Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
3/5/2024

Part II. Organization and Administration

22VAC40-131-30. Sponsorship.

Each licensed child-placing agency shall have a clearly identified sponsor. The sponsor may be an individual, corporation, partnership, association, limited liability company, trust, business trust, or any other legal entity recognized by the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

1. An individual sponsoring a child-placing agency shall serve as the licensee and shall have the legal and operational responsibility for the child-placing agency. The individual shall have knowledge and experience in the programs and services the child-placing agency offers.

2. A partnership sponsoring a child-placing agency shall serve as the licensee for the child-placing agency. The partners shall have a written partnership statement of agreement clearly delineating the responsibilities of each partner in the operation and maintenance of the licensed child-placing agency. When a partner is responsible for any of the operational responsibilities, he shall have knowledge of and experience in the programs and services offered by the child-placing agency.

3. An association sponsoring a child-placing agency shall serve as the licensee for the child-placing agency. The association shall have a governing board that shall maintain the legal and operational responsibility for the licensed child-placing agency. The association shall have:

a. At least one member serving on the board who has knowledge of and experience in the programs and services offered by the licensed child-placing agency; and

b. A written constitution or bylaws that delineate responsibilities for the operation and maintenance of the licensed child-placing agency.

4. A corporation sponsoring a child-placing agency shall serve as the licensee for the child-placing agency. The corporation shall have a governing board that shall maintain the legal and operational responsibility for the licensed child-placing agency. The corporation shall have:

a. At least one member serving on the board who has knowledge of and experience in the programs and services offered by the licensed child-placing agency;

b. A certificate of incorporation issued by the Virginia State Corporation Commission or, for corporations formed under the laws of a jurisdiction other than Virginia, a certificate of authority to transact business in the Commonwealth; and

c. Articles of incorporation that specify that at least one purpose of the corporation is to operate a licensed child-placing agency.

5. A limited liability company sponsoring a child-placing agency shall serve as the licensee for the child-placing agency. The limited liability company shall have a list of the names and addresses of each member of the company. The members shall maintain the legal and operational responsibility for the licensed child-placing agency. The limited liability company shall have:

a. At least one member serving on the board who has knowledge of and experience in the programs and services offered by the child-placing agency;

b. A certificate of organization issued by the Virginia State Corporation Commission or, for limited liability companies formed under the laws of a jurisdiction other than Virginia, a certificate of registration to transact business in the Commonwealth; and

c. Articles of organization that specify that at least one purpose of the limited liability company is to operate a licensed child-placing agency.

6. A business trust sponsoring a child-placing agency shall serve as the licensee for the child-placing agency. The business trust shall have a list of the names and addresses of each trustee and beneficial owners of the trust. The trustee shall maintain the legal and operational responsibility for the licensed child-placing agency and the trustee must have knowledge and experience in the programs and services the child-placing agency offers. The business trust shall have articles of trust that specify at least one purpose of the trust is to operate a licensed child-placing agency.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. May 1, 2012.

22VAC40-131-40. Licensee.

A. The licensee shall ensure compliance with all regulations for licensed child-placing agencies and terms of the current license issued by the department; and with relevant federal, state, or local laws and relevant regulations.

B. The licensee shall comply with its own policies and procedures.

C. The licensee shall be of good character and reputation as defined in 22VAC40-80-10.

D. The licensee shall meet the requirements specified in 22VAC40-191, Background Checks for Child Welfare Agencies.

E. The licensee shall meet the requirements specified in 22VAC40-80, General Procedures and Information for Licensure.

F. The licensee shall maintain sufficient funds to ensure operation in compliance with this chapter.

G. The licensee shall ensure that the child-placing agency makes and maintains such records and other information as required by this chapter. The licensee shall submit, or make available for inspection to the department's representative, records, reports, and other information as necessary to assist the department in determining the licensee's compliance with this chapter and applicable law.

H. The licensee shall allow the department's representative to interview the licensee's employees and individuals under its custody, control, direction, or supervision.

I. The licensee shall at all times allow the department's representative reasonable opportunities to conduct announced and unannounced inspections of the licensee's approved homes.

J. The licensee shall:

1. Correct any areas of noncompliance found during inspections;

2. Take necessary actions to prevent reoccurrence of noncompliance; and

3. Make and implement necessary revisions to its policies and procedures.

K. The licensee shall not disseminate, or cause directly or indirectly to be disseminated, statements regarding services that are untrue, deceptive, or misleading.

L. The licensee shall ensure that information, brochures, and materials distributed or available to the public contain accurate and updated information.

M. The licensee shall maintain ultimate responsibility for the health, safety, and well-being of children under its custody, control, and direction and shall ensure that an on-call licensee representative is available 24 hours a day 7 days each week to receive contacts from foster parents, children, and other staff of placement settings in which children have been placed by the licensee. The licensee shall provide interventions and follow-up services, as necessary.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. May 1, 2012; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 21, eff. July 17, 2013.

22VAC40-131-50. Office settings and conditions.

A. The licensee shall maintain an office within the Commonwealth of Virginia from which the child-placing activities are conducted.

B. The licensee shall ensure that the office from where child-placing activities are conducted has equipment, supplies, and adequate space for:

1. The safekeeping of records;

2. Protection of confidential information;

3. Affording privacy during interviews and conferences; and

4. Allowing families and children the use of rooms for visitation.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. May 1, 2012.

22VAC40-131-60. Posting of the license.

The licensee shall post the most recently issued license to operate in each licensed Virginia office location where child-placing activities are performed, including branch office locations. The license shall be posted near the entrance of each office location.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. May 1, 2012.

22VAC40-131-70. Conflict of interest.

A. The governing board of the licensee shall not have a board member who is:

1. An applicant for adoption services; or

2. A recipient of adoption services until the final order of adoption is entered.

B. No biological parent of a child currently placed by the licensee shall serve as a member of the licensee's governing board.

C. No provider applicant shall serve as a member of the licensee's governing board.

D. A member of the licensee's governing board who is also a foster parent for the licensee shall not vote on issues related to foster care policy and procedure.

E. The licensee shall not provide foster care services to its child-placing agency staff members.

F. The licensee shall not accept an application for adoption from or provide adoption services to any of its staff or governing board members.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. May 1, 2012.

22VAC40-131-80. Licensed capacity and maximum caseload numbers.

A. The licensee shall include in the child-placing agency's caseload and capacity count all children to whom supervision is provided. The supervised children may be placed directly by the licensee or through arrangement or negotiation with another licensed child-placing agency in one of the following settings:

1. A resource home;

2. A foster home;

3. An adoptive home prior to the final order of adoption;

4. A treatment foster home;

5. A short-term foster home;

6. An independent living arrangement; or

7. A licensed children's residential facility.

B. The total approved caseload numbers served by the licensee at any given time shall not exceed the following:

1. Except for licensees that provide treatment foster care, the maximum caseload restrictions shall apply:

a. A full-time caseworker shall serve no more than 25 children at any one time.

b. Trainees:

(1) A beginning trainee shall serve no more than 10 children at any one time until such time that he has reached his first year anniversary with the licensee; and

(2) A one year experienced trainee shall serve no more than 15 children at any one time until such time that he has reached his second year anniversary with the licensee.

c. The caseload of a less than full-time caseworker shall be proportional to the time spent providing casework services to the licensee.

2. For treatment foster care, the total caseload shall be the sum of the following:

a. A full-time caseworker shall have a maximum caseload of 12 children. However, the caseload shall be adjusted downward if:

(1) The caseworker's job responsibilities exceed those listed in caseworker's job description; or

(2) The difficulty of the children served requires more intensive supervision and training of the treatment foster parents.

b. The caseload of a less than full-time caseworker shall be proportional to the time spent providing casework services to the licensee.

c. Trainees:

(1) A beginning trainee shall serve no more than six children at any one time until such time that he has reached his first year anniversary with the licensee.

(2) A one year experienced trainee shall serve no more than nine children at any one time until such time that he has reached his second year anniversary with the licensee.

3. Student interns: There shall be a maximum of three children in a caseload for a student intern, if any student intern works with the licensee.

C. For licensees that serve both foster care and treatment foster care populations, the licensee shall first consider caseload downward adjustment criteria as specified in subdivisions B 2 a (1) and (2) of this section, and if the criteria does not apply to the caseworker's caseload under consideration, then the licensee shall ensure that the caseworker serving the mixed populations provide services to a maximum of 15 total children, and no more than 10 of those 15 children are served in treatment foster care.

D. The licensee shall include the following children in the capacity count:

1. A child in the custody of the licensee;

2. A child for whom an interlocutory order has been entered and still awaits a final order of adoption to be entered; and

3. A child not in the licensee's custody whose placement is supervised by the licensee.

E. Caseloads shall be reviewed and updated, as appropriate, annually to reflect the time and work necessary to effectively manage each foster or treatment foster care case.

Statutory Authority

§§ 63.2-217, 63.2-1701, and 63.2-1734 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. May 1, 2012; Errata, 28:12 VA.R. 1037 February 13, 2012; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 2, eff. October 17, 2019.

22VAC40-131-90. Policy and procedures.

A. The licensee shall develop and implement written policy and procedures governing the plans for active and closed cases. The plan shall address the following:

1. Procedures the licensee will follow should the licensee cease operations, including:

a. Disposition of children in placement at the time of cessation, including procedures for assisting placing agencies in placing children; and

b. Notification to the placing agency, legal guardian, and the department of the licensee's closing; and

2. Disposing and storing active and closed case files, both written and electronic, on the children and providers. The disposition and storage schedule shall be consistent with requirements for local governments contained in the Library of Virginia's Record Retention and Disposition Schedule General Schedule No. 15 - County and Municipal Governments Social Services Records (May 2010).

B. The licensee shall develop and implement written admission policies and procedures for child-placing activities in each program provided by the licensee. The policies and procedures shall include:

1. A description of intake and admission processes and requirements;

2. Decision-making procedures for acceptance, matching, placement, and discharge from care; and

3. A statement that children with disabilities will be accepted for admission if the needs of the child can be reasonably accommodated.

C. The licensee shall develop and implement policies and procedures governing the licensee's responsibility to monitor the administration of medications by foster parents to ensure that foster parents:

1. Properly administer medication as prescribed to children placed in their home;

2. Have knowledge of intended and adverse side effects of medication prescribed;

3. Have knowledge about and take necessary actions when placed children experience adverse reactions to medication including notifying the licensee when such occurs; and

4. Have knowledge of methods for proper, safe, and secure storage; retention; and disposal of medications.

D. The licensee shall develop and implement written policies and procedures for:

1. Prohibiting corporal punishment, chemical and mechanical restraints, and seclusion;

2. Ensuring that children are not subjected to physical, mental, or sexual abuse; verbal abuse or remarks that belittle or ridicule the child or his family; physical neglect or denied essential program or treatment services, meals, clothing, bedding, sleep, or personal care products; or any humiliating, degrading, or abusive actions;

3. Investigating, responding to, and reporting allegations of misconduct toward children, including reporting suspicions of child abuse or neglect to the local department of social services or the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline;

4. Implementing the child's detailed back-up emergency care plan when the child's placement disrupts; and

5. Assigning designated casework staff to be available on call to foster parents 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

E. The licensee shall develop and implement written policies and procedures for management of all records, written and electronic, that shall describe confidentiality, accessibility, security, and retention of records pertaining to the files of children, applicants for home provider, and approved home providers.

F. The licensee shall develop and implement written discharge policies and procedures governing children's planned and emergency discharges from the licensee's program and services.

G. The licensee shall develop and implement written policies and procedures governing foster parent's use of physical restraint. The policies and procedures shall include:

1. A description of all less intrusive behavior support and crisis management techniques approved by the licensee for use by foster parents;

2. A description of methods of restraint approved by the licensee;

3. A description of training required to be completed prior to use of each method of physical restraint;

4. A description of the licensee's method for determining that the foster care parent has the ability to apply the licensee's approved methods of physical restraint and crisis intervention;

5. A statement prohibiting the use of mechanical and chemical restraint for the purpose of behavior support; and

6. A statement prohibiting the use of seclusion of a child in a room or area secured by a door that is locked or held shut or secured by individuals physically blocking the door or using other physical or verbal means to block the door so that the child cannot leave the room or area.

H. The licensee shall develop and implement written policy and procedures to address the following:

1. Acceptable methods of behavior support; and

2. Specific unacceptable methods for behavior control and discipline.

I. The licensee shall have and implement licensee-approved written personnel polices including procedures to assure that persons employed in or designated to assume the responsibilities of each position possess the education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities specified in the job description for the position.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. May 1, 2012.

22VAC40-131-100. Program evaluation and improvement.

A. The licensee shall develop and implement a written plan to monitor and evaluate the quality and effectiveness of its program and services on a systematic and on-going basis. If evaluation findings suggest that improvements be made to the licensee's programs and services, the licensee shall implement necessary improvements.

B. The evaluation plan shall describe:

1. Methods for collection, summarization, and analysis of information and data;

2. Who has access to the information used for evaluation and how the information will be used; and

3. Quality indicator factors for assessing the effectiveness of the services provided.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. May 1, 2012.

22VAC40-131-110. Received date for materials.

All materials and information received by the licensee shall indicate the date received.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. May 1, 2012.

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