Status Summary

SB 5888 was signed into law by the Governor on May 18th and went into effect on July 24, 2015.

Legislative Session

2015

Sponsor

Sen. O’Ban

SB 5888 requires that in the event of a near fatality of a child who is in the care of, or receiving services from DSHS, or received services within three months preceding the near fatality, DSHS must notify the office of the family and children’s ombuds and a review of the near fatality must be conducted.

The bill adds when a social worker or other employee of CPS responds to an allegation of child abuse or neglect and takes no action, or does not remove the child from the home, and there is a subsequent allegation of abuse or neglect resulting in a near fatality within one year of the initial allegation that is screened in and open for investigation by CPS, DSHS must immediately conduct a review of the social worker’s and his/her supervisor’s files and actions taken during the initial report of alleged child abuse or neglect. The purpose of the review is to determine if there were any errors by the employees under DSHS policy, rule or state statute. If violations are found, DSHS must conduct a formal employee investigation.

Amendment in Human Services, Mental Health and Housing: As amended in committee, SB 5888 state that when a social worker or other employee of DSHS responds to an allegation of child abuse or neglect and there is a subsequent allegation of abuse or neglect resulting in a near fatality within one year of theinitial allegation that is screened in and open for investigation by DSHS, DSHS must immediately conduct a review of the social worker's and social worker's supervisor's files and actions taken during the initial report of alleged child abuse or neglect.

Amendment in the Ways and Means Committee:  Near fatality is defined to mean an act that, as certified by a physician, places the child in serious or critical condition. Additionally, the Act is to be known as Aiden's Act.

Amendment in Early Learning and Human Services:  As amended the bill clarifies that when an initial allegation of child abuse and neglect screens in and is open for investigation and there is a subsequent near fatality within one year of the initial allegation, DSHS must conduct a review. Further, the bill specifies that DSHS review the case files when conducting a review following a near fatality that occurred within one year of an allegation of child abuse and neglect.

Amendment in House Appropriations:  Clarifies that the employee review conducted by the DSSH applies to case workers or other employees of the Department, which may include social workers, and their supervisors instead of only social workers and social workers' supervisors.