43.216.749  <<  43.216.750 >>   43.216.755

Child welfare workersDepartment dutiesTechnical work group to develop workload modelAnnual report to legislature.

(1) The department shall provide child welfare workers and those supervising child welfare workers with access to:
(a) A critical incident protocol that establishes a process for appropriately responding to traumatic or high stress incidents in a manner that provides employees with proper mental health and stress management support, guidance, and education; and
(b) Peer counseling from someone trained in providing peer counseling and support.
(2) The department shall systematically collect workforce data regarding child welfare workers including staff turnover, workload distribution, exit interviews, and regular staff surveys to assess organizational culture and psychological safety.
(3) The department shall make a concerted effort to increase efficiency through the reduction of paperwork.
(4) The department shall develop a scientifically based method for measuring the direct service time of child welfare workers and contracted resources.
(5) The department shall convene a technical work group to develop a workload model including standardized ratios for supervisors, clerical, and other child welfare worker support staff and child welfare worker caseload ratios by case type.
(a) The technical work group must include:
(i) Two child welfare worker representatives, one from west of the crest of the Cascade mountain range, and one from east of the crest of the Cascade mountain range;
(ii) Fiscal staff from the department;
(iii) Human resources staff from the department; and
(iv) A representative from the office of financial management.
(b) The department shall provide a report to the relevant committees of the legislature in compliance with RCW 43.01.036 by December 1, 2019, that includes a description of the workload model recommended by the technical work group and the steps the department is taking to implement this model.
(c) The technical work group established in this section shall continue to meet and provide an annual report to the relevant committees of the legislature in compliance with RCW 43.01.036 by December 1st of each year regarding any recommended modifications to the workload model and steps the department is taking to implement those changes.
(6) The definitions in this subsection apply throughout this section unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(a) "Child welfare worker" means an employee of the department whose job includes supporting or providing child welfare services as defined in RCW 74.13.020 including those providing family assessment response services as defined in RCW 26.44.020 or child protective services as defined in RCW 26.44.020.
(b) "Critical incident" means an incident that is unusual and involves a perceived or actual threat of harm to an individual which includes but is not limited to child fatalities or near fatalities.
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