8000. HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
- Legal provisions regarding standards of ethical conduct for employees are contained in chapter 42.52 RCW, Ethics in Public Service. In addition, Executive Order (EO) 93-02 addresses ethical conduct of state employees.
- Departmental policy regarding ethical conduct of its employees is found in DSHS Administrative Policy 6.04. This policy provides an overview of ethical conduct expected of departmental staff. Other Administrative Policies, DSHS Personnel Policies, and the department's non-discrimination policy provide further detail on specific areas.
- Children's Administration (CA) staff must not access any person, case, or referral information without a need to know. "Need to know," means that information is necessary in the discharge of the employee's professional responsibilities.
- The CA Practices and Procedures Guide, chapter 5000, section 5138 outlines conditions under which CA employees may be licensed as foster family home parents. Section 5312 outlines conditions under which CA employees may be certified as adoptive parents.
- See those sections for limitations on licensing of employees as foster parents or on their certification as adoptive parents and steps to follow in the licensing and certification processes.
- Large employers are required to reduce single occupant vehicle commuting and to reduce employee commute trips.
- Telecommuting, which involves working at home or at an alternative work site close to home, contributes toward achievement of these goals.
- Some CA employees may be considered for telecommuting which must be done in accordance with DSHS Personnel Policy 590.
- Supervisors are responsible for arranging for their staff to receive training in the use of the Social Service Payment System (SSPS) and CAMIS.
- Social service staff training includes:
- Selecting appropriate service codes
- Completing SSPS forms
- Obtaining provider numbers and updates
- Using SSPS worker reports
- Requesting duplicate invoices
- Using the SSPS manual
- Edit error corrections
- Input of DSHS 14-154A/159s
- Training for support staff who will be undertaking SSPS duties includes:
- Input of DSHS 14-154A/159s
- Edit error procedures
- Distribution of DSHS 14-159 documents
- Obtaining provider numbers and updates
- Distribution of reports
- The local SSPS coordinator, in conjunction with the regional SSPS coordinator, addresses training needs as requested and utilizes outside training resources as needed.
- Training coordinators report training through the Human Resource Development Information System (HRDIS) and the CA training database.
- Supervisors are responsible for assuring the accuracy and timeliness of SSPS payments.
- DSHS Personnel Policy 561 allows DSHS managers to authorize tuition reimbursement if the employee can demonstrate need. CA Division Directors and Regional Administrators may, at their discretion and within available funds, approve reimbursement for cost of short-term training for staff that would directly improve an individual's ability to perform his or her current job. Short-term training does not include general education classes or classes taken for the sole purpose of earning credit hours toward a degree or certificate.
- CA may reimburse up to 100 percent of the actual cost of tuition of the approved training course, with the actual amount approved in advance by the Director or Regional Administrator. CA will reimburse only the pre-approved costs of tuition and registration fees.
- Each Director and Regional Administrator shall develop procedures to implement this section and to ensure equity in the utilization of such training resources by staff among all classifications.
- CA managers and staff will adhere to the following guidelines when requesting or considering tuition reimbursement:
- The employee must submit a request in writing, using the Tuition Reimbursement Request, SF 30, to the manager outlining how the course directly relates to a function of state government.
- The course needs to relate to the long-term development of an employee as indicated and agreed to on the employee's performance evaluation.
- The manager needs to consider whether the employee has attempted to receive waiver of tuition and fees through the state classified employee tuition exemption process under RCW 28B.15.558.
- The manager needs to consider whether the employee has made an effort to receive other grants and scholarships from the prospective institution.
- The employee must provide a statement of basic financial need for tuition reimbursement, which is the employee's own explanation of why the department should reimburse the cost of tuition, based on the employee's perceived need.
- When staff are away from their normal duties at training, either in-state or out-of-state, for which the department is not providing cost reimbursement for the training or for travel costs, the employee does not need to follow the travel request procedures contained in chapter 9000, section 9120.
- At the discretion of CA and considering program needs, the Regional Administrator, for Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) staff, or the applicable division Director, for other divisions, may approve educational leave for the employee under the following conditions:
- The employee submits, through the supervisor and appropriate lines of authority, to the Regional Administrator or Director, as appropriate, a Leave Request, SF-6953, with the "Other" box checked and specifying "training."
- The employee prepares and attaches to the Leave Request a brief summary of the training to be attended and its relevance to the employee's job assignment or career development.
- The Regional Administrator or Director, as appropriate, will approve or disapprove the request.
Approval: Jennifer Strus, Assistant Secretary
Effective Date: February 15, 1998
Revised Date: October 31, 2014
Sunset Review: October 31, 2018
As a critical element in the delivery of quality culturally competent child welfare services, CA is committed to Children's Administration (CA) staff receive the training necessary to be successful in their current job, and throughout their professional career.
- Mandatory Training
- All New Staff must:
Successfully complete the DSHS New Employee Orientation required by DSHS Administrative Policy No. 18-34 located on the DSHS Intranet. Training topics include:
- Domestic Violence & the Workplace
- Blood Borne Pathogens & HIV/AIDS
- Harassment Prevention
- Ethics Test
- IT Security Awareness
- New/Present Social Service Specialists must:
- Successfully complete Regional Core Training (RCT) during the first two months of beginning employment with CA.
- Be assigned no more than 10 total cases or no more than 6 intakes as primary or secondary worker until proficient in the RCT competencies and curriculum.
- Attend all RCT sessions (some exceptions may be made if the staff can demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the specific area as determined by the Supervisor, Area Administrator (AA) in consultation with the Alliance) and approved by the Deputy or Regional Administrator.
- Successfully complete In-Service trainings in prospective program areas or related topics, e.g., domestic violence, child mental health, etc., within the first year of CA employment or within one year of position transfer.
- Participate in specialized training which meets RCW 74.14B.010 requirements when responsible for interviewing and assessing child sexual abuse.
- Attend additional statewide and regional training when required.
- Non Social Service Specialists are not required to attend RCT but will be required to participate in training relevant to their current area of practice.
- New/Present Supervisors must:
- Successfully complete entry-level supervisory or managerial trainings as required by DSHS Administrative Policy No. 18-34 and WAC 357-34-055.
- Successfully complete Supervisor Core Training within the first six months of becoming a new supervisor or when requested by the Regional Administrator.
- Successfully complete In-Service training within the first two years of becoming a new supervisor, transferring to a new supervisory position or earlier if requested by the Regional Administrator.
- Foster Parents - Please see Foster Parent Training Information on the CA Intranet.
- Voluntary Training
- CA staff will be provided continuing education training opportunities annually to advance their knowledge and skill mastery.
- Child Welfare Training and Advancement Program (CWTAP) (IV-E) graduate students (not currently employed by CA) may register for RCT within six months of completion of MSW degree requirements. Exceptions may be made for students within nine months of graduation, if they are unable to attend RCT. CWTAP students are responsible for their travel, per diem, and lodging costs while attending RCT.
- Tribal social workers are eligible to participate in RCT and other CA trainings.
- Training requirements will be recorded by the current Human Resources tracking system.
- Each region will coordinate with the Alliance to update employee training information. A list of completed trainings is available to CA staff in the tracking system and whether or not a worker did or did not complete training may be used in the personnel evaluation process.
- Mandatory Training
- New CA (non Social Service Specialists) Staff must:
Contact your supervisor or Human Resources Division to register for the DSHS New Employee Orientation.
- New/Present Social Service Specialists must:
- Complete DSHS New Employee Orientation which is included in RCT.
- Begin RCT on the first day of employment and complete RCT by demonstrating proficiency in the knowledge and skills contained in the competencies and curriculum. (CA Supervisors will register new hires with the Alliance when staff is first hired). To demonstrate previous child welfare experience, existing knowledge and skills in a specific RCT session you may:
- Submit a completed Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) to your supervisor. If the supervisor agrees, he/she will:
- Consult with the Alliance and send the request to the Area Administrator. If the AA agrees, the AA will:
- Send the request to his/her Deputy or Regional Administrator for approval. If there is disagreement regarding the approval, the RA will make the final decision.
- Complete the following In-Service training within the first year of hire:
- Program Specific Training; Intake, CPS Investigations or Family Assessment Response (FAR), Division of Licensed Resources (DLR)/CPS, Family Voluntary Services (FVS), Family Reconciliation Services (FRS), Child and Family Welfare Services (CFWS), Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), Adoption, and Licensing and Unified Home Study.
- Indian Child Welfare
- Basics of Substance Abuse
- Permanency Planning
- Engagement and Partnership with Caregivers
- Child Development Well-Being; Education, Health, and Adolescence.
- Risk and Safety Assessment
- Worker Safety
- Racial Disproportionality and Disparities
- Complete the following In-Service training within the second year of hire:
- Mental Health and Child Abuse and Neglect
- Domestic Violence and Child Abuse and Neglect RCW 74.14B.010
- Diversity - Building Bridges
- Indian Child Welfare Cross Cultural Skills
- Advanced Substance Abuse and Child Abuse and Neglect
- Collaboration/Customer Service
- Contact your Supervisor or Human Resources Division to complete the following trainings as required by DSHS Administrative Policy 18-34 and WAC 357-34-055
- Contact the Alliance to complete the In-Service training at Alliance@dshs.wa.gov.
- Voluntary Training
- Social Service Specialists contact the Alliance Learning Development Coordinator to register for Focused Continuing Education trainings when approved by his/her supervisor.
- CWTAP and Tribal staff contact the Alliance Learning Development Coordinator to register for RCT, In-Service and Focused Continuing Education Trainings.
Forms and Tools
Regional Core Training Program Description
Prior Learning Assessment Form
Prior Learning Assessment
Alliance For Child Welfare Excellence
- DSHS Administrative Policy 6.13, New Employee Orientation Program, requires that each employee receive an introduction to state service. CA supervisors and managers are responsible to see that new employees receive New Employee Orientation (NEO) in accordance with department policy. The purpose of NEO is to provide staff with the initial phase of personnel processing and job familiarization.
- Supervisors and local offices are required to ensure that staff receive training on the following topics:
- Agency Mission and Philosophy;
- Children's Administration Policy and Procedures;
- Risk Assessment;
- Blood Borne Pathogens;
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);
- Sexual Harassment;
- Community Resources/Relations;
- Working With Local Court/Legal training;
- Homelessness; and
- Federal Revenue Requirements.
- Academy provides new social workers an overview of agency mission, programs, client populations, and job specific training to enable them to meet minimum standards established by the department. This training fulfills requirements of RCW 74.14B.010. Changes have been made in requirements for Academy training to ensure that new employees consistently receive a minimum of basic training before being given case management responsibilities.
- New social work staff must begin the Academy no more than eight workdays after beginning employment. These staff cannot be assigned cases or perform case aide functions prior to attending the first week of the Academy; they cannot be assigned cases for the first 30 days of employment with CA.
- Supervisors of new employees are expected to arrange for complete coverage of cases assigned to new staff during Academy weeks so that new staff can concentrate fully on training activities.
- This training structure requires that field offices plan as they fill vacancies. New social work staff can and should be enrolled in the Academy by appointing authorities as soon as possible after an individual has accepted employment with CA and, if possible, well before the employee's start date.
- These requirements apply to all permanent and temporary employees but not to emergency hires. The DCFS Regional Administrator or DLR Director and the Assistant Secretary must approve exceptions to policy on temporary hires.
- Supervisors will have their staff attend job specific training, subject to availability, in the following topics after attending the Academy.
- Family Reconciliation Services;
- Child Welfare Services;
- Child Protective Services;
- Adoption Services; and
- Indian Child Welfare Services.
- Supervisors will make reasonable efforts to achieve the following:
- Have social worker staff receive Academy training as soon as possible after employment begins.
- Have intermittent, temporary, part-time, and stand-by workers meet the same minimum standards of training.
- CA must provide ongoing specialized training for CPS staff responsible for investigating child sexual abuse. Training participants must have the opportunity to practice interview skills and receive feedback from instructors.
- The training must:
- Be based on research-based practices and standards;
- Minimize the trauma of all persons who are interviewed during abuse investigations;
- Provide methods of reducing the number of investigative interviews necessary whenever possible;
- Assure, to the extent possible, that investigative interviews are thorough, objective, and complete;
- Recognize needs of special populations, such as persons with developmental disabilities;
- Recognize the nature and consequences of victimization;
- Require investigative interviews to be conducted in a manner most likely to permit the interviewed persons the maximum emotional comfort under the circumstances;
- Address record retention and retrieval; and
- Documentation of investigative interviews. RCW 74.14B.010
- A Regional Administrator, Regional Manager, Director, or Office Chief may authorize an individual or group of employees to work an alternative workweek as described in WAC 356-15-020(2). An alternative work schedule is voluntary on the part of the employee. It is not a universal benefit available to all employees. It is a management prerogative available to the employee when, in the opinion of the supervisor and manager, specified conditions are met.
- Alternative work schedules are subject to approval of the Appointing Authority (Director, Regional Administrator, or Assistant Secretary), who must ensure that the following conditions are met:
- The practice must conform to applicable collective bargaining agreements.
- The responsible manager must issue written procedures governing use of alternative work schedules in each area of the manager's jurisdiction.
- Each employee seeking an alternative work schedule and the regional or state office's approving manager/supervisor shall sign a negotiated agreement outlining the terms of the revised work week. The agreement shall include, at a minimum, the following:
- The days and hours of work each week to total 40 hours or the total number of hours required of an individual part-time employee.
- Use of a personal holiday equivalent to the employee's work shift on the day used. WAC 356-18-025
- A description of how the employee will be compensated for a holiday that falls on a regularly scheduled day off. WAC 356-18-025
- The regional and state office procedures must include methods to verify that the employee is meeting the provisions of the agreement, including fulfilling the obligation to work the required minimum hours per week.
Alternate work schedules are a management option and may be considered for an employee when the following criteria are met:
- The employee's job, or tasks on that job, can be readily accomplished in an alternate schedule.
- The employee's absence from the office will not be detrimental to the work group's productivity or the needs of clients nor have a disruptive or negative impact on working conditions of other employees. Adequate coverage must be provided at all times during the standard workweek without the presence of the alternate work week employee for the plan to be approved.
- The supervisor considers the employee's performance to be satisfactory.
- The supervisor and employee are willing to sign and abide by a mutually defined alternate work schedule agreement.
- Each CA employee who may be in travel status at any time, who makes home visits, who makes visits to facilities, or who may have access to confidential records, either internal or external, shall obtain an official department identification card with the employee's photograph.
- The identification card, DSHS 03-046 DOL (X)(8/50), shall be completed by administrative support staff, shall be signed by the Appointing Authority, and the employee will make an appointment with the local licensing center of the Department of Licensing to have their photograph taken and attached to the card or follow regional procedures.
When a CA manager requires that CA staff wear nametags for purposes of identification, the nametag shall identify staff persons as employees of Children's Administration, not the individual division.
Preventing causes of accidents and reducing the impact of on-the-job injuries is a combined responsibility of managers (administrators, managers), supervisors and staff (employees and volunteers). Working together, managers, supervisors and staff will make efforts to maintain a safe working environment.
Each office will establish a safety program consistent with the requirements of the department's Safety Program Manual and tailored to the office's unique environment and needs.
- The manager of each office is required to establish and operate a safety committee for that office which is to meet regularly. The membership is to include equal representation of employer-selected and employee-selected representatives in accordance with the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA) http://www.lni.wa.gov/Safety/Basics/About/Default.asp. The manager will make clear to the employees and their supervisors the expectations for participation. Sufficient time off from regular duties will be authorized to facilitate employee participation. The agenda for these meetings will include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Monitoring and discussing safety inspections and investigations of job sites, materials, and equipment alleged to be unsafe.
- Discussing appropriate operating procedures relative to maintaining a safe work environment including, but not limited to, fire, earthquake, bomb threat and client threat.
- Monitoring of formal training to ensure safety awareness and skill improvement, as well as on-the-job instructions prior to the assignment of duties in areas of higher accident risk.
- Reviewing all reports of accidents and illnesses that occurred since the previous meeting.
- Safety committee meeting minutes will be posted on the office safety bulletin board.
- The manager may obtain a waiver from authorizing regular safety committee meetings if justified by office size and/or safety record. Waivers may be obtained from Safety and Health Claims Management, Loss Prevention and Risk Management, P. O. Box 45882, Olympia, WA 98504 or Mail Stop: 45882.
In a threatening situation, staff safety and well-being are primary. The agency will provide:
- Awareness of job-related safety precautions and the importance of attitude and professionalism as it relates to personal safety.
- Annual training on work-related and personal self-protection skills.
- Guidelines for worker safety posted on the Intranet.
- Cell phones for workers to check out when going into the field.
- A check in/out procedure for staff when conducting field visits.
- Tracking and reporting in the aggregate the number and nature of incidents using the Administrative Incident Reporting System (AIRS).
- Debriefing and support for staff as follow-up to trauma suffered as a result of serious incidents when safety has been jeopardized, such as a personal threat or an assault.
- Support for staff to request law enforcement assistance when using court orders to remove children from their families, regardless of known risk factors.
Within the scope of their job duties, CA employees and volunteers will take precautions to prevent or avoid dangerous situations and property damage.
- Initial Personal Safety Risk Assessment
- Before making client contact, staff will make ongoing assessments of situations based on the nature of the allegation(s) or changing case characteristics and risk factors. The following are issues for social workers and supervisors to consider before making field visits:
- Are firearms or other weapons noted in the referral or record?
- Is there a previous history of domestic violence or other violent behavior towards others (this includes adults and youth)?
- Is there a history of criminal activity, mental illness, substance abuse, and ritualistic abuse or cult practices?
- Is the family's geographic location isolated or dangerous and is there cell phone coverage in that location?
- Is the contact scheduled after normal working hours?
- Are there aggressive animals on or near the premises?
- Is there a "danger to worker" notification screen on the referral?
- Is there lack of available information?
- If the initial assessment reveals possible risk to the staff person, the following could be considered as part of a safety plan:
- Call upon law enforcement and/or another staff person for accompaniment.
- Carry a cell phone.
- Use a state car rather than personal vehicle (or visa versa).
- Carry personal safety equipment, such as a whistle or personal alarm.
- Conduct a criminal history check before making contact.
- Consult with other informal sources, such as local law enforcement, previous social workers, collateral contacts, coworkers or colleagues from other agencies.
- Maintaining Safety
- Be aware of your surroundings and identify potential safety risks.
- Do not allow a client to get between you and the door.
- If you feel unsafe, end the visit and seek assistance. Leave immediately.
- After an Incident
In spite of precautions, threats and other incidents may occur. Staff will
immediately notify his/her supervisor, another supervisor in the office, or other
person in the chain of command following an incident, such as assault, a threat
of serious harm to staff and/or family members or property damage. The
manager and/or supervisor or designee will:
- Provide the opportunity to debrief and offer counseling for staff involved in incidents.
- When warranted, report to law enforcement and request restraining orders for individuals and/or offices.
- Report the incident to the chain of command and a make a report in the Administrative Incident Reporting System (AIRS). Give the staff involved in the incident the opportunity to provide information so that all necessary details are included in the report. Provide a copy of the report to the Safety Committee representative.
- Note the circumstances in the SER and update the "danger to worker" person screen.
- Methamphetamine Labs
- Any staff who suspects he/she has entered an area where methamphetamine is manufactured will exit the residence and the property immediately and call 911 to request law enforcement response to address the safety of the children.
- Any staff person suspected of methamphetamine exposure should consult with his/her personal physician within two hours of exposure.
- Disaster response, preparedness, and recovery plans are the responsibility of all supervisors and management staff.
- Each office identifies how the operations of the office will return to full service following a disaster and who in the organization is responsible for each of the steps.
- Each office is responsible to train their staff in emergency and disaster recovery procedures.
- In the event of a disaster, CA will ensure that essential records are protected, stored, and retrievable in accordance with its Essential Records Plan.
- Offices will initiate procedures to ensure worker and client safety, minimize damage to equipment and files, and restore critical functions for service delivery within seven working days. Basic levels of services are to resume at the earliest possible time.
- There are three levels of disaster:
- Water damage, contaminant damage (food, dust, etc.) to equipment or to a workstation or area that renders it unusable.
- HVAC system outages, computer, phone and power outages.
- Bombing, terrorism, violence, toxic fumes, and the like that render the facility unusable; fire, earthquake, flooding, and other natural disasters that leave the facility unusable; or death or severe injury that would incapacitate a work group.
- Operations essential to CA are the work site, telecommunications, and social service programs. Within 24 hours basic services are to begin. The designated staff for the operational recovery will identify media sources, which can be used to keep the public, notified of CA operational recovery.
- Director of Management Services, DCFS Regional Administrator, and DLR Regional Manager Responsibilities:
- Prepare an emergency mission statement with implementation procedures.
- Prepare regulations and announcements for immediate issuance in the event of an emergency to enable the office to carry out its operational mission.
- Designate an Operational Coordinator for each work site.
- Approve the Operational Coordinator's selection of necessary steps to resume normal operations following an emergency.
- Provide adequate resources to support the recovery of CA office operations in the most cost-effective manner.
- Local Operational Coordinator's Responsibilities:
- Identify and select work site, telecommunication methods, and the recovery of social services programs that are necessary to carry out:
- Emergency mission, and
- Resume normal operations following an emergency.
- Submit a listing of selected work site, telecommunications, and social services program implementation to the Director, Regional Administrator, or Regional Manager, as applicable, for approval.
- Yearly, review the Operational Recovery Schedule. If needed, update and get the required approval.
- Records essential to CA are a combination of paper and electronic files. Client records and payments processed through FamLink are in electronic files with criminal history background checks, court reports, and other client reports from outside sources in paper form. The journal voucher, vendor payments, personnel attendance, and payroll, Agency Inventory System (AIS), numeric registers, contract, administrator's accounts, regional financial reports, and position action requests are recorded in electronic files with paper authorization forms/back-up.
- Responsibilities of each Division Director, Regional Administrator, and Regional Manager include:
- Preparation of an emergency mission statement with implementation procedures.
- Preparation of regulations and announcements to issue immediately in the event of an emergency to enable the office to carry out its emergency mission.
- Approval of the Records Coordinator's selection of essential records necessary to carry out or resume normal operations following an emergency.
- Provision of adequate resources to support the protection of selected essential records in the most cost-effective manner.
- Local Office Records Coordinator's responsibilities include:
- Identification and selection of essential records for the office that are necessary to carry out:
- Emergency mission, and
- Resume normal operations following an emergency.
- Submission of a listing of selected essential records to the Division Director, Regional Administrator, or Regional Manager for approval. When it is approved, forward the list to the DSHS Records Officer, Forms & Records Management, MS 45805.
- Yearly review of the Essential Records Schedule. If needed, update, obtain required approval, and forward as shown above in C.2.
- Identify essential Local Area Network (LAN)/Wide Area Network (WAN) operations for operation of program and administration. The designated staff for the LAN/WAN recovery will identify software and alternate system access.
- Office of Information Services Manager responsibilities include:
- Preparation of a technology emergency mission statement with implementation procedures.
- Preparation of regulations and announcements to issue immediately in the event of an emergency to enable the Administration and each office to carry out its mission.
- Approval of the LAN/WAN Coordinator's selection of system recovery necessary to carry out or resume normal operations following an emergency.
- Provision of adequate resources to support the recovery of CA office system technology in the most cost-effective manner.
- Local LAN/WAN Coordinator's responsibilities include:
- Identification and selection of facility based and alternative computer systems to carry out:
- Emergency mission, and
- Resume normal operations following an emergency.
- Submission of a listing of selected LAN/WAN software/system(s) essential to recovery operations to the Regional Administrator or the Regional Manager, as applicable, for approval. Submission of the final approved LAN/WAN software/system(s) recovery to the Office of Information Services Manager, MS: 45710
- Yearly review of the LAN/WAN Recovery plan. If needed, update, obtain required approval, and forward as shown above in C.2.
See the CA Practices and Procedures Guide, Chapter 4000, section 43073, for information regarding staff liability and responsibility for complying with court orders.
- This standard and procedure establishes guidelines for Children's Administration (CA) staff who may be called upon or wish to provide testimony or documentation opposing the department's official position in an administrative hearing or court action, usually as a result of an adverse action against a child care license or as part of a child or family case specific action.
- This standard does not apply to cases brought by or against a department employee. The standard does not apply to nor limit employee participation in any role in other, non-licensing or non-case specific, actions, including employee disciplinary, Personnel Appeals Board, and court hearings or related actions.
- Division of Licensed Resources (DLR) adverse licensing action constitutes a decision by the department that the licensee is not suitable to care for children.
- CA staff, including Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) social workers, shall not knowingly take action that directly subverts or undermines the department's position in a licensing or other family or child case specific action.
- If CA staff has information that is relevant to the licensing or other case specific determination in question, including contacts from opposing counsel, that staff will provide that information to the DLR licenser or other responsible CA employee, as applicable. When contacted by opposing counsel, the CA employee will also notify the assigned Assistant Attorney General (AAG).
- CA staff will not knowingly share department documents related to the dispute with any licensee or other party who is the subject of the licensing or other department case specific action or with the licensee/party's attorney/agent/ advocate except as currently provided in public disclosure statutes and regulations. If CA staff receives a request for documents from the licensee/party or his/her attorney/ agent/advocate, the staff will immediately refer the request to his/her supervisor, the DLR licenser for licensing issues, and the AAG assigned to the licensing or other family or child specific case.
- CA staff will not knowingly share confidential information with the licensee who is the subject of licensing action. CA staff will also not knowingly share confidential information with the opposing party to any other child or family case specific action. In addition, CA staff will not knowingly share confidential information with the licensee/party's attorney/agency/advocate.
- "Confidential information" includes, but is not necessarily limited to, attorney/client communications; information pertaining to the department's strategy or decision-making in the licensing case or other matter under litigation; agency memoranda, e-mail, or other communication related to the case; and client (child or child's family) information.
- If CA staff are contacted by a licensee who is the subject of licensing action or other party to a department-related child or family case-specific litigation, the licensee/party's attorney/ agent/advocate or by any person who has information regarding the licensing or other child or family specific case in dispute, that staff will immediately notify his/her supervisor, the DLR licenser or other involved CA staff, as applicable, and the AAG assigned to the case.
- CA staff will not testify in support of a licensee who is the subject of licensing action or other party in opposition to the department unless subpoenaed to do so. CA staff will not provide any written letters of support for the opposing party on DSHS letterhead. The CA staff will specifically state that his/her testimony, whether by subpoena or not, or letter sets forth his/her personal opinion and is not the position of the department.
- The department, in consultation with the assigned AAG, determines the department's position in any action. The assigned AAG represents the department and not any particular CA staff. If CA staff testifies in support of a licensee who is the subject of a licensing action or other party to a child or family specific action in opposition to the department's position, he/she may be cross-examined as a hostile witness by the AAG, who may attempt to discredit the employee's testimony.