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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 35. Department of Behavioral Health And Developmental Services
Chapter 46. Regulations for Children's Residential Facilities

12VAC35-46-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

"Allegation" means an accusation that a facility is operating without a license or receiving public funds for services it is not certified to provide.

"Annual" means within 13 months of the previous event or occurrence.

"Applicable state regulation" means any regulation that the department determines applies to the facility. The term includes, but is not necessarily limited to, regulations promulgated by the Departments of Education, Health, Housing and Community Development, or other state agencies.

"Applicant" means the person, corporation, partnership, association, or public agency that has applied for a license.

"Aversive stimuli" means the physical forces (e.g., sound, electricity, heat, cold, light, water, or noise) or substances (e.g., hot pepper sauce or pepper spray) measurable in duration and intensity that when applied to a resident are noxious or painful to the resident but in no case shall the term "aversive stimuli" include striking or hitting the individual with any part of the body or with an implement or pinching, pulling, or shaking the resident.

"Behavior support" means those principles and methods employed by a provider to help a child achieve positive behavior and to address and correct a child's inappropriate behavior in a constructive and safe manner in accordance with written policies and procedures governing program expectations, treatment goals, child and staff safety and security, and the child's individualized service plan.

"Behavior support assessment" means identification of a resident's behavior triggers, successful intervention strategies, anger and anxiety management options for calming, techniques for self-management, and specific goals that address the targeted behaviors that lead to emergency safety interventions.

"Body cavity search" means any examination of a resident's rectal or vaginal cavities, except the performance of medical procedures by medical personnel.

"Brain injury" means any injury to the brain that occurs after birth, but before age 65, that is acquired through traumatic or nontraumatic insults. Nontraumatic insults may include, but are not limited to, anoxia, hypoxia, aneurysm, toxic exposure, encephalopathy, surgical interventions, tumor, and stroke. Brain injury does not include hereditary, congenital, or degenerative brain disorders, or injuries induced by birth trauma.

"Brain Injury Waiver" means a Virginia Medicaid home and community-based waiver for persons with brain injury approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

"Care" or "treatment" means a set of individually planned interventions, training, habilitation, or supports that help a resident obtain or maintain an optimal level of functioning, reduce the effects of disability or discomfort, or ameliorate symptoms, undesirable changes or conditions specific to physical, mental, behavioral, or social functioning.

"Child" means any person legally defined as a child under state law. The term includes residents and other children coming into contact with the resident or facility (e.g., visitors). When the term is used, the requirement applies to every child at the facility regardless of whether the child has been admitted to the facility for care (e.g., staff/child ratios apply to all children present even though some may not be residents).

"Child-placing agency" means any person licensed to place children in foster homes or adoptive homes or a local board of social services authorized to place children in foster homes or adoptive homes.

"Children's residential facility" or "facility" means a publicly or privately operated facility, other than a private family home, where 24-hour per day care is provided to children separated from their legal guardians and is required to be licensed or certified by the Code of Virginia except:

1. Any facility licensed by the Department of Social Services as a child-caring institution as of January 1, 1987, and that receives public funds; and

2. Acute-care private psychiatric hospitals serving children that are licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services under the Rules and Regulations for the Licensing of Providers of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse, the Individual and Family Developmental Disabilities Support Waiver, and Residential Brain Injury Services, 12VAC35-105.

"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services or his authorized agent.

"Complaint" means an accusation against a licensed facility regarding an alleged violation of regulations or law.

"Contraband" means any item prohibited by law or by the rules and regulations of the department, or any item that conflicts with the program or safety and security of the facility or individual residents.

"Corporal punishment" means punishment administered through the intentional inflicting of pain and discomfort to the body through actions such as, but not limited to (i) striking or hitting with any part of the body or with an implement; or (ii) any similar action that normally inflicts pain or discomfort.

"Counseling" means certain formal treatment interventions such as individual, family, and group modalities, that provide for support and problem solving. Such interventions take place between provider staff and resident families or groups and are aimed at enhancing appropriate psychosocial functioning or personal sense of well-being.

"Corrective action plan" means the provider's pledged corrective action in response to cited areas of noncompliance documented by the department. A corrective action plan must be completed within a specified time.

"Crisis" means any acute emotional disturbance in which a resident presents an immediate danger to self or others or is at risk of serious mental or physical health deterioration caused by acute mental distress, behavioral or situational factors, or acute substance abuse related problems.

"Crisis intervention" means those activities aimed at the rapid management of a crisis.

"Day" means calendar day unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

"Department" means the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS).

"DOE" means the Department of Education.

"Emergency" means a sudden, generally unexpected occurrence or set of circumstances demanding immediate action. Emergency does not include regularly scheduled time off for permanent staff or other situations that should reasonably be anticipated.

"Emergency admission" means the sudden, unplanned, unexpected admittance of a child who needs immediate care or a court-ordered placement.

"Goal" means expected results or conditions that usually involve a long period of time and that are written in behavioral terms in a statement of relatively broad scope. Goals provide guidance in establishing specific short-term objectives directed toward the attainment of the goal.

"Good character and reputation" means findings have been established and knowledgeable and objective people agree that the individual maintains business or professional, family, and community relationships that are characterized by honesty, fairness, truthfulness, and dependability, and has a history or pattern of behavior that demonstrates that the individual is suitable and able to care for, supervise, and protect children. Relatives by blood or marriage, and persons who are not knowledgeable of the individual, such as recent acquaintances, shall not be considered objective references.

"Group home" means a children's residential facility that is a community-based, homelike single dwelling, or its acceptable equivalent, other than the private home of the operator, and serves up to 12.

"Health record" means the file maintained by the provider that contains personal health information.

"Human research" means any systematic investigation including research development, testing, and evaluation, utilizing human subjects, that is designed to develop or contribute to generalized knowledge. Human research shall not include research exempt from federal research regulations pursuant to 45 CFR 46.101(b).

"Immediately" means directly without delay.

"Independent living program" means a competency-based program that is specifically approved by the department to provide the opportunity for the residents to develop the skills necessary to live successfully on their own following completion of the program.

"Individualized service plan" means a written plan of action developed and modified at intervals to meet the needs of a specific resident. It specifies measurable short and long-term goals, objectives, strategies, and time frames for reaching the goals and the individuals responsible for carrying out the plan.

"Intellectual disability" means mental retardation.

"Legal guardian" means the natural or adoptive parents or other person, agency, or institution that has legal custody of a child.

"License" means a document verifying approval to operate a children's residential facility and that indicates the status of the facility regarding compliance with applicable state regulations.

"Live-in staff" means staff who are required to be on duty for a period of 24 consecutive hours or more during each work week.

"Living unit" means the space in which a particular group of children in care of a residential facility reside. A living unit contains sleeping areas, bath and toilet facilities, and a living room or its equivalent for use by the residents of the unit. Depending upon its design, a building may contain one living unit or several separate living units.

"Mechanical restraint" means the use of a mechanical device that cannot be removed by the individual to restrict the freedom of movement or functioning of a limb or a portion of an individual's body when that behavior places him or others at imminent risk.

"Medication" means prescribed and over-the-counter drugs.

"Medication administration" means the direct application of medications by injection, inhalation, or ingestion or any other means to a resident by (i) persons legally permitted to administer medications; or (ii) the resident at the direction and in the presence of persons legally permitted to administer medications.

"Medication error" means an error made in administering a medication to a resident including the following: (i) the wrong medication is given to the resident; (ii) the wrong resident is given the medication; (iii) the wrong dosage is given to a resident; (iv) medication is given to a resident at the wrong time or not at all; and (v) the proper method is not used to give the medication to the resident. A medication error does not include a resident's refusal of offered medication.

"Mental retardation" ("intellectual disability") means a disability originating before the age of 18 years characterized concurrently by (i) significantly subaverage intellectual functioning as demonstrated by performance on a standardized measure of intellectual functioning, administered in conformity with accepted professional practice, that is at least two standard deviations below the mean; and (ii) significant limitations in adaptive behavior as expressed as conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills (§ 37.2-100 of the Code of Virginia). According to the American Association of Intellectual Disabilities (AAID) definition, these impairments should be assessed in the context of the individual's environment, considering cultural and linguistic diversity as well as differences in communication, and sensory motor and behavioral factors. Within an individual limitations often coexist with strengths. The purpose of describing limitations is to develop a profile of needed supports. With personalized supports over a sustained period, the functioning of an individual will improve. In some organizations the term "intellectual disability" is used instead of "mental retardation."

"Neurobehavioral services" means the assessment, evaluation, and treatment of cognitive, perceptual, behavioral, and other impairments caused by brain injury, that affect an individual's ability to function successfully in the community.

"Objective" means expected short-term results or conditions that must be met in order to attain a goal. Objectives are stated in measurable, behavioral terms and have a specified time for achievement.

"On-duty" means that period of time during which a staff person is responsible for the supervision of one or more children.

"On-site" means services that are delivered by the provider and are an integrated part of the overall service delivery system.

"Parent" means a natural or adoptive parent or surrogate parent appointed pursuant to DOE's regulations governing special education programs for students with disabilities." "Parent" means either parent unless the facility has been provided documentation that there is a legally binding instrument, a state law, or court order governing such matters as divorce, separation, or custody, that provides to the contrary.

"Pat down" means a thorough external body search of a clothed resident.

"Personal health information" means oral, written, or otherwise recorded information that is created or received by an entity relating to either an individual's physical or mental health or the provision of or payment for health care to an individual.

"Placement" means an activity by any person that provides assistance to a parent or legal guardian in locating and effecting the movement of a child to a foster home, adoptive home, or children's residential facility.

"Premises" means the tracts of land on which any part of a residential facility for children is located and any buildings on such tracts of land.

"Provider" means any person, entity, or organization, excluding an agency of the federal government by whatever name or designation, that delivers (i) residential services to children with mental illness, mental retardation (intellectual disability), or substance abuse; or (ii) residential services for persons with brain injury.

"Record" means up-to-date written or automated information relating to one resident. This information includes social data, agreements, all correspondence relating to the care of the resident, service plans with periodic revisions, aftercare plans and discharge summary, and any other data related to the resident.

"Resident" means a person admitted to a children's residential facility for supervision, care, training, or treatment on a 24-hour per day basis.

"Residential treatment program" means 24-hour, supervised, medically necessary, out-of-home programs designed to provide necessary support and address mental health, behavioral, substance abuse, cognitive, or training needs of a child or adolescent in order to prevent or minimize the need for more intensive inpatient treatment. Services include, but shall not be limited to, assessment and evaluation, medical treatment (including medication), individual and group counseling, neurobehavioral services, and family therapy necessary to treat the child. The service provides active treatment or training beginning at admission related to the resident's principle diagnosis and admitting symptoms. These services do not include interventions and activities designed only to meet the supportive nonmental health special needs including, but not limited to, personal care, habilitation, or academic educational needs of the resident.

"Respite care facility" means a facility that is specifically approved to provide short-term, periodic residential care to children accepted into its program in order to give the parents or legal guardians temporary relief from responsibility for their direct care.

"Rest day" means a period of not less than 24 consecutive hours during which a staff person has no responsibility to perform duties related to the facility.

"Restraint" means the use of a mechanical device, medication, physical intervention, or hands-on hold to prevent an individual from moving his body to engage in a behavior that places him or others at imminent risk. There are three kinds of restraints:

1. Mechanical restraint means the use of a mechanical device that cannot be removed by the individual to restrict the freedom of movement or functioning of a limb or a portion of an individual's body when that behavior places him or others at imminent risk.

2. Pharmacological restraint means the use of a medication that is administered involuntarily for the emergency control of an individual's behavior when that individual's behavior places him or others at imminent risk and the administered medication is not a standard treatment for the individual's medical or psychiatric condition.

3. Physical restraint, also referred to as manual hold, means the use of a physical intervention or hands-on hold to prevent an individual from moving his body when that individual's behavior places him or others at imminent risk.

"Routine admission" means the admittance of a child following evaluation of an application for admission and execution of a written placement agreement.

"Rules of conduct" means a listing of a facility's rules or regulations that is maintained to inform residents and others about behaviors that are not permitted and the consequences applied when the behaviors occur.

"Sanitizing agent" means any substance approved by the Environmental Protection Agency to destroy bacteria.

"Seclusion" means the involuntary placement of an individual alone in an area secured by a door that is locked or held shut by a staff person by physically blocking the door, or by any other physical or verbal means so that the individual cannot leave it.

"Self-admission" means the admittance of a child who seeks admission to a temporary care facility as permitted by Virginia statutory law without completing the requirements for "routine admission."

"Serious incident" means:

1. Any accident or injury requiring medical attention by a physician;

2. Any illness that requires hospitalization;

3. Any overnight absence from the facility without permission;

4. Any runaway; or

5. Any event that affects, or potentially may affect, the health, safety or welfare of any resident being served by the provider.

"Serious injury" means any injury resulting in bodily hurt, damage, harm, or loss that requires medical attention by a licensed physician.

"Service" or "services" means planned individualized interventions intended to reduce or ameliorate mental illness, mental retardation (intellectual disability), or substance abuse through care, treatment, training, habilitation, or other supports that are delivered by a provider to individuals with mental illness, mental retardation (intellectual disability), or substance abuse. Services include residential services, including those for persons with brain injury.

"Severe weather" means extreme environment or climate conditions that pose a threat to the health, safety, or welfare of residents.

"Social skills training" means activities aimed at developing and maintaining interpersonal skills.

"Strategies" means a series of steps and methods used to meet goals and objectives.

"Strip search" means a visual inspection of the body of a resident when that resident's outer clothing or total clothing is removed and an inspection of the removed clothing. Strip searches are conducted for the detection of contraband.

"Structured program of care" means a comprehensive planned daily routine including appropriate supervision that meets the needs of each resident both individually and as a group.

"Student/intern" means an individual who simultaneously is affiliated with an educational institution and a residential facility. Every student/intern who is not an employee is either a volunteer or contractual service provider depending upon the relationship among the student/intern, educational institution, and facility.

"Substantial compliance" means that while there may be noncompliance with one or more regulations that represents minimal risk, compliance clearly and obviously exists with most of the regulations as a whole.

"Systemic deficiency" means violations documented by the department that demonstrate defects in the overall operation of the facility or one or more of its components.

"Target population" means individuals with a similar, specified characteristic or disability.

"Temporary contract worker" means an individual who is not a direct salaried employee of the provider but is employed by a third party and is not a consistently scheduled staff member.

"Therapy" means provision of direct diagnostic, preventive, and treatment services where functioning is threatened or affected by social and psychological stress or health impairment.

"Time out" means the involuntary removal of a resident by a staff person from a source of reinforcement to a different open location for a specified period of time or until the problem behavior has subsided to discontinue or reduce the frequency of problematic behavior.

"Treatment" means individually planned, sound, and therapeutic interventions that are intended to improve or maintain functioning of an individual receiving services in those areas that show impairment as the result of mental disability, substance addiction, or physical impairment. In order to be considered sound and therapeutic, the treatment must conform to current acceptable professional practice.

"Variance" means temporary or permanent waiver of compliance with a regulation or portion of a regulation, or permission to meet the intent of the regulation by a method other than that specified in the regulation, when the department, in its sole discretion, determines (i) enforcement will create an undue hardship and (ii) resident care will not be adversely affected.

"Volunteers" means any individual or group who of their own free will, and without any financial gain, provides goods and services to the program without compensation.

Statutory Authority

§§ 37.2-408 and 37.2-203 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 21, eff. August 6, 2009.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

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