ESSB 5872

C 474 L 05
Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Creating a task force on the administrative organization, structure, and delivery of services to children and families.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Human Services & Corrections (originally sponsored by Senators Stevens, Carrell, Mulliken, Deccio, Finkbeiner, Delvin, Benson, Johnson, Oke, Hewitt and Schmidt).

Senate Committee on Human Services & Corrections
House Committee on Children & Family Services
House Committee on Appropriations

Background: The Children's Administration (CA) and the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration (JRA) are currently two separate administrations within a larger agency, the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). CA and JRA are each lead by an assistant secretary who reports to the Secretary of DSHS. CA provides and oversees services to families with children regarding their safety and placement. JRA operates the state's juvenile rehabilitation facilities and related functions.

DSHS provides services to other needy populations through the Aging and Disability Services Administration (providing residential, home, and community services for these populations), the Economic Services Administration (providing financial assistance through public assistance and employment programs, child support, and child care), the Health and Rehabilitative Services Administration (providing mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, deaf and hard of hearing, vocational rehabilitation, and civil commitment services) and the Medical Assistance Administration (providing medicaid, medicare, and related services).

DSHS was created in 1970 to combine the powers, duties, and functions vested in the existing departments of public assistance, institutions, veterans rehabilitation council, and vocational rehabilitation. Legislative intent at the time, expressed a desire for the department to concern itself with changing social needs. Over the years since its formation, the types of services DSHS has provided to the ever growing and diverse population of Washington have expanded. The legislature has seen fit at different times to create separate and distinct agencies which were once part of the larger DSHS. Some examples are the creation of the Department of Corrections in 1981 and the Department of Health in 1989.

Summary: A task force is created to determine the most appropriate and effective administrative structure for delivery of social and health services to children and families. This task force will compare the effectiveness of service delivery as part of an umbrella agency as well as service delivery as a separate entity. The task force will examine administrative structures used to deliver the same services in other states. Findings and recommendations on which administrative and service delivery structures can best accomplish positive outcomes for families and children will be published in a final report and will include costs and benefits of the various administrative and service delivery structures. Some members of the task force will be appointed jointly by the chairs of the House Children and Family Services Committee and the Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee. The task force will include representatives from the legislature, the University of Washington, DSHS, judiciary, service providers, and the Office of Family and Children's Ombudsman. The task force must report findings and recommendations to the Governor and appropriate committees of the legislature by December 1, 2005.

Votes on Final Passage:

Senate      43   0
House      96   0   (House amended)
Senate      45   0   (Senate concurred)

Effective: July 24, 2005