Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 63.2. Welfare (Social Services)
Chapter 17. Licensure and Registration Procedures

§ 63.2-1709.1. Enforcement and sanctions; child welfare agencies; revocation, denial, and summary suspension.

A. The Commissioner may revoke or deny the renewal of the license of any child welfare agency that violates any provision of this subtitle or fails to comply with the limitations and standards set forth in its license.

B. Pursuant to the procedures set forth in subsection C and in addition to the authority for other disciplinary actions provided in this title, the Commissioner may issue a notice of summary suspension of the license of any child welfare agency, in conjunction with any proceeding for revocation, denial, or other action, when conditions or practices exist in the child welfare agency that pose an immediate and substantial threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the children receiving care and the Commissioner believes the operation of the child welfare agency should be suspended during the pendency of such proceeding.

C. A notice of summary suspension issued by the Commissioner to a child welfare agency shall set forth (i) the summary suspension procedures; (ii) hearing and appeal rights as provided in this subsection; (iii) facts and evidence that formed the basis for the summary suspension; and (iv) the time, date, and location of a hearing to determine whether the summary suspension is appropriate. Such notice shall be served on the child welfare agency or its designee as soon as practicable thereafter by personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address of record of the child welfare agency.

The summary suspension hearing shall be presided over by a hearing officer selected by the Commissioner from a list prepared by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia and shall be held as soon as practicable, but in no event later than 15 business days following service of the notice of summary suspension; however, the hearing officer may grant a written request for a continuance, not to exceed an additional 10 business days, for good cause shown. Within 10 business days after such hearing, the hearing officer shall provide to the Commissioner written findings and conclusions, together with a recommendation as to whether the license should be summarily suspended.

Within 10 business days of the receipt of the hearing officer's findings, conclusions, and recommendation, the Commissioner may issue a final order of summary suspension or an order that such summary suspension is not warranted by the facts and circumstances presented. The Commissioner shall adopt the hearing officer's recommended decision unless to do so would be an error of law or Department policy. In the event that the Commissioner rejects the hearing officer's findings, conclusions, or recommendation, the Commissioner shall state with particularity the basis for rejection. In issuing a final order of summary suspension, the Commissioner may choose to suspend the license of the child welfare agency or to suspend only certain authority of the child welfare agency to operate, including the authority to provide certain services or perform certain functions that the Commissioner determines should be restricted or modified in order to protect the health, safety, or welfare of the children receiving care. A final order of summary suspension shall include notice that the licensee may appeal the Commissioner's decision to the appropriate circuit court no later than 10 days following service of the order. The sole issue before the court shall be whether the Commissioner had reasonable grounds to require the licensee to cease operations during the pendency of the concurrent revocation, denial, or other proceeding. The concurrent revocation, denial, or other proceeding shall not be affected by the outcome of any hearing on the appropriateness of the summary suspension.

A copy of any final order of summary suspension shall be prominently displayed by the child welfare agency at each public entrance of the facility, or in lieu thereof, the child welfare agency may display a written statement summarizing the terms of the order in a prominent location, printed in a clear and legible size and typeface, and identifying the location within the facility where the final order of summary suspension may be reviewed.

The willful and material failure to comply with the final order of summary suspension constitutes a violation of subdivision 3 of § 63.2-1712. In the case of a children's residential facility, the Commissioner may require the cooperation of any other agency or subdivision of the Commonwealth in the relocation of children who are residents of a children's residential facility whose license has been summarily suspended pursuant to this section and in any other actions necessary to reduce the risk of further harm to such residents.

The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any child welfare agency operated by an agency of the Commonwealth, which shall instead be governed by the provisions of § 63.2-1710.1.

2005, cc. 610, 924; 2019, c. 449.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.