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Welfare (Social Services)
Participation in the Virginia Independence Program; exceptions. Provides that registered nurses who are the physicians' designees or licensed nurse practitioners may sign the pregnancy statements for women who are in their fourth through ninth month of pregnancy for the purpose of obtaining an exception to the requirement to participate in the employment provisions of the Virginia Independence Program. At this time, only a physician can sign the written pregnancy statement.
Patron - Bryant
Neighborhood Assistance Plan; donation. Adds nurses to the list of medical professionals who may donate time and services to an approved clinic that provides health care services without charge, or the basis of the patients' ability to pay, and receive a tax credit under the Neighborhood Assistance Plan.
Patron - Sherwood
Child support enforcement; automated administrative enforcement in interstate cases. Requires the Department of Social Services to use high-volume administrative support enforcement in response to requests from other states in accordance with the Social Security Act § 466. "High volume automated administrative enforcement" in interstate cases means, on the request of another state, the identification by the Department, through automated data matches with financial institutions and other entities where assets may be found, of assets owned by persons who owe child support in other states, and the seizure of such assets by the Department, through levy or other appropriate processes.
Patron - O'Bannon
Public assistance programs; investments for purposes of self-sufficiency. Subject to appropriation in the 2002 Appropriation Act, permits public assistance recipients to have or establish one savings or other investment account in the amount of $5,000. Any such account including interest or appreciation in value, shall not be considered in eligibility calculations as long as no funds are withdrawn.
Patron - McDonnell
Child abuse and neglect investigations. Requires all mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect who maintain a record on the alleged victim to make information, records and reports that are relevant to the investigation available to the child protective services investigator. The bill adds immunity from civil or criminal prosecution or administrative penalty or sanction for persons providing information or records in good faith. Both amendments parallel provisions already existing in the adult abuse reporting statute. The bill also clarifies that this information may be provided irrespective of the prohibition against disclosing communications between physicians and patient. Finally, the bill has technical amendments.
Patron - McDonnell
Child protective services' central registry. Permits Virginia affiliates of Compeer to screen potential volunteers through the central registry at no charge. Compeer is a not-for-profit organization that matches community volunteers in supportive friendship relationships with children and adults receiving mental health treatment.
Patron - Weatherholtz
Child welfare agencies; licensure periods. Provides that licenses for child day centers shall have a duration of two years from date of issuance. Currently, the Department of Social Services issues licenses for periods of one, two or three years for child day centers based on compliance with standards and regulations.
Patron - Marrs
Home Energy Assistance Program. Requires the Department of Social Services (DSS) to (i) facilitate meetings with the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, and other agencies of the Commonwealth, as well as any nonstate programs that elect to participate in the Home Energy Assistance Program, for the purpose of sharing information directed at alleviating the seasonal energy needs of low-income Virginians, including needs for weatherization assistance services; (ii) collect and analyze data regarding the amounts of energy assistance provided through the Department, categorized by fuel type in order to identify the unmet need for energy assistance in the Commonwealth; and (iii) develop and maintain a statewide list of available private and governmental resources for low-income Virginians in need of energy assistance. In its annual report, DSS shall (a) conduct a survey biennially beginning in 2002, regarding the extent to which the Commonwealth's efforts in assisting low-income Virginians are adequate and are not duplicative of similar services provided by utility services providers, charitable organizations and local governments; (b) obtain information on energy programs in other states; and (c) obtain necessary information from the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, and other agencies of the Commonwealth, as well as any nonstate programs that elect to participate in the Home Energy Assistance Program, to complete the biennial survey and to compile the required annual report. The Department of Housing and Community Development, the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, and other agencies of the Commonwealth, as well as any nonstate programs that elect to participate in the Home Energy Assistance Program, shall provide the necessary information to DSS. DSS' annual reporting requirement shall cease October 1, 2007.
Patron - Plum
Child protective services differential response system. Requires an oral explanation of the family assessment procedure used by child protective services workers. The bill clarifies that reports handled by a family assessment shall not be entered into the central registry and families can decline services offered as a result of a family assessment. Finally, the bill requires the Department of Social Services to report on the effectiveness of the initial assessment in determining the appropriate level of intervention.
Patron - Nixon
Child protective services; family assessments. Provides that a local department of social services shall generally petition the court for services deemed necessary when conducting family assessments, and deletes the more specific language:] "including, but not limited to, removal of the child or siblings from their home."
Patron - Nixon
Social services; faith-based liaison. Locates the responsibilities for faith-based and community initiatives within the Department of Social Services. The responsibilities include the provision of technical assistance and information to those faith-based, volunteer, charitable and private organizations that wish to compete for social services contracts under TANF and other eligible programs.
Patron - McDonnell
Mental health; assisted living. Adds the option of evaluation by a licensed clinical psychologist to determine if a resident has a serious cognitive impairment prior to placement in an assisted living facility.
Patron - Brink
Social services; privatization of child support enforcement programs. Eliminates the reporting requirement regarding the privatization of child support enforcement programs.
Patron - McDonnell
Licensed child day center regulations. Provides that regulations for licensed child day centers adopted by the State Board of Social Services or the Child Day-Care Council shall not require the membership, affiliation or accreditation services of any single, private accreditation or certification agency.
Patron - Nixon
Social services; Neighborhood Assistance Act. Reduces the minimum monetary donation eligible for a tax credit from $900 to $500 and removes the $1 million cap on tax credits available to individuals.
Patron - Nutter
Virginia Caregivers Grant Program; unpaid grant amounts. Eliminates unpaid grant amounts carried forward from prior years because caregivers did not receive the full amount of any grant to which they were eligible in a prior year.
Patron - Stosch
Assisted living facilities. Clarifies that assisted living facilities must post the rights and responsibilities of residents of assisted living facilities rather than the implementing policies and procedures.
Patron - Deeds
Recodification of Title 63.1; public assistance; social services; child support; persons with disabilities. Recodifies Title 63.1 as Title 63.2. In accordance with § 30-152, the Virginia Code Commission, in 2000, undertook the recodification of Title 63.1. Title 63.1 is the legal authority for three departments under the Secretariat of Health and Human Resources: the Department of Social Services, the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, and the Department for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. Title 63.1 was last recodified in 1968. During the past 34 years, much has happened to affect laws governing social services programs and the two disability programs. The Virginia Code Commission has rewritten and combined sections or parts of sections to clarify provisions and to eliminate archaic, obsolete or redundant language. Additionally, certain substantive changes are made, many of which reflect current practices, delete eliminated programs, or conform provisions to other statutes and regulations. The Virginia Code Commission has divided Title 63.2 into six subtitles. Subtitle I contains general provisions applicable to the entire title. The title-wide definitions and confidentiality provisions are included as general provisions. Subtitle II deals with public assistance programs. Subtitle III contains chapters related to social services programs. Two newly created chapters within Subtitle III consolidate sections related to foster care and adult services that were previously scattered throughout Title 63.1. Subtitle IV contains licensure provisions for assisted living facilities, adult day care centers, and child welfare agencies. Subtitle V reorders child support enforcement provisions, and Subtitle VI groups grant programs and funds. Existing Chapters 5 and 8 of Title 63.1, relating to the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, and current Chapter 5.1, relating to the Department for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, are relocated to Title 51.5 (Persons with Disabilities) as part of the title revision. Current Chapter 15 (Pilot Programs for the Delivery of Human Services) is relocated to Title 15.2, because this is clearly a general local government matter. The human services that could be included in a pilot program are broader than just social services; they also include employment, health, mental health and mental retardation, rehabilitation, nursing, information and referral and such other related services. Existing Article 2 (District Homes for Aged, Indigent, Infirm, and Incapacitated Persons) of Chapter 9 of Title 63.1 will not be codified, but will be contained in an enactment clause in the title revision bill with a sunset of two years. Three current chapters are not carried forward as part of Title 63.2 and will be repealed: Chapter 6.2 (Employment Opportunities), Chapter 6.3 (Community Work Experience Programs) and Chapter 6.4 (The Virginia Welfare Reform Demonstration Project). All three chapters are early welfare reform efforts that are now obsolete.
Patron - Edwards
Child support orders; health care coverage. Requires health care coverage provisions in all child support orders and defines "reasonable cost" as an insurance premium that does not exceed five percent of the parents' gross income unless otherwise ordered by the court as in the best interest of the child and mandates that the Department of Social Services (DSS) use the National Medical Support Notice (NMSN), which is intended to provide a standardized means of communication between DSS, employers and administrators of group health plans regarding the health care support obligations of noncustodial parents. The NMSN facilitates the process of enrolling children in the group health plans for which their noncustodial parents are eligible and its use is mandated by the Social Security Act § 466. The bill states that DSS shall use the NMSN to enforce the provision of health care coverage through an employment-related group health plan pursuant to a child support order if available at a reasonable cost, unless a court or administrative order stipulates alternative health care coverage to employer-based coverage. The bill enumerates procedures for the use of the NMSN pursuant to federal requirements. If health care is unavailable at a reasonable cost through employment, DSS shall refer dependent children to the FAMIS Plan.
Patron - Quayle
Child Day-Care Council; membership. Adds the following members to the Child Day-Care Council: one representative of the National Association for the Education of Young Children; one representative of the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs; one representative of the Association of Christian Schools International; one representative of the American Association of Christian Schools; one representative of the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation; one representative of the National Accreditation Council for Early Childhood Professional Personnel and Programs; one representative of the International Academy for Private Education; one representative of the Standards for the American Montessori Society Accreditation; one representative of the International Accreditation and Certification of Childhood Educators, Programs, and Trainers; and one representative of the National Accreditation Commission. The bill limits reimbursement for travel expenses of members to in-state travel.
Patron - Hanger
Licensed child day centers; approved credential. Provides that the individuals directly supervising children in licensed child day centers may possess an approved credential awarded by an accrediting authority. The bill lists the accrediting authorities issuing such approved credential: the National Association for the Education of Young Children; the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs; the Association of Christian Schools International; the American Association of Christian Schools; the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation; the National Accreditation Council for Early Childhood Professional Personnel and Programs; the International Academy for Private Education; Standards for the American Montessori Society Accreditation; the International Accreditation and Certification of Childhood Educators, Programs, and Trainers; the National Accreditation Commission; or the Virginia Community College System or other institution of higher learning or its equivalent as determined by the Department. Currently, the licensed child day center regulations adopted by the Child Day-Care Council state that the accrediting authority is to be approved by the Department of Social Services.
Patron - Hanger
Social services; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits. Provides an exemption for those persons receiving TANF benefits who, subsequent to termination of benefits after 24 months, become disabled. Such persons would be eligible for continued benefits without the required two-year waiting period just as disabled persons are now exempt from the employment provisions.
Patron - Jones, D.C.
Social services; VIEW. Exempts eligible persons participating in the Virginia Initiative for Employment Not Welfare (VIEW) from work requirements if the person is enrolled in a program of study at an accredited public or private secondary or public or private two-year or four-year institution of higher education in the State as long as the person continues to be enrolled in such program, provided the person is making satisfactory progress in such study.
Patron - Crittenden
Adoption; consent of the birth father. Nullifies paternal consent-to-adoption requirement if the father has been convicted of assault and battery against the birth mother while pregnant with the child.
Patron - Wright
Early childhood educational and developmental initiatives. Requests the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to study early childhood educational and developmental initiatives. The study shall include (i) an examination of currently successful child development programs in the Commonwealth and other states, (ii) recommendations for the development of statewide programs to reach at-risk youth and provide them with a good start in life, (iii) strategies for financing quality child care such as business involvement through public-private partnerships, and (iv) such other issues as the Secretary deems appropriate.
Patron - Van Landingham
Social services; auxiliary grants. Makes the auxiliary grants program completely state-funded by eliminating the local share of the program. This is a recommendation of the Joint Commission on Health Care.
Patron - Lambert
Adult protective services registry. Establishes the adult protective services registry, which shall contain a listing of any person employed by a facility licensed or funded by the Departments of Health, Social Services, or Mental Health, Mental Retardation or Substance Abuse Services who has abused, neglected or exploited a person who is incapacitated or 60 years of age or older, when that abuse, neglect or exploitation resulted in a local department of social services' determination that such person had or has need of protective services. Applicants for employment at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, mental health, mental retardation and substance abuse programs and facilities are required to obtain a search of the adult protective services registry for a record of any investigation of adult abuse, neglect or exploitation undertaken on the applicant. The adult protective services registry is to be maintained by the Adult Protective Services Unit of the Department of Social Services.
Patron - Puller
Adoption; consent of the birth father. Nullifies paternal consent-to-adoption requirement if the father has been convicted of assault and battery against the birth mother while pregnant with the child and the birth mother signs the entrustment agreement or consents to the adoption of the child within twenty-four months of the birth of the child. This bill is identical to SB 628.
Patron - Newman
Adoption; consent of the birth father. Nullifies paternal consent-to-adoption requirement if the father has been convicted of assault and battery against the birth mother while pregnant with the child and the birth mother signs the entrustment agreement or consents to the adoption of the child within twenty-four months of the birth of the child. This bill is identical to and is incorporated into SB 607.
Patron - Saslaw
Social services; auxiliary grants. Makes the auxiliary grants program completely state-funded by eliminating the local share of the program.
Patron - Hamilton
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); child support disregard. Returns child support collected by the Department of Social Services on behalf of recipients of TANF cash assistance pursuant to the assignment required as a condition of eligibility to such recipient. Such child support payments shall be disregarded in determining (a) eligibility for TANF cash assistance and medical assistance services and (b) the amount of the TANF cash assistance payment.
Patron - Watts
Subsidized guardianship of children living with relative caregivers. Directs the Department of Social Services to establish a subsidized guardianship program for the benefit of children in the custody of a local board of social services or other child welfare agency who are living with relative caregivers and who have been in foster care or living with relatives other than natural parents for not less than 18 months. A relative caregiver means a person who is caring for a child related to such person for whom the option of reunification has been eliminated and termination of parental rights is not appropriate. The subsidized guardianship program shall include a special-need subsidy, which shall be a one-time lump sum payment for expenses resulting from the assumption of care of the child, a medical subsidy, and a monthly subsidy on behalf of the child payable to the relative caregiver that shall be equal to the prevailing foster care rate. The Department may establish an asset test for eligibility under the program. The relative caregiver receiving a guardianship subsidy shall submit annually to the Department a sworn statement that the child is still living with and receiving support from the guardian.
Patron - Miller, Y.B.
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF); day care. Requires the Department of Social Services to provide child day care services for the children of TANF recipients, participants in the Virginia Initiative for Employment Not Welfare (VIEW), and former VIEW participants for 12 months after termination of TANF financial assistance if such services are needed to (i) fulfill a VIEW requirement, (ii) enable the individual to seek or retain employment, or (iii) attend a job training or educational program that has been approved by the local department of social services, unless the local department subsequently determines that the recipient is not making satisfactory progress toward completion of such job training or educational program. The bill also requires such services for those individuals who are otherwise eligible for child day care pursuant to State Board of Social Services regulations. The bill contains technical amendments.
Patron - Miller, Y.B.
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF); child care subsidies. Provides for up to 24 months of transitional child care for persons whose TANF financial assistance is terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily, if such assistance enables the individual to work.
Patron - Ticer
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