HB 2834 relates to the implementation of the homeless youth prevention and protection act. It would amend current statute in relation to providing for the service needs of youth in foster care. It would allow DSHS to disclose to the Department of Commerce and its contractors confidential child welfare records that pertain to or may assist with meeting the service needs of youth admitted to crisis residential centers or HOPE centers under contract to the Office of Homeless Youth Prevention and Protection. These disclosed records would retain their confidentiality and may not be further disclosed except as permitted by law. The bill further amends current statute to in relation to the Washington Homeless Client Management Information System to state that any person thirteen years of age or older may give consent for the collection of their personally identifying information under this section.
As amended, the bill shifts responsibilities from the DSHS to the COM regarding collecting and distributing information on state agencies who agree to participate in a multidisciplinary team working with the administrator of a CRC. It requires the administrator of a CRC to notify the DSHS of duties related to admission only if the child is dependent. The substitute also clarifies that the DSHS, not the COM, is responsible for licensing CRCs. Additionally, it provides that the COM's payment for a HOPE Center bed is not contingent upon approval from the DSHS. Further, the amended bill modifies the definition of "child in need of services petition" to clarify it is the role of the DSHS to file a petition and not the responsibility of the COM. It transfers duties associated with the Responsible Living Skills Program bed from the COM to the DSHS.
As amended by the House of Representatives, the bill requires that in order for youth 13 years of age or older to provide consent for the collection of personally identifying information they need to be experiencing homelessness while not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.
As amended by the Human Services Committee: At the time of collecting personally identifying information of an unaccompanied youth under the age of 18 for the HMIS, the provider is to contact either the parent(s) or the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) within 72 hours, preferably 24 hours, to notify the parent/DSHS of the youth's whereabouts. The provider is to also check the information the Washington state patrol makes publicly available, and if the youth is listed as missing, the provider shall immediately contact the DSHS. Requires that an identifying photograph of a homeless individual shall be taken along with personally identifying information for the Washington homeless client management information system. Requires the department to create a monthly report containing information regarding the current disposition of youth who have utilized services under this section or a summary of the services the youth received under this section.