SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1397





                        57th Legislature

                      2002 Regular Session


Passed by the House March 9, 2002

  Yeas 94   Nays 0




Speaker of the House of Representatives







Passed by the Senate March 5, 2002

  Yeas 45   Nays 0



I, Cynthia Zehnder, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1397  as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.




                          Chief Clerk






President of the Senate




Approved Place Style On Codes above, and Style Off Codes below.               




Governor of the State of Washington

                   Secretary of State

                  State of Washington



                    SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1397



                     AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE


             Passed Legislature - 2002 Regular Session


State of Washington      57th Legislature     2002 Regular Session


By House Committee on Children & Family Services (originally sponsored by Representatives Tokuda, Boldt, Kagi, Benson, Kenney, Cody, Schual‑Berke and Santos)


Read first time 02/04/2002.  Referred to Committee on .

Encouraging support services for kinship caregivers. 

    AN ACT Relating to children placed in the care of relatives; and creating new sections.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature recognizes that relatives increasingly are assuming the responsibility for raising the children of their loved ones.  The parents of these children are unable to fulfill this responsibility themselves because of various and complex reasons.

    The legislature recognizes that these kinship caregivers perform a vital function in our society by providing homes for children who would otherwise be at risk of foster care placement.  These homes offer stability to children in crisis and enhance family reunification.  Outcome data shows that children in the care of relatives are less likely to enter state custody, and most of these arrangements do not require intensive supervision of the placement by the courts or by the department of social and health services.  The legislature recognizes that kinship care is a legitimate and important component in the spectrum of out-of-home placements available to children in need.

    The legislature recognizes that these kinship caregivers face many difficulties and need assistance to support the health and well-being of the children they care for.  These needs include, but are not limited to, legal assistance, respite care services, financial assistance, counseling, and other supportive services.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  (1) Within existing resources, the department of social and health services shall convene a kinship caregivers working group subsequent to the release in June 2002 of the kinship caregivers study being conducted by the Washington state institute for public policy.  The working group shall comprise:

    (a) The children's administration;

    (b) The aging and adult services administration;

    (c) The economic services administration;

    (d) Kinship caregivers; and

    (e) Other stakeholders, such as the grandparents' coalition.

    (2) The kinship caregivers working group shall:

    (a) Review the Washington state institute for public policy kinship caregivers study;

    (b) Develop a briefing for the legislature that identifies and prioritizes:

    (i) The policy issues to be considered in making kinship care a robust component of the out-of-home placements spectrum including consideration of a financial means test;

    (ii) The federal and state statutes associated with these policy issues; and

    (iii) Options for addressing these policy issues; and

    (c) Submit the briefing to the appropriate committees in the senate and house of representatives by November 1, 2002.