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CAI Holds Congressional Briefing to Unveil New Report:

Shame on U.S.
Failings by All Three Branches of Our Federal Government Leave
Abused and Neglected Children Vulnerable to Further Harm
January 27, 2015

The federal government's dereliction allows states to fall short on meeting minimum child welfare standards. Below is information specific to Washington:

CFSR Results Summary: In its Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process, HHS determines whether each state is in substantial conformity with 7 specific outcomes (pertaining to the areas of safety, permanency and family and child well-being) and 7 systemic factors (relating to the quality of services delivered to children and families and the outcomes they experience).  In the first two rounds of the CFSR, HHS has concluded that Washington was:

Round 1 (2004)

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 7 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 3 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Round 2 (2011)   

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 7 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 2 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Although federal law mandates that any state found not to be operating in substantial conformity during an initial or subequent review must begin a full review within two years after approval of the state's program improvement plan, HHS has announced that Washington will not undergo Round 3 of the CFSR until FY 2017 (see CFSR Technical Bulletin #7 (March 2014)).

Documents from the U.S. Health & Human Services Children's Bureau

Child Welfare Litigation*

  • Guardianship Estate of Keffeler v. Washington State
    Plaintiffs filed suit on behalf of foster children against Washington's Department of Health and Social Services for using the children's social security benefits to reimburse itself for their care. They argued that the practice violated the Social Security Act's anti-attachment provision and failed to serve the children's best interest as required by the Act and its implementing regulations.

*litigation summariy taken from information provided by the website of the National Center for Youth Law

Child Welfare In the News**

  • Agreement means more funds for foster children
    Associated Press - December 19, 2014
    The state of Washington has reached an agreement with a foster parents group to settle a federal lawsuit by providing about $8.5 million per year in additional funding for the state's estimated 10,000 foster children.
  • Keeping Vigil: Embrace Washington (Opinion)
    KHQ Right Now - December 11, 2014
    There are more children in our region waiting to be placed in a foster home than there are people willing to open their doors. In this edition of Keeping Vigil, meet an organization that supports social workers, foster children and parents as they Embrace Washington.
  • .Lawsuit Payouts Top $150M As Washington CPS Requests More Workers (Includes audio)
    Boise State Public Radio - December 05, 2014
    The agency that oversees child welfare in Washington wants to hire nearly 100 more child protection workers. But the budget request comes after years of lawsuits that cost the state more than $150 million. Now the question is whether Washington's Department of Social and Health Services has taken adequate steps to learn from child welfare cases that went awry.
  • Lawmaker seeks change after 'forgotten child' report
    KING 5 News - November 27, 2014
    KING 5 asked a DSHS public information officer if the agency ever conducted an investigation into the lapses in the social work in Aiden's case. The question was never answered, but in a statement provided Wednesday night, the spokesperson said social workers have excessive caseloads and are given the resources to do the best job possible.
  • Wash. State Foster Care Officials Outline Final Push To Compliance
    KPLU News - November 19, 2014
    State child welfare workers have outlined plans to implement new training and data management practices, hoping to finally push Washington's foster care system into full compliance with a decade-old legal agreement.

**news summaries taken from daily newsfeed service of HHS' Child Welfare Information Gateway

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Children's Advocacy Institute
University of San Diego School of Law
5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego, CA 92110
Telephone: 619.260.4806
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