Dispositional Review Hearings
(MCR 3.974/3.975 / MCL 712A.19)
A dispositional review hearing is conducted to permit court review of the progress made to comply with any order of disposition and case service plan, and court evaluation of the continued need and appropriateness for the child to be in foster care. If the child is not removed from home, the hearing determines the family’s progress toward rectifying the conditions that brought the child within the court’s jurisdiction. If the child is in foster care, dispositional review hearings must be held within 182 days from removal of the child, and every 91 days thereafter for the first year, then every 182 days thereafter as long as the child is under the jurisdiction of the court. This frequent case review activity places a strong emphasis on removing barriers and promoting timely reunification. Upon motion by any party, or in the court’s discretion, the court may determine that there is an advantage to review the case sooner than required or to return a child to the parental home with timely notice but without a hearing. The law allows efforts to finalize an alternative permanency plan (e.g., guardianship or adoption) to be made concurrently with efforts to reunify the child with the family. Children’s unique sense of time should be considered during all phases of a child protective case in making out-of-home placements and efforts to reunify.
A judge or attorney referee may conduct a dispositional review hearing. The court must make three basic determinations at this hearing. The first is the extent of compliance with the treatment plan, taking into account the child’s needs, the parent’s capabilities, and the frequency and quality of parenting time. The second is the extent to which the conditions that caused the child’s placement have been alleviated or mitigated. The third is the necessity and appropriateness of continuing the child’s out-of-home placement.