House unanimously approves McClintock bill that would improve communications between DCYF and caregivers

The Washington State House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation from Rep. Stephanie McClintock aimed at improving the communication process within the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF).

House Bill 1970 would require the DCYF to establish the new position of Caregiver Communication Specialist within the DCYF, who would serve to improve communication between the DCYF and caregivers caring for children receiving child welfare services.

“The DCYF has so many issues to deal with on a daily basis and unfortunately, proper and timely communication with caregivers often falls through the cracks,” said McClintock, R-Vancouver. “And the kids who are receiving these services are often the ones who suffer because of the lack of communication. That’s why I brought this bill forward. We need to resolve this issue and improve the overall communication between the DCYF and caregivers.”

House Bill 1970 would require the DCYF to submit a report describing how to implement an automated notification system that would provide notification – either by phone or electronically – to caregivers of children receiving child welfare services and providing recommendations regarding improving communications between the DCYF and caregivers.

The Caregiver Communication Specialist position would be responsible for developing policies for sharing appropriate and timely information with caregivers. The specialist position would also assist caseworkers in promptly communicating with caregivers of children receiving child welfare services.

Lastly, the specialist would support coordination between existing caregiver engagement teams, constituent relations, communications specialists, and child welfare field offices.

“This is a positive step forward that would resolve a legitimate problem and have a big impact for everyone involved,” added McClintock. “Most importantly, it would help the children receiving foster care services and the families caring for them.”

The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov