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California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 309

Legal Research Home > California Laws > Welfare and Institutions Code > California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 309

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,
regardless of the parent's, guardian's, or relative's immigration
status, 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 and surgeon or a
hospital, clinic, or other medical facility and cannot be immediately
moved and 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 and 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 conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) of
Section 16504.5 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. A relative's identification card from
a foreign consulate or foreign passport shall be considered a valid
form of identification for conducting a criminal records check and
fingerprint clearance check under this subdivision. Upon completion
of this assessment, the child may be placed in the assessed home. For
purposes of this paragraph, and except for the criminal records
check conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 16504.5, the
standards used to determine suitability shall be the same standards
set forth in the regulations for the licensing of foster family
homes.
   (2) Immediately following the placement of a child in the home of
a relative or a nonrelative extended family member, the county
welfare department shall evaluate and approve or deny the home for
purposes of AFDC-FC eligibility pursuant to Section 11402. 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) To the extent allowed by federal law, as a condition of
receiving funding under Title IV-E of the federal Social Security Act
(42 U.S.C. Sec. 670 et seq.), 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.
   (4) If the criminal records check indicates that the person has
been convicted of a crime for which the Director of Social Services
cannot grant an exemption under Section 1522 of the Health and Safety
Code, the child shall not be placed in the home. If the criminal
records check indicates that the person has been convicted of a crime
for which the Director of Social Services may grant an exemption
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.
   (e) (1) If the child is removed, the social worker shall conduct,
within 30 days, an investigation in order to identify and locate all
grandparents, adult siblings, and other adult relatives of the child,
as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 319,
including any other adult relatives suggested by the parents. The
social worker shall provide to all adult relatives who are located,
except when that relative's history of family or domestic violence
makes notification inappropriate, within 30 days of removal of the
child, written notification and shall also, whenever appropriate,
provide oral notification, in person or by telephone, of all the
following information:
   (A) The child has been removed from the custody of his or her
parent or parents, or his or her guardians.
   (B) An explanation of the various options to participate in the
care and placement of the child and support for the child's family,
including any options that may be lost by failing to respond. The
notice shall provide information about providing care for the child
while the family receives reunification services with the goal of
returning the child to the parent or guardian, how to become a foster
family home or approved relative or nonrelative extended family
member as defined in Section 362.7, and additional services and
support that are available in out-of-home placements. The notice
shall also include information regarding the Kin-GAP Program (Article
4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of
Division 9), the CalWORKs program for approved relative caregivers
(Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) of Part 3 of Division 9),
adoption, and adoption assistance (Chapter 2.1 (commencing with
Section 16115) of Part 4 of Division 9), as well as other options for
contact with the child, including, but not limited to, visitation.
The State Department of Social Services, in consultation with the
County Welfare Directors Association of California and other
interested stakeholders, shall develop the written notice.
   (2) On and after January 1, 2011, the social worker shall also
provide the adult relatives notified pursuant to paragraph (1) with a
relative information form to provide information to the social
worker and the court regarding the needs of the child. The form shall
include a provision whereby the relative may request the permission
of the court to address the court, if the relative so chooses. The
Judicial Council, in consultation with the State Department of Social
Services and the County Welfare Directors Association of California,
shall develop the form.
   (3) The social worker shall use due diligence in investigating the
names and locations of the relatives pursuant to paragraph (1),
including, but not limited to, asking the child in an age-appropriate
manner about relatives important to the child, consistent with the
child's best interest, and obtaining information regarding the
location of the child's adult relatives. Each county welfare
department shall create and make public a procedure by which
relatives of a child who has been removed from his or her parents or
guardians may identify themselves to the county welfare department
and be provided with the notices required by paragraphs (1) and (2).

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Last modified: March 17, 2014