The 2008 General Assembly amended the Code of Virginia (the Code) to strengthen sibling rights and visitation. The Code requires all reasonable steps be taken to place siblings together in the same foster home, and when siblings are placed in separate foster homes a plan must be developed to encourage frequent and regular visitation or communication between the siblings, unless such visitation is not in the best interest of the child. Courts are authorized to grant visitation rights to siblings of any child in foster care. State policy reinforces the legislation and further requires that the visitation plan identify who is responsible for ensuring the visitation or communication occurs and justifying any limitations. Communications may include face to face visits, telephone calls, or email correspondence. Read more.
The Fostering Connections Resource Center gratefully acknowledges the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators for providing these summaries of state approaches. Please visit NAPCWA for the complete implementation summary.