Changes to Child Welfare Policies and WAC Took Effect Feb. 1

February 6, 2020
policy update

To ensure compliance with the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFSPA), a number of licensing policies and Washington Administrative Codes (WAC) were recently updated and took effect Feb. 1, 2020.

Under the Child Welfare Practices and Procedures, 5110 Completing Home Studies and 5120 Licensing State Foster Homes were to reflect the new FFPSA requirements regarding immunization for household members in licensed foster homes. 

The policy requires:

  • Licensed foster parents caring for children under the age of two years and medically fragile children to have documentation of current pertussis and the annual influenza vaccinations for all household members, unless there is a medical exemption. 
  • Licensed foster parents to provide documentation that all household member children meet the Recommended Child & Adolescent Immunization Schedule (RCAIS), unless there is a medical exemption for a specific child and vaccination. 

The policy allows for medical exemptions for pertussis, for both unlicensed and licensed caregivers.

Changes to the Licensing Requirements for Child Foster Homes WAC 110-148  were also updated to reflect the new FFPSA requirements. 

The changes include: 

  • All individuals who are at least 16 years old and living on the property (including those not living in the family home) to pass a background check.
  • Licensee and all household members to have pertussis and influenza immunizations if a child in care is medically fragile, unless exempted by a licensed health care provider.
  • At least one applicant for licensure in the home must have functional literacy and be able to communicate with the child, DCYF, health care providers, and other service providers.
  • Overcapacity exceptions were established.
  • Requirements were clarified for a properly operating kitchen.
  • Recycling disposal service is now required, if available.
  • Safety requirements for swimming pools were further established.
  • Evacuation plans are required to be reviewed with children in care and posted in licensed foster homes. 
  • Co-sleeping and bed-sharing with children in care is prohibited. 
  • Smoking in vehicles transporting children is prohibited. 
  • Proof of registration of a vehicle used to transport children is required. 

Click here for the specific WACs that were changed. 

If you have any questions regarding the recent policy and WAC changes, contact