Governor signs McClintock bill to enhance communication with the DCYF, improve foster care services

The governor signed a bill from Rep. Stephanie McClintock on Tuesday that will help kids in foster care by improving communication between the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) and individuals caring for foster kids in Washington.

The bipartisan House Bill 1970 will require DCYF to establish a caregiver communication specialist position within the agency, which will improve the overall communication process for those working with the DCYF.

“Thanks to several meetings with foster parents, I’ve learned more about this issue and by working together we came up with a plan to effectively address this problem,” said McClintock, R-Vancouver. “This policy will ensure caregivers have timely access to the information they need from DCYF, and ultimately help children receiving foster services get access to the best care possible.”

The bill directs 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 foster care services.

The DCYF would also provide recommendations to improve communications between the DCYF and caregivers. The caregiver communication specialist position would be responsible for assisting caseworkers in promptly communicating with caregivers of children receiving child welfare services.

“This legislation is not intended to point the finger at the DCYF or anyone else, but the lack of communication is definitely something we needed to address,” said McClintock. “I’m grateful to the foster parents that brought this issue to my attention, and I’m pleased to see this policy become law. It will help foster parents and even more importantly the kids they are caring for.”

Additionally, the person in this position will be responsible for developing policies for sharing appropriate and timely information with caregivers. And lastly, he or she will coordination between existing caregiver engagement teams, constituent relations, communications specialists, and child welfare field offices.

House Bill 1970 will take effect 90 days after the adjournment of the 2024 session, which ended on March 7.


Washington State House Republican Communications