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§5.04 Notice of Consequences

If DSS seeks a “no reunification services” order under WIC §361.5(b) [see Part 2, §5.18], you must verify that the social worker [WIC §358(a)(3); CRC 5.686(b)]:

  • Notified each parent of the provisions of WIC §361.5(b); and
  • Informed each parent that if reunification is not ordered, a permanency hearing will be held, parental rights may be terminated, and the child may be placed for adoption.

If DSS does not seek a “no reunification services” order, you must notify the parents that parental rights may be terminated if the child is not returned within [see WIC §361.5(a); CRC 5.695(i)(2)]:

  • Six months, if the child was under three years of age on the date of initial removal, beginning at the disposition hearing, but no longer than 12 months from the date the child entered foster care as defined in WIC §361.49;
  • Twelve months, if the child was three years of age or older on the date of initial removal, beginning at the disposition hearing and ending 12 months after the child entered foster care; or
  • Six months, if a child is a member of a sibling group whose members were removed from parental custody at the same time, and in which one member of the sibling group was under three years of age on the date of initial removal with application of the same time limitations for a child under the age of three on the date of initial removal.

The date a child enters foster care is statutorily defined as the earlier of the date of the jurisdictional hearing or the date that is 60 days after the date on which the child was initially removed from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian. [WIC §361.49.]

You have discretion to continue family reunification services up to eighteen months from removal, but only on finding a substantial probability that the child will be returned within the extended time or that reasonable reunification services were not provided. [WIC §361.5(a)(3).] At an eighteen-month review hearing, you may further extend reunification services up to twenty-four months from the date of removal if the permanent plan is to return and safely maintain the child at home within the 24-month period. [WIC §361.5(a)(4).] See Part 2, §5.17[3].

A written statement may satisfy the notification requirement if the parent represented in court that he or she read and understood the advice. [Arlena M. v Superior Court (2004) 121 CA4th 566, 571.]

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