Licensed foster parents may experience an investigation when someone makes an allegation against them. The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) has a responsibility to look into these concerns. The Division of Licensed Resources DLR/CPS (Child Protective Services) staff investigates allegations about child abuse and neglect. Either DLR/CPS staff or a licensor investigates allegations about licensing violations.

Most investigations do not result in a “finding” of abuse or neglect against a foster parent. However, these investigations can be a stressful time for you or your family.
 

What We Do

To speak to a FIRST staff, call (253) 219-6782. They can:

  • Respond to your request by assistance within 12 hours.
  • Explain the investigation process, including timeframes.
  • Explain the differences between a CPS investigation and a licensing complaint.
  • Assist you in communicating your thoughts and concerns to agency staff.
  • Talk to you about how you are feeling and lend a supportive ear.
  • Meet with you in person or by telephone at your request and provide you with ongoing support throughout the investigation.

The Purpose

The Purpose of FIRST is to provide neutral third party advice and support to foster parents including information on:

  • Policies, procedures, WAC requirements governing investigation of allegations of child abuse and neglect or licensing violations by foster parents
  • The process used by Children’s Administration to investigate allegations, including expected timelines for the investigation
  • Other factors or issues that foster parents can expect during the course of an investigation

Your Rights

As a licensed foster parent, you have the right to:

  • Have another adult present during your interview
  • Refuse to be interviewed
  • Send a written response regarding the allegations
  • Know the outcome of the DLR/CPS investigation
  • Appeal founded allegations