Foster Care Justice Alliance

Defending the Rights of the Child


Legislative Update

April 24, 2009



"When the state is making decisions about a child that has been taken from their home, one of the things that is most important is to establish permanency as quickly as possible, so that the child doesn't spend any unnecessary time in limbo."

Rep. Mary Helen Roberts, District 21, House Floor debate on 5510, April 9, 2009






Only two days left in this legislative session. Sunday is the last day. All our bills are very close to final passage, but we need one last push to get them out.


All our bills passed in both houses, all were heavily amended, and all were disputed. The Senate and House have resolved their differences. We have reconciled versions poised to pass, but we need your help to make sure they get enacted. Call or e-mail your lawmakers today.








Watch the floor debate on our bills on TVW:


April 9, 2009 - Final Passage before returning to the Senate

House Floor debate on SSB 5431 at 00:00:00

House Floor debate on SSB 5510 at 00:16:30


April 23, 2009 - Concurrence on reconciled language

House Floor debate on 5811 at 00:20:30

House Floor debate on 5431 at 00:30:45



GOLF TOURNAMENT AND SILENT AUCTION: We will be participating in the Exchange Club Charity Golf Tournament June 27, at Walter Hall Golf Course in Everett. Have fun playing golf and help us raise funds to support foster kids. Golfers and Sponsors needed!


Tournament Sponsorship is $250

Tee Box Sponsorship is $100

Golfers: $100


We also need volunteers and donated items for the silent auction. Please contact us for details.




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Toll Free Legislative Hotline: 1-800-562-6000

FCJA 24-hour Message Line: 1-484-288-4364

Foster Care Justice Alliance, P.O. Box 233, Woodinville, WA 98072-0233

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Foster Care Justice Alliance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Tax deductable donations can be made online, by mail, or in person at any Bank of America branch (WA State): Ask your employer about matching gifts.


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HB 1782 / SB 5510 Regarding notification in dependency matters

Proposed by FCJA: "Encouraging Early Engagement of All Parenting Resources"

Supported by the Child Welfare Advocacy Coalition


1782 Status: House rejects Senate amendments, asks Senate to recede.

5510 Status: Senate rejects House amendments, asks House to recede.


The House and Senate have resolved their differences and agreed on a reconciled version which will be split between both bills. We expect that this will happen tomorrow, but we need your help to make sure these bills get passed.




Download our position paper here:


ACTION ITEM: Ask your senators and representatives to vote YES on the reconciled versions of 1782 and 5510.




SB 5811 Concerning foster care placements

Status: Reconciled version passed unanimous in the House, returns to Senate for concurrence


We expect 1782 to have the Encouraging Early Engagement language restored, so 5811 is the only omnibus bill that will move forward. It has been amended to have the limitations of adoption support language from 5803. The House and Senate worked out their differences in these bills, and the House has passed the reconciled version.







SB 5431 Regarding placement of a child returning to out-of-home care

Proposed by FCJA, Continuity of Care and the Importance of Psychological Relationships


Status: Reconciled version passed unanimous in the House, returns to Senate for concurrence


If a child returns home, and then returns to foster care, this bill requires the department to place the child when possible with a foster family where the child has been before, if the family is willing and available, and in the best interest of the child. The department is to consider the length of time and the child's attachment to the caregivers.






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