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CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS (CARE AND PROTECTION) ACT 1998 - SECT 83

Preparation of permanency plan

83 Preparation of permanency plan

(1) If the Secretary applies to the Children's Court for a care order (not being an emergency care and protection order) for the removal of a child or young person, the Secretary must assess whether there is a realistic possibility of the child or young person being restored to his or her parents within a reasonable period, having regard to:
(a) the circumstances of the child or young person, and
(b) the evidence, if any, that the child or young person's parents are likely to be able to satisfactorily address the issues that have led to the removal of the child or young person from their care.
(2) If the Secretary assesses that there is a realistic possibility of restoration within a reasonable period, the Secretary is to prepare a permanency plan involving restoration and submit it to the Children's Court for its consideration.
(3) If the Secretary assesses that there is not a realistic possibility of restoration within a reasonable period, the Secretary is to prepare a permanency plan for another suitable long-term placement for the child or young person and submit it to the Children's Court for its consideration.
(4) In preparing a plan under subsection (3), the Secretary must consider whether adoption is the preferred option for the child or young person.
Note : See section 10A (3) (e) in relation to adoption of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young persons.
(5) The Children's Court is to decide whether to accept the Secretary's assessment of whether or not there is a realistic possibility of restoration within a reasonable period:
(a) in the case of a child who is less than 2 years of age on the date the Children's Court makes an interim order allocating parental responsibility for the child to a person other than a parent--within 6 months after the Children's Court makes the interim order, and
(b) in the case of a child or young person who is 2 or more years of age on the date the Children's Court makes an interim order allocating parental responsibility for the child or young person to a person other than a parent--within 12 months after the Children's Court makes the interim order.
(5A) However, the Children's Court may, having regard to the circumstances of the case and if it considers it appropriate and in the best interests of the child or young person, decide, after the end of the applicable period referred to in subsection (5), whether to accept the Secretary's assessment of whether or not there is a realistic possibility of restoration within a reasonable period.
(6) If the Children's Court does not accept the Secretary's assessment, it may direct the Secretary to prepare a different permanency plan.
(7) The Children's Court must not make a final care order unless it expressly finds:
(a) that permanency planning for the child or young person has been appropriately and adequately addressed, and
(b) that prior to approving a permanency plan involving restoration there is a realistic possibility of restoration within a reasonable period, having regard to:
(i) the circumstances of the child or young person, and
(ii) the evidence, if any, that the child or young person's parents are likely to be able to satisfactorily address the issues that have led to the removal of the child or young person from their care.
(7A) For the purposes of subsection (7) (a), the permanency plan need not provide details as to the exact placement in the long term of the child or young person to whom the plan relates but must provide the further and better particulars which are sufficiently identified and addressed so the Court, prior to final orders being made, can have a reasonably clear plan as to the child's or young person's needs and how those needs are going to be met.
(8) A permanency plan is only enforceable to the extent to which its provisions are embodied in, or approved by, an order or orders of the Children's Court.
(8A) A
"reasonable period" for the purposes of this section must not exceed 24 months.
(9) In this section,
"parent" , in relation to the child or young person concerned, means:
(a) the child's or young person's birth parent, or
(b) if the child or young person has been adopted--the child's or young person's adoptive parent.



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