child and
896 Family Services to:
897 (i) maintain a minor in the minor's home; or
898 (ii) reunify a child with the child's parent;
899 (i) to the extent possible, and unless it would be detrimental to the minor, personally or
900 through a trained volunteer, paralegal, or other trained staff, keep the minor advised of:
901 (i) the status of the minor's case;
902 (ii) all court and administrative proceedings;
903 (iii) discussions with, and proposals made by, other parties;
904 (iv) court action; and
905 (v) the psychiatric, medical, or other treatment or diagnostic services that are to be
906 provided to the minor;
907 (j) review proposed orders for, and as requested by the court;
908 (k) prepare proposed orders with clear and specific directions regarding services,
909 treatment, evaluation, assessment, and protection of the minor and the minor's family; and
910 (l) personally or through a trained volunteer, paralegal, or other trained staff, monitor
911 implementation of a minor's child and family plan and any dispositional orders to:
912 (i) determine whether services ordered by the court:
913 (A) are actually provided; and
914 (B) are provided in a timely manner; and
915 (ii) attempt to assess whether services ordered by the court are accomplishing the
916 intended goal of the services.
917 (4) (a) Consistent with this Subsection (4), an attorney guardian ad litem may use
918 trained volunteers, in accordance with Title 67, Chapter 20, Volunteer Government Workers
919 Act, trained paralegals, and other trained staff to assist in investigation and preparation of
920 information regarding the cases of individual minors before the court.
921 (b) The attorney guardian ad litem described in Subsection (4)(a) may not delegate the
922 attorney's responsibilities described in Subsection (3).
923 (c) All volunteers, paralegals, and staff utilized pursuant to this section shall be trained
924 in and follow, at a minimum, the guidelines established by the United States Department of
925 Justice Court Appointed Special Advocate Association.
926 (d) The court may use volunteers trained in accordance with the requirements of
927 Subsection (4)(c) to assist in investigation and preparation of information regarding the cases
928 of individual minors within the jurisdiction.
929 (e) When possible and appropriate, the court may use a volunteer who is a peer of the
930 minor appearing before the court, in order to provide assistance to that minor, under the
931 supervision of an attorney guardian ad litem or the attorney's trained volunteer, paralegal, or
932 other trained staff.
933 (5) The attorney guardian ad litem shall continue to represent the best interest of the
934 minor until released from that duty by the court.
935 (6) (a) Consistent with Subsection (6)(b), the juvenile court is responsible for:
936 (i) all costs resulting from the appointment of an attorney guardian ad litem; and
937 (ii) the costs of volunteer, paralegal, and other staff appointment and training.
938 (b) The court shall use funds appropriated by the Legislature for the guardian ad litem
939 program to cover the costs described in Subsection (6)(a).
940 (c) (i) When the court appoints an attorney guardian ad litem under this section, the
941 court may assess all or part of the attorney fees, court costs, and paralegal, staff, and volunteer
942 expenses against the child's parents, parent, or legal guardian in a proportion that the court
943 determines to be just and appropriate.
944 (ii) The court may not assess those fees or costs against:
945 (A) a legal guardian, when that guardian is the state; or
946 (B) consistent with Subsection (6)(d), a parent who is found to be impecunious.
947 (d) For purposes of Subsection (6)(c)(ii)(B), if a person claims to be impecunious, the
948 court shall:
949 (i) require that person to submit an affidavit of impecuniosity as provided in Section
950 78A-2-302 ; and
951 (ii) follow the procedures and make the determinations as provided in Section
952 78A-2-304 .
953 (7) An attorney guardian ad litem appointed under this section, when serving in the
954 scope of the attorney guardian ad litem's duties as guardian ad litem is considered an employee
955 of the state for purposes of indemnification under Title 63G, Chapter 7, Governmental
956 Immunity Act of Utah.
957 (8) (a) An attorney guardian ad litem shall represent the best interest of a minor.
958 (b) If the minor's wishes differ from the attorney's determination of the minor's best
959 interest, the attorney guardian ad litem shall communicate the minor's wishes to the court in
960 addition to presenting the attorney's determination of the minor's best interest.
961 (c) A difference between the minor's wishes and the attorney's determination of best
962 interest may not be considered a conflict of interest for the attorney.
963 (d) The court may appoint one attorney guardian ad litem to represent the best
964 interests of more than one child of a marriage.
965 (9) An attorney guardian ad litem shall be provided access to all Division of Child and
966 Family Services records regarding the minor at issue and the minor's family.
967 (10) An attorney guardian ad litem shall maintain current and accurate records
969 (a) the number of times the attorney has had contact with each minor; and
970 (b) the actions the attorney has taken in representation of the minor's best interest.
971 (11) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (11)(b), all records of an attorney guardian
972 ad litem are confidential and may not be released or made public upon subpoena, search
973 warrant, discovery proceedings, or otherwise. This subsection supersedes Title 63G, Chapter
974 2, Government Records Access and Management Act.
975 (b) Consistent with Subsection (11)(d), all records of an attorney guardian ad litem:
976 (i) are subject to legislative subpoena, under Title 36, Chapter 14, Legislative
977 Subpoena Powers; and
978 (ii) shall be released to the Legislature.
979 (c) (i) Except as provided in Subsection (11)(c)(ii), records released in accordance with
980 Subsection (11)(b) shall be maintained as confidential by the Legislature.
981 (ii) Notwithstanding Subsection (11)(c)(i), the Office of the Legislative Auditor
982 General may include summary data and nonidentifying information in its audits and reports to
983 the Legislature.
984 (d) (i) Subsection (11)(b) constitutes an exception to Rules of Professional Conduct,
985 Rule 1.6, as provided by Rule 1.6(b)(4), because of:
986 (A) the unique role of an attorney guardian ad litem described in Subsection (8); and
987 (B) the state's role and responsibility:
988 (I) to provide a guardian ad litem program; and
989 (II) as parens patriae, to protect minors.
990 (ii) A claim of attorney-client privilege does not bar access to the records of an
991 attorney guardian ad litem by the Legislature, through legislative subpoena.
992 (e) The Office of the Guardian Ad Litem shall present an annual report to the Child
993 Welfare Legislative Oversight Panel detailing:
994 (i) the development, policy, and management of the statewide guardian ad litem
996 (ii) the training and evaluation of attorney guardians ad litem and volunteers; and
997 (iii) the number of minors served by the Office of the Guardian Ad Litem.
998 Section 12. Repealer.
999 This bill repeals:
1000 Section 78B-8-101, Title.
1001 Section 78B-8-102, Definitions.
1002 Section 78B-8-103, Foster Care Citizen Review Board Steering Committee --
1003 Membership -- Chair -- Duties.
1004 Section 78B-8-104, Compensation -- Expenses -- Per Diem.
1005 Section 78B-8-105, Rulemaking.
1006 Section 78B-8-106, Reports.
1007 Section 78B-8-107, Gifts -- Grants -- Donations.
1008 Section 78B-8-108, Foster care citizen review boards -- Membership -- Procedures
1009 -- Division responsibilities.
1010 Section 78B-8-109, Periodic reviews -- Notice -- Participants.
1011 Section 78B-8-110, Dispositional report.
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