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(A) The Tribal Court must make a finding whether the Tribe’s Child Welfare Services have made reasonable efforts to finalize a permanency plan for the child. The permanency plan may be to reunify the family or to secure the child a new permanent home. This finding must be made within twelve (12) months from the date the child enters foster care, and it must then be made every six (6) months thereafter.

(B) The Court must also make a finding whether reasonable efforts have been made to reunify. The Court may find that a lack of efforts is reasonable, such as when there is no safe way to make efforts to reunify.

(C) The Court’s reasonable efforts findings must be detailed. They must include relevant case facts.

(D) The Court may waive reasonable efforts to reunify if it finds the parent has committed murder or voluntary manslaughter, of another child of the parent; a parent or guardian has aided or abetted, attempted to conspire, solicit, commission of a murder or voluntary manslaughter of a child of the parent; the parent has committed a felony assault that results in serious bodily injury to the child or another child of the parent; or the parental rights of the parent with respect to a sibling have been terminated involuntarily; the parent has abandoned an infant; or finds that the parent has subjected the child to other aggravated circumstances. If the reasonable efforts requirements are waived under the above circumstances, a separate reasonable efforts finding is not required.

(E) The Court may determine at a permanency hearing that there is a compelling reason that reunification, adoption, guardianship, and relative placement are not in the child’s best interests. If it makes such a finding, the Court may order another planned permanent living arrangement; provided, that KCWS has documented to the Court why KCWS has ruled out other permanency goals before recommending another planned alternate living arrangement and a compelling reason, on a case-by-case determination, for such alternative plan.

(F) The Court may order reunification as the permanent plan if the parents have been diligently working toward reunification, and reunification is expected in a period consistent with the child’s developmental needs.

(G) If the child has not been returned to the custody of his or her parent, guardian or legal custodian at the permanency hearing, or if the child has been in foster care for fifteen (15) of the most recent twenty-two (22) months, the Court will order a hearing under Article XXI of this chapter, unless the child is being cared for by a relative, the KCWS has documented in the case plan a compelling reason for not filing to terminate parental rights, or the KCWS has not provided to the family services that the KCWS deemed necessary for the safe return of the child when reasonable efforts to reunify are required.

(H) The Court shall make a finding whether KCWS shall retain continued responsibility for the placement and care of the child. [Res. 22-R-037, 2/24/2022; Res. 09-R-062 Title 1 § (19)(C), 4/30/2009. Formerly 10.10.470.]