Timeline for EBP
DCYF commits to working continuously with the community and tribal partners in the implementation of FFPSA
At the next revision of its prevention plan, DCYF will add Family Spirit, Incredible Years, Promoting First Relationship, and Triple P to the proposed services list.
October 2021: DCYF will collaborate with tribes to understand and build capacity tribal services.
August 2021: DCYF submitted a feedback response to Title IV-E Clearinghouse to support the expansion of culturally specific interventions.
May 2020: Completion of the systematic review of evidence-based tribal child welfare prevention programs in Washington State.
Services for former foster care youth (John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program) were extended to age 23. These services include financial support, housing, employment, education, and counseling. It ensures that youth who age out of foster care receive official documentation indicating they were previously in foster care and adds flexibility to the Education & Training Voucher (ETV) program. The changes regarding documentation went into effect in July 2018. The changes to policies and procedures regarding Chafee went into effect on Oct. 1, 2019.
The Family First Act requires alignment with the national standards for foster care licensing. The primary purpose of establishing national model standards is to help ensure children in foster care are safe while also establishing a common-sense pathway that enables more relatives and nonrelatives to become licensed foster parents. By eliminating barriers caused by state licensing standards, licensed relatives and nonrelatives can receive ongoing monthly financial assistance and support.
Family First Prevention Services Act Policy and WAC Revisions for the Licensing Requirements for Child Foster Homes took effect Feb. 1, 2020.
The revised policies 5110 Completing Home Studies and 5120 Licensing State Foster Homes reflect the new requirements in the FFPSA regarding immunizations for household members in licensed foster homes.
- Allow for medical exemptions for pertussis for both unlicensed and licensed caregivers
- Requires licensed foster parents caring for children under the age of two years and medically fragile children to have documentation of current pertussis and the annual influenza vaccinations for all household members, unless there is a medical exemption
- Requires licensed foster parents to provide documentation that all household member children meet the Recommended Child & Adolescent Immunization Schedule (RCAIS) unless there is a medical exemption for a specific child and vaccination
The Licensing Requirements for Child Foster Homes WAC 110-148 were updated to reflect the new FFPSA requirements.
Here is a summary of the changes:
- All individuals who are at least 16 years old and living on the property (including those not living in the family home) to pass a background check
- Licensee and all household members to have pertussis and influenza immunizations if a child in care is medically fragile unless exempted by a licensed health care provider
- At least one applicant for licensure in the home must have functional literacy and be able to communicate with the child, DCYF, health care providers, and other service providers
- Overcapacity exceptions were established
- Requirements were clarified for a properly operating kitchen
- Recycling disposal service is now required, if available
- Safety requirements for swimming pools were further established
- Evacuation plans are required to be reviewed with children in care and posted in licensed foster homes
- Co-sleeping and bed-sharing with children in care is prohibited
- Smoking in vehicles transporting children is prohibited
- Proof of registration of a vehicle used to transport children is required
A QRTP is a specific category of non-foster family home setting, for which public child welfare agencies must meet detailed assessment, case planning, documentation, judicial determinations and ongoing review and permanency hearing requirements for a child to be placed in and continue to receive federal Title IV-E funding for the placement. QRTPs are a subset of licensed group care facilities; they do not wholly replace them.
As of Oct. 1, 2019, child welfare practices and procedure policies were updated to reflect the FFPSA requirements related to the QRTP. We submitted our state plan updates to the federal Children’s Bureau in December 2019, and received feedback from the Children’s Bureau in Spring 2020. We addressed their questions and made minor updates to the policy. On Oct. 8, 2020, the Children’s Bureau approved our updated policy, state plan and our qualified individual waiver. You can view the approved policy and the waiver form.
Facilities must also be licensed and comply with criminal records check and child abuse and neglect registry check requirements and must be accredited. The majority of the QRTP facilities have received their accreditation but there are still a couple of facilities that are actively working towards completing accreditation. DCYF has no intention of cancelling contracts for those that are actively seeking accreditation. Ultimately, all BRS facilities will need to meet FFPSA QRTP standards.
Qualified Residential Treatment Program Requirements
The QRTP requirements are necessary for all non-family homes where the state wants to claim Title IV-E.
The Family First Act requires all group care staff, including those not working directly with children, to complete a fingerprint-based background check before they can work in a group care facility. Effective Jul. 1, 2019, all group care staff must complete the fingerprint-based background check before they can work in a facility.