TITLE 14
Delinquent and Dependent Children

CHAPTER 14-1
Proceedings in Family Court

SECTION 14-1-6


§ 14-1-6. Retention of jurisdiction.

(a) When the court shall have obtained jurisdiction over any child prior to the child having attained the age of eighteen (18) years by the filing of a petition alleging that the child is wayward or delinquent pursuant to § 14-1-5, the child shall, except as specifically provided in this chapter, continue under the jurisdiction of the court until he or she becomes nineteen (19) years of age, unless discharged prior to turning nineteen (19).

(b) When the court shall have obtained jurisdiction over any child prior to the child's eighteenth (18th) birthday by the filing of a miscellaneous petition or a petition alleging that the child is dependent, neglected, or abused pursuant to §§ 14-1-5 and 40-11-7 or 42-72-14, the child shall, except as specifically provided in this chapter, continue under the jurisdiction of the court until he or she becomes eighteen (18) years of age; provided, that at least six (6) months prior to a child turning eighteen (18) years of age, the court shall require the department of children, youth and families to provide a description of the transition services including the child's housing, health insurance, education and/or employment plan, available mentors and continuing support services, including workforce supports and employment services afforded the child in placement, or a detailed explanation as to the reason those services were not offered. As part of the transition planning, the child shall be informed by the department of the opportunity to voluntarily agree to extended care and placement by the department and legal supervision by the court until age twenty-one (21). The details of a child's transition plan shall be developed in consultation with the child, wherever possible, and approved by the court prior to the dismissal of an abuse, neglect, dependency, or miscellaneous petition before the child's twenty-first birthday.

(c) A child, who is in foster care on their eighteenth birthday due to the filing of a miscellaneous petition or a petition alleging that the child is dependent, neglected, or abused pursuant to §§ 14-1-5, 40-11-7 or 42-72-14, may voluntarily elect to continue responsibility for care and placement from DCYF and to remain under the legal supervision of the court as a young adult until age twenty-one (21), provided:

(1) The young adult was in the legal custody of the department at age eighteen (18); and

(2) The young adult is participating in at least one of the following:

(i) Completing the requirements to receive a high school diploma or GED;

(ii) Completing a secondary education or a program leading to an equivalent credential; enrolled in an institution that provides postsecondary or vocational education;

(iii) Participating in a job-training program or an activity designed to promote or remove barriers to employment;

(iv) Be employed for at least eighty (80) hours per month; or

(v) Incapable of doing any of the foregoing due to a medical condition that is regularly updated and documented in the case plan.

(d) A former foster child who was adopted or placed in guardianship with an adoption assistance agreement or a guardianship assistance agreement that was executed on or after his or her sixteenth birthday and prior to his or her eighteenth birthday may voluntarily agree to extended care and placement by the department and legal supervision by the court until age twenty-one (21) if the young adult satisfies the requirements in subsection (c)(2). Provided, however, the department retains the right to review the request and first attempt to address the issues through the adoption assistance agreement by providing post adoptive or post guardianship support services to the young adult and his or her adoptive or guardianship family.

(e) Upon the request of the young adult, who voluntarily agreed to the extension of care and placement by the department and legal supervision by the court, pursuant to subsections (c) and (d) of this section, the court's legal supervision and the department's responsibility for care and placement may be terminated. Provided, however, the young adult may request reinstatement of responsibility and resumption of the court's legal supervision at any time prior to his or her twenty-first birthday if the young adult meets the requirements set forth in subsection (c)(2). If the department wishes to terminate the court's legal supervision and its responsibility for care and placement, it may file a motion for good cause. The court may exercise its discretion to terminate legal supervision over the young adult at any time.

(f) The court may retain jurisdiction of any child who is seriously emotionally disturbed or developmentally delayed pursuant to § 42-72-5(b)(24)(v) until that child turns age twenty-one (21) when the court shall have obtained jurisdiction over any child prior to the child's eighteenth birthday by the filing of a miscellaneous petition or a petition alleging that the child is dependent, neglected, and/or abused pursuant to §§ 14-1-5, and 40-11-7, or 42-72-14.

(g) The department of children, youth and families shall work collaboratively with the department of behavioral healthcare, developmental disabilities and hospitals, and other agencies, in accordance with § 14-1-59, to provide the family court with a transition plan for those individuals who come under the court's jurisdiction pursuant to a petition alleging that the child is dependent, neglected, and/or abused and who are seriously emotionally disturbed or developmentally delayed pursuant to § 42-72-5(b)(24)(v). This plan shall be a joint plan presented to the court by the department of children, youth and families and the department of behavioral healthcare, developmental disabilities and hospitals. The plan shall include the behavioral healthcare, developmental disabilities and hospitals' community or residential service level, health insurance option, education plan, available mentors, continuing support services, workforce supports and employment services, and the plan shall be provided to the court at least twelve (12) months prior to discharge. At least three (3) months prior to discharge, the plan shall identify the specific placement for the child, if a residential placement is needed. The court shall monitor the transition plan. In the instance where the department of behavioral healthcare, developmental disabilities and hospitals has not made timely referrals to appropriate placements and services, the department of children, youth and families may initiate referrals.

(h) The parent and/or guardian and/or guardian ad litem of a child who is seriously emotionally disturbed or developmentally delayed pursuant to § 42-72-5(b)(24)(v), and who is before the court pursuant to §§ 14-1-5(1)(iii) through 14-1-5(1)(v), 40-11-7 or 42-72-14, shall be entitled to a transition hearing, as needed, when the child reaches the age of twenty (20) if no appropriate transition plan has been submitted to the court by the department of children, youth and families and the department of behavioral healthcare, developmental disabilities and hospitals. The family court shall require that the department of behavioral healthcare, developmental disabilities and hospitals shall immediately identify a liaison to work with the department of children, youth and families until the child reaches the age of twenty-one (21) and an immediate transition plan be submitted if the following facts are found:

(1) No suitable transition plan has been presented to the court addressing the levels of service appropriate to meet the needs of the child as identified by the department of behavioral healthcare, developmental disabilities and hospitals; or

(2) No suitable housing options, health insurance, educational plan, available mentors, continuing support services, workforce supports, and employment services have been identified for the child.

(i) In any case where the court shall not have acquired jurisdiction over any person prior to the person's eighteenth (18th) birthday by the filing of a petition alleging that the person had committed an offense, but a petition alleging that the person had committed an offense that would be punishable as a felony if committed by an adult has been filed before that person attains the age of nineteen (19) years of age, that person shall, except as specifically provided in this chapter, be subject to the jurisdiction of the court until he or she becomes nineteen (19) years of age, unless discharged prior to turning nineteen (19).

(j) In any case where the court shall not have acquired jurisdiction over any person prior to the person attaining the age of nineteen (19) years by the filing of a petition alleging that the person had committed an offense prior to the person attaining the age of eighteen (18) years that would be punishable as a felony if committed by an adult, that person shall be referred to the court that had jurisdiction over the offense if it had been committed by an adult. The court shall have jurisdiction to try that person for the offense committed prior to the person attaining the age of eighteen (18) years and, upon conviction, may impose a sentence not exceeding the maximum penalty provided for the conviction of that offense.

(k) In any case where the court has certified and adjudicated a child in accordance with the provisions of §§ 14-1-7.2 and 14-1-7.3, the jurisdiction of the court shall encompass the power and authority to sentence the child to a period in excess of the age of nineteen (19) years. However, in no case shall the sentence be in excess of the maximum penalty provided by statute for the conviction of the offense.

(l) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the jurisdiction of other courts over offenses committed by any person after he or she reaches the age of eighteen (18) years.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1990, ch. 15, § 2; P.L. 1990, ch. 18, § 2; P.L. 1991, ch. 274, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 73, art. 22, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 532, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 9, art. 16, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 475, § 3; P.L. 2015, ch. 118, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 130, § 1; P.L. 2018, ch. 47, art. 15, § 1; P.L. 2018, ch. 70, § 3.)