SENATE BILL 5718
State of Washington
2019 Regular Session
BySenators Saldaña, Hasegawa, Nguyen, O'Ban, Das, Keiser, Kuderer, and Zeiger
Read first time 01/29/19.Referred to Committee on Human Services, Reentry & Rehabilitation.
AN ACT Relating to establishing the child welfare housing assistance program that provides housing assistance to parents reunifying with a child and parents at risk of having a child removed; amending RCW 13.34.065
; reenacting and amending RCW 43.216.015
; and adding a new section to chapter 74.13
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1.
A new section is added to chapter 74.13
RCW to read as follows:
(1) Beginning July 1, 2020, the department shall establish a child welfare housing assistance program, which provides housing vouchers, rental assistance, navigation, and other support services to eligible families. The child welfare housing assistance program is intended to shorten the time that children remain in out-of-home care and provide support to allow families to remain intact. The funding provided pursuant to this section may generally extend up to two years, and could extend beyond two years for individuals who still do not have permanent housing or who continue to need housing support.
(2) The following individuals are eligible for the child welfare housing assistance program:
(a) A parent with a child who is dependent pursuant to chapter 13.34
RCW and the primary remaining barrier to reunification is the lack of appropriate housing. This eligibility group shall be given priority; and
(b) A parent with a child who is not dependent pursuant to chapter 13.34
RCW, but the child is at risk of removal by the department because of a lack of appropriate housing. This eligibility group will only be served if there are remaining funds for the program after serving all eligible families in (a) of this subsection.
(3) The department shall contract with an outside entity or entities to operate the child welfare housing program. If no outside entity or entities are available to operate the program or specific parts of the program, the department may operate the program or the specific parts that are not operated by an outside entity.
(4) Families may be referred to the child welfare housing assistance program by a caseworker, an attorney, a guardian ad litem as defined in chapter 13.34
RCW, a child welfare parent mentor as defined in RCW 2.70.060
, an office of public defense social worker, or the court.
(5) The department shall convene a stakeholder group that must include, but is not limited to, the following:
(a) Parent allies;
(b) Parent attorneys and social workers managed by the office of public defense parent representation program;
(c) The department of commerce;
(d) Housing experts;
(e) Community-based organizations;
(f) Advocates; and
(g) Behavioral health providers.
(6) The stakeholder group established in subsection (5) of this section shall begin meeting after the effective date of this section and assist the department in design of the child welfare housing assistance program in areas including, but not limited to:
(a) Equitable racial, geographic, ethnic, and gender distribution of program support;
(b) Eligibility criteria;
(c) Creating a definition of homeless for purposes of eligibility for the program; and
(d) Options for program design that include outside entities operating the entire program or specific parts of the program.
(7) Following implementation of the program, the stakeholder group established in subsection (5) of this section shall provide ongoing input into the child welfare housing assistance program in the following areas:
(a) Equitable racial, geographic, ethnic, and gender distribution of program support;
(b) Tracking of the receipt of program support; and
(c) Establishing performance measures and monitoring outcomes.
(8) The department shall annually report outcomes for the child welfare housing assistance program to the stakeholder group established in subsection (5) of this section and the oversight board for children, youth, and families established pursuant to RCW 43.216.015
(9) The child welfare housing assistance program established in this section is subject to the availability of funds appropriated for this purpose.
and 2018 c 284 s 4 are each amended to read as follows:
(1)(a) When a child is taken into custody, the court shall hold a shelter care hearing within seventy-two hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. The primary purpose of the shelter care hearing is to determine whether the child can be immediately and safely returned home while the adjudication of the dependency is pending.
(b) Any parent, guardian, or legal custodian who for good cause is unable to attend the shelter care hearing may request that a subsequent shelter care hearing be scheduled. The request shall be made to the clerk of the court where the petition is filed prior to the initial shelter care hearing. Upon the request of the parent, the court shall schedule the hearing within seventy-two hours of the request, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. The clerk shall notify all other parties of the hearing by any reasonable means.
(2)(a) If it is likely that the child will remain in shelter care longer than seventy-two hours, the department shall submit a recommendation to the court as to the further need for shelter care in all cases in which the child will remain in shelter care longer than the seventy-two hour period. In all other cases, the recommendation shall be submitted by the juvenile court probation counselor.
(b) All parties have the right to present testimony to the court regarding the need or lack of need for shelter care.
(c) Hearsay evidence before the court regarding the need or lack of need for shelter care must be supported by sworn testimony, affidavit, or declaration of the person offering such evidence.
(3)(a) At the commencement of the hearing, the court shall notify the parent, guardian, or custodian of the following:
(i) The parent, guardian, or custodian has the right to a shelter care hearing;
(ii) The nature of the shelter care hearing, the rights of the parents, and the proceedings that will follow; and
(iii) If the parent, guardian, or custodian is not represented by counsel, the right to be represented. If the parent, guardian, or custodian is indigent, the court shall appoint counsel as provided in RCW 13.34.090
(b) If a parent, guardian, or legal custodian desires to waive the shelter care hearing, the court shall determine, on the record and with the parties present, whether such waiver is knowing and voluntary. A parent may not waive his or her right to the shelter care hearing unless he or she appears in court and the court determines that the waiver is knowing and voluntary. Regardless of whether the court accepts the parental waiver of the shelter care hearing, the court must provide notice to the parents of their rights required under (a) of this subsection and make the finding required under subsection (4) of this section.
(4) At the shelter care hearing the court shall examine the need for shelter care and inquire into the status of the case. The paramount consideration for the court shall be the health, welfare, and safety of the child. At a minimum, the court shall inquire into the following:
(a) Whether the notice required under RCW 13.34.062
was given to all known parents, guardians, or legal custodians of the child. The court shall make an express finding as to whether the notice required under RCW 13.34.062
was given to the parent, guardian, or legal custodian. If actual notice was not given to the parent, guardian, or legal custodian and the whereabouts of such person is known or can be ascertained, the court shall order the department to make reasonable efforts to advise the parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the status of the case, including the date and time of any subsequent hearings, and their rights under RCW 13.34.090
(b) Whether the child can be safely returned home while the adjudication of the dependency is pending;
(c) What efforts have been made to place the child with a relative. The court shall ask the parents whether the department discussed with them the placement of the child with a relative or other suitable person described in RCW 13.34.130
(1)(b) and shall determine what efforts have been made toward such a placement;
(d) What services were provided to the family to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from the child's home. If the dependency petition or other information before the court alleges that homelessness or the lack of suitable housing was a significant factor contributing to the removal of the child, the court shall inquire as to whether housing assistance, including referral to the child welfare housing assistance program established in section 1 of this act, was provided to the family to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child or children;
(e) Is the placement proposed by the department the least disruptive and most family-like setting that meets the needs of the child;
(f) Whether it is in the best interest of the child to remain enrolled in the school, developmental program, or child care the child was in prior to placement and what efforts have been made to maintain the child in the school, program, or child care if it would be in the best interest of the child to remain in the same school, program, or child care;
(g) Appointment of a guardian ad litem or attorney;
(h) Whether the child is or may be an Indian child as defined in RCW 13.38.040
, whether the provisions of the federal Indian child welfare act or chapter 13.38
RCW apply, and whether there is compliance with the federal Indian child welfare act and chapter 13.38
RCW, including notice to the child's tribe;
(i) Whether, as provided in RCW 26.44.063
, restraining orders, or orders expelling an allegedly abusive household member from the home of a nonabusive parent, guardian, or legal custodian, will allow the child to safely remain in the home;
(j) Whether any orders for examinations, evaluations, or immediate services are needed. The court may not order a parent to undergo examinations, evaluation, or services at the shelter care hearing unless the parent agrees to the examination, evaluation, or service;
(k) The terms and conditions for parental, sibling, and family visitation.
(5)(a) The court shall release a child alleged to be dependent to the care, custody, and control of the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian unless the court finds there is reasonable cause to believe that:
(i) After consideration of the specific services that have been provided, reasonable efforts have been made to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from the child's home and to make it possible for the child to return home; and
(ii)(A) The child has no parent, guardian, or legal custodian to provide supervision and care for such child; or
(B) The release of such child would present a serious threat of substantial harm to such child, notwithstanding an order entered pursuant to RCW 26.44.063
(C) The parent, guardian, or custodian to whom the child could be released has been charged with violating RCW 9A.40.060
(b) If the court does not release the child to his or her parent, guardian, or legal custodian, the court shall order placement with a relative or other suitable person as described in RCW 13.34.130
(1)(b), unless there is reasonable cause to believe the health, safety, or welfare of the child would be jeopardized or that the efforts to reunite the parent and child will be hindered. If such relative or other suitable person appears otherwise suitable and competent to provide care and treatment, the fingerprint-based background check need not be completed before placement, but as soon as possible after placement. The court must also determine whether placement with the relative or other suitable person is in the child's best interests. The relative or other suitable person must be willing and available to:
(i) Care for the child and be able to meet any special needs of the child;
(ii) Facilitate the child's visitation with siblings, if such visitation is part of the department's plan or is ordered by the court; and
(iii) Cooperate with the department in providing necessary background checks and home studies.
(c) If the child was not initially placed with a relative or other suitable person, and the court does not release the child to his or her parent, guardian, or legal custodian, the department shall make reasonable efforts to locate a relative or other suitable person pursuant to RCW 13.34.060
(1). In determining placement, the court shall weigh the child's length of stay and attachment to the current provider in determining what is in the best interest of the child.
(d) If a relative or other suitable person is not available, the court shall order continued shelter care and shall set forth its reasons for the order. If the court orders placement of the child with a person not related to the child and not licensed to provide foster care, the placement is subject to all terms and conditions of this section that apply to relative placements.
(e) Any placement with a relative, or other suitable person approved by the court pursuant to this section, shall be contingent upon cooperation with the department's or agency's case plan and compliance with court orders related to the care and supervision of the child including, but not limited to, court orders regarding parent-child contacts, sibling contacts, and any other conditions imposed by the court. Noncompliance with the case plan or court order is grounds for removal of the child from the home of the relative or other suitable person, subject to review by the court.
(f) Uncertainty by a parent, guardian, legal custodian, relative, or other suitable person that the alleged abuser has in fact abused the child shall not, alone, be the basis upon which a child is removed from the care of a parent, guardian, or legal custodian under (a) of this subsection, nor shall it be a basis, alone, to preclude placement with a relative or other suitable person under (b) of this subsection.
(6)(a) A shelter care order issued pursuant to this section shall include the requirement for a case conference as provided in RCW 13.34.067
. However, if the parent is not present at the shelter care hearing, or does not agree to the case conference, the court shall not include the requirement for the case conference in the shelter care order.
(b) If the court orders a case conference, the shelter care order shall include notice to all parties and establish the date, time, and location of the case conference which shall be no later than thirty days before the fact-finding hearing.
(c) The court may order another conference, case staffing, or hearing as an alternative to the case conference required under RCW 13.34.067
so long as the conference, case staffing, or hearing ordered by the court meets all requirements under RCW 13.34.067
, including the requirement of a written agreement specifying the services to be provided to the parent.
(7)(a) A shelter care order issued pursuant to this section may be amended at any time with notice and hearing thereon. The shelter care decision of placement shall be modified only upon a showing of change in circumstances. No child may be placed in shelter care for longer than thirty days without an order, signed by the judge, authorizing continued shelter care.
(b)(i) An order releasing the child on any conditions specified in this section may at any time be amended, with notice and hearing thereon, so as to return the child to shelter care for failure of the parties to conform to the conditions originally imposed.
(ii) The court shall consider whether nonconformance with any conditions resulted from circumstances beyond the control of the parent, guardian, or legal custodian and give weight to that fact before ordering return of the child to shelter care.
(8)(a) If a child is returned home from shelter care a second time in the case, or if the supervisor of the caseworker deems it necessary, the multidisciplinary team may be reconvened.
(b) If a child is returned home from shelter care a second time in the case a law enforcement officer must be present and file a report to the department.
and 2018 c 284 s 14 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The status of all children found to be dependent shall be reviewed by the court at least every six months from the beginning date of the placement episode or the date dependency is established, whichever is first. The purpose of the hearing shall be to review the progress of the parties and determine whether court supervision should continue.
(a) The initial review hearing shall be an in-court review and shall be set six months from the beginning date of the placement episode or no more than ninety days from the entry of the disposition order, whichever comes first. The requirements for the initial review hearing, including the in-court review requirement, shall be accomplished within existing resources.
(b) The initial review hearing may be a permanency planning hearing when necessary to meet the time frames set forth in RCW 13.34.145
(1)(a) or 13.34.134
(2)(a) A child shall not be returned home at the review hearing unless the court finds that a reason for removal as set forth in RCW 13.34.130
no longer exists. The parents, guardian, or legal custodian shall report to the court the efforts they have made to correct the conditions which led to removal. If a child is returned, casework supervision by the department shall continue for a period of six months, at which time there shall be a hearing on the need for continued intervention.
(b) Prior to the child returning home, the department must complete the following:
(i) Identify all adults residing in the home and conduct background checks on those persons;
(ii) Identify any persons who may act as a caregiver for the child in addition to the parent with whom the child is being placed and determine whether such persons are in need of any services in order to ensure the safety of the child, regardless of whether such persons are a party to the dependency. The department may recommend to the court and the court may order that placement of the child in the parent's home be contingent on or delayed based on the need for such persons to engage in or complete services to ensure the safety of the child prior to placement. If services are recommended for the caregiver, and the caregiver fails to engage in or follow through with the recommended services, the department must promptly notify the court; and
(iii) Notify the parent with whom the child is being placed that he or she has an ongoing duty to notify the department of all persons who reside in the home or who may act as a caregiver for the child both prior to the placement of the child in the home and subsequent to the placement of the child in the home as long as the court retains jurisdiction of the dependency proceeding or the department is providing or monitoring either remedial services to the parent or services to ensure the safety of the child to any caregivers.
Caregivers may be required to engage in services under this subsection solely for the purpose of ensuring the present and future safety of a child who is a ward of the court. This subsection does not grant party status to any individual not already a party to the dependency proceeding, create an entitlement to services or a duty on the part of the department to provide services, or create judicial authority to order the provision of services to any person other than for the express purposes of this section or RCW 13.34.025
or if the services are unavailable or unsuitable or the person is not eligible for such services.
(c) If the child is not returned home, the court shall establish in writing:
(i) Whether the department is making reasonable efforts to provide services to the family and eliminate the need for placement of the child. If additional services, including housing assistance, are needed to facilitate the return of the child to the child's parents, the court shall order that reasonable services be offered specifying such services;
(ii) Whether there has been compliance with the case plan by the child, the child's parents, and the agency supervising the placement;
(iii) Whether progress has been made toward correcting the problems that necessitated the child's placement in out-of-home care;
(iv) Whether the services set forth in the case plan and the responsibilities of the parties need to be clarified or modified due to the availability of additional information or changed circumstances;
(v) Whether there is a continuing need for placement;
(vi) Whether a parent's homelessness or lack of suitable housing is a significant factor delaying permanency for the child by preventing the return of the child to the home of the child's parent and whether housing assistance should be provided by the department, including referral to the child welfare housing assistance program established in section 1 of this act;
(vii) Whether the child is in an appropriate placement which adequately meets all physical, emotional, and educational needs;
(viii) Whether preference has been given to placement with the child's relatives if such placement is in the child's best interests;
(ix) Whether both in-state and, where appropriate, out-of-state placements have been considered;
(x) Whether the parents have visited the child and any reasons why visitation has not occurred or has been infrequent;
(xi) Whether terms of visitation need to be modified;
(xii) Whether the court-approved long-term permanent plan for the child remains the best plan for the child;
(xiii) Whether any additional court orders need to be made to move the case toward permanency; and
(xiv) The projected date by which the child will be returned home or other permanent plan of care will be implemented.
(d) The court at the review hearing may order that a petition seeking termination of the parent and child relationship be filed.
(3)(a) In any case in which the court orders that a dependent child may be returned to or remain in the child's home, the in-home placement shall be contingent upon the following:
(i) The compliance of the parents with court orders related to the care and supervision of the child, including compliance with the department's case plan; and
(ii) The continued participation of the parents, if applicable, in available substance abuse or mental health treatment if substance abuse or mental illness was a contributing factor to the removal of the child.
(b) The following may be grounds for removal of the child from the home, subject to review by the court:
(i) Noncompliance by the parents with the department's case plan or court order;
(ii) The parent's inability, unwillingness, or failure to participate in available services or treatment for themselves or the child, including substance abuse treatment if a parent's substance abuse was a contributing factor to the abuse or neglect; or
(iii) The failure of the parents to successfully and substantially complete available services or treatment for themselves or the child, including substance abuse treatment if a parent's substance abuse was a contributing factor to the abuse or neglect.
(c) In a pending dependency case in which the court orders that a dependent child may be returned home and that child is later removed from the home, the court shall hold a review hearing within thirty days from the date of removal to determine whether the permanency plan should be changed, a termination petition should be filed, or other action is warranted. The best interests of the child shall be the court's primary consideration in the review hearing.
(4) The court's authority to order housing assistance under this chapter is: (a) Limited to cases in which a parent's homelessness or lack of suitable housing is a significant factor delaying permanency for the child and housing assistance would aid the parent in providing an appropriate home for the child; and (b) subject to the availability of funds appropriated for this specific purpose. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to create an entitlement to housing assistance nor to create judicial authority to order the provision of such assistance to any person or family if the assistance or funding are unavailable or the child or family are not eligible for such assistance.
(5) The court shall consider the child's relationship with siblings in accordance with RCW 13.34.130
and 2018 c 58 s 76 and 2018 c 51 s 1 are each reenacted and amended to read as follows:
(1)(a) The department of children, youth, and families is created as an executive branch agency. The department is vested with all powers and duties transferred to it under chapter 6, Laws of 2017 3rd sp. sess. and such other powers and duties as may be authorized by law. The vision for the department is that Washington state's children and youth grow up safe and healthy—thriving physically, emotionally, and academically, nurtured by family and community.
(b) The department, in partnership with state and local agencies, tribes, and communities, shall protect children and youth from harm and promote healthy development with effective, high quality prevention, intervention, and early education services delivered in an equitable manner. An important role for the department shall be to provide preventative services to help secure and preserve families in crisis. The department shall partner with the federally recognized Indian tribes to develop effective services for youth and families while respecting the sovereignty of those tribes and the government-to-government relationship. Nothing in chapter 6, Laws of 2017 3rd sp. sess. alters the duties, requirements, and policies of the federal Indian child welfare act, 25 U.S.C. Secs. 1901 through 1963, as amended, or the Indian child welfare act, chapter 13.38
(2) Beginning July 1, 2018, the department must develop definitions for, work plans to address, and metrics to measure the outcomes for children, youth, and families served by the department and must work with state agencies to ensure services for children, youth, and families are science-based, outcome-driven, data-informed, and collaborative.
(3)(a) Beginning July 1, 2018, the department must establish short and long-term population level outcome measure goals, including metrics regarding reducing disparities by family income, race, and ethnicity in each outcome.
(b) The department must report to the legislature on outcome measures, actions taken, progress toward these goals, and plans for the future year, no less than annually, beginning December 1, 2018.
(c) The outcome measures must include, but are not limited to:
(i) Improving child development and school readiness through voluntary, high quality early learning opportunities as measured by: (A) Increasing the number and proportion of children kindergarten-ready as measured by the Washington kindergarten inventory of developing skills (WAKids) assessment including mathematics; (B) increasing the proportion of children in early learning programs that have achieved the level 3 or higher early achievers quality standard; and (C) increasing the available supply of licensed child care in both child care centers and family homes, including providers not receiving state subsidy;
(ii) Preventing child abuse and neglect;
(iii) Improving child and youth safety, permanency, and well-being as measured by: (A) Reducing the number of children entering out-of-home care; (B) reducing a child's length of stay in out-of-home care; (C) reducing maltreatment of youth while in out-of-home care; (D) licensing more foster homes than there are children in foster care; (E) reducing the number of children that reenter out-of-home care within twelve months; (F) increasing the stability of placements for children in out-of-home care; and (G) developing strategies to demonstrate to foster families that their service and involvement is highly valued by the department, as demonstrated by the development of strategies to consult with foster families regarding future placement of a foster child currently placed with a foster family;
(iv) Improving reconciliation of children and youth with their families as measured by: (A) Increasing family reunification; and (B) increasing the number of youth who are reunified with their family of origin;
(v) In collaboration with county juvenile justice programs, improving adolescent outcomes including reducing multisystem involvement and homelessness; and increasing school graduation rates and successful transitions to adulthood for youth involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems;
(vi) Reducing future demand for mental health and substance use disorder treatment for youth involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems;
(vii) In collaboration with county juvenile justice programs, reducing criminal justice involvement and recidivism as measured by: (A) An increase in the number of youth who successfully complete the terms of diversion or alternative sentencing options; (B) a decrease in the number of youth who commit subsequent crimes; and (C) eliminating the discharge of youth from institutional settings into homelessness; and
(viii) Reducing racial and ethnic disproportionality and disparities in system involvement and across child and youth outcomes in collaboration with other state agencies.
(4) Beginning July 1, 2018, the department must:
(a) Lead ongoing collaborative work to minimize or eliminate systemic barriers to effective, integrated services in collaboration with state agencies serving children, youth, and families;
(b) Identify necessary improvements and updates to statutes relevant to their responsibilities and proposing legislative changes to the governor no less than biennially;
(c) Help create a data-focused environment in which there are aligned outcomes and shared accountability for achieving those outcomes, with shared, real-time data that is accessible to authorized persons interacting with the family, child, or youth to identify what is needed and which services would be effective;
(d) Lead the provision of state services to adolescents, focusing on key transition points for youth, including exiting foster care and institutions, and coordinating with the office of homeless youth prevention and protection programs to address the unique needs of homeless youth; and
(e) Create and annually update a list of the rights and responsibilities of foster parents in partnership with foster parent representatives. The list of foster parent rights and responsibilities must be posted on the department's web site, provided to individuals participating in a foster parent orientation before licensure, provided to foster parents in writing at the time of licensure, and provided to foster parents applying for license renewal.
(5) The department is accountable to the public. To ensure transparency, beginning December 30, 2018, agency performance data for the services provided by the department, including outcome data for contracted services, must be available to the public, consistent with confidentiality laws, federal protections, and individual rights to privacy. Publicly available data must include budget and funding decisions, performance-based contracting data, including data for contracted services, and performance data on metrics identified in this section. The oversight board for children, youth, and families must work with the secretary and director to develop the most effective and cost-efficient ways to make department data available to the public, including making this data readily available on the department's web site.
(6) The department shall ensure that all new and renewed contracts for services are performance-based.
(7) As used in this section, "performance-based contract" means results-oriented contracting that focuses on the quality or outcomes that tie at least a portion of the contractor's payment, contract extensions, or contract renewals to the achievement of specific measurable performance standards and requirements.
(8) The department must execute all new and renewed contracts for services in accordance with this section and consistent with RCW 74.13B.020
. When contracted services are managed through a network administrator or other third party, the department must execute data-sharing agreements with the entities managing the contracts to track provider performance measures. Contracts with network administrators or other third parties must provide the contract administrator the ability to shift resources from one provider to another, to evaluate individual provider performance, to add or delete services in consultation with the department, and to reinvest savings from increased efficiencies into new or improved services in their catchment area. Whenever possible, contractor performance data must be made available to the public, consistent with confidentiality laws and individual rights to privacy.
(9)(a) The oversight board for children, youth, and families shall begin its work and call the first meeting of the board on or after July 1, 2018. The oversight board shall immediately assume the duties of the legislative children's oversight committee, as provided for in RCW 74.13.570
and assume the full functions of the board as provided for in this section by July 1, 2019. The office of innovation, alignment, and accountability shall provide quarterly updates regarding the implementation of the department of children, youth, and families to the board between July 1, 2018, and July 1, 2019.
(b) The ombuds shall establish the oversight board for children, youth, and families. The board is authorized for the purpose of monitoring and ensuring that the department of children, youth, and families achieves the stated outcomes of chapter 6, Laws of 2017 3rd sp. sess., and complies with administrative acts, relevant statutes, rules, and policies pertaining to early learning, juvenile rehabilitation, juvenile justice, and children and family services.
(10)(a) The oversight board for children, youth, and families shall consist of two senators and two representatives from the legislature with one member from each major caucus, one nonvoting representative from the governor's office, one subject matter expert in early learning, one subject matter expert in child welfare, one subject matter expert in juvenile rehabilitation and justice, one subject matter expert in reducing disparities in child outcomes by family income and race and ethnicity, one tribal representative from the west of the crest of the Cascade mountains, one tribal representative from the east of the crest of the Cascade mountains, one current or former foster parent representative, one representative of an organization that advocates for the best interest of the child, one parent stakeholder group representative, one law enforcement representative, one child welfare caseworker representative, one early childhood learning program implementation practitioner, and one judicial representative presiding over child welfare court proceedings or other children's matters.
(b) The senate members of the board shall be appointed by the leaders of the two major caucuses of the senate. The house of representatives members of the board shall be appointed by the leaders of the two major caucuses of the house of representatives. Members shall be appointed before the close of each regular session of the legislature during an odd-numbered year.
(c) The remaining board members shall be nominated by the governor, subject to the approval of the appointed legislators by majority vote, and serve four-year terms.
(11) The oversight board for children, youth, and families has the following powers, which may be exercised by majority vote of the board:
(a) To receive reports of the family and children's ombuds;
(b) To obtain access to all relevant records in the possession of the family and children's ombuds, except as prohibited by law;
(c) To select its officers and adoption of rules for orderly procedure;
(d) To request investigations by the family and children's ombuds of administrative acts;
(e) To request and receive information, outcome data, documents, materials, and records from the department of children, youth, and families relating to children and family welfare, juvenile rehabilitation, juvenile justice, and early learning;
(f) To determine whether the department of children, youth, and families is achieving the performance measures;
(g) If final review is requested by a licensee, to review whether department of children, youth, and families' licensors appropriately and consistently applied agency rules in child care facility licensing compliance agreements as defined in RCW 43.216.395
that do not involve a violation of health and safety standards as defined in RCW 43.216.395
in cases that have already been reviewed by the internal review process described in RCW 43.216.395
with the authority to overturn, change, or uphold such decisions;
(h) To conduct annual reviews of a sample of department of children, youth, and families contracts for services from a variety of program and service areas to ensure that those contracts are performance-based and to assess the measures included in each contract; and
(i) Upon receipt of records or data from the family and children's ombuds or the department of children, youth, and families, the oversight board for children, youth, and families is subject to the same confidentiality restrictions as the family and children's ombuds is under RCW 43.06A.050
. The provisions of RCW 43.06A.060
also apply to the oversight board for children, youth, and families.
(12) The oversight board for children, youth, and families has general oversight over the performance and policies of the department and shall provide advice and input to the department and the governor.
(13) The oversight board for children, youth, and families must no less than twice per year convene stakeholder meetings to allow feedback to the board regarding contracting with the department of children, youth, and families, departmental use of local, state, private, and federal funds, and other matters as relating to carrying out the duties of the department.
(14) The oversight board for children, youth, and families shall review existing surveys of providers, customers, parent groups, and external services to assess whether the department of children, youth, and families is effectively delivering services, and shall conduct additional surveys as needed to assess whether the department is effectively delivering services.
(15) The oversight board for children, youth, and families is subject to the open public meetings act, chapter 42.30
RCW, except to the extent disclosure of records or information is otherwise confidential under state or federal law.
(16) Records or information received by the oversight board for children, youth, and families is confidential to the extent permitted by state or federal law. This subsection does not create an exception for records covered by RCW 13.50.100
(17) The oversight board for children, youth, and families members shall receive no compensation for their service on the board, but shall be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred while attending meetings of the board when authorized by the board in accordance with RCW 43.03.050
(18) The oversight board for children, youth, and families shall select, by majority vote, an executive director who shall be the chief administrative officer of the board and shall be responsible for carrying out the policies adopted by the board. The executive director is exempt from the provisions of the state civil service law, chapter 41.06
RCW, and shall serve at the pleasure of the board established in this section.
(19) The oversight board for children, youth, and families shall maintain a staff not to exceed one full-time equivalent employee. The board-selected executive director of the board is responsible for coordinating staff appointments.
(20) The oversight board for children, youth, and families shall issue an annual report to the governor and legislature by December 1st of each year with an initial report delivered by December 1, 2019. The report must review the department of children, youth, and families' progress towards meeting stated performance measures and desired performance outcomes, and must also include a review of the department's strategic plan, policies, and rules.
(21) The department shall annually report outcomes for the child welfare housing assistance program established in section 1 of this act to the oversight board for children, youth, and families.
(22) As used in this section, "department" means the department of children, youth, and families, "director" means the director of the office of innovation, alignment, and accountability, and "secretary" means the secretary of the department.
(((22) The governor must appoint the secretary of the department within thirty days of July 6, 2017.))
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