Welfare and Institutions Code – WIC § 727.4

(a)(1) Notice of any hearing pursuant to Section 727 727.2 , or 727.3 shall be served by the probation officer to the minor, the minor’s parent or guardian, any adult provider of care to the minor including, but not limited to, foster parents, relative caregivers, preadoptive parents, resource family, community care facility, or foster family agency, and to the counsel of record if the counsel of record was not present at the time that the hearing was set by the court, by first-class mail addressed to the last known address of the person to be notified, by personal service on those persons, or by electronic service pursuant to Section 212.5 , not earlier than 30 days nor later than 15 days preceding the date of the hearing.  The notice shall contain a statement regarding the nature of the status review or permanency planning hearing and any change in the custody or status of the minor being recommended by the probation department.  The notice shall also include a statement informing the foster parents, relative caregivers, or preadoptive parents that he or she may attend all hearings or may submit any information he or she deems relevant to the court in writing.  The foster parents, relative caregiver, and preadoptive parents are entitled to notice and opportunity to be heard but need not be made parties to the proceedings.  Proof of notice shall be filed with the court.

(2) If the court or probation officer knows or has reason to know that the minor is or may be an Indian child, any notice sent under this section shall comply with the requirements of Section 224.2 .

(b) At least 10 calendar days before each status review and permanency planning hearing, after the hearing during which the court orders that the care, custody, and control of the minor to be under the supervision of the probation officer for placement pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 727 , the probation officer shall file a social study report with the court, pursuant to the requirements listed in Section 706.5 .

(c) The probation department shall inform the minor, the minor’s parent or guardian, and all counsel of record that a copy of the social study prepared for the hearing will be available 10 days before the hearing and may be obtained from the probation officer.

(d) As used in Article 15 (commencing with Section 625 ) to Article 18 (commencing with Section 725 ), inclusive:

(1) “Foster care” means residential care provided in any of the settings described in Section 11402 or 11402.01 .

(2) “At risk of entering foster care” means that conditions within a minor’s family may necessitate his or her entry into foster care unless those conditions are resolved.

(3) “Preadoptive parent” means a licensed foster parent who has been approved for adoption by the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a licensed adoption agency.

(4) “Date of entry into foster care” means the date that is 60 days after the date on which the minor was removed from his or her home, unless one of the exceptions below applies:

(A) If the minor is detained pending foster care placement, and remains detained for more than 60 days, then the date of entry into foster care means the date the court adjudges the minor a ward and orders the minor placed in foster care under the supervision of the probation officer.

(B) If, before the minor is placed in foster care, the minor is committed to a ranch, camp, school, or other institution pending placement, and remains in that facility for more than 60 days, then the “date of entry into foster care” is the date the minor is physically placed in foster care.

(C) If at the time the wardship petition was filed, the minor was a dependent of the juvenile court and in out-of-home placement, then the “date of entry into foster care” is the earlier of the date the juvenile court made a finding of abuse or neglect, or 60 days after the date on which the child was removed from his or her home.

(5) “Reasonable efforts” means:

(A) Efforts made to prevent or eliminate the need for removing the minor from the minor’s home.

(B) Efforts to make it possible for the minor to return home, including, but not limited to, case management, counseling, parenting training, mentoring programs, vocational training, educational services, substance abuse treatment, transportation, and therapeutic day services.

(C) Efforts to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize a permanent plan for the minor.

(D) In child custody proceedings involving an Indian child, “reasonable efforts” shall also include “active efforts” as defined in Section 361.7 .

(6) “Relative” means an adult who is related to the minor by blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth degree of kinship including stepparents, stepsiblings, and all relatives whose status is preceded by the words “great,” “great-great,” “grand,” or the spouse of any of these persons even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution.  “Relative” shall also include an “extended family member” as defined in the federal Indian Child Welfare Act ( 25 U.S.C. Sec. 1903(2) ).

(7) “Hearing” means a noticed proceeding with findings and orders that are made on a case-by-case basis, heard by either of the following:

(A) A judicial officer, in a courtroom, recorded by a court reporter.

(B) An administrative panel, provided that the hearing is a status review hearing and that the administrative panel meets the following conditions:

(i) The administrative review shall be open to participation by the minor and parents or legal guardians and all those persons entitled to notice under subdivision (a).

(ii) The minor and his or her parents or legal guardians receive proper notice as required in subdivision (a).

(iii) The administrative review panel is composed of persons appointed by the presiding judge of the juvenile court, the membership of which shall include at least one person who is not responsible for the case management of, or delivery of services to, the minor or the parents who are the subjects of the review.

(iv) The findings of the administrative review panel shall be submitted to the juvenile court for the court’s approval and shall become part of the official court record.