2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 15 - COURTS
CHAPTER 11 - JUVENILE PROCEEDINGS
ARTICLE 1 - JUVENILE PROCEEDINGS
PART 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 15-11-10 - Community based risk reduction programs
. Community based risk reduction programs
(a) As used in this Code section, the term "program" means a community based risk reduction program established pursuant to this Code section.
(b) Any court may by order establish within the geographical jurisdiction of the court a court approved community based risk reduction program for the purpose of utilizing available community resources in assessment and intervention in cases of delinquency, deprivation, or unruliness. Subject to the procedures, requirements, and supervision established in the order creating such program, any individual and any public or private agency or entity may participate in the program.
(c) In any jurisdiction within which a program has been established, when a child comes before the court for disposition in any case involving delinquency, deprivation, or unruliness, the court may order that an assessment be made of the child and the circumstances resulting in the child being before the court. The assessment would be developed by assembling existing information and individualized plans of the agencies involved in providing services to the child and his or her family. The court may further order that, if the assessment demonstrates a need therefor, a case plan may be developed by a panel representing community agencies as authorized by the court, which plan may be amended or revised from time to time by the court or by the panel taking into consideration requests for revision made by a parent, the parents, or a guardian. Upon request, the child or the parents, or both, may be present during any review of the child's case by the panel. Such case plan shall contain the proposed actions and alternatives for the proper and efficient use of available community resources to assist the child. The case plan shall be served on the child and the child's parent, parents, or guardian. Included with the case plan shall be a cover letter which contains the following information: (1) sources to explain to the recipient of the case plan the process, procedures, and penalties for not responding to the court order in the prescribed time period; and (2) the deadline for responding to the court order and stating objections to the case plan or any portion thereof, which shall be ten days from the date of service. If no objection is made or if the child, parent, parents, or guardian consents to the case plan, the case plan shall be incorporated into and made a part of the disposition order entered in the case by entry of a supplemental order. The case plan may be modified by the court at any time the child is under the jurisdiction of the court. If a child or a parent or guardian objects to the case plan, the court shall conduct a hearing, at which the court may decline to adopt the case plan or may confirm or modify the case plan. In implementing a case plan, the court shall have available all of the protective powers set forth in Code Section 15-11-11
, without the necessity of a show cause hearing, unless objection is made to the case plan. Code Section 15-11-11
should provide interventions reasonably necessary to effect the appropriate treatment plan for the protection and benefit of the child.
(d) Notwithstanding any provision contained in this article, in this Code, or in any rule or regulation adopted by any department, board, or agency of the state to the contrary, the court and any individual, public or private agency, or other entity participating in a program established pursuant to this Code section may exchange, as necessary, information, medical records, school records, records of adjudication, treatment records, and any other records or information which may aid in the assessment of and intervention with the children and families in the program. Such information shall be used by such individuals and agencies only for the purposes provided in this Code section and as authorized by the court for the purpose of implementing the case plan and for the purposes permitted under each agency's own rules and regulations. Such information shall not be released to any other individual or agency except as may be necessary to effect the appropriate treatment or intervention as provided in the case plan. Such information shall otherwise remain confidential and the court may punish any violations of confidentiality as contempt of court. Any person who authorizes or permits any person or agency not listed in Code Section 49-5-41
, Code Section 19-7-5
, or this Code section to have access to such records concerning reports of child abuse declared confidential by Code Section 49-5-40
shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person who knowingly and under false pretenses obtains or attempts to obtain records or reports of child abuse declared confidential by Code Section 49-5-40
or information contained therein except as authorized by Code Section 49-5-41
, Code Section 19-7-5
, or this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Records made confidential by Code Section 49-5-40
and information obtained from such records may not be made a part of any record which is open to the public except that a district attorney may use and make public that record or information in the course of any criminal prosecution for any offense which constitutes or results from child abuse. This Code section shall not abridge the provisions of Code Section 37-3-166
, or 37-7-166
relating to confidentiality of patient or client records and shall not serve to destroy or in any way abridge the confidential or privileged character thereof.
(e)(1) As part of a program, a court may implement or adopt an early intervention program designed to identify children and families who are at risk of becoming involved with the court through petitions alleging that a child is delinquent, deprived, or unruly. Such early intervention program shall be for the purpose of developing and implementing intervention actions or plans to divert the children and their families from becoming involved in future cases in the court. The involvement of the judge of the court shall be for the limited purpose of facilitating the development of the program and for the purpose of protecting the confidentiality of the children and families participating in the program.
(2) As part of such an early intervention program, the court may enter into protocol agreements with school systems within the court's jurisdiction, the county department of family and children services, the county department of health, any state or local department or agency, any mental health agency or institution, local physicians or health care providers, licensed counselors and social workers, and any other social service, charitable, or other entity or any individual functioning within the jurisdiction of the court and with any other agency or individual providing educational or treatment services to families and children within the jurisdiction of the court. Such protocol agreements shall authorize those persons and agencies entering into them to exchange confidential information in the same manner and subject to the same restrictions, conditions, and penalties as provided in subsection (d) of this Code section.
(3) When any agency or entity participating in a protocol agreement under this subsection identifies a child who is at risk of becoming delinquent, deprived, or unruly, the agency or entity shall refer the case to a multiagency staffing panel. The panel shall develop a multiagency intervention plan for the child. The child or the parents, or both, may be present during any review of the child's case by the panel. The parents or guardian of the child shall be notified of the plan by the agency making the referral or by a person or entity designated by the panel to administer the program. The staff of the court, but not the judge, shall work with the other agencies involved to educate the parents and the child on the importance of following the plan and on the consequences if either the parents or the child is referred to the court. If an intervention plan is developed for a child and the parent or parents or guardian consents to the plan, the failure to comply with the plan or any portion thereof may constitute the basis for a referral to the department of family and children services as shall be provided in the protocol agreement.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer