Assigned to HHS AS PASSED BY HOUSE
ARIZONA STATE SENATE
Fifty-Third Legislature, Second Regular Session
Modifies requirements for a child to be taken into temporary custody without a court order.
Communication of suspected child abuse is referred to the Department of Child Safety (DCS) through a statewide, toll-free, 24-hour child abuse hotline. Anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect may report it through the hotline. When a communication suspecting child abuse is received, hotline personnel determine the proper initial priority level of investigation and direct a report for investigation to the appropriate part of DCS. If, after an investigation, DCS determines that a child is in imminent danger of abuse or neglect, the child may be removed from the home. When determining if a child should be taken into temporary custody, child safety workers must take into consideration as a paramount concern the child’s health and safety.
Currently, a child may be taken into temporary custody by an order of the superior court or with the consent of the child's parent or guardian. Additionally, a child may be taken into temporary custody without a court order in circumstances where temporary custody is clearly necessary to protect the child because probable cause exists that the child is any of the following: 1) a victim of abuse or neglect; 2) at risk of imminently becoming a victim of abuse or neglect in the time it would take to obtain a court order; 3) suffering serious physical or emotional injury that can only be diagnosed by a medical doctor or psychologist; 4) physically injured as a result of residing where drugs are being manufactured; or 5) reported by DCS to be a missing child at risk of serious harm. A child cannot remain in temporary custody for more than 72 hours unless a dependency petition is filed (A.R.S. § 8-821).
There is no anticipated fiscal impact to the state General Fund associated with this legislation.
1. Permits a child to be taken into temporary custody without a court order if there is probable cause to believe a child is likely to suffer serious harm in the time it would take to obtain a court order for removal and either of the following is true:
a) there is no less intrusive alternative that would reasonably and sufficiently protect the child's health or safety; or
b) probable cause exists to believe the child is a victim of sexual abuse or abuse involving serious physical injury that can only be diagnosed by a licensed physician or a healthcare provider who is specifically trained in evaluations of child abuse.
2. Specifies that probable cause must exist prior to the court authorizing DCS to take temporary custody of a child.
3. Removes the requirement that a parent's willingness to participate in offered services be considered when determining if a child should be taken into temporary custody.
4. Requires that a child who is a suspected victim of a sexual offense or an offense involving serious physical injury and who is taken into temporary custody be immediately examined by a physician or healthcare provider who has specific training in evaluations of child abuse.
5. Grants law enforcement officers the ability to use reasonable force when executing an order authorizing temporary custody in order to enter a building where a child named in a temporary custody order is reasonably believed to be.
6. Prohibits a child who is taken into temporary custody from being held in a facility where juveniles who are charged with a crime are detained.
7. Makes technical and conforming changes.
8. Becomes effective on the general effective date.
Amendments Adopted by Committee
1. Removes the requirement that a parent's willingness to participate in offered services be considered when determining if a child should be taken into temporary custody.
2. Makes technical and conforming changes.
Amendments Adopted by Committee of the Whole
· Eliminates the definition of contrary to the child's welfare and makes technical changes.
Amendments Adopted by the House of Representatives
1. Requires, for the purpose of determining the existence of exigent circumstances, probable cause that a child is a victim of abuse, rather than a suspected victim of certain offenses.
2. Makes technical and conforming changes.
Senate Action House Action
HHS 2/7/18 DPA 6-0-1 JPS 3/14/18 DPA 8-1-0
3rd Read 3/1/18 24-6-0 3rd Read
Prepared by Senate Research
April 5, 2018