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Washington

July 1, 2005

Greater Protection in CPS Investigations

Due to the hard work of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), Washington Association of Teaching Christian Homes (WATCH), and Christian Homeschool Network of Washington (CHN), Senate Bill 5922 passed the Washington legislature and was signed by the Governor. With this bill families in Washington will have greater protection during social services investigations.

Under S.B. 5922 a social service worker will be required to notify the individual under investigation of the allegations against them at the initial time of contact. We often find that social services will come to the door and demand to enter the home and interview all of the children before providing the family with basic information about the allegations. Social workers in Washington will have to identify the specific allegations from the very beginning of the investigation which will help families make better decisions and enable HSLDA to resolve these situations sooner.

Additionally, this bill requires the Department of Social and Health Services to train their social workers to protect the rights of families from the initial time of contact. These rights include a person's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures. HSLDA is able to defend member families from social services investigations and protect their privacy under the Fourth Amendment.

With these added protections Washington families will have greater protection from false allegations of abuse or neglect concerning their homeschool program or other family activities.