WSR 97-17-089

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES

(Economic Services Administration)

(Public Assistance)

[Filed August 19, 1997, 3:25 p.m.]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 97-14-087.

Title of Rule: Family violence and TANF, chapter 388-61 WAC.

Purpose: To implement the Wellstone/Murray Family Violence Amendment at Public Law 104-193, Section 103, Subsection 408 (a)(7)(c)(iii) and EHB 3901, section 103 (1997).

Other Identifying Information: Clients benefit by receiving referrals to local family violence resources.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.050, 74.08.090, 74.04.057.

Statute Being Implemented: Section 103, chapter 58, Laws of 1997, and Public Law 104-193, Section 103, Subsection 408 (a)(7)(c)(iii) (1997).

Summary: The Wellstone/Murray Family Violence Amendment at Public Law 104-193, Section 103, Subsection 408 (a)(7)(c)(iii) and EHB 3901 (1997) requires the Department of Social and Health Services to screen and identify recipients of TANF for a history of family violence. Clients benefit by receiving referrals to local resources once family violence is disclosed.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: State legislation.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: June Hershey, Lacey, Washington, (360) 413-3258.

Name of Proponent: Department of Social and Health Services, governmental.

Rule is necessary because of federal law, Public Law 104-193, Section 103, Subsection 408 (a)(7)(c)(iii).

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: To implement the Wellstone/Murray Family Violence Amendment. This rule requires all TANF recipients to be screened for a history of family violence. Referrals to local community services will be provided as necessary.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Does not impact small businesses.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. RCW 34.05.328 exempts the Department of Social and Health Services rules relating to medical or financial eligibility.

Hearing Location: Lacey Government Center (behind Tokyo O'Bento restaurant), 1009 College Street S.E., Room 104B, Lacey, WA 98503, on September 23, 1997, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Leslie Baldwin by September 15, 1997, phone (360) 902-0750, TTY (360) 902-8324, e-mail lbaldwin@dshs.wa.gov.

Submit Written Comments to and Identify WAC Numbers: Leslie Baldwin, Department of Social and Health Services, Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, FAX (360) 902-8292, by September 23, 1997.

Date of Intended Adoption: No sooner than September 24, 1997.

August 18, 1997

Merry A. Kogut, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

Chapter 388-61 WAC


FAMILY VIOLENCE

NEW SECTION

WAC 388-61-001 Scope and purpose. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), also known as the Welfare Reform Act, gave every state the option to have a program to address issues of family violence for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) recipients. This program is known as the Wellstone/Murray Family Violence Amendment and provides guidelines to help recipients receive available services to continue on the path away from abuse and toward safety, physical, mental and financial recovery, and finally independence.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 388-61-010 What is family violence? The department of social and health services (DSHS) defines family violence as it relates to recipients of TANF, including family members, as circumstances in which one of the recipients has been subjected by a partner or family member to:

(1) Physical acts that resulted in, or threatened to result in, physical injury;

(2) Sexual abuse;

(3) Sexual activity involving a dependent child;

(4) Being forced as the caretaker relative of a dependent child to engage in nonconsensual sexual acts or activities;

(5) Threats of or attempts at, physical sexual abuse;

(6) Mental abuse;

(7) Neglect or deprivation of medical care; or

(8) Stalking.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 388-61-020 What does the Family Violence Amendment mean for TANF recipients? DSHS shall:

(1) Screen and identify individuals receiving TANF for a history of family violence;

(2) Provide universal notification about the Family Violence Amendment to TANF recipients both verbally and in writing;

(3) Refer individuals needing counseling to supportive services; and

(4) Waive workfirst requirements in cases where the requirements would make it more difficult to escape family violence, unfairly penalize victims of family violence, or place victims at further risk of family violence. The requirements include, but are not limited to:

(a) Time limits for TANF recipients, for as long as necessary (after fifty-two months of receiving TANF) pursuant to WAC 388-215-1010;

(b) Cooperation with the division of child support pursuant to WAC 388-215-1400;

(5) Develop specialized work activities for clients meeting the definition of family violence in instances where participation in work activities would place the recipients at further risk of family violence;

(6) Maintain confidentiality, as follows:

(a) Use family violence information only to make referrals for services or determine clients' eligibility for a TANF waiver;

(b) Refuse to release family violence information including name, and home or workplace address to any outside parties or other governmental agencies unless disclosure is required by law or authorized in writing by the client.

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