(a) The Department of Health and Human Resources is authorized 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. The department is also authorized 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 the department is also authorized and to accept temporary custody of children for care from any law-enforcement officer in an emergency situation.
(b) 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 department may provide care for those 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. If practical, when placing any child in the care of a family or a child welfare agency the department shall select 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.
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. 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 those 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 1995, shall require implementation no later than July 1, 1996, with the plan to be submitted to the joint committee on government and finance by the September 30, 1994, and a final report to be submitted to the Legislature by January 1, 1995.
The state department 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.
The secretary shall provide ongoing education of the public in regard to the requirements of this chapter through the use of mass media and other methods as are deemed appropriate and within fiscal limitations.
Any person, corporation, governmental official or child welfare agency, aggrieved by a decision of the secretary made pursuant to this chapter 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 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 one hundred twenty, article two of this chapter.
It is the responsibility of the Department of Health and Human Resources to provide care for neglected children who are committed to its care for custody or guardianship. The department may provide this care for children in family homes meeting required standards of certification established and enforced by the Department of Health and Human Resources.
(a) The department shall establish minimum standards for foster-home care to which all certified foster homes must conform by legislative rule. Any home that conforms to the standards of care set by the department shall receive a certificate of operation.
(b) The certificate of operation shall be in force for one year from the date of issuance and may be renewed unless revoked because of willful violation of this chapter.
(c) The certificate shall show the name of the person or persons authorized to conduct the home, its exact location and the number of children that may be received and cared for at one time and other information as set forth in legislative rule. No certified foster home shall provide care for more children than are specified in the certificate.
(d) No unsupervised foster home shall be certified until an investigation of the home and its standards of care has been made by the department or by a licensed child welfare agency serving as a representative of the department.
The department or its authorized agent shall visit and inspect every certified foster home as often as is necessary to assure proper care is given to the children. Every certified foster home shall maintain a record of the children received. This record shall include information as prescribed by the department in legislative rule and shall be in a form and manner as prescribed by the department in legislative rule.
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 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 or she is adopted or discharged from care with the approval of the department.
The department shall develop standards for the care of children. 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 those agencies. The department, in cooperation 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.
(a) In order to improve standards of child care, the department shall cooperate with the governing boards of child welfare agencies, assist the staffs of those 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 department, 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.
(b) Each child welfare agency shall keep records of each child under its control and care as the department may prescribe, and shall report to the department, whenever requested, facts as may be required with reference to the children, upon forms 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 department.
(a) 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 or her possession pertaining to the proposed corporation, to the secretary, and no charter for a corporation may be issued unless the secretary 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.
(b) A child welfare agency may not be incorporated in this state unless the articles of incorporation have first been examined and approved by the secretary, or his or her designee. Proposed amendments to articles of incorporation shall be subject to the examination and approval of the secretary, or his or her designee.
(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.
(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. The facilities and placing agencies shall maintain the same standards of care applicable to licensed facilities, centers or placing agencies of the same category.
(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 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:
(A) The program is located in a facility that meets all fire and health codes;
(B) The program performs background checks on all volunteers and staff;
(C) The program's primary source of funding is not from fees for service; and
(D) 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.
(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 chapter. 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 by legislative rule 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;
(4) Fire and environmental safety;
(5) Equipment and program for the children in care; and
(6) Health, sanitation and nutrition.
(e) Further inquiry and investigation may be made as the secretary may direct and sees as necessary.
(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.
(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 this chapter or any legislative rules promulgated by the secretary. 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 the legislative rules promulgated by the secretary 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 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 legislative 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. The 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.
(a) The secretary shall enforce this article.
(b) An on-site evaluation of every facility regulated pursuant to this chapter, 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 at a minimum, 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. Those 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.
(a) The secretary may revoke or make provisional the licensure registration of any home facility or child welfare agency regulated pursuant to this chapter if a facility materially violates this article, or any terms or conditions of the license, registration or approval issued, or fails to maintain established requirements of child care. This section does 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 this article, or any terms or conditions of the registration certificate issued, or fails to maintain established requirements of child care.
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.
(a) The secretary shall provide supervision to ascertain compliance with the rules promulgated pursuant to this chapter through regular monitoring, visits to facilities, documentation, evaluation and reporting. The secretary is 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 State Fire Marshal shall cooperate with the secretary in the administration of this article by providing reports and assistance as may be requested by the secretary.
(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, shall be confined in jail not exceeding one year, or fined not more than $500, or both fined and confined.
(b) Any family child care facility which operates without a license when a license is required is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $500.
(c) Where a violation of this article or a legislative 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.
(a) The secretary shall promulgate legislative rules in accordance with chapter twenty-nine-a of this code regarding the licensure, approval, certification and registration of child care facilities and the implementation 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 this article at least once every five years, making revisions when necessary or convenient.
(c) The rules shall incorporate by reference the requirements of the Integrated Pest Management Program established by legislative rule by the Department of Agriculture under section four, article sixteen-a, chapter nineteen of this code.
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 legislative rule criteria and procedures for the granting of waivers or variances so that uniform practices may be maintained throughout the state.
(a) The secretary shall submit on or before January 1, of each year a report to the Governor and the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability, 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 at a minimum, 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.
(a) A certificate of need, as provided 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 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.
(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 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) The commission shall report annually 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.
(f) The commission shall terminate on December 31, 2015, unless continued by act of the Legislature.
(a) The Legislature finds and declares that the design and delivery of child welfare services should be directed by the principle that the health and safety of children should be of paramount concern and, therefore, establishes the goals for children in foster care. A child in foster care should have:
(1) Protection by a family of his or her own, and be provided readily available services and support through care of an adoptive family or by plan, a continuing foster family;
(2) Nurturing by foster parents who have been selected to meet his or her individual needs, and who are provided services and support, including specialized education, so that the child can grow to reach his or her potential;
(3) A safe foster home free of violence, abuse, neglect and danger;
(4) The ability to communicate with the assigned social worker or case worker overseeing the child's case and have calls made to the social worker or case worker returned within a reasonable period of time;
(5) Permission to remain enrolled in the school the child attended before being placed in foster care, if at all possible;
(6) Participation in school extracurricular activities, community events, and religious practices;
(7) Communication with the biological parents. Communication is necessary if the child placed in foster care receives any immunizations and if any additional immunizations are needed, if the child will be transitioning back into a home with his or her biological parents;
(8) A bank or savings account established in accordance with state laws and federal regulations;
(9) Identification and other permanent documents, including a birth certificate, social security card and health records by the age of sixteen, to the extent allowed by federal and state law;
(10) The use of appropriate communication measures to maintain contact with siblings if the child placed in foster care is separated from his or her siblings; and
(11) Meaningful participation in a transition plan for those phasing out of foster care.
(b) A person shall not have a cause of action against the state or any of its subdivisions, agencies, contractors, subcontractors, or agents, based upon the adoption of or failure to provide adequate funding for the achievement fo these goals by the Legislature. Nothing in this section requires the expenditure of funds to meet the goals established in this section, except funds specifically appropriated for that purpose.
(c) The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources shall propose rules for promulgation in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to ensure that a child has an effective means of being heard if he or she believes the goals of this section are not being met.
(d) When a child who was previously placed into foster care, but left the custody or guardianship of the department, is again placed into foster care, the department shall notify the foster parents who most recently cared for the child of the child's availability for foster care placement to determine if the foster parents are desirous of seeking a foster care arrangement for the child. The arrangement may only be made if the foster parents are otherwise qualified or can become qualified to enter into the foster care arrangement with the department and if the arrangement is in the best interests of the child: Provided, That the department may petition the court to waive notification to the foster parents. This waiver may be granted, ex parte, upon a showing of compelling circumstances.
The Legislature finds that there exists a need in this state to assist dysfunctional families by providing nurture and care to those families' children as an alternative to removing children from the 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 that intervention service, but only to the extent that moneys would normally be available for the removal and placement of the particular child at risk.
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. However, those services are not required when the child appears in imminent danger of serious bodily or serious emotional injury.
For purposes of this article, no contractor employee of the department may exceed three families during any period of time when that 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 or contractor shall provide trained personnel who shall be available during nonworking hours to assist families on an emergency basis.
The 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 a contract shall be based on performance.
The services required by this article which are not practically deliverable directly from the department 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. The 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. The 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 costs of providing special services to families receiving regular services in accordance with this article are allowable to the extent those goods and services are justified pursuant to carrying out the purposes of this article. Those special services may include, but are not limited to, homemaker assistance, food, clothing, educational materials, respite care and recreational or social activities.
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.
(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.
(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. However, 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 three hundred four of this article.
Attached to the proposed rules required in section three hundred 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 may include the following:
(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 the following:
(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 subdivision 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.
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, the rules shall provide for gradual implementation over a period of several years.
(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. 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.
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.
In the care and treatment of children with special health care needs the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources shall, so far as funds are available for the following purposes:
(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.
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 Department of Health and Human Resources, on forms prescribed by them, the birth of the child.
The report shall be solely for the use of the Department of Health and Human Resources and shall not be open for public inspection.
So far as practicable, the services and facilities of the State Department of Education, The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Division of Corrections or their successor organizations shall be available to the Department of Health and Human Resources for the purposes of this article.
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 those 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.
(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.
(a) The regional family support agency, designated under article two of this chapter, 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 the 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. Those 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;
(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 six hundred two 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.
(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.
(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 this article and subsequent policies for the families of persons with developmental disabilities residing within their respective regions.
(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 September 15, of every year so long as the program is funded.
(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 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.
(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 seven hundred three 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.
The decision of a caregiver who possesses and presents a notarized affidavit of caregiver consent for a minor's health care pursuant to section seven hundred three 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.
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. 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:
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 is not subject to civil or criminal liability or to professional disciplinary action because of that reliance."
(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.
(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) Subsection (a) of this section applies 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.
The consent authorized by this section is not 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. §701.
A person who knowingly makes a false statement in an affidavit under this article is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $1,000.
The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources is authorized to propose rules necessary to implement this article for legislative approval in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
It is the purpose of this article through the complete reporting of child abuse and neglect:
(1) To protect the best interests of the child;
(2) To offer protective services in order to prevent any further harm to the child or any other children living in the home;
(3) To stabilize the home environment, to preserve family life whenever possible;
(4) To promote adult responsibility for protecting children; and
(5) 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.
(a) The 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. Under no circumstances may 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. 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.
(c) 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 twenty-four hour, seven-day-a-week basis and cross-file all 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 cross-filing of the 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 court 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 court within the time frames set forth by the circuit court or family court.
(d) 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.
(e) 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.
(f) 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 any assistance and information as will enable it to fulfill its responsibilities.
(g)(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.
(h) No child protective services caseworker may be held personally liable for any professional decision or action taken pursuant to that decision in the performance of his or her official duties as set forth in this section or agency rules promulgated thereupon. However, 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.
(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. 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. 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 that 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 and 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) Any school teacher or other school personnel who receives a disclosure from a witness, which a reasonable prudent person would deem credible, or personally observes any sexual contact, sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion, as those terms are defined in article eight-b, chapter sixty-one, of a child on school premises or on school buses or on transportation used in furtherance of a school purpose shall immediately, but not more than 24 hours, report the circumstances or cause a report to be made to the State Police or other law-enforcement agency having jurisdiction to investigate the report: Provided, That this subsection will not impose any reporting duty upon school teachers or other school personnel who observe, or receive a disclosure of any consensual sexual contact, intercourse, or intrusion occurring between students who would not otherwise be subject to section three, five, seven or nine of article eight-8, chapter sixty-one of this code: Provided, however, That any teacher or other school personnel shall not be in violation of this section if he or she makes known immediately, but not more than 24 hours. to the principal, assistant principal or similar person in charge, a disclosure from a witness, which a reasonable prudent person would deem credible, or personal observation of conduct described in this section: Provided further, That a principal, assistant principal or similar person in charge made aware of such disclosure or observation from a teacher or other school personnel shall be responsible for immediately, but not more than 24 hours, reporting such conduct to law enforcement.
(d) County boards of education and private school administrators shall provide all employees with a written statement setting forth the requirement contained in this subsection and shall obtain and preserve a signed acknowledgment from school employees that they have received and understand the reporting requirement.
(e) The reporting requirements contained in this section specifically include reported, disclosed or observed conduct involving or between students enrolled in a public or private institution of education, or involving a student and school teacher or personnel. When the alleged conduct is between two students or between a student and school teacher or personnel, the law enforcement body that received the report under this section is required to make such a report under this section shall additionally immediately, but not more than 24 hours, notify the students' parents, guardians, and custodians about the allegations.
(f) 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 that 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.
The Department of Health and Human Resources shall continue to develop, update and implement a procedure to notify any person mandated to report suspected child abuse and neglect pursuant to section eight hundred three of this article, of whether an investigation into the reported suspected abuse or neglect has been initiated and when the investigation is completed.
Subject to appropriation in the budget, the 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:
(1) Indicators of child abuse and neglect;
(2) Tactics used by sexual abusers;
(3) How and when to make a report; and
(4) 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.
In the event a child protective service worker, in response to a report mandated by section eight hundred two and eight hundred three 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.
Any person or official who is required pursuant to section eight hundred three 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 that report, the medical examiner or coroner shall cause an investigation to be made and report his or her 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.
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.
(a) Reports of child abuse and neglect pursuant to this article shall be made immediately by telephone to the local 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 those 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 are 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.
Any person, official or institution participating in good faith in any act permitted or required by this article are immune from any civil or criminal liability that otherwise might result by reason of those actions.
The privileged quality of communications between husband and wife and between any professional person and his or her patient or his or her client, except that between attorney and client, is hereby abrogated in situations involving suspected or known child abuse or neglect.
(a) 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 eight hundred nine 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, shall be confined in jail not more than ninety days or fined not more than $5,000, or both fined and confined.
(b) Any person, official or institution required by this article to report a case involving a child known or suspected to be sexually assaulted or sexually abused, or student known or suspected to have been a victim of any non-consensual sexual contact, sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion on school premises, 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 six months or fined not more than $10,000, or both.
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 section two hundred one, article four of this chapter, 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.
(a) This section may be referred to as "Erin Merryn's Law".
(b) The Task Force on Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children is established. The task force consists of the following members:
(1) The Chair of the West Virginia Senate Committee on Health and Human Resources, or his or her designee;
(2) The Chair of the House of Delegates Committee on Health and Human Resources, or his or her designee;
(3) The Chair of the West Virginia Senate Committee on Education, or his or her designee;
(4) The Chair of the House of Delegates Committee on Education, or his or her designee;
(5) One citizen member appointed by the President of the Senate;
(6) One citizen member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates;
(7) One citizen member, who is a survivor of child sexual abuse, appointed by the Governor;
(8) The President of the State Board of Education, or his or her designee;
(9) The State Superintendent of Schools, or his or her designee;
(10) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources, or his or her designee;
(11) The Director of the Prosecuting Attorney's Institute, or his or her designee;
(12) One representative of each statewide professional teachers' organization, each selected by the leader of his or her respective organization;
(13) One representative of the statewide school service personnel organization, selected by the leader of the organization;
(14) One representative of the statewide school principals' organization, appointed by the leader of the organization;
(15) One representative of the statewide professional social workers' organization, appointed by the leader of the organization;
(16) One representative of a teacher preparation program of a regionally accredited institution of higher education in the state, appointed by the Chancellor of the Higher Education Policy Commission;
(17) The Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Professional Development, or his or her designee;
(18) The Director of Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia, or his or her designee;
(19) The Director of the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network, or his or her designee;
(20) The Director of the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, or his or her designee;
(21) The Director of the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services, or his or her designee;
(22) The Administrative Director of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, or his or her designee;
(23) The Executive Director of the West Virginia Sheriffs' Association, or his or her designee;
(24) One representative of an organization representing law enforcement, appointed by the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police; and
(25) One practicing school counselor appointed by the leader of the West Virginia School Counselors Association.
(c) To the extent practicable, members of the task force shall be individuals actively involved in the fields of child abuse and neglect prevention and child welfare.
(d) At the joint call of the House of Delegates and Senate Education Committee Chairs, the task force shall convene its first meeting and by majority vote of members present elect presiding officers. Subsequent meetings shall be at the call of the presiding officer.
(e) The task force shall make recommendations for decreasing incidence of sexual abuse of children in West Virginia. In making those recommendations, the task force shall:
(1) Gather information regarding sexual abuse of children throughout the state;
(2) Receive related reports and testimony from individuals, state and local agencies, community-based organizations, and other public and private organizations;
(3) Create goals for state education policy that would prevent sexual abuse of children;
(4) Create goals for other areas of state policy that would prevent sexual abuse of children; and
(5) Submit a report with its recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature.
(f) The recommendations may include proposals for specific statutory changes and methods to foster cooperation among state agencies and between the state and local governments. The task force shall consult with employees of the Bureau for Children and Family Services, the Division of Justice and Community Services, the West Virginia State Police, the State Board of Education, and any other state agency or department as necessary to accomplish its responsibilities under this section.
(g) Task force members serve without compensation and do not receive expense reimbursement.
(a) It is the policy of the state to:
(1) 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; and
(2) 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.
(b) When 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.
(a) The Division of Juvenile Services is created 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 consists, at a minimum, of three subdivisions:
(1) The Office of Juvenile Detention, which is responsible for operating and maintaining centers for the predispositional detention of juveniles, including juveniles who have been transferred to adult criminal jurisdiction pursuant to part eight, article four of this chapter and juveniles who are awaiting transfer to a juvenile corrections facility;
(2) The Office of Juvenile Corrections, which is also responsible for operating and maintaining juvenile corrections facilities; and
(3) The Office of Community-Based Services, shall provide at a minimum, masters level therapy services; family, individual and group counseling; community service activities; transportation; and aftercare programs.
(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 may 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.
The Division of Juvenile Services has the following duties 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;
(2) Providing care for children needing secure detention pending disposition by a court having juvenile jurisdiction or temporary care following a court action;
(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;
(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;
(5) Assigning the necessary personnel and providing adequate space for the support and operation of its facilities;
(6) Developing a comprehensive plan to maintain and improve a unified state system of regional predispositional detention centers for juveniles;
(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;
(8) In cooperation with the Department of Health and Human Resources establishing programs and services within available funds, designed to:
(A) Prevent juvenile delinquency;
(B) To divert juveniles from the juvenile justice system:
(C) To provide community-based alternatives to juvenile detention and correctional facilities; and
(D) To encourage a diversity of alternatives within the juvenile justice system;
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.
The Division of Juvenile Services shall propose rules for Legislative approval pursuant to chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, which 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.
(a) 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 will 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.
(b) 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.
(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 use 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. However, 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. Additionally, 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. An agreement will include, at a minimum, for the direct and incidental costs associated with that care and treatment to be paid by the Division of Juvenile Services.
(a) As a part of the disposition for a juvenile who has been adjudicated delinquent, and who has been determined by a risk and needs assessment to be high risk or who has committed an act or acts of violence, 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 thirty 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 will include the juvenile, if appropriate, the juvenile's probation officer, the juvenile's case 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 thirty 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.
(a) The State Board of Education is authorized to provide for adequate and appropriate education opportunities for juveniles placed in secure predispositional or post dispositional 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 or postdispositional 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.
(a) Persons employed by the Division of Juvenile Services as juvenile correctional 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 may be construed as to make a juvenile correctional 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.
(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) of this section, 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.
(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.
(a) The Division of Juvenile Services shall operate community-based youth reporting centers to provide services to youth involved in the juvenile justice system as an alternative to detention, corrections or out-of-home placement.
(b) Based upon identifiable need, the Division of Juvenile Services shall operate a total of at least fifteen youth reporting centers by July 1, 2016.
(c) Based upon identifiable need, the Division of Juvenile Services shall operate a total of at least nineteen youth reporting centers by July 1, 2018.
(d) The Division of Juvenile Services shall promulgate guidelines, policies and procedures regarding referrals, assessments, case management, services, education and connection to services in the community.
(e) The Division of Juvenile Services shall collaborate with county boards of education to provide education services to certain youth referred to youth reporting centers, whenever feasible.
(f) The Division of Juvenile Services may convene local or regional advisory boards for youth reporting centers.
(a) The Juvenile Justice Reform Oversight Committee is hereby created to oversee the implementation of reform measures intended to improve the state's juvenile justice system.
(b) The committee shall be comprised of seventeen members, including the following individuals:
(1) The Governor, or his or her designee, who shall preside as chair of the committee;
(2) Two members from the House of Delegates, appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates, who shall serve as nonvoting, ex officio members;
(3) Two members from the Senate, appointed by the President of the Senate, who shall serve as nonvoting, ex officio members;
(4) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources, or his or her designee;
(5) The Director of the Division of Juvenile Services, or his or her designee;
(6) The Superintendent of the State Board of Education, or his or her designee;
(7) The Administrative Director of the Supreme Court of Appeals, or his or her designee, who shall serve as nonvoting, ex officio member;
(8) The Director of the Division of Probation Services, or his or her designee;
(9) Two circuit court judges, appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals, who shall serve as nonvoting, ex officio members;
(10) One community member juvenile justice stakeholder, appointed by the Governor;
(11) One juvenile crime victim advocate, appointed by the Governor;
(12) One member from the law-enforcement agency, appointed by the Governor;
(13) One member from a county prosecuting attorney's office, appointed by the Governor; and
(14) The Director of the Juvenile Justice Commission.
(c) The committee shall perform the following duties:
(1) Guide and evaluate the implementation of the provisions adopted in the year 2015 relating to juvenile justice reform;
(2) Obtain and review the juvenile recidivism and program outcome data collected pursuant to section one hundred six, article five of this chapter;
(3) Calculate any state expenditures that have been avoided by reductions in the number of youth placed in out-of-home placements by the Division of Juvenile Services or the Department of Health and Human Resources as reported under section one hundred six, article five of this chapter; and
(4) Institute a uniform process for developing and reviewing performance measurement and outcome measures through data analysis. The uniform process shall include:
(A) The performance and outcome measures for the court, the Department of Health and Human Resources and the Division of Juvenile Services; and
(B) The deadlines and format for the submission of the performance and outcome measures; and
(5) Ensure system accountability and monitor the fidelity of implementation efforts or programs;
(6) Study any additional topics relating to the continued improvement of the juvenile justice system; and
(7) Issue an annual report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Delegates and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia on or before November 30th of each year, starting in 2016, which shall include:
(A) An assessment of the progress made in implementation of juvenile justice reform efforts;
(B) A summary of the committee's efforts in fulfilling its duties as set forth in this section; and
(C) An analysis of the recidivism data obtained by the committee under this section;
(D) A summary of the averted costs calculated by the committee under this section and a recommendation for any reinvestment of the averted costs to fund services or programs to expand West Virginia's continuum of alternatives for youth who would otherwise be placed in out-of-home placement;
(E) Recommendations for continued improvements to the juvenile justice system.
(d) The Division of Justice and Community Services shall provide staff support for the committee. The committee may request and receive copies of all data, reports, performance measures and other evaluative material regarding juvenile justice submitted from any agency, branch of government or political subdivision to carry out its duties.
(e) The committee shall meet within ninety days after appointment and shall thereafter meet at least quarterly, upon notice by the chair. Eight members shall be considered a quorum.
(f) After initial appointment, members appointed to the committee by the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Delegates or the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals, pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, shall serve for a term of two years from his or her appointment and shall be eligible for reappointment to that position. All members appointed to the committee shall serve until his or her successor has been duly appointed.
(g) The committee shall sunset on December 31, 2020, unless reauthorized by the Legislature.
It is the 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 and the Division of Juvenile Services, 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.
(a) The Department of Health and Human Resources and the Division of Juvenile Services of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety shall establish 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, 24-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;
(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; and
(9) Transitional programs designed to assist juveniles who are in the custody of the state upon reaching the age of eighteen years.
(b) By January 1, 2017, the department and the Division of Juvenile Services shall allocate at least fifty percent of all community services funding, as defined in section two hundred six, article one of this chapter, either provided directly or by contracted service providers, for the implementation of evidence-based practices, as defined in section two hundred six, article one of this chapter.
(c) (1) The Department of Health and Human Resources shall establish 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 a pre-adjudicatory community supervision 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.
(2) An 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.
(3) For alleged juvenile delinquents and status offenders, an individualized program of rehabilitation shall be furnished to the juvenile court and made 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.
(4) The department may develop an individualized program of rehabilitation for any juvenile referred for noncustodial counseling under section seven hundred two-a, article four of this chapter or for any juvenile upon the request of a public or private agency.
(d) (1) The individualized program of rehabilitation required by the provisions of subsection (c) of this section shall, for any juvenile in out-of-home placement, include a plan to return the juvenile to his or her home setting and transition the juvenile into community services to continue his or her rehabilitation.
(2) Planning for the transition shall begin upon the juvenile's entry into the residential facility. The transition process shall begin thirty days after admission to the residential facility and conclude no later than three months after admission.
(3) The Department of Health and Human Resources staff shall, during its monthly site visits at contracted residential facilities, ensure that the individualized programs of rehabilitation include a plan for transition in accordance with this subsection.
(4) If further time in residential placement is necessary and the most effective method of attaining the rehabilitation goals identified by the rehabilitation individualized plan created under subsection (c) of this section, then the department shall provide information to the multidisciplinary team to substantiate that further time in a residential facility is necessary. The court, in consultation with the multidisciplinary team, may order an extension of time in residential placement prior to the juvenile's transition to the community if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that an extension is in the best interest of the child. If the court finds that the evidence does not support an extension, the court shall order that the transition to community services proceed.
(e) The Department of Health and Human Resources and the Division of Juvenile Services are 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.
(a) The Department of Health and Human Resources shall establish and maintain one or more rehabilitative facilities to be used exclusively for the lawful custody of status offenders. Each facility will be a nonsecure facility having as its purpose the rehabilitation of status offenders. The facility will 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) Rehabilitative programs and services shall be provided by or through each facility and may include, but not be limited to, medical, educational, vocational, social and psychological guidance, training, counseling, substance abuse 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 the juvenile. In the case of any other juvenile residing at the facility, the department shall provide those programs and services as may be proper in the circumstances including, but not limited to, any 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.
(e) The Department of Health and Human Resources may enter into cooperative arrangements and agreements with private agencies or with agencies of the state and its political subdivisions to fulfill its duties under this section: Provided, That after January 1, 2016, the department shall not enter into an agreement with the Division of Juvenile Services to house juvenile status offenders.
There is created within the State Treasury a special revenue account designated "The Juvenile Services Reimbursement Offender Fund" within and for the benefit of the Division of Juvenile Services for expenses incurred in servicing juvenile status offenders in need of stabilization and specialized supervision. Moneys shall be paid into the account by the Department of Health and Human Resources, based upon an established per diem rate, or other funding sources. 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 by the Division of Juvenile Services pursuant to this article and by cooperative agreement. The Director of Juvenile Services is authorized to make expenditures from the fund in accordance with 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.
The Department of Health and Human Resources may 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 that 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 the juvenile into custody and return the juvenile to his or her place of residence or into the custody of a designated employee of the department.
(a) The Department of Health and Human Resources and the Division of Juvenile Services shall annually review its programs and services and submit a report by December 31, of each year to the Governor, the Legislature and the Supreme Court of Appeals. This report shall analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the programs and services being carried out by the Department of Health and Human Resources or the Division of Juvenile Services. That report shall include, but is not limited to:
(1) An analysis and evaluation of programs and services continued, established and discontinued during the period covered by the report;
(2) A description of programs and services which should be implemented to further the purposes of this article;
(3) Relevant information concerning the number of juveniles comprising the population of any rehabilitative facility during the period covered by the report;
(4) The length of residence, the nature of the problems of each juvenile, the juvenile's response to programs and services; and
(5) Any 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 and the Division of Juvenile Services 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, the catalogue shall be distributed to attorneys practicing before the court. The catalogue shall:
(1) Be made available to members of the general public upon request:
(2) Contain sufficient information as to particular programs and services so as to enable a user of the catalogue to make inquiries and referrals; and
(3) Be constructed so as to meaningfully identify and describe programs and services.
(c) 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.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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