Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 63.2. Welfare (Social Services)
11/13/2019

Chapter 2. State Social Services.

Article 1. Department and Commissioner of Social Services.

§ 63.2-200. Department of Social Services created.

The Department of Social Services is hereby created in the executive branch responsible to the Governor. The Department shall be under the supervision and management of the Commissioner of Social Services.

1974, cc. 44, 45, § 63.1-1.1; 1981, c. 21; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-201. Appointment of Commissioner.

The Commissioner of Social Services, shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, if in session when the appointment is made, and if not in session, then at its next succeeding session.

Code 1950, § 63-2; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-2; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1981, c. 21; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-202. Term of office; vacancies.

The Commissioner shall hold office at the pleasure of the Governor for a term coincident with that of each Governor making the appointment, or until his successor is appointed and qualified. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as original appointments are made.

Code 1950, § 63-3; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-3; 1981, c. 21; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-203. Powers and duties of Commissioner generally.

A. The Commissioner, subject to the regulations of the Board, shall have all of the powers and perform all the duties conferred upon him by law. Except as otherwise provided, he shall supervise the administration of the provisions of this title and shall see that all laws pertaining to the Department are carried out to their true intent and spirit.

B. The Commissioner shall enforce the regulations adopted by the Board.

Code 1950, §§ 63-5, 63-38, 63-254; 1968, cc. 578, 670, §§ 63.1-4, 63.1-31, 63.1-217; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1981, c. 21; 1999, cc. 737, 763; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-204. Cooperation with local authorities.

The Commissioner shall assist and cooperate with local authorities in the administration of this title. He shall encourage and direct the training of all personnel of local boards and local departments engaged in the administration of any program within the purview of this title or Chapter 11 (§ 16.1-226 et seq.) of Title 16.1. The Commissioner shall collect and publish statistics and such other data as may be deemed of value in assisting the public authorities and other social agencies of the Commonwealth in improving the care of these persons and in correcting conditions that contribute to dependency and delinquency. The Commissioner shall also, in his discretion, initiate and conduct conferences designed to accomplish such ends and to further coordination of effort in this field.

Code 1950, § 63-39; 1968, cc. 578, 670, § 63.1-32; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-205. Requiring reports from local boards; forms and submission schedule; approval of budgets by Commissioner.

A. The Commissioner shall require of local boards such reports relating to the administration of this title as the Commissioner may deem necessary to enable the Board and the Commissioner to exercise and perform the functions, duties and powers conferred and imposed by this title. He shall prescribe the form and submission schedule of applications, reports, affidavits, budgets and budget exhibits, and such other forms as may be required in the administration of this title.

B. The Commissioner shall review budget requests submitted by local boards, make modifications consistent with the requirements of this title and transmit the approved budget to each local board.

Code 1950, §§ 63-40, 63-42; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-33; 1975, c. 368; 1976, c. 383; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-206. Cooperation with federal agencies.

The Commissioner shall cooperate with the Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies of the United States and with the local boards, in relation to matters set forth in this title, and in any reasonable manner that may be necessary for this Commonwealth to qualify for and to receive grants or aid from such federal agencies for public assistance and services in conformity with the provisions of this title, including grants or aid to assist in providing rehabilitation and other services to help individuals to attain or retain capability for self-care or self-support and such services as are likely to prevent or reduce dependency and, in the case of dependent children, to maintain and strengthen family life. The Commissioner shall make such reports in such form and containing information as such agencies of the United States may require and shall comply with such provisions as such agencies require to assure the correctness and verification of such reports.

Code 1950, § 63-43; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-35; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-207. Authority to receive grants-in-aid, funds and gifts.

The Commissioner is authorized to receive, for and on behalf of the Commonwealth and its subdivisions, from the United States and agencies thereof, and from any and all other sources, grants-in-aid, funds and gifts, made for the purpose of providing, or to assist in providing, for funds for child welfare services including day care for children, disaster relief and emergency assistance awards, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and general relief, or any of them, including expenses of administration. Subject to the written approval of the Governor, the Commissioner is also authorized to receive from all such sources grants-in-aid, funds and gifts made for the purpose of alleviating, treating or preventing poverty, delinquency or other social problems encountered in programs under the supervision or administration of the Commissioner. All such funds shall be paid into the state treasury.

Code 1950, § 63-44; 1962, c. 297; 1964, c. 88; 1966, c. 105; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-36; 1977, c. 37; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-208. Standards for personnel.

The Commissioner shall enforce the minimum education, professional and training requirements and performance standards as determined by the Board for personnel employed in the administration of this title and remove each employee who does not meet such standards.

Code 1950, § 63-46; 1968, cc. 578, 670, § 63.1-37; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-209. Divisions of Department; staffing.

A. The Commissioner shall establish in the Department such divisions and regional offices as may be necessary.

B. The Commissioner shall ensure that regional offices responsible for oversight of foster care and adoption services are equipped with sufficient staff, and in no event less than four staff members, to provide effective oversight of and assistance with foster care and adoption services provided by local boards in the Commonwealth. At least one staff member shall be tasked with (i) reviewing the placement of children by local boards in children's residential facilities to verify that such placements are warranted by medical necessity and (ii) monitoring other health-related issues, such as medication management, frequency of visits with health care providers, and use of psychotropic medications. At least one staff member shall be tasked with supporting the efforts of local boards to find family-based placement options for children who are placed in or at risk of being placed in a children's residential facility without a medical necessity for congregate care. At least one staff member shall be tasked with supporting the efforts of local boards to find a permanent placement for children who have the greatest risk of aging out of foster care without a permanent family. At least one staff member shall be tasked with conducting foster care and adoption case reviews to ensure that local boards within the region are providing foster care and adoption services in a manner that complies with state and federal laws and regulations and protects the health, safety, and well-being of children under the supervision and control of such local boards. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, staff of regional offices shall have the authority to provide temporary staff support to local departments experiencing higher than normal caseloads or staff shortages.

Code 1950, § 63-7; 1968, cc. 578, 669, § 63.1-7; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1981, c. 21; 2002, c. 747; 2019, c. 446.

§ 63.2-210. Appointment of division heads.

The Commissioner shall appoint heads of the divisions, subject to the provisions of Chapter 29 (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.) of Title 2.2.

Code 1950, § 63-8; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-8; 1981, c. 21; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-211. Powers and duties of division heads.

The Commissioner may delegate to the heads of the various divisions and to such other employees of the Department as he deems desirable any and all of the powers and duties conferred upon him by law.

Code 1950, § 63-9; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-9; 1981, c. 21; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-212. Employment of agents and employees.

The Commissioner may, subject to the provisions of Chapter 29 (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.) of Title 2.2, employ or authorize the employment of such agents and employees as may be needed by the Commissioner and the Department in the exercise of the functions, duties and powers conferred and imposed by law upon him and the Department, and in order to effect a proper organization and to carry out its duties.

Code 1950, § 63-10; 1968, cc. 578, 670, § 63.1-10; 1981, c. 21; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-213. Powers, duties, titles and functions of agents and employees.

The functions, duties, powers and titles of the agents and employees provided for in § 63.2-212, and their salaries and remuneration, not in excess of the amount provided therefor by law, shall be fixed by the Commissioner, subject to the provisions of Chapter 29 (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.) of Title 2.2.

Code 1950, § 63-11; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-11; 1981, c. 21; 2002, c. 747; 2003, c. 467.

§ 63.2-214. Bonds of such agents.

Proper bonds shall be required of all agents and employees who handle any funds which may come into custody of the Department. The premiums on the bonds shall be paid from funds appropriated by the Commonwealth for the administration of the activities of the Department.

Code 1950, § 63-12; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-12; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-214.1. Marriage and family programs; funding.

A. To the extent authorized by federal law, the Department may spend up to one percent of all funds received through the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant during each fiscal year to fund programs that support the development of healthy marriages and the strengthening of families.

B. A portion, not to exceed 10 percent, of the money required to be spent as provided in subsection A may be allocated to develop a process, in cooperation with any public institution of higher education, for identifying best practices and outcomes for programs supported by grants made pursuant to this section.

C. If before implementation of any provision of this section a state agency determines that a waiver or authorization from a federal agency is necessary for implementation of that provision, the agency affected by the provision shall request the waiver or authorization and may delay implementing that provision until the waiver or authorization is granted.

D. The Board shall adopt such rules and promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to implement programs developed pursuant to this section.

2008, c. 439.

§ 63.2-214.2. Information related to shaken baby syndrome.

The Department shall make information about shaken baby syndrome, its effects, and resources for help and support for caretakers in a printable format, and information about how to acquire information about shaken baby syndrome and its effects in an audiovisual format, available to the public on its website. Such information shall be provided to every child welfare program required to be licensed by the Department at the time of initial licensure and upon request. The Department shall also make the information required in this section available to foster and adoptive parents and other persons, upon request.

2010, c. 551.

§ 63.2-214.3. Information on human trafficking.

The Department, in consultation with experts in the field of human trafficking prevention, shall provide to the Board of Education:

1. Resource information on human trafficking, including strategies for the prevention of trafficking of children; and

2. Materials for distribution that describe local, state, and national resources to which students, parents, school resource officers, counselors, and school personnel can refer for information on human trafficking, including strategies for prevention of trafficking of children.

2012, cc. 317, 370.

Article 2. State Board of Social Services.

§ 63.2-215. State Board of Social Services.

There shall be a State Board of Social Services consisting of 11 members appointed by the Governor. In making appointments, the Governor shall endeavor to select appointees of such qualifications and experience that the membership of the Board shall include persons suitably qualified to consider and act upon the various problems that the Board may be required to consider and act upon. The Board shall include a member from each of the social services regions of the state established by the Commissioner. At least one member of the Board shall be a licensed health care professional, one member shall be a representative of stand-alone licensed child care centers that meet the accountability standards of state recognized accreditation pursuant to § 22.1-19, and one member shall be a representative of religiously exempt child care centers. The appointments shall be subject to confirmation by the General Assembly if in session and, if not, then at its next succeeding session.

The members of the Board shall be appointed for four-year terms, except that appointments to fill vacancies shall be for the unexpired term.

No person shall be eligible to serve for or during more than two successive terms; however, any person appointed to fill a vacancy may be eligible for two additional successive terms after the term of the vacancy for which he was appointed has expired. Members of the Board may be suspended or removed by the Governor at his pleasure.

The Board shall select a chairman from its membership, and under rules adopted by itself may elect one of its members as vice-chairman. It shall elect one of its members as secretary.

The Board shall meet at such times as it deems appropriate and on call of the chairman when in his opinion meetings are expedient or necessary, provided that the Board meet at least six times each calendar year.

A majority of the current membership of the Board shall constitute a quorum for all purposes.

The main office of the Board shall be in the City of Richmond.

Code 1950, §§ 63-14, 63-15, 63-16, 63-18, 63-19, 63-20, 63-21, 63-22, 63-23; 1956, c. 104; 1968, cc. 465, 578, §§ 63.1-14, 63.1-15, 63.1-16, 63.1-18, 63.1-19, 63.1-20, 63.1-21, 63.1-22, 63.1-23; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1976 c. 217; 1980, c. 315; 1981, c. 21; 1998, c. 468; 2002, c. 747; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 63.2-216. Powers and duties of Board in general.

In addition to such other duties as are assigned to it, the Board shall act in a capacity advisory to the Commissioner, and when requested shall confer and advise with him upon such matters as may arise in the performance of his duties. When requested by the Commissioner, or by the Governor, the Board shall investigate such questions and consider such problems as they, or either of them, may submit and shall report their findings and conclusions. The Board may also initiate investigations and consider problems and make recommendations to the Commissioner or to the Governor, of its own motion.

Code 1950, § 63-24; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-24; 1981, c. 21; 1999, cc. 737, 763; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-217. Board to adopt regulations.

The Board shall adopt such regulations, not in conflict with this title, as may be necessary or desirable to carry out the purpose of this title. Before the Board acts on a regulation to be published in the Virginia Register of Regulations pursuant to § 2.2-4007.05, the Board shall examine the potential fiscal impact of such regulation on local boards. For regulations with potential fiscal impact, the Board shall share copies of the fiscal analysis with local boards prior to submission of the regulation to the Department of Planning and Budget for purposes of the economic impact analysis under § 2.2-4007.04. The fiscal impact analysis shall include the projected costs and savings to the local boards to implement or comply with such regulation and, where applicable, sources of potential funds to implement or comply with such regulation.

The Board also may adopt such regulations to authorize local boards to destroy or otherwise dispose of such records as the local boards in their discretion deem are no longer necessary in such offices and that serve no further administrative, historical or financial purpose.

Code 1950, § 63-25; 1956, c. 125; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-25; 1974, c. 507, § 63.1-238.5; 1976, c. 216; 1998, c. 558; 2002, cc. 391, 747; 2007, cc. 873, 916.

§ 63.2-217.1. Board to amend regulations governing emergency response plans of assisted living facilities.

A. The Board shall amend its regulations governing emergency preparedness and response plans and temporary emergency electrical power sources of assisted living facilities to require the following:

1. Any assisted living facility that is equipped with an on-site emergency generator shall (i) include in its emergency preparedness and response plan a description of the emergency generator's capacity to provide sufficient power for the operation of lighting, ventilation, temperature control, supplied oxygen, and refrigeration and (ii) test such emergency generator monthly and maintain records of such tests; and

2. Any assisted living facility that is not equipped with an on-site emergency generator shall (i) enter into an agreement with a vendor capable of providing the assisted living facility with an emergency generator for the provision of electricity during an interruption of the normal electric power supply; (ii) enter into at least one agreement with a separate vendor capable of providing an emergency generator in the event that the primary vendor is unable to comply with its agreement with the assisted living facility during an emergency; and (iii) have its temporary emergency electrical power source connection tested at the time of installation and every two years thereafter by a contracted vendor and maintain records of such tests.

B. The Department shall provide notice to all licensed assisted living facilities regarding the date by which such assisted living facilities must comply with the regulations promulgated pursuant to this section.

2019, c. 91.

§ 63.2-218. Board to adopt regulations regarding human research.

The Board shall adopt regulations to effectuate the provisions of Chapter 5.1 (§ 32.1-162.16 et seq.) of Title 32.1 for human research, as defined in § 32.1-162.16, to be conducted or authorized by the Department, any agency or facility licensed by the Department, or any local department. The regulations shall require the human research committee to submit to the Governor, the General Assembly, and the Commissioner at least annually a report on the human research projects reviewed and approved by the committee and shall require the committee to report any significant deviations from the proposals as approved.

1992, c. 603, § 63.1-25.01; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-219. Board to establish employee entrance and performance standards.

The Board shall establish minimum education, professional and training requirements and performance standards for the personnel employed by the Commissioner and local boards in the administration of this title and adopt regulations to maintain such education, professional and training requirements and performance standards, including such regulations as may be embraced in the development of a system of personnel administration meeting requirements of the Department of Health and Human Services under appropriate federal legislation relating to programs administered by the Board. The Board shall adopt minimum education, professional and training requirements and performance standards for personnel to provide public assistance or social services.

The Board shall provide that the Department and its local boards or local departments shall not employ any person in any family-services specialist position that provides direct client services unless that person holds at least a baccalaureate degree. Such requirement shall not be waived by the Department, Board, or any local director or local governing body, unless such person has been employed prior to January 1, 1999, by the Department or its local boards or local departments in a family-services specialist position that provides direct client services.

The state grievance procedure adopted pursuant to Chapter 30 (§ 2.2-3000 et seq.) of Title 2.2 shall apply to the personnel employed by the Commissioner. A local social services department or local board shall adopt a grievance procedure that is either (i) adopted by the locality in which the department or board is located, or in the case of a regional department or board, the grievance procedure adopted by one of its localities in the regional organization; or (ii) approved by the Board consistent with the provisions of Chapter 30 (§ 2.2-3000 et seq.) of Title 2.2. The grievance procedure adopted by the local board shall apply to employees, including local directors, of the local boards and local departments.

Code 1950, §§ 63-26, 63-136, 63-140.13, 63-158, 63-200; 1960, c. 440; 1962, c. 621; 1966, c. 112; 1968, cc. 578, 668, 670, §§ 63.1-26, 63.1-123; 1974, cc. 491, 504; 1975, cc. 176, 438; 1984, c. 781; 1990, c. 537; 1995, cc. 770, 818; 1999, c. 854; 2002, c. 747; 2004, c. 208; 2005, c. 714; 2014, c. 285.

§ 63.2-220. Board may administer oaths, conduct hearings and issue subpoenas.

The Board in the exercise and performance of its functions, duties and powers under the provisions of this title is authorized to hold and conduct hearings, issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses and the production of records, memoranda, papers and other documents, to administer oaths and to take testimony thereunder.

Code 1950, § 63-27; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-27; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-221. Board to investigate institutions at direction of Governor.

Whenever the Governor considers it proper or necessary to investigate the management of any institution licensed by or required to be inspected by the Board under the provisions of this title, he may direct the Board, or any committee or agent thereof, to make the investigation. The Board, committee or agent designated by the Governor shall have power to administer oaths and to summon officers, employees or other persons to attend as witnesses and to enforce their attendance and to compel them to produce documents and give evidence.

Code 1950, § 63-33; 1968, c. 465, § 63.1-28.1; 2002, c. 747.

Article 3. Statewide Human Services Information and Referral Program.

§ 63.2-222. Establishment of system.

There shall be created a statewide human services information and referral system designed to:

1. Collect and maintain accurate and complete resource data on a statewide basis;

2. Link citizens needing human services with appropriate community resources to satisfy those needs;

3. Assist in planning for human services delivery at the local, regional and state levels; and

4. Provide information to assist decision-makers in allocating financial and other resources to respond to state and local human service priorities.

1984, c. 402, § 63.1-314.1; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-223. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2003, cc. 54 and 75.

§ 63.2-226. Duties of Department.

A. The Department shall assume administrative responsibilities for the statewide system. In this capacity, the Department shall establish an office to:

1. Develop a plan for the design and implementation of a statewide human services information and referral program;

2. Coordinate and supervise the implementation and operation of the information and referral program;

3. Coordinate funding for the system;

4. Select regional providers of information and referral services;

5. Supervise coordination of information management among information and referral regions across the Commonwealth;

6. Encourage effective relationships between the system and state and local agencies and public and private organizations;

7. Develop and implement a statewide publicity effort;

8. Provide training, technical assistance, research, and consultation for regional and local information and referral centers, and to localities interested in developing information and referral services;

9. Determine a core level of services to be funded from state government resources;

10. Coordinate standardization of resource data collection, maintenance and dissemination;

11. Stimulate and encourage the availability of statewide information and referral services;

12. Develop and implement a program for monitoring and assessing the performance and success of the information and referral program; and

13. Collect information on child-specific payments made through the Title IV-E foster care program and submit information, when available, to the Office of Children's Services.

B. The Department, in consultation with the Virginia Employment Commission and Virginia Community College System, shall develop and implement a plan for the provision to citizens receiving any form of public assistance of information regarding courses on financial literacy, offered online or through any other appropriate medium, that are available to such citizens at no cost to them.

1984, c. 402, § 63.1-314.5; 1990, c. 915; 2002, c. 747; 2003, cc. 54, 75; 2008, c. 277; 2015, cc. 366, 521.

§ 63.2-227. Regional providers; duties.

There shall be established a regional system of providers of information and referral services. The Department shall select the regional providers.

The regional providers shall:

1. Collect, maintain and disseminate resource data;

2. Provide citizen access to information about resources throughout the Commonwealth;

3. Assist in planning functions by providing selected data to the Department on a regular basis;

4. Provide data to public and private agencies other than the Department on a contractual basis;

5. Cooperate with the state administering agency;

6. Seek funds from available sources;

7. Maintain effective relationships between the system and state and local agencies and public and private organizations; and

8. When feasible and appropriate and within the limits of available funds, establish satellite offices or develop cooperative agreements with local information and referral groups and resource and referral groups that can assist the regional providers in performing their duties and responsibilities.

1984, c. 402, § 63.1-314.6; 1990, c. 915; 2002, c. 747; 2003, cc. 54, 75.

§ 63.2-228. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2003, cc. 54 and 75.

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