Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 22. Social Services
Agency 40. Department of Social Services
Chapter 141. Licensing Standards for Independent Foster Homes

22VAC40-141-150. Discipline of children.

A. Discipline shall be constructive in nature and emphasize positive approaches to managing the child's behavior.

1. The provider shall establish rules and expectations that encourage and teach desired behaviors and discourage undesired behavior.

2. The provider shall explain the house rules and expectations and the behavior management approach to each child who is old enough to understand.

B. There shall be no physical punishment, rough play or severe disciplinary action administered to the body such as, but not limited to, spanking, striking or hitting with a part of the body or an implement, pinching, pulling or roughly handling a child, shaking a child, forcing a child to assume an uncomfortable position (e.g., standing on one foot, keeping arms raised above or horizontal to the body), restraining to restrict movement through binding or tying, enclosing in a confined space, or using exercise as punishment.

C. Physical restraint shall not be used on children in care. "Physical restraint" means restraining a child's body movements by means of "physical crisis intervention techniques" or a therapeutic intervention utilizing adult physical contact only, as a short-term, emergency means of managing out-of-control behavior. It is not intended to mean everyday, commonly-accepted parenting practices and interventions such as holding a child to prevent falling or crossing into the path of a moving vehicle, or holding a child's hand to prevent placing it on a hot stove, etc.

D. The provider shall not:

1. Make threats;

2. Make belittling remarks about any child, the child's family, the child's race, religion, or cultural background;

3. Use profanity; or

4. Make other statements that are frightening or humiliating to the child.

E. When separation or time-out is used as a discipline technique, it shall be brief and appropriate to the child's developmental level and circumstances.

F. The child who is separated from others shall be:

1. In a safe, lighted, and well-ventilated place;

2. Not confined or locked in a room or compartment; and

3. Within hearing and vision of the provider or assistant at all times if under the age of 13 or diagnosed with special needs.

G. Children age 13 and older shall be within hearing or vision of the provider or assistant at all times when separated from others for disciplinary reasons.

H. Children under the age of 13 or those with special needs shall not be placed in time-out for periods of time exceeding one minute for each year of age.

I. Time-out shall not be used for children under two years of age.

J. The provider shall not subject children to cruel, severe, humiliating, or unusual actions.

K. The provider shall not delegate discipline or permit punishment of a child by another child or by an adult not known to the child.

L. The provider shall not deny a child contact or visits with his family as a method of discipline.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 10, eff. March 3, 1999; amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 6, eff. February 1, 2005; Volume 22, Issue 10, eff. February 22, 2006.

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