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2023 California Rules of Court

Rule 5.637. Family Finding (§§ 309(e), 628(d))

(a) Within 30 days of a child's removal from the home of his or her parent or guardian, if the child is in or at risk of entering foster care, the social worker or probation officer must use due diligence in conducting an investigation to identify, locate, and notify all the child's adult relatives.

(b) The social worker or probation officer is not required to notify a relative whose personal history of family or domestic violence would make notification inappropriate.

Rule 5.637 adopted effective January 1, 2011.

Advisory Committee Comment

This rule restates the requirements of section 103 of the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (Pub. L. No. 110-351, § 103 (Oct. 7, 2008) 122 Stat. 3949, 3956, codified at 42 U.S.C. § 671(a)(29)) as implemented by California Assembly Bill 938 (Com. on Judiciary; Stats. 2009, ch. 261, codified at Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 309(e) and 628(d)). These statutes enacted elements of the child welfare practice known as Family Finding and Engagement, which has been recommended to improve outcomes for children by the Judicial Council's California Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care and the California Child Welfare Council. (See Cal. Blue Ribbon Com. on Children in Foster Care, Fostering a New Future for California's Children, pp. 30-31 (Admin. Off. of Cts., May 2009) (final report and action plan), www.courts.ca.gov; Permanency Committee Recommendations to the Child Welfare Council, pp. 1-4 (Sept. 10, 2009), www.chhs.ca.gov.)

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