SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 08-07-095.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is amending WAC 388-15-005 What definitions apply to these rules? and 388-15-077 What happens to unfounded CPS findings?
Hearing Location(s): Blake Office Park East, Rose Room, 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503 (one block north of the intersection of Pacific Avenue S.E. and Alhadeff Lane. A map or directions are available at http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/msa/rpau/docket.html or by calling (360) 664-6094), on August 5, 2008, at 10:00 a.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than August 6, 2008.
Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, delivery 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503, e-mail DSHSRPAURulesCoordinator@dshs.wa.gov, fax (360) 664-6185, by
5 p.m. on August 5, 2008.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS rules consultant, by July 29, 2008, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6094 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: To meet the requirements from chapter 220, Laws of 2007 (SSB 5321).
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The new language is essential for children's administration to implement the legislature's intent in chapter 220, Laws of 2007 (SSB 5321). The new language is essential for amending the child protective services (CPS) rules which establish findings for child abuse and neglect. The new language will establish a two-tiered findings system and new record expungement timeframes.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08.090.
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.13.031, 74.04.050, chapter 26.44 RCW, chapter 220, Laws of 2007.
Name of Proponent: Department of social and health services, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Colette McCully, Children's Administration, P.O. Box 45710, Olympia, WA, (360) 902-0863; Implementation and Enforcement: Meri Waterhouse, Children's Administration, P.O. Box 45710, Olympia, WA, (360) 902-8035.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These rule changes are dictated by statute. An economic analysis was not required under RCW 19.85.025(3), 34.05.328 (5)(b) and (c) as the proposed rule changes are adopted by reference without material change from chapter 220, Laws of 2007 (SSB 5321).
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. Rule change is dictated by statute. Rule changes are dictated by chapter 220, Laws of 2007 (SSB 5321) and are not considered significant rule changes under RCW 34.05.328.
June 26, 2008
Stephanie E. Schiller
"Abuse or neglect" means the injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, negligent treatment, or maltreatment of a child as defined in RCW 26.44.020 and this chapter.
"Administrative hearing" means a hearing held before an administrative law judge and conducted according to chapter 34.05 RCW and chapter 388-02 WAC.
"Administrative law judge (ALJ)" is an impartial decision-maker who presides at an administrative hearing. The office of administrative hearings, which is a state agency but not part of DSHS, employs the ALJs.
"Alleged perpetrator" means the person identified in a CPS referral as being responsible for the alleged child abuse or neglect.
"Alternative response system" means a contracted provider in a local community that responds to accepted CPS referrals that are rated low or moderately low risk at the time of intake.
"Appellant" means a person who requests an administrative hearing to appeal a CPS finding.
"Child protection team (CPT)" means a multidisciplinary group of persons with at least four persons from professions that provide services to abused or neglected children and/or parents of such children. The CPT provides confidential case staffing and consultation to children's administration.
"Child protective services (CPS)" means the section of the children's administration responsible for responding to allegations of child abuse or neglect.
"Children's administration (CA)" means the cluster of programs within DSHS that is responsible for the provision of child protective, child welfare, foster care licensing, group care licensing, and other services to children and their families.
"Department" or "DSHS" means the Washington state department of social and health services.
Divisions of child care and early learning (DCCEL)))
Department of early learning (DEL)" means the (( division of
economic services)) Washington state agency responsible for
licensing child care homes and child care facilities.
"Division of children and family services (DCFS)" means the division of children's administration that provides child protective, child welfare, and support services to children and their families.
"Division of licensed resources (DLR)" means the division of children's administration responsible for licensing group care and foster care facilities, and responding to allegations of abuse or neglect in such facilities.
"Finding" means the final decision made by a CPS social worker after an investigation regarding alleged child abuse or neglect.
"Founded" means the determination following an investigation by CPS that based on available information it is more likely than not that child abuse or neglect did occur.
"Inconclusive" means the determination following an investigation by CPS, prior to October 1, 2008, that based on available information a decision cannot be made that more likely than not, child abuse or neglect did or did not occur. Beginning October 1, 2008 the department will no longer make inconclusive findings, but shall retain such findings made prior to that date as provided in these rules.
"Mandated reporter" means a person required to report alleged child abuse or neglect as defined in RCW 26.44.030.
"Preponderance of evidence" means the evidence presented in a hearing indicates more likely than not child abuse or neglect did occur.
"Screened-out report" means a report of alleged child abuse or neglect that the department had determined does not rise to the level of credible report of abuse or neglect and is not referred for investigation.
"Unfounded" means the determination following an investigation by CPS that based on available information it is more likely than not that child abuse or neglect did not occur or there is insufficient evidence for the department to determine whether the alleged child abuse did or did not occur.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031, 74.04.050, and chapter 26.44 RCW. 02-15-098 and 02-17-045, § 388-15-005, filed 7/16/02 and 8/14/02, effective 2/10/03.]
According to RCW 26.44.020(19) no)) An unfounded,
screened out or inconclusive allegation of child abuse or
neglect may not be disclosed (( as part of a background check))
to a child placing agency, private adoption agency, or any
other provider licensed under chapter 74.15 RCW.
According to RCW 26.44.031,)) At the end of three
years from the receipt of a screened-out report that alleged
child abuse or neglect, the department must destroy its
records relating to that report.
(4) At the end of six years from the date of the
report, the department must remove the unfounded finding
from the department's records unless an additional child abuse
and/or neglect report has been received regarding the same
perpetrator during those six years)) completion of an
investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect, the
department must destroy records relating to unfounded or
inconclusive reports, unless a prior or subsequent founded
report has been received regarding the child who is the
subject of the report, a sibling or half-sibling of the child,
or a parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the child, before
records are destroyed.
(5) The department shall retain records relating to founded reports of child abuse and neglect as required by DSHS records retention policies. If dependency is established under chapter 13.34 RCW as to a child who is subject of a report of child abuse or neglect, all records relating to the child or the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian, including any screened-out, unfounded or inconclusive reports required to be destroyed prior to the establishment of dependency or received after dependency was established, shall be retained as required by DSHS records retention policies regarding dependency records.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031, 74.04.050, and chapter 26.44 RCW. 02-15-098 and 02-17-045, § 388-15-077, filed 7/16/02 and 8/14/02, effective 2/10/03.]