D.S. Lawsuit and Settlement

The D.S. Class Action Complaint (Original Pleading) was filed January 29, 2021 on behalf of a Class of foster children and youth.

DCYF and the Plaintiffs reached a Settlement Agreement June 6, 2022, which was ordered by the court September 21, 2022. The Settlement Agreement and Order set forth a plan and process for DCYF to better provide for dependent children with behavioral health and developmental disabilities to be promptly reunified with their families and adequately supported while in out-of-home care.


The Settlement Agreement requires contracted stakeholder engagement to help form the implementation plans for plans of three of the eight System Improvements: the Kinship Engagement Unit, Family Group Planning, and Referrals and Transitions. The contractor’s findings and recommendations are included below.

Monitoring Progress

Based on best judgment, the Implementation Plan identifies core strategies and activities for each System Improvement that may be revised based on new information. Semi-annually, DCYF will report on data and progress towards meeting the System Improvements identified in the Data Addendum. 

System Improvements

Eight System Improvements are identified in the Settlement Agreement. Implementation of each System Improvement is required and will be monitored by the Court Monitor until the exit criteria are met.

Emerging Adulthood Housing Program - Develop and implement an array of supported statewide housing for young people ages 16-20 years who prefer to live independently.

Professional Therapeutic Foster Care - Develop and implement a contract and licensing category for therapeutic foster parent professionals to support children with developmental disabilities or behavioral health needs.

Statewide Hub Home Model Program - Develop and implement a statewide Hub Home Model focused on caring for young people with a current or a history of behavioral health needs.

Revising Licensing Standards - Amend contracts and policies and engage in negotiated rulemaking to amend requirements for foster care placements to be more developmentally appropriate and flexible to meet individual youth’s needs.

Kinship Engagement Unit - Establish a statewide unit to identify and engage Class Members’ extended family members and friends to support families in safely reunifying or staying together. A contracted stakeholder process will assist with developing, implementing, and evaluating this system improvement.

Family Group Planning - Review Shared Planning Meeting policies and practices for improvements and revise in response to stakeholder input. A contracted stakeholder process will assist with developing, implementing, and evaluating this system improvement.

Referrals and Transitions - Develop referral and transition protocols in response to feedback from lived experience and other stakeholders. A contracted stakeholder process will assist with developing, implementing, and evaluating this system improvement.

Qualified Residential Treatment Programs - Increase the frequency of and improve the process for QRTP assessments.


If you would like this content in an alternative format or language, please contact DCYF Constituent Relations at 1-800-723-4831 or email constrelations@dcyf.wa.gov.

Si quiere obtener copias gratuitas de esta publicación en un formato o idioma alternativo, comuníquese con Relaciones con los Electores (Constituent Relations) del Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). Para ello, llame al 1-800-723-4831 o envíe un correo electrónico a constrelations@dcyf.wa.gov.

Haddii aad jeclaan lahayd nuqulo lacag la'aan ah oo ah daabacaadan oo qaab kale ama luqad kale ah, fadlan kala xiriir Xiriirka Degmada DYFF ee ah 1-800-723-4831 ama iimaylka constrelations@dcyf.wa.gov.

Если вы хотите получить бесплатные копии этой публикации в другом формате или на другом языке, обратитесь в отдел связей DCYF (Department of Children, Youth and Their Families) по номеру 1-800-723-4831 или электронной почте constrelations@dcyf.wa.gov.