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Name: In re S.K.
Case #: E068464
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 04/11/2018

Juvenile court did not err when it found that the Agency used due diligence to locate relatives before removing a newborn from his mother’s care. The minor was removed from his mother at birth due to mother’s untreated substance abuse. He was placed with a foster family. On appeal, mother challenged the court’s finding that the social worker exercised due diligence in conducting an investigation to locate and notify relatives of the minor’s removal, under section 358, subdivision (b)(2). Mother contended that the Agency relied only on her and did not search its records for other dependency cases so it could locate paternal relatives. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. Substantial evidence supports the court’s due diligence finding. The juvenile court ordered mother several times to disclose all known contact information for relatives. The evidence also supported a conclusion that the Agency was diligently trying to locate father, and thus his relatives. Mother shared the responsibility for helping identify relatives, and her own conduct held back the investigation.