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6 LONG TITLE
7 General Description:
8 This bill amends Division of Child and Family Services child abuse, neglect, and
9 dependency investigation requirements.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 . provides an exception to the parents' interview requirement under specified
14 . provides an exception to the unscheduled visit requirement under specified
16 . makes technical corrections to the terms "unsubstantiated" and "substantiated"; and
17 . makes other technical corrections.
18 Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
20 Other Special Clauses:
22 Utah Code Sections Affected:
24 62A-4a-202.3, as last amended by Chapter 265, Laws of Utah 2002
26 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
27 Section 1. Section 62A-4a-202.3 is amended to read:
28 62A-4a-202.3. Investigation -- Substantiation of reports -- Child in protective
30 (1) When a child is taken into protective custody in accordance with Section
31 62A-4a-202.1 , 78-3a-106 , or 78-3a-301 , or when the division takes any other action which
32 would require a shelter hearing under Subsection 78-3a-306 (1), the division shall immediately
33 initiate an investigation of the circumstances of the minor and the facts surrounding the minor's
34 being taken into protective custody.
35 (2) (a) The division's investigation shall include, among other actions necessary to
36 meet reasonable professional standards:
38 involving the same child, any sibling or other child residing in that household, and the alleged
41 with the child outside of the presence of the alleged perpetrator, conducted in accordance with
42 the requirements of Subsection (7);
47 had direct contact with the child, including school personnel and the child's health care
50 (A) the division has reasonable cause to believe that the reported abuse was committed
51 by a person who does not:
54 (B) an unscheduled visit is not necessary to obtain evidence for the investigation; and
56 abuse, or failure to meet the child's medical needs, a medical examination. That examination
57 shall be obtained no later than 24 hours after the child was placed in protective custody.
58 (b) For purposes of Subsection (2)(a)(iii):
59 (i) even if the whereabouts of both parents are known, the division is not required to
60 interview a second parent unless the division has reason to believe that the second parent has
61 substantial, relevant information distinct from the information provided by the first parent; and
62 (ii) all interviews with parents shall be conducted prior to the completion of the
64 (3) The division may rely on a written report of a prior interview rather than
65 conducting an additional interview, if:
66 (a) law enforcement has previously conducted a timely and thorough investigation
67 regarding the alleged abuse [
68 (b) that investigation included one or more of the interviews required by Subsection
69 (2); and
70 (c) the division finds that an additional interview is not in the best interest of the child.
71 (4) (a) The division's determination of whether a report is substantiated or
72 unsubstantiated may be based on the child's statements alone.
73 (b) Inability to identify or locate the perpetrator may not be used by the division as a
74 basis for determining that a report is unsubstantiated, or for closing the case.
75 (c) The division may not determine a case to be [
76 identify a case as [
77 out-of-home perpetrator.
78 (d) Decisions regarding whether a report is [
79 unsupported, or without merit shall be based on the facts of the case at the time the report was
81 (5) The division should maintain protective custody of the child if it finds that one or
82 more of the following conditions exist:
83 (a) the minor has no natural parent, guardian, or responsible relative who is able and
84 willing to provide safe and appropriate care for the minor;
85 (b) shelter of the minor is a matter of necessity for the protection of the minor and there
86 are no reasonable means by which the minor can be protected in the minor's home or the home
87 of a responsible relative;
88 (c) there is substantial evidence that the parent or guardian is likely to flee the
89 jurisdiction of the court; or
90 (d) the minor has left a previously court ordered placement.
91 (6) (a) Within 24 hours after receipt of a child into protective custody, excluding
92 weekends and holidays, the division shall convene a child protection team to review the
93 circumstances regarding removal of the child from the child's home or school[
94 testimony and evidence that will be required of the division at the shelter hearing, in
95 accordance with Section 78-3a-306 .
96 (b) Members of [
97 (i) the caseworker assigned to the case and the caseworker who made the decision to
98 remove the child;
99 (ii) a representative of the school or school district in which the child attends school;
100 (iii) the peace officer who removed the child from the home;
101 (iv) a representative of the appropriate Children's Justice Center, if one is established
102 within the county where the child resides;
103 (v) if appropriate, and known to the division, a therapist or counselor who is familiar
104 with the child's circumstances; and
105 (vi) any other individuals [
106 coordinator and chair.
107 (c) At [
109 the child's parents and siblings.
110 (7) After receipt of a child into protective custody and prior to the adjudication hearing,
111 all investigative interviews with the child that are initiated by the division shall be audio or
112 video taped, and the child shall be allowed to have a support person of the child's choice
113 present. That support person may not be an alleged perpetrator.
114 (8) The division shall cooperate with law enforcement investigations regarding the
115 alleged perpetrator.
116 (9) The division may not close an investigation solely on the grounds that the division
117 investigator is unable to locate the child[
118 the child and family members. Those efforts include:
119 (a) visiting the home at times other than normal work hours;
120 (b) contacting local schools;
121 (c) contacting local, county, and state law enforcement agencies; and
122 (d) checking public assistance records.
Legislative Review Note
as of 2-11-04 11:47 AM
A limited legal review of this legislation raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel
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