Chief Sponsor: Jerry W. Stevenson

House Sponsor: Paul Ray


9     General Description:
10          This bill addresses investigations of alleged child abuse or neglect by the Division of
11     Child and Family Services.
12     Highlighted Provisions:
13          This bill:
14          ▸     removes provisions indicating that the Division of Child and Family Services is not
15     required to conduct a preremoval investigation of alleged child abuse or neglect if
16     the alleged perpetrator does not have access to the child; and
17          ▸     makes technical and conforming changes.
18     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
19          None
20     Other Special Clauses:
21          None
22     Utah Code Sections Affected:
23     AMENDS:
24          62A-4a-409, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2020, Fifth Special Session, Chapter 20

26     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
27          Section 1. Section 62A-4a-409 is amended to read:
28          62A-4a-409. Investigation by division -- Temporary protective custody --
29     Preremoval interviews of children.

30          (1) (a) [Except as provided in Subsection (1)(c), the] The division shall conduct a
31     thorough preremoval investigation upon receiving either an oral or written report of alleged
32     abuse or neglect, or an oral or written report under Subsection 62A-4a-404(2), when there is
33     reasonable cause to suspect that a situation of abuse, neglect, or the circumstances described
34     under Subsection 62A-4a-404(2) exist.
35          (b) The primary purpose of the investigation described in Subsection (1)(a) shall be
36     protection of the child.
37          [(c) The division is not required to conduct an investigation under Subsection (1)(a) if
38     the division determines the person responsible for the child's care:]
39          [(i) is not the alleged perpetrator; and]
40          [(ii) is willing and able to ensure the alleged perpetrator does not have access to the
41     child.]
42          (2) The preremoval investigation described in Subsection (1)(a) shall include the same
43     investigative requirements described in Section 62A-4a-202.3.
44          (3) The division shall make a written report of its investigation that shall include a
45     determination regarding whether the alleged abuse or neglect is supported, unsupported, or
46     without merit.
47          (4) (a) The division shall use an interdisciplinary approach when appropriate in dealing
48     with reports made under this part.
49          (b) The division shall convene a child protection team to assist the division in the
50     division's protective, diagnostic, assessment, treatment, and coordination services.
51          (c) The division may include members of a child protection unit in the division's
52     protective, diagnostic, assessment, treatment, and coordination services.
53          (d) A representative of the division shall serve as the team's coordinator and chair.
54     Members of the team shall serve at the coordinator's invitation. Whenever possible, the team
55     shall include representatives of:
56          (i) health, mental health, education, and law enforcement agencies;
57          (ii) the child;

58          (iii) parent and family support groups unless the parent is alleged to be the perpetrator;
59     and
60          (iv) other appropriate agencies or individuals.
61          (5) If a report of neglect is based upon or includes an allegation of educational neglect,
62     the division shall immediately consult with school authorities to verify the child's status in
63     accordance with Sections 53G-6-201 through 53G-6-206.
64          (6) When the division completes the division's initial investigation under this part, the
65     division shall give notice of that completion to the person who made the initial report.
66          (7) Division workers or other child protection team members have authority to enter
67     upon public or private premises, using appropriate legal processes, to investigate reports of
68     alleged abuse or neglect, upon notice to parents of their rights under the Child Abuse
69     Prevention and Treatment Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 5106, or any successor thereof.
70          (8) With regard to any interview of a child prior to removal of that child from the
71     child's home:
72          (a) except as provided in Subsection (8)(b) or (c), the division shall inform a parent of
73     the child prior to the interview of:
74          (i) the specific allegations concerning the child; and
75          (ii) the time and place of the interview;
76          (b) if a child's parent or stepparent, or a parent's paramour has been identified as the
77     alleged perpetrator, the division is not required to comply with Subsection (8)(a);
78          (c) if the perpetrator is unknown, or if the perpetrator's relationship to the child's family
79     is unknown, the division may conduct a minimal interview or conversation, not to exceed 15
80     minutes, with the child prior to complying with Subsection (8)(a);
81          (d) in all cases described in Subsection (8)(b) or (c), a parent of the child shall be
82     notified as soon as practicable after the child has been interviewed, but in no case later than 24
83     hours after the interview has taken place;
84          (e) a child's parents shall be notified of the time and place of all subsequent interviews
85     with the child; and

86          (f) the child shall be allowed to have a support person of the child's choice present,
87     who:
88          (i) may include:
89          (A) a school teacher;
90          (B) an administrator;
91          (C) a guidance counselor;
92          (D) a child care provider;
93          (E) a family member;
94          (F) a family advocate; or
95          (G) a member of the clergy; and
96          (ii) may not be an individual who is alleged to be, or potentially may be, the
97     perpetrator.
98          (9) In accordance with the procedures and requirements of Sections 62A-4a-202.1
99     through 62A-4a-202.3, a division worker or child protection team member may take a child
100     into protective custody and deliver the child to a law enforcement officer, or place the child in
101     an emergency shelter facility approved by the juvenile court, at the earliest opportunity
102     subsequent to the child's removal from the child's original environment. Control and
103     jurisdiction over the child is determined by the provisions of Title 78A, Chapter 6, Juvenile
104     Court Act, and as otherwise provided by law.
105          (10) With regard to cases in which law enforcement has or is conducting an
106     investigation of alleged abuse or neglect of a child:
107          (a) the division shall coordinate with law enforcement to ensure that there is an
108     adequate safety plan to protect the child from further abuse or neglect; and
109          (b) the division is not required to duplicate an aspect of the investigation that, in the
110     division's determination, has been satisfactorily completed by law enforcement.
111          (11) With regard to a mutual case in which a child protection unit was involved in the
112     investigation of alleged abuse or neglect of a child, the division shall consult with the child
113     protection unit before closing the case.