Tenn. R. Juv. P. 308
Advisory Commission Comments.
The purpose of dispositions in juvenile court actions is to design an appropriate order to meet the needs of the child and to achieve the objectives of the state in exercising jurisdiction. When possible, the initial approach should involve working with the child and the family in their own home so that the appropriate community resources may be involved in care, supervision, and treatment according to the needs of the child and family.
At the dispositional hearing, it is appropriate that youth services and probation officers be witnesses regarding admissible evidence of which they have knowledge. Youth services officers or probation officers may be a fact witness but shall not engage in the unauthorized practice of law.
Although a report may be admissible as reliable hearsay, all the contents of the report may not be reliable hearsay. This is especially important when the source gives an opinion that the person is not qualified to give.
Though this rule allows for the dispositional hearing to be held within 15 days of the adjudicatory hearing when the child is placed out of the home by court order or 90 days in all other cases, it should be noted that under these rules the dispositional hearing may be held immediately following the adjudicatory hearing if the court determines that delay for preparation by the parties is not necessary.