Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Final Text

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Action:
Establish New Permanency Services Regulation
Stage: Final
 
22VAC40-200

CHAPTER 200
FOSTER CARE - GUIDING PRINCIPLES (REPEALED)

22VAC40-200-10

22VAC40-200-10. Definitions. (Repealed.)

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

"Agency" means a local Department of Public Welfare or Social Services.

"Department" means the Virginia Department of Social Services.

"Foster child" means a person less than 18 years of age when he is committed or entrusted to a local board of social services for foster care placement or a person who continues to receive foster care services after 18 years of age provided he is committed or entrusted to a local board of social services before 18 years of age.

"Foster care services" means services which are provided for a planned period of time in order to prevent foster care placement and to provide a full range of casework and other treatment and community services for a child entrusted or committed or for whom aftercare supervisory responsibility has been delegated to a local board and his family according to § 63.1-55.8 of the Code of Virginia.

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

"Independent living services" means services provided to foster children to prepare them for transition into adulthood.

"Partnership" means shared responsibility for achieving a foster care goal.

"Prior custodian" means the person with whom the child resided, other than the birth parent or parents, before custody was transferred to the agency.

22VAC40-200-20

22VAC40-200-20. Guiding principles. (Repealed.)

To achieve permanency for children in foster care, service provision shall be timely and based on the following principles:

1. The welfare of the child is of paramount interest;

2. Children have the right to a safe, stable, and permanent home;

3. Children have a right to be reared by their families when their parents and relatives are able to do so in an adequate manner;

4. Families can be empowered to assume responsibilities to provide adequate care for their children;

5. Planned appropriate services will assist families in improving their capacity to nurture, carry out and resume their responsibilities in relation to their children;

6. The preferred foster family placement for a child is one of the same race, ethnic, or cultural background, whenever possible, but none of these factors shall be the sole criterion for placement;

7. Recognizing that some families are unable or unwilling to resume their parenting responsibilities, services should be provided to ensure a safe, stable, and permanent home. This should be done by placement of the child with relatives accompanied by transfer of legal custody; by adoption; or by placement in permanent foster care when foster parents are willing to assume permanent parental responsibility as long as the child is in the custody of the agency;

8. Independent living services should be provided to all youth in foster care, as appropriate, in order that transition to adult living is successful;

9. Partnership and teamwork among the child, the birth family or prior custodian, foster parent and local agency are essential to permanent planning for each child in foster care; and

10. Children and their families have the right to be treated with respect, sensitivity and fairness. They also have the right to know and understand, as well as possible, what services are being provided, the purpose of the services, their rights and obligations.

22VAC40-201

CHAPTER 201
PERMANENCY SERVICES - PREVENTION, FOSTER CARE, ADOPTION, ] AND INDEPENDENT LIVING

22VAC40-201-10

22VAC40-201-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this regulation 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, and that is open to the participation of the birth parents or prior custodians and other individuals significant to the child and family, 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. ]

"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 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 Manual" means Volume VII, Section III, Chapter C - Adoption/Agency Placement of the Service Program Manual of the Virginia Department of Social Services dated October 2009/March 2010. ]

"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.

"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 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.

"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 tothe ] adoptionprocess assistance ] meansany a ] childin 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 subdivision 2 a, b, or c of this definition 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 who meets the definition of a child with special needs set forth in §§ 63.2-1300 and 63.2-1301 B of the Code of Virginia ].

"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 (CPMT)" means a team appointed by the local governing body to receive funds 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.

"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 (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 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,reasonable travel for the child to visit relatives and to remain in his previous school placement, ] and other allowable expenses in accordance with guidance developed by the department.

"Foster Care Manual" means Chapter E - Foster Care of the Child and Family Services Manual of the Virginia Department of Social Services dated July 2011. ]

"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,for a planned period of time ] 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 anon-custodial noncustodial ] 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 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 (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 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.

"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 including, but not limited to, attorneyor other ] fees directly related to the finalization of the adoption; transportation; court costs; and reasonable and necessary fees oflicensed ] 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 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.

"Permanency planning indicator (PPI)" means a tool used in concurrent permanency planning to assess the likelihood of reunification. This tool 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 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.

"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.

"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. ]

"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, noncustodial 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 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 16 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.

22VAC40-201-20

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 shallwork with the birth parents or custodians to locate and make diligent efforts 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 Foster care 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 placementto 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.

H. Within 30 days after removing the child from the custody of his parents, the local department shall make diligent efforts, in accordance with the Foster Care Manual, to notify in writing all adult relatives that the child is being removed or has been removed. ]

22VAC40-201-30

22VAC40-201-30. Entering foster care.

A. A child enters foster care through a court commitment, entrustment agreement, ornon-custodial noncustodial ] foster care agreement.Foster care children who have been committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) shall re-enter foster care at the completion of the DJJ commitment if under the age of 18. ]

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.

3. Local departments shall submit a petition for approval of the entrustment agreement to the juvenile and domestic relations court pursuant to § 63.2-903 of the Code of Virginia. ]

C. A child may be placed in foster care by a birth parent or custodian entering into a noncustodial 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 noncustodial 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 noncustodial foster care agreement at the request of the birth parent or custodian when such an agreement is in the best interest of the child. When a noncustodial 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 noncustodial 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 noncustodial foster care agreement, all foster care requirements shall be met.

22VAC40-201-40

22VAC40-201-40. Foster care placements.

A. The local department shall ensure a child in foster care is placed in a licensed or approved home or facility that complies 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 visitationand, ] provide continuity of connections, and provide educational stability ] 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, andpolices policies ] regarding the referral of a child of native American heritage. The local departmentshall may ] contact the Virginia Council on Indiansfor information on contacting Virginia tribes ] andshall ] consider tribal culture and connections in the placement and care of a child of Virginia Indian heritage.

B. A service worker shall make a preplacement 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 preplacement 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 theBoard 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.

22VAC40-201-50

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 in the initial placement activities section of the Foster Care Manual, August 2009 ].

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.

D. Thelocal department shall collaborate with local educational agencies to ensure that the child remains in his previous school placement when it is in the best interests of the child. If remaining in the same school is not in the best interests of the child, the ] service worker shall enroll the child inan appropriate new ] 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. ]

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.

22VAC40-201-60

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, 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 in the assessment section of the Foster Care Manual,August 2009, ] 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 response of Assessments of the effectiveness of services to ] the child; birth parents or prior custodians; and foster, adoptive, or resourceparents' to the provided services parents ] and the need for additional services shall occur at least every three months as long as the goal is to return home.Reassessments For all other goals, assessments of the effectiveness and need for additional services ] shall occur at least every six months after placement for as long as the child remains in foster care. The  [ reassessments assessments ] shall be completed in accordance with guidance in the assessment section of the Foster Care Manual, August 2009 ].

22VAC40-201-70

22VAC40-201-70. Foster care goals.

A. Foster care goals are establishedin order ] to assure permanency planning for the child.Priority shall be given to the goals listed in subdivisions 1, 2, and 3 of this subsection, which are recognized in federal legislation as providing children with permanency. ] Theestablishment selection ] oflower ranking ] goalsother than those in subdivisions 1, 2, and 3 of this subsection ] must include documentation as to whyall higher ranking each of these first three ] 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.

Upon termination of parental rights, the local department shall provide an array of adoption services to support obtaining a finalized adoption. ]

C. The goal of permanent foster care shall only be considered for children age 14 and older in accordance with guidance in the section on choosing a goal in the Foster Care Manual, August 2009 ].

D. When the goal for the youth is to transition to independent living, the local department shall provide services pursuant to guidance in the section on choosing a goal in the Foster Care Manual, August 2009 ].

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.

22VAC40-201-80

22VAC40-201-80. Service plans.

A. Every child in foster care shall have a current service plan. 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.

22VAC40-201-90

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 an assessment indicates 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 an assessment indicates 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 in the service delivery section of the Foster Care Manual, August 2009, ] andChapter C of ] the Adoption Manual, October 2009 ]. 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 USC § 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 in accordance with 22VAC211-100 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 todepartment ] guidancein the Foster Care Manual (section 12.16 of the Contingency Fund Policy) ]. Provision of reimbursement is contingent upon the availability of funds.

22VAC40-201-100

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

A. Independent living services shall be identified by the youth; foster, adoptive or resource family; local department; service providers; legal community; and other interested individuals and shall be included in the service plan. Input from the youth in assemblingthe team these individuals ] 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 in the service delivery section of the Foster Care Manual, August 2009, ] 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 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) 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; 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 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 serviceswithin 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. 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. Every six months a supervisory review of service plans for youth receiving independent living services after age 18 shall be conducted to assure the effectiveness of service provision.

22VAC40-201-110

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; court appointed special advocate (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.

22VAC40-201-120

22VAC40-201-120. Funding.

A. The local department is responsible for establishing a foster child's eligibility for federal, state, or other funding sources and making 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 preauthorized or for expenses paid without preauthorization when the local department deems the expenses are appropriate.

D. The child's eligibility for Title IV-E funding shall be redeterminedannually or ] upon a change in situation and in accordance with federal Title IV-E eligibility requirements, the Title IV-E Eligibility Manual, October 2005, andChapter C of ] the Adoption Manual, October 2009 ].

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

22VAC40-201-130

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;

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.;

4. When the foster care child is committed to DJJ; or

5. When the final order of adoption is issued. ]

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.

22VAC40-201-140

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 him 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 in the Foster Care Manual, August 2009, ] and the Adoption Manual, October 2009 ].

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.

22VAC40-201-150

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, but are not limited to:

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

2. Preparing anddistributing a posting an electronic ] 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. Providingon-going adoptive parent ongoing targeted and child-specific ] recruitment efforts for waiting children;

5. Providing consultation and technical assistanceon child-specific recruitment ] to child-placing agenciesin finding adoptive parents ] for waiting children; and

6. Monitoring localdepartment's departments' ] 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 inChapter C of ] the Adoption Manual, October 2009 ].

22VAC40-201-160

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 22VAC40-201-10 and meet the following criteria:

1. Be under 18 years of age; and meet the requirements set forth in § 473 of Title IV-E of the Social Security Act (42 USC § 673); or ]

2. Beunder 18 years of age and ] in the placement and care of a child-placing agency at the time the petition for adoption is filed; ] and3. Be be ] placed bya the ] 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. or when the child has a conditional agreement and payments 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 A conditional ] adoption assistanceagreement ] allows the adoptive parents to apply for state adoption assistance after the final order of adoption.Conditional A conditional ] adoption assistanceagreement ] 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. Three types of paymentsshall may ] be made on behalf of a child who is eligible for adoption assistance.

1.Adoptive The 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 feesof related to ] adoptioncharged by licensed ] child-placing agencies.; and

(5) Other expenses directly related to the finalization of the adoption. ]  

2. A maintenance payment shall be approved for a child who is 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.In these cases a conditional adoption assistance agreement may be entered into. ] The amount of maintenance payments made shall not exceed themaximum ] foster careboard rate as established by the appropriation act maintenance payment that would have been paid during the period if the child had been in a foster family home ].

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. Thebasic board rate included as a component of the ] maintenance payments shall not be reduced below the amount specified in theinitial ] 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 careboard maintenance ] rate and:

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

(2) Statewide increases are approved for foster careboard maintenance ] rates.

3. A special service payment is used to help meet the child's physical, mental, emotional, or nonroutine dental needs. The special service payment shall be directly related to the child's special needsor 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 inChapter C of ] the Adoption Manual, October 2009 ].

b. A special service payment may be used for a child 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 needsand the child otherwise meets the eligibility requirements of subsection B of this section for adoption assistance payments ]. 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 inChapter C of ] the Adoption Manual, October 2009 ].

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. 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.

22VAC40-201-170

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 theperspective prospective ] adoptive home that shall include the elements in§ §§ ] 63.2-1231 and63.2-1205.1 ] of the Code of Virginia anddepartment ] guidance inVolume VII, Section III, ] Chapter D- Adoption/Non-Agency Placement and Other Court Services ] of theAdoption Manual Service Program Manual of the Virginia Department of Social Services ], October 2009; 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 an exchange of property, money, services, or any other thing of value has occurred in violation of law in the placement or adoption of the child, it 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.

22VAC40-201-180

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

The local department shall charge fees for the following court ordered services: (i) custody investigations; (ii) adoption searches; (iii) nonagency placement adoptions, investigation and reports; and (iv) visitation and reports. The process for determining and collecting such fees shall be in accordance with guidance developed by the department.

22VAC40-201-190

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 § 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 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. The department may require additional information to determine that the individual requesting information from the Putative Father Registry is eligible to receive information in accordance with § 63.2-1251 of the Code of Virginia. ]

22VAC40-201-200

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 in the Foster Care Manual, August 2009, ] andChapter C of ] the Adoption Manual, October 2009 ].

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.

22VAC40-201-9999

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Foster Care Manual, August 2009, Department of Social Services (http://www.dss.virginia.gov/family/fc/manual.cgi).

Foster Care Manual, Volume VII, Section III, Chapter B, March 2007, Department of Social Services (http://spark.dss.virginia.gov/division/dfs/fc/files/procedures/general/contingency_fund_policy.pdf).

Title IV-E Eligibility Manual, October 2005, Department of Social Services (http://spark.dss.virginia.gov/division/dfs/permanency/iv_eligibility/manual.cgi).

Adoption Manual, October 2009, Department of Social Services (http://www.dss.virginia.gov/family/ap/manual.cgi).

Child & Family Services Manual, Chapter E - Foster Care, July 2011, Virginia Department of Social Services.

Service Program Manual, Volume VII, Section III, Chapter C - Adoption/Agency Placement, October 2009/March 2010, Virginia Department of Social Services.

Service Program Manual, Volume VII, Section III, Chapter D - Adoption/Agency Placement, October 2009, Virginia Department of Social Services.

Title IV-E Eligibility Manual (E. Foster Care), January 2012, Virginia Department of Social Services. ]

22VAC40-210

CHAPTER 210
FOSTER CARE - ASSESSING THE CLIENT'S SERVICE NEEDS (REPEALED)

22VAC40-210-10

Part I
Definitions

22VAC40-210-10. Definitions. (Repealed.)

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

"Agency" means a local Department of Public Welfare or Social Services.

"Adoptive placement plan" means a written plan for finding a permanent adoptive placement for a child.

"Adoptive Resource Exchange of Virginia" means the registry and photo-listing of children and families waiting for adoption which is maintained by the department.

"Assessment" means an initial evaluation of the situation of the child and family to identify services needed.

"Department" means the Virginia Department of Social Services.

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

"Independent living services" means services provided to foster children to prepare them for transition into adulthood.

"Partnership" means shared responsibility for achieving a foster care goal.

"Prior custodian" means the person with whom the child resided, other than the birth parent or parents, before custody was transferred to the agency.

"Reassessment" means evaluation of the situations of the child and family completed after the initial assessment to identify changes in services needed.

"Service plan" means a written document which outlines the services needed and those which will be provided to a foster child and his family.

"Treatment program" means programs designed to provide services for physical, mental, and emotional problems.

22VAC40-210-20

Part II
Policy

22VAC40-210-20. Assessment. (Repealed.)

The needs of the child and the circumstances of the birth family or prior custodian shall be assessed within 60 days of acceptance of custody and every six months from the date of custody for as long as the child remains in foster care.

The initial assessment shall be completed to determine the service needs of the child and family.

1. The initial assessment shall:

a. Be written and must be completed within 60 days of acceptance of the child;

b. Be a separate identifiable part of the case record;

c. Be signed by the worker and the supervisor;

d. Include but not be limited to the following minimum criteria:

(1) Identifying information about the child;

(2) Circumstances which led to the transfer of the child's custody to the agency and where applicable, incorporate reasons or circumstances indicated in the child protective services risk assessment;

(3) Background history about the child;

(4) Background history about the family or prior custodian;

(5) Agency or other community agency involvement with the child and family;

(6) Summary of the child's and family's needs; and

(7) Conditions or circumstances parent or prior custodians must address for the child to return home.

2. The initial assessment will result in the selection of a specific foster care goal.

22VAC40-210-30

22VAC40-210-30. Reassessment. (Repealed.)

The reassessment shall be completed every six months to determine whether additional efforts and services are needed by the child and family to achieve the selected goal or whether another permanency goal should be selected for the child.

The reassessment shall:

1. Be prepared on state approved forms;

2. Be completed, when appropriate, with the participation of either the foster parents and the child's birth family or prior custodian or custodians; and

3. Include the following at minimum:

a. A description of the services which were offered to the child and family;

b. A description of the birth family or prior custodian's current situation;

c. A description of the child's current situation and adjustment to placement;

d. A discussion of the reasons for retaining the child in care, including efforts to return the child home;

e. The responsibilities of the parent or prior custodians included in the prior assessment and service plan; and

f. A review of the goal previously selected for the child.

22VAC40-210-40

22VAC40-210-40. Assessment or reassessment resulting in goal change to adoption. (Repealed.)

A. When the assessment or reassessment results in a decision to select adoption as the goal for the child, the agency shall:

1. Develop an adoptive placement plan which shall include:

a. A statement and documentation that the goal of adoption is in the best interest of the child;

b. The reasons for selecting the goal of adoption;

c. The responsibilities of the parents or prior custodians included in the prior assessment and service plan and whether they have or have not met them;

d. The specific action planned to identify and select an adoptive family;

e. The specific services to be provided to find and prepare the child for an adoptive family; and

f. The specific services to be provided to the child and adoptive family after adoptive placement.

2. Within 30 days of selecting adoption as the goal for the child, the agency shall file a petition with the court to terminate parental rights, if termination of parental rights is necessary.

B. The adoptive placement plan shall be:

1. Submitted to the court with the petition for termination of parental rights;

2. Submitted to the Adoption Resource Exchange of Virginia at the time of registration; and

3. Monitored by the department.

22VAC40-240

CHAPTER 240
NONAGENCY PLACEMENT FOR ADOPTION - CONSENT (REPEALED)

22VAC40-240-10

22VAC40-240-10. Definitions. (Repealed.)

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

"Adult adoption" means the adoption of any person 18 years of age or older.

"Adoption" means the legal process in which a person's rights and duties toward birth parents are terminated and similar rights and duties are established with a new family.

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

"Adoptive home study" means an assessment of the adoptive family to determine their suitability for adoption.

"Agency" means a local department of social services or a licensed child-placing agency.

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

"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services or his designee.

"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.

"Nonagency placement" means the placement for purposes of foster care or adoption of a child who is not in the custody of a local board of social services or child-placing agency. Nonagency placements include parental placements, step-parent adoptions, and adult adoptions.

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

"Person" means any natural person, or any association, partnership or corporation.

"Step-parent adoption" means the adoption of a child by a new spouse of the birth or adoptive parent.

22VAC40-240-20

22VAC40-240-20. Responsibilities of the agency. (Repealed.)

In order for the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court to make the legally required determinations before accepting consent, the agency shall:

1. Conduct a home study of the prospective adoptive home in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Board of Social Services; and

2. Provide the court with a report of the home study. Two copies of the home study report shall be sent with the original for the court, at its discretion, to provide to the birth and adoptive parents. The report shall include the following:

a. Information regarding whether the prospective adoptive parents are financially able, morally suitable, and in satisfactory physical and mental health to enable them to care for the child;

b. The physical and mental condition of the child;

c. Information about both birth parents including:

(1) Full names and addresses;

(2) Why the parents desire to be relieved of the responsibility for the child and what their attitude is toward the proposed adoption;

(3) Physical description, age, race, marital status, education, employment, and, if known, physical and mental health.

d. The circumstance under which the child came to live, or will be living, in the home of the prospective adoptive family;

e. Fees that have been paid by the prospective adoptive family or in their behalf in the placement and adoption of the child;

f. A statement as to whether the requirements of law related to execution of consent have been met;

g. A statement, if applicable, as to whether the requirements of law related to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children have been met;

h. A statement that the birth parents and the adoptive parents have shared identifying information. The identifying information shall be written, signed and dated by the adoptive parents and the birth parents, and a copy of the document shall be preserved as part of the agency's permanent adoption record. The agency shall make available at any time to both parties a copy of this document. The document shall include but not be limited to full names, addresses, physical, mental, social and psychological information;

i. The agency's recommendation regarding the suitability of the placement. When the recommendation is that the placement appears to be contrary to the best interest of the child, the agency shall provide its justification for the recommendation; and

j. Any other matters specified by the court.

3. If the 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, the agency shall report such findings to the commissioner for investigation. The following exceptions apply:

a. Reasonable and customary services provided by a licensed or duly authorized child-placing agency, and fees, based on prevailing community rates, paid for such services;

b. 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;

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

d. Usual and customary fees, based on prevailing community rates, for legal services in adoption proceedings; and

e. Payment or reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred by adoptive parents for transportation in intercountry placements and as necessary for compliance with state and federal law in such placements.

4. If the agency suspects that a person has engaged in any activities of a child-placing agency without legal authority or a license to do so, the agency shall report the findings to the commissioner for investigation. These activities include:

a. Taking custody of a child for purposes of placing the child for adoption;

b. Studying and approving adoptive homes;

c. Selecting a particular adoptive home for a child;

d. Placing a child in an adoptive home; and

e. Providing supervision of the placement to meet legal requirements related to visitation of the child and family.

22VAC40-240-30

22VAC40-240-30. Responsibilities of the commissioner. (Repealed.)

When reports of suspected violations of law in the placement and adoption of the child are received by the commissioner, the commissioner shall:

1. Investigate the suspected violation; and

2. Take appropriate action as follows:

a. When the investigation reveals that there may have been a violation of law; the commissioner shall report his findings to the appropriate attorney for the Commonwealth;

b. When the investigation reveals that the violation occurred in the course of the practice of a profession or occupation licensed or regulated pursuant to Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia; the commissioner shall also report his findings to the appropriate regulatory authority for investigation and appropriate disciplinary action; or

c. When the investigation reveals that the violation involves engaging in the activities of a child-placing agency without a license; the commissioner may file suit with the court of record having chancery jurisdiction.

22VAC40-250

CHAPTER 250
AGENCY PLACEMENT ADOPTIONS - AREVA (REPEALED)

22VAC40-250-10

22VAC40-250-10. Definitions. (Repealed.)

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Adoption" means a legal process in which a person's rights and duties toward birth parents are terminated and similar rights and duties are established with a new family.

"Agency" means a local Department of Public Welfare or Social Services.

"Agency placement adoption" means an adoption in which a child is placed in an adoptive home by an agency or child-placing agency which has custody of the child.

"AREVA" means the Adoption Resource Exchange of Virginia which maintains a registry and photo-listing of children and families waiting for adoption.

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

"Child placing agency" means any agency licensed to place children in foster homes or adoptive homes.

"Child with special needs" means any child in the custody of an agency or child placing agency who:

1. The state has determined is unlikely to return home because of termination of parental rights.

2. Has individual characteristics that make the child hard to place including:

a. Physical, mental, or emotional condition existing prior to adoption;

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

c. Individual circumstances of the child related to age, racial or ethnic background or close relationship with one or more siblings or foster parents.

3. Has had reasonable efforts made to place without subsidy.

4. For whom the above conditions were present at the time of adoption, but not diagnosed until after entry of the final order of adoption, and the diagnosis is not more than 12 months old.

22VAC40-250-20

22VAC40-250-20. The Adoption Resource Exchange of Virginia. (Repealed.)

The purpose of AREVA is to increase opportunities for children to be adopted by providing services to agencies having custody of these children.

1. Services provided by AREVA shall include:

a. Maintaining a registry of children awaiting adoption and a registry of approved families waiting for adoption;

b. Preparing and distributing a photo-listing of special needs children awaiting adoption and a photo-listing of families awaiting special needs children;

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

d. Providing on-going recruitment for waiting children;

e. Providing consultation and technical assistance to agencies in finding adoptive families for waiting children; and

f. Monitoring agency compliance with:

(1) Legal requirements for adoption; and

(2) State board policy on registering children and families.

2. Registration requirements.

a. Registration of children.

(1) All children shall be registered with AREVA within 60 days of termination of parental rights if:

(a) The goal is adoption;

(b) The child is legally free for adoption;

(c) The agency has the authority to place for adoption; and

(d) Adoptive placement has not occurred.

(2) A copy of the court commitment or permanent entrustment agreements shall be submitted by the agency with the child's registration forms.

b. Registration of families.

(1) Approved families shall be registered within 60 days after the date of approval if they are expressing interest in adopting children who are:

(a) Six years of age and over;

(b) Members of sibling groups;

(c) Physically, mentally, or emotionally disabled; or

(d) Black, biracial, or members of other minority races.

(2) Approved families expressing interest in adopting healthy white children up to the age of six may be registered with AREVA upon request of the family.

3. Photo-listing procedures.

a. Local agencies may request a 60-day deferment from the photo-listing for children and families when:

(1) A family has been identified, including foster parents, and placement is pending;

(2) The child or family shall be featured in the photo-listing the month following expiration of the deferment period, unless an adoptive home placement agreement has been signed.

b. An additional 30-day deferment may be granted once at the discretion of AREVA staff.

c. AREVA staff shall make the determination about which children and families to feature in the photo-listing. The decision will be based on the needs of waiting children and on the types of families waiting for placement.

4. Agency responsibilities.

a. The agency shall be responsible for local recruitment of prospective adoptive families.

b. The agency registering the child or family shall inform AREVA immediately of:

(1) Changes in the status of the child or family;

(2) Placements for adoptive purposes;

(3) Withdrawals of the child or family from AREVA.

c. The agency shall provide families selected for a particular child with full factual information that the agency has on the child and the child's birth family, except that which would reveal the identity of the child's birth family. The information provided shall include complete medical and psychological reports.

d. The agency shall explore with the family selected for a particular child the family's ability to fully or partially meet financial costs related to any special needs the child may have. If it is determined that the child has special needs and is eligible for subsidy, the agency shall inform the adoptive parents of the child's eligibility for subsidy.

e. The agency shall obtain the consent of the Commissioner of Social Services prior to placing a child out of state.

5. Resource utilization. When indicated, AREVA shall consult with the agency regarding the need to explore additional resources.

a. AREVA staff may recommend referral of a child to a specialized adoption agency.

b. AREVA staff shall routinely register a child with the national adoption exchange after the child has been in the photo-listing for 60 days, unless a placement is pending.

c. AREVA shall be responsible for statewide recruitment of prospective adoptive families.

d. AREVA will automatically feature children on the state's electronic exchange system. AREVA staff shall make the determination about which children and families to feature. The decision will be based on the needs of the waiting children and on the types of families waiting for placement.

22VAC40-260

CHAPTER 260
AGENCY PLACEMENT ADOPTIONS - SUBSIDY (REPEALED)

22VAC40-260-10

22VAC40-260-10. Definitions. (Repealed.)

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"AFDC" means the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program.

"Adoption" means a legal process in which a person's rights and duties toward birth parents are terminated and similar rights and duties are established with a new family.

"Adoption assistance agreement" means a written agreement between the agency and adoptive parents that is binding on both parties. An adoption assistance agreement may be for a federal subsidy, a state subsidy, or a conditional subsidy.

"Agency" means a local Department of Social Services.

"Agency placement adoption" means an adoption in which a child is placed in an adoptive home by an agency or child placing agency which has custody of the child.

"AREVA" means the Adoption Resource Exchange of Virginia which maintains a registry and photo-listing of children and families waiting for adoption.

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

"Child-placing agency" means any agency licensed to place children in foster homes or adoptive homes.

"Child with special needs" means any child in the custody of an agency or child-placing agency who:

1. The state has determined is unlikely to return home because of termination of parental rights.

2. Has individual characteristics that make the child hard to place including:

a. Physical, mental, or emotional condition existing prior to adoption;

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

c. Individual circumstances of the child related to age, racial or ethnic background or close relationship with one or more siblings or foster parents.

3. Has had reasonable efforts made to place without subsidy.

4. For whom the above conditions were present at the time of adoption, but not diagnosed until after entry of the final order of adoption, and the diagnosis is not more than 12 months old.

"Department" means the Virginia Department of Social Services.

"Finalization of the adoption" means the court process of sanctioning the adoption which begins with the filing of a petition and ends with the entry of the final order of adoption.

"Maintenance payments" means payments made to adoptive parents on behalf of a child with special needs to help with daily living expenses.

"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.

"Special service payments" means payments or services provided to help in meeting the child's physical, mental, emotional, or dental needs.

"SSI" means Supplemental Security Income.

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

22VAC40-260-20

22VAC40-260-20. Subsidy. (Repealed.)

A. An adoption assistance agreement shall be executed by the agency or child placing agency for all children who have been determined eligible for subsidy.

B. Determining the child's eligibility before legal adoption.

1. Basic eligibility. The child must be:

a. Under 18 years of age;

b. In the custody of a local department of social services or licensed, private child placing agency at the time the petition for adoption is filed; and

c. Placed by the local department of social services or licensed, private child placing agency with the prospective adoptive family for the purpose of adoption, except for those situations in which the child has resided for 18 months with foster parents who file a petition for adoption under § 63.2-1229 of the Code of Virginia.

2. Determining that the child has special needs. The agency or child-placing agency shall determine that:

a. The child cannot be returned home because parental rights are terminated.

b. The child has individual characteristics that make the child hard to place for adoption due to one or more of the following:

(1) Physical, mental, or emotional condition existing before legal adoption;

(2) Hereditary tendency, congenital problem or birth injury that could lead to a future disability, verified by a medical/psychological statement;

(3) Is six years of age or older;

(4) Is a member of a minority or mixed racial heritage;

(5) Is a member of a sibling group that should not be separated; and

(6) Has significant emotional ties with foster parents with whom the child has resided for at least 12 months; when the adoption is in the best interest of the child and when the subsidy is necessary to consummate the adoption by these foster parents.

c. Reasonable efforts have been made to place the child with appropriate adoptive parents without subsidy. A reasonable effort:

(1) Shall be made except when it would be against the best interest of the child because of factors such as the existence of significant emotional ties with foster parents.

(2) Shall be considered made if the child has been registered with AREVA and featured in the photolisting.

C. Determining the child's eligibility after legal adoption.

1. The child must have a physical, mental or emotional condition that was present at the time of adoptive placement; or

2. The need for subsidy results from a hereditary tendency, congenital problem, or birth injury; and

3. In both subdivisions 1 and 2 of this subsection, there is a medical or psychological diagnosis that is not more than 12 months old.

D. Determining the type of agreement for which the child is eligible. The types of subsidy for which a child can be eligible are:

1. A federal subsidy. This type of subsidy is used for children whose foster care expenses are paid from federal and state funds. A federal subsidy agreement shall be executed for any special needs child who meets eligibility requirements for AFDC or SSI.

2. A state subsidy. This type of subsidy is used for children whose foster care expenses are paid from Comprehensive Services Act pool funds.

3. A conditional subsidy:

a. Shall be provided for any child with special needs, whose foster care expenses are paid from Comprehensive Services Act pool funds, when payments and services are not needed at the time of placement but may be needed later. It is granted upon the request of the adoptive parents when a child:

(1) Has a physical, mental or emotional disability at the time of placement;

(2) Has a hereditary tendency, congenital problem or birth injury;

(3) Could develop emotional or other problems resulting from separation from birth parents, placement in foster care, or adoption;

(4) May need help later with daily living expenses.

b. Does not involve money payments or services. It is an agreement that allows the adoptive parent or parents to apply for a state subsidy after the final order of adoption;

c. Commits the agency to providing a state subsidy when the adoptive parent or parents apply, if it is determined that the need is related to one of the conditions described in subdivision 3 a of this subsection;

d. Does not require annual certification.

E. Determining the types of payment to be made. Adoption assistance payments must be negotiated with the adoptive family 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 must be explored to help defray the costs of adoption assistance.

There are three types of payment which shall be made on behalf of a child who is eligible for subsidy. The amount of payments made and services provided shall not exceed what would have been paid or provided had the child remained in foster care. The types of payment include:

1. Maintenance payments.

a. A maintenance payment shall be approved for all children who are eligible for subsidy, except those for whom a conditional subsidy will be provided, unless the adoptive parent or parents indicate that a payment is not needed or it is determined through negotiation that the payment is not needed.

b. 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.

c. Maintenance payments shall not be reduced lower than the amount specified in the initial subsidy agreement, unless requested by the adoptive parents.

d. Increases in the amount of payment shall be made when the child is receiving the maximum allowable basic maintenance payment and:

(1) A child reaches a higher age grouping, as specified in foster care policy for maintenance payments;

(2) Statewide increases are approved for foster care maintenance payments.

e. Payments shall be made directly to the adoptive parent or parents on a monthly basis.

f. Child care may be purchased with a maintenance payment, if needed by the adoptive parents.

2. Special service payments.

a. A special service payment is used to help in meeting the child's physical, mental, emotional, or nonroutine dental needs. The special service payment must be directly related to the child's individual characteristic that makes the child hard to place or a physical, mental or emotional condition that existed at the time of placement but was not identified before the final order of adoption.

b. Types of expenses that are appropriate to be paid include:

(1) Medical, surgical, or dental;

(2) Equipment such as prosthetics, braces, crutches, hearing aids, etc.;

(3) Individual tutoring or remedial educational sessions, books or equipment;

(4) Psychological and psychiatric evaluations and treatment;

(5) Speech, physical, and occupational therapy;

(6) Premiums for a major medical insurance policy for a child, if the child is not covered by a family policy; and

(7) Special services provided directly to the child by the adoptive parents. These are services provided by the parent to meet the special needs of a child. They are distinct from basic maintenance and supervision. The parents shall be qualified by experience or specific training to perform such services. This item may be paid in addition to a maintenance payment.

c. Special service payments may be provided, at the discretion of the agency, for other services needed to maintain the same level of service that the child received in foster care.

d. A special service payment may be used for children eligible for Title XIX and the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) to supplement expenses not covered by Medicaid or when SSBG funds are not available or do not provide adequate coverage.

e. 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.

f. Special service payments may be made directly to the providers of service or through the adoptive parents. A bill or receipt shall be submitted before payment. The agency shall not be responsible for bills or receipts submitted later than six months after the end of the month in which the service was rendered.

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

3. One time only payments. Adoptive parents shall be reimbursed, upon request, for the nonrecurring expenses of adopting a child with special needs.

a. Nonrecurring expenses shall include:

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

(2) Transportation and other expenses incurred by adoptive parents related to 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.

b. An adoption assistance agreement shall be signed and shall specify the services to be provided under this section.

c. Payment of nonrecurring expenses may begin as soon as the adoption assistance agreement has been signed and the child is placed in the adoptive home. Payment may be made directly to providers of service or to the adoptive parents for expenses they have incurred.

d. A bill or receipt shall be submitted before payment can be made. The agency shall not be responsible for bills or receipts submitted later than six months after the end of the month in which the expense was incurred.

F. Applying for subsidy.

1. Procedures for the child whose eligibility is established before legal adoption.

a. 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 Title XIX and SSBG services;

(4) May be adjusted with the concurrence of the adoptive parents, in the event of changes in the needs of the child;

(5) Shall remain in effect regardless of the state of which the adoptive parents are residents at any given time; and

(6) The interests of the child shall be protected through the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance, should the adoptive parents and child move to another state while the agreement is effective.

2. Procedures for the child whose eligibility is established after legal adoption. The application procedures are the same as for the child whose eligibility is established before adoption except:

a. The application shall be submitted within one year of a diagnosis;

b. The application shall be for a state subsidy.

G. Maintaining responsibility.

1. The adoptive parent or parents shall:

a. Submit annually to the agency or child placing agency an affidavit which certifies that:

(1) The child for whom they are receiving subsidy remains in their care;

(2) They are legally responsible for supporting the child; and, if applicable,

(3) The child's condition requiring subsidy continues to exist.

b. Submit copies of all bills or receipts for special service payments made directly to the adoptive parents.

2. The agency or child-placing agency shall:

a. Maintain responsibility for any payment or services identified in the agreement, regardless of where the family resides;

b. Inform prospective adoptive parents of the child's eligibility for subsidy. This shall include a full disclosure of the services and payments for which the child is or may be eligible;

c. Notify adoptive parent or parents who are receiving subsidy that the annual affidavit is due. The notification shall be sent to the adoptive parent or parents two months before the affidavit is due;

d. Inform adoptive parent or parents, in writing, that they have the right to appeal decisions relating to the child's eligibility for subsidy and decisions relating to payments and services to be provided.

H. Terminating the subsidy agreement. The adoption assistance agreement:

1. Shall be terminated when the child reaches the age of 18 unless the child has:

a. A physical or mental disability; or

b. An educational delay. This shall include educational delays resulting from a child's foster care circumstances. The maintenance payment may be continued for a child who is turning 18 during his senior year of school, if the child is expected to graduate by the end of school year in which he turns 18.

If a child has one of the conditions in subdivisions a and b above, the agreement shall be continued until the child reaches the age of 21.

2. Shall not be terminated before the child's 18th birthday without the consent of the adoptive parents unless:

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

b. The adoptive parent or parents are no longer legally responsible for the child; or

c. The child's condition requiring subsidy no longer exists.

3. Shall not be terminated if the child's condition improves but could deteriorate again. In this case, the agreement shall be suspended without a payment, rather than terminated.

When a child receiving adoption subsidy enters foster care or physical custody becomes the responsibility of the state, the local agency may renegotiate the adoption assistance agreement with the adoptive parent(s). Any renegotiated adoption assistance agreement must receive concurrence from all parties to the agreement.

I. Appeals.

1. Adoptive applicants and adoptive parents shall have the right to appeal adoption subsidy/assistance decisions related to:

a. The lack of or shortage of subsidy/ adoption assistance because the agency failed to present to adoptive parents relevant facts known by the agency regarding the child prior to adoption finalization;

b. Failure of the agency to inform the parents of the child's eligibility for subsidy/adoption assistance;

c. Agency decisions related to the child's eligibility for subsidy/adoption assistance, subsidy payments and services, and changing or terminating a subsidy agreement; and

d. Failure of the agency to comply with state laws, policies, and procedures for approving adoptive homes.

2. Appeals shall be processed in accordance with procedures established by the Virginia Board of Social Services.

22VAC40-280

CHAPTER 280
NONAGENCY PLACEMENTS FOR ADOPTION - ADOPTIVE HOME STUDY (REPEALED)

22VAC40-280-10

22VAC40-280-10. Definitions. (Repealed.)

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

"Adoption" means the legal process in which a person's rights and duties toward birth parents are terminated and similar rights and duties are established with a new family.

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

"Adult adoption" means the adoption of any person 18 years of age or older.

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

"Child-placing agency" means any person or agency who places children in foster homes or adoptive homes or a local board of public welfare or social services which places children in foster homes or adoptive homes.

"Nonagency placement" means the placement for purposes of foster care or adoption of a child who is not in the custody of a local board of social services or child-placing agency. Nonagency placements include parental placements, step-parent adoptions, and adult adoptions.

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

"Person" means any natural person, or any association, partnership or corporation.

"Step-parent adoption" means the adoption of a child by a new spouse of the birth or adoptive parent.

22VAC40-280-20

22VAC40-280-20. Adoptive home study. (Repealed.)

The manner in which a family receives a child for adoption shall have no bearing on how the family is assessed for purposes of adoptive placement. The criteria of capacity for parenthood are the same whether the child was placed by an agency, by the birth parents, or by a legal guardian.

The difference between completing a home study for a child placed by an agency and for a child placed by birth parents is in the role of the agency, not in the assessment of the adoptive family. In an agency placement, the agency approves or denies adoptive applicants based on agency standards. In a parental placement, the agency is to make a recommendation to the court regarding the suitability of the family to adopt. The recommendation is to be based on an assessment of whether the placement is contrary to the best interest of the child. The assessment is based on information gathered during the home study process.

Section 63.1-220.3 B 6 of the Code of Virginia requires home studies to be conducted according to regulations established by the State Board of Social Services. These are described below.

A. Method of study. The following criteria provide agencies with the minimum requirements for the completion of an adoptive home study. These criteria are based on the current Minimum Standards for Licensed Child Placing Agencies and the department's Agency Approved Provider Standards as they apply to an adoptive home study in a parental placement adoption.

1. Interviews.

a. There shall be a minimum of three interviews. At least one interview must occur in the home of the adoptive family and, in the case of married applicants, shall be a joint interview with husband and wife.

b. In a parental placement, the agency social worker shall meet at least once with the birth parents and prospective adoptive parents simultaneously.

c. All members of the household shall be interviewed as part of the home study, including children when appropriate.

2. References. Adoptive applicants shall provide at least two references from individuals who are unrelated to them.

3. Criminal and child protective services records.

a. Adoptive applicants shall identify any criminal convictions and be willing to consent to a criminal records search;

b. Adoptive applicants shall not have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor which jeopardizes the safety or proper care of the child.

c. Adoptive applicants shall be willing to consent to a search of the Child Protective Services Central Registry.

4. Medical examinations. Adoptive applicants shall provide a physician's statement that reflects their current health and that states that they are in satisfactory physical and mental health to enable them to provide adequate care for the child.

B. Assessment of the family. A thorough assessment of the adoptive family is critical in evaluating whether the placement is contrary to the best interest of the child. The home study shall include, but not be limited to, an assessment of the following criteria, which are based on standards developed by the Child Welfare League of America. The criteria below are to be used as guidelines in assessing the adoptive family during the home study process.

1. Total personality functioning.

a. Significant life experiences and the individual's response to them;

b. Relationships with nuclear and extended family members;

c. Work history and the individual's response to work situations;

d. Relationships with friends;

e. Involvement in community activities.

2. Emotional maturity.

a. Capacity of the family to give and receive love;

b. Ability to assume responsibility for the care, guidance and protection of other people;

c. The family's flexibility and ability to change in relation to the needs of others;

d. Ability to cope with problems, disappointments and frustrations;

e. Ability to accept normal hazards and risks;

f. Capacity to take responsibility for one's own actions;

g. Capacity to accept and handle loss;

h. The capacity to understand that adoption is a lifelong experience and that the family may need support over time;

i. Capacity to accept professional support.

3. Quality of relationships.

a. Duration and stability of spousal relationship, when married; or with significant others, when single;

b. The capacity of the nuclear and extended family members to accept the adopted child as an equal member of the family.

4. Capacity to parent.

a. The ability of the family to realistically understand the needs and behaviors of children and the impact of adoption on the child and family;

b. The ability to love and nurture a child born to someone else;

c. The family's willingness to provide linkages to the child's birth family;

d. The family's capacity for feeling satisfaction from contributing to the development of a child;

e. The family's ability to understand and respond to changing developmental, health, and emotional needs of the child.

5. Reasons for adoption.

a. Motivation to adopt;

b. In infant adoptions, the primary motivation to adopt may be infertility. Applicants may want help to understand and cope with feelings about the inability to have a child. When indicated, the agency should assist applicants in obtaining services to help resolve feelings associated with infertility. However, unresolved feelings about childlessness do not necessarily indicate inability to parent a child through adoption.

6. Readiness to adopt.

a. The ability to make a lifelong commitment to a child not born to them;

b. The ability to accept the circumstances of the child's birth and birth family history;

c. The capacity to understand the lifelong impact of adoption and to help the child deal with adoption related issues at various developmental stages of life.

7. Home and community environment.

a. The degree to which the home environment allows for privacy among family members; adequate play areas; and freedom from health and safety hazards;

b. The accessibility of community resources that may be needed for the child.

8. Financial circumstances of the family. The ability of the family to meet the basic needs of the child and family (food, clothing, shelter, and medical care).

C. Approval period. A home study conducted for purposes of parental placements shall be approved for a period of 12 months from the date of completion of the study.

22VAC40-800

CHAPTER 800
FAMILY BASED SOCIAL SERVICES (REPEALED)

22VAC40-800-10

Part I
Definitions and Philosophy

22VAC40-800-10. Definitions. (Repealed.)

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

"Adult" means any individual age 18 or over, or under 18 if legally emancipated.

"Benefit programs" means social services which provide direct cash aid such as aid to dependent children, general relief, and auxiliary grants, medical assistance, and aid for food, fuel, and home heating repairs.

"Child or children" means any individual under age 18, or any individual age 18-21 in the custody of a local agency.

"Department" means the Virginia Department of Social Services.

"Family" means any individual adult or adults or children related by blood, marriage, adoption, or an expression of kinship who function as a family unit.

"Family based" means an approach to social service delivery where the focus of service is on the family unit, not just individual members viewed in isolation.

"Impaired" means any person whose physical or mental capacity is diminished to the extent that he needs counseling or supervisory assistance, or assistance with activities of daily living such as feeding, bathing, and walking, or instrumental activities of daily living such as shopping and money management.

"Incapacitated" means any person who is impaired by reason of mental illness, mental retardation, physical illness or disability, advanced age or other causes to the extent that he lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make, communicate, or carry out responsible decisions concerning his well-being.

"Local agency" means any local department of social services or welfare in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"Service programs" means social services which provide assessment and delivery of broad services which include Intake Services, Adult Services, Prevention and Support Services for Families, Adult Protective Services, Child Protective Services, Foster Care and Adoption Services, and Employment Services to meet family needs.

"Social services" means benefit programs and service programs.

"State board" means the Virginia Board of Social Services.

22VAC40-800-20

22VAC40-800-20. Philosophy. (Repealed.)

The philosophy of social service practice of the department and local agencies shall be family based, as follows:

The family is and should continue to be the central structure around which a caring and self-sufficient society must be built. The family is the best environment for raising children and caring for vulnerable members. Accordingly, the family must be able to provide the necessary nurture, protection, shelter, and education for its members.

When intervention into a family's life by a local agency is necessary, the following beliefs shall direct that intervention:

1. The family is to be the basic unit for social service delivery.

2. Social services should be delivered as part of a total system, with cooperation and coordination occurring among administration, benefit programs and service programs.

3. Every reasonable effort should be made to maintain the family as a functioning unit and to prevent its breakup.

4. Adults and children should be protected from serious harm and to do so may necessitate temporary or permanent separation from certain family members.

5. The worker/family relationship is a primary vehicle for change.

6. Positive change is possible.

7. The most effective way to address a family's needs is to recognize and support its strengths and enhance its integrity and self-esteem.

8. Social services are successful by virtue of how they are presented, understood, and used by the family.

9. Social services should empower families to function independently of the social service system.

10. Social services should preserve and protect, whenever appropriate, each individual's right to self-determination.

22VAC40-800-30

Part II
Service Programs

Article 1
Services

22VAC40-800-30. Intake services. (Repealed.)

A. Intake services are designed to provide a timely, coordinated transition for the family to needed services and sufficient information or services to enable a family to utilize personal or community resources.

B. Target population required to be served: anyone eligible for Medicaid who is seeking assistance in arranging for family planning or early periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment (EPSDT) for children.

C. Target population encouraged to be served to the extent funds are available: anyone seeking the services of the local agency.

22VAC40-800-40

22VAC40-800-40. Adult services. (Repealed.)

A. Adult services are designed to allow the adult to remain in the least restrictive setting and function as independently as possible by establishing and strengthening appropriate family and social support systems or by supporting the adult in self-determination.

B. Target population required to be served:

1. Any impaired adult who is in need of nursing home preadmission screening.

2. An impaired adult with low income who is in need of home based services, to the extent funds are available.

C. Target population encouraged to be served to the extent funds are available:

1. Any impaired adult who, upon emancipation from a local agency's custody, is assessed to be in need of services.

2. Any impaired adult who is in need of services to prevent abuse, neglect, or exploitation and requests services.

3. Any impaired adult who is in need of alternate living arrangements to avoid inappropriate institutionalization and requests services.

4. Any impaired adult who is in need of community based care to avoid institutionalization and requests services.

D. Target population to be served at the option of the local agency: any family with no minor children in the home who requests services.

22VAC40-800-50

22VAC40-800-50. Prevention and support services for families. (Repealed.)

A. Prevention and support services for families are designed to strengthen the family's ability to function more effectively and independently in order to prevent family breakup or family violence.

B. Target population required to be served:

1. Family with a child who is likely to enter foster care unless services are provided, and who are not already being served under child protective services.

2. Family referred by the court for an adoptive home study.

3. Child and family where a referral or placement has been made through interstate compact and a home study or supervision is required.

4. Family referred by the court for a custody study or other service ordered by the court.

C. Target populations encouraged to be served to the extent funds are available:

1. Family receiving benefit programs or with low income based on the department's adopted levels, who request services to enhance their parental capacities to care for and nurture a child.

2. Family with a child formerly in a local agency's custody when the assessment indicates a need for services and services are requested.

D. Target population to be served at the option of the local agency: any family with minor children in the home who requests services.

22VAC40-800-60

22VAC40-800-60. Adult protective services. (Repealed.)

A. Adult protective services are designed to establish or strengthen appropriate family and social support systems in order to protect adults who are at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

B. Target population required to be served:

1. Any incapacitated adult 18 years of age and over, and any adult 60 years of age and over on whose behalf a complaint of abuse, neglect, or exploitation is made.

2. Any adult identified above who is determined to need adult protective services, if the adult is willing to accept services or if these services are ordered by the court.

22VAC40-800-70

22VAC40-800-70. Child protective services. (Repealed.)

A. Child protective services are designed to protect the child at risk of abuse or neglect, reestablish a successful parent-child relationship, and allow the child to remain in his own home whenever possible.

B. Target population required to be served:

1. Any child on whose behalf a complaint of abuse or neglect is made.

2. Any child, his siblings, and his family where a complaint is determined to be founded or reason-to-suspect, and the child remains at risk of abuse or neglect.

C. Target population encouraged to be served to the extent funds are available: an abuser or neglector, once the investigation is complete, who requests services and is not a member of the family unit.

22VAC40-800-80

22VAC40-800-80. Foster care and adoption services. (Repealed.)

A. Foster care and adoption services are designed to reunite a child in a local agency's custody with his own family or to establish another permanent family for the child when successful reunification is not possible.

B. Target population required to be served:

1. Any child entrusted or committed to the local agency's board, or for whom after care supervision has been delegated by the court.

2. Family of a child in custody.

3. Foster family with whom a child in custody is placed.

4. Relatives of a child in custody if the goal is to place the child with these relatives.

5. Adoptive parents of a foster child if the goal is adoption by these parents.

22VAC40-800-90

22VAC40-800-90. Employment services. (Repealed.)

A. Employment services are designed to enable the family to be financially self-supporting and to strengthen the self-esteem of family members responsible for supporting other members.

B. Target population required to be served:

1. Any applicant or recipient of certain benefit programs, based on the local agency's employment plan, who does not meet criteria for exempt status.

2. Any applicant or recipient of certain benefit programs, based on the local agency's employment plan, who is exempt from mandatory registration but who requests the service.

3. Any child of a recipient of aid to families with dependent children (AFDC) who needs child day care in order for the parent or guardian to continue employment, obtain education or training leading to employment, or seek employment.

C. Target population encouraged to be served to the extent funds are available: any family with low income requesting child day care services related to employment or training.

D. Target population to be served at the option of the local agency: any family requesting the assistance of the local agency with problems related to employment.

22VAC40-800-100

Article 2
Activities

22VAC40-800-100. Array of service activities. (Repealed.)

Various activities may be utilized in providing any of the broad services and in developing strategies and interventions with families which best meet the needs of the family. These include assessment, referral to benefit programs and other resources, service planning, case work and group work, intensive services, emergency shelter and other emergency needs, home based services, day and residential care, education and training, and other activities to aid the family.

These activities may be provided directly by local agency staff or volunteers, purchased from approved providers, or provided through referral to community resources.

22VAC40-800-110

Part III
Benefit Programs

22VAC40-800-110. Benefits. (Repealed.)

Benefit programs are designed to provide income support benefits to assist families who are unable to provide the necessities of life and maintain minimum standards of health and well-being through their own efforts. Initial determinations and redeterminations of eligibility are based on a process of the gathering of information relevant to the family's situation in order to assess the need and eligibility for benefit programs. This process also includes an assessment of need for service programs and other resources to assist the family. If other needs exist, the family is referred for appropriate services or resources within the agency or community.

22VAC40-800-120

22VAC40-800-120. Target population. (Repealed.)

A. Target population required to be served: family who is experiencing financial difficulty and meets criteria for state and federally mandated benefit program social services.

B. Target population encouraged to be served to the extent funds are available: family who is experiencing financial difficulty, fails to meet criteria for state and federally mandated programs, but qualifies for optional state and local programs.

22VAC40-800-130

22VAC40-800-130. Activities. (Repealed.)

An array of benefit programs activities includes initial screening, gathering of information relevant to the family's situation, assessment, referral to service programs and other resources, verification and evaluation of information, final action and periodic reevaluation and review.

These activities shall result in timely and accurate processing to meet the needs of families without unnecessary delays.

22VAC40-800-140

Part IV
Requirements

22VAC40-800-140. Specific activities. (Repealed.)

The state board and department shall promote and advocate for the development of family based social services. Specific activities shall include:

1. Allocating available funds and seeking additional funding for family based social services;

2. Permitting flexible social service delivery within current state law and federal laws and regulations; and

3. Granting policy waivers upon appropriate review and approval.

22VAC40-800-150

22VAC40-800-150. Coordination. (Repealed.)

To assure the success of family based social services, the department and local agencies shall coordinate the planning, development and implementation of:

1. Benefit and service programs; and

2. State or community resources.

22VAC40-800-160

22VAC40-800-160. Support and reinforcement. (Repealed.)

The department and local agencies shall assure that their organizational, administrative, and social services practices support and reinforce family based social services.

22VAC40-800-170

22VAC40-800-170. Policy philosophy. (Repealed.)

The department shall assure that policy development and any training and orientation shall reflect the philosophy of family based social services.

22VAC40-810

CHAPTER 810
FEES FOR COURT SERVICES PROVIDED BY LOCAL DEPARTMENTS OF SOCIAL SERVICES (REPEALED)

22VAC40-810-10

Part I
Definitions

22VAC40-810-10. Definitions. (Repealed.)

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

"Adoption search" means interviews and written or telephone inquiries made by an agency to locate and advise the biological parents or siblings of an adult adoptee's petition for identifying information from a closed adoption record. It includes a written report to the court of the results of the search. It may also include facilitating reunion of the parties as directed by the court.

"Agency placement adoption" means an adoption in which the child is in the custody of a local agency and is placed in the adoptive home by the local agency.

"Custody investigation" means a court ordered method to gather information regarding a child whose custody, visitation or support is in controversy or requires determination.

"Family" means the petitioner or petitioners and any person in the home for whom he has legal responsibility to support, including the child to be adopted.

"Investigation and report of investigation" means the process by which the local agency obtains specific information required by 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 of the action to be taken by the court.

"Juvenile court" means the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court of Virginia.

"Local agency" means the local social service or welfare agency.

"Nonagency placement adoption" means an adoption in which the child is not in the custody of an agency and is placed in the adoptive home directly by the biological parent or legal guardian.

"Petitioner" means the person who presents a petition to the court.

"State board" means the Virginia Board of Social Services.

"Visitation and report" means the three visits made to the child during the six month probationary period required by and subsequent to the entry of an interlocutory order of adoption. The findings of the visitation are compiled into a written report for the circuit court containing a recommendation of the action to be taken by the court.

22VAC40-810-20

Part II
Policy

22VAC40-810-20. Services for which a fee is charged. (Repealed.)

The services for which the local agency shall charge a fee are court ordered custody investigations, adoption searches, and nonagency placement adoption investigation and report, and visitation and report.

22VAC40-810-30

22VAC40-810-30. Current costs of services provided by local agencies. (Repealed.)

The department shall determine the statewide average number of hours needed to provide each service. The statewide average hourly cost of service shall be calculated, considering both direct and indirect costs. The average time required for each service multiplied by the average hourly costs shall be used to determine the total cost of each service. The statewide average cost of service and average number of hours needed to provide each service shall be periodically redetermined.

22VAC40-810-40

22VAC40-810-40. Income and fee schedule. (Repealed.)

A fee schedule, based upon family size and income, shall be developed annually using the median income level for Virginia.

A. The fee schedule shall be as follows:

1. Families with 50% or less of median income shall not be charged a fee.

2. Families whose income falls between 50% and 100% of median income shall be charged an incremental percentage of the maximum fee.

3. Families whose income is above 100% median income shall be charged the maximum fee.

4. The method used to determine income levels for application of the fee schedule shall conform to that used to determine eligibility for the social services block grant programs.

5. For example, using the 1988 median income level, the fee assessed to a family of four receiving nonagency adoption services of investigation, visitation, and reports shall be:

 

50% and below of median income

70% of median income

90% of median income

100% of median income and above

 

no charge

$84

$245

$340

B. Local agencies shall include in reports to the courts the amount of the fee assessed to the petitioners, if any. If a local agency finds an unusual circumstance that would affect a petitioner's ability to pay, it shall include this in its report to the court.

22VAC40-810-50

22VAC40-810-50. Collection of fees. (Repealed.)

A. In custody investigations, the fee shall be paid as prescribed by the juvenile court to the local agency, unless payment is waived.

B. In nonagency placement adoptions and adoption searches, the fee shall be collected by the circuit court prior to the entry of any final order and shall be disbursed to the local agency which performed the service.

C. The local agency shall report any fees collected as expenditures refunded on its financial report. The local agency's reimbursement from state and federal funds shall be adjusted to reflect the state and federal share of income collected.