4518. Drug and Alcohol Testing, Assessment and Treatment

Approval:  Jennifer Strus, Assistant Secretary

Original Date: 

Revised Date:  October 31, 2016

Policy Review:  October 31, 2020


To provide direction regarding the testing, assessment, and treatment services for clients who are suspected of using drugs or alcohol that impacts his or her ability to safely parent.


This policy applies to Division of Children and Family Service (DCFS) caseworkers and Division of Licensed Resource staff working with clients who are suspected of using drugs or alcohol.


26.44.170      Alleged child abuse or neglect - Use of alcohol or controlled substances as contributing factor

26.44.195      Negligent treatment or maltreatment - Offer of services - Evidence of substance abuse


The CA caseworker will:

  1. Determine if the use of drugs or alcohol is a contributing factor to alleged child abuse or neglect, or is impacting child’s safety or health based on the results of one or more of the following:
    1. Structured Decision Making Risk Assessment (SDMRA) tool
    2. Investigative assessment
    3. Early Periodic Screening Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT)
    4. Child Health and Education Tracking (CHET)
  2. Arrange for drug or alcohol testing by a CA drug testing contracted provider to facilitate decision-making and case planning when either:
    1. The suspected use impacts child safety, and the parent or caregiver is not already in drug or alcohol treatment, or
    2. It is court ordered under a dependency action.
  3. Authorize drug or alcohol testing services by:
    1. Completing all required fields on the drug testing order form per the Drug Testing Order Instructions located under the Medical tab on the CA intranet.
    2. Obtaining the required testing approvals as shown on Drug and Alcohol Resource sheet located under the Medical tab on the CA intranet.
    3. Submitting the form to the contracted provider.
  4. If drug or alcohol use is identified and impacts the child’s safety or health:
    1. Develop a case plan in collaboration with the client.
    2. Obtain the client’s insurance coverage information to determine available drug or alcohol assessment and treatment resources.
    3. Refer the client to a qualified chemical dependency professional for a drug or alcohol assessment and include a completed, signed Consent Form DSHS 14-012. Assessment or treatment agencies may also require clients to sign their form in order to disclose information.
    4. Refer adult clients without insurance or resources to the local DSHS Community Service Office (CSO) to determine their eligibility for state or federally funded assessment and treatment services.
  5. If drug or alcohol treatment is recommended, coordinate with the provider in treatment planning.
  6. Refer a child to a medical provider if a child’s exposure to drugs or alcohol causes concern for the child’s safety or health.
  7. Refer a youth to Apple Health Core Connections (AHCC) to initiate coordination of services and interventions to address any drug or alcohol concerns for a child under age eighteen.
  8. If the case or provider is assigned to DLR, and DLR has made the determination that drug and alcohol abuse is impacting the individual’s ability to safely parent children, the DLR worker will complete a compliance agreement and refer the case to DCFS for services if necessary. See Practices and Procedures 5150. Licensing Investigations.


Consent Form DSHS 14-012