Rep. Dent appointed to Oversight Board for Children, Youth, and Families and Joint Select Committee on Early Achievers Program

Rep. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, has been appointed to the Oversight Board for Children, Youth and Families by House Speaker Frank Chopp.

The establishment of the Oversight Board is part of House Bill 1661, passed by the Legislature in 2017, which created the new Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF).

“The creation of a new agency is a monumental task. We felt it was critical to include the board as part of that legislation, not only for oversight purposes, but to ensure there is transparency and accountability moving forward with the new agency,” said Dent. “There were extensive problems in many of the youth and children's divisions of the Department of Social and Health Services and we do not want that to happen in this new agency. We need to make sure our youth are receiving the proper intervention and prevention services.”

The Oversight Board will monitor and ensure that the DCYF achieves its stated outcomes. The board will also conduct periodic surveys of providers, customers, parent groups, and external services, and issue an annual report.

The board includes four legislators and representatives from foster care, a parent group, law enforcement, the early learning program, a child welfare caseworker and others.

Dent has also been appointed to the Joint Select Committee on Early Achievers Program. The committee was created with passage of House Bill 1491 in 2015.

The committee is tasked to review the demand and availability of child care providers, early learning programs, and family, friend, and neighbor caregivers by geographic region. By Dec. 1, 2018, the committee must provide recommendations on the sufficiency of funding for the Early Achievers Program, the need for targeted funding for specific geographic regions or major ethnic populations, and whether to modify the deadlines for the Early Achievers Program mandate.

“I have always had a strong enthusiasm for working on children's issues. I am pleased I have the opportunity to serve on this committee and ensure we are providing early achiever opportunities in all parts of the state,” said Dent. “This committee will be working to strengthen the quality of care and early learning programs for our young people.”

Dent is the lead Republican on the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee.  The committee considers issues relating to early learning from birth to kindergarten, as well as a broad array of issues affecting children and families, including parent education, foster care, dependency, child protective services, children's mental health, child welfare services, at-risk youth and juvenile justice.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov