|Passed by the House February 11, 2010|
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Passed by the Senate March 10, 2010
President of the Senate
I, Barbara Baker, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2596 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||61st Legislature||2010 Regular Session|
READ FIRST TIME 01/28/10.
AN ACT Relating to defining child advocacy centers for the multidisciplinary investigation of child abuse and implementation of county protocols; and amending RCW 26.44.020, 26.44.180, and 26.44.185.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1 RCW 26.44.020 and 2009 c 520 s 17 are each amended to read
The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Abuse or neglect" means sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or injury of a child by any person under circumstances which cause harm to the child's health, welfare, or safety, excluding conduct permitted under RCW 9A.16.100; or the negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child by a person responsible for or providing care to the child. An abused child is a child who has been subjected to child abuse or neglect as defined in this section.
(2) "Child" or "children" means any person under the age of eighteen years of age.
(3) "Child protective services" means those services provided by the department designed to protect children from child abuse and neglect and safeguard such children from future abuse and neglect, and conduct investigations of child abuse and neglect reports. Investigations may be conducted regardless of the location of the alleged abuse or neglect. Child protective services includes referral to services to ameliorate conditions that endanger the welfare of children, the coordination of necessary programs and services relevant to the prevention, intervention, and treatment of child abuse and neglect, and services to children to ensure that each child has a permanent home. In determining whether protective services should be provided, the department shall not decline to provide such services solely because of the child's unwillingness or developmental inability to describe the nature and severity of the abuse or neglect.
(4) "Child protective services section" means the child protective services section of the department.
(5) "Clergy" means any regularly licensed or ordained minister, priest, or rabbi of any church or religious denomination, whether acting in an individual capacity or as an employee or agent of any public or private organization or institution.
(6) "Court" means the superior court of the state of Washington, juvenile department.
(7) "Department" means the state department of social and health services.
(8) "Founded" means the determination following an investigation by the department that, based on available information, it is more likely than not that child abuse or neglect did occur.
(9) "Inconclusive" means the determination following an investigation by the department, prior to October 1, 2008, that based on available information a decision cannot be made that more likely than not, child abuse or neglect did or did not occur.
(10) "Institution" means a private or public hospital or any other facility providing medical diagnosis, treatment, or care.
(11) "Law enforcement agency" means the police department, the prosecuting attorney, the state patrol, the director of public safety, or the office of the sheriff.
(12) "Malice" or "maliciously" means an intent, wish, or design to intimidate, annoy, or injure another person. Such malice may be inferred from an act done in willful disregard of the rights of another, or an act wrongfully done without just cause or excuse, or an act or omission of duty betraying a willful disregard of social duty.
(13) "Negligent treatment or maltreatment" means an act or a failure to act, or the cumulative effects of a pattern of conduct, behavior, or inaction, that evidences a serious disregard of consequences of such magnitude as to constitute a clear and present danger to a child's health, welfare, or safety, including but not limited to conduct prohibited under RCW 9A.42.100. When considering whether a clear and present danger exists, evidence of a parent's substance abuse as a contributing factor to negligent treatment or maltreatment shall be given great weight. The fact that siblings share a bedroom is not, in and of itself, negligent treatment or maltreatment. Poverty, homelessness, or exposure to domestic violence as defined in RCW 26.50.010 that is perpetrated against someone other than the child does not constitute negligent treatment or maltreatment in and of itself.
(14) "Pharmacist" means any registered pharmacist under chapter 18.64 RCW, whether acting in an individual capacity or as an employee or agent of any public or private organization or institution.
(15) "Practitioner of the healing arts" or "practitioner" means a person licensed by this state to practice podiatric medicine and surgery, optometry, chiropractic, nursing, dentistry, osteopathic medicine and surgery, or medicine and surgery or to provide other health services. The term "practitioner" includes a duly accredited Christian Science practitioner. A person who is being furnished Christian Science treatment by a duly accredited Christian Science practitioner will not be considered, for that reason alone, a neglected person for the purposes of this chapter.
(16) "Professional school personnel" include, but are not limited to, teachers, counselors, administrators, child care facility personnel, and school nurses.
(17) "Psychologist" means any person licensed to practice psychology under chapter 18.83 RCW, whether acting in an individual capacity or as an employee or agent of any public or private organization or institution.
(18) "Screened-out report" means a report of alleged child abuse or neglect that the department has determined does not rise to the level of a credible report of abuse or neglect and is not referred for investigation.
(19) "Sexual exploitation" includes: (a) Allowing, permitting, or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution by any person; or (b) allowing, permitting, encouraging, or engaging in the obscene or pornographic photographing, filming, or depicting of a child by any person.
(20) "Sexually aggressive youth" means a child who is defined in RCW 74.13.075(1)(b) as being a sexually aggressive youth.
(21) "Social service counselor" means anyone engaged in a professional capacity during the regular course of employment in encouraging or promoting the health, welfare, support, or education of children, or providing social services to adults or families, including mental health, drug and alcohol treatment, and domestic violence programs, whether in an individual capacity, or as an employee or agent of any public or private organization or institution.
(22) "Supervising agency" means an agency licensed by the state under RCW 74.15.090 or an Indian tribe under RCW 74.15.190 that has entered into a performance-based contract with the department to provide child welfare services.
(23) "Unfounded" means the determination following an investigation by the department that available information indicates that, more likely than not, child abuse or neglect did not occur, or that there is insufficient evidence for the department to determine whether the alleged child abuse did or did not occur.
(24) "Children's advocacy center" means a child-focused facility in good standing with the state chapter for children's advocacy centers and that coordinates a multidisciplinary process for the investigation, prosecution, and treatment of sexual and other types of child abuse. Children's advocacy centers provide a location for forensic interviews and coordinate access to services such as, but not limited to, medical evaluations, advocacy, therapy, and case review by multidisciplinary teams within the context of county protocols as defined in RCW 26.44.180 and 26.44.185.
Sec. 2 RCW 26.44.180 and 1999 c 389 s 4 are each amended to read
(1) Each agency involved in investigating child sexual abuse shall document its role in handling cases and how it will coordinate with other local agencies or systems and shall adopt a local protocol based on the state guidelines. The department and local law enforcement agencies may include other agencies and systems that are involved with child sexual abuse victims in the multidisciplinary coordination.
(2) Each county shall develop a written protocol for handling criminal child sexual abuse investigations. The protocol shall address the coordination of child sexual abuse investigations between the prosecutor's office, law enforcement, ((
the department)) children's
protective services, children's advocacy centers, where available,
local advocacy groups, community sexual assault programs, as defined in
RCW 70.125.030, and any other local agency involved in the criminal
investigation of child sexual abuse, including those investigations
involving multiple victims and multiple offenders. The protocol shall
be developed by the prosecuting attorney with the assistance of the
agencies referenced in this subsection.
(3) Local protocols under this section shall be adopted and in place by July 1, 2000, and shall be submitted to the legislature prior to that date.
Sec. 3 RCW 26.44.185 and 2007 c 410 s 3 are each amended to read
(1) Each county shall revise and expand its existing child sexual abuse investigation protocol to address investigations of child fatality, child physical abuse, and criminal child neglect cases and to incorporate the statewide guidelines for first responders to child fatalities developed by the criminal justice training commission. The protocols shall address the coordination of child fatality, child physical abuse, and criminal child neglect investigations between the county and city prosecutor's offices, law enforcement, children's protective services, children's advocacy centers, where available, local advocacy groups, emergency medical services, and any other local agency involved in the investigation of such cases. The protocol revision and expansion shall be developed by the prosecuting attorney in collaboration with the agencies referenced in this section.
(2) Revised and expanded protocols under this section shall be adopted and in place by July 1, 2008. Thereafter, the protocols shall be reviewed every two years to determine whether modifications are needed.