Incarcerated parents — Policies to encourage family contact and engagement.
(1)(a) The secretary of social and health services shall review current department policies and assess the adequacy and availability of programs targeted at persons who receive services through the department who are the children and families of a person who is incarcerated in a department of corrections facility. Great attention shall be focused on programs and policies affecting foster youth who have a parent who is incarcerated.
(b) The secretary shall adopt policies that encourage familial contact and engagement between inmates of the department of corrections facilities and their children with the goal of facilitating normal child development, while reducing recidivism and intergenerational incarceration. Programs and policies should take into consideration the children's need to maintain contact with his or her parent, the inmate's ability to develop plans to financially support their children, assist in reunification when appropriate, and encourage the improvement of parenting skills where needed. The programs and policies should also meet the needs of the child while the parent is incarcerated.
(2) The secretary shall conduct the following activities to assist in implementing the requirements of subsection (1) of this section:
(a) Gather information and data on the recipients of public assistance, or children in the care of the state under chapter 13.34 RCW, who are the children and families of inmates incarcerated in department of corrections facilities; and
(b) Participate in the children of incarcerated parents advisory committee and report information obtained under this section to the advisory committee.
[2007 c 384 § 3.]
| Intent -- Finding -- 2007 c 384: See note following RCW 72.09.495.|