Volume 7, Number 1
Program Development Specialist
Children's Division - Central Office
Jefferson City, MO 65103-0088
ARSMo 210.305, House Bill 154
This bill gives grandparents first consideration for placement
before other relative options and requires Children’s Division to
complete an immediate diligent search to locate, contact, and place
with a grandparent once a decision has been made to take protective
custody of a child during the first (3) three hours after custody.
Notification can occur prior to custody, but notification and
placement must occur no later than three (3) hours after custody.
The statute also requires that Children’s Division place with
grandparents unless the decision to place with grandparents is
contrary to the welfare of the child. If a grandparent or
grandparents, or other relatives of the child cannot be located
within the three (3) hour period, the child may be placed in an
emergency placement. However, the bill requires Children’s Division
to continue to make diligent efforts, while the child is in care, to
contact, locate, and place the child with a grandparent or another
relative, with first consideration given to a grandparent for
Fostering Connections to Increasing Adoptions Act
The Fostering Connections to Increasing Adoption Act requires the
Children’s Division to identify and notify all adult grandparents
and other adult relatives within 30 days when a child is removed
from the custody of their parent(s) unless there is domestic
violence. Relative is
defined as a grandparent or any other person related to another by
blood or affinity (marriage or adoption) within the third degree.
Some of these relatives may include: parents, spouses, adult
siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nephews,
nieces, great-grandparents, great-grandchildren, great aunts, great
uncles, half-brother, half-sister, and first cousins. Relatives by
affinity may include: stepparent, stepbrother, and stepsister.
If relatives cannot be identified or found initially, Children’s
Division should continue to search for relatives should continue
while the child is in care. When a suitable grandparent or relative
has been located consideration should be made to making placement
with the grandparent or relative a part of the primary or concurrent
permanency plan for the child.