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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 1806 (March 30, 2024).

55 Pa. Code § 3490.57. Protective custody.

§ 3490.57. Protective custody.

 (a)  The county agency shall comply with the Juvenile Act, the CPSL and this chapter when taking a child into custody. Protective custody under this chapter may not be maintained longer than 72 hours without an informal hearing under section 6332 of the Juvenile Act (relating to informal hearing). If, at the informal hearing, it is determined that protective custody shall be continued and the child is alleged to be a dependent child under section 6302 of the Juvenile Act (relating to definitions), the county agency shall within 48 hours of the determination file a petition with the court under the Juvenile Act alleging that the child is a dependent child.

 (b)  The county agency shall request protective custody only if the immediate safety and well-being of the child requires removal from the setting in which the alleged child abuse occurred.

 (c)  A county agency worker may take a child into protective custody only under a specific court order naming the individual child. The county agency staff may not be deputized or use blanket court orders to take children into protective custody.

 (d)  A child taken into protective custody may be placed only in the following locations:

   (1)  A hospital, if hospitalization is medically necessary in the opinion of the attending physician.

   (2)  A home of a relative of the child or other individual who has a significant relationship with the child or the child’s family. The home shall be approved by the county agency for this purpose.

   (3)  A foster family home approved by a licensed foster family care agency.

   (4)  A licensed residential child care facility.

 (e)  If the county agency initiates emergency protective custody, it shall notify the child’s parents as required by §  3490.17 (relating to notifying the child’s parents, guardians or other custodians).

 (f)  Within 48 hours of taking a child into protective custody, the county agency shall do the following:

   (1)  Meet with the child’s parents to assess their ability to assure the child’s safety if the child is to be returned home.

   (2)  Meet with other individuals who may have information relating to the safety of the child in the home if the child is to be returned home.

   (3)  Determine if services could be provided to the family which would alleviate the conditions necessitating protective custody.

   (4)  Provide or arrange for necessary services.

   (5)  Meet with the parents to advise them of the decision to do one of the following:

     (i)   Return the child to the child’s home.

     (ii)   Explain to the parents the reasons why the child will continue to be held in protective custody and the nature of future legal proceedings including the rights provided under sections 6337 and 6338 of the Juvenile Act (relating to right to counsel; and other basic rights) which are:

       (A)   The right to counsel.

       (B)   The right to introduce evidence and cross examine witnesses at the Juvenile Court hearing.


   The provisions of this §  3490.57 adopted December 20, 1985, effective January 1, 1986, 15 Pa.B. 4547; amended July 2, 1999, effective July 3, 1999, 29 Pa.B. 3513. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (211732).

Cross References

   This section cited in 55 Pa. Code §  3490.233 (relating to protective custody).

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