(a) Any person in charge of a hospital or similar institution or any physician treating a child may keep that child in custody until the next regular weekday session of the juvenile court without the consent of the parents, legal guardian or legal custodian, whether or not additional medical treatment is required, if the circumstances are such, or if the condition of the child is such, that continuing the child in the child's place of residence or in the care or custody of the parents, legal guardian, or legal custodian presents an imminent danger to the child's life or physical or mental health.
(b) Any person taking a child into protective custody shall immediately notify the department, whereupon the department shall immediately begin a child protective investigation in accordance with the provisions of § 37-1-606, and shall make every reasonable effort to immediately notify the parents, legal guardian or legal custodian that such child has been taken into protective custody.
(c) If the department determines, according to the criteria set forth in § 37-1-114, that the child should remain in protective custody longer than the next regular weekday session of the juvenile court, it shall petition the court for an order authorizing such custody in the same manner as if the child were placed in a shelter.
(d) The department shall attempt to avoid the placement of a child in an institution whenever possible.
Acts 1973, ch. 81, § 1; 1975, ch. 3, § 1; T.C.A., § 37-1204; Acts 1987, ch. 145, § 8.