The department of health and human resources is hereby authorized and empowered to provide care, support and protective services for children who are handicapped by dependency, neglect, single parent status, mental or physical disability, or who for other reasons are in need of public service. Such department is also hereby authorized and empowered in its discretion to accept children for care from their parent or parents, guardian, custodian or relatives and to accept the custody of children committed to its care by courts. The department of health and human resources or any county office of such department is also hereby authorized and empowered in its discretion to accept temporary custody of children for care from any law-enforcement officer in an emergency situation.
Within ninety days of the date of the signatures to a voluntary placement agreement, after receipt of physical custody, the state department of health and human resources shall file with the court a petition for review of the placement, stating the child's situation and the circumstance that gives rise to the voluntary placement. If the department intends to extend the voluntary placement agreement, the department shall file with the court a copy of the child's case plan. The court shall appoint an attorney for the child, who shall also receive a copy of the case plan. The court shall schedule a hearing and shall give notice of the time and place and right to be present at such hearing to: The child's attorney; the child, if twelve years of age or older; the child's parents or guardians; the child's foster parents; any preadoptive parent or relative providing care for the child; and any other such persons as the court may in its discretion direct. The child's presence at such hearing may be waived by the child's attorney at the request of the child or if the child would suffer emotional harm. At the conclusion of the proceedings, but no later than ninety days after the date of the signatures to the voluntary placement agreement, the court shall enter an order determining whether or not continuation of the voluntary placement is in the best interests of the child; specifying under what conditions the child's placement shall continue; and specifying whether or not the department is required to and has made reasonable efforts to preserve and to reunify the family, as set forth in subsection (d), section three, article six of this chapter and/or provide a plan for the permanent placement of the child.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
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