Partners for Our Children

SB 6229 declares that the recruitment and retention of foster care families has become a crisis that negatively impacts children in dire need of suitable foster care placements. The bill would mandate provisions to streamline the foster care application process for child-placing agencies. The bill would mandate agencies to 1) accept foster care parent applications electronically, 2) complete and return background checks within thirty days, including weekends and holidays or provide an explanation as to the delay, 3) ensure forms required across the state are uniform and consistent between regions, 4) if applications forms change after the application has been received by the agency, not requiring the applicant to resubmit information on a substantially similar form; 5) ensure applications are processed in a timely manner; if the application is not received within ninety days and the delay is not based on missing applicant information the agency shall extend the application process an additional thirty days; and 6) email the fingerprint original case agency number to a child-placing agency within five business days of receipt of the fingerprint-based background notice from the family of child-placing agency.

The bill would also reenact law instructing agencies or supervising agencies to make application for or renewal of licenses on forms prescribed by DSHS. Licensed agencies having foster homes under its supervision may make application for license on behalf of foster homes. These licenses are no longer valid when the home is no longer under the supervision of the agency. Upon receipt of the application, DSHS will either deny or grant the license within ninety days unless the application is for a foster family home. In this case, RCW 74.15.040 and the provisions stipulated above relating to the streamlining of licensure shall govern. Licenses shall be granted if the applications meet the minimum requirements as%