Department of Children, Youth, and Families.
The Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) was created in 2017. In 2018 the DCYF assumed responsibility over child welfare and early learning functions previously held by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and the Department of Early Learning. On July 1, 2019, the DCYF assumed responsibility over juvenile justice programs currently administered by the DSHS.
The Oversight Board for the DCYF (Oversight Board) was created in 2017, along with the creation of the DCYF. The Oversight Board held its first meetings in 2018. The Oversight Board is authorized for the purpose of monitoring and ensuring that the DCYF achieves certain outcomes and complies with policies and rules.
The Oversight Board has powers to:
The Oversight Board consists of 21 members, outlined as the following:
Nonlegislative members of the board are nominated by the Governor, subject to approval of the appointed legislators and serve four-year terms. When nominating and approving members of the Oversight Board, the Governor and appointed legislators must ensure that at least five of the Oversight Board members reside east of the Cascade Mountain range. The Oversight Board must convene at least two stakeholder meetings per year regarding contracting with the DCYF. The Oversight Board must also review surveys of providers, customers, parent groups, and external services to assess whether the DCYF is effectively delivering services.
The Oversight Board members must be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred while conducting business of the Oversight Board when authorized by the Oversight Board and within resources allocated for that purposes. Legislative members of the Oversight Board must be reimbursed for travel expenses according to current law.
The membership of the Oversight Board is adjusted in the following manner:
The Oversight Board must convene two subcommittees:
Membership of the foster youth subcommittee must, at a minimum, include representatives from former or current youths in foster care, one subject matter expert in child welfare, and one Member of the House of Representatives or Senate.
Membership of the juvenile justice subcommittee must, at a minimum, include representatives with current or previous experience with the juvenile justice system, one subject matter expert in juvenile rehabilitation and justice, and one Member of the House of Representatives or Senate.
The foster youth subcommittee and the juvenile justice subcommittee must each convene at least two meetings per year. Each subcommittee must provide feedback and recommendations to the Oversight Board at the Oversight Board's stakeholder meetings.