Nebraska Revised Statute 43-1311.02

Chapter 43 Section 1311.02

43-1311.02.

Placement of child and siblings; sibling visitation or ongoing interaction; motions authorized; court review; department; duties.

(1)(a) Reasonable efforts shall be made to place a child and the child's siblings in the same foster care placement or adoptive placement, unless such placement is contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings. This requirement applies even if the custody orders of the siblings are made at separate times.

(b) If the siblings are not placed together in a joint-sibling placement, the Department of Health and Human Services shall provide the siblings and the court with the reasons why a joint-sibling placement would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings.

(2) When siblings are not placed together in a joint-sibling placement, the department shall make a reasonable effort to provide for frequent sibling visitation or ongoing interaction between the child and the child's siblings unless the department provides the siblings and the court with reasons why such sibling visitation or ongoing interaction would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings. The court shall determine the type and frequency of sibling visitation or ongoing interaction to be implemented by the department.

(3) Parties to the case may file a motion for joint-sibling placement, sibling visitation, or ongoing interaction between siblings.

(4) The court shall periodically review and evaluate the effectiveness and appropriateness of the joint-sibling placement, sibling visitation, or ongoing interaction between siblings.

(5) If an order is entered for termination of parental rights of siblings who are subject to this section, unless the court has suspended or terminated joint-sibling placement, sibling visitation, or ongoing interaction between siblings, the department shall make reasonable efforts to make a joint-sibling placement or do all of the following to facilitate frequent sibling visitation or ongoing interaction between the child and the child's siblings when the child is adopted or enters a permanent placement: (a) Include in the training provided to prospective adoptive parents information regarding the importance of sibling relationships to an adopted child and counseling methods for maintaining sibling relationships; (b) provide prospective adoptive parents with information regarding the child's siblings; and (c) encourage prospective adoptive parents to plan for facilitating post-adoption contact between the child and the child's siblings.

(6) Any information regarding court-ordered or authorized joint-sibling placement, sibling visitation, or ongoing interaction between siblings shall be provided by the department to the parent or parents if parental rights have not been terminated unless the court determines that doing so would be contrary to the safety or well-being of the child and to the foster parent, relative caretaker, guardian, prospective adoptive parent, and child as soon as reasonably possible following the entry of the court order or authorization as necessary to facilitate the sibling time.

(7) For purposes relative to the administration of the federal foster care program and the state plans pursuant to Title IV-B and Title IV-E of the federal Social Security Act, as such act existed on January 1, 2015, the term sibling means an individual considered to be a sibling under Nebraska law or an individual who would have been considered a sibling but for a termination of parental rights or other disruption of parental rights such as death of a parent.