11. Payments for Services for Children in Tribal Care or Custody

Approval: Jennifer Strus, Assistant Secretary

Effective Date: September 12, 2016

Revised Date: Not Applicable

Sunset Review: June 30, 2020


Provide Children’s Administration (CA) caseworkers direction when tribes request a payment for services for a child in the care or custody of a federally recognized Indian tribe as supported by the DSHS Administrative policy No. 7.01.


R.C.W. 74.13.031(14) Duties of department - Child welfare services - Children's services advisory committee.


These policies apply to all Division of Children and Families Services staff.


  1. When requested by a federally recognized tribe, CA will approve payment for services for an Indian child, subject to the same eligibility standards and rates of support applicable to other children for whom the department purchases care (RCW 74.13.031).  Such services include:
    1. Preventative and in-home services when Tribes complete their own CPS/FAR interventions for families residing on the reservation
    2. CFWS case type services
  2. The CA intake worker will:
    1. Generate an intake for all tribal payment requests, including open and closed cases, unless the request is a modification to an existing payment only case.
    2. Send the intake to the local office responsible for the case and assignment to the CA payment-only worker or fiduciary.
  3. The CA payment-only worker or fiduciary will:
    1. Complete the following case assignment tasks in FamLink:
      1. Create a legal record, including Placement and Care Authority as "Tribe with a IV-E Agreement" or "Tribe without a IV-E Agreement."
      2. Upload the tribal court order for all placements in out-of-home care.
    2. Establish foster care monthly maintenance payment:
      1. Create the placement in FamLink using the Tribal Placement and Care Authority service codes.
      2. Coordinate with the tribe in completing a foster care rate assessment for children within 30 calendar days of placement in out-of-home care, and re-assess every six months thereafter.
    3. Referring for Services - When receiving a request from the tribal caseworker for services or evidence based practice services.
      1. Complete Service Referrals in FamLink.
      2. Send to the supervisor for approval.
      3. Once approved by the supervisor, forward to the contracted provider with a copy to the tribal worker.
    4. Periodically review the following services:
      1. Foster care rate assessments every six months
      2. Agency service fees for child placement agencies
      3. Parent Child Visits (PCV)
      4. Exceptional Cost Foster Care Plans (ECP)
      5. Child care for renewal
    5. Send completed Behavior Rehabilitation Services (BRS) or Wraparound Intensive Services (WISe) screen referrals received from the tribe to the regional BRS program manager.
    6. Contact the Regional Relative Guardianship Assistance Program (R-GAP) Gatekeeper when a caregiver is applying for a R-GAP subsidy.
    7. Obtain administrative approval for any special needs authorization for goods or services per Practices and Procedures 4525. DCFS Administrative Approvals policy.
    8. Change a placement when receiving tribal notice of a child’s placement changing to return home or to relative care or other suitable placement.
    9. Close the case when the tribe has confirmed payment is no longer necessary, and all placements and services are closed, and payments cleared. For a IV-E tribe, close the placement episode only after the child has achieved permanency
    10. When receiving a tribal request for child care via the service referral:
      1. Authorize child care per Practices and Procedures 5400. Child Care.
      2. Document the following information in FamLink:
        1. The reason why child care is needed.
        2. Name of the child-care provider and the provider ID number.
        3. The begin date.
        4. If full or part-time child care is needed.
        5. If a registration fee is required.
        6. If the caregivers are employed, the employer’s name and address.
      3. Refer requests for therapeutic child care to the Department of Early Learning (DEL). 
    11. Maintain a hard copy file with all payment information listed in a-j above.
  4. The placement desk coordinator will make placement arrangements when the tribe requests placement for a child.

Forms and Tools

  • Service Guide and Service Referral processes located on the CA FamLink Knowledge Web
  • Evidence Based Practices – Description and Directory, located on the CA intranet


  • Questions about Guardianship payments: Contact the regional R-GAP Gatekeeper or Guardianship Program Manager at Headquarters
  • Regional fiduciary or CA HQ finance and accounting division