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8-846 Services provided to the child and family

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The state bar of arizona
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A. Except as provided in subsections D, E and F of this section, if the child has been removed from the home, the court shall order the department to make reasonable efforts to provide services to the child and the child’s parent.

B. If the court determines that services supplemental to those provided through the department are available from another source at no cost to this state, the court may order the services on agreement of the provider.

C. The court may employ an individual or individuals to facilitate collaboration between the parties and to ensure the delivery of court-ordered services. An employee acting in that capacity has access to all documents and information necessary to ensure service delivery regarding the child and the child’s family without obtaining prior approval from the child, the child’s family or the court. The employee may disclose documents and information the employee acquires, reviews or produces only as prescribed pursuant to section 8-807.

D. The court shall consider the following factors in determining whether reunification services are required to be provided. Reunification services are not required to be provided if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that:

1. One or more of the following aggravating circumstances exist:

(a) A party to the action provides a verified affidavit that states that a reasonably diligent search has failed to identify and locate the parent within three months after the filing of the dependency petition or the parent has expressed no interest in reunification with the child for at least three months after the filing of the dependency petition.

(b) The parent or guardian is suffering from a mental illness or mental deficiency of such magnitude that it renders the parent or guardian incapable of benefitting from the reunification services. This finding shall be based on competent evidence from a psychologist or physician that establishes that, even with the provision of reunification services, the parent or guardian is unlikely to be capable of adequately caring for the child within twelve months after the date of the child’s removal from the home.

(c) The child previously has been removed and adjudicated dependent due to physical or sexual abuse. After the adjudication the child was returned to the custody of the parent or guardian and then subsequently removed within eighteen months due to additional physical or sexual abuse.

(d) The parent or guardian committed an act that constitutes a dangerous crime against children as defined in section 13-705 or caused a child to suffer serious physical injury or emotional injury or the parent or guardian knew or reasonably should have known that another person committed an act that constitutes a dangerous crime against children as defined in section 13-705 or caused a child to suffer serious physical injury or emotional injury.

(e) The parent’s rights to another child have been terminated, the parent has not successfully addressed the issues that led to the termination and the parent is unable to discharge parental responsibilities.

(f) After a finding that a child is dependent, all of the following are true:

(i) A child has been removed from the parent or guardian on at least two previous occasions.

(ii) Reunification services were offered or provided to the parent or guardian after the removal.

(iii) The parent or guardian is unable to discharge parental responsibilities.

2. The parent or guardian of a child has been convicted of a dangerous crime against children as defined in section 13-705, murder or manslaughter of a child, or of sexual abuse of a child, sexual assault of a child, sexual conduct with a minor, molestation of a child, commercial sexual exploitation of a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor or luring a minor for sexual exploitation.

3. The parent or guardian of a child has been convicted of aiding or abetting or attempting, conspiring or soliciting to commit any of the crimes listed in paragraph 2 of this subsection.

E. The court shall consider any criminal prosecution relating to the offenses that led to the child’s removal from the home and shall abide by any orders of the criminal court. Information may be provided by law enforcement or the county attorney.

F. If a dependency petition was filed pursuant to section 8-873.01 or 8-874, subsection J, the court may direct the division not to provide reunification services to the child’s parents unless the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that these services would be in the child’s best interests.

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