Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 66. Juvenile Justice
Chapter 2. Care of Children Committed to Department
12/4/2021

§ 66-24. Community group homes and other residential facilities for certain juveniles; licensure; personnel; summary suspension under certain circumstances; penalty.

A. The Department of Juvenile Justice shall cooperate with other state departments in fulfilling their respective licensing and certification responsibilities of children's residential facilities. The Board shall promulgate regulations that shall allow the Department to so assist and cooperate with other state departments. The Board's regulations shall establish the Department as the single licensing agency, with the exception of educational programs licensed by the Department of Education, for group homes or residential facilities providing care of juveniles in direct state care.

B. The Department is authorized to establish and maintain such a system of community group homes or other residential care facilities as the Department may from time to time acquire, construct, contract for or rent for the care of juveniles in direct state care, pending development of more permanent placement plans. Any community group home or other residential care facility that the Department may contract for or rent for the care of juveniles in direct state care shall be licensed or certified in accordance with the regulations of the Board.

Any more permanent placement plans shall consider adequate care and treatment, and suitable education, training and employment for such juveniles, as is appropriate.

C. The Department is further authorized to employ necessary personnel for community group homes or other residential care facilities or to contract with private entities for their operation. The Department shall conduct background checks of any individual who (i) accepts a position of employment at a community group home or other residential care facility, (ii) volunteers at a community group home or other residential care facility on a regular basis and will be alone with a juvenile in the performance of his duties, or (iii) provides contractual services directly to a juvenile in a community group home or other residential care facility on a regular basis and will be alone with a juvenile in the performance of his duties, pursuant to § 63.2-1726.

D. The Board shall promulgate regulations for licensure or certification of community group homes or other residential care facilities that contract with or are rented for the care of juveniles in direct state care pursuant to subsection B.

The Board's regulations shall address the services required to be provided in such facilities as it may deem appropriate to ensure the welfare and safety of the juveniles. In addition, the Board's regulations shall include, but need not be limited to (i) specifications for the structure and accommodations of such facilities according to the needs of the juveniles to be placed in the home or facility; (ii) rules concerning allowable activities, local government- and group home- or residential care facility-imposed curfews, and study, recreational, and bedtime hours; and (iii) a requirement that each home or facility have a community liaison who shall be responsible for facilitating cooperative relationships with the neighbors, the school system, local law enforcement, local government officials, and the community at large.

E. Pursuant to the procedures set forth in subsection F and in addition to any other legally authorized disciplinary actions, the Director may issue a summary order of suspension of the license or certificate of any group home or residential facility so regulated by the Department, in conjunction with any proceeding for revocation, denial, or other action, when conditions or practices exist in the home or facility that pose an immediate and substantial threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the juveniles who are residents and the Director believes the operation of the home or facility should be suspended during the pendency of such proceeding.

F. The summary order of suspension shall take effect upon its issuance and shall be served on the licensee or certificate holder or its designee as soon as practicable thereafter by personal service and certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address of record of the licensee or certificate holder. The order shall state the time, date, and location of a hearing to determine whether the suspension is appropriate. Such hearing shall be held no later than three business days after the issuance of the summary order of suspension and shall be convened by the Director or his designee.

After such hearing, the Director may issue a final order of summary suspension or may find that such summary suspension is not warranted by the facts and circumstances presented. A final order of summary suspension shall include notice that the licensee or certificate holder may appeal the Director's decision to the appropriate circuit court no later than 10 days following issuance of the order. The sole issue before the court shall be whether the Director 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.

The willful and material failure to comply with the summary order of suspension or final order of summary suspension shall be punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor. The Director may require the cooperation of any other agency or subdivision of the Commonwealth in the relocation of the juveniles who are residents of a home or facility whose license or certificate has been summarily suspended pursuant to this section and in any other actions necessary to reduce the risk of further harm to such residents.

G. In addition to the requirements set forth above, the Board's regulations shall require, as a condition of initial licensure or, if appropriate, license renewal, that the applicant shall: (i) be personally interviewed by Department personnel to determine the qualifications of the owner or operator before granting an initial license; (ii) provide evidence of having relevant prior experience before any initial license is granted; (iii) provide, as a condition of initial license or renewal licensure, evidence of staff participation in training on appropriate siting of the residential facilities for children, good neighbor policies, and community relations; and (iv) be required to screen residents prior to admission to exclude individuals with behavioral issues, such as histories of violence, that cannot be managed in the relevant residential facility.

H. In addition, the Department shall:

1. Notify relevant local governments and placing and funding agencies, including the Office of Children's Services, of multiple health and safety or human rights violations in residential facilities licensed by the Department when such violations result in the lowering of the licensure or certification status of the facility to provisional;

2. Post on the Department's website information concerning the application for initial licensure or certification of or renewal, denial, or provisional licensure or certification of any residential facility for children located in the locality;

3. Require all licensees or certificate holders to self-report lawsuits against or settlements with residential facility operators relating to the health and safety or human rights of residents and any criminal charges that may have been made relating to the health and safety or human rights of residents;

4. Require proof of contractual agreements or staff expertise to provide educational services, counseling services, psychological services, medical services, or any other services needed to serve the residents in accordance with the facility's operational plan;

5. Modify the term of the license or certificate at any time during the term of the license or certificate based on a change in compliance; and

6. Disseminate to local governments, or post on the Department's website, an accurate (updated weekly or monthly as necessary) list of licensed and operating group homes and other residential facilities for children by locality with information on services and identification of the lead licensure agency.

Code 1950, §§ 53-331, 63.1-246, 63-291.1; 1966, c. 491; 1968, c. 578; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1975, c. 637; 1981, c. 487; 1982, c. 636, § 53.1-249; 1989, c. 733; 1996, cc. 755, 914; 2005, cc. 358, 471; 2006, cc. 168, 781; 2008, c. 873; 2015, c. 366.

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.