DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

   <<< Return to OPP Table of Contents
Handbook 8: Juvenile Court Hearings and Reports
8-2 Dependency Initial Hearing (Detention) Report
Juvenile Court Hearings and Reports
8-2  Dependency Initial Hearing (Detention) Report
Reference Points
Overview
Difference between a Petition and Initial Petition Hearing Report
Dependency Initial Hearing Report (SC12)
Completing Page 1 of the SC12
Completing Page 2 of the SC12
Findings and Orders
Supervisor Responsibilities
Initial Hearing Report Timelines
Initial Hearing Report Packet
Other References


Reference Points
Effective Date: Ongoing
Last Updated: 2/28/07
 Legal Basis:
Popup Window Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) § 315, 316 , 319
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word Petition Worksheet
MS Word Dependency Initial Hearing Report (SC12)
 CWS/CMS Forms:
bullet Referral Management Section: Investigative Narrative
bullet Referral Management Section: Emergency Referral Document


Overview  

The Dependency Initial Hearing Report is the primary evidentiary document submitted by the Department of Family and Children's Services (DFCS) for the Initial Petition Hearing (also referred to as the Detention Hearing). Information contained in the Report supports the petition allegations and the recommendations the social worker makes for Court orders. At the Initial Petition Hearing, the court determines whether reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from his/her home and whether there are available services which would prevent the need for further detention.

    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Difference between a Petition and Dependency Initial Hearing Report  

A petition and initial petiton hearing report are two documents with two different purposes.

  • Petition - states the facts that form a basis for jurisdiction.
  • Dependency Initial Hearing Report - supplies evidence to support the petition and detention recommendation.
  • The Dependency Initial Hearing Report should include much more information than the petition and should not simply repeat allegations.
    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Dependency Initial Hearing Report (SC12)  

The Dependency Initial Hearing Report (SC12) can be filled out online or printed out and completed by hand. Santa Clara County DFCS uses the SC12 form for the Initial Hearing (Detention) Report. There is a Detention Report formatted in CWS/CMS but DFCS social workers do not use the CWS/CMS Detention Report.

In order to complete the SC12, the social worker must have submitted the petition or, at least, the Petition Worksheet to the DI clerk in order for the clerk to be able to get a hearing scheduled through the County Clerk. The hearing information is entered on the SC12.

    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Completing Page 1 of the SC12  

How to complete Page 1 of the Petition Worksheet:

Report Heading

  • To complete the Report Heading, the DI social worker:
    • Checks the box 300 to indicate that the matter is regarding a 300 Petition.
    • Writes in:
      • Name.
      • Worker number.
      • Business phone number.
      • The DFCS case number.
      • The date of the Initial Hearing.
      • The court department number in which the Hearing is scheduled.
      • The date of the Jurisdictional Hearing.
      • The court department number in which the Hearing is scheduled.
        • The dates and court department for the Initial Hearing and Jurisdictional Hearing can be gotten from the DI clerk who types the information on page 2 of the Petition under the Signature of Petitioner line.

Child's Information

  • The social worker:
    • Writes in each child's:
      • Name.
      • Respective age.
      • Respective petition number.
    • Indicates whether the child has been informed of the court hearing.
      • The worker is required to:
        • Notify the child of the court hearing.
        • Ask the child if he/she wishes to attend the hearing.
        • Arrange for transportation for the child to the hearing, if the child states he/she wants to attend the hearing.

Parents' Information

  • Under Mother, the social worker writes in:
    • The mother's:
      • Name.
      • Marital status.
        • Note if the mother's marital status is in relation to someone other than the father.  For example: “Married/ not to the father” or “Married to the father of (Child)”, if there is more than one father connected with the case, and the mother is married to one of them. In other words, give the court as much information as possible.
      • Booking Number, if she is currently in the County Jail at Elmwood.
      • To obtain a booking number for a parent, call 299-2305 or 299-2306 and give the mother's name and date of birth.
    • Whether the mother:
      • Was notified about the Hearing.
        • If the social worker is able to contact the mother, the worker informs the mother of the date, time and place of the Initial Hearing. The mother will be sent a notice of the Initial Petition Hearing by mail. However, the notice is mailed out the day before the Hearing, so it is unlikely that she will receive the Notice before the Hearing takes place.
      • Has indicated if she will be appearing at the Hearing, and, if not, why she will not be present.
        • If the mother is incarcerated, the social worker makes arrangements for transport for the mother to the Hearing by calling one of the Court assistants at 491-4200.
      • The name of the mother's attorney (Counsel), if known.
        • If this is a new case, unless she has a private attorney, the mother will generally not have counsel appointed until the day of the Initial Hearing, if she qualifies for free legal representation. If this is the case, write in “N/A”.
        • If the mother has another child in the court dependency system, it is likely that the same counsel who represents her for the child already in the system will represent her.

  • Under Father, the social worker writes in:
    • The father's:
      • Name.
      • Marital status.
        • Note if the father's marital status is in relation to someone other than the mother. For example: “Married/ not to the mother”. If there is more than one father connected to the case, indicate to which child the father is related. Give the court as much information as possible.
      • Booking Number, if he is currently in the County Jail at Elmwood.
        • To obtain a booking number for a parent, call 299-2305 or 299-2306 and give the father's name and date of birth.
      • Whether the father:
        • Was notified about the Hearing.
          • If the social worker is able to contact the father, the worker informs the father of the date, time and place of the Initial Hearing. The father will be sent a notice of the Initial Petition Hearing by mail. However, the notice is mailed out the day before the Hearing, so it is unlikely that he will receive the Notice before the Hearing takes place.
        • Has indicated if he will be appearing at the Hearing, and, if not, why he will not be present.
          • If the father is incarcerated, the social worker makes arrangements for transport for the father to the Hearing by calling one of the Court assistants at 491-4200.
        • The name of the father's attorney (Counsel), if known.
          • If this is a new case, unless he has a private attorney, the father will generally not have counsel appointed until the day of the Initial Hearing, if he qualifies for free legal representation. If this is the case, write in “N/A”.
          • If the father has another child in the court dependency system, it is likely that the same counsel who represents him for the child already in the system will represent him.

Under Other

  • Other refers to a person who has a direct interest in the child. Examples are:
    • Legal guardians.
    • Substitute care provider.
    • Relatives (when the parents' whereabouts are unknown).
    • Step-parent.
    • Fathers of the child's half-siblings.
      • If there is more than one father in the case, the other father's information may be written in the Other column. Indicate to which child the father is related.
    • Foreign consulates.
      • If the child is a citizen of a coutry other than the United States, the consulte of the child's country of origin must be notified of the dependency proceedings.



  • The social worker writes in:
    • The Other person's:
      • Name.
        • Marital status.
        • Note if the Other person's marital status is in relation to someone other than the mother.   For example: “Married/ not to the mother. Give the court as much information as possible.
      • Booking Number, if the Other person is currently in the County Jail at Elmwood.
        • To obtain a booking number, call 299-2305 or 299-2306 and give the person's name and date of birth for whom you want the booking number.
      • Whether the Other person:
        • Was notified about the Hearing.
          • If the social worker is able to contact the Other person, the worker informs that person of the date, time and place of the Initial Hearing. The Other person will be sent a notice of the Initial Petition Hearing by mail. However, the notice is mailed out the day before the Hearing, so it is unlikely that the person will receive the Notice before the Hearing takes place.
        • Has indicated if he/she will be appearing at the Hearing, and, If not, why he/she will not be present.


Paternity

  • Paternity can only be established by virtue of a marriage, by a court finding or by the father's signing a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity at the hospital at the time of the child's birth. The issue of paternity is important, because it establishes the father's rights to the child. Further, paternity becomes an issue in relative placements. If paternity is not established, the child may not be placed with the relatives of the named father, unless that family has had a relationship with the child and qualify as a placement under the criteria for non-related extended family members (NREFM).
  • The social worker writes in:
  • If paternity has or has not been established regarding each child in the case, and...
    • How paternity has been established, by virtue of marriage, a court finding or a Voluntary Declaration.

Prior Referrals

  • The social worker:
    • Reviews the CWS/CMS Referral History document, which is included in the Intake Packet.
    • Counts the number of referrals to ER.
    • Reviews the case file.
    • Counts the number of DI investigations previously conducted.

Last Court

  • If this is a new case, the social worker writes “Not Applicable”.
  • If this is a case of a child reentering the dependency system, the social worker reviews the case file to find the Hearing date when the case was dismissed.

Indian/Eskimo Heritage

  • Under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), social workers are required in inquire about American Indian/Eskimo heritage. The DI social worker reviews the Intake packet to determine if the ER or EI social worker has made and documented the inquiry. If not, the DI social worker must ask the mother, father, child and/or family members if there is any Indian heritage in the family background. Both maternal and paternal sides must be questioned. A narrative on the results of the social workers inquiries is part of the Jurisdictional/Disposition Report.

To complete the American Indian/Eskimo section on the SC12, the DI social worker:

    • Checks the box(es) to indicate if the information was obtained from the mother and/or the father and/or the child or another family member.
    • Checks the box that indicates current knowledge of Indian ancestry.
    • Under EXPLANATION, writes what the person said that led the worker to his/her current knowledge about the child's Indian ancestry.


Sib's Next Hearing

If the child has a sibling already in the dependency system, the DI social worker indicates the sibling's next hearing date.

  • By the time the Detention Report is being prepared, the DI social worker is usually aware of dependent siblings, either through clerical search on CWS/CMS or through interviews with the parents.

Interpreter For

  • The social worker writes the name of any parent, child or significant person for whom it will be necessary to have an interpreter in court.

Lang

  • Write in the language to be spoken by the interpreter.
    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Completing Page 2 of the SC12  

There are five (5) questions, some with more than one part, which the DI social worker answers on page 2 of the SC12.

  1. Why has/have the child(ren) been removed from the parent's/guardian's custody?
    • Write in the facts of the removal. For example, “The child was removed after the parents were arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance.”
    • Do not use the reporting party's name anywhere in the report.
       
  2. Check whether or not continued detention is being recommended.
    • If continued detention is being recommended, answer 2(a), 2 (b) and all parts of question #3.

    (a) Facts in support of continued detention:

    • Give the facts in support of continued detention which demonstrate a safety risk to the child. Examples include a parent's long history of drug use or a parent's continued relationship with an abuser or that a parent doesn't believe child's statement about molest.

    (b) Supporting documents attached:

      • Give the facts in support of continued detention which demonstrate a safety risk to the child. Examples include a parent's long history of drug use or a parent's continued relationship with an abuser or that a parent doesn't believe child's statement about molest.
    • Check off all of the supporting documents that will be attached to the Report. This includes any pictures that may be attached.
     
  3. What efforts have been made in the past to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child(ren)?
    • It is not acceptable to simply state "No reasonable efforts due to the emergency nature of the situation."
    • List any activities that the ER, Assessment Center or Early Intervention social worker has done to prevent removal. This includes interviews, on-site evaluations and case reviews.
    • List all resources that the family has used, including mental health counseling, drug counseling, voluntary placement, parent education programs. Include services offered previously by the Department and any services family members had sought out and used on their own:

    (b) What services are available now to prevent the need to further detain the child(ren)?

    • If the recommendation is for the child to remain in temporary custody, write, “Due to concerns for the child's safety, efforts beyond the initial response and assessment are not warranted.”

    (c) What future services should be provided to facilitate return of the child(ren)?

    • Write all future services that relate to the resolution of why the child was placed in temporary custody, which might include mental health counseling, drug testing, drug counseling, parenting education.

  4. Where is/are the child(ren presently being held in protective custody?
    • Write the current location of the child, either Children's Shelter, Emergency Satellite Home (ESH) family home or group home, relative or NREFM home.
     
  5. What relatives have the parents identified as able and willing to care for the child(ren)?
    • The social worker must explore the possibility of placing the child with a relative or NREFM, if the child cannot be returned to the parents. For this question, identify any relatives who are willing to have the child placed in their care. Relatives and NREFMs must have a fully approved relative home approve before a child can be placed in the home. Both maternal and paternal relatives must be considered.

(b) Have any other relatives offered to care for the child?   Who?

    • If more than one relative has come forward as a potential placement for the child, the worker may have begun the approval process for one relative who would be the most likely placement. The other relatives who have also come forward, but who are not being approved, at this time, are named in this section. Or, any relatives of the named father with whom the child cannot be placed until paternity is established may be written in this section, if they are offering a placement.  Indicate that paternity first needs to be established, if that is the case.
    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Findings and Orders  

Most of the recommendations for finding and orders are prewritten and included as part of the Initial Hearing Report template.  The social worker does not have to make any change to these recommendations.  However, there are several recommendations for which the social worker must check the appropriate box. Those recommendations include:

#5. Check one or more of the four reasons why the social worker is recommending that the child continue to be detained.

#11. Check the appropriate finding regarding need to notice for Indian ancestry.

#12. If the recommendation is that the child to be returned to the parent or guardian, check the conditions under which the recommendation is made.

  • Under “Other:” the social worker may include, for example:
  • That the parent resides in the home of the grandmother.
  • That the parent participates in the child's next IEP school conferences.

#13. If the recommendation is that the child be detained, check the box which indicates where the child will be temporarily placed. If placing with a relative:

  • Check 13c if the relative home is fully approved.
  • Check 13d if procedures for temporary, emergency placement have been completed, and the home is not yet fully approved.


#14. The social worker checks this box, if box 13 d. was checked.

#15. If there is some reason why the social worker recommends that the Initial Hearing be continued, state it here. An example might be to get the parent transported from jail.

#16. Check box 16, if visitation between the child and any other person will occur.

  • Check the specific box for mother, father or any other person.
  • Write in the schedule of visitation. For example, twice weekly one-hour visits.

#17.The social worker checks box 17, if there is any person with whom contact with the child would be detrimental to the child.  

  • Write in the name of the person(s) and their relationship to the child.

#18. The social worker usually checks box 18.

  • Write in mother, father, sibling, caregiver and any other person about whom the social worker may have concerns.

#24. The social worker checks off all services which address the issues raised in the petition allegations.

  • Services recommended for the parents must directly relate to one of the allegations of the petition.

#25. The social worker checks off any other orders assessed as appropriate to the case.

    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Initial Hearing Report Packet  

The Initial Hearing Report packet that is turned into the DI clerical for processing includes:

  • The Petition
  • Screener Narrative
  • Investigative Narrative
  • The Dependency Initial Hearing Report (SC12)
  • All supporting documents identified in question 2(b) of the SC12
    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Supervisor Responsibilities  

It is the responsibility of the social work supervisor to:

  • Review the completed Initial Petition Hearing Report.
    • Check for applicable attachments.
    • Check for redacting on documents, as necessary.
  • Sign and date the Report to indicate that the Report has been reviewed and approved.
    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Initial Hearing Report Timelines  

The date of the Initial Petition Hearing is calculated from the time the child is placed in temporary custody. If the child is not released back to the parents or guardians, a petition must be filed within 48 judicial hours of the child's being placed in temporary custody. The Hearing must be scheduled within 72 hours of the child's being placed in temporary custody. An example follows:

  • If a child is placed in temporary custody at 10:20 p.m. on Tuesday:
    • The petition must be filed by 10:20 p.m. on Thursday.
    • The Initial Hearing Report packet must be to DI clerical by 11:00 a.m. on Thursday.
    • The Initial Hearing must take placed by Friday.


The Initial Hearing Report packet must be routed to the DI legal clerk no later than 11:00 a.m. on the judicial day prior to the Initial Petition/Detention Hearing.   The clerk must have enough time to type the Petition and make copies of the report packet in time to have the packet in the Pony Basket for delivery to the County Clerk.

    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page
   
Other References  
bullet 300 Petition
bullet Reasonable Efforts
    < Return to OPP Table of Contents | ^ Back to Top of Page