Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 63.2. Welfare (Social Services)
Chapter 15. Child Abuse and Neglect

§ 63.2-1516.1. Investigation procedures when school employee is subject of the complaint or report; release of information in joint investigations.

A. Except as provided in subsection B of this section, in cases where a child is alleged to have been abused or neglected by a teacher, principal or other person employed by a local school board or employed in a school operated by the Commonwealth, in the course of such employment in a nonresidential setting, the local department conducting the investigation shall comply with the following provisions in conducting its investigation:

1. The local department shall conduct a face-to-face interview with the person who is the subject of the complaint or report.

2. At the onset of the initial interview with the alleged abuser or neglector, the local department shall notify him in writing of the general nature of the complaint and the identity of the alleged child victim regarding the purpose of the contacts.

3. The written notification shall include the information that the alleged abuser or neglector has the right to have an attorney or other representative of his choice present during his interviews. However, the failure by a representative of the Department of Social Services to so advise the subject of the complaint shall not cause an otherwise voluntary statement to be inadmissible in a criminal proceeding.

4. Written notification of the findings shall be submitted to the alleged abuser or neglector. The notification shall include a summary of the investigation and an explanation of how the information gathered supports the disposition.

5. The written notification of the findings shall inform the alleged abuser or neglector of his right to appeal.

6. The written notification of the findings shall inform the alleged abuser or neglector of his right to review information about himself in the record with the following exceptions:

a. The identity of the person making the report.

b. Information provided by any law-enforcement official.

c. Information that may endanger the well-being of the child.

d. The identity of a witness or any other person if such release may endanger the life or safety of such witness or person.

B. In all cases in which an alleged act of child abuse or neglect is also being criminally investigated by a law-enforcement agency, and the local department is conducting a joint investigation with a law-enforcement officer in regard to such an alleged act, no information in the possession of the local department from such joint investigation shall be released by the local department except as authorized by the investigating law-enforcement officer or his supervisor or the local attorney for the Commonwealth.

C. Failure to comply with investigation procedures does not preclude a finding of abuse or neglect if such a finding is warranted by the facts.

2003, cc. 986, 1013.

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.