House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
Early Learning & Human Services Committee
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
Brief Description: Allowing minors to consent to share their personally identifying information in the Washington homeless client management information system.
Sponsors: Representatives Slatter, McDonald, Senn, Dent, Kilduff, McBride, Frame, Jinkins, Kloba, Santos, Appleton, Muri, Fey, Doglio, Stanford and Kagi; by request of Washington State Department of Commerce.
Hearing Date: 2/8/17
Staff: Dawn Eychaner (786-7135).
The 2015 Legislature established the Office of Homeless Youth Prevention and Protection Programs (Office) at the Department of Commerce (COM). The Office oversees programs serving unaccompanied and homeless youth and young adults up to age 24. These programs include HOPE centers, crisis residential centers (CRC), and street youth services.
HOPE centers provide voluntary, temporary residential placements for street youth under the age of 18. Youth may self-refer to a HOPE center. A CRC is a short-term, semi-secure facility for runaway youth and adolescents in conflict with their families. A youth may stay in a CRC for up to 15 consecutive days. Street youth services provides services and housing through community-based outreach.
The COM collects data from homeless and housing service providers using the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). Providers who receive state or federal funds are required to use the HMIS to collect and manage client-level data. Providers may only collect personally identifying client information after obtaining informed consent from the individual and the HMIS system must protect individual privacy.
Data in the HMIS is used to produce unduplicated counts of people experiencing homelessness, identify patterns of service use, and measure program effectiveness. The HMIS is also used as an online information and referral system for providers to connect clients with available housing and services.
Summary of Bill:
Any unaccompanied youth aged 13 or older may consent to have his or her personally identifying information collected for the purposes of the HMIS. The term "Unaccompanied" is defined as a youth or young adult experiencing homelessness while not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.