Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Proposed Text

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Action:
Establish New Permanency Services Regulation
Stage: Proposed
 

CHAPTER 201

PERMANENCY SERVICES - PREVENTION, FOSTER CARE, ADOPTION AND INDEPENDENT LIVING

22VAC40-201-10. Definitions

 The following words and terms, when used in this regulation, shall have the following meaning, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Adoption" means a legal process which entitles the person being adopted to all of the rights and privileges, and subject to all of the obligations, of a birth child.

"Adoption assistance" means a money payment or services provided to adoptive parents on behalf of a child with special needs.

"Adoption assistance agreement" means a written agreement between the child-placing agency and the adoptive parents of a child with special needs to provide for the unmet financial and service needs of the child.  An adoption assistance agreement may be for a federal, state, or conditional subsidy.

"Adoption Progress Report" means a report filed with the juvenile court on the progress being made to place the child in an adoptive home.  The Code of Virginia, § 16.1-283 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.

"Adoption search" means interviews and written or telephone inquiries made by a local department to locate and advise the biological parents or siblings of an adult adoptee's request, by Application for Disclosure or petition to the court, for identifying information from a closed adoption record.

"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.  The adoptive home study is included in the dual approval process.

"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 which 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.

"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 the adoption process means any child in the care and responsibility of a child-placing agency who:

1. Is legally free for adoption as evidenced by termination of parental rights.

2. Has one or more of the following individual characteristics that make the child hard to place:

a. a physical, mental, or emotional condition existing prior to adoption in accordance with guidance developed by the Department;

b. a hereditary tendency, congenital problem, or birth injury leading to risk of future disability;

c. a physician's or his designee's documentation of prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol;

d. is five years of age or older;

e. has a minority racial or ethnic background;

f. is a member of a sibling group who is being placed with the same family at the same time;

g. has significant emotional ties with the foster parents with whom the child has resided for at least 12 months, when the adoption by the foster parent is in the best interest of the child; or

h. has experienced a previous adoption disruption or dissolution or multiple disruptions of placements while in the custody of a child-placing agency.

3. Has had reasonable but unsuccessful efforts made to be placed without adoption assistance.

4. Had one or more of the conditions stated in a, b, or c at the time of adoption, but the condition was not diagnosed until after the entry of the final order of adoption and no more than a year has elapsed from the date of diagnoses.

"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 authorized representative.

"Community Policy and Management Team (CPMT)" means a team appointed by the local governing body to receive funds pursuant to the Code of Virginia, Chapter 52 – Comprehensive Services Act For At-Risk Youth and Families.  The powers and duties of the CPMT are set out in § 2.2-5206 of the Code of Virginia.

"Comprehensive Services Act for At-Risk Youth and Families (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.

"Concurrent permanency planning" means a sequential, structured approach to case management which requires working towards a permanency goal (usually reunification) while, at the same time, establishing and working towards an alternative permanency plan.

"Custody investigation" means a method to gather information related to the parents and a child whose custody, visitation, or support is in controversy or requires determination.

"Department" means the State Department of Social Services.

"Dual approval process" means a process that includes a home study, mutual selection, interviews, training, and background checks to be completed on all applicants being considered for approval as a resource, foster or adoptive family home provider.

"Family Assessment and Planning Team (FAPT)" means the local team created by the CPMT to assess the strengths and needs of troubled youths and families who are approved for referral to the team and 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 placed away from their parents or guardians and for whom the local board has placement and care responsibility.  Placements may be made in foster family homes, foster homes of relatives, group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities, child care institutions, and pre-adoptive homes.  Foster care also includes children under the placement and care of the local board who have not been removed from their home.

"Foster care maintenance payments" means payments to cover federally allowable expenses made on behalf of a child in foster care including the cost of food, clothing, shelter, daily supervision, and other allowable expenses in accordance with guidance developed by the Department.

"Foster care placement" means placement of a child through (i) an agreement between the parents or guardians and the local board or the public agency designated by the CPMT 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 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 prevention, placement, treatment, and community services, including but not limited to independent living services, 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 non-custodial foster care agreement, entrustment, or court commitment before 18 years of age.

"Foster family placement" means placement of a child with a family who has been approved by a child-placing agency to provide substitute care for children until a permanent placement can be achieved.

"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 was in foster care on his 18th birthday and has not yet reached the age of 21 years.  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 (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 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 (ICPC)" means a uniform law that has been enacted by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 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 local department 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.

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

"Non-agency 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.

"Non-custodial 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 retain 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 including, but not limited to, attorney fees directly related to the finalization of the adoption; transportation; court costs; and reasonable and necessary fees of child-placing agencies.

"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 children in order to provide a lifetime of commitment, continuity of care, a sense of belonging, and a legal and social status that goes beyond the children's temporary foster care placements.

"Permanency planning" means a social work practice philosophy that promotes a permanent living situation for every child entering the foster care system with an adult with whom the child has a continuous, reciprocal relationship within a minimum amount of time.

"Permanency planning indicator (PPI)" means a tool used in concurrent permanency planning to assess the likelihood of reunification.  It assists the worker in determining if a child should be placed with a resource family and if a concurrent goal should be established.

"Prior custodian" means the person 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.

"Reassessment" means a subsequent review of the child's, birth parent's or prior custodian's, and resource parent's circumstances for the purpose of identifying needed services. 

"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 children's residential facilities as defined in § 63.2-100 of the Code of Virginia.

"Resource parent" means a provider who has completed the dual approval process and has been approved as both a foster and adoptive family home provider.

"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, non-custodial agreement, entrustment, or any other court-ordered removal.

"Service plan" means a written document that describes the programs, care, services, and other support which will be offered to the child and his parents and other prior custodians pursuant to § 16.1-281 of the Code of Virginia,

"Service worker" means a worker responsible for case management or service coordination for prevention, foster care, or adoption cases.

"Special service payments" means payments for services provided to help meet the adoptive or foster child's physical, mental, emotional, or dental needs.

"SSI" means Supplemental Security Income.

"State pool fund" 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

"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 visitation conducted pursuant to § 63.2-1212 of the Code of Virginia subsequent to the entry of an interlocutory order of adoption and the written report compiling the findings of the visitation which is filed in the circuit court.

"Wrap around services" means an individually designed set of services and supports provided to children and their families that includes treatment services, personal support services or any other supports necessary to achieve the desired outcome. Wraparound services are developed through a team approach.

"Youth" means any child in foster care between16 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.  

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-20. Foster care prevention services.

A. The local department shall first make reasonable efforts to keep the child in his home.

B. The local department shall work with the birth parents or custodians to locate and assess relatives or other alternative caregivers to support the child remaining in his home or as placement options if the child cannot safely remain in his home. 

C. Services, pursuant to § 63.2-905 of the Code of Virginia, shall be available to birth parents or custodians to prevent the need for foster care placement to the extent that a child and birth parents or custodians meet all eligibility requirements.

D. Any services available to a child in foster care shall also be available to a child and his birth parents or custodians to prevent foster care placement and shall be based on an assessment of the child's and birth parents' or custodians' needs. 

E. Any service shall be provided to prevent foster care placement or to stabilize the family situation provided the need for the service is documented in the local department's service plan or in the IFSP used in conjunction with CSA.

F. Children at imminent risk of entry into foster care shall be evaluated by the local department as reasonable candidates for foster care based on federal and state guidelines.

G. The local department shall consider a wrap around plan of care prior to removing a child from his home and document support and services considered and the reasons such support and services were not sufficient to maintain the child in his home.

 

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-30. Entering foster care.

A. Children enter foster care through a court commitment, entrustment agreement, or non-custodial foster care agreement.

B. The entrustment agreement shall specify the rights and obligations of the child, the birth parent or custodian, and the child-placing agency.  Entrustments shall not be used for educational purposes, to make the child eligible for Medicaid, or to obtain mental health treatment. 

1. Temporary entrustment agreements may be revoked by the birth parent or custodian or child-placing agency prior to the court's approval of the agreement.

2. Permanent entrustment agreements shall only be entered into when the birth parent and the child-placing agency, after counseling about alternatives to permanent relinquishment, agree that voluntary relinquishment of parental rights and placement of the child for adoption are in the child's best interests.  When a child-placing agency enters into a permanent entrustment agreement, the child-placing agency shall make diligent efforts to ensure the timely finalization of the adoption.

C. Children may be placed in foster care by a birth parent or custodian entering into a non-custodial foster care agreement with the local department where the birth parent or custodian retains legal custody and the local department assumes placement and care of the child.

1. A non-custodial foster care agreement shall be signed by the local department and the birth parent or custodian and shall address the conditions for care and control of the child; and the rights and obligations of the child, birth parent or custodian, and the local department.  Local departments shall enter into a non-custodial agreement at the request of the birth parent or custodian when such an agreement is in the best interest of the child.  When a non-custodial foster care agreement is executed, the permanency goal shall be reunification and continuation of the agreement is subject to the cooperation of the birth parent or custodian and child.

2. The plan for foster care placement through a non-custodial foster care agreement shall be submitted to the court for approval within 60 days of the child's entry into foster care.

3. When a child is placed in foster care through a non-custodial foster care agreement, all foster care requirements shall be met.

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-40. Foster care placements.

A. The local department shall ensure children in foster care are placed in licensed or approved homes or facilities that comply with all federal and state requirements for safety.  Placements shall be made subject to the requirements of § 63.2-901.1 of the Code of Virginia.  The following requirements shall be met when placing a child in a licensed or approved home or facility.

1. The local department shall make diligent efforts to locate and assess relatives as a foster home placement for the child, including in emergency situations.

2. The local department shall place the child in the least restrictive, most family like setting consistent with the best interests and needs of the child.

3. The local department shall attempt to place the child in as close proximity as possible to the birth parent's or prior custodian's home to facilitate visitation and provide continuity of connections for the child.

4. The local department shall make diligent efforts to place the child with siblings.

5. The local department shall, when appropriate, consider placement with a resource parent so that if reunification fails, the placement is the best available placement to provide permanency for the child.

6. The local department shall not delay or deny placement of a child into a foster family placement on the basis of race, color, or national origin of the foster or resource parent or child.

7. When a child being placed in foster care is of native American heritage and is a member of a nationally recognized tribe, the local department shall follow all federal laws, regulations, and polices regarding the referral of a child of native American heritage.  The local department shall contact the Virginia Council on Indians and consider tribal culture and connections in the placement and care of a child of Virginia Indian heritage.

B. A service worker shall make a pre-placement visit to any out-of-home placement to observe the environment where the child will be living and ensure that the placement is safe and capable of meeting the needs of the child.  The pre-placement visit shall precede the placement date except in cases of emergency.  In cases of emergency, the visit shall occur on the same day as the placement.   

C. Foster, adoptive, or resource family homes shall meet standards established by the Board and shall be approved by child-placing agencies. Group homes and residential facilities shall be licensed by the appropriate licensing agency.  Local departments shall verify the licensure status of the facility prior to placement of the child.

D. Local departments shall receive approval from the Department's Office of the ICPC prior to placing a child out of state.

E. When a child is to be placed in a home in another local department's jurisdiction within Virginia, the local department intending to place the child shall notify the local department that approved the home that the home is being considered for the child's placement.  The local department shall also verify that the home is still approved and shall consult with the approving local department about placement of the child.

F. When a foster, adoptive, or resource family is moving from one jurisdiction to another, the local department holding custody shall notify the local department in the jurisdiction to which the foster, adoptive, or resource family is moving.

G. When a child moves with a foster, adoptive, or resource family from one jurisdiction to another in Virginia, the local department holding custody shall continue supervision of the child unless supervision is transferred to the other local department.

H. A local department may petition the court to transfer custody of a child to another local department when the birth parent or prior custodian has moved to that locality.

I. In planned placement changes or relocation of foster parents, birth parents with residual parental rights or prior custodians and all other relevant parties shall be notified that a placement change or move is being considered if such notification is in the best interest of the child.  The birth parent or prior custodian shall be involved in the decision-making process regarding the placement change prior to a final decision being made.

1. The service worker shall consider the child's best interest and safety needs when involving the birth parent or prior custodian and all other relevant parties in the decision-making process regarding placement change or notification of the new placement.

2. In the case of an emergency placement change, the birth parent with residual parental rights or prior custodian and all other relevant parties shall be notified immediately of the placement change.  The child-placing agency shall inform the birth parent or prior custodian why the placement change occurred and why the birth parent or prior custodian and all other relevant parties could not be involved in the decision-making process.

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-50. Initial foster care placement activities.

A. Information on every child in foster care shall be entered into the Department's automated child welfare system in accordance with guidance developed by the Department.

B. The local department shall refer the child for all financial benefits to which the child may be eligible, including but not limited to Child Support, Title IV-E, SSI, other governmental benefits, and private resources.

C. The service worker shall ensure that the child receives a medical examination no later than 30 days after initial placement. The child shall be provided a medical evaluation within 72 hours of initial placement if conditions indicate such an evaluation is necessary.  The child shall receive well child medical examinations in accordance with the Department of Medical Assistance Services periodicity chart.

D. The service worker shall enroll the child in school as soon as possible but no more than 72 hours after placement.  

1. The child's desire to remain in his previous school setting shall be considered in making the decision about which school the child shall attend.  Local departments shall allow a child to remain in his previous school placement when it is in the best interest of the child to do so.

2. The service worker, in cooperation with the birth parents or prior custodians, foster care providers, and other involved adults, shall coordinate the school placement.

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-60. Assessment.

A. Assessments shall be conducted in a manner that respectfully involves children and birth parents or prior custodians to give them a say in what happens to them.  Decision making shall include input from children, youth, and birth parents or prior custodians and other interested individuals.

B. The initial foster care assessment shall result in the selection of a specific permanency goal.  In accordance with guidance developed by the Department, the local department shall complete the PPI during the initial foster care assessment to assist in determining if a concurrent goal should be selected.

C. The initial foster care assessment shall be completed within time frames developed by the Department but shall not exceed 30 calendar days after acceptance of the child in a foster care placement.

1. When a child has been removed from his home as a result of abuse or neglect, the initial foster care assessment shall include a summary of the Child Protective Services' safety and risk assessments.

2. The history and circumstances of the child, the birth parents or prior custodians, or other interested individuals shall be assessed at the time of the initial foster care assessment to determine their service needs.  The initial foster care assessment shall:

a. include a comprehensive social history;

b utilize assessment tools designated by the Department;

c. be entered into the Department's automated child welfare system; and

d. include a description of how the child, youth, birth parents or prior custodians, and other interested individuals were involved in the decision making process.

D. The service worker shall refer the child, birth parents or prior custodians, and foster, adoptive or resource parents for appropriate services identified through the assessment.  The assessment shall include an assessment of financial resources. 

E. Reassessments of the child, birth parents or prior custodians, and foster, adoptive, or resource parents' response to the provided services and the need for additional services shall occur at least every three months as long as the goal is to return home.  Reassessments shall occur at least every six months after placement for as long as the child remains in foster care.  The reassessments shall be completed in accordance with guidance developed by the Department.

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-70. Foster care goals.

A. Foster care goals are established in order to assure permanency planning for the child.  The establishment of lower ranking goals must include documentation as to why all higher ranking goals were not selected.  Foster care goals, in order of priority, are:

1. Return custody to parent or prior custodian.

2. Transfer of custody of the child to a relative other than his prior family.

3. Adoption.

4. Permanent foster care.

5. Independent living.

6. Another planned permanent living arrangement.

B. When the permanency goal is changed to adoption, the local department shall file petitions with the court 30 days prior to the hearing to: 

1. approve the foster care service plan seeking to change the permanency goal to adoption; and

2. terminate parental rights. 

C. The goal of permanent foster care shall only be considered for children age 14 and older in accordance with guidance developed by the Department. 

D. When the goal for the youth is to transition to independent living, the local department shall provide services pursuant to guidance developed by the Department.

E. The goal of another planned permanent living arrangement may be chosen when the court has found that none of the alternative permanency goals are appropriate and the court has found the child to:

1. have a severe and chronic emotional, physical, or neurological disabling condition; and

2. require long-term residential care for the condition.

F. These permanency goals shall be considered and addressed from the beginning of placement and continuously evaluated.  Although one goal may appear to be the primary goal, other goals shall be continuously explored and planned for as appropriate.

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-80. Service plans.

A. There shall be a current service plan for every child in foster care.  The service plan shall specify the assessed permanency goal and, when appropriate, the concurrent permanency goal and shall meet all requirements set forth in federal or state law.  The development of the service plan shall occur through shared decision-making between the local department; the child; the birth parents or prior custodians; the foster, adoptive, or resource parents; and any other interested individuals.  All of these partners shall be involved in sharing information for the purposes of well-informed decisions and planning for the child with a focus on safety and permanence.

B. A service plan shall be written after the completion of a thorough assessment. Service plans shall directly reference how the strengths identified in the foster care assessment will support the plan and the needs to be met to achieve the permanency goal, including the identified concurrent permanency goal, in a timely manner.

C. A plan for visitation with the birth parents or prior custodians, siblings, grandparents, or other interested individuals for all children in foster care shall be developed and presented to the court as part of the service plan.  A plan shall not be required if such visitation is not in the best interest of the child.  

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2- 217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-90. Service delivery.

A. Permanency planning services to children and birth parents or prior custodians shall be delivered as part of a total system with cooperation, coordination, and collaboration occurring among children and youth, birth parents or prior custodians, service providers, the legal community and other interested individuals.

B. Permanency planning for children and birth parents or prior custodians shall be an inclusive process providing timely notifications and full disclosure to the birth parents or prior custodians of the establishment of a concurrent permanency goal when indicated, and the implications of concurrent permanency planning for the child and birth parents or prior custodians.  Child-placing agencies shall also make timely notifications concerning placement changes, hearings and meetings regarding the child, assessments of needs and case progress, and responsiveness to the requests of the child and birth parents or prior custodians.

C. Services to children and birth parents or prior custodians shall continue until there is an assessment indicating the services are no longer necessary.  Services to achieve concurrent permanency goals shall be provided to support achievement of both permanency goals.

D. In order to meet the child's permanency goals, services may be provided to extended family or other interested individuals and may continue until there is an assessment indicating the services are no longer necessary.

E. All children in foster care shall have a face-to-face contact with an approved case worker at least once per calendar month, regardless of the child's permanency goal or placement and in accordance with guidance developed by the Department.  The majority of each child's visits shall be in his place of residency.

1. The purpose of the visits shall be to assess the child's progress, needs, adjustment to placement, and other significant information related to the health, safety, and well-being of the child.

2. The visits shall be made by individuals who meet the Department's requirements consistent with 42 U.S.C. 622(b).

F. Supportive services to foster, adoptive, and resource parents shall be provided.

1. The local department shall enter into a placement agreement developed by the Department with the foster, adoptive, or resource parents.  The placement agreement shall include, at a minimum, a Code of Ethics and mutual responsibilities for all parties to the agreement as required by § 63.2- 900 of the Code of Virginia.

2. Foster, adoptive, and resource parents who have children placed with them shall be contacted by a service worker as often as needed but at least monthly in order to assess service needs and progress. 

3. Foster, adoptive, and resource parents shall be given full factual information about the child, including but not limited to, circumstances that led to the child's removal, and complete educational, medical and behavioral information.  All information shall be kept confidential. 

4. Foster, adoptive, and resource parents shall be given appropriate sections of the foster care service plan. 

5. If needed, services to stabilize the placement shall be provided. 

6. Respite care for foster, adoptive, and resource parents may be provided on an emergency or planned basis in accordance with criteria developed by the Department.

7. The Department shall make a contingency fund available to provide reimbursement to local departments' foster and resource parents for damages pursuant to § 63.2-911 of the Code of Virginia and according to guidance developed by the Department.  Provision of reimbursement is contingent upon the availability of funds.

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-100. Providing independent living services.

A. Independent living services shall be identified by the youth; foster, adoptive or resource family; the local department; service providers; the legal community; and other interested individuals and shall be included in the service plan.  Input from the youth in assembling the team and developing the services is required. 

B. Independent living services may be provided to all youth ages 14 to 18 and may be provided until the youth reaches age 21.

C. The child-placing agency may offer a program of independent living services that meets the youth's needs such as 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. Child-placing agencies shall assess the youth's independent living skills and needs in accordance with guidance developed by the Department and incorporate the assessment results into the youth's service plan.

E. A youth placed in foster care before the age of 18 may continue to receive independent living services from the child-placing agency between the ages of 18 and 21 if:

1. The youth agrees to participate with the local department in (i) developing a service agreement and (ii) signing the service agreement. The service agreement shall require, at a minimum, that the youth's living arrangement shall be approved by the local department and that the youth shall cooperate with all services; and

2. The youth is making progress in an educational or vocational program, has employment, or is in a treatment or training program; or

3. The youth is in permanent foster care.

F. A youth age 16 and older is eligible to live in an independent living arrangement provided the child-placing agency 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 child-placing agency and chooses to discontinue receiving independent living services after age 18 but prior to his 21st birthday may request a resumption of independent living services within 60 days of discontinuing these services.  The child-placing agency shall restore independent living services in accordance with § 63.2-905.1 of the Code of Virginia.

H. Child-placing agencies 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. Service plans for youth receiving independent living services after age 18 shall be reviewed every six months by a supervisory review to assure the effectiveness of service provision. 

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-110. Court hearings and case reviews.

A. For all court hearings, local departments shall:

1. File petitions in accordance with the requirements for the type of hearing.

2. Obtain and consider the child's input as to who should be included in the court hearing.  If persons identified by the child will not be included in the court hearing, the child-placing agency shall explain the reasons to the child for such a decision, consistent with the child's developmental and psychological status.

3. Inform the court of reasonable efforts made to achieve concurrent permanency goals in those cases where a concurrent goal has been identified.

B. An Administrative Panel Review shall be held six months after a permanency planning hearing when the goals of adoption, permanent foster care, or independent living have been approved by the court, unless the court requires more frequent hearings.  The child will continue to have Administrative Panel Reviews or review hearings every six months until a final order of adoption is issued or the child reaches age 18.

C. The local department shall invite: the child; the birth parents or prior custodians, when appropriate; the child's foster, adoptive, or resource parents; placement providers; Guardian ad litem; CASA; and other interested individuals to participate in the Administrative Panel Reviews.

D. The local department shall consider all recommendations made during the Administrative Panel Review in planning services for the child and birth parents or prior custodians and document the recommendations on the Department approved form.  All interested individuals, including those not in attendance, shall be given a copy of the results of the Administrative Panel Review as documented on the Department approved form.

E. A supervisory review is required every six months for youth ages 18 to 21.

F. When a case is on appeal for termination of parental rights, the juvenile and domestic relations district court retains jurisdiction on all matters not on appeal.  The circuit court appeal hearing may substitute for a review hearing if the circuit court addresses the future status of the child.

 

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-120. Funding.

A. It is the responsibility of the local department to establish a foster child's eligibility for federal, state, or other funding sources and make required payments from such sources.  State pool funds shall be used for a child's maintenance and service needs when other funding sources are not available.

B. The assessment and provision of services to the child and birth parents or prior custodians shall be made without regard to the funding source.

C. Local departments shall reimburse foster or resource parents for expenses paid by them on behalf of the foster child when the expenses are pre-authorized or, for expenses paid without pre-authorization, when the local department deems the expenses are appropriate.

D. Eligibility for Title IV-E shall be re-determined annually or upon a change in situation and in accordance with federal Title IV-E eligibility requirements and guidance developed by the Department.

E. The service worker is responsible for providing the eligibility worker information required for the annual re-determination of Medicaid eligibility and information related to changes in the child's situation.

 Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319  of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-130. Closing the foster care case.

A. Foster care cases are closed or transferred to another service category under the following circumstances:

1. When the foster care child turns 18 years of age; or

2. When the court releases the child from the local department's custody prior to the age of 18; or

3. When a voluntary placement agreement has expired, been revoked, or been terminated by the court.

B. When the foster care case is closed for services, the case record shall be maintained according to the record retention schedules of the Library of Virginia. 

C. Any foster care youth who has reached age 18 has the right to request information from his records in accordance with state law.

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-140. Other foster care requirements.

A. The director of a local department may grant approval for a child to travel out-of-state and out-of-country.  The approval must be in writing and maintained in the child's file.

B. Pursuant to § 63.2-908 of the Code of Virginia, a foster or resource parent may consent to a marriage or entry into the military if the child has been placed with them through a permanent foster care agreement which has been approved by the court.

C. An employee of a local department, including a relative, cannot serve as a foster, adoptive, or resource parent for a child in the custody of that local department.  The employee can be a foster, adoptive, or resource parent for another local department or licensed child-placing agency or the child's custody may be transferred to another local department.

D. The child of a foster child remains the responsibility of his parent, unless custody has been removed by the court.

1. The child is not subject to requirements for service plans, reviews, or hearings.  However, the needs and safety of the child shall be considered and documented in the service plan for the foster child (parent).

2. The child is eligible for maintenance payments, services, Medicaid, and child support services based on federal law and in accordance with guidance developed by the Department. 

E. When a child in foster care is committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), the local department no longer has custody or placement and care responsibility for the child.  As long as the discharge or release plan for the child is to return to the local department prior to reaching age 18, the local department shall maintain a connection with the child in accordance with guidance developed by the Department.

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-150. Adoption Resource Exchange of Virginia.

A. The purpose of AREVA is to increase opportunities for children to be adopted by providing services to child-placing agencies having custody of these children.  The services provided by AREVA include, put are not limited to:

1. Maintaining a registry of children awaiting adoption and a registry of approved parents waiting to adopt:

2. Preparing and distributing a photo-listing of children with special needs awaiting adoption and a photo-listing of parents awaiting placement of a child with special needs;

3. Providing information and referral services for children who have special needs to link child-placing agencies with other adoption resources;

4. Providing on-going adoptive parent recruitment efforts for waiting children;

5. Providing consultation and technical assistance to child-placing agencies in finding adoptive parents for waiting children; and

6. Monitoring local department's compliance with legal requirements, guidance, and policy on registering children and parents.

B. Child-placing agencies shall comply with all of the AREVA requirements according to guidance developed by the Department.

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-160. Adoption assistance.

A. An adoption assistance agreement shall be executed by the child-placing agency for a child who has been determined eligible for adoption assistance.  Local departments shall use the adoption assistance agreement form developed by the Department. 

B. For a child to be eligible for adoption assistance he must have been determined to be a child with special needs as defined in Section 10 (Definitions) of this regulation and meet the following criteria:

1. Be under 18 years of age;

2. Be in the placement and care of a child-placing agency at the time the petition for adoption is filed; and

3. Be placed by a child-placing agency with the prospective adoptive parents for the purpose of adoption, except for those situations in which the child has resided for 18 months with the foster or resource parents who file a petition for adoption under § 63.2-1229 of the Code of Virginia.

C. The types of adoption assistance for which a child may be eligible are:

1. Title IV-E adoption assistance if the child meets federal eligibility requirements.

2. State adoption assistance when the child's foster care expenses were paid from state pool funds. 

3. Conditional adoption assistance when payments and services are not needed at the time of placement into an adoptive home but may be needed later and the child's foster care expenses were paid from state pool funds.  Conditional adoption assistance allows the adoptive parents to apply for state adoption assistance after the final order of adoption.  Conditional adoption assistance shall not require annual certification.

D. Adoption assistance payments shall be negotiated with the adoptive parents taking into consideration the needs of the child and the circumstances of the family.  In considering the family's circumstances, income shall not be the sole factor.  Family and community resources shall be explored to help defray the costs of adoption assistance.

E. There are three types of payments which shall be made on behalf of a child who is eligible for adoption assistance.  

1. Adoptive parent shall be reimbursed, upon request, for the nonrecurring expenses of adopting a child with special needs.

a. The total amount of reimbursement is based on actual costs and shall not exceed $2,000 per child per placement.

b. Payment of nonrecurring expenses may begin as soon as the child is placed in the adoptive home and the adoption assistance agreement has been signed. 

c. Nonrecurring expenses include:

(1) Attorney fees directly related to the finalization of the adoption;

(2) Transportation and other expenses incurred by adoptive parents related to the placement of the child.  Expenses may be paid for more than one visit;

(3) Court costs related to filing an adoption petition; and

(4) Reasonable and necessary fees of adoption child-placing agencies.

2. A maintenance payment shall be approved for all children who are eligible for adoption assistance, except those for whom a conditional adoption assistance will be provided, unless the adoptive parent indicates, or it is determined, through negotiation, that the payment is not needed. The amount of maintenance payments made shall not exceed the maximum foster care board rate as established by the Appropriation Act. 

a. The amount of the payment shall be negotiated with the adoptive parents taking into consideration the needs of the child and circumstances of the adoptive parents.

b. The basic board rate included as a component of the maintenance payments shall not be reduced below the amount specified in the initial adoption assistance agreement without the concurrence of the adoptive parents or a reduction mandated by the Appropriation Act.

c. Increases in the amount of the maintenance payment shall be made when the child is receiving the maximum allowable foster care board rate and:

(1) The child reaches a higher age grouping, as specified in guidance for foster care board rates; or

(2) Statewide increases are approved for foster care board rates.

3. A special service payment is used to help in meeting the child's physical, mental, emotional, or non-routine dental needs.  The special service payment shall be directly related to the child's special needs or day care.  Special service payments shall be time limited, based on the needs of the child.

a. Types of expenses that are appropriate to be paid are included in guidance developed by the Department.

b. A special service payment may be used for children eligible for Medicaid to supplement expenses not covered by Medicaid.

c. Payments for special services are negotiated with the adoptive parents taking into consideration:

(1) The special needs of the child;

(2) Alternative resources available to fully or partially defray the cost of meeting the child's special needs; and

(3) The circumstances of the adoptive family.  In considering the family's circumstances, income shall not be the sole factor.

d. The rate of payment shall not exceed the prevailing community rate.

e. The special services adoption assistance agreement shall be separate and distinct from the adoption assistance agreement for maintenance payments and nonrecurring expenses.

F. When a child is determined eligible for adoption assistance prior to the adoption being finalized, the adoption assistance agreement:

1. Shall be executed within 90 days of receipt of the application for adoption assistance;

2. Shall be signed before entry of the final order of adoption;

3. Shall specify the amount of payment and the services to be provided, including Medicaid; and

4. Shall remain in effect regardless of the state to which the adoptive parents may relocate.

G. Procedures for the child whose eligibility for adoption assistance is established after finalization shall be the same as for the child whose eligibility is established before finalization except the application shall be submitted within one year of diagnosis of the condition that establishes the child as a child with special needs.  Application for adoption assistance after finalization shall be for state adoption assistance.

H. The adoptive parents shall annually submit an adoption assistance affidavit to the local department in accordance with guidance developed by the Department.

I. The local department is responsible for:

1. Payments and services identified in the adoption assistance agreement, regardless of where the family resides; and

2. Notifying adoptive parents who are receiving adoption assistance that the annual affidavit is due. 

J. Adoption assistance shall be terminated when the child reaches the age of 18 unless the child has a physical or mental disability or an educational delay resulting from the child's disability which warrants continuation of the adoption assistance.  If a child has one of these conditions, the adoption assistance may continue until the child reaches the age of 21.

K. Adoption assistance shall not be terminated before the child's 18th birthday without the consent of the adoptive parents unless:

1. It is determined that the child is no longer receiving financial support from the adoptive parents; or

2. The adoptive parents are no longer legally responsible for the child.

L. Child-placing agencies are responsible for informing adoptive parents, in writing, that they have the right to appeal decisions relating to the child's eligibility for adoption assistance and decisions relating to payments and services to be provided within 30 days of receiving written notice of such decisions.  Applicants for adoption assistance shall have the right to appeal adoption assistance decisions related to:

1. Failure of the child-placing agency to provide full factual information known by the child-placing agency regarding the child prior to adoption finalization;

2. Failure of the child-placing agency to inform the adoptive parents of the child's eligibility for adoption assistance; and

3. Decisions made by the child-placing agency related to the child's eligibility for adoption assistance, adoption assistance payments, services, and changing or terminating adoption assistance.

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-170. Child placing agency's responsibilities for consent in non-agency adoptive placements.

A. At the request of the juvenile court, the child-placing agency shall:

1. Conduct a home study of the perspective adoptive home that shall include the elements in the Code of Virginia, § 63.2-1231 and guidance developed by the Department; and

2. Provide the court with a written report of the home study.

B. The child-placing agency shall make a recommendation to the court regarding the suitability of the individual to adopt. 

C. If the child-placing agency suspects there has been an exchange of property, money, services, or any other thing of value in violation of law in the placement or adoption of the child, they shall report such findings to the Commissioner for investigation. The following exceptions apply:

1. Reasonable and customary services provided by a licensed or duly authorized child-placing agency, and fees paid for such services;

2. Payment or reimbursement for medical expenses directly related to the birth mother's pregnancy and hospitalization for the birth of the child who is the subject of the adoption proceedings, and for expenses incurred for medical care for the child;

3. Payment or reimbursement to birth parents for transportation necessary to execute consent to the adoption;

4. Usual and customary fees for legal services in adoption proceedings; and

5. Payment or reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred by the adoptive parents for transportation in inter-country placements and, as necessary, for compliance with state and federal law in such placements.

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-180. Fees for court services.

The services for which the local department shall charge fees are court ordered custody investigations, adoption searches, non-agency placement adoptions, investigation and reports, and visitation and reports.  The process for determining and collecting such fees shall be in accordance with guidance developed by the Department

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-190. Virginia Putative Father Registry.

A. The Department shall establish and maintain a putative father registry which is a confidential database.

B. A search of the Virginia Putative 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 the Code of Virginia, § 63.2-1104.

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 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.

Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.

22VAC40-201-200. Training.

A. Local department foster care and adoption workers and supervisory staff shall attend and complete initial in-service training in accordance with guidance developed by the Department.

B. Local department foster care and adoption workers and supervisory staff shall complete an individual training needs assessment using a method developed by the Department.

C. Local department foster care and adoption workers and supervisory staff shall attend and complete annual in-service training in accordance with guidance developed by the Department

.Statutory Authority

§ 63.2-217 and 63.2-319 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume , Issue , eff. Month dd, yyyy.