DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

   <<< Return to OPP Table of Contents
Handbook 6: Out of Home Placement and Services
6-13 Runaway Status
Out of Home Placement and Services
6-13 Runaway Status
Reference Points
Overview
DFCS Policy
Intervention with a Child Who Plans to Run from the Receving and Intake Center
When a Foster Care Child is Reported Missing or has Runaway
TDM (Team Decision Making) Meetings for Children on Runaway Status
Reporting a Child on Runaway from the Receiving and Intake Center
Making a Report on a Child Who Runs from an Out-of-Home Placement or Parental Home
Deputy Sheriff Liaison
Child's Whereabouts Remains Unknown
When a  Foster Care Child on Runaway Status from the Receiving Center is found or Returns
When a Foster Care Child on Runaway Status from Placement is Found or Returns
When a Foster Care Child on Runaway Status is Found, Refuses Placement and Self-Selects Own Placement
When a Foster Care Child is in Custody or Residing in Another State and a Warrant is Issued
Termination of Court Jurisdiction

What To Do with a Child's Personal Property While the Child is on Runaway Status

Other References


Reference Points
Effective Date: TBA
Last Updated: 11/8/11
 Legal Basis:
Popup Window Welfare & Institutions Code (WIC) § 340
Popup Window WIC § 391(c)
pdf California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Manual of Policies and Procedures (MPP) 31-320.53
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word Application and Declaration in Support of PC Warrant (SCZ 835)
MS Word Warrant Memo (SCZ 1411)
MS Word Notice of Dependent Absent from Placement (SCZ205)
MS Word Placement/Address Change (SCZ 17)
MS Word Temporary Runaway Leave Form
pdf Children's Storage Request (SC 83)
MS Word TDM Supplemental Plans
 CWS/CMS Forms:
bullet Contact Notebook
bullet Ex Parte Application and Order


Overview  

Children in foster care who run away from their placements are at risk of exploitation, injury, and even death.  It is imperative that all out-of-home resource caregivers understand the importance of appropriate supervision of a child placed in their care.  When a placement is being arranged for a child, the social worker informs the out-of-home caregiver of any runaway behavior the child has previously exhibited. 

In an appellate court ruling [Natasha H.(1996)46 Cal.App.4th 1151.], the court ruled that a child's dependency status must be maintained even though the child refuses to cooperate with the child welfare services agency or runs away from placement and the child's whereabouts remains unknown for an extended period of time. 

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DFCS Policy  

It is DFCS policy that when a child runs away from a placement, the assigned social worker makes all diligent efforts to locate the child on an ongoing basis until the child is located or court jurisdiction is terminated.  The decision to terminate jurisdiction is solely that of the Juvenile Court; therefore,the social worker does not make a recommendation to terminate jurisdiction.  The only exception to this is when a child is deceased or turns 18-years-old.

It is further Department policy that a Team Decision Making Meeting (TDM) be scheduled for all children on runaway status.  The goal of  a TDM is to plan a placement for the child upon his or her return.

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Intervention with a Child Who Plans to Run from the Receiving and Assessment and Intake Center  

Every effort is made by the Receiving and Assessment and Intake Services Center (RAIC) staff to prevent a resident from leaving the Receiving Center without permission. 

  • When a Receiving Center counselor is aware of a possible runaway situation, the counselor:
    • Makes every effort to find out what prompted the child's decision.
     
    • Makes contact with the child and explores alternative options.
     
    • Assists with offering to contact the child's assigned social worker and/or Shelter Mental Health.
     
    • Discusses dangers and consequences of running away.
    •  
    • Physically detains the child if the:
      • Child is 11-years-old or under.
      • Staff has knowledge of a clear plan the child has that would present or result in a danger to the child or others.
      • Child is developmentally delayed.
       
    • Follows the child as he or she is leaving the Receiving Center and gives verbal direction to the child to remain on grounds, if the child is 12-years-old or older and:
      • There is no knowledge that the child has a clear plan that would present or result in a danger to the child or others.
      • The child is not developmentally delayed.
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When a Foster Child is Reported Missing or Has Runaway  

When a court-dependent child is reported missing or has run away from out-of-home placement or from the home of a parent, it is addressed by the social worker who:

  • Directs the out-of-home caregiver or parent to immediately make a Missing Person's Report to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction.
    • In no circumstances shall contact with law enforcement be delayed more than 24 hours. 
    • Requests the out-of-home caregiver or parent to make inquiries appropriate to the situation such as contacting neighbors, peers, and the child's school and report back any information.
  • Completes and files required documents to report the runaway.

  • Immediately informs the child's parents or legal guardians, if the child is in out-of-home placement, that the child has run away from placement.
    • If the parent has no phone, make a home visit as soon as possible but no later than the next business day from the date of learning about the child's running away.
    • Advise the parent to contact DFCS if any information regarding the child's whereabouts is known. 
    • Request that the parent provide a phone number where the parent may be reached.
       
  • Contacts the caregiver or parent, again, no later than the business day following the first contact and verifies that the Missing Person's Report was filed with law enforcement. 
    • Obtain the report number and document the information in a CWS/CMS Contact.
    • If the caregiver or parent has not filed the Missing Person's Report, immediately contact law enforcement and file the report. 
    • If the law enforcement agency refuses to accept a Missing Person's Report:
      • Document in a CWS/CMS Contact the:
        • Date/time the attempted report was made.
        • Badge # of the law enforcement personnel refusing to accept the report.
        • Date/time that the law enforcement instructed you or the caregiver to make the Missing Person's Report.
      • Immediately notify and consult with the social work supervisor regarding law enforcement's refusal to accept the report. 
      • If after two attempts law enforcement still refuses to take the Missing Person's Report, notify the social work supervisor and request his or her assistance. 
      • If law enforcement still refuses to take the report, notify the program manager.

  • Makes inquiries appropriate to the situation regarding the child's whereabouts to:
    • Parents
    • Non-relative extended family members
    • Siblings
    • Friends
    • Former social worker
    • Deputy Sheriff liaison to DFCS
      • Located at 373 Julian St. Office, 4th floor
    • Former and current school
      • Request that these people contact the social worker if the child's whereabouts becomes known. 
      • Continue to make inquiries of the above noted parties on a weekly basis for the first month.

  • Contacts the JDM Unit to schedule a TDM (Team Decision-Making Meeting) in order to plan for the child's return.
    • Address safety issues
    • Develop a safety plan
    • Explore placement options


  • Follows-up with monthly inquiries of all the above parties.
  • Documents monthly in the CWS/CMS Contact Notebook all contacts and efforts made to locate the child.

  • Follows all leads as new information is received regarding the location of the child. 
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TDMs for Children on Runaway Status  

It is Department policy that a Team Decision Making Meeting (TDM) be scheduled regarding all children on runaway status.  The goal of TDMs for children on runaway is to do placement planning for the child's return.

Requirements for TDMs include situations when a child:

  • Runs away from the Receiving Center
  • Runs away from out-of-home placement or
  • Returns from runaway
    • The assigned social worker is required to have a face to face contact with the child within 24 hours of the child's return from runaway.


When a child is reported missing or has runaway from placement, the assigned social worker must immediately contact the Joint Decision Making Unit to schedule a TDM within seven (7) business days or sooner. 

The following individuals must be invited to participate in the TDM:

  • Family Finding Unit representative
  • Child's parents/legal guardians and relatives/NREFMs
    • The assigned social worker must notify the parents/legal guardians/ or relatives/NREFM of the date, time and location, of the TDM.
  • Other significant adults connected to the child


     

The TDM addresses:

  • Safety issues
  • Safety planning
  • A primary and alternative placement plan
  • A Supplemental Plan to address the following:
    • Significant people to contact, upon the child's return
    • Placement Resources
    • Mental Health Services
    • Medical Services
    • Triggers/ Pattern for Running
    • Efforts to locate
    • Other
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Reporting a Child on Runaway from the Receiving Center  

Non-dependent child runs from the Receiving Center before an Intake is completed.

  • Assessment Center social worker calls in a Missing Person's report to the San Jose Police Department.
  • Notifies, as soon as possible:
    • The parents or guardians if their contact information is available.
    • The assigned social worker.

 

Dependent child runs from the Receiving Center before an Intake is completed.

  • Assessment Center social worker calls in a Missing Person's report to the San Jose Police Department.
  • As soon as possible, notifies:
    • The parents or guardians if their contact information is available.
    • The assigned social worker.

 

Non-dependent or dependent child runs from the Receiving Center after an Intake is completed.

  • 7:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.
    • If a child runs from the Receiving Center between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 11 p.m. after an Intake is completed, the Assessment Center social worker:
      • Receives a Runaway report from the Receiving Center counselor.
      • Calls in a Missing Person's report to the San Jose Police Department.
      • Notifies, as soon as possible.
        • The assigned social worker.
  • 11 p.m. - 7:30 a.m.
    • If a child runs from the Receiving Center between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 11 p.m. after an Intake is completed, the Receving Center counselor:
      • Completes a Runaway report with the child's demographics and any other information relevant to the child's decision to runaway.
        • Complete an Incident Report if there was an incident that triggered the runaway action.
      • Calls in a Missing Person's report to the San Jose Police Department.
      • Documents contacts and police case number on the Shift Report.
      • Notifies the child's assigned social worker by voice mail or email.
      • Notifies the Receiving Center Program Manager.


       

Assigned Social Worker:

  • Contacts the JDM Unit to schedule a TDM.
  • Within one business day after the child has been on runaway status from the Receiving Center for 48 hours, submits the Children's Shelter "Runaway Form" to the Placement Tracking Team (PTT)with a notation "48 Hour notice."

 

Receiving Center Clerical Staff

  • Shelter clerical staff:
    • Notifies the Placement Tracking Team (PTT) within 48 hours by forwarding the Temporary Runaway leave form to PTT.
     

Placement Tracking Team

Within one business day of receiving the Temporary Leave form, PTT:

  • Documents on the child's Temporary Leave Page in CWS/CMS:

    • Start date (date child ran)

    • Anticipated return date (10 days from date child ran)

    • "The child ran away from the Receiving Center" in the description Box. 

 

 
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Deputy Sheriff Liaison  

Children's Shelter Deputy Sheriff

  • Reviews the copy of the Warrant Memo (SCZ 1411), the Protective Custody Warrant, and any subsequent information supplied by the assigned social worker.

  • Follows-up on information provided by the social worker, law enforcement, community, or other foster children who may lead to the child's location. 

  • Accesses information about the child's runaway status by:
    • Consulting with the:
      • Receiving Center Counselor
      • Child's social worker

  • Documents all efforts to locate and return all children under DFCS supervision who are on runaway.
    • Include this information in the monthly status report to Shelter Director.

  • Works with SJPD to create a Track Flyer to notify other law enforcement jurisdictions.

  • Maintains regular communication with the SJPD Sergeant in charge of the Juvenile/Child Abuse Unit. 

  • Follows up on any leads from the social worker, caregiver, or friends of the child.  This includes calling family or friends; unannounced visits to specific addresses; working with other law enforcement jurisdictions; creating flyers to hand out at law enforcement pre-shift meeting; and tracking My Space, Facebook, and other internet sites.
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Making a Report when a Child Runs Away from an Out-of-Home Placement or from the Parental Home

 

The social worker is responsible for making a report whenever a child who is a court dependent runs from an out-of home caregiver or placement facility or from the parental home.  Immediately upon learning of the child's absence, the social worker:

  • Phones the SJPD to complete a Missing Person's Report.

  • Completes and files with the court:
    • Warrant Memo (SC 1411)
    • Application and Declaration in Support of Protective Custody (PC) Warrant (SCZ 835)
    • A warrant petition, if the child will be placed in a more restrictive placement upon his or her return from runaway.
    • Notice of Dependent Absent from Placement (SCZ205)
 

    Note:

    If a youth is 18- years-old or older and runs away from placement, the social worker does not request a PC Warrant to be issued.  Immediately, consult with County Counsel for advice.  A youth who is 18-years-old or older may be arrested by law enforcement, if there is an outstanding PC warrant issued for the youth.


  • Provides a copy of the Warrant Memo (SC 1411) to the Deputy Sheriff located at the 373 W. Julian Campus, 4th floor.
    • The Warrant Memo should Include the following information:
      • Last, First, Middle name of the child
      • Date of Birth
      • Descriptors:  ethnicity, height, weight, hair, skin tone.
      • Current Photograph, if available
      • Last known address
      • Parents/ Guardian, Name and Date of Birth
      • Parents/Relatives/Guardian last known addresses
      • Missing Person's Case Number
      • Location where the child was found on prior occasion
      • Any information gathered from the caregiver's or social worker's inquiries. 

  • Completes the Placement/Address Change SCZ 17
    • Check Scenario A: "Child's Whereabouts Unknown" and forward to the Placement Tracking Team (PTT).
      • The SCZ 17 initiates the termination of foster care to the out-of-home caregiver. 
      • If the out-of-home caregiver states that the child cannot return to the placement when found, terminate the foster care payment immediately. 
        • Notify the out-of-home caregiver of the payment termination date verbally or in writing. 
        • Enter the date and type of notification provided to the out-of-home caregiver in a CWS/CMS Contact Note.
      •  
  • Notifies the child's attorney of the child's runaway status within 48 hours, but not later than 72 hours. 
    • If the social worker believes that a parent has abducted a child, the worker immediately contacts the District Attorney's Office, Child Abduction Unit for further assistance (408) 792-2921.

  • If a TDM (Team Decision-Making Meeting) has not occurred, contacts the JDM Unit to schedule a TDM.
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Child's Whereabouts Remains Unknown  

Social Worker Responsibilities

If a child's whereabouts remains unknown, the assigned social worker:

  • Makes monthly inquiries to significant persons in the child's life for information regarding the location or whereabouts of the child.
    • Document in the CWS/CMS Contact Notebook all contacts and other efforts made to locate the child.

  • Follows all leads as new information is received regarding the location of the child. 
    • If located:
      • Contact the child and encourage him of her to return to placement.
      • Contact law enforcement to conduct a welfare check of the child.

  • Provides any new information about the child to the Deputy Sheriff liaison.

  • Follows-up on the runaway status of the child with the Deputy Sheriff liaison once a month. 

  • Provides assistance to any law enforcement agency requesting assistance in locating the missing child.

  • Documents all efforts made to locate the child in the CWS/CMS Contact Notebook.

 

  • Documents all efforts to locate the child in each Status Review Report during the child's absence.


  • Reviews and updates the TDM plan at least every six months.
    • Schedule a TDM, if one has not already occurred.

 

    Note:

    The High Risk Youth Committee meets on a monthly basis to review missing children.  For Consultation Contact: Cynthia Elkins, RISC Coordinator (408) 501-6813.

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When a

Foster Child on Runaway Status from the Receiving Center is Found or Returns

 

Social Worker's Responsibilities

When a child returns from runaway to the Receiving Center, the  social worker:

  • Submits the TDM plan to the Receiving Center Director prior to the program manager requesting authorization for the child to be admitted to the Receiving Center.
    • The Receiving and Intakes Services Director must approve the child's entry to the Receiving Center.
    • If a child must stay at the Receiving Center without a TDM having been conducted previously, the child is placed in the first available temporary placement pending the outcome of a TDM (e.g., a temporary relative or NREFM placement per WIC 309(d) or an Emergency Satellite Foster Home).
  •  
    • If a TDM has not occurred, contacts the JDM Unit to schedule a TDM.

  • Submits an Placement/Address Change Form (SCZ 17).


Assessment Intake Center Responsibilities

When a child is found or returns to the Receiving Center from runaway status, Assessment Intake Center (AIC) staff:

  • Completes a search of the child for safety purposes.

  • Conducts personal inventory.
    • Determine if items brought back into the Receving and Intake Center should be placed in a safe.
    • Child signs the inventory form

  • Refers the child to the medical clinic for a medical evaluation or sets up a tele-nurse evaluation.
  • Notifies the SJPD to recall the child's missing person's report and warrant.

 

  • Forwards a copy of the child's missing person's report, noting the child's return to the:
    • Assigned social worker
    • Deputy Sheriff liaison

 

 

Receiving and Assessment Center Clerical Staff Responsibilities

  • Completes the Temporary Runaway Leave Form documenting the date the child returned from runaway,
  • Forwards a copy of the Temporary Runaway Leave Form to the:
    • Assigned Social Worker
    • PTT


Placement Tracking Team (PTT)

  • If the child returns to the Receiving Center from runaway.
  • End dates placement with runaway as the reason for the placment ending.
  • Generates a SOC 158, signed by the AIC social worker.
  • Forwards SOC 158 to Foster Care Eligibiity In-Basket.

 

When a child runs from the Children's Shelter and returns after 10 business days or more, the following occurs:

The Children's Shelter staff follows the preceding steps above.

The Assessment Center social worker completes the following: 

  • Completes the DFCS Intake Form
  • Completes ESH Form if the child is directly placed from runaway to an ESH placement.
    • If the child is brought to the Shelter by law enforcement request a copy of the Police Report.
  • If the child is a dependent, the High Risk Youth Form, aka Shelter Admit Form must be completed by the assigned social worker and approved by the social work supervisor, SSPM, and Children's Shelter Director.
    • The Children's Shelter notifies the Assessment Center of the approval. 
  • Documents in a CWS/CMS Contact that the child returned from runaway status.

 

Assessment Intake Center Clerical

  • Faxes the DFCS Intake Form to the:
    • Petition Specialist
      • The Petition Specialist will contact the shelter to verify if the child is at the shelter. 
      • If the child is on runaway, the child is Permanently Release (PR'd).
      • The shelter admit process is completed by the Assessment Center, follow the preceding steps above. 
    • Placement Unit if the case is a CDS (continuing or permanency planning).
     

Placement Unit Social Worker

  • Contacts assigned social worker to consult about placement options.
  • Determine if there are placement orders.
    • If there are no placement orders, complete an:
      • ESH Placement Authorization Form(1328)
      • Emergency Satellite Placement Information Sheet
         
  • Generate SOC 158 on CWS/CMS
    • Forward one (1) copy to the social worker and (1) copy to the EW
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When a Foster Care Child on Runaway Status from an Out-of-Home Placement Is Found or Returns  

When a child is found or returns from runaway from an out-of-home placement, the assigned social worker:

  • Interviews the child regarding the child's reasons for running away and determines where and to whom the child ran. 
    • Discuss with the child the Department's concerns about the child's safety during runaway episodes. 
    • Provide alternative acceptable behavior options and resources.
    • Enter a contact about the discussion in the CWS/CMS Contact Notebook.
     
  • Determines if a child should be medically examined to detect and/or treat possible injuries, illness, exposure to sexually transmitted diseases (STD), the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or other diseases and make arrangements for such examinations or testing, as appropriate.
    • If necessary, contact the CHDP Public Health Nurse for consultation call (408) 975-5772).
     
  • Works with the child and the out-of-home caregiver to prevent a recurrence of this behavior, if the child is returned to the same placement. 
    • Examine whether there is a pattern in recurring runaways, including such factors as precipitating incidents, the place to which the child runs, companions in running, etc.
  •  
  • Explores the possibility of placing the child with an appropriate relative, non-relative extended family member, licensed foster home, or other licensed facility that would best meet the child's needs, if the child cannot be returned to the previous placement.
    • Generate a copy of the HEP and forward it to the new placement, within 48 hours of placement.
  • Contacts the JDM Unit to schedule a TDM, if a TDM plan was not developed while the child was on runaway status.


  • Notifies, within 48 hours of the child's return that the child has returned:
    • Child's parents or legal guardian
    • Child's attorney
  •  
  • Informs the Deputy Sheriff liaison that the child has returned from runaway status. 


Paperwork

  • Social Worker
    • If the child returns within 48 hours or the required time frame in accordance with the Bed Hold Policy: See OPP Chapter 6-12, Bed Hold Policy.
      • Complete the SCZ17 within one business day.
      • If the child can return to his or her existing placement:
        • Check box "J"other, child has returned from Runaway Status
      • If the child can not return to placement:
        • Check box "J" other, child has returned from Runaway Status
        • Check box, "F" Placement Change and indicate the child's placement.
      • Forward the SCZ 17 along with any required paperwork to PTT.
  • If the child returns after 48 hours or past the bed hold due date of return, within 24 hours of the child's return:
    • Contact the law enforcement agency where the Missing Person's Reports was filed to request that the Missing Person's Report be withdrawn.
    • Recall the protective custody warrant.
    • If a child returns, a Detention Hearing is held within 48 hours.  The DFCS Petition Specialist, who prepares the Detention Packet, usually adds the recommendation that the protective custody warrant be recalled.

    • Note

      It is important to assure that the warrant is recalled so that the child is not subjected to the terms of the warrant when there is no longer a need for the protective measures. 


    • If no Detention Hearing is held, the social worker must complete and submit an Ex-parte Application and Order to the court to request a recall of a protective custody warrant. 


  • PTT
    • Reviews the SCZ 17 and required paperwork for accuracy.
      • If the information submitted is not accurate, the social worker or social work supervisor is notified immediately. 
    • End date the Temporary Leave documenting the runaway status.
    • If the child can not return to placement, generates three copies of the SOC 158 and forwards:
        • One copy to the social worker for signature.
        • One copy to the Foster Care Eligibility Worker.
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When a Foster Care Child on Runaway Status is Found, Refuses Placement, and Self-Selects a Placement  

When a dependent child on runaway status is found and refuses to return to his or her court-ordered placement and self-selects a new placement, the assigned social worker discusses with the adult in the residence whether he or she is willing to be assessed to be the child's caregiver.

if..

then the social worker..
The adult is willing to be assessed as the child's caregiver
  • Contacts the law enforcement agency where the Missing Person's Reports was filed to request that the Missing Person's Report be withdrawn.
  • Completes the Application for Order (link) to schedule a court hearing regarding child's placement. 
    • The caregiver and child must attend the court hearing to determine child's placement.   
    • Pending the court hearing, the social worker maintains contact with the child and caregiver.
  • Recalls the protective custody warrant at the court hearing.
The adult is not willing to be assessed as the child' caregiver or if the home is not safe for the child
  • Files a protective custody warrant, if the original warrant has been recalled. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the event that the Court does not order placement in the home of the unapproved caregiver:

 
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When a Foster Child is in Custody or Residing in Another State and a Warrant Has Been Issued  

When a social worker learns that a child is in custody or residing in another state after a warrant has been issued, the social worker:

  • Contacts the law enforcement agency in the other state, within 24 hours, to discuss circumstances of the child's runaway and subsequent warrant.
  • Requests that the law enforcment agency in the other state honor California's warrant. 

  • Note:

    Warrants issued by the Santa Clara County Juvenile Court are not enforceable outside of the State of  California.  However, law enforcement in other states will usually cooperate in sending children back to Santa Clara County.



     
If the law enforcement agency in the other state.. then the social worker..
Agrees to honor the warrant
  • Request the Telex number of the law enforcement agency so that the warrant can be sent to them. 
  • Contact the Sheriff's Department Warrant Desk at (408) 808-4720 to request that the Warrant be sent out of state.  The receiving law enforcement Telex number must be provided. 
  • Make transportation arrangement for the child's return to California.
Does not agree to honor the warrant

Consults with his or her supervisor.

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Termination of Court Jurisdiction for a Child on Runaway Status  

When a child has run away from placement, the dependency court jurisdiction can be terminated only in extraordinary circumstances and when the juvenile court finds that it is in the child's best interest to do so.  While the assigned social worker cannot recommend termination of jurisdiction, the worker must present the facts of the case weighing many factors.  Such factors include:

  • child has reached his or her majority;
  • child is living with a parent or relative out-of-state and the social worker from the other state reports that the child is doing well and/or the other state refuses to honor California's warrant; or
  • required services have been offered and the child either refuses services, or after reasonable efforts by the Department, the child cannot be located for the court to make the best decision on behalf of the child; including possible termination of jurisdiction. 

When dependency court jurisdiction is terminated, the social worker must ensure that all outstanding warrants for the child must be recalled prior to closing the case, especially if the child has a history of running from placement. 

  • Contact the County Clerk's Office to see if there are any outstanding warrants for the child.
    • The County Clerk's Office will provide dates of outstanding warrants which need to be recalled by Juvenile Court. 
    • The social worker must recommend the recall of all warrants at the last hearing.
    • Submit an Application and Order to the Court to recommend the recall of warrants.
     
  • Note:

    If warrants are not recalled, there is the possibility of the child's being taken into custody, if at some future time for any reason, a background check is run on the child and the outstanding warrant is discovered. 


    • The social worker may contact the Sheriff's Department Warrant Desk at (408) 808-4720 for the status on any warrant issued. 
     
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What To Do with a Child's Personal Property While the Child Is On Runaway Status  

The personal property of a child on runaway status is stored for a minimum of one year.  If the child's location remains unknown after that time, the Department may seek a court order authorizing the disposal of the property.

The assigned social worker:

  • Secures the child's clothing and belonging from the child's placement no later than (7) business days after the child left the placement.
  • Completes SC 83 Children's Storage Request for Central Services to transport child's belongings to storage. 
    • See guidelines for Children's Storage Request.
    • The child's belongings are temporarily stored until the child is found; for one year if the child's whereabouts remains unknown for that long; or until the Court directs DFCS how and when to dispose of child's belongings. 


To retrieve the items from storage, notify Central Services, (408) 975-5209, 48 hours in advance. 

  • The items are made available on the first floor, 373 W. Julian St. for a maximum of three (3) business days. 
  • If the social worker does not collect items within three (3) business days, Central Services transports the child's belongings back to storage.
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Other References  
bullet2 OPP Chapter 13-8: Team Decision Making (TDM)
PDF Children's Shelter Runaway Youth Reporting Process
PDF Children's Storage Request Guidelines
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