(a) Social study (§§ 280, 309, 358, 358.1, 360, 361.5, 16002(b)).
The petitioner must prepare a social study of the child. The social study must include a discussion of all matters relevant to disposition and a recommendation for disposition.
(1) The petitioner must comply with the following when preparing the social study:
(A) If petitioner recommends that the court appoint a legal guardian, petitioner must prepare an assessment under section 360(a), to be included in the social study report prepared for disposition or in a separate document.
(B) If petitioner recommends removal of the child from the home, the social study must include:
(i) A discussion of the reasonable efforts made to prevent or eliminate removal, or if it is known or there is reason to know the child is an Indian child, the active efforts to provide remedial services and rehabilitative programs designed to prevent the breakup of the Indian family, and a recommended plan for reuniting the child with the family, including a plan for visitation;
(ii) A plan for achieving legal permanence for the child if efforts to reunify fail; and
(iii) A statement that each parent has been advised of the option to participate in adoption planning and to voluntarily relinquish the child if an adoption agency is willing to accept the relinquishment, and the parent's response.
(C) The social study must include a discussion of the social worker's efforts to comply with section 309(e) and rule 5.637, including but not limited to:
(i) The number of relatives identified and the relationship of each to the child;
(ii) The number and relationship of those relatives described by item (i) who were located and notified;
(iii) The number and relationship of those relatives described by item (ii) who are interested in ongoing contact with the child;
(iv) The number and relationship of those relatives described by item (ii) who are interested in providing placement for the child; and
(v) If it is known or there is reason to know the child is an Indian child, efforts to locate extended family members as defined in section 224.1, and evidence that all individuals contacted have been provided with information about the option of obtaining approval for placement through the tribe's license or approval procedure.
(D) If siblings are not placed together, the social study must include an explanation of why they have not been placed together in the same home, what efforts are being made to place the siblings together, or why making those efforts would be contrary to the safety and well-being of any of the siblings.
(E) If petitioner alleges that section 361.5(b) applies, the social study must state why reunification services should not be provided.
(F) All other relevant requirements of sections 358 and 358.1.
(2) The petitioner must submit the social study and copies of it to the clerk at least 48 hours before the disposition hearing is set to begin, and the clerk must make the copies available to the parties and attorneys. A continuance within statutory time limits must be granted on the request of a party who has not been furnished a copy of the social study in accordance with this rule.
(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2020; previously amended effective July 1, 1995, January 1, 2000, January 1, 2007, January 1, 2011, and January 1, 2017.)
(b) Evidence considered (§§ 358, 360).
The court must receive in evidence and consider the social study, a guardianship assessment, the report of any CASA volunteer, the case plan, and any relevant evidence offered by petitioner, the child, or the parent or guardian. The court may require production of other relevant evidence on its own motion. In the order of disposition, the court must state that the social study and the study or evaluation by the CASA volunteer, if any, have been read and considered by the court.
(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective July 1, 1995.)
(c) Case plan (§ 16501.1).
Whenever child welfare services are provided, the social worker must prepare a case plan.
(1) A written case plan must be completed and filed with the court by the date of disposition or within 60 calendar days of initial removal or of the in-person response required under section 16501(f) if the child has not been removed from his or her home, whichever occurs first.
(2) For a child of any age, the court must consider the case plan and must find as follows:
(A) The case plan meets the requirements of section 16501.1; or
(B) The case plan does not meet the requirements of section 16501.1, in which case the court must order the agency to comply with the requirements of section 16501.1; and
(C) The social worker solicited and integrated into the case plan the input of the child; the child's family; the child's identified Indian tribe, including consultation with the child's tribe on whether tribal customary adoption as defined in section 366.24 is an appropriate permanent plan for the child if reunification is unsuccessful; and other interested parties; or
(D) The social worker did not solicit and integrate into the case plan the input of the child, the child's family, the child's identified Indian tribe, and other interested parties, in which case the court must order that the social worker solicit and integrate into the case plan the input of the child, the child's family, the child's identified Indian tribe, and other interested parties, unless the court finds that each of these participants was unable, unavailable, or unwilling to participate.
(3) For a child 12 years of age or older and in a permanent placement, the court must consider the case plan and must also find as follows:
(A) The child was given the opportunity to review the case plan, sign it, and receive a copy; or
(B) The child was not given the opportunity to review the case plan, sign it, and receive a copy, in which case the court must order the agency to give the child the opportunity to review the case plan, sign it, and receive a copy.
(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2019; adopted effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 2009, July 1, 2010, and January 1, 2017.)
Notwithstanding any other law, if a minor has been removed from the custody of the parents or Indian custodians or guardians, a continuance may not be granted that would result in the dispositional hearing, held under section 361, being completed more than 60 days, or 30 days in the case of an Indian child, after the hearing at which the minor was ordered removed or detained, unless the court finds that there are exceptional circumstances requiring a continuance. If the court knows or has reason to know that the child is an Indian child, the absence of the opinion of a qualified expert witness must not, in and of itself, support a finding that exceptional circumstances exist.
(Subd (d) adopted effective January 1, 2020.)
Rule 5.690 amended effective January 1, 2020; adopted as rule 1455 effective January 1, 1991; previously amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective July 1, 1995, January 1, 2000, January 1, 2009, July 1, 2010, January 1, 2011, January 1, 2017, and January 1, 2019.