Administrative Code

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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

22VAC40-211-40. Mutual Family Assessment Requirements.

A. An applicant shall complete and submit an application in accordance with department requirements and on department-approved forms or other forms that address all of the department's requirements.

B. Upon submission of a completed provider application, the local department is responsible for ensuring the initiation of the approval process. If at any point in the approval process the local department determines the home may not be approved, the application may be denied, and the process ended.

C. Local departments shall conduct a minimum of three face-to-face interviews on three separate days with each applicant, at least one interview shall be in the applicant's home. If there are two individuals listed as applicants, at least one interview must be with both individuals. At least one interview shall be with all individuals who reside in the home.

D. The local department shall obtain at least three references from persons who have knowledge of each applicant's character and applicable experience with children and caretaking of others. At least one reference per applicant shall be from a nonrelative.

E. Local departments shall ask if an applicant previously applied to, or was approved by, another local department or licensed child-placing agency. The local department shall have the applicant sign a request to release information from the other agency in order to obtain information about previous applications and performance and shall use that information in considering approval of the applicant.

F. As part of the approval process, the local department shall conduct a mutual family assessment (MFA). The MFA shall be completed on the approved MFA template and address all elements required by this standard and be documented by a combination of narrative and other data collection formats, and shall be signed and dated by the individual completing the MFA and the director of the local department or his designee. The information contained in the MFA shall include:

1. Demographic information including:

a. Age of applicant;

b. Marital status and history including verifications; and

c. Family composition and history.

2. Financial information (not required for applicants to be only respite providers) including:

a. Employment information on applicant;

b. Assets and resources of applicant; and

c. Debts and obligations of applicant.

3. List of individuals involved in completing the MFA process and their roles.

4. Narrative documentation shall include information from the interviews, references, observations and other available information and shall be used to assess and document that the applicant:

a. Is knowledgeable about the necessary care for children and physically and mentally capable of providing the necessary care for children;

b. Is able to articulate a reasonable process for managing emergencies and ensuring the adequate care, safety, and protection of children;

c. Expresses attitudes that demonstrate the capacity to love and nurture a child born to someone else;

d. Expresses appropriate motivation to foster and adopt;

e. Shows stability in all household relationships;

f. Has the financial resources to provide for current and ongoing household needs; and

g. Has complied with 22VAC40-211-70.

G. The individual completing the MFA for the local department shall have met the training requirements. The local department worker shall have knowledge related to foster care and adoption policy and the skills and standards for developing the MFA and approving a foster or adoptive home.

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 25, Issue 24, eff. September 2, 2009; amended, Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 05, eff. December 1, 2018; Volume 36, Issue 07, eff. December 26, 2019.

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