Dent legislation to increase eastern Washington presence on DCYF Oversight Board passes House

A bill that would increase the presence of eastern Washington on the state Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) Oversight Board passed off the House floor unanimously on Monday.

House Bill 1561, prime-sponsored by 13th District Rep. Tom Dent, would make changes to the board overseeing the new DCYF state agency that was created in 2017. The Oversight Board was created in 2017 along with the new agency.

“I sponsored this legislation to make sure everyone has a seat at the table and that there is some balance on the Oversight Board,” said Dent, R-Moses Lake. “It is important we have equal representation from the east and west parts of the state. We also want to add board members who have experience in the foster care and juvenile justice systems.”

The bill would ensure at least five of the board members reside east of the Cascade Mountain range. It would also add one current or former foster youth under the age of 25, one individual under the age of 25 with current or previous experience with the juvenile justice system, and one physician with experience working with children or youth.

In 2018 the DCYF assumed responsibility over child welfare and early learning functions previously held by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and the Department of Early Learning. On July 1, 2019, the DCYF will assume responsibility over juvenile justice programs currently administered by the DSHS.

The Oversight Board receives quarterly updates regarding the implementation of the DCYF.

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

The 105-day legislative session is scheduled to adjourn April 28.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov