Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 63.2. Welfare (Social Services)
5/22/2019

Subtitle I. General Provisions Relating to Social Services.

Chapter 1. General Provisions.

§ 63.2-100. Definitions.

As used in this title, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Abused or neglected child" means any child less than 18 years of age:

1. Whose parents or other person responsible for his care creates or inflicts, threatens to create or inflict, or allows to be created or inflicted upon such child a physical or mental injury by other than accidental means, or creates a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, or impairment of bodily or mental functions, including, but not limited to, a child who is with his parent or other person responsible for his care either (i) during the manufacture or attempted manufacture of a Schedule I or II controlled substance, or (ii) during the unlawful sale of such substance by that child's parents or other person responsible for his care, where such manufacture, or attempted manufacture or unlawful sale would constitute a felony violation of § 18.2-248;

2. Whose parents or other person responsible for his care neglects or refuses to provide care necessary for his health. However, no child who in good faith is under treatment solely by spiritual means through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination shall for that reason alone be considered to be an abused or neglected child. Further, a decision by parents who have legal authority for the child or, in the absence of parents with legal authority for the child, any person with legal authority for the child, who refuses a particular medical treatment for a child with a life-threatening condition shall not be deemed a refusal to provide necessary care if (i) such decision is made jointly by the parents or other person with legal authority and the child; (ii) the child has reached 14 years of age and is sufficiently mature to have an informed opinion on the subject of his medical treatment; (iii) the parents or other person with legal authority and the child have considered alternative treatment options; and (iv) the parents or other person with legal authority and the child believe in good faith that such decision is in the child's best interest. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to limit the provisions of § 16.1-278.4;

3. Whose parents or other person responsible for his care abandons such child;

4. Whose parents or other person responsible for his care commits or allows to be committed any act of sexual exploitation or any sexual act upon a child in violation of the law;

5. Who is without parental care or guardianship caused by the unreasonable absence or the mental or physical incapacity of the child's parent, guardian, legal custodian or other person standing in loco parentis;

6. Whose parents or other person responsible for his care creates a substantial risk of physical or mental injury by knowingly leaving the child alone in the same dwelling, including an apartment as defined in § 55-79.2, with a person to whom the child is not related by blood or marriage and who the parent or other person responsible for his care knows has been convicted of an offense against a minor for which registration is required as a violent sexual offender pursuant to § 9.1-902; or

7. Who has been identified as a victim of sex trafficking or severe forms of trafficking as defined in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, 22 U.S.C § 7102 et seq., and in the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, 42 U.S.C. § 5101 et seq.

If a civil proceeding under this title is based solely on the parent having left the child at a hospital or emergency medical services agency, it shall be an affirmative defense that such parent safely delivered the child to a hospital that provides 24-hour emergency services or to an attended emergency medical services agency that employs emergency medical services providers, within 14 days of the child's birth. For purposes of terminating parental rights pursuant to § 16.1-283 and placement for adoption, the court may find such a child is a neglected child upon the ground of abandonment.

"Adoptive home" means any family home selected and approved by a parent, local board or a licensed child-placing agency for the placement of a child with the intent of adoption.

"Adoptive placement" means arranging for the care of a child who is in the custody of a child-placing agency in an approved home for the purpose of adoption.

"Adult abuse" means the willful infliction of physical pain, injury or mental anguish or unreasonable confinement of an adult as defined in § 63.2-1603.

"Adult day care center" means any facility that is either operated for profit or that desires licensure and that provides supplementary care and protection during only a part of the day to four or more aged, infirm or disabled adults who reside elsewhere, except (i) a facility or portion of a facility licensed by the State Board of Health or the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, and (ii) the home or residence of an individual who cares for only persons related to him by blood or marriage. Included in this definition are any two or more places, establishments or institutions owned, operated or controlled by a single entity and providing such supplementary care and protection to a combined total of four or more aged, infirm or disabled adults.

"Adult exploitation" means the illegal, unauthorized, improper, or fraudulent use of an adult as defined in § 63.2-1603 or his funds, property, benefits, resources, or other assets for another's profit, benefit, or advantage, including a caregiver or person serving in a fiduciary capacity, or that deprives the adult of his rightful use of or access to such funds, property, benefits, resources, or other assets. "Adult exploitation" includes (i) an intentional breach of a fiduciary obligation to an adult to his detriment or an intentional failure to use the financial resources of an adult in a manner that results in neglect of such adult; (ii) the acquisition, possession, or control of an adult's financial resources or property through the use of undue influence, coercion, or duress; and (iii) forcing or coercing an adult to pay for goods or services or perform services against his will for another's profit, benefit, or advantage if the adult did not agree, or was tricked, misled, or defrauded into agreeing, to pay for such goods or services or to perform such services.

"Adult foster care" means room and board, supervision, and special services to an adult who has a physical or mental condition. Adult foster care may be provided by a single provider for up to three adults.

"Adult neglect" means that an adult as defined in § 63.2-1603 is living under such circumstances that he is not able to provide for himself or is not being provided services necessary to maintain his physical and mental health and that the failure to receive such necessary services impairs or threatens to impair his well-being. However, no adult shall be considered neglected solely on the basis that such adult is receiving religious nonmedical treatment or religious nonmedical nursing care in lieu of medical care, provided that such treatment or care is performed in good faith and in accordance with the religious practices of the adult and there is a written or oral expression of consent by that adult.

"Adult protective services" means services provided by the local department that are necessary to protect an adult as defined in § 63.2-1603 from abuse, neglect or exploitation.

"Assisted living care" means a level of service provided by an assisted living facility for adults who may have physical or mental impairments and require at least a moderate level of assistance with activities of daily living.

"Assisted living facility" means any congregate residential setting that provides or coordinates personal and health care services, 24-hour supervision, and assistance (scheduled and unscheduled) for the maintenance or care of four or more adults who are aged, infirm or disabled and who are cared for in a primarily residential setting, except (i) a facility or portion of a facility licensed by the State Board of Health or the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, but including any portion of such facility not so licensed; (ii) the home or residence of an individual who cares for or maintains only persons related to him by blood or marriage; (iii) a facility or portion of a facility serving infirm or disabled persons between the ages of 18 and 21, or 22 if enrolled in an educational program for the handicapped pursuant to § 22.1-214, when such facility is licensed by the Department as a children's residential facility under Chapter 17 (§ 63.2-1700 et seq.), but including any portion of the facility not so licensed; and (iv) any housing project for persons 62 years of age or older or the disabled that provides no more than basic coordination of care services and is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or by the Virginia Housing Development Authority. Included in this definition are any two or more places, establishments or institutions owned or operated by a single entity and providing maintenance or care to a combined total of four or more aged, infirm or disabled adults. Maintenance or care means the protection, general supervision and oversight of the physical and mental well-being of an aged, infirm or disabled individual.

"Auxiliary grants" means cash payments made to certain aged, blind or disabled individuals who receive benefits under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, as amended, or would be eligible to receive these benefits except for excess income.

"Birth family" or "birth sibling" means the child's biological family or biological sibling.

"Birth parent" means the child's biological parent and, for purposes of adoptive placement, means parent(s) by previous adoption.

"Board" means the State Board of Social Services.

"Child" means any natural person under 18 years of age.

"Child day center" means a child day program offered to (i) two or more children under the age of 13 in a facility that is not the residence of the provider or of any of the children in care or (ii) 13 or more children at any location.

"Child day program" means a regularly operating service arrangement for children where, during the absence of a parent or guardian, a person or organization has agreed to assume responsibility for the supervision, protection, and well-being of a child under the age of 13 for less than a 24-hour period.

"Child-placing agency" means any person who places children in foster homes, adoptive homes or independent living arrangements pursuant to § 63.2-1819 or a local board that places children in foster homes or adoptive homes pursuant to §§ 63.2-900, 63.2-903, and 63.2-1221. Officers, employees, or agents of the Commonwealth, or any locality acting within the scope of their authority as such, who serve as or maintain a child-placing agency, shall not be required to be licensed.

"Child-protective services" means the identification, receipt and immediate response to complaints and reports of alleged child abuse or neglect for children under 18 years of age. It also includes assessment, and arranging for and providing necessary protective and rehabilitative services for a child and his family when the child has been found to have been abused or neglected or is at risk of being abused or neglected.

"Child support services" means any civil, criminal or administrative action taken by the Division of Child Support Enforcement to locate parents; establish paternity; and establish, modify, enforce, or collect child support, or child and spousal support.

"Child-welfare agency" means a child day center, child-placing agency, children's residential facility, family day home, family day system, or independent foster home.

"Children's residential facility" means any facility, child-caring institution, or group home that is maintained for the purpose of receiving children separated from their parents or guardians for full-time care, maintenance, protection and guidance, or for the purpose of providing independent living services to persons between 18 and 21 years of age who are in the process of transitioning out of foster care. Children's residential facility shall not include:

1. A licensed or accredited educational institution whose pupils, in the ordinary course of events, return annually to the homes of their parents or guardians for not less than two months of summer vacation;

2. An establishment required to be licensed as a summer camp by § 35.1-18; and

3. A licensed or accredited hospital legally maintained as such.

"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Department, his designee or authorized representative.

"Department" means the State Department of Social Services.

"Department of Health and Human Services" means the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States government or any department or agency thereof that may hereafter be designated as the agency to administer the Social Security Act, as amended.

"Disposable income" means that part of the income due and payable of any individual remaining after the deduction of any amount required by law to be withheld.

"Energy assistance" means benefits to assist low-income households with their home heating and cooling needs, including, but not limited to, purchase of materials or substances used for home heating, repair or replacement of heating equipment, emergency intervention in no-heat situations, purchase or repair of cooling equipment, and payment of electric bills to operate cooling equipment, in accordance with § 63.2-805, or provided under the Virginia Energy Assistance Program established pursuant to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 (Title XXVI of Public Law 97-35), as amended.

"Family day home" means a child day program offered in the residence of the provider or the home of any of the children in care for one through 12 children under the age of 13, exclusive of the provider's own children and any children who reside in the home, when at least one child receives care for compensation. The provider of a licensed or registered family day home shall disclose to the parents or guardians of children in their care the percentage of time per week that persons other than the provider will care for the children. Family day homes serving five through 12 children, exclusive of the provider's own children and any children who reside in the home, shall be licensed. However, no family day home shall care for more than four children under the age of two, including the provider's own children and any children who reside in the home, unless the family day home is licensed or voluntarily registered. However, a family day home where the children in care are all related to the provider by blood or marriage shall not be required to be licensed.

"Family day system" means any person who approves family day homes as members of its system; who refers children to available family day homes in that system; and who, through contractual arrangement, may provide central administrative functions including, but not limited to, training of operators of member homes; technical assistance and consultation to operators of member homes; inspection, supervision, monitoring, and evaluation of member homes; and referral of children to available health and social services.

"Foster care placement" means placement of a child through (i) an agreement between the parents or guardians and the local board where legal custody remains with the parents or guardians or (ii) an entrustment or commitment of the child to the local board or licensed child-placing agency.

"Foster home" means the place of residence of any natural person in which any child, other than a child by birth or adoption of such person, resides as a member of the household.

"General relief" means money payments and other forms of relief made to those persons mentioned in § 63.2-802 in accordance with the regulations of the Board and reimbursable in accordance with § 63.2-401.

"Independent foster home" means a private family home in which any child, other than a child by birth or adoption of such person, resides as a member of the household and has been placed therein independently of a child-placing agency except (i) a home in which are received only children related by birth or adoption of the person who maintains such home and children of personal friends of such person and (ii) a home in which is received a child or children committed under the provisions of subdivision A 4 of § 16.1-278.2, subdivision 6 of § 16.1-278.4, or subdivision A 13 of § 16.1-278.8.

"Independent living" means a planned program of services designed to assist a child age 16 and over and persons who are former foster care children or were formerly committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice and are between the ages of 18 and 21 in transitioning to self-sufficiency.

"Independent living arrangement" means placement of (i) a child at least 16 years of age who is in the custody of a local board or licensed child-placing agency by the local board or licensed child-placing agency or (ii) a child at least 16 years of age or a person between the ages of 18 and 21 who was committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice immediately prior to placement by the Department of Juvenile Justice, in a living arrangement in which such child or person does not have daily substitute parental supervision.

"Independent living services" means services and activities provided to a child in foster care 14 years of age or older who was committed or entrusted to a local board of social services, child welfare agency, or private child-placing agency. "Independent living services" may also mean services and activities provided to a person who (i) was in foster care on his 18th birthday and has not yet reached the age of 21 years; (ii) is between the ages of 18 and 21 and who, immediately prior to his commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice, was in the custody of a local board of social services; or (iii) is a child at least 16 years of age or a person between the ages of 18 and 21 who was committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice immediately prior to placement in an independent living arrangement. Such services shall include counseling, education, housing, employment, and money management skills development, access to essential documents, and other appropriate services to help children or persons prepare for self-sufficiency.

"Independent physician" means a physician who is chosen by the resident of the assisted living facility and who has no financial interest in the assisted living facility, directly or indirectly, as an owner, officer, or employee or as an independent contractor with the residence.

"Intercountry placement" means the arrangement for the care of a child in an adoptive home or foster care placement into or out of the Commonwealth by a licensed child-placing agency, court, or other entity authorized to make such placements in accordance with the laws of the foreign country under which it operates.

"Interstate placement" means the arrangement for the care of a child in an adoptive home, foster care placement or in the home of the child's parent or with a relative or nonagency guardian, into or out of the Commonwealth, by a child-placing agency or court when the full legal right of the child's parent or nonagency guardian to plan for the child has been voluntarily terminated or limited or severed by the action of any court.

"Kinship care" means the full-time care, nurturing, and protection of children by relatives.

"Kinship guardian" means the adult relative of a child in a kinship guardianship established in accordance with § 63.2-1305 who has been awarded custody of the child by the court after acting as the child's foster parent.

"Kinship guardianship" means a relationship established in accordance with § 63.2-1305 between a child and an adult relative of the child who has formerly acted as the child's foster parent that is intended to be permanent and self-sustaining as evidenced by the transfer by the court to the adult relative of the child of the authority necessary to ensure the protection, education, care and control, and custody of the child and the authority for decision making for the child.

"Kinship Guardianship Assistance program" means a program consistent with 42 U.S.C. § 673 that provides, subject to a kinship guardianship assistance agreement developed in accordance with § 63.2-1305, payments to eligible individuals who have received custody of a relative child of whom they had been the foster parents.

"Local board" means the local board of social services representing one or more counties or cities.

"Local department" means the local department of social services of any county or city in this Commonwealth.

"Local director" means the director or his designated representative of the local department of the city or county.

"Merit system plan" means those regulations adopted by the Board in the development and operation of a system of personnel administration meeting requirements of the federal Office of Personnel Management.

"Parental placement" means locating or effecting the placement of a child or the placing of a child in a family home by the child's parent or legal guardian for the purpose of foster care or adoption.

"Public assistance" means Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); auxiliary grants to the aged, blind and disabled; medical assistance; energy assistance; food stamps; employment services; child care; and general relief.

"Qualified assessor" means an entity contracting with the Department of Medical Assistance Services to perform nursing facility pre-admission screening or to complete the uniform assessment instrument for a home and community-based waiver program, including an independent physician contracting with the Department of Medical Assistance Services to complete the uniform assessment instrument for residents of assisted living facilities, or any hospital that has contracted with the Department of Medical Assistance Services to perform nursing facility pre-admission screenings.

"Registered family day home" means any family day home that has met the standards for voluntary registration for such homes pursuant to regulations adopted by the Board and that has obtained a certificate of registration from the Commissioner.

"Residential living care" means a level of service provided by an assisted living facility for adults who may have physical or mental impairments and require only minimal assistance with the activities of daily living. The definition of "residential living care" includes the services provided by independent living facilities that voluntarily become licensed.

"Sibling" means each of two or more children having one or more parents in common.

"Social services" means foster care, adoption, adoption assistance, child-protective services, domestic violence services, or any other services program implemented in accordance with regulations adopted by the Board. Social services also includes adult services pursuant to Article 4 (§ 51.5-144 et seq.) of Chapter 14 of Title 51.5 and adult protective services pursuant to Article 5 (§ 51.5-148) of Chapter 14 of Title 51.5 provided by local departments of social services in accordance with regulations and under the supervision of the Commissioner for Aging and Rehabilitative Services.

"Special order" means an order imposing an administrative sanction issued to any party licensed pursuant to this title by the Commissioner that has a stated duration of not more than 12 months. A special order shall be considered a case decision as defined in § 2.2-4001.

"Temporary Assistance for Needy Families" or "TANF" means the program administered by the Department through which a relative can receive monthly cash assistance for the support of his eligible children.

"Temporary Assistance for Needy Families-Unemployed Parent" or "TANF-UP" means the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program for families in which both natural or adoptive parents of a child reside in the home and neither parent is exempt from the Virginia Initiative for Employment Not Welfare (VIEW) participation under § 63.2-609.

"Title IV-E Foster Care" means a federal program authorized under §§ 472 and 473 of the Social Security Act, as amended, and administered by the Department through which foster care is provided on behalf of qualifying children.

Code 1950, §§ 63-101, 63-222, 63-232, 63-347, 63-351; 1954, cc. 259, 290, 489; 1956, cc. 300, 641; 1960, cc. 331, 390; 1962, cc. 297, 603; 1966, c. 423; 1968, cc. 578, 585, §§ 63.1-87, 63.1-172, 63.1-195, 63.1-220; 1970, c. 721; 1972, cc. 73, 540, 718; 1973, c. 227; 1974, cc. 44, 45, 413, 415, § 63.1-250; 1975, cc. 287, 299, 311, 341, 437, 507, 524, 528, 596, §§ 63.1-238.1, 63.1-248.2; 1976, cc. 357, 649; 1977, cc. 105, 241, 532, 547, 559, 567, 634, 645, §§ 63.1-55.2, 63.1-55.8; 1978, cc. 536, 730, 749, 750; 1979, c. 483; 1980, cc. 40, 284; 1981, cc. 75, 123, 359; 1983, c. 66; 1984, cc. 74, 76, 498, 535, 781; 1985, cc. 17, 285, 384, 488, 518; 1986, cc. 80, 281, 308, 437, 594; 1987, cc. 627, 650, 681; 1988, c. 906; 1989, cc. 307, 647; 1990, c. 760; 1991, cc. 534, 595, 651, 694; 1992 c. 356, § 63.1-194.1; 1993, cc. 730, 742, 957, 993, § 63.1-196.001; 1994, cc. 107, 837, 865, 940; 1995, cc. 401, 520, 649, 772, 826; 1997, cc. 796, 895; 1998, cc. 115, 126, 397, 552, 727, 850; 1999, c. 454; 2000, cc. 61, 290, 500, 830, 845, 1058, § 63.1-219.7; 2002, c. 747; 2003, c. 467; 2004, cc. 70, 196, 245, 753, 814; 2006, c. 868; 2007, cc. 479, 597; 2008, cc. 475, 483; 2009, cc. 705, 813, 840; 2011, cc. 5, 156; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2013, cc. 5, 362, 564; 2015, cc. 502, 503, 758, 770; 2016, c. 631; 2017, c. 195; 2018, cc. 497, 769, 770.

§ 63.2-100.1. Certified mail; subsequent mail or notices may be sent by regular mail.

Whenever in this title the Board or the Department is required to send any mail or notice by certified mail and such mail or notice is sent certified mail, return receipt requested, then any subsequent, identical mail or notice that is sent by the Board or the Department may be sent by regular mail.

2011, c. 566.

§ 63.2-101. Authority of Department to request and receive information from other agencies; use of information so obtained; provide access to information for medical assistance eligibility purposes.

A. The Department may request and shall receive from the records of all departments, boards, bureaus or other agencies of this Commonwealth and of other states such information as is necessary for the purpose of carrying out the provisions and programs of this title, and the same are authorized to provide such information; provided that, a written statement from the requesting party stating the reason for seeking such record is submitted and filed with the record sought. The Department may make such information available only to public officials and agencies of this Commonwealth, and other states, and political subdivisions of this Commonwealth and other states, where the request for information relates to administration of the various public assistance or social services programs.

B. The Department shall provide, to the Department of Medical Assistance Services and to certain entities approved by the Board of Medical Assistance Services, access to information regarding a medical assistance applicant's receipt of public assistance from programs administered by the Department. Such access shall be limited to information necessary to determine an individual's eligibility for medical assistance services and to the extent specified in a memorandum of understanding between the Department and the Department of Medical Assistance Services.

1975, c. 9, § 63.1-1.1:1; 1981, c. 21; 2002, c. 747; 2016, c. 111.

§ 63.2-102. Allowing access to records and information for public assistance programs and child support enforcement; penalty.

A. All records, information and statistical registries of the Department and local boards and other information that pertain to public assistance and child support enforcement provided to or on behalf of any individual shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except to persons specified hereinafter and to the extent permitted by state and federal law and regulation. The local boards shall allow the Commissioner, at all times, to have access to the records of the local boards relating to the appropriation, expenditure and distribution of funds for, and other matters concerning, public assistance under this title.

Except as provided by state and federal law and regulation, no record, information or statistical registries concerning applicants for and recipients of public assistance and child support shall be made available except for purposes directly connected with the administration of such programs. Such purposes include establishing eligibility, determining the amount of the public assistance and child support, and providing social services for applicants and recipients. It shall be unlawful for any person to disclose, directly or indirectly, any such confidential information, and any person violating these provisions shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. If a request for a record or information concerning applicants for and recipients of public assistance or child support is made to the Department or a local department for a purpose not directly connected to the administration of such programs, the Commissioner or local director shall not provide the record or information unless permitted by state or federal law or regulation.

Code 1950, §§ 63-41, 63-68, 63-140, 63-140.15, 63-161, 63-204, 63-220; 1952, c. 287; 1962, c. 621; 1968, cc. 43, 466, 578, §§ 63.1-34, 63.1-53, 63.1-126; 1970, c. 233; 1972, c. 718; 1974, c. 417; 1975, c. 311; 1984, c. 498; 1986, c. 594; 1988, c. 906; 1996, c. 455; 2001, c. 518; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-103. Confidential records and information concerning child support enforcement.

Any records established pursuant to the provisions of § 63.2-1902 shall be available only for the enforcement of support of children and their caretakers and to the Attorney General, prosecuting attorneys, law-enforcement agencies, courts of competent jurisdiction and agencies in other states engaged in the enforcement of support of children and their caretakers. Information pertaining to actions taken on behalf of recipients of child support services may be disclosed to the recipient and other parties pursuant to Board regulations. The Board shall adopt regulations regarding the release of information to parties involved in administrative proceedings pursuant to Chapter 19 (§ 63.2-1900 et seq.) of this title, taking into account the health and safety of the parties to whom the information is related, and such releases of information shall be permitted, notwithstanding the provisions of the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (§ 2.2-3800 et seq.). Information may also be disclosed to authorized persons, in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 663, in cases of unlawful taking or restraint of a child.

1988, c. 906, § 63.1-274.6; 1990, c. 836; 1991, cc. 545, 588; 1994, c. 665; 1997, cc. 796, 895; 2001, c. 573; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-104. Confidential records and information concerning social services; penalty.

A. The records, information and statistical registries of the Department, local departments and of all child-welfare agencies concerning social services to or on behalf of individuals shall be confidential information, provided that the Commissioner, the Board and their agents shall have access to such records, information and statistical registries, and that such records, information and statistical registries may be disclosed to any person having a legitimate interest in accordance with state and federal law and regulation.

It shall be unlawful for any officer, agent or employee of any child-welfare agency; for the Commissioner, the State Board or their agents or employees; for any person who has held any such position; and for any other person to whom any such record or information is disclosed to disclose, directly or indirectly, any such confidential record or information, except as herein provided or pursuant to § 63.2-105. Every violation of this section shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. If a request for a record or information concerning applicants for and recipients of social services is made to the Department or a local department by a person who does not have a legitimate interest, the Commissioner or local director shall not provide the record or information unless permitted by state or federal law or regulation.

C. This section shall not apply to the disposition of adoption records, reports and information that is governed by the provisions of § 63.2-1246.

Code 1950, §§ 63-41, 63-140, 63-140.15, 63-161, 63-204, 63-220, 63-246; 1958, c. 433; 1962, c. 621; 1968, cc. 43, 578, §§ 63.1-34, 63.1-126, 63.1-209; 1972, c. 540; 1976, c. 365; 1977, c. 547, § 63.1-55.4; 1979, cc. 218, 666; 1981, c. 456; 1983, c. 604; 1986, c. 213; 1988, cc. 151, 898; 1994, c. 643; 2000, cc. 500, 830; 2001, cc. 503, 518; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-104.1. Confidentiality of records of persons receiving domestic and sexual violence services.

A. In order to ensure the safety of adult and child victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or victims of a violation of § 18.2-48, 18.2-355, 18.2-356, 18.2-357, or 18.2-357.1, and their families, programs and individuals providing services to such victims shall protect the confidentiality and privacy of persons receiving services.

B. Except as provided in subsections C and D, programs and individuals providing services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or victims of a violation of § 18.2-48, 18.2-355, 18.2-356, 18.2-357, or 18.2-357.1, shall not:

1. Disclose any personally identifying information or individual information collected in connection with services requested, utilized, or denied through programs for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or victims of a violation of § 18.2-48, 18.2-355, 18.2-356, 18.2-357, or 18.2-357.1; or

2. Reveal individual client information without the informed, written, reasonably time-limited consent of the person about whom information is sought; the minor and his parent or legal guardian, in cases in which the client is an unemancipated minor; or the guardian of an incapacitated person as defined in § 64.2-2000, whether for this program or any other Federal, State, tribal, or territorial grant program. However, consent for release may not be given by the abuser or alleged abuser of the minor or incapacitated person, or the abuser or alleged abuser of the other parent of the minor.

C. If release of information described in subsection B is compelled by statutory or court mandate, the program or individual providing services shall:

1. Make reasonable attempts to provide notice to victims affected by the disclosure of information; and

2. Take steps necessary to protect the privacy and safety of the persons affected by the release of the information.

D. Programs and individuals providing services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or victims of a violation of § 18.2-48, 18.2-355, 18.2-356, 18.2-357, or 18.2-357.1, may share:

1. Nonpersonally identifying data in the aggregate regarding services to their clients and nonpersonally identifying demographic information in order to comply with Federal, State, tribal, or territorial reporting, evaluation, or data collection requirements;

2. Court generated information and law-enforcement generated information contained in secure, governmental registries for protection order enforcement purposes; and

3. Information necessary for law enforcement and prosecution purposes.

For purposes of this section, "programs" shall include public and not-for-profit agencies the primary mission of which is to provide services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or victims of a violation of § 18.2-48, 18.2-355, 18.2-356, 18.2-357, or 18.2-357.1.

E. For the purposes of this section, a person may be a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or a victim of a violation of § 18.2-48, 18.2-355, 18.2-356, 18.2-357, or 18.2-357.1, regardless of whether any person has been charged with or convicted of any offense.

2006, c. 135; 2016, cc. 666, 670.

§ 63.2-105. Confidential records and information concerning social services; child-protective services and child-placing agencies.

A. The local department may disclose the contents of records and information learned during the course of a child-protective services investigation or during the provision of child-protective services to a family, without a court order and without the consent of the family, to a person having a legitimate interest when in the judgment of the local department such disclosure is in the best interest of the child who is the subject of the records. Persons having a legitimate interest in child-protective services records of local departments include, but are not limited to, (i) any person who is responsible for investigating a report of known or suspected abuse or neglect or for providing services to a child or family that is the subject of a report, including multidisciplinary teams and family assessment and planning teams referenced in subsections J and K of § 63.2-1503, law-enforcement agencies and attorneys for the Commonwealth; (ii) child welfare or human services agencies of the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions when those agencies request information to determine the compliance of any person with a child-protective services plan or an order of any court; (iii) personnel of the school or child day program as defined in § 63.2-100 attended by the child so that the local department can receive information from such personnel on an ongoing basis concerning the child's health and behavior, and the activities of the child's custodian; (iv) a parent, grandparent, or any other person when such parent, grandparent or other person would be considered by the local department as a potential caretaker of the child in the event the local department has to remove the child from his custodian; and (v) the Commitment Review Committee and the Office of the Attorney General for the purposes of sexually violent predator civil commitments pursuant to Chapter 9 (§ 37.2-900 et seq.) of Title 37.2.

Whenever a local department exercises its discretion to release otherwise confidential information to any person who meets one or more of these descriptions, the local department shall be presumed to have exercised its discretion in a reasonable and lawful manner.

B. Any person who has not been legally adopted in accordance with the provisions of this title and who was a child for whom all parental rights and responsibilities have been terminated, shall not have access to any information from a child-placing agency with respect to the identity of the biological family, except (i) upon application of the child who is 18 or more years of age, (ii) upon order of a circuit court entered upon good cause shown, and (iii) after notice to and opportunity for hearing by the applicant for such order and the child-placing agency or local board that had custody of the child.

An eligible person who is a resident of Virginia may apply for the court order provided for herein to (a) the circuit court of the county or city where the person resides or (b) the circuit court of the county or city where the principal office of the child-placing agency or local board that controls the information sought by the person is located. An eligible person who is not a resident of Virginia shall apply for such a court order to the circuit court of the county or city where the principal office of the child-placing agency or local board that controls the information sought by the person is located.

If the identity and whereabouts of the biological family are known to the agency or local board, the court may require the agency or local board to advise the biological parents of the pendency of the application for such order. In determining good cause for the disclosure of such information, the court shall consider the relative effects of such action upon the applicant for such order and upon the biological parents.

2001, c. 518, § 63.1-209.1; 2002, c. 747; 2004, cc. 114, 220; 2006, cc. 863, 914.

§ 63.2-106. Failure to obey subpoena or charging illegal fees; penalty.

If any person fails or refuses to obey any subpoena issued under the provisions of § 63.2-220 or § 63.2-322, or charges or receives any fee contrary to the provisions of § 63.2-508, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, §§ 63-139, 63-160, 63-203, 63-219; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-125; 2002, c. 747.

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.

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

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

§ 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.

§ 63.2-218. 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.

Chapter 3. Local Social Services.

Article 1. Local Boards of Social Services.

§ 63.2-300. Local boards established by local governments.

There shall be a local board in each county and city of the Commonwealth. However, any combination of counties and cities may establish one local board for those jurisdictions as hereinafter provided in this article.

Code 1950, § 63-51; 1952, c. 409; 1956, c. 126; 1968, cc. 578, 584, § 63.1-38; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-301. Local board appointments and terms of office.

The members of each local board first appointed shall be appointed initially for terms of from one to four years so as to provide for the balanced overlapping of the terms of the membership thereon and the members of a local board representing more than one county or city shall be appointed initially for such terms, of not less than one nor more than four years, as may be determined by the governing bodies of their respective counties or cities. Subsequent appointments shall be for a term of four years each, except that appointments to fill vacancies that occur during terms shall be for the remainder of those unexpired terms. Appointments to fill unexpired terms shall not be considered full terms, and such persons shall be eligible to be appointed to two consecutive full terms. No person may serve more than two consecutive full terms; however, this section shall not apply to a member of a local board who is also a member of the board of supervisors for a county represented by the board, who shall serve at the pleasure of the board of supervisors of which he is a member or until such time as he ceases to be a member of the board of supervisors, or in cases in which a local government official is constituted to be the local board. A member of a local board who serves two consecutive full terms shall be ineligible for reappointment to such local board until the end of an intervening two-year period dating from the expiration of the last of the two consecutive terms.

Code 1950, § 63-56; 1952, c. 409; 1956, c. 126; 1968, cc. 467, 578, § 63.1-39; 1974, c. 120; 1975, c. 300; 1980, c. 377; 2002, c. 747; 2005, c. 16; 2014, cc. 95, 121.

§ 63.2-302. How local board for a single county is constituted.

The local board serving a single county shall be, at the discretion of the governing body of the county, either a local government official or a local board consisting of residents of the county who are, except as provided in § 63.2-303, appointed by the governing body of the county. If residents of the county constitute the local board, such board shall consist of three or more members. The governing body shall appoint a member of the board of supervisors to be one member of the local board, except in those cases where the board of supervisors has determined otherwise. When a member of the board of supervisors who was appointed as a member of the local board ceases to be a member of the board of supervisors, his office as a member of the local board shall also be vacated and another member of the board of supervisors shall be appointed to fill such vacancy.

If a local government official constitutes the local board, he may designate a senior staff person in the local department to act in his behalf, in his absence, to approve, cancel or change grants made under the provisions of this title.

Code 1950, §§ 63-52, 63-54, 63-56; 1952, c. 409; 1956, c. 126; 1966, c. 258; 1968, cc. 467, 578, § 63.1-40; 1970, c. 465; 1972, cc. 147, 714; 1984, c. 586; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-303. Local boards in counties having special forms of county government.

Where the statutes dealing with special forms of county government provide for the appointment of local boards, the provisions of such statutes shall control.

Code 1950, § 63-60; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-41; 1970, cc. 465, 467; 1981, c. 90; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-304. How local board of a city is constituted.

The local board serving a single city shall be, at the discretion of the city council, either a local government official or a local board consisting of five members appointed by the city council of such city in accordance with the provisions of § 63.2-301. The city council may appoint one of its members to the local board. When a member of the city council who was appointed as a member of the local board ceases to be a member of the city council, his office as a member of the local board shall also be vacated and another member of the city council may be appointed to fill the vacancy.

If a local government official constitutes the local board, he may designate a senior staff person in the local department to act in his behalf, in his absence, with respect to approving, cancelling or changing grants made under the provisions of this title.

Code 1950, § 63-53.1; 1952, c. 409; 1956, c. 126; 1958, c. 195; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-43; 1977, c. 36; 2002, c. 747; 2006, cc. 84, 158.

§ 63.2-305. Advisory boards.

A. If the governing body of a city or county or the governing bodies of any combination of cities and counties participating in a district designate, under the provisions of §§ 63.2-302, 63.2-304 or § 63.2-307, a local government official as constituting the local board, such governing body or bodies shall appoint a board to serve in an advisory capacity to such local government official with respect to the duties and functions imposed upon him by this title.

Each such advisory board shall consist of no fewer than five and no more than thirteen members. In the case of an advisory board established for a district, there shall be at least one member on the board from each county and city in the district. The members shall be appointed initially for terms of from one to four years so as to provide for the balanced overlapping of the terms of the membership thereon. Subsequent appointments shall be for a term of four years each, except that appointments to fill vacancies that occur during terms shall be for the remainder of these unexpired terms. Appointments to fill unexpired terms shall not be considered full terms, and such persons shall be eligible to be appointed to two consecutive full terms. No person shall serve more than two consecutive full terms. The local government official shall be an ex officio member, without vote, of the advisory board.

The advisory board shall elect its own chairman and shall meet at least bimonthly. In addition to regularly scheduled meetings, it may meet at the call of the chairman or on the petition of at least one-half of the members.

B. The powers and duties of the advisory board shall be:

1. To interest itself in all matters pertaining to the public assistance and social services needed by people of the political subdivision or subdivisions served by the local department;

2. To monitor the formulation and implementation of public assistance and social services programs by the local department;

3. To meet with the local government official who constitutes the local board at least four times a year for the purpose of making recommendations on policy matters concerning the local department;

4. To make an annual report to the governing body or bodies, concurrent with the budget presentation of the local department, concerning the administration of the public assistance and social services programs; and

5. To submit to the governing body or bodies, from time to time, other reports that the advisory board deems appropriate.

1977, c. 36, § 63.1-43.1; 1981, c. 264; 1984, c. 586; 1989, c. 356; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-306. Local boards established by two or more political subdivisions.

The provisions of §§ 63.2-302 and 63.2-304 notwithstanding, the Board, with the prior consent of the Governor, may establish districts consisting of two or more counties or cities or combinations of cities and counties. Except as provided in § 63.2-307, there shall be one district board of not less than three nor more than nine members for each such district. There shall be at least one member of the district board from each county and city in the district. Additional representation from one or more counties or cities within the stipulated maximum may be determined by the Board, with population being the principal factor in such determination. Appointments to the district board shall be made by the governing body of each county and city in the district, upon certification of the establishment of such district by the Board. The Board shall designate the initial term of each district board member to be not less than one nor more than four years in duration, so as to provide for a balanced overlapping of terms. Subsequent appointments shall be for terms of four years each, except appointments to fill a vacancy, which shall be for the unexpired term. Appointments to fill unexpired terms shall not be considered full terms, and such persons shall be eligible to be appointed to two consecutive full terms. No member shall serve for more than two consecutive full terms. A member who serves two consecutive full terms shall be ineligible for reappointment to the district board until the end of an intervening one-year period dating from the expiration of the last of the two consecutive terms. Before requesting the Governor's approval for establishment of any such district, the Board shall consult with the governing body of each county or city that would be included in the district. No county or city shall be included in any such district served by one board unless the local governing body so elects. The district board of any district consisting of two or more counties or cities or combinations of counties and cities shall be considered to be a local board.

Administrative costs of a district board shall be borne by the participating local governments on the basis of population and case load with equal weight being given to each factor or in such manner as the respective governing bodies provide by agreement.

In cases in which a district board includes a county, a member of the board of supervisors of such county may be a member of the local board.

In cases in which a district board includes a city, a member of the council of such city may be a member of the local board, notwithstanding any provision of the charter of any city in force on March 4, 1971.

Code 1950, § 63-51; 1952, c. 409; 1956, c. 126; 1968, cc. 578, 584, § 63.1-44; 1970, c. 465; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 138; 1973, c. 201; 1980, cc. 377, 383; 1989, c. 356; 1992, c. 169; 1996, c. 481; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-306.1. Withdrawal from district boards of social services.

A. The governing body of any county or city that has combined with one or more other counties or cities to establish a district board pursuant to § 63.2-306 may withdraw from such district board and establish a local board in accordance with a transition plan approved by the Board.

B. The governing body of a county or city that wishes to withdraw from a district board shall adopt a resolution stating the local governing body's intent to withdraw from the district board and setting forth the terms and conditions of a transition plan for the withdrawal from the district board and establishment of a local board by the local governing body. Such resolution shall be communicated to the Board and all other counties and cities participating in the district board.

C. The transition plan required pursuant to subsection B shall include provisions related to:

1. Establishment of a local board, including appointment of members to such local board;

2. Withdrawal from the district board, including payment of any outstanding obligations by the local governing body to the district board and transfer of any property or funds from the district board to the local board;

3. Transfer of financial and administrative powers and duties from the district board to the local board;

4. Continued provision of social services in accordance with laws of the Commonwealth and regulations of the Board; and

5. Any other matters necessary to accomplish the withdrawal of the local governing body from the district board.

The transition plan shall also include a timeline for establishment of the local board and withdrawal of the local governing body from the district board and shall state whether the local governing body intends to withdraw from any single department of social services established by the local governing bodies of the counties or cities participating in the district board.

D. Whenever the Board fails or refuses to approve the terms and conditions of a transition plan submitted pursuant to subsection B, the county or city seeking to withdraw from a district board may petition the circuit court of the county or city for approval of the transition plan. The Board, the district board, and the counties and cities participating in the district board shall be named as parties in such action. The circuit court may approve a transition plan for the withdrawal of a county or city from a district board and establishment of a local board subject to such transition plan with such terms and conditions that the court may deem appropriate.

2014, c. 119.

§ 63.2-307. Local boards serving certain districts.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 63.2-306:

1. The local board for the York County and City of Poquoson district may be, at the discretion of the governing bodies of the participating city and county, the local director. If such local director serves as the local board, he may designate a senior staff person in the local department to act on his behalf, in his absence, to approve, cancel or change grants made under the provisions of this title.

2. At the discretion of the governing bodies of the participating cities and counties, the local board for a district may be composed of the chief administrative officer of each political subdivision, who may designate his principal assistant to act on his behalf, in his absence, to approve, cancel or change grants made under the provisions of this title.

In addition, the provisions of § 63.2-305 shall apply.

1989, c. 356, § 63.1-44.1; 1995, cc. 262, 313; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-308. Suspension or removal of members.

Members of any local board may be suspended or removed for cause by the Board or by the local governing body authorized to appoint the members of the local board.

Code 1950, § 63-57; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-45; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-309. Quorum.

A majority of the members of any local board shall constitute a quorum.

Code 1950, § 63-58; 1952, c. 409; 1956, c. 126; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-46; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-310. Compensation and expenses.

Each member of the local board of a county or a city or of a district shall be paid his reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in attendance at meetings and while otherwise engaged in the discharge of his duties. In addition to such expenses, the governing body of each city or county may, out of its general fund, pay to each member of the local board, as compensation for his services, an amount to be fixed by the governing body of such city or county. No such county or city shall be reimbursed out of either state or federal funds for any part of such compensation paid.

Code 1950, § 63-59; 1954, c. 258; 1962, c. 491; 1966, c. 478; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-47; 1972, c. 11; 1973, c. 201; 1978, c. 754; 1998, cc. 80, 192; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-311. Fiscal officer for district board; compensation of such officer.

Whenever two or more political subdivisions establish a district pursuant to § 63.2-306 there shall be appointed a district fiscal officer for such district board. The district fiscal officer shall perform all the fiscal functions for the district board that had been previously performed for the local board by the treasurer or other fiscal officer of each locality within the district. The district fiscal officer for such district board shall be the treasurer of one of the participating counties or cities or combination of counties and cities, as mutually agreed upon by the district board with the approval of the governing bodies. In the event the local authorities cannot agree on the selection of a district fiscal officer, the Commissioner shall designate such district fiscal officer. For his services as district fiscal officer, the treasurer shall be paid such salary as may be agreed upon by the district board. In the event the district board and the treasurer so designated cannot agree on such compensation, then the amount of salary to be paid shall be determined by a court of competent jurisdiction and the amount so fixed by the judge shall be binding upon both the treasurer and the district board. Provided, that nothing contained in this section shall affect the regular salary or expense allowance of the treasurer as fixed annually by the State Compensation Board.

1973, c. 201, § 63.1-47.1; 1974, cc. 44, 45, 503; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-312. Meetings; organization; chairman and vice-chairman; secretary.

The governing body or bodies shall immediately notify the members of the local board of their appointment, and such members shall, within fifteen days after their notification, elect a chairman and vice-chairman from among their number. The local board shall meet at least bimonthly and on other occasions on call of the chairman or in pursuance of action by the local board. At least one such meeting a year shall be an orientation and training session for local board members. The local director shall act as secretary of his local board and shall keep on file minutes of the attendance and transactions at all meetings of the local board.

Code 1950, §§ 63-61, 63-62, 63-64; 1952, c. 409; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-48; 1975, c. 190; 1978, c. 754; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-313. Administration of law.

The local boards shall, subject to the regulations of the Board, administer the applicable provisions of this title in their respective counties and cities. The local boards shall also administer the applicable provisions of Chapter 14 (§ 51.5-116 et seq.) of Title 51.5 pursuant to the regulations of the Commissioner for Aging and Rehabilitative Services.

Code 1950, § 63-66; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-50; 2002, c. 747; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 63.2-314. Funds received from public or private sources; authority of local governing bodies to make grants; authority of local boards to establish regulations and fees for court ordered services.

A. The local boards are authorized to receive and disburse funds derived from public grants or private sources in the form of gifts, contributions, bequests or legacies for the purpose of aiding needy persons within their respective counties, cities or districts. The governing bodies of counties and cities are authorized to make public grants hereunder to their respective local boards. Eligibility for aid from these sources need not be limited to requirements established for the public assistance programs in this Commonwealth. All funds received from such sources shall be deposited in the treasuries of the respective county, city or local district board to the credit of the county, city or local district board and dispensed as authorized by such county, city or local district board.

B. Local boards may establish regulations and fee schedules and may receive fees for services that a court directs a local department to perform pursuant to § 16.1-274.

Code 1950, § 63-66.1; 1954, c. 269; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-51; 1972, c. 387; 1973, c. 201; 1975, c. 125; 1976, c. 516; 1993, c. 975; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-315. Furnishing reports.

The local boards shall furnish to the Commissioner and the governing body of its county or city such reports relating to the administration of this title as the Commissioner and such governing body, respectively, may require. The local boards shall furnish such reports relating to the administration of applicable provisions of Chapter 14 (§ 51.5-116 et seq.) of Title 51.5 to the Commissioner for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, as may be required.

Code 1950, §§ 63-67, 63-67.1, 63-67.2; 1950, p. 641; 1954, c. 265; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-52; 1984, c. 498; 2002, c. 747; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 63.2-316. Submission of budget to governing bodies.

The local boards shall submit annually to the boards of supervisors or city councils of their respective counties and cities a budget, containing an estimate and supporting data setting forth the amount of money needed to carry out the provisions of this title, and a copy thereof shall be forwarded to the Commissioner, subject to the provisions of § 63.2-205.

Code 1950, § 63-69; 1952, c. 409; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-54; 1975, c. 368; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-317. Employment of counsel for local boards and employees; payment of expenses.

Except in those cases in which the attorney for the Commonwealth or county or city attorney represents the local board, a local board may employ legal counsel in civil matters to give advice to or represent the local board or any of its members or the employees of the local department and may pay court costs and other expenses involved in the conduct of such civil matters from funds appropriated by the local governing body for the administration of the local department. Such counsel may be employed on a part-time basis for any particular action or actions. A local board may employ in-house counsel to provide general legal advice and representation and advice related to specific actions. However, prior approval of the Department shall be obtained by the local board before counsel is employed except in instances where legal counsel is necessary for the provision of services or assistance to eligible recipients under this title.

The Department may reimburse the local board for all or any part of such expenditures at the same rate in effect for all other administrative costs at the time of the expenditure. However, the Department shall not reimburse the local board for any expenses for which payment was available through an insurance policy currently in force.

Where such counsel is employed by the local board, the attorney for the Commonwealth or city attorney or county attorney may be relieved of his responsibility to represent the local board or local department in that matter.

1976, c. 382, § 63.1-54.1; 1977, c. 184; 1985, c. 438; 2002, c. 747; 2014, cc. 122, 536.

§ 63.2-318. Payment of legal fees and expenses for certain local department employees.

If any employee of a local department is arrested, indicted or otherwise prosecuted on any criminal charge arising out of an act committed in the discharge of his official duties, and the charge is subsequently terminated by entry of an order of dismissal, or nolle prosequi or upon trial he is found not guilty, the local board by which he is employed may reimburse such employee for all or part of the legal fees and expenses incurred by the employee in defense of such charge. The Department may reimburse the local board all or any part of such expenditures at the same rate in effect for all other administrative costs at the time of the expenditure to the extent that funds are available.

1977, c. 82, § 63.1-54.2; 1985, c. 438; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-319. Child welfare and other services.

Each local board shall provide, either directly or through the purchase of services subject to the supervision of the Commissioner and in accordance with regulations adopted by the Board, any or all child welfare services herein described when such services are not available through other agencies serving residents in the locality. For purposes of this section, the term "child welfare services" means public social services that are directed toward:

1. Protecting the welfare of all children including handicapped, homeless, dependent, or neglected children;

2. Preventing or remedying, or assisting in the solution of problems that may result in the neglect, abuse, exploitation or delinquency of children;

3. Preventing the unnecessary separation of children from their families by identifying family problems, assisting families in resolving these problems and preventing the break up of the family where preventing the removal of a child is desirable and possible;

4. Restoring to their families children who have been removed by providing services to the families and children;

5. Placing children in suitable adoptive homes in cases where restoration to the biological family is not possible or appropriate; and

6. Assuring adequate care of children away from their homes in cases where they cannot be returned home or placed for adoption.

Each local board is also authorized and, as may be provided by regulations of the Board, shall provide rehabilitation and other services to help individuals attain or retain 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.

Code 1950, § 63-72.1; 1966, c. 593; 1968, cc. 466, 578, § 63.1-55; 1973, c. 122; 1977, c. 634; 1982, c. 171; 1984, c. 781; 1986, c. 281; 1992, cc. 837, 880; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-320. Accepting and expending certain funds on behalf of children placed by or entrusted to local board when no guardian appointed; disposition of funds when children discharged.

A local board is authorized and empowered to accept and expend on behalf of and for the benefit of any child placed by it where legal custody remains with the parents or guardians, committed or entrusted to its care under §§ 63.2-900 and 63.2-903, when no guardian has been appointed, funds or money paid or tendered as pension, compensation, insurance or other benefit from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or under the Railroad Retirement Act or the old age and survivors' insurance provisions of the Social Security Act, as amended, or funds contributed or paid by parents or other persons for the support of such child, and the local board may, from any such funds received, provide for the current or future maintenance of such child.

Whenever any child is discharged by the local board all such funds held by the local board shall be paid to the child's guardian if such funds exceed $1,000 upon such guardian posting bond as may be required by law, or disbursed in accordance with § 8.01-606, if the sum does not exceed $1,000.

Code 1950, § 63-73.1; 1954, c. 224; 1958, c. 239; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-57; 1994, c. 865; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-321. Interest in and cooperation for public assistance and social services; directing local director.

It shall be the duty of each local board to interest itself in all matters pertaining to the public assistance and social services needed by people of the political subdivision or subdivisions served by the local department, to direct the activities of the local director and to cooperate with the juvenile and domestic relations courts and all other agencies operating for the social betterment of the community.

Code 1950, § 63-72; 1952, c. 409; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-57.1; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-322. Conducting hearings, issuing subpoenas, etc.

Local boards in the exercise and performance of their functions, duties and powers under the provisions of this title are 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, § 63-74; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-58; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-323. Emergency payments.

In emergency situations or in the event of delay or error in a state issuance of payments for public assistance and social services to eligible recipients, or expenditures for administration and services, emergency payments shall be issued by local boards as authorized by Board regulations. In emergency situations that result from lost or stolen checks, the Department shall assume liability for losses incurred by local boards due to fraudulent acts by recipients; however, the local board shall make diligent efforts to recoup any such lost funds in accordance with Board regulations.

1975, c. 336, § 63.1-58.1; 1978, c. 296; 2002, c. 747.

Article 2. Local Departments and Local Directors of Social Services.

§ 63.2-324. Local departments of social services.

There shall be a local department of social services for each county or city under the supervision and management of a local director. However, two or more counties, cities, or any combination thereof, whether having separate local boards or a district board, may unite to establish a local department of social services and appoint a local director of social services to administer this title in such counties and cities, in which case such local director shall be the local director for each such county and city and the expenses incident to such local department shall be divided in such manner as the respective governing bodies provide by agreement.

Code 1950, §§ 63-75, 63-75.1; 1952, c. 409; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-59; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-325. Appointment of local directors of social services and local employees.

Subject to the personnel standards and regulations of the Board, the local director shall be appointed by the local board, or, where the city charter or statutes relating to special forms of city or county government designate some other appointing authority, then by such other appointing authority, from a list of eligibles furnished by the Commissioner. Subject to the personnel standards, and regulations of the Board, the local boards or other appointing authority shall employ, or authorize the local director to employ, such other employees as may be required by the Commissioner to administer this title in the county or city.

Code 1950, §§ 63-76, 63-77; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-60; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-326. Service at pleasure of local board or local director.

The local director and other employees shall serve at the pleasure of the local board, or other appointing authority, subject to the provisions of the merit system plan as defined in § 63.2-100. If other employees are employed by the local director, they shall serve at the pleasure of the local director, within the provisions of the merit system plan.

Code 1950, § 63-78; 1960, c. 207; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-61; 1994, c. 82; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-327. Removal by Commissioner.

Any local director and any such employee who does not meet the personnel standards established by the Board may be removed by the Commissioner.

Code 1950, § 63-79; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-62; 1970, c. 721; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-328. Bond.

Before entering upon the discharge of his duties, every local director shall enter bond with surety to be approved by the court or judge, in such sum as the court or judge may fix, conditioned upon the faithful discharge of his duties.

Code 1950, § 63-81; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-64; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-329. Bond of certain employees of local boards.

Every employee duly authorized to certify payments to be made or authorized to draw warrants on the treasurer or other fiscal officer shall, before entering upon the discharge of his duties, enter into a bond with surety to be approved by the judge of the circuit court of the county or city in such sum as the judge may fix, conditioned upon the faithful discharge of his duties. However, such sum shall be at least fifteen percent of the annual gross expenditures of the agency less nonrecurring items. The provisions of this section shall not apply in localities when provision for bonding such employees has been made by their governing bodies and the amount of the bonding equals or exceeds the amounts specified in this section.

Code 1950, § 63-81.1; 1956, c. 415; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-65; 1984, c. 507; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-330. Compensation.

The local director and other persons employed to administer the provisions of this title in each county or city shall be paid such compensation by such county or city as shall be fixed by the local board or other appointing authority within the compensation plan provided in the merit system plan. With the approval of the Board and the local governing body, the local board may provide that the local director and such other employees shall be paid compensation in excess of the maximums permitted in the compensation plan. Such excess compensation shall be paid wholly from the funds of such county or city and any federal funds that are available and appropriate for such use.

Code 1950, § 63-82; 1964, c. 359; 1968, cc. 467, 578, § 63.1-66; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-331. Counties with special forms of government.

In any county having a special form of government under which the governing body of the county would be the appointing authority of the local board, local director, and local employees, the governing body may, subject to the personnel standards and regulations of the Board, authorize the local board to exercise the powers relating to the employment of the local director and other employees required to administer this title in such county and the fixing of their compensation or authorize the local board to exercise such powers insofar as they relate to the local director and the local director to exercise such powers insofar as they relate to other employees required to administer this title in such county.

Code 1950, § 63-85; 1954, c. 573; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-67; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-332. Powers and duties of local directors.

The local director shall be the administrator of the local department and shall serve as secretary to the local board. Under the supervision of the local board, unless otherwise specifically stated, and in cooperation with other public and private agencies, the local director, in addition to the functions, powers and duties conferred and imposed by other provisions of law, shall have the powers and perform the duties contained in this title.

The local director shall designate nonattorney employees who are authorized to (i) initiate a case on behalf of the local department by appearing before an intake officer or (ii) complete, sign, and file with the clerk of the juvenile and domestic relations district court, on forms approved by the Supreme Court of Virginia, petitions for foster care review, petitions for permanency planning hearings, petitions to establish paternity, motions to establish or modify support, motions to amend or review an order, or motions for a rule to show cause.

Code 1950, § 63-87; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-67.1; 1972, c. 73; 2002, c. 747; 2016, c. 704.

§ 63.2-333. Agent of Commissioner.

The local director shall act as agent for the Commissioner in implementing the provisions of federal and state law and regulation.

Code 1950, § 63-91; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-67.3; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-334. Cooperation with private agencies.

The local director shall foster cooperation between all public and private charitable and social agencies in the county or city to the end that public resources may be conserved and the social services needs of the county or city be adequately met.

Code 1950, § 63-97; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-67.5; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-335. Keeping records.

The records of the cases handled and business transacted by the local department shall be kept in such manner and form as may be prescribed by the Board.

Code 1950, § 63-98; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-67.6; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-336. Annual report.

At the request of the local governing body, the local director shall each year prepare and keep on file a full report of the local department's work and proceedings during the year. If such request is made, one copy of such report shall be filed with the local governing body and another with the Board.

Code 1950, § 63-99; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-67.7; 1976, c. 214; 1978, c. 146; 2002, c. 747.

Chapter 4. Funding of Public Assistance and Social Services.

§ 63.2-400. Local appropriation.

The governing body of each county and city shall each year appropriate sums of money sufficient to provide for the payment of public assistance and to provide social services, including cost of administration, under the provisions of Subtitles II and III of this title, within such county or city. Such governing bodies may also appropriate sums of money sufficient to provide for the full range of public assistance and social services for children and adults as may be required by federal legislation for reimbursement thereunder. The respective governing bodies of the counties and cities shall also appropriate sums of money as shall be sufficient to provide for the foster care of children in the custody or under the supervision of the local boards.

Code 1950, § 63-105; 1956, c. 641; 1958, c. 388; 1968, cc. 578, 666, § 63.1-91; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-401. Reimbursement of localities by the Commonwealth.

Such funds as are received from the United States and agencies thereof as grants-in-aid for the purpose of providing public assistance and social services grants shall be paid monthly by the Commissioner to each county, city or district fiscal officer as reimbursement of the federal share of such grants as have been paid by each county and city under the provisions of Subtitle II and III of this title. Within the limits of the appropriations of state funds, the Commissioner shall reimburse the entire balance of such public assistance and social services grants as have been paid by each city, county or district fiscal officer after crediting them with the reimbursement made from federal funds. Within the limits of the appropriations of state funds, the Commissioner shall reimburse monthly each city, county or district fiscal officer to the extent of sixty-two and one-half percent of such expenditures made in connection with general relief provided under § 63.2-802. Within the limits of the appropriations of state funds for the purpose, the Commissioner shall reimburse monthly each city, county or district fiscal officer to the extent of eighty percent of expenditures made for auxiliary grants pursuant to § 51.5-160. Within the limits of state funds appropriated for the purpose, the Commissioner shall reimburse to each county, city or district fiscal officer an amount not less than fifty percent or more than sixty-two and one-half percent of such expenditures, not federally reimbursable, made for the care of children placed in family homes or institutions pursuant to §§ 63.2-900 and 63.2-903.

Administrative expenditures made by the localities in connection with the providing of public assistance grants, other benefits and related social services, including child welfare pursuant to § 63.2-319, shall be ascertained by the Board, and the Commissioner shall, within the limits of available federal funds and state appropriations, reimburse monthly each county, city or district fiscal officer therefor out of such federal and state funds in an amount to be determined by the Board not less than fifty percent of such administrative costs.

The Commissioner also shall reimburse monthly, to the extent funds are available for such purpose, each county, city or district fiscal officer out of state and federal funds, to the extent provided in the preceding paragraph, for monthly rental payments for office space provided the local department in publicly owned buildings, for payments that are based on the cost of initial construction or purchase of a building or a reasonable amount for depreciation of such building, and for the cost of repairs and alterations to either a privately or publicly owned building. However, no monthly rental payment shall exceed a reasonable amount as determined by the Commissioner.

Claims for reimbursement shall be presented by the local board to the Commissioner, and shall be itemized and verified in such manner as the Commissioner may require. Such claim shall, upon the approval of the Commissioner, be paid out of funds appropriated by the Commonwealth and funds received from the federal government for the purposes of Subtitles II and III of this title, to the treasurer or other fiscal officer of the county or city. Wherever two or more counties or cities have been combined to form a district pursuant to § 63.2-306, reimbursements by the Commissioner under this section shall be paid to the district fiscal officer or other person designated to receive such funds by the governing bodies of such counties or cities. The Commonwealth shall reimburse each county and city the full amount of public assistance grants provided for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Code 1950, §§ 63-106, 63-107; 1956, cc. 608, 623; 1958, c. 519; 1962, c. 297; 1966, cc. 530, 599; 1968, cc. 466, 578, § 63.1-92; 1970, c. 776; 1972, cc. 73, 718; 1973, cc. 201, 264; 1974, cc. 44, 45, 488; 1975, c. 121; 1984, cc. 498, 781; 1985, c. 599; 2002, c. 747; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 63.2-402. Reimbursement of the Commonwealth by local board.

If any county or city through its appropriate authorities or officers fails or refuses to provide reimbursement of the Commonwealth, the Board shall authorize and direct the Commissioner to file at the end of each month with the State Comptroller and with the local governing body of such county or city a statement showing all disbursements and expenditures, including administrative expenditures, made for and on behalf of such county or city, and the Comptroller shall from time to time as such funds become available deduct from the funds appropriated by the Commonwealth, in excess of requirements of the Constitution of Virginia, for distribution to such county or city amounts required to reimburse the Commonwealth for expenditures incurred under the provisions of this section. All funds so deducted and transferred are hereby appropriated for the purposes set forth, and shall be expended and disbursed as provided in § 63.2-403. Any county or city may provide such other necessary or incidental social or rehabilitative services as may be authorized by the Board in connection therewith.

1974, c. 488, § 63.1-92.1; 1984, c. 781; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-403. Expenditures by Department.

A. Appropriations made to the Department by the General Assembly for carrying out the provisions of Subtitles II and III of this title, including funds received from the United States and other sources for such purpose, shall be used for the following purposes:

1. Paying such reasonable portion of the per diem and expenses of the members of the Board, the expenses of the Commissioner, the salaries and remuneration of agents and employees of the Board and of the Commissioner, as shall be chargeable for the administration of Subtitles II and III of this title;

2. Paying all costs and expenses incurred by the Board and the Commissioner in the administration of Subtitles II and III of this title;

3. Reimbursing the counties and cities to the extent provided in § 63.2-401;

4. Paying public assistance to eligible recipients, and expenditures for social services and administration, in the event the Board adopts regulations to provide for state issuance of any or all of such payments;

5. Paying to the United States, for so long as such payment shall be required as a condition for financial participation by the United States in any public assistance or social services program its proportionate share of the net amounts collected by local boards from recipients and estates of recipients; and

6. Paying to the Social Security Administration the cost of administering state supplementation of the Supplemental Security Income program if the Commonwealth agrees to such federal administration.

B. Expenditures and disbursements of all amounts appropriated for the foregoing purposes shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants of the Comptroller issued with the approval of the Commissioner.

Code 1950, §§ 63-109, 63-111; 1956, c. 608; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-93; 1970, c. 602; 1974, cc. 44, 45, 488, 503; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-404. Expenses of Auditor of Public Accounts, Comptroller and State Treasurer.

All expenses incurred by the Auditor of Public Accounts in auditing the books, records and accounts of the Board and the Commissioner, and in rendering other services to them and all expenses incurred by the Comptroller and the State Treasurer in performing the services required by or under Subtitles II and III of this title, may be treated as administrative expenses of the Department, and paid as such.

Code 1950, § 63-112; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-95; 1984, c. 498; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-405. Provisions for determination of eligibility for medical care and medical assistance; provision of social services; regulations.

A. The Commissioner shall, in compliance with the state plan for medical assistance services, applicable regulations of the Board and other state and federal law, provide for the determination of eligibility for medical care and medical assistance and social services required for (i) state participation under Public Law 97 of the 89th Congress of the United States, approved July 30, 1965, as amended, and regulations of the Department of Health and Human Services; and (ii) other state and federal programs. The Commissioner, subject to the state plan for medical assistance services, applicable regulations of the Board and other state and federal law, may establish policies, in the form of guidance documents, necessary to implement such functions, including safeguarding information concerning applicants and recipients. An application for medical assistance services for a person admitted to a State Veterans Care Center located in the Commonwealth may be filed and processed in the jurisdiction where such Care Center is located.

B. The Commissioner for Aging and Rehabilitative Services shall provide for the determination of eligibility for participation in the Auxiliary Grant Program set forth in Article 9 (§ 51.5-159 et seq.) of Chapter 14 of Title 51.5.

1970, c. 721, § 63.1-97.1; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1984, c. 498; 1996, c. 511; 2002, c. 747; 2004, c. 305; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 63.2-406. Authority of Board upon amendments of the Social Security Act or regulations of the Department of Health and Human Services.

In the event the Social Security Act or other statutes or regulations adopted by the Department of Health and Human Services are amended to change requirements to entitle the Commonwealth to federal grants or reimbursement for public assistance payments and expenditures for social services, the Board may by regulation adopt such standards, requirements and procedures that would bring the public assistance and social services programs into compliance with the federal requirements so as not to interfere with, diminish or jeopardize the Commonwealth's entitlement to federal grants or reimbursement for public assistance payments or expenditures for social services.

If federal statutes or regulations are amended to permit funds appropriated by Congress to be used for public assistance to or social services for any persons eligible for assistance under §§ 63.2-319 and 63.2-802, the Board may, pursuant to the provisions of § 63.2-217, make applicable such provisions of Subtitles II and III of this title as the Board finds necessary to enable the Commonwealth to receive reimbursement for such public assistance and social services. The Board may also by regulation define eligibility within the limitations of § 63.2-802 of persons to receive public assistance or social services under any amendments of the Social Security Act or other statutes. It is the purpose of this section to enable the Commonwealth to meet the requirements for federal reimbursement of public assistance or social services to persons who are eligible for public assistance or social services under Subtitles II and III of this title or who may be eligible under amendments of the Social Security Act.

Code 1950, § 63-220.1; 1950, p. 958; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-98; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-407. Necessary or incidental public assistance or social services.

With respect to general relief, foster care for children and auxiliary grants for the aged, disabled or blind, any county or city may provide such other necessary or incidental public assistance or social services as may be authorized by the Board.

Code 1950, §§ 63-135, 63-140.12, 63-157, 63-199; 1960, c. 440; 1962, c. 621; 1966, c. 112; 1968, cc. 578, 668, § 63.1-122; 1970, c. 721; 1974, c. 504; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-408. When a locality fails to provide public assistance or social services; deductions by Comptroller; social services; withholding payments.

If any county or city, through its appropriate authorities or officers fails or refuses to provide public assistance or social services in accordance with the provisions of Subtitles II and III of this title, the Board through appropriate proceedings shall require such authorities and officers to exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed by Subtitles II and III.

For so long as the failure or refusal to provide for the public assistance or social services continues, the Board shall authorize and direct the Commissioner under regulations of the Board to provide for the payment of public assistance or the furnishing of social services in such county or city out of funds appropriated for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of Subtitles II and III of this title. In such event, the Commissioner shall at the end of each month file with the State Comptroller and with the local governing body of such county or city a statement showing all disbursements and expenditures, including administrative expenditures, made for and on behalf of such county or city, and the Comptroller shall from time to time as such funds become available deduct from funds appropriated by the Commonwealth, in excess of requirements of the Constitution of Virginia, for distribution to such county or city amounts required to reimburse the Commonwealth for expenditures incurred under the provisions of this section. All such funds so deducted and transferred are hereby appropriated for the purposes set forth, and shall be expended and disbursed as provided in § 63.2-403. If at any time a locality fails to operate public assistance programs or social service programs in accordance with state laws or regulations or fails to provide the necessary staff for the implementation of such programs, the Board may authorize and direct the Commissioner, under regulations of the Board, to withhold from such locality the entire reimbursement for administrative expenditures or a part thereof for the period of time the locality fails to comply with state laws or regulations.

Code 1950, §§ 63-26, 63-135, 63-136, 63-140.12, 63-140.13, 63-157, 63-158, 63-199, 63-200; 1960, c. 440; 1962, c. 621; 1966, c. 112; 1968, cc. 578, 668, 670, §§ 63.1-122, 63.1-123; 1970, c. 721; 1974, cc. 491, 504; 1975, cc. 176, 438; 1984, c. 781; 1990, c. 537; 1995, cc. 770, 818; 1999, c. 854; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-409. No lien to attach to property of applicant or recipient; release of existing unforeclosed liens.

No lien in favor of the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions shall be claimed against, levied or attached to the real or personal property of any applicant for or recipient of public assistance or social services as a condition of eligibility therefor or to recover such aid following the death of such applicant or recipient except applicants for or recipients of long-term care nursing facility benefits paid for by the Department of Medical Assistance Services. However, this section shall not bar any action by the Commonwealth or a local department that seeks reimbursement for part or all of the costs incurred by the Commonwealth or local department for care and maintenance provided to an applicant of the Federal Supplemental Security Income program during the application period when such applicant becomes eligible for the program retroactive to the date of application. In addition, this section shall not be construed to bar any action by the Commonwealth or a local department that seeks reimbursement for public assistance paid through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or refugee programs while the family attempts to dispose of real property which together with other resources causes its total resources to be in excess of the state's allowable reserve.

1970, c. 753, § 63.1-133.1; 1977, c. 83; 1985, c. 293; 1993, cc. 953, 989; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-410. State pool of funds under the Children's Services Act.

The General Assembly and the governing body of each county and city shall appropriate such sum or sums of money for use by the community policy and management teams through the state pool of funds established in Chapter 52 (§ 2.2-5200 et seq.) of Title 2.2 as shall be sufficient to provide basic foster care services for children who are identified as being at risk, as determined by policy developed by the Board, or who are under the custody and control of the local board. The local governing body of each county and city shall appropriate such sums of money as necessary for the purchase of such other essential social services to children and adults under such conditions as may be prescribed by the Board in accordance with federally reimbursed public assistance and social service programs.

Code 1950, § 63-72.1; 1966, c. 593; 1968, cc. 466, 578, § 63.1-55; 1973, c. 122; 1977, c. 634; 1982, c. 171; 1984, c. 781; 1986, c. 281; 1992, cc. 837, 880; 2002, c. 747; 2015, c. 366.

§ 63.2-411. Construction and operation of children's residential facilities.

Subject to approval by the Governor, a local board is authorized and empowered (i) to operate, construct, purchase, renovate or enlarge children's residential facilities for children who are in the custody of such local board by reason of commitment, voluntary entrustment or temporary detention order or (ii) to contract for such services from other counties or cities operating such facilities or from individuals or private corporations whose facilities are licensed by the appropriate state agency. The cost of maintaining children in such facilities through purchase of service contracts shall be established in accordance with regulations of the Board. Any moneys paid by a local board of a county or city to another county or city for services purchased pursuant to this section shall be applied by that county or city to the establishment and operation of such children's residential facilities. Children's residential facilities established pursuant to the provisions of this section shall meet standards prescribed by the Board.

Within the limits of appropriations of state funds, the Department shall reimburse the local board one half the actual cost of the construction, purchase, renovation or enlargement of each such facility. The Commonwealth shall reimburse the local board for administrative costs of operations of such facilities, including the entire reasonable cost of food, medicines, disinfectants, beds and bedding, utilities, equipment and service maintenance, transportation, staff salaries and fringe benefits, insurance and other necessary supplies in accordance with the provisions of § 63.2-401.

In the event that a local board requests and receives financial assistance for the costs of the local share of the construction, purchase, renovation or operation of children's residential facilities for children who are in the custody of such local board from any source other than reimbursement provided pursuant to this section, the total financial assistance and reimbursement shall not exceed the total cost of construction, purchase, renovation or operations, and such funds shall not be considered state funds.

1973, c. 383, § 63.1-56.1; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1977, c. 571; 1978, c. 293; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-412. Assistance to needy persons engaged in work or training programs; costs of administration of such programs.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the Commissioner is authorized, subject to the approval of the Board, to initiate and administer a program providing for payments to or in behalf of needy persons engaged in work or training programs. Such payments may be made by transfer of funds to an appropriate agency administering a work or training program. The Commissioner is also authorized to pay all costs incurred in the administration of such programs from funds appropriated for such purposes.

Code 1950, § 63-5.3; 1968, c. 331, § 63.1-5.1; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1981, c. 21; 2002, c. 747.

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

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