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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 22. Social Services
Agency 40. Department of Social Services
Chapter 201. Permanency Services - Prevention, Foster Care, Adoption, and Independent Living
4/4/2020

22VAC40-201-70. Foster Care Goals.

A. Foster care goals are established to assure permanency is achieved for the child. Permissible foster care goals are:

1. Transfer custody of the child to his prior family;

2. Transfer custody of the child to a relative other than his prior family;

3. Finalize adoption of the child;

4. Place the child in permanent foster care;

5. Transition to independent living if the child is admitted to the United States as a refugee or asylee or is 18 years of age or older; or

6. Place the child in another planned permanent living arrangement in accordance with § 16.1-282.1 A2 of the Code of Virginia.

B. When the permanency goal is changed to adoption, the local department shall file petitions with the court 30 days prior to the hearing to:

1. Approve the foster care service plan seeking to change the permanency goal to adoption; and

2. Terminate parental rights.

Upon termination of parental rights, the local department shall provide an array of adoption services to support obtaining a finalized adoption.

C. The local department shall engage in concurrent permanency planning in order to achieve timely permanency for the child. Permanency goals shall be considered and addressed from the beginning of placement and continuously evaluated.

D. The goal of another planned permanent living arrangement may be chosen when the court has found that:

1. The child has a severe and chronic emotional, physical, or neurological disabling condition;

2. The child requires long-term residential care for the condition;

3. None of the alternatives listed in clauses (i) through (v) of § 16.1-282.1 A of the Code of Virginia is achievable for the child at the time placement in another planned permanent living arrangement is approved as the permanent goal for the child; and

4. The youth is 16 years of age or older.

E. The goal of permanent foster care may be chosen when the court has found that:

1. The child is placed in a foster home;

2. The child has developed a clearly established and documented significant relationship with a foster parent;

3. None of the alternatives listed in clauses (i) through (v) of § 16.1-282.1 A of the Code of Virginia is achievable for the child at the time placement in permanent foster care is approved as the permanent goal for the child; and

4. The youth is 16 years of age and older.

F. If either the goal of permanent foster care or another planned permanent living arrangement is selected, the local department shall continue to search for relatives and significant individuals as permanent families throughout the child's involvement with the child welfare system. The local department shall continuously evaluate the best interests of the child in light of the changing circumstances of the child and extended family to determine whether a change in goal to return home, placement with relatives, or adoption can achieve permanency.

G. The goal of independent living services shall only be selected for those children admitted to the United States as a refugee or asylee, those youth age 18 years leaving foster care and meeting the requirements to receive independent living services, or youth participating in the Fostering Futures program, as described in 22VAC40-201-105. For those youth with this goal, the service worker shall continue diligent efforts to search for a relative or other interested adult who will provide a permanent long-term family relationship for the youth.

Statutory Authority

§§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 29, Issue 02, eff. November 1, 2012; amended, Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 08, January 11, 2017; Volume 35, Issue 05, eff. December 1, 2018.

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