Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–2323. Review of dispositional orders.

(a) When a child has been adjudicated neglected and a dispositional order has been entered by the Division, the Division shall:

(1) Hold a review hearing at least every 6 months for every child for as long as the child remains in an out-of-home placement, unless the child has received a permanency hearing within the past 6 months;

(2) Hold a review hearing at least every year for all other children;

(3) If reasonable efforts are not made pursuant to § 4-1301.09a, hold a permanency hearing within 30 days after the determination that reasonable efforts need not be made; and

(4) Hold a permanency hearing for every child within 12 months after the child’s entry into foster care and at least every 6 months thereafter, for as long as the child remains in an out-of-home placement.

(b) The purpose of the review hearing shall include determining:

(1) The safety of the child;

(2) The continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the placement;

(3) The extent of compliance with the case plan;

(4) The extent of progress which has been made toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care; and

(5) A date by which the child may be returned to and safely maintained in the home or placed for adoption or other permanent placement.

(c) The purpose of the permanency hearing shall include the determination required by subsection (b) of this section and determining the permanency plan for the child including whether, and if so when, the child will be:

(1) Returned to the parent;

(2) Placed for adoption, in which case the District shall file a motion for termination of parental rights, unless an adoption petition has been filed, in which case the District shall seek to be joined as a party to the filed petition;

(3) Placed pursuant to an award of legal custody or guardianship; or

(4) Placed, because of compelling circumstances, in another planned permanent living arrangement, such as with a kinship caregiver, in another relative placement, or in independent living.

(d) At least 10 days prior to each review or permanency hearing the Division or the department, agency, or institution responsible for the supervision of the services to the child and his parent, guardian, or custodian shall submit a report to the Division which shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:

(1) The services provided or offered to the child and his parent, guardian, or other custodian;

(2) Any evidence of the amelioration of the condition which resulted in the finding of neglect and any evidence of new problems which would adversely affect the child;

(3) An evaluation of the cooperation of the parent, guardian, or custodian with the Division or the applicable department, agency, or institution;

(4) In those cases in which the custody of the child has been vested in a department, agency, institution, or person other than the parent:

(A) The extent to which visitation has occurred and any reasons why visitation has not occurred or has been infrequent;

(B) The estimated time in which the child can be returned to the home;

(C) Whether the agency has initiated or intends to initiate the filing by the Corporation Counsel of a motion requesting the termination of the parent and child relationship and any reasons why it does not intend to initiate the filing of such a motion; and

(D) For a child placed in another planned permanent living arrangement, the steps taken by the agency to ensure that the reasonable and prudent parent standard, as defined in [§ 4-1301.02(16A)], has been followed and that the child has opportunities to engage in age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate activities; and

(5) Any other information as may be required by rules of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

(e) A notice of a review or permanency hearing under this section shall be given to all parties and their attorneys of record as prescribed by rules of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

(f) If the Division finds that the commitment of the child to a department, agency, institution or person other than the parent is no longer necessary to safeguard the welfare of the child, the Division may order:

(1) The child returned to the home and the provision of supervision or other services; or

(2) Any other disposition authorized by § 16-2320(a).

(g) When a child has been adjudicated delinquent and a dispositional order has been entered by the Division pursuant to section 16-2320, the Director of Court Social Services or the Youth Services Administration, whichever is responsible for supervision of the disposition order, shall conduct periodic evaluations of the child to:

(1) Determine if rehabilitative progress has been made and if the services provided to the child have been effective; and

(2) Determine, in conjunction with the child, the child’s attorney, and the Corporation Counsel, what steps, if any, should be taken to ensure the rehabilitation and welfare of the child and the safety of the public.

(h)(1) Not more than once in a 6-month period, the child, or the child’s parent or guardian, may petition the Division to modify a dispositional order, issued pursuant to section 16-2320, on the grounds that the child is not receiving appropriate services or level of placement.

(2) If the Division finds that the child is not receiving appropriate services or level of placement, the Division may specify a plan for services that will promote the rehabilitation and welfare of the child and the safety of the public, except that the Division may not specify the treatment provider or facility.


(Sept. 23, 1977, D.C. Law 2-22, title IV, § 408(b), 24 DCR 3341; June 27, 2000, D.C. Law 13-136, § 301(f), 47 DCR 2850; Mar. 17, 2005, D.C. Law 15-261, § 802, 52 DCR 1188; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 5103, 63 DCR 10775.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-2323.

1973 Ed., § 16-2323.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 4-1301.09a, § 16-2324, § 16-2389, and § 16-2395.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-136 rewrote this section, which previously read:

“(a) When a child has been adjudicated neglected and a dispositional order has been entered by the Division, the Division shall hold a review hearing.

“(1) at least every six (6) months for a child under the age of six (6) years who is committed to the custody of an agency, department, or institution;

“(2) at least every six (6) months for a child of any age who is committed to

the custody of an agency, department, or institution but has not been committed for longer than two (2) years;

“(3) at least every year for all other children.

“(b) At least ten (10) days prior to each review hearing the Division or the department, agency, or institution responsible for the supervision of the services to the child and his parent, guardian, or custodian shall submit a report to the Division which shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:

“(1) the services provided or offered to the child and his parent, guardian or other custodian;

“(2) any evidence of the amelioration of the condition which resulted in the finding of neglect and any evidence of new problems which would adversely affect the child;

“(3) an evaluation of the cooperation of the parent, guardian or custodian with the Division or the applicable department, agency, or institution;

“(4) in those cases in which the custody of the child has been vested in a department, agency, institution or person other than the parent—

“(A) the extent to which visitation has occurred and any reasons why visitation has not occurred or has been infrequent,

“(B) the estimated time in which the child can be returned to the home, and

“(C) whether the agency has initiated or intends to initiate the filing by the Corporation Counsel of a motion requesting the termination of the parent and child relationship and any reasons why it does not intend to initiate the filing of such a motion; and

“(5) such other information as may be required by rules of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

“(c) A notice of a review hearing under this section shall be given to all parties and their attorneys of record as prescribed by rules of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

“(d) If the Division finds that the commitment of the child to a department, agency, institution or person other than the parent is no longer necessary to safeguard the welfare of the child, the Division may order:

“(1) the child returned to the home and the provision of supervision or other services; or

“(2) any other disposition authorized by section 16-2320(a).”

D.C. Law 15-261 added subsecs. (g) and (h).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3 of Supporting Normalcy and Empowering Children in Foster Care Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-419, June 23, 2016, 63 DCR 9005).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 301(e) of the Adoption and Safe Families Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-117, July 28, 1999, 46 DCR 6558).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 301(e) of the Adoption and Safe Families Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-178, November 2, 1999, 46 DCR 9714).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 301(e) of the Adoption and Safe Families Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-240, January 11, 2000, 47 DCR 556).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3 of the Supporting Normalcy and Empowering Children in Foster Care Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-333, Mar. 16, 2016, 63 DCR 4306).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 3 of Supporting Normalcy and Empowering Children in Foster Care Temporary Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Law 21-123, June 17, 2016, 63 DCR 6866).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 301(e) of Adoption and Safe Families Temporary Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-56, March 7, 2000, law notification 47 DCR 1978).