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

14000. ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT

14100. RECEPTION

14110. Introduction

A. Each Children's Administration (CA) office is to set aside a designated area for people who come into the office.

B. Support staff provide services to people coming into the reception area

C. This section outlines the procedures receptionists or other CA staff follow when receiving, screening, and referring people who come into an office.

14111. Definitions

See Appendix A, Definitions.

14112. Posters and Brochures

  1. The following posters must be displayed in each CA client reception area:
    1. Multilingual Interpreter Services, DSHS 24-019(X).
    2. Non-Discrimination posters in English, Cambodian, Chinese, Laotian, Spanish, and Vietnamese, DSHS 24-007.
  2. Non-Discrimination Policy brochures in English, Cambodian, Chinese, Laotian, Spanish, and Vietnamese, DSHS 22-171(X) must be available for clients in each reception area.
  3. Supplementary client information and brochures are available from the DSHS Forms and Publications Warehouse in a variety of languages.
    1. Each CA office is to maintain a supply of bilingual information for clients that is reflective of the languages spoken in the local service area.
    2. Following is the Translation Color-Coded System used by the department:
      1. SPANISH - Goldenrod
      2. VIETNAMESE - Yellow
      3. CAMBODIAN - Light Bluerod
      4. VIETNAMESE - Yellow
      5. LAOTIAN - Lime Green
      6. HMONG - Tan
      7. CHINESE - Orange
  4. The Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law poster is to be displayed in the employee work area of each office.

14120. Receiving Clients

14121. Expectations

  1. All people entering an office are entitled to fair and timely treatment. Receptionists and other CA staff shall:
    1. Treat people with dignity and courtesy;
    2. Give people sufficient opportunity to make their needs known;
    3. Not discriminate against anyone on the basis of their political beliefs, race, color, national origin, creed, language, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, age, Vietnam era or veteran status, presence of any sensory, mental, or physical handicap, or illness.
    4. Assist people and process their requests as quickly as possible.

14122. Procedure

  1. Everyone coming into a CA office will complete a Reception Slip, DSHS 2-13(X), or for those offices that do not use Reception Slips, contact the receptionist to be logged in.
  2. Those offices using Reception Slips must maintain supplies of the DSHS 2-13(X) printed in Cambodian, Chinese, Laotian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
  3. The receptionist:
    1. Determines why the person is in the office.
    2. Seeks clarification from the person if additional information is necessary.
    3. Takes appropriate action depending on the person's needs.

14130. Requests for General Information

14131. Expectations

  1. Normally, receptionists only answer questions of a very general nature. They do not answer any questions about clients or program eligibility. If there is doubt about what information can be released, the receptionist checks with his or her supervisor.
  2. Types of questions answered by receptionists include, but are not necessarily limited to:
    1. Directions to the office and other agencies;
    2. Office hours;
    3. Verification of appointment times;
    4. FamLink verification for assigned social worker as needed.

14132. Procedure

  1. If someone contacts the office and requests information, the receptionist:
    1. Provides the information, if disclosable;
    2. Refers the person to someone who can provide the requested information.
  2. If someone delivers documents to reception, the receptionist:
    1. Accepts and date stamps all documents received on an ongoing basis.
      1. The receptionist will not date stamp original or notarized documents, such as birth certificates, but will date stamp a copy of the original and return the original to client.
      2. The receptionist will not date stamp checks received over the counter, but will forward/give the document to the appropriate worker. See section 14140, below.
    2. Releases forms, pamphlets, or documents held at reception for pick-up as requested by staff.
    3. If requested, photo copies documents and returns originals to clients.

14140. Receipt of Negotiable Items

  1. For those offices that do not receive cash, all payments must be received by check or money order or sent directly by the client to the Office of Financial Recovery, P. O. Box 45862, Olympia, WA 98504-5862.
  2. If the office accepts checks or money orders, the receptionist prepares a pre-numbered receipt and gives the original receipt to the person who brought in the check or money order.
  3. All cash receipts, checks, money orders, or other negotiable items must be transferred to the central office by direct deposit to a bank account or to the Office of Financial Recovery, as applicable, within 24 hours of receipt.
  4. The receptionist makes a copy of the check or money order for the worker and then the check is added to the Daily Cash Items Mail Log, DSHS 19-048(X). Support staff sends notice to the assigned social worker of receipt of negotiable items.
  5. Assigned support staff prepares a Funds Transmittal to OFR and receives a Notice of Transmittal Received from OFR in return.
  6. Each Regional Administrator/designee will determine the region's own policy on receipt of cash in compliance with accounting rules.

14200. MAIL SYSTEM

14210. Introduction

  1. The CA mail system provides internal control and efficient processing of all incoming and outgoing mail.
  2. The mail clerk(s) is expected to have current directories of ZIP codes, DSHS address and mail stops, a roster of office employees, and pick-up/delivery schedules for the mail services available.

14211. Definitions

See definitions relating to mail in Appendix A, Definitions.

14220. Incoming Mail

  1. The mail clerk processes the incoming mail as follows:
    1. Date stamps but does not open "Confidential" mail envelope; sets it aside.
    2. Opens, date stamps each piece of mail with the current date, and staples the envelope to its contents, but date stamps only the envelope for each of the following items:
      1. Original or notarized-copy documents; e.g., birth certificates, marriage licenses, etc.;
      2. Negotiable items; and
      3. Other items as specified by the Regional Manager or Area Manager or designee.
  2. Separates into the following categories:
    1. Cash items and the Cash Items Log
      1. Annotates each item to the Cash Items log, DSHS 19-48; both staff opening mail initial the log.
      2. Takes log (white and pink copies only) and cash item(s) to the Business Office or account.
      3. Retains the yellow copy of the DSHS 19-48.
      4. Accountant or Business Office staff return white copy to mail clerk to be stapled to yellow copy and retained in the Cash Items Mail Log file for a retention period of two years.
    2. Negotiable Documents-Distributes negotiable documents directly to the designated responsible individual(s) and keeps them in a secured area (e.g., locked filing cabinet) when unattended.
    3. All other mail per Regional Manager/Area Manager/designee instructions.
  3. Distribute Mail
    1. Confidential Mail - Deliver all mail marked "Confidential" to the addressees.
    2. All Other Mail - Distribute all other mail as designated by the Regional Manager/Area Manager/designee.
    3. Incorrectly Sent/Delivered Mail - Determine if address is correct. Make correction if necessary. Sort to outgoing mail.

14230. Outgoing Mail

  1. Support staff will set a time that outgoing mail leaves the office.
  2. Preparation of outgoing mail will occur to correlate with the scheduled outgoing mail pick-up time.
  3. The schedule needs to accommodate processing of all accumulated mail and the time the mail leaves for the Post Office.

14231. Types of Mail Service

  1. Regional Courier service is available to offices in Regions 4 and 5, in conjunction with the State Office Courier, to distribute mail from and to all "N," "S," and Olympia-area mail stops.
  2. State Office Courier service is available to all offices with "N," "S," and Olympia-area mail stops to distribute mail to these stops.
  3. State courier service is to be used by all offices to which it is available.

14232. Special Instructions

  1. Offices will establish local instructions to utilize courier mail as provided in their area.
  2. Unique Shipping Instructions
    1. Usage-Offices may establish other shipping arrangements as necessary and approved by the business office. A separate account will be established for this purpose.
    2. Additional Instructions
      1. CA offices need to contact United Parcel Service (UPS) or Federal Express (FedEx) for specific details regarding establishing a UPS or FedEx account, rates, pick-up/delivery times, etc.
      2. Some offices have a UPS account specifically for shipping case records to the Records Reference Center. This account is not to be used for any other reason. A separate account must be established for unusual situations.
      3. Shipping invoices are obtained from UPS.
    3. United States Postal Service (USPS)
      1. Usage - USPS can be used for all mail not sent by courier or other means.
      2. Special Instructions
        1. The following forms can be obtained from the local post office:
          • PS Form 3533 - Application and Voucher for Refund of Postage and Fees;
          • PS Form 3602-A - USPS Daily Record of Meter Register Readings;
          • PS Form 3800 - Receipt for Certified Mail; and
          • PS Form 3811 - Return Receipt.
        2. Offices contact the local Postmaster for additional information; e.g., rates, delivery/pick-up schedules, etc.
  3. General Instructions
    1. General Mail - Outgoing mail to be sent via USPS is to be prepared as described in the USPS publications Addressing for Success and Postal Addressing Standards.
    2. Client Case Records - Regardless of mail services, support staff use the following procedures for mailing client case records to ensure protection of confidentiality and record content.
      1. Use a Tyvek envelope or a suitable box.
      2. Wrap the envelope/box as appropriate to keep contents from shifting and/or splitting open.
      3. Mark the package "Confidential."
      4. If the shipping method is to be USPS, utilize the certified mail service without return receipt to assure a method of tracking the shipment in case of loss.
    3. Addressing
      1. All first class mail is to be addressed following the guidelines in the USPS publications Addressing for Success and Postal Addressing Standards.
      2. Mailing Address
        1. Courier Mail - Use the complete/correct mail stop. For courier mail, this is the only address needed.
        2. UPS - Use the street address rather than the Post Office. Box on UPS mail.
        3. USPS - Address as advised in Addressing for Success brochure.
      3. Return Address- Inter-Office Mail Envelopes (Courier Mail)
        1. Ensure the enclose material clearly identifies the sender and the sender's return address or attach a completed Routing Slip, DSHS 1-32, to provide sender information.
    4. Specially Shipped Packages
      1. Prepare packages as necessary utilizing proper packaging and addressing methods.
      2. Maintain an invoice shipping copy for account charge reconciliation and payment.
    5. USPS Mail
      1. Certified Mail
        1. Complete and attach Receipt for Certified Mail, PS Form 3800.
        2. Complete and attach Return Receipt, PS Form 3811, when needed. Ensure the return address is stamped/written on the back of PS Form 3811.
        3. Enter each certified item in a certified mail log.
      2. Postage Stamping
        1. Daily, prior to running the mail, change postage meter date and check moistener and ink supplies for adequacy to produce clear legible marking.
        2. Affix correct postage to items to be mailed.
        3. Separate mail as required by the local Post Office and band groups together.

14240. Special Procedures

14241. Business Reply (BR) and Postage Due Accounts

  1. Business Reply Accounts-When someone uses a BR envelope to mail information to an office, the USPS charges the mailing costs to that office's BR account.
    1. Establishment of a BR Account-To establish a BR Account with the post office:
      1. Contact the DSHS Mail Room Supervisor to obtain a copy of the current BR permit fee receipt and information about the accounting fee amount (refer to c. below).
      2. Complete an Invoice Voucher, A-19, to request a warrant for payment of the annual accounting fee and sufficient funds to cover BR charges for three to six months;
      3. Process the A-19 in accordance with local office procedures.
      4. Upon receipt of the warrant, take it, a copy of the A-19, the Remittance Advice (RA), and the permit fee receipt (when received) to the local Post Office. Give these items to the postal employee, who:
        1. Issues a receipt for each payment, with the total equaling the warrant amount;
        2. Signs the A-19;
        3. Date stamps the A-19 and the RA;
        4. Returns the A-19, RA, permit receipt, and warrant receipt(s).
      5. Deliver these documents to the person responsible for maintaining the BR and Postage Due ledgers.
    2. Replenishment of BR Account-Request additional funds for the BR Account about one month prior to the fund's depletion. To order funds:
      1. Complete an A-19 requesting enough money to last three to six months;
      2. Process the A-19 in accordance with local office procedures.
      3. Upon receipt of the warrant, take it, the A-19 copy, and RA to the local Post Office. Give the items to the postal employee who:
        1. Issues a receipt for the payment;
        2. Signs the A-19 copy;
        3. Date stamps the A-19 and RA; and
        4. Returns the A-19, RA, and payment receipt.
      4. Deliver these documents to the person responsible for maintaining the BR and Postage Due ledgers.
    3. Payment of the Annual Accounting Fee
      1. Prior to the end of the calendar year, the DSHS Mail Room buys a BR permit from the USPS. Each office using BR services must then pay the USPS an accounting fee.
      2. The Mail Room sends a notice of the annual accounting fee due and a copy of the permit fee receipt to the affected offices. When the receipt and accounting fee notice are received:
        1. Complete an A-19 for the accounting fee; and
        2. Follow the procedures in section 14240, paragraph A.1.b.
  2. Postage Due Accounts
    1. Each office receiving USPS mail can establish/maintain a Postage Due Account with the local Post Office or make specific arrangements with the local Post Office to handle postage due mail.
    2. To order/replenish Postage Due Account funds, follow the instructions in section 14241, paragraph A.2.
  3. Maintenance of BR and Postage Due Account Ledgers-Each office will designate an individual to maintain accurate records (ledgers) of all debits/credits made to the BR and Postage Due Accounts.
  4. A-19 Post Office Receipt
    1. When a Post Office receipt and/or an A-19 and related documents are received, record the account debit in the corresponding ledger(s) as follows:
      1. Enter the date from the Post Office receipt and the debit amount;
      2. Add the debit amount to the previous balance and verify the new balance with the Post Office account balance; annotate ledger for verification. The BR accounting and permit fees do not change the BR Account Balance.
      3. Attach related documents behind the A-19 and maintain the file in chronological order.
    2. The local Post Office gives the office a Postage Due Bill, PS Form 3582-A, each day as charges are made against the account(s). The form shows each account's credit amount, the total credit amount, and the postage meter tape with the date and total credit amount.
    3. When a PS Form 3582-A is received, credit the corresponding ledger as follows:
      1. Enter the credit date and applicable credit amount;
      2. Subtract the amount from the previous balance and enter the new account balance;
      3. File PS Form 3582-A in chronological order.

14242. Certified Mail

  1. Due to the reasons for using certified mail, assigned support staff in each office must maintain a record of each item sent certified. A certified mail log is used for this purpose.
    1. Each piece of certified mail is promptly recorded in the log on the day it is mailed. After receipt from the Post Office, PS Form 3800s are filed in numerical order.
    2. Each Return Receipt is recorded in the log when it is received from the Post Office. After logging in the Certified mail log, the PS Form 3811 is routed to the requester.

14243. Express Mail

  1. Occasionally, items may need to be mailed so the addressee receives them the next day. This USPS service is called Express Mail.
  2. Each office coordinates Express Mail service usage with the building mailroom or the Post Office as is appropriate to that facility.

14244. Ordering Postage

  1. When requesting postage, request an amount sufficient to last for at least a one month period.
  2. For the Remote Meter Resetting System (RMRS) Meter, utilize the instructions as provided with the meter by Pitney Bowes.

14245. Security Procedures

  1. Keep the postage meter key in a secured area (e.g., locked cabinet) when not in use. Only authorized personnel are to access the key.
  2. Use postage for state business mail only.

14246. Unused Postage Reimbursement

  1. Envelopes and wrappings to which metered postage has been applied and subsequently not used are to be retained for reimbursement.
  2. A maximum of once per month, the mail person:
    1. Completes an Application and Voucher for Refund of Postage and Fees, PS Form 3533 and takes the completed form and envelopes/wrappings to the Post Office;
    2. Receives from the Post Office a 90 percent reimbursement of the total postage amount;
    3. Requests the Post Office to apply the reimbursement moneys amount to the office's BR or Postage Due account.
    4. Upon application of funds to BR or Postage Due accounts, the receipt received from post office is given to individual who maintains the BR & Postage Due ledgers. If the BR or Postage Due account is not credited, the Post Office issues a reimbursement check. Upon receipt of this check, the office transmits it to OFR.

14300. RECORDS MANAGEMENT

14310. Case Record Transfers

  1. See chapter 13000, section 13800, and chapter 15000, section 15202, for procedures.
  2. Clerical staff are to read CAMIS mail at least once a day for statewide record requests.

14320. Case Record Management

See Chapter 13000, section 13600, for general record maintenance and section 13900 for procedures regarding record retention and archiving.

14330. CAMIS Trainer

The FamLink trainer is responsible for alerting clerical staff to all FamLink policy/procedures changes to maintain this chapter.

14400. RANDOM MOMENT TIME STUDY

For expectations regarding Random Moment Time Study (RMTS), see chapter 11000, section 111200.

14500. REQUESTING A NOTARY

  1. Following are the steps to be taken by CA staff to become a notary through the Office of Risk Management's (ORM) Risk Management Services Section.
    1. The applicant completes an Application for Appointment or Reappointment as a Notary Public, #NP659-007 Notary Public App (R5/94), obtained from the Department of Licensing.
    2. Once the application is completed, the contact person sends a memorandum to ORM, P. O. Box 45844, MS 45844, Olympia, WA 98504-5844. The following elements are included in the memorandum:
      1. Whether it is an original or renewal application.
      2. Name of the employee.
      3. Notary stamp delivery address.
      4. Contact person: name, address, and telephone number.
      5. Funding code.
      6. Whether or not applicant wants a notary stamp.
    3. Once the applicant receives the certificate in the mail, and, if the applicant has requested the procurement of a notary stamp, the applicant gives a copy of the certificate to the contact person.
    4. The contact person faxes or mails a copy of the certificate to Kimura Insurance Agency, P. O. Box 3142, Seattle, WA 98114. Telephone number: (206) 323-4773; Fax number: (206) 324-7668.
    5. Kimura Insurance Agency will then send the stamp by United Parcel Service to the local or regional CA office's street address.
    6. If the applicant is renewing their notary, ORM needs to receive the renewal memorandum 45 days before the applicant's notary expires.
    7. Staff with questions may contact ORM at (360) 664-3249