Distinguishing the California juvenile "delinquency" and "dependency" court systems

Juvenile "delinquency" and juvenile "dependency" are two separate court systems in California.

The juvenile delinquency system is concerned with minors charged with crimes. The juvenile dependency system focuses on minors who have been abused, abandoned or neglected.

The general rule is that minors must be classified within one system or the other, but not both at the same time. However, in some cases a minor can fall within both jurisdictions. These minors have "dual status."

In this article, our California Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorneys review the differences between California juvenile delinquency and California juvenile dependency law.1 We cover:

1. What is California juvenile
delinquency law?

1.1. W&I Code 202 – goal of rehabilitation

1.2. W&I Code 602 – wards of court

2. What is California juvenile dependency law?

2.1. W&I Code 300 – dependent children of court

3. What happens with "dual status" minors?

3.1. General rule against dual jurisdiction

3.2. Exception for dual status minors

If you have further questions after reading this article, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group for a consultation.

You might also be interested in reading our related juvenile justice articles Juvenile Criminal Defense in California, Police Questioning of Minors in California Delinquency Cases, Rights of Parents in California Delinquency Cases, Probation in California Juvenile Court Cases, The Juvenile Court Process in California, Detention Hearings in California Juvenile Cases, Fitness Hearings in California, Adjudication Hearings (Trials) in California Juvenile Cases, Disposition (Sentencing) Hearings in California Court Cases, Sealing Your California Juvenile Records, and Juvenile Crimes that Count as Strikes under California's Three Strikes Law.

If your child is detained in juvenile hall, please visit our related articles on Eastlake Juvenile Hall & Court, Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall & Court, Barry Nidorf (Sylmar) Juvenile Hall & Court, Court, Ventura County Juvenile Hall Facility & Justice Center, Riverside Juvenile Hall and Orange County Juvenile Hall.

1. What is California juvenile delinquency law?

California juvenile delinquency law is "criminal law" for minors.

Technically the juvenile delinquency system is part of the California civil law system as opposed to the criminal law system. This is because we don't like to think of children as "committing crimes."

Nevertheless, when a minor is accused of committing a California felony crime or California misdemeanor crime, that minor goes to court just like an adult. In the case of the minor, the court is called juvenile delinquency court.

California juvenile delinquency law is set out in various sections of the Welfare & Institutions Code, primarily in W&I Code 601 and following sections.

A juvenile conviction (called a "sustained petition") is not supposed to be held against you later in life.2 But in reality there are instances where a juvenile sustained petition can continue to haunt someone into adulthood.

A juvenile sustained petition can be used as a "strike" for purposes of California three strikes law and can lead to sex offender registration in California and even civil confinement as a sexually violent predator "SVP" in California.

1.1. W&I Code 202 – goal of rehabilitation

The juvenile delinquency system is designed to rehabilitate the offending minor. This is a big difference from the adult criminal system, which is focused primarily on punishment.

California Welfare & Institutions Code 202 provides:

Minors under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court as a consequence of delinquent conduct shall, in conformity with the interests of public safety and protection, receive care, treatment, and guidance that is consistent with their best interest, that holds them accountable for their behavior, and that is appropriate for their circumstances.3

In addition to rehabilitation, the delinquency system is designed to hold offending minors accountable with sanctions such as probation or commitment to probation camp.4

1.2. W&I Code 602 – wards of court

California Welfare & Institutions Code 602 is important because it provides for the jurisdiction of the juvenile delinquency court in the first place. That section provides that minors under the age of 18 when they violate a criminal law are within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.5

The section also says that the judge can find the minor to be a "ward of the court." This means the judge takes over primary responsibility for the welfare and accountability of that minor.

Let's look at an example of California juvenile delinquency law.

Example: Jessie is arrested for violating California Health & Safety hs 11350 possession of controlled substance and California Health & Safety 11351 hs possession for sale.

Just prior to his adjudication hearing (trial) at Barry Nidorf / Sylmar Juvenile Hall & Court, Jessie's lawyer and the prosecutor work out a deal. Jessie admits to the drug possession charge, but denies the more serious drug possession for sale charge.

Jessie also has a prior juvenile adjudication for violating Health & Safety 11357 hs possession of marijuana.

The judge thinks Jessie has a growing drug problem but can turn his life around with guidance of the court and more proactive family involvement. She declares Jessie to be a ward of the court but allows him to go "home on probation."

As part of Jessie's probation, Jessie has to attend substance abuse counseling. Further, both Jessie and his parents are required to participate in family counseling.

We discuss California juvenile delinquency law in more detail in our related article Juvenile Criminal Defense in California. We also have a page focused on Sealing Your California Juvenile Records.

2. What is California juvenile dependency law?

Unlike California juvenile delinquency law, the California juvenile dependency court system does not deal with criminal conduct by minors. California dependency law deals with minors who have been abused, neglected and/or abandoned.

When minors are mistreated at home, they need someone else to look after them. So the court steps in and makes the minor a "dependent child" of the court.

According to a 2006 report, about 500,000 minors are removed from their homes each year in California dependency proceedings.6

"The reality is that a child may be adjudged a dependent child and removed from his parents' home, subsequently engage in conduct which causes him to be adjudicated a status offender, and in a deteriorating set of circumstances, finally commit a crime, which provides the basis for his adjudication as a delinquent child. In such a scenario, the child passes from the category of dependent (§ 300) to status offender (§ 601) to delinquent (§ 602)."
-- In re Donald S., 206 Cal.App.3d 134 (1988)

2.1. W&I Code 300 – dependent children of court

Just as we look to California Welfare & Institutions Code 600, et seq. to see the law on delinquency, we look to Welfare & Institutions Code 300 et seq. for the law on dependency.7

Under W&I Code 300, a minor can become a dependent child of the court when the minor:

  • suffered serious physical harm inflicted nonaccidentally by the parent or guardian
  • suffered serious physical harm or illness as a result of failure of the parent or guardian to supervise, protect or care for the minor
  • suffers serious emotional damage as a result of conduct of the parent or guardian
  • has been sexually abused by a parent or guardian or household member
  • is left without any provision for support
  • has been freed for adoption by one or both parents
  • has been subjected to an act or acts of cruelty by the parent or guardian or a member of his or her household

Let's look at an example.

Example: Reanna is 12 years old. Her mother is a drug addict. Her father is incarcerated for life for violating California Penal Code 211 pc robbery, California Penal Code 12303 pc destructive device and a host of California firearms laws.

After Reanna's mother's latest arrest for violating California Penal Code 647(b) prostitution, social workers intervene. Reanna has a hearing at Edmund D. Edelman's Children's Court in Monterey Park and is declared a dependent child of the court.

Reanna is permitted to live with her grandmother while social workers develop a program for care of Reanna and family reunification.
3. What happens with "dual status" minors?

Unfortunately, some kids are caught up in both the delinquency and dependency systems. This is the case, for example, when a dependent child of the court gets arrested. These youth are referred to as "crossover youth."

Let's return to our above example:

Example: Despite efforts by social workers and Reanna's grandmother, things go downhill for Reanna. She gets in with a rough crowd and begins skipping school.

Soon Reanna is spending more time on the street than in the classroom. She creates a mess around the house and hawks her grandmother's jewelry. She begins using drugs and jokes about killing people.

Eventually Reanna is arrested for acting as lookout in a robbery that left a man injured with stab wounds. Given the severity of her alleged crime, cops take Reanna to Eastlake Juvenile Hall & Court pending outcome of the case.

3.1. General rule is against dual jurisdiction

The general rule in California is that minors cannot be both dependent children of the court and delinquent wards of the court at the same time. It has to be one or the other.

So a kid like Reanna can be either a dependent child and get services from child social service OR a ward of the court and get services from the probation department.

When there is overlap, like in Reanna's case, county social services and county probation departments must make a "joint assessment" under W&I Code 241.1 to see which system is most appropriate for the minor and society.8

If there is a dispute, the juvenile court judge must hold a hearing. The hearing may take place during the minor's juvenile detention hearing but in any event must occur before the minor's adjudication hearing (trial).9


W&I Code Section 241.1 hearing

The rules regarding the assessment and "Section 241.1 hearing" are set forth in California Rule of Court 5.512.10

The joint assessment report must include:

  • A description of the nature of the referral;
  • The age of the child;
  • The history of any physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of the child;
  • The prior record of the child's parents for abuse of this or any other child;
  • The prior record of the child for out-of-control or delinquent behavior;
  • The parents' cooperation with the child's school;
  • The child's functioning at school;
  • The nature of the child's home environment;
  • The history of involvement of any agencies or professionals with the child and his or her family;
  • Any services or community agencies that are available to assist the child and his or her family;
  • A statement by any counsel currently representing the child; and
  • A statement by any CASA volunteer currently appointed for the child.11
  • 3.2. Exception for dual status minors

    Thanks to a law enacted in 2005, Assembly Bill No. 129, there is now a way a child can maintain "dual status" and thus benefit from services provided by both the dependency and delinquency systems.

    Local probation and social services departments, in conjunction with the juvenile court presiding judge, can develop "local protocols" to implement the dual status option.12

    Dual status programs can be of two types: on hold and lead agency. In case of "on hold" programs, dependency status gets suspended (but not terminated) while delinquency status plays out.13

    In "lead agency" programs, either probation or social services takes the lead for caring for the minor, but each play a role.

    Riverside County adopted the first local protocol in 2005. The Riverside W&I 241.1/AB 129 protocol is a "lead agency" type.

    Dual status can benefit a troubled teen in the time period after completion of probation, when the teen will likely need additional services to get back on the right track.

    So if Reanna could get dual status, for example, she would be able to access critical social services after she completes her probation or stint in juvenile hall for her part in the robbery.

    Otherwise Reanna will be on her own – and it may be that this serious but initial entry in to the justice system is the fist step of her turnaround

    Our California Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help...

    If your child has been arrested, we invite you to call us at Shouse Law Group for a consultation. We also invite you to review our related articles Juvenile Criminal Defense in California, Police Questioning of Minors in California Delinquency Cases, Rights of Parents in California Delinquency Cases, Detention Hearings in California Juvenile Cases, Fitness Hearings in California, Adjudication Hearings (Trials) in California Juvenile Case, Disposition (Sentencing) Hearings in California Juvenile Court, Probation in California Juvenile Court Cases, The Juvenile Court Process in California, Sealing Your California Juvenile Records, and Juvenile Crimes that Count as Strikes under California's Three Strikes Law.

    Further, we have pages on Eastlake Juvenile Hall & Court, Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall & Court, Barry Nidorf (Sylmar) Juvenile Hall & Court, Ventura County Juvenile Hall Facility & Justice Center, Riverside Juvenile Hall, Orange County Juvenile Hall, California felony crimes, California misdemeanor crimes, California three strikes law, sex offender registration in California, sexually violent predator "SVP" in California, California Health & Safety hs 11350 possession of controlled substance, California Health & Safety 11351 hs possession for sale, Health & Safety 11357 hs possession of marijuana, California Penal Code 211 pc robbery, California Penal Code 12303 pc destructive device, California firearms laws, and California Penal Code 647(b) prostitution.

    Helpful links:

    Los Angeles County Department of Probation

    Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services

    Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

    California Courts Crossover Projects

    Prison Law Office

    Center of Juvenile and Criminal Justice

    Ella Baker Center Books Not Bars Campaign

    Youth Law Center

    Juvenile Law Center

    Burns Institute For Juvenile Justice & Equity

    Youth Justice Coalition

    Healing Justice Coalition

    Fair Sentencing for Youth

    Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles

    References:

    1 Our California Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorneys have local Los Angeles law offices in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pomona, Torrance, Van Nuys, West Covina and Whittier. We have additional law offices conveniently located throughout the state in Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.

    2 California Welfare & Institutions Code Section 203 provides: "An order adjudging a minor to be a ward of the juvenile court shall not be deemed a conviction of a crime for any purpose, nor shall a proceeding in the juvenile court be deemed a criminal proceeding."

    3 California Welfare & Institutions Code Section 202 provides: "(a) The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the protection and safety of the public and each minor under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court and to preserve and strengthen the minor's family ties whenever possible, removing the minor from the custody of his or her parents only when necessary for his or her welfare or for the safety and protection of the public. If removal of a minor is determined by the juvenile court to be necessary, reunification of the minor with his or her family shall be a primary objective. If the minor is removed from his or her own family, it is the purpose of this chapter to secure for the minor custody, care, and discipline as nearly as possible equivalent to that which should have been given by his or her parents. This chapter shall be liberally construed to carry out these purposes. (b) Minors under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court who are in need of protective services shall receive care, treatment, and guidance consistent with their best interest and the best interest of the public. Minors under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court as a consequence of delinquent conduct shall, in conformity with the interests of public safety and protection, receive care, treatment, and guidance that is consistent with their best interest, that holds them accountable for their behavior, and that is appropriate for their circumstances. This guidance may include punishment that is consistent with the rehabilitative objectives of this chapter. If a minor has been removed from the custody of his or her parents, family preservation and family reunification are appropriate goals for the juvenile court to consider when determining the disposition of a minor under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court as a consequence of delinquent conduct when those goals are consistent with his or her best interests and the best interests of the public. When the minor is no longer a ward of the juvenile court, the guidance he or she received should enable him or her to be a law-abiding and productive member of his or her family and the community. (c) It is also the purpose of this chapter to reaffirm that the duty of a parent to support and maintain a minor child continues, subject to the financial ability of the parent to pay, during any period in which the minor may be declared a ward of the court and removed from the custody of the parent. (d) Juvenile courts and other public agencies charged with enforcing, interpreting, and administering the juvenile court law shall consider the safety and protection of the public, the importance of redressing injuries to victims, and the best interests of the minor in all deliberations pursuant to this chapter. Participants in the juvenile justice system shall hold themselves accountable for its results. They shall act in conformity with a comprehensive set of objectives established to improve system performance in a vigorous and ongoing manner. In working to improve system performance, the presiding judge of the juvenile court and other juvenile court judges designated by the presiding judge of the juvenile court shall take into consideration the recommendations contained in subdivision (e) of Standard 5.40 of Title 5 of the California Standards of Judicial Administration, contained in the California Rules of Court. (e) As used in this chapter, "punishment" means the imposition of sanctions. It does not include retribution and shall not include a court order to place a child in foster care as defined by Section 727.3. Permissible sanctions may include any of the following: (1) Payment of a fine by the minor. (2) Rendering of compulsory service without compensation performed for the benefit of the community by the minor. (3) Limitations on the minor's liberty imposed as a condition of probation or parole. (4) Commitment of the minor to a local detention or treatment facility, such as a juvenile hall, camp, or ranch. (5) Commitment of the minor to the Division of Juvenile Facilities, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. (f) In addition to the actions authorized by subdivision (e), the juvenile court may, as appropriate, direct the offender to complete a victim impact class, participate in victim offender conferencing subject to the victim's consent, pay restitution to the victim or victims, and make a contribution to the victim restitution fund after all victim restitution orders and fines have been satisfied, in order to hold the offender accountable or restore the victim or community."

    4 California Welfare & Institutions Code Section 202, id.

    5 California Welfare & Institutions Code Section 602 provides: "(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), any person who is under the age of 18 years when he or she violates any law of this state or of the United States or any ordinance of any city or county of this state defining crime other than an ordinance establishing a curfew based solely on age, is within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, which may adjudge such person to be a ward of the court. (b) Any person who is alleged, when he or she was 14 years of age or older, to have committed one of the following offenses shall be prosecuted under the general law in a court of criminal jurisdiction: (1) Murder, as described in Section 187 of the Penal Code, if one of the circumstances enumerated in subdivision (a) of Section 190.2 of the Penal Code is alleged by the prosecutor, and the prosecutor alleges that the minor personally killed the victim. (2) The following sex offenses, if the prosecutor alleges that the minor personally committed the offense, and if the prosecutor alleges one of the circumstances enumerated in the One Strike law, subdivision (d) or (e) of Section 667.61 of the Penal Code, applies: (A) Rape, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 261 of the Penal Code. (B) Spousal rape, as described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 262 of the Penal Code. (C) Forcible sex offenses in concert with another, as described in Section 264.1 of the Penal Code. (D) Forcible lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14 years, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 288 of the Penal Code. (E) Forcible sexual penetration, as described in subdivision (a) of Section 289 of the Penal Code. (F) Sodomy or oral copulation in violation of Section 286 or 288a of the Penal Code, by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person. (G) Lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14 years, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 288, unless the defendant qualifies for probation under subdivision (c) of Section 1203.066 of the Penal Code."

    6 Center for Public Policy Research, "Children's Knowledge and Attitudes Toward Dependency Court," prepared for California Department of Social Services, January 2006, p. 3 ("Maltreated children would likely profit from understanding the complicated legal system that greatly influences their lives. Legal professionals should be required to explain in clear terms where the children will be going/living and why. Moreover, brief age-appropriate court-preparation programs could be implemented, and/or children's attorneys could be trained in age-appropriate ways to teach children about dependency court. Reducing children's anxiety toward the dependency court should be a primary goal. Better preparation is likely to reduce anxiety. Children involved in more than one court system (e.g., criminal and dependency court) should be especially targeted for special services designed to better prepare them for their courtroom experiences and ensure that they receive adequate psychological counseling and services.")

    7 California Welfare & Institutions Code Section 300 provides: "Any child who comes within any of the following descriptions is within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court which may adjudge that person to be a dependent child of the court: (a) The child has suffered, or there is a substantial risk that the child will suffer, serious physical harm inflicted nonaccidentally upon the child by the child's parent or guardian. For the purposes of this subdivision, a court may find there is a substantial risk of serious future injury based on the manner in which a less serious injury was inflicted, a history of repeated inflictions of injuries on the child or the child's siblings, or a combination of these and other actions by the parent or guardian which indicate the child is at risk of serious physical harm. For purposes of this subdivision, "serious physical harm" does not include reasonable and age-appropriate spanking to the buttocks where there is no evidence of serious physical injury. (b) The child has suffered, or there is a substantial risk that the child will suffer, serious physical harm or illness, as a result of the failure or inability of his or her parent or guardian to adequately supervise or protect the child, or the willful or negligent failure of the child's parent or guardian to adequately supervise or protect the child from the conduct of the custodian with whom the child has been left, or by the willful or negligent failure of the parent or guardian to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical treatment, or by the inability of the parent or guardian to provide regular care for the child due to the parent's or guardian's mental illness, developmental disability, or substance abuse. No child shall be found to be a person described by this subdivision solely due to the lack of an emergency shelter for the family. Whenever it is alleged that a child comes within the jurisdiction of the court on the basis of the parent's or guardian's willful failure to provide adequate medical treatment or specific decision to provide spiritual treatment through prayer, the court shall give deference to the parent's or guardian's medical treatment, nontreatment, or spiritual treatment through prayer alone in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination, by an accredited practitioner thereof, and shall not assume jurisdiction unless necessary to protect the child from suffering serious physical harm or illness. In making its determination, the court shall consider (1) the nature of the treatment proposed by the parent or guardian, (2) the risks to the child posed by the course of treatment or nontreatment proposed by the parent or guardian, (3) the risk, if any, of the course of treatment being proposed by the petitioning agency, and (4) the likely success of the courses of treatment or nontreatment proposed by the parent or guardian and agency. The child shall continue to be a dependent child pursuant to this subdivision only so long as is necessary to protect the child from risk of suffering serious physical harm or illness. (c) The child is suffering serious emotional damage, or is at substantial risk of suffering serious emotional damage, evidenced by severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or untoward aggressive behavior toward self or others, as a result of the conduct of the parent or guardian or who has no parent or guardian capable of providing appropriate care. No child shall be found to be a person described by this subdivision if the willful failure of the parent or guardian to provide adequate mental health treatment is based on a sincerely held religious belief and if a less intrusive judicial intervention is available. (d) The child has been sexually abused, or there is a substantial risk that the child will be sexually abused, as defined in Section 11165.1 of the Penal Code, by his or her parent or guardian or a member of his or her household, or the parent or guardian has failed to adequately protect the child from sexual abuse when the parent or guardian knew or reasonably should have known that the child was in danger of sexual abuse. (e) The child is under the age of five years and has suffered severe physical abuse by a parent, or by any person known by the parent, if the parent knew or reasonably should have known that the person was physically abusing the child. For the purposes of this subdivision, "severe physical abuse" means any of the following: any single act of abuse which causes physical trauma of sufficient severity that, if left untreated, would cause permanent physical disfigurement, permanent physical disability, or death; any single act of sexual abuse which causes significant bleeding, deep bruising, or significant external or internal swelling; or more than one act of physical abuse, each of which causes bleeding, deep bruising, significant external or internal swelling, bone fracture, or unconsciousness; or the willful, prolonged failure to provide adequate food. A child may not be removed from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian on the basis of a finding of severe physical abuse unless the social worker has made an allegation of severe physical abuse pursuant to Section 332. (f) The child's parent or guardian caused the death of another child through abuse or neglect. (g) The child has been left without any provision for support; physical custody of the child has been voluntarily surrendered pursuant to Section 1255.7 of the Health and Safety Code and the child has not been reclaimed within the 14-day period specified in subdivision (e) of that section; the child's parent has been incarcerated or institutionalized and cannot arrange for the care of the child; or a relative or other adult custodian with whom the child resides or has been left is unwilling or unable to provide care or support for the child, the whereabouts of the parent are unknown, and reasonable efforts to locate the parent have been unsuccessful. (h) The child has been freed for adoption by one or both parents for 12 months by either relinquishment or termination of parental rights or an adoption petition has not been granted. (i) The child has been subjected to an act or acts of cruelty by the parent or guardian or a member of his or her household, or the parent or guardian has failed to adequately protect the child from an act or acts of cruelty when the parent or guardian knew or reasonably should have known that the child was in danger of being subjected to an act or acts of cruelty. (j) The child's sibling has been abused or neglected, as defined in subdivision (a), (b), (d), (e), or (i), and there is a substantial risk that the child will be abused or neglected, as defined in those subdivisions. The court shall consider the circumstances surrounding the abuse or neglect of the sibling, the age and gender of each child, the nature of the abuse or neglect of the sibling, the mental condition of the parent or guardian, and any other factors the court considers probative in determining whether there is a substantial risk to the child. It is the intent of the Legislature that nothing in this section disrupt the family unnecessarily or intrude inappropriately into family life, prohibit the use of reasonable methods of parental discipline, or prescribe a particular method of parenting. Further, nothing in this section is intended to limit the offering of voluntary services to those families in need of assistance but who do not come within the descriptions of this section. To the extent that savings accrue to the state from child welfare services funding obtained as a result of the enactment of the act that enacted this section, those savings shall be used to promote services which support family maintenance and family reunification plans, such as client transportation, out-of-home respite care, parenting training, and the provision of temporary or emergency in-home caretakers and persons teaching and demonstrating homemaking skills. The Legislature further declares that a physical disability, such as blindness or deafness, is no bar to the raising of happy and well-adjusted children and that a court's determination pursuant to this section shall center upon whether a parent's disability prevents him or her from exercising care and control. The Legislature further declares that a child whose parent has been adjudged a dependent child of the court pursuant to this section shall not be considered to be at risk of abuse or neglect solely because of the age, dependent status, or foster care status of the parent. As used in this section, "guardian" means the legal guardian of the child."

    8 California Welfare & Institutions Code Section 241.1 provides: "(a) Whenever a minor appears to come within the description of both Section 300 and Section 601 or 602, the county probation department and the child welfare services department shall, pursuant to a jointly developed written protocol described in subdivision (b), initially determine which status will serve the best interests of the minor and the protection of society. The recommendations of both departments shall be presented to the juvenile court with the petition that is filed on behalf of the minor, and the court shall determine which status is appropriate for the minor. Any other juvenile court having jurisdiction over the minor shall receive notice from the court, within five calendar days, of the presentation of the recommendations of the departments. The notice shall include the name of the judge to whom, or the courtroom to which, the recommendations were presented. (b) The probation department and the child welfare services department in each county shall jointly develop a written protocol to ensure appropriate local coordination in the assessment of a minor described in subdivision (a), and the development of recommendations by these departments for consideration by the juvenile court. These protocols shall require, but not be limited to, consideration of the nature of the referral, the age of the minor, the prior record of the minor's parents for child abuse, the prior record of the minor for out-of-control or delinquent behavior, the parents' cooperation with the minor's school, the minor's functioning at school, the nature of the minor's home environment, and the records of other agencies that have been involved with the minor and his or her family. The protocols also shall contain provisions for resolution of disagreements between the probation and child welfare services departments regarding the need for dependency or ward status and provisions for determining the circumstances under which a request to the court may be made to consider a change in the minor's status....(d) Except as provided in subdivision (e), nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the filing of a petition or petitions, or the entry of an order by the juvenile court, to make a minor simultaneously both a dependent child and a ward of the court. However, on and after January 1, 2012, if the court finds that a delinquent ward under 18 years of age, who was removed from his or her parents or guardian and placed in foster care as a dependent child of the court at the time the court adjudged the child a delinquent ward or who was removed from his or her parents or guardian and placed in foster care as a delinquent ward, no longer appears to come within the description of a delinquent ward, but does come within the description of a dependent child as set forth in Section 300, the court may modify its order of jurisdiction pursuant to Section 601 or 602, and assert dependency jurisdiction pursuant to Section 300 by means of a petition filed pursuant to Section 387 or 388. The county protocols described in subdivisions (a) and (b) shall include a process for determining which agency and court shall supervise dependent children whose jurisdiction is modified pursuant to this subdivision. (e) Notwithstanding subdivision (d), the probation department and the child welfare services department, in consultation with the presiding judge of the juvenile court, in any county may create a jointly written protocol to allow the county probation department and the child welfare services department to jointly assess and produce a recommendation that the child be designated as a dual status child, allowing the child to be simultaneously a dependent child and a ward of the court. This protocol shall be signed by the chief probation officer, the director of the county social services agency, and the presiding judge of the juvenile court prior to its implementation. No juvenile court may order that a child is simultaneously a dependent child and a ward of the court pursuant to this subdivision unless and until the required protocol has been created and entered into. This protocol shall include all of the following..."

    9 California Rule of Court 5.512 provides in part: "(e) Hearing on joint assessment -- If the child is detained, the hearing on the joint assessment report must occur as soon as possible after or concurrent with the detention hearing, but no later than 15 court days after the order of detention and before the jurisdictional hearing. If the child is not detained, the hearing on the joint assessment must occur before the jurisdictional hearing and within 30 days of the date of the petition. The juvenile court must conduct the hearing and determine which type of jurisdiction over the child best meets the child's unique circumstances. (Subd (e) amended effective January 1, 2007.) (f) Notice and participation -- At least 5 calendar days before the hearing, notice of the hearing and copies of the joint assessment report must be provided to the child, the child's parent or guardian, all attorneys of record, any CASA volunteer, and any other juvenile court having jurisdiction over the child. The notice must be directed to the judicial officer or department that will conduct the hearing. (Subd (f) amended effective January 1, 2007.) (g) Conduct of hearing -- All parties and their attorneys must have an opportunity to be heard at the hearing. The court must make a determination regarding the appropriate status of the child and state its reasons on the record or in a written order. (h) Notice of decision after hearing -- Within 5 calendar days after the hearing, the clerk of the juvenile court must transmit the court's findings and orders to any other juvenile court with current jurisdiction over the child."

    10 California Rule of Court Rule 5.512. provides for "Joint assessment procedure" as follows: "(a) Joint assessment requirement (§ 241.1) Whenever a child appears to come within the description of section 300 and either section 601 or section 602, the responsible child welfare and probation departments must conduct a joint assessment to determine which status will serve the best interest of the child and the protection of society. (1) The assessment must be completed as soon as possible after the child comes to the attention of either department. (2) Whenever possible, the determination of status must be made before any petition concerning the child is filed. (3) The assessment report need not be prepared before the petition is filed but must be provided to the court for the hearing as stated in (e). (4) If a petition has been filed, on the request of the child, parent, guardian, or counsel, or on the court's own motion, the court may set a hearing for a determination under section 241.1 and order that the joint assessment report be made available as required in (f)."

    11 10 California Rule of Court 5.512(d).

    12 California Welfare & Institutions Code Section 241.1(e) provides: (e) Notwithstanding subdivision (d), the probation department and the child welfare services department, in consultation with the presiding judge of the juvenile court, in any county may create a jointly written protocol to allow the county probation department and the child welfare services department to jointly assess and produce a recommendation that the child be designated as a dual status child, allowing the child to be simultaneously a dependent child and a ward of the court. This protocol shall be signed by the chief probation officer, the director of the county social services agency, and the presiding judge of the juvenile court prior to its implementation. No juvenile court may order that a child is simultaneously a dependent child and a ward of the court pursuant to this subdivision unless and until the required protocol has been created and entered into. This protocol shall include all of the following: (1) A description of the process to be used to determine whether the child is eligible to be designated as a dual status child. (2) A description of the procedure by which the probation department and the child welfare services department will assess the necessity for dual status for specified children and the process to make joint recommendations for the court's consideration prior to making a determination under this section. These recommendations shall ensure a seamless transition from wardship to dependency jurisdiction, as appropriate, so that services to the child are not disrupted upon termination of the wardship. (3) A provision for ensuring communication between the judges who hear petitions concerning children for whom dependency jurisdiction has been suspended while they are within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 601 or 602. A judge may communicate by providing a copy of any reports filed pursuant to Section 727.2 concerning a ward to a court that has jurisdiction over dependency proceedings concerning the child. (4) A plan to collect data in order to evaluate the protocol pursuant to Section 241.2. (5) Counties that exercise the option provided for in this subdivision shall adopt either an "on-hold" system as described in subparagraph (A) or a "lead court/lead agency" system as described in subparagraph (B). In no case shall there be any simultaneous or duplicative case management or services provided by both the county probation department and the child welfare services department. It is the intent of the Legislature that judges, in cases in which more than one judge is involved, shall not issue conflicting orders. (A) In counties in which an on-hold system is adopted, the dependency jurisdiction shall be suspended or put on hold while the child is subject to jurisdiction as a ward of the court. When it appears that termination of the court's jurisdiction, as established pursuant to Section 601 or 602, is likely and that reunification of the child with his or her parent or guardian would be detrimental to the child, the county probation department and the child welfare services department shall jointly assess and produce a recommendation for the court regarding whether the court's dependency jurisdiction shall be resumed. (B) In counties in which a lead court/lead agency system is adopted, the protocol shall include a method for identifying which court or agency will be the lead court/lead agency. That court or agency shall be responsible for case management, conducting statutorily mandated court hearings, and submitting court reports."

    13 California Welfare & Institutions Code Section 366.5 provides: "The dependency jurisdiction shall be suspended for a child whom the juvenile court declares to be a dual status child based on the joint assessment and recommendation of the county probation department and the child welfare services department pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (e) of Section 241.1. The suspension shall be in effect while the child is a ward of the court. If the jurisdiction established pursuant to Section 601 or 602 is terminated without the need for continued dependency proceedings concerning the child, the juvenile court shall terminate the child's dual status. If the termination of the Section 601 or 602 jurisdiction is likely and reunification of the child with his or her parent or guardian would be detrimental to the child, the county probation department and child welfare services department shall jointly assess and produce a recommendation regarding whether the court's dependency jurisdiction shall be resumed."

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