HD24 - The Revision of Title 63.1 of the Code of Virginia

Executive Summary:

In June 2000, the Virginia Code Commission undertook the revision of Title 63.1 of the Code of Virginia. 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.

The Code Commission has prepared the proposed Title 63.2 for introduction at the 2002 Session of the General Assembly. This title was last revised in 1968. During the past 34 years, much has happened to affect laws governing social services programs and the two disability programs. The primary purpose of the Title 63.1 revision is to reorganize the laws in a logical manner and improve their structure and clarity. Additionally, certain substantive changes are made, many of which reflect current practices, delete eliminated programs or conform provisions to other statutes and regulations. These changes include:

1. Deleting the bonding requirement for the Commissioner and State Board of Social Services;

2. Establishing local departments of social services because current law only requires counties and cities to have a local director of social services;

3. Repealing archaic funding provisions, the Virginia Targeted Jobs Grant Program (which expired in taxable year 2000), and obsolete welfare reform efforts;

4. Bringing uniformity where possible to the licensing and sanctioning processes for child welfare agencies, assisted living facilities, and adult day care centers;

5. Broadening the barrier crimes for employment in assisted living facilities and adult day care centers in order to make them consistent with nursing homes; and

6. Removing the requirement that board members undergo background checks upon application for licensure or registration as a child welfare agency.

Such changes were required to resolve confusion caused by conflicting provisions and to remove or update archaic references. These substantive changes are explained in further detail in the chapter-by-chapter summary below.


The proposed Title 63.2 is divided 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.

Current Chapters 5 and 8, 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. Article 2 (District Homes for Aged, Indigent, Infirm, and Incapacitated Persons) of Chapter 9 will not be codified but will be contained in an enactment clause in the title revision bill with a sunset of two years in order to give the remaining two district home boards time to dissolve.

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.



• The Code Commission recommends the use of the term "adopt regulations" in this title revision. The term "adopt regulations" means the process by which regulations are put into effect and includes the promulgation, revision or amendment, and formal acceptance of a regulation by an agency that has exercised its regulation-making authority in accordance with law. In its revision of Title 2.1 and Title 9, the Code Commission adopted the use of this term instead of "promulgate" because it is more widely used.

• The phrases "aid to families with dependent children," "AFDC," or "ADC" are replaced by "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families" or "TANF," pursuant to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA).

• Current law permits counties and cities to have administrative local boards or advisory local boards. When the county or city or combination of the two opts to have an advisory board, a person is designated to serve as the local board. In proposed Chapter 3 (Local Social Services) of Title 63.2, this person is now referred to as "a local government official" where appropriate. Appended to this executive summary as Attachment A is a listing of the 121 local boards indicating their local board structure.

• Each section in the title revision is followed by a drafting note that describes the change made, if any. If a drafting note states "no change," the section contains no changes other than renumbering and updated cross-references. If a drafting note states "technical changes only," the section contains a change in the text of the section, even if it is only a change in punctuation; however, such changes are not meant to be a substantive change in the law. If a section contains a substantive change in the law, the drafting note will describe the change.