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WVC 49 - 2 -1002 §49-2-1002. Responsibilities of the Department of Health and Human Resources and Division of Juvenile Services of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety; programs and services; rehabilitation; cooperative agreements.

     (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.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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