SSB 5286 -
By Committee on Health & Human Services Appropriations
Strike everything after the enacting clause and insert the following:
"Sec. 1 RCW 74.08A.270 and 2007 c 289 s 1 are each amended to
read as follows:
(1) Good cause reasons for failure to participate in WorkFirst program components include: (a) Situations where the recipient is a parent or other relative personally providing care for a child under the age of six years, and formal or informal child care, or day care for an incapacitated individual living in the same home as a dependent child, is necessary for an individual to participate or continue participation in the program or accept employment, and such care is not available, and the department fails to provide such care; or (b) the recipient is a parent with a child under the age of one year.
(2) A parent claiming a good cause exemption from WorkFirst participation under subsection (1)(b) of this section shall not be required to participate in any activities during the first ninety days following the birth of the child. Thereafter, the parent may be required to participate in one or more of the following, up to a maximum total of twenty hours per week, if such treatment, services, or training is indicated by the comprehensive evaluation or other assessment:
(a) Mental health treatment;
(b) Alcohol or drug treatment;
(c) Domestic violence services; or
(d) Parenting education or parenting skills training, if available.
(3) The department shall: (a) Work with a parent claiming a good cause exemption under subsection (1)(b) of this section to identify and access programs and services designed to improve parenting skills and promote child well-being, including but not limited to home visitation programs and services; and (b) provide information on the availability of home visitation services to temporary assistance for needy families caseworkers, who shall inform clients of the availability of the services. If desired by the client, the caseworker shall facilitate appropriate referrals to providers of home visitation services.
(4) Nothing in this section shall prevent a recipient from participating in the WorkFirst program on a voluntary basis.
(5) A parent is eligible for a good cause exemption under subsection (1)(b) of this section for a maximum total of twelve months over the parent's lifetime.
(6) The grant to a single-parent household claiming a good cause exemption under subsection (1)(b) of this section shall not be reduced due to sanction for failure to participate in the activities described under subsection (2) of this section. The department may, however, assign or seek out a volunteer or responsible family member to serve as a protective payee when a parent in need of mental health or substance abuse treatment refuses to engage in treatment, and shall continue its efforts to engage parents in appropriate supportive services and treatment programs."
Correct the title.
EFFECT: Strikes the underlying bill. Provides for a 90-day grace period following the birth of a child during which a parent claiming a good cause exemption from participation in WorkFirst activities will not be required to participate in any alternative activities. Prohibits the DSHS from reducing the grant to a single-parent household claiming the good cause exemption due to sanction for the parent's failure to participate in alternative activities, if required. Permits the DSHS to assign or allow a responsible volunteer or family member to serve as a protective payee for parents refusing to engage in needed mental health or substance abuse treatment and directs the DSHS to continue its efforts to engage parents in appropriate services and treatment.