Working to transform the child welfare system.

SB 5535: Repealing requirements for parent payment of the cost of their child’s support, treatment, and confinement in juvenile rehabilitation residential facilities

Companion bill to HB 1897. SSB 5535 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 poorer parents 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. SSB 5535 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.