Laws & Rules

The Department of Children, Youth, and Families is governed by federal and state laws that are put into practice by our policies and procedures. There are other things like funding requirements, program eligibility and goals, and contracts that impact our work.

If you review the laws and rules linked on this page and think, “I want to change that,” we encourage you to contact your legislators and community organizations to find other people with ideas similar to yours. Visit the Stay Connected page to learn about different settings where you can advocate for change!


Chapter 13.34 RCW Juvenile Court Act – Dependency and Termination of Parent-Child Relationship

Chapter 13.36 RCW Guardianship

Chapter 13.38 RCW Indian Child Welfare Act

Chapter 26.33 RCW Adoption

Chapter 74.13 RCW Child Welfare Services

Chapter 74.15 RCW Care of Children, Expectant Mothers, Persons with Developmental Disabilities

Chapter 26.44 RCW Abuse of Children

Read about federal laws and learn more about how they shape child welfare services:


  • Licensing Requirements
    • WAC 110-148 - Minimum Licensing Requirements for Child Foster Homes
    • WAC 110-145 - Minimum  Licensing Requirements for Group Care Facilities
    • WAC 110-147 - Minimum  Licensing Requirements for Child Placing Agencies and Adoption Services
  • General

Read DCYF’s child welfare policies and procedures.