Code Section Group

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 - 1402]

  ( 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  ( Chapter 2 repealed and added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 1616.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 10. Dependent Children—Judgments and Orders [360 - 371]
  ( Article 10 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1068. )

360.
  

After receiving and considering the evidence on the proper disposition of the case, the juvenile court may enter judgment as follows:

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the court finds that the child is a person described by Section 300 and the parent has advised the court that the parent is not interested in family maintenance or family reunification services, it may, in addition to or in lieu of adjudicating the child a dependent child of the court, order a legal guardianship, appoint a legal guardian, and issue letters of guardianship, if the court determines that a guardianship is in the best interest of the child, provided the parent and the child agree to the guardianship, unless the child’s age or physical, emotional, or mental condition prevents the child’s meaningful response. The court shall advise the parent and the child that no reunification services will be provided as a result of the establishment of a guardianship. The proceeding for the appointment of a guardian shall be in the juvenile court.

Any application for termination of guardianship shall be filed in juvenile court in a form as may be developed by the Judicial Council pursuant to Section 68511 of the Government Code. Sections 366.4 and 388 shall apply to this order of guardianship.

No person shall be appointed a legal guardian under this section until an assessment as specified in subdivision (g) of Section 361.5 is read and considered by the court and reflected in the minutes of the court.

On and after the date that the director executes a declaration pursuant to Section 11217, if the court appoints an approved relative caregiver as the child’s legal guardian, the child has been in the care of that approved relative for a period of six consecutive months under a voluntary placement agreement, and the child otherwise meets the conditions for federal financial participation, the child shall be eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program as provided in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2. The nonfederally eligible child placed with an approved relative caregiver who is appointed as the child’s legal guardian shall be eligible for aid under the state-funded Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) of Chapter 2.

The person responsible for preparing the assessment may be called and examined by any party to the guardianship proceeding.

(b) If the court finds that the child is a person described by Section 300, it may, without adjudicating the child a dependent child of the court, order that services be provided to keep the family together and place the child and the child’s parent or guardian under the supervision of the social worker for a time period consistent with Section 301.

(c) If the family subsequently is unable or unwilling to cooperate with the services being provided, the social worker may file a petition with the juvenile court pursuant to Section 332 alleging that a previous petition has been sustained and that disposition pursuant to subdivision (b) has been ineffective in ameliorating the situation requiring the child welfare services. Upon hearing the petition, the court shall order either that the petition shall be dismissed or that a new disposition hearing shall be held pursuant to subdivision (d).

(d) If the court finds that the child is a person described by Section 300, it may order and adjudge the child to be a dependent child of the court.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 559, Sec. 11. (AB 12) Effective January 1, 2011.)

361.
  

(a) (1) In all cases in which a minor is adjudged a dependent child of the court on the ground that the minor is a person described by Section 300, the court may limit the control to be exercised over the dependent child by any parent or guardian and shall by its order clearly and specifically set forth all those limitations. Any limitation on the right of the parent or guardian to make educational or developmental services decisions for the child shall be specifically addressed in the court order. The limitations may not exceed those necessary to protect the child. If the court specifically limits the right of the parent or guardian to make educational or developmental services decisions for the child, or, for the nonminor dependent, if the court finds the appointment of a developmental services decisionmaker to be in the best interests of the nonminor dependent, the court shall at the same time appoint a responsible adult to make educational or developmental services decisions for the child or nonminor dependent until one of the following occurs:

(A) The minor reaches 18 years of age, unless the child or nonminor dependent chooses not to make educational or developmental services decisions for himself or herself, or is deemed by the court to be incompetent.

(B) Another responsible adult is appointed to make educational or developmental services decisions for the minor pursuant to this section.

(C) The right of the parent or guardian to make educational or developmental services decisions for the minor is fully restored.

(D) A successor guardian or conservator is appointed.

(E) The child is placed into a planned permanent living arrangement pursuant to paragraph (5) of subdivision (g) of Section 366.21, Section 366.22, Section 366.26, or subdivision (i) of Section 366.3, at which time, for educational decisionmaking, the foster parent, relative caretaker, or nonrelative extended family member as defined in Section 362.7, has the right to represent the child in educational matters pursuant to Section 56055 of the Education Code, and for decisions relating to developmental services, unless the court specifies otherwise, the foster parent, relative caregiver, or nonrelative extended family member of the planned permanent living arrangement has the right to represent the child or nonminor dependent in matters related to developmental services.

(2) An individual who would have a conflict of interest in representing the child or nonminor dependent shall not be appointed to make educational or developmental services decisions. For purposes of this section, “an individual who would have a conflict of interest” means a person having any interests that might restrict or bias his or her ability to make educational or developmental services decisions, including, but not limited to, those conflicts of interest prohibited by Section 1126 of the Government Code, and the receipt of compensation or attorney’s fees for the provision of services pursuant to this section. A foster parent shall not be deemed to have a conflict of interest solely because he or she receives compensation for the provision of services pursuant to this section.

(3) Regardless of the person or persons currently holding the right to make educational decisions for the child, a foster parent, relative caregiver, nonrelated extended family member, or resource family shall retain rights and obligations regarding accessing and maintaining health and education information pursuant to Sections 49069.3 and 49076 of the Education Code and Section 16010 of this code.

(4) (A) If the court limits the parent’s educational rights pursuant to this subdivision, the court shall determine whether there is a responsible adult who is a relative, nonrelative extended family member, or other adult known to the child who is available and willing to serve as the child’s educational representative before appointing an educational representative or surrogate who is not known to the child.

(B) If the court cannot identify a responsible adult who is known to the child and available to make educational decisions for the child, subparagraphs (A) to (E), inclusive, of paragraph (1) do not apply, and the child has either been referred to the local educational agency for special education and related services, or has a valid individualized education program, the court shall refer the child to the local educational agency for appointment of a surrogate parent pursuant to Section 7579.5 of the Government Code.

(C) If the court cannot identify a responsible adult to make educational decisions for the child, the appointment of a surrogate parent as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 56050 of the Education Code is not warranted, and there is no foster parent to exercise the authority granted by Section 56055 of the Education Code, the court may, with the input of any interested person, make educational decisions for the child.

(5) (A) If the court appoints a developmental services decisionmaker pursuant to this section, he or she shall have the authority to access the child’s or nonminor dependent’s information and records pursuant to subdivision (u) of Section 4514 and subdivision (y) of Section 5328, and to act on the child’s or nonminor dependent’s behalf for the purposes of the individual program plan process pursuant to Sections 4646, 4646.5, and 4648 and the fair hearing process pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 4700) of Division 4.5, and as set forth in the court order.

(B) If the court cannot identify a responsible adult to make developmental services decisions for the child or nonminor dependent, the court may, with the input of any interested person, make developmental services decisions for the child or nonminor dependent. If the child is receiving services from a regional center, the provision of any developmental services related to the court’s decision must be consistent with the child’s or nonminor dependent’s individual program plan and pursuant to the provisions of the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act (Division 4.5 (commencing with Section 4500)).

(6) All educational and school placement decisions shall seek to ensure that the child is in the least restrictive educational programs and has access to the academic resources, services, and extracurricular and enrichment activities that are available to all pupils. In all instances, educational and school placement decisions shall be based on the best interests of the child. If an educational representative or surrogate is appointed for the child, the representative or surrogate shall meet with the child, shall investigate the child’s educational needs and whether those needs are being met, and shall, prior to each review hearing held under this article, provide information and recommendations concerning the child’s educational needs to the child’s social worker, make written recommendations to the court, or attend the hearing and participate in those portions of the hearing that concern the child’s education.

(7) Nothing in this section in any way removes the obligation to appoint surrogate parents for students with disabilities who are without parental representation in special education procedures as required by state and federal law, including Section 1415(b)(2) of Title 20 of the United States Code, Section 56050 of the Education Code, Section 7579.5 of the Government Code, and Rule 5.650 of the California Rules of Court.

(b) (1) Subdivision (a) does not limit the ability of a parent to voluntarily relinquish his or her child to the State Department of Social Services, to a county adoption agency, or to a licensed private adoption agency at any time while the child is the subject of a petition to declare him or her, or is, a dependent child of the juvenile court, if the department, county adoption agency, or licensed private adoption agency is willing to accept the relinquishment.

(2) When accepting the relinquishment of a child described in paragraph (1), the department or a county adoption agency shall comply with Section 8700 of the Family Code and, within five court days of accepting the relinquishment, shall file written notice of that fact with the court and all parties to the case and their counsel.

(3) When accepting the relinquishment of a child described in paragraph (1), a licensed private adoption agency shall comply with Section 8700 of the Family Code and, within 10 court days of accepting the relinquishment, shall file or allow another party or that party’s counsel to file with the court one original and five copies of a request to approve the relinquishment. The clerk of the court shall file the request under seal, subject to examination only by the parties and their counsel or by others upon court approval. If the request is accompanied by the written agreement of all parties, the court may issue an ex parte order approving the relinquishment. Unless approved pursuant to that agreement, the court shall set the matter for hearing no later than 10 court days after filing, and shall provide notice of the hearing to all parties and their counsel, and to the licensed private adoption agency and its counsel. The licensed private adoption agency and any prospective adoptive parent or parents named in the relinquishment shall be permitted to attend the hearing and participate as parties regarding the strictly limited issue of whether the court should approve the relinquishment. The court shall issue an order approving or denying the relinquishment within 10 court days after the hearing.

(c) A dependent child shall not be taken from the physical custody of his or her parents or guardian or guardians with whom the child resides at the time the petition was initiated, unless the juvenile court finds clear and convincing evidence of any of the following circumstances listed in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, and, in an Indian child custody proceeding, paragraph (6):

(1) There is or would be a substantial danger to the physical health, safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the minor if the minor were returned home, and there are no reasonable means by which the minor’s physical health can be protected without removing the minor from the minor’s parent’s or guardian’s physical custody. The fact that a minor has been adjudicated a dependent child of the court pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 300 shall constitute prima facie evidence that the minor cannot be safely left in the physical custody of the parent or guardian with whom the minor resided at the time of injury. The court shall consider, as a reasonable means to protect the minor, each of the following:

(A) The option of removing an offending parent or guardian from the home.

(B) Allowing a nonoffending parent or guardian to retain physical custody as long as that parent or guardian presents a plan acceptable to the court demonstrating that he or she will be able to protect the child from future harm.

(2) The parent or guardian of the minor is unwilling to have physical custody of the minor, and the parent or guardian has been notified that if the minor remains out of their physical custody for the period specified in Section 366.26, the minor may be declared permanently free from their custody and control.

(3) The minor is suffering severe emotional damage, as indicated by extreme anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or untoward aggressive behavior toward himself or herself or others, and there are no reasonable means by which the minor’s emotional health may be protected without removing the minor from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian.

(4) The minor or a sibling of the minor has been sexually abused, or is deemed to be at substantial risk of being sexually abused, by a parent, guardian, or member of his or her household, or other person known to his or her parent, and there are no reasonable means by which the minor can be protected from further sexual abuse or a substantial risk of sexual abuse without removing the minor from his or her parent or guardian, or the minor does not wish to return to his or her parent or guardian.

(5) The minor has been left without any provision for his or her support, or a parent who has been incarcerated or institutionalized cannot arrange for the care of the minor, or a relative or other adult custodian with whom the child has been left by the parent is unwilling or unable to provide care or support for the child and the whereabouts of the parent is unknown and reasonable efforts to locate him or her have been unsuccessful.

(6) In an Indian child custody proceeding, continued custody of the child by the parent or Indian custodian is likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child, and that finding is supported by testimony of a “qualified expert witness” as described in Section 224.6.

(A) For purposes of this paragraph, stipulation by the parent, Indian custodian, or the Indian child’s tribe, or failure to object, may waive the requirement of producing evidence of the likelihood of serious damage only if the court is satisfied that the party has been fully advised of the requirements of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.), and has knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waived them.

(B) For purposes of this paragraph, failure to meet non-Indian family and child-rearing community standards, or the existence of other behavior or conditions that meet the removal standards of this section, will not support an order for placement in the absence of the finding in this paragraph.

(d) A dependent child shall not be taken from the physical custody of his or her parents with whom the child did not reside at the time the petition was initiated, unless the juvenile court finds clear and convincing evidence that there would be a substantial danger to the physical health, safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the child for the parent to live with the child or otherwise exercise the parent’s right to physical custody, and there are no reasonable means by which the child’s physical and emotional health can be protected without removing the child from the child’s parent’s physical custody.

(e) The court shall make a determination as to whether reasonable efforts were made to prevent or to eliminate the need for removal of the minor from his or her home or, if the minor is removed for one of the reasons stated in paragraph (5) of subdivision (c), whether it was reasonable under the circumstances not to make any of those efforts, or, in the case of an Indian child custody proceeding, whether active efforts as required in Section 361.7 were made and that these efforts have proved unsuccessful. The court shall state the facts on which the decision to remove the minor is based.

(f) The court shall make all of the findings required by subdivision (a) of Section 366 in either of the following circumstances:

(1) The minor has been taken from the custody of his or her parent or guardian and has been living in an out-of-home placement pursuant to Section 319.

(2) The minor has been living in a voluntary out-of-home placement pursuant to Section 16507.4.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 829, Sec. 4.5. (SB 233) Effective January 1, 2018.)

361.1.
  

(a) If a child is removed from the physical custody of a parent or guardian on the ground that the child may come within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 300, the child shall be returned to the physical custody of that parent or guardian immediately after a finding by the juvenile court that the child is not a person described in Section 300, but, in any case, not more than two working days following the date of that finding, unless the parent or guardian and the agency with custody of the child agree to a later date for the child’s release. Nothing in this section shall affect a parent or guardian’s remedies when a child is not returned immediately, as those remedies existed prior to enactment of this section.

(b) The Judicial Council shall adopt a rule of court to ensure proper notice to a parent or guardian regarding the circumstances and the timeframe in which a child is required to be released from custody pursuant to this section.

(Added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 306, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2004.)

361.2.
  

(a) When a court orders removal of a child pursuant to Section 361, the court shall first determine whether there is a parent of the child, with whom the child was not residing at the time that the events or conditions arose that brought the child within the provisions of Section 300, who desires to assume custody of the child. If that parent requests custody, the court shall place the child with the parent unless it finds that placement with that parent would be detrimental to the safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the child. The fact that the parent is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility that allows a dependent child to reside with his or her parent shall not be, for that reason alone, prima facie evidence that placement with that parent would be detrimental.

(b) If the court places the child with that parent it may do any of the following:

(1) Order that the parent become legal and physical custodian of the child. The court may also provide reasonable visitation by the noncustodial parent. The court shall then terminate its jurisdiction over the child. The custody order shall continue unless modified by a subsequent order of the superior court. The order of the juvenile court shall be filed in any domestic relation proceeding between the parents.

(2) Order that the parent assume custody subject to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court and require that a home visit be conducted within three months. In determining whether to take the action described in this paragraph, the court shall consider any concerns that have been raised by the child’s current caregiver regarding the parent. After the social worker conducts the home visit and files his or her report with the court, the court may then take the action described in paragraph (1), (3), or this paragraph. However, nothing in this paragraph shall be interpreted to imply that the court is required to take the action described in this paragraph as a prerequisite to the court taking the action described in either paragraph (1) or (3).

(3) Order that the parent assume custody subject to the supervision of the juvenile court. In that case the court may order that reunification services be provided to the parent or guardian from whom the child is being removed, or the court may order that services be provided solely to the parent who is assuming physical custody in order to allow that parent to retain later custody without court supervision, or that services be provided to both parents, in which case the court shall determine, at review hearings held pursuant to Section 366, which parent, if either, shall have custody of the child.

(c) The court shall make a finding either in writing or on the record of the basis for its determination under subdivisions (a) and (b).

(d) Part 6 (commencing with Section 7950) of Division 12 of the Family Code shall apply to the placement of a child pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (e).

(e) When the court orders removal pursuant to Section 361, the court shall order the care, custody, control, and conduct of the child to be under the supervision of the social worker who may place the child in any of the following:

(1) The home of a noncustodial parent as described in subdivision (a), regardless of the parent’s immigration status.

(2) The approved home of a relative, or the home of a relative who has been assessed pursuant to Section 361.4 and is pending approval pursuant to Section 16519.5, regardless of the relative’s immigration status.

(3) The approved home of a nonrelative extended family member as defined in Section 362.7, or the home of a nonrelative extended family member who has been assessed pursuant to Section 361.4 and is pending approval pursuant to Section 16519.5.

(4) The approved home of a resource family as defined in Section 16519.5, or a home that is pending approval pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 16519.5.

(5) A foster home considering first a foster home in which the child has been placed before an interruption in foster care, if that placement is in the best interest of the child and space is available.

(6) A home or facility in accordance with the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.).

(7) A suitable licensed community care facility, except a runaway and homeless youth shelter licensed by the State Department of Social Services pursuant to Section 1502.35 of the Health and Safety Code.

(8) With a foster family agency, as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 11400 and paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code, to be placed in a suitable family home certified or approved by the agency, with prior approval of the county placing agency.

(9) A community care facility licensed as a group home for children or a short-term residential therapeutic program, as defined in subdivision (ad) of Section 11400 of this code and paragraph (18) of subdivision (a) of Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code. A child of any age who is placed in a community care facility licensed as a group home for children or a short-term residential therapeutic program shall have a case plan that indicates that placement is for purposes of providing short-term, specialized, and intensive treatment for the child, the case plan specifies the need for, nature of, and anticipated duration of this treatment, pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 16501.1, and the case plan includes transitioning the child to a less restrictive environment and the projected timeline by which the child will be transitioned to a less restrictive environment. Any placement longer than six months shall be documented consistent with paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 16501.1 and, unless subparagraph (A) or (B) applies to the child, shall be approved by the deputy director or director of the county child welfare department no less frequently than every six months.

(A) A child under six years of age shall not be placed in a community care facility licensed as a group home for children, or a short-term residential therapeutic program except under the following circumstances:

(i) When the facility meets the applicable regulations adopted under Section 1530.8 of the Health and Safety Code and standards developed pursuant to Section 11467.1 of this code, and the deputy director or director of the county child welfare department has approved the case plan.

(ii) The short-term, specialized, and intensive treatment period shall not exceed 120 days, unless the county has made progress toward or is actively working toward implementing the case plan that identifies the services or supports necessary to transition the child to a family setting, circumstances beyond the county’s control have prevented the county from obtaining those services or supports within the timeline documented in the case plan, and the need for additional time pursuant to the case plan is documented by the caseworker and approved by a deputy director or director of the county child welfare department.

(iii) To the extent that placements pursuant to this paragraph are extended beyond an initial 120 days, the requirements of clauses (i) and (ii) shall apply to each extension. In addition, the deputy director or director of the county child welfare department shall approve the continued placement no less frequently than every 60 days.

(iv) In addition, when a case plan indicates that placement is for purposes of providing family reunification services, the facility shall offer family reunification services that meet the needs of the individual child and his or her family, permit parents to have reasonable access to their children 24 hours a day, encourage extensive parental involvement in meeting the daily needs of their children, and employ staff trained to provide family reunification services. In addition, one of the following conditions exists:

(I) The child’s parent is also under the jurisdiction of the court and resides in the facility.

(II) The child’s parent is participating in a treatment program affiliated with the facility and the child’s placement in the facility facilitates the coordination and provision of reunification services.

(III) Placement in the facility is the only alternative that permits the parent to have daily 24-hour access to the child in accordance with the case plan, to participate fully in meeting all of the daily needs of the child, including feeding and personal hygiene, and to have access to necessary reunification services.

(B) A child who is 6 to 12 years of age, inclusive, may be placed in a community care facility licensed as a group home for children or a short-term residential therapeutic program under the following conditions:

(i) The deputy director of the county welfare department shall approve the case prior to initial placement.

(ii) The short-term, specialized, and intensive treatment period shall not exceed six months, unless the county has made progress or is actively working toward implementing the case plan that identifies the services or supports necessary to transition the child to a family setting, circumstances beyond the county’s control have prevented the county from obtaining those services or supports within the timeline documented in the case plan, and the need for additional time pursuant to the case plan is documented by the caseworker and approved by a deputy director or director of the county child welfare department.

(iii) To the extent that placements pursuant to this paragraph are extended beyond an initial six months, the requirements of this subparagraph shall apply to each extension. In addition, the deputy director or director of the county child welfare department shall approve the continued placement no less frequently than every 60 days.

(10) Any child placed in a short-term residential therapeutic program shall be either of the following:

(A) A child who has been assessed as meeting one of the placement requirements set forth in subdivisions (b) and (e) of Section 11462.01.

(B) A child under 6 years of age who is placed with his or her minor parent or for the purpose of reunification pursuant to clause (iv) of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (9).

(11) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to allow a social worker to place any dependent child outside the United States, except as specified in subdivision (f).

(f) (1) A child under the supervision of a social worker pursuant to subdivision (e) shall not be placed 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 party or agency requesting placement of the child outside the United States shall carry the burden of proof and shall 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 social worker 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 subdivision shall not apply to the placement of a dependent child with a parent pursuant to subdivision (a).

(g) (1) If the child is taken from the physical custody of the child’s parent or guardian and unless the child is placed with relatives, the child shall be placed in foster care in the county of residence of the child’s parent or guardian in order to facilitate reunification of the family.

(2) In the event that there are no appropriate placements available in the parent’s or guardian’s county of residence, a placement may be made in an appropriate place in another county, preferably a county located adjacent to the parent’s or guardian’s community of residence.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as requiring multiple disruptions of the child’s placement corresponding to frequent changes of residence by the parent or guardian. In determining whether the child should be moved, the social worker shall take into consideration the potential harmful effects of disrupting the placement of the child and the parent’s or guardian’s reason for the move.

(4) When it has been determined that it is necessary for a child to be placed in a county other than the child’s parent’s or guardian’s county of residence, the specific reason the out-of-county placement is necessary shall be documented in the child’s case plan. If the reason the out-of-county placement is necessary is the lack of resources in the sending county to meet the specific needs of the child, those specific resource needs shall be documented in the case plan.

(5) When it has been determined that a child is to be placed out of county either in a group home or with a foster family agency for subsequent placement in a certified foster family home, and the sending county is to maintain responsibility for supervision and visitation of the child, the sending county shall develop a plan of supervision and visitation that specifies the supervision and visitation activities to be performed and specifies that the sending county is responsible for performing those activities. In addition to the plan of supervision and visitation, the sending county shall document information regarding any known or suspected dangerous behavior of the child that indicates the child may pose a safety concern in the receiving county. Upon implementation of the Child Welfare Services Case Management System, the plan of supervision and visitation, as well as information regarding any known or suspected dangerous behavior of the child, shall be made available to the receiving county upon placement of the child in the receiving county. If placement occurs on a weekend or holiday, the information shall be made available to the receiving county on or before the end of the next business day.

(6) When it has been determined that a child is to be placed out of county and the sending county plans that the receiving county shall be responsible for the supervision and visitation of the child, the sending county shall develop a formal agreement between the sending and receiving counties. The formal agreement shall specify the supervision and visitation to be provided the child, and shall specify that the receiving county is responsible for providing the supervision and visitation. The formal agreement shall be approved and signed by the sending and receiving counties prior to placement of the child in the receiving county. In addition, upon completion of the case plan, the sending county shall provide a copy of the completed case plan to the receiving county. The case plan shall include information regarding any known or suspected dangerous behavior of the child that indicates the child may pose a safety concern to the receiving county.

(h) Whenever the social worker must change the placement of the child and is unable to find a suitable placement within the county and must place the child outside the county, the placement shall not be made until he or she has served written notice on the parent or guardian, the child’s attorney, and, if the child is 10 years of age or older, on the child, at least 14 days prior to the placement, unless the child’s health or well-being is endangered by delaying the action or would be endangered if prior notice were given. The notice shall state the reasons that require placement outside the county. The child or parent or guardian may object to the placement not later than seven days after receipt of the notice and, upon objection, the court shall hold a hearing not later than five days after the objection and prior to the placement. The court shall order out-of-county placement if it finds that the child’s particular needs require placement outside the county.

(i) If the court has ordered removal of the child from the physical custody of his or her parents pursuant to Section 361, the court shall consider whether the family ties and best interest of the child will be served by granting visitation rights to the child’s grandparents. The court shall clearly specify those rights to the social worker.

(j) If the court has ordered removal of the child from the physical custody of his or her parents pursuant to Section 361, the court shall consider whether there are any siblings under the court’s jurisdiction, or any nondependent siblings in the physical custody of a parent subject to the court’s jurisdiction, the nature of the relationship between the child and his or her siblings, the appropriateness of developing or maintaining the sibling relationships pursuant to Section 16002, and the impact of the sibling relationships on the child’s placement and planning for legal permanence.

(k) (1) An agency shall ensure placement of a child in a home that, to the fullest extent possible, best meets the day-to-day needs of the child. A home that best meets the day-to-day needs of the child shall satisfy all of the following criteria:

(A) The child’s caregiver is able to meet the day-to-day health, safety, and well-being needs of the child.

(B) The child’s caregiver is permitted to maintain the least restrictive family setting that promotes normal childhood experiences and that serves the day-to-day needs of the child.

(C) The child is permitted to engage in reasonable, age-appropriate day-to-day activities that promote normal childhood experiences for the foster child.

(2) The foster child’s caregiver shall use a reasonable and prudent parent standard, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 362.04, to determine day-to-day activities that are age appropriate to meet the needs of the child. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit a child’s caregiver to permit the child to engage in day-to-day activities that carry an unreasonable risk of harm, or subject the child to abuse or neglect.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 732, Sec. 46. (AB 404) Effective January 1, 2018.)

361.21.
  

(a) The court shall not order the placement of a minor in an out-of-state group home, unless the court finds, in its order of placement, that all of the following conditions have been met:

(1) The out-of-state group home is licensed or certified for the placement of minors by an agency of the state in which the minor will be placed.

(2) The out-of-state group home meets the requirements of Section 7911.1 of the Family Code.

(3) In-state facilities or programs have been determined to be unavailable or inadequate to meet the needs of the minor.

(b) At least every six months, the court shall review each placement made pursuant to subdivision (a) in order to determine compliance with that subdivision.

(c) A county shall not be entitled to receive or expend any public funds for the placement of a minor in an out-of-state group home unless the requirements of subdivisions (a) and (b) are met.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 881, Sec. 6. Effective October 10, 1999.)

361.3.
  

(a) In any case in which a child is removed from the physical custody of his or her parents pursuant to Section 361, preferential consideration shall be given to a request by a relative of the child for placement of the child with the relative, regardless of the relative’s immigration status. In determining whether placement with a relative is appropriate, the county social worker and court shall consider, but shall not be limited to, consideration of all the following factors:

(1) The best interest of the child, including special physical, psychological, educational, medical, or emotional needs.

(2) The wishes of the parent, the relative, and child, if appropriate.

(3) The provisions of Part 6 (commencing with Section 7950) of Division 12 of the Family Code regarding relative placement.

(4) Placement of siblings and half siblings in the same home, unless that placement is found to be contrary to the safety and well-being of any of the siblings, as provided in Section 16002.

(5) The good moral character of the relative and any other adult living in the home, including whether any individual residing in the home has a prior history of violent criminal acts or has been responsible for acts of child abuse or neglect.

(6) The nature and duration of the relationship between the child and the relative, and the relative’s desire to care for, and to provide legal permanency for, the child if reunification is unsuccessful.

(7) The ability of the relative to do the following:

(A) Provide a safe, secure, and stable environment for the child.

(B) Exercise proper and effective care and control of the child.

(C) Provide a home and the necessities of life for the child.

(D) Protect the child from his or her parents.

(E) Facilitate court-ordered reunification efforts with the parents.

(F) Facilitate visitation with the child’s other relatives.

(G) Facilitate implementation of all elements of the case plan.

(H) (i) Provide legal permanence for the child if reunification fails.

(ii) However, any finding made with respect to the factor considered pursuant to this subparagraph and pursuant to subparagraph (G) shall not be the sole basis for precluding preferential placement with a relative.

(I) Arrange for appropriate and safe child care, as necessary.

(8) (A) The safety of the relative’s home. For a relative to be considered appropriate to receive placement of a child under this section on an emergency basis, the relative’s home shall first be assessed pursuant to the process and standards described in Section 361.4.

(B) In this regard, the Legislature declares that a physical disability, such as blindness or deafness, is no bar to the raising of children, and a county social worker’s determination as to the ability of a disabled relative to exercise care and control should center upon whether the relative’s disability prevents him or her from exercising care and control. The court shall order the parent to disclose to the county social worker the names, residences, and any other known identifying information of any maternal or paternal relatives of the child. This inquiry shall not be construed, however, to guarantee that the child will be placed with any person so identified. The county social worker shall initially contact the relatives given preferential consideration for placement to determine if they desire the child to be placed with them. Those desiring placement shall be assessed according to the factors enumerated in this subdivision. The county social worker shall document these efforts in the social study prepared pursuant to Section 358.1. The court shall authorize the county social worker, while assessing these relatives for the possibility of placement, to disclose to the relative, as appropriate, the fact that the child is in custody, the alleged reasons for the custody, and the projected likely date for the child’s return home or placement for adoption or legal guardianship. However, this investigation shall not be construed as good cause for continuance of the dispositional hearing conducted pursuant to Section 358.

(b) In any case in which more than one relative requests preferential consideration pursuant to this section, each relative shall be considered under the factors enumerated in subdivision (a). Consistent with the legislative intent for children to be placed immediately with a relative, this section does not limit the county social worker’s ability to place a child in the home of a relative or a nonrelative extended family member pending the consideration of other relatives who have requested preferential consideration.

(c) For purposes of this section:

(1) “Preferential consideration” means that the relative seeking placement shall be the first placement to be considered and investigated.

(2) “Relative” means an adult who is related to the child by blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth degree of kinship, including stepparents, stepsiblings, and all relatives whose status is preceded by the words “great,” “great-great,” or “grand,” or the spouse of any of these persons even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution.

(d) Subsequent to the hearing conducted pursuant to Section 358, whenever a new placement of the child must be made, consideration for placement shall again be given as described in this section to relatives who have not been found to be unsuitable and who will fulfill the child’s reunification or permanent plan requirements. In addition to the factors described in subdivision (a), the county social worker shall consider whether the relative has established and maintained a relationship with the child.

(e) If the court does not place the child with a relative who has been considered for placement pursuant to this section, the court shall state for the record the reasons placement with that relative was denied.

(f) (1) With respect to a child who satisfies the criteria set forth in paragraph (2), the department and any licensed adoption agency may search for a relative and furnish identifying information relating to the child to that relative if it is believed the child’s welfare will be promoted thereby.

(2) Paragraph (1) shall apply if both of the following conditions are satisfied:

(A) The child was previously a dependent of the court.

(B) The child was previously adopted and the adoption has been disrupted, set aside pursuant to Section 9100 or 9102 of the Family Code, or the child has been released into the custody of the department or a licensed adoption agency by the adoptive parent or parents.

(3) As used in this subdivision, “relative” includes a member of the child’s birth family and nonrelative extended family members, regardless of whether the parental rights were terminated, provided that both of the following are true:

(A) No appropriate potential caretaker is known to exist from the child’s adoptive family, including nonrelative extended family members of the adoptive family.

(B) The child was not the subject of a voluntary relinquishment by the birth parents pursuant to Section 8700 of the Family Code or Section 1255.7 of the Health and Safety Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 732, Sec. 47. (AB 404) Effective January 1, 2018.)

361.31.
  

(a) In any case in which an Indian child is removed from the physical custody of his or her parents or Indian custodian pursuant to Section 361, the child’s placement shall comply with this section.

(b) Any foster care or guardianship placement of an Indian child, or any emergency removal of a child who is known to be, or there is reason to know that the child is, an Indian child shall be in the least restrictive setting which most approximates a family situation and in which the child’s special needs, if any, may be met. The child shall also be placed within reasonable proximity to the child’s home, taking into account any special needs of the child. Preference shall be given to the child’s placement with one of the following, in descending priority order:

(1) A member of the child’s extended family, as defined in Section 1903 of the Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.).

(2) A foster home licensed, approved, or specified by the child’s tribe.

(3) An Indian foster home licensed or approved by an authorized non-Indian licensing authority.

(4) An institution for children approved by an Indian tribe or operated by an Indian organization which has a program suitable to meet the Indian child’s needs.

(c) In any adoptive placement of an Indian child, preference shall be given to a placement with one of the following, in descending priority order:

(1) A member of the child’s extended family, as defined in Section 1903 of the Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.).

(2) Other members of the child’s tribe.

(3) Another Indian family.

(d) Notwithstanding the placement preferences listed in subdivisions (b) and (c), if a different order of placement preference is established by the child’s tribe, the court or agency effecting the placement shall follow the order of preference established by the tribe, so long as the placement is the least restrictive setting appropriate to the particular needs of the child as provided in subdivision (b).

(e) Where appropriate, the placement preference of the Indian child, when of sufficient age, or parent shall be considered. In applying the preferences, a consenting parent’s request for anonymity shall also be given weight by the court or agency effecting the placement.

(f) The prevailing social and cultural standards of the Indian community in which the parent or extended family members of an Indian child reside, or with which the parent or extended family members maintain social and cultural ties, or the prevailing social and cultural standards of the Indian child’s tribe shall be applied in meeting the placement preferences under this section. A determination of the applicable prevailing social and cultural standards may be confirmed by the Indian child’s tribe or by the testimony or other documented support of a qualified expert witness, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 224.6, who is knowledgeable regarding the social and cultural standards of the Indian child’s tribe.

(g) Any person or court involved in the placement of an Indian child shall use the services of the Indian child’s tribe, whenever available through the tribe, in seeking to secure placement within the order of placement preference established in this section and in the supervision of the placement.

(h) The court may determine that good cause exists not to follow placement preferences applicable under subdivision (b), (c), or (d) in accordance with subdivision (e).

(i) When no preferred placement under subdivision (b), (c), or (d) is available, active efforts shall be made to place the child with a family committed to enabling the child to have extended family visitation and participation in the cultural and ceremonial events of the child’s tribe.

(j) The burden of establishing the existence of good cause not to follow placement preferences applicable under subdivision (b), (c), or (d) shall be on the party requesting that the preferences not be followed.

(k) A record of each foster care placement or adoptive placement of an Indian child shall be maintained in perpetuity by the State Department of Social Services. The record shall document the active efforts to comply with the applicable order of preference specified in this section.

(Added by Stats. 2006, Ch. 838, Sec. 49. Effective January 1, 2007.)

361.4.
  

(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.)

361.45.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, when the sudden unavailability of a foster caregiver requires a change in placement for a child who is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 300, if a relative, as defined in Section 319, or a nonrelative extended family member, as defined in Section 362.7, is available and requests temporary placement of the child, the county welfare department shall initiate an assessment of the relative’s or nonrelative extended family member’s suitability pursuant to Section 361.4.

(b) 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 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. Thereafter, the county welfare department shall evaluate and approve or deny the home pursuant to Section 16519.5.

(c) (1) On and after January 1, 2012, if a nonminor dependent, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, is placed in the home of a relative or nonrelative extended family member, the home shall be approved using the same standards set forth in regulations as described in Section 1502.7 of the Health and Safety Code.

(2) On or before July 1, 2012, the department, in consultation with representatives of the Legislature, the County Welfare Directors Association, the Chief Probation Officers of California, the California Youth Connection, the Judicial Council, former foster youth, child advocacy organizations, dependency counsel for children, juvenile justice advocacy organizations, foster caregiver organizations, labor organizations, and representatives of Indian tribes, shall revise regulations regarding health and safety standards for approving relative homes in which nonminor dependents, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, of the juvenile court are placed under the responsibility of the county welfare or probation department, or an Indian tribe that entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1.

(3) Notwithstanding the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the department, in consultation with the stakeholders listed in paragraph (2), shall prepare for implementation of the applicable provisions of this section by publishing all-county letters or similar instructions from the department by October 1, 2011, to be effective January 1, 2012. Emergency regulations to implement this section may be adopted by the director in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. The initial adoption of the emergency regulations and one readoption of the initial regulations shall be deemed to be an emergency and necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, or general welfare. Initial emergency regulations and the first readoption of those emergency regulations shall be exempt from review by the Office of Administrative Law. The emergency regulations authorized by this section shall be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law for filing with the Secretary of State and shall remain in effect for no more than 180 days.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 732, Sec. 50. (AB 404) Effective January 1, 2018.)

361.49.
  

Regardless of his or her age, a child shall be deemed to have entered foster care on the earlier of the date of the jurisdictional hearing held pursuant to Section 356 or the date that is 60 days after the date on which the child was initially removed from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian.

(Added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 120, Sec. 1. Effective August 6, 2009.)

361.5.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), or when the parent has voluntarily relinquished the child and the relinquishment has been filed with the State Department of Social Services, or upon the establishment of an order of guardianship pursuant to Section 360, or when a court adjudicates a petition under Section 329 to modify the court’s jurisdiction from delinquency jurisdiction to dependency jurisdiction pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 607.2 and the parents or guardian of the ward have had reunification services terminated under the delinquency jurisdiction, whenever a child is removed from a parent’s or guardian’s custody, the juvenile court shall order the social worker to provide child welfare services to the child and the child’s mother and statutorily presumed father or guardians. Upon a finding and declaration of paternity by the juvenile court or proof of a prior declaration of paternity by any court of competent jurisdiction, the juvenile court may order services for the child and the biological father, if the court determines that the services will benefit the child.

(1) Family reunification services, when provided, shall be provided as follows:

(A) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (C), for a child who, on the date of initial removal from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian, was three years of age or older, court-ordered services shall be provided beginning with the dispositional hearing and ending 12 months after the date the child entered foster care as provided in Section 361.49, unless the child is returned to the home of the parent or guardian.

(B) For a child who, on the date of initial removal from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian, was under three years of age, court-ordered services shall be provided for a period of 6 months from the dispositional hearing as provided in subdivision (e) of Section 366.21, but no longer than 12 months from the date the child entered foster care, as provided in Section 361.49, unless the child is returned to the home of the parent or guardian.

(C) For the purpose of placing and maintaining a sibling group together in a permanent home should reunification efforts fail, for a child in a sibling group whose members were removed from parental custody at the same time, and in which one member of the sibling group was under three years of age on the date of initial removal from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian, court-ordered services for some or all of the sibling group may be limited as set forth in subparagraph (B). For the purposes of this paragraph, “a sibling group” shall mean two or more children who are related to each other as full or half siblings.

(2) Any motion to terminate court-ordered reunification services prior to the hearing set pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 366.21 for a child described by subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1), or prior to the hearing set pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 366.21 for a child described by subparagraph (B) or (C) of paragraph (1), shall be made pursuant to the requirements set forth in subdivision (c) of Section 388. A motion to terminate court-ordered reunification services shall not be required at the hearing set pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 366.21 if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence one of the following:

(A) That the child was removed initially under subdivision (g) of Section 300 and the whereabouts of the parent are still unknown.

(B) That the parent has failed to contact and visit the child.

(C) That the parent has been convicted of a felony indicating parental unfitness.

(3) (A) Notwithstanding subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (1), court-ordered services may be extended up to a maximum time period not to exceed 18 months after the date the child was originally removed from physical custody of his or her parent or guardian if it can be shown, at the hearing held pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 366.21, that the permanent plan for the child is that he or she will be returned and safely maintained in the home within the extended time period. The court shall extend the time period only if it finds that there is a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian within the extended time period or that reasonable services have not been provided to the parent or guardian. In determining whether court-ordered services may be extended, the court shall consider the special circumstances of an incarcerated or institutionalized parent or parents, parent or parents court-ordered to a residential substance abuse treatment program, or a parent who has been arrested and issued an immigration hold, detained by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or deported to his or her country of origin, including, but not limited to, barriers to the parent’s or guardian’s access to services and ability to maintain contact with his or her child. The court shall also consider, among other factors, good faith efforts that the parent or guardian has made to maintain contact with the child. If the court extends the time period, the court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion that there is a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian within the extended time period. The court also shall make findings pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366 and subdivision (e) of Section 358.1.

(B) When counseling or other treatment services are ordered, the parent or guardian shall be ordered to participate in those services, unless the parent’s or guardian’s participation is deemed by the court to be inappropriate or potentially detrimental to the child, or unless a parent or guardian is incarcerated or detained by the United States Department of Homeland Security and the corrections facility in which he or she is incarcerated does not provide access to the treatment services ordered by the court, or has been deported to his or her country of origin and services ordered by the court are not accessible in that country. Physical custody of the child by the parents or guardians during the applicable time period under subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (1) shall not serve to interrupt the running of the time period. If at the end of the applicable time period, a child cannot be safely returned to the care and custody of a parent or guardian without court supervision, but the child clearly desires contact with the parent or guardian, the court shall take the child’s desire into account in devising a permanency plan.

(C) In cases where the child was under three years of age on the date of the initial removal from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian or is a member of a sibling group as described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1), the court shall inform the parent or guardian that the failure of the parent or guardian to participate regularly in any court-ordered treatment programs or to cooperate or avail himself or herself of services provided as part of the child welfare services case plan may result in a termination of efforts to reunify the family after six months. The court shall inform the parent or guardian of the factors used in subdivision (e) of Section 366.21 to determine whether to limit services to six months for some or all members of a sibling group as described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1).

(4) (A) Notwithstanding paragraph (3), court-ordered services may be extended up to a maximum time period not to exceed 24 months after the date the child was originally removed from physical custody of his or her parent or guardian if it is shown, at the hearing held pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 366.22, that the permanent plan for the child is that he or she will be returned and safely maintained in the home within the extended time period. The court shall extend the time period only if it finds that it is in the child’s best interest to have the time period extended and that there is a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian who is described in subdivision (b) of Section 366.22 within the extended time period, or that reasonable services have not been provided to the parent or guardian. If the court extends the time period, the court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion that there is a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian within the extended time period. The court also shall make findings pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366 and subdivision (e) of Section 358.1.

(B) When counseling or other treatment services are ordered, the parent or guardian shall be ordered to participate in those services, in order for substantial probability to be found. Physical custody of the child by the parents or guardians during the applicable time period under subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (1) shall not serve to interrupt the running of the time period. If at the end of the applicable time period, the child cannot be safely returned to the care and custody of a parent or guardian without court supervision, but the child clearly desires contact with the parent or guardian, the court shall take the child’s desire into account in devising a permanency plan.

(C) Except in cases where, pursuant to subdivision (b), the court does not order reunification services, the court shall inform the parent or parents of Section 366.26 and shall specify that the parent’s or parents’ parental rights may be terminated.

(b) Reunification services need not be provided to a parent or guardian described in this subdivision when the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, any of the following:

(1) That the whereabouts of the parent or guardian are unknown. A finding pursuant to this paragraph shall be supported by an affidavit or by proof that a reasonably diligent search has failed to locate the parent or guardian. The posting or publication of notices is not required in that search.

(2) That the parent or guardian is suffering from a mental disability that is described in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 7820) of Part 4 of Division 12 of the Family Code and that renders him or her incapable of utilizing those services.

(3) That the child or a sibling of the child has been previously adjudicated a dependent pursuant to any subdivision of Section 300 as a result of physical or sexual abuse, that following that adjudication the child had been removed from the custody of his or her parent or guardian pursuant to Section 361, that the child has been returned to the custody of the parent or guardian from whom the child had been taken originally, and that the child is being removed pursuant to Section 361, due to additional physical or sexual abuse.

(4) That the parent or guardian of the child has caused the death of another child through abuse or neglect.

(5) That the child was brought within the jurisdiction of the court under subdivision (e) of Section 300 because of the conduct of that parent or guardian.

(6) (A) That the child has been adjudicated a dependent pursuant to any subdivision of Section 300 as a result of severe sexual abuse or the infliction of severe physical harm to the child, a sibling, or a half sibling by a parent or guardian, as defined in this subdivision, and the court makes a factual finding that it would not benefit the child to pursue reunification services with the offending parent or guardian.

(B) A finding of severe sexual abuse, for the purposes of this subdivision, may be based on, but is not limited to, sexual intercourse, or stimulation involving genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal contact, whether between the parent or guardian and the child or a sibling or half sibling of the child, or between the child or a sibling or half sibling of the child and another person or animal with the actual or implied consent of the parent or guardian; or the penetration or manipulation of the child’s, sibling’s, or half sibling’s genital organs or rectum by any animate or inanimate object for the sexual gratification of the parent or guardian, or for the sexual gratification of another person with the actual or implied consent of the parent or guardian.

(C) A finding of the infliction of severe physical harm, for the purposes of this subdivision, may be based on, but is not limited to, deliberate and serious injury inflicted to or on a child’s body or the body of a sibling or half sibling of the child by an act or omission of the parent or guardian, or of another individual or animal with the consent of the parent or guardian; deliberate and torturous confinement of the child, sibling, or half sibling in a closed space; or any other torturous act or omission that would be reasonably understood to cause serious emotional damage.

(7) That the parent is not receiving reunification services for a sibling or a half sibling of the child pursuant to paragraph (3), (5), or (6).

(8) That the child was conceived by means of the commission of an offense listed in Section 288 or 288.5 of the Penal Code, or by an act committed outside of this state that, if committed in this state, would constitute one of those offenses. This paragraph only applies to the parent who committed the offense or act.

(9) That the child has been found to be a child described in subdivision (g) of Section 300; that the parent or guardian of the child willfully abandoned the child, and the court finds that the abandonment itself constituted a serious danger to the child; or that the parent or other person having custody of the child voluntarily surrendered physical custody of the child pursuant to Section 1255.7 of the Health and Safety Code. For the purposes of this paragraph, “serious danger” means that without the intervention of another person or agency, the child would have sustained severe or permanent disability, injury, illness, or death. For purposes of this paragraph, “willful abandonment” shall not be construed as actions taken in good faith by the parent without the intent of placing the child in serious danger.

(10) That the court ordered termination of reunification services for any siblings or half siblings of the child because the parent or guardian failed to reunify with the sibling or half sibling after the sibling or half sibling had been removed from that parent or guardian pursuant to Section 361 and that parent or guardian is the same parent or guardian described in subdivision (a) and that, according to the findings of the court, this parent or guardian has not subsequently made a reasonable effort to treat the problems that led to removal of the sibling or half sibling of that child from that parent or guardian.

(11) That the parental rights of a parent over any sibling or half sibling of the child had been permanently severed, and this parent is the same parent described in subdivision (a), and that, according to the findings of the court, this parent has not subsequently made a reasonable effort to treat the problems that led to removal of the sibling or half sibling of that child from the parent.

(12) That the parent or guardian of the child has been convicted of a violent felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code.

(13) That the parent or guardian of the child has a history of extensive, abusive, and chronic use of drugs or alcohol and has resisted prior court-ordered treatment for this problem during a three-year period immediately prior to the filing of the petition that brought that child to the court’s attention, or has failed or refused to comply with a program of drug or alcohol treatment described in the case plan required by Section 358.1 on at least two prior occasions, even though the programs identified were available and accessible.

(14) (A) That the parent or guardian of the child has advised the court that he or she is not interested in receiving family maintenance or family reunification services or having the child returned to or placed in his or her custody and does not wish to receive family maintenance or reunification services.

(B) The parent or guardian shall be represented by counsel and shall execute a waiver of services form to be adopted by the Judicial Council. The court shall advise the parent or guardian of any right to services and of the possible consequences of a waiver of services, including the termination of parental rights and placement of the child for adoption. The court shall not accept the waiver of services unless it states on the record its finding that the parent or guardian has knowingly and intelligently waived the right to services.

(15) That the parent or guardian has on one or more occasions willfully abducted the child or child’s sibling or half sibling from his or her placement and refused to disclose the child’s or child’s sibling’s or half sibling’s whereabouts, refused to return physical custody of the child or child’s sibling or half sibling to his or her placement, or refused to return physical custody of the child or child’s sibling or half sibling to the social worker.

(16) That the parent or guardian has been required by the court to be registered on a sex offender registry under the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 16913(a)), as required in Section 106(b)(2)(B)(xvi)(VI) of the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 5106a(2)(B)(xvi)(VI)).

(17) That the parent or guardian knowingly participated in, or permitted, the sexual exploitation, as described in subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 11165.1 of, or subdivision (c) of Section 236.1 of, the Penal Code, of the child. This shall not include instances in which the parent or guardian demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she was coerced into permitting, or participating in, the sexual exploitation of the child.

(c) (1) In deciding whether to order reunification in any case in which this section applies, the court shall hold a dispositional hearing. The social worker shall prepare a report that discusses whether reunification services shall be provided. When it is alleged, pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), that the parent is incapable of utilizing services due to mental disability, the court shall order reunification services unless competent evidence from mental health professionals establishes that, even with the provision of services, the parent is unlikely to be capable of adequately caring for the child within the time limits specified in subdivision (a).

(2) The court shall not order reunification for a parent or guardian described in paragraph (3), (4), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12), (13), (14), (15), (16), or (17) of subdivision (b) unless the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that reunification is in the best interest of the child.

(3) In addition, the court shall not order reunification in any situation described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) unless it finds that, based on competent testimony, those services are likely to prevent reabuse or continued neglect of the child or that failure to try reunification will be detrimental to the child because the child is closely and positively attached to that parent. The social worker shall investigate the circumstances leading to the removal of the child and advise the court whether there are circumstances that indicate that reunification is likely to be successful or unsuccessful and whether failure to order reunification is likely to be detrimental to the child.

(4) The failure of the parent to respond to previous services, the fact that the child was abused while the parent was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a past history of violent behavior, or testimony by a competent professional that the parent’s behavior is unlikely to be changed by services are among the factors indicating that reunification services are unlikely to be successful. The fact that a parent or guardian is no longer living with an individual who severely abused the child may be considered in deciding that reunification services are likely to be successful, provided that the court shall consider any pattern of behavior on the part of the parent that has exposed the child to repeated abuse.

(d) If reunification services are not ordered pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) and the whereabouts of a parent become known within six months of the out-of-home placement of the child, the court shall order the social worker to provide family reunification services in accordance with this subdivision.

(e) (1) If the parent or guardian is incarcerated, institutionalized, or detained by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or has been deported to his or her country of origin, the court shall order reasonable services unless the court determines, by clear and convincing evidence, those services would be detrimental to the child. In determining detriment, the court shall consider the age of the child, the degree of parent-child bonding, the length of the sentence, the length and nature of the treatment, the nature of the crime or illness, the degree of detriment to the child if services are not offered and, for children 10 years of age or older, the child’s attitude toward the implementation of family reunification services, the likelihood of the parent’s discharge from incarceration, institutionalization, or detention within the reunification time limitations described in subdivision (a), and any other appropriate factors. In determining the content of reasonable services, the court shall consider the particular barriers to an incarcerated, institutionalized, detained, or deported parent’s access to those court-mandated services and ability to maintain contact with his or her child, and shall document this information in the child’s case plan. Reunification services are subject to the applicable time limitations imposed in subdivision (a). Services may include, but shall not be limited to, all of the following:

(A) Maintaining contact between the parent and child through collect telephone calls.

(B) Transportation services, when appropriate.

(C) Visitation services, when appropriate.

(D) (i) Reasonable services to extended family members or foster parents providing care for the child if the services are not detrimental to the child.

(ii) An incarcerated or detained parent may be required to attend counseling, parenting classes, or vocational training programs as part of the reunification service plan if actual access to these services is provided. The social worker shall document in the child’s case plan the particular barriers to an incarcerated, institutionalized, or detained parent’s access to those court-mandated services and ability to maintain contact with his or her child.

(E) Reasonable efforts to assist parents who have been deported to contact child welfare authorities in their country of origin, to identify any available services that would substantially comply with case plan requirements, to document the parents’ participation in those services, and to accept reports from local child welfare authorities as to the parents’ living situation, progress, and participation in services.

(2) The presiding judge of the juvenile court of each county may convene representatives of the county welfare department, the sheriff’s department, and other appropriate entities for the purpose of developing and entering into protocols for ensuring the notification, transportation, and presence of an incarcerated or institutionalized parent at all court hearings involving proceedings affecting the child pursuant to Section 2625 of the Penal Code. The county welfare department shall utilize the prisoner locator system developed by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to facilitate timely and effective notice of hearings for incarcerated parents.

(3) Notwithstanding any other law, if the incarcerated parent is a woman seeking to participate in the community treatment program operated by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation pursuant to Chapter 4.8 (commencing with Section 1174) of Title 7 of Part 2 of, Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 3410) of Title 2 of Part 3 of, the Penal Code, the court shall determine whether the parent’s participation in a program is in the child’s best interest and whether it is suitable to meet the needs of the parent and child.

(f) If the court, pursuant to paragraph (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12), (13), (14), (15), (16), or (17) of subdivision (b) or paragraph (1) of subdivision (e), does not order reunification services, it shall, at the dispositional hearing, that shall include a permanency hearing, determine if a hearing under Section 366.26 shall be set in order to determine whether adoption, guardianship, placement with a fit and willing relative, or another planned permanent living arrangement, or, in the case of an Indian child, in consultation with the child’s tribe, tribal customary adoption, is the most appropriate plan for the child, and shall consider in-state and out-of-state placement options. If the court so determines, it shall conduct the hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 within 120 days after the dispositional hearing. However, the court shall not schedule a hearing so long as the other parent is being provided reunification services pursuant to subdivision (a). The court may continue to permit the parent to visit the child unless it finds that visitation would be detrimental to the child.

(g) (1) Whenever a court orders that a hearing shall be held pursuant to Section 366.26, including, when, in consultation with the child’s tribe, tribal customary adoption is recommended, it shall direct the agency supervising the child and the county adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency, to prepare an assessment that shall include:

(A) Current search efforts for an absent parent or parents and notification of a noncustodial parent in the manner provided for in Section 291.

(B) A review of the amount of and nature of any contact between the child and his or her parents and other members of his or her extended family since the time of placement. Although the extended family of each child shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, “extended family” for the purpose of this subparagraph shall include, but not be limited to, the child’s siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

(C) (i) An evaluation of the child’s medical, developmental, scholastic, mental, and emotional status.

(ii) The evaluation pursuant to clause (i) shall include, but is not limited to, providing a copy of the complete health and education summary as required under Section 16010, including the name and contact information of the person or persons currently holding the right to make educational decisions for the child.

(iii) In instances where it is determined that disclosure pursuant to clause (ii) of the contact information of the person or persons currently holding the right to make educational decisions for the child poses a threat to the health and safety of that individual or those individuals, that contact information shall be redacted or withheld from the evaluation.

(D) A preliminary assessment of the eligibility and commitment of any identified prospective adoptive parent or guardian, including a prospective tribal customary adoptive parent, particularly the caretaker, to include a social history, including screening for criminal records and prior referrals for child abuse or neglect, the capability to meet the child’s needs, and the understanding of the legal and financial rights and responsibilities of adoption and guardianship. If a proposed guardian is a relative of the minor, the assessment shall also consider, but need not be limited to, all of the factors specified in subdivision (a) of Section 361.3 and in Section 361.4. As used in this subparagraph, “relative” means an adult who is related to the minor by blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth degree of kinship, including stepparents, stepsiblings, and all relatives whose status is preceded by the words “great,” “great-great,” or “grand,” or the spouse of any of those persons even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution. If the proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, “relative” as used in this section has the same meaning as “relative” as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 11391.

(E) The relationship of the child to any identified prospective adoptive parent or guardian, including a prospective tribal customary parent, the duration and character of the relationship, the degree of attachment of the child to the prospective relative guardian or adoptive parent, the relative’s or adoptive parent’s strong commitment to caring permanently for the child, the motivation for seeking adoption or guardianship, a statement from the child concerning placement and the adoption or guardianship, and whether the child over 12 years of age has been consulted about the proposed relative guardianship arrangements, unless the child’s age or physical, emotional, or other condition precludes his or her meaningful response, and if so, a description of the condition.

(F) An analysis of the likelihood that the child will be adopted if parental rights are terminated.

(G) In the case of an Indian child, in addition to subparagraphs (A) to (F), inclusive, an assessment of the likelihood that the child will be adopted, when, in consultation with the child’s tribe, a tribal customary adoption, as defined in Section 366.24, is recommended. If tribal customary adoption is recommended, the assessment shall include an analysis of both of the following:

(i) Whether tribal customary adoption would or would not be detrimental to the Indian child and the reasons for reaching that conclusion.

(ii) Whether the Indian child cannot or should not be returned to the home of the Indian parent or Indian custodian and the reasons for reaching that conclusion.

(2) (A) A relative caregiver’s preference for legal guardianship over adoption, if it is due to circumstances that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child, shall not constitute the sole basis for recommending removal of the child from the relative caregiver for purposes of adoptive placement.

(B) Regardless of his or her immigration status, a relative caregiver shall be given information regarding the permanency options of guardianship and adoption, including the long-term benefits and consequences of each option, prior to establishing legal guardianship or pursuing adoption. If the proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, the relative caregiver shall be informed about the terms and conditions of the negotiated agreement pursuant to Section 11387 and shall agree to its execution prior to the hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26. A copy of the executed negotiated agreement shall be attached to the assessment.

(h) If, at any hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26, a guardianship is established for the minor with an approved relative caregiver and juvenile court dependency is subsequently dismissed, the minor shall be eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program as provided for in Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) or Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385), as applicable, of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9.

(i) In determining whether reunification services will benefit the child pursuant to paragraph (6) or (7) of subdivision (b), the court shall consider any information it deems relevant, including the following factors:

(1) The specific act or omission comprising the severe sexual abuse or the severe physical harm inflicted on the child or the child’s sibling or half sibling.

(2) The circumstances under which the abuse or harm was inflicted on the child or the child’s sibling or half sibling.

(3) The severity of the emotional trauma suffered by the child or the child’s sibling or half sibling.

(4) Any history of abuse of other children by the offending parent or guardian.

(5) The likelihood that the child may be safely returned to the care of the offending parent or guardian within 12 months with no continuing supervision.

(6) Whether or not the child desires to be reunified with the offending parent or guardian.

(j) When the court determines that reunification services will not be ordered, it shall order that the child’s caregiver receive the child’s birth certificate in accordance with Sections 16010.4 and 16010.5. Additionally, when the court determines that reunification services will not be ordered, it shall order, when appropriate, that a child who is 16 years of age or older receive his or her birth certificate.

(k) The court shall read into the record the basis for a finding of severe sexual abuse or the infliction of severe physical harm under paragraph (6) of subdivision (b), and shall also specify the factual findings used to determine that the provision of reunification services to the offending parent or guardian would not benefit the child.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 829, Sec. 5. (SB 233) Effective January 1, 2018.)

361.6.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, the court may order family reunification services to continue for a nonminor dependent, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, if the nonminor dependent and parent, parents, or legal guardian are in agreement and the court finds that the continued provision of court-ordered family reunification services is in the best interests of the nonminor dependent and there is a substantial probability that the nonminor dependent will be able to safely reside in the home of the parent or guardian by the next review hearing. The continuation of the court-ordered reunification services shall not exceed the timeframes as set forth in Section 361.5. If the nonminor dependent or parent, parents, or legal guardian are not in agreement, or the court finds there is not a substantial probability that the nonminor will be able to safely reside in the home of the parent or guardian, the court shall terminate family reunification services to the parents or guardian. The nonminor dependent’s legal status as an adult is, in and of itself, a compelling reason not to hold a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26. The court may order that a nonminor dependent who is otherwise eligible for AFDC-FC benefits pursuant to Section 11403 remain in a planned, permanent living arrangement.

(b) Any motion to terminate court-ordered family reunification services for a nonminor dependent prior to the hearing set pursuant to Section 366.31 shall be made pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 388.

(c) An order terminating court-ordered family reunification services under this section shall not be considered evidence of a condition required for the filing of a petition to terminate a parent’s or legal guardian’s court-ordered family reunification services with the nonminor dependent’s sibling or half-sibling under subdivision (c) of Section 388.

(d) An order terminating court-ordered family reunification services under this section shall not be used to deny family reunification services to a parent or legal guardian for a nonminor dependent’s sibling or half-sibling under subdivision (b) of Section 361.5.

(e) The continuation of court-ordered family reunification services under this section does not affect the nonminor’s eligibility for extended foster care benefits as a nonminor dependent as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400. The reviews conducted for any nonminor dependent shall be held pursuant to Section 366.31.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 846, Sec. 16. (AB 1712) Effective January 1, 2013.)

361.7.
  

(a) Notwithstanding Section 361.5, a party seeking an involuntary foster care placement of, or termination of parental rights over, an Indian child shall provide evidence to the court that active efforts have been made to provide remedial services and rehabilitative programs designed to prevent the breakup of the Indian family and that these efforts have proved unsuccessful.

(b) What constitutes active efforts shall be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The active efforts shall be made in a manner that takes into account the prevailing social and cultural values, conditions, and way of life of the Indian child’s tribe. Active efforts shall utilize the available resources of the Indian child’s extended family, tribe, tribal and other Indian social service agencies, and individual Indian caregiver service providers.

(c) No foster care placement or guardianship may be ordered in the proceeding in the absence of a determination, supported by clear and convincing evidence, including testimony of a qualified expert witness, as defined in Section 224.6, that the continued custody of the child by the parent or Indian custodian is likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child.

(Added by Stats. 2006, Ch. 838, Sec. 50. Effective January 1, 2007.)

361.8.
  

(a) The Legislature declares that a child of a minor parent or nonminor dependent parent shall not be considered to be at risk of abuse or neglect solely on the basis of information concerning the parent’s or parents’ placement history, past behaviors, or health or mental health diagnoses occurring prior to the pregnancy, although that information may be taken into account when considering whether other factors exist that place the child at risk of abuse or neglect.

(b) In the case of a child for whom one or both minor parents have been adjudged to be dependent children of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 300, or adjudged to be wards of the court pursuant to Section 601 or 602, all of the following shall apply:

(1) Paragraphs (10) and (11) of subdivision (b) of Section 361.5 shall not apply, unless one or more of the circumstances described in paragraphs (1) to (9), inclusive, and paragraphs (12) to (17), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 361.5 apply.

(2) A party seeking an involuntary foster care placement of, or termination of parental rights over, a child born to a parent or parents who were minors at the time of the child’s birth shall demonstrate to the court that reasonable efforts were made to provide remedial services designed to prevent the removal of the child from the minor parent or parents, and that these efforts have proved unsuccessful.

(3) The efforts made pursuant to paragraph (2) shall utilize the available resources of the child and his or her minor parent’s or parents’ extended family, social services agencies, caregivers, and other available service providers.

(c) Except as provided in Section 301, prior to a social worker or probation officer arranging any informal or formal custody agreement that includes a temporary or permanent voluntary relinquishment of custody by a parent who is a ward of the juvenile court or a dependent or nonminor dependent parent, or recommending that a nonparent seek legal guardianship of the child of a ward, dependent, or nonminor dependent parent, the parent shall be advised of the right and have the opportunity to consult with his or her legal counsel. The social worker or probation officer shall note in the case file whether the dependent, nonminor dependent, or ward consulted with legal counsel, or if the opportunity for consultation was provided and the consultation did not occur, the reason that the consultation did not occur.

(d) For purposes of this section, “child” and “minor parent” shall have the same definitions as set forth in Section 16002.5.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 666, Sec. 2. (AB 1371) Effective January 1, 2018.)

362.
  

(a) If a child is adjudged a dependent child of the court on the ground that the child is a person described by Section 300, the court may make any and all reasonable orders for the care, supervision, custody, conduct, maintenance, and support of the child, including medical treatment, subject to further order of the court.

(b) (1) To facilitate coordination and cooperation among agencies, the court may, at any time after a petition has been filed, after giving notice and an opportunity to be heard, join in the juvenile court proceedings any agency that the court determines has failed to meet a legal obligation to provide services to a child for whom a petition has been filed under Section 300, to a nonminor, as described in Section 303, or to a nonminor dependent, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, regardless of the status of the adjudication. In any proceeding in which an agency is joined, the court shall not impose duties upon the agency beyond those mandated by law. Nothing in this section shall prohibit agencies that have received notice of the hearing on joinder from meeting prior to the hearing to coordinate services.

(2) The court has no authority to order services unless it has been determined through the administrative process of an agency that has been joined as a party, that the child, nonminor, or nonminor dependent is eligible for those services. With respect to mental health assessment, treatment, and case management services pursuant to Chapter 26.5 (commencing with Section 7570) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code, the court’s determination shall be limited to whether the agency has complied with that chapter.

(3) For the purposes of this subdivision, “agency” means any governmental agency or any private service provider or individual that receives federal, state, or local governmental funding or reimbursement for providing services directly to a child, nonminor, or nonminor dependent.

(c) If a child is adjudged a dependent child of the court, on the ground that the child is a person described by Section 300, and the court orders that a parent or guardian shall retain custody of the child subject to the supervision of the social worker, the parents or guardians shall be required to participate in child welfare services or services provided by an appropriate agency designated by the court.

(d) The juvenile court may direct any reasonable orders to the parents or guardians of the child who is the subject of any proceedings under this chapter as the court deems necessary and proper to carry out this section, including orders to appear before a county financial evaluation officer. That order may include a direction to participate in a counseling or education program, including, but not limited to, a parent education and parenting program operated by a community college, school district, or other appropriate agency designated by the court. A foster parent or relative with whom the child is placed may be directed to participate in such a program in cases in which the court deems participation is appropriate and in the child’s best interest. The program in which a parent or guardian is required to participate shall be designed to eliminate those conditions that led to the court’s finding that the child is a person described by Section 300.

(e) If a child is adjudged a dependent child of the court, the juvenile court may direct any reasonable orders to the parents or guardians of the child who is the subject of any proceedings under this chapter to ensure the child’s regular school attendance and to make reasonable efforts to obtain educational services necessary to meet the specific needs of the child.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 130, Sec. 1. (SB 1048) Effective January 1, 2013.)

362.04.
  

(a) For purposes of this section:

(1) “Caregiver” means any licensed certified foster parent, approved relative caregiver, or approved nonrelative extended family member, or approved resource family.

(2) “Reasonable and prudent parent” or “reasonable and prudent parent standard” has the meaning set forth in subdivision (c) of Section 362.05.

(3) “Short term” means no more than 24 consecutive hours.

(b) Every caregiver may arrange for occasional short-term babysitting of their foster child and allow individuals to supervise the foster child for the purposes set forth in Section 362.05, or on occasions, including, but not limited to, when the foster parent has a medical or other health care appointment, grocery or other shopping, personal grooming appointments, special occasions for the foster parents, foster parent training classes, school-related meetings (such as parent-teacher conferences), business meetings, adult social gatherings, or an occasional evening out by the foster parent.

(c) Caregivers shall use a reasonable and prudent parent standard in determining and selecting appropriate babysitters for occasional short-term use.

(d) The caregiver shall endeavor to provide the babysitter with the following information before leaving the child for purposes of short-term care:

(1) Information about the child’s emotional, behavioral, medical, or physical conditions, if any, necessary to provide care for the child during the time the foster child is being supervised by the babysitter.

(2) Any medication that should be administered to the foster child during the time the foster child is being supervised by the babysitter.

(3) Emergency contact information that is valid during the time the foster child is being supervised by the babysitter.

(e) Babysitters selected by the caregiver to provide occasional short-term care to a foster child under the provisions of this section shall be exempt from any department regulation requiring health screening or cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification or training.

(f) Each state and local entity shall ensure that private agencies that provide foster care services to dependent children have policies consistent with this section. Policies that are not consistent with this section include those that are incompatible with, contradictory to, or more restrictive than this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 425, Sec. 6. (SB 794) Effective January 1, 2016.)

362.05.
  

(a) (1) Every child adjudged a dependent child of the juvenile court shall be entitled to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities. No state or local regulation or policy may prevent, or create barriers to, participation in those activities. Each state and local entity shall ensure that private agencies that provide foster care services to dependent children have policies consistent with this section and that those agencies promote and protect the ability of dependent children to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities. A short-term residential therapeutic program or a group home administrator, facility manager, or his or her responsible designee, and a caregiver, as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 362.04, shall use a reasonable and prudent parent standard in determining whether to give permission for a child residing in foster care to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities. A short-term residential therapeutic program or a group home administrator, facility manager, or his or her responsible designee, and a caregiver shall take reasonable steps to determine the appropriateness of the activity in consideration of the child’s age, maturity, and developmental level.

(2) Training for caregivers shall include knowledge and skills relating to the reasonable and prudent parent standard for the participation of the child in age or developmentally appropriate activities, consistent with this section and Section 671(a)(24) of Title 42 of the United States Code.

(b) A short-term residential therapeutic program or a group home administrator, facility manager, or his or her responsible designee, is encouraged to consult with social work or treatment staff members who are most familiar with the child at the group home in applying and using the reasonable and prudent parent standard.

(c) (1) “Reasonable and prudent parent” or “reasonable and prudent parent standard” means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, and best interests of a child while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child, that a caregiver shall use when determining whether to allow a child in foster care under the responsibility of the state to participate in age or developmentally appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.

(2) The term “age or developmentally appropriate” means both of the following:

(A) Activities or items that are generally accepted as suitable for children of the same chronological age or level of maturity or that are determined to be developmentally appropriate for a child, based on the development of cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacities that are typical for an age or age group.

(B) In the case of a specific child, activities or items that are suitable for the child based on the developmental stages attained by the child with respect to the cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacities of the child.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 732, Sec. 51. (AB 404) Effective January 1, 2018.)

362.1.
  

(a) In order to maintain ties between the parent or guardian and any siblings and the child, and to provide information relevant to deciding if, and when, to return a child to the custody of his or her parent or guardian, or to encourage or suspend sibling interaction, any order placing a child in foster care, and ordering reunification services, shall provide as follows:

(1) (A) Subject to subparagraph (B), for visitation between the parent or guardian and the child. Visitation shall be as frequent as possible, consistent with the well-being of the child.

(B) No visitation order shall jeopardize the safety of the child. To protect the safety of the child, the court may keep the child’s address confidential. If the parent of the child has been convicted of murder in the first degree, as defined in Section 189 of the Penal Code, and the victim of the murder was the other parent of the child, the court shall order visitation between the child and the parent only if that order would be consistent with Section 3030 of the Family Code.

(2) Pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 16002, for visitation between the child and any siblings, unless the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that sibling interaction is contrary to the safety or well-being of either child.

(3) Pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 16002, for review of the reasons for any suspension of sibling interaction at each periodic review hearing pursuant to Section 366, and for a requirement that, in order for a suspension to continue, the court shall make a renewed finding that sibling interaction is contrary to the safety or well-being of either child.

(4) If the child is a teen parent who has custody of his or her child and that child is not a dependent of the court pursuant to this chapter, for visitation among the teen parent, the child’s noncustodial parent, and appropriate family members, unless the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that visitation would be detrimental to the teen parent.

(b) When reunification services are not ordered pursuant to Section 361.5, the child’s plan for legal permanency shall include consideration of the existence of and the relationship with any sibling pursuant to Section 16002, including their impact on placement and visitation.

(c) 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.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 425, Sec. 8. (SB 794) Effective January 1, 2016.)

362.2.
  

It is the intent of the Legislature that if a placement out-of-home is necessary pursuant to an individualized education program, that this placement be as near the child’s home as possible, unless it is not in the best interest of the child. When the court determines that it is the best interest of the child to be placed out-of-state, the court shall read into the record that in-state alternatives have been explored and that they cannot meet the needs of the child, and the court shall state on the record the reasons for the out-of-state placement.

(Added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1128, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1995.)

362.3.
  

In addition to the notice provided in Sections 297 and 332, the juvenile court may issue its citation directing any parent, guardian, or foster parent of the person concerning whom a petition has been filed to appear at the time and place set for any hearing under the provisions of this chapter, and directing any person having custody or control of the child concerning whom the petition has been filed to bring the child with him or her. The citation shall, in addition, state that a parent, guardian, or foster parent may be required to participate in a counseling or education program with the child concerning whom the petition has been filed. Personal service of the citation shall be made at least 24 hours before the time stated therein for the appearance.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 416, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 2003.)

362.4.
  

(a) If the juvenile court terminates its jurisdiction over a minor who has been adjudged a dependent child of the juvenile court prior to the minor’s attainment of the age of 18 years, and proceedings for dissolution of marriage, for nullity of marriage, or for legal separation, of the minor’s parents, or proceedings to establish the paternity of the minor child brought under the Uniform Parentage Act, Part 3 (commencing with Section 7600) of Division 12 of the Family Code, are pending in the superior court of any county, or an order has been entered with regard to the custody of that minor, the juvenile court on its own motion, may issue a protective order as provided for in Section 213.5 or as defined in Section 6218 of the Family Code, and an order determining the custody of, or visitation with, the child.

(b) Any order issued pursuant to this section shall continue until modified or terminated by a subsequent order of the superior court. The order of the juvenile court shall be filed in the proceeding for nullity, dissolution, or legal separation, or in the proceeding to establish paternity, at the time the juvenile court terminates its jurisdiction over the minor, and shall become a part thereof.

(c) If no action is filed or pending relating to the custody of the minor in the superior court of any county, the juvenile court order may be used as the sole basis for opening a file in the superior court of the county in which the parent, who has been given custody, resides. The court may direct the parent or the clerk of the juvenile court to transmit the order to the clerk of the superior court of the county in which the order is to be filed. The clerk of the superior court shall, immediately upon receipt, open a file, without a filing fee, and assign a case number.

(d) The clerk of the superior court shall, upon the filing of any juvenile court custody order, send a copy of the order with the case number by first-class mail or by electronic means pursuant to Section 212.5 to the juvenile court and to the parents at the address listed on the order.

(e) The Judicial Council shall adopt forms for any custody or restraining order issued under this section. These form orders shall not be confidential.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 319, Sec. 130. (AB 976) Effective January 1, 2018.)

362.5.
  

(a) The clerk of the superior court shall open a separate court file for nonminor dependents under the dependency, delinquency, or transition jurisdiction of the court.

(b) Access to the nonminor dependent court file shall be limited to all of the following:

(1) Court personnel.

(2) The district attorney, if the nonminor dependent is also a delinquent ward.

(3) The nonminor dependent.

(4) The attorney for the nonminor dependent.

(5) Judges, referees, and other hearing officers actively participating in juvenile proceedings involving the nonminor dependent.

(6) The social services agency or probation department.

(7) The State Department of Social Services, to carry out its duties pursuant to Division 9 (commencing with Section 10000), and Part 5 (commencing with Section 7900) of Division 12 of the Family Code, to oversee and monitor county child welfare agencies, children in foster care or receiving foster care assistance; and out-of-state placements, Section 10850.4, and pursuant to Section 2.

(8) The county counsel.

(9) Authorized legal staff or special investigators who are peace officers who are employed by, or who are authorized representatives of, the State Department of Social Services, as necessary for the performance of their duties to inspect, license, and investigate community care facilities, to ensure that the standards of care and services provided in those facilities are adequate and appropriate, and to ascertain compliance with the rules and regulations to which the facilities are subject. The confidential information shall remain confidential except for purposes of inspection, licensing, or investigation pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1500) and Chapter 3.4 (commencing with Section 1596.70) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, or a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding in relation thereto. The confidential information may be used by the State Department of Social Services in a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding. The confidential information shall be available only to the judge or hearing officer and to the parties to the case. Names that are confidential shall be listed in attachments separate from the general pleadings. The confidential information shall be sealed after the conclusion of the criminal, civil, or administrative hearings, and may not subsequently be released, except in accordance with this subdivision. If the confidential information does not result in a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding, it shall be sealed after the State Department of Social Services decides that no further action will be taken in the matter of suspected licensing violations. Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, confidential information in the possession of the State Department of Social Services may not contain the name of the nonminor dependent.

(c) The nonminor dependent’s parent and the parent’s attorney may only access the file if the parent is still receiving reunification services.

(d) All other individuals requesting access to the court file must be designated by court order of the judge of the juvenile court upon filing a petition, which shall be determined pursuant to Section 827.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 846, Sec. 17. (AB 1712) Effective January 1, 2013.)

362.6.
  

(a) When a hearing is requested pursuant to Section 1202.05 of the Penal Code, the sentencing court shall forward a copy of the request to the child protective services agency (CPS), or the appropriate entity, in the county in which any related dependency matters as to the affected child victim have been heard or to the county in which the child victim resides. CPS, or the appropriate entity, shall initiate a hearing to determine whether visitation between the child victim and the incarcerated person would be in the best interests of the child victim. If the court determines that visitation with the incarcerated person is in the best interests of the child victim, CPS, or the appropriate entity, shall notify the Department of Corrections to provide for contact or visitation, or both, as ordered by the court.

(b) The court, if visitation is allowed, may impose whatever safeguards or restrictions it deems appropriate to protect the child victim.

(c) The court’s order shall be transmitted to all parties and to the Department of Corrections.

(d) Any party may return to the juvenile court at any time prior to the child victim’s 18th birthday and request modification of the court’s order based on a change of circumstances. For these purposes, the juvenile court shall retain jurisdiction over the matter until the child victim reaches the age of 18 years.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1008, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 1993.)

362.7.
  

When the home of a nonrelative extended family member is being considered for placement of a child, the home shall be evaluated, and approval of that home shall be granted or denied, pursuant to the same standards set forth in the regulations for the licensing of foster family homes that prescribe standards of safety and sanitation for the physical plant and standards for basic personal care, supervision, and services provided by the caregiver.

A “nonrelative extended family member” is defined as an adult caregiver who has an established familial relationship with a relative of the child, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 361.3, or a familial or mentoring relationship with the child. The county welfare department shall verify the existence of a relationship through interviews with the parent and child or with one or more third parties. The parties may include relatives of the child, teachers, medical professionals, clergy, neighbors, and family friends.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 294, Sec. 1. (AB 545) Effective January 1, 2014.)

363.
  

If the parent or person legally responsible for the care of any minor who is found to be a person described in Section 300 receives public assistance or care, any portion of which is attributable to the minor, a copy of the order of the court providing for the removal of the minor from his or her home shall be furnished to the appropriate social services official, who shall reduce the public assistance and care furnished the parent or other person by the amount attributable to the minor.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 701, Sec. 4. Effective August 29, 1988.)

364.
  

(a) Every hearing in which an order is made placing a child under the supervision of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 300 and in which the child is not removed from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian shall be continued to a specific future date not to exceed six months after the date of the original dispositional hearing. The continued hearing shall be placed on the appearance calendar. The court shall advise all persons present of the date of the future hearings, of their rights to be present, and to be represented by counsel.

(b) At least 10 calendar days prior to the hearing, the social worker shall file a supplemental report with the court describing the services offered to the family and the progress made by the family in eliminating the conditions or factors requiring court supervision. The social worker shall also make a recommendation regarding the necessity of continued supervision. A copy of this report shall be furnished to all parties at least 10 calendar days prior to the hearing.

(c) After hearing any evidence presented by the social worker, the parent, the guardian, or the child, the court shall determine whether continued supervision is necessary. The court shall terminate its jurisdiction unless the social worker or his or her department establishes by a preponderance of evidence that the conditions still exist which would justify initial assumption of jurisdiction under Section 300, or that those conditions are likely to exist if supervision is withdrawn. Failure of the parent or guardian to participate regularly in any court ordered treatment program shall constitute prima facie evidence that the conditions which justified initial assumption of jurisdiction still exist and that continued supervision is necessary.

(d) If the court retains jurisdiction it shall continue the matter to a specified date, not more than six months from the time of the hearing, at which point the court shall again follow the procedure specified in subdivision (c).

(e) In any case in which the court has ordered that a parent or guardian shall retain physical custody of a child subject to supervision by a social worker, and the social worker subsequently receives a report of acts or circumstances which indicate that there is reasonable cause to believe that the child is a person described in subdivision (a), (d), or (e) of Section 300, the social worker shall commence proceedings under this chapter. If, as a result of the proceedings required, the court finds that the child is a person described in subdivision (a), (d), or (e) of Section 300, the court shall remove the child from the care, custody, and control of the child’s parent or guardian and shall commit the child to the care, custody, and control of the social worker pursuant to Section 361.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 1054, Sec. 29. Effective January 1, 1999.)

364.05.
  

Notwithstanding Section 364, in a county of the first class, a copy of the report required pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 364 shall be provided to all parties at least 10 calendar days before the hearing. This may be accomplished by electronically serving the report pursuant to Section 212.5 or by mailing the report at least 15 calendar days before the hearing to a party whose address is within the State of California, or at least 20 calendar days before the hearing to a party whose address is outside the State of California. The court shall grant a reasonable continuance, not to exceed 10 calendar days, upon request by any party or his or her counsel on the ground that the report was not provided at least 10 calendar days before the hearing as required by this section, unless the party or his or her counsel has expressly waived the requirement that the report be provided within the 10-day period or the court finds that the party’s ability to proceed at the hearing is not prejudiced by the lack of timely service of the report. In making this determination, the court shall presume that a party is prejudiced by the lack of timely service of the report, and may find that the party is not prejudiced only by clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 319, Sec. 131. (AB 976) Effective January 1, 2018.)

365.
  

The court may require the social worker or any other agency to render any periodic reports concerning children committed to its care, custody, and control under the provisions of Section 362 that the court deems necessary or desirable. The court may require that the social worker, or any other public agency organized to provide care for needy or neglected children, shall perform the visitation and make periodic reports to the courts concerning children committed under those provisions that the court deems necessary or desirable.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 1054, Sec. 30. Effective January 1, 1999.)

366.
  

(a) (1) The status of every dependent child in foster care shall be reviewed periodically as determined by the court but no less frequently than once every six months, as calculated from the date of the original dispositional hearing, until the hearing described in Section 366.26 is completed. The court shall consider the safety of the child and shall determine all of the following:

(A) The continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the placement.

(B) The extent of the agency’s compliance with the case plan in making reasonable efforts, or, in the case of a child 16 years of age or older with another planned permanent living arrangement, the ongoing and intensive efforts, or, in the case of an Indian child, active efforts as described in Section 361.7, to return the child to a safe home and to complete any steps necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child, including efforts to maintain relationships between a child who is 10 years of age or older and who has been in an out-of-home placement for six months or longer, and individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests.

(C) Whether there should be any limitation on the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions or developmental services decisions for the child. That limitation shall be specifically addressed in the court order and may not exceed those necessary to protect the child. Whenever the court specifically limits the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions or developmental services decisions for the child, the court shall at the same time appoint a responsible adult to make educational decisions or developmental services decisions for the child pursuant to Section 361.

(D) (i) Whether the child has other siblings under the court’s jurisdiction, and, if any siblings exist, all of the following:

(I) The nature of the relationship between the child and his or her siblings.

(II) The appropriateness of developing or maintaining the sibling relationships pursuant to Section 16002.

(III) If the siblings are not placed together in the same home, why the siblings are not placed together and what efforts are being made to place the siblings together, or why those efforts are not appropriate.

(IV) If the siblings are not placed together, all of the following:

(ia) The frequency and nature of the visits between the siblings.

(ib) If there are visits between the siblings, whether the visits are supervised or unsupervised. If the visits are supervised, a discussion of the reasons why the visits are supervised, and what needs to be accomplished in order for the visits to be unsupervised.

(ic) If there are visits between the siblings, a description of the location and length of the visits.

(id) Any plan to increase visitation between the siblings.

(V) The impact of the sibling relationships on the child’s placement and planning for legal permanence.

(VI) The continuing need to suspend sibling interaction, if applicable, pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 16002.

(ii) The factors the court may consider in making a determination regarding the nature of the child’s sibling relationships may include, but are not limited to, whether the siblings were raised together in the same home, whether the siblings have shared significant common experiences or have existing close and strong bonds, whether either sibling expresses a desire to visit or live with his or her sibling, as applicable, and whether ongoing contact is in the child’s best emotional interests.

(E) The extent of progress that has been made toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care.

(F) If the review hearing is the last review hearing to be held before the child attains 18 years of age, the court shall conduct the hearing pursuant to Section 366.31 or 366.32.

(2) The court shall project a likely date by which the child may be returned to and safely maintained in the home or placed for adoption, tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, legal guardianship, placed with a fit and willing relative, or in another planned permanent living arrangement.

(b) Subsequent to the hearing, periodic reviews of each child in foster care shall be conducted pursuant to the requirements of Sections 366.3 and 16503.

(c) If the child has been placed out of state, each review described in subdivision (a) and any reviews conducted pursuant to Sections 366.3 and 16503 shall also address whether the out-of-state placement continues to be the most appropriate placement selection and in the best interests of the child.

(d) (1) A review described in subdivision (a) and any reviews conducted pursuant to Sections 366.3 and 16503 shall not result in a 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 party or agency requesting placement of the child outside the United States shall carry the burden of proof and must show, by clear and convincing evidence, that a 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 social worker or 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.

(e) A child may not be placed in an out-of-state group home, or remain in an out-of-state group home, unless the group home is in compliance with Section 7911.1 of the Family Code.

(f) The status review of every nonminor dependent, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, shall be conducted pursuant to the requirements of Sections 366.3, 366.31, or 366.32, and 16503 until dependency jurisdiction is terminated pursuant to Section 391.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 425, Sec. 9. (SB 794) Effective January 1, 2016.)

366.05.
  

Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 366.21, in a county of the first class, any supplemental report filed in connection with a status review hearing held pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366 shall be provided to the parent or legal guardian and to counsel for the child at least 10 calendar days before the hearing. This may be accomplished by electronically serving the report pursuant to Section 212.5 or by mailing the report at least 15 calendar days before the hearing to a party whose address is within the State of California, or at least 20 calendar days before the hearing to a party whose address is outside the State of California. The court shall grant a reasonable continuance, not to exceed 10 calendar days, upon request by any party or his or her counsel on the ground that the report was not provided at least 10 calendar days before the hearing as required by this section, unless the party or his or her counsel has expressly waived the requirement that the report be provided within the 10-day period or the court finds that the party’s ability to proceed at the hearing is not prejudiced by the lack of timely service of the report. In making this determination, the court shall presume that a party is prejudiced by the lack of timely service of the report, and may find that the party is not prejudiced only by clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 319, Sec. 132. (AB 976) Effective January 1, 2018.)

366.1.
  

Each supplemental report required to be filed pursuant to Section 366 shall include, but not be limited to, a factual discussion of each of the following subjects:

(a) Whether the county welfare department social worker has considered either of the following:

(1) Child protective services, as defined in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 16500) of Part 4 of Division 9, as a possible solution to the problems at hand, and has offered those services to qualified parents, if appropriate under the circumstances.

(2) Whether the child can be returned to the custody of his or her parent who is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility that allows a dependent child to reside with his or her parent.

(b) What plan, if any, for the return and maintenance of the child in a safe home is recommended to the court by the county welfare department social worker.

(c) Whether the subject child appears to be a person who is eligible to be considered for further court action to free the child from parental custody and control.

(d) What actions, if any, have been taken by the parent to correct the problems that caused the child to be made a dependent child of the court.

(e) If the parent or guardian is unwilling or unable to participate in making an educational decision for his or her child, or if other circumstances exist that compromise the ability of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the child, the county welfare department or social worker shall consider whether the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the child should be limited. If the supplemental report makes that recommendation, the report shall identify whether there is a responsible adult available to make educational decisions for the child pursuant to Section 361.

(f) (1) The health and education of the minor, including a copy of the complete health and education summary as required under Section 16010, including the name and contact information of the person or persons currently holding the right to make educational decisions for the child.

(2) In instances where it is determined that disclosure pursuant to paragraph (1) of the contact information of the person or persons currently holding the right to make educational decisions for the child poses a threat to the health and safety of that individual or those individuals, that contact information shall be redacted or withheld from the health and education summary within the supplemental report described in this section.

(g) (1) Whether the child has any siblings under the court’s jurisdiction, and, if any siblings exist, all of the following:

(A) The nature of the relationship between the child and his or her siblings.

(B) The appropriateness of developing or maintaining the sibling relationships pursuant to Section 16002.

(C) If the siblings are not placed together in the same home, why the siblings are not placed together and what efforts are being made to place the siblings together, or why those efforts are not appropriate.

(D) If the siblings are not placed together, all of the following:

(i) The frequency and nature of the visits between the siblings.

(ii) If there are visits between the siblings, whether the visits are supervised or unsupervised. If the visits are supervised, a discussion of the reasons why the visits are supervised, and what needs to be accomplished in order for the visits to be unsupervised.

(iii) If there are visits between the siblings, a description of the location and length of the visits.

(iv) Any plan to increase visitation between the siblings.

(E) The impact of the sibling relationships on the child’s placement and planning for legal permanence.

(2) The factual discussion shall include a discussion of indicators of the nature of the child’s sibling relationships, including, but not limited to, whether the siblings were raised together in the same home, whether the siblings have shared significant common experiences or have existing close and strong bonds, whether either sibling expresses a desire to visit or live with his or her sibling, as applicable, and whether ongoing contact is in the child’s best emotional interests.

(h) Whether a child who is 10 years of age or older and who has been in an out-of-home placement for six months or longer has relationships with individuals other than the child’s siblings that are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests, and actions taken to maintain those relationships. The social worker shall ask every child who is 10 years of age or older and who has been in an out-of-home placement for six months or longer to identify any individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interest. The social worker may ask any other child to provide that information, as appropriate.

(i) The implementation and operation of the amendments to subdivision (h) enacted at the 2005–06 Regular Session shall be subject to appropriation through the budget process and by phase, as provided in Section 366.35.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 829, Sec. 6. (SB 233) Effective January 1, 2018.)

366.21.
  

(a) Every hearing conducted by the juvenile court reviewing the status of a dependent child shall be placed on the appearance calendar. The court shall advise all persons present at the hearing of the date of the future hearing and of their right to be present and represented by counsel.

(b) Except as provided in Sections 294 and 295, notice of the hearing shall be provided pursuant to Section 293.

(c) At least 10 calendar days before the hearing, the social worker shall file a supplemental report with the court regarding the services provided or offered to the parent or legal guardian to enable him or her to assume custody and the efforts made to achieve legal permanence for the child if efforts to reunify fail, including, but not limited to, efforts to maintain relationships between a child who is 10 years of age or older and has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer and individuals who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests; the progress made; and, where relevant, the prognosis for return of the child to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian; and shall make his or her recommendation for disposition. If the child is a member of a sibling group described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, the report and recommendation may also take into account those factors described in subdivision (e) relating to the child’s sibling group. If the recommendation is not to return the child to a parent or legal guardian, the report shall specify why the return of the child would be detrimental to the child. The social worker shall provide the parent or legal guardian, counsel for the child, and any court-appointed child advocate with a copy of the report, including his or her recommendation for disposition, at least 10 calendar days before the hearing. The report may be served pursuant to Section 212.5. In the case of a child removed from the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian, the social worker shall, at least 10 calendar days before the hearing, provide a summary of his or her recommendation for disposition to any foster parents, relative caregivers, and certified foster parents who have been approved for adoption by the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a county adoption agency, community care facility, or foster family agency having the physical custody of the child. The social worker shall include a copy of the Judicial Council Caregiver Information Form (JV-290) with the summary of his or her recommendation to the child’s foster parents, relative caregivers, or foster parents approved for adoption, in the caregiver’s primary language when available, along with information on how to file the form with the court. The form and summary of the recommendation may be served electronically pursuant to Section 212.5.

(d) Prior to any hearing involving a child in the physical custody of a community care facility or a foster family agency that may result in the return of the child to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian, or in adoption or the creation of a legal guardianship, or in the case of an Indian child, in consultation with the child’s tribe, tribal customary adoption, the facility or agency shall file with the court a report, or a Judicial Council Caregiver Information Form (JV-290), containing its recommendation for disposition. Prior to the hearing involving a child in the physical custody of a foster parent, a relative caregiver, or a certified foster parent who has been approved for adoption by the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a county adoption agency, the foster parent, relative caregiver, or the certified foster parent who has been approved for adoption by the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a county adoption agency, may file with the court a report containing his or her recommendation for disposition. The court shall consider the report and recommendation filed pursuant to this subdivision prior to determining any disposition.

(e) (1) At the review hearing held 6 months after the initial dispositional hearing, but no later than 12 months after the date the child entered foster care as determined in Section 361.49, whichever occurs earlier, after considering the admissible and relevant evidence, the court shall order the return of the child to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian unless the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the return of the child to his or her parent or legal guardian would create a substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the child. The social worker shall have the burden of establishing that detriment. At the hearing, the court shall consider the criminal history, obtained pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 16504.5, of the parent or legal guardian subsequent to the child’s removal to the extent that the criminal record is substantially related to the welfare of the child or the parent’s or guardian’s ability to exercise custody and control regarding his or her child, provided the parent or legal guardian agreed to submit fingerprint images to obtain criminal history information as part of the case plan. The court shall also consider whether the child can be returned to the custody of his or her parent who is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility that allows a dependent child to reside with his or her parent. The fact that the parent is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility shall not be, for that reason alone, prima facie evidence of detriment. The failure of the parent or legal guardian to participate regularly and make substantive progress in court-ordered treatment programs shall be prima facie evidence that return would be detrimental. In making its determination, the court shall review and consider the social worker’s report and recommendations and the report and recommendations of any child advocate appointed pursuant to Section 356.5; and shall consider the efforts or progress, or both, demonstrated by the parent or legal guardian and the extent to which he or she availed himself or herself of services provided, taking into account the particular barriers to a minor parent or a nonminor dependent parent, or an incarcerated, institutionalized, detained, or deported parent’s or legal guardian’s access to those court-mandated services and ability to maintain contact with his or her child.

(2) Regardless of whether the child is returned to a parent or legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion that the return would be detrimental or would not be detrimental. The court also shall make appropriate findings pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366; and, when relevant, shall order any additional services reasonably believed to facilitate the return of the child to the custody of his or her parent or legal guardian. The court shall also inform the parent or legal guardian that if the child cannot be returned home by the 12-month permanency hearing, a proceeding pursuant to Section 366.26 may be instituted. This section does not apply in a case in which, pursuant to Section 361.5, the court has ordered that reunification services shall not be provided.

(3) If the child was under three years of age on the date of the initial removal, or is a member of a sibling group described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, and the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent failed to participate regularly and make substantive progress in a court-ordered treatment plan, the court may schedule a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 within 120 days. If, however, the court finds there is a substantial probability that the child, who was under three years of age on the date of initial removal or is a member of a sibling group described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, may be returned to his or her parent or legal guardian within six months or that reasonable services have not been provided, the court shall continue the case to the 12-month permanency hearing.

(4) For the purpose of placing and maintaining a sibling group together in a permanent home, the court, in making its determination to schedule a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 for some or all members of a sibling group, as described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, shall review and consider the social worker’s report and recommendations. Factors the report shall address, and the court shall consider, may include, but need not be limited to, whether the sibling group was removed from parental care as a group, the closeness and strength of the sibling bond, the ages of the siblings, the appropriateness of maintaining the sibling group together, the detriment to the child if sibling ties are not maintained, the likelihood of finding a permanent home for the sibling group, whether the sibling group is currently placed together in a preadoptive home or has a concurrent plan goal of legal permanency in the same home, the wishes of each child whose age and physical and emotional condition permits a meaningful response, and the best interests of each child in the sibling group. The court shall specify the factual basis for its finding that it is in the best interests of each child to schedule a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 within 120 days for some or all of the members of the sibling group.

(5) If the child was removed initially under subdivision (g) of Section 300 and the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the whereabouts of the parent are still unknown, or the parent has failed to contact and visit the child, the court may schedule a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 within 120 days. The court shall take into account any particular barriers to a parent’s ability to maintain contact with his or her child due to the parent’s incarceration, institutionalization, detention by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or deportation. If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent has been convicted of a felony indicating parental unfitness, the court may schedule a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 within 120 days.

(6) If the child had been placed under court supervision with a previously noncustodial parent pursuant to Section 361.2, the court shall determine whether supervision is still necessary. The court may terminate supervision and transfer permanent custody to that parent, as provided for by paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 361.2.

(7) In all other cases, the court shall direct that any reunification services previously ordered shall continue to be offered to the parent or legal guardian pursuant to the time periods set forth in subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, provided that the court may modify the terms and conditions of those services.

(8) If the child is not returned to his or her parent or legal guardian, the court shall determine whether reasonable services that were designed to aid the parent or legal guardian in overcoming the problems that led to the initial removal and the continued custody of the child have been provided or offered to the parent or legal guardian. The court shall order that those services be initiated, continued, or terminated.

(f) (1) The permanency hearing shall be held no later than 12 months after the date the child entered foster care, as that date is determined pursuant to Section 361.49. At the permanency hearing, the court shall determine the permanent plan for the child, which shall include a determination of whether the child will be returned to the child’s home and, if so, when, within the time limits of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5. After considering the relevant and admissible evidence, the court shall order the return of the child to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian unless the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the return of the child to his or her parent or legal guardian would create a substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the child. The social worker shall have the burden of establishing that detriment.

(A) At the permanency hearing, the court shall consider the criminal history, obtained pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 16504.5, of the parent or legal guardian subsequent to the child’s removal to the extent that the criminal record is substantially related to the welfare of the child or the parent’s or legal guardian’s ability to exercise custody and control regarding his or her child, provided that the parent or legal guardian agreed to submit fingerprint images to obtain criminal history information as part of the case plan. The court shall also determine whether reasonable services that were designed to aid the parent or legal guardian to overcome the problems that led to the initial removal and continued custody of the child have been provided or offered to the parent or legal guardian.

(B) The court shall also consider whether the child can be returned to the custody of his or her parent who is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility that allows a dependent child to reside with his or her parent. The fact that the parent is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility shall not be, for that reason alone, prima facie evidence of detriment. The failure of the parent or legal guardian to participate regularly and make substantive progress in court-ordered treatment programs shall be prima facie evidence that return would be detrimental.

(C) In making its determination, the court shall review and consider the social worker’s report and recommendations and the report and recommendations of any child advocate appointed pursuant to Section 356.5, shall consider the efforts or progress, or both, demonstrated by the parent or legal guardian and the extent to which he or she availed himself or herself of services provided, taking into account the particular barriers to a minor parent or a nonminor dependent parent, or an incarcerated, institutionalized, detained, or deported parent’s or legal guardian’s access to those court-mandated services and ability to maintain contact with his or her child, and shall make appropriate findings pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366.

(D) For each youth 16 years of age and older, the court shall also determine whether services have been made available to assist him or her in making the transition from foster care to successful adulthood.

(2) Regardless of whether the child is returned to his or her parent or legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its decision. If the child is not returned to a parent or legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion that the return would be detrimental. The court also shall make a finding pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366. If the child is not returned to his or her parent or legal guardian, the court shall consider, and state for the record, in-state and out-of-state placement options. If the child is placed out of the state, the court shall make a determination whether the out-of-state placement continues to be appropriate and in the best interests of the child.

(g) If the time period in which the court-ordered services were provided has met or exceeded the time period set forth in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, as appropriate, and a child is not returned to the custody of a parent or legal guardian at the permanency hearing held pursuant to subdivision (f), the court shall do one of the following:

(1) Continue the case for up to six months for a permanency review hearing, provided that the hearing shall occur within 18 months of the date the child was originally taken from the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian. The court shall continue the case only if it finds that there is a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian and safely maintained in the home within the extended period of time or that reasonable services have not been provided to the parent or legal guardian. For purposes of this section, in order to find a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian and safely maintained in the home within the extended period of time, the court shall be required to find all of the following:

(A) That the parent or legal guardian has consistently and regularly contacted and visited with the child.

(B) That the parent or legal guardian has made significant progress in resolving problems that led to the child’s removal from the home.

(C) The parent or legal guardian has demonstrated the capacity and ability both to complete the objectives of his or her treatment plan and to provide for the child’s safety, protection, physical and emotional well-being, and special needs.

(i) For purposes of this subdivision, the court’s decision to continue the case based on a finding or substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian is a compelling reason for determining that a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 is not in the best interests of the child.

(ii) The court shall inform the parent or legal guardian that if the child cannot be returned home by the next permanency review hearing, a proceeding pursuant to Section 366.26 may be instituted. The court shall not order that a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 be held unless there is clear and convincing evidence that reasonable services have been provided or offered to the parent or legal guardian.

(2) Continue the case for up to six months for a permanency review hearing, provided that the hearing shall occur within 18 months of the date the child was originally taken from the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian, if the parent has been arrested and issued an immigration hold, detained by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or deported to his or her country of origin, and the court determines either that there is a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian and safely maintained in the home within the extended period of time or that reasonable services have not been provided to the parent or legal guardian.

(3) For purposes of paragraph (2), in order to find a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian and safely maintained in the home within the extended period of time, the court shall find all of the following:

(A) The parent or legal guardian has consistently and regularly contacted and visited with the child, taking into account any particular barriers to a parent’s ability to maintain contact with his or her child due to the parent’s arrest and receipt of an immigration hold, detention by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or deportation.

(B) The parent or legal guardian has made significant progress in resolving the problems that led to the child’s removal from the home.

(C) The parent or legal guardian has demonstrated the capacity or ability both to complete the objectives of his or her treatment plan and to provide for the child’s safety, protection, physical and emotional well-being, and special needs.

(4) Order that a hearing be held within 120 days, pursuant to Section 366.26, but only if the court does not continue the case to the permanency planning review hearing and there is clear and convincing evidence that reasonable services have been provided or offered to the parents or legal guardians. On and after January 1, 2012, a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall not be ordered if the child is a nonminor dependent, unless the nonminor dependent is an Indian child and tribal customary adoption is recommended as the permanent plan.

(5) Order that the child remain in foster care, but only if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence, based upon the evidence already presented to it, including a recommendation by the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a county adoption agency, that there is a compelling reason for determining that a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 is not in the best interests of the child because the child is not a proper subject for adoption and has no one willing to accept legal guardianship as of the hearing date. For purposes of this section, a recommendation by the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a county adoption agency that adoption is not in the best interests of the child shall constitute a compelling reason for the court’s determination. That recommendation shall be based on the present circumstances of the child and shall not preclude a different recommendation at a later date if the child’s circumstances change. On and after January 1, 2012, the nonminor dependent’s legal status as an adult is in and of itself a compelling reason not to hold a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26. The court may order that a nonminor dependent who otherwise is eligible pursuant to Section 11403 remain in a planned, permanent living arrangement.

(A) The court shall make factual findings identifying any barriers to achieving the permanent plan as of the hearing date. When the child is under 16 years of age, the court shall order a permanent plan of return home, adoption, tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. When the child is 16 years of age or older, or is a nonminor dependent, and no other permanent plan is appropriate at the time of the hearing, the court may order another planned permanent living arrangement, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (i) of Section 16501.

(B) If the court orders that a child who is 10 years of age or older remain in foster care, the court shall determine whether the agency has made reasonable efforts to maintain the child’s relationships with individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests, and may make any appropriate order to ensure that those relationships are maintained.

(C) If the child is not returned to his or her parent or legal guardian, the court shall consider, and state for the record, in-state and out-of-state options for permanent placement. If the child is placed out of the state, the court shall make a determination whether the out-of-state placement continues to be appropriate and in the best interests of the child.

(h) In any case in which the court orders that a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall be held, it shall also order the termination of reunification services to the parent or legal guardian. The court shall continue to permit the parent or legal guardian to visit the child pending the hearing unless it finds that visitation would be detrimental to the child. The court shall make any other appropriate orders to enable the child to maintain relationships with individuals, other than the child’s siblings, who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests. When the court orders a termination of reunification services to the parent or legal guardian, it shall also order that the child’s caregiver receive the child’s birth certificate in accordance with Sections 16010.4 and 16010.5. Additionally, when the court orders a termination of reunification services to the parent or legal guardian, it shall order, when appropriate, that a child who is 16 years of age or older receive his or her birth certificate.

(i) (1) Whenever a court orders that a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26, including, when, in consultation with the child’s tribe, tribal customary adoption is recommended, shall be held, it shall direct the agency supervising the child and the county adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency, to prepare an assessment that shall include:

(A) Current search efforts for an absent parent or parents or legal guardians.

(B) A review of the amount of and nature of any contact between the child and his or her parents or legal guardians and other members of his or her extended family since the time of placement. Although the extended family of each child shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, “extended family” for the purpose of this subparagraph shall include, but not be limited to, the child’s siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

(C) (i) An evaluation of the child’s medical, developmental, scholastic, mental, and emotional status.

(ii) The evaluation pursuant to clause (i) shall include, but is not limited to, providing a copy of the complete health and education summary as required under Section 16010, including the name and contact information of the person or persons currently holding the right to make educational decisions for the child.

(iii) In instances where it is determined that disclosure pursuant to clause (ii) of the contact information of the person or persons currently holding the right to make educational decisions for the child poses a threat to the health and safety of that individual or those individuals, that contact information shall be redacted or withheld from the evaluation.

(D) A preliminary assessment of the eligibility and commitment of any identified prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including the prospective tribal customary adoptive parent, particularly the caretaker, to include a social history including screening for criminal records and prior referrals for child abuse or neglect, the capability to meet the child’s needs, and the understanding of the legal and financial rights and responsibilities of adoption and guardianship. If a proposed guardian is a relative of the minor, the assessment shall also consider, but need not be limited to, all of the factors specified in subdivision (a) of Section 361.3 and in Section 361.4.

(E) The relationship of the child to any identified prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, the duration and character of the relationship, the degree of attachment of the child to the prospective relative guardian or adoptive parent, the relative’s or adoptive parent’s strong commitment to caring permanently for the child, the motivation for seeking adoption or guardianship, a statement from the child concerning placement and the adoption or guardianship, and whether the child, if over 12 years of age, has been consulted about the proposed relative guardianship arrangements, unless the child’s age or physical, emotional, or other condition precludes his or her meaningful response, and if so, a description of the condition.

(F) A description of efforts to be made to identify a prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including, but not limited to, child-specific recruitment and listing on an adoption exchange within the state or out of the state.

(G) An analysis of the likelihood that the child will be adopted if parental rights are terminated.

(H) In the case of an Indian child, in addition to subparagraphs (A) to (G), inclusive, an assessment of the likelihood that the child will be adopted, when, in consultation with the child’s tribe, a tribal customary adoption, as defined in Section 366.24, is recommended. If tribal customary adoption is recommended, the assessment shall include an analysis of both of the following:

(i) Whether tribal customary adoption would or would not be detrimental to the Indian child and the reasons for reaching that conclusion.

(ii) Whether the Indian child cannot or should not be returned to the home of the Indian parent or Indian custodian and the reasons for reaching that conclusion.

(2) (A) A relative caregiver’s preference for legal guardianship over adoption, if it is due to circumstances that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child, shall not constitute the sole basis for recommending removal of the child from the relative caregiver for purposes of adoptive placement.

(B) Regardless of his or her immigration status, a relative caregiver shall be given information regarding the permanency options of guardianship and adoption, including the long-term benefits and consequences of each option, prior to establishing legal guardianship or pursuing adoption. If the proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, the relative caregiver shall be informed about the terms and conditions of the negotiated agreement pursuant to Section 11387 and shall agree to its execution prior to the hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26. A copy of the executed negotiated agreement shall be attached to the assessment.

(j) If, at any hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26, a guardianship is established for the minor with an approved relative caregiver, and juvenile court dependency is subsequently dismissed, the minor shall be eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) or Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385), as applicable, of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9.

(k) As used in this section, “relative” means an adult who is related to the minor by blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth degree of kinship, including stepparents, stepsiblings, and all relatives whose status is preceded by the words “great,” “great-great,” or “grand,” or the spouse of any of those persons even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution. If the proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, “relative” as used in this section has the same meaning as “relative” as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 11391.

(l) For purposes of this section, evidence of any of the following circumstances shall not, in and of itself, be deemed a failure to provide or offer reasonable services:

(1) The child has been placed with a foster family that is eligible to adopt a child, or has been placed in a preadoptive home.

(2) The case plan includes services to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child if efforts to reunify fail.

(3) Services to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child, if efforts to reunify fail, are provided concurrently with services to reunify the family.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 829, Sec. 7.5. (SB 233) Effective January 1, 2018.)

366.215.
  

With respect to a hearing held pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 366.21, if the child in question was under three years of age on the date of the initial removal, or is a member of a sibling group described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, the court, in determining whether to schedule a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26, shall take into account any particular barriers to a parent’s ability to maintain contact with his or her child due to the parent’s incarceration, institutionalization, detention by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or deportation.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 845, Sec. 11. (SB 1064) Effective January 1, 2013.)

366.22.
  

(a) (1) When a case has been continued pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 366.21, the permanency review hearing shall occur within 18 months after the date the child was originally removed from the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian. After considering the admissible and relevant evidence, the court shall order the return of the child to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian unless the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the return of the child to his or her parent or legal guardian would create a substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the child. The social worker shall have the burden of establishing that detriment. At the permanency review hearing, the court shall consider the criminal history, obtained pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 16504.5, of the parent or legal guardian subsequent to the child’s removal, to the extent that the criminal record is substantially related to the welfare of the child or the parent’s or legal guardian’s ability to exercise custody and control regarding his or her child, provided that the parent or legal guardian agreed to submit fingerprint images to obtain criminal history information as part of the case plan. The court shall also consider whether the child can be returned to the custody of his or her parent who is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility that allows a dependent child to reside with his or her parent. The fact that the parent is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility shall not be, for that reason alone, prima facie evidence of detriment. The failure of the parent or legal guardian to participate regularly and make substantive progress in court-ordered treatment programs shall be prima facie evidence that return would be detrimental. In making its determination, the court shall review and consider the social worker’s report and recommendations and the report and recommendations of any child advocate appointed pursuant to Section 356.5; shall consider the efforts or progress, or both, demonstrated by the parent or legal guardian and the extent to which he or she availed himself or herself of services provided, taking into account the particular barriers of a minor parent or a nonminor dependent parent, or an incarcerated or institutionalized parent’s or legal guardian’s access to those court-mandated services and ability to maintain contact with his or her child; and shall make appropriate findings pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366.

(2) Whether or not the child is returned to his or her parent or legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its decision. If the child is not returned to a parent or legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion that return would be detrimental. If the child is not returned to his or her parent or legal guardian, the court shall consider, and state for the record, in-state and out-of-state options for the child’s permanent placement. If the child is placed out of the state, the court shall make a determination whether the out-of-state placement continues to be appropriate and in the best interests of the child.

(3) Unless the conditions in subdivision (b) are met and the child is not returned to a parent or legal guardian at the permanency review hearing, the court shall order that a hearing be held pursuant to Section 366.26 in order to determine whether adoption, or, in the case of an Indian child, in consultation with the child’s tribe, tribal customary adoption, guardianship, or continued placement in foster care is the most appropriate plan for the child. On and after January 1, 2012, a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall not be ordered if the child is a nonminor dependent, unless the nonminor dependent is an Indian child, and tribal customary adoption is recommended as the permanent plan. However, if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence, based on the evidence already presented to it, including a recommendation by the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a county adoption agency, that there is a compelling reason, as described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (g) of Section 366.21, for determining that a hearing held under Section 366.26 is not in the best interests of the child because the child is not a proper subject for adoption and has no one willing to accept legal guardianship as of the hearing date, the court may, only under these circumstances, order that the child remain in foster care with a permanent plan of return home, adoption, tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. If the child is 16 years of age or older or is a nonminor dependent, and no other permanent plan is appropriate at the time of the hearing, the court may order another planned permanent living arrangement, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (i) of Section 16501. The court shall make factual findings identifying any barriers to achieving the permanent plan as of the hearing date. On and after January 1, 2012, the nonminor dependent’s legal status as an adult is in and of itself a compelling reason not to hold a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26. The court may order that a nonminor dependent who otherwise is eligible pursuant to Section 11403 remain in a planned, permanent living arrangement. If the court orders that a child who is 10 years of age or older remain in foster care, the court shall determine whether the agency has made reasonable efforts to maintain the child’s relationships with individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests, and may make any appropriate order to ensure that those relationships are maintained. The hearing shall be held no later than 120 days from the date of the permanency review hearing. The court shall also order termination of reunification services to the parent or legal guardian. The court shall continue to permit the parent or legal guardian to visit the child unless it finds that visitation would be detrimental to the child. The court shall determine whether reasonable services have been offered or provided to the parent or legal guardian. For purposes of this subdivision, evidence of any of the following circumstances shall not, in and of themselves, be deemed a failure to provide or offer reasonable services:

(A) The child has been placed with a foster family that is eligible to adopt a child, or has been placed in a preadoptive home.

(B) The case plan includes services to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child if efforts to reunify fail.

(C) Services to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child, if efforts to reunify fail, are provided concurrently with services to reunify the family.

(b) If the child is not returned to a parent or legal guardian at the permanency review hearing and the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the best interests of the child would be met by the provision of additional reunification services to a parent or legal guardian who is making significant and consistent progress in a court-ordered residential substance abuse treatment program, a parent who was either a minor parent or a nonminor dependent parent at the time of the initial hearing making significant and consistent progress in establishing a safe home for the child’s return, or a parent recently discharged from incarceration, institutionalization, or the custody of the United States Department of Homeland Security and making significant and consistent progress in establishing a safe home for the child’s return, the court may continue the case for up to six months for a subsequent permanency review hearing, provided that the hearing shall occur within 24 months of the date the child was originally taken from the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian. The court shall continue the case only if it finds that there is a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian and safely maintained in the home within the extended period of time or that reasonable services have not been provided to the parent or legal guardian. For the purposes of this section, in order to find a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian and safely maintained in the home within the extended period of time, the court shall be required to find all of the following:

(1) That the parent or legal guardian has consistently and regularly contacted and visited with the child.

(2) That the parent or legal guardian has made significant and consistent progress in the prior 18 months in resolving problems that led to the child’s removal from the home.

(3) (A) The parent or legal guardian has demonstrated the capacity and ability both to complete the objectives of his or her substance abuse treatment plan as evidenced by reports from a substance abuse provider as applicable, or complete a treatment plan postdischarge from incarceration, institutionalization, or detention, or following deportation to his or her country of origin and his or her return to the United States, and to provide for the child’s safety, protection, physical and emotional well-being, and special needs.

(B) For purposes of this subdivision, the court’s decision to continue the case based on a finding or substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian is a compelling reason for determining that a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 is not in the best interests of the child.

(C) The court shall inform the parent or legal guardian that if the child cannot be returned home by the subsequent permanency review hearing, a proceeding pursuant to Section 366.26 may be instituted. The court shall not order that a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 be held unless there is clear and convincing evidence that reasonable services have been provided or offered to the parent or legal guardian.

(c) (1) Whenever a court orders that a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26, including when a tribal customary adoption is recommended, shall be held, it shall direct the agency supervising the child and the county adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency, to prepare an assessment that shall include:

(A) Current search efforts for an absent parent or parents.

(B) A review of the amount of and nature of any contact between the child and his or her parents and other members of his or her extended family since the time of placement. Although the extended family of each child shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, “extended family” for the purposes of this subparagraph shall include, but not be limited to, the child’s siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

(C) (i) An evaluation of the child’s medical, developmental, scholastic, mental, and emotional status.

(ii) The evaluation pursuant to clause (i) shall include, but is not limited to, providing a copy of the complete health and education summary as required under Section 16010, including the name and contact information of the person or persons currently holding the right to make educational decisions for the child.

(iii) In instances where it is determined that disclosure pursuant to clause (ii) of the contact information of the person or persons currently holding the right to make educational decisions for the child poses a threat to the health and safety of that individual or those individuals, that contact information shall be redacted or withheld from the evaluation.

(D)  A preliminary assessment of the eligibility and commitment of any identified prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, particularly the caretaker, to include a social history including screening for criminal records and prior referrals for child abuse or neglect, the capability to meet the child’s needs, and the understanding of the legal and financial rights and responsibilities of adoption and guardianship. If a proposed legal guardian is a relative of the minor, the assessment shall also consider, but need not be limited to, all of the factors specified in subdivision (a) of Section 361.3 and Section 361.4.

(E) The relationship of the child to any identified prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, the duration and character of the relationship, the degree of attachment of the child to the prospective relative guardian or adoptive parent, the relative’s or adoptive parent’s strong commitment to caring permanently for the child, the motivation for seeking adoption or legal guardianship, a statement from the child concerning placement and the adoption or legal guardianship, and whether the child, if over 12 years of age, has been consulted about the proposed relative guardianship arrangements, unless the child’s age or physical, emotional, or other condition precludes his or her meaningful response, and if so, a description of the condition.

(F) An analysis of the likelihood that the child will be adopted if parental rights are terminated.

(G) In the case of an Indian child, in addition to subparagraphs (A) to (F), inclusive, an assessment of the likelihood that the child will be adopted, when, in consultation with the child’s tribe, a tribal customary adoption, as defined in Section 366.24, is recommended. If tribal customary adoption is recommended, the assessment shall include an analysis of both of the following:

(i) Whether tribal customary adoption would or would not be detrimental to the Indian child and the reasons for reaching that conclusion.

(ii) Whether the Indian child cannot or should not be returned to the home of the Indian parent or Indian custodian and the reasons for reaching that conclusion.

(2) (A) A relative caregiver’s preference for legal guardianship over adoption, if it is due to circumstances that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child, shall not constitute the sole basis for recommending removal of the child from the relative caregiver for purposes of adoptive placement.

(B) Regardless of his or her immigration status, a relative caregiver shall be given information regarding the permanency options of guardianship and adoption, including the long-term benefits and consequences of each option, prior to establishing legal guardianship or pursuing adoption. If the proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, the relative caregiver shall be informed about the terms and conditions of the negotiated agreement pursuant to Section 11387 and shall agree to its execution prior to the hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26. A copy of the executed negotiated agreement shall be attached to the assessment.

(d) This section shall become operative January 1, 1999. If at any hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26, a legal guardianship is established for the minor with an approved relative caregiver, and juvenile court dependency is subsequently dismissed, the minor shall be eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) or Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385), as applicable, of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9.

(e) As used in this section, “relative” means an adult who is related to the child by blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth degree of kinship, including stepparents, stepsiblings, and all relatives whose status is preceded by the words “great,” “great-great,” or “grand,” or the spouse of any of those persons even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution. If the proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, “relative” as used in this section has the same meaning as “relative” as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 11391.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 829, Sec. 8. (SB 233) Effective January 1, 2018.)

366.23.
  

If a noncustodial parent is seeking placement or custody of a child, the social worker shall inform the caretaker that he or she has the right to provide the court with input regarding the placement of the child. The social worker shall provide the “Caregiver Information Form” to the caretaker to complete and request that the caregiver provide any particular information the caregiver might have regarding the noncustodial parent now seeking custody. If a report is required or otherwise due, the completed form shall be attached to the social worker’s report to be filed with the court. If not, the social worker shall ensure that, if the foster parent completes the form, the completed form is returned to the court for review and consideration before the child is placed with the noncustodial parent.

(Added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 632, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2006.)

366.24.
  

(a) (1) For purposes of this section, “tribal customary adoption” means adoption by and through the tribal custom, traditions, or law of an Indian child’s tribe. Termination of parental rights is not required to effect the tribal customary adoption.

(2) For purposes of this section, “Indian child” also includes a nonminor dependent as described in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, unless the nonminor dependent has elected not to be considered an Indian child pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 224.1.

(b) Whenever an assessment is ordered pursuant to Section 361.5, 366.21, 366.22, 366.25, or 366.26 for Indian children, the assessment shall address the option of tribal customary adoption.

(c) For purposes of Section 366.26, in the case of tribal customary adoptions, all of the following apply:

(1) The child’s tribe or the tribe’s designee shall conduct a tribal customary adoptive home study prior to final approval of the tribal customary adoptive placement.

(A) If a tribal designee is conducting the home study, the designee shall do so in consultation with the Indian child’s tribe. The designee may include a county adoption agency, the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency, or a California-licensed adoption agency. Any tribal designee must be an entity that is authorized to request a search of the Child Abuse Central Index and, if necessary, a check of any other state’s child abuse and neglect registry, and must be an entity that is authorized to request a search for state and federal level criminal offender records information through the Department of Justice.

(B) The standard for the evaluation of the prospective adoptive parents’ home shall be the prevailing social and cultural standard of the child’s tribe. The home study shall include an evaluation of the background, safety, and health information of the adoptive home, including the biological, psychological, and social factors of the prospective adoptive parent or parents, and an assessment of the commitment, capability, and suitability of the prospective adoptive parent or parents to meet the child’s needs.

(2) In all cases, an in-state check of the Child Abuse Central Index and, if necessary, a check of any other state’s child abuse and neglect registry shall be conducted. If the tribe chooses a designee to conduct the home study, the designee shall perform a check of the Child Abuse Central Index pursuant to Section 1522.1 of the Health and Safety Code as it applies to prospective adoptive parents and persons over 18 years of age residing in their household. If the tribe conducts its own home study, the agency that has the placement and care responsibility of the child shall perform the check.

(3) (A) In all cases prior to final approval of the tribal customary adoptive placement, a state and federal criminal background check through the Department of Justice shall be conducted on the prospective tribal customary adoptive parents and on persons over 18 years of age residing in their household.

(B) If the tribe chooses a designee to conduct the home study, the designee shall perform the state and federal criminal background check required pursuant to subparagraph (A) through the Department of Justice prior to final approval of the adoptive placement.

(C) If the tribe conducts its own home study, the public adoption agency that is otherwise authorized to obtain criminal background information for the purpose of adoption shall perform the state and federal criminal background check required pursuant to subparagraph (A) through the Department of Justice prior to final approval of the adoptive placement.

(D) An individual who is the subject of a background check conducted pursuant to this paragraph may be provided by the entity performing the background check with a copy of his or her state or federal level criminal offender record information search response as provided to that entity by the Department of Justice if the entity has denied a criminal background clearance based on this information and the individual makes a written request to the entity for a copy specifying an address to which it is to be sent. The state or federal level criminal offender record information search response shall not be modified or altered from its form or content as provided by the Department of Justice and shall be provided to the address specified by the individual in his or her written request. The entity shall retain a copy of the individual’s written request and the response and date provided.

(4) If federal or state law provides that tribes may conduct all required background checks for prospective adoptive parents, the tribally administered background checks shall satisfy the requirements of this section, so long as the standards for the background checks are the same as those applied to all other prospective adoptive parents in the State of California.

(5) Under no circumstances shall final approval be granted for an adoptive placement in any home if the prospective adoptive parent or any adult living in the prospective tribal customary adoptive home has any of the following:

(A) A felony conviction for child abuse or neglect, spousal abuse, crimes against a child, including child pornography, or a crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, or homicide, but not including other physical assault and battery. For purposes of this subdivision, crimes involving violence means those violent crimes contained in clause (i) of subparagraph (A) and subparagraph (B), or paragraph (1) of, subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.

(B) A felony conviction that occurred within the last five years for physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense.

(6) If the tribe identifies tribal customary adoption as the permanent placement plan for the Indian child, the court may continue the selection and implementation hearing governed by Section 366.26 for a period not to exceed 120 days to permit the tribe to complete the process for tribal customary adoption and file with the court a tribal customary adoption order evidencing that a tribal customary adoption has been completed. The tribe shall file with the court the tribal customary adoption order no less than 20 days prior to the date set by the court for the continued selection and implementation hearing. The department shall file with the court the addendum selection and implementation hearing court report no less than seven days prior to the date set by the court for the continued selection and implementation hearing. The court shall have discretion to grant an additional continuance to the tribe for filing a tribal customary adoption order up to, but not exceeding, 60 days. If the child’s tribe does not file the tribal customary adoption order within the designated time period, the court shall make new findings and orders pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 366.26 and this subdivision to determine the best permanent plan for the child.

(7) The child, birth parents, or Indian custodian and the tribal customary adoptive parents and their counsel, if applicable, may present evidence to the tribe regarding the tribal customary adoption and the child’s best interest.

(8) Upon the court affording full faith and credit to the tribal customary adoption order and the tribe’s approval of the home study, the child shall be eligible for tribal customary adoptive placement. The agency that has placement and care responsibility of the child shall be authorized to make a tribal customary adoptive placement and sign a tribal customary adoptive placement agreement and, thereafter, shall sign the adoption assistance agreement pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 16120. The prospective adoptive parent or parents desiring to adopt the child may then file the petition for adoption. The agency shall supervise the adoptive placement for a period of six months unless either of the following circumstances exists:

(A) The child to be adopted is a foster child of the prospective adoptive parents whose foster care placement has been supervised by an agency before the signing of the adoptive placement agreement in which case the supervisory period may be shortened by one month for each full month that the child has been in foster care with the family.

(B) The child to be adopted is placed with a relative with whom he or she has an established relationship.

(9) All licensed public adoption agencies shall cooperate with and assist the department in devising a plan that will effectuate the effective and discreet transmission to tribal customary adoptees or prospective tribal customary adoptive parents of pertinent medical information reported to the department or the licensed public adoption agency, upon the request of the person reporting the medical information.

(A) A licensed public adoption agency may not place a child for tribal customary adoption unless a written report on the child’s medical background and, if available, the medical background on the child’s biological parents, so far as ascertainable, has been submitted to the prospective tribal customary adoptive parents and they have acknowledged in writing the receipt of the report.

(B) The report on the child’s background shall contain all known diagnostic information, including current medical reports on the child, psychological evaluations, and scholastic information, as well as all known information regarding the child’s developmental history.

(10) The tribal customary adoption order shall include, but not be limited to, a description of (A) the modification of the legal relationship of the birth parents or Indian custodian and the child, including contact, if any, between the child and the birth parents or Indian custodian, responsibilities of the birth parents or Indian custodian, and the rights of inheritance of the child and (B) the child’s legal relationship with the tribe. The order shall not include any child support obligation from the birth parents or Indian custodian. There shall be a conclusive presumption that any parental rights or obligations not specified in the tribal customary adoption order shall vest in the tribal customary adoptive parents.

(11) Prior consent to a permanent plan of tribal customary adoption of an Indian child shall not be required of an Indian parent or Indian custodian whose parental relationship to the child will be modified by the tribal customary adoption.

(12) After the prospective adoptive parent or parents desiring to adopt the child have filed the adoption petition, the agency that has placement, care, and responsibility for the child shall submit to the court, a full and final report of the facts of the proposed tribal customary adoption. The requisite elements of the final court report shall be those specified for court reports in the department’s regulations governing agency adoptions.

(13) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the tribal customary adoption order has been issued and afforded full faith and credit by the state court, supervision of the adoptive placement has been completed, and the state court has issued a final decree of adoption, the tribal customary adoptive parents shall have all of the rights and privileges afforded to, and are subject to all the duties of, any other adoptive parent or parents pursuant to the laws of this state.

(14) Consistent with Section 366.3, after the tribal customary adoption has been afforded full faith and credit and a final adoption decree has been issued, the court shall terminate its jurisdiction over the Indian child.

(15) Nothing in this section is intended to prevent the transfer of those proceedings to a tribal court where transfer is otherwise permitted under applicable law.

(d) The following disclosure provisions shall apply to tribal customary adoptions:

(1) The petition, agreement, order, report to the court from any investigating agency, and any power of attorney filed in a tribal customary adoption proceeding is not open to inspection by any person other than the parties to the proceeding and their attorneys and the department, except upon the written authority of the judge of the juvenile court. A judge may not authorize anyone to inspect the petition, agreement, order, report to the court from any investigating agency, and any power of attorney except in exceptional circumstances and for good cause approaching the necessitous.

(2) Except as otherwise permitted or required by statute, neither the department, county adoption agency, nor any licensed adoption agency shall release information that would identify persons who receive, or have received, tribal customary adoption services. However, employees of the department, county adoption agencies, and licensed adoption agencies shall release to the State Department of Social Services any requested information, including identifying information, for the purpose of recordkeeping and monitoring, evaluation, and regulation of the provision of tribal customary adoption services.

(3) The department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency may, upon written authorization for the release of specified information by the subject of that information, share information regarding a prospective tribal customary adoptive parent or birth parent with other social service agencies, including the department, county adoption agencies, and other licensed adoption agencies, or providers of health care as defined in Section 56.05 of the Civil Code.

(4) Notwithstanding any other law, the department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency may furnish information relating to a tribal customary adoption petition or to a child in the custody of the department or any public adoption agency to the juvenile court, county welfare department, public welfare agency, private welfare agency licensed by the department, provider of foster care services, potential adoptive parents, or provider of health care as defined in Section 56.05 of the Civil Code, if it is believed the child’s welfare will be promoted thereby.

(5) The department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency may make tribal customary adoption case records, including identifying information, available for research purposes, provided that the research will not result in the disclosure of the identity of the child or the parties to the tribal customary adoption to anyone other than the entity conducting the research.

(e) This section shall remain operative only to the extent that compliance with its provisions does not conflict with federal law as a condition of receiving funding under Title IV-E or the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 670 et seq.).

(f) The Judicial Council shall adopt rules of court and necessary forms required to implement tribal customary adoption as a permanent plan for dependent Indian children. The Judicial Council shall study California’s tribal customary adoption provisions and their effects on children, birth parents, adoptive parents, Indian custodians, tribes, and the court, and shall report all of its findings to the Legislature on or before January 1, 2013. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) The number of families served and the number of completed tribal customary adoptions.

(2) The length of time it takes to complete a tribal customary adoption.

(3) The challenges faced by social workers, court, and tribes in completing tribal customary adoptions.

(4) The benefits or detriments to Indian children from a tribal customary adoption.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 846, Sec. 21. (AB 1712) Effective January 1, 2013. Conditionally inoperative as provided in subd. (e).)

366.25.
  

(a) (1) When a case has been continued pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 366.22, the subsequent permanency review hearing shall occur within 24 months after the date the child was originally removed from the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian. After considering the relevant and admissible evidence, the court shall order the return of the child to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian unless the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the return of the child to his or her parent or legal guardian would create a substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the child. The social worker shall have the burden of establishing that detriment. At the subsequent permanency review hearing, the court shall consider the criminal history, obtained pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 16504.5, of the parent or legal guardian subsequent to the child’s removal to the extent that the criminal record is substantially related to the welfare of the child or parent’s or legal guardian’s ability to exercise custody and control regarding his or her child provided that the parent or legal guardian agreed to submit fingerprint images to obtain criminal history information as part of the case plan. The court shall also consider whether the child can be returned to the custody of a parent who is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility that allows a dependent child to reside with his or her parent. The fact that the parent is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility shall not be, for that reason alone, prima facie evidence of detriment. The failure of the parent or legal guardian to participate regularly and make substantive progress in court-ordered treatment programs shall be prima facie evidence that return would be detrimental. In making its determination, the court shall review and consider the social worker’s report and recommendations and the report and recommendations of any child advocate appointed pursuant to Section 356.5; shall consider the efforts or progress, or both, demonstrated by the parent or legal guardian and the extent to which he or she availed himself or herself of services provided; and shall make appropriate findings pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366.

(2) Whether or not the child is returned to his or her parent or legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its decision. If the child is not returned to a parent or legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion that return would be detrimental. If the child is not returned to his or her parent or legal guardian, the court shall consider and state for the record, in-state and out-of-state options for the child’s permanent placement. If the child is placed out of the state, the court shall make a determination whether the out-of-state placement continues to be appropriate and in the best interests of the child.

(3) If the child is not returned to a parent or legal guardian at the subsequent permanency review hearing, the court shall order that a hearing be held pursuant to Section 366.26 in order to determine whether adoption, or, in the case of an Indian child, tribal customary adoption, guardianship, or, in the case of a child 16 years of age or older when no other permanent plan is appropriate, another planned permanent living arrangement is the most appropriate plan for the child. On and after January 1, 2012, a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall not be ordered if the child is a nonminor dependent, unless the nonminor dependent is an Indian child and tribal customary adoption is recommended as the permanent plan. However, if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence, based on the evidence already presented to it, including a recommendation by the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a county adoption agency, that there is a compelling reason, as described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (g) of Section 366.21, for determining that a hearing held under Section 366.26 is not in the best interest of the child because the child is not a proper subject for adoption or, in the case of an Indian child, tribal customary adoption, and has no one willing to accept legal guardianship as of the hearing date, then the court may, only under these circumstances, order that the child remain in foster care with a permanent plan of return home, adoption, tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. If the child is 16 years of age or older or is a nonminor dependent, and no other permanent plan is appropriate at the time of the hearing, the court may order another planned permanent living arrangement, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (i) of Section 16501. The court shall make factual findings identifying any barriers to achieving the permanent plan as of the hearing date. On and after January 1, 2012, the nonminor dependent’s legal status as an adult is in and of itself a compelling reason not to hold a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26. The court may order that a nonminor dependent who otherwise is eligible pursuant to Section 11403 remain in a planned, permanent living arrangement. If the court orders that a child who is 10 years of age or older remain in foster care, the court shall determine whether the agency has made reasonable efforts to maintain the child’s relationships with individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests, and may make any appropriate order to ensure that those relationships are maintained. The hearing shall be held no later than 120 days from the date of the subsequent permanency review hearing. The court shall also order termination of reunification services to the parent or legal guardian. The court shall continue to permit the parent or legal guardian to visit the child unless it finds that visitation would be detrimental to the child. The court shall determine whether reasonable services have been offered or provided to the parent or legal guardian. For purposes of this paragraph, evidence of any of the following circumstances shall not, in and of themselves, be deemed a failure to provide or offer reasonable services:

(A) The child has been placed with a foster family that is eligible to adopt a child, or has been placed in a preadoptive home.

(B) The case plan includes services to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child if efforts to reunify fail.

(C) Services to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child, if efforts to reunify fail, are provided concurrently with services to reunify the family.

(b) (1) Whenever a court orders that a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall be held, it shall direct the agency supervising the child and the county adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency, to prepare an assessment that shall include:

(A) Current search efforts for an absent parent or parents.

(B) A review of the amount of, and nature of, any contact between the child and his or her parents and other members of his or her extended family since the time of placement. Although the extended family of each child shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, “extended family” for the purposes of this paragraph shall include, but not be limited to, the child’s siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

(C) An evaluation of the child’s medical, developmental, scholastic, mental, and emotional status.

(D) A preliminary assessment of the eligibility and commitment of any identified prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including a prospective tribal customary adoptive parent, particularly the caretaker, to include a social history including screening for criminal records and prior referrals for child abuse or neglect, the capability to meet the child’s needs, and the understanding of the legal and financial rights and responsibilities of adoption and guardianship. If a proposed legal guardian is a relative of the minor, the assessment shall also consider, but need not be limited to, all of the factors specified in subdivision (a) of Section 361.3 and in Section 361.4.

(E) The relationship of the child to any identified prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including a prospective tribal customary adoptive parent, the duration and character of the relationship, the degree of attachment of the child to the prospective relative guardian or adoptive parent, the relative’s or adoptive parent’s strong commitment to caring permanently for the child, the motivation for seeking adoption or legal guardianship, a statement from the child concerning placement and the adoption or legal guardianship, and whether the child, if over 12 years of age, has been consulted about the proposed relative guardianship arrangements, unless the child’s age or physical, emotional, or other condition precludes his or her meaningful response, and if so, a description of the condition.

(F) An analysis of the likelihood that the child will be adopted if parental rights are terminated.

(G) In the case of an Indian child, in addition to subparagraphs (A) to (F), inclusive, an assessment of the likelihood that the child will be adopted, when, in consultation with the child’s tribe, a tribal customary adoption, as defined in Section 366.24, is recommended. If tribal customary adoption is recommended, the assessment shall include an analysis of both of the following:

(i) Whether tribal customary adoption would or would not be detrimental to the Indian child and the reasons for reaching that conclusion.

(ii) Whether the Indian child cannot or should not be returned to the home of the Indian parent or Indian custodian and the reasons for reaching that conclusion.

(2) (A) A relative caregiver’s preference for legal guardianship over adoption, if it is due to circumstances that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child, shall not constitute the sole basis for recommending removal of the child from the relative caregiver for purposes of adoptive placement.

(B) Regardless of his or her immigration status, a relative caregiver shall be given information regarding the permanency options of guardianship and adoption, including the long-term benefits and consequences of each option, prior to establishing legal guardianship or pursuing adoption. If the proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, the relative caregiver shall be informed about the terms and conditions of the negotiated agreement pursuant to Section 11387 and shall agree to its execution prior to the hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26. A copy of the executed negotiated agreement shall be attached to the assessment.

(c) If, at any hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26, a guardianship is established for the minor with an approved relative caregiver, and juvenile court dependency is subsequently dismissed, the minor shall be eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) or Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385), as applicable, of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9.

(d) As used in this section, “relative” means an adult who is related to the minor by blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth degree of kinship, including stepparents, stepsiblings, and all relatives whose status is preceded by the words “great,” “great-great,” or “grand,” or the spouse of any of those persons even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution. If the proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, “relative” as used in this section has the same meaning as “relative” as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 11391.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 425, Sec. 12. (SB 794) Effective January 1, 2016.)

366.26.
  

(a) This section applies to children who are adjudged dependent children of the juvenile court pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 360. The procedures specified in this section are the exclusive procedures for conducting these hearings. The procedures in Part 2 (commencing with Section 3020) of Division 8 of the Family Code are not applicable to these proceedings. Section 8616.5 of the Family Code is applicable and available to all dependent children meeting the requirements of that section, if the postadoption contact agreement has been entered into voluntarily. For children who are adjudged dependent children of the juvenile court pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 360, this section, and Sections 8604, 8605, 8606, and 8700 of the Family Code and Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 7660) of Part 3 of Division 12 of the Family Code specify the exclusive procedures for permanently terminating parental rights with regard to, or establishing legal guardianship of, the child while the child is a dependent child of the juvenile court.

(b) At the hearing, which shall be held in juvenile court for all children who are dependents of the juvenile court, the court, in order to provide stable, permanent homes for these children, shall review the report as specified in Section 361.5, 366.21, 366.22, or 366.25, shall indicate that the court has read and considered it, shall receive other evidence that the parties may present, and then shall make findings and orders in the following order of preference:

(1) Terminate the rights of the parent or parents and order that the child be placed for adoption and, upon the filing of a petition for adoption in the juvenile court, order that a hearing be set. The court shall proceed with the adoption after the appellate rights of the natural parents have been exhausted.

(2) Order, without termination of parental rights, the plan of tribal customary adoption, as described in Section 366.24, through tribal custom, traditions, or law of the Indian child’s tribe, and upon the court affording the tribal customary adoption order full faith and credit at the continued selection and implementation hearing, order that a hearing be set pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (e).

(3) Appoint a relative or relatives with whom the child is currently residing as legal guardian or guardians for the child, and order that letters of guardianship issue.

(4) On making a finding under paragraph (3) of subdivision (c), identify adoption or tribal customary adoption as the permanent placement goal and order that efforts be made to locate an appropriate adoptive family for the child within a period not to exceed 180 days.

(5) Appoint a nonrelative legal guardian for the child and order that letters of guardianship issue.

(6) Order that the child be permanently placed with a fit and willing relative, subject to the periodic review of the juvenile court under Section 366.3.

(7) Order that the child remain in foster care, subject to the conditions described in paragraph (4) of subdivision (c) and the periodic review of the juvenile court under Section 366.3.

In choosing among the alternatives in this subdivision, the court shall proceed pursuant to subdivision (c).

(c) (1) If the court determines, based on the assessment provided as ordered under subdivision (i) of Section 366.21, subdivision (b) of Section 366.22, or subdivision (b) of Section 366.25, and any other relevant evidence, by a clear and convincing standard, that it is likely the child will be adopted, the court shall terminate parental rights and order the child placed for adoption. The fact that the child is not yet placed in a preadoptive home nor with a relative or foster family who is prepared to adopt the child, shall not constitute a basis for the court to conclude that it is not likely the child will be adopted. A finding under subdivision (b) or paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 361.5 that reunification services shall not be offered, under subdivision (e) of Section 366.21 that the whereabouts of a parent have been unknown for six months or that the parent has failed to visit or contact the child for six months, or that the parent has been convicted of a felony indicating parental unfitness, or, under Section 366.21 or 366.22, that the court has continued to remove the child from the custody of the parent or guardian and has terminated reunification services, shall constitute a sufficient basis for termination of parental rights. Under these circumstances, the court shall terminate parental rights unless either of the following applies:

(A) The child is living with a relative who is unable or unwilling to adopt the child because of circumstances that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child, but who is willing and capable of providing the child with a stable and permanent environment through legal guardianship, and the removal of the child from the custody of his or her relative would be detrimental to the emotional well-being of the child. For purposes of an Indian child, “relative” shall include an “extended family member,” as defined in the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1903(2)).

(B) The court finds a compelling reason for determining that termination would be detrimental to the child due to one or more of the following circumstances:

(i) The parents have maintained regular visitation and contact with the child and the child would benefit from continuing the relationship.

(ii) A child 12 years of age or older objects to termination of parental rights.

(iii) The child is placed in a residential treatment facility, adoption is unlikely or undesirable, and continuation of parental rights will not prevent finding the child a permanent family placement if the parents cannot resume custody when residential care is no longer needed.

(iv) The child is living with a foster parent or Indian custodian who is unable or unwilling to adopt the child because of exceptional circumstances, that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child, but who is willing and capable of providing the child with a stable and permanent environment and the removal of the child from the physical custody of his or her foster parent or Indian custodian would be detrimental to the emotional well-being of the child. This clause does not apply to any child who is either (I) under six years of age or (II) a member of a sibling group where at least one child is under six years of age and the siblings are, or should be, permanently placed together.

(v) There would be substantial interference with a child’s sibling relationship, taking into consideration the nature and extent of the relationship, including, but not limited to, whether the child was raised with a sibling in the same home, whether the child shared significant common experiences or has existing close and strong bonds with a sibling, and whether ongoing contact is in the child’s best interest, including the child’s long-term emotional interest, as compared to the benefit of legal permanence through adoption.

(vi) The child is an Indian child and there is a compelling reason for determining that termination of parental rights would not be in the best interest of the child, including, but not limited to:

(I) Termination of parental rights would substantially interfere with the child’s connection to his or her tribal community or the child’s tribal membership rights.

(II) The child’s tribe has identified guardianship, foster care with a fit and willing relative, tribal customary adoption, or another planned permanent living arrangement for the child.

(III) The child is a nonminor dependent, and the nonminor and the nonminor’s tribe have identified tribal customary adoption for the nonminor.

(C) For purposes of subparagraph (B), in the case of tribal customary adoptions, Section 366.24 shall apply.

(D) If the court finds that termination of parental rights would be detrimental to the child pursuant to clause (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), or (vi), it shall state its reasons in writing or on the record.

(2) The court shall not terminate parental rights if:

(A) At each hearing at which the court was required to consider reasonable efforts or services, the court has found that reasonable efforts were not made or that reasonable services were not offered or provided.

(B) In the case of an Indian child:

(i) At the hearing terminating parental rights, the court has found that active efforts were not made as required in Section 361.7.

(ii) The court does not make a determination at the hearing terminating parental rights, supported by evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, including testimony of one or more “qualified expert witnesses” as defined in Section 224.6, that the continued custody of the child by the parent is likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child.

(iii) The court has ordered tribal customary adoption pursuant to Section 366.24.

(3) If the court finds that termination of parental rights would not be detrimental to the child pursuant to paragraph (1) and that the child has a probability for adoption but is difficult to place for adoption and there is no identified or available prospective adoptive parent, the court may identify adoption as the permanent placement goal and, without terminating parental rights, order that efforts be made to locate an appropriate adoptive family for the child, within the state or out of the state, within a period not to exceed 180 days. During this 180-day period, the public agency responsible for seeking adoptive parents for each child shall, to the extent possible, ask each child who is 10 years of age or older to identify any individuals, other than the child’s siblings, who are important to the child, in order to identify potential adoptive parents. The public agency may ask any other child to provide that information, as appropriate. During the 180-day period, the public agency shall, to the extent possible, contact other private and public adoption agencies regarding the availability of the child for adoption. During the 180-day period, the public agency shall conduct the search for adoptive parents in the same manner as prescribed for children in Sections 8708 and 8709 of the Family Code. At the expiration of this period, another hearing shall be held and the court shall proceed pursuant to paragraph (1), (2), (3), (5), or (6) of subdivision (b). For purposes of this section, a child may only be found to be difficult to place for adoption if there is no identified or available prospective adoptive parent for the child because of the child’s membership in a sibling group, or the presence of a diagnosed medical, physical, or mental handicap, or the child is seven years of age or older.

(4) (A) If the court finds that adoption of the child or termination of parental rights is not in the best interest of the child, because one of the conditions in clause (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), or (vi) of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) or in paragraph (2) applies, the court shall order that the present caretakers or other appropriate persons shall become legal guardians of the child, or, in the case of an Indian child, consider a tribal customary adoption pursuant to Section 366.24. Legal guardianship shall be considered before continuing the child in foster care under any other permanent plan, if it is in the best interests of the child and if a suitable guardian can be found. If the child continues in foster care, the court shall make factual findings identifying any barriers to achieving adoption, tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative as of the date of the hearing. A child who is 10 years of age or older, shall be asked to identify any individuals, other than the child’s siblings, who are important to the child, in order to identify potential guardians or, in the case of an Indian child, prospective tribal customary adoptive parents. The agency may ask any other child to provide that information, as appropriate.

(B) (i) If the child is living with an approved relative who is willing and capable of providing a stable and permanent environment, but not willing to become a legal guardian as of the hearing date, the court shall order a permanent plan of placement with a fit and willing relative, and the child shall not be removed from the home if the court finds the removal would be seriously detrimental to the emotional well-being of the child because the child has substantial psychological ties to the relative caretaker.

(ii) If the child is living with a nonrelative caregiver who is willing and capable of providing a stable and permanent environment, but not willing to become a legal guardian as of the hearing date, the court shall order that the child remain in foster care with a permanent plan of return home, adoption, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. If the child is 16 years of age or older, or a nonminor dependent, and no other permanent plan is appropriate at the time of the hearing, the court may order another planned permanent living arrangement, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (i) of Section 16501. Regardless of the age of the child, the child shall not be removed from the home if the court finds the removal would be seriously detrimental to the emotional well-being of the child because the child has substantial psychological ties to the caregiver.

(iii) If the child is living in a group home or, on or after January 1, 2017, a short-term residential therapeutic program, the court shall order that the child remain in foster care with a permanent plan of return home, adoption, tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. If the child is 16 years of age or older, or a nonminor dependent, and no other permanent plan is appropriate at the time of the hearing, the court may order another planned permanent living arrangement, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (i) of Section 16501.

(C) The court shall also make an order for visitation with the parents or guardians unless the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the visitation would be detrimental to the physical or emotional well-being of the child.

(5) If the court finds that the child should not be placed for adoption, that legal guardianship shall not be established, that placement with a fit and willing relative is not appropriate as of the hearing date, and that there are no suitable foster parents except certified family homes or resource families of a foster family agency available to provide the child with a stable and permanent environment, the court may order the care, custody, and control of the child transferred from the county welfare department to a licensed foster family agency. The court shall consider the written recommendation of the county welfare director regarding the suitability of the transfer. The transfer shall be subject to further court orders.

The licensed foster family agency shall place the child in a suitable licensed or certified family home that has been certified by the agency as meeting licensing standards or with a resource family approved by the agency. The licensed foster family agency shall be responsible for supporting the child and providing appropriate services to the child, including those services ordered by the court. Responsibility for the support of the child shall not, in and of itself, create liability on the part of the foster family agency to third persons injured by the child. Those children whose care, custody, and control are transferred to a foster family agency shall not be eligible for foster care maintenance payments or child welfare services, except for emergency response services pursuant to Section 16504.

(d) The proceeding for the appointment of a guardian for a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court shall be conducted in the juvenile court. If the court finds pursuant to this section that legal guardianship is the appropriate permanent plan, it shall appoint the legal guardian and issue letters of guardianship. The assessment prepared pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 361.5, subdivision (i) of Section 366.21, subdivision (c) of Section 366.22, and subdivision (b) of Section 366.25 shall be read and considered by the court prior to the appointment, and this shall be reflected in the minutes of the court. The assessment may also include the naming of a prospective successor guardian, if one is identified. In the event of the incapacity or death of the appointed guardian, the named successor guardian may be assessed and appointed pursuant to this section. The person preparing the assessment may be called and examined by any party to the proceeding.

(e) (1) The proceeding for the adoption of a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court shall be conducted in the juvenile court if the court finds pursuant to this section that adoption is the appropriate permanent plan and the petition for adoption is filed in the juvenile court. Upon the filing of a petition for adoption, the juvenile court shall order that an adoption hearing be set. The court shall proceed with the adoption after the appellate rights of the natural parents have been exhausted. The full report required by Section 8715 of the Family Code shall be read and considered by the court prior to the adoption and this shall be reflected in the minutes of the court. The person preparing the report may be called and examined by any party to the proceeding. It is the intent of the Legislature, pursuant to this subdivision, to give potential adoptive parents the option of filing in the juvenile court the petition for the adoption of a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court. Nothing in this section is intended to prevent the filing of a petition for adoption in any other court as permitted by law, instead of in the juvenile court.

(2) In the case of an Indian child, if the Indian child’s tribe has elected a permanent plan of tribal customary adoption, the court, upon receiving the tribal customary adoption order will afford the tribal customary adoption order full faith and credit to the same extent that the court would afford full faith and credit to the public acts, records, judicial proceedings, and judgments of any other entity. Upon a determination that the tribal customary adoption order may be afforded full faith and credit, consistent with Section 224.5, the court shall thereafter order a hearing to finalize the adoption be set upon the filing of the adoption petition. The prospective tribal customary adoptive parents and the child who is the subject of the tribal customary adoption petition shall appear before the court for the finalization hearing. The court shall thereafter issue an order of adoption pursuant to Section 366.24.

(3) If a child who is the subject of a finalized tribal customary adoption shows evidence of a developmental disability or mental illness as a result of conditions existing before the tribal customary adoption to the extent that the child cannot be relinquished to a licensed adoption agency on the grounds that the child is considered unadoptable, and of which condition the tribal customary adoptive parent or parents had no knowledge or notice before the entry of the tribal customary adoption order, a petition setting forth those facts may be filed by the tribal customary adoptive parent or parents with the juvenile court that granted the tribal customary adoption petition. If these facts are proved to the satisfaction of the juvenile court, it may make an order setting aside the tribal customary adoption order. The set-aside petition shall be filed within five years of the issuance of the tribal customary adoption order. The court clerk shall immediately notify the child’s tribe and the department in Sacramento of the petition within 60 days after the notice of filing of the petition. The department shall file a full report with the court and shall appear before the court for the purpose of representing the child. Whenever a final decree of tribal customary adoption has been vacated or set aside, the child shall be returned to the custody of the county in which the proceeding for tribal customary adoption was finalized. The biological parent or parents of the child may petition for return of custody. The disposition of the child after the court has entered an order to set aside a tribal customary adoption shall include consultation with the child’s tribe.

(f) At the beginning of any proceeding pursuant to this section, if the child or the parents are not being represented by previously retained or appointed counsel, the court shall proceed as follows:

(1) In accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 317, if a child before the court is without counsel, the court shall appoint counsel unless the court finds that the child would not benefit from the appointment of counsel. The court shall state on the record its reasons for that finding.

(2) If a parent appears without counsel and is unable to afford counsel, the court shall appoint counsel for the parent, unless this representation is knowingly and intelligently waived. The same counsel shall not be appointed to represent both the child and his or her parent. The public defender or private counsel may be appointed as counsel for the parent.

(3) Private counsel appointed under this section shall receive a reasonable sum for compensation and expenses, the amount of which shall be determined by the court. The amount shall be paid by the real parties in interest, other than the child, in any proportions the court deems just. However, if the court finds that any of the real parties in interest are unable to afford counsel, the amount shall be paid out of the general fund of the county.

(g) The court may continue the proceeding for a period of time not to exceed 30 days as necessary to appoint counsel, and to enable counsel to become acquainted with the case.

(h) (1) At all proceedings under this section, the court shall consider the wishes of the child and shall act in the best interests of the child.

(2) In accordance with Section 349, the child shall be present in court if the child or the child’s counsel so requests or the court so orders. If the child is 10 years of age or older and is not present at a hearing held pursuant to this section, the court shall determine whether the minor was properly notified of his or her right to attend the hearing and inquire as to the reason why the child is not present.

(3) (A) The testimony of the child may be taken in chambers and outside the presence of the child’s parent or parents, if the child’s parent or parents are represented by counsel, the counsel is present, and any of the following circumstances exist:

(i) The court determines that testimony in chambers is necessary to ensure truthful testimony.

(ii) The child is likely to be intimidated by a formal courtroom setting.

(iii) The child is afraid to testify in front of his or her parent or parents.

(B) After testimony in chambers, the parent or parents of the child may elect to have the court reporter read back the testimony or have the testimony summarized by counsel for the parent or parents.

(C) The testimony of a child also may be taken in chambers and outside the presence of the guardian or guardians of a child under the circumstances specified in this subdivision.

(i) (1) Any order of the court permanently terminating parental rights under this section shall be conclusive and binding upon the child, upon the parent or parents and, upon all other persons who have been served with citation by publication or otherwise as provided in this chapter. After making the order, the juvenile court shall have no power to set aside, change, or modify it, except as provided in paragraph (2), but nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the right to appeal the order.

(2) A tribal customary adoption order evidencing that the Indian child has been the subject of a tribal customary adoption shall be afforded full faith and credit and shall have the same force and effect as an order of adoption authorized by this section. The rights and obligations of the parties as to the matters determined by the Indian child’s tribe shall be binding on all parties. A court shall not order compliance with the order absent a finding that the party seeking the enforcement participated, or attempted to participate, in good faith, in family mediation services of the court or dispute resolution through the tribe regarding the conflict, prior to the filing of the enforcement action.

(3) A child who has not been adopted after the passage of at least three years from the date the court terminated parental rights and for whom the court has determined that adoption is no longer the permanent plan may petition the juvenile court to reinstate parental rights pursuant to the procedure prescribed by Section 388. The child may file the petition prior to the expiration of this three-year period if the State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency that is responsible for custody and supervision of the child as described in subdivision (j) and the child stipulate that the child is no longer likely to be adopted. A child over 12 years of age shall sign the petition in the absence of a showing of good cause as to why the child could not do so. If it appears that the best interests of the child may be promoted by reinstatement of parental rights, the court shall order that a hearing be held and shall give prior notice, or cause prior notice to be given, to the social worker or probation officer and to the child’s attorney of record, or, if there is no attorney of record for the child, to the child, and the child’s tribe, if applicable, by means prescribed by subdivision (c) of Section 297. The court shall order the child or the social worker or probation officer to give prior notice of the hearing to the child’s former parent or parents whose parental rights were terminated in the manner prescribed by subdivision (f) of Section 294 where the recommendation is adoption. The juvenile court shall grant the petition if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the child is no longer likely to be adopted and that reinstatement of parental rights is in the child’s best interest. If the court reinstates parental rights over a child who is under 12 years of age and for whom the new permanent plan will not be reunification with a parent or legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its findings that it is in the best interest of the child to reinstate parental rights. This subdivision is intended to be retroactive and applies to any child who is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court at the time of the hearing regardless of the date parental rights were terminated.

(j) If the court, by order or judgment, declares the child free from the custody and control of both parents, or one parent if the other does not have custody and control, or declares the child eligible for tribal customary adoption, the court shall at the same time order the child referred to the State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency for adoptive placement by the agency. However, except in the case of a tribal customary adoption where there is no termination of parental rights, a petition for adoption may not be granted until the appellate rights of the natural parents have been exhausted. The State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency shall be responsible for the custody and supervision of the child and shall be entitled to the exclusive care and control of the child at all times until a petition for adoption or tribal customary adoption is granted, except as specified in subdivision (n). With the consent of the agency, the court may appoint a guardian of the child, who shall serve until the child is adopted.

(k) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, the application of any person who, as a relative caretaker or foster parent, has cared for a dependent child for whom the court has approved a permanent plan for adoption, or who has been freed for adoption, shall be given preference with respect to that child over all other applications for adoptive placement if the agency making the placement determines that the child has substantial emotional ties to the relative caretaker or foster parent and removal from the relative caretaker or foster parent would be seriously detrimental to the child’s emotional well-being.

(2) As used in this subdivision, “preference” means that the application shall be processed and, if satisfactory, the family study shall be completed before the processing of the application of any other person for the adoptive placement of the child.

(l) (1) An order by the court that a hearing pursuant to this section be held is not appealable at any time unless all of the following apply:

(A) A petition for extraordinary writ review was filed in a timely manner.

(B) The petition substantively addressed the specific issues to be challenged and supported that challenge by an adequate record.

(C) The petition for extraordinary writ review was summarily denied or otherwise not decided on the merits.

(2) Failure to file a petition for extraordinary writ review within the period specified by rule, to substantively address the specific issues challenged, or to support that challenge by an adequate record shall preclude subsequent review by appeal of the findings and orders made pursuant to this section.

(3) The Judicial Council shall adopt rules of court, effective January 1, 1995, to ensure all of the following:

(A) A trial court, after issuance of an order directing a hearing pursuant to this section be held, shall advise all parties of the requirement of filing a petition for extraordinary writ review as set forth in this subdivision in order to preserve any right to appeal in these issues.

(i) If a party is present at the time of the making of the order, the notice shall be made orally to the party.

(ii) If the party is not present at the time of making the order, the notice shall be made by the clerk of the court by first-class mail to the last known address of a party or by electronic service pursuant to Section 212.5. If the notice is for a hearing at which the social worker will recommend the termination of parental rights, the notice may be electronically served pursuant to Section 212.5, but only in addition to service of the notice by first-class mail.

(B) The prompt transmittal of the records from the trial court to the appellate court.

(C) That adequate time requirements for counsel and court personnel exist to implement the objective of this subdivision.

(D) That the parent or guardian, or their trial counsel or other counsel, is charged with the responsibility of filing a petition for extraordinary writ relief pursuant to this subdivision.

(4) The intent of this subdivision is to do both of the following:

(A) Make every reasonable attempt to achieve a substantive and meritorious review by the appellate court within the time specified in Sections 366.21, 366.22, and 366.25 for holding a hearing pursuant to this section.

(B) Encourage the appellate court to determine all writ petitions filed pursuant to this subdivision on their merits.

(5) This subdivision shall only apply to cases in which an order to set a hearing pursuant to this section is issued on or after January 1, 1995.

(m) Except for subdivision (j), this section shall also apply to minors adjudged wards pursuant to Section 727.31.

(n) (1) Notwithstanding Section 8704 of the Family Code or any other law, the court, at a hearing held pursuant to this section or anytime thereafter, may designate a current caretaker as a prospective adoptive parent if the child has lived with the caretaker for at least six months, the caretaker currently expresses a commitment to adopt the child, and the caretaker has taken at least one step to facilitate the adoption process. In determining whether to make that designation, the court may take into consideration whether the caretaker is listed in the preliminary assessment prepared by the county department in accordance with subdivision (i) of Section 366.21 as an appropriate person to be considered as an adoptive parent for the child and the recommendation of the State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency.

(2) For purposes of this subdivision, steps to facilitate the adoption process include, but are not limited to, the following:

(A) Applying for an adoption homestudy.

(B) Cooperating with an adoption homestudy.

(C) Being designated by the court or the adoption agency as the adoptive family.

(D) Requesting de facto parent status.

(E) Signing an adoptive placement agreement.

(F) Engaging in discussions regarding a postadoption contact agreement.

(G) Working to overcome any impediments that have been identified by the State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency.

(H) Attending classes required of prospective adoptive parents.

(3) Prior to a change in placement and as soon as possible after a decision is made to remove a child from the home of a designated prospective adoptive parent, the agency shall notify the court, the designated prospective adoptive parent or the current caretaker, if that caretaker would have met the threshold criteria to be designated as a prospective adoptive parent pursuant to paragraph (1) on the date of service of this notice, the child’s attorney, and the child, if the child is 10 years of age or older, of the proposal in the manner described in Section 16010.6.

(A) Within five court days or seven calendar days, whichever is longer, of the date of notification, the child, the child’s attorney, or the designated prospective adoptive parent may file a petition with the court objecting to the proposal to remove the child, or the court, upon its own motion, may set a hearing regarding the proposal. The court may, for good cause, extend the filing period. A caretaker who would have met the threshold criteria to be designated as a prospective adoptive parent pursuant to paragraph (1) on the date of service of the notice of proposed removal of the child may file, together with the petition under this subparagraph, a petition for an order designating the caretaker as a prospective adoptive parent for purposes of this subdivision.

(B) A hearing ordered pursuant to this paragraph shall be held as soon as possible and not later than five court days after the petition is filed with the court or the court sets a hearing upon its own motion, unless the court for good cause is unable to set the matter for hearing five court days after the petition is filed, in which case the court shall set the matter for hearing as soon as possible. At the hearing, the court shall determine whether the caretaker has met the threshold criteria to be designated as a prospective adoptive parent pursuant to paragraph (1), and whether the proposed removal of the child from the home of the designated prospective adoptive parent is in the child’s best interest, and the child may not be removed from the home of the designated prospective adoptive parent unless the court finds that removal is in the child’s best interest. If the court determines that the caretaker did not meet the threshold criteria to be designated as a prospective adoptive parent on the date of service of the notice of proposed removal of the child, the petition objecting to the proposed removal filed by the caretaker shall be dismissed. If the caretaker was designated as a prospective adoptive parent prior to this hearing, the court shall inquire into any progress made by the caretaker towards the adoption of the child since the caretaker was designated as a prospective adoptive parent.

(C) A determination by the court that the caretaker is a designated prospective adoptive parent pursuant to paragraph (1) or subparagraph (B) does not make the caretaker a party to the dependency proceeding nor does it confer on the caretaker any standing to object to any other action of the department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency, unless the caretaker has been declared a de facto parent by the court prior to the notice of removal served pursuant to paragraph (3).

(D) If a petition objecting to the proposal to remove the child is not filed, and the court, upon its own motion, does not set a hearing, the child may be removed from the home of the designated prospective adoptive parent without a hearing.

(4) Notwithstanding paragraph (3), if the State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency determines that the child must be removed from the home of the caretaker who is or may be a designated prospective adoptive parent immediately, due to a risk of physical or emotional harm, the agency may remove the child from that home and is not required to provide notice prior to the removal. However, as soon as possible and not longer than two court days after the removal, the agency shall notify the court, the caretaker who is or may be a designated prospective adoptive parent, the child’s attorney, and the child, if the child is 10 years of age or older, of the removal. Within five court days or seven calendar days, whichever is longer, of the date of notification of the removal, the child, the child’s attorney, or the caretaker who is or may be a designated prospective adoptive parent may petition for, or the court on its own motion may set, a noticed hearing pursuant to paragraph (3). The court may, for good cause, extend the filing period.

(5) Except as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 366.28, an order by the court issued after a hearing pursuant to this subdivision shall not be appealable.

(6) Nothing in this section shall preclude a county child protective services agency from fully investigating and responding to alleged abuse or neglect of a child pursuant to Section 11165.5 of the Penal Code.

(7) The Judicial Council shall prepare forms to facilitate the filing of the petitions described in this subdivision, which shall become effective on January 1, 2006.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 319, Sec. 134.5. (AB 976) Effective January 1, 2018.)

366.27.
  

(a) If a court, pursuant to paragraph (5) of subdivision (g) of Section 366.21, Section 366.22, Section 366.25, or Section 366.26, orders the placement of a minor in a planned permanent living arrangement with a relative, the court may authorize the relative to provide the same legal consent for the minor’s medical, surgical, and dental care as the custodial parent of the minor.

(b) If a court orders the placement of a minor in a planned permanent living arrangement with a foster parent, relative caretaker, or nonrelative extended family member as defined in Section 362.7, the court may limit the right of the minor’s parent or guardian to make educational decisions on the minor’s behalf, so that the foster parent, relative caretaker, or nonrelative extended family member may exercise the educational consent duties pursuant to Section 56055 of the Education Code.

(c) If a court orders the placement of a minor in a planned permanent living arrangement, for purposes of this section, a foster parent shall include a person, relative caretaker, or a nonrelative extended family member as defined in Section 362.7, who has been licensed or approved by the county welfare department, county probation department, or the State Department of Social Services, or has been designated by the court as a specified placement.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 845, Sec. 14. (SB 1064) Effective January 1, 2013.)

366.28.
  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares that delays caused by appeals from court orders designating the specific placement of a dependent child after parental rights have been terminated may cause a substantial detriment to the child. The Legislature recognizes that the juvenile court intervenes in placement decisions after parental rights have been terminated only in exceptional circumstances, and this section is not intended to place additional authority or responsibility on the juvenile court.

(b) (1) After parental rights have been terminated pursuant to Section 366.26, an order by the court that a dependent child is to reside in, be retained in, or be removed from a specific placement, is not appealable at any time unless all of the following apply:

(A) A petition for extraordinary writ review was filed in a timely manner.

(B) The petition substantively addressed the specific issues to be challenged and supported that challenge by an adequate record.

(C) The petition was summarily denied or otherwise not decided on the merits.

(2) Failure to file a petition for extraordinary writ review within the period specified by rule of court, to substantively address the specific placement order that is challenged, or to support that challenge by an adequate record shall preclude subsequent review by appeal of the findings and orders made pursuant to this section.

(c) This section does not affect the right of a parent, a legal guardian, or the child to appeal any order that is otherwise appealable and that is issued at a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26.

(d) The Judicial Council shall adopt a rule of court on or before January 1, 2005, to implement this section. This section shall become operative after the rule of court is adopted.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 249, Sec. 3. Effective August 23, 2004. Section operative on date prescribed in subd. (d).)

366.29.
  

(a) When a court, pursuant to Section 366.26, orders that a dependent child be placed for adoption, nothing in the adoption laws of this state shall be construed to prevent the prospective adoptive parent or parents of the child from expressing a willingness to facilitate postadoptive sibling contact. With the consent of the adoptive parent or parents, the court may include in the final adoption order provisions for the adoptive parent or parents to facilitate postadoptive sibling contact. In no event shall the continuing validity of the adoption be contingent upon the postadoptive contact, nor shall the ability of the adoptive parent or parents and the child to change residence within or outside the state be impaired by the order for contact.

(b) If, following entry of an order for sibling contact pursuant to subdivision (a), it is determined by the adoptive parent or parents that sibling contact poses a threat to the health, safety, or well-being of the adopted child, the adoptive parent or parents may terminate the sibling contact, provided that the adoptive parent or parents shall submit written notification to the court within 10 days after terminating the contact, which notification shall specify to the court the reasons why the health, safety, or well-being of the adopted child would be threatened by continued sibling contact.

(c) Upon the granting of the adoption petition and the issuing of the order of adoption of a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court, the jurisdiction of the juvenile court with respect to the dependency proceedings of that child shall be terminated. Nonetheless, the court granting the petition of adoption shall maintain jurisdiction over the child for enforcement of the postadoption contact agreement. The court may only order compliance with the postadoption contact agreement upon a finding of both of the following:

(1) The party seeking the enforcement participated, in good faith, in mediation or other appropriate alternative dispute resolution proceedings regarding the conflict, prior to the filing of the enforcement action.

(2) The enforcement is in the best interest of the child.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 747, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2002.)

366.3.
  

(a) If a juvenile court orders a permanent plan of adoption, tribal customary adoption, adoption of a nonminor dependent pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 366.31, or legal guardianship pursuant to Section 360 or 366.26, the court shall retain jurisdiction over the child or nonminor dependent until the child or nonminor dependent is adopted or the legal guardianship is established, except as provided for in Section 366.29 or, on and after January 1, 2012, Section 366.32. The status of the child or nonminor dependent shall be reviewed every six months to ensure that the adoption or legal guardianship is completed as expeditiously as possible. When the adoption of the child or nonminor dependent has been granted, or in the case of a tribal customary adoption, when the tribal customary adoption order has been afforded full faith and credit and the petition for adoption has been granted, the court shall terminate its jurisdiction over the child or nonminor dependent. Following establishment of a legal guardianship, the court may continue jurisdiction over the child as a dependent child of the juvenile court or may terminate its dependency jurisdiction and retain jurisdiction over the child as a ward of the legal guardianship, as authorized by Section 366.4. If, however, a relative of the child is appointed the legal guardian of the child and the child has been placed with the relative for at least six months, the court shall, except if the relative guardian objects, or upon a finding of exceptional circumstances, terminate its dependency jurisdiction and retain jurisdiction over the child as a ward of the guardianship, as authorized by Section 366.4. Following a termination of parental rights, the parent or parents shall not be a party to, or receive notice of, any subsequent proceedings regarding the child.

(b) (1) If the court has dismissed dependency jurisdiction following the establishment of a legal guardianship, or no dependency jurisdiction attached because of the granting of a legal guardianship pursuant to Section 360, and the legal guardianship is subsequently revoked or otherwise terminated, the county department of social services or welfare department shall notify the juvenile court of this fact. The court may vacate its previous order dismissing dependency jurisdiction over the child.

(2) Notwithstanding Section 1601 of the Probate Code, the proceedings to terminate a legal guardianship that has been granted pursuant to Section 360 or 366.26 shall be held either in the juvenile court that retains jurisdiction over the guardianship as authorized by Section 366.4 or the juvenile court in the county where the guardian and child currently reside, based on the best interests of the child, unless the termination is due to the emancipation or adoption of the child. The juvenile court having jurisdiction over the guardianship shall receive notice from the court in which the petition is filed within five calendar days of the filing. Prior to the hearing on a petition to terminate legal guardianship pursuant to this subdivision, the court shall order the county department of social services or welfare department having jurisdiction or jointly with the county department where the guardian and child currently reside to prepare a report, for the court’s consideration, that shall include an evaluation of whether the child could safely remain in, or be returned to, the legal guardian’s home, without terminating the legal guardianship, if services were provided to the child or legal guardian. If applicable, the report shall also identify recommended family maintenance or reunification services to maintain the legal guardianship and set forth a plan for providing those services. If the petition to terminate legal guardianship is granted, either juvenile court may resume dependency jurisdiction over the child, and may order the county department of social services or welfare department to develop a new permanent plan, which shall be presented to the court within 60 days of the termination. If no dependency jurisdiction has attached, the social worker shall make any investigation he or she deems necessary to determine whether the child may be within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, as provided in Section 328.

(3) Unless the parental rights of the child’s parent or parents have been terminated, they shall be notified that the legal guardianship has been revoked or terminated and shall be entitled to participate in the new permanency planning hearing. The court shall try to place the child in another permanent placement. At the hearing, the parents may be considered as custodians but the child shall not be returned to the parent or parents unless they prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that reunification is the best alternative for the child. The court may, if it is in the best interests of the child, order that reunification services again be provided to the parent or parents.

(c) If, following the establishment of a legal guardianship, the county welfare department becomes aware of changed circumstances that indicate adoption or, for an Indian child, tribal customary adoption, may be an appropriate plan for the child, the department shall so notify the court. The court may vacate its previous order dismissing dependency jurisdiction over the child and order that a hearing be held pursuant to Section 366.26 to determine whether adoption or continued legal guardianship is the most appropriate plan for the child. The hearing shall be held no later than 120 days from the date of the order. If the court orders that a hearing shall be held pursuant to Section 366.26, the court shall direct the agency supervising the child and the county adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services if it is acting as an adoption agency, to prepare an assessment under subdivision (b) of Section 366.22.

(d) If the child or, on and after January 1, 2012, nonminor dependent is in a placement other than the home of a legal guardian and jurisdiction has not been dismissed, the status of the child shall be reviewed at least every six months. The review of the status of a child for whom the court has ordered parental rights terminated and who has been ordered placed for adoption shall be conducted by the court. The review of the status of a child or, on and after January 1, 2012, nonminor dependent for whom the court has not ordered parental rights terminated and who has not been ordered placed for adoption may be conducted by the court or an appropriate local agency. The court shall conduct the review under the following circumstances:

(1) Upon the request of the child’s parents or legal guardians.

(2) Upon the request of the child or, on and after January 1, 2012, nonminor dependent.

(3) It has been 12 months since a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 or an order that the child remain in foster care pursuant to Section 366.21, 366.22, 366.25, 366.26, or subdivision (h).

(4) It has been 12 months since a review was conducted by the court.

The court shall determine whether or not reasonable efforts to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child have been made.

(e) Except as provided in subdivision (g), at the review held every six months pursuant to subdivision (d), the reviewing body shall inquire about the progress being made to provide a permanent home for the child, shall consider the safety of the child, and shall determine all of the following:

(1) The continuing necessity for, and appropriateness of, the placement.

(2) Identification of individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to a child who is 10 years of age or older and has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer, and actions necessary to maintain the child’s relationship with those individuals, provided that those relationships are in the best interest of the child. The social worker shall ask every child who is 10 years of age or older and who has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer to identify individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to the child, and may ask any other child to provide that information, as appropriate. The social worker shall make efforts to identify other individuals who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests.

(3) The continuing appropriateness and extent of compliance with the permanent plan for the child, including efforts to maintain relationships between a child who is 10 years of age or older and who has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer and individuals who are important to the child and efforts to identify a prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including, but not limited to, child-specific recruitment efforts and listing on an adoption exchange.

(4) The extent of the agency’s compliance with the child welfare services case plan in making reasonable efforts either to return the child to the safe home of the parent or to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child. If the reviewing body determines that a second period of reunification services is in the child’s best interests, and that there is a significant likelihood of the child’s return to a safe home due to changed circumstances of the parent, pursuant to subdivision (f), the specific reunification services required to effect the child’s return to a safe home shall be described.

(5) Whether there should be any limitation on the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions or developmental services decisions for the child. That limitation shall be specifically addressed in the court order and may not exceed what is necessary to protect the child. If the court specifically limits the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions or developmental services decisions for the child, the court shall at the same time appoint a responsible adult to make educational decisions or developmental services decisions for the child pursuant to Section 361.

(6) The adequacy of services provided to the child. The court shall consider the progress in providing the information and documents to the child, as described in Section 391. The court shall also consider the need for, and progress in providing, the assistance and services described in Section 391.

(7) The extent of progress the parents or legal guardians have made toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care.

(8) The likely date by which the child may be returned to, and safely maintained in, the home, placed for adoption, legal guardianship, placed with a fit and willing relative, or, for an Indian child, in consultation with the child’s tribe, placed for tribal customary adoption, or, if the child is 16 years of age or older, and no other permanent plan is appropriate at the time of the hearing, in another planned permanent living arrangement.

(9) Whether the child has any siblings under the court’s jurisdiction, and, if any siblings exist, all of the following:

(A) The nature of the relationship between the child and his or her siblings.

(B) The appropriateness of developing or maintaining the sibling relationships pursuant to Section 16002. At the first review conducted for a child for whom the court has ordered parental rights terminated and who has been ordered placed for adoption, the court shall inquire into the status of the development of a voluntary postadoption sibling contact agreement pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 16002.

(C) If the siblings are not placed together in the same home, why the siblings are not placed together and what efforts are being made to place the siblings together, or why those efforts are not appropriate.

(D) If the siblings are not placed together, all of the following:

(i) The frequency and nature of the visits between the siblings.

(ii) If there are visits between the siblings, whether the visits are supervised or unsupervised. If the visits are supervised, a discussion of the reasons why the visits are supervised, and what needs to be accomplished in order for the visits to be unsupervised.

(iii) If there are visits between the siblings, a description of the location and length of the visits.

(iv) Any plan to increase visitation between the siblings.

(E) The impact of the sibling relationships on the child’s placement and planning for legal permanence.

The factors the court may consider as indicators of the nature of the child’s sibling relationships include, but are not limited to, whether the siblings were raised together in the same home, whether the siblings have shared significant common experiences or have existing close and strong bonds, whether either sibling expresses a desire to visit or live with his or her sibling, as applicable, and whether ongoing contact is in the child’s best emotional interests.

(10) For a child who is 14 years of age or older, and, effective January 1, 2012, for a nonminor dependent, the services needed to assist the child or nonminor dependent to make the transition from foster care to successful adulthood.

The reviewing body shall determine whether or not reasonable efforts to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child have been made.

Each licensed foster family agency shall submit reports for each child in its care, custody, and control to the court concerning the continuing appropriateness and extent of compliance with the child’s permanent plan, the extent of compliance with the case plan, and the type and adequacy of services provided to the child.

(f) Unless their parental rights have been permanently terminated, the parent or parents of the child are entitled to receive notice of, and participate in, those hearings. It shall be presumed that continued care is in the best interests of the child, unless the parent or parents prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that further efforts at reunification are the best alternative for the child. In those cases, the court may order that further reunification services to return the child to a safe home environment be provided to the parent or parents up to a period of six months, and family maintenance services, as needed for an additional six months in order to return the child to a safe home environment. On and after January 1, 2012, this subdivision shall not apply to the parents of a nonminor dependent.

(g) At the review conducted by the court and held at least every six months, regarding a child for whom the court has ordered parental rights terminated and who has been ordered placed for adoption, or, for an Indian child for whom parental rights are not being terminated and a tribal customary adoption is being considered, the county welfare department shall prepare and present to the court a report describing the following:

(1) The child’s present placement.

(2) The child’s current physical, mental, emotional, and educational status.

(3) If the child has not been placed with a prospective adoptive parent or guardian, identification of individuals, other than the child’s siblings, who are important to the child and actions necessary to maintain the child’s relationship with those individuals, provided that those relationships are in the best interest of the child. The agency shall ask every child who is 10 years of age or older to identify any individuals who are important to him or her, consistent with the child’s best interest, and may ask any child who is younger than 10 years of age to provide that information as appropriate. The agency shall make efforts to identify other individuals who are important to the child.

(4) Whether the child has been placed with a prospective adoptive parent or parents.

(5) Whether an adoptive placement agreement has been signed and filed.

(6) If the child has not been placed with a prospective adoptive parent or parents, the efforts made to identify an appropriate prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including, but not limited to, child-specific recruitment efforts and listing on an adoption exchange.

(7) Whether the final adoption order should include provisions for postadoptive sibling contact pursuant to Section 366.29.

(8) The progress of the search for an adoptive placement if one has not been identified.

(9) Any impediments to the adoption or the adoptive placement.

(10) The anticipated date by which the child will be adopted or placed in an adoptive home.

(11) The anticipated date by which an adoptive placement agreement will be signed.

(12) Recommendations for court orders that will assist in the placement of the child for adoption or in the finalization of the adoption.

The court shall determine whether or not reasonable efforts to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child have been made.

The court shall make appropriate orders to protect the stability of the child and to facilitate and expedite the permanent placement and adoption of the child.

(h) (1) At the review held pursuant to subdivision (d) for a child in foster care, the court shall consider all permanency planning options for the child including whether the child should be returned to the home of the parent, placed for adoption, or, for an Indian child, in consultation with the child’s tribe, placed for tribal customary adoption, or appointed a legal guardian, placed with a fit and willing relative, or, if compelling reasons exist for finding that none of the foregoing options are in the best interest of the child and the child is 16 years of age or older, whether the child should be placed in another planned permanent living arrangement. The court shall order that a hearing be held pursuant to Section 366.26, unless it determines by clear and convincing evidence that there is a compelling reason for determining that a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 is not in the best interest of the child because the child is being returned to the home of the parent, the child is not a proper subject for adoption, or no one is willing to accept legal guardianship as of the hearing date. If the county adoption agency, or the department when it is acting as an adoption agency, has determined it is unlikely that the child will be adopted or one of the conditions described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 366.26 applies, that fact shall constitute a compelling reason for purposes of this subdivision. Only upon that determination may the court order that the child remain in foster care, without holding a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26. The court shall make factual findings identifying any barriers to achieving the permanent plan as of the hearing date. On and after January 1, 2012, the nonminor dependent’s legal status as an adult is in and of itself a compelling reason not to hold a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26.

(2) When the child is 16 years of age or older and in another planned permanent living arrangement, the court shall do all of the following:

(A) Ask the child about his or her desired permanency outcome.

(B) Make a judicial determination explaining why, as of the hearing date, another planned permanent living arrangement is the best permanency plan for the child.

(C) State for the record the compelling reason or reasons why it continues not to be in the best interest of the child to return home, be placed for adoption, be placed for tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, be placed with a legal guardian, or be placed with a fit and willing relative.

(3) When the child is 16 years of age or older and is in another planned permanent living arrangement, the social study prepared for the hearing shall include a description of all of the following:

(A) The intensive and ongoing efforts to return the child to the home of the parent, place the child for adoption, or establish a legal guardianship, as appropriate.

(B) The steps taken to do both of the following:

(i) Ensure that the child’s care provider is following the reasonable and prudent parent standard.

(ii) Determine whether the child has regular, ongoing opportunities to engage in age or developmentally appropriate activities, including consulting with the child about opportunities for the child to participate in those activities.

(4) When the child is under 16 years of age and has a permanent plan of return home, adoption, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative, the social study shall include a description of any barriers to achieving the permanent plan and the efforts made by the agency to address those barriers.

(i) If, as authorized by subdivision (h), the court orders a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26, the court shall direct the agency supervising the child and the county adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency, to prepare an assessment as provided for in subdivision (i) of Section 366.21 or subdivision (b) of Section 366.22. A hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 shall be held no later than 120 days from the date of the 12-month review at which it is ordered, and at that hearing the court shall determine whether adoption, tribal customary adoption, legal guardianship, placement with a fit and willing relative, or, for a child 16 years of age or older, another planned permanent living arrangement is the most appropriate plan for the child. On and after January 1, 2012, a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall not be ordered if the child is a nonminor dependent, unless the nonminor dependent is an Indian child and tribal customary adoption is recommended as the permanent plan. The court may order that a nonminor dependent who otherwise is eligible pursuant to Section 11403 remain in a planned, permanent living arrangement. At the request of the nonminor dependent who has an established relationship with an adult determined to be the nonminor dependent’s permanent connection, the court may order adoption of the nonminor dependent pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 366.31.

(j) The reviews conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) or (d) may be conducted earlier than every six months if the court determines that an earlier review is in the best interests of the child or as court rules prescribe.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 732, Sec. 52. (AB 404) Effective January 1, 2018.)

366.31.
  

(a) If a review hearing is the last review hearing to be held before the minor attains 18 years of age, the court shall ensure all of the following:

(1) The minor’s case plan includes a plan for the minor to satisfy one or more of the participation conditions described in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403, so that the minor is eligible to remain in foster care as a nonminor dependent.

(2) The minor has been informed of his or her right to seek termination of dependency jurisdiction pursuant to Section 391, and understands the potential benefits of continued dependency.

(3) The minor is informed of his or her right to have dependency reinstated pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 388, and understands the potential benefits of continued dependency.

(b) At the review hearing that occurs in the six-month period prior to the minor’s attaining 18 years of age, and at every subsequent review hearing for the nonminor dependent, as described in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, the report shall describe all of the following:

(1) The minor’s and nonminor’s plans to remain in foster care and plans to meet one or more of the participation conditions as described in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403 to continue to receive AFDC-FC benefits as a nonminor dependent.

(2) The efforts made and assistance provided to the minor and nonminor by the social worker or the probation officer so that the minor and nonminor will be able to meet the participation conditions.

(3) Efforts toward completing the items described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 391.

(c) The reviews conducted pursuant to this section for a nonminor dependent shall be conducted in a manner that respects the nonminor’s status as a legal adult, focused on the goals and services described in the youth’s transitional independent living case plan, as described in subdivision (y) of Section 11400, including efforts made to maintain connections with caring and permanently committed adults, and attended, as appropriate, by additional participants invited by the nonminor dependent.

(d) For a nonminor dependent whose case plan is continued court-ordered family reunification services pursuant to Section 361.6, the court shall consider whether the nonminor dependent may safely reside in the home of the parent or guardian. If the nonminor cannot reside safely in the home of the parent or guardian or if it is not in the nonminor dependent’s best interest to reside in the home of the parent or guardian, the court must consider whether to continue or terminate reunification services for the parent or legal guardian.

(1) The review report shall include a discussion of all of the following:

(A) Whether foster care placement continues to be necessary and appropriate.

(B) The likely date by which the nonminor dependent may reside safely in the home of the parent or guardian or will achieve independence.

(C) Whether the parent or guardian and nonminor dependent were actively involved in the development of the case plan.

(D) Whether the social worker or probation officer has provided reasonable services designed to aid the parent or guardian to overcome the problems that led to the initial removal of the nonminor dependent.

(E) The extent of progress the parents or guardian have made toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care.

(F) Whether the nonminor dependent and parent, parents, or guardian are in agreement with the continuation of reunification services.

(G) Whether continued reunification services are in the best interest of the nonminor dependent.

(H) Whether there is a substantial probability that the nonminor dependent will be able to safely reside in the home of the parent or guardian by the next review hearing date.

(I) The efforts to maintain the nonminor’s connections with caring and permanently committed adults.

(J) The agency’s compliance with the nonminor dependent’s transitional independent living case plan, including efforts to finalize the nonminor’s permanent plan and prepare the nonminor dependent for independence.

(K) The progress in providing the information and documents to the nonminor dependent as described in Section 391.

(2) The court shall inquire about the progress being made to provide a permanent home for the nonminor, shall consider the safety of the nonminor dependent, and shall determine all of the following:

(A) The continuing necessity for, and appropriateness of, the placement.

(B) Whether the agency has made reasonable efforts to maintain relationships between the nonminor dependent and individuals who are important to the nonminor dependent.

(C) The extent of the agency’s compliance with the case plan in making reasonable efforts or, in the case of an Indian child, active efforts, as described in Section 361.7, to create a safe home of the parent or guardian for the nonminor to reside in or to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the nonminor dependent.

(D) The extent of the agency’s compliance with the nonminor dependent’s transitional independent living case plan, including efforts to finalize the youth’s permanent plan and prepare the nonminor dependent for independence.

(E) The adequacy of services provided to the parent or guardian and to the nonminor dependent. The court shall consider the progress in providing the information and documents to the nonminor dependent as described in Section 391. The court shall also consider the need for, and progress in providing, the assistance and services described in Section 391.

(F) The extent of progress the parents or legal guardians have made toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care.

(G) The likely date by which the nonminor dependent may safely reside in the home of the parent or guardian or, if the court is terminating reunification services, the likely date by which it is anticipated the nonminor dependent will achieve independence, or, for an Indian child, in consultation with the child’s tribe, placed for tribal customary adoption.

(H) Whether the agency has made reasonable efforts as required in subparagraph (D) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 366 to establish or maintain the nonminor dependent’s relationship with his or her siblings who are under the juvenile court’s jurisdiction.

(I) The services needed to assist the nonminor dependent to make the transition from foster care to successful adulthood.

(J) Whether or not reasonable efforts to make and finalize a permanent placement for the nonminor have been made.

(3) If the court determines that a nonminor dependent may safely reside in the home of the parent or former guardian, the court may order the nonminor dependent to return to the family home. After the nonminor dependent returns to the family home, the court may terminate jurisdiction and proceed under applicable provisions of Section 391 or continue jurisdiction as a nonminor under subdivision (a) of Section 303 and hold hearings as follows:

(A) At every hearing for a nonminor dependent residing in the home of the parent or guardian, the court shall set a hearing within six months of the previous hearing. The court shall advise the parties of their right to be present. At least 10 calendar days before the hearing, the social worker or probation officer shall file a report with the court describing the services offered to the family and the progress made by the family in eliminating the conditions or factors requiring court supervision. The report shall address all of the following:

(i) Whether the parent or guardian and the nonminor dependent were actively involved in the development of the case plan.

(ii) Whether the social worker or probation officer has provided reasonable services to eliminate the need for court supervision.

(iii) The progress of providing information and documents to the nonminor dependent as described in Section 391.

(B) The court shall inquire about progress being made, shall consider the safety of the nonminor dependent, and shall determine all of the following:

(i) The continuing need for court supervision.

(ii) The extent of the agency’s compliance with the case plan in making reasonable efforts to maintain a safe family home for the nonminor dependent.

(C) If the court finds that court supervision is no longer necessary, the court shall terminate jurisdiction under applicable provisions of Section 391.

(e) For a nonminor dependent who is no longer receiving court-ordered family reunification services and is in a permanent plan of another planned permanent living arrangement, at the review hearing held every six months pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 366.3, the reviewing body shall inquire about the progress being made to provide permanent connections with caring, committed adults for the nonminor dependent, shall consider the safety of the nonminor, shall consider the transitional independent living case plan, and shall determine all of the following:

(1) The continuing necessity for, and appropriateness of, the placement.

(2) The continuing appropriateness and extent of compliance with the permanent plan for the nonminor dependent, including efforts to identify and maintain relationships with individuals who are important to the nonminor dependent.

(3) The extent of the agency’s compliance with the nonminor dependent’s transitional independent living case plan, including whether or not reasonable efforts have been made to make and finalize the youth’s permanent plan and prepare the nonminor dependent for independence.

(4) Whether a prospective adoptive parent has been identified and assessed as appropriate for the nonminor dependent’s adoption under this section, whether the prospective adoptive parent has been informed about the terms of the written negotiated adoption assistance agreement pursuant to Section 16120, and whether adoption should be ordered as the nonminor dependent’s permanent plan. If nonminor dependent adoption is ordered as the nonminor dependent’s permanent plan, a hearing pursuant to subdivision (f) shall be held within 60 days. When the court orders a hearing pursuant to subdivision (f), it shall direct the agency to prepare a report that shall include the provisions of paragraph (5) of subdivision (f).

(5) For the nonminor dependent who is an Indian child, whether, in consultation with the nonminor’s tribe, the nonminor should be placed for tribal customary adoption.

(6) The adequacy of services provided to the nonminor dependent. The court shall consider the progress in providing the information and documents to the nonminor dependent as described in Section 391. The court shall also consider the need for, and progress in providing, the assistance and services described in Section 391.

(7) The likely date by which it is anticipated the nonminor dependent will achieve adoption or independence.

(8) Whether the agency has made reasonable efforts as required in subparagraph (D) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 366 to establish or maintain the nonminor dependent’s relationship with his or her siblings who are under the juvenile court’s jurisdiction.

(9) The services needed to assist the nonminor dependent to make the transition from foster care to successful adulthood.

(10) When the hearing described in this subdivision is held pursuant to paragraph (3) or (4) of subdivision (d) of Section 366.3, and the nonminor dependent has a permanent plan of another planned permanent living arrangement, the court shall do all of the following:

(A) Ask the nonminor dependent about his or her desired permanency outcome.

(B) Make a judicial determination explaining why, as of the hearing date, another planned permanent living arrangement is the best permanency plan for the nonminor dependent.

(C) State for the record the compelling reason or reasons why it continues not to be in the best interest of the nonminor dependent to return home, be placed for adoption, be placed for tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, be placed with a legal guardian, or be placed with a fit and willing relative.

(f) (1) At a hearing to consider a permanent plan of adoption for a nonminor dependent, the court shall read and consider the report in paragraph (5) and receive other evidence that the parties may present. A copy of the executed negotiated agreement shall be attached to the report. If the court finds pursuant to this section that nonminor dependent adoption is the appropriate permanent plan, it shall make findings and orders to do the following:

(A) Approve the adoption agreement and declare the nonminor dependent is the adopted child of the adoptive parent, and that the nonminor dependent and adoptive parents agree to assume toward each other the legal relationship of parents and child and to have all of the rights and be subject to all of the duties and responsibilities of that relationship.

(B) Declare that the birth parents of the nonminor dependent are, from the time of the adoption, relieved of all parental duties toward, and responsibility for, the adopted nonminor dependent and have no rights over the adopted nonminor dependent.

(2) If the court finds that the nonminor dependent and the prospective adoptive parent have mutually consented to the adoption, the court may enter the adoption order after it determines all of the following:

(A) Whether the notice was given as required by law.

(B) Whether the nonminor dependent and prospective adoptive parent are present for the hearing.

(C) Whether the court has read and considered the assessment prepared by the social worker or probation officer.

(D) Whether the court considered the wishes of the nonminor dependent.

(E) If the nonminor dependent is eligible, the prospective adoptive parent has signed the negotiated adoption assistance agreement pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 16120, and whether a copy of the executed negotiated agreement is attached to the report.

(F) Whether the adoption is in the best interest of the nonminor dependent.

(3) If the court orders the establishment of the nonminor dependent adoption, it shall dismiss dependency or transitional jurisdiction.

(4) If the court does not order the establishment of the nonminor dependent adoption, the nonminor dependent shall remain in a planned permanent living arrangement subject to periodic review of the juvenile court pursuant to this section.

(5) At least 10 calendar days before the hearing, the social worker or probation officer shall file a report with the court and provide a copy of the report to all parties. The report shall describe the following:

(A) Whether or not the nonminor dependent has any developmental disability and whether the proposed adoptive parent is suitable to meet the needs of the nonminor dependent.

(B) The length and nature of the relationship between the prospective adoptive parent and the nonminor dependent, including whether the prospective adoptive parent has been determined to have been established as the nonminor’s permanent connection.

(C) Whether the nonminor dependent has been determined to be eligible for the adoption assistance program and, if so, whether the prospective adoptive parent has signed the negotiated adoption assistance agreement pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 16120.

(D) Whether a copy of the executed negotiated agreement is attached to the report.

(E) Whether criminal background clearances were completed for the prospective adoptive parent as required by Section 671(a)(20)(A) and (a)(20)(C) of Title 42 of the United States Code.

(F) Whether the prospective adoptive parent who is married and not legally separated from that spouse has the consent of the spouse, provided that the spouse is capable of giving that consent.

(G) Whether the adoption of the nonminor dependent is in the best interests of the nonminor dependent and the prospective adoptive parent.

(H) Whether the nonminor dependent and the prospective adoptive parent have mutually consented to the adoption.

(6) The social worker or probation officer shall serve written notice of the hearing in the manner and to the persons set forth in Section 295, including the prospective adoptive parent or parents, except that notice to the nonminor’s birth parents is not required.

(7) Nothing in this section shall prevent a nonminor dependent from filing an adoption petition pursuant to Section 9300 of the Family Code.

(g) Each licensed foster family agency shall submit reports for each nonminor dependent in its care to the court concerning the continuing appropriateness and extent of compliance with the nonminor dependent’s permanent plan, the extent of compliance with the transitional independent living case plan, and the type and adequacy of services provided to the nonminor dependent. The report shall document that the nonminor has received all the information and documentation described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 391. If the court is considering terminating dependency jurisdiction for a nonminor dependent it shall first hold a hearing pursuant to Section 391.

(h) When the nonminor dependent is in another planned permanent living arrangement, the social study prepared for the hearing held under subdivision (e) shall include a description of all of the following:

(1) The intensive and ongoing efforts to return the nonminor dependent to the home of the parent, place the nonminor dependent for adoption, or place the nonminor dependent with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate.

(2) The steps taken to do both of the following:

(A) Ensure that the nonminor dependent’s care provider is following the reasonable and prudent parent standard.

(B) Determine whether the nonminor dependent has regular, ongoing opportunities to engage in age or developmentally appropriate activities, including consulting with the nonminor dependent about opportunities for the nonminor dependent to participate in those activities.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 425, Sec. 15. (SB 794) Effective January 1, 2016.)

366.32.
  

(a) With respect to a nonminor dependent, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, who has a permanent plan of long-term foster care that was ordered pursuant to Section 366.21, 366.22, 366.25, or 366.26, the court may continue jurisdiction of the nonminor as a nonminor dependent of the juvenile court or may dismiss dependency jurisdiction pursuant to Section 391.

(b) If the court continues dependency jurisdiction of the nonminor as a nonminor dependent of the juvenile court, the court shall order the development of a planned permanent living arrangement under a mutual agreement, as described in subdivision (u) of Section 11400, which may include continued placement with the current caregiver or another licensed or approved caregiver or in a supervised independent living placement, as defined in subdivision (w) of Section 11400, consistent with the youth’s Transitional Independent Living Case Plan. At the request of the nonminor dependent who has an established relationship with an adult determined to be the nonminor dependent’s permanent connection, the court may order nonminor dependent adoption pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 366.31 as the nonminor dependent’s permanent plan.

(c) If the court terminates its dependency jurisdiction over a nonminor dependent pursuant to subdivision (a), it shall retain general jurisdiction over the youth pursuant to Section 303. If the court has dismissed dependency jurisdiction pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 391, the nonminor, who has not attained 21 years of age, may subsequently file a petition pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 388 to have dependency jurisdiction resumed and the court may vacate its previous order dismissing dependency jurisdiction over the nonminor dependent.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 846, Sec. 27. (AB 1712) Effective January 1, 2013.)

366.35.
  

(a) The implementation and operation of the amendments to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 366, subdivision (g) of Section 366.1, subdivisions (c) and (g) of Section 366.21, subdivision (a) of Section 366.22, subdivision (a) of Section 366.25, paragraph (3) of, and subparagraph (A) of paragraph (4) of, subdivision (c) of Section 366.26, paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (e) of Section 366.3, and subdivision (i) of Section 16501.1 enacted at the 2005–06 Regular Session shall be phased in, consistent with the child’s best interests, as follows:

(1) The first phase of expansion shall apply to a child who is 10 years of age or older and placed with a nonrelative for six months or longer.

(2) The second phase of expansion shall apply to a child who is 10 years of age or older and placed with a nonrelative or in permanent placement relative care for six months or longer.

(3) The final phase of expansion shall apply to a child who is 10 years of age or older and who has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer.

(b) All phases of subdivision (a) shall be subject to appropriation through the budget process. Those appropriations shall apply only to the state’s share of costs. Counties shall remain responsible for their nonfederal share of costs.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 482, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 2009.)

366.4.
  

(a) Any minor for whom a guardianship has been established resulting from the selection or implementation of a permanency plan pursuant to Section 366.26, or for whom a related guardianship has been established pursuant to Section 360, or, on and after the date that the director executes a declaration pursuant to Section 11217, a nonminor who is receiving Kin-GAP payments pursuant to Section 11363 or 11386, or, on or after January 1, 2012, a nonminor former dependent child of the juvenile court who is receiving AFDC-FC benefits pursuant to Section 11405, is within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. For those minors, Part 2 (commencing with Section 1500) of Division 4 of the Probate Code, relating to guardianship, shall not apply. If no specific provision of this code or the California Rules of Court is applicable, the provisions applicable to the administration of estates under Part 4 (commencing with Section 2100) of Division 4 of the Probate Code govern so far as they are applicable to like situations.

(b) Nonrelated legal guardians of the person of a guardianship pursuant to Section 360 or 366.26 shall be exempt from the provisions of Sections 2850 and 2851 of the Probate Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 459, Sec. 9. (AB 212) Effective October 4, 2011.)

366.5.
  

The dependency jurisdiction shall be suspended for a child whom the juvenile court declares to be a dual status child based on the joint assessment and recommendation of the county probation department and the child welfare services department pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (e) of Section 241.1. The suspension shall be in effect while the child is a ward of the court. If the jurisdiction established pursuant to Section 601 or 602 is terminated without the need for continued dependency proceedings concerning the child, the juvenile court shall terminate the child’s dual status. If the termination of the Section 601 or 602 jurisdiction is likely and reunification of the child with his or her parent or guardian would be detrimental to the child, the county probation department and child welfare services department shall jointly assess and produce a recommendation regarding whether the court’s dependency jurisdiction shall be resumed.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 468, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2005.)

367.
  

(a) Whenever a person has been adjudged a dependent child of the juvenile court and has been committed or otherwise disposed of as provided in this chapter for the care of dependent children of the juvenile court, the court may order that the dependent child be detained in a suitable place designated as the court deems fit until the execution of the order of commitment or of other disposition.

(b) In any case in which a child is detained for more than 15 days pending the execution of the order of commitment or of any other disposition, the court shall periodically review the case to determine whether the delay is reasonable. These periodic reviews shall be held at least every 15 days, commencing from the time the child was initially detained pending the execution of the order of commitment or of any other disposition, and during the course of each review the court shall inquire regarding the action taken by the social worker to carry out its order, the reasons for the delay, and the effect of the delay upon the child.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 854, Sec. 71. Effective January 1, 2002.)

368.
  

In a case where the residence of a dependent child of the juvenile court is out of the state and in another state or foreign country, or in a case where that child is a resident of this state but his or her parents, relatives, guardian, or person charged with his or her custody is in another state, the court may order that child sent to his or her parents, relatives, or guardian, or to the person charged with his or her custody, or, if the child is a resident of a foreign country, to an official of a juvenile court of that foreign country or an agency of a country authorized to accept the child, and in that case may order transportation and accommodation furnished, with or without an attendant, as the court deems necessary. If the court deems an attendant necessary, the court may order the social worker or other suitable person to serve as the attendant. The social worker shall authorize the necessary expenses of the child and of the attendant and claims therefor shall be audited, allowed and paid in the same manner as other county claims.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 1054, Sec. 39. Effective January 1, 1999.)

369.
  

(a) Whenever a person is taken into temporary custody under Article 7 (commencing with Section 305) and is in need of medical, surgical, dental, or other remedial care, the social worker may, upon the recommendation of the attending physician and surgeon or, if the person needs dental care and there is an attending dentist, the attending dentist, authorize the performance of the medical, surgical, dental, or other remedial care. The social worker shall notify the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis of the person, if any, of the care found to be needed before that care is provided, and if the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis objects, that care shall be given only upon order of the court in the exercise of its discretion.

(b) Whenever it appears to the juvenile court that a person concerning whom a petition has been filed with the court is in need of medical, surgical, dental, or other remedial care, and that there is no parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis capable of authorizing or willing to authorize the remedial care or treatment for that person, the court, upon the written recommendation of a licensed physician and surgeon or, if the person needs dental care, a licensed dentist, and after due notice to the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis, if any, may make an order authorizing the performance of the necessary medical, surgical, dental, or other remedial care for that person.

(c) Whenever a dependent child of the juvenile court is placed by order of the court within the care and custody or under the supervision of a social worker of the county where the dependent child resides and it appears to the court that there is no parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis capable of authorizing or willing to authorize medical, surgical, dental, or other remedial care or treatment for the dependent child, the court may, after due notice to the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis, if any, order that the social worker may authorize the medical, surgical, dental, or other remedial care for the dependent child, by licensed practitioners, as necessary.

(d) Whenever it appears that a child otherwise within subdivision (a), (b), or (c) requires immediate emergency medical, surgical, or other remedial care in an emergency situation, that care may be provided by a licensed physician and surgeon or, if the child needs dental care in an emergency situation, by a licensed dentist, without a court order and upon authorization of a social worker. The social worker shall make reasonable efforts to obtain the consent of, or to notify, the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis prior to authorizing emergency medical, surgical, dental, or other remedial care. “Emergency situation,” for the purposes of this subdivision means a child requires immediate treatment for the alleviation of severe pain or an immediate diagnosis and treatment of an unforeseeable medical, surgical, dental, or other remedial condition or contagious disease which if not immediately diagnosed and treated, would lead to serious disability or death.

(e) In any case in which the court orders the performance of any medical, surgical, dental, or other remedial care pursuant to this section, the court may also make an order authorizing the release of information concerning that care to social workers, parole officers, or any other qualified individuals or agencies caring for or acting in the interest and welfare of the child under order, commitment, or approval of the court.

(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the right of a parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis, who has not been deprived of the custody or control of the child by order of the court, in providing any medical, surgical, dental, or other remedial treatment recognized or permitted under the laws of this state.

(g) The parent of a person described in this section may authorize the performance of medical, surgical, dental, or other remedial care provided for in this section notwithstanding his or her age or marital status. In nonemergency situations, the parent authorizing the care shall notify the other parent prior to the administration of that care.

(h) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the rights of dependent children, pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 6920) of Part 4 of Division 11 of the Family Code, to consent to, among other things, the diagnosis and treatment of sexual assault, medical care relating to the prevention or treatment of pregnancy, including contraception, abortion, and prenatal care, treatment of infectious, contagious, or communicable diseases, mental health treatment, and treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. If a dependent child is 12 years of age or older, his or her social worker is authorized to inform the child of his or her right as a minor to consent to and receive those health services, as necessary. Social workers are authorized to provide dependent children access to age-appropriate, medically accurate information about sexual development, reproductive health, and prevention of unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 338, Sec. 1. (SB 528) Effective January 1, 2014.)

369.5.
  

(a) (1) If a child is adjudged a dependent child of the court under Section 300 and the child has been removed from the physical custody of the parent under Section 361, only a juvenile court judicial officer shall have authority to make orders regarding the administration of psychotropic medications for that child. The juvenile court may issue a specific order delegating this authority to a parent upon making findings on the record that the parent poses no danger to the child and has the capacity to authorize psychotropic medications. Court authorization for the administration of psychotropic medication shall be based on a request from a physician, indicating the reasons for the request, a description of the child’s diagnosis and behavior, the expected results of the medication, and a description of any side effects of the medication.

(2) (A) On or before July 1, 2016, the Judicial Council shall amend and adopt rules of court and develop appropriate forms for the implementation of this section, in consultation with the State Department of Social Services, the State Department of Health Care Services, and stakeholders, including, but not limited to, the County Welfare Directors Association of California, the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California, the Chief Probation Officers of California, associations representing current and former foster children, caregivers, and children’s attorneys. This effort shall be undertaken in coordination with the updates required under paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 739.5.

(B) The rules of court and forms developed pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall address all of the following:

(i) The child and his or her caregiver and court-appointed special advocate, if any, have an opportunity to provide input on the medications being prescribed.

(ii) Information regarding the child’s overall mental health assessment and treatment plan is provided to the court.

(iii) Information regarding the rationale for the proposed medication, provided in the context of past and current treatment efforts, is provided to the court. This information shall include, but not be limited to, information on other pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatments that have been utilized and the child’s response to those treatments, a discussion of symptoms not alleviated or ameliorated by other current or past treatment efforts, and an explanation of how the psychotropic medication being prescribed is expected to improve the child’s symptoms.

(iv) Guidance is provided to the court on how to evaluate the request for authorization, including how to proceed if information, otherwise required to be included in a request for authorization under this section, is not included in a request for authorization submitted to the court.

(C) The rules of court and forms developed pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall include a process for periodic oversight by the court of orders regarding the administration of psychotropic medications that includes the caregiver’s and child’s observations regarding the effectiveness of the medication and side effects, information on medication management appointments and other followup appointments with medical practitioners, and information on the delivery of other mental health treatments that are a part of the child’s overall treatment plan. The periodic oversight shall be facilitated by the county social worker, public health nurse, or other appropriate county staff. This oversight process shall be conducted in conjunction with other regularly scheduled court hearings and reports provided to the court by the county child welfare agency.

(b) (1) In counties in which the county child welfare agency completes the request for authorization for the administration of psychotropic medication, the agency is encouraged to complete the request within three business days of receipt from the physician of the information necessary to fully complete the request.

(2) Nothing in this subdivision is intended to change current local practice or local court rules with respect to the preparation and submission of requests for authorization for the administration of psychotropic medication.

(c) (1) Within seven court days from receipt by the court of a completed request, the juvenile court judicial officer shall either approve or deny in writing a request for authorization for the administration of psychotropic medication to the child, or shall, upon a request by the parent, the legal guardian, or the child’s attorney, or upon its own motion, set the matter for hearing.

(2) Notwithstanding Section 827 or any other law, upon the approval or denial by the juvenile court judicial officer of a request for authorization for the administration of psychotropic medication, the county child welfare agency or other person or entity who submitted the request shall provide a copy of the court order approving or denying the request to the child’s caregiver.

(d) Psychotropic medication or psychotropic drugs are those medications administered for the purpose of affecting the central nervous system to treat psychiatric disorders or illnesses. These medications include, but are not limited to, anxiolytic agents, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medications, anti-Parkinson agents, hypnotics, medications for dementia, and psychostimulants.

(e) Nothing in this section is intended to supersede local court rules regarding a minor’s right to participate in mental health decisions.

(f) This section does not apply to nonminor dependents, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 534, Sec. 5. (SB 238) Effective January 1, 2016.)

369.6.
  

(a) (1) The State Department of Social Services, in consultation with the State Department of Health Care Services, shall contract for child psychiatry services to complete a record review for all authorization requests for psychotropic medications for which a second opinion review is requested by a county. To the extent feasible, the second opinion review shall occur within three business days of the county request and shall include discussion of the psychosocial interventions that have been or will be offered to the child and caretaker, if appropriate, to address the behavioral health needs of the child.

(2) (A) Recommended indicators for identifying those requests for authorizations of psychotropic medications for which a county may request a second opinion record review may include, but are not limited to, prescriptions for concurrent psychotropic medications, dosages that exceed recommended guidelines for use in children, off-label prescribing, and requests for psychotropic medication usage without any other concurrent psychosocial services.

(B) The State Department of Social Services shall, by July 1, 2018, issue guidance regarding the second opinion review process and may periodically revise that guidance following consultation with counties, other state departments, advocates for children and youth, and other stakeholders.

(3) The child psychiatry services contracted for by the State Department of Social Services shall be available to provide second opinion reviews to those counties that do not have a second opinion review program. This section does not prohibit a county from operating its own second opinion review program and does not supersede any county-operated second opinion review program.

(4) This section does not prevent the administration of medication in an emergency, as otherwise authorized or required by law or regulation.

(b) The State Department of Health Care Services shall seek any necessary federal approvals to obtain federal financial participation for the second opinion review service pursuant to this section, including any approvals necessary to obtain enhanced federal financial participation as applicable. Notwithstanding any other law, this section shall be implemented only if, and to the extent that, any necessary federal approvals are obtained by the department and federal financial participation is available and is not otherwise jeopardized.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 24, Sec. 11. (SB 89) Effective June 27, 2017.)

370.
  

The juvenile court may, in any case before it in which a petition has been filed as provided in Article 7 (commencing with Section 305), order that the social worker obtain the services of those psychiatrists, psychologists, or other clinical experts as may be required to assist in determining the appropriate treatment of the child and as may be required in the conduct or implementation of that treatment. Payment for those services shall be a charge against the county.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 1054, Sec. 41. Effective January 1, 1999.)

371.
  

When the court has ordered a dependent child or a ward of the juvenile court placed for adoption or has appointed a relative or nonrelative legal guardian, the social worker or probation officer shall provide the prospective adoptive family or the guardian or guardians information, in writing, regarding the importance of working with mental health providers that have specialized adoption or permanency clinical training and experience if the family needs clinical support, and a description of the desirable clinical expertise the family should look for when choosing an adoption- or permanency-competent mental health professional.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 714, Sec. 1. (AB 1006) Effective January 1, 2018.)

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