In Massachusetts there is an interesting new case about reasonable efforts in a DCF Care & Protection Case. The name of the case is Care and Protection of Rashida it is a 2021 case. It involves what is determined to be reasonable efforts. Reasonable efforts are efforts made to preserve and reunify families prior to the placement of a child in foster care, to prevent or eliminate the need for removing the child from his or her home, and to make it possible for a child to return safely to his or her home.
In this case it gives a good analysis of what the reasonable efforts are and appears to significantly enhance the parents’ rights to allow the Judge to make determinations about reasonable efforts by the Department on more than just the permanency hearing date. It talks about the differences between contesting a specific service or services through what is called “Abuse and Discretion Motion” versus a “reasonable efforts determination” with the idea that the reasonable efforts are a much more of a comprehensible review of looking at DCF’s entirety of their actions in the particular case. It is a relatively important case to look at that occurred in 2021.