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Appendix 5585: Legal Requirements Relevant to the Permanency Progress Report PMC

CPS April 2016

Federal Requirements

Federal law requires that a child’s permanency progress report include the following:

  •  Information on the safety of the child

  •  An assessment of the continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the placement (including whether the placement is the least restrictive placement and is in closest proximity to the child’s parents)

  •  The extent of compliance with the child’s case plan

  •  The estimated date of the child’s move from substitute care to reunification with the parents, adoption, or permanent managing conservatorship

  •  A consideration of the placement options, in state and out of state, for a child whose permanency plan no longer calls for reunification with the parents

  •  An evaluation of whether any out-of-state placement continues to be appropriate and in the child’s best interest, when applicable

  •  A listing of the services required for youth over the age of 14 to make the transition to successful adulthood

  •  The extent of the parents’ compliance with the service plan and any temporary court orders, when applicable

  •  The extent of the parents’ progress toward alleviating or mitigating the causes for a child’s removal from his or her home, when applicable

  •  If the child is age 16 or older and has a permanency plan of another planned permanent living arrangement (APPLA), the steps taken to ensure the child’s placement is following the reasonable and prudent parent standard and is providing the child with regular, ongoing opportunities to engage in age or developmentally appropriate activities

  •  If the child is age 16 or older and has a permanency plan of APPLA, the documentation of intensive, ongoing, and, as of the hearing date, unsuccessful efforts to return the child home or to secure a placement with a relative, legal guardian, or adoptive parent, and compelling reasons why APPLA remains the best permanency plan for the child

42 USC §675(5)(B),(C); 42 USC 675a

State Requirements

State law requires the report to include information for the court to determine:

  •  the safety and well-being of the child and whether the child’s needs, including any medical or special needs, are being met;

  •  the continuing necessity and appropriateness of the child’s placement, including an out-of-state placement, and whether the placement continues to be in the child’s best interest;

  •  the appropriateness of the child’s permanency goals;

  •  whether DFPS has made reasonable efforts to finalize the permanency plan; and

  •  whether CPS has identified a family or other caring adult who has made a permanent commitment to the child.

See below for additional state requirements.

If the child…

then the report must include information for the court to determine…

is in DFPS permanent managing conservatorship and parental rights have been terminated…

whether DFPS has diligently attempted to place the child for adoption.

is in DFPS permanent managing conservatorship but parental rights have not been terminated…

• whether placing the child in another permanent placement (including appointment of a relative as managing conservator) or returning the child to a parent is appropriate for the child; and

• whether to order up to six months of services for a parent, if the court makes the necessary findings regarding the child’s placement and the possibility of reunification.

has a permanency goal of APPLA…

• whether APPLA is the best permanency plan for the child; and

• if so, the compelling reasons why it continues to not be in the best interest of the child to return home, be placed for adoption, be placed with a legal guardian, or be placed with a fit and willing relative.

is age 14 or older…

whether services that are needed to assist the child in transitioning from substitute care to independent living are available in the child’s community.


Texas Family Code §263.5031

Special Living Arrangements

State law requires the report to include information for the court to determine, for a child placed in institutional care, whether efforts have been made to find the least restrictive placement consistent with the child’s best interest and special needs.

Texas Family Code §263.5031(3)(C)


State law requires the report to include information for the court to determine:

  •  whether an educational decision-maker has been identified;

  •  whether the child’s education needs and goals have been identified and addressed; and

  •  whether there are major changes in the child’s school performance or there have been serious disciplinary events.

Texas Family Code §263.5031(3)(I)

Medical Care

State law requires the report to include information on:

  •  whether the child is receiving appropriate medical care, and whether the child has had an opportunity, in a developmentally appropriate manner, to express an opinion on such care.

  •  if psychotropic drugs are prescribed, whether:

  •  the child has been provided appropriate psychosocial therapies, behavior strategies, and other non-pharmacological interventions; and

  •  the child has been seen by the prescribing physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice nurse at least once every 90 days for required medication review;

  •  the nature of any emergency medical care, including any injury or acute illness suffered by the child;

  •  all medical and mental health treatment the child is receiving, and the child’s progress with the treatment;

  •  any medication prescribed for the child; the condition, diagnosis, and symptoms for which the medication was prescribed; and the child’s progress with the medication;

  •  the degree to which the child or foster care provider has complied or failed to comply with any plan of medical treatment for the child;

  •  any adverse reactions to or side effects of any medical treatment provided to the child;

  •  any specific medical conditions of the child that have been diagnosed or for which tests are being conducted to make a diagnosis; and

  •  any activity that the child should avoid or should engage in that might affect the effectiveness of the treatment, including physical activities, other medications, and diet.

Texas Family Code §§ 266.007; 263.5031(3)(A),(G),(H)

Additional State Law Requirements

State law requires the report to include:

  •  information on significant events for the child, including:

  •  a placement change, which includes a failure of DFPS to locate an appropriate placement for at least one night;

  •  a significant change in medical condition;

  •  an initial prescription or change in dosage of a psychotropic medication;

  •  a major change in school performance or a disciplinary event at school; and

  •  any other event determined to be significant under DFPS rule; and

  •  any additional information DFPS determines is appropriate or that is requested by the court and relevant to the court’s findings and determinations.

Texas Family Code §§ 264.018(a)(5); 263.502(a-1)(2)

DFPS Requirements

The report must include the following:

  •  Information on any significant changes in the child’s personal life or placement since the last hearing

  •  Recommendations or concerns that DFPS, as the child’s managing conservator, wants the court to consider at the hearing

  •  A determination of whether it is advisable for the child to attend the hearing

Texas Family Code §§ 153.375, 263.502

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