4211. Notification to Foreign Consulates

Approval:             Connie Lambert-Eckel, Acting Assistant Secretary

Original Date:      June 7, 2012

Revised Date:      July 1, 2017

Policy Review:     July 1, 2021


Purpose 

Ensure foreign consulates are notified when a child who is the citizen of another country becomes the focus of a dependency proceeding. This policy is not to be interpreted as a check on immigration status of any member of a family but rather citizenship of a country outside the United States.

Laws

Vienna Convention on Consular Relations - Article 37

Policy

  1. The caseworker must:
    1. Assess the citizenship of a foreign country of a child when the child is placed in out-of-home care in a dependency proceeding.
    2. Provide notice, under federal treaty obligations, to the foreign consulate when obtaining legal custody of a child who is a foreign national.
    3. Provide access to interpreters and culturally relevant services to Limited English Proficiency (LEP) clients from certified or authorized contracted translators as listed in the provisions of Access to Services for Clients who are Limited English Proficient (LEP) Administrative Policy No. 7.21.

Procedures

  1. The caseworker must:
    1. Determine and document the child's citizenship of a foreign country at the time a child is placed in care by asking the parent (or the child, depending on age and development) if the child is a citizen of a foreign country. If the answer is “yes,” ask, “What foreign country?”
    2. For children in the department’s care, as soon as it is known whether the child is a foreign national, notify the foreign consulate by faxing the Notice to Foreign Consulate of Child Protection Proceedings DSHS 15-402 of the child's or parent(s) home country. Notification to the consulate must be made as soon as possible but no later than 30 calendar days. 
      Note: The address of the nearest consular office for a foreign country can be      found at the following link Foreign Consular Offices in the United States.
    3. If requested by the consulate:
      1. Obtain a signed Consent to release Information DSHS 14-012 form from the parent(s) to share information with the consulate; and
      2. Provide identified services to the family.
    4. Document in FamLink any:
      1. Foreign citizenship of the child on the Person Management page.
      2. Notification to a consulate by uploading the Notice to Foreign Consulate of Child Protection Proceedings DSHS 15-402 form into FamLink.

Forms

Consent to release Information DSHS 14-012

Notice to Foreign Consulate of Child Protection Proceedings DSHS 15-402

Resources

Foreign Consular Offices in the United States