6302. Administrative Incident Reporting

Approval:  Natalie Green, Assistant Secretary of Child Welfare

Original Date:  September 2006

Revised Date:  July 1, 2024

Sunset Review:  July 1, 2028


Purpose

Establish requirements for the timely notification, documentation and management of administrative incidents. Administrative incidents are serious and emergent situations involving the clients of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), DCYF employees and providers, and include:

  • Critical incidents (Near-Fatality or Fatality of a Child) 
  • Client related incidents 
  • Provider related incidents 
  • Employees safety 
  • Theft, vandalism. or property damage 

Documentation of these incidents in the Administrative Incident Reporting System (AIRS) is used to identify issues, patterns, and trends, and determine needed actions to address the safety of children, clients, and employees.

Scope

This policy applies to DCYF employees.

Laws

RCW 26.44.020 Definitions

RCW 74.13.500 Disclosure of child welfare records

RCW 74.14A.020 Services for emotionally disturbed and mentally ill children, potentially dependent children, and families-in-conflict

RCW 74.14A.025 Services for emotionally disturbed and mentally ill children, potentially dependent children, and families-in-conflict

Policy

  1. DCYF employees will immediately notify their supervisor when learning of an Administrative Incident
  2. Supervisors will immediately notify law enforcement when there is reason to believe an Administrative Incident involves a crime. 
  3. Employee Misconduct (Not documented in AIRS) 
    1. DCYF employees will: 
      1. Immediately notify their supervisor when learning of allegations of employee misconduct or criminal conduct.  
      2. Refer to DCYF Administrative 11.07 Conducting Workplace policy Investigations, if applicable. 
    2. Supervisors will immediately notify their chain of command up to the regional administrator (RA) or Licensing Division (LD) administrator. 
    3. RAs or designees or LD administrators or designees, will notify the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Child Welfare or designee of the alleged misconduct within 48 hours.
    4. Directors will notify the assistant secretary. 
  4. Critical Incidents 
    1. Critical incidents include: 
      1. Child fatalities or near-fatalities
        1. That occurred on an open case at the time of the fatality or near-fatality or there was DCYF history on the family within 12 months of the fatality or near-fatality, including intakes screened out for investigation. 
        2. That occurred in a DCYF licensed, certified, or state operated facility. 
      2. High Profile incidents that may generate significant interest by the media, the legislature or the Governor's Office. 
    2. The regional designee will document critical incidents in AIRS within one hour of being notified of the incident. If one hour is not possible, the designee must notify their chain of command up to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Child Welfare or designee. 
    3. DCYF employees will notify intake to create a new intake when: 
      1. A child fatality or near-fatality is suspicious for child abuse or neglect. 
      2. A child dies and there is an open case on that child or while placed in a DCYF licensed or state operated facility. 
    4. The intake worker or unit supervisor will update AIRS and document in a case note if a near-fatality becomes a fatality due to the circumstances described in the original intake. A new intake is not required. 
    5. Intake workers will inform the child’s tribe when there is a fatality or near-fatality within 24-hours of learning of the incident if there is reason to know the child is or may be an Indian child. 
  5. Other Administrative Incidents
    Supervisors will document all other administrative incidents in AIRS within 24 hours of receiving notification. Other administrative incidents include: 
    1. Client Related Incidents serious injury of a child client on an open case requiring professional medical treatment (beyond first aid treatment) alleged to be the result of: 
      1. serious injury of a child client on an open case requiring professional medical treatment (beyond first aid treatment) alleged to be the result of: 
        1. Physical abuse 
        2. Sexual abuse 
        3. Neglect 
        4. Unexplained injury 
        5. Injury that is not consistent with parent or caregivers explanation. 
      2. Allegations of molestation or rape by an adult caregiver of a child client who is in the care and supervision of DCYF. 
      3. A suicide, suicide attempt or a near-fatal injury of a child client. 
      4. Placement of a child in any of the following: 
        1. DCYF office due to no placement resource available. 
        2. Detention facilities for children in DCYF care and custody. 
        3. Apartments or hotels 
      5. Placement is not allowed in an institution not designed for children, such as adult mental hospitals and detoxification facilities, or institutions or homes with caregivers who don’t have the specialized training required to care for a child with sexually aggressive or physically assaultive behaviors per these policies:
        1. Sexually Aggressive Youth
        2. Physically Assaultive/Aggressive Youth 
        3. Child/Youth refusing placement in hotel, leased facility or foster home. 
      6. Any other client-related incident that does not fall into one of the previously identified categories believed to require administrative notification or attention. 
    2. Provider-Related Misconduct Incidents occurring in a facility licensed or subject to licensing by DCYF or other facilities certified by DCYF. Misconduct includes: 
      1. Alleged criminal activity 
      2. A conviction disqualifying a licensed provider from providing care to children, as outlined in WAC 110-04-0120
      3. Any arrest or pending arrest for: 
        1. Child abuse or neglect. 
        2. Spousal abuse or domestic violence. 
        3. A crime against a child. 
        4. A crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, or homicide, but not other physical assault or battery. 
        5. Felony physical assault or battery offense 
      4. Felony drug-related crimes including: 
        1. The Imitation Controlled Substances Act, per chapter 69.52 RCW
        2. Illegal sale and distribution of prescription drugs, per chapter 69.41 RCW.
        3. Selling, transferring, or otherwise furnishing to any individual, substances used in making controlled substances per chapter 69.43 RCW
        4. Illegal drugs or substances use, per chapter 69.50 RCW
        5. Unlawfully manufacturing, delivering or possessing a controlled substance with intent to deliver, per RCW 69.50.401
      5. Incidents involving multiple victims or patterns of molestation or rape between child clients placed by DCYF. 
      6. A pattern of high-risk child abuse or neglect referrals. 
    3. Safety Incidents involving DCYF employees, licensed caregivers, and contracted providers. Follow DCYF Administrative 7.01 Employee Safety and Security policy.
      Incidents include: 
      1. An assault, safety threat or a perceived safety threat to employees, a licensed caregiver or contracted provider by a child client, parent or individual related to the case. 
      2. Employees involvement in a traffic accident while on the job, in a personal or state-owned vehicle when any of the following apply: 
        1. A child client was a passenger. 
        2. The employees or child client was injured and required medical treatment. 
        3. The employee was at fault for the accident. 
    4. Property Damage or Loss of Client Information 
      1. A theft, or incident involving vandalism or damage to state property estimated to be in excess of $750.00. 
      2. Incidents resulting in any loss of client information, e.g., loss of case file, printed case documents or on thumb drives.  
  6. Additional AIRS Documentation Requirements 
    1. Supervisors of the assigned caseworker will ensure documentation about a client related placement exception includes: 
      1. Detailed attempts to locate a more permanent placement for the child. 
      2. Reason for placement.
      3. Approving authority. 
      4. DCYF employees providing care of the child if applicable. 
    2. Supervisors will include the following information about a safety incident:
      1. Identification of the subject of an AIRS report by job title and office, not by name, when they are a DCYF employee. 
      2. The jurisdiction and police report case number in the AIRS "Community" section. 
      3. Information about an incident resulting in a serious injury requiring professional medical treatment, if applicable. 
    3. The intake worker or LD area administrator or designee will document alleged misconduct in a facility or foster home and complete the Facility-Foster Home section. 

Resources

AIRS Companion Guide (located on the DCYF intranet under Computer Help and CA Systems Login) 

DCYF Administrative 7.01 Employee Safety and Security policy 

DCYF Administrative 11.07 Conducting Workplace policy

DCYF Administrative 11.21 Ethics and Employee Conduct policy

Indian Child Welfare Reason to Know policy

WAC 110-04-0120 If I have a pending criminal charge, conviction, or negative action may I ever be authorized to be licensed, contracted, certified, authorized to be employed at a group care facility, or authorized to have unsupervised access to children? 

WAC 110-110-0040 Serious injury, death, abandonment, child abuse, neglect, incarceration of an Indian child 

County protocols (located on the DCYF intranet page under Programs and Law Enforcement Protocols)