8-845. Disposition hearing

A. After receiving and considering the evidence on the proper disposition of the case, the court may place a dependent child in the care of the child's parents, subject to the supervision of the department. If placement with the child's parents is contrary to the child's welfare, the court may place the child as follows in accordance with the child's best interests:

1. With a grandparent or another member of the child's extended family, including a person who has a significant relationship with the child.

2. In a licensed foster home.

3. In an appropriate public or private agency licensed to care for children.

4. In a suitable school.

5. In the independent living program established pursuant to section 8-521.

6. With any adult as a permanent guardian pursuant to article 12 of this chapter.

B. In reviewing the status of the child and in determining its order of disposition, the court shall consider the health and safety of the child as a paramount concern and the following criteria:

1. The goals of the placement and the appropriateness of the case plan.

2. The services that have been offered to reunite the family.

3. If returning the child home is not likely, the efforts that have been or should be made to evaluate or plan for other permanent placement plans.

4. The efforts that have been made or should be made to place the child with the child's siblings or to provide frequent visitation or contact when placement with siblings has not been possible.

C. The court shall review the permanent plan that has been established for the child. In reviewing the status of the child, the court, insofar as possible, shall seek to reunite the family. If the court does not order reunification of the family, the court shall order a plan of adoption or another permanent plan that is in the child's best interest and that takes into consideration the placement of the child with siblings or that provides for frequent visitation or contact between siblings unless the court determines that either the placement with the siblings or the visitation or contact would be contrary to the child's or a sibling's safety or well-being. If the court finds that an aggravating circumstance described in section 8-846, subsection D, paragraph 1 exists, the department shall file a motion for termination of parental rights within ten business days after the date of the court order, unless termination of parental rights is not in the best interests of the child.

D. Notwithstanding subsection C of this section, reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption may be made concurrently with reasonable efforts to reunify the family.