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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

22VAC40-131-440. Youth placed in independent living arrangements.

A. The licensee shall meet all requirements and follow procedures as set forth in this chapter and in the Code of Virginia related to the placement of children, including all applicable interstate compacts.

B. The licensee shall develop and implement written policies and procedures that address the independent living arrangement program to include a description of:

1. Criteria for evaluating potential independent living arrangement settings and on-going evaluation of approved settings;

2. Protocols for approving an independent living arrangement setting and identifying the types of settings the licensee will approve;

3. Criteria for admission;

4. Procedures for intake and admission;

5. Criteria for successful discharge from the program including procedures to ensure the youth will be discharged to his legal guardian if he is under 18 years of age at the time of discharge;

6. Conditions under which a youth may be discharged before completing the program, including criteria and protocols for implementing emergency discharge of the youth from the independent living arrangement program;

7. Criteria and protocols to terminate approval as necessary in an independent living arrangement setting;

8. The licensee's detailed plan for determining and maintaining the supervision and visitation plan for youths placed in independent living arrangement settings;

9. Types of services the licensee will provide and secure to meet the needs of the youth during his placement;

10. The licensee's role in:

a. Ensuring that each youth is enrolled in educational, vocational education and training, or career and technical education services appropriate to meet his needs;

b. Monitoring each youth's educational progress as often as necessary;

c. Assisting the youth in obtaining routine and emergency medical and dental care;

d. Evaluating the youth's need for financial assistance, initially during intake then one time monthly and as needed by the youth;

e. Providing the resources to meet the youth's basic needs for shelter, food, and clothing;

f. Providing assistance to the youth in locating, securing, and maintaining employment;

g. Providing life skill training to meet the needs of the youth; and

h. Providing or securing a crisis response system accessible to the youth 24 hours a day and providing training to the youth on accessing and using of the system; and

11. Orientation and training provided for each youth admitted to the independent living arrangement program. The procedures shall define the licensee's program to teach the youth to:

a. Identify potential hazards in his living, school, work, and play communities; and

b. Develop and implement an emergency preparedness and response plan that promotes safety in his environments.

C. Prior to accepting a youth for an independent living arrangement and prior to making an arrangement for the youth, the licensee shall meet face to face with the youth at least one time and as often as necessary to evaluate the youth's readiness for such an arrangement. Elements to be considered in the evaluation shall include:

1. Age of the youth;

2. Youth's readiness for placement in an independent living arrangement setting without daily substitute parental supervision;

3. Youth's demonstration of maturity and emotional stability in his current placement or living environment to include that he:

a. Consistently maintains behavioral stability conforming to acceptable societal norms and he does not demonstrate behaviors dangerous to himself or other persons;

b. Is not involved in high risk behaviors such as delinquent or criminal activities or substance use and abuse;

c. Has participated in designing service plan goals and objectives; and

d. Has participated in meeting service plan goals and objectives including those for transition and self-sufficiency;

4. Results of the life skills assessment completed within the last 90 days and whether those results indicate the youth would benefit from placement in an independent living arrangement setting;

5. The youth's current enrollment or immediate plans to enroll in an educational or career or technical educational program; and

6. The youth's current employment situation.

D. At the time of admission, the licensee shall provide to each youth and, as applicable, his guardian, an orientation to the independent living arrangement program. The orientation shall address the following:

1. Goals and objectives of the independent living arrangement;

2. Information about the programs and services provided by the licensee or through the independent living arrangement program;

3. Responsibilities and expectations of all parties designated in the agreement between the youth and the child-placing agency;

4. Emergency preparedness as required by subdivision B 11 a and b of this section;

5. Transition planning;

6. Elements for successful discharge;

7. Reasons early discharge may occur; and

8. Tour of the independent living arrangement setting selected for the youth if the environment is selected at the time of admission. If selected after admission, a tour shall be provided prior to placement of the youth.

E. At the time of admission to the independent living arrangement, the licensee shall discuss the elements of the written agreement for participation in the arrangement with the youth, his guardian, and as appropriate, his family. The written agreement shall contain the following:

1. Purpose of his independent living arrangement, with timeframe for completing the program;

2. A list and description of the licensee's activities to support achievement of the identified purpose of the independent living arrangement;

3. A description of the frequency of supervision provided by the licensee, including the conditions under which responsibility for supervision will be retained by the licensee and the youth's responsibility to accept the level of supervision provided;

4. A list and description of the youth's activities to attain achievement of the identified purpose of the independent living arrangement;

5. Responsibility for financial payments, including method of payment, frequency of payment, and amount of payment;

6. Information pertaining to the physical setting arrangements and requirements that all arrangements must be approved by the licensee unless those arrangements are exempt from licensee approval;

7. Information pertaining to the youth's responsibility to inform the licensee within a specified time frame, but no later than 72 hours, of any major changes in his situation and serious injuries, illness, or need for surgery;

8. A plan to seek emergency assistance from medical professionals and emergency responders; and

9. Conditions under which the youth may be discharged from the program prior to completion of the program.

F. The written participation agreement shall be signed by a representative of the licensee, the youth, and, as appropriate, the legal guardian. The signed agreement shall be maintained in the youth's file and a copy of the agreement provided to the youth, and, as appropriate, to his legal guardian.

G. Prior to making a placement in or arranging for the placement of a youth in an independent living arrangement, the licensee shall determine the suitability of the setting for use as an independent living arrangement by:

1. Conducting an onsite visit of the independent living setting to determine if the setting meets the requirements necessary to protect the interests of each youth; and

2. Determining whether community resources are available and accessible to meet the specified needs of the youth and to assist him in his efforts to achieve self-sufficiency.

H. Within 30 days of the date of admission to the independent living arrangement program, the licensee shall develop an individual service plan for each youth.

I. The individualized service plan for each youth shall describe in measurable terms the:

1. Strengths and needs of the youth identified in the completed life skill assessment;

2. Goals, objectives, and strategies identified by the youth, his guardian, and, if applicable, his parents;

3. Projected involvement of the youth, his guardian, and, if applicable, his parents;

4. Dates of planned accomplishment for each objective;

5. Target date for discharge; and

6. Involvement of the youth, his guardian, and, if applicable, his parents in discharge planning.

J. The individualized service plan shall address:

1. Counseling needs;

2. Education needs;

3. Employment needs;

4. Money management skills development;

5. Specific independent living services to be provided to the youth to assist him in meeting his needs and accomplishing his goals;

6. Social and interpersonal skill development; and

7. A plan for transition from foster care to independent living that includes:

a. A description of the specific life skills to be achieved by the youth, the youth's responsibilities, time frames for achievement of each identified life skill, and a description of the parents' or guardians' responsibilities in assisting the youth, if appropriate, in achieving the identified life skills. If the parents or guardians will not have responsibilities to assist the youth, the reasons shall be stated in the plan;

b. A description of the services and training offered by the licensee to help the youth achieve the identified life skills and a statement of the type and frequency of supervision provided by the licensee; and

c. A description of results of the assessment conducted on the youth's physical and mental health, including medical or dental care received by the youth.

K. The licensee shall conduct a review of each individualized service plan and the progress of each youth toward meeting the goals and objectives of the plan. The review shall take place within 90 days of the admission date and within each 90-day period thereafter and the plan shall be revised and updated as necessary.

L. The child-placing agency shall maintain a written report of each 90-day review that addresses:

1. Youth's progress in the living arrangement and toward meeting the goals and objectives established in his individualized service plan;

2. Involvement of the youth's parents or guardian in assisting him to meet his goals and objectives;

3. Continuing needs of the youth;

4. Youth's progress toward meeting his transition plan;

5. The beginning and ending dates of the review period; and

6. Youth's anticipated discharge date.

M. After placement, the licensee shall maintain supervision over the independent living arrangement by:

1. Conducting a face-to-face visit with the youth at least one time each month and as often as necessary to protect his interests; or

2. Conducting a face-to-face visit with the youth at least one time every 90 days and as often as necessary to protect his interests when the youth resides in a dormitory setting approved by a college or other educational or vocational provider; and

3. Ensuring that over 50% of these face-to-face visits occur in the youth's place of residence within a calendar year.

N. Except housing approved by a college or other educational or vocational providers, the child-placing agency shall visit the independent living arrangement setting annually for the purpose of determining whether the setting should remain an approved setting for the youth. Documentation of the results of the visit and decision regarding approval shall be maintained in the file of the youth.

O. The licensee shall have an appointed case worker on call and available as necessary to make face-to-face contact with the youth and provide services to the youth 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

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

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