Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
3/5/2024

Part VI. Children's Services

22VAC40-131-250. Intake, acceptance, and placement.

A. Prior to any placement of a child the licensee shall secure written authority to make the placement. The written authority for placement shall be maintained in the child's file. The written authority to make placements includes one of the following:

1. A court order issued by any court of competent jurisdiction that commits the child to the care of the licensee;

2. A permanent entrustment by the parent or other person having legal custody of the child;

3. A temporary entrustment by the parent or other person having legal custody of the child;

4. A placement agreement from a licensed or authorized child-placing agency having legal custody of the child;

5. A placement agreement signed by the local department of social services having jurisdiction when a noncustodial agreement has been signed between a parent or legal guardian and the local department or another public agency; or

6. A parental agreement whereby for the purpose of placement in suitable family homes, child-caring institutions, residential facilities, or independent living arrangements, the child's parents or guardians have entrusted the child to the local department.

B. Prior to any placement of a child in an independent living arrangement, the licensee shall secure written authority to make the placement. The written authority to place includes one of the following:

1. A court order issued by any court of competent jurisdiction that commits the child to the care of the licensee;

2. A permanent entrustment by the parent or other person having legal custody of the child;

3. A temporary entrustment by the parent or other person having legal custody of the child;

4. A placement agreement from a child-placing agency or person having legal custody of the child; or

5. A placement agreement signed by the local department of social services having jurisdiction when a noncustodial agreement has been signed between a parent or legal guardian and the local department or another public agency.

C. Prior to the provision of independent living services to any person who was in foster care on his 18th birthday and has not yet reached 21 years of age, the licensee shall enter into a written contractual agreement with the person 18 years of age to 21 years of age, and such contractual agreement shall specify the terms and conditions of the person's receipt of independent living services.

D. Prior to placement of a child for adoption, the licensee shall secure written authority to make the placement. The written authority shall be in the form of one of the following:

1. An order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction documenting the termination of parental rights and responsibilities of each parent;

2. A notarized entrustment agreement signed by the parent or other person having legal custody of the child; or

3. An order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction approving the transfer of the child's custody from one agency to another.

E. The licensee shall petition the court for approval of a temporary entrustment agreement.

1. For a temporary entrustment written for fewer than 90 days, the licensee shall file the petition with the court within a reasonable period of time and not to exceed 89 days after the execution of the agreement if the child is not returned to his home within that 90-day period.

2. For a temporary entrustment written for 90 days or more or for an unspecified period of time, the licensee shall file the petition with the court within a reasonable period of time and not to exceed 30 days after execution of the agreement if the agreement does not provide for termination of all parental rights with respect to the child.

F. A licensee certified by the Department of Education as a school for children with disabilities shall for the purpose of placement of the child in its special education program enter into a placement agreement signed by the parent or other person having legal custody of the child. The placement agreement shall meet the requirements of this section. The licensee is not required to take custody of the child placed in its special education program.

G. Prior to accepting a child for placement in a foster care home, treatment foster care home, short-term foster care home, or an independent living arrangement, the licensee shall gather, review, and document the following information in the child's file:

1. The reason the placement is requested, and if the child coming into placement is younger than one year old, a brief report on his living situation unless this placement directly follows his discharge from the hospital;

2. A list of services requested by the placing agency, parent, or other individual having legal custody of the child;

3. Current information on the child's:

a. Health:

(1) For a newborn child coming into foster care directly following hospital discharge, the discharge summary shall be accepted as the admission examination; or

(2) For a child younger than one year old, the admission examination shall consist of a hospital summary and a physician-signed report of interim care no older than 30 days that documents the absence of abnormalities or if abnormalities are present, the report shall contain an explanation of abnormalities observed;

b. Behavior in the home or other previous living situation;

c. Current school grade level, as appropriate;

d. Day care or nursery school, as appropriate;

e. Adjustment to school, day care, or nursery school;

f. Current medication, prescription and nonprescription, including the names, dosages, and instructions for all medication being taken by the child, and reasons for taking each medication;

g. Emotional and psychological needs and problems of the child, if any, including information concerning professional treatment needed or received to meet the needs or problems;

h. Strengths, skills, interests, and talents;

i. Permanency planning goal including the date of planned achievement; and

j. Emergency contact supports including the names, addresses, and telephone numbers for designated emergency contacts; parents, if appropriate, or other person having legal custody of the child; and the agency placing the child with the licensee;

4. For treatment foster care placements, a list of the strengths and needs of the child's birth family;

5. The dates and names of persons involved in making preplacement visits;

6. The dates and names of persons involved in staffing the child's case;

7. The reason the child was accepted for placement; and

8. The date the acceptance decision was made.

H. The licensee shall review and consider all information collected on the child prior to recommending the type of home best suited to the child. The recommendation and rationale shall be documented in the child's file.

I. The licensee shall consider the following when making the decision whether to place a child in a foster home, treatment foster care home, or short-term foster care home:

1. The prospective foster family's specific skills, abilities, and attitudes necessary to (i) effectively work with the child; (ii) ensure implementation of the child's service plan; and (iii) provide effective behavior support techniques, crisis intervention, crisis stabilization, and supportive counseling;

2. The prospective foster family's ability to meet the needs and preferences of the child;

3. The prospective foster family's willingness to access resources required to meet the needs of the child; and

4. The prospective foster family's willingness and ability to work with the child's family.

J. Prior to placement of a child in a family home, the licensee shall assist the prospective foster family with making an informed decision as to whether that particular child is appropriate for them.

K. The licensee shall document in the child's file the reasons a particular home was selected for the child, including the matching factors considered for the selection decision.

L. Except when the placement of the child is an emergency placement, the licensee shall interview the child and his parent or legal guardian prior to the child's placement. If, for valid reasons, the interview was not completed prior to placement, the licensee shall document in the child's file the reasons why the interview was not completed within the required timeframe.

M. Except when the placement of the child is an emergency placement, the licensee shall prepare the child for placement and arrange a preplacement visit for the child in the prospective home. If a preplacement visit did not take place prior to the child's placement, the reasons why it did not occur shall be documented in the child's file.

N. A summary of the preplacement interview and results of the preplacement visit shall be documented in the child's file.

O. Within 30 days of the placement of the child in a foster care home, treatment foster care home, short-term foster care home, or an independent living arrangement, or prior to the completion of the adoptive placement agreement, the licensee shall place in the file of the child a written assessment that contains all required elements specified in 22VAC40-131-250 G.

P. The licensee shall place siblings together in the same foster home whenever possible unless placement together is clearly not in the best interest of each child.

Q. When the licensee accepts a child for placement from another child-placing agency that retains custody of the child, the licensee shall, before placing the child:

1. Sign the placement agreement as the recipient of the child; and

2. Ensure that the placement agreement has been signed by the representatives from each child-placing agency who have the authority to commit the child-placing agency to the provisions contained in the agreement.

R. When the licensee accepts a child for placement from a parent or other individual having legal custody of the child, the licensee shall:

1. Obtain an entrustment agreement and follow the requirements as set forth in §§ 63.2-903 and 63.2-1817 of the Code of Virginia;

2. Explain the licensee's foster care program;

3. Collect information for the intake and social history and document the information obtained under each respective heading;

4. Provide the parent or other individual having legal custody of the child or youth with information about the licensee's services;

5. Provide an explanation of the service planning process and the licensee's case work responsibilities;

6. Discuss with the parent or other individual having legal custody of the child:

a. Long-term and short-term goals for the child, including estimated dates of accomplishment for each goal;

b. Objectives for each goal;

c. Responsibilities of all parties for accomplishing the goals and objectives for the child;

d. Involvement in service planning for the child;

e. Plans for visitation with the child; and

f. Plans for financial support for the child; and

7. Document in the child's file the reactions of the parents or other persons to each topic discussed with them.

S. The licensee shall cooperate with the placing agency and custodian to ensure that the placing agency and custodian have access to the child at all times.

T. The licensee shall develop a system of support for foster parents and assign designated staff to be on call to foster parents on a 24-hour, seven day a week basis.

U. The commissioner shall have the authority to place, remove, or direct the placement or removal of any child who is under the supervision and control of a local board or licensed child-placing agency. Pursuant to such authority, the commissioner shall remove or direct the removal of any child placed by a local board or licensed child-placing agency in a foster home or children's residential facility that fails to comply with any state or federal requirements intended to protect the child's health, safety, or well-being.

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; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 2, eff. October 17, 2019.

22VAC40-131-260. Social history.

A. The licensee shall complete a social history on each child within 45 days of the date of the child's placement except:

1. When the child is placed in a short-term foster care placement, the initial social history shall be completed within 30 days of the date of the child's placement and if subsequent short-term placements of the child are made, the licensee shall review and update the initial social history; and

2. For adoption, the licensee shall complete the social history prior to the signing of the adoptive placement agreement.

B. The social history shall be documented in the record of each child and shall include the following:

1. Date the history was completed;

2. Reasons for the placement and the permanency planning goal of the child's placement;

3. For foster care, treatment foster care, and independent living placements, identify the services needed to reach the child's permanency goal;

4. Information on the child's family's structure, relationships, and involvement with the child;

5. Child's previous placement history, including dates and names of previous caretakers, if any;

6. Child's developmental, educational, and medical history. The information, if available, shall include names and addresses of providers of medical treatment and copies of available reports or documentation of the licensee's attempts to obtain the information;

7. Child's history as a victim of abuse and neglect, including history of prenatal neglect or substance abuse by mother, if applicable;

8. Education and occupation of the child's parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents;

9. Medical and psychiatric history of the child's parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents as it relates to the suitability of the child for placement;

10. Emotional or psychological problems the child has experienced within the last 13 months, including strengths and needs of the child, assessments, and professional treatment received, if applicable;

11. Background information from other sources such as court reports and previous social histories, if any; and

12. For treatment foster care, current service or treatment plan from other treatment providers and discharge summaries from previous placements, if any.

C. For a child less than one year of age placed in foster care prior to adoption, the licensee shall in addition to the elements specified in subsection B of this section include the following in the child's social history:

1. Physical appearance of the child and of both parents if available;

2. Child's parents' nationality, race, and religion;

3. Description of the child's birth parents' personality, lifestyle, and childhood;

4. Identification of individuals in the family who know about the birth parents' plan;

5. Identification of the relatives who have been contacted for possible foster care placement;

6. Description of the type of adoptive family with whom the birth parents would like to have their child placed;

7. Expected length of the child's placement in a foster care home; and

8. Description of the recommendation of adoptive home that best meets the needs of the child or an explanation as to why the licensee has not yet made that determination.

D. If information on any item required by this section was not completed or obtained, the reason shall be documented under the appropriate section of the child's social history.

E. For a child less than one year of age placed in foster care prior to adoption, the licensee shall review the child's social history with the selected adoptive parents.

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.

22VAC40-131-270. Interstate placements.

A. The licensee shall comply with the provisions of the Virginia Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (Chapters 10 (§ 63.2-1000 et seq.) and 11 (§ 63.2-1100 et seq.) of Title 63.2 of the Code of Virginia) for all children who will cross state lines, either out of Virginia to another state or from another state into Virginia, for placement in resource, foster care, adoptive, treatment foster care, and independent living arrangements.

B. Before a Virginia resident child is placed outside Virginia, the licensee shall obtain prior approval of the administrator of the Virginia Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, Virginia Department of Social Services. Written approval shall be maintained in the child's file.

C. Before a child who is not a Virginia resident is placed in Virginia, the licensee receiving the child shall obtain prior approval of the administrator of the Virginia Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, Virginia Department of Social Services. Written approval shall be maintained in the child's file.

D. Prior to the licensee supervising the placement of an out-of-state child, the licensee shall obtain from the placing agency documentation that the administrator of the Virginia Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, Virginia Department of Social Services approved the placement of the child. The documentation shall be maintained in the child's file.

E. A licensee who conducts an adoptive home study before any particular child is identified for placement shall:

1. Inform the potential adoptive parents that prior to any out-of-state child being placed in Virginia, the provisions of the Virginia Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (Chapters 10 (§ 63.2-1000 et seq.) and 11 (§ 63.2-1100 et seq.) of Title 63.2 of the Code of Virginia) shall be followed; and

2. Document in the home study that the potential parents were so informed of the requirements of the Virginia Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (Chapters 10 (§ 63.2-1000 et seq.) and 11 (§ 63.2-1100 et seq.) of Title 63.2 of the Code of Virginia).

F. The licensee shall maintain in the child's file documentation that copies of all serious incident reports regarding any child placed through interstate compact were sent to the administrator of the Virginia Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

G. When the licensee is working with another child-placing agency in placing a child, the licensee shall enter into a written interagency agreement with the other child-placing agency that identifies the period of supervision to be provided to the child and delineates the responsibilities of both agencies until the adoption is finalized or the placement is terminated. A copy of the agreement shall be maintained in the child's file.

H. The licensee that provides supervision for the placement of a child in the custody of an out-of-state agency shall conduct visits in accordance with Virginia law and as specified in the written interagency agreement. All supervision activities shall be documented in the child's file.

I. The licensee shall send a copy of each report of supervision to the office of the administrator of the Virginia Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children and to the agency that sent the child.

J. The licensee shall complete home studies in accordance with home study requirements specified in this regulation.

K. The licensee shall complete updated home study information in accordance with requirements of Virginia Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (§ 63.2-1000 of the Code of Virginia) when the licensee accepts a case of a child who has moved into Virginia from another state or United States territory.

L. The licensee shall provide a copy of the updated home study information to the office of the administrator of the Virginia Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children office.

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; Errata 28:1 VA.R. 45 September, 12, 2011; Errata 28:12 VA.R. February 13, 2012.

22VAC40-131-280. Foster home agreements.

A. The licensee shall have a written foster home agreement with the family for each child in foster care, treatment foster care, and short-term foster care.

B. The foster home agreement shall be signed by all necessary parties on or before the date the child is placed in the home.

C. The foster home agreement shall include the following elements:

1. The code of ethics and mutual responsibilities for all parties to the agreement in language and format approved by the State Board;

2. Financial responsibilities of each party, including payment for foster care and payment for other expenses;

3. Services each party agrees to provide for the child, the child's family, and foster family;

4. Provisions for receiving consent for routine and emergency medical, mental health, and dental care for the child;

5. Arrangements for the provision of medical, mental health, and dental care;

6. Provisions for handling emergencies during and outside the licensee's regular office hours;

7. Arrangements for the provision of clothing for the child;

8. Arrangements for visits by parents;

9. A statement of agreement that corporal punishment is prohibited. The agreement shall also prohibit the family from granting permission for others to use corporal punishment on the child;

10. Permission for out-of-state travel;

11. Permission, if necessary, for the child to participate in any fund-raising activities;

12. A statement of understanding that the licensee maintains responsibility to protect the best interests of the child and that the licensee has the right to remove the child from the family home when removal is determined to be in the best interests of the child; and

13. A statement that the approved provider agrees:

a. To provide meals and snacks appropriate to the child's daily nutritional needs including a special diet if prescribed by a licensed health care provider or in accordance with religions or ethnic requirements or other special needs;

b. That if he provides transportation to the child he shall, on the vehicle used for transportation of the child, maintain:

(1) A valid license to drive in Virginia;

(2) Automobile liability insurance as required by Virginia law;

(3) Valid vehicle registration; and

(4) Valid Virginia-required inspection sticker;

c. To transport the child in accordance with Virginia laws for safe transport, including use of functioning child restraint devices in accordance with requirements of Virginia law;

d. As necessary, to seek and secure services from licensed professionals to meet the medical, dental, and mental health needs of the child; and

e. That he understands he has the right, at all times, to receive support and assistance of the licensee in relation to the child's care in the home.

D. The licensee shall ensure any changes made in the terms of the agreement are amended in the agreement, dated, signed, or initialed by all parties to the agreement.

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.

22VAC40-131-290. Medical, dental, and psychiatric examinations and care.

A. Each child shall have a medical examination conducted by or under the direction of a licensed physician no earlier than 90 days prior to placement, except in the following situations:

1. An emergency-placed child shall have up to 60 days following placement to receive a medical examination if a written medical examination report providing evidence that he received a medical examination no earlier than 90 days prior to placement is not available;

2. The child is a newborn then the hospital discharge summary shall serve as the medical examination; or

3. The child has been in continuous placement of a public or private child-placing agency and the licensee has obtained copies of (i) a medical examination report that is no more than 13 months old and (ii) a report of all medical treatment provided to the child from the date of the medical examination to the date of admission of the child to the licensee's program.

B. The licensee shall follow the examining physician's recommendations regarding the frequency and type of medical examinations or treatment; however, there shall be no more than 13 months between medical examinations received by the child.

C. The medical examination report on each child shall include the following:

1. Date of examination;

2. Signature and title of examiner;

3. Current physical condition;

4. Growth and development;

5. Visual acuity;

6. Auditory acuity;

7. Nutritional status;

8. Evidence of freedom from communicable disease, including tuberculosis;

9. Allergies, including food and medication allergies;

10. Chronic conditions;

11. Disabilities; and

12. A copy of the record of immunizations the child has received since his last examination.

D. The licensee shall file a copy of the medical examination report in the child's file.

E. Each child over three years of age shall have a dental examination.

1. The dental examination shall have been completed within 13 months prior to the time of placement or if no previous dental examination has been conducted, the child shall have an exam within 60 days following the date of placement.

2. The written report of examination shall contain the signature of a licensed dentist or his designee.

3. The licensee shall file a copy of the dental examination report in the child's file.

F. The licensee shall arrange for the child to receive any routine and recommended medical, dental, mental health, psychological, and psychiatric follow-up care and treatment. Documentation regarding the arrangements for and child's receipt of care shall be maintained in the child's file.

G. The licensee shall arrange for the child to receive necessary medical, dental, mental health, psychological, and psychiatric care and treatment resulting from injuries, illness, emergencies, or other conditions that occur in between examinations or appointments. Documentation regarding the arrangements for and child's receipt of care shall be maintained in the child's file.

H. If the licensee serves as legal custodian for the child and in that capacity decides not to follow the physician's recommendation for medical, dental, or psychiatric care or treatment, the licensee shall document in the child's file the rationale upon which the decision was made, including a detailed description of how the licensee considered the best interests of the child in making the decision.

I. The licensee shall document in the file of each child a listing of all medication prescribed for the child.

J. The licensee shall document in the file of each child the medication intended effects and adverse reactions the child or youth has experienced. The licensee shall ensure that the intended effects and adverse reactions experienced by the child or youth are reported to the prescribing physician.

K. The provider applicant and all other household members who come into contact with children shall submit to tuberculosis screening or tests and provide documentation on the appropriate report of tuberculosis form published by the Virginia Department of Health (Report of Tuberculosis Screening Clearance Letter for Negative Screen (Form 1), Report of Tuberculosis Screening Report of TST/X-ray Results (Form 2), or TB Risk Assessment (TB 512)) or a form consistent with it.

1. The screening or test results shall include a statement that the individual is free from communicable tuberculosis and including the type of screening administered, date of screening, and results of the screening. If any screening or test shows positive results for communicable tuberculosis or if no screening or test has been completed on the individual, a written explanation shall be obtained from the physician, his designee, or representative of the local health department.

2. The screening or test results shall contain the screening or test date and the results shall be no older than 13 months at the time of home approval by the licensee.

3. If an individual comes in contact with a known case of tuberculosis or develops chronic respiratory symptoms of three weeks or more duration, he shall obtain tuberculosis screening and follow the recommendations of the physician, his designee, or representative of the local health department. The licensee shall require the individual to submit documentation regarding communicable status.

L. The provider applicant and each resident of the household who will be in a caretaking role for children placed in the home shall submit the results of a medical examination administered and signed by a licensed physician, his designee, or an official of a local health department.

1. The examination results shall include written examiner comments that address the applicant's or caretaker's mental and physical condition in relation to his ability to take care of a child. If concerns are noted, additional reports from specialists shall be obtained.

2. The examination results shall contain a date of examination and be no older than 13 months at the time of home approval by the licensee.

M. The medical examination shall be updated if the licensee or department has concerns about the physical or mental health of any member of the placement family. If the examination reveals that the child's safety or health is in jeopardy, the licensee shall plan for the immediate removal of any children or youth placed in the home.

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.

22VAC40-131-300. School enrollment.

A. For each school-aged child in its custody, the licensee shall be responsible for ensuring that the child is enrolled in school. Within 72 hours of the date of the child's foster care placement, the licensee shall notify the relevant school division's principal and superintendent, or designee, of the child's placement and status of the parental rights of the child.

B. The child's file maintained by the licensee shall contain documentation of the licensee's contact with school authorities.

C. For school-aged children in foster care, the licensee shall collaborate and work cooperatively with the local department and the local education authority to maintain educational stability for each child. Cooperative efforts shall be documented in the child's file.

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.

22VAC40-131-310. Clothing and spending money for children.

A. The licensee shall ensure that each child in care has his own supply of season-suitable clothing in good condition for indoor and outdoor wear.

B. The licensee shall ensure that each school-age child has a spending money allowance.

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.

22VAC40-131-320. Reports and policies to protect children.

A. The licensee shall keep records and make reports as required by the department.

B. The licensee shall take the following actions in cases of suspected child abuse and neglect:

1. Immediately notify:

a. The child protective services unit of the appropriate local department of social services or the department's 24-hour child abuse and neglect hotline;

b. The custodial agency worker or supervisor; and

c. The department's licensing representative;

2. Cooperate with the local department during its investigation of the complaint;

3. Review each complaint to determine if the licensee's policies and procedures were followed by the licensee's staff and approved provider;

4. Within 90 days of the licensee's receipt of the complaint, make a report to the department's licensing representative addressing the following:

a. Internal policy review findings and actions taken as a result of findings; and

b. The child protective services disposition, if child protective services accepted the case for investigation, and a report of actions taken as a result of child protective services investigation findings; and

5. Maintain an accessible copy of the internal policy review report.

C. The licensee shall submit a written report of circumstances pertaining to the death of a child to the department's licensing representative within seven days of the child's death.

D. The licensee shall make the following notifications pertaining to the death of a child in care:

1. Immediately notify the child's parents or legal guardian of the incident and document such notification in the file of the child; and

2. Notify the department's office of licensing of the child's death immediately but no later than the end of the next business day following the child's death.

E. The licensee shall report any serious incident, accident, or injury to the child to the placing agency, parent, or legal guardian, and to the department's licensing representative within 24 hours following the incident, accident, or injury.

F. For each serious incident, accident, or injury to the child, the licensee shall place a written report in the child's file to document:

1. The date and time the incident, accident, or injury occurred;

2. A brief description of the incident, accident, or injury;

3. Action taken as a result of the incident, accident, or injury;

4. The name of the licensee's staff person who completed the written report;

5. The name of the licensee's staff person who notified (i) the placing agency and (ii) parent or legal guardian of the incident, accident, or injury;

6. The time each notification was made; and

7. The name of the person the staff person contacted and made the notification to.

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.

22VAC40-131-330. Visitation and continuing contact with children.

A. In accordance with instructions from the court and placing agency, the licensee shall arrange for and encourage contact and visitation between the foster child, his family, and others specified in the child's individualized service plan and, as applicable, the child's treatment plan.

B. The licensee shall develop and implement a plan to address visitation or communication between siblings when siblings entrusted to the care of the licensee are placed in separate foster homes. The plan shall:

1. Address the wishes of the child;

2. Specify the frequency of visits or communication;

3. Identify the party responsible for encouraging visits or communication; and

4. Specify any other requirement or restriction the licensee will impose for visits or communication, including restrictions necessary to ensure that the child's best interests are represented.

C. For individuals who are 18 years of age and older and still receiving foster care services, the licensee shall make monthly contact with the individual and make at least one face-to-face contact every 90 days.

D. The licensee shall be responsible for ensuring that required contacts have been made with children whom the licensee has placed outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Any documentation provided regarding monitoring visits made by an out-of-state child placing agency shall be maintained in the child's file.

E. The licensee shall have at least one face-to-face contact with the foster child every 30 days.

F. The licensee shall have at least one face-to-face contact with the child in the placement setting every 60 days.

G. The licensee shall contact the child placed in treatment foster care as follows:

1. A face-to-face contact with the child no less than twice each month. There shall be at least seven days between face-to-face contacts unless contraindicated by the child's service or treatment plan;

2. The frequency for determining additional contacts with the child shall be based on his treatment and service plan and occur as often as necessary to ensure the child is receiving safe and effective services;

3. At least one of the face-to-face contacts made during a calendar month shall take place in the foster home to assess the relationship between the child and the foster parents and the contact shall include the child and at least one treatment foster parent;

4. The contacts shall assess the child's progress, provide training and guidance to the foster parents, monitor service delivery, and allow the child to communicate concerns; and

5. Children who are capable of participating in an interview shall be interviewed privately at least one time each month.

H. Unless specifically prohibited by a court of competent jurisdiction or the agency holding legal custody of the child, the licensee shall:

1. Allow the child to have regular contact with his family as specified in the child's treatment and service plan;

2. Work to support and enhance child-family relationships; and

3. Work directly with families toward reunification as specified in the child's treatment and service plan.

I. The licensee shall ensure that each child is provided treatment, services, and care in a nurturing home setting with attention given to health, safety, and welfare of the child.

J. The licensee shall document a written description of each contact made with the child and the documentation shall be signed by the staff person who made the contact, dated, and maintained in the child's file.

K. If the licensee determines a move from one foster home to another is warranted, the licensee shall:

1. Consult with the placing agency and, if applicable, the child's legal guardian prior to the child's move, unless the move is due to an emergency situation or issues pertaining to child abuse or neglect; and

2. Ensure that the move is in the best interests of the child.

L. If the licensee is unable to consult with the placing agency prior to the child's move from one foster home to another, the licensee shall document all attempts made to make the required contact. The licensee shall ensure that contact is made as soon as possible and no later than 72 hours following the move when the move took place on a weekend or holiday.

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.

22VAC40-131-340. Service plans.

A. The licensee shall develop and implement an individualized service plan for every child accepted for care and service.

B. For children in treatment foster care, the licensee shall:

1. Within 14 days of a child's placement, develop and implement individualized, measurable objectives and strategies describing services to be provided to the child, his placement family, and his birth family during the first 45 days of placement; and

2. Within 45 days of a child's placement, develop and implement an individualized service plan and treatment plan.

C. In the case of a short-term foster care placement of a child, the licensee shall develop and implement the service plan within 72 hours of the child's placement and the short-term placement plan shall include a description of the child's needs and services to be provided to the child during the duration of his short-term placement.

D. When the licensee has received legal custody of the child, the licensee shall within 60 days of receipt of such custody file a copy of the service plan with the appropriate court unless:

1. The court grants an extension of time not to exceed 60 days;

2. The court designates another agency to file the service plan; or

3. The child is returned to his prior family or placed in an adoptive home.

E. The licensee shall include the following elements in the child's individualized service plan:

1. A comprehensive assessment of the child's emotional, social, behavioral, educational, nutritional, developmental, medical, psychiatric, and dental needs;

2. The nature of the placement to be provided to the child;

3. Goals and objectives to meet the child's needs that include:

a. For children or youth 14 years of age and older, specific independent living services to be provided to assist the child in meeting his goals; and

b. For children in treatment foster care, goals and objectives to address specific problem behaviors, skills to be addressed, and criteria for achievement;

4. Anticipated target dates, including month, day, and year, for accomplishment of each identified goal and objective, and for treatment foster care the target date for the child's discharge from the program;

5. Strategies, services, and activities designed to meet the goals and objectives, including:

a. A description of how the licensee plans to work with related community resources, including the child's primary care physician, to provide continuity of care to the child;

b. The services and other supports to be offered to the child's parents and other prior custodians;

c. A description of the participation and conduct sought from the parent and prior custodians;

d. Visitation between the child, his parents, prior custodians, and siblings;

e. For children 14 years of age and older, specific independent living services to be provided to assist the child in meeting his goals; and

f. For treatment foster care, methods of intervention and therapies designed to meet the child's goals and objectives;

6. Discharge goals, objectives, and services to be provided for their achievement and where appropriate, plans for reunification of the child with his family; and

7. As appropriate for youth 16 years of age and older, a description of programs and services to assist the youth in his transition from foster care to independent living.

F. The child's record shall contain documentation showing the involvement of the following parties, unless clearly inappropriate, in developing the child's individualized service plan, child's treatment plan as appropriate, and quarterly progress reports; and in updating the service plan and treatment plan as necessary:

1. The birth parents of the child unless parental rights have been terminated; or unless the birth parents who maintain parental rights of the child have not been located;

2. Custodial agency;

3. Foster parents or treatment foster parents where appropriate;

4. The child, if the involvement is consistent with the best interests of the child; and

5. Licensee staff.

G. The licensee shall document in the file of the child the reasons why each party was not involved if any of the parties do not participate in the development of the child's individualized service plan, treatment plan as appropriate, or quarterly progress reviews and updating the service plan and treatment plan.

H. For service plans, court reviews, dispositional hearings, and permanency planning, the licensee who has custody shall follow the requirements set forth in §§ 63.2-906 B, 16.1-281, 16.1-282, and 16.1-282.1 of the Code of Virginia, the Board of Social Services-approved policies and promulgated regulations, and guidance documents issued by the department.

I. Each service plan shall contain the date the plan was written; the signature of the individual who developed the plan; and, for treatment foster care treatment plans, the identity of all treatment team members who participated in the development of the plan.

J. The licensee shall provide training, support, and guidance to families in implementing the service plan for the child.

K. The licensee shall provide a copy of the child's service plan and any updates, treatment plan and updates as appropriate, and quarterly progress reports to the custodial placing agency and, as applicable, to the birth parents, foster parents, and treatment foster parents as long as confidential identifying information about the parents is not disclosed.

L. Obtain from the custodial child-placing agency a copy of the child's service plan sent to the court. The service plan shall be placed in the child's file. In the event the licensee is not able to obtain the plan, the licensee shall document in the child's file the efforts made to obtain the plan.

M. The service plans developed by the licensee shall be compatible with the goals in the plan sent to the court.

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.

22VAC40-131-350. Quarterly progress summaries.

A. The licensee shall review the progress of each child in care. The first review of progress and report shall occur no later than 90 days from the date of the child's placement and subsequent progress reviews shall be conducted every 90 days thereafter.

B. The licensee shall document the progress review in a written summary report that addresses the following elements:

1. Progress the child has made toward reaching each goal and objective on his service plan and documenting progress the child has made in alleviating his specific problem behaviors, if any;

2. Description of goals and objectives the child has met during the evaluation quarter, goals and objectives that continue to be worked on in the next quarter, and new goals and objectives to be added for next quarter;

3. Description of criteria for achievement and target dates for each goal and objective;

4. Description of any changes that need to be made in the service and treatment plans, including changes in methods of intervention and strategies designed to help the child meet his goals;

5. Decision as to whether each projected date of accomplishment continues to be realistic or needs to change;

6. Description of services, therapies, and activities provided to and secured for the child during the quarter, including services provided towards the discharge goals;

7. Description of any new needs of the child; services, activities, or therapies identified to meet the child's needs and address behaviors; addition of new goals and objectives; and target dates for accomplishment;

8. Summary of contacts made between the child and his family, where appropriate;

9. Participation of the birth and foster parents in the services offered to them and the child;

10. The child's assessment of his progress and description of services needed, where appropriate;

11. List of medications used by the child;

12. List of the child's medical needs during this review period, any medical treatment the child received during this period, any recommendations for further medical treatment, and scheduled appointments;

13. Recommendations for any modifications to the current service plan, including changes in methods of intervention and strategies;

14. Dates of progress covered during this review;

15. A review of the discharge plan, projected discharge date, and, as necessary, updating the information; and

16. Date the progress summary report was written; and the signature and title of the individual who wrote the report.

C. The progress summary reports shall be in the child's file.

D. The licensee shall update service plans as necessary to include modifications made, identification of new needs, and services to meet the new needs.

E. As required in 22VAC40-131-340 F, the licensee shall document the participation of required parties in each review of progress.

F. On the fourth quarter summary report, the licensee shall in addition to the requirements specified in subsection B of this section, evaluate and update the comprehensive treatment and service plan for the upcoming year.

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.

22VAC40-131-360. Discharge from care.

A. Prior to the child's discharge from care, the licensee shall formulate and document recommendations for aftercare services for the child and share those recommendations with the placing agency and parents, where appropriate. If recommendations were not shared with the child's parents, the licensee shall document the reasons in the child's file.

B. Prior to the planned discharge date, each child's file shall contain documentation that the child's discharge was planned and discussed with the placing agency, the child, the child's parents or guardian, and the members of the child's treatment team, if applicable.

C. Children in the legal custody of the local department of social services or private child-placing agency shall not be discharged by the licensee until the licensee has consulted with and notified the legal custodians of the plans for discharge. The licensee shall document in the child's file the names of the persons consulted and to whom notifications were provided, each date of occurrence, and a summary of each discussion.

D. Children shall be discharged only to the agency, parent, or guardian holding legal custody of the child. Youth 18 years of age and older shall be discharged to their own responsibility unless a court of competent jurisdiction has appointed a legal guardian to represent the youth.

E. No later than 30 days after the date of discharge, the licensee shall develop and place a comprehensive discharge summary in the child's file. The summary shall address:

1. Date of discharge;

2. Reason or reasons for discharge;

3. Name of the individual with whom the child was placed or to whom he was discharged;

4. Description of services provided to the child;

5. Summary of the child's progress toward meeting his goals and objectives, and as applicable for youth placed in independent living arrangements, the progress toward achieving life skills goals; and

6. Written recommendations for aftercare services including the nature, recommended frequency, and duration of services to be provided to the child and the child's family.

F. Upon the child's discharge from care, the licensee who holds custody of the child shall ensure that the parents or child-placing agency receiving the child for placement are provided with a copy of the child's birth certificate, medical records, and school records.

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.

22VAC40-131-370. Case record requirements.

A. The licensee shall maintain a separate organized case file for each child, the child's birth parents, and each approved home provider and in addition for adoption cases, a separate organized file for the adoptive family. The case file may be electronic.

B. Each use of electronic records, files, or signatures shall comply with the provisions of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, §§ 59.1-479 through 59.1-497 of the Code of Virginia.

C. In addition to the requirements in the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act, the use of electronic signatures shall be deemed to constitute a signature and have the same effect as a written signature on a document as long as the licensee:

1. Develops, implements, and maintains specific policies and procedures for the use of electronic signatures;

2. Ensures that each electronic signature identifies the individual signing the document by name and title;

3. Assures that the documentation cannot be altered after signature has been affixed;

4. Assures that access to the code or key sequence is limited;

5. Assures that all users have signed statements that they alone have access to and use the key or computer password for their signature and will not share their key or password with others; and

6. Provides for nonrepudiation that is strong and substantial to make it difficult for either party to claim that the electronic representation is not valid.

D. All entries in each case file shall be legibly written in ink, contain the signature of the individual performing the service, the date the entry was made and, if the licensee operates more than one office in Virginia, the entry shall identify the office that provided the service. Unless otherwise specified in state or federal law, multiple dated entries made on the same page by the same author may be authenticated by the author's initials behind each entry as long as the author signs his name at the bottom of the page of entries.

E. All correspondence and information received by or produced by the licensee shall be treated as confidential information and shall be maintained as part of the case file.

F. Each case file shall be kept up to date and in a uniform organized manner.

G. All services and treatments provided to the child or his family shall be documented chronologically in the respective file.

H. When not in use, active and closed files shall be maintained in:

1. A location that allows the department's licensing representative complete access to the files within a reasonable and short period of time following the representative's request to review files;

2. An area accessible to staff;

3. An area protected from unauthorized access, fire, flood, and uncontrolled climate control; and

4. A locked, metal file cabinet or other metal compartment if the files are stored on site at the licensee's licensed location.

I. Whether stored on site or off site, the licensee shall demonstrate that the file storage system has the protections in place required by subdivisions H 3 and 4 of this section for unauthorized access, fire, flood, and climate control.

J. The case files shall be retained as follows:

1. Upon entry of a final order of adoption or other final disposition of a matter involving the placement of a child for adoption, the licensee shall forward all reports and collateral information in connection with the case to the commissioner;

2. The licensee who holds custody of the child shall retain a copy of the child's subsidy record as long as the child receives a subsidy;

3. If a minor child has been reunited with his birth family, case files shall be retained until one year after his 21st birthday;

4. When the foster care case is closed for services, the case file, whether written or electronic, shall be maintained in accordance with the Library of Virginia's Record Retention and Disposition Schedule General Schedule No. 15 - County and Municipal Governments Social Services Records (May 2010); and

5. When the licensee ceases operations, it shall immediately submit written information to the department about the location for retention of all files.

K. A person 18 years of age and older who was not adopted and was a child for whom all parental rights and responsibilities were terminated shall not have access to any information from the licensee with respect to the identity of the birth family unless all requirements established in § 63.2-105 B of the Code of Virginia have been met.

L. The licensee shall follow all provisions of §§ 63.2-1246 and 63.2-1247 of the Code of Virginia in regard to disclosure of information pertaining to finalized adoptions.

M. The licensee shall maintain documentation in the file of the home provider for all initial approvals and subsequent approvals. Each file shall include:

1. An application;

2. Documentation of the approval process;

3. Completed home study and supporting documentation, including approval decision;

4. Required reference letters received by the licensee;

5. Driving record checks;

6. Dates of receipt of background checks and driving record checks;

7. Summary of results of background checks;

8. Copy of the approval certificate issued to the provider;

9. Documentation of completed orientation and training received by the approved provider;

10. Required medical information, including results of tuberculosis screening;

11. Results of observations and findings from monitoring visits to the home;

12. A face sheet listing the names and dates of birth of all members of the household and the relationship of each member to the provider;

13. A narrative account of the preparation of the family for each child placed in the home;

14. A list of children's names, birth dates, dates of placement in the home and, if applicable, removal dates and reasons for removal;

15. Copies of all signed agreements;

16. When applicable, the date and reason for home closure;

17. Copy of the signed prohibition on corporal punishment;

18. Written updates and addenda to the home study and re-evaluations of the home provider and home; and

19. Any other correspondence or information pertaining to the home including a narrative of any concerns the licensee has about the status of the home; record of all complaints involving the foster parents; the licensee's investigation report and findings; and, if appropriate, the findings of child protective services and law enforcement.

N. The licensee shall maintain documentation in each child's file. Each file shall include:

1. A face sheet completed within five working days of the date of the child's placement. The face sheet shall address the child's name, date of birth, place of birth, gender, race, social security number, and Medicaid number, if known; and for adoption cases, the face sheet shall also contain the child's height, weight, hair color, eye color, and identifying marks;

2. Names, addresses, telephone numbers, and marital status of the child's birth parents;

3. Names and addresses of the child's siblings, if available;

4. Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the person or agency holding legal custody of the child;

5. Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of persons to be contacted in an emergency;

6. Services provided to the child;

7. A copy of the entrustment agreement or the placement agreement between the placing agency and the licensee;

8. Other information pertaining to a child in foster care, treatment foster care, short-term foster care, and independent living arrangements as required by this chapter;

9. For adoption cases, the child's file shall also contain:

a. The legal documents required for adoption if the licensee holds custody of the child;

b. A record in the narrative dictation of the child's and family's preparation for the placement; and

c. Other information required by this chapter; and

10. An original birth certificate for the child whenever possible and when the licensee holds custody of the child.

O. If services are provided to the child's birth family, the licensee shall maintain a file on each child's birth parents. The file may be separate from the child's file or combined and maintained in the child's file. The file shall include:

1. An up-to-date face sheet documenting:

a. Names, addresses, telephone numbers, and marital status of each parent;

b. Names of known members of the birth family;

c. Current whereabouts, addresses, and telephone numbers, when available, of each known member of the birth family; and

d. A cross reference to the file of the child unless the birth family's information is maintained in the child's file;

2. A chronological narrative or summary of contacts the licensee has made with the family. This information shall include visits of the parents with the child and the child's visits, or attempts to visit, with the parents;

3. A summary of services provided to the family; and

4. Other information relating to the birth parents as required by this chapter.

P. The licensee shall maintain a file on each adoptive family. The file shall include:

1. The completed application;

2. A copy of any written information given to the adoptive parents concerning the child, including the agreed upon plan of discipline;

3. Summaries of supervisory visits and closing summary;

4. The home study and related documents;

5. Documentation of orientation and training completed;

6. Narrative account of the child-placing agency's preparation of the family for the placement of the child;

7. Fees charged and agreement between the licensee and the applicant;

8. Documentation of any complaints or investigations conducted by child protective services; and

9. Other information relating to adoptive parents as required by this chapter.

Q. Narrative case notes shall be current within 30 days, documented in the file of the child or youth in chronological order, signed and dated by the individual making the entry, and address elements required by this chapter including:

1. Treatment and services provided;

2. All contacts related to the child;

3. Visitation between the child and his family;

4. Other significant events, if any; and

5. Other documentation required by this chapter.

R. The licensee shall maintain documentation in provider and child files as required by this chapter and including:

1. Completing documentation within specified time frames; and

2. Placing documentation in the appropriate file within 30 days unless otherwise specified by this chapter.

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.

22VAC40-131-380. Behavior support and crisis intervention.

A. Licensees shall train and encourage foster parents to use positive behavioral support techniques that emphasize principals and methods to help a child achieve desired behavior and correct inappropriate behavior in a constructive and safe manner.

B. Licensees that prohibit the use of physical restraint shall develop a written policy prohibiting the use. The licensee shall document that foster care parents have been informed of the prohibition.

C. Licensees that permit the use of physical restraint shall require that:

1. Other methods of crisis intervention and behavior support are used prior to the use of physical restraint;

2. Physical restraint is limited to that which is minimally necessary to protect the child or others from injury;

3. The use of physical restraint is used as a part of a planned therapeutic intervention defined in the child's service or treatment plan or both;

4. Only designated professional staff and foster parents trained in licensee-approved less intrusive interventions and physical restraint techniques implement the interventions and techniques; and

5. Foster care parents complete and submit a report to the licensee documenting each use of physical restraint implemented with a child. Each report shall be made within a timeframe established by the licensee, documented on a format required by the licensee, and address the following elements:

a. The reason for the restraint;

b. A description of all other behavior support techniques attempted prior to the use of physical restraint;

c. A description of the physical hold used during the restraint;

d. The duration of the physical restraint;

e. The outcome or child's response to the physical restraint; and

f. Any known injuries occurring as a result of the restraint including any injuries reported by the child.

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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