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Court Related Issues > Special Situation Reports & Filings > Removing from the Home of Prospective Adoptive Parent(s)

Removing a Child from the Home of Prospective Adoptive Parent(s)

0300-503.25 | Revision Date: 07/01/14

Overview

This policy guide provides instruction on how to remove a child from the home of a prospective adoptive parent.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Policy

Prospective Adoptive Parent

Removal of a Child from a Prospective Adoptive Parent's Home

Role of CSWs when Removal is Pending

Hearing Regarding the Proposed Removal of a Child

Procedure

Removing a Child from a Prospective Adoptive Parent's Home in Non-Emergency Situations

Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities

Removing a Child from a Prospective Adoptive Parent's Home in Emergency Situations

Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities

Completing the Interim Review Report for a WIC 366.26 Hearing

Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities

Approvals

Helpful Links

Attachments

Forms

Referenced Policy Guides

Statutes

Version Summary

This policy guide was updated from the 03/04/10 version, as part of the Policy Redesign, in accordance with the DCFS Strategic Plan.

POLICY

Prospective Adoptive Parent

A prospective adoptive parent is a person who has filed, or who intends to file, a petition to adopt a child who is, or has been, placed in the person’s physical care. The prospective adoptive parent must be designated by the court at a WIC 366.26 hearing and must meet all of the following threshold criteria:

 

The court will consider whether the caregiver may be a prospective adoptive parent based on whether s/he is listed on the preliminary assessment in the Concurrent Planning Agreement (CPA) and DCFS’s determination as to whether the caregiver meets the threshold criteria.

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Removal of a Child from a Prospective Adoptive Parent's Home

This policy guide does not apply to cases where a caregiver requests the removal of a child.

 

In certain situations, it may be appropriate to remove a child from the home of a prospective adoptive parent. Examples of these situations include:

 

A decision may be made to remove a child from the home of a designated prospective adoptive parent, or the home of a caregiver who may qualify as one, with whom a freed child has lived six (6) months or longer, and prior to changing the child’s placement. In such a case, DCFS must notify the following individuals of the proposed placement by sending them a JV-323, Notice of Intent to Remove Child, and a blank JV-325, Objection to Removal:

 

By law, a court will not remove, or recommend removing, a child from the home of a relative caregiver solely because the caregiver decides to pursue legal guardianship instead of adoption. This does not include circumstances where a caregiver is unwilling to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child.

 

In a non-emergency situation, the ARA and SCSW may consult and approve the decision to remove a child from the home of a caregiver who is, or who may be, designated as a prospective adoptive parent.

 

When, due to an emergency, a freed child is placed in a home of a non-guardian relative caregiver, a WIC 387 petition does not need to be filed unless the court has previously made a "do not remove" order or a specific suitable placement order naming the caregiver. In such a case, a WIC 388 petition must also be filed when filing a petition to terminate a legal guardianship.

 

If there is a disagreement on a decision to remove a child:

 

The following actions are required under case-specific situations:

 

Situation

Required Actions

Caregiver has not been designated a prospective adoptive parent by the court.

  • A blank JV-321 Request for Prospective Adoptive Parent Designation, Notice, and Order, and a JV-322, Confidential Information-Prospective Adoptive Parent, must be given to the caregiver.

A petition objecting to the proposal is not filed, and the court upon its own motion, does not set a hearing.

  • The child may be removed, or remain removed, from the home of the designated prospective adoptive parent without a hearing once the deadline to file an objection to the removal has passed.

A petition objecting to the removal of the child is filed with the court, or the court, sets a hearing regarding the proposal.

  • The case-carrying CSW will:
  • Review the minute order carefully; and/or
  • Consult with the Court Officer and the County Counsel about the court’s orders regarding notice of the hearing to be given to the caregiver(s).

 

Established procedures will be followed if a decision is made to remove a child from an adoptive home.

Role of CSWs when Removal is Pending

Under the Concurrent Planning Redesign (CPR), the FM&R/G CSW (case-carrying CSW) has the primary assignment of the case until adoption is finalized and the Adoption CSW is assigned to perform adoption-related activities. The case-carrying CSW and the Adoption CSW must collaborate in doing the following:

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Hearing Regarding the Proposed Removal of a Child

When a Notice of Intent to Remove Child is personally served, within five (5) court days or seven (7) calendar days, whichever is longer from the date of notification:

 

If the Notice(s) of Intent to Remove Child is served by mail, five (5) days should be added to these deadlines. These deadlines will hold unless the court is unable to set the matter for the hearing five (5) court days after the petition is filed. In such a case, the court will set the matter for the hearing as soon as possible.

 

A caregiver who would have met the threshold criteria to be designated as a prospective adoptive parent on the date the notice of proposed removal of the child was served may file a petition for an order designating him/herself as a prospective adoptive parent.

 

At the hearing, the court will determine whether:

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PROCEDURE

Removing a Child from a Prospective Adoptive Parent's Home in Non-Emergency Situations

Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities

  1. Within one (1) business day of determining that a child should be removed from the home of a prospective adoptive parent, send notice via JV-323, Notice of Intent to Remove Child, by first class mail or by personal service to the following individuals:
  1. Court
  1. Send the JV-323, a blank copy of the JV-325 Objection to Removal, and the JV-326 Proof of Notice, to the Juvenile Court Services Liaison.
  1. Indicate, on the JV-326, that a notice of intent to remove was given to the parties required to be noticed.
  1. Designated prospective adoptive parent(s)
  1. Current caregiver(s), if he/she may have met the threshold criteria to be designated as a prospective adoptive parent.
  1. Child’s attorney
  1. Child, if he/she is ten (10) years of age or older.

 

  1. After giving notice and before removing the child, check with the Court Officer and the County Counsel in the courtroom to ensure that no objection to the removal has been filed and that the court has not extended the time to do so.

 

  1. Review the minute order and/or the JV-327 Prospective Adoptive Parent Designation Order or the JV-328 Prospective Adoptive Parent Order After Hearing.

 

  1. Complete the appropriate notice of hearing.

 

  1. Complete another JV-326, attach it to the court report, and send to the court prior to the hearing.

 

  1. Complete the Interim Review Report according to recommended guidelines.

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Removing a Child from a Prospective Adoptive Parent’s Home in Emergency Situations

Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities

  1. Determine whether a legally freed child must be immediately removed from the home of the prospective adoptive parent, due to risk of imminent physical or emotional harm.

 

  1. If it is determined that the child must be immediately removed, remove the child from the home.

 

  1. Notify the assigned Adoption CSW of the removal as soon as possible.

 

  1. If the caregiver has not been designated as a prospective adoptive parent by the court, provide a blank JV-321 Request for Prospective Adoptive Parent Designation, Notice, and Order (and, if applicable, a JV-322, Confidential Information-Prospective Adoptive Parent) to the caregiver along with the JV-324 Notice of Emergency Removal, and a blank JV-325 Objection to Removal.

 

  1. Within two (2) court days after the removal of the child from the home of a prospective adoptive parent, provide notice of the JV-324 and of the reasons for removal, as indicated on this form, to the following individuals/entities by telephone or by personal service:
  1. Court
  1. Designated prospective adoptive parent(s)
  1. Current caregiver, if he/she may have met the threshold criteria to be designated as a prospective adoptive parent
  1. Child’s attorney
  1. Child, if he/she is ten (10) years of age or older

 

  1. Document all contacts in the Contact Notebook.

 

  1. Send the JV-324, blank JV-325, and the JV-326, Proof of Notice, to the Juvenile Court Services Liaison.

 

  1. At the time of the emergency removal, whenever possible, provide the caregiver and any child who is ten (10) years of age or older with a blank JV-321 and JV-325.

 

  1. Complete the appropriate notice of hearing in a timely manner.

 

  1. Complete another JV-326 and attach it to the court report.

 

  1. Complete the Interim Review Report according to recommended guidelines.

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Completing the Interim Review Report for a WIC 366.26 Hearing

Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities

  1. Prior to creating the Interim Review Report, review the online case record to ensure that all identifying information (e.g. names, addresses, etc.) is recorded and current.

 

  1. Create the Interim Review Report at least two (2) days prior to the hearing unless instructed to do so earlier by court order.

 

  1. Complete all appropriate fields on the Interim Review according to recommended guidelines.

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APPROVALS

SCSW Approval

SCSW and ARA Approval

HELPFUL LINKS

Attachments

Sample Interim Review Report

Forms

CWS/CMS

JV-321, Request for Prospective Adoptive Parent Designation, Notice, and Order

JV-323, Notice of Intent to Remove Child

JV-324, Notice of Emergency Removal

JV-325, Objection to Removal

JV-326, Proof of Notice

JV-327, Prospective Adoptive Parent Designation Order

JV-328, Prospective Adoptive Parent Order After Hearing

LA Kids

JV-321, Request for Prospective Adoptive Parent Designation, Notice, and Order

JV-322, Confidential Information-Prospective Adoptive Parent

JV-323, Notice of Intent to Remove Child

JV-324, Notice of Emergency Removal

JV-325, Objection to Removal

JV-326, Proof of Notice

JV-326-INFO, Instructions for Notice of Prospective Adoptive Parent Hearing

JV-327, Prospective Adoptive Parent Designation Order

Referenced Policy Guides

0070-548.05, Emergency Response Referrals Alleging Abuse In Out-of-Home Care Regarding Children Who Are Under DCFS Supervision

0080-507.20, Concurrent Planning and the Concurrent Planning AssessmentAn assessment document as prescribed in Welfare and Institutions Code Sections 366.21(I), 366.22(b) and 361.5(g). The CPA is initiated by the case carrying Children's Social Worker and completed by the APRD CSW when adoption home study for attached children or matching/recruitment activities for unattached children are initiated. (CPA)

0200-509.40, Terminating an Adoptive Placement

0300-507.05, Adverse Court Orders

Statutes

Family Code (FAM) Section 8704(a) – States, in pertinent part, that DCFS or a licensed adoption agency to which a child has been freed for adoption by either relinquishment or termination of parental rights is responsible for the care of the child and is entitled to the exclusive custody and control of the child until an order of adoption is granted.

 

Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Section 361.5(g)(2(A) and 366.22(b)(2)(A) – State, in part, that a relative caregiver’s preference for legal guardianship over adoption, if it is due to circumstances that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child, shall not constitute the sole basis for recommending removal of the child from the relative caregiver for purposes of adoptive placement.

 

WIC Section 366.26(n) – Sets forth, in pertinent part, that a relative caregiver’s preference for legal guardianship over adoption, if due to circumstances that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child, shall not constitute the sole basis for recommending removal of the child from the relative caregiver for purposes of adoptive placement.

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