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  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 9:  Court Related Issues
9-10  Placement Changes of Dependent Children
Court Related Issues
9-10  Placement Changes of Dependent Children
Reference Points
Overview
Quick Reference Guide
DFCS Placement Policy
Levels of Care
Assumptions to Charts
When Parental Rights Are Intact
When Parental Rights Have Been Terminated
Pre-Dispositional Hearing
Other References


Reference Points
Effective Date: 1/1/11
Last Updated: 3/16/11
 Legal Basis:
Popup Window Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) § 387
Popup Window WIC § 388
Popup Window California Rules of Court 5.726
pdf California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Manual of Policies and Procedures (MPP) Division 31- 440
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word Notice of Placement Change (SCZ201)
MS Word Notice of Dependent Absent from Placement (SCZ205)
MS Word Notice of Ex Parte Application (SCZ 170)
MS Word Attachment to Notice (SCZ170a)
pdf

Request to Change Court Order (JV-180)

pdf Notice of Intent to Remove (JV323)
pdf Notice of Emergency Removal (JV324)
 CWS/CMS Forms:
bullet Court Management Section: Court Reports
bullet Approval of Caregiver Home (SOC 815)
bullet Checklist of Health and Safety Standards (SOC 817)
bullet Caregiver Assessment - Declaration and Agreement (SOC 818)


Overview   After a child is adjudged a dependent of the court, the child comes within the purview of the court.  When there is a change in the placement of a dependent child, it is the responsibility of the social worker to notify the court of the child's new location.  When the move involves the need to expand existing court placement orders and/or move the child to a more restrictive placement, such as a move from a relative home to a group home, a full social study report is required.
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Quick Reference Guide  

Quick Reference Guide Regarding Change of Placement of Dependent Children and 342/387/388 Petitions, Notice of Placement Change, and Applications for Detention

The Guide is a summary of the charts listed below.

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DFCS Placement Policy  

It is the policy of the Department of Family and Children's Services (DFCS) that when a child cannot live with either parent or a legal guardian, placement options shall be considered in this order:

  1. Relatives, with preferential consideration given to:
    • Grandparents
    • Aunts
    • Uncles
    • Adult Siblings

    These relatives have a right to be assessed for a home approval:

    • Within 30 calendar days of the Initial Hearing or by the date of the dispositional hearing, whichever is sooner, or
    • Immediately, when it is determined that a child will require a new placement.  

  2. Other relatives when no relative given preferential consideration is available  

  3. Non-relative Extended family members (NREFM)  

  4. Other licensed or certified facilities that can meet the child's unique needs
    • Preference is given to facilities located within the child’s home zip code or community.

In addition to consideration of the placement priorities above, consideration must be give to placement of siblings and half siblings in the same home, whenever possible and if placement together is in the best interest of each of the children.

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Assumptions to Charts  

When referencing the charts below, the following assumptions are made:

    1. The placement change occurs after the initial removal. The Guide does not apply to the initial removal from a parent or guardian.

    2. A seven-day notice was given to the facility, if the placement change is the result of DFCS removing a child from a relative home, NREFM, foster home, or group home,  unless the removal of the child was due to immediate risk.

    3. All out-of-county placements require prior court approval.
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Levels of Care  

Levels of care from least restrictive to most restrictive are:

  1. Parent/legal guardian
  2. Relative home
  3. NREFM home
  4. Foster Home
  5. Community Care Facility
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When Parental Rights Are Intact  
Existing Court Placement Orders
Placement Change To
Required Action

Parent/guardian

Relative

NREFM

Any higher level of care/more restrictive placement.

387 Petition


Foster Home  
Community Care Facility (CCF)

388 Petition / JV 180

  • Two parent family home
 
 

or

 
 
  • Child living with one parent
  • One parent home (one parent is asked by DFCS to move out)
    or
  • Child moves to live with the other parent

387 Petition

387 Detention
387 Juris/Dispo

       Report

 

361.45/Full Relative Home Approval required

Relative
Relative – when the relative from whom the child is being removed is not in agreement with the change in placement
 

387 Petition


Relative, NREFM, Foster Home or

CCF
Parent/legal guardian

388 Petition Report /

JV 180
Any placement (in or out of county)
Any placement out-of-county
Application and Order, unless a 387 or 388 Petition is otherwise required
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When Parental Rights Have Been Terminated  

See above Assumptions to Charts - Item 1.

 
 
Existing Court Placement Orders
Placement Change To
Required Action

Guardian

Relative

NREFM

Any higher level of care/more restrictive placement.

387 Petition

Prospective Adoptive Parent

Any other placement

§366.26 (n) Procedures

JV323 – Notice of Intent to Remove Child or

JV 324 – Notice of Emergency Removal

Relative

who is not also a Prospective Adoptive Parent
Relative – when the relative from whom the child is being removed is not in agreement with the change in placement

387 Petition

 
Foster Home

Community Care Facility (CCF)

388 Petition Report/

JV 180
 
Any placement (in or out of county)
Any placement out-of-county

Application and Order, unless a 387 or 388 Petition is otherwise required

Relative

NREFM

Foster Home

CCF

Any equal or lower level of care/ less restrictive placement, including an adoptive home, where there is a general placement order, unless:

.

  • The new placement are out-of-county
  • If the move is from relative to relative, the relatives are not in agreement with the change in placement.

Notice of Placement Change

 
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Pre-Dispositional Hearing Placements  

See above Assumptions to Charts - Item 1.

Existing Court Placement Orders
Placement Change To
Required Action

Runaway prior to the 300 Jurisdictional/Dispositional Hearing

Shelter

Application for Detention

Emergency Satellite Home (includes CCF ESH)
Another ESH

Notice of Placement Change

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Other References  
bullet2 OPP Chapter 8-6: Ex Parte Application for Order (App and Order)
bullet2 OPP Handbook 7: Relative Home Approvals
PDF OPP Chapter 19-2 : How to Complete The Placement/Address Change Form (SCZ17)
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