2024 Legislative Mandates and Initiatives

Collection of Evidence-based Practices for Children and Adolescents with Mental Health Treatment Needs

The Virginia Commission on Youth is directed to:

  • Revise the Collection of Evidence-based Practices for Children and Adolescents with Mental Health Treatment Needs (the “Collection”). The Collection is to be revised biennially pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 358 (2003).
  • Seek the assistance of the Collection Update Advisory Group, Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Secretary of Public Safety, and Secretary of Education in posting, maintaining, and biennially updating the Collection.
  • Make the Collection available through web technologies.
  • Develop a cost-effective and efficient dissemination method to allow for easy access to the Collection.

Study Plan

The Use and Impact of Relief of Custody on Care and Support of Youth

  • During the Commission on Youth’s 2023 “Improving Foster Care” study, the Commission did a comprehensive review of current foster care issues.
  • One issue raised by local departments of social services and the Office of the Children’s Ombudsman was the increase use of relief of custody to deal with a troubled teen or child. The Commission decided this issue should be explored further.
  • The Virginia Commission on Youth approved a recommendation at its November 20, 2023 meeting regarding the reported increased use of relief of custody to discuss, review, and make recommendations regarding the practice.
    • Direct the Commission on Youth to review concerns surrounding the increased use of temporary and permanent relief of custody to place a child in foster care. The Commission shall convene an advisory group to assess this concern. This advisory group shall include the Department of Social Services, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Department of Juvenile Justice, the Court Improvement Program, Local Departments of Social Services, Community Services Boards, and other relevant stakeholders.

Study Plan

Review of Virginia's Special Education Dispute Resolution System

  • The General Assembly and the Governor approved Senate Bill 220 (Favola) and House Bill 1089 (Coyner) introduced during the 2024 Session. The legislation’s tenth enactment clause directs:
    • That the Virginia Commission on Youth (the Commission) shall study and make recommendations on Virginia's special education dispute resolution system. In conducting such study, the Commission shall (i) consider the entire special education dispute resolution system in the Commonwealth, including the parent ombudsman for special education, mediation, complaints, and due process; (ii) review the effectiveness of such system in responding to the concerns of parents, analyze such system in comparison to best practices from other states, and make actionable recommendations for improvement, including regulatory, statutory, staffing, and budgetary modifications; and (iii) specifically review and make recommendations to improve the Department of Education's system for collecting, tracking, analyzing, and publicly reporting data on parent interactions with such system and the outcomes of such interactions. The Commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly no later than November 1, 2025.

Study Plan