(a) Joint assessment requirement (§ 241.1).
Whenever a child appears to come within the description of section 300 and either section 601 or section 602, the responsible child welfare and probation departments must conduct a joint assessment to determine which status will serve the best interest of the child and the protection of society.
(1) The assessment must be completed as soon as possible after the child comes to the attention of either department.
(2) Whenever possible, the determination of status must be made before any petition concerning the child is filed.
(3) The assessment report need not be prepared before the petition is filed but must be provided to the court for the hearing as stated in (e).
(4) If a petition has been filed, on the request of the child, parent, guardian, or counsel, or on the court's own motion, the court may set a hearing for a determination under section 241.1 and order that the joint assessment report be made available as required in (f).
(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2007.)
(b) Proceedings in same county.
If the petition alleging jurisdiction is filed in a county in which the child is already a dependent or ward, the child welfare and probation departments in that county must assess the child under a jointly developed written protocol and prepare a joint assessment report to be filed in that county.
(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2007.)
(c) Proceedings in different counties.
If the petition alleging jurisdiction is filed in one county and the child is already a dependent or ward in another county, a joint assessment must be conducted by the responsible departments of each county. If the departments cannot agree on which will prepare the joint assessment report, then the department in the county where the petition is to be filed must prepare the joint assessment report.
(1) The joint assessment report must contain the recommendations and reasoning of both the child welfare and the probation departments.
(2) The report must be filed at least 5 calendar days before the hearing on the joint assessment in the county where the second petition alleging jurisdictional facts under sections 300, 601, or 602 has been filed.
(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2007.)
(d) Joint assessment report.
The joint assessment report must contain the joint recommendation of the probation and child welfare departments if they agree on the status that will serve the best interest of the child and the protection of society, or the separate recommendation of each department if they do not agree. The report must also include:
(1) A description of the nature of the referral;
(2) The age of the child;
(3) The history of any physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of the child;
(4) The prior record of the child's parents for abuse of this or any other child;
(5) The prior record of the child for out-of-control or delinquent behavior;
(6) The parents' cooperation with the child's school;
(7) The child's functioning at school;
(8) The nature of the child's home environment;
(9) The history of involvement of any agencies or professionals with the child and his or her family;
(10) Any services or community agencies that are available to assist the child and his or her family;
(11) A statement by any counsel currently representing the child; and
(12) A statement by any CASA volunteer currently appointed for the child.
(Subd (d) amended effective January 1, 2007.)
(e) Hearing on joint assessment.
If the child is detained, the hearing on the joint assessment report must occur as soon as possible after or concurrent with the detention hearing, but no later than 15 court days after the order of detention and before the jurisdictional hearing. If the child is not detained, the hearing on the joint assessment must occur before the jurisdictional hearing and within 30 days of the date of the petition. The juvenile court must conduct the hearing and determine which type of jurisdiction over the child best meets the child's unique circumstances.
(Subd (e) amended effective January 1, 2007.)
(f) Notice and participation.
At least 5 calendar days before the hearing, notice of the hearing and copies of the joint assessment report must be provided to the child, the child's parent or guardian, all attorneys of record, any CASA volunteer, and any other juvenile court having jurisdiction over the child. The notice must be directed to the judicial officer or department that will conduct the hearing.
(Subd (f) amended effective January 1, 2007.)
(g) Conduct of hearing.
All parties and their attorneys must have an opportunity to be heard at the hearing. The court must make a determination regarding the appropriate status of the child and state its reasons on the record or in a written order.
(h) Notice of decision after hearing.
Within 5 calendar days after the hearing, the clerk of the juvenile court must transmit the court's findings and orders to any other juvenile court with current jurisdiction over the child.
(i) Local protocols.
On or before January 1, 2004, the probation and child welfare departments of each county must adopt a written protocol for the preparation of joint assessment reports, including procedures for resolution of disagreements between the probation and child welfare departments, and submit a copy to the Judicial Council.
Rule 5.512 amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007; adopted as rule 1403.5 effective January 1, 2003.