2009 California Welfare and Institutions Code - Section 300-304.7 :: Article 6. Dependent Children--jurisdiction

WELFARE AND INSTITUTIONS CODE
SECTION 300-304.7

300.  Any child who comes within any of the following descriptions
is within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court which may adjudge
that person to be a dependent child of the court:
   (a) The child has suffered, or there is a substantial risk that
the child will suffer, serious physical harm inflicted
nonaccidentally upon the child by the child's parent or guardian. For
the purposes of this subdivision, a court may find there is a
substantial risk of serious future injury based on the manner in
which a less serious injury was inflicted, a history of repeated
inflictions of injuries on the child or the child's siblings, or a
combination of these and other actions by the parent or guardian
which indicate the child is at risk of serious physical harm. For
purposes of this subdivision, "serious physical harm" does not
include reasonable and age-appropriate spanking to the buttocks where
there is no evidence of serious physical injury.
   (b) The child has suffered, or there is a substantial risk that
the child will suffer, serious physical harm or illness, as a result
of the failure or inability of his or her parent or guardian to
adequately supervise or protect the child, or the willful or
negligent failure of the child's parent or guardian to adequately
supervise or protect the child from the conduct of the custodian with
whom the child has been left, or by the willful or negligent failure
of the parent or guardian to provide the child with adequate food,
clothing, shelter, or medical treatment, or by the inability of the
parent or guardian to provide regular care for the child due to the
parent's or guardian's mental illness, developmental disability, or
substance abuse. No child shall be found to be a person described by
this subdivision solely due to the lack of an emergency shelter for
the family. Whenever it is alleged that a child comes within the
jurisdiction of the court on the basis of the parent's or guardian's
willful failure to provide adequate medical treatment or specific
decision to provide spiritual treatment through prayer, the court
shall give deference to the parent's or guardian's medical treatment,
nontreatment, or spiritual treatment through prayer alone in
accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or
religious denomination, by an accredited practitioner thereof, and
shall not assume jurisdiction unless necessary to protect the child
from suffering serious physical harm or illness. In making its
determination, the court shall consider (1) the nature of the
treatment proposed by the parent or guardian, (2) the risks to the
child posed by the course of treatment or nontreatment proposed by
the parent or guardian, (3) the risk, if any, of the course of
treatment being proposed by the petitioning agency, and (4) the
likely success of the courses of treatment or nontreatment proposed
by the parent or guardian and agency. The child shall continue to be
a dependent child pursuant to this subdivision only so long as is
necessary to protect the child from risk of suffering serious
physical harm or illness.
   (c) The child is suffering serious emotional damage, or is at
substantial risk of suffering serious emotional damage, evidenced by
severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or untoward aggressive
behavior toward self or others, as a result of the conduct of the
parent or guardian or who has no parent or guardian capable of
providing appropriate care. No child shall be found to be a person
described by this subdivision if the willful failure of the parent or
guardian to provide adequate mental health treatment is based on a
sincerely held religious belief and if a less intrusive judicial
intervention is available.
   (d) The child has been sexually abused, or there is a substantial
risk that the child will be sexually abused, as defined in Section
11165.1 of the Penal Code, by his or her parent or guardian or a
member of his or her household, or the parent or guardian has failed
to adequately protect the child from sexual abuse when the parent or
guardian knew or reasonably should have known that the child was in
danger of sexual abuse.
   (e) The child is under the age of five years and has suffered
severe physical abuse by a parent, or by any person known by the
parent, if the parent knew or reasonably should have known that the
person was physically abusing the child. For the purposes of this
subdivision, "severe physical abuse" means any of the following: any
single act of abuse which causes physical trauma of sufficient
severity that, if left untreated, would cause permanent physical
disfigurement, permanent physical disability, or death; any single
act of sexual abuse which causes significant bleeding, deep bruising,
or significant external or internal swelling; or more than one act
of physical abuse, each of which causes bleeding, deep bruising,
significant external or internal swelling, bone fracture, or
unconsciousness; or the willful, prolonged failure to provide
adequate food. A child may not be removed from the physical custody
of his or her parent or guardian on the basis of a finding of severe
physical abuse unless the social worker has made an allegation of
severe physical abuse pursuant to Section 332.
   (f) The child's parent or guardian caused the death of another
child through abuse or neglect.
   (g) The child has been left without any provision for support;
physical custody of the child has been voluntarily surrendered
pursuant to Section 1255.7 of the Health and Safety Code and the
child has not been reclaimed within the 14-day period specified in
subdivision (e) of that section; the child's parent has been
incarcerated or institutionalized and cannot arrange for the care of
the child; or a relative or other adult custodian with whom the child
resides or has been left is unwilling or unable to provide care or
support for the child, the whereabouts of the parent are unknown, and
reasonable efforts to locate the parent have been unsuccessful.
   (h) The child has been freed for adoption by one or both parents
for 12 months by either relinquishment or termination of parental
rights or an adoption petition has not been granted.
   (i) The child has been subjected to an act or acts of cruelty by
the parent or guardian or a member of his or her household, or the
parent or guardian has failed to adequately protect the child from an
act or acts of cruelty when the parent or guardian knew or
reasonably should have known that the child was in danger of being
subjected to an act or acts of cruelty.
   (j) The child's sibling has been abused or neglected, as defined
in subdivision (a), (b), (d), (e), or (i), and there is a substantial
risk that the child will be abused or neglected, as defined in those
subdivisions. The court shall consider the circumstances surrounding
the abuse or neglect of the sibling, the age and gender of each
child, the nature of the abuse or neglect of the sibling, the mental
condition of the parent or guardian, and any other factors the court
considers probative in determining whether there is a substantial
risk to the child.
   It is the intent of the Legislature that nothing in this section
disrupt the family unnecessarily or intrude inappropriately into
family life, prohibit the use of reasonable methods of parental
discipline, or prescribe a particular method of parenting. Further,
nothing in this section is intended to limit the offering of
voluntary services to those families in need of assistance but who do
not come within the descriptions of this section. To the extent that
savings accrue to the state from child welfare services funding
obtained as a result of the enactment of the act that enacted this
section, those savings shall be used to promote services which
support family maintenance and family reunification plans, such as
client transportation, out-of-home respite care, parenting training,
and the provision of temporary or emergency in-home caretakers and
persons teaching and demonstrating homemaking skills. The Legislature
further declares that a physical disability, such as blindness or
deafness, is no bar to the raising of happy and well-adjusted
children and that a court's determination pursuant to this section
shall center upon whether a parent's disability prevents him or her
from exercising care and control. The Legislature further declares
that a child whose parent has been adjudged a dependent child of the
court pursuant to this section shall not be considered to be at risk
of abuse or neglect solely because of the age, dependent status, or
foster care status of the parent.
   As used in this section, "guardian" means the legal guardian of
the child.

300.1.  Notwithstanding subdivision (e) of Section 361 and Section
16507, family reunification services shall not be provided to a child
adjudged a dependent pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 300.

300.2.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the purpose of
the provisions of this chapter relating to dependent children is to
provide maximum safety and protection for children who are currently
being physically, sexually, or emotionally abused, being neglected,
or being exploited, and to ensure the safety, protection, and
physical and emotional well-being of children who are at risk of that
harm. This safety, protection, and physical and emotional well-being
may include provision of a full array of social and health services
to help the child and family and to prevent reabuse of children. The
focus shall be on the preservation of the family as well as the
safety, protection, and physical and emotional well-being of the
child. The provision of a home environment free from the negative
effects of substance abuse is a necessary condition for the safety,
protection and physical and emotional well-being of the child.
Successful participation in a treatment program for substance abuse
may be considered in evaluating the home environment. In addition,
the provisions of this chapter ensuring the confidentiality of
proceedings and records are intended to protect the privacy rights of
the child.

300.5.  In any case in which a child is alleged to come within the
provisions of Section 300 on the basis that he or she is in need of
medical care, the court, in making that finding, shall give
consideration to any treatment being provided to the child by
spiritual means through prayer alone in accordance with the tenets
and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination by an
accredited practitioner thereof.

301.  (a) In any case in which a social worker, after investigation
of an application for petition or other investigation he or she is
authorized to make, determines that a child is within the
jurisdiction of the juvenile court or will probably soon be within
that jurisdiction, the social worker may, in lieu of filing a
petition or subsequent to dismissal of a petition already filed, and
with consent of the child's parent or guardian, undertake a program
of supervision of the child. If a program of supervision is
undertaken, the social worker shall attempt to ameliorate the
situation which brings the child within, or creates the probability
that the child will be within, the jurisdiction of Section 300 by
providing or arranging to contract for all appropriate child welfare
services pursuant to Sections 16506 and 16507.3, within the time
periods specified in those sections. No further child welfare
services shall be provided subsequent to these time limits. If the
family has refused to cooperate with the services being provided, the
social worker may file a petition with the juvenile court pursuant
to Section 332. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent
the social worker from filing a petition pursuant to Section 332
when otherwise authorized by law.
   (b) The program of supervision of the child undertaken pursuant to
this section may call for the child to obtain care and treatment for
the misuse of, or addiction to, controlled substances from a county
mental health service or other appropriate community agency.
   (c) If the parent is a dependent of the juvenile court at the time
that a social worker seeks to undertake a program of supervision
pursuant to subdivision (a), including a voluntary family
reunification program or a voluntary family maintenance program, and
if counsel has been appointed for the parent pursuant to subdivision
(c) of Section 317, the program of supervision shall not be
undertaken until the parent has consulted with his or her counsel.

302.  (a) A juvenile court may assume jurisdiction over a child
described in Section 300 regardless of whether the child was in the
physical custody of both parents or was in the sole legal or physical
custody of only one parent at the time that the events or conditions
occurred that brought the child within the jurisdiction of the
court.
   (b) Unless their parental rights have been terminated, both
parents shall be notified of all proceedings involving the child. In
any case where the social worker is required to provide a parent or
guardian with notice of a proceeding at which the social worker
intends to present a report, the social worker shall also provide
both parents, whether custodial or noncustodial, or any guardian, or
the counsel for the parent or guardian a copy of the report prior to
the hearing, either personally or by first-class mail. The social
worker shall not charge any fee for providing a copy of a report
required by this subdivision. The social worker shall keep
confidential the address of any parent who is known to be the victim
of domestic violence.
   (c) When a child is adjudged a dependent of the juvenile court,
any issues regarding custodial rights between his or her parents
shall be determined solely by the juvenile court, as specified in
Sections 304, 361.2, and 362.4, so long as the child remains a
dependent of the juvenile court.
   (d) Any custody or visitation order issued by the juvenile court
at the time the juvenile court terminates its jurisdiction pursuant
to Section 362.4 regarding a child who has been previously adjudged
to be a dependent child of the juvenile court shall be a final
judgment and shall remain in effect after that jurisdiction is
terminated. The order shall not be modified in a proceeding or action
described in Section 3021 of the Family Code unless the court finds
that there has been a significant change of circumstances since the
juvenile court issued the order and modification of the order is in
the best interests of the child.

303.  The court may retain jurisdiction over any person who is found
to be a dependent child of the juvenile court until the ward or
dependent child attains the age of 21 years.

304.  After a petition has been filed pursuant to Section 311, and
until the time that the petition is dismissed or dependency is
terminated, no other division of any superior court may hear
proceedings pursuant to Part 2 (commencing with Section 3020) of
Division 8 of the Family Code regarding the custody of the child or
proceedings under Part 2 (commencing with Section 1500) of Division 4
of the Probate Code, except as otherwise authorized in this code,
regarding the establishment of a guardianship for the child. While
the child is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court all issues
regarding his or her custody shall be heard by the juvenile court. In
deciding issues between the parents or between a parent and a
guardian regarding custody of a child who has been adjudicated a
dependent of the juvenile court, the juvenile court may review any
records that would be available to the domestic relations division of
a superior court hearing that matter. The juvenile court, on its own
motion, may issue an order as provided for in Section 213.5, or as
described in Section 6218 of the Family Code. The Judicial Council
shall adopt forms for these restraining orders. These form orders
shall not be confidential and shall be enforceable in the same manner
as any other order issued pursuant to Division 10 (commencing with
Section 6200) of the Family Code.
   This section shall not be construed to divest the domestic
relations division of a superior court from hearing any issues
regarding the custody of a child when that child is no longer a
dependent of the juvenile court.

304.7.  (a) On or before July 31, 1997, the Judicial Council shall
develop and implement standards for the education and training of all
judges who conduct hearings pursuant to Section 300. The training
shall include, but not be limited to, a component relating to Section
300 proceedings for newly appointed or elected judges and an annual
training session in Section 300 proceedings.
   (b) Any commissioner or referee who is assigned to conduct
hearings held pursuant to Section 300 shall meet the minimum
standards for education and training established pursuant to
subdivision (a), by July 31, 1998.
   (c) The Judicial Council shall submit an annual report to the
Legislature on compliance by judges, commissioners and referees with
the education and training standards described in subdivisions (a)
and (b).



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