RD383 - Annual Report on Human Research State Fiscal Year 2019 – October 2019

Executive Summary:


Section 63.2-218 of the Code of Virginia requires the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) human research committee to submit to the Governor, the General Assembly, and the Commissioner at least annually a report on the human research projects reviewed and approved by the committee. The Code also requires the human research committee to report any significant deviations from the proposals as approved.


The VDSS human research committee, known as the Institutional Review Board (IRB), ensures research will be conducted in compliance with federal (45 CFR 46 et seq.) and state (§32.1-162 and 22VAC40-890 et seq.) statutes. The IRB reviews, approves, and monitors research conducted or authorized by VDSS, local departments of social services, VDSS contractors, and VDSS-licensed facilities as well as any studies that utilize or seek to gather information about VDSS and/or LDSS clients and/or employees.

The VDSS IRB reviews social or behavioral studies or evaluations of client services or benefit programs. Potential harm associated with these types of studies is categorized as minimal risk. Primarily, the IRB deals with issues of privacy, confidentiality, equitable treatment, client informed consent and, to a lesser extent, the potential of psychological harm associated with sensitive questions on surveys. To meet the responsibilities of federal and state statutes defined above, the VDSS is guided by practices provided by the Office of Human Research Protections, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) at https://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/guidance/index.html.