June 7, 2012_CRS "Dear Provider/Administrator" Letters

June 7, 2012

ADSA:  CCRSS #2012-003

Dear Certified Community Residential Services Provider:

In the past several months there have been at least four incidents related to toxic substances that were unsecured and available to vulnerable clients.  See the following for examples:

  • A client drank laundry detergent and died.  The detergent was in a milk carton in a place where the client had full access.
  • In three cases the toxic substances, such as bleach, were unsecured and readily accessible to clients.

As you are aware, you are required to protect the vulnerable clients you serve.  Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 388-101-3390 requires the service provider to ensure a safe and healthy environment for the client, unless otherwise specified in the individual support plan.  The department found in the four toxic substance cases that the service provider had not ensured a safe and healthy environment for clients who were at risk.

In order to ensure a safe and healthy environment for clients the service provider must have developed and implemented a system that supports continuous staff awareness of potential hazards to clients.  Please work with your case resource manager for assistance in the development and maintenance of such a system.

If you have questions, contact Robert McClintock, Quality Assurance Administrator, at McCliR@dshs.wa.gov or (360) 725-2419.

Thank you for your commitment to the health & safety of the vulnerable clients you serve.


Joyce Pashley Stockwell, Director
Residential Care Services