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 the child 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 that 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.
"Virginia Birth Father Registry” means the established 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.
"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.
A. Independent living services shall be identified by the youth, foster or adoptive family, local department, service providers, legal community, and other interested individuals and shall be included in the service plan. Input from the youth in assembling these individuals and developing the services is required.
B. Independent living services shall be provided to all youth ages 14 to 18 years and shall be offered to any person between 18 and 21 years of age who is in the process of transitioning from foster care to self-sufficiency.
C. Independent living services include education, vocational training, employment, mental and physical health services, transportation, housing, financial support, daily living skills, counseling, and development of permanent connections with adults.
D. Local departments shall assess the youth's independent living skills and needs and incorporate the assessment results into the youth's service plan.
E. A youth placed in foster care before the age of 18 years who turns age 18 years prior to July 1, 2016, may continue to receive independent living services from the local department between the ages of 18 and 21 years if:
1. The youth is making progress in an educational or vocational program, has employment, or is in a treatment or training program; and
2. The youth agrees to participate with the local department
in (i) in developing a service agreement and (ii) signing the service agreement. The service agreement shall require that the youth shall cooperate with all services; or
3. The youth is in permanent foster care and is making progress in an educational or vocational program, has employment, or is in a treatment or training program.
F. A youth age 16 years and older is eligible to live in an independent living arrangement provided the local department utilizes the independent living arrangement placement criteria developed by the department to determine that such an arrangement is in the youth's best interest. An eligible youth may receive an independent living stipend to assist him with the costs of maintenance. The eligibility criteria for receiving an independent living stipend will be developed by the department.
G. Any person who was committed or entrusted to a local department, turned 18 years of age prior to July 1, 2016, and chooses to discontinue receiving independent living services after age 18 years may request a resumption of independent living services provided that (i) the person has not yet reached 21 years of age and (ii) the person has entered into a written agreement, less than 60 days after independent living services have been discontinued, with the local board regarding the terms and conditions of his receipt of independent living services. Local departments shall provide any person who chooses to leave foster care or terminate independent living services before his 21st birthday written notice of his right to request restoration of independent living services in accordance with § 63.2-905.1 of the Code of Virginia by including such written notice in the person's transition plan.
H. Local departments shall assist eligible youth in applying for educational and vocational financial assistance. Educational and vocational specific funding sources shall be used prior to using other sources.
I. Local departments shall provide independent living services to any person between 18 and 21 years of age who:
1. Turned 18 years of age prior to July 1, 2016;
2. Was in the custody of the local board immediately prior to his commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice;
3. Is in the process of transitioning from a commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice to self-sufficiency; and
4. Provides written notice of his intent to receive independent living services and enters into a written agreement
which that sets forth the terms and conditions for the provision of independent living services with the local board within 60 days of his release from commitment.
J. Every six months a supervisory review of service plans for youth receiving independent living services after age 18 years shall be conducted to assure the effectiveness of service provision.
K. A youth who has been in care six months or more and turns 18 years of age while in foster care shall receive a certified copy of his birth certificate, social security card, health insurance information, medical records, and state-issued identification or driver's license.
L. The local department shall run annual credit checks on all youth in foster care who are 14 years of age and older. The local department shall assist a youth in resolving any discrepancies in the youth's credit report. The local department shall assist a youth in foster care over 18 years of age in obtaining the youth's annual credit report.
M. The local department shall ensure that any youth in foster care on the youth's 18th birthday is enrolled in Medicaid, unless the youth objects or is otherwise ineligible.
N. The local department shall ensure that any youth who turns 18 years of age while in foster care is given the opportunity to complete a survey to provide feedback regarding the youth's experience in foster care.
A. The department shall establish and maintain a putative father registry
which that is a confidential database.
B. A search of the Virginia
Putative Birth Father Registry shall be conducted for all adoptions except when the child has been adopted according to the laws of a foreign country or when the child was placed in Virginia from a foreign country for the purpose of adoption in accordance with § 63.2-1104 of the Code of Virginia.
C. Any petitioner who files a petition for termination of parental rights or for an adoption proceeding shall request a search of the Virginia
Putative Birth Father Registry. The certificate of search and finding must be filed with the court before an adoption or termination of parental rights proceeding can be concluded.
D. Any man who desires to be notified of an adoption proceeding or termination of parental rights regarding a child that he may have fathered shall register with the Virginia Birth Father Registry.
E. A registration is timely when it is received by the department within:
1. 10 days of the child's birth;
2. 10 days of the date of personal service of the written notice required under subsection F of § 63.2-1250 or within 13 days of the certified mailing date of such written notice; or
3. 10 days upon the registrant's discovery of misrepresentation by the birth mother that led him to believe that (i) the pregnancy was terminated or the mother miscarried when in fact the baby was born or (ii) the child died when in fact the child is alive.
D. F. The department may require additional information to determine that the individual requesting information from the Putative Virginia Birth Father Registry is eligible to receive information in accordance with § 63.2-1251 of the Code of Virginia.