SENATE BILL 5745
State of Washington 55th Legislature 1997 Regular Session
By Senators Morton, Haugen, Hochstatter, Swecker, Zarelli and Stevens
Read first time 02/11/97. Referred to Committee on Human Services & Corrections.
AN ACT Relating to certificates of registration without inspection for family day care providers; amending RCW 43.20A.710, 74.15.030, and 74.13.031; reenacting and amending RCW 74.15.020; adding a new section to chapter 74.15 RCW; adding a new section to chapter 74.13 RCW; creating a new section; and prescribing penalties.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. It is the intent of the legislature:
(1) To increase family responsibility and control over the care of their children and thus increase the ability of parents to ensure their children's safety and well-being in out-of-home day care by establishing a registration process for family day care homes caring for a maximum of seven children;
(2) To reduce government's role in the lives of families and increase availability of family day care homes by minimizing the department's role in inspection of these homes to only major concerns about compliance with laws on health and sanitation; and
(3) That the department of social and health services provide for a process of registration that is streamlined, efficient, and effective in this regard.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 74.15 RCW to read as follows:
(1) A person not subject to the licensing requirements of this chapter may not operate a family day care home without a certificate of registration without inspection from the department.
(2) A family day care home holding a certificate of registration without inspection may care for a maximum of seven children younger than thirteen years of age, including the provider's own children. Of the ten children:
(a) No more than six may be younger than five years of age; and
(b) No more than two may be twenty-four months of age or younger.
(3)(a) To obtain a certificate of registration without inspection, a provider must apply to the department by submitting a completed application work sheet and a nonrefundable fee. The fee shall vary according to the number of children for which the family day care home is requesting to be certified and shall be determined and applied through rules adopted by the department, but shall not exceed thirty dollars for the registration and sixty dollars for the criminal records check. The department may waive any or all of the fee if the department determines that imposition of the fee would impose a hardship on the provider.
(b) Upon receipt of an application satisfactory to the department and upon receipt of a satisfactory criminal records check, the department shall issue a certificate of registration without inspection. The certificate is valid for a period of two years.
(4) A certificate of registration without inspection authorizes operation of the family day care home only on the premises described in the certificate and only by the person named in the certificate.
(5) The department shall adopt rules:
(a) Creating the application work sheet required under subsection (3) of this section;
(b) Defining full-time and part-time care;
(c) Establishing under what circumstances the adult-to-child ratio requirements may be temporarily waived; and
(d) Establishing recommended health and safety procedures, including written information on how to identify and prevent child abuse.
(6) The department shall adopt the application work sheet required by subsection (3) of this section. The work sheet must include, but need not be limited to, the following:
(a) The number and ages of the children to be cared for at the family day care home; and
(b) The health and safety procedures in place and followed at the family day care home.
(7) The department, upon good cause shown, may waive one or more of the certification requirements. The department may waive a requirement only if appropriate conditions or safeguards are imposed to protect the welfare of the children and the consumer interests of the parents of the children.
(8) The department, by rule, shall develop a list of recommended standards consistent with standards established by professional organizations regarding child care programs for child care facilities. Compliance with the standards is not required for a certificate of registration without inspection, but the department shall encourage voluntary compliance and shall provide technical assistance to a family day care home attempting to comply with the standards. The family day care home shall distribute the list of recommended minimum standards to the parents of all children cared for at the family day care home and shall receive and retain a signed receipt from the parent in return.
(9) In adopting rules relating to certificates of registration without inspection, the department shall consult with the appropriate legislative committees in developing the rules to be adopted. If the rules are being adopted during a period when the legislature is not in session, the department shall consult with the appropriate interim legislative committee.
(10) A person who violates this section is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed one hundred dollars. The department may impose the civil penalty for violation of any of the terms or conditions of a certificate of registration without inspection.
(11) Any person operating a family day care home may apply for a license for such family day care home from the department and receive a license upon meeting licensing requirements.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. A new section is added to chapter 74.13 RCW to read as follows:
An application for a certificate of registration without inspection or renewal may be denied or a temporary or regular certificate of registration without inspection may be revoked or suspended if the department finds:
(1) That the family day care home or its operation does not comply with applicable rules, or with any term or condition imposed under the certificate; or
(2) That visitation or inspection of a family day care home or its records has not been permitted when requested by the department to investigate complaints of health and sanitation.
Sec. 4. RCW 43.20A.710 and 1993 c 210 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
secretary shall investigate the conviction records, pending charges or
disciplinary board final decisions of: (1) Persons being considered for state
employment in positions directly responsible for the supervision, care, or
treatment of children or individuals with mental illness or developmental
and)) (2) individual providers who are paid by the state
for in-home services and hired by individuals with physical disabilities,
developmental disabilities, mental illness, or mental impairment; and (3)
family day care providers applying for certificates of registration without
inspection. The investigation may include an examination of state and
national criminal identification data and the child abuse and neglect register
established under chapter 26.44 RCW. The secretary shall provide the results
of the state background check on individual providers to the individuals with
physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, mental illness, or mental
impairment who hired them and to their legal guardians, if any. The secretary
shall use the information solely for the purpose of determining the character,
suitability, and competence of these applicants except that in the case of
individuals with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, mental
illness, or mental impairment who employ individual providers, the
determination of character, suitability, and competence of applicants shall be
made by the individual with a physical disability, developmental disability,
mental illness, or mental impairment. Criminal justice agencies shall provide
the secretary such information as they may have and that the secretary may
require for such purpose. If necessary, persons may be employed on a
conditional basis pending completion of the background investigation.
Sec. 5. RCW 74.15.020 and 1995 c 311 s 18 and 1995 c 302 s 3 are each reenacted and amended to read as follows:
For the purpose of chapter 74.15 RCW and RCW 74.13.031, and unless otherwise clearly indicated by the context thereof, the following terms shall mean:
(1) "Department" means the state department of social and health services;
(2) "Secretary" means the secretary of social and health services;
(3) "Agency" means any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, or facility which receives children, expectant mothers, or persons with developmental disabilities for control, care, or maintenance outside their own homes, or which places, arranges the placement of, or assists in the placement of children, expectant mothers, or persons with developmental disabilities for foster care or placement of children for adoption, and shall include the following irrespective of whether there is compensation to the agency or to the children, expectant mothers or persons with developmental disabilities for services rendered:
(a) "Group-care facility" means an agency, other than a foster-family home, which is maintained and operated for the care of a group of children on a twenty-four hour basis;
(b) "Child-placing agency" means an agency which places a child or children for temporary care, continued care, or for adoption;
(c) "Maternity service" means an agency which provides or arranges for care or services to expectant mothers, before or during confinement, or which provides care as needed to mothers and their infants after confinement;
(d) "Child day-care center" means an agency which regularly provides care for a group of children for periods of less than twenty-four hours;
"Family day-care provider" means a child day-care provider who
regularly provides child day care for ((
not)) more than (( twelve))
seven children in the provider's home in the family living quarters;
(f) "Foster-family home" means an agency which regularly provides care on a twenty-four hour basis to one or more children, expectant mothers, or persons with developmental disabilities in the family abode of the person or persons under whose direct care and supervision the child, expectant mother, or person with a developmental disability is placed;
(g) "Crisis residential center" means an agency which is a temporary protective residential facility operated to perform the duties specified in chapter 13.32A RCW, in the manner provided in RCW 74.13.032 through 74.13.036.
(4) "Agency" shall not include the following:
(a) Persons related to the child, expectant mother, or person with developmental disability in the following ways:
(i) Any blood relative, including those of half-blood, and including first cousins, nephews or nieces, and persons of preceding generations as denoted by prefixes of grand, great, or great-great;
(ii) Stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother, and stepsister;
(iii) A person who legally adopts a child or the child's parent as well as the natural and other legally adopted children of such persons, and other relatives of the adoptive parents in accordance with state law;
(iv) Spouses of any persons named in (i), (ii), or (iii) of this subsection (4)(a), even after the marriage is terminated; or
(v) Extended family members, as defined by the law or custom of the Indian child's tribe or, in the absence of such law or custom, a person who has reached the age of eighteen and who is the Indian child's grandparent, aunt or uncle, brother or sister, brother-in-law or sister-in-law, niece or nephew, first or second cousin, or stepparent who provides care in the family abode on a twenty-four-hour basis to an Indian child as defined in 25 U.S.C. Sec. 1903(4);
(b) Persons who are legal guardians of the child, expectant mother, or persons with developmental disabilities;
(c) Persons who care for a neighbor's or friend's child or children, with or without compensation, where: (i) The person providing care for periods of less than twenty-four hours does not conduct such activity on an ongoing, regularly scheduled basis for the purpose of engaging in business, which includes, but is not limited to, advertising such care; or (ii) the parent and person providing care on a twenty-four-hour basis have agreed to the placement in writing and the state is not providing any payment for the care;
(d) Persons who regularly care for no more than seven children in the provider's home in the family's living quarters, are not covered under (c) of this subsection, and hold a certificate of registration without inspection under section 2 of this act.
(e) Parents on a mutually cooperative basis exchange care of one another's children;
(f) A person, partnership, corporation, or other entity that provides
placement or similar services to exchange students or international student
exchange visitors or persons who have the care of an exchange student in their
(g) Nursery schools or kindergartens which are engaged primarily in
educational work with preschool children and in which no child is enrolled on a
regular basis for more than four hours per day;
(h) Schools, including boarding schools, which are engaged primarily in
education, operate on a definite school year schedule, follow a stated academic
curriculum, accept only school-age children and do not accept custody of
(i) Seasonal camps of three months' or less duration engaged primarily
in recreational or educational activities;
(j) Hospitals licensed pursuant to chapter 70.41 RCW when performing
functions defined in chapter 70.41 RCW, nursing homes licensed under chapter
18.51 RCW and boarding homes licensed under chapter 18.20 RCW;
(k) Licensed physicians or lawyers;
(l) Facilities providing care to children for periods of less than
twenty-four hours whose parents remain on the premises to participate in
activities other than employment;
(m) Facilities approved and certified under chapter 71A.22 RCW;
(n) Any agency having been in operation in this state ten years prior to
June 8, 1967, and not seeking or accepting moneys or assistance from any state
or federal agency, and is supported in part by an endowment or trust fund;
(o) Persons who have a child in their home for purposes of adoption, if
the child was placed in such home by a licensed child-placing agency, an
authorized public or tribal agency or court or if a replacement report has been
filed under chapter 26.33 RCW and the placement has been approved by the court;
(p) An agency operated by any unit of local, state, or federal
government or an agency, located within the boundaries of a federally
recognized Indian reservation, licensed by the Indian tribe;
(q) An agency located on a federal military reservation, except where
the military authorities request that such agency be subject to the licensing
requirements of this chapter.
(5) "Requirement" means any rule, regulation, or standard of care to be maintained by an agency.
(6) "Probationary license" means a license issued as a disciplinary measure to an agency that has previously been issued a full license but is out of compliance with licensing standards.
Sec. 6. RCW 74.15.030 and 1995 c 302 s 4 are each amended to read as follows:
The secretary shall have the power and it shall be the secretary's duty:
(1) In consultation with the children's services advisory committee, and with the advice and assistance of persons representative of the various type agencies to be licensed, to designate categories of facilities for which separate or different requirements shall be developed as may be appropriate whether because of variations in the ages, sex and other characteristics of persons served, variations in the purposes and services offered or size or structure of the agencies to be licensed hereunder, or because of any other factor relevant thereto;
(2) In consultation with the children's services advisory committee, and with the advice and assistance of persons representative of the various type agencies to be licensed, to adopt and publish minimum requirements for licensing applicable to each of the various categories of agencies to be licensed.
The minimum requirements shall be limited to:
(a) The size and suitability of a facility and the plan of operation for carrying out the purpose for which an applicant seeks a license;
(b) The character, suitability and competence of an agency and other persons associated with an agency directly responsible for the care and treatment of children, expectant mothers or developmentally disabled persons. In consultation with law enforcement personnel, the secretary shall investigate the conviction record or pending charges and dependency record information under chapter 43.43 RCW of each agency and its staff seeking licensure or relicensure. In order to determine the suitability of applicants for an agency license or a certificate of registration without inspection, licensees, applicants, their employees, and other persons who have unsupervised access to children in care, and who have not resided in the state of Washington during the three-year period before being authorized to care for children shall be fingerprinted. The fingerprints shall be forwarded to the Washington state patrol and federal bureau of investigation for a criminal history records check. The fingerprint criminal history records checks will be at the expense of the licensee except that in the case of a foster family home, if this expense would work a hardship on the licensee, the department shall pay the expense. The licensee may not pass this cost on to the employee or prospective employee, unless the employee is determined to be unsuitable due to his or her criminal history record. The secretary shall use the information solely for the purpose of determining eligibility for a license and for determining the character, suitability, and competence of those persons or agencies, excluding parents, not required to be licensed who are authorized to care for children, expectant mothers, and developmentally disabled persons. Criminal justice agencies shall provide the secretary such information as they may have and that the secretary may require for such purpose;
(c) The number of qualified persons required to render the type of care and treatment for which an agency seeks a license;
(d) The safety, cleanliness, and general adequacy of the premises to provide for the comfort, care and well-being of children, expectant mothers or developmentally disabled persons;
(e) The provision of necessary care, including food, clothing, supervision and discipline; physical, mental and social well-being; and educational, recreational and spiritual opportunities for those served;
(f) The financial ability of an agency to comply with minimum requirements established pursuant to chapter 74.15 RCW and RCW 74.13.031; and
(g) The maintenance of records pertaining to the admission, progress, health and discharge of persons served;
(3) To investigate any person, including relatives by blood or marriage except for parents, for character, suitability, and competence in the care and treatment of children, expectant mothers, and developmentally disabled persons prior to authorizing that person to care for children, expectant mothers, and developmentally disabled persons. However, if a child is placed with a relative under RCW 13.34.060 or 13.34.130, and if such relative appears otherwise suitable and competent to provide care and treatment the criminal history background check required by this section need not be completed before placement, but shall be completed as soon as possible after placement;
(4) On reports of child abuse and neglect, to investigate agencies in accordance with chapter 26.44 RCW, including child day-care centers and family day-care homes, to determine whether the abuse or neglect has occurred, and whether child protective services or referral to a law enforcement agency is appropriate;
(5) To issue, revoke, or deny certificates of registration without inspection and licenses to agencies pursuant to chapter 74.15 RCW and RCW 74.13.031. Licenses shall specify the category of care which an agency is authorized to render and the ages, sex and number of persons to be served;
(6) To prescribe the procedures and the form and contents of reports necessary for the administration of chapter 74.15 RCW and RCW 74.13.031 and to require regular reports from each licensee;
(7) To inspect agencies periodically to determine whether or not there is compliance with chapter 74.15 RCW and RCW 74.13.031 and the requirements adopted hereunder;
(8) To review requirements adopted hereunder at least every two years and to adopt appropriate changes after consultation with the child care coordinating committee and other affected groups for child day-care requirements and with the children's services advisory committee for requirements for other agencies; and
(9) To consult with public and private agencies in order to help them improve their methods and facilities for the care of children, expectant mothers and developmentally disabled persons.
Sec. 7. RCW 74.13.031 and 1995 c 191 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
The department shall have the duty to provide child welfare services as defined in RCW 74.13.020, and shall:
(1) Develop, administer, supervise, and monitor a coordinated and comprehensive plan that establishes, aids, and strengthens services for the protection and care of homeless, runaway, dependent, or neglected children.
(2) Develop a recruiting plan for recruiting an adequate number of prospective adoptive and foster homes, both regular and specialized, i.e. homes for children of ethnic minority, including Indian homes for Indian children, sibling groups, handicapped and emotionally disturbed, and annually submit the plan for review to the house and senate committees on social and health services. The plan shall include a section entitled "Foster Home Turn-Over, Causes and Recommendations."
(3) Investigate complaints of neglect, abuse, or abandonment of children, and on the basis of the findings of such investigation, offer child welfare services in relation to the problem to such parents, legal custodians, or persons serving in loco parentis, and/or bring the situation to the attention of an appropriate court, or another community agency: PROVIDED, That an investigation is not required of nonaccidental injuries which are clearly not the result of a lack of care or supervision by the child's parents, legal custodians, or persons serving in loco parentis. If the investigation reveals that a crime may have been committed, the department shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agency.
(4) Offer, on a voluntary basis, family reconciliation services to families who are in conflict.
(5) Monitor out-of-home placements, on a timely and routine basis, to assure the safety, well-being, and quality of care being provided is within the scope of the intent of the legislature as defined in RCW 74.13.010 and 74.15.010, and annually submit a report delineating the results to the house and senate committees on social and health services.
(6) Have authority to accept custody of children from parents and to accept custody of children from juvenile courts, where authorized to do so under law, to provide child welfare services including placement for adoption, and to provide for the physical care of such children and make payment of maintenance costs if needed. Except where required by Public Law 95-608 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1915), no private adoption agency which receives children for adoption from the department shall discriminate on the basis of race, creed, or color when considering applications in their placement for adoption.
(7) Have authority to provide temporary shelter to children who have run away from home and who are admitted to crisis residential centers.
(8) Have authority to purchase care for children; and shall follow in general the policy of using properly approved private agency services and family day care providers who hold certificates of registration without inspection for the actual care and supervision of such children insofar as they are available, paying for care of such children as are accepted by the department as eligible for support at reasonable rates established by the department.
(9) Establish a children's services advisory committee which shall assist the secretary in the development of a partnership plan for utilizing resources of the public and private sectors, and advise on all matters pertaining to child welfare, licensing of child care agencies, adoption, and services related thereto. At least one member shall represent the adoption community.
(10) Have authority to provide continued foster care or group care for individuals from eighteen through twenty years of age to enable them to complete their high school or vocational school program.
(11) Have authority within funds appropriated for foster care services to purchase care for Indian children who are in the custody of a federally recognized Indian tribe or tribally licensed child-placing agency pursuant to parental consent, tribal court order, or state juvenile court order; and the purchase of such care shall be subject to the same eligibility standards and rates of support applicable to other children for whom the department purchases care.
Notwithstanding any other provision of RCW 13.32A.170 through 13.32A.200 and 74.13.032 through 74.13.036, or of this section all services to be provided by the department of social and health services under subsections (4), (6), and (7) of this section, subject to the limitations of these subsections, may be provided by any program offering such services funded pursuant to Titles II and III of the federal juvenile justice and delinquency prevention act of 1974.
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