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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 22. Social Services
Agency 40. Department of Social Services
Chapter 211. Foster and Adoptive Home Approval Standards for Local Departments of Social Services

22VAC40-211-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Adoptive parent" means any provider selected and approved by a parent or a local department for the placement of a child with the intent of adoption.

"Adult" means any person 18 years of age or older.

"Applicant" means an individual or couple applying to be approved as a foster or adoptive home provider or to provide respite services.

"Background checks" means a sworn statement or affirmation disclosing whether the individual has a criminal conviction, is the subject of any pending charges within or outside the Commonwealth of Virginia, and is the subject of a founded complaint of abuse or neglect within or outside the Commonwealth; criminal history record information; child abuse and neglect central registry check; and any other requirement as set forth in § 63.2-901.1 of the Code of Virginia.

"Caretaker" means any individual having the responsibility of providing care for a child and includes the following: (i) parent or other person legally responsible for the child's care; (ii) an adult who by law, social custom, express or implied acquiescence, collective consensus, agreement, or any other legally recognizable basis has an obligation to look after the well-being of a child left in his care; and (iii) persons responsible by virtue of their positions of conferred authority.

"Central registry" means a subset of the child abuse and neglect information system and is the name index with identifying information on an individual named as an abuser or neglector in founded child abuse or neglect complaints or reports not currently under administrative appeal, maintained by the department.

"Child" means any natural person under 18 years of age.

"Child-placing agency" means any person who places children in foster or adoptive homes or independent living arrangements pursuant to § 63.2-1819 of the Code of Virginia or a local board of social services that places children in foster homes or adoptive homes pursuant to § 63.2-900, 63.2-903, or 63.2-1221 of the Code of Virginia. Officers, employees, or agents of the Commonwealth, or any locality acting within the scope of their authority as such, who serve as or maintain a child-placing agency, shall not be required to be licensed.

"Child abuse and neglect information system" means the computer system that collects and maintains information regarding incidents of child abuse and neglect involving parents or other caretakers. The computer system is composed of three parts: the statistical information system with nonidentifying information, the central registry of founded complaints not on appeal, and a database that can be accessed only by the department and local departments that contains all nonpurged child protective services reports. This system is the official state automated system.

"Commissioner" means the commissioner of the department, his designee, or authorized representative.

"Corporal punishment" means punishment administered through the intentional infliction of pain or discomfort to the body through actions such as, but not limited to, (i) striking, or hitting with any part of the body or with an implement; (ii) pinching, pulling, or shaking; or (iii) any similar action that normally inflicts pain or discomfort.

"Department" means the State Department of Social Services.

"Dually approved" means applicants have met the required standards to be approved as a foster and adoptive family home provider.

"Foster care placement" means placement of a child through (i) an agreement between the parents or guardians and the local board of social services where the legal custody remains with the parents or guardians or (ii) an entrustment or commitment of the child to the local board of social services or licensed child-placing agency.

"Foster parent" means an approved provider who gives 24-hour substitute family care, room and board, and services for children or youth committed or entrusted to a child-placing agency.

"In-service training" means the ongoing instruction received by providers after they complete their preservice training.

"Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children" means a uniform law that has been enacted by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands that establishes orderly procedures for the interstate placement of children and sets responsibility for those involved in placing those children.

"Kinship foster parent" means a relative or fictive kin who gives 24-hour substitute family care, room and board, and services for children or youth committed or entrusted to a child-placing agency.

"Local department" means the local department of social services of any county or city in the Commonwealth.

"Normalcy" means allowing children and youth in foster care to experience childhood and adolescence in ways similar to their peers who are not in foster care by empowering foster parents and congregate care staff to use the reasonable and prudent parent standard as referenced in 42 USC § 675(10)(A) when making decisions regarding extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities.

"Parent" means the birth or adoptive parent of a child.

"Preservice training" means the instruction received by providers during the initial approval process.

"Provider" means an approved foster, adoptive, or kinship foster parent, or an individual approved to provide respite services. Individuals who wish to provide only respite services must meet all standards in this chapter unless there is a noted exception for respite providers.

"Respite care" means the provision of the service of temporary care for children on an emergency or planned basis for the purposes of providing placement stability, supporting the achievement of timely permanency, and promoting connections to relatives. Respite care services shall not exceed 14 consecutive days.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 24, eff. September 2, 2009; amended, Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 5, eff. December 1, 2018; Volume 36, Issue 7, eff. December 26, 2019; Volume 37, Issue 2, eff. October 15, 2020.

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