Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–2319. Predisposition study and report.

(a) After a motion for transfer has been filed, or after the Division has made findings pursuant to section 16-2317(c) sustaining the allegations of a petition and, in neglect cases, the conclusion that the child is neglected, the Division shall direct that a predisposition study and report to the Division be made by the Director of Social Services or a qualified agency designated by the Division concerning the child, the child’s family, the child’s environment, and other matters relevant to the need for treatment or disposition of the case. The predisposition report shall include, and take into consideration, any victim impact statement submitted by the victim and the victim’s immediate family members, the Director of Social Services, or by the Corporation Counsel. Except in connection with a hearing on a transfer motion, no predisposition study or report shall be furnished to or considered by the Division prior to completion of the factfinding hearing.

(b) The social investigation and plan for the family prepared pursuant to section 109 of the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Act of 1977 shall satisfy the requirements of subsection (a) of this section. Such investigation and plan shall be made available to all counsel in the proceedings at least five (5) days prior to the date of trial; provided, however, that the investigation and plan shall not be furnished to or considered by the court prior to the completion of the fact-finding hearing.

(c)(1) The report to the Division in neglect cases shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:

(A) the specific harms intervention is designed to alleviate;

(B) the plans for alleviating these harms including specific services, the proposed providers of the services recommended and the actions the parent, guardian, or custodian should take to alleviate these harms, including but not limited to parenting classes and family counseling if the Division orders either service.

(C) the estimated time in which the goals of intervention may be achieved or in which it will be known that the goals may not be achieved; and

(D) the criteria to be used to determine that intervention is no longer necessary; and,

(2) If the removal of the child from his parent, guardian, or custodian is recommended, the report shall also include:

(A) the recommended type of placement;

(B) the reasons why the child cannot be protected in his or her home;

(C) the likely harm the child will suffer as a result of the separation from his or her parent, guardian, or custodian and recommended steps to be taken to minimize this harm; and

(D) the plans for maintaining contact between the parent and child through visitation rights in order to maximize the parent-child relationship consistent with the well-being of the child.

(d) When a child has been adjudicated delinquent and a dispositional order has been entered by the Division under sections 16-2317 and 16-2320 transferring legal custody of a child to the custody of the Youth Services Administration, the Youth Services Administration shall conduct an evaluation of the child to determine the appropriate services and to develop an individualized treatment plan for the child.

(e) The Youth Services Administration shall examine the child and investigate all pertinent circumstances in the child’s background that will contribute to the development of the individualized treatment plan.

(f) The Youth Services Administration shall complete an initial assessment of the child within 3 days of taking legal custody of the child and receipt of the social file from the Director of Court Social Services and shall develop the individualized treatment plan within 14 days of completing the initial assessment of the child, unless a longer diagnostic phase is needed for the child and is justified in writing in the child’s initial assessment. If the Youth Services Administration does not receive the social file within 7 days of the disposition order, the Division shall order the Director of Court Social Services to immediately produce the social file.

(g) The Division may, on its own motion or the motion of any party, for good cause shown, extend the time periods set forth in subsection (f) of this section for completion of the initial assessment and the individualized treatment plan.