Fast Track to Permanency (FTP)
0080-508.05 | Revision Date: 12/23/2022


This policy guide provides information on Fast Track to Permanency (FTP), including FTP criteria and the procedures for dealing with FTP cases.

Table of Contents

Version Summary

This policy guide was updated from the 7/01/14 version to incorporate changes to WIC Section 361.5 from the passing of AB 788 and AB 670. Per AB 670, existing grounds for denying reunification services do not apply if the court had previously ordered termination of reunification services on siblings or severed parental rights on siblings, when the parent was a minor dependent. AB 788, defines “resisted prior court ordered treatment” as active resistance by refusing to participate or engage in services ordered by court.

Fast Track to Permanency (FTP) Cases

When a child meets the criteria (per WIC Sections 361.5 (b) and (e)) reunification need not be provided and the case may qualify for Fast Track to Permanency (FTP). As with all detentions, CSWs must prioritize finding a relative or nonrelative extended family member’s (NREFM) home to provide a permanency to the child. If there is no relative or NREFM available, the CSW should then seek a Resource Family for the child.

Reunification services are not required in FTP cases. However, the court cannot schedule a WIC 366.26 hearing if one of the parents is being provided reunification services, per WIC 361.5(a). The court can continue to permit the parent to visit the child unless it finds that visitation would be detrimental to the child.

When making a recommendation for no family reunification services, CSWs should consult with County Counsel handling the case.

WIC Sections 361.5 (b) and 361.5(e) Criteria

Reunification services do not need to be provided to the parent or guardian when the court finds any of the following:

  • The parent/guardian has advised the court that they are not interested in Family Maintenance (FM) or Family Reunification (FR) services and, with the assistance of county counsel, executes a written waiver of FM or FR, per WIC 361.5(b)(14).

  • The child has been found to have been willfully abandoned and the court finds that the abandonment constituted a serious danger to the child, per WIC 361.5(b)(9).
  • The child was conceived by means of an offense listed in Penal Code Section 288 or 288.5 or by an act committed outside California that, if committed in California, would constitute an offense listed in 288 or 288.5, per WIC 361.5(b)(8).
  • The whereabouts of the parent/guardian are unknown, per WIC 361.59(b)(1).
  • This finding must be supported by an affidavit or through proof that a diligent search failed to locate the parent/guardian. Posting or publication of notices is not required in that search.
  • The parent/guardian is suffering from a mental disability that renders them incapable of utilizing reunification services, per WIC 361.5(b)(2).
  • This finding must be supported by competent evidence from at least two (2) mental health professionals that even with the provision of services, a parent is unlikely to be capable of adequately caring for the child within the reunification timeframes specified in WIC 361.5(a), per WIC 361.5(c)(1).

  • The parent/guardian has been convicted of a violent felony, per WIC 361.5(b)(12).
  • The parent/guardian has a history of extensive, abusive, chronic abuse of drugs or alcohol and has resisted prior court-ordered treatment during a three (3) year period immediately prior to the petition filing, per WIC 361.5(b)(13).
  • “Resisted” means to actively resist court ordered drug and alcohol treatment by refusing to participate or engage in services ordered by the court, per AB 788. Passive resistance such as relapses is not grounds for denying reunification services.

  • The parent/guardian has (at some point in time) willfully abducted the child, the child’s sibling or the child’s half sibling from their placement, refused to disclose their whereabouts, or refused to return them to appropriate custody, per WIC 361.5(b)(15).
  • The parent/guardian has been required by the court to be registered on a sex offender registry, per WIC 361.5(b)(16).
  • The parent/guardian knowingly participated in or permitted the sexual exploitation of the child. This does not include instances where the parent was coerced into permitting the exploitation of the child, per WIC 361.5(b)(17).

  • The parent/guardian is incarcerated or institutionalized and the court determines that reunification services would be detrimental to the child, per WIC 361.5(e).

  • The child was brought within the jurisdiction of the court because of the conduct of the parent/guardian, per WIC 361.5(b)(5)
  • The parent/guardian caused the death of another child through abuse or neglect, per WIC 361.5(b)(4).
  • The child has been adjudicated dependent as a result of severe sexual abuse or severe physical harm to the child, a sibling, or a half sibling by the parent/guardian, and the court makes a factual finding that it would not benefit the child to pursue reunification services with the offending parent/guardian,per WIC 361.5(b)(6).
  • The child or a sibling of the child has been previously adjudicated a dependent as a result of physical or sexual abuse, and following that adjudication, the child has been removed from the custody of their parent/guardian. The child is subsequently returned to the custody of the parent/guardian, only to be later removed for a second time, due to additional physical or sexual abuse, per WIC 361.5(b)(3).
  • The parent is not receiving reunification services for a child’s sibling or half sibling, pursuant to WIC 361.5(b)(3), (5), or (6), per WIC 361.6(b)(7).

  • The court ordered termination of reunification services for any siblings or half siblings or severed parental rights of the parent over any siblings or half siblings of the child and the court finds that the parent/guardian has not subsequently made a reasonable effort to treat the problems that led to the removal of the sibling or half sibling, per WIC 361.5(b)(10) and (11).

  • This does not apply if the parent was a minor parent, a nonminor dependent (NMD) or a ward of juvenile court pursuant to 601 or 602, when court ordered termination of reunification services or severed parental rights, per AB 670.


Fast Track to Permanency (FTP) Cases

CSW Preparing the Detention Report/Case-Carrying CSW/ISW Responsibilities

For 2PEN cases, the assigned case-carrying CSW/ISW completes Steps 2 through 6 and Steps 9 and 10.

  1. Review the case to confirm that it meets the FTP criteria.
  2. Consult with the SCSW and seek advice from your out-stationed County Counsel.
  3. Inquire with parents about any known adult relatives who may be able to care for the child.
    1. If identified, notify the relatives of the child’s situation.
    2. If none are identified, contact the Matching Coordination Unit (MCU) at (626) 229-3790 to identify a Resource Family.
  4. When the child meets the FTP criteria and is placed with a relative or nonrelative extended family member (NREFM), conduct a full disclosure interview regarding the family’s eligibility to adopt or become a legal guardian.
    1. Complete the Family Background (FB) #1 and #2.
    2. Document efforts to obtain information regarding the family’s eligibility to adopt or become a legal guardian on the FB #3 Cover Sheet.
    3. Instruct the parent/family member/etc., to promptly return the completed FB #3 form in the self-addressed, stamped envelope provided.
    4. Document who provided the information, along with any efforts undertaken to obtain it in the Contact Notebook.
  5. Advise the parents of the option of relinquishing their child for adoption. If the parent expresses interest in this option, provide the parent with the phone number for the Resource Family Recruitment Line: (888) 811-1121.
  6. Complete the Detention Report, documenting the facts that support FTP.
    1. Submit the report and attachments electronically to IDC by the due date given by IDC, using the IDC Petition Filing Tracking System.
    2. For safe surrender cases, refer to Safely Surrendering Babies.
  7. Within five (5) business days of the Detention Hearing, prepare the Concurrent Planning Assessment (CPA), and submit it to the SCSW for review and approval.
    1. If needed, consult the assigned Adoption’s CSW regarding any concurrent planning/permanency issues.
    2. If applicable, file a copy of the completed CPA in the Case Activity Folder and forward the signed original to the Dependency Investigator (DI).
  8. Follow instructions in Investigation, Disposition, and Closure of Emergency Response Referrals to complete the disposition of the referral.

Intake and Detention Control (IDC) CSW Responsibilities

  1. Upon receipt of the Detention Report, contact County Counsel to confirm whether or not the case meets the FTP criteria.
    1. If the case is identified as meeting FTP requirements prepare the petition, entering the following statement on the petition: “The Department of Children and Family Services may seek an order pursuant to WIC 351.5 that no reunification services shall be provided to the family. If granted, this will result in immediate permanency planning and potential termination of parental rights.”
    2. On the addendum, identify FTP as a header, indicating which parent it applies to and indicate FTP is recommended at the end of the addendum.

  2. In cases where the child has been abandoned and there is no parent, relative, or legal guardian that can be located, recommend in the Detention Report that the court authorize media publicity to assist in identifying the child and parent(s).
  3. In the Case Alert Field on the ID Page of CWS/CMS, enter the following statement: “This case has been identified as an FTP case.”
  4. On the “Special Projects” tab, click on the plus sign, select “FTP-Criteria met” and enter the date.
  5. Attach the completed petition and all supporting documents (medical records, policy reports, etc.), and submit the packet to the appropriate clerical support staff for final preparation of e-filing.

Juvenile Court Services (JCS) Court Officer Responsibilities

  1. Call the case-carrying and/or ER CSW to notify them of the results of the Detention Hearing by the end of the day of the Detention Hearing.

SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the completed CPA and any supporting case records to determine the appropriateness of the alternate permanency plan.
    1. If approved, forward the CPA to the Adoption’s SCSW for approval.
    2. If not approved, return to the CSW for corrective action.

Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities

  1. Request and ensure receipt of pertinent documents (e.g. birth/marriage/death certificates) and file those documents in the Additional Services Documentation folder.
  2. Initiate any required medical, educational, psychological and developmental assessments. As needed, consult with the Public Health Nurse (PHN) or Level of Care CSW to determine which assessments are needed and to assist in coordinating and obtaining referrals, services, and the appropriate foster care rate.
    1. Upon receipt, update the Health Notebook and the Education Notebook.
    2. File the assessments in the Psychological/Medical/Dental/School Reports Folder.
  3. File a copy of the completed CPA in the Case Activity Folder and forward the signed original to the Dependency Investigator (DI).
  4. If the recommendation is no-reunification, notify the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) as soon as possible. Whenever possible, provide the notification in person.
  5. Advise and continue to discuss with the parents of the option of relinquishing their child for adoption. If the parent expresses interest in learning about relinquishing their child for adoption, provide the parent with the phone number for the Resource Family Recruitment Line: (888) 811-1121.
  6. Upon receipt of the minute order for no-reunification and the setting of a WIC 366.26 hearing:
    1. Complete the DCFS 4141, Request for Assignment of 26 DI form and the necessary attachments to help prepare the 366.26 report.
    2. Submit the DCFS 4141 to the SCSW for approval.
    3. If approved, forward it to the DI SCSW.
    4. On the ID page of CSW/CMS, open the “Special Projects” tab, click on the plus sign, select “FTP Case (Court Ordered),” and enter the date.
  7. Upon receipt of a reunification order for an FTP case:
    1. If the court’s decision is adverse to DCFS’ recommendation, consult with the SCSW and County Counsel.
    2. Provide concurrent planning services to the family until the court terminates Family Reunification (FR) services, does not order FR services or another plan.
  8. Document all contacts in the Contact Notebook.

Dependency Investigator (DI) CSW/CSW Responsible for the Jurisdictional/Disposition Report Responsibilities

  1. Upon case assignment, consult with the ER and/or case-carrying CSW to obtain any information needed to complete the Jurisdictional/Disposition Report (if applicable).
  2. Consult with the SCSW to determine if the recommendation should be family reunification (FR) or no-reunification.
    1. If there are clearly documented exceptional circumstances which lead the CSW to believe that it is in the child’s best interest to recommend that the court order FR:
      1. Obtain the assigned County Counsel’s direction to complete the Jurisdictional/Dispositional Report.
      2. In the report, address how FR services are likely to prevent re-abuse or continued neglect and/or how the failure to provide FR services will be detrimental to the child.
      3. Follow procedures for completing the Jurisdiction/Disposition Report.
      4. Obtain SCSW and ARA approval to submit the Jurisdictional/Dispositional Report to court.
    2. If the recommendation is that the court orders no-reunification:
      1. Obtain direction from the assigned County Counsel to ensure that the Jurisdictional/Dispositional Report will contain sufficient supporting facts to endorse FTP.
  3. If the recommendation is no-reunification, include the following in the Jurisdiction/Disposition Report:
    1. Documentation of how the case meets FTP criteria.
    2. Rationale for the court to order no-reunification.
    3. Discussion of the benefits to the child of not ordering reunification services and why ordering FR services would not be in the child’s best interest.
    4. Recommendation that a WIC 366.26 hearing be set within 120 days after the dispositional hearing to determine the permanent plan.
    5. The signed photocopy of the CPA, and a thorough due diligence (if applicable).
  4. Notify the case-carrying CSW or ER CSW (if they still have the case) of the recommendation of no-reunification.
  5. Ensure that proper notice is issued.
  6. Conduct a full disclosure interview with the family, including informing them of the permanency plan and timeline for achieving the alternate plan for the child.
    1. Ensure completion of the Family Background (FB) Forms #1 and #2, and the FB addendum sheets.
    2. Follow up on the FB #3 as needed.
      1. If the FB #3 has not been received, request it from the parent or relative.
      2. If necessary, provide the parent or relative a copy of the FB #3 with a self-addressed, stamped envelope with instructions to promptly complete the form and mail it to the office.
      3. Within one (1) day of completion, forward the completed FB#1, #2, and #3 (if received) to the case-carrying CSW, along with any other documentation obtained regarding the child and/or birth parents.
  7. Upon receipt of the minute order ordering no-reunification and the setting of the WIC 366.26 hearing:
    1. Give the child’s birth certificate to the child’s caregiver; or
    2. If the youth is sixteen (16) years or older, give the youth their birth certificate; and
    3. End the DI assignment (if applicable).
  8. Document all contacts in the Contact Notebook.

SCSW Responsibilities

  • Concurrent Planning Assessment (CPA)
  • Detention Report
  • Jurisdictional/Disposition Report

Regional ARA Responsibilities

  • Concurrent Planning Assessment (CPA) with a recommendation other than a legally permanent plan
  • Detention Report
  • Jurisdictional/Dispositional Report for recommendation of Family Reunification (FR) services for cases that meet FTP criteria



Detention Report

Jurisdiction/Disposition Report

Concurrent Planning Assessment (CPA)

Case Planning Family Assessment

LA Kids

Family Background #1

Family Background #2 – DI

Family Background Addendum – Sibling & Relative Addendum

Family Background #3 – Medical and Social Histories

Family Background #3 – Cover Sheet

DCFS 4141, Request for Assignment of 26 DI

Relative Notification Letter (also available in Spanish)


0070-520.10, Safely Surrendered Babies (SSB)

0070-548.10, Investigation, Disposition and Closure of Emergency Response Referrals

0080-502.10, Case Plans

0080-507.20, Concurrent Planning and the Concurrent Planning Assessment (CPA)

0200-507.10, Identifying a Prospective Family for a Child through the Matching CoordinationUnit (MCU)

0200-508.10, Relinquishment Procedures and the Statement of Understanding

0300-301.05, Filing Petitions

0300-303.15, Writing the Initial Hearing Report

0300-306.05, Noticing Process for Juvenile Court Proceedings

0300-306.30, Notice of Publication for a WIC 366.26 Hearing

0300-503.10, Writing the Jurisdictional/Dispositional Hearing Report

0300-507.05, Adverse Court Orders

0300-508.30, Identifying and Notifying the Court of Recurring Efforts to Locate Relatives and Nonrelative Extended Family Members (NREFMs)

0500-509.10, Permission to Interview Children/Youth

1200-500.10, Vital Records (Birth, Death, Marriage, and Divorce)


Penal Code 288 and 288.5 – Details crimes involving sexual assault or lewd acts done to a child with intent or by use of force.

Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Section 309 – States in part that the social worker must initiate efforts in locating relatives within thirty (30) days of the child’s removal from the home, and to give written and oral notification of the proceedings, as appropriate.

WIC Section 361.5(a) – States in part that when the parent has voluntarily relinquished the child and the relinquishment was either a) filed with the State Department of Social Services, or b) upon the establishment of an order of guardianship, or c) when a court adjudicates a petition under Section 329 to modify the court’s jurisdiction from delinquency jurisdiction to dependency jurisdiction and the parents of the ward have had reunification services terminated under the dependency jurisdiction, whenever a child is removed from a parent’s or guardian’s custody, the juvenile court shall order the social worker to provide child welfare services to the child and the child’s mother and statutorily presumed father or guardians.

WIC Section 361.5 (b) – States when reunification services do not need to be provided to the parent or guardian.

WIC Section 361.5 (e)(1) – States in part that if the parent/guardian is incarcerated or institutionalized, the court must order reasonable services unless the court determines that services will be detrimental to the child.

WIC Section 361.5 (f) – States that if the court does not order reunification services, it must determine at the dispositional hearing, if a hearing under Section 366.26 will be needed to determine whether adoption, guardianship, or long-term foster care is the most appropriate plan for the child. If so, the court must conduct that hearing within 120 days after the dispositional hearing. The court cannot schedule a hearing if the other parent is being provided reunification services. The court may continue to permit the parent to visit the child unless it finds that visitation would be detrimental to the child.

WIC Section 361.5 (j) – States that when the court declines to order reunification services, the child’s caregiver must receive the child’s birth certificate. If the child is sixteen (16) or older, the child must receive their birth certificate as well.