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Search Warrant Template for California Procedural Guide 0070 570 10 OBTAINING WARRANTS AND

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									                                  Procedural Guide

                                     0070-570.10

           OBTAINING WARRANTS AND/OR REMOVAL ORDERS


Date Issued:      06/22/10

    New Policy Release

    Revision of Existing Procedural Guide 0070-570.10, Search Warrant dated
    12/21/09.

Revision Made:        NOTE: Current revisions are highlighted.

    This policy has been updated to reflect current practice to speed up the warrant
    process. When removing a child from their parents’ custody, CSWs no longer
    utilize the detention search warrants or the protective custody warrants. CSWs are
    now to rely on either removal orders or detention orders pursuant to WIC 319.
    Also, the name of the policy has been changed to accurately reflect this practice.

Cancels: None.



                               DEPARTMENTAL VALUES

The Department continues to focus on the three priority outcomes (safety, timely
permanency and reducing recidivism). This procedural guide establishes a guideline on
how to obtain warrants to ensure the safety of children.


                             WHAT CASES ARE AFFECTED

This Procedural Guide is applicable to all new and existing referrals and cases.


                                OPERATIONAL IMPACT

This policy will address how to investigate child abuse referrals and protect children
while ensuring that state and federal legal requirements are satisfied.




0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                                  Page 1 of 21
                                 POLICY STATEMENT

Social workers' investigations of child abuse and the removal of children at risk of abuse
and neglect are subject to the warrant requirement of the U.S. Constitution. Warrants
protect individual family member's Fourth Amendment right to be free from
unreasonable searches and seizures, as well as parents' and children's Fourteenth
Amendment right to live together without government interference, and thus not to be
separated by the government without due process of law.

As a result, a Children's Social Worker (CSW) must obtain a search warrant to enter
private residences to conduct child abuse or neglect investigations unless he or she
has: 1) the consent of a person who has apparent authority over the premises, or 2)
reliable evidence that a child present in the home is at immediate risk of physical harm.

Moreover, a CSW must obtain a court order to detain a child from the custody of his or
her parent or guardian unless: 1) the CSW determines that a child is described by
Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) 300(b) or (g); and 2) is in immediate danger of
suffering serious physical injury (per WIC 306) and there is no less intrusive means of
protecting the child.

Thus, warrant implications for a CSW can be broken down into two basic questions: 1)
How does a CSW enter a home to investigate allegations of abuse or neglect?; and 2)
How does a CSW detain a child who is at risk of harm?

I.   HOW DOES A CSW ENTER A PRIVATE HOME TO INVESTIGATE
     ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE OR NEGLECT?

To enter a home to investigate allegations of abuse or neglect, a CSW must have one
of the following:

     A. Consent: A CSW may enter a home and conduct a search of some or all of the
        premises if the CSW has valid consent; or

     B. Exigent Circumstances: A CSW may enter a home without consent or a warrant
        if an emergency situation exists which justifies an exception to the warrant
        requirement of the U.S. Constitution; or

     C. A Court Order: If a CSW does not have consent, and exigent circumstances do
        not exist, a CSW must obtain a court order called an investigative search warrant
        to enter the home and conduct a search of the premises.

     A.   Consent

     A CSW may enter the home to conduct an investigation if the CSW has obtained
     consent from a person with apparent authority to provide it. Consent means




0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                                 Page 2 of 21
   permission. In most cases, a person who can consent to enter a home must live or
   appear to reside at the residence.

   The CSW should obtain consent after stating the request to enter the home and
   explaining the purpose of the entry. Example: “I am a Social Worker. I am
   investigating a report of suspected child abuse. May I come in to discuss this matter
   with you?” The CSW should document in the Contact Notebook how the consent
   was given (words and conduct) and whether any other people were present at the
   time.

   CSWs must never coerce, threaten or force consent to enter a home. The person
   with authority to consent must do so freely and voluntarily.

   The occupant controls the scope of the consent, and is free to limit or withdraw
   consent at any time. If consent is restricted to certain areas of the property (i.e. the
   CSW is not allowed access to certain rooms), or to a specific type of search (i.e. the
   parent does not want to allow the CSW to talk to the child or examine the unclothed
   body of a child, etc.), the CSW must limit the search as requested. If consent is
   completely withdrawn, the CSW must leave the residence immediately, unless
   exigent circumstances exist to support the continued search.

   Who can give consent?
   Parents:
   If both parents reside in the home, one parent can give consent even if the other
   parent is absent. A spouse may consent to entry even if the other spouse objects to
   the entry.
   Co-occupants:
   If the residence is shared with an adult co-occupant, the co-occupant may consent
   to entry and search of "common areas," such as a dining area or kitchen, but not
   private areas that belong to others (bedrooms, private bathrooms, etc.).
   Babysitter:
   A babysitter or caregiver who provides care for the child in the family home may
   authorize entry into common areas and the child’s room. The babysitter or caregiver
   does not need to be an adult.
   Minors:
   Generally, a minor cannot consent to entry and search of his or her parents’ home.
   A CSW may, however, reasonably rely on consent from a teenager. Moreover,
   depending on the circumstances, a young child left home alone may rise to the level
   of exigent circumstances. This situation may also raise other issues of neglect that
   the CSW will need to investigate.




0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                                  Page 3 of 21
   B.    Exigent Circumstances

   A CSW may enter a home to investigate without consent or a warrant where exigent
   circumstances are present. Exigent circumstances exist where there is reasonable
   cause to believe that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury (which
   would include sexual abuse). Imminent danger means immediate risk. To show
   immediate risk there must be reasonable cause to believe that the child is likely to
   experience serious bodily harm in the time that would be required to obtain and have
   law enforcement execute the warrant.

   The seriousness of the potential harm to the child does not create exigent
   circumstances if the risk of harm is not immediate. Simply stated, if there is time to
   get a warrant before the child will likely suffer serious physical harm, the risk of the
   harm is not imminent. For example, a child who is at risk of very serious sexual
   abuse by a parent where the offending parent is out of town, incarcerated or
   otherwise unlikely to harm the child in the time it would take to get a warrant, is not
   at risk of imminent harm and a court order should be sought. Likewise, if the CSW
   becomes aware of the allegation in the morning while the parent is at work,
   depending on the specific facts of the case, the CSW may have time to get a
   warrant.

   To determine whether exigency exists, the CSW should evaluate all of the relevant
   factors. A CSW should also be mindful of any delay between report and response
   (or response and detention). Any delay in responding to the referral or in detaining a
   child believed to be at immediate risk of harm may negate a finding that exigent
   circumstances existed unless additional information discovered at the scene
   independently establishes exigent circumstances. An imminent risk of harm requires
   an immediate response.

   C.    Search Warrant

   A CSW must obtain a search warrant to enter private residences to conduct child
   abuse or neglect investigations unless he or she has:

        1. consent from a person with apparent authority over the premises, or

        2. reliable evidence that a child present in the home is at immediate risk of
           serious physical harm which is called exigent circumstances.

   A search warrant is an order from a court allowing a CSW (accompanied by law
   enforcement) to enter a home over the objection of the person residing in the home
   to conduct a child abuse investigation. The search warrant must be served by law
   enforcement and can only be used one time. The search warrant does not permit
   the detention of a child without exigent circumstances. A social worker may detain a
   child following the execution of search warrant only if the circumstances at the scene
   are exigent, as defined in WIC Section 306. (WIC 306 states that a child may be



0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                                   Page 4 of 21
   detained without a warrant if the child is either, in immediate risk of physical or
   sexual abuse, in immediate need for medical care for a serious medical condition, or
   the child's physical environment poses and immediate threat to the child's health or
   safety.)

   To obtain a search warrant, a CSW must establish that probable cause exists to
   justify the search. Probable cause is defined as "reasonable cause" or "a
   reasonable ground for belief in certain alleged facts." The CSW must establish a fair
   probability (more than a hunch, but less than absolute certainty) that the subject
   child will be at the location at the time the warrant is served, and has suffered from,
   or is at risk of suffering from, abuse or neglect, or that evidence of such abuse is
   likely to be found at the subject location. That is, a CSW must have reasonably
   trustworthy information within his or her personal knowledge which could cause a
   person of reasonable caution to believe that a child who is at the subject location
   has suffered from, or is at risk of suffering from, abuse or neglect or that evidence of
   such abuse is likely to be found at the subject location.

II. HOW DOES A CSW DETAIN A CHILD WHO IS AT RISK OF HARM?

   Before taking a child into custody, the CSW must consider whether the child can
   remain safely in his or her residence. The consideration of whether the child can
   remain safely at home shall include, but not be limited to, the following factors:

   1. Whether there are any reasonable services available to the CSW which, if
      provided to the minor's parent, guardian, caretaker, or to the minor, would
      eliminate the need to remove the child from the custody of his or her parent,
      guardian, or caretaker.

   2.    Whether a referral to public assistance would eliminate the need to take
         temporary custody of the child. If those services are available, they should be
         utilized.

   3.    Whether a non-offending caregiver can provide for and protect the child from
         abuse and neglect or where the alleged perpetrator voluntarily agrees to
         withdraw from the residence, withdraws from the residence, and is likely to
         remain withdrawn from the residence. Caution: If the perpetrator is a parent, it
         might be considered a detention if the parent no longer agrees to stay out of the
         residence or the CSW seeks a long term removal without a court order.

To detain a child at risk of abuse or neglect, a CSW must have one of the following:

    A. Consent: A parent/guardian may consent to the removal of his or her child.

    B. Exigent Circumstances: A CSW may detain a child without a court order if there
       are exigent circumstances to support the detention. Exigent circumstances
       mean that there is an immediate risk of physical or sexual harm to the child, and



0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                                  Page 5 of 21
        the child's safety cannot be secured through less intrusive means (i.e. the
        provision of voluntary services, or if the alleged perpetrator voluntarily agrees to
        withdraw from the residence).

    C. Court Order: There are two types of court orders which will support the detention
       of a child at risk of abuse or neglect. One is a removal order and the other is a
       detention order pursuant to WIC 319.

   A.    Consent

   In some instances, a parent/guardian may agree to a temporary situation in which he
   or she voluntarily agrees to give up custody of his or her child for a short period of
   time. For instance, a Voluntary Family Reunification Plan (VFR) may constitute the
   removal of a child if the plan requires that a parent/guardian relinquish custody or
   control of his or her child for any period of time. Voluntary consent to this type of
   arrangement should be well documented in the case notes. (See Procedural Guide
   0100-510.21, Voluntary Placements).

   B.    Exigent Circumstances

   A CSW may only detain without a court order if the information he or she possesses
   at the time of the detention provides reasonable cause to believe that the child is in
   imminent danger of serious bodily injury and the scope of the intrusion is reasonably
   necessary to avert the injury. This includes reasonable cause to believe that the
   child has an immediate need for medical care for a serious medical condition or is in
   immediate danger of physical or sexual abuse or the physical environment poses an
   immediate threat to the child's health or safety.

   When determining whether to detain without a court order, a high risk of abuse does
   not always equate to immediate risk, if that high risk of harm is not imminent. As
   stated above, to establish immediate risk there must be reasonable cause to believe
   that the child is likely to experience serious bodily harm in the time it would take
   obtain and execute the court order for removal.

   The seriousness of the potential harm to the child does not create exigent
   circumstances if the risk of harm is not immediate. Simply stated, if there is time to
   get a court order before the child will likely suffer serious physical harm, the risk of
   the harm is not imminent. For example, a child who is at risk of very serious sexual
   abuse by a parent where the offending parent is out of town, incarcerated or
   otherwise unlikely to harm the child in the time it would take to get a court order, is
   not at risk of imminent harm and a court order should be sought. Likewise, if the
   CSW becomes aware of the allegation in the morning while the parent is at work,
   depending on the specific facts of the case, the CSW may have time during the
   course of the day to get and execute (detain) the court order for removal before the
   parent returns from work.




0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                                    Page 6 of 21
   To determine whether exigency exists, the CSW should evaluate all of the relevant
   factors. For example, the CSW should look at the nature of the allegations; the risk
   of injury; and the age of child. These are just a few factors to consider. A
   determination of exigent circumstances is fact specific and should be made based
   on the entirety of the circumstances.


             NOTE:    Any child delivered to a CSW by law enforcement pursuant to WIC
                      309, or any other means, must be assessed by the CSW to
                      determine whether continued detention of the child is a matter of
                      "immediate and urgent necessity" to protect the child, and whether
                      there are no reasonable means by which the child can be protected
                      in his or her home or the home of a responsible relative, or whether
                      there is substantial evidence that a parent, guardian, or custodian
                      of the child is likely to flee the jurisdiction of the court, or the child
                      has no parent, guardian, or responsible relative; or the child's
                      parent, guardian, or responsible relative is not willing to provide
                      care for the child. The CSW is responsible for conducting any
                      necessary investigation to make this assessment. ARA approval is
                      required if the child is returned to the parent. (See Procedural
                      Guide 0070-547.13, Conducting a Concurrent Investigation With
                      Law Enforcement).


   IMPORTANT! Avoid Delay: If it is determined that a child is at an immediate risk
   of serious bodily harm, the child should be detained immediately. A delay may
   negate a finding that exigent circumstances existed, should the removal be
   challenged later. A CSW should not leave and come back at a later date if the CSW
   believes that exigent circumstances exist. If the CSW has questions, he or she
   should consult with the SCSW from the location via cell phone.

   C.    Court Order

   If the risk of harm is high but not immediate, a court order will be required before the
   CSW may detain the child. There are two different types of orders which would
   allow a CSW to detain a child without consent or exigent circumstances.

        1.   A removal order; or
        2.   A detention order pursuant to WIC 319

   Probable Cause:

   As with an investigative search warrant, a removal order must be supported by
   probable cause. Thus, a CSW must possess reasonably trustworthy information
   which would establish a fair probability (more than a hunch, but less than absolute
   certainty) that the subject child comes within the definition of WIC 300, and that


0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                                      Page 7 of 21
   continued residence in the parent/guardian’s home is contrary to the child's welfare,
   and any of the following circumstances exist:
            1.    There are no reasonable means by which the child's physical or
                  emotional health may be protected without removing the child from the
                  parent's or guardian's physical custody and:
                  (a)   there is a substantial danger to the physical health or safety of the
                        child; or

                  (b)   the child is suffering severe emotional damage.
            2.    There is substantial evidence that a parent, guardian, or custodian of the
                  child is likely to flee the jurisdiction of the court.
            3.    The child has left a placement in which he or she was placed by the
                  juvenile court.
            4.    The child indicates an unwillingness to return home, if the child has been
                  physically or sexually abused by a person residing in the home or by a
                  person with access to the home.
            5. Circumstances which put the child at high risk of abuse or neglect but are
               not considered immediate because there is time to get a removal order
               (such as dirty homes with no immediate health hazards, drug abuse
               cases where the parent or person having custody of the child is not under
               the influence at the time, physical or sexual abuse cases where the
               perpetrator will not have access to the child before a CSW can obtain a
               court order for removal, medical care for a non-serious medical condition,
               or instances of emotional abuse).

            6.    Circumstances described under WIC 306 exist which put the child at high
                  risk of abuse or neglect but temporary measures can be put in place
                  which will keep the child safe for enough time to get a court order for
                  removal.

       1.        Removal Order

       This type of court order is used to gain entry to a home with the specific intent to
       detain a child suspected to be the victim of abuse or neglect from his or her
       parent/guardian. The CSW's declaration (statement of cause) in support of
       removal order must accompany the removal order request. The report should
       contain specific facts that would support the temporary detention of the child from
       a specific location.

       A removal order can be served by a CSW without the assistance of law
       enforcement and can be used for multiple attempts to detain the child. A CSW
       should contact law enforcement for assistance if they have safety concerns. The


0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                                     Page 8 of 21
        removal order is only effective for 10 days from the date of the original
        signature of a bench officer.

        2.   Detention Order Pursuant to WIC 319

        If there is enough information to file a WIC 300 but the CSW believes the child
        can safely remain in his or her current situation until the initial hearing on the
        petition, the CSW can file a non-detained WIC 300 petition and ask the court to
        detain the child pursuant to WIC 319 at the initial hearing. The WIC 300 petition
        and the report are filed through normal channels at IDC. Please refer to
        Procedural Guide 0300-301.06, Non-Detained Petitions.

        Some examples of when this option may be used include, but are not limited to
        situations where an older child refuses to leave with a CSW; the child is an older
        teenager who was not the actual victim, drug abuse cases where the children are
        older teens and dirty homes that are not health and safety hazards.

        In the event the child is not brought to the detention hearing and cannot be
        detained, the court will issue a protective custody warrant for the child to be
        found and detained.

III. Order for Investigative Medical Examinations

   California law authorizes a medical examination of any child who has been placed
   into protective custody under the following circumstances:

   1.    The child has been detained due to allegations of physical or sexual abuse; and
   2.    Prior to the examination the CSW consulted with the medical provider trained in
         child abuse; and
   3.    The decision to perform the examination was determined by the medical
         provider; and
   4.    The examination occurred within 72 hours of the detention; or
   5.    A child age 12 or order consents to the examination; if sufficiently mature (see
         Family Code Section 6920).
   However, federal appellate court cases prohibit investigative/evidentiary medical
   examinations unless one or more of the following conditions exist:
   1. Parental consent; or
   2. A court order; or
   3. Exigent circumstances which demonstration either 1) a medical emergency
      (urgent problem requiring immediate medical attention); or 2) the examination is
      necessary to preserve evidence (e.g. sexual assault occurring within the previous
      72 hours).




0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                                    Page 9 of 21
Accordingly, requests for investigative/evidentiary medical examinations where exigent
circumstances do not exist (as described above), should be made at a court hearing or
in a warrant application.

Further, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has recently held that government officials
cannot exclude parents entirely from the location of their child’s physical examination
absent parental consent, some legitimate basis for exclusion, or an emergency requiring
immediate medical attention. Thus, a family’s right to be with each other during
potentially traumatic medical examinations may be limited in certain circumstances to
presence nearby the examinations (in the waiting room or another nearby area) only if
there is some “valid reason” to exclude the family members from the exam room during
a medical procedure. Thus, if a CSW wishes to exclude a parent or guardian from a
medical examination – even if that medical examination was ordered by a court – the
CSW should contact their SCSW for guidance. The SCSW will consult with the Warrant
Liaison or County Counsel, as necessary.


  NOTE: If authorities (CSW, law enforcement, etc.) have reasonable evidence that a
        parent is abusive, cannot provide love and support to the child, or will in some
        significant way interfere with the examination, the parent may be directed to a
        nearby waiting room. A parent should be banned from the facility in situations
        where the parent would be highly disruptive.



IV. Detention of Children in Specific Locations

1.    School

     The same warrant requirement applies to interviews at school as it does in the
     home. Therefore, before conducting interviews at school when investigating
     allegations of child abuse, exigent circumstances, parental consent or a court order
     for a school interview is required. Absent the three, a CSW may conduct a brief
     interview of 30 minutes or less (without consent or a court order) only if law
     enforcement is not present and/or actively investigating the matter. For more
     details, please refer to Procedural Guide 0070-506.11, Interviewing the Alleged
     Victim at School for the Purpose of Investigating a Child Abuse Referral.


      NOTE: Permission from school officials to conduct an interview does
            not constitute valid consent to interview a child.


     If a CSW determines that the child should be taken into temporary custody, even if
     the child is at school or another public place, a court order for removal is
     presumptively required. Removing a child from any location (including a school or


0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                                Page 10 of 21
     other public location) constitutes a “removal,” therefore, unless there are exigent
     circumstances to support a detention without court authorization, the CSW must
     obtain a removal order prior to the removal. The decision as to whether exigent
     circumstances support the detention of a child without court authorization must be
     made based on the facts available to the CSW at the time the decision must be
     made. Critically, the CSW should determine whether the child is likely to be
     seriously injured in the time it would take to obtain and execute the removal order.
     For instance, if an interview with a child occurs close to the end of the school day,
     and during the course of the interview, the CSW receives credible information that
     the child is a victim of abuse or neglect, and, based on the totality of the
     circumstances, the CSW has reasonable cause to believe that the child will be at
     risk of serious injury (such as physical or sexual abuse) in the time it would take to
     get a warrant, a removal without a court order would be appropriate.

2.    Hospital Holds

     Placing a child on a “hospital hold” is the same as taking the child into temporary
     custody. Therefore, before a child is placed on a hospital hold, a CSW should
     undertake an analysis as to whether exigent circumstances exist pursuant to WIC
     306 to support the removal of the child without a court order. If no exigent
     circumstances exist to support the placement of a hold, the CSW will have to
     evaluate which court order (removal order or WIC 319 detention order) is most
     appropriate. (See Procedural Guide 0300-303.06, Hospital Holds).


     NOTE: The mere fact that the mother uses illegal drugs or that the child had a
           positive toxicology screen does not, in it self, create an imminent danger.


3.    Warrants in Existing Dependency Cases:

     Constitutional protections apply to cases in which the Juvenile Court has already
     assumed jurisdiction of a child who has been placed with his or her parent. Thus, the
     legal requirements outlined in this procedural guide will also apply to cases in which
     a CSW investigates a referral regarding a dependent minor placed with a parent or
     guardian or decides to remove a child from his or her parent pursuant to WIC 342
     (subsequent petition) or 387 (supplemental petition). If a CSW would like to remove
     a child from the parent’s home and files a WIC 342 or 387 petition, absent consent
     or exigent circumstances, removal order will be required.




0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                                   Page 11 of 21
                                        Procedures

A. WHEN: SEEKING AN INVESTIGATIVE SEARCH WARRANT

If, while investigating a child abuse referral, the CSW could not obtain consent to enter
the home, there were no exigent circumstances that would permit an emergency entry,
and none of the alternatives were viable, (such as interviewing the child outside of the
home) the CSW must obtain an investigative search warrant to enter the home.

CSW Responsibilities

1. First consult with the SCSW. If a warrant is deemed appropriate, contact the
   Warrant Liaison.

2. After your assessment, consult with the Warrant Liaison at (323) 881-1303 in
   determining whether a warrant is necessary, what kind of warrant is required and if
   the warrant will contain any special requests, such as night service (a warrant may
   not be served between 10pm and 7am unless specifically requested in the warrant
   application and approved by the judge) or an investigative medical examination. If
   there’s any disagreement regarding the way to proceed, go up the chain of
   command to the RA(s) if necessary, for final resolution. Document the consultation
   for your records only. Consultations with the Warrant Liaison or County Counsels
   should not be on the Detention report.


   NOTE: If CSWs need the services of the Warrant Liaison after 5pm, please call
         Command Post at (213)639-4500. Ask to speak to the Duty Supervisor
         who will direct you to the after hours Warrant Liaison and County Counsel.
         All procedures and responsibilities for an investigative search warrant and
         removal order remain the same.


3. If directed by the Warrant Liaison (or the ARA), the CSW should prepare a Warrant
   Package, used to create the warrant application. The package consists of the
   following documents:

           i)      Warrant Fact Sheet (DCFS 4381): This is a description of the CSW’s
                   education and experience, as well as a summary of the case history.
           ii)     CWS/CMS Case Notes : The case notes should be complete/updated,
                   in that the notes will be used to create the CSW’s declaration, which is
                   also referred to as the Statement of Cause .
           iii)    Statement of Cause (DCFS 4383): This is a statement under penalty
                   of perjury which contains all of the information the CSW has collected
                   in support of the warrant request. The Statement of Cause will contain
                   the same type of information that is generally included in a detention
                   report. In particular, the Statement of Cause should include


0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                                 Page 12 of 21
                   information from the Warrant Fact Sheet and CWS/CMS notes Once
                   completed, this will be attached to the Warrant Application and
                   submitted to the court.
           iv)     Warrant Application Form: This is the warrant application template
                   which when completed, is submitted with the Statement of Cause to
                   the court. There is a separate form for each type of warrant. (DCFS
                   4382 or DCFS 4384-A)


           NOTE:      Only the DCFS 4383, Statement of Cause and Warrant Application
                      Form will be submitted to the court.


4. The Statement of Cause should include sufficient information to establish why the
   requested warrant is necessary. Since this document is signed under penalty of
   perjury, the CSW should take great care to make the document complete and
   accurate and include the following information:

         a) Name, job title, and educational experience of the CSW
         b) Number of years the CSW has worked with the DCFS, and if applicable
             experiences with other Child Protection Agencies.
         c) Approximate Number of child abuse or neglect referrals investigated by the
            CSW
         d) Correct address of the house to be searched, and a physical description
            (single family residence, condo, apartment, duplex, upstairs unit, back
            house, etc.)
         e) Names of the parents and children alleged to be in the home to be
            searched, and the ages and physical description of the children if known.
         f) A copy of the Screener Narrative.
         g) Detailed account of the attempted investigation and what information, if any,
            the CSW believes will be obtained through the requested warrant.
         h) Statement of the reasons why the CSW believes the child may have
            suffered abuse or neglect or is at substantial risk of suffering physical or
            emotional injury. The CSW should specify the source of all the information
            and the reason the CSW believes the information is reliable.
5. After the Warrant Package is completed, submit the package to the Warrant Liaison.
   Be available to conduct a conference call with the on-call County Counsel and make
   any changes if necessary.

6. Bring the completed Statement of Cause and Warrant Application to Juvenile Court
   at 201 Centre Plaza Dr. Monterey Park, CA 91754. Go to the County Counsel’s
   office. A County Counsel attorney will assist in presenting the request to the judge.
   Be prepared to meet with the judge and respond to any questions the judge may
   have.




0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                                Page 13 of 21
7. If the judge refuses to sign the warrant, document the judge’ refusal and consult with
   County Counsel and the SCSW for further instructions concerning the filing of an
   accelerated non-detained petition with a request for a protective custody warrant, a
   non-detained petition, or other course of action.

SCSW Responsibilities

1. Review the Warrant Package. Ensure all material required are included and the
   information is accurate.

Warrant Liaison Responsibilities

1.   Consult with CSW regarding the warrant request. Advise the CSW of any
     additional information required to obtain the warrant. If appropriate, advise the
     CSW to send the Warrant Package.

2. Review the Warrant Package. Send the Statement of Cause and Warrant
   Application to the on-call County Counsel via fax or email for review.

B. WHEN: SERVING THE INVESTIGATIVE SEARCH WARRANT

CSW Responsibilities

1. If the judge authorizes the warrant, the CSW should make at least six copies of the
   signed warrant. One copy should be retained in the DCFS file and one should be
   provided to County Counsel.

2. A soon as the CSW learns that the warrant application has been granted, the CSW
   should contact the watch commander of the law enforcement agency responsible for
   serving the warrant and notify the commander that a search warrant has been
   obtained. Proceed to the law enforcement agency and provide the original and four
   copies of the search warrant to the watch commander. The warrant will be assigned
   to a field sergeant or other designated individual who will develop a plan and
   coordinate a team to serve the warrant.

3. The CSW should follow directions given by law enforcement regarding the plan for
   serving the warrant. Law enforcement is responsible for executing the search
   warrant. If the CSW has any concerns regarding the service of the warrant, the
   CSW should contact the SCSW.

4. Law enforcement has up to 10 day to serve a warrant. After 10 days, the warrant
   becomes void. Only one attempt can be made with the search warrant. Any
   additional attempts must be supported by a new warrant. Contact the Warrant
   Liaison if the attempt was unsuccessful. Do as instructed to get a new warrant.




0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                                 Page 14 of 21
5. Once inside the home, conduct your investigation in accordance with the court’s
   order. Unless you have exigent circumstances, you may not detain without a
   removal order.

Warrant Liaison Responsibilities

1. If the attempt to serve the warrant was unsuccessful, advise the CSW on obtaining
   a new warrant.


C. WHEN:          AFTER THE INVESTIGATIVE SEARCH WARRANT
                  HAS BEEN SERVED

CSW Responsibilities

1. On the next business day after a search warrant has been served, the CSW must
   prepare a declaration under penalty of perjury called a “Return to Warrant”. The
   “Return to Warrant” must be filed with the judge within 10 days of the investigative
   search warrant being served. This declaration should include a written account of
   what the warrant produced, such as contacts with specific children and adults,
   whether any items were seized, whether any children were taken into custody, or if
   anyone was arrested.

2. Submit the Return to Warrant declaration to the Warrant Liaison.

3. After approval from the Warrant Liaison and the County Counsel, make any
   changes and sign and send it to County Counsel for filing with the court.

4. The CSW should make a copy of the signed Return to Warrant declaration for their
   records and provide a second copy to the County Counsel for their records.

Warrant Liaison Responsibilities

1. Review the Return to Warrant. Advise on any changes if needed.

2. Send to on-call County Counsel for review.

D. WHEN:          SEEKING A REMOVAL ORDER

After the CSW has conducted their investigation and concluded that detention is
necessary to ensure the safety of the child, the CSW may only detain without a court
approval if there is imminent risk of harm to the child Otherwise, a removal order will be
needed to detain the child.




0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                                 Page 15 of 21
CSW Responsibilities

1. Complete your assessment of the situation. If you’ve determined that detention is
   necessary to ensure the safety of the child and you do not have consent or exigent
   circumstances to remove the child, consult with the SCSW. If a removal order is
   deemed appropriate, contact the Warrant Liaison.

2. Consult with the Warrant Liaison at (323)881-1303 in determining whether a removal
   order is appropriate and if the order will contain any special requests such as night
   service. If there’s any disagreement regarding the way to proceed, go up the chain
   of command to the RA(s) if necessary for final resolution.

3. A document from the CSW will be needed to support the removal request. The
   document may be in the form of a Statement of Cause (see Section A-4 for an
   explanation). For preparation of a statement of cause, please see Section A-4.
   Please include any law enforcement reports, medical reports and any interviews with
   parties and collaterals.

4. You are not required to come to court to testify before the judge when requesting a
   removal order so your statement of cause must be strong and contain all of the
   facts.

5. The County Counsel or Warrant Liaison will complete the Request for Removal
   Order (DCFS 4385-B). Upon receipt of the completed request, sign it and fax it back
   immediately with the completed report to IDC at (323)881-0148.

SCSW Responsibilities:

1. Review the Statement of Cause and ensure the report is complete and accurate.

Warrant Liaison Responsibilities:

1. Consult with the CSW regarding the removal order. If appropriate, advise the CSW
   on any necessary changes to the Statement of Cause.


E. WHEN:          AFTER THE COURT SIGNS THE REMOVAL ORDER

CSW Responsibilities

1. Upon being notified that the removal order has been signed, pick up the removal
   order from court or IDC as the original is required to be served.

2. Serve the removal order. If there is a safety concern, contact law enforcement for
   assistance.




0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                              Page 16 of 21
NOTE: The removal order must be served within 10 days of signing or it will expire.


3. You may make several attempts with the same removal order, until the child is
   located.

4. If the child is not removed within the 10 day period, another removal order must be
   obtained from the court and the court that issued the removal order must be notified
   of the fact that the child was not removed (and state the reasons why – family/child
   could not be located, etc.)

5. If the CSW determines that the child named in the removal order should not be
   detained, the CSW must inform the court that issued the removal order. Contact the
   Warrant Liaison at IDC to receive instructions on informing the court.

Warrant Liaison Responsibilities

1. Contact the CSW to inform them that the removal order has been signed and where
   they can pick up the order.


F. WHEN:          AFTER EXECUTING THE REMOVAL ORDER AND THE CHILD(REN)
                  ARE DETAINED

CSW Responsibilities

1. Within two hours of detaining a child with a removal order, call IDC and report the
   detention. Advise IDC that you have executed the Removal Order.

2. Create the Detention report and include the information on your Report in Support of
   Removal Order.

3. In the Reason for Hearing section, the first sentence should read: A removal order
   was authorized on ____ by Judge/Commissioner _______. On (date) DCFS located
   and detained the child/ren (list all children were detained as a result of the removal
   order.)

4. Include any new information/facts in the Detention. Include the date all    parties
   were noticed for the Detention Hearing.

5. Attach the signed removal order to the Detention report. The removal orders are
   child specific so attach one per child.

6. Provide either oral or written notice to all the parties of the detention hearing,
   including tribes. The detention hearing will take place three business days from the


0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                               Page 17 of 21
     date you detained the child. A Notification Letter is only necessary if oral notice was
     not provided. See Procedural Guide 0300-306.05, Notice of Hearing for Juvenile
     Court Proceedings.

7. No later than 10 a.m. on the judicial day prior to the detention hearing, submit the
   Detention report by fax to IDC at (323) 881-0194, or 0195, or 0196.


SCSW Responsibilities:

1. Review the Detention report and ensure the report is complete and accurate and
   sign.


                                   APPROVAL LEVELS

  Section             Level                             Approval
A.-D             Warrant Liaison     Warrant Package and Return to Warrant
                 and County
                 Counsel
F.               SCSW                Detention Report


                          OVERVIEW OF STATUTES/REGULATIONS

Calabretta v. Floyd, (9th Cir, 1999) 189 F.3d 808
Wallis v. Spencer, (9th Cir. 2000) 202 F.3d 1126
Mabe v. San Bernardino County (9th Cir. 2001) 237 F.3d 1101
Rogers v. County of San Joaquin (9th Cir,. 2007) 487 F.3d 1288
In re Dawn O. (1976) 58 Cal.App.3d 160, 163
Greene v. Camreta, (9th Cir.) 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 26891

Family Code Section 6920

Subject to the limitations provided in this chapter, notwithstanding any other provision of
law, a minor may consent to the matters provided in this chapter, and the consent of the
minor's parent or guardian is not necessary.

Welfare and Institutions Code Section 306

     (a) Any social worker in a county welfare department, or an Indian tribe that has
          entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1 while acting within the
          scope of his or her regular duties under the direction of the juvenile court and
          pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 272, may do all of the following:




0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                                  Page 18 of 21
      (1) Receive and maintain, pending investigation, temporary custody of a minor who
           is described in Section 300, and who has been delivered by a peace officer.
      (2) Take into and maintain temporary custody of, without a warrant, a minor who
           has been declared a dependent child of the juvenile court under Section 300 or
           who the social worker has reasonable cause to believe is a person described
           in subdivision (b) or (g) of Section 300, and the social worker has reasonable
           cause to believe that the minor has an immediate need for medical care or is in
           immediate danger of physical or sexual abuse or the physical environment
           poses an immediate threat to the child's health or safety.

      (b) Before taking a minor into custody, a social worker shall consider whether the
           child can remain safely in his or her residence. The consideration of whether
           the child can remain safely at home shall include, but not be limited to, the
           following factors:

      (1) Whether there are any reasonable services available to the worker which, if
           provided to the minor's parent, guardian, caretaker, or to the minor, would
           eliminate the need to remove the minor from the custody of his or her parent,
           guardian, or caretaker.

      (2) Whether a referral to public assistance pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with
           Section 11200) of Part 3, Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000) of Part
           3, Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 17000) of Part 5, and Chapter 10
           (commencing with Section 18900) of Part 6, of Division 9 would eliminate the
           need to take temporary custody of the minor. If those services are available
           they shall be utilized.

      (3) Whether a nonoffending caretaker can provide for and protect the child from
           abuse and neglect and whether the alleged perpetrator voluntarily agrees to
           withdraw from the residence, withdraws from the residence, and is likely to
           remain withdrawn from the residence.

Welfare and Institutions Code Section 309(a)
(a)    Upon delivery to the social worker of a child who has been taken into temporary
       custody under this article, the social worker shall immediately investigate the
       circumstances of the child and the facts surrounding the child's being taken into
       custody and attempt to maintain the child with the child's family through the
       provision of services. The social worker shall immediately release the child to the
       custody of the child's parent, guardian, or responsible relative unless one or more
       of the following conditions exist:

       (1)      The child has no parent, guardian, or responsible relative; or the child's
                parent, guardian, or responsible relative is not willing to provide care for
                the child.
       (2)      Continued detention of the child is a matter of immediate and urgent
                necessity for the protection of the child and there are no reasonable


0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                                   Page 19 of 21
                means by which the child can be protected in his or her home or the
                home of a responsible relative.
      (3)       There is substantial evidence that a parent, guardian, or custodian of the
                child is likely to flee the jurisdiction of the court.
      (4)       The child has left a placement in which he or she was placed by the
                juvenile court.
      (5)       The parent or other person having lawful custody of the child voluntarily
                surrendered physical custody of the child pursuant to Section 1255.7 of
                the Health and Safety Code and did not reclaim the child within the 14-
                day period specified in subdivision (e) of that section.

Welfare and Institutions Code Section 340, states in part that a protective custody
warrant may be issued immediately for the child who is or allegedly falls within section
300, appears to the court that the circumstances of the child’s home environment may
endanger the health, person or welfare of the child, and/or whenever a dependent child
has run away from his or her court ordered placement.

Penal Code Section 11174.3

a)     Whenever a representative of a government agency investigating suspected
       child abuse or neglect or the State Department of Social Services deems it
       necessary, a suspected victim of child abuse or neglect may be interviewed
       during school hours, on school premises, concerning a report of suspected child
       abuse or neglect that occurred within the child's home or out-of-home care
       facility. The child shall be afforded the option of being interviewed in private or
       selecting any adult who is a member of the staff of the school, including any
       certificated or classified employee or volunteer aide, to be present at the
       interview. A representative of the agency investigating suspected child abuse or
       neglect or the State Department of Social Services shall inform the child of that
       right prior to the interview. The purpose of the staff person's presence at the
       interview is to lend support to the child and enable him or her to be as
       comfortable as possible. However, the member of the staff so elected shall not
       participate in the interview. The member of the staff so present shall not discuss
       the facts or circumstances of the case with the child. The member of the staff so
       present, including, but not limited to, a volunteer aide, is subject to the
       confidentiality requirements of this article, a violation of which is punishable as
       specified in Section 11167.5. A representative of the school shall inform a
       member of the staff so selected by a child of the requirements of this section
       prior to the interview. A staff member selected by a child may decline the
       request to be present at the interview. If the staff person selected agrees to be
       present, the interview shall be held at a time during school hours when it does
       not involve an expense to the school. Failure to comply with the requirements of
       this section does not affect the admissibility of evidence in a criminal or civil
       proceeding.
b)     The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall notify each school district and each
       agency specified in Section 11165.9 to receive mandated reports, and the State



0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                                 Page 20 of 21
       Department of Social Services shall notify each of its employees who participate
       in the investigation of reports of child abuse or neglect, of the requirements of
       this section.

                                         LINKS

California Code              http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html
Division 31 Regulations      http://www.cdss.ca.gov/ord/PG309.htm
Title 22 Regulations         http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/ord/PG295.htm


                                  RELATED POLICIES

Procedural Guide 0050-502.10, Child Protection Hotline (CPH): Basic Responsibilities
Procedural Guide 0050-503.15, Child Protection Hotline (CPH): Determining
Response Time
Procedural Guide 0070-506.11, Interviewing the Alleged Victim at School for the
Purpose of Investigating a Child Abuse Referral
Procedural Guide 0400-503.05, Standards for Documenting Contacts
Procedural Guide 0400-503.10, Contact Requirements and Exceptions
Procedural Guide 0400-503.30, Attempted Contact on Referrals


                            FORM(S) REQUIRED/LOCATION

Hard Copy:        None

LA Kids:          DCFS 4381, Warrant Fact Sheet
                  DCFS 4382, Application for Investigative Search Warrant for WIC
                  Medical Examination
                  DCFS 4383, Statement of Cause
                  DCFS 4384-A, Application for Investigative Search Warrant /Order for
                  WIC 324.5
                  DCFS 4385-A, Superior Court School Interview Order
                  DCFS 4385-B, Superior Court Removal Order Request
                  DCFS - Return to Warrant

CWS/CMS:          Contact Notebook

SDM:              None




0070-570.10 (Rev. 6/10)                                               Page 21 of 21

								
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