WSR 03-03-069



(Children's Administration)

[ Filed January 15, 2003, 8:16 a.m. ]

Date of Adoption: January 14, 2003.

Purpose: The Division of Program and Policy is adopting these emergency rules for family reconciliation services (FRS), WAC 388-32-0025 and 388-32-0030, to redefine the time frames for the delivery and completion of services within the FRS program, to allow for a greater flexibility in the delivery of services. Additionally, the Children's Administration has implemented a centralized intake system, requiring revision of this WAC to conform to the centralized intake operations. The department has filed a preproposal statement of inquiry and is initiating a rule-making proceeding to adopt the emergency rules as permanent rules.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-32-0025 and 388-32-0030.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.13.031, 74.08.090.

Other Authority: Chapter 371, Laws of 2002.

Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest; and that state or federal law or federal rule or a federal deadline for state receipt of federal funds requires immediate adoption of a rule.

Reasons for this Finding: The legislature has directed that the Children's Administration, per the 2002 supplemental budget, chapter 371, Laws of 2002, reduce the family reconciliation services program by $1.68 million. This reduction has resulted in a loss of funding for related contracted services. Altering the time frames for the delivery and completion of FRS services to a family would allow for greater flexibility in the delivery of services. Revised contracts as a result of the funding restraints are scheduled to be active January 1, 2003. The WAC governing this portion of the FRS program requires immediate revision to maintain the program within its budgetary allotment and preserve services to department clients. Delay threatens the health, safety and general welfare of all families receiving or eligible for FRS services. Failure to adopt these rules would cause the department to exhaust FRS funding before the end of fiscal year 2003, cutting off all FRS services to eligible families. The department is initiating rule-making proceedings to adopt these emergency rules as permanent rules.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 2, Repealed 0.
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.

January 13, 2003

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-08-047, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01)

WAC 388-32-0025   Who may receive FRS services?   (1) CA provides FRS to ((runaways and families in conflict)) adolescents, thirteen through seventeen years of age, and their families, in instances where the adolescent has runaway and/or is in conflict with his/her family. These populations are defined as follows:

"Families in conflict" means families in which personal or family situations present a serious and imminent threat to the health or stability of the child, which may include an at-risk youth, or family.

"Runaways" means youths who are absent from home for a period of time without parental permission. Services are to actual runaways and not to threatened runaways, unless the threatened runaways meet the definition of families in conflict.

(2) FRS is not provided for any of the following situations, unless the family is seeking an at-risk youth or a child-in-need-of-services (CHINS) family assessment:

(a) The identified youth has not reached his/her thirteenth birthday, or the youth is eighteen years of age or older;

(b) Chronic or long-term multi-problem situations requiring long-term interventions;

(((b))) (c) Custody and marital disputes unless the dispute creates a conflict between the child and parent with physical custody;

(((c))) (d) Families currently receiving counseling services related to the parent-child conflict/relationship from other agencies;

(((d))) (e) Child abuse and neglect cases, unless those cases meet the definition of family in conflict((;

(e))); or

(f) Youth receiving foster care or group care services or follow up to those services((; and

(f) Post-adoption cases still under supervision of an agency, except when those cases meet the definition of families in conflict)).

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031. 01-08-047, 388-32-0025, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01.]

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-08-047, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01)

WAC 388-32-0030   What FRS services does the department provide?   The assigned social worker provides services to develop skills and supports within families to resolve family conflicts, achieve a reconciliation between parent and child, and to avoid out-of-home placement. The services may include, but are not limited to, referral to services for suicide prevention, psychiatric or other medical care, or psychological, financial, legal, educational, or other social services, as appropriate to the needs of the child and family. Typically FRS is limited to a ninety-day period.

(1) The ((CA social worker provides intake/assessment services (IAS).)) children's administration's (CA) central intake provides intake services. Youth and/or their families who self-present at a local DCFS office requesting FRS services shall be provided assistance in contacting central intake to make a formal request for FRS services.

(2) The FRS social worker must ((initiate these short-term counseling sessions within forty-eight hours of the family's request for services)) contact the family within twenty-four hours of their assignment to the case, to schedule an appointment to begin the phase I family interview process. These FRS phase I sessions are intended to defuse the immediate potential for violence, assess problems, and explore options leading to problem resolution.

(((2))) (3) CA or its contractors may provide FRS phase II crisis counseling services for up to ((thirty days within a ninety-day period.

(3))) six weeks.

(4) Families eligible for ((thirty-day)) FRS phase II crisis counseling are those who, in the opinion of the family and the CA social worker, require more intensive services than those provided through ((IAS.

(4))) phase I services.

(5) Families must make a commitment to participate in the ((thirty-day)) FRS phase II crisis counseling service and must not concurrently be receiving similar ((family)) counseling services through other agencies or practitioners. At a minimum, there must be a parent and a child willing to participate.

(((5) Thirty-day))

(6) FRS phase II crisis counseling services may not exceed ((fifteen hours within thirty days)) twelve hours over six weeks. The assigned counselor helps the family develop skills and supports to resolve conflicts. The counselor may refer to resources including medical, legal, ongoing counseling and CPS for problem resolution.

(a) ((The CA supervisor may extend thirty-day crisis counseling for an additional thirty days and up to fifteen additional hours of service, subject to availability of funds and the family's continued progress toward resolving conflicts)) FRS phase II crisis counseling may not be extended for either additional days or additional hours, except by an exception-to-policy waiver signed by the area administrator.

(b) ((The thirty-day)) FRS phase II crisis counseling ((is)) services are available a maximum of twice in a lifetime for any one ((child within a)) family. The family must include a parent/guardian who has legal custody of the youth.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031. 01-08-047, 388-32-0030, filed 3/30/01, effective 4/30/01.]

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