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      CHC 675     


Art. 675. Case plan purpose; contents

            A. The case plan shall be designed to achieve placement in the least restrictive, most family-like, and most appropriate setting available, and in close proximity to the parents' homes, consistent with the best interest and special needs of the child. The health, welfare, and safety of the child shall be the paramount concern in the development of the case plan.

            B. The case plan shall at least include all of the following:

            (1) A description of the type of home or institution in which the child is placed, including a discussion of the child's health, welfare, and safety; the appropriateness of the placement; and the reasons why the placement, if a substantial distance from the home of the parents or in a different state, is in the best interest of the child.

            (2) A plan for assuring that the child receives safe and proper care and that services are provided to the parents, child, and foster parents in order to improve the conditions in the parents' home, facilitate the safe return of the child to the child's own home or other permanent placement of the child, or both, and address the needs of the child while in foster care, including a plan for visitation and a discussion of the appropriateness of the services that have been provided to the child in accordance with the plan.

            (3) A plan for assuring that the child is afforded the greatest opportunity for normalcy through engagement in age- or developmentally appropriate activities on a regular basis. The child shall be consulted in an age-appropriate manner about the child's interests and the available opportunities. Recognizing the greatest opportunity for normalcy lies in the day-to-day decisions affecting the child's activities, the caretaker should be supported in making those decisions through the use of the reasonable and prudent parent standard as set forth in R.S. 46:283.

            (4) If the child has been committed to the custody of a person other than the parents, the plan shall recommend an amount the parents are obligated to contribute for the cost of care and treatment of their child in accordance with Article 685.

            (5) When appropriate for a child fourteen years of age or older, the plan shall include a written description of the programs and services which will help the child prepare for the transition from foster care to independent living.

            (6)(a) For a child fourteen years of age or older, the plan shall include a written, individualized, and thorough transitional plan, developed in collaboration with the child and any agency, department, or individual assuming custody, care, or responsibility of the child.

            (b) The transitional plan shall identify the programs, services, and facilities that will be used to assist the child in achieving a successful transition. The transitional plan shall address the needs of the child, including but not limited to education, health, permanent connections, living arrangements, and, if appropriate, independent living skills and employment.

            (c) The department shall ensure that all records in its files relevant to securing needed services in the community in which the child will live shall be immediately transmitted to the appropriate service provider.

            (7)(a) Documentation of the efforts the agency is making to safely return the child home or to finalize the child's placement in an alternative safe and permanent home in accordance with the child's permanent plan.

            (b) For children whose permanent plan is adoption or placement in another permanent home, this documentation shall include child-specific recruitment efforts such as the use of state, regional, and national adoption exchanges, including electronic exchange systems, to facilitate orderly and timely in-state and interstate placements.

            (c) For children whose permanent plan is guardianship, the documentation shall include the facts and circumstances supporting guardianship, including the reasons that the plan is in the best interest of the child and that reunification with a parent and adoption are not appropriate permanent plans. The documentation shall also address the suitability and commitment of the proposed guardian to offer a wholesome, stable home for the child throughout minority.

            (d) For children whose permanent plan is placement in the least restrictive, most family-like alternative permanent living arrangement, the documentation shall include the intensive, ongoing, and as of the date of the hearing, efforts made by the department to return the child home or secure a placement for the child with a fit and willing relative, including adult siblings, a legal guardian, or an adoptive parent.

            (8) Assessment of the relationships between the child and the parents, grandparents, and siblings, including a plan for assuring that continuing contact with any suitable relative by blood, adoption, or affinity with whom the child has an established and significant relationship is preserved while the child is in foster care. The preservation of these relationships shall be considered when the permanent plan is adopted.

            (9) Documentation of the compelling reasons for determining that filing a petition for termination of parental rights would not be in the best interest of the child, when appropriate.

            Acts 1991, No. 235, §6, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 1997, No. 612, §1; Acts 1999, No. 449, §1, eff. July 1, 1999; Acts 2001, No. 568, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002; Acts 2003, No. 567, §1; Acts 2007, No. 334, §1; Acts 2008, No. 392, §1; Acts 2011, No. 128, §1; Acts 2012, No. 730, §1; Acts 2015, No. 124, §1, eff. June 19, 2015; Acts 2015, No. 278, §1, eff. June 29, 2015; Acts 2022, No. 272, §1.

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