§49-5D-3b. Multidisciplinary treatment planning process involving child abuse and neglect.

     (a) Within thirty days of the initiation of a judicial proceeding pursuant to article six of this chapter, the Department of Health and Human Services shall convene a multidisciplinary treatment team to assess, plan and implement a comprehensive, individualized service plan for children who are victims of abuse or neglect and their families. The multidisciplinary team shall obtain and utilize any assessments for the children or the adult respondents that it deems necessary to assist in the development of such a plan.

     (b) In a case initiated pursuant to article six of this chapter, the treatment team shall consist of the child or family's case manager in the Department of Health and Human Resources, the adult respondent or respondents, the child's parent or parents, guardians, any copetitioners, custodial relatives of the child, foster or preadoptive parents, any attorney representing an adult respondent or other member of the treatment team, the child's counsel or the guardian ad litem, the prosecuting attorney or his or her designee, a member of a child advocacy center when the child has been processed through the child advocacy center program or programs or it is otherwise appropriate that a member of the child advocacy center participate, any court-appointed special advocate assigned to a case, any other person entitled to notice and the right to be heard, an appropriate school official and any other person or agency representative who may assist in providing recommendations for the particular needs of the child and family, including domestic violence service providers. The child may participate in multidisciplinary treatment team meetings if the child's participation is deemed appropriate by the multidisciplinary treatment team. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, a party whose parental rights have been terminated and his or her attorney shall not be given notice of a multidisciplinary treatment team meeting and does not have the right to participate in any treatment team meeting.

     (c) Prior to disposition in each case which a treatment planning team has been convened, the team shall advise the court as to the types of services the team has determined are needed and the type of placement, if any, which will best serve the needs of the child. If the team determines that an out-of-home placement will best serve the needs of the child, the team shall first consider placement with appropriate relatives then with foster care homes, facilities or programs located within the state. The team may only recommend placement in an out-of-state facility if it concludes, after considering the best interests and overall needs of the child, that there are no available and suitable in-state facilities which can satisfactorily meet the specific needs of the child.

     (d) The multidisciplinary treatment team shall submit written reports to the court as required by the rules governing this type of proceeding or by the court, and shall meet as often as deemed necessary but at least every three months until the case is dismissed from the docket of the court. The multidisciplinary treatment team shall be available for status conferences and hearings as required by the court.

     (e) If a respondent or copetitioner admits the underlying allegations of child abuse or neglect, or both abuse and neglect, in the multidisciplinary treatment planning process, his or her statements not be used in any subsequent criminal proceeding against him or her, except for perjury or false swearing.