2/4/17 The governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission call for a new Department of Children, Youth and Families got its first hearing Friday (Feb. 3) in the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee.
HB 1661 would transfer several programs from existing agencies into the new department. Under HB 1661, child welfare programs would move from DSHS and early learning programs would move from the Department of Early Learning on July 1, 2018. Juvenile Justice programs would move from DSHS to the Department of Children, Youth and Families on July 1, 2019.
This plan steps up the state’s commitment to abused, neglected and at-risk youth. But action is still needed to address staffing, crushing caseloads and funding, said Sean Dannen, the Federation’s General Government strategic coordinator told the committee.
I ask that you take full advantage of this opportunity to make better outcomes for children by fully resourcing it now,” Dannen said.
If HB 1661 is passed, this wouldn’t be the first time that program areas have been broken out of DSHS into separate new departments, such as the Department of Corrections, which broke away from DSHS in 1981, and the Department of Health (1989).