§587A-11 Investigation; department powers. Upon receiving a report that a child is subject to imminent harm, has been harmed, or is subject to threatened harm, and when an assessment is required by this chapter, the department shall cause such investigation to be made as it deems to be appropriate. In conducting the investigation, the department may:
(1) Enlist the cooperation and assistance of appropriate state and federal law enforcement authorities, who may conduct an investigation and, if an investigation is conducted, shall provide the department with all preliminary findings, including the results of a criminal history record check of an alleged perpetrator of harm or threatened harm to the child;
(2) Conduct a criminal history record check of an alleged perpetrator and all adults living in the family home, with or without consent, to ensure the safety of the child;
(3) Interview the child without the presence or prior approval of the child's family and temporarily assume protective custody of the child for the purpose of conducting the interview;
(4) Resolve the matter in an informal fashion that it deems appropriate under the circumstances;
(5) Close the matter if the department finds, after an assessment, that the child is residing with a caregiver who is willing and able to meet the child's needs and provide a safe and appropriate placement for the child;
(6) Immediately enter into a service plan:
(A) To safely maintain the child in the family home; or
(B) To place the child in voluntary foster care pursuant to a written agreement with the child's parent.
If the child is placed in voluntary foster care and the family does not successfully complete the service plan within three months after the date on which the department assumed physical custody of the child, the department shall file a petition. The department is not required to file a petition if the parents agree to adoption or legal guardianship of the child and the child's safety is ensured; provided that the adoption or legal guardianship hearing is conducted within six months of the date on which the department assumed physical custody of the child;
(7) Assume temporary foster custody of the child and file a petition with the court within three days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, after the date on which the department assumes temporary foster custody of the child, with placement preference being given to an approved relative; or
(8) File a petition or ensure that a petition is filed by another appropriate authorized agency in court under this chapter. [L 2010, c 135, pt of §1; am L 2016, c 96, §4]
Cited: 132 H. 368, 322 P.3d 263 (2014).