(a) At the initial petition hearing, the court shall examine the child's parents, guardians, or other persons having relevant knowledge and hear the relevant evidence as the child, the child's parents or guardians, the petitioner, or their counsel desires to present. The court may examine the child, as provided in Section 350.
(b) The social worker shall report to the court on the reasons why the child has been removed from the parent's physical custody, the need, if any, for continued detention, the available services and the referral methods to those services that could facilitate the return of the child to the custody of the child's parents or guardians, and whether there are any relatives who are able and willing to take temporary physical custody of the child. The court shall order the release of the child from custody unless a prima facie showing has been made that the child comes within Section 300, the court finds that continuance in the parent's or guardian's home is contrary to the child's welfare, and any of the following circumstances exist:
(1) There is a substantial danger to the physical health of the child or the child is suffering severe emotional damage, and there are no reasonable means by which the child's physical or emotional health may be protected without removing the child from the parent's or guardian's physical custody.
(2) There is substantial evidence that a parent, guardian, or custodian of the child is likely to flee the jurisdiction of the court.
(3) The child has left a placement in which he or she was placed by the juvenile court.
(4) The child indicates an unwillingness to return home, if the child has been physically or sexually abused by a person residing in the home.
(c) If the matter is continued pursuant to Section 322 or for any other reason, the court shall find that the continuance of the child in the parent's or guardian's home is contrary to the child's welfare at the initial petition hearing or order the release of the child from custody.
(d) (1) The court shall also make a determination on the record, referencing the social worker's report or other evidence relied upon, as to whether reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from his or her home, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 306, and whether there are available services that would prevent the need for further detention. Services to be considered for purposes of making this determination are case management, counseling, emergency shelter care, emergency in-home caretakers, out-of-home respite care, teaching and demonstrating homemakers, parenting training, transportation, and any other child welfare services authorized by the State Department of Social Services pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 16500) of Part 4 of Division 9. The court shall also review whether the social worker has considered whether a referral to public assistance services pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) and Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000) of Part 3, Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 17000) of Part 5, and Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 18900) of Part 6 of Division 9 would have eliminated the need to take temporary custody of the child or would prevent the need for further detention.
(2) If the child can be returned to the custody of his or her parent or guardian through the provision of those services, the court shall place the child with his or her parent or guardian and order that the services shall be provided. If the child cannot be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian, the court shall determine if there is a relative who is able and willing to care for the child, and has been assessed pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 309.
(3) In order to preserve the bond between the child and the parent and to facilitate family reunification, the court shall 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 that allows a dependent child to reside with his or her parent shall not be, for that reason alone, prima facie evidence of substantial danger. The court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion that the return of the child to the custody of his or her parent would pose a substantial danger or would not pose a substantial danger to the physical health, safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the child.
(e) If a court orders a child detained, the court shall state the facts on which the decision is based, specify why the initial removal was necessary, reference the social worker's report or other evidence relied upon to make its determination whether continuance in the home of the parent or legal guardian is contrary to the child's welfare, order temporary placement and care of the child to be vested with the county child welfare department pending the hearing held pursuant to Section 355 or further order of the court, and order services to be provided as soon as possible to reunify the child and his or her family if appropriate.
(f) (1) If the child is not released from custody, the court may order that the child shall be placed in the assessed home of a relative, in an emergency shelter or other suitable licensed place, in a place exempt from licensure designated by the juvenile court, or in the assessed home of a nonrelative extended family member as defined in Section 362.7 for a period not to exceed 15 judicial days. 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 shall not be a placement option pursuant to this section.
(2) 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 these persons, even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution. However, only the following relatives shall be given preferential consideration for placement of the child: an adult who is a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or sibling of the child.
(3) The court shall consider the recommendations of the social worker based on the assessment pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 309 of the relative's home, including the results of a criminal records check and prior child abuse allegations, if any, prior to ordering that the child be placed with a relative. The court shall order the parent to disclose to the social worker the names, residences, and any known identifying information of any maternal or paternal relatives of the child. The social worker shall initiate the assessment pursuant to Section 361.3 of any relative to be considered for continuing placement.
(g) (1) At the initial hearing upon the petition filed in accordance with subdivision (c) of Rule 5.520 of the California Rules of Court or anytime thereafter up until the time that the minor is adjudged a dependent child of the court or a finding is made dismissing the petition, the court may temporarily limit the right of the parent or guardian to make educational or developmental services decisions for the child and temporarily appoint a responsible adult to make educational or developmental services decisions for the child if all of the following conditions are found:
(A) The parent or guardian is unavailable, unable, or unwilling to exercise educational or developmental services rights for the child.
(B) The county placing agency has made diligent efforts to locate and secure the participation of the parent or guardian in educational or developmental services decisionmaking.
(C) The child's educational and developmental services needs cannot be met without the temporary appointment of a responsible adult.
(2) If the court limits the parent's educational rights under 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 and 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.
(3) If the court cannot identify a responsible adult to make educational decisions for the child and the appointment of a surrogate parent, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 56050 of the Education Code, is not warranted, the court may, with the input of any interested person, make educational decisions for the child. 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 individual program plan and pursuant to the provisions of the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act (Division 4.5 (commencing with Section 4500)). If the court cannot identify a responsible adult to make developmental services decisions for the child, the court may, with the input of any interested person, make developmental services decisions for the child. If the court makes educational or developmental services decisions for the child, the court shall also issue appropriate orders to ensure that every effort is made to identify a responsible adult to make future educational or developmental services decisions for the child.
(4) Any temporary appointment of a responsible adult and temporary 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. Any order made under this section shall expire at the conclusion of the hearing held pursuant to Section 361 or upon dismissal of the petition. Upon the entering of disposition orders, any additional needed limitation on the parent's or guardian's educational or developmental services rights shall be addressed pursuant to Section 361.
(5) 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.
(6) If the court appoints a developmental services decisionmaker pursuant to this section, he or she shall have the authority to access the child's information and records pursuant to subdivision (u) of Section 4514 and subdivision (y) of Section 5328, and to act on the child'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), and as set forth in the court order.
(Amended by Stats. 2014. Ch. 219, Sec. 1.)