WIC Section 366.21 - 12 Month Permanency Review Hearing

At the 12-month permanency review hearing, the court shall order the return of the child to the physical custody of his or her parent unless the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the return of the child to his or her parent or legal guardian would create a substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the child. The social worker has the burden of establishing that detriment. The court shall also determine whether reasonable services have been provided or offered to the parent. (Welfare and Institutions Code section 366.21, subd. (f).) The failure of the parent or legal guardian to participate regularly and make substantive progress in court-ordered treatment programs shall be prima facie evidence that return would be detrimental. In making its determination, the court shall review and consider the social worker's report and recommendations and the report and recommendations of any CASA, and shall consider the efforts or progress, or both, demonstrated by the parent and the extent to which the parent availed herself of services, taking into account any barriers to an incarcerated parent's access to those court-mandated services and ability to maintain contact with her child. (Welfare and Institutions Code 366.21, subd. (f).) If the time period in which court-ordered services were provided has met or exceeded the relevant statutory time period and the child is not returned to his or her parent, the court must order one of three options: (1) under specified circumstances, the court may continue the case for up to six months, provided the permanency review hearing occurs within 18 months of the original date of removal from the parent's physical custody; (2) order a section 366.26 hearing, but only if there is clear and convincing evidence reasonable services have been provided or offered to the parent; or (3) under certain circumstances, order a permanency plan of long-term foster care. (Welfare and Institutions Code 366.21, subd. (g).)