to Table of Contents
Hoopa Valley Tribal Code
Last amended: 2005
14 - Child Welfare Code
September 18, 1997)
1 - General Provisions
Chapter 2 - [Temporary Coustody, Detention and Shelter]
Chapter 3 - Petition, Adjudication, and Disposition
Chapter 4 - Child Abuse
Chapter 5 - Termination of Parent/ Child Legal Relationship
Chapter 6 - Adoption
Chapter 7 - Foster Home Standards
Chapter 8 - [Personal Rights of Children in Foster Care]
9 - [Agreement With Foster Parents]
10 - [Permanency Planning for Indian Children in Foster Care]
TITLE 14 - ORDINANCE OF THE HOOPA VALLEY TRIBE HOOPA INDIAN RESERVATION
ORDINANCE NO: 2-90
APPROVED: Amended September 18, 1997
TO ESTABLISH RULES, PROCEDURES AND CRITERIA FOR GOVERNING ADOPTION AND
FOSTER HOME PLACEMENTS AND OTHER ACTIVITIES INVOLVING INDIAN CHILDREN
UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT.
The Hoopa Valley Tribe did on June 20, 1972, adopt a Constitution
and Bylaws which was approved by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs
on August 18, 1972, and Article IX, Section 1 (1) of this Constitution
and Bylaws authorized the Hoopa Valley Business Council, " To safeguard
and promote the peace, safety, morals, and general welfare of the Hoopa
Valley Indians....", and
The Hoopa Valley Tribe has by referendum vote in June 1985 established
as a Tribal priority the enactment of a children's code to assure the
protection of Indian children and their cultural heritage under the
authority of Tribal and Federal Law pursuant to the Indian Child Welfare
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the Hoopa Valley Tribal Council,
under its authority under the Constitution of the Hoopa Valley Tribe
and under as authorized by referendum vote of the Hoopa membership,
does hereby enact this Child Welfare Code of the Hoopa Valley Tribe
As Title 14 of the Law and Order Code of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and
that this Code shall be in full force and effect.
CHAPTER 1: GENERAL PROVISIONS
title of this Act shall be the Child Welfare Code of the Hoopa Valley
of the Hoopa Valley Tribe did in June 1983 approve by referendum election
the Hoopa Valley Business Council to enact a Child Welfare Code for
reassumption of child welfare matters under the authority established
in the Indian Child Welfare Act.
ESTABLISHMENT OF TRIBAL CHILDREN'S COURT
is hereby established a Children's Component of the Hoopa Tribal Court
with the authority to enforce this Code. Except as provided herein,
the procedures of the Tribal Children's Court shall be the same those
used by the Tribal Court.
APPOINTMENT OF CHILDREN'S COURT JUDGE
Judge of the Hoopa Tribal Court shall appoint from within the composition
of Tribal Court Judges a judge whose primary function shall be to
hear court actions brought under the authority of this Code.
of this Code are defined as follows:
To secure for each child subject to these provisions such care and
guidance, preferably in his/ her own home, as will best serve his/
her won home, as will best serve his/ her welfare and the interests
of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and society in general;
To preserve and strengthen family ties whenever possible, including
improvement of the home environment;
To protect and preserve the Tribal heritage and cultural identity
of the child;
To remove a child from the custody of his/ her parents ONLY
when his/ her welfare and safety or the protection of the public
would otherwise be endangered; and
To secure for any child removed from the custody of his parents
the necessary care, guidance, and discipline to assist him/ her
in becoming responsible and productive manner of his tribe and society
in this title, unless the context otherwise requires:
"ADJUDICATORY HEARING" means a hearing to determine
whether the allegations of a petition are supported by evidence
beyond a reasonable doubt or the allegations of a petition are supported
by a preponderance of the evidence.
"ADULT" means a person eighteen years of age or over;
except that any minor eighteen years of age or over under the continuing
jurisdiction of the court, or who is before the court for an alleged
delinquent act committed prior to his eighteenth birthday, or concerning
whom a petition has been filed for his adoption other than under
this Title, shall be referred to as a child.
"CHILD-INDIAN" or "INDIAN CHILD"
means a an unmarried person who is an enrolled member of a federally
recognized Tribe who is under eighteen years of age; an unmarried
person who is eligible for membership in the Hoopa Valley Tribe
and is under eighteen years of age; or an unmarried person who is
an immediate descendant of an enrolled member of the Hoopa Valley
Tribe and is under eighteen years of age. Whenever necessary, the
singular form shall be interpreted as the plural, i. e., child interpreted
"CHILD-MEMBER" means, for the purposes of this Code,
a child under eighteen years of age who is an enrolled member or
who is eligible for membership in the Hoopa Valley Tribe.
"CHILD CARE CENTER" means a facility licensed and
approved pursuant to law. If such facility is located outside the
tribal jurisdiction, it shall be licensed or approved as required
by law in that jurisdiction.
"CHILD IN NEED OF SUPERVISION" means any child:
who has repeatedly disobeyed reasonable and lawful commands or
directives of his parents, or legal guardian, or other custodian:
who is willfully and voluntarily absent from his home without
the consent of his parent or guardian or legal custodian for a
substantial length of time or without intent to return: or
who being subject to compulsory school attendance, the child is
willfully and voluntarily absent from school in violation of law.
"CHILD PROTECTION AGENCY" means an agency licensed
or approved pursuant to law. If such agency is located outside the
tribal jurisdiction, it shall be licensed or approved as required
by law in that jurisdiction.
"COMMIT" means to transfer legal custody.
"DELINQUENT CHILD" means:
a child who has violated any federal, state, or tribal law or
any lawful order of the court made under this act; to
a child who has violated traffic laws or traffic ordinances.
"DEPRIVATION OF CUSTODY" means transfer of legal custody
by the court from a parent or a previous legal custodian to another
person, agency, or institution.
"DETENTION" means the temporary care of a child who
requires secure custody in physically restricting facilities pending
court disposition or an execution of a court order for placement
"DISPOSITIONAL HEARING" Means a hearing to determine
what order of disposition should be made concerning a child adjudicated
as a delinquent, in need of supervision, or neglected or dependent.
Such hearing may be part of the proceeding which includes the adjudicatory
hearing or it may be held at a time subsequent to the adjudicatory
"EXTENDED FAMILY--RELATIVE" means a member of the
family related by blood who is an enrolled member of the tribe.
"FAMILY CARE HOME" means a facility licensed and approved
pursuant to law. If such facility is located outside the tribe's
jurisdiction it shall be licensed or approved as required by the
jurisdiction in which the facility is located.
"GROUP CARE FACILITIES AND HOMES" means places other
than foster family care homes providing care for small groups of
"GUARDIANSHIP OF THE PERSON" means the duty and authority
vested by court action to make major decisions affecting a child
including, but not limited to:
the authority to consent to marriage, to enlistment in the arm
forces, and to medical and surgical treatment;
the authority to represent a child in legal actions and to make
other decisions of substantial legal significance concerning the
the authority to consent to the adoption of a child when the parent/
child relationship has been terminated by judicial decree; and,
the rights and responsibilities of legal custody when legal custody
has not been vested in another person, agency, or institution.
"INDIAN CUSTODIAN" means an Indian person in whose
care a child is entrusted by informal agreement between that person
and the child's parent.
"CHILDREN'S COURT OR COURT" means the Children's Court
of the Hoopa Valley Tribe established herein to handle child matters.
"LEGAL CUSTODY" means the right to the care, custody,
and control of a child and the duty to provide food, clothing, shelter,
ordinary medical care, education, and discipline for a child and,
in an emergency, to authorize surgery or other extraordinary care.
Legal custody may be taken from a parent only by court action.
"NEGLECT OR DEPENDENT CHILD" OR " DEPENDENT AND NEGLECTED
CHILD " MEANS A CHILD:
whose parent, guardian, legal custodian, or Indian custodian has
abandoned him or has subjected him to mistreatment or abuse or
whose parent, guardian or legal custodian has suffered or allowed
another to mistreat or abuse the child without taking lawful means
to stop such mistreatment or abuse, including physical abuse and
sexual exploitation, and prevent it from recurring.
who lacks proper parental care through the actions or omissions
of the parent, guardian, legal custodian, or Indian custodian.
whose environment is injurious to his welfare;
whose parent, guardian, legal custodian, or Indian custodian fails
or refuses to provide proper or necessary subsistence, education,
medical care, or any other necessary care for his health, guidance,
who is homeless, without proper care, or not domiciled with his
parent, guardian, legal custodian, or Indian custodian;
"PARENT" means either a natural parent of a child
or a parent by adoption;
"PROTECTIVE SUPERVISION" means a legal status created
by court order under which the child is permitted to remain in his
home or is placed with a relative or other suitable person, and
supervision and assistance is provided by the court, the Tribal
Social Service Department, or other agency designated by the court.
"RESIDUAL PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES" means
those rights and responsibilities remaining with a parent after
legal custody, guardianship of the person, or both have been not
necessarily limited to, the responsibility for support, the right
to consent to adoption, the right to reasonable visitation unless
restricted by the court, and the right to determine the child's
"SHELTER" means the temporary care of a child in physically
unrestricting facilities pending court disposition or execution
of a court order for placement.
"TERMINATION OF PARENT/ CHILD LEGAL RELATIONSHIP"
means the permanent elimination by court order of all parental rights
and duties, including any residual parental rights and responsibilities.
"TRANSFER PROCEEDINGS " means any proceeding in the
tribal court to accept or decline transfer from any state court
or other tribal court of any court proceeding for the foster care
placement of or termination of parental rights to any Indian child.
"TRIBAL PRESENTING OFFICER" means a representative
of the Tribe who is officially designated to present issues on behalf
of the Tribe arising under this code.
The Children's Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction, with respect
to the matters addressed in this Children's code, over all Indian
children resident or domiciled within the exterior boundaries of
the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation or who are wards of the Court.
The Court may, or if compelling reason is demonstrated, decline
transfers of jurisdiction from any other court pursuant to Title
I, Section 101 (b) of Pub. Law 95-608, the Indian Child Welfare
Act, 25 U. S. C. sec. 1911 (b), over any case involving a Hoopa
Indian child. The Court may also offer to transfer jurisdiction
of a case to any other court if it appears that another court is
a proper forum.
Except as otherwise provided by law, the Children's Court shall
have exclusive jurisdiction in proceedings under the authority of
Concerning any child in need of supervision;
Concerning any child who is neglected or dependent;
Concerning any transfer proceeding;
To determine the legal custody of any child or to appoint a guardian
of the person or legal custodian of any child who comes within
the children's court jurisdiction.
For the issuance of orders of support of minor children.
To determine the parentage of a child and to make order of support
in connection therewith.
For the adoption of a child and to make an order of support in
For the treatment or commitment of a mentally ill or developmentally
disabled child who comes within the Court's jurisdiction.
Except as other wise provided by law, the Children's Court shall
have jurisdiction in proceedings concerning any adult:
Who induces, aids, or encourages a child to violate any federal,
tribal, or state law.
Who abuses, ill-treats, neglects, or abandons a child who comes
within the court's jurisdiction.
Who violates any duly served order of the court.
The court may issue temporary orders providing for protection, support,
or medical or surgical treatment as it deems in the best interest
of any child concerning whom a petition has been filed prior to
adjudication or disposition of his/ her case.
Nothing in this section shall deprive the tribal court of jurisdiction
to appoint a guardian for a child nor of jurisdiction to determine
the legal custody of a child when the question of legal custody
is incidental to the determination of a cause in the tribal court,
If a petition involving the same child is pending in juvenile
court or if continuous jurisdiction has been previously acquired
by the juvenile court, the tribal court shall certify the question
of legal custody to the juvenile court; and
The tribal court at any time may request the children's court
to make recommendations pertaining to the guardianship or legal
Where a custody award has been made in the tribal court in a dissolution
of marriage action or another proceeding and the jurisdiction of
the tribal court in the case is continuing, the same child if he
is dependent or neglected or otherwise comes within the jurisdiction
set forth herein.
The Tribal Council may enter into cooperative enforcement and service
agreements with government agencies, other Indian tribes, organizations
and individuals for the proper enforcement of this Code.
The Tribal Social Services Department may develop, subject to Council
approval, rules, regulations and procedures for determining the
selection of cases to be handled and other matters arising under
For determining who is an Indian for purposes of this Code, the
Tribal Enrollment Committee shall have such authority for children
of enrolled members. The Bureau of Indian Affairs or the Indian
tribe of either or both parents shall determine who is an Indian
for non-member children.
INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT TRANSFERS
INDIAN CHILD WELFARE TRANSFERS FROM STATE COURTS
Pursuant to the Indian Child Welfare Act, any local or state court
may transfer to the Children's Court herein any proceeding for
the foster care placement of, or termination of parental rights
to, member or Indian child within the jurisdiction of the court,
if the Children's Court finds that the transfer would not be detrimental
to the best interests of the child.
The Children's Court shall determine whether the transfer to the
Tribe's jurisdiction would be detrimental to the best interest
of the child in a transfer proceeding initiated by the Tribe after
the order of transfer is received by the court clerk.
A court transferring a case to the Tribe's jurisdiction under
subsection (a) of this section shall transmit all documents and
legal and social records, or certified copies thereof, to the
receiving court, which court shall proceed with the case as if
the petition has been originally filed or the adjudication had
been originally made in this Court.
INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT TRANSFER FROM OTHER TRIBAL COURTS
When requested by another tribal court, by specific agreement,
to have Hoopa jurisdiction apply, any proceeding over which this
Court has jurisdiction pursuant to this Title, may be transferred
to the Hoopa Tribal Children's Court.
If the Court finds that tribal jurisdiction shall apply, transfer
proceedings will be made pursuant to subsection 1 of this section.
INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT TRANSFERS FROM HOOPA TRIBAL CHILDREN'S
The Hoopa Tribal Children's Court may transfer to the juvenile
court of another tribe any proceeding over which this court has
jurisdiction pursuant to this chapter, and if the children's court
finds that the transfer would not be detrimental to the best interest
of the child.
If transfer to the other tribe is in the best interest of the
child, the Children's Court shall transmit all documents, legal
and social records or certified copies thereof, to the receiving
RIGHT TO COUNSEL -OTHER THAN HOOPA TRIBE
At his first appearance before the Court, the child and his parents,
guardian, or other legal custodian shall be fully advised by the
Court of their legal rights, including the right to be represented
by counsel, at his own expense, at every stage of the proceedings.
If the child or his parents, guardian, or other legal custodian
requests an attorney and is found to be without sufficient financial
means, counsel, to the extent such are available at no fee, shall
be appointed by the court in proceedings Child in Need of Supervision
or under Child who is neglected and/ or dependent, when termination
of the parent/ child legal relationship is stated as a possible
remedy in the summons.
The Court may appoint counsel without request if it deems representation
by counsel necessary to protect the interest of the child or of
REPRESENTATION OF THE HOOPA TRIBE
Tribal Social Services Department is authorized to act as the
Presiding Officers and to represent the position of the Tribe
in Tribal Court Proceedings arising under this Code, and in proceedings
in state courts that are subject to transfer of jurisdiction to
the Tribal Court under the Indian Child Welfare Act or in which
the Tribe has a right to intervene as a party.
The Tribal Social Services staff shall develop and maintain a
file on any proceedings in which tribal participation is contemplated,
as set forth in section (a) above. Such file shall include all
papers filed in the proceedings, and social worker or related
assessments, whether or not filed in court.
The Social Service Department staff may consult with the Legal
Department in fulfilling their responsibilities under this Section.
If the Department staff desire Legal Department representation
in the proceeding, the case file shall be forwarded to the Legal
Department at the time the request is made for such representation.
The legal Department shall provide a written recommendation to
the Social Department and to the Tribal Chairman regarding the
need for Legal Department representation in any judicial proceeding.
Legal Department representation may take into the workload on
other priority matters, and the significance or difficulty of
the legal issues presented in the proceeding. The Tribal Chairman
is authorized to approve the Legal Department's participation
in the proceeding, or the chairman may in his discretion seek
the advise of the Council.
In any proceeding in which the Tribe is represented by the Legal
Department, the Social Service Department shall continue to be
responsible for maintaining and updating the case file, including
supplemental or other investigative work as requested by the Legal
HEARINGS, PROCEDURES, RECORDS & PUBLICITY
The rules and procedure set forth in this Title shall apply in all
proceedings under this section.
Hearings shall be held before the court without a jury in closed
session and may be conducted in a informal manner, except in termination
and foster proceedings. The Court shall admit only such persons
as it deems proper, including persons whom the parents or guardians
wish to be present. Hearings may be continued from time to time
as ordered by the Court.
A verbatim record shall be taken of all proceedings which might
result in the deprivation of custody. A verbatim record shall be
made in all other hearings, including any hearing conducted by a
mediator, unless waived by the parties in the proceedings and so
ordered by the judge or mediator.
When more than one child is named in a petition alleging need of
supervision, or neglect or dependency, the hearings may be consolidated;
except that separate hearings may be held with respect to disposition.
Children's cases shall be heard separately from adult cases, and
the child or his parents, guardian, or other custodian may be heard
separately when deemed necessary by the court.
The name, picture, place of residence, or identity of any child,
parent, guardian, other custodian, or person appearing as a witness
in proceedings shall not be published in any newspaper or in any
other publication nor given any other publicity unless for good
cause it is specifically permitted by order of the Court. Any person
who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor
and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable by a fine of not
more than five hundred dollars (500).
SOCIAL STUDY AND OTHER REPORTS
Unless waived by the Court, the Tribal Social Services Department
or other agency designated by the court shall make a social study
and report in writing in all Children's cases, except:
If the allegations of a petition filed are denied, the study shall
not be made until the court has entered an order of adjudication
as provided herein; and
The study and investigation in all adoptions shall be made as
For the purpose of determining proper disposition of a child, written
reports and other material relation to the child's mental, physical,
and social history may be received and considered by the Court along
with along with other evidence; but the court, if so requested by
the child, his parent or guardian, or other interested party shall
require that the person who wrote the subject to both direct and
cross-examination. In the absence of such request, the Court may
order the person who prepared the report or other material to appear
if it finds that the interest of the child, his parent or guardian
or other party to the proceedings so requires.
The Court shall inform the child, his parent or legal guardian,
or other interested party of the right of cross-examination concerning
any written report or other material as specified in this section.
EFFECT OF PROCEEDINGS
No adjudication of disposition in proceedings shall impose any civil
disability upon a child or disqualify him from any tribal personnel
system or military service application or appointment or from holding
No adjudication, deposition, or evidence given in proceedings
shall be admissible against a child in any criminal or other action
The Children's Court may appoint one or more mediators to hear any
case or matter under its jurisdiction. Mediators shall serve at
the pleasure of the Court, unless otherwise provided by law.
Mediators may conduct hearings in the manner provided for the hearing
of cases by the Court. Prior to any hearing, except those at which
the child is advised of his rights and either admits or denies the
allegations of the petition, the mediator shall inform the parties
that they have the right to a hearing before the Children's Court
Judge in the first instance, except on probable cause hearings,
and that they may waive that right, but that by waiving that right,
they are bound by the findings and recommendations of the mediator,
except as provided in subsection (4) Of this section. If a request
is made for this section. If a request is made for a hearing before
a Children's Court judge in the first instance, the mediator shall
terminate the hearing and transmit the case to the appointing judge.
At the conclusion of a hearing the mediator shall:
Transmit promptly to the Children's Court judge all papers relating
to the case together with his findings and recommendations in
Advise the parties before him of his findings and recommendations.
Advise the parties of their right to review of the findings and
recommendations by the Children's Court Judge.
A request for review shall be filed within five days after the conclusion
of the hearing and shall clearly set forth the grounds relied upon.
Such review shall be solely upon the record of the hearing before
Records of court proceedings shall be open to inspection by the
parents or guardian, attorneys, and other parties in proceedings
before the court, and to any agency to which legal custody of
the child has been transferred, except records of court proceedings
in adoption and relinquishment shall be confidential and open
to inspection only by court order.
With consent of the Court, records of the court proceedings may
be inspected by the child, by persons having a legitimate interest
in the proceedings, and by persons conducting pertinent research
studies, except in relinquishment and adoption proceedings.
Probation counselor's records and all other reports of social
and clinical studies shall not be open to inspection, except by
consent of court.
Any person may petition the court for the expungement of his record
and shall be so informed at the time of adjudication, or the court,
on its own motion may initiate expungement proceedings concerning
the record of any child who has been under the jurisdiction of
the court. Such petition shall be filed or such court order entered
no sooner than two years after the date of termination of the
Court's jurisdiction over the person. Only by stipulation of all
parties involved may expungement be applied for prior to the expiration
of two years from the date of termination of the Court's jurisdiction
of the Court's jurisdiction or termination of the Court's supervision
under an informal adjustment.
Upon filing of a petition or entering of a court order, the Court
set a date for a hearing and shall notify the tribal prosecutor
and anyone else whom the court has reason to believe may have
relevant information related to the expungement of the record.
The Court shall order sealed all records in the petitioner's case
in the custody of the court and any records in the custody of
any other agency or official, if at the hearing the Court finds
The subject of the hearing has not been convicted of a felony
or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude and has not been
adjudicated under this Title since the termination of the court's
No proceeding concerning a felony or a misdemeanor involving
moral turpitude or a petition under this Title is pending or
being instituted against him; and
The rehabilitation of the person has been attained to the satisfaction
of the court.
Upon the entry of an order to seal the records, the proceedings
in the case shall be deemed never to have occurred, and all index
references shall be deleted, and the person and the court may
properly reply that no record exists with respect to such person
upon any inquiry in the matter.
Copies of the order shall be sent to each agency or official named
Inspection of the records included in the order may thereafter
be permitted by the court only upon petition by the person who
is the subject of such records and only to those person named
in such petition.
In any proceedings under this Title in which the court orders the
petition dismissed, the court may order the records expunged. Such
order of expungement may be entered without delay upon petition
of the child or any party or upon the court's motion.
RIGHT OF APPEALS
will be dealt with pursuant to appellate procedures as provided herein.
TEMPORARY CUSTODY, DETENTION AND SHELTER
TAKING CHILDREN INTO CUSTODY
A child may be taken into temporary custody by a law enforcement officer
without order of the court:
When he is abandoned, lost, or seriously endangered in his surroundings
or seriously endangers others and immediate removal appears to be
necessary for his protection or the protection of others; or
When there are reasonable grounds to believe that he has run away
or escaped from his parents, guardian, or legal custodian.
When an Indian Child Welfare or Social Services Department worker
reports a case and there is probable cause to believe that the child
is in danger.
A Tribal Law Enforcement Officer accompanied by an employee of the
Social Service Department or their designated representative may take
a child into temporary custody:
Under any of the circumstances stated in subsection 184.108.40.206 of
this section: or,
If he has violated the conditions of probation and he is under the
continuing jurisdiction of the Children's Court.
The taking of a child into temporary custody under this section is
not an arrest nor does it constitute a police record.
DUTY OF OFFICER-NOTIFICATION-RELEASE OR DETENTION-RECORDS
When a child is taken into temporary custody, the officer shall notify
a parent, guardian, or legal custodian without unnecessary delay and
inform him/ her that, if the child is placed in detention, all parties
have a right to a prompt hearing to determine whether the child is
to be detained further. Such notification may be made to a person
with whom the child is residing if a parent, guardian, or legal custodian
located. If the officer taking the child into custody is unable to
make such notification, it may be made by any other law enforcement
officer, probation counselor, detention center counselor, an employee
of the Social Service Department, or in whose physical custody the
child is placed.
The child shall be released to the care of his parents or other responsible
adult, unless his immediate welfare or the protection of the community
requires that he be detained. The parent or other person to whom the
child is released may be required to sign a written promise, on forms
supplied by the court at a time set or to be set by the court.
Except as provided in paragraph (a) of this subsection, a child shall
not be detained by law enforcement officials any longer than is reasonably
necessary to obtain his name, age, residence, or other necessary information
and to contact his parents, guardian, or legal custodian.
If he is not released as provided in subsection 220.127.116.11, he shall
be taken directly to the court or to the place of detention or shelter
designated by the court without unnecessary delay.
The officer or other person who takes a child to a detention or shelter
facility shall notify the court and ant agency or persons so designated
by the court at the earliest opportunity that the child has been taken
into custody and where he has been taken. He shall also promptly file
a brief written report with the court and any agency or person so
designated by the court stating the facts which led to the child being
taken into custody and the reason why the child was not released.
The records of law enforcement officers concerning all children taken
into temporary custody or issued a summons under the provisions of
this Title shall be maintained separately from the records of arrest
and may not be inspected by or disclosed to the public, including
the names of children taken into temporary custody or issued a summons,
When the child has escaped from an institution to which he has been
By order of the court.
No fingerprint, photograph, name, address, or other information concerning
identity of a child taken into temporary custody or issued a summons
under the provision of this chapter may be transmitted to the Federal
Bureau of investigation or any other person or agency except a local
law enforcement agency and Social Service Department when necessary
to assist in apprehension or to conduct a current investigation, or
when the court orders the child to be held for criminal proceedings.
DETENTION AND SHELTER -HEARING -TIME LIMITS -RESTRICTION
A child who must be taken from his home but who does not require physical
restriction shall be given temporary care in a shelter facility designated
by the court or the Tribal Social Services Department and shall not
be placed in detention.
When a child is placed in a detention facility or in a shelter facility
designated by the court, the law enforcement official taking the child
into custody shall promptly so notify the court. He shall also notify
a parent or legal guardian or if a parent or legal guardian cannot
located within the Tribe's jurisdiction, the person with whom the
child has been residing, and inform him of the right to a prompt hearing
to determine whether the child is to be detained further. The court
shall hold such detention hearing within 48 hours, excluding Saturdays,
Sundays and court holidays.
No child taken into custody pursuant to this Title shall be held longer
than 48 hours, at which tine the child may be released to the custody
of parent, guardian, or legal custodian. If the child cannot be released
to his parent, guardian, or legal custodian, he shall be released
to a representative of the Tribal Social Services Department or, upon
prior written or verbal approval of the court, a responsible adult.
If the child is not released to his parents, guardian, or legal custodian,
the court shall hold a detention hearing pursuant to subsection 18.104.22.168.
Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection 22.214.171.124, a child who
is alleged to be a runaway from another tribal facility or jail
up to seven (7) days, at which time arrangement may be made for
returning the child to his parent, guardian, or legal custodian.
if it appears that any child being held in detention or shelter
may be mentally ill as defined under this Title or developmentally
disabled the court shall place the child is a designated facility
approved by the court for a 72-hour treatment and evaluation.
The court may at any time order the release of any child from detention
or shelter care without holding a hearing, either without restriction
or upon written promise of the parent, guardian, or legal custodian
to bring the child to the court at a time to be set by the court.
After making a reasonable effort to obtain the consent of the parent,
guardian, or other legal custodian, the court may authorize or consent
to medical, surgical, or dental treatment or care for a child placed
in detention or shelter care. When the court finds that emergency
medical, surgical, or dental treatment is required for a child placed
in detention or shelter care. When the court finds that emergency
medical, surgical, or dental treatment is required for a child placed
in detention or shelter care, it may authorize such treatment or care
if the parent, guardian, or legal custodian are not immediately available.
TEMPORARY SHELTER -CHILD'S HOME
The court may find that it is not necessary to remove a child from
his home to a temporary shelter facility and may provide temporary
shelter in the child's home by authorizing a representative of the
Tribal Social Services Department, which will have emergency caretaker
services available, to remain in the child's home with the child until
a parent, legal guardian, or relative of the child enters the home
and expresses willingness and has the apparent ability, as determined
by the Tribal Social Services Department, to resume charge of the
child, but in no event shall such period of time exceed 72 hours.
In the case of a relative, the relative is to assume charge of the
child until a parent or legal guardian enters the home and expresses
willingness and has the apparent ability, as determined by the Tribal
Social Services Department, to resume charge of the child. The director
of the Tribal Social Services Department shall designate in writing
the representatives of these departments authorized to perform such
SEARCH WARRANTS FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN
A search warrant may be issued by the Children's Court to search any
place for the recovery of any child within the jurisdiction of the
court believed to be a child in need of supervision, or a neglected
and/ or dependent child.
Such warrant shall be issued only on the condition that the application
for warrant shall:
Be in writing and supported by affidavit sworn to or affirmed before
Name and describe with particularity the child sought;
State that the child is believed to be a child in need of supervision,
or a neglected or dependent child and the reasons upon which such
belief is based;
State the address or legal description of the place to be searched.
State the reasons why it is necessary to proceed pursuant to this
If the court is satisfied that grounds for the application exist of
that there is probable cause to believe that they exist, it shall
issue a search warrant identifying by name or describing with particularity
the child sought and the place to be searched.
The search warrant shall be directed to any officer authorized by
law to execute it wherein the place to be searched is located.
The warrant shall state the grounds or probable cause for its issuance
and the names of the persons whose affidavits have been taken in support
The warrant shall be served in the daytime unless the application
for the warrant alleges that it is necessary to conduct the search
at some other time, in which case the court may so direct.
A copy of the warrant, the application thereof, and the supporting
affidavit shall be served upon the person in possession of the place
to be searched and where the child is to be sought.
If the child is found, the child may be taken into custody in conformance
with the provision of this Title.
The executed warrant shall be returned to the court.
CHAPTER 3: PETITION, ADJUDICATION, AND DISPOSITION
PETITION INITIATION - PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION - INFORMAL ADJUSTMENT
Whenever it appears to a law enforcement officer or other person
that a child is or appears to be within the court's jurisdiction,
the law enforcement officer or other person may refer the matter
conferring or appearing to confer jurisdiction to the tribal presenting
officer who shall determine whether the interests of the child or
of the community require that further action be taken.
If the tribal presenting officer determines that the interests of
the child or of the community require that further action be taken,
he may file a petition on a form specified which shall be accepted
by the court.
If the tribal presenting officer is unable to determine whether
the interests of the child or of the tribe require that further
action be taken from information available to him, he may refer
the matter to the tribal social services department, or other agency
designated by the court for a preliminary investigation and recommendations
as to filing a petition or as to initiation an informal adjustment
under subsection 126.96.36.199.
Whether probable cause exists to believe the minor is a child
in need of supervision or is a neglected child or a dependent
child; and ,
Whether shelter care is necessary pending further proceedings.
Whenever it appears to a law enforcement officer or other person that
a child is or appears to be within the court's jurisdiction, the law
enforcement officer or other person may refer the matter to the court,
which shall have a preliminary investigation made to determine whether
the further action be taken, which investigation shall be made by
the tribal social services department, or any other agency designated
by the court. On the basis of the preliminary investigation, the court
Decide that no further action is required, either in the interests
of the tribe or of the child;
Authorize a petition to be filed; or
Make whatever informal adjustment is practicable without a petition
The facts are admitted and establish prima facie jurisdiction;
except that such admission shall not be used in evidence if a
petition is filed; and,
Written consent is obtained from the parents, guardian, or other
legal custodian and also from the child, if of sufficient age
Efforts to effect informal adjustment may extend no longer than six
months. In any informal adjustment, the court or its designated agency
shall , during the period of informal adjustment, periodically counsel
and guide the child and his parents, guardian, or legal custodian
in a constructive manner designed to promote rehabilitation as well
as requiring any one or more conditions of probation.
Upon receipt of a report filed by a law enforcement agency, by an
employee of a public or private school, or by a medical doctor,
or any other person required to report pursuant to this Title indicating
that a child has suffered abuse as defined herein and that the best
interests of the child require that he be protected from risk of
further such abuse, the court shall then authorize and may order
the filing of a petition.
Upon receipt of a report from any person other than those identified
herein, the court, after such investigation as may be reasonable
under the circumstances, may authorize and may order the filing
of a petition.
PETITION FORM AND CONTENT
The petition and all subsequent court documents in any proceedings
brought under this Title shall be entitled "The Hoopa Valley
Tribe in the interest of ...., a child (or children) and concerning
...., Respondent". The petition shall be verified, and the statement
in the petition may be made upon information and belief.
The petition shall set forth plainly the facts which bring the
child within the court's jurisdiction. The petition shall also state
the name, age, and resident of the child and the names and residences
of the parents, guardian, or other legal custodian if known.
All petition filed alleging the dependency or neglect of a child shall
include the following statement: "Termination of the parent/
child legal relationship is a possible remedy available if this petition
alleging that a child is dependent or neglected is sustained."
A separate hearing must be held before such termination is ordered.
Termination of the parent/ child legal relationship means that the
child who is the subject of this petition would be eligible for adoption.
SUMMONS - ISSUANCE - CONTENTS - SERVICE
After a petition has been filed, the court shall promptly issue a
summons reciting briefly the substance of the petition. The summons
shall also contain a statement, when appropriate, that the termination
of the parent/ child legal relationship is a possible remedy under
the proceedings. Other legal rights of the child, his parents or guardian,
or any other respondent, at his own expense, to have an attorney present
at the hearing on the petition. The court may appoint counsel for
No summons shall be issued to any respondent who appears voluntarily,
or who waives service, or who has promised in writing to appear at
the hearing, but any such person shall be provided with a copy of
the petition and summons upon appearance.
The summons shall require the person or persons having the physical
custody of the child to appear and to bring the child before the court
at the time and place stated. If the person or persons so summoned
are not the parents or guardian of the child, the summons shall also
be issued to the parents or guardian, or both, notifying them of the
pendency of the case and of the time and place set for the hearing.
The court on its own motion or on the motion of any party may join
as a respondent or require the appearance of any person it deems necessary
to the action and authorize the issuance of a summons directed to
such person. Any party to the action may request the issuance of compulsory
process by the court requiring the attendance of witnesses on his
own behalf or on behalf of the child.
If it appears that the welfare of the child or of the tribe requires
that the child be taken into custody, the court may, by endorsement
upon the summons, direct that the person serving the summons take
the child into custody at once.
The court may authorize payment of necessary travel expenses incurred
by persons required to appear, which payments shall not exceed the
amount allowed to witnesses for travel by the tribal court.
Summons shall be served personally, pursuant to the tribal rules of
civil procedure. If personal service is effected not less than two
days before the time fixed in the summons for the appearance of the
person served; except that personal service shall be effected not
less than five days prior to the time set for a hearing concerning
a dependent or neglected child.
If the parents, guardian, or other legal custodian of the child required
to be summoned cannot be found within the tribal jurisdiction, the
fact of the child's presence within the tribe's jurisdiction shall
confer jurisdiction on the court as to any absent parent, guardian,
or legal custodian if due notice has been given in the following manner:
When the residence of the person to be served is outside the Hoopa
Reservation, a copy of the summons and petition shall be sent certified
mail with postage prepaid to such person at his place of residence
with a return receipt requested. Service of summons shall be deemed
complete within five (5) days after return of the requested receipt.
When the person to be served has no residence within the Hoopa Reservation
and his place of residence cannot be determined after due diligence,
service may be by publication.
Any person summoned or required to appear who has acknowledged service
and fails to appear without reasonable cause may be proceeded against
for contempt of court.
If after reasonable effort the summons cannot be served or if the
welfare of the child requires that he be brought immediately into
the custody of the court, a bench warrant may be issued for the parents,
guardian, or other legal custodian or for the child.
When a parent or other person who signed a written promise to appear
and bring the child to court who has waived or acknowledged service
fails to appear with the child on the date set by the court, a bench
warrant may be issued for the parent or other person, the child, or
APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM
The court may appoint a guardian ad litem to protect the interests
of a child in proceedings when:
No parent, guardian, legal custodian, or relative of the child appears
at the first or any subsequent hearing in the case; or
The court finds that there may be a conflict of interest between
the child and his parent, guardian, or other custodian; or
the court finds that it is in the child's interest and necessary
for his welfare, whether or not a parent, guardian, or other legal
custodian is present.
The court may appoint a guardian ad litem for any parent in proceedings
who has been determined to be mentally ill by a court of competent
jurisdiction or is developmentally disabled; except that if a conservator
has been appointed, the conservator may serve as the guardian ad litem.
If the conservator does not serve as guardian ad litem, he shall be
informed that a guardian ad litem has been appointed.
At the time any child first appears in court, if it is determined
that he has no guardian of his person, the court shall appoint a guardian
of the person of the child before proceeding with the matter.
In all proceedings brought for the protection of a child suffering
from abuse or non-accidental injury, a guardian ad litem shall be
appointed for said child. Said guardian shall have the powers and
duties specified by the Court.
ADJUDICATORY HEARING - FINDINGS - ADJUDICATION
At the adjudicatory hearing, which shall be conducted as provided
herein, the court shall consider whether the allegations of the petition
are supported by evidence beyond a reasonable doubt in cases concerning
children in need of supervision or by a dependent children; except
that jurisdictional matters of the age and residence of the child
shall be deemed admitted by or on behalf of the child unless specifically
denied prior to the adjudicatory hearing.
When it appears that the evidence presented at the hearing discloses
facts not alleged in the petition, the court may proceed immediately
to consider the additional or different matters raised by the evidence
if the parties consent. In such event, the court, on the motion of
an interested party or on its own motion, shall order the petition
to be amended to conform to the evidence.
If the amendment results in a substantial departure from the original
allegations in the petition, the court shall continue the hearing
on the motion of any interested party, or the court may grant a
continuance on its own motion if it finds it to be in the best interests
of the child or any other party to the proceedings.
If it appears from the evidence that the child may be mentally ill
or developmentally disabled the court shall proceed under section
After making a finding but before making adjudication, the court may
continue the hearing from time to time, allowing the child to remain
in his own home or in the temporary custody of another person or agency
subject to such conditions of conduct and of visitation or supervision
by the tribal social services department as the court may prescribe,
Consent is given by the child and his parent, guardian, or other
legal custodian after being fully informed by the court of their
rights in the proceedings, including their right to have an adjudication
made either dismissing or sustaining the petition.
Such continuation shall extend no longer than six months without
review by the court. Upon review the court may continue the case
for an additional period not to exceed six months, after which the
petition shall either be dismissed or sustained.
MENTALLY ILL OR DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED CHILD - DEFINITIONS - PROCEDURE
"Developmental disability" means a disability attributable
to mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism, or a neurological
impairment, which may have originated during the first eighteen
years of life which can be expected to continue indefinitely, and
which constitutes a substantial handicap.
"Mentally ill person" means a person who is of such mental
condition that he is in need of medical supervision, treatment,
care or restraint.
"Mentally retarded person" means a person whose intellectual
functions have been deficient since birth or whose intellectual
development has been arrested or impaired by disease or physical
injury to such an extent that he or she lacks sufficient control
judgment and discretion to manage their property or affairs or who,
by reason of this deficiency and for his own welfare or the welfare
or safety of others, requires protective supervision, guidance,
training, control, or care.
If it appears from the evidence presented at an adjudicatory hearing
or otherwise that the child may be mentally ill or developmentally
disabled, the court shall order that the child be place the child
in a hospital or other suitable facility for the purpose of examination
for a period not to exceed 72 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays,
and official holidays. A suitable facility for the purpose of examination
shall be a facility designated by the court for 72 hour treatment
If the report of the examination made states that the child is mentally
ill to the extent that hospitalization or institutional confinement
and treatment is required, the court shall proceed as in any other
tribal mental health commitment proceeding.
The court may dismiss the original petition when a child who has been
ordered to receive treatment is no longer receiving treatment.
The court shall set a time for resuming the hearing on the original
The report if the examination made states that the child is not
mentally ill to the extent that hospitalization or institutional
confinement and treatment are required.
The child is found not to be mentally ill.
The report of the examination made states that the child is developmentally
disabled but not mentally ill.
After making an order of adjudication, the court shall hear evidence
on the question of the proper disposition best serving the interest
of the child and the tribe. Such evidence shall include, but not necessarily
be limited to, the social study and other reports.
The court may have the child examined by a physician, psychiatrist,
or psychologist, and the court may place the child in a hospital or
other suitable facility for this purpose.
The court may continue the dispositional hearing, either on its own
motion or on the motion of any interested party, for a reasonable
period to receive reports or for good cause on the motion of any interested
party in any case where the termination of the parent/ child relationship
is a possible remedy.
If the hearing is continued, the court shall make an appropriate
order for detention of the child or for his release in the custody
of his parents, guardian, or other responsible person or agency
under such conditions of supervision as the court may impose during
In scheduling investigations and hearings, the court shall give
priority to proceedings concerning a child who is in detention or
who has otherwise been removed from his home before an order of
disposition has been made.
ORDER OF PROTECTION
The court may make an order of protection in assistance of, or as
a condition of, and decree of disposition authorized by this chapter.
The order of protection may set forth reasonable conditions of behavior
to be observed for a specified period by the parents, guardian, or
any other person who is a party to a proceeding.
The order of protection may require any such person:
To stay away from a child or his residence;
To permit a parent a visit a child at stated periods;
To abstain from offensive conduct against a child, his parents or
parents, guardian, or any other person to whom legal custody of
a child has been given;
To give proper attention to the care of the home;
To cooperate in good faith with an agency:
which has been given legal custody of a child;
which is providing protective supervision of a child by court
To which the child has been referred by the court.
To refrain from acts of commission or omission that tend to make
a home am improper place for a child; or
To perform any legal obligation of support.
When such an order of protection is made applicable to a parent or
guardian, it may specifically require his active participation in
the rehabilitation process and may impose specific requirements upon
such parent or guardian, subject to the penalty of contempt for failure
to comply with such order without good cause.
After notice and opportunity for a hearing is given to a person subject
to an order of protection, this order may be terminated, modified,
or extended for a specified period of time if the court finds that
the best interests of the child and the tribe will be served thereby.
A person failing to comply with an order of protection without good
cause may be found in contempt of court.
NEGLECT OF DEPENDENT CHILD - DISPOSITION
When a child has been adjudicated to be neglected or dependent, the
court shall enter a decree of disposition. When the decree does not
terminate the parent/ child legal relationship, it shall include one
or more of the following provisions which the court finds appropriate.
The court may place the child in the legal custody of one or both
parents or the guardian, with or without protective supervision,
under such conditions as the court may impose.
The court may place the child in the legal custody of a relative
or other suitable person, with or without protective supervision,
under such conditions as the court may impose.
The court may place legal custody in the tribal social services
department or a child placement agency for placement in a family
care home, or other child care facility.
The court may order that the child be examined or treated by a physician,
surgeon, psychiatrist, or psychologist or that he receive special
care and may place the child in a hospital or other suitable facility
for such proposes.
The court may enter a decree terminating the parent/ child legal relationship
of one or both parents pursuant to this Title.
Upon the entry of a decree terminating the parent/ child legal relationship
of both parents, of the sole surviving parent, or of the mother
of a child born out of wedlock and whose father does not acknowledge
paternity, the court may:
Vest the tribal social services department or child placement
agency with the legal custody and guardianship of the person of
a child for the purpose of placing the child for adoption; or
Make any other disposition provided in this section that the court
Upon the entry of a decree terminating the parent/ child legal relationship
of one parent, the court may:
Leave the child in the legal custody of the other parent and discharge
the proceedings; or
Make any other disposition that the court finds appropriate.
When a child has been adjudicated neglected because he has been abandoned
by his parent or parents, the court may enter a decree terminating
the parent/ child legal relationship if it finds:
That the parent or parents having legal custody have willfully surrendered
physical custody for a period of six months and during this period
have not manifested to the to resume physical custody a firm intention
to resume physical custody or to make a permanent legal arrangement
for the care of the child; or
That the identity of the parent or parents of the child is unknown
and has been unknown for a period of ninety (90) days and that reasonable
efforts to identify and locate the child has failed.
In placing the legal custody or guardian of the person of a child
with an individual or a private agency. The court shall give primary
consideration to the welfare of the child, but shall take into consideration
the religious preferences of the child or of his parents whenever
The court may grant a new hearing as provided herein.
CHILD IN NEED OF SUPERVISION - DISPOSITION
When a child has been adjudicated as being in need of supervision,
the court shall enter a decree of disposition containing one or more
of the following provisions which the court finds appropriate:
The court may place the child on probation or under protective supervision
in the legal custody of one or both parents or the guardian under
such conditions as the court may impose.
The court may require as a condition of probation that the child
report for assignment to a supervised work program or place such
child in a child care facility which shall provide a supervised
work program, if:
The child is not deprived of the schooling which is appropriate
to his age, needs, and specific rehabilitative goals;
The supervised work program is of a constructive nature designed
to promote rehabilitation, is appropriate to the age level and
physical ability of the child, and is combined with counseling
from guidance personnel; and
The supervised work program assignment is made for a period of
time consistent with the child's best interests, but not exceeding
one hundred eighty (180) days.
The court may place legal custody in the tribal social services
department or a child placement agency for placement in a family
care home or child care facility, or it may place the child in a
child care center.
The court may order that the child be examined or treated by a physician,
surgeon, psychiatrist, or psychologist, or that he received other
special care, and may place the child in a hospital or other suitable
facility for such purposes.
The court may require the child to pay for any damage done to persons
or property, upon such conditions as the court may deem best, when
such payment can be enforced without serious hardship or injustice
to the child.
The court may commit the child to an institution or group care facility
designated by the court.
The court may grant a new hearing as provided herein.
COMMITMENT TO DESIGNATED INSTITUTION
When a child is committed to an institution designated by the court,
the court shall transmit, with the commitment order, a copy of the
petition, the order of adjudication, copies of the social study, any
clinical or educational reports, and other information pertinent to
the care and treatment of the child. The designated institution shall
provide the court with any information concerning a child committed
to its care which the court at any time may require.
A commitment of a child to a designated institution shall be for an
indeterminate period not to exceed two years. The tribal social services
department may petition the committing court to extend the commitment
for an additional period not to exceed two years. The petition shall
set forth the reasons why it would be in the best interest of the
child or the public to extend the commitment. Upon filing the petition,
the court shall granted or denied and shall notify all interested
Any individual, agency, or institution vested by the court with legal
custody of a child shall have the rights and duties defined herein;
except that no guardian of the person may consent to the adoption
of a child unless that authority is expressly given him by the court.
If legal custody or guardianship of the person is vested in an agency
or institution, the court shall transmit, with the court order, copies
of the social study, any clinical reports, and other information concerning
the care and treatment of the child.
An individual, agency, or institution having legal custody or guardianship
of the person shall provide the court with any reports or other
information concerning the care and treatment of the child at any
time when required to do so by the court.
Any agency other than the social services department or institutions
vested by the court with legal of a child shall have the right, subject
to the approval of the court, to determine when and with whom the
child shall live. No individual vested by the court with legal custody
of a child shall remove the child from the state for move than thirty
days without court approval.
A decree vesting legal custody of a child in an individual, institution,
or agency other than the tribal social services department shall be
for an indeterminate period, not to exceed two years from the date
it was entered. Such decree shall be reviewed by the court no later
than six months after it is entered.
The individual, institution, or agency vested with legal custody
of a child may petition the court for renewal of the decree. The
court, after notice and hearing, may determine, if it finds such
renewal to be n the best interest of the child. The findings of
the court and the supporting information shall be entered with the
order renewing or denying renewal of the decree.
No legal custodian or guardian of the person may be removed without
his consent until given notice and an opportunity to be heard by the
court if he so requests.
NEW HEARING AUTHORIZED
A parent, guardian, custodian, or next friend of any child adjudicated
under this chapter, or any person affected by a decree in a proceeding
under this chapter, or any person affected by a decree in a proceeding
under this chapter, may petition the court for a new hearing on the
That new evidence, which was not known or could not with due diligence
have been made available to the original hearing and which might
affect the decree, has Been discover; or
That irregularities in the proceedings prevented a fair hearing.
If it appears to the court that the motion should be granted, it shall
order a new hearing and shall make such disposition of the case as
warranted by all the facts and circumstances and the best interest
of the child.
as otherwise provided in this Title, the jurisdiction of the court over
any child adjudicated as neglected or dependent or in need of supervision
shall continue until he becomes eighteen years of age unless terminated
by a court order.
ADULT CASES-PROCEEDINGS - PENALTY - SUSPENSION
concerning any adult who is alleged to have induced, aided, or encouraged
a child to violate any law, the penalty for which may be a jail sentence
or court order shall be conducted according to tribal civil court rules
or other appropriate court as designated by the tribal court.
CHAPTER 4: CHILD ABUSE
Valley Tribe hereby declares that the complete reporting of child abuse
is a matter of tribal concern and that in enacting this chapter it is
the intent of the tribe to protect the children of the tribe and to
offer protective services in order to prevent any further harm to a
child suffering from abuse. It is the further intent of the tribe that
the various federal, state, and tribal medical, mental health, education,
and social services agencies through cooperative participation in the
child protection teams authorized to be created in this chapter.
in this chapter unless the context otherwise requires.
"ABUSE" or "CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT" means
an act or omission which seriously threatens the health or welfare
of a child. It means a physical injury which is inflicted by other
than accidental means on a child by another person. Child abuse also
means the sexual assault or exploitation of a child; willful cruelty
or unjustifiable punishment of a child; corporal punishment or injury;
neglect of a child; abuse in out of home care; or emotional abuse
of a child.
Any case in which a child exhibits evidence of skin bruising, bleeding,
malnutrition, failure to thrive, burns, fracture of any bone, subdural
hematoma, soft tissue swelling, or death, and such condition or
death as at variance with the degree or type of such condition or
death, or circumstances indicate that such condition may not be
the product of an accidental occurrence.
Any case in which a child is subject to sexual assault, molestation,
or exploitation as described herein:
"Sexual assault" means conduct in violation of
the following: rape, rape in concert, incest, sodomy, lewd or
Lascivious acts upon a child, oral copulation, penetration of
a genital or anal opening by a foreign object.
"Sexual molestation" means any indecent touching
or acts designed to bring about a sexual response from a child.
"Sexual exploitation" means any acts involving
a child for: employment of a minor to perform obscene acts; conduct
involving matter depicting a minor engaged in obscene acts; preparing,
selling, or distributing obscene matter involved in obscene acts;
These acts when committed by a person under the age of 18 who
is either significantly older than the victim or in a position
of power or control over another youth, may be considered sexual
"Willful cruelty or unjustifiable punishment of a child"
means a situation where any person willfully causes or permits any
child to suffer, or inflicts hereon, unjustifiable physical pain
or mental suffering, or having the care or custody of any child,
willfully causes or permits the person or health of such child to
be placed in such a situation that his or her person or health is
"Corporal punishment or injury" means a situation
any person willfully inflicts upon the child any cruel or inhuman
corporal punishment or injury resulting in a traumatic situation.
"Neglect" means the negligent treatment or the
maltreatment of a child by a person responsible for the child's
health or welfare. The term includes both acts and omissions on
the part of the responsible person.
Typical forms of neglect include: abandonment, lack of supervision,
nutritional neglect, medical/ dental or health neglect, educational
neglect, inappropriate or insufficient clothing, shelter neglect,
emotional neglect, and moral neglect, also includes continued
infestation of head lice on person and in home.
"General neglect" means the negligent failure
of a person having the care or custody of a child to provide adequate
food, clothing, shelter, or supervision where no physical injury
to the child has occurred.
"Severe neglect" means the negligent failure
of a person having the care or custody of a child to provide adequate
food, clothing, shelter, or supervision where no physical injury
to the child has occurred.
"Abuse in out of home care" means a situation of
suspected physical/ mental injury on a child which is inflicted
by other than accidental means, or of sexual abuse or neglect or
the willful cruelty or justifiable punishment of a child, as defined
in this subsection, where the person responsible for the child's
welfare is a foster parent or the administrator or an employee of
a public or private residential home, school, or other institution
"Emotional or mental abuse" means injury to the
intellectual or psychological capacity of the child as evidenced
by an observable and substantial impairment in his
ability to function within a normal range of performance and behavior,
with due regard to his culture.
In all cases, those investigating reports of child abuse shall take
into account accepted child rearing practices of the culture in
which the child participates. Nothing in this subsection shall refer
to acts which could be construed to be a "reasonable"
exercise of parental supervision.
"Child Protection Team" means a multidisciplinary team
for the purposes of studying the public and private agencies responses
to each report of child abuse and/ or neglect as well as the team's
recommendation related to public/ agency response. The child protection
team shall review the files and other records of the case, including
the diagnostic, prognostic, and treatment services being offered to
the family in connection with the reported abuse.
"Tribal Department" or "Tribal Child Welfare Department"
shall mean the Tribal Social Services Department or Agency.
"Law Enforcement Agency" shall mean the Tribal Police
Department or Tribal Law Enforcement Department, or the office of
the county sheriff.
"Neglect" means acts which can reasonably be construed
to fall under the definition of "child abuse and/ or neglect"
as defined in subsection (. 1) of this section.
"Receiving Agency" means the Department or Law Enforcement
Agency first receiving a report of alleged child abuse.
"Responsible Person" means a child's parent, legal guardian,
or custodian or any other person responsible for the child's health
"Unfounded Report" means any report pursuant to this
chapter which is not supported by some credible evidence.
PERSONS REQUIRED TO REPORT CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT
Any person who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been
subjected to abuse or neglect or who has observed the child being
subjected to abuse or neglect or who has observed the child being
subjected to circumstances or conditions which would reasonable result
in abuse or neglect shall immediately report or cause a report to
be made of such fact to the Social Service Department or Tribal Law
Persons required to report such abuse or neglect or circumstances
or conditions shall include:
Any physician, surgeon, medical examiner, coroner, dentist, osteopath,
optometrist, chiropractor, podiatrist, resident, intern, registered
nurse or licenses practical nurse, hospital/ clinic personnel engaged
in the admission, examination, care, or treatment of persons.
Any mental health professional and personnel.
Any school official or employee.
Any child care custodian or worker in a child care center.
Any social worker or worker in child protection capacity.
In addition to those persons specifically required by this section
to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect, any other
person may report known or suspected child abuse or neglect or circumstances
or conditions which might reasonably result in child abuse or neglect
to the Tribal Law Enforcement Agency or the Tribal Child Social Services
The reporting duties under this section are individual, and no supervisor
or administrator may impede or inhibit the reporting duties and no
person making the report.
Any person who willfully violates the provision of this subsection
may be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars
($ 500) or be liable for damages proximately caused thereby.
REQUIRED REPORT OF POSTMORTEM INVESTIGATION
Any person who is required to report known or suspected child
abuse or neglect who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child
died as a result of child abuse or neglect shall report such fact
immediately to the appropriate law enforcement agency and to the appropriate
coroner or medical examiner. The law enforcement agency and the coroner
or medical examiner shall accept such report for investigation and
shall report their findings to the Tribal Law Enforcement Agency and
the Social Service Department.
The Social Service Department shall forward a copy of such report
of the central registry.
EVIDENCE OF ABUSE --COLOR PHOTOGRAPH AND X-RAYS
Any child associate, person licensed to practice medicine, registered
nurse or licensed practical nurse, hospital personnel engaged in the
admission, examination, care or treatment of patients, medical examiner,
coroner, social worker, or local law enforcement officer who has been
abused and/ or neglected may take or cause to be taken color photographs
of the areas of trauma visible on the child. If medically indicated,
such person may take or cause to be taken x-rays of the child.
Any color photographs or x-rays which show evidence of child abuse
shall be immediately forwarded to a receiving agency.
TEMPORARY PROTECTIVE CUSTODY
of the tribal court shall be responsible for making available a person
who may be a mediator or any other officer of the court, to be available
by telephone at all times to act with the authorization and authority
of the children's court to issue written or verbal temporary protective
custody orders. These orders may be requested by the Social Service
Department, a Tribal Law Enforcement Officer, an administrator of a
hospital in which a child reasonably believed to have been abused and/
or neglected is being treated, or any physician who has been abused
and/ or neglected, whether or not additional medical treatment is required,
if the belief that circumstances or condition of a child is such that
continuing in his place of residence or in the care and custody of the
person responsible for his care and custody would present an imminent
danger to that child's life or health. The Social Service Department
shall be notified of such action immediately by the court appointed
official in order that child protective proceedings may be initiated.
In any case, such temporary custody shall not exceed 72 hours notwithstanding
any provision to the contrary.
Reports of known or suspected child abuse or neglect made pursuant
to this Title shall be made immediately to the Social Service Department
or law enforcement agency and shall be followed promptly by a written
report prepared by those persons required to report. The receiving
agency shall forward a copy of its own report to the central registry
on forms supplied by the Social Service Department.
Such reports, when possible shall include the following information:
The name, address, age, sex, and race (Tribal affiliation, if appropriate)
of the child;
The name and address of the responsible person;
The nature and extent of the pending case, including any evidence
of the child's injuries;
Dates and incidents of previous known or suspected abuse or neglect
to the child or the child's siblings including number of previous
reports of same or similar situations.
The name( s) and address of the person( s) responsible for the suspected
abuse or neglect, if known;
The family composition;
The source of the report and the name, address, and occupation of
the person making the report;
Any action taken by the reporting source; and
Any other information that the person making the report believes
may be helpful in furthering the purpose of this chapter.
A Copy of the report of known or suspected child abuse or neglect
shall be transmitted immediately by the receiving agency to the Tribal
Legal Department and to the Tribal Law Enforcement agency.
A written report from persons or officials required by this chapter
to report known or suspected child abuse and/ or neglect shall be
admissible as evidence in any proceeding relating to child abuse,
subject to the limitations of section 14.4.1.
ACTION UPON RECEIPT OF REPORT
The Social Services Department shall make a thorough investigation
immediately upon receipt of any report of known or suspected child
abuse or neglect. The immediate concern of such investigation shall
be the protection of the child.
The investigation, to the extent that it is reasonably possible, shall
The nature, extent, and cause of the abuse or neglect;
The identity of the person responsible for such abuse or neglect;
The names and conditions of any other children living in the same
The environment and the relationship of any children therein to
the person responsible for the suspected abuse or neglect;
All other data deemed pertinent.
The investigation shall, at a minimum, include a visit of the child's
place of residence or place of custody and to the location of the
alleged abuse and/ or neglect and an interview with or observance
of the child reportedly having been abuse and/ or neglected. If admission
to the child's place of residence cannot be obtained, the children's
court, upon good cause shown, shall order the responsible person to
allow the interview, examination, and investigation.
The Tribal Social Services Department, except as provided in 188.8.131.52,
shall be the receiving agency responsible for the coordination of
all investigations of all reports of known or suspected child abuse/
neglect. It shall arrange for such investigation to be conducted
by persons trained to conduct either the complete investigations
or such parts thereof as may be assigned. The department may conduct
the investigation independently or in conjunction with another appropriate
agency or may arrange for the initial investigation to be conducted
by another agency with personnel having appropriate training and
Upon receipt of a report, if the Social Service Department reasonably
believes abuse or neglect has occurred, it shall immediately offer
social services to the child who is the subject of their report
and his family and file a petition in the children's court on behalf
of such child. If, before the investigation is completed, the opinion
of the investigators is that assistance of the Tribal Law Enforcement
is necessary for the protection of the child or the other children
under the same care, the Tribal Law Enforcement Agency shall be
notified. If immediate removal is necessary to protect the child
or other children under the same care from further abuse, the child
or children may be placed in protective custody as provided in this
If a local law enforcement agency receives a report of known or suspected
child abuse ore neglect, it shall first attempt to contact the Social
Service Department in order to refer the case for investigation. If
the local law enforcement agency is unable to contract the department,
it shall make a complete investigation and may institute appropriate
legal proceedings on behalf of the subject child or other children
under the same care. The Tribal Law Enforcement Agency, upon receipt
of a report and upon completion of any investigation it may undertake,
shall immediately forward a summary of the investigatory data plus
all relevant documents to the Social Service Department.
DEVELOPMENT OF CHILD PROTECTION TEAM
It is the
intent of this legislation to encourage participation between agencies
impacting on child welfare matters by encouraging the creation of a
child protection team.
The judge of the court shall have responsibility for inaugurating
the child protection team.
The role of the child protection team shall be advisory only.
Development of roles and responsibilities shall also be decided by
the judge of the court.
IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY-PERSONS REPORTING
participating in good faith in the making of a report or in a judicial
proceeding held pursuant to this Title, the taking of color photographs
or x-rays, or the placing in temporary custody of a child pursuant of
this chapter or otherwise performing his duties or acting pursuant to
this article shall be immune forum any liability, civil or criminal,
the good faith of any person reporting child abuse, any person taking
color photographs or x-rays, and any person who has legal authority
to place a child in protective custody, shall be presumed.
CHILD ABUSE AND CHILD NEGLECT DIVERSION PROGRAM
The tribal presenting officer, upon recommendation of the Social Service
Department, may withhold filing a case against any person accused
or suspected of child abuse and/ or neglect and refer that person
to a non-judicial source of treatment or assistance, upon conditions
set forth by the Social Service Department. If a person is so diverted
from the criminal justice system, the Tribal Presenting Officer shall
not file charges in connection with the Social Service Department
and the Tribal Presenting Officer in the diversion program offered.
The initial diversion shall be for a period not to exceed two years.
This diversion period may be extended to one additional one year period
by the Tribal Presenting Officer if necessary. Decisions regarding
extending diversion time period shall be made following review of
the person diverted by the Tribal Presenting Officer.
If the person diverted successfully completes the diversion program
to the satisfaction of the Social Service Department, he shall be
released from the terms and conditions of the program, and no criminal
filing for the case shall be made against him.
Participation by a person accused or suspected of child abuse in any
diversion program shall be voluntary.
EVIDENCE NOT PRIVILEGED
communication between patient and physician and between husband and
wife shall not be a ground for excluding evidence in any judicial proceeding
resulting from a report pursuant to this chapter.
COURT PROCEEDING - GUARDIAN AD LITEM
The Social Service Department or law enforcement agency receiving
a report, in addition to taking such immediate steps pursuant to this
Chapter, as may be required to protect a child, shall inform, within
72 hours, the children's court that the child appears to be within
the court's jurisdiction. Upon receipt of such information, the court
shall make an immediate investigation-to determine whether protection
of the child from further abuse is required and upon such determination
may authorize the filing of a petition.
In any proceeding initiated pursuant to this Chapter, the court shall
name as respondents all persons alleged by the petition. In every
such case, the responsible person shall be named as respondent. Summonses
may be issued for all named respondents.
The court in every case filed under this section shall appoint, at
no fee, a guardian ad litem at the first appearance of the case in
court. The guardian ad litem shall be provided with all reports relevant
to or by any agency or person pursuant to this chapter with reports
of any examination of the responsible-person made pursuant to this
section. The court or the Social Service Worker assigned to the case
shall advise the guardian ad litem shall be charged in general with
the representation of the child's interest. To that end he shall make
such further investigations as he deems necessary to ascertain the
facts, talk with or observe the child involved, interview witnesses
and the foster parents of the child, and examine and cross examine
and cross examine witnesses in both the adjudicatory and dispositional
hearings and may introduce and examine his own witnesses, make recommendations
to the court concerning the child's welfare, and participate further
in the proceedings to the degree necessary to adequately represent
If the prayer of the petition is granted, the costs of this proceeding,
including guardian ad litem and expert witness fees, may be charged
by the court against the respondent.
There shall be established a central registry of child protection
in the Tribal Social Services Department for the purpose of maintaining
a registry of information concerning each case of child abuse report
under this chapter.
The central registry shall contain but shall not be limited to:
All information in any written report received under this chapter;
Record of the final disposition of the report, including services
offered and services accepted;
The plan for rehabilitative treatment;
The name and identifying data, date, and circumstance of any person
requesting or receiving information from the central registry;
Any other information which might be helpful in furthering the purposes
of this chapter.
The tribe shall appoint a person to act as director of the central
registry and who shall have charge of said registry.
After a child who is the subject of a report reaches the age of
18 years, access to his record shall be permitted only if a sibling
or offspring of such child is a suspected victim of child abuse. The
amount and type of information released shall depend upon the source
of the report and shall be determined by regulations established by
the director of the central registry. However, under no circumstances
shall the information be released unless the person requesting such
information is entitled thereto as confirmed by the director of the
central registry and the information released states whether or not
the report is founded or unfounded. A person given access to the names
or other information identifying the subject of a report shall not
divulge or make public any identifying information unless he is a
Tribal Presenting Officer or other law enforcement official and the
purpose is to initiate court action or unless he is the subject of
Unless an investigation of a report conducted pursuant to this chapter
determines there is some credible evidence of alleged abuse, all information
identifying the subject of the report shall be expunged from the central
registry forthwith. The decision to expunge the record shall be made
by the director of the central registry based upon the investigation
by the Social Service Department or the Tribal Law Enforcement Agency.
In all other cases, the record of the reports to the central registry
shall be sealed no later than ten years after the child's 18th birthday.
Once sealed the record shall not otherwise be available unless the
director of central registry, pursuant to rules promulgated by the
Tribe and upon notice to the subject of the report, gives his personal
approval for an appropriate reason. IN any case and at any time, the
director may amend, seal, or expunge any record upon good cause shown
and notice to the subject of the report.
At any time the subject of a report may receive, upon request, a report
of all information pertinent to the subject's case contained in the
central registry, but the director of the central registry is authorized
to prohibit the release of data that would identify the person who
made the report or who cooperated in a subsequent investigation which
he reasonably finds to be detrimental to the safety or interest of
Any time subsequent to the completion of the investigation , a subject
of the report may request the director to amend, seal, or expunge
the record of the report. If the director refuses or does not act
within a reasonable time, but in no event later than thirty days after
such request, the subject shall have the right to a fair hearing to
determine whether the record of the report in the central registry
should be amended, sealed, or expunged on the grounds that it is inaccurate
or it is being maintained in a manner inconsistent with this chapter.
The Social Service Department shall be given notice of the hearing.
The burden in such a hearing shall be on the Tribal Department. In
such a hearing shall be on the Tribal Department. IN such hearings
the fact that there was such a finding of child abuse or neglect shall
be presumptive evidence that the report was substantiated.
Written notice of any amendment, sealing, or expungement made pursuant
to the provisions of this chapter shall be given to the subject of
such report and to the Tribal Department. The latter, upon receipt
of such notice, shall take similar action regarding such information
in its files.
Any person who willfully permits or who encourages the release of
data or information contained in the central registry to persons not
permitted access to such information by this chapter shall be subject
to a civil penalty not in excess of five hundred dollars ($ 500).
The central registry shall adopt such rules and regulations as may
be necessary to encourage cooperation with other tribes, states, and
the National Center on child abuse and neglect.
CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS
Except as provided herein, reports of child abuse or neglect and the
name and address of any child, family, or informant or any other identifying
information contained in such report shall be confidential and shall
not be public information.
Disclosure of the name and address of the child and family and other
identifying information involved in such reports shall be permitted
only when authorized by a court for good cause. Such disclosure shall
not be prohibited when there is a death of a suspected victim of child
abuse or neglect and the death becomes a matter of public record,
the subject of an arrest by a law enforcement agency, and the subject
of the filing of a formal charge by a law enforcement agency.
Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be subject
to a civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars ($ 500).
Only the following persons or agencies shall be given access to child
abuse or neglect records and reports:
The law enforcement agency or department investigating a report
of known or suspected child abuse and/ or neglect or treating a
child or family which is the subject of the report.
A physician who has before him a child whom he reasonably suspects
to be abused or neglected.
An agency having the legal responsibility or authorization to care
for, treat, or supervise a child who is the subject of a report
ore record or a parent, guardian, legal custodian, or other person
who is responsible for the child's health or welfare.
Any person named in the report or record who was alleged as a child
to be abused or neglected or, if the child named in the report or
record is a minor or is otherwise incompetent at the time of the
request, his guardian ad litem.
A parent, guardian, legal custodian, or the other person responsible
for the health or welfare of a child named in a report, with protection
for the identity of reporters and other appropriate persons.
A court, upon its finding that access to such records may be necessary
for determination of an issue before such court, but such access
shall be limited to in camera inspection unless the court determines
that public disclosure of the information contained therein is necessary
for the resolution of an issue then pending before it.
The central registry of child protection.
All members of a child protection team.
Such other persons as a court may determine, for good cause.
After a child who is the subject of a report to the central registry
reaches the age of 18 years, access to that report shall be permitted
only if a sibling or offspring of such child is before any person
mentioned in subsection (. 4) of this section and is a suspected victim
of child abuse and/ or neglect. The amount and type of information
released shall depend upon the source of the report and shall be determined
by regulations established by the director of the central registry.
However, under no circumstances shall the information be released
unless the person requesting such information is entitled thereto
as confirmed by the director of the central registry and the information
released states whether or not the report is founded or unfounded.
A person giving access to the names or other information identifying
the subject of a report shall no divulge or make public any identifying
information unless he is a district attorney or other law enforcement
official and the purpose is to initiate court action or unless he
is the subject of the report.
CHAPTER 5: TERMINATION OF PARENT/ CHILD LEGAL RELATIONSHIP
in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
"Guardian ad litem" means a person who has been appointed
to represent a child who is the subject of a written motion for the
termination of the parent/ child legal relationship.
"Termination of Parental Right" means a legal severance
of the relationship between a parent and child. This severance relieves
both the parent and the child from future obligations to one another.
MOTION FOR TERMINATION - SEPARATE HEARING - RIGHT TO COUNSEL - NO JURY
Termination of a parent/ child legal relationship shall be considered
only after the filing of a written motion filed with the Children's
Court, alleging the factual grounds for termination, and termination
of a parent/ child legal relationship shall be considered at a separate
hearing following an adjudication of a child as dependent or neglected.
Such motion shall be filed at least thirty days before such hearing.
After a motion for termination of a parent/ child legal relationship
is filed pursuant to this chapter, the parent(s) shall be appointed
in accordance with the provisions this Title.
An attorney, who shall be the child's previously appointed guardian
ad litem whenever possible, shall be appointed to represent the child's
best interest in any hearing determining the involuntary termination
of the parent-child legal relationship. Additionally, said attorney
shall be experienced, whenever possible, in juvenile law. Such representation
shall continue until an appropriate permanent placement for the child
is effected or until the court's jurisdiction is terminated. If a
respondent parent is a minor, a guardian ad litem shall be appointed
and shall serve in addition to any counsel requested by the parent.
There shall be no right to a jury trial at proceedings held to consider
the termination of a parent/ child legal relationship.
NOTICE -- ABANDONMENT
a termination of the parent/ child legal relationship based on abandonment
can be ordered, the petitioner shall file and affidavit stating what
efforts have been made to locate the parent(s) of the child subject
to the motion for termination. Such affidavit shall be filed not later
than ten days prior to the hearing.
CRITERIA FOR TERMINATION
The court may order a termination of the parent/ child legal relationship
upon the finding of either of the following:
That the child has been abandoned by his parent(s) ; or
That the child is adjudicated dependent or neglected and all of
the following exist:
That an appropriate treatment plan approved by the court has not
been reasonably complied with by the parent(s) or has not been
That the parent is unfit.
That the conduct or condition of the parent( s) is unlikely to
change within a reasonable time.
In determining unfitness, conduct, or condition, the court shall find
that continuation of the legal relationship between parent and child
is likely to result in grave risk of death or serious injury to the
child or that the conduct or condition of the parent(s) unable or
unwilling to give the child reasonable parental care. In making such
determinations, the court shall consider, but not be limited to, the
Emotional illness, mental illness, or mental deficiency of the parent
of such duration or nature as to render the parent unlikely within
a reasonable time to care for the ongoing physical, mental, and
emotional needs of the child.
Conduct towards the child of a physically or sexually abusive nature.
History of violent behavior.
A single incident of life-threatening or gravely disabling injury
or disfigurement of the child.
Excessive use of intoxicating liquors or narcotics or dangerous
drugs which affect the ability to care and provide for the child.
Neglect of the child.
Long term confinement of the parent.
Injury or death of a sibling due to proven parental abuse or neglect.
Reasonable efforts by child care agencies which have been unable
to rehabilitate the parent(s).
In considering any of the factors for terminating the parent/ child
legal relationship, the court shall give primary consideration to
the physical, mental, and emotional conditions and needs of the child.
The court shall review and order, if necessary, an evaluation of the
child's physical, mental, and emotional conditions.
REVIEW OF CHILD'S DISPOSITION FOLLOWING TERMINATION OF THE PARENT/ CHILD
The court, at the conclusion of a hearing in which it ordered the
termination of a parent/ child legal relationship, shall order that
a review hearing be held not later than ninety (90) days following
the date of the termination. At such hearing, the agency or individual
vested with custody of the child shall report to the court what disposition
of the child, if any, has occurred, and the guardian ad litem shall
submit a written report with recommendations to the court, based upon
an independent investigation, for the best disposition of the child.
If no adoption has taken place within a reasonable time and the court
determines that adoption is not immediately feasible or appropriate,
the court may order that provision by made immediately for long term
foster placement of the child.
Subject to the availability of funds, an indigent parent has the right
to have appointed one expert witness of his own choosing whose reasonable
fees and expenses, subject to the court's prior review and approval,
shall be paid from the court funds.
All ordered evaluations shall be made available to counsel at least
fifteen (15) days prior to the hearing.
EFFECT OF DECREE
An order for the termination of the parent/ child legal relationship
divests the child and the parent of all legal rights, powers, privileges,
immunities, duties, and obligations with respect to each other, except
for the right of the child to inherit from the parent, such child's
right of inheritance shall be terminated only by a final decree of
No order or decree entered pursuant to this chapter shall disentitle
a child to any benefit due him from any third person, including but
not limited to, any Indian Tribe, any agency, any state, or the United
After the termination of a parent/ child legal relationship, the former
parent is not entitled to any notice of proceedings for the adoption
of the child by another, nor has he any right to object to the adoption
or to otherwise participate in such proceedings.
Appeals of court decrees made under this chapter shall be given precedence
on the calendar of the Tribal Appellate Court over all matters unless
provided by law.
Whenever an appeal is made under this chapter, an indigent parent,
upon request, subject to the availability of funds, may be provided
a transcript to the tribal proceeding for the appeal at the expense
of the tribe to be paid from the court fund.
Appeals will be dealt with in the same manner as appeals in the Tribal
Civil Court, except as provided 14.8.1.
CHAPTER 6: ADOPTION
Tribal Children's Court shall have jurisdiction in any adoption proceeding
involving a member or Indian Child.
Any child under the age of 18 years may be adopted by any adult person
pursuant to this chapter. The person adopting the child must be at
least 10 years older than the person adopted unless good cause is
shown why this requirement should be waived.
of the child, if over the age of 12 years is necessary to its adoption.
A child cannot be adopted without the consent of the parents, if living,
provided that in the following cases consent shall not be necessary:
From any parent who has been judicially deprived of the custody
of the child, provided any such adjudication shall be final on appeal
or the time for such appeal shall have expired; or
From any parent who has been judged by a court to be mentally incompetent.
A married man or woman cannot adopt a person without the consent of
his or her spouse, providing the spouse is capable of giving such
The proven father of a child born to a woman who is not married shall
have rights to service of process in adoption, delinquency, dependency,
or termination of parental rights proceedings, provided that he has,
prior to the entry of the final order in any of the proceedings, acknowledged
the child as his own by affirmatively asserting paternity within 60
days after the birth of the child or after being informed that the
child is his:
By Tribal Diagnostic Blood Testing in compliance with Tribal Enrollment
By publicly acknowledging it as his own, receiving it into his family,
and treating it as if it were his child.
By causing his name to be affixed to the birth certificate.
By commencing a judicial proceeding claiming a parental right.
The adoption of two or more children by the same adopting parent(s)
may be included in one proceeding, provided that a separate order
of adoption shall be made and filed by the court as to each child
No petition for adoption shall be granted until the child shall have
lived within the proposed adoptive home for a period of at least six
months before or after the filing of the petition.
The petition filed shall be sworn by the person or persons requesting
adoption and shall state the:
Name, address, residence, social security number, birth date, and
race (Tribal Affiliation, if necessary or applicable) of the person
or persons requesting adoption;
Name, address, birthrate, race and residence of the person( s) to
Length of time that the person to be adopted has been in the proposed
Name, address, residence, birthdate, and race, if known, of the
legal mother and father of the child to be adopted;
Facts describing under what circumstances the person to be adopted
began residing in the proposed adoptive home, including whether
or not one or both legal parents have consented to that arrangement
and to the proposed adoption or whether the consent of one or both
of the parents is not required by the provisions of this chapter,
and whether or not the father of the child is entitled to service
A full description and statement of value of all property owned
or possessed by the person to be adopted; and
Whenever a person petitions the Hoopa Tribal Children's Court for
and order adopting a minor child the judge of the Children's Court
shall fix a time for a hearing and shall request the Tribal Social
Services Department to make a careful and thorough investigation of
the matter and report his findings including a recommendation as to
whether or not the adoption should or should not be granted, in writing
to the court.
Upon filing a petition for the adoption of a minor child the court
shall notify the Tribal Social Services Department by mailing to the
office a copy of the said petition, or mail to the office a copy of
the order fixing the date of such hearing. The Tribal Presenting Official
shall make recommendations-as to the desirability of the adoption.
The office may appear in any such procedure the same as the part in
interest, and may
request a postponement of hearing on the petition in event more time
is needed for its investigation.
A copy of the petition for adoption and order for hearing shall be
personally served upon the legal or natural mother and father of the
child to be adopted; provided however, that service may not be required
if otherwise excused under this chapter. The petition and order shall
be accompanied by a notice that adoption of their child is requested,
that if granted their parental rights in said child will be terminated,
of the time and place of hearing, and that they may attend the hearing
and show cause why the adoption should not be granted if said cause
exists. Proof of service required shall be made to appear by affidavit
or oral testimony.
At the time of the hearing on the petition for adoption, the person
adopting a child, the child adopted, the natural mother and father
of the adopted child, and any spouse of any person adopting any child
must appear before the court. The spouse of the person adopting the
child must execute a consent to the adoption. Any person except the
adoptive child and the person adopting may enter their consent through
a power of attorney.
Any person or entity who has been given custody of any child after
the rights of the natural parents have been terminated may consent
to the adoption of the child surrendered to it if permission to do
so has been given by the court.
At the time of the hearing on the petition for adoption, and agreement
must be executed that the child adopted shall be treated in all respects
as his, her, or their natural and lawful child would be treated.
The court shall enter finding of fact and conclusions of law when
testimony is presented establishing any facts relevant to any point.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the court shall,
if the child to be adopted is Indian, satisfy itself and make a finding
reflected in either findings of fact and conclusions of law and order
of adoption that such adoption will not be harmful to the cultural
interests of the child.
The judge must examine all persons appearing separately and if satisfied
from such examination and the report of the investigation that the
child is suitable for adoption and the petitioning parent or parents
financially and morally fit to have the care and training of such
child, that all requirements of law have been met and that the interest
of the child will be promoted by the adoption, he must make and order
declaring that the child thenceforth shall be regarded and treated
in all respects as the child of such person; and which order, among
other things, shall contain the following:
The full adoptive name, date of birth, sex, color or race, and place
of birth of the adoptive child; and
The full name, date of birth, citizenship, residence, color or race,
birthplace, and occupation of both adoptive parents.
The files and records of the court in adoption proceedings shall not
be open to inspection or copy by persons other than the parents by
adoption and their attorneys, representatives of the Bureau of Indian
Affairs, Sacramento, or the Tribal Social Services Department, and
the child when he reaches the age of maturity, except upon the order
of the court expressly permitting inspection or copy. No person having
change of any birth or adoption records shall disclose the names of
any parents, or parents by adoption, or any other matter, appearing
in such records, except upon order of the Hoopa Tribal Children's
A child, when adopted, may take the family name of the person adopting
and after adoption the two shall sustain toward each other the legal
relation of parent and child and have all the rights and be subject
to all the duties of that relation.
The natural parents of an adopted child are from the time of the adoption
relieved of all parental duties towards, and of all responsibilities
for the child-so-adopted, and have no right over it, except in cases
where a natural parent consents to the adoption of his or her child
by the child's stepfather or stepmother who is the present spouse
of the natural parent.
An adopted child will retain full inheritance rights from his natural
parent or parents.
The fact of adoption shall not in any manner whatsoever affect the
adoptive child's qualification and right to be enrolled in Hoopa Valley
Tribe of California.
The order of preference for adoptions under this Title, regardless
of residence, shall be:
CHAPTER 7: FOSTER HOME STANDARDS
The purpose and intent of these foster care standards are in accordance
with both the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act (P. L. 95-608) and
the California State Department of Social Services in reference to
Information Release No. 40-80. Both recognize the need and desirability
of Indian Tribes to establish and regulate foster homes for Indian
These standards are to insure continuity of the child's culture, spiritual
values, and family and extended family ties, while providing for the
establishment of services which meet the individual needs of the child.
These standards are apperceptive and responsive to the rights of the
Hoopa Valley Tribe of California.
TRIBAL AUTHORITY TO LICENSE FOSTER HOMES
of the court to issue license shall be pursuant to this Title and the
provisions adopted under.
"Indian Family" means a family in which at least one
head of the household is a member of and Indian Tribe or is eligible
for membership in a tribe.
"Indian Child" means an unmarried person under eighteen
years who is a member, or is a direct descendent of an enrolled member
of the Hoopa Valley Tribe.
"Member Child" means a child who is a direct descendent
of an enrolled member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe.
"Foster Child" means an Indian child placed for foster
care through a tribal agency by the authority of the state or Tribal
Court, parent, guardian, or custodian.
"Extended Family" means any person related by blood.
FOSTER CARE LICENSING PROCEDURES
ELIGIBILITY FOR FOSTER CARE LICENSING
Family living within or near the area served by the Tribal Social
Services Department may apply for certification as a foster family
home for Tribal Children.
FOSTER HOME ASSESSMENT
home assessment or study will be made in accordance with the established
procedures of the tribal social services department to determine if
the applicants meet the foster home standards as established herein.
FOSTER CARE LICENSE
a home study is completed and the applicant's home is determined to
meet the foster home licensing standards, a foster care license will
be granted to the applicants. The Tribal Court shall have exclusive
authority to issue foster license under this Title.
REFUSAL TO LICENSE AND/ OR ISSUANCE OF A PROVISIONAL LICENSE
The Tribal Court may refuse to license a home. The refusal must
be based on an assessment showing that the applicant does not meet
the foster home standards. Applicants may reapply, showing that
the necessary changes have been made, and they may be reconsidered.
An applicant may be granted a provisional license pending implementation
of the recommended changes.
The applicant has primary responsibility for corrections necessary
to fulfill the necessary standards for a foster care license.
FOSTER CARE LICENSE RENEWAL
Foster care license renewal will on an annual basis.
Renewal of licenses will be based on the approval of the Tribal
Court dependent upon an evaluation conducted by the Social Services
Department of the foster family and its care of children during
the past year.
A medical report will be necessary.
FOSTER CARE PAYMENTS
care payments, if any, will be made in accordance with the foster
care agreement made between the Tribal Court and the foster family
at the time the child is placed in foster care. Members of an extended
family may be eligible to receive payment for foster care in accordance
with the foster care agreement.
REVOCATION OF FOSTER CARE, PROVISIONAL OR SPECIAL LICENSE
may be revoked by the Tribal Court. Standard of revoking a license
must be that continued custody of their child by the foster parent
or Indian custodian is likely to result in serious emotional or physical
damage to the child. Evidence must be supported " beyond a reasonable
doubt " including testimony of a " qualified earnest witness."
FOSTER CARE LICENSING RECORDS
shall be maintained on each foster family. These records shall include
pertinent information gathered during the foster care application
and assessment process, a record of foster children placed in the
home, foster care licensing reviews, and current license status. The
records to be maintained by the Tribal Social Services Department.
FOSTER CARE PLACEMENT PROCEDURES
FOSTER CARE PLACEMENT AUTHORITY
to place an Indian Child can be granted to the Tribal Court by any
of the following:
A state court having jurisdiction;
A Tribal Court having jurisdiction;
The child's parent having custody and making voluntary consent for
A legal guardian or Indian Custodian, other than a parent making
voluntary consent for placement.
PROVISION FOR MEDICAL CARE
care agreement shall include a provision granting the Tribal Social
Services Department the authority to consent of routine and emergency
medical and dental care and treatment, including emergency surgery,
for the child.
FOSTER CARE CASE PLAN
time of placement, a case plan will be developed by the Tribal Social
Services Department for each child placed in foster care by the department.
The participation of the child and his family will be sought in developing
the case plan, when appropriate. The case plan shall include a "
permanency plan " for the child in order to provide a designed
program to develop a long-term situation for the child, the first
option being his return to the parents, the second option being relative
placement, the third option being the child's adoption, and the fourth
option being long-term foster care.
FOSTER CARE REVIEW
review shall be made at least every six months for every Indian Child
placed in foster care by the Tribal Court. The child, the child's
parents or custodians, the foster family, and the social worker are
to participate in the foster care review, if at all possible. The
foster care review shall include the following:
Assessment of the child's development and progress.
Assessment of the development and progress of the child's family.
Assessment of the child's relationship with his parents or custodians.
Assessment of the child's relationship with the foster family.
Review of the foster care case plan.
FOSTER CARE AGREEMENT
placement of an Indian Child in foster care, the Tribal Court and
the foster parent(s) shall acknowledge the following:
The rights and responsibilities of the foster child.
The rights and responsibilities of the Tribal Social Services Department.
The rights and responsibilities of the foster parents.
The rights and responsibilities of the child's parent( s) or custodians.
The amount and manner, if any, of foster care payment.
FOSTER CARE PLACEMENT RECORDS
foster care placement records shall be maintained, with provisions
for insuring confidentially. These records shall include the following:
Case plans and reviews.
Case summaries, reports, and narratives.
Medical and dental records.
Any other salient information.
FOSTER HOME STANDARDS
HEALTH: Each member of the foster family household, and any person
who assists with the care and supervision of Indian Foster Children,
shall be in good health and have had a physical examination within
a year of the date of application for foster care license. The physician's
report of the foster care applicant shall be completed and signed
by a licensed physician, stating that the applying family is in
good health and free from any physical or mental illness which might
be detrimental to a foster child. A medical statement shall be completed
and signed by a licensed physician which states that any other members
of the household are free from communicable and contagious diseases
and have no health condition which would be detrimental to foster
Physical handicaps of foster parent's shall be a consideration
only as it affects their ability to provide adequate care to foster
children or may affect and individual child's adjustment to the
foster family. Cases shall be evaluated on an individual basis
with the assistance of a medical consultant when indicated.
PERSONAL QUALITIES: Prospective foster parent( s) shall possess
personal qualities of maturity, stability, flexibility, ability
to cope with stress, capacity to give and receive love, and good
Relationships within the family shall be such that a wholesome
atmosphere for growth of the foster child will be assured. No
family member or household occupant shall have a record of child
abuse, felony, or demeanor involving moral turpitude.
AGE: The biological age of a foster parent should be considered
in relation to physical condition, vitality, flexibility, maturity,
and ability to exercise appropriate authority, supervision, and
physical care for specific children. No restriction is placed on
upper age levels, but an older foster parent must have the physical
and emotional stamina to deal with the guidance, care, and protection
INCOME: The foster family shall have sufficient income to meet the
family's basic needs. This will allow payments, if any, for foster
care to meet the basic needs of the foster child.
At this time the department does not have a plan for paying foster
families a salary. If the foster family wishes to receive payment
for foster carte services, it will have to be worked out through
either a Tribal/ State agreement or use of California State Department
of Social Services Standards for Foster Family Homes.
EMPLOYMENT: Education, and/ or training pursuits of foster parents
are evaluated in regard to the ages and needs of the child(ren)
for whom they wish to provide care. When both parents in a two-parent
home and when single parents are employed, suitable plans for day
care and/ or supervision of the child after school and during the
summer while parents are at work must be approved by the Tribal
PARENTING ABILITIES: Foster parents' motivation for application
should be examined. Attitudes of significant members of the extended
family regarding child placement capacity to provide for the foster
child's needs while giving proper consideration to their own children
and should have a realistic assessment of the positive and negative
aspects of foster parenthood, including acceptance of the temporary
nature of foster care.
When necessary, foster parents should have special ability to
care for children with special needs (physical handicaps, emotional
Foster parents should have the ability to administer discipline
in a manner appropriate to the age and development of the child.
Although families differ in their approach to discipline, harsh
or threatening methods are particularly damaging to children in
foster care. Discipline should be defined as an overall plan for
teaching acceptable behavior, punishment is, more narrowly, negative
reinforcement for unacceptable behavior.
BOARDERS: a Tribal Foster Home may not have adult roomers or boarders
unrelated to the foster parents without special permission of the
Tribal Court. The foster parents shall keep the social services
department informed about all persons living in the home, and all
others having regular contact with the foster home.
FAMILY COMPOSITION: The composition of the foster family will have
taken into account in assessing whether the child's needs will be
met by such a placement. The presence of other children in the home,
either the foster parent's or foster family's, related or unrelated
adults, shall be taken into account as they may be affected by,
or have an affect upon the foster child or children.
REFERENCES: The foster family shall provide name sand addresses
of those references (non-related) who can attest to the family's,
qualifications to become foster parents.
RELATIONSHIP WITH TRIBAL SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT: Foster parents
should be able to work with the tribal social services department
in making plans for the foster child and meeting his needs.
parents should be willing to discuss problems and questions with the
tribal social services department. They should be willing to accept
the policies of the tribe.
parents must be willing to sign and abide by the terms of the tribal
foster care agreement. Foster parents must be willing to have a tribal
social services worker visit the home at least once every six months,
and at any time a special problem involving the child or his family
arise, and at any other reasonable time.
SAFETY: The house and premises shall be reasonably clean. The physical
facilities of the home must present no hazards to the safety of
the foster child. The foster family must have access to emergency
services in case of crisis.
LOCATION: The location should be such that the foster parent is
able to arrange transportation to school, church, recreational activities,
and other resources as needed.
SLEEPING ARRANGEMENT/ PERSONAL SPACE: the foster child shall be
provided adequate and appropriate sleeping space, consistent
with his needs for privacy or personal contact space shall be provided
for the child's personal possessions.
sleeping areas must be provided for children over age six who are
of the opposite sex. The sharing of sleeping rooms by children of
opposite sexes is undesirable, especially for foster child( ren)
who may be experiencing difficulties in the development of their
sexual identities, attitudes, and behavior.
other than infants and during emergencies such as illness, shall
not share sleeping quarters with adults in the household.
all instances when exceptions are necessary, these shall be for
children under two years of age or when special cultural, ethnic,
or socioeconomic circumstances create a situation in which such
exceptions will not be the detriment of the child.
STANDARD OF LIVING: Physical standards for the foster home shall
be set according to individual living standards for the community
in which the foster home is located; these standards shall be sufficient
to assure a degree of comfort which will provide for the well-being
of the family and its self-respect in the community in which it
PLAY SAFE: Play space, fenced if necessary, shall be available and
free from hazards which might be dangerous to the
life and health of the child.
DAILY ROUTINE: A daily routine shall be such as to promote good
health, rest, play habits, and positive growth.
RESOURCES: The foster family must demonstrate a willingness to cooperate
with available resources for the foster child.
RELIGION: Opportunities for satisfying religious and spiritual experience
are provided the child through an appropriate religious affiliation
which does not conflict with the broad religious preference of the
child and his family.
NUTRITION: A balanced and ample diet adjusted to the age, special
needs, and physical development of the foster child shall be provided.
foster child shall not be deprived of a meal or of eating with the
family as a disciplinary measure.
CONFIDENTIALITY: The foster family must demonstrate the ability
to maintain confidentiality as it relates to the foster child and
his biological family.
no time is the biological family to be denigrated or otherwise put
down to the foster child or in the presence of the foster child.
CULTURAL HERITAGE: The foster family must demonstrate a willingness
to show respect for the child's individual cultural heritage.
DISCIPLINE: The foster family understands that discipline is a method
of teaching not of punishing. Effective non-physical methods of
discipline are used in a manner consistent with the child's age
GUIDELINES FOR ASSESSING FOSTER FAMILY APPLICANTS
are for the purpose of the study and evaluation of foster family applicants.
After modification and adaptation to reflect community standards and
traditions, such guidelines will help to:
Determine if the family and home meet the basic requirements of
the Tribal Social Services Department and the Tribal Children's
To fulfill the legal and moral responsibilities of these entities
in protecting the physical, mental, and emotional well being of
Assess the foster parenting abilities of the applicants.
Learn enough about the applicants to determine what kind of child
they can best serve.
Assist applicants in understanding the responsibilities involved
and decide if they wish to participate.
To prepare potential foster parents to deal with the special needs
of foster children.
guidelines will assist the worker in evaluating the applicants and
their home. The study includes but does not have to be limited to
the following areas. Although it is not necessary to adhere strictly
to the sequence of the following guidelines, the areas are basic and
should be included in the applicant study--the extent of each depending
upon applicability to the potential foster family situation.
BASIC REQUIREMENTS OF FOSTER PARENTS
personal qualities of those who wish to serve as foster parents are:
Evidence of an interest in and responsiveness to other people--particularly
Capacity to give love, affection, and understanding to a child without
undue expectation for gratification from such care, and to endure
the frustrations inherent in the care of such children.
Ability to share with each other in the care of foster children.
Provision of proper consideration to their own children's feelings
and the feelings of close relatives towards a foster child.
Maintenance of stable and satisfactory relationships (marital, parent/
child, etc.), realizing that family problems may affect foster children
differently from their own children.
Evidence of emotional stability and ability to function adequately
in relation to family responsibilities and employment.
Ability to administer discipline in a manner appropriate to the
age and development of the child.
Reputable character, values, and ethical standards conducive to
the will-being of children.
Practical understanding of the developmental stages of children
and their accompanying needs.
Ability to accept a foster child's relationship with his/ her natural
parents, including neglectful and abusive parents.
Capacity to help prepare the children for his/ her return home or
for adoptive placement.
Ability to accept that children placed for foster care are placed
for their foster care only and not for adoption purposes.
FOSTER PARENTS RELATIONSHIP WITH TRIBAL SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT
reflects an ability to work constructively with the Tribal Social
In developing plans and meeting the needs of the foster child and
his/ her family.
By accepting consultation and training.
By maintaining confidentiality.
By working within the department's policies.
FAMILY INTEREST AND MOTIVATION
motivation for wanting a foster child may be based on reasons which
are not recognized or verbalized. Circumstances which promoted the
family to apply at the particular time of their application can help
clarify these reasons. The source of information about the foster
family program as set up by the social services department may turn
out to be the key to their decision.
the process of the study and evaluation of the family, underlying
needs of the family not previously stated or recognized may be revealed
and should be assessed realistically and honestly with the family.
Specific discussion of the difference between a foster family home
and an adoptive home is necessary to determine whether the applicants
realistically accept the difference.
PERSONAL INFORMATION OF FOSTER PARENTS (AND ANY OTHER ADULT IN THE
of past experience and influences are vital in understanding the adult's
current functioning not only as individuals, but also as members of
a family. Significant areas of study are:
Personality and attitudes of the applicant. What is the person like
as an individual?
Childhood relationships with parents, siblings, relatives, or other
meaningful person. What were their childhood and growing up like?
Experiences such as death, illness, divorce, poverty, etc., which
had an impact on the person's attitudes, feelings, expectations,
Concepts of appropriate discipline and manner in which it should
Education and training and what it means to the person.
General physical and emotional health of members of the household
as evidenced by an examination report from a physician must be obtained
for each member of the household.
If a physical handicap exists, how does it affect ability to function
as a parent in providing adequate care and supervision.
Any specific medical or emotional condition existent in members
of the household? Is any member of the household under professional
care for any condition which requires the use of prescribed drugs
and/ or narcotics, and if so, to what extent?
If any member of the household previously received psychiatric or
psychological counseling, explore the circumstances and results.
Physical description, with any notable abnormalities described in
Employment record with respect to stability or work and satisfaction
derived from employment.
Social relationships within the community, hobbies, skills, talents,
special interests, etc.
Religious influences, affiliations, and activities.
Reaction to stressful situations.
Current relationships within the family including marital and parent/
Special training, ability, or experience in working with or caring
for children with special needs such as physical handicaps, mental
retardation, behavioral problems, emotional disturbances, etc.
Further exploration or explanation of any arrests for or conviction
of any criminal action, including status of parole or probation.
PERSONAL INFORMATION OF CHILDREN IN THE HOME
children as to:
Age and physical appearance.
Personality, interests, skills, etc.
Strengths and/ or problems in parent/ child relationships, school
adjustment, behavior and health.
Ability to get along with other and children and depending on age,
attitude towards foster children.
and constructive discipline includes diversion, separation from problem
situation, deprivation of privileges, praise for appropriate behavior,
and gentle physical restraint such as holding. The use of the open
hand to lightly swat the child's buttocks or hands could be considered
nonphysical discipline and used only when necessary to protect
the child's safety and well-being. In no instance is any object to
be used to discipline a foster child.
abuse or derogatory remarks about the child, the child's family, race,
religion, or cultural background is not used or permitted. Deprivation
of meals is not used as discipline. No child is shaken, pinched, or
roughly jerked by a family member or any other person in the home.
the applicant's understanding and acceptance of the policy on discipline
and include this in the written report. Is there mutual agreement
between the foster parents on methods of discipline? Discuss the manner
in which they discipline their natural children, if any. If not covered
in any other section of this study, review types of discipline used
by the applicant's parents or caretakers and any effect this has had
on their attitudes.
MARITAL STATUS AND BACKGROUND
the applicants current marital status as to length of marriage, stability,
and method of resolution of any problems. If applicable, discuss any
previous marriages as to cause of divorce, children involved, an if
so, visitation arrangements.
INCOME AND MONEY MANAGEMENT
the family's method of managing financial resources and obligations.
Does the family function without undue problems, and independent of
foster child care payments. Factors to consider are net income including
salary and any income from other sources, any debts, child support
HOME AND LIVING STANDARDS
a concise but complete description of the home and the neighborhood.
Be specific as to:
Cleanliness and appearance of home and yard.
Sleeping arrangements for foster children.
Sanitary facilities if not on public system (i. e., toilet and bathing,
water supply, garbage and sewage disposal).
Safety factors (particularly relating to preschool or handicapped
children) such as guards and rails on stairways, heating facilities
and outdoor play area protected from traffic hazards.
of three (3) references are personally, contacted, either by the person
conducting the home evaluation or by a contracted agency at sites
remote from jurisdictional area (at written request of social services
department). In the event out of state references are given, written
correspondence and replies are acceptable as valid references to supplement
those provided locally. If the applicant has served as a foster parent
for another agency or institution, a written release of information
is obtained to gather information from the former agency, and this
information is reviewed in relation to the family's current request.
familiar with the family from a variety of perspectives who can provide
a well-rounded picture of the family's functioning and character are
sought. These might include friends with whom the family shares an
ongoing social relationship, and whose children socialize and visit
in the home of the applicants with their children. Neighbors acquainted
with the family and their children. Neighbors acquainted with the
family and their activities, employers and/ or coworkers, relatives,
ministers, and others knowledgeable of the family on a personal basis
as to habits, interests, values, and child rearing practices should
TEAMWORK AND SUPERVISION
is to include a summation of the social worker's explanation and the
foster parent applicant's understanding of:
The fundamental responsibility of the social services department
in meeting the physical, emotional, and medical needs of the child
The responsibility of the foster parent for the child's daily care
so that all three areas of need (physical, emotional, and medical)
The social worker's primary responsibility as the liaison in all
planning among the child, the natural family, the foster family,
the social services department, and the children's court.
Kinds of parental situations necessitating placement.
Varying lengths of time for which children require placement.
Characteristics of children requiring placement and problems associated
with being a foster child.
Differences between foster family care and adoption.
Policies and procedures regarding payment (if any), provision of
clothing, medical care, discipline, confidentiality, education,
religious training, etc.
result of the study process, recommendation is made as to whether
or not the applicant meets standards for providing foster family care.
Included in the final assessment are:
The applicant's understanding and acceptance of the purpose of foster
care and willingness to cooperate in adhering to agency policies.
Areas in which the applicants show special strength and those in
which they will need help and training.
A delineation of the number, age range, sex, and special areas of
needs of children for whom the applicant, if approved as meeting
standards, is qualified to provide care.
If it is determined that the applicants do not meet standards for
foster parenthood, a detailed analysis of the basis for the decision
Personal contact with the applicants to notify them of the decision
regarding approval or disapproval of the application, followed by
The effective date for opening the foster home, showing it as not
meeting standards, or a cancellation of the application.
evaluation of a new foster home and the annual re-evaluation thereafter
is a comprehensive appraisal of the foster family's functioning. The
evaluation consists of the foster home, in which an assessment is
made on the manner in which the foster parents were able to meet the
needs of the various children placed in their home. The successful
and/ or ineffective means used by the foster parents in caring for
and directing the child enables the social services department to
determine what type of child the foster parent can best serve. Areas
in which the foster parents need additional help from the social worker
and/ or social services department to strengthen their parenting ability
in the physical arrangements and in the foster parents' capacities
for child caring since the original study are included in the reevaluation
PERSONAL RIGHTS OF CHILDREN IF FOSTER CARE
shall have personal rights which include but are not limited to:
To be accorded dignity in his/ her personal relationships with other
persons in the home.
To be accorded safe, healthful and comfortable accommodations, furnishings
and equipment that are appropriate to his/ her needs.
To be free from corporal or unusual punishment, infliction of pain,
humiliation, intimidation, ridicule, coercion, threat, mental abuse,
or other actions of a punitive nature including but not limited to
interference with the daily living functions of eating, sleeping,
or toileting, or withholding of shelter, clothing, or aids to physical
To be informed and to have his/ her authorized representative informed
by the foster parent(s) of the provisions of law regarding complaints,
including but not limited to the address and telephone number of the
complaint receiving unit of the licensing agency and of information
regarding the confidential registration of complaints.
To be free to attend religious services or activities of his/ her
choice and to have visits from the spiritual advisors of his/ her
Not to be locked in any room, building, or facility premises by day
This does not prohibit the home from being secured by locking exterior
doors and windows or from establishing house rules for the protection
of the children so long as the children can exit from the home.
Not to be placed in any restraint device except a supportive restraint
approved in advance by the licensing agency.
Supportive restraint shall be limited to appliances or devices to
prevent falling and shall be fastened or tied in a manner which
permits quick release. This includes car seats.
To be free of the administration of medication or chemical substances
not authorized by a physician.
To have visitors as specified below by mutual agreement between the
licensee and the visitors, provided the rights of others are not infringed
Relatives, during waking hours, unless prohibited by court order
or by the child's authorized representative.
The authorize representative.
Other visitors unless prohibited by court order or by the child's
To wear his/ her own clothes.
To possess and control his/ her own case resources, unless otherwise
agreed to in the child's needs and services plan and by the child's
To possess and use his/ her own personal possessions, including toilet
To have access to individual storage space for his/ her private use.
To have access to telephones, both to make and receive confidential
calls, provided that such calls are not prohibited by court order
or by the child's authorized representative, or are not prohibited
as a form of discipline. However, such use shall not infringe upon
the rights of others, nor tie up the telephone during emergencies.
The licensee shall be permitted to require reimbursement for long
distance calls from the child to his/ her authorized representative.
The licensee shall be permitted to prohibit the making of long distance
calls upon documentation that requested reimbursement for previous
long distance calls has not been received.
Calls permitted to be prohibited as a form of discipline shall not
include calls to the child's authorized representative or placement
To have access to letter writing material and to send and receive
unopened correspondence unless prohibited by court order or by the
child's authorized representative.
The licensee shall ensure that each child is accorded the personal
rights specified in this section.
AGREEMENT WITH FOSTER PARENTS
The Hoopa Tribal Court agrees to accept its responsibilities including,
but not limited to, visiting the foster family on a regular basis
and providing all necessary services to the foster family, the child,
and the child's own family. Refer to form.
The foster parents agree as follows:
To accept the child or children named above for temporary foster
care and maintain the child( ran) 's health and welfare.
To accept the condition that any children placed for foster care
in the home by the Tribal Court are placed for the purpose of their
foster care only, and not for the purpose of adoption.
To accept the court's decision to remove a foster child from the
home when it deems such removal is in the child's best interest.
To accept the condition that the court is responsible for making,
carrying out, or approving all plans for the children placed by
them in the foster home.
To cooperate with the Tribal Children's Court and the Tribal Social
Services Department in such planning and to follow their suggestions
and recommendations regarding the care, education, and training
of the foster children.
To allow representatives of the social services department to visit
the home at mutually agreed upon times.
To report at once to the Tribal Social Services Department any change
of address or change in family composition; to secure permission
before making any plans for taking the children out of state for
any purpose; to notify the department of vacation plans away from
To report to the Hoopa Social Services Department any change of
address or change in family composition; to secure permission before
making any plans for taking the children out of state fore any purpose;
to notify the department of vacation plans away from the area.
To contact the Hoopa Health Association for medical services and
emergencies rendered to the foster child.
To contact the Tribal Social Services Department in all emergencies.
To authorize the Tribal Social Services Department to investigate
the medical status of the household (adults and children) to insure
the health of the foster child.
PERMANENCY PLANNING FOR INDIAN CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE
OBJECTIVE OF PERMANENT PLAN
To place child in permanent living situation as soon as possible.
Reunify family if possible.
If reunification is not possible, place child in permanent living
situation with or without termination of parental rights. A permanent
situation may be one of the following: Foster care, adoption, guardianship.
Preferences in these placements will be with relatives or extended
family members with stable living situations.
CRITERIA FOR PLACEMENT
If the child has been harmed or threatened or otherwise endangered.
If the child is a runaway from another area and is being harmed
or threatened and is within Tribal Court scope of jurisdiction.
If the child is neglected or dependent.
If care, custody, and control is assigned by a court system and
relative resources have been explored and are not available.
When in home plan has been explored and are not appropriate.
When day care services have been explored and are not appropriate.
PLACEMENT RESOURCES TO BE EXPLORED
must be placed in "reasonable proximity" to his/ her home.
Meeting special needs precedes over proximity.
Order of preference according to the best interest of the child
is as follows:
Member of the child's extended family.
Licensed foster home approved by the Tribal Court.
Institution for children approved by Tribe or operated by an Indian
A BIA, state, or private agency licensed or approved foster home,
group home, or institution.
Emancipation if allowed by Tribal Code.
ADOPTIVE PLACEMENT RESOURCES
Members of extended family.
Other Tribal members.
Other Indian families.
are steps to be set out in permanency planning:
REASON FOR REMOVAL
as specific as possible in describing the time, conditions, and
need for removing the children.
OBJECTIVES OF THE PARTIES
Tribal Social Services Department and the parents agree to the following
Appropriate care and placement of the children during the time
they are in the care, custody, and control of the social services
department or Tribal Court.
Strengthening the family unit.
Reuniting the family.
APPROPRIATE CARE AND PLACEMENT
children will be maintained in licensed or approved foster homes
or the children may be maintained in the home of extended family.
The social worker will inspect the homes on a regular basis to insure
that they remain proper environments for the children. The children
are eligible for IHS services.
PLAN FOR THE USE OF STRENGTHENING THE FAMILY UNIT
List available resources to be used to strengthen the family.
Child Support: If the parents are able to contribute, insert amount.
If they cannot, use this statement: " From the financial
statement indicating their income, the Tribal Social Services
Department believes that the parents cannot be expected to pay
any child support but may contribute to the child( ren) 's support
in any other feasible manner."
Visitation: A written visitation plan will be established by the
Tribal Children's court and the parents. The Tribal Social Services
Department will provide transportation if necessary and if possible.
Special Provisions: List medical, emotional, educational, or any
special provisions in this section.
REUNITING THE FAMILY
the parties agree that the children are entitled to grow up with
a family environment and they agree that a timetable is necessary
and will be strictly enforced. The parents are responsible for making
necessary changes in their lifestyle. The social worker will be
responsible for providing support services.
1 to 6 months: The parents realize that this is the critical
period. The understand that they must make active progress so
that the family can be reunited. In order to insure that progress
is ongoing and in order to monitor the progress, the social worker
will meet with the parents on a weekly basis to assist progress
and counsel with them about any deficiencies or any problems.
The social worker will also monitor the progress of the parents
with any other agency assisting them and require reports from
6 to 12 months: The parents understand and agree that if
the children are in the custody of the Tribal Court at that time,
the entire treatment plan should be re-evaluated and goals established
so as to eradicate any deficiencies.
12 months or longer: The parents agree that if the child
is in the custody of the Tribal Court for such and extended period
of time because of their failure to make any progress, then termination
of parental rights will be considered.
social services department is the main reinforcer in this case and
will monitor the progress of the parents in order to detect any
deficiencies. If deficiencies are noted, the social worker and the
parents will attempt to remove the deficiencies.
SPECIFY ROLE OF DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
The social worker will be the coordinator of the treatment plan,
in conjunction with the child protection team, if one exists on
The social worker will be in continuous contact with the parents
to ensure the performance of the required tasks.
The social worker will further establish an ongoing relationship
with the relatives and extended family members helping the parents,
and other agencies providing services.
MONITORING TREATMENT PLAN
social services department will keep an up to date record on the
family. It will include all court records, as well as records of
services rendered by the other agencies providing services. An ongoing
file will include a record of all contacts with the parents as well
as contacts with relatives and other agencies. Copies of all reports
will be attached to the request for review. In this manner the court
will be able to check parental performance and department performance
towards reuniting the family.
all resources needed to fulfill the treatment plan.
APPROVAL OF CASE PLAN
case plan is decided upon and written, it must be drafted and signed
by all parties involved: social worker, parent(s), child (if age
appropriate), and Tribal Judge.
part of this Code is held to be invalid the remainder shall continue
to be in full force and effect to the greatest extent possible.
the undersigned, as Chairman of the Hoopa Valley Tribal Council
do hereby certify that the Hoopa Valley Tribal Council is composed
of eight members of which seven (7) were present constituting
a quorum of a Regular Meeting thereof; duly noticed, and signed
this 18th day of September, 1997; and that this Ordinance was
duly adopted by a vote of six (6) for and none(0) against and
that said Ordinance has not been rescinded or amended in any way.
THIS 18th DAY OF September, 1997.
Duane Sherman, Sr. Chairman
Hoopa Valley Tribal Council
Darcy Baldy, Executive Secretary
Hoopa Valley Tribal Council