Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health

12VAC35. Department of Behavioral Health And Developmental Services




The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) is authorized by Chapters 3 (§ 37.2-300 et seq.) and 7 (§ 37.2-700 et seq.) of Title 37.2 of the Code of Virginia to operate DBHDS hospitals, training centers, and other facilities (state facilities) for the evaluation, treatment, training, or habilitation of individuals with mental health or substance use disorders or developmental disability (a mental or physical impairment, or a combination of mental and physical impairments, other than a sole diagnosis of mental illness). See § 37.2-100.

The State Board of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (state board) is a policy making body authorized to promulgate public policies or regulations for the department, state facilities, and community services boards (CSBs) and behavioral health authorities (BHAs). The nine citizen members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the General Assembly. The state b appoints the State Human Rights Committee to address alleged violations of human rights of individuals receiving services. See Chapter 2 (§ 37.2-200 et seq.)

The department is authorized by Chapters 5 (§ 37.2-500 et seq.) and 6 (§ 37.2-601 et seq.) of Title 37.2 of the Code of Virginia to fund and contract with CSBs and BHAs, respectively, for the purposes of establishing, maintaining, and promoting the development of behavioral health (mental illness and substance use disorders) and developmental prevention, early intervention, treatment, and habilitation services.

The state board is authorized by § 37.2-203 to adopt regulations that establish the qualifications, education, and experience of individuals as peer recovery specialists in accordance with regulations adopted by the state board. The department is responsible for the administration, planning, and regulation of substance abuse services in the Commonwealth and for reviewing and commenting on all applications for state or federal funds or services to be used in substance abuse programs. The department develops and acts as the sole state agency for planning, coordinating, and evaluating the comprehensive interagency state plan for substance abuse services. See §§ 37.2-30937.2-310, and 37.2-311of Title 37.2 of the Code of Virginia. The department is required by § 37.2-312 of the Code of Virginia to provide for the education and training of school-age individuals in state facilities, and it is required by § 37.2-314 of Title 37.2 to conduct background checks on individuals it hires in state facilities.

The department is required by § 37.2-315 of the Code of Virginia to develop and update biennially, in consultation with CSBs, BHAs, state facilities, individuals receiving services, their families, advocacy organizations, and other interested parties, a six-year comprehensive state plan that identifies the needs and resources for behavioral health and developmental services and supports. The plan shall be used in the development of the department's biennial budget submission to the Governor.

The department is responsible for implementing the human rights regulations adopted by the state board, pursuant to §37.2-400 of the Code of Virginia, that assure the rights of individuals in hospitals, training centers, other facilities, and programs operated, funded, or licensed by it, and the department receives nonprivileged information and statistical data related to these regulations from public and private facilities and programs licensed or funded by it. Section 37.2-402 of the Code of Virginia requires the state board to adopt regulations to implement the provisions of Chapter 5.1 (§ 32.1-162.16 et seq.) of Title 32.1 for human research conducted or authorized by the department, any CSB or BHA, or any other facility or program operated, funded, or licensed by the department.

The department, subject to regulations adopted by the state board, is authorized to license public and private providers of services that provide treatment, training, support, and habilitation to individuals who have mental illness, substance use disorders, or developmental disabilities; to individuals receiving services under the Medicaid Developmental Disabilities (DD) Waiver; or, to individuals with brain injury receiving services in residential facilities. The commissioner of the department is authorized to impose sanctions on licensees and to summarily suspend licenses in certain circumstances. The state board is required to adopt regulations governing advertising practices of any licensed provider and may adopt regulations specifying the maximum number of individuals to be served in any intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disability. The state board shall adopt regulations to allow the department to assist and cooperate with other state departments in fulfilling their respective licensing and certification responsibilities. See Article 2 (§ 37.2-403 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 37.2 of the Code of Virginia.

The commissioner or the department is authorized by Article 1 (§ 37.2-700 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 37.2 of the Code of Virginia to carry out responsibilities and functions related to the operation of state facilities, including establishing and operating geriatric units and hospitals for older adults; establishing and maintaining efficient, uniform recordkeeping systems; receiving and expending social security and other federal payments for individuals in state facilities; receiving private funds for individuals in state facilities; and exchanging information about individuals in state facilities with CSBs and BHAs. The department is authorized by Article 2 of Chapter 7 of Title 37.2 (§ 37.2-715 et seq.) to collect expenses for their care, treatment, training, and maintenance from individuals in state facilities, parties responsible for support of those individuals, or their estates and depositing any funds it collects in the special revenue fund.

The department is authorized by § 37.2-807 of the Code of Virginia to provide emergency admissions to or respite care in its training centers, pursuant to regulations adopted by the state board. It provides voluntary and involuntary treatment, training, or habilitation in its state facilities pursuant to Articles 2 (§ 37.2-805) and 5 (§ 37.2-814 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 37.2. Article 7 (§ 37.2-837 et seq.) of Chapter 8 authorizes the department to discharge and place individuals from state facilities in community settings, transfer individuals among its facilities and to other facilities, and provide medications to individuals discharged from state facilities.

The Governor has designated the department as the lead agency for early intervention services provided through Part C of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 USC § 1431 et seq.). The duties of the department include promulgating regulations and adopting policies and procedures to implement an early intervention services system and ensure consistent and equitable access to such services in consultation with participating agencies, contracting with local lead agencies for implementation of the early intervention services system statewide, providing technical assistance to local early intervention systems, and establishing an interagency system of monitoring and supervising the early intervention system. See Chapter 53 (§ 2.2-5300 et seq.) of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia.

The department, subject to regulations adopted by the state board, is authorized to certify recovery residences (§ 37.2-431.1.) that provide alcohol-free and illicit-drug-free housing to individuals with substance abuse disorders and individuals with co-occurring mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders that does not include clinical treatment services. The department is required to maintain a list of certified recovery residences on its web site. A certified recovery residence seeking to be included on the certification list shall provide evidence of accreditation or certification by, a charter from, or membership in a credentialing entity.

Finally, the department is authorized by Chapter 9 (§ 37.2-900 et seq.) of Title 37.2 of the Code of Virginia to operate a state facility for the rehabilitation of sexually violent predators.

The department operates under the supervision of the Secretary of Health and Human Resources. Regulations are available on Virginia's Town Hall or from the Office of Regulatory Affairs in the Division of Compliance, Legislative, and Regulatory Affairs (CLRA), Jefferson Building, 1220 Bank Street, P.O. Box 1797, Richmond, VA 23218-1797. Internet address:

Rev. 08/2019



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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