California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 361.4

CA Welf & Inst Code § 361.4 (2017)  

(a) Prior to making the emergency placement of a child pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 309 or Section 361.45, the county welfare department shall do all of the following:

(1) Conduct 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.

(2) Cause a state-level criminal records check to be conducted by an appropriate government agency through the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) pursuant to Section 16504.5 for all of the following:

(A) All persons over 18 years of age living in the home of the relative or nonrelative extended family member seeking emergency placement of the child, excluding any person who is a nonminor dependent, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400.

(B) At the discretion of the county welfare department, any other person over 18 years of age known to the department to be regularly present in the home, other than professionals providing professional services to the child.

(C) At the discretion of the county welfare department, any person over 14 years of age living in the home who the department believes may have a criminal record. This subparagraph shall not apply to a child under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.

(3) Conduct a check of allegations of prior child abuse or neglect concerning the relative or nonrelative extended family member and other adults in the home.

(b) (1) If CLETS information obtained pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) indicates that the person has no criminal record, the child may be placed in the home on an emergency basis.

(2) If the CLETS information obtained pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) indicates that the person has been convicted of an offense described in subparagraph (B) or (D) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of 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 using the exemption criteria specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), a child may be placed on an emergency basis who has been convicted of an offense not described in clause (i) of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, pending a criminal records exemption decision, if the deputy director or director of the county welfare department, or his or her designee, determines that the placement is in the best interests of the child and a party to the case does not object.

(4) If the CLETS information obtained pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) indicates that the person has been arrested for any offense described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, the child shall not be placed on an emergency basis in the home until the investigation required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code has been completed and the deputy director or director of the county welfare department, or his or her designee, and the court have considered the investigation results when determining whether the placement is in the best interests of the child.

(5) If the CLETS information obtained pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) indicates that the person has been convicted of an offense described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, the child shall not be placed in the home on an emergency basis.

(c) Within 10 calendar days following the criminal records check conducted through the CLETS or five business days of making the emergency placement, whichever is sooner, the social worker shall ensure that a fingerprint clearance check of the relative or nonrelative extended family member and any other person whose criminal record was obtained pursuant to this section is initiated through the Department of Justice to ensure the accuracy of the criminal records check conducted through the CLETS and ensure criminal record clearance of the relative or nonrelative extended family member and all adults in the home pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 16519.5 and any associated written directives or regulations.

(d) An identification card from a foreign consulate or foreign passport shall be considered a valid form of identification for conducting a criminal records check pursuant to this section.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 733, Sec. 3.2. (SB 213) Effective January 1, 2018.)

Last modified: October 8, 2018