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Child Welfare and Addiction in California

ARTICLE OVERVIEW: This text supplies an summary of kid welfare methods in California. It explains what occurs when abuse or neglect are reported in conjunction with substance use.



Should you’re consuming or utilizing medicine, you possibly can lose your youngsters.

Why Did They Take My Child?

In case your youngster has been taken since you’re battling an alcohol or drug habit, the state welfare system has intervened.In reality, youngsters are sometimes positioned out of the house in foster care in habit instances.

You’re in all probability anxious…and perhaps even a bit of indignant. This text will clarify the in’s and out’s of the state welfare system. We’ll take a look at the legal guidelines behind the actions. Then, we’ll take you thru what occurs step-by-step.

In case you’re utilizing round your youngsters…the state of California sees that as potential abuse or neglect.

Alcohol is a authorized substance and consuming by itself shouldn’t be thought-about baby abuse. Nevertheless, if consuming results in abuse and neglect of your baby, then your baby could also be taken from your own home.Utilizing unlawful substances will increase the probabilities of creating psychological sickness and makes the house a hazardous setting for the kid. Additionally, it will possibly result in lack of ability of offering correct care to your youngsters.Particular circumstances which might be thought-about “child abuse” or “neglect” in California embrace:

  • Utilizing a managed substance that impairs your potential to adequately care for a kid.
  • Manufacture or possession of meth in the presence of a kid. This can be a felony.

If in case you have been reported on suspicion of kid neglect, Child Safety Providers will present up at your door. It is very important cooperate and present willingness to vary.

So, what occurs subsequent?

In case you suspect youngster abuse you possibly can name Child Protecting Providers.

Who Reported Me?

Anybody can report suspicion of kid abuse or neglect.

Individuals name a hotline quantity or the workplace of Child Safety Providers and depart a report. The telephone line is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a yr. All states in the U.S. specify how stories have to be made. Most require an instantaneous oral (spoken) report, and many now have toll-free phone numbers to facilitate reporting.

In case you suspect baby abuse you possibly can name Child Protecting Providers. Right here’s an inventory of Child Safety Providers in California by county.

Nevertheless,some individuals MUST report drawback consuming or drug use. Particularly, the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, or California Penal Code §§ 11164- 11174.three, identifies sure professionally licensed positions as Mandated Reporters [1]. These professionals are obliged to report any suspected case of kid abuse and neglect instantly after receiving info. Mandated Reporters adopted up an oral report in writing.

California regulation presently requires obligatory reporters to offer their names and contact info. Nevertheless, stories are confidential; reporters have immunity from prosecution.Individuals from these professions are strongly inspired to take a coaching. Yow will discover the course from Cal State right here. [2]

The listing of Mandated Reporters in California embrace:

  • Animal management or humane society officers
  • Athletic coaches, athletic directors, or athletic administrators
  • Attorneys
  • Child visitation screens
  • Clergy
  • Group care or youngster daycare amenities directors and employees
  • Coroners and medical experts
  • Courtroom-appointed particular advocates
  • Day camps, youth facilities, or youth recreation packages directors and employees
  • Staff of police departments, county sheriff’s departments, county probation departments, or county welfare departments
  • Staff or directors of public or personal publish secondary establishments
  • Staff or volunteers of a court-appointed particular advocate program
  • Movie processors and pc technicians
  • Firefighters
  • Foster mother and father, group house, and residential care employees
  • Investigators or youngster help company caseworkers
  • Physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, dentists, marriage and household therapists
  • Public help staff
  • Faculty district police or safety division’s employees
  • Faculty academics, each public and personal
  • Social staff, probation,and parole officers
  • State or county public well being staff
  • Substance abuse counselors

Attachment E is the California Division of Justice type to be used by Mandated Reporters to report suspected youngster abuse or neglect. Generally known as Type SS 8572, it’s obtainable on-line. Directions for finishing the shape are additionally out there on-line.

Different state businesses that may settle for reviews of kid abuse or neglect embrace:

  1. Child Protecting Providers (by county)
  2. Sheriffs’ Departments (by county)
  3. California State College Police Departments (by campus)

To get your youngsters again, adjust to Juvenile Dependency Courtroom options.

What Occurs Once I’m Reported

How the case unfolds depends upon the severity of the case and all of the circumstances surrounding it. The investigation sometimes begins inside 24 hours of the preliminary report, until it’s decided that the kid is in hazard. In these instances, an instantaneous motion is taken in which case your youngster could also be taken into custody of the state immediately.In these instances, the regulation enforcement company can also be contacted.

Investigations by the kid welfare company and regulation enforcement are carried out individually. If there isn’t a obvious emergency, Child Safety Providers has to reply inside 10 days to start full investigations.These are the steps taken after a report has been filed:


The native county Emergency Response Hotline receives a name from a mandated reporters or different involved particular person.


Every referral is processed by a social employee utilizing the Standardized Security Evaluation software to finish danger evaluation and decide if there’s sufficient info to start out an investigation.

This will embrace a evaluate of:

  • Abuse/neglect frequency
  • Allegation of substance abuse
  • Child’s age and incapacity
  • Felony historical past
  • Home violence historical past
  • Earlier studies
  • Psychiatric historical past
  • Unrelated individuals in the house
  • When the occasion occurred

STEP three

If there’s sufficient info, the social employee in cost of the investigation will come to your house. S/H may have conversations with you, your loved ones, the kid, and any related witnesses, academics, or relations. The social employee will in all probability interview your youngster alone and document the dialog.

STEP four

Medical and psychological examinations of the kid could also be wanted in order to find out the validity of the report.


Child Safety Providers determine if there’s a enough proof for a case to be opened or not [3]. The findings are dominated as both:

Unfounded. The report was decided to be false or unbelievable.

Substantiated. It’s probably that the abuse occurred and the case goes to courtroom.

Inconclusive. The report just isn’t unfounded however the findings are inconclusive and there’s not sufficient proof of abuse.

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What Occurs Subsequent?

If Child Protecting Providers is investigating you and determines that there’s been youngster abuse as a consequence of substance abuse,a case shall be opened towards you. You could have a proper to:

  • An interpreter.
  • A lawyer.
  • Know what to do to get your youngster again.
  • To go to courtroom.

All selections are made in accordance with the “Child’s Best Interest” coverage. Subsequently, the case can fall into certainly one of three classes:


This class signifies that the consuming or drug use was a one-time incident and there isn’t any or low danger for the kid’s security. Nevertheless, it might be decided that the household is in danger and wants some type of group help, in which case it’s referred to Group Companions. These providers can embrace:

  • Help in acquiring medical care
  • Counseling
  • Emergency shelter
  • Referrals to self-help teams
  • Transportation or a short lived in-home caretaker


In these instances, the household is referred to community-based youngster welfare providers and is prepared to make the required modifications.


In excessive danger instances, abuse and neglect is confirmed and speedy motion is taken to guard the kid’s security. The kid is each faraway from residence and positioned in a foster residence, and this may be finished with out the household approval. A Security Plan is created to work with the household for eradicating the threats to the kid.

Child Welfare legal guidelines exist to guard youngsters…typically from their mother and father.

Child Welfare Legal guidelines

Chances are you’ll be stunned to study that the kid welfare system has the suitable to take your youngster away from you, with out your consent. Listed here are a number of the legal guidelines in place in California that describe processes and procedures to assist hold youngsters protected from consuming or drug utilizing mother and father.

1. Child Abuse Prevention and Remedy Act (CAPTA)

That is the important thing federal laws addressing youngster abuse and neglect.

2.Welfare & Institutional Code § 300

This code units up the jurisdiction of the juvenile courtroom which may legally declare youngsters to be dependents of the courtroom. This consists of if a toddler has suffered, or there’s a substantial danger that the kid will endure, critical bodily hurt or sickness, because of the lack of the dad or mum or guardian to offer common look after the kid because of the mother or father’s or guardian’s psychological sickness, developmental incapacity, or substance abuse.

three. Penal Code § 11165.13

This regulation outlines learn how to report consuming or drug use and to whom. It additionally states that a constructive toxicology display on the time of the supply of an toddler is just not in and of itself a enough foundation for reporting baby abuse or neglect. Nevertheless, any indication of maternal substance abuse shall result in an evaluation of the wants of the mom and baby.

four. Well being & Security Code § 11379.7

This regulation outlines sentencing for individuals who manufacture or promote managed substances round youngsters underneath the age of 16.

5. Child Welfare Providers Enchancment and Improvements Act (PL-112- 34)

This regulation promotes coordinated well being care providers, instructional stability, sibling visitation, and revised necessities for completion of month-to-month case employee visits.

6. Federal Adoptions and Protected Households Act (PL 105-89)

7.Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act [11164 – 11174.3]

As described earlier, this regulation outlines who’s required to stories situations or suspicion of kid abuse inside the State of California.

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The Courts which are In Cost

Trial or superior courts deal with all household instances in California.California has 58 superior courts, one in every county. Discover a full record with addresses and telephone numbers for California’s Superior Courts right here.

Nevertheless, a particular division dealing with baby abuse and neglect instances might take over instances inside the system. This courtroom known as is the Juvenile Dependency Courtroom [4].

So, what occurs in the authorized system subsequent?

If the report is deemed substantiated and your baby has been taken away, it will comply with:

1. Inside two courtroom days a dependency petition is filed,requesting the courtroom to open a case and take the kid beneath its safety. If the social employee takes your baby out of your care, s/he can place the kid with the opposite mum or dad (in case you are separated), with a relative, or in a foster residence.

2. A detention listening to is held to approve the removing from the house.

three. The jurisdictional listening to is held to find out abuse or neglect as said in the petition.

four. A dispositional listening to is held to find out what is going to occur to the kid. The courtroom might order household upkeep or household reunification providers.

5. Evaluate hearings are held each 6 months to see how are the kid and household doing.

6. Permanency planning listening to is scheduled to find out long-term plan for the kid: foster care, guardianship, adoption, in case reunification efforts fail.

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What Occurs to Mother and father

You’ll be provided an opportunity to vary the issues that brought on your youngster to be taken away from you. These are referred to as “reunification requirements” and embrace:

  • Counseling
  • Parenting courses
  • Substance abuse remedy

Keep in mind that you’ve a restricted time to complete all of the courts’ necessities. In case you fail to efficiently end remedy packages, you’re much less more likely to be reunited together with your youngsters.

What Occurs to Youngsters

California state coverage involving baby instances follows the authorized commonplace often known as “The Best Interest of the Child”.Relying on the severity of the case and their want, youngsters:

  • Could also be positioned with the opposite mum or dad, in case you are separated or divorced
  • Could also be positioned with family members
  • Could also be positioned in a foster or group house

The courtroom will order that the mother and father and the kid safety company work collectively to reunite the household as shortly as attainable. Courtroom hearings are held no less than each six months if a toddler is faraway from the house to ensure that efforts are being made to deliver the kid safely again residence. The hearings could also be held extra typically if wanted.

Name us to study extra about correct remedy for habit.

What Occurs if I Drink or Use?

Should you proceed to drink or use medicine, you possibly can lose everlasting custody of your youngsters. In case you are unable to remain clear and sober, the Juvenile Dependent Courtroom will decide a long-term plan in your youngsters. This will embrace:

  • Adoption
  • Foster care
  • Guardianship

Don’t danger dropping your youngsters. Rehab may also help. Name us at this time.

Can I Get My Child Again?


For those who comply with the courtroom’s orders and present willingness to vary…you could be reunited together with your youngsters.In California, you’ll be given the chance to attend evaluate hearings with the Juvenile Dependency Courtroom. At these hearings, you’ll speak about your private progress and help. You possibly can present proof of change by testing destructive on drug exams. And, you’ll be able to demonstrated your capacity to care in your youngsters by means of compliance with courtroom orders.

The system has been created in order that reunification between mother and father and youngsters is most popular! So long as you’re a accountable, drug-free mother or father…you could be together with your youngsters once more.

Efficiently ending a rehab program can convey you nearer to reuniting together with your youngster and you household. Name us to study extra about rehab in California. Our compassionate operators perceive habit. They will speak you thru the remedy course of.

Received extra questions?

Please depart your questions on youngster welfare and habit in California on the finish. We attempt to answer all actual life questions with a private and immediate response.

Reference Sources: [1] California Penal Code §§ 11164- 11174.three
[2] Cal State: Obligatory Reporters Course
[3] California Regulation: Neglect and Abuse Reporting Act
[4] State Appointed Lawyer Info
[5] California State: Juvenile Dependency Courtroom and You
UCSF: Child Abuse
CIBHS: Overview for county shows
Child Security planning and youngster safety
Child Abuse Reporting
L.A. County: Child Abuse Reporting Doc