Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 22. Social Services
Agency 40. Department of Social Services
Chapter 131. Standards for Licensed Child-Placing Agencies
4/7/2020

22VAC40-131-330. Visitation and Continuing Contact with Children.

A. In accordance with instructions from the court and placing agency, the licensee shall arrange for and encourage contact and visitation between the foster child, his family, and others specified in the child's individualized service plan and, as applicable, the child's treatment plan.

B. The licensee shall develop and implement a plan to address visitation or communication between siblings when siblings entrusted to the care of the licensee are placed in separate foster homes. The plan shall:

1. Address the wishes of the child;

2. Specify the frequency of visits or communication;

3. Identify the party responsible for encouraging visits or communication; and

4. Specify any other requirement or restriction the licensee will impose for visits or communication, including restrictions necessary to ensure that the child's best interests are represented.

C. For individuals who are 18 years of age and older and still receiving foster care services, the licensee shall make monthly contact with the individual and make at least one face-to-face contact every 90 days.

D. The licensee shall be responsible for ensuring that required contacts have been made with children whom the licensee has placed outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Any documentation provided regarding monitoring visits made by an out-of-state child placing agency shall be maintained in the child's file.

E. The licensee shall have at least one face-to-face contact with the foster child every 30 days.

F. The licensee shall have at least one face-to-face contact with the child in the placement setting every 60 days.

G. The licensee shall contact the child placed in treatment foster care as follows:

1. A face-to-face contact with the child no less than twice each month. There shall be at least seven days between face-to-face contacts unless contraindicated by the child's service or treatment plan;

2. The frequency for determining additional contacts with the child shall be based on his treatment and service plan and occur as often as necessary to ensure the child is receiving safe and effective services;

3. At least one of the face-to-face contacts made during a calendar month shall take place in the foster home to assess the relationship between the child and the foster parents and the contact shall include the child and at least one treatment foster parent;

4. The contacts shall assess the child's progress, provide training and guidance to the foster parents, monitor service delivery, and allow the child to communicate concerns; and

5. Children who are capable of participating in an interview shall be interviewed privately at least one time each month.

H. Unless specifically prohibited by a court of competent jurisdiction or the agency holding legal custody of the child, the licensee shall:

1. Allow the child to have regular contact with his family as specified in the child's treatment and service plan;

2. Work to support and enhance child-family relationships; and

3. Work directly with families toward reunification as specified in the child's treatment and service plan.

I. The licensee shall ensure that each child is provided treatment, services, and care in a nurturing home setting with attention given to health, safety, and welfare of the child.

J. The licensee shall document a written description of each contact made with the child and the documentation shall be signed by the staff person who made the contact, dated, and maintained in the child's file.

K. If the licensee determines a move from one foster home to another is warranted, the licensee shall:

1. Consult with the placing agency and, if applicable, the child's legal guardian prior to the child's move, unless the move is due to an emergency situation or issues pertaining to child abuse or neglect; and

2. Ensure that the move is in the best interests of the child.

L. If the licensee is unable to consult with the placing agency prior to the child's move from one foster home to another, the licensee shall document all attempts made to make the required contact. The licensee shall ensure that contact is made as soon as possible and no later than 72 hours following the move when the move took place on a weekend or holiday.

Statutory Authority

§§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-1734 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. May 1, 2012.

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