House Bill 1261, sponsored by Rep. Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens, was signed into law May 1 by Governor Inslee. The law will require that the Department of Social and Health Services establish a licensing category for receiving care centers. With this new law, children who are removed from their home can temporarily be placed in short-term emergency and crisis care while their needs are assessed.
“The need for this law was brought to me by a constituent, Todd McNeal,” Hope said. “He is the Founder and Executive Director of Hand in Hand in Everett. Because of him and the efforts of his staff they can now care for children who have been taken out of their home in an emergency situation.”
Todd McNeal testified earlier in the session on the importance of having a center like this for children who are taken out of their home and are scared. This law would protect the program developed and run by Hand in Hand, a non-profit corporation, that cares for children that are removed from their homes by social workers until they can be placed with a foster family.
Community support for the Safe Place Receiving Care Center Program includes the DSHS Everett office, the city of Everett, Snohomish County Human Services Department, the United Way, Olive Crest and several local foundations and businesses. The law will take effect on July 28, 2013.
The 2013 regular session adjourned on April 28. The special session will begin May 13 and can last as long as 30 days.