Vol. 36 Iss. 12 - February 03, 2020

Chapter 131
Notice of Intended Regulatory Action

Notice is hereby given in accordance with § 2.2-4007.01 of the Code of Virginia that the State Board of Social Services intends to consider amending 22VAC40-131, Standards for Licensed Child-Placing Agencies. The purpose of the proposed action is to align the regulation with federal and state law and regulation, including the federal Foster Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act of 2014, and Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018; Chapters 282, 297, 446, and 688 of the 2019 Acts of Assembly; and Permanency Services-Prevention, Foster Care, Adoption and Independent Living (22VAC40-201) and Foster and Adoptive Home Approval Standards for Local Departments of Social Services (22VAC40-211).

The proposed action will add definitions, clarify requirements, and provide technical edits and any other changes deemed necessary after public comment and review. Proposed substantive amendments include (i) guidelines for foster and adoptive parents to make reasonable and prudent parenting decisions for children in their care; (ii) requirements to provide children and youth in foster care normal life experiences comparable to children and youth who are not in foster care; (iii) delegation of parental and legal custodial powers of children; (iv) service planning and family reunification; (v) treatment-based placement option for children in foster care with behavioral and emotional needs; (vi) prevention of shaken baby syndrome; (vii) updated training requirements for licensed child agency staff and foster and adoptive parents to include reasonable and prudent parenting and normalcy for children and youth in foster care; (viii) foster and adoptive parent mandatory child abuse and neglect reporting requirements; (ix) foster care services for youth released from the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice who were in foster care immediately prior to commitment; (x) requirements to expand independent living services for eligible youth 18 to 21 years of age; (xi) provision of documents to a child leaving foster care upon reaching 18 years of age; (xii) medical and dental examinations for children in foster care; (xiii) medication management; (xiv) an updated program statement and description requirements; (xv) social history requirements for children younger than one year of age; (xvi) removal of the term "resource" and phrase "resource parent"; (xvii) records management; and (xviii) Fostering Futures Program services for youth who were in foster care on their 18th birthday through 21 years of age.

In addition, this regulation will undergo a periodic review pursuant to Executive Order 14 (as amended July 16, 2018) and a small business impact review pursuant to § 2.2-4007.1 of the Code of Virginia to determine whether this regulation should be repealed, amended, or retained in its current form. Public comment is sought on the review of any issue relating to this regulation, including whether the regulation (i) is necessary for the protection of public health, safety, and welfare or for the economical performance of important governmental functions; (ii) minimizes the economic impact on small businesses in a manner consistent with the stated objectives of applicable law; and (iii) is clearly written and easily understandable.

The agency does not intend to hold a public hearing on the proposed action after publication in the Virginia Register.

Statutory Authority: §§ 63.2-217, 63.2-1701, and 63.2-1734 of the Code of Virginia.

Public Comment Deadline: March 4, 2020.

Agency Contact: Tammy Trestrail, Department of Social Services, 801 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219, telephone (804) 726-7132, or email

VA.R. Doc. No. R20-6138; Filed January 8, 2020, 1:40 p.m.