Status Summary

First reading, referred to Human Services & Early Learning on 1.25.19. Public hearing scheduled in the House Committee on Human Services & Early Learning on 2.12.19 at 1:30 p.m. Executive session scheduled in the House Committee on Human Services & Early Learning on 2.15.19 at 8:00 a.m. 1st substituted bill passed. Referred to Appropriations on 2.20.19. Not yet scheduled for a hearing. (updated 4.5.19)

Legislative Session

2019

Status

Died

Sponsor

Rep. Ortiz-Self

This bill adds a section to RCW 74.13.020 in order to define “certificate of parental improvement” as a certificate issued under Section 2 of this act to an individual with a founded finding of child abuse or neglect or a court finding that the individual’s child was a dependent pursuant to RCW 13.34.

Criteria are specified with respect to who would not be allowed to receive a CPI.

An additional section is added to RCW Chapter 74.13 which states that the Department of Child Welfare Services must develop and implement a process by which said individual may petition the department for issuance of a certificate of parental improvement.

Moreover, the department must:

·     Respond to a request within 60 days;

·     Uphold requirements to not issue a certificate of parental improvement if

o    Fewer than 5 years have passed since the applicant’s last founded finding of child abuse or neglect;

o    The applicant has certain felony offenses pending conviction.

This act also establishes the right of an applicant whose application is denied to:

·       Seek a review of the department’s denial within 30 days after the applicant is notified of the department’s decision; and/or

·       Request an adjudicative hearing to contest the department’s decision.

Furthermore, this act establishes under RCW 28A.400.303 that school districts, educational service districts, the WA State Center for Childhood Deafness and Hearing Loss, the State School for the Blind, Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs-Funded schools, and charter schools may not deny a prospective volunteer solely because of a founded finding of abuse or neglect when the founded finding or court finding is accompanied by a certificate of parental improvement.  

The bill also states that the department may not delay a license or approval of unsupervised access to children to an individual solely because of a founded finding of abuse or neglect involving the individual revealed in the background check process or solely because the individual’s child was found by a court to be dependent pursuant to chapter 13.34 when that founded finding or court finding is accompanied by a certificate of parental improvement as defined.

Additionally, new sections are added to RCW chapters 74.13, 18.20, and 18.51 to determine that assisted living facilities and nursing homes may also not deny a prospective volunteer solely because of founded findings of abuse or neglect when the findings are accompanied by a certificate of parental improvement.

*Companion to SB5533

Amendments:

Updated 2/26/19:

  • Changes the terminology for those seeking a certificate to "requestor;"
  • Creates a standard by which certificates must be granted;
  • Prohibits requests for a certificate if not more than 2 years have passed since the DCYF's denial of a request;
  • Limits liability for acts or omissions in issuing certificates;
  • Expands criminal background check authority for the DCYF to include responding to certificate requests;
  • Prohibits the Department of Social and Health Services from denying a request for unsupervised access to adults solely based on a founded finding of child abuse or neglect involving the individual revealed in the background check process or solely because the individual's child was found by a court to be dependent when that founded finding or court finding is accompanied by a certificate;
  • Prohibits the DCYF from denying or delaying a license to provide child care and early learning services to an individual solely because of a founded finding of abuse or neglect involving the individual revealed in the background check process or solely because the individual's child was found by a court to be dependent when that founded finding or court finding is accompanied by a certificate;
  • Prohibits providers from automatically denying a request from a prospective volunteer for unsupervised access to vulnerable adults from an individual solely because of a founded finding of child abuse or neglect involving the individual revealed in the background check process or solely because the individual's child was found by a court to be dependent when that founded finding or court finding is accompanied by a certificate related to the same incident without conducting review to determine the individual's character, suitability, and competency to volunteer with vulnerable adults; and

Requires the Secretary to make determinations in response to requests for certificates and requests to review this determination.