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(1) The legislature finds that:
(a) Adult family homes are an important part of the state's long-term care system. Adult family homes provide an alternative to institutional care and promote a high degree of independent living for residents.
(b) Persons with functional limitations have broadly varying service needs. Adult family homes that can meet those needs are an essential component of a long-term system. Different populations living in adult family homes, such as persons with developmental disabilities and elderly persons, often have significantly different needs and capacities from one another.
(c) There is a need to update certain restrictive covenants to take into consideration the legislative findings cited in (a) and (b) of this subsection; the need to prevent or reduce institutionalization; and the legislative and judicial mandates to provide care and services in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the needs of the individual. Restrictive covenants which directly or indirectly restrict or prohibit the use of property for adult family homes (i) are contrary to the public interest served by establishing adult family homes and (ii) discriminate against individuals with disabilities in violation of RCW 49.60.224.
(2) It is the legislature's intent that department rules and policies relating to the licensing and operation of adult family homes recognize and accommodate the different needs and capacities of the various populations served by the homes. Furthermore, the development and operation of adult family homes that promote the health, welfare, and safety of residents, and provide quality personal care and special care services should be encouraged.
(3) The legislature finds that many residents of community-based long-term care facilities are vulnerable and their health and well-being are dependent on their caregivers. The quality, skills, and knowledge of their caregivers are the key to good care. The legislature finds that the need for well-trained caregivers is growing as the state's population ages and residents' needs increase. The legislature intends that current training standards be enhanced.
(4) The legislature finds that the state of Washington has a compelling interest in developing and enforcing standards that promote the health, welfare, and safety of vulnerable adults residing in adult family homes. The health, safety, and well-being of vulnerable adults must be the paramount concern in determining whether to issue a license to an applicant, whether to suspend or revoke a license, or whether to take other licensing actions.


FindingIntent2011 1st sp.s. c 3: "The legislature finds that Washington's long-term care system should more aggressively promote protections for the vulnerable populations it serves. The legislature intends to address current statutes and funding levels that limit the department of social and health services' ability to promote vulnerable adult protections. The legislature further intends that the cost of facility oversight should be supported by an appropriate license fee paid by the regulated businesses, rather than by the general taxpayers." [ 2011 1st sp.s. c 3 § 101.]
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