8920. Standard and Procedure

  1. Division of Licensed Resources (DLR) adverse licensing action constitutes a decision by the department that the licensee is not suitable to care for children.
  2. CA staff, including Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) social workers, shall not knowingly take action that directly subverts or undermines the department's position in a licensing or other family or child case specific action.
  3. If CA staff has information that is relevant to the licensing or other case specific determination in question, including contacts from opposing counsel, that staff will provide that information to the DLR licenser or other responsible CA employee, as applicable. When contacted by opposing counsel, the CA employee will also notify the assigned Assistant Attorney General (AAG).
  4. CA staff will not knowingly share department documents related to the dispute with any licensee or other party who is the subject of the licensing or other department case specific action or with the licensee/party's attorney/agent/ advocate except as currently provided in public disclosure statutes and regulations. If CA staff receives a request for documents from the licensee/party or his/her attorney/ agent/advocate, the staff will immediately refer the request to his/her supervisor, the DLR licenser for licensing issues, and the AAG assigned to the licensing or other family or child specific case.
  5. CA staff will not knowingly share confidential information with the licensee who is the subject of licensing action. CA staff will also not knowingly share confidential information with the opposing party to any other child or family case specific action. In addition, CA staff will not knowingly share confidential information with the licensee/party's attorney/agency/advocate.
    1. "Confidential information" includes, but is not necessarily limited to, attorney/client communications; information pertaining to the department's strategy or decision-making in the licensing case or other matter under litigation; agency memoranda, e-mail, or other communication related to the case; and client (child or child's family) information.
  6. If CA staff are contacted by a licensee who is the subject of licensing action or other party to a department-related child or family case-specific litigation, the licensee/party's attorney/ agent/advocate or by any person who has information regarding the licensing or other child or family specific case in dispute, that staff will immediately notify his/her supervisor, the DLR licenser or other involved CA staff, as applicable, and the AAG assigned to the case.
  7. CA staff will not testify in support of a licensee who is the subject of licensing action or other party in opposition to the department unless subpoenaed to do so. CA staff will not provide any written letters of support for the opposing party on DSHS letterhead. The CA staff will specifically state that his/her testimony, whether by subpoena or not, or letter sets forth his/her personal opinion and is not the position of the department.
  8. The department, in consultation with the assigned AAG, determines the department's position in any action. The assigned AAG represents the department and not any particular CA staff. If CA staff testifies in support of a licensee who is the subject of a licensing action or other party to a child or family specific action in opposition to the department's position, he/she may be cross-examined as a hostile witness by the AAG, who may attempt to discredit the employee's testimony.