WSR 09-02-076



(Children's Administration)

[ Filed January 7, 2009, 8:53 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 08-22-086.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is amending WAC 388-15-021 How does CPS respond to reports of alleged child abuse or neglect?

Hearing Location(s): Office Building 2, Auditorium, DSHS Headquarters, 1115 Washington, Olympia, WA 98504 (public parking at 11th and Jefferson. A map is available at,

or by calling (360) 664-6094, on February 10, 2009, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than February 11, 2009.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, delivery 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503, e-mail, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5 p.m., February 10, 2009.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS rules consultant, by January 27, 2009, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6094 or by e-mail at

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: To meet the requirements from chapter 220, Laws of 2007.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The department is amending the child protective services (CPS) rule to establish a ninety day timeline for a CPS investigation. The new language is essential for children's administration to implement the legislature's intent in chapter 220, Laws of 2007.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08.090.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Department of social and health services, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Tina Stern, Children's Administration, P.O. Box 45710, Olympia, WA, (360) 902-0860.

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. Rules are dictated by incorporating chapter 220, Laws of 2007 (SSB 5321) and are not considered significant rule changes under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(iii).

December 31, 2008

Stephanie E. Schiller

Rules Coordinator

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-15-098 and 02-17-045, filed 7/16/02 and 8/14/02, effective 2/10/03)

WAC 388-15-021   How does CPS respond to reports of alleged child abuse or neglect?   (1) CPS must assess all reports that meet the definition of child abuse or neglect using a risk assessment process to determine level of risk and response time.

(2) CPS must provide an in-person response to alleged victims and must attempt an in-person response to the alleged perpetrator of child abuse and neglect in referrals assessed at moderate to high risk.

(3) CPS may refer reports assessed at low to moderately low risk to an alternative response system.

(4) CPS may interview a child, outside the presence of the parent, without prior parental notification or consent (RCW 26.44.030(10)).

(5) Unless the child objects, CPS must make reasonable efforts to have a third party present at the interview so long as the third party does not jeopardize the investigation (RCW 26.44.030).

(6) CPS may photograph the alleged child victim to document the physical condition of the child (RCW 26.44.050).

(7) CPS ((must establish in procedure, timelines for the completion of investigations and standards for written findings)) attempts to complete investigations within forty-five days. In no case shall the investigation extend beyond ninety days unless the investigation is being conducted under local protocol, established pursuant to chapter 26.44 RCW, and a law enforcement agency or prosecuting attorney has determined that a longer investigation period is necessary.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.13.031, 74.04.050 and chapter 26.44 RCW. 02-15-098 and 02-17-045, 388-15-021, filed 7/16/02 and 8/14/02, effective 2/10/03.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office