The Juvenile Division’s Investigation Unit is responsible for conducting a full investigation of those juveniles referred to the Juvenile Court for the first time due to a sustained petition.

The investigation includes an interview with the minor and family. Additionally, the assigned Deputy Probation Officer will obtain pertinent information from other agencies such as Child Protective Services and Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. Information will be collected from the minor’s school, counselors or therapists and other interested parties.

Upon completion of the investigation, the Deputy Probation Officer will complete a social studies report for the Juvenile Court. The social studies report will contain the information gathered during the investigation. The Court will use this information to help render a disposition. The information contained in the report includes a description of the alleged offense, the victim impact statement, information regarding restitution, the arresting officer’s statement, any sustained prior delinquent history, any history of abuse or neglect, family information, health information, school information, substance abuse history and an evaluation. The social studies report presents the Court with a recommendation designed to treat and eliminate any areas of identified risk or need.

Once the court renders a disposition, the case will be transferred to the appropriate probation unit for supervision. However, if the charges are dismissed during this process, the case will be closed.

If you have questions about a court case, contact the San Mateo County Courts.
If you want to know which Deputy Probation Officer is assigned to your case, call (650) 312-8816.


Investigations FAQ

What do I need to bring to my first appointment with Probation?

You will be asked to report to the Probation Department right after your first court date. The Deputy Probation Officer (DPO) is required to gather a great deal of information, which they use to make recommendations to the Court.

You will be given a probation questionnaire to complete and asked to return it on your first appointment. The more information you can bring to this initial appointment, the fewer appointments you will need to have.

It will save both you and the DPO a great deal of time if you complete the intake information before you come to your first appointment. You can obtain a copy of the questionnaire from the reception desk at the Probation Department before or after you go to court or by clicking here.

Useful information to bring to your first appointment includes the following:

  • Current school records. These should include attendance, grades, IEP paperwork (when applicable) and dates and times of any disciplinary action;
  • Your child's birth certificate;
  • Your child's social security number; and
  • Your child's medical insurance information.

It is also helpful for us to know who may play an important role in your child’s life outside of your home

What do the Deputy Probation Officers (DPOs) do with all the information I provide?

The Investigations DPO's job is to collect as much information about the offense, your child and your family in order to make the most appropriate recommendations to the Court. The recommendations will ultimately will be developed into a case plan on how to best work with you and your child.

The Probation Department has several programs and services to best meet your child's needs. The information that is gathered early on helps with the most appropriate level of supervision and intervention. Deputy Probation Officers often use committees of experienced colleagues to come up with the most appropriate recommendations for your child.