4.5 Referrals from Court Pursuant to Ex Parte Orders of Protection
Pursuant to Section 455.513, RSMo., if the petition for an ex parte order contains allegations which would enable the juvenile court to take jurisdiction of the child under Section 211.031, RSMo., the court may direct the Children’s Division to complete an “investigation” or fact-finding report concerning the allegations in the petition and provide appropriate services.
The reasons outlined in statute by which a juvenile court can take jurisdiction include:
- Abuse/Neglect by the parent or guardian;
- The child is without proper care, custody, or support;
- The child is living in a dwelling which was found by a court to be a public nuisance;
- The child is repeatedly, and without justification, absent from school;
- The child is habitually absent from his home without sufficient cause, permission, or justification;
- The behavior or associations of the child are injurious to his welfare or to the welfare of others;
- The child is charged with an offense not classified as criminal or alleged to have violated a state law or municipal ordinance;
- Commitment of a child to the guardianship of the Department of Social Services as provided by law; and
- Involving an order of protection when the respondent is less than seventeen (17) years of age.
When the local office receives a directive from the court for an investigation, they should review the information to determine if the allegations constitute a CA/N Report. If the allegations rise to the level of CA/N Report the local office should make a report to the CANHU, if the allegations have not yet been reported.
The following steps must be completed when conducting an investigation for an ex parte order of protection:
- Address the allegations in the petition with all parties;
- Interview children, as is age and developmentally appropriate;
- Complete a prior history search of the entire household to assess risk to the child and to others in the family;
- Evaluate support system which is in place, including family members, friends, etc. (staff are encouraged to use the genogram and ecomap);
- Determine other agencies involved with family and extent of their involvement; and
- Contact other agencies involved with the family to determine support, if appropriate.
A copy of the completed ex parte order of protection investigative report shall be provided to the court and juvenile officer within thirty (30) days of receiving the court order. The parties to the petition and the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) or Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) shall be notified in writing that the Division has filed the report.
Family-Centered Services (FCS) may be provided to the family, when appropriate.