4518. Substance Use Disorder Testing, Assessment and Treatment

Approval: Ross Hunter, Secretary

Original Date: July 1, 1997

Revised Date: October 1, 2018

Policy Review: November 1, 2021


To provide direction regarding substance use disorder assessment, testing, and treatment services.


This policy applies to Division of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) caseworkers.



Public Law 115-123 Family First Prevention Act 2018

RCW 26.44.195 Negligent treatment or maltreatment - Offer of services - Evidence of substance abuse

RCW 26.44.170 Alleged child abuse or neglect - Use of alcohol or controlled substances as contributing factor

RCW 71.12.670 Licensing, operation, inspection—Adoption of rules


The caseworker must:

  1. Determine if the use of substances is an identified risk factor, contributes to alleged child abuse or neglect, or impacts child safety based on information gathered and documented in one or more of the following:
    1. Structured Decision Making Risk Assessment (SDMRA)
    2. Child Protective Services Investigation
    3. Child Protective Services Family Assessment Response
    4. Early Periodic Screening Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) 
    5. Child Health and Education Tracking (CHET) Screening
    6. Comprehensive Family Evaluation (CFE)
    7. Substance Abuse Wizard
  2. If substance use is identified as a risk factor, is assessed to have contributed to child abuse or neglect, or impacts a child’s safety:
    1. Develop a case plan in collaboration with the client.
    2. Initiate a comprehensive substance use disorder evaluation, within available resources, with a qualified chemical dependency professional. Include a completed signed Consent Form DCYF 14-012. Substance use assessment or treatment agencies may also require clients to sign a consent form in order to disclose information to DCYF. To determine available resources:
      1. Obtain the client’s insurance coverage information to determine available substance use disorder assessment and treatment resources. Refer adult clients without insurance or resources to the local DSHS Community Service Office (CSO) to determine their eligibility for state or federally funded assessment and treatment services.
      2. DCYF-funded services are to be used only when:
        1. All other payment resources have been exhausted and the family has demonstrated that they do not have the financial resources or insurance to pay for the service.
        2. Funding is available to provide the service.
        3. A DCFS Administrative Approval Request DSHS form 05-210, has been completed and approved by the regional administrator or designee.
        4. Services are provided by a DCYF-contracted provider.
  3. Arrange for substance testing by a DCYF drug testing contracted provider to facilitate decision-making and case planning when either the:
    1. Suspected use impacts child safety and the parent or caregiver is not already in substance use disorder treatment, or
    2. Testing is court ordered under a dependency action.
  4. Authorize testing for substances by:
    1. Obtaining the required testing approvals as shown on the Drug and Alcohol Testing Guide located on the DCYF intranet.
    2. Submitting the online form to the contracted provider.
  5. If substance use disorder treatment is recommended by the comprehensive substance use disorder evaluator, coordinate treatment planning with the provider.
  6. A child in the placement and care authority of DCYF may be placed with their parent who is residing in a licensed residential treatment facility (RTF) for substance abuse. DCYF may pay the facility for the child’s incidentals up to twelve months. When it has been determined that a child will be placed with their parent who is in a licensed RTF for substance abuse complete the following:
    1. Update the child’s case plan to include the recommendation for placement with the parent in a licensed RTF for substance abuse.
    2. Update the parent’s address in the Person Management page in FamLink to the licensed RTF for substance abuse they are residing in.
    3. Document in a case note the date the child is residing with the parent in a licensed residential treatment facility.
  7. Refer a child in out-of-home care to a medical provider if the child’s exposure to substances causes concern for the child’s safety or health.
  8. Refer a child to Apple Health Core Connections (AHCC) to initiate coordination of services and interventions to address any substance use disorder concerns for a child under age eighteen.


Consent Form DCYF 14-012