(1) Caseworkers employed in children services shall meet minimum standards established by the department of social and health services. Comprehensive training for caseworkers shall be completed before such caseworkers are assigned to case-carrying responsibilities without direct supervision. Intermittent, part-time, and standby workers shall be subject to the same minimum standards and training.
(2) Ongoing specialized training shall be provided for persons responsible for investigating child sexual abuse. Training participants shall have the opportunity to practice interview skills and receive feedback from instructors.
(3) The department, the criminal justice training commission, the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs, and the Washington association of prosecuting attorneys shall design and implement statewide training that contains consistent elements for persons engaged in the interviewing of children, including law enforcement, prosecution, and child protective services.
(4) The training shall: (a) Be based on research-based practices and standards; (b) minimize the trauma of all persons who are interviewed during abuse investigations; (c) provide methods of reducing the number of investigative interviews necessary whenever possible; (d) assure, to the extent possible, that investigative interviews are thorough, objective, and complete; (e) recognize needs of special populations, such as persons with developmental disabilities; (f) recognize the nature and consequences of victimization; (g) require investigative interviews to be conducted in a manner most likely to permit the interviewed persons the maximum emotional comfort under the circumstances; (h) address record retention and retrieval; and (i) documentation of investigative interviews.
(5) The identification of domestic violence is critical in ensuring the safety of children in the child welfare system. As a result, ongoing domestic violence training and consultation shall be provided to caseworkers, including how to use the children's administration's practice guide to domestic violence.
[2013 c 254 § 5; 1999 c 389 § 5; 1987 c 503 § 8.]