Administrative Code

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 22. Social Services
Agency 40. Department of Social Services
Chapter 705. Child Protective Services
6/25/2022

22VAC40-705-10. Definitions.

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

"Abuser or neglector" means any person who is found to have committed the abuse or neglect of a child pursuant to Chapter 15 (§ 63.2-1500 et seq.) of Title 63.2 of the Code of Virginia.

"Administrative appeal rights" means the child protective services appeals procedures for a local level informal conference and a state level hearing pursuant to § 63.2-1526 of the Code of Virginia, under which an individual who is found to have committed abuse or neglect may request that the local department's determination or records be amended.

"Alternative treatment options" means treatments used to prevent or treat illnesses or promote health and well-being outside the realm of modern conventional medicine.

"Appellant" means (i) anyone who has been found to be an abuser or neglector and appeals the founded disposition to the director of the local department of social services or to an administrative hearing officer and (ii) anyone who has been found to be an abuser or neglector and seeks judicial review of a decision by an administrative hearing officer.

"Assessment" means the process by which child protective services workers determine a child's and family's needs.

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

"Case record" means a collection of information maintained by a local department, including written material, letters, documents, audio or video recordings, photographs, film, or other materials, regardless of physical form, about a specific child protective services investigation, family, or individual.

"Central Registry" means a subset of the child abuse and neglect information system and is the name index with identifying information of individuals 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 abuse and neglect information system" means the statewide computer system that collects and maintains information gathered by local departments 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 administrative 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 required by federal law.

"Child protective services" means the identification, receipt, and immediate response to complaints and reports of alleged child abuse or neglect for children younger than 18 years of age. It also includes assessment, and arranging for and providing necessary protective and rehabilitative services for a child and the child's family when the child has been found to have been abused or neglected or is at risk of being abused or neglected.

"Child protective services worker" means an individual who is qualified by virtue of education, training, and supervision and is employed by the local department to respond to child protective services complaints and reports of alleged child abuse or neglect.

"Chronically and irreversibly comatose" means a condition caused by injury, disease, or illness in which a patient has suffered a loss of consciousness with no behavioral evidence of self-awareness or awareness of surroundings in a learned manner other than reflexive activity of muscles and nerves for low-level conditioned response and from which to a reasonable degree of medical probability there can be no recovery.

"Collateral" means a person whose personal or professional knowledge may help confirm or rebut the allegations of child abuse or neglect or whose involvement may help ensure the safety of the child.

"Complaint" means any information or allegation that a child is an abused or neglected child as defined in § 63.2-100 of the Code of Virginia made orally or in writing .

"Consultation" means the process by which the alleged abuser or neglector may request an informal meeting to discuss the investigative findings with the local department prior to the local department rendering a founded disposition of abuse or neglect against that person pursuant to § 63.2-1526 A of the Code of Virginia.

"Controlled substance" means a drug, substance, or marijuana as defined in § 18.2-247 of the Code of Virginia including those terms as they are used or defined in the Drug Control Act, Chapter 34 (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia. The term does not include alcoholic beverages or tobacco as those terms are defined or used in Title 3.2 or Title 4.1 of the Code of Virginia.

"Department" means the Virginia Department of Social Services.

"Differential response system" means the system by which local departments may respond to valid reports or complaints of child abuse or neglect by conducting either a family assessment or an investigation.

"Disposition" means the determination of whether or not child abuse or neglect occurred and that identifies the individual responsible for the abuse or neglect of the child.

"Documentation" means information and materials, written or otherwise, concerning allegations, facts, and evidence.

"Family Advocacy Program representative" means the individual employed by the United States Armed Forces who has responsibility for the program designed to address prevention, identification, evaluation, treatment, rehabilitation, follow-up, and reporting of family violence, pursuant to 22VAC40-705-50 and 22VAC40-705-140.

"Family assessment" means the collection of information necessary to determine:

1. The immediate safety needs of the child;

2. The protective and rehabilitative services needs of the child and family that will deter abuse or neglect;

3. Risk of future harm to the child; and

4. Alternative plans for the child's safety if protective and rehabilitative services are indicated and the family is unable or unwilling to participate in services. These arrangements may be made in consultation with the caretaker of the child.

"First source" means any direct evidence establishing or helping to establish the existence or nonexistence of a fact. Indirect evidence and anonymous complaints do not constitute first source evidence.

"Founded" means that a review of the facts gathered as a result of an investigation shows by a preponderance of the evidence that child abuse or neglect has occurred. A determination that a case is founded shall be based primarily on first source evidence; in no instance shall a determination that a case is founded be based solely on indirect evidence or an anonymous complaint.

"Human trafficking assessment" means the collection of information necessary to determine:

1. The immediate safety needs of the child;

2. The protective and rehabilitative services needs of the child and the child's family that will deter abuse and neglect; and

3. Risk of future harm to the child.

"Identifying information" means name, social security number, address, race, sex, and date of birth.

"Indirect evidence" means any statement made outside the presence of the child protective services worker and relayed to the child protective services worker as proof of the contents of the statement.

"Informed opinion" means that the child has been informed and understands the benefits and risks, to the extent known, of the treatment recommended by conventional medical providers for the child's condition and the alternative treatment being considered as well as the basis of efficacy for each, or lack thereof.

"Investigation" means the collection of information to determine:

1. The immediate safety needs of the child;

2. The protective and rehabilitative services needs of the child and family that will deter abuse or neglect;

3. Risk of future harm to the child;

4. Alternative plans for the child's safety if protective and rehabilitative services are indicated and the family is unable or unwilling to participate in services;

5. Whether or not abuse or neglect has occurred;

6. If abuse or neglect has occurred, who abused or neglected the child; and

7. A finding of either founded or unfounded based on the facts collected during the investigation.

"Investigative narrative" means the written account of the investigation contained in the child protective services case record.

"Legitimate interest" means a lawful, demonstrated privilege to access the information as defined in § 63.2-105 of the Code of Virginia.

"Life-threatening condition" means a condition that if left untreated more likely than not will result in death and for which the recommended medical treatments carry a probable chance of impairing the health of the individual or a risk of terminating the life of the individual.

"Local department" means the city or county local agency of social services or department of public welfare in the Commonwealth of Virginia responsible for conducting investigations or family assessments of child abuse or neglect complaints or reports pursuant to § 63.2-1503 of the Code of Virginia.

"Local department of jurisdiction" means the local department in the city or county in Virginia where the alleged victim child resides or in which the alleged abuse or neglect is believed to have occurred. If neither of these is known, then the local department of jurisdiction shall be the local department in the county or city where the abuse or neglect was discovered.

"Mandated reporters" means those persons who are required to report suspicions of child abuse or neglect pursuant to § 63.2-1509 of the Code of Virginia.

"Monitoring" means ongoing contacts with the child, family, and collaterals that provide information about the child's safety and the family's compliance with the service plan.

"Multidisciplinary teams" means any organized group of individuals representing, but not limited to, medical, mental health, social work, education, legal, and law enforcement which will assist local departments in the protection and prevention of child abuse and neglect established pursuant to § 63.2-1503 K of the Code of Virginia. Citizen representatives may also be included.

"Near fatality" means an act that, as certified by a physician, places the child in serious or critical condition. Serious or critical condition is a life-threatening condition or injury.

"Notification" means informing designated and appropriate individuals of the local department's actions and the individual's rights.

"Particular medical treatment" means a process or procedure that is recommended by conventional medical providers and accepted by the conventional medical community.

"Plan of safe care" means a guide developed by service providers with their clients to ensure mothers and other caretakers of a substance-exposed infant have the necessary resources to safely care for the infant. The plan should address the needs of the child, mother, and other caretakers, as appropriate.

"Preponderance of evidence" means just enough evidence to make it more likely than not that the asserted facts are true. "Preponderance of evidence" is evidence that is of greater weight or more convincing than the evidence offered in opposition.

"Purge" means to delete or destroy any reference data and materials specific to subject identification contained in records maintained by the department and the local department pursuant to §§ 63.2-1513 and 63.2-1514 of the Code of Virginia.

"Reasonable diligence" means the exercise of persistent effort that is justifiable and appropriate under the circumstances.

"Report" means (i) a complaint as defined in this section or (ii) an official document on which information is given concerning abuse or neglect.

"Response time" means the time for the local department to initiate an investigation or family assessment after receiving a valid report of suspected child abuse or neglect based upon the facts and circumstances presented at the time the complaint or report is received.

"Safety plan" means an immediate course of action designed to protect a child from abuse or neglect.

"Service plan" means a plan of action to address the service needs of a child or the child's family in order to protect a child and the child's siblings to prevent future abuse and neglect and to preserve the family life of the parents and children whenever possible.

"Sex trafficking" means the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act as defined in § 18.2-357.1 of the Code of Virginia.

"State automated system" means the "child abuse and neglect information system" as previously defined.

"Sufficiently mature" is determined on a case-by-case basis and means that a child has no impairment of his cognitive ability and is of a maturity level capable of having intelligent views on the subject of his health condition and medical care.

"Terminal condition" means a condition caused by injury, disease, or illness from which to a reasonable degree of medical probability a patient cannot recover and (i) the patient's death is imminent or (ii) the patient is chronically and irreversibly comatose.

"Unfounded" means that a review of the facts does not show by a preponderance of the evidence that child abuse or neglect occurred.

"Valid report or complaint" means a report or complaint of suspected child abuse or neglect for which the local department must conduct an investigation or family assessment because the following elements are present:

1. The alleged victim child is younger than 18 years of age at the time of the complaint or report;

2. The alleged abuser is the alleged victim child's parent or other caretaker;

3. The local department receiving the complaint or report is a local department of jurisdiction; and

4. The circumstances described allege suspected child abuse or neglect.

"Withholding of medically indicated treatment" means the failure to respond to the infant's life-threatening condition by providing treatment (including appropriate nutrition, hydration, and medication) that in the treating physician's reasonable medical judgment will most likely be effective in ameliorating or correcting all such conditions.

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 25, eff. January 1, 1998; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 12, eff. March 29, 2000; Volume 19, Issue 6, eff. January 1, 2003; Volume 25, Issue 11, eff. March 4, 2009; Volume 33, Issue 19, eff. July 1, 2017; Volume 37, Issue 17, eff. May 12, 2021.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.