House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
Brief Description: Concerning educator recertification requirements regarding youth suicide screening, referral, and safety planning.
Sponsors: Representatives Callan, Ybarra, Ortiz-Self, Rude, Orwall, Davis, Thai, Steele, Fey, Gildon, Doglio, Leavitt, Harris and Pollet.
Hearing Date: 1/27/20
Staff: Megan Wargacki (786-7194).
The Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) establishes certification requirements for educational staff associates. There are eight educational staff associate certificate roles: school counselor, school psychologist, school social worker, school nurse, school occupational therapist, school physical therapist, school speech language pathologist/audiologist, and school behavior analyst.
School counselors, school psychologists, school nurses, and school social workers must complete a PESB-approved training program on youth suicide screening and referral every five years. For some certificate holders the requirement became effective on July 1, 2015 and for other certificate holders the requirement becomes effective September 1, 2020.
The PESB-approved training programs include three-hour introductory courses and six-hour advanced courses.
The PESB uses the Department of Health standards to approve three-hour training program content. The standards are as follows:
content must be based on current empirical research and known best practices;
training must reflect sensitivity and relevance to the cultures and backgrounds of the relevant client or patient populations;
a minimum of 70 minutes must address screening for suicide risk, which must include when and how to screen a client or patient for acute and chronic suicide risk and protective factors against suicide; appropriate screening tools, tailored for specific ages and populations if applicable; and strategies for screening and appropriate use of information gained through screening; and
a minimum of 30 minutes must address the referral process, which must include how to identify and select an appropriate resource; best practices for connecting a client or patient to a referral; and continuity of care when making referrals.
Summary of Bill:
By July 1, 2021, youth suicide safety planning that includes notification of trusted adults and discussion with trusted adults about removal of lethal means must be incorporated into PESB-approved training programs on youth suicide screening and referral.
Beginning September 1, 2021, school principals are added to the list of certificated staff who must complete a PESB-approved training program on youth suicide screening and referral every five years.
Fiscal Note: Requested on January 21, 2020.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.