Reasonable Efforts for Mentally Ill Law Review Article

VICTIMIZED TWICE: THE REASONABLE EFFORTS REQUIREMENT IN CHILD PROTECTION CASES WHEN PARENTS HAVE A MENTAL ILLNES by Jeanne M. Kaiser. Western New England University School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series.  No. 12-8.

State child protection agencies are required by federal law to exert reasonable efforts to keep families together before seeking termination of parental rights. Some states, however, have created an exception to this requirement when the parent involved suffers from a chronic mental illness. Moreover, even in those states that enforce tite requirement, the reunification services provided to parents with a mental illness often do not meet the needs of those parents. This article argues that although parents with a mental illness face serious challenges in caring for their children, they should not be categorically excluded from reunification efforts by means of a state statute.