COVID-19 Update - Emergency Placement Services

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Dear Emergency Placement Services Providers,  

The rise in COVID-19 activity and the Nov. 15 Proclamation by Gov. Jay Inslee has increased concerns about the safety of our children, families, staff and provider partners and uncertainty about how some of our services should be altered as a result.  

We all feel the increased tension and uncertainty that the rise in COVID activity has brought and we value your dedication to providing services to our children, youth and families. We’ve heard from you that COVID-19 safety should be a driving consideration for making decisions about service provision. We’ve also heard from some of you the importance of continued flexibility to provide services in-person where safe to do so and to maintain in-person family connections or safety services. DCYF is continuing to work with all of you and our partners to balance both public health and the needs of children and families. Below is some important information and resources regarding providing Emergency Placement Services (EPS):

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, DCYF added new language to the EPS contract. We wanted to remind providers that during this COVID-19 crisis the length of stay timeframes for Emergent Placement Services may be extended if needed. If you are having difficulty with the staffing ratios, we can also discuss temporary staffing ratio deductions that vary from the contracted rate of 1:3. Both DCYF and the contractor must mutually agree to any changes to the contract beyond the current contract limitations. Contractors must contact their local gatekeeper or program manager for discussion and approval. The local gatekeeper may triage the request with HQ program managers as needed.

The safety of children, youth, foster and kinship families, caregivers, staff and our tribal partners has always been and remains our top priority. Thank you for your continued commitment to serving children and families during this stressful time. During this pandemic, you have all stepped up, focusing on the health of our families and served as a constant in the lives of one of our state’s most vulnerable populations.

Communication is more critical right now than ever in these unprecedented times. We will continue to share information with you through email, webinars and on our COVID-19 website. If you have any questions or want to share concerns or supports needed, please email Michael Campbell, Intensive Resource Program Manager, or call (509) 654-4940.