Abandoned. The Court may make a determination that an infant or child is abandoned if: (1) the child has been left without any provision for support; (2) physical custody of the child has been voluntarily surrendered pursuant to relevant state safely surrendered baby laws and the child has not been reclaimed within fourteen (14) days of surrender; (3) the child’s parent has been incarcerated or institutionalized and cannot arrange for the care of the child; (4) a relative or other adult custodian with whom the child resides or has been left is unwilling or unable to provide care or support for the child, the whereabouts of the parent are unknown, and reasonable efforts to locate the parent have been unsuccessful; or (5) the parent or guardian of the child willfully abandoned the child, and the Court finds that the abandonment itself constituted a serious danger to the child. For the purposes of this definition, “serious danger” means that without the intervention of another person or agency, the child would have sustained severe or permanent disability, injury, illness, or death, and “willful abandonment” shall not be construed as actions taken in good faith by the parent without the intent of placing the child in serious danger. An Indian child will not be deemed to be abandoned simply because a parent leaves the child in the care and custody of an Indian custodian unless the parent demonstrates an intent to abandon the child.
“Adoption” means a permanent legal status, including a customary adoption, with a change in legal parents that is designed to ensure permanency for children while maintaining meaningful contact with biological parents, extended Tribal relatives, and their Tribal community.
“Child abuse or neglect” means, at a minimum, any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm or endangerment to a child.
“Child custody proceeding” means all proceedings, whether voluntary or involuntary, involving a child or youth subject to the Tribal Court’s jurisdiction.
“Enters foster care” means the earlier of the date of the first judicial finding by any court that the child has been subjected to abuse or neglect; or the date that is sixty (60) days after the date on which the child is removed from the home.
“Foster care” means the twenty-four (24) hour substitute care provided for a child who is removed by court order or a voluntary placement agreement from his or her home and for whom the Tribe has responsibility for placement and care.
“Guardianship” means a judicially created relationship between child and caretaker, which is intended to be permanent and self-sustaining as evidenced by the transfer to the caretaker of the following parental rights with respect to the child: protection, education, care, and control of the person, custody of the person and decision-making. The term “legal guardian” means the caretaker in such relationship.
“Modification of parental rights” means changing the rights and obligations of the parent or guardian of the child against whom the order of modification is entered and of the child who is the subject of the petition to that parent or guardian, to a lesser extent than fully terminating and severing such rights and obligations.
“On or near tribal lands” includes all lands on or near the Karuk Aboriginal Territory as set forth in the Tribe’s Constitution, service areas, and all lands subsequently and hereafter acquired by and for the Tribe, whether within or outside of the Tribe’s Aboriginal Territory.
“Qualified individual” means a trained professional or licensed clinician who is not an employee of Karuk Child Welfare Services and who is not connected to, or affiliated with, any placement setting in which children are placed by Karuk Child Welfare Services.
“Reasonable efforts” means, with respect to a given obligation, the efforts that a reasonable person in that position would use so as to perform that obligation as expeditiously as possible. Reasonable efforts determinations are made on a case-by-case basis, weighing factors such as: (1) whether the child’s health or safety would have been compromised had Karuk Child Welfare Services (“KCWS”) attempted to maintain him or her at home; (2) whether the service plan was customized to the individual needs of the family or whether it was a standard package of services; (3) whether KCWS provided services to ameliorate factors present in the child or parent, i.e., physical, emotional, or psychological, that would inhibit a parent’s ability to maintain the child safely at home; (4) whether limitations exist with respect to service availability, including transportation issues, and if so, what efforts KCWS undertook to overcome these obstacles; and (5) whether KCWS’s activities associated with making and finalizing an alternate permanent placement were consistent with the permanency goal.
“Relative” includes extended family members, as shall be as defined by the law or custom of the Tribe or, in the absence of such law or custom, shall be a person who has reached the age of eighteen (18) and who is the child’s grandparent, aunt or uncle, brother or sister, brother-in-law or sister-in-law, niece or nephew, first or second cousin, or step-parent.
“Short-term residential treatment program” means a program that has a registered licensed nursing staff and other licensed clinical staff available twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week who provide care on site according to a trauma informed treatment model, licensed by the state of California, and accredited by any of the following independent, not-for-profit organizations: (1) the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities; (2) the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations; (3) the Council on Accreditation; (4) any other independent, not-for-profit accrediting organization approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
“Termination of parental rights” means permanently changing a parent’s rights, which shall have the effect of severing forever all legal rights and obligations of the parent or guardian of the child against whom the order of termination is entered and of the child who is the subject of the petition to that parent or guardian.
“Tribe” means the Karuk Tribe.
Additional definitions and obligations for child custody proceedings applicable to Title IV-E-eligible children only are found in the Title IV-E intergovernmental agreement between the California Department of Social Services and the Karuk Tribe, and in the KCWS Plan.
In this Code, the words “child” and “youth” are used interchangeably, and both mean unmarried minors under eighteen (18) in need of care; however, in this Code “youth” generally refers to such minors between the ages of ten (10) and eighteen (18), and, for Independent Living Program services, minors who are fourteen (14) through twenty-one (21) years old.