5120. Licensing State Foster Homes

Original Date: 1974

Revised Date: July 28, 2019

Sunset Review Date: July 31, 2023

Approved by: Ross Hunter, Secretary


Purpose

The Licensing Division (LD) licenses and re-evaluates foster homes to safeguard the safety and well-being of children in out-of-home care by assessing and monitoring their compliance with minimum licensing requirements (MLR).

Scope

This policy applies to all LD licensing employees.

Laws

RCW 74.15.020 Definitions

RCW 74.15.040 Licenses for foster family homes required, Inspections

RCW 74.15.100 License application, issuance, duration, Reclassification, Location Changes

RCW 74.15.110 Renewal of Licenses

RCW 74.15.127 Expedited foster licensing process

RCW 74.15.130 Licenses, Denial, suspension, revocation modification, Procedures, Adjudicative proceedings, Penalties

RCW 74.15.140 Action against licensed or unlicensed agencies authorized

RCW 74.13.260 On-Site monitoring program

RCW 43.20A.205 Denial, suspension, revocation, or modification of license 

Policy

 

  1. New Foster Home Licenses and Renewals
    1. Licenses:
      1. Are issued for a maximum of three years.
      2. Will be issued or denied in writing.
    2. LD workers must:
      1. Follow the Completing the Home Study policy.
      2. Interact with the applicants in a manner that is culturally competent.
      3. Have a discussion about cultural awareness and competency with the foster parents to educate them on the importance of meeting the child’s cultural needs.
      4. Confirm that all WAC 110-148 requirements are met before a foster home license is issued and maintained throughout the duration of the license.
      5. Assess the physical setting of the applicant’s property and premises to determine the residence meets MLR.
  2. Provisional Expedited Foster Care Licenses
    Individuals applying for a provisional expedited license must meet the following requirements:
    1. Held a foster care license in the last five years that was not closed due to a denial, revocation or an agreement to relinquish.
    2. Resides in the same home in which the applicant was licensed and no additional individuals have moved into the home.
    3. Seeking a license from the same agency with which they were previously licensed and the agency agrees to supervise the home.
    4. Passed a new fingerprint-based background check for all household members age 16 years and older before the expedited license is issued.
  3. Foster Home Moves
    1. Foster parents moving to a new residence with an acceptable history of child care and if the family remains intact, may continue to provide care under their previous license for 30 days from the move date. The LD worker must visit the home and approve the family’s new home within 30 days.
    2. Foster home moves are completed as an amended license and have the same expiration date as the current license.
  4. Modifications must be completed when the license capacity (age, gender, or number) is modified due to change in household members, adoption, licensee request or through shared decision-making.
  5. Foster Home Change in Circumstance
    1. Foster parents must have their suitability reassessed when there has been a change in their circumstances that affects their ability to parent.
    2. Changes in circumstances will result in the completion of the Foster Home Re-Assessment DCYF 10-405 form, license modification or a new three-year license. LD workers must discuss the situation with a supervisor to determine which of these licensing actions to complete.
    3. Foster parents must apply for a new license when there is a change in circumstance due to the absence or presence of an additional caregiver.
    4. Changes to the license with or without the licensee’s approval require written notification of the licensee’s appeal rights unless the changes occur at license renewal.
  6. Waivers are:
    1. Required when LD workers support an exception to the MLR. They are time limited, usually child-specific, and may compromise federal funding for all children placed in the home or facility.
    2. Not required when the MLR allows for DCYF discretion.
    3. Approved by the LD senior administrator or designee. If the waiver impacts federal funds, then it must be approved by the LD senior administrator and the Field Operations RA or designee.
  7. Administrative Approvals:
    1. Are required when LD workers support an exception to the MLR, are approved by the LD area administrator (AA), and the WAC permits the exception.
    2. Do not result in the loss of federal funding.
  8. Relative Non-Safety Exemptions:
    1. Must only be used for a licensed relative. Relative is defined in RCW 74.15.020 (2a). A waiver must be completed for an unrelated foster parent or suitable other when LD workers support an exception to a WAC.
    2. Must only be used for WACs identified on the Licensing Division Administrative Approval, Waiver, Relative Non-Safety Exemption, and Overcapacity Tip Sheet. When the WAC is not identified, a waiver must be completed.
    3. Are approved by the LD senior administrator or designee. Relative non-safety exemptions do not result in a loss of federal funding.
  9. Health and Safety Monitoring
    LD workers or designee must annually monitor a random sample of no less than 10 percent of their total state licensed foster homes by July 1st of each year.

 

Procedures

  1. New Foster Home Licenses
    LD workers must:
    1. Verify that a Family Home Study Application DCYF 10-354 has been received.
    2. Background check
      1. Complete background checks on individuals age 16 years and older, including those living on the premises, and other requirements in the Background Checks policy.
      2. Discuss with supervisor to determine if a household member under the age of 16 years needs to complete a background check to verify safety of a child placed in a licensed home per Background Checks policy.
    3. Complete a FamLink person search and DCYF file review on all persons, regardless of any age living in the home, or are being cleared to provide substitute care for children.
    4. Open a pending "Full" license in FamLink.
    5. Complete the Home Study and required forms.
    6. Determine the applicants have sufficient income to meet their family’s personal needs without reliance on foster care payments per WAC 388-478-0015.
    7. Verify completion of:
      1. The Policy Agreements DCYF 10-290 form.
      2. The Verification of Indian Status DCYF 15-128 form and that documentation is provided, if applicable.
      3. Orientation, Caregiver Core Training, First Aid/CPR/Blood-Borne Pathogens training, and Tuberculosis (TB) test. Document where.
      4. Of all requirements on the Home Study File Checklist DCYF 10-182 , and that the home meets the MLR.
    8. Verify caregivers’ and household members’ immunizations meet the following requirements:
      1. Licensed and unlicensed providers and all household members have pertussis vaccinations prior to taking placement of children under the age of two years.
      2. Licensed providers and all household members receive an annual influenza vaccination when licensed for children under the age of two years, unless the immunization is contrary to their health and the Medical Exemption for Influenza Vaccination DCYF 10-565 form has been completed by a licensed health care provider. If the caregiver is requesting an influenza medical exemption the LD worker must:
        1. Provide the caregiver with the Medical Exemption for Influenza Vaccination DCYF 10-565 form to give to their licensed health care provider;
        2. Document receipt of the completed form in a provider note; and
        3. Retain a copy in the licensing file
      3. Licensed provider’s children who are household members are up to date on immunizations per the Recommended Child & Adolescent Immunization Schedule for ages 18 years or younger, unless a licensed health care provider signed the Certificate of Exemption DCYF 15-455 form and an exemption has been granted.
    9. Document the following in FamLink on the provider’s “General” tab in the “License Information” group box:
      1. Select “Full” license as the “Type”.
      2. The “Date Issued” is the date the foster home license is approved and the “Expiration Date” is three years’ minus one day from the “Date Issued”.
      3. Select the “Approve” radio button in the “License Recommendation” group box to obtain supervisor approval.
    10. Provide a paper copy of the Foster Home License DSHS 10-010, New License Letter DCYF 10-429, and Foster Parent Identification (ID) cards to the foster parent following supervisor approval.
    11. Notify the placement desk when a general foster home or foster-to-adopt home has been licensed.
  2. Provisional Expedited Foster Care Licenses
    When a provisional expedited license application is received the LD worker must:
    1. Verify the applicant meets the requirements to be eligible for a provisional expedited license.
    2. Read closing provider notes and provider actions in FamLink to verify the foster home license was not closed with recommendations for necessary evaluations, services or trainings.
      1. If the home was closed with recommendations for necessary evaluations, services or trainings a staffing is required with the supervisor. If the supervisor approves a “no referral” being placed on the provisional expedited foster care license, the LD worker must notify the applicant that DCYF will not be placing children into their home until a full license has been approved. See “No Referral Process” below.
      2. The applicant may choose to withdraw the provisional expedited application and submit a new license application.
    3. Send the Provisional Expedited Incomplete Application DCYF 15-433A form with the application packet to the applicant.
    4. Verify that a completed Family Home Study Application DCYF 10-354  has been received.
    5. Complete background checks on individuals age 16 and older, including those living on the premises, and other requirements in the Background Checks policy.
    6. Discuss with the supervisor to determine if a household member under the age of 16 years needs to complete a background check to verify safety of a child placed in a licensed home. See Background Checks policy.
    7. Complete a FamLink person search and DCYF file review on all persons, regardless of any age living in the home, or are being cleared to provide substitute care for children.
    8. Complete the Household Safety Inspection for Unlicensed Placements DCYF 10-453 form or Foster Home Inspection Checklist DCYF 10-183 within seven days of receiving the application for the provisional expedited license.
    9. Verify Policy Agreements DCYF 10-290 have been submitted.
    10. Verify the Provisional Expedited File Checklist DCYF 10-182B has been completed.
    11. Enter the capacity for the license in FamLink by verifying the following:
      1. The number of children cannot be more than the capacity they had when they were previously licensed.
      2. If a caregiver moved out of the home the capacity cannot be more than what is allowed by MLR.
      3. If children who were previously in the home when licensed have since been adopted or are in a guardianship, reduce the number from their previous license capacity.
    12. Document the following in FamLink on the provider’s “General” tab in the “License Information” group box:
      1. Select “Expedited” license as the “Type”.
      2. Select the “Approve” radio button in the “License Recommendation” group box to obtain supervisor approval.
      3. The “Date Issued” is the date the provisional expedited license is approved and the “Expiration Date” is three months minus one day from the “Date Issued”. If the foster home license is not completed within 90 days, close the license unless the applicant has made significant progress to complete their full foster home license and the AA approves the second provisional expedited license.
      4. Open a new pending “Full” license the day after the provisional expedited license was approved.
    13. Upon supervisor approval, issue the New Provisional Expedited License Letter DCYF 10-429A and a paper copy of the Provisional Expedited Foster Home License DCYF 10-010A within five days of requirements being met.
    14. Notify the IV-E specialist that this home does not meet MLR. DCYF cannot claim IV-E funds until a full license is issued on the home.
  3. After the Provisional Expedited Foster Care License is issued, the LD worker must:
    1. Follow the New Foster Home License procedures 1.d.-m.
    2. Verify that all licensing application materials have been submitted by the applicant within 14 days of receipt of the application the department receiving the application.
    3. Determine the expiration date of the full license in FamLink. The expiration date documented in FamLink is three years minus one day. The start date is the day after the provisional expedited license was closed.
    4. Notify IV-E specialist when the home becomes fully licensed.
  4. Renewals
    LD workers must:
    1. Send a re-application packet to the licensee 120 days before the license expires. For applications received before the expiration date, the license remains in effect until DLR completes the renewal. The packet must include:
      1. Family Home Study Application DCYF 10-354
      2. Background Authorizations DCYF 09-653
      3. Financial Worksheet DCYF 14-452
      4. Policy Agreements DCYF 10-290
      5. Emergency Evacuation Plan DCYF 16-204
      6. Employed Foster Parent Child Care Plan DCYF 10-406 
    2. Send the Foster Care License Renewal Notice DCYF 10-436.
    3. Track the expiration dates and demonstrate diligent efforts to assist a family to renew.
    4. Notify the foster parents at least two weeks before the license expires that placement and payment will be stopped if their foster care application is not received before the license expiration date.
    5. If an application has not been received within one day of the license expiration date, the LD worker must contact the licensee and assist in obtaining an application if the foster parents intends to renew. 
    6. Close the license if a signed application is not received by the license expiration date. If there are children placed in the foster home, the LD worker must notify the placement worker that the license has been closed.
    7. Complete an updated home study in FamLink if the family is planning to adopt within the next twelve months.
    8. Complete additional forms depending on the changes in family circumstances. Forms include, but are not limited to
      1. Financial Worksheet DCYF 14-452
      2. Applicant Medical Report DCYF 13-001
      3. Marital/Civil Union/Domestic Partnership History DCYF 09-979
      4. Licensing and Safety Supervision Plan for Site Specific Conditions DCYF 10-419, as applicable.
    9. Require the applicant to provide additional information or complete an evaluation when concerns are identified during the interview or on the renewal paperwork. Evaluations required are at the foster parent’s expense.
    10. Obtain a release signed by the applicant allowing information sharing before, during and after the evaluation.
    11. Provide all information to the evaluator related to the worker’s concern.
    12. Complete background checks on individuals age 16 years and older, including those living on the premises, and other requirements in the Background Checks policy.
    13. Discuss with the supervisor to determine if a household member under the age of 16 years needs to complete a background check to verify safety of a child placed in a licensed home per the Background Checks policy.
    14. Complete a FamLink person search and DCYF file review on all persons, regardless of any age living in the home, or are being cleared to provide substitute care for children.
    15. Complete the following required forms:
      1. Home Study File Checklist DCYF 10-182
      2. Foster Home Inspection Checklist DCYF 10-183 
      3. Foster Home Re-Assessment DCYF 10-405
      4. Licensing and Safety Supervision Plan for Site Specific Conditions DCYF 10-419, as applicable.
      5. Document individual training plan for the next renewal period. Worker may use the Individual Training Plan DCYF 06-166.
    16. Confirm the completion of required foster parent training. See Foster Parent Training policy.
    17. Approve or deny the license in writing following the supervisor’s review of the license per Adverse Action on a Foster Care License policy.
    18. Provide a paper copy of the Renewal License Letter DSHS 10-431, the Foster Parent Rights and Responsibilities, and Foster Parent ID Cards to the foster parent following supervisor approval.
  5. Foster Home Moves
    LD workers or Child Placing Agency (CPA) Licensor must:
    1. Obtain a Family Home Study Application DCYF 10-354.
    2. Assess the physical setting and issue an amended license within 30 calendar days.
    3. Complete the following forms:  
      1. Foster Home Re-Assessment DCYF 10-405 
      2. Home Study File Checklist DCYF 10-182
      3. Foster Home Inspection Checklist DCYF 10-183
      4. Emergency  Evacuation Plan DCYF 16-204  
      5. Licensing and Safety Supervision Plan for Site Specific Conditions DCYF 10-419, as applicable. 
    4. The LD worker must notify a IV-E specialist if a license is not issued within 30 days of a move.
    5. The LD worker may issue a new three-year license in lieu of amending the license if the license expires within six months of the move. The renewal paperwork is required to complete this license.
  6. Modifications
    LD workers must:
    1. Verify the home and applicants meets MLR.
    2. Conduct a site visit and complete an additional assessment if the modification is significantly different from the original assessment.
    3. Provide the foster parent with written notice of the modification using the Revised License Letter DSHS 10-430 to inform them of their appeal rights even if the applicant requested the modification per RCW 43.20A.205.
    4. Issue a modified license if appropriate. If a modification is granted, the expiration date of the license is the same as the current license.
  7. Foster Home Change in Circumstance
    LD workers must:
    1. Conduct interviews or obtain additional information from the licensee when re-assessing the suitability of the applicant to care for children in out-of-home care.  
    2. Document the information by updating the home study in FamLink or on the Foster Home Re-Assessment DCYF 10-405 form.
    3. The LD worker may modify the license at any time during licensure depending on the circumstances, evaluation of the LD worker, or by request of the licensee.
  8. Waivers
    LD workers must:
    1. Submit a Licensing Division Waiver/Administrative Approval/Relative Non-Safety Exemption DCYF 15-411 form to the LD senior administrator or designee when requesting a waiver.
    2. Upload the signed form in FamLink.
    3. Notify the IV-E specialist of all approved waivers.
  9. Administrative Approvals
    LD workers must:
    1. Verify an administrative approval can be completed for the specific WAC by using the LD Administrative Approval, Waiver, and Overcapacity Tip Sheet.
    2. Submit a Licensing Division Waiver/Administrative Approval/Relative Non-Safety Exemption DCYF 15-411 form to the LD AA.
    3. Upload the signed form in FamLink.
  10. Relative Non-Safety Exemptions
    LD workers must:
    1. Verify a relative non-safety exemption can be completed for the specific WAC by using the LD Administrative Approval, Waiver, and Overcapacity Tip Sheet.
    2. Submit a Licensing Division Waiver/Administrative Approval/Relative Non-Safety Exemption DCYF 15-411 form to the LD AA.
    3. Upload the signed form in FamLink.
  11. Overcapacity/Age/Gender Administrative Approvals
    1. LD workers must review the Overcapacity Administrative Approval DCYF 15-349 form in FamLink to approve or deny placements that are outside the license capacity.
    2. Overcapacities for respite must be completed on the DCYF 15-349 form.
  12. Health and Safety Monitoring
    LD workers must:
    1. Complete the Foster Home Monitoring Visit DCYF 10-416 for each monitoring visit following RCW 74.13.260.
    2. Conduct announced or unannounced visits. The LD worker should schedule the visit at a time when foster children are available to be interviewed in the home.
  13. No Referral Process
    LD workers must:
    1. Create a “no referral” in FamLink when a licensee requests no additional placements to be made in their home.
    2. Discuss any provider safety, health or well-being concerns with the DLR supervisor to determine whether to recommend a "no referral."
    3. When recommending a "no referral" on a foster home:
      1. Notify Division of Child Welfare (CW) and other involved agencies.
      2. Complete a letter to the foster parents notifying them that no more placements will be made in their home and send to the CWP regional administrator (RA) or designee for approval. If approved, the CWP RA or designee must send the letter to the foster parent and notify the LD worker.
      3. If approved, inform all involved CWP, Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) employees, and tribes when a decision is made not to place.
      4. Create a "no referral" in FamLink.
    4. When lifting a "no referral" on a foster home that was previously approved by CWP:
      1. Notify CWP RA or designee for approval. If approved, the LD worker will remove the "no referral" in FamLink.
      2. Notify the foster parent.
      3. Notify the placement desk.

Forms

Licensing Division Waiver/Administrative Approval/Relative Non-Safety Exemption DCYF 15-411

Background Check Authorizations DCYF 09-653

Emergency Evacuation Plan DCYF 16-204

Employed Foster Parent Child Care Plan DCYF 10-406 

Family Home Study Application DCYF 10-354

Financial Worksheet DCYF 14-452

Foster Care License Renewal Notice DCYF 10-436

Foster Home Inspection Checklist DCYF 10-183

Foster Home License DCYF 10-010

Foster Home Monitoring Visit DCYF 10-416

Foster Home Re-Assessment DCYF 10-405 

Home Study File Checklist DCYF 10-182

Expedited Incomplete Application DCYF 15-433A

Individual Training Plan DCYF 06-166

Licensing and Safety Supervision Plan for Site Specific Conditions DCYF 10-419

Medical Exemption for Influenza Vaccination DCYF 10-565

New Provisional Expedited License Letter DCYF 10-429A

New License Letter DCYF 10-429

Overcapacity Administrative Approval DCYF 15-349

Policy Agreements DCYF 10-290

Provisional Expedited Foster Home License DCYF 10-010A

Provisional Expedited File Checklist DCYF 10-182B

Renewal License Letter DCYF 10-431

Revised License Letter DCYF 10-430

Verification of Indian Status DCYF 15-128

Policy Agreements DCYF 10-290

NOTE: Forms that are not linked are on the DCYF intranet under LD Programs, LD Forms.

Resources

Chapter 110-148 WAC Child foster homes minimum licensing requirements (MLR)

LD Performance Goals (located on the DCYF intranet under LD Programs, LD Resources)

LD Administrative Approval, Waiver, and Overcapacity Tip Sheet (located on the DCYF intranet under LD Programs, LD Resources)