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Date of enactment: April 2, 2012
2011 Senate Bill 502 Date of publication*: April 16, 2012
* Section 991.11, Wisconsin Statutes 2009-10 : Effective date of acts. "Every act and every portion of an act enacted by the legislature over the governor's partial veto which does not expressly prescribe the time when it takes effect shall take effect on the day after its date of publication as designated" by the secretary of state [the date of publication may not be more than 10 working days after the date of enactment].
2011 WISCONSIN ACT 181
An Act to renumber and amend 48.355 (2b) and 938.355 (2b); to amend 48.21 (5) (d), 48.299 (4) (b), 48.315 (2m) (b), 48.32 (1) (b) 1. c., 48.32 (1) (c), 48.33 (4) (c), 48.335 (3g) (c), 48.335 (4), 48.355 (2) (b) 6., 48.355 (2b) (title), 48.355 (2c) (b), 48.355 (2d) (b) (intro.), 48.355 (2d) (c), 48.355 (2e) (b), 48.357 (2v) (c), 48.363 (1) (a), 48.365 (2g) (b) 2., 48.365 (2g) (b) 3., 48.365 (2m) (a) 1., 48.365 (2m) (a) 1m., 48.365 (2m) (a) 3., 48.365 (2m) (ad), 48.365 (7), 48.371 (5), 48.38 (2) (intro.), 48.38 (4) (ar), 48.38 (4) (f) 3., 48.38 (4) (fg) (intro.), 48.38 (4) (fg) 5., 48.38 (4) (fm), 48.38 (4) (i), 48.38 (4m) (title), 48.38 (5) (title), 48.38 (5) (a), 48.38 (5) (am), 48.38 (5) (c) 5., 48.38 (5) (c) 6. (intro.), 48.38 (5) (c) 6. d., 48.38 (5) (c) 7., 48.38 (5) (f), 48.38 (5m) (title), 48.38 (5m) (a), 48.38 (5m) (b), 48.38 (5m) (f), 48.38 (6) (a), 48.417 (1) (a), 48.43 (1) (cm), 48.43 (5m), 48.63 (5) (d) 4., 48.977 (4) (i) (title), 757.69 (1) (g) 14., 938.21 (5) (d), 938.315 (2m) (b), 938.32 (1) (c) 1. c., 938.32 (1) (d), 938.33 (4) (c), 938.335 (3g) (c), 938.335 (4), 938.355 (2) (b) 6., 938.355 (2c) (b), 938.355 (2d) (b) (intro.), 938.355 (2d) (c), 938.355 (2e) (b), 938.357 (2v) (c), 938.363 (1) (a), 938.365 (2g) (b) 2., 938.365 (2g) (b) 3., 938.365 (2m) (a) 1., 938.365 (2m) (a) 1m., 938.365 (2m) (a) 3., 938.365 (2m) (ad), 938.365 (7), 938.371 (5), 938.38 (2) (intro.), 938.38 (4) (ar), 938.38 (4) (f) 3., 938.38 (4) (fg) (intro.), 938.38 (4) (fg) 5., 938.38 (4) (fm), 938.38 (4) (i), 938.38 (4m) (title), 938.38 (5) (title), 938.38 (5) (a), 938.38 (5) (am), 938.38 (5) (c) 5., 938.38 (5) (c) 6. (intro.), 938.38 (5) (c) 6. d., 938.38 (5) (c) 7., 938.38 (5) (f), 938.38 (5m) (title), 938.38 (5m) (a), 938.38 (5m) (b), 938.38 (5m) (f) and 938.38 (6) (a); and to create 48.355 (2b) (a), 48.358, 48.38 (5) (c) 5m., 938.355 (2b) (a), 938.358 and 938.38 (5) (c) 5m. of the statutes; relating to: permanency planning for a child placed in out-of-home care, including concurrent permanency goals, trial reunifications, and planned permanent living arrangements for such a child.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:
181,1 Section 1. 48.21 (5) (d) of the statutes is amended to read:
48.21 (5) (d) If the judge or circuit court commissioner finds that any of the circumstances specified in s. 48.355 (2d) (b) 1. to 5. applies with respect to a parent, the judge or circuit court commissioner shall hold a hearing under s. 48.38 (4m) within 30 days after the date of that finding to determine the permanency plan goal and, if applicable, any concurrent permanency goals for the child.
181,2 Section 2. 48.299 (4) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
48.299 (4) (b) Except as provided in s. 901.05, neither common law nor statutory rules of evidence are binding at a hearing for a child held in custody under s. 48.21, a hearing for an adult expectant mother held in custody under s. 48.213, a runaway home hearing under s. 48.227 (4), a dispositional hearing, or a hearing about changes in placement, trial reunifications, revision of dispositional orders, extension of dispositional orders, or termination of guardianship orders entered under s. 48.977 (4) (h) 2. or (6) or 48.978 (2) (j) 2. or (3) (g). At those hearings, the court shall admit all testimony having reasonable probative value, but shall exclude immaterial, irrelevant, or unduly repetitious testimony or evidence that is inadmissible under s. 901.05. Hearsay evidence may be admitted if it has demonstrable circumstantial guarantees of trustworthiness. The court shall give effect to the rules of privilege recognized by law. The court shall apply the basic principles of relevancy, materiality, and probative value to proof of all questions of fact. Objections to evidentiary offers and offers of proof of evidence not admitted may be made and shall be noted in the record.
181,3 Section 3. 48.315 (2m) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
48.315 (2m) (b) The court making an initial finding under s. 48.38 (5m) that the agency primarily responsible for providing services to the child has made reasonable efforts to achieve the goals permanency goal of the child's permanency plan more than 12 months after the date on which the child was removed from the home or making any subsequent findings under s. 48.38 (5m) as to those reasonable efforts more than 12 months after the date of a previous finding as to those reasonable efforts.
181,4 Section 4. 48.32 (1) (b) 1. c. of the statutes is amended to read:
48.32 (1) (b) 1. c. If a permanency plan has previously been prepared for the child, a finding as to whether the county department, department, or agency has made reasonable efforts to achieve the permanency goal of the child's permanency plan, including, if appropriate, through an out-of-state placement,.
181,5 Section 5. 48.32 (1) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
48.32 (1) (c) If the judge or circuit court commissioner finds that any of the circumstances specified in s. 48.355 (2d) (b) 1. to 5. applies with respect to a parent, the judge or circuit court commissioner shall hold a hearing under s. 48.38 (4m) within 30 days after the date of that finding to determine the permanency plan goal and, if applicable, any concurrent permanency goals for the child.
181,6 Section 6. 48.33 (4) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
48.33 (4) (c) Specific information showing that continued placement of the child in his or her home would be contrary to the welfare of the child, specific information showing that the county department, the department, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, or the agency primarily responsible for providing services to the child has made reasonable efforts to prevent the removal of the child from the home, while assuring that the child's health and safety are the paramount concerns, unless any of the circumstances specified in s. 48.355 (2d) (b) 1. to 5. applies, and, if a permanency plan has previously been prepared for the child, specific information showing that the county department, department, or agency has made reasonable efforts to achieve the permanency goal of the child's permanency plan, including, if appropriate, through an out-of-state placement,.
181,7 Section 7. 48.335 (3g) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
48.335 (3g) (c) That, if a permanency plan has previously been prepared for the child, the county department, department, or agency has made reasonable efforts to achieve the permanency goal of the child's permanency plan, including, if appropriate, through an out-of-state placement,.
181,8 Section 8. 48.335 (4) of the statutes is amended to read:
48.335 (4) At hearings under this section, s. 48.357, 48.358, 48.363, or 48.365, on the request of any party, unless good cause to the contrary is shown, the court may admit testimony on the record by telephone or live audiovisual means, if available, under s. 807.13 (2). The request and the showing of good cause may be made by telephone.
181,9 Section 9. 48.355 (2) (b) 6. of the statutes is amended to read:
48.355 (2) (b) 6. If the child is placed outside the home, a finding that continued placement of the child in his or her home would be contrary to the welfare of the child, a finding as to whether the county department, the department, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, or the agency primarily responsible for providing services under a court order has made reasonable efforts to prevent the removal of the child from the home, while assuring that the child's health and safety are the paramount concerns, unless the court finds that any of the circumstances specified in sub. (2d) (b) 1. to 5. applies, and, if a permanency plan has previously been prepared for the child, a finding as to whether the county department, department, or agency has made reasonable efforts to achieve the permanency goal of the child's permanency plan, including, if appropriate, through an out-of-state placement. The court shall make the findings specified in this subdivision on a case-by-case basis based on circumstances specific to the child and shall document or reference the specific information on which those findings are based in the court order,. A court order that merely references this subdivision without documenting or referencing that specific information in the court order or an amended court order that retroactively corrects an earlier court order that does not comply with this subdivision is not sufficient to comply with this subdivision.
181,10 Section 10. 48.355 (2b) (title) of the statutes is amended to read:
48.355 (2b) (title) Concurrent reasonable efforts permitted planning.
181,11 Section 11. 48.355 (2b) of the statutes is renumbered 48.355 (2b) (b) and amended to read:
48.355 (2b) (b) A county department, the department, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, or the agency primarily responsible for providing services to a child under a court order may, at the same time as the county department, department, or agency is making the reasonable efforts required under sub. (2) (b) 6. to prevent the removal of the child from the home or to make it possible for the child to return safely to his or her home, work with the department, a county department under s. 48.57 (1) (e) or (hm), or a child welfare agency licensed under s. 48.61 (5) in making reasonable efforts to place the child for adoption, with a guardian, with a fit and willing relative, or in some other alternative permanent placement, including reasonable efforts to identify an appropriate out-of-state placement shall determine, in accordance with standards established by the department, whether to engage in concurrent planning. If, according to those standards, concurrent planning is required, the county department, department, or agency shall engage in concurrent planning unless the court or permanency review panel determines under s. 48.38 (5) (c) 5m. that concurrent planning is inappropriate.
181,12 Section 12. 48.355 (2b) (a) of the statutes is created to read:
48.355 (2b) (a) In this subsection, "concurrent planning" means appropriate efforts to work simultaneously towards achieving more than one of the permanency goals listed in s. 48.38 (4) (fg) 1. to 5. for a child who is placed in out-of-home care and for whom a permanency plan is required under s. 48.38 (2).
181,13 Section 13. 48.355 (2c) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
48.355 (2c) (b) When a court makes a finding under sub. (2) (b) 6. as to whether the county department, department, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, or agency primarily responsible for providing services to the child under a court order has made reasonable efforts to achieve the permanency goal of the permanency plan, the court's consideration of reasonable efforts shall include the considerations listed under par. (a) 1. to 5. and whether visitation schedules between the child and his or her parents were implemented, unless visitation was denied or limited by the court.
181,14 Section 14. 48.355 (2d) (b) (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
48.355 (2d) (b) (intro.) Notwithstanding sub. (2) (b) 6., the court is not required to include in a dispositional order a finding as to whether the county department, the department, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, or the agency primarily responsible for providing services under a court order has made reasonable efforts with respect to a parent of a child to prevent the removal of the child from the home, while assuring that the child's health and safety are the paramount concerns, or a finding as to whether the county department, department, or agency has made reasonable efforts with respect to a parent of a child to achieve the permanency plan goal of returning the child safely to his or her home, if the court finds any of the following:
181,15 Section 15. 48.355 (2d) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
48.355 (2d) (c) If the court finds that any of the circumstances specified in par. (b) 1. to 5. applies with respect to a parent, the court shall hold a hearing under s. 48.38 (4m) within 30 days after the date of that finding to determine the permanency plan goal and, if applicable, any concurrent permanency goals for the child.
181,16 Section 16. 48.355 (2e) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
48.355 (2e) (b) Each time a child's placement is changed under s. 48.357, a trial reunification is ordered under s. 48.358, or a dispositional order is revised under s. 48.363 or extended under s. 48.365, the agency that prepared the permanency plan shall revise the plan to conform to the order and shall file a copy of the revised plan with the court. Each plan filed under this paragraph shall be made a part of the court order.
181,17 Section 17. 48.357 (2v) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
48.357 (2v) (c) If the court finds under par. (a) 3. that any of the circumstances specified in s. 48.355 (2d) (b) 1. to 5. applies with respect to a parent, the court shall hold a hearing under s. 48.38 (4m) within 30 days after the date of that finding to determine the permanency plan goal and, if applicable, any concurrent permanency goals for the child.
181,18 Section 18. 48.358 of the statutes is created to read:
48.358 Trial reunification. (1) Definition. In this section:
(a) "Trial reunification" means a period of 7 consecutive days or longer, but not exceeding 150 days, during which a child who is placed in an out-of-home placement under s. 48.355 or 48.357 resides in the home of a relative of the child from which the child was removed or in the home of either of the child's parents for the purpose of determining the appropriateness of changing the placement of the child to that home.
(b) "Trial reunification home" means the home in which in which a child resides during a trial reunification.
(2) Trial reunification; procedure. (a) Request or proposal. No trial reunification may occur without a court order. Only the person or agency primarily responsible for implementing the dispositional order may request the court to order a trial reunification. The request shall contain the name and address of the requested trial reunification home, a statement describing why the trial reunification is in the best interests of the child, and a statement describing how the trial reunification satisfies the objectives of the child's permanency plan. A request for a trial reunification may not be made on the sole grounds that an emergency condition necessitates an immediate removal of the child from his or her out-of-home placement. If an emergency condition necessitates such an immediate removal, the person or agency primarily responsible for implementing the dispositional order shall proceed as provided in s. 48.357 (2).
(b) Notice; information required. The person or agency requesting the trial reunification shall submit the request to the court and shall cause written notice of the requested trial reunification to be sent to the child, the parent, guardian, and legal custodian of the child, any foster parent or other physical custodian described in s. 48.62 (2) of the child, the child's court-appointed special advocate, all parties who are bound by the dispositional order, and, if the child is an Indian child who has been removed from the home of his or her parent or Indian custodian, the Indian child's Indian custodian and tribe. The notice shall contain the information that is required to be included in the request under par. (a).
(c) Hearing; when required. Any person who is entitled to receive notice of a requested trial reunification under par. (b), other than a court-appointed special advocate, may obtain a hearing on the matter by filing an objection with the court within 10 days after the request was filed with the court. If an objection is filed, a hearing shall be held within 30 days after the request was filed with the court. Not less than 3 days before the hearing the person or agency requesting the trial reunification or the court shall provide notice of the hearing to all persons who are entitled to receive notice under par. (b). A copy of the request for the trial reunification shall be attached to the notice. If all of the parties consent, the court may proceed immediately with the hearing.
(d) Order. If the court finds that the trial reunification is in the best interests of the child and that the trial reunification satisfies the objectives of the child's permanency plan, the court shall order the trial reunification. A trial reunification shall terminate 90 days after the date of the order, unless the court specifies a shorter period in the order, extends the trial reunification under sub. (3), or revokes the trial reunification under sub. (4) (c) or (6) (b). No trial reunification order may extend the expiration date of the original dispositional order under s. 48.355 or any extension order under s. 48.365. A trial reunification under this section is not a change in placement under s. 48.357. Unless revoked under sub. (4) (c) or (6) (b), at the end of a trial reunification, the person or agency primarily responsible for implementing the dispositional order shall do one of the following:
1. Return the child to his or her previous out-of-home placement. The person or agency may do so without further order of the court, but within 5 days after the return the person or agency shall provide notice of the date of the return and the address of that placement to all persons who are entitled to receive notice under par. (b).
2. Request a change in placement under s. 48.357 to place the child in a new out-of-home placement.
3. Request a change in placement under s. 48.357 to place the child in the trial reunification home.
(3) Extension of trial reunification. (a) Extension request. The person or agency primarily responsible for implementing the dispositional order may request an extension of a trial reunification. The request shall contain a statement describing how the trial reunification continues to be in the best interests of the child. No later than 10 days prior to the expiration of the trial reunification, the person or agency that requests the extension shall submit the request to the court that ordered the trial reunification and shall cause notice of the request to be provided to all persons who are entitled to receive notice under sub. (2) (b).
(b) Extension hearing; when required. Any person who is entitled to receive notice of the extension request under par. (a), other than a court-appointed special advocate, may obtain a hearing on the matter by filing an objection with the court within 10 days after the request was filed with the court. If an objection is filed, the court shall schedule a hearing on the matter. If the court is unable to conduct a hearing on the matter before the trial reunification expires, the court may extend the trial reunification for not more than 30 days without a hearing. If a hearing is scheduled, not less than 3 days before the hearing the person or agency requesting the extension or the court shall provide notice of the hearing to all persons who are entitled to receive notice of the extension request under par. (a). A copy of the request for the extension shall be attached to the notice. If all of the parties consent, the court may proceed immediately with the hearing.
(c) Extension order. If the court finds that the trial reunification continues to be in the best interests of the child, the court shall grant an order extending the trial reunification for a period specified by the court. Any number of extensions may be granted, but the total period for a trial reunification may not exceed 150 days.
(4) Revocation of trial reunification. (a) Revocation request; information required. 1. If the person or agency primarily responsible for implementing the dispositional order determines based on current circumstances that a trial reunification is no longer in the best interests of the child, that person or agency may, without prior court order, remove the child from the trial reunification home and place the child in the child's previous out-of-home placement as provided in subd. 2. or place the child in a new out-of-home placement as provided in subd. 3.
2. If the person or agency primarily responsible for implementing the dispositional order places the child in the child's previous out-of-home placement, within 3 days after removing the child from the trial reunification home, that person or agency shall submit a request for revocation of the trial reunification to the court that ordered the trial reunification and shall cause notice of the request to be provided to all persons who are entitled to receive notice of the trial reunification under sub. (2) (b). The request shall contain the date on which the child was removed from the trial reunification home, the address of the child's current placement, and the reasons for the proposed revocation. Paragraphs (b) and (c) apply to a request for revocation submitted under this subdivision.
3. If the person or agency primarily responsible for implementing the dispositional order places the child in a new out-of-home placement, within 3 days after removing the child from the trial reunification home, that person or agency shall request a change in placement under s. 48.357 (1) (am). The procedures specified in s. 48.357 relating to a change in placement under s. 48.357 (1) (am) apply to a change in placement requested under this subdivision, except that the request shall include the date on which the child was removed from the trial reunification home in addition to the information required under s. 48.357 (1) (am) 1., and the trial reunification is revoked when the change in placement order is granted.
(b) Revocation hearing; when required. Any person who is entitled to receive notice of a revocation request under par. (a) 2., other than a court-appointed special advocate, may obtain a hearing on the matter by filing an objection with the court within 10 days after the request is filed with the court. If a hearing is scheduled, not less than 3 days prior to the hearing the court shall provide notice of the hearing, together with a copy of the request for the revocation, to all persons who are entitled to receive notice under par. (a) 2. If all parties consent, the court may proceed immediately with the hearing.
(c) Revocation order. If the court finds that the trial reunification is no longer in the best interests of a child who has been placed in his or her previous out-of-home placement under par. (a) 1., the court shall grant an order revoking the trial reunification.
(5) Removal from foster home or other physical custodian. If a hearing is held under sub. (2) (c) and the trial reunification would remove a child from a foster home or other placement with a physical custodian described in s. 48.62 (2), the court shall give the foster parent or other physical custodian a right to be heard at the hearing by permitting the foster parent or other physical custodian to make a written or oral statement during the hearing or to submit a written statement prior to the hearing relating to the child and the requested trial reunification. A foster parent or other physical custodian described in s. 48.62 (2) who receives notice of a hearing under sub. (2) (c) and a right to be heard under this subsection does not become a party to the proceeding on which the hearing is held solely on the basis of receiving that notice and right to be heard.
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