Washington’s DSHS has developed various lists of disqualifying crimes or negative actions that may prohibit an individual from having unsupervised access to vulnerable adults, juveniles, and children, or access to federal tax information.  Depending on its specific sub-agency there can be different disqualifiers but there can also be overlap.  DSHS has put this information forward in a fairly digestible manner, which links directly to the WAC posted by Washington or DSHS’ own lists.

Effective July 25, 2021, the legislature enacted new regulations that affect DSHS’ consideration of certain crimes in screening long-term care workers, contracted providers, or those otherwise licensed through a background check for disqualification, such as Adult Family Home providers or applicants.

So while WAC 388-113-0020(1)(hhh) identified that the criminal conviction of Theft 1 would have been an automatic disqualifier, RCW 43.20A.0002(1)(b) now says that any such person may not automatically be disqualified if ten (10) years have passed since the most recent conviction and the date the background check is processed.

This will significantly open up possibilities for those who were essentially banned from the field of work in various caregiving roles, and particularly in the AFH industry, as to specific criminal convictions that used to be automatic disqualifiers.

  • WAC 388-113-0020
  • RCW 43.20A.0002

By Jessica Creager

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