Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Early Learning & Human Services Committee

HB 2449

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: Extending the timeline for completing a family assessment response.

Sponsors: Representatives Senn, Kagi, Kilduff, Dent and Goodman.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Extends the timeline for which family assessment response services can be offered with parental agreement from 90 days to 120 days.

Hearing Date: 1/12/18

Staff: Luke Wickham (786-7146).


Family Assessment Response.

In 2014 the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) began implementation of a differential response system for responding to allegations of child abuse and neglect with low to moderate risk of child maltreatment called family assessment response (FAR). The FAR services were phased-in throughout the state until full implementation was completed on June 1, 2017.

Upon receiving a report of child abuse or neglect that screens in for a response, the DSHS must either refer the case for investigation or FAR. The DSHS developed a method by which to assign cases to investigation or FAR. Cases must be referred for investigation when the assessment determines that there is a risk of imminent harm to the child, a serious threat of substantial harm to the child, the conduct constitutes criminal activity, the child is abandoned, the child is dependent, or in a facility licensed by the DSHS or the Department of Early Learning.

The DSHS must complete FAR services within 45 days of receiving the child abuse and neglect report, and parents may agree to extend the response period up to 90 days. Parents must agree to participate in FAR services before services begin.

Summary of Bill:

The length of time that Family Assessment Response services can be offered with parental agreement is increased from 90 to 120 days.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on January 8, 2018.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.