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

22VAC40-141-200. Home Safety.

A. The provider shall have a plan for seeking assistance from police, firefighters, poison control, and medical professionals in an emergency.

B. The telephone numbers for police, firefighters, poison control, and medical professionals shall be posted next to each telephone.

C. The home and grounds:

1. Shall be in good physical repair;

2. Shall be free of litter, debris, peeling or chipped paint, hazardous materials, and infestations of rodents and insects; and

3. Shall present no hazard to the health and safety of the children receiving care.

D. The provider shall:

1. Have a written, posted emergency evacuation plan; and

2. Rehearse the plan at least monthly.

E. Within the first 48 hours of a child's placement in the home, the provider shall review the plan with each child who is old enough to understand.

F. If the provider possesses firearms, ammunition, and other weapons, the provider shall keep the firearms unloaded and locked and other weapons locked.

G. Ammunition shall be locked in a separate location.

H. The provider shall keep cleaning supplies and other toxic substances:

1. Stored away from food; and

2. Locked or out of the reach of children under the age of 13.

I. When infants or children who are not developmentally ready to climb or descend stairs are in the home, the provider shall have protective barriers installed securely at each opening to stairways.

J. Swimming and wading pools shall be set up according to the manufacturer's instructions.

K. Outdoor swimming pools shall be enclosed by safety fences and gates with child-resistant locks.

L. Wading pools shall be:

1. Emptied and stored away when not in use; and

2. Filled with clean water before the next use.

M. Radiators, oil and wood burning stoves, floor furnaces, portable electric space heaters, fireplaces, and similar heating devices used in areas accessible to children under the age of 13 shall have protective barriers or screens.

N. All interior and exterior stairways with over three risers shall have hand rails at a height accessible to the children in the home.

O. Independent foster homes that provide care to preschool-age children or to developmentally delayed children of comparable maturity to a preschool child shall have protective, child-resistant covers over all electrical outlets.

P. The covers shall not be of a size to present a swallowing or choking hazard.

Q. The provider shall comply with the requirements for state regulated care facilities relating to smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.

R. Infants shall be placed to sleep on a firm, tight-fitting mattress in a crib that meets current safety standards.

S. To reduce the risk of suffocation, soft bedding of any kind shall not be used under or on top of the infant including, but not limited to, pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, or stuffed toys.

T. Infants shall be placed on their backs when sleeping or napping unless otherwise directed by the child's physician.

U. If an individual child's physician contraindicates placing the child in this position, the provider shall maintain a written statement, signed by the physician, in the child's record.

V. Bunk beds or double decker beds shall have safety rails or mechanisms in place to reduce the risk of falls.

1. Children under age 10 shall not use the upper levels of a double decker or bunk bed.

2. Children of any age who have motor or developmental delays shall not use the upper bunk.

W. Pets shall be immunized for rabies and shall be treated for fleas, ticks, worms or other diseases as needed.

X. Providers shall instruct children on safe and hygienic procedures to follow when handling, feeding or in close proximity to animals.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 15, Issue 10, eff. March 3, 1999; amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 06, eff. February 1, 2005; Volume 22, Issue 10, eff. February 22, 2006.

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