5200. Foster Parent Liability Plan

Original Date:  July 01, 1997

Revised Date:  April 09, 2019

Sunset Review Date:  April 30, 2023

Approval:  Ross Hunter, Secretary


Purpose 

This policy establishes guidelines for implementing the Foster Parent Liability Plan, Liability Plan, which provides insurance coverage for foster parents licensed under chapter 74.15 RCW. The coverage includes personal injury and property damage caused by foster parents or foster children that occurred while the children were in foster care. This policy also provides the means to assist foster parents in obtaining a legal defense when claims have been filed against them resulting from the performance of their official duties.

Scope 

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

Law 

RCW 4.24.590  Liability of foster parents

RCW 4.92.060  Action against state officers, employees, volunteers, or  foster parents - request for defense

RCW 4.92.070  Actions against state officers, employees, volunteers, or  foster parents - defense by attorney general - legal expenses

RCW 74.14B.080  Liability insurance for foster parents

RCW 74.15  Care of children, expectant mothers, persons with developmental  disabilities

Policy

  1. DCYF will administer a Liability Plan for foster parents licensed under chapter 74.15 RCW that includes:
    1. Paying claims subject to available funds, individual claim limits, and eligibility requirements.
    2. Providing third-party liability claim management services for the Liability Plan.
    3. Developing and updating written instructions, guidelines, procedures, and forms to implement the terms of the Liability Plan. 
    4. Provide the distribution of claims.
  2. Caseworkers who have questions regarding policy, interpretation of the Liability Plan, submission of claims, or actions in response to claims or lawsuits must contact:


    The Department of Enterprise Services/Office of Risk Management (DES/ORM)
    P.O. Box 41466
    Olympia, WA 98504-4166
    Phone: (360) 407-2260

  3. DCYF will authorize liability coverage payment in the following claims:
    1. When a third party incurs expenses as a result of actions of foster parents or foster or respite care children placed in a foster home and personal or bodily injury or property damage has occurred.
    2. Claims resulting from a foster parent's acts or omissions while performing, or intending to perform, the delivery of family foster care and supervision of foster or respite care children.
  4. Upon receipt of a claim from a foster parent, the caseworker must:
    1. Review the claim for accuracy, completeness, and timeliness.
    2. Return the claim to the foster parent if the:
      1. Correct form was not used: Third Party Claim Checklist form DCYF 18-400A or Foster Parent Reimbursement Claim and Checklist form DCYF 18-400, as applicable;
      2. Foster Parent Reimbursement Claim and Checklist form DCYF 18-400 is not submitted within 30 days of an injury, damage, or loss; or
      3. Third Party Claim Checklist form DCYF 18-400A is not submitted within sixty days of injury, damage, or loss.
      4. Information is incomplete;
      5. Appropriate documents are not attached; or
      6. Claim form is not signed and dated.
    3. Complete the caseworker section on the correct form for the claim.
    4. Forward the original claim form with documents attached to:

      DCYF
      P.O. Box 40710
      Olympia, WA 98504-0988

  5. Upon notification from a foster parent of an impending lawsuit by a third party, the caseworker must:
    1. Supply the foster parent with a Request for Individual Defense Attorney General (AG) form #163 provided to DCYF by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).
    2. the DES/ORM of an impending lawsuit within 24 hours from the initial notification by the foster parent using one of the following methods:
      1. In writing at:

        DES/ORM
        PO Box 41466
        Olympia, WA 98504-1466;

      2. By fax transmittal to DES/ORM (360) 407-8022;
      3. By email at DES/ORM at RiskManagement@des.wa.gov; or
      4. By phone at (360) 407-2260.
  6. When a request for defense is made by a foster parent, the caseworker must:
    1. Supply the foster parent with a Request for Individual Defense AG Form #163 provided to DCYF by the OAG.
    2. Notify DES/ORM, in writing, within twenty-four hours of notice of a lawsuit.
    3. Contact the OAG Torts Division within twenty-four hours of notice of a lawsuit.
    4. Forward the original Request for Individual Defense AG Form #163 and the Summons and Complaint to the OAG Torts Division and retain copies in the child’s service and licensing record.

Forms

Foster Parent Reimbursement Claim and Checklist DCYF 18-400

Third Party Claim Checklist DCYF 18-400A

Request for Individual Defense AG Form #163 (available through local OAG)

Resources

WAC 110-50-1000 What are the department's responsibilities and limitations for reimbursement for damage or loss caused by a child in family foster care?