(a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter or by order of the court, all records and information concerning a child or juvenile which are maintained by the Division of Juvenile Services, the Department of Health and Human Resources, a child agency or facility, court or law-enforcement agency shall be kept confidential and shall not be released or disclosed to anyone, including any federal or state agency.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section or any other provision of this code to the contrary, records concerning a child or juvenile, except adoption records and records disclosing the identity of a person making a complaint of child abuse or neglect shall be made available:
(1) Where otherwise authorized by this chapter;
(A) The child;
(B) A parent whose parental rights have not been terminated; or
(C) The attorney of the child or parent;
(3) With the written consent of the child or of someone authorized to act on the child's behalf; or
(4) Pursuant to an order of a court of record: Provided, That the court shall review such record or records for relevancy and materiality to the issues in the proceeding and safety, and may issue an order to limit the examination and use of the records or any part thereof.
(c) In addition to those persons or entities to whom information may be disclosed under subsection (b) of this section, information related to child abuse or neglect proceedings, except information relating to the identity of the person reporting or making a complaint of child abuse or neglect, shall be made available, upon request, to:
(1) Federal, state or local government entities, or any agent of such entities, including law-enforcement agencies and prosecuting attorneys, having a need for such information in order to carry out its responsibilities under law to protect children from abuse and neglect;
(2) The child fatality review team;
(3) Child abuse citizen review panels;
(4) Multidisciplinary investigative and treatment teams; or
(5) A grand jury, circuit court or family court, upon a finding that information in the records is necessary for the determination of an issue before the grand jury, circuit court or family court.
(d) In the event of a child fatality or near fatality due to child abuse and neglect, information relating to such fatality or near fatality shall be made public by the Department of Health and Human Resources and to the entities described in subsection (c) of this section, all under the circumstances described in that subsection: Provided, That information released by the Department of Health and Human Resources pursuant to this subsection shall not include the identity of a person reporting or making a complaint of child abuse or neglect. For purposes of this subsection, "near fatality" means any medical condition of the child which is certified by the attending physician to be life threatening.
(e) Except in juvenile proceedings which are transferred to criminal proceedings, law-enforcement records and files concerning a child or juvenile shall be kept separate from the records and files of adults and not included within the court files. Law- enforcement records and files concerning a child or juvenile shall only be open to inspection pursuant to the provisions of sections seventeen and eighteen, article five of this chapter.
(f) Any person who willfully violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000, or confined in the county or regional jail for not more than six months, or be both fined and confined. A person convicted of violating the provisions of this section shall also be liable for damages in the amount of $300 or actual damages, whichever is greater.
(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, or any other provision of this code to the contrary, the name and identity of any juvenile adjudicated or convicted of a violent or felonious crime shall be made available to the public.
(h)(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, or any other provision of this code to the contrary, the Division of Juvenile Services may provide access to and the confidential use of a treatment plan, court records or other records of a juvenile to an agency in another state which:
(A) Performs the same functions in that state that are performed by the Division of Juvenile Services in this state;
(B) Has a reciprocal agreement with this state; and
(C) Has legal custody of the juvenile.
(2) A record which is shared under this subsection may only provide information which is relevant to the supervision, care, custody and treatment of the juvenile.
(3) The Division of Juvenile Services is authorized to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states and to propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this subsection.
The guardian of the estate of a child committed to guardianship hereunder shall furnish, at such times and in such form as may be required, full information concerning the property of the child to the state department or to the court or judge before whom the case of any such child is heard.
A superintendent of an infirmary or other institution who fails to notify the state department or the state commissioner of public institutions, as the case may be, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
The court or judge may require the person liable for the support to give reasonable security for payment. Upon failure to give security or to pay, the court or judge may enforce obedience by proceeding as for contempt of court. The court or judge may, on application, and on such notice as the court or judge may direct, from time to time, make such alterations in the allowance as shall appear reasonable and proper.
(b) In addition to any penalty provided under this section and any restitution which may be ordered by the court under article eleven-a of chapter sixty-one, the court may order any person convicted under the provisions of this section to pay all or any portion of the cost of medical, psychological or psychiatric treatment of the child resulting from the act or acts for which the person is convicted, whether or not the child is considered to have sustained bodily injury.
(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any parent, guardian or custodian who fails or refuses, or allows another person to fail or refuse, to supply a child under the care, custody or control of such parent, guardian or custodian with necessary medical care, when such medical care conflicts with the tenets and practices of a recognized religious denomination or order of which such parent, guardian or custodian is an adherent or member.
(1) Suspend the sentence of a person found guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a child.
(2) Stay or postpone the enforcement of execution of sentence.
(3) Release the person from custody.
(1) Furnishing whatever treatment and care may be required for the welfare of such child.
(2) Doing whatever may be calculated to secure obedience to the law or to remove the cause of delinquency, or neglect.
(3) Payment of such amount as the court may order, not exceeding twenty dollars per month, for the support, care, and maintenance of the child to whose delinquency the person contributed. The sum shall be expended under the order of the court or judge for the purposes enumerated.
Any money collected or paid upon an execution, or upon the bond, shall be deposited with the clerk of the court in which the bond was given. The money shall be applied first to the payment of all court costs and then to the treatment, care, or maintenance of the child for whose delinquency conviction was had. If any money so collected is not required for these purposes, it shall be paid within one year into the state treasury.
The secretary of the department of health and human resources shall propose for promulgation legislative rules in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this chapter.
Circuit judges and magistrates, upon being supplied the form orders required by the provision of this section, shall act to ensure the proper form order is entered in such case so as to allow federal funding of eligible out-of-home placements.
(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.
Acts, 2007 Reg. Sess., Ch. 39.
(b) There is hereby created within the Department of Health and Human Resources the Commission to Study the Residential Placement of Children. The commission consists of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources, the Commissioner of the Bureau for Children and Families, the Commissioner for the Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities, the Commissioner for the Bureau for Medical Services, the State Superintendent of Schools, a representative of local educational agencies, the Director of the Office of Institutional Educational Programs, the Director of the Office of Special Education Programs and Assurance, the Director of the Division of Juvenile Services and the Executive Director of the Prosecuting Attorney's Institute. At the discretion of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, circuit and family court judges and other court personnel, including the Administrator of the Supreme Court of Appeals and the Director of the Juvenile Probation Services Division, may serve on the commission. These statutory members may further designate additional persons in their respective offices who may attend the meetings of the commission if they are the administrative head of the office or division whose functions necessitate their inclusion in this process. In its deliberations, the commission shall also consult and solicit input from families and service providers.
(c) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources shall serve as chair of the commission, which shall meet on a quarterly basis at the call of the chair.
(d) At a minimum, the commission shall study:
(1) The current practices of placing children out-of-home and into in-residential placements, with special emphasis on out-of-state placements;
(2) The adequacy, capacity, availability and utilization of existing in-state facilities to serve the needs of children requiring residential placements;
(3) Strategies and methods to reduce the number of children who must be placed in out-of-state facilities and to return children from existing out-of-state placements, initially targeting older youth who have been adjudicated delinquent;
(4) Staffing, facilitation and oversight of multidisciplinary treatment planning teams;
(5) The availability of and investment in community-based, less restrictive and less costly alternatives to residential placements;
(6) Ways in which up-to-date information about in-state placement availability may be made readily accessible to state agency and court personnel, including an interactive secure web site;
(7) Strategies and methods to promote and sustain cooperation and collaboration between the courts, state and local agencies, families and service providers, including the use of inter-agency memoranda of understanding, pooled funding arrangements and sharing of information and staff resources;
(8) The advisability of including "no-refusal" clauses in contracts with in-state providers for placement of children whose treatment needs match the level of licensure held by the provider;
(9) Identification of in-state service gaps and the feasibility of developing services to fill those gaps, including funding;
(10) Identification of fiscal, statutory and regulatory barriers to developing needed services in-state in a timely and responsive way;
(11) Ways to promote and protect the rights and participation of parents, foster parents and children involved in out-of-home care;
(12) Ways to certify out-of-state providers to ensure that children who must be placed out-of-state receive high quality services consistent with this state's standards of licensure and rules of operation; and
(13) Any other ancillary issue relative to foster care placement.
(e) On or before December 1, 2010, the commission shall report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability its conclusions and recommendations, including an implementation plan whereby:
(1) Out-of-state placements shall be reduced by at least ten percent per year and by at least fifty percent within three years;
(2) Child-serving agencies shall develop joint operating and funding proposals to serve the needs of children and families that cross their jurisdictional boundaries in a more seamless way;
(3) Steps shall be taken to obtain all necessary federal plan waivers or amendments in order for agencies to work collaboratively while maximizing the availability of federal funds;
(4) Agencies shall enter into memoranda of understanding to assume joint responsibilities;
(5) System of care components and cooperative relationships shall be incrementally established at the local, state and regional levels, with links to existing resources, such as family resource networks and regional summits, wherever possible; and
(6) Recommendations for changes in fiscal, statutory and regulatory provisions are included for legislative action.
(b) The Legislature finds that:
(1) The needs of young children are not always adequately addressed when the Department of Health and Human Resources is required to take custody of them;
(2) Often the behavior of young children taken from their homes pose special challenges for the department and other individuals who are charged with their care;
(3) The department must take extraordinary precautions to prevent serious emotional damage to these children; and
(4) The department has resources within the department that can be redirected to meet many of the needs of the program required by this section.
(c) The department shall choose four regions in which to implement a two-year pilot program to address children ages four through ten immediately after removal from their homes by the Child Protective Service Division due to child abuse and neglect and who, by the nature of their removal, are in crisis.
(d) The program shall:
(1) Include early intervention for children in crisis;
(2) Provide for the development of a short-term and an ongoing long-term plan for each child;
(3) Provide that each child is evaluated for emotional and physical trauma and other medical, educational, dental and other needs, in a timely manner;
(4) Require that each child be assigned an independent advocate through the community advocacy programs as staff or volunteers are made available; and
(e) The plans required by subsection (d) of this section shall:
(1) Address abandonment, separation anxiety, post traumatic stress and other emotional and physical needs of the child;
(2) Be developed by appropriately trained professional staff;
(3) Require the participation of a child care agency, the Department of Education, community programs and other appropriate agencies providing services to children ages four through ten;
(4) Be developed to meet the ongoing emotional needs of each child.
(f) The short-term plan required by subsection (d) of this section shall address the child's needs for the first thirty days under the department's supervision.
(g) During the initial evaluation period, and when the child is being placed into foster care, the department shall when possible place the child into an enhanced specialized foster care home. Providers offering enhanced specialized foster care homes shall include crisis intervention staffed with trained and educated professional individuals and specialized training on how to manage a child's reaction to trauma and the crisis of being removed from the custody of a parent, parents or other guardians, with emphasis on the child's emotional needs. This program shall limit the number of children in one location to three foster children at a time. A greater number is permitted if all of the children are siblings.
(h) After a short-term and long-term plan is developed, the department shall:
(1) Provide the foster family with training and education in the plan;
(2) Evaluate the child and foster parent or parents on the interaction between the child and parents;
(3) Train the foster parent on how to respond to the child's emotional crisis and how to understand the child's crisis reactive behavior; and
(4) Evaluate the foster family on its understanding of the need for this early intervention and the need for appropriate crisis management.
(i) The providers of enhanced specialized foster care services shall:
(1) Create and train a team to provide crisis intervention;
(2) Provide a call system for the enhanced specialized foster parents and the child so that the enhanced specialized foster parents or the child can speak to a team member or other appropriately trained professional during a crisis; and
(3) Require a crisis team member to visit the home if unable to adequately resolve the crisis over the telephone and to do a follow up visit within two days to meet with the enhanced specialized foster parents and child, individually, to determine the crisis was satisfactorily resolved.
(j) The department shall develop a system to evaluate the pilot program for outcomes and standards of care and report back to public, private and community partners. In addition the evaluation shall be reported to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance or other designated committees every six months for two years. The evaluation shall be contracted by the department through an external entity who shall:
(1) Establish measurable outcomes for purposes of evaluation; (2) Collect, analyze and report data quarterly and annually;
(3) Identify trends and make recommendations for program improvement;
(4) Conduct an analysis of the impact of the pilot program on the child's emotional stability including the number of placements that the child experiences and the basis for required moves;
(5) Provide technical assistance and training to the pilot program;
(6) Provide leadership in the development of data collection and outcome reporting models;
(7) Provide feedback for quality improvement to those responsible for the pilot program; and
(8) Monitor, research and present best practices through everyday communication and training opportunities.
(a) For each child who remains in foster care as a result of a juvenile proceeding or as a result of a child abuse and neglect proceeding, the circuit court with the assistance of the multidisciplinary treatment team shall conduct quarterly status reviews in order to determine the safety of the child, the continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the placement, the extent of compliance with the case plan, and the extent of progress which has been made toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care, and to project a likely date by which the child may be returned to and safety maintained in the home or placed for adoption or legal guardianship. Quarterly status reviews shall commence three months after the entry of the placement order. The permanency hearing provided for in subsection (c) of this section may be considered a quarterly status review.
(b) For each transitioning adult as that term is defined in §49-2B-2(x) who remains in foster care, the circuit court shall conduct status review hearings as described in subsection (a) of this section once every three months until permanency is achieved.
(c) For each child or transitioning adult who continues to remain in foster care, the circuit court shall conduct a permanency hearing no later that twelve months after the date the child or transitioning adult is considered to have entered foster care, and at least once every twelve months thereafter until permanency is achieved. For purposes of permanency planning for transitioning adults, the circuit court shall make factual findings and conclusions of law as to whether the department made reasonable efforts to finalize a permanency plan to prepare a transitioning adult for emancipation or independence or another approved permanency option such as, but not limited to, adoption or legal guardianship pursuant to the West Virginia Guardianship and Conservatorship Act.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to abrogate the
responsibilities of the circuit court from conducting required
hearings as provided in other provisions of this code, procedural
court rules, or setting required hearings at the same time.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.