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SECTION 1055
Placement
Family Court Act (FCT) CHAPTER 686, ARTICLE 10, PART 5
§ 1055. Placement. (a) (i) For purposes of section one thousand
fifty-two of this part the court may place the child in the custody of a
relative or other suitable person pursuant to this article, or of the
local commissioner of social services or of such other officer, board or
department as may be authorized to receive children as public charges,
or a duly authorized association, agency, society or in an institution
suitable for the placement of a child. The court may also place a child
who it finds to be a sexually exploited child as defined in subdivision
one of section four hundred forty-seven-a of the social services law
with the local commissioner of social services for placement in an
available long-term safe house. The court may also place the child in
the custody of the local commissioner of social services and may direct
such commissioner to have the child reside with a relative or other
suitable person who has indicated a desire to become a foster parent for
the child and further direct such commissioner, pursuant to regulations
of the office of children and family services, to commence an
investigation of the home of such relative or other suitable person
within twenty-four hours and thereafter expedite approval or
certification of such relative or other suitable person, if qualified,
as a foster parent. If such home is found to be unqualified for approval
or certification, the local commissioner shall report such fact to the
court forthwith so that the court may make a placement determination
that is in the best interests of the child.

(ii) An order placing a child directly with a relative or other
suitable person pursuant to this part may not be granted unless the
relative or other suitable person consents to the jurisdiction of the
court. The court may place the person with whom the child has been
directly placed under supervision of a child protective agency, social
services official or duly authorized agency during the pendency of the
proceeding. The court also may issue an order of protection under
section one thousand fifty-six of this part. An order of supervision
issued pursuant to this subdivision shall set forth the terms and
conditions that the relative or suitable person must meet and the
actions that the child protective agency, social services official or
duly authorized agency must take to exercise such supervision.

(b) (i) The court shall state on the record its findings supporting
the placement in any order of placement made under this section. The
order of placement shall include, but not be limited to:

(A) a description of the visitation plan;

(B) a direction that the respondent or respondents shall be notified
of the planning conference or conferences to be held pursuant to
subdivision three of section four hundred nine-e of the social services
law, of their right to attend the conference, and of their right to have
counsel or another representative or companion with them;

(C) a date certain for the permanency hearing, which may be the
previously-scheduled date certain, but in no event more than eight
months from the date of removal of the child from his or her home.
Provided, however, that if there is a sibling or half-sibling of the
child who was previously removed from the home pursuant to this article,
the date certain for the permanency hearing shall be the date certain
previously scheduled for the sibling or half-sibling of the child who
was the first child removed from the home, where such sibling or
half-sibling has a permanency hearing date certain scheduled within the
next eight months, but in no event later than eight months from the date
of removal of the child from his or her home;

(D) a notice that if the child remains in foster care for fifteen of
the most recent twenty-two months, the agency may be required by law to
file a petition to terminate parental rights. A copy of the court's
order and the service plan shall be given to the respondent; and

(E) where the permanency goal is return to the parent and it is
anticipated that the child may be finally discharged to his or her
parent before the next scheduled permanency hearing, the court may
provide the local social services district with authority to finally
discharge the child to the parent without further court hearing,
provided that ten days prior written notice is served upon the court and
the attorney for the child. If the court on its own motion or the
attorney for the child on motion to the court does not request the
matter to be brought for review before final discharge, no further
permanency hearings will be required. The local social services district
may also discharge the child on a trial basis to the parent unless the
court has prohibited such trial discharge or unless the court has
conditioned such trial discharge on another event. For the purposes of
this section, trial discharge shall mean that the child is physically
returned to the parent while the child remains in the care and custody
of the local social services district. Permanency hearings shall
continue to be held for any child who has returned to his or her parents
on a trial discharge. Where the permanency goal for a youth aging out of
foster care is another planned permanent living arrangement that
includes a significant connection to an adult willing to be a permanency
resource for the youth, the local social services district may also
discharge the youth on a trial basis to the planned permanent living
arrangements, unless the court has prohibited or otherwise conditioned
such a trial discharge. Trial discharge for a youth aging out of foster
care shall mean that a youth is physically discharged but the local
social services district retains care and custody or custody and
guardianship of the youth and there remains a date certain for the
scheduled permanency hearing. Trial discharge for a youth aging out of
foster care may be extended at each scheduled permanency hearing, until
the child reaches the age of twenty-one, if a child over the age of
eighteen consents to such extension. Prior to finally discharging a
youth aging out of foster care to another planned permanent living
arrangement, the local social services official shall give the youth
notice of the right to apply to reenter foster care within the earlier
of twenty-four months of the final discharge or the youth's twenty-first
birthday in accordance with article ten-B of this act. Such notice shall
also advise the youth that reentry into foster care will only be
available where the former foster care youth has no reasonable
alternative to foster care and consents to enrollment in and attendance
at an appropriate educational or vocational program in accordance with
paragraph two of subdivision (a) of section one thousand ninety-one of
this act. Children placed under this section shall be placed until the
court completes the initial permanency hearing scheduled pursuant to
article ten-A of this act. Should the court determine pursuant to
article ten-A of this act that placement shall be extended beyond
completion of the scheduled permanency hearing, such extended placement
and any such successive extensions of placement shall expire at the
completion of the next scheduled permanency hearing, unless the court
shall determine, pursuant to article ten-A of this act, to continue to
extend such placement.

(ii) Upon placing a child under the age of one, who has been
abandoned, with a local commissioner of social services, the court
shall, where either of the parents do not appear after due notice,
include in its order of disposition pursuant to section one thousand
fifty-two of this part, a direction that such commissioner shall
promptly commence a diligent search to locate the child's non-appearing
parent or parents or other known relatives who are legally responsible
for the child, and to commence a proceeding to commit the guardianship
and custody of such child to an authorized agency pursuant to section
three hundred eighty-four-b of the social services law, six months from
the date that care and custody of the child was transferred to the
commissioner, unless there has been communication and visitation between
such child and such parent or parents or other known relatives or
persons legally responsible for the child. In addition to such diligent
search the local commissioner of social services shall provide written
notice to the child's parent or parents or other known relatives or
persons legally responsible as provided for in this paragraph. Such
notice shall be served upon such parent or parents or other known
relatives or persons legally responsible in the manner required for
service of process pursuant to section six hundred seventeen of this
act. Information regarding such diligent search, including, but not
limited to, the name, last known address, social security number,
employer's address and any other identifying information to the extent
known regarding the non-appearing parent, shall be recorded in the
uniform case record maintained pursuant to section four hundred nine-f
of the social services law.

(iii) Notice as required by paragraph (ii) of this subdivision shall
state:

(A) that the local commissioner of social services shall initiate a
proceeding to commit the guardianship and custody of the subject child
to an authorized agency and that such proceeding shall be commenced six
months from the date the child was placed in the care and custody of
such commissioner with such date to be specified in the notice;

(B) that there has been no visitation and communication between the
parent and the child since the child has been placed with the local
commissioner of social services and that if no such visitation and
communication with the child occurs within six months of the date the
child was placed with such commissioner the child will be deemed an
abandoned child as defined in section three hundred eighty-four-b of the
social services law and a proceeding will be commenced to commit the
guardianship and custody of the subject child to an authorized agency;

(C) that it is the legal responsibility of the local commissioner of
social services to reunite and reconcile families whenever possible and
to offer services and assistance for that purpose;

(D) the name, address and telephone number of the caseworker assigned
to the subject child who can provide information, services and
assistance with respect to reuniting the family;

(E) that it is the responsibility of the parent, relative or other
person legally responsible for the child to visit and communicate with
the child and that such visitation and communication may avoid the
necessity of initiating a petition for the transfer of custody and
guardianship of the child.
Such notice shall be printed in both Spanish and English and contain in
conspicuous print and in plain language the information set forth in
this paragraph.

(c) In addition to or in lieu of an order of placement made pursuant
to subdivision (b) of this section, the court may make an order
directing a child protective agency, social services official or other
duly authorized agency to undertake diligent efforts to encourage and
strengthen the parental relationship when it finds such efforts will not
be detrimental to the best interests of the child. Such efforts shall
include encouraging and facilitating visitation with the child by the
parent or other person legally responsible for the child's care. Such
order may include a specific plan of action for such agency or official
including, but not limited to, requirements that such agency or official
assist the parent or other person responsible for the child's care in
obtaining adequate housing, employment, counseling, medical care or
psychiatric treatment. Such order shall also include encouraging and
facilitating visitation with the child by the non-custodial parent and
grandparents who have obtained orders pursuant to part eight of this
article, and may include encouraging and facilitating visitation with
the child by the child's siblings. The order may incorporate an order,
if any, issued pursuant to subdivision (c) of section one thousand
twenty-seven-a or one thousand eighty-one of this article, provided that
such visitation or contact is in the best interests of the child and his
or her siblings. For purposes of this section, "siblings" shall include
half-siblings and those who would be deemed siblings or half-siblings
but for the termination of parental rights of death of a parent. Nothing
in this subdivision shall be deemed to limit the authority of the court
to make an order pursuant to section two hundred fifty-five of this act.

(d) In addition to or in lieu of an order of placement made pursuant
to subdivision (b) of this section, the court may make an order
directing a social services official or other duly authorized agency to
institute a proceeding to legally free the child for adoption, if the
court finds reasonable cause to believe that grounds therefor exist.
Upon a failure by such official or agency to institute such a proceeding
within ninety days after entry of such order, the court shall permit the
foster parent or parents in whose home the child resides to institute
such a proceeding unless the social services official or other duly
authorized agency caring for the child, for good cause shown and upon
due notice to all parties to the proceeding, has obtained a modification
or extension of such order, or unless the court has reasonable cause to
believe that such foster parent or parents would not obtain approval of
their petition to adopt the children in a subsequent adoption
proceeding.

(e) No placement may be made or continued under this section beyond
the child's eighteenth birthday without his or her consent and in no
event past his or her twenty-first birthday. However, a former foster
care youth under the age of twenty-one who was previously discharged
from foster care due to a failure to consent to continuation of
placement may make a motion pursuant to section one thousand ninety-one
of this act to return to the custody of the local commissioner of social
services or other officer, board or department authorized to receive
children as public charges. In such motion, the youth must consent to
enrollment in and attendance at a vocational or educational program in
accordance with paragraph two of subdivision (a) of section one thousand
ninety-one of this act.

(f) If a child is placed in the custody of the local commissioner of
social services or other officer, board or department authorized to
receive children as public charges, such person shall provide for such
child as authorized by law, including, but not limited to section three
hundred ninety-eight of the social services law.

(g) If the parent or person legally responsible for the care of any
such child or with whom such child resides receives public assistance
and care, any portion of which is attributable to such child, a copy of
the order of the court providing for the placement of such child from
his or her home shall be furnished to the appropriate social services
official, who shall reduce the public assistance and care furnished such
parent or other person by the amount attributable to such child,
provided, however, that when the child service plan prepared pursuant to
section four hundred nine-e of the social services law includes a goal
of discharge of the child to the parent or person legally responsible
for the care of the child or other member of the household, such social
services official shall not, to the extent that federal reimbursement is
available therefor, reduce the portion attributable to such child which
is intended to meet the cost of shelter and fuel for heating.

(h) Any order made under this section shall be suspended upon the
entry of an order of disposition with respect to a child whose custody
and guardianship have been committed pursuant to section three hundred
eighty-four-b of the social services law, and shall expire upon the
expiration of the time for appeal of such order or upon the final
determination of any such appeal and any subsequent appeals authorized
by law; provided, however, that where custody and guardianship have been
committed pursuant to section three hundred eighty-four-b of the social
services law or where the child has been surrendered pursuant to section
three hundred eighty-three-c or three hundred eighty-four of the social
services law, the child shall nonetheless be deemed to continue in
foster care until such time as an adoption or other alternative living
arrangement is finalized. A permanency hearing or hearings regarding
such child shall be conducted in accordance with article ten-A of this
act. Nothing in this subdivision shall cause such order of placement to
be suspended or to expire with respect to any parent or other person
whose consent is required for an adoption against whom an order of
disposition committing guardianship and custody of the child has not
been made.

(i) In making an order under this section, the court may direct a
local commissioner of social services to place the subject child
together with minor siblings or half-siblings who have been placed in
the custody of the commissioner, or to provide or arrange for regular
visitation and other forms of communication between such child and
siblings where the court finds that such placement or visitation and
communication is in the child's best interests. Placement or regular
visitation and communication with siblings or half-siblings shall be
presumptively in the child's best interests unless such placement or
visitation and communication would be contrary to the child's health,
safety or welfare, or the lack of geographic proximity precludes or
prevents visitation.

(j) (i) In any case in which an order has been issued pursuant to this
section placing a child in the custody or care of the commissioner of
social services, the social services official or authorized agency
charged with custody of the child shall report any anticipated change in
placement to the court and the attorneys for the parties, including the
attorney for the child, forthwith, but not later than one business day
following either the decision to change the placement or the actual date
the placement change occurred, whichever is sooner. Such notice shall
indicate the date that the placement change is anticipated to occur or
the date the placement change occurred, as applicable. Provided,
however, if such notice lists an anticipated date for the placement
change, the local social services district or authorized agency shall
subsequently notify the court and attorneys for the parties, including
the attorney for the child, of the date the placement change occurred;
such notice shall occur no later than one business day following the
placement change.

(ii) When a child whose legal custody was transferred to the
commissioner of a local social services district in accordance with this
section resides in a qualified residential treatment program, as defined
in section four hundred nine-h of the social services law, and where
such child's initial placement or change in placement in such program
commenced on or after September twenty-ninth, two thousand twenty-one,
upon receipt of notice required pursuant to paragraph (i) of this
subdivision and motion of the local social services district, the court
shall schedule a court review to make an assessment and determination of
such placement in accordance with section one thousand fifty-five-c of
this part. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary,
such court review shall occur no later than sixty days from the date the
placement of the child in the qualified residential treatment program
commenced.