43102. CA Responsibilities to Dependent Youth 12 and Older

Approval:   Jennifer Strus, Assistant Secretary

Original Date:  June 10, 2010

Revised Date:  September 29, 2015

Policy Review: September 1, 2019

Purpose 

To help dependent youth age 12 and older understand Children's Administration’s (CA) duties and responsibilities while the youth is in out-of-home care, including the youth’s right to request counsel.

Scope

This policy applies to DCFS staff working with dependent youth.

Laws

RCW 74.13.031 (16)

RCW 13.34.100 (6)

PL 112-34

PL 113-183

Policy

The caseworker will:

  1. Provide and discuss all required information to the youth within 30 days of becoming age 12 and then at least annually thereafter about their rights, in an age appropriate way, while in out-of-home care.
  2. Assist youth, 14 and older, in obtaining and reviewing a copy of their consumer credit report annually.
  3. Assist youth in correcting any inaccurate credit information.
  4. Document these discussions in FamLink and in the court report.

Procedures

The caseworker will:

  1. Provide and discuss the following information within 30 days of the youth becoming age 12 and then at least annually thereafter:
    1. His or her right to request counsel, asking the youth if he or she would like counsel.  If youth declines, continue to ask the youth whenever a motion or petition is filed that affects the youth’s placement, services, or familial relationships.
    2. The Rights of Children and Youth in Foster Care Declaration form.  Obtain the youth’s signature, provide a signed copy to the youth and upload the signed document into FamLink
    3. Your Rights, Your Life: A Resource for Youth in Foster Care booklet.
  2. Inform youth age 14 and older how to obtain their consumer credit report and assist them in requesting a copy annually through www.annualcreditreport.com.
  3. Review the credit report with the youth and identify any discrepancies. If discrepancies are identified, assist the youth in contacting the nationwide consumer credit reporting company that provided the credit report. Follow dispute instructions at each of the following websites:
    1. Equifax - www.investigate.equifax.com
    2. Experian - www.experian.com
    3. TransUnion - www.transunion.com
  4. Document:
    1. The information above in procedures (1.-3.) was provided and explained to the youth in FamLink case notes and the court report, including the youth’s decision to request counsel or not.
    2. The youth received "consumer awareness” on the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) tab of the Independent Living (IL) page under element "Budget & Financial Management.”

Forms and Tools

Rights of Children and Youth in Foster Care Declaration form
Your Rights, Your Life: A Resource for Youth in Foster Care

Resources

http://www.independence.wa.gov
http://www.annualcreditreport.com 
Washington State Annual Credit Check Policy Q&A
Contracted IL services may be available to assist youth in requesting their annual credit report and assist with resolving any discrepancies.