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§3.10 Findings and Orders

[1] Prima Facie Showing
[2] Grounds for Detention
[3] Reasonable Efforts to Prevent Removal
[4] No Services Available
[5] Contrary to Child’s Welfare
[6] Placement and Care Vested With DSS
[7] Visitation and Background Records
[8] Relative or Other Alternative Placement

[1] Prima Facie Showing

You must order the child released unless DSS first makes a prima facie showing that the child is a person described by WIC §300 [WIC §319(b); CRC 5.676(a)].

Review Question Review Question

At the detention hearing, DSS must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the child is a person described by WIC §300.


REFERENCE >> For a form of findings and orders after a detention hearing, see form JV-410.

[2] Grounds for Detention

The child must be released unless you also find that any of the following four grounds for detention exists [WIC §319(b); CRC 5.676(a), 5.678(a)]:

  • There is substantial danger to the child’s physical health, or the child is suffering severe emotional damage, and removal is the only reasonable means to protect the child’s physical or emotional health;
  • The child left a placement in which he or she was placed by order of the juvenile court;
  • The parent, guardian, or custodian is likely to flee the jurisdiction; or
  • The petition alleges that a person in the home physically or sexually abused the child, and the child is unwilling to return home.

[3] Reasonable Efforts to Prevent Removal

Whether you release or detain the child, you must find whether reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate the need for removal. [WIC §319(d)(1); CRC 5.678(c)(1).] Refer to the social worker’s report or other evidence on which you relied. You must consider whether the child can safely be returned home until the next hearing if appropriate services are ordered. [WIC §319(d)(1); CRC 5.678(b); see WIC §306(b)(1).] For a printable list of some of the services that you may order to return a child home [see WIC §319(d)(1)], click on the checklist below.

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Other factors include [WIC §306(b)(2), (3)]:

  • Whether a referral to public assistance would eliminate the need for temporary custody;
  • Whether a nonoffending caretaker can protect the child; and
  • Whether an alleged perpetrator will voluntarily leave the home.

If the child can safely be returned home by providing services, you must place the child with the parent or guardian and order that the services be provided. [WIC §319(d)(2).]

You must state the facts on which your decision is based [WIC §319(e)], make all your detention findings on the record, including whether reasonable efforts were made, and include them in the written orders. [CRC 5.674(b).]

[4] No Services Available

To detain the child, you must find that there are no reasonable, available services that would prevent the need for detention or would permit the child to return home. [WIC §319(d)(1); CRC 5.678(c)(2).]

If you order the child detained:

  • Specify why the initial removal was necessary [WIC §319(e); CRC 5.678(c)(3)(B)];
  • Determine if there are any services that would enable the child to return home until the next hearing, and state the facts on which the decision is based [CRC 5.678(c)(3)(A)]; and
  • Order reunification services to be provided as soon as possible, if appropriate [CRC 5.678(c)(3)(C)].

[5] Contrary to Child’s Welfare

To detain the child, you also must find that continuing in the parent’s or guardian’s home is contrary to the child’s welfare. [WIC §319(b); CRC 5.676(a)(2), 5.678(a)(2).] You must refer to the social worker’s report or other evidence you relied on in determining whether continuing at home is contrary to the child’s welfare. [WIC §319(e).] You must make this finding at the first hearing after removal, even if you only grant a continuance. [See Title IV-E Caution below.]

[6] Placement and Care Vested With DSS

If the child is detained, you must order temporary placement and care be vested with DSS (or the local child welfare agency) pending disposition or further court order. [WIC §319(e); CRC 5.678(d).]

Title IV-ECaution Title IV-E

[7] Visitation and Background Records

At the initial or detention hearing, you must also:

  • Order visitation if it will benefit the child [CRC 5.670(g)(1)];
  • Consider sibling visitation for any sibling not placed with the child and order visitation pending the jurisdiction hearing unless you find, by clear and convincing evidence, that sibling interaction would be contrary to the safety or well-being of either child [CRC 5.670(g)(2)]; and
  • Direct each parent to provide DSS with complete medical, dental, mental health, and educational information, and medical background of the child and the child’s mother and biological father, if known [WIC §16010(f)].

[8] Relative or Other Alternative Placement

If the child cannot be returned home, you must determine if there is a relative who is able and willing to care for the child, and who has been assessed pursuant to WIC §309(d)(1). [WIC §319(d)(2).]

Within 30 days of removal, the social worker must conduct an investigation to identify and locate all grandparents, adult siblings, and other adult relatives of the child, as defined in WIC §319(f)(2), including any other adult relatives suggested by the parents, and provide notice of removal and options to participate in the child’s care to all adult relatives who are located, except when that relative’s history of family or domestic violence makes notification inappropriate. [WIC §309(e)(1); CRC 5.637; see Form JV-285 (relative information).]

Other alternative placements include [WIC §319(f); CRC 5.678(e)]:

  • An emergency shelter;
  • Any other suitable licensed home or facility;
  • Any place exempt from licensure that you designate (although such a placement is not eligible for Title IV-E funds); or
  • The assessed home of a nonrelative extended family member.

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© 2006 by Judicial Council of California
updated as of January 1, 2012