Code Section

Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC

DIVISION 2. CHILDREN [100 - 1500]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 369. )
  

PART 1. DELINQUENTS AND WARDS OF THE JUVENILE COURT [100 - 1455]

  ( Part 1 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 369. )
  

CHAPTER 2. Juvenile Court Law [200 - 987]

  ( Chapter 2 repealed and added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 1616. )
  

ARTICLE 1. General Provisions [200 - 224.6]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1068. )

  
224.2.  

(a) The court, county welfare department, and the probation department have an affirmative and continuing duty to inquire whether a child for whom a petition under Section 300, 601, or 602 may be or has been filed, is or may be an Indian child. The duty to inquire begins with the initial contact, including, but not limited to, asking the party reporting child abuse or neglect whether he or she has any information that the child may be an Indian child.

(b) If a child is placed into the temporary custody of a county welfare department pursuant to Section 306 or county probation department pursuant to Section 307, the county welfare department or county probation department has a duty to inquire whether that child is an Indian child. Inquiry includes, but is not limited to, asking the child, parents, legal guardian, Indian custodian, extended family members, others who have an interest in the child, and the party reporting child abuse or neglect, whether the child is, or may be, an Indian child and where the child, the parents, or Indian custodian is domiciled.

(c) At the first appearance in court of each party, the court shall ask each participant present in the hearing whether the participant knows or has reason to know that the child is an Indian child. The court shall instruct the parties to inform the court if they subsequently receive information that provides reason to know the child is an Indian child.

(d) There is reason to know a child involved in a proceeding is an Indian child under any of the following circumstances:

(1) A person having an interest in the child, including the child, an officer of the court, a tribe, an Indian organization, a public or private agency, or a member of the child’s extended family informs the court that the child is an Indian child.

(2) The residence or domicile of the child, the child’s parents, or Indian custodian is on a reservation or in an Alaska Native village.

(3) Any participant in the proceeding, officer of the court, Indian tribe, Indian organization, or agency informs the court that it has discovered information indicating that the child is an Indian child.

(4) The child who is the subject of the proceeding gives the court reason to know he or she is an Indian child.

(5) The court is informed that the child is or has been a ward of a tribal court.

(6) The court is informed that either parent or the child possess an identification card indicating membership or citizenship in an Indian tribe.

(e) If the court, social worker, or probation officer has reason to believe that an Indian child is involved in a proceeding, the court, social worker, or probation officer shall make further inquiry regarding the possible Indian status of the child, and shall make that inquiry as soon as practicable. Further inquiry includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:

(1) Interviewing the parents, Indian custodian, and extended family members to gather the information required in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of Section 224.3.

(2) Contacting the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the State Department of Social Services for assistance in identifying the names and contact information of the tribes in which the child may be a member, or eligible for membership in, and contacting the tribes and any other person that may reasonably be expected to have information regarding the child’s membership status or eligibility.

(3) Contacting the tribe or tribes and any other person that may reasonably be expected to have information regarding the child’s membership, citizenship status, or eligibility. Contact with a tribe shall, at a minimum, include telephone, facsimile, or electronic mail contact to each tribe’s designated agent for receipt of notices under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.). Contact with a tribe shall include sharing information identified by the tribe as necessary for the tribe to make a membership or eligibility determination, as well as information on the current status of the child and the case.

(f) If there is reason to know, as set forth in subdivision (d), that the child is an Indian child, the party seeking foster care placement shall provide notice in accordance with paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of Section 224.3.

(g) If there is reason to know the child is an Indian child, but the court does not have sufficient evidence to determine that the child is or is not an Indian child, the court shall confirm, by way of a report, declaration, or testimony included in the record that the agency or other party used due diligence to identify and work with all of the tribes of which there is reason to know the child may be a member, or eligible for membership, to verify whether the child is in fact a member or whether a biological parent is a member and the child is eligible for membership.

(h) A determination by an Indian tribe that a child is or is not a member of, or eligible for membership in, that tribe, or testimony attesting to that status by a person authorized by the tribe to provide that determination, shall be conclusive. Information that the child is not enrolled, or is not eligible for enrollment in, the tribe is not determinative of the child’s membership status unless the tribe also confirms in writing that enrollment is a prerequisite for membership under tribal law or custom.

(i) (1) When there is reason to know that the child is an Indian child, the court shall treat the child as an Indian child unless and until the court determines on the record and after review of the report of due diligence as described in subdivision (g), and a review of the copies of notice, return receipts, and tribal responses required pursuant to Section 224.3, that the child does not meet the definition of an Indian child as used in Section 224.1 and the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.).

(2) If the court makes a finding that proper and adequate further inquiry and due diligence as required in this section have been conducted and there is no reason to know whether the child is an Indian child, the court may make a finding that the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.) does not apply to the proceedings, subject to reversal based on sufficiency of the evidence. The court shall reverse its determination if it subsequently receives information providing reason to believe that the child is an Indian child and order the social worker or probation officer to conduct further inquiry pursuant to Section 224.3.

(j) Notwithstanding a determination that the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 does not apply to the proceedings, if the court, social worker, or probation officer subsequently receives any information required by Section 224.3 that was not previously available or included in the notice issued under Section 224.3, the party seeking placement shall provide the additional information to any tribes entitled to notice under Section 224.3 and to the Secretary of the Interior’s designated agent.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 833, Sec. 5. (AB 3176) Effective January 1, 2019.)