Administrative Code

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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

12VAC35-46-1140. Campsite programs or adventure activities.

A. All wilderness campsite programs and providers that take residents on wilderness/adventure activities shall develop and implement policies and procedures that include:

1. Staff training and experience requirements for each activity;

2. Resident training and experience requirements for each activity;

3. Specific staff-to-resident ratio and supervision plan appropriate for each activity; including sleeping arrangements and supervision during night time hours;

4. Plans to evaluate and document each participant's physical health throughout the activity;

5. Preparation and planning needed for each activity and time frames;

6. Arrangement, maintenance, and inspection of activity areas;

7. A plan to ensure that any equipment and gear that is to be used in connection with a specified wilderness/adventure activity is appropriate to the activity, certified if required, in good repair, in operable condition, and age and body size appropriate;

8. Plans to ensure that all ropes and paraphernalia used in connection with rope rock climbing, rappelling, high and low ropes courses, or other adventure activities in which ropes are used are approved annually by an appropriate certifying organization, and have been inspected by staff responsible for supervising the adventure activity before engaging residents in the activity;

9. Plans to ensure that all participants are appropriately equipped, clothed, and wearing safety gear, such as a helmet, goggles, safety belt, life jacket, or a flotation device, that is appropriate to the adventure activity in which the resident is engaged;

10. Plans for food and water supplies and management of these resources;

11. Plans for the safekeeping and distribution of medication;

12. Guidelines to ensure that participation is conducted within the boundaries of the resident's capabilities, dignity, and respect for self-determination;

13. Overall emergency, safety, and communication plans for each activity including rescue procedures, frequency of drills, resident accountability, prompt evacuation, and notification of outside emergency services; and

14. Review of trip plans by the trip coordinator.

B. All wilderness campsite programs and providers that take residents on wilderness/adventure activities must designate one staff person to be the trip coordinator who will be responsible for all facility wilderness or adventure trips.

1. This person shall have experience in and knowledge regarding wilderness activities and be trained in wilderness first aid. The individual shall also have at least one year experience at the facility and be familiar with the facility procedures, staff, and residents.

2. Documentation regarding this knowledge and experience shall be found in the individual's staff record.

3. The trip coordinator shall review all trip plans and procedures and shall ensure that staff and residents meet the requirements as outlined in the facility's policy regarding each wilderness/adventure activity to take place during the trip.

C. The trip coordinator shall conduct a posttrip debriefing within 72 hours of the group's return to base to evaluate individual and group goals as well as the trip as a whole.

D. The trip coordinator shall be responsible for writing a summary of the debriefing session and shall be responsible for ensuring that procedures and policies are updated to reflect improvements needed.

E. A trip folder shall be developed for each wilderness/adventure activity conducted away from the facility and shall include:

1. Medical release forms including pertinent medical information on the trip participants;

2. Phone numbers for administrative staff and emergency personnel;

3. Daily trip logs;

4. Incident reports;

5. Swimming proficiency list if trip is near water;

6. Daily logs;

7. Maps of area covered by the trip; and

8. Daily plans.

F. Initial physical forms used by wilderness campsite programs and providers that take residents on wilderness or adventure activities shall include:

1. A statement notifying the doctor of the types of activities the resident will be participating in; and

2. A statement signed by the doctor stating the individual's health does not prevent him from participating in the described activities.

G. First aid kits used by wilderness campsite programs and providers that take residents on adventure activities shall be activity appropriate and shall be accessible at all times.

H. Direct care workers hired by wilderness campsite programs and providers that take residents on wilderness/adventure activities shall be trained in a wilderness first aid course.

I. The provider shall ensure that before engaging in any aquatic activity, each resident shall be classified by the trip coordinator or designee according to swimming ability in one of two classifications: swimmer and nonswimmer. This shall be documented in the resident's record and in the trip folder.

J. The provider shall ensure that lifesaving equipment is provided for all aquatic activities and is placed so that it is immediately available in case of an emergency. At a minimum, the equipment shall include:

1. A whistle or other audible signal device; and

2. A lifesaving throwing device.

K. A separate bed, bunk, or cot shall be made available for each person.

L. A mattress cover shall be provided for each mattress.

M. Sleeping areas shall be protected by screening or other means to prevent admittance of flies and mosquitoes.

N. Bedding shall be clean, dry, sanitary, and in good repair.

O. Bedding shall be adequate to ensure protection and comfort in cold weather.

P. Sleeping bags, if used, shall be fiberfill and rated for 0°F.

Q. Linens shall be changed as often as required for cleanliness and sanitation but not less frequently than once a week.

R. Each resident shall be provided with an adequate supply of clean clothing that is suitable for outdoor living and is appropriate to the geographic location and season.

S. Sturdy, water-resistant, outdoor footwear shall be provided for each resident.

T. Each resident shall have adequate personal storage area.

U. Fire extinguishers of a 2A 10BC rating shall be maintained so that it is never necessary to travel more than 75 feet to a fire extinguisher from combustion-type heating devices, campfires, or other source of combustion.

V. Artificial lighting shall be provided in a safe manner.

W. All areas of the campsite shall be lighted for safety when occupied by residents.

X. Staff of the same sex may share a sleeping area with the residents.

Y. A telephone or other means of communication is required at each area where residents sleep or participate in programs.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

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

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