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CA WELFARE & INSTITUTIONS CODES 

WELFARE AND INSTITUTIONS CODE SECTION 300-304.7

 

300.  Any child who comes within any of the following descriptions

is within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court which may adjudge

that person to be a dependent child of the court:

   (a) The child has suffered, or there is a substantial risk that

the child will suffer, serious physical harm inflicted

nonaccidentally upon the child by the child's parent or guardian.

For the purposes of this subdivision, a court may find there is a

substantial risk of serious future injury based on the manner in

which a less serious injury was inflicted, a history of repeated

inflictions of injuries on the child or the child's siblings, or a

combination of these and other actions by the parent or guardian

which indicate the child is at risk of serious physical harm.  For

purposes of this subdivision, "serious physical harm" does not

include reasonable and age-appropriate spanking to the buttocks where

there is no evidence of serious physical injury.

   (b) The child has suffered, or there is a substantial risk that

the child will suffer, serious physical harm or illness, as a result

of the failure or inability of his or her parent or guardian to

adequately supervise or protect the child, or the willful or

negligent failure of the child's parent or guardian to adequately

supervise or protect the child from the conduct of the custodian with

whom the child has been left, or by the willful or negligent failure

of the parent or guardian to provide the child with adequate food,

clothing, shelter, or medical treatment, or by the inability of the

parent or guardian to provide regular care for the child due to the

parent's or guardian's mental illness, developmental disability, or

substance abuse.  No child shall be found to be a person described by

this subdivision solely due to the lack of an emergency shelter for

the family.  Whenever it is alleged that a child comes within the

jurisdiction of the court on the basis of the parent's or guardian's

willful failure to provide adequate medical treatment or specific

decision to provide spiritual treatment through prayer, the court

shall give deference to the parent's or guardian's medical treatment,

nontreatment, or spiritual treatment through prayer alone in

accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or

religious denomination, by an accredited practitioner thereof, and

shall not assume jurisdiction unless necessary to protect the child

from suffering serious physical harm or illness.  In making its

determination, the court shall consider (1) the nature of the

treatment proposed by the parent or guardian, (2) the risks to the

child posed by the course of treatment or nontreatment proposed by

the parent or guardian, (3) the risk, if any, of the course of

treatment being proposed by the petitioning agency, and (4) the

likely success of the courses of treatment or nontreatment proposed

by the parent or guardian and agency.  The child shall continue to be

a dependent child pursuant to this subdivision only so long as is

necessary to protect the child from risk of suffering serious

physical harm or illness.

   (c) The child is suffering serious emotional damage, or is at

substantial risk of suffering serious emotional damage, evidenced by

severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or untoward aggressive

behavior toward self or others, as a result of the conduct of the

parent or guardian or who has no parent or guardian capable of

providing appropriate care.  No child shall be found to be a person

described by this subdivision if the willful failure of the parent or

guardian to provide adequate mental health treatment is based on a

sincerely held religious belief and if a less intrusive judicial

intervention is available.

   (d) The child has been sexually abused, or there is a substantial

risk that the child will be sexually abused, as defined in Section

11165.1 of the Penal Code, by his or her parent or guardian or a

member of his or her household, or the parent or guardian has failed

to adequately protect the child from sexual abuse when the parent or

guardian knew or reasonably should have known that the child was in

danger of sexual abuse.

   (e) The child is under the age of five and has suffered severe

physical abuse by a parent, or by any person known by the parent, if

the parent knew or reasonably should have known that the person was

physically abusing the child.  For the purposes of this subdivision,

"severe physical abuse" means any of the following:  any single act

of abuse which causes physical trauma of sufficient severity that, if

left untreated, would cause permanent physical disfigurement,

permanent physical disability, or death; any single act of sexual

abuse which causes significant bleeding, deep bruising, or

significant external or internal swelling; or more than one act of

physical abuse, each of which causes bleeding, deep bruising,

significant external or internal swelling, bone fracture, or

unconsciousness; or the willful, prolonged failure to provide

adequate food.  A child may not be removed from the physical custody

of his or her parent or guardian on the basis of a finding of severe

physical abuse unless the social worker has made an allegation of

severe physical abuse pursuant to Section 332.

   (f) The child's parent or guardian caused the death of another

child through abuse or neglect.

   (g) The child has been left without any provision for support;

physical custody of the child has been voluntarily surrendered

pursuant to Section 1255.7 of the Health and Safety Code and the

child has not been reclaimed within the 14-day period specified in

subdivision (e) of that section; the child's parent has been

incarcerated or institutionalized and cannot arrange for the care of

the child; or a relative or other adult custodian with whom the child

resides or has been left is unwilling or unable to provide care or

support for the child, the whereabouts of the parent are unknown, and

reasonable efforts to locate the parent have been unsuccessful.

   (h) The child has been freed for adoption by one or both parents

for 12 months by either relinquishment or termination of parental

rights or an adoption petition has not been granted.

   (i) The child has been subjected to an act or acts of cruelty by

the parent or guardian or a member of his or her household, or the

parent or guardian has failed to adequately protect the child from an

act or acts of cruelty when the parent or guardian knew or

reasonably should have known that the child was in danger of being

subjected to an act or acts of cruelty.

   (j) The child's sibling has been abused or neglected, as defined

in subdivision (a), (b), (d), (e), or (i), and there is a substantial

risk that the child will be abused or neglected, as defined in those

subdivisions.  The court shall consider the circumstances

surrounding the abuse or neglect of the sibling, the age and gender

of each child, the nature of the abuse or neglect of the sibling, the

mental condition of the parent or guardian, and any other factors

the court considers probative in determining whether there is a

substantial risk to the child.

   It is the intent of the Legislature that nothing in this section

disrupt the family unnecessarily or intrude inappropriately into

family life, prohibit the use of reasonable methods of parental

discipline, or prescribe a particular method of parenting.  Further,

nothing in this section is intended to limit the offering of

voluntary services to those families in need of assistance but who do

not come within the descriptions of this section.  To the extent

that savings accrue to the state from child welfare services funding

obtained as a result of the enactment of the act that enacted this

section, those savings shall be used to promote services which

support family maintenance and family reunification plans, such as

client transportation, out-of-home respite care, parenting training,

and the provision of temporary or emergency in-home caretakers and

persons teaching and demonstrating homemaking skills.  The

Legislature further declares that a physical disability, such as

blindness or deafness, is no bar to the raising of happy and

well-adjusted children and that a court's determination pursuant to

this section shall center upon whether a parent's disability prevents

him or her from exercising care and control.

   As used in this section "guardian" means the legal guardian of the

child.

   (k) This section shall be repealed on January 1, 2006, unless a

later enacted statute extends or deletes that date.

 

300.  Any child who comes within any of the following descriptions

is within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court which may adjudge

that person to be a dependent child of the court:

   (a) The child has suffered, or there is a substantial risk that

the child will suffer, serious physical harm inflicted

nonaccidentally upon the child by the child's parent or guardian.

For the purposes of this subdivision, a court may find there is a

substantial risk of serious future injury based on the manner in

which a less serious injury was inflicted, a history of repeated

inflictions of injuries on the child or the child's siblings, or a

combination of these and other actions by the parent or guardian

which indicate the child is at risk of serious physical harm. For

purposes of this subdivision, "serious physical harm" does not

include reasonable and age-appropriate spanking to the buttocks where

there is no evidence of serious physical injury.

   (b) The child has suffered, or there is a substantial risk that

the child will suffer, serious physical harm or illness, as a result

of the failure or inability of his or her parent or guardian to

adequately supervise or protect the child, or the willful or

negligent failure of the child's parent or guardian to adequately

supervise or protect the child from the conduct of the custodian with

whom the child has been left, or by the willful or negligent failure

of the parent or guardian to provide the child with adequate food,

clothing, shelter, or medical treatment, or by the inability of the

parent or guardian to provide regular care for the child due to the

parent's or guardian's mental illness, developmental disability, or

substance abuse.  No child shall be found to be a person described by

this subdivision solely due to the lack of an emergency shelter for

the family.  Whenever it is alleged that a child comes within the

jurisdiction of the court on the basis of the parent's or guardian's

willful failure to provide adequate medical treatment or specific

decision to provide spiritual treatment through prayer, the court

shall give deference to the parent's or guardian's medical treatment,

nontreatment, or spiritual treatment through prayer alone in

accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or

religious denomination, by an accredited practitioner thereof, and

shall not assume jurisdiction unless necessary to protect the child

from suffering serious physical harm or illness.  In making its

determination, the court shall consider (1) the nature of the

treatment proposed by the parent or guardian, (2) the risks to the

child posed by the course of treatment or nontreatment proposed by

the parent or guardian, (3) the risk, if any, of the course of

treatment being proposed by the petitioning agency, and (4) the

likely success of the courses of treatment or nontreatment proposed

by the parent or guardian and agency.  The child shall continue to be

a dependent child pursuant to this subdivision only so long as is

necessary to protect the child from risk of suffering serious

physical harm or illness.

   (c) The child is suffering serious emotional damage, or is at

substantial risk of suffering serious emotional damage, evidenced by

severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or untoward aggressive

behavior toward self or others, as a result of the conduct of the

parent or guardian or who has no parent or guardian capable of

providing appropriate care.  No child shall be found to be a person

described by this subdivision if the willful failure of the parent or

guardian to provide adequate mental health treatment is based on a

sincerely held religious belief and if a less intrusive judicial

intervention is available.

   (d) The child has been sexually abused, or there is a substantial

risk that the child will be sexually abused, as defined in Section

11165.1 of the Penal Code, by his or her parent or guardian or a

member of his or her household, or the parent or guardian has failed

to adequately protect the child from sexual abuse when the parent or

guardian knew or reasonably should have known that the child was in

danger of sexual abuse.

   (e) The child is under the age of five and has suffered severe

physical abuse by a parent, or by any person known by the parent, if

the parent knew or reasonably should have known that the person was

physically abusing the child.  For the purposes of this subdivision,

"severe physical abuse" means any of the following:  any single act

of abuse which causes physical trauma of sufficient severity that, if

left untreated, would cause permanent physical disfigurement,

permanent physical disability, or death; any single act of sexual

abuse which causes significant bleeding, deep bruising, or

significant external or internal swelling; or more than one act of

physical abuse, each of which causes bleeding, deep bruising,

significant external or internal swelling, bone fracture, or

unconsciousness; or the willful, prolonged failure to provide

adequate food.  A child may not be removed from the physical custody

of his or her parent or guardian on the basis of a finding of severe

physical abuse unless the social worker has made an allegation of

severe physical abuse pursuant to Section 332.

   (f) The child's parent or guardian caused the death of another

child through abuse or neglect.

   (g) The child has been left without any provision for support; the

child's parent has been incarcerated or institutionalized and cannot

arrange for the care of the child; or a relative or other adult

custodian with whom the child resides or has been left is unwilling

or unable to provide care or support for the child, the whereabouts

of the parent are unknown, and reasonable efforts to locate the

parent have been unsuccessful.

   (h) The child has been freed for adoption by one or both parents

for 12 months by either relinquishment or termination of parental

rights or an adoption petition has not been granted.

   (i) The child has been subjected to an act or acts of cruelty by

the parent or guardian or a member of his or her household, or the

parent or guardian has failed to adequately protect the child from an

act or acts of cruelty when the parent or guardian knew or

reasonably should have known that the child was in danger of being

subjected to an act or acts of cruelty.

   (j) The child's sibling has been abused or neglected, as defined

in subdivision (a), (b), (d), (e), or (i), and there is a substantial

risk that the child will be abused or neglected, as defined in those

subdivisions.  The court shall consider the circumstances

surrounding the abuse or neglect of the sibling, the age and gender

of each child, the nature of the abuse or neglect of the sibling, the

mental condition of the parent or guardian, and any other factors

the court considers probative in determining whether there is a

substantial risk to the child.

   It is the intent of the Legislature that nothing in this section

disrupt the family unnecessarily or intrude inappropriately into

family life, prohibit the use of reasonable methods of parental

discipline, or prescribe a particular method of parenting.  Further,

nothing in this section is intended to limit the offering of

voluntary services to those families in need of assistance but who do

not come within the descriptions of this section.  To the extent

that savings accrue to the state from child welfare services funding

obtained as a result of the enactment of the act that enacted this

section, those savings shall be used to promote services which

support family maintenance and family reunification plans, such as

client transportation, out-of-home respite care, parenting training,

and the provision of temporary or emergency in-home caretakers and

persons teaching and demonstrating homemaking skills.  The

Legislature further declares that a physical disability, such as

blindness or deafness, is no bar to the raising of happy and

well-adjusted children and that a court's determination pursuant to

this section shall center upon whether a parent's disability prevents

him or her from exercising care and control.

   As used in this section, "guardian" means the legal guardian of

the child.

 

300.1.  Notwithstanding subdivision (e) of Section 361 and Section

16507, family reunification services shall not be provided to a child

adjudged a dependent pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 300.

 

300.2.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the purpose of

the provisions of this chapter relating to dependent children is to

provide maximum safety and protection for children who are currently

being physically, sexually, or emotionally abused, being neglected,

or being exploited, and to ensure the safety, protection, and

physical and emotional well-being of children who are at risk of that

harm.  This safety, protection, and physical and emotional

well-being may include provision of a full array of social and health

services to help the child and family and to prevent reabuse of

children.  The focus shall be on the preservation of the family as

well as the safety, protection, and physical and emotional well-being

of the child.  The provision of a home environment free from the

negative effects of substance abuse is a necessary condition for the

safety, protection and physical and emotional well-being of the

child.  Successful participation in a treatment program for substance

abuse may be considered in evaluating the home environment.  In

addition, the provisions of this chapter ensuring the confidentiality

of proceedings and records are intended to protect the privacy

rights of the child.

 

300.5.  In any case in which a child is alleged to come within the

provisions of Section 300 on the basis that he or she is in need of

medical care, the court, in making that finding, shall give

consideration to any treatment being provided to the child by

spiritual means through prayer alone in accordance with the tenets

and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination by an

accredited practitioner thereof.

 

301.  (a) In any case in which a social worker after investigation

of an application for petition or other investigation he or she is

authorized to make, determines that a child is within the

jurisdiction of the juvenile court or will probably soon be within

that jurisdiction, the social worker may, in lieu of filing a

petition or subsequent to dismissal of a petition already filed, and

with consent of the child's parent or guardian, undertake a program

of supervision of the child.  If a program of supervision is

undertaken, the social worker shall attempt to ameliorate the

situation which brings the child within, or creates the probability

that the child will be within, the jurisdiction of Section 300 by

providing or arranging to contract for all appropriate child welfare

services pursuant to Sections 16506 and 16507.3, within the time

periods specified in those sections. No further child welfare

services shall be provided subsequent to these time limits.  If the

family has refused to cooperate with the services being provided, the

social worker may file a petition with the juvenile court pursuant

to Section 332.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to

prevent the social worker from filing a petition pursuant to Section

332 when otherwise authorized by law.

   (b) The program of supervision of the child undertaken pursuant to

this section may call for the child to obtain care and treatment for

the misuse of, or addiction to, controlled substances from a county

mental health service or other appropriate community agency.

 

302.  (a) A juvenile court may assume jurisdiction over a child

described in Section 300 regardless of whether the child was in the

physical custody of both parents or was in the sole legal or physical

custody of only one parent at the time that the events or conditions

occurred that brought the child within the jurisdiction of the

court.

   (b) Unless their parental rights have been terminated, both

parents shall be notified of all proceedings involving the child.  In

any case where the social worker is required to provide a parent or

guardian with notice of a proceeding at which the social worker

intends to present a report, the social worker shall also provide

both parents, whether custodial or noncustodial, or any guardian, or

the counsel for the parent or guardian a copy of the report prior to

the hearing, either personally or by first-class mail.  The social

worker shall not charge any fee for providing a copy of a report

required by this subdivision.  The social worker shall keep

confidential the address of any parent who is known to be the victim

of domestic violence.

   (c) When a child is adjudged a dependent of the juvenile court,

any issues regarding custodial rights between his or her parents

shall be determined solely by the juvenile court, as specified in

Sections 304, 361.2, and 362.4, so long as the child remains a

dependent of the juvenile court.

   (d) Any custody or visitation order issued by the juvenile court

at the time the juvenile court terminates its jurisdiction pursuant

to Section 362.4 regarding a child who has been previously adjudged

to be a dependent child of the juvenile court shall be a final

judgment and shall remain in effect after that jurisdiction is

terminated.  The order shall not be modified in a proceeding or

action described in Section 3021 of the Family Code unless the court

finds that there has been a significant change of circumstances since

the juvenile court issued the order and modification of the order is

in the best interests of the child.

 

303.  The court may retain jurisdiction over any person who is found

to be a dependent child of the juvenile court until the ward or

dependent child attains the age of 21 years.

 

304.  After a petition has been filed pursuant to Section 311, and

until the time that the petition is dismissed or dependency is

terminated, no other division of any superior court may hear

proceedings pursuant to Part 2 (commencing with Section 3020) of

Division 8 of the Family Code regarding the custody of the child or

proceedings under Part 2 (commencing with Section 1500) of Division 4

of the Probate Code, except as otherwise authorized in this code,

regarding the establishment of a guardianship for the child.  While

the child is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court all issues

regarding his or her custody shall be heard by the juvenile court.

In deciding issues between the parents or between a parent and a

guardian regarding custody of a child who has been adjudicated a

dependent of the juvenile court, the juvenile court may review any

records that would be available to the domestic relations division of

a superior court hearing that matter.  The juvenile court, on its

own motion, may issue an order as provided for in Section 213.5, or

as described in Section 6218 of the Family Code.  The Judicial

Council shall adopt forms for these restraining orders.  These form

orders shall not be confidential and shall be enforceable in the same

manner as any other order issued pursuant to Division 10 (commencing

with Section 6200) of the Family Code.

   This section shall not be construed to divest the domestic

relations division of a superior court from hearing any issues

regarding the custody of a child when that child is no longer a

dependent of the juvenile court.

 

304.7.  (a) On or before July 31, 1997, the Judicial Council shall

develop and implement standards for the education and training of all

judges who conduct hearings pursuant to Section 300.  The training

shall include, but not be limited to, a component relating to Section

300 proceedings for newly appointed or elected judges and an annual

training session in Section 300 proceedings.

   (b) Any commissioner or referee who is assigned to conduct

hearings held pursuant to Section 300 shall meet the minimum

standards for education and training established pursuant to

subdivision (a), by July 31, 1998.

   (c) The Judicial Council shall submit an annual report to the

Legislature on compliance by judges, commissioners and referees with

the education and training standards described in subdivisions (a)

and (b).

 

305.  Any peace officer may, without a warrant, take into temporary

custody a minor:

   (a) When the officer has reasonable cause for believing that the

minor is a person described in Section 300, and, in addition, that

the minor has an immediate need for medical care, or the minor is in

immediate danger of physical or sexual abuse, or the physical

environment or the fact that the child is left unattended poses an

immediate threat to the  child's health or safety.  In cases in which

the child is left unattended, the peace officer shall first attempt

to contact the child's parent or guardian to determine if the parent

or guardian is able to assume custody of the child.  If the parent or

guardian cannot be contacted, the peace officer shall notify a

social worker in the county welfare department to assume custody of

the child.

   (b) Who is in a hospital and release of the minor to a parent

poses an immediate danger to the child's health or safety.

   (c) Who is a dependent child of the juvenile court, or concerning

whom an order has been made under Section 319, when the officer has

reasonable cause for believing that the minor has violated an order

of the juvenile court or has left any placement ordered by the

juvenile court.

   (d) Who is found in any street or public place suffering from any

sickness or injury which requires care, medical treatment,

hospitalization, or other remedial care.

 

305.5.  (a) Where an Indian child, who resides or is domiciled

within a reservation of an Indian tribe that has reassumed exclusive

jurisdiction over Indian child custody proceedings pursuant to

Section 1918 of Title 25 of the United States Code, has been removed

by a state or local authority from the custody of his or her parents

or Indian custodian, the state or local authority shall provide

notice of the removal to the tribe no later than the next working day

following the removal and shall provide all relevant documentation

to the tribe regarding the removal and the child's identity.  If the

tribe determines that the child is an Indian child, the state or

local authority shall transfer the child custody proceeding to the

tribe within 24 hours after receipt of written notice from the tribe

of that determination.

   (b) As used in this section, the terms "Indian child" and "Indian

child custody proceedings" shall be defined as provided in the

federal Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.).

 

305.6.  (a) Any peace officer may, without a warrant, take into

temporary custody a minor who is in a hospital if the release of the

minor to a prospective adoptive parent poses an immediate danger to

the minor's health or safety.

   (b) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) and Section 305, a peace

officer may not, without a warrant, take into temporary custody a

minor who is in a hospital if all of the following conditions exist:

   (A) The minor is a newborn who tested positive for illegal drugs

or whose birth mother tested positive for illegal drugs.

   (B) The minor is the subject of a petition for adoption and a

Health Facility Minor Release Report, prescribed by the department,

has been completed by the hospital, including the marking of the

boxes applicable to an independent adoption or agency adoption

planning, and signed by the placing birth parent or birth parents and

the prospective adoptive parent or parents, prior to the discharge

of the birth parent or the minor from the hospital.  Prior to signing

of the Health Facility Minor Release Report, the birth parent or

birth parents shall be given a notice written in at least 14-point

pica type, containing substantially the following statements:

   (i) That the Health Facility Minor Release Report does not

constitute consent to adoption of the minor by the prospective

adoptive parent or parents, or any other prospective adoptive parent

or parents.

   (ii) That the Health Facility Minor Release Report does not

constitute a relinquishment of parental rights for the purposes of

adoption.

   (iii) That the birth parent or birth parents or any person

authorized by the birth parent or birth parents may reclaim the minor

at any time from the prospective adoptive parent or parents or any

other person to whom the minor was released by the hospital, until an

adoption placement agreement or a relinquishment is signed by the

birth parent or birth parents.

   This notice shall be signed by the birth parent or birth parents

and attached to the Health Facility Minor Release Report.

   (C) The release of the minor to a prospective adoptive parent or

parents does not pose an immediate danger to the minor.

   (D) An attorney or an adoption agency has provided documentation

stating that he or she, or the agency, is representing the

prospective adoptive parent or parents for purposes of the adoption.

In the case of an independent adoption, as defined in Section 8524

of the Family Code, the attorney or adoption agency shall provide

documentation stating that the prospective adoptive parent or parents

have been informed that the child may be eligible for benefits

provided pursuant to the Adoption Assistance Program, as set forth in

Chapter 2.1 (commencing with Section 16115) of Part 4 of Division 9,

only if, at the time the petition is filed, the child has met the

requirements to receive federal supplemental security income benefits

pursuant to Subchapter XVI (commencing with Section 1381) of Chapter

7 of Title 42 of the United States Code, as determined and

documented by the federal Social Security Administration.

   (E) The prospective adoptive parent or parents or their

representative provides a copy of the Health Facility Minor Release

Report with the signed notice to the birth parent or birth parents as

described in subparagraph (B) and a copy of the petition for

adoption to the local child protective services agency or to the

peace officer who is at the hospital to take the minor into temporary

custody.

   (2) Notwithstanding Section 305 or subdivision (a) of this

section, a peace officer may not, without a warrant, take into

temporary custody a minor who is in a hospital if all of the

following conditions exist:

   (A) The minor is a newborn who tested positive for illegal drugs

or whose birth mother tested positive for illegal drugs.

   (B) The minor is the subject of a petition for adoption and a

prospective adoptive parent or prospective adoptive parents have been

licensed to act as a foster parent or foster parents of the minor

pending finalization of the petition for adoption.

   (C) The release of the minor to the prospective adoptive parent or

prospective adoptive parents does not pose an immediate danger to

the minor.

   (D) The prospective adoptive parent or parents or their

representative provides a copy of the petition for adoption and

documents evidencing licensure as a foster parent or foster parents

to the local child protective services agency or to the peace officer

who is at the hospital to take the minor into temporary custody.

   (3) If at the time the minor is released to the custody of a

prospective adoptive parent or parents or their representative

pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2), the petition for adoption of the

minor has not been filed with the court, the petition for adoption

shall be filed within 15 calendar days of the date the birth parent

was released from the hospital.

   (4) A copy of an adoption placement agreement signed by the

placing birth parent or birth parents and the prospective adoptive

parent or parents may be used in place of the Health Facility Minor

Release Report and notice to the birth parent or birth parents as

described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1).

   (c) Nothing in this section is intended to create a duty that

requires law enforcement to investigate the prospective adoptive

parent or parents.

 

306.  (a) Any social worker in a county welfare department, or an

Indian tribe that has entered into an agreement pursuant to Section

10553.1 while acting within the scope of his or her regular duties

under the direction of the juvenile court and pursuant to subdivision

(b) of Section 272, may do all of the following:

   (1) Receive and maintain, pending investigation, temporary custody

of a minor who is described in Section 300, and who has been

delivered by a peace officer.

   (2) Take into and maintain temporary custody of, without a

warrant, a minor who has been declared a dependent child of the

juvenile court under Section 300 or who the social worker has

reasonable cause to believe is a person described in subdivision (b)

or (g) of Section 300, and the social worker has reasonable cause to

believe that the minor has an immediate need for medical care or is

in immediate danger of physical or sexual abuse or the physical

environment poses an immediate threat to the child's health or

safety.

   (b) Before taking a minor into custody, a social worker shall

consider whether the child can remain safely in his or her residence.

  The consideration of whether the child can remain safely at home

shall include, but not be limited to, the following factors:

   (1) Whether there are any reasonable services available to the

worker which, if provided to the minor's parent, guardian, caretaker,

or to the minor, would eliminate the need to remove the minor from

the custody of his or her parent, guardian, or caretaker.

   (2) Whether a referral to public assistance pursuant to Chapter 2

(commencing with Section 11200) of Part 3, Chapter 7 (commencing with

Section 14000) of Part 3, Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 17000)

of Part 5, and Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 18900) of Part 6,

of Division 9 would eliminate the need to take temporary custody of

the minor.  If those services are available they shall be utilized.

   (3) Whether a nonoffending caretaker can provide for and protect

the child from abuse and neglect and whether the alleged perpetrator

voluntarily agrees to withdraw from the residence, withdraws from the

residence, and is likely to remain withdrawn from the residence.

 

306.5.  In any case in which a social worker takes a minor into

custody pursuant to Section 306, the social worker shall, to the

extent that it is practical and appropriate, place the minor together

with any siblings or half-siblings who are also detained or include

in the report prepared pursuant to Section 319 a statement of his or

her continuing efforts to place the siblings together or why those

efforts are not appropriate.

 

307.  A peace officer or probation officer who takes a minor into

temporary custody under the provisions of Section 305 shall

thereafter proceed as follows:

   (a) The officer may release the minor.

   (b) The officer may prepare in duplicate a written notice for the

parent or parents of the minor to appear with the minor before the

probation officer of the county in which the minor was taken into

custody at a time and place specified in the notice.  The notice

shall also contain a concise statement of the reasons the minor was

taken into custody.  The officer shall deliver one copy of the notice

to the minor and a parent, guardian, or responsible relative of the

minor and may require the minor and the parent, guardian, or relative

to sign a written promise that he or she shall appear at the time

and place designated in the notice.  Upon the execution of the

promise to appear, the officer shall immediately release the minor.

The officer shall, as soon as practicable, file one copy of the

notice with the probation officer.

   (c) The officer may take the minor without unnecessary delay

before the probation officer of the county in which the minor was

taken into custody, or in which the minor resides, or in which the

acts take place or the circumstances exist which are alleged to bring

the minor within the provisions of Section 300, and deliver the

minor into the custody of the probation officer.

   In determining which disposition of the minor shall be made, the

officer shall give preference to the alternative which least

interferes with the parents' or guardians' custody of the minor if

this alternative is compatible with the safety of the minor.  The

officer shall also consider the needs of the minor for the  least

restrictive environment and the protective needs of the community.

 

307.4.  (a) Any peace officer, probation officer, or social worker

who takes into temporary custody pursuant to Sections 305 to 307,

inclusive, a minor who comes within the description of Section 300

shall immediately inform, through the most efficient means available,

the parent, guardian, or responsible relative, that the minor has

been taken into protective custody and that a written statement is

available which explains the parent's or guardian's procedural rights

and the preliminary stages of the dependency investigation and

hearing.  The Judicial Council shall, in consultation with the County

Welfare Directors Association of California, adopt a form for the

written statement, which shall be in simple language and shall be

printed and distributed by the county.  The written statement shall

be made available for distribution through all public schools,

probation offices, and appropriate welfare offices.  It shall

include, but is not limited to, the following information:

   (1) The conditions under which the minor will be released,

hearings which may be required, and the means whereby further

specific information about the minor's case and conditions of

confinement may be obtained.

   (2) The rights to counsel, privileges against self-incrimination,

and rights to appeal possessed by the minor, and his or her parents,

guardians, or responsible relative.

   (b) If a good faith attempt was made at notification, the failure

on the part of the peace officer, probation officer, or social worker

to notify the parent or guardian that the written information

required by subdivision (a) is available shall be considered to be

due to circumstances beyond the control of the peace officer,

probation officer, or social worker, and shall not be construed to

permit a new defense to any juvenile or judicial proceeding or to

interfere with any rights, procedures, or investigations accorded

under any other law.

 

307.5.  Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 307, an officer

who takes a minor suspected of being a person described in Section

300 into temporary custody pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 305

may, in a case where he or she deems that it is in the best interest

of the minor and the public, take the minor to a community service

program for abused or neglected children.  Organizations or programs

receiving referrals pursuant to this section shall have a contract or

an agreement with the county to provide shelter care  or counseling.

  Employees of a program receiving referrals pursuant to this section

are "child care custodians" for the purpose of the requirements of

Section 11165.7 of the Penal Code.  The receiving organization shall

take immediate steps to notify the minor's parent, guardian, or a

responsible relative of the place to which the minor was taken.

 

 

308.  (a) When a peace officer or social worker takes a minor into

custody pursuant to this article, he or she shall take immediate

steps to notify the minor's parent, guardian, or a responsible

relative that the minor is in custody and that the child has been

placed in a facility authorized by law to care for the child, and

shall provide a telephone number at which the minor may be contacted.

  The confidentiality of the address of any licensed foster family

home in which the child has been placed shall be maintained until the

dispositional hearing, at which time the judge may authorize, upon a

finding of good cause, the disclosure of the address.  However, the

court may order the release of the address of the licensed foster

family home to the minor's parent, guardian, or responsible relative

upon notification of the licensed foster family home in cases where a

petition to challenge jurisdiction or other motion to delay the

dispositional hearing beyond 60 days after the hearing at which the

minor was ordered removed or detained, pursuant to subdivision (b) of

Section 352, is granted.  Moreover, a foster parent may authorize

the release of the address of the foster family home at any time

during the placement.  The county welfare department shall make a

diligent and reasonable effort to ensure regular telephone contact

between the parent and a child of any age, prior to the detention

hearing, unless that contact would be detrimental to the child.  The

initial telephone contact shall take place as soon as practicable,

but no later than five hours after the child is taken into custody.

   (b) Immediately after being taken to a place of confinement

pursuant to this article and, except where physically impossible, no

later than one hour after he or she has been taken into custody, a

minor 10 years of age or older shall be advised that he or she has

the right to make at least two telephone calls from the place where

he or she is being held, one call completed to his or her parent,

guardian, or a responsible relative, and another call completed to an

attorney.  The calls shall be at public expense, if the calls are

completed to telephone numbers within the local calling area, and in

the presence of a public officer or employee.  Any public officer or

employee who willfully deprives a minor taken into custody of his or

her right to make these telephone calls is guilty of a misdemeanor.

 

 

309.  (a) Upon delivery to the social worker of a child who has been

taken into temporary custody under this article, the social worker

shall immediately investigate the circumstances of the child and the

facts surrounding the child's being taken into custody and attempt to

maintain the child with the child's family through the provision of

services.  The social worker shall immediately release the child to

the custody of the child's parent, guardian, or responsible relative

unless one or more of the following conditions exist:

   (1) The child has no parent, guardian, or responsible relative; or

the child's parent, guardian, or responsible relative is not willing

to provide care for the child.

   (2) Continued detention of the child is a matter of immediate and

urgent necessity for the protection of the child and there are no

reasonable means by which the child can be protected in his or her

home or the home of a responsible relative.

   (3) There is substantial evidence that a parent, guardian, or

custodian of the child is likely to flee the jurisdiction of the

court.

   (4) The child has left a placement in which he or she was placed

by the juvenile court.

   (5) The parent or other person having lawful custody of the child

voluntarily surrendered physical custody of the child pursuant to

Section 1255.7 of the Health and Safety Code and did not reclaim the

child within the 14-day period specified in subdivision (e) of that

section.

   (b) In any case in which there is reasonable cause for believing

that a child who is under the care of a physician or surgeon or a

hospital, clinic, or other medical facility and cannot be immediately

moved is a person described in Section 300, the child shall be

deemed to have been taken into temporary custody and delivered to the

social worker for the purposes of this chapter while the child is at

the office of the physician or surgeon or the medical facility.

   (c) If the child is not released to his or her parent or guardian,

the child shall be deemed detained for purposes of this chapter.

   (d) (1) If an able and willing relative, as defined in Section

319, or an able and willing nonrelative extended family member, as

defined in Section 362.7, is available and requests temporary

placement of the child pending the detention hearing, the county

welfare department shall initiate an assessment of the relative's or

nonrelative extended family member's suitability, which shall include

an in-home inspection to assess the safety of the home and the

ability of the relative or nonrelative extended family member to care

for the child's needs, and a consideration of the results of a

criminal records check and a check of allegations of prior child

abuse or neglect concerning the relative or nonrelative extended

family member and other adults in the home.  Upon completion of this

assessment, the child may be placed in the approved home.

   (2) The standards used to evaluate and grant or deny approval of

the home of the relative and of the home of a nonrelative extended

family member, as described in Section 362.7, shall be the same

standards set forth in regulations for the licensing of foster family

homes which prescribe standards of safety and sanitation for the

physical plant and standards for basic personal care, supervision,

and services provided by the caregiver.

   (3) If a relative or nonrelative extended family member meets all

other conditions for approval, except for the receipt of the Federal

Bureau of Investigation's criminal history information for the

relative or nonrelative extended family member, and other adults in

the home, as indicated, the county welfare department may approve the

home and document that approval, if the relative or nonrelative

extended family member, and each adult in the home, has signed and

submitted a statement that he or she has never been convicted of a

crime in the United States, other than a traffic infraction as

defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 42001 of the

Vehicle Code.  If, after the approval has been granted, the

department determines that the relative or nonrelative extended

family member or other adult in the home has a criminal record, the

approval may be terminated.

   (e) This section shall be repealed on January 1, 2006, unless a

later enacted statute extends or deletes that date.

 

309.  (a) Upon delivery to the social worker of a child who has been

taken into temporary custody under this article, the social worker

shall immediately investigate the circumstances of the child and the

facts surrounding the child's being taken into custody and attempt to

maintain the child with the child's family through the provision of

services.  The social worker shall immediately release the child to

the custody of the child's parent, guardian, or responsible relative

unless one or more of the following conditions exist:

   (1) The child has no parent, guardian, or responsible relative; or

the child's parent, guardian, or responsible relative is not willing

to provide care for the child.

   (2) Continued detention of the child is a matter of immediate and

urgent necessity for the protection of the child and there are no

reasonable means by which the child can be protected in his or her

home or the home of a responsible relative.

   (3) There is substantial evidence that a parent, guardian, or

custodian of the child is likely to flee the jurisdiction of the

court.

   (4) The child has left a placement in which he or she was placed

by the juvenile court.

   (b) In any case in which there is reasonable cause for believing

that a child who is under the care of a physician or surgeon or a

hospital, clinic, or other medical facility and cannot be immediately

moved is a person described in Section 300, the child shall be

deemed to have been taken into temporary custody and delivered to the

social worker for the purposes of this chapter while the child is at

the office of the physician or surgeon or the medical facility.

   (c) If the child is not released to his or her parent or guardian,

the child shall be deemed detained for purposes of this chapter.

   (d) If an able and willing relative, as defined in Section 319, or

an able and willing nonrelative extended family member, as defined

in Section 362.7, is available and requests temporary placement of

the child pending the detention hearing, the county welfare

department shall initiate an assessment of the relative's or

nonrelative extended family member's suitability, which shall include

an in-home inspection to assess the safety of the home and the

ability of the relative or nonrelative extended family member to care

for the child's needs, and a consideration of the results of a

criminal records check and a check of allegations of prior child

abuse or neglect concerning the relative or nonrelative extended

family member and other adults in the home.  Upon completion of this

assessment, the child may be placed in the approved home.  The

standards used to evaluate and grant or deny approval of the home of

a relative or a nonrelative extended family member, as described in

Section 362.7, shall be the same standards set forth in regulations

for licensing foster family homes.  These regulations prescribe

standards of safety and sanitation for the physical plant and

standards for basic personal care, supervision, and services provided

by the caregiver.  If a relative or nonrelative extended family

member meets all other conditions for approval, except for the

receipt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's criminal history

information for a relative, or nonrelative extended family member,

and other adults in the home, as indicated, the county welfare

department may approve the home and document that approval, if the

relative, or nonrelative extended family member, and each adult in

the home has signed and submitted a statement that he or she has

never been convicted of a crime in the United States, other than a

traffic infraction as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of

Section 42001 of the Vehicle Code.  If, after the approval has been

granted, the department determines that the relative or nonrelative

extended family member or other adult in the home has a criminal

record, the approval may be terminated.

 

310.  As a condition for the release of such minor, the probation

officer may require such minor or his parent, guardian, or relative,

or both, to sign a written promise that either or both of them will

appear before the probation officer at a suitable place designated by

the probation officer at a specified time.

 

311.  (a) If the probation officer determines that the minor shall

be retained in custody, he or she shall immediately file a petition

pursuant to Section 332 with the clerk of the juvenile court who

shall set the matter for hearing on the detention hearing calendar.

   (b) In the hearing, the child, parents, or guardians have a

privilege against self-incrimination and have a right to

confrontation by, and cross-examination of, any person examined by

the court as provided in Section 319.

 

313.  (a) Whenever a minor is taken into custody by a peace officer

or probation officer, except when such minor willfully misrepresents

himself as 18 or more years of age, such minor shall be released

within 48 hours after having been taken into custody, excluding

nonjudicial days, unless within said period of time a petition to

declare him a dependent child has been filed pursuant to the

provisions of this chapter.

   (b) Whenever a minor who has been held in custody for more than

six hours by the probation officer is subsequently released and no

petition is filed, the probation officer shall prepare a written

explanation of why the minor was held in custody for more than six

hours.  The written explanation shall be prepared within 72 hours

after the minor is released from custody and filed in the record of

the case.  A copy of the written explanation shall be sent to the

parents, guardian, or other person having care or custody of the

minor.

 

314.  When a minor willfully misrepresents himself to be 18 or more

years of age when taken into custody by a peace officer or probation

officer, and this misrepresentation effects a material delay in

investigation which prevents the filing of a petition pursuant to the

provisions of this chapter, such petition or complaint shall be

filed within 48 hours from the time his true age is determined,

excluding nonjudicial days.  If, in such cases, the petition is not

filed within the time prescribed by this section, the minor shall be

immediately released from custody.

 

315.  If a minor has been taken into custody under this article and

not released to a parent or guardian, the juvenile court shall hold a

hearing (which shall be referred to as a "detention hearing") to

determine whether the minor shall be further detained.  This hearing

shall be held as soon as possible, but in any event before the

expiration of the next judicial day after a petition to declare the

minor a dependent child has been filed.  If the hearing is not held

within the period prescribed by this section, the minor shall be

released from custody.

 

316.  Upon his or her appearance before the court at the detention

hearing, each parent or guardian and the minor, if present, shall

first be informed of the reasons why the minor was taken into

custody, the nature of the juvenile court proceedings, and the right

of each parent or guardian and any minor to be represented at every

stage of the proceedings by counsel.

 

316.1.  (a) Upon his or her appearance before the court, each parent

or guardian shall designate for the court his or her permanent

mailing address.  The court shall advise each parent or guardian that

the designated mailing address will be used by the court and the

social services agency for notice purposes unless and until the

parent or guardian notifies the court or the social services agency

of a new mailing address in writing.

   (b) The Judicial Council may develop a form for the designation of

a permanent mailing address by parents and guardians for use by the

courts and social services agencies.

 

316.2.  (a) At the detention hearing, or as soon thereafter as

practicable, the court shall inquire of the mother and any other

appropriate person as to the identity and address of all presumed or

alleged fathers.  The presence at the hearing of a man claiming to be

the father shall not relieve the court of its duty of inquiry.  The

inquiry shall include at least all of the following, as the court

deems appropriate:

   (1) Whether a judgment of paternity already exists.

   (2) Whether the mother was married or believed she was married at

the time of conception of the child or at any time thereafter.

   (3) Whether the mother was cohabiting with a man at the time of

conception or birth of the child.

   (4) Whether the mother has received support payments or promises

of support with respect to the child or in connection with her

pregnancy.

   (5) Whether any man has formally or informally acknowledged or

declared his possible paternity of the child, including by signing a

voluntary declaration of paternity.

   (6) Whether paternity tests have been administered and the

results, if any.

   (7) Whether any man otherwise qualifies as a presumed father

pursuant to Section 7611, or any other provision, of the Family Code.

   (b) If, after the court inquiry, one or more men are identified as

an alleged father, each alleged father shall be provided notice at

his last and usual place of abode by certified mail return receipt

requested alleging that he is or could be the father of the child.

The notice shall state that the child is the subject of proceedings

under Section 300 and that the proceedings could result in the

termination of parental rights and adoption of the child.  Judicial

Council form Paternity-Waiver of Rights (JV-505) shall be included

with the notice.  Nothing in this section shall preclude a court from

terminating a father's parental rights even if an action has been

filed under Section 7630 or 7631 of the Family Code.

   (c) The court may determine that the failure of an alleged father

to return the certified mail receipt is not good cause to continue a

hearing pursuant to Section 355, 358, 360, 366.21, or 366.22.

   (d) If a man appears in the dependency action and files an action

under Section 7630 or 7631 of the Family Code, the court shall

determine if he is the father.

   (e) After a petition has been filed to declare a child a dependent

of the court, and until the time that the petition is dismissed,

dependency is terminated, or parental rights are terminated pursuant

to Section 366.26 or proceedings are commenced under Part 4

(commencing with Section 7800) of Division 12 of the Family Code, the

juvenile court which has jurisdiction of the dependency action shall

have exclusive jurisdiction to hear an action filed under Section

7630 or 7631 of the Family Code.

   (f) After any inquiry, proceeding, or determination made pursuant

to this section, the juvenile court shall note its findings in the

minutes of the court.

 

317.  (a) When it appears to the court that a parent or guardian of

the child desires counsel but is presently financially unable to

afford and cannot for that reason employ counsel, the court may

appoint counsel as provided in this section.

   (b) When it appears to the court that a parent or guardian of the

child is presently financially unable to afford and cannot for that

reason employ counsel, and the child has been placed in out-of-home

care, or the petitioning agency is recommending that the child be

placed in out-of-home care, the court shall appoint counsel, unless

the court finds that the parent or guardian has made a knowing and

intelligent waiver of counsel as provided in this section.

   (c) Where a child is not represented by counsel, the court shall

appoint counsel for the child unless the court finds that the child

would not benefit from the appointment of counsel.  The court shall

state on the record its reasons for that finding.  A primary

responsibility of any counsel appointed to represent a child pursuant

to this section shall be to advocate for the protection, safety, and

physical and emotional well-being of the child.  Counsel for the

child may be a district attorney, public defender, or other member of

the bar, provided that the counsel does not represent another party

or county agency whose interests conflict with the child's.  The fact

that the district attorney represents the child in a proceeding

pursuant to Section 300 as well as conducts a criminal investigation

or files a criminal complaint or information arising from the same or

reasonably related set of facts as the proceeding pursuant to

Section 300 is not in and of itself a conflict of interest.  The

court may fix the compensation for the services of appointed counsel.

  The appointed counsel shall have a caseload and training that

assures adequate representation of the child.  The Judicial Council

shall promulgate rules of court that establish caseload standards,

training requirements, and guidelines for appointed counsel for

children and shall adopt rules as required by Section 326.5 no later

than July 1, 2001.

   (d) The counsel appointed by the court shall represent the parent,

guardian, or child at the detention hearing and at all subsequent

proceedings before the juvenile court.  Counsel shall continue to

represent the parent or child unless relieved by the court upon the

substitution of other counsel or for cause.  The representation shall

include representing the parent or the child in termination

proceedings and in those proceedings relating to the institution or

setting aside of a legal guardianship.

   (e) The counsel for the child shall be charged in general with the

representation of the child's interests.  To that end, the counsel

shall make or cause to have made any further investigations that he

or she deems in good faith to be reasonably necessary to ascertain

the facts, including the interviewing of witnesses, and he or she

shall examine and cross-examine witnesses in both the adjudicatory

and dispositional hearings.  He or she may also introduce and examine

his or her own witnesses, make recommendations to the court

concerning the child's welfare, and participate further in the

proceedings to the degree necessary to adequately represent the

child.  In any case in which the child is four years of age or older,

counsel shall interview the child to determine the child's wishes

and to assess the child's well-being, and shall advise the court of

the child's wishes.  Counsel for the child shall not advocate for the

return of the child if, to the best of his or her knowledge, that

return conflicts with the protection and safety of the child.  In

addition counsel shall investigate the interests of the child beyond

the scope of the juvenile proceeding and report to the court other

interests of the child that may need to be protected by the

institution of other administrative or judicial proceedings.  The

attorney representing a child in a dependency proceeding is not

required to assume the responsibilities of a social worker and is not

expected to provide nonlegal services to the child.  The court shall

take whatever appropriate action is necessary to fully protect the

interests of the child.

   (f) Either the child or the counsel for the child, with the

informed consent of the child if the child is found by the court to

be of sufficient age and maturity to so consent, may invoke the

psychotherapist-client privilege, physician-patient privilege, and

clergyman-penitent privilege; and if the child invokes the privilege,

counsel may not waive it, but if counsel invokes the privilege, the

child may waive it.  Counsel shall be holder of these privileges if

the child is found by the court not to be of sufficient age and

maturity to so consent.  For the sole purpose of fulfilling his or

her obligation to provide legal representation of the child, counsel

for a child shall have access to all records with regard to the child

maintained by a health care facility, as defined in Section 1545 of

the Penal Code, health care providers, as defined in Section 6146 of

the Business and Professions Code, a physician and surgeon or other

health practitioner as defined in Section 11165.8 of the Penal Code

or a child care custodian, as defined in Section 11165.7 of the Penal

Code.  Notwithstanding any other law, counsel shall be given access

to all records relevant to the case which are maintained by state or

local public agencies.  All information requested from a child

protective agency regarding a child who is in protective custody, or

from a child's guardian ad litem, shall be provided to the child's

counsel within 30 days of the request.

   (g) In a county of the third class, if counsel is to be provided

to a child at county expense other than by counsel for the agency,

the court shall first utilize the services of the public defender

prior to appointing private counsel, to provide legal counsel.

Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to require the

appointment of the public defender in any case in which the public

defender has a conflict of interest.  In the interest of justice, a

court may depart from that portion of the procedure requiring

appointment of the public defender after making a finding of good

cause and stating the reasons therefor on the record.

   (h) In a county of the third class, if counsel is to be appointed

for a parent or guardian at county expense, the court shall first

utilize the services of the alternate public defender, prior to

appointing private counsel, to provide legal counsel.  Nothing in

this subdivision shall be construed to require the appointment of the

alternate public defender in any case in which the public defender

has a conflict of interest.  In the interest of justice, a court may

depart from that portion of the procedure requiring appointment of

the alternate public defender after making a finding of good cause

and stating the reasons therefor on the record.

 

317.5.  (a) All parties who are represented by counsel at dependency

proceedings shall be entitled to competent counsel.

   (b) Each minor who is the subject of a dependency proceeding is a

party to that proceeding.

 

317.6.  (a) On or before January 1, 1996, the Judicial Council

shall, after consulting with representatives from the State Bar of

California, county counsels, district attorneys, public defenders,

county welfare directors, and children's advocacy groups, adopt rules

of court regarding the appointment of competent counsel in

dependency proceedings, including, but not limited to, the following:

   (1) The screening and appointment of competent counsel.

   (2) Establishing minimum standards of experience and education

necessary to qualify as competent counsel to represent a party in

dependency proceedings.

   (3) Procedures for handling client complaints regarding attorney

performance, including measures to inform clients of the complaint

process.

   (4) Procedures for informing the court of any interests of the

minor that may need to be protected in other proceedings.

   (b) On or before July 1, 1996, each superior court shall, after

consulting with representatives from the State Bar of California and

the local offices of the county counsel, district attorney, public

defender, county welfare department, and children's advocacy groups,

adopt local rules of court regarding the conduct of dependency

proceedings that address items such as procedures and timeframes for

the presentation of contested issues and witness lists to eliminate

unnecessary delays in dependency hearings.

 

318.  If a district attorney has represented a minor in a dependency

proceeding, that district attorney shall not appear, on behalf of

the people of the State of California, in any juvenile court hearing

which is based upon a petition that alleges that the same minor is a

person within the description of Section 602.

   Records kept by the district attorney in the course of

representation of a minor described in Section 300 are confidential

and shall be held separately, and shall not be inspected by members

of the district attorney's office not directly involved in the

representation of that minor.  A district attorney who represents or

who has represented a minor in a proceeding brought pursuant to

Section 300 shall not discuss the substance of that case with a

district attorney representing the people pursuant to Section 681 in

a proceeding brought pursuant to Section 602 in which that same minor

is the subject of the petition.

 

318.5.  In a juvenile court hearing, where the parent or guardian is

represented by counsel, the county counsel or district attorney

shall, at the request of the juvenile court judge, appear and

participate in the hearing to represent the petitioner.

 

 

319.  (a) At the initial petition hearing, the court shall examine

the child's parents, guardians, or other persons having relevant

knowledge and hear the relevant evidence as the child, the child's

parents or guardians, the petitioner, or their counsel desires to

present.  The court may examine the child, as provided in Section

350.

   (b) The social worker shall report to the court on the reasons why

the child has been removed from the parent's custody; the need, if

any, for continued detention; the available services and the referral

methods to those services that could facilitate the return of the

child to the custody of the child's parents or guardians; and whether

there are any relatives who are able and willing to take temporary

custody of the child.  The court shall order the release of the child

from custody unless a prima facie showing has been made that the

child comes within Section 300, the court finds that continuance in

the parent's or guardian's home is contrary to the child's welfare,

and any of the following circumstances exist:

   (1) There is a substantial danger to the physical health of the

child or the child is suffering severe emotional damage, and there

are no reasonable means by which the child's physical or emotional

health may be protected without removing the child from the parents'

or guardians' physical custody.

   (2) There is substantial evidence that a parent, guardian, or

custodian of the child is likely to flee the jurisdiction of the

court.

   (3) The child has left a placement in which he or she was placed

by the juvenile court.

   (4) The child indicates an unwillingness to return home, if the

child has been physically or sexually abused by a person residing in

the home.

   (c) If the matter is continued pursuant to Section 322 or for any

other reason, the court shall find that the continuance of the child

in the parent's or guardian's home is contrary to the child's welfare

at the initial petition hearing or order the release of the child

from custody.

   (d) (1) The court shall also make a determination on the record,

referencing the social worker's report or other evidence relied upon,

as to whether reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate

the need for removal of the child from his or her home, pursuant to

subdivision (b) of Section 306, and whether there are available

services that would prevent the need for further detention.  Services

to be considered for purposes of making this determination are case

management, counseling, emergency shelter care, emergency in-home

caretakers, out-of-home respite care, teaching and demonstrating

homemakers, parenting training, transportation, and any other child

welfare services authorized by the State Department of Social

Services pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 16500) of

Part 4 of Division 9. The court shall also review whether the social

worker has considered whether a referral to public assistance

services pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) and

Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000) of Part 3, Chapter 1

(commencing with Section 17000) of Part 5, and Chapter 10 (commencing

with Section 18900) of Part 6 of Division 9 would have eliminated

the need to take temporary custody of the child or would prevent the

need for further detention.

   (2) If the child can be returned to the custody of his or her

parent or guardian through the provision of those services, the court

shall place the child with his or her parent or guardian and order

that the services shall be provided.  If the child cannot be returned

to the custody of his or her parent or guardian, the court shall

determine if there is a relative who is able, approved, and willing

to care for the child.

   (e) Whenever a court orders a child detained, the court shall

state the facts on which the decision is based, shall specify why the

initial removal was necessary, shall reference the social worker's

report or other evidence relied upon to make its determination

whether continuance in the home of the parent or legal guardian in

contrary to the child's welfare, shall order temporary placement and

care of the child to be vested with the county child welfare

department pending the hearing held pursuant to Section 355 or

further order of the court, and shall order services to be provided

as soon as possible to reunify the child and his or her family if

appropriate.

   (f) When the child is not released from custody, the court may

order that the child shall be placed in the approved home of a

relative, in an emergency shelter or other suitable licensed place,

in a place exempt from licensure designated by the juvenile court, or

in the approved home of a nonrelative extended family member as

defined in Section 362.7 for a period not to exceed 15 judicial days.

   As used in this section, "relative" means an adult who is related

to the child by blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth degree

of kinship, including stepparents, stepsiblings, and all relatives

whose status is preceded by the words "great," "great-great," or

"grand," or the spouse of any of these persons, even if the marriage

was terminated by death or dissolution.  However, only the following

relatives shall be given preferential consideration for placement of

the child:  an adult who is a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or sibling of

the child.

   The court shall consider the recommendations of the social worker

based on the approval of the relative's home, including the results

of a criminal records check and prior child abuse allegations, if

any, prior to ordering that the child be placed with a relative.  The

court shall order the parent to disclose to the social worker the

names, residences, and any known identifying information of any

maternal or paternal relatives of the child.  The social worker shall

initiate the assessment pursuant to Section 361.3 of any relative to

be considered for continuing placement.

 

319.1.  When the court finds a minor to be a person described by

Section 300, and believes that the minor may need specialized mental

health treatment while the minor is unable to reside in his or her

natural home, the court shall notify the director of the county

mental health department in the county where the minor resides.  The

county mental health department shall perform the duties required

under Section 5694.7 for all those minors.

   Nothing in this section shall restrict the provisions of emergency

psychiatric services to those minors who are involved in dependency

cases and have not yet reached the point of adjudication or

disposition, nor shall it operate to restrict evaluations at an

earlier stage of the proceedings or to restrict orders removing the

minor from a detention facility for psychiatric treatment.

 

319.2.  Notwithstanding Section 319, when a child under the age of

six years is not released from the custody of the court, the child

may be placed in a community care facility licensed as a group home

for children or in a temporary shelter care facility, as defined in

Section 1530.8 of the Health and Safety Code, only when the court

finds that placement is necessary to secure a complete and adequate

evaluation, including placement planning and transition time.  The

placement period shall not exceed 60 days unless a case plan has been

developed and the need for additional time is documented in the case

plan and has been approved by the supervisor of the caseworker's

supervisor.

 

321.  When a hearing is held under the provisions of this article

and no parent or guardian of the minor is present and no parent or

guardian has had actual notice of the hearing, a parent or guardian

of the minor may file an affidavit setting forth the facts with the

clerk of the juvenile court and the clerk shall immediately set the

matter for rehearing at a time within 24 hours, excluding Sundays and

nonjudicial days from the filing of the affidavit.  Upon the

rehearing, the court shall proceed in the same manner as upon the

original hearing.

   If the minor, a parent or guardian or the minor's attorney or

guardian ad litem, if either one or the other has been appointed by

the court, requests evidence of the prima facie case, a rehearing

shall be held within three judicial days to consider evidence of the

prima facie case.  If the prima facie case is not established, the

minor shall be released from detention.

   In lieu of a requested rehearing, the court may set the matter for

trial within 10 days.

   When the court ascertains that the rehearing cannot be held within

three judicial days because of the unavailability of a witness, a

reasonable continuance may be granted for a period not to exceed five

judicial days.

 

322.  Upon motion of the minor or a parent or guardian of such

minor, the court shall continue any hearing or rehearing held under

the provisions of this article for one day, excluding Sundays and

nonjudicial days.

 

323.  Upon any hearing or rehearing under the provisions of this

article, the court may order such minor or any parent or guardian of

such minor who is present in court to again appear before the court,

the probation officer or the county financial evaluation officer at a

time and place specified in said order.

 

324.  Whenever any minor is taken into temporary custody under the

provisions of this article in any county other than the county in

which the minor is alleged to be within or to come within the

jurisdiction of the juvenile court, which county is referred to

herein as the requesting county, the officer who has taken the minor

into temporary custody may notify the law enforcement agency in the

requesting county of the fact that the minor is in custody.  When a

law enforcement officer, of such requesting county files a petition

pursuant to Section 332 with the clerk of the juvenile court of his

respective county and secures a warrant therefrom, he shall forward

said warrant, or a telegraphic copy thereof to the officer who has

the minor in temporary custody as soon as possible within 48 hours,

excluding Sundays and nonjudicial days, from the time said juvenile

was taken into temporary custody.  Thereafter an officer from said

requesting county shall take custody of the minor within five days,

in the county in which the minor is in temporary custody, and shall

take the minor before the juvenile court judge who issued the

warrant, or before some other juvenile court of the same county

without unnecessary delay.  If the minor is not brought before a

judge of the juvenile court within the period prescribed by this

section, he must be released from custody.

 

324.5.  (a) Whenever allegations of physical or sexual abuse of a

child come to the attention of a local law enforcement agency or the

local child welfare department and the child is taken into protective

custody, the local law enforcement agency, or child welfare

department may, as soon as practically possible, consult with a

medical practitioner, who has specialized training in detecting and

treating child abuse injuries and neglect, to determine whether a

physical examination of the child is appropriate.  If deemed

appropriate, the local law enforcement agency, or the child welfare

department, shall cause the child to undergo a physical examination

performed by a medical practitioner who has specialized training in

detecting and treating child abuse injuries and neglect, and,

whenever possible, shall ensure that this examination take place

within 72 hours of the time the child was taken into protective

custody.  In the event the allegations are made while the child is in

custody, the physical examination shall be performed within 72 hours

of the time the allegations were made.

   In the case of a petition filed pursuant to Section 319, the

department shall provide the results of the physical examination to

the court and to any counsel for the minor, and counsel for the

parent or guardian of the minor.  Failure to obtain this physical

examination shall not be grounds to deny a petition under this

section.

   (b) The local child welfare agency shall, whenever possible,

request that additional medical examinations to determine child abuse

injuries or neglect, be performed by the same medical practitioner

who performed the examinations described in subdivision (a).  If it

is not possible to obtain additional medical examinations, the local

child welfare agency shall ensure that future medical practitioners

to whom the child has been referred for ongoing diagnosis and

treatment have specialized training in detecting and treating child

abuse injuries and neglect and have access to the child's medical

records covering the current and previous incidents of child abuse

 

325.  A proceeding in the juvenile court to declare a child to be a

dependent child of the court is commenced by the filing with the

court, by the social worker, of a petition, in conformity with the

requirements of this article.

 

326.5.  The Judicial Council shall adopt a rule of court effective

July 1, 2001, that complies with the requirement of the federal Child

Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (Public Law 93-247) for the

appointment of a guardian ad litem, who may be an attorney or a

court-appointed special advocate, for a child in cases in which a

petition is filed based upon neglect or abuse of the child or in

which a prosecution is initiated under the Penal Code arising from

neglect or abuse of the child.  The rule of court may include

guidelines to the courts for determining when an attorney should be

appointed rather than a court appointed special advocate, and

caseload standards for guardians ad litem.

 

327.  Either the juvenile court in the county in which a minor

resides or in the county where the minor is found or in the county in

which the acts take place or the circumstances exist which are

alleged to bring such minor within the provisions of Section 300, is

the proper court to commence proceedings under this chapter.

 

 

328.  Whenever the social worker has cause to believe that there was

or is within the county, or residing therein, a person described in

Section 300, the social worker shall immediately make any

investigation he or she deems necessary to determine whether child

welfare services should be offered to the family and whether

proceedings in the juvenile court should be commenced.  If the social

worker determines that it is appropriate to offer child welfare

services to the family, the social worker shall make a referral to

these services pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 16500)

of Part 4 of Division 9.

   However, this section does not require an investigation by the

social worker with respect to a child delivered or referred to any

agency pursuant to Section 307.5.

   The social worker shall interview any child four years of age or

older who is a subject of an investigation, and who is in juvenile

hall or other custodial facility, or has been removed to a foster

home, to ascertain the child's view of the home environment.  If

proceedings are commenced, the social worker shall include the

substance of the interview in any written report submitted at an

adjudicatory hearing, or if no report is then received in evidence,

the social worker shall include the substance of the interview in the

social study required by Section 358.

 

328.3.  Whenever any officer refers or delivers a minor pursuant to

Section 307.5, the agency to which the minor is referred shall

immediately make such investigation as it deems necessary to

determine what disposition of the referral or delivery should be

made.  If the referral agency  does not initiate a service program on

behalf of a minor referred to the agency within 20 calendar days, or

initiate a service program on behalf of a minor delivered to the

agency within 10 calendar days, that agency shall immediately notify

the referring officer of that decision in writing.  The referral

agency shall retain a copy of that written notification for 30 days.

 

 

329.  Whenever any person applies to the social worker to commence

proceedings in the juvenile court, the application shall be in the

form of an affidavit alleging that there was or is within the county,

or residing therein, a child within the provisions of Section 300,

and setting forth facts in support thereof.  The social worker shall

immediately investigate as he or she deems necessary to determine

whether proceedings in the juvenile court should be commenced.  If

the social worker does not take action under Section 330 and does not

file a petition in the juvenile court within three weeks after the

application, he or she shall endorse upon the affidavit of the

applicant his or her decision not to proceed further and his or her

reasons therefor and shall immediately notify the applicant of the

action taken or the decision rendered by him or her under this

section.  The social worker shall retain the affidavit and his or her

endorsement thereon for a period of 30 days after notifying the

applicant.

 

331.  When any person has applied to the social worker, pursuant to

Section 329, to commence juvenile court proceedings and the social

worker fails to file a petition within three weeks after the

application, the person may, within one month after making the

application, apply to the juvenile court to review the decision of

the social worker, and the court may either affirm the decision of

the social worker or order him or her to commence juvenile court

proceedings.

 

331.5.  When any officer has referred or delivered a child to an

agency pursuant to Section 307.5, and that agency does not initiate a

service program for the child within the time periods required by

Section 328.3, the referring agency may, within 10 court days

following receipt of the notification from the referral agency, apply

to the social worker for a review of that decision.

 

332.  A petition to commence proceedings in the juvenile court to

declare a child a ward or a dependent child of the court shall be

verified and shall contain all of the following:

   (a) The name of the court to which it is addressed.

   (b) The title of the proceeding.

   (c) The code section and the subdivision under which the

proceedings are instituted.  If it is alleged that the child is a

person described by subdivision (e) of Section 300, the petition

shall include an allegation pursuant to that section.

   (d) The name, age, and address, if any, of the child upon whose

behalf the petition is brought.

   (e) The names and residence addresses, if known to the petitioner,

of both parents and any guardian of the  child.  If there is no

parent or guardian residing within the state, or if his or her place

of residence is not known to the petitioner, the petition shall also

contain the name and residence address, if known, of any adult

relative residing within the county, or, if there is none, the adult

relative residing nearest to the location of the court.  If it is

known to the petitioner that one of the parents is a victim of

domestic violence and that parent is currently living separately from

the batterer-parent, the address of the victim-parent shall remain

confidential.

   (f) A concise statement of facts, separately stated, to support

the conclusion that the child upon whose behalf the petition is being

brought is a person within the definition of each of the sections

and subdivisions under which the proceedings are being instituted.

   (g) The fact that the child upon whose behalf the petition is

brought is detained in custody or is not detained in custody, and if

he or she is detained in custody, the date and the precise time the

child was taken into custody.

   (h) A notice to the father, mother, spouse, or other person liable

for support of the child, of all of the following:  (1) Section 903

makes that person, the estate of that person, and the estate of the

child, liable for the cost of the care, support, and maintenance of

the child in any county institution or any other place in which the

child is placed, detained, or committed pursuant to an order of the

juvenile court; (2) Section 903.1 makes that person, the estate of

that person, and the estate of the child, liable for the cost to the

county of legal services rendered to the child or the parent by a

private attorney or a public defender appointed pursuant to the order

of the juvenile court; (3) Section 903.2 makes that person, the

estate of that person, and the estate of the child, liable for the

cost to the county of the supervision of the child by the social

worker pursuant to the order of the juvenile court; and (4) the

liabilities established by these sections are joint and several.

 

 

333.  Any petition filed in juvenile court to commence proceedings

pursuant to this chapter that is not verified may be dismissed

without prejudice by such court.

 

334.  Upon the filing of the petition, the clerk of the juvenile

court shall set the same for hearing within 30 days, except that in

the case of a minor detained in custody at the time of the filing of

the petition, the petition must be set for hearing within 15 judicial

days from the date of the order of the court directing such

detention.

 

338.  In addition to the notice provided in Sections 290.1 and 290.2

the juvenile court may issue its citation directing any parent or

guardian of the person concerning whom a petition has been filed to

appear at the time and place set for any hearing or financial

evaluation under the provisions of this chapter, including a hearing

under the provisions of Section 257, and directing any person having

custody or control of the minor concerning whom the petition has been

filed to bring such minor with him or her.  The notice shall in

addition state that a parent or guardian may be required to

participate in a counseling program with the minor concerning whom

the petition has been filed.  Personal service of such citation shall

be made at least 24 hours before the time stated therein for that

appearance.

 

339.  In case such citation cannot be served, or the person served

fails to obey it, or in any case in which it appears to the court

that the citation will probably be ineffective, a warrant of arrest

may issue on the order of the court either against the parent, or

guardian, or the person having the custody of the minor, or with whom

the minor is living.

 

340.  Whenever a petition has been filed in the juvenile court

alleging that a minor comes within Section 300 and praying for a

hearing thereon, or whenever any subsequent petition has been filed

praying for a hearing in the matter of the minor and it appears to

the court that the circumstances of his or her home environment may

endanger the health, person, or welfare of the minor, or whenever a

dependent minor has run away from his or her court ordered placement,

a protective custody warrant may be issued immediately for the

minor.

 

340.5.  (a) Whenever pursuant to Article 10 (commencing with Section

360) a social worker is assigned to provide child welfare services,

family reunification services, or other services to a dependent child

of the juvenile court, the juvenile court may, for good cause shown

and after an ex parte hearing, issue its order restraining the

parents of the dependent child from threatening the social worker, or

any member of the social worker's family, with physical harm.

   (b) For purposes of this section, "good cause" means at least one

threat of physical harm to the social worker, or any member of the

social worker's family, made by the person who is to be the subject

of the restraining order, with the apparent ability to carry out the

threat.

   (c) Violation of a restraining order issued pursuant to this

section shall be punishable as contempt.

 

341.  Upon request of the social worker, district attorney, the

child, or the child's parent, guardian, or custodian, or on the court'

s own motion, the court or the clerk of the court, or an attorney,

pursuant to Section 1985 of the Code of Civil Procedure, shall issue

subpoenas requiring attendance and testimony of witnesses and

production of papers at any hearing regarding a child who is alleged

or determined by the court to be a person described by Section 300.

When a person attends a juvenile court hearing as a witness upon a

subpoena, in its discretion, the court may by an order on its

minutes, direct the county auditor to draw his or her warrant upon

the county treasurer in favor of the witness for witness fees in the

amount and manner prescribed by Section 68093 of the Government Code.

  The fees are county charges.

 

342.  In any case in which a minor has been found to be a person

described by  Section 300 and the petitioner alleges new facts or

circumstances, other than those under which the original petition was

sustained, sufficient to state that the minor is a person described

in Section 300, the petitioner shall file a subsequent petition.

This section does not apply if the jurisdiction of the juvenile court

has been terminated prior to the new allegations.

   All procedures and hearings required for an original petition are

applicable to a subsequent petition filed under this section

 

345.  All cases under this chapter shall be heard at a special or

separate session of the court, and no other matter shall be heard at

such a session.  No person on trial, awaiting trial, or under

accusation of crime, other than a parent, guardian, or relative of

the minor, shall be permitted to be present at any such session,

except as a witness.

   Cases in which the minor is detained and the sole allegation is

that the minor is a person described in Section 300 shall be granted

precedence on the calendar of the court for the day on which the case

is set for hearing.

 

346.  Unless requested by a parent or guardian and consented to or

requested by the minor concerning whom the petition has been filed,

the public shall not be admitted to a juvenile court hearing. The

judge or referee may nevertheless admit such persons as he deems to

have a direct and legitimate interest in the particular case or the

work of the court.

 

347.  At any juvenile court hearing conducted by a juvenile court

judge, an official court reporter shall, and at any such hearing

conducted by a juvenile court referee, the official reporter, as

directed by the court, may take down in shorthand all the testimony

and all of the statements and remarks of the judge and all persons

appearing at the hearing; and, if directed by the judge, or requested

by the person on whose behalf the petition was brought, or by his

parent or legal guardian, or the attorneys of such persons, he must,

within such reasonable time after the hearing of the petition as the

court may designate, write out the same or such specific portions

thereof as may be requested in plain and legible longhand or by

typewriter or other printing machine and certify to the same as being

correctly reported and transcribed, and when directed by the court,

file the same with the clerk of the court.  Unless otherwise directed

by the judge, the costs of writing out and transcribing all or any

portion of the reporter's shorthand notes shall be paid in advance at

the rates fixed for transcriptions in a civil action by the person

requesting the same.

 

348.  The provisions of Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 469) of

Title 6 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure relating to variance

and amendment of pleadings in civil actions shall apply to petitions

and proceedings under this chapter, to the same extent and with the

same effect as if proceedings under this chapter were civil actions.

 

 

349.  A minor who is the subject of a juvenile court hearing and any

person entitled to notice of the hearing under the provisions of

Sections 290.1 and 290.2, is entitled to be present at the hearing.

The minor and any person who is entitled to that notice has the right

to be represented at the hearing by counsel of his or her own

choice.  If the minor is 10 years of age or older and he or she is

not present at the hearing, the court shall determine whether the

minor was properly notified of his or her right to attend the

hearing.

 

350.  (a) (1) The judge of the juvenile court shall control all

proceedings during the hearings with a view to the expeditious and

effective ascertainment of the jurisdictional facts and the

ascertainment of all information relative to the present condition

and future welfare of the person upon whose behalf the petition is

brought.  Except where there is a contested issue of fact or law, the

proceedings shall be conducted in an informal nonadversary

atmosphere with a view to obtaining the maximum cooperation of the

minor upon whose behalf the petition is brought and all persons

interested in his or her welfare with any provisions that the court

may make for the disposition and care of the minor.

   (2) Each juvenile court is encouraged to develop a dependency

mediation program to provide a problem-solving forum for all

interested persons to develop a plan in the best interests of the

child, emphasizing family preservation and strengthening.  The

Legislature finds that mediation of these matters assists the court

in resolving conflict, and helps the court to intervene in a

constructive manner in those cases where court intervention is

necessary.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person,

except the mediator, who is required to report suspected child abuse

pursuant to the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (Article 2.5

(commencing with Section 11164) of Chapter 2 of Title 1 of Part 4 of

the Penal Code), shall be exempted from those requirements under

Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 1115) of Division 9 of the

Evidence Code because he or she agreed to participate in a dependency

mediation program established in the juvenile court.

   If a dependency mediation program has been established in a

juvenile court, and if mediation is requested by any person who the

judge or referee deems to have a direct and legitimate interest in

the particular case, or on the court's own motion, the matter may be

set for confidential mediation to develop a plan in the best

interests of the child, utilizing resources within the family first

and within the community if required.

   (b) The testimony of a minor may be taken in chambers and outside

the presence of the minor's parent or parents, if the minor's parent

or parents are represented by counsel, the counsel is present and any

of the following circumstances exist:

   (1) The court determines that testimony in chambers is necessary

to ensure truthful testimony.

   (2) The minor is likely to be intimidated by a formal courtroom

setting.

   (3) The minor is afraid to testify in front of his or her parent

or parents.

   After testimony in chambers, the parent or parents of the minor

may elect to have the court reporter read back the testimony or have

the testimony summarized by counsel for the parent or parents.

   The testimony of a minor also may be taken in chambers and outside

the presence of the guardian or guardians of a minor under the

circumstances specified in this subdivision.

   (c) At any hearing in which the probation department bears the

burden of proof, after the presentation of evidence on behalf of the

probation department and the minor has been closed, the court, on

motion of the minor, parent, or guardian, or on its own motion, shall

order whatever action the law requires of it if the court, upon

weighing all of the evidence then before it, finds that the burden of

proof has not been met.  That action includes, but is not limited

to, the dismissal of the petition and release of the minor at a

jurisdictional hearing, the return of the minor at an out-of-home

review held prior to the permanency planning hearing, or the

termination of jurisdiction at an in-home review.  If the motion is

not granted, the parent or guardian may offer evidence without first

having reserved that right.

 

352.  (a) Upon request of counsel for the parent, guardian, minor,

or petitioner, the court may continue any hearing under this chapter

beyond the time limit within which the hearing is otherwise required

to be held, provided that no continuance shall be granted that is

contrary to the interest of the minor.  In considering the minor's

interests, the court shall give substantial weight to a minor's need

for prompt resolution of his or her custody status, the need to

provide children with stable environments, and the damage to a minor

of prolonged temporary placements.

   Continuances shall be granted only upon a showing of good cause

and only for that period of time shown to be necessary by the

evidence presented at the hearing on the motion for the continuance.

Neither a stipulation between counsel nor the convenience of the

parties is in and of itself a good cause.  Further, neither a pending

criminal prosecution nor family law matter shall be considered in

and of itself as good cause.  Whenever any continuance is granted,

the facts proven which require the continuance shall be entered upon

the minutes of the court.

   In order to obtain a motion for a continuance of the hearing,

written notice shall be filed at least two court days prior to the

date set for hearing, together with affidavits or declarations

detailing specific facts showing that a continuance is necessary,

unless the court for good cause entertains an oral motion for

continuance.

   (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if a minor has

been removed from the parents' or guardians' custody, no continuance

shall be granted that would result in the dispositional hearing, held

pursuant to Section 361, being completed longer than 60 days after

the hearing at which the minor was ordered removed or detained,

unless the court finds that there are exceptional circumstances

requiring such a continuance.  The facts supporting such a

continuance shall be entered upon the minutes of the court.  In no

event shall the court grant continuances that would cause the hearing

pursuant to Section 361 to be completed more  than six months after

the hearing pursuant to Section 319.

   (c) In any case in which the parent, guardian, or minor is

represented by counsel and no objection  is made to an order

continuing any such hearing beyond the time limit within which the

hearing is otherwise required to be held, the absence of such an

objection shall be deemed a consent to the continuance.  The consent

does not affect the requirements of subdivision (a).

 

353.  At the beginning of the hearing on a petition filed pursuant

to Article  8 (commencing with Section 325) of this chapter, the

judge or clerk shall first read the petition to those present.  Upon

request of any parent, guardian, or adult relative, counsel for the

minor, or the minor, if he or she is present, the judge shall explain

any term of allegation contained therein and the nature of the

hearing, its procedures, and possible consequences.  The judge shall

ascertain whether the parent, guardian, or adult relative and, when

required by Section 317, the minor have been informed of their right

to be represented by counsel, and if not, the judge shall advise

those persons, if present, of the right to have counsel present and

where applicable, of the right to appointed counsel.  If such a

person is unable to afford counsel and desires to  be represented by

counsel, the court shall appoint counsel in accordance with Section

317.  The court shall continue the hearing for not to exceed seven

days, as necessary to make an appointment of counsel, or to enable

counsel to acquaint himself or herself with the case, or to determine

whether the parent or guardian or adult relative is unable to afford

counsel at his or her own expense, and shall continue the hearing as

necessary to provide reasonable opportunity for the minor and the

parent or guardian or adult relative to prepare for the hearing.

 

353.1.  (a) At the hearing on a petition filed pursuant to Article 8

(commencing with Section 325) of this chapter, any person adjudged a

dependent child of the juvenile court shall be informed, both orally

and in writing by the court as provided in subdivision (b), of both

of the following:

   (1) His or her rights pursuant to Section 388.

   (2) The procedure for bringing a petition pursuant to Section 388,

including the availability of all appropriate and necessary Judicial

Council forms.

   (b) Where the dependent child has attained the age of 12 years,

the court shall directly inform the child as required by subdivision

(a) in clear language appropriate for the child's level of cognitive

development.  Where the dependent child is under the age of 12 years,

the court shall inform the child as required by subdivision (a)

through the child's guardian ad litem or legal counsel.

 

354.  Except where a minor is in custody, any hearing on a petition

filed pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 325) of this

chapter may be continued by the court for not more than 10 days in

addition to any other continuance authorized in this chapter whenever

the court is satisfied that an unavailable and necessary witness

will be available within such time.

 

355.  (a) At the jurisdictional hearing, the court shall first

consider only the question whether the minor is a person described by

Section 300.  Any legally admissible evidence that is relevant to

the circumstances or acts that are alleged to bring the minor within

the jurisdiction of the juvenile court is admissible and may be

received in evidence.  Proof by a preponderance of evidence must be

adduced to support a finding that the minor is a person described by

Section 300.  Objections that could have been made to evidence

introduced shall be deemed to have been made by any parent or

guardian who is present at the hearing and unrepresented by counsel,

unless the court finds that the parent or guardian has made a knowing

and intelligent waiver of the right to counsel.  Objections that

could have been made to evidence introduced shall be deemed to have

been made by any unrepresented child.

   (b) A social study prepared by the petitioning agency, and hearsay

evidence contained in it, is admissible and constitutes competent

evidence upon which a finding of jurisdiction pursuant to Section 300

may be based, to the extent allowed by subdivisions (c) and (d).

   (1) For the purposes of this section, "social study" means any

written report furnished to the juvenile court and to all parties or

their counsel by the county probation or welfare department in any

matter involving the custody, status, or welfare of a minor in a

dependency proceeding pursuant to Articles 6 (commencing with Section

300) to 12 (commencing with Section 385), inclusive, of Chapter 2 of

Division 2.

   (2) The preparer of the social study shall be made available for

cross-examination upon a timely request by any party.  The court may

deem the preparer available for cross-examination if it determines

that the preparer is on telephone standby and can be present in court

within a reasonable time of the request.

   (3) The court may grant a reasonable continuance not to exceed 10

days upon request by any party if the social study is not provided to

the parties or their counsel within a reasonable time before the

hearing.

   (c) (1) If any party to the jurisdictional hearing raises a timely

objection to the admission of specific hearsay evidence contained in

a social study, the specific hearsay evidence shall not be

sufficient by itself to support a jurisdictional finding or any

ultimate fact upon which a jurisdictional finding is based, unless

the petitioner establishes one or more of the following exceptions:

   (A) The hearsay evidence would be admissible in any civil or

criminal proceeding under any statutory or decisional exception to

the prohibition against hearsay.

   (B) The hearsay declarant is a minor under the age of 12 years who

is the subject of the jurisdictional hearing.  However, the hearsay

statement of a minor under the age of 12 years shall not be

admissible if the objecting party establishes that the statement is

unreliable because it was the product of fraud, deceit, or undue

influence.

   (C) The hearsay declarant is a peace officer as defined by Chapter

4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal

Code, a health practitioner described in paragraphs (21) to (28),

inclusive, of subdivision (a) of Section 11165.7 of the Penal Code, a

social worker licensed pursuant to Chapter 14 (commencing with

Section  4990) of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, or

a teacher who holds a credential pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing

with Section 44200) of Part 24 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the

Education Code.  For the purpose of this subdivision, evidence in a

declaration is admissible only to the extent that it would otherwise

be admissible under this section or if the declarant were present and

testifying in court.

   (D) The hearsay declarant is available for cross-examination.  For

purposes of this section, the court may deem a witness available for

cross-examination if it determines that the witness is on telephone

standby and can be present in court within a reasonable time of a

request to examine the witness.

   (2) For purposes of this subdivision, an objection is timely if it

identifies with reasonable specificity the disputed hearsay evidence

and it gives the petitioner a reasonable period of time to meet the

objection prior to a contested hearing.

   (d) This section shall not be construed to limit the right of any

party to the jurisdictional hearing to subpoena a witness whose

statement is contained in the social study or to introduce admissible

evidence relevant to the weight of the hearsay evidence or the

credibility of the hearsay declarant.

 

355.1.  (a) Where the court finds, based upon competent professional

evidence, that an injury, injuries, or detrimental condition

sustained by a minor is of a nature as would ordinarily not be

sustained except as the result of the unreasonable or neglectful acts

or omissions of either parent, the guardian, or other person who has

the care or custody of the minor, that finding shall be prima facie

evidence that the minor is a person described by subdivision (a),

(b), or (d) of Section 300.

   (b) Proof that either parent, the guardian, or other person who

has the care or custody of a minor who is the subject of a petition

filed under Section 300 has physically abused, neglected, or cruelly

treated another minor shall be admissible in evidence.

   (c) The presumption created by subdivision (a) constitutes a

presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence.

   (d) Where the court finds that either a parent, a guardian, or any

other person who resides with, or has the care or custody of, a

minor who is currently the subject of the petition filed under

Section 300 (1) has been previously convicted of sexual abuse as

defined in Section 11165.1 of the Penal Code, (2) has been previously

convicted of an act in another state that would constitute sexual

abuse as defined in Section 11165.1 of the Penal Code if committed in

this state, (3) has been found in a prior dependency hearing or

similar proceeding in the corresponding court of another state to

have committed an act of sexual abuse, or (4) is required, as the

result of a felony conviction, to register as a sex offender pursuant

to Section 290 of the Penal Code, that finding shall be prima facie

evidence in any proceeding that the subject minor is a person

described by subdivision (a), (b), (c), or (d) of Section 300 and is

at substantial risk of abuse or neglect.  The prima facie evidence

constitutes a presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence.

   (e) Where the court believes that a child has suffered criminal

abuse or neglect, the court may direct a representative of the child

protective agency to take action pursuant to subdivision (i) of

Section 11166 of the Penal Code.

   (f) Testimony by a parent, guardian, or other person who has the

care or custody of the minor made the subject of a proceeding under

Section 300 shall not be admissible as evidence in any other action

or proceeding.

 

356.  After hearing the evidence, the court shall make a finding,

noted in the minutes of the court, whether or not the minor is a

person described by Section 300 and the specific subdivisions of

Section 300 under which the petition is sustained.  If it finds that

the minor is not such a person, it shall order that the petition be

dismissed and the minor be discharged from any detention or

restriction theretofore ordered.  If the court finds that the minor

is such a person, it shall make and enter its findings and order

accordingly.

 

356.5.  A child advocate appointed by the court to represent the

interests of a dependent child in a proceeding under this chapter

shall have the same duties and responsibilities as a guardian ad

litem and shall be trained by and function under the auspices of a

court appointed special advocate guardian ad litem program, formed

and operating under the guidelines established by the National Court

Appointed Special Advocate Association.

 

357.  Whenever the court, before or during the hearing on the

petition, is of the opinion that the minor is mentally ill or if the

court is in doubt concerning the mental health of any such person,

the court may order that such person be held temporarily in the

psychopathic ward of the county hospital or hospital whose services

have been approved and/or contracted for by the department of health

of the county, for observation and recommendation concerning the

future care, supervision, and treatment of such person.

 

358.  (a) After finding that a child is a person described in

Section 300, the court shall hear evidence on the question of the

proper disposition to be made of the child.  Prior to making a

finding required by this section, the court may continue the hearing

on its own motion, the motion of the parent or guardian, or the

motion of the child, as follows:

   (1) If the child is detained during the continuance, and the

social worker is not alleging that subdivision (b) of Section 361.5

is applicable, the continuance shall not exceed 10 judicial days.

The court may make an order for detention of the child or for the

child's release from detention, during the period of continuance, as

is appropriate.

   (2) If the child is not detained during the continuance, the

continuance shall not exceed 30 days after the date of the finding

pursuant to Section 356.  However, the court may, for cause, continue

the hearing for an additional 15 days.

   (3) If the social worker is alleging that subdivision (b) of

Section 361.5 is applicable, the court shall continue the proceedings

for a period not to exceed 30 days.  The social worker shall notify

each parent of the content of subdivision (b) of Section 361.5 and

shall inform each parent that if the court does not order

reunification a permanency planning hearing will be held, and that

his or her parental rights may be terminated within the timeframes

specified by law.

   (b) Before determining the appropriate disposition, the court

shall receive in evidence the social study of the child made by the

social worker, any study or evaluation made by a child advocate

appointed by the court, and other relevant and material evidence as

may be offered, including, but not limited to, the willingness of the

caregiver to provide legal permanency for the child if reunification

is unsuccessful.  In any judgment and order of disposition, the

court shall specifically state that the social study made by the

social worker and the study or evaluation made by the child advocate

appointed by the court, if there be any, has been read and considered

by the court in arriving at its judgment and order of disposition.

Any social study or report submitted to the court by the social

worker shall include the individual child's case plan developed

pursuant to Section 16501.1.

   (c) If the court finds that a child is described by subdivision

(h) of Section 300 or that subdivision (b) of Section 361.5 may be

applicable, the court shall conduct the dispositional proceeding

pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 361.5.

 

358.1.  Each social study or evaluation made by a social worker or

child advocate appointed by the court, required to be received in

evidence pursuant to Section 358, shall include, but not be limited

to, a factual discussion of each of the following subjects:

   (a) Whether the county welfare department or social worker has

considered child protective services, as defined in Chapter 5

(commencing with Section 16500) of Part 4 of Division 9, as a

possible solution to the problems at hand, and has offered these

services to qualified parents if appropriate under the circumstances.

   (b) What plan, if any, for return of the child to his or her

parents and for achieving legal permanence for the child if efforts

to reunify fail, is recommended to the court by the county welfare

department or probation officer.

   (c) Whether the best interests of the child will be served by

granting reasonable visitation rights with the child to his or her

grandparents, in order to maintain and strengthen the child's family

relationships.

   (d) (1) Whether the child has siblings under the court's

jurisdiction, and, if any siblings exist, all of the following:

   (A) The nature of the relationship between the child and his or

her siblings.

   (B) The appropriateness of developing or maintaining the sibling

relationships pursuant to Section 16002.

   (C) If the siblings are not placed together in the same home, why

the siblings are not placed together and what efforts are being made

to place the siblings together, or why those efforts are not

appropriate.

   (D) If the siblings are not placed together, the frequency and

nature of the visits between siblings.

   (E) The impact of the sibling relationships on the child's

placement and planning for legal permanence.

   (2) The factual discussion shall include a discussion of

indicators of the nature of the child's sibling relationships,

including, but not limited to, whether the siblings were raised

together in the same home, whether the siblings have shared

significant common experiences or have existing close and strong

bonds, whether either sibling expresses a desire to visit or live

with his or her sibling, as applicable, and whether ongoing contact

is in the child's best emotional interest.

   (e) If the parent or guardian is unwilling or unable to

participate in making an educational decision for his or her child,

or if other circumstances exist that compromise the ability of the

parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the child, the

county welfare department or social worker shall consider whether the

right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions for

the child should be limited.  If the study or evaluation makes that

recommendation, it shall identify whether there is a responsible

adult available to make educational decisions for the child pursuant

to Section 361.

   (f) Whether the child appears to be a person who is eligible to be

considered for further court action to free the child from parental

custody and control.

   (g) Whether the parent has been advised of his or her option to

participate in adoption planning, including the option to enter into

a postadoption contact agreement as described in Section 8714.7 of

the Family Code, and to voluntarily relinquish the child for adoption

if an adoption agency is willing to accept the relinquishment.

   (h) The appropriateness of any relative placement pursuant to

Section 361.3.  However, this consideration may not be cause for

continuance of the dispositional hearing.

   (i) Whether the caregiver desires, and is willing, to provide

legal permanency for the child if reunification is unsuccessful.

 

 

359.  Whenever a minor who appears to be a danger to himself or

others as a result of the use of narcotics (as defined in Section

11001 of the Health and Safety Code), or a restricted dangerous drug

(as defined in Section 11901 of the Health and Safety Code), is

brought before any judge of the juvenile court, the judge may

continue the hearing and proceed pursuant to this section.  The court

may order the minor taken to a facility designated by the county and

approved by the State Department of Mental Health as a facility for

72-hour treatment and evaluation.  Thereupon the provisions of

Section 11922 of the Health and Safety Code shall apply, except that

the professional person in charge of the facility shall make a

written report to the court concerning the results of the evaluation

of the minor.

   If the professional person in charge of the facility for 72-hour

evaluation and treatment reports to the juvenile court that the minor

is not a danger to himself or others as a result of the use of

narcotics or restricted dangerous drugs or that the minor does not

require 14-day intensive treatment, or if the minor has been

certified for not more than 14 days of intensive treatment and the

certification is terminated, the minor shall be released if the

juvenile court proceedings have been dismissed; referred for further

care and treatment on a voluntary basis, subject to the disposition

of the juvenile court proceedings; or returned to the juvenile court,

in which event the court shall proceed with the case pursuant to

this chapter.

   Any expenditure for the evaluation or intensive treatment of a

minor under this section shall be considered an expenditure made

under Part 2 (commencing with Section 5600) of Division 5, and shall

be reimbursed by the state as are other local expenditures pursuant

to that part.

 

360.  After receiving and considering the evidence on the proper

disposition of the case, the juvenile court may enter judgment as

follows:

   (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the court finds

that the child is a person described by Section 300 and the parent

has advised the court that the parent is not interested in family

maintenance or family reunification services, it may, in addition to

or in lieu of adjudicating the child a dependent child of the court,

order a legal guardianship, appoint a legal guardian, and issue

letters of guardianship, if the court determines that a guardianship

is in the best interest of the child, provided the parent and the

child agree to the guardianship, unless the child's age or physical,

emotional, or mental condition prevents the child's meaningful

response.  The court shall advise the parent and the child that no

reunification services will be provided as a result of the

establishment of a guardianship.  The proceeding for the appointment

of a guardian shall be in the juvenile court.

   Any application for termination of guardianship shall be filed in

juvenile court in a form as may be developed by the Judicial Council

pursuant to Section 68511 of the Government Code.  Section 388 shall

apply to this order of guardianship.

   No person shall be appointed a legal guardian under this section

until an assessment as specified in subdivision (g) of Section 361.5

is read and considered by the court and reflected in the minutes of

the court.  The assessment shall include the following:

   (1) Current search efforts for, and notification of, a

noncustodial parent in the manner provided in Section 291.

   (2) A review of the amount of and nature of any contact between

the child and his or her parents since the filing of the petition.

   (3) An evaluation of the child's medical, developmental,

scholastic, mental, and emotional status.

   (4) A preliminary assessment of the eligibility and commitment of

any identified prospective guardian, particularly the caretaker, to

include a social history including a screening for criminal records

and prior referrals for child abuse or neglect, the capability to

meet the child's needs, and the understanding of the legal and

financial rights and responsibilities of guardianship.

   (5) The relationship of the child to any identified prospective

guardian, the duration and nature of the relationship, the motivation

for seeking guardianship, and a statement from the child concerning

the guardianship, unless the child's age or physical, emotional, or

other condition precludes the child's meaningful response, and if so,

a description of the condition.

   (6) An analysis of the likelihood that the child would be adopted

if parental rights were terminated.

   The person responsible for preparing the assessment may be called

and examined by any party to the guardianship proceeding.

   (b) If the court finds that the child is a person described by

Section 300, it may, without adjudicating the child a dependent child

of the court, order that services be provided to keep the family

together and place the child and the child's parent or guardian under

the supervision of the social worker for a time period consistent

with Section 301.

   (c) If the family subsequently is unable or unwilling to cooperate

with the services being provided, the social worker may file a

petition with the juvenile court pursuant to Section 332 alleging

that a previous petition has been sustained and that disposition

pursuant to subdivision (b) has been ineffective in ameliorating the

situation requiring the child welfare services.  Upon hearing the

petition, the court shall order either that the petition shall be

dismissed or that a new disposition hearing shall be held pursuant to

subdivision (d).

   (d) If the court finds that the child is a person described by

Section 300, it may order and adjudge the child to be a dependent

child of the court.

 

360.6.  (a) The Legislature finds and declares the following:

   (1) There is no resource that is more vital to the continued

existence and integrity of Indian tribes than their children, and the

State of California has an interest in protecting Indian children

who are members of, or are eligible for membership in, an Indian

tribe.

   (2) It is in the interest of an Indian child that the child's

membership in the child's Indian tribe and connection to the tribal

community be encouraged and protected.

   (b) In all Indian child custody proceedings, as defined in the

federal Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.), the

court shall consider all of the findings contained in subdivision

(a), strive to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes

and families, comply with the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, and

seek to protect the best interest of the child.

   (c) A determination by an Indian tribe that  an unmarried person,

who is under the age of 18 years, is either (1) a member of an Indian

tribe or (2) eligible for membership in an Indian tribe and a

biological child of a member of an Indian tribe shall constitute a

significant political affiliation with the tribe and shall require

the application of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act to the

proceedings.

 

361.  (a) In all cases in which a minor is adjudged a dependent

child of the court on the ground that the minor is a person described

by Section 300, the court may limit the control to be exercised over

the dependent child by any parent or guardian and shall by its order

clearly and specifically set forth all those limitations.  Any

limitation on the right of the parent or guardian to make educational

decisions for the child shall be specifically addressed in the court

order.  The limitations may not exceed those necessary to protect

the child.  If the court specifically limits the right of the parent

or guardian to make educational decisions for the child, the court

shall at the same time appoint a responsible adult to make

educational decisions for the child until one of the following

occurs:

   (1) The minor reaches 18 years of age, unless the child chooses

not to make educational decisions for himself or herself, or is

deemed by the court to be incompetent.

   (2) Another responsible adult is appointed to make educational

decisions for the minor pursuant to this section.

   (3) The right of the parent or guardian to make educational

decisions for the minor is fully restored.

   (4) A successor guardian or conservator is appointed.

   (5) The child is placed into a planned permanent living

arrangement pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (g) of Section

366.21, Section 366.22, or Section 366.26, at which time the foster

parent, relative caretaker, or nonrelative extended family member as

defined in Section 362.7 has the right to represent the child in

educational matters pursuant to Section 56055 of the Education Code.

   An individual who would have a conflict of interest in

representing the child may not be appointed to make educational

decisions.  For purposes of this section, "an individual who would

have a conflict of interest," means a person having any interests

that might restrict or bias his or her ability to make educational

decisions, including, but not limited to, those conflicts of interest

prohibited by Section 1126 of the Government Code, and the receipt

of compensation or attorneys' fees for the provision of services

pursuant to this section.  A foster parent may not be deemed to have

a conflict of interest solely because he or she receives compensation

for the provision of services pursuant to this section.

   If the court is unable to appoint a responsible adult to make

educational decisions for the child and paragraphs (1) to (5),

inclusive, do not apply, and the child has either been referred to

the local educational agency for special education and related

services, or has a valid individualized education program, the court

shall refer the child to the local educational agency for appointment

of a surrogate parent pursuant to Section 7579.5 of the Government

Code.

   All educational and school placement decisions shall seek to

ensure that the child is in the least restrictive educational

programs and has access to the academic resources, services, and

extracurricular and enrichment activities that are available to all

pupils.  In all instances, educational and school placement decisions

shall be based on the best interests of the child.

   (b) Subdivision (a) does not limit the ability of a parent to

voluntarily relinquish his or her child to the State Department of

Social Services or to a licensed county adoption agency at any time

while the child is a dependent child of the juvenile court, if the

department or agency is willing to accept the relinquishment.

   (c) A dependent child  may not be taken from the physical custody

of his or her parents or guardian or guardians with whom the child

resides at the time the petition was initiated, unless the juvenile

court finds clear and convincing evidence of any of the following:

   (1) There is a substantial danger to the physical health, safety,

protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the minor or would

be if the minor were returned home, and there are no reasonable

means by which the minor's physical health can be protected without

removing the minor from the minor's parents' or guardians' physical

custody.  The fact that a minor has been adjudicated a dependent

child of the court pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 300 shall

constitute prima facie evidence that the minor cannot be safely left

in the custody of the parent or guardian with whom the minor resided

at the time of injury.  The court shall consider, as a reasonable

means to protect the minor, the option of removing an offending

parent or guardian from the home.  The court shall also consider, as

a reasonable means to protect the minor, allowing a nonoffending

parent or guardian to retain custody as long as that parent or

guardian presents a plan acceptable to the court demonstrating that

he or she will be able to protect the child from future harm.

   (2) The parent or guardian of the minor is unwilling to have

physical custody of the minor, and the parent or guardian has been

notified that if the minor remains out of their physical custody for

the period specified in Section 366.26, the minor may be declared

permanently free from their custody and control.

   (3) The minor is suffering severe emotional damage, as indicated

by extreme anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or untoward aggressive

behavior toward himself or herself or others, and there are no

reasonable means by which the minor's emotional health may be

protected without removing the minor from the physical custody of his

or her parent or guardian.

   (4) The minor or a sibling of the minor has been sexually abused,

or is deemed to be at substantial risk of being sexually abused, by a

parent, guardian, or member of his or her household, or other person

known to his or her parent, and there are no reasonable means by

which the minor can be protected from further sexual abuse or a

substantial risk of sexual abuse without removing the minor from his

or her parent or guardian, or the minor does not wish to return to

his or her parent or guardian.

   (5) The minor has been left without any provision for his or her

support, or a parent who has been incarcerated or institutionalized

cannot arrange for the care of the minor, or a relative or other

adult custodian with whom the child has been left by the parent is

unwilling or unable to provide care or support for the child and the

whereabouts of the parent is unknown and reasonable efforts to locate

him or her have been unsuccessful.

   (d) The court shall make a determination as to whether reasonable

efforts were made to prevent or to eliminate the need for removal of

the minor from his or her home or, if the minor is removed for one of

the reasons stated in paragraph (5) of subdivision (c), whether it

was reasonable under the circumstances not to make any of those

efforts.  The court shall state the facts on which the decision to

remove the minor is based.

   (e) The court shall make all of the findings required by

subdivision (a) of Section 366 in either of the following

circumstances:

   (1) The minor has been taken from the custody of his or her parent

or guardian and has been living in an out-of-home placement pursuant

to Section 319.

   (2) The minor has been living in a voluntary out-of-home placement

pursuant to Section 16507.4.

 

361.1.  (a) If a child is removed from the physical custody of a

parent or guardian on the ground that the child may come within the

jurisdiction of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 300, the child

shall be returned to the physical custody of that parent or guardian

immediately after a finding by the juvenile court that the child is

not a person described in Section 300, but, in any case, not more

than two working days following the date of that finding, unless the

parent or guardian and the agency with custody of the child agree to

a later date for the child's release.  Nothing in this section shall

affect a parent or guardian's remedies when a child is not returned

immediately, as those remedies existed prior to enactment of this

section.

   (b) The Judicial Council shall adopt a rule of court to ensure

proper notice to a parent or guardian regarding the circumstances and

the timeframe in which a child is required to be released from

custody pursuant to this section.

 

361.2.  (a) When a court orders removal of a child pursuant to

Section 361, the court shall first determine whether there is a

parent of the child, with whom the child was not residing at the time

that the events or conditions arose that brought the child within

the provisions of Section 300, who desires to assume custody of the

child.  If that parent requests custody, the court shall place the

child with the parent unless it finds that placement with that parent

would be detrimental to the safety, protection, or physical or

emotional well-being of the child.

   (b) If the court places the child with that parent it may do

either of the following:

   (1) Order that the parent become legal and physical custodian of

the child.  The court may also provide reasonable visitation by the

noncustodial parent.  The court shall then terminate its jurisdiction

over the child.  The custody order shall continue unless modified by

a subsequent order of the superior court.  The order of the juvenile

court shall be filed in any domestic relation proceeding between the

parents.

   (2) Order that the parent assume custody subject to the

supervision of the juvenile court.  In that case the court may order

that reunification services be provided to the parent or guardian

from whom the child is being removed, or the court may order that

services be provided solely to the parent who is assuming physical

custody in order to allow that parent to retain later custody without

court supervision, or that services be provided to both parents, in

which case the court shall determine, at review hearings held

pursuant to Section 366, which parent, if either, shall have custody

of the child.

   (c) The court shall make a finding either in writing or on the

record of the basis for its determination under subdivisions (a) and

(b).

   (d) Part 6 (commencing with Section 7950) of Division 12 of the

Family Code shall apply to the placement of a child pursuant to

paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (e).

   (e) When the court orders removal pursuant to Section 361, the

court shall order the care, custody, control, and conduct of the

child to be under the supervision of the social worker who may place

the child in any of the following:

   (1) The home of a noncustodial parent as described in subdivision

(a).

   (2) The approved home of a relative.

   (3) The approved home of a nonrelative extended family member as

defined in Section 362.7.

   (4) A foster home in which the child has been placed before an

interruption in foster care, if that placement is in the best

interest of the child and space is available.

   (5) A suitable licensed community care facility.

   (6) With a foster family agency to be placed in a suitable

licensed foster family home or certified family home which has been

certified by the agency as meeting licensing standards.

   (7) A home or facility in accordance with the federal Indian Child

Welfare Act.

   (8) A child under the age of six years may be placed in a

community care facility licensed as a group home for children, or a

temporary shelter care facility as defined in Section 1530.8 of the

Health and Safety Code, only under any of the following

circumstances:

   (A) When a case plan indicates that placement is for purposes of

providing specialized treatment to the child, the case plan specifies

the need for, nature of, and anticipated duration of this treatment,

and the facility meets the applicable regulations adopted under

Section 1530.8 of the Health and Safety Code and standards developed

pursuant to Section 11467.1.  The specialized treatment period shall

not exceed 120 days, unless additional time is needed pursuant to the

case plan as documented by the caseworker and approved by the

caseworker's supervisor.

   (B) When a case plan indicates that placement is for purposes of

providing family reunification services.  In addition, the facility

offers family reunification services that meet the needs of the

individual child and his or her family, permits parents to have

reasonable access to their children 24 hours a day, encourages

extensive parental involvement in meeting the daily needs of their

children, and employs staff trained to provide family reunification

services.  In addition, one of the following conditions exists:

   (i) The child's parent is also a ward of the court and resides in

the facility.

   (ii) The child's parent is participating in a treatment program

affiliated with the facility and the child's placement in the

facility facilitates the coordination and provision of reunification

services.

   (iii) Placement in the facility is the only alternative that

permits the parent to have daily 24-hour access to the child in

accordance with the case plan, to participate fully in meeting all of

the daily needs of the child, including feeding and personal

hygiene, and to have access to necessary reunification services.

   (f) (1) If the child is taken from the physical custody of the

child's parent or guardian and unless the child is placed with

relatives, the child shall be placed in foster care in the county of

residence of the child's parent or guardian in order to facilitate

reunification of the family.

   (2) In the event that there are no appropriate placements

available in the parent's or guardian's county of residence, a

placement may be made in an appropriate place in another county,

preferably a county located adjacent to the parent's or guardian's

community of residence.

   (3) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as requiring

multiple disruptions of the child's placement corresponding to

frequent changes of residence by the parent or guardian.  In

determining whether the child should be moved, the social worker

shall take into consideration the potential harmful effects of

disrupting the placement of the child and the parent's or guardian's

reason for the move.

   (4) When it has been determined that it is necessary for a child

to be placed in a county other than the child's parent's or guardian'

s county of residence, the specific reason the out-of-county

placement is necessary shall be documented in the child's case plan.

If the reason the out-of-county placement is necessary is the lack

of resources in the sending county to meet the specific needs of the

child, those specific resource needs shall be documented in the case

plan.

   (5) When it has been determined that a child is to be placed

out-of-county either in a group home or with a foster family agency

for subsequent placement in a certified foster family home, and the

sending county is to maintain responsibility for supervision and

visitation of the child, the sending county shall develop a plan of

supervision and visitation that specifies the supervision and

visitation activities to be performed and specifies that the sending

county is responsible for performing those activities.  In addition

to the plan of supervision and visitation, the sending county shall

document information regarding any known or suspected dangerous

behavior of the child that indicates the child may pose a safety

concern in the receiving county.  Upon implementation of the Child

Welfare Services Case Management System, the plan of supervision and

visitation, as well as information regarding any known or suspected

dangerous behavior of the child, shall be made available to the

receiving county upon placement of the child in the receiving county.

  If placement occurs on a weekend or holiday, the information shall

be made available to the receiving county on or before the end of the

next business day.

   (6) When it has been determined that a child is to be placed

out-of-county and the sending county plans that the receiving county

shall be responsible for the supervision and visitation of the child,

the sending county shall develop a formal agreement between the

sending and receiving counties.  The formal agreement shall specify

the supervision and visitation to be provided the child, and shall

specify that the receiving county is responsible for providing the

supervision and visitation.  The formal agreement shall be approved

and signed by the sending and receiving counties prior to placement

of the child in the receiving county.  In addition, upon completion

of the case plan, the sending county shall provide a copy of the

completed case plan to the receiving county.  The case plan shall

include information regarding any known or suspected dangerous

behavior of the child that indicates the child may pose a safety

concern to the receiving county.

   (g) Whenever the social worker must change the placement of the

child and is unable to find a suitable placement within the county

and must place the child outside the county, the placement shall not

be made until he or she has served written notice on the parent or

guardian at least 14 days prior to the placement, unless the child's

health or well-being is endangered by delaying the action or would be

endangered if prior notice were given.  The notice shall state the

reasons which require placement outside the county. The parent or

guardian may object to the placement not later than seven days after

receipt of the notice and, upon objection, the court shall hold a

hearing not later than five days after the objection and prior to the

placement.  The court shall order out-of-county placement if it

finds that the child's particular needs require placement outside the

county.

   (h) Where the court has ordered removal of the child from the

physical custody of his or her parents pursuant to Section 361, the

court shall consider whether the family ties and best interest of the

child will be served by granting visitation rights to the child's

grandparents.  The court shall clearly specify those rights to the

social worker.

   (i) Where the court has ordered removal of the child from the

physical custody of his or her parents pursuant to Section 361, the

court shall consider whether there are any siblings under the court's

jurisdiction, the nature of the relationship between the child and

his or her siblings, the appropriateness of developing or maintaining

the sibling relationships pursuant to Section 16002, and the impact

of the sibling relationships on the child's placement and planning

for legal permanence.

 

361.21.  (a) The court shall not order the placement of a minor in

an out-of-state group home, unless the court finds, in its order of

placement, that all of the following conditions have been met:

   (1) The out-of-state group home is licensed or certified for the

placement of minors by an agency of the state in which the minor will

be placed.

   (2) The out-of-state group home meets the requirements of Section

7911.1 of the Family Code.

   (3) In-state facilities or programs have been determined to be

unavailable or inadequate to meet the needs of the minor.

   (b) At least every six months, the court shall review each

placement made pursuant to subdivision (a) in order to determine

compliance with that subdivision.

   (c) A county shall not be entitled to receive or expend any public

funds for the placement of a minor in an out-of-state group home

unless the requirements of subdivisions (a) and (b) are met.

 

361.3.  (a) In any case in which a child is removed from the

physical custody of his or her parents pursuant to Section 361,

preferential consideration shall be given to a request by a relative

of the child for placement of the child with the relative.  In

determining whether placement with a relative is appropriate, the

county social worker and court shall consider, but shall not be

limited to, consideration of all the following factors:

   (1) The best interest of the child, including special physical,

psychological, educational, medical, or emotional needs.

   (2) The wishes of the parent, the relative, and child, if

appropriate.

   (3) The provisions of Part 6 (commencing with Section 7950) of

Division 12 of the Family Code regarding relative placement.

   (4) Placement of siblings and half-siblings in the same home, if

that placement is found to be in the best interest of each of the

children as provided in Section 16002.

   (5) The good moral character of the relative and any other adult

living in the home, including whether any individual residing in the

home has a prior history of violent criminal acts or has been

responsible for acts of child abuse or neglect.

   (6) The nature and duration of the relationship between the child

and the relative, and the relative's desire to care for, and to

provide legal permanency for, the child if reunification is

unsuccessful.

   (7) The ability of the relative to do the following:

   (A) Provide a safe, secure, and stable environment for the child.

   (B) Exercise proper and effective care and control of the child.

   (C) Provide a home and the necessities of life for the child.

   (D) Protect the child from his or her parents.

   (E) Facilitate court-ordered reunification efforts with the

parents.

   (F) Facilitate visitation with the child's other relatives.

   (G) Facilitate implementation of all elements of the case plan.

   (H) Provide legal permanence for the child if reunification fails.

   However, any finding made with respect to the factor considered

pursuant to this subparagraph and pursuant to subparagraph (G) shall

not be the sole basis for precluding preferential placement with a

relative.

   (I) Arrange for appropriate and safe child care, as necessary.

   (8) The safety of the relative's home.  For a relative to be

considered appropriate to receive placement of a child under this

section, the relative's home shall first be approved pursuant to the

process and standards described in subdivision (d) of Section 309.

   In this regard, the Legislature declares that a physical

disability, such as blindness or deafness, is no bar to the raising

of children, and a county social worker's determination as to the

ability of a disabled relative to exercise care and control should

center upon whether the relative's disability prevents him or her

from exercising care and control.  The court shall order the parent

to disclose to the county social worker the names, residences, and

any other known identifying information of any maternal or paternal

relatives of the child.  This inquiry shall not be construed,

however, to guarantee that the child will be placed with any person

so identified.  The county social worker shall initially contact the

relatives given preferential consideration for placement to determine

if they desire the child to be placed with them.  Those desiring

placement shall be assessed according to the factors enumerated in

this subdivision.  The county social worker shall document these

efforts in the social study prepared pursuant to Section 358.1.  The

court shall authorize the county social worker, while assessing these

relatives for the possibility of placement, to disclose to the

relative, as appropriate, the fact that the child is in custody, the

alleged reasons for the custody, and the projected likely date for

the child's return home or placement for adoption or legal

guardianship.  However, this investigation shall not be construed as

good cause for continuance of the dispositional hearing conducted

pursuant to Section 358.

   (b) In any case in which more than one appropriate relative

requests preferential consideration pursuant to this section, each

relative shall be considered under the factors enumerated in

subdivision (a).

   (c) For purposes of this section:

   (1) "Preferential consideration" means that the relative seeking

placement shall be the first placement to be considered and

investigated.

   (2) "Relative" means an adult who is related to the child by

blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth degree of kinship,

including stepparents, stepsiblings, and all relatives whose status

is preceded by the words "great," "great-great" or "grand" or the

spouse of any of these persons even if the marriage was terminated by

death or dissolution.  However, only the following relatives shall

be given preferential consideration for the placement of the child:

an adult who is a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or sibling.

   (d) Subsequent to the hearing conducted pursuant to Section 358,

whenever a new placement of the child must be made, consideration for

placement shall again be given as described in this section to

relatives who have not been found to be unsuitable and who will

fulfill the child's reunification or permanent plan requirements.  In

addition to the factors described in subdivision (a), the county

social worker shall consider whether the relative has established and

maintained a relationship with the child.

   (e) If the court does not place the child with a relative who has

been considered for placement pursuant to this section, the court

shall state for the record the reasons placement with that relative

was denied.

 

361.4.  (a) Prior to placing a child in the home of a relative, or

the home of any prospective guardian or other person who is not a

licensed or certified foster parent, the county social worker shall

visit the home to ascertain the appropriateness of the placement.

   (b) Whenever a child may be placed in the home of a relative, or

the home of any prospective guardian or other person who is not a

licensed or certified foster parent, the court or county social

worker placing the child shall cause a state and federal level

criminal records check to be conducted by an appropriate governmental

agency through the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications

System pursuant to Section 16504.5.  The criminal records check shall

be conducted with regard to all persons over the age of 18 years

living in the home, and on any other person over the age of 18 years,

other than professionals providing professional services to the

child, known to the placing entity who may have significant contact

with the child, including any person who has a familial or intimate

relationship with any person living in the home.  A criminal records

check may be conducted pursuant to this section on any person over

the age of 14 years living in the home who the county social worker

believes may have a criminal record.  Within five judicial days

following the criminal records check conducted through the California

Law Enforcement Telecommunications System, the social worker shall

ensure that a fingerprint clearance check of the relative and any

other person whose criminal record was obtained pursuant to this

subdivision is initiated through the Department of Justice to ensure

the accuracy of the criminal records check conducted through the

California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System and shall review

the results of any criminal records check to assess the safety of

the home.  The Department of Justice shall forward fingerprint

requests for federal level criminal history information to the

Federal Bureau of Investigation pursuant to this section.

   (c) Whenever a child may be placed in the home of a relative, or a

prospective guardian or other person who is not a licensed or

certified foster parent, the county social worker shall cause a check

of the Child Abuse Index pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section

11170 of the Penal Code to be requested from the Department of

Justice.  The Child Abuse Index check shall be conducted on all

persons over the age of 18 years living in the home.

   (d) (1) If the fingerprint clearance check indicates that the

person has no criminal record, the county social worker and court may

consider the home of the relative, prospective guardian, or other

child who is not a licensed or certified foster parent for placement

of a child.

   (2) If the fingerprint clearance check indicates that the person

has been convicted of a crime that would preclude licensure under

Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, the child shall not be

placed in the home, unless a criminal records exemption has been

granted by the county, based on substantial and convincing evidence

to support a reasonable belief that the person with the criminal

conviction is of such good character as to justify the placement and

not present a risk of harm to the child, pursuant to paragraph (3) of

this subdivision.

   (3) (A) A county may issue a criminal records exemption only if

that county has been granted permission by the Director of Social

Services to issue criminal records exemptions.  The county may file a

request with the Director of Social Services seeking permission for

the county to establish a procedure to evaluate and grant appropriate

individual criminal records exemptions for persons described in

subdivision (b).  The director shall grant or deny the county's

request within 14 days of receipt.  The county shall evaluate

individual criminal records in accordance with the standards and

limitations set forth in paragraph (1) of subdivision (g) of Section

1522 of the Health and Safety Code, and in no event shall the county

place a child in the home of a person who is ineligible for an

exemption under that provision.

   (B) The department shall monitor county implementation of the

authority to grant an exemption under this paragraph to ensure that

the county evaluates individual criminal records and allows or

disallows placements according to the standards set forth in

paragraph (1) of subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and

Safety Code.

   (4) The department shall conduct an evaluation of the

implementation of paragraph (3) through random sampling of county

exemption decisions.

   (5) The State Department of Social Services shall not evaluate or

grant criminal record exemption requests for persons described in

subdivision (b), unless the exemption request is made by an Indian

tribe pursuant to subdivision (f).

   (6) If a county has not requested, or has not been granted,

permission by the State Department of Social Services to establish a

procedure to evaluate and grant criminal records exemptions, the

county may not place a child into the home of a person described in

subdivision (b) if any person residing in the home has been convicted

of a crime other than a minor traffic violation, except as provided

in subdivision (f).

   (e) Nothing in this section shall preclude a county from

conducting a criminal background check that the county is otherwise

authorized to conduct using fingerprints.

   (f) Upon request from an Indian tribe, the State Department of

Social Services shall evaluate an exemption request, if needed, to

allow placement into an Indian home that the tribe has designated for

placement under the Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et

seq.) that would otherwise be barred under this section.  However,

if the county with jurisdiction over the child that is the subject of

the tribe's request has established an approved procedure pursuant

to paragraph (3) of subdivision (d), the tribe may request that the

county evaluate the exemption request.  Once a tribe has elected to

have the exemption request reviewed by either the State Department of

Social Services or the county, the exemption decision may only be

made by that entity.  Nothing in this subdivision limits the duty of

a county social worker to evaluate the home for placement or to

gather information needed to evaluate an exemption request.

   (g) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,

2005, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted

statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2005, deletes or extends

that date.

 

361.4.  (a) Prior to placing a child in the home of a relative, or

the home of any prospective guardian or other person who is not a

licensed or certified foster parent, the county social worker shall

visit the home to ascertain the appropriateness of the placement.

   (b) Whenever a child may be placed in the home of a relative, or

the home of any prospective guardian or other person who is not a

licensed or certified foster parent, the court or county social

worker placing the child shall cause a state and federal level

criminal records check to be conducted by an appropriate governmental

agency through the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications

System pursuant to Section 16504.5.  The criminal records check shall

be conducted with regard to all persons over the age of 18 years

living in the home, and on any other person over the age of 18 years,

other than professionals providing professional services to the

child, known to the placing entity who may have significant contact

with the child, including any person who has a familial or intimate

relationship with any person living in the home.  A criminal records

check may be conducted pursuant to this section on any person over

the age of 14 years living in the home who the county social worker

believes may have a criminal record.  Within five judicial days

following the criminal records check conducted through the California

Law Enforcement Telecommunications System, the social worker shall

ensure that a fingerprint clearance check of the relative and any

other person whose criminal record was obtained pursuant to this

subdivision is initiated through the Department of Justice to ensure

the accuracy of the criminal records check conducted through the

California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System and shall review

the results of any criminal records check to assess the safety of

the home.  The Department of Justice shall forward fingerprint

requests for federal level criminal history information to the

Federal Bureau of Investigation pursuant to this section.

   (c) Whenever a child may be placed in the home of a relative, or a

prospective guardian or other person who is not a licensed or

certified foster parent, the county social worker shall cause a check

of the Child Abuse Index pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section

11170 of the Penal Code to be requested from the Department of

Justice.  The Child Abuse Index check shall be conducted on all

persons over the age of 18 years living in the home.

   (d) (1) If the fingerprint clearance check indicates that the

person has no criminal record, the county social worker and court may

consider the home of the relative, prospective guardian, or other

child who is not a licensed or certified foster parent for placement

of a child.

   (2) If the fingerprint clearance check indicates that the person

has been convicted of a crime that would preclude licensure under

Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, the child may not be

placed in the home.

   (e) Nothing in this section shall preclude a county from

conducting a criminal background check that the county is otherwise

authorized to conduct using fingerprints.

   (f) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2005.

 

361.5.  (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), or when the

parent has voluntarily relinquished the child and the relinquishment

has been filed with the State Department of Social Services, or upon

the establishment of an order of guardianship pursuant to Section

360, whenever a child is removed from a parent's or guardian's

custody, the juvenile court shall order the social worker to provide

child welfare services to the child and the child's mother and

statutorily presumed father or guardians.  Upon a finding and

declaration of paternity by the juvenile court or proof of a prior

declaration of paternity by any court of competent jurisdiction, the

juvenile court may order services for the child and the biological

father, if the court determines that the services will benefit the

child.  Child welfare services, when provided, shall be provided as

follows:

   (1) For a child who, on the date of initial removal from the

physical custody of his or her parent or guardian, was three years of

age or older, court-ordered services shall not exceed a period of 12

months from the date the child entered foster care, except as

otherwise provided in paragraph (3).

   (2) For a child who, on the date of initial removal from the

physical custody of his or her parent or guardian, was under the age

of three years, court-ordered services may not exceed a period of six

months from the date the child entered foster care.

   (3) For the purpose of placing and maintaining a sibling group

together in a permanent home should reunification efforts fail, for a

child in a sibling group whose members were removed from parental

custody at the same time, and in which one member of the sibling

group was under the age of three years on the date of initial removal

from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian,

court-ordered services to some or all of the sibling group may be

limited to a period of six months from the date the child entered

foster care.  For the purposes of this paragraph, "a sibling group"

shall mean two or more children who are related to each other as

siblings.

   For purposes of this section, "sibling" means a person related to

the child by blood, adoption, or affinity through a common legal or

biological parent.

   Regardless of the age of the child, a child shall be deemed to

have entered foster care on the earlier of the date of the

jurisdictional hearing held pursuant to Section 356 or the date that

is 60 days after the date on which the child was initially removed

from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian.

   Notwithstanding paragraphs (1), (2), and (3), court-ordered

services may be extended up to a maximum time period not to exceed 18

months after the date the child was originally removed from physical

custody of his or her parent or guardian if it can be shown, at the

hearing held pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 366.21, that the

permanent plan for the child is that he or she will be returned and

safely maintained in the home within the extended time period.  The

court shall extend the time period only if it finds that there is a

substantial probability that the child will be returned to the

physical custody of his or her parent or guardian within the extended

time period or that reasonable services have not been provided to

the parent or guardian.  If the court extends the time period, the

court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion that there

is a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the

physical custody of his or her parent or guardian within the extended

time period.  The court also shall make findings pursuant to

subdivision (a) of Section 366 and subdivision (e) of Section 358.1.

   When counseling or other treatment services are ordered, the

parent or guardian shall be ordered to participate in those services,

unless the parent's or guardian's participation is deemed by the

court to be inappropriate or potentially detrimental to the child.

Physical custody of the child by the parents or guardians during the

applicable time period under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) may not serve

to interrupt the running of the period.  If at the end of the

applicable time period, a child cannot be safely returned to the care

and custody of a parent or guardian without court supervision, but

the child clearly desires contact with the parent or guardian, the

court shall take the child's desire into account in devising a

permanency plan.

   In cases where the child was under the age of three years on the

date of the initial removal from the physical custody of his or her

parent or guardian or is a member of a sibling group as described in

paragraph (3), the court shall inform the parent or guardian that the

failure of the parent or guardian to participate regularly in any

court-ordered treatment programs or to cooperate or avail himself or

herself of services provided as part of the child welfare services

case plan may result in a termination of efforts to reunify the

family after six months.  The court shall inform the parent or

guardian of the factors used in subdivision (e) of Section 366.21 to

determine whether to limit services to six months for some or all

members of a sibling group as described in paragraph (3).

   Except in cases where, pursuant to subdivision (b), the court does

not order reunification services, the court shall inform the parent

or parents of Section 366.26 and shall specify that the parent's or

parents' parental rights may be terminated.

   (b) Reunification services need not be provided to a parent or

guardian described in this subdivision when the court finds, by clear

and convincing evidence, any of the following:

   (1) That the whereabouts of the parent or guardian are unknown.  A

finding pursuant to this paragraph shall be supported by an

affidavit or by proof that a reasonably diligent search has failed to

locate the parent or guardian.  The posting or publication of

notices is not required in that search.

   (2) That the parent or guardian is suffering from a mental

disability that is described in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section

7820) of Part 4 of Division 12 of the Family Code and that renders

him or her incapable of utilizing those services.

   (3) That the child or a sibling of the child has been previously

adjudicated a dependent pursuant to any subdivision of Section 300 as

a result of physical or sexual abuse, that following that

adjudication the child had been removed from the custody of his or

her parent or guardian pursuant to Section 361, that the child has

been returned to the custody of the parent or guardian from whom the

child had been taken originally, and that the child is being removed

pursuant to Section 361, due to additional physical or sexual abuse.

   (4) That the parent or guardian of the child has caused the death

of another child through abuse or neglect.

   (5) That the child was brought within the jurisdiction of the

court under subdivision (e) of Section 300 because of the conduct of

that parent or guardian.

   (6) That the child has been adjudicated a dependent pursuant to

any subdivision of Section 300 as a result of severe sexual abuse or

the infliction of severe physical harm to the child or a sibling, as

defined in this paragraph, by a parent or guardian and the court

makes a factual finding that it would not benefit the child to pursue

reunification services with the offending parent or guardian.

   A finding of severe sexual abuse, for the purposes of this

subdivision, may be based on, but is not limited to, sexual

intercourse, or stimulation involving genital-genital, oral-genital,

anal-genital, or oral-anal contact, whether between the parent or

guardian and the child or a sibling of the child, or between the

child or a sibling of the child and another person or animal with the

actual or implied consent of the parent or guardian; or the

penetration or manipulation of the child's or sibling's genital

organs or rectum by any animate or inanimate object for the sexual

gratification of the parent or guardian, or for the sexual

gratification of another person with the actual or implied consent of

the parent or guardian.

   A finding of the infliction of severe physical harm, for the

purposes of this subdivision, may be based on, but is not limited to,

deliberate and serious injury inflicted to or on a child's body or

the body of a sibling of the child by an act or omission of the

parent or guardian, or of another individual or animal with the

consent of the parent or guardian; deliberate and torturous

confinement of the child or sibling in a closed space; or any other

torturous act or omission that would be reasonably understood to

cause serious emotional damage.

   As used in this paragraph, "sibling" also includes a person whose

legal, biological, or foster parent is the parent of the child.

   (7) That the parent is not receiving reunification services for a

sibling of the child pursuant to paragraph (3), (5), or (6).

   (8) That the child was conceived by means of the commission of an

offense listed in Section 288 or 288.5 of the Penal Code, or by an

act committed outside of this state that, if committed in this state,

would constitute one of those offenses.  This paragraph only applies

to the parent who committed the offense or act.

   (9) That the child has been found to be a child described in

subdivision (g) of Section 300, that the parent or guardian of the

child willfully abandoned the child, and the court finds that the

abandonment itself constituted a serious danger to the child; or that

the parent or other person having custody of the child voluntarily

surrendered physical custody of the child pursuant to Section 1255.7

of the Health and Safety Code.  For the purposes of this paragraph,

"serious danger" means that without the intervention of another

person or agency, the child would have sustained severe or permanent

disability, injury, illness, or death.  For purposes of this

paragraph, "willful abandonment" may not be construed as actions

taken in good faith by the parent without the intent of placing the

child in serious danger.

   (10) That the court ordered termination of reunification services

for any siblings of the child because the parent or guardian failed

to reunify with the sibling after the sibling had been removed from

that parent or guardian pursuant to Section 361 and that parent or

guardian is the same parent or guardian described in subdivision (a)

and that, according to the findings of the court, this parent or

guardian has not subsequently made a reasonable effort to treat the

problems that led to removal of the sibling of that child from that

parent or guardian.

   (11) That the parental rights of a parent over any sibling of the

child had been permanently severed, and this parent is the same

parent described in subdivision (a), and that, according to the

findings of the court, this parent has not subsequently made a

reasonable effort to treat the problems that led to removal of the

sibling of that child from the parent.

   (12) That the parent or guardian of the child has been convicted

of a violent felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5

of the Penal Code.

   (13) That the parent or guardian of the child has a history of

extensive, abusive, and chronic use of drugs or alcohol and has

resisted prior court-ordered treatment for this problem during a

three-year period immediately prior to the filing of the petition

that brought that child to the court's attention, or has failed or

refused to comply with a program of drug or alcohol treatment

described in the case plan required by Section 358.1 on at least two

prior occasions, even though the programs identified were available

and accessible.

   (14) That the parent or guardian of the child has advised the

court that he or she is not interested in receiving family

maintenance or family reunification services or having the child

returned to or placed in his or her custody and does not wish to

receive family maintenance or reunification services.

   The parent or guardian shall be represented by counsel and shall

execute a waiver of services form to be adopted by the Judicial

Council.  The court shall advise the parent or guardian of any right

to services and of the possible consequences of a waiver of services,

including the termination of parental rights and placement of the

child for adoption.  The court may not accept the waiver of services

unless it states on the record its finding that the parent or

guardian has knowingly and intelligently waived the right to

services.

   (15) That the parent or guardian has on one or more occasions

willfully abducted the child or child's sibling from his or her

placement and refused to disclose the child's or child's sibling's

whereabouts, refused to return physical custody of the child or child'

s sibling to his or her placement, or refused to return physical

custody of the child or child's sibling to the social worker.

   (c) In deciding whether to order reunification in any case in

which this section applies, the court shall hold a dispositional

hearing.  The social worker shall prepare a report that discusses

whether reunification services shall be provided.  When it is

alleged, pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), that the

parent is incapable of utilizing services due to mental disability,

the court shall order reunification services unless competent

evidence from mental health professionals establishes that, even with

the provision of services, the parent is unlikely to be capable of

adequately caring for the child within the time limits specified in

subdivision (a).

   The court may not order reunification for a parent or guardian

described in paragraph (3), (4), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11),

(12), (13), (14), or (15) of subdivision (b) unless the court finds,

by clear and convincing evidence, that reunification is in the best

interest of the child.

   In addition, the court may not order reunification in any

situation described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) unless it

finds that, based on competent testimony, those services are likely

to prevent reabuse or continued neglect of the child or that failure

to try reunification will be detrimental to the child because the

child is closely and positively attached to that parent.  The social

worker shall investigate the circumstances leading to the removal of

the child and advise the court whether there are circumstances that

indicate that reunification is likely to be successful or

unsuccessful and whether failure to order reunification is likely to

be detrimental to the child.

   The failure of the parent to respond to previous services, the

fact that the child was abused while the parent was under the

influence of drugs or alcohol, a past history of violent behavior, or

testimony by a competent professional that the parent's behavior is

unlikely to be changed by services are among the factors indicating

that reunification services are unlikely to be successful.  The fact

that a parent or guardian is no longer living with an individual who

severely abused the child may be considered in deciding that

reunification services are likely to be successful, provided that the

court shall consider any pattern of behavior on the part of the

parent that has exposed the child to repeated abuse.

   (d) If reunification services are not ordered pursuant to

paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) and the whereabouts of a parent

become known within six months of the out-of-home placement of the

child, the court shall order the social worker to provide family

reunification services in accordance with this subdivision.

   (e) (1) If the parent or guardian is incarcerated or

institutionalized, the court shall order reasonable services unless

the court determines, by clear and convincing evidence, those

services would be detrimental to the child.  In determining

detriment, the court shall consider the age of the child, the degree

of parent-child bonding, the length of the sentence, the nature of

the treatment, the nature of the crime or illness, the degree of

detriment to the child if services are not offered and, for children

10 years of age or older, the child's attitude toward the

implementation of family reunification services, and any other

appropriate factors.  Reunification services are subject to the

applicable time limitations imposed in subdivision (a).  Services may

include, but shall not be limited to, all of the following:

   (A) Maintaining contact between the parent and child through

collect telephone calls.

   (B) Transportation services, where appropriate.

   (C) Visitation services, where appropriate.

   (D) Reasonable services to extended family members or foster

parents providing care for the child if the services are not

detrimental to the child.

   An incarcerated parent may be required to attend counseling,

parenting classes, or vocational training programs as part of the

service plan if these programs are available.

   (2) The presiding judge of the juvenile court of each county may

convene representatives of the county welfare department, the sheriff'

s department, and other appropriate entities for the purpose of

developing and entering into protocols for ensuring the notification,

transportation, and presence of an incarcerated or institutionalized

parent at all court hearings involving proceedings affecting the

child pursuant to Section 2625 of the Penal Code.

   (3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the

incarcerated parent is a woman seeking to participate in the

community treatment program operated by the Department of Corrections

pursuant to Chapter 4.8 (commencing with Section 1174) of Title 7 of

Part 2 of, Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 3410) of Title 2 of

Part 3 of, the Penal Code, the court shall determine whether the

parent's participation in a program is in the child's best interest

and whether it is suitable to meet the needs of the parent and child.

   (f) If the court, pursuant to paragraph (2), (3), (4), (5), (6),

(7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12), (13), (14), or (15) of subdivision

(b) or paragraph (1) of subdivision (e), does not order reunification

services, it shall, at the dispositional hearing, that shall include

a permanency hearing, determine if a hearing under Section 366.26

shall be set in order to determine whether adoption, guardianship, or

long-term foster care is the most appropriate plan for the child.

If the court so determines, it shall conduct the hearing pursuant to

Section 366.26 within 120 days after the dispositional hearing.

However, the court shall not schedule a hearing so long as the other

parent is being provided reunification services pursuant to

subdivision (a).  The court may continue to permit the parent to

visit the child unless it finds that visitation would be detrimental

to the child.

   (g) Whenever a court orders that a hearing shall be held pursuant

to Section 366.26, it shall direct the agency supervising the child

and the licensed county adoption agency, or the State Department of

Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency in counties

that are not served by a county adoption agency, to prepare an

assessment that shall include:

   (1) Current search efforts for an absent parent or parents.

   (2) A review of the amount of and nature of any contact between

the child and his or her parents and other members of his or her

extended family since the time of placement.  Although the extended

family of each child shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis,

"extended family" for the purpose of this paragraph shall include,

but not be limited to, the child's siblings, grandparents, aunts, and

uncles.

   (3) An evaluation of the child's medical, developmental,

scholastic, mental, and emotional status.

   (4) A preliminary assessment of the eligibility and commitment of

any identified prospective adoptive parent or guardian, particularly

the caretaker, to include a social history including screening for

criminal records and prior referrals for child abuse or neglect, the

capability to meet the child's needs, and the understanding of the

legal and financial rights and responsibilities of adoption and

guardianship.  If a proposed guardian is a relative of the minor, and

the relative was assessed for foster care placement of the minor

prior to January 1, 1998, the assessment shall also consider, but

need not be limited to, all of the factors specified in subdivision

(a) of Section 361.3.  As used in this paragraph, "relative" means an

adult who is related to the minor by blood, adoption, or affinity

within the fifth degree of kinship, including stepparents,

stepsiblings, and all relatives whose status is preceded by the words

"great," "great-great," or "grand," or the spouse of any of those

persons even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution.

   (5) The relationship of the child to any identified prospective

adoptive parent or guardian, the duration and character of the

relationship, the motivation for seeking adoption or guardianship,

and a statement from the child concerning placement and the adoption

or guardianship, unless the child's age or physical, emotional, or

other condition precludes his or her meaningful response, and if so,

a description of the condition.

   (6) An analysis of the likelihood that the child will be adopted

if parental rights are terminated.

   (h) In determining whether reunification services will benefit the

child pursuant to paragraph (6) or (7) of subdivision (b), the court

shall consider any information it deems relevant, including the

following factors:

   (1) The specific act or omission comprising the severe sexual

abuse or the severe physical harm inflicted on the child or the child'

s sibling.

   (2) The circumstances under which the abuse or harm was inflicted

on the child or the child's sibling.

   (3) The severity of the emotional trauma suffered by the child or

the child's sibling.

   (4) Any history of abuse of other children by the offending parent

or guardian.

   (5) The likelihood that the child may be safely returned to the

care of the offending parent or guardian within 12 months with no

continuing supervision.

   (6) Whether or not the child desires to be reunified with the

offending parent or guardian.

   (i) The court shall read into the record the basis for a finding

of severe sexual abuse or the infliction of severe physical harm

under paragraph (6) of subdivision (b), and shall also specify the

factual findings used to determine that the provision of

reunification services to the offending parent or guardian would not

benefit the child.

   (j) This section shall be repealed on January 1, 2006, unless a

later enacted statute extends or deletes that date.

 

 

361.5.  (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), or when the

parent has voluntarily relinquished the child and the relinquishment

has been filed with the State Department of Social Services, or upon

the establishment of an order of guardianship pursuant to Section

360, whenever a child is removed from a parent's or guardian's

custody, the juvenile court shall order the social worker to provide

child welfare services to the child and the child's mother and

statutorily presumed father or guardians.  Upon a finding and

declaration of paternity by the juvenile court or proof of a prior

declaration of paternity by any court of competent jurisdiction, the

juvenile court may order services for the child and the biological

father, if the court determines that the services will benefit the

child.  Child welfare services, when provided, shall be provided as

follows:

   (1) For a child who, on the date of initial removal from the

physical custody of his or her parent or guardian, was three years of

age or older, court-ordered services shall not exceed a period of 12

months from the date the child entered foster care, except as

otherwise provided in paragraph (3).

   (2) For a child who, on the date of initial removal from the

physical custody of his or her parent or guardian, was under the age

of three years, court-ordered services shall not exceed a period of

six months from the date the child entered foster care.

   (3) For the purpose of placing and maintaining a sibling group

together in a permanent home should reunification efforts fail, for a

child in a sibling group whose members were removed from parental

custody at the same time, and in which one member of the sibling

group was under the age of three years on the date of initial removal

from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian,

court-ordered services to some or all of the sibling group may be

limited to a period of six months from the date the child entered

foster care.  For the purposes of this paragraph, "a sibling group"

shall mean two or more children who are related to each other as

siblings.

   For purposes of this section, "sibling" means a person related to

the child by blood, adoption, or affinity through a common legal or

biological parent.

   Regardless of the age of the child, a child shall be deemed to

have entered foster care on the earlier of the date of the

jurisdictional hearing held pursuant to Section 356 or the date that

is 60 days after the date on which the child was initially removed

from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian.

   Notwithstanding paragraphs (1), (2), and (3), court-ordered

services may be extended up to a maximum time period not to exceed 18

months after the date the child was originally removed from physical

custody of his or her parent or guardian if it can be shown, at the

hearing held pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 366.21, that the

permanent plan for the child is that he or she will be returned and

safely maintained in the home within the extended time period.  The

court shall extend the time period only if it finds that there is a

substantial probability that the child will be returned to the

physical custody of his or her parent or guardian within the extended

time period or that reasonable services have not been provided to

the parent or guardian.  If the court extends the time period, the

court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion that there

is a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the

physical custody of his or her parent or guardian within the extended

time period.  The court also shall make findings pursuant to

subdivision (a) of Section 366 and subdivision (e) of Section 358.1.

   When counseling or other treatment services are ordered, the

parent or guardian shall be ordered to participate in those services,

unless the parent's or guardian's participation is deemed by the

court to be inappropriate or potentially detrimental to the child.

Physical custody of the child by the parents or guardians during the

applicable time period under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) may not serve

to interrupt the running of the period.  If at the end of the

applicable time period, a child cannot be safely returned to the care

and custody of a parent or guardian without court supervision, but

the child clearly desires contact with the parent or guardian, the

court shall take the child's desire into account in devising a

permanency plan.

   In cases where the child was under the age of three years on the

date of the initial removal from the physical custody of his or her

parent or guardian or is a member of a sibling group as described in

paragraph (3), the court shall inform the parent or guardian that the

failure of the parent or guardian to participate regularly in any

court-ordered treatment programs or to cooperate or avail himself or

herself of services provided as part of the child welfare services

case plan may result in a termination of efforts to reunify the

family after six months.  The court shall inform the parent or

guardian of the factors used in subdivision (e) of Section 366.21 to

determine whether to limit services to six months for some or all

members of a sibling group as described in paragraph (3).

   Except in cases where, pursuant to subdivision (b), the court does

not order reunification services, the court shall inform the parent

or parents of Section 366.26 and shall specify that the parent's or

parents' parental rights may be terminated.

   (b) Reunification services need not be provided to a parent or

guardian described in this subdivision when the court finds, by clear

and convincing evidence, any of the following:

   (1) That the whereabouts of the parent or guardian are unknown.  A

finding pursuant to this paragraph shall be supported by an

affidavit or by proof that a reasonably diligent search has failed to

locate the parent or guardian.  The posting or publication of

notices is not required in that search.

   (2) That the parent or guardian is suffering from a mental

disability that is described in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section

7820) of Part 4 of Division 12 of the Family Code and that renders

him or her incapable of utilizing those services.

   (3) That the child or a sibling of the child has been previously

adjudicated a dependent pursuant to any subdivision of Section 300 as

a result of physical or sexual abuse, that following that

adjudication the child had been removed from the custody of his or

her parent or guardian pursuant to Section 361, that the child has

been returned to the custody of the parent or guardian from whom the

child had been taken originally, and that the child is being removed

pursuant to Section 361, due to additional physical or sexual abuse.

   (4) That the parent or guardian of the child has caused the death

of another child through abuse or neglect.

   (5) That the child was brought within the jurisdiction of the

court under subdivision (e) of Section 300 because of the conduct of

that parent or guardian.

   (6) That the child has been adjudicated a dependent pursuant to

any subdivision of Section 300 as a result of severe sexual abuse or

the infliction of severe physical harm to the child or a sibling by a

parent or guardian, as defined in this subdivision, and the court

makes a factual finding that it would not benefit the child to pursue

reunification services with the offending parent or guardian.

   A finding of severe sexual abuse, for the purposes of this

subdivision, may be based on, but is not limited to, sexual

intercourse, or stimulation involving genital-genital, oral-genital,

anal-genital, or oral-anal contact, whether between the parent or

guardian and the child or a sibling of the child, or between the

child or a sibling of the child and another person or animal with the

actual or implied consent of the parent or guardian; or the

penetration or manipulation of the child's or sibling's genital

organs or rectum by any animate or inanimate object for the sexual

gratification of the parent or guardian, or for the sexual

gratification of another person with the actual or implied consent of

the parent or guardian.

   A finding of the infliction of severe physical harm, for the

purposes of this subdivision, may be based on, but is not limited to,

deliberate and serious injury inflicted to or on a child's body or

the body of a sibling of the child by an act or omission of the

parent or guardian, or of another individual or animal with the

consent of the parent or guardian; deliberate and torturous

confinement of the child or sibling in a closed space; or any other

torturous act or omission that would be reasonably understood to

cause serious emotional damage.

   As used in this paragraph, "sibling" also includes a person whose

legal, biological, or foster parent is the parent of the child.

   (7) That the parent is not receiving reunification services for a

sibling of the child pursuant to paragraph (3), (5), or (6).

   (8) That the child was conceived by means of the commission of an

offense listed in Section 288 or 288.5 of the Penal Code, or by an

act committed outside of this state that, if committed in this state,

would constitute one of those offenses.  This paragraph only applies

to the parent who committed the offense or act.

   (9) That the child has been found to be a child described in

subdivision (g) of Section 300, that the parent or guardian of the

child willfully abandoned the child, and the court finds that the

abandonment itself constituted a serious danger to the child.  For

the purposes of this paragraph, "serious danger" means that without

the intervention of another person or agency, the child would have

sustained severe or permanent disability, injury, illness, or death.

For purposes of this paragraph, "willful abandonment" shall not be

construed as actions taken in good faith by the parent without the

intent of placing the child in serious danger.

   (10) That the court ordered termination of reunification services

for any siblings of the child because the parent or guardian failed

to reunify with the sibling after the sibling had been removed from

that parent or guardian pursuant to Section 361 and that parent or

guardian is the same parent or guardian described in subdivision (a),

and that, according to the findings of the court, this parent or

guardian has not subsequently made a reasonable effort to treat the

problems that led to removal of the sibling of that child from that

parent or guardian.

   (11) That the parental rights of a parent over any sibling of the

child had been permanently severed, and this parent is the same

parent described in subdivision (a), and that, according to the

findings of the court, this parent has not subsequently made a

reasonable effort to treat the problems that led to removal of the

sibling of that child from the parent.

   (12) That the parent or guardian of the child has been convicted

of a violent felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5

of the Penal Code.

   (13) That the parent or guardian of the child has a history of

extensive, abusive, and chronic use of drugs or alcohol and has

resisted prior court-ordered treatment for this problem during a

three-year period immediately prior to the filing of the petition

that brought that child to the court's attention, or has failed or

refused to comply with a program of drug or alcohol treatment

described in the case plan required by Section 358.1 on at least two

prior occasions, even though the programs identified were available

and accessible.

   (14) That the parent or guardian of the child has advised the

court that he or she is not interested in receiving family

maintenance or family reunification services or having the child

returned to or placed in his or her custody and does not wish to

receive family maintenance or reunification services.

   The parent or guardian shall be represented by counsel and shall

execute a waiver of services form to be adopted by the Judicial

Council.  The court shall advise the parent or guardian of any right

to services and of the possible consequences of a waiver of services,

including the termination of parental rights and placement of the

child for adoption.  The court may not accept the waiver of services

unless it states on the record its finding that the parent or

guardian has knowingly and intelligently waived the right to

services.

   (15) That the parent or guardian has on one or more occasions

willfully abducted the child or child's sibling from his or her

placement and refused to disclose the child's or child's sibling's

whereabouts, refused to return physical custody of the child or child'

s sibling to his or her placement, or refused to return physical

custody of the child or child's sibling to the social worker.

   (c) In deciding whether to order reunification in any case in

which this section applies, the court shall hold a dispositional

hearing.  The social worker shall prepare a report that discusses

whether reunification services shall be provided.  When it is

alleged, pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), that the

parent is incapable of utilizing services due to mental disability,

the court shall order reunification services unless competent

evidence from mental health professionals establishes that, even with

the provision of services, the parent is unlikely to be capable of

adequately caring for the child within the time limits specified in

subdivision (a).

   The court may not order reunification for a parent or guardian

described in paragraph (3), (4), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11),

(12), (13), (14), or (15) of subdivision (b) unless the court finds,

by clear and convincing evidence, that reunification is in the best

interest of the child.

   In addition, the court may not order reunification in any

situation described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) unless it

finds that, based on competent testimony, those services are likely

to prevent reabuse or continued neglect of the child or that failure

to try reunification will be detrimental to the child because the

child is closely and positively attached to that parent.  The social

worker shall investigate the circumstances leading to the removal of

the child and advise the court whether there are circumstances that

indicate that reunification is likely to be successful or

unsuccessful and whether failure to order reunification is likely to

be detrimental to the child.

   The failure of the parent to respond to previous services, the

fact that the child was abused while the parent was under the

influence of drugs or alcohol, a past history of violent behavior, or

testimony by a competent professional that the parent's behavior is

unlikely to be changed by services are among the factors indicating

that reunification services are unlikely to be successful.  The fact

that a parent or guardian is no longer living with an individual who

severely abused the child may be considered in deciding that

reunification services are likely to be successful, provided that the

court shall consider any pattern of behavior on the part of the

parent that has exposed the child to repeated abuse.

   (d) If reunification services are not ordered pursuant to

paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) and the whereabouts of a parent

become known within six months of the out-of-home placement of the

child, the court shall order the social worker to provide family

reunification services in accordance with this subdivision.

   (e) (1) If the parent or guardian is incarcerated or

institutionalized, the court shall order reasonable services unless

the court determines, by clear and convincing evidence, those

services would be detrimental to the child.  In determining

detriment, the court shall consider the age of the child, the degree

of parent-child bonding, the length of the sentence, the nature of

the treatment, the nature of the crime or illness, the degree of

detriment to the child if services are not offered and, for children

10 years of age or older, the child's attitude toward the

implementation of family reunification services, and any other

appropriate factors. Reunification services are subject to the

applicable time limitations imposed in subdivision (a).  Services may

include, but shall not be limited to, all of the following:

   (A) Maintaining contact between the parent and child through

collect telephone calls.

   (B) Transportation services, where appropriate.

   (C) Visitation services, where appropriate.

   (D) Reasonable services to extended family members or foster

parents providing care for the child if the services are not

detrimental to the child.

   An incarcerated parent may be required to attend counseling,

parenting classes, or vocational training programs as part of the

service plan if these programs are available.

   (2) The presiding judge of the juvenile court of each county may

convene representatives of the county welfare department, the sheriff'

s department, and other appropriate entities for the purpose of

developing and entering into protocols for ensuring the notification,

transportation, and presence of an incarcerated or institutionalized

parent at all court hearings involving proceedings affecting the

child pursuant to Section 2625 of the Penal Code.

   (3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the

incarcerated parent is a woman seeking to participate in the

community treatment program operated by the Department of Corrections

pursuant to Chapter 4.8 (commencing with Section 1174) of Title 7 of

Part 2 of, Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 3410) of Title 2 of

Part 3 of, the Penal Code, the court shall determine whether the

parent's participation in a program is in the child's best interest

and whether it is suitable to meet the needs of the parent and child.

   (f) If the court, pursuant to paragraph (2), (3), (4), (5), (6),

(7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12), (13), (14), or (15) of subdivision

(b) or paragraph (1) of subdivision (e), does not order reunification

services, it shall, at the dispositional hearing, that shall include

a permanency hearing, determine if a hearing under Section 366.26

shall be set in order to determine whether adoption, guardianship, or

long-term foster care is the most appropriate plan for the child.

If the court so determines, it shall conduct the hearing pursuant to

Section 366.26 within 120 days after the dispositional hearing.

However, the court may not schedule a hearing so long as the other

parent is being provided reunification services pursuant to

subdivision (a).  The court may continue to permit the parent to

visit the child unless it finds that visitation would be detrimental

to the child.

   (g) Whenever a court orders that a hearing shall be held pursuant

to Section 366.26, it shall direct the agency supervising the child

and the licensed county adoption agency, or the State Department of

Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency in counties

that are not served by a county adoption agency, to prepare an

assessment that shall include:

   (1) Current search efforts for an absent parent or parents.

   (2) A review of the amount of and nature of any contact between

the child and his or her parents and other members of his or her

extended family since the time of placement.  Although the extended

family of each child shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis,

"extended family" for the purpose of this paragraph shall include,

but not be limited to, the child's siblings, grandparents, aunts, and

uncles.

   (3) An evaluation of the child's medical, developmental,

scholastic, mental, and emotional status.

   (4) A preliminary assessment of the eligibility and commitment of

any identified prospective adoptive parent or guardian, particularly

the caretaker, to include a social history including screening for

criminal records and prior referrals for child abuse or neglect, the

capability to meet the child's needs, and the understanding of the

legal and financial rights and responsibilities of adoption and

guardianship.  If a proposed guardian is a relative of the minor, and

the relative was assessed for foster care placement of the minor

prior to January 1, 1998, the assessment shall also consider, but

need not be limited to, all of the factors specified in subdivision

(a) of Section 361.3.  As used in this paragraph, "relative" means an

adult who is related to the minor by blood, adoption, or affinity

within the fifth degree of kinship, including stepparents,

stepsiblings, and all relatives whose status is preceded by the words

"great," "great-great," or "grand," or the spouse of any of those

persons even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution.

   (5) The relationship of the child to any identified prospective

adoptive parent or guardian, the duration and character of the

relationship, the motivation for seeking adoption or guardianship,

and a statement from the child concerning placement and the adoption

or guardianship, unless the child's age or physical, emotional, or

other condition precludes his or her meaningful response, and if so,

a description of the condition.

   (6) An analysis of the likelihood that the child will be adopted

if parental rights are terminated.

   (h) In determining whether reunification services will benefit the

child pursuant to paragraph (6) or (7) of subdivision (b), the court

shall consider any information it deems relevant, including the

following factors:

   (1) The specific act or omission comprising the severe sexual

abuse or the severe physical harm inflicted on the child or the child'

s sibling.

   (2) The circumstances under which the abuse or harm was inflicted

on the child or the child's sibling.

   (3) The severity of the emotional trauma suffered by the child or

the child's sibling.

   (4) Any history of abuse of other children by the offending parent

or guardian.

   (5) The likelihood that the child may be safely returned to the

care of the offending parent or guardian within 12 months with no

continuing supervision.

   (6) Whether or not the child desires to be reunified with the

offending parent or guardian.

   (i) The court shall read into the record the basis for a finding

of severe sexual abuse or the infliction of severe physical harm

under paragraph (6) of subdivision (b), and shall also specify the

factual findings used to determine that the provision of

reunification services to the offending parent or guardian would not

benefit the child.

   (j) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2006, unless

a later enacted statute extends or deletes that date.

 

 

362.  (a) When a child is adjudged a dependent child of the court on

the ground that the child is a person described by Section 300, the

court may make any and all reasonable orders for the care,

supervision, custody, conduct, maintenance, and support of the child,

including medical treatment, subject to further order of the court.

To facilitate coordination and cooperation among government agencies

or private service providers, or both, the court may, after giving

notice and an opportunity to be heard, join in the juvenile court

proceedings any agency or private service provider that the court

determines has failed to meet a legal obligation to provide services

to the child.  In any proceeding in which an agency or private

service provider is joined, the court shall not impose duties upon

the agency or private service provider beyond those mandated by law.

Nothing in this section shall prohibit agencies or private service

providers that have received notice of the hearing on joinder from

meeting prior to the hearing to coordinate services for the child.

   The court has no authority to order services unless it has been

determined through the administrative process of an agency that has

been joined as a party, that the child is eligible for those

services.  With respect to mental health assessment, treatment, and

case management services pursuant to Chapter 26.5 (commencing with

Section 7570) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code, the

court's determination shall be limited to whether the agency or

private service provider has complied with that chapter.

   (b) When a child is adjudged a dependent child of the court, on

the ground that the child is a person described by Section 300 and

the court orders that a parent or guardian shall retain custody of

the child subject to the supervision of the social worker, the

parents or guardians shall be required to participate in child

welfare services or services provided by an appropriate agency

designated by the court.

   (c) The juvenile court may direct any and all reasonable orders to

the parents or guardians of the child who is the subject of any

proceedings under this chapter as the court deems necessary and

proper to carry out the provisions of this section, including orders

to appear before a county financial evaluation officer.  That order

may include a direction to participate in a counseling or education

program, including, but not limited to, a parent education and

parenting program operated by a community college, school district,

or other appropriate agency designated by the court.  A foster parent

or relative with whom the child is placed may be directed to

participate in such a program in cases in which the court deems

participation is appropriate and in the child's best interest.  The

program in which a parent or guardian is required to participate

shall be designed to eliminate those conditions that led to the court'

s finding that the child is a person described by Section 300.

   (d) When a child is adjudged a dependent child of the court, the

juvenile court may direct any and all reasonable orders to the

parents or guardians of the child who is the subject of any

proceedings under this chapter, to ensure the child's regular school

attendance and to make reasonable efforts to obtain educational

services necessary to meet the specific needs of the child.

   (e) "Private service provider" means any agency or individual that

receives federal, state, or local government funding or

reimbursement for providing services directly to foster children.

 

362.05.  Every child adjudged a dependent child of the juvenile

court shall be entitled to participate in age-appropriate

extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities.  No state or

local regulation or policy may prevent or create barriers to

participation in those activities.  Each state and local entity shall

ensure that private agencies that provide foster care services to

dependent children have policies consistent with this section and

that those agencies promote and protect the ability of dependent

children to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular,

enrichment, and social activities.  Caregivers shall use a prudent

parent standard in determining whether to give permission for a child

residing in foster care to participate in extracurricular,

enrichment, and social activities.  The caretaker shall take

reasonable steps to determine the appropriateness of the activity in

consideration of the child's age, maturity, and developmental level.

 

 

362.1.  (a) In order to maintain ties between the parent or guardian

and any siblings and the child, and to provide information relevant

to deciding if, and when, to return a child to the custody of his or

her parent or guardian, or to encourage or suspend sibling

interaction, any order placing a child in foster care, and ordering

reunification services, shall provide as follows:

   (1) (A) Subject to subparagraph (B), for visitation between the

parent or guardian and the child.  Visitation shall be as frequent as

possible, consistent with the well-being of the child.

   (B) No visitation order shall jeopardize the safety of the child.

To protect the safety of the child, the court may keep the child's

address confidential.  If the parent of the child has been convicted

of murder in the first degree, as defined in Section 189 of the Penal

Code, and the victim of the murder was the other parent of the

child, the court shall order visitation between the child and the

parent only if that order would be consistent with Section 3030 of

the Family Code.

   (2) Pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 16002, for visitation

between the child and any siblings, unless the court finds by clear

and convincing evidence that sibling interaction is detrimental to

either child.

   (b) When reunification services are not ordered pursuant to

Section 361.5, the child's plan for legal permanency shall include

consideration of the existence of and the relationship with any

sibling pursuant to Section 16002, including their impact on

placement and visitation.

   (c) As used in this section, "sibling" means a child related to

another person by blood, adoption, or affinity through a common legal

or biological parent.

 

362.2.  It is the intent of the Legislature that if a placement

out-of-home is necessary pursuant to an individualized education

program, that this placement be as near the child's home as possible,

unless it is not in the best interest of the child.  When the court

determines that it is the best interest of the child to be placed

out-of-state, the court shall read into the record that in-state

alternatives have been explored and that they cannot meet the needs

of the child, and the court shall state on the record the reasons for

the out-of-state placement.

 

362.3.  In addition to the notice provided in Sections 297 and 332,

the juvenile court may issue its citation directing any parent,

guardian, or foster parent of the person concerning whom a petition

has been filed to appear at the time and place set for any hearing

under the provisions of this chapter, and directing any person having

custody or control of the child concerning whom the petition has

been filed to bring the child with him or her.  The citation shall,

in addition, state that a parent, guardian, or foster parent may be

required to participate in a counseling or education program with the

child concerning whom the petition has been filed.  Personal service

of the citation shall be made at least 24 hours before the time

stated therein for the appearance.

 

362.4.  When the juvenile court terminates its jurisdiction over a

minor who has been adjudged a dependent child of the juvenile court

prior to the minor's attainment of the age of 18 years, and

proceedings for dissolution of marriage, for nullity of marriage, or

for legal separation, of the minor's parents, or proceedings to

establish the paternity of the minor child brought under the Uniform

Parentage Act, Part 3 (commencing with Section 7600) of Division 12

of the Family Code, are pending in the superior court of any county,

or an order has been entered with regard to the custody of that

minor, the juvenile court on its own motion, may issue a protective

order as provided for in Section 213.5 or as defined in Section 6218

of the Family Code, and an order determining the custody of, or

visitation with, the child.

   Any order issued pursuant to this section shall continue until

modified or terminated by a subsequent order of the superior court.

The order of the juvenile court shall be filed in the proceeding for

nullity, dissolution, or legal separation, or in the proceeding to

establish paternity, at the time the juvenile court terminates its

jurisdiction over the minor, and shall become a part thereof.

   If no action is filed or pending relating to the custody of the

minor in the superior court of any county, the juvenile court order

may be used as the sole basis for opening a file in the superior

court of the county in which the parent, who has been given custody,

resides.  The court may direct the parent or the clerk of the

juvenile court to transmit the order to the clerk of the superior

court of the county in which the order is to be filed.  The clerk of

the superior court shall, immediately upon receipt, open a file,

without a filing fee, and assign a case number.

   The clerk of the superior court shall, upon the filing of any

juvenile court custody order, send by first-class mail a copy of the

order with the case number to the juvenile court and to the parents

at the address listed on the order.

   The Judicial Council shall adopt forms for any custody or

restraining order issued under this section.  These form orders shall

not be confidential.

 

362.6.  (a) When a hearing is requested pursuant to Section 1202.05

of the Penal Code, the sentencing court shall forward a copy of the

request to the child protective services agency (CPS), or the

appropriate entity, in the county in which any related dependency

matters as to the affected child victim have been heard or to the

county in which the child victim resides.  CPS, or the appropriate

entity, shall initiate a hearing to determine whether visitation

between the child victim and the incarcerated person would be in the

best interests of the child victim.  If the court determines that

visitation with the incarcerated person is in the best interests of

the child victim, CPS, or the appropriate entity, shall notify the

Department of Corrections to provide for contact or visitation, or

both, as ordered by the court.

   (b) The court, if visitation is allowed, may impose whatever

safeguards or restrictions it deems appropriate to protect the child

victim.

   (c) The court's order shall be transmitted to all parties and to

the Department of Corrections.

   (d) Any party may return to the juvenile court at any time prior

to the child victim's 18th birthday and request modification of the

court's order based on a change of circumstances.  For these

purposes, the juvenile court shall retain jurisdiction over the

matter until the child victim reaches the age of 18 years.

 

362.7.  When the home of a nonrelative extended family member is

being considered for placement of a child, the home shall be

evaluated, and approval of that home shall be granted or denied,

pursuant to the same standards set forth in the regulations for the

licensing of foster family homes which prescribe standards of safety

and sanitation for the physical plant and standards for basic

personal care, supervision, and services provided by the caregiver.

   A "nonrelative extended family member" is defined as any adult

caregiver who has an established familial or mentoring relationship

with the child.  The county welfare department shall verify the

existence of a relationship through interviews with the parent and

child or with one or more third parties.  The parties may include

relatives of the child, teachers, medical professionals, clergy,

neighbors, and family friends.

 

363.  If the parent or person legally responsible for the care of

any minor who is found to be a person described in Section 300

receives public assistance or care, any portion of which is

attributable to the minor, a copy of the order of the court providing

for the removal of the minor from his or her home shall be furnished

to the appropriate social services official, who shall reduce the

public assistance and care furnished the parent or other person by

the amount attributable to the minor.

 

364.  (a) Every hearing in which an order is made placing a child

under the supervision of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 300

and in which the child is not removed from the physical custody of

his or her parent or guardian shall be continued to a specific future

date not to exceed six months after the date of the original

dispositional hearing.  The continued hearing shall be placed on the

appearance calendar.  The court shall advise all persons present of

the date of the future hearings, of their rights to be present, and

to be represented by counsel.

   (b) At least 10 calendar days prior to the hearing, the social

worker shall file a supplemental report with the court describing the

services offered to the family and the progress made by the family

in eliminating the conditions or factors requiring court supervision.

  The social worker shall also make a recommendation regarding the

necessity of continued supervision.  A copy of this report shall be

furnished to all parties at least 10 calendar days prior to the

hearing.

   (c) After hearing any evidence presented by the social worker, the

parent, the guardian, or the  child, the court shall determine

whether continued supervision is necessary.  The court shall

terminate its jurisdiction unless the social worker or his or her

department establishes by a preponderance of evidence that the

conditions still exist which would justify initial assumption of

jurisdiction under Section 300, or that those conditions are likely

to exist if supervision is withdrawn.  Failure of the parent or

guardian to participate regularly in any court ordered treatment

program shall constitute prima facie evidence that the conditions

which justified initial assumption of jurisdiction still exist and

that continued supervision is necessary.

   (d) If the court retains jurisdiction it shall continue the matter

to a specified date, not more than six months from the time of the

hearing, at which point the court shall again follow the procedure

specified in subdivision (c).

   (e) In any case in which the court has ordered that a parent or

guardian shall retain physical custody of a child subject to

supervision by a social worker, and the social worker subsequently

receives a report of acts or circumstances which indicate that there

is reasonable cause to believe that the child is a person described

in subdivision (a), (d), or (e) of Section 300, the social worker

shall commence proceedings under this chapter.  If, as a result of

the proceedings required, the court finds that the child is a person

described in subdivision (a), (d), or (e) of Section 300, the court

shall remove the child from the care, custody, and control of the

child's parent or guardian and shall commit the child to the care,

custody, and control of the social worker pursuant to Section 361.

 

364.05.  Notwithstanding Section 364, in a county of the first

class, a copy of the report required pursuant to subdivision (b) of

Section 364 shall be provided to all parties at least 10 calendar

days prior to the hearing.  This may be accomplished by mailing the

report at least 15 calendar days prior to the hearing to a party

whose address is within the State of California, or at least 20

calendar days prior to the hearing to a party whose address is

outside the State of California.  The court shall grant a reasonable

continuance, not to exceed 10 calendar days, upon request by any

party or his or her counsel on the ground that the report was not

provided at least 10 calendar days prior to the hearing as required

by this section, unless the party or his or her counsel has expressly

waived the requirement that the report be provided within the 10-day

period or the court finds that the party's ability to proceed at the

hearing is not prejudiced by the lack of timely service of the

report.  In making this determination, the court shall presume that a

party is prejudiced by the lack of timely service of the report, and

may find that the party is not prejudiced only by clear and

convincing evidence to the contrary.

 

365.  The court may require the social worker or any other agency to

render any periodic reports concerning children committed to its

care, custody, and control under the provisions of Section 362 that

the court deems necessary or desirable.  The court may require that

the social worker, or any other public agency organized to provide

care for needy or neglected children, shall perform the visitation

and make periodic reports to the courts concerning children committed

under those provisions that the court deems necessary or desirable.

 

366.  (a) (1) The status of every dependent child in foster care

shall be reviewed periodically as determined by the court but no less

frequently than once every six months, as calculated from the date

of the original dispositional hearing, until the hearing described in

Section 366.26 is completed.  The court shall consider the safety of

the child and shall determine all of the following:

   (A) The continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the

placement.

   (B) The extent of the agency's compliance with the case plan in

making reasonable efforts to return the child to a safe home and to

complete any steps necessary to finalize the permanent placement of

the child, including efforts to maintain relationships between a

child who is 10 years of age or older who is placed in a group home,

and individuals other than the child's siblings who are important to

the child, consistent with the child's best interests.

   (C) Whether there should be any limitation on the right of the

parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the child.  That

limitation shall be specifically addressed in the court order and

may not exceed those necessary to protect the child.  Whenever the

court specifically limits the right of the parent or guardian to make

educational decisions for the child, the court shall at the same

time appoint a responsible adult to make educational decisions for

the child pursuant to Section 361.

   (D) (i) Whether the child has other siblings under the court's

jurisdiction, and, if any siblings exist, all of the following:

   (I) The nature of the relationship between the child and his or

her siblings.

   (II) The appropriateness of developing or maintaining the sibling

relationships pursuant to Section 16002.

   (III) If the siblings are not placed together in the same home,

why the siblings are not placed together and what efforts are being

made to place the siblings together, or why those efforts are not

appropriate.

   (IV) If the siblings are not placed together, the frequency and

nature of the visits between siblings.

   (V) The impact of the sibling relationships on the child's

placement and planning for legal permanence.

   (VI) The continuing need to suspend sibling interaction, if

applicable, pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 16002.

   (ii) The factors the court may consider in making a determination

regarding the nature of the child's sibling relationships may

include, but are not limited to, whether the siblings were raised

together in the same home, whether the siblings have shared

significant common experiences or have existing close and strong

bonds, whether either sibling expresses a desire to visit or live

with his or her sibling, as applicable, and whether ongoing contact

is in the child's best emotional interests.

   (E) The extent of progress which has been made toward alleviating

or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care.

   (2) The court shall project a likely date by which the child may

be returned to and safely maintained in the home or placed for

adoption, legal guardianship, or in another planned permanent living

arrangement.

   (b) Subsequent to the hearing, periodic reviews of each child in

foster care shall be conducted pursuant to the requirements of

Sections 366.3 and 16503.

   (c) If the child has been placed out of state, each review

described in subdivision (a) and any reviews conducted pursuant to

Sections 366.3 and 16503 shall also address whether the out-of-state

placement continues to be the most appropriate placement selection

and in the best interests of the child.

   (d) A child may not be placed in an out-of-state group home, or

remain in an out-of-state group home, unless the group home is in

compliance with Section 7911.1 of the Family Code.

 

366.05.  Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 366.21, in a

county of the first class, any supplemental report filed in

connection with a status review hearing held pursuant to subdivision

(a) of Section 366 shall be provided to the parent or legal guardian

and to counsel for the child at least 10 calendar days prior to the

hearing.  This may be accomplished by mailing the report at least 15

calendar days prior to the hearing to a party whose address is within

the State of California, or at least 20 calendar days prior to the

hearing to a party whose address is outside the State of California.

The court shall grant a reasonable continuance, not to exceed 10

calendar days, upon request by any party or his or her counsel on the

ground that the report was not provided at least 10 calendar days

prior to the hearing as required by this section, unless the party or

his or her counsel has expressly waived the requirement that the

report be provided within the 10-day period or the court finds that

the party's ability to proceed at the hearing is not prejudiced by

the lack of timely service of the report.  In making this

determination, the court shall presume that a party is prejudiced by

the lack of timely service of the report, and may find that the party

is not prejudiced only by clear and convincing evidence to the

contrary.

 

366.1.  Each supplemental report required to be filed pursuant to

Section 366 shall include, but not be limited to, a factual

discussion of each of the following subjects:

   (a) Whether the county welfare department social worker has

considered child protective services, as defined in Chapter 5

(commencing with Section 16500) of Part 4 of Division 9, as a

possible solution to the problems at hand, and has offered those

services to qualified parents if appropriate under the circumstances.

   (b) What plan, if any, for the return and maintenance of the child

in a safe home is recommended to the court by the county welfare

department social worker.

   (c) Whether the subject child appears to be a person who is

eligible to be considered for further court action to free the child

from parental custody and control.

   (d) What actions, if any, have been taken by the parent to correct

the problems that caused the child to be made a dependent child of

the court.

   (e) If the parent or guardian is unwilling or unable to

participate in making an educational decision for his or her child,

or if other circumstances exist that compromise the ability of the

parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the child, the

county welfare department or social worker shall consider whether the

right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions for

the child should be limited.  If the supplemental report makes that

recommendation, the report shall identify whether there is a

responsible adult available to make educational decisions for the

child pursuant to Section 361.

   (f) (1) Whether the child has any siblings under the court's

jurisdiction, and, if any siblings exist, all of the following:

   (A) The nature of the relationship between the child and his or

her siblings.

   (B) The appropriateness of developing or maintaining the sibling

relationships pursuant to Section 16002.

   (C) If the siblings are not placed together in the same home, why

the siblings are not placed together and what efforts are being made

to place the siblings together, or why those efforts are not

appropriate.

   (D) If the siblings are not placed together, the frequency and

nature of the visits between siblings.

   (E) The impact of the sibling relationships on the child's

placement and planning for legal permanence.

   (2) The factual discussion shall include a discussion of

indicators of the nature of the child's sibling relationships,

including, but not limited to, whether the siblings were raised

together in the same home, whether the siblings have shared

significant common experiences or have existing close and strong

bonds, whether either sibling expresses a desire to visit or live

with his or her sibling, as applicable, and whether ongoing contact

is in the child's best emotional interests.

   (g) Whether a child who is 10 years of age or older who is placed

in a group home has relationships with individuals other than the

child's siblings that are important to the child, consistent with the

child's best interests, and actions taken to maintain those

relationships.  The social worker shall ask every child who is 10

years of age or older who is placed in a group home to identify any

individuals other than the child's siblings who are important to the

child, consistent with the child's best interest, and may ask any

child who is younger than 10 years of age to provide that

information, as appropriate.

 

366.21.  (a) Every hearing conducted by the juvenile court reviewing

the status of a dependent child shall be placed on the appearance

calendar.  The court shall advise all persons present at the hearing

of the date of the future hearing and of their right to be present

and represented by counsel.

   (b) Except as provided in Sections 294 and 295, notice of the

hearing shall be provided pursuant to Section 293.

   (c) At least 10 calendar days prior to the hearing, the social

worker shall file a supplemental report with the court regarding the

services provided or offered to the parent or legal guardian to

enable him or her to assume custody and the efforts made to achieve

legal permanence for the child if efforts to reunify fail, including,

but not limited to, efforts to maintain relationships between the

child and individuals who are important to the child, the progress

made, and, where relevant, the prognosis for return of the child to

the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian, and

shall make his or her recommendation for disposition.  If the child

is a member of a sibling group described in paragraph (3) of

subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, the report and recommendation may

also take into account those factors described in subdivision (e)

relating to the child's sibling group.  If the recommendation is not

to return the child to a parent or legal guardian, the report shall

specify why the return of the child would be detrimental to the

child.  The social worker shall provide the parent or legal guardian

and counsel for the child with a copy of the report, including his or

her recommendation for disposition, at least 10 calendar days prior

to the hearing.  In the case of a child removed from the physical

custody of his or her parent or legal guardian, the social worker

shall, at least 10 calendar days prior to the hearing, provide a

summary of his or her recommendation for disposition to any

court-appointed child advocate, and any foster parents, relative

caregivers, certified foster parents who have been approved for

adoption by the State Department of Social Services when it is acting

as an adoption agency in counties that are not served by a county

adoption agency or by a licensed county adoption agency, community

care facility, or foster family agency having the physical custody of

the child.

   (d) Prior to any hearing involving a child in the physical custody

of a community care facility or a foster family agency that may

result in the return of the child to the physical custody of his or

her parent or legal guardian, or in adoption or the creation of a

legal guardianship, the facility or agency shall file with the court

a report containing its recommendation for disposition.  Prior to the

hearing involving a child in the physical custody of a foster

parent, a relative caregiver, or a certified foster parent who has

been approved for adoption by the State Department of Social Services

when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a licensed adoption

agency, the foster parent, relative caregiver, or the certified

foster parent who has been approved for adoption by the State

Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency

in counties that are not served by a county adoption agency or by a

licensed county adoption agency, may file with the court a report

containing his or her recommendation for disposition.  The court

shall consider the report and recommendation filed pursuant to this

subdivision prior to determining any disposition.

   (e) At the review hearing held six months after the initial

dispositional hearing, the court shall order the return of the child

to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian unless

the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the return

of the child to his or her parent or legal guardian would create a

substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection, or physical

or emotional well-being of the child.  The social worker shall have

the burden of establishing that detriment.  The failure of the parent

or legal guardian to participate regularly and make substantive

progress in court-ordered treatment programs shall be prima facie

evidence that return would be detrimental.  In making its

determination, the court shall review and consider the social worker'

s report and recommendations and the report and recommendations of

any child advocate appointed pursuant to Section 356.5; and shall

consider the efforts or progress, or both, demonstrated by the parent

or legal guardian and the extent to which he or she availed himself

or herself of services provided.

   Whether or not the child is returned to a parent or legal

guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its

conclusion that the return would be detrimental or would not be

detrimental.  The court also shall make appropriate findings pursuant

to subdivision (a) of Section 366; and, where relevant, shall order

any additional services reasonably believed to facilitate the return

of the child to the custody of his or her parent or legal guardian.

The court shall also inform the parent or legal guardian that if the

child cannot be returned home by the 12-month permanency hearing, a

proceeding pursuant to Section 366.26 may be instituted.  This

section does not apply in a case where, pursuant to Section 361.5,

the court has ordered that reunification services shall not be

provided.

   If the child was under the age of three years on the date of the

initial removal, or is a member of a sibling group described in

paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, and the court

finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent failed to

participate regularly and make substantive progress in a

court-ordered treatment plan, the court may schedule a hearing

pursuant to Section 366.26 within 120 days.  If, however, the court

finds there is a substantial probability that the child, who was

under the age of three years on the date of initial removal or is a

member of a sibling group described in paragraph (3) of subdivision

(a) of Section 361.5, may be returned to his or her parent or legal

guardian within six months or that reasonable services have not been

provided, the court shall continue the case to the 12-month

permanency hearing.

   For the purpose of placing and maintaining a sibling group

together in a permanent home, the court, in making its determination

to schedule a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 for some or all

members of a sibling group, as described in paragraph (3) of

subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, shall review and consider the

social worker's report and recommendations.  Factors the report shall

address, and the court shall consider, may include, but need not be

limited to, whether the sibling group was removed from parental care

as a group, the closeness and strength of the sibling bond, the ages

of the siblings, the appropriateness of maintaining the sibling group

together, the detriment to the child if sibling ties are not

maintained, the likelihood of finding a permanent home for the

sibling group, whether the sibling group is currently placed together

in a preadoptive home or has a concurrent plan goal of legal

permanency in the same home, the wishes of each child whose age and

physical and emotional condition permits a meaningful response, and

the best interest of each child in the sibling group.  The court

shall specify the factual basis for its finding that it is in the

best interest of each child to schedule a hearing pursuant to Section

366.26 in 120 days for some or all of the members of the sibling

group.

   If the child was removed initially under subdivision (g) of

Section 300 and the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that

the whereabouts of the parent are still unknown, or the parent has

failed to contact and visit the child, the court may schedule a

hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 within 120 days.  If the court

finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent has been

convicted of a felony indicating parental unfitness, the court may

schedule a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 within 120 days.

   If the child had been placed under court supervision with a

previously noncustodial parent pursuant to Section 361.2, the court

shall determine whether supervision is still necessary.  The court

may terminate supervision and transfer permanent custody to that

parent, as provided for by paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of

Section 361.2.

   In all other cases, the court shall direct that any reunification

services previously ordered shall continue to be offered to the

parent or legal guardian pursuant to the time periods set forth in

subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, provided that the court may modify

the terms and conditions of those services.

   If the child is not returned to his or her parent or legal

guardian, the court shall determine whether reasonable services that

were designed to aid the parent or legal guardian in overcoming the

problems that led to the initial removal and the continued custody of

the child have been provided or offered to the parent or legal

guardian.  The court shall order that those services be initiated,

continued, or terminated.

   (f) The permanency hearing shall be held no later than 12 months

after the date the child entered foster care, as that date is

determined pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 361.5.  At the

permanency hearing, the court shall determine the permanent plan for

the child, which shall include a determination of whether the child

will be returned to the child's home and, if so, when, within the

time limits of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5.  The court shall

order the return of the child to the physical custody of his or her

parent or legal guardian unless the court finds, by a preponderance

of the evidence, that the return of the child to his or her parent or

legal guardian would create a substantial risk of detriment to the

safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the child.

  The social worker shall have the burden of establishing that

detriment.  The court shall also determine whether reasonable

services that were designed to aid the parent or legal guardian to

overcome the problems that led to the initial removal and continued

custody of the child have been provided or offered to the parent or

legal guardian.  For each youth 16 years of age and older, the court

shall also determine whether services have been made available to

assist him or her in making the transition from foster care to

independent living.  The failure of the parent or legal guardian to

participate regularly and make substantive progress in court-ordered

treatment programs shall be prima facie evidence that return would be

detrimental.  In making its determination, the court shall review

and consider the social worker's report and recommendations and the

report and recommendations of any child advocate appointed pursuant

to Section 356.5, shall consider the efforts or progress, or both,

demonstrated by the parent or legal guardian and the extent to which

he or she availed himself or herself of services provided, and shall

make appropriate findings pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366.

   Whether or not the child is returned to his or her parent or legal

guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its

decision.  If the child is not returned to a parent or legal

guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its

conclusion that the return would be detrimental.  The court also

shall make a finding pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366.

   (g) If the time period in which the court-ordered services were

provided has met or exceeded the time period set forth in paragraph

(1), (2), or (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, as appropriate,

and a child is not returned to the custody of a parent or legal

guardian at the permanency hearing held pursuant to subdivision (f),

the court shall do one of the following:

   (1) Continue the case for up to six months for a permanency review

hearing, provided that the hearing shall occur within 18 months of

the date the child was originally taken from the physical custody of

his or her parent or legal guardian.  The court shall continue the

case only if it finds that there is a substantial probability that

the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her

parent or legal guardian and safely maintained in the home within the

extended period of time or that reasonable services have not been

provided to the parent or legal guardian.  For the purposes of this

section, in order to find a substantial probability that the child

will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or

legal guardian and safely maintained in the home within the extended

period of time, the court shall be required to find all of the

following:

   (A) That the parent or legal guardian has consistently and

regularly contacted and visited with the child.

   (B) That the parent or legal guardian has made significant

progress in resolving problems that led to the child's removal from

the home.

   (C) The parent or legal guardian has demonstrated the capacity and

ability both to complete the objectives of his or her treatment plan

and to provide for the child's safety, protection, physical and

emotional well-being, and special needs.

   For purposes of this subdivision, the court's decision to continue

the case based on a finding or substantial probability that the

child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent

or legal guardian is a compelling reason for determining that a

hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 is not in the best interests

of the child.

   The court shall inform the parent or legal guardian that if the

child cannot be returned home by the next permanency review hearing,

a proceeding pursuant to Section 366.26 may be instituted.  The court

shall not order that a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 be held

unless there is clear and convincing evidence that reasonable

services have been provided or offered to the parent or legal

guardian.

   (2) Order that a hearing be held within 120 days, pursuant to

Section 366.26, but only if the court does not continue the case to

the permanency planning review hearing and there is clear and

convincing evidence that reasonable services have been provided or

offered to the parents or legal guardians.

   (3) Order that the child remain in long-term foster care, but only

if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence, based upon the

evidence already presented to it, including a recommendation by the

State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption

agency in counties that are not served by a county adoption agency or

by a licensed county adoption agency, that there is a compelling

reason for determining that a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26

is not in the best interest of the child because the child is not a

proper subject for adoption and has no one willing to accept legal

guardianship.  For purposes of this section, a recommendation by the

State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption

agency in counties that are not served by a county adoption agency or

by a licensed county adoption agency that adoption is not in the

best interest of the child shall constitute a compelling reason for

the court's determination.  That recommendation shall be based on the

present circumstances of the child and shall not preclude a

different recommendation at a later date if the child's circumstances

change.

   If the court orders that a child who is 10 years of age or older

remain in long-term foster care at a group home, the court shall

determine whether the agency has made reasonable efforts to maintain

the child's relationships with individuals other than the child's

siblings who are important to the child, consistent with the child's

best interests, and may make any appropriate order to ensure that

those relationships are maintained.

   (h) In any case in which the court orders that a hearing pursuant

to Section 366.26 shall be held, it shall also order the termination

of reunification services to the parent or legal guardian.  The court

shall continue to permit the parent or legal guardian to visit the

child pending the hearing unless it finds that visitation would be

detrimental to the child. The court shall make any other appropriate

orders to enable the child to maintain relationships with other

individuals who are important to the child.

   (i) Whenever a court orders that a hearing pursuant to Section

366.26 shall be held, it shall direct the agency supervising the

child and the licensed county adoption agency, or the State

Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency

in counties that are not served by a county adoption agency, to

prepare an assessment that shall include:

   (1) Current search efforts for an absent parent or parents or

legal guardians.

   (2) A review of the amount of and nature of any contact between

the child and his or her parents or legal guardians and other members

of his or her extended family since the time of placement.  Although

the extended family of each child shall be reviewed on a

case-by-case basis, "extended family" for the purpose of this

paragraph shall include, but not be limited to, the child's siblings,

grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

   (3) An evaluation of the child's medical, developmental,

scholastic, mental, and emotional status.

   (4) A preliminary assessment of the eligibility and commitment of

any identified prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian,

particularly the caretaker, to include a social history including

screening for criminal records and prior referrals for child abuse or

neglect, the capability to meet the child's needs, and the

understanding of the legal and financial rights and responsibilities

of adoption and guardianship.  If a proposed guardian is a relative

of the minor, and the relative was assessed for foster care placement

of the minor prior to January 1, 1998, the assessment shall also

consider, but need not be limited to, all of the factors specified in

subdivision (a) of Section 361.3.

   (5) The relationship of the child to any identified prospective

adoptive parent or legal guardian, the duration and character of the

relationship, the motivation for seeking adoption or guardianship,

and a statement from the child concerning placement and the adoption

or guardianship, unless the child's age or physical, emotional, or

other condition precludes his or her meaningful response, and if so,

a description of the condition.

   (6) A description of efforts to be made to identify a prospective

adoptive parent or legal guardian, including, but not limited to,

child specific recruitment and listing on an adoption exchange.

   (7) An analysis of the likelihood that the child will be adopted

if parental rights are terminated.

   (j) If, at any hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26, a

guardianship is established for the minor with a relative, and

juvenile court dependency is subsequently dismissed, the relative

shall be eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP program as provided in

Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of

Division 9.

   (k) As used in this section, "relative" means an adult who is

related to the minor by blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth

degree of kinship, including stepparents, stepsiblings, and all

relatives whose status is preceded by the words "great,"

"great-great," or "grand," or the spouse of any of those persons even

if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution.

   (l) For purposes of this section, evidence of any of the following

circumstances shall not, in and of itself, be deemed a failure to

provide or offer reasonable services:

   (1) The child has been placed with a foster family that is

eligible to adopt a child, or has been placed in a preadoptive home.

   (2) The case plan includes services to make and finalize a

permanent placement for the child if efforts to reunify fail.

   (3) Services to make and finalize a permanent placement for the

child, if efforts to reunify fail, are provided concurrently with

services to reunify the family.

 

366.22.  (a) When a case has been continued pursuant to paragraph

(1) of subdivision (g) of Section 366.21, the permanency review

hearing shall occur within 18 months after the date the child was

originally removed from the physical custody of his or her parent or

legal guardian.  The court shall order the return of the child to the

physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian unless the

court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the return of

the child to his or her parent or legal guardian would create a

substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection, or physical

or emotional well-being of the child.  The social worker shall have

the burden of establishing that detriment.  The failure of the parent

or legal guardian to participate regularly and make substantive

progress in court-ordered treatment programs shall be prima facie

evidence that return would be detrimental.  In making its

determination, the court shall review and consider the social worker'

s report and recommendations and the report and recommendations of

any child advocate appointed pursuant to Section 356.5; shall

consider the efforts or progress, or both, demonstrated by the parent

or legal guardian and the extent to which he or she availed himself

or herself of services provided; and shall make appropriate findings

pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366.

   Whether or not the child is returned to his or her parent or legal

guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its

decision.  If the child is not returned to a parent or legal

guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its

conclusion that return would be detrimental.

   If the child is not returned to a parent or legal guardian at the

permanency review hearing, the court shall order that a hearing be

held pursuant to Section 366.26 in order to determine whether

adoption, guardianship, or long-term foster care is the most

appropriate plan for the child.  However, if the court finds by clear

and convincing evidence, based on the evidence already presented to

it, including a recommendation by the State Department of Social

Services when it is acting as an adoption agency in counties that are

not served by a county adoption agency or by a licensed county

adoption agency, that there is a compelling reason, as described in

paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 366.21, for determining

that a hearing held under Section 366.26 is not in the best interest

of the child because the child is not a proper subject for adoption

and has no one willing to accept legal guardianship, then the court

may, only under these circumstances, order that the child remain in

foster care.  If the court orders that a child who is 10 years of age

or older remain in long-term foster care with a nonrelative, the

court shall determine whether the agency has made reasonable efforts

to maintain the child's relationships with individuals other than the

child's siblings who are important to the child, consistent with the

child's best interests, and may make any appropriate order to ensure

that those relationships are maintained.  The hearing shall be held

no later than 120 days from the date of the permanency review

hearing.  The court shall also order termination of reunification

services to the parent or legal guardian.  The court shall continue

to permit the parent or legal guardian to visit the child unless it

finds that visitation would be detrimental to the child.  The court

shall determine whether reasonable services have been offered or

provided to the parent or legal guardian.  For purposes of this

subdivision, evidence of any of the following circumstances shall

not, in and of themselves, be deemed a failure to provide or offer

reasonable services:

   (1) The child has been placed with a foster family that is

eligible to adopt a child, or has been placed in a preadoptive home.

   (2) The case plan includes services to make and finalize a

permanent placement for the child if efforts to reunify fail.

   (3) Services to make and finalize a permanent placement for the

child, if efforts to reunify fail, are provided concurrently with

services to reunify the family.

   (b) Whenever a court orders that a hearing pursuant to Section

366.26 shall be held, it shall direct the agency supervising the

child and the licensed county adoption agency, or the State

Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency

in counties that are not served by a county adoption agency, to

prepare an assessment that shall include:

   (1) Current search efforts for an absent parent or parents.

   (2) A review of the amount of and nature of any contact between

the child and his or her parents and other members of his or her

extended family since the time of placement.  Although the extended

family of each child shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis,

"extended family" for the purposes of this paragraph shall include,

but not be limited to, the child's siblings, grandparents, aunts, and

uncles.

   (3) An evaluation of the child's medical, developmental,

scholastic, mental, and emotional status.

   (4) A preliminary assessment of the eligibility and commitment of

any identified prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian,

particularly the caretaker, to include a social history including

screening for criminal records and prior referrals for child abuse or

neglect, the capability to meet the child's needs, and the

understanding of the legal and financial rights and responsibilities

of adoption and guardianship.  If a proposed legal guardian is a

relative of the minor, and the relative was assessed for foster care

placement of the minor prior to January 1, 1998, the assessment shall

also consider, but need not be limited to, all of the factors

specified in subdivision (a) of Section 361.3.

   (5) The relationship of the child to any identified prospective

adoptive parent or legal guardian, the duration and character of the

relationship, the motivation for seeking adoption or legal

guardianship, and a statement from the child concerning placement and

the adoption or legal guardianship, unless the child's age or

physical, emotional, or other condition precludes his or her

meaningful response, and if so, a description of the condition.

   (6) An analysis of the likelihood that the child will be adopted

if parental rights are terminated.

   (c) This section shall become operative January 1, 1999.  If at

any hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26, a legal guardianship is

established for the minor with a relative, and juvenile court

dependency is subsequently dismissed, the relative shall be eligible

for aid under the Kin-GAP program as provided in Article 4.5

(commencing with Section 11360) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9.

   (d) As used in this section, "relative" means an adult who is

related to the child by blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth

degree of kinship, including stepparents, stepsiblings, and all

relatives whose status is preceded by the words "great,"

"great-great," or "grand," or the spouse of any of those persons even

if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution.

 

 

366.26.  (a) This section applies to children who are adjudged

dependent children of the juvenile court pursuant to subdivision (c)

of Section 360.  The procedures specified herein are the exclusive

procedures for conducting these hearings; Part 2 (commencing with

Section 3020) of Division 8 of the Family Code is not applicable to

these proceedings.  Section 8714.7 of the Family Code is applicable

and available to all dependent children meeting the requirements of

that section, if the postadoption contact agreement has been entered

into voluntarily.  For children who are adjudged dependent children

of the juvenile court pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 360,

this section and Sections 8604, 8605, 8606, and 8700 of the Family

Code and Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 7660) of Part 3 of

Division 12 of the Family Code specify the exclusive procedures for

permanently terminating parental rights with regard to, or

establishing legal guardianship of, the child while the child is a

dependent child of the juvenile court.

   (b) At the hearing, that shall be held in juvenile court for all

children who are dependents of the juvenile court, the court, in

order to provide stable, permanent homes for these children, shall

review the report as specified in Section 361.5, 366.21, or 366.22,

shall indicate that the court has read and considered it, shall

receive other evidence that the parties may present, and then shall

make findings and orders in the following order of preference:

   (1) Terminate the rights of the parent or parents and order that

the child be placed for adoption and, upon the filing of a petition

for adoption in the juvenile court, order that a hearing be set.  The

court shall proceed with the adoption after the appellate rights of

the natural parents have been exhausted.

   (2) On making a finding under paragraph (3) of subdivision (c),

identify adoption as the permanent placement goal and order that

efforts be made to locate an appropriate adoptive family for the

child within a period not to exceed 180 days.

   (3) Appoint a legal guardian for the child and order that letters

of guardianship issue.

   (4) Order that the child be placed in long-term foster care,

subject to the periodic review of the juvenile court under Section

366.3.

   In choosing among the above alternatives the court shall proceed

pursuant to subdivision (c).

   (c) (1) If the court determines, based on the assessment provided

as ordered under subdivision (i) of Section 366.21 or subdivision (b)

of Section 366.22, and any other relevant evidence, by a clear and

convincing standard, that it is likely the child will be adopted, the

court shall terminate parental rights and order the child placed for

adoption.  The fact that the child is not yet placed in a

preadoptive home nor with a relative or foster family who is prepared

to adopt the child, shall not constitute a basis for the court to

conclude that it is not likely the child will be adopted.  A finding

under subdivision (b) or paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section

361.5 that reunification services shall not be offered, under

subdivision (e) of Section 366.21 that the whereabouts of a parent

have been unknown for six months or that the parent has failed to

visit or contact the child for six months or that the parent has been

convicted of a felony indicating parental unfitness, or, under

Section 366.21 or 366.22, that the court has continued to remove the

child from the custody of the parent or guardian and has terminated

reunification services, shall constitute a sufficient basis for

termination of parental rights unless the court finds a compelling

reason for determining that termination would be detrimental to the

child due to one or more of the following circumstances:

   (A) The parents or guardians have maintained regular visitation

and contact with the child and the child would benefit from

continuing the relationship.

   (B) A child 12 years of age or older objects to termination of

parental rights.

   (C) The child is placed in a residential treatment facility,

adoption is unlikely or undesirable, and continuation of parental

rights will not prevent finding the child a permanent family

placement if the parents cannot resume custody when residential care

is no longer needed.

   (D) The child is living with a relative or foster parent who is

unable or unwilling to adopt the child because of exceptional

circumstances, that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal

or financial responsibility for the child, but who is willing and

capable of providing the child with a stable and permanent

environment and the removal of the child from the physical custody of

his or her relative or foster parent would be detrimental to the

emotional well-being of the child.  This subparagraph does not apply

to any child who is living with a nonrelative and who is either (i)

under six years of age or (ii) a member of a sibling group where at

least one child is under six years of age and the siblings are, or

should be, permanently placed together.

   (E) There would be substantial interference with a child's sibling

relationship, taking into consideration the nature and extent of the

relationship, including, but not limited to, whether the child was

raised with a sibling in the same home, whether the child shared

significant common experiences or has existing close and strong bonds

with a sibling, and whether ongoing contact is in the child's best

interest, including the child's long-term emotional interest, as

compared to the benefit of legal permanence through adoption.

   If the court finds that termination of parental rights would be

detrimental to the child pursuant to subparagraph (A), (B), (C), (D),

or (E), it shall state its reasons in writing or on the record.

   (2) The court shall not terminate parental rights if at each and

every hearing at which the court was required to consider reasonable

efforts or services, the court has found that reasonable efforts were

not made or that reasonable services were not offered or provided.

   (3) If the court finds that termination of parental rights would

not be detrimental to the child pursuant to paragraph (1) and that

the child has a probability for adoption but is difficult to place

for adoption and there is no identified or available prospective

adoptive parent, the court may identify adoption as the permanent

placement goal and without terminating parental rights, order that

efforts be made to locate an appropriate adoptive family for the

child within a period not to exceed 180 days.  During this 180-day

period, the public agency responsible for seeking adoptive parents

for each child shall, to the extent possible, ask each child who is

10 years of age or older to identify any individuals who are

important to the child, to identify potential adoptive parents.  The

public agency may ask any child who is younger than 10 years of age

to provide that information, as appropriate.  During the 180-day

period, the public agency shall, to the extent possible, contact

other private and public adoption agencies regarding the availability

of the child for adoption.  During the 180-day period, the public

agency shall conduct the search for adoptive parents in the same

manner as prescribed for children in Sections 8708 and 8709 of the

Family Code.  At the expiration of this period, another hearing shall

be held and the court shall proceed pursuant to paragraph (1), (3),

or  of subdivision (b).  For purposes of this section, a child may

only be found to be difficult to place for adoption if there is no

identified or available prospective adoptive parent for the child

because of the child's membership in a sibling group, or the presence

of a diagnosed medical, physical, or mental handicap, or the child

is the age of seven years or more.

   (4) (A) If the court finds that adoption of the child or

termination of parental rights is not in the best interest of the

child, because one of the conditions in subparagraph (A), (B), (C),

(D), or (E) of paragraph (1) or in paragraph (2) applies, the court

shall either order that the present caretakers or other appropriate

persons shall become legal guardians of the child or order that the

child remain in long-term foster care.  Legal guardianship shall be

considered before long-term foster care, if it is in the best

interests of the child and if a suitable guardian can be found.  A

child who is 10 years of age or older who is placed in a group home

shall be asked to identify any individuals who are important to the

child to identify potential guardians.  The agency may ask any child

who is younger than 10 years of age to provide that information, as

appropriate.

   (B) If the child is living with a relative or a foster parent who

is willing and capable of providing a stable and permanent

environment, but not willing to become a legal guardian, the child

shall not be removed from the home if the court finds the removal

would be seriously detrimental to the emotional well-being of the

child because the child has substantial psychological ties to the

relative caretaker or foster parents.  The court shall also make an

order for visitation with the parents or guardians unless the court

finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the visitation would be

detrimental to the physical or emotional well-being of the child.

   (5) If the court finds that the child should not be placed for

adoption, that legal guardianship shall not be established, and that

there are no suitable foster parents except exclusive-use homes

available to provide the child with a stable and permanent

environment, the court may order the care, custody, and control of

the child transferred from the county welfare department to a

licensed foster family agency.  The court shall consider the written

recommendation of the county welfare director regarding the

suitability of the transfer.  The transfer shall be subject to

further court orders.

   The licensed foster family agency shall place the child in a

suitable licensed or exclusive-use home which has been certified by

the agency as meeting licensing standards.  The licensed foster

family agency shall be responsible for supporting the child and for

providing appropriate services to the child, including those services

ordered by the court.  Responsibility for the support of the child

shall not, in and of itself, create liability on the part of the

foster family agency to third persons injured by the child.  Those

children whose care, custody, and control are transferred to a foster

family agency shall not be eligible for foster care maintenance

payments or child welfare services, except for emergency response

services pursuant to Section 16504.

   (d) The proceeding for the appointment of a guardian for a child

who is a dependent of the juvenile court shall be in the juvenile

court.  If the court finds pursuant to this section that legal

guardianship is the appropriate permanent plan, it shall appoint the

legal guardian and issue letters of guardianship.  The assessment

prepared pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 361.5, subdivision

(i) of Section 366.21, and subdivision (b) of Section 366.22 shall be

read and considered by the court prior to the appointment, and this

shall be reflected in the minutes of the court.  The person preparing

the assessment may be called and examined by any party to the

proceeding.

   (e) The proceeding for the adoption of a child who is a dependent

of the juvenile court shall be in the juvenile court if the court

finds pursuant to this section that adoption is the appropriate

permanent plan and the petition for adoption is filed in the juvenile

court.  Upon the filing of a petition for adoption, the juvenile

court shall order that an adoption hearing be set.  The court shall

proceed with the adoption after the appellate rights of the natural

parents have been exhausted.  The full report required by Section

8715 of the Family Code shall be read and considered by the court

prior to the adoption and this shall be reflected in the minutes of

the court.  The person preparing the report may be called and

examined by any party to the proceeding.  It is the intent of the

Legislature, pursuant to this subdivision, to give potential adoptive

parents the option of filing in the juvenile court the petition for

the adoption of a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court.

Nothing in this section is intended to prevent the filing of a

petition for adoption in any other court as permitted by law, instead

of in the juvenile court.

   (f) At the beginning of any proceeding pursuant to this section,

if the child or the parents are not being represented by previously

retained or appointed counsel, the court shall proceed as follows:

   (1) The court shall consider whether the interests of the child

require the appointment of counsel.  If the court finds that the

interests of the child do require this protection, the court shall

appoint counsel to represent the child.  If the court finds that the

interests of the child require the representation of counsel, counsel

shall be appointed whether or not the child is able to afford

counsel.   A child under 10 years of age may not be present in court

unless the child or the child's counsel so requests or the court so

orders.

   (2) If a parent appears without counsel and is unable to afford

counsel, the court shall appoint counsel for the parent, unless this

representation is knowingly and intelligently waived.  The same

counsel shall not be appointed to represent both the child and his or

her parent.  The public defender or private counsel may be appointed

as counsel for the parent.

   (3) Private counsel appointed under this section shall receive a

reasonable sum for compensation and expenses, the amount of which

shall be determined by the court.  The amount shall be paid by the

real parties in interest, other than the child, in any proportions

the court deems just.  However, if the court finds that any of the

real parties in interest are unable to afford counsel, the amount

shall be paid out of the general fund of the county.

   (g) The court may continue the proceeding for not to exceed 30

days as necessary to appoint counsel, and to enable counsel to become

acquainted with the case.

   (h) (1) At all proceedings under this section, the court shall

consider the wishes of the child and shall act in the best interests

of the child.

   (2) If the child is 10 years of age or older and is not present at

a hearing held pursuant to this section, the court shall determine

whether the minor was properly notified of his or her right to attend

the hearing and inquire as to the reason why the child is not

present.

   (3) (A) The testimony of the child may be taken in chambers and

outside the presence of the child's parent or parents if the child's

parent or parents are represented by counsel, the counsel is present,

and any of the following circumstances exist:

   (i) The court determines that testimony in chambers is necessary

to ensure truthful testimony.

   (ii) The child is likely to be intimidated by a formal courtroom

setting.

   (iii) The child is afraid to testify in front of his or her parent

or parents.

   (B) After testimony in chambers, the parent or parents of the

child may elect to have the court reporter read back the testimony or

have the testimony summarized by counsel for the parent or parents.

   (C) The testimony of a child also may be taken in chambers and

outside the presence of the guardian or guardians of a child under

the circumstances specified in this subdivision.

   (i) Any order of the court permanently terminating parental rights

under this section shall be conclusive and binding upon the child,

upon the parent or parents and upon all other persons who have been

served with citation by publication or otherwise as provided in this

chapter.  After making the order, the court shall have no power to

set aside, change, or modify it, but nothing in this section shall be

construed to limit the right to appeal the order.

   (j) If the court, by order or judgment declares the child free

from the custody and control of both parents, or one parent if the

other does not have custody and control, the court shall at the same

time order the child referred to the State Department of Social

Services or a licensed adoption agency for adoptive placement by the

agency.  However, no petition for adoption may be granted until the

appellate rights of the natural parents have been exhausted.  The

State Department of Social Services or licensed adoption agency shall

be responsible for the custody and supervision of the child and

shall be entitled to the exclusive care and control of the child at

all times until a petition for adoption is granted.  With the consent

of the agency, the court may appoint a guardian of the child, who

shall serve until the child is adopted.

   (k) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the application of

any person who, as a relative caretaker or foster parent, has cared

for a dependent child for whom the court has approved a permanent

plan for adoption, or who has been freed for adoption, shall be given

preference with respect to that child over all other applications

for adoptive placement if the agency making the placement determines

that the child has substantial emotional ties to the relative

caretaker or foster parent and removal from the relative caretaker or

foster parent would be seriously detrimental to the child's

emotional well-being.

   As used in this subdivision, "preference" means that the

application shall be processed and, if satisfactory, the family study

shall be completed before the processing of the application of any

other person for the adoptive placement of the child.

   (l) (1) An order by the court that a hearing pursuant to this

section be held is not appealable at any time unless all of the

following applies:

   (A) A petition for extraordinary writ review was filed in a timely

manner.

   (B) The petition substantively addressed the specific issues to be

challenged and supported that challenge by an adequate record.

   (C) The petition for extraordinary writ review was summarily

denied or otherwise not decided on the merits.

   (2) Failure to file a petition for extraordinary writ review

within the period specified by rule, to substantively address the

specific issues challenged, or to support that challenge by an

adequate record shall preclude subsequent review by appeal of the

findings and orders made pursuant to this section.

   (3) The Judicial Council shall adopt rules of court, effective

January 1, 1995, to ensure all of the following:

   (A) A trial court, after issuance of an order directing a hearing

pursuant to this section be held, shall advise all parties of the

requirement of filing a petition for extraordinary writ review as set

forth in this subdivision in order to preserve any right to appeal

in these issues.  This notice shall be made orally to a party if they

are present at the time of the making of the order or by first-class

mail by the clerk of the court to the last known address of a party

not present at the time of the making of the order.

   (B) The prompt transmittal of the records from the trial court to

the appellate court.

   (C) That adequate time requirements for counsel and court

personnel exist to implement the objective of this subdivision.

   (D) That the parent or guardian, or their trial counsel or other

counsel, is charged with the responsibility of filing a petition for

extraordinary writ relief pursuant to this subdivision.

   (4) The intent of this subdivision is to do both of the following:

   (A) Make every reasonable attempt to achieve a substantive and

meritorious review by the appellate court within the time specified

in Sections 366.21 and 366.22 for holding a hearing pursuant to this

section.

   (B) Encourage the appellate court to determine all writ petitions

filed pursuant to this subdivision on their merits.

   (5) This subdivision shall only apply to cases in which an order

to set a hearing pursuant to this section is issued on or after

January 1, 1995.

   (m) Except for subdivision (j), this section shall also apply to

minors adjudged wards pursuant to Section 727.31.

 

366.27.  (a) If a court, pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision

(g) of Section 366.21, Section 366.22, or Section 366.26, orders the

placement of a minor in a planned permanent living arrangement with a

relative, the court may authorize the relative to provide the same

legal consent for the minor's medical, surgical, and dental care as

the custodial parent of the minor.

   (b) If a court orders the placement of a minor in a planned

permanent living arrangement with a foster parent, relative

caretaker, or nonrelative extended family member as defined in

Section 362.7, the court may limit the right of the minor's parent or

guardian to make educational decisions on the minor's behalf, so

that the foster parent, relative caretaker, or nonrelative extended

family member may exercise the educational consent duties pursuant to

Section 56055 of the Education Code.

   (c) If a court orders the placement of a minor in a planned

permanent living arrangement, for purposes of this section, a foster

parent shall include a person, relative caretaker, or a nonrelative

extended family member as defined in Section 362.7, who has been

licensed or approved by the county welfare department, county

probation department, or the State Department of Social Services, or

has been  designated by the court as a specified placement.

 

366.28.  (a) The Legislature finds and declares that delays caused

by appeals from court orders designating the specific placement of a

dependent child after parental rights have been terminated may cause

a substantial detriment to the child.  The Legislature recognizes

that the juvenile court intervenes in placement decisions after

parental rights have been terminated only in exceptional

circumstances, and this section is not intended to place additional

authority or responsibility on the juvenile court.

   (b) (1) After parental rights have been terminated pursuant to

Section 366.26, an order by the court that a dependent child is to

reside in, be retained in, or be removed from a specific placement,

is not appealable at any time unless all of the following apply:

   (A) A petition for extraordinary writ review was filed in a timely

manner.

   (B) The petition substantively addressed the specific issues to be

challenged and supported that challenge by an adequate record.

   (C) The petition was summarily denied or otherwise not decided on

the merits.

   (2) Failure to file a petition for extraordinary writ review

within the period specified by rule of court, to substantively

address the specific placement order that is challenged, or to

support that challenge by an adequate record shall preclude

subsequent review by appeal of the findings and orders made pursuant

to this section.

   (c) This section does not affect the right of a parent, a legal

guardian, or the child to appeal any order that is otherwise

appealable and that is issued at a hearing held pursuant to Section

366.26.

   (d) The Judicial Council shall adopt a rule of court on or before

July 1, 2004, to implement this section.  This section shall become

operative after the rule of court is adopted.

 

366.29.  (a) When a court, pursuant to Section 366.26, orders that a

dependent child be placed for adoption, nothing in the adoption laws

of this state shall be construed to prevent the prospective adoptive

parent or parents of the child from expressing a willingness to

facilitate postadoptive sibling contact.  With the consent of the

adoptive parent or parents, the court may include in the final

adoption order provisions for the adoptive parent or parents to

facilitate postadoptive sibling contact.  In no event shall the

continuing validity of the adoption be contingent upon the

postadoptive contact, nor shall the ability of the adoptive parent or

parents and the child to change residence within or outside the

state be impaired by the order for contact.

   (b) If, following entry of an order for sibling contact pursuant

to subdivision (a), it is determined by the adoptive parent or

parents that sibling contact poses a threat to the health, safety, or

well-being of the adopted child, the adoptive parent or parents may

terminate the sibling contact, provided that the adoptive parent or

parents shall submit written notification to the court within 10 days

after terminating the contact, which notification shall specify to

the court the reasons why the health, safety, or well-being of the

adopted child would be threatened by continued sibling contact.

   (c) Upon the granting of the adoption petition and the issuing of

the order of adoption of a child who is a dependent of the juvenile

court, the jurisdiction of the juvenile court with respect to the

dependency proceedings of that child shall be terminated.

Nonetheless, the court granting the petition of adoption shall

maintain jurisdiction over the child for enforcement of the

postadoption contact agreement.  The court may only order compliance

with the postadoption contact agreement upon a finding of both of the

following:

   (1) The party seeking the enforcement participated, in good faith,

in mediation or other appropriate alternative dispute resolution

proceedings regarding the conflict, prior to the filing of the

enforcement action.

   (2) The enforcement is in the best interest of the child.

 

366.3.  (a) If a juvenile court orders a permanent plan of adoption

or legal guardianship pursuant to Section 360 or 366.26, the court

shall retain jurisdiction over the child until the child is adopted

or the legal guardianship is established, except as provided for in

Section 366.29.  The status of the child shall be reviewed every six

months to ensure that the adoption or legal guardianship is completed

as expeditiously as possible.  When the adoption of the child has

been granted, the court shall terminate its jurisdiction over the

child.  Following establishment of a legal guardianship, the court

may continue jurisdiction over the child as a dependent child of the

juvenile court or may terminate its dependency jurisdiction and

retain jurisdiction over the child as a ward of the legal

guardianship, as authorized by Section 366.4.  If, however, a

relative of the child is appointed the legal guardian of the child

and the child has been placed with the relative for at least 12

months, the court shall, except if the relative guardian objects, or

upon a finding of exceptional circumstances, terminate its dependency

jurisdiction and retain jurisdiction over the child as a ward of the

guardianship, as authorized by Section 366.4.  Following a

termination of parental rights the parent or parents shall not be a

party to, or receive notice of, any subsequent proceedings regarding

the child.

   (b) If the court has dismissed dependency jurisdiction following

the establishment of a legal guardianship, or no dependency

jurisdiction attached because of the granting of a legal guardianship

pursuant to Section 360, and the legal guardianship is subsequently

revoked or otherwise terminated, the county department of social

services or welfare department shall notify the juvenile court of

this fact.  The court may vacate its previous order dismissing

dependency jurisdiction over the child.

   Notwithstanding Section 1601 of the Probate Code, the proceedings

to terminate a legal guardianship that has been granted pursuant to

Section 360 or 366.26 shall be held in the juvenile court, unless the

termination is due to the emancipation or adoption of the child.

Prior to the hearing on a petition to terminate legal guardianship

pursuant to this paragraph, the court shall order the county

department of social services or welfare department to prepare a

report, for the court's consideration, that shall include an

evaluation of whether the child could safely remain in the legal

guardian's home, without terminating the legal guardianship, if

services were provided to the child or legal guardian.  If

applicable, the report shall also identify recommended services to

maintain the legal guardianship and set forth a plan for providing

those services.  If the petition to terminate legal guardianship is

granted, the juvenile court may resume dependency jurisdiction over

the child, and may order the county department of social services or

welfare department to develop a new permanent plan, which shall be

presented to the court within 60 days of the termination.  If no

dependency jurisdiction has attached, the social worker shall make

any investigation he or she deems necessary to determine whether the

child may be within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, as

provided in Section 328.

   Unless the parental rights of the child's parent or parents have

been terminated, they shall be notified that the legal guardianship

has been revoked or terminated and shall be entitled to participate

in the new permanency planning hearing.  The court shall try to place

the child in another permanent placement.  At the hearing, the

parents may be considered as custodians but the child shall not be

returned to the parent or parents unless they prove, by a

preponderance of the evidence, that reunification is the best

alternative for the child.  The court may, if it is in the best

interests of the child, order that reunification services again be

provided to the parent or parents.

   (c) If, following the establishment of a legal guardianship, the

county welfare department becomes aware of changed circumstances that

indicate adoption may be an appropriate plan for the child, the

department shall so notify the court.  The court may vacate its

previous order dismissing dependency jurisdiction over the child and

order that a hearing be held pursuant to Section 366.26 to determine

whether adoption or continued legal guardianship is the most

appropriate plan for the child.  The hearing shall be held no later

than 120 days from the date of the order.  If the court orders that a

hearing shall be held pursuant to Section 366.26, the court shall

direct the agency supervising the child and the licensed county

adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services if it is

acting as an adoption agency in counties that are not served by a

county adoption agency, to prepare an assessment under subdivision

(b) of Section 366.22.

   (d) If the child is in a placement other than the home of a legal

guardian and jurisdiction has not been dismissed, the status of the

child shall be reviewed at least every six months.  The review of the

status of a child for whom the court has ordered parental rights

terminated and who has been ordered placed for adoption shall be

conducted by the court.  The review of the status of a child for whom

the court has not ordered parental rights terminated and who has not

been ordered placed for adoption may be conducted by the court or an

appropriate local agency.  The court shall conduct the review under

the following circumstances:

   (1) Upon the request of the child's parents or legal guardians.

   (2) Upon the request of the child.

   (3) It has been 12 months since a hearing held pursuant to Section

366.26 or an order that the child remain in long-term foster care

pursuant to Section 366.21, 366.22, 366.26, or subdivision (g).

   (4) It has been 12 months since a review was conducted by the

court.

   The court shall determine whether or not reasonable efforts to

make and finalize a permanent placement for the child have been made.

   (e) Except as provided in subdivision (f), at the review held

every six months pursuant to subdivision (d), the reviewing body

shall inquire about the progress being made to provide a permanent

home for the child, shall consider the safety of the child, and shall

determine all of the following:

   (1) The continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the

placement.

   (2) Identification of individuals other than the child's siblings

who are important to a child who is 10 years of age or older who is

not placed with a relative, and actions necessary to maintain the

child's relationship with those individuals, provided that those

relationships are in the best interest of the child.  The social

worker shall ask every child who is 10 years of age or older who is

not placed with a relative to identify individuals other than the

child's siblings who are important to the child, and may ask any

child who is younger than 10 years of age to provide that

information, as appropriate.  The social worker shall make efforts to

identify other individuals who are important to the child,

consistent with the child's best interests.

   (3) The continuing appropriateness and extent of compliance with

the permanent plan for the child, including efforts to maintain

relationships between the child and individuals who are important to

the child and efforts to identify  a prospective adoptive  parent or

legal guardian, including, but not limited to, child specific

recruitment efforts and listing on an adoption exchange.

   (4) The extent of the agency's compliance with the child welfare

services case plan in making reasonable efforts to return the child

to a safe home and to complete whatever steps are necessary to

finalize the permanent placement of the child.

   (5) Whether there should be any limitation on the right of the

parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the child.  That

limitation shall be specifically addressed in the court order and

may not exceed what is necessary to protect the child.  If the court

specifically limits the right of the parent or guardian to make

educational decisions for the child, the court shall at the same time

appoint a responsible adult to make educational decisions for the

child pursuant to Section 361.

   (6) The adequacy of services provided to the child.  The court

shall consider the progress in providing the information and

documents to the child, as described in Section 391.  The court shall

also consider the need for, and progress in providing, the

assistance and services described in paragraphs (3) and (4) of

subdivision (b) of Section 391.

   (7) The extent of progress the parents or legal guardians have

made toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating

placement in foster care.

   (8) The likely date by which the child may be returned to and

safely maintained in the home, placed for adoption, legal

guardianship, or in another planned permanent living arrangement.

   (9) Whether the child has any siblings under the court's

jurisdiction, and, if any siblings exist, all of the following:

   (A) The nature of the relationship between the child and his or

her siblings.

   (B) The appropriateness of developing or maintaining the sibling

relationships pursuant to Section 16002.

   (C) If the siblings are not placed together in the same home, why

the siblings are not placed together and what efforts are being made

to place the siblings together, or why those efforts are not

appropriate.

   (D) If the siblings are not placed together, the frequency and

nature of the visits between siblings.

   (E) The impact of the sibling relationships on the child's

placement and planning for legal permanence.

   The factors the court may consider as indicators of the nature of

the child's sibling relationships include, but are not limited to,

whether the siblings were raised together in the same home, whether

the siblings have shared significant common experiences or have

existing close and strong bonds, whether either sibling expresses a

desire to visit or live with his or her sibling, as applicable, and

whether ongoing contact is in the child's best emotional interests.

   (10) For a child who is 16 years of age or older, the services

needed to assist the child to make the transition from foster care to

independent living.

   The reviewing body shall determine whether or not reasonable

efforts to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child have

been made.

   Each licensed foster family agency shall submit reports for each

child in its care, custody, and control to the court concerning the

continuing appropriateness and extent of compliance with the child's

permanent plan, the extent of compliance with the case plan, and the

type and adequacy of services provided to the child.

   Unless their parental rights have been permanently terminated, the

parent or parents of the child are entitled to receive notice of,

and participate in, those hearings.  It shall be presumed that

continued care is in the best interests of the child, unless the

parent or parents prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that

further efforts at reunification are the best alternative for the

child.  In those cases, the court may order that further

reunification services to return the child to a safe home environment

be provided to the parent or parents for a period not to exceed six

months.

   (f) At the review conducted by the court and held at least every

six months, regarding a child for whom the court has ordered parental

rights terminated and who has been ordered placed for adoption, the

county welfare department shall prepare and present to the court a

report describing the following:

   (1) The child's present placement.

   (2) The child's current physical, mental, emotional, and

educational status.

   (3) If the child has not been placed with a prospective adoptive

parent or guardian, identification of individuals who are important

to the child and actions necessary to maintain the child's

relationship with those individuals.  The agency shall ask every

child who is 10 years of age or older to identify any individuals who

are important to him or her, consistent with the child's best

interest, and may ask any child who is younger than 10 years of age

to provide that information as appropriate.  The agency shall make

efforts to identify other individuals who are important to the child.

   (4) Whether the child has been placed with a prospective adoptive

parent or parents.

   (5) Whether an adoptive placement agreement has been signed and

filed.

   (6) If the child has not been placed with a prospective adoptive

parent or parents, the efforts made to identify an appropriate

prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including, but not

limited to, child specific recruitment efforts and listing on an

adoption exchange.

   (7) Whether the final adoption order should include provisions for

postadoptive sibling contact pursuant to Section 366.29.

   (8) The progress of the search for an adoptive placement if one

has not been identified.

   (9) Any impediments to the adoption or the adoptive placement.

   (10) The anticipated date by which the child will be adopted, or

placed in an adoptive home.

   (11) The anticipated date by which an adoptive placement agreement

will be signed.

   (12) Recommendations for court orders that will assist in the

placement of the child for adoption or in the finalization of the

adoption.

   The court shall determine whether or not reasonable efforts to

make and finalize a permanent placement for the child have been made.

   The court shall make appropriate orders to protect the stability

of the child and to facilitate and expedite the permanent placement

and adoption of the child.

   (g) At the review held pursuant to subdivision (d) for a child in

long-term foster care, the court shall consider all permanency

planning options for the child including whether the child should be

returned to the home of the parent, placed for adoption, or appointed

a legal guardian, or, if compelling reasons exist for finding that

none of the foregoing options are in the best interest of the child,

whether the child should be placed in another planned permanent

living arrangement.  The court shall order that a hearing be held

pursuant to Section 366.26 unless it determines by clear and

convincing evidence, that there is a compelling reason for

determining that a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 is not in

the best interest of the child because the child is being returned to

the home of the parent, the child is not a proper subject for

adoption, or no one is willing to accept legal guardianship.  If the

licensed county adoption agency, or the department when it is acting

as an adoption agency in counties that are not served by a county

adoption agency, has determined it is unlikely that the child will be

adopted or one of the conditions described in paragraph (1) of

subdivision (c) of Section 366.26 applies, that fact shall constitute

a compelling reason for purposes of this subdivision.  Only upon

that determination may the court order that the child remain in

foster care, without holding a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26.

   (h) If, as authorized by subdivision (g), the court orders a

hearing pursuant to Section 366.26, the court shall direct the agency

supervising the child and the licensed county adoption agency, or

the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an

adoption agency in counties that are not served by a county adoption

agency, to prepare an assessment as provided for in subdivision (i)

of Section 366.21 or subdivision (b) of Section 366.22.  A hearing

held pursuant to Section 366.26 shall be held no later than 120 days

from the date of the 12-month review at which it is ordered, and at

that hearing the court shall determine whether adoption, legal

guardianship, or long-term foster care is the most appropriate plan

for the child.

 

366.4.  (a) Any minor for whom a guardianship has been established

resulting from the selection or implementation of a permanency plan

pursuant to Section 366.26 is within the jurisdiction of the juvenile

court.  For those minors, Part 2 (commencing with Section 1500) of

Division 4 of the Probate Code, relating to guardianship, shall not

apply.  If no specific provision of this code or the California Rules

of Court is applicable, the provisions applicable to the

administration of estates under Part 4 (commencing with Section 2100)

of Division 4 of the Probate Code govern so far as they are

applicable to like situations.

   (b) Nonrelated legal guardians of the person of a minor

established as a result of a permanency plan selected pursuant to

Section 366.26 shall be exempt from the provisions of Sections 2850

and 2851 of the Probate Code.

 

367.  (a) Whenever a person has been adjudged a dependent child of

the juvenile court and has been committed or otherwise disposed of as

provided in this chapter for the care of dependent children of the

juvenile court, the court may order that the dependent child be

detained in a suitable place designated as the court deems fit until

the execution of the order of commitment or of other disposition.

   (b) In any case in which a child is detained for more than 15 days

pending the execution of the order of commitment or of any other

disposition, the court shall periodically review the case to

determine whether the delay is reasonable.  These periodic reviews

shall be held at least every 15 days, commencing from the time the

child was initially detained pending the execution of the order of

commitment or of any other disposition, and during the course of each

review the court shall inquire regarding the action taken by the

social worker to carry out its order, the reasons for the delay, and

the effect of the delay upon the child.

 

368.  In a case where the residence of a dependent child of the

juvenile court is out of the state and in another state or foreign

country, or in a case where that child is a resident of this state

but his or her parents, relatives, guardian, or person charged with

his or her custody is in another state, the court may order that

child sent to his or her parents, relatives, or guardian, or to the

person charged with his or her custody, or, if the child is a

resident of a foreign country, to an official of a juvenile court of

that foreign country or an agency of a country authorized to accept

the  child, and in that case may order transportation and

accommodation furnished, with or without an attendant, as the court

deems necessary.  If the court deems an attendant necessary, the

court may order the social worker or other suitable person to serve

as  the attendant.  The social worker shall authorize the necessary

expenses of the child and of the attendant and claims therefor shall

be audited, allowed and paid in the same manner as other county

claims.

 

369.  (a) Whenever any person is taken into temporary custody under

Article 7 (commencing with Section 305) and is in need of medical,

surgical, dental, or other remedial care, the social worker may, upon

the recommendation of the attending physician and surgeon or, if the

person needs dental care and there is an attending dentist, the

attending dentist, authorize the performance of the medical,

surgical, dental, or other remedial care.  The social worker shall

notify the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis of

the person, if any, of the care found to be needed before that care

is provided, and if the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco

parentis objects, that care shall be given only upon order of the

court in the exercise of its discretion.

   (b) Whenever it appears to the juvenile court that any person

concerning whom a petition has been filed with the court is in need

of medical, surgical, dental, or other remedial care, and that there

is no parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis capable

of authorizing or willing to authorize the remedial care or treatment

for that person, the court, upon the written recommendation of a

licensed physician and surgeon or, if the person needs dental care, a

licensed dentist, and after due notice to the parent, guardian, or

person standing in loco parentis, if any, may make an order

authorizing the performance of the necessary medical, surgical,

dental, or other remedial care for that person.

   (c) Whenever a dependent child of the juvenile court is placed by

order of the court within the care and custody or under the

supervision of a social worker of the county in which the dependent

child resides and it appears to the court that there is no parent,

guardian, or person standing in loco parentis capable of authorizing

or willing to authorize medical, surgical, dental, or other remedial

care or treatment for the dependent child, the court may, after due

notice to the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis,

if any, order that the social worker may authorize the medical,

surgical, dental, or other remedial care for the dependent child, by

licensed practitioners, as may from time to time appear necessary.

   (d) Whenever it appears that a child otherwise within subdivision

(a), (b), or (c) requires immediate emergency medical, surgical, or

other remedial care in an emergency situation, that care may be

provided by a licensed physician and surgeon or, if the child needs

dental care in an emergency situation, by a licensed dentist, without

a court order and upon authorization of a social worker.  The social

worker shall make reasonable efforts to obtain the consent of, or to

notify, the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis

prior to authorizing emergency medical, surgical, dental, or other

remedial care.  "Emergency situation," for the purposes of this

subdivision means a child requires immediate treatment for the

alleviation of severe pain or an immediate diagnosis and treatment of

an unforeseeable medical, surgical, dental, or other remedial

condition or contagious disease which if not immediately diagnosed

and treated, would lead to serious disability or death.

   (e) In any case in which the court orders the performance of any

medical, surgical, dental, or other remedial care pursuant to this

section, the court may also make an order authorizing the release of

information concerning that care to social workers, parole officers,

or any other qualified individuals or agencies caring for or acting

in the interest and welfare of the child under order, commitment, or

approval of the court.

   (f) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the

right of a parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis, who

has not been deprived of the custody or control of the child by

order of the court, in providing any medical, surgical, dental, or

other remedial treatment recognized or permitted under the laws of

this state.

   (g) The parent of any person described in this section may

authorize the performance of medical, surgical, dental, or other

remedial care provided for in this section notwithstanding his or her

age or marital status.  In nonemergency situations the parent

authorizing the care shall notify the other parent prior to the

administration of that care.

 

369.5.  (a) If a child is adjudged a dependent child of the court

under Section 300 and the child has been removed from the physical

custody of the parent under Section 361, only a juvenile court

judicial officer shall have authority to make orders regarding the

administration of psychotropic medications for that child.  The

juvenile court may issue a specific order delegating this authority

to a parent upon making findings on the record that the parent poses

no danger to the child and has the capacity to authorize psychotropic

medications.  Court authorization for the administration of

psychotropic medication shall be based on a request from a physician,

indicating the reasons for the request, a description of the child's

diagnosis and behavior, the expected results of the medication, and

a description of any side effects of the medication.  On or before

July 1, 2000, the Judicial Council shall adopt rules of court and

develop appropriate forms for implementation of this section.

   (b) Psychotropic medication or psychotropic drugs are those

medications administered for the purpose of affecting the central

nervous system to treat psychiatric disorders or illnesses.  These

medications include, but are not limited to, anxiolytic agents,

antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medications,

anti-Parkinson agents, hypnotics, medications for dementia, and

psychostimulants.

   (c) Nothing in this section is intended to supersede local court

rules regarding a minor's right to participate in mental health

decisions.

 

370.  The juvenile court may, in any case before it in which a

petition has been filed as provided in Article 7 (commencing with

Section 305), order that the social worker obtain the services of

those psychiatrists, psychologists, or other clinical experts as may

be required to assist in determining the appropriate treatment of the

child and as may be required in the conduct or implementation of

that treatment.  Payment for those services shall be a charge against

the county.

 

375.  Whenever a petition is filed in the juvenile court of a county

other than the residence of the person named in the petition, or

whenever, subsequent to the filing of a petition in the juvenile

court of the county where such minor resides, the residence of the

person who would be legally entitled to the custody of such minor

were it not for the existence of a court order issued pursuant to

this chapter is changed to another county, the entire case may be

transferred to the juvenile court of the county wherein such person

then resides at any time after the court has made a finding of the

facts upon which it has exercised its jurisdiction over such minor,

and the juvenile court of the county wherein such person then resides

shall take jurisdiction of the case upon the receipt and filing with

it of such finding of the facts and an order transferring the case.

 

376.  The expense of the transfer and all expenses in connection

with the transfer and for the support and maintenance of such person

shall be paid from the county treasury of the court ordering the

transfer until the receipt and filing of the finding and order of

transfer in the juvenile court of the transferee county.

   The judge shall inquire into the financial condition of such

person and of the parent, parents, guardian, or other person charged

with his support and maintenance, and if he finds such person,

parent, parents, guardian, or other person able, in whole or in part,

to pay the expense of such transfer, he shall make a further order

requiring such person, parent, parents, guardian, or other person to

repay to the county such part, or all, of such expense of transfer

as, in the opinion of the court, is proper.  Such repayment shall be

made to the probation officer who shall keep suitable accounts of

such expenses and repayments and shall deposit all such collections

in the county treasury.

 

377.  Whenever a case is transferred as provided in Section 375, the

order of transfer shall recite each and all of the findings, orders,

or modification of orders that have been made in the case, and shall

include the name and address of the legal residence of the parent or

guardian of the minor.  All papers contained in the file shall be

transferred to the county where such person resides.  A copy of the

order of transfer and of the findings of fact as required in Section

375 shall be kept in the file of the transferring county.

 

378.  Whenever an order of transfer from another county is filed

with the clerk of any juvenile court, the clerk shall place the

transfer order on the calendar of the court, and it shall have

precedence over all actions and civil proceedings not specifically

given precedence by other provisions of law and shall be heard by the

court at the earliest possible moment following the filing of the

order.

 

379.  In any action under the provisions of this article in which

the residence of a minor person is determined, both the county in

which the court is situated and any other county which, as a result

of the determination of residence, might be determined to be the

county of residence of the minor person, shall be considered to be

parties in the action and shall have the right to appeal any order by

which residence of the minor person is determined.

 

380.  Any person adjudged to be a dependent child of the juvenile

court may be permitted by order of the court to reside in a county

other than the county of his or her legal residence, and the court

shall retain jurisdiction over that person.

   Whenever a dependent child of the juvenile court is permitted to

reside in a county other than the county of his or her legal

residence, he or she may be placed under the supervision of the

social worker of the county of actual residence, with the consent of

the social worker.  The dependent child shall comply with the

instructions of the social worker and upon failure to do so shall be

returned to the county of his or her legal residence for further

hearing and order of the court.

 

385.  Any order made by the court in the case of any person subject

to its jurisdiction may at any time be changed, modified, or set

aside, as the judge deems meet and proper, subject to such procedural

requirements as are imposed by this article.

 

386.  No order changing, modifying, or setting aside a previous

order of the juvenile court shall be made either in chambers, or

otherwise, unless prior notice of the application therefor has been

given by the judge or the clerk of the court to the social worker and

to the child's counsel of record, or, if there is no counsel of

record, to the child and his or her parent or guardian.

 

387.  An order changing or modifying a previous order by removing a

child from the physical custody of a parent, guardian, relative, or

friend and directing placement in a foster home, or commitment to a

private or county institution, shall be made only after noticed

hearing upon a supplemental petition.

   (a) The supplemental petition shall be filed by the social worker

in the original matter and shall contain a concise statement of facts

sufficient to support the conclusion that the previous disposition

has not been effective in the rehabilitation or protection of the

child or, in the case of a placement with a relative, sufficient to

show that the placement is not appropriate in view of the criteria in

Section 361.3.

   (b) Upon the filing of the supplemental petition, the clerk of the

juvenile court shall immediately set the same for hearing within 30

days, and the social worker shall cause notice thereof to be served

upon the persons and in the manner prescribed by Sections 290.1 and

291.

   (c) An order for the detention of the child pending adjudication

of the petition may be made only after a hearing is conducted

pursuant to Article 7 (commencing with Section 305).

 

388.  (a) Any parent or other person having an interest in a child

who is a dependent child of the juvenile court or the child himself

or herself through a properly appointed guardian may, upon grounds of

change of circumstance or new evidence, petition the court in the

same action in which the child was found to be a dependent child of

the juvenile court or in which a guardianship was ordered pursuant to

Section 360 for a hearing to change, modify, or set aside any order

of court previously made or to terminate the jurisdiction of the

court.  The petition shall be verified and, if made by a person other

than the child, shall state the petitioner's relationship to or

interest in the child and shall set forth in concise language any

change of circumstance or new evidence which are alleged to require

the change of order or termination of jurisdiction.

   (b) Any person, including a child who is a dependent of the

juvenile court, may petition the court to assert a relationship as a

sibling related by blood, adoption, or affinity through a common

legal or biological parent to a child who is, or is the subject of a

petition for adjudication as, a dependent of the juvenile court, and

may request visitation with the dependent child, placement with or

near the dependent child, or consideration when determining or

implementing a case plan or permanent plan for the dependent child or

make any other request for an order which may be shown to be in the

best interest of the dependent child.  The court may appoint a

guardian ad litem to file the petition for the dependent child

asserting the sibling relationship if the court determines that the

appointment is necessary for the best interests of the dependent

child.  The petition shall be verified and shall set forth the

following:

   (1) Through which parent he or she is related to the dependent

child.

   (2) Whether he or she is related to the dependent child by blood,

adoption, or affinity.

   (3) The request or order that the petitioner is seeking.

   (4) Why that request or order is in the best interest of the

dependent child.

   (c) If it appears that the best interests of the child may be

promoted by the proposed change of order, recognition of a sibling

relationship, or termination of jurisdiction, the court shall order

that a hearing be held and shall give prior notice, or cause prior

notice to be given, to the persons and by the means prescribed by

Section 386, and, in those instances in which the means of giving

notice is not prescribed by those sections, then by means the court

prescribes.

 

389.  (a) In any case in which a petition has been filed with a

juvenile court to commence proceedings to adjudge a person a

dependent child of the court, in any case in which a person is cited

to appear before a probation officer or is taken before a probation

officer pursuant to Section 307, or in any case in which a minor is

taken before any officer of a law enforcement agency, the person or

the county probation officer may, five years or more after the

jurisdiction of the juvenile court has terminated as to the person,

or, in a case in which no petition is filed, five years or more after

the person was cited to appear before a probation officer or was

taken before a probation officer pursuant to Section 307 or was taken

before any officer of a law enforcement agency, or, in any case, at

any time after the person has reached the age of 18 years, petition

the court for sealing of the records, including records of arrest,

relating to the person's case, in the custody of the juvenile court

and probation officer and any other agencies, including law

enforcement agencies, and public officials as petitioner alleges, in

his petition, to have custody of such records. The court shall notify

the district attorney of the county and the county probation

officer, if he is not the petitioner of the petition, and such

district attorney or probation officer or any of their deputies or

any other person having relevant evidence may testify at the hearing

on the petition.  If, after hearing, the court finds that since such

termination of jurisdiction or action pursuant to Section 307, as the

case may be, he has not been convicted of a felony or of any

misdemeanor involving moral turpitude and that rehabilitation has

been attained to the satisfaction of the court, it shall order sealed

all records, papers, and exhibits in the person's case in the

custody of the juvenile court, including the juvenile court record,

minute book entries, and entries on dockets, and other records

relating to the case in the custody of such other agencies and

officials as are named in the order.  Thereafter, the proceedings in

such case shall be deemed never to have occurred, and the person may

properly reply accordingly to any inquiry about the events, records

of which are ordered sealed.  The court shall send a copy of the

order to each agency and official named therein directing the agency

to seal its records and five years thereafter to destroy the sealed

records.  Each such agency and official shall seal records in its

custody as directed by the order, shall advise the court of its

compliance, and thereupon shall seal the copy of the court's order

for sealing of records that it or he received.  The person who is the

subject of records sealed pursuant to this section may petition the

superior court to permit inspection of the records by persons named

in the petition, and the superior court may so order.  Otherwise,

except as provided in subdivision (b), such records shall not be open

to inspection.

   (b) In any action or proceeding based upon defamation, a court,

upon a showing of good cause, may order any records sealed under this

section to be opened and admitted into evidence.  The records shall

be confidential and shall be available for inspection only by the

court, jury, parties, counsel for the parties, and any other person

who is authorized by the court to inspect them. Upon the judgment in

the action or proceeding becoming final, the court shall order the

records sealed.

   (c) Five years after a juvenile court record has been sealed, the

court shall  order the destruction of the sealed juvenile court

record unless for good cause the court determines that the juvenile

court record shall be retained.  Any other agency in possession of

sealed records shall destroy their records five years after the

records were ordered sealed.

 

390.  A judge of the juvenile court in which a petition was filed,

at any time before the minor reaches the age of 21 years, may dismiss

the petition or may set aside the findings and dismiss the petition

if the court finds that the interests of justice and the welfare of

the minor require the dismissal, and that the parent or guardian of

the minor is not in need of treatment or rehabilitation.

 

391.  At any hearing to terminate jurisdiction over a dependent

child who has reached the age of majority the county welfare

department shall do both of the following:

   (a) Ensure that the child is present in court, unless the child

does not wish to appear in court, or document efforts by the county

welfare department to locate the child when the child is not

available.

   (b) Submit a report verifying that the following information,

documents, and services have been provided to the child:

   (1) Written information concerning the child's dependency case,

including his or her family history and placement history, the

whereabouts of any siblings under the jurisdiction of the juvenile

court, unless the court determines that sibling contact would

jeopardize the safety or welfare of the sibling, directions on how to

access the documents the child is entitled to inspect under Section

827, and the date on which the jurisdiction of the juvenile court

would be terminated.

   (2) The following documents, where applicable:  social security

card, certified birth certificate, identification card, as described

in Section 13000 of the Vehicle Code, death certificate of parent or

parents, and proof of citizenship or residence.

   (3) Assistance in completing an application for Medi-Cal or

assistance in obtaining other health insurance; referral to

transitional housing, if available, or assistance in securing other

housing; and assistance in obtaining employment or other financial

support.

   (4) Assistance in applying for admission to college or to a

vocational training program or other educational institution and in

obtaining financial aid, where appropriate.

   (5) Assistance in maintaining relationships with individuals who

are important to the child, based on the child's best interests.

   (c) The court may continue jurisdiction if it finds that the

county welfare department has not met the requirements of subdivision

(b) and that termination of jurisdiction would be harmful to the

best interests of the child.  If the court determines that continued

jurisdiction is warranted pursuant to this section, the continuation

shall only be ordered for that period of time necessary for the

county welfare department to meet the requirements of subdivision

(b).  This section shall not be construed to limit the discretion of

the juvenile court to continue jurisdiction for other reasons.  The

court may terminate jurisdiction if the county welfare department has

offered the required services, and the child either has refused the

services or, after reasonable efforts by the county welfare

department, cannot be located.

   (d) The Judicial Council shall develop and implement standards,

and develop and adopt appropriate forms, necessary to implement this

section.

 

395.  A judgment in a proceeding under Section 300 may be appealed

from in the same manner as any final judgment, and any subsequent

order may be appealed from as from an order after judgment; but no

such order or judgment shall be stayed by the appeal, unless, pending

the appeal, suitable provision is made for the maintenance, care,

and custody of the person alleged or found to come within the

provisions of Section 300, and unless the provision is approved by an

order of the juvenile court.  The appeal shall have precedence over

all other cases in the court to which the appeal is taken.

   A judgment or subsequent order entered by a referee shall become

appealable whenever proceedings pursuant to Section 252, 253, or 254

have become completed or, if proceedings pursuant to Section 252,

253, or 254 are not initiated, when the time for initiating the

proceedings has expired.

    An appellant unable to afford counsel, shall be provided a free

copy of the transcript in any appeal.

   The record shall be prepared and transmitted immediately after

filing of the notice of appeal, without advance payment of fees.  If

the appellant is able to afford counsel, the county may seek

reimbursement for the cost of the transcripts under subdivision (c)

of Section 68511.3 of the Government Code as though the appellant had

been granted permission to proceed in forma pauperis.

 

396.  It is the policy of the Legislature that foster care should be

a temporary method of care for the children of this state, that

children have a right to a normal home life free from abuse, that

reunification with the natural parent or parents or another alternate

permanent living situation such as adoption or guardianship is more

suitable to a child's well-being than is foster care, that this state

has a responsibility to attempt to ensure that children are given

the chance to have happy and healthy lives, and that, to the extent

possible, the current practice of moving children receiving foster

care services from one foster home to another until they reach the

age of majority should be discontinued.

 

397.  In order to carry out the policy stated in Section 396, each

county welfare department or probation department shall report to the

State Department of Social Services, in the frequency and format

determined by the department, foster care characteristic data and

care information deemed essential by the department to establish a

foster care information system.  The report shall include, but not be

limited to, elements that identify the factors necessitating foster

care placement, the appropriateness of the placement, and the case

goal or objective such as reunification, adoption, guardianship, or

long-term foster care placement.

 

398.  The department shall report to the Speaker of the Assembly and

the Senate Rules Committee on the current status of children placed

in foster care.  The report shall be submitted on October 1, 1981,

and shall include, in addition to the current status of children in

foster care, an analysis of foster care service plans in relation to

the policy set forth in Section 396.

 

399.  Any minor being considered for placement in a foster home

shall have the right to make a brief statement to the court making a

decision on placement.  The court may disregard any preferences

expressed by the minor.  The minor's right to make a statement shall

not be limited to the initial placement, but shall continue for any

proceedings concerning continued placement or a decision to return to

parental custody.

 

400.  Any county may institute a program of advocates for pupils in

foster care placement.  A participating county shall be responsible

for the nonfederal costs of implementing the program.

 

401.  The program shall utilize educational advocates to assist

children in foster care through the educational system.  To the

extent possible, an advocate shall reflect the same racial or ethnic

identification as the pupil being assisted.  The educational

advocates shall be required to comply with all statutory and

regulatory provisions regarding standards of confidentiality that are

applicable to children of schoolage who have been placed in foster

care. The responsibilities of an advocate shall include at least the

following duties:

   (a) Facilitating the school enrollment of pupils in foster care.

   (b) Locating a pupil's transcripts, immunization and school health

records, individual education plans, and having these documents sent

to the school to which the child is applying for enrollment, and to

the department so that the information can be included in the child's

health and education passport.

   (c) Educating foster parents regarding how to enroll the pupil in

school and what educational services are available.

 

 

402.  An advocate and a county participating in this program shall

be held harmless by the state when acting in their official capacity

except for acts or omissions that are found to have been wanton,

reckless, or malicious.

 

403.  An advocate shall not be assigned to assist any minor in

foster care placement who has been appointed a surrogate parent.

 

404.  Any school district that has a foster youth services program

shall not be eligible to participate in the program authorized by

this chapter.