Working to transform the child welfare system.

Creates a pediatric transitional care center license and requires a center, in order to be licensed, to demonstrate that it is capable of providing services for children who: (1) Are no more than two years of age; (2) Have been exposed to alcohol or other drugs before birth; (3) Require twenty-four hour continuous residential care and skilled nursing services as a result of prenatal substance exposure; and (4) Are referred to the center by the department of social and health services and regional hospitals. SB 5152 directs the Dept. of Health, in conjunction with the Dept. of Social and Health Services, to develop rules related to the operation of pediatric transitional care centers and lays out the areas for which rules must be developed, eg. Staffing levels, case ratios, staff credentials, etc.  The bill further identifies that following a referral to a center by DSHS, DSHS shall maintains case work responsibilities including developing a parent-child visitation plan; and must consult with the dept. of health regarding evidence based practices and ensuring that Medicaid services are billed.

Effect of changes made by Senate Health Care Committee (First Substitute):

-Provides that Pediatric Transitional Care Services will be regulated by DOH under the chapter regulating private establishments, which includes facilities for the treatment of chemically dependent persons.

– Modifies staffing ratios to provide:

one registered nurse to be on duty at all times

one registered or licensed practice nurse to eight infants

one trained caregiver to four infants

– Defines the term “trained caregiver” as a person trained by the establishment providing transitional care services and clarifies they are not medical providers but must work under the supervision of a health care professional.

– Exempts currently operating establishments from construction review for initial licensure.

– Reduces the age of eligibility for children to enter the establishment from two years to one year. 

Amendment in House Committee: Clarifies that parent-child visits are ongoing & timelines must be developed upon placement of the infant in the establishment.