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WEST VIRGINIA CODE
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WVC 49- CHAPTER 49. CHILD WELFARE.

WVC -1- ARTICLE 1. PURPOSES; DEFINITIONS.


WVC 49 - 1 - 1 §49-1-1. Purpose.
(a) The purpose of this chapter is to provide a coordinated system of child welfare and juvenile justice for the children of this state that has goals to:

(1) Assure each child care, safety and guidance;

(2) Serve the mental and physical welfare of the child;

(3) Preserve and strengthen the child's family ties;

(4) Recognize the fundamental rights of children and parents;

(5) Adopt procedures and establish programs that are family-focused rather than focused on specific family members, except where the best interests of the child or the safety of the community are at risk;

(6) Involve the child and his or her family or caregiver in the planning and delivery of programs and services;

(7) Provide services that are community-based, in the least restrictive settings that are consonant with the needs and potentials of the child and his or her family;

(8) Provide for early identification of the problems of children and their families, and respond appropriately with measures and services to prevent abuse and neglect or delinquency;

(9) Provide a system for the rehabilitation of status offenders and juvenile delinquents;

(10) Provide a system for the secure detention of certain juveniles alleged or adjudicated delinquent;

(11) Provide a system for the secure incarceration of juveniles adjudicated delinquent and committed to the custody of the director of the division of juvenile services; and

(12) Protect the welfare of the general public.

(b)In pursuit of these goals it is the intention of the Legislature to provide for removing the child from the custody of his or her parents only when the child's welfare or the safety and protection of the public cannot be adequately safeguarded without removal; and, when the child has to be removed from his or her family, to secure for the child custody, care and discipline consistent with the child's best interests and other goals herein set out. It is further the intention of the Legislature to require that any reunification, permanency or preplacement preventative services address the safety of the child.

(c) The child welfare service of the state shall be administered by the department of health and human resources. The division of juvenile services of the department of military affairs and public safety shall administer the secure predispositional juvenile detention and juvenile correctional facilities of the state. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, the administrative authority of the division of juvenile services over any child in this state extends only to those detained or committed to a secure detention facility or secure correctional facility operated and maintained by the division by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction during the period of actual detention or confinement in the facility.

(d) The department of health and human resources is designated as the agency to cooperate with the United States department of health and human services and United States department of justice in extending and improving child welfare services, to comply with regulations thereof, and to receive and expend federal funds for these services. The division of juvenile services of the department of military affairs and public safety is designated as the agency to cooperate with the United States department of health and human services and United States department of justice in operating, maintaining and improving juvenile correction facilities and centers for the predispositional detention of children, to comply with regulations thereof, and to receive and expend federal funds for these services.

(e) The department of health and human resources and the division of juvenile services shall present a joint plan for a coordinated system of child welfare and juvenile justice, including specific provisions for juveniles who have been accused of an act of delinquency through the filing of a formal petition pursuant to section seven, article five of this chapter, to the designated legislative task force for juvenile oversight on or before the first day of September, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine. The department and division shall report regularly during the interim period to the designated task force before completion of the plan to advise the Legislature as to progress of the plan's development.


WVC 49-1-2 §49-1-2. "Juvenile" or "child" defined.
As used in this chapter, "juvenile" or "child" means any person under eighteen years of age. Once a juvenile or child is transferred to a court with criminal jurisdiction pursuant to section ten, article five of this chapter, he or she nevertheless remains a juvenile or child for the purposes of the applicability of the provisions of this chapter with the exception of sections one through seventeen of article five of this chapter, unless otherwise stated therein.


WVC 49 - 1 - 3 §49-1-3. Definitions relating to abuse and neglect.

     (1) "Abused child" means a child whose health or welfare is harmed or threatened by:

     (A) A parent, guardian or custodian who knowingly or intentionally inflicts, attempts to inflict or knowingly allows another person to inflict, physical injury or mental or emotional injury, upon the child or another child in the home;

     (B) Sexual abuse or sexual exploitation;

     (C) The sale or attempted sale of a child by a parent, guardian or custodian in violation of section sixteen, article four, chapter forty-eight of this code; or

     (D) Domestic violence as defined in section two hundred two, article twenty-seven, chapter forty-eight of this code.

     In addition to its broader meaning, physical injury may include an injury to the child as a result of excessive corporal punishment.

     (2) "Abusing parent" means a parent, guardian or other custodian, regardless of his or her age, whose conduct, as alleged in the petition charging child abuse or neglect, has been adjudged by the court to constitute child abuse or neglect.

     (3) "Battered parent" means a parent, guardian or other custodian who has been judicially determined not to have condoned the abuse or neglect and has not been able to stop the abuse or neglect of the child or children due to being the victim of domestic violence as defined by section two hundred two, article twenty-seven, chapter forty-eight of this code, which domestic violence was perpetrated by the person or persons determined to have abused or neglected the child or children.

     (4) "Child abuse and neglect" or "child abuse or neglect" means physical injury, mental or emotional injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, sale or attempted sale or negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child by a parent, guardian or custodian who is responsible for the child's welfare, under circumstances which harm or threaten the health and welfare of the child.

     (5) "Child abuse and neglect services" means social services which are directed toward:

     (A) Protecting and promoting the welfare of children who are abused or neglected;

     (B) Identifying, preventing and remedying conditions which cause child abuse and neglect;

     (C) Preventing the unnecessary removal of children from their families by identifying family problems and assisting families in resolving problems which could lead to a removal of children and a breakup of the family;

     (D) In cases where children have been removed from their families, providing services to the children and the families so as to reunify such children with their families or some portion thereof;

     (E) Placing children in suitable adoptive homes when reunifying the children with their families, or some portion thereof, is not possible or appropriate; and

     (F) Assuring the adequate care of children who have been placed in the custody of the department or third parties.

     (6) "Child advocacy center (CAC)" means a community-based organization that is a member in good standing with the West Virginia Child Abuse Network, Inc., and is working to implement the following program components:

     (A) Child-appropriate/child-friendly facility: A child advocacy center provides a comfortable, private, child-friendly setting that is both physically and psychologically safe for clients.

     (B) Multidisciplinary team (MDT): A multidisciplinary team for response to child abuse allegations includes representation from the following: Law enforcement; child protective services; prosecution; mental health; medical; victim advocacy; child advocacy center.

     (C) Organizational capacity: A designated legal entity responsible for program and fiscal operations has been established and implements basic sound administrative practices.

     (D) Cultural competency and diversity: The CAC promotes policies, practices and procedures that are culturally competent. Cultural competency is defined as the capacity to function in more than one culture, requiring the ability to appreciate, understand and interact with members of diverse populations within the local community.

     (E) Forensic interviews: Forensic interviews are conducted in a manner which is of a neutral, fact-finding nature and coordinated to avoid duplicative interviewing.

     (F) Medical evaluation: Specialized medical evaluation and treatment are to be made available to CAC clients as part of the team response, either at the CAC or through coordination and referral with other specialized medical providers.

     (G) Therapeutic intervention: Specialized mental health services are to be made available as part of the team response, either at the CAC or through coordination and referral with other appropriate treatment providers.

     (H) Victim support/advocacy: Victim support and advocacy are to be made available as part of the team response, either at the CAC or through coordination with other providers, throughout the investigation and subsequent legal proceedings.

     (I) Case review: Team discussion and information sharing regarding the investigation, case status and services needed by the child and family are to occur on a routine basis.

     (J) Case tracking: CACs must develop and implement a system for monitoring case progress and tracking case outcomes for team components: Provided, That a child advocacy center may establish a safe exchange location for children and families who have a parenting agreement or an order providing for visitation or custody of the children that require a safe exchange location.

     (7) "Court appointed special advocate (CASA) program" means a community organization that screens, trains and supervises CASA volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children who are involved in abuse and neglect proceedings. Court appointed special advocate programs will be operated under the following guidelines:

     (A) Standards: CASA programs shall be members in good standing with the West Virginia Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, Inc., and the National Court Appointed Special Advocates Association and adhere to all standards set forth by these entities.

     (B) Organizational capacity: A designated legal entity responsible for program and fiscal operations has been established and implements basic sound administrative practice.

     (C) Cultural competency and diversity: CASA programs promote policies, practices and procedures that are culturally competent. "Cultural competency" is defined as the capacity to function in more than one culture, requiring the ability to appreciate, understand and interact with members of diverse populations within the local community.

     (D) Case management: CASA programs must utilize a uniform case management system to monitor case progress and track outcomes.

     (E) Case review: CASA volunteers meet with CASA staff on a routine basis to discuss case status and outcomes.

     (F) Training: Court appointed special advocates shall serve as volunteers without compensation and shall receive training consistent with state and nationally developed standards.

     (8) "Imminent danger to the physical well being of the child" means an emergency situation in which the welfare or the life of the child is threatened. Such emergency situation exists when there is reasonable cause to believe that any child in the home is or has been sexually abused or sexually exploited, or reasonable cause to believe that the following conditions threaten the health or life of any child in the home:

     (A) Nonaccidental trauma inflicted by a parent, guardian, custodian, sibling or a babysitter or other caretaker;

     (B) A combination of physical and other signs indicating a pattern of abuse which may be medically diagnosed as battered child syndrome;

     (C) Nutritional deprivation;

     (D) Abandonment by the parent, guardian or custodian;

     (E) Inadequate treatment of serious illness or disease;

     (F) Substantial emotional injury inflicted by a parent, guardian or custodian;

     (G) Sale or attempted sale of the child by the parent, guardian or custodian; or

     (H) The parent, guardian or custodian abuse of alcohol or drugs or other controlled substance as defined in section one hundred one, article one, chapter sixty-a of this code, has impaired his or her parenting skills to a degree as to pose an imminent risk to a child's health or safety.

     (9)"Legal guardianship" means the permanent relationship between a child and caretaker, established by order of the circuit court having jurisdiction over the child, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and chapter forty-eight of this code.

     (10)"Multidisciplinary team" means a group of professionals and paraprofessionals representing a variety of disciplines who interact and coordinate their efforts to identify, diagnose and treat specific cases of child abuse and neglect. Multidisciplinary teams may include, but are not limited to, medical, educational, child care and law-enforcement personnel, social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists. Their goal is to pool their respective skills in order to formulate accurate diagnoses and to provide comprehensive coordinated treatment with continuity and followup for both parents and children. "Community team" means a multidisciplinary group which addresses the general problem of child abuse and neglect in a given community and may consist of several multidisciplinary teams with different functions.

     (11) (A) "Neglected child" means a child:

     (i) Whose physical or mental health is harmed or threatened by a present refusal, failure or inability of the child's parent, guardian or custodian to supply the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, supervision, medical care or education, when such refusal, failure or inability is not due primarily to a lack of financial means on the part of the parent, guardian or custodian; or

     (ii) Who is presently without necessary food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education or supervision because of the disappearance or absence of the child's parent or custodian;

     (B) "Neglected child" does not mean a child whose education is conducted within the provisions of section one, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code.

     (l2) "Parent" means an individual defined has a parent by law or on the basis of a biological relationship, marriage to a person with a biological relationship, legal adoption or other recognized grounds.

     (13) "Parental rights" means any and all rights and duties regarding a parent to a minor child, including, but not limited to, custodial rights and visitational rights and rights to participate in the decisions affecting a minor child.

     (14) "Parenting skills" means a parent's competencies in providing physical care, protection, supervision and psychological support appropriate to a child's age and state of development.

     (15) "Sexual abuse" means:

     (A) As to a child who is less than sixteen years of age, any of the following acts which a parent, guardian or custodian shall engage in, attempt to engage in or knowingly procure another person to engage in, with such child, notwithstanding the fact that the child may have willingly participated in such conduct or the fact that the child may have suffered no apparent physical injury or mental or emotional injury as a result of such conduct:

     (i) Sexual intercourse;

     (ii) Sexual intrusion; or

     (iii) Sexual contact;

     (B) As to a child who is sixteen years of age or older, any of the following acts which a parent, guardian or custodian shall engage in, attempt to engage in or knowingly procure another person to engage in, with such child, notwithstanding the fact that the child may have consented to such conduct or the fact that the child may have suffered no apparent physical injury or mental or emotional injury as a result of such conduct:

     (i) Sexual intercourse;

     (ii) Sexual intrusion; or

     (iii) Sexual contact;

     (C) Any conduct whereby a parent, guardian or custodian displays his or her sex organs to a child, or procures another person to display his or her sex organs to a child, for the purpose of gratifying the sexual desire of the parent, guardian or custodian, of the person making such display, or of the child, or for the purpose of affronting or alarming the child.

     (16) "Sexual contact" means sexual contact as that term is defined in section one, article eight-b, chapter sixty-one of this code.

     (17) "Sexual exploitation" means an act whereby:

     (A) A parent, custodian or guardian, whether for financial gain or not, persuades, induces, entices or coerces a child to engage in sexually explicit conduct as that term is defined in section one, article eight-c, chapter sixty-one of this code;

     (B) A parent, guardian or custodian persuades, induces, entices or coerces a child to display his or her sex organs for the sexual gratification of the parent, guardian, custodian or a third person, or to display his or her sex organs under circumstances in which the parent, guardian or custodian knows such display is likely to be observed by others who would be affronted or alarmed.

     (18) "Sexual intercourse" means sexual intercourse as that term is defined in section one, article eight-b, chapter sixty-one of this code.

     (19)"Sexual intrusion" means sexual intrusion as that term is defined in section one, article eight-b, chapter sixty-one of this code.

     (20) "Placement" means any temporary or permanent placement of a child who is in the custody of the state in any foster home, group home or other facility or residence.

     (21)"Serious physical abuse" means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death, which causes serious or prolonged disfigurement, prolonged impairment of health or prolonged loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.

     (22) "Siblings" means children who have at least one biological parent in common or who have been legally adopted by the same parents or parent.

     (23) "Time-limited reunification services" means individual, group and family counseling, inpatient, residential or outpatient substance abuse treatment services, mental health services, assistance to address domestic violence, services designed to provide temporary child care and therapeutic services for families, including crisis nurseries and transportation to or from any such services, provided during fifteen of the most recent twenty-two months a child has been in foster care, as determined by the earlier date of the first judicial finding that the child is subjected to abuse or neglect, or the date which is sixty days after the child is removed from home.
WVC 49 - 1 - 4 §49-1-4. Other definitions.
As used in this chapter:

(1) "Child welfare agency" means any agency or facility maintained by the state or any county or municipality thereof or any agency or facility maintained by an individual, firm, corporation, association or organization, public or private, to receive children for care and maintenance or for placement in residential care facilities or any facility that provides care for unmarried mothers and their children;

(2) "Child advocacy center" means a community-based organization that is a member in good standing with the West Virginia Child Abuse Network, Inc., and is working to implement the following program components:

(A) Child-appropriate/child-friendly facility: A child advocacy center provides a comfortable, private, child-friendly setting that is both physically and psychologically safe for clients;

(B) Multidisciplinary team (MDT): A multidisciplinary team for response to child abuse allegations includes representation from the following: Law enforcement; child protective services; prosecution; mental health; medical; victim advocacy; child advocacy center;

(C) Organizational capacity: A designated legal entity responsible for program and fiscal operations has been established and implements basic sound administrative practices;

(D) Cultural competency and diversity: The child advocacy center promotes policies, practices and procedures that are culturally competent. Cultural competency is defined as the capacity to function in more than one culture, requiring the ability to appreciate, understand and interact with members of diverse populations within the local community;

(E) Forensic interviews: Forensic interviews are conducted in a manner which is of a neutral, fact-finding nature and coordinated to avoid duplicative interviewing;

(F) Medical evaluation: Specialized medical evaluation and treatment are to be made available to child advocacy center clients as part of the team response, either at the child advocacy center or through coordination and referral with other specialized medical providers;

(G) Therapeutic intervention: Specialized mental health services are to be made available as part of the team response, either at the child advocacy center or through coordination and referral with other appropriate treatment providers;

(H) Victim support/advocacy: Victim support and advocacy are to be made available as part of the team response, either at the child advocacy center or through coordination with other providers, throughout the investigation and subsequent legal proceedings;

(I) Case review: Team discussion and information sharing regarding the investigation, case status and services needed by the child and family are to occur on a routine basis;

(J) Case tracking: Child advocacy centers must develop and implement a system for monitoring case progress and tracking case outcomes for team components: Provided, That a child advocacy center may establish a safe exchange location for children and families who have a parenting agreement or an order providing for visitation or custody of the children that require a safe exchange location;

(3) "Community based", when referring to a facility, program, or service, means located near the juvenile's home or family and involving community participation in planning, operation and evaluation and which may include, but is not limited to, medical, educational, vocational, social and psychological guidance, training, special education, counseling, alcoholism and any treatment and other rehabilitation services;

(4) "Court" means the circuit court of the county with jurisdiction of the case or the judge thereof in vacation unless otherwise specifically provided;

(5) "Custodian" means a person who has or shares actual physical possession or care and custody of a child, regardless of whether such person has been granted custody of the child by any contract, agreement or legal proceedings;

(6) "Department" or "state department" means the State Department of Health and Human Resources;

(7) "Division of Juvenile Services" means the division within the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety pursuant to article five-e of this chapter;

(8) "Guardian" means a person who has care and custody of a child as a result of any contract, agreement or legal proceeding;

(9) "Juvenile delinquent" means a juvenile who has been adjudicated as one who commits an act which would be a crime under state law or a municipal ordinance if committed by an adult;

(10) "Nonsecure facility" means any public or private residential facility not characterized by construction fixtures designed to physically restrict the movements and activities of individuals held in lawful custody in such facility and which provides its residents access to the surrounding community with supervision;

(11) "Referee" means a juvenile referee appointed pursuant to section one, article five-a of this chapter, except that in any county which does not have a juvenile referee, the judge or judges of the circuit court may designate one or more magistrates of the county to perform the functions and duties which may be performed by a referee under this chapter;

(12) "Secretary" means the Secretary of Health and Human Resources;

(13) "Secure facility" means any public or private residential facility which includes construction fixtures designed to physically restrict the movements and activities of juveniles or other individuals held in lawful custody in such facility;

(14) "Staff-secure facility" means any public or private residential facility characterized by staff restrictions of the movements and activities of individuals held in lawful custody in such facility and which limits its residents' access to the surrounding community, but is not characterized by construction fixtures designed to physically restrict the movements and activities of residents;

(15) "Status offender" means a juvenile who has been adjudicated as one:

(A) Who habitually and continually refuses to respond to the lawful supervision by his or her parents, guardian or legal custodian such that the child's behavior substantially endangers the health, safety or welfare of the juvenile or any other person;

(B) Who has left the care of his or her parents, guardian or custodian without the consent of such person or without good cause; or

(C) Who is habitually absent from school without good cause;

(16) "Valid court order" means a court order given to a juvenile who was brought before the court and made subject to such order and who received, before the issuance of such order, the full due process rights guaranteed to such juvenile by the constitutions of the United States and the State of West Virginia.


WVC 49 - 1 - 5 §49-1-5. Limitation on out-of-home placement.
Before any child may be directed for placement in a particular facility or for services of a child welfare agency licensed by the department, a court shall make inquiry into the bed space of the facility available to accommodate additional children and the ability of the child welfare agency to meet the particular needs of the child. A court shall not order the placement of a child in a particular facility if it has reached its licensed capacity or order conditions on the placement of the child which conflict with licensure regulations applicable to the facility promulgated pursuant to the provisions of article two-b of this chapter and articles one-a, nine and seventeen, chapter twenty-seven of this code. Further, a child welfare agency is not required to accept placement of a child at a particular facility if the facility remains at licensed capacity or is unable to meet the particular needs of the child. A child welfare agency is not required to make special dispensation or accommodation, reorganize existing child placement, or initiate early release of children in placement to reduce actual occupancy at the facility.


WVC -2- ARTICLE 2. STATE RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THE PROTECTION AND CARE OF CHILDREN.


WVC 49 - 2 - 1 §49-2-1. Care for children committed to the state department.
It shall be the responsibility of the state department to provide care for neglected children who are committed to its care for custody or guardianship. For purposes of this chapter, the department of health and human resources is responsible for the care of the infant child of an unmarried mother who has been committed to the custody of the department while the infant is placed in the same licensed child welfare agency as his or her mother. The state department may provide care for such children in family homes meeting required standards, at board or otherwise, through a licensed child welfare agency, or in a state institution providing care for dependent or neglected children. The department in placing any child in the care of a family or a child welfare agency shall select as far as practicable a family holding the same religious belief as the parents or relatives of the child or a child welfare agency conducted under religious auspices of the same belief as the parents or relatives.


WVC 49-2-2 §49-2-2. Duration of custody or guardianship of children committed to state department.
A child committed to the state department for guardianship, after termination of parental rights, shall remain in the care of the department until he attains the age of eighteen years, or is married, or is adopted, or guardianship is relinquished through the court.

A child committed to the state department for custody shall remain in the care of the department until he attains the age of eighteen years, or until he is discharged because he is no longer in need of care.


WVC 49-2-3 §49-2-3. Development of standards of child care.
The state department shall be responsible for the development of desirable standards for the care of children. To this end, it shall cooperate with, advise and assist all child welfare agencies, including state institutions, which care for neglected, delinquent, or mentally or physically handicapped children, and shall supervise all such agencies. The department, in cooperation with the state department of health and with child welfare agencies, shall formulate and make available standards of child care and services for children, to which all child welfare agencies must conform.


WVC 49-2-4 §49-2-4.
Repealed.

Acts, 1981 Reg. Sess., Ch. 44.


WVC 49-2-4a §49-2-4a.
Repealed.

Acts, 1981 Reg. Sess., Ch. 44.


WVC 49-2-5 §49-2-5. Same -- Supervision, records and reports.

In order to improve standards of child care, the state department shall cooperate with the governing boards of child welfare agencies, assist the staffs of such agencies through advice on progressive methods and procedures of child care and improvement of the service rendered, and assist in the development of community plans of child care. The state department of health, or its duly authorized agent, may visit any child welfare agency to advise the agency on matters affecting the health of children and to inspect the sanitation of the buildings used for their care. Each child welfare agency shall keep such records regarding each child under its control and care as the state department may prescribe, and shall report to the department, whenever requested, such facts as may be required with reference to such children, upon blanks furnished by the department. All records regarding children and all facts learned about children and their parents or relatives shall be regarded as confidential and shall be properly safeguarded by the agency and the state department.


WVC 49-2-6 §49-2-6. Same -- Approval of articles of incorporation.
A child welfare agency shall not be incorporated in this state unless the articles of incorporation have first been examined and approved by the state department. Proposed amendments to such articles of incorporation shall likewise be subject to the examination and approval of the state department.


WVC 49-2-7 §49-2-7.
Repealed.

Acts, 1981 Reg. Sess., Ch. 44.


WVC 49-2-8 §49-2-8.
Repealed.

Acts, 1981 Reg. Sess., Ch. 44.


WVC 49-2-9 §49-2-9. Unsupervised foster homes -- Generally.
Any family home, not under the supervision of the state department of welfare or of a child welfare agency, in which one or more neglected children under the care of the state department of welfare and under eighteen years of age, separated from parents or guardian and not related by blood or marriage to the person maintaining the home, are received, cared for and maintained for compensation, or otherwise, shall be considered an unsupervised foster home. No person shall conduct an unsupervised foster home without a certificate from the state department.


WVC 49-2-10 §49-2-10. Same -- Certificate.
It shall be the duty of the state department in cooperation with the state department of health to establish reasonable minimum standards for foster-home care to which all certified foster homes must conform. No unsupervised foster home shall be certified until an investigation of the home and its standards of care has been made by the state department or by a licensed child welfare agency serving as its representative. Any such home that conforms to the established standards of care and to the prescribed rules shall receive a certificate from the state department, which shall be in force for one year from the date of issuance and which may be renewed unless revoked because of wilful violation of the provisions of this chapter. The certificate shall show the name of the persons authorized to conduct the home, its exact location and the number of children that may be received and cared for at one time. No certified foster home shall receive for care more children than are specified in the certificate.


WVC 49-2-11 §49-2-11. Same -- Visits; records.
The state department or its authorized agent shall visit every certified foster home as often as is necessary to assure that proper care is given to the children. Every certified foster home shall maintain a record of the children received which shall include such facts in regard to the children and their care, and shall be in such form and manner as are prescribed by the state department.


WVC 49-2-12 §49-2-12. Same -- Removal of child from undesirable foster home.
If at any time the state department shall find a child in an unsupervised foster home where the child is subject to undesirable influences or lacks proper or wise care and management, it shall take necessary action to remove the child and arrange for his care.


WVC 49-2-13 §49-2-13. Parole of certain children to state department.
Children paroled from state institutions and homes for juveniles shall be paroled to the state department. Thereafter, unless the court which committed the child otherwise provides, the state department shall, notwithstanding any other provision of this code, have supervisory control over every child so paroled, and shall have authority to revoke the parole or to discharge the child from parole. Upon the revocation of any parole and the return of the parolee to the institution from which he was paroled, all authority over the parolee, originally vested in such institution, shall again become operative.


WVC 49 - 2 - 14 §49-2-14. Criteria and procedure for removal of child from foster home; notice of child's availability for placement; limitations.

(a) The state department may temporarily remove a child from a foster home based on an allegation of abuse or neglect, including sexual abuse, that occurred while the child resided in the home. If the department determines that reasonable cause exists to support the allegation, the department shall remove all foster children from the arrangement and preclude contact between the children and the foster parents. If, after investigation, the allegation is determined to be true by the department or after a judicial proceeding a court finds the allegation to be true or if the foster parents fail to contest the allegation in writing within twenty calendar days of receiving written notice of said allegations, the department shall permanently terminate all foster care arrangements with said foster parents: Provided, That if the state department determines that the abuse occurred due to no act or failure to act on the part of the foster parents and that continuation of the foster care arrangement is in the best interests of the child, the department may, in its discretion, elect not to terminate the foster care arrangement or arrangements.

(b) When a child has been placed in a foster care arrangement for a period in excess of eighteen consecutive months and the state department determines that the placement is a fit and proper place for the child to reside, the foster care arrangement may not be terminated unless such termination is in the best interest of the child and:

(1) The foster care arrangement is terminated pursuant to subsection (a) of this section;

(2) The foster care arrangement is terminated due to the child being returned to his or her parent or parents;

(3) The foster care arrangement is terminated due to the child being united or reunited with a sibling or siblings;

(4) The foster parent or parents agree to the termination in writing;

(5) The foster care arrangement is terminated at the written request of a foster child who has attained the age of fourteen; or

(6) A circuit court orders the termination upon a finding that the state department has developed a more suitable long-term placement for the child upon hearing evidence in a proceeding brought by the department seeking removal and transfer.

(c) When a child has been residing in a foster home for a period in excess of six consecutive months in total and for a period in excess of thirty days after the parental rights of the child's biological parents have been terminated and the foster parents have not made an application to the department to establish an intent to adopt the child within thirty days of parental rights being terminated, the state department may terminate the foster care arrangement if another, more beneficial, long-term placement of the child is developed: Provided, That if the child is twelve years of age or older, the child shall be provided the option of remaining in the existing foster care arrangement if the child so desires and if continuation of the existing arrangement is in the best interest of the child.

(d) When a child is placed into foster care or becomes eligible for adoption and a sibling or siblings have previously been placed in foster care or have been adopted, the department shall notify the foster parents or adoptive parents of the previously placed or adopted sibling or siblings of the child's availability for foster care placement or adoption to determine if the foster parents or adoptive parents are desirous of seeking a foster care arrangement or adoption of the child. Where a sibling or siblings have previously been adopted, the department shall also notify the adoptive parents of a sibling of the child's availability for foster care placement in that home and a foster care arrangement entered into to place the child in the home if the adoptive parents of the sibling are otherwise qualified or can become qualified to enter into a foster care arrangement with the department and if such arrangement is in the best interests of the child: Provided, That the department may petition the court to waive notification to the foster parents or adoptive parents of the child's siblings. This waiver may be granted, ex parte, upon a showing of compelling circumstances.

(e) When a child is in a foster care arrangement and is residing separately from a sibling or siblings who are in another foster home or who have been adopted by another family and the parents with whom the placed or adopted sibling or siblings reside have made application to the department to establish an intent to adopt or to enter into a foster care arrangement regarding a child so that said child may be united or reunited with a sibling or siblings, the state department shall upon a determination of the fitness of the persons and household seeking to enter into a foster care arrangement or seek an adoption which would unite or reunite siblings, and if termination and new placement are in the best interests of the children, terminate the foster care arrangement and place the child in the household with the sibling or siblings: Provided, That if the department is of the opinion based upon available evidence that residing in the same home would have a harmful physical, mental or psychological effect on one or more of the sibling children or if the child has a physical or mental disability which the existing foster home can better accommodate, or if the department can document that the reunification of the siblings would not be in the best interest of one or all of the children, the state department may petition the circuit court for an order allowing the separation of the siblings to continue: Provided, however, That if the child is twelve years of age or older, the state department shall provide the child the option of remaining in the existing foster care arrangement if remaining is in the best interests of the child. In any proceeding brought by the department to maintain separation of siblings, such separation may be ordered only if the court determines that clear and convincing evidence supports the department's determination. In any proceeding brought by the department seeking to maintain separation of siblings, notice shall be afforded, in addition to any other persons required by any provision of this code to receive notice, to the persons seeking to adopt a sibling or siblings of a previously placed or adopted child and said persons may be parties to any such action.

(f) Where two or more siblings have been placed in separate foster care arrangements and the foster parents of the siblings have made application to the department to enter into a foster care arrangement regarding the sibling or siblings not in their home or where two or more adoptive parents seek to adopt a sibling or siblings of a child they have previously adopted, the department's determination as to placing the child in a foster care arrangement or in an adoptive home shall be based solely upon the best interests of the siblings.


WVC 49-2-15 §49-2-15. Placing children from other states in private homes of state.
An institution or organization incorporated under the laws of another state shall not place a child in a private home in the state without the approval of the state department, and the agency so placing the child shall arrange for supervision of the child through its own staff or through a licensed child welfare agency in this state, and shall maintain responsibility for the child until he is adopted or discharged from care with the approval of the state department.


WVC 49-2-16 §49-2-16. State responsibility for child care.
The division of juvenile services of the department of military affairs and public safety is hereby authorized and empowered to operate and maintain centers for juveniles needing detention pending disposition by a court having juvenile jurisdiction or temporary care following such court action.

The department of health and human resources is hereby authorized and empowered to provide care, support and protective services for children who are handicapped by dependency, neglect, single parent status, mental or physical disability, or who for other reasons are in need of public service. Such department is also hereby authorized and empowered in its discretion to accept children for care from their parent or parents, guardian, custodian or relatives and to accept the custody of children committed to its care by courts. The department of health and human resources or any county office of such department is also hereby authorized and empowered in its discretion to accept temporary custody of children for care from any law-enforcement officer in an emergency situation.

Within ninety days of the date of the signatures to a voluntary placement agreement, after receipt of physical custody, the state department of health and human resources shall file with the court a petition for review of the placement, stating the child's situation and the circumstance that gives rise to the voluntary placement. If the department intends to extend the voluntary placement agreement, the department shall file with the court a copy of the child's case plan. The court shall appoint an attorney for the child, who shall also receive a copy of the case plan. The court shall schedule a hearing and shall give notice of the time and place and right to be present at such hearing to: The child's attorney; the child, if twelve years of age or older; the child's parents or guardians; the child's foster parents; any preadoptive parent or relative providing care for the child; and any other such persons as the court may in its discretion direct. The child's presence at such hearing may be waived by the child's attorney at the request of the child or if the child would suffer emotional harm. At the conclusion of the proceedings, but no later than ninety days after the date of the signatures to the voluntary placement agreement, the court shall enter an order determining whether or not continuation of the voluntary placement is in the best interests of the child; specifying under what conditions the child's placement shall continue; and specifying whether or not the department is required to and has made reasonable efforts to preserve and to reunify the family, as set forth in subsection (d), section three, article six of this chapter and/or provide a plan for the permanent placement of the child.


WVC 49 - 2 - 17 §49-2-17. Subsidized adoption and legal guardianship.

     (a) From funds appropriated to the Department of Health and Human Resources, the secretary shall establish a system of assistance for facilitating the adoption or legal guardianship of children. An adoption subsidy shall be available for children who are legally free for adoption and who are dependents of the department or a child welfare agency licensed to place children for adoption. A legal guardianship subsidy shall not require the surrender or termination of parental rights. For either subsidy, the children must be in special circumstances because one or more of the following conditions inhibit their adoption or legal guardianship placement:

     (1) They have a physical or mental disability;

     (2) They are emotionally disturbed;

     (3) They are older children;

     (4) They are a part of a sibling group; or

     (5) They are a member of a racial or ethnic minority.

     (b) The department shall provide assistance in the form of subsidies or other services to parents who are found and approved for adoption or legal guardianship of a child certified as eligible for subsidy by the department, but before the final decree of adoption or order of legal guardianship is entered, there must be a written agreement between the family entering into the subsidized adoption or legal guardianship and the department. Adoption or legal guardianship subsidies in individual cases may commence with the adoption or legal guardianship placement, and will vary with the needs of the child as well as the availability of other resources to meet the child's needs. The subsidy may be for special services only, or for money payments, and either for a limited period, or for a long term, or for any combination of the foregoing. The specific financial terms of the subsidy shall be included in the agreement between the department and the adoptive parents or legal guardians. The agreement may recognize and provide for direct payment by the department of attorney's fees to an attorney representing the adoptive parent. The amount of the time-limited or long-term subsidy may in no case exceed that which would be allowable from time to time for such child under foster family care or, in the case of a special service, the reasonable fee for the service rendered. In addition, the department shall provide either Medicaid or other health insurance coverage for any special needs child for whom there is an adoption or legal guardianship assistance agreement between the department and the adoptive parent or legal guardian and who the department determines cannot be placed with an adoptive parent or legal guardian without medical assistance because the child has special needs for medical, mental health or rehabilitative care.

     (c) After reasonable efforts have been made without the use of subsidy and no appropriate adoptive family or legal guardian has been found for the child, the department shall certify the child as eligible for a subsidy in the event of adoption or a legal guardianship: Provided, that reasonable efforts to place a child without a subsidy shall not be required if it is in the best interest of the child because of such factors as the existence of significant emotional ties developed between the child and the prospective parent or guardian while in care as a foster child.

     (d) If the child is the dependent of a voluntary licensed child-placing agency, that agency shall present to the department evidence of the inability to place the child for adoption or legal guardianship without the use of subsidy or evidence that such efforts would not be in the best interests of the child. In no event shall the value of the services and assistance provided by the department under an agreement pursuant to this section exceed the value of assistance available to foster families in similar circumstances. All records regarding subsidized adoptions or legal guardianships shall be held in confidence; however, records regarding the payment of public funds for subsidized adoptions or legal guardianships shall be available for public inspection provided they do not directly or indirectly identify any child or persons receiving funds for such child.
WVC -2A- ARTICLE 2A. INTERSTATE COMPACT ON THE PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN.


WVC 49-2A-1 §49-2A-1. Adoption of compact.
The interstate compact on the placement of children is hereby enacted into law and entered into with all other jurisdictions legally joining therein in form substantially as follows:

INTERSTATE COMPACT ON THE PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN
Article I. Purpose and Policy.
It is the purpose and policy of the party states to cooperate with each other in the interstate placement of children to the end that:

(a) Each child requiring placement shall receive the maximum opportunity to be placed in a suitable environment and with persons or institutions having appropriate qualifications and facilities to provide a necessary and desirable degree and type of care.

(b) The appropriate authorities in a state where a child is to be placed may have full opportunity to ascertain the circumstances of the proposed placement, thereby promoting full compliance with applicable requirements for the protection of the child.

(c) The proper authorities of the state from which the placement is made may obtain the most complete information on the basis of which to evaluate a projected placement before it is made.

(d) Appropriate jurisdictional arrangements for the care of children will be promoted.

Article II. Definitions.
As used in this compact:

(a) "Child" means a person who, by reason of minority is legally subject to parental, guardianship or similar control.

(b) "Sending agency" means a party state, officer or employee thereof; a subdivision of a party state, or officer or employee thereof; a court of a party state; a person, corporation, association, charitable agency or other entity which sends, brings, or causes to be sent or brought any child to another party state.

(c) "Receiving state" means the state to which a child is sent, brought, or caused to be sent or brought, whether by public authorities or private persons or agencies, and whether for placement with state or local public authorities or for placement with private agencies or persons.

(d) "Placement" means the arrangement for the care of a child in a family free home or boarding home or in a child-caring agency or institution but does not include any institution caring for the mentally ill, mentally defective or epileptic or any institution primarily educational in character, and any hospital or other medical facility.

Article III. Conditions for Replacement.
(a) No sending agency shall send, bring, or cause to be sent or brought into any other party state any child for placement in foster care or as a preliminary to a possible adoption unless the sending agency shall comply with each and every requirement set forth in this article and with the applicable laws of the receiving state governing the placement of children therein.

(b) Prior to sending, bringing or causing any child to be sent or brought into a receiving state for placement in foster care or as a preliminary to a possible adoption, the sending agency shall furnish the appropriate public authorities in the receiving state written notice of the intention to send, bring, or place the child in the receiving state. The notice shall contain:

(1) The name, date and place of birth of the child.

(2) The identity and address or addresses of the parents or legal guardian.

(3) The name and address of the person, agency or institution to or with which the sending agency proposes to send, bring, or place the child.

(4) A full statement of the reasons for such proposed action and evidence of the authority pursuant to which the placement is proposed to be made.

(c) Any public officer or agency in a receiving state which is in receipt of a notice pursuant to paragraph (b) of this article may request of the sending agency, or any other appropriate officer or agency of or in the sending agency's state, and shall be entitled to receive therefrom, such supporting or additional information as it may deem necessary under the circumstances to carry out the purpose and policy of this compact.

(d) The child shall not be sent, brought, or caused to be sent or brought into the receiving state until the appropriate public authorities in the receiving state shall notify the sending agency, in writing, to the effect that the proposed placement does not appear to be contrary to the interests of the child.

Article IV. Penalty for Illegal Placement.
The sending, bringing, or causing to be sent or brought into any receiving state of a child in violation of the terms of this compact shall constitute a violation of the laws respecting the placement of children of both the state in which the sending agency is located or from which it sends or brings the child and of the receiving state. Such violation may be punished or subjected to penalty in either jurisdiction in accordance with its laws. In addition to liability for any such punishment or penalty, any such violation shall constitute full and sufficient grounds for the suspension or revocation of any license, permit, or other legal authorization held by the sending agency which empowers or allows it to place, or care for children.

Article V. Retention of Jurisdiction.
(a) The sending agency shall retain jurisdiction over the child sufficient to determine all matters in relation to the custody, supervision, care, treatment and disposition of the child which it would have had if the child had remained in the sending agency's state, until the child is adopted, reaches majority, becomes self-supporting or is discharged with the concurrence of the appropriate authority in the receiving state. Such jurisdiction shall also include the power to effect or cause the return of the child or its transfer to another location and custody pursuant to law. The sending agency shall continue to have financial responsibility for support and maintenance of the child during the period of the placement. Nothing contained herein shall defeat a claim of jurisdiction by a receiving state sufficient to deal with an act of delinquency or crime committed therein.

(b) When the sending agency is a public agency, it may enter into an agreement with an authorized public or private agency in the receiving state providing for the performance of one or more services in respect of such case by the latter as agent for the sending agency.

(c) Nothing in this compact shall be construed to prevent a private charitable agency authorized to place children in the receiving state from performing services or acting as agent in that state for a private charitable agency of the sending state; nor to prevent the agency in the receiving state from discharging financial responsibility for the support and maintenance of a child who has been placed on behalf of the sending agency without relieving the responsibility set forth in paragraph (a) hereof.

Article VI. Institutional Care of Delinquent Children.
A child adjudicated delinquent may be placed in an institution in another party jurisdiction pursuant to this compact but no such placement shall be made unless the child is given a court hearing on notice to the parent or guardian with opportunity to be heard, prior to his being sent to such other party jurisdiction for institutional care and the court finds that:

1. Equivalent facilities for the child are not available in the sending agency's jurisdiction; and

2. Institutional care in the other jurisdiction is in the best interest of the child and will not produce undue hardship.

Article VII. Compact Administrator.
The executive head of each jurisdiction party to this compact shall designate an officer who shall be general coordinator of activities under this compact in his jurisdiction and who, acting jointly with like officers of other party jurisdictions, shall have power to promulgate rules and regulations to carry out more effectively the terms and provisions of this compact.

Article VIII. Limitations.
This compact shall not apply to:

(a) The sending or bringing of a child into a receiving state by his parent, stepparent, grandparent, adult brother or sister, adult uncle or aunt, or his guardian and leaving the child with any such relative or nonagency guardian in the receiving state.

(b) Any placement, sending or bringing of a child into a receiving state pursuant to any other interstate compact to which both the state from which the child is sent or brought and the receiving state are party, or to any other agreement between said states which has the force of law.

Article IX. Enactment and Withdrawal.
This compact shall be open to joinder by any state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and, with the consent of Congress, the government of Canada or any province thereof. It shall become effective with respect to any such jurisdiction when such jurisdiction has enacted the same into law. Withdrawal from this compact shall be by the enactment of a statute repealing the same, but shall not take effect until two years after the effective date of such statute and until written notice of the withdrawal has been given by the withdrawing state to the governor of each other party jurisdiction. Withdrawal of a party state shall not affect the rights, duties and obligations under this compact of any sending agency therein with respect to a placement made prior to the effective date of withdrawal.

Article X. Construction.
The provisions of this compact shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes thereof. The provisions of this compact shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any party state or of the United States or the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby. If this compact shall be held contrary to the constitution of any state party thereto, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining states and in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters.


WVC 49-2A-2 §49-2A-2. Definitions; implementation.
(1) Financial responsibility for any child placed pursuant to the provisions of the interstate compact on the placement of children shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of Article V thereof in the first instance. However, in the event of partial or complete default of performance thereunder, the provisions of section one, article two of this chapter may be invoked.

(2) The "appropriate public authorities" as used in Article III of the interstate compact on the placement of children shall, with reference to this state, mean the department of welfare and said agency shall receive and act with reference to notices required by said Article III.

(3) As used in paragraph (a) of Article V of the interstate compact on the placement of children, the phrase "appropriate authority in the receiving state" with reference to this state shall mean the department of welfare.

(4) The officers and agencies of this state and its subdivisions having authority to place children are hereby empowered to enter into agreements with appropriate officers or agencies of or in other party states pursuant to paragraph (b) of Article V of the interstate compact on the placement of children. Any such agreement which contains a financial commitment or imposes a financial obligation on this state or subdivision or agency thereof shall not be binding unless it has the approval in writing of the auditor in the case of the state and of the chief local fiscal officer in the case of a subdivision of the state.

(5) Any requirements for visitation, inspection or supervision of children, homes, institutions or other agencies in another party state which may apply under sections five and eleven of article two of this chapter shall be deemed to be met if performed pursuant to an agreement entered into by appropriate officers or agencies of this state or a subdivision thereof as contemplated by paragraph (b) of Article V of the interstate compact on the placement of children.

(6) The provisions of section fifteen, article two of this chapter shall not apply to placements made pursuant to the interstate compact on the placement of children.

(7) Any court having jurisdiction to place delinquent children may place such a child in an institution of or in another state pursuant to Article VI of the interstate compact on the placement of children and shall retain jurisdiction as provided in Article V thereof.

(8) As used in Article VII of the interstate compact on the placement of children, the term "executive head" means the governor. The governor is hereby authorized to appoint a compact administrator in accordance with the terms of said Article VII.


WVC 49 - 2 B- ARTICLE 2B. DUTIES OF SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN RESOURCES FOR CHILD WELFARE.


WVC 49 - 2 B- 1 §49-2B-1. Policy and purpose.
(a) It is the policy of the state to assist a child and the child's family as the basic unit of society through efforts to strengthen and preserve the family unit. In the event of a temporary or permanent absence of parents or the separation of a child from the family unit for care or treatment purposes, it is the policy of the state to assure that a child receives care and nurturing as close as possible to society's expectations of a family's care and nurturing of its child. The state has a duty to assure that proper and appropriate care is given and maintained.

(b) It is also the policy of this state to ensure that those persons and entities offering quality child care are not over-encumbered by licensure and registration requirements and that the extent of regulation of child care facilities and child placing agencies be moderately proportionate to the size of the facility.

(c) Through licensure, approval, and registration of child care, the state exercises its benevolent police power to protect the user of a service from risks against which he or she would have little or no competence for self protection. Licensure, approval, and registration processes shall, therefore, continually balance the child's rights and need for protection with the interests, rights and responsibility of the service providers.

(d) In order to carry out the above policy, the Legislature enacts this article to protect and prevent harm to children separated from their families and to enhance their continued growth and well-being while in care.

(e) The purposes of this article are:

(1) To protect the health, safety and well-being of children in substitute care by preventing improper and harmful care;

(2) To establish statewide rules for regulating programs as defined in this article;

(3) To encourage and assist in the improvement of child care programs;

(4) To ensure that persons and entities offering child care are not unduly burdened by licensure and registration requirements; and

(5) To ensure that all child care programs be safe, reliable and geared to the ages and needs of the children they serve, meet basic health and safety standards, and employ people who have the training and experience needed to work with children.

(f) In order to carry out these purposes, the powers of the child welfare licensing board created by chapter nineteen, Acts of the Legislature, one thousand nine hundred forty-five, are hereby transferred to the commissioner of human services, along with the other powers granted by this article.


WVC 49 - 2 B- 2 §49-2B-2. Definitions.
As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) "Approval" means a finding by the secretary that a facility operated by the state has met the requirements set forth in the rules promulgated pursuant to this article.

(b) "Certificate of approval" means a statement of the secretary that a facility operated by the state has met the requirements set forth in the rules promulgated pursuant to this article.

(c) "Certificate of license" means a statement issued by the secretary authorizing an individual, corporation, partnership, voluntary association, municipality or county, or any agency thereof, to provide specified services for a limited period of time in accordance with the terms of the certificate.

(d) "Certificate of registration" means a statement issued by the secretary to a family child care home, informal family child care home or relative family child care home, upon receipt of a self-certification statement of compliance with the rules promulgated pursuant to the provisions of this article.

(e) "Child" for the purpose of residential services under this article means any person under eighteen years of age or is a transitioning adult.

(f) "Child" for the purpose of child care services means an individual who meets one of the following conditions:

(1) Is under thirteen years of age.

(2) Is thirteen to eighteen years of age and under court supervision.

(3) Is thirteen to eighteen years of age and presenting a significant delay of at least twenty-five percent in one or more areas of development, or a six month delay in two or more areas as determined by an early intervention program, special education program or other multi-disciplinary team.

(g) "Child care" means responsibilities assumed and services performed in relation to a child's physical, emotional, psychological, social and personal needs and the consideration of the child's rights and entitlements, but does not include secure detention or incarceration under the jurisdiction of the Division of Juvenile Services, created under section two, article five-e of this chapter. It includes the provision of child care services or residential services.

(h) "Child care center" means a facility maintained by the state or any county or municipality thereof, or any agency or facility maintained by an individual, firm, corporation, association or organization, public or private for the care of thirteen or more children for child care services in any setting, if the facility is open for more than thirty days per year per child.

(i) "Child care services" means direct care and protection of children during a portion of a twenty-four hour day outside of the child's own home which provides experiences to children that foster their healthy development and education.

(j) "Child placing agency" means a child welfare agency organized for the purpose of placing children in private family homes for foster care or for adoption. The function of a child-placing agency may include the investigation and certification of foster family homes and foster family group homes as provided in this chapter. The function of a child placing agency may also include the supervision of children who are sixteen or seventeen years old and living unlicensed residences.

(k) "Child welfare agency" means any agency or facility maintained by the state or any county or municipality thereof, or any agency or facility maintained by an individual, firm, corporation, association or organization, public or private, to receive children for care and maintenance or for placement in residential care facilities, including, without limitation, private homes, or any facility that provides care for unmarried mothers and their children: Provided, That the term does not include juvenile detention facilities or juvenile correctional facilities operated by or under contract with the Division of Juvenile Services, created under section two, article five-e of this chapter, nor any other facility operated by that division for the secure housing or holding of juveniles committed to its custody.

(l) "Department" means the Department of Health and Human Resources.

(m) "Facility" means a place or residence, including personnel, structures, grounds and equipment, used for the care of a child or children on a residential or other basis for any number of hours a day in any shelter or structure maintained for that purpose: Provided, That the term does not include any juvenile detention facility or juvenile correctional facility operated by or under contract with the Division of Juvenile Services, created pursuant to section two, article five-e of this chapter, for the secure housing or holding of juveniles committed to its custody.

(n) "Family child care home" means a facility which is used to provide nonresidential child care services for compensation in a provider's residence. The provider may care for four to six children, at one time including children who are living in the household, who are under six years of age. No more than two of the total number of children may be under twenty-four months of age.

(o) "Family child care facility" means any facility which is used to provide nonresidential child care services for compensation for seven to twelve children, including children who are living in the household, who are under six years of age. No more than four of the total number of children may be under twenty-four months of age. A facility may be in a provider's residence or a separate building.

(p) "Foster family home" means a private residence which is used for the care on a residential basis of no more than five children who are unrelated by blood, marriage or adoption to any adult member of the household.

(q) "Informal family child care" means a home that is used to provide nonresidential child care services for compensation for three (3) or fewer children, including children who are living in the household, who are under six years of age. Care is given in the provider's own home to at least one child who is not related to the caregiver.

(r) "License" means the grant of official permission to a facility to engage in an activity which would otherwise be prohibited.

(s) "Out of school time" means a child care service which offers activities to children before and after school, on school holidays, when school is closed due to emergencies, and on school calendar days set aside for teacher activities.

(t) "Registration" means the process by which a family child care home, informal family child care home or a relative family child care home self-certifies compliance with the rules promulgated pursuant to this article.

(u) "Residential services" means child care which includes the provision of nighttime shelter and the personal discipline and supervision of a child by guardians, custodians or other persons or entities on a continuing or temporary basis. It may include care and or treatment for transitioning adults: Provided, That the term does not include or apply to any juvenile detention facility or juvenile correctional facility operated by the Division of Juvenile Services, created pursuant to section two, article five-e of this chapter, for the secure housing or holding of juveniles committed to its custody.

(v) "Relative family child care" means a home that provides nonresidential child care services only to children related to the caregiver. The caregiver is a grandparent, great grandparent, aunt, uncle, great-aunt, great-uncle or adult sibling of the child(ren) receiving care. Care is given in the provider's home.

(w) "Rule" means a statement issued by the secretary of the standard to be applied in the various areas of child care.

(x) "Transitioning adult" means an individual with a transfer plan to move to an adult setting who meets one of the following conditions:

(1) Is eighteen years of age but under twenty-one years of age, was in departmental custody upon reaching eighteen years of age and committed an act of delinquency before reaching eighteen years of age, remains under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, and requires supervision and care to complete an education and or treatment program which was initiated prior to the eighteenth birthday.

(2) Is eighteen years of age but under twenty-one years of age, was adjudicated abused, neglected, or in departmental custody upon reaching eighteen years of age and enters into a contract with the department to continue in an educational, training, or treatment program which was initiated prior to the eighteenth birthday.

(y) "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources.

(z) "Variance" means a declaration that a rule may be accomplished in a manner different from the manner set forth in the rule.

(aa) "Waiver" means a declaration that a certain rule is inapplicable in a particular circumstance.


WVC 49 - 2 B- 3 §49-2B-3. Licensure, certification, approval and registration requirements.
(a) Any person, corporation or child welfare agency, other than a state agency, which operates a residential child care center shall obtain a license from the department.

(b) Any residential child care facility, day care center or any child-placing agency operated by the state shall obtain approval of its operations from the secretary: Provided, That this requirement does not apply to any juvenile detention facility or juvenile correctional facility operated by or under contract with the Division of Juvenile Services, created pursuant to section two, article five-e of this chapter, for the secure housing or holding of juveniles committed to its custody. The facilities and placing agencies shall maintain the same standards of care applicable to licensed facilities, centers or placing agencies of the same category.

(c) Any family day care facility which operates in this state, including family day care facilities approved by the department for receipt of funding, shall obtain a statement of certification from the department.

(d) Every family day care home which operates in this state, including family day care homes approved by the department for receipt of funding, shall obtain a certificate of registration from the department.

(e) This section does not apply to:

(1) A kindergarten, preschool or school education program which is operated by a public school or which is accredited by the state Department of Education, or any other kindergarten, preschool or school programs which operate with sessions not exceeding four hours per day for any child;

(2) An individual or facility which offers occasional care of children for brief periods while parents are shopping, engaging in recreational activities, attending religious services or engaging in other business or personal affairs;

(3) Summer recreation camps operated for children attending sessions for periods not exceeding thirty days;

(4) Hospitals or other medical facilities which are primarily used for temporary residential care of children for treatment, convalescence or testing;

(5) Persons providing family day care solely for children related to them;

(6) Any juvenile detention facility or juvenile correctional facility operated by or under contract with the Division of Juvenile Services, created pursuant to section two, article five-e of this chapter, for the secure housing or holding of juveniles committed to its custody;

(7) Any out-of-school time program that has been awarded a grant by the West Virginia Department of Education to provide out-of-school time programs to kindergarten through twelfth grade students when the program is monitored by the West Virginia Department of Education; or

(8) Any out-of-school time program serving children six years of age or older and meets all of the following requirements, or is an out-of-school time program that is affiliated and in good standing with a national Congressionally chartered organization and meets all of the following requirements:

(i) The program is located in a facility that meets all fire and health codes;

(ii) The program performs background checks on all volunteers and staff;

(iii) The program's primary source of funding is not from fees for service; and

(iv) The program has a formalized monitoring system in place.

(f) The secretary is authorized to issue an emergency rule relating to conducting a survey of existing facilities in this state in which children reside on a temporary basis in order to ascertain whether they should be subject to licensing under this article or applicable licensing provisions relating to behavioral health treatment providers.

(g) Any informal family child care home or relative family child care home may voluntarily register and obtain a certificate of registration from the department.

(h) All facilities or programs that provide out-of-school time care shall register with the department upon commencement of operations and on an annual basis thereafter. The department shall obtain information such as the name of the facility or program, the description of the services provided and any other information relevant to the determination by the department as to whether the facility or program meets the criteria for exemption under this section.

(i) Any child care service that is licensed or receives a certificate of registration shall have a written plan for evacuation in the event of fire, natural disaster or other threatening situation that may pose a health or safety hazard to the children in the child care service.

(1) The plan shall include, but not be limited to:

(A) A designated relocation site and evacuation;

(B) Procedures for notifying parents of the relocation and ensuring family reunification;

(C) Procedures to address the needs of individual children including children with special needs;

(D) Instructions relating to the training of staff or the reassignment of staff duties, as appropriate;

(E) Coordination with local emergency management officials; and

(F) A program to ensure that appropriate staff are familiar with the components of the plan.

(2) A child care service shall update the evacuation plan by December 31 of each year. If a child care service fails to update the plan, no action shall be taken against the child care service's license or registration until notice is provided and the child care service is given thirty days after the receipt of notice to provide an updated plan.

(3) A child care service shall retain an updated copy of the plan for evacuation and shall provide notice of the plan and notification that a copy of the plan will be provided upon request to any parent, custodian or guardian of each child at the time of the child's enrollment in the child care service and when the plan is updated.

(4) All child care centers and family child care facilities shall provide the plan and each updated copy of the plan to the Director of the Office of Emergency Services in the county where the center or facility is located.


WVC 49 - 2 B- 4 §49-2B-4. Rules.
(a) The secretary shall promulgate rules in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code regarding the licensure, approval, certification and registration of child care facilities and the implementation of the provisions of this article. The rules shall provide at a minimum the requirement that every residential child care facility shall be subject to an annual time study regarding the quantification of staff supervision time at each facility. Every residential child care facility shall participate in the time study at the request of the department.

(b) The secretary shall review the rules promulgated pursuant to the provisions of this article at least once every five years, making revisions when necessary or convenient: Provided, That on or before the first day of September, two thousand six, the department shall promulgate emergency rules pursuant to the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code that amends and replaces licensing requirements for group residential programs for children, 78 CSR 3, and child placing agencies for children, 78 CSR 2: Provided, however, That on or before the first day of July, two thousand six, the department shall promulgate emergency rules pursuant to the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code that creates requirements for informal family child care homes and relative family child care homes that voluntarily register with the department. All individuals, facilities, entities, programs, agencies or family child care homes subject to said emergency rules shall have one hundred eighty days to come into compliance after promulgation of such rules.


WVC 49 - 2 B- 5 §49-2B-5. Penalties; injunctions.
(a) Any individual or corporation which operates a child welfare agency, residential facility or child care center without a license when a license is required is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in jail not exceeding one year, or a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or both fined and imprisoned.

(b) Any family child care facility which operates without a license when a license is required is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.

(c) Where a violation of this article or a rule promulgated by the secretary may result in serious harm to children under care, the secretary may seek injunctive relief against any person, corporation, child welfare agency, child placing agency, child care center, family child care facility, family child care home or governmental official through proceedings instituted by the attorney general, or the appropriate county prosecuting attorney, in the circuit court of Kanawha County or in the circuit court of any county where the children are residing or may be found.


WVC 49 - 2 B- 6 §49-2B-6. Conditions of licensure, approval and registration.
(a) A license or approval is effective for a period up to two years from the date of issuance, unless revoked or modified to provisional status based on evidence of a failure to comply with the provisions of this article or any rules promulgated pursuant to this article. The license or approval shall be reinstated upon application to the secretary and a determination of compliance.

(b) An initial six-month license or approval shall be issued to an applicant establishing a new service found to be in compliance on initial review with regard to policy, procedure, organization, risk management, human resources, service environment and record keeping regulations.

(c) A provisional license or approval may be issued when a licensee is not in compliance with this rule but does not pose a significant risk to the rights, well-being, health and safety of a consumer. It shall expire not more than six months from date of issuance, and not be consecutively reissued unless the provisional recommendation is that of the State Fire Marshal.

(d) A renewal license or approval may be issued of any duration up to two years at the discretion of the secretary. In the event a renewal license is not issued, the facility must make discharge plans for residents and cease operation within thirty days of the expiration of the license.

(e) A certificate of registration is effective for a period up to two years from the date of issuance, unless revoked based on evidence of a failure to comply with the provisions of this article or any rules promulgated pursuant to this article. The certificate of registration shall be reinstated upon application to the secretary, including a statement of assurance of continued compliance with the rules promulgated pursuant to this article.

(f) The license, approval or registration issued under this article is not transferable and applies only to the facility and its location stated in the application. The license, registration or approval shall be publicly displayed: Provided, That foster and adoptive family homes, informal family child care homes and relative family child care homes shall be required to display registration certificates of registration or approval upon request rather than by posting.

(g) Provisional certificates of registration may be issued to family child care homes.

(h) The secretary, as a condition of issuing a license, registration or approval, may:

(1) Limit the age, sex or type of problems of children allowed admission to a particular facility;

(2) Prohibit intake of any children; or

(3) Reduce the number of children which the agency, facility or home operated by the agency is licensed, approved, certified or registered to receive.


WVC 49 - 2 B- 7 §49-2B-7. Waivers and variances to rules.
Waivers or variances of rules may be granted by the secretary if the health, safety or well-being of a child would not be endangered thereby. The secretary shall promulgate by rule criteria and procedures for the granting of waivers or variances so that uniform practices may be maintained throughout the state.


WVC 49 - 2 B- 8 §49-2B-8. Application for license or approval.
(a) Any person or corporation or any governmental agency intending to act as a child welfare agency shall apply for a license, approval or registration certificate to operate child care facilities regulated by this article. Applications for licensure, approval or registration shall be made separately for each child care facility to be licensed, approved, certified or registered.

(b) The secretary shall prescribe forms and reasonable application procedures including, but not limited to, fingerprinting of applicants and other persons responsible for the care of children for submission to the State Police and, if necessary, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for criminal history record checks.

(c) Before issuing a license, or approval, the secretary shall investigate the facility, program and persons responsible for the care of children. The investigation shall include, but not be limited to, review of resource need, reputation, character and purposes of applicants, a check of personnel criminal records, if any, and personnel medical records, the financial records of applicants, review of the facilities emergency evacuation plan and consideration of the proposed plan for child care from intake to discharge.

(d) Before a home registration is granted, the secretary shall make inquiry as to the facility, program and persons responsible for the care of children. The inquiry shall include self-certification by the prospective home of compliance with standards including, but not limited to:

(1) Physical and mental health of persons present in the home while children are in care;

(2) Criminal and child abuse or neglect history of persons present in the home while children are in care;

(3) Discipline;

(4) Fire and environmental safety;

(5) Equipment and program for the children in care;

(6) Health, sanitation and nutrition.

(e) Further inquiry and investigation may be made as the secretary may direct.

(f) The secretary shall make a decision on each application within sixty days of its receipt and shall provide to unsuccessful applicants written reasons for the decision.


WVC 49 - 2 B- 9 §49-2B-9. Supervision and consultation required.
(a) The secretary shall provide supervision to ascertain compliance with the rules promulgated pursuant to this article through regular monitoring, visits to facilities, documentation, evaluation and reporting. The secretary shall be responsible for training and education, within fiscal limitations, specifically for the improvement of care in family child care homes and facilities. The secretary shall consult with applicants, the personnel of child welfare agencies, and children under care to assure the highest quality child care possible.

(b) The Director of the Department of Health and the State Fire Marshal shall cooperate with the secretary in the administration of the provisions of this article by providing such reports and assistance as may be requested by the secretary.


WVC 49 - 2 B- 10 §49-2B-10. Investigative authority.
(a) The secretary shall enforce the provisions of this article.

(b) An on-site evaluation of every facility regulated pursuant to this article, except registered family child care homes, informal family child care and relative family child care homes shall be conducted no less than once per year by announced or unannounced visits.

(c) A random sample of not less than five percent of the total number of registered family child care homes, informal family child care homes and relative family child care homes shall be monitored annually through on-site evaluations.

(d) The secretary shall have access to the premises, personnel, children in care and records of each facility subject to inspection, including, but not limited to, case records, corporate and financial records and board minutes. Applicants for licenses, approvals, and certificates of registration shall consent to reasonable on-site administrative inspections, made with or without prior notice, as a condition of licensing, approval, or registration.

(e) When a complaint is received by the secretary alleging violations of licensure, approval, or registration requirements, the secretary shall investigate the allegations. The secretary may notify the facility's director before or after a complaint is investigated and shall cause a written report of the results of the investigation to be made.

(f) The secretary may enter any unlicensed, unregistered or unapproved child care facility or personal residence for which there is probable cause to believe that the facility or residence is operating in violation of this article. Such entries shall be made with a law-enforcement officer present. The secretary may enter upon the premises of any unregistered residence only after two attempts by the secretary to bring this facility into compliance.


WVC 49 - 2 B- 11 §49-2B-11. Revocation; provisional licensure and approval.
(a) The secretary may revoke or make provisional the licensure registration of any home facility or child welfare agency regulated pursuant to this article if a facility materially violates any provision of this article, or any terms or conditions of the license, registration or approval issued, or fails to maintain established requirements of child care: Provided, That the provisions of this section shall not apply to family child care homes.

(b) The secretary may revoke the certificate of registration of any family child care home if a facility materially violates any provision of this article, or any terms or conditions of the registration certificate issued, or fails to maintain established requirements of child care.


WVC 49 - 2 B- 12 §49-2B-12. Closing of facilities by the secretary; placement of children.
When the secretary finds that the operation of a facility constitutes an immediate danger of serious harm to children served by the facility, the secretary shall issue an order of closure terminating operation of the facility. When necessary, the secretary shall place or direct the placement of the children in a residential facility which has been closed into appropriate facilities. A facility closed by the secretary may not operate pending administrative or judicial review without court order.


WVC 49 - 2 B- 13 §49-2B-13. Administrative and judicial review.
Any person, corporation, governmental official or child welfare agency, aggrieved by a decision of the secretary made pursuant to the provisions of this article may contest the decision upon making a request for a hearing by the secretary within thirty days of receipt of notice of the decision. Administrative and judicial review shall be made in accordance with the provisions of article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code. Any decision issued by the secretary may be made effective from the date of issuance. Immediate relief therefrom may be obtained upon a showing of good cause made by verified petition to the circuit court of Kanawha County or the circuit court of any county where the affected facility or child welfare agency may be located. The dependency of administrative or judicial review shall not prevent the secretary from obtaining injunctive relief pursuant to section five of this article.


WVC 49 - 2 B- 14 §49-2B-14. Annual reports; directory; licensing reports and recommendations.
(a) The secretary shall submit on or before the first day of January of each year a report to the Governor, and upon request to members of the Legislature, concerning the regulation of child welfare agencies, child placing agencies, child care centers, family child care facilities, family child care homes, informal family child care homes, relative family child care homes and child care facilities during the year. The report shall include, but not be limited to, data on the number of children and staff at each facility (except family child care, informal family child care homes and relative family child care), applications received, types of licenses, approvals and registrations granted, denied, made provisional or revoked and any injunctions obtained or facility closures ordered.

(b) The secretary also shall compile annually a directory of licensed, certified and approved child care providers including a brief description of their program and facilities, the program's capacity and a general profile of children served. A listing of family child care homes shall also be compiled annually.

(c) Licensing reports and recommendations for licensure which are a part of the yearly review of each licensed facility shall be sent to the facility director. Copies shall be available to the public upon written request to the secretary.


WVC 49 - 2 B- 15 §49-2B-15. Education of the public.
The secretary shall provide ongoing education of the public in regard to the requirements of this article through the use of mass media and other methods as are deemed appropriate and within fiscal limitations.


WVC 49 - 2 B- 16 §49-2B-16. Implementation of the Integrated Pest Management Program.
By the fifteenth day of August, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five, the secretary shall implement the Integrated Pest Management Program promulgated under rules by the Department of Agriculture under authority of section four, article sixteen-a, chapter nineteen of this code.


WVC 49 - 2 B- 17 §49-2B-17.
Repealed.

Acts, 2006 Reg. Sess., Ch. 31.


WVC -2C- ARTICLE 2C. INTERSTATE ADOPTION ASSISTANCE COMPACT.


WVC 49-2C-1 §49-2C-1. Interstate adoption assistance compact -- Findings and purpose.
(a) The Legislature finds that:

(1) Finding adoptive families for children, for whom state assistance is desirable pursuant to section seventeen, article two of this chapter and assuring the protection of the interests of the children affected during the entire assistance period, require special measures when the adoptive parents move to other states or are residents of another state; and

(2) Provision of medical and other necessary services for children, with state assistance, encounters special difficulties when the provision of services takes place in other states.

(b) The purposes of sections one through four of this article are to:

(1) Authorize the department of human services to enter into interstate agreements with agencies of other states for the protection of children on behalf of whom adoption assistance is being provided by the department of human services.

(2) Provide procedures for interstate children's adoption assistance payments, including medical payments.


WVC 49-2C-2 §49-2C-2. Interstate adoption assistance compacts authorized; definitions.
(a) The department of human services is authorized to develop, participate in the development of, negotiate and enter into one or more interstate compacts on behalf of this state with other states to implement one or more of the purposes set forth in sections one through four of this article. When so entered into, and for so long as it shall remain in force, such a compact shall have the force and effect of law.

(b) For the purposes of sections one through four of this article, the term "state" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or a Territory or Possession of or administered by the United States.

(c) For the purposes of sections one through four of this article, the term "adoption assistance state" means the state that is signatory to an adoption assistance agreement in a particular case.

(d) For the purposes of sections one through four of this article, the term "residence state" means the state of which the child is a resident by virtue of the residence of the adoptive parents.


WVC 49-2C-3 §49-2C-3. Interstate adoption assistance compact -- Contents of compact.
A compact entered into pursuant to the authority conferred by sections one through four of this article shall have the following content:

(1) A provision making it available to joinder by all states.

(2) A provision or provisions for withdrawal from the compact upon written notice to the parties, but with a period of one year between the date of the notice and the effective date of the withdrawal.

(3) A requirement that the protections afforded by or pursuant to the compact continue in force for the duration of the adoption assistance and be applicable to all children and their adoptive parents who on the effective date of the withdrawal are receiving adoption assistance from a party state other than the one in which they are resident and have their principal place of abode.

(4) A requirement that each instance of adoption assistance to which the compact applies be covered by an adoption assistance agreement in writing between the adoptive parents and the state child welfare agency of the state which undertakes to provide the adoption assistance, and further, that any such agreement be expressly for the benefit of the adopted child and enforceable by the adoptive parents, and the state agency providing the adoption assistance.

(5) Such other provisions as may be appropriate to implement the proper administration of the compact.


WVC 49-2C-4 §49-2C-4. Same -- Medical assistance.
(a) A child with special needs resident in this state who is the subject of an adoption assistance agreement with another state shall be entitled to receive a medical assistance identification from this state upon the filing in the department of human services of a certified copy of the adoption assistance agreement obtained from the adoption assistance state. In accordance with regulations of the department of human services the adoptive parents shall be required at least annually to show that the agreement is still in force or has been renewed.

(b) The department of human services shall consider the holder of a medical assistance identification pursuant to this section as any other holder of a medical assistance identification under the laws of this state and shall process and make payment on claims on account of such holder in the same manner and pursuant to the same conditions and procedures as for other recipients of medical assistance.

(c) The department of human services shall provide coverage and benefits for a child who is in another state and who is covered by an adoption assistance agreement made by the department of human services for the coverage or benefits, if any, not provided by the residence state. To this end, the adoptive parents acting for the child may submit evidence of payment for services or benefit amounts not payable in the residence state and shall be reimbursed therefor. However, there shall be no reimbursement for services or benefit amounts covered under any insurance or other third party medical contract or arrangement held by the child or the adoptive parents. The department of human services shall make regulations implementing this section. The additional coverages and benefit amounts provided pursuant to this section shall be for services to the cost of which there is no federal contribution, or which, if federally aided, are not provided by the residence state. Among other things, such regulations shall include procedures to be followed in obtaining prior approvals for services in those instances where required for the assistance.

(d) Any person who submits a claim for payment or reimbursement for services or benefits pursuant to this section or the making of any statement in connection therewith, which claim of statement the maker knows or should know to be false, misleading or fraudulent is guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or imprisoned in the penitentiary not more than two years, or both fined and imprisoned.

(e) The provisions of this section shall apply only to medical assistance for children under adoption assistance agreements from states that have entered into a compact with this state under which the other state provides medical assistance to children with special needs under adoption assistance agreements made by this state. All other children entitled to medical assistance pursuant to adoption assistance agreements entered into by this state shall be eligible to receive it in accordance with the laws and procedures applicable thereto.


WVC -2D- ARTICLE 2D. HOME-BASED FAMILY PRESERVATION ACT.


WVC 49-2D-1 §49-2D-1. Findings and purpose.
The Legislature finds that there exists a need in this state to assist dysfunctional families by providing nurture and care to such families' children as an alternative to removing children from such families.

The Legislature also finds that the family is the primary social institution responsible for meeting the needs of children and that the state has an obligation to assist families in this regard.

The Legislature further finds that children have significant emotional and social ties to the natural or surrogate family beyond basic care and nurture for which the family is responsible.

The purpose of this article is to establish a pilot program to evaluate the utility of providing intensive intervention with the families of children that are at risk of being removed from the home. For these limited purposes, the department is authorized to use available appropriate funds for such intervention service, but only to the extent that such moneys would normally be available for the removal and placement of the particular child at risk.


WVC 49-2D-2 §49-2D-2. Definitions.
As used in this article, the following terms have the meanings indicated:

(a) "Dysfunctional family" means a parent or parents or an adult or adults and a child or children living together and functioning in an impaired or abnormal manner so as to cause substantial physical or emotional danger, injury or harm to one or more children thereof regardless of whether such children are natural offspring, adopted children, step children or unrelated children to such parents.

(b) "Home-based family preservation services" means services dispensed by the department of human services or by another person, association or group who has contracted with the department of human services to dispense such services when such services are intended to stabilize and maintain the natural or surrogate family in order to prevent the placement of children in substitute care. There are two types of home-based family preservation services and they are as follows:

(1) Intensive, short term intervention of four to six weeks; and

(2) Home-based, longer term after care following intensive intervention.


WVC 49-2D-3 §49-2D-3. Hearing required to determine "reasonable efforts."
A hearing by a circuit court of competent jurisdiction is required to determine whether or not "reasonable efforts" have been made to stabilize and maintain the family situation before any child may be placed outside the home: Provided, That in the event any child appears in imminent danger of serious bodily or emotional injury or death in any home, a post-removal hearing shall be substituted for the pre-removal hearing.


WVC 49-2D-4 §49-2D-4. When family preservation services required.
Home-based family preservation services are required in all cases where the removal of a child or children is seriously being considered, whether from a natural home or a surrogate home, wherein a child or children have lived for a substantial period of time: Provided, That such services are not required when the child appears in imminent danger of serious bodily or serious emotional injury.


WVC 49-2D-5 §49-2D-5. Caseload limits for home-based preservation services.
For purposes of this article, no contractor employee of the department of human services may exceed three families during any period of time when such contractor employee is engaged in providing intensive, short term home-based family preservation intervention. In addition, no caseload may exceed six families during any period of time when home-based aftercare is provided pursuant to this article.

When providing either type of home-based family preservation services to any family, the department of human services or contractor shall provide trained personnel who shall be available during nonworking hours to assist families on an emergency basis.


WVC 49-2D-6 §49-2D-6. Situational criteria requiring service.
Services required by this article shall be made available to any dysfunctional family in which there exists an imminent risk of placement of at least one child outside the home as the result of abuse, neglect, dependency or delinquency or any emotional and behavioral problems.

Payment for contractual services shall be on a cost per family basis. Any renewal of any such contract shall be based on performance.


WVC 49-2D-7 §49-2D-7. Service delivery through service contracts; accountability.
Services required by this article which are not practically deliverable directly from the department of human services may be subcontracted to professionally qualified private individuals, associations, agencies, corporations, partnerships or groups. The service provider shall be required to submit monthly activity reports as to any services rendered to the department of human services. Such activity reports shall include project evaluation in relation to individual families being served as well as statistical data concerning families that are referred for services which are not served due to unavailability of resources. Costs of program evaluation are an allowable cost consideration in any service contract negotiated in accordance with this article. The department shall conduct a thorough investigation of the contractors utilized by the department pursuant to this article. The department shall further include the results of this investigation in its report to the Legislature required by section nine of this article.


WVC 49-2D-8 §49-2D-8. Provision of special services.
Costs of providing special services to families receiving regular services in accordance with this article are allowable to the extent such goods and services are justified pursuant to carrying out the purposes of this article. Such special services may include, but are not limited to, homemaker assistance, food, clothing, educational materials, respite care and recreational or social activities.


WVC 49-2D-9 §49-2D-9. Development of home-based family preservation services.
The department is authorized to use appropriate state, federal, and/or private funds within its budget for the provision of family preservation and reunification services. Appropriated state funding made available through capture of additional federal funds shall be utilized to provide family preservation and reunification services as described in this article. Costs of providing home-based services described in this article shall not exceed the costs of out-of-home care which would be incurred otherwise. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this article to the contrary, it is the intent of this legislation to permit the department to establish a pilot program in FY90 to serve 200 families. The department is vested with discretion to select target populations using geographical or other criteria it deems appropriate.

The department shall report back to the Legislature by the thirty-first day of December, one thousand nine hundred ninety, on the feasibility of using funds currently earmarked for the placement of children for the intervention and what additional amounts may be needed to fully implement this article.


WVC 49 - 2 E- ARTICLE 2E. QUALITY RATING AND IMPROVEMENT SYSTEM.

WVC 49 - 2 E- 1 §49-2E-1. Findings and intent; advisory council.
(a) The Legislature finds that:

(1) High quality early childhood development substantially improves the intellectual and social potential of children and reduces societal costs;

(2) A child care program quality rating and improvement system provides incentives and resources to improve the quality child care programs; and

(3) A child care program quality rating and improvement system provides information about the quality of child care programs to parents so they may make more informed decisions about the placement of their children.

(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to require the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources promulgate a legislative rule and establish a plan for the phased implementation of a child care program quality rating and improvement system not inconsistent with the provisions of this article.

(c) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources shall create a Quality Rating and Improvement System Advisory Council to provide advice on the development of the rule and plan for the phased implementation of a child care program quality rating and improvement system and the ongoing program review and policies for quality improvement. The secretary shall facilitate meetings of the advisory council. The advisory council shall include representatives from the provider community, advocacy groups, the Legislature, providers of professional development services for the early childhood community, regulatory agencies and others who may be impacted by the creation of a quality rating and improvement system.

(d) Nothing in this article requires an appropriation, or any specific level of appropriation, by the Legislature.


WVC 49 - 2 E- 2 §49-2E-2. Creation of statewide quality rating system; legislative rule required; minimum provisions.
(a) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement a quality rating and improvement system. The quality rating and improvement system shall be applicable to licensed child care centers and facilities and registered family child care homes. If other types of child care settings such as school-age child care programs become licensed after the implementation of a statewide quality rating and improvement system, the secretary may develop quality criteria and incentives that will allow the other types of child care settings to participate in the quality rating and improvement system. The rules shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) A four-star rating system for registered family child care homes and a four-star rating system for all licensed programs, including family child care facilities and child care centers, to easily communicate to consumers four progressively higher levels of quality child care. One star indicating meeting the minimum acceptable standard and four stars indicating meeting or exceeding the highest standard. The system shall reflect the cumulative attainment of the standards at each level and all lesser levels: Provided, That any program accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children or the National Association for Family Child Care, as applicable, shall automatically be awarded four-star status;

(2) Program standards for registered family child care homes and program standards for all licensed programs, including family child care facilities and child care centers, that are each divided into four levels of attributes that progressively improve the quality of child care beginning with basic state registration and licensing requirements at level one, through achievement of a national accreditation by the appropriate organization at level four. Participation beyond the first level is voluntary. The program standards shall be categorized using the West Virginia State Training and Registry System Core Knowledge Areas or its equivalent;

(3) Accountability measures that provide for a fair, valid, accurate and reliable assessment of compliance with quality standards, including, but not limited to:

(A) Evaluations conducted by trained evaluators with appropriate early childhood education and training on the selected assessment tool and with a demonstrated inter-rater reliability of eighty-five percent or higher. The evaluations shall include an on-site inspection conducted at least annually to determine whether programs are rated correctly and continue to meet the appropriate standards. The evaluations and observations shall be conducted on at least a statistically valid percentage of center classrooms, with a minimum of one class per age group;

(B) The use of valid and reliable observation and assessment tools, such as environmental rating scales for early childhood, infant and toddler, school-age care and family child care as appropriate for the particular setting and age group;

(C) An annual self-assessment using the proper observation and assessment tool for programs rated at two stars; and

(D) Model program improvement planning shall be designed to help programs improve their evaluation results and level of program quality.

(b) The rules required pursuant to this section shall include policies relating to the review, reduction, suspension or disqualification of child care programs from the quality rating and improvement system.

(c) The rules shall provide for implementation of the statewide quality rating system effective July 1, 2011, subject to section four of this article.


WVC 49 - 2 E- 3 §49-2E-3. Creation of statewide quality improvement system; financial plan to support implementation and quality improvement required as part of rules.
Attached to the proposed rules required in section two of this article, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources shall submit a financial plan to support the implementation of a statewide quality rating and improvement system and help promote quality improvement. The financial plan shall be considered a part of the rule and shall include specific proposals for implementation of the provisions of this section as determined by the Secretary. The plan shall address, but is not limited to, the following:

(1) State agency staffing requirements, including, but not limited to:

(A) Highly trained evaluators to monitor the assessment process and ensure inter-rater reliability of eighty-five percent or higher;

(B) Technical assistance staff responsible for career advising, accreditation support services, improvement planning, portfolio development and evaluations for improvement planning only. The goal for technical assistance staffing is to ensure that individualized technical assistance is available to participating programs;

(C) A person within the department to collaborate with other professional development providers to maximize funding for training, scholarships and professional development. The person filling this position also shall encourage community and technical colleges to provide courses through nontraditional means such as online training, evening classes and off-campus training;

(D) Additional infant and toddler specialists to provide high level professional development for staff caring for infants and to provide on-site assistance with infant and toddler issues;

(E) At least one additional training specialist at each of the child care resource and referral agencies to support new training topics and to provide training for school-age child care programs. Training providers such as the child care resource and referral agencies shall purchase new training programs on topics such as business management, the Devereux Resiliency Training and Mind in the Making; and

(F) Additional staff necessary for program administration;

(2) Implementation of a broad public awareness campaign and communication strategies that may include, but are not limited to:

(A) Brochures, internet sites, posters, banners, certificates, decals and pins to educate parents; and

(B) Strategies such as earned media campaigns, paid advertising campaigns, e-mail and internet-based outreach, face-to-face communication with key civic groups and grassroots organizing techniques; and

(3) Implementation of an internet-based management information system that meets the following requirements:

(A) The system shall allow for multiple agencies to access and input data;

(B) The system shall provide the data necessary to determine if the quality enhancements result in improved care and better outcomes for children;

(C) The system shall allow access by Department of Health and Human Resources subsidy and licensing staff, child care resource and referral agencies, the agencies that provide training and scholarships, evaluators and the child care programs;

(D) The system shall include different security levels in order to comply with the numerous confidentiality requirements;

(E) The system shall assist in informing practice; determining training needs; and tracking changes in availability of care, cost of care, changes in wages and education levels; and

(F) The system shall provide accountability for child care programs and recipients and assure funds are being used effectively;

(4) Financial assistance for child care programs needed to improve learning environments, attain high ratings and sustain long-term quality without passing additional costs on to families that may include, but are not limited to:

(A) Assistance to programs in assessment and individual program improvement planning and providing the necessary information, coaching and resources to assist programs to increase their level of quality;

(B) Subsidizing participating programs for providing child care services to children of low-income families in accordance with the following:

(i) Base payment rates shall be established at the seventy-fifth percentile of market rate; and

(ii) A system of tiered reimbursement shall be established which increases the payment rates by a certain amount above the base payment rates in accordance with the rating tier of the child care program;

(C) Two types of grants shall be awarded to child care programs in accordance with the following:

(i) An incentive grant shall be awarded based on the type of child care program and the level at which the child care program is rated with the types of child care programs having more children and child care programs rated at higher tiers being awarded a larger grant than the types of child care programs having less children and child care programs rated at lower tiers; and

(ii) Grants for helping with the cost of national accreditation shall be awarded on an equitable basis.

(5) Support for increased salaries and benefits for program staff to increase educational levels essential to improving the quality of care that may include, but are not limited to:

(A) Wage supports and benefits provided as an incentive to increase child care programs ratings and as an incentive to increase staff qualifications in accordance with the following:

(i) The cost of salary supplements shall be phased in over a five-year period;

(ii) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources shall establish a salary scale for each of the top three rating tiers that varies the salary support based on the education of the care giver and the rating tier of the program; and

(iii) Any center with at least a tier two rating that employs at least one staff person participating in the scholarship program required pursuant to paragraph (B) of this subsection or employs degree staff may apply to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources for funding to provide health care benefits based on the Teacher Education and Compensation Helps model in which insurance costs are shared among the employees, the employer and the state; and

(B) The provision of scholarships and establishment of professional development plans for center staff that would promote increasing the credentials of center staff over a five-year period; and

(6) Financial assistance to the child care consumers whose income is at two hundred percent of the federal poverty level or under to help them afford the increased market price of child care resulting from increased quality.


WVC 49 - 2 E- 4 §49-2E-4. Quality rating and improvement system pilot projects; independent third-party evaluation; modification of proposed rule and financial plan; report to Legislature; limitations on implementation.
(a) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources may promulgate emergency rules in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement a quality rating and improvement system in up to five counties as pilot projects beginning July 1, 2009. The pilot quality rating and improvement systems shall be in accordance with the provisions of this article for the statewide system. The purpose of the pilot projects is to test the rating system, assess the quality of existing child care providers, provide a basis for estimating the financial requirements of the various elements of a statewide system as set forth in this article and to inform future policy decisions. Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, the rating or potential rating of a child care provider participating in the study may not be individually disclosed. The secretary may modify and develop additional policies consistent with this article as appropriate.

(b) The secretary shall contract with an independent third-party evaluator to assist the department and the Quality Rating and Improvement System Advisory Council with establishing and evaluating the pilot project quality rating and improvement system and conducting research on statewide implementation. The secretary also may contract with the evaluator for ongoing evaluation and research for quality improvement. The evaluator shall have access to all project data including data in the management information system provided for in section two of this article.

(c) The secretary shall report annually to the Legislature on the progress on development and implementation of a child care quality rating and improvement system and its impact on improving the quality of child care in the state. The secretary may propose amendments to the rules and financial plan necessary to promote implementation of the quality rating and improvement system and improve the quality of child care and may recommend needed legislation. Nothing in this article requires the implementation of a quality rating and improvement system unless funds are appropriated therefore. The secretary may prioritize the components of the financial plan for implementation and quality improvement for funding purposes. If insufficient funds are appropriated for full implementation of the quality rating and improvement system beginning on July 1, 2011, the rules shall provide for gradual implementation over a period of several years.

(d) The Legislature recognizes that expenditures, especially one-time types of expenditures or expenditures of a limited duration, may be funded with moneys derived through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. A study of the cost of implementing a quality rating and improvement system statewide is expected to be conducted over the next two years.


WVC -3- ARTICLE 3. CHILD WELFARE AGENCIES.


WVC 49 - 3 - 1 §49-3-1. Consent by agency or department to adoption of child; statement of relinquishment by parent; petition to terminate parental rights.
(a)(1) Whenever a child welfare agency licensed to place children for adoption or the department of health and human resources has been given the permanent legal and physical custody of any child and the rights of the mother and the rights of the legal, determined, putative, outside or unknown father of the child have been terminated by order of a court of competent jurisdiction or by a legally executed relinquishment of parental rights, the child welfare agency or the department may consent to the adoption of the child pursuant to the provisions of article twenty-two, chapter forty-eight of this code.

(2) Relinquishment for an adoption to an agency or to the department is required of the same persons whose consent or relinquishment is required under the provisions of section three hundred one, article twenty-two, chapter forty-eight of this code. The form of any relinquishment so required shall conform as nearly as practicable to the requirements established in section three hundred three, article twenty-two, chapter forty-eight, and all other provisions of that article providing for relinquishment for adoption shall govern the proceedings herein.

(3) For purposes of any placement of a child for adoption by the department, the department shall first consider the suitability and willingness of any known grandparent or grandparents to adopt the child. Once any such grandparents who are interested in adopting the child have been identified, the department shall conduct a home study evaluation, including home visits and individual interviews by a licensed social worker. If the department determines, based on the home study evaluation, that the grandparents would be suitable adoptive parents, it shall assure that the grandparents are offered the placement of the child prior to the consideration of any other prospective adoptive parents.

(4) The department shall make available, upon request, for purposes of any private or agency adoption proceeding, preplacement and post-placement counseling services by persons experienced in adoption counseling, at no cost, to any person whose consent or relinquishment is required pursuant to the provision of article twenty-two, chapter forty-eight of this code.

(b)(1) Whenever the mother has executed a relinquishment pursuant to this section, and the legal, determined, putative, outsider or unknown father, as those terms are defined pursuant to the provisions of, part one, article twenty-two, chapter forty-eight of this code, has not executed a relinquishment, the child welfare agency or the department may, by verified petition, seek to have the father's rights terminated based upon the grounds of abandonment or neglect of said child. Abandonment may be established in accordance with the provisions of section three hundred six, article twenty-two, chapter forty-eight of this code.

(2) Unless waived by a writing acknowledged as in the case of deeds or by other proper means, notice of the petition shall be served on any person entitled to parental rights of a child prior to its adoption who has not signed a relinquishment of custody of the child.

(3) In addition, notice shall be given to any putative, outsider or unknown father who has asserted or exercised parental rights and duties to and with the child and who has not relinquished any parental rights and such rights have not otherwise been terminated, or who has not had reasonable opportunity before or after the birth of the child to assert or exercise such rights: Provided, That if such child is more than six months old at the time such notice would be required and such father has not asserted or exercised his parental rights and he knew the whereabouts of the child, then such father shall be presumed to have had reasonable opportunity to assert or exercise such rights.

(c)(1) Upon the filing of the verified petition seeking to have the parental rights terminated, the court shall set a hearing on the petition. A copy of the petition and notice of the date, time and place of the hearing on said petition shall be personally served on any respondent at least twenty days prior to the date set for the hearing.

(2) Such notice shall inform the person that his parental rights, if any, may be terminated in the proceeding and that such person may appear and defend any such rights within twenty days of such service. In the case of any such person who is a nonresident or whose whereabouts are unknown, service shall be achieved: (1) By personal service; (2) by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid, to the person's last known address, with instructions to forward; or (3) by publication. If personal service is not acquired, then if the person giving notice shall have any knowledge of the whereabouts of the person to be served, including a last known address, service by mail shall be first attempted as herein provided. Any such service achieved by mail shall be complete upon mailing and shall be sufficient service without the need for notice by publication. In the event that no return receipt is received giving adequate evidence of receipt of the notice by the addressee or of receipt of the notice at the address to which the notice was mailed or forwarded, or if the whereabouts of the person are unknown, then the person required to give notice shall file with the court an affidavit setting forth the circumstances of any attempt to serve the notice by mail, and the diligent efforts to ascertain the whereabouts of the person to be served. If the court determines that the whereabouts of the person to be served cannot be ascertained and that due diligence has been exercised to ascertain such person's whereabouts, then the court shall order service of such notice by publication as a Class II publication in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area shall be the county where such proceedings are had, and in the county where the person to be served was last known to reside. In the case of a person under disability, service shall be made on the person and his personal representative, or if there be none, on a guardian ad litem.

(3) In the case of service by publication or mail or service on a personal representative or a guardian ad litem, the person shall be allowed thirty days from the date of the first publication or mailing of such service on a personal representative or guardian ad litem in which to appear and defend such parental rights.

(d) A petition under this section may be instituted in the county where the child resides or where the child is living.

(e) If the court finds that the person certified to parental rights is guilty of the allegations set forth in the petition, the court shall enter an order terminating his parental rights and shall award the legal and physical custody and control of said child to the petitioner.


WVC 49-3-2 §49-3-2. Approval of incorporation of child care organizations.
Before issuing a charter for the incorporation of any organization having as its purpose the receipt of children for care or for placement in family homes, the secretary of state shall provide a copy of the petition, together with any other information in his possession pertaining to the proposed corporation, to the state department, and no charter for any such corporation shall be issued unless the state department shall first certify to the secretary of state that it has investigated the need for the services proposed and the merits of the proposed charitable corporation and recommends the issuance thereof; applications for amendments of any existing charter shall be similarly referred and shall be granted only upon similar approval.


WVC 49-4- ARTICLE 4. CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL HEALTH CARE NEEDS.


WVC 49-4-1 §49-4-1. Purpose.
The purpose of this article is to provide for the continuation and development of services for children with special health care needs. The state bureau of public health within the department of health and human resources shall formulate and apply administrative policies concerning the care and treatment of children with special health care needs and shall cooperate with other agencies responsible for such care and treatment.

In the development of administrative policies, the state bureau shall cooperate with the United States department of health and human services and shall comply with the regulations that agency prescribes under the authority of the "Social Security Act", and is hereby authorized to receive and expend federal funds for these services.


WVC 49-4-2 §49-4-2. Children to whom article applies.
It is the intention of this article that services for children with special health care needs shall be extended only to those children for whom adequate care, treatment and rehabilitation are not available from other than public sources.


WVC 49-4-3 §49-4-3. Powers of state bureau.
In the care and treatment of children with special health care needs the state bureau of public health shall, so far as funds are available for the purpose:

(1) Locate children with special health care needs requiring medical, surgical or other corrective treatment and provide competent diagnosis to determine the treatment required.

(2) Supply to children with special health care needs treatment, including hospitalization and aftercare leading to correction and rehabilitation.

(3) Guide and supervise children with special health care needs to assure adequate care and treatment.


WVC 49-4-4 §49-4-4. Report of birth of special health care needs child.
Within thirty days after the birth of a child with a congenital deformity, the physician, midwife or other person attending the birth shall report to the state bureau of public health, on forms prescribed by them, the birth of such child.

The report shall be solely for the use of the state department of health and human resources and shall not be open for public inspection.


WVC 49-4-5 §49-4-5. Assistance by other agencies.
So far as practicable, the services and facilities of the state departments of health and human services, education, vocational rehabilitation and corrections or their successors shall be available to the state bureau of public health for the purposes of this article.


WVC 49-4-6 §49-4-6. Cost of treatment.
All payments from any corporation, association, program or fund providing insurance coverage or other payment for medicine, medical, surgical and hospital treatment, crutches, artificial limbs and such other and additional approved mechanical appliances and devices as may be reasonably required for a child with special health care needs, shall be applied toward the total cost of treatment.


WVC 49-4-7 §49-4-7. Cost of treatment.
All payments from any corporation, association, program or fund providing insurance coverage or other payment for medicine, medical, surgical and hospital treatment, crutches, artificial limbs and such other and additional approved mechanical appliances and devices as may be reasonably required for a handicapped child, shall be applied toward the total cost of treatment.


WVC 49-4-8 §49-4-8. Cooperation with private agencies.
The state department shall cooperate with private agencies and organizations engaged in rendering similar services to crippled children.


WVC -4A- ARTICLE 4A. WEST VIRGINIA FAMILY SUPPORT PROGRAM.


WVC 49-4A-1 §49-4A-1. Findings.
(a) The West Virginia Legislature finds that families are the greatest resource available to individuals with developmental disabilities, and they must be supported in their role as primary caregivers. It further finds that supporting families in their effort to care for their family members at home is more efficient, cost effective and humane than placing the developmentally disabled person in an institutional setting.

(b) The Legislature accepts the following as basic principles for providing services to support families of people with developmental disabilities:

(1) The quality of life of children with developmental disabilities, their families and communities is enhanced by caring for the children within their own homes. Children with disabilities benefit by growing up in their own families, families benefit by staying together and communities benefit from the inclusion of people with diverse abilities.

(2) Adults with developmental disabilities should be afforded the opportunity to make decisions for themselves, live in typical homes and communities and exercise their full rights as citizens. Developmentally disabled adults should have the option of living separately from their families but when this is not the case, families of disabled adults should be provided the support services they need.

(3) Services and support for families should be individualized and flexible, should focus on the entire family and should promote the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all aspects of school and community life.

(4) Families are the best experts about what they need. The service system can best assist families by supporting families as decision makers as opposed to making decisions for them.

(c) The Legislature finds that there are at least ten thousand West Virginians with developmental disabilities who live with and are supported by their families, and that the state's policy is to prevent the institutionalization of people with developmental disabilities.

(d) To maximize the number of families supported by this program, each family will contribute to the cost of goods and services based on their ability to pay, taking into account their needs and resources.

(e) Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to initiate, within the resources available, a program of services to support families who are caring for family members with developmental disabilities in their homes.


WVC 49-4A-2 §49-4A-2. Definitions.
(a) "Family or primary caregiver" means the person or persons with whom the developmentally disabled person resides and who is primarily responsible for the physical care, education, health and nurturing of the disabled person. The term does not include hospitals, sanitariums, nursing homes, personal care homes or any other such institution.

(b) "Legal guardian" means the person who is appointed legal guardian of a developmentally disabled person and who is responsible for the physical and financial aspects of caring for such person, regardless of whether the disabled person resides with his or her legal guardian or another family member.

(c) "Family support" means goods and services needed by families to care for their family members with developmental disabilities and to enjoy a quality of life comparable to other community members.

(d) "Family support program" means a coordinated system of family support services administered by the department of health and human resources through initial contracts with agencies within four of the state's behavioral health regions.

(e) "Developmental disability" means a severe, chronic disability of a person which:

(1) Is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or a combination of mental and physical impairments;

(2) Is manifested before the person attains age twenty-two;

(3) Results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity: (A) Self-care; (B) receptive and expressive language; (C) learning; (D) mobility; (E) self-direction; (F) capacity for independent living; and (G) economic self-sufficiency; and

(4) Reflects the person's need for services and supports which are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.

The term "developmental disability", when applied to infants and young children, means individuals from birth to age five, inclusive, who have substantial developmental delays or specific congenital or acquired conditions with a high probability of resulting in developmental disabilities if services are not provided.

(f) "Regional family support council" means the council established by the regional family support agency under the provisions of section six of this article to carry out the responsibilities specified in this article.

(g) "State family support council" means the council established by the department of health and human resources under section six of this article to carry out the responsibilities specified in this article.


WVC 49-4A-3 §49-4A-3. Family support services.
(a) The regional family support agency, designated under section five of this article, shall direct and be responsible for the individual assessment of each developmentally disabled person which it has designated and shall prepare a service plan with such developmentally disabled person's family. The needs and preferences of the family will be the basis for determining what goods and services will be made available within the resources available.

(b) The family support program may provide funds to families to purchase goods and services included in the family service plan. Such goods and services related to the care of the developmentally disabled person may include, but are not limited to:

(1) Respite care;

(2) Personal and attendant care;

(3) Child care;

(4) Architectural and vehicular modifications;

(5) Health-related costs not otherwise covered;

(6) Equipment and supplies;

(7) Specialized nutrition and clothing;

(8) Homemaker services;

(9) Transportation;

(10) Utility costs;

(11) Integrated community activities; and

(12) Training and technical assistance.

(c) As part of the family support program, the regional family support agency, designated under section five of this article, shall provide case management for each family to provide information, service coordination and other assistance as needed by the family.

(d) The family support program shall assist families of developmentally disabled adults in planning and obtaining community living arrangements, employment services and other resources needed to achieve, to the greatest extent possible, independence, productivity and integration of the developmentally disabled adult into the community.

(e) The family support program shall conduct outreach to identify families in need of assistance and shall maintain a waiting list of individuals and families in the event that there are insufficient resources to provide services to all those who request them.

(f) The family support program may provide for differential fees for services under the program or for appropriate cost participation by the recipient families consistent with the goals of the program and the overall financial condition of the family.

(g) Funds, goods or services provided to eligible families by the family support program under this article shall not be considered as income to those families for any purpose under this code or under the rules and regulations of any agency of state government.


WVC 49-4A-4 §49-4A-4. Eligibility; primary focus.
(a) To be eligible for the family support program, a family must have at least one family member who has a developmental disability, as defined in this article, living with the family.

(b) The primary focus of the family support program is supporting: (1) Developmentally disabled children, school age and younger, within their families; (2) adults with developmental disabilities who choose to live with their families; and (3) adults with developmental disabilities for whom other community living arrangements are not available and who are living with their families.


WVC 49-4A-5 §49-4A-5. Program administration.
(a) The administering agency for the family support program is the department of health and human resources.

(b) The department of health and human resources shall initially implement the family support program through contracts with an agency within four of the state's behavioral health regions, with the four regions to be determined by the department of health and human resources in consultation with the state family support council. These regional family support agencies of the family support program will be responsible for implementing the provisions of this article and subsequent policies for the families of persons with developmental disabilities residing within their respective regions. Each regional family support agency must serve at least twenty-five families from each fifty thousand dollars allocated. The total appropriation from general revenue funds for this program shall not exceed two hundred thousand dollars for the fiscal year beginning the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-one.

(c) The department of health and human resources, in conjunction with the state family support council, shall adopt policies and procedures regarding:

(1) Development of annual budgets;

(2) Program specifications;

(3) Criteria for awarding contracts for operation of regional family support programs and the role of regional family support councils;

(4) Annual evaluation of services provided by each regional family support agency, including consumer satisfaction;

(5) Coordination of the family support program and the use of its funds, throughout the state and within each region, with other publicly funded programs, including medicaid;

(6) Performance of family needs assessments and development of family service plans;

(7) Methodology for allocating resources to families within the funds available; and

(8) Resolution of grievances filed by families pertaining to actions of the family support program.

(d) The department of health and human resources shall submit a report to the governor and the Legislature on the family support program, by the fifteenth day of January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-two, and by the fifteenth day of September every year thereafter, so long as the program is funded.


WVC 49 - 4 A- 6 §49-4A-6. Regional and state family support councils.
(a) Each regional family support agency shall establish a regional family support council comprised of at least seven members, of whom at least a majority shall be persons with developmental disabilities or their parents or primary caregivers. Each regional family support council shall meet at least quarterly to advise the regional family support agency on matters related to local implementation of the family support program and to communicate information and recommendations regarding the family support program to the state Family Support Council.

(b) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources shall appoint a state Family Support Council comprised of at least twenty-two members, of whom at least a majority shall be persons with developmental disabilities or their parents or primary caregivers. A representative elected by each regional council shall serve on the state council. The state council shall also include a representative from each of the following agencies: The state Developmental Disabilities Council, the state Protection and Advocacy Agency, the Center for Excellence in Disabilities, the Office of Special Education, the Behavioral Health Care Providers Association and the Early Intervention Interagency Coordinating Council.

(c) The state council shall meet at least quarterly. The state council will participate in the development of program policies and procedures, annual contracts and perform such other duties as are necessary for statewide implementation of the family support program.

(d) Members of the state and regional councils who are a member of the family or the primary caregiver of a developmentally disabled person shall be reimbursed for travel and lodging expenses incurred in attending official meetings of their councils. Child care expenses related to the developmentally disabled person shall also be reimbursed. Members of regional councils who are eligible for expense reimbursement shall be reimbursed by their respective regional family support agencies.


WVC -5- ARTICLE 5. JUVENILE PROCEEDINGS.


WVC 49-5-1 §49-5-1. Definitions.
As used in this article:

(a) "Adult" means a person who is at least eighteen years of age.

(b) "Child" means a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years, or a person who is otherwise subject to the juvenile jurisdiction of a court pursuant to this article.

(c) "Extrajudicial statement" means any utterance, written or oral, which was made outside of court.

(d) "Juvenile" has the same meaning as the term "child".

(e) "Res gestae" means a spontaneous declaration made by a person immediately after an event and before the person has had an opportunity to conjure a falsehood.

(f) "Violation of a traffic law of West Virginia" means a violation of any provision of chapter seventeen-a, seventeen-b, seventeen-c or seventeen-d of this code except a violation of section one or two, article four, chapter seventeen-c of this code (hit and run) or of section one, article five of said chapter (negligent homicide), section two of said article (driving under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances or drugs) or section three of said article (reckless driving).


WVC 49-5-1A §49-5-1a.
Repealed.

Acts, 1996 Reg. Sess., Ch. 82.


WVC 49-5-1B §49-5-1b.
Repealed.

Acts, 1996 Reg. Sess., Ch. 82.


WVC 49 - 5 - 2 §49-5-2. Juvenile jurisdiction of circuit courts, magistrate courts and municipal courts; constitutional guarantees; hearings; evidence and transcripts.

     (a) The circuit court has original jurisdiction of proceedings brought under this article.

     (b) If during a criminal proceeding in any court it is ascertained or appears that the defendant is under the age of nineteen years and was under the age of eighteen years at the time of the alleged offense, the matter shall be immediately certified to the juvenile jurisdiction of the circuit court. The circuit court shall assume jurisdiction of the case in the same manner as cases which are originally instituted in the circuit court by petition.

     (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, magistrate courts have concurrent juvenile jurisdiction with the circuit court for a violation of a traffic law of West Virginia, for a violation of section nine, article six, chapter sixty, section three or section four, article nine-a, chapter sixteen, or section nineteen, article sixteen, chapter eleven of this code, or for any violation of chapter twenty of this code. Juveniles are liable for punishment for violations of these laws in the same manner as adults except that magistrate courts have no jurisdiction to impose a sentence of incarceration for the violation of these laws.

     (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, municipal courts have concurrent juvenile jurisdiction with the circuit court for a violation of any municipal ordinance regulating traffic, for any municipal curfew ordinance which is enforceable or for any municipal ordinance regulating or prohibiting public intoxication, drinking or possessing alcoholic liquor or nonintoxicating beer in public places, any other act prohibited by section nine, article six, chapter sixty or section nineteen, article sixteen, chapter eleven of this code or underage possession or use of tobacco or tobacco products, as provided in article nine-a, chapter sixteen of this code. Municipal courts may impose the same punishment for these violations as a circuit court exercising its juvenile jurisdiction could properly impose, except that municipal courts have no jurisdiction to impose a sentence of incarceration for the violation of these laws.

     (e) A juvenile may be brought before the circuit court for proceedings under this article only by the following means:

     (1) By a juvenile petition requesting that the juvenile be adjudicated as a status offender or a juvenile delinquent; or

     (2) By certification or transfer to the juvenile jurisdiction of the circuit court from the criminal jurisdiction of the circuit court, from any foreign court, or from any magistrate court or municipal court in West Virginia.

     (f) (1) If a juvenile commits an act which would be a crime if committed by an adult, and the juvenile is adjudicated delinquent for that act, the jurisdiction of the court which adjudged the juvenile delinquent continues until the juvenile becomes twenty-one years of age. The court has the same power over that person that it had before he or she became an adult, and has the further power to sentence that person to a term of incarceration: Provided, That any such term of incarceration may not exceed six months. This authority does not preclude the court from exercising criminal jurisdiction over that person if he or she violates the law after becoming an adult or if the proceedings have been transferred to the court's criminal jurisdiction pursuant to section ten of this article.

     (2) If a juvenile is adjudicated as a status offender because he or she is habitually absent from school without good cause, the jurisdiction of the court which adjudged the juvenile a status offender continues until either the juvenile becomes twenty-one years of age, completes high school, completes a high school equivalent or other education plan approved by the court, or the court otherwise voluntarily relinquishes jurisdiction, whichever occurs first. If the jurisdiction of the court is extended pursuant to this subdivision, the court has the same power over that person that it had before he or she became an adult: Provided, That no person so adjudicated who has attained the age of nineteen may be ordered to attend school in a regular, nonaltenative setting.

     (g) A juvenile is entitled to be admitted to bail or recognizance in the same manner as an adult and shall be afforded the protection guaranteed by Article III of the West Virginia Constitution.

     (h) A juvenile has the right to be effectively represented by counsel at all stages of proceedings under the provisions of this article. If the juvenile or the juvenile's parent or custodian executes an affidavit showing that the juvenile cannot afford an attorney, the court shall appoint an attorney, who shall be paid in accordance with article twenty-one, chapter twenty-nine of this code.

     (i) In all proceedings under this article, the juvenile shall be afforded a meaningful opportunity to be heard. This includes the opportunity to testify and to present and cross-examine witnesses. The general public shall be excluded from all proceedings under this article except that persons whose presence is requested by the parties and other persons whom the circuit court determines have a legitimate interest in the proceedings may attend: Provided, That in cases in which a juvenile is accused of committing what would be a felony if the juvenile were an adult, an alleged victim or his or her representative may attend any related juvenile proceedings, at the discretion of the presiding judicial officer: Provided, however, That in any case in which the alleged victim is a juvenile, he or she may be accompanied by his or her parents or representative, at the discretion of the presiding judicial officer.

     (j) At all adjudicatory hearings held under this article, all procedural rights afforded to adults in criminal proceedings shall be afforded the juvenile unless specifically provided otherwise in this chapter.

     (k) At all adjudicatory hearings held under this article, the rules of evidence applicable in criminal cases apply, including the rule against written reports based upon hearsay.

     (l) Except for res gestae, extrajudicial statements made by a juvenile who has not attained fourteen years of age to law-enforcement officials or while in custody are not admissible unless those statements were made in the presence of the juvenile's counsel. Except for res gestae, extrajudicial statements made by a juvenile who has not attained sixteen years of age but who is at least fourteen years of age to law-enforcement officers or while in custody, are not admissible unless made in the presence of the juvenile's counsel or made in the presence of, and with the consent of, the juvenile's parent or custodian, and the parent or custodian has been fully informed regarding the juvenile's right to a prompt detention hearing, the juvenile's right to counsel, including appointed counsel if the juvenile cannot afford counsel, and the juvenile's privilege against self-incrimination.

     (m) A transcript or recording shall be made of all transfer, adjudicatory and dispositional hearings held in circuit court. At the conclusion of each of these hearings, the circuit court shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law, both of which shall appear on the record. The court reporter shall furnish a transcript of the proceedings at no charge to any indigent juvenile who seeks review of any proceeding under this article if an affidavit is filed stating that neither the juvenile nor the juvenile's parents or custodian have the ability to pay for the transcript.
WVC 49 - 5 - 2 A §49-5-2a. Prepetition diversion to informal resolution.
Before a juvenile petition is formally filed with the court, the court may refer the matter to a state department worker or probation officer for preliminary inquiry to determine whether the matter can be resolved informally without the formal filing of a petition with the court.


WVC 49 - 5 - 2 B §49-5-2b. Juvenile drug courts.
     Juvenile drug courts shall be designed and operated consistent with the developmental and rehabilitative needs of juveniles as defined in this article. The Supreme Court shall provide uniform referral, procedure and order forms that shall be used in juvenile drug courts. The Supreme Court is further authorized to appoint appropriate hearing officers in those jurisdictions which choose to operate a juvenile drug court. Hearing officers for juvenile drug courts shall be limited to current or senior status circuit court judges or family court judges.
WVC 49-5-3 §49-5-3. Noncustodial counseling of a juvenile.
The court at any time, or the department or other official upon a request from a parent, guardian or custodian, may, before proceedings under this article are formally instituted by the filing of a petition with the court, refer a juvenile alleged to be delinquent or a status offender to a counselor at the department or a community mental health center, or other professional counselor in the community. In the event the juvenile refuses to respond to this referral, the department may serve a notice by first class mail or personal service of process upon the juvenile, setting forth the facts and stating that a noncustodial order will be sought from the court directing the juvenile to submit to counseling. The notice shall set forth the time and place for the hearing on the matter. The court or referee after a hearing may direct the juvenile to participate in a noncustodial period of counseling that may not exceed six months. Upon recommendation of the department or request by the juvenile's parent, custodian or guardian, the court or referee may allow or require the parent, custodian or guardian to participate in this noncustodial counseling. No information obtained as the result of this counseling is admissible in a subsequent proceeding under this article.


WVC 49-5-4 §49-5-3a. Informal adjustment counseling by probation officer.
(a) Before a petition is formally filed with the court, the probation officer or other officer of the court designated by it, subject to its direction, may give counsel and advice to the parties with a view to an informal adjustment if it appears:

(1) The admitted facts bring the case within the jurisdiction of the court;

(2) Counsel and advice without an adjudication would be in the best interest of the public and the juvenile; and

(3) The juvenile and his parents, guardian or other custodian consent thereto with knowledge that consent is not obligatory.

(b) The giving of counsel and advice pursuant to this section may not continue longer than six months from the day it is commenced unless extended by the court for an additional period not to exceed six months.


WVC 49-5-4 §49-5-4. Wards of the court.
A person under the age of eighteen years who appears before the circuit court in proceedings under this article shall be considered a ward of the court and protected accordingly. The court or judge thereof may request the county health officer in any county employing a full-time health officer to make a physical and mental examination of the wards of the court as defined in this section. The health officer shall, as promptly as may be, furnish to the court or judge a written report of these examinations on forms to be furnished to the health officer by the court. In those counties not employing a full-time health officer, the court or judge may designate a reputable physician of the county to make mental and physical examinations pursuant to this section and render written reports to the court. When any such mental and physical examination is made and any such report rendered, the state shall pay to the examining physician a sum not to exceed ten dollars for each such mental and physical examination, upon certification of the fact of such examination by the court or the judge thereof.


WVC 49-5-5 §49-5-5. Record of findings, etc.
The findings and orders of the court shall be entered in a book, kept by the clerk of the court for that purpose, known as the "juvenile record."


WVC 49 - 5 - 6 §49-5-6. Jury trial under article.
(a) In a proceeding under this article, the juvenile, the juvenile's counsel or the juvenile's parent or guardian may demand, or the judge on his or her own motion may order a jury trial on any question of fact, in which the juvenile is accused of any act or acts of delinquency which, if committed by an adult would expose the adult to incarceration.

(b) A juvenile who is charged with a status offense or other offense where incarceration is not a possibility due either to the statutory penalty or where the court rules pre-trial that a sentence of incarceration will not be imposed upon adjudication is not entitled to a trial by jury.

(c) The provisions of this section are inapplicable to proceedings held pursuant to the provisions of section thirteen-d of this article.

(d) Juries shall consist of twelve members.


WVC 49 - 5 - 7 §49-5-7. Institution of proceedings by petition; notice to juvenile and parents; subpoena.
(a)(1) A petition alleging that a juvenile is a status offender or a juvenile delinquent may be filed by a person who has knowledge of or information concerning the facts alleged. The petition shall be verified by the petitioner, shall set forth the name and address of the juvenile's parents, guardians or custodians, if known to the petitioner, and shall be filed in the circuit court in the county where the alleged status offense or act of delinquency occurred: Provided, That any proceeding under this chapter may be removed, for good cause shown, in accordance with the provisions of section one, article nine, chapter fifty-six of this code. The petition shall contain specific allegations of the conduct and facts upon which the petition is based, including the approximate time and place of the alleged conduct; a statement of the right to have counsel appointed and consult with counsel at every stage of the proceedings; and the relief sought.

(2) Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall set a time and place for a preliminary hearing as provided in section nine of this article and may appoint counsel. A copy of the petition and summons may be served upon the respondent juvenile by first class mail or personal service of process. If a juvenile does not appear in response to a summons served by mail, no further proceeding may be held until the juvenile is served a copy of the petition and summons by personal service of process. If a juvenile fails to appear in response to a summons served in person upon him or her, an order of arrest may be issued by the court for that reason alone.

(b) The parents, guardians or custodians shall be named in the petition as respondents and shall be served with notice of the proceedings in the same manner as provided in subsection (a) of this section for service upon the juvenile and required to appear with the juvenile at the time and place set for the proceedings unless such respondent cannot be found after diligent search. If any such respondent cannot be found after diligent search, the court may proceed without further requirement of notice: Provided, That the court may order service by first class mail to the last known address of such respondent. The respondent shall be afforded fifteen days after the date of mailing to appear or answer.

(c) The court or referee may order the issuance of a subpoena against the person having custody and control of the juvenile ordering him or her to bring the juvenile before the court or referee.

(d) When any case of a juvenile charged with the commission of a crime is certified or transferred to the circuit court, the court or referee shall forthwith cause the juvenile and his or her parents, guardians or custodians to be served with a petition as provided in subsections (a) and (b) of this section. In the event the juvenile is in custody, the petition shall be served upon the juvenile within ninety-six hours of the time custody began and if the petition is not served within that time, the juvenile shall be released forthwith.

(e) The clerk of the court shall promptly notify the local office of the Department of Health and Human Resources of all proceedings under this article, which shall then be responsible for convening and directing the multi-disciplinary treatment planning process in accordance with the provisions of section three, article five-d of this chapter: Provided, That in status offense or delinquency cases where a case manager has not been assigned, the juvenile probation officer shall be responsible for notifying the local office of the Department of Health and Human Services which will assign a case manager who will initiate assessment and be responsible for convening and directing the multi-disciplinary treatment planning process.

(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, a petition filed pursuant to section four hundred three, article twenty-seven, chapter forty-eight of this code in which the petition for the emergency protective order is filed by or on behalf of the juvenile's parent, guardian or custodian or other person with whom the juvenile resides and that results in the issuance of an emergency protective order naming a juvenile as the respondent, shall be treated as a petition authorized by this section, alleging the juvenile is a juvenile delinquent: Provided, That the magistrate court shall notify the prosecuting attorney in the county where the emergency protective order is issued within twenty-four hours of the issuance of the emergency protective order and the prosecuting attorney may file an amended verified petition to comply with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section within two judicial days.


WVC 49 - 5 - 8 §49-5-8. Taking a juvenile into custody.
(a) In proceedings formally instituted by the filing of a juvenile petition, the circuit court, a juvenile referee or a magistrate may issue an order directing that a juvenile be taken into custody before adjudication only upon a showing of probable cause to believe that one of the following conditions exists: (1) The petition shows that grounds exist for the arrest of an adult in identical circumstances; (2) the health, safety and welfare of the juvenile demand such custody; (3) the juvenile is a fugitive from a lawful custody or commitment order of a juvenile court; or (4) the juvenile is alleged to be a juvenile delinquent with a record of willful failure to appear at juvenile proceedings and custody is necessary to assure his or her presence before the court. A detention hearing pursuant to section eight-a of this article shall be held by the judge, juvenile referee or magistrate authorized to conduct such hearings without unnecessary delay and in no event may any delay exceed the next day.

(b) Absent a court order, a juvenile may be taken into custody by a law-enforcement official only if one of the following conditions exists: (1) Grounds exist for the arrest of an adult in identical circumstances; (2) emergency conditions exist which, in the judgment of the officer, pose imminent danger to the health, safety and welfare of the juvenile; (3) the official has reasonable grounds to believe that the juvenile has left the care of his or her parents, guardian or custodian without the consent of such person and the health, safety and welfare of the juvenile is endangered; (4) the juvenile is a fugitive from a lawful custody or commitment order of a juvenile court; (5) the official has reasonable grounds to believe the juvenile to have been driving a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in his or her blood; or (6) the juvenile is the named respondent in an emergency protective order issued pursuant to section four hundred three, article twenty-seven, chapter forty-eight of this code and the individual filing the petition for the emergency protective order is the juvenile's parent, guardian or custodian or other person with whom the juvenile resides.

(c) Upon taking a juvenile into custody, with or without a court order, the official shall:

(1) Immediately notify the juvenile's parent, guardian, custodian or, if the parent, guardian or custodian cannot be located, a close relative;

(2) Release the juvenile into the custody of his or her parent, guardian or custodian unless:

(A) Circumstances present an immediate threat of serious bodily harm to the juvenile if released;

(B) No responsible adult can be found into whose custody the juvenile can be delivered: Provided, That each day the juvenile is detained, a written record must be made of all attempts to locate such a responsible adult; or

(C) The juvenile has been taken into custody for an alleged act of delinquency for which secure detention is permissible.

(3) If the juvenile is an alleged status offender or has been taken into custody pursuant to subdivision (6), subsection (b) of this section, immediately notify the Department of Health and Human Resources and, if the circumstances of either paragraph (A) or (B), subdivision (2) of this subsection exist and the requirements therein are met, the official may detain the juvenile, but only in a nonsecure or staff-secure facility;

(4) Take the juvenile without unnecessary delay before a juvenile referee or judge of the circuit court for a detention hearing pursuant to section eight-a of this article: Provided, That if no judge or juvenile referee is then available in the county, the official shall take the juvenile without unnecessary delay before any magistrate then available in the county for the sole purpose of conducting such a detention hearing. In no event may any delay in presenting the juvenile for a detention hearing exceed the next day after he or she is taken into custody.

(d) In the event that a juvenile is delivered into the custody of a sheriff or director of a detention facility, the sheriff or director shall immediately notify the court or juvenile referee. The sheriff or director shall immediately provide to every juvenile who is delivered into his or her custody a written statement explaining the juvenile's right to a prompt detention hearing, his or her right to counsel, including appointed counsel if he or she cannot afford counsel, and his or her privilege against self-incrimination. In all cases when a juvenile is delivered into a sheriff's or detention center director's custody, that official shall release the juvenile to his or her parent, guardian or custodian by the end of the next day unless the juvenile has been placed in detention after a hearing conducted pursuant to section eight-a of this article.

(e) The law-enforcement agency that takes a juvenile into custody or places a juvenile under arrest is responsible for the juvenile's initial transportation to a juvenile detention center or other Division of Juvenile Services' residential facility.

(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, a juvenile detention center, or other Division of Juvenile Services' residential facility, is not required to accept a juvenile if the juvenile appears to be in need of medical attention of a degree necessitating treatment by a physician. If a juvenile is refused pursuant to the provisions of this subsection, the juvenile detention center, or other Division of Juvenile Services' residential facility, may not subsequently accept the juvenile for detention until the arresting or transporting officer provides the juvenile detention center, or other Division of Juvenile Services' residential facility, with a written clearance from a licensed physician reflecting that the juvenile has been examined and, if necessary, treated and which states that in the physician's medical opinion the juvenile can be safely confined in the juvenile detention center or other Division of Juvenile Services' residential facility.


WVC 49-5-8A §49-5-8a. Detention hearing; counsel.
(a) The judge, juvenile referee or magistrate shall inform the juvenile of his or her right to remain silent, that any statement may be used against him or her and of his or her right to counsel, and no interrogation may be made without the presence of a parent or counsel. If the juvenile or his or her parent, guardian or custodian has not retained counsel, counsel shall be appointed as soon as practicable. The referee, judge or magistrate shall hear testimony concerning the circumstances for taking the juvenile into custody and the possible need for detention in accordance with section two, article five-a of this chapter. The sole mandatory issue at the detention hearing is whether the juvenile should be detained pending further court proceedings. The court shall, if the health, safety and welfare of the juvenile will not be endangered thereby, release the juvenile on recognizance to his or her parents, custodians or an appropriate agency; however, if warranted, the court may require bail, except that bail may be denied in any case where bail could be denied if the accused were an adult. The court shall:

(1) Immediately notify the juvenile's parent, guardian or custodian or, if the parent, guardian or custodian cannot be located, a close relative;

(2) Release the juvenile into the custody of his or her parent, guardian or custodian unless:

(A) Circumstances present an immediate threat of serious bodily harm to the juvenile if released;

(B) No responsible adult can be found into whose custody the juvenile can be delivered: Provided, That each day the juvenile is detained, a written record must be made of all attempts to locate such a responsible adult; or

(C) The juvenile is charged with an act of delinquency for which secure detention is permissible; and

(3) If the juvenile is an alleged status offender, immediately notify the department of health and human resources, and, if the circumstances of either paragraph (A) or (B), subdivision (2) of this subsection exist and the requirements therein are met, the court may order the juvenile detained, but only in a nonsecure or staff-secure facility. Any juvenile detained pursuant to this subdivision shall be placed in the legal custody of the department of health and human resources pending further proceedings by the court.

(b) The judge of the circuit court or the juvenile referee may, in conjunction with the detention hearing, conduct a preliminary hearing pursuant to section nine of this article: Provided, That all parties are prepared to proceed and the juvenile has counsel during such hearing.


WVC 49 - 5 - 9 §49-5-9. Preliminary hearing; counsel; improvement period.
(a) Following the filing of a juvenile petition, unless a preliminary hearing has previously been held in conjunction with a detention hearing with respect to the same charge contained in the petition, the circuit court or referee shall hold a preliminary hearing. In the event that the juvenile is being detained, the hearing shall be held within ten days of the time the juvenile is placed in detention unless good cause is shown for a continuance. If no preliminary hearing is held within ten days of the time the juvenile is placed in detention, the juvenile shall be released on recognizance unless the hearing has been continued for good cause. If the judge is in another county in the circuit, the hearing may be conducted in that other county. The preliminary hearing may be waived by the juvenile, upon advice of counsel. At the hearing, the court or referee shall:

(1) If the juvenile is not represented by counsel, inform the juvenile and his or her parents, guardian or custodian or any other person standing in loco parentis to him or her of the juvenile's right to be represented at all stages of proceedings under this article and the right to have counsel appointed;

(2) Appoint counsel by order entered of record, if counsel has not already been retained, appointed or knowingly waived;

(3) Determine after hearing if there is probable cause to believe that the juvenile is a status offender or a juvenile delinquent. If probable cause is not found, the juvenile, if in detention, shall be released and the proceedings dismissed. If probable cause is found, the case shall proceed to adjudication. At this hearing or as soon thereafter as is practicable, the date for the adjudicatory hearing shall be set to give the juvenile and the juvenile's parents and attorney at least ten days' notice unless notice is waived by all parties;

(4) In lieu of placing the juvenile in a detention facility, the court may place the juvenile in the temporary legal and/or physical custody of the department. If the juvenile is detained, the detention may not continue longer than thirty days without commencement of the adjudicatory hearing unless good cause for a continuance is shown by either party or, if a jury trial is demanded, no longer than the next regular term of the court: Provided, That a juvenile who is alleged to be a status offender may not be placed in a secure detention facility; and

(5) Inform the juvenile of the right to demand a jury trial.

(b) The juvenile may move to be allowed an improvement period for a period not to exceed one year. If the court is satisfied that the best interest of the juvenile is likely to be served by an improvement period, the court may delay the adjudicatory hearing and allow an improvement period upon terms calculated to serve the rehabilitative needs of the juvenile. At the conclusion of the improvement period, the court shall dismiss the proceeding if the terms have been fulfilled; otherwise, the court shall proceed to the adjudicatory stage. A motion for an improvement period may not be construed as an admission or be used as evidence. Improvement periods authorized by this subsection may be, in the court's discretion, either custodial or noncustodial.


WVC 49 - 5 - 10 §49-5-10. Waiver and transfer of jurisdiction.
(a) Upon written motion of the prosecuting attorney filed at least eight days prior to the adjudicatory hearing and with reasonable notice to the juvenile, his or her counsel, and his or her parents, guardians or custodians, the court shall conduct a hearing to determine if juvenile jurisdiction should or must be waived and the proceeding transferred to the criminal jurisdiction of the court. Any motion filed in accordance with this section is to state, with particularity, the grounds for the requested transfer, including the grounds relied upon as set forth in subsection (d), (e), (f) or (g) of this section, and the burden is upon the state to establish the grounds by clear and convincing evidence. Any hearing held under the provisions of this section is to be held within seven days of the filing of the motion for transfer unless it is continued for good cause.

(b) No inquiry relative to admission or denial of the allegations of the charge or the demand for jury trial may be made by or before the court until the court has determined whether the proceeding is to be transferred to criminal jurisdiction.

(c) The court shall transfer a juvenile proceeding to criminal jurisdiction if a juvenile who has attained the age of fourteen years makes a demand on the record to be transferred to the criminal jurisdiction of the court. The case may then be referred to magistrate or circuit court for further proceedings, subject to the court's jurisdiction.

(d) The court shall transfer a juvenile proceeding to criminal jurisdiction if there is probable cause to believe that:

(1) The juvenile is at least fourteen years of age and has committed the crime of treason under section one, article one, chapter sixty-one of this code; the crime of murder under sections one, two and three, article two of said chapter; the crime of robbery involving the use or presenting of firearms or other deadly weapons under section twelve of said article; the crime of kidnapping under section fourteen-a of said article; the crime of first degree arson under section one, article three of said chapter; or the crime of sexual assault in the first degree under section three, article eight-b of said chapter; or

(2) The juvenile is at least fourteen years of age and has committed an offense of violence to the person which would be a felony if the juvenile was an adult: Provided, That the juvenile has been previously adjudged delinquent for the commission of an offense of violence to the person which would be a felony if the juvenile was an adult; or

(3) The juvenile is at least fourteen years of age and has committed an offense which would be a felony if the juvenile was an adult: Provided, That the juvenile has been twice previously adjudged delinquent for the commission of an offense which would be a felony if the juvenile was an adult.

(e) The court may transfer a juvenile proceeding to criminal jurisdiction if there is probable cause to believe that the juvenile would otherwise satisfy the provisions of subdivision (1), subsection (d) of this section, but who is younger than fourteen years of age.

(f) The court may, upon consideration of the juvenile's mental and physical condition, maturity, emotional attitude, home or family environment, school experience and similar personal factors, transfer a juvenile proceeding to criminal jurisdiction if there is probable cause to believe that the juvenile would otherwise satisfy the provisions of subdivision (2) or (3), subsection (d) of this section, but who is younger than fourteen years of age.

(g) The court may, upon consideration of the juvenile's mental and physical condition, maturity, emotional attitude, home or family environment, school experience and similar personal factors, transfer a juvenile proceeding to criminal jurisdiction if there is probable cause to believe that:

(1) The juvenile, who is at least fourteen years of age, has committed an offense of violence to a person which would be a felony if the juvenile was an adult; or

(2) The juvenile, who is at least fourteen years of age, has committed an offense which would be a felony if the juvenile was an adult: Provided, That the juvenile has been previously adjudged delinquent for the commission of a crime which would be a felony if the juvenile was an adult; or

(3) The juvenile, who is at least fourteen years of age, used or presented a firearm or other deadly weapon during the commission of a felony; or

(4) The juvenile has committed a violation of the provisions of section four hundred one, article four, chapter sixty-a of this code which would be a felony if the juvenile was an adult involving the manufacture, delivery or possession with the intent to deliver a narcotic drug. For purposes of this subdivision, the term "narcotic drug" has the same definition as that set forth in section one hundred one, article one of said chapter; or

(5) The juvenile has committed the crime of second degree arson as defined in section two, article three, chapter sixty-one of this code involving setting fire to or burning a public building or church. For purposes of this subdivision, the term "public building" means a building or structure of any nature owned, leased or occupied by this state, a political subdivision of this state or a county board of education and used at the time of the alleged offense for public purposes. For purposes of this subdivision, the term "church" means a building or structure of any nature owned, leased or occupied by a church, religious sect, society or denomination and used at the time of the alleged offense for religious worship or other religious or benevolent purpose, or as a residence of a minister or other member of clergy.

(h) For purposes of this section, the term "offense of violence" means an offense which involves the use or threatened use of physical force against a person.

(i) If, after a hearing, the court directs the transfer of any juvenile proceeding to criminal jurisdiction, it shall state on the record the findings of fact and conclusions of law upon which its decision is based or shall incorporate findings of fact and conclusions of law in its order directing transfer.

(j) A juvenile who has been transferred to criminal jurisdiction pursuant to the provisions of subsection (e), (f) or (g) of this section, by an order of transfer, has the right to either directly appeal an order of transfer to the supreme court of appeals or to appeal the order of transfer following a conviction of the offense of transfer. If the juvenile exercises the right to a direct appeal from an order of transfer, the notice of intent to appeal and a request for transcript is to be filed within ten days from the date of the entry of any such order of transfer, and the petition for appeal is to be presented to the supreme court of appeals within forty-five days from the entry of the order of transfer. The provisions of article five, chapter fifty-eight of this code pertaining to the appeals of judgments in civil actions applies to appeals under this chapter except as modified in this section. The court may, within forty-five days of the entry of the order of transfer, by appropriate order, extend and reextend the period in which to file the petition for appeal for additional time, not to exceed a total extension of sixty days, as in the court's opinion may be necessary for preparation of the transcript: Provided, That the request for a transcript was made by the party seeking appeal within ten days of entry of the order of transfer. In the event any notice of intent to appeal and request for transcript be timely filed, proceedings in criminal court are to be stayed upon motion of the defendant pending final action of the supreme court of appeals.


WVC 49 - 5 - 11 §49-5-11. Adjudication for alleged status offenders and delinquents; mandatory initial disposition of status offenders.
At the outset of an adjudicatory hearing, the court shall inquire of the juvenile whether he or she wishes to admit or deny the allegations in the petition. The juvenile may elect to stand mute, in which event the court shall enter a general denial of all allegations in the petition.

(a) If the respondent juvenile admits the allegations of the petition, the court shall consider the admission to be proof of the allegations if the court finds: (1) The respondent fully understands all of his or her rights under this article; (2) the respondent voluntarily, intelligently and knowingly admits all facts requisite for an adjudication; and (3) the respondent in his or her admission has not set forth facts which constitute a defense to the allegations.

(b) If the respondent juvenile denies the allegations, the court shall dispose of all pretrial motions and the court or jury shall proceed to hear evidence.

(c) If the allegations in a petition alleging that the juvenile is delinquent are admitted or are sustained by proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the court shall schedule the matter for disposition pursuant to section thirteen of this article.

(d) If the allegations in a petition alleging that the juvenile is a status offender are admitted or sustained by clear and convincing proof, the court shall refer the juvenile to the department of health and human resources for services, pursuant to section eleven-a of this article and order the department to report back to the court with regard to the juvenile's progress at least every ninety days or until the court, upon motion or sua sponte, orders further disposition under section eleven-a of this article or dismisses the case from its docket: Provided, That in a judicial circuit operating its own truancy program, a circuit judge may in lieu of referring truant juveniles to the department, order that the juveniles be supervised by his or her probation office.

(e) If the allegations in a petition are not sustained by proof as provided in subsections (c) and (d) of this section, the petition shall be dismissed and the juvenile shall be discharged if he or she is in custody.

(f) Findings of fact and conclusions of law addressed to all allegations in the petition shall be stated on the record or reduced to writing and filed with the record or incorporated into the order of the court.


WVC 49-5-11A §49-5-11a. Status offenders: Intervention and services by state department pursuant to initial disposition; enforcement; further disposition; detention; out- of-home placement; state department custody; least restrictive alternative; appeal.
(a) Services provided by the department for juveniles adjudicated as status offenders shall be consistent with the provisions of article five-b of this chapter and shall be designed to develop skills and supports within families and to resolve problems related to the juveniles or conflicts within their families. Services may include, but are not limited to, referral of juveniles and parents, guardians or custodians and other family members to services for psychiatric or other medical care, or psychological, welfare, legal, educational or other social services, as appropriate to the needs of the juvenile and his or her family.

(b) If necessary, the department may petition the circuit court:

(1) For a valid court order, as defined in section four, article one of this chapter, to enforce compliance with a service plan or to restrain actions that interfere with or defeat a service plan; or

(2) For a valid court order to place a juvenile out of home in a nonsecure or staff-secure setting, and/or to place a juvenile in custody of the department.

(c) In ordering any further disposition under this section, the court is not limited to the relief sought in the department's petition and shall make every effort to place juveniles in community-based facilities which are the least restrictive alternatives appropriate to the needs of the juvenile and the community.

(d) The disposition of the juvenile may not be affected by the fact that the juvenile demanded a trial by jury or made a plea of denial. Any order providing disposition other than mandatory referral to the department for services is subject to appeal to the supreme court of appeals.

(e) Following any further disposition by the court, the court shall inquire of the juvenile whether or not appeal is desired and the response shall be transcribed; a negative response may not be construed as a waiver. The evidence shall be transcribed as soon as practicable and made available to the juvenile or his or her counsel, if it is requested for purposes of further proceedings. A judge may grant a stay of execution pending further proceedings.


WVC 49-5-12 §49-5-12. Prosecuting attorney to represent petitioner.
The prosecuting attorney shall represent the petitioner in all proceedings under this article before the court, referee or magistrate having juvenile jurisdiction.


WVC 49 - 5 - 13 §49-5-13. Disposition of juvenile delinquents; appeal.

     (a) In aid of disposition of juvenile delinquents, the juvenile probation officer assigned to the court shall, upon request of the court, make an investigation of the environment of the juvenile and the alternative dispositions possible. The court, upon its own motion, or upon request of counsel, may order a psychological examination of the juvenile. The report of such examination and other investigative and social reports shall not be made available to the court until after the adjudicatory hearing. Unless waived, copies of the report shall be provided to counsel for the petitioner and counsel for the juvenile no later than seventy-two hours prior to the dispositional hearing.

     (b) Following the adjudication, the court shall conduct the dispositional proceeding, giving all parties an opportunity to be heard. In disposition the court shall not be limited to the relief sought in the petition and shall, in electing from the following alternatives, consider the best interests of the juvenile and the welfare of the public:

     (1) Dismiss the petition;

     (2) Refer the juvenile and the juvenile's parent or custodian to a community agency for needed assistance and dismiss the petition;

     (3) Upon a finding that the juvenile is in need of extra- parental supervision: (A) Place the juvenile under the supervision of a probation officer of the court or of the court of the county where the juvenile has his or her usual place of abode or other person while leaving the juvenile in custody of his or her parent or custodian; and (B) prescribe a program of treatment or therapy or limit the juvenile's activities under terms which are reasonable and within the child's ability to perform, including participation in the litter control program established pursuant to section three, article fifteen-a, chapter twenty-two of this code or other appropriate programs of community service;

     (4) Upon a finding that a parent or custodian is not willing or able to take custody of the juvenile, that a juvenile is not willing to reside in the custody of his or her parent or custodian or that a parent or custodian cannot provide the necessary supervision and care of the juvenile, the court may place the juvenile in temporary foster care or temporarily commit the juvenile to the department or a child welfare agency. The court order shall state that continuation in the home is contrary to the best interest of the juvenile and why; and whether or not the department made a reasonable effort to prevent the placement or that the emergency situation made such efforts unreasonable or impossible. Whenever the court transfers custody of a youth to the department, an appropriate order of financial support by the parents or guardians shall be entered in accordance with section five, article seven of this chapter and guidelines promulgated by the Supreme Court of Appeals;

     (5) Upon a finding that the best interests of the juvenile or the welfare of the public require it, and upon an adjudication of delinquency pursuant to subdivision (1), section four, article one of this chapter, the court may commit the juvenile to the custody of the Director of the Division of Juvenile Services for placement in a juvenile services facility for the treatment, instruction and rehabilitation of juveniles: Provided, That the court maintains discretion to consider alternative sentencing arrangements. Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, in the event that the court determines that it is in the juvenile's best interests or required by the public welfare to place the juvenile in the custody of the Division of Juvenile Services, the court shall provide the Division of Juvenile Services with access to all relevant court orders and records involving the underlying offense or offenses for which the juvenile was adjudicated delinquent, including sentencing and presentencing reports and evaluations, and provide the division with access to school records, psychological reports and evaluations, medical reports and evaluations or any other such records as may be in the court's possession as would enable the Division of Juvenile Services to better assess and determine the appropriate counseling, education and placement needs for the juvenile offender. Commitments shall not exceed the maximum term for which an adult could have been sentenced for the same offense and any such maximum allowable sentence to be served in a juvenile correctional facility may take into account any time served by the juvenile in a detention center pending adjudication, disposition or transfer. The order shall state that continuation in the home is contrary to the best interests of the juvenile and why; and whether or not the state department made a reasonable effort to prevent the placement or that the emergency situation made such efforts unreasonable or impossible; or

     (6) After a hearing conducted under the procedures set out in subsections (c) and (d), section four, article five, chapter twenty-seven of this code, commit the juvenile to a mental health facility in accordance with the juvenile's treatment plan; the director of the mental health facility may release a juvenile and return him or her to the court for further disposition. The order shall state that continuation in the home is contrary to the best interests of the juvenile and why; and whether or not the state department made a reasonable effort to prevent the placement or that the emergency situation made such efforts unreasonable or impossible.

     (c) In any case in which the court decides to order the juvenile placed in an out-of-state facility or program, it shall set forth in the order directing the placement the reasons the juvenile was not placed in an in-state facility or program.

     (d) The disposition of the juvenile shall not be affected by the fact that the juvenile demanded a trial by jury or made a plea of denial. Any dispositional order is subject to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeals.

     (e) Following disposition, the court shall inquire whether the juvenile wishes to appeal and the response shall be transcribed; a negative response shall not be construed as a waiver. The evidence shall be transcribed as soon as practicable and made available to the juvenile or his or her counsel, if the same is requested for purposes of further proceedings. A judge may grant a stay of execution pending further proceedings.

     (f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, if a juvenile charged with delinquency under this chapter is transferred to adult jurisdiction and there tried and convicted, the court may make its disposition in accordance with this section in lieu of sentencing such person as an adult.
WVC 49 - 5 - 13 A §49-5-13a. Examination, diagnosis and classification; period of custody.
(a) As a part of the dispositional proceeding for a juvenile who has been adjudicated delinquent, the court may, upon its own motion or upon request of counsel, order the juvenile to be delivered into the custody of the Director of the Division of Juvenile Services, who shall cause the juvenile to be transferred to a juvenile diagnostic center for a period not to exceed sixty days. During this period, the juvenile shall undergo examination, diagnosis, classification and a complete medical examination and shall at all times be kept apart from the general juvenile inmate population in the director's custody.

(b) During the examination period established by subsection (a) of this section, the director, or his or her designee, shall convene and direct a multidisciplinary treatment team for the juvenile which team shall include the juvenile, if appropriate, the juvenile's probation officer, the juvenile's social worker, if any, the juvenile's custodial parent or parents, the juvenile's guardian, attorneys representing the juvenile or the parents, the guardian ad litem, if any, the prosecuting attorney and an appropriate school official or representative. The team may also include, where appropriate, a court-appointed special advocate, a member of a child advocacy center and any other person who may assist in providing recommendations for the particular needs of the juvenile and the family.

(c) Not later than sixty days after commitment pursuant to this section the juvenile shall be remanded and delivered to the custody of the director, an appropriate agency or any other person that the court by its order directs. Within ten days after the end of the examination, diagnosis and classification, the Director of the Division of Juvenile Services shall make or cause to be made a report to the court containing the results, findings, conclusions and recommendations of the multidisciplinary team with respect to that juvenile.


WVC 49 - 5 - 13 B §49-5-13b. Authority of the courts to order fines; revocation of vehicle privileges and restitution.
(a) In addition to the methods of disposition provided in section thirteen of this article, the court may enter an order imposing one or more of the following penalties, conditions and limitations:

(1) Impose a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars upon such child;

(2) Require the child to make restitution or reparation to the aggrieved party or parties for actual damages or loss caused by the offense for which the child was found to be delinquent, or if the child does not make full restitution, require the custodial parent or parents, as defined in section two, article seven-a, chapter fifty-five, of the child to make partial or full restitution to the victim to the extent the child fails to make full restitution;

(3) Require the child to participate in a public service project under such conditions as the court prescribes, including participation in the litter control program established pursuant to the authority of section three, article fifteen-a, chapter twenty-two of this code;

(4) When the child is fifteen years of age or younger and has been adjudged delinquent, the court may order that the child is not eligible to be issued a junior probationary operator's license or when the child is between the ages of sixteen and eighteen years and has been adjudged delinquent, the court may order that the child is not eligible to operate a motor vehicle in this state, and any junior or probationary operator's license shall be surrendered to the court. Such child's driving privileges shall be suspended for a period not to exceed two years, and the clerk of the court shall notify the Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles of such order.

(b) Nothing herein stated shall limit the discretion of the court in disposing of a juvenile case: Provided, That the juvenile shall not be denied probation or any other disposition pursuant to this article because the juvenile is financially unable to pay a fine or make restitution or reparation: Provided, however, That all penalties, conditions and limitations imposed under this section shall be based upon a consideration by the court of the seriousness of the offense, the child's ability to pay and a program of rehabilitation consistent with the best interests of the child.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this code to the contrary, in the event a child charged with delinquency under this chapter is transferred to adult jurisdiction and there convicted, the court may nevertheless, in lieu of sentencing such person as an adult, make its disposition in accordance with this section.


WVC 49 - 5 - 13 C §49-5-13c. Graduated sanctions for juvenile alcohol consumption.
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, in addition to any other penalty available to the court, any child who is adjudicated to have consumed alcoholic liquor or nonintoxicating beer as defined in section five, article one, chapter sixty of this code, shall:

(1) Upon a first adjudication, he or she shall be ordered to perform community service for not more than eight hours or fined not more than twenty-five dollars, or both.

(2) Upon a second adjudication, he or she shall be ordered to perform community service for not more than sixteen hours or fined not more than fifty dollars, or both.

(3) Upon a third or subsequent adjudication, he or she shall be ordered to perform not more than twenty-four hours of community service or fined not more than one hundred dollars, or both.

(b) In addition to the penalties set forth in subsection (a) of this section and notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (4), subsection (c), section thirteen-b of this article, any child adjudicated a second time for consumption of alcoholic liquor or nonintoxicating beer shall have his or her license to operate a motor vehicle suspended for a definite term of not less than five nor more than ninety days. Any child adjudicated a third or subsequent time for consumption of an alcoholic liquor or nonintoxicating beer shall have his or her license to operate a motor vehicle suspended until he or she attains the age of eighteen years.


WVC 49 - 5 - 13 D §49-5-13d. Teen court program.
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, in any county or municipality that chooses to institute a teen court program in accordance with the provisions of this section, any juvenile who is alleged to have committed a status offense or an act of delinquency which would be a misdemeanor if committed by an adult or in the case of a violation of a municipal ordinance, an offense over which municipal courts have concurrent jurisdiction, and who is otherwise subject to the provisions of this article may be given the option of proceeding in the teen court program as an alternative to the filing of a formal petition under section seven of this article or proceeding to a disposition as provided by section eleven-a or thirteen of this article, as the case may be. The decision to extend the option to enter the teen court program as an alternative procedure shall be made by the circuit or municipal court if the court finds that the offender is a suitable candidate for the program. No juvenile may enter the teen court program unless he or she and his or her parent or guardian consent. Any juvenile who does not successfully cooperate in and complete the teen court program and any disposition imposed therein shall be returned to the circuit court for further disposition as provided by section eleven-a or thirteen of this article, as the case may be or return to a municipal court for further disposition for cases originating in circuit court consistent with any applicable ordinance.

(b) The following provisions apply to all teen court programs:

(1) The judge for each teen court proceeding shall be an acting or retired circuit court judge or an active member of the West Virginia State Bar, who serves on a voluntary basis.

(2) Any juvenile who selects the teen court program as an alternative disposition shall agree to serve thereafter on at least two occasions as a teen court juror.

(3) Volunteer students from grades seven through twelve of the schools within the county shall be selected to serve as defense attorney, prosecuting attorney, court clerk, bailiff and jurors for each proceeding.

(4) Disposition in a teen court proceeding shall consist of requiring the juvenile to perform sixteen to forty hours of community service, the duration and type of which shall be determined by the teen court jury from a standard list of available community service programs provided by the county juvenile probation system and a standard list of alternative consequences that are consistent with the purposes of this article. The performance of the juvenile shall be monitored by the county juvenile probation system for cases originating in the circuit court's jurisdiction, or municipal teen court coordinator or other designee for cases originating in the municipal court's jurisdiction. The juvenile shall also perform at least two sessions of teen court jury service and, if considered appropriate by the circuit court judge or teen court judge, participate in an education program. Nothing in this section may be construed so as to deny availability of the services provided under section eleven-a of this article to juveniles who are otherwise eligible for such service.

(c) The rules for administration, procedure and admission of evidence shall be determined by the chief circuit judge or teen court judge, but in no case may the court require a juvenile to admit the allegation against him or her as a prerequisite to participation in the teen court program. A copy of these rules shall be provided to every teen court participant.

(d) Each county or municipality that operates, or wishes to operate, a teen court program as provided in this section is hereby authorized to adopt a mandatory fee of up to five dollars to be assessed as provided in this subsection. Municipal courts may assess a fee pursuant to the provisions of this section upon authorization by the city council of the municipality. Assessments collected by the clerk of the court pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into an account specifically for the operation and administration of a teen court program. The clerk of the court of conviction shall collect the fees established in this subsection and shall remit the fees to the teen court program.

Any mandatory fee established by a county commission or city council in accordance with the provisions of this subsection shall be paid by the defendant on a judgment of guilty or a plea of nolo contendere for each violation committed in the county or municipality of any felony, misdemeanor or any local ordinance, including traffic violations and moving violations but excluding municipal parking ordinances. Municipalities operating teen courts are authorized to use fees assessed in municipal court pursuant to this subsection for operation of a teen court in their municipality.


WVC 49 - 5 - 13 E §49-5-13e. Comprehensive plan for juveniles.
(a) The division of juvenile services shall develop and annually update a comprehensive plan to establish a unified state system for social and rehabilitative programming and treatment of juveniles who are detained or incarcerated in predispositional detention centers and in juvenile correction facilities and a comprehensive plan for regional juvenile detention facilities and programs. These plans and updates are to be submitted to the West Virginia Legislature no later than the first day of January each year.

(b) The comprehensive plan for regional detention programs and facilities shall be based on the need for secure juvenile detention services in a given county or region. The secretary of the department of health and human resources, the secretary of the department of military affairs and public safety and the executive director of the regional jail and correctional facility authority shall develop and agree to the criteria to be considered in determining the construction, renovation, acquisition or repair of projects proposed after the effective date of this article. These criteria are to be reviewed periodically and included in the annual report required pursuant to this section. The comprehensive plan may propose locating newly constructed detention facilities on or near a planned or existing regional jail facility, with common facilities and administration as permitted by federal law.


WVC 49 - 5 - 13 F §49-5-13f. Animal Cruelty Early Intervention Program.
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, a juvenile who has been alleged to have committed an act of delinquency which involved causing harm to an animal shall be given the option of proceeding in the Animal Cruelty Early Intervention Program as an alternative to the filing of a formal petition under section seven of this article, as the case may be. The decision to extend the option to enter the Animal Cruelty Early Intervention Program shall be made by the circuit court if the court finds that the offender is a suitable candidate for the program. No juvenile may enter the Animal Cruelty Early Intervention Program unless he or she and his or her parent or guardian consent. Any juvenile who does not successfully cooperate in and complete the Animal Cruelty Early Intervention Program shall be returned to the circuit court for further disposition as provided by section eleven-a or thirteen of this article, as the case may be.

(b) The Department of Juvenile Services shall establish a task force to create an Animal Cruelty Early Intervention Program. Services provided by the Department for Juvenile Services in the Animal Cruelty Early Intervention Program shall be consistent with the provisions of article five-b of this chapter and shall be designed to develop skills and supports within families and to resolve problems related to the juveniles who have engaged in animal cruelty. Services may include, but are not limited to, referral of juveniles and parents, guardians or custodians and other family members to services for psychiatric or other medical care, or psychological, welfare, legal, educational or other social services, as appropriate to the needs of the juvenile and his or her family.

(c) The effective date for this section is the first day of July, two thousand six.


WVC 49 - 5 - 13 G §49-5-13g. Sexting educational diversion program.

     (a) Before a juvenile petition is filed for activity proscribed by article eight-a or eight-c, chapter sixty-one of this code, or after probable cause has been found to believe a juvenile has committed a violation thereof, but before an adjudicatory hearing on the petition, the court or a prosecuting attorney may direct or allow a minor who engaged in such activity to participate in an educational diversion program which meets the requirements of subsection (b) of this section. The prosecutor or court may refer the minor to the educational diversion program, as part of a pre- petition diversion and informal resolution pursuant to the provisions of section two-a of this article; as part of counseling provided pursuant to the provisions of sections three or three-a of this article; or as part of the requirements of an improvement period to be satisfied in advance of an adjudicatory hearing pursuant to the provisions of section nine of this article.

     (b) The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals may develop an educational diversion program for minors who are accused of activity proscribed by the provisions of article eight-a or eight- c, chapter sixty-one of this code. As a part of any specialized educational diversion program so developed, the following issues and topics should be included:

     (1) The legal consequences of and penalties for sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials, including applicable federal and state statutes;

     (2) The nonlegal consequences of sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials including, but not limited to, the effect on relationships, loss of educational and employment opportunities, and being barred or removed from school programs and extracurricular activities;

     (3) How the unique characteristics of cyberspace and the Internet, including searchability, replicability and an infinite audience, can produce long-term and unforeseen consequences for sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials; and

     (4) The connection between bullying and cyber-bullying and minors sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials.

     (c) Once a specialized educational diversion program is established by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals consistent with the provisions of this section, the minor's successful completion of the educational diversion program shall be duly considered by the prosecutor or the court in their respective decisions to either abstain from filing the juvenile petition or to dismiss the juvenile petition, as follows:

     (1) If the minor has not previously been judicially determined to be delinquent, and the minor's activities represent a first offense for a violation of section three-b, article eight-c, chapter sixty-one of this code, the minor shall not be subject to the requirements of said section, as long as he or she successfully completes the educational diversion program; and

     (2) If the minor commits a second or subsequent violation of article eight-a or eight-c, chapter sixty-one of this code, the minor's successful completion of the educational diversion program may be considered as a factor to be considered by the prosecutor and court in deciding to not file a petition or to dismiss a petition, upon successful completion of an improvement plan established by the court.
WVC 49 - 5 - 14 §49-5-14. Modification of dispositional orders.
(a) A dispositional order of the court may be modified:

(1) Upon the motion of the probation officer, a department official, the director of the division of juvenile services or prosecuting attorney; or

(2) Upon the request of the child or a child's parent or custodian who alleges a change of circumstances relating to disposition of the child.

(b) Upon such a motion or request, the court shall conduct a review proceeding, except that if the last dispositional order was within the previous six months the court may deny a request for review. Notice in writing of a review proceeding shall be given to the child, the child's parent or custodian and all counsel not less than seventy-two hours prior to the proceeding. The court shall review the performance of the child, the child's parent or custodian, the child's social worker and other persons providing assistance to the child or child's family. If the motion or request for review of disposition is based upon an alleged violation of a court order, the court may modify the dispositional order to a more restrictive alternative if it finds clear and convincing proof of substantial violation. In the absence of such proof, the court may decline to modify the dispositional order or may modify the order to one of the less restrictive alternatives set forth in section thirteen of this article. No juvenile may be required to seek a modification order as provided in this section in order to exercise his or her right to seek release by habeas corpus.

(c) In a hearing for modification of a dispositional order, or in any other dispositional hearing, the court shall consider the best interests of the child and the welfare of the public.


WVC 49-5-15 §49-5-15. Juvenile probation officers; appointment; salary; facilities; expenses; duties; powers.
(a)(1) Each circuit court, subject to the approval of the supreme court of appeals and in accordance with the rules of the supreme court of appeals, shall appoint one or more juvenile probation officers and clerical assistants for the circuit. A probation officer or clerical assistant may not be related by blood or marriage to the appointing judge.

(2) The salary for juvenile probation officers and clerical assistants shall be determined and fixed by the supreme court of appeals. All expenses and costs incurred by the juvenile probation officers and their staff shall be paid by the supreme court of appeals in accordance with its rules. The county commission of each county shall provide adequate office facilities for juvenile probation officers and their staff. All equipment and supplies required by juvenile probation officers and their staff shall be provided by the supreme court of appeals.

(3) A juvenile probation officer may not be considered a law-enforcement official under any provision of this chapter.

(b) The clerk of a court shall notify, if practicable, the chief probation officer of the county, or his or her designee, when a juvenile is brought before the court or judge for proceedings under this article. When notified, or if the probation officer otherwise obtains knowledge of such fact, he or she or one of his or her assistants shall:

(1) Make investigation of the case; and

(2) Furnish information and assistance that the court or judge may require.


WVC 49-5-16 §49-5-16. Prohibition on committing juveniles to adult facilities.
(a) No juvenile, including one who has been transferred to criminal jurisdiction of the court, shall be detained or confined in any institution in which he or she has contact with or comes within sight or sound of any adult persons incarcerated because they have been convicted of a crime or are awaiting trial on criminal charges or with the security staff (including management) or direct-care staff of a jail or locked facility for adults.

(b) No child who has been convicted of an offense under the adult jurisdiction of the circuit court shall be held in custody in a penitentiary of this state: Provided, That such child may be transferred from a secure juvenile facility to a penitentiary after he shall attain the age of eighteen years if, in the judgment of the court which committed such child, such transfer is appropriate: Provided, however, That any other provision of this code to the contrary notwithstanding, prior to such transfer the child shall be returned to the sentencing court for the purpose of reconsideration and modification of the imposed sentence, which shall be based upon a review of all records and relevant information relating to the child's rehabilitation since his conviction under the adult jurisdiction of the court.


WVC 49-5-16A §49-5-16a. Rules governing juvenile facilities.
The director of the division of juvenile services within the department of military affairs and public safety shall propose legislative rules for promulgation in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, outlining policies and procedures governing the operation of those correctional, detention, predispositional detention centers and other facilities wherein juveniles may be housed. These policies and procedures shall include, but are not limited to, standards of cleanliness, temperature and lighting; availability of medical and dental care; provision of food, furnishings, clothing and toilet articles; supervision; procedures for enforcing rules of conduct consistent with due process of law; and visitation privileges. A juvenile in custody or detention has, at a minimum, the following rights, and the policies prescribed shall ensure that:

(1) A juvenile may not be punished by physical force, deprivation of nutritious meals, deprivation of family visits or imposition of solitary confinement;

(2) A juvenile shall be afforded an opportunity to participate in physical exercise each day;

(3) Except for sleeping hours, a juvenile in a state facility may not be locked alone in a room unless that juvenile is not amenable to reasonable direction and control;

(4) A juvenile shall be provided with his or her own clothing or individualized clothing which is clean and supplied by the facility, and shall also be afforded daily access to showers;

(5) A juvenile shall be afforded constant access to writing materials and may send mail without limitation, censorship or prior reading, and may receive mail without prior reading, except that mail may be opened in the juvenile's presence, without being read, to inspect for contraband;

(6) A juvenile may make and receive regular local phone calls without charge and long distance calls to his or her family without charge at least once a week, and receive visitors daily and on a regular basis;

(7) A juvenile shall be afforded immediate access to medical care as needed;

(8) A juvenile in a juvenile detention facility or juvenile corrections facility shall be provided access to education, including teaching, educational materials and books;

(9) A juvenile shall be afforded reasonable access to an attorney upon request; and

(10) A juvenile shall be afforded a grievance procedure, including an appeal mechanism.

Upon admission to a detention facility or juvenile corrections facility, a juvenile shall be furnished with a copy of the rights provided him or her by virtue of this section and as further prescribed by rules proposed and promulgated pursuant to this section.


WVC 49 - 5 - 16 B §49-5-16b. Conviction for offense while in custody.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any person who is eighteen years of age or older who is convicted as an adult of an offense that he or she committed while in the custody of the division of juvenile services and who is therefor sentenced to a regional jail or state correctional facility for said offense may not be returned to the custody of the division upon the completion of his or her adult sentence until a hearing is held before the court which committed the person to the custody of the division of juvenile services at which hearing the division may present any objections it may have to return the person to its custody. If the division does object and the court overrules the division's objections, it shall make specific written findings as to its rationale for overruling the objections: Provided, That no person who is eighteen years of age or older who is convicted as an adult of a felony crime of violence against the person while in the custody of the division of juvenile services be returned to the custody of the division of juvenile services upon completion of his or her adult sentence.


WVC 49 - 5 - 17 §49-5-17. Confidentiality of juvenile records.
(a) Records of a juvenile proceeding conducted under this chapter are not public records and shall not be disclosed to anyone unless disclosure is otherwise authorized by this section.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a copy of a juvenile's records shall automatically be disclosed to certain school officials, subject to the following terms and conditions:

(1) Only the records of certain juveniles shall be disclosed. These include, and are limited to, cases in which:

(A) The juvenile has been charged with an offense which:

(i) Involves violence against another person;

(ii) Involves possession of a dangerous or deadly weapon; or

(iii) Involves possession or delivery of a controlled substance as that term is defined in section one hundred one, article one, chapter sixty-a of this code; and

(B) The juvenile's case has proceeded to a point where one or more of the following has occurred:

(i) A judge, magistrate or referee has determined that there is probable cause to believe that the juvenile committed the offense as charged;

(ii) A judge, magistrate or referee has placed the juvenile on probation for the offense;

(iii) A judge, magistrate or referee has placed the juvenile into an improvement period in accordance with section nine of this article; or

(iv) Some other type of disposition has been made of the case other than dismissal.

(2) The circuit court for each judicial circuit in West Virginia shall designate one person to supervise the disclosure of juvenile records to certain school officials.

(3) If the juvenile attends a West Virginia public school, the person designated by the circuit court shall automatically disclose all records of the juvenile's case to the county superintendent of schools in the county in which the juvenile attends school and to the principal of the school which the juvenile attends, subject to the following:

(A) At a minimum, the records shall disclose the following information:

(i) Copies of the arrest report;

(ii) Copies of all investigations;

(iii) Copies of any psychological test results and any mental health records;

(iv) Copies of any evaluation reports for probation or facility placement; and

(v) Any other material that would alert the school to potential danger that the juvenile may pose to himself, herself or others;

(B) The disclosure of the juvenile's psychological test results and any mental health records shall only be made in accordance with subdivision (14) of this subsection;

(C) If the disclosure of any record to be automatically disclosed under this section is restricted in its disclosure by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and any amendments and regulations under the Act, the person designated by the circuit court shall provide the superintendent and principal any notice of the existence of the record that is permissible under the Act and, if applicable, any action that is required to obtain the record; and

(D) When multiple disclosures are required by this subsection, the person designated by the circuit court is required to disclose only material in the juvenile record that had not previously been disclosed to the county superintendent and the principal of the school which the juvenile attends.

(4) If the juvenile attends a private school in West Virginia, the person designated by the circuit court shall determine the identity of the highest ranking person at that school and shall automatically disclose all records of a juvenile's case to that person.

(5) If the juvenile does not attend school at the time the juvenile's case is pending, the person designated by the circuit court shall not transmit the juvenile's records to any school. However, the person designated by the circuit court shall transmit the juvenile's records to any school in West Virginia which the juvenile subsequently attends.

(6) The person designated by the circuit court shall not automatically transmit juvenile records to a school which is not located in West Virginia. Instead, the person designated by the circuit court shall contact the out-of-state school, inform it that juvenile records exist and make an inquiry regarding whether the laws of that state permit the disclosure of juvenile records. If so, the person designated by the circuit court shall consult with the circuit judge who presided over the case to determine whether the juvenile records should be disclosed to the out-of-state school. The circuit judge shall have discretion in determining whether to disclose the juvenile records and shall consider whether the other state's law regarding disclosure provides for sufficient confidentiality of juvenile records, using this section as a guide. If the circuit judge orders the juvenile records to be disclosed, they shall be disclosed in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (7) of this subsection.

(7) The person designated by the circuit court shall transmit the juvenile's records to the appropriate school official under cover of a letter emphasizing the confidentiality of such records and directing the official to consult this section of the code. A copy of this section of the code shall be transmitted with the juvenile's records and cover letter.

(8) Juvenile records must be treated as absolutely confidential by the school official to whom they are transmitted, and nothing contained within the juvenile's records shall be noted on the juvenile's permanent educational record. The juvenile records are to be maintained in a secure location and are not to be copied under any circumstances. However, the principal of a school to whom the records are transmitted shall have the duty to disclose the contents of those records to any teacher who teaches a class in which the subject juvenile is enrolled and to the regular driver of a school bus in which the subject juvenile is regularly transported to or from school, except that the disclosure of the juvenile's psychological test results and any mental health records shall only be made in accordance with subdivision (14) of this subsection. Furthermore, any school official to whom the juvenile's records are transmitted may disclose the contents of such records to any adult within the school system who, in the discretion of the school official, has the need to be aware of the contents of those records.

(9) If for any reason a juvenile ceases to attend a school which possesses that juvenile's records, the appropriate official at that school shall seal the records and return them to the circuit court which sent them to that school. If the juvenile has changed schools for any reason, the former school shall inform the circuit court of the name and location of the new school which the juvenile attends or will be attending. If the new school is located within West Virginia, the person designated by the circuit court shall forward the juvenile's records to the juvenile's new school in the same manner as provided in subdivision (7) of this subsection. If the new school is not located within West Virginia, the person designated by the circuit court shall handle the juvenile records in accordance with subdivision (6) of this subsection.

If the juvenile has been found not guilty of an offense for which records were previously forwarded to the juvenile's school on the basis of a finding of probable cause, the circuit court shall not forward those records to the juvenile's new school. However, this shall not affect records related to other prior or future offenses. If the juvenile has graduated or quit school or will otherwise not be attending another school, the circuit court shall retain the juvenile's records and handle them as otherwise provided in this article.

(10) Under no circumstances shall one school transmit a juvenile's records to another school.

(11) Under no circumstances shall juvenile records be automatically transmitted to a college, university or other post-secondary school.

(12) No one shall suffer any penalty, civil or criminal, for accidentally or negligently attributing certain juvenile records to the wrong person. However, such person shall have the affirmative duty to promptly correct any mistake that he or she has made in disclosing juvenile records when the mistake is brought to his or her attention. A person who intentionally attributes false information to a certain person shall be subjected to both criminal and civil penalties in accordance with subsection (e) of this section.

(13) If a judge, magistrate or referee has determined that there is probable cause to believe that a juvenile has committed an offense but there has been no final adjudication of the charge, the records which are transmitted by the circuit court shall be accompanied by a notice which clearly states in bold print that there has been no determination of delinquency and that our legal system requires a presumption of innocence.

(14) The county superintendent shall designate the school psychologist or psychologists to receive the juvenile's psychological test results and any mental health records. The psychologist designated shall review the juvenile's psychological test results and any mental health records and, in the psychologist's professional judgment, may disclose to the principal of the school that the juvenile attends and other school employees who would have a need to know the psychological test results, mental health records and any behavior that may trigger violence or other disruptive behavior by the juvenile. Other school employees include, but are not limited to, any teacher who teaches a class in which the subject juvenile is enrolled and the regular driver of a school bus in which the subject juvenile is regularly transported to or from school.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, juvenile records may be disclosed, subject to the following terms and conditions:

(1) If a juvenile case is transferred to the criminal jurisdiction of the circuit court pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) or (d), section ten of this article, the juvenile records shall be open to public inspection.

(2) If a juvenile case is transferred to the criminal jurisdiction of the circuit court pursuant to the provisions of subsection (e), (f) or (g), section ten of this article, the juvenile records shall be open to public inspection only if the juvenile fails to file a timely appeal of the transfer order, or the Supreme Court of Appeals refuses to hear or denies an appeal which has been timely filed.

(3) If a juvenile is fourteen years of age or older and a court has determined there is a probable cause to believe the juvenile committed an offense set forth in subsection (g), section ten of this article, but the case is not transferred to criminal jurisdiction, the juvenile records shall be open to public inspection pending trial only if the juvenile is released on bond and no longer detained or adjudicated delinquent of the offense.

(4) If a juvenile is younger than fourteen years of age and a court has determined there is probable cause to believe that the juvenile committed the crime of murder under section one, two or three, article two, chapter sixty-one of this code, or the crime of sexual assault in the first degree under section three, article eight-b of said chapter, but the case is not transferred to criminal jurisdiction, the juvenile records shall be open to public inspection pending trial only if the juvenile is released on bond and no longer detained or adjudicated delinquent of the offense.

(5) Upon a written petition and pursuant to a written order, the circuit court may permit disclosure of juvenile records to:

(A) A court, in this state or another state, which has juvenile jurisdiction and has the juvenile before it in a juvenile proceeding;

(B) A court, in this state or another state, exercising criminal jurisdiction over the juvenile which requests such records for the purpose of a presentence report or disposition proceeding;

(C) The juvenile, the juvenile's parents or legal guardian, or the juvenile's counsel;

(D) The officials of a public institution to which the juvenile is committed if they require such records for transfer, parole or discharge; or

(E) A person who is conducting research. However, juvenile records may be disclosed for research purposes only upon the condition that information which would identify the subject juvenile or the juvenile's family shall not be disclosed.

(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, juvenile records shall be disclosed, or copies made available, to a probation officer upon his or her written request and approved by his or her supervising circuit court judge: Provided, That the clerk of the court shall file the written request and the judge's approval in the juvenile's record and note therein the date and scope of the actual disclosure: Provided, however, That any probation officer may, without a court order, access relevant juvenile case information contained in any electronic database maintained by or for the Supreme Court of Appeals and share it with any other probation officer in the same or a different circuit.

(7) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, juvenile records shall be disclosed, or copies made available, in response to any lawfully issued subpoena from a federal court or federal agency.

(d) Any records open to public inspection pursuant to the provisions of this section are subject to the same requirements governing the disclosure of adult criminal records.

(e) Any person who willfully violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or confined in the county or regional jail for not more than six months, or both fined and confined and shall be liable for damages in the amount of three hundred dollars or actual damages, whichever is greater.


WVC 49 - 5 - 18 §49-5-18. Confidentiality of juvenile records.

     (a) One year after the juvenile's eighteenth birthday, or one year after personal or juvenile jurisdiction has terminated, whichever is later, the records of a juvenile proceeding conducted under this chapter, including, but not limited to, law-enforcement files and records, may be kept in a separate secure confidential place and the records may not be inspected except by order of the circuit court.

     (b) The records of a juvenile proceeding in which a juvenile was transferred to criminal jurisdiction pursuant to the provisions of section ten of this article shall be kept in a separate secure confidential place and the records may not be inspected except by order of the circuit court if the juvenile is subsequently acquitted or found guilty only of an offense other than an offense upon which the waiver or order of transfer was based, or if the offense upon which the waiver or order of transfer was based is subsequently dismissed.

     (c) To keep the confidentiality of juvenile records, they shall be returned to the circuit court in which the case was pending and be kept in a separate confidential file. The records shall be physically marked to show that they are to remain confidential and shall be securely kept and filed in a manner so that no one can have access to determine the identity of the juvenile, except upon order of the circuit court.

     (d) Marking the juvenile records to show they are to remain confidential has the legal effect of extinguishing the offense as if it never occurred.

     (e) The records of a juvenile convicted under the criminal jurisdiction of the circuit court pursuant to subdivision (1), subsection (d), section ten of this article may not be marked and kept as confidential.

     (f) Any person who willfully violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000, or confined in jail for not more than six months, or both so fined and confined, and is liable for damages in the amount of $300 or actual damages, whichever is greater.
WVC 49-5-19 §49-5-19. Discrimination prohibited.
(a) No individual, firm, corporation or other entity shall discriminate against any person in any manner due to that person's prior involvement in a proceeding under this article if that person's records have been expunged pursuant to the provisions of this article. This includes, but is not limited to, discrimination relating to employment, housing, education, obtaining credit, and contractual rights.

(b) Any person who willfully violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, incarcerated not more than six months, or be both fined and incarcerated. Furthermore, a violator of this section shall be liable to the person who has been discriminated against for damages in the amount of three hundred dollars or the actual amount of damages, whichever is greater.


WVC 49 - 5 - 20 §49-5-20. After-care plans.
(a) Prior to the discharge of a juvenile from any institution or facility to which the juvenile was committed pursuant to subdivision (5) or (6), subsection (b), section thirteen of this article, the superintendent of the institution or facility shall call a meeting of the multidisciplinary treatment team to which the child has been referred or, if no referral has been made, convene a multidisciplinary treatment team for any child for which a multidisciplinary treatment plan is required by the provisions of section three, article five-d of this chapter and forward a copy of the juvenile's proposed after-care plan to the circuit court which committed the juvenile. A copy of the plan shall also be sent to: (1) The juvenile's parents or legal guardian; (2) the juvenile's lawyer; (3) the juvenile's probation officer or community mental health center professional; (4) the prosecuting attorney of the county in which the original commitment proceedings were held; and (5) the principal of the school which the juvenile will attend. The plan shall have a list of the names and addresses of these persons attached to it.

(b) The after-care plan shall contain a detailed description of the education, counseling and treatment which the juvenile received while at the institution or facility and it shall also propose a plan for education, counseling and treatment for the juvenile upon the juvenile's discharge. The plan shall also contain a description of any problems the juvenile has, including the source of those problems, and it shall propose a manner for addressing those problems upon discharge.

(c) Within twenty-one days of receiving the plan, the juvenile's probation officer or community mental health center professional shall submit written comments upon the plan to the circuit court which committed the juvenile. Any other person who received a copy of the plan pursuant to subsection (a) of this section may submit written comments upon the plan to the circuit court which committed the juvenile. Any person who submits comments upon the plan shall send a copy of those comments to every other person who received a copy of the plan.

(d) Within twenty-one days of receiving the plan, the juvenile's probation officer or community mental health center professional shall contact all persons, organizations and agencies which are to be involved in executing the plan to determine whether they are capable of executing their responsibilities under the plan and to further determine whether they are willing to execute their responsibilities under the plan.

(e) If adverse comments or objections regarding the plan are submitted to the circuit court, it shall, within forty-five days of receiving the plan, hold a hearing to consider the plan and the adverse comments or objections. Any person, organization or agency which has responsibilities in executing the plan, or their representatives, may be required to appear at the hearing unless they are excused by the circuit court. Within five days of the hearing, the circuit court shall issue an order which adopts the plan as submitted or as modified in response to any comments or objections.

(f) If no adverse comments or objections are submitted, a hearing need not be held. In that case, the circuit court shall consider the plan as submitted and shall, within forty-five days of receiving the plan, issue an order which adopts the plan as submitted.

(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (e) and (f) of this section, the plan which is adopted by the circuit court shall be in the best interests of the juvenile and shall also be in conformity with West Virginia's interest in youth as embodied in subsection (b), section thirteen of this article.

(h) The circuit court which committed the juvenile shall appoint the juvenile's probation officer or community mental health center professional to act as supervisor of the plan. The supervisor shall report the juvenile's progress under the plan to the circuit court every sixty days or until the circuit court determines that no report or no further care is necessary.


WVC 49 - 5 - 21 §49-5-21.

     Repealed.

Acts, 2012 Reg. Sess., Ch. 26.
WVC -5A- ARTICLE 5A. JUVENILE REFEREE SYSTEM.


WVC 49-5A-1 §49-5A-1. Juvenile referee; qualifications; compensation; authority;"child," etc., defined.
In each county, the judge or judges of the circuit court may appoint one person who is qualified by education and experience to serve as juvenile referee on a full-time or part- time basis who shall serve at the will and pleasure of the appointing court. The salary of such referee shall be fixed by the court in accordance with the rules of the supreme court of appeals, and shall be paid out of the state treasury. It shall be the duty of the referee to hold any detention hearing determined necessary pursuant to the provisions of section two of this article. Each referee shall also perform such other duties as are assigned to him by the court to carry out the purposes of this article. Referees shall not be permitted to conduct hearings on the merits of any case.

As used in this article, the terms "child" or "children" shall have the meaning ascribed to those terms elsewhere in this chapter.


WVC 49-5A-2 §49-5A-2. Investigation and release of child taken into custody; detention hearings.
A child who has been arrested or who under color of law is taken into the custody of any officer or employee of the state or any political subdivision thereof shall be forthwith afforded a hearing to ascertain if such child shall be further detained. In connection with any such hearing, the provisions of article five of this chapter shall apply. It shall be the duty of the judge or referee to avoid incarceration of such child in any jail. Unless the circumstances of the case otherwise require, taking into account the welfare of the child as well as the interest of society, such child shall be released forthwith into the custody of his parent or parents, relative, custodian or other responsible adult or agency.


WVC 49-5A-3 §49-5A-3. Orders of juvenile referee or judge following detention hearing; force and effect and finality of such orders.
After a detention hearing conducted by a judge, magistrate or referee an order shall be forthwith entered setting forth the findings of fact and conclusions of law with respect to further detention pending hearing and disposition of the child proceedings involving such juvenile. A copy of such order shall be furnished to the court, if entered by a referee, and to the child and his attorney, if any, and to the parent or parents or guardian of the child. A detention order of a judge or referee shall become effective immediately, subject to the right of review provided for in section four of this article, and shall continue in effect until modified or vacated by the judge.


WVC 49-5A-4 §49-5A-4. Review of order following detention hearing.
Upon the application of any person in interest or on his own motion, a judge may modify or vacate any order entered in his court after a detention hearing and enter such order as to detention or release from detention as he deems just and proper.


WVC 49-5A-5 §49-5A-5. Detention in other counties.
If further detention is ordered, the court may order or referee direct such child to be detained in a facility other than a jail in a county other than the county in which such court sits if no facility other than a jail exists in the county wherein the court sits.


WVC 49-5A-6 §49-5A-6. Assistance of division of juvenile services of the department of military affairs and public safety.
The division of juvenile services of the department of military affairs and public safety is authorized to assign the necessary personnel and provide adequate space for the support and operation of any facility operated by the division of juvenile services of the department of military affairs and public safety providing for the detention of children as provided in this article, subject to and not inconsistent with the appropriation and availability of funds.


WVC 49 - 5 A- 6 A §49-5A-6a. State plan for predispositional detention centers for juveniles.
(a) The division of juvenile services of the department of military affairs and public safety shall develop a comprehensive plan to maintain and improve a unified state system of regional predispositional detention centers for juveniles. The plan shall be predicated upon the maximum utilization of existing resources, facilities and procedures and shall take into consideration recommendations from the department of health and human resources, the regional jail and correctional facility authority, the division of corrections, the governor's committee on crime, delinquency and correction, the supreme court of appeals, the state board of education, detention center personnel, juvenile probation officers and judicial and law-enforcement officials from throughout the state.

The principal purpose of the plan shall be, through statements of policy and program goals, to provide first for the effective and efficient use of existing regional juvenile detention facilities and the prudent allocation of resources for any future expansion or addition.

(b) The plan shall identify operational problems of secure detention centers, including, but not limited to, overcrowding, security and violence within centers, difficulties in moving juveniles through the centers within required time periods, health needs, educational needs, transportation problems, staff turnover and morale and other perceived problem areas. The plan shall further provide recommendations directed to alleviate the problems.

(c) The plan shall include, but not be limited to, statements of policies and goals in the following areas:

(1) Licensing of secure detention centers;

(2) Criteria for placing juveniles in detention;

(3) Alternatives to secure detention;

(4) Allocation of fiscal resources to the costs of secure detention facilities;

(5) Information and referral services; and

(6) Educational regulations developed and approved by the West Virginia board of education.

(d) The president of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Delegates shall designate a committee or task force thereof, to act in a continuing capacity as an oversight committee, which shall assist the director of the division of juvenile services in the development, periodic review and update of the state plan for the predispositional detention centers for juveniles. To this end, the director shall make regular reports to the designated legislative oversight body during the interim period and immediately before any regular session of the Legislature, which reports shall include any recommendations for legislative enactment, together with drafts of any proposed legislation necessary to effectuate those recommendations.


WVC -5B- ARTICLE 5B. WEST VIRGINIA JUVENILE OFFENDER REHABILITATION ACT.


WVC 49-5B-1 §49-5B-1. Short title.
This article shall be known and cited as the "West Virginia Juvenile Offender Rehabilitation Act."


WVC 49-5B-2 §49-5B-2. Purpose and intent.
It is the purpose and intent of the Legislature to provide for the creation of all reasonable means and methods that can be established by a humane and enlightened state, solicitous of the welfare of its children, for the prevention of delinquency and for the care and rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents and status offenders. It is further the intent of the Legislature that this state, through the department of health and human resources, establish, maintain, and continuously refine and develop, a balanced and comprehensive state program for juveniles who are potentially delinquent or are status offenders or juvenile delinquents in the care or custody of the department.


WVC 49 - 5 B- 3 §49-5B-3.
Repealed.

Acts, 1997 Reg. Sess., Ch. 54.


WVC 49 - 5 B- 4 §49-5B-4. Responsibilities of the department of health and human resources and division of juvenile services of the department of military affairs and public safety.
(a) The department of health and human resources and the division of juvenile services of the department of military affairs and public safety are empowered to jointly establish, and shall establish, subject to the limits of funds available or otherwise appropriated therefor, programs and services designed to prevent juvenile delinquency, to divert juveniles from the juvenile justice system, to provide community-based alternatives to juvenile detention and correctional facilities and to encourage a diversity of alternatives within the child welfare and juvenile justice system. The development, maintenance and expansion of programs and services may include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) Community-based programs and services for the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency through the development of foster-care and shelter-care homes, group homes, halfway houses, homemaker and home health services, twenty-four hour intake screening, volunteer and crisis home programs, day treatment and any other designated community-based diagnostic, treatment or rehabilitative service;

(2) Community-based programs and services to work with parents and other family members to maintain and strengthen the family unit so that the juvenile may be retained in his or her home;

(3) Youth service bureaus and other community-based programs to divert youth from the juvenile court or to support, counsel, or provide work and recreational opportunities for status offenders, juvenile delinquents and other youth to help prevent delinquency;

(4) Projects designed to develop and implement programs stressing advocacy activities aimed at improving services for and protecting rights of youth affected by the juvenile justice system;

(5) Educational programs or supportive services designed to encourage status offenders, juvenile delinquents, and other youth to remain in elementary and secondary schools or in alternative learning situations;

(6) Expanded use of professional and paraprofessional personnel and volunteers to work effectively with youth;

(7) Youth initiated programs and outreach programs designed to assist youth who otherwise would not be reached by traditional youth assistance programs; and

(8) A statewide program designed to reduce the number of commitments of juveniles to any form of juvenile facility as a percentage of the state juvenile population; to increase the use of nonsecure community-based facilities as a percentage of total commitments to juvenile facilities; and to discourage the use of secure incarceration and detention.

(b) The department of health and human resources shall establish, within the funds available, an individualized program of rehabilitation for each status offender referred to the department and to each alleged juvenile delinquent referred to the department after being allowed an improvement period by the juvenile court, and for each adjudicated juvenile delinquent who, after adjudication, is referred to the department for investigation or treatment or whose custody is vested in the department. Such individualized program of rehabilitation shall take into account the programs and services to be provided by other public or private agencies or personnel which are available in the community to deal with the circumstances of the particular juvenile. For alleged juvenile delinquents and status offenders, such individualized program of rehabilitation shall be furnished to the juvenile court and shall be available to counsel for the juvenile; it may be modified from time to time at the direction of the department or by order of the juvenile court. The department may develop an individualized program of rehabilitation for any juvenile referred for noncustodial counseling under section five, article three of this chapter, for any juvenile receiving counsel and advice under section three-a, article five of this chapter, or for any other juvenile upon the request of a public or private agency.

(c) The department of health and human resources and the division of juvenile services are authorized and directed to enter into cooperative arrangements and agreements with each other and with private agencies or with agencies of the state and its political subdivisions to fulfill their respective duties under this article and chapter.


WVC 49-5B-5 §49-5B-5. Rehabilitative facilities for status offenders.
(a) The department of health and human resources shall, within the limits of state and federal funds appropriated therefor, establish and maintain one or more rehabilitative facilities to be used exclusively for the lawful custody of status offenders. Each such facility shall be a nonsecure facility having as its purpose the rehabilitation of status offenders. Such facility shall have a bed capacity for not more than twenty juveniles, and shall minimize the institutional atmosphere and prepare the juvenile for reintegration into the community.

(b) Within the funds available, rehabilitative programs and services shall be provided by or through each such facility and may include, but not be limited to, medical, educational, vocational, social and psychological guidance, training, counseling, alcoholism treatment, drug treatment and other rehabilitative services. The department of health and human resources shall provide to each status offender committed to the facility a program of treatment and services consistent with the individualized program of rehabilitation developed for such juvenile. In the case of any other juvenile residing at the facility, the department shall provide such programs and services as may be proper in the circumstances including, but not limited to, any such programs or services directed to be provided by the court.

(c) The board of education of the county in which the facility is located shall provide instruction for juveniles residing at the facility. Residents who can be permitted to do so shall attend local schools, and instruction shall otherwise take place at the facility.

(d) Facilities established pursuant to this section shall be structured as community-based facilities.


WVC 49 - 5 B- 5 A §49-5B-5a. Creating the Juvenile Services Reimbursement Offender Fund.
There is hereby created within the State Treasury a special revenue account designated "The Juvenile Services Status Offender Fund" within and for the benefit of the Division of Juvenile Services for expenses incurred in housing juvenile status offenders in need of stabilization and specialized supervision due to chronic runaway behavior. Moneys shall be paid into the account by the Department of Health and Human Resources based upon an established per diem rate. The Department of Health and Human Resources and the Division of Juvenile Services shall jointly establish the per diem rate to be paid into the fund by the Department of Health and Human Resources for each juvenile status offender in need of stabilization and specialized supervision due to chronic runaway behavior housed in a Division of Juvenile Services staff secure facility pursuant to the provisions of this article and by cooperative agreement. The Director of Juvenile Services is authorized to make expenditures from the fund in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twelve of this code to offset expenses incurred by the Division of Juvenile Services in housing, treatment and caring for juvenile offenders.


WVC 49-5B-6 §49-5B-6. Enforcement of legal custody.
The department of health and human resources shall have authority to require any juvenile committed to its legal custody to remain at and to return to the residence to which the juvenile is assigned by the department or by the juvenile court. In aid of such authority, and upon request of a designated employee of the department, any police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff, or juvenile court probation officer is authorized to take any such juvenile into custody and return such juvenile to his or her place of residence or into the custody of a designated employee of the department.


WVC 49-5B-7 §49-5B-7. Reporting requirements; cataloguing of services.
(a) The department of health and human resources shall from time to time, but not less often than annually, review its programs and services and submit a report to the governor, the Legislature and the supreme court of appeals, analyzing and evaluating the effectiveness of the programs and services being carried out by the department. Such report shall include, but not be limited to, an analysis and evaluation of programs and services continued, established and discontinued during the period covered by the report, and shall further describe programs and services which should be implemented to further the purposes of this article. Such report shall also include, but not be limited to, relevant information concerning the number of juveniles comprising the population of any rehabilitative facility during the period covered by the report, the length of residence, the nature of the problems of each juvenile, the juvenile's response to programs and services and such other information as will enable a user of the report to ascertain the effectiveness of the facility as a rehabilitative facility.

(b) The department of health and human resources shall prepare a descriptive catalogue of its juvenile programs and services available in local communities throughout this state and shall distribute copies of the same to every juvenile court in the state and, at the direction of the juvenile court, such catalogue shall be distributed to attorneys practicing before such court. Such catalogue shall also be made available to members of the general public upon request. The catalogue shall contain sufficient information as to particular programs and services so as to enable a user of the catalogue to make inquiries and referrals. The catalogue shall be constructed so as to meaningfully identify and describe programs and services. The requirements of this section are not satisfied by a simple listing of specific agencies or the individuals in charge of programs at a given time. The catalogue shall be updated and republished or supplemented from time to time as may be required to maintain its usefulness as a resource manual.


WVC 49-5C- ARTICLE 5C. COMMITTEES ON JUVENILE LAW.


WVC 49-5C-1 §49-5C-1. Creation of committees.
The Legislature shall create such committees and forums as may be necessary to oversee matters related to juvenile law, placement, housing, detention and correctional facilities. The Legislature shall delegate or contract such responsibilities and duties to other governmental bodies as needed.


WVC 49-5C-2 §49-5C-2. Powers and duties.
The powers and duties of the committees shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(a) Studying the status and effectiveness of the laws relating to juvenile proceedings, the juvenile referee system, and the West Virginia juvenile offender rehabilitation act, and making recommendations as to any changes needed in the system and the ways and means to effect such changes;

(b) Making further and more specific recommendations within the scope of the study as to the detention of juvenile offenders, considering both short and long-term detention;

(c) Considering existing juvenile detention facilities and making recommendations, with particular attention to financing, as to the need for updating present facilities and/or creating new facilities and the location of each;

(d) Filing a report to each regular session of the Legislature which will include drafts of legislation necessary to effectuate any recommendations;

(e) Maintaining reference materials concerning juvenile offenders including, without limitation, information as to laws and systems in other states;

(f) Visiting, inspecting, and interviewing residents of juvenile institutions, detention facilities, and places wherein West Virginia juveniles may be held involuntarily and making public reports of such reviews;

(g) Overseeing the maintenance and improvement of the system of predispositional detention of juveniles.


WVC 49-5C-3 §49-5C-3. Appointment of members.
The committees may include qualified members of the general public as well as members of the Senate and the House of Delegates. An effort shall be made to include representatives of more than one political party on each committee.


WVC 49-5C-4 §49-5C-4. Time and place of meetings.
The committees shall hold meetings at such times and places as they may designate.


WVC 49-5C-5 §49-5C-5. Assistance of other agencies.
The committees may request information from any state officer or agency in order to assist in carrying out the terms of this article, and such officer or agency is authorized and directed to promptly furnish any data requested.


WVC 49-5C-6 §49-5C-6. Expenses; reimbursement.
The members of the committees and their assistants shall be reimbursed for all expenses actually and necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties hereunder by the joint committee on government and finance from the joint expenses fund.


WVC -5D- ARTICLE 5D. MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAMS.


WVC 49-5D-1 §49-5D-1. Purpose; additional cases and teams.
(a) The purpose of this article is to provide a system for evaluation of and coordinated service delivery for children who may be victims of abuse or neglect and children undergoing certain status offense and delinquency proceedings. It is the further purpose of this article to establish, as a complement to other programs of the department of health and human resources, a multidisciplinary screening, advisory and planning system to assist courts in facilitating permanency planning, following the initiation of judicial proceedings, to recommend alternatives and to coordinate evaluations and in-community services. It is the further purpose of this article to ensure that children are safe from abuse and neglect and to coordinate investigation of alleged child abuse offenses and competent criminal prosecution of offenders to ensure that safety, as determined appropriate by the prosecuting attorney.

(b) Nothing in this article precludes any multidisciplinary team from considering any case upon the consent of the members of the team.


WVC 49 - 5 D- 2 §49-5D-2. Multidisciplinary investigative teams; establishment; procedures; coordination between agencies.

     (a) The prosecuting attorney shall establish a multidisciplinary investigative team in each county. The multidisciplinary team shall be headed and directed by the prosecuting attorney or his or her designee and shall include as permanent members the prosecuting attorney or his or her designee, a local child protective services caseworker from the Department of Health and Human Resources; a local law-enforcement officer employed by a law-enforcement agency in the county; a child advocacy center representative, where available; a health care provider with pediatric and child abuse expertise, where available; a mental health professional with pediatric and child abuse expertise, where available; an educator and a representative from a licensed domestic violence program serving the county. The Department of Health and Human Resources and any local law- enforcement agency or agencies selected by the prosecuting attorney shall appoint their representatives to the team by submitting a written designation of the team to the prosecuting attorney of each county within thirty days of the prosecutor's request that the appointment be made. Within fifteen days of the appointment, the prosecuting attorney shall notify the chief judge of each circuit within which the county is situated of the names of the representatives so appointed. Any other person or any other appointee of an agency who may contribute to the team's efforts to assist a minor child as may be determined by the permanent members of the team may also be appointed as a member of the team by the prosecutor with notification to the chief judge.

     (b) Any permanent member of the multidisciplinary investigative team shall refer all cases of accidental death of any child reported to their agency and all cases when a child dies while in the custody of the state for investigation and review by the team. The multidisciplinary investigative team shall meet at regular intervals at least once every calendar month.

     (c) The investigative team shall be responsible for coordinating or cooperating in the initial and ongoing investigation of all civil and criminal allegations pertinent to cases involving child sexual assault, child sexual abuse, child abuse and neglect and shall make a recommendation to the county prosecuting attorney as to the initiation or commencement of a civil petition and/or criminal prosecution.

     (d) State, county and local agencies shall provide the multidisciplinary investigative team with any information requested in writing by the team as allowable by law or upon receipt of a certified copy of the circuit court's order directing said agencies to release information in its possession relating to the child. The team shall assure that all information received and developed in connection with the provisions of this article remains confidential. For purposes of this section, the term "confidential" shall be construed in accordance with the provisions of section one, article seven of this chapter.
WVC 49 - 5 D- 3 §49-5D-3. Multidisciplinary treatment planning process.

     (a) (1) A multidisciplinary treatment planning process for cases initiated pursuant to articles five and six of this chapter shall be established within each county of the state, either separately or in conjunction with a contiguous county, by the secretary of the department with advice and assistance from the prosecutor's advisory council as set forth in section four, article four, chapter seven of this code. The Division of Juvenile Services shall establish a similar treatment planning process for delinquency cases in which the juvenile has been committed to its custody, including those cases in which the juvenile has been committed for examination and diagnosis.

     (2) The provisions of this section do not require a multidisciplinary team meeting to be held prior to temporarily placing a child or juvenile out-of-home under exigent circumstances or upon a court order placing a juvenile in a facility operated by the Division of Juvenile Services.

     (b) The case manager in the Department of Health and Human Resources for the child, family or juvenile or the case manager in the Division of Juvenile Services for a juvenile shall convene a treatment team in each case when it is required pursuant to this article.

     Prior to disposition, in each case in which a treatment planning team has been convened, the team shall advise the court as to the types of services the team has determined are needed and the type of placement, if any, which will best serve the needs of the child. If the team determines that an out-of-home placement will best serve the needs of the child, the team shall first consider placement with appropriate relatives then with foster care homes, facilities or programs located within the state. The team may only recommend placement in an out-of-state facility if it concludes, after considering the best interests and overall needs of the child, that there are no available and suitable in-state facilities which can satisfactorily meet the specific needs of the child.

     Any person authorized by the provisions of this chapter to convene a multidisciplinary team meeting may seek and receive an order of the circuit court setting such meeting and directing attendance. Members of the multidisciplinary team may participate in team meetings by telephone or video conferencing: Provided, That the provisions of this subsection do not prevent the respective agencies from designating a person other than the case manager as a facilitator for treatment team meetings: Provided however, That written notice shall be provided to all team members of the availability to participate by videoconferencing.

     (c) The treatment team shall coordinate its activities and membership with local family resource networks and coordinate with other local and regional child and family service planning committees to assure the efficient planning and delivery of child and family services on a local and regional level.

     (d) The multidisciplinary treatment team shall be afforded access to information in the possession of the Department of Health and Human Resources, Division of Juvenile Services, law-enforcement agencies and other state, county and local agencies; and the agencies shall cooperate in the sharing of information, as may be provided in sections three(d) and six, article five-d and section one, article seven, all of chapter forty-nine, and any other relevant provision of law. Any multidisciplinary team member who acquires confidential information shall not disclose such information except as permitted by the provisions of this code or court rules.
WVC 49 - 5 D- 3 A §49-5D-3a. Recommendation of team to the court; hearing requirement; required findings.

     (a) In any case in which a multidisciplinary treatment team develops an individualized service plan for a child or family pursuant to the provisions of this article, the court shall review the proposed service plan to determine if implementation of the plan is in the child's best interests. If the multidisciplinary team cannot agree on a plan or if the court determines not to adopt the team's recommendations, it shall, upon motion or sua sponte, schedule and hold within ten days of such determination, and prior to the entry of an order placing the child in the custody of the department or in an out-of-home setting, a hearing to consider evidence from the team as to its rationale for the proposed service plan. If, after a hearing held pursuant to the provisions of this section, the court does not adopt the teams's recommended service plan, it shall make specific written findings as to why the team's recommended service plan was not adopted.

     (b) In any case in which the court decides to order the child placed in an out-of-state facility or program it shall set forth in the order directing the placement the reasons why the child was not placed in an in-state facility or program.

     (c) Any member of the multidisciplinary treatment team who disagrees with recommendations of the team may inform the court of his or her own recommendations and objections to the team's recommendations. The recommendations and objections of the dissenting team member may be made in a hearing on the record, made in writing and served upon each team member and filed with the court and indicated in the case plan, or both made in writing and indicated in the case plan. Upon receiving objections, the court will conduct a hearing pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section.
WVC 49 - 5 D- 3 B §49-5D-3b. Multidisciplinary treatment planning process involving child abuse and neglect.

     (a) Within thirty days of the initiation of a judicial proceeding pursuant to article six of this chapter, the Department of Health and Human Services shall convene a multidisciplinary treatment team to assess, plan and implement a comprehensive, individualized service plan for children who are victims of abuse or neglect and their families. The multidisciplinary team shall obtain and utilize any assessments for the children or the adult respondents that it deems necessary to assist in the development of such a plan.

     (b) In a case initiated pursuant to article six of this chapter, the treatment team shall consist of the child or family's case manager in the Department of Health and Human Resources, the adult respondent or respondents, the child's parent or parents, guardians, any copetitioners, custodial relatives of the child, foster or preadoptive parents, any attorney representing an adult respondent or other member of the treatment team, the child's counsel or the guardian ad litem, the prosecuting attorney or his or her designee, a member of a child advocacy center when the child has been processed through the child advocacy center program or programs or it is otherwise appropriate that a member of the child advocacy center participate, any court-appointed special advocate assigned to a case, any other person entitled to notice and the right to be heard, an appropriate school official and any other person or agency representative who may assist in providing recommendations for the particular needs of the child and family, including domestic violence service providers. The child may participate in multidisciplinary treatment team meetings if the child's participation is deemed appropriate by the multidisciplinary treatment team. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, a party whose parental rights have been terminated and his or her attorney shall not be given notice of a multidisciplinary treatment team meeting and does not have the right to participate in any treatment team meeting.

     (c) Prior to disposition in each case which a treatment planning team has been convened, the team shall advise the court as to the types of services the team has determined are needed and the type of placement, if any, which will best serve the needs of the child. If the team determines that an out-of-home placement will best serve the needs of the child, the team shall first consider placement with appropriate relatives then with foster care homes, facilities or programs located within the state. The team may only recommend placement in an out-of-state facility if it concludes, after considering the best interests and overall needs of the child, that there are no available and suitable in-state facilities which can satisfactorily meet the specific needs of the child.

     (d) The multidisciplinary treatment team shall submit written reports to the court as required by the rules governing this type of proceeding or by the court, and shall meet as often as deemed necessary but at least every three months until the case is dismissed from the docket of the court. The multidisciplinary treatment team shall be available for status conferences and hearings as required by the court.

     (e) If a respondent or copetitioner admits the underlying allegations of child abuse or neglect, or both abuse and neglect, in the multidisciplinary treatment planning process, his or her statements not be used in any subsequent criminal proceeding against him or her, except for perjury or false swearing.
WVC 49 - 5 D- 3 C §49-5D-3c. Multidisciplinary treatment process for status offenders or delinquents.

  (1) When a juvenile is adjudicated as a status offender pursuant to section eleven-d, article five of this chapter, the Department of Health and Human Resources shall promptly convene a multidisciplinary treatment team and conduct an assessment, utilizing a standard uniform comprehensive assessment instrument or protocol, to determine the juvenile's mental and physical condition, maturity and education level, home and family environment, rehabilitative needs and recommended service plan, which shall be provided in writing to the court and team members. Upon completion of the assessment, the treatment team shall prepare and implement a comprehensive, individualized service plan for the juvenile.

  (2) When a juvenile is adjudicated as a delinquent or has been granted an improvement period pursuant to section nine, article five of this chapter, the court, either upon its own motion or motion of a party, may require the Department of Health and Human Resources to convene a multidisciplinary treatment team and conduct an assessment, utilizing a standard uniform comprehensive assessment instrument or protocol, to determine the juvenile's mental and physical condition, maturity and education level, home and family environment, rehabilitative needs and recommended service plan, which shall be provided in writing to the court and team members. A referral to the Department of Health and Human Resources to convene a multidisciplinary treatment team and to conduct such an assessment shall be made when the court is considering placing the juvenile in the department's custody or placing the juvenile out-of-home at the department's expense pursuant to section thirteen, article five of this chapter. In any delinquency proceeding in which the court requires the Department of Health and Human Resources to convene a multidisciplinary treatment team, the probation officer shall notify the department at least fifteen working days before the court proceeding in order to allow the department sufficient time to convene and develop an individualized service plan for the juvenile.

  (3) When a juvenile has been adjudicated and committed to the custody of the Director of the Division of Juvenile Services, including those cases in which the juvenile has been committed for examination and diagnosis, the Division of Juvenile Services shall promptly convene a multidisciplinary treatment team and conduct an assessment, utilizing a standard uniform comprehensive assessment instrument or protocol, to determine the juvenile's mental and physical condition, maturity and education level, home and family environment, rehabilitative needs and recommended service plan. Upon completion of the assessment, the treatment team shall prepare and implement a comprehensive, individualized service plan for thejuvenile, which shall be provided in writing to the court and team members. In cases where the juvenile is committed as a post- sentence disposition to the custody of the Division of Juvenile Services, the plan shall be reviewed quarterly by the multidisciplinary treatment team. Where a juvenile has been detained in a facility operated by the Division of Juvenile Services without an active service plan for more than sixty days, the director of the facility may call a multidisciplinary team meeting to review the case and discuss the status of the service plan.

  (4) (A) The rules of juvenile procedure shall govern the procedure for obtaining an assessment of a juvenile, preparing an individualized service plan and submitting the plan and assessment to the court.

  (B) In juvenile proceedings conducted pursuant to article five of this chapter, the treatment team shall consist of the juvenile, the juvenile's case manager in the Department of Health and Human Resources or the Division of Juvenile Services, the juvenile's parent or parents, guardian or guardians or custodial relatives, the juvenile's attorney, any attorney representing a member of the treatment team, the prosecuting attorney or his or her designee, an appropriate school official and any other person or agency representative who may assist in providing recommendations for the particular needs of the juvenile and family, including domestic violence service providers. In delinquency proceedings, the probation officer shall be a member of a treatment team. When appropriate, the juvenile case manager in the Department of Health and Human Resources and the Division of Juvenile Services shall cooperate in conducting multidisciplinary treatment team meetings when it is in the juvenile's best interest.

  (C) Prior to disposition, in each case in which a treatment planning team has been convened, the team shall advise the court as to the types of services the team has determined are needed and type of placement, if any, which will best serve the needs of the child. If the team determines that an out-of-home placement will best serve the needs of the child, the team shall first consider placement at facilities or programs located within the state. The team may only recommend placement in an out-of-state facility if it concludes, after considering the best interests and overall needs of the child, that there are no available and suitable in-state facilities which can satisfactorily meet the specific needs of the child.

  (D) The multidisciplinary treatment team shall submit written reports to the court as required by applicable law or by the court, shall meet with the court at least every three months, as long as the juvenile remains in the legal or physical custody of the state, and shall be available for status conferences and hearings as required by the court.

  (E) In any case in which a juvenile has been placed out of his or her home except for a temporary placement in a shelter or detention center, the multidisciplinary treatment team shall cooperate with the state agency in whose custody the juvenile is placed to develop an after-care plan. The rules of juvenile procedure and section twenty, article five, chapter forty-nine of the code shall govern the development of an after-care plan for a juvenile, the submission of the plan to the court and any objection to the after-care plan.

  (F) If a juvenile respondent admits the underlying allegations of the case initiated pursuant to article five, chapter forty-nine of this code in the multidisciplinary treatment planning process, his or her statements shall not be used in any juvenile or criminal proceedings against the juvenile, except for perjury or false swearing.
WVC 49-5D-4 §49-5D-4. Report of teams.
All persons directing any team created pursuant to this article shall maintain records of each meeting indicating the name and position of persons attending each meeting and the number of cases discussed at the meeting, including a designation of whether or not that case was previously discussed by any multidisciplinary team. Further, all investigative teams shall maintain a log of all cases to indicate the number of referrals to that team, whether or not a police report was filed with the prosecuting attorney's office, whether or not a petition was sought pursuant to section one, article six of this chapter, or whether or not a criminal complaint was issued and a case was criminally prosecuted. All treatment teams shall maintain a log of all cases to indicate the basis for failure to review a case for a period in excess of six months.


WVC 49 - 5 D- 5 §49-5D-5.

     Repealed.

Acts, 2013 Reg. Sess., Ch. 82.
WVC 49-5D-6 §49-5D-6. Other agencies of government required to cooperate.
State, county and local agencies shall provide the multidisciplinary teams with any information requested in writing by the team as allowable by law or upon receipt of a certified copy of the circuit court's order directing said agencies to release information in its possession relating to the child. The team shall assure that all information received and developed in connection with the provisions of this article remain confidential. For purposes of this section, the term "confidential" shall be construed in accordance with the provisions of section one, article seven of this chapter.


WVC 49-5D-7 §49-5D-7. Law enforcement; prosecution; interference with performance of duties.
No multidisciplinary team may take any action which, in the determination of the prosecuting attorney or his or her assistant, impairs the ability of the prosecuting attorney, his or her assistant, or any law enforcement officer to perform his or her statutory duties.


WVC 49 - 5 D- 8 §49-5D-8. Exemption from multidisciplinary team review for emergency out-of-home placements.
Notwithstanding any provisions of this article to the contrary, a multidisciplinary team recommendation shall not be required for temporary out-of-home placement of a child in an emergency circumstance or for purposes of assessment as provided for by the provisions of this article.


WVC 49-5E- ARTICLE 5E. DIVISION OF JUVENILE SERVICES.


WVC 49 - 5 E- 1 §49-5E-1. Policy.
It is the policy of the state to provide a coordinated continuum of care for its children who have been charged with an offense which would be a crime if committed by an adult, whether they are taken into custody and securely detained or released pending adjudication by the court. It is further the policy of the state to ensure the safe and efficient custody of a securely detained child through the entire juvenile justice process, and this can best be accomplished by the state by providing for cooperation and coordination between the agencies of government which are charged with responsibilities for the children of the state. Accordingly, whenever any juvenile is ordered by the court to be transferred from the custody of one of these agencies into the custody of the other, the department of health and human resources and the division of juvenile services shall cooperate with each other to the maximum extent necessary in order to ease the child's transition and to reduce unnecessary cost, duplication and delay.


WVC 49 - 5 E- 2 §49-5E-2. Division created; transfer of functions; employment of comprehensive strategy.
(a) There is hereby created the division of juvenile services within the department of military affairs and public safety. The director shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate and shall be responsible for the control and supervision of each of its offices. The director may appoint deputy directors and assign them duties as may be necessary for the efficient management and operation of the division.

(b) The division of juvenile services shall consist of two subdivisions:

(1) The office of juvenile detention, which shall assume responsibility for operating and maintaining centers for the predispositional detention of juveniles, including juveniles who have been transferred to adult criminal jurisdiction under section ten, article five of this chapter and juveniles who are awaiting transfer to a juvenile corrections facility; and

(2) The office of juvenile corrections, which shall assume responsibility for operating and maintaining juvenile corrections facilities.

(c) Notwithstanding any provisions of this code to the contrary, whenever a juvenile is ordered into the custody of the division of juvenile services, the director shall have the authority to place the juvenile while he or she is in the division's custody at whichever facility operated by the division is deemed by the director to be most appropriate considering the juvenile's well-being and any recommendations of the court placing the juvenile in the division's custody.


WVC 49 - 5 E- 3 §49-5E-3. Transfer of functions; duties and powers; employment of comprehensive strategy.
The division of juvenile services shall assume the following duties previously performed by the department of health and human resources as to juveniles in detention facilities or juvenile corrections facilities:

(1) Cooperating with the United States department of justice in operating, maintaining and improving juvenile correction facilities and predispositional detention centers, complying with regulations thereof, and receiving and expending federal funds for the services, as set forth in section one, article one of this chapter;

(2) Providing care for children needing secure detention pending disposition by a court having juvenile jurisdiction or temporary care following such court action, as set forth in section sixteen, article two of this chapter;

(3) Assigning the necessary personnel and providing adequate space for the support and operation of any facility providing for the secure detention of children committed to the care of the division of juvenile services, as set forth in section six, article five-a of this chapter;

(4) Proposing rules which outline policies and procedures governing the operation of correctional, detention and other facilities in its division wherein juveniles may be securely housed, as set forth in section sixteen-a, article five of this chapter;

(5) Assigning the necessary personnel and providing adequate space for the support and operation of its facilities, as set forth in section six, article five-a of this chapter;

(6) Developing a comprehensive plan to maintain and improve a unified state system of regional predispositional detention centers for juveniles, as set forth in section thirteen-e, article five and section six-a, article five-a of this chapter;

(7) Working in cooperation with the department of health and human resources in establishing, maintaining, and continuously refining and developing a balanced and comprehensive state program for children who have been adjudicated delinquent, as set forth in section two, article six-b of this chapter;

(8) In cooperation with the department of health and human resources establishing programs and services within available funds, designed to prevent juvenile delinquency, to divert juveniles from the juvenile justice system, to provide community-based alternatives to juvenile detention and correctional facilities and to encourage a diversity of alternatives within the juvenile justice system, as set forth in section four, article five-b of this chapter.

Working in collaboration with the department of health and human resources, the division of juvenile services shall employ a comprehensive strategy for the social and rehabilitative programming and treatment of juveniles, consistent with the principles adopted by the office of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention of the office of justice programs of the United States department of justice.


WVC 49-5E-4 §49-5E-4. Transfer of Kanawha home for children to the division of juvenile services.
(a) "Kanawha home for children" means the county home for the detention of juvenile delinquents or children charged with delinquency as established by the county commission of Kanawha County pursuant to the provisions of a local bill, House Bill No. 141, enacted by the Legislature on the fourteenth day of February, one thousand nine hundred fifty-five, as set forth in the Acts of the West Virginia Legislature, Regular Session, 1955, ch. 185.

(b) After the effective date of the amendment to this section, enacted during the regular session of the Legislature, one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight, the division of juvenile services shall assume all responsibility for funding, operating, maintaining, administering and managing the Kanawha home for children. To this end, the director of the division of juvenile services may enter into a lease agreement with the Kanawha county commission, for the premises and all improvements, appurtenances, equipment and furnishings on the premises constituting the Kanawha home for children, and may operate, manage and maintain the facility as one of the several centers under the supervision and control of the division which provide secure predispositional detention of juveniles, including juveniles who have been transferred to adult criminal jurisdiction under section ten, article five of this chapter and juveniles who are awaiting transfer to a juvenile corrections facility.


WVC 49 - 5 E- 5 §49-5E-5. Rules for specialized training for juvenile corrections officers and detention center employees.
The division of juvenile services shall propose legislative rules to be promulgated by the Legislature according to the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, to require juvenile corrections officers and detention center employees to complete specialized training and certification. The training programs shall meet the standards of those offered or endorsed by the office of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention of the office of justice programs of the United States department of justice.


WVC 49 - 5 E- 5 A §49-5E-5a. Juvenile detention and corrections facilities; employees; priority of hiring.
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, the division, when employing any persons to complete the approved staffing plan of any of its juvenile detention or corrections facilities, shall employ any person otherwise qualified who applies for a position at the juvenile detention or corrections facility who was also employed in good standing at a county or local jail facility, at the time of its closing, that was closed due to the completion of a regional jail.

(b) All persons employed at a juvenile detention or corrections facility shall be employed at a salary and with benefits consistent with the approved plan of compensation of the Division of Personnel, created under section five, article six, chapter twenty-nine of this code; all employees shall also be covered by the policies and procedures of the West Virginia Public Employees Grievance Board, created under article two, chapter six-c of this code and the classified service protection policies of the Division of Personnel.


WVC 49 - 5 E- 6 §49-5E-6. Medical and other treatment of juveniles in custody of the division; coordination of care and claims processing and administration by the department; authorization of certain cooperative agreements.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the director, or his or her designee, is hereby authorized to consent to the medical or other treatment of any juvenile in the legal or physical custody of the director or the division.

(b) In providing or arranging for the necessary medical and other care and treatment of juveniles committed to the division's custody, the director shall utilize service providers who provide the same or similar services to juveniles under existing contracts with the Department of Health and Human Resources. In order to obtain the most advantageous reimbursement rates, to capitalize on an economy of scale and to avoid duplicative systems and procedures, the department shall administer and process all claims for medical or other treatment of juveniles committed to the division's custody.

(c) In providing or arranging for the necessary medical and other care and treatment of juveniles committed to the division's custody, the director shall assure that pregnant inmates will not be restrained after reaching the second trimester of pregnancy until the end of the pregnancy: Provided, That if the inmate, based upon her classification, discipline history or other factors deemed relevant by the director poses a threat of escape, or to the safety of herself, the public, staff, or the unborn child, the inmate may be restrained in a manner reasonably necessary: Provided, however, That prior to directing the application of restraints and where there is no threat to the safety of the inmate, the public, staff or the fetus, the director or designee shall consult with an appropriate health care professional to assure that the manner of restraint will not pose an unreasonable risk of harm to the inmate or the fetus.

(d) For purposes of implementing the mandates of this section, the director is hereby authorized and directed to enter into any necessary agreements with the Department of Health and Human Resources. Any such agreement shall specify, at a minimum, for the direct and incidental costs associated with such care and treatment to be paid by the Division of Juvenile Services.


WVC 49 - 5 E- 6 A §49-5E-6a. Juvenile trustee accounts and funds, earnings and personal property of juveniles.

     (a) The Director of Juvenile Services may establish at each facility under his or her jurisdiction a "Juvenile Trustee Fund". The administrator or designee of each facility may receive and take charge of the money and personal property, as defined by policy, of all juveniles in his or her facility and all money or personal property, as defined by policy, sent to the juveniles or earned by the juveniles as compensation for work performed while they are domiciled there. The administrator or designee shall credit the money and earnings to the juveniles entitled to it and shall keep an accurate account of all the money and personal property so received, which account is subject to examination by the Director of Juvenile Services and the Assistant Director of Budget and Finance of the Division of Juvenile Services. The administrator or designee shall deposit the moneys in one or more responsible banks in accounts to be designated a "Juvenile Trustee Fund".

     (b) The administrator or designee shall keep in an account for all juveniles at least ten percent of all money earned during the juveniles commitment and pay the money to the juvenile at the time of the juvenile's release. The administrator or designee may authorize the juvenile to withdraw money from his or her mandatory savings for the purpose of preparing the juvenile for reentry into society.

     (c) The administrator or designee shall deliver to the juvenile at the time he or she leaves the facility, or as soon as practicable after departure, all personal property, moneys and earnings then credited to the juvenile, or in case of the death of the juvenile before authorized release from the facility, the administrator or designee shall deliver the property to the juvenile's personal representative. If a conservator is appointed for the juvenile while he or she is domiciled at the facility, the administrator or designee shall deliver to the conservator, upon proper demand, all moneys and personal property belonging to the juvenile that are in the custody of the administrator.

     (d) If any money is credited to a former juvenile resident after remittance of the sum of money as provided in subsection (c), the administrator or designee shall mail the funds to the former juvenile resident's last known address. If the funds are returned to the facility, the administrator or designee will forward those funds to the Division of Juvenile Service's Assistant Director of Budget and Finance to submit the funds to the State Treasurer's Office-Unclaimed Property Division.

     (e) The facility shall compile a monthly report that specifically documents juvenile trustee fund receipts and expenditures and submit the reconciled monthly bank statements to the Division of Juvenile Service's Assistant Director of Budget and Finance.
WVC 49 - 5 E- 6 B §49-5E-6b. Juvenile benefit funds.

     (a) There is hereby established a special revenue account in the State Treasury for each juvenile benefit fund established by the director. Moneys received by an institution for deposit in an juvenile benefit fund shall be deposited with the State Treasurer to be credited to the special revenue account created for the institution's juvenile benefit fund. Moneys in a special revenue account established for a juvenile benefit fund may be expended by the institution for the purposes set forth in this section.

     (b) Moneys in an account established for a juvenile benefit fund may be expended by the facility for the purposes set forth in this section. Moneys to be deposited into a juvenile benefit fund consist of:

     (1) All profit from the exchange or commissary operation and, if the commissary is operated by a vendor, whether a public or private entity, the profit is the negotiated commission paid to the Division of Juvenile Services by the vendor;

     (2) All net proceeds from vending machines used for juvenile resident visitation;

     (3) All proceeds from contracted juvenile resident telephone commissions;

     (4) Any funds that may be assigned by juveniles or donated to the facility by the general public or a service organization on behalf of all the juveniles; and

     (5) Any funds confiscated considered contraband.

     (c) The juvenile benefit fund may only be used for the following purposes at juvenile facilities:

     (1) Open-house visitation functions or other nonroutine campus-wide activities which will enhance programming goals of the facility;

     (2) Holiday functions which may include decorations, food and gifts for residents or family of residents;

     (3) Rental of videos;

     (4) Payment of video license;

     (5) Supplemental supplies and equipment which will enrich the facilities' program activities;

     (6) Hardship needs for juvenile residents if approved by the Division of Juvenile Services Director; and

     (7) Any special activities or rewards for residents.

     (d) The facility shall compile a monthly report that specifically documents juvenile benefit fund receipts and expenditures and submit the reconciled monthly bank statements to the Division of Juvenile Services Assistant Director of Budget and Finance.
WVC 49-5E-7 §49-5E-7. Provision of educational services for juveniles placed in predispositional detention facilities.
(a) The state board of education is authorized to provide for adequate and appropriate education opportunities for juveniles placed in secure predispositional detention centers operated by or under contract with the division of juvenile services.

(b) Subject to appropriations by the Legislature, the state board is authorized: (1) To provide education programs and services for juveniles on the grounds of secure predispositional detention centers; (2) to hire classroom teachers and other school personnel necessary to provide adequate and appropriate education opportunities to these juveniles; and (3) to provide education services for the detained juveniles on a twelve-month basis.

(c) The division of juvenile services shall cooperate with the state board and the state superintendent in the establishment and maintenance of education programs authorized under this section. Subject to appropriations by the Legislature, the division of juvenile services shall provide, or cause to be provided, adequate space and facilities for the education programs. The state board may not be required to construct, improve or maintain any building, other improvement to real estate or fixtures attached thereto at any secure predispositional detention center for the purpose of establishing and maintaining an education program.

(d) The state board may develop and approve rules in accordance with article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the education of juveniles in secure predispositional detention centers.


WVC 49 - 5 E- 8 §49-5E-8. Arrest authority of juvenile correctional and detention officers.
(a) Persons employed by the division of juvenile services as juvenile correctional officers or detention officers are authorized and empowered to arrest persons already in the custody of the division of juvenile services for violations of law that occur in the officer's presence, including escape.

(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed as to make a juvenile correctional or detention officer employed by the division of juvenile services a law-enforcement officer as defined in section one, article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code.


WVC -6- ARTICLE 6. PROCEDURE IN CASES OF CHILD NEGLECT OR ABUSE.


WVC 49 - 6 - 1 §49-6-1. Petition to court when child believed neglected or abused; notice.
(a) If the department or a reputable person believes that a child is neglected or abused, the department or the person may present a petition setting forth the facts to the circuit court in the county in which the child resides, or if the petition is being brought by the department, in the county in which the custodial respondent or other named party abuser resides, or in which the abuse or neglect occurred, or to the judge of the court in vacation. Under no circumstance may a party file a petition in more than one county based on the same set of facts. The petition shall be verified by the oath of some credible person having knowledge of the facts. The petition shall allege specific conduct including time and place, how such conduct comes within the statutory definition of neglect or abuse with references thereto, any supportive services provided by the department to remedy the alleged circumstances and the relief sought. Upon filing of the petition, the court shall set a time and place for a hearing and shall appoint counsel for the child. When there is an order for temporary custody pursuant to section three of this article, the hearing shall be held within thirty days of the order, unless a continuance for a reasonable time is granted to a date certain, for good cause shown.

(b) The petition and notice of the hearing shall be served upon both parents and any other custodian, giving to the parents or custodian at least ten days' notice. Notice shall also be given to the department, any foster or preadoptive parent, and any relative providing care for the child. In cases wherein personal service within West Virginia cannot be obtained after due diligence upon any parent or other custodian, a copy of the petition and notice of the hearing shall be mailed to the person by certified mail, addressee only, return receipt requested, to the last known address of such person. If the person signs the certificate, service shall be complete and the certificate shall be filed as proof of the service with the clerk of the circuit court. If service cannot be obtained by personal service or by certified mail, notice shall be by publication as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code. A notice of hearing shall specify the time and place of the hearing, the right to counsel of the child and parents or other custodians at every stage of the proceedings and the fact that the proceedings can result in the permanent termination of the parental rights. Failure to object to defects in the petition and notice shall not be construed as a waiver.

(c) At the time of the institution of any proceeding under this article, the department shall provide supportive services in an effort to remedy circumstances detrimental to a child.


WVC 49-6-1a §49-6-1a. Minimum staffing complement for child protective services.
For the sole purpose of increasing the number of full time front line child protective service case workers and investigators, the secretary of the department of health and human resources shall have the authority to transfer funds between all general revenue accounts under the secretary's authority and/or between personnel and nonpersonnel lines within each account under the secretary's authority: Provided, That nothing in this section shall be construed to require the department to hire additional child protective service workers at any time if the department determines that funds are not available for such workers. Additionally, the secretary shall prepare a plan to allow the department to progressively reduce caseload standards in West Virginia for child protective services workers, which if adopted by the Legislature during the regular session of the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-five, shall require implementation no later than the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-six, with said plan to be submitted to the joint committee on government and finance by the thirtieth day of September, one thousand nine hundred ninety-four, and a final report to be submitted to the Legislature by the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five.


WVC 49 - 6 - 2 §49-6-2. Petition to court when child believed neglected or abused -- Right to counsel; improvement period; hearing; priority of proceeding; transcript.

     (a) In any proceeding under the provisions of this article, the child, his or her or parents and his or her legally established custodian or other persons standing in loco parentis to him or her shall have the right to be represented by counsel at every stage of the proceedings and shall be informed by the court of their right to be so represented and that if they cannot pay for the services of counsel, that counsel will be appointed. Counsel of the child shall be appointed in the initial order. If the order gives physical custody of the child to the state, the initial order shall appoint counsel for the parents or, if the parents are separated or divorced, the parents or parent or other person or persons standing in loco parentis who had physical custody of the child for the majority of the time in the period immediately preceding the petition: Provided, That such representation shall only continue after the first appearance if the parent or other persons standing in loco parentis cannot pay for the services of counsel. Counsel for other parties shall only be appointed upon request for appointment of counsel. If the requesting parties have not retained counsel and cannot pay for the services of counsel, the court shall, by order entered of record, appoint an attorney or attorneys to represent the other party or parties and so inform the parties. Under no circumstances may the same attorney represent both the child and the other party or parties, nor shall the same attorney represent both parents or custodians. However, one attorney may represent both parents or custodians where both parents or guardians consent to this representation after the attorney fully discloses to the client the possible conflict and where the attorney assures the court that she or he is able to represent each client without impairing her or his professional judgment; however, if more than one child from a family is involved in the proceeding, one attorney may represent all the children. A parent who has been judicially determined to be battered shall be entitled to his or her own attorney. The court may allow to each attorney so appointed a fee in the same amount which appointed counsel can receive in felony cases. Effective July 1, 2012, any attorney appointed pursuant to this section shall receive a minimum of eight hours of continuing legal education training per reporting period on child abuse and neglect procedure and practice. In addition to this requirement, after July 1, 2013, any attorney appointed to represent a child must first complete training on representation of children that is approved by the administrative office of the Supreme Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court of Appeals shall develop procedures for approval and certification of training required under this section by July 1, 2012: Provided, however, That where no attorney who has completed this training is available for such appointment, the court shall appoint a competent attorney with demonstrated knowledge of child welfare law to represent the parent or child. Any attorney appointed pursuant to this section shall perform all duties required as an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of West Virginia.

     (b) In any proceeding brought pursuant to the provisions of this article, the court may grant any respondent an improvement period in accord with the provisions of this article. During such period, the court may require temporary custody with a responsible person which has been found to be a fit and proper person for the temporary custody of the child or children or the state department or other agency during the improvement period. An order granting such improvement period shall require the department to prepare and submit to the court a family case plan in accordance with the provisions of section three, article six-d of this chapter.

     (c) In any proceeding pursuant to the provisions of this article, the party or parties having custodial or other parental rights or responsibilities to the child shall be afforded a meaningful opportunity to be heard, including the opportunity to testify and to present and cross-examine witnesses. The petition shall not be taken as confessed. A transcript or recording shall be made of all proceedings unless waived by all parties to the proceeding. The rules of evidence shall apply. Where relevant, the court shall consider the efforts of the state department to remedy the alleged circumstances. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court shall make a determination based upon the evidence and shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law as to whether such child is abused or neglected and, if applicable, whether the parent, guardian, or custodian is a battered parent, all of which shall be incorporated into the order of the court. The findings must be based upon conditions existing at the time of the filing of the petition and proven by clear and convincing proof.

     (d) Any petition filed and any proceeding held under the provisions of this article shall, to the extent practicable, be given priority over any other civil action before the court, except proceedings under article two-a, chapter forty-eight of this code and actions in which trial is in progress. Any petition filed under the provisions of this article shall be docketed immediately upon filing. Any hearing to be held at the end of an improvement period and any other hearing to be held during any proceedings under the provisions of this article shall be held as nearly as practicable on successive days and, with respect to said hearing to be held at the end of an improvement period, shall be held as close in time as possible after the end of said improvement period and shall be held within sixty days of the termination of such improvement period. (e) Following the court's determination, it shall be inquired of the parents or custodians whether or not appeal is desired and the response transcribed. A negative response shall not be construed as a waiver. The evidence shall be transcribed and made available to the parties or their counsel as soon as practicable, if the same is required for purposes of further proceedings. If an indigent person intends to pursue further proceedings, the court reporter shall furnish a transcript of the hearing without cost to the indigent person if an affidavit is filed stating that he or she cannot pay therefor.
WVC 49 - 6 - 3 §49-6-3. Petition to court when child believed neglected or abused -- Temporary custody.

     (a) Upon the filing of a petition, the court may order that the child alleged to be an abused or neglected child be delivered for not more than ten days into the custody of the state department or a responsible person found by the court to be a fit and proper person for the temporary care of the child pending a preliminary hearing, if it finds that:

     (1) There exists imminent danger to the physical well being of the child; and

     (2) There are no reasonably available alternatives to removal of the child, including, but not limited to, the provision of medical, psychiatric, psychological or homemaking services in the child's present custody: Provided, That where the alleged abusing person, if known, is a member of a household, the court shall not allow placement pursuant to this section of the child or children in said home unless the alleged abusing person is or has been precluded from visiting or residing in said home by judicial order. In a case where there is more than one child in the home, or in the temporary care, custody or control of the alleged offending parent, the petition shall so state, and notwithstanding the fact that the allegations of abuse or neglect may pertain to less than all of such children, each child in the home for whom relief is sought shall be made a party to the proceeding. Even though the acts of abuse or neglect alleged in the petition were not directed against a specific child who is named in the petition, the court shall order the removal of such child, pending final disposition, if it finds that there exists imminent danger to the physical well being of the child and a lack of reasonable available alternatives to removal. The initial order directing such custody shall contain an order appointing counsel and scheduling the preliminary hearing, and upon its service shall require the immediate transfer of custody of such child or children to the department or a responsible relative which may include any parent, guardian, or other custodian. The court order shall state:

     (A) That continuation in the home is contrary to the best interests of the child and why; and

     (B) Whether or not the department made reasonable efforts to preserve the family and prevent the placement or that the emergency situation made such efforts unreasonable or impossible. The order may also direct any party or the department to initiate or become involved in services to facilitate reunification of the family.      (b) Whether or not the court orders immediate transfer of custody as provided in subsection (a) of this section, if the facts alleged in the petition demonstrate to the court that there exists imminent danger to the child, the court may schedule a preliminary hearing giving the respondents at least five days' actual notice. If the court finds at the preliminary hearing that there are no alternatives less drastic than removal of the child and that a hearing on the petition cannot be scheduled in the interim period, the court may order that the child be delivered into the temporary custody of the department or a responsible person or agency found by the court to be a fit and proper person for the temporary care of the child for a period not exceeding sixty days: Provided, That the court order shall state:

     (1) That continuation in the home is contrary to the best interests of the child and set forth the reasons therefor;

     (2) Whether or not the department made reasonable efforts to preserve the family and to prevent the child's removal from his or her home;

     (3) Whether or not the department made reasonable efforts to preserve the family and to prevent the placement or that the emergency situation made such efforts unreasonable or impossible; and

     (4) What efforts should be made by the department, if any, to facilitate the child's return home: Provided, however, That if the court grants an improvement period as provided in section twelve of this article, the sixty-day limit upon temporary custody is waived.      (c) If a child or children shall, in the presence of a child protective service worker, be in an emergency situation which constitutes an imminent danger to the physical well being of the child or children, as that phrase is defined in section three, article one of this chapter, and if such worker has probable cause to believe that the child or children will suffer additional child abuse or neglect or will be removed from the county before a petition can be filed and temporary custody can be ordered, the worker may, prior to the filing of a petition, take the child or children into his or her custody without a court order: Provided, That after taking custody of such child or children prior to the filing of a petition, the worker shall forthwith appear before a circuit judge or a juvenile referee of the county wherein custody was taken, or if no such judge or referee be available, before a circuit judge or a juvenile referee of an adjoining county, and shall immediately apply for an order ratifying the emergency custody of the child pending the filing of a petition. The circuit court of every county in the state shall appoint at least one of the magistrates of the county to act as a juvenile referee, who shall serve at the will and pleasure of the appointing court, and who shall perform the functions prescribed for such position by the provisions of this subsection. The parents, guardians or custodians of the child or children may be present at the time and place of application for an order ratifying custody, and if at the time the child or children are taken into custody by the worker, the worker knows which judge or referee is to receive the application, the worker shall so inform the parents, guardians or custodians. The application for emergency custody may be on forms prescribed by the Supreme Court of Appeals or prepared by the prosecuting attorney or the applicant, and shall set forth facts from which it may be determined that the probable cause described above in this subsection exists. Upon such sworn testimony or other evidence as the judge or referee deems sufficient, the judge or referee may order the emergency taking by the worker to be ratified. If appropriate under the circumstances, the order may include authorization for an examination as provided for in subsection (b), section four of this article. If a referee issues such an order, the referee shall by telephonic communication have such order orally confirmed by a circuit judge of the circuit or an adjoining circuit who shall on the next judicial day enter an order of confirmation. If the emergency taking is ratified by the judge or referee, emergency custody of the child or children shall be vested in the department until the expiration of the next two judicial days, at which time any such child taken into emergency custody shall be returned to the custody of his or her parent or guardian or custodian unless a petition has been filed and custody of the child has been transferred under the provisions of section three of this article.

     (d) For purposes of the court's consideration of temporary custody pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section, the department is not required to make reasonable efforts to preserve the family if the court determines:

     (1) The parent has subjected the child, another child of the parent or any other child residing in the same household or under the temporary or permanent custody of the parent to aggravated circumstances which include, but are not limited to, abandonment, torture, chronic abuse and sexual abuse;

     (2) The parent has:

     (A) Committed murder of the child's other parent, guardian or custodian, another child of the parent or any other child residing in the same household or under the temporary or permanent custody of the parent;

     (B) Committed voluntary manslaughter of the child's other parent, guardian or custodian, another child of the parent or any other child residing in the same household or under the temporary or permanent custody of the parent;

     (C) Attempted or conspired to commit such a murder or voluntary manslaughter or been an accessory before or after the fact to either such crime;

     (D) Committed unlawful or malicious wounding that results in serious bodily injury to the child, the child's other parent, guardian or custodian, to another child of the parent or any other child residing in the same household or under the temporary or permanent custody of the parent;

     (E) Committed sexual assault or sexual abuse of the child, the child's other parent, guardian or custodian, another child of the parent or any other child residing in the same household or under the temporary or permanent custody of the parent; or

     (F) Has been required by state or federal law to register with a sex offender registry; or

     (3) The parental rights of the parent to another child have been terminated involuntarily.
WVC 49 - 6 - 4 §49-6-4. Medical and mental examinations.
(a) At any time during proceedings under this article the court may, upon its own motion or upon motion of the child or other parties, order the child or other parties to be examined by a physician, psychologist or psychiatrist, and may require testimony from such expert, subject to cross-examination and the rules of evidence: Provided, That the court shall not terminate parental or custodial rights of a party solely because the party refuses to submit to the examination, nor shall the court hold such party in contempt for refusing to submit to an examination. The physician, psychologist or psychiatrist shall be allowed to testify as to the conclusions reached from hospital, medical, psychological or laboratory records provided the same are produced at the hearing. If the child, parent or custodian is indigent, such witnesses shall be compensated out of the Treasury of the State, upon certificate of the court wherein the case is pending. No evidence acquired as a result of any such examination of the parent or any other person having custody of the child may be used against such person in any subsequent criminal proceedings against such person.

(b) If a person with authority to file a petition under the provisions of this article shall have probable cause to believe that evidence exists that a child has been abused or neglected and that such evidence may be found by a medical examination, the person may apply to a circuit judge or juvenile referee for an order to take such child into custody for delivery to a physician or hospital for examination. The application may be on forms prescribed by the Supreme Court of Appeals or prepared by the prosecuting attorney or the applicant, and shall set forth facts from which it may be determined that probable cause exists for such belief. Upon such sworn testimony or other evidence as the judge or referee deems sufficient, the judge or referee may order any law-enforcement officer to take the child into custody and deliver the child to a physician or hospital for examination. If a referee issues such an order the referee shall by telephonic communication have such order orally confirmed by a circuit judge of the circuit or an adjoining circuit who shall on the next judicial day enter an order of confirmation. Any child welfare worker and the child's parents, guardians or custodians may accompany the officer for such examination. After the examination the officer may return the child to the custody of his or her parent, guardian or custodian, retain custody of the child or deliver custody to the state department until the end of the next judicial day, at which time the child shall be returned to the custody of his or her parent, guardian or custodian unless a petition has been filed and custody of the child has been transferred to the department under the provisions of section three of this article.


WVC 49 - 6 - 5 §49-6-5. Disposition of neglected or abused children.

     (a) Following a determination pursuant to section two of this article wherein the court finds a child to be abused or neglected, the department shall file with the court a copy of the child's case plan, including the permanency plan for the child. The term case plan means a written document that includes, where applicable, the requirements of the family case plan as provided for in section three, article six-d of this chapter and that also includes at least the following: A description of the type of home or institution in which the child is to be placed, including a discussion of the appropriateness of the placement and how the agency which is responsible for the child plans to assure that the child receives proper care and that services are provided to the parents, child and foster parents in order to improve the conditions in the parent(s) home; facilitate return of the child to his or her own home or the permanent placement of the child; and address the needs of the child while in foster care, including a discussion of the appropriateness of the services that have been provided to the child. The term "permanency plan" refers to that part of the case plan which is designed to achieve a permanent home for the child in the least restrictive setting available. The plan must document efforts to ensure that the child is returned home within approximate time lines for reunification as set out in the plan. Reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption or with a legal guardian may be made at the same time reasonable efforts are made to prevent removal or to make it possible for a child to safely return home. If reunification is not the permanency plan for the child, the plan must state why reunification is not appropriate and detail the alternative placement for the child to include approximate time lines for when such placement is expected to become a permanent placement. This case plan shall serve as the family case plan for parents of abused or neglected children. Copies of the child's case plan shall be sent to the child's attorney and parent, guardian or custodian or their counsel at least five days prior to the dispositional hearing. The court shall forthwith proceed to disposition giving both the petitioner and respondents an opportunity to be heard. The court shall give precedence to dispositions in the following sequence:

     (1) Dismiss the petition;

     (2) Refer the child, the abusing parent, the battered parent or other family members to a community agency for needed assistance and dismiss the petition;

     (3) Return the child to his or her own home under supervision of the department;

     (4) Order terms of supervision calculated to assist the child and any abusing parent or battered parent or parents or custodian which prescribe the manner of supervision and care of the child and which are within the ability of any parent or parents or custodian to perform;

     (5) Upon a finding that the abusing parent or battered parent or parents are presently unwilling or unable to provide adequately for the child's needs, commit the child temporarily to the custody of the state department, a licensed private child welfare agency or a suitable person who may be appointed guardian by the court. The court order shall state:

     (A) That continuation in the home is contrary to the best interests of the child and why;

     (B) Whether or not the department has made reasonable efforts, with the child's health and safety being the paramount concern, to preserve the family, or some portion thereof, and to prevent or eliminate the need for removing the child from the child's home and to make it possible for the child to safely return home;

     (C) What efforts were made or that the emergency situation made such efforts unreasonable or impossible; and

     (D) The specific circumstances of the situation which made such efforts unreasonable if services were not offered by the department. The court order shall also determine under what circumstances the child's commitment to the department shall continue. Considerations pertinent to the determination include whether the child should:

     (i) Be continued in foster care for a specified period;

     (ii) Be considered for adoption;

     (iii) Be considered for legal guardianship;

     (iv) Be considered for permanent placement with a fit and willing relative; or

     (v) Be placed in another planned permanent living arrangement, but only in cases where the department has documented to the circuit court a compelling reason for determining that it would not be in the best interests of the child to follow one of the options set forth in subparagraphs (I), (ii), (iii) or (iv) of this paragraph. The court may order services to meet the special needs of the child. Whenever the court transfers custody of a youth to the department, an appropriate order of financial support by the parents or guardians shall be entered in accordance with section five, article seven of this chapter; or

     (6) Upon a finding that there is no reasonable likelihood that the conditions of neglect or abuse can be substantially corrected in the near future and, when necessary for the welfare of the child, terminate the parental, custodial and guardianship rights and responsibilities of the abusing parent and commit the child to the permanent sole custody of the nonabusing parent, if there be one, or, if not, to either the permanent guardianship of the department or a licensed child welfare agency. The court may award sole custody of the child to a nonabusing battered parent. If the court shall so find, then in fixing its dispositional order the court shall consider the following factors:

     (A) The child's need for continuity of care and caretakers;

     (B) The amount of time required for the child to be integrated into a stable and permanent home environment; and

     (C) Other factors as the court considers necessary and proper. Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, the court shall give consideration to the wishes of a child fourteen years of age or older or otherwise of an age of discretion as determined by the court regarding the permanent termination of parental rights. No adoption of a child shall take place until all proceedings for termination of parental rights under this article and appeals thereof are final. In determining whether or not parental rights should be terminated, the court shall consider the efforts made by the department to provide remedial and reunification services to the parent. The court order shall state:

     (i) That continuation in the home is not in the best interest of the child and why;

     (ii) Why reunification is not in the best interests of the child;

     (iii) Whether or not the department made reasonable efforts, with the child's health and safety being the paramount concern, to preserve the family, or some portion thereof, and to prevent the placement or to eliminate the need for removing the child from the child's home and to make it possible for the child to safely return home, or that the emergency situation made such efforts unreasonable or impossible; and

     (iv) Whether or not the department made reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify the family, or some portion thereof, including a description of what efforts were made or that such efforts were unreasonable due to specific circumstances.

     (7) For purposes of the court's consideration of the disposition custody of a child pursuant to the provisions of this subsection, the department is not required to make reasonable efforts to preserve the family if the court determines:

     (A) The parent has subjected the child, another child of the parent or any other child residing in the same household or under the temporary or permanent custody of the parent to aggravated circumstances which include, but are not limited to, abandonment, torture, chronic abuse and sexual abuse;

     (B) The parent has:

     (i) Committed murder of the child's other parent, guardian or custodian, another child of the parent or any other child residing in the same household or under the temporary or permanent custody of the parent;

     (ii) Committed voluntary manslaughter of the child's other parent, guardian or custodian, another child of the parent or any other child residing in the same household or under the temporary or permanent custody of the parent;

     (iii) Attempted or conspired to commit such a murder or voluntary manslaughter or been an accessory before or after the fact to either such crime;      (iv) Committed a felonious assault that results in serious bodily injury to the child, the child's other parent, guardian or custodian, to another child of the parent or any other child residing in the same household or under the temporary or permanent custody of the parent; or

     (v) Committed sexual assault or sexual abuse of the child, the child's other parent, guardian or custodian, another child of the parent or any other child residing in the same household or under the temporary or permanent custody of the parent; or

     (vi) Has been required by state or federal law to register with a sex offender registry; or

     (C) The parental rights of the parent to another child have been terminated involuntarily; or

     (D) A parent has been required by state or federal law to register with a sex offender registry, and the court has determined in consideration of the nature and circumstances surrounding the prior charges against that parent, that the child's interests would not be promoted by a preservation of the family.

     (b) As used in this section, "no reasonable likelihood that conditions of neglect or abuse can be substantially corrected" shall mean that, based upon the evidence before the court, the abusing adult or adults have demonstrated an inadequate capacity to solve the problems of abuse or neglect on their own or with help. Such conditions shall be considered to exist in the following circumstances, which shall not be exclusive:

     (1) The abusing parent or parents have habitually abused or are addicted to alcohol, controlled substances or drugs, to the extent that proper parenting skills have been seriously impaired and such person or persons have not responded to or followed through the recommended and appropriate treatment which could have improved the capacity for adequate parental functioning;

     (2) The abusing parent or parents have willfully refused or are presently unwilling to cooperate in the development of a reasonable family case plan designed to lead to the child's return to their care, custody and control;

     (3) The abusing parent or parents have not responded to or followed through with a reasonable family case plan or other rehabilitative efforts of social, medical, mental health or other rehabilitative agencies designed to reduce or prevent the abuse or neglect of the child, as evidenced by the continuation or insubstantial diminution of conditions which threatened the health, welfare or life of the child;

     (4) The abusing parent or parents have abandoned the child;

     (5) The abusing parent or parents have repeatedly or seriously injured the child physically or emotionally, or have sexually abused or sexually exploited the child, and the degree of family stress and the potential for further abuse and neglect are so great as to preclude the use of resources to mitigate or resolve family problems or assist the abusing parent or parents in fulfilling their responsibilities to the child;

     (6) The abusing parent or parents have incurred emotional illness, mental illness or mental deficiency of such duration or nature as to render such parent or parents incapable of exercising proper parenting skills or sufficiently improving the adequacy of such skills; or

     (7) The battered parent's parenting skills have been seriously impaired and said person has willfully refused or is presently unwilling or unable to cooperate in the development of a reasonable treatment plan or has not adequately responded to or followed through with the recommended and appropriate treatment plan.

     (c) The court may, as an alternative disposition, allow the parents or custodians an improvement period not to exceed six months. During this period the court shall require the parent to rectify the conditions upon which the determination was based. The court may order the child to be placed with the parents, or any person found to be a fit and proper person, for the temporary care of the child during the period. At the end of the period, the court shall hold a hearing to determine whether the conditions have been adequately improved and at the conclusion of the hearing shall make a further dispositional order in accordance with this section.
WVC 49 - 6 - 5 A §49-6-5a.

     Repealed.

Acts, 2012 Reg. Sess., Ch. 26.
WVC 49 - 6 - 5 B §49-6-5b. When efforts to terminate parental rights required.
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the department shall file or join in a petition or otherwise seek a ruling in any pending proceeding to terminate parental rights:

(1) If a child has been in foster care for fifteen of the most recent twenty-two months as determined by the earlier of the date of the first judicial finding that the child is subjected to abuse or neglect or the date which is sixty days after the child is removed from the home;

(2) If a court has determined the child is abandoned; or

(3) If a court has determined the parent has committed murder or voluntary manslaughter of another of his or her children or the other parent of his or her children; has attempted or conspired to commit such murder or voluntary manslaughter or has been an accessory before or after the fact of either crime; has committed unlawful or malicious wounding resulting in serious bodily injury to the child or to another of his or her children or to the other parent of his or her children; or the parental rights of the parent to a sibling have been terminated involuntarily.

(b) The department may determine not to file a petition to terminate parental rights when:

(1) At the option of the department, the child has been placed with a relative;

(2) The department has documented in the case plan made available for court review a compelling reason, including, but not limited to, the child's age and preference regarding termination or the child's placement in custody of the department based on any proceedings initiated under article five of this chapter, that filing the petition would not be in the best interests of the child; or

(3) The department has not provided, when reasonable efforts to return a child to the family are required, the services to the child's family as the department deems necessary for the safe return of the child to the home.


WVC 49 - 6 - 6 §49-6-6. Modification of dispositional orders.

     (a) Upon motion of a child, a child's parent or custodian or the department alleging a change of circumstances requiring a different disposition, the court shall conduct a hearing pursuant to section two of this article and may modify a dispositional order if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence a material change of circumstances and that such modification is in the child's best interests: Provided, That a dispositional order pursuant to subdivision (6), subsection (a) of section five shall not be modified after the child has been adopted, except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section. Adequate and timely notice of any motion for modification shall be given to the child's counsel, counsel for the child's parent or custodian, the department and any person entitled to notice and the right to be heard. The circuit court of origin has exclusive jurisdiction over placement of the child, and such placement shall not be disrupted or delayed by any administrative process of the department.

     (b) If the child is removed or relinquished from an adoptive home or other permanent placement after the case has been dismissed, any party with notice thereof and the receiving agency shall promptly report the matter to the circuit court of origin, the department and the child's counsel, and the court shall schedule a permanency hearing within sixty days of the report to the circuit court, with notice given to any appropriate parties and persons entitled to notice and the right to be heard. The department shall convene a multidisciplinary treatment team meeting within thirty days of the receipt of notice of permanent placement disruption.

     (c) If a child has not been adopted, the child or department may move the court to place the child with a parent or custodian whose rights have been terminated and/or restore such parent's or guardian's rights. Under these circumstances, the court may order such placement and/or restoration of a parent's or guardian's rights if it finds by clear and convincing evidence a material change of circumstances and that such placement and/or restoration is in the child's best interests.
WVC 49-6-7 §49-6-7. Consensual termination of parental rights.
An agreement of a natural parent in termination of parental rights shall be valid if made by a duly acknowledged writing, and entered into under circumstances free from duress and fraud.


WVC 49 - 6 - 8 §49-6-8. Permanency hearing and permanent placement review.

     (a) If the court finds, pursuant to any provision of this article, that the department is not required to make reasonable efforts to preserve the family, then, notwithstanding any other provision, a permanency hearing must be held within thirty days following the entry of the court order so finding, and a permanent placement review hearing must be conducted at least once every three calendar months thereafter until a permanent placement is achieved.

     (b) If, twelve months after receipt by the department or its authorized agent of physical custody of a child either by a court ordered placement or by a voluntary agreement, the department has not placed a child in an adoptive home or placed the child with a natural parent or placed the child in legal guardianship or permanently placed the child with a fit and willing relative, the court shall hold a permanency hearing. The department shall file a report with the court detailing the efforts that have been made to place the child in a permanent home and copies of the child's case plan, including the permanency plan as defined in section five, article six of this chapter. Copies of the report shall be sent to the parties and all persons entitled to notice and the right to be heard. The court shall schedule a hearing, giving notice and the right to be present to: The child's attorney; the child, if twelve years of age or older; the child's parents; the child's guardians; the child's foster parents; any preadoptive parent or any relative providing care for the child; any person entitled to notice and the right to be heard; and such other persons as the court may, in its discretion, direct. The child's presence may be waived by the child's attorney at the request of the child or if the child would suffer emotional harm. The purpose of the hearing is to review the child's case, to determine whether and under what conditions the child's commitment to the department shall continue and to determine what efforts are necessary to provide the child with a permanent home. In the case of a child who will not be returned to his or her parent, the court shall consider in-state and out-of-state placement options, and, if the court considers an out-of-state placement, the court shall determine whether such placement is in the best interests of the child; in the case of a child who has attained sixteen years of age, the court shall determine the services needed to assist the child to make the transition from foster care to independent living. In any case in which the court decides to order the child placed in an out-of-state facility or program it shall set forth in the order directing the placement the reasons why the child was not placed in an in-state facility or program. At the conclusion of the hearing the court shall, in accordance with the best interests of the child, enter an order containing all such appropriate findings. The court order shall state: (1) Whether or not the department made reasonable efforts to preserve the family and to prevent out-of-home placement or that the specific situation made such effort unreasonable; (2) whether or not the department made reasonable efforts to finalize the permanency plan for the child; and (3) identify services required to meet the child's needs.

     (c) The court shall conduct another permanency hearing within twelve months thereafter for each child who remains in the physical or legal custody of the department until the child is placed in an adoptive home or returned to his or her parents or placed in legal guardianship or permanently placed with a fit and willing relative.

     (d) The state department shall annually report to the court the current status of the placements of children in permanent care and custody of the state department who have not been adopted.

     (e) The state department shall file a report with the court in any case where any child in the temporary or permanent custody of the state receives more than three placements in one year no later than thirty days after the third placement. This report shall be provided to all parties and persons entitled to notice and the right to be heard. Upon motion by any party, the court shall review these placements and determine what efforts are necessary to provide the child with a permanent home: Provided, That no report shall be provided to any parent or parent's attorney whose parental rights have been terminated pursuant to this article.

     (f) The state department shall notify, in writing, the court, the child, if over the age of twelve, the child's attorney, the parents and the parents' attorney forty-eight hours prior to the move if this is a planned move, or within forty-eight hours of the next business day after the move if this is an emergency move, except where such notification would endanger the child or the foster family. This notice shall not be required in any case where the child is in imminent danger in the child's current placement. The location of the child need not be disclosed, but the purpose of the move should be. This requirement is not waived by placement of the child in a home or other residence maintained by a private provider. No notice shall be provided pursuant to this provision to any parent or parent's attorney whose parental rights have been terminated pursuant to this article.

     (g) Nothing in this article precludes any party from petitioning the court for review of the child's case at any time. The court shall grant such petition upon a showing that there is a change in circumstance or needs of the child that warrants court review.

     (h) Any foster parent, preadoptive parent or relative providing care for the child shall be given notice of and the right to be heard at the permanency hearing provided in this section.
WVC 49-6-9 §49-6-9. Custody in emergency situations.
(a) A child believed to be a neglected child or an abused child may be taken into custody without the court order otherwise required by section three of this article by a law-enforcement officer (1) if the child is abandoned as defined in subsection (g) of this section, or (2) if such officer determines that the child is in a condition requiring emergency medical treatment by a physician and the child's parents, parent, guardian or custodian refuses to permit such treatment, or is unavailable for consent. A child who suffers from a condition requiring emergency medical treatment, whose parents, parent, guardian or custodian refuses to permit the providing of such emergency medical treatment, may be retained in a hospital by a physician against the will of such parents, parent, guardian or custodian, as provided in subsection (c) of this section.

(b) A child taken into protective custody as abandoned under the provisions of this section may be housed by the state department or in any authorized child shelter facility. The authority to hold such child in protective custody as abandoned, absent a petition and proper order granting temporary custody pursuant to section three of this article, shall terminate by operation of law upon the happening of either of the following events, whichever shall first occur: (1) the expiration of ninety-six hours from the time the child is initially taken into protective custody, or (2) the expiration of the circumstances which initially warranted the determination of abandonment. No child may be considered abandoned and custody withheld from such child's parents, parent, guardian or custodian presenting themselves, himself or herself in a fit and proper condition and requesting physical custody of such child. No child may be removed from a place of residence as abandoned under this section until after (1) all reasonable efforts to make inquiries and arrangements with neighbors, relatives and friends have been exhausted; or if no such arrangements can be made, (2) the state department may place in the residence a home services worker with the child for a period of not less than twelve hours to await the return of such child's parents, parent, guardian or custodian. Prior to taking a child into protective custody as abandoned at a place at or near the residence of such child, the law-enforcement officer shall post a typed or legibly handwritten notice at the place the child is found, informing the parents, parent, guardian or custodian that the child was taken by a law-enforcement officer, the name, address and office telephone number of the officer, the place and telephone number where information can continuously be obtained as to the child's whereabouts, and if known, the worker for the state department having responsibility for the child.

(c) A child taken into protective custody pursuant to the provisions of this section for emergency medical treatment may be held in a hospital under the care of a physician against the will of such child's parents, parent, guardian or custodian for a period not to exceed ninety-six hours. The parents, parent, guardian or custodian may not be denied the right to see or visit with such child in a hospital. The authority to retain a child in protective custody in a hospital as requiring emergency medical treatment shall terminate by operation of law upon the happening of either of the following events, whichever shall first occur: (1) when the condition, in the opinion of the physician, no longer required emergency hospitalization, or (2) upon the expiration of ninety-six hours from the initiation of custody, unless within such time, a petition is presented and a proper order obtained from the circuit court.

(d) Prior to assuming custody of a child from a law-enforcement officer, pursuant to the provisions of this section, a physician or worker from the state department shall require a typed or legibly handwritten statement from such officer identifying such officer's name, address and office telephone number and specifying all the facts upon which the decision to take the child into protective custody was based, and the date, time and place of the taking.

(e) Any worker for the state department assuming custody of a child pursuant to the provisions of this section shall immediately notify the parents, parent, guardian or custodian of the child of the taking of such custody and the reasons therefor, if the whereabouts of the parents, parent, guardian or custodian are known or can be discovered with due diligence; and if not, notice and explanation shall be given to the child's closest relative, if his or her whereabouts are known or can be discovered with due diligence within a reasonable time. An inquiry shall be made of relatives and neighbors, and if a relative or appropriate neighbor is willing to assume custody of such child, such child shall temporarily be placed in such custody.

(f) No child shall be taken into custody under circumstances not justified by this section or pursuant to section three of this article without appropriate process. Any retention of a child or order for retention of a child not complying with the time limits and other requirements specified in this article shall be void by operation of law.

(g) As used in this section:

(1) "Abandoned" means to be without supervision or shelter for an unreasonable period of time in light of the child's age and the ability to care for himself or herself in circumstances presenting an immediate threat of serious harm to such child;

(2) A "law-enforcement officer" means a law-enforcement officer of the department of public safety, a municipality or county sheriff's department;

(3) A "condition requiring emergency medical treatment" means a condition which, if left untreated for a period of a few hours, may result in permanent physical damage; such a condition includes, but is not limited to, profuse or arterial bleeding, dislocation or fracture, unconsciousness and evidence of ingestion of significant amounts of a poisonous substance.


WVC 49 - 6 - 9 A §49-6-9a. Authorizing a family court judge to order custody of a child in emergency situations.

     (a) Notwithstanding the jurisdictional limitations contained in section two, article two-A, chapter fifty-one of this code, family court judges are authorized to order the department to take emergency custody of a child who is in the physical custody of a party to an action or proceeding before the family court, if the family court judge finds that there is clear and convincing evidence that:

     (1) There exists an imminent danger to the physical well-being of the child as defined in subsection (g), section three, article one of this chapter;

     (2) The child is not the subject of a pending action before the circuit court alleging abuse and neglect of the child; and

     (3) There are no reasonable available alternatives to the emergency custody order.

     (b) An order entered pursuant to subsection (a) must include specific written findings.

     (c) A copy of the order issued pursuant to subsection (a) shall be transmitted forthwith to the department, the circuit court and the prosecuting attorney.

     (d) Upon receipt of an order issued pursuant to subsection (a), the department shall immediately respond and assist the family court judge in emergency placement of the child.

     (e) (1) Upon receipt of an order issued pursuant to subsection (a), the circuit court shall forthwith cause to be entered and served, an administrative order in the name of and regarding the affected child, directing the department to submit, within ninety- six hours from the time the child was taken into custody, an investigative report to both the circuit and family court.

     (2) The investigative report shall include a statement of whether the department intends to file a petition under section three of this article.

     (f) (1) An order issued pursuant to subsection (a) terminates by operation of law upon expiration of ninety-six hours from the time the child is initially taken into protective custody unless a petition is filed with the circuit court under section three of this article within ninety-six hours from the time the child is initially taken into protective custody.

     (2) The filing of a petition within ninety-six hours from the time the child is initially taken into protective custody extends the emergency custody order issued pursuant to subsection (a) until a preliminary hearing is held before the circuit court, unless the circuit court orders otherwise.

     (g) (1) Any worker for the department assuming custody of a child pursuant to the provisions of this section shall immediately notify the parents, parent, grandparents, grandparent, guardian or custodian of the child of the taking of the custody and the reasons therefor if the whereabouts of the parents, parent, grandparents, grandparent, guardian or custodian are known or can be discovered with due diligence and, if not, a notice and explanation shall be given to the child's closest relative if his or her whereabouts are known or can be discovered with due diligence within a reasonable time. An inquiry shall be made of relatives and neighbors and, if an appropriate relative or neighbor is willing to assume custody of the child, the child shall temporarily be placed in that person's custody.

     (2) In the event no other reasonable alternative is available for temporary placement of a child pursuant to subdivision (1), the child may be housed by the department in an authorized child shelter facility.
WVC 49-6-10 §49-6-10. Duties of prosecuting attorney.
It shall be the duty of every prosecuting attorney to fully and promptly cooperate with persons seeking to apply for relief under the provisions of this article in all cases of suspected child abuse and neglect, to promptly prepare applications and petitions for relief requested by such persons, to investigate reported cases of suspected child abuse and neglect for possible criminal activity and to report at least annually to the grand jury regarding the discharge of his or her duties with respect thereto.


WVC 49 - 6 - 10 A §49-6-10a. Dispute resolution.
(a) Whenever, pursuant to the provisions of this article, a prosecuting attorney acts as counsel for the department of health and human resources and a dispute arises between the prosecuting attorney and the department's representative because an action proposed by the other is believed to place the child at imminent risk of abuse or serious neglect, either the prosecuting attorney or the department's representative may contact the secretary of the department and the executive director of the West Virginia prosecuting attorneys institute for prompt mediation and resolution. The secretary may designate either his or her general counsel or the director of social services to act as his or her designee and the executive director may designate an objective prosecuting attorney as his or her designee.

(b) Nothing in this code shall be construed to limit the authority of a prosecuting attorney to file an abuse or neglect petition, including the duties and responsibilities owed to its client the department of health and human resources, in his or her fulfillment of the provisions of chapter forty-nine, article six of this code.


WVC 49-6-11 §49-6-11. Conviction for offenses against children.
In any case where a person is convicted of an offense described in section twelve, article eight, chapter sixty-one of this code or articles eight-b or eight-d of said chapter against a child and the person has custodial, visitation or other parental rights to the child who is the victim of the offense or to any child who resides in the same household as the victim, the court shall, at the time of sentencing, find that the person is an abusing parent within the meaning of this chapter as to the child victim, and may find that the person is an abusing parent as to any child who resides in the same household as the victim, and the court shall take such further steps as are required by this article.


WVC 49 - 6 - 12 §49-6-12. Improvement period in cases of child neglect or abuse.

     (a) A court may grant a respondent an improvement period of a period not to exceed three months prior to making a finding that a child is abused or neglected pursuant to section two of this article only when:

     (1) The respondent files a written motion requesting the improvement period;

     (2) The respondent demonstrates, by clear and convincing evidence, that the respondent is likely to fully participate in the improvement period and the court further makes a finding, on the record, of the terms of the improvement period;

     (3) In the order granting the improvement period, the court (A) orders that a hearing be held to review the matter within sixty days of the granting of the improvement period; or (B) orders that a hearing be held to review the matter within ninety days of the granting of the improvement period and that the department submit a report as to the respondents progress in the improvement period within sixty days of the order granting the improvement period; and

     (4) The order granting the improvement period requires the department to prepare and submit to the court an individualized family case plan in accordance with the provisions of section three, article six-d of this chapter;

     (b) After finding that a child is an abused or neglected child pursuant to section two of this article, a court may grant a respondent an improvement period of a period not to exceed six months when:

     (1) The respondent files a written motion requesting the improvement period;

     (2) The respondent demonstrates, by clear and convincing evidence, that the respondent is likely to fully participate in the improvement period and the court further makes a finding, on the record, of the terms of the improvement period;

     (3) In the order granting the improvement period, the court (A) orders that a hearing be held to review the matter within sixty days of the granting of the improvement period; or (B) orders that a hearing be held to review the matter within ninety days of the granting of the improvement period and that the department submit a report as to the respondent's progress in the improvement period within sixty days of the order granting the improvement period;

     (4) Since the initiation of the proceeding, the respondent has not previously been granted any improvement period or the respondent demonstrates that since the initial improvement period, the respondent has experienced a substantial change in circumstances. Further, the respondent shall demonstrate that due to that change in circumstances the respondent is likely to fully participate in a further improvement period; and

     (5) The order granting the improvement period requires the department to prepare and submit to the court an individualized family case plan in accordance with the provisions of section three, article six-d of this chapter.

     (c) The court may grant an improvement period not to exceed six months as a disposition pursuant to section five of this article when:

     (1) The respondent moves in writing for the improvement period;

     (2) The respondent demonstrates, by clear and convincing evidence, that the respondent is likely to fully participate in the improvement period and the court further makes a finding, on the record, of the terms of the improvement period;

     (3) In the order granting the improvement period, the court:

     (A) Orders that a hearing be held to review the matter within sixty days of the granting of the improvement period; or

     (B) Orders that a hearing be held to review the matter within ninety days of the granting of the improvement period and that the department submit a report as to the respondent's progress in the improvement period within sixty days of the order granting the improvement period;

     (4) Since the initiation of the proceeding, the respondent has not previously been granted any improvement period or the respondent demonstrates that since the initial improvement period, the respondent has experienced a substantial change in circumstances. Further, the respondent shall demonstrate that due to that change in circumstances, the respondent is likely to fully participate in the improvement period; and

     (5) The order granting the improvement period shall require the department to prepare and submit to the court an individualized family case plan in accordance with the provisions of section three, article six-d of this chapter.

     (d) When any improvement period is granted to a respondent pursuant to the provisions of this section, the respondent shall be responsible for the initiation and completion of all terms of the improvement period. The court may order the state department to pay expenses associated with the services provided during the improvement period when the respondent has demonstrated that he or she is unable to bear such expenses.

     (e) When any improvement period is granted to a respondent pursuant to the provisions of this section, the respondent shall execute a release of all medical information regarding that respondent, including, but not limited to, information provided by mental health and substance abuse professionals and facilities. Such release shall be accepted by any such professional or facility regardless of whether the release conforms to any standard required by that facility.

     (f) When any respondent is granted an improvement period pursuant to the provisions of this article, the department shall monitor the progress of such person in the improvement period. When the respondent fails to participate in any service mandated by the improvement period, the state department shall initiate action to inform the court of that failure. When the department demonstrates that the respondent has failed to participate in any provision of the improvement period, the court shall forthwith terminate the improvement period.

     (g) A court may extend any improvement period granted pursuant to subsections (b) or (c) of this section for a period not to exceed three months when the court finds that the respondent has substantially complied with the terms of the improvement period; that the continuation of the improvement period will not substantially impair the ability of the department to permanently place the child; and that such extension is otherwise consistent with the best interest of the child.

     (h) Upon the motion by any party, the court shall terminate any improvement period granted pursuant to this section when the court finds that respondent has failed to fully participate in the terms of the improvement period.

     (i) This section may not be construed to prohibit a court from ordering a respondent to participate in services designed to reunify a family or to relieve the department of any duty to make reasonable efforts to reunify a family required by state or federal law.

     (j) Any hearing scheduled pursuant to the provisions of this section may be continued only for good cause upon a written motion properly served on all parties. When a court grants such continuance, the court shall enter an order granting the continuance which shall specify a future date when the hearing will be held.

     (k) Any hearing to be held at the end of an improvement period shall be held as nearly as practicable on successive days and shall be held as close in time as possible after the end of said improvement period and shall be held no later than sixty days of the termination of such improvement period.

     (l) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, no combination of any improvement periods or extensions thereto may cause a child to be in foster care more than fifteen months of the most recent twenty-two months, unless the court finds compelling circumstances by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the child's best interests to extend the time limits contained in this paragraph.
WVC -6A- ARTICLE 6A. REPORTS OF CHILDREN SUSPECTED TO BE ABUSED OR NEGLECTED.


WVC 49 - 6 A- 1 §49-6A-1. Purpose.

     It is the purpose of this article, through the complete reporting of child abuse and neglect, to protect the best interests of the child, to offer protective services in order to prevent any further harm to the child or any other children living in the home, to stabilize the home environment, to preserve family life whenever possible, to promote adult responsibility for protecting children and to encourage cooperation among the states to prevent future incidents of child abuse and neglect and in dealing with the problems of child abuse and neglect.
WVC 49 - 6 A- 2 49-6A-2. Persons mandated to report suspected abuse and neglect.

     (a) Any medical, dental or mental health professional, Christian Science practitioner, religious healer, school teacher or other school personnel, social service worker, child care or foster care worker, emergency medical services personnel, peace officer or law-enforcement official, humane officer, member of the clergy, circuit court judge, family court judge, employee of the Division of Juvenile Services, magistrate, youth camp administrator or counselor, employee, coach or volunteer of an entity that provides organized activities for children, or commercial film or photographic print processor who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is neglected or abused or observes the child being subjected to conditions that are likely to result in abuse or neglect shall immediately, and not more than forty-eight hours after suspecting this abuse or neglect, report the circumstances or cause a report to be made to the Department of Health and Human Resources: Provided, That in any case where the reporter believes that the child suffered serious physical abuse or sexual abuse or sexual assault, the reporter shall also immediately report, or cause a report to be made, to the State Police and any law-enforcement agency having jurisdiction to investigate the complaint: Provided, however, That any person required to report under this article who is a member of the staff or volunteer of a public or private institution, school, entity that provides organized activities for children, facility or agency shall also immediately notify the person in charge of the institution, school, entity that provides organized activities for children, facility or agency, or a designated agent thereof, who may supplement the report or cause an additional report to be made.

     (b) Any person over the age of eighteen who receives a disclosure from a credible witness or observes any sexual abuse or sexual assault of a child, shall immediately, and not more than forty-eight hours after receiving such a disclosure or observing the sexual abuse or sexual assault, report the circumstances or cause a report to be made to the Department of Health and Human Resources or the State Police or other law-enforcement agency having jurisdiction to investigate the report. In the event that the individual receiving the disclosure or observing the sexual abuse or sexual assault has a good faith belief that the reporting of the event to the police would expose either the reporter, the subject child, the reporter's children or other children in the subject child's household to an increased threat of serious bodily injury, the individual may delay making the report while he or she undertakes measures to remove themselves or the affected children from the perceived threat of additional harm: Provided, That the individual makes the report as soon as practicable after the threat of harm has been reduced. The law-enforcement agency that receives a report under this subsection shall report the allegations to the Department of Health and Human Resources and coordinate with any other law-enforcement agency, as necessary to investigate the report.

     (c) Nothing in this article is intended to prevent individuals from reporting suspected abuse or neglect on their own behalf. In addition to those persons and officials specifically required to report situations involving suspected abuse or neglect of children, any other person may make a report if such person has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been abused or neglected in a home or institution or observes the child being subjected to conditions or circumstances that would reasonably result in abuse or neglect.
WVC 49 - 6 A- 2 A §49-6A-2a. Notification of disposition of reports.
(a) The Department of Health and Human Resources shall develop and implement a procedure to notify any person mandated to report suspected child abuse and neglect under the provisions of section two of this article, of whether an investigation into the reported suspected abuse or neglect has been initiated and when the investigation is completed.

(b) The Department of Health and Human Resources shall develop and implement the above described procedure on or before the first day of January, two thousand six.


WVC 49 - 6 A- 2 B §49-6A-2b. Mandatory reporting of suspected animal cruelty by child protective service workers.
In the event a child protective service worker, in response to a report mandated by section two of this article, forms a reasonable suspicion that an animal is the victim of cruel or inhumane treatment, he or she shall report the suspicion and the basis therefor to the county humane officer provided under section one, article ten, chapter seven of this code within twenty-four hours of the response to the report.


WVC 49-6A-3 §49-6A-3. Mandatory reporting to medical examiner or coroner; postmortem investigation.
Any person or official who is required under section two of this article to report cases of suspected child abuse or neglect and who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has died as a result of child abuse or neglect, shall report that fact to the appropriate medical examiner or coroner. Upon the receipt of such a report, the medical examiner or coroner shall cause an investigation to be made and report his findings to the police, the appropriate prosecuting attorney, the local child protective service agency and, if the institution making a report is a hospital, to the hospital.


WVC 49-6A-4 §49-6A-4. Photographs and X rays.
Any person required to report cases of children suspected of being abused and neglected may take or cause to be taken, at public expense, photographs of the areas of trauma visible on a child and, if medically indicated, cause to be performed radiological examinations of the child. Any photographs or X rays taken shall be sent to the appropriate child protective service as soon as possible.


WVC 49 - 6 A- 5 §49-6A-5. Reporting procedures.

     (a) Reports of child abuse and neglect pursuant to this article shall be made immediately by telephone to the local state department child protective service agency and shall be followed by a written report within forty-eight hours if so requested by the receiving agency. The state department shall establish and maintain a twenty-four hour, seven-day-a-week telephone number to receive such calls reporting suspected or known child abuse or neglect.

     (b) A copy of any report of serious physical abuse, sexual abuse or assault shall be forwarded by the department to the appropriate law-enforcement agency, the prosecuting attorney or the coroner or medical examiner's office. All reports under this article shall be confidential. Reports of known or suspected institutional child abuse or neglect shall be made and received as all other reports made pursuant to this article.
WVC 49-6A-6 §49-6A-6. Immunity from liability.
Any person, official or institution participating in good faith in any act permitted or required by this article shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability that otherwise might result by reason of such actions.


WVC 49-6A-7 §49-6A-7. Abrogation of privileged communications.
The privileged quality of communications between husband and wife and between any professional person and his patient or his client, except that between attorney and client, is hereby abrogated in situations involving suspected or known child abuse or neglect.


WVC 49 - 6 A- 8 §49-6A-8. Failure to report; penalty.

     Any person, official or institution required by this article to report a case involving a child known or suspected to be abused or neglected, or required by section five of this article to forward a copy of a report of serious injury, who knowingly fails to do so or knowingly prevents another person acting reasonably from doing so, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in jail not more than thirty days or fined not more than $1,000, or both.
WVC 49 - 6 A- 9 §49-6A-9. Establishment of child protective services; general duties and powers; immunity from civil liability; cooperation of other state agencies.
(a) The state department shall establish or designate in every county a local child protective services office to perform the duties and functions set forth in this article.

(b) The local child protective services office shall investigate all reports of child abuse or neglect: Provided, That under no circumstances shall investigating personnel be relatives of the accused, the child or the families involved. In accordance with the local plan for child protective services, it shall provide protective services to prevent further abuse or neglect of children and provide for or arrange for and coordinate and monitor the provision of those services necessary to ensure the safety of children. The local child protective services office shall be organized to maximize the continuity of responsibility, care and service of individual workers for individual children and families: Provided, however, That under no circumstances may the secretary or his or her designee promulgate rules or establish any policy which restricts the scope or types of alleged abuse or neglect of minor children which are to be investigated or the provision of appropriate and available services.

Each local child protective services office shall:

(1) Receive or arrange for the receipt of all reports of children known or suspected to be abused or neglected on a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week basis and cross-file all such reports under the names of the children, the family and any person substantiated as being an abuser or neglecter by investigation of the Department of Health and Human Resources, with use of such cross-filing of such person's name limited to the internal use of the department;

(2) Provide or arrange for emergency children's services to be available at all times;

(3) Upon notification of suspected child abuse or neglect, commence or cause to be commenced a thorough investigation of the report and the child's environment. As a part of this response, within fourteen days there shall be a face-to-face interview with the child or children and the development of a protection plan, if necessary for the safety or health of the child, which may involve law-enforcement officers or the court;

(4) Respond immediately to all allegations of imminent danger to the physical well-being of the child or of serious physical abuse. As a part of this response, within seventy-two hours there shall be a face-to-face interview with the child or children and the development of a protection plan, which may involve law-enforcement officers or the court; and

(5) In addition to any other requirements imposed by this section, when any matter regarding child custody is pending, the circuit court or family law master may refer allegations of child abuse and neglect to the local child protective services office for investigation of the allegations as defined by this chapter and require the local child protective services office to submit a written report of the investigation to the referring circuit court or family law master within the time frames set forth by the circuit court or family law master.

(c) In those cases in which the local child protective services office determines that the best interests of the child require court action, the local child protective services office shall initiate the appropriate legal proceeding.

(d) The local child protective services office shall be responsible for providing, directing or coordinating the appropriate and timely delivery of services to any child suspected or known to be abused or neglected, including services to the child's family and those responsible for the child's care.

(e) To carry out the purposes of this article, all departments, boards, bureaus and other agencies of the state or any of its political subdivisions and all agencies providing services under the local child protective services plan shall, upon request, provide to the local child protective services office such assistance and information as will enable it to fulfill its responsibilities.

(f)(1) In order to obtain information regarding the location of a child who is the subject of an allegation of abuse or neglect, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources may serve, by certified mail or personal service, an administrative subpoena on any corporation, partnership, business or organization for the production of information leading to determining the location of the child.

(2) In case of disobedience to the subpoena, in compelling the production of documents, the secretary may invoke the aid of: (A) The circuit court with jurisdiction over the served party if the person served is a resident; or (B) the circuit court of the county in which the local child protective services office conducting the investigation is located if the person served is a nonresident.

(3) A circuit court shall not enforce an administrative subpoena unless it finds that: (A) The investigation is one the Division of Child Protective Services is authorized to make and is being conducted pursuant to a legitimate purpose; (B) the inquiry is relevant to that purpose; (C) the inquiry is not too broad or indefinite; (D) the information sought is not already in the possession of the Division of Child Protective Services; and (E) any administrative steps required by law have been followed.

(4) If circumstances arise where the secretary, or his or her designee, determines it necessary to compel an individual to provide information regarding the location of a child who is the subject of an allegation of abuse or neglect, the secretary, or his or her designee, may seek a subpoena from the circuit court with jurisdiction over the individual from whom the information is sought.

(g) No child protective services caseworker may be held personally liable for any professional decision or action thereupon: Arrived at in the performance of his or her official duties as set forth in this section or agency rules promulgated thereupon: Provided, That nothing in this subsection protects any child protective services worker from any liability arising from the operation of a motor vehicle or for any loss caused by gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct or intentional misconduct.


WVC 49 - 6 A- 10 §49-6A-10. Educational programs.

     Subject to appropriation in the budget bill, the state department shall conduct educational and training programs for persons required to report suspected abuse or neglect, and the general public, as well as implement evidence-based programs that reduce incidents of child maltreatment including sexual abuse. Training for persons require to report and the general public shall include indicators of child abuse and neglect, tactics used by sexual abusers, how and when to make a report, and protective factors that prevent abuse and neglect in order to promote adult responsibility for protecting children, encourage maximum reporting of child abuse and neglect, and to improve communication, cooperation and coordination among all agencies involved in the identification, prevention and treatment of the abuse and neglect of children.
WVC 49 - 6 A- 11 §49-6A-11. Statistical reports.
The Department of Health and Human Resources shall maintain a statewide child abuse and neglect statistical index of all substantiated allegations of child abuse or neglect cases to include information contained in the reports required under this article and any other information considered appropriate by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources. Nothing in the statistical data index maintained by the Department of Health and Human Resources may contain information of a specific nature that would identify individual cases or persons. Notwithstanding the provisions of section one, article seven, chapter forty-nine of this code, the Department of Health and Human Resources shall provide copies of the statistical data maintained pursuant to this subsection to the State Police child abuse and neglect investigations unit to carry out its responsibilities to protect children from abuse and neglect.


WVC -6B- ARTICLE 6B. APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL GUARDIAN TO SECURE MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR PERSONS UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE.


WVC 49-6B-1 §49-6B-1. Petition for appointment of special guardian; requirements.
Upon the verified petition of any person showing: (a) That any person under the age of eighteen years is threatened with or there is a substantial possibility that such person will suffer death, serious or permanent physical or emotional disability, disfigurement or suffering and (b) that such disability, disfigurement or suffering is the result of the failure or refusal of any parent, guardian or custodian to procure, consent to or authorize necessary medical treatment, the circuit court of the county in which such person is located may direct the appointment of a special guardian for the purposes of procuring, consenting to and giving authorization for the administration of necessary medical treatment. The circuit court shall not consider any petition filed in accordance with this section unless it shall be accompanied by a supporting affidavit of a licensed physician.


WVC 49-6B-2 §49-6B-2. Notice of petition.
So far as practicable, the parents, guardian or custodian of any person for whose benefit medical treatment is sought shall be given notice of the petition for the appointment of a special guardian under this article: Provided, That such notice shall not be necessary if it would cause such delay as would result in the death or irreparable harm to the person for whose benefit medical treatment is sought. Such notice may be given in such form and manner as may be necessary under the circumstances.


WVC 49-6B-3 §49-6B-3. Discharge of special guardian.
Upon the termination of necessary medical treatment to any person under this article, the circuit court shall, by order, direct the discharge of the special guardian from any further authority, responsibility or duty.


WVC 49-6B-4 §49-6B-4. Immunity from civil liability.
No person appointed special guardian in accordance with the provisions of this article shall be civilly liable for any act done by virtue of the authority vested in him by order of the circuit court.


WVC 49 - 6 C- ARTICLE 6C. CHILDREN'S TRUST FUND.


WVC 49 - 6 C- 1 §49-6C-1. Continuation and transfer of control of trust fund.

     (a) The Children's Fund, created for the sole purpose of awarding grants, loans and loan guarantees for child abuse and neglect prevention activities by enactment of chapter twenty-seven, Acts of the Legislature, 1984, as last amended and reenacted by chapter one hundred fifty-nine, Acts of the Legislature, 1999, is hereby continued and renamed the West Virginia Children's Trust Fund: Provided, That upon the effective date of the enactment of this section during the second extraordinary session of the 2007 Legislature, the fund shall be administered by the Commissioner of the Bureau for Children and Families. Gifts, bequests or donations for this purpose, in addition to appropriations to the fund, shall be deposited in the State Treasury in a special revenue account under the control of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources or his or her designee.

     (b) Each state taxpayer may voluntarily contribute a portion of the taxpayer's state income tax refund to the Children's Trust Fund by designating the contribution on the state personal income tax return form. The bureau shall approve the wording of the designation on the income tax return form. The State Tax Commissioner shall determine by July 1, of each year the total amount designated pursuant to this subsection and shall report that amount to the State Treasurer, who shall credit that amount to the Children's Trust Fund.

     (c) All interest accruing from investment of moneys in the Children's Trust Fund shall be credited to the fund. The Legislative Auditor shall conduct an audit of the fund at least every five fiscal years.

     (d) Grants, loans and loan guarantees may be awarded from the Children's Trust Fund by the Commissioner of the Bureau for Children and Families for child abuse and neglect prevention activities.

     (e) Upon the effective date of the enactment of this section, all employees, records, responsibilities, obligations, assets and property, of whatever kind and character, of the Governor's Cabinet on Children and Families are hereby transferred to the Bureau for Children and Families within the Department of Health and Human Resources, including, but not limited to, all rights and obligations held by the Governor's Cabinet on Children and Families under any grants, loans or loan guarantees previously awarded from the Children's Trust Fund.

     (f) All orders, determinations, rules, permits, grants, contracts, certificates, licenses, waivers, bonds, authorizations and privileges which have been issued, made, granted or allowed to become effective by the Governor, by any state department or agency or official thereof, or by a court of competent jurisdiction, in the performance of functions which have been transferred to the Bureau for Children and Families within the Department of Health and Human Resources, and were in effect on the date the transfer occurred continue in effect, for the benefit of the department, according to their terms until modified, terminated, superseded, set aside or revoked in accordance with the law by the Governor, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources or other authorized official, a court of competent jurisdiction or by operation of law.
WVC 49 - 6 C- 2 §49-6C-2. Family resource networks.
(a) "Family resource network" means a local community organization charged with service coordination, needs and resource assessment, planning, community mobilization and evaluation, and which has been recognized by the cabinet as having met the following criteria:

(1) Agreeing to a single governing entity;

(2) Agreeing to engage in activities to improve service systems for children and families within the community;

(3) Addressing a geographic area of a county or two or more contiguous counties;

(4) Having nonproviders, which include family representatives and other members who are not employees of publicly funded agencies, as the majority of the members of the governing body, and having family representatives as the majority of the nonproviders;

(5) Having representatives of local service agencies, including, but not limited to, the public health department, the behavioral health center, the local health and human resources agency and the county school district, on the governing body;

(6) Accepting principles consistent with the cabinet's mission as part of its philosophy.

(b) A family resource network may not provide direct services, which means to provide programs or services directly to children and families.


WVC -6D- ARTICLE 6D. WEST VIRGINIA CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES ACT.


WVC 49-6D-1 §49-6D-1. Short title.
This article shall be known and cited as the "West Virginia Child Protective Services Act."


WVC 49-6D-2 §49-6D-2. Purpose and intent.
(a) In pursuit of the purposes of this chapter to provide a comprehensive system of child welfare throughout the state which will (1) assure to each child such care and guidance, preferably in the child's home, as will serve the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical welfare of the child, and (2) preserve and strengthen the family ties wherever possible, while recognizing both the fundamental rights of parenthood and the state's responsibility to assist the family in providing the necessary training and education of all children, the Legislature enacts this article to provide for the protection of the children of this state from abuse and neglect and to provide direction to responsible state officers. This article is enacted in pursuit of the purpose of this chapter and the heretofore expressed intention of the Legislature to provide for the removal of a child from the custody of the child's parents only when the child's welfare cannot be otherwise adequately safeguarded, and is enacted to secure to a child removed from the family a degree of custody, care and control consistent with the child's best interests and the other goals of this chapter, as expressed in section one, article one of this chapter.

(b) In light of this purpose, the Legislature intends to provide for:

(1) The acceptance by the department of referrals or reports of abuse or neglect, both judicial and extra judicial, voluntary or involuntary, and the offering of opportunities by the department whereby parents, guardians or custodians and their children may avail themselves of public and private resources offering programs and services which are primarily preventive and nonpunitive and geared toward a rehabilitation of the home and a treatment of the underlying factors which cause or tend to cause abuse and neglect;

(2) The vigorous and fair assessment and investigation of alleged cases of child abuse or neglect to the end that no child subjected to abuse or neglect shall be left without assistance consistent in all respects with the purposes and goals of this chapter and article;

(3) The thorough and professional diagnosis of cases to determine whether child abuse or neglect exists, whether court action is appropriate, or whether a high risk or danger to children requires emergency services or the initiation of an immediate response;

(4) An assessment of the family, family members and family problems in each case, to identify strengths as well as areas for improvement, and to determine how best to augment the protective services functions of the department with community resources available to and needed by the family, to the end that a plan can be implemented whereby every abused or neglected child in the state will be provided an environment for his or her custody, care and control which offers as normal a family life as practicable, free of abuse or neglect, preferably in the child's own home;

(5) In cases where removal of a child is required, but a termination of parental rights is not ordered, the opportunity for the family to visit and maintain family ties in the family home or in home-like and other conducive surroundings, avoiding, wherever possible, the austere surroundings of a public or private agency with limited time and lack of privacy;

(6) The fulfillment of the state's responsibility to assist the family in a manner consonant with the purposes of this article, even in cases requiring temporary removal of the child, without fear by the citizens that the state's exercise of that responsibility will be unfairly used as a means of terminating family ties;

(7) The prompt and effective termination of parental rights in cases where there is an abject failure of the parents or custodians to reasonably utilize fair, professionally developed and communicated opportunities to end the abuse or neglect.


WVC 49 - 6 D- 3 §49-6D-3. Unified child and family case plans.

     (a) The Department of Health and Human Resources shall develop a unified child and family case plan for every family wherein a person has been referred to the department after being allowed an improvement period or where the child is placed in foster care The case plan must be filed within sixty days of the child coming into foster care or within thirty days of the inception of the improvement period, whichever occurs first. The department may also prepare a case plan for any person who voluntarily seeks child abuse and neglect services from the department, or who is referred to the department by another public agency or private organization. The case plan provisions shall comply with federal law and the rules of procedure for child abuse and neglect proceedings.

     (b) The department shall convene a multidisciplinary treatment team, which shall develop the case plan. Parents, guardians or custodians shall participate fully in the development of the case plan, and the child shall also fully participate if sufficiently mature and the child's participation is otherwise appropriate. The case plan may be modified from time to time to allow for flexibility in goal development, and in each such case the modifications shall be submitted to the court in writing. Reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption or with a legal guardian may be made at the same time as reasonable efforts are being made to prevent removal or to make it possible for a child to return safely home. The court shall examine the proposed case plan or any modification thereof, and upon a finding by the court that the plan or modified plan can be easily communicated, explained and discussed so as to make the participants accountable and able to understand the reasons for any success or failure under the plan, the court shall inform the participants of the probable action of the court if goals are met or not met.

     (c) In furtherance of the provisions of this article, the department shall, within the limits of available funds, establish programs and services for the following purposes:

     (1) For the development and establishment of training programs for professional and paraprofessional personnel in the fields of medicine, law, education, social work and other relevant fields who are engaged in, or intend to work in, the field of the prevention, identification and treatment of child abuse and neglect; and training programs for children, and for persons responsible for the welfare of children, in methods of protecting children from child abuse and neglect;

     (2) For the establishment and maintenance of centers, serving defined geographic areas, staffed by multidisciplinary teams and community teams of personnel trained in the prevention, identification and treatment of child abuse and neglect cases, to provide a broad range of services related to child abuse and neglect, including direct support as well as providing advice and consultation to individuals, agencies and organizations which request such services;

     (3) For furnishing services of multidisciplinary teams and community teams, trained in the prevention, identification and treatment of child abuse and neglect cases, on a consulting basis to small communities where such services are not available;

     (4) For other innovative programs and projects that show promise of successfully identifying, preventing or remedying the causes of child abuse and neglect, including, but not limited to, programs and services designed to improve and maintain parenting skills, programs and projects for parent self help, and for prevention and treatment of drug-related child abuse and neglect; and

     (5) Assisting public agencies or nonprofit private organizations or combinations thereof in making applications for grants from, or in entering into contracts with, the Secretary of the federal Department of Health and Human Services for demonstration programs and projects designed to identify, prevent and treat child abuse and neglect.

     (d) Agencies, organizations and programs funded to carry out the purposes of this section shall be structured so as to comply with any applicable federal law, any regulation of the federal Department of Health and Human Services or the secretary thereof, and any final comprehensive plan of the federal advisory board on child abuse and neglect. In funding organizations, the department shall, to the extent feasible, ensure that parental organizations combating child abuse and neglect receive preferential treatment.
WVC 49 - 6 E- ARTICLE 6E. EMERGENCY POSSESSION OF CERTAIN ABANDONED CHILDREN.


WVC 49 - 6 E- 1 §49-6E-1. Accepting possession of certain abandoned children.
A hospital or health care facility operating in this state, shall, without a court order, take possession of a child if the child is voluntarily delivered to the hospital or health care facility by the child's parent within thirty days of the child's birth and the parent did not express an intent to return for the child. A hospital or health care facility that takes possession of a child under this section shall perform any act necessary to protect the physical health or safety of the child. In accepting possession of the child, the hospital or health care facility may not require the person to identify themselves, but shall otherwise respect the person's desire to remain anonymous.


WVC 49 - 6 E- 2 §49-6E-2. Notification of possession of abandoned child.
(a) Not later than the close of the first business day after the date on which a hospital or health care facility takes possession of a child under section one of this article, the hospital or health care facility shall notify the child protective services division of the department of health and human resources that it has taken possession of the child and shall provide to the department of health and human resources division of child protective services any information provided by the parent delivering the child. The hospital or health care facility shall refer any inquiries about the child to the department of health and human resources protective services division.

(b) The department of health and human resources shall assume the care, control and custody of the child as of the time of delivery of the child to the hospital or health care facility, and may contract with private child care agency for the care and placement of the child after the child leaves the hospital or health care facility.


WVC 49 - 6 E- 3 §49-6E-3. Filing petition after accepting possession of abandoned child.
A child of whom the department of health and human resources assumes care, control and custody under the provisions of this article shall be deemed an abandoned child and be treated in all respects as a child taken into custody under the provisions of section nine, article six of this chapter. Upon taking custody of a child under the provisions of this article, the department with the cooperation of the county prosecuting attorney shall cause a petition to be presented pursuant to the provisions of section three, article six of this chapter. Thereafter, the department shall proceed in compliance with the provisions of article six of this chapter.


WVC 49 - 6 E- 4 §49-6E-4. Affirmative defense for certain prosecutions.
It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under subsection (a), section four, article eight-d, chapter sixty-one of this code if a parent charged under that section delivered the child, for whom the parent is charged, within thirty days of the child's birth.


WVC 49 - 6 E- 5 §49-6E-5. Placement of child for adoption.
The child shall be eligible for adoption as an abandoned child under article four, chapter forty-eight of the code.


WVC 49 - 7 - ARTICLE 7. GENERAL PROVISIONS.


WVC 49 - 7 - 1 §49-7-1. Confidentiality of records.

     (a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter or by order of the court, all records and information concerning a child or juvenile which are maintained by the Division of Juvenile Services, the Department of Health and Human Resources, a child agency or facility, court or law-enforcement agency shall be kept confidential and shall not be released or disclosed to anyone, including any federal or state agency.

     (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section or any other provision of this code to the contrary, records concerning a child or juvenile, except adoption records and records disclosing the identity of a person making a complaint of child abuse or neglect shall be made available:

     (1) Where otherwise authorized by this chapter;

     (2) To:

     (A) The child;

     (B) A parent whose parental rights have not been terminated; or

     (C) The attorney of the child or parent;

     (3) With the written consent of the child or of someone authorized to act on the child's behalf; or

     (4) Pursuant to an order of a court of record: Provided, That the court shall review such record or records for relevancy and materiality to the issues in the proceeding and safety, and may issue an order to limit the examination and use of the records or any part thereof.

     (c) In addition to those persons or entities to whom information may be disclosed under subsection (b) of this section, information related to child abuse or neglect proceedings, except information relating to the identity of the person reporting or making a complaint of child abuse or neglect, shall be made available, upon request, to:

     (1) Federal, state or local government entities, or any agent of such entities, including law-enforcement agencies and prosecuting attorneys, having a need for such information in order to carry out its responsibilities under law to protect children from abuse and neglect;

     (2) The child fatality review team;

     (3) Child abuse citizen review panels;

     (4) Multidisciplinary investigative and treatment teams; or

     (5) A grand jury, circuit court or family court, upon a finding that information in the records is necessary for the determination of an issue before the grand jury, circuit court or family court.

     (d) In the event of a child fatality or near fatality due to child abuse and neglect, information relating to such fatality or near fatality shall be made public by the Department of Health and Human Resources and to the entities described in subsection (c) of this section, all under the circumstances described in that subsection: Provided, That information released by the Department of Health and Human Resources pursuant to this subsection shall not include the identity of a person reporting or making a complaint of child abuse or neglect. For purposes of this subsection, "near fatality" means any medical condition of the child which is certified by the attending physician to be life threatening.

     (e) Except in juvenile proceedings which are transferred to criminal proceedings, law-enforcement records and files concerning a child or juvenile shall be kept separate from the records and files of adults and not included within the court files. Law- enforcement records and files concerning a child or juvenile shall only be open to inspection pursuant to the provisions of sections seventeen and eighteen, article five of this chapter.

     (f) Any person who willfully violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000, or confined in the county or regional jail for not more than six months, or be both fined and confined. A person convicted of violating the provisions of this section shall also be liable for damages in the amount of $300 or actual damages, whichever is greater.

     (g) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, or any other provision of this code to the contrary, the name and identity of any juvenile adjudicated or convicted of a violent or felonious crime shall be made available to the public.

     (h)(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, or any other provision of this code to the contrary, the Division of Juvenile Services may provide access to and the confidential use of a treatment plan, court records or other records of a juvenile to an agency in another state which:

     (A) Performs the same functions in that state that are performed by the Division of Juvenile Services in this state;

     (B) Has a reciprocal agreement with this state; and

     (C) Has legal custody of the juvenile.

     (2) A record which is shared under this subsection may only provide information which is relevant to the supervision, care, custody and treatment of the juvenile.

     (3) The Division of Juvenile Services is authorized to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states and to propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this subsection.

     (4) Other than the authorization explicitly given in this subsection, this subsection may not be construed to enlarge or restrict access to juvenile records as provided elsewhere in this code.
WVC 49-7-2 §49-7-2. Guardianship of estate of child not affected by chapter.
The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to give the guardian appointed hereunder the guardianship of the estate of the child, or to change the age of minority for any other purpose except the custody of the child.

The guardian of the estate of a child committed to guardianship hereunder shall furnish, at such times and in such form as may be required, full information concerning the property of the child to the state department or to the court or judge before whom the case of any such child is heard.


WVC 49-7-3 §49-7-3. Proceedings under chapter not to be evidence against child, or be published; adjudication not deemed conviction and not bar to civil service eligibility.
Any evidence given in any cause or proceeding under this chapter, or any order, judgment or finding therein, or any adjudication upon the status of juvenile delinquent heretofore made or rendered, shall not in any civil, criminal or other cause or proceeding whatever in any court, be lawful or proper evidence against such child for any purpose whatsoever except in subsequent cases under this chapter involving the same child; nor shall the name of any child, in connection with any proceedings under this chapter, be published in any newspaper without a written order of the court; nor shall any such adjudication upon the status of any child by a juvenile court operate to impose any of the civil disabilities ordinarily imposed by conviction, nor shall any child be deemed a criminal by reason of such adjudication, nor shall such adjudication be deemed a conviction, nor shall any such adjudication operate to disqualify a child in any future civil service examination, appointment, or application.


WVC 49-7-4 §49-7-4. Placing children in infirmaries.
A child shall not be placed in a county infirmary or similar institution for other than temporary care. When a child is so placed, written notification shall be given to the state department not later than three days after the child enters the infirmary. When a mentally defective child is so placed, notice shall be given to the state commissioner of public institutions.

A superintendent of an infirmary or other institution who fails to notify the state department or the state commissioner of public institutions, as the case may be, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.


WVC 49-7-5 §49-7-5. Support of child placed in home or institution or under guardianship.
If it appears upon the hearing of a petition under this chapter that a person legally liable for the support of the child is able to contribute to the support of such child, the court or judge shall order the person to pay the state department, institution, organization, or private person to whom the child was committed, a reasonable sum from time to time for the support, maintenance, and education of the child.

The court or judge may require the person liable for the support to give reasonable security for payment. Upon failure to give security or to pay, the court or judge may enforce obedience by proceeding as for contempt of court. The court or judge may, on application, and on such notice as the court or judge may direct, from time to time, make such alterations in the allowance as shall appear reasonable and proper.


WVC 49-7-6 §49-7-6. Enforcement of order for support from wages.
If a person ordered to pay for the support, maintenance and education of a child pursuant to a proceeding under chapter forty-eight or forty-nine of this code is employed for wages, salary or commission, the court or judge may order that the sum to be paid by him shall be paid to the guardian, institution, organization or person having custody of such child, out of such wages, salary or commission, and that he shall execute an assignment thereof pro tanto. The court or judge may also order the person to report to the court or judge, from time to time, his place of employment and the amount earned by him. Upon his failure to obey the order of the court or judge, after proper notice and hearing, he may be punished as for contempt of court.


WVC 49-7-7 §49-7-7. Contributing to delinquency or neglect of a child.
(a) A person who by any act or omission contributes to, encourages or tends to cause the delinquency or neglect of any child, including, but not limited to, aiding or encouraging any such child to habitually or continually refuse to respond, without just cause, to the lawful supervision of such child's parents, guardian or custodian or to be habitually absent from school without just cause, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty nor more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned in the county jail for a period not exceeding one year, or both fined and imprisoned.

(b) In addition to any penalty provided under this section and any restitution which may be ordered by the court under article eleven-a of chapter sixty-one, the court may order any person convicted under the provisions of this section to pay all or any portion of the cost of medical, psychological or psychiatric treatment of the child resulting from the act or acts for which the person is convicted, whether or not the child is considered to have sustained bodily injury.

(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any parent, guardian or custodian who fails or refuses, or allows another person to fail or refuse, to supply a child under the care, custody or control of such parent, guardian or custodian with necessary medical care, when such medical care conflicts with the tenets and practices of a recognized religious denomination or order of which such parent, guardian or custodian is an adherent or member.


WVC 49-7-8 §49-7-8. Proof in cases of contributing to delinquency of a child.
In finding a person guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a child, it shall not be necessary to prove that the child has actually become delinquent, if it appears from the evidence that the accused is guilty of conduct or of an act of neglect or omission of duty on his part toward the child which would tend to bring about or to encourage the delinquency.


WVC 49-7-9 §49-7-9. Court may suspend sentence, etc., following conviction under chapter.
A court or judge, upon such convictions as are imposed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, may:

(1) Suspend the sentence of a person found guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a child.

(2) Stay or postpone the enforcement of execution of sentence.

(3) Release the person from custody.


WVC 49-7-10 §49-7-10. Maintenance of delinquent child by convicted person.
If the sentence of the person found guilty is suspended, the court or judge may make it a condition of suspending sentence that the person pay for whatever treatment and care may be required for the welfare of such child, and for its support and maintenance while in the custody of the department, person, or institution, and any other expense that may have resulted from, or be necessary because of, the act or acts of the person found guilty.


WVC 49-7-11 §49-7-11. Care of child upon conviction for contributing to its delinquency.
Where a person is found guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a child, the court or judge may place the child in the temporary custody of the state department or of some responsible person or approved institution.


WVC 49-7-12 §49-7-12. Custody of child by convicted person.
If the guilty person had custody of the child prior to conviction, the court or judge may, on suspending sentence, permit the child to remain in the custody of the person, and make it a condition of suspending sentence that the person provides whatever treatment and care may be required for the welfare of the child, and shall do whatever may be calculated to secure obedience to the law or to remove the cause of such delinquency.


WVC 49-7-13 §49-7-13. Suspension of sentence -- Conditions which may be attached.
The conditions upon which the sentence of a person found guilty of contributing to the delinquency, or to the neglect of any child, may be suspended, may include the furnishing of a good and sufficient bond to the state of West Virginia in such penal sum as the court shall determine, not exceeding one thousand dollars, conditioned upon:

(1) Furnishing whatever treatment and care may be required for the welfare of such child.

(2) Doing whatever may be calculated to secure obedience to the law or to remove the cause of delinquency, or neglect.

(3) Payment of such amount as the court may order, not exceeding twenty dollars per month, for the support, care, and maintenance of the child to whose delinquency the person contributed. The sum shall be expended under the order of the court or judge for the purposes enumerated.


WVC 49-7-14 §49-7-14. Same -- Recovery on forfeited bond.
The penalty of a bond given upon suspension of sentence which becomes forfeited shall be recoverable without separate suit. The court or judge may cause citation or summons to issue to the principal and surety, requiring that they appear at a time named by the court or judge, not less than ten nor more than twenty days from the issuance of the summons, and show cause why judgment should not be entered for the penalty of such bond and execution issued against the property of the principal and of the surety. Upon failure to appear, or failure to show sufficient cause, the court shall enter judgment in behalf of the state of West Virginia against the principal and surety in an amount not to exceed the penalty of the bond plus costs.

Any money collected or paid upon an execution, or upon the bond, shall be deposited with the clerk of the court in which the bond was given. The money shall be applied first to the payment of all court costs and then to the treatment, care, or maintenance of the child for whose delinquency conviction was had. If any money so collected is not required for these purposes, it shall be paid within one year into the state treasury.


WVC 49-7-15 §49-7-15. Same -- Permissive enforcement of sentence.
If it appear to the satisfaction of the court or judge at any time while a suspension of sentence or stay of execution remains in effect, that the sentence ought to be enforced, the court or judge may enforce the sentence. A jail sentence shall commence from the date upon which the sentence is so ordered to be enforced.


WVC 49-7-16 §49-7-16. Same -- Compulsory enforcement of sentence.
If the conditions of suspension are complied with, the sentence shall remain suspended, subject to enforcement upon the violation of any of the conditions imposed. Upon a failure to comply with any of the conditions imposed, the sentence shall be enforced and any bond given to insure the performance of the conditions shall be forfeited.


WVC 49 - 7 - 17 §49-7-17. Same -- Not to exceed two years.
A sentence shall not be suspended, or final judgment or execution stayed, for a period exceeding two years. At the end of two years from the time of imposition of sentence or sooner in the discretion of the court or judge, the defendant shall be finally released and discharged.


WVC 49 - 7 - 18 §49-7-18. Interference with disposition of child punishable as contempt of court.
A person who interferes with the direction of disposition of a child in accordance with an order of the court or judge made in pursuance of the provisions of this chapter, or with the state department, or a probation or other officer of the court in carrying out the directions of the court or judge under such an order, shall be subject to punishment as for contempt of court.


WVC 49 - 7 - 19 §49-7-19. Enticing child from custody.
A person who personally or by agent entices or forcibly removes a child from a custody in which the child was placed under the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars, or be imprisoned not more than six months, or both such fine and imprisonment.


WVC 49 - 7 - 20 §49-7-20. Penalties.
A person who violates an order, rule, or regulation made under the authority of this chapter, or who violates a provision of this chapter for which punishment has not been specifically provided, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined not less than ten nor more than one hundred dollars, or confined in jail not less than five days nor more than six months, or both such fine and imprisonment.


WVC 49 - 7 - 21 §49-7-21. Exercise of powers and jurisdiction under chapter by judge in vacation.
The powers and jurisdiction of the court, under the provisions of this chapter, may be exercised by the judge thereof in vacation.


WVC 49 - 7 - 22 §49-7-22. Procedure for appealing decisions under chapter.
Cases under this chapter, if tried in any inferior court, may be reviewed by writ of error or appeal to the circuit court, and if tried or reviewed in a circuit court, by writ of error or appeal to the supreme court of appeals.


WVC 49 - 7 - 23 §49-7-23. Preservation of records.
The proceedings, records, reports, case histories, and all other papers or documents of or received by the state department in the administration of this chapter shall be filed of record and preserved.


WVC 49 - 7 - 24 §49-7-24. Rules and regulations under chapter.

The secretary of the department of health and human resources shall propose for promulgation legislative rules in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this chapter.


WVC 49 - 7 - 25 §49-7-25. State department to gather statistics.
The state department shall gather statistics and study legislation and problems connected with neglected and delinquent children, and publish the results from time to time. It shall also make available, so far as possible, to officials, institutions and organizations dealing with these problems, such literature as shall tend to promote the efficiency of child welfare services.


WVC 49 - 7 - 26 §49-7-26. Duty of prosecuting attorney.
The prosecuting attorney shall render to the state department of welfare, without additional compensation, such legal services as the department may require. This section shall not be construed to prohibit the department from developing plans for cooperation with courts, prosecuting attorneys, and other law- enforcement officials in such a manner as to permit the state and its citizens to obtain maximum fiscal benefits under federal laws, rules and regulations.


WVC 49 - 7 - 27 §49-7-27. Emancipation.
A child over the age of sixteen may petition a court to be declared emancipated. The parents or custodians shall be made respondents and, in addition to personal service thereon, there shall be publication as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty- nine of this code. Upon a showing that such child can provide for his physical and financial well-being and has the ability to make decisions for himself, the court may for good cause shown declare the child emancipated. The child shall thereafter have full capacity to contract in his own right and the parents or custodians shall have no right to the custody and control of such child or duty to provide the child with care and financial support. A child over the age of sixteen years who marries shall be emancipated by operation of law. An emancipated child shall have all of the privileges, rights and duties of an adult, including the right of contract, except that such child shall remain a child as defined for the purposes of articles five and five-a of this chapter.


WVC 49 - 7 - 28 §49-7-28. Proceeding by the state department of welfare.
The state department of welfare shall have the authority to institute, in the name of the state, proceedings incident to the performance of its duties under the provisions of this chapter.


WVC 49 - 7 - 29 §49-7-29. General provisions relating to court orders regarding custody; promulgation of rules.
The supreme court of appeals, in consultation with the department of health and human resources and the division of juvenile services in order to eliminate unnecessary state funding of out-of-home placements where federal funding is available, shall develop and cause to be disseminated no later than the first day of July, two thousand three, form court orders to effectuate provisions of chapter forty-nine of this code which authorize disclosure and transfer of juvenile records between agencies while requiring maintenance of confidentiality, the provisions of Title 142 U.S.C. Section 620, et seq., and Title 42 U.S.C. Section 670, et seq., relating to the promulgation of uniform court orders for placement of minor children and the regulations promulgated thereunder, for use in the magistrate and circuit courts of the state.

Circuit judges and magistrates, upon being supplied the form orders required by the provision of this section, shall act to ensure the proper form order is entered in such case so as to allow federal funding of eligible out-of-home placements.


WVC 49 - 7 - 30 §49-7-30. Certificate of need not required.
(a) A certificate of need, as provided for in article two-d, chapter sixteen of this code, is not required by an entity proposing behavioral health care facilities or behavioral health care services for children who are placed out of their home, or who are at imminent risk of being placed out of their home, if a summary review is performed in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(b) A summary review of proposed health care facilities or health care services for children who are placed out of their home, or who are at imminent risk of being placed out of their home, is initiated when the proposal is recommended to the health care cost review authority by the secretary of the department of health and human resources and the secretary has made the following findings:

(1) That the proposed facility or service is consistent with the state health plan;

(2) That the proposed facility or service is consistent with the department's programmatic and fiscal plan for behavioral health services for children with mental health and addiction disorders;

(3) That the proposed facility or service contributes to providing services that are child and family driven, with priority given to keeping children in their own homes;

(4) That the proposed facility or service will contribute to reducing the number of child placements in out-of-state facilities by making placements available in in-state facilities;

(5) That the proposed facility or service contributes to reducing the number of child placements in in-state or out-of-state facilities by returning children to their families, placing them in foster care programs or making available school-based and out-patient services; and

(6) If applicable, that the proposed services will be community-based, locally accessible and provided in an appropriate setting consistent with the unique needs and potential of each child and his or her family.

(c) The secretary's findings required by subsection (b) of this section shall be filed with the secretary's recommendation and appropriate documentation. If the secretary's findings are supported by the accompanying documentation, the proposal shall not require a certificate of need.

(d) Any entity that does not qualify for summary review shall be subject to certificate of need review.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the provision of regular or therapeutic foster care services does not constitute a behavioral health care facility or a behavioral health care service that would subject it to the summary review procedure established in this section or to the certificate of need requirements provided in article two-d, chapter sixteen of this code.


WVC 49 - 7 - 31 §49-7-31.
Repealed.

Acts, 2007 Reg. Sess., Ch. 39.


WVC 49 - 7 - 32 §49-7-32. Juvenile justice database.
The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals is responsible for collecting, compiling and disseminating information in the juvenile justice database. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, the court shall grant the Division of Criminal Justice Services access to confidential juvenile records for the limited purpose of the collection and analysis of statistical data: Provided, That the division shall keep the records confidential and not publish any information that would identify any individual juvenile.


WVC 49 - 7 - 33 §49-7-33. Payment of services.
At any time during any proceedings brought pursuant to articles five and six of this chapter, the court may upon its own motion, or upon a motion of any party, order the West Virginia department of health and human resources to pay for professional services rendered by a psychologist, psychiatrist, physician, therapist or other health care professional to a child or other party to the proceedings. Professional services include, but are not limited to, treatment, therapy, counseling, evaluation, report preparation, consultation and preparation of expert testimony. The West Virginia department of health and human resources shall set the fee schedule for such services in accordance with the Medicaid rate, if any, or the customary rate and adjust the schedule as appropriate. Every such psychologist, psychiatrist, physician, therapist or other health care professional shall be paid by the West Virginia department of health and human resources upon completion of services and submission of a final report or other information and documentation as required by the policies and procedures implemented by the West Virginia department of health and human resources.


WVC 49 - 7 - 34 §49-7-34. Commission to Study Residential Placement of Children.
(a) The Legislature finds that the state's current system of serving children and families in need of or at risk of needing social, emotional and behavioral health services is fragmented. The existing categorical structure of government programs and their funding streams discourages collaboration, resulting in duplication of efforts and a waste of limited resources. Children are usually involved in multiple child-serving systems, including child welfare, juvenile justice and special education. More than ten percent of children presently in care are presently in out-of-state placements. Earlier efforts at reform have focused on quick fixes for individual components of the system at the expense of the whole. It is the purpose of this section to establish a mechanism to achieve systemic reform by which all of the state's child-serving agencies involved in the residential placement of at-risk youth jointly and continually study and improve upon this system and make recommendations to their respective agencies and to the Legislature regarding funding and statutory, regulatory and policy changes. It is further the Legislature's intent to build upon these recommendations to establish an integrated system of care for at-risk youth and families that makes prudent and cost-effective use of limited state resources by drawing upon the experience of successful models and best practices in this and other jurisdictions, which focuses on delivering services in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the needs of the child, and which produces better outcomes for children, families and the state.

(b) There is hereby created within the Department of Health and Human Resources the Commission to Study the Residential Placement of Children. The commission consists of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources, the Commissioner of the Bureau for Children and Families, the Commissioner for the Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities, the Commissioner for the Bureau for Medical Services, the State Superintendent of Schools, a representative of local educational agencies, the Director of the Office of Institutional Educational Programs, the Director of the Office of Special Education Programs and Assurance, the Director of the Division of Juvenile Services and the Executive Director of the Prosecuting Attorney's Institute. At the discretion of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, circuit and family court judges and other court personnel, including the Administrator of the Supreme Court of Appeals and the Director of the Juvenile Probation Services Division, may serve on the commission. These statutory members may further designate additional persons in their respective offices who may attend the meetings of the commission if they are the administrative head of the office or division whose functions necessitate their inclusion in this process. In its deliberations, the commission shall also consult and solicit input from families and service providers.

(c) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources shall serve as chair of the commission, which shall meet on a quarterly basis at the call of the chair.

(d) At a minimum, the commission shall study:

(1) The current practices of placing children out-of-home and into in-residential placements, with special emphasis on out-of-state placements;

(2) The adequacy, capacity, availability and utilization of existing in-state facilities to serve the needs of children requiring residential placements;

(3) Strategies and methods to reduce the number of children who must be placed in out-of-state facilities and to return children from existing out-of-state placements, initially targeting older youth who have been adjudicated delinquent;

(4) Staffing, facilitation and oversight of multidisciplinary treatment planning teams;

(5) The availability of and investment in community-based, less restrictive and less costly alternatives to residential placements;

(6) Ways in which up-to-date information about in-state placement availability may be made readily accessible to state agency and court personnel, including an interactive secure web site;

(7) Strategies and methods to promote and sustain cooperation and collaboration between the courts, state and local agencies, families and service providers, including the use of inter-agency memoranda of understanding, pooled funding arrangements and sharing of information and staff resources;

(8) The advisability of including "no-refusal" clauses in contracts with in-state providers for placement of children whose treatment needs match the level of licensure held by the provider;

(9) Identification of in-state service gaps and the feasibility of developing services to fill those gaps, including funding;

(10) Identification of fiscal, statutory and regulatory barriers to developing needed services in-state in a timely and responsive way;

(11) Ways to promote and protect the rights and participation of parents, foster parents and children involved in out-of-home care;

(12) Ways to certify out-of-state providers to ensure that children who must be placed out-of-state receive high quality services consistent with this state's standards of licensure and rules of operation; and

(13) Any other ancillary issue relative to foster care placement.

(e) On or before December 1, 2010, the commission shall report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability its conclusions and recommendations, including an implementation plan whereby:

(1) Out-of-state placements shall be reduced by at least ten percent per year and by at least fifty percent within three years;

(2) Child-serving agencies shall develop joint operating and funding proposals to serve the needs of children and families that cross their jurisdictional boundaries in a more seamless way;

(3) Steps shall be taken to obtain all necessary federal plan waivers or amendments in order for agencies to work collaboratively while maximizing the availability of federal funds;

(4) Agencies shall enter into memoranda of understanding to assume joint responsibilities;

(5) System of care components and cooperative relationships shall be incrementally established at the local, state and regional levels, with links to existing resources, such as family resource networks and regional summits, wherever possible; and

(6) Recommendations for changes in fiscal, statutory and regulatory provisions are included for legislative action.


WVC 49 - 7 - 35 §49-7-35. Pilot program for the placement of children four to ten years of age in foster care; requirements.
(a) This section shall be known as "Jacob's Law."

(b) The Legislature finds that:

(1) The needs of young children are not always adequately addressed when the Department of Health and Human Resources is required to take custody of them;

(2) Often the behavior of young children taken from their homes pose special challenges for the department and other individuals who are charged with their care;

(3) The department must take extraordinary precautions to prevent serious emotional damage to these children; and

(4) The department has resources within the department that can be redirected to meet many of the needs of the program required by this section.

(c) The department shall choose four regions in which to implement a two-year pilot program to address children ages four through ten immediately after removal from their homes by the Child Protective Service Division due to child abuse and neglect and who, by the nature of their removal, are in crisis.

(d) The program shall:

(1) Include early intervention for children in crisis;

(2) Provide for the development of a short-term and an ongoing long-term plan for each child;

(3) Provide that each child is evaluated for emotional and physical trauma and other medical, educational, dental and other needs, in a timely manner;

(4) Require that each child be assigned an independent advocate through the community advocacy programs as staff or volunteers are made available; and

(e) The plans required by subsection (d) of this section shall:

(1) Address abandonment, separation anxiety, post traumatic stress and other emotional and physical needs of the child;

(2) Be developed by appropriately trained professional staff;

(3) Require the participation of a child care agency, the Department of Education, community programs and other appropriate agencies providing services to children ages four through ten;

and

(4) Be developed to meet the ongoing emotional needs of each child.

(f) The short-term plan required by subsection (d) of this section shall address the child's needs for the first thirty days under the department's supervision.

(g) During the initial evaluation period, and when the child is being placed into foster care, the department shall when possible place the child into an enhanced specialized foster care home. Providers offering enhanced specialized foster care homes shall include crisis intervention staffed with trained and educated professional individuals and specialized training on how to manage a child's reaction to trauma and the crisis of being removed from the custody of a parent, parents or other guardians, with emphasis on the child's emotional needs. This program shall limit the number of children in one location to three foster children at a time. A greater number is permitted if all of the children are siblings.

(h) After a short-term and long-term plan is developed, the department shall:

(1) Provide the foster family with training and education in the plan;

(2) Evaluate the child and foster parent or parents on the interaction between the child and parents;

(3) Train the foster parent on how to respond to the child's emotional crisis and how to understand the child's crisis reactive behavior; and

(4) Evaluate the foster family on its understanding of the need for this early intervention and the need for appropriate crisis management.

(i) The providers of enhanced specialized foster care services shall:

(1) Create and train a team to provide crisis intervention;

(2) Provide a call system for the enhanced specialized foster parents and the child so that the enhanced specialized foster parents or the child can speak to a team member or other appropriately trained professional during a crisis; and

(3) Require a crisis team member to visit the home if unable to adequately resolve the crisis over the telephone and to do a follow up visit within two days to meet with the enhanced specialized foster parents and child, individually, to determine the crisis was satisfactorily resolved.

(j) The department shall develop a system to evaluate the pilot program for outcomes and standards of care and report back to public, private and community partners. In addition the evaluation shall be reported to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance or other designated committees every six months for two years. The evaluation shall be contracted by the department through an external entity who shall:

(1) Establish measurable outcomes for purposes of evaluation; (2) Collect, analyze and report data quarterly and annually;

(3) Identify trends and make recommendations for program improvement;

(4) Conduct an analysis of the impact of the pilot program on the child's emotional stability including the number of placements that the child experiences and the basis for required moves;

(5) Provide technical assistance and training to the pilot program;

(6) Provide leadership in the development of data collection and outcome reporting models;

(7) Provide feedback for quality improvement to those responsible for the pilot program; and

(8) Monitor, research and present best practices through everyday communication and training opportunities.


WVC 49 - 7 - 36 §49-7-36. Quarterly status review and yearly permanency hearings.

     (a) For each child who remains in foster care as a result of a juvenile proceeding or as a result of a child abuse and neglect proceeding, the circuit court with the assistance of the multidisciplinary treatment team shall conduct quarterly status reviews in order to determine the safety of the child, the continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the placement, the extent of compliance with the case plan, and the extent of progress which has been made toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care, and to project a likely date by which the child may be returned to and safety maintained in the home or placed for adoption or legal guardianship. Quarterly status reviews shall commence three months after the entry of the placement order. The permanency hearing provided for in subsection (c) of this section may be considered a quarterly status review.

     (b) For each transitioning adult as that term is defined in §49-2B-2(x) who remains in foster care, the circuit court shall conduct status review hearings as described in subsection (a) of this section once every three months until permanency is achieved.

     (c) For each child or transitioning adult who continues to remain in foster care, the circuit court shall conduct a permanency hearing no later that twelve months after the date the child or transitioning adult is considered to have entered foster care, and at least once every twelve months thereafter until permanency is achieved. For purposes of permanency planning for transitioning adults, the circuit court shall make factual findings and conclusions of law as to whether the department made reasonable efforts to finalize a permanency plan to prepare a transitioning adult for emancipation or independence or another approved permanency option such as, but not limited to, adoption or legal guardianship pursuant to the West Virginia Guardianship and Conservatorship Act.

     (d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to abrogate the responsibilities of the circuit court from conducting required hearings as provided in other provisions of this code, procedural court rules, or setting required hearings at the same time.
WVC 49 - 8 - ARTICLE 8. INTERSTATE COMPACT ON JUVENILES.


WVC 49 - 8 - 1 §49-8-1. Legislative findings and policy.
It is hereby found and declared: (1) That juveniles who are not under proper supervision and control, or who have absconded, escaped or run away, are likely to endanger their own health, morals and welfare, and the health, morals and welfare of others; (2) that the cooperation of this state with other states is necessary to provide for the welfare and protection of juveniles and of the people of this state.

It shall therefore be the policy of this state, in adopting the interstate compact on juveniles, to cooperate fully with other states: (1) In returning juveniles to such other states whenever their return is sought; and (2) in accepting the return of juveniles whenever a juvenile residing in this state is found or apprehended in another state and in taking all measures to initiate proceedings for the return of such juveniles.


WVC 49 - 8 - 2 §49-8-2. Execution of compact.
The governor is hereby authorized and directed to execute a compact on behalf of this state with any other state or states legally joining therein in the form substantially as follows:

INTERSTATE COMPACT ON JUVENILES
The contracting states solemnly agree:

Article I -- Findings and Purposes
That juveniles who are not under proper supervision and control, or who have absconded, escaped or run away, are likely to endanger their own health, morals and welfare, and the health, morals and welfare of others. The cooperation of the states party to this compact is therefore necessary to provide for the welfare and protection of juveniles and of the public with respect to (1) cooperative supervision of delinquent juveniles on probation or parole; (2) the return, from one state to another, of delinquent juveniles who have escaped or absconded; (3) the return, from one state to another, of nondelinquent juveniles who have run away from home; and (4) additional measures for the protection of juveniles and of the public, which any two or more of the party states may find desirable to undertake cooperatively. In carrying out the provisions of this compact the party states shall be guided by the noncriminal, reformative and protective policies which guide their laws concerning delinquent, neglected or dependent juveniles generally. It shall be the policy of the states party to this compact to cooperate and observe their respective responsibilities for the prompt return and acceptance of juveniles and delinquent juveniles who become subject to the provisions of this compact. The provisions of this compact shall be reasonably and liberally construed to accomplish the foregoing purposes.

Article II -- Existing Rights and Remedies
That all remedies and procedures provided by this compact shall be in addition to and not in substitution for other rights, remedies and procedures, and shall not be in derogation of parental rights and responsibilities.

Article III -- Definitions
That for the purposes of this compact:

"Delinquent juvenile" means any juvenile who has been adjudged delinquent and who, at the time the provisions of this compact are invoked, is still subject to the jurisdiction of the court that has made such adjudication or to the jurisdiction or supervision of an agency or institution pursuant to an order of such court.

"Probation or parole" means any kind of conditional release of juveniles authorized under the laws of the states party hereto.

"Court" means any court having jurisdiction over delinquent, neglected or dependent children.

"State" means any state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

"Residence" or any variant thereof means a place at which a home or regular place of abode is maintained.

Article IV -- Return of Runaways
(a) That the parent, guardian, person or agency entitled to legal custody of a juvenile who has not been adjudged delinquent but who has run away without the consent of such parent, guardian, person or agency may petition the appropriate court in the demanding state for the issuance of a requisition for his return. The petition shall state the name and age of the juvenile, the name of the petitioner and the basis of entitlement to the juvenile's custody, the circumstances of his running away, his location if known at the time application is made, and such other facts as may tend to show that the juvenile who has run away is endangering his own welfare or the welfare of others and is not an emancipated minor. The petition shall be verified by affidavit, shall be executed in duplicate, and shall be accompanied by two certified copies of the document or documents on which the petitioner's entitlement to the juvenile's custody is based, such as birth certificates, letters of guardianship, or custody decrees. Such further affidavits and other documents as may be deemed proper may be submitted with such petition. The judge of the court to whichthis application is made may hold a hearing thereon to determine whether for the purposes of this compact the petitioner is entitled to the legal custody of the juvenile, whether or not it appears that the juvenile has in fact run away without consent, whether or not he is an emancipated minor, and whether or not it is in the best interest of the juvenile to compel his return to the state. If the judge determines, either with or without a hearing, that the juvenile should be returned, he shall present to the appropriate court or to the executive authority of the state where the juvenile is alleged to be located a written requisition for the return of such juvenile. Such requisition shall set forth the name and age of the juvenile, the determination of the court that the juvenile has run away without the consent of a parent, guardian, person or agency entitled to his legal custody, and that it is in the best interest and for the protection of such juvenile that he be returned. In the event that a proceeding for the adjudication of the juvenile as a delinquent, neglected or dependent juvenile is pending in the court at the time when such juvenile runs away, the court may issue a requisition for the return of such juvenile upon its own motion, regardless of the consent of the parent, guardian, person or agency entitled to legal custody, reciting therein the nature and circumstances of the pending proceeding. The requisition shall in every case be executed in duplicate and shall be signed by the judge. One copy of the requisition shall be filed with the compact administrator of the demanding state, there to remain on file subject to the provisions of law governing records of such court. Upon the receipt of a requisition demanding the return of a juvenile who has run away, the court or the executive authority to whom the requisition is addressed shall issue an order to any peace officer or other appropriate person directing him to take into custody and detain such juvenile. Such detention order must substantially recite the facts necessary to the validity of its issuance hereunder. No juvenile detained upon such order shall be delivered over to the officer whom the court demanding him shall have appointed to receive him, unless he shall first be taken forthwith before a judge of a court in the state, who shall inform him of the demand made for his return, and who may appoint counsel or guardian ad litem for him. If the judge of such court shall find that the requisition is in order, he shall deliver such juvenile over to the officer whom the court demanding him shall have appointed to receive him. The judge, however, may fix a reasonable time to be allowed for the purpose of testing the legality of the proceeding.

Upon reasonable information that a person is a juvenile who has run away from another state party to this compact without the consent of a parent, guardian, person or agency entitled to his legal custody, such juvenile may be taken into custody without a requisition and brought forthwith before a judge of the appropriate court who may appoint counsel or guardian ad litem for such juvenile and who shall determine after a hearing whether sufficient cause exists to hold the person, subject to the order of the court, for his own protection and welfare, for such a time not exceeding ninety days as will enable his return to another state party to this compact pursuant to a requisition for his return from a court of that state. If, at the time when a state seeks the return of a juvenile who has run away, there is pending in the state wherein he is found any criminal charge, or any proceeding to have him adjudicated a delinquent juvenile for an act committed in such state, or if he is suspected of having committed within such state a criminal offense or an act of juvenile delinquency, he shall not be returned without the consent of such state until discharged from prosecution or other form of proceeding, imprisonment, detention or supervision for such offense or juvenile delinquency. The duly accredited officers of any state party to this compact, upon the establishment of their authority and the identity of the juvenile being returned, shall be permitted to transport such juvenile through any and all states party to this compact, without interference. Upon his return to the state from which he ran away, the juvenile shall be subject to such further proceedings as may be appropriate under the laws of that state.

(b) That the state to which a juvenile is returned under this article shall be responsible for payment of the transportation costs of such return.

(c) That "juvenile" as used in this article means any person who is a minor under the law of the state of residence of the parent, guardian, person or agency entitled to the legal custody of such minor.

Article V -- Return of Escapees and Absconders
(a) That the appropriate person or authority from whose probation or parole supervision a delinquent juvenile has absconded or from whose institutional custody he has escaped shall present to the appropriate court or to the executive authority of the state where the delinquent juvenile is alleged to be located a written requisition for the return of such delinquent juvenile. Such requisition shall state the name and age of the delinquent juvenile, the particulars of his adjudication as a delinquent juvenile, the circumstances of the breach of the terms of his probation or parole or of his escape from an institution or agency vested with his legal custody or supervision, and the location of such delinquent juvenile, if known, at the time the requisition is made. The requisition shall be verified by affidavit, shall be executed in duplicate, and shall be accompanied by two certified copies of the judgment, formal adjudication, or order of commitment which subjects such delinquent juvenile to probation or parole or to the legal custody of the institution or agency concerned. Such further affidavits and other documents as may be deemed proper may be submitted with such requisition. One copy of the requisition shall be filed with the compact administrator of the demanding state, there to remain on file subject to the provisions of law governing records of the appropriate court. Upon the receipt of a requisition demanding the return of a delinquent juvenile who has absconded or escaped, the court or the executive authority to whom the requisition is addressed shall issue an order to any peace officer or other appropriate person directing him to take into custody and detain such delinquent juvenile. Such detention order must substantially recite the facts necessary to the validity of its issuance hereunder. No delinquent juvenile detained upon such order shall be delivered over to the officer whom the appropriate person or authority demanding him shall have appointed to receive him, unless he shall first be taken forthwith before a judge of an appropriate court in the state, who shall inform him of the demand made for his return and who may appoint counsel or guardian ad litem for him. If the judge of such court shall find that the requisition is in order, he shall deliver such delinquent juvenile over to the officer whom the appropriate person or authority demanding him shall have appointed to receive him. The judge, however, may fix a reasonable time to be allowed for the purpose of testing the legality of the proceeding.

Upon reasonable information that a person is a delinquent juvenile who has absconded while on probation or parole, or escaped from an institution or agency vested with his legal custody or supervision in any state party to this compact, such person may be taken into custody in any other state party to this compact without a requisition. But in such event, he must be taken forthwith before a judge of the appropriate court, who may appoint counsel or guardian ad litem for such person and who shall determine, after a hearing, whether sufficient cause exists to hold the person subject to the order of the court for such a time, not exceeding ninety days, as will enable his detention under a detention order issued on a requisition pursuant to this article. If, at the time when a state seeks the return of a delinquent juvenile who has either absconded while on probation or parole or escaped from an institution or agency vested with his legal custody or supervision, there is pending in the state wherein he is detained any criminal charge or any proceeding to have him adjudicated a delinquent juvenile for an act committed in such state, or if he is suspected of having committed within such state a criminal offense or an act of juvenile delinquency, he shall not be returned without the consent of such state until discharged from prosecution or otherform of proceeding, imprisonment, detention or supervision for such offense or juvenile delinquency. The duly accredited officers of any state party to this compact, upon the establishment of their authority and the identity of the delinquent juvenile being returned, shall be permitted to transport such delinquent juvenile through any and all states party to this compact, without interference. Upon his return to the state from which he escaped or absconded, the delinquent juvenile shall be subject to such further proceedings as may be appropriate under the laws of that state.

(b) That the state to which a delinquent juvenile is returned under this article shall be responsible for the payment of the transportation costs of such return.

Article VI -- Voluntary Return Procedure
That any delinquent juvenile who has absconded while on probation or parole, or escaped from an institution or agency vested with his legal custody or supervision in any state party to this compact, and any juvenile who has run away from any state party to this compact, who is taken into custody without a requisition in another state party to this compact under the provisions of article IV (a) or of article V (a), may consent to his immediate return to the state from which he absconded, escaped or ran away. Such consent shall be given by the juvenile or delinquent juvenile and his counsel or guardian ad litem if any, by executing or subscribing a writing, in the presence of a judge of the appropriate court, which states that the juvenile or delinquent juvenile and his counsel or guardian ad litem, if any, consent to his return to the demanding state. Before such consent shall be executed or subscribed, however, the judge, in the presence of counsel or guardian ad litem, if any, shall inform the juvenile or delinquent juvenile of his rights under this compact. When the consent has been duly executed, it shall be forwarded to and filed with the compact administrator of the state in which the court is located and the judge shall direct the officer having the juvenile or delinquent juvenile in custody to deliver him to the duly accredited officer or officers of the state demanding his return, and shall cause to be delivered to such officer or officers a copy of the consent. The court may, however, upon the request of the state to which the juvenile or delinquent juvenile is being returned, order him to return unaccompanied to such state and shall provide him with a copy of such court order; in such event a copy of the consent shall be forwarded to the compact administrator of the state to which said juvenile or delinquent juvenile is ordered to return.

Article VII -- Cooperative Supervision of Probationers
and Parolees
(a) That the duly constituted judicial and administrative authorities of a state party to this compact (herein called "sending state") may permit any delinquent juvenile within such state, placed on probation or parole, to reside in any other state party to this compact (herein called "receiving state") while on probation or parole, and the receiving state shall accept such delinquent juvenile, if the parent, guardian or person entitled to the legal custody of such delinquent juvenile is residing or undertakes to reside within the receiving state. Before granting such permission, opportunity shall be given to the receiving state to make such investigations as it deems necessary. The authorities of the sending state shall send to the authorities of the receiving state copies of pertinent court orders, social case studies and all other available information which may be of value to and assist the receiving state in supervising a probationer or parolee under this compact. A receiving state, in its discretion, may agree to accept supervision of a probationer or parolee in cases where the parent, guardian or person entitled to the legal custody of the delinquent juvenile is not a resident of the receiving state, and if so accepted the sending state may transfer supervision accordingly.

(b) That each receiving state will assume the duties of visitation and of supervision over any such delinquent juvenile and in the exercise of those duties will be governed by the same standards of visitation and supervision that prevail for its owndelinquent juveniles released on probation or parole.

(c) That, after consultation between the appropriate authorities of the sending state and of the receiving state as to the desirability and necessity of returning such a delinquent juvenile, the duly accredited officers of a sending state may enter a receiving state and there apprehend and retake any such delinquent juvenile on probation or parole. For that purpose, no formalities will be required, other than establishing the authority of the officer and the identity of the delinquent juvenile to be retaken and returned. The decision of the sending state to retake a delinquent juvenile on probation or parole shall be conclusive upon and not reviewable within the receiving state, but if, at the time the sending state seeks to retake a delinquent juvenile on probation or parole, there is pending against him within the receiving state any criminal charge or any proceeding to have him adjudicated a delinquent juvenile for any act committed in such state or if he is suspected of having committed within such state a criminal offense or an act of juvenile delinquency, he shall not be returned without the consent of the receiving state until discharged from prosecution or other form of proceeding, imprisonment, detention or supervision for such offense or juvenile delinquency. The duly accredited officers of the sending state shall be permitted to transport delinquent juveniles being so returned through any and all states party to this compact, without interference.

(d) That the sending state shall be responsible under this article for paying the costs of transporting any delinquent juvenile to the receiving state or of returning any delinquent juvenile to the sending state.

Article VIII -- Responsibility for Costs
(a) That the provisions of articles IV (b), V (b) and VII (d) of this compact shall not be construed to alter or affect any internal relationship among departments, agencies and officers of and in the government of a party state, or between a party state and its subdivisions, as to the payment of costs, or responsibilities therefor.

(b) That nothing in this compact shall be construed to prevent any party state or subdivision thereof from asserting any right against any person, agency or other entity in regard to costs for which such party state or subdivision thereof may be responsible pursuant to articles IV (b), V (b) or VII (d) of this compact.

Article IX -- Detention Practices
That, to every extent possible, it shall be the policy of states party to this compact that no juvenile or delinquent juvenile shall be placed or detained in any prison, jail or lockup nor be detained or transported in association with criminal, vicious or dissolute persons.

Article X -- Supplementary Agreements
That the duly constituted administrative authorities of a state party to this compact may enter into supplementary agreements with any other state or states party hereto for the cooperative care, treatment and rehabilitation of delinquent juveniles whenever they shall find that such agreements will improve the facilities or programs available for such care, treatment and rehabilitation. Such care, treatment and rehabilitation may be provided in an institution located within any state entering into such supplementary agreement. Such supplementary agreements shall (1) provide the rates to be paid for the care, treatment and custody of such delinquent juveniles, taking into consideration the character of facilities, services and subsistence furnished; (2) provide that the delinquent juvenile shall be given a court hearing prior to his being sent to another state for care, treatment and custody; (3) provide that the state receiving such a delinquent juvenile in one of its institutions shall act solely as agent for the state sending such delinquent juvenile; (4) provide that the sending state shall at all times retain jurisdiction over delinquent juveniles sent to an institution in another state; (5) provide for reasonable inspection of such institutions by the sending state; (6) provide that the consent of the parent, guardian, person or agency entitledto the legal custody of said delinquent juvenile shall be secured prior to his being sent to another state; and (7) make provision for such other matters and details as shall be necessary to protect the rights and equities of such delinquent juveniles and of the cooperating states.

Article XI -- Acceptance of Federal and Other Aid
That any state party to this compact may accept any and all donations, gifts and grants of money, equipment and services from the federal or any local government, or any agency thereof and from any person, firm or corporation, for any of the purposes and functions of this compact, and may receive and utilize the same subject to the terms, conditions and regulations governing such donations, gifts and grants.

Article XII -- Compact Administrators
That the governor of each state party to this compact shall designate an officer who, acting jointly with like officers of other party states, shall promulgate rules and regulations to carry out more effectively the terms and provisions of this compact.

Article XIII -- Execution of Compact
That this compact shall become operative immediately upon its execution by any state as between it and any other state or states so executing. When executed it shall have the full force and effect of law within such state, the form or execution to be in accordance with the laws of the executing state.

Article XIV -- Renunciation
That this compact shall continue in force and remain binding upon each executing state until renounced by it. Renunciation of this compact shall be by the same authority which executed it, by sending six months' notice in writing of its intention to withdraw from the compact to the other states party hereto. The duties and obligations of a renouncing state under article VII hereof shall continue as to parolees and probationers residing therein at the time of withdrawal until retaken or finally discharged. Supplementary agreements entered into under article X hereof shall be subject to renunciation as provided by such supplementary agreements, and shall not be subject to the six months' renunciation notice of the present article.

Article XV -- Severability
That the provisions of this compact shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any participating state or of the United States or the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstances shall not be affected thereby. If this compact shall be held contrary to the constitution of any state participating therein, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining states and in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters.


WVC 49 - 8 - 2 A §49-8-2a. Execution of additional article.

The governor is further authorized and directed to execute, with any other state or states legally joining in the same, an additional article to said compact in the form substantially as follows:

That this article shall provide additional remedies, and shall be binding only as among and between those party states which specifically execute the same.

For the purposes of this article, "child," as used herein, means any minor within the jurisdictional age limits of any court in the home state.

When any child is brought before a court of a state of which such child is not a resident, and such state is willing to permit such child's return to the home state of such child, such home state, upon being so advised by the state in which such proceeding is pending, shall immediately institute proceedings to determine the residence and jurisdictional facts as to such child in such home state, and upon finding that such child is in fact a resident of said state and subject to the jurisdiction of the court thereof, shall within five days authorize the return of such child to the home state, and to the parent or custodial agency legally authorized to accept such custody in such home state, and at the expense of such home state, to be paid from such funds as such home state may procure, designate, or provide, prompt action being of the essence.


WVC 49 - 8 - 2 B §49-8-2b. Execution of amendment.

The governor is further authorized and directed to execute, with any other state or states legally joining in the same, an amendment to said compact in the form substantially as follows:

(a) This amendment shall provide additional remedies, and shall be binding only as among and between those party states which specifically execute the same.

(b) All provisions and procedures of articles V and VI of the interstate compact on juveniles shall be construed to apply to any juvenile charged with being a delinquent by reason of a violation of any criminal law. Any juvenile, charged with being a delinquent by reason of violating any criminal law shall be returned to the requesting state upon a requisition to the state where the juvenile may be found. A petition in such case shall be filed in a court of competent jurisdiction in the requesting state where the violation of criminal law is alleged to have been committed. The petition may be filed regardless of whether the juvenile has left the state before or after the filing of the petition. The requisition described in article V of the compact shall be forwarded by the judge of the court in which the petition has been filed.


WVC 49 - 8 - 3 §49-8-3. Juvenile compact administrator.
Pursuant to said compact, the governor is hereby authorized and empowered to designate an officer who shall be the compact administrator and who, acting jointly with like officers of other party states, shall promulgate rules and regulations to carry out more effectively the terms of the compact. Said compact administrator shall serve subject to the will and pleasure of the governor. The compact administrator is hereby authorized, empowered and directed to cooperate with all departments, agencies and officers of and in the government of this state and its subdivisions in facilitating the proper administration of the compact or of any supplementary agreement or agreements entered into by this state hereunder.


WVC 49 - 8 - 4 §49-8-4. Supplementary agreements by administrator; use of state institution or facility.
The compact administrator is hereby authorized and empowered to enter into supplementary agreements with appropriate officials of other states pursuant to the compact. In the event that such supplementary agreement shall require or contemplate the use of any institution or facility of this state or require or contemplate the provision of any service by this state, said supplementary agreement shall have no force or effect until approved by the head of the department or agency under whose jurisdiction said institution or facility is operated or whose department or agency will be charged with the rendering of such service.


WVC 49 - 8 - 5 §49-8-5. Financial obligations of state under article.
The compact administrator, subject to the approval of the state auditor, may make or arrange for any payments necessary to discharge any financial obligations imposed upon this state by the compact or by any supplementary agreement entered into thereunder.


WVC 49 - 8 - 6 §49-8-6. Responsibilities of courts, state departments, agencies and officers.
The courts, departments, agencies and officers of this state and its subdivisions shall enforce this compact and shall do all things appropriate to the effectuation of its purposes and intent which may be within their respective jurisdictions.


WVC 49 - 8 - 7 §49-8-7. Additional procedures not precluded.
In addition to any procedure provided in articles IV and VI of the compact for the return of any runaway juvenile, the particular states, the juvenile or his parents, the courts, or other legal custodian involved may agree upon and adopt any other plan or procedure legally authorized under the laws of this state and the other respective party states for the return of any such runaway juvenile.


WVC 49 - 8 A- ARTICLE 8A. THE INTERSTATE COMPACT FOR JUVENILES.


WVC 49 - 8 A- 1 §49-8A-1. Execution of interstate compact for juveniles.
The governor of this state is authorized and directed to execute a compact on behalf of the state of West Virginia with any state or states of the United States legally joining therein, and substantially as follows:

ARTICLE I. PURPOSE.
(a) The compacting states to this interstate compact recognize that each state is responsible for the proper supervision or return of juveniles, delinquents and status offenders who are on probation or parole and who have absconded, escaped or run away from supervision and control and in so doing have endangered their own safety and the safety of others. The compacting states also recognize that each state is responsible for the safe return of juveniles who have run away from home and in doing so have left their state of residence. The compacting states also recognize that Congress, by enacting the Crime Control Act, 4 U.S.C. Section 112 (1965), has authorized and encouraged compacts for cooperative efforts and mutual assistance in the prevention of crime.

(b) It is the purpose of this compact, through means of joint and cooperative action among the compacting states:

(1) To ensure that the adjudicated juveniles and status offenders subject to this compact are provided adequate supervision and services in the receiving state as ordered by the adjudicating judge or parole authority in the sending state;

(2) To ensure that the public safety interests of the citizens, including the victims of juvenile offenders, in both the sending and receiving states are adequately protected;

(3) To return juveniles who have run away, absconded or escaped from supervision or control or have been accused of an offense to the state requesting their return;

(4) To make contracts for the cooperative institutionalization in public facilities in member states for delinquent youth needing special services;

(5) To provide for the effective tracking and supervision of juveniles;

(6) To equitably allocate the costs, benefits and obligations of the compacting states;

(7) To establish procedures to manage the movement between states of juvenile offenders released to the community under the jurisdiction of courts, juvenile departments, or any other criminal or juvenile justice agency which has jurisdiction over juvenile offenders;

(8) To ensure immediate notice to jurisdictions where defined offenders are authorized to travel or to relocate across state lines;

(9) To establish procedures to resolve pending charges (detainers) against juvenile offenders prior to transfer or release to the community under the terms of this compact;

(10) To establish a system of uniform data collection on information pertaining to juveniles subject to this compact that allows access by authorized juvenile justice and criminal justice officials, and regular reporting of compact activities to heads of state executive, judicial, and legislative branches and juvenile and criminal justice administrators;

(11) To monitor compliance with rules governing interstate movement of juveniles and initiate interventions to address and correct noncompliance;

(12) To coordinate training and education regarding the regulation of interstate movement of juveniles for officials involved in such activity; and

(13) To coordinate the implementation and operation of the compact with the interstate compact for the placement of children, the interstate compact for adult offender supervision and other compacts affecting juveniles, particularly in those cases where concurrent or overlapping supervision issues arise.

(c) It is the policy of the compacting states that the activities conducted by the interstate commission created herein are the formation of public policies and therefore are public business. Furthermore, the compacting states shall cooperate and observe their individual and collective duties and responsibilities for the prompt return and acceptance of juveniles subject to the provisions of this compact. The provisions of this compact shall be reasonably and liberally construed to accomplish the purposes and policies of the compact.

ARTICLE II. DEFINITIONS.
As used in this compact, unless the context clearly requires a different construction:

(a) "Bylaws" means those bylaws established by the interstate commission for its governance, or for directing or controlling its actions or conduct.

(b) "Compact administrator" means the individual in each compacting state appointed pursuant to the terms of this compact, responsible for the administration and management of the state's supervision and transfer of juveniles subject to the terms of this compact, the rules adopted by the interstate commission and policies adopted by the state council under this compact.

(c) "Compacting state" means any state which has enacted the enabling legislation for this compact.

(d) "Commissioner" means the voting representative of each compacting state appointed pursuant to article III of this compact.

(e) "Court" means any court having jurisdiction over delinquent, neglected, or dependent children.

(f) "Deputy compact administrator" means the individual, if any, in each compacting state appointed to act on behalf of a compact administrator pursuant to the terms of this compact responsible for the administration and management of the state's supervision and transfer of juveniles subject to the terms of this compact, the rules adopted by the interstate commission and policies adopted by the state council under this compact.

(g) "Interstate commission" means the interstate commission for juveniles created by Article III of this compact.

(h) "Juvenile" means any person defined as a juvenile in any member state or by the rules of the interstate commission, including:

(1) Accused delinquent - a person charged with an offense that, if committed by an adult, would be a criminal offense; (2) Adjudicated delinquent - a person found to have committed an offense that, if committed by an adult, would be a criminal offense;

(3) Accused status offender - a person charged with an offense that would not be a criminal offense if committed by an adult;

(4) Adjudicated status offender - a person found to have committed an offense that would not be a criminal offense if committed by an adult; and

(i) Nonoffender - a person in need of supervision who has not been accused or adjudicated a status offender or delinquent.

(j) "Noncompacting state" means any state which has not enacted the enabling legislation for this compact.

(k) "Probation or parole" means any kind of supervision or conditional release of juveniles authorized under the laws of the compacting states.

(l) "Rule" means a written statement by the interstate commission promulgated pursuant to Article VI of this compact that is of general applicability, implements, interprets or prescribes a policy or provision of the compact, or an organizational, procedural, or practice requirement of the commission, and has the force and effect of statutory law in a compacting state, and includes the amendment, repeal, or suspension of an existing rule.

(m) "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia (or its designee), the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Marianas Islands.

ARTICLE III. INTERSTATE COMMISSION FOR JUVENILES.
(a) The compacting states hereby create the "Interstate Commission for Juveniles." The commission shall be a body corporate and joint agency of the compacting states. The commission shall have all the responsibilities, powers and duties set forth herein, and such additional powers as may be conferred upon it by subsequent action of the respective legislatures of the compacting states in accordance with the terms of this compact.

(b) The interstate commission shall consist of commissioners appointed by the appropriate appointing authority in each state pursuant to the rules and requirements of each compacting state and in consultation with the state council for interstate juvenile supervision created hereunder. The commissioner shall be the compact administrator, deputy compact administrator or designee from that state who shall serve on the interstate commission in such capacity under or pursuant to the applicable law of the compacting state.

(c) In addition to the commissioners who are the voting representatives of each state, the interstate commission shall include individuals who are not commissioners, but who are members of interested organizations. Such noncommissioner members must include a member of the national organizations of governors, legislators, state chief justices, attorneys general, interstate compact for adult offender supervision, interstate compact for the placement of children, juvenile justice and juvenile corrections officials, and crime victims. All noncommissioner members of the interstate commission shall be ex officio (nonvoting) members. The interstate commission may provide in its bylaws for such additional ex officio (nonvoting) members, including members of other national organizations, in such numbers as shall be determined by the commission.

(d) Each compacting state represented at any meeting of the commission is entitled to one vote. A majority of the compacting states shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, unless a larger quorum is required by the bylaws of the interstate commission.

(e) The commission shall meet at least once each calendar year. The chairperson may call additional meetings and, upon the request of a simple majority of the compacting states, shall call additional meetings. Public notice shall be given of all meetings and meetings shall be open to the public.

(f) The interstate commission shall establish an executive committee, which shall include commission officers, members, and others as determined by the bylaws. The executive committee shall have the power to act on behalf of the interstate commission during periods when the interstate commission is not in session, with the exception of rule making and/or amendment to the compact. The executive committee shall oversee the day-to-day activities of the administration of the compact managed by an executive director and interstate commission staff; administers enforcement and compliance with the provisions of the compact, its bylaws and rules, and performs such other duties as directed by the interstate commission or set forth in the bylaws.

(g) Each member of the interstate commission shall have the right and power to cast a vote to which that compacting state is entitled and to participate in the business and affairs of the interstate commission. A member shall vote in person and shall not delegate a vote to another compacting state. However, a commissioner, in consultation with the state council, shall appoint another authorized representative, in the absence of the commissioner from that state, to cast a vote on behalf of the compacting state at a specified meeting. The bylaws may provide for members' participation in meetings by telephone or other means of telecommunication or electronic communication.

(h) The interstate commission's bylaws shall establish conditions and procedures under which the interstate commission shall make its information and official records available to the public for inspection or copying. The interstate commission may exempt from disclosure any information or official records to the extent they would adversely affect personal privacy rights or proprietary interests.

(i) Public notice shall be given of all meetings and all meetings shall be open to the public, except as set forth in the rules or as otherwise provided in the compact. The interstate commission and any of its committees may close a meeting to the public where it determines by two-thirds vote that an open meeting would be likely to:

(1) Relate solely to the interstate commission's internal personnel practices and procedures;

(2) Disclose matters specifically exempted from disclosure by statute;

(3) Disclose trade secrets or commercial or financial information which is privileged or confidential;

(4) Involve accusing any person of a crime, or formally censuring any person;

(5) Disclose information of a personal nature where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;

(6) Disclose investigative records compiled for law-enforcement purposes;

(7) Disclose information contained in or related to examination, operating or condition reports prepared by, or on behalf of or for the use of, the interstate commission with respect to a regulated person or entity for the purpose of regulation or supervision of such person or entity;

(8) Disclose information, the premature disclosure of which would significantly endanger the stability of a regulated person or entity; or

(9) Specifically relate to the interstate commission's issuance of a subpoena, or its participation in a civil action or other legal proceeding.

(j) For every meeting closed pursuant to the provisions of subsection (i) above, the interstate commission's legal counsel shall publicly certify that, in the legal counsel's opinion, the meeting may be closed to the public, and shall reference each relevant exemptive provision. The interstate commission shall keep minutes which shall fully and clearly describe all matters discussed in any meeting and shall provide a full and accurate summary of any actions taken, and the reasons therefore, including a description of each of the views expressed on any item and the record of any roll call vote (reflected in the vote of each member on the question). All documents considered in connection with any action shall be identified in such minutes.

(k) The interstate commission shall collect standardized data concerning the interstate movement of juveniles as directed through its rules which shall specify the data to be collected, the means of collection and data exchange and reporting requirements. Such methods of data collection, exchange and reporting shall insofar as is reasonably possible conform to up-to-date technology and coordinate its information functions with the appropriate repository of records.

ARTICLE IV. POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION.
The interstate commission shall have the following powers and duties:

(a) To provide for dispute resolution among compacting states.

(b) To promulgate rules to effect the purposes and obligations as enumerated in this compact, which shall have the force and effect of statutory law and shall be binding in the compacting states to the extent and in the manner provided in this compact.

(c) To oversee, supervise and coordinate the interstate movement of juveniles subject to the terms of this compact and any bylaws adopted and rules promulgated by the interstate commission.

(d) To enforce compliance with the compact provisions, the rules promulgated by the interstate commission, and the bylaws, using all necessary and proper means, including, but not limited to, the use of judicial process.

(e) To establish and maintain offices which shall be located within one or more of the compacting states.

(f) To purchase and maintain insurance and bonds.

(g) To borrow, accept, hire or contract for services of personnel.

(h) To establish and appoint committees and hire staff which it deems necessary for the carrying out of its functions including, but not limited to, an executive committee as required by Article III which shall have the power to act on behalf of the interstate commission in carrying out its powers and duties hereunder.

(i) To elect or appoint such officers, attorneys, employees, agents, or consultants, and to fix their compensation, define their duties and determine their qualifications.

(j) To establish the interstate commission's personnel policies and programs relating to, inter alia, conflicts of interest, rates of compensation, and qualifications of personnel.

(k) To accept any and all donations and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials, and services, and to receive, utilize, and dispose of it.

(l) To lease, purchase, accept contributions or donations of, or otherwise to own, hold, improve or use any property, real, personal, or mixed.

(m) To sell, convey, mortgage, pledge, lease, exchange, abandon, or otherwise dispose of any property, real, personal or mixed.

(n) To establish a budget and make expenditures and levy dues as provided in Article VIII of this compact.

(o) To sue and be sued.

(p) To adopt a seal and bylaws governing the management and operation of the interstate commission.

(q) To perform such functions as may be necessary or appropriate to achieve the purposes of this compact.

(r) To report annually to the legislatures, governors, judiciary, and state councils of the compacting states concerning the activities of the interstate commission during the preceding year. Such reports shall also include any recommendations that may have been adopted by the interstate commission.

(s) To coordinate education, training and public awareness regarding the interstate movement of juveniles for officials involved in such activity.

(t) To establish uniform standards of the reporting, collecting and exchanging of data.

(u) The interstate commission shall maintain its corporate books and records in accordance with the bylaws.

ARTICLE V. ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION
OF THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION.

Section A. Bylaws.
(a) The interstate commission shall, by a majority of the members present and voting, within twelve months after the first interstate commission meeting, adopt bylaws to govern its conduct as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of the compact, including, but not limited to:

(1) Establishing the fiscal year of the interstate commission;

(2) Establishing an executive committee and such other committees as may be necessary to;

(3) Providing for the establishment of committees governing any general or specific delegation of any authority or function of the interstate commission;

(4) Providing reasonable procedures for calling and conducting meetings of the interstate commission, and ensuring reasonable notice of each such meeting;

(5) Establishing the titles and responsibilities of the officers of the interstate commission;

(6) Providing a mechanism for concluding the operations of the interstate commission and the return of any surplus funds that may exist upon the termination of the compact after the payment and/or reserving of all of its debts and obligations.

(7) Providing "start-up" rules for initial administration of the compact; and

(8) Establishing standards and procedures for compliance and technical assistance in carrying out the compact.

Section B. Officers and Staff.
(b) (1) The interstate commission shall, by a majority of the members, elect annually from among its members a chairperson and a vice chairperson, each of whom shall have such authority and duties as may be specified in the bylaws. The chairperson or, in the chairperson's absence or disability, the vice-chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the interstate commission. The officers so elected shall serve without compensation or remuneration from the interstate commission; provided that, subject to the availability of budgeted funds, the officers shall be reimbursed for any ordinary and necessary costs and expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties and responsibilities as officers of the interstate commission.

(2) The interstate commission shall, through its executive committee, appoint or retain an executive director for such period, upon such terms and conditions and for such compensation as the interstate commission may deem appropriate. The executive director shall serve as secretary to the interstate commission, but shall not be a member and shall hire and supervise such other staff as may be authorized by the interstate commission.

Section C. Qualified Immunity, Defense and Indemnification.

(c)(1) The commission's executive director and employees shall be immune from suit and liability, either personally or in their official capacity, for any claim for damage to or loss of property or personal injury or other civil liability caused or arising out of or relating to any actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred, or that such person had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities; provided, that any such person shall not be protected from suit or liability for any damage, loss, injury, or liability caused by the intentional or willful and wanton misconduct of any such person.

(2) The liability of any commissioner, or the employee or agent of a commissioner, acting within the scope of such person's employment or duties for acts, errors, or omissions occurring within such person's state may not exceed the limits of liability set forth under the constitution and laws of that state for state officials, employees, and agents. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to protect any such person from suit or liability for any damage, loss, injury, or liability caused by the intentional or willful and wanton misconduct of any such person.

(3) The interstate commission shall defend the executive director or the employees or representatives of the interstate commission and, subject to the approval of the attorney general of the state represented by any commissioner of a compacting state, shall defend such commissioner or the commissioner's representatives or employees in any civil action seeking to impose liability arising out of any actual or alleged act, error or omission that occurred within the scope of interstate commission employment, duties or responsibilities, or that the defendant had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of interstate commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, provided that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did not result from intentional or willful and wanton misconduct on the part of such person.

(4) The interstate commission shall indemnify and hold the commissioner of a compacting state, or the commissioner's representatives or employees, or the interstate commission's representatives or employees, harmless in the amount of any settlement or judgment obtained against such persons arising out of any actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred within the scope of interstate commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, or that such persons had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of interstate commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, provided that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did not result from intentional or willful and wanton misconduct on the part of such persons.

ARTICLE VI. RULE-MAKING FUNCTIONS
OF THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION.

(a) The interstate commission shall promulgate and publish rules in order to effectively and efficiently achieve the purposes of the compact.

(b) Rule making shall occur pursuant to the criteria set forth in this article and the bylaws and rules adopted pursuant thereto. Such rule making shall substantially conform to the principles of the "Model State Administrative Procedures Act," 1981 Act, Uniform Laws Annotated, Vol. 15, p.1 (2000), or such other administrative procedures act, as the interstate commission deems appropriate consistent with due process requirements under the U.S. Constitution as now or hereafter interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court. All rules and amendments shall become binding as of the date specified, as published with the final version of the rule as approved by the commission.

(c) When promulgating a rule, the interstate commission shall, at a minimum:

(1) Publish the proposed rule's entire text stating the reason(s) for that proposed rule;

(2) Allow and invite any and all persons to submit written data, facts, opinions and arguments, which information shall be added to the record, and be made publicly available;

(3) Provide an opportunity for an informal hearing if petitioned by ten (10) or more persons; and

(4) Promulgate a final rule and its effective date, if appropriate, based on input from state or local officials, or interested parties.

(d) Allow, not later than sixty days after a rule is promulgated, any interested person to file a petition in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or in the federal district court where the interstate commission's principal office is located for judicial review of such rule. If the court finds that the interstate commission's action is not supported by substantial evidence in the rule making record, the court shall hold the rule unlawful and set it aside. For purposes of this subsection, evidence is substantial if it would be considered substantial evidence under the Model State Administrative Procedures Act.

(e) If a majority of the legislatures of the compacting states rejects a rule, those states may, by enactment of a statute or resolution in the same manner used to adopt the compact, cause that such rule shall have no further force and effect in any compacting state.

(f) The existing rules governing the operation of the "Interstate Compact on Juveniles" superceded by this article shall be null and void twelve months after the first meeting of the interstate commission created hereunder.

(g) Upon determination by the interstate commission that a state-of-emergency exists, it may promulgate an emergency rule which shall become effective immediately upon adoption, provided that the usual rule-making procedures provided hereunder shall be retroactively applied to said rule as soon as reasonably possible, but no later than ninety days after the effective date of the emergency rule.

ARTICLE VII. OVERSIGHT, ENFORCEMENT AND DISPUTE
RESOLUTION BY THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION.

Section A. Oversight.
(a)(1) The interstate commission shall oversee the administration and operations of the interstate movement of juveniles subject to this compact in the compacting states and shall monitor such activities being administered in noncompacting states which may significantly affect compacting states.

(2) The courts and executive agencies in each compacting state shall enforce this compact and shall take all actions necessary and appropriate to effectuate the compact's purposes and intent.

(3) The provisions of this compact and the rules promulgated hereunder shall be received by all the judges, public officers, commissions, and departments of the state government as evidence of the authorized statute and administrative rules. All courts shall take judicial notice of the compact and the rules.

(4) In any judicial or administrative proceeding in a compacting state pertaining to the subject matter of this compact which may affect the powers, responsibilities or actions of the interstate commission, it shall be entitled to receive all service of process in any such proceeding, and shall have standing to intervene in the proceeding for all purposes.

Section B. Dispute Resolution.
(b)(1) The compacting states shall report to the interstate commission on all issues and activities necessary for the administration of the compact as well as issues and activities pertaining to compliance with the provisions of the compact and its bylaws and rules.

(2) The interstate commission shall attempt, upon the request of a compacting state, to resolve any disputes or other issues which are subject to the compact and which may arise among compacting states and between compacting and noncompacting states. The commission shall promulgate a rule providing for both mediation and binding dispute resolution for disputes among the compacting states.

(3) The interstate commission, in the reasonable exercise of its discretion, shall enforce the provisions and rules of this compact using any or all means set forth in Article XI of this compact.

ARTICLE VIII. FINANCE.
(a) The interstate commission shall pay or provide for the payment of the reasonable expenses of its establishment, organization and ongoing activities.

(b) The interstate commission shall levy on and collect an annual assessment from each compacting state to cover the cost of the internal operations and activities of the interstate commission and its staff which must be in a total amount sufficient to cover the interstate commission's annual budget as approved each year. The aggregate annual assessment amount shall be allocated based upon a formula to be determined by the interstate commission, taking into consideration the population of each compacting state and the volume of interstate movement of juveniles in each compacting state and shall promulgate a rule binding upon all compacting states which governs said assessment.

(c) The interstate commission shall not incur any obligations of any kind prior to securing the funds adequate to meet the same; nor shall the interstate commission pledge the credit of any of the compacting states, except by and with the authority of the compacting state.

(d) The interstate commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the interstate commission shall be subject to the audit and accounting procedures established under its bylaws. However, all receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the interstate commission shall be audited yearly by a certified or licensed public accountant and the report of the audit shall be included in and become part of the annual report of the interstate commission.

ARTICLE IX. THE STATE COUNCIL.
Each member state shall create a state council for interstate juvenile supervision. While each state may determine the membership of its own state council, its membership must include at least one representative from the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government, victims groups, and the compact administrator, deputy compact administrator or designee. Each compacting state retains the right to determine the qualifications of the compact administrator or deputy compact administrator. Each state council will advise and may exercise oversight and advocacy concerning that state's participation in interstate commission activities and other duties as may be determined by that state, including, but not limited to, development of policy concerning operations and procedures of the compact within that state.

ARTICLE X. COMPACTING STATES, EFFECTIVE DATE AND AMENDMENT.
(a) Any state, the District of Columbia (or its designee), the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Marianas Islands as defined in Article II of this compact is eligible to become a compacting state.

(b) The compact shall become effective and binding upon legislative enactment of the compact into law by no less than thirty-five of the states. The initial effective date shall be the later of the first day of July, two thousand four, or upon enactment into law by the thirty-fifth jurisdiction. Thereafter it shall become effective and binding as to any other compacting state upon enactment of the compact into law by that state. The governors of nonmember states or their designees shall be invited to participate in the activities of the interstate commission on a nonvoting basis prior to adoption of the compact by all states and territories of the United States.

(c) The interstate commission may propose amendments to the compact for enactment by the compacting states. No amendment shall become effective and binding upon the interstate commission and the compacting states unless and until it is enacted into law by unanimous consent of the compacting states.

ARTICLE XI. WITHDRAWAL, DEFAULT, TERMINATION
AND JUDICIAL ENFORCEMENT.

Section A. Withdrawal.
(a) (1)Once effective, the compact shall continue in force and remain binding upon each and every compacting state; provided that a compacting state may withdraw from the compact by specifically repealing the statute which enacted the compact into law.

(2) The effective date of withdrawal is the effective date of the repeal.

(3) The withdrawing state shall immediately notify the chairperson of the interstate commission in writing upon the introduction of legislation repealing this compact in the withdrawing state. The interstate commission shall notify the other compacting states of the withdrawing state's intent to withdraw within sixty days of its receipt thereof.

(4) The withdrawing state is responsible for all assessments, obligations and liabilities incurred through the effective date of withdrawal, including any obligations, the performance of which extend beyond the effective date of withdrawal.

(5) Reinstatement following withdrawal of any compacting state shall occur upon the withdrawing state reenacting the compact or upon such later date as determined by the interstate commission.

Section B. Technical Assistance, Fines, Suspension, Termination and Default.

(b)(1) If the interstate commission determines that any compacting state has at any time defaulted in the performance of any of its obligations or responsibilities under this compact, or the bylaws or duly promulgated rules, the interstate commission may impose any or all of the following penalties:

(A) Remedial training and technical assistance as directed by the interstate commission;

(B) Alternative dispute resolution;

(C) Fines, fees, and costs in such amounts as are deemed to be reasonable as fixed by the interstate commission; and

(D) Suspension or termination of membership in the compact. Suspension or termination of membership in the compact shall be imposed only after all other reasonable means of securing compliance under the bylaws and rules have been exhausted and the interstate commission has therefore determined that the offending state is in default. Immediate notice of suspension shall be given by the interstate commission to the governor, the chief justice or the chief judicial officer of the state, the majority and minority leaders of the defaulting state's legislature, and the state council.

(2) The grounds for default include, but are not limited to, failure of a compacting state to perform such obligations or responsibilities imposed upon it by this compact, the bylaws, or duly promulgated rules and any other grounds designated in commission bylaws and rules.

(3) The interstate commission shall immediately notify the defaulting state in writing of the penalty imposed by the interstate commission and of the default pending a cure of the default.

(4) The commission shall stipulate the conditions and the time period within which the defaulting state must cure its default. If the defaulting state fails to cure the default within the time period specified by the commission, the defaulting state shall be terminated from the compact upon an affirmative vote of a majority of the compacting states and all rights, privileges and benefits conferred by this compact shall be terminated from the effective date of termination.

(5) Within sixty days of the effective date of termination of a defaulting state, the commission shall notify the governor, the chief justice or chief judicial officer, the majority and minority leaders of the defaulting state's legislature, and the state council of such termination.

(6) The defaulting state is responsible for all assessments, obligations and liabilities incurred through the effective date of termination including any obligations, the performance of which extends beyond the effective date of termination.

(7) The interstate commission shall not bear any costs relating to the defaulting state unless otherwise mutually agreed upon in writing between the interstate commission and the defaulting state.

(8) Reinstatement following termination of any compacting state requires both a reenactment of the compact by the defaulting state and the approval of the interstate commission pursuant to the rules.

Section C. Judicial Enforcement.
(c) The interstate commission may, by majority vote of the members, initiate legal action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or, at the discretion of the interstate commission, in the federal district where the interstate commission has its offices, to enforce compliance with the provisions of the compact, its duly promulgated rules and bylaws, against any compacting state in default. In the event judicial enforcement is necessary the prevailing party shall be awarded all costs of such litigation including reasonable attorneys fees.

Section D. Dissolution of Compact.
(d)(1) The compact dissolves effective upon the date of the withdrawal or default of the compacting state, which reduces membership in the compact to one compacting state.

(2) Upon the dissolution of this compact, the compact becomes null and void and shall be of no further force or effect, and the business and affairs of the interstate commission shall be concluded and any surplus funds shall be distributed in accordance with the bylaws.

ARTICLE XII. SEVERABILITY AND CONSTRUCTION.
(a) The provisions of this compact shall be severable, and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision is deemed unenforceable, the remaining provisions of the compact shall be enforceable.

(b) The provisions of this compact shall be liberally construed to effectuate its purposes.

ARTICLE XIII. BINDING EFFECT OF COMPACT AND OTHER LAWS.
Section A. Other Laws.
(a)(1) Nothing herein prevents the enforcement of any other law of a compacting state that is not inconsistent with this compact.

(2) All compacting states' laws other than state constitutions and other interstate compacts conflicting with this compact are superseded to the extent of the conflict.

Section B. Binding Effect of the Compact.

(b)(1) All lawful actions of the interstate commission, including all rules and bylaws promulgated by the interstate commission, are binding upon the compacting states.

(2) All agreements between the interstate commission and the compacting states are binding in accordance with their terms.

(3) Upon the request of a party to a conflict over meaning or interpretation of interstate commission actions, and upon a majority vote of the compacting states, the interstate commission may issue advisory opinions regarding such meaning or interpretation.

(4) In the event any provision of this compact exceeds the constitutional limits imposed on the legislature of any compacting state, the obligations, duties, powers or jurisdiction sought to be conferred by such provision upon the interstate commission shall be ineffective and such obligations, duties, powers or jurisdiction shall remain in the compacting state and shall be exercised by the agency thereof to which such obligations, duties, powers or jurisdiction are delegated by law in effect at the time this compact becomes effective.


WVC 49 - 8 A- 2 §49-8A-2. State council for interstate juvenile supervision.
(a) Upon the effective date of the interstate compact for juveniles, there shall be created a state council for interstate juvenile supervision. Said state council shall be comprised of a total of nine members, to be selected and designated as follows:

(1) Two members designated by the state Legislature, one of whom shall be named and appointed by the speaker of the House, and the other of whom shall be designated by the president of the Senate;

(2) Two members designated by the judiciary, both of whom shall be named and appointed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia;

(3) The compact administrator or a designee of the compact administrator;

(4) Four members to be designated and appointed by the governor, two of whom must be representatives of state agencies dealing with juvenile corrections, juvenile placement or juvenile services, and one of whom must be a representative of a victims' group.

(b) Within ninety days of the effective date of this compact, the state council shall meet and designate a commissioner who shall represent the state as the compacting state's voting representative under Article III of this compact.

(c) The state council will exercise oversight and advocacy concerning West Virginia's participation in interstate commission activities and rule makings, and engage in other duties and activities as determined by its members, including, but not limited to, the development of policy concerning the operations and procedures for implementing the compact and interstate commission rules within West Virginia.


WVC 49 - 8 A- 3 §49-8A-3. Appointment of compact administrator.
(a) Upon and after the effective date of the interstate compact for juveniles, the governor is hereby authorized and empowered to designate an officer who shall be the compact administrator and who, acting jointly with like offices of the other party states, shall be responsible for the administration and management of this state's supervision and transfer of juveniles subject to the terms of this compact, the rules adopted by the interstate commission and the policies adopted by the state council under this compact. Said compact administrator shall serve subject to the will and pleasure of the governor, and must meet the minimum qualifications for the position of compact administrator, as established by the state council. The compact administrator is hereby authorized, empowered and directed to cooperate with all departments, agencies and officers of and in the government of this state and its subdivisions in facilitating the proper administration of the compact or of any supplementary agreement or agreements entered into by this state hereunder.

(b) Until such time as the state council has met and established minimum qualifications for the position of compact administrator the individual or administrator who has been designated to act as the juvenile compact administrator for the interstate compact on juveniles, pursuant to section three, article eight of this chapter, may perform the duties and responsibilities of compact administrator under this article.

(c) Until such time as the state council has met and designated a commissioner to vote on behalf of the state of West Virginia at the interstate commission, the individual or administrator who has been designated to act as the juvenile compact administrator for the interstate compact on juveniles, pursuant to section three, article eight of this chapter, shall function as the acting commissioner for the state of West Virginia before the interstate commission formed under the new compact.


WVC 49 - 8 A- 4 §49-8A-4. Notification of the effective date of the interstate compact for juveniles.
Within ten days of the date that the thirty-fifth state adopts legislation approving this compact, the appointed or designated juvenile compact administrator under section three, article eight of this chapter shall advise the governor, the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, the speaker of the House of Delegates and the president of the Senate of the effective date of this compact.


WVC 49 - 9 - ARTICLE 9. MISSING CHILDREN INFORMATION ACT.


WVC 49 - 9 - 1 §49-9-1. Short title.

This article may be cited as the "Missing Children Information Act."


WVC 49 - 9 - 2 §49-9-2. Definitions.

As used in this article:

(a) "Child" means an individual under the age of eighteen years who is not emancipated;

(b) "Clearinghouse" means the West Virginia missing children information clearinghouse;

(c) "Custodian" means a parent, guardian, custodian or other person who exercises legal physical control, care or custody of a child;

(d) "Missing child" means a child whose whereabouts are unknown to the child's custodian and the circumstances of whose absence indicate that:

(1) The child did not leave the care and control of the custodian voluntarily and the taking of the child was not authorized by law; or

(2) The child voluntarily left the care and control of his or her custodian without the custodian's consent and without intent to return;

(e) "Missing child report" means information that is:

(1) Given to a law-enforcement agency on a form used for sending information to the national crime information center; and

(2) About a child whose whereabouts are unknown to the reporter and who is alleged in the form submitted by the reporter to be missing;

(f) "Possible match" means the similarities between anunidentified body of a child and a missing child that would lead one to believe they are the same child;

(g) "Reporter" means the person who reports a missing child; and

(h) "State agency" means an agency of the state, political subdivision of the state or public postsecondary educational institution.


WVC 49 - 9 - 3 §49-9-3. Clearinghouse function.
(a) The Missing Children Information Clearinghouse is established under the West Virginia State Police. The State Police:

(1) Shall provide for the administration of the clearinghouse; and

(2) May promulgate rules in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to carry out the provisions of this article.

(b) The clearinghouse is a central repository of information on missing children and shall be used by all law-enforcement agencies in this state.

(c) The clearinghouse shall:

(1) Establish a system of intrastate communication of information relating to missing children;

(2) Provide a centralized file for the exchange of information on missing children and unidentified bodies of children within the state;

(3) Communicate with the National Crime Information Center for the exchange of information on missing children suspected of interstate travel;

(4) Collect, process, maintain and disseminate accurate and complete information on missing children;

(5) Provide a statewide toll-free telephone line for the reporting of missing children and for receiving information on missing children;

(6) Disseminate to custodians, law-enforcement agencies, the state Department of Education, the Bureau for Children and Families and the general public information that explains how to prevent child abduction and what to do if a child becomes missing;

(7) Compile statistics relating to the incidence of missing children within the state;

(8) Provide training materials and technical assistance to law-enforcement agencies and social services agencies pertaining to missing children; and

(9) Establish a media protocol for disseminating information pertaining to missing children.

(d) The clearinghouse shall print and distribute posters, flyers and other forms of information containing descriptions of missing children.

(e) The State Police may accept public or private grants, gifts and donations to assist in carrying out the provisions of this article.


WVC 49 - 9 - 4 §49-9-4. State department of education; missing children program.

(a) The state department of education shall develop and administer a program for the location of missing children who may be enrolled in the West Virginia school system, including private schools, and for the reporting of children who may be missing or who may be unlawfully removed from schools.

(b) The program shall include the use of information received from the clearinghouse and shall be coordinated with the operations of the clearinghouse.

(c) The state board of education may promulgate rules in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the operation of the program and shall require the participation of all school districts and state-accredited private schools in this state.


WVC 49 - 9 - 5 §49-9-5. Information to clearinghouse.

Every law-enforcement agency in West Virginia shall provide to the clearinghouse any information the law-enforcement agency has that would assist in locating or identifying a missing child.


WVC 49 - 9 - 6 §49-9-6. Custodian request for information.

(a) Upon written request made to a law-enforcement agency by the custodian of a missing child, the law-enforcement agency shall request from the clearinghouse information concerning the child that may aid the custodian in locating or identifying the child.

(b) A law-enforcement agency to which a request has been made pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall report to the custodian on the results of its inquiry within fourteen calendar days after the day the written request is received by the law-enforcement agency.


WVC 49 - 9 - 7 §49-9-7. Missing child report forms.

(a) The clearinghouse shall distribute missing child report forms to law-enforcement agencies in the state.

(b) A missing child report may be made to a law-enforcement agency in person or by telephone or other indirect method of communication and the person taking the report may enter the information on the form for the reporter. A missing child report form may be completed by the reporter and delivered to a law-enforcement office.

(c) A copy of the missing child report form shall be filed with the clearinghouse.


WVC 49 - 9 - 8 §49-9-8. Law-enforcement requirements; missing child reports; unidentified bodies.

(a) A law-enforcement agency, upon receiving a missing child report, shall:

(1) Immediately start an investigation to determine the present location of the child if it determines that the child is in danger; and

(2) Enter the name of the missing child into the clearinghouse and the national crime information center missing person file if the child meets the center's criteria, with all available identifying features, including dental records, fingerprints, other physical characteristics and a description of the clothing worn when the missing child was last seen.

(b) Information not immediately available shall be obtained as soon as possible by the law-enforcement agency and entered into the clearinghouse and the national crime information center file as a supplement to the original entry.

(c) All West Virginia law-enforcement agencies shall enter information about all unidentified bodies of children found in their jurisdiction into the clearinghouse and the national crime information center unidentified person file, including all available identifying features of the body and a description of the clothing found on the body. If an information entry into the national crime information center file results in an automatic entry of the information into the clearinghouse, thelaw-enforcement agency is not required to make a direct entry of that information into the clearinghouse.


WVC 49 - 9 - 9 §49-9-9. Release of dental records; immunity.

(a) At the time a missing child report is made, the law-enforcement agency to which the missing child report is given may, when feasible and appropriate, provide a dental record release form to the parent, custodian, health care surrogate or other legal entity authorized to release the dental records of the missing child. The law-enforcement agency shall endorse the dental record release form with a notation that a missing child report has been made in compliance with the provisions of this article. When the dental record release form is properly completed by the parent, custodian, health care surrogate or other legal entity authorized to release the dental records of the missing child and contains the endorsement, the form is sufficient to permit a dentist or physician in this state to release dental records relating to the missing child to the law-enforcement agency.

(b) A circuit court judge may for good cause shown authorize the release of dental records of a missing child to a law-enforcement agency.

(c) A law-enforcement agency which receives dental records under the provisions of subsections (a) or (b) of this section shall send the dental records to the clearinghouse.

(d) A dentist or physician who releases dental records to a person presenting a proper release executed or ordered pursuant to this section is immune from civil liability or criminal prosecution for the release of the dental records.


WVC 49 - 9 - 10 §49-9-10. Cross-checking and matching.

(a) The clearinghouse shall, in accordance with national crime information center policies and procedures, cross-check and attempt to match unidentified bodies with descriptions of missing children. When the clearinghouse discovers a possible match between an unidentified body and a missing child description, the clearinghouse shall notify the appropriate law-enforcement agencies.

(b) A law-enforcement agency that receives notice of a possible match shall make arrangements for positive identification. If a positive identification is made, the law-enforcement agency shall complete and close the investigation with notification to the clearinghouse.


WVC 49 - 9 - 11 §49-9-11. Interagency cooperation.

(a) State agencies and public and private schools shall cooperate with a law-enforcement agency that is investigating a missing child report and shall furnish any information, including confidential information, that will assist the law-enforcement agency in completing the investigation.

(b) Information provided by a state agency or a public or private school may not be released to any person outside the law-enforcement agency or the clearinghouse, except as provided by rules of the West Virginia state police.


WVC 49 - 9 - 12 §49-9-12. Confidentiality of records.

(a) The state police shall promulgate rules according to the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to provide for the classification of information and records as confidential that:

(1) Are otherwise confidential under state or federal law or rules promulgated pursuant to state or federal law;

(2) Are related to the investigation by a law-enforcement agency of a missing child or an unidentified body, if the state police, in consultation with the law-enforcement agency, determines that release of the information would be deleterious to the investigation;

(3) Are records or notations that the clearinghouse maintains for internal use in matters relating to missing children and unidentified bodies and the state police determines that release of the internal documents might interfere with an investigation by a law-enforcement agency in West Virginia or any other jurisdiction; or

(4) Are records or information that the state police determines might interfere with an investigation or otherwise harm a child or custodian.

(b) The rules may provide for the sharing of confidential information with the custodian of the missing child.


WVC 49 - 9 - 13 §49-9-13. Attorney general to require compliance.

The attorney general shall require each law-enforcement agency to comply with the provisions of the Missing Children Information Act and may seek writs of mandamus or other appropriate remedies to enforce the provisions of this article.


WVC 49 - 9 - 14 §49-9-14. Agencies that receive report.

(a) Upon completion of the missing child report the law-enforcement agency shall immediately forward the contents of the report to the missing children information clearinghouse and the national crime information center's missing person file: Provided, That if an information entry into the national crime information center file results in an automatic entry of the information into the clearinghouse, the law-enforcement agency is not required to make a direct entry of that information into the clearinghouse.

(b) Within fifteen days after completion of the report, if the child is less than thirteen years of age the law-enforcement agency may, when appropriate, forward the contents of the report to the last:

(1) Child care center or child care home in which the child was enrolled; or

(2) School the child attended in West Virginia, if any.

(c) A law-enforcement agency involved in the investigation of a missing child shall:

(1) Update the initial report filed by the agency that received notification of the missing child upon the discovery of new information concerning the investigation;

(2) Forward the updated report to the appropriate agencies and organizations;

(3) Search the national crime information center's wanted person file for reports of arrest warrants issued for persons whoallegedly abducted or unlawfully retained children and compare these reports to the missing child's national crime information center's missing person file; and

(4) Notify all law-enforcement agencies involved in the investigation, the missing children information clearinghouse, and the national crime information center when the missing child is located.


WVC 49 - 9 - 15 §49-9-15. Clearinghouse Advisory Council; members, appointments and expenses; appointment, duties and compensation of director.
(a) The Clearinghouse Advisory Council is continued as a body corporate and politic, constituting a public corporation and government instrumentality. The council shall consist of eleven members, who are knowledgeable about and interested in issues relating to missing or exploited children, as follows:

(1) Six members to be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, with not more than four belonging to the same political party, three being from different congressional districts of the state and, as nearly as possible, providing broad state geographical distribution of members of the council, and at least one representing a nonprofit organization involved with preventing the abduction, runaway or exploitation of children or locating missing children;

(2) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources or his or her designee;

(3) The Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police or his or her designee;

(4) The State Superintendent of Schools or his or her designee;

(5) The Director of the Criminal Justice and Highway Safety Division or his or her designee; and

(6) The Commissioner of the Bureau for Children and Families or his or her designee.

(b) The Governor shall appoint the six council members for staggered terms. The terms of the members first taking office on or after the effective date of this legislation shall expire as designated by the Governor. Each subsequent appointment shall be for a full three-year term. Any appointed member whose term is expired shall serve until a successor has been duly appointed and qualified. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve only for the unexpired term. A member is eligible for only one successive reappointment. A vacancy shall be filled by the Governor in the same manner as the original appointment was made.

(c) Members of the council are not entitled to compensation for services performed as members but are entitled to reimbursement for all reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of their duties in a manner consistent with the guidelines of the Travel Management Office of the Department of Administration.

(d) A majority of serving members constitutes a quorum for the purpose of conducting business. The chair of the council shall be designated by the Governor from among the appointed council members who represent nonprofit organizations involved with preventing the abduction, runaway or exploitation of children or locating missing children. The term of the chair shall run concurrently with his or her term of office as a member of the council. The council shall conduct all meetings in accordance with the open governmental meetings law pursuant to article nine-a, chapter six of this code.

(e) The employee of the West Virginia State Police who is primarily responsible for the clearinghouse established by section three of this article shall serve as the executive director of the council. He or she shall receive no additional compensation for service as the executive director of the council but shall be reimbursed for any reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of his or her duties as executive director in a manner consistent with the guidelines of the Travel Management Office of the Department of Administration.

(f) The expenses of council members and the executive director shall be reimbursed from funds provided by foundation grants, in-kind contributions or funds obtained pursuant to subsection (b), section seventeen of this article.

(g) The executive director shall provide or obtain information necessary to support the administrative work of the council and, to that end, may contract with one or more nonprofit organizations or state agencies for research and administrative support.

(h) The executive director of the council shall be available to the Governor and to the Speaker of the House of Delegates and the President of the Senate to analyze and comment upon proposed legislation and rules which relate to or materially affect missing or exploited children.

(i) The council shall prepare and publish an annual report of its activities and accomplishments and submit it to the Governor and to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance on or before the fifteenth day of December of each year.


WVC 49-9-16 §49-9-16. Powers and duties of clearinghouse advisory council.
(a) The council shall prepare a comprehensive strategic plan and recommendation of programs in furtherance thereof that will support efforts to prevent the abduction, runaway and exploitation, or any thereof, of children to locate missing children; advise the West Virginia state police regarding operation of the clearinghouse and its other responsibilities under this article; and cooperate with and coordinate the efforts of state agencies and private organizations involved with issues relating to missing or exploited children. The council may seek public and private grants, contracts, matching funds and procurement arrangements from the state and federal government, private industry and other agencies in furtherance of its mission and programs. An initial comprehensive strategic plan that will support and foster efforts to prevent the abduction, runaway and exploitation of children and to locate missing children shall be developed and provided to the governor, the speaker of the House of Delegates and the president of the Senate no later than the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight, and shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) Findings and determinations regarding the extent of the problem in this state related to: (i) Abducted children; (ii) runaway children; and (iii) exploited children;

(2) Findings and determinations identifying the systems, both public and private, existing in the state to prevent the abduction, runaway or exploitation of children and to locate missing children and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of those systems and the clearinghouse;

(3) The inclusion of exploited children within the functions of the clearinghouse. For purposes of this article, an exploited child is a person under the age of eighteen years who has been: (i) Used in the production of pornography; (ii) subjected to sexual exploitation or sexual offenses under article eight-b, chapter sixty-one of this code; or (iii) employed or exhibited in any injurious, immoral or dangerous business or occupation in violation of the provisions of sections five through eight, article eight, chapter sixty-one of this code;

(4) Recommendations of legislative changes required to improve the effectiveness of the clearinghouse and other efforts to prevent abduction, runaway or exploitation of children and to locate missing children. Those recommendations shall consider the following:

(i) Interaction of the clearinghouse with child custody proceedings;

(ii) Involvement of hospitals, child care centers and other private agencies in efforts to prevent child abduction, runaway or exploitation and to locate missing children;

(iii) Publication of a directory of and periodic reports regarding missing children;

(iv) Required reporting by public and private agencies and penalties for failure to report and false reporting;

(v) Removal of names from the list of missing children;

(vi) Creating of an advocate for missing and exploited children;

(vii) State funding for the clearinghouse and efforts to prevent the abduction, runaway and exploitation of children and to locate missing children;

(viii) Mandated involvement of state agencies, such as publication of information regarding missing children in existing state publications and coordination with the state registrar of vital statistics under section twelve-b, article five, chapter sixteen of this code;

(ix) Expanded requirement for boards of education to notify the clearinghouse in addition to local law-enforcement agencies under section five-c, article two, chapter eighteen of this code or if a birth certificate or school record received appears to be inaccurate or fraudulent and to receive clearinghouse approval before releasing records;

(5) Methods that will coordinate and engender collaborative efforts among organizations throughout the state, whether public or private, involved with missing or exploited children;

(6) Plans for the use of technology in the clearinghouse and other efforts related to missing or exploited children;

(7) Compliance of the clearinghouse, state law and all rules promulgated pursuant thereto with applicable federal law so as to enhance opportunities for receiving federal grants;

(8) Consultation with the state board of education and other agencies responsible for promulgating rules under this article;

(9) Possible methods for identifying missing children prior to enrollment in a public or nonpublic school;

(10) The feasibility and effectiveness of utilizing the federal parent locator service in locating missing children; and

(11) Programs for voluntary fingerprinting.


WVC 49-9-17 §49-9-17. Public-private partnerships; funding.
(a) In furtherance of its mission, the clearinghouse council is authorized to enter into contracts or joint venture agreements with federal and state agencies; with nonprofit corporations organized pursuant to the corporate laws of this state or other jurisdictions that are qualified under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; and with other organizations that conduct research, make grants, improve educational programs and work for the prevention of missing or exploited children and to locate missing children. All contracts and joint venture agreements must be approved by a majority vote of the council. The council may also enter into such contractual agreements for consideration or recompense to it even though such entities are funded from sources other than the state. Members of the council are not prohibited from sitting on the boards of directors of any contracting private nonprofit corporation, foundation or firm: Provided, That members of the council shall not be exempt from any of the provisions of chapter six-b of this code.

(b) The council shall solicit and is authorized to receive and accept gifts or grants from private foundations, corporations, individuals, devises and bequests or from other lawful sources. Such funds shall be paid into a special account in the state treasury for the use and benefit of the council.


WVC 49-10- ARTICLE 10. CHILD PLACEMENT ALTERNATIVES.


WVC 49 - 10 - 1 §§49-10-1 to 49-10-5.
Repealed.

Acts, 1999 1 Ex. Sess., Ch. 5.


ARTICLE 11 - CAREGIVERS CONSENT ACT ARTICLE 11. CAREGIVERS CONSENT ACT.

WVC 49 - 11 - 1 §49-11-1. Short title.
This article may be cited as the Caregivers Consent Act.


WVC 49 - 11 - 2 §49-11-2. Definitions.
As used in this article:

(1) "Caregiver" means any person who is at least eighteen years of age and:

(A) Is related by blood, marriage or adoption to the minor, but who is not the legal custodian or guardian of the minor; or

(B) Has resided with the minor continuously during the immediately preceding period of six months or more.

(2) "Health care and treatment" means:

(A) Developmental screening;

(B) Mental health screening;

(C) Mental health treatment;

(D) Ordinary and necessary medical and dental examination and treatment;

(E) Preventive care including ordinary immunizations, tuberculin testing and well-child care; and

(F) Non-emergency diagnosis and treatment: Provided, That non-emergency diagnosis and treatment does not include an abortion.


WVC 49 - 11 - 3 §49-11-3. Caregiver consent for minor's health care.
(a) Except for minor children placed under the custody of the Department of Health and Human Resources pursuant to proceedings established by this chapter, a caregiver who possesses and presents a notarized affidavit pursuant to section five of this article may consent on behalf of a minor to health care and treatment.

(b) Examination and treatment shall be prescribed by or under the supervision of a physician, advanced practice nurse, dentist or mental health professional licensed to practice in the state.


WVC 49 - 11 - 4 §49-11-4. Duty of health care facility or practitioner.
The decision of a caregiver who possesses and presents a notarized affidavit of caregiver consent for a minor's health care pursuant to section five of this article shall be honored by a health care facility or practitioner unless the health care facility or practitioner has actual knowledge that a parent, legal custodian or guardian of a minor has made a contravening decision to consent to or to refuse medical treatment for the minor.


WVC 49 - 11 - 5 §49-11-5. Affidavit of caregiver consent.

An affidavit of caregiver consent for a minor's health care shall include the following:

(1) The caregiver's name and current home address;

(2) The caregiver's birth date;

(3) The relationship of the caregiver to the minor;

(4) The minor's name;

(5) The minor's birth date;

(6) The length of time the minor has resided with the caregiver;

(7) The caregiver's signature under oath affirming the truth of the matter asserted in the affidavit;

(8) The signature of the minor's parent, guardian or legal custodian consenting to the caregiver's authority over the minor's health care: Provided, That the signature of the minor's parent, guardian or legal custodian is not necessary if the affidavit includes the following: (A) A statement that the caregiver has attempted, but has been unable to obtain, the signature of the minor's parent, guardian or legal custodian; (B) a statement that the minor's parent, guardian or legal custodian has not refused to give consent for health care and treatment of the minor child; and (C) a description, in detail, of the attempts the caregiver made to obtain the signature of the minor's parent, guardian or legal custodian; and

(9) A statement, as follows:

"General Notices:

This declaration does not affect the rights of the minor's parent, guardian or legal custodian regarding the care, custody and control of the minor, other than with respect to health care, and does not give the caregiver legal custody of the minor.

This affidavit is valid for one year unless the minor no longer resides in the caregiver's home. Furthermore, the minor's parent, guardian or legal custodian may at any time rescind this affidavit of caregiver consent for a minor's health care by providing written notification of the rescission to the appropriate health care professional.

A person who relies in good faith on this affidavit of caregiver consent for a minor's health care has no obligation to conduct any further inquiry or investigation and shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability or to professional disciplinary action because of that reliance."


WVC 49 - 11 - 6 §49-11-6. Revocation and termination of consent.
(a) The affidavit of caregiver consent for a minor's health care is superseded by written notification from the minor's parent, guardian or legal custodian to the health care professionals providing services to the minor that the affidavit has been rescinded.

(b) The affidavit of caregiver consent for a minor's health care is valid for one year unless the minor no longer resides in the caregiver's home or a parent, guardian or legal custodian revokes his or her approval by written notification to the health care professionals providing services to the minor that the affidavit has been rescinded. If a parent, guardian or legal custodian revokes approval, the caregiver shall notify any health care provider or health service plans with which the minor has been involved through the caregiver.


WVC 49 - 11 - 7 §49-11-7. Good faith reliance on affidavit.
(a) Any person who relies in good faith on the affidavit of caregiver consent for a minor's health care:

(1) Has no obligation to conduct any further inquiry or investigation; and

(2) Is not subject to civil or criminal liability or to professional disciplinary action because of the reliance.

(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section apply even if medical treatment is provided to a minor in contravention of a decision of a parent, legal custodian or guardian of the minor who signed the affidavit if the person providing care has no actual knowledge of the decision of the parent, legal custodian or guardian.


WVC 49 - 11 - 8 §49-11-8. Exceptions to applicability.
The consent authorized by this section shall not be applicable for purposes of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1400 et seq., or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §791.


WVC 49 - 11 - 9 §49-11-9. Penalty for false statement.
A person who knowingly makes a false statement in an affidavit under this article is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000.


WVC 49 - 11 - 10 §49-11-10. Rule-making authority.
The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources is authorized to propose rules necessary to implement the provisions of this article for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.


Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
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