A child deserves to have a safe and permanent home. Accordingly, the child welfare system and the court must minimize the amount of a time a child is in foster placement. To accomplish this, the court must hold permanency hearings if reunification with the parent is not an option and within 12 months of a child being in foster placement and at least every 12 months after that point.
The purpose of the permanency hearing is to determine a plan for the permanent placement of the child (i.e. a permanency plan) and to gain approval for the plan. These hearings also may address the termination of a parent’s rights and permanent placement through adoption. The result of the permanency hearing is a permanency plan and permanency order.
The permanency order accomplishes a few things. The order states the Division of Child Protection and Permanency’s plan for the permanent placement of the child be it with the parent, a kinship legal guardian or custody arrangement with a relative, an adoptive parent, or in an independent living facility or residential program. When appropriate, the order may also grant a short-term extension of the child’s current placement, typically with a foster parent. The order will also include the court’s ruling on whether the plan is approved and the appropriateness or inappropriateness of the Division’s plan for the child. The order must also include a finding of the reasonable efforts the Division has made to reunify the child with the parent.
Permanency orders are vital documents. If you have a permanency hearing coming up, you should speak with an experienced New Jersey child welfare attorney immediately. A permanency order, like any court order, is enforceable, and you must obey it. You have a right to attend the hearing, and you should exercise that right. A skilled attorney can help you understand the purpose of the permanency hearing as it applies to your particular case, what will happen at the hearing and your role in the hearing. Then, your attorney can help you take the steps needed to ensure your child is placed in a safe and permanent home and ideally reunified with you.
Child welfare litigation can be complicated, but the knowledgeable attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC have the experience needed to defend your rights as a parent and protect your child’s best interests. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.