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Court Related Issues > Special Situation Reports & Filings > Non-Disclosure Orders

Non-Disclosure Orders

0300-303.07 | Revision Date: 07/01/14

Overview

This policy guide provides information on obtaining and/or modifying nondisclosure orders.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Policy

Non-Disclosure Orders

Procedure

Requesting a Nondisclosure Order when the WIC 300 Petition is Filed

CSW Responsibilities

Intake and Detention Control (IDC) CSW

IDC SCSW Responsibilities

Juvenile Court Services (JCS) Court Officer Responsibilities

Requesting a Nondisclosure Order after the WIC 300 Petition is Filed

Dependency Investigator (DI) or Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities SCSW Responsibilities

Requesting a Nondisclosure Order after Disposition

CSW Responsibilities

SCSW Responsibilities

Approvals

Helpful Links

Forms

Referenced Policy Guides

Statutes

Version Summary

This policy guide was updated from the 08/09/10 version, as part of the Policy Redesign, in accordance with the DCFS Strategic Plan.

POLICY

Non-Disclosure Orders

A non-disclosure order is a finding by the court that the health and/or safety of a child/youth or other party would be unreasonably put at risk by the disclosure of the child/youth’s placement or home address.

 

Prior to the dispositional hearing, the address of a licensed foster family home, including all Foster Family Agency (FFA)A non-profit organization licensed by the State of California to recruit, certify, train, and provide professional support to foster parents. homes must be kept confidential, according to Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) 308. Without a court order, however, a foster parent may authorize the release of his/her home address at any time during the placement. The court may also authorize the disclosure of the home’s address.

 

The provisions of WIC 308 do not apply to the homes of non-custodial parents, relatives, or nonrelative extended family members (NREFMs) or to small family homes, group homes, or hospitals.

 

A nondisclosure order is obtained from the court in order to:

 

A nondisclosure order may be requested in addition to an existing restraining order. The court will not disclose, or cause to be disclosed, the following unless the court finds it to be in the best interest of the child/youth:

 

A recommendation to change or modify a nondisclosure order can be submitted via the following methods:

 

A nondisclosure order may be requested at any noticed appearance hearing. In an emergency, a CSW may withhold a child/youth’s placement address from the parent(s) until a nondisclosure order is obtained, if disclosure of the placement address would endanger the child/youth. The court may withdraw or issue a nondisclosure order at any time during the life of a case.

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PROCEDURE

Requesting a Nondisclosure Order when the WIC 300 Petition is Filed

CSW Responsibilities

  1. Obtain a nondisclosure order by entering the appropriate information in the "Confidentiality of Placement" section of the Detention Report.
  1. Provide specific information, including clearly presented facts, which support the need for a nondisclosure order.
  1. Enter the following statement in the Recommendations section of the Detention Report:

 

  1. Ensure that the child/youth's placement address does not appear in the Detention Report or on any attachments.

 

  1. Once the nondisclosure order is obtained:
  1. Open the child/youth's Client Notebook.
  1. On the ID page, select the "Confidentiality in Effect" box.
  1. Enter the date the nondisclosure order took effect in the "Confidentiality in Effect" field.
  1. If the court later withdraws the nondisclosure order or if the foster parent later agrees to disclose the child/youth’s placement address:
  1. Deselect the "Confidentiality in Effect" box.
  1. Document the change in the address' disclosure status in the Contact Notebook or in Case Notes, as appropriate.

Intake and Detention Control (IDC) CSW

  1. When there is a request for a nondisclosure order, review and ensure that the WIC 300 petition, the Detention Report, and any other accompanying documents do not include the child/youth's placement address.

 

  1. Send the child/youth's placement information to the court liaison CSW in a sealed envelope for distribution to the hearing officer and to the child/youth's attorney.

IDC SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the WIC 300 petition, the Detention Report, and any other accompanying documents.

 

  1. Ensure that they do not include the child/youth's placement address.

Juvenile Court Services (JCS) Court Officer Responsibilities

Back to Procedure

Requesting a Non-Disclosure Order after the WIC 300 Petition is Filed

If the case is pre-disposition, the assigned Dependency Investigator (DI) will request a nondisclosure order by completing the Ex Parte Application and Order. In all other cases, this will be the responsibility of the case-carrying CSW.

 

The following procedures for completing the Ex Parte Application and Order are generally not applicable to a licensed foster family home, including Foster Family Agency (FFA0 homes.

Dependency Investigator (DI) or Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities

  1. Refer to the following table for DI and case-carrying CSW specific responsibilities when determining the need for a nondisclosure order:

 

Responsibility

Required Actions

DI

Pre-dispositional hearing:

  • If it has been determined that there is a need for a nondisclosure order, notify the case-carrying CSW.
  • After contacting Intake and Detention Control (IDC), provide the case-carrying CSW with the hearing date for the Ex Parte Application and Order.

Case-Carrying CSW

  • If it has been determined there is a need for a nondisclosure need, notify the DI.

 

  1. Call Intake and Detention Control (IDC) immediately.
  1. Provide the IDC CSW with the current address and telephone number of the child/youth and caregiver.
  1. Discuss the need for a nondisclosure order.
  1. Request a date for an emergency Change of Order.
  1. Obtain a court date.
  1. Provide all parties with notice, either by phone or in-person.

 

  1. Complete the Ex Parte Application and Order.

 

  1. Submit the completed Ex Parte Application and Order to the SCSW for review and approval.

 

  1. When the Ex Parte Application and Order is approved, ensure that the child/youth's placement address does not appear on it or on any supporting documents.

 

  1. Once the nondisclosure order is obtained, go to the ID page of the child/youth's Client Notebook.
  1. Select the "Confidentiality in Effect" box.
  1. Enter the date that the nondisclosure order took effect in the "Confidentiality in Effect" field.

 

  1. If the court later withdraws the nondisclosure order or if the foster parent later agrees to disclose the child/youth's placement address:
  1. Deselect the "Confidentiality in Effect" box.
  1. Document the change in the address' disclosure status in the Contact Notebook or in Case Notes, as appropriate.

 

  1. If the facts of the case continue to indicate the child/youth's safety will be at risk if his/her placement address is disclosed, recommend that the nondisclosure order remain in full effect in each subsequent court report.

SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the Ex Parte Application and Order and any supporting documents.

 

  1. If approved, sign and date the Ex Parte Application and Order.
  1. Approve it online.
  1. Return the packet to the CSW.

 

  1. If not approved, return the packet to the CSW and request corrective action.

Back to Procedure

Requesting a Nondisclosure Order after Disposition

CSW Responsibilities

  1. Complete the Ex Parte Application and Order, and submit it to the SCSW for review and approval.

 

  1. When approved by the SCSW, ensure that the child/youth's placement address does not appear on any documents.

 

  1. Fax the signed report and all attachments to the Juvenile Court Services (JCS) Liaison to (323) 881-3780.

 

  1. Call the JCS Liaison by the close of the business day.

 

  1. Provide all parties involved in the nondisclosure request with notice of this date, either by phone or in-person.

 

  1. Once the nondisclosure order is obtained, open the ID page of the child/youth's Client Notebook.
  1. Select the "Confidentiality in Effect" box.
  1. Enter the date that the nondisclosure order took effect in the "Confidentiality in Effect" field.

 

  1. If the court later withdraws the nondisclosure order or if the foster parent later agrees to disclose the child/youth’s placement address:
  1. Deselect the "Confidentiality in Effect" box.
  1. Document the change in the address' disclosure status in the Contact Notebook or in Case Notes, as appropriate.

 

  1. If the facts of the case continue to indicate the child/youth's safety will be at risk if his/her placement address is disclosed, recommend that the nondisclosure order remain in full effect in each subsequent court report.

SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the Ex Parte Applicant and Order and any supporting documents.

 

  1. If approved, sign and date the Ex Parte Application and Order.
  1. Approve the Ex Parte Application and Order online.
  1. Return the packet to the CSW.

 

  1. If not approved, request corrective action online.
  1. Return the packet to the CSW.

Back to Procedure

APPROVALS

SCSW Approval

HELPFUL LINKS

Forms

CWS/CMS

Detention Report

Ex Parte Application Order

LA Kids

DCFS 5210, Placement Address Disclosure

Referenced Policy Guides

0100-510.61, Placement Responsibilities

0300-303.15, Writing the Detention Report

0300-306.05, Noticing Process for Juvenile Court Proceedings

0300-318.05, Obtaining Restraining Orders

0300-503.30, WIC 385: Requesting a Change of Order

0300-503.94, Set-On/Walk-On Procedures

0300-506.05, Communication with Attorneys, County Counsel, and Non-DCFS Staff

Statutes

Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Section 308 – States, in part, that when a social worker or a probation officer takes a minor into custody, he/she will also take immediate steps to notify the minor’s parent, guardian, or a responsible relative of this fact and that the child has been placed in a facility authorized by law to care for the child. Also states that the address of any licensed foster family home, aside from the exceptions listed, will remain confidential until the dispositional hearing when the judge may authorize the addresses’ disclosure.

 

WIC Section 362.1 – States, in part, that visitation between a parent or guardian, any siblings, and the child will be as frequent as possible, consistent with the well-being of the child. Also states that no visitation will jeopardize the child’s safety and that the court may keep the child’s address confidential in order to protect the child.

 

WIC Section 385 – States, in part, that any order made by the court in the case of any person subject to its jurisdiction may, at any time, be changed, modified, or set aside, as the judge deems proper, subject to the specified procedural requirements.

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