|Passed by the House April 26, 2003|
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Passed by the Senate April 25, 2003
President of the Senate
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 1233 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.
Governor of the State of Washington
Secretary of State
State of Washington
|State of Washington||58th Legislature||2003 Regular Session|
READ FIRST TIME 02/24/03.
AN ACT Relating to improving services for kinship caregivers; adding new sections to chapter 74.13 RCW; creating new sections; and providing expiration dates.
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) For the purposes of this section, "kin" means persons eighteen years of age or older to whom the child is related by blood, adoption, or marriage, including marriages that have been dissolved, and means: (a) Any person denoted by the prefix "grand" or "great"; (b) sibling, whether full, half, or step; (c) uncle or aunt; (d) nephew or niece; or (e) first cousin.
(2) The department shall plan, design, and implement strategies to prioritize the placement of children with willing and able kin when out-of-home placement is required.
These strategies must include at least the following:
(a) Development of standardized, statewide procedures to be used when searching for kin of children prior to out-of-home placement. The procedures must include a requirement that documentation be maintained in the child's case record that identifies kin, and documentation that identifies the assessment criteria and procedures that were followed during all kin searches. The procedures must be used when a child is placed in out-of-home care under authority of chapter 13.34 RCW, when a petition is filed under RCW 13.32A.140, or when a child is placed under a voluntary placement agreement. To assist with implementation of the procedures, the department shall request that the juvenile court require parents to disclose to the department all contact information for available and appropriate kin within two weeks of an entered order. For placements under signed voluntary agreements, the department shall encourage the parents to disclose to the department all contact information for available and appropriate kin within two weeks of the date the parent signs the voluntary placement agreement.
(b) Development of procedures for conducting active outreach efforts to identify and locate kin during all searches. The procedures must include at least the following elements:
(i) Reasonable efforts to interview known kin, friends, teachers, and other identified community members who may have knowledge of the child's kin, within sixty days of the child entering out-of-home care;
(ii) Increased use of those procedures determined by research to be the most effective methods of promoting reunification efforts, permanency planning, and placement decisions;
(iii) Contacts with kin identified through outreach efforts and interviews under this subsection as part of permanency planning activities and change of placement discussions;
(iv) Establishment of a process for ongoing contact with kin who express interest in being considered as a placement resource for the child; and
(v) A requirement that when the decision is made to not place the child with any kin, the department provides documentation as part of the child's individual service and safety plan that clearly identifies the rationale for the decision and corrective action or actions the kin must take to be considered as a viable placement option.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to create an entitlement to services or to create judicial authority to order the provision of services to any person or family if the services are unavailable or unsuitable or the child or family is not eligible for such services.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2 (1) The department of social and health
services shall collaborate with one or more nonprofit community-based
agencies to develop a grant proposal for submission to potential
funding sources, including governmental entities and private
foundations, to establish a minimum of two pilot projects to assist
kinship caregivers with understanding and navigating the system of
services for children in out-of-home care. The proposal must seek to
establish at least one project in eastern Washington and one project in
western Washington, each project to be managed by a participating
(2) The kinship care navigators funded through the proposal shall be responsible for at least the following:
(a) Understanding the various state agency systems serving kinship caregivers;
(b) Working in partnership with local community service providers;
(c) Tracking trends, concerns, and other factors related to kinship caregivers; and
(d) Assisting in establishing stable, respectful relationships between kinship caregivers and department staff.
(3) Implementation of the kinship care navigator pilot projects is contingent upon receipt of nonstate or private funding for that purpose.
(4) For the purposes of this section, "kinship" has the same meaning as "kin" given in section 1(1) of this act.
(5) This section expires January 1, 2007.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3 (1) The department of social and health
services shall report to the legislature and the governor on the
implementation of the kinship care navigator pilot projects with
recommendations on statewide implementation of the pilot projects one
year following implementation of the pilot projects. The report shall:
Include data that demonstrates whether the pilot project reduced actual
barriers to access to services; identify statutory and administrative
barriers for kin who give care; and recommend ways to reduce or
eliminate the barriers without adverse consequences to children placed
(2) This section expires January 1, 2007.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4 A new section is added to chapter 74.13 RCW
to read as follows:
(1) Within existing resources, the department shall establish an oversight committee to monitor, guide, and report on kinship care recommendations and implementation activities. The committee shall:
(a) Draft a kinship care definition that is restricted to persons related by blood or marriage, including marriages that have been dissolved, or for a minor defined as an "Indian child" under the federal Indian child welfare act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.), the definition of "extended family member" under the federal Indian child welfare act, and a set of principles. If the committee concludes that one or more program or service would be more efficiently and effectively delivered under a different definition of kin, it shall state what definition is needed, and identify the program or service in the report. It shall also provide evidence of how the program or service will be more efficiently and effectively delivered under the different definition. The department shall not adopt rules or policies changing the definition of kin without authorizing legislation;
(b) Monitor the implementation of recommendations contained in the 2002 kinship care report;
(c) Partner with nonprofit organizations and private sector businesses to guide a public education awareness campaign; and
(d) Assist with developing future recommendations on kinship care issues.
(2) The oversight committee must consist of a minimum of thirty percent kinship caregivers, who shall represent a diversity of kinship families. Statewide representation with geographic, ethnic, and gender diversity is required. Other members shall include representatives of the department, representatives of relevant state agencies, representatives of the private nonprofit and business sectors, child advocates, representatives of Washington state Indian tribes as defined under the federal Indian welfare act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.), and representatives of the legal or judicial field. Birth parents, foster parents, and others who have an interest in these issues may also be included.
(3) To the extent funding is available, the department may reimburse nondepartmental members of the oversight committee for costs incurred in participating in the meetings of the oversight committee.
(4) The kinship care oversight committee shall report to the legislature and the governor on the status of kinship care issues by December 1, 2004.
(5) This section expires January 1, 2005.