Obtaining Warrants and/or Removal Orders

0070-570.10 | Revision Date: 01/03/20

Overview

This policy addresses how to obtain warrants and/or removal orders to investigate child abuse referrals, remove children, and seek forensic medical/sexual abuse examinations.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Policy

Warrants

Warrants in Existing Dependency Cases

The Warrant Tracking System

Investigating a Child Abuse Referral

Consent

Exigent Circumstances

Investigative Search Warrant

Investigative Medical/Sexual Abuse Examinations

Taking a Child into Temporary Custody

Consent

Exigent Circumstances

Court Order

Procedure

Requesting an Investigative Search Warrant

CSW Responsibilities

SCSW Responsibilities

Warrant Liaison Responsibilities

Serving an Investigative Search Warrant

CSW Responsibilities

Warrant Liaison Responsibilities

Investigative Search Warrant Has Been Served

CSW Responsibilities

Warrant Liaison Responsibilities

Seeking a Removal Order

CSW Responsibilities

SCSW Responsibilities

Warrant Liaison Responsibilities

After the Court Signs the Removal Order

CSW Responsibilities

SCSW Responsibilities

ARA Responsibilities

RA Responsibilities

Warrant Liaison Responsibilities

After Executing the Removal Order

CSW Responsibilities

SCSW Responsibilities

Approvals

Helpful Links

Forms

Referenced Policy Guides

Statutes

Version Summary

This policy was updated from the 07/19/19 version, in order to modify the approval level that is necessary when a Removal Order (RO) is not/will not be executed. In such cases, the approval of the Regional Administrator must be obtained. This version also adds language explaining that Regional Administrator approval must be obtained when CSWs decide that a child/youth will not be taken for a court authorized medical/sexual exam. In addition, this version also incorporates language added by the legislature WIC 340(b) stating that CSWs must continue to assess whether a child may safely remain with a parent regardless of whether or not a removal order has been obtained. It also adds language stating that a CSW should provide law enforcement with advance notice when an Investigative Search Warrant or Removal Order are obtained.

POLICY

Warrants

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:

 

The CSW can also take a child into temporary custody when: 

 

 

Warrants can be obtained 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – after hours, weekends and holidays by contacting Emergency Response Command Post (ERCP) warrant liaisons at (213) 639-4500.

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.  The legal requirements outlined in this Policy Guide also apply to cases in which a CSW investigates a referral regarding a dependent child 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, a removal order is required. 

The Warrant Tracking System

The Warrant Tracking System is a web-based system that tracks the status of warrant applications from the time of the warrant application’s initial submission through warrant application closure.  The Warrant Tracking System will:

 

The assigned CSW, SCSW and ARA may log into the Warrant Tracking System at any time to check the status of a Warrant Consultation.  The Warrant Tracking System is available on LA Kids under Web Systems Listing. 

 

Requestors are to ensure that a thorough investigation has been completed and all case information is accurate in CWS/CMS prior to submitting the Warrant Consultation Request.  Inaccurate case information may result in a delay in processing the Warrant Consultation.  The Warrant Consultation Request can be found in CWS/CMS, in the Referral/Case Management Section.  The Warrant Consultation Request will be automatically transmitted to the Warrant Tracking System once the “Submit Warrant” button is clicked. 

 

Upon Warrant Consultation Request submission, the requestor will be given a confirmation that indicates the Warrant Consultation Request was submitted to the Warrant Tracking System, and a Warrant Tracking Number will be generated.  A Warrant Liaison will contact the Warrant Consultation Request requestor within one hour to begin the warrant consultation.

Back to Policy

Investigating a Child Abuse Referral

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

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 permission.  In most cases, the person providing consent 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. 

 

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 person granting consent 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

Description

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 in the home.
  • Parent consent must be obtained before a CSW interviews a child.

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/caregiver who provides care for the child in the family home may authorize entry into common areas and the child’s room.
  • The babysitter/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 reasonably rely on consent from a teenager depending on the circumstances
  • A young child left home alone may rise to the level of exigent circumstances. 

Exigent Circumstances

A CSW may enter a home to investigate without consent or a search 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 includes sexual abuse). 

 

The seriousness of the potential harm to the child does not create exigent circumstances if the risk of harm is not immediate.  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 and a court order/warrant should be sought.

 

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. 

Investigative Search Warrant

An investigative search warrant is an order from a court allowing a CSW (accompanied by law enforcement) to enter a home despite objection of the person residing in the home to conduct a child abuse investigation. 

 

The investigative search warrant:

 

A social worker may detain a child following the execution of an investigative search warrant only if the circumstances at the scene are exigent, per WIC Section 306. 

 

To obtain an investigative search warrant, a CSW must establish that probable cause exists to justify the search. 

 

When there is no evidence of abuse or neglect and the CSW does not believe the child is at any risk of abuse or neglect, it is not appropriate to seek a search warrant.  Search warrants are not a tool to be used to close a referral. 

Investigative Medical/Sexual Abuse Examinations

A CSW may obtain a court order for an investigative/evidentiary medical examination and investigative/evidentiary sexual abuse examination in situations where parental consent and exigent circumstances do not exist. 

 

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

 

However, federal appellate court cases prohibit investigative/evidentiary medical examinations unless one or more of the following conditions exist:

 

All 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.

 

CSWs cannot exclude parents from the location of their child’s physical examination unless consent has been given to do so, there is a legitimate basis for exclusion, or it is an emergency requiring immediate medical attention.  A family’s right to be present during potentially traumatic medical examinations may be limited in certain circumstances to presence nearby the examinations (in the waiting room or another nearby area) if there is a valid reason to exclude the family members from the exam room during a medical procedure.  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.

Back to Policy

Taking a Child into Temporary Custody

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

 

To take a child into temporary custody, a CSW must have one of the following:

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. 

 

For a valid parental consent to take a child into temporary custody, the parent must understand that he/she is consenting to all of the following:

 

It must be clearly documented in the Contact Notebook how the consent was given including words used by CSW, responses from the parent/legal guardian, a description of the parent/legal guardian’s conduct during the conversation, and whether any other people were present at the time.  When possible, include verbatim statements.

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 intrusion is reasonably necessary to avert the injury. 

 

When determining whether to detain without a court order, a high risk of abuse or the seriousness of the potential harm does not always equate to immediate risk, if that high risk of harm is not imminent.  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. 

 

To determine whether exigency exists, the CSW should evaluate all of the relevant factors, including, but not be limited to, the following:

 

A determination of exigent circumstances is fact specific and should be made based on the entirety of the circumstances.  In homes where more than one child resides:

 

If it is determined that a child is at an immediate risk of serious bodily harm, the child should be taken into temporary custody immediately.  A delay may negate a finding that exigent circumstances existed, should the removal be challenged later. 

Court Order 

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

(A WIC 319 detention petition can also be used when the children are “at-large”, a parent consented to detention, the offending parent is incarcerated/institutionalized at the time of the detention hearing, the offending parent has a restraining order preventing him/her from having the child upon demand, or the offending parent lives out of state)

 

 

 

Removal Orders

 

 

Purpose

  • To take a child* into temporary custody suspected to be the victim of abuse/neglect from his/her parent/guardian prior to a court hearing

Required Documentation

  • Statement of Cause
  • Facts supporting taking the child into temporary custody

Execution of Order

  • May be served by CSW without law enforcement**
  • A child may be taken into temporary custody from any location where the child can be found, including public places, schools, and any home
  • Can be used multiple times to take a child into temporary custody
  • Effective for 10 calendar days from the date the original signature of a bench officer
  • Law enforcement may use force to enter a home to take the child into temporary custody.***

*When there is more than one child residing in the home, a separate evaluation must be done for each child to determine whether or not a court order should be used to take each child into temporary custody.

**If there are safety concerns, CSW must immediately contact law enforcement for assistance (CSWs should provide law enforcement with advance notice when a Removal Order is being requested).

***Only if the “Entry into the Home Where the Child(ren) is Located” and “Orders Authorizing Entry into Child(ren) Location is marked on the removal order and the address matches the location of the child(ren). CSW should give law enforcement as much advance notice as possible if forced entry is to be used in order for law enforcement to plan accordingly for safety purposes and needed resources.

 

A removal order must be supported by probable cause.  A CSW must possess reasonably trustworthy information that the child’s continued residence in the parent/guardian’s home is contrary to the child's welfare, and any of the following circumstances exist:

 

Detention Order Pursuant to WIC 319

 

Purpose

  • To take a child into temporary custody at the initial hearing*, meanwhile the child remains safely in his/her home.

Required Documentation

Examples of When it May be Used

(This is not an exhaustive list)

  • An older child refuses to leave with a CSW.
  • Older, non-victim child is at risk emotionally.
  • Drug abuse cases where the children are older teens.
  • When a prior request for a removal order is denied.
  • A parent shows up to court with a child that was unavailable.

  • Parent(s) conceal/flee with a child.

*When there is more than one child residing in the home, a separate evaluation must be done for each child to determine whether or not a court order should be used to take each child into temporary custody.

**If the child is not present at the detention hearing and cannot be located or picked up by the CSW after the detention findings are made, the court will issue a protective custody warrant for the child to be taken into temporary custody when located.

 

Court Order requirements differ when a child is on a Hospital Hold or in school:

 

Location

Court Order Not Required

Court Order* Required

Hospital Hold

Exigent Circumstances Exist

Exigent Circumstances Do Not Exist

School

Exigent Circumstances Exist

Exigent Circumstances Do Not Exist

*Removal Order or WIC 319 Petition

Back to Policy

PROCEDURE

Requesting an Investigative Search Warrant

CSW Responsibilities

  1. If there were no exigent circumstances that permit an emergency entry or consent was not granted, after consulting with the SCSW, request an investigative search warrant.
  1. Create a Warrant Consultation Request on CWS/CMS. 
  1. If you are unable to create a Warrant Consultation Request in CWS/CMS contact the Warrant Desk at (323) 881-1303.

 

  1. When requested by a Warrant Liaison, provide the following information:

 

  1. If there is a disagreement with the Warrant Liaison regarding the way to proceed, contact the Regional Administrator (RA) for final resolution.

 

  1. If deemed appropriate, prepare a Warrant Package:

 

Forms/Documentation

Description

CWS/CMS Case Notes

 

  • Contacts should be completed/ updated
  • Will be used to complete the DCFS 4382-C, Statement of Cause.

DCFS 4381, Warrant Fact Sheet

  • Description of the CSW’s education and experience
  • Summary of the case history
  • Section “B” must be completed to indicate the warrant review time frame
  • Regular Warrant
  • Expedited Warrant
  • After-hours Warrant

DCFS 4382-A, Investigative Search Warrant

  • Warrant application template which is submitted to court.

DCFS 4382-B, Forensic Medical/Sexual Abuse Examination

  • Warrant application template which is submitted to court.

 

DCFS 4382-C, Statement of Cause

 

 

  • This is a Statement under penalty of perjury, it must be completed accurately.
  • Must be completed in chronological order.
  • Must include a thorough explanation of everything done on the referral, include all interviews with family and collateral contacts.
  • Will be attached to the Warrant Application and Submitted to Court.
  • For a forensic medical/sexual abuse examination, schedule the exam and include the date of the exam on the DCFS 4382-C.
  • For VFM or VFR cases, include
  • The reason for DCFS involvement (why the voluntary case was opened)
  • Must show how the children(ren)are at risk of abuse or neglect.
  • Details of the initial investigation/referral
  • For current or prior dependency cases include:
  • The children involved
  • The prior sustained allegations
  • The disposition orders and compliance with those orders
  • The outcome of the prior dependency court involvement

 

  1. Upon completion, submit the Warrant Package to the Warrant Liaison. All paperwork needs to be emailed to the Warrant Liaison in Word format. The warrant documents will not be accepted if the documents have been scanned.

 

  1. The CSW is to remain available via telephone or cell phone, as a Judge may need to speak with the CSW.

 

  1. If the judge denies the warrant request, document the refusal and consult with County Counsel and your SCSW for further instructions concerning the filing of a WIC 319 detention petition with a request for an in court detention, a non-detained petition or other course of action.

 

  1. Document all contacts made with County Counsel and a Warrant Liaison in CWS/CMS.

SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the Warrant Package.
  1. Ensure the appropriate time frame for filing a warrant was selected on the DCFS 4381.
  1. Ensure all material required is included and the information is accurate.

Warrant Liaison Responsibilities

  1. Consult with CSW and County Counsel regarding the warrant request.

 

  1. Review the Warrant Package for completeness. 

 

  1. Forward the Statement of Cause and Removal Order Application to the CSW to review for accuracy and signatures.  Prepare the warrant packet for Court submission.

 

  1. If applicable, inform the CSW that the CSW is expected to remain available via telephone or cell phone during the Judge’s review, in case the Judge has questions or need for clarification.

Back to Procedure

Serving the Investigative Search Warrant

CSW Responsibilities

  1. If the judge grants the investigative search warrant, make at least six copies of the signed warrant. 
  1. Retain one copy in the DCFS file.
  1. Provide a copy to County Counsel.

 

  1. Immediately upon learning that the investigative search warrant application has been granted, contact the watch commander of the law enforcement agency responsible for serving the warrant.  
  1. Notify the commander that a search warrant has been obtained. 
  1. Proceed to the law enforcement agency and provide the original and four copies of the search warrant to the watch commander. 
  1. Follow directions given by law enforcement regarding the plan for serving the warrant. 
  1. If the search warrant includes a request for a forensic medical or sexual abuse examination, the warrant must be served on the same day as the scheduled examination. 
  1. The search warrant must be served within 10 calendar days of the warrant being granted.  Only one attempt can made with the search warrant.

 

  1. If the attempt to serve the investigative warrant is unsuccessful, contact the Warrant Liaison and request a new investigative search warrant.

 

  1. Once inside the home, conduct your investigation in accordance with the court’s order. 

Warrant Liaison Responsibilities

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

  2. Document that the warrant was issued but not served in the activities section and the warrant disposition.

Back to Procedure

Investigative Search Warrant Has Been Served

CSW Responsibilities

  1. Complete the DCFS 4384, Return to Warrant declaration under penalty of perjury the day after the investigative search warrant was served. 
  1. Include a written account of what the warrant produced, such as:
  1. Contacts with specific children and adults
  1. Whether any items were seized
  1. Whether any children were taken into custody
  1. If anyone was arrested

 

  1. File the DCFS 4384 with the judge within 10 days of the investigative search warrant being served. 

 

  1. Submit the DCFS 4384, Return to Warrant declaration to the Warrant Liaison Desk via Warrant Document Email, for County Counsel’s records and filing with the Court.

  2. If warranted, request petition filing via IDC Petition Tracking System on LA Kids

Warrant Liaison Responsibilities

  1. Review the DCFS 4384, Return to Warrant. 

 

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

Back to Procedure

Seeking a Removal Order

CSW Responsibilities

  1. When it has been determined that taking the child into temporary custody is necessary to ensure the safety of the child and you do not have consent or exigent circumstances, after consulting with SCSW, request a removal order.
  1. Create a Warrant Consultation Request.  
  1. If you are unable to create a Warrant Consultation Request in CWS/CMS, contact the Warrant Desk at (323) 881-1303. 

 

  1. When requested by a Warrant Liaison, provide the following information:
  1. Relevant case information available
  1. Details of current investigation.
  1. Compliance with prior services.
  1. Special Requests
  1. Night service request (Permission to serve a warrant between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.)

 

  1. If there is a disagreement with the Warrant Liaison regarding the way to proceed, contact the Regional Administrator (RA) for final resolution.

 

  1. If deemed appropriate, prepare a Warrant Package:

 

Forms/Documentation

Description

CWS/CMS Case Notes

 

  • Contacts should be completed/updated
  • Will be used to complete the DCFS 4383-A, Statement of Cause for Removal Order.

DCFS 4381, Warrant Fact Sheet

 

  • Description of the CSW’s education and experience
  • Summary of the case history
  • Section “B” must be completed to indicate the warrant review time frame
  • Regular Warrant
  • Expedited Warrant
  • After-hours Warrant

DCFS 4383-A, Statement of Cause for Removal Order

  • This is a Statement under penalty of perjury, it must be completed accurately.
  • Must be completed in chronological order.

DCFS 4385-F, After Hours Removal Order Review Request

  • Only when requesting a removal order after hours

Attachments

  • Police reports
  • Medical reports
  • Criminal Clearances
  • Drug test results
  • Any other pertinent attachments

 

  1. If the removal order is for a child who has an open court case, notify all the parties and attorneys of DCFS' intentions to seek a removal order via phone, email, text, voicemail, or in person 24 hours before the removal order request is submitted to the judge. 

 

  1. Submit via email the completed DCFS 4381, DCFS 4383-A, and all attachments to the Warrant Liaison for County Counsel’s review. 

 

  1. Sign all warrant paperwork finalized by County Counsel and/or the Warrant Liaison and email it via the Warrants Documents Email. 

SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the Warrant Package.
  1. Ensure the appropriate time frame for filing a warrant was selected on the DCFS 4381.
  1. Ensure all material required is included and the information is accurate.

Warrant Liaison Responsibilities

  1. Consult with CSW and County Counsel regarding the warrant request.

 

  1. Review the Warrant Package for completeness. 

Back to Procedure

After The Court Signs the Removal Order

CSW Responsibilities

  1. Once email notification is received that the removal order has been granted or denied, file the following in the court folder:
  1. Removal order signed by the judicial officer
  1. DCFS 4383-A signed by the CSW
  1. All attachments

 

  1. After the removal order is forwarded from County Counsel and IDC to the CSW, except in limited circumstances as described below, a removal order signed by the Judicial Officer must be served and not held. After consultation with the SCSW, if the CSW determines that assistance is needed from Law Enforcement, the CSW will notify Law Enforcement on the same day that the warrant is issued, but no later than the following day. The CSW must provide a complete copy of the removal order (the statement of cause, the removal order Application and the Findings and Orders) to law enforcement. The CSW will coordinate with Law Enforcement the date and time that the warrant will be served but the service date must not exceed 10 days.

 

  1. Any DCFS CSW or SCSW may execute a granted removal order, regardless of who signed or requested the removal order.

  2. If the removal order is granted, the child may be detained anywhere he/she is located. 

 

  1. If the removal order permits a "forced entry" into a home in order to detain the child and the CSW believes a "forced entry" is the only way to remove the child from the home, the CSW must seek assistance from law enforcement.

 

  1. If the removal order authorizes a medical/sexual abuse exam and the CSW decides not to take the child/youth to the medical/sexual abuse exam for any given reason, the CSW must notify their Regional Administrator (through the chain of command) as to their reason for not taking the child to the authorized exam.

  2. If the child is not taken into temporary custody within the 10 calendar days of the removal order being signed:
  1. Prior to the 10th calendar day and as soon as the CSW suspects that the child might/will not be taken into custody by the 10th day, immediately notify your SCSW
  2. The case must be immediately brought to the attention of the Regional Administrator through the chain of command. Note that if the family is being evasive, a regular alert to the SCSW would suffice, so long as “c” below is followed. Document in CWS/CMS’ contact notebook the consultation with SCSW/ARA/RA regarding approval of the Removal Order not being served.
  3. Another removal order must be obtained from the court. There may be instances where seeking another removal order is not appropriate. If a family fled the area or is no longer residing at the address of the removal order, and there’s no new address, file a WIC 300 petition and ask for “at-large” protective custody warrant from the court.
  4. Contact the Warrant Liaison at IDC or ERCP after hours and notify them of the fact that the child was not removed (the CSW must state the reasons why the removal order was not served – i.e. the family/child could not be located, etc.). The warrant desk liaison will in turn notify the on-call County Counsel to obtain another removal warrant.

 

  1. If it is determined that the child named in the removal order should not be detained from one or both parents:
  1. Immediately notify your SCSW
  2. In consultation with your SCSW, follow the chain of command protocol to immediately notify the Regional Administrator. Document in CWS/CMS’ contact notebook the consultation with SCSW/ARA/RA regarding approval of the Removal Order not being served.
  3. For cases with and without an open court case: after it has been confirmed that the Regional Administrator has reviewed and approved the reason for not executing the removal order, contact the Warrant Liaison at IDC and notify them of the fact that the child was not removed. The CSW must state the reasons why the removal order was not served – i.e. perpetrator is incarcerated or a parent enters rehab and DCFS will provide the family with services.
  4. For cases with an Active Dependency Court Case, Walk the matter onto the court’s calendar within 48 business hours of the decision not to execute the removal order and inform the court of the decision. (Contact: Court Liaison to have the matter calendared. 323-881-6890).


SCSW Responsibilities

  1. If it is determined that the child named in the removal order should not be detained from one or both parents, discuss and review with the CSW the reasons for the delayed or non-execution of the removal order. Discuss whether the CSW has assessed that a child can safely remain with the parent. In such cases, DCFS must attempt to maintain the child with the child’s family through the provision of services.

 

  1. If it is determined that the child named in the removal order with a court authorized medical/sexual abuse exam will not be taken to the examination, discuss and review with the CSW the reasons for not taking the child/youth to the examination.

 

  1. Immediately notify your ARA.

 

  1. Follow the chain of command protocol to immediately bring the case to the attention of the Regional Administrator.

 

  1. Document in CWS/CMS the consultation with ARA/RA regarding approval of the Removal Order not being served.

 

ARA Responsibilities

  1. Discuss and review with the SCSW the reason for not taking a child/youth to a court authorized medical/sexual abuse examination, or the reason for the delayed or non-execution of the removal order.

 

  1. ARA is to immediately notify their Regional Administrator to alert them of the decision not to take a child/youth to a court authorized medical/sexual abuse examination or to alert them of the delayed or non-execution of the removal order.

 

RA Responsibilities

 

  1. Discuss and review with the ARA the reason for not taking a child/youth to a court authorized medical/sexual abuse examination, or the reason for the delayed or non-execution of the removal order.

 

  1. Based upon the rational for the delayed or non-execution of the removal order or non-execution of a medical/sexual abuse exam, immediately notify the assigned staff whether the delayed or non-execution is approved or denied.

 

Warrant Liaison Responsibilities

  1. Notify the CSW, SCSW and ARA whether the Removal Order was granted or denied. 

 

  1. Notify the CSW, SCSW and ARA that the signed Removal Order is available via the Warrant Tracking System

 

  1. If it is determined that the child (without an open case) named in the removal order should not be detained from one or both parents; follow the established Warrant Desk procedure regarding notification to the court. 

 

After Executing the Removal Order

CSW Responsibilities

  1. Within two hours of taking a child into temporary custody with a removal order,log into the Warrant Tracking System and document that the Removal Order was executed. To report that a removal order was executed after hours (after 5 p.m., weekends and holidays) contact command post warrant liaisons at (213) 639-4500.

 

  1. Create the Detention report and include the information from the DCFS 4383-A, Statement of Cause for Removal Order in the Detention report. 

 

  1. In the Reason for Hearing section, the first sentence should read: 

 

  1. Include any new information/facts in the Detention report. 

 

  1. Attach the signed removal order and the Statement of Cause to the Detention report.  Include the removal order for each child if separate removal orders were submitted. 

 

  1. No later than 5 p.m. two judicial days prior to the detention hearing, submit the Detention report to IDC via email to all IDC SCSWs or upload the documents to the IDC Petition Tracking System.

SCSW Responsibilities

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

Back to Procedure

APPROVALS

County Counsel & Warrant Liaison

SCSW Approval

 

ARA Approval

RA Approval

 

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Forms

CWS/CMS

Warrant Consultation Request

LA Kids & CWS/CMS

DCFS 4381, Warrant Fact Sheet

DCFS 4382-A, Application for Investigative Search Warrant

DCFS 4382-B, Application for Investigative Search Warrant with Request for Medical or Sexual Abuse Examination

DCFS 4382-C, Statement of Cause for Investigative Search Warrant

DCFS 4383-A, Statement of Cause for Removal Order

DCFS 4384, Return to Warrant

DCFS 4385-A, School Interview Order Application

DCFS 4385-B, School Interview Order Instruction Sheet

DCFS 4385-C, Superior Court Removal Order Request - Single Child

DCFS 4385-D, Superior Court Removal Order Request – Sibling Set

DCFS 4385-E, Request to Expedite

DCFS 4385-F, After Hours Removal Order Review Request

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Referenced Policy Guides

0070-506.11, Interviewing the Alleged Victim at School for the Purpose of Investigating a Child Abuse Referral

0070-548.20, Taking Children into Temporary Custody

0100-510.21, Voluntary Placement

0300-301.05, Filing Petitions

0300-303.06, Hospital Holds

0300-303.15, Writing the Detention Report

0600-500.00, Medical Hubs

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Statutes

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) 588 F.3d 1011

 

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 (WIC) Section 306 - States when a social worker can take a child into temporary custody from law enforcement and without a warrant.  Further states that reasonable services should be provide to prevent taking the child into temporary custody.

 

Welfare and Institutions Code Section 309(a)-States 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 under certain conditions.

 

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. In 2018, the legislature added language that shows that CSWs must continue to assess the facts and circumstances of the child and the facts surrounding the child being taken into custody and attempt to maintain the child with the child’s family through the provision of services.

 

Penal Code Section 11174.3-Allows CSWs to interview children at school and provides parameters to do so.

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