DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 9: Court Related Issues
9-5 Non-Reunification (Bypass) Cases
Court Related Issues
9-5  Non-Reunification (Bypass) Cases
Reference Points
Overview
DFCS Policy on Recommendations for No Reunification Services
Staffing Requirement for No Reunification (Bypass) Recommendation
Request for Director's Approval to Recommend No Reunification Services
Notice to Parents
WIC Provisions for No Reunification (Bypass)
Definition of a Violent Felony
Other References


Reference Points
Effective Date: In effect
Last Updated: 7/14/11
 Legal Basis:
Popup Window Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) § 361.5 (a),(b) and 361.5(e)(1)
Popup Window Family Code 7827
Popup Window WIC § 300(e)
Popup Window Penal Code (PC) § 667.5(c)
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word Bypass Staffing and Disposition Worksheet (SCZ 181)
MS Word Special Notice to Parents: Recommendation to not Offer Reunification Services (SCZ 230)


Overview  

The bypass of reunification services, either partial for one parent or complete for both parents, is a very serious action, because the parents are not provided the opportunity to reunite with their children. Welfare and Institution Code (WIC) § 361.5(a) states that whenever a child is removed from a parent's or guardian's custody, the juvenile court shall order the social worker to provide child welfare services. Sixteen exceptions to this exist as outlined in WIC § 361.5(b) and 361.5(e)(1). If an exception does apply, the WIC states that reunification services need not be provided, unless the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that reunification is in the best interest of the child.  

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DFCS Policy on Recommendations for No Reunification Services  

It is the DFCS policy that reunification services are generally in the best interest of the child, except in the case of a parent or guardian having:

  • Caused the death of another child (WIC § 361.5(b)(4) or
  • Been convicted of a Violent Felony (WIC § 361.5(b)(12).


The Department will recommend bypass of reunification services on any of the other 14 provisions of WIC § 361.5(b) only when there is:

  • Clear and convincing evidence that the provision(s) for a bypass recommendation exists and
  • A compelling reason to believe that it is in the best interest of the child to deny reunification services to the parent.
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Staffing Requirement for No-Reunification (Bypass) Recommendation  

Bypass staffings are convened:

  • Whenever there are grounds for bypassing family reunification services (WIC § 361.5), whether or not the social worker intends to recommend family reunification services.

In order to request a staffing, the worker calls Tricia Sullivan, 975-5329, to be put on the list for a Joint Case Staffing.

To prepare for the staffing, the social worker:

  • Completes page 2 of the Bypass Staffing and Disposition Worksheet (SCZ 181) for presentation of information at the staffing in which the worker:
    • Identifies the WIC provision(s) under which the bypass recommendation would be made.
    • Makes the argument as to why the provision of Family Reunification Services is not in the best interest of the child.

The bypass staffing addresses the following issues:

  • Whether the recommended bypass is for both parents (full bypass) or one parent (partial bypass).
  • Grounds for recommending bypass of reunification services: WIC Section 361.5(b) and (e).
  • Reasons the parent(s) meets the criteria for WIC Section 361.5(b) and (e), including the primary problem of the parent.
  • Family strengths
  • Culture needs and services that might be provided to meet the cultural needs of the family.
  • Placement plans for the child and sibling, with preference given for relatives.

 

Staffing Results

If the staffing results in the social worker…

Then the social worker…

  • proceeding with the non-reunification (bypass) recommendation
  • recommending that reunification services be offered to the parents
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Request for Director's Approval to Recommend No Reunification Services  

The DFCS Director must approve all bypass recommendations. If the staffing committee supports a recommendation to bypass reunification for one or both parents, The Bypass Staffing and Disposition Worksheet (SCZ181) is completed by the social worker, and the steps outlined below are followed in order to submit the request for approval to the DFCS Director.


Step

Action

Responsible Person

1.

Immediately following the Joint Case Staffing, complete pages 1, 2 and Section I, page 3 of the SCZ181.

  • Date Submitted for Review in Section I, page 3 is filled in by the SSPM.

Social Worker

2.

  • Email, fax or hand deliver all 4 pages of the Worksheet to the SSPM and social work supervisor.
  • Follow up with an in-person contact or telephone call to alert the SSPM to the email or fax.

Social Worker

3.

  • Enter the “Date Submitted for Review” in Section I on page 3 of the SCZ181.
  • Email, fax or hand deliver pages 1,2, 3 and 4 of the SCZ181 to all of the persons listed in Section II on page 3.
  • Follow up with a telephone call to Executive Assistant Kathryn Pedroza (975-5700) to alert her to the email or fax.

SSPM

4.

If the SCZ181 is emailed, printout a hard copy for the DFCS Director.

Executive Assistant

5.

Within 24 hours of receipt of the SCZ181 (weekends and holidays excluded):

  • Decide whether to approve the bypass recommendation.
  • Call the SSPM with the decision.
  • Complete Section III on page 3 of the SCZ181.

DFCS Director

6.

Forward the soft or hard copy of the SCZ181 to Associate Management Analyst, Ruby Soriano.

Ruby.Soriano@ssa.sccgov.org

Executive Assistant or Designee

7.

Inform the social worker of the Director's decision.

SSPM

8.

  • Enter data into the bypass database
  • Make a copy of the SCZ181 and return it to the social worker via pony.

Admin Bureau

Social Work Coordinator

9.

  • Review the CWS/CMS data base at least monthly to determine if the court has made dispositional orders for the child(ren)
  • When orders are made, record the orders:
    • In Section IV on the copy of the SCZ181.
    • In the bypass database.

Admin Bureau

Social Work Coordinator

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Notice to Parents   When a recommendation to not offer reunification services is approved by the Director, the social worker mails or delivers in person a notice to each parent to whom the recommendation applies, using the Special Notice to Parents: Recommendation to not Offer Reunification Services (SCZ 230).
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WIC Provisions for No-Reunification (Bypass)  

There are sixteen identified exceptions pursuant to WIC § 361.5(b) and 361.5(e)(1) describing the conditions relevant for non-reunification.

 

WIC SECTION

CODE PROVISION

1.

361.5(b)(1 )

The whereabouts of the parent or guardian is unknown. A finding pursuant to this paragraph shall be supported by an affidavit or by proof that a reasonably Diligent Search has failed to locate the parent or guardian. The posting or publication of notices is not required in that search.

2.

361.5(b)(2)

The parent or guardian is suffering from a diagnosed mental disability and that renders him/her incapable of utilizing services. Mental disability described in Family Code 7827.

3.

361.5(b)(3)

The child or a sibling was previously adjudicated a dependent pursuant to any subdivision of Section 300 as a result of physical or sexual abuse and removed from the custody of a parent or pursuant to Section 361, returned to the custody of the parent or legal guardian from whom they had been originally removed, and is now being removed due to additional physical or sexual abuse.

4.

361.5(b)(4)

The parent or guardian of the child has caused the death of another child through abuse or neglect.

5.

361.5(b)(5)

The child was brought within the jurisdiction of the court under WIC § 300(e), because of the conduct of that parent or guardian

6.

361.5(b)(6)

The child has been adjudicated a dependent pursuant to WIC Section 300 as a result of severe sexual abuse or the infliction of severe physical harm to the child, a sibling or a half-sibling by the parent or guardian, as defined in this subdivision, and the court makes a factual finding that it would not benefit the child to pursue family reunification services with the offending parent or guardian.

7.

361.5(b)(7)

The parent is not receiving reunification services for a sibling or a half-sibling of the child pursuant to paragraph (3), (5), or (6).

8. 

361.5(b)(8)

The child was conceived by means of the commission of an offense listed in Penal Code § 288 (lewd or lascivious acts), or 288.5 (continuous sexual abuse of a child), or by an act committed outside of this state that, if committed in this state, would constitute one of those offences. This only applies to the offending parent.

9.

361.5(b)(9)

The child has been willfully abandoned by the parent or guardian as described by WIC § 300(g), and the court finds that the abandonment itself constitutes a serious danger to the child.

10.

361.5(b)(10)

Sibling Permanent Plan Ordered/Parental Rights Severed

•  The court ordered a permanent plan for any siblings or half-siblings of the child because the parent or guardian failed to reunify after the siblings or half-siblings had been removed from their custody.

•  Parental rights terminated over any siblings or half - siblings and according to the findings of the court, this parent or legal guardian has not made a reasonable effort to treat the problems that led to the removal of the sibling or half-sibling of that child from that parent or guardian.

11.

361.5(b)(11)

The parental rights of a parent over any sibling or half-sibling has been permanently severed, and this parent is the same parent described in subdivision (a), and that, according to the finding of the court, this parent has not subsequently made a reasonable effort to treat the problems that led to the removal of the sibling or half-sibling of that child from that parent.

12.

361.5(b)(12)

The parent or guardian of the child has been convicted of a Violent Felony, as defined in Penal Code § 667.5(c).

13. 

361.5(b)(13)

The parent or legal guardian has a history of extensive, abusive, and chronic use of drugs or alcohol abuse and has resisted prior treatment for this problem during a three-year period immediately prior to the filing of the petition that brought the child to the court's attention.   The parent or guardian has refused to comply with a drug or alcohol treatment program as described in the case plan required by WIC § 358.1 on at least two occasions, even though the programs identified were available and accessible.

14.

361.5(b)(14)

“Waiver of services :” The parent or guardian advises the court that he/she does not wish to receive FM, FR services , or have the child returned to, or placed in, his/her custody. (Formerly WIC § 361.5(b)13).

15.

361.5(b)(15)

The parent or guardian had, on one or more occasions, willfully abducted the child, sibling, or half-sibling from his/her placement and refused to disclose said child's or child's sibling or half-sibling's whereabouts, refused to return physical custody of the child, or child's sibling or half sibling to his/her placement, or to return physical custody of the child, child's sibling or half-sibling to the social worker. (Formerly WIC § 261.5(b) 14).

16.

361.5(e)1

Reasonable services need not be provided to an incarcerated or institutionalized parent or guardian if clear and convincing evidence shows that such services would be detrimental to the child.

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Definition of a Violent Felony  

Violent felonies as defined in Penal Code (PC) § 667.5(c) include:

  • Murder or voluntary manslaughter.
  • Mayhem.
  • Rape as defined in paragraph (2) or (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 261 or paragraph (1) or (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 262.
  • Sodomy by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person.
  • Oral copulation by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person.
  • Lewd acts on a child under the age of 14 years as defined in Section 288.
  • Any felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life.
  • Any felony in which the defendant inflicts great bodily injury on any person other than an accomplice which has been charged and proved as provided for in Section 12022.7 or 12022.9 on or after July 1, 1977, or as specified prior to July 1, 1977, in Sections 213, 264, and 461, or any felony in which the defendant uses a firearm which use has been charged and proved as provided in Section 12022.5 or 12022.55.
  • Any robbery.
  • Arson, in violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 451.
  • The offense defined in subdivision (a) of Section 289 where the act is accomplished against the victim's will by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person.
  • Act of sexual penetration.
  • Attempted murder.
  • A violation of Section 12308 , 12309 , or 12310.
  • 12308- Person who explodes, ignites, or attempts to explode or ignite any destructive devise or any explosive with intent to commit murder.
  • 12309- Person who willfully and maliciously explodes or ignites any destructive device or any explosive which causes bodily injury to any person.
  • 12310- Person who willfully and maliciously explodes or ignites any destructive device or any explosive which causes the death of any person.
  • Kidnapping.
  • Assault with the intent to commit mayhem, rape, sodomy, or oral copulation, in violation of Section 220.
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a child, in violation of Section 288.5.
  • Carjacking, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 215.
  • A violation of Section 264.1.
  • Voluntarily acting in concert with another person, by force or violence and against the will of the victim, committed an act described in Section 261 (rape), 262 (rape of a spouse) or 289 (act of sexual penetration), either personally or by aiding and abetting the other person.
  • Extortion, as defined in Section 518, which would constitute a felony violation of Section 186.22 of the Penal Code.
  • Threats to victims or witnesses, as defined in Section 136.1, which would constitute a felony violation of Section 186.22 of the Penal Code.
  • Any burglary of the first degree, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 460, wherein it is charged and proved that another person, other than an accomplice, was present in the residence during the commission of the burglary.
  • Any violation of PC § 12022.53.
  • A violation of subdivision (b) or (c) of PC § 11418. The Legislature finds and declares that these specified crimes merit special consideration when imposing a sentence to display society's condemnation for these extraordinary crimes of violence against the person.
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Other References  
bullet2 OPP Chapter 13-1: Joint Case Staffing
bullet2 OPP Chapter 9-4: Due Diligence
MS Word2 DFCS Memorandum 03-29-05: Bypass Staffings and Revised Bypass Worksheet
MS Word2

DFCS Memorandum 10-14-04: Procedures for Family Reunification Bypass Cases

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