(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the department shall file or join in a petition or otherwise seek a ruling in any pending proceeding to terminate parental rights:
(1) If a child has been in foster care for fifteen of the most recent twenty-two months as determined by the earlier of the date of the first judicial finding that the child is subjected to abuse or neglect or the date which is sixty days after the child is removed from the home;
(2) If a court has determined the child is abandoned; or
(3) If a court has determined the parent has committed murder or voluntary manslaughter of another of his or her children or the other parent of his or her children; has attempted or conspired to commit such murder or voluntary manslaughter or has been an accessory before or after the fact of either crime; has committed unlawful or malicious wounding resulting in serious bodily injury to the child or to another of his or her children or to the other parent of his or her children; or the parental rights of the parent to a sibling have been terminated involuntarily.
(b) The department may determine not to file a petition to terminate parental rights when:
(1) At the option of the department, the child has been placed with a relative;
(2) The department has documented in the case plan made available for court review a compelling reason, including, but not limited to, the child's age and preference regarding termination or the child's placement in custody of the department based on any proceedings initiated under article five of this chapter, that filing the petition would not be in the best interests of the child; or
(3) The department has not provided, when reasonable efforts to return a child to the family are required, the services to the child's family as the department deems necessary for the safe return of the child to the home.