H. B. 4556

(By Delegate Givens, Douglas, Fleischauer,
Mezzatesta, Facemyer and Trump)
[Introduced February 25, 1998; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]

A BILL to amend article five, chapter forty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section twenty-one; and to amend and reenact sections one and three, article five-d of said chapter, all relating to providing for regular judicial review of certain juvenile proceedings.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article five, chapter forty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section twenty-one; and that sections one and three, article five-d of said chapter be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

§49-5-21. Quarterly judicial review of juvenile proceedings.

For cases under this article in which the provisions of section three, article five-d of this chapter apply, the court wherein the juvenile proceeding is pending shall conduct regular judicial review of the case with the multidisciplinary treatment team and a juvenile probation officer in attendance. Such judicial review may be conducted as often as is considered necessary by the court, but shall be conducted at least once every three calendar months until the case is wholly resolved and finally dismissed from the docket of the court.
In conducting the judicial review required by this section, the court shall address the extent of progress in the case, treatment and service needs, permanent placement planning for the juvenile any uncontested issues and any other matters that the court considers pertinent. An order reflecting the matters considered, any uncontested rulings and the scheduling of an evidentiary hearing on any contested issue shall be issued by the court within ten judicial days of the judicial review.

§49-5D-1. Purpose; additional cases and teams.

(a) The purpose of this article is to provide a system for evaluation of and coordinated service delivery for children who may be victims of abuse or neglect and children undergoing certain status offense and delinquency proceedings. It is the further purpose of this article to establish, as a complement to other programs of the department of health and human resources, a multidisciplinary screening, advisory and planning system to assist courts in facilitating permanency planning, following the initiation of judicial proceedings, to recommend alternatives and to coordinate evaluations and in-community services. It is the further purpose of this article to ensure that children are safe from abuse and neglect and to coordinate investigation of alleged child abuse offenses and competent criminal prosecution of offenders to ensure that safety, as determined appropriate by the prosecuting attorney.
(b) Nothing in this article precludes any multidisciplinary team from considering any case upon the consent of the members of the team.
§49-5D-3. Multidisciplinary treatment planning process.
(a)(1) On or before the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five, a multidisciplinary treatment planning process shall be established within each county of the state, either separately or in conjunction with a contiguous county by the secretary of the department with advice and assistance from the prosecutor's advisory council as set forth in section four, article four, chapter seven of this code.
(2) Treatment teams shall assess, plan and implement a comprehensive, individualized service plan for children who are victims of abuse or neglect and their families when a judicial proceeding has been initiated involving the child or children and for children juveniles and their families involved in status offense or delinquency proceedings when, in a status offense proceeding, the court refers the juvenile for services pursuant to sections eleven and eleven-a, article five of this chapter, and when, in a delinquency proceeding, the court is considering placing the juvenile in the department's custody and/or placing the juvenile out-of-home at the department's expense, pursuant to section thirteen of said article five.
(b) Each treatment team shall be convened and directed by the child's or family's case manager. The treatment team shall consist of the child's custodial parent(s) or guardian(s), other immediate family members, the attorney(s) representing the parent(s) of the child, if assigned by a judge of the circuit court, the child, if the child is over the age of twelve, and if the child's participation is otherwise appropriate, the child, if under the age of twelve when the team determines that the child's participation is appropriate, the guardian ad litem, the prosecuting attorney or his or her designee, and any other agency, person or professional who may contribute to the team's efforts to assist the child and family.
(c) The treatment team shall coordinate their activities and membership with local family resource networks, and coordinate with other local and regional child and family service planning committees to assure the efficient planning and delivery of child and family services on a local and regional level.
(d) State, county and local agencies shall provide the multidisciplinary treatment teams with any information requested in writing by the team as allowable by law or upon receipt of a certified copy of the circuit court's order directing said agencies to release information in its possession relating to the child. The team shall assure that all information received and developed in connection with the provisions of this article remain confidential. For purposes of this section, the term "confidential" shall be construed in accordance with the provisions of section one, article seven of this chapter.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require judicial review of certain juvenile proceedings on a court's docket at least every three calendar months, until the case is resolved and dismissed. It provides that the multidisciplinary treatment team and juvenile probation officer must be in attendance and sets forth the matters which must be addressed.

§49-5-21 section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

This bill is recommended for passage in the 1998 regular legislative session by the Legislative Task Force on Juvenile Foster Care, Detention and Placement.