Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 16.1. Courts Not of Record
Chapter 11. Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts

§ 16.1-338. Parental admission of minors younger than 14 and nonobjecting minors 14 years of age or older.

A. A minor younger than 14 years of age may be admitted to a willing mental health facility for inpatient treatment upon application and with the consent of a parent. A minor 14 years of age or older may be admitted to a willing mental health facility for inpatient treatment upon the joint application and consent of the minor and the minor's parent.

B. Admission of a minor under this section shall be approved by a qualified evaluator who has conducted a personal examination of the minor within 48 hours after admission and has made the following written findings:

1. The minor appears to have a mental illness serious enough to warrant inpatient treatment and is reasonably likely to benefit from the treatment; and

2. The minor has been provided with a clinically appropriate explanation of the nature and purpose of the treatment; and

3. If the minor is 14 years of age or older, that he has been provided with an explanation of his rights under this Act as they would apply if he were to object to admission, and that he has consented to admission; and

4. All available modalities of treatment less restrictive than inpatient treatment have been considered and no less restrictive alternative is available that would offer comparable benefits to the minor.

If admission is sought to a state hospital, the community services board serving the area in which the minor resides shall provide, in lieu of the examination required by this section, a preadmission screening report conducted by an employee or designee of the community services board and shall ensure that the necessary written findings have been made before approving the admission. A copy of the written findings of the evaluation or preadmission screening report required by this section shall be provided to the consenting parent and the parent shall have the opportunity to discuss the findings with the qualified evaluator or employee or designee of the community services board.

C. Within 10 days after the admission of a minor under this section, the director of the facility or the director's designee shall ensure that an individualized plan of treatment has been prepared by the provider responsible for the minor's treatment and has been explained to the parent consenting to the admission and to the minor. The minor shall be involved in the preparation of the plan to the maximum feasible extent consistent with his ability to understand and participate, and the minor's family shall be involved to the maximum extent consistent with the minor's treatment needs. The plan shall include a preliminary plan for placement and aftercare upon completion of inpatient treatment and shall include specific behavioral and emotional goals against which the success of treatment may be measured. A copy of the plan shall be provided to the minor and to his parents.

D. If the parent who consented to a minor's admission under this section revokes his consent at any time, or if a minor 14 or older objects at any time to further treatment, the minor shall be discharged within 48 hours to the custody of such consenting parent unless the minor's continued hospitalization is authorized pursuant to § 16.1-339, 16.1-340.1, or 16.1-345. If the 48-hour time period expires on a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday or day on which the court is lawfully closed, the 48 hours shall extend to the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday or day on which the court is lawfully closed. If a minor 14 or older objects to further treatment, the mental health facility shall (i) immediately notify the consenting parent of the minor's objections and (ii) provide to the consenting parent a summary, prepared by the Office of the Attorney General, of the procedures for requesting continued treatment of the minor pursuant to § 16.1-339, 16.1-340.1, or 16.1-345.

E. Inpatient treatment of a minor hospitalized under this section may not exceed 90 consecutive days unless it has been authorized by appropriate hospital medical personnel, based upon their written findings that the criteria set forth in subsection B of this section continue to be met, after such persons have examined the minor and interviewed the consenting parent and reviewed reports submitted by members of the facility staff familiar with the minor's condition.

F. Any minor admitted under this section while younger than 14 and his consenting parent shall be informed orally and in writing by the director of the facility for inpatient treatment within 10 days of his fourteenth birthday that continued voluntary treatment under the authority of this section requires his consent.

G. Any minor 14 years of age or older who joins in an application and consents to admission pursuant to subsection A, shall, in addition to his parent, have the right to access his health information. The concurrent authorization of both the parent and the minor shall be required to disclose such minor's health information.

H. A minor who has been hospitalized while properly detained by a juvenile and domestic relations district court or circuit court shall be returned to the detention home, shelter care, or other facility approved by the Department of Juvenile Justice by the sheriff serving the jurisdiction where the minor was detained within 24 hours following completion of a period of inpatient treatment, unless the court having jurisdiction over the case orders that the minor be released from custody.

1990, c. 975; 1991, c. 159; 2005, cc. 181, 227; 2008, cc. 783, 808; 2009, cc. 455, 555; 2010, cc. 778, 825; 2015, cc. 504, 543.

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.