onecle

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, or after the detention hearing and pending the dispositional hearing conducted pursuant to Section 358, 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, parents of a sibling of the child, if the parent has legal custody of the sibling, 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. As used in this section, sibling means a person related to the identified child by blood, adoption, or affinity through a common legal or biological parent. 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) 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).

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 425, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2016.)

Section: Previous  306  306.5  306.6  307  307.4  307.5  308  309  310  311  313  314  315  316  316.1  Next

Last modified: September 9, 2016