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OKLAHOMA STATUTES AND CODES

Title 10A. Children and Juvenile Code

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§10A-1-1-101.Short title - Subsequent enactments - Article, chapter and part captions. A.Sections 1-1-101 through 1-9-122 of this title shall be known and may be cited as the "Oklahoma Children's Code". B.All statutes hereinafter enacted and codified in this title shall be considered and deemed part of the Oklahoma Children's Code. C.Article, chapter, and part captions are part of the Oklahoma Children's Code, but shall not be deemed to govern, limit or in any manner affect the scope, meaning or intent of the provisions of any chapter or part of this Code. D.The provisions of this article shall not apply to adoption proceedings and actions to terminate parental rights which do not involve a petition for deprived status of the child.Such proceedings and actions shall be governed by the Oklahoma Adoption Code. Added by Laws 1995, c. 352, § 1, eff. July 1, 1995.Amended by Laws 1998, c. 415, § 1, emerg. eff. June 11, 1998; Laws 2009, c. 233, § 9, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009.Renumbered from § 7001-1.1 of Title 10 by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 209, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009.§10A-1-1-102.Recognition of duties, rights and interests – Legislative intent. A.For the purposes of the Oklahoma Children’s Code, the Legislature recognizes that: 1.Parents have a natural, legal, and moral right, as well as a duty, to care for and support their children and such rights are protected by state and federal laws as well as the Constitution.To that end, it is presumed that the best interests of a child are ordinarily served by leaving the child in the custody of the parents, who are expected to have the strongest bond of love and affection and to be best able to provide a child those needed qualities that make a child’s life safe and secure.Nevertheless, this presumption may be rebutted where there is evidence of abuse and neglect or threat of harm; 2.A child has a right to be raised by the mother and father of the child as well as a right to be raised free from physical and emotional abuse or neglect.When it is necessary to remove a child from a parent, the child is entitled to a permanent home and to be placed in the least restrictive environment to meet the needs of the child; and 3.Because the state has an interest in its present and future citizens as well as a duty to protect those who, because of age, are unable to protect themselves, it is the policy of this state to provide for the protection of children who have been abused or neglected and who may be further threatened by the conduct of persons responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of such children.To this end, where family circumstances threaten the safety of a child, the state’s interest in the welfare of the child takes precedence over the natural right and authority of the parent to the extent that it is necessary to protect the child and assure that the best interests of the child are met. B.It is the intent of the Legislature that the Oklahoma Children’s Code provide the foundation and process for state intervention into the parent-child relationship whenever the circumstances of a family threaten the safety of a child and to properly balance the interests of the parties stated herein.To this end, it is the purpose of the laws relating to children alleged or found to be deprived to: 1.Intervene in the family only when necessary to protect a child from harm or threatened harm; 2.Provide expeditious and timely judicial and agency procedures for the protection of the child; 3.Preserve, unify, and strengthen the family ties of the child whenever possible when in the best interests of the child to do so; 4.Recognize that the right to family integrity, preservation or reunification is limited by the right of the child to be protected from abuse and neglect; 5.Make reasonable efforts to prevent or eliminate the need for the removal of a child from the home and make reasonable efforts to return the child to the home unless otherwise prescribed by the Oklahoma Children’s Code; 6.Recognize that permanency is in the best interests of the child; 7.Ensure that when family rehabilitation and reunification are not possible, the child will be placed in an adoptive home or other permanent living arrangement in a timely fashion; and 8.Secure for each child the permanency, care, education, and guidance as will best serve the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health, safety, and welfare of the child. C.Whenever it is necessary for a child to be placed outside the home pursuant to the Oklahoma Children’s Code, it is the intent of the Legislature that: 1.Each child shall be assured the care, guidance, and supervision in a permanent home or foster home that will serve the best interests of the child including, but not limited to, the development of the moral, emotional, spiritual, mental, social, educational, and physical well-being of the child; 2.When a child is placed in foster care, the foster parent shall be allowed to consider the child as part of the family; 3.Whenever possible siblings shall be placed together and when it is not possible efforts shall be made to preserve the relationships through visitation and other methods of communication; and 4.Permanent placement is achieved as soon as possible. D.A foster parent has a recognizable interest in the familial relationship that the foster parent establishes with a foster child and shall therefore be considered an essential participant with regard to decisions related to the care, supervision, guidance, rearing, and other foster care services to the child. E.It is the intent of the Legislature that the paramount consideration in all proceedings within the Oklahoma Children’s Code is the best interests of the child. Added by Laws 1968, c. 282, § 129, eff. Jan. 13, 1969.Amended by Laws 1982, c. 312, § 25, operative Oct. 1, 1982; Laws 1992, c. 298, § 31, eff. July 1, 1993; Laws 1994, c. 290, § 2, eff. July 1, 1994; Laws 1995, c. 352, § 2, eff. July 1, 1995.Renumbered from § 1129 of this title by Laws 1995, c. 352, § 199, eff. July 1, 1995.Amended by Laws 1998, c. 421, § 1, emerg. eff. June 11, 1998; Laws 2009, c. 233, § 10, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009.Renumbered from § 7001-1.2 of Title 10 by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 210, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009.§10A-1-1-104.Jurisdiction to enforce Oklahoma Children's Code. The Attorney General, the district attorney of the appropriate district and any other law enforcement official having jurisdiction shall have the authority to bring civil actions against any person, officer or department, board, commission or other entity, to enforce the provisions of the Oklahoma Children's Code, or to enforce any of the laws of this state protecting or applying in any way to a child removed from the custody of the lawful parent of the child by a disposition order of the court. Added by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 111, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009.§10A-1-1-105.Definitions. When used in the Oklahoma Children's Code, unless the context otherwise requires: 1.“Abandonment” means: a.the willful intent by words, actions, or omissions not to return for a child, or b.the failure to maintain a significant parental relationship with a child through visitation or communication in which incidental or token visits or communication are not considered significant, or c.the failure to respond to notice of deprived proceedings; 2.“Abuse” means harm or threatened harm or failure to protect from harm or threatened harm to the health, safety, or welfare of a child by a person responsible for the child’s health, safety, or welfare, including but not limited to nonaccidental physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation.Provided, however, that nothing contained in this act shall prohibit any parent from using ordinary force as a means of discipline including, but not limited to, spanking, switching, or paddling. a.“Harm or threatened harm to the health or safety of a child” means any real or threatened physical, mental, or emotional injury or damage to the body or mind that is not accidental including but not limited to sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, neglect, or dependency. b.“Sexual abuse” includes but is not limited to rape, incest, and lewd or indecent acts or proposals made to a child, as defined by law, by a person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of the child. c.“Sexual exploitation” includes but is not limited to allowing, permitting, or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution, as defined by law, by a person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of a child, or allowing, permitting, encouraging, or engaging in the lewd, obscene, or pornographic, as defined by law, photographing, filming, or depicting of a child in those acts by a person responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of the child; 3.“Adjudication” means a finding by the court that the allegations in a petition alleging that a child is deprived are supported by a preponderance of the evidence; 4."Adjudicatory hearing" means a hearing by the court as provided by Section 1-4-601 of this title; 5."Assessment" means a comprehensive review of child safety and evaluation of family functioning and protective capacities that is conducted in response to a child abuse or neglect referral that does not allege a serious and immediate safety threat to a child; 6.“Behavioral health” means mental health, substance abuse, or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse diagnoses, and the continuum of mental health, substance abuse, or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse treatment; 7."Child" means any unmarried person under eighteen (18) years of age; 8.“Child advocacy center” means a center and the multidisciplinary child abuse team of which it is a member that is accredited by the National Children’s Alliance or that is completing a sixth year of reaccreditation.Child advocacy centers shall be classified, based on the child population of a district attorney’s district, as follows: a.nonurban centers in districts with child populations that are less than sixty thousand (60,000), and b.midlevel nonurban centers in districts with child populations equal to or greater than sixty thousand (60,000), but not including Oklahoma and Tulsa counties; 9."Child with a disability" means any child who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of the child, or who is regarded as having such an impairment by a competent medical professional; 10."Child-placing agency" means an agency that arranges for or places a child in a foster family home, group home, adoptive home, or independent living program; 11.“Commission” means the Commission for Human Services; 12."Community-based services" or "community-based programs" means services or programs which maintain community participation or supervision in their planning, operation, and evaluation.Community-based services and programs may include, but are not limited to, emergency shelter, crisis intervention, group work, case supervision, job placement, recruitment and training of volunteers, consultation, medical, educational, home-based services, vocational, social, preventive and psychological guidance, training, counseling, early intervention and diversionary substance abuse treatment, sexual abuse treatment, transitional living, independent living, and other related services and programs; 13.“Concurrent permanency planning” means, when indicated, the implementation of two plans for a child entering foster care.One plan focuses on reuniting the parent and child; the other seeks to find a permanent out-of-home placement for the child with both plans being pursued simultaneously; 14."Court-appointed special advocate" or "CASA" means a responsible adult volunteer who has been trained and is supervised by a court-appointed special advocate program recognized by the court, and when appointed by the court, serves as an officer of the court in the capacity as a guardian ad litem; 15."Court-appointed special advocate program" means an organized program, administered by either an independent, not-for-profit corporation, a dependent project of an independent, not-for-profit corporation or a unit of local government, which recruits, screens, trains, assigns, supervises and supports volunteers to be available for appointment by the court as guardians ad litem; 16.“Custodian” means an individual other than a parent, legal guardian or Indian custodian, to whom legal custody of the child has been awarded by the court.As used in this title, the term “custodian” shall not mean the Oklahoma Department of Human Services; 17."Day treatment" means a nonresidential program which provides intensive services to a child who resides in the child’s own home, the home of a relative, group home, a foster home or residential child care facility.Day treatment programs include, but are not limited to, educational services; 18."Department" means the Oklahoma Department of Human Services; 19.“Dependency” means a child who is homeless or without proper care or guardianship through no fault of his or her parent, legal guardian, or custodian; 20."Deprived child" means a child: a.who is for any reason destitute, homeless, or abandoned, b.who does not have the proper parental care or guardianship, c.who has been abused, neglected, or is dependent, d.whose home is an unfit place for the child by reason of depravity on the part of the parent or legal guardian of the child, or other person responsible for the health or welfare of the child, e.who is a child in need of special care and treatment because of the child's physical or mental condition, and the child's parents, legal guardian, or other custodian is unable or willfully fails to provide such special care and treatment.As used in this paragraph, a child in need of special care and treatment includes, but is not limited to, a child who at birth tests positive for alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance and who, pursuant to a drug or alcohol screen of the child and an assessment of the parent, is determined to be at risk of harm or threatened harm to the health or safety of a child, f.who is a child with a disability deprived of the nutrition necessary to sustain life or of the medical treatment necessary to remedy or relieve a life-threatening medical condition in order to cause or allow the death of the child if such nutrition or medical treatment is generally provided to similarly situated children without a disability or children with disabilities; provided that no medical treatment shall be necessary if, in the reasonable medical judgment of the attending physician, such treatment would be futile in saving the life of the child, g.who, due to improper parental care and guardianship, is absent from school as specified in Section 10-106 of Title 70 of the Oklahoma Statutes, if the child is subject to compulsory school attendance, h.whose parent, legal guardian or custodian for good cause desires to be relieved of custody, i.who has been born to a parent whose parental rights to another child have been involuntarily terminated by the court and the conditions which led to the making of the finding, which resulted in the termination of the parental rights of the parent to the other child, have not been corrected, or j.whose parent, legal guardian, or custodian has subjected another child to abuse or neglect or has allowed another child to be subjected to abuse or neglect and is currently a respondent in a deprived proceeding. Nothing in the Oklahoma Children's Code shall be construed to mean a child is deprived for the sole reason the parent, legal guardian, or person having custody or control of a child, in good faith, selects and depends upon spiritual means alone through prayer, in accordance with the tenets and practice of a recognized church or religious denomination, for the treatment or cure of disease or remedial care of such child. Nothing contained in this paragraph shall prevent a court from immediately assuming custody of a child and ordering whatever action may be necessary, including medical treatment, to protect the child's health or welfare; 21."Dispositional hearing" means a hearing by the court as provided by Section 1-4-706 of this title; 22."Emergency custody" means the custody of a child prior to adjudication of the child following issuance of an order of the district court pursuant to Section 1-4-201 of this title or following issuance of an order of the district court pursuant to an emergency custody hearing, as specified by Section 1-4-203 of this title; 23."Facility" means a place, an institution, a building or part thereof, a set of buildings, or an area whether or not enclosing a building or set of buildings used for the lawful custody and treatment of children; 24."Foster care" or "foster care services" means continuous twenty-four-hour care and supportive services provided for a child in foster placement including, but not limited to, the care, supervision, guidance, and rearing of a foster child by the foster parent; 25."Foster family home" means the private residence of a foster parent who provides foster care services to a child.Such term shall include a nonkinship foster family home, a therapeutic foster family home, or the home of a relative or other kinship care home; 26.“Foster parent eligibility assessment” includes a criminal background investigation including, but not limited to, a national criminal history records search based upon the submission of fingerprints, home assessments, and any other assessment required by the Department of Human Services, the Office of Juvenile Affairs, or any child-placing agency pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Child Care Facilities Licensing Act; 27."Guardian ad litem" means a person appointed by the courtpursuant to the provisions of Section 1-4-306 of this title having those duties and responsibilities as set forth in that section.The term “guardian ad litem” shall refer to a court-appointed special advocate as well as to any other person appointed pursuant to the provisions of Section 1-4-306 of this title to serve as a guardian ad litem; 28.“Guardian ad litem of the estate of the child” means a person appointed by the court to protect the property interests of a child pursuant to Section 1-8-109 of this title; 29."Group home" means a residential facility licensed by the Department to provide full-time care and community-based services for more than five but fewer than thirteen children; 30.“Harm or threatened harm to the health or safety of a child” means any real or threatened physical, mental, or emotional injury or damage to the body or mind that is not accidental including, but not limited to, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, neglect, or dependency; 31.“Heinous and shocking abuse” includes, but is not limited to, aggravated physical abuse that results in serious bodily, mental, or emotional injury.“Serious bodily injury” means injury that involves: a.a substantial risk of death, b.extreme physical pain, c.protracted disfigurement, d.a loss or impairment of the function of a body member, organ, or mental faculty, e.an injury to an internal or external organ or the body, f.a bone fracture, g.sexual abuse or sexual exploitation, h.chronic abuse including, but not limited to, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation which is repeated or continuing, i.torture that includes, but is not limited to, inflicting, participating in or assisting in inflicting intense physical or emotional pain upon a child repeatedly over a period of time for the purpose of coercing or terrorizing a child or for the purpose of satisfying the craven, cruel, or prurient desires of the perpetrator or another person, or j.any other similar aggravated circumstance; 32.“Heinous and shocking neglect” includes, but is not limited to: a.chronic neglect that includes, but is not limited to, a persistent pattern of family functioning in which the caregiver has not met or sustained the basic needs of a child which results in harm to the child, b.neglect that has resulted in a diagnosis of the child as a failure to thrive, c.an act or failure to act by a parent that results in the death or near death of a child or sibling, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or presents an imminent risk of serious harm to a child, or d.any other similar aggravating circumstance; 33."Independent living program" means a program specifically designed to assist a child to enhance those skills and abilities necessary for successful adult living.An independent living program may include, but shall not be limited to, such features as minimal direct staff supervision, and the provision of supportive services to assist children with activities necessary for finding an appropriate place of residence, completing an education or vocational training, obtaining employment, or obtaining other similar services; 34.“Individualized service plan” means a document written pursuant to Section 1-4-704 of this title that has the same meaning as “service plan” or “treatment plan” where those terms are used in the Oklahoma Children’s Code; 35.“Infant” means a child who is twelve (12) months of age or younger; 36."Institution" means a residential facility offering care and treatment for more than twenty residents; 37.a."Investigation" means a response to an allegation of abuse or neglect that involves a serious and immediate threat to the safety of the child, making it necessary to determine: (1)the current safety of a child and the risk of subsequent abuse or neglect, and (2)whether child abuse or neglect occurred and whether the family needs prevention- and intervention-related services. b.“Investigation” results in a written response stating one of the following findings: (1)“Substantiated – Court intervention recommended” means a report that is determined by a child protective services worker, after an investigation and based upon some credible evidence, to constitute child abuse or neglect which is of such a nature that the Department finds that the health, safety, or welfare of the child is threatened, (2)“Substantiated – Services recommended” means a report that is determined by a child protective services worker, after an investigation and based upon some credible evidence, to constitute child abuse or neglect which is of such a nature that the Department recommends prevention- and intervention-related services for the parents or persons responsible for the care of the child or children, but for which initial court intervention is not required, (3)“Unsubstantiated – Services recommended” means a report in which a child protective services worker, after an investigation, determines there is insufficient evidence to fully determine whether child abuse or neglect has occurred, but one in which the Department determines that the child and the family of the child could benefit from receiving child abuse and neglect prevention- and intervention-related services, or (4)“Ruled out” means a report in which a child protective services worker, after an investigation, determines that no child abuse or neglect has occurred; 38."Kinship care" means full-time care of a child by a kinship relation; 39."Kinship guardianship" means a permanent guardianship as defined in this section; 40."Kinship relation" or “kinship relationship” means relatives, stepparents, or other responsible adults who have a bond or tie with a child and/or to whom has been ascribed a family relationship role with the child's parents or the child; provided, however, in cases where the Indian Child Welfare Act applies, the definitions contained in 25 U.S.C., Section 1903 shall control; 41."Mental health facility" means a mental health or substance abuse treatment facility as defined by the Inpatient Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment of Minors Act; 42.“Minor” means the same as the term “child” as defined in this section; 43."Minor in need of treatment" means a child in need of mental health or substance abuse treatment as defined by the Inpatient Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment of Minors Act; 44."Multidisciplinary child abuse team" means any team established pursuant to Section 1-9-102 of this title of three or more persons who are trained in the prevention, identification, investigation, prosecution, and treatment of physical and sexual child abuse and who are qualified to facilitate a broad range of prevention and intervention-related services and services related to child abuse.For purposes of this definition, “freestanding” means a team not used by a child advocacy center for its accreditation; 45."Near death" means a child is in serious or critical condition, as certified by a physician, as a result of abuse or neglect; 46.“Neglect” means: a.the failure or omission to provide any of the following: (1)adequate nurturance and affection, food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, hygiene, or appropriate education, (2)medical, dental, or behavioral health care, (3)supervision or appropriate caretakers, or (4)special care made necessary by the physical or mental condition of the child, b.the failure or omission to protect a child from exposure to any of the following: (1)the use, possession, sale, or manufacture of illegal drugs, (2)illegal activities, or (3)sexual acts or materials that are not age- appropriate, or c.abandonment. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to mean a child is abused or neglected for the sole reason the parent, legal guardian or person having custody or control of a child, in good faith, selects and depends upon spiritual means alone through prayer, in accordance with the tenets and practice of a recognized church or religious denomination, for the treatment or cure of disease or remedial care of such child.Nothing contained in this paragraph shall prevent a court from immediately assuming custody of a child, pursuant to the Oklahoma Children’s Code, and ordering whatever action may be necessary, including medical treatment, to protect the child’s health or welfare; 47."Permanency hearing" means a hearing by the court pursuant to Section 1-4-811 of this title; 48."Permanent custody" means the court-ordered custody of an adjudicated deprived child when a parent-child relationship no longer exists due to termination of parental rights or due to the death of a parent or parents; 49.“Permanent guardianship” means a judicially created relationship between a child, a kinship relation of the child, or other adult established pursuant to the provisions of Section 1-4-709 of this title; 50."Person responsible for a child's health, safety, or welfare" includes a parent; a legal guardian; custodian; a foster parent; a person eighteen (18) years of age or older with whom the child's parent cohabitates or any other adult residing in the home of the child; an agent or employee of a public or private residential home, institution, facility or day treatment program as defined in Section 175.20 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes; or an owner, operator, or employee of a child care facility as defined by Section 402 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes; 51."Protective custody" means custody of a child taken by a law enforcement officer or designated employee of the court without a court order; 52."Putative father" means an alleged father as that term is defined in Section 7700-102 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes; 53."Relative" means a grandparent, great-grandparent, brother or sister of whole or half blood, aunt, uncle or any other person related to the child; 54."Residential child care facility" means a twenty-four-hour residential facility where children live together with or are supervised by adults who are not their parents or relatives; 55.“Review hearing” means a hearing by the court pursuant to Section 1-4-807 of this title; 56.“Risk” means the likelihood that an incident of child abuse or neglect will occur in the future; 57.“Safety threat” means the threat of serious harm due to child abuse or neglect occurring in the present or in the very near future and without the intervention of another person, a child would likely or in all probability sustain severe or permanent disability or injury, illness, or death; 58.“Safety analysis” means action taken by the Department in response to a report of alleged child abuse or neglect that may include an assessment or investigation based upon an analysis of the information received according to priority guidelines and other criteria adopted by the Department; 59.“Safety evaluation” means evaluation of a child’s situation by the Department using a structured, evidence-based tool to determine if the child is subject to a safety threat; 60."Secure facility" means a facility which is designed and operated to ensure that all entrances and exits from the facility are subject to the exclusive control of the staff of the facility, whether or not the juvenile being detained has freedom of movement within the perimeter of the facility, or a facility which relies on locked rooms and buildings, fences, or physical restraint in order to control behavior of its residents; 61."Sibling" means a biologically or legally related brother or sister of a child; 62."Specialized foster care" means foster care provided to a child in a foster home or agency-contracted home which: a.has been certified by the Developmental Disabilities Services Division of the Department of Human Services, b.is monitored by the Division, and c.is funded through the Home- and Community-Based Waiver Services Program administered by the Division; 63."Temporary custody" means court-ordered custody of an adjudicated deprived child; 64."Therapeutic foster family home" means a foster family home which provides specific treatment services, pursuant to a therapeutic foster care contract, which are designed to remedy social and behavioral problems of a foster child residing in the home; 65."Transitional living program" means a residential program that may be attached to an existing facility or operated solely for the purpose of assisting children to develop the skills and abilities necessary for successful adult living.The program may include, but shall not be limited to, reduced staff supervision, vocational training, educational services, employment and employment training, and other appropriate independent living skills training as a part of the transitional living program; and 66."Voluntary foster care placement" means the temporary placement of a child by the parent, legal guardian or custodian of the child in foster care pursuant to a signed placement agreement between the Department or a child-placing agency and the child's parent, legal guardian or custodian. Added by Laws 1968, c. 282, § 101, eff. Jan. 13, 1969.Amended by Laws 1970, c. 86, § 1, emerg. eff. March 27, 1970; Laws 1972, c. 122, § 1, emerg. eff. April 4, 1972; Laws 1977, c. 79, § 1; Laws 1979, c. 257, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1979; Laws 1980, c. 242, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1980; Laws 1982, c. 312, § 13, operative Oct. 1, 1982; Laws 1984, c. 120, § 1, emerg. eff. April 10, 1984; Laws 1987, c. 88, § 1, operative July 1, 1987; Laws 1988, c. 76, § 1, emerg. eff. March 25, 1988; Laws 1988, c. 238, § 1, emerg. eff. June 24, 1988; Laws 1990, c. 238, § 1, emerg. eff. May 21, 1990; Laws 1990, c. 337, § 1; Laws 1991, c. 335, § 1, emerg. eff. June 15, 1991; Laws 1992, c. 298, § 14, eff. July 1, 1993; Laws 1993, c. 342, § 1, eff. July 1, 1993; Laws 1994, c. 2, § 1, emerg. eff. March 2, 1994; Laws 1994, c. 290, § 3, eff. July 1, 1994; Laws 1995, c. 352, § 3, eff. July 1, 1995.Renumbered from § 1101 of Title 10 by Laws 1995, c. 352, § 199, eff. July 1, 1995.Amended by Laws 1996, c. 47, § 1, emerg. eff. April 8, 1996; Laws 1996, c. 200, § 3, eff. Nov. 1, 1996; Laws 1996, c. 353, § 15, eff. Nov. 1, 1996; Laws 1997, c. 386, § 19, emerg. eff. June 10, 1997; Laws 1998, c. 5, § 2, emerg. eff. March 4, 1998; Laws 1998, c. 421, § 2, emerg. eff. June 11, 1998; Laws 2000, c. 374, § 5, eff. July 1, 2000; Laws 2001, c. 434, § 4, emerg. eff. June 8, 2001; Laws 2002, c. 327, § 15, eff. July 1, 2002; Laws 2004, c. 422, § 3, eff. July 1, 2004; Laws 2006, c. 258, § 1, emerg. eff. June 7, 2006; Laws 2009, c. 233, § 11, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009.Renumbered from § 7001-1.3 of Title 10 by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 211, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009.Amended by Laws 2009, c. 338, § 3, eff. July 1, 2009. NOTE:Laws 1979, c. 248, § 1 repealed by Laws 1980, c. 242, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 1980.Laws 1990, c. 51, § 5 repealed by Laws 1990, c. 337, § 26.Laws 1990, c. 302, § 1 repealed by Laws 1991, c. 335, § 36, emerg. eff. June 15, 1991.Laws 1993, c. 208, § 1 repealed by Laws 1994, c. 2, § 34, emerg. eff. March 2, 1994.Laws 1995, c. 270, § 4 repealed by Laws 1996, c. 47, § 4, emerg. eff. April 8, 1996.Laws 1997, c. 153, § 1 repealed by Laws 1998, c. 5, § 29, emerg. eff. March 4, 1998.§10A-1-2-101.Statewide centralized hotline for reporting of abuse, neglect or birth of chemically dependent child - Retaliation by employer - Contents of report - Violations - Spiritual treatment of child through prayer. A.1.The Department of Human Services shall establish a statewide centralized hotline for the reporting of child abuse or neglect to the Department. 2.The Department shall provide hotline-specific training including, but not limited to, interviewing skills, customer service skills, narrative writing, necessary computer systems, making case determinations, and identifying priority situations. 3.The Department is authorized to contract with third parties in order to train hotline workers. 4.The Department shall develop a system to track the number of calls received, and of that number: a.the number of calls screened out, b.the number of referrals assigned, and c.the number of calls in which the allegations were later found to be unsubstantiated or ruled out. B.1.Every person having reason to believe that a child under the age of eighteen (18) years is a victim of abuse or neglect shall report the matter promptly to the Department of Human Services.Reports shall be made to the hotline provided for in subsection A of this section.Any allegation of abuse or neglect reported in any manner to a county office shall immediately be referred to the hotline by the Department. 2.Every physician, surgeon, or other health care professional including doctors of medicine, licensed osteopathic physicians, residents and interns, or any other health care professional attending the birth of a child who tests positive for alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance shall promptly report the matter to the Department. 3.No privilege or contract shall relieve any person from the requirement of reporting pursuant to this section. 4.The reporting obligations under this section are individual, and no employer, supervisor, or administrator shall interfere with the reporting obligations of any employee or other person or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against the employee or other person who in good faith reports suspected child abuse or neglect, or who provides testimony in any proceeding involving child abuse or neglect.Any employer, supervisor, or administrator who discharges, discriminates or retaliates against the employee or other person shall be liable for damages, costs and attorney fees. 5.Every physician, surgeon, or other health care professional making a report of abuse or neglect as required by this subsection or examining a child to determine the likelihood of abuse or neglect and every hospital or related institution in which the child was examined or treated shall provide, upon request, copies of the results of the examination or copies of the examination on which the report was based and any other clinical notes, x-rays, photographs, and other previous or current records relevant to the case to law enforcement officers conducting a criminal investigation into the case and to employees of the Department of Human Services conducting an investigation of alleged abuse or neglect in the case. C.Any person who knowingly and willfully fails to promptly report suspected child abuse or neglect or who interferes with the prompt reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect may be reported to local law enforcement for criminal investigation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. D.1.Any person who knowingly and willfully makes a false report pursuant to the provisions of this section or a report that the person knows lacks factual foundation may be reported to local law enforcement for criminal investigation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. 2.If a court determines that an accusation of child abuse or neglect made during a child custody proceeding is false and the person making the accusation knew it to be false at the time the accusation was made, the court may impose a fine, not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) and reasonable attorney fees incurred in recovering the sanctions, against the person making the accusation.The remedy provided by this paragraph is in addition to paragraph 1 of this subsection or to any other remedy provided by law. E.Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to exempt or prohibit any person from reporting any suspected child abuse or neglect pursuant to subsection B of this section. Added by Laws 1965, c. 43, § 2, emerg. eff. March 18, 1965.Amended by Laws 1972, c. 236, § 1, emerg. eff. April 7, 1972; Laws 1975, c. 98, § 2, emerg. eff. April 30, 1975; Laws 1977, c. 172, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 1977; Laws 1980, c. 107, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1980; Laws 1985, c. 66, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1985; Laws 1986, c. 263, § 5, operative July 1, 1986; Laws 1987, c. 88, § 2, operative July 1, 1987; Laws 1987, c. 167, § 1, operative July 1, 1987; Laws 1992, c. 265, § 2, emerg. eff. May 25, 1992; Laws 1993, c. 208, § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Laws 1994, c. 324, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Laws 1995, c. 353, § 3, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.Renumbered from § 846 of Title 21 by Laws 1995, c. 353, § 20, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.Amended by Laws 1998, c. 416, § 12, eff. Nov. 1, 1998; Laws 2000, c. 374, § 31, eff. July 1, 2000; Laws 2009, c. 149, § 1, emerg. eff. May 11, 2009; Laws 2009, c. 233, § 79, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009.Renumbered from § 7103 of Title 10 by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 212, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009.Amended by Laws 2009, c. 338, § 10, eff. July 1, 2009.§10A-1-2-102.Assessment and investigations - Determinations and referrals by Department of Human Services – Investigations by law enforcement agencies. A.1.Upon receipt of a report that a child may be abused or neglected, the Department of Human Services shall conduct a safety analysis. 2.The Department shall forward a report of its assessment or investigation and findings to any district attorney's office which may have jurisdiction to file a petition pursuant to Section 1-4-902 of this title. B.1.If, upon receipt of a report alleging abuse or neglect or during the assessment or investigation, the Department determines that: a.the alleged perpetrator is someone other than a person responsible for the child's health, safety, or welfare, and b.the alleged abuse or neglect of the child does not appear to be attributable to failure on the part of a person responsible for the child's health, safety, or welfare to provide protection for the child, the Department shall immediately make a referral, either verbally or in writing, to the appropriate local law enforcement agency for the purpose of conducting a possible criminal investigation. 2.After making the referral to the law enforcement agency, the Department shall not be responsible for further investigation unless: a.the Department has reason to believe the alleged perpetrator is a parent of another child, not the subject of the criminal investigation, or is otherwise a person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of another child, b.notice is received from a law enforcement agency that it has determined the alleged perpetrator is a parent of or a person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of another child not the subject of the criminal investigation, or c.the appropriate law enforcement agency requests the Department, in writing, to participate in the investigation.If funds and personnel are available, as determined by the Director of the Department or a designee, the Department may assist law enforcement in interviewing children alleged to be victims of physical or sexual abuse. C.1.Any law enforcement agency receiving a referral as provided in this section shall provide the Department with a copy of the report of any investigation resulting from a referral from the Department. 2.Whenever, in the course of any criminal investigation, a law enforcement agency determines that there is cause to believe that a child may be abused or neglected by reason of the acts, omissions, or failures on the part of a person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of the child, the law enforcement agency shall immediately contact the Department for the purpose of an investigation. Added by Laws 1995, c. 352, § 9, eff. July 1, 1995.Amended by Laws 1998, c. 421, § 6, emerg. eff. June 11, 1998; Laws 1999, c. 44, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1999; Laws 2000, c. 374, § 8, eff. July 1, 2000; Laws 2009, c. 233, § 17, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009.Renumbered from § 7003-1.1 of Title 10 by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 213, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009.Amended by Laws 2009, c. 338, § 4, eff. July 1, 2009.§10A-1-2-103.Judicial authority to request investigation. A judge of the district court may request an investigation be conducted by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation or other law enforcement agency in cases where the court reasonably believes that criminally injurious conduct including, but not limited to, physical or sexual abuse of a child has occurred. Added by Laws 2006, c. 205, § 15, eff. Nov. 1, 2006.Amended by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 80, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009.Renumbered from § 7104.1 of Title 10 by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 214, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009.§10A-1-2-104.Immunity from civil and criminal liability - Presumption. A.Any person who, in good faith and exercising due care, reports suspected child abuse or neglect, or who allows access to a child by persons authorized to investigate a report concerning the child shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.Any such participant shall have the same immunity with respect to participation in any judicial proceeding resulting from such report. B.For purposes of any proceeding, civil or criminal, the good faith of any person in making a report pursuant to the provisions of Section 1-2-101 of this title shall be presumed. C.A child advocacy center that is accredited by the National Children's Alliance, and the employees thereof, who are acting in good faith and exercising due care shall have immunity from civil liability that may be incurred or imposed through participation in the investigation process and any judicial proceeding resulting from the investigation process. Added by Laws 1965, c. 43, § 3, emerg. eff. March 18, 1965.Amended by Laws 1977, c. 172, § 3, eff. Oct. 1, 1977; Laws 1984, c. 85, § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 1984; Laws 1989, c. 67, § 1, emerg. eff. April 13, 1989; Laws 1995, c. 353, § 5, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.Renumbered from § 847 of Title 21 by Laws 1995, c. 353, § 20, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.Amended by Laws 2000, c. 293, § 1, emerg. eff. June 5, 2000; Laws 2005, c. 184, § 2, emerg. eff. May 17, 2005; Laws 2009, c. 233, § 81, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009.Renumbered from § 7105 of Title 10 by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 215, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009.§10A-1-2-105.Investigation of child abuse or neglect – Assessment of family – Immediate removal of child - Report – Voluntary services - Temporary restraining order - Investigation by State Bureau of Investigation. A.1.Any county office of the Department of Human Services receiving a child abuse or neglect report shall promptly respond to the report by initiating an investigation of the report or an assessment of the family in accordance with priority guidelines established by the Department.The Department may prioritize reports of alleged child abuse or neglect based on the severity and immediacy of the alleged harm to the child.The Department shall adopt a priority system pursuant to rules promulgated by the Commission for Human Services.The primary purpose of the investigation or assessment shall be the protection of the child. 2.If an investigation or assessment conducted by the Department in response to any report of child abuse or neglect shows that the incident reported was the result of the reasonable exercise of parental discipline involving the use of ordinary force, including, but not limited to, spanking, switching, or paddling, the investigation or assessment will proceed no further and all records regarding the incident shall be expunged. B.1.The investigation or assessment shall include a visit to the home of the child, unless there is reason to believe that there is an extreme safety risk to the child or worker or it appears that the referral has been made in bad faith.The visit shall include an interview with and examination of the subject child and may be conducted at any reasonable time and at any place including, but not limited to, the child's school.The Department shall notify the person responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of the child that the child has been interviewed at a school.The investigation or assessment may include an interview with the parents of the child or any other person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of the child and an interview with and examination of any child in the home. 2.The investigation or assessment may include a medical, psychological, or psychiatric examination of any child in the home.If admission to the home, school, or any place where the child may be located cannot be obtained, then the district court having jurisdiction, upon application by the district attorney and upon cause shown, shall order the person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of the child, or the person in charge of any place where the child may be located, to allow entrance for the interview, the examination, and the investigation or assessment.If the person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of the child does not consent to a medical, psychological, or psychiatric examination of the child that is requested by the Department, the district court having jurisdiction, upon application by the district attorney and upon cause shown, shall order the examination to be made at the times and places designated by the court. 3.The investigation or assessment may include an inquiry into the possibility that the child or a person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of the child has a history of mental illness.If the person responsible for the child's health, safety, or welfare does not allow the Department to have access to behavioral health records or treatment plans requested by the Department, which may be relevant to the alleged abuse or neglect, the district court having jurisdiction, upon application by the district attorney and upon good cause shown, shall by order allow the Department to have access to the records pursuant to terms and conditions prescribed by the court. 4.a.If the court determines that the subject of the behavioral health records is indigent, the court shall appoint an attorney to represent that person at the hearing to obtain behavioral health records. b.A person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of the child is entitled to notice and a hearing when the Department seeks a court order to allow a psychological or psychiatric examination or access to behavioral health records. c.Access to behavioral health records does not constitute a waiver of confidentiality. 5.The investigation of a report of sexual abuse or serious physical abuse or both sexual abuse and serious physical abuse shall be conducted, when appropriate and possible, using a multidisciplinary team approach as provided by Section 1-9-102 of this title.Law enforcement and the Department shall exchange investigation information. C.1.Every physician, surgeon, or other heath care provider making a report of abuse or neglect as required by this section or examining a child to determine the likelihood of abuse or neglect and every hospital or related institution in which the child was examined or treated shall provide copies of the results of the examination or copies of the examination on which the report was based and any other clinical notes, x-rays, photographs, and other previous or current records relevant to the case to law enforcement officers conducting a criminal investigation into the case and to employees of the Department conducting an assessment or investigation of alleged abuse or neglect in the case. 2.As necessary in the course of conducting an assessment or investigation, the Department may request and obtain, without a court order, copies of all prior medical records of a child including, but not limited to, hospital records, medical, and dental records.The physician-patient privilege shall not constitute grounds for failure to produce such records. D.If, before the assessment or investigation is complete, the Department determines that immediate removal of the child is necessary to protect the child from further abuse or neglect, the Department shall recommend that the child be taken into custody. E.The Department shall make a complete written report of the investigation.The investigation report, together with its recommendations, shall be submitted to the appropriate district attorney's office.Reports of assessment recommendations shall be submitted to appropriate district attorneys. F.The Department, where appropriate and in its discretion, shall identify prevention and intervention-related services available in the community and arrange for such services to be provided to the family when an investigation or assessment indicates the family would benefit from such services, or the Department may provide such services directly.The Department shall document in the record its attempts to provide, or arrange for the provision of, voluntary services and shall determine within sixty (60) days whether the family has accessed such services.If the familyrefuses voluntary services or does not access such services, and it is determined by the Department that the child’s surroundings endanger the health, safety, or welfare of the child, the Department may recommend that the child be placed in protec
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  • §10A-1-1-101. Short title - Subsequent enactments - Article, chapter and part captions. 

    A. Sections 1-1-101 through 1-9-122 of this title shall be known and may be cited as the "Oklahoma Children's Code". 

    B. All statutes hereinafter enacted and codified in this title shall be considered and deemed part of the Oklahoma Children's Code. 

    C. Article, chapter, and part captions are part of the Oklahoma Children's Code, but shall not be deemed to govern, limit or in any manner affect the scope, meaning or intent of the provisions of any chapter or part of this Code. 

    D. The provisions of this article shall not apply to adoption proceedings and actions to terminate parental rights which do not involve a petition for deprived status of the child. Such proceedings and actions shall be governed by the Oklahoma Adoption Code. 

    Added by Laws 1995, c. 352, § 1, eff. July 1, 1995. Amended by Laws 1998, c. 415, § 1, emerg. eff. June 11, 1998; Laws 2009, c. 233, § 9, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009. Renumbered from § 7001-1.1 of Title 10 by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 209, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009. 

     

    §10A-1-1-102. Recognition of duties, rights and interests – Legislative intent. 

    A. For the purposes of the Oklahoma Children’s Code, the Legislature recognizes that: 

    1. Parents have a natural, legal, and moral right, as well as a duty, to care for and support their children and such rights are protected by state and federal laws as well as the Constitution. To that end, it is presumed that the best interests of a child are ordinarily served by leaving the child in the custody of the parents, who are expected to have the strongest bond of love and affection and to be best able to provide a child those needed qualities that make a child’s life safe and secure. Nevertheless, this presumption may be rebutted where there is evidence of abuse and neglect or threat of harm; 

    2. A child has a right to be raised by the mother and father of the child as well as a right to be raised free from physical and emotional abuse or neglect. When it is necessary to remove a child from a parent, the child is entitled to a permanent home and to be placed in the least restrictive environment to meet the needs of the child; and 

    3. Because the state has an interest in its present and future citizens as well as a duty to protect those who, because of age, are unable to protect themselves, it is the policy of this state to provide for the protection of children who have been abused or neglected and who may be further threatened by the conduct of persons responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of such children. To this end, where family circumstances threaten the safety of a child, the state’s interest in the welfare of the child takes precedence over the natural right and authority of the parent to the extent that it is necessary to protect the child and assure that the best interests of the child are met. 

    B. It is the intent of the Legislature that the Oklahoma Children’s Code provide the foundation and process for state intervention into the parent-child relationship whenever the circumstances of a family threaten the safety of a child and to properly balance the interests of the parties stated herein. To this end, it is the purpose of the laws relating to children alleged or found to be deprived to: 

    1. Intervene in the family only when necessary to protect a child from harm or threatened harm; 

    2. Provide expeditious and timely judicial and agency procedures for the protection of the child; 

    3. Preserve, unify, and strengthen the family ties of the child whenever possible when in the best interests of the child to do so; 

    4. Recognize that the right to family integrity, preservation or reunification is limited by the right of the child to be protected from abuse and neglect; 

    5. Make reasonable efforts to prevent or eliminate the need for the removal of a child from the home and make reasonable efforts to return the child to the home unless otherwise prescribed by the Oklahoma Children’s Code; 

    6. Recognize that permanency is in the best interests of the child; 

    7. Ensure that when family rehabilitation and reunification are not possible, the child will be placed in an adoptive home or other permanent living arrangement in a timely fashion; and 

    8. Secure for each child the permanency, care, education, and guidance as will best serve the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health, safety, and welfare of the child. 

    C. Whenever it is necessary for a child to be placed outside the home pursuant to the Oklahoma Children’s Code, it is the intent of the Legislature that: 

    1. Each child shall be assured the care, guidance, and supervision in a permanent home or foster home that will serve the best interests of the child including, but not limited to, the development of the moral, emotional, spiritual, mental, social, educational, and physical well-being of the child; 

    2. When a child is placed in foster care, the foster parent shall be allowed to consider the child as part of the family; 

    3. Whenever possible siblings shall be placed together and when it is not possible efforts shall be made to preserve the relationships through visitation and other methods of communication; and 

    4. Permanent placement is achieved as soon as possible. 

    D. A foster parent has a recognizable interest in the familial relationship that the foster parent establishes with a foster child and shall therefore be considered an essential participant with regard to decisions related to the care, supervision, guidance, rearing, and other foster care services to the child. 

    E. It is the intent of the Legislature that the paramount consideration in all proceedings within the Oklahoma Children’s Code is the best interests of the child. 

    Added by Laws 1968, c. 282, § 129, eff. Jan. 13, 1969. Amended by Laws 1982, c. 312, § 25, operative Oct. 1, 1982; Laws 1992, c. 298, § 31, eff. July 1, 1993; Laws 1994, c. 290, § 2, eff. July 1, 1994; Laws 1995, c. 352, § 2, eff. July 1, 1995. Renumbered from § 1129 of this title by Laws 1995, c. 352, § 199, eff. July 1, 1995. Amended by Laws 1998, c. 421, § 1, emerg. eff. June 11, 1998; Laws 2009, c. 233, § 10, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009. Renumbered from § 7001-1.2 of Title 10 by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 210, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009. 

     

    §10A-1-1-104. Jurisdiction to enforce Oklahoma Children's Code. 

    The Attorney General, the district attorney of the appropriate district and any other law enforcement official having jurisdiction shall have the authority to bring civil actions against any person, officer or department, board, commission or other entity, to enforce the provisions of the Oklahoma Children's Code, or to enforce any of the laws of this state protecting or applying in any way to a child removed from the custody of the lawful parent of the child by a disposition order of the court. 

    Added by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 111, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009. 

     

    §10A-1-1-105. Definitions. 

    When used in the Oklahoma Children's Code, unless the context otherwise requires: 

    1. “Abandonment” means: 

    a.  the willful intent by words, actions, or omissions not to return for a child, or 

    b.  the failure to maintain a significant parental relationship with a child through visitation or communication in which incidental or token visits or communication are not considered significant, or 

    c.  the failure to respond to notice of deprived proceedings; 

    2. “Abuse” means harm or threatened harm or failure to protect from harm or threatened harm to the health, safety, or welfare of a child by a person responsible for the child’s health, safety, or welfare, including but not limited to nonaccidental physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation. Provided, however, that nothing contained in this act shall prohibit any parent from using ordinary force as a means of discipline including, but not limited to, spanking, switching, or paddling. 

    a.  “Harm or threatened harm to the health or safety of a child” means any real or threatened physical, mental, or emotional injury or damage to the body or mind that is not accidental including but not limited to sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, neglect, or dependency. 

    b.  “Sexual abuse” includes but is not limited to rape, incest, and lewd or indecent acts or proposals made to a child, as defined by law, by a person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of the child. 

    c.  “Sexual exploitation” includes but is not limited to allowing, permitting, or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution, as defined by law, by a person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of a child, or allowing, permitting, encouraging, or engaging in the lewd, obscene, or pornographic, as defined by law, photographing, filming, or depicting of a child in those acts by a person responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of the child; 

    3. “Adjudication” means a finding by the court that the allegations in a petition alleging that a child is deprived are supported by a preponderance of the evidence; 

    4. "Adjudicatory hearing" means a hearing by the court as provided by Section 1-4-601 of this title; 

    5. "Assessment" means a comprehensive review of child safety and evaluation of family functioning and protective capacities that is conducted in response to a child abuse or neglect referral that does not allege a serious and immediate safety threat to a child; 

    6. “Behavioral health” means mental health, substance abuse, or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse diagnoses, and the continuum of mental health, substance abuse, or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse treatment; 

    7. "Child" means any unmarried person under eighteen (18) years of age; 

    8. “Child advocacy center” means a center and the multidisciplinary child abuse team of which it is a member that is accredited by the National Children’s Alliance or that is completing a sixth year of reaccreditation. Child advocacy centers shall be classified, based on the child population of a district attorney’s district, as follows: 

    a.  nonurban centers in districts with child populations that are less than sixty thousand (60,000), and 

    b.  midlevel nonurban centers in districts with child populations equal to or greater than sixty thousand (60,000), but not including Oklahoma and Tulsa counties; 

    9. "Child with a disability" means any child who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of the child, or who is regarded as having such an impairment by a competent medical professional; 

    10. "Child-placing agency" means an agency that arranges for or places a child in a foster family home, group home, adoptive home, or independent living program; 

    11. “Commission” means the Commission for Human Services; 

    12. "Community-based services" or "community-based programs" means services or programs which maintain community participation or supervision in their planning, operation, and evaluation. Community-based services and programs may include, but are not limited to, emergency shelter, crisis intervention, group work, case supervision, job placement, recruitment and training of volunteers, consultation, medical, educational, home-based services, vocational, social, preventive and psychological guidance, training, counseling, early intervention and diversionary substance abuse treatment, sexual abuse treatment, transitional living, independent living, and other related services and programs; 

    13. “Concurrent permanency planning” means, when indicated, the implementation of two plans for a child entering foster care. One plan focuses on reuniting the parent and child; the other seeks to find a permanent out-of-home placement for the child with both plans being pursued simultaneously; 

    14. "Court-appointed special advocate" or "CASA" means a responsible adult volunteer who has been trained and is supervised by a court-appointed special advocate program recognized by the court, and when appointed by the court, serves as an officer of the court in the capacity as a guardian ad litem; 

    15. "Court-appointed special advocate program" means an organized program, administered by either an independent, not-for-profit corporation, a dependent project of an independent, not-for-profit corporation or a unit of local government, which recruits, screens, trains, assigns, supervises and supports volunteers to be available for appointment by the court as guardians ad litem; 

    16. “Custodian” means an individual other than a parent, legal guardian or Indian custodian, to whom legal custody of the child has been awarded by the court. As used in this title, the term “custodian” shall not mean the Oklahoma Department of Human Services; 

    17. "Day treatment" means a nonresidential program which provides intensive services to a child who resides in the child’s own home, the home of a relative, group home, a foster home or residential child care facility. Day treatment programs include, but are not limited to, educational services; 

    18. "Department" means the Oklahoma Department of Human Services; 

    19. “Dependency” means a child who is homeless or without proper care or guardianship through no fault of his or her parent, legal guardian, or custodian; 

    20. "Deprived child" means a child: 

    a.  who is for any reason destitute, homeless, or abandoned, 

    b.  who does not have the proper parental care or guardianship, 

    c.  who has been abused, neglected, or is dependent, 

    d.  whose home is an unfit place for the child by reason of depravity on the part of the parent or legal guardian of the child, or other person responsible for the health or welfare of the child, 

    e.  who is a child in need of special care and treatment because of the child's physical or mental condition, and the child's parents, legal guardian, or other custodian is unable or willfully fails to provide such special care and treatment. As used in this paragraph, a child in need of special care and treatment includes, but is not limited to, a child who at birth tests positive for alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance and who, pursuant to a drug or alcohol screen of the child and an assessment of the parent, is determined to be at risk of harm or threatened harm to the health or safety of a child, 

    f.  who is a child with a disability deprived of the nutrition necessary to sustain life or of the medical treatment necessary to remedy or relieve a life-threatening medical condition in order to cause or allow the death of the child if such nutrition or medical treatment is generally provided to similarly situated children without a disability or children with disabilities; provided that no medical treatment shall be necessary if, in the reasonable medical judgment of the attending physician, such treatment would be futile in saving the life of the child, 

    g.  who, due to improper parental care and guardianship, is absent from school as specified in Section 10-106 of Title 70 of the Oklahoma Statutes, if the child is subject to compulsory school attendance, 

    h.  whose parent, legal guardian or custodian for good cause desires to be relieved of custody, 

    i.  who has been born to a parent whose parental rights to another child have been involuntarily terminated by the court and the conditions which led to the making of the finding, which resulted in the termination of the parental rights of the parent to the other child, have not been corrected, or 

    j.  whose parent, legal guardian, or custodian has subjected another child to abuse or neglect or has allowed another child to be subjected to abuse or neglect and is currently a respondent in a deprived proceeding. 

    Nothing in the Oklahoma Children's Code shall be construed to mean a child is deprived for the sole reason the parent, legal guardian, or person having custody or control of a child, in good faith, selects and depends upon spiritual means alone through prayer, in accordance with the tenets and practice of a recognized church or religious denomination, for the treatment or cure of disease or remedial care of such child. 

    Nothing contained in this paragraph shall prevent a court from immediately assuming custody of a child and ordering whatever action may be necessary, including medical treatment, to protect the child's health or welfare; 

    21. "Dispositional hearing" means a hearing by the court as provided by Section 1-4-706 of this title; 

    22. "Emergency custody" means the custody of a child prior to adjudication of the child following issuance of an order of the district court pursuant to Section 1-4-201 of this title or following issuance of an order of the district court pursuant to an emergency custody hearing, as specified by Section 1-4-203 of this title; 

    23. "Facility" means a place, an institution, a building or part thereof, a set of buildings, or an area whether or not enclosing a building or set of buildings used for the lawful custody and treatment of children; 

    24. "Foster care" or "foster care services" means continuous twenty-four-hour care and supportive services provided for a child in foster placement including, but not limited to, the care, supervision, guidance, and rearing of a foster child by the foster parent; 

    25. "Foster family home" means the private residence of a foster parent who provides foster care services to a child. Such term shall include a nonkinship foster family home, a therapeutic foster family home, or the home of a relative or other kinship care home; 

    26. “Foster parent eligibility assessment” includes a criminal background investigation including, but not limited to, a national criminal history records search based upon the submission of fingerprints, home assessments, and any other assessment required by the Department of Human Services, the Office of Juvenile Affairs, or any child-placing agency pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Child Care Facilities Licensing Act; 

    27. "Guardian ad litem" means a person appointed by the court pursuant to the provisions of Section 1-4-306 of this title having those duties and responsibilities as set forth in that section. The term “guardian ad litem” shall refer to a court-appointed special advocate as well as to any other person appointed pursuant to the provisions of Section 1-4-306 of this title to serve as a guardian ad litem; 

    28. “Guardian ad litem of the estate of the child” means a person appointed by the court to protect the property interests of a child pursuant to Section 1-8-109 of this title; 

    29. "Group home" means a residential facility licensed by the Department to provide full-time care and community-based services for more than five but fewer than thirteen children; 

    30. “Harm or threatened harm to the health or safety of a child” means any real or threatened physical, mental, or emotional injury or damage to the body or mind that is not accidental including, but not limited to, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, neglect, or dependency; 

    31. “Heinous and shocking abuse” includes, but is not limited to, aggravated physical abuse that results in serious bodily, mental, or emotional injury. “Serious bodily injury” means injury that involves: 

    a.  a substantial risk of death, 

    b.  extreme physical pain, 

    c.  protracted disfigurement, 

    d.  a loss or impairment of the function of a body member, organ, or mental faculty, 

    e.  an injury to an internal or external organ or the body, 

    f.  a bone fracture, 

    g.  sexual abuse or sexual exploitation, 

    h.  chronic abuse including, but not limited to, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation which is repeated or continuing, 

    i.  torture that includes, but is not limited to, inflicting, participating in or assisting in inflicting intense physical or emotional pain upon a child repeatedly over a period of time for the purpose of coercing or terrorizing a child or for the purpose of satisfying the craven, cruel, or prurient desires of the perpetrator or another person, or 

    j.  any other similar aggravated circumstance; 

    32. “Heinous and shocking neglect” includes, but is not limited to: 

    a.  chronic neglect that includes, but is not limited to, a persistent pattern of family functioning in which the caregiver has not met or sustained the basic needs of a child which results in harm to the child, 

    b.  neglect that has resulted in a diagnosis of the child as a failure to thrive, 

    c.  an act or failure to act by a parent that results in the death or near death of a child or sibling, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or presents an imminent risk of serious harm to a child, or 

    d.  any other similar aggravating circumstance; 

    33. "Independent living program" means a program specifically designed to assist a child to enhance those skills and abilities necessary for successful adult living. An independent living program may include, but shall not be limited to, such features as minimal direct staff supervision, and the provision of supportive services to assist children with activities necessary for finding an appropriate place of residence, completing an education or vocational training, obtaining employment, or obtaining other similar services; 

    34. “Individualized service plan” means a document written pursuant to Section 1-4-704 of this title that has the same meaning as “service plan” or “treatment plan” where those terms are used in the Oklahoma Children’s Code; 

    35. “Infant” means a child who is twelve (12) months of age or younger; 

    36. "Institution" means a residential facility offering care and treatment for more than twenty residents; 

    37. a.  "Investigation" means a response to an allegation of abuse or neglect that involves a serious and immediate threat to the safety of the child, making it necessary to determine: 

    (1)  the current safety of a child and the risk of subsequent abuse or neglect, and 

    (2)  whether child abuse or neglect occurred and whether the family needs prevention- and intervention-related services. 

    b.  “Investigation” results in a written response stating one of the following findings: 

    (1)  “Substantiated – Court intervention recommended” means a report that is determined by a child protective services worker, after an investigation and based upon some credible evidence, to constitute child abuse or neglect which is of such a nature that the Department finds that the health, safety, or welfare of the child is threatened, 

    (2)  “Substantiated – Services recommended” means a report that is determined by a child protective services worker, after an investigation and based upon some credible evidence, to constitute child abuse or neglect which is of such a nature that the Department recommends prevention- and intervention-related services for the parents or persons responsible for the care of the child or children, but for which initial court intervention is not required, 

    (3)  “Unsubstantiated – Services recommended” means a report in which a child protective services worker, after an investigation, determines there is insufficient evidence to fully determine whether child abuse or neglect has occurred, but one in which the Department determines that the child and the family of the child could benefit from receiving child abuse and neglect prevention- and intervention-related services, or 

    (4)  “Ruled out” means a report in which a child protective services worker, after an investigation, determines that no child abuse or neglect has occurred; 

    38. "Kinship care" means full-time care of a child by a kinship relation; 

    39. "Kinship guardianship" means a permanent guardianship as defined in this section; 

    40. "Kinship relation" or “kinship relationship” means relatives, stepparents, or other responsible adults who have a bond or tie with a child and/or to whom has been ascribed a family relationship role with the child's parents or the child; provided, however, in cases where the Indian Child Welfare Act applies, the definitions contained in 25 U.S.C., Section 1903 shall control; 

    41. "Mental health facility" means a mental health or substance abuse treatment facility as defined by the Inpatient Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment of Minors Act; 

    42. “Minor” means the same as the term “child” as defined in this section; 

    43. "Minor in need of treatment" means a child in need of mental health or substance abuse treatment as defined by the Inpatient Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment of Minors Act; 

    44. "Multidisciplinary child abuse team" means any team established pursuant to Section 1-9-102 of this title of three or more persons who are trained in the prevention, identification, investigation, prosecution, and treatment of physical and sexual child abuse and who are qualified to facilitate a broad range of prevention and intervention-related services and services related to child abuse. For purposes of this definition, “freestanding” means a team not used by a child advocacy center for its accreditation; 

    45. "Near death" means a child is in serious or critical condition, as certified by a physician, as a result of abuse or neglect; 

    46. “Neglect” means: 

    a.  the failure or omission to provide any of the following: 

    (1)  adequate nurturance and affection, food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, hygiene, or appropriate education, 

    (2)  medical, dental, or behavioral health care, 

    (3)  supervision or appropriate caretakers, or 

    (4)  special care made necessary by the physical or mental condition of the child, 

    b.  the failure or omission to protect a child from exposure to any of the following: 

    (1)  the use, possession, sale, or manufacture of illegal drugs, 

    (2)  illegal activities, or 

    (3)  sexual acts or materials that are not age- appropriate, or 

    c.  abandonment. 

    Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to mean a child is abused or neglected for the sole reason the parent, legal guardian or person having custody or control of a child, in good faith, selects and depends upon spiritual means alone through prayer, in accordance with the tenets and practice of a recognized church or religious denomination, for the treatment or cure of disease or remedial care of such child. Nothing contained in this paragraph shall prevent a court from immediately assuming custody of a child, pursuant to the Oklahoma Children’s Code, and ordering whatever action may be necessary, including medical treatment, to protect the child’s health or welfare; 

    47. "Permanency hearing" means a hearing by the court pursuant to Section 1-4-811 of this title; 

    48. "Permanent custody" means the court-ordered custody of an adjudicated deprived child when a parent-child relationship no longer exists due to termination of parental rights or due to the death of a parent or parents; 

    49. “Permanent guardianship” means a judicially created relationship between a child, a kinship relation of the child, or other adult established pursuant to the provisions of Section 1-4-709 of this title; 

    50. "Person responsible for a child's health, safety, or welfare" includes a parent; a legal guardian; custodian; a foster parent; a person eighteen (18) years of age or older with whom the child's parent cohabitates or any other adult residing in the home of the child; an agent or employee of a public or private residential home, institution, facility or day treatment program as defined in Section 175.20 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes; or an owner, operator, or employee of a child care facility as defined by Section 402 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes; 

    51. "Protective custody" means custody of a child taken by a law enforcement officer or designated employee of the court without a court order; 

    52. "Putative father" means an alleged father as that term is defined in Section 7700-102 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes; 

    53. "Relative" means a grandparent, great-grandparent, brother or sister of whole or half blood, aunt, uncle or any other person related to the child; 

    54. "Residential child care facility" means a twenty-four-hour residential facility where children live together with or are supervised by adults who are not their parents or relatives; 

    55. “Review hearing” means a hearing by the court pursuant to Section 1-4-807 of this title; 

    56. “Risk” means the likelihood that an incident of child abuse or neglect will occur in the future; 

    57. “Safety threat” means the threat of serious harm due to child abuse or neglect occurring in the present or in the very near future and without the intervention of another person, a child would likely or in all probability sustain severe or permanent disability or injury, illness, or death; 

    58. “Safety analysis” means action taken by the Department in response to a report of alleged child abuse or neglect that may include an assessment or investigation based upon an analysis of the information received according to priority guidelines and other criteria adopted by the Department; 

    59. “Safety evaluation” means evaluation of a child’s situation by the Department using a structured, evidence-based tool to determine if the child is subject to a safety threat; 

    60. "Secure facility" means a facility which is designed and operated to ensure that all entrances and exits from the facility are subject to the exclusive control of the staff of the facility, whether or not the juvenile being detained has freedom of movement within the perimeter of the facility, or a facility which relies on locked rooms and buildings, fences, or physical restraint in order to control behavior of its residents; 

    61. "Sibling" means a biologically or legally related brother or sister of a child; 

    62. "Specialized foster care" means foster care provided to a child in a foster home or agency-contracted home which: 

    a.  has been certified by the Developmental Disabilities Services Division of the Department of Human Services, 

    b.  is monitored by the Division, and 

    c.  is funded through the Home- and Community-Based Waiver Services Program administered by the Division; 

    63. "Temporary custody" means court-ordered custody of an adjudicated deprived child; 

    64. "Therapeutic foster family home" means a foster family home which provides specific treatment services, pursuant to a therapeutic foster care contract, which are designed to remedy social and behavioral problems of a foster child residing in the home; 

    65. "Transitional living program" means a residential program that may be attached to an existing facility or operated solely for the purpose of assisting children to develop the skills and abilities necessary for successful adult living. The program may include, but shall not be limited to, reduced staff supervision, vocational training, educational services, employment and employment training, and other appropriate independent living skills training as a part of the transitional living program; and 

    66. "Voluntary foster care placement" means the temporary placement of a child by the parent, legal guardian or custodian of the child in foster care pursuant to a signed placement agreement between the Department or a child-placing agency and the child's parent, legal guardian or custodian. 

    Added by Laws 1968, c. 282, § 101, eff. Jan. 13, 1969. Amended by Laws 1970, c. 86, § 1, emerg. eff. March 27, 1970; Laws 1972, c. 122, § 1, emerg. eff. April 4, 1972; Laws 1977, c. 79, § 1; Laws 1979, c. 257, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1979; Laws 1980, c. 242, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1980; Laws 1982, c. 312, § 13, operative Oct. 1, 1982; Laws 1984, c. 120, § 1, emerg. eff. April 10, 1984; Laws 1987, c. 88, § 1, operative July 1, 1987; Laws 1988, c. 76, § 1, emerg. eff. March 25, 1988; Laws 1988, c. 238, § 1, emerg. eff. June 24, 1988; Laws 1990, c. 238, § 1, emerg. eff. May 21, 1990; Laws 1990, c. 337, § 1; Laws 1991, c. 335, § 1, emerg. eff. June 15, 1991; Laws 1992, c. 298, § 14, eff. July 1, 1993; Laws 1993, c. 342, § 1, eff. July 1, 1993; Laws 1994, c. 2, § 1, emerg. eff. March 2, 1994; Laws 1994, c. 290, § 3, eff. July 1, 1994; Laws 1995, c. 352, § 3, eff. July 1, 1995. Renumbered from § 1101 of Title 10 by Laws 1995, c. 352, § 199, eff. July 1, 1995. Amended by Laws 1996, c. 47, § 1, emerg. eff. April 8, 1996; Laws 1996, c. 200, § 3, eff. Nov. 1, 1996; Laws 1996, c. 353, § 15, eff. Nov. 1, 1996; Laws 1997, c. 386, § 19, emerg. eff. June 10, 1997; Laws 1998, c. 5, § 2, emerg. eff. March 4, 1998; Laws 1998, c. 421, § 2, emerg. eff. June 11, 1998; Laws 2000, c. 374, § 5, eff. July 1, 2000; Laws 2001, c. 434, § 4, emerg. eff. June 8, 2001; Laws 2002, c. 327, § 15, eff. July 1, 2002; Laws 2004, c. 422, § 3, eff. July 1, 2004; Laws 2006, c. 258, § 1, emerg. eff. June 7, 2006; Laws 2009, c. 233, § 11, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009. Renumbered from § 7001-1.3 of Title 10 by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 211, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009. Amended by Laws 2009, c. 338, § 3, eff. July 1, 2009. 

    NOTE: Laws 1979, c. 248, § 1 repealed by Laws 1980, c. 242, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 1980. Laws 1990, c. 51, § 5 repealed by Laws 1990, c. 337, § 26. Laws 1990, c. 302, § 1 repealed by Laws 1991, c. 335, § 36, emerg. eff. June 15, 1991. Laws 1993, c. 208, § 1 repealed by Laws 1994, c. 2, § 34, emerg. eff. March 2, 1994. Laws 1995, c. 270, § 4 repealed by Laws 1996, c. 47, § 4, emerg. eff. April 8, 1996. Laws 1997, c. 153, § 1 repealed by Laws 1998, c. 5, § 29, emerg. eff. March 4, 1998. 

     

    §10A-1-2-101. Statewide centralized hotline for reporting of abuse, neglect or birth of chemically dependent child - Retaliation by employer - Contents of report - Violations - Spiritual treatment of child through prayer. 

    A. 1. The Department of Human Services shall establish a statewide centralized hotline for the reporting of child abuse or neglect to the Department. 

    2. The Department shall provide hotline-specific training including, but not limited to, interviewing skills, customer service skills, narrative writing, necessary computer systems, making case determinations, and identifying priority situations. 

    3. The Department is authorized to contract with third parties in order to train hotline workers. 

    4. The Department shall develop a system to track the number of calls received, and of that number: 

    a.  the number of calls screened out, 

    b.  the number of referrals assigned, and 

    c.  the number of calls in which the allegations were later found to be unsubstantiated or ruled out. 

    B. 1. Every person having reason to believe that a child under the age of eighteen (18) years is a victim of abuse or neglect shall report the matter promptly to the Department of Human Services. Reports shall be made to the hotline provided for in subsection A of this section. Any allegation of abuse or neglect reported in any manner to a county office shall immediately be referred to the hotline by the Department. 

    2. Every physician, surgeon, or other health care professional including doctors of medicine, licensed osteopathic physicians, residents and interns, or any other health care professional attending the birth of a child who tests positive for alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance shall promptly report the matter to the Department. 

    3. No privilege or contract shall relieve any person from the requirement of reporting pursuant to this section. 

    4. The reporting obligations under this section are individual, and no employer, supervisor, or administrator shall interfere with the reporting obligations of any employee or other person or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against the employee or other person who in good faith reports suspected child abuse or neglect, or who provides testimony in any proceeding involving child abuse or neglect. Any employer, supervisor, or administrator who discharges, discriminates or retaliates against the employee or other person shall be liable for damages, costs and attorney fees. 

    5. Every physician, surgeon, or other health care professional making a report of abuse or neglect as required by this subsection or examining a child to determine the likelihood of abuse or neglect and every hospital or related institution in which the child was examined or treated shall provide, upon request, copies of the results of the examination or copies of the examination on which the report was based and any other clinical notes, x-rays, photographs, and other previous or current records relevant to the case to law enforcement officers conducting a criminal investigation into the case and to employees of the Department of Human Services conducting an investigation of alleged abuse or neglect in the case. 

    C. Any person who knowingly and willfully fails to promptly report suspected child abuse or neglect or who interferes with the prompt reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect may be reported to local law enforcement for criminal investigation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. 

    D. 1. Any person who knowingly and willfully makes a false report pursuant to the provisions of this section or a report that the person knows lacks factual foundation may be reported to local law enforcement for criminal investigation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. 

    2. If a court determines that an accusation of child abuse or neglect made during a child custody proceeding is false and the person making the accusation knew it to be false at the time the accusation was made, the court may impose a fine, not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) and reasonable attorney fees incurred in recovering the sanctions, against the person making the accusation. The remedy provided by this paragraph is in addition to paragraph 1 of this subsection or to any other remedy provided by law. 

    E. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to exempt or prohibit any person from reporting any suspected child abuse or neglect pursuant to subsection B of this section. 

    Added by Laws 1965, c. 43, § 2, emerg. eff. March 18, 1965. Amended by Laws 1972, c. 236, § 1, emerg. eff. April 7, 1972; Laws 1975, c. 98, § 2, emerg. eff. April 30, 1975; Laws 1977, c. 172, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 1977; Laws 1980, c. 107, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1980; Laws 1985, c. 66, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1985; Laws 1986, c. 263, § 5, operative July 1, 1986; Laws 1987, c. 88, § 2, operative July 1, 1987; Laws 1987, c. 167, § 1, operative July 1, 1987; Laws 1992, c. 265, § 2, emerg. eff. May 25, 1992; Laws 1993, c. 208, § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Laws 1994, c. 324, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Laws 1995, c. 353, § 3, eff. Nov. 1, 1995. Renumbered from § 846 of Title 21 by Laws 1995, c. 353, § 20, eff. Nov. 1, 1995. Amended by Laws 1998, c. 416, § 12, eff. Nov. 1, 1998; Laws 2000, c. 374, § 31, eff. July 1, 2000; Laws 2009, c. 149, § 1, emerg. eff. May 11, 2009; Laws 2009, c. 233, § 79, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009. Renumbered from § 7103 of Title 10 by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 212, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009. Amended by Laws 2009, c. 338, § 10, eff. July 1, 2009. 

     

    §10A-1-2-102. Assessment and investigations - Determinations and referrals by Department of Human Services – Investigations by law enforcement agencies. 

    A. 1. Upon receipt of a report that a child may be abused or neglected, the Department of Human Services shall conduct a safety analysis. 

    2. The Department shall forward a report of its assessment or investigation and findings to any district attorney's office which may have jurisdiction to file a petition pursuant to Section 1-4-902 of this title. 

    B. 1. If, upon receipt of a report alleging abuse or neglect or during the assessment or investigation, the Department determines that: 

    a.  the alleged perpetrator is someone other than a person responsible for the child's health, safety, or welfare, and 

    b.  the alleged abuse or neglect of the child does not appear to be attributable to failure on the part of a person responsible for the child's health, safety, or welfare to provide protection for the child, 

    the Department shall immediately make a referral, either verbally or in writing, to the appropriate local law enforcement agency for the purpose of conducting a possible criminal investigation. 

    2. After making the referral to the law enforcement agency, the Department shall not be responsible for further investigation unless: 

    a.  the Department has reason to believe the alleged perpetrator is a parent of another child, not the subject of the criminal investigation, or is otherwise a person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of another child, 

    b.  notice is received from a law enforcement agency that it has determined the alleged perpetrator is a parent of or a person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of another child not the subject of the criminal investigation, or 

    c.  the appropriate law enforcement agency requests the Department, in writing, to participate in the investigation. If funds and personnel are available, as determined by the Director of the Department or a designee, the Department may assist law enforcement in interviewing children alleged to be victims of physical or sexual abuse. 

    C. 1. Any law enforcement agency receiving a referral as provided in this section shall provide the Department with a copy of the report of any investigation resulting from a referral from the Department. 

    2. Whenever, in the course of any criminal investigation, a law enforcement agency determines that there is cause to believe that a child may be abused or neglected by reason of the acts, omissions, or failures on the part of a person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of the child, the law enforcement agency shall immediately contact the Department for the purpose of an investigation. 

    Added by Laws 1995, c. 352, § 9, eff. July 1, 1995. Amended by Laws 1998, c. 421, § 6, emerg. eff. June 11, 1998; Laws 1999, c. 44, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1999; Laws 2000, c. 374, § 8, eff. July 1, 2000; Laws 2009, c. 233, § 17, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009. Renumbered from § 7003-1.1 of Title 10 by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 213, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009. Amended by Laws 2009, c. 338, § 4, eff. July 1, 2009. 

     

    §10A-1-2-103. Judicial authority to request investigation. 

    A judge of the district court may request an investigation be conducted by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation or other law enforcement agency in cases where the court reasonably believes that criminally injurious conduct including, but not limited to, physical or sexual abuse of a child has occurred. 

    Added by Laws 2006, c. 205, § 15, eff. Nov. 1, 2006. Amended by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 80, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009. Renumbered from § 7104.1 of Title 10 by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 214, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009. 

     

    §10A-1-2-104. Immunity from civil and criminal liability - Presumption. 

    A. Any person who, in good faith and exercising due care, reports suspected child abuse or neglect, or who allows access to a child by persons authorized to investigate a report concerning the child shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed. Any such participant shall have the same immunity with respect to participation in any judicial proceeding resulting from such report. 

    B. For purposes of any proceeding, civil or criminal, the good faith of any person in making a report pursuant to the provisions of Section 1-2-101 of this title shall be presumed. 

    C. A child advocacy center that is accredited by the National Children's Alliance, and the employees thereof, who are acting in good faith and exercising due care shall have immunity from civil liability that may be incurred or imposed through participation in the investigation process and any judicial proceeding resulting from the investigation process. 

    Added by Laws 1965, c. 43, § 3, emerg. eff. March 18, 1965. Amended by Laws 1977, c. 172, § 3, eff. Oct. 1, 1977; Laws 1984, c. 85, § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 1984; Laws 1989, c. 67, § 1, emerg. eff. April 13, 1989; Laws 1995, c. 353, § 5, eff. Nov. 1, 1995. Renumbered from § 847 of Title 21 by Laws 1995, c. 353, § 20, eff. Nov. 1, 1995. Amended by Laws 2000, c. 293, § 1, emerg. eff. June 5, 2000; Laws 2005, c. 184, § 2, emerg. eff. May 17, 2005; Laws 2009, c. 233, § 81, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009. Renumbered from § 7105 of Title 10 by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 215, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009. 

     

    §10A-1-2-105. Investigation of child abuse or neglect – Assessment of family – Immediate removal of child - Report – Voluntary services - Temporary restraining order - Investigation by State Bureau of Investigation. 

    A. 1. Any county office of the Department of Human Services receiving a child abuse or neglect report shall promptly respond to the report by initiating an investigation of the report or an assessment of the family in accordance with priority guidelines established by the Department. The Department may prioritize reports of alleged child abuse or neglect based on the severity and immediacy of the alleged harm to the child. The Department shall adopt a priority system pursuant to rules promulgated by the Commission for Human Services. The primary purpose of the investigation or assessment shall be the protection of the child. 

    2. If an investigation or assessment conducted by the Department in response to any report of child abuse or neglect shows that the incident reported was the result of the reasonable exercise of parental discipline involving the use of ordinary force, including, but not limited to, spanking, switching, or paddling, the investigation or assessment will proceed no further and all records regarding the incident shall be expunged. 

    B. 1. The investigation or assessment shall include a visit to the home of the child, unless there is reason to believe that there is an extreme safety risk to the child or worker or it appears that the referral has been made in bad faith. The visit shall include an interview with and examination of the subject child and may be conducted at any reasonable time and at any place including, but not limited to, the child's school. The Department shall notify the person responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of the child that the child has been interviewed at a school. The investigation or assessment may include an interview with the parents of the child or any other person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of the child and an interview with and examination of any child in the home. 

    2. The investigation or assessment may include a medical, psychological, or psychiatric examination of any child in the home. If admission to the home, school, or any place where the child may be located cannot be obtained, then the district court having jurisdiction, upon application by the district attorney and upon cause shown, shall order the person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of the child, or the person in charge of any place where the child may be located, to allow entrance for the interview, the examination, and the investigation or assessment. If the person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of the child does not consent to a medical, psychological, or psychiatric examination of the child that is requested by the Department, the district court having jurisdiction, upon application by the district attorney and upon cause shown, shall order the examination to be made at the times and places designated by the court. 

    3. The investigation or assessment may include an inquiry into the possibility that the child or a person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of the child has a history of mental illness. If the person responsible for the child's health, safety, or welfare does not allow the Department to have access to behavioral health records or treatment plans requested by the Department, which may be relevant to the alleged abuse or neglect, the district court having jurisdiction, upon application by the district attorney and upon good cause shown, shall by order allow the Department to have access to the records pursuant to terms and conditions prescribed by the court. 

    4.  a.  If the court determines that the subject of the behavioral health records is indigent, the court shall appoint an attorney to represent that person at the hearing to obtain behavioral health records. 

    b.  A person responsible for the health, safety, or welfare of the child is entitled to notice and a hearing when the Department seeks a court order to allow a psychological or psychiatric examination or access to behavioral health records. 

    c.  Access to behavioral health records does not constitute a waiver of confidentiality. 

    5. The investigation of a report of sexual abuse or serious physical abuse or both sexual abuse and serious physical abuse shall be conducted, when appropriate and possible, using a multidisciplinary team approach as provided by Section 1-9-102 of this title. Law enforcement and the Department shall exchange investigation information. 

    C. 1. Every physician, surgeon, or other heath care provider making a report of abuse or neglect as required by this section or examining a child to determine the likelihood of abuse or neglect and every hospital or related institution in which the child was examined or treated shall provide copies of the results of the examination or copies of the examination on which the report was based and any other clinical notes, x-rays, photographs, and other previous or current records relevant to the case to law enforcement officers conducting a criminal investigation into the case and to employees of the Department conducting an assessment or investigation of alleged abuse or neglect in the case. 

    2. As necessary in the course of conducting an assessment or investigation, the Department may request and obtain, without a court order, copies of all prior medical records of a child including, but not limited to, hospital records, medical, and dental records. The physician-patient privilege shall not constitute grounds for failure to produce such records. 

    D. If, before the assessment or investigation is complete, the Department determines that immediate removal of the child is necessary to protect the child from further abuse or neglect, the Department shall recommend that the child be taken into custody. 

    E. The Department shall make a complete written report of the investigation. The investigation report, together with its recommendations, shall be submitted to the appropriate district attorney's office. Reports of assessment recommendations shall be submitted to appropriate district attorneys. 

    F. The Department, where appropriate and in its discretion, shall identify prevention and intervention-related services available in the community and arrange for such services to be provided to the family when an investigation or assessment indicates the family would benefit from such services, or the Department may provide such services directly. The Department shall document in the record its attempts to provide, or arrange for the provision of, voluntary services and shall determine within sixty (60) days whether the family has accessed such services. If the family refuses voluntary services or does not access such services, and it is determined by the Department that the child’s surroundings endanger the health, safety, or welfare of the child, the Department may recommend that the child be placed in protec

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