Chapter 7 : Section 07

Court Reports

Policy

The Department shall provide the court with accurate, thorough and timely reports, as required by law or by judicial order.

All court reports shall be prepared by the assigned DCS Specialist and reviewed and signed by the assigned DCS Program Supervisor or designee.

The Department shall make recommendations to the court concerning the parent's financial responsibility for the care of dependent children, as required by law.

Procedures

Prepare and Distribute Court Reports

All reports (except the Extension Report) to the Juvenile Court must include the following documents:

  • a copy of the Case Plan and Service Plan;

  • for children in out-of-home care, include the Health Plan, Education Plan, Family Contact Plan and Transition Plan, if applicable;

  • Foster Care Plan and Progress Report and Attachment A;

  • ensure that the child's school name and address are recorded on Attachment A;

  • include on Attachment A the name and address of:

    • the foster parent, pre-adoptive parent, kinship foster parent, or other significant person who is caring for the child or who has cared for the child in the last six months;

    • a relative identified as a possible placement for the child;

    • the shelter care facility and receiving foster parent(s) where the child resides, or where a child resided for 11 days or more within the last six months;

    • any juvenile probation officer of a child; and

    • any behavioral health case manager of a parent or a child.

  • Parental Assessment Financial Statement; and

  • reports from service team members.

Include an updated Foster Care Plan and Progress Report and Attachment A with any Addendum Report to Juvenile Court. Also include any of the above documents that have been updated since the last report to Juvenile Court.

Distribute court reports (except the Extension Report) as follows:

Send the report and all of the above documents to the Juvenile Court and the assigned Assistant Attorney General.

Send the report and all of the above documents to the FCRB except In-Home Intervention and In-Home Dependency cases. The FCRB only reviews cases of children in out-of-home placement and who are subject to a dependency petition.

Send the report to the attorneys and/or guardians ad-litem representing the parents, guardians and child in the dependency actions and to the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), with all of the above documents except the Foster Care Plan and Progress Report and Attachment A.

Send the report and the case plan to any party to the case not represented by an attorney. For unrepresented minors, consult with the AAG to discuss proper disclosure.

Determining Parental Assessment

Prior to the Preliminary Protective Hearing or Initial Dependency (21 Day) Hearing, whichever occurs first, request parents provide information required by the Parental Assessment Financial Statement.

Use the schedule on the form to determine the parent's financial responsibility. Request the parent sign the form, agreeing to the assessment.

If the parent will not provide necessary information or refuses to sign the form, submit a request in the court report that the parent be ordered to complete the Parental Assessment Financial Statement within ten days or be assessed the complete cost of care. Ask the Assistant Attorney General to obtain an order for the parental assessment.

Update the Parental Assessment Financial Statement prior to the Permanency Hearing, each Report and Review Hearing, and each Review Hearing after Permanency Hearing, or anytime there is a change in the parent's financial status.

For parents who are or will be incarcerated, you may submit a waiver of a parental assessment to the court. When the parent is released, submit a Parental Assessment Financial Statement to the court and to the Parental Assessment Coordinator Site Code CH010-21.

Attach an original Parental Assessment Financial Statement to the Report to the Juvenile Court for Preliminary Protective Hearing and/or Initial Dependency Hearing, to the Report to the Juvenile Court for the Initial Permanency Hearing and Permanency Hearing, or to the Progress Report to the Juvenile Court, and disseminate copies to all parties, except those persons given "interested party" status by the court.

Send one copy to the Parental Assessment Coordinator, Site Code CH010-21, and file a copy in the hard copy file.

Reports for Specific Hearings

Report to the Juvenile Court for Preliminary Protective Hearing and/or Initial Dependency Hearing

Prepare the Report for the Preliminary Protective Hearing and/or the Initial Dependency Hearing. Provide all verbal and written responses to the allegation and any documentation obtained from the subject of a DCS investigation. If the report is prepared for the Preliminary Protective Hearing, the report must be submitted not later than 24 hours before the Preliminary Protective Hearing. If the report is prepared for the Initial Dependency Hearing, the report must be submitted at least ten (10) working days prior to the hearing.

Report to the Juvenile Court for In-Home Intervention

Prepare the Report to Juvenile Court for In-Home Intervention. Provide all verbal and written responses to the allegation and any documentation obtained from the subject of a DCS investigation. The report must be submitted at least ten (10) working days prior to the hearing.

Report to the Juvenile Court for Dependency Adjudication Hearing and Disposition Hearing

Prepare the Report for the Dependency Adjudication Hearing using the Addendum Report template in Guardian. Provide any important updates and information about the case and discuss why the child continues to be dependent. If not already provided to the juvenile court, include all verbal and written responses to the allegation and any documentation obtained from the subject of a DCS investigation. The report must be submitted at least ten (10) working days prior to the hearing.

The court may order the Department to prepare and file a Disposition Report which shall include dispositional recommendations and the basis for the recommendations made. Prepare an Addendum Report that outlines the case plan goals, the services and supports provided to the family to achieve and maintain permanency, the conditions for return, and the Department’s recommendations. Provide the Addendum Report to the court and the parties five (5) days prior to the hearing, unless otherwise ordered by the court.

Report to the Juvenile Court for the Permanency Hearing

Prepare the Report to the Juvenile Court for the Permanency Hearing. If not already provided to the juvenile court, include all verbal and written response to the allegation and any documentation obtained from the subject of a DCS investigation. The report must be submitted at least fifteen (15) working days prior to the hearing.

Progress Report to the Juvenile Court

Prepare this report for report and review hearings, review hearings after permanency hearing, and for Foster Care Review Board hearings. If not already provided to the juvenile court and Foster Care Review Board, include all verbal and written responses to the allegation and any documentation obtained from the subject of a DCS investigation. The report must be submitted at least fifteen (15) working days prior to the hearing.

Report to the Juvenile Court for Permanent Guardianship

Prepare this report for the Hearing on the Motion for Permanent Guardianship. Send the report and the following documents to the assigned Assistant Attorney General in the time frame specified by the Assistant Attorney General to prepare the Motion for Permanent Guardianship:

  • Referral for Guardianship, CSO-1065A;

  • results of the state and federal criminal history records check;

  • child's birth certificate;

  • parent's death certificate (if applicable); and

  • written correspondence to and from tribes regarding the plan of permanent guardianship.

Report to the Juvenile Court for Return of the Child Hearing (Rule 342)

Submit the Report to the Juvenile Court for Rule 342 Hearing to the Juvenile Court at least fifteen (15) days prior to Return of the Child (Rule 342) hearings and provide copies to all parties. The report shall address the following:

  • the current case plan and goals of the case plan;

  • the parent, guardian, or Indian custodian’s compliance with the case plan; and

  • the petitioner’s opinion as to whether the return of the child to the parent, guardian, or Indian custodian would create substantial risk of harm to the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health or safety.

Extension Report

Submit the Emergency Extension Report to the Juvenile Court whenever a child has remained in a receiving foster home or shelter facility for a period of three weeks or longer.

Addendum Report

Submit an addendum report:

  • to provide new and updated information including efforts to locate parents and provision of services; and

  • when making a special request to the court (such as a request for a change in physical custody or a request for out-of-state travel).

Special Court Reports/Orders

Submit an addendum report to the court and request a special court order when a dependent child:

  • plans to travel out-of-state for more than 30 days;

  • plans to travel out of the country;

  • within 72 hours of the death of a dependent child; or

  • to request a waiver of a parental assessment for parents who are or will be incarcerated.

Complete the Addendum Report attached to the corresponding Motion when a dependent child:

  • has runaway, is missing, or is abducted from out-of-home care (must be completed within 24 hours of the child’s disappearance);

  • requires non-emergency surgery, general anesthesia, or a blood transfusion and the permission of the parent cannot be obtained;

  • is placed in out-of-home care other than a licensed facility;

  • has a physical custody order that is currently in effect and is moved to a new placement;

  • will be discharged from an inpatient psychiatric or acute care or residential treatment facility;

  • will be transferred from one inpatient psychiatric or acute care or residential facility to another; or

  • requires hospitalization for inpatient psychiatric acute care services.

Complete the Motion to Approve QRTP Placement and the Addendum Report when a child is placed in a Qualified Residential Treatment Program(QRTP). Attach the QRTP Admission Worksheet completed by DCS Placement Administration and the Case Plan. The Motion to Approve QRTP Placement and corresponding documents shall be filed with the Juvenile Court within ten (10) days of a child being placed in a QRTP.

Documentation

File a copy of all court orders in the hard copy record.

The DCS Specialist should only document information related to an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity and expression in a court report when disclosure of such information is related to the reason for DCS involvement and/or an identified safety threat and/or is directly relevant to the issue to be decided by the court.

Send a copy of any court order or minute entry that orders or changes a parental assessment to the Parental Assessment Coordinator, Site Code CH010-21.

Effective Date: October 1, 2021
Revision History: November 30, 2012, March 3, 2016, April 19th, 2018, August 03, 2018, February 1, 2021