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This entry was published on 2021-11-12
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SECTION 1091-A
Court review of placement in a qualified residential treatment program
Family Court Act (FCT) CHAPTER 686, ARTICLE 10-B
§ 1091-a. Court review of placement in a qualified residential
treatment program. 1. The provisions of this section shall apply when a
former foster care youth is placed on or after September twenty-ninth,
two thousand twenty-one, and resides in a qualified residential
treatment program, as defined in section four hundred nine-h of the
social services law, and whose care and custody were transferred to a
local social services district or the office of children and family
services in accordance with this article.

2. (a) When a former foster care youth is in the care and custody of a
local social services district or the office of children and family
services pursuant to this article, such social services district or
office shall report any anticipated placement of the former foster care
youth into a qualified residential treatment program, as defined in
section four hundred nine-h of the social services law, to the court and
the attorneys for the parties, including the attorney for the former
foster care youth, forthwith, but not later than one business day
following either the decision to place the former foster care youth in
the qualified residential treatment program or the actual date the
placement change occurred, whichever is sooner. Such notice shall
indicate the date that the initial placement or change in placement 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 office
shall subsequently notify the court and attorneys for the parties,
including the attorney for the former foster care youth, of the date the
placement change occurred; such notice shall occur no later than one
business day following the placement change.

(b) When a former foster care youth whose legal custody was
transferred to a local social services district or the office of
children and family services in accordance with this article resides in
a qualified residential treatment program, as defined in section four
hundred nine-h of the social services law, and where such former foster
care youth's initial placement or change in placement in such qualified
residential treatment program commenced on or after September
twenty-ninth, two thousand twenty-one, upon receipt of notice required
pursuant to paragraph (a) 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 subdivision three of this section. 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 former foster care
youth in the qualified residential treatment program commenced.

3. Within sixty days of the start of a placement of a former foster
care youth referenced in subdivision one of this section in a qualified
residential treatment program, the court shall:

(a) Consider the assessment, determination, and documentation made by
the qualified individual pursuant to section four hundred nine-h of the
social services law;

(b) Determine whether the needs of the former foster care youth can be
met through placement in a foster family home and, if not, whether
placement of the former foster care youth in a qualified residential
treatment program provides the most effective and appropriate level of
care for the former foster care youth in the least restrictive
environment and whether that placement is consistent with the short-term
and long-term goals for the former foster care youth, as specified in
the former foster care youth's permanency plan; and

(c) Approve or disapprove the placement of the former foster care
youth in a qualified residential treatment program. Provided that, where
the qualified individual determines that the placement of the former
foster care youth in a qualified residential treatment program is not
appropriate in accordance with the assessment required pursuant to
section four hundred nine-h of the social services law, the court may
only approve the placement of the former foster care youth in the
qualified residential treatment program if:

(i) the court finds, and states in the written order that:

(A) circumstances exist that necessitate the continued placement of
the former foster care youth in the qualified residential treatment
program;

(B) there is not an alternative setting available that can meet the
former foster care youth's needs in a less restrictive environment; and

(C) that continued placement in the qualified residential treatment
program is in the former foster care youth's best interest; and

(ii) the court's written order states the specific reasons why the
court has made the findings required pursuant to subparagraph (i) of
this paragraph.

(d) Nothing herein shall prohibit the court from considering other
relevant and necessary information to make a determination.

4. At the conclusion of the review, if the court disapproves placement
of the former foster care youth in a qualified residential treatment
program the court shall, on its own motion, determine a schedule for the
return of the former foster care youth and direct the local social
services district or office of children and family services, as
applicable, to make such other arrangements for the former foster care
youth's care and welfare that is in the best interest of the former
foster care youth and in the most effective and least restrictive
setting as the facts of the case may require. If a new placement order
is necessary due to restrictions in the existing governing placement
order, the court may issue a new order.

5. The court may, on its own motion, or the motion of any of the
parties or the attorney for the former foster care youth, proceed with
the court review required pursuant to this section on the basis of the
written records received and without a hearing. Provided however, the
court may only proceed with the court review without a hearing pursuant
to this subdivision upon the consent of all parties. Provided further,
in the event that the court conducts the court review requirement
pursuant to this section but does not conduct it in a hearing, the court
shall issue a written order specifying any determinations made pursuant
to subparagraph (i) of paragraph (c) of subdivision three of this
section and provide such written order to the parties and the attorney
for the former foster care youth expeditiously, but no later than five
days.

6. Documentation of the court's determination pursuant to this section
shall be recorded in the former foster care youth's case record.

7. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the court's review of a
placement in a qualified residential treatment program from occurring at
the same time as another hearing scheduled for such former foster care
youth, including but not limited to the former foster care youth's
permanency hearing, provided such approval is completed within sixty
days of the start of such placement.