4537. Clothing Allowance For Children In Out-Of-Home Care

Approval: Jennifer Strus, Assistant Secretary

Original Date: September 27, 1995

Revised Date: August 6, 2015

Policy Review Date:  August 6, 2018


Purpose

Provides for the essential clothing needs of children entering care or to assist in providing additional funding for an exceptional need not met through the standard clothing allowance in the foster care monthly payment or other community resources.

Scope

This policy applies to CA caseworkers and fiduciaries.

Laws

WAC 388-25-0125

Policy

  1. The CA caseworker will authorize a one-time clothing voucher up to $200 for each child at the time of initial placement in out of home care, (licensed foster home or unlicensed caregiver home).  
  2. The CA caseworker with regional administrator (RA) or designee approval may authorize an additional clothing voucher up to $200, per year after initial placement, when a child has an exceptional clothing need not met through local community resources or the standard clothing allowance in the foster care monthly payment (if the child is placed in a licensed foster home).
  3. Reimbursement for clothing expenses may be authorized by the CA caseworker only with RA or designee approval if:
    1. The expenses were pre-authorized by the caseworker with RA or designee approval.
    2. The amount does not exceed $200.
    3. Expenses were identified at the time of initial placement or
    4. There was a subsequent exceptional need identified and,
      1. Other local community resources were not available
      2. The clothing need could not be met through the standard clothing allowance in the foster care monthly payment (if the child is placed in a licensed foster home). 
  4. All clothing purchased becomes the property of the child and is sent with the child if the placement changes.

Procedures

  1. Initiating a clothing voucher
    1. The CA caseworker will approve the initial clothing voucher requests (at or around the time of placement) up to $200.
    2. The CA caseworker must create a service referral in FamLink
    3. The supervisor must approve all clothing requests in FamLink.
    4. The RA or designee must approve all clothing voucher requests to meet a child’s exceptional need before processing.
    5. The CA caseworker must document the reason for the child’s exceptional need for clothing in the service referral and note the approval by the RA or designee.
  2. Processing a clothing voucher
    1. The fiduciary opens and processes the service referral, creating a service authorization and clothing voucher in FamLink. The fiduciary or designee retrieves the clothing voucher from FamLink, embosses it with a DSHS stamp and provides a hard copy to the assigned caseworker or designated individual in the office.
    2. The CA caseworker or designated individual in the office signs and provides the hard copy to the caregiver.  
    3. The fiduciary pays the clothing voucher once the receipt is received and has confirmed the requested items were purchased for the authorized amount.
  3. Caregiver Reimbursement
  1. The CA caseworker will initiate a payment to reimburse the caregiver when the caregiver purchases clothing and provides a receipt and the RA or designee has approved the purchase.
  2. The CA caseworker will work with fiduciary staff to set up an authorization for the clothing and process a payment to reimburse the caregiver based on receipts presented.

Resources

Concrete Goods Guide