Licensed foster parents and unlicensed relative caregivers with children placed in their care will have greater authority to allow these children to participate in normal childhood activities based on a reasonable and prudent parent standard. Senate Bill 6497 was based on a recommendation from foster youth at the 2013 Foster Youth Alumni Summit, where current and former foster youth indicated their experience as a foster youth would have been much more normal if their caregivers had been allowed to decide what activities they may participate in, rather than waiting for their social worker to approve the activity. Other states, such as California and Florida, have adopted similar standards.
Senate Bill 6479 was passed by Washington’s 2014 Legislature and signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee on March 27.
Children’s Administration is developing the policy and procedures that will guide Children’s staff in implementing this new law. Watch for more information about the development of the Prudent Parenting policy in the next Caregiver Connection.