Juvenile Code: Dependency

ORS 419B.337
Commitment to custody of Department of Human Services


When the court determines it would be in the best interest and for the welfare of a ward, the court may place the ward in the legal custody of the Department of Human Services for care, placement and supervision. When the court enters an order removing a ward from the ward’s home or an order continuing care, the court shall make a written finding as to whether:


Removal of the ward from the ward’s home or continuation of care is in the best interest and for the welfare of the ward;


Reasonable efforts, considering the circumstances of the ward and parent, have been made to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the ward from the home or to make it possible for the ward to safely return home. In making this finding, the court shall consider the ward’s health and safety the paramount concerns; and


Diligent efforts have been made to place the ward pursuant to ORS 419B.192 (Placement of child or ward).


The court may specify the particular type of care, supervision or services to be provided by the Department of Human Services to wards placed in the department’s custody and to the parents or guardians of the wards, but the actual planning and provision of such care, supervision or services is the responsibility of the department. The department may place the ward in a child care center authorized to accept the ward.


The court may make an order regarding visitation by the ward’s parents or siblings. The Department of Human Services is responsible for developing and implementing a visitation plan consistent with the court’s order.


Uniform commitment blanks, in a form approved by the Director of Human Services, shall be used by all courts for placing wards in the legal custody of the Department of Human Services.


If the ward has been placed in the custody of the Department of Human Services, the court shall make no commitment directly to any residential facility, but shall cause the ward to be delivered into the custody of the department at the time and place fixed by rules of the department. A ward so committed may not be placed in a Department of Corrections institution.


Commitment of a ward to the Department of Human Services continues until dismissed by the court or until the ward becomes 21 years of age.


A court may dismiss commitment of a ward to the Department of Human Services if:


(A) Dismissal is appropriate because the ward has been safely reunited with a parent or because a safe alternative to reunification has been implemented for the ward; and


The ward is at least 14 years of age but less than 21 years of age and the court finds that:


The department has provided case planning pursuant to ORS 419B.343 (Recommendations of committing court) that addresses the ward’s needs and goals for a transition to successful adulthood, including needs and goals relating to housing, physical and mental health, education, employment, community connections and supportive relationships;


The department has provided appropriate services pursuant to the case plan;
(iii) The department has involved the ward in the development of the case plan and in the provision of appropriate services; and


The ward has safe and stable housing and is unlikely to become homeless as a result of dismissal of commitment of the ward to the department; or


The ward has been committed to the custody of the Oregon Youth Authority. [1993 c.33 §108; 1993 c.546 §129; 1999 c.859 §10; 2003 c.396 §57; 2005 c.679 §1; 2007 c.806 §6; 2015 c.254 §6]
§§ 419B.500 to 419B.524

Notes of Decisions

Under Former Similar Statutes

Due process does not require the appointment of "independent counsel" to represent the child in every adoption or termination of parental rights proceeding. F. v. C., 24 Or App 601, 547 P2d 175 (1976)

When second termination of parental rights proceeding was not itself barred, proof was not limited by res judicata or collateral estoppel principles to facts or evidence which was not considered in or which came in to being after first proceeding. State ex rel Juvenile Dept. v. Newman, 49 Or App 221, 619 P2d 901 (1980), Sup Ct review denied

Notes of Decisions

Court may order parent to undergo psychological evaluation to be provided under Department of Human Services case plan if psychological services have rational connection with basis for juvenile court jurisdiction. State ex rel Juvenile Department v. G.L., 220 Or App 216, 185 P3d 483 (2008), Sup Ct review denied

Where juvenile court took dependency jurisdiction over children, this section authorizes only Department of Human Services, not juvenile court, to determine "actual" care provided to children, so court may not order department to place children with great-grandmother. Department of Human Services v. S.E.K.H./J.K.H., 283 Or App 703, 389 P3d 1181 (2017)

Chapter 419B

Notes of Decisions

Due process rights of parents are always implicated in construction and application of provisions of this chapter. Department of Human Services v. J.R.F., 351 Or 570, 273 P3d 87 (2012)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021