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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 33 : Human Services

Chapter 049 : CHILD WELFARE SERVICES

Subchapter 002 : REPORTING ABUSE OF CHILDREN

(Cite as: 33 V.S.A. § 4916b)
  • § 4916b. Human Services Board hearing

    (a) Within 30 days after the date on which the administrative reviewer mailed notice of placement of a report on the Registry, the person who is the subject of the substantiation may apply in writing to the Human Services Board for relief. The Board shall hold a fair hearing pursuant to 3 V.S.A. § 3091. When the Department receives notice of the appeal, it shall make note in the Registry record that the substantiation has been appealed to the Board.

    (b)(1) The Board shall hold a hearing within 60 days after the receipt of the request for a hearing and shall issue a decision within 30 days after the hearing.

    (2) Priority shall be given to appeals in which there are immediate employment consequences for the person appealing the decision.

    (3)(A) Article VIII of the Vermont Rules of Evidence (Hearsay) shall not apply to any hearing held pursuant to this subchapter with respect to statements made by a child 12 years of age or under who is alleged to have been abused or neglected and the child shall not be required to testify or give evidence at any hearing held under this subchapter. Evidence shall be admissible if the time, content, and circumstances of the statements provide substantial indicia of trustworthiness.

    (B) Article VIII of the Vermont Rules of Evidence (Hearsay) shall not apply to any hearing held pursuant to this subchapter with respect to statements made by a child who is at least 13 years of age and under 16 years of age who is alleged to have been abused or neglected and the child shall not be required to testify or give evidence at any hearing held under this subchapter in either of the following circumstances:

    (i) The hearing officer determines, based on a preponderance of the evidence, that requiring the child to testify will present a substantial risk of trauma to the child. Evidence of trauma need not be offered by an expert and may be offered by any adult with an ongoing significant relationship with the child. Evidence shall be admissible if the time, content, and circumstances of the statements provide substantial indicia of trustworthiness.

    (ii) The hearing officer determines that the child is physically unavailable to testify or the Department has made diligent efforts to locate the child and was unsuccessful. Evidence shall be admissible if the time, content, and circumstances of the statements provide substantial indicia of trustworthiness.

    (4) Convictions and adjudications that arose out of the same incident of abuse or neglect for which the person was substantiated, whether by verdict, by judgment, or by a plea of any type, including a plea resulting in a deferred sentence, shall be competent evidence in a hearing held under this subchapter.

    (c) A hearing may be stayed upon request of the petitioner if there is a related case pending in the Criminal or Family Division of the Superior Court that arose out of the same incident of abuse or neglect for which the person was substantiated.

    (d) If no review by the Board is requested, the Department's decision in the case shall be final, and the person shall have no further right for review under this section. The Board may grant a waiver and permit such a review upon good cause shown. (Added 2007, No. 77, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2007; amended 2007, No. 168 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 2009, No. 1, § 29; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 222; 2017, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)