Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

11.36.6 Involuntary TPR Hearing and Order of Judgment

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter 10-Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
11.36.6 Involuntary TPR Hearing and Order of Judgment

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Legal Authority/Introduction



The regional attorney involved in the termination:  

  1. Notifies the local office of the court’s decision in the case by forwarding, immediately upon receipt, a certified copy of the order of judgment to the appropriate local DCBS staff.

The SSW:  

  1. Forwards a certified copy of the judgment along with the presentation summary (TWIST) form to the central office Adoptions Branch upon receipt of the order of judgment, if termination is granted; 1 
  2. Redockets the case for a post-termination court review in accordance with Family Court Civil Rule 36.  The hearing is to occur within 90 days from the date of the entry of the order of termination, and reviews progress towards finalization of an adoptive placement for the child.

Practice Guidance

  • The SSW is the agency representative of the Cabinet during the hearing, while the Office of Legal Services (OLS) regional attorney represents the Cabinet as a party to the action.
  • The SSW should be:
    • Familiar with the entire case history/file; and
    • Thoroughly prepared to testify and to assist the regional attorney during all hearings.
  • The court hearing is a formal, private trial conducted according to the Kentucky rules of civil procedure and as such the SSW is thoroughly prepared and knowledgeable that:
    • As the petitioner, the Cabinet is required to present its proof first;
    • After each witness testifies, the witness may be cross examined by the attorney for the parent and by the guardian ad litem for the child;
    • After the Cabinet has presented all of its evidence, the parents may testify and may call other witnesses; and
    • If contested, these hearings are generally formal, lengthy and demanding.
  • The judge prepares the findings of fact and conclusion of law and enters a judgment, either affirming or dismissing the petition for termination.  These orders are entered into the court records.
  • The order of judgment is sent to the petitioner (Cabinet). 
  • The order of judgment is a confidential record and requests for copies shall be processed only by an open records request as outlined in SOP 30.11 CPS Open Records Request and Disclosure of Information. 
  • If a termination is granted, the parents have 30 days to file an appeal of the judgment in Circuit Court.  Service provision should continue within that 30 day interim. 
  • If an appeal is filed, service provision to the parents continues throughout the appeal process.  The trial is not legally concluded until all avenues of appeal are exhausted.



  1. Copies are kept in the child's file and the family case record.


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