Code Section

Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC

DIVISION 9. PUBLIC SOCIAL SERVICES [10000 - 18999.8]

  ( Division 9 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784. )
  

PART 4. SERVICES FOR THE CARE OF CHILDREN [16000 - 16545]

  ( Heading of Part 4 amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 429. )
  

CHAPTER 1. Foster Care Placement [16000 - 16014]
  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1370, Sec. 1. )

  
16010.6.  

(a) As soon as a placing agency makes a decision with respect to a placement or a change in placement of a dependent child, but not later than the close of the following business day, the placing agency shall notify the child’s attorney and provide to the child’s attorney information regarding the child’s address, telephone number, and caregiver.

(b) (1) A placing agency shall not make a placement or a change in placement of a child outside the United States prior to a judicial finding that the placement is in the best interest of the child, except as required by federal law or treaty.

(2) The placing agency shall carry the burden of proof and show, by clear and convincing evidence, that placement outside the United States is in the best interest of the child.

(3) In determining the best interest of the child, the court shall consider, but not be limited to, the following factors:

(A) Placement with a relative.

(B) Placement of siblings in the same home.

(C) Amount and nature of any contact between the child and the potential guardian or caretaker.

(D) Physical and medical needs of the dependent child.

(E) Psychological and emotional needs of the dependent child.

(F) Social, cultural, and educational needs of the dependent child.

(G) Specific desires of any dependent child who is 12 years of age or older.

(4) If the court finds that a placement outside the United States is, by clear and convincing evidence, in the best interest of the child, the court may issue an order authorizing the placing agency to make a placement outside the United States. A child subject to this subdivision shall not leave the United States prior to the issuance of the order described in this paragraph.

(5) For purposes of this subdivision, “outside the United States” shall not include the lands of any federally recognized American Indian tribe or Alaskan Natives.

(6) This section shall not apply to the placement of a dependent child with a parent.

(c) Absent exigent circumstances, as soon as a placing agency becomes aware of the need for a change in placement of a dependent child or ward that will result in the separation of siblings currently placed together, the placing agency shall notify the child’s attorney and the child’s siblings’ attorney of this proposed separation no less than 10 calendar days prior to the planned change of placement so that the attorneys may investigate the circumstances of the proposed separation. If the placing agency first becomes aware, by written notification from a foster family agency, group home, or other foster care provider, of the need for a change in placement for a dependent child or ward that will result in the separation of siblings currently placed together, and that the child or children shall be removed within seven days, then notice shall be provided to the attorneys by the end of the next business day after the receipt of notice from the provider. In an emergency, the placing agency shall provide notice as soon as possible, but no later than the close of the first business day following the change of placement. This notification shall be deemed sufficient notice for the purposes of subdivision (a).

(d) When the required notice is given prior to a change in placement, the notice shall include information regarding the child’s address, telephone number, and caregiver or any one or more of these items of information to the extent that this information is known at the time that the placing agency provides notice to the child’s attorney. When the required notice is given after the change in placement, notice shall include information regarding the child’s address, telephone number, and caregiver.

(e) The Judicial Council shall adopt a rule of court directing the attorney for a child for whom a dependency petition has been filed, upon receipt from the agency responsible for placing the child of the name, address, and telephone number of the child’s caregiver, to timely provide the attorney’s contact information to the caregiver and, if the child is 10 years of age or older, to the child. This rule does not preclude an attorney from giving contact information to a child who is younger than 10 years of age.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 772, Sec. 18. (SB 1460) Effective January 1, 2015.)