Cross-Reporting Among Agencies That Respond to Child Abuse and Neglect - California

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Cross-Reporting Between Child Protective Services and Law Enforcement

Citation: Penal Code § 11166

A county probation or welfare department shall immediately, or as soon as practicably possible, report by telephone, fax, or electronic transmission to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the case, to the agency given the responsibility for investigation of cases under § 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and to the district attorney's office every known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect, as defined in § 11165.6, except acts or omissions coming within § 11165.2(b) (general neglect), or reports made pursuant to § 11165.13 based on risk to a child that relates solely to the inability of the parent to provide the child with regular care due to the parent's substance abuse, which shall be reported only to the county welfare or probation department.

After a county probation or welfare department receives information that a child or youth who is receiving child welfare services has been identified as the victim of commercial sexual exploitation, it shall immediately, and in no case in more than 24 hours, report to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the case after.

A law enforcement agency shall immediately, or as soon as practicably possible, report by telephone, fax, or electronic transmission to the agency given responsibility for investigation of cases under § 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and to the district attorney's office every known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect reported to it, except acts or omissions coming within § 11165.2(b) (general neglect), which shall be reported only to the county welfare or probation department. A law enforcement agency shall report to the county welfare or probation department every known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect reported to it which is alleged to have occurred as a result of the action of a person responsible for the child's welfare, or as the result of the failure of a person responsible for the child's welfare to adequately protect the minor from abuse when the person responsible for the child's welfare knew or reasonably should have known that the minor was in danger of abuse. A law enforcement agency also shall send, fax, or electronically transmit a written report thereof within 36 hours of receiving information concerning the incident to any agency to which it makes a telephone report under this subdivision.

Other Reporting Requirements

Citation: Wel. & Inst. Code §§ 224.2; 224.3; 328.1

The court, county welfare department, and the probation department have an affirmative and continuing duty to inquire whether a child for whom a petition may be or has been filed is or may be an Indian child. The duty to inquire begins with the initial contact, including, but not limited to, asking the party reporting child abuse or neglect whether the party has any information that the child may be an Indian child.

There is reason to know a child involved in a proceeding is an Indian child under any of the following circumstances:

  • A person having an interest in the child, including the child, an officer of the court, a Tribe, an Indian organization, a public or private agency, or a member of the child's extended family informs the court that the child is an Indian child.
  • The residence or domicile of the child, the child's parents, or Indian custodian is on a reservation or in an Alaska Native village.
  • Any participant in the proceeding, officer of the court, Indian Tribe, Indian organization, or agency informs the court that it has discovered information indicating that the child is an Indian child.
  • The child who is the subject of the proceeding gives the court reason to know that the child is an Indian child.
  • The court is informed that the child is or has been a ward of a Tribal court.
  • The court is informed that either parent or the child possess an identification card indicating membership or citizenship in an Indian Tribe.

If there is reason to know that the child is an Indian child, the party seeking foster care placement shall provide notice in accordance with § 224.3.

If the court, a social worker, or probation officer knows or has reason to know that an Indian child is involved, notice shall be provided for hearings that may culminate in an order for foster care placement, termination of parental rights, preadoptive placement, or adoptive placement. The notice shall be sent to the minor€™s parents or legal guardian, Indian custodian, if any, and the child's Tribe.

A county child welfare department investigating a case of child abuse or neglect involving an allegation against the parent or guardian of the child shall attempt, as soon as practicable, to determine if the parent or guardian is an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States.

A county child welfare department may develop and adopt memoranda of understanding with military installations, located in whole or in part within the borders of its jurisdiction, that govern the investigation of allegations of child abuse or neglect against active duty service members assigned to units on those installations. Those memoranda may include, but are not limited to, all the following:

  • To whom, how, and when each party would report information about an investigation
  • Each party's role and responsibilities when conducting an investigation and in providing child maltreatment prevention or rehabilitative services to a family in response to the results of the investigations, consistent with State and Federal law
  • Protocols describing what, if any, confidential information may be shared between the parties and for what purposes, in accordance with applicable State and Federal law

This section does not limit or change the responsibilities of a county child welfare department with respect to investigations of, or responses to, allegations of abuse or neglect.