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The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 33: Human Services

Chapter 001: DEPARTMENT FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

  • Subchapter 001: POLICY, ORGANIZATION, POWERS, AND DUTIES
  • § 101. Policy

    It is the policy of the State of Vermont that:

    (1) Its social and child welfare programs shall provide assistance and benefits to persons of the State in proven need thereof and eligible for such assistance and benefits under the provisions of this title.

    (2) It is the purpose of its social and child welfare laws to establish and support programs which contribute to the prevention of dependency and social maladjustment and contribute to the rehabilitation and protection of persons of the State.

    (3) Assistance and benefits shall be administered promptly, with due regard for the preservation of family life, and without restriction of individual rights or discrimination on account of race, religion, political affiliation, or place of residence within the State.

    (4) Assistance and benefits shall be so administered as to maintain and encourage dignity, self-respect, and self-reliance. It is the legislative intent that assistance granted shall be adequate to maintain a reasonable standard of health and decency based on current cost of living indices. Notwithstanding this subdivision, the Department will amend rules that establish new maximum Reach Up grant amounts only when the General Assembly has taken affirmative action to increase or decrease the Reach Up financial assistance appropriation.

    (5) The programs of the Department for Children and Families shall be designed to strengthen family life for the care and protection of children; to assist and encourage the use by any family of all available personal and reasonable community resources to this end; and to provide substitute care of children only when the family, with the use of available resources, is unable to provide the necessary care and protection to ensure the right of any child to sound health and to normal physical, mental, spiritual, and moral development. (Added 1967, No. 147, § 1; amended 1973, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. April 14, 1974; 1975, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. Feb. 5, 1976; 2003, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 139a; 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 20, 2014.)

  • § 102. Definitions and construction

    (a) As used in this chapter:

    (1) "Aid" means financial assistance.

    (2) "Assistance," when not modified by an adjective, means general assistance or public assistance, or both.

    (3) "Benefits" means aid or commodities furnished under chapter 17 of this title.

    (4) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner for Children and Families.

    (5) "Department" means the Department for Children and Families.

    (6) "Federal department" or "federal agency" means a department or agency of the United States of America.

    (7) "Guardian" means a legal guardian appointed by a Probate Division of the Superior Court or by a court in a divorce or other proceeding or action.

    (8) "Public assistance" means aid provided by the Department under Title IV, XVI, or XIX of the Social Security Act.

    (9) "Regulation" means a rule or regulation.

    (10) [Repealed.]

    (11) "Social Security Act" means the federal Social Security Act and regulations promulgated under the Act, as amended at any time.

    (b) The laws relating to the Department for Children and Families and its programs shall be construed liberally to carry out the policies stated in this chapter. (Added 1967, No. 147, § 1; amended 1973, No. 101, § 6; 1973, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 11, eff. April 14, 1974; 1999, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 68; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238a, eff. Feb. 1, 2011; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § I.36; 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. May 20, 2014; 2015, No. 23, § 152; 2021, No. 20, § 271.)

  • § 103. Composition of Department

    The Department for Children and Families, created pursuant to 3 V.S.A. §§ 212 and 3084, shall consist of the Commissioner for Children and Families and all divisions, councils, boards, committees, and offices within the Department. (Added 1967, No. 147, § 1; amended 1973, No. 101, § 2; 1999, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 69; 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. May 20, 2014.)

  • § 104. Function and powers of Department

    (a) The Department shall administer all laws specifically assigned to it for administration.

    (b) In addition to other powers vested in it by law, the Department may do all of the following:

    (1) Provide for the administration of the following programs and services:

    (A) Aid to the aged, blind, and disabled.

    (B) Reach Up financial assistance and support services.

    (C) [Repealed.]

    (D) Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

    (E) General Assistance.

    (F) Medical assistance.

    (G) Public assistance programs funded with State general funds or the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant.

    (2) Cooperate with the appropriate federal agencies in receiving, to the extent available, federal funds in support of programs which the Department administers.

    (3) Submit plans and reports, adopt rules, and in other respects comply with the provisions of the Social Security Act that pertain to programs administered by the Department.

    (4) Receive and disburse funds which are assigned, donated, or bequeathed to it for charitable purposes or for the benefit of recipients of assistance, benefits, or social services. This subdivision shall not be construed to require the Department to accept funds or trusts when the Commissioner, with the approval of the Governor, considers it in the best interests of the State to refuse them.

    (5) Receive in trust and expend, in accordance with the provisions of the trust, funds and property assigned, donated, devised, or bequeathed to it for charitable purposes or for the benefit of recipients of assistance, benefits, or social services. Trust funds accepted by the Department shall be safely invested by the State Treasurer. Real property received in trust may, at the discretion of the Commissioner, be administered by the Department of Buildings and General Services of the Agency of Administration. This subdivision shall not be construed to require the Department to accept funds or trusts when the Commissioner, with the approval of the Governor, considers it in the best interests of the State to refuse them.

    (6) Aid and assist in charitable work as in the judgment of the Commissioner will best promote the general welfare of the State.

    (7) Visit all institutions, homes, places, and establishments soliciting public support and located in the State which are devoted to or used for the care of needy persons.

    (8) Visit all institutions, homes, places, and establishments providing room, board, or care to persons receiving social services or benefits from the Department.

    (9) Supervise and control children under its care and custody and provide for their care, maintenance, and education.

    (c) The Department for Children and Families, in cooperation with the Department of Corrections, shall have the responsibility to administer a comprehensive program for youthful offenders and children who commit delinquent acts, including utilization of probation services; of a range of community-based and other treatment, training, and rehabilitation programs; and of secure detention and treatment programs when necessary in the interests of public safety, designed with the objective of preparing those children to live in their communities as productive and mature adults. (Added 1967, No. 147, § 1; amended 1973, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. April 14, 1974; 1983, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 4(a), eff. April 11, 1984; 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. May 20, 2014; 2019, No. 128 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2021, No. 20, § 272.)

  • § 105. Commissioner; appointment, term, duties, and powers

    (a) The Commissioner may exercise the powers and perform duties required for effective administration of the Department, and he or she shall determine the policies of the Department.

    (b) In addition to other duties imposed by law, the Commissioner shall:

    (1) administer the laws assigned to the Department;

    (2) fix standards and adopt rules necessary to administer those laws and for the custody and preservation of records of the Department;

    (3) appoint all necessary assistants, prescribe their duties, and adopt rules necessary to ensure that the assistants shall hold merit system status while in the employ of the Department, unless otherwise specifically provided by law.

    (c) The Commissioner or the Governor, whenever the federal law so provides, may cooperate with the federal government in providing relief and work relief and community work and training programs in the State.

    (d) The Commissioner, with the approval of the Attorney General, may enter into reciprocal agreements with social and child welfare agencies in other states in matters relating to social welfare, children, and families.

    (e) The Commissioner shall ensure the provision of services to children and adolescents with a severe emotional disturbance in coordination with the Secretary of Education and the Commissioners of Mental Health and of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living in accordance with the provisions of chapter 43 of this title.

    (f) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Commissioner may delegate to any appropriate employee of the Department any of the administrative duties and powers imposed on him or her by law, with the exception of the duties and powers enumerated in this section. The delegation of authority and responsibility shall not relieve the Commissioner of accountability for the proper administration of the Department.

    (g) The Commissioner may publicly disclose findings or information about any case of child abuse or neglect that has resulted in the fatality or near fatality of a child, including information obtained under chapter 49 of this title, unless the State's Attorney or Attorney General who is investigating or prosecuting any matter related to the fatality requests the Commissioner to withhold disclosure, in which case the Commissioner shall not disclose any information until completion of any criminal proceedings related to the fatality or until the State's Attorney or Attorney General consents to disclosure, whichever occurs earlier. (Added 1967, No. 147, § 1; amended 1973, No. 101, § 6; 1983, No. 175 (Adj. Sess.); 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. May 20, 2014; 2015, No. 29, § 11; 2021, No. 20, § 273.)


  • Subchapter 002: GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS
  • § 111. Records; restrictions; penalties

    (a)(1) The names of or information pertaining to applicants for or recipients of assistance or benefits, including information obtained under section 112 of this title, shall not be disclosed to anyone, except for the purposes directly connected with the administration of the Department or when required by law.

    (2) Names of or information pertaining to applicants for or recipients of Medicaid shall be subject to the confidentiality provisions set forth in section 1902a of this title.

    (b) A person shall not publish, use, disclose, or divulge any of those records for purposes not directly connected with the administration of programs of the Department or contrary to rules adopted by the Commissioner. (Added 1967, No. 147, § 1; amended 1969, No. 99; 1973, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 13, eff. April 14, 1974; 1975, No. 244 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. May 20, 2014; 2015, No. 29, § 12; 2015, No. 172 (Adj. Sess.), § E.306.8; 2021, No. 20, § 274.)

  • § 112. Banks and agencies to furnish information

    (a) An officer of a financial institution, as described in 8 V.S.A. § 11101(32), a credit union, or an independent trust company in this State, when requested by the Commissioner, shall furnish the Commissioner information in the possession of the bank or company with reference to any person or his or her spouse who is applying for or is receiving assistance or benefits from the Department.

    (b) Any governmental official or agency in the State, when requested by the Commissioner, shall furnish him or her information in the official's or agency's possession with reference to aid given or money paid or to be paid to any person or person's spouse who is applying for or is receiving assistance or benefits from the Department.

    (c) The Commissioner of Taxes, when requested by the Commissioner for Children and Families, and unless otherwise prohibited by federal law, shall compare the information furnished by an applicant or recipient of assistance with the State income tax returns filed by such person and shall report his or her findings to the Commissioner for Children and Families. Each application for assistance shall contain a form of consent, executed by the applicant, granting permission to the Commissioner of Taxes to disclose such information to the Commissioner for Children and Families. (Added 1967, No. 147, § 1; amended 1975, No. 244 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1999, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2001, No. 73 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. Feb. 2, 2002; 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 70.)

  • § 113. Repealed. 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. May 20, 2014.

  • § 114. Allocation of payments when appropriation insufficient

    Should the funds available for assistance be insufficient to provide assistance to all those eligible, the amounts of assistance granted in any program or portion thereof shall be reduced equitably, in the discretion of the Commissioner for Children and Families or the Commissioner of Vermont Health Access by rule. (Added 1967, No. 147, § 1; amended 1971, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 7, 1972; 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 71; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § I.37.)

  • § 115. Repealed. 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 9, eff. May 20, 2014.

  • § 116. State-placed students

    To enable a school district to determine if a student is a State-placed student, as defined in 16 V.S.A. § 11(a)(28), the Commissioner for Children and Families shall immediately notify the superintendent of schools for the school district educating the student if the parent or parents of a student under the care and custody of the Commissioner move from or into that school district. (Added 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. May 20, 2014.)


  • Subchapter 003: PROVISIONS OF GENERAL APPLICABILITY
  • § 121. Cancellation of assistance or benefits

    If at any time the Commissioner for Children and Families or the Commissioner of Vermont Health Access has reason to believe that assistance or benefits have been improperly obtained, he or she shall cause an investigation to be made and may suspend assistance or benefits pending the investigation. If on investigation the Commissioner for Children and Families or the Commissioner of Vermont Health Access is satisfied that the assistance or benefits were illegally obtained, he or she shall immediately cancel them. A person having illegally obtained assistance or benefits shall not be eligible for reinstatement until his or her need has been reestablished. (Added 1967, No. 147, § 1; amended 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 72; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § I.38.)

  • § 122. Recovery of payments

    (a) The amount of assistance or benefits may be changed or cancelled at any time if the Commissioner for Children and Families or the Commissioner of Vermont Health Access finds that the recipient's circumstances have changed. Upon granting assistance or benefits the Department for Children and Families or the Department of Vermont Health Access shall inform the recipient that changes in his or her circumstances must be promptly reported to the Department.

    (b) When on the death of a person receiving assistance it is found that the recipient possessed income or property in excess of that reported to the Department for Children and Families or the Department of Vermont Health Access, up to double the total amount of assistance in excess of that to which the recipient was lawfully entitled may be recovered by the Commissioner for Children and Families or the Commissioner of Vermont Health Access as a preferred claim from the estate of the recipient. The Commissioner for Children and Families or the Commissioner of Vermont Health Access shall calculate the amount of the recovery by applying the legal interest rate to the amount of excess recovery paid, except that the recovery shall be capped at double the excess assistance paid.

    (c) When the Commissioner for Children and Families or the Commissioner of Vermont Health Access finds that a recipient of benefits received assistance in excess of that to which the recipient was lawfully entitled, because the recipient possessed income or property in excess of Department standards, the Commissioner for Children and Families or the Commissioner of Vermont Health Access may take actions to recover the overpayment.

    (d) In the event of recovery, an amount may be retained by the Commissioner for Children and Families or the Commissioner of Vermont Health Access in a special fund for use in offsetting program expenses and an amount equivalent to the pro rata share to which the United States of America is equitably entitled shall be paid promptly to the appropriate federal agency. (Added 1967, No. 147, § 1; 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 73; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § I.39.)

  • § 123. Guardian or legal representative

    (a) If the Commissioner finds that an applicant for or recipient of assistance is incapable of taking care of himself or herself or his or her business affairs, the Commissioner may direct the payment of the assistance to a guardian appointed by the Probate Division of the Superior Court.

    (b) If the Commissioner finds that an applicant for or recipient of assistance is incapable of prudently attending to his or her business affairs, the Commissioner may direct the payment of the assistance to the legal representative of the person appointed by the Probate Division of the Superior Court. (Added 1967, No. 147, § 1; amended 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238a, eff. Feb. 1, 2011.)

  • § 124. Inalienability of assistance payments

    All rights to, and all monies or orders granted to persons as assistance shall be inalienable by assignment, transfer, attachment, trustee process, execution, or otherwise. In case of bankruptcy the assistance shall not pass to or through a trustee or other person acting on behalf of creditors. (Added 1967, No. 147, § 1.)


  • Subchapter 004: FUEL ASSISTANCE CREDIT BALANCES
  • § 131. Repealed. 1995, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. May 10, 1996.

  • § 132. Repealed. 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 11, eff. May 20, 2014.


  • Subchapter 005: PROHIBITED PRACTICES; PENALTIES
  • § 141. Fraud

    (a) A person who knowingly fails, by false statement, misrepresentation, impersonation, or other fraudulent means, to disclose a material fact used to determine whether that person is qualified to receive aid or benefits under a State or federally funded assistance program; or who knowingly fails to disclose a change in circumstances in order to obtain or continue to receive aid or benefits to which he or she is not entitled or in an amount larger than that to which he or she is entitled; or who knowingly aids and abets another person in the commission of any such act shall be punished as provided in section 143 of this title.

    (b) A person who knowingly uses, transfers, acquires, traffics, alters, forges, or possesses; or who knowingly attempts to use, transfer, acquire, traffic, alter, forge, or possess; or who knowingly aids and abets another person in the use, transfer, acquisition, traffic, alteration, forgery, or possession of a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit card, authorization for the purchase of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, certificate of eligibility for medical services, or State health care program identification card in a manner not authorized by law shall be punished as provided in section 143 of this title.

    (c) A person who administers a State or federally funded assistance program who fraudulently misappropriates, attempts to misappropriate, or aids and abets in the misappropriation of a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit, authorization for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit identification card, certificate of eligibility for prescribed medicine, State health care program identification card, or assistance from any other State or federally funded program with which he or she has been entrusted or of which he or she has gained possession by virtue of his or her position; or who knowingly misappropriates, attempts to misappropriate, or aids or abets in the misappropriation of funds given in exchange for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits shall be punished as provided in section 143 of this title.

    (d) A person who knowingly files, attempts to file, or aids and abets in the filing of a claim for services to a recipient of benefits under a State or federally funded assistance program for services which were not rendered; or who knowingly files a false claim or a claim for unauthorized items or services under such a program; or who knowingly bills the recipient of benefits under such a program or his or her family for an amount in excess of that provided for by law or regulation; or who knowingly fails to credit the State or its agent for payments received from Social Security, insurance, or other sources; or who in any way knowingly receives, attempts to receive, or aids and abets in the receipt of unauthorized payment as provided herein shall be punished as provided in section 143 of this title.

    (e) A person providing service for which compensation is paid under a State or federally funded assistance program who requests, and receives, either actually or constructively, any payment or contribution through a payment, assessment, gift, devise, bequest, or other means, whether directly or indirectly, from either a recipient of assistance from the assistance program or from the family of the recipient shall notify the Commissioner for Children and Families or the Commissioner of Vermont Health Access, on a form provided by him or her, of the amount of the payment or contribution and of such other information as specified by the Commissioner for Children and Families or the Commissioner of Vermont Health Access within 10 days after the receipt of the payment or contribution or, if the payment or contribution is to become effective at some time in the future, within 10 days of the consummation of the agreement to make the payment or contribution. Failure to notify the Commissioner for Children and Families or the Commissioner of Vermont Health Access within the time prescribed is punishable as provided in section 143 of this title.

    (f) Repayment of assistance or services wrongfully obtained shall not constitute a defense to or ground for dismissal of criminal charges brought under this section. (Added 1967, No. 147, § 1; amended 1973, No. 49; 1977, No. 206 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1999, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 74; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § I.40; 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. May 20, 2014.)

  • § 142. Bringing needy person into the State

    (a) Any person who knowingly brings or causes to be brought, a needy person from out of the state into this State for the purpose of securing assistance for the needy person or making him or her a public charge, shall be obligated to support the needy person at his or her own expense as long as the needy person or persons dependent on the needy person remain in the State.

    (b) The Commissioner may bring a civil action on this statute to enforce support of the needy person and his or her dependents. In the action the court may make an order, which shall be subject to change by the court from time to time as the circumstances require, directing the defendant to pay a certain sum periodically to the Department for the benefit of the needy person and his or her dependents residing in the State. The court may punish for violation of the order as for contempt. (Added 1967, No. 147, § 1.)

  • § 143. General penalty

    (a) A person who knowingly violates a provision of this title for which no penalty is specifically provided shall:

    (1) if the assistance or benefits obtained pursuant to a single fraudulent scheme or a course of conduct are in violation of subsection 141(a) or (b) of this title involving $1,000.00 or less, be fined not more than the amount of assistance or benefits wrongfully obtained or be imprisoned not more than one year, or both;

    (2) if the assistance or benefits obtained pursuant to a single fraudulent scheme or course of conduct are in violation of subsection (a) or (b) of section 141 of this title and involve more than $1,000.00, be fined not more than an amount equal to the assistance or benefits wrongfully obtained or be imprisoned not more than three years, or both; or

    (3) if the violation is under subsection (c), (d), or (e) of section 141 of this title, be fined up to $1,000.00 or up to an amount equal to twice the amount of assistance, benefits, or payments wrongfully obtained or be imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both.

    (b) If the person convicted is receiving assistance, benefits, or payments, the Commissioner for Children and Families or the Commissioner of Vermont Health Access may recoup the amount of assistance or benefits wrongfully obtained by reducing the assistance, benefits, or payments periodically paid to the recipient, as limited by federal law, until the amount is fully recovered.

    (c) If a provider of services is convicted of a violation of subsection 141(d) or (e) of this title, the Commissioner of Vermont Health Access shall, within 90 days of the conviction, suspend the provider from further participation in the medical assistance program administered under Title XIX of the Social Security Act for a period of four years. The suspension required by this subsection may be waived by the Secretary of Human Services only upon a finding that the recipients served by the convicted provider would suffer substantial hardship through a denial of medical services that could not reasonably be obtained through another provider. (Added 1967, No. 147, § 1; amended 1977, No. 206 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1999, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 75; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § I.41; 2021, No. 20, § 275.)

  • § 143a. Civil remedies

    (a) A person who violates subsection 141(c), (d), or (e) of this title with actual knowledge may be subject to a civil suit by the Attorney General for:

    (1) restitution of the amount of assistance, benefits, or payments wrongfully obtained;

    (2) interest; and

    (3) a civil penalty of up to three times the amount of the wrongfully obtained assistance, benefits, or payments; or $500.00 per false claim; or $500.00 for each false document submitted in support of a false claim, whichever is greatest.

    (b) The remedies provided in this section shall be in addition to any other remedies provided by law.

    (c) The right to a jury trial shall attach to actions under this section. (Added 2003, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 143b. Education and information

    Within six months of the effective date of section 143a of this title, the Department of Vermont Health Access shall issue rules establishing a procedure for health care providers enrolled in State and federally funded medical assistance programs to obtain advisory opinions regarding coverage and reimbursement under those programs. Each advisory opinion issued by the Department of Vermont Health Access shall be binding on that Department and the party or parties requesting the opinion only with regard to the specific questions posed in the opinion, the facts and information set forth in it, and the statutes and rules specifically noted in the opinion. (Added 2003, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 76; 2009, No. 33, § 65; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § I.42.)

  • § 144. Statutory construction

    (a) Section 143 of this title shall not preclude prosecution under 13 V.S.A. § 1801, 1802, or 2002 when the alleged violation involves forging an economic assistance check or where duplicate economic assistance checks have been wrongfully negotiated during any one welfare period.

    (b) Section 143 of this title shall not preclude prosecution under any other title or sections of this title when the alleged violation is under subsection 141(c) or (d) of this title. (Added 1977, No. 206 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; amended 2021, No. 20, § 276.)


  • Subchapter 006: LICENSING AND REGISTRATION
  • § 151. Licensing and registration; violations

    This subchapter shall apply to all licenses, registrations, and applications for licenses and registrations which the Commissioner or the Department may issue or grant, unless otherwise specifically provided.

    (1) The Commissioner shall adopt rules governing applications for and issuance, revocation, term, and renewal of licenses and registrations. In the rules, the Commissioner may prescribe standards and conditions to be met, records to be kept, and reports to be filed. Licenses and registration shall be for a term of one year from issuance unless otherwise prescribed by rule.

    (2) Premises covered by a license or registration may be visited and inspected by the Department at reasonable hours. A person who accepts a license or registration shall permit visits and inspections and examinations of the records he or she is required to keep.

    (3) A license or registration may be revoked for cause after hearing and may be suspended in situations which immediately imperil the health, safety, or well-being of persons in the care of the licensee or registrant.

    (4) Before a license is granted, the Department shall visit and inspect the premises for which the license is requested and make further inquiry and investigation as the Commissioner may direct. Before a family child care home registration is granted, the Department shall make inquiry and investigation. Inquiry and investigation may include a visit to and inspection of the premises for which the registration is requested. Further inquiry and investigation may be made as the Commissioner may direct.

    (5) Whenever the Attorney General has reason to believe that a facility required by the Commissioner to be licensed or registered is being operated without such license or registration, the Attorney General may bring an action for equitable relief in the name of the State against the operator of such facility to restrain such operation. The action may be brought in the Superior Court of the county in which the facility is located. The Court is authorized to grant equitable relief to restrain and prevent such operation.

    (6) Any person who violates the terms of an injunction or restraining order issued under subdivision (5) of this section shall forfeit and pay to the State a civil penalty of not more than $100.00 for each violation. In such cases, the Attorney General acting in the name of the State may petition for recovery of such civil penalty.

    (7) Whenever the Department determines that a licensed child care facility or registered family child care home has violated a health or safety rule, the facility or home shall post the Department's notice of violation in a conspicuous place in the facility or home. In the case of a serious violation, as defined by the Department by rule, the facility or home shall also notify by mail a person responsible for the welfare of each child attending that facility or home. A serious violation shall include violation of group size and staffing requirements and any violation involving a situation which immediately imperils the health, safety, or well-being of persons in the care of the licensee or registrant. (Added 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 13, eff. May 20, 2014; amended 2021, No. 20, § 277.)

  • § 152. Access to records

    (a) The Commissioner may obtain from the Vermont Crime Information Center the record of convictions of any person to the extent required by law or the Commissioner has determined by rule that such information is necessary to regulate a facility or individual subject to regulation by the Department or to carry out the Department's child protection obligations under chapters 49-59 of this title. The Commissioner shall first notify the person whose record is being requested.

    (b) The owner or operator of a facility licensed or registered by the Department may ask the Commissioner for the record of convictions and the record of substantiated reports of child abuse of a current employee or a person to whom the owner or operator has given a conditional offer of employment. The request shall be in writing and shall be accompanied by a release signed by the current or prospective employee. The owner or operator shall inform the current or prospective employee that he or she has the right to appeal the accuracy and completeness of the record. Upon receiving a request under this subsection, the Commissioner shall ask the Vermont Crime Information Center for the record of convictions of the current or prospective employee.

    (c) If the person has a record of convictions, the Commissioner shall provide the owner or operator with a copy of the record. If the person has a record of substantiated reports of child abuse, the Commissioner shall inform the requesting owner or operator that such record exists.

    (d) Information released to an owner or operator under this section shall not be released or disclosed by the owner or operator to any other person. Release or disclosure of such information by an owner or operator may result in the loss of the license or registration.

    (e) As used in this section:

    (1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner for Children and Families or the Commissioner's designee.

    (2) "Employee" shall include volunteers.

    (3) "Substantiated reports of child abuse" means reports of child abuse substantiated under section 4915 of this title.

    (4) "Volunteer" means an individual who, without compensation, provides services through a public or private organization. (Added 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 13, eff. May 20, 2014; amended 2015, No. 60, § 12.)