DHS News

Senate Bill 1515

To: All DHS Staff
Message from DHS Director Clyde Saiki

As July 1, 2016 quickly approaches I want to inform all DHS staff about the changes coming with the implementation of Senate Bill 1515. The goal of the new law passed in April 2016, is to ensure all children and youth served by DHS certified child caring agencies (CCA) are safe.

We know the safety and well-being of children in our care is an issue for our Department -- identified in multiple Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) reports over the years. We are working to make changes in our system to improve outcomes for the children and families we serve.

SB 1515 requires increased coordination and vigor as the Department monitors, enforces existing regulations and maintains a culture focused on the individuals needs of children and youth. Here are 5 things you should know about SB 1515;

  • Investigation of abuse or neglect now extends for foster youth served by CCAs through 20 years old
  • Number of inspections double from one every two years to one per year
  • Notifications to external stakeholders required when there is suspected child abuse or neglect in a CCA
  • Oversight expanded to include review of finances, and requiring CCAs to submit audited financial statements and tax compliance certificates
  • All Department staff must notify the Director of DHS or designee, when a threat to the safety and well-being of a child is suspected in a CCA

Thank you to all the staff involved in creating policies, procedures and training to make SB 1515 a reality. Please expect more messages this week providing more detailed information about SB 1515 and your responsibilities. You can always visit the SB 1515 web page for more information.

Thank you,
Clyde