DSHS - Public Records
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Home page

Public Records

Washington's Public Records Disclosure Act (RCW 42.56) was adopted by initiative of the people in 1972 to open government records to the public. DSHS believes in the importance of the public’s right to know about its operations and activities. Many public documents are available on the DSHS website. Use the search function to locate particular documents or look at information relating to a specific DSHS program or activity.

If you do not find the information you seek on this website or you are seeking client records, you may make a public records request. DSHS has an optional Request for Records form to help you make your request for records. DSHS rules about processing public records requests are located in Chapter 388-01 WAC.

You may make a public disclosure request to any office of DSHS. You should ask to contact the Public Records Officer appointed for that office. If you don’t know which office has the records you seek or you want to have records from different parts of DSHS, you can send your request to:

DSHS Public Records Officer
DSHS, Office of Policy and External Relations
PO Box 45135
Olympia WA 98504-5135

Fax 360-902-7855; Phone 360-902-8484: Email Public Records/Privacy Officer

Confidential and Exempt Records: An important exemption from disclosure in DSHS protects the privacy of client information. By law, DSHS may not disclose these records outside DSHS or its authorized partners with limited exceptions. Certain types of personal information about DSHS employees is also confidential.

If you are requesting confidential records about someone else, you will need to have that person’s permission to obtain those records. You can use the DSHS Authorization form or another form that complies with state and federal laws to allow you to see or get copies of those records. If you are a client and want someone to have copies of your records, you may fill out this form. Attorneys, please note that a subpoena is generally not sufficient to obtain DSHS client records. If you do not have permission or other legal authority to have confidential records, DSHS will deny your request for records.

Forms: To make a public disclosure request : Request for Records

To permit someone to have confidential records: Authorization