The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Administrative panel review" means a review of a child in foster care that the local board conducts on a planned basis pursuant to § 63.2-907 of the Code of Virginia to evaluate the current status and effectiveness of the objectives in the service plan and the services being provided for the immediate care of the child and the plan to achieve a permanent home for the child. The administrative review may be attended by the birth parents or prior custodians and other interested individuals significant to the child and family as appropriate.
"Adoption" means a legal process that entitles the person being adopted to all of the rights and privileges, and subjects the person to all of the obligations of a birth child.
"Adoption assistance" means a money payment provided to adoptive parents or other persons on behalf of a child with special needs who meets federal or state requirements to receive such payments.
"Adoption assistance agreement" means a written agreement between the local board and the adoptive parents of a child with special needs or in cases in which the child is in the custody of a licensed child-placing agency, an agreement between the local board, the licensed child-placing agency, and the adoptive parents that sets out the payment and services that will be provided to benefit the child in accordance with Chapter 13 (§ 63.2-1300 et seq.) of Title 63.2 of the Code of Virginia.
"Adoption Progress Report" means a report filed with the juvenile court on the progress being made to place the child in an adoptive home. Section 16.1-283 of the Code of Virginia requires that an Adoption Progress Report be submitted to the juvenile court every six months following termination of parental rights until the adoption is final.
"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 home study" means an assessment of a family completed by a child-placing agency to determine the family's suitability for adoption.
"Adoptive parent" means any provider selected and approved by a parent or a 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 adoption" means the adoption of any person 18 years of age or older, carried out in accordance with § 63.2-1243 of the Code of Virginia.
"Agency placement adoption" means an adoption in which a child is placed in an adoptive home by a child-placing agency that has custody of the child.
"AREVA" means the Adoption Resource Exchange of Virginia that maintains a registry and photo-listing of children waiting for adoption and families seeking to adopt.
"Assessment" means an evaluation of the situation of the child and family to identify strengths and services needed.
"Birth family" means the child's biological family.
"Birth parent" means the child's biological parent and for purposes of adoptive placement means a parent by previous adoption.
"Birth sibling" means the child's biological sibling.
"Board" means the State Board of Social Services.
"Child" means any natural person under 18 years of age or, for the purposes of the Fostering Futures program set forth in Article 2 (§ 63.2-917 et seq.) of Chapter 9 of the Code of Virginia, under 21 years of age and meeting the eligibility criteria set forth in § 63.2-919 of the Code of Virginia.
"Child-placing agency" means any person who places children in foster homes, adoptive homes, or independent living arrangements pursuant to § 63.2-1819 of the Code of Virginia 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 of the Code of Virginia. 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 with special needs" as it relates to adoption
assistance means a child who meets the definition of a child with special needs
set forth in §
§ 63.2-1300 or 63.2-1301 B of the Code of Virginia.
"Children's Services Act" or "CSA" means a collaborative system of services and funding that is child centered, family focused, and community based when addressing the strengths and needs of troubled and at-risk youth and their families in the Commonwealth.
"Claim for benefits," as used in § 63.2-915 of the Code of Virginia and 22VAC40-201-115, means (i) foster care maintenance, including enhanced maintenance; (ii) the services set forth in a court approved foster care service plan, the foster care services identified in an individual family service plan developed by a family assessment and planning team or other multi-disciplinary team pursuant to the Children's Services Act (§ 2.2-5200 et seq. of the Code of Virginia), or a transitional living plan for independent living services; (iii) the placement of a child through an agreement with the child's parents or guardians, where legal custody remains with the parents or guardians; (iv) foster care prevention services as set out in a prevention service plan; or (v) placement of a child for adoption when an approved family is outside the locality with the legal custody of the child, in accordance with 42 USC § 671(a)(23).
"Close relative" means a grandparent, great-grandparent, adult nephew or niece, adult brother or sister, adult uncle or aunt, or adult great uncle or great aunt.
"Commissioner" means the commissioner of the department, his designee, or his authorized representative.
"Community Policy and Management Team" or "CPMT" means a team appointed by the local governing body pursuant to Chapter 52 (§ 2.2-5200 et seq.) of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia. The powers and duties of the CPMT are set out in § 2.2-5206 of the Code of Virginia.
"Concurrent permanency planning" means utilizing a structured case management approach in which reasonable efforts are made to achieve a permanency goal, usually a reunification with the family, simultaneously with an established alternative permanent plan for the child.
"Department" means the state Department of Social Services.
"Denied," as used in § 63.2-915 of the Code of Virginia and 22VAC40-201-115, means the refusal to provide a claim for benefits.
"Dually approved" means applicants have met the required standards to be approved as a foster and adoptive family home provider.
"Entrustment agreement" means an agreement that the local board enters into with the parent, parents, or guardian to place the child in foster care either to terminate parental rights or for the temporary care and placement of the child. The agreement specifies the conditions for the care of the child.
"Family assessment and planning team" or "FAPT" means the local team created by the CPMT (i) to assess the strengths and needs of troubled youths and families who are approved for referral to the team and (ii) to identify and determine the complement of services required to meet their unique needs. The powers and duties of the FAPT are set out in § 2.2-5208 of the Code of Virginia.
"Foster care" means 24-hour substitute care for children in the custody of the local board or who remain in the custody of their parents, but are placed away from their parents or guardians and for whom the local board has placement and care responsibility through a noncustodial agreement.
"Foster care maintenance payments" means payments to cover those expenses made on behalf of a child in foster care including the cost of, and the cost of providing, food, clothing, shelter, daily supervision, school supplies, a child's incidentals, reasonable travel to the child's home for visitation, and reasonable travel to remain in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of the placement. The term also includes costs for children in institutional care and costs related to the child of a child in foster care as set out in 42 USC § 675.
"Foster care plan" means a written document filed with the court in accordance with § 16.1-281 of the Code of Virginia that describes the programs, care, services, and other support that will be offered to the child and his parents and other prior custodians. The foster care plan defined in this definition is the case plan referenced in 42 USC § 675.
"Foster care prevention" means the provision of services to a child and family to prevent the need for foster care placement.
"Foster care services" means the provision of a full range of casework, treatment, and community services, including independent living services, for a planned period of time to a child meeting the requirements as set forth in § 63.2-905 of the Code of Virginia.
"Foster child" means a child for whom the local board has assumed placement and care responsibilities through a noncustodial foster care agreement, entrustment, or court commitment before 18 years of age.
"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.
"Foster parent" means an approved provider who gives 24-hour substitute family care, room and board, and services for children or youth committed or entrusted to a child-placing agency.
"Independent living arrangement" means placement of a child at least 16 years of age who is in the custody of a local board or licensed child-placing agency and has been placed by the local board or licensed child-placing agency in a living arrangement in which he 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 or (ii) is at least 18 years of age and who, immediately prior to his commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice, was in the custody of a local department of social services. 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.
"Individual family service plan" or "IFSP" means the plan for services developed by the FAPT in accordance with § 2.2-5208 of the Code of Virginia.
"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 Compact on the Placement of Children" or "ICPC" means a uniform law that has been enacted by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which establishes orderly procedures for the interstate placement of children and sets responsibility for those involved in placing those children.
"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.
"Investigation" means the process by which the child-placing agency obtains information required by § 63.2-1208 of the Code of Virginia about the placement and the suitability of the adoption. The findings of the investigation are compiled into a written report for the circuit court containing a recommendation on the action to be taken by the court.
"Kinship foster parent" means a relative or fictive kin who gives 24-hour substitute family care, room and board, and services for children or youth committed or entrusted to a child-placing agency.
"Local board" means the local board of social services in each county and city in the Commonwealth required by § 63.2-300 of the Code of Virginia.
"Local department" means the local department of social services of any county or city in the Commonwealth.
"Nonagency placement adoption" means an adoption in which the child is not in the custody of a child-placing agency and is placed in the adoptive home directly by the birth parent or legal guardian.
"Noncustodial foster care agreement" means an agreement that the local department enters into with the parent or guardian of a child to place the child in foster care when the parent or guardian retains custody of the child. The agreement specifies the conditions for placement and care of the child.
"Nonrecurring expenses" means expenses of adoptive parents directly related to the adoption of a child with special needs as set out in § 63.2-1301 D of the Code of Virginia.
"Normalcy" means allowing children and youth in foster care to experience childhood and adolescence in ways similar to their peers who are not in foster care by empowering foster parents and congregate care staff to use the reasonable and prudent parent standard as referenced in Public Law 113-183 (42 USC §§ 671 and 675) when making decisions regarding extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities.
"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.
"Permanency" means establishing family connections and placement options for a child to provide a lifetime of commitment, continuity of care, a sense of belonging, and a legal and social status that go beyond a child's temporary foster care placements.
"Permanency planning" means a social work practice philosophy that promotes establishing a permanent living situation for every child with an adult with whom the child has a continuous, reciprocal relationship within a minimum amount of time after the child enters the foster care system.
"Prior custodian" means the person who had custody of the child and with whom the child resided, other than the birth parent, before custody was transferred to or placement made with the child-placing agency when that person had custody of the child.
"Prior family" means the family with whom the child resided, including birth parents, relatives, or prior custodians, before custody was transferred to or placement made with the child-placing agency.
"Putative Father Registry" means a confidential database designed to protect the rights of a putative father who wants to be notified in the event of a proceeding related to termination of parental rights or adoption for a child he may have fathered.
"Reasonable and prudent parent standard," in accordance with 42 USC § 675(10), means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, and best interests of a child while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child that foster parents and congregate care staff shall use when determining whether to allow a child in foster care to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.
"Residential placement" means a placement in a licensed publicly or privately owned facility, other than a private family home, where 24-hour care is provided to children separated from their families. A residential placement includes placements in children's residential facilities as defined in § 63.2-100 of the Code of Virginia.
"Reunification" means the return of the child to his home after removal for reasons of child abuse and neglect, abandonment, child in need of services, parental request for relief of custody, noncustodial agreement, entrustment, or any other court-ordered removal.
"Service worker" means a worker responsible for case management or service coordination for prevention, foster care, or adoption cases.
"Sibling" means each of two or more children having one or more parents in common.
"SSI" means Supplemental Security Income.
"State pool funds" means the pooled state and local funds administered by CSA and used to pay for services authorized by the CPMT.
"Step-parent adoption" means the adoption of a child by a spouse or the adoption of a child by a former spouse of the birth or adoptive parent in accordance with § 63.2-1201.1 of the Code of Virginia.
"Supervised independent living setting" means the residence of a person 18 years of age or older who is participating in the Fostering Futures program set forth in Article 2 (§ 63.2-917 et seq.) of Chapter 9 of the Code of Virginia where supervision includes a monthly visit with a service worker or, when appropriate, contracted supervision. "Supervised independent living setting" does not include residential facilities or group homes.
"Title IV-E" means the title of the Social Security Act that authorizes federal funds for foster care and adoption assistance.
"Visitation and report" means the visits conducted pursuant to § 63.2-1212 of the Code of Virginia and the written report of the findings made in the course of the visitation. The report is filed in the circuit court in accordance with § 63.2-1212 of the Code of Virginia.
"Wrap around services" means an individually designed set of services and supports provided to a child and his family that includes treatment services, personal support services, or any other supports necessary to achieve the desired outcome. Wrap around services are developed through a team approach.
"Youth" means any child in foster care between 14 and 18 years of age or any person 18 to 21 years of age transitioning out of foster care and receiving independent living services pursuant to § 63.2-905.1 of the Code of Virginia. "Youth" may also mean an individual older than the age of 16 years who is the subject of an adoption assistance agreement.
22VAC40-201-105. Foster care for youth 18 to 21 years of age (Fostering Futures program).
A. Foster care services shall be provided to youth who turn 18 years of age while still in foster care on or after July 1, 2016, until they reach 21 years of age if they qualify and have chosen to participate in the Fostering Futures program.
B. Youth who qualify for the Fostering Futures program are those youth who (i) turn 18 years of age on or after July 1, 2016, and were in the custody of a local Virginia department of social services but have not yet turned 21 years of age, including those who were in foster care under an entrustment agreement and (ii) are:
1. Completing secondary education or an equivalent credential;
2. Enrolled in an institution that provides post-secondary or vocational education;
3. Participating in a program or activity designed to promote employment or remove barriers to employment;
4. Employed at least 80 hours a month; or
5. Are incapable of doing any of the activities described in subdivisions 1 through 4 of this subsection due to a medical condition, which incapability is supported by regularly updated information in the program participant's case plan.
C. Fostering Futures program participants are eligible for independent living services as well as placement services; placements in congregate care are not allowable.
D. Entry into the Fostering Futures program is considered a new foster care episode, and the youth shall be evaluated for Title IV-E funding or eligibility upon entering the program.
E. There is no limit to the number of times a youth may exit and reenter the Fostering Futures program prior to his 21st birthday.
F. Youth in foster care who are committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice prior to 18 years of age, turn 18 years of age on or after July 1, 2016, and are not yet 21 years of age, are eligible to enter the Fostering Futures program upon discharge from commitment.
G. To enter the Fostering Futures program, participants and the local department shall enter into a Voluntary Continuing Services and Support Agreement (VCSSA). The VCSSA documents the following:
1. The youth's agreement to voluntarily reenter foster care through self-entrustment.
2. The requirement that the youth continue to meet one of the requirements listed in subsection B of this section and the youth's agreement to provide the local department with information related to verifying compliance, progress, or status or to otherwise provide consent for the local department to receive such information directly.
3. The youth's agreement to participate in service and supports outlined in the foster care plan and transition plan and that the services and supports are to be provided to the youth no later than 30 days after execution of the VCSSA.
4. The youth's legal status as an adult.
5. The youth's agreement to report changes to the worker, be supervised by the local department, reside in a supervised independent living setting, and comply with program requirements and eligibility conditions.
6. An explanation of the voluntary nature of program participation and termination.
7. The specific conditions that may result in termination by the local department.
8. That the youth agrees to regular contact with the local department.
9. That the youth agrees to timely payment of housing fees and other requirements deemed necessary based on the unique circumstances and needs of the youth related to a specific safety concern.
a. The local department shall explore a variety of options to support the youth in timely payment of housing fees, including reviewing the youth's budget and money management assistance with the youth and discussing with the youth the option to have part of the maintenance payment sent directly to the housing provider.
b. Any additional requirements outlined in the VCSSA shall be related to a specific safety need of the youth.
H. The local department shall petition the juvenile and domestic relations court for a review of the agreement and approval of the youth's case plan no more than 30 days after execution of the VCSSA.
I. The local department shall identify services and supports to be provided to the youth through use of the foster care plan and transition plan. Services and supports to be provided under Fostering Futures shall include where necessary:
1. Medical care through the State Plan for Medical Assistance as long as eligibility is met;
2. Housing, placement, and support in the form of foster care maintenance payments; and
3. Case management services, including resources and services to be provided to the youth to meet the youth's individualized goals. All case plans shall be developed with the youth and, at the youth's option, include up to two members of the case planning team who are selected by the youth.
J. The local department may issue a notice of intent to terminate the youth from the Fostering Futures program due to substantial violations of the VCSSA. When the local department believes the youth is at risk of substantial violation of the VCSSA, efforts shall be made to actively engage the youth in understanding the ramifications of noncompliance and to encourage the youth's compliance. The local department shall provide the youth a notice of the youth's right to appeal the termination decision. Services and supports provided to the youth shall continue for a minimum of 30 days from the date of the appeal notice.