Children's Administration, Department of Social and Health Services
Children's Administration, Department of Social and Health Services
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Operations Manual



  1. The Children's Administration (CA) Operations Manual supports and implements the provisions contained in the CA Case Services Policy Manual and Practices and Procedures Guide and provides administrative guidance to the divisions and offices of the Administration. The Operations Manual identifies technical policy and procedure that supports the agency's social service delivery system and provides administrative direction consistent with state and agency directives.
  2. This manual sets forth procedures and practices regarding implementation of policy within the context of the business environment of the Children's Administration.


1210. Mission

The Children's Administration (CA) is committed to the safe and healthy growth and development of children in their own homes, in out-of-home placement, and in child day care. CA provides a comprehensive range of services designed to protect children from abuse and neglect, to support families, and to assure quality of care. Services are intended to promote the safety of children and the preservation, rehabilitation, and reunification of families to the maximum extent possible.

1220. Strategic Plan

  1. The Children's Administration strategic plan seeks to expand and improve its capacity to provide effective, quality services to protect children and strengthen families in crisis. Specific strategies for agency planning and making effective changes have been developed using the following basic, guiding principles to address the Administration's commitment to excellence in service delivery and programs:
    1. Family centered.
    2. Culturally relevant.
    3. Coordinated and collaborative.
    4. Locally planned.
    5. Community-based and preventive.
    6. Outcome-based.
    7. Creative.
    8. Customer service based.
  2. The Administration's strategic plan establishes a clear, consistent direction and provides a structure for policy formulation, decision-making, and accountability.

1221. Goals and Objectives

The strategic plan includes the following goals and objectives:

  1. Improved Administrative Structure: Delivery of services through an effective management structure that is based on a creatively decentralized administration with appropriate centralized oversight.
  2. Family Centered Practice: The statewide delivery of culturally relevant services for children and families that are based on family centered practice.
  3. Community Based Services: Locally planned and coordinated support services that address the unique needs of communities.
  4. Quality Assurance: Accountable programs that are reflective of sound management practices and that strive for excellence.
  5. Communication: Open communication and regular discussion of challenges and successes with staff, clients, communities, and the legislature.


  1. Children's Administration staff are accountable for the following applicable department policy. The primary source documents include, but are not limited to:
    1. DSHS Administrative Policies;
    2. FamLink Policies;
    3. Social Service Payment System (SSPS) Manual;
    4. DSHS Personnel Policies;
    5. DSHS Travel Manual;
    6. Paperwork Management Manual;
    7. Washington Management Service (WMS) Policies;
    8. Merit System Rules;
    9. Union Contract; and
    10. Agency Inventory System Manual
  2. Each regional office and each local office can access current copies of each of the above manuals or policies on the Intranet/Internet. CA staff must also adhere to other directives that may be issued periodically by the Secretary or the Assistant Secretary.


  1. Each Director, Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Regional Administrator, and Division of Licensed Resources (DLR) Regional Manager is responsible for ensuring that employees within their span of control have the ability to access the manuals on the Intranet or Internet.
  2. The manuals are available electronically through assigned computers to all CA staff.
  3. For guidelines regarding manual maintenance and policy issuance, see the CA Practices and Procedures Guide, Chapter 1000, section 1200