43-283.01. Preserve and reunify the family; reasonable efforts; requirements.

(1) In determining whether reasonable efforts have been made to preserve and reunify the family and in making such reasonable efforts, the juvenile's health and safety are the paramount concern.

(2) Except as provided in subsections (4) and (5) of this section, reasonable efforts shall be made to preserve and reunify families prior to the placement of a juvenile in foster care to prevent or eliminate the need for removing the juvenile from the juvenile's home and to make it possible for a juvenile to safely return to the juvenile's home.

(3) If continuation of reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify the family is determined to be inconsistent with the permanency plan determined for the juvenile in accordance with a permanency hearing under section 43-1312, efforts shall be made to place the juvenile in a timely manner in accordance with the permanency plan and to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the juvenile.

(4) Reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify the family are not required if a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that:

(a) The parent of the juvenile has subjected the juvenile or another minor child to aggravated circumstances, including, but not limited to, abandonment, torture, chronic abuse, or sexual abuse;

(b) The parent of the juvenile has (i) committed first or second degree murder to another child of the parent, (ii) committed voluntary manslaughter to another child of the parent, (iii) aided or abetted, attempted, conspired, or solicited to commit murder, or aided or abetted voluntary manslaughter of the juvenile or another child of the parent, (iv) committed a felony assault which results in serious bodily injury to the juvenile or another minor child of the parent, or (v) been convicted of felony sexual assault of the other parent of the juvenile under section 28-319.01 or 28-320.01 or a comparable crime in another state; or

(c) The parental rights of the parent to a sibling of the juvenile have been terminated involuntarily.

(5) Except as otherwise provided in the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, if the family includes a child who was conceived by the victim of a sexual assault and a biological parent is convicted of the crime under section 28-319 or 28-320 or a law in another jurisdiction similar to either section 28-319 or 28-320, the convicted biological parent of such child shall not be considered a part of the child's family for purposes of requiring reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify the family.

(6) If reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify the family are not required because of a court determination made under subsection (4) of this section, a permanency hearing, as provided in section 43-1312, shall be held for the juvenile within thirty days after the determination, reasonable efforts shall be made to place the juvenile in a timely manner in accordance with the permanency plan, and whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the juvenile shall be made.

(7) Reasonable efforts to place a juvenile for adoption or with a guardian may be made concurrently with reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify the family, but priority shall be given to preserving and reunifying the family as provided in this section.

Source:Laws 1998, LB 1041, § 24; Laws 2009, LB517, § 1; Laws 2017, LB289, § 17.
Effective Date: August 24, 2017

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