Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
Chapter 119 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 29B, as appearing in the 1988 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 29B. Within eighteen months of the original commitment, grant of custody or transfer of responsibility of a child to the department by a court of competent jurisdiction and periodically thereafter while the child remains in the care of the department, the committing court shall reconvene, in accordance with rules established by the chief administrative judge of the trial court, to determine the future status of the child, including but not limited to whether or not it is in the child's best interests to be returned to the parents; to be continued in substitute care for a specified period, after which the child is to be returned to the parents or guardian; to be placed in another permanent placement; to be placed for adoption; to have a guardian, other than the department, or its agent appointed; or, because of the child's special needs or circumstances, to be continued in substitute care on a permanent or long term basis in a specific placement.
Upon making its determination, the court may make any appropriate order as may conduce to the child's best interests including, but not limited to, orders with respect to the child's care or custody. All such orders shall indicate: whether reasonable efforts were made, prior to the placement of a child in foster care to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from his home; and, whether reasonable efforts were made, after the placement of a child in foster care, to make it possible for the child to return to his home.
A child, parent, guardian or the department may appeal to the appeals court from the determination or order of the trial court. The claim of appeal shall be filed in the office of the clerk or register of the trial court within ten days following the courts determination or order. Thereafter, said appeal shall be governed by the Massachusetts rules of appellate procedure. The scope of appellate review shall be limited to abuse of judicial discretion.