Status Summary

First reading, referred to Human Services & Early Learning on 1.20.2020. Public hearing scheduled in the House Committee on Human Services & Early Learning on 2.20.2020 at 10:00 a.m. (updated 2.21.2020)

Legislative Session

2020

Status

In Progress

Sponsor

Rep. Davis

The bill requires the court, at the shelter care hearing, to determine if a documented, concerted, and good faith effort was made by the department to facilitate the parent’s receipt of and engagement in services to prevent any removal or separation of the child from a parent.

If the court determines that termination of parental rights is in the child’s best interest, the court shall also examine whether it is in the child’s best interest to have post-termination contact with the parent. It is presumed that contact between the child and the parent whose rights have been terminated currently is or in the future will be in the child’s best interest. 

A presumption is that visitation between the child and parent whose rights have been terminated will continue or be re-instated pursuant  to RCW.

The bill states that a person whose parental rights were terminated may petition the court for visitation with the child.  The bill proceeds to lay out the process for seeking visitation post termination.  Conditions for petitioning for visitation were included.

A fine is established for those in an adoption agreement who violate the conditions.  And exceptional circumstances for modifying the agreement are laid out.

If the court finds that termination of parental rights is in the child's best interest, the court shall also examine whether it is  in the child's best interest to have post-termination contact with the   parent. It is presumed that contact between the child and the parent  whose rights have been terminated currently is, or in the future will be, in the child's best interest. To rebut this presumption,;

For children born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, hospitals and child  welfare services must work together to ensure that evidence-based  best practices are followed, including keeping the birth mother and  child together whenever possible to reduce reliance on  pharmacological interventions for neonatal abstinence syndrome.

Good faith efforts: What services were provided to the family to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from the child's home, including whether a documented, concerted, and good faith effort was made by the department to facilitate the parent's receipt of and engagement in services to prevent any removal or separation of the child from a parent.

When considering findings of abuse and neglect, a parents SUD shall no longer be “given great weight”.