131D-10.6. Powers and duties of the Department.

In addition to other powers and duties prescribed by law, the Department shall exercise the following powers and duties:

(1) Investigate applicants for licensure to determine whether they are in compliance with licensing rules adopted by the Commission and the provisions of this Article.

(2) Grant a license when an investigation shows compliance with this Article and Commission rules. The license shall be valid for a period not to exceed 24 months as specified by Commission rules and may be revoked or placed in suspended or provisional status sooner if the Department finds that licensure rules are not being met or upon a finding that the health, safety or welfare of children is threatened.

(3) Administer and enforce the provisions of this Article and the rules of the Commission.

(4) Appoint hearing officers to conduct appeals pursuant to this Article.

(5) Prescribe the form in which application for licensure or a request for waiver of Commission rules shall be submitted.

(6) Inspect facilities and obtain records, documents and other information necessary to determine compliance with the provisions of this Article and Commission rules.

(7) Grant, deny, suspend or revoke a license or a provisional license, in accordance with Commission rules.

(8) Act to grant or deny a request for waiver of Commission rules within 10 business days after its receipt. Grant a waiver for good cause to Commission rules that do not affect the health, safety, or welfare of children in facilities subject to licensure under this Article, in accordance with Commission rules.

(9) Undertake a comprehensive study of the existing procedures for granting or denying an application for licensure or a request for waiver of Commission rules and report to the General Assembly on or before May 1, 1998, regarding its efforts to make the process more efficient and less time-consuming and its recommendations for any changes in the licensing laws or rules. The study shall include the development of a procedure that will ensure that the local Guardian Ad Litem Program is notified by the county department of social services of the request for a waiver if a guardian has been appointed for any child who may be affected by the waiver.

(10) Report annually on October 1 to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services the level of facility compliance with applicable State law governing the use of restraint and time-out in residential child-care facilities. The report shall also include the total number of facilities that reported deaths under this section, the number of deaths reported by each facility, the number of deaths investigated pursuant to this section, and the number found by the investigation to be related to the use of physical restraint or time-out. (1983, c. 637, s. 2; 1997-110, s. 1; 2000-129, s. 5(b); 2003-58, s. 3; 2011-291, s. 2.48.)