Legal Resources | Welfare and Institutions Code | WI 726
Juvenile Court Law; Ward of the Court
(a) In all cases in which a minor is adjudged a ward or dependent child of the court, the court may limit the control to be exercised over the ward or dependent child by any parent or guardian and shall, in its order, clearly and specifically set forth all those limitations, but no ward or dependent child shall be taken from the physical custody of a parent or guardian, unless upon the hearing the court finds one of the following facts:
(1) That the parent or guardian is incapable of providing or has failed or neglected to provide proper maintenance, training, and education for the minor.
(2) That the minor has been tried on probation while in custody and has failed to reform.
(3) That the welfare of the minor requires that custody be taken from the minor's parent or guardian.
(b) Whenever the court specifically limits the right of the parent or guardian to make educational or developmental services decisions for the minor, the court shall at the same time appoint a responsible adult to make educational or developmental services decisions for the child until one of the following occurs:
(1) The minor reaches 18 years of age, unless the child chooses not to make educational or developmental services decisions for himself or herself, or is deemed by the court to be incompetent.
(2) Another responsible adult is appointed to make educational or developmental services decisions for the minor pursuant to this section.
(3) The right of the parent or guardian to make educational or developmental services decisions for the minor is fully restored.
(4) A successor guardian or conservator is appointed.
(5) The child is placed into a planned permanent living arrangement pursuant to paragraph (5) or (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 727.3, 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 in matters related to developmental services.
(c) An individual who would have a conflict of interest in representing the child, as specified under federal regulations, may not be appointed to make educational decisions. The limitations applicable to conflicts of interest for educational rights holders shall also apply to authorized representatives for developmental services decisions pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 4701.6. 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 attorneys' fees for the provision of services pursuant to this section. A foster parent may 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.
(1) If the court limits the parent's educational rights pursuant to subdivision (a), 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.
If the court cannot identify a responsible adult who is known to the child and available to make educational decisions for the child and paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) 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.
(2) 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, before each review hearing held under Article 10 (commencing with Section 360), 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.
(3) 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.
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) of Division 4.5, and as set forth in the court order.
(d) (1) If the minor is removed from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian as the result of an order of wardship made pursuant to Section 602, the order shall specify that the minor may not be held in physical confinement for a period in excess of the maximum term of imprisonment which could be imposed upon an adult convicted of the offense or offenses which brought or continued the minor under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.
(2) As used in this section and in Section 731, "maximum term of imprisonment" means the longest of the three time periods set forth in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code, but without the need to follow the provisions of subdivision (b) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code or to consider time for good behavior or participation pursuant to Sections 2930, 2931, and 2932 of the Penal Code, plus enhancements which must be proven if pled.
(3) If the court elects to aggregate the period of physical confinement on multiple counts or multiple petitions, including previously sustained petitions adjudging the minor a ward within Section 602, the "maximum term of imprisonment" shall be the aggregate term of imprisonment specified in subdivision (a) of Section 1170.1 of the Penal Code, which includes any additional term imposed pursuant to Section 667, 667.5, 667.6, or 12022.1 of the Penal Code, and Section 11370.2 of the Health and Safety Code.
(4) If the charged offense is a misdemeanor or a felony not included within the scope of Section 1170 of the Penal Code, the "maximum term of imprisonment" is the longest term of imprisonment prescribed by law.
(5) "Physical confinement" means placement in a juvenile hall, ranch, camp, forestry camp or secure juvenile home pursuant to Section 730, or in any institution operated by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Justice.
(6) This section does not limit the power of the court to retain jurisdiction over a minor and to make appropriate orders pursuant to Section 727 for the period permitted by Section 607.
(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 71, Sec. 83.)