2559B. CPS Investigative Findings Notification

Approval: Jennifer Strus, Assistant Secretary

Original Date:  September 1976

Revised Date: July 23, 2017

Policy Review: July 1, 2021


To inform subjects of the Child Protective Services (CPS) investigative findings including information regarding requests for review of founded findings.


This policy applies to all Children’s Administration staff.


P.L. 93-247  Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act

P.L 111-320  Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act Amendment

RCW 26.44.100  Information about Rights and Notification of Investigation, Report and Findings

RCW 26.44.125 Alleged Perpetrators Right to Review and Amendment of Finding Hearing

WAC 388-15-065 Does CPS have to notify the alleged perpetrator of the results of CPS investigation?

WAC 388-15-069 How does CPS notify the alleged perpetrator of the finding?

WAC 388-15-073 What information must be in the CPS finding notice?


CA staff must:

  1. Notify subjects of all approved CPS investigative findings in writing and orally, whenever possible, whether founded or unfounded and provide the required information regarding the steps necessary to request a CA founded finding review.
    1. Document efforts to notify and inform subjects of the finding and process for requesting review of a founded finding in a case note.
    2. Retain a hard copy of the founded or unfounded letter in the case file.
    3. Founded findings:
      1. Send a founded finding letter to the subject’s last known address or known location by certified mail, return receipt requested. This includes:
        1. Documenting the certified mail tracking number on the letter and Deliver Tracking page in FamLink.
        2. Retaining the Domestic Return Receipt (green card) when received with the parent’s signature or if it is returned undeliverable in the case file.
      2. Personally serve the founded finding letter if the certified mail is returned and the department is actively working with the subject on an open case in any CA program. If the subject refuses to accept the in-person delivery, CA staff must document that the caseworker attempted to hand deliver a copy of the finding letter to subject and the subject refused to accept the letter. This information is documented in the Delivery Tracking page in FamLink.
    4. Unfounded findings:
      1. Document the date the letter was provided and how it was provided to the subject in the Delivery Tracking page in FamLink.
      2. Send the unfounded finding letter to the subject’s last known address or known location by United States (U.S.) mail or encrypted email.
      3. If provided via encrypted email, upload a copy of the email sent to the subject showing the letter is attached in the email into FamLink.
  2. If a court in a civil or criminal proceeding, considering the same facts or circumstances contained in the CPS investigation, makes a judicial finding by a preponderance of the evidence (or higher standard) that the subject of the pending investigation has abused or neglected the child, CA will adopt the finding in its investigation.
  3. When a court in a civil or criminal proceeding make a finding that differs from an unfounded finding on a completed investigation or closed case, CA will, upon request, consider changing the CA/N finding to founded.
    1. Compare the court case with the department case to ensure the same facts are considered.
    2. Discuss the judicial finding with the CPS supervisor and area administrator to determine if the CA finding should be changed.
    3. Send a new CPS founded finding letter to the subject and follow regular CAPTA procedures, if it is determined the finding should be changed.
  4. Promptly notify the Office of the Family of Children’s Ombuds of the contents of the report and disposition of the investigation when a third founded finding is made involving the same child or family within the previous 12 months.
  5. Notify the guardian ad litem or court appointed special advocate, if assigned to a child involved in the investigation, of the disposition of the investigation


CPS Founded Letter DSHS 09-913

CPS Unfounded Letter DSHS 09-912

DLR/CPS Founded Letter DSHS 09-913a

DLR/CPS Unfounded Letter 09-912a and 09-912b


2559C CPS Investigative Founded Findings Review

2540 Investigative Assessment policy