8-536. Social study before disposition; contents

A. On the filing of a petition, the court shall order that the department, an agency or another person selected by the court conduct or cause to be conducted a complete social study and that a report in writing of such study be submitted to the court before a hearing. The court may order any additional social study it deems necessary. The social study shall include the circumstances of the petition, the social history, the present condition of the child and parent, proposed plans for the child and other facts pertinent to the parent-child relationship. The report submitted shall include a specific recommendation and the reasons as to whether or not the parent-child relationship should be terminated.

B. If the proposed plans for the child do not include placing the child with a grandparent or another member of the child's extended family including a person who has a significant relationship with the child, the report shall include sufficient information for the court to determine whether such placement is in the child's best interests.

C. The court may waive the requirement of the social study if the court finds that to do so is in the best interest of the child.