June 13, 2013_AFH "Dear Provider" Letters

June 13, 2013

ALTSA:  AFH #2013-010

Dear Adult Family Home Provider: 

The Governor recently signed Substitute House Bill (SHB) 1629 into law which will become effective on July 28, 2013. 

SHB 1629 removes barriers to obtaining home care aide (HCA) certification and eliminates the long-term care (LTC) worker continuing education requirements for registered nurses (RN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN).  The bill:

  • Extends the time that LTC workers have to obtain HCA certification from 150 to 200 calendar days after the date of hire;
  • Establishes a provisional certification for  LTC workers with limited English proficiency, allowing an additional 60 days to complete the HCA certification (a total of 260 calendar days after the date of hire);
  • Removes the  LTC worker continuing education requirement for caregivers who are RN's or LPNs, unless they are voluntarily certified as home care aides; and
  • Amends RCW 70.128.230(4) to specify that caregivers cannot provide hands-on personal care to residents without direct supervision until they have demonstrated competency in core areas.

The Department of Health has the authority to grant the provisional certification and will develop a process for how this will occur.  Provisional certificates will not be issued after March 1, 2016.

The Department of Social and Health Services will amend applicable Washington Administrative Codes to reflect the amended law and will keep you informed of developments.

If you have any questions, please contact your RCS Field Manager.  Thank you for your continued commitment to the health and safety of Washington's adult family home residents.


Joyce Pashley Stockwell, Director 
Residential Care Services