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§5.19 Visitation

If you place a child in foster care and order reunification services, you also must order:

  • Frequent visitation between the child and the parent or guardian as long as the child’s safety is protected [WIC §362.1(a)(1); CRC 5.695(h)(5); see In re Brittany C. (2011) 191 CA4th 1343, 1356–1358 (order that visits be monitored and held in therapeutic setting)];
  • Sibling visitation unless you find by clear and convincing evidence that sibling interaction is contrary to the safety or well-being of either child [WIC §§362.1(a)(2), (c), 16002(b)]; and
  • If the child is a teen parent with custody of his or her own child who is not a court-ordered dependent, visitation among the teen parent, the child’s noncustodial parent, and appropriate family members unless you find by clear and convincing evidence that visitation would be detrimental to the teen parent [WIC §362.1(a)(3)].

Visitation with the following persons may also be ordered:

  • A parent incarcerated for reasons not involving abuse (visitation is required unless detrimental to the child) [WIC §361.5(e); see WIC §362.6(a)];
  • A grandparent if in the child’s best interests [WIC §361.2(h); CRC 5.695(a)(7)(C)]; and
  • A de facto parent [see, e.g., In re Hirenia C. (1993) 18 CA4th 504, 514].


You must determine whether reunification services are reasonable for an incarcerated or institutionalized parent, including whether particular barriers interfere with access to services and the ability to maintain contact with the child, and document this information in the child’s case plan. [WIC §361.5(e)1).]

You must determine whether visits will occur but may delegate logistical details such as time, place, and manner of the visits to the department. [In re Kyle E. (2010) 185 CA4th 1130, 1135; see Kevin R. v Superior Court (2010) 191 CA4th 676, 686–687 (court may order visitation to occur with the concurrence of father’s parole officer).] If a sibling’s dependency petition is dismissed, you have no jurisdiction to order visitation with that sibling under WIC §361.2(i). [In re A.R. (2012) 203 CA4th 1160, 1171.]

REFERENCE >> For optional forms for ordering visitation with parents, guardians, important persons, siblings, or grandparents, see forms JV-400, JV-401, and JV-402.

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