This act is intended to provide a common definition for family resource centers across Washington state in an effort to establish a core set of principles for existing and newly forming family resource centers.
The legislature finds that family resource centers are effective in supporting communities when adhering to the following principles:
Families are resources to other families and the community;
Strengthening families' cultural, racial, and linguistic identities;
Embedding programs in the community;
Mobilization of formal and informal resources; and
The legislature further finds that families and parents are primarily responsible for supporting children's development and well-being at all ages and stages, and for preparing a child for success in school and life. However, many families may benefit from voluntary preventative or enriching support.
The legislature finds that family resource centers play a critical role in:
Preventing child abuse and neglect;
Strengthening children and families;
Connecting family-impacting agencies and programs;
Creating opportunities for community-level coordination; and
Creating connections to resources and support systems.
Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
"Associate development organization" means a local economic development nonprofit corporation that is broadly representative of community interests.
"Department" means the department of commerce.
"Director" means the director of the department of commerce.
"Family resource center" means a unified single point of entry where families, individuals, children, and youth in communities can obtain information, an assessment of needs, referral to, or direct delivery of family services in a manner that is welcoming and strength-based.
A family resource center is designed to meet the needs, cultures, and interests of the communities that the family resource center serves.
Family services may be delivered directly to a family at the family resource center by family resource center staff or by providers who contract with or have provider agreements with the family resource center. Any family resource center that provides family services shall comply with applicable state and federal laws and regulations regarding the delivery of such family services, unless required waivers or exemptions have been granted by the appropriate governing body.
Each family resource center shall have one or more family advocates who screen and assess a family's needs and strengths. If requested by the family, the family advocate shall assist the family with setting its own goals and, together with the family, develop a written plan to pursue the family's goals in working towards a greater level of self-reliance or in attaining self-sufficiency.
"Financial institution" means a bank, trust company, mutual savings bank, savings and loan association, or credit union authorized to do business in this state under state or federal law.
"Small business" has the same meaning as provided in RCW 39.26.010.