Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

11.30 Permanency Hearings

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter 11-CPS Court
11.30 Permanency Hearings

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Legal Authority/Introduction


A permanency hearing is held no later than twelve (12) months after the date the child is considered to have entered foster care and every twelve (12) months thereafter, as long as the Cabinet retains custody of the child. This includes youth eighteen (18) years of age or older on extended/reinstated commitment as long as the Cabinet retains custody.

Practice Guidance

The SSW:

  • Is aware that statutory deadlines for permanency planning hearings are seen as maximums rather than standard times; and
  • Is aware that TPR is not a permanency goal but the process to reach the permanency goal of adoption.


  1. The children’s benefits worker (CBW) notifies the FSOS and the SRAA or designee of the due date for the permanency hearing ninety (90) days prior to the deadline.
  2. The FSOS and SRAA or designee notifies the SSW responsible for the case of the ensuing deadline.

The SSW:

  1. Prepares for the second periodic review as outlined in SOP 4.18 Ongoing Case Planning prior to the permanency hearing;
  2. Sends a copy of the DPP-165 Permanency Hearing Notification to the court requesting a permanency hearing no later than sixty (60) calendar days prior to the required due date, which is: 1
    1. No later than twelve (12) months from the date the child entered out of home care (OOHC) by order of temporary custody during the temporary removal hearing or placement as a result of voluntary commitment;
    2. Every twelve (12) months thereafter if custody and out of home placement continues; and
    3. Within thirty (30) days of the development of the case plan;
  3. Refers to the Permanency Goals in OOHC Cases Tip Sheet in preparing for the permanency hearing;
  4. Or designated regional staff notifies and invites the following individuals to the scheduled court hearing:
    1. Child’s mother;
    2. Child’s father;
    3. Relative or fictive kin caregiver; and
    4. Child’s foster/pre-adoptive parent(s) or private child care provider; 2
  5. Documents the notification of the invitation to the scheduled court hearing on the DPP-165 and maintains a copy of the case file;
  6. Provides a written report (case plan) to the court, which includes the information required pursuant to KRS 610.125;
  7. Provides the following information to the court, which is found in the case plan, in the following circumstances:
    1. That a child be returned home on a certain date, it documents:
      1. How the conditions or circumstances leading to the removal of the child have been corrected, including services provided and services that need to continue after the child’s return;
      2. The frequency of recent visitation and its impact on the child; and
      3. A plan for the child’s safe return home and follow-up supervision after the family’s reunification. 
    2. Termination of parental rights (TPR), it documents:
      1. Facts and circumstances supporting the grounds for termination; and
      2. A plan to place the child for adoption.
  8. Ensures that any Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) exemption is clearly documented on the case plan prior to submission to the court;
    1. ASFA exemptions may be requested when the following circumstances are present in the case:
      1. When the child is being cared for by relatives or fictive kin and the cabinet plans to recommend that the caregiver become a permanent custodian;
      2. TPR is not in the child's best interest and the case plan documents the appropriateness of this decision (i.e., the child requires treatment for behavioral or medical issues and the parent is cooperating with DCBS regarding the child's return home);
      3. The parent(s) are making significant progress on the case plan goals and objectives; or
      4. Planned permanent living arrangement (PPLA) has been approved as outlined in SOP 4.18 Ongoing Case Planning
    2. An ASFA exemption memo must be completed and approved by the SRA or designee prior to the worker requesting the exemption from the court. 
  9. Files a dispositional report, case plan, visitation agreement, and any prevention plans at least three (3) days prior to any annual review in accordance with Family Court Rules 28 and 29;  
  10. Ensures the contents of the dispositional report are reflected in TWIST;
  11. Obtains the judicial determination regarding the appropriateness of the permanency goal; 
  12. Obtains a judicial determination regarding the appropriateness of the agency's efforts to finalize the permanency plan;
  13. Maintains a copy of the court order in the case file;
  14. Convenes another periodic review, to change the goal per court order if the court does not approve the permanency goal;
  15. Documents the hearing and any court orders in TWIST, noting the court’s agreement with or deviation from the dispositional report; and
  16. Or FSOS immediately contacts the Office of Legal Services (OLS) regional attorney for consultation on the case, if after reviewing the court’s decision, the SSW and FSOS do not agree with the court’s permanency decision.



  1. Pursuant to KRS 610.125 (3) the court is required to schedule a hearing within sixty (60) days of this notice and notify all concerned parties as noted on the DPP-165.
  2. If deemed appropriate by the court, the above concerned parties may be asked to present any evidence relevant to the determination of a permanency goal for the child.  Concerned parties should be prepared to provide factual information if requested.


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