S-950                 _______________________________________________


                                                   SENATE BILL NO. 5145



State of Washington                               51st Legislature                              1989 Regular Session


By Senators Smith, Niemi, Johnson, Kreidler, West and Moore



Read first time 1/16/89 and referred to Committee on Health Care & Corrections.



AN ACT Relating to licensing adult family homes; adding a new chapter to Title 71 RCW; repealing RCW 74.08.044; and making an appropriation.




          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.     The legislature finds that adult family homes are an important part of the state's long-term care system.  Adult family homes provide an inexpensive alternative to institutional care and promote a high degree of independent living for residents.

          The legislature further finds that minimum safety, health, and fire standards are needed to ensure the health and safety of residents.  The legislature recognizes that the attractiveness of adult family homes to residents is the family nature of the home that allows residents a higher degree of privacy, freedom of choice, and ability to form personal relations than is permitted in an institutional environment.  Whenever possible family and community groups should be encouraged to work with adult family homes with the goal of assuring high quality care.  Volunteer groups such as local volunteer ombudsman programs can be effective in helping adult family home sponsors and residents create a family-like environment.

          The legislature declares that state regulation of adult family homes should not serve as a barrier to the development of homes in the state by imposing complex, expensive, or intimidating standards that will discourage sponsors who would otherwise be competent and companionate care givers.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.     The purposes of this chapter are to:

          (1) Encourage the establishment and maintenance of adult family homes that provide a humane, safe, and homelike environment for persons with functional limitations who need personal care, but who do not need the level of care provided in a nursing home;

          (2) Establish standards for regulating adult family homes that adequately protect residents, but are consistent with the abilities and resources of an adult family home so as not to discourage individuals from serving as adult family home providers; and

          (3) Encourage consumers, families, providers, and the public to become active in assuring their full participation in development of adult family homes that provide high quality care.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.     Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.

          (1) "Adult family home" means a regular family abode of the persons or persons who are providing the services, personal care, room, and board to more than one but not more than five adults who are not related by blood or marriage to the person or persons providing the services.

          (2) "Provider" means any person who is licensed under this chapter to operate an adult family home.

          (3) "Department" means the department of social and health services.

          (4) "Resident" means an adult in need of personal or special care in an adult family home who is not related to the provider.

          (5) "Adults" means persons who have attained the age of eighteen years.

          (6) "Home" means an adult family home.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.     The following residential facilities shall be exempt from the operation of this chapter:

          (1) Nursing homes licensed under chapter 18.51 RCW;

          (2) Boarding homes licensed under chapter 18.20 RCW;

          (3) Facilities approved and certified under chapter 71A.22 RCW;

          (4) Residential treatment centers for the mentally ill licensed under chapter 71.24 RCW;

          (5) Hospitals licensed under chapter 70.41 RCW;

          (6) Homes for the developmentally disabled licensed under chapter 74.15 RCW.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.     (1) The department shall adopt rules and standards with respect to all adult family homes and the operators thereof to be licensed under this chapter to carry out the purposes and requirements of this chapter.  In developing rules and standards the department shall recognize the residential family-like nature of adult family homes and not develop rules and standards which by their complexity serve as a barrier to the development of the adult family homes in the state.  Procedures and forms established by the department shall be developed so they are easy to understand and comply with.  Paper work requirements shall be minimal.  Easy to understand materials shall be developed for homes explaining licensure requirements and procedures.

          (2) During the initial stages of development of proposed rules, the department shall provide notice of development of the rules to organizations representing adult family homes and their residents, and other groups that the department finds appropriate.  The notice shall state the subject of the rules under consideration and solicit written recommendations regarding their form and content.

          (3) Except where provided otherwise, chapter 34.05 RCW shall govern all department rule-making and adjudicative activities under this chapter.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.     After July 1, 1990, no person shall operate or maintain an adult family home in this state without a license under this chapter.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 7.     (1) An application for license shall be made to the department upon forms provided by it and shall contain such information as the department reasonably requires.

          (2) The department shall issue a license to an adult family home if the department finds that the applicant and the home are in compliance with this chapter and the rules adopted under this chapter; and that the applicant has no prior violations of this chapter relating to the adult family home subject to the application or any other adult family home, or of any other law regulating residential care facilities within the past five years that resulted in revocation or nonrenewal of a license.

          (3) The license fee shall be submitted with the application.

          (4) The department shall serve upon the applicant  a copy of the decision granting or denying an application for a license.  An applicant shall have the right to contest denial of his or her application for a license as provided in chapter 34.05 RCW by requesting a hearing in writing within ten days after receipt of the notice of denial.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 8.     (1) An adult family home shall post conspicuously in an area of the home accessible to the residents and visitors:

          (a) Its license to operate;

          (b) A notice that a copy of each inspection report received by the home from the department for the past three years is available for public inspection.

          (2) An adult family home shall retain for public inspection a complete copy of each inspection report received by the home from the department for the past three years.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 9.     (1) A license shall be valid for one year.

          (2) At least ninety days prior to expiration of the license, the provider shall submit an application for renewal of a license.   The department shall have the authority to investigate any information included in the application for renewal of a license.

          (3)(a) Homes with any resident whose care is being paid for by the state shall be inspected by the department on an annual basis.

          (b) Other homes with residents whose care is being paid for from private sources shall be inspected on a periodic random basis. The department shall inspect ten percent of these home on an annual basis.

          (c) Homes where a complaint has been received by the department may be inspected at any time.

          (4) If the department finds that the home is not in compliance with this chapter, it shall require the home to correct any violations as provided in  this chapter.  If the department finds that the home is in compliance with this chapter and the rules adopted under this chapter, the department shall renew the license of the home.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 10.    (1) No public agency contractor or employee shall place, refer, or recommend placement of a person into an adult family home that is operating without a license.

          (2) Any public agency contractor or employee who knows or should know that an adult family home is operating without a license shall report the name and address of the home to the department.  The department shall investigate any report filed under this section.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 11.    An adult family home provider shall have the following minimum qualifications:

          (1) Eighteen years of age or older;

          (2) Good moral and responsible character and reputation;

          (3)  Literacy;

          (4) Management and administrative ability to carry out the requirements of this chapter; and

          (5) Sufficient physical, mental, and emotional capacity to carry out the requirements of this chapter.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 12.    (1) Adult family homes shall be maintained internally and externally in good repair and condition.  Such homes shall have safe and functioning systems for heating, cooling, hot and cold water, electricity, plumbing, garbage disposal, sewage, cooking, laundry, artificial and natural light, ventilation, and any other feature of the home.

          (2) Adult family homes shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary manner, including proper sewage disposal, food handling, and hygiene practices.

          (3) Adult family homes shall develop a fire drill plan for emergency evacuation of residents, shall have smoke detectors in each bedroom where a resident is located, shall have fire extinguishers on each floor of the home, and shall not keep nonambulatory patients above the first floor of the home.

          (4) Adult family homes shall have clean, functioning, and safe household items and furnishings.

          (5) Adult family homes shall provide a nutritious and balanced diet and shall recognize residents' needs for special diets.

          (6) Adult family homes shall establish health care procedures  for the care of residents including medication dispensing and emergency medical care.

          (a) Adult family home residents shall be permitted to self- administer medications.

          (b)  Adult family home providers may administer medications only to the extent that the provider is a licensed health care professional for whom the administration of medications is within the scope of practice under Washington law.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 13.    Each adult family home shall meet applicable local licensing, zoning, building, and housing codes, and state and local fire safety regulations.  It is the responsibility of the home to check with local authorities to ensure all local codes are met. An adult family home shall be a residential use of property for zoning purposes.  Political jurisdictions shall treat adult family homes as a permitted use in all residential zoning districts, including all single family residential zoning districts.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 14.    Whenever possible adult family homes are encouraged to contact and work with local quality assurance projects such as the volunteer ombudsman with the goal of assuring high quality care is provided in the home.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 15.    The department shall develop written training material to distribute to adult family home sponsors.  The material shall explain licensure requirements established by this chapter and cover other areas to include issues affecting the health, mental health, nutrition, and hygiene of residents as well as other areas pertinent to the care of residents or of the home.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 16.    (1) During inspections of an adult family home, the department shall have access and authority to examine, among other things, an adult family home's resident records, accounts, and physical premises, including the buildings, grounds, equipment, or any vehicles.  The department also shall have the authority to interview the provider and residents of an adult family home.

          (2) Whenever an inspection is conducted, the department shall prepare a written report that summarizes all information obtained during the inspection, and if the home is in violation of this chapter, serve a copy of the inspection report upon the provider at the same time as the notice of violation as provided in this chapter.  If the home is not in violation of this chapter, a copy of the inspection report shall be mailed to the provider within ten days of the inspection of the home.  All inspection reports shall be made available to the public at the department during business hours.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 17.    (1) The department is authorized to take one or more of the actions listed in subsection (2) of this section in any case in which the department finds that an adult family home provider has:

          (a) Failed or refused to comply with the requirements of this chapter or the rules adopted under this chapter;

          (b) Operated an adult family home without a license or under a revoked license;

          (c) Knowingly or with reason to know made a false statement of material fact on his or her application for license or any data attached thereto, or in any matter under investigation by the department; or

          (d) Willfully prevented or interfered with any inspection or investigation by the department.

          (2) When authorized by subsection (1) of this section, the department may take one or more of the following actions:

          (a) Suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew a license; or

          (b) Suspend admissions to the adult family home.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 18.  Section 11, chapter 172, Laws of 1969 ex. sess., section 1, chapter 52, Laws of 1975-'76 2nd ex. sess. and RCW 74.08.044 are each repealed.



          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 19.    The sum of .......... dollars, or as much thereof as may be necessary, is appropriated for the biennium ending June 30, 1991, from the general fund to the department of social and health services for the purposes of additional staff to fulfill the purposes of this act.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 20.    If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 21.    Sections 1 through 17 of this act shall constitute a new chapter in Title 71 RCW.