Bill Text: VA HB2193 | 2013 | Regular Session | Chaptered

Bill Title: Child abuse investigations; employees of school divisions.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Passed) 2013-03-18 - Governor: Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0506) [HB2193 Detail]

Download: Virginia-2013-HB2193-Chaptered.html

An Act to amend and reenact §63.2-1505 of the Code of Virginia, relating to child abuse investigations; school division employees.
[H 2193]
Approved March 18, 2013


Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That §63.2-1505 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§63.2-1505. Investigations by local departments.

A. An investigation requires the collection of information necessary to determine:

1. The immediate safety needs of the child;

2. The protective and rehabilitative services needs of the child and family that will deter abuse or neglect;

3. Risk of future harm to the child;

4. Alternative plans for the child's safety if protective and rehabilitative services are indicated and the family is unable or unwilling to participate in services;

5. Whether abuse or neglect has occurred;

6. If abuse or neglect has occurred, who abused or neglected the child; and

7. A finding of either founded or unfounded based on the facts collected during the investigation.

B. If the local department responds to the report or complaint by conducting an investigation, the local department shall:

1. Make immediate investigation and, if the report or complaint was based upon one of the factors specified in subsection B of § 63.2-1509, the local department may file a petition pursuant to §16.1-241.3;

2. Complete a report and transmit it forthwith to the Department, except that no such report shall be transmitted in cases in which the cause to suspect abuse or neglect is one of the factors specified in subsection B of §63.2-1509 and the mother sought substance abuse counseling or treatment prior to the child's birth;

3. Consult with the family to arrange for necessary protective and rehabilitative services to be provided to the child and his family;

4. Petition the court for services deemed necessary including, but not limited to, removal of the child or his siblings from their home;

5. Determine within 45 days if a report of abuse or neglect is founded or unfounded and transmit a report to such effect to the Department and to the person who is the subject of the investigation. However, upon written justification by the local department, such determination may be extended, not to exceed a total of 60 days. If through the exercise of reasonable diligence the local department is unable to find the child who is the subject of the report, the time the child cannot be found shall not be computed as part of the 45-day or 60-day period and documentation of such reasonable diligence shall be placed in the record;

6. If a report of abuse or neglect is unfounded, transmit a report to such effect to the complainant and parent or guardian and the person responsible for the care of the child in those cases where such person was suspected of abuse or neglect; and

7. If a report of child abuse and neglect is founded, and the subject of the report is a full-time, part-time, permanent, or temporary teacher in employee of a school division located within the Commonwealth, notify the relevant school board of the founded complaint. Any information exchanged for the purposes of this subsection shall not be considered a violation of §63.2-102, 63.2-104, or 63.2-105.

C. Each local board may obtain and consider, in accordance with regulations adopted by the Board, statewide criminal history record information from the Central Criminal Records Exchange and results of a search of the child abuse and neglect central registry of any individual who is the subject of a child abuse or neglect investigation conducted under this section when there is evidence of child abuse or neglect and the local board is evaluating the safety of the home and whether removal will protect a child from harm. The local board also may obtain such a criminal records or registry search on all adult household members residing in the home where the individual who is the subject of the investigation resides and the child resides or visits. If a child abuse or neglect petition is filed in connection with such removal, a court may admit such information as evidence. Where the individual who is the subject of such information contests its accuracy through testimony under oath in hearing before the court, no court shall receive or consider the contested criminal history record information without certified copies of conviction. Further dissemination of the information provided to the local board is prohibited, except as authorized by law.