(1) Preservice training is recognized as a valuable tool to reduce placement disruptions, the length of time children are in care, and foster parent turnover rates. Preservice training also assists potential foster parents in making their final decisions about foster parenting and assists social service agencies in obtaining information about whether to approve potential foster parents.
(2) Foster parent preservice training shall include information about the potential impact of placement on foster children; social service agency administrative processes; the requirements, responsibilities, expectations, and skills needed to be a foster parent; attachment, separation, and loss issues faced by birth parents, foster children, and foster parents; child management and discipline; birth family relationships; information on the limits of the adoption support program as provided in RCW 74.13A.020
(4); and helping children leave foster care. Preservice training shall assist applicants in making informed decisions about whether they want to be foster parents. Preservice training shall be designed to enable the agency to assess the ability, readiness, and appropriateness of families to be foster parents. As a decision tool, effective preservice training provides potential foster parents with enough information to make an appropriate decision, affords potential foster parents an opportunity to discuss their decision with others and consider its implications for their family, clarifies foster family expectations, presents a realistic picture of what foster parenting involves, and allows potential foster parents to consider and explore the different types of children they might serve.
(3) Foster parents shall complete preservice training before the issuance of a foster care license, except that the department may, on a case by case basis, issue a written waiver that allows the foster parent to complete the training after licensure, so long as the training is completed within ninety days following licensure.
(4) All components of the foster parent preservice training shall be made available online. The department shall allow individuals to complete as much online preservice training as is practicable while requiring that some preservice training be completed in person.