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Working with Laws & Rules

Washington Administrative Code

Washington State laws and rules that pertain to foster care can be found at the following:
  • Child Care Agencies/Licensing Requirements
    • WAC 388-145 - Emergency respite centers
    • WAC 388-148 - Licensing requirements for child foster homes, staffed residential homes, group residential facilities, and child-placing agencies
    • WAC 388-160 - Minimum licensing requirements for overnight youth shelters
  • General

Background Check Requirements Prior to Placing a Child in Your Home

NEW - Proposed Rule Changes (Washington Administrative Code - WAC)

The public comment period for the following proposed rule changes is now through October 21, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.

The Division of Licensed Resources (DLR) has filed new proposed foster home, child-placing agency, adoption and group care rules with the Office of the Code Reviser. You can access these purposed rules and the Small Business Economic Impact Statement using the links below.

Licensing Requirements for Child Foster Homes

Licensing Requirements for Child Placing Agency and Adoption Services

Licensing Requirements for Group Care Facilities and Services

Crosswalk between current and proposed WACs

Proposed Rule Making Information

Summary of Proposed Rules and Small Business Economic Impact

You are welcome to attend and provide formal testimony opposing or supporting the proposed rules at a public hearing on October 21, 2014 at 1115 Washington St. Olympia, WA 98504 in Office Building 2 on the Capital Campus, 4th Floor in the Lookout Room at 10:00 a.m.

If you are not able to attend, you can submit written comments to the DSHS Rules Coordinator, PO Box 45850 Olympia, WA 98504 or e-mail at You can also fax your comments to (360) 664-6185. Comments must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. October 21, 2014. Assistance for persons with disabilities should contact Jeff Kidahl, DSHS Rules Consultant by October 7, 2014 TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6092 or by e-mail at