The Sirita Law Reforms
Final Passage out of the Washington State Legislature: April 19, 2007
Signed by Governor Christine Gregoire: May 11, 2007
SIRITA’S LAW: House Bill 1333
· If a child is removed a second time for abuse or neglect, a hearing must be held in 30 days to determine if there should be a change in permanency plan or termination of parental rights
· For every child in foster care more than 15 months, a report must be made to the legislature explaining why
· Foster parents involved in transitional visitation services with the child post placement
· All adults in the home are subject to a background check
· All caregivers in the home must be evaluated for needed services, whether a party to the dependency or not
· Bio parents with children in dependency are priority for services
· Substance abuse is included in list of court-ordered services.
· Police academies to add child abuse/neglect to their curriculum
· Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) to study of gaps in availability and accessibility of services to families.
RAFAEL GOMEZ ACT: House Bill 1334
ALL relevant documentation must be given to the judge. Summaries can be made by the authors (doctors, therapists, etc.) but not by the social worker.
House Bill 1624: Omnibus Bill: Revising provisions affecting dependent children
· DSHS must consult with Foster Parents every quarter.
· Court Improvement to clarify the court's role and involve the court in planning.
· Termination of parental rights can be reversed for older children if at least 5 years have elapsed, the child has not been adopted, the child is at least 12 and petitions the court, the parental deficiencies have been removed, and the court rules it is in the best interest of the child.
House Bill 1287: Foster Parents now have a Right to be Heard at Dependency Hearings
The work is not done, but these are huge steps in the right direction. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone that walked with me on this very long road.
Final Report of the HB2156 "Sirita" Task Force -
The Joint Legislative Task Force on Child Safety
Phone or E-mail Your Legislators to Thank Them for
Supporting the Sirita Law Reforms!