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  ( Chapter 2 repealed and added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 1616.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 7. Dependent Children—Temporary Custody and Detention [305 - 324.5]
  ( Article 7 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1068. )

  
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, Indian custodian, or relative, regardless of the parent’s, guardian’s, Indian custodian’s, or relative’s immigration status, unless one or more of the following conditions exist:

(1) The child has no parent, guardian, Indian custodian, or relative 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 relative.

(3) If it is known or there is reason to know the child is an Indian child, the child has been physically removed from the custody of a parent or parents or an Indian custodian, continued detention of the child continues to be necessary to prevent imminent physical damage or harm to the child, and there are no reasonable means by which the child can be protected if maintained in the physical custody of his or her parent or parents or Indian custodian.

(4) There is substantial evidence that a parent, guardian, or custodian of the child is likely to flee the jurisdiction of the court, and, in the case of an Indian child, fleeing the jurisdiction will place the child at risk of imminent physical damage or harm.

(5) The child has left a placement in which he or she was placed by the juvenile court.

(6) 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 (g) 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, 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 a relative, as defined in Section 319, an extended family member of an Indian child, as defined in Section 224.1 and Section 1903 of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.), or a nonrelative extended family member, as defined in Section 362.7, is available and requests emergency 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 for emergency placement pursuant to Section 361.4.

(2) Upon completion of the assessment pursuant to Section 361.4, the child may be placed in the home on an emergency basis. Following the emergency placement of the child, the county welfare department shall evaluate and approve or deny the home pursuant to Section 16519.5. If the home in which the Indian child is placed is licensed or approved by the child’s tribe, the provisions of Section 16519.5 do not apply for further approval. The county shall require the relative or nonrelative extended family member to submit an application for approval as a resource family and initiate the home environment assessment no later than five business days after the placement.

(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, 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, and, if it is known or there is reason to know the child is an Indian child, any extended family members as defined in Section 224.1 and Section 1903 of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.). 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, guardian or guardians, or Indian custodian.

(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 resource family, and additional services and support that are available in out-of-home placements, and, if it is known or there is reason to know the child is an Indian child, the option of obtaining approval for placement through the tribe’s license or approval procedure. 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. 2018, Ch. 833, Sec. 20. (AB 3176) Effective January 1, 2019.)