SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 99-17-058.
Title of Rule: Repealing chapter 248-554 WAC, Shelters for victims of domestic violence; and new chapter 388-61A WAC, Shelters for victims of domestic violence.
Purpose: Chapter 248-554 WAC, Shelters for victims of domestic violence, is being repealed and replaced by chapter 388-61A WAC, Shelters for victims of domestic violence. The proposed rule is the result of DSHS/CA reviewing and updating rules according to Executive Order 97-02. The rules have been rewritten using a question and answer format. The rules establish the minimum standards for agencies that receive funding from DSHS to provide domestic violence shelter and services.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 70.123 RCW.
Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 70.123 RCW.
Summary: Chapter 248-554 WAC, Shelters for victims of domestic violence, is being repealed and replaced by chapter 388-61A WAC. The proposed rules establish clear requirements for agencies that contract with DSHS to provide domestic violence shelter and services.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Susan Hannibal, c/o P.O. Box 47986, Seattle, WA 98146, (206) 923-4910.
Name of Proponent: Department of Social and Health Services, governmental.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Updates rules in accordance with Executive Order 97-02. The purpose of the rule is to establish minimum standards for agencies that receive funding from DSHS to provide domestic violence shelter and services. The anticipated effect of the rule will be to increase the effectiveness of those agencies that must comply with the standards which should, in turn, enhance the provision of services to victims of domestic violence being served by the agencies.
Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Chapter 248-554 WAC, Shelters for victims of domestic violence, is being repealed. The proposed rule:
|•||Clarifies ambiguities between the statutory authority and current rule.|
|•||Updates fire safety rules for domestic violence shelter and safe home facilities.|
|•||Adds language regarding safety measures for firearms and dangerous weapons.|
|•||Clarifies that shelter residents are not required to participate in supportive services as a condition of residing in the shelter.|
|•||Changes the experiential requirements for staff supervision.|
|•||Clarifies the continuing education requirements for shelter staff.|
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These rules do not have economic impact on small business.
RCW 34.05.328 applies to this rule adoption. Children's Administration has determined that these are significant rules. A copy of the CBA can be obtained by contacting Susan Hannibal, P.O. Box 47986, Seattle, WA 98146, (206) 923-4910.
Hearing Location: Lacey Government Center (behind Tokyo Bento Restaurant), 1009 College Street S.E., Room 104-B, Lacey, WA 98503, on October 10, 2000, at 10:00 a.m.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Kelly Cooper, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by October 3, 2000, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submit Written Comments to: Identify WAC Numbers, DSHS Rules Coordinator, Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, fax (360) 664-6185, by October 10, 2000.
Date of Intended Adoption: Not sooner than October 11, 2000.
August 22, 2000
Marie Myerchin-Redifer, Manager
Rules and Policies Assistance Unit2894.1
SHELTERS FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Chapter 70.123 RCW authorizes us to establish minimum standards for agencies that receive funding from the department of social and health services (DSHS) to provide domestic violence shelter and services.
The purpose of these rules is to have uniform state-wide standards for domestic violence shelters and services funded by us. Minimum standards are necessary to provide rules for agencies that contract with us to provide shelter and services for domestic violence victims. These standards address issues such as adequate food, clothing, housing, safety, security, advocacy, and counseling for victims.
We are not obligated to disburse funds to all domestic violence services that may comply with the minimum standards set forth in this chapter. The goal of this program is to provide funding and support for the state-wide development, stability, and expansion of shelter and services for victims of domestic violence. In support of that goal, if an agency applies to receive funding we will consider such things as:
(1) Geographic location;
(2) Population ratios;
(3) Population need for services;
(4) An agency's ability to provide services that comply with these minimum standards;
(5) The availability of other domestic violence services in a community; and
(6) The amount of funding we have available to support domestic violence services.
Reviser's note: The above new section was filed by the agency as WAC 388-61-0015.
This section is placed among sections forming new chapter 388-61A WAC, and therefore should be numbered WAC
388-61A-0015. Pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040, the section is published in the same form as filed by the agency.
What are the facility and service requirements for shelters?
In order for us to contract with an agency for domestic violence services, the agency must provide shelter and supportive services to victims of domestic violence. The agency must comply with the:
(1) General facility requirements for shelters; and
(2) Specific additional requirements for safe homes; or
(3) Specific additional requirements for shelter homes; and
(4) Requirements for supportive services and agency administration.
"Advocacy-based counseling" means that the client is involved with an advocate counselor in individual, family, or group sessions with the primary focus on safety planning, empowerment, and education of the client through reinforcing the client's autonomy and self-determination.
"Advocate counselor" means a trained staff person who works in a domestic violence service and provides advocacy-based counseling, counseling, and supportive temporary shelter services to clients.
"Client" means a victim of domestic violence or dependent child of the victim.
"Cohabitant" means a person who is married or is living with a person as a husband or wife at the present time or at some time in the past. Any person who has one or more children in common with another person, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time, is considered a cohabitant.
"Department" means the department of social and health services (DSHS).
"Domestic violence" includes, but is not limited to, the criminal offenses defined in RCW 10.99.020 when committed by one cohabitant against another.
"Domestic violence service" means an agency that provides shelter, advocacy, and counseling for domestic violence clients in a safe, supportive environment.
"Lodging unit" means one or more rooms used for a victim of domestic violence including rooms used for sleeping or sitting.
"Program" means the DSHS domestic violence program.
"Safe home" means a shelter that has two or less lodging units and has a written working agreement with a domestic violence service.
"Secretary" means the DSHS secretary or the secretary's designee.
"Shelter" means a safe home or shelter home that provides temporary refuge and adequate food and clothing offered on a twenty-four-hour, seven-day-per-week basis to victims of domestic violence and their children.
"Shelter home" means a shelter that has three or more lodging units and either is a component of or has a written working agreement with a domestic violence service.
"Staff" means persons who are paid or who volunteer services and are a part of a domestic violence service.
"Victim" means a cohabitant who has been subjected to domestic violence.
"We, us and our" refers to the department of social and health services and its employees.
"You, I and your" refers to the domestic violence service or shelter.
GENERAL FACILITY REQUIREMENTS
You must keep your equipment and the physical structures in the shelter safe and clean for the clients you serve. You must:
(1) Maintain the shelter, premises, equipment, and supplies in a clean, safe and sanitary condition, free of hazards, and in good repair;
(2) Provide guard or handrails, as necessary, for stairways, porches and balconies used by clients;
(3) Maintain swimming pools, wading pools, bathtubs, hot tubs, spas, and bathing beaches in a safe manner and in such a way that does not present a health hazard, safety problem, or nuisance;
(4) Have a method for securing all windows, doors, and other building accesses to prevent the entry of intruders;
(5) Provide a way for staff to enter any area occupied by clients should there be an emergency; and
(6) Secure all unused refrigerators and freezers accessible to children in such a way that prevents them from climbing in and becoming trapped.
Shelters must meet the following requirements for bedrooms:
(1) You must provide a bed in good condition, with a clean and comfortable mattress to shelter residents.
(2) If the shelter provides cribs or bassinets for infants, the shelter must follow each of these requirements:
(a) Cribs and bassinets must have clean, firm mattresses covered with waterproof material that is easily sanitized;
(b) Crib mattresses must fit snugly to prevent the infant from being caught between the mattress and crib side rails;
(c) Cribs must be made of wood, metal, or approved plastic with secure latching devices;
(d) Cribs must have no more than two and three-eighths inches space between vertical slats when used for infants under six months of age; and
(e) Bumper pad ties must be no longer than twelve inches in length.
You must provide a sanitary diaper changing area. In addition, you must develop and provide to clients, hygiene procedures for handling and storing diapers and sanitizing the changing area.
The following are the minimum general requirements for kitchen facilities:
(1) A sink for dishwashing;
(2) A refrigerator or other storage equipment capable of maintaining a temperature of forty-five degrees Fahrenheit or lower;
(3) A range, stove, or hot plate;
(4) Covered garbage container;
(5) Eating and cooking utensils that are clean and in good repair; and
(6) Counter surfaces that are clean and resistant to moisture.
Food and beverages prepared by and for clients must be prepared, served and stored safely and in a sanitary manner. You must not serve home-canned, low-acid foods (e.g., meats and vegetables) to clients residing in a shelter.
(1) The domestic violence service must provide appropriate food and beverages for the basic sustenance of shelter residents, unless other resources are immediately available.
(2) You should store appropriate food, including infant formula, at the shelter to provide to residents when other resources are not immediately available.
(3) Whenever possible, the shelter should provide food that is culturally appropriate.
(4) You must provide shelter residents with access to clean, adequate clothing. Clothing that you provide must be clean and have been stored in a sanitary manner.
You must meet these requirements for toilets, sinks, and bathing facilities.
(1) You must provide at least one indoor flush-type toilet, one nearby hand-washing sink with hot and cold running water, and a bathtub or shower facility. These facilities must be located within the shelter building premises.
(2) You must comply with all of the following requirements for toilet and bathing facilities:
(a) Toilet and bathing facilities must allow for privacy of shelter residents.
(b) Toilets, urinals, and hand-washing sinks must be the appropriate height for the children served, or have a safe and easily cleaned step stool or platform that is water resistant.
(c) Hand-washing and bathing facilities must be provided with hot and cold running water; the hot water must not exceed one hundred twenty degrees.
(d) Potty chairs and toilet training equipment for toddlers must be regularly maintained and kept in a sanitary condition. You must put potty chairs, when in use, on washable, water resistant surfaces.
(e) You must provide soap and clean washcloths and towels, disposable towels or other approved hand-drying devices to residents.
(1) You must provide the following to clients residing in shelter:
(a) Bed linen, towels and washcloths that are clean and in good repair. After use by a client, bed linen, towels and washcloths must be laundered prior to use by another client.
(b) A clean liner for a sleeping bag unless the bag is cleaned between use by different clients.
(2) Clients residing in shelter must be provided with changes of clean bed linen, towels and washcloths upon their request.
We have specific requirements for laundry facilities at your shelter.
(1) You must provide adequate laundry and drying equipment, or make other arrangements for getting laundry done on a regular basis.
(2) You must handle and store laundry in a sanitary manner.
Water supplies to be used for human consumption must be from an approved public water system. If it is an individual system, the local health department must approve it as safe for human consumption.
You must discharge sewage and liquid wastes into a public sewer system or into a functioning septic system, approved by the local health authority or department.
(1) Rooms used by clients in a shelter must be equipped with a safe and adequate source of heat that can keep the room at a healthful temperature during the time the room is occupied.
(2) Gas-fired or oil-fired space heaters and water heaters must be safely vented to the outside.
(1) You must ensure that your shelter is ventilated for the health and comfort of the shelter residents. A mechanical exhaust to the outside must ventilate toilets and bathrooms that do not have windows opening to the outside.
(2) Bedrooms and communal living areas must have a window or opening to the outdoors that can be locked or secured from the inside.
You must locate light fixtures and provide lighting that promotes good visibility and comfort for shelter residents.
Pets are prohibited from the kitchen during food preparation.
You must keep first-aid supplies on hand for immediate use, including unexpired syrup of ipecac that is to be used only when advised by the poison control center. First-aid supplies must include at least the following: First aid manual, band-aids, gauze, and adhesive tape.
(1) All medications, including pet medications and herbal remedies, must be stored in a way that is inaccessible to children.
(2) Pet and human medications must be stored separately.
You must make reasonable attempts to keep the shelter free from pests, such as rodents, flies, cockroaches, fleas and other insects.
(1) Containers of chemical cleaning agents and other toxic materials must:
(a) Be clearly labeled with the contents; and
(b) Bear the manufacturer's instructions and precautions for use.
(2) You must store the following items in a place that is not accessible to children:
(a) Chemical cleaning supplies;
(b) Toxic substances;
(d) Aerosols; and
(e) Items with warning labels.
(3) You must store chemical cleaning supplies and toxic substances separately from food items, clothing, and bedding in order to prevent contamination.
(1) You must keep firearms and other dangerous weapons in a locked storage container, gun safe, or another storage area made of strong, unbreakable material.
(2) If the storage cabinet has a glass or another breakable front, you must secure the firearms with a locked cable or chain placed through the trigger guards.
(3) You must store ammunition in a place that is separate from the firearms or locked in a gun safe.
(4) You must allow access to firearms, weapons and ammunition only to authorized persons.
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SAFE HOMES
Safe homes must meet the following additional requirements in order for a domestic violence service to contract with us:
(1) A safe home must complete a written application to a domestic violence service. The domestic violence service must approve the application and give training to the safe home staff before the home may receive clients.
(2) The domestic violence service must maintain a written record of all safe homes. The record must include:
(a) The name and address of the person operating the safe home or an identification code for the safe home;
(b) A written safe home application;
(c) Documentation that the safe home complies with the general facility and additional requirements for safe homes; and
(d) Verification that safe home staff received initial basic training as outlined in this WAC by the domestic violence service.
(3) You must have at least one telephone at the safe home for incoming and outgoing calls. You must provide the following information to residents:
(a) Emergency telephone numbers; and
(b) Instructions on how residents can access domestic violence service staff.
(4) When clients are residing in a safe home at least one domestic violence service staff member must be on-call to go to the safe home twenty-four-hours a day, seven-days-per-week.
(5) Safe homes must comply with the fire safety requirements in WAC 388-73-310.
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SHELTER HOMES
Shelter homes must meet the following additional requirements in order for a domestic violence service to contract with us:
(1) When a shelter home is not a component of a domestic violence service, the shelter home and domestic violence service must have a written working agreement before the shelter home receives clients. The written working agreement must include:
(a) Confirmation that the domestic violence service has inspected the shelter home and that the shelter home complies with the general facility and additional requirements for shelter homes;
(b) How the domestic violence service will provide supportive services to shelter home residents; and
(c) Verification that shelter home staff received initial basic training as outlined in this rule by the domestic violence service.
(2) Shelter homes must provide at least one toilet, sink, and bathing facility for each fifteen clients or fraction of this number. The floors of all toilet and bathing facilities must be resistant to moisture.
(3) You must have at least one telephone at the shelter for incoming and outgoing calls. Next to the telephone in shelter homes you must post:
(a) Emergency telephone numbers; and
(b) Instructions on how residents can access domestic violence service staff.
(4) In shelter homes all bathrooms, toilet rooms, laundry rooms, and janitor closets containing wet mops and brushes must have natural or mechanical ventilation in order to prevent objectionable odors and condensation.
(5) When staff serves food to clients in shelter homes, the staff must prepare the food in compliance with WAC 246-215-190, Temporary food service establishment.
(6) Shelter homes must develop and post hygiene procedures for handling and storing diapers and sanitizing the changing area.
(7) Shelter homes must comply with the fire and life safety requirements a outlined in chapter 51-40 WAC.
(8) Shelter homes must meet the following requirements for bedrooms:
(a) Bedrooms must have a minimum ceiling height of seven and half feet;
(b) Bedrooms must provide at least fifty square feet of usable floor area per bed; and
(c) Floor area where the ceiling height is less than five feet cannot be considered as usable floor area.
(9) When clients are residing in a shelter home at least one domestic violence service staff member must be present or on-call to go to the shelter home twenty-four-hours a day, seven-days-per-week.
You must give clients an opportunity to receive supportive services and assistance during their stay in the shelter. Clients are not required to participate in these services as a condition of residing in the shelter. Supportive services must include:
(1) Twenty-four-hour, seven-day-per-week access to advocacy-based counseling;
(2) A safe, supportive environment that offers clients the opportunity to examine the events that led to the need for domestic violence services;
(3) A private area for counseling;
(4) Advocacy-based counseling with, and on behalf of, the client;
(5) Safety planning, problem solving and crisis intervention;
(6) Assistance with child care during individual and group counseling sessions;
(7) A minimum ratio of one group facilitator to eight group participants;
(8) Planned activities for children who are residents of the shelter;
(9) A day program or drop-in center to assist victims of domestic violence who have found other shelter but who have a need for supportive services; and
(10) Referrals to other appropriate services or domestic violence services when:
(a) Shelter homes or safe homes are full;
(b) A client must be transferred to another domestic violence service for reasons of safety of the client; or
(c) An inappropriate referral has been made to a domestic violence service; or
(d) The client has problems that require services of another agency or agencies before receiving domestic violence services.
Advocacy-based counseling means the involvement of a client with an advocate counselor in an individual, family, or group session with the primary focus on safety planning and on empowerment of the client through reinforcing the client's autonomy and self-determination. Advocacy-based counseling uses nonvictim blaming problem-solving methods that include:
(1) Identifying the barriers to safety;
(2) Developing safety checking and planning skills;
(3) Clarifying issues;
(4) Providing options;
(5) Solving problems;
(6) Increasing self-esteem and self-awareness; and
(7) Improving and implementing skills in decision making, parenting, self-help, and self-care.
All staff providing direct services to domestic violence clients, and supervisors of direct service staff, must meet the following minimum training requirements.
(1) A minimum of twenty hours of initial basic training that covers at least the following topics:
(a) Theory and implementation of advocacy-based counseling;
(b) The history of domestic violence;
(c) Legal, medical, social service, and systems advocacy;
(d) Confidentiality and ethics;
(e) Client safety assessment;
(f) Planning, problem-solving, and crisis intervention;
(g) Providing services and advocacy to individuals from diverse communities;
(h) Policies and procedures of the domestic violence service; and
(i) Referrals and shelter resident transfers.
(2) In the year following the year in which they received their initial basic training, and every year thereafter, staff providing direct services, and supervisors of direct service staff, must attend a minimum of thirty hours of continuing education as follows:
(a) At least fifteen hours of continuing education must be training on advocacy-based counseling directly related to serving victims of domestic violence and their children.
(b) At least five hours of continuing education must be training on services and advocacy to individuals from diverse communities.
(c) Staff must devote not more than ten hours to video, audiotapes, or self-study as part of the overall thirty hours continuing education requirement.
Supervisors of staff providing direct services to victims of domestic violence must meet the following minimum experience and training requirements.
(1) At least two years' counseling experience with a domestic violence service; and
(2) Fifty hours of training on domestic violence issues and advocacy-based counseling within three years prior to providing staff supervision.
The domestic violence service must have written policies and procedures that cover the following issues:
(1) Clients in immediate danger or at risk will receive first priority for shelter;
(2) Confidentiality of client records and communication;
(3) Nondiscrimination relating to staff, clients, and provision of services;
(4) The provision of bilingual and interpreter services to clients;
(5) Recruitment, hiring, periodic performance evaluation, promotion and termination of staff. Agencies must recruit, to the extent feasible, persons who are former victims of domestic violence to work as paid or volunteer staff;
(6) Job descriptions for all staff positions including volunteers;
(7) Reporting of child abuse as legally mandated;
(8) Clients access to their files;
(9) Grievance procedures for staff and clients;
(10) Procedures for making referrals to other community resources such as medical, community service offices, pastoral care, legal representation, and client transfers to another domestic violence service for reasons of safety of the client;
(11) Emergency procedures for fire, disaster, first aid, medical and police intervention;
(12) Appropriate documentation of domestic violence services and client files;
(13) Protection of agency and client records;
(14) Records retention;
(15) Appropriate accounting procedures;
(16) Personnel policies and procedures; and
(17) Administrative policies and procedures.
COMPLIANCE WITH STANDARDS
(1) To measure compliance with our requirements we will conduct a biennial evaluation of each agency under contract with us to provide domestic violence service.
(2) We will inspect a random number of safe homes during biennial evaluations of domestic violence services to measure compliance with our requirements.
(3) If a lodging unit is occupied at the time of an evaluation, the domestic violence service must give the client an opportunity to leave the unit.
(1) If we find that the domestic violence service, safe home, or shelter home is out of compliance with the standards specified in this chapter or the contract, we will give you written notice of the deficiencies. You must correct the deficiencies according to a plan of correction we approve.
(2) We may suspend or revoke the funding of a domestic violence service where a safe home, shelter home, or the domestic violence service itself is out of compliance with this chapter or the DSHS contract.
(1) If we receive a complaint that your domestic violence service is out of compliance with this chapter or the DSHS contract, we will notify you and we will initiate an investigation.
(2) If the investigation requires that we be on-site at your domestic violence service, you must give clients residing in lodging units an opportunity to leave the unit during the inspection.
(3) If we find that the domestic violence service, safe home, or shelter home has not complied with the standards specified in this chapter or the terms of the DSHS contract, we will give you written notice of the deficiencies. You must correct the deficiencies according to a plan of correction we approve.
(4) We may suspend or revoke the funding of a domestic violence service where a safe home, shelter home, or the service itself is out of compliance with this chapter or the DSHS contract.
Under certain conditions we may waive some of the rules contained in this chapter if you submit a written request that satisfactorily demonstrates that:
(1) The waiver will not place the client's safety or health in jeopardy and that:
(a) The domestic violence service is unable to meet the requirements of this chapter without the waiver; or
(b) The absence of the waiver will have a detrimental effect on the provision of services.
(2) Any substitutions of procedures, materials, or equipment from those specified in this chapter are at least equivalent to those required.
If we suspend, revoke or deny funding you may request an agency hearing.
We will notify you in writing if:
(1) Your funding has been suspended or revoked and we will state our reasons for making that decision; or
(2) Your request for funding has been denied and we will state our reasons for making that decision.
In order to request an agency hearing you must:
(1) Notify the office of administrative hearings within twenty-eight days from the date of the letter that notified you of our decision;
(2) Include in your letter a statement of your reasons why you disagree with our decision; and
(3) Attach a copy of our letter to your request for an agency hearing.
The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:
|WAC 248-554-010||Shelter homes.|
|WAC 248-554-015||Safe homes.|
|WAC 248-554-018||Shelter homes and safe homes -- General.|
|WAC 248-554-020||Domestic violence services -- General.|
|WAC 248-554-030||Exemptions, separability, and notice and appeal.|