Partners for Our Children

Companion bill to SB 5535. HB 1897 aims to repeal requirements that parents pay a percentage of their gross income to the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) for the cost of their child’s support, treatment, and confinement in DCYF juvenile rehabilitation residential facilities. The bill explains that the existing “parent pay” requirement disproportionately impacts parents who have fewer resources and is not aligned with current racial equity and social justice goals. Parent pay may place parents in debt, destabilizing home environments and deterring successful youth reentry back into their communities. HB 1897 does not affect any payments made to DCYF prior to the enactment of the legislation, but it will terminate parent pay and actions to recover debt (tax refund intercepts, benefits intercepts, etc.) when this legislation goes into effect. Additionally, all outstanding debts or obligations, including, but not limited to, interest charges, will be cancelled, and assignments of collection to collection agencies will be recalled and terminated. Outstanding debt shall be rendered null and void and considered paid in full. This act does not create a cause of action against the state of Washington.