6201. Developing Contracts

Approval:     Jennifer Strus, Assistant Secretary

Effective Date: February 15, 1998

Revised Date: July 31, 2015

Sunset Review: July 31, 2018


The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) requires written contracts before beginning any work by a contractor.


This policy applies to all caseworkers and DCFS contract managers.


RCW Chapters 39.26, 39.30
RCW 39.26.110
RCW 42.52.080
RCW Chapter 43.19
RCW 43.43.832, RCW 43.43.834
RCW 49.60.030


  1. Children’s Administration (CA) develops contract(s) when service(s):
    1. Are not provided by CA.
    2. Fulfill a resource gap.
    3. Are not covered by medical insurance.
    4. Are court ordered.
  2. Services must be consistent with CA mission and values, add value to the client’s case plan, meet CA management approval, and must be in compliance with DSHS Administrative Policies. To locate DSHS Administrative policies see Resources below.
  3. CA staff can only pay for services when a contract is established and signed by both parties. Verbal agreements are prohibited. An After the Fact Justification DSHS 15-472 must be completed in those rare instances in which a provider begins work before a contract is in place.  
  4. CA must not furnish contractors with workspace or any state resource, i.e., computer, identification badge, phone, fax machine, copier, etc., unless it is an agreed upon contract term.
  5. Contract formats include:
    1. Client Service Contract
    2. Data Share Agreement
    3. Indian Nation Intergovernmental Agreement
    4. Interlocal Agreement
    5. Personal Service Contract
    6. Purchase Service Contracts
  6. CA staff must follow DSHS Administrative Policy 13.10 for:
    1. Contract development
    2. Staff training on managing and monitoring contracts
    3. Agency Contract Database (ACD) access
    4. Signing Authority
  7. Agencies under contract with CA must ensure clients have equal access to:
    1. Interpretation Services
    2. Translation Services
    3. Accommodation Services
    4. Culturally Relevant Services
  8. CA staff must follow DSHS Administrative Policy 5.01 when safeguarding confidential client information.
  9. CA staff must follow DSHS Administrative Policy No. 13.12 for contract procurements


  1. Initiating Contract Services
    1. If services are needed, the caseworker must review FamLink and other contract resources to determine if an active contract exists.
    2. If no contract exists, the caseworker or regional program manager will find and speak with a potentially qualified provider about whether they wish to contract with the state and submit a completed Contract Request/Approval Form DSHS 15-471 to the Regional Contract Unit.
    3. The caseworker may also contact the HQ or regional contract/program manager to look for services.
  2. Approving Contracts
    1. The Regional contract manager (RCM) sends the completed Contract Request form to the regional operations manager (ROM) for approval.
    2. The ROM verifies available funds for contracted services, identifies account coding and reviews for approval. If approved, the ROM sends the approved contract request to the RCM.
    3. The RCM sends the Contract Request/Approval Form DSHS 15-471 to the CA HQ Contracts Unit (CU) for final approval(s).
    4. Regional and HQ contract managers will complete an After the Fact Justification DSHS 15-472 if services begin before a contract is in place.
  3. Developing Contracts
    1. The HQ contract manager will develop and update contract templates on the Agency Contracts Database (ACD).
    2. The regional and headquarter (HQ) program manager will acquire necessary contract documents from his or her assigned contractor.
    3. RCMs will collect,review and maintain all necessary documents which may include, but are not limited to, the following:
      1. Contractor intake form
      2. Contractor update form
      3. Staff list/board of directors
      4. 501c IRS non-profit letter (if applicable)
      5. Certificate of Insurance (See DSHS Administrative Policy 13.13)
      6. Licenses, i.e., Department of Health, etc.
      7. Certifications, i.e., mental health counseling, training, etc.
      8. Resume, degrees, and required qualifications
      9. Photo identification, i.e., driver’s license or ID card, etc.
  4. Regional and headquarters (HQ) contract managers will input or verify contractor information is entered into the ACD and FamLink.
  5. Regional contract managers will prepare and sign pre-approved client service contracts for new contractors and for contract renewals.
  6. Regional and HQ contract managers, working with regional and HQ program managers, will negotiate and develop custom contracts as needed with the assistance and approval from the Key Contract Coordinator.

Forms and Tools


To locate DSHS Administrative policies, go to the DSHS Intranet titled Inside DSHS, Click Resources, Other Employee Resources and Administrative Policies and Rules.