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This entry was published on 2021-11-12
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SECTION 1097
Court review of placement in a qualified residential treatment program
Family Court Act (FCT) CHAPTER 686, ARTICLE 10-C
§ 1097. Court review of placement in a qualified residential treatment
program. 1. The provisions of this section shall apply when a child 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 in
accordance with this article.

2. (a) When a child is in the care and custody of a local social
services district pursuant to this article, such social services
district shall report any anticipated placement of the child 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 child,
forthwith, but not later than one business day following either the
decision to place the child 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 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.

(b) When a child whose legal custody was transferred to a local social
services district 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 child'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 child in the qualified residential treatment program commenced.

3. Within sixty days of the start of a placement of a child 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 child can be met through
placement in a foster family home and, if not, whether placement of the
child in a qualified residential treatment program provides the most
effective and appropriate level of care for the child in the least
restrictive environment and whether that placement is consistent with
the short-term and long-term goals for the child, as specified in the
child's permanency plan; and

(c) Approve or disapprove the placement of the child in the qualified
residential treatment program. Provided that, where the qualified
individual determines that the placement of the child 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
child 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 child in the qualified residential treatment program;

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

(C) that continued placement in the qualified residential treatment
program is in the child'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 child in a qualified residential treatment program the court
shall, on its own motion, determine a schedule for the return of the
child and direct the local social services district to make such other
arrangements for the child's care and welfare that is in the best
interest of the child 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 child, 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
child expeditiously, but no later than five days.

6. Documentation of the court's determination pursuant to this section
shall be recorded in the child'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 child, including but
not limited to the child's permanency hearing, provided such approval is
completed within sixty days of the start of such placement.